Islam in the News (May 2012)

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Islam in the News
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'Islam in the News' contains worldwide news concerning Islam and its followers. Further news covering the persecution of minorities, free speech, and some other issues can be found via the hub page


Azerbaijan: 40 people arrested for plotting a terrorist attack on Eurovision Song Contest in Baku

Azerbaijan says it has arrested 40 people suspected of having plotted a "terrorist" attack on last week's Eurovision Song Contest in Baku.

The Azeri National Security Ministry says the plotters had planned to attack the event's venue - the Baku Crystal Hall - and several hotels on the eve of the competition.

The news was deliberately held back to prevent alarm among visitors, it adds.
. . .

Twenty-six countries took part in the final in Baku, in front of a live audience of some 20,000.

Nigeria: Joint Task Force (JTF) confirms German hostage was executed by Muslim captors during raid

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kano state has been reacting to the murder of a German national Mr Edgar Fritz Raupach who had been held hostage in Kano state, north western Nigeria since January.

The JTF in a statement disclosed that Raupach was killed during a raid by security forces on an enclave near Bayero University Kano, where some terrorist commanders were said to be meeting.
. . .

The JTF added that while conducting a search of the hideout, they found the handcuffed corpse of an expatriate, later identified as the German national who was kidnapped in Kano in January this year, along Zaria bye pass while working for Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company. He was allegedly killed by the terrorists on noticing the security forces.

Commentary: The Arab Spring was no prelude to democracy, rush to back change proved somewhat naive

First we were encouraged to lend our support to the overthrow of the corrupt Ben Ali regime in Tunisia. This was quickly followed by calls for the removal of the other North African dictatorships, with the fall of Egypt’s long-standing dictator President Hosni Mubarak eventually followed by the less edifying demise of Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Before long this unexpected display of people power had become the “Arab Spring”, and from Bahrain to Yemen, Syria to Saudi Arabia, we were urged to support the removal of all the region’s despots.

Personally, I’ve always been rather wary of this somewhat naive rush to back change for change’s sake. It’s not that I have any great desire to see these corrupt and anachronistic autocracies propped up ad infinitum: it is more a question of pragmatism, of wanting to know what kind of government is going to replace them, and what bearing it will have on Britain’s future interests in the region.

And if the experiences of the past year are anything to go by, the protests can hardly be judged a success story. Of all the countries affected by the turmoil, Tunisia is arguably the only one that has made a successful transition from dictatorship to democracy.
. . .
Elsewhere, the omens are even less encouraging. Eight months after Colonel Gaddafi’s brutal murder, Libya remains in thrall to the warring bands of militias – some of them al-Qaeda acolytes – who are determined to hold on to their independent fiefdoms, rather than embrace the cause of democratic reform Libyans were promised if they supported the dictator’s overthrow.

In neighbouring Egypt, meanwhile, where the defiant protests in Tahrir Square last year fostered the belief that wholesale democratic reform was about to sweep the Arab world, the choice for 50 million voters is between the military and the Islamists, two groups not renowned for their commitment to democracy.

This depressing pattern is repeated throughout the region. The political instability in Yemen following President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s retirement has resulted in a dramatic upgrade in al-Qaeda’s terrorist capabilities, while attempts by Bahrain’s ruling family to reconcile their differences with Shia Muslim dissenters have been undermined by the pernicious involvement of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, whose long‑term ambition is to achieve the overthrow of the country’s Sunni Muslim monarchy.

So much, then, for the “Arab Spring”, which, as I have consistently argued, is an intellectually flawed concept dreamt up by those who conveniently overlook the forces at play in Arab countries.

This is particularly true in Syria, where the minority Alawite clan headed by President Bashar al-Assad, which represents just 10 per cent of the population, is involved in a desperate battle for survival against the majority Sunnis.

There are no doubt some members of the Syrian opposition who would genuinely like to see a more democratic system of government established in Damascus. But as the recent experience of similar protest movements in Libya and Egypt demonstrates, the voices of those calling for Western-style liberal reforms are invariably crushed by the more ruthless, and better organised, forces of militant Islam and military tyranny.

And it is for this reason that, as we weigh our options for Syria, we should proceed with the utmost caution. There is, of course, always the possibility that the Assad dictatorship will be replaced by a Western‑style democracy similar to that in neighbouring Lebanon.

But in view of the growing influence of al-Qaeda and other hard-line Islamist groups in the conflict, that seems a remote possibility. Saudi Arabia, the country that gave the world al-Qaeda and the Taliban, has now emerged as one of the most influential backers of the rebels, with all the implications that could have for the country’s post-Assad settlement.
The Arab Spring was no prelude to democracy
Con Coughlin, The Telegraph, May 31, 2012

UK: Prisoners fear Muslim violence & are bullied into converting to Islam, too afraid to cooking bacon

Prisoners are under pressure to convert to an Islamic “gang” at a high-security jail, with non-Muslims in fear of violence just for cooking bacon, according to an official report.

Inmates at HMP Whitemoor told researchers commissioned by the Ministry of Justice that they changed their faith for protection or because they were bullied into it.

Prison guards said they had a policy of “appeasement” towards the powerful and growing Islamic population, particularly convicted terrorists who were feared to be recruiting future extremists.

Non-believers avoided confrontation with any Muslim in case it led to retribution from the wider group, and said they even avoided cooking pork or bacon in communal kitchens or undressing in the showers in case it caused offence.
. . .
Prisoners told the researchers that becoming Muslim was a “cover” for power and influence.

Loners including sex offenders gained safety from joining a large and dominant group, as fellow members would defend them.

Non-Muslims and prison officers claimed that it was an “organised gang” and a “protection racket” rather than a religion, which “glorified terrorist behaviour and exploited the fear related to it”.

Others said they had felt under pressure to convert, with people leaving Islamic literature in their cells and telling them to “read this”, or promising they would be safe from physical assault if they changed faith.

“The threat of assaults motivated by religious fanaticism or extremist ideology added weight to the atmosphere at Whitemoor.”

Guards said there were “proper Al-Qaeda” members in the jail, who were regarded with “awe” by younger inmates, but they avoided confrontation and had “runners” to do their bidding.

Some prisoners described the place as a “recruiting drive for the Taliban” and fertile ground for hatred and a new generation of extremists.

One inmate said he was targeted because he wore a Remembrance Day poppy and his brother served in the Army, with people shouting “your wife’s burning in hell because she’s not a Muslim” at him.

But it was also claimed that non-Muslims felt “envy” at the preferential treatment, including better food, given to Muslims.
Prisoners under pressure to convert to Muslim 'gang'
Martin Beckford, The Telegraph, May 30, 2012

Muslim slavery Europe: Underage German sex-slave tortured, humiliated and forced to have sex with dogs

Several days ago, the world was shocked with the news from Europe. A family couple from Bosnia and Herzegovina had been keeping a young German woman as their slave for eight years. The victim of family violence is now 19 years of age.

The Bosnian couple - Milenko Marinkovic, 52, and his wife Slavojka Marinkovic, 45, - were torturing and starving an underage girl, whose name was Karla. The girl would be raped by other men on a regular basis.

It was the couple's neighbors, who called the police. One of them said that he saw Marinkovic harnessing the girl to a cart and whipping her, as if she was a horse. The couple made the German woman come into unnatural relations with dogs - just out of sadism, Austrian portal said. The victim was kept indoors. The woman was not allowed to communicate with other people at all. She had to eat the fodder that her masters would give to their pigs.

It still remains unknown why the authorities did not take any measures against the Bosnian couple to save the German child eight years ago. It was said that the Bosnians hid the girl in the basement, and the police did not find her. This time, the authorities decided to act only after a neighbor filed a written statement against his neighbors and presented a photo of the exhausted and bruised young woman.

They were hiding the girl in a forest. When she was found, she weighed only 40 kilos. She currently stays in an orphanage, although her physical and psychological condition leaves much to be desired. The rehabilitation process will take a lot of time, medics said.

Karla was taken to Bosnia eight years ago. Her mother, a German citizen, had been married to Milenko Marinkovic in spite of the fact that the man already had a wife from Bosnia -Slavojka. Karla's mother had a work permit in Germany and Austria. She left her daughter to the Bosnian man, and kept silence about the violence in the family.

