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Found 107 results

  1. KIRKUK: At least 25 civilians and members of government forces have been killed in northern Iraq since late Sunday in attacks by Daesh, officials said. The attacks came despite Baghdad´s declaration of victory over the militant group late last year. "Islamic State (IS) terrorists who had set up a fake roadblock on a major road have killed 15 people," a police officer told AFP. That attack took place on the outskirts of Amerli in the province of Kirkuk, about 200 kilometres from Baghdad. In a separate attack, three people were killed while driving a car further north near the city of Daquq, said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The attackers then burned the car," he said. In a village of Niniveh province, seven others including the mayor were killed by armed men in military uniform, local official Ali al-Hamdi told AFP. Hamdi blamed Daesh, saying members of the militant group were hiding out in the surrounding desert and making incursions into populated areas. The mayor of Mushirfa village and two of his children were killed in the attack on his home, Hamdi said, as well as two tribal fighters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary units that played a leading role in the fight against Daesh. In mid-February, Daesh claimed responsibility for killing 27 people in the Hawija area of Kirkuk province, also setting up a fake checkpoint and disguising themselves as soldiers. It was the deadliest attack on Iraqi forces since they retook control last October of Hawija, the militants´ last bastion in northern Iraq. In December, Baghdad announced the "end of the war" against the Daesh and that government troops - army, police and Hashed al-Shaabi - were in control of the long and porous Iraqi-Syrian border. Experts and officials, however, believe that militants hiding out in the desert still have the ability to strike and even to seize areas of Iraq, especially near the Syrian border.
  2. The suspected terrorist. Photo: FIA KARACHI/CHAMAN: A suspected terrorist belonging to banned global terrorist outfit Daesh was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) Counter Terrorism wing on Tuesday. Imran, also known as Saif-ul-Islam Khilafati, was operating the banned organisation's social media operations in Pakistan to target and brainwash youth active on the internet, FIA officials told Geo News. A Daesh flag, laptop, internet devices, and mobile phones were recovered during the raid conducted early Tuesday. One of Islam's accomplices had been earlier nabbed by the authorities. The accused, who was operating over 50 social media pages to lure youth into joining Daesh, will be presented in court later today. Meanwhile, in Chaman, Balochistan, four suspected terrorists were killed during a raid conducted by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in the early hours of Tuesday. According to CTD officials, explosives, weapons, and hand grenades were recovered from the slain terrorists' possession.
  3. BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court has sentenced 16 Turkish women to death by hanging for joining Daesh, a judiciary spokesman said on Sunday. Iraq is conducting the trials of hundreds of foreign women who have been detained, with hundreds of their children, since August by Iraqi forces as Daesh strongholds crumbled. The central criminal court issued the sentences ?after it was proven they belong to the Daesh terrorist group and after they confessed to marrying Daesh elements or providing members of the group with logistical aid or helping them carry out terrorist attacks,? said Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar. All the verdicts are subject to appeal, he told Reuters. Thousands of foreigners have fought on behalf of Daesh in Iraq and Syria since at least 2014. Many foreign women came - or were brought - from overseas to join the militants. More than 1,300 women and children surrendered to Kurdish Peshmerga in August, after government forces expelled the jihadist group from the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar. Their numbers have since swelled to about 1,700 as more foreign nationals surrendered or were captured during operations to root out the militants, according to aid officials. Another Turkish woman was sentenced to death last week and 10 others of various nationalities to life in prison, all for alleged Daesh membership. A German woman was sentenced to death last month for belonging to the group and a Russian fighter was also sentenced to death in Iraq last year for joining the hardline group. Iraq has handed over to Russia four women and 27 children suspected of having ties to the group, the foreign ministry said on Thursday, adding that they were ?tricked? into joining the militants. Iraq declared victory in December over Daesh, which had seized control of nearly a third of the country in 2014. The group has been driven out of all population centers it once controlled on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border, but members have continued to carry out bombings and other attacks in Iraq.
  4. File Photo LAHORE: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) arrested three alleged terrorists Tuesday night following a search operation carried out here in the city's Mughalpura area, a spokesperson for the force said. The three alleged terrorists are said to be part of Daesh, a militant outfit banned in Pakistan, the spokesperson noted. Explosive materials, weapons, and devices were also recovered from the detained suspects, the CTD official added.
  5. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/0dff2ea32472ea250cf4d0a53e9bde9c.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Mi8yMC8yMDE4IDI6MTA6MjkgUE0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT0wR3JNWEFiNDhaT2tubkxydG5rNGd3PT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] MOSCOW: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said that the unchecked and increasing presence of Daesh is a cause of concern for Pakistan. Addressing a press conference with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Asif said Pakistan and Russia share common concerns regarding ?threats posed by prevailing situation in Afghanistan...[which include] terrorism, exponential increase in drug production, [and] use of drug money for terror finance?. The foreign minister said that the concerns also include security of regional countries, increasing presence of Daesh, location of the organisation?s camps close to border with Pakistan and central Asian states. ?An Afghan-led reconciliation process?is the only viable option for lasting peace in Afghanistan,? he added. He also praised Russia?s role for its efforts in establishing global peace and said it is playing an instrumental role against Daesh. Asif repeated Pakistan?s stance that it is blamed for foreign forces? failure to bring peace in Afghanistan and said it has rejected allegations aimed at ?scapegoating? Pakistan for the West's ?monumental failure in Afghanistan?. ?Pakistan has sustained a lot of damage in the fight against terrorism,? he added. US should pay for fencing on Pak-Afghan border: Khawaja Asif The foreign minister said fencing the border is in the mutual interest of both Afghanistan and Pakistan Commenting on relations with India, the foreign minister said that Pakistan wishes to hold talks with India to resolve Kashmir and other issues. Asif left for a four-day official visit to Russia on Monday, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement. Asif is visiting Russia at the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Office said. During the visit, Asif will hold bilateral negotiations with his Russian counterpart. The two dignitaries will discuss the current state of affairs and prospects for bilateral relations, as well as exchange views on important issues facing the region and the world, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing.
