Al-Qaida Chief Called For Islamic Caliphate in East Asia Prior To Indonesia Attacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

Southeast Asia

Al-Qaida Chief Called For Islamic Caliphate in East Asia Prior To Indonesia Attacks

Islamic State Eyes Asia Base in 2016 in Philippines, Indonesia: Expert

Series of Blasts Hit Indonesian Capital Jakarta, 7 Dead

Indonesia fears attacks by returning fighters

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South Asia

10 Daesh Militants Killed By Afghan Air Force In Nangarhar

At Least 60 % Militants Fleeing Pakistan to Join Daesh in Afghanistan

Islamabad asks Kabul for information about Jalalabad attack

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Arab World

Muslim Youths Say Extremists Distort Islam: Poll

Syrian Army Completes Control over New Territories East of Aleppo

Militants Pull Back Fighters from More Territories in Lattakia

IRGC Navy Commander: Iranian Missiles Locked on US Aircraft Carrier

Deadly PKK bomb attack targets Turkish police station

‘Enraged’ Israel summons Swedish envoy over FM’s remarks

Saudi aid to Taez arrives to besieged Yemeni city

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India

Urdu Teacher Fallout: ‘No Double Marriage for Government Job Eligibility’

Pathankot Attack: ISI Made Fake Facebook Profiles, Identities for SIMs

MP: Muslim Kids Participate In Surya Namaskar

Pathankot attack impact: India decides fate of Pakistan talks

Pathankot attack: 3 students taken into custody in Lahore

Not aware of Masood Azhar’s detention, Pakistan foreign office says

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Pakistan

Pakistan among States That Will Face Turmoil for Decades: Obama

Suicide Bomber Kills 16 at Quetta Polio Centre

IS Claims Deadly Attack on Pak Mission in Jalalabad

LUMS denies arrest of student in connection to Indian airbase attack

Jaish’s Masood Azhar reportedly taken into custody

Ghani assures Sharif of enhanced security for Pakistani diplomats

Jamaat-e-Islami Condemns Police Brutality against Peaceful Citizens

Instability in Pak-Afghan region to continue: Obama

Geelani opposes provincial status for GB

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Mideast

Five killed, 39 wounded in car bomb attack on police HQ in Turkey

Iran Frees Captured US Marines

Seven suspects detained over Istanbul attack

U.S. special forces ‘now in place’ in Iraq

World powers to push for lifting sieges in Syria

Kerry to meet Saudi FM in London amid Iran tensions

New aid planned for besieged Syria towns: U.N.

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Africa

Sudan Follows Saudi, Expels Iranian Ambassador

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North America

Obama Slams Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Key findings on Muslim population in US

Obama tells anxious US to embrace change

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Europe

France Bans 3 Groups Following Paris Attacks

China Says It Wants Deeper Defence, Anti-Terror Ties With Arab World

Swedish minister ‘not welcome in Israel’ after comments

Obama discusses Syria, Ukraine with Russia’s Putin

Bulgaria eyes new gas project after South Stream failure

London to significantly increase firearms officers

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/al-qaida-chief-called-for-islamic-caliphate-in-east-asia-prior-to-indonesia-attacks/d/105993

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Southeast Asia

 

Al-Qaida chief called for Islamic Caliphate in East Asia prior to Indonesia attacks

By MAAYAN GROISMAN

01/14/2016

On Wednesday, a few hours before Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, witnessed multiple explosions, al-Qaida’s media institution, Al-Sahab, released a video of al-Qaida’s leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, urging jihadists in Nusantara (an Indonesian term used by jihadists to describe East Asia) to “exert efforts to eliminate the secular regimes in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and replace them with Islamic regimes based on Sharia.”

Al-Zawahiri emphasized the importance of participating in the “war of armed jihad against the biggest enemy [The United States] who supports Israel and acts decisively to assure that the oppression and killing of Muslims in East Asia continues.”

Threatening the government in East Asia, al-Qaida’s leader stated that “this war will eventually lead to a clash with US agents in the area, who deprive Muslims of their freedom.”

Al-Zawahiri called on Nusantara jihadists to “walk in the way of Osama Bin-Laden, the mastermind of the Bali and Jakarta attacks [the terror attacks committed by al-Qaida in Indonesia on October 2002].”

Al-Qaida’s leader stressed the urgent need to “gather the Islamic nation around the idea of forming an Islamic Caliphate in East Asia, explaining that a main goal of the war against US interests in the region is to “protect Muslims’ territories and deter the biggest criminals.”

The timing of the comments may indicate that the series of explosions that took place in Indonesia on Thursday morning were committed by an al-Qaida affiliated organization in Indonesia which tried to follow Al-Zawahiri’s orders and carry out an impressive operation that will strike fear in Indonesia.

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/ISIS-Threat/Al-Qaida-chief-called-for-Islamic-Caliphate-in-East-Asia-prior-to-Indonesia-attacks-441486

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Islamic State Eyes Asia Base in 2016 in Philippines, Indonesia: Expert

By Prashanth Parameswaran

January 14, 2016

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is looking to declare at least one foothold in Asia in 2016, with the Philippines and Indonesia being the most likely targets, a terrorism expert said Tuesday.

Southeast Asia has already emerged as a key recruitment center for ISIS, with more than 500 Indonesians and dozens of Malaysians joining the group and forming their own unit, the Katibah Nusantara (Malay Archipelago Combat Unit). Earlier this week, reports surfaced that two Malaysian suicide bombers from that unit had blown themselves up in Syria and Iraq in the last two weeks, killing more than 30 others (See: “Malaysian Islamic State Suicide Bombers Kill More Than 30 in Middle East”).

But leaders and experts have also been warning that ISIS could gain a territorial foothold or at least establish a satellite presence in Southeast Asia. At last year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore’s premier Lee Hsien Loong warned that ISIS could “establish a base somewhere in the region,” a geographical area under its physical control like in Syria or Iraq (See: “Singapore Warns of Islamic State Base in Southeast Asia”). On Tuesday, in an opinion piece in The Straits Times, terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna argued that ISIS is likely to create at least one branch in Southeast Asia this year – most likely in either the Philippines or Indonesia – with alarming consequences for the region.

“ISIS is determined to declare at least one province in Asia in 2016,” Gunaratna, a professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University wrote in the Singapore-based newspaper. “An ISIS foothold will present far-reaching security implications for the stability and prosperity for a rising Asia,” he added.

The main candidate for an ISIS branch, Gunaratna argued, is the Philippines. That is not surprising. The country has served as a training ground for terrorists before, including Al-Qaeda’s so-called Southeast Asian offshoot Jemaah Islamiyah. A number of local groups have pledged allegiance to ISIS self-appointed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with the Ahlus Shura (council) appointing Isnilon Hapilon – the leader of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan – as the overall leader of the so-called Islamic State in the Philippines.

“Shortly, ISIS will declare a satellite of the caliphate in the Sulu archipelago,” Gunaratna wrote.

The consequences, Gunaratna argues, would be dire. If ISIS succeeds in creating a safe haven in Basilan and mounts operations from the Sulu archipelago, training camps will lure recruits from neighboring Asian states who cannot reach Syria, including Malaysia, Australia and even China. In addition, he argues that it is “very likely” that ISIS will dispatch explosive experts, combat tacticians and other operatives. As ISIS enforces its brand of Islam, beheadings, mass killings and other attacks are also likely to occur. To preempt all this, Gunaratna urged the Philippine military to deploy in strength in Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi as well as focus on winning Muslim hearts and minds to reduce ISIS support.

“If the armed forces can dominate the Sulu archipelago, ISIS cannot successfully declare, operate and expand its satellite in the Philippines, with implications for Malaysia, the region and beyond,” he argued.

The other candidate for an ISIS branch, Gunaratna wrote, is Indonesia. His case is much less developed here, though he is not alone in worrying about this. Just last month, Australian attorney-general George Brandis warned that ISIS had identified Indonesia as a location for a “distant caliphate”.

Thus far, to their credit, Gunaratna acknowledges that the Indonesian military has “pre-empted” ISIS plans to declare a satellite state of the so-called caliphate in eastern Indonesia. This week, Indonesian police said that a more aggressive campaign is being launched focused on Poso and surrounding areas to find Abu Wardah – better known as Santoso – Indonesia’s most high-profile backer of ISIS. Elsewhere, Indonesian security forces have also made key arrests to stop planned attacks, including of several militants across Java in December with the help of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Australian Federal Police and Singaporean authorities.

http://thediplomat.com/2016/01/islamic-state-eyes-asia-base-in-2016-in-philippines-indonesia-expert/

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Series of blasts hit Indonesian capital Jakarta, 7 dead

Jan 14, 2016

JAKARTA: Gunfire and explosions in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Thursday killed at least seven people, including four suspected attackers, with police flooding the streets amid fears gun-toting militants were still on the run.

