Showing posts from November 12, 2017

ASEAN leaders commend, commit to Marawi recovery efforts

MANILA, Nov. 16 – "Less than a month ago, Philippine government forces liberated the city of Marawi from terrorist groups who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State."  This was how President Duterte opened the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on Monday. Off the bat, Duterte set the tone of the subsequent discussions to be made during the three days' worth of meetings, which mostly dealt with the growing threat of terrorism.  The Philippine president, heading the ASEAN this year, thanked the ASEAN leaders and its partners for providing assistance to Marawi City's recovery process, with its citizens beginning to return to the conflict-stricken areas.  In line with this, attendees of the meetings continued to commit to help the internally displaced people (IDPs) get back on their feet.  Aside from the 1.5 billion yen (P676 million) they initially guaranteed to give the Philippines, for maritime safety and the reconstruction of Maraw

France terror warning: State has taken ‘step back’ in radicalisation fight - says ex-PM

FORMER French prime minister Manuel Valls says the country had taken a “step back” in its fight against radicalisation, adding the nation has become a safe space for Islamic extremists to spread their twisted ideology. By  Romina McGuinness   PUBLISHED:  17:18, Thu, Nov 16, 2017   | UPDATED:  17:33, Thu, Nov 16, 2017 GETTY Former French PM Valls said that France took a 'step back' in its fight against radicalisation Speaking two years after the  Paris attacks , the Socialist MP added neglecting of poor areas had increased the problem. Mr Valls said: “The French state has taken a step back in its fight against Islamic radicalisation.  “If so many people are at risk of becoming radicalised today, it’s because the government has given up trying to prevent vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism. “Radicalisation has taken root in France because nothing is being done to stop extremists from spreading their ideology.”  Paris attacks - Bataclan su

Libyan extremist accused of delaying extradition of Manchester terror suspect until MI6 torture case is resolved

A  Libyan extremist is accused of delaying the extradition of a key suspect in the Manchester bombing until his case against MI6 over torture allegations is resolved.  Police investigating last May’s suicide attack at the Manchester Arena that killed 22 people have issued a request to the Libyan authorities for the extradition of Hashem Abedi, the brother of Salman Abedi who detonated a suicide bomb during an Ariana Grande concert. However their attempts to have him returned to Britain have stalled while the Libyan authorities holding him decide whether or not to allow the extradition to proceed. Hashem is being held by Libya’s Special Deterrence Force, a Tripoli-based militia with close ties to Abdul Hakim Belhaj, an Islamist extremist who is currently suing MI6 and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. Belhaj and his Moroccan wife have accused Mr Straw and former MI6 counter-terrorism chief... Source:

French state helped fuel extremism by abandoning poor, Macron says

© Francois Lo Presti, AFP | French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech in Tourcoing, northern France, on Nov. 14, 2017.  Text by  NEWS WIRES Latest update : 2017-11-14 President Emmanuel Macron says the French state fueled homegrown extremism by abandoning its poorest neighborhoods, and is promising tough and "sometimes authoritarian" new measures to combat the problem. The pledge is part of a multibillion-euro plan that  Macron  is laying out Tuesday focusing on suburban housing projects plagued by crime and joblessness. Macron was unusually harsh in his criticism of previous governments, saying radicalization took root because the state abdicated its responsibility in impoverished public housing, and extremist preachers filled the void. Emmanuel Macron   ✔ @EmmanuelMacron Je veux que le visage de nos quartiers ait changé d'ici la fin du quinquennat. He said his government will present about 15 measures to fight radicaliz

Social media fires passions and builds extremist divisions

The people of the United States continue to learn how polarized and divided the nation has become. In one study released in late October by the Pew Research Center, Americans were found to have  become increasingly partisan  in their views. On issues as diverse as health care, immigration, race and sexuality, Americans today hold more extreme and more divergent views than they did a decade ago. The reason for this dramatic shift is a device owned by  more than three out of every four Americans . Americans’ political beliefs have become increasingly polarized.  Pew Research Center As social media has emerged over the last two decades, I have been studying how  it changes innovation , and researching the effects of internet communications on consumer opinions and  marketing . I developed  netnography , one of the most widely used qualitative research techniques for understanding how people behave on social media. And I have used that method to better understand a variety of chal

The F.B.I.’s Dangerous Crackdown on ‘Black Identity Extremists’