  6. Military weapons are seen in Idlib, Syria, January 21, 2018. SANA/Handout via REUTERS/Files BEIRUT: Daesh fighters battled Syrian insurgents in the northwestern province of Idlib on Friday, a monitoring group and a rebel commander said, accusing pro-government forces of opening a corridor for the jihadists to reach the region. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces had allowed Daesh fighters to leave a besieged pocket of territory at the intersection of Aleppo, Idlib, and Hama provinces, and then go to southern Idlib. A military news outlet run by Lebanon?s Hezbollah, which is fighting on the side of the Syrian government, reported gains by the army and its allies against Daesh in that pocket but made no mention of the jihadists being allowed to leave. A commander in the alliance fighting alongside Syria?s army said the Daesh militants left the enclave. ?The pocket is finished. A crossing was opened till they exited, and then it was closed,? the commander said. The Syrian army could not be reached for comment. A Syrian military statement said troops and allied forces had gained control of several towns in rural parts of Hama, Idlib, and Aleppo provinces. ?The strategic importance of this achievement is that it ends the presence of the terrorist Daesh organization in both Aleppo and Hama provinces,? the statement said. The advance also secures supply routes between Hama and Aleppo and links them to the southeast desert near the Iraqi border, it said. The military said it had destroyed militant targets, and made no mention of a corridor letting Daesh fighters depart. ?The regime started the operation against this pocket seven days (ago). Suddenly they were able to take 80 villages and towns after giving them a corridor,? said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Observatory, a Britain-based war monitoring group. Hasan Haj Ali, commander of the Free Idlib Army rebel group, confirmed the report. Ali said his fighters were taking part in clashes against some 200 Daesh fighters who had arrived in southern Idlib early on Friday. ?This morning at dawn we were surprised by the joint treachery by the regime and Daesh,? he told Reuters. Clashes were under way in the village of Lweibdeh, he said. ?They have six armored vehicles with them.? A source in the Ahrar al-Sham faction said Daesh fighters had pushed into south Idlib from government territory. ?The rebel factions are repelling Daesh attempts to advance,? the source said. ?The regime?s militias opened a gap helping the besieged Islamic State forces pass.? Idlib is the largest chunk of Syrian territory held by insurgent factions opposed to President Bashar al-Assad?s government. Factions, including al Qaeda?s former affiliate in the Syrian war, dominate the province.
  7. WASHINGTON: The US Treasury on Friday placed three men it said were part of Daesh's global financial network on its sanctions blacklist, as it seeks to shut down the flow of funds to the group. The Treasury said Abdulpatta Escalon Abubakar of the Philippines, Yunus Emre Sakarya of Turkey, and Mohamed Mire Ali Yusuf of Somalia all provided financial, material or technological support for Daesh. Abubakar is alleged to have been instrumental in getting funds to the Daesh network in the Philippines in 2016 and 2017, handling transfers from Daesh outside the country. He also helped the group obtain weapons and explosives, the Treasury said. Abubakar was arrested by Filipino authorities last September after he flew into Manila from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Treasury said Sakarya supplied Daesh with materials for drones from his Turkey-based company, Profesyoneller Elektronik. The company handled some $500,000 worth of orders for unmanned aerial vehicles and related equipment in 2016, it said. Mire Ali livestock trading business Liibaan Trading "served as a front for Daesh-aligned groups in the Bari region of Somalia," the Treasury said.
  8. Iraqi rapid intervention forces advance as they take part in an operation against Daesh east of Tuz Khurmatu. -AFP BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition advanced in a major operation Wednesday against Daesh militants hiding out in a northeastern desert region, the military said. The army, rapid intervention and paramilitary forces, in coordination with Kurdish fighters and with Iraqi and coalition air cover, launched the operation east of Tuz Khurmatu "to chase away IS remnants," Iraq's Security Information Centre said. "Air strikes targeted the Hamrin mountain range, destroying 50 targets, including two fortified hideouts, 20 terrorist caches, weapons warehouses, ammunition as well as communication networks, mortar positions and 24 tunnels," it added. Iraqi forces took control of 80 square kilometres, three oil wells and two gas fields, according to the rapid intervention forces. They also retook five villages and stormed an Daesh camp. Iraq declared victory against Daesh in December, more than three years after the terrorist group seized a third of its territory and swathes of neighbouring Syria, declaring a "caliphate" ruling over millions of people. Iraqi rapid intervention forces advance as they take part in an operation against Daesh east of Tuz Khurmatu. -AFP The terrorists are still active, however, and there have been several attacks against government forces in the Khurmatu region. Authorities have blamed not just Daesh but also pro-independence Kurds, who are accused of seeking revenge after government forces seized control of Kirkuk province, during which many Kurds were expelled from the Tuz Khurmatu area. The town is home to a mix of Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens. It was the scene of deadly violence in mid-October when Iraqi forces retook it in response to a Kurdish independence referendum bitterly opposed by Baghdad.
