To Silence Propaganda, Iraq Seeks To Take Islamic State Offline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: An unloaded Twitter website is seen on a phone without an internet connection, in front of a displayed ISIS flag in this photo illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, February 3, 2016. Reuters/Dado Ruvic

 

To Silence Propaganda, Iraq Seeks To Take Islamic State Offline

How Osama Bin Laden Got Idea for 9/11 Terror Attacks

Bin Laden’s Backers Want to Destroy Islamic State in Afghanistan

A ‘Hindu Who Practises Islam’ Held in Goa for ‘Terror Links’

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Arab World

To Silence Propaganda, Iraq Seeks To Take Islamic State Offline

The Leader of Islamic State in Yemen Has Been Killed In a Drone Strike along with 12 Islamist Militants

Hezbollah Fighters Kill Over 50 Terrorists North of Syria

Drone Strike Kills 6 Al-Qaida Suspects in Yemen: Security

Egypt Court Overturns Death Penalty for 149 Muslim Brotherhood Members

Rebels shelling destroys museum in Yemen

Syrian Army Breaks Several-Year-Long Siege of Nubl and Al-Zahra Towns

Russian military adviser killed in suspected ISIS shelling in Syria

Syrian Army Wins Back Strategic Road in Northern Aleppo

Khorasan Terrorist Group Re-emerges in Syria

Militants Admit Large Casualties in Aleppo Clashes with Syrian Army

Syria: ISIL Executes over 40 of Own Militants on Charges of Fleeing From Battlefields

ISIL Pulls Forces Back from More Lands near Aleppo North of Syria

Another Senior Nusra Front Commander Killed in Aleppo

Saudi Forces Sustain Heavy Losses in Yemeni Army’s Ambush Attacks in Sana’a

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North America

How Osama Bin Laden Got Idea for 9/11 Terror Attacks

American Wisconsin Company Fires Seven Muslim Workers in Prayer Break Dispute

Anti-Muslim Bias Hurts US, Must Be Tackled ‘Head On’: Obama

New U.S. intelligence estimate sees 20-25K Islamic State fighters

US, France accuse Assad of scuppering Syria peace talks

Sending troops to Iraq, Syria will be terrible mistake: Hillary Clinton

Wisconsin company fires seven Muslim workers in prayer break dispute

Islamic State’s Chief Bomb-Maker Delivers Chilling Message from Jail: ‘We Want to Go to America’

‘You created ISIS!’ Press conference scandal mars Kerry’s visit to Italy

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South Asia

Bin Laden’s Backers Want to Destroy Islamic State in Afghanistan

Nearly 5,000 Militants Concentrated Along Tajik-Afghan Border: Report

25 Taliban Militants Give Up Fighting In Badakhshan Province

CEO Abdullah invites Indian businessmen for investment in Afghanistan

President Ghani to give more authority to mayors on trial-basis

Two bomb blasts leave 3 wounded in Nangarhar, Khost

President Ghani in Kandahar assessing security, development

Germany warns Afghanistan over flow of refugees

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India

A ‘Hindu Who Practises Islam’ Held In Goa for ‘Terror Links’

Hafiz Saeed Warns Of More Pathankot-Style Attacks on India

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Africa

A Divided Libya Struggles against Islamic State Attacks

Fear grows as Islamic State spreads: Terror network digs in deep in Afghanistan, Libya

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Pakistan

Pakistan Fourth Most Dangerous Country in the World for Journalists: Report

Pakistan Military Offers Help for Indian Soldiers Buried Under Siachen Avalanche

Afghan spy chief arrives today Pakistan on trust mending mission

Concern over delay in disbursement of US Coalition Support Fund

A thriving meth addiction ruins lives and minds in KP

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Mideast

Turkish PM Says 70,000 Refugees Heading To Turkey Due To Increased Bombing in Aleppo

Turkey to Send Envoy Back To Vatican after Armenia ‘Genocide’ Row

Senior Fath Al-Halab Commander Flees to Turkey

Erdoğan says Syria talks pointless while Russian attacks continue

Turkish parties hold first meeting to draft new constitution

EU approves Turkey migration fund as Italy drops objections

Curfew removed in half of Sur as two more soldiers fall

Turkey rejects Russian request for routine observation flight

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Europe

No Confusion in War against Terrorism, Says British Diplomat

Most Germans Say Refugee Crisis ‘Uncontrolled’ By Merkel Govt – Poll

Muslim meat shop sprayed with bullets in France

European banks hesitate on Iran, wary of US fines

Britain pledges $1.74bn in aid for Syria and neighbours

Islamic State propaganda video features Karl Stefanovic

Miliband: ‘Implosion’ In Muslim World Fuelling Refugee Crisis

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/to-silence-propaganda,-iraq-seeks-to-take-islamic-state-offline/d/106230

 

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To Silence Propaganda, Iraq Seeks To Take Islamic State Offline

February 04, 2016

Iraq is trying to persuade satellite firms to halt Internet services in areas under Islamic State’s rule, seeking to deal a major blow to the group’s potent propaganda machine which relies heavily on social media to inspire its followers to wage jihad.

Social media apps like Twitter and Telegram are scrambling to limit Islamic State’s cyber-activities. So far that has proven to be a cat-and-mouse-game, with the group re-emerging through other accounts with videos showing beheadings and extolling the virtues of living in a caliphate.

For Iraq then, the key is to stop the militant group from accessing the web at all – a feat, which if achieved, could sever a significant part of a propaganda campaign that has inspired deadly attacks in the West.

Mobile networks are largely inoperable in the Islamic State-held swathes of Iraq, areas which also have little fixed-line broadband infrastructure. Militants instead use satellite dishes to connect to the web, or illicit microwave dishes that hook them into broadband networks in government-held areas, three telecoms industry sources told Reuters.

There are many challenges for the Iraqi authorities: within the satellite Internet industry, no one assumes responsibility for identifying and vetting end users, the territory under Islamic State’s often shifts, and a complex web of middlemen makes it tough to pinpoint who is selling militants Internet capacity.

The group has control over or operates in parts of western Iraq and northern and central Syria which have a population of up to 5 million people, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, most of them in Iraq.

To connect to the web via a satellite, all that is required is a V-sat terminal – a small dish receiver and a modem – and an Internet subscription.

Islamic State uses “the V-sat system to access the Internet in areas it controls,” an Iraqi communications ministry official told Reuters. “What’s still difficult for us is controlling V-sat receivers which connect directly to satellites providing Internet services that cover Iraq.”

In the IS-held northern city of Mosul, V-sat units can be bought for about $2,000-$3,000 at a sprawling electronics market near the university.

The official said Iraq was in talks with satellite companies covering Iraq to halt Internet services to IS-controlled areas, adding that he had received “positive signals” from them, but “the process is complicated and needs more time and procedures.”

Abu Dhabi state-owned Yahsat, both a satellite owner and provider of end-user connectivity through its consumer broadband brand YahClick, is the only company so far to cooperate with the ministry’s request, the official said.

Highlighting the complicated task, Reuters traced an IP address of an Islamic State fighter in Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital in Syria, which showed he was accessing the Internet using YahClick.

Yahsat would not directly comment on whether Islamic State had used its services, but said it complied with all laws and regulations. It has no official presence in Syria.

The company, among the biggest providers of satellite Internet in Iraq, relies on local agents to sell YahClick; three are listed on its website for Iraq, but other companies also sell the brand there.

“Anybody can become a reseller. It’s very informal and wholesalers probably want to keep it that way,” said the second industry source, who like the others declined to be named because they are not authorised to speak publicly.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

Satellites owners such as Britain’s Avanti, France’s Eutelsat and Yahsat cover most of the Middle East.

These sell capacity to other companies, such as Abu Dhabi’s Wafa Technical Systems and Britain’s Bentley Walker, which then use this capacity to sell services and equipment to businesses and consumers. Like Yahsat, these firms rely on in-country partners to distribute and sell their products.

“In common with all satellite operators, Avanti does not maintain identity or accurate location detail on end user customers,” a company spokesman said, adding the firm complied with all laws and regulations where it operates.

V-sat units, which are potentially portable, transmit their location and so should be traceable. But no one in the industry seems willing to take on the responsibility to vet users.

Wafa and rival Bentley Walker, who buy satellite capacity and sell V-sat units, say they are unaware of who is ultimately using their services.

Wafa, which has about 2,500 V-sat units in Iraq, said in online adverts it could deliver to any Iraqi city including Mosul. “The re-sellers are the people who know the clients and where the end users are located,” said Kamal Arjundas, assistant director at the company.

Customers of Bentley Walker can still use its services even if the V-sat unit is in an area beyond state control, said sales manager Neil Denyer. As of July last year, the firm said its service covered over 1,500 sites in northern Iraq.

The company says it is Europe’s largest re-seller of satellite Internet equipment. It sells its own FreedomSat brand and those of other companies such as YahClick.

