Showing posts from July 16, 2017

Marawi inspired, strengthened pro-ISIS fighters in region – report

The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict says the Marawi conflict has long-term repercussions for extremism in Southeast Asia, including greater cooperation among extremists, and more violent attacks MANILA, Philippines – The  Marawi conflict  has changed the face of terrorism in the region and will have long-term repercussions for extremism in Southeast Asia. This is one of the findings of the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), in a report released on Friday, July 21, titled “Marawi, the ‘East Asia Wilayah’ and Indonesia.” The report said that the success of pro-ISIS fighters in occupying an entire Philippine city for an extended amount of time has inspired violence in other places in the region. It said this could lead to a  higher risk of violent attacks in other Philippine cities and in Indonesia and Malaysia; greater cooperation among Southeast Asian extremists; and new leadership for Indonesian and Malaysian pro-ISIS cells from among

Marawi siege could herald new era of extremism in Asia, report says

(CNN) The ongoing siege of the southern Philippines city of Marawi could be just the beginning of a wider Asian problem of Islamist extremism, according to a new report by a regional think tank.  The report, by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), suggests that emboldened and better-connected militant groups across Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines could spell trouble in the coming months and years, possibly culminating in "a new regional ISIS center" somewhere in the region. For two months the Philippines military has been trying to push ISIS fighters out of Marawi after militants launched an offensive on May 23 to establish a caliphate in the Philippines. The report, entitled " Marawi, the 'East Asia Wilayah' and Indonesia ," examines the mechanics of the coordinated assault on the Mindanao city. The attack, unprecedented in scale and organization, saw foreign fighters from as far away as the Middle East funneled through

'UK funds Saudi extremism and terrorism'

The recent terror attacks in the UK underscore Saudi Arabia’s role in funding terrorism in Britain and the government of Prime Minister Theresa May is unlikely to publish a damning report about the role of Riyadh in British extremism, an analyst in London says. “It is up to Theresa May’s discretion to release the report or not and so far she has chosen not to release that report,” said Riaz Karim, director of Veritas Center for Strategic Studies in London. “Both the Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson say that the report may never be seen by the public, so the Conservative Party is pretty much sitting on the report and it doesn’t want to release it and that is a sign of guilt,” Karim told Press TV on Wednesday. “The attacks in Manchester and in London recently actually underline the roots of radicalization and funding for terror. This report is central to this issue and it is a very damning report that blames the British government for fundin

Macron’s Terrorism Idiocy

Hyperbole yields cynicism, not the other way around. AP Photo/Ben Curtis Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron surprised almost everyone when he invited President Donald Trump to celebrate Bastille Day with him in Paris, especially after the two leaders’  awkward first meeting  in Brussels in May. After all, between now and then, Trump  withdrew  the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and Macron has become perhaps the  most vocal critic  of Trump among European leaders. In hindsight, Macron’s reason for embracing Trump might have been to get the president to reverse course on the Paris agreement. From the  Associated Press : French President Emmanuel Macron says his glamorous Paris charm offensive on Donald Trump was carefully calculated — and may have changed the U.S. president’s mind about climate change…. On their main point of contention — Trump’s withdrawal from the landmark Paris climate agreement — Macron is quoted as saying that “Donald

Luton Sixth Form students launch short film about tackling radicalisation and extremism

Prevent cast Prevent cast SIXTH form students have joined forces with police to help young people in Bedfordshire and learn more about tackling radicalisation and extremism. Students at Luton Sixth Form College were commissioned by Bedfordshire Police to produce a short film to promote the Government's counter-terrorism Prevent strategy specifically for a teenage audience. The film was launched last week (Thursday, July 13) at a special screening held at the college, where invited guests were able to find out more from some of the students who produced the film. Altaf Hussain, Vice Principal Students and Quality, said: "This educational film, created by young people, featuring young people and for young people, is really about safety and knowing what to do and who to talk to when something doesn't feel quite right. "I'm really proud that, once again, our students have really excelled themselves and given their time, energy and thought into this

The problem with the government’s proposed ‘extremism commission’ | The Spectator

The Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi was once invited to speak in this country — and the row which developed as a consequence was both entertaining and instructive. Many people said he shouldn’t be given a visa because of his ‘extremism’. Others, such as the mainstream UK Muslim organisations, insisted that this was a libellous description and that Qaradawi was a moderate who had always favoured dialogue with people of other faiths; Ken Livingstone went further and described him as being a ‘leading progressive voice’ within Islam. So who was right? On the one hand it is true that the Qatar-based Qaradawi has been opposed to jihadi terrorist attacks — unless they take place against Jews and then it’s not, according to him, terrorism. He does not have much time for Jews, once refusing to attend a meeting with them because: ‘Their hands are soiled with blood. They have murderous, violent and oppressive hands. I cannot soil my hands by shaking theirs.’ He has also quoted

YouTube now responds to searches for terrorist videos with playlists that debunk extremism

YouTube is taking its next step in countering extremism and terrorist content on its platform. Today  the company announced  that effective immediately, YouTube will respond to certain English-language keyword searches by displaying playlists of pre-existing videos on the site that debunk and discredit "violent extremist recruiting narratives" from the Islamic State and other groups.  This strategy is called  the Redirect Method , and the goal is to reach those people who might be feeling isolated and who are at risk of being radicalized through hours of absorbing violent extremist messaging and propaganda online. Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Alphabet, collaborated with  Moonshot CVE  to develop the counter-messaging approach as a means of applying technology to imperative global threats. Now, whenever YouTube recognizes keywords and phrases that are common amon people in this vulnerable position, it will display a list of curated videos that are meant to directly confront and