Badly mangled bodies were seen lying on the streets as security forces moved in, with regular reports of gunfire and warnings of snipers in the area.

Indonesian police shot dead four suspected militants who were part of a bomb and gun attack in the capital, Jakarta, on Thursday and the area is being secured, a police spokesman said.

“We are sterilising the building from basement to top,” Iqbal Kabid told reporters, explaining that a gunbattle between the attackers and police took place in a cinema that is in the same building as a Starbucks cafe that was attacked.

“We will declare the situation secure soon,” he said.

At least three suicide bombers exploded themselves in a Starbucks cafe in downtown Jakarta on Thursday while two gunmen attacked a police post nearby, a witness told the Associated Press.

TVOne, a local television network, reported three other explosions in other parts of the city.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks but suspicion is likely to fall on Islamic militant groups, which have carried out several attacks in the past across Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

All Starbucks cafes have been closed till the further notice.

The last major militant attacks in Jakarta were in July 2009, with bombs at the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels.

President Joko Widodo was outside Jakarta when the attack unfolded but was cutting shot his trip to return to the sprawling capital of more than 10 million people by helicopter.

He urged the public not to be fearful and or speculate on who was behind the attack.

“We must not be afraid, we must not be defeated by an act of terror like this,” he said in televised comments.

Alarm over Islamic State

Early in the attack, one explosion went off in front of a shopping centre called the Sarinah mall, on a main avenue. Media said a police post outside the mall was blown up.

A UN building was in lock-down with no one allowed in or out, a witness said. Some other high-rise buildings in the area were evacuated.

Several embassies are also in the vicinity and Indonesia’s central bank, in the same area, and was going ahead with a policy meeting and a decision on interest rates would be announced as planned later in the day, a spokesman said.

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, the vast majority of whom practise a moderate form of the religion.

The country saw a spate of militant attacks in the 2000s, the deadliest of which was a nightclub bombing on the holiday island of Bali that killed 202 people, most of them tourists.

Police have been largely successful in destroying domestic militant cells since then, but officials have more recently been worrying about a resurgence inspired by groups such as Islamic State and Indonesians who return after fighting with the group.

Alarm in the West over the danger stemming from Islamic State rocketed after the Paris attacks in November and the killing of 14 people in California in December.

But mostly Muslim nations regarded as more moderate have also been caught in the spiralling violence. On Tuesday, a Syrian suicide bomber killed 10 German tourists in Istanbul.

Turkish authorities suspect the bomber had links to Islamic State and unidentified powers using the militant group.

Indonesian security forces this month intensified a manhunt for a militant leader called Santoso, regarded as Indonesia’s most high-profile backer of Islamic State, in the jungles of Sulawesi island.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Series-of-blasts-hit-Indonesian-capital-Jakarta-7-dead/articleshow/50574361.cms

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Indonesia fears attacks by returning fighters

January 13, 2016

SINGAPORE — The Indonesian government remains concerned about the threat posed by the self-described Islamic State, despite the group’s recent territorial losses in Iraq and Syria including the ceding of the key city of Ramadi to the Iraqi army in late December.

“Indonesia is very vulnerable,” said Dewi Fortuna Anwar, an adviser to Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, airing Jakarta’s fears that Indonesian members of IS could return home to carry out terrorist attacks.

“We are exploring the role played by religious leaders to develop counter narratives,” Anwar said, discussing the ideological appeal of the extremist group to hundreds of Indonesians thought to have traveled to Iraq and Syria in recent years. Anwar was speaking in Singapore at a regional forum organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Indonesia is home to 210 million Muslims — more than any other country — and tens of millions of Indonesians are members of two mass Muslim organizations, known as the Muhammidiyah and the Nahdlatul Ulama. The latter has campaigned loudly against IS, which it describes as promoting a “shallow” interpretation of Islam to justify violence.

Indonesian Islam, often described as “moderate,” is infused with pre-existing beliefs such as Buddhism and Hinduism — the “Islam Nusantara” (Islam of the archipelago) brand promoted by Nahdlatul Ulama. However, the country has seen several deadly terrorist attacks carried out by groups linked to al-Qaeda, including a 2002 bombing on the island of Bali, one of around 6,000 inhabited islands across the vast Indonesian archipelago; 202 people, many of them foreign tourists visiting the popular resort island, died in that attack.

To help counter extremism, Anwar said, the government is planning a new Islamic university which is intended as an alternative for pious students seeking to pursue religious studies in the Middle East where, the government fears, some Indonesians pick up a more confrontational take on Islam than is taught at home.

For now, however, the Indonesian government faces the threat of attacks by Indonesian IS members who have returned home, or by fellow travelers.

Full report at:

http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Policy-Politics/Indonesia-fears-attacks-by-returning-fighters?page=2

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South Asia

 

10 Daesh militants killed by Afghan Air Force in Nangarhar

Jan 14 2016

10 militants belonging to the terrorist group of the Islamic State (IS) or Daesh have been killed in fresh airstrike of Afghan Air Force in eastern Nangarhar province.

Security officials say Air Force targeted the insurgents while the insurgents were conducting a gathering in Kot District.

According to the police HQ of Nangarhar, the airstrike was carried out based on a tip-off and that it did not have civilian casualties.

Full report at:

10 Daesh militants killed by Afghan Air Force in Nangarhar

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At Least 60 % Militants Fleeing Pakistan to Join Daesh in Afghanistan

Jan 14 2016

Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai has said that majority of militants fleeing military operation in the tribal agencies of Pakistan join Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan.

While talking to a seminar in Islamabad, Mosazai said about 60 to 70 per cent militants who have fled Mohmand and Orakzai agencies in the tribal built have crossed the border into Afghanistan and joined Daesh.

Mohmand Agency shares a border with Kunar and Nangarhar provinces from where they enter into Afghan territory.

Full report at:

Mosazai says at least 60 % militants fleeing Pakistan join Daesh in Afghanistan

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Islamabad asks Kabul for information about Jalalabad attack

Jan 14 2016

Pakistan’s Foreign Office has asked Kabul to investigate yesterday’s attack on its consulate in Jalalabad city and share the information with Islamabad.

“We have requested that details of the investigation should be shared with us,” states a statement released by Qazi Khalilullah, spokesperson of Pakistan’s Foreign Office .

This comes as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani reportedly made a phone call to Pakistani Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif over the incident.

“Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani made a telephone call to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and apprised him of the attack on the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad and expressed his concern and grief over the incident,” states a statement released by Sharif’s office.

The information released also states that President Ghani assured Sharif that additional security measures would be taken for Pakistan’s diplomats in Afghanistan.

The attack begun Wednesday morning with a suicide bombing after which other gunmen engaged in exchange of fire with security forces.

The gun battle continued for several hours before the assailant were gunned down.

Sediq Sediq, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), said at least seven members of the Afghan National Security Forces lost their lives and as many sustained injuries. It also left three civilians wounded. There was no harm to the consulate staff except minor injuries from window glasses which shattered in the blast or during the clash.

Full report at:

Islamabad asks Kabul for information about Jalalabad attack

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Arab World

 

Muslim youths say extremists distort Islam: poll

14 January 2016

A majority of Arab Muslim youths see the actions of extremists such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam’s teachings, according to a new poll.

The Zogby Research Services poll of 5,374 young Muslim men and women from the Middle East and North Africa also found that many millennials blame corruption and repressive governments for the rise of jihadist groups.

“At least three-quarters of millennial respondents in all countries surveyed” said movements like ISIS and Al-Qaeda “are either a complete perversion of Islam’s teachings or mostly wrong,” the polling firm said.

The survey was conducted in October and November 2015 with respondents aged 15 to 34 in Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/14/Arab-Muslim-youths-say-extremists-distort-Islam-poll.html

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Syrian Army Completes Control over New Territories East of Aleppo

Jan 13, 2016

“The Syrian army troops drove the ISIL back from Ein al-Beida village and its surrounding farms in the Eastern part of the province near the newly liberated village of Aisheh,” the army said.

“The village and its nearby farms are under full control of the army and the ISIL has fled the battlefield after leaving behind many of members dead and wounded,” the army added.

