Showing posts from January 26, 2020

Special report: The uncomfortable truth that terror suspects are living on our streets

Terrorist Usman Khan was only half way through his sentence when he carried out his murderous outrage near London Bridge. He had been released on licence, a process designed to be part of his journey to returning to life as a law-abiding citizen. His situation was far from unique.   Today it can be revealed there at least eight other convicted terrorists living among us. It may be an uncomfortable statistic for many in light of what happened in November when 28-year-old Khan, who was living in Stafford, slipped through the net and killed two people in the attack. The security services are supposed to stop this from from happening. If these dangerous offenders are to be released from prison then their every move should be being monitored. Usman Khan, pictured in 2008 The Ministry of Justice has been quick to try and reassure the public that security measures have been stepped up in relation to these offenders serving out their prison sentences in the community. Th

Implication of terrorism on human rights and peace

The term “terrorism” thus, draws its meanings from the term terror. Literally, the term “terrorism”, which has been facing the world since the World War II, is yet to acquire an acceptable universal definition of its meaning, given the prevalent debates and disagreements over its globally admissible meaning and scope. However, terrorism remains a largely condemned international crime, given the tone the United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA)’s 56/1/of 12 September 2001, a reaction to the 11th September 2001, attacks on US, which held that ‘it’s heinous terrorism, that more than 3,000 people were killed in New York, Washington D.C, and Pennsylvania, and thus the member states cooperation to prevent and act of terrorism’. One could not adequately express the word counter-terrorism, without first disclosing the word, “terrorism”. One scholar, William Shinkels, reiterated that ‘terrorism has been offered a definition by as ‘refolding unfolding’. Counterterrorism measures, that have

US Asks Citizens to Reconsider Visiting Pakistan Due to Terrorism, Issues Highest Level Travel Alert

The Level 4 of US travel advisory means asking citizens not to travel to the provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) along with the LoC. The rest of the areas in Pakistan continues to remain on Level 3 of the travel alert Washington:  Advising its citizens to reconsider visiting Pakistan due to terrorism, the US on Friday issued the highest level travel alert for the provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with the Line of Control. The Level 4 of US travel advisory means asking citizens not to travel to the provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) along with the LoC. The rest of the areas in Pakistan continues to remain on Level 3 of the travel alert. "Do not travel to the India-Pakistan border. Militant groups are known to operate in the area. India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border," the State Department said. Indian and Pakistani military forces periodically exchange gunfire and artillery f

Wildfire creates state of emergency in Australian capital

It’s the first fire emergency for the Australian Capital Territory area since 2003 when wildfires killed four people and destroyed almost 500 homes in a single day. The Australian capital region declared a state of emergency on Friday because of an out-of-control forest fire burning erratically to its south. It’s the first fire emergency for the Australian Capital Territory area since 2003 when wildfires killed four people and destroyed almost 500 homes in a single day. The threat is posed by a blaze on Canberra’s southern fringe that has razed more than 21,500 hectares (53,000 acres) since it was sparked by heat from a military helicopter landing light on Monday, the Emergency Services Agency said. "The state of emergency sets a clear expectation for our community that we need you to be vigilant," Emergency Services Minister Mick Gentleman told reporters. "This is the worst bushfire season in the ACT since 2003." The fire is burning at emergency level -- t

The terrorists among us: Eight convicted offenders revealed to be living on our streets

Exclusive: Eight terrorist offenders have been released on licence and are living in our region – just like London Bridge attacker Usman Khan. Eight people convicted of terror offences in the last five years have been released and are living in the West Midlands or Staffordshire. London Bridge attacker Usman Khan was released on licence and living in Stafford when he killed two people and injured three more in November. The Ministry of Justice today confirmed there are eight others in our region also on licence having been released from prison after being convicted of terror offences. It only gave figures for those released since 2015, but there are likely to be many more who were released before that date. MoJ officials stressed they had “acted quickly to review the supervision of all terrorists being managed by probation on licence, to ensure risk management plans in place are robust and fit for purpose”. In most cases prisoners are released on licence after serving


In recent months, Reporting Democracy has published a series of articles on the critical demographic decline facing the Balkans and large-scale emigration from the region to countries across the European Union. Informative as the articles are, they fail to discuss how these issues affect the Roma minority. In fact, Roma people make up a considerable number of those who are compelled to emigrate from the Western Balkans. This is the latest in a series of articles about the demographic crisis facing Central and Southeast Europe. See also: Bye-Bye, Balkans: A Region in Critical Demographic Decline This may or may not be a bad thing. Migration can open up opportunities for marginalised Roma communities — but only if the political, social and economic will is there to make these opportunities a reality. In his articles, Tim Judah reminds us how difficult it is to work with reliable numbers when it comes to the actual populations in the Western Balkans and elsewhere, as well as mi