U.S. to deploy officials in Qatar in counter-terrorism accord - sources

DOHA/DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States will post officials at the Qatari state prosecutor's office as part of a Qatari-U.S. agreement signed this month to fight the financing of terrorism, people familiar with the matter said.  U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reached the deal with Qatar during a round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at ending a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. The agreement has not been approved by the four U.S.-allied Arab states which accuse Doha of aiding terrorists - charges Qatar denies.  Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar last month, saying the gas-rich Gulf state finances Islamist militants throughout the region.  No details about the contents of the agreement signed by Tillerson and his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, have been publicly released.  But a Western official in the Gulf who has seen the document said it specifies actions Qatar will take by the end of the y

A Battered Daesh / ISIS Grows Ever More Dependent On 'Lone Wolves,' Simple Plans

Most analysts predict that terrorist attacks will continue and perhaps increase in the near term. ISIS' cash supply has dwindled to the point that it constantly struggles to meet its payroll. The would-be terrorist who tried to blow up Brussels' main transit hub last month had plenty of ambition, but no discernible talent. His homemade bomb, a suitcase stuffed with nails and camp-stove gas canisters, caught fire as he wheeled it into the station, sending passersby fleeing before the device could properly explode - which it failed to do. The only casualty was the bomb-maker himself, an Islamic State sympathizer who was shot and killed as he lunged at police, armed only with his fists. As an act of terrorism, the June 20 attempt was a merciful failure. Yet it also bore hallmarks that are becoming increasingly familiar to Western officials who monitor attacks by the terrorist group in countries around the globe: simple plots, crude weapons and inexperienced perpetrator

Marawi battle threat will continue: report

The ongoing battle in the southern Philippine city of Marawi by pro-ISIS militants will have ramifications long after it is over, as foreigners become potential targets of fleeing fighters and Southeast Asian extremists increase cooperate, a new report warns. Two months after it began, the fighting in Marawi has lifted the prestige of the Philippine fighters in the eyes of ISIS central and has inspired young extremists from around the region to want to join, Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) said in its report on Friday. "The risks won't end when the military declares victory," IPAC director Sidney Jones stated. "Indonesia and Malaysia will face new threats in the form of returning fighters from Mindanao, and the Philippines will have a host of smaller dispersed cells with the capacity for both violence and indoctrination." "Once the battle for Marawi is over, it is possible that Southeast Asian ISIS leaders might encourage Indone

Surviving Tiananmen "Gentlemen" mum on Chinese Nobel laureate's death

Liu Xiaobo was one of the "Four Gentlemen" of Tiananmen Square, the group that staged a hunger strike in the final days of the 1989 pro-democracy protests in China and tried to hold off tanks and troops moving in to crush the student-led movement.  Liu, who died in state custody last week, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 and was regarded as China's best-known dissident. But the other three have largely faded from the public eye and none have publicly commented on Liu or his death.  Liu's death came as a campaign under President Xi Jinping to quash dissent is gathering strength. Xi has overseen a raft of legislation to bolster national security ahead of a Communist Party congress to be held later this year, where he is expected to further consolidate power.  The best known of the "Four Gentlemen" in 1989 was Hou Dejian, a Taiwanese singer who defected to China before the Tiananmen protests and was later exiled for almost two decades. Zhou Du

Myanmar sees insurgents behind Rohingya killings in Northwest

Officials say Rohingya insurgents are behind this and a slew of killings in the area that has been racked by violence in recent months, with security forces accused of committing atrocities against civilians. Maung Hna Ma: In the middle of the night on July 4, more than a dozen masked men, dressed head-to-toe in black, surrounded Abdu Sulwon's home in northwestern Myanmar.  His widow says that was the last time she saw him alive. "I saw a trail of blood where they dragged him away," said Haleda, 40, showing bruises on her body where she says the men beat her with sticks.  Her husband's body was found in a ravine near their village, Maung Hna Ma, on Saturday. She gave her account to reporters during a government-organised trip to the troubled north of Myanmar's Rakhine State, where most people belong to the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority. Officials say Rohingya insurgents are behind this and a slew of killings in the area that

UN slaps sanctions on 8 linked to Islamic State and al Qaeda

United Nations: The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to impose sanctions against eight individuals and businesses linked to the Islamic State extremist group and al Qaeda. The eight additions to the UN sanctions blacklist include IS leaders in Southeast Asia, IS-affiliated extremist groups in Syria, foreign fighters from the Caucuses and illicit money exchange businesses. The US-drafted resolution adopted today also urges greater international cooperation to cut off funding to extremist groups, prevent them from acquiring weapons, and step up cooperation to address the issues of fighters for IS and al Qaeda returning home. US deputy ambassador Michele Sison called the resolution "another important step" to defeat the two extremist groups, stressing that "for the United States, there is no higher priority."  Sison said "there will be more designations" to the sanctions blacklist.  Source:

Turkey minister accuses Berlin of harbouring terrorists, as disagreement heats up

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday accused Germany of harbouring terrorists, comments likely to ratchet up the disagreement between Berlin and Ankara after Turkey jailed some rights activists. Ankara: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday accused Germany of harbouring terrorists, comments likely to ratchet up the disagreement between Berlin and Ankara after Turkey jailed some rights activists. "As a country providing shelter to PKK and FETO terrorists in its own territory, statements by Germany are just double standards and unacceptable," Cavusoglu said on Twitter, referring to the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the network of U.S.-based cleric Ankara blames for last July`s failed coup. Germany told its citizens on Thursday to exercise caution if travelling to Turkey and threatened measures that could hinder German investment there, in a sign of growing impatience with a NATO ally after the detention of rights activists.