Denyer declined to identify the company’s Iraqi partners, citing political and commercial concerns, and later did not respond when asked whether Islamic State could be using his company’s products and services.

Wafa’s Arjundas also declined to identify its Iraqi partners and did not respond when asked about the militant group.

‘TWO HOPS TO MOSUL’

Even if Iraq cuts off Islamic State from satellite Internet, the group can remain online through illegal networks set up by businessmen in towns such as Kirkuk, Arbil and Duhok.

These entrepreneurs buy data capacity from fixed broadband providers, passing through many middlemen first. They connect this to microwave dishes, which have a range of about 40 kilometres to eventually reach end users in IS-controlled areas, said the three industry sources.

“It’s two hops via microwave dishes to Mosul,” said the third industry source.

“Their activities have very little chance of being detected. If you can buy a certain amount of capacity for $100 in Arbil and sell it on for $500, it’s good business.”

Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that rules over an autonomous area of northern Iraq have banned the sale of Internet capacity that could end up in Islamic State hands, but it is hard to enforce.

There are many microwave dishes pointing in all directions in Iraq. The vast networks that mostly provide Internet connectivity to civilian homes and businesses make it difficult to establish who is using them.

“If you close one (of the businesses) down, they reappear under another disguise in a matter of days. They’re very difficult to identify,” said the first industry source.

“It would take enormous resources, knowledge and competency which Baghdad or the KRG don’t have,” said the third source.

A moral quandary is whether IS-held areas should be denied Internet access thereby cutting off civilians living there, said Rafaello Pantucci, of Britain’s Royal United Services Institute think-tank. Some have used the Internet to relate the abuses they have suffered.

“Would cutting off such communications have a major impact in disrupting and degrading Islamic State’s operations, or would it mostly just make the lives of people living under Islamic State even more difficult?”

(Additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed and Stephen Kalin in Baghdad and Eric Auchard; Editing by William Maclean, Yara Bayoumy and Pravin Char)

in.reuters.com/article/mideast-crisis-iraq-internet-idINKCN0VD0JQ

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How Osama Bin Laden Got Idea for 9/11 Terror Attacks

PTI | Feb 4, 2016

JERUSALEM: Osama bin Laden got inspiration for the deadly 9/11 terror attacks from a 1999 plane crash in which an Egyptian airline pilot deliberately downed his plane in the Atlantic Ocean, the al-Qaida has claimed.

In an article titled ‘September 11 attacks — the story untold’ published in its weekly magazine al-Masrah, the al-Qaida said the inspiration for the September 11 attacks was the story of Gamil al-Batouti, the Egyptian co-pilot, who deliberately crashed EgyptAir flight from Los Angeles to Cairo, killing 217 people, including 100 Americans.

According to al-Masrah, when the then al-Qaida chief Osama heard about the Egyptian plane crash, he asked, “Why didn’t he crash it into a nearby building?”, pronouncing the idea of targeting buildings, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Al-Batouti had deliberately downed the plane. Despite speculation over terrorism, his family and friends said he had no strong beliefs and reports stated that it may have been suicide or revenge against EgyptAir following disciplinary action.

Osama was apparently less interested in the motive than in how the disaster could be developed into a deadly new strategy.

When Osama met with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was identified as “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks” by the 9/11 Commission Report, the latter presented him with an additional idea — crashing American airplanes, the report said.

Before presenting his idea to Osama, Sheikh Mohammed started working on a plan to crash 12 American airplanes at once. And so, the final plan implemented by al-Qaida was a combination of Sheikh Mohammed’s and Osama’s ideas — crashing American airplanes into the buildings of the World Trade Center, it said.

Al-Masra is released by Ansar al-Sharia, which is an alias for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/How-Osama-bin-Laden-got-idea-for-9/11-terror-attacks/articleshow/50838396.cms

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Bin Laden’s Backers Want to Destroy Islamic State in Afghanistan

February 4, 2016

The Afghan militant group that sheltered Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks is closing the door to the Islamic State.

QuickTake Fighting Islamic State

The Taliban is giving up on holding talks with the group and will prevent it from gaining a foothold in Afghanistan, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said by e-mail. He accused the media and intelligence agencies of inflating the Islamic State’s strength.

“We’ve used all reasonable chances and options for peace efforts, but apparently those people are not rational, and reconciliation and talks with them is not possible,” Mujahed said. He called the group, known by the Arabic acronym Daesh, “a scruffy and uncouth production of nations in the Middle East” that “has no place in our community.”

For the Taliban, the Islamic State is just another group in a long list of enemies that have tried and failed to uproot it from the Pashtun-speaking desert-like areas of southern Afghanistan. Just as Daesh fighters arrive, the U.S. and its allies are looking to exit after 15 years of war that have killed about 2,300 American soldiers and cost more than $700 billion.

In a response to emailed questions, Mujahed sought to portray the Taliban’s strength as world powers look to restart peace talks. Besides ridiculing the Islamic State, Mujahed downplayed internal divisions, repeated calls for foreign forces to leave the country and said the group controlled 70 percent of Afghanistan.

In an interview in India on Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah — Afghanistan’s second-most powerful policy maker — disputed the Taliban’s territorial claims, calling them “exaggerated.” He also said the government makes no difference between the Taliban and Islamic State, and will continue to fight any groups that don’t join in peace talks.

“If there is any lesson from protracted wars, at one stage the sides will get together and talk rather than fight endlessly,” Abdullah said in the city of Jaipur, where he was attending a security conference. A majority of Afghans want a durable peace, he said, and the best solution would be for the Taliban to “fight for their cause politically rather than militarily in a democratic environment.”

Islamic State militants emerged over the past few years in conflict-hit areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan after some former Taliban members pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The group has captured some small areas in eastern Afghanistan, and U.S. commanders estimate it has as many as 3,000 fighters.

The Islamic State will only grow in Afghanistan if the Taliban loses its sanctuary in Pakistan and allies of the government in Kabul stop paying for its security, according to Barnett Rubin, a senior expert on Afghanistan and South Asia affairs and an Associate Director of Centre of International Cooperation at New York University.

“In that case, the Afghan government and its foreign allies will mainly have themselves to blame,” he said in an e-mail. “At present, there is little space for ISIS to expand in Afghanistan.”

U.S. Cash

When the Afghan Taliban took power in the 1990s, it received diplomatic backing from only two countries: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. overthrew the regime in 2001 after demanding that the Taliban hand over al-Qaeda’s senior leaders following strikes on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon that killed almost 3,000 people.

After 15 years of fighting, the U.S. now wants to get out. Doing so isn’t easy: While Afghan forces are officially in charge of security, the U.S. is paying for about 75 percent of its military budget. Even with that cash, about a third of Afghan troops don’t re-enlist each year. Peace talks, therefore, represent a sustainable solution.

Yet so far efforts to negotiate have gone nowhere. Nascent talks collapsed last year after Afghanistan’s intelligence agency leaked news that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar died in 2013, triggering a power struggle among potential successors. The group’s new leader, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, has faced regular attacks from rivals and was reportedly injured in a fire fight in December.

‘Inflection Point’

At the same time, the Taliban has stepped up its military campaign as the U.S. has reduced troop levels. Flush with funds from illegal mining and opium smuggling, the group in September briefly captured Kunduz, the first time it has taken a provincial capital since 2001. Other gains forced President Barack Obama to revise his timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops.

U.S. General John F. Campbell told a Congressional committee on Tuesday that about 70 percent of inhabited parts of the country are under government control or influence. Even so, he called the performance of Afghan security forces “uneven” and said the country isn’t stable enough for the U.S. to reduce its support.

“Afghanistan is at an inflection point,” Campbell said. “If we do not make deliberate, measured adjustments, 2016 is at risk of being no better and possibly worse than 2015.”

No Preconditions

The U.S., China, Pakistan and Afghanistan will look for ways to bring the Taliban back to the negotiating table at their next meeting on Feb. 6 in Islamabad. The Taliban has several demands, including prisoner releases and the removal of key figures from a United Nations list of terrorists. Those have been rejected by the Afghan government.

“Preconditions are not acceptable,” Abdullah said. “No country can achieve peace by violating the rights of its citizens. So that’s a non-starter.”

Pakistan is key to any agreement because it turns a blind eye to militant groups operating in its territory, Abdullah separately told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday. While the Taliban are “more divided than ever,” its leaders “are based in Pakistan and so are some of the outfits,” he said.

Pakistan similarly accuses Afghanistan of harbouring militants that attack its soldiers, and has vowed to eliminate terrorist groups from its soil. The Congressional Research Service said in a December report that safe havens in Pakistan were one reason that the Taliban insurgency has persisted in keeping Afghanistan unstable.

‘Well-Known Robbers’

One thing that both leaders in Kabul and the Taliban agree on is the need to fight the Islamic State. Abdullah rejected assertions from the Taliban — and Abdul Zahir Qadir, the deputy speaker of Afghanistan’s parliament — that intelligence agencies are backing the group.