Clergy members leading a protest in Ferguson, Mo., after a police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager.   Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images  An  F.B.I. report  leaked in October and scrutinized during an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday warns of an emergent domestic terror threat sweeping the nation and threatening the lives of law enforcement officers: the “Black Identity Extremist” (“B.I.E.”) movement. This designation, just recently invented by the F.B.I., is as  frightening and dangerous  as the bureau’s infamous Cointelpro program of the 1960s and ’70s, under which J. Edgar Hoover set out to disrupt and destroy virtually any group with the word “black” in its name. Today, entirely nonviolent black activists face violations of their  civil liberties  and even violence if they’re deemed part of B.I.E. The 12-page report, prepared by the  F.B.I. Domestic Terrorism Analysis  Unit  in August, and later  made public

Lebanon's Prime Minister Arrives In France After Saudi 'Hostage' Rumours

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is in Paris at the invitation of France's President Emmanuel Macron, who is attempting to help broker a solution to a political crisis in Lebanon Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in France today from Saudi Arabia (Reuters) Paris:   Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in France Saturday from Saudi Arabia, where his resignation announcement two weeks ago sparked accusations that he was being held there against his will. Hariri is in Paris at the invitation of France's President Emmanuel Macron, who is attempting to help broker a solution to a political crisis that has raised fears over Lebanon's fragile democracy. Hariri and his wife Lara, who landed at Le Bourget airport outside the French capital at 7:00 am (0600 GMT) after flying in from Riyadh overnight, were due to meet Macron at noon. The couple were whisked to their Paris residence in a seven-car convoy under tight security. "To say that I am held up in

Bhaichung Bhutia Offers To Train Kashmir Footballer Who Chose To Quit Lashkar

Majid Khan's mother Ashiya Begum had made emotional pleas on social media asking her son to come back home after she heard that her son had joined Lashkar-e-Taiba, a plea which forced him to return home. Majid Khan can be seen with policemen in this file photo. New Delhi:   Former Indian Captain Bhaichung Bhutia has written to the Jammu and Kashmir Football Federation offering a training stint to Kashmiri youth Majid Khan, a footballer who recently returned home after quitting the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). "I was very sad to read reports of Majid joining a terrorist organisation. Football has provided solace to many over the years and I felt he requires a platform to play the 'Beautiful game,' again," Mr Bhutia, the only Indian player to have played over 100 international matches, said today in a statement released by All India Football Federation (AIFF). "I have already touched base with the J&K Football Association offering him to train with Bhaichu

BBC investigation exposes US, UK protecting IS in Syria

A BBC expose, with graphic visuals, is quite emphatic: The US and British-led coalition forces enabled hundreds of IS jihadists escape from Raqqa after the headquarters of their self-declared Caliphate was bombarded out of recognition. This will set the cat among the pigeons.   The matter will surely come up in the British Parliament and Congressional hearings in Washington. More such mischief is surfacing.   The Defence Ministry in Moscow is already in overdrive. "The US refused to bomb a military convoy retreating from Abu Kamal (in Raqqa). The coalition's aircraft also attempted to prevent Russian Aerospace Forces from carrying out air strikes against militants." There is considerable evidence of "direct cooperation and support for ISIS terrorists by the US-led International Coalition", the Defence Ministry said.   In a separate incident "Americans peremptorily refused to conduct airstrikes on ISIS terrorists". The reason given was that the militan

'Hundreds' of Yazidi women killing themselves in ISIS captivity

Dohuk, Iraq (CNN) "Hello?" The voice is muffled, crackly, and barely audible, but the caller's desperation is clear: "Our situation is very bad and cannot get any worse." On the other end of the phone, Ameena Saeed Hasan offers a lifeline: the chance to plot an escape from slavery at the hands of ISIS. Every day, Hasan takes calls like this one.  A former Iraqi lawmaker , she is now making it her mission to rescue as many Yazidi women as she can. When ISIS first captured Mosul, Hasan thought the Yazidi on Mount Sinjar would be safe. "We said 'Why would they come to Sinjar?'" she recalls. "There is no oil or anything. What would they take?" But ISIS fighters did come to Sinjar. There may not have been any oil reserves for them to steal, but instead they took another of the region's most important resources: its people. Yazidi women forced into slavery   01:00 Islamic mi

Iraq forces retake last IS-held town in country

The Iraqi army retook the last town in the country still held by the Islamic State group today as the jihadists' self-proclaimed "caliphate" faced collapse on both sides of the border with Syria.  The lightning recapture of the small Euphrates valley town of Rawa in an offensive launched at dawn came as the jihadists were also under attack for a second day in the last town they still hold in Syria, Albu Kamal just over the border. The Islamic State group (IS) has lost 95 percent of the cross-border "caliphate" it declared in Iraq and Syria in 2014, the US-led coalition fighting it said on Wednesday.  Its losses include all of its major bastions, virtually confining it to pockets of countryside.  Government  troops and paramilitary units "liberated the whole of Rawa and raised the Iraqi flag on all of its official buildings," General Abdelamir Yarallah of Iraq's Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.  An army general contacted by AFP