This story received an extensive coverage in the European press. Many people - bloggers and journalists - started discussing the issue of Islamic slavery in the Mediterranean region. It is worthy of note that the above-mentioned family is known as the Marinkovics, but their cousin's name is Mohammed Makalic.

Here is what a German blog had to say:

"Muslim slavery is still preserved up until today. Hundreds of thousands of men and women from the Philippines, Romania, India, Bulgaria, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh are used as house slaves. They don't pay them for their work, they treat them as dogs and feed them as they feed their pigs. Slaves can be raped and killed, if necessary."

Official publications prefer not to expose the Muslim names of the slave owners. Slavic names are used instead. It's true when they say that crime has no nationality. If so, why did they exhibit the Serbs as criminals in the midst of the war against Yugoslavia? The Serbs remained the primary war criminals after the war too.

However, honest journalists wrote during the war in the Balkans that it was not the Russian mafia or the Serbs that inundated Europe. According to them, Europe's biggest mobsters were ethnic Albanians. They were involved in a variety of most serious crimes that man could commit - human, arms, drug trafficking, etc.

We are only left to wonder if Europe shows any political will to find a way out of the maze of geopolitics and crime.
Muslim slavery in the center of Europe
English, May 30, 2012

Denmark: Police arrest two Somali Muslim brothers for plotting a terrorist act on Danish soil

Denmark's national security police said Tuesday they have arrested two brothers of Somali background on suspicion of plotting a terrorist act on Danish soil.

The brothers, aged 23 and 18, were arrested in separate locations late Monday, the Danish police force's national security agency, PET, said in a statement.

"It is the view of PET that the arrests have prevented a concrete terrorist act," the security police said.
. . .

One of the brothers has furthermore spent time at a Somali training camp belonging to terrorist group al-shabaab, something which is also illegal under Danish law, the police said.
Danish Police Arrest Two Brothers For Suspected Terrorist Plot
Flemming Emil Hansen, Dow Jones, May 29, 2012

US: Muslim charity encouraged/supported jihad and sent $130,000 to a bin Laden-founded organization

The former head of a defunct Muslim charity was sentenced to an additional 6 months of home confinement this afternoon in U.S. District Court.

However, Judge F. Dennis Saylor did not sentence Emadeddin Z. Muntasser, 47, to any further time in prison on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The Justice Department sought a sentence of 5 years in prison.

The decision cheered the 16 supporters of Mr. Muntasser, a Braintree resident, who were in court yesterday. They included his mother and wife, who shed tears of joy.
. . .
He has already served 5 months in prison and 5 1/2 months home confinement after being convicted of lying to the FBI in 2003 when he denied traveling to Afghanistan and meeting with a Muslim warlord there. His lawyer, Kathleen M. Sullivan of New York, said Mr. Muntasser also endured 74 months of electronic monitoring, curfews and travel restrictions since his indictment in 2005

She said he should not be further incarcerated on a crime that the advisory sentencing guideline calls for up to 6 months imprisonment.

Care International published a newsletter that encouraged jihad and supported Muslim holy warriors and sent $130,000 to an organization co-founded by Osama bin Laden, Ms. Siegmann said. She asked for stiff punishment to deter others as well as punish abuse of the tax system, causing taxpayers to unwittingly support jihad.

As he has throughout the trial, Judge Saylor said he views the case narrowly as a tax fraud and false statement case, and not a terrorism case.

Tunisia: Hundreds of devout Muslims attack bars and shops and clash with security forces

Hundreds of Salafi Islamists attacked bars and shops and clashed with security forces in a Tunisian town on Saturday in the latest incident to raise religious tensions in the home of the Arab Spring uprisings.

Police and witnesses in the northwestern town of Jendouba said hundreds of Salafis – followers of a puritanical interpretation of Islam – began rioting to protest over the arrest of four men in connection with previous attacks on alcohol vendors.

Police responded with tear gas, breaking up the crowd, but clashes had yet to die down, witnesses and police said. “This morning, four men were arrested in connection with attacks on alcohol vendors in recent days,” Interior Ministry official Lutfi al-Haydari told reporters.

“So hundreds of Salafis attacked the security base, pelting it with rocks and petrol bombs before they were dispersed by tear gas. They also set fire to a police station and attacked three shops in the town . . .”

He said police had fanned out across Jendouba to protect shops and public buildings from attack. One witness in the town said the rioters numbered about 500 and were armed with petrol bombs, terrifying residents.

“Masked Salafis armed with swords, petrol bombs and rocks attacked shops in the town and destroyed the goods inside and then set fire to the police station,” said a witness, who declined to give her name.

Kenya: "This is terrorism... this is a heinous act," bomb attack leaves at least 33 wounded

A large blast that wounded dozens of people in the centre of the Kenyan capital was a "terrorist" attack, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said, contradicting earlier police reports it was caused by an electrical fault.

"This is terrorism... this is a heinous act, we are under threat but we will not be cowed," Odinga told reporters at the site of the blast in Nairobi's commercial heart.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere earlier played down fears it had been a bomb attack by Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents by claiming the blast was caused by an electrical fault.

Kenya has been hit by a wave of grenade attacks the police have repeatedly blamed on Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents or its supporters.

Last month the hardline Shebab warned Kenya of revenge attacks for sending tanks and troops into Somalia in October.

Minutes after the blast the pro-Shebab Twitter site Al-Kataib reported a "huge explosion in Nairobi" although did not specifically claim any responsibility.
. . .
Kenya has suffered a series of attacks in the past several months. Two separate grenade attacks on Saturday wounded at least eight people in northeastern Kenya, the restive region bordering war-torn Somalia.

Earlier this month attackers launched a deadly grenade attack on a restaurant in the port city of Mombasa.

Indonesia: Lady Gaga refuses to tone down act, cancels show after devout Muslims threaten violence

Lady Gaga canceled her sold-out show in Indonesia after Islamist hard-liners threatened violence, claiming her sexy clothes and provocative dance moves would corrupt the youth.
. . .

The most notorious group, Islamic Defenders Front, called Lady Gaga a "messenger of the devil" and vowed to turn out at the airport by the thousands if she tried to step off the plane. Others said they bought tickets so they could wreak havoc from inside the 52,000-seat stadium in the capital, Jakarta.

Police responded by denying the necessary permits. Then, after public outcry, they said they'd reconsider — but only if Lady Gaga agreed to tone down her act.

Instead, she pulled the plug on what was supposed to be the biggest stop on her Asian tour.
Lady Gaga cancels Indonesian show after threats
Niniek Karmini, Associated Press, May 27, 2012

Syria: Shelling attack sparks international outrage, kills more than 90 people, including 32 children

Gruesome video Saturday showed rows of dead Syrian children lying in a mosque in bloody shorts and T-shirts with gaping head wounds, haunting images of what activists called one of the deadliest regime attacks yet in Syria’s 14-month-old uprising.

The shelling attack on Houla, a group of villages northwest of the central city of Homs, killed more than 90 people, including at least 32 children under the age of 10, the head of the U.N. observer team in Syria said.

The attacks sparked outrage from U.S. and other international leaders, and large protests in the suburbs of Syria’s capital of Damascus and its largest city, Aleppo. It also renewed fears of the relevance of a month-old international peace plan that has not stopped almost daily violence.

The U.N. denounced the attacks in a statement that appeared to hold President Bashar Assad’s regime responsible, and the White House called the violence acts of “unspeakable and inhuman brutality.”
. . .
The Syrian government blamed the killings on “armed terrorist groups” — a term it often uses for the opposition — but provided no details or death toll.

But like U.N. officials, the White House issued a statement directed at the regime.
32 children among latest casualties in Syria
Associated Press, May 27, 2012

UK's most senior Muslim politician faces probe over expenses, admits failing to declare rental income

Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi is facing calls for an investigation into her expenses over allegations that she claimed for overnight accommodation when staying at a friend's house rent-free.

Lady Warsi, a cabinet minister championed by David Cameron, insists that she made an 'appropriate payment' for the 'occasional nights' she stayed at a property occupied, but not owned by Tory official Naweed Khan.

Labour MP John Mann said he would be asking the Lords commissioner for standards to investigate.

