Boko Haram kills more people than ISIS: Report

Fatalities from terrorism are at a record high now with just two groups, Boko Haram and Islamic State responsible for half of them, a new report showed. The Nigerian militants kill more people than their Iraqi-Syrian allies.

Two terrorist groups were responsible for over a half of the killings in 2014 – Nigeria-based Boko Haram and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), which aims to expand its influence from the powerbase in Iraq and Syria globally. Together they were responsible for 51 percent of all global fatalities in 2014 claimed by any group, and almost 40 percent of all fatalities, according to the Global Terrorism Index published by the Institute for Economic and Peace (IEP).

The Nigerian jihadists, who pledged allegiance to IS in March 2015, killed more people than their fellow Islamists, claiming 6,644 lives compared to 6,073. Nigeria accordingly experienced a staggering 300 percent rise in terrorism deaths in 2014, although other militant groups take partial blame for the increase. In particular the Fulani militants killed 1,229 in Nigeria.

IS killed more people in combat than in acts of terrorism in 2014. It was responsible for at least 20,000 battlefield deaths over the year in clashes with various state and non-state combatants.

The Taliban, which was the deadliest group in 2013, was ranked third in 2014, despite killing 3,477 people in terrorist attacks, which is a 38 percent increase in fatalities. The group remains second-deadliest after IS in terms of battlefield kills, the report says.

Compared to previous year, the number of deaths from terrorism worldwide has increased by 80 percent in 2014. Over the last year 32,658 people killed, compared to 18,111 in 2013. It’s the largest number recorded and is almost ten times higher than in 2000, when 3,329 people were killed by terrorists.

Just five countries suffer the bulk of terrorist acts – Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria – accounting for 78 percent of all fatalities in 2014. Iraq bears the heaviest burden with 9,929 terrorist fatalities in 2014.

The threat is spreading. The number of countries experiencing more than 500 terrorism-related deaths rose from five to 11 in 2014 with the addition of Somalia, Ukraine, Yemen, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Cameroon.

The report doesn’t include this year’s terrorist attacks like the gun violence in France, the bombing of the Russian plane in Egypt, the high-profile bombings in Lebanon and Turkey and other incidents that reflect the growing threat of terrorism.

In addition to loss of lives terrorism takes a heavy economic toll on affected countries. IEP says conservative estimates of damage from terrorist activity in 2014 stands at $52.9 million, a 61 percent increase from the previous year and a 10-fold increase since 2000.

Battling terrorism remains more costly than the direct damage caused by it, the report said. An estimated $117 billion was spent globally to provide national security from terrorism threats.

Western countries remain relatively safe from terrorism. In the last 15 years 2.6 percent of all terrorism-related fatalities happened in the West and the percentage drops to 0.5 if the September 2001 attacks in the US are excluded.

‘Lone wolf’ attacks account for 70 percent of all terrorist deaths in the West since 2006 and 80 percent of those deaths can be attributed to right-wing extremism, nationalism, supremacism, anti-government extremism and other types of political ideologies rather than Islamic fundamentalism.

Despite the alarming trends terrorism remains a relatively small threat to lives, the report points out. Globally 13 times as many people are killed by homicides than die in terrorist attacks.


Serbia, Macedonia start filtering migrant flow to Europe

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says Serbia and Macedonia have limited refugee entries into their countries to Syrians, Iraqis, and Afghans only.

UNHCR spokeswoman Melita Sunjic said on Thursday that the two European countries had started turning back all refugees from other countries.

“As of 6 pm (1600 GMT) yesterday evening, Serbia started turning back [to Macedonia] all but Syrians, Iraqis, and Afghans,” Sunjic said.

In recent months, EU states have been receiving thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Middle Eastern and African countries. Syrians, Iraqis, and Afghans make up the majority of the refugees arriving in Europe.

Figures gathered by the UN show that nearly 3,500 asylum seekers that tried to enter Europe via sea have drowned so far this year while over 800,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to reach the continent in 2015.