  9. Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards march during a military parade to commemorate the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war in Tehran, Iran, September 22, 2007. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/Files TEHRAN: Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards force said three of its soldiers were killed and 16 Daesh militants arrested in clashes Saturday in the south of the country. Its Sepahnews website, citing General Mohammad Pakpour ? the head of the Guards' land forces ? said, "16 members of the terrorist group were arrested and several of them killed", as well as three Guards in the clashes in Fars province. "The terrorists wanted to carry out attacks on border towns and in the centre of the country," he said. Sepahnews reported earlier that the Daesh militants had infiltrated from western Iran's border with Iraq. Iran is one of the main international backers of the Syrian regime and has sent military advisers and thousands of "volunteers" to battle Daesh in both Syria and Iraq. Last June, Daesh claimed responsibility for two attacks on Iran's parliament and the shrine of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that killed 17 people and wounded dozens. Iran has since tracked down and killed several suspected extremists, and, over the past few months, authorities have announced the arrest of dozens of Daesh suspects in several regions.
  10. IRAN: Iran's Revolutionary Guards have arrested a number of members of Daesh group on Saturday after clashes on the country's western frontier, the website of the elite force said. Sepahnews, citing a statement from the Guards, did not elaborate on the fighting or say how many militants were detained. "Most of the members... of a terrorist group who had entered Iranian territory from the west have been arrested after clashes," it said. Iran is one of the main international backers of the Syrian regime and has sent military advisers and thousands of "volunteers" to battle Daesh in both Syria and Iraq. Last June, Daesh claimed responsibility for two attacks on Iran's parliament and the shrine of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that killed 17 people and wounded dozens. Afterwards, Iran tracked down and killed several suspected militants, and over the past few months, authorities have announced the arrest of dozens of Daesh suspects in several regions.
  11. A key member of the Daesh terror group was killed in an airstrike of the US forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, according to Khaama Press Agency. Photo: file A key member of the Daesh terror group was killed in an airstrike of the US forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, according to Khaama Press Agency. The airstrike was carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles of the US forces in the vicinity of Haska Mina district, said local security officials. The provincial police officials said the killed terrorist has been identified as a close relative, father of Daesh commander Abdul Khaliq, and had been involved in major terror plots. However, the anti-government armed militant groups including the Daesh insurgents have yet to comment on the report. Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in East of Afghanistan where fewer incidents have been reported since the fall of the Taliban regime. On October 14, last year, at least 14 terrorists, affiliated with Daesh, were killed in airstrikes in Afghanistan, Geo News reported Sunday. The airstrikes were held in Khogyani area of Afghanistan?s Nangarhar province, according to Afghan security officials. The officials confirmed that 14 terrorists were killed and many others injured in attacks on three main terrorist hideouts in the area.
  12. A general view shows Mosul's Old City, on January 8, six months after Iraqi forces seized the country's second city from Islamic State group militants. Photo: AFP BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court said Sunday it had condemned to death by hanging a German woman of Moroccan origin after finding her guilty of belonging to Daesh. She is one of hundreds of foreign militants held by Iraqi authorities, who in December announced the defeat of Daesh after a gruelling three-year battle. The German was sentenced for providing ?logistical support and helping the terrorist group to carry out crimes? said court spokesperson Abdel Settar Bayraqdar. ?The accused admitted during interrogations that she left Germany for Syria then Iraq to join IS (Daesh) with her two daughters, who married members of the terrorist organisation,? he said. The woman, who was not identified, has 30 days to appeal, after which she could be executed, said legal expert Ezzedine al-Mohammadi. She is believed to be the first European woman to be sentenced to death in Iraq in relation to Daesh. A judicial source told AFP that one of the woman?s two daughters had been killed while with the militants. The German media has reported that a German named Lamia K and her daughter left Mannheim in August 2014 and were arrested by Iraqi forces during the final stages of the battle to oust Daesh from its stronghold Mosul last July. At least two other German women are also in prison in Iraq, whose authorities have not officially said how many militants were taken prisoner during the battle against Daesh. A German teenage girl suspected of joining Daesh was also arrested in Mosul, according to Germany?s justice department. Thousands of militants arrested Baghdad declared victory over Daesh in December, after expelling the militants from second city Mosul in a gruelling months-long offensive. Daesh, which at the height of its power held around a third of Iraq?s territory, had swept across the country?s north and parts of Syria in 2014, calling on Muslims everywhere to head to its ?caliphate?. Iraqi commanders and Iraqi Kurdish fighters say hundreds of Daesh fighters gave themselves up during the battle, while others are said to have escaped by blending in with civilians fleeing the fighting. In the province surrounding Mosul alone, more than 4,000 militants were arrested, police chief General Wathiq al-Hamdani said. Researcher Kim Cragin of the National Defense University wrote on the Lawfare security blog in late November that 5,395 foreigners were in jail in Syria and Iraq. The Soufan Centre, a nonprofit security analysis group, reported in October that 190 German women with 70 children had joined the Daesh ?caliphate?. According to the German intelligence services, 910 people left Germany to join militant groups in Syria or Iraq. About a third of them returned to the country, 70 of whom are considered combatants, while 145 were killed. In December, Human Rights Watch reported that 7,374 people had been found guilty and 92 executed since 2014 under Iraq?s anti-terrorism law. The New York-based group reported numerous accusations that security forces had used torture to extract confessions. In September 2017, the same Baghdad court sentenced to death by hanging a Russian man who was captured in Mosul and found guilty of fighting for Daesh. In December, a Swede of Iraqi origin was among 38 people executed after being convicted of "terrorism". Despite the militants? quasi-state being reduced to tatters, Daesh has continued to carry out attacks including in Baghdad.