Mr Khan, who later became Lady Warsi's special adviser, today backed her claim, releasing a statement saying she made a payment each time she stayed at the property.

However - according to reports in The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph - the owner of the property in Acton, West London, denies that he received any income from either Lady Warsi or Mr Khan.

The 41-year-old Tory peer was at the time claiming Lords subsistence of £165.50 a night from the taxpayer.

Mr Mann said: 'If you are paying no rent where you are staying, you can't possibly be claiming subsistence for staying there.

'It all seems very murky. We need a full investigation into the matter.'

In a separate embarrassment for Lady Warsi, the most senior Muslim politician in Britain, has also admitted failing to declare rental income on a London flat in the Lords register of interests.

The two revelations are another blow for the Prime Minister who is already facing the possibility of temporarily losing Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt over the BSkyB debacle.

US Congressman: American govt has abandoned Pakistani Doctor who risked life to help take down Osama

U.S. Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has said the persecution and unjust imprisonment of Dr Shakeel Afridi, who helped the U.S. locate Osama Bin Laden, explicitly demonstrates the fact that the Pakistan Government is on the side of terrorism and radical Islam.

"Dr Afridi's recent sentencing to three decades in prison is the crescendo of Pakistan's anti-Americanism," Fox News quoted Rohrabacher, as saying.

Dr Afridi was arrested in May 2011, several weeks after the successful raid to kill Osama, because he assisted the U.S. in bringing down the world's most wanted terrorist, responsible for the slaughter of over 3,000 innocent American lives on 9/11.

Rohrabacher said U.S. government has abandoned Dr Afridi, the same government he risked his life to help. Dr. Afridi has been waiting for help for over a year and the U.S. Congress and Obama administration are failing him.

Yemen: Suicide bomber kills at least twelve supporters of Shi'ite rebels who gathered near a school

Security officials and tribal leaders say at least 12 people were killed in eastern Yemen when a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a crowd.

The explosion on May 25 killed supporters of Shi'ite rebels who gathered near a school in al-Hazm, the capital of al-Jawf Province.

Officials say the attacker was a suspected member of an Al-Qaeda-linked group, which views Shi'ites as renegade Muslims.
Suicide Attack Kills 12 In East Yemen
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, May 25, 2012

"Arab Spring" brings change: Minorities in Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria now more at risk of genocide

Minorities across the Arab world face increasing risks to their lives following last year’s revolutions, rights activists have warned following the release of an annual list of people under threat.

Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria have all risen up the table since last year, according to Minority Rights Group whose survey seeks to identify those people at greatest risk of genocide, mass killing or other violent repression.

“If 2011 will be remembered as the year of the Arab Spring, then 2012 could become the year the revolutions soured,” said MRG Executive Director Mark Lattimer.

“The huge changes taking place across the Middle East and North Africa, while increasing hopes for democratisation, represent for both religious and ethnic minorities perhaps the most dangerous episode since the violent break-up of the Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia.”

Tunisia: Political party calls for polygamy to be allowed and adoption to be outlawed

The recently legalised Tunisian Salafite party 'Jabhet al-Islah' has called for polygamy to be allowed and adoption to be outlawed.

"It is no longer the time for armed jihad (holy war). We don't intend to use force to stop the sale of alcohol or the wearing of bikinis on the beaches. But we will not tolerate any atatck on the symbols of Islam,"
. . .
Jabhet al-Islah (The Salvation Front) admits it is the successor of the Tunisian Salvation Front party, which was founded in the 1980s and put on a US list of terrorist organisations.

But the party says it does not reject pluralism, while claiming that religion and politics cannot be separated.

"We believe Islam is a religion of democracy and freedom," Mohamed said.

Huffington Post hires devout Muslim who publicly branded all non-believers as mentally ill "animals"

A devout Muslim who has praised Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and publicly branded all non-believers as mentally ill "animals" was recently hired to serve as the Huffington Post's political director in the U.K.

Mehdi Hasan, a controversial British media figure whom insiders have billed as a mouthpiece for the Iranian regime, recently left his job at the left-wing New Statesman magazine to join the Huffington Post as a senior staffer, according to reports in the British press.

The Huffington Post merged with Internet giant AOL in February 2011 to form the Huffington Post media group.

Hasan formerly served as political editor of the New Statesman, which is affiliated with a socialist political party and has faced criticism for publishing articles that many observers have deemed anti-Semitic. In one instance, the New Statesman published an article titled "A Kosher Conspiracy" that purported to expose the great power of Britain's "pro-Israel lobby." The cover of that issue featured a Star of David piercing a Union Jack.
HuffPo’s House Jihadi
Adam Kredo, Family Security Matters, May 23, 2012

Filipino Muslims gather supplies to send home for Ramadan alms-giving exclusively to other Muslims

Two Filipino Muslim groups in the UAE are stocking up on dates, prayer mats, and copies of the Quran to ship to poor families in the Philippines for Ramadan.
. . .

Last year, Marcom sent 2,800 kilograms of dates, 300 prayer mats and 250 copies of the Quran donated by Dubai’s Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities.

Mr Tamano said the quantity was not the point. “What is more important is the intention of giving zakat [almsgiving], which is one of the five pillars of Islam.”

Mauritania: Fatwa by a prominent cleric, based on Muhammad's words, bans women from becoming president

Narrated Abu Bakra: During the battle of Al-Jamal, Allah benefited me with a Word (I heard from the Prophet). When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler."
Mauritanian women expressed their outrage at a fatwa issued by the advisor of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz which bans women from becoming presidents even though they are allowed to contest the elections.

“Women can run for the presidency as long as they have no chance of winning. They can just do that for fun,” said Islamic scholar and presidential advisor Aslamo Ould Sidi al-Mustafa.

The fatwa stirred the indignation of the Association of Female Heads of Families, one of Mauritania’s most prominent women’s right’s organizations. According to the association, the fatwa constitutes a flagrant violation of women’s rights as well as of Mauritanian laws.

“The fatwa is also very contradictory for it gives women the right to run but not the right to win,” said the statement issued by the association.

According to the statement, the fatwa implies sanctioning the rigging of votes in case preliminary results show that a female candidate may have a chance to win.

“The danger in this fatwa is that it is issued by a prominent cleric who works as the president’s advisor and this makes it more credible, thus more alarming for women’s rights activists.”
Fatwa bans Mauritanian women from becoming president
Sakina Asneeb, Al Arabiya, May 22, 2012

Yemen: Suicide bomber kills more than 90 people and wounds about 200 at a military parade rehearsal

A suicide bomber with explosives strapped under his uniform killed more than 90 people at a military parade rehearsal in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday, an attack which will alarm Washington as its involvement in the front-line state deepens.

The bombing also wounded about 200 people, officials said, making it the bloodiest single incident in the city in recent years.

Yemen’s defence minister and chief of staff were both present at the rehearsal for Tuesday’s National Day parade but neither was hurt. A police source said he could not rule out the bombing was an attempt to assasinate them.

Weakened by an uprising that eventually toppled former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s government has lost control over whole swathes of the country, allowing militants to overrun several towns in the southern province of Abyan.

Pakistan: 13-year-old hung from his feet, beaten with sticks, and burnt with hot iron rods by his teacher

A seminary student was hospitalised after being tortured by his teacher in Tehsil Ghazi on Sunday.

Thirteen-year-old Waqas Khan was allegedly hung from his feet, beaten with sticks, and repeatedly burnt with hot iron rods for two days by his seminary teacher, who accused him of stealing his mobile phone.

The boy’s father, Dilawar Khan, however, has pardoned the perpetrator on request of a local jirga, according to police and family sources.

Khan, a local nanbai of Ghara village, said he was informed by a student of Madressa Jamia Mohsnia Rizviya Ahyaul Uloom on Saturday that his son was being subjected to severe corporal punishment. When Khan reached the seminary he found his son lying unconscious, beaten and bruised. He said the seminary administration was reluctant in allowing him to take his son to the hospital, but ceded when he protested.
Corporal punishment: Accused of theft, seminary boy tortured by his teacher
Muhammad Sadaqat, The Express Tribune, May 21, 2012

Tunisia: Thousands of Muslims chant "Allahu Akbar", so US President "Obama the ape" can hear them

The following are excerpts from a rally which aired on the Internet on May 20, 2012.