The army announced earlier today that the ISIL terrorists’ gathering centers and defense lines in different neighborhoods, towns and cities in Aleppo province came under the offensives of the Syrian Army, adding the terrorists suffered a heavy death toll in the attacks.

“The Syrian army troops stormed the ISIL defense lines near al-Bab city in the Northern and Tadif town in the Northeastern parts of Aleppo province, killed or wounded many terrorists and inflicted major damage on their military equipment, weapons, and vehicles,” the sources said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941023001076

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Militants Pull Back Fighters from More Territories in Lattakia

Jan 13, 2016

“The militant groups retreated forces from the village of Sheikh Khalil after the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces’ (NDF) heavy offensive,” the army said.

“The militant groups suffered a heavy death toll and pulled back the rest of forces in order to evade more casualties,” the army added.

Sources said earlier today that the NDF, in a rapid advance on Wednesday, pushed the militant groups back from a mountainous village Northeast of Lattakia province after hours of fierce clashes, the army said.

“The NDF stormed the militants’ defense lines near the village of al-Marouniyat in the Northwestern part of the newly liberated town of Salma and drove back the terrorists from the battlefield,” the army said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941023001329

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IRGC Navy Commander: Iranian Missiles Locked on US Aircraft Carrier

Jan 13, 2016

The IRGC seized two US Navy boats on Tuesday and detained them on Iran’s Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. Nine men and one woman arrived in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf illegally when they were captured by the IRGC Navy.

Following the capture, two US and French aircraft carriers as well as their accompanying fleets and military choppers started maneuvering near Iranian waters.

“The USS Truman Aircraft carrier showed unprofessional moves for 40 minutes after the detention of the trespassers, while we were highly prepared with our coast-to-sea missiles, missile-launching speedboats and our numerous capabilities” and were ready to strike them in case they made a hostile move, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said after Iran released the detained US marines.

IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi

Fadavi complained of the provocative and uncontrolled behavior shown by the US navy, and said while the 10 captured marines showed not much resistance and accepted to give in to the Iranian troops, the US fleet that arrived near the scene later made many show-off moves near Iran’s sea borders.

“But we communicated an announcement through the international (radio) systems and prevented any further irresponsible moves by them,” he said, and continued, “Then they came to realize the IRGC Navy has the first and the last word in here.”

“The US and France’s aircraft carriers were within our range and if they had continued their unprofessional moves, they would have been afflicted with such a catastrophe that they had never experienced all throughout the history,” the IRGC Navy commander cautioned.

“They could have been shot, and if they were, they would have been destroyed,” he warned again.

Rear Admiral Fadavi reminded that the IRGC is in charge of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf and “exercises Iran’s right of sovereignty powerfully”.

He said later investigations into their navigation systems showed that they had gone astray and entered Iran’s waters unknowingly.

“In the end they and their diplomats acknowledged their wrong action and undertook not to repeat such mistakes,” said the Admiral.

He once against reiterated Iran’s respectful behavior with the captured sailors until their release.

“The US and its Navy rest assured that they won’t be the winner of any battle with Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz as destruction and sinking of their warships will be the end result of any such war. But in those 40 minutes, the Americans were clearly under intense psychological pressure and they did not act like a professional and responsible force,” the Iranian IRGC Navy commander lamented.

Each of the two US Navy boats that were 3 nautical miles deep into the Iranian waters when they were captured by the IRGC Navy’s second naval zone were equipped with three 50mm caliber machine guns and other light and semi-heavy weapons.

IRGC officials said the coordinates recorded on the GPS devices taken from the 10 US marines confirmed their trespassing as well.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941023001131

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Deadly PKK bomb attack targets Turkish police station

14 January 2016

Kurdish rebels detonated a car bomb at a police station in southeastern Turkey, then attacked it with rocket launchers and firearms, killing five people, including civilians, the governor’s office said Thursday.

Thirty-nine other people were injured, reports said.

The attack late Wednesday targeted the police station in the town of Cinar, in the mostly Kurdish Diyarbakir province, and police lodgings located at the building, the Diyarbakir governor’s office said.

The force of the blast caused a house close to the police station to collapse.

The attack killed two people at the police lodgings and three people died inside the collapsed house. The private Dogan news agency said the dead included the wife of a policeman and a 5-months old baby.

Another police station was attacked with rocket launchers in Midyat town, in the province of Mardin in what appeared to be a simultaneous assault, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. No casualties were reported there.

The explosion caused extensive damage, affecting buildings two or three blocks away from the police station. Windows were blown off and shop shutters were folded in from the force of the blast.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/14/Deadly-PKK-bomb-attack-targets-Turkish-police-station.html

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‘Enraged’ Israel summons Swedish envoy over FM’s remarks

14 January 2016

Israel summoned the Swedish ambassador on Wednesday to convey what it described as its “rage” at a call by Stockholm’s top diplomat for an investigation to determine whether Israeli forces were guilty of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s remarks on Tuesday were the latest in a series of statements to stoke Israeli resentment that has simmered since the Scandinavian country recognized Palestinian statehood last year.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said in a statement that it called in Swedish Ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser to reprimand him over what it deemed “another statement by her (Wallstrom) that attests to her biased and even hostile attitude to Israel”.

It said Nesser was also told of “the rage of the government and people of Israel at the skewed portrayal of the situation”.

Rights groups have accused Israel of using excessive force to quell a surge of Palestinian street attacks that has been fueled in part by Muslim agitation at stepped-up Jewish visits to a contested Jerusalem shrine, as well as a long impasse in talks on founding a Palestinian state on Israeli-occupied land.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/14/-Enraged-Israel-summons-Swedish-envoy-over-FM-s-remarks.html

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Saudi aid to Taez arrives to besieged Yemeni city

13 January 2016

A Saudi aid dispatch consisting of 40 tons of medicine and food was dropped in the besieged Yemeni city of Taez on Wednesday, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Wednesday.

The aid included medicines, medical equipment and dry food “to break the siege imposed on parts of Taez province,” Abdullah al-Rabeeah, director of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, told the Saudi Press Agency.

The 600,000 residents of the southwestern city of Taez have been in dire need as Houthi rebels besiege the community defended by pro-government forces.

Many residents have taken to treacherous mountain paths to bring in goods. The United Nations said on December 18 that more than 100 trucks of food aid had arrived in Taez.

But local aid groups and sources close to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi said rebels seized the relief goods and distributed them in areas under their control.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/13/Saudi-aid-to-Taez-arrives-to-besieged-Yemeni-city-.html

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India

 

Urdu Teacher Fallout: ‘No Double Marriage for Government Job Eligibility’

Ishita Mishra

Jan 13, 2016

Agra: “Even Mulayam Singh has two wives. Being a former CM he must be getting pension, so is also ineligible for this?” said Shahzad Poonawala, a prominent lawyer who claimed to take up the UP government’s ‘No double marriage for government job eligibility’ law with the Minorities Commission. Poonawala said when apex court of India accepts Muslim laws, how can UP government go against it. Shaista Amber, president All India Muslim Women Personal Law board also criticized the state government for introducing such riders in government jobs. She said this is injustice against women who are married to men who have two wives. Amber is also taking up this matter with the Commission.

Triggering protests from Muslims in Uttar Pradesh, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government issued notices for appointment of 3,500 Urdu teachers that said, “All those who have two wives, both living, will be considered ineligible for the post. Also, female candidates who are married to a man who have two wives, both living, will be considered ineligible.”

While government officials say the caveat is to prevent confusion over who would be paid the widow or widower’s pension, Muslim Personal Law Board members alleged these riders are a violation of the rights of Muslims.

“The provision is absurd and unreasonable. I will take the matter up with the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) and the HRD ministry. What reasonable connection does this criterion have with teaching or promoting Urdu? ?First, it reinforces prejudices and stereotypes that Urdu is a language of Muslims who take more than one wife,” said Poonawala.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/Urdu-teacher-fallout-Muslim-leaders-plan-anti-govt-protest/articleshow/50567231.cms

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Pathankot Attack: ISI Made Fake Facebook Profiles, Identities for SIMs

Rajshekhar Jha

Jan 14, 2016

NEW DELHI: The investigations being carried out by Indian intelligence establishment to establish the identity of the terrorists neutralized in Pathankot and their handlers reveal how the Pak secret service ISI attempted to conceal the identity of the operatives involved in the strike. From fictitious identities to fake social network presence — the ISI ensured that Indian investigators were misled, sources have told TOI.