  13. BANGKOK: A Pakistani passport forger whose fakes may have been sold to Deash operatives was arrested in Thailand, police said Friday, ending a career that helped people slip into Europe illegally. Mohammad Iqbal, 52, was arrested on January 14 in a Bangkok suburb in possession of Singaporean and Indian fake passports as well as plates and laminates to forge entry visas to France, Italy and Spain. "He has worked on faking documents for a long time using Thailand as his base," Commander of the Immigration Bureau Lt-Gen Suttipong Vongpint told reporters in Bangkok. The arrest is the latest in a series of targeted operations against skilled passport forgers in Thailand as fears over security and immigration have compelled authorities to tackle a shadowy industry that has thrived in the kingdom for decades. Iqbal, who is believed to have operated from Thailand for more than 10 years, was charged with falsifying passports, visa seals and trafficking of fake passports a few days after police seized him as he pulled into his Bangkok condo on a motorbike. Earlier this week defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan linked Iqbal to a group selling passports to the Daesh, also known as ISIS. "The suspect has falsified visa and passports for the IS group with the attempt to make them travel from the Middle East into Thailand," he said before adding that the attempts were unsuccessful. But at Friday's press conference officials downplayed the Daesh connections in favour of a portrait of a businessman who welcomed all clients. "Based on the investigation he will sell to every group, not particularly to [Daesh], he just made them by orders," Suttipong said. A typical fake passport would sell for only a few hundred dollars, according to the immigration bureau. Thailand's role as a global hub for fake passports came under renewed scrutiny following the 2014 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370. Two Iranians travelling on European passports bought and modified in Thailand were on board the ill-fated flight. It is an industry dominated by highly skilled forgers serving customers from South Asia, the Middle East and further afield. Immigration police said Iqbal was affiliated with a shadowy Iranian master forger known as 'The Doctor' who sold 'Triple A' quality passports to refugees, economic migrants and criminals from a Bangkok suburb for nearly 20 years. Detectives hailed his 2016 arrest as a major breakthrough in the fight against passport crime - although other forgers have taken his place. Transient, vast and permissive, Bangkok has for long provided sanctuary for people wanting to disappear or re-invent. Thailand welcomes visa-free travel to many countries and is Southeast Asia's best connected transport hub, sharing long, ungovernable borders with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. That draws transnational criminals moving everything from people and rare wildlife to drugs, weapons and gems.
  14. A woman leaves the US State Department building in Washington, US, June 5, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Young/Files WASHINGTON: The US State Department urged Turkey on Thursday not to take military action against Afrin region in Syria and called instead for Ankara to remain focused on fighting Daesh militants in the region. Asked about signs that Turkey was preparing to strike a Kurdish militia in Afrin, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing, ?We would call ... on the Turks to not take any actions of that sort. "We don?t want them to engage in violence but we want them to keep focused on [Daesh].?
  15. A security member of Misrata counter-terrorism removes explosives from a car driven by a suspected Daesh militant, in Misrata, Libya, January 11, 2018. REUTERS TRIPOLI: A suspected Daesh militant driving a car laden with explosives surrendered to Libyan security forces at a checkpoint on Thursday rather than go ahead with an attack in the city of Misrata, a security official said. The Misratan counter-terrorism official, who asked not to be named for security reasons, said he had surrendered at a checkpoint near Abu Grain town, but it was not immediately clear why he had handed himself in. Abu Grain is about 100 km (60 miles) south of Misrata and 140 km west of Sirte, a city that Daesh controlled until they were driven out by a Misratan-led military campaign in 2016. ?The suspect handed himself in to the security forces early morning on Thursday,? the official told Reuters. ?The car bomb is now being dismantled by explosives experts.? Since Daesh?s defeat in Sirte, Libyan and Western security officials say militants have been trying to regroup in desert areas to the south, where they were targeted last year by several US air strikes. They have occasionally set up temporary checkpoints, and had done so in two places on a remote road in the area early on Wednesday, the Misratan official said. Daesh also claimed a deadly attack on a courthouse complex in Misrata last year.
