Showing posts from September 6, 2015

Cyber-attacks from China not acceptable, says Obama ahead of Chinese President’s visit

US President Barack Obama on Friday warned that cyber-attacks from China were “not acceptable”, a message he is set to deliver when President Xi Jinping visits the White House this month. Obama said state actors needed to agree rules of the road in order to stop cyber crises from escalating. “There comes a point at which we consider this a core national security threat and will treat it as such,” he said. Ahead of Xi’s state visit, Obama said “we have been very clear to the Chinese that there are certain practices that they are engaging in, that we know are emanating from China and are not acceptable.” In a notably tough and confrontational tone, Obama said states could “chose to make this an area of competition.” But, he warned, if that path was chosen it would be a competition that “I guarantee you we will win if we have to.” “Alternatively we can come to an agreement in which we say this isn’t helping anybody, lets instead have some basic rules of the road.” Foll

6 Killed as Burundi Army Chief Targeted in Attempted Slaying

BUJUMBURA, Burundi — Burundi's army chief survived an apparent assassination attempt Friday by gunmen who attacked a convoy escorting him in the nation's volatile capital, witnesses and an official said. The military said six people were killed in the attack. Gunmen wearing military fatigues and riding a pickup truck fired on Maj. Gen. Prime Niyongabo's convoy as it drove in Bujumbura's Kinindo neighborhood early Friday, said Anicet Nkunzimana, a witness who lives in the neighborhood. She said there was exchange of gunfire and explosions. Military spokesman Col. Gaspard Baratuza told reporters in Bujumbura that three soldiers, one civilian and two of the attackers were killed in the incident. Niyongabo was not injured and is now back at work in his office, he said, without elaborating. Witness Hamissi Misigaro said the vehicle used in the attack was later retrieved from the anti-government stronghold of Musaga. Four men were arrested there foll

Turkey Faces Threat of Growing Unrest

Mob violence followed deadly attacks by Kurdish militant group, sowing fear in country’s largest ethnic minority  ANKARA—As mobs blazed through his neighborhood in the Turkish capital, attacking Kurdish political party offices, shops and associations, Sulhattin Atas watched them torch his two fruit trucks. “We’ve lived in Ankara for 35 years and never experienced anything like this,” said the 54-year-old Kurdish resident of Altindag, an ethnically mixed working-class district. “Next, it may be our house that gets burnt, or us.” Throngs of young people driving around the neighborhood in cars draped with Turkish flags at night fired occasional shots in the air. Amid concern that attacks and vandalism could spark clashes as Kurdish residents complained of delayed police responses, authorities deployed riot squads in Altindag. “We just watched this havoc for two days, but if they come again, we will defend ourselves,” said Cumali Tastan, chairman of a local Kurdish bus

Five terrorists among 69 people arrested in Islamabad

  September 12, 2015 - Updated 1129 PKT ISLAMABAD: Police, Rangers and intelligence agencies carried out a search operation in the Tarnol area of the federal capital on Saturday. During the search operation five alleged terrorists were among 69 people arrested. Police said 80 kilogrammes of explosive material and 45 weapons were also recovered during the operaion. Source:

How ISIS Educates Extremism

ISIS is using its territorial control to educate a new generation of ideologically indoctrinated young people, inculcating an ideology that airstrikes are unable to destroy, writes Milo Comerford. ISIS' 'caliphate' project in Iraq and Syria goes far beyond changing the region's map. The organisation seeks a comprehensive cultural, and social change, a major ideological revolution akin to those that took place in Iran, Russia and China. For ISIS, political power is a means to achieve these ideological goals. To consolidate its ideology, the group works to introduce radical cultural changes to the educational system. While some students, who long to continue their studies under the old system, have fled ISIS territory to regime-held areas, those who have stayed behind are subject to an education system shaped by ISIS' ideology, or most likely, no education at all. Destruction of a System Whilst claiming to be building a new ideological project, ISIS is also destroying

Saudi-Led Airstrikes and Rebel Shelling Kills 35 in Yemen

SANAA, Yemen — Two days of airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition targeting Yemen's Shiite rebels killed seven civilians in the country's capital, Sanaa, independent security and health officials said Friday. The strikes targeted camps and weapons depots used by the rebels, known as Houthis, which are located near residential areas in the city, the officials said. The death toll included those killed on Friday and Thursday, they said. In the stricken area, many residents had fled their homes for safer neighborhoods, away from rebel posts, while others have left the rebel-held Sanaa entirely, according to those who stayed behind. "We've lived a night full of fear," said Ammar Badawy, a resident of western Sonayna neighborhood where the Saudi-led airstrikes hit an air force academy, also controlled by the Houthis. "The windows and doors in my house came off and were destroyed from the sheer power of the explosions," Badawy said. Anot