At least four Pak-registered numbers like +923017775253 and +923000597212 were activated just a few days ago before the terror strike. The handsets were kept switched off to conceal the locations of the users, sources said. The handsets having these sims were only switched on before the attack and were in operation during the strike at airbase. Only one number, allegedly belonging to one of the operative’s mother has been found to have been in use.

The terror handlers also made fictitious Facebook and other online profiles for the handlers. These profiles were in the name of people which show as the registered owners of the sim cards. Profiles in the names of Faizal, Faizan Cantt, Molana etc have cropped up on platforms like imo, a video chat software apart from True Caller and Facebook, a senior officer in the security establishment said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISI-made-fake-Facebook-profiles-identities-for-SIMs/articleshow/50569674.cms

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Pathankot attack: 3 students taken into custody in Lahore

Jan 14, 2016

Three students were on Wednesday taken into custody in Pakistan in connection with the Pathankot attack after India provided cell phone numbers of the suspects, bringing the total number of the arrests in the case to 31.

“The agencies have picked up Usman Sarwar, a Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) student, a Sahiwal district institution student Saad Mughal and Kashif Jan of Karachi University,” Pakistani media reported on Wednesday.

The intelligence agencies reportedly picked up the three students on the cell phone numbers provided by the Indian authorities.

Earlier, the Pakistani authorities had dismissed that the cell phone numbers from whom the calls were allegedly made from Pakistan were “unregistered”.

“The agencies are investigating the alleged links of the three students with Jaish-e-Muhammad,” an official said.

Dr Yasir Hashmi, a LUMS official, denied Usman Sarwar’s arrest. “Sarwar is present in the varsity,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/pathankot-attack-3-students-taken-into-custody-in-lahore/story-bOh9spEg1goqQqzgrkzJmI.html

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Not aware of Masood Azhar’s detention, Pakistan foreign office says

Jan 14, 2016

NEW DELHI: Pakistan foreign office on Thursday said that it was not aware about detention of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, the suspected mastermind of the Pathankot attack.

Talking to reporters in Islamabad, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said he is “not aware of such arrests”. He also said that foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan have been postponed for the time being.

“The foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan will not be held tomorrow. Mutual consultations are on about rescheduling the talks,” Khalilullah told reporters.

He added that the Pakistani government will extend all its cooperation in India’s investigation of the January 2 attack which killed seven security personnel.

On Wednesday, Pakistan announced that it has shifted JeM chief Azhar, his brother and other members of the terror outfit to an undisclosed location where the concerned authorities were interrogating them about the armed attack on Pathankot airbase. A senior official of Pakistan’s elite security agency told this TOI on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly.

However, India was not convinced since a statement issued by the office of Prime Minister of Pakistan which confirmed arrests of members of Jaish did not mention about Azhar and his brother.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Not-aware-of-Masood-Azhars-detention-Pakistan-foreign-office-says/articleshow/50574894.cms?

————

 

Pakistan

 

Pakistan among states that will face turmoil for decades: Obama

ANWAR IQBAL

Jan 14, 2016

WASHINGTON: In his last State of the Union address on Tuesday night, US President Barack Obama urged American lawmakers to authorise the use of military force against Daesh, the Arabic acronym of the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

While underlining the challenges the United States may face in the near future, Mr Obama warned that both Afghanistan and Pakistan were among the countries that would continue to face instability and turmoil for decades.

The IS militants — although concentrated in Iraq and Syria — are also establishing bases in the Pak-Afghan region.

President Obama devoted part of his address to militant groups like IS (also known as ISIS and ISIL) and Al Qaeda, telling lawmakers that they needed to back the administration’s efforts if they wanted to defeat them.

“If this Congress is serious about winning this war, and wants to send a message to our troops and the world, you should finally authorise the use of military force against ISIL. Take a vote,” he said.

Mr Obama also identified a link between militancy and instability and warned that some unstable regions might become safe havens for terrorists.

“Instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world – in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of Central America, Africa and Asia,” he said.

“Some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks; others will fall victim to ethnic conflict, or famine, feeding the next wave of refugees.”

On the state of the union night, the US president addresses a joint session of Congress, explaining his policies for dealing with the domestic and international challenges the United States may face in the new year. But since this was President Obama’s last speech for his final term, he used this occasion to highlight the challenges the US might face in “the next 10 years, and beyond,” as he said.

Mr Obama warned that “America will always act, alone if necessary, to protect our people and our allies; but on issues of global concern, we will mobilise the world to work with us, and make sure other countries pull their own weight”.

The president also used this occasion to warn politicians — such as Republican front-runner Donald Trump — not to use anti-Muslim rhetoric as it hurts efforts to combat militancy.

‘When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalised, or a kid is called names, that doesn’t make us safer,” he said.

Mr Trump has constantly called for banning some mosques, making a separate database for Muslims and carpet-bombing some Muslim countries. Last week his supporters forced a Muslim to leave his rally because she was wearing a sign that identified her as a Muslim.

“That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals,” Mr Obama said. “That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world stage.”

This was the most emotionally charged moment of his speech and earned Mr Obama an enthusiastic applause from the audience. Although in their response to the speech, Republicans rejected Mr Obama’s policy proposals but they too attacked politicians who were using anti-Islam rhetoric for political gains.

The president acknowledged that the Islamic State posed a “direct threat” to the United States, but said the group did not “threaten our national existence” and the danger needed to be kept in perspective.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1232875/pakistan-among-states-that-will-face-turmoil-for-decades-obama

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Suicide Bomber Kills 16 at Quetta Polio Centre

January 14, 2016

QUETTA – A suicide bomber yesterday killed at least 16 people, 13 of them policemen, outside a polio-eradication centre in Quetta.

The bomb blew up a police van that had just arrived at the centre to provide an escort for workers in a drive to immunise children under five.

The attack killed at least 13 policemen, one paramilitary officer and two civilians, officials said, adding 25 people were wounded.

At least three vehicles were also blown up in the explosion, while human remains lay strewn across the area, along with items of clothing, including caps and shoes of policemen.

The law-enforcement agencies and rescue teams rushed to the site and shifted the dead and injured to Civil Hospital.

The condition of eight injured was reported critical by the paramedics at the hospital.

The law enforcers cordoned off the area and launched a search operation.

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, confirming the incident, said the personnel of law-enforcement agencies were among the dead and injured.

He said: “We are living in a conflict zone and hostile agencies are targeting us.

It is a conflict zone and hostile agencies have been carrying out sabotage acts after China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other mega projects were announced in the region.

” Bugti said it was being investigated whether it was a suicide attack or a bomb blast.

Some officials began to gather evidence from the scene while others were collecting body parts.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/14-Jan-2016/bomber-kills-16-at-quetta-polio-centre

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IS claims deadly attack on Pak mission in Jalalabad

January 14, 2016

JALALABAD/Islamabad – Islamic State jihadists Wednesday claimed responsibility for a deadly gun and bomb siege targeting the Pakistani consulate in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad city, in the first attack by the group on the Pakistani government.

Afghan officials said all three attackers and seven security forces were killed in the brazen assault in eastern Nangarhar province, where the group has made alarming inroads in recent months.

The four-hour siege near the consulate comes amid renewed international efforts to revive peace talks with the Taliban, locked in a tussle for supremacy with Islamic State jihadists in Afghanistan.

In an Arabic statement released via Twitter, the IS group said two of its fighters blew themselves up at the scene by detonating explosive belts, while a third managed to escape unharmed.

“The attack lasted almost four hours during which the consulate building was destroyed and tens of its employees were killed together with a number of officers from the apostate Pakistani intelligence services,” the statement said.

The toll appeared to be exaggerated, with Islamabad saying officials at the consulate itself are safe and accounted for.

The brazen assault sent terrified young students in an adjacent school fleeing the area, which is also close to the Indian diplomatic mission.

“This is first attack claimed by IS against the state of Pakistan,” Muhammad Amir Rana, a Pakistani security analyst, told AFP.

“This is a highly symbolic attack as the Pakistani consulate is a high-profile installation in Jalalabad.

There was no immediate comment on the IS group’s claim from Islamabad.

In a statement earlier Wednesday, Pakistan’s foreign office “strongly condemned” the attack on its consulate.

“The government of Afghanistan has been requested to thoroughly investigate this incident and bring the culprits to book,” the Pakistani government said in a statement.

“We have requested that details of the investigation should be shared with us.

Islamabad has officially denied that the Islamic State organisation is operating in Pakistan, but authorities have expressed fears the jihadists could find recruits among the country’s myriad of militant groups.