  16. Daesh has claimed nearly 20 attacks across Kabul in 18 months, with cells including students, professors and shopkeepers evading Afghan and US security forces to bring carnage to the highly fortified city KABUL: Middle-class Afghans turned extremists have assisted Daesh´s expansion from its stronghold in Afghanistan´s restive east to Kabul, analysts say, helping to make the capital one of the deadliest places in the country. Daesh has claimed nearly 20 attacks across Kabul in 18 months, with cells including students, professors and shopkeepers evading Afghan and US security forces to bring carnage to the highly fortified city. It is an alarming development for Kabul´s war-weary civilians and beleaguered security forces, who are already struggling to beat back the resurgent Taliban, as well as the US counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan. "This is not just a group that has a rural bastion in eastern Afghanistan -- it is staging high casualty, high visibility attacks in the nation´s capital and I think that´s something to be worried about," said analyst Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center in Washington. The Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-K) emerged in the region in 2014, largely made up of disaffected fighters from the Taliban and other extremist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia. It claimed its first attack in Kabul in the summer of 2016. There is no shortage of recruits, analysts say. Daesh has successfully tapped a rich vein of extremism in Afghanistan that has existed for decades and crosses socio-economic groups -- fanned by growing internet access among urban youth. "We are talking about a generation which has been desensitised to different types of violence and violent extremism," said Borhan Osman, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. "It should not come as a surprise that some of the youth inculcated in the ideology of jihadism embrace the next version of jihadism, the most violent one." Members and supporters of Daesh cells in Kabul hide in the open, living with their families and going to classes or work every day, Osman said. The militants meet at night to discuss ?holy war?, and plot attacks on targets in the city they know well -- well enough to adapt to changes, such as tightened security in the wake of a massive truck bomb in May that killed around 150 people. "It´s an adaptive structure reacting to the counter measures," a Western diplomat told AFP. "From May to December what we have seen is different types of attacks, smaller attacks that are getting through." An Afghan security source previously told AFP that "20 or more" IS-K cells were operating in the city. ´Hunt them down´ Osman, an expert on militant networks in Afghanistan, said it was difficult to know how many IS-K fighters were in Kabul but their ranks were constantly being replenished by the group´s recruitment efforts on social media as well as in universities, schools and mosques. "You can´t say they are all poor -- a number of them come from middle-class Kabuli families. Some are university educated. Some have a high school education," he said, adding that most have some religious education as well. An Afghan security source agreed. "The new wave of extremists is not an uneducated farmer. It is mainly people with a good level of education," he told AFP on condition of anonymity. While the Taliban remains by far the biggest threat to Afghanistan´s security forces and government, IS-K has dominated headlines in recent months with attacks in Kabul, including three last month alone which killed dozens of people. Some have come within metres of embassies and NATO´s Resolute Support mission, a disconcerting reply to vows by the head of US Forces-Afghanistan General John Nicholson to "hunt them down" until they are "annihilated". Last year the US dropped the so-called Mother of All Bombs, the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat, on Daesh strongholds in Nangarhar. That has been followed by intense aerial bombing by Afghan and US forces. But analysts point out that the strategy has failed to destroy Daesh-- and may have even pushed more militants into Kabul, where using that sort of overwhelming firepower is not an option. New Daesh base? The group´s resilience has raised fears that Afghanistan could become a new base for Daesh fighters fleeing the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, where the group has lost swathes of territory. But the exact nature of links between Daesh in Afghanistan and the Middle East remains unclear. The Afghan government claims there is no connection. Analysts told AFP there is communication, and AFP reported last month that French and Algerian fighters, some arriving from Syria, had joined Daesh in northern Afghanistan where the group has established new bases. Regardless of links, the goals of Daesh in the Middle East and in Afghanistan appear to be aligned: stirring up sectarian violence. Its success in the capital aside, Daesh will struggle to turn Afghanistan into a new sectarian front, predicts Kugelman, who points out that most cleavages in Afghanistan are ethnic, not sectarian. At any rate, he says, "why would you want your new front to be in a place where you have some of the most relentless levels of firepower being used against you?"
  17. According to a recent report by an independent think tank, More than 150 people were killed in around six terrorist attacks claimed by the Daesh group in Pakistan in 2017 SIALKOT: The counter-terrorism department (CTD) has arrested a terrorist belonging to Daesh from Shah Sharif graveyard in the Daska area. According to CTD, explosives, detonators and other items were also recovered from the suspect. Two Daesh suspects arrested in anti-terror raid in Sialkot Terror suspects were planning an attack on law enforcement agencies: CTD spokesperson A case has been booked against the suspect and investigation in the case is underway, CTD said. Law enforcement authorities arrested dozens of man having affiliation with Daesh in the past year. According to a recent report by an independent think tank, more than 150 people were killed in around six terrorist attacks claimed by the Daesh group in Pakistan in 2017. The report tallied that militant, nationalist/insurgent and violent sectarian groups carried out a total of 370 terrorist attacks in 64 districts of Pakistan in 2017, stated the Pakistan Security Report 2017, released by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think-tank specialising in security and conflict dynamics of Pakistan and the region. Daesh footprint increased in Pakistan in 2017: report PIPS report also notes over 130% increase in cross-border attacks These attacks included 24 suicide and gun-and-suicide coordinated attacks, which killed 815 people, besides injuring 1,736. These attacks posted a 16 per cent decrease from the total in the previous year; even the number of people killed fell by 10 per cent.