“If there is one lesson in dealing with these terrorist radical groups, they are against the interest of every state,” Abdullah said. “It’s only a matter of time before they turn against those countries which have turned a blind eye toward them.”

For its part, the Taliban sees the U.S. as a much bigger threat than the Islamic State. It says the group is mostly comprised of “well-known robbers and kidnappers” who seek to scare people into achieving their goals, according to Taliban spokesman Mujahed.

“Daesh has really no connection with Afghanistan and does not belong to Afghanistan,” he said. “If a strong central system and an Islamic administration is built up, the advances of Daesh and their recognition and embracement by our society is really not possible.”

bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-03/bin-laden-s-backers-want-to-destroy-islamic-state-in-afghanistan

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A “Hindu Who Practises Islam” Held In Goa for ‘Terror Links’

Kautilya Singh & Murari Shetye | TNN | Feb 4, 2016

Dehradun/Panaji: A 44-year-old man from Dehradun who is being interrogated by the Anti-terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Goa Police for the past three days on suspicion of being linked with Jihadi groups is a Doon School alumnus and son of a decorated former Major-General of the Indian Army.

Sameer Sardana, who police have said is a “Hindu who practises Islam”, was arrested by the ATS in Vasco on Monday and has been in remand since. A chartered accountant by profession who has been associated with leading MNCs like Accenture and worked in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, Sardana was held by the police in Goa after he was found “wandering suspiciously” at the Vasco railway station. The police have seized his laptop and confiscated the five passports and four mobile phones that he was carrying with him.

Goa DGP T N Mohan told TOI on Wednesday that the police have “as of today” not found anything concrete to link him with any terror organization. “He was found in suspicious circumstances and we are trying to establish his antecedents to the level of satisfaction,” Mohan said.

Sleuths from the Intelligence Bureau and ATS have interrogated Sardana, a Delhi University BCom graduate presently based in Mumbai, at two different locations — Vasco and Panaji — in the last couple of days even as judicial magistrate, first class, Vasco, has now remanded him to police custody.

ATS sources in Goa said that they have stumbled upon some letters and emails from the accused “which are to be decoded and which indicate that he had collected information of previous bomb blasts in the country”.

In Dehradun, IG (Garhwal range) Sanjay Gunjyal told TOI, “On the basis of the information received by us, we will contact the Goa police to get further details on Sardana. Local police and intelligence teams have contacted his family members to collect the maximum possible details in the matter. Though Sardana does not have any criminal records in Dehradun and comes from a prominent family — his brother is a doctor in New Delhi — there are indications that he had gone through a fair bit of online radicalization. Our teams are looking into that aspect.”

Major General (retired) K N Sardana, who was reluctant to give details about his son, said, “There has been some major confusion. He has been falsely arrested and would be released soon as he has never been involved in any illegal activity.” The former Army officer, decorated with the AVSM and the VSM, added that he had had a word with the Goa DGP and the latter told him that “there was nothing major found against Sameer”. He said, “I spoke to the Uttarakhand police, too, on Wednesday morning but it is an extremely personal issue which I would not like to disclose to the media.”

Meanwhile, the cyber-crime cell of the Goa police have cracked the code of Sardana’s laptop, which he was reportedly unwilling to give out, and begun to analyse the data stored in it. A senior officer of the unit told TOI that they have so far not found any incriminating material. “But we are examining the contents in detail and also verifying the contacts available in the suspect’s cell phone.” he said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Son-of-ex-Major-General-held-in-Goa-for-terror-links/articleshow/50843040.cms

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Arab World

To Silence Propaganda, Iraq Seeks To Take Islamic State Offline

February 04, 2016

Iraq is trying to persuade satellite firms to halt Internet services in areas under Islamic State’s rule, seeking to deal a major blow to the group’s potent propaganda machine which relies heavily on social media to inspire its followers to wage jihad.

Social media apps like Twitter and Telegram are scrambling to limit Islamic State’s cyber-activities. So far that has proven to be a cat-and-mouse-game, with the group re-emerging through other accounts with videos showing beheadings and extolling the virtues of living in a caliphate.

Full report at: in.reuters.com/article/mideast-crisis-iraq-internet-idINKCN0VD0JQ

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The Leader Of Islamic State In Yemen Has Been Killed In A Drone Strike Along With 12 Islamist Militants

Feb 4, 2016

ADEN (Reuters) – Two suspected U.S. drone strikes killed 12 Islamist militants overnight in southern Yemen, residents said on Thursday, including a top al Qaeda commander who may have been the new leader of Islamic State in Yemen.

One strike killed six men in a car travelling in al Rawda city in Shabwa province, a remote desert area where al Qaeda militants are believed to be operating. The province has been targeted by drone strikes this year.

Full report at: businessinsider.com/leader-of-islamic-state-in-yemen-killed-in-drone-strike-2016-2?IR=T

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Hezbollah Fighters Kill Over 50 Terrorists North of Syria

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Lebanese and Iraqi Hezbollah fighters, in a joint operation on Wednesday, stormed the militant groups’ defense lines North of Aleppo province, and killed 55 terrorists.

The Hezbollah fighters attacked the militant groups’ positions near the small town of Ratyan in the Southern part of the newly-liberated village of Hardatnin, surrounded the terrorists, killed 55 of them and wounded many more.

At least seven military vehicles of the terrorists were also destroyed in the attack.

The Hezbollah forces returned to their bases in Bashkoy without any major casualty.

The missile units of Hezbollah are currently shelling the terrorists’ centers inside and outside Ratyan which is under the complete siege of the Syrian army and its popular allies.

Earlier reports said that the Syrian army and their popular allies have reached to the gates of Ma’arasta al-Khan, a small town in the Northwestern part of the newly-liberated Hardatnin and on the main road to al-Zahra and Nubl.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114001388

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Drone strike kills 6 al-Qaida suspects in Yemen: Security

AFP | Feb 4, 2016

ADEN: An air strike believed to have been carried out by a US drone has killed six al-Qaida suspects in south Yemen, a security official said on Thursday.

The unmanned warplane targeted an al-Qaida vehicle in Rodhoum area, in Shabwa province, late on Wednesday killing its six passengers, the official said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Drone-strike-kills-6-al-Qaida-suspects-in-Yemen-Security/articleshow/50846672.cms

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Egypt court overturns death penalty for 149 Muslim Brotherhood members

PTI | Feb 4, 2016

The ouster of democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s president by the military triggered widespread violence in the country. (File photo)The ouster of democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s president by the milit… Read More

CAIRO: Death sentences of 149 activists of the banned Muslim Brotherhood were revoked on Wednesday by an Egyptian appeals court which also ordered a retrial in the case, in which the defendants were accused of killing 13 policemen and attacking a police station in 2013.

The Muslim Brotherhood activists were accused of killing 11 policemen, attacking a police station in Kerdasa, torching police and private vehicles, possessing weapons among other charges in 2013 following the dispersal of Rabaa and Nahda Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins, which left many Islamists dead.

An appeals court ordered a retrial for the defendants over the attack, which killed 11 policemen here on August 2013.

The initial ruling came in February 2015 amid a series of death sentences in mass trials that were criticized internationally. The court had sentenced 149 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death and 34 others sentenced to death in absentia. The court also sentenced a child to ten years in prison, while two people were acquitted.

Seven people have been executed for political violence since ex-president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, including six who were convicted of belonging to an Islamist militant group.

Since Morsi’s ouster, the Egyptian government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, which left thousands in jail, and hundreds facing trials on various charges. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Mohamed Badie and 100 other leaders were sentenced in June to death for escaping prison in 2011.

Badie and Morsi were also sentenced to life in prison in an espionage case.

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Rebels shelling destroys museum in Yemen

February 4th, 2016

SANAA: Shelling by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the heavily contested western city of Taiz struck a museum housing rare manuscripts and the possessions of a deceased ruler, activists said on Wednesday.

Activist Reham al-Badr, who inspected the National Museum in Taiz, told said that rebels have routinely shelled the district where it is located, which is defended by local fighters.

She said the museum was struck on Sunday.

The interior walls of the building were torched black and the museum was filled with rubble and twisted metal. Al-Badr, who visited the museum earlier on Wednesday, said it housed a collection of watches, guns, swords, gifts from foreign visitors and manuscripts belonging to Imam Ahmed, who ruled until the 1960s.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237243/rebels-shelling-destroys-museum-in-yemen

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Syrian Army Breaks Several-Year-Long Siege of Nubl and Al-Zahra Towns

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army broke the terrorists’ four-year-long siege of the Shiite-populated towns of Nubl and Al-Zahra in Northern Aleppo province a few minutes ago.

The siege of the strategic towns was removed after four years in an army offensive from the Eastern side of the two towns, while other units of the Syrian army also managed to purge terrorists from 80 percent of the village of Ma’arasa al-Khan.