In May last year, the IS group claimed responsibility for an attack that claimed the lives of at least 43 members of the Ismaili minority in Karachi.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani phoned Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday to assure him of greater security for Islamabad’s diplomats in Afghanistan following the attack, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office in Islamabad.

Afghan President apprised Pakistani PM of the attack on the consulate in Jalalabad and expressed his concern and grief over the incident.

Nawaz Sharif thanked the Afghan President for his concern and also conveyed his condolences on the deaths of Afghan security personnel.

The PM said: “Terrorism is a common enemy of both the countries and we will fight this menace together to eliminate it once for all.

Soon after the attack Foreign Office in Islamabad strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Consulate General of Pakistan in Jalalabad.

“The Government of Afghanistan has been requested to thoroughly investigate this incident and bring the culprits to book.

We have requested that details of the investigation should be shared with us,” Foreign Office spokesman said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/14-Jan-2016/is-claims-deadly-attack-on-pak-mission-in-jalalabad

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India-Pakistan talks put off, Islamabad can’t confirm Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s arrest

Jan 14, 2016

NEW DELHI: Pakistan foreign office on Thursday said that it was not aware about detention of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, the suspected mastermind of the Pathankot attack.

Talking to reporters in Islamabad, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said he is “not aware of such arrests”. He also said that foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan have been postponed for the time being.

“The foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan will not be held tomorrow. Mutual consultations are on about rescheduling the talks,” Khalilullah told reporters.

However, India was not convinced since a statement issued by the office of Prime Minister of Pakistan which confirmed arrests of members of Jaish did not mention about Azhar and his brother.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pakistan-talks-put-off-Islamabad-cant-confirm-Jaish-chief-Masood-Azhars-arrest/articleshow/50574894.cms?

————

 

Pakistan

 

Pakistan among states that will face turmoil for decades: Obama

ANWAR IQBAL

WASHINGTON: In his last State of the Union address on Tuesday night, US President Barack Obama urged American lawmakers to authorise the use of military force against Daesh, the Arabic acronym of the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

While underlining the challenges the United States may face in the near future, Mr Obama warned that both Afghanistan and Pakistan were among the countries that would continue to face instability and turmoil for decades.

The IS militants — although concentrated in Iraq and Syria — are also establishing bases in the Pak-Afghan region.

US lawmakers urged to authorise use of military force against IS

President Obama devoted part of his address to militant groups like IS (also known as ISIS and ISIL) and Al Qaeda, telling lawmakers that they needed to back the administration’s efforts if they wanted to defeat them.

“If this Congress is serious about winning this war, and wants to send a message to our troops and the world, you should finally authorise the use of military force against ISIL. Take a vote,” he said.

Mr Obama also identified a link between militancy and instability and warned that some unstable regions might become safe havens for terrorists.

“Instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world – in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of Central America, Africa and Asia,” he said.

“Some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks; others will fall victim to ethnic conflict, or famine, feeding the next wave of refugees.”

On the state of the union night, the US president addresses a joint session of Congress, explaining his policies for dealing with the domestic and international challenges the United States may face in the new year. But since this was President Obama’s last speech for his final term, he used this occasion to highlight the challenges the US might face in “the next 10 years, and beyond,” as he said.

Mr Obama warned that “America will always act, alone if necessary, to protect our people and our allies; but on issues of global concern, we will mobilise the world to work with us, and make sure other countries pull their own weight”.

The president also used this occasion to warn politicians — such as Republican front-runner Donald Trump — not to use anti-Muslim rhetoric as it hurts efforts to combat militancy.

‘When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalised, or a kid is called names, that doesn’t make us safer,” he said.

Mr Trump has constantly called for banning some mosques, making a separate database for Muslims and carpet-bombing some Muslim countries. Last week his supporters forced a Muslim to leave his rally because she was wearing a sign that identified her as a Muslim.

“That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals,” Mr Obama said. “That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world stage.”

This was the most emotionally charged moment of his speech and earned Mr Obama an enthusiastic applause from the audience. Although in their response to the speech, Republicans rejected Mr Obama’s policy proposals but they too attacked politicians who were using anti-Islam rhetoric for political gains.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1232875/pakistan-among-states-that-will-face-turmoil-for-decades-obama

————

 

Suicide bomber kills at least 15 outside Pakistan polio center

Jan 13, 2016

A suicide bomber killed at least 15 people, most of them police, outside a polio eradication center in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Wednesday, the latest militant attack on the anti-polio campaign in the country.

Two militant groups – the Pakistani Taliban and Jundullah, which has links with the Taliban and has pledged allegiance to Islamic State – separately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bomb blew up a police van that had just arrived at the center to provide an escort for workers in a drive to immunize all children under five years old in the poor southwestern province of Baluchistan.

“It was a suicide blast, we have gathered evidence from the scene,” Ahsan Mehboob, the provincial police chief told Reuters.

“The police team had arrived to escort teams for the polio campaign.”

RELATED COVERAGE

› Pakistani TV station attacked with explosives, one wounded

Ahmed Marwat, who identified himself as a commander and spokesman for Jundullah, said his group was responsible.

“We claim the bomb blast on the polio office. In the coming days, we will make more attacks on polio vaccination offices and polio workers,” he said by telephone.

The Pakistani Taliban also claimed responsibility in a statement released by their spokesman, Mohammad Khorasani.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-blast-idUSKCN0UR0ID20160113

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Isis claims deadly attack on Pakistani consulate in Afghanistan

13 January 2016

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on a Pakistani consulate in eastern Afghanistan that left at least seven members of the Afghan security forces dead.

In a statement translated by the US monitor Site Intelligence, the “Khorasan Province of the Islamic State” said three of its members had attacked the consulate in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan. Afghan officials said seven members of the security forces were killed in the attack.

Attaullah Khyogani, the spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar, said another seven people were injured in the attack, which began when a suicide bomber detonated explosives outside the consulate and ended with a gun battle between Afghan security forces and the militants.

All three attackers were killed, he said. The attack and gun battle lasted for about three and a half hours, he added.

Hazrat Hussein Mashraqiwal, the spokesman for the provincial police chief, said the dead included three police and two intelligence service officers, one each from the army and border police. Three civilians were among the seven people injured, he said.

It was the first insurgent-style attack on a Pakistani diplomatic facility in Afghanistan, an official at the Pakistani embassy said.

Pakistani government property has come under attack in the past during protests by Afghans angry at Islamabad’s perceived support for the Taliban, who have waged war on the Kabul administration for more than 14 years.

The scene of the attack is close to a hospita, schools and the Indian consulate. The schools were evacuated, officials said.

The Pakistani consulate is usually busy during morning rush hour as people queue for visas. The suicide bomber joined the visa queue before blowing himself up, officials said. The embassy official said all consular staff were evacuated.

In Islamabad, the foreign affairs ministry condemned what it called “the terrorist attack” and requested a thorough investigation. One official at the consulate was slightly injured by broken glass, it said in a statement.

Nangarhar is home to a number of insurgent groups and criminal gangs who benefit from the province’s proximity to the Pakistan border. Insurgent attacks are not uncommon in Jalalabad.

Full report at:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/13/suicide-bomber-kills-people-eastern-afghanistan-jalalabad

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LUMS denies arrest of student in connection to Indian airbase attack

IMRAN GABOL

Jan 14, 2016

LAHORE: The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) on Thursday categorically denied reports that a student from the educational institution has been arrested on terrorism charges.

LUMS Dean Yasir Hashmi confirmed that the student has not been arrested and was “present in the university’s library when he was contacted.”

The Director General (DG) Administration Amir Khan also stated that “no arrest was made.”

The statement from LUMS also appeared on the Facebook page of LUMS Students and Alumni Action Committee (LSAAC).

According to the post from LSAAC, the rumors doing the rounds on social media originated from Indian media and a private Pakistani news channel.

“The student in question is a hostelite, currently in LUMS. He is not a graduate nor is his father an army officer as claimed by the news outlests,” said the post from LSAAC.

The post further stated that the student council and the administration of LUMS will fully cooperate with law enforcement agencies if the need arises.

LSAAC referred to the news reports as “irresponsible journalism by news agencies.”

Earlier, Dawn reported that three suspects, including a student of a private university, were picked up by law-enforcement agencies in connection with the recent attack on an airbase in India.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1232917/lums-denies-arrest-of-student-in-connection-to-indian-airbase-attack

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Jaish’s Masood Azhar reportedly taken into custody

ASIF CHAUDHRY

Jan 14, 2016

LAHORE: The investigation into the Jan 2 airbase attack in India apparently entered a critical phase on Wednesday amid reports of the arrest of Maulana Masood Azhar of the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

New Delhi had named Maulana Azhar as the mastermind of the Pathankot airbase attack.

