Showing posts from December 6, 2015

Yemen’s Houthi group says truce to start on Dec. 14

REUTERS A Houthi militant stands guard on a street where a pro-Houthi tribal gathering is being held in Yemen's capital Sana'a on Thursday. "Based on what had been agreed upon, there will be a halt of the aggression on the 14th of this month," Mohammed Abdel-Salam, Houthi spokesman, told a news conference broadcast live from Sana'a.  A ceasefire in Yemen’s civil war will start on December 14, on the eve of planned peace talks in Switzerland next week, the head of the Houthi delegation to the peace talks said on Saturday. “Based on what had been agreed upon, there will be a halt of the aggression on the 14th of this month,” Mohammed Abdel-Salam told a news conference broadcast live from the Yemeni capital Sana’a. Saudi ops termed aggression The Iran-allied Houthis describe military operations by a Saudi-led Arab alliance in Yemen as an aggression. The alliance says it had intervened in response to a request by Yemen’s President Abd-

Spain arrests man accused of recruiting fighters for Islamic State

Spanish police on Saturday arrested a man suspected of recruiting young fighters for Islamic State in the North African enclave of Ceuta, the Interior Ministry said. The Spanish territory on the Moroccan coast has been a focus of anti-terror investigations this year. "Spanish police began investigations after seeing a number of young people from Ceuta leaving for Syria," the ministry said in a statement on Saturday. The Spanish man, 34, was indoctrinating vulnerable young people and helping them to travel to conflict zones to join the Islamic State, the ministry said. It gave no details of ages or the number of people known to have left Ceuta, a small territory that has become a hotspot for migration to Europe. In March, Spain said it had dismantled a militant Islamist cell in the enclave that it said was ready to attack either Spain or other targets in Europe. Spain is among a number of European countries struggling to deter young Muslim citizens from becoming fi

Iraqis rally in Baghdad against deployment of Turkish troops

BAGHDAD, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Iraqis rallied in Baghdad under tight security measures on Saturday protesting the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq and calling Ankara's move a "violation of Iraq's sovereignty." The demonstrators gathered at al-Tahrir Square in central the capital, chanting slogans condemning the deployment of the Turkish troops in northern Iraq without the knowledge or permission of the Iraqi government. Dozens of demonstrators were wearing military uniforms of paramilitary Shiite units, known as Hashd Shaabi. Many of them were holding Iraqi flags and raising banners reading "Our sovereignty is our dignity." Nuri al-Maliki, former vice-president, and Hadi al-Ameri, head of Badr Organization, led the televised demonstration. The two mounted a platform with several Shiite politicians, while many of their bodyguards crowded around them. Ameri read a statement saying "the groups of Islamic resistance announce

Pak Taliban, LeJ militants killed

Security forces on Saturday killed five alleged terrorists of the Pakistani Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) in Punjab province. Counter-terrorism officials along with Punjab Police conducted the operation after receiving information that eight members of the banned LeJ and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan including Awais Asif, district head of LeJ, were hiding in Nankana Sahib district, 80 km from Lahore. Police said the terrorists were planning to attack security personnel to avenge the killing of their accomplices including LeJ chief Malik Ishaq. Ishaq was killed along with his two sons and 11 other key accomplices in July in a shootout with police. The LeJ struck back and killed Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada in a suicide attack at his residence in Attock district in August. In the early hours of Saturday, a team of counter-terrorism officials and police surrounded a house in a village in Nankana Sahib where the alleged terrorists were hiding. T

Country faces serious challenge of Left wing extremism: Union Home Minister

The serious challenges the country is facing from Left wing Extremism has to be countered by the States collectively and effectively, said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Addressing the 26 meeting of the Southern Zonal Council consisting of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana states and Puducherry (UT) after inaugurating it here on Saturday the Mr Singh said there was a need to strengthen the coastal security of the southern states. The Minister stressed the importance of cooperative federalism he said the institutions of Zonal Councils and Inter-State Council had immense potential to resolve a slew of nagging problems between Centre and States and also among the States through healthy discussions. The Minister informed the participants that the Government had been able to hold the meetings of all Zonal Councils in this calendar year. All meetings of the Standing Committees of the Zonal Councils had also been convened before the meetings o

Pakistan: 3,400 Militants, Nearly 500 Soldiers Die in Counterinsurgency Operation

ISLAMABAD— Pakistan's military said its counterinsurgency operation, Zarb-e-Azb, has killed 3,400 militants, adding that 488 soldiers were also lost in the campaign. The army released the new figures Saturday of the major offensive that was launched in June 2014 against local and foreign militants entrenched in the North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan and later extended to rest of the country.    Army spokesman Lt. General Asim Bajwa said that troops have achieved "phenomenal successes" and destroyed hundreds of militant hideouts "from where they were carrying out their terrorist activities." Bajwa said the "last pockets" of militants close to the Afghan border are being cleared. He added the fighting has wounded more than 1,900 security personnel. In an undated photo, Pakistani troops have raided and searched suspected militant places in North Waziristan and found weapons, ammunition, explosives and communication equ