Over a dozen killed in rocket attack

SANAA: Yemen´s government in exile said on Friday that it would join UN-mediated peace talks next week, as Iran-backed rebels were accused of killing 20 civilians at a busy market. The Saudi-led coalition battling the Iran-backed Huthi insurgents meanwhile sent new reinforcements over the border into Yemen in preparation for an offensive to retake the capital Sanaa. Coalition warplanes struck an arms depot in Sanaa, triggering powerful explosions that killed at least seven civilians and wounded 10, witnesses and medics said. International rights groups have repeatedly voiced alarm at the heavy civilian toll in the conflict, which has killed more than 4,500 people since March, according to UN estimates. The coalition sent more military vehicles and troops across the border into Yemen on Friday to try to recapture more territory from the Huthis, who overran the capital a year ago and swept southwards across the impoverished country. An AFP reporter at the Wadia

Russia will continue supplying military equipment to Syria: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

MOSCOW:   Russia  will continue delivering   military equipment  to Syria for combating terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister   Sergey Lavrov  said.  "Our military experts are staying in Syria to service the Russian equipment and help the   Syrian army  to use them," Tass news agency quoted the minister as saying on Friday.  "We will continue to supply equipments to Syria in order to ensure its due defence capability in countering the terrorist threat," Lavrov said.  "The drills are conducted in full conformity with the relevant international law norms," he said.  The diplomat said Russia calls on members of the international coalition against IS to start cooperating with the Syrian army.  Collective coordination is vital "from the point of view of effectiveness of the fight against terrorism," Lavrov said.  According to the top diplomat, ministers of several European countries speak in favour of cooperating with the government of Bashar al-Assad. 

'Uighur' suspect wanted over Bangkok blast: Thai police

BANGKOK: Thai police Saturday said an arrest warrant had been issued for an ethnic "Uighur" man over last month's deadly Bangkok blast, for the first time identifying a suspect as a member of the Chinese minority group. The announcement follows weeks of speculation over the motive and perpetrators of the attack which killed 20 people, the majority ethnic Chinese visitors, at a religious shrine in the capital's bustling downtown district on August 17. Analysts had increasingly pointed towards a link with the mostly Muslim Uighur minority from northwestern China's Xinjiang region but Thai police had up until now refused to confirm any such links. "He is Uighur according to his passport," national police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri told AFP, after authorities released a photo of the latest suspect identified as Abudusataer Abudureheman or "Ishan" of "Uighur" ethnicity and "Chinese" nationality. Uighurs have long-accused Beijin

Malaysian police arrest 2 suspects

Malaysian police have informed their Thai counterparts that they have arrested two suspects in connection with the Erawan shrine and Sathon pier bombings. Anti-Money Laundering Office secretary-general Seehanat Prayoonrat explains the money trail of the network behind the Erawan shrine and Sathon pier bombings yesterday. Emrah Davutoglu, the husband of Thai suspect Wanna Suansan, was found to have received more than 700,000 baht from overseas sources between February and April this year. Somchai Poomlard A police source said Thai authorities were informed on Friday about the arrests. The police source said Pol Lt Gen Suchart Teerasawat, an inspector-general who has been assigned to lead a police team to seek cooperation from Malaysia, returned to Thailand on Friday. Pol Lt Gen Suchart was sent to Malaysia to help try and arrest the yellow-shirted suspect in the shrine blast after learning the man had sneaked out of Thailand through Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok district. The source said Po

Karzai calls al-Qaida a 'myth' and denies 9/11 attacks were plotted in Afghanistan

Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, has questioned the existence of al-Qaida, and denied that the 9/11 terror attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people were planned in Afghanistan. On the eve of the anniversary of the 2001 attacks, Karzai, who left office last year after 12 years, used an interview with al Jazeera to express his doubt that the terrorist group led by the late Osama bin Laden was responsible for the operation which prompted the invasion of Afghanistan. “I don’t know if al-Qaida existed and I don’t know if they exist,” said Karzai. “I have not seen them and I’ve not had any report about them, any report that would indicate that al-Qaida is operating in Afghanistan. It is for me a myth […] For us, they don’t exist.” Karzai, who had a poor relationship with successive leaders in Pakistan, also claimed in the interview that Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan are “definitely” members of “Pakistani militias”. The former politician, who was

Syria's Desperate Refugees Consider Returning To War-Torn Home

by IS militants Refugees march to Vienna amid reduced train services © Provided by IBT US Conditions for Syrian refugees living in Jordan and Lebanon have worsened in recent months, as aid agencies have grown increasingly overwhelmed and strapped for funds. Now, some of them are considering a return home to their war-ravaged country, rather than face hunger and hopelessness in neighboring nations, the Guardian reported Friday . In neighboring countries, many Syrian refugees are living in desperate conditions, and beggars on the street have become a common sight. As aid agencies have grown increasingly desperate for funding and have been forced to cut aid, many families have pulled their children out of school so they can work and earn a living instead. “A few years ago, refugees arriving in Jordan and Lebanon would tell me that they were certain that they would go back in a few weeks or months,” Dina El-Kassaby, a World Food Programme