Crowd: “Obama, Obama, we are all Osama...” (continuous cheer, the slogan rhymes in Arabic obama, obama, kuluna osama) [...]

Speaker: “Some Tunisians and some Muslims are afraid of the jihadists

We must ask, How come?

Because the enemies have distorted the image of the jihadists, presenting them as the enemies of the Muslims.

We say: no! Every Muslim is a jihadist

Every Muslim is a jihadist [...]

The enemies of Islam want us to be like sheep, to act like women.

They want to deprive us of our will.

They plundered Palestine and other lands and holy places.

They want the jihadists behind bars

Why? So that the holy places will not be liberated?

We are all jihadists, supporting Jerusalem, and elevating the word of Allah. [...]

Let us all cry 'Allah akbar' together, so that Obama the ape can hear us. All together now!

Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Let America hear us!

Say 'Allah Akbar!' Crowd: “Allahu Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "We are coming, We are coming" Crowd: "We are coming, We are coming" Speaker: "We are coming, We are coming" Crowd: "We are coming, We are coming" Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar”

Speaker: "Hear us Obama!

Say 'Allah Akbar!'” Crowd: “Allah Akbar” (Men with covered faces do martial arts on stage in front of the crowd) Crowd: Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad is returning (Slogan repeats and rhymes: jeisha Muhammad soufa y`aud) (x5) (After several minutes of demonstrating hand to hand combat, the men start demondtrating fighting with wooden swords) Speaker: "We want to convey a clear message one that will reach the heavens." Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Crowd: "We respond to your call, Oh Allah!" (x3)

Syria: Suicide bomb kills nine, 10 others, including women and children, killed elsewhere in the country

A SUICIDE bomber yesterday detonated a car bomb in eastern Syria's biggest city, killing nine people.

The attack came as US President Barack Obama said the G8 wanted a political transition in the violence-wracked country.

The bombing was the first of its kind in the city of Deir Ezzor since an anti-regime uprising broke out last year, and at least 10 other people were reportedly killed elsewhere in the country.

Among the dead were a woman and her two children gunned down in the northern city of Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A "terrorist suicide bomber" used 1000kg of explosives in the attack on the Deir Ezzor neighbourhood of Ghazi Ayyash, said state television.

Pakistan: Social networking website Twitter blocked because it refused to remove 'offensive' tweets

Pakistan blocked the social networking website Twitter for much of Sunday because it refused to remove tweets considered offensive to Islam, said one of the country's top telecommunications officials.

The tweets were promoting a competition on Facebook to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, said Mohammad Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication's Authority. Many Muslims regard depictions of the prophet, even favorable ones, as blasphemous.

The government restored access to Twitter before midnight Sunday, about eight hours after it initially blocked access. It was unclear whether the government reversed its decision because of action by Twitter or because of public criticism it received for its censorship.

US: Judge rules anti-terrorism statute unconstitutional, a "chilling impact on First Amendment rights"

A judge on Wednesday struck down a portion of a law giving the government wide powers to regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists, saying it left journalists, scholars and political activists facing the prospect of indefinite detention for exercising First Amendment rights.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said in a written ruling that a single page of the law has a "chilling impact on First Amendment rights." She cited testimony by journalists that they feared their association with certain individuals overseas could result in their arrest because a provision of the law subjects to indefinite detention anyone who "substantially" or "directly" provides "support" to forces such as al-Qaida or the Taliban. She said the wording was too vague and encouraged Congress to change it.

Bangladesh: Islamic terror group to use young girls to carry out terrorist activities in India

Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), the Bangladesh-based terrorist outfit, is now planning to use young girls from various districts in the state for arms training in Bangladesh, to carry out terrorist activities in India.

According to a recent state government Intelligence report (dated: April 13, 2012), accessed by The Statesman, HuJI is "planning to bring young girls, aged15 to 25, from minority dominated districts like Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Darjeeling and Uttar Dinajpur for arms training in Bangladesh to carry out subversive activities" in India.

Suspected terrorists from Bangladesh are using the safe route of Kolkata to enter India.

Afghanistan: More schoolchildren, this time almost 400 boys, fall ill after drinking poisoned water

Nearly 400 boys at a school in Afghanistan's Khost province fell ill after drinking water from a well that may have been poisoned, a health official said Tuesday.

Eighty of the 389 boys treated for illness Tuesday morning remained hospitalized, two of them in critical condition, said Amir Padshah Mangal, director of the provincial health department.

"I don't exactly know who has done it yet, but it is definitely an inhumane action against the children of this country and against education in this country," Mangal said.

A water sample has been sent to Kabul for testing, he said.

The incident happened at a school in the Ismail Khan Mandokhil district of southeastern Khost province. The area is 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the provincial capital, Khost.

Similiar poisonings have been reported since at least 2010, when more than 100 female students and teachers were sickened in a series of similar poisonings.

Last month, more than 170 women and girls were hospitalized after drinking apparently poisoned well water at a school in the northeastern province of Takhar.

Indonesia: Moderate Muslims shower Christians with stones and urine at an Ascension Day service

A mob of Islamic hard-liners threw stones and bags of urine at the HKBP Filadelphia congreagation of the Batak Christian Protestant Church in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, at an Ascension Day service on Thursday. Police tried to stop the mob of some 300 people, but were also attacked, according to reports.

“They assaulted the congregation members,” Rev. Palti Panjaitan told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday. “Police tried to talk to them, but the mob passed through police and showered us with urine and dirty water. Others threw stones at us.”

The mob reportedly attacked the congregation as the service started, and also shouted profanity and threats.

“Even after the service, which lasted one-and-a-half hours, the mob chased after us,” Rev. Palti said. “Thank God the police escorted us to a safe area.
Hardliners in Bekasi Throw Stones at Ascension Day Service
Camelia Pasandaran, Jakarta Globe, May 17, 2012, May 17, 2012

Sweden: Uzbek imam shot in the head, not by Swedes, but by others who hail from Uzbekistan

Two men have been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of an imam who remains in a coma nearly three months after being shot in the head in northern Sweden.

The two men, both of whom are in their 30s, were arrested in Skåne in southern Sweden on Tuesday.

They are suspected of involvement in the February 22nd shooting of Obydkhon Sobitkhony Nazarov, who had served as an imam in Strömsund, where he has lived since coming to Sweden in 2006 as a political refugee from Uzbekistan.

According to prosecutor Krister Petersson, both suspects also hail from Uzbekistan.

One speaks English proficiently, as well as some Swedish, while the other speaks only Uzbek and Russian.

On Wednesday, they were transported from Skåne to Östersund in northern Sweden where investigators continue their efforts to figure out who was behind the shooting of Nazarov.

Nazarov is a known critic of the regime in Uzbekistan and came to Sweden along with scores of other political refugees after a 2005 crackdown by Uzbek government troops in Andijan in which hundreds of protesters were killed, although the exact number of casualties remains in dispute.

UK: Sikh & Hindu groups complain of "Asian" being used to mask crimes committed by Muslim Pakistanis

Groups representing Sikh and Hindu communities have complained about the term "Asian" being used to describe the men involved in grooming trials.

Earlier this month, nine men were jailed for being part of a sex ring in Rochdale which groomed girls for sex.

The groups said the men involved were "almost always of Pakistani origin" and the term "Asian" was inaccurate.

The Ramadan Foundation has said grooming is "a significant problem for the British Pakistani community".

The joint statement was released by the Network of Sikh Organisations UK, The Hindu Forum of Britain, and The Sikh Media Monitoring Group UK.

It says the reluctance of the media and the government to discuss the "disproportionate representation of Muslims in such cases" and the fact victims are "almost always non-Muslim girls" is adding to the cause of far-right groups such as the BNP.

It said blanket use of the word "Asian" was "unfair to other communities of Asian origin".

"We believe that in this case the government itself is sanctioning the use of term Asian as a way of clouding responsibility," the groups say.

The groups say sex gangs have targeted Hindu and Sikh girls but the cases are rarely reported as they seldom reach the courts.

The statement says: "We believe that political correctness stifles debate and will not facilitate a frank and mature discussion or solutions to get to the root of why the above pattern is emerging in these crimes and how to help find a solution to the problem.

