Showing posts from July 28, 2019

U.N. to investigate attacks on U.N.-supported facilities in Syria

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations will investigate attacks on U.N.-supported facilities in northwest Syria, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced on Thursday, two days after two-thirds of the Security Council pushed for such an inquiry. Britain, France, the United States, Germany, Belgium, Peru, Poland, Kuwait, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia delivered a demarche - a formal diplomatic petition - to Guterres on Tuesday over the lack of an inquiry into attacks on some 14 locations. "The investigation will cover destruction of, or damage to facilities on the deconfliction list and U.N.-supported facilities in the area," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement, adding that it will "ascertain the facts of these incidents and report to the Secretary-General." "The Secretary-General urges all parties concerned to cooperate with the board once it has been established," Dujarric said. The locations of the U.N. supporte

Pakistan reactivates terror launch pads; relocates Masood Azhar brother to PoK: Indian Intelligence

A Pakistan emboldened by the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the United States, has reactivated its terror launch pads against India in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) with plans to trigger something big in Kashmir, according to sources in Indian intelligence. "Terror launch pads in PoK, which were dismantled and pushed back to interior, have now been reactivated," sources told IBNS. According to Indian sources, Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar's brother Ibrahim Azhar had been relocated to PoK to oversee the affairs. According to media reports in Pakistan after the arrest of 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed ahead of Imran Khan's visit to USA, Islamabad had indicated that they would not arrest or detain Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar "without any valid evidence" for his alleged involvement in the Pulwama attack. Indian sources said the Indian troops have been sent there (border) for this reason, amid heavy exchange of cross-border

Beijing orders halal restaurants, food stalls to take down Arabic, Muslim symbols

The campaign against Arabic script and Islamic images marks a new phase of a drive that has gained momentum since 2016, aimed at ensuring religions conform with mainstream Chinese culture. Authorities in the Chinese capital have ordered halal restaurants and food stalls to remove Arabic script and symbols associated with Islam from their signs, part of an expanding national effort to “Sinicize” its Muslim population. Employees at 11 restaurants and shops in Beijing selling halal products and visited by Reuters in recent days said officials had told them to remove images associated with Islam, such as the crescent moon and the word “halal” written in Arabic, from signs. Government workers from various offices told one manager of a Beijing noodle shop to cover up the “halal” in Arabic on his shop’s sign, and then watched him do it. “They said this is foreign culture and you should use more Chinese culture,” said the manager, who, like all restaurant owners and employees who spo

US pressed Pakistan on FATF compliance during Imran Khan’s visit

Imran Khan’s delegation included among others General Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief of army staff who is often considered the real power center in Pakistan, and Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, the newly appointed head of the Inter-Services Intelligence The United States had repeatedly pressed visiting Prime Minister  Imran Khan  and his delegation, which included the powerful army chief and the ISI boss, on compliance with counter-terrorism commitments that Pakistan has given to an international body that monitors and combats financing of terrorism.  Pakistan’s obligations to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Paris-based body, as part of an ongoing discussion, was raised with Khan and his delegation at their meeting with  US President Donald Trump  at the White House and at a separate meeting with Secretary of States Mike Pompeo, a senior state department official told reporters Wednesday, revealing for the first time the depth and granular details of the counter-terrorism d

Rebel missile attack, suicide bombs kill 51 in Yemen's Aden

Both Yemen's al-Qaida branch and an Islamic State group affiliate have exploited the chaos of the country's war between the Houthis and the government forces, backed by the Saudi-led coalition. For representational purposes (Express Illustration) ADEN: Rebels in Yemen fired a ballistic missile Thursday at a military parade in the southern port city of Aden and coordinated suicide bombings targeted a police station in another part of the city, killing at least 51 people and wounding dozens, officials said. The missile hit in the city's neighbourhood of Breiqa where a military parade was underway by forces loyal to the United Arab Emirates, a member of the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels since 2015 in support of Yemen's internationally recognized government. ALSO READ:  Database says 91,600 killed in Yemen fighting since 2015  Since the rebels seized the country's capital, Sanaa, in 2014, Aden has served as the temp