  18. Daesh. Photo: File More than 150 people were killed in around six terrorist attacks claimed by Daesh in 2017. This is stated in the Pakistan Security Report 2017, released by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think-tank specialising in security and conflict dynamics of Pakistan and the region. The organisation compiled its findings on the basis of its multi-source database, coupled with interviews and articles by subject experts. Decrease in number of attacks, fatalities The report tallied that militant, nationalist/insurgent and violent sectarian groups carried out a total of 370 terrorist attacks in 64 districts of Pakistan in 2017 ? including 24 suicide and gun-and-suicide coordinated attacks ? killing 815 people, besides injuring 1,736. These attacks posted a 16 per cent decrease from the total in the previous year; even the number of people killed fell by 10 per cent. Terror attacks in Pakistan down 58%: NACTA 2017 witnessed 681 terror incidents ? the lowest ratio since 2006 Of these attacks, as many as 213 or 58 per cent, were perpetrated by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), its splinter groups mainly Jamaatul Ahrar and other militant groups, killing 186 people. Meanwhile, nationalist insurgent groups, mostly in Balochistan and a few in Sindh, carried out 138 attacks, or 37 per cent of the total, killing 140 people. As many as 19 terrorist attacks were sectarian-related, in which killed 71 people and inflicted injuries on 97 others. Cross-border attacks increase The report also noted that compared to 2016, a significant surge of 131 per cent was witnessed during 2017 in cross-border attacks from Pakistan?s borders with Afghanistan, India and Iran. A total of 171 cross-border attacks claimed 188 lives and injured 348 others. Pakistan lost Rs10tn in 16-year fight against terrorism Pakistan suffered highest Rs2037bn losses in year 2010-11, sources say Furthermore, security forces and law enforcement agencies killed a total of 524 militants in 2017 ? compared to 809 in 2016 ? in 75 military/security operations as well as 68 armed clashes and encounters with militants reported from across four provinces and FATA. Emergence of Daesh At the same time, some new challenges raised their heads; these included emergence of self-radicalised individuals and small terrorist cells, growing incidence of religious extremism including on educational campuses, and, most importantly, increasing footprints of Daesh in parts of the country and convergence of its fighters in Afghanistan near the border. In 2017, Daesh and its local affiliates/supporters claimed six major terrorist attacks, killing 153 people. In Balochistan, the group carried out a suicide attack on the convoy of Senate Deputy Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in Mastung, besides abducting Chinese nationals from Quetta and killing them later. Sindh?s deadliest attack in terms of casualties was on the Sufi shrine in Sehwan Sharif, claimed by Daesh as well. Confusion over NAP?s ownership In the report, National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua reveals that the National Security Policy has been documented and internally circulated in the government. Similarly, National Counter Terrorism Authority National Coordinator Ihsan Ghani said that the new National Internal Security Policy is in review at present and it, along with a Counter-Extremism Policy, will be released in 2018 too. The report also reveals ambiguities about which government body is responsible for implementing the National Action Plan.
  19. Russian envoy to Afghanistan says Moscow has repeatedly raised the issue with UN and NATO, but has not yet received 'a clear response' from them Russia has estimated there are about 10,000 Daesh militants in Afghanistan and their number is growing because fighters fleeing Syria and Iraq are also heading to the war-ravaged country. Moscow is particularly worried about an increasing foothold of Daesh militants in northern Afghan provinces bordering Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, Russian media quoted Zamir Kabulov, Russia's special presidential envoy for Afghanistan, as saying. "Russia was among the first to be sounding the alarms in connection with the emergence of Daesh in Afghanistan.... Daesh has significantly increased its power in the country recently. According to our estimates, the number of militants exceeds 10,000 and continues to grow, particularly due to new fighters arriving from Syria and Iraq," Kabulov told the Sputnik news agency. The Russian envoy claimed that helicopters ?without identifying insignia? are transferring fighters and delivering ?Western [military] equipment? to the Afghan branch of the terrorist group. He further added that Moscow has repeatedly raised the issue with the United Nations and NATO, but has not yet received ?a clear response? from them. "We are regularly asking our NATO partners, who are in fact controlling the airspace over Afghanistan, about this issue, but we have not heard any reasonable answer yet," Kabulov said. Afghan officials, however, maintain that security operations backed by US airstrikes have prevented the Daesh from establishing a stronghold in the country. Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told media earlier this month that these airstrikes have killed about 1,600 Daesh fighters, including senior commanders, in the past nine months.