Reports from Syria said on Wednesday evening that the Shiite residents of Seyede Zeinab region in Damascus, who have been under the terrorists’ continued missile and rocket attacks in the last several years, have poured to the streets to celebrate the army’s groundbreaking victory in Nubl and Al-Zahra. The last rocket attack on Seyede Zeinab region claimed tens of civilian lives only last week.

In addition to the significant advances of the Syrian government forces in the Eastern territories of Aleppo, the Syrian army and its allies were engaged in a heavy battle in the Northern and Northwestern parts of the province to remove the militants’ siege on the two towns.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114001558

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Russian military adviser killed in suspected ISIS shelling in Syria

4 Feb, 2016

A Russian military adviser has been killed in Syria after the Syrian army unit, which he was attached to, came under mortar fire. He is the third Russian soldier to die during the Syrian campaign.

The adviser, whose name and rank were not disclosed by the Defense Ministry, was killed on Monday, the ministry said in a statement. He was deployed to a Syrian army unit to train the troops in the use of advanced weapons, which Russia delivered to Syria as part of its antiterrorist effort.

Full report at: https://rt.com/news/331226-syria-russian-adviser-kiled/

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Syrian Army Wins Back Strategic Road in Northern Aleppo

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and the popular forces continued their advances in the Northern part of Aleppo province, and took full control over a key road.

The Syrian troops seized back Ma’arasta-Masqan road in Northern Aleppo after inflicting heavy losses on the militants.

Scores of militants were killed and injured and their military hardware was destroyed.

Northern Aleppo is the scene of tough battles between the government forces and militants near Nubl and al-Zahra.

In addition to the significant advances of the Syrian government forces’ victories in the Eastern territories of Aleppo, the Syrian army and its allies are engaged in a heavy battle in the Northern and Northwestern parts of the province to remove the militants’ siege on the towns of Nubl and al-Zahra.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114001432

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Khorasan Terrorist Group Reemerges in Syria

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Khorasan terrorist group with links to al-Qaeda appeared again in Syria by stationing its special members in the Northern parts of Lattakia.

Faced with the Syrian army and popular forces’ advance in the Northern parts of Lattakia near the borders with Turkey, hundreds of terrorists, supported by the Turkish army’s artillery attacks, took control of the two strategic villages of Navarah and Kanisah.

Also hundreds of members of Khorasan terrorist group entered al-Sarraf village near the strategic town of al-Rabia, joined by auxiliary forces, and slowed down the Syrian army’s advance in the region.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114001460

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Militants Admit Large Casualties in Aleppo Clashes with Syrian Army

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Takfiri terrorist groups acknowledged on Wednesday that they have sustained large casualties in recent clashes with the Syrian army in the Northern province of Aleppo.

The terrorist groups confirmed that over 85 terrorists were killed in Northern Aleppo in a new setback to them as the Syrian forces, backed by the country’s warplanes, Russian air force and Hezbollah fighters, continue to advance against the militants in multiple fronts.

Northern part of Aleppo province is the scene of tough battle between the government forces and the militants near Nubl and al-Zahra.

The Kurdish forces have also voiced their readiness to join the Syrian troops in their ongoing battle against the terrorists in Northern Aleppo.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114001390

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Syria: ISIL Executes over 40 of Own Militants on Charges of Fleeing From Battlefields

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group has executed 43 of its own militants on charges of leaving the battlefields and escaping war against the Syrian army, local sources reported.

“The ISIL arrested and killed 43 of its own members on charges of trying to escape to Iraq after the groups’ failures in clashes with the Syrian Army and popular forces in the Eastern province,” the sources said.

On Tuesday, Syrian army troops, backed by popular forces, staunchly responded to thwart a concerted attack by the ISIL terrorists to seize a university campus in Deir Ezzur city, Eastern Syria, killing an ISIL commander during the fierce clashes with them.

Scores of ISIL militants, spearheaded by explosive-laden vehicles, tried to wreak havoc on army positions to attack the university compound in the Northwestern part of the city; however, pro-government forces foiled the attack and hit them back very severely, killing many of the militants.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114000471

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ISIL Pulls Forces Back From More Lands Near Aleppo North of Syria

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and popular forces, in a rapid joint offensive on Wednesday, surprised the ISIL terrorists and drove them back from their strongholds near two small towns in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo city.

The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) continued to advance against the ISIL and won back the small town of As Sin in the Western part of the newly-liberated al-Maksour and the village of al-Uweinat.

Tens of the ISIL combatants were killed or wounded in the pro-government forces’ assault and their military hardware and vehicles were damaged.

In addition to the significant advances of the Syrian government forces’ victories in the Eastern territories of Aleppo, the Syrian army and its allies are engaged in a heavy battle in the Northern and Northwestern parts of the province to remove the militants’ siege on the towns of Nubl and al-Zahra.

Earlier reports said that the Syrian army and their popular allies have reached to the gates of Ma’arasta al-Khan, a small town in the Northwestern part of the newly-liberated Hardatnin and on the main road to al-Zahra and Nubl.

“The Syrian army troops, the NDF, Kata’eb Hezbollah (Iraqi paramilitary) and Harakat al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary) have continued to advance against the militant groups and have now deployed forces at the entrances of Ma’arasta al-Khan following hours of tough battle,” the army said.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114001277

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Another Senior Nusra Front Commander Killed in Aleppo

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A notorious commander of the al-Nusra Front terrorist group was killed in the Syrian army’s artillery attacks North of Aleppo province on Wednesday.

Ahmad Atro, the Al-Nusra Front’s top commander in Northern Aleppo, was killed by the Syrian soldiers and popular forces.

Northern Aleppo is the scene of tough battles between the government forces and militants near Nubl and al-Zahra.

In a relevant development earlier today, two other senior commanders of the al-Nusra Front-affiliated terrorist group of Nouriddeen al-Zinki were killed in the Syrian government forces’ offensives in the Northwestern part of Aleppo.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114001280

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Saudi Forces Sustain Heavy Losses in Yemeni Army’s Ambush Attacks in Sana’a

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and popular forces in a series of ambush attacks on the Saudi-led forces prevented them from advancing in the Eastern part of Sana’a, killing scores of the enemy’s troops.

“At least 28 Saudi-led forces were killed in these ambush operations in Sana’a’s Ninth District and the Saudi forces withdrew from Mount al-Eltemas,” the Arabic-language media outlets quoted an informed military source as saying on Wednesday.

The source noted that the Yemeni forces also destroyed four military vehicles of the Saudi-led troops.

In a relevant development on Tuesday, the Yemeni army and popular forces raided Saudi Arabia’s military bases and military positions in the Southern part of the kingdom and destroyed their military equipment and hardware.

Informed military sources in the Northern parts of Yemen confirmed yesterday that the Yemeni Army alongside the popular forces raided Saudi Arabia’s military bases and positions near the borders with Yemen, and destroyed 11 Saudi tanks and armored vehicles.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114000553

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North America

How Osama Bin Laden Got Idea for 9/11 Terror Attacks

PTI | Feb 4, 2016

JERUSALEM: Osama bin Laden got inspiration for the deadly 9/11 terror attacks from a 1999 plane crash in which an Egyptian airline pilot deliberately downed his plane in the Atlantic Ocean, the al-Qaida has claimed.

In an article titled ‘September 11 attacks — the story untold’ published in its weekly magazine al-Masrah, the al-Qaida said the inspiration for the September 11 attacks was the story of Gamil al-Batouti, the Egyptian co-pilot, who deliberately crashed EgyptAir flight from Los Angeles to Cairo, killing 217 people, including 100 Americans.

According to al-Masrah, when the then al-Qaida chief Osama heard about the Egyptian plane crash, he asked, “Why didn’t he crash it into a nearby building?”, pronouncing the idea of targeting buildings, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/How-Osama-bin-Laden-got-idea-for-9/11-terror-attacks/articleshow/50838396.cms

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American Wisconsin company fires seven Muslim workers in prayer break dispute

February 4, 2016

Seven Muslim workers at an eastern Wisconsin manufacturer have been fired after disregarding a break policy that did not allow them to pray at the times dictated by their faith, the company said on Wednesday.

The terminated workers were among 53 Somali Muslims who walked off the job on January 14 after Ariens Company, a tools and equipment maker in Brillion, Wisconsin, began requiring them to pray only during the two 10-minute breaks provided to them during the day, the company said in a statement.

US company changes policy to cancel Muslim prayer breaks

The seven workers were fired for taking unscheduled breaks, while 14 others have resigned since the walkout.

Full report at: tribune.com.pk/story/1040093/wisconsin-company-fires-seven-muslim-workers-in-prayer-break-dispute/

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Anti-Muslim bias hurts US, must be tackled ‘head on’: Obama

Reuters | Feb 4, 2016

CATONSVILLE: President Barack Obama made his first visit to a US mosque on Wednesday, in an effort to allay the fears of Americans accustomed to pop-culture portrayals of Muslims as terrorists, and to reassure Muslim American youth about their place in the nation.