"We will not be able to do that if we mask the identity of those involved based on misguided views of 'protecting a vulnerable community' of the perpetrators and not looking at the vulnerable community of victims."

UK: Father-in-law keeps son's bride as sex slave, makes her swear on the Qur'an not to tell anyone

A cruel father-in-law who kept his son’s Pakistani bride prisoner in his Bradford home and used her as his sex slave has been jailed for seven years.

The 56-year-old man took away the 22-year-old woman’s jewellery and passport and threatened to bring shame on her by forcing her to divorce if she refused to comply with his demands.

Her life was such unbearable misery that she thought about killing herself, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

The man made the vulnerable woman do the housework, care for his grandchildren and bring him breakfast in bed.
. . .
He subjected her to “repeated and sustained” sexual abuse and scratched her arm with a screwdriver and burned her with an iron to reinforce his authority over her.

Mr Clews said he told her not to wear underwear to make the abuse easier. He molested her when his wife was out, after locking the house doors.

He even made her swear on the Koran not to tell anyone.

After more than three months of abuse, she learned enough English to call 999 at dead of night and plead with the police for help.
Father-in-law who kept son's bride as sex slave jailed
Jenny Loweth, Asian Image, May 15, 2012

The "new" Libya "does not appear too different from the previous version under the Gaddafi regime"

The "new" Libya "does not appear too different from the previous version under the Gaddafi regime, according to reports arriving from Benghazi and Kufra".

So said Father Mussie Zerai, head of the Habeshia Agency for cooperation and development, who made the comments in a statement in which he also underlined problems in Yemen, Djibouti, Tunisia and the Egyptian Sinai.

The religious leader, who lives in Rome, says that "hundreds of refugees are being held in slave conditions in Kufra", where he says "they are forced to work by armed men, who forced them to handle heavy weapons, clean tanks, without food and water, beating them constantly". Those who are able to pay up to 800 dollars are accompanied "by armed men as far as Tripoli, so trafficking continues to flourish as it did under Gaddafi".

Father Zerai also spoke of refugees in detention centres in Benghazi, "who are complaining of mistreatment" and a lack of food, drinking water and medical treatment. In Yemen, Father Zerai condemned the detention in prison of around 240 Eritrean refugees "in inhumane conditions", saying that they are thought to have contracted a contagious illness.

Acts of intolerance have also been carried out against Christians in the Shousha refugee camp in Tunisia, close to the Libyan border, for which Father Zerai has asked the UNHCR to intervene.

As far as the Sinai is concerned, the Habeshia agency continues to report "human trafficking" and the smuggling of organs from refugees hoping to reach Israel. In the area, there are said to be "around 2,000 prisoners in the hands of traffickers" responsible for atrocities, which have been carried out without the Egyptian government "making the slightest effort to tackle them".

Indonesian Church Council supports Lady Gaga concert, Indonesian Islamic groups threaten and oppose it

It was eventually banned due to fears for the performer's life.

While radical Indonesian Islamic groups have voiced their opposition to the planned Lady Gaga concert in Jakarta, the secretary general of the Indonesian Council of Churches said on Tuesday the international pop star should be allowed to perform because of freedom of expression.

“Don’t teach our young generation with pseudo-formality by wearing good outfits but being bad on the inside,” Gomar Gultom, secretary general of the Indonesian Council of Churches (PGI), said responding to complaints about Lady Gaga’s wardrobe.

Islamic radical groups, including the Islamic Defenders Front and the Muslim Defender Team, have threatened bad things might happen if the organizer insists on holding the show.

Mahendradatta, head of the Muslim Defender Team said Lady Gaga teaches her fans how to worship the devil and she promotes immortality.

Big Daddy, the concert organizer, is still waiting for the National Police to issue the concert permit.

Gomar said labeling a show as porn or not depended on individual views and that the concert should not be banned because of sexy outfits.

He said sexy outfits would not lead young people to pornography, but lack of religious guidance would.

“It is the duty of religious figures to guide people to have a clear mind and stand against pornography temptations,” he said.
Indonesian Church Council Supports Lady Gaga Concert
Natasia Christy Wahyun, Jakarta Globe, May 15, 2012

Egypt: Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party promotes and provides free female genital mutilation

A number of Egyptian human rights groups have submitted a communication to the Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud against the Muslim Brotherhood`s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to investigate the complaints of people in the village of Abu Aziz in the Minya governorate, south of Cairo, over the existence of a large medical convoy organized by the party that wanders streets and does medical examination on people, including female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, in violation of Egyptian law, conventions and treaties signed by Egypt.

In Egypt’s legal code, Female Genital Mutilation is criminalized, as well as the inciting by doctors to convince families of the young girls of the need to agree to circumcise their daughters, “as a matter of preserving chastity.”

The communication demanded Mervat Tallawy, the head of the National Council for Women (NCW) and Major General Seraj EL Din El Rouby, the Governor of Minya, and Nasr El Sayed , Assistant Minister for primary health care, and preventive medicine, and family planning, to intervene to stop what it called “a farce propaganda for free circumcision, which was organized by one of the political parties, in Minya governorate to promote circumcision.”

The communication came after reports were circulated on news websites and social networking websites, including Facebook and Twitter about a convoy organized by the FJP to promote circumcision among girls in Minya.

Anti-Terrorism Squad: Indian Mujahideen operative confesses to failed bomb plot at Hindu temple

The state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has claimed that alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Mohammed Qateel Mohammed Jafar Siddiqui has ‘willingly’ confessed that he conducted a recce of the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple and showed the places he visited, and the spot where he unsuccessfully tried to place a bomb. They said he also showed them the place he had stayed in Pune.

Judicial Magistrate (first class) S S Bose granted police custody to Siddiqui till May 21.

Meanwhile, the ATS also claimed that Siddiqui has told them about the routes he took from his residence to reach Dagdusheth Ganpati Temple. He also reportedly showed the ATS the spot at a flower vendor’s stall near the temple where he had allegedly placed the explosives.

Siddiqui was arrested by Delhi police for his alleged involvement in terror activities. The Pune unit of ATS arrested him on May 2 for allegedly conducting a recce of the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple and attempting to blow it up on February 13, 2010.

Syria: Terrorist attack leaves more than 40 people, mainly civilians, dead and another 170 injured

More than 40 people died and 170 were injured on Thursday (10th) after the explosion of two car bombs on the highway south of Damascus, official sources reported. The blasts occurred at 7:50 (local time) in a densely populated area, where almost at midday the authorities were still collecting human remains from the rubble.

The explosions coincided with the departure of workers from their jobs and students from their schools and universities, and in a time when the region was a dense displacement of cars, buses, taxis and people.

The blasts raised two balls of smoke that could be seen in different parts of the city. The action was described as ugly and vandalism by residents, who expressed their rejection of such acts.

Instead, Prensa Latina noted, there is a crater two meters in depth and more than five meters square, opened by the detonations, and human remains were still scattered throughout the area, surrounded by several burned and charred cars.

The attack apparently was directed against the building that houses offices of the Patrol Headquarters on the central avenue, even though the main victims were civilians.

Russia: Officers kill 3 Muslim terrorists, including a Shari'ah judge brandishing a machinegun

Three Islamist insurgents, including a man tasked with delivering judgment according to sharia law, were killed by law enforcement officers in Kizlyar forest in the Russian province of Dagestan on Friday.

The sharia judge, Magomed Makhmudov, found dead with a machinegun next to him, was the only militant to be identified so far, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee said. He was on a wanted list since 2011.
. . .

Attempts were made to detain them, but the insurgents fought back with automatic rifles and a grenade launcher, injuring three policemen and four army soldiers, two of whom were hospitalized. An operation to detain or eliminate them was in progress.

Dubai: Teenaged rape victim calls police for help but is arrested and charged with being a prostitute

Dubai A teenager has been accused of working as a prostitute after she told the police she had been raped.

Prosecutors accused the 19-year-old Moroccan girl, K.M, and a 29-year-old, F.B., also from Morocco, of working in prostitution.
. . .

"... he locked me up in a bedroom and had sex with me against my will. M.I. left the flat. Then I grabbed the phone and called Dubai Police's Operation Room and reported them that I got raped… police raided the flat and arrested us," K.M. claimed during questioning.