Iraqi Qaeda Group Leader Arrested in Arizona

An Iraqi man, acting as the leader of an al-Qaeda group in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, federal officials said on Friday. Ali Yousif Ahmed al-Nouri, 42, is wanted in Iraq on charges of premeditated murder of the Iraqi police officers in 2006, according to a statement by the US Attorney’s Office District of Arizona. An Iraqi judge issued a warrant for al-Nouri’s arrest and the government there issued an extradition request to the US Justice Department, the statement said, according to Reuters. The Justice Department sought an arrest warrant for al-Nouri and he was taken into custody on Thursday in Phoenix. He appeared before a federal magistrate judge in Phoenix on Friday in connection with proceedings to extradite him to Iraq, the statement said. According to the Iraqi government, al-Nouri was the leader of an al-Qaeda group in Fallujah which planned operations targeting Iraqi police. The statement noted the details in the Iraqi complaint were alleg

US Envoy Visits Kabul for Taliban Talks

The US special envoy leading negotiations with the Taliban was set to meet with the Afghan president Saturday, an official confirmed, in an apparent renewed push for talks on an agreement with the insurgents. Washington and the Taliban are still wrangling over a possible deal that would see American troops begin to leave Afghanistan in return for security guarantees. However, in recent weeks, the US has been largely quiet on the exact status of the talks. US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad was prepared to hold talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the afternoon, according to the leader's spokesman. The details of what they were planning to discuss were unknown. Khalilzad's trip to Afghanistan comes a day after the envoy traveled to Pakistan where he met with a host of officials including the country's powerful top general Qamar Javed Bajwa. Islamabad has helped facilitate the talks between the militants and Washington in Qata

Kushner to Majalla: Peace Plan is an ‘Amazing Step to Break a Logjam’

US President Donald Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has described aspects of the newly released White House peace plan as an “amazing step to break a logjam” in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Speaking in a private, on-the-record briefing with Majalla magazine’s Mostafa El-Dessouki, Kushner said: “We unified Israel around a serious proposal.” He was referring to the fact that both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his electoral rival, Benny Gantz, had endorsed the plan. The two leaders had come together, he said, “both in terms of agreeing to negotiate on the basis of a plan, and also on getting a map, which has never been put out in the history of this conflict.” In response to a followup question by Majalla concerning Palestinian “days of rage” protests following the release of the peace plan, Kushner said that the Palestinian people have been “lied to for a long time and promised false things.” But the longest-standing refugee problem in history has b

American Strike Targets Qaeda Leader in Yemen

The United States targeted in a drone strike the leader of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Qassim al-Rimi, Arab and western media reported. Rimi, 41, was targeted after months of tracking by using aerial surveillance and other intelligence, three current or former American officials revealed, according to the New York Times. They were awaiting confirmation of his death before making a public announcement. A Yemeni source confirmed that a US drone strike targeted Rimi’s house in the central Wadi Obeidah region east of Marib, reported Al Arabiya. The CIA learned of Rimi’s location from an informer in Yemen in November, according to a United States official who was briefed on the strike. That information allowed the government to begin tracking him through surveillance drones, said the New York Times. Local news reports in Yemen said that a drone strike this month killed two militant suspects in the area of Wadi Obeidah. The reports did not identify the people killed in the str

France Arrests Syrian Extremist on War Crime Charges

A senior member of Syrian armed group Jaysh al-Islam implicated in the disappearance of a prominent activist in 2013 has been arrested in France and charged with war crimes and torture, a judicial source told AFP. The suspect, a former spokesman of the group who is in his early thirties, was in France on an Erasmus student visa and detained in the southern city of Marseille. He appeared before an investigating magistrate in Paris who charged him with torture, war crimes and complicity in forced disappearances, the source said on Friday. Jaysh al-Islam is notably suspected of involvement in the December 2013 kidnapping of Syrian activist Razan Zaitouneh, her husband Wael Hamada and two colleagues, Samira Khalil and Nazem Hammadi. They have never been found. Zaitouneh was one of the most prominent civil society figures in the uprising against Bashar al-Assad's regime that erupted in March 2011 and then descended into civil war. That year, she was awarded the prestigious Sakharov

Major US airlines cancel China flights as government steps up warnings

All three major US airlines announced the cancellation of flights to mainland China on Friday as the US government unveiled additional steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in China. All three major US airlines announced the cancellation of flights to mainland China on Friday as the US government unveiled additional steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in China. The trio of carriers, United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL.O), Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) and American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O), had already moved to reduce flights to China amid a sharp drop in demand due to the flu-like virus. The Trump administration on Friday declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak and said it would take the extraordinary step of barring entry to the United States of foreign nationals who have recently travelled to China. As of Sunday, the United States will also limit flights from China to seven US airports and US citizens who

Why Proposed US Troop Cuts in Africa Cause Concern

United States military officials warn that Islamic militants are using news of possible American military cuts in Africa to call for more attacks against U.S. interests. Earlier this month, the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab killed three Americans in an attack that destroyed U.S. military aircraft in Kenya. It was the deadliest attack against the U.S. military in Africa since 2017. After the attack, al-Shabab sent a message to African soldiers. The group claimed that the U.S. would  abandon  them like it abandoned the Kurds in Syria. This has caused a rare moment of agreement between both major American political parties. Lawmakers are criticizing the cuts. They argue there is an urgent need to oppose China and Russia in the area and contain the growing threat from groups linked to Islamic State, or IS, militants. Experts say it is not a good time to reduce the U.S. military presence in Africa. In a new report, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies said extremist groups