The EU has predicted that at least three million more refugees would enter the bloc by 2017.


Israeli forces arrest senior Hamas member in West Bank

The Israeli military has detained a high-ranking member of the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, amid ongoing tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israeli troopers stormed the house of Omar Barghouti Abu Asef in the northern occupied West Bank village of Kobar, located 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) northwest of Ramallah, early on Wednesday and arrested his two sons, Asef and Saleh.

Clashes then broke out between Israeli troops and the young residents of Kober as the situation escalated. Israeli soldiers fired live rounds as well as tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters.

The 62-year-old Hamas figure turned himself in early on Thursday after Israeli troops threatened to detain his wife as well, according to the report. He was taken to an unknown location.

According to his family, Barghouthi recently had a cardiac catheterization, and was about to undergo a liver surgery.

Tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories have dramatically escalated since August, when the Israeli regime imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Palestinians are angry at increasing violence by Israeli settlers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and their attacks on Palestinian properties, saying that the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the compound.

Last month, senior Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, called the recent spate of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem), an Intifada (uprising) against the Tel Aviv regime.

The Palestinian Health Ministry, in a statement released on Tuesday evening, said at least 89 Palestinians, including 18 children and four women, have lost their lives and more than 10,000 others sustained injuries in the occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza Strip since the start of October.


Police charged young man threatening to kill Muslims in Montreal, Canada

Montreal police have charged a 24-year-old man in connection with a video posted on YouTube that shows someone in a Joker mask threatening to kill Muslim people in Quebec.

Jesse Pelletier faces charges of uttering threats, inciting hatred against an identifiable group, making a declaration to incite fear among an identifiable group, and using a fake firearm.

In the video, a man wearing a mask resembling the Joker from Batman comics threatens the death of one Arab per week in the province.

Police arrested Pelletier at an address on Monselet Street in the borough of Montreal North on Tuesday night.

Pelletier appeared in court on Wednesday and has a bail hearing scheduled for Monday.

Pelletier’s lawyer, Audrey Amzallag, said after the court appearance that Pelletier meant the video as a “joke” and regrets the situation he is now in.

Interim Quebec Security Minister Pierre Moreau warned that the kind of threats made in the video carry serious legal repercussions.

“This attitude has to be condemned,” he said. “Under the Criminal Code, such threats can carry a sentence of five years in prison.”

Moreau also said investigating such incidents puts additional pressure on police resources.

“We’re diverting our security forces, who have more important things to focus on,” he said.


Fighting Terrorism Requires International Cooperation: Iran’s First VP

Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri stressed that terrorism has become an international issue and, thus, fighting it requires all-out international cooperation.

Speaking in a Wednesday meeting with visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in Tehran, Jahangiri referred to the recent terrorist attacks in Lebanon and France, saying they made the world, especially the West, more than before realize the disastrous scopes of the threat of terrorism.

He added that these terrorist acts also proved the rightfulness of efforts by Iran and Russian in the fight against terrorism.

He described the spread of extremism and terrorism as a threat to the security of all countries and stressed the need for all-out cooperation at the international level against them.

A string of terrorist attacks killed at least 132 people and wounded dozens of others in Paris on Friday night.

A day earlier, at least 43 people were killed and more than 200 others injured after two explosions struck southern Beirut.

The ISIL terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks in both cities.

Elsewhere in the meeting, Jahangiri highlighted Iran’s keenness to develop ties with Russia in different areas including economic and industrial fields.

He hoped that an upcoming visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Tehran will help to further expand the bilateral relations.

Putin is planned to pay a visit to Iran to participate in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), due on November 23.

Rogozin, for his part, said the Russian president’s planned trip and his meetings with Iranian officials will help to strengthen the two countries’ ties.