Obama, declaring that attacks on Islam were an attack on all religions, decried the “inexcusable political rhetoric” against Muslims from Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates.

“We have to understand that an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths,” he said at the mosque outside of Baltimore, which he said had received threats twice in the past year. “When any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up.”

Trump, the Republican front-runner, called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States after authorities described a California couple who killed 14 people last December as radicalized Muslims inspired by Islamic State militants.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Anti-Muslim-bias-hurts-US-must-be-tackled-head-on-Obama/articleshow/50844044.cms?

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New U.S. intelligence estimate sees 20-25K Islamic State fighters

February 03, 2016

WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence estimates the current strength of the Islamic State’s force in Iraq and Syria is between 20,000 and 25,000 fighters. That compares to an estimated 19,000 to 31,000 fighters more than a year ago, as the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the militants got underway, a senior government official said Tuesday.

The official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the figures before they are formally released, cautioned that the numbers are a rough estimate.

Airstrikes also had an impact on the terror group’s strength. An estimated 28,000 Islamic State fighters have been killed by the bombings, according to the U.S.-led coalition. Hundreds more have been killed in ground fighting in Iraq and Syria.

The numbers suggest that the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, has been able to replenish its ranks, despite the heavy losses.

Full report at: wfaa.com/news/world/new-us-intelligence-estimate-sees-20-25k-islamic-state-fighters/31761228

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US, France accuse Assad of scuppering Syria peace talks

AFP | Feb 4, 2016

GENEVA: The US and France have accused President Bashar al-Assad’s regime of undermining talks to end Syria’s civil war, which were suspended hours before donors were due to meet on Thursday to raise aid for the conflict-torn country.

The UN paused the fruitless peace negotiations as the Syrian government said it had dealt a major blow to the opposition by cutting a key supply route to the second city of Aleppo with the help of Russian air strikes.

The talks had been tipped as the most important push so far to end Syria’s bloody five-year conflict, which has killed more than 260,000 people and forced half the country’s population from its homes.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/US-France-accuse-Assad-of-scuppering-Syria-peace-talks/articleshow/50844562.cms

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Sending troops to Iraq, Syria will be terrible mistake: Hillary Clinton

PTI | Feb 4, 2016

WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton promised not to send US troops to war-torn Iraq or Syria if elected saying it would be a “terrible mistake”, but refused to give any “blanket statement” on overseas deployment of American combat forces.

“I will not send American combat troops to Iraq or Syria. That is off the table. That would be a terrible mistake,” Clinton said.

The US, however, will continue to use Special Forces because of the kind of threats America faces, she told a New Hampshire audience during a townhall organised by CNN.

“The network of terrorist organisations – not just ISIS, but others who are part of this unfortunate network that stretches from North Africa to South Asia – pose serious threats to friends, allies, partners, as well as to ourselves,” she said, using an acronym of the Islamic State.

“We have got to keep our country safe, and we have to work with the rest of the world to try to defeat ISIS, to end that terrorist threat. So I will be very careful, deliberate with decision makers when facing hard choices, because I know what’s at stake,” said the 68-year-old ex-secretary of state.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Sending-troops-to-Iraq-Syria-will-be-terrible-mistake-Hillary-Clinton/articleshow/50847429.cms

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Islamic State’s Chief Bomb-Maker Delivers Chilling Message From Jail: ‘We Want to Go to America’

Feb. 3, 2016

Jasim Mohammed Atti’ya, bomb expert for the Islamic State, was arrested in November after a small troupe of suicide bombers invaded Kurdish territory and temporarily seized a government office near Kirkuk, Iraq. Now he’s confirming to the media that the Islamic State seeks to get into the U.S.

Though the bombers self-detonated before the Kurds were able to apprehend them, Jasim, 22, was taken into custody weeks after the bombings took place. He currently resides in a high-security prison operated by the Kurdish Regional Government.

The KRG recently permitted FoxNews.com to interview Jasim for 90 minutes. The bomb expert, who was led into the room blindfolded, gloated about his work with the Islamic State and promised to return to serving the death cult.

But, he clarified, the suicide vests he makes are for others, not him.

“What I did were terror acts,” Jasim said. “It was my duty. There are infidels and there is instruction in Koran to stop this and fight all infidels.”

KRG forces captured Jasim weeks after the attack that left 14 Kurds dead and many more wounded.

Full report at: theblaze.com/stories/2016/02/03/islamic-states-chief-bomb-maker-delivers-chilling-message-from-jail-we-want-to-go-to-america/

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‘You created ISIS!’ Press conference scandal mars Kerry’s visit to Italy

4 Feb, 2016

The press conference was coming to an end, when the woman stood up from the public, her head covered up by a black veil.

“It’s you who created Daesh!” she shouted at the two ministers, using another name for the terror group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), reported the Italian state-owned television channel RAI.

The woman was dragged away from the conference by the Carabinieri.

After meeting with Gentiloni, Kerry said he was convinced that the US-led international coalition would “crush ISIS” eventually. His Italian counterpart expressed much more caution.

Full report at: https://rt.com/news/331209-italian-woman-kerry-isis/

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South Asia

Bin Laden’s Backers Want to Destroy Islamic State in Afghanistan

February 4, 2016

The Afghan militant group that sheltered Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks is closing the door to the Islamic State.

QuickTake Fighting Islamic State

The Taliban is giving up on holding talks with the group and will prevent it from gaining a foothold in Afghanistan, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said by e-mail. He accused the media and intelligence agencies of inflating the Islamic State’s strength.

“We’ve used all reasonable chances and options for peace efforts, but apparently those people are not rational, and reconciliation and talks with them is not possible,” Mujahed said. He called the group, known by the Arabic acronym Daesh, “a scruffy and uncouth production of nations in the Middle East” that “has no place in our community.”

For the Taliban, the Islamic State is just another group in a long list of enemies that have tried and failed to uproot it from the Pashtun-speaking desert-like areas of southern Afghanistan. Just as Daesh fighters arrive, the U.S. and its allies are looking to exit after 15 years of war that have killed about 2,300 American soldiers and cost more than $700 billion.

Full report at: bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-03/bin-laden-s-backers-want-to-destroy-islamic-state-in-afghanistan

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Nearly 5,000 militants concentrated along Tajik-Afghan border: Report

By Khaama Press – Thu Feb 04 2016

Afghan TalibanThe security authorities of Tajikistan have expressed concerns regarding thousands of militants concentrated along Tajikistan-Afghanistan border, it has been reported.

According to the authorities, the number of militants concentrated along the border has been estimated to be up to 5,000.

“Our intelligence agencies are not only closely following the situation in the inhabited localities in this and other districts of Kunduz Province, but also took additional security measures by reinforcing the Panj border detachment,” a spokesman for Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security (SCNS) told Russia’s TASS news agency on Wednesday.

The official further added that the insurgents belonging to Taliban group, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Jamaat Ansarullah as well as few dozen natives of Tajikistan are among those gathered along the border.

Full report at: khaama.com/nearly-5000-militants-concentrated-along-tajik-afghan-border-report-0073

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25 Taliban militants give up fighting in Badakhshan province

By Khaama Press – Thu Feb 04 2016

Taliban insurgents join peaceAt least twenty five Taliban insurgents have given up fighting in the restive northeastern Bakhshan province of Afghanistan, local officials said Thursday.

The militants were previously fighting the government forces in Tashkan district of Bakhshan.

Provincial governor spokesman Ahmad Naweed Frotan said the militants surrendered to the security forces during the past two days.

Frotan further added that the militants handed over their weapons by surrendering to the security forces amid ongoing operations to clean Tashkan and Tagab districts.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far which comes amid rampant insurgency led by the group across the country.

Badakhshan is among the relatively volatile provinces in northeastern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating in a number of its districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

The Afghan security forces took control of Tagab district from Taliban militants following a military operation launched late last month, leaving at least 15 Taliban insurgents dead and 20 others wounded.

khaama.com/25-taliban-militants-give-up-fighting-in-badakhshan-province-0074

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CEO Abdullah invites Indian businessmen for investment in Afghanistan

By Khaama Press – Thu Feb 04 2016

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah during his official visit to India has invited Indian businessmen for investment in Afghanistan, The Himalayan Times reports.

“Our geographical position as a land bridge offers immense opportunities to investors in terms of trade, transit and connectivity,” Abdullah said in a meeting with top industry bodies in New Delhi on Wednesday.

“It is imperative to harness this potential. The mutual goodwill that exists between our peoples and the leaders must translate into a mutually beneficial relationship.”

CEO Abdullah also talked to Indian investors about the Chabahar port and said that it would act as a key route to India-Afghanistan trade.