"They provide the most support for terrorists", Iranian official blasts West's 'double-standard attitude'

A senior Iranian foreign ministry official condemned the western countries for sheltering members of different terrorist groups, including the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), and deplored the West's double-standard attitude towards terrorism.

"We believe that despite the claims that others (Western countries) make about fighting terrorism, they provide the most support for terrorist groups," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said.

"In Europe the MKO has already been removed from the list of terrorist organizations and they are completely safe to continue their activities," he added.

When asked about reports that the US State Department may remove the MKO from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, Mehman-Parast said such moves could reveal the nature of Western countries.

UK judge says "Asian" Pakistani men preyed on young girls because they were from a different religion

Detectives who brought down a child sex grooming ring are poised to make more arrests - as the hunt continues for more than 40 other suspected members of the gang.

Nine Asian men were yesterday jailed for a total of 77 years for raping and abusing up to 47 girls - some as young as 13 - after plying them with alcohol and luring them to takeaways.

Now police have identified four more suspects alleged to have abused the young witness whose evidence helped secure convictions at the end of the 11-week trial.

But many more remain at large as officers try to establish the real identities of men referred to in court only by nicknames such as Goofy, Ray, Juicy, Arfan, Ali, Manni, Mamma, Pino and Arfan.

The suspected abusers have proved difficult to track down and it is feared some of them have already fled the country.

But police in Greater Manchester have managed to identify four men accused of sexually abusing the main witness at a 'sex party' in 2008.

Detectives believe at least one may be in Pakistan. They expect to make arrests in the next few days but are not planning to extend the investigation abroad.

The trial heard that the men - who are all from Pakistan, apart from one who is from Afghanistan - groomed and 'shared' the young white girls because they were vulnerable.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, of Greater Manchester Police said: 'It is not a racial issue. This is about adults preying on vulnerable young children. It just happens that in this particular area and time the demographics were that these were Asian men.'

However, the gang's ringleader yesterday branded the judge a 'racist b******' after he and eight other men were jailed.

The extraordinary outburst came after Judge Gerald Clinton accused the gang of targeting white girls because they were not part of their ‘community or religion’.

Yesterday senior politicians clashed over the case – with one former Labour MP claiming police and social workers ignored complaints because they were ‘petrified of being called racist’.

With experts on paedophilia insisting street grooming by Muslim men was a real problem, the judge made it clear he believed religion was a factor.

He jailed the 59-year-old ringleader for 19 years and eight other men for between four and 12 years, telling them they had treated their victims ‘as though they were worthless and beyond all respect’.

He added: ‘I believe one of the factors which led to that is that they were not of your community or religion.’

But he branded outbursts by some of the men claiming the prosecution was racially-motivated ‘nonsense’, telling them they found themselves in the dock because of their ‘lust and greed’.

Detective Inspector Michael Sanderson, of Greater Manchester Police, said none of the convicted men had ever shown ‘the slightest bit of remorse’.

Canada: Police investigating Islamic school over curriculum endorsing Jihad, comparing Jews to Nazis

Police are investigating a complaint about a Toronto Muslim school whose curriculum tells boys to exercise so they are “ready for jihad,” refers to “treacherous Jews” and contrasts Islam with “the Jews and the Nazis.”

“Yes, I can confirm for you that a complaint has been made and our Hate Crimes Unit is investigating,” Acting Sergeant Rebecca Boyd, a York Region Police spokeswoman, told the National Post on Monday.

“However, they are in the early stages of the investigation,” she added. The complaint was made by the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which found the material on the website of the East End Madrassah.


“Islam has allowed boys to engage in sports for one specific reason and that is to always keep them healthy and strong. But why should a Muslim be healthy and strong? Firstly, it is necessary to take care of the body because it is a gift from Allah. Secondly, so that you may physically be ready for jihad whenever the time comes for it.”

“Islam is a dynamic, comprehensive school that aims at the rectification of the social and economic systems of the world in a special manner. Unlike the beliefs of the ancient Romans, the Jews, and the Nazis, Islam is not restricted to a certain community of a certain race, but is for all human beings…” “No doubt any wise, humanitarian person accepts such a combat and admires it [jihad] because there is no other way to achieve the sacred ends of the Prophets.”

“End of Jewish Plots and Treacheries: Ever since the Prophet’s entry into Madina, the treacherous Jews had vehemently opposed him and his Islamic call, evoking memories of their hostility to the previous Prophet, Jesus Christ, half a millennium ago. The crafty Jews entered into an alliance with the polytheist Quraish in a bid to stamp out Islam. They conspired to kill Prophet Muhammad despite the fact that he was lenient towards them and had treated them kindly, hoping to convince them of Islam’s truth. But eventually as Jewish plots and aggressions increased, he had no choice other than to take up arms against them, in order to protect Islam and the Muslims. At the battle of Khaiber which is famous for Imam Ali’s heroic exploits, the Prophet defeated them ending Jewish intrigues and conspiracies in Arabia.”
Source: Curriculum, East End Madrassah,

UK: 9 Muslim men sentenced for the rape of 631 vulnerable teenagers from youth shelters over 5 years

Nine men of Pakistani origin are accused of having raped 631 teenage girls from youth shelters over the past five years, the Times of London reports, explaining that on Tuesday the rapists were all found guilty of sexual violence by a court in Liverpool. The victims, writes the Times, were drawn from centers, drugged or made drunk and taken to apartments, pubs and clubs with the complicity of the taxi driver to Greater Manchester, in Lancashire, and West Yorkshire where they were systematically raped. Two of the girls from shelters in Manchester and Rochdale died because of the violence. According to the Times investigations verified that the youth shelters, which have over 1,800 teenagers, registered 631 cases of girls between the ages of 12 and 16 being used for sexual purposes, of which 187 in the last ten months alone. The trial, which saw nine men between 22 and 59-years of age sentenced, among whom eight were of Pakistani origin and one Afghan exile, out of a total of 26 arrests and 56 questioned, revealed that many cases could have been avoided if the police had not ignored a complaint made in 2008 by a social services employee who spoke of "clear evidence of sexual exploitation organized in youth centers." At the same time, a complaint by a 15-year-old girl claiming to have been raped by ten men was considered not reliable by the police. The behavior forced the Manchester police and Rochdale social services to publicly apologize for mistakes that "delivered children into the hands of rapists." .

CIA thwart plans for another Muslim underwear bomber-style attack on bin Laden's death anniversary

The US has apparently avoided another underwear bomber-style attack.

According to officials, the plot to blow up a US-bound airplane was foiled last month by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, "What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country."

What we know about the plot is it involved a more sophisticated underwear bomb than the one that failed to detonate on a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas day in 2009. U.S. officials say the would-be suicide bomber, who was based in Yemen, had not yet bought a plane ticket or picked out a specific target.

Terrorism expert Edith Flynn says al-Qaeda's threat to aviation is very predictable.
. . .

"They're banking on the fact that people are going to be reluctant to check certain body areas because it is embarrassing," said Flynn.

India: Anti-terrorism squad arrest driver of a gang of Islamic bank robbers who fund terrorism

The Anti-terrorism squad (ATS), Maharashtra, on Saturday arrested Anwar Hussain ,40, from Indore, for his alleged links with the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Hussain was associated with some Madhya Pradesh wing members of SIMI, who had been arrested by the agency earlier.

According to the ATS officials, Hussain was with the SIMI men when they had an encounter in Aurangabad on March 26 with the ATS. He, however, managed to escape from the spot. Officials added Hussain was the driver who took the group to various locations across the state.

ATS officials said Hussain, is a friend of Mohammed Abrar, an accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad blasts, who was arrested earlier in the case. “Abrar did not name Hussain during initial questioning, it was only after sustained questioning for a few days that he disclosed Hussain’s name,” the official said.
. . .

The gang’s modus operandi was to rob banks and supply funds for terror activities.

Two Muslim Belgian nationals arrested on suspicion of planned terrorist activities in Yemen

Yemen is considering deporting two Belgian nationals after they were detained a month ago for being allegedly involved in terrorism, according to media reports on Sunday.

The two men, Ebraheem Bali and Ez-Adeen Tuhairi, were arrested at the Sanaa airport on April 4, the Yemen Post reported.
. . .