  20. German police secure the main train station in Munich, Germany, January 1, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/Files BERLIN: German police arrested a 29-year-old man they said was an active member of Daesh who was plotting a truck attack on an ice rink. The arrest comes a year after Anis Amri ? a failed Tunisian asylum seeker with extremist links ? hijacked a truck and drove it into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. The detention comes amid security services' warning of growing numbers of radical extremists in Germany. ?He was considering an attack on the ice rink on the Schlossplatz in Karlsruhe,? police in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said, adding that the suspect was a German citizen whose name they gave only as Dasbar W. ?To that end, he was assessing areas around Karlsruhe Castle and, from September 2017, had begun seeking employment as a delivery driver ? without success,? the police statement said. In 2015, the suspect travelled to Iraq to fight for Daesh, receiving weapons training and working as a scout seeking potential attack targets in the city of Erbil, police said. He returned to Germany the following year. Before leaving for Iraq, Dasbar worked for Daesh from Germany, producing propaganda videos and proselytizing to converts in online chat rooms, police said. Earlier this month, Germany?s security service warned that the number of followers of a radical extremist ideology had risen to an all-time high of 10,800, though the number prepared to mount attacks was in the order of hundreds.
  21. Bitcoin has been racing to record highs in recent days A suburban New York hospital technician accused of using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to launder money meant for the militant group Daesh was arrested on charges of money laundering in support of a foreign terrorist organization and bank fraud, prosecutors said Thursday. Federal prosecutors in New York?s Suffolk County claimed in court papers that Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, used fraudulent credit cards and loans to accumulate $85,000, which she attempted to transfer to the Daesh group before attempting to go to Syria to join it. Prosecutors said that after traveling to Jordan to work with the Syrian American Medical Society, Shahnaz returned to the United States and applied for six credit cards, which she used to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The resident of the hamlet of Brentwood in Islip on Long Island appeared before a federal judge late on Thursday and was ordered detained, prosecutors said. Shahnaz? lawyer, Steve Zissou, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case. After borrowing about $85,000 with fraudulently obtained credit cards and loans and withdrawing another $22,000 from bank accounts in her own name, Shahnaz sent funds to recipients in Pakistan, China and Turkey, prosecutors said. Some of that money came in the form of $63,000 in bitcoin and other crypto-currencies purchased with the credit cards, prosecutors said. Arraignment and detention documents released on Thursday showed that Shahnaz, a US citizen born in Pakistan, was arrested on Wednesday. Prosecutors said that in July Shahnaz obtained a Pakistani passport and booked a flight to Pakistan with a layover in Istanbul with the intention of going to Syria. She was stopped by law enforcement investigators at John F. Kennedy airport and questioned about her trip and the financial transactions, prosecutors said. Bitcoin fever exposes crypto-market frailties At the same time, Bitfinex, the world?s biggest bitcoin exchange by trading volume She had $9,500 in cash with her, just under the limit of $10,000 that a person can take out of the country without declaring it to immigration and customs officials, they said. Subsequent searches of Shahnaz? electronic devices showed numerous searches for Daesh-related material, including travel checklists. She faces three charges of money laundering, including money laundering in support of a foreign terrorist organization, and is also charged with bank fraud. She faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the money laundering charges and up to 30 years for the bank fraud charge.
  22. Police officers stand guard outside the closed New York Port Authority Subway entrance following a reported explosion, in New York City, US on December 11, 2017. ? Reuters The online video?s message was clear: Supporters of Daesh (Islamic State) who could not travel overseas to join the militant group should carry out attacks wherever they were in the United States or Europe. Bangladeshi immigrant Akayedullah, 27, followed those instructions on Monday when he tried to set off a homemade bomb in one of New York?s busiest commuter hubs, in an attack that illustrates the difficulty of stopping ?do-it-yourself? attacks by radicals who act alone. While harder to stop than attacks coordinated by multiple people - whose communications may be more easily monitored by law enforcement or intelligence agencies - they also tend to do less damage. Akayedullah was the person most seriously wounded when his bomb ignited but did not detonate in an underground passageway linking the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Times Square subway station; three others sustained lesser injuries. ?They tend to be less organised and less deadly,? said Seamus Hughes, a former adviser at the US government?s National Counterterrorism Centre. ?That?s because you?re dealing with more, for lack of a better word, amateurs.? The do-it-yourself style of attack is on the rise in the United States, according to research by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, where Hughes is deputy director. The United States has seen 19 attacks perpetrated by Daesh-inspired people since the group declared a ?caliphate? in June 2014 after capturing broad swathes of land in Iraq and Syria. Of those, 12 occurred in 2016 and 2017, almost twice as many as in the two preceding years. ?You?re going to see continued numbers of plots and, unfortunately, attacks,? Hughes said. Akayedullah began immersing himself in Daesh propaganda as early as 2014, three years after he arrived in the United States as a legal immigrant, according to federal prosecutors who charged him with terrorism offenses. They said in court papers that his computer records showed that he viewed Daesh videos urging supporters of the group to launch attacks where they lived. Experts said the success of Western allies in retaking most of Daesh?s territory could inspire more attacks out of anger or vengeance. ?No group has been as successful at drawing people into its ideology as Daesh,? Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray said in congressional testimony last week. ?Through the internet, militants overseas now have access into our local communities to target and recruit our citizens.? National security analysts generally divide such perpetrators into three broad categories. Some attackers act at the direction of a group, like the Daesh-backed militants who carried out coordinated attacks in Paris in 2015, killing 130; others have some limited contact with an organisation but act largely on their own. A third type has no communication with a group but engage in violence after being radicalised by online propaganda. It is easier for trained, battle-hardened Daesh fighters to travel from the Middle East to Europe than for them to reach the United States. That helps explain why US attacks have largely been the work of ?self-made? militants, said Brandeis University professor and radicalisation expert Jytte Klausen. ?In these recent cases, we?ve seen very few indications that there was any type of direct training,? Klausen said. Self-directed perpetrators are the hardest for investigators to identify. Their ranks appear to include Akayedullah, as well as two other recent New York attackers: Ahmad Rahimi, the man who injured 30 with a homemade bomb in Manhattan in September 2016, and Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbek immigrant accused of killing eight by speeding a rental truck down a bike lane in October. While that type of attacker typically is less destructive, there are important exceptions. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 people, and Omar Mateen gunned down 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando last year. ?A single individual or two can still create a lot of damage,? said Max Abrahms, a professor at Northeastern University who studies terrorism. ?But they?re not able to wage sustained terrorist campaigns.?