He hoped that a proposed Afghanistan-Iran-India transit agreement centred around the strategic Iranian port of Chabahar would ‘happen in near future’.

Full report at: khaama.com/ceo-abdullah-invites-indian-businessmen-for-investment-in-afghanistan4542

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President Ghani to give more authority to mayors on trial-basis

By Khaama Press – Thu Feb 04 2016

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani made a visit to southern Kandahar province for assessing the general security situation and development on Wednesday.

While giving a speech at the joint gathering organized at the Governor House of Kandahar, the President said that he is giving more authority to the mayors of Kandahar, Herat, Balkh and Nangarhar provinces on trial-basis.

“Pretty soon the decree would be signed in this regard,” he said. “Any mayor that shows good performance would be given loans as per the conditions.”

The gathering was attended by local government officials, members of the provincial council, prominent figures, traders, religious scholars, activist of the civil society and community elders where the President also promised that the electricity issue of Kandahar would be solved soon.

President Ghani further said that he has instructed the Ministry of Finance for constructing Spin Boldak-Kandahar railway.

President Ghani to give more authority to mayor on trial-base

khaama.com/president-ghani-to-give-more-authority-to-mayor-on-trial-base-4544

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Two bomb blasts leave 3 wounded in Nangarhar, Khost

By Khaama Press – Wed Feb 03 2016

Two bombs exploded a few hours apart from each other in Nangarhar and Khost province on Wednesday.

The first one which was a landmine exploded on a Ford Ranger vehicle leaving two people wounded in Behsood District of Nangarhar province.

Ataullah Khogyani, spokesperson for the governor of Nangarhar province said the Ford Ranger was on its way to the capital city Jalalabad when it struck landmine in Samarkhil area.

The victims are security guards of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The second blast was caused by a magnetic bomb in the capital city of Khost province which left one person wounded.

No group has claimed responsibility for the explosions.

khaama.com/breaking-new-heavy-explosion-rocks-khost-city-4545

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President Ghani in Kandahar assessing security, development

By Khaama Press – Wed Feb 03 2016

Leading a high level delegation, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has arrived in Kandahar province for assessing security and development.

Tight security measures have been taken in Kandahar city where the President landed on Wednesday morning.

President Ghani is accompanied by some cabinet ministers and other high ranking officials from Kabul.

A joint gathering of local government officials, civil society activists, community elders and other residents have been organized at the Governor House of Kandahar where President Ghani would deliver a speech.

He would also hear suggestions from the participants of the gathering for improving security and economic situation of the southern region to which Kandahar is the center.

khaama.com/president-ghani-in-kandahar-assessing-security-development-4544

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Germany warns Afghanistan over flow of refugees

By Khaama Press – Thu Feb 04 2016

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere attends the presentation of the annual report on the Protection of the Constitution 2013 in Berlin, on June 18, 2014 during a press conference. Germany has seen a rise in anti-foreigner attacks and political violence as well as Islamic militancy, the government said the annual report. AFP PHOTO / DPA/ TIM BRAKEMEIER GERMANY OUT

Berlin has warned Kabul over the flow of refugees saying it will continue security operations in Afghanistan only if arrival of refugees stopped.

The country’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has said that Germany will stay in Afghanistan for providing security support as long as it is necessary but the influx of refugees be stopped.

“We’re staying here as long as it’s necessary. But we also expect that the Afghan population stays here,” Maiziere said. “We want the influx of refugees to be stopped.”

Maiziere said German police and soldiers will remain in Afghanistan “as long as it asks for security,” but stressed, “because we want to stay, we do not want that many Afghans to leave their country.”

The minister quashed any expectations Afghans may hold upon coming to Germany, stressing chances of asylum seekers finding success were slight.

“There is no welcome money in Germany. There is no guarantee of a job or an apartment,” he told state broadcaster ZDF, warning Afghans not to succumb to propaganda spread by people.

Maiziere promised to bolster deportations of Afghans from Germany, using current flight routes between the countries and hiring charter planes. He also offered Afghanistan financial help to reintegrate returned migrants.

Germany has nearly 1,000 troops under NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

khaama.com/germany-warns-afghanistan-over-flow-of-refugees-4547

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India

A “Hindu Who Practises Islam” Held In Goa for ‘Terror Links’

Kautilya Singh & Murari Shetye | TNN | Feb 4, 2016

Dehradun/Panaji: A 44-year-old man from Dehradun who is being interrogated by the Anti-terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Goa Police for the past three days on suspicion of being linked with Jihadi groups is a Doon School alumnus and son of a decorated former Major-General of the Indian Army.

Sameer Sardana, who police have said is a “Hindu who practises Islam”, was arrested by the ATS in Vasco on Monday and has been in remand since. A chartered accountant by profession who has been associated with leading MNCs like Accenture and worked in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, Sardana was held by the police in Goa after he was found “wandering suspiciously” at the Vasco railway station. The police have seized his laptop and confiscated the five passports and four mobile phones that he was carrying with him.

Goa DGP T N Mohan told TOI on Wednesday that the police have “as of today” not found anything concrete to link him with any terror organization. “He was found in suspicious circumstances and we are trying to establish his antecedents to the level of satisfaction,” Mohan said.

Sleuths from the Intelligence Bureau and ATS have interrogated Sardana, a Delhi University BCom graduate presently based in Mumbai, at two different locations — Vasco and Panaji — in the last couple of days even as judicial magistrate, first class, Vasco, has now remanded him to police custody.

ATS sources in Goa said that they have stumbled upon some letters and emails from the accused “which are to be decoded and which indicate that he had collected information of previous bomb blasts in the country”.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Son-of-ex-Major-General-held-in-Goa-for-terror-links/articleshow/50843040.cms

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Hafiz Saeed Warns Of More Pathankot-Style Attacks On India

Agencies | Feb 4, 2016

MUZAFFARABAD: Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, on Wednesday praised last month’s terror attack at Indian Air Force’s base in Pathankot and encouraged similar attacks against India.

Addressing a rally of around one thousand people in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Saeed said: “800,000 Indian troops are committing genocide on Kashmiris. Don’t they have a right to carry out Pathankot-style attacks for their defence?”

Saeed also lauded Kashmiri militant leader Sayed Salahuddin, who heads the United Jihad Council (UJC) that has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“You have only seen one attack on Pathankot. Matters could easily escalate.”

Crowds at the rally shouted slogans including “The war will continue until the liberation of Kashmir” and “We are ready for jihad”.

Strategic analyst Ayesha Siddiqa said Saeed’s praise of Salahuddin could be part of a “deflection strategy” to steer blame away from JeM, and by extension Pakistan, where it is based.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Hafiz-Saeed-warns-of-more-Pathankot-style-attacks-on-India/articleshow/50846657.cms?

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Africa

A Divided Libya Struggles Against Islamic State Attacks

February 4th, 2016

MELLITAH TERMINAL, Libya—A 9-foot-high wall built of fabric, sand and steel that can withstand a car bomb surrounds this seaside oil-and-gas complex, a barrier against militant attacks that many in Libya hope will soon be fortified by a national army under a central command.

Two rival factions that have spent years fighting for control of Libya are now locked in a political battle to form a unity government capable of defending their country and its oil industry against escalating attacks by Islamic State.

The political standoff has swelled U.S. worries of Libya turning into a hub for international Islamic State operations. Top national security advisers met last week with President Barack Obama over Islamic State as military leaders increasingly point to the need for stepped-up operations against the militant group, including in Libya.

Libya’s National Oil Co., among the country’s last functioning institutions since the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, issued a “cry for help” last month amid killings, car bombings, gas line sabotage and the burning of oil storage tanks by extremists. The attacks appeared aimed at undermining the peace process and Libya’s oil industry, which supplies 95% of state revenues.

Full report at: wsj.com/articles/a-divided-libya-struggles-against-islamic-state-attacks-1454552044

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Fear grows as Islamic State spreads: Terror network digs in deep in Afghanistan, Libya

February 04, 2016

As if they didn’t have enough to deal with already, the Pentagon has a new problem to panic about: the rise of Islamic State (aka ISIS) affiliates in Afghanistan and Libya.

While we’ve known that ISIS has been spreading beyond the Middle East, creating allies and claiming “provinces,” there has been limited U.S. military activity against it outside the Syria-Iraq theater.

That may be changing.

In Afghanistan, where there is already concern about a Taliban resurgence as the United States weighs its future involvement, ISIS has made itself known through its usual violent tactics.

Full report at: bostonherald.com/opinion/op_ed/2016/02/brookes_fear_grows_as_islamic_state_spreads

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Pakistan

Pakistan fourth most dangerous country in the world for journalists: report

February 4, 2016

Pakistan has been ranked the fourth most dangerous country in the world for journalists, with a total of 115 killings since 1990.

According to a report issued by International Federation of Journalists, at least 2,297 journalists and media workers have been killed in the last 25 years, with Iraq ranking as the most deadly country.