Police and security agencies refused to confirm the arrests. Officials in Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Rahimyar Khan and Multan, where these arrests were initially believed to have taken place, were totally unaware of any such development in their areas.

Bahawalpur DPO Sarfaraz Ahmad Falki expressed ignorance about house arrest of Maulana Azhar or any other arrests in his district.

“It’s a federal matter and the federal government may have taken him into custody,” said the spokesperson for the Punjab police, Nabila Ghazanfar.

Some reports suggested that Masood Azhar’s brother Rauf and his brother-in-law had also been taken into “protective custody”. Over a dozen other Jaish activists have been arrested.

India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is understood to have provided “credible leads” to his Pakistani counterpart, Nasser Khan Janjua.

Maulana Azhar’s detention was made on the information provided by India linking him to the Pathankot airbase attack.

The attack took place a week after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a stopover in Lahore to wish Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and attend his granddaughter’s wedding at Jati Umra.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1232884/jaishs-masood-azhar-reportedly-taken-into-custody

————

 

Ghani assures Sharif of enhanced security for Pakistani diplomats

Jan 14, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday to condemn the attack on the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad. He assured Mr Sharif that security for Pakistani diplomats posted in Afghanistan would be enhanced.

“Afghan president made a telephone call to the prime minister and apprised him regarding the attack on Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad,” Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Explore: Pakistani consulate attacked in Jalalabad

The attack incidentally happened on the day army’s Director General Operations Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza was visiting Kabul for a meeting with his Afghan counterpart on “bilateral cooperation, including border coordination, and modalities for proposed meetings of corps commanders and sector commanders”.

During the conversation, Prime Minister Sharif expressed grief over the death of Afghan security personnel in the attack.

Seven security personnel were killed in the attack claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1232891/ghani-assures-sharif-of-enhanced-security-for-pakistani-diplomats

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Jamaat-e-Islami Condemns Police Brutality against Peaceful Citizens

January 11, 2016

KARACHI: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Engr. Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman has strictly condemned the rising police brutality against peaceful citizens and demanded of the authorities to bring the culprits to full justice.

Strictly criticizing the incidents of police torture on peaceful citizens at PIDC roundabout and Artillery Ground police station, he said that violation of laws by law enforcers is quite unacceptable.

He was of the view that ruthless behaviour of police personnel would draw extreme reaction for individuals.

He raised the question that how can one expect citizens to abide by the law, when personnel of law enforcement agencies themselves are violating the laws.

Engr. Naeem expressed grave concern over the violent behaviour of police personnel and said that violating rules by police personnel have become a routine in the city. He further said that it was a matter of shame and regret for the entire police department that the officials who are paid by the taxes of masses are involve in torturing civilians.

He further said that unfortunately no serious efforts have been made so far to correct the police behaviour. He said that the police force is seemed only to provide protocol to influential figures and politicians.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/karachi/11-Jan-2016/ji-condemns-police-brutality-against-peaceful-citizens

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Instability in Pak-Afghan region to continue: Obama

January 14, 2016

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama has said both Al-Qaida and ISIS pose a direct threat to the US, observing that “instability will continue for decades” in many parts of the world including Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Obama Tuesday night delivered not-so-veiled jabs at Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump who have called for keeping Muslims from entering the country, as he defended his legacy while striking an optimistic tone for the future in his last State of the Union address to Congress.

Dealing with foreign policy issues, Obama said “instability will continue for decades” in many parts of the world, including Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks; others will fall victim to ethnic conflict, or famine, feeding the next wave of refugees,” he said in an hour-long address.

“The world will look to us to help solve these problems, and our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians,” he said in a rebuke to Senator Ted Cruz, another Republican presidential candidate, who advocated such a course to destroy the Islamic State.

“That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world stage.

Obama defended his approach toward the Islamic State, describing the extremist group as a threat to the United States, but not an existential one as suggested by some Republicans.

“We don’t need to build them up to show that we’re serious, nor do we need to push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that IS is representative of one of the world’s largest religions,” Obama stated.

Obama also said that the United States should use its standing in the world to solve global problems at a time of rising tensions in places like the Middle East, Ukraine, China and North Korea.

Denouncing anti-Muslim rhetoric, the president said the US needs “to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion,” not as “a matter of political correctness,” but to maintain the country’s values.

A number of representatives of Muslim communities were present in the jam-packed hall.

“It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong,” he said.

“The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.

“When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalised, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer.

That’s not telling it like it is,” he added.

“It’s just wrong.

It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.

It makes it harder to achieve our goals.

And it betrays who we are as a country.

Trump called last month for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” based on concerns about terrorism.

Many Republicans criticised him over the remark, but also joined him in saying refugees from Syria and Iraq should be blocked from the US because they could be terrorists – a sentiment Obama also rejected at the time.

Even South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, in her Republican response to the State of the Union, seized on the opportunity to take a shot at Trump.

She urged Americans to reject the “angriest voices” on immigration.

“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the silent call of the angriest voices,” Ms Haley, an American of Indian origin.

“We must resist that temptation.

No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.

In his speech, Obama quoted Pope Francis, who addressed Congress last year and said, “To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.

” The president also rejected the idea that immigrants should be blamed for economic ills, another argument common among many Republicans.

“Immigrants aren’t the reason wages haven’t gone up enough; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns,” Obama said.

He came back to the message later, and asked Americans to unite rather than scapegoating others.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/14-Jan-2016/instability-in-pak-afghan-region-to-continue-obama

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Geelani opposes provincial status for GB

January 14, 2016

Srinagar – Veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani yesterday opposed Pakistan’s moves to merge Gilgit-Baltistan with the country, saying it has no constitutional or moral “justification” to do so and that any such step will be “betrayal” with Kashmiris.

“There are no constitutional as well as moral justification in making any decision over any part of this territory without the consent of its people and it is also clear violation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir,” the Kashmiri leader said in a statement in Srinagar.

“No such action will be acceptable to the Kashmiri people.

It will be a betrayal with them,” Geelani said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/14-Jan-2016/geelani-opposes-provincial-status-for-gb

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Mideast

 

Five killed, 39 wounded in car bomb attack on police HQ in Turkey

Jan 14 2016

Five people have been killed and 39 others sustained injuries after a car bomb targeted police headquarters in south-eastern Turkey.

Reports suggest that the Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) was detonated at the entrance of the multi-storey police building.

The blast was so powerful that also damaged nearby residential buildings besides almost completely destroying the police HQ.

The provincial governor’s office while confirming the explosion held the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) responsible for it.

Information released by the governor’s office states that Kurdish militants launched a car bomb attack on a police complex in the province of Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey overnight, killing five people and wounding 39.

Full report at:

Five killed, 39 wounded in car bomb attack on police HQ in Turkey

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Iran Frees Captured US Marines

Jan 13, 2016

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps issued a statement on Wednesday saying that “it has released the US marines and their vessels in international waters” after its investigations showed that they had gone astray during their voyage in the Persian Gulf.

In its statement, the IRGC pointed out that its investigations show that the US combat vessels’ illegal entry into the Iranian waters was not the result of a purposeful act.

“Following technical and operational investigations and in interaction with relevant political and national security bodies of the country and after it became clear that the US combat vessels’ illegal entry into the Islamic Republic of Iran’s waters was the result of an unintentional action and a mistake and after they extended an apology, the decision was made to release them,” the statement said.

“The Americans have undertaken not to repeat such mistakes,” it added, and continued, “The captured marines were released in international waters under the supervision of the IRGC Navy moments ago.”

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps seized two US Navy boats on Tuesday and detained them on Iran’s Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. Nine men and one woman trespassed Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf when they were captured by the IRGC Navy. Each of the two US Navy boats that were 3 nautical miles deep into the Iranian waters when they were captured by the IRGC Navy’s second naval zone were equipped with three 50mm caliber machine guns and other light and semi-heavy weapons.

IRGC officials said the coordinates recorded on the GPS devices taken from the 10 US marines confirmed their trespassing as well.

Following the capture, two US and French aircraft carriers as well as their accompanying fleets and military choppers started maneuvering near Iranian waters.

The IRGC statement blamed the US flotilla for its “excited and unprofessional moves”, but said the IRGC navy could handle the situation and restored calm to the region through powerful and wise moves.

