U.S. citizen accused of becoming ISIS sniper and training fighters in Syria

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

U.S. citizen accused of becoming ISIS sniper and training fighters in Syria

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov is accused of trying to recruit someone he didn’t know was a confidential informant for the New York City Police Department.

Afghanistan: Several Killed, Scores Wounded in Blast Outside Kabul University

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Several Killed, Scores Wounded in Blast Outside Kabul University

Friday, 19 July, 2019 – 11:30
Workers clean the site of an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, July 19, 2019. A powerful bomb exploded outside the gates of Kabul University in the Afghan capital on Friday, according to police and health officials. (AP Photo)
Asharq Al-Awsat
A deadly bomb exploded outside the Kabul University in the Afghan capital on Friday.

At least eight people were killed, while almost 33 were wounded, according to police and health officials, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

A number of the wounded are reported to be in critical condition.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest to target Kabul. However, both the Taliban and ISIS often stage large-scale bombings in the city.

The early blast also set two vehicles ablaze although it wasn’t clear if the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber or a remotely detonated bomb, stated Kabul police spokesman Ferdous Faramarz.

The casualty tolls were released by the Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Wahidullah Mayar over Twitter.

“All the wounded patients were evacuated to our hospitals and have been receiving the required treatment,” he tweeted.

According to AP, after initial reports of six dead, Mayer said two people died of their wounds and that the number of wounded rose to 33, following reports from hospitals around the city.

The university compound houses several hostels where many students stay over the summer, attending classes and working on research projects.

In a 2016 attack, 13 people were killed, mostly students, and more than 40 people were wounded when militants attacked the American University in Kabul. In that attack, a car bomb exploded outside the university gates, followed by a blistering, hours-long attack in which gunmen roamed through the compound shooting at students and teachers.

Philippines: IF TERROR ATTACKS REACH METRO MANILA Duterte may expand martial law

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MANILA TIMES)

 

IF TERROR ATTACKS REACH METRO MANILA

Duterte may expand martial law – Palace

JULY 19, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte might be forced to declare martial law if extremists carry out terror attacks in Metro Manila, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President was “very concerned” over potential security threats in the region arising from the suicide bombings in Mindanao.

President Rodrigo Duterte. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

“He can declare martial law, he can declare a revolutionary government, he can use other emergency powers under the Constitution to quell whatever violence or any attempt at destroying this Republic,” Panelo said when asked what the President could do to prevent a possible spillover of terror attacks in other parts of the country.

“Pwede niyang gawin lahat ‘yun (He can do all of these). The military or all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, under the Constitution, are obligated to protect the people. The President can use the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he added.

The police and military had confirmed that one of the suicide bombers in Jolo, Sulu was a Filipino identified as Norman Lasuca.

Lasuca and another suspected Abu Sayyaf member blew themselves up at the Philippine Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team camp in Indanan.

“‘Yun nga ang kinakatakot niya kasi may [Filipino] suicide bomber na (That’s what he’s afraid of because there’s already a Filipino suicide bomber). He’s very concerned about that. Kaya ‘di ba nag-warning siya sa enemies of the state, “Don’t force my hand. I will not allow the disintegration of this country,” he added.

“Kaya nga ‘di ba (That’s why [the President said]): ‘Don’t force me to the wall. ‘Pag hindi kayo tumigil (If you will not stop), I’ll be compelled to use powers granted to me by the Constitution, lalung-lalo pa ‘yung terorismo makarating dito sa Maynila (especially if terrorism reaches Metro Manila),” Panelo said during a news briefing.

The President placed Mindanao under martial rule after the Islamic State-linked Maute terror group laid siege to Marawi City in 2017.
Congress extended martial law until December 31, 2019.

The National Capital Region [Metro Manila] Police Office (NCRPO) hoisted full alert status days after the Sulu suicide attacks, but it was lifted two days later.

NCRPO chief Guillermo Eleazar, however, said the mobilization of police personnel would continue, as intelligence operations had been intensified to foil any possible terror plans and detect terrorist personalities.

Last week, Duterte said he was strengthening the military and police as he sees “dangerous times” ahead.

“I see very dangerous times ahead. Lumalabas nga ‘yung pawis sa kamay ko (My palms sweat) just thinking about it, if it would go awry outside of Sulu and [the] Basilan Islands,” he added.

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood is Source of World’s Extremist Organizations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood is Source of World’s Extremist Organizations

Tuesday, 16 July, 2019 – 11:45
A general view of Cairo, September 13, 2018. (Reuters)
Cairo – Walid Abul Rahman
Egypt said all takfiri groups stem from the same extremist ideological source established by the Muslim Brotherhood organization, stressing the need to continue efforts to address terrorism in all its forms.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez made this stance at a meeting of the liaison strategy group of the Global Coalition against ISIS in Washington.