Maoists move court against NSA detention

Maoist leader Roopesh, his wife Shyna and three others who were arrested by the ‘Q’ Branch police in the outskirts of Coimbatore in May this year, have moved the Madras High Court challenging their detention under the National Security Act (NSA). When the habeas corpus pleas filed by all five arrested persons came up for hearing on Friday, a Division Bench comprising S. Tamilvanan and C.T. Selvam ordered issuing of notice to authorities and posted the matter for October 12. Following their arrest by the police at Karumathampatty in Coimbatore district in May, the five persons were issued the detention orders at Coimbatore Central prison in July. The arrested were booked under Section 3(2) of NSA, 1980, which would prevent them from acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. It may be recalled that a local court in Coimbatore had rejected their bail applications as well. Source:

Over 200 Maoist Supporters surrender in Odisha’s Malkangiri

Bhubaneswar, Sep 11: In a significant development in anti-Maoists mission in Odisha, as many as 210 Maoist supporters have surrendered in two days in Malkangiri district. According to reports, 61 Maoist supporters surrendered today before Malkangiri police, while 149 villagers were surrendered on Thursday. All supporters those joined the main stream belong to Malkangiri district alone – one of the most Maoist-infected districts in the state. It is noteworthy that, not only supporters but also Maoists have been surrendering in the district. One September 5, three hardcore Maoists had given up arms and joined main stream, whereas on August 5, three more Maoists had surrendered before police. The recent surrender of Maoists and their supports could be said a major breakthrough for the Odisha Government and Malkangiri Police. 149 supports those surrendered before police hailed from Kalimela-based Purubai village. And, 61 supporters belong to Kalimela’s Olarguda, Gumle

Eleven Maoists surrender: Odisha

Eleven Maoists and their 50 supporters surrendered before the police in Malkangiri district of Odisha on Friday while 15 tribal families, who had left their villages due to Maoist threat, were rehabilitated at Chitrakonda. During the past one month, an increasing number of Maoists including armed cadres, militias and supporters have surrendered. The Maoists and their supporters who surrendered before Malkangiri Superintendent of Police (SP) Mitrabhanu Mohapatra on Friday were from remote Entaguda, Gumkaguda and Orelguda villages of Kalimela police station area. On September 10, a large group of Maoists from Podia police station area, including 18 militants, six village committee members of Naxalites and 35 women, had surrendered and vowed not to have any links with the Maoist organisation in future. They had promised to return to mainstream and lead a normal life. Four Maoist militants and 40 supporters had surrendered on September 8. On August 31, around 120 Mao

Turkey lifts curfew on Kurdish city

Turkey has lifted a week-long curfew imposed on the predominantly Kurdish south-eastern city of Cizre, media reports say. Cizre was sealed off since last Friday after the Turkish army launched an operation against Kurdish militants there. Civilian casualties have been reported and there are concerns about food shortages. The Council of Europe has asked Turkey to allow access to observers. Amid the operation against the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party), Cizre locals have also complained of shortages of water and electricity. People have also been unable to bury their dead. Grim reports from Turkey's Cizre Turkey-PKK conflict: Why are clashes escalating? A statement from the local authorities thanked Cizre residents for their patience during the "successful operation against the terror organisation". Twenty civilians have died since Friday, eyewitnesses said, although the government has said only one civilian died and that the rest were militan

2.5m Syrians hosted by KSA since uprising

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has hosted around 2.5 million Syrians since the beginning of the crisis in that country in 2011, the Foreign Ministry has said. In a statement issued to SPA, the ministry said the Syrians have been leading a decent and normal life in the Kingdom like other expatriates. “The Kingdom does not deal with Syrian expats like refugees. They are living in a normal environment not in special camps.”  According to the ministry, the Syrians have been granted legal residence permits and full freedom to travel inside the country.  “Moreover, they are allowed to study in Saudi schools as per the royal order issued in 2012.  A total of 100,000 Syrians are registered in public schools,” the ministry clarified, reacting to wrong reports about the Kingdom’s role in tackling the Syrian refugees crisis. “All Syrians in the Kingdom receive free medical treatment. They are allowed to work in the private sector like other expatriates,” the ministry added. Saudi Arabia has spent $700 mill

Terrorists Worked in Kuwait for Years — But No One Noticed

Dhari Al Jasmi, a Sunni resident of Kuwait City, rechecked his smartphone. Another terrorist organization had bombed another mosque in the Middle East, yet the victims of this bombing looked different from the Libyan and Yemeni casualties who so often appeared on television. “When I saw the bombing on Instagram and other social media, I thought about what was happening in Syria or Iraq,” Al Jasmi told me. “Yet when I saw the dress of the victims and the name of the mosque, I was shocked and didn’t believe it.” Islamic State had achieved what few of Kuwait’s other enemies could since Iraq invaded more than 20 years ago — attack one of most stable countries in the Middle East. It began on June 26, when Fahd Suleiman Abdulmohsen Al Qabaa  entered the Imam Jafar As Sadiq Mosque  —  named after the sixth imam and a revered Shia leader — in Kuwait City.  Islamic State had urged Sunni Muslims to  purge the Arabian Peninsula  of Shias , and the terror group  had already bombed two Saudi Shia m