‘No need to take seriously’: India disses Al Qaeda chief al-Zawahiri’s threat

A day after video of Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri asking terrorists to “single-mindedly focus on inflicting unrelenting blows on the Indian Army and government” went viral, External Affairs Ministry spokersperson Raveesh Kumar said he didn’t “want to dignify” what the terrorist had said. India on Thursday brushed aside Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s call to terror groups to inflict “unrelenting blows” on the army, underscoring that the terrorist group banned by the United Nations had been issuing such threats now and then. The foreign ministry’s response comes days after  al Zawahiri’s video message  focusing on Kashmir emerged. The video was posted by al Qaeda’s media wing As Sahab. It isn’t clear when it was made public; it was reported by the Long War Journal run by United States-based think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Tuesday, “I am of the view that the Mujahideen (armed terrorists) in Kashmir — at this stage at least — should focus with single min

Philippines arrests Jordanian man linked to Osama Bin Laden's family

Mahmoud Afif Abdeljalil, 51, was detained on July 4 on Mindanao island, southern Philippines, and will be deported for illegal entry. Osama bin Laden | AP MANILA: A Jordanian man linked to Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden's brother-in-law has been taken into the Philippines government custody and is to be deported, the country's Bureau of Immigration said on Thursday. Mahmoud Afif Abdeljalil, 51, was detained on July 4 on Mindanao island, southern Philippines, and will be deported for illegal entry. The Jordanian, who assumed a fictitious identity and used fake documents to reside in the country, was a "henchman" of Bin Laden's brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa - a Saudi businessman also linked to Al Qaeda who was killed in Madagascar in 2007, the immigration bureau said in a statement. ALSO READ:  Osama bin Laden's son and Al-Qaeda heir Hamza killed: US media "We are going to deport him (Abdeljalil) for being an illegal entrant as he has

Pakistan Taliban warn against loud music, polio vaccination, women going out alone

Polio workers have been asked not to administer polio drops to children or be ready to face dire consequences for defying the instruction. Image of Taliban fighters used for representational purpose. (File Photo | PTI) ISLAMABAD: The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has warned people against playing loud music, polio vaccination and women going out without being accompanied by a man, saying people defying the warning will face consequences, media reported. The one-page message in Urdu seen by people in Miramshah, the headquarters of Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal district, on Wednesday cautioned the people: "We remind you (residents) that similar statements issued by Taliban several times in the past had fallen on deaf ears, but this time we are going to take to task those who violate the Taliban order." ALSO READ:  Afghanistan announces 15 member team for talks with Taliban It warned women against going out alone or "face consequences", D

11 youth get whipped in public for sharia-banned romance in Indonesia's Aceh

The six men and five women - all in their late teens and early twenties - were rounded up by religious officers who caught them behaving amorously, a crime under local Islamic law. Sharia police assisted a woman (in white) after she was whipped in public in Banda Aceh in Indonesia's staunchly conservative Aceh province on August 1, 2019, as punishment for being too close to the opposite sex. (Photo | AFP) BANDA ACEH: One woman begged for mercy and another sobbed uncontrollably as Indonesia's Aceh province flogged nearly a dozen people Thursday, including a Buddhist man, charged with breaking local Islamic law. Despite widespread criticism, public whipping is a common punishment for a range of offences in the deeply conservative region at the tip of Sumatra island, including gambling, drinking alcohol, and having gay sex or relations outside of marriage. Aceh is the only region in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country that imposes Islamic law. ALSO READ:  I

Kerala man killed in drone strike on IS in Afghanistan

According to Kerala police and intelligence officials, the death of Muhasin was communicated to his family on July 23 from an Afghanistan phone number. US intelligence reports have confirmed the death of Kerala’s Muhammed Muhasin in an American drone strike in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan, but as many as 59 men, women and children from the southern state are still part of the so-called Khorasan wing of the Islamic State in Afghanistan. A resident of Edappal town in Malappuram district of Kerala, Muhasin was killed along with  Pakistani IS commander , Huzaifa al-Bakistani, a key online recruiter for the Daesh (the Arabic acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in India, particularly Kashmir, on July 18. According to Kerala police and intelligence officials, the death of Muhasin was communicated to his family on July 23 from an Afghanistan phone number. His death brings into focus again the Islamic radicalisation of young people in Kerala with most recruits having co