He said victories over ISIS should not be considered a final goal, adding that the only way to eliminate terrorism lies in adopting a unified international approach on an all-out confrontation of terrorist groups, their ideology and activities.

Hafez cited the initiative launched by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to renew religious discourse, praising the role played by the al-Azhar and Dar al-Iftaa to counter terrorism.

He stressed that Egypt will continue to support the liaison strategy group based on its experience in combating terrorism, highlighting the role played by its religious institutions in correcting misconceptions about religion and promoting moderate Islam.

An international study by Center on Religion and Geopolitics in Britain noted that 50 percent of extremists have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or related organizations.

Meanwhile, Advisor to Egypt’s Mufti, Ibrahim Najm stated that the Brotherhood is the root of extremism in the world, accusing it of adopting destructive rhetoric and inciting violence.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat that organizations like the Brotherhood make false interpretations of the holy Quran to justify their actions and legitimize their crimes.

Egypt Has Succeeded in Destroying Terror Infrastructure, Says Sisi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Egypt Has Succeeded in Destroying Terror Infrastructure, Says Sisi

Monday, 1 July, 2019 – 11:45
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Reuters file photo
Cairo – Mohammed Abdo Hasanein
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said Sunday that his country has succeeded in destroying the infrastructure of terrorist organizations six years after the June 30 revolution that toppled former president Mohamed Morsi.

The Muslim-Brotherhood affiliate was deposed on July 3, 2013, following widespread popular protests against his one-year rule. He died during his trial on June 17.

In an address to the nation on the sixth anniversary of the June 30 revolt, Sisi said it wasn’t but a cry to express the patriotism of millions of Egyptians, which have been embraced by their country and their ancestors over the years.

“The loyalty of Egyptians to their country and their rejection of any attempt to erase their national identity are facts that can’t be changed with time,” Sisi noted.

He said that his people are loyal, and their belonging to their nation and identity marks a priority.

“Masses of Egyptians in the June 30 Revolution marked a path for us to walk through,” Sisi said, noting that their priority is to protect and preserve the country and then improve it in order for Egypt to become a developed nation that provides next generations decent opportunities and a life that is compatible with the 21st century.

He pointed out that over the past years, the country has managed to avoid suffering from chaos, fragmentation and conflicts.

“We have managed to destroy the infrastructure of terrorist organizations that tried to weaken the country.”

Sisi said Egypt had launched Comprehensive Operation – Sinai 2018, in which bloods were shed to eliminate “forces of evil and darkness.”

“Our armed forces and police personnel succeeded in protecting the nation and preserving its dignity until Egypt became a hub for stability, security and peace amid a turbulent regional environment,” Sisi said.

He pledged to maintain Egypt’s security in order to build a nation worthy for the next generations.

Egypt has been witnessing sporadic terrorist attacks since 2013, especially in the northern Sinai Peninsula, mainly by armed elements associated with ISIS organization.

PM Modi meets Turkish President, holds talks on counter-terrorism, defence

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

PM Modi meets Turkish President, holds talks on counter-terrorism, defence

The two leaders, who are in Osaka, Japan, met in the morning on the margins of the two-day G20 Summit and talked about the strong development partnership between India and Turkey.

WORLD Updated: Jun 29, 2019 12:00 IST

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Osaka
PM Modi,Turkey,President
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and held talks on a host of key issues including trade and investment, defence and counter-terrorism.(PM Modi/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and held talks on a host of key issues including trade and investment, defence and counter-terrorism.

The two leaders, who are in Osaka, Japan, met in the morning on the margins of the two-day G20 Summit and talked about the strong development partnership between India and Turkey.

According to Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, the two leaders’ discussions focused on trade and investment, defence, counter-terrorism, IT and civil aviation.

Follow live updates here

“The interactions in Osaka continue. A productive meeting with President @RTErdogan on the sidelines of the #G20 Summit. Both leaders talked about the strong development partnership between India and Turkey,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a tweet.

The Turkish leader, during a two-day visit to India in July, 2018, assured India of his country’s full support in the fight against terrorism.

Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Modi met the presidents of Indonesia and Brazil separately on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit and discussed ways to boost bilateral ties and enhance cooperation in trade and investment.

On Friday, Modi held bilateral and plurilateral meetings with many leaders, including US President Donald Trump, Russian president Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Jun 29, 2019 11:59 IST

Egypt Foils Terrorist Plot Targeting the State

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Egypt Foils Terrorist Plot Targeting the State

Tuesday, 25 June, 2019 – 10:15
Special forces soldiers in Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Egypt announced on Tuesday that it had foiled a terrorist plot to target the state and its institutions on the anniversary of the June 30 revolt.