Blasts near hospital in Syria's Homs city kill 16: Monitor

Representational Image  Twin explosions in a government-controlled neighbourhood of Syria's  Homs city  killed at least 16 people and wounded scores more on Saturday, a group monitoring the war said. The  blasts  come days after the government extended its control of western city with the implementation of a truce deal in Waer, the last insurgent-held area of Homs. Some fighters and civilians have left Waer, and aid was allowed in. Waer is located on the western side of the city's outskirts. A vehicle bomb detonated close to a  hospital  in the mainly Alawite neighbourhood of al-Zahra in the east of  Homs  city, the  Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. The second large blast, originally suspected to have been a bomb, appeared to have come from an exploding gas canister and wounded people who had come to tend to victims of the first explosion in the densely-populated neighbourhood, state media said. State television had earlier described

Would do anything to bring Mumbai attackers to justice: U.S.

(FILE PHOTO) PTI In one of the most haunting images of the terror strikes on the commercial metropolis, smoke seen billowing out of the ground and first floors of the Taj Hotel in south Mumbai during security perrsonnel's "Operation Cyclone" following the 26/11 attacks in 2008 in this file photo. “...we want to see the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack brought to justice and obviously continue to want to do anything we can to support Indian authorities in that task,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Friday. State Department spokesman John Kirby points out that both India and his country have fallen victim to terrorist strikes. The United States on Saturday said it wanted to see the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attack brought to justice and would do anything to support India in this regard. “...we want to see the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack brought to justice and obviously continue to want to do anything we can to support Indian author

Airstrikes Against Syria are a Trap, Warns Former ISIS Hostage Nicolas Hénin

In a rare televised Oval Office address on Sunday, President Obama laid out a defense of the U.S. war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which he said has evolved into a new phase. He described the recent shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., which killed 14 people, as "an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people," called on Congress to authorize the continued use of military force and outlined his plan to continue bombing Iraq and Syria areas held by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. We speak with French journalist Nicolas Hénin, who was held hostage by  ISIS  inside Syria for 10 months, spending much of the time locked up in a dungeon. He was held alongside U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, who were later beheaded. Their deaths were videotaped and aired across the world. While he was held hostage, Hénin also briefly met American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who also died in captivity, possibly from a U.S.-led coalition airstrike. Hénin, who was r

UN: Libya at Risk From Forces of Extremism

FILE - Syrian refugees disembark from a Greek ferry after arriving in the port of Piraeus near Athens, June 14, 2015. UNITED NATIONS— The U.N.'s top diplomat in Libya warned Friday that the country is "in a race against time" to protect itself from the growing danger of Islamist extremist groups expanding their grip on the fractured nation. Martin Kobler, who took over as the U.N. envoy to Libya three weeks ago, told the Security Council via video link from Tunis where he was meeting with political stakeholders, that the country's "very social fabric, national unity and territorial integrity is directly endangered by the forces of extremism and terrorism." He urged the country's two main rival political parties to overcome their differences and sign a political agreement on December 16 at a conference in Rome. The General National Congress and its allied militias took control of the capital, Tr

What's in a Name: What's Wrong With "Radical Islamic Extremism"

It has been fascinating to watch the discussions of Islam and Muslims in the current political context. One very popular " meme " on the American political right attacks President Obama for not using some form of the phrase "Muslim extremist" or "radical Muslim extremism" to refer to groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda or the perpetrators of the recent horrific mass shooting in San Bernadino. After all, the argument goes, how can you defeat "them" if you can't even call them by their proper name? At first blush it seems a somewhat silly argument. Why does calling al-Qaeda and and ISIS Islamic extremism make developing and implementing strategies against them any more (or less) effective? But as an academic I am convinced that words do matter and I think it is crucial that we choose our words when labeling our enemies (and our friends) with great care. In my opinion, the term "Radical Islamic Extremism" is both so inaccu

23-yr-old Chennai man reaches Sudan to join IS in Libya, sent back

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested a 23-year-old man from Chennai who had allegedly reached Sudan in order to cross over to Libya to join the terror outfit Islamic State (IS). It is first such incident where an Indian was being deployed in Libya by the IS. According to Union home ministry data, so far 23 Indians have joined the ranks of IS and all of them were reported to be in the terror outfit-held area along the border of Iraq and Syria. Out of them, six have been reported killed as well. “Mohammed Naser Packeer Mohammed is a computer expert. He got in touch with an IS recruiter known as ‘Mad Mullah’ sometime in May this year while he was in Dubai. Mad Mullah told him to reach Sudan from where he was to be sent to Libya to join the IS but his activities came in the notice of Sudanese authorities who detained him and sent back to India,” a senior government official said requesting anonymity. Read |  Govt tries to de-radicalise youth linked to arres