Senior US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, were in contact with their Iranian counterparts on the fate of the marines since Tuesday, and according to Iranian officials, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had told Kerry that the US should extend a formal apology first.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941023000875

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Seven suspects detained over Istanbul attack

14 January 2016

Turkey has arrested a total of seven suspects over a suicide bombing blamed on the Islamic State (IS) group that killed 10 German tourists in Istanbul, the Turkish interior minister said Thursday.

“Our operations are continuing. The number of those detained so far has risen to seven,” Efkan Ala told Turkish ambassadors gathered in Ankara.

Ala said the figure included five previously announced arrests: four who were detained Wednesday in relation to the attack and one who was detained on Tuesday evening.

He did not give any details about the two new detentions.

A 28-year-old Syrian member of ISIS blew himself up Tuesday in Sultanahmet Square, home to Turkey’s most visited historic sites, including the Ottoman-era Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, a former Byzantine church that was turned into a mosque before later becoming a museum.

Turkey has kept an open border to refugees from Syria’s civil war and is now home to more than 2.2 million, the world’s largest refugee population. But its border has also been used by foreign fighters seeking to join ISIS or return from its ranks to commit atrocities abroad.

“This individual was not somebody under surveillance. He entered Turkey normally, as a refugee, as someone looking for shelter,” Davutoglu told a news conference, adding he had been identified from fragments of his skull, face and nails.

“After the attack his connections were unveiled. Among these links, apart from Daesh, we have the suspicion that there could be certain powers using Daesh,” he said, using an Arabic name for ISIS.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/14/Istanbul-bomber-registered-as-refugee-before-attack.html

————

 

U.S. special forces ‘now in place’ in Iraq

14 January 2016

A new U.S. force of special operations troops has arrived in Iraq and is preparing to work with Iraqi forces to go after ISIS targets, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Carter disclosed the deployment in a broad speech to U.S. soldiers that sought to underscore American efforts to accelerate the campaign against ISIS, both in Iraq and Syria.

“The specialized expeditionary targeting force I announced in December is now in place and is preparing to work with the Iraqis to begin going after ISIL’s fighters and commanders,” Carter said at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

While the force was expected to number only about 200, its deployment marks the latest expansion of U.S. military pressure on ISIS. It also exposes American forces to greater risk, something President Barack Obama has done only sparingly.

The force is separate from another deployment last year of up to 50 U.S. special operations troops in Syria to coordinate on the ground with U.S.-backed rebels fighting in a civil war raging since 2011.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/13/Special-U-S-targeting-force-now-in-place-in-Iraq.html

————

 

World powers to push for lifting sieges in Syria

14 January 2016

World powers will push for “immediate action” to deliver aid to besieged areas in Syria ahead of peace talks later this month, the U.N. envoy said Wednesday.

U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura announced the new diplomatic effort in a statement following talks in Geneva with ambassadors from the Security Council’s permanent members: Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S.

During the meeting, the envoy emphasized “the crucial importance for the people of Syria to see sustained and unimpeded access to a number of besieged areas in the lead-up to the talks” on January 25 in Geneva.

“P5 officials undertook to press for immediate action in support of this effort in the coming few days,” he said.

After months of negotiations, the U.N. and its relief partners were able on Monday to deliver for the first time in months food, blankets and medical aid to three besieged towns including Madaya, which is blockaded by government forces.

The medical charity MSF has said that 28 people have died of starvation in Madaya since December 1 and U.N. relief officials described seeing emaciated children and severely malnourished residents when they arrived in the town.

The U.N. envoy did not specifically state that lifting the sieges was a pre-condition to the peace talks, but he made clear that allowing more aid to the towns was an important step to prepare for the peace negotiations.

The U.N. says it is struggling to deliver aid to about 4.5 million Syrians who live in hard-to-reach areas, including nearly 400,000 people in 15 besieged areas.

The U.N. Security Council has adopted resolutions demanding an end to the sieges, but these have been largely ignored.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/14/World-powers-to-push-for-lifting-sieges-in-Syria.html

————

 

Kerry to meet Saudi FM in London amid Iran tensions

14 January 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet his Saudi counterpart Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair in London on Thursday amid concerns over the dramatic breakdown in relations between his country and Iran.

On the eve of the trip, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said “they’ll discuss a range of issues, bilateral and global issues, including obviously Iran and the ongoing crisis in Syria.”

Washington and Riyadh have been close allies for decades but in recent months there has been mounting discord over the U.S. diplomatic outreach to Iran, which Saudi Arabia sees as a dangerous enemy.

Kerry now spends more time on the phone with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif than he does with al-Jubair, most recently on Wednesday when he called Tehran five times to secure the release of captured U.S. sailors.

The State Department, nevertheless, insists that it retains close ties with Saudi Arabia and remains critical of what it calls Iran’s destabilizing role in the region, illegal ballistic missile program and sponsorship of extremist groups.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/14/Kerry-to-meet-Saudi-FM-in-London-amid-Iran-tensions.html

————

 

New aid planned for besieged Syria towns: U.N.

13 January 2016

Aid groups hope to deliver more food and medicine on Thursday to three besieged Syrian towns, including Madaya, where residents have reportedly starved to death, a U.N. official said.

Linda Tom, a spokeswoman with the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), confirmed new aid deliveries were planned for Madaya, where more than two dozen people are thought to have died from lack of food, and two other towns.

“We are planning operations to Madaya, Fuaa and Kafraya on Thursday, which will be followed by a third delivery in the following days,” she said on Wednesday.

She added that assistance for a fourth town, Zabadani, was being planned for a later date.

Badly needed supplies entered the three towns on Monday.

It was the first aid to reach inhabitants for four months, and came after international concern about the situation in Madaya.

The town, along with neighboring Zabadani in Damascus province, are under government siege, and Madaya residents have also reportedly died after stepping on landmines or being shot by snipers while trying to leave in search of food.

Government-held Fuaa and Kafraya in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province are under rebel siege, and are reportedly suffering shortages of food and medicine, though the regime has been able to airdrop some supplies to the towns.

On Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said a child had died in Fuaa because of lack of medical treatment.

Tom said Thursday’s planned convoy would take in “food, health supplies and non-food items including items for winter like blankets to complement the initial delivery of humanitarian aid.”

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/13/New-aid-planned-for-besieged-Syria-towns-U-N-.html

————

 

Africa

 

Sudan follows Saudi, expels Iranian ambassador

14 January 2016

Sudan has decided to expel Iran’s ambassador from Khartoum after Saudi Arabia and Bahrain severed ties with the Islamic republic, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

Sudan also denounced Iran’s interference in the region.

On late Sunday, Saudi Arabia announced that it would ties with Iran after two of its diplomatic posts were attacked in the capital Tehran and the northeaster city of Mashhad.

Before Saudi Arabia and Bahrain cut ties, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab League on Sunday expressed support for Riyadh’s ongoing fight against “terrorism.”

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2016/01/04/Sudan-decides-to-expel-Iranian-ambassador.html

————

 

North America

 

Obama slams anti-Muslim rhetoric

13 January 2016

Americans should reject “politics that target people because of race or religion”, President Barack Obama said in his final State of the Union address late Tuesday.

A significant section of the president’s hour-long speech was reserved for criticism of rhetoric that betrayed American values — widely interpreted as an attack on Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, although Obama did not mention the real estate billionaire by name.

“As frustration grows, there will be voices urging us to fall back into tribes, to scapegoat fellow citizens who don’t look like us, or pray like us, or vote like we do, or share the same background,” Obama said.

“We can’t afford to go down that path. It won’t deliver the economy we want, or the security we want, but most of all it contradicts everything that makes us the envy of the world.”

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/168363/obama-slams-anti-muslim-rhetoric

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Key findings on Muslim population in US

11 January 2016

World Bulletin / News Desk

The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the ISIL and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries.

Pew Research Center has conducted a study to answer some of key questions about Muslims and Islam in the United States.

How many Muslims are there in the U.S.?

According to Pew Research Center’s best estimate, Muslims make up just less than 1% of the U.S. adult population. The 2014 Religious Landscape Study found that 0.9% of U.S. adults identify as Muslims. A 2011 survey of Muslim Americans estimated that there were 1.8 million Muslim adults (and 2.75 million Muslims of all ages) in the country. That survey also found that a majority of U.S. Muslims (63%) are immigrants.

Pew Research Center’s demographic projections estimate that Muslims will make up 2.1% of the U.S. population by the year 2050, surpassing people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion as the second-largest faith group in the country (not including people who say they have no religion).