Gunmen kill TV journalist in Kohat

Journalists lost their lives in targeted killings, bomb attacks, in the cross-fire and kidnappings in wars and armed conflicts across the globe while others were killed by organised crime barons and corrupt officials, the IFJ said.

Some 112 journalists and media professionals were killed last year alone, although the peak year was 155 killings in 2006, it said.

“At least 2,297 journalists and media staff have been killed since 1990,” the report said.

With just one out of 10 killings investigated, the IFJ said failure to end the impunity for killings and other attacks on media professionals only fuels the violence against them.

110 journalists killed in 2015, mostly in ‘peaceful’ countries: RSF

Full report at: tribune.com.pk/story/1040096/at-least-2297-journalists-killed-since-1990-ifj/

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Pakistan military offers help for Indian soldiers buried under Siachen avalanche

February 4th, 2016

RAWALPINDI: The director general military operations (DGMO) of Pakistan Army called his Indian counterpart on Thursday and offered assistance for the rescue and recovery of Indian Army personnel who went missing after an avalanche hit the Siachen glacier area.

Ten Indian soldiers were feared buried in an avalanche that hit Siachen glacier in the India-held portion of Kashmir on Wednesday,

The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post at an altitude of 19,000 feet.

An Indian army statement had earlier stated the post was being manned by a junior officer and nine soldiers when the avalanche struck.

Read: 10 Indian soldiers go missing after avalanche hits glacier

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237378/pakistan-military-offers-help-for-indian-soldiers-buried-under-siachen-avalanche

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Afghan spy chief arrives today Pakistan on trust mending mission

February 4, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The head of Afghanistan’s top spy agency is due to travel to Islamabad today (Thursday) on a crucial visit that seeks to restore trust marred by a blame game between the two neighbours.

Director of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Masoud Andarabi will hold talks with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar and other senior officials on a whole range of security matters, a security official said on condition of anonymity.

Afghan spy chief resigns over Ghani’s remarks in Pakistan

This is the first visit by the Afghan spymaster in recent months and is part of efforts by the two neighbours to sort out their differences on some of the pressing issues, including terrorist sanctuaries and better border management.

Full report at: tribune.com.pk/story/1039996/restoring-trust-afghan-spy-chief-arrives-today-on-trust-mending-mission/

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Concern over delay in disbursement of US Coalition Support Fund

February 4th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The defence ministry has expressed concern over the delay in release of the $350 million tranche of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) by the US Congress for want of a certification by the American defence secretary that Pakistani counter-terrorism operations were disrupting the Haqqani Network’s sanctuaries on its soil.

“The issues of the decrease in Coalition Support Fund and the economic difficulties in dealing with the crises of North Waziristan’s internally displaced persons also came under discussion,” a defence ministry statement said, after a meeting between defence secretary, retired Lt Gen Muhammad Alam Khattak, and US Ambassador David Hale.

Under the US National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2016, the US Congress had conditioned the release of the $350m tranche to a certification by the American defence secretary, declaring that Pakistani military operations in North Waziristan were disrupting the freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network. The secretary must also confirm that the Pakistani government is coordinating with Kabul to restrict the movement of militants across the border.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237348/concern-over-delay-in-disbursement-of-us-coalition-support-fund

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A thriving meth addiction ruins lives and minds in KP

SALMAN YOUSAFZAI‏

04 02 16

PESHAWAR: Wild eyed and hollow-cheeked, there are seven pale men in a dark room. Subterranean in its gloominess, the room holds them together like siblings in a womb, warm and comforting, its air redolent with the staleness of their breath, the chemical smell of their sweat.

They sit close to each other, momentarily surfacing to reality, to the here and now, responding with some effort when addressed. But they can’t stay on the surface for long, and always want to plunge back again.

Some here are only students. One is a mechanic, another works as a daily-wage labourer. One of them says he is “self-employed”, reluctant to elaborate on his vocation.

From their speech, struggles and stories, one can assume they are more or less from a middle class background.

“I didn’t sleep for five days when I first tried it,” begins Ahmad Khan, 30, sitting in a corner. He speaks with the energy and hyperactivity of one stimulated by crystal methamphetamine, or the “club-drug” meth.

But the gathering in this room is hardly a party—although if it is, the fun never stops for the people who stay, who converge here daily here to inhale “ice.” They describe the pull as “incredible”.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1236780/a-thriving-meth-addiction-ruins-lives-and-minds-in-kp

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Mideast

Turkish PM says 70,000 refugees heading to Turkey due to increased bombing in Aleppo

February 04, 2016

Tens of thousands of Syrians are moving towards the Turkish border from the Syrian city of Aleppo due to increased aerial bombardment, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Thursday at a fundraising conference in London.

“Ten thousand new refugees are waiting in front of the door of Kilis because of air bombardments and attacks against Aleppo,” he said, citing new information he had received on his way to London.

Kilis is a border province in southern Turkey abutting an area of Syria largely opposition-held.

“Sixty to seventy thousand people in the camps in north Aleppo are moving towards Turkey. My mind is not now in London, but in our border – how to relocate these new people coming from Syria?” he added. “Three hundred thousand people living in Aleppo are ready to move towards Turkey.”

Full report at: todayszaman.com/latest-news_turkish-pm-says-70000-refugees-heading-to-turkey-due-to-increased-bombing-in-aleppo_411432.html

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Turkey to send envoy back to Vatican after Armenia ‘genocide’ row

AFP | Feb 4, 2016

ANKARA: Turkey says it will send its ambassador back to the Vatican, after recalling him last year in a row over Pope Francis’ use of the word “genocide” to describe the massacres of Armenians by Ottoman forces during World War I.

The foreign ministry said Wednesday its decision came after the Vatican published a statement welcoming Ankara’s willingness — first expressed in 2005 — to create a commission of Turkish and Armenian historians to study the 1915 killings.

“In this context… the decision has been taken to send our ambassador Mehmet Pacaci back to the Vatican,” ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a statement.

Turkey recalled its ambassador in April last year, days away from the 100th anniversary of what the pope described as “the first genocide of the 20th century”.

A furious Ankara accused the pope of a “selective overview” of World War I and “ignoring the atrocities suffered by the Turkish and Muslim peoples who lost their lives” in favour of concentrating on Christians and above all Armenians.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Turkey-to-send-envoy-back-to-Vatican-after-Armenia-genocide-row/articleshow/50850092.cms

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Senior Fath Al-Halab Commander Flees to Turkey

February 04, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior commander of the Fath al-Halab (Conquest of Aleppo) terrorists group fled the battle against the Syrian army in Northern Aleppo and took shelter in Turkey.

“Commander of Fath all-Halab’s operations room Major Yasser Abdel Rahim has escaped to Turkey,” both sides of the war confirmed on Wednesday.

Reports from Aleppo province said earlier today that militant groups are evacuating all villages and areas near the towns of Nubl and al-Zahra as the Syrian army, Hezbollah and popular forces continue to gain ground in nearby areas.

Field sources said the Syrian army and its allies’ victories in the last 72 hours have forced the terrorist groups, including Nouriddeen al-Zinki movement (al-Nusra affiliated) to withdraw from their positions near the towns of Nubl and al-Zahra to evade more casualties.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941114001482

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Erdoğan says Syria talks pointless while Russian attacks continue

February 04, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Syrian peace talks in Geneva, which were suspended on Wednesday, were pointless while President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Russia continued their attacks in the country.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura halted his efforts to conduct the talks after the Syrian army, backed by Russian air strikes, advanced against rebel forces north of Aleppo.

“Russia continues to kill people in Syria. Could there be such a peace gathering? Could there be such peace talks?” Erdoğan said in a speech in Peru, in comments published on the presidency website.

“In an environment where children are still being killed, such attempts do not have any function apart from making things easier for the tyrant,” he said.

De Mistura announced a three-week pause in the Geneva talks, the first attempt in two years to negotiate an end to Syria’s war. Another senior UN official said the Russian escalation was the main reason.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/latest-news_erdogan-says-syria-talks-pointless-while-russian-attacks-continue_411414.html

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Turkish parties hold first meeting to draft new constitution

February 04, 2016

A Turkish parliamentary commission is meeting in a fresh push to draft a new Constitution that would replace the current charter which is a legacy of the 1980 military coup.

The Constitutional Consensus Commission, comprised of legislators from all four parties in parliament, held its first meeting on Thursday.

While all parties agree on the need to overhaul the constitution, the opposition strongly opposes the ruling party’s plans to turn Turkey’s political system into a presidential one, giving the president executive powers. Currently, the president’s role is largely ceremonial.

The opposition fears that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has grown increasingly authoritarian, is aiming to concentrate too much power in his hands.

todayszaman.com/latest-news_turkish-parties-hold-first-meeting-to-draft-new-constitution_411412.html

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EU approves Turkey migration fund as Italy drops objections

February 03, 2016

European Union countries approved on Wednesday funds for Turkey to help refugees and migrants in the country in exchange for Ankara ensuring fewer of them venture out towards Europe.