Swiss Arrest Two Syrians With Traces of Explosives

Source Authorities arrested two Syrian nationals Friday in Geneva when traces of explosives were found in their vehicle, Swiss media reported. Authorities in the Geneva region had been searching for four suspected jihadists with alleged ties to the Islamic State, but police did not say whether Friday's arrests were connected to the search. No details were provided on the identities of the two men or the exact location where their car was stopped. Swiss police increased the terror alert level in the city Thursday. Authorities said they were acting on information from Swiss federal officials that "suspicious individuals" believed to be connected to the Nov. 13 Paris attacks "could be in Geneva or the Geneva region." France's neighboring countries have tightened their security measures since the Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead and more than 350 injured. The Islam

Armed with Ideology and Weapons


Gaddafi's son Hannibal freed after kidnap in Lebanon

AFP Hannibal Gaddafi, pictured here in 2010, was known for his lavish lifestyle Late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Hannibal has been freed after being briefly kidnapped by an armed group in Lebanon, security sources say. In a video shown on Lebanese TV, the captive businessman was seen appealing for more information concerning the 1978 disappearance of the prominent Lebanese Shia cleric Musa al-Sadr. He was freed in the city of Baalbek and dispatched to Beirut, police told AP. The 40-year-old former playboy was given sanctuary in Oman in 2012. His father Muammar was overthrown by rebels in a 2011 uprising. Al-Sadr, one of the most prominent Shia clerics of the 20th Century, disappeared along with two others during a trip to Libya in 1978. Muammar Gaddafi denied any involvement in his disappearance, but many suspect him of having orchestrated it. The case has long soured relations between the two countries. It is not known how long Hannibal has been in L

Cameroonian Army Catches Boko Haram Leader

The Cameroonian army has arrested a top Boko Haram leader known as   Suleiman Shehu aka Naira. The security agents apprehended him on December 10, Thursday, in Double near Mora, Cameroon. The international investigative journalist, newspaper editor/publisher, traditional ruler and blogger Bisong Etahoben wrote about this on his Twitter handle. A Boko Haram big fish whose name was got as Suleman Shehu alias Naira has been arrested in Double, near Mora. — ChiefBisong Etahoben (@ChiefBisongEta1)  December 10, 2015 Bisong Etahoben also claimed that Niger is to hand over 457 identified Boko Haram insurgents held in three detention centres in Niamey, Kolo and Kutukale to the Nigerian authorities. Cameroon is in an 8,700-strong regional force led by Nigeria against the insurgents, expected to be operational by the end of the year.  The USA is sending military supplies  and soldiers to the central African country to aid the fight. The army recently launched the circulation

Islamist extremism: Why young people are being drawn to it

NSW Police A young man is handcuffed during an anti-terror raid in Sydney in October "This should be concerning to everybody," said Catherine Burn, police deputy commissioner for New South Wales. She was speaking after a 15-year-old boy was charged with conspiracy in connection with an alleged terror plot in Australia. He is one of the latest teenagers to be linked to activity by Islamist extremists around the world. Last month, reports said one of two girls who ran away from their home in Austria to join the so-called Islamic State in Syria had been beaten to death while trying to escape. She was 17. Her 15-year-old friend is believed to have been killed in fighting in 2014. While the majority of jihadists around the world are not teenagers, official figures show that their involvement in violent Islamism is growing. The number of  under-18s arrested for alleged terror offences  in the UK almost doubled from eight to 15 from 2013-14 to 2014-15. The total number of arrests fo

Daesh can make fake Syrian passports: U.S. report

Reuters/Stringer Residents drive across a street with a fluttering Islamic State flag, in Tel Abyad town on the Syrian-Turkish border, Raqqa countryside September 24, 2014.  Reuters/Stringer WASHINGTON  (Reuters) - A U.S. government agency report has warned that Islamic State has the ability to create fake Syrian passports, a federal official confirmed on Friday. A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed the contents of a story by CNN on Friday about the report, but declined to provide a copy of the report. The report says Islamic State has access to Syrian government passport printing machines and blank passports, raising the possibility the travel documents could be faked, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source. ( ) The CNN source added that there was also concern that because the militant group had access to biographical and fingerprint data on Syrian citizens, there was also a possibility of identity theft. ABC News, which first repo