The Interior Ministry said police have arrested at least eight people for their ties to the outlawed terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group.

The arrest of Ziad el-Elaimy, a former lawmaker, was part of a raid that targeted at least 19 businesses and economic entities linked to the Brotherhood.

The ministry revealed economist Omar el-Shenety and journalists Hossam Monis and Hisam Fouad were also arrested.

The plot was being planned by fugitive Brotherhood members residing abroad with parties that claim to represent civilian political forces.

The suspects were planning to stage riots against public institutions and inciting the people against the state through an organized campaign over social media and satellite television channels broadcasting from abroad.

The most prominent terrorist plotters abroad are Brotherhood members Mahmoud Hussein and Ali Battikh, journalists Moataz Matar and Mohammed Nasser and fugitive convict Ayman Nour.

Egypt: Sisi Calls For Countering Extremism With Enlightened Thinking

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Sisi Calls For Countering Extremism With Enlightened Thinking

Monday, 3 June, 2019 – 10:45
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi giving a speech during his swearing in ceremony on June 2, 2018, for a second four-year term in office, at the parliament meeting hall in Cairo. | Egyptian presidency / AFP
Cairo- Mohamed Nabil Helmy
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for strengthening efforts to confront extremism through an enlightened religious and intellectual discourse.

Speaking during a celebration of the Night of Decree (Laylat al-Qadr), Sisi the people’s behaviors could affect the image of their religion negatively or positively in other nations’ views.

“Strong religion could be weakened by its believers’ behaviors,” the Egyptian president said, adding that Muslims should represent Islam in a good way through their practices.

Sisi warned against the dangers of Islamophobia and called on religious scholars to raise the moderate religious awareness and combat extremism among the youth, adding that the enlightened religious discourse was the best way to fight extremist ideology.

Since his accession to power in 2014, Sisi has focused on the issue of “renewing religious discourse.” His official speeches and interventions at public events often include a call to religious scholars to use moderate rhetoric.

The president expressed his regret at the presence of some hardline and extremist intellectuals, who make Muslims feel insecure.

“We have been killed by our own people for years and we spent a huge amount of money on our security [to be protected] from this ideology,” he stated.

“Our main objective is to preserve the essence of religion and to educate young people to understand the dangers of radical thought on the one hand and the magnitude of challenges and risks on the other,” Sisi added.

Tunisian Security Forces Arrest 3-Member Terror Cell

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Tunisian Security Forces Arrest 3-Member Terror Cell

Monday, 3 June, 2019 – 11:15
Tunisia’s counter-terrorism forces uncovered a three-member takfiri terror cell. (Reuters)
Tunis – Mongi Saidani
Tunisia’s counter-terrorism forces uncovered a three-member takfiri terror cell that was plotting operations in the central-eastern areas between the Mahdia and Sfax regions.

It was headed by an ex-convict affiliated with the banned radical Ansar al-Sharia group and who was indicted in what is known as the Suleiman 2006 terror case.

Counter-terrorism task forces succeeded in arresting all members of the group while they were attempting to rob a wealthy residence.

Well-informed sources said that the terrorists had accused the rich figures of the eastern coast of Tunisia with apostasy and plotted to systematically plunder and pillage their assets.

During preliminary investigations, the suspects confessed to plotting multiple robberies against a host of victims.

They also confessed to abducting a wealthy resident and demanding a ransom from their family in return for their safe release.

After legal proceedings are concluded, it is likely that the suspects will be convicted and face jail time.

Separately, a Tunisian man in his thirties was tried in a criminal court on terror-linked charges.

Investigations revealed that he was in contact with senior leaders in the terror group, ISIS, and was involved in provoking attacks against security forces.

Afghanistan: Senior Cleric Among Casualties in Kabul Mosque Blast

( THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Senior Cleric Among Casualties in Kabul Mosque Blast

Friday, 24 May, 2019 – 11:30
Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan December 18 ,2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Asharq Al-Awsat
A bomb exploded in a mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul, during Friday prayers, officials said, killing three people including a religious scholar and wounding at least 20 men who had gathered for worship.

The preacher, Samiullah Raihan, was a supporter of the Western-backed Afghan government which Taliban militants are trying to bring down. He was also a member of the National Ulema Council, Afghanistan’s top Muslim clerical body.

Firdaws Faramarz, a police spokesman, said explosives were apparently placed near the altar of the Al-Taqwa mosque, a place used by the mosque leader to initiate the prayers.

Jan Agha, a district police official, said the bomb was apparently planted in the microphone used by the mosque leader.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but the Taliban and ISIS militants regularly stage attacks in the capital.

The explosion hit at a time when dozens of men had gathered for prayers. The death toll could rise, said a second official.

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