Female suicide bombers kill 15 in northeast Nigeria

At least 15 people were killed on Wednesday when two female suicide bombers, one said to be aged around 11, blew themselves up at a busy mobile phone market in northeast Nigeria, a day after more than 30 were killed in a bomb blast.

“A minibus carrying some women came to the Farm Centre GSM market and dropped off one girl aged about 11 and another aged about 18, both wore the hijab,” said Kano police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia.

“One went inside the market, the other stayed outside then they exploded, killing themselves and others nearby,” he said.

Boko Haram has previously used young girls as human bombs in its six-year insurgency in northeast Nigeria that has left at least 17,000 dead and made more than 2.6 million homeless.


Senegal considers banning women from wearing burqa

Senegal is considering banning women from wearing the burqa, amid rising fears of extremism in the west African country.

The Interior Minister, Abdoulaye Daouda, said, “Women would no longer be allowed to wear the Islamic dress, which leaves only the eyes exposed”.

“The decision was a question of national security and was designed to prevent terrorists from using the burqa as a disguise”, Daouda said.

An estimated 92 percent of Senegal’s population is Muslim. Although the country has not suffered a terrorist attack recently, authorities are concerned that militant group Boko Haram, based in northeastern Nigeria, may be trying to extend its range.

This month, police arrested five people suspected of having ties to Boko Haram as part of a nationwide crackdown.

Senegal is not alone in West Africa in banning the burqa. This year Cameroon and Chad, also with large Muslim populations, issued similar orders citing similar reasons. “Senegal is just following the trend,” said Martin Ewi, a senior researcher at the Institute for security studies.

He said the ban, though difficult to enforce, had been reasonably effective in both countries. “You still have the villages and far corners of the country where people don’t always respect the ban,” he added.

The burqa ban has been the subject of debate within Senegal, with commentators struggling to balance the national security imperative with religious freedom. “Its imposition in Senegal will cause social instability … there is a delicate line between preventive measures and respect for individual freedoms,” said Khadim Mbacke, a Dakar-based researcher.

Farid Essack, a religious studies scholar at the University of Johannesburg, said that context was key and the justifications used in Muslim countries did not necessarily apply elsewhere.


Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani: Paris incident justifies ignition of new waves of Islamophobia

Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani said on Thursday that the recent terrorist operation in Paris has justified new waves of Islamophobia to expel Muslims and set ablaze the holy Quran.

The role of the Zionist regime in Paris incident is very strong, he said, adding that enemies are vigilant and spare no efforts to mastermind plots.

All should be vigilant and alert in dealing with global developments, he said.

Since the Islamic revolution depended on the nation, Islam and jurisprudence, it has been remained but other revolutions which lacked such elements have been vanished, said Ayatollah Hamedani.


What is going on in Tuz Khormato? – Shia Turkmens under harsh conditions in their home

Ahlul Bayt News Agency -ABNA- Kurdish forces (Peshmergas) after their sporadic attacks on Shia city of “Tuz Khormato” eventually entered the town with dozens of armored vehicles on last Thursday (21 November) and occupied parts of it.

These forces after entering the town, killed four Iraqi forces (al-Hashad al-Shaabi) at a security checkpoint, set fire to the houses and shops of Shiite Turkmens, looted their property and assets and insulted and took down Imam Hussein’s mourning flags and banners.

After that a severe clashes broke out between the forces of al-Hashad al-Shaabi and Peshmerga. Then Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq warned Peshmerga forces of a dire response if they would not stop their aggression.

For being aware of what is happening in this area, ABNA News Agency conducted an interview with “Doctor Mohammad Salehi”, an activist from Tuz Khormato.

The main content of the interview is as follows:

ABNA: At first, please tell us where is located the city of Tuz Khormato, and what is the race and religion of its people?

Tuz Khormato is located in the province of “Salahuddin” in northern Iraq. Most of its people are Turkmen and are Twelver Shi’a (Ithnā’ashariyyah). Also a minority of Kurds live there.