All 28 EU countries signed off on the proposal at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday after Italy dropped its opposition to the plan, which was first approved in November.

The bloc’s executive European Commission welcomed the decision.

“Turkey now hosts one of the world’s largest refugee communities and has committed to significantly reducing the numbers of migrants crossing into the EU,” said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/latest-news_eu-approves-turkey-migration-fund-as-italy-drops-objections_411388.html

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Curfew removed in half of Sur as two more soldiers fall

February 03, 2016

Two soldiers who were injured in a skirmish with terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Tuesday died of their wounds in hospital on Wednesday, while local authorities ended a curfew in half of Diyarbakır’s Sur district on the same day.

Three soldiers were injured when PKK members opened fire on security forces during an operation to fill trenches and remove barricades in Sur.

One of the soldiers lost his life on Wednesday morning while the other died in the afternoon, according to a statement from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) on Wednesday.

One of the men was identified as Spc. Sgt. Göksel Cin. News of Cin’s death devastated his family, who live in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak, while the identity of the second soldier had not been announced by the time Today’s Zaman went to print.

While curfews imposed on 11 neighborhoods in Diyarbakır continue, the number of curfews imposed in Sur was increased but later reduced. A curfew was imposed on the remaining four neighborhoods of Sur as of 12 a.m. on Tuesday by the Sur District Governor’s Office. Camii Kebir, Camii Nebi, İskenderpaşa and Melikahmet were the four neighborhoods that the curfew was extended to due to clashes between the military and the PKK. However, a statement from the Sur District Governor’s Office on Wednesday said that curfews imposed on nine Sur neighborhoods on Jan. 27 and Feb. 2 were lifted as of 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Local residents in Sur moved to leave the district on Wednesday, taking advantage of the lifting of the curfew in half of the district to escape any further clashes between security forces and the PKK.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_curfew-removed-in-half-of-sur-as-two-more-soldiers-fall_411383.html

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Turkey rejects Russian request for routine observation flight

February 04, 2016

Turkey has rejected a Russian request for a routine observation flight over its territory under a decade-old pact meant to enhance mutual confidence, a move Moscow said set “a dangerous precedent”.

Russia and NATO member Turkey back opposing sides in Syria’s civil war, with Moscow supporting President Bashar al-Assad, while Ankara supports rebel fighters battling to overthrow him.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara have deteriorated sharply since Nov. 24, when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border, saying it had violated its air space. Russia denied any incursion.

Under a 1992 treaty allowing signatories to conduct aerial observation on each other’s territory to promote transparency in military affairs, Russia had been scheduled to conduct its latest flight over Turkey between Feb. 2-5.

But Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday an agreement could not be reached and the flight did not occur.

Russia blamed Turkey, saying Ankara had not set any conditions for the proposed observation flight, but that when Moscow proposed a route which included surveillance of Turkish regions bordering Syria, it was rejected.

“In this way, as a result of the violation of the terms of the treaty and Turkey’s unconstructive actions, a dangerous precedent has been set for uncontrolled activities by one of the signatories of the Open Skies treaty,” Russian defense ministry official Sergei Ryzhkov said.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/latest-news_turkey-rejects-russian-request-for-routine-observation-flight_411408.html

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Europe

No confusion in war against terrorism, says British diplomat

February 4th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Outgoing British High Commissioner Philip Barton said it was a positive development that there is a consensus in Pakistan over tackling all terror groups, instead of arguing over which ones to take on.

The Mr Barton is set to leave Pakistan next week as his tenure as high commissioner ends after two years. He was addressing an event at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), held in his honour on Wednesday.

He said Pakistan was born in a challenging neighbourhood, and that the country had difficult relationships with most of its neighbours.

“But I believe this is changing,” Mr Barton said, and referred to Iran’s emergence from international sanctions and its drive to improve its economy, saying it was good news for Pakistan.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237289/no-confusion-in-war-against-terrorism-says-british-diplomat

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Most Germans say refugee crisis ‘uncontrolled’ by Merkel govt – poll

4 Feb, 2016

Nearly four in five Germans believe Merkel’s government isn’t controlling the refugee crisis, and welcome tougher measures to deal with it, a recent poll by ARD Deutschlandtrend suggested on Wednesday.

The majority of Germans seem to disagree with Angela Merkel’s refugee policy, according to a poll conducted by ARD Deutschlandtrend last weekend. Asked whether “the federal government has the refugee situation under control,” 81 percent of Germans answered “No,” with only 18 percent saying “Yes.”

Migrants applaud and take pictures with their mobile phones as German President Joachim Gauck arrives at a provisional tent home for refugees in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne, Germany. © Wolfgang Rattay Germany to cut benefits to refugees who don’t integrate – labor minister

Full report at: https://rt.com/news/331232-merkel-refugee-crisis-poll/

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Muslim meat shop sprayed with bullets in France

February 4th, 2016

AJACCIO: The front window of a Muslim butcher’s shop was sprayed with bullets during the night on the French island of Corsica, where communal tensions have flared in recent months, local prosecutor Eric Bouillard said on Wednesday.

The shop, in the centre of the resort town of Propriano, was “hit with a torrent of heavy-weapons fire,” said Bouillard. No one was injured.

Corsica, known as the “Isle of Beauty” for its turquoise waters and picturesque mountains, was rocked by anti-Arab riots over Christmas.

dawn.com/news/1237239/muslim-meat-shop-sprayed-with-bullets-in-france

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European banks hesitate on Iran, wary of US fines

February 4th, 2016

PARIS: Western companies have been rushing into Iran for a part of post-sanctions business action but European banks, still reeling from punitive US fines over links to the country, are waiting on the sidelines until they feel it is safe to do business with Tehran.

“Sanctions have been lifted but really things are still not very clear,” a source at a major French bank told AFP on condition of anonymity.

US and French interpretations on the current state of play are “not aligned”, the source said. “We shall not be taking any new initiative in this domain.”

The sealing of a nuclear deal with world powers has ushered Iran in from the diplomatic deep freeze, opening the door to a raft of lucrative new partnerships.

France has already hailed a new era after welcoming Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who sealed a host of post-sanctions deals last week on a visit to Paris, the headliner the purchase of 118 Airbus aircraft.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237252/european-banks-hesitate-on-iran-wary-of-us-fines

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Britain pledges $1.74bn in aid for Syria and neighbours

February 4th, 2016

LONDON: The British government announced $1.74 billion in aid for war-torn Syria and its neighbours on Thursday, ahead of a donors’ conference in London.

“More money is needed to tackle this crisis and it is needed now,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement announcing the pledge, which will fund education, jobs and humanitarian relief in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The promise amounts to an extra $1.74bn, to be spent between 2016 and 2020, to address “the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis”, Cameron’s office said. Britain has already agreed to spend $1.62bn on the region.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1237369/britain-pledges-174bn-in-aid-for-syria-and-neighbours

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Islamic State propaganda video features Karl Stefanovic

February 4, 2016

Vision of the Today host fleeing the Place de la Republique in Paris is now running in a propaganda video produced by Islamic State.

TV host Karl Stefanovic has hit back at Islamic State, firing off a cheeky tweet after the terrorist group used footage of him in their latest propaganda video.

Brief footage of the host of the Nine Network’s Today show featured at the start of the slick, 12-minute video titled “So we will give him a good life”, released overnight via an Islamic State channel on the encrypted communication service Telegram.

The video, seen by Fairfax Media, begins with scenes of heavily armed police and armoured vehicles mobilising as the deadly December 2015 attack in in San Bernardino, California unfolds.

Full report at: smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/islamic-state-propaganda-video-features-karl-stefanovic-20160204-gmlbi5.html#ixzz3zCQToDyu

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MILIBAND: ‘IMPLOSION’ IN MUSLIM WORLD FUELLING REFUGEE CRISIS

February 4, 2016

LONDON – Civil wars crippling many Muslim states and fuelling a global refugee crisis are driven in part by major struggles within Islam that cannot be ignored, former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Wednesday.

This “implosion” in many Muslim-majority countries has forced people from their homes in “unheard-of” numbers, said Miliband, now head of the New York-based humanitarian group International Rescue Committee.

Miliband spoke at the international affairs think-tank Chatham House in London. He will take part in a major conference on Thursday in the British capital that aims to raise billions of dollars from donors to respond to the Syrian crisis.

“More people are fleeing conflict, they’re fleeing conflict significantly in Muslim-majority countries, so the implosion in the Islamic world, in Afghanistan, in the Middle East, is driving it,” he said.

Full report at: ewn.co.za/2016/02/03/Implosion-in-Muslim-world-fuelling-refugee-crisis

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/to-silence-propaganda,-iraq-seeks-to-take-islamic-state-offline/d/106230

 

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