AFP, PNP not discounting terror spillover in Southern Luzon

Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, commander of the Southern Luzon Command (SolCom) of the AFP. MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are not discounting the possibility of terror attacks in parts of Mindanao spilling over to Southern Luzon. Security forces, however, are intensifying their intelligence information gathering to prevent such atrocities from happening in the region, following the suicide bombings at a military camp in Indanan, Sulu on June 28, according to Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, commander of the Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) of the AFP. “We do not discount the fact that it can still spill over in our area,” Gapay said on Monday at a press conference held jointly with Southern Luzon police officials in Camp Crame in Quezon City. “But through our proactive measures we will — the bottom line is to prevent it. It is better safe than sorry.” Gapay said it would be easy to acquire components for improvised ex

Foreign terrorists in Mindanao training suicide bombers: Philippine security officials

MANILA - Philippine security officials on Tuesday (July 23) confirmed that at least seven foreign terrorists were training local militants for suicide attacks in the country's restive south, and there could possibly be dozens more. "They are doing the usual. They are training bombers, grooming suicide bombers, as manifested by the recent incident. They are also training (Filipinos) on other terroristic actions," Lieutenant-General Cirilito Sobejana, head of the military's Western Mindanao Command, told reporters. He said these foreign extremists were behind the first-ever suicide attack carried out by a Filipino. On June 28, Norman Lasuca, 23, set off one of two bombs that  exploded inside a temporary camp of a special army counter-terrorism unit in Indanan town , Sulu province. Three soldiers who were manning the camp's gate were killed, along with three civilians nearby. Lt-Gen Sobejana said the seven foreign terrorists were scattered across war-torn

Indonesian terrorist group’s funding traced to Maldives

Money was wired through Western Union to an Islamic State-linked group. July 29, 2019 The source of funding for an Indonesian terrorist group linked to the Islamic State  has been traced to five countries including the Maldives, the  Jakarta Post  reported  on Friday. The  Jamaah Ansharut Daulah  was wired US$29,569 by 12 people with alleged ties to IS from the Maldives and four other countries between March 2016 and September 2017,  a police investigation found. The other countries were Trinidad and Tobago, Malaysia, Germany and Venezuela. The money was sent through the Western Union money transfer service to an alleged mastermind behind the JAD’s terrorist attacks.   “We are cooperating with our counterparts in several countries. The National Police’s Densus 88 anti-terror squad has also conveyed the information to embassies [of the five countries] in Indonesia,” National Police spokesman Brigader General Dedi Prasetyo was quoted as saying. The money had been used to purc

Indonesia launches new military elite unit to tackle terrorism

JAKARTA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian military launched on Tuesday a new elite unit designated to carry out special military missions, particularly in addressing terrorism issue. The launching ceremony of the super elite unit called Special Operation Command, or Koopssus, was held in Indonesian military headquarters located in Cilangkap, East Jakarta. "Each of Koopssus personnel is a determined one, shortlisted from the special units owned by each of three forces in the military," Indonesian Military Commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said during the ceremony. Former director of Indonesian military strategic intelligence body, Brig. Gen. Rochadi, was appointed to command the newly-established military elite unit. The establishment of the Koopssus is to follow suit revision of the anti-terrorism law enacted by Indonesian parliament in May last year that endorses the military in carrying out anti-terror missions. Legal basis for the military's Koopssus


TERRORISM, PIRACY, SMUGGLING, DRUGS, KIDNAPPINGS – AND CORRUPTION: MALAYSIA’S BORDER PROBLEMS Politics  |  July 29, 2019  by  | 0 Comments If land and sea borders are the nation’s doors, Malaysia’s doors seem wide open. Terrorism, piracy, smuggling, narcotics trade, human trafficking, and illegal immigrants are all major problems that need to be tackled at the country’s boundaries. The country, for instance, has taken in tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Indonesian Muslims who have crossed the border into East Malaysia from Kalimantan to seek work in a wealthier country. Substantial numbers of them have been issued identity cards to become voters aligned with Malay political parties. Malaysia’s problems are exacerbated by the fact that the country is bifurcated into the Malay Peninsula and the North Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak. The two are separated by 600-1,200 kms of open sea. It shares 3,147 km of land borders with Thailand on the peninsula and Brunei, al