ABNA: where does conflict between Kurdish forces and residents arise from?

Massoud Barzani (an Iraqi Kurdish politician) martyrs our Shiite forces for over two years. They raid us because they don’t want Shiites of Turkmen to be here anymore. They want to evacuate this area for their Kurdish people. Lots of our people have been martyred in these attacks; even I know a family that 5 members of them were martyred.

ABNA: What reasons are behind resent clashes between Barzani forces and Shiites of Tuz Khormato?

Actually, Barzani forces killed several members of the Badr forces and therefore resent clashes were started. So far, eight of Shia Turkmens have been martyred.

Kurdish forces are lunching their attacks from Sulaimaniyah and American helicopters also help them. They set fire to the houses and shops of the Shiite Turkmens, looted their property and assets and even insulted and took down Imam Hussein’s mourning flags and banners.

ABNA: Is there any conflict yet?

No, there is no battle yet, but there is no deal also.

Unfortunately, the central government of Iraq did nothing to help the Shia Turkmens and just issued a statement.

ABNA: As I know, there is such a problem also in other areas, such as Diyala, Salahuddin and Nineveh, so I want to know what Barzani’s main reason is by doing these actions in Iraq?

Barzani wants to make Diyala, Sadia and Jalawla a place for Sunnis or Kurdish people, so he is trying to evacuate these places from Shia residents.

In this case, US and Turkey have given the green light to Barzani.Kurds also did the same act in Tal Afar of Mosul, and its Shiites were forced to move to other areas. Because there is a lot of oil in Kirkuk, and the Kurds want to have the entire region.

Another goal is that if in the future the country was divided into three parts, Shiites to be in southern Iraq and therefore there will be no Shia in Kurdistan region. They even are in conflict with Kurdish Shiites and forced them to migrate to Baghdad.

ABNA: How the Shiites of Tuz Khormato are acting in facing such problem?

Turkmen won’t leave this place, it belongs to them and Barzani cannot reach his goals in the region. They firmly resist, and with the support of government and Shia ulema they don’t reach their goals.

ABNA: At the end I want to ask you if you have any suggestion for solving the problem.

I suggest that Shia ulema, especially Ayatollah Sistani, to issue a statement in support of the Shiites of Tuz Khormato and ask government to send them troops to be able of defending themselves.

I think support of Shia ulema in Najaf could be very helpful in this case.

We all have to seek the unity in Iraq and have to avoid any division of the country.




ISIL Releases Photo of Bomb That Brought Down Russian Plane

ISIL’s magazine posted a photo on Wednesday of what it said was the improvised bomb that brought down the Russian Airbus A321 over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in October.

Takfiri terrorists claimed that they smuggled the bomb onto the Russian plane after finding security loophole.

The released photo shows a can of Schweppes Gold soft drink and what appears to be a detonator and switch on a blue background.

ISIL also published a photo of what it said were passports belonging to dead Russians “obtained by the mujahideen” (a high value word in Islam that has been hijacked by the Al-Qaeda, ISIL and other terrorist groups since long time ago).

The Kogalymavia A321 air crash took place over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt on October 31. All 224 people on board the plane were killed. The Russian airline Kogalymavia had said following the incident that it sees no grounds to blame human error for the Russian plane crash.

Russian-language daily Kommersant said earlier today citing an unnamed source close to the investigation of the crash that the bomb had been planted by Sharm El-Sheikh Airport personnel under the passenger seat.

The paper said the bomb had been placed in the aircraft’s main cabin near the tail section not in the cargo compartment as reported earlier.

“According to a preliminary version, the bomb could have been laid under the passenger seat by the window. Its operation has led to the destruction of the frame and depressurization of the cabin, which had an explosive character,” the newspaper said.

ISIL had claimed responsibility for the downing of the Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

The Sinai aircrash became the deadliest air accident in the history of Russian aviation, surpassing the 1985 disaster in Uzbekistan, where 200 people died.