  23. MOSCOW: Russia's defence ministry on Thursday said its mission to oust Daesh militants from Syria had been "accomplished" with the country "completely liberated" from the extremist group. "The Russian armed forces' goal to defeat armed groups of the ISIL terrorist organisation in Syria has been accomplished," said senior military officer Sergei Rudskoi, using an alternative acronym for the group. "There is not a single village or district in Syria under the control of ISIL. The territory of Syria has been completely liberated from fighters of this terrorist organisation," he told reporters. There has been an "unprecedented" involvement by Russia's airforce in recent days, he said, with warplanes making 100 sorties and staging up to 250 strikes daily. At the same time, special forces were active on the ground directing planes and "destroying the most odious leaders of militant groups behind enemy lines," he said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, said Thursday that Daesh still holds about eight percent of Deir Ezzor province. Rudskoi said "separate sabotage bands of ISIL" could still be operating but would be fought by Syrian government troops, indicating that Russia's involvement would be scaled down. "With the liquidation of armed bands of the ISIL terrorist group in Syria, the Russian contingent will concentrate its main efforts on providing aid to the Syrian people in rebuilding peace" and ensuring ceasefire commitments were met, he said. Russia began its bombing raids in September 2015 in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's beleaguered forces. Those strikes have helped Assad regain control over much of war-ravaged Syria. Last month, President Vladimir Putin said efforts to end the war were entering a "new stage" as the focus shifts from military intervention to political reform. More than 340,000 people have been killed since the conflict broke out in March 2011 with protests against Assad´s rule that sparked a brutal crackdown.
  24. ISTANBUL: Istanbul police have detained 62 foreigners suspected of having links to Daesh in overnight raids, Turkish media reported Friday. Police have launched almost daily operations against Daesh cells across the country following concerns hundreds of alleged Daesh members have crossed into Turkey from Syria. The suspects were detained during raids on 12 addresses in eight districts of Istanbul, the privately-owned news agency Dogan said. They are suspected of providing financial support to fighters in "conflict zones", with the authorities opening deportation proceedings against them, it said. Earlier this month, Dogan said nearly 800 alleged Daesh members had illegally crossed into Turkey from Syria, though it did not say over what period. Police detained 634 Daesh suspects last month, according to interior ministry figures. Over the past two years, Turkey has suffered a series of attacks blamed on Daesh, one of which targeted a popular Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations, leaving 39 people dead. Daesh gunman Abdulgadir Masharipov, who was born in Uzbekistan and confessed to the attack, will go on trial this month. There are concerns that those foreigners who have fought in Syria or Iraq will pose security risks on their return home as Daesh loses significant territory in the two countries. At least 5,600 people, residents of 33 countries, have returned home, the Soufan Centre, a nonprofit security analysis group, said in October. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Friday claimed Turkey had stopped a total of 50,000 "foreign fighters" although he did not say over what period. This figure is believed to include those who have been blocked at Turkish airports. He also said Turkey had caught 5,000 Daesh suspects.
  25. Justin Bieber/File photo Getty Images LONDON: A British teenager was found guilty on Monday of planning to drive a car into a crowd in the Welsh capital Cardiff, with a Justin Bieber concert and a shopping center among the list of possible targets for his Daesh-inspired attack. The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wrote a letter in which he said he was ?a soldier of [Daesh]?. Police found the letter in a rucksack in his bedroom which also contained a large knife and a hammer. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he was planning an attack of a similar type to one near Britain?s parliament in March, where a man in a van drove into pedestrians on London?s Westminster Bridge before stabbing a policeman. ?This teenager?s behavior over many months leaves no doubt that he intended to kill and maim as many people as possible in an attack reminiscent of the incident on Westminster Bridge,? said Sue Hemming, head of the special crime and counter terrorism division at the CPS. ?He was also posting extremist content online that could have encouraged others to commit terrorist acts and downloading instructions on how to carry out ?lone wolf? attacks.? The Westminster attack was one of five major attacks this year that British authorities are treating as terrorism incidents. Five people including the policeman and the attacker, Khalid Masood, died in the Westminster incident. The CPS said the Welsh schoolboy had posted Daesh propaganda on his Instagram account, and his Instagram password was ?Truck Attack?. He researched possible targets including Cardiff Castle, a theater, a library and a shopping center, as well as the Bieber gig, which took place in June. The teenager admitted that he owned the knife and hammer and had written the letter, but denied intending to harm anyone. He will be sentenced in January.