A recent report estimated that the Muslim share of immigrants granted permanent residency status (green cards) increased from about 5% in 1992 to roughly 10% in 2012, representing about 100,000 immigrants in that year.

What do American Muslims believe?

Pew Research Center’s 2011 survey of Muslim Americans found that roughly half of U.S. Muslims (48%) say their own religious leaders have not done enough to speak out against Islamic extremists.

Living in a religiously pluralistic society, Muslim Americans are more likely than Muslims in many other nations to have many non-Muslim friends. Only about half (48%) of U.S. Muslims say all or most of their close friends are also Muslims, compared with a global median of 95% in the 39 countries we surveyed.

Roughly seven-in-ten U.S. Muslims (69%) say religion is very important in their lives. Virtually all (96%) say they believe in God, nearly two-thirds (65%) report praying at least daily and nearly half (47%) say they attend religious services at least weekly. By all of these traditional measures, Muslims in the U.S. are roughly as religious as U.S. Christians, although they are less religious than Muslims in many other nations.

When it comes to political and social views, Muslims are far more likely to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (70%) than the Republican Party (11%) and to say they prefer a bigger government providing more services (68%) over a smaller government providing fewer services (21%). As of 2011, U.S. Muslims were somewhat split between those who said homosexuality should be accepted by society (39%) and those who said it should be discouraged (45%), although the group had grown considerably more accepting of homosexuality since a similar survey was conducted in 2007.

How do Americans perceive Muslims?

A Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2014 asked Americans to rate members of eight religious groups on a “feeling thermometer” from 0 to 100, where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating. Overall, Americans rated Muslims rather coolly – an average of 40, which was comparable to the average rating they gave atheists (41). Americans view the six other religious groups mentioned in the survey more warmly.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/168297/23144-us-bombs-hit-muslim-countries-in-2015

————

 

Obama tells anxious US to embrace change

13 January 2016

President Barack Obama told Americans nervous about terror and a changing economy that they should not fear the future, in a farewell State of the Union address Tuesday that drew sharp contrast with Republicans.

In a primetime address that bubbled with 2016 election politics, Obama assailed Republicans for talking up the threat posed by the ISIL group and talking down the American economy.

A self-assured and optimistic Obama cast himself as the foil of foes who warn the country is going in the wrong direction because of his seven years in office.

Hailing an epoch of “extraordinary change” laden with risk and opportunity, Obama called for a new “moonshot” to cure cancer, a shift away from dirty energy to power the world’s biggest economy and for a thaw in the last remnants of the Cold War by ending the embargo on Cuba.

Obama insisted “America has been through big changes before,” as he took thinly veiled shots at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and other leading Republican presidential candidates.

“Each time, there have been those who told us to fear the future, who claimed we could slam the brakes on change, promising to restore past glory if we just got some group or idea that was threatening America under control. And each time, we overcame those fears.”

With less than three weeks until the Iowa caucuses — the first votes cast in the process to replace him — Obama berated Republican economic rhetoric, saying “anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”

But some of his toughest words were for Republican statements over the rise of the ISIL group.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/168347/23144-us-bombs-hit-muslim-countries-in-2015

————

 

Europe

 

France bans 3 groups following Paris attacks

13 January 2016

France has banned three Islamic associations which ran a mosque in the Paris area that was shut down following November’s extremist attacks on the capital, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Wednesday.

“There is no place in the French Republic for groups which incite, and which call for terrorism or call for hate,” Cazeneuve said.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/168364/france-bans-3-groups-following-paris-attacks

————

 

China says it wants deeper defence, anti-terror ties with Arab world

14 January 2016

BEIJING: China wants to develop deeper defence and anti-terrorism ties with the Arab world, including joint exercises, intelligence sharing and training, the government said in a policy document released by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

While relying on the region for oil supplies, China has tended to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

But China has been trying to get more diplomatically involved, especially in Syria, recently hosting both its foreign minister and opposition officials.

China also has its own worries about radicalisation of the Muslim Uighur people who live in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, which has been beset by violence in recent years, blamed by Beijing on Islamist militants.

In the lengthy document, released without prior warning, the foreign ministry called for more high-level military visits, technical cooperation on weaponry and joint exercises.

While China has sold weapons to Arab states, its ties with the region’s militaries have traditionally been much more low-key than the United States, Britain or France.

“Continue to support military and defence construction with Arab countries, maintain regional peace,” the ministry said.

In December, China passed a counter-terrorism law which allows its military to venture overseas on counter-terrorism operations, though experts have said China faces big practical and diplomatic problems if it ever wants to do this.

China says some Uighurs have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight with militant groups there.

In November, militant Islamic State group (IS) said it had killed a Chinese citizen it had taken hostage in the Middle East.

“China is willing to deepen anti-terrorism exchanges and cooperation with Arab countries, set up a security cooperation mechanism effective over a long period, increase policy dialogue and intelligence exchanges, have technical exchanges and personnel training,” the ministry said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1232751/china-says-it-wants-deeper-defence-anti-terror-ties-with-arab-world

————

 

Swedish minister ‘not welcome in Israel’ after comments

14 January 2016

JERUSALEM: Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom will not be welcome in Israel following her call for investigations into the killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces and other critical comments, a top Israeli official said on Wednesday.

Israel’s fiery deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, harshly criticised Wallstrom, calling her comments “a mix of blindness and political stupidity”.

“Israel has decided to close its doors to official Swedish visits,” she said in comments broadcast on Israeli public radio.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1232750/swedish-minister-not-welcome-in-israel-after-comments

————

 

Obama discusses Syria, Ukraine with Russia’s Putin

14 January 2016

United States President Barack Obama, in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, emphasized the need to work toward a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine and address the conflict in Syria, the White House said.

Obama told Putin that a key next step in resolving the Ukrainian crisis was for all sides to agree on the modalities of local elections in the Donbas region of Ukraine, the White House said in a statement.

The two leaders also “noted the necessity of taking steps to foster productive discussions between representatives of the Syrian opposition and regime under United Nations auspices, principally by reducing violence and addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of the Syrian people,” the statement said.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/01/14/Obama-discusses-Syria-Ukraine-with-Russia-s-Putin.html

————

 

Bulgaria eyes new gas project after South Stream failure

13 January 2016

Bulgaria’s premier outlined Wednesday plans for a proposed new project to bring gas from Russia and elsewhere to Europe, while bypassing Ukraine, following the failure of the South Stream project.

“South Stream is history. What is on the agenda now is the gas distribution centre ‘Balkan’,” Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told parliament in Sofia.

The multi-billion-dollar South Stream pipeline project had aimed to deliver 63 billion cubic metre (bcm) of Russian gas annually to Europe under the Black Sea and through the Balkans.

But in December 2014, under pressure from Brussels which said it broke competition rules because the project would only transport Russian state giant Gazprom’s gas, Russia scrapped the plans.

It turned instead to another project through Turkey called TurkStream, but this too was shelved after the downing of a Russian warplane on the Turkish-Syrian border in December.

Borisov said that Russia might agree to build at least the undersea part of South Stream with two pipes with an annual capacity of 10 bcm each, which would then be channeled to Europe through a new pipeline.

According to initial plans, apart from Russian gas, the “Balkan” hub will also receive Azerbaijani gas from the under-construction Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) — thus avoiding EU objections.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/168374/london-to-significantly-increase-firearms-officers

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London to significantly increase firearms officers

14 January 2016

The number of armed police officers on the streets of London will be increased by a third to counter a potential terrorist attack.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the head of the Metropolitan Police Service, said the move was decided in a review following last November’s attacks in Paris.

“My firearms officers are our heroes – we expect them to run towards a terrorist attack and take action to confront and stop that threat,” he said in an announcement on Thursday morning.

“In the days following Paris I asked my firearms team to increase the number of armed response vehicles available on our streets, which we did. Now I have decided that we take the steps to increase these numbers on a permanent basis.

“To do so, [we] will now start putting plans in place to raise the number of armed officers that we have by 600. This increase will more than double the number of armed response vehicles on our streets and grow a highly trained specialist part of our capability.

“This is because we know that the threat we currently face is likely to be a spontaneous attack that requires a fast response to deal with it.”

London’s Metropolitan Police already has 2,000 officers who have received firearms training. Hogan-Howe said that even with the new recruits, 92% of his officers would continue to operate unarmed.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/168391/london-to-significantly-increase-firearms-officers

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/al-qaida-chief-called-for-islamic-caliphate-in-east-asia-prior-to-indonesia-attacks/d/105993

 

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