“They were arrested on suspicion of planned terrorist activities in Yemen. We are in a process of negotiation with the Belgian government. We expect them to be deported … within days,” a Yemen official told Reuters.
Two Belgians Held on Terrorism Charges in Yemen
Jack Phillips, Epoch Times, May 6, 2012

UN warns of "changing nature and character" of international terrorism, kidnappings for ransom increase

The U.N. Security Council warned Friday of the "changing nature and character" of international terrorism, with terror groups increasingly coordinating with organized crime and resorting to kidnapping for ransom to finance their activities.

The council also expressed concern about the growing use of the internet and new communications technologies to recruit, incite, finance and prepare terrorist activities, according to a presidential statement approved by all 15 council members after an open meeting on fighting terrorism.
. . .
Rice noted that some terrorist groups have become "criminal enterprises in their own right" like Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in northwest Africa which "has created an environment of fear and instability by adopting, kidnapping for ransom to finance its terrorist operations."

The Security Council statement warned of an increase in some parts of the world of "incidents of kidnapping and hostage-taking by terrorist groups with the aim of raising funds or gaining political concessions."

It noted "the changing nature and character of terrorism, with continuing terrorist attacks around the world" and expressed "concern regarding the increasing connection, in many cases, between terrorism and transnational organized crime."

At the meeting, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "terrorist organizations continue to look for new havens, adopt new tactics and seek new targets."

"Collective efforts have disrupted attacks and disabled terrorist networks," he added. "But recent attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Yemen demonstrate that the threat is still formidable."
UN: Terrorist kidnappings for ransom increase
Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press, May 5, 2012

Muslim honors student becomes youngest person ever in US accused of terrorism, aged 15, pleads guilty

A teen from Pakistan with a once-bright future in the U.S. pleaded guilty Friday to terrorism charges for helping an American woman dubbed “Jihad Jane” support an Irish terror cell planning to wage a Muslim holy war in Europe.

Mohammad Hassan Khalid had won a full scholarship to prestigious Johns Hopkins University before the FBI arrested him last summer at 17, making him the rare juvenile held in federal custody.

Khalid, now 18, faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to a single count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. In a secret life online, the high school honors student had agreed to raise money and recruit terrorists for jihad.

Algerian-born nuclear physicist sentenced to 5 years on charges of plotting terrorist attacks in France

Paris - Adlene Hicheur, a 35-year old Algerian-born former nuclear physicist with Switzerland's CERN laboratory, was sentenced to 5 years in prison on charges of plotting terrorist attacks in France.

Adlene Hicheur was arrested in October 2009 after the police found a series of emails he exchanged with Mustapha Debchi, an alleged contact with Al-Qaida who was operating out of Algeria. "I will target highly sensitive spots in Europe and in France," the scientist wrote.

While on trial, Mr. Hicheur confessed he wrote those email but denied he would have ever carried out any of those attacks. At the time, he remarked, he was experiencing a personal "zone of turbulence". Al-Qaeda material was found in his parents' apartment after he was taken into custody. Mr. Hicheur has been behind bars since 2009.

Nigeria: Islamist gunmen open fire on cattle traders in Potiskum market, kill up to 50 people

Up to 50 people were killed in a livestock market in north-east Nigeria after traders set fire to a suspected member of Boko Haram, triggering reprisal attacks amid a surge in violence from the radical Islamist sect.

"A number of armed men shot their way into the market early on Wednesday afternoon. I don't know whether they were trying to steal cattle or money, because the cattle dealers carry a lot of money with them," said Abdul Aziz, a money changer in the remote Potiskum market, which attracts crowds from neighbouring Chad and Niger.

"One of the gunmen was caught and burned to death using a tyre and oil. People said the men were Boko Haram but there is a lot of anger and everybody is so scared these days," Aziz added.

Hours after the first attack, a larger group of armed men surrounded the market and opened fire, witnesses said. A police spokesman, Toyin Gbadegesin, said: "At this point, it became a large scale attack – about 30 people were killed and the same number were injured."

A police officer at the scene put the death toll higher, saying at least 50 people were killed. "It's possible many more perished because families came to remove their dead," he said. "There are at least 20 burnt-out cars and [dead] animals scattered everywhere. Some people were trampled."
Nigeria market attack kills dozens
Monica Mark, The Guardian, May 3, 2012

"Ahmadis are not Muslim", Grand Mufti of Kashmir finally declares what everyone else already knew

Kashmir’s Grand Mufti on Wednesday stirred up a real hornet’s nest by asking for declaring Ahmadis or Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslims through a legislation in the state Assembly.

The cleric, Mufti Muhammad Bashiruddin, who is recognised by both the state government and the Centre as official 'Mufti Azam' or Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, while speaking at a meeting of religious leaders here organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Personal Board headed by him, said that all legislators should jointly table a bill in the state Assembly during its coming session and ensure it was passed with voice votes as well to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslims.

“That will address the grievance of all the people in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he asserted, adding that the move had become imperative in the face of the “believers of Mirzaiat and Qadiyaniat only having increased their activities.”

A handout issued at the end of the meeting adds, “On the issue of increasing activities of the believers of Mirzaiat and Qadiyaniat, the Islamic Sharia Council has made it clear that in all parts of the world Qadiyanis have been declared non Muslims. Hence, Mufti Azam appealed all legislators of Jammu and Kashmir “to pass the bill in coming Assembly session to declare them non Muslims in our state as well so that grievance of all the people of state is addressed.”
Declare Ahmadis non-Muslims: Grand Mufti
Yusuf Jameel, Deccan Chronicle, May 3, 2012

Iran: Christian leader detained for 16 months without indictment sentenced to six years in prison

After detaining 33-year-old Christian Protestant leader* Farshid Fathi for 16 months without indictment, judicial authorities finally sentenced him to six years in prison in April 2012. Fathi’s indictment is part of a continuing pattern of discrimination and prosecution of Christian converts in Iran.

Authorities allegedly kept him in solitary confinement the vast majority of his detention, and according to one family friend, beat him. Behnam Irani, a Christian pastor whose prison sentence was extended by five years just before his October 2011 release, is reportedly in dire physical condition. Irani and Fathi have both appealed their sentences.

In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a source close to Farshid Fathi and his family said that all of Fathi’s alleged “crimes” were simply his work as a pastor: “The Bibles we brought to the country were seen as a crime, having more than one Bible or distributing Bibles were seen as a crime, having Christian literature was part of the crime …”

In a forthcoming report to be released summer 2012 about persecuted Christian converts in Iran, the Campaign documents the arrest and persecution of dozens of Christian converts. According to the Campaign’s findings, Christian pastors often face harsher forms of prosecution, such as longer prison sentences, than other persecuted Christians.

Authorities originally arrested Fathi on 26 December 2010 as part of a crackdown on Christians on Christmas Eve. Christian news agencies claim that approximately sixty Christians were arrested during this time.

Fathi’s trial was held in January 2012 and in April 2012, Judge Abdolghassem Salavati, known as the “Judge of Death” for doling out lengthy prison terms and even executions to dozens of political prisoners, sentenced Fathi to six years on the charges of “actions against national security,” “being in contact with enemy foreign countries,” and “religious propaganda.”

The source told the Campaign that Fathi’s charges were based on his contact with Elam ministries, a U.K.-based Persian ministry.

“During the interrogations they had Farshid’s laptop which contained all sorts of church financial information, so for example, money paid for [a church member] to go on a mission was seen as a crime, money used for a proselytizing project was seen as a crime … our travel abroad to conferences was seen as a crime … these are seen as evidence of acting against national security.”

The source also told the Campaign that Fathi’s lawyer was deprived of full access to his client’s case: “When the lawyer went to court they wouldn’t give him the file … Until … a few days [before the trial] they gave him the file, but not even the full file,” said the source, adding that Fathi is currently in Ward 350 in Evin Prison.

Behnam Irani, a Christian pastor and member of the evangelical group Church of Iran, was arrested in April 2010. The Church of Iran is a Christian congregation based in Rasht, whose members have previously also been targeted by the government.

In October 2011, just three days prior to his scheduled release, he was informed that his original 2008 suspended sentence was going to be re-activated and his prison sentence would be extended by five years. Several Christian news agencies have recently alerted to his deteriorating health condition and alleged abuse by prison guards in prison.

The Campaign’s upcoming report on Protestant Christian converts, based on interviews with about 30 Iranian Christians, highlights the broader trend of Christians in Iran who face threats, arrests, and employment discrimination for their beliefs. Nearly everyone interviewed for the Campaign’s forthcoming report was a Christian convert, particularly evangelical Christians.

Amongst Christian converts currently detained in Iran is Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is awaiting a final verdict on whether or not his death sentence on the charge of “apostasy” will be upheld. According to Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN), authorities have reportedly also imprisoned Noorollah Qabitzade, who was detained in the December 2010 crackdown and remains in prison in Ahvaz.

A member of FCNN explained to the Campaign the political motives behind the persecution and intimidation of Christians:

“We Iranian Christians have never seen ourselves as a political opposition but the government wants to characterize us as political because they want to tie us to groups outside the country and paint us as supporters of foreigners.”

UK: Muslim voters in Tower Hamlets fraud row "forgot how they signed registration forms"

A senior official at Tower Hamlets has rejected allegations of postal vote fraud — claiming Muslim voters simply forgot how they signed registration forms.

Isabella Freeman, borough legal chief, spoke in a bid to explain a spike in rejected ballots following a by-election. The Met has launched an investigation into claims of voter fraud.

Today the £120,000-a-year monitoring officer was accused of failing to “face up to reality” and accept voter fraud is on her doorstep — ahead of tomorrow’s London-wide elections for the next Mayor and the 25-seat London Assembly. Asked about an increase in rejected postal votes from 10 per cent to 14 per cent, Ms Freeman said this was because “voters have forgotten how they signed the registered application in the first place ... this is not unusual in relation to Muslim voters.”

The council would not comment on whether she was referring to language problems, or the use of different surnames within the local community.

Police are probing claims that the Banglatown and Spitalfields ward poll was rigged. It was won by independent Gulam Robbani, who was backed by Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman.Of 956 postal votes cast, 135 were rejected. Mr Robbani won by just 43 votes. There is no suggestion he was involved in voter fraud.

Tory co-chairman Sayeeda Warsi today said: “We know serious allegations of voter fraud in Tower Hamlets are being investigated by police, yet the councils seem to want to cover it up.

“Rather than shamelessly characterising voters, the council should be facing up to the reality that electoral fraud seems to be happening on their doorstep. I urge Londoners to go out tomorrow and use their vote. Don’t leave this election to chance.”

The Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, said: “We want the council to take this issue very seriously so the public in Tower Hamlets can have confidence that they will be able to vote in a free and fair way.”

Fears have been voiced that voter fraud in Tower Hamlets could affect the London Mayor result.

The Spitalfields turnout last month was nearly double that of the previous election in the ward — 31 per cent to 17 per cent. Residents said campaigners collected ballot papers, offering to post the votes on their behalf.

There are also claims of apparent “ghost voting” in one block, with up to eight postal voters registered in some flats. Police will be stationed at polling stations across the borough tomorrow to prevent voter intimidation.

A Tower Hamlets spokesman refused to comment on Ms Freeman’s statement but said: “The relatively high rejection rate at our recent by-election is testament to the rigorous checks we have in place to ensure a fair election.

“Unlike many other authorities we electronically scan 100 per cent of postal votes, and if the signatures do not match those that we have on our records then these votes are rejected in accordance with electoral law.”

Stephen Hammond, parliamentary aide to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, has called for Tower Hamlets to be made to do a detailed check to stop postal voting fraud, including a full audit of every property where more than four voters are registered.

Monitoring officer Isabella Freeman is employed to ensure that Tower Hamlets acts and operates within the law.

As the council’s Assistant Chief Executive of legal services she is paid in excess of £121,000 to defend its reputation.

Council sources today condemned her comments about Muslim voters. One said: “What she has said shows a complete lack of care about voter fraud in Tower Hamlets. There have been allegations about this for years. To ignore it like this is shocking.”

The monitoring officer has a duty to report to the whole council if it has broken the law.

Nigeria: Boko Haram terrorists claim responsibility for last week's attacks that left seven people dead

The Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram has posted a video on YouTube claiming responsibility for the bombing last week of a major newspaper's offices.

Seven people died in the attacks on ThisDay in the capital, Abuja, and the northern city of Kaduna on Thursday.

A voice-over on the film, which shows the suicide blast in Abuja, threatens further attacks against media groups for committing crimes against Islam.

Boko Haram says it wants to establish Islamic law in Nigeria.

Over the last 20 months its fighters have targeted government institutions, churches, bars and schools across northern Nigeria.

Last year, the group also attacked the UN headquarters in the capital, Abuja.

Residents in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, where the militants have their headquarters, named the group Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden".

In the nearly 18-minute video, Boko Haram said that ThisDay newspaper was attacked in relation to the Miss World beauty pageant held in Kaduna in November 2002.

Famous Saudi scholar who preached "kindness & mercy" tortures 5-year-old daughter, causes brain damage

A Saudi Islamic scholar known for his regular preaching for kindness and mercy emerged as a man who does not have those words in his lexicon. The man is accused of torturing his five-year-old daughter with batons and hot objects, causing severe brain damage and skull fractures.

Her mother believes the girl, Lama, could be disabled after doctors told her she is suffering from a damage that is preventing enough blood from reaching the brain because of heavy blows on the head by her father.

The mother went on MBC television to expose her ex-husband, who she said had never stopped beating her up while they were married, adding that what he practises is completely different from what he preaches.

A two-minute YouTube film showed the little girl lying in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Riyadh and doctors said they were doing their best to save her life but that they cannot guarantee she would return to normal.

Alsaudi Arabic language daily, which carried the film, identified the Sheikh as FGH and described him as a well-known scholar who has been in the media for a long time preaching for kindness and mercy.

UK: Seven arrested on suspicion of funding terrorist activities through illegally exporting drugs to US

Officers from the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism command arrested six men and a woman at four addresses in London, Coventry and Cardiff at 6am today.

They are all being held at a central London police station on suspicion of being concerned in the funding of a terrorist organisation and laundering the proceeds of crime for that purpose.
. . .
The ring is alleged to have shipped the drug [khat], which is legal in Britain, to the U.S. and Canada, where it is a controlled substance.
. . .
Those arrested included a woman aged 45 and a man aged 49 in Croydon; two men aged 30 and 47 in Brent; two men aged 42 and 45 in Coventry; and a man aged 40 in Cardiff.

Search warrants were also executed under the Terrorism Act 2000 at the four residential addresses in London, Cardiff and Coventry in connection with this inquiry and searches are ongoing.

A further eight search warrants were executed at seven residential addresses in London, Worthing, and Coventry, and a business premises in Coventry. The searches are ongoing and there have been no arrests at these premises.
. . .
In the UK, it [khat] is used predominantly by members of the Somalian community
. . .

It is being speculated that today's arrests are linked to the alleged funding of al-Shabaab – the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group in Somalia.
Seven arrested in dawn raids on suspicion of funding terrorism
Murray Wardrop, The Telegraph, May 1, 2012

Afghanistan: Two insurgent bomb attacks leave six children dead and another five injured

Six children were killed and five others injured in two separate incidents in south-eastern Afghanistan, local authorities said Monday, dpa reported.

In the southern province of Zabul, NATO-led US special forces accompanied by Afghan security forces were talking to villagers in Shahjoy district when two gunmen opened fire on them, the provincial governor's office said in a statement.

The incident took place on Monday, according to the statement.

"As result of the gunfire, four children were killed and three others were wounded," Sardar Mohammad Hotak, the provincial police chief was quoted in the statement as saying.

One of the insurgents was wounded in the gunfight and later died from his wounds, it added.

Separately, in another incident in Paktika province, which borders the volatile tribal regions of Pakistan, two children were killed and two others were wounded, the provincial governor's office said in a statement.

The statement said the boys were playing when the bomb that had been planted by the "armed opposition," a term used by the Afghan officials to describe the Taliban militants, went off in the Surobi district.

Two victims were both aged 12.

The injured children, one in a critical condition, were taken to hospital run by NATO-led international forces, according to the statement.

Homemade roadside bombs are the number one killer in the conflict-torn country.

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