Tag Archives: Islamic

A U.S. Soldier Has Pleaded Guilty to Trying to Help the Islamic State

A U.S. Soldier Has Pleaded Guilty to Trying to Help the Islamic StateIkaika Kang said he provided secret military information to undercover agents



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Danish ban on Islamic full-face veil takes effect

Danish ban on Islamic full-face veil takes effectDenmark’s ban on the Islamic full-face veil in public spaces came into force on Wednesday, with anyone wearing a garment that hides the face in public risking a fine. Human rights campaigners have slammed the ban as a violation of women’s rights, while supporters argue it enables better integration of Muslim immigrants into Danish society. It is not known how many women wear the niqab or burqa in Denmark.



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Afghanistan Eid car bomb, claimed by Islamic State, kills 26

Afghanistan Eid car bomb, claimed by Islamic State, kills 26By Rupam Jain and Qadir Sediqi KABUL (Reuters) – A car bomb killed at least 26 people at a gathering of Taliban and Afghan armed forces in the eastern city of Nangarhar on Saturday, an official said, as soldiers and militants celebrated an unprecedented Eid ceasefire. Islamic State claimed responsibility. The Taliban had already denied involvement.



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U.S.-backed Syrian forces arrest French Islamic State leader: SDF

U.S.-backed Syrian forces arrest French Islamic State leader: SDFThe U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Thursday they had arrested a French citizen who headed an Islamic State group in Syria and had been involved in the Paris and Nice attacks in 2015 and 2016. An SDF statement said the man arrested was Adrien Lionel Kayali and that he was born in 1983 and converted to Islam in 2003. French media have reported the captured man’s name as French citizen Adrien Guihal, wanted in connection with terrorist activities in France.



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Islamic State fighters 'evacuate Damascus enclave' as Bashar Assad moves to reclaim western Syria

Islamic State fighters 'evacuate Damascus enclave' as Bashar Assad moves to reclaim western SyriaA war monitor said buses evacuated Islamic State fighters from an enclave south of Damascus on Sunday in a withdrawal deal, though state media denied the report and said the Syrian army was fighting to finish off the insurgents. The recovery of the enclave south of Damascus will mark another milestone in President Bashar al-Assad's war effort, crushing the last besieged rebel enclave in western Syria. Swathes of territory at the borders with Iraq, Turkey and Jordan, however, remain outside state control. Syrian government forces and their allies have been battling to recover the enclave south of Damascus since defeating rebels in eastern Ghouta, also near the capital, in April. The area is centred around the al-Hajar al-Aswad district and the adjoining Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk. In a live broadcast, a reporter with Syrian state TV said the Syrian army operations in the Hajar al-Aswad area were nearing their end and insurgent lines were collapsing as columns of smoke rose from the area behind him. Smoke billowing from the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk during regime strikes targeting the Islamic State group in the camp Credit: Stringer/AFP The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights earlier said buses had entered the enclave after midnight to take out fighters and their families. They had left towards the Syrian Badia, a sparsely populated expanse of territory east of the capital that extends to the border with Jordan and Iraq, it said. Islamic State militants had torched their offices in the Yarmouk enclave, the Observatory said. Negotiated withdrawals have been a common feature of the Syrian war in recent years as the government, aided by the Russian military and Iran-backed forces, has steadily clawed back territory. The rebels have mostly been given safe passage to northwestern Syria. In the last two months alone, the United Nations says 110,000 people have been evacuated to northwestern Syria and rebel-held areas north of Aleppo. Syrian president Bashar Assad meets Vladimir Putin for talks in Sochi on May 17 Credit: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP The opposition has called it a policy of forced displacement amounting to demographic change to drive out Assad's opponents. The Syrian government has said nobody is forced to leave and those who stay must accept state rule. While Assad has vowed to win back "every inch" of Syria, the map of the conflict suggests a more complicated time ahead from now on. The U.S. military is in much of the east and northeast, which is controlled by Kurdish groups that want autonomy from Damascus. It has used force to defend the territory from pro-Assad forces. Turkey has sent forces into the northwest to counter those same Kurdish groups, carving out a buffer zone where anti-Assad rebels have regrouped. In the southwest, where rebels hold territory at the Israeli and Jordanian border, Assad faces the risk of conflict with Israel, which wants his Iranian-backed allies kept well away from the frontier and has mounted air strikes in Syria.



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Iraqis head to the polls for first election since the defeat of Islamic State

Iraqis head to the polls for first election since the defeat of Islamic StateIraqis are voting in the first election defeating the Islamic State (Isil), but few people expect its new leaders to stabilise a country beset by conflicts, economic hardship and corruption since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Depending on the outcome, the poll could bolster Iran's role in Iraq and the Middle East. Aside from geopolitics that have deepened sectarian divisions, Iraq faces an array of challenges after a three-year war against Islamic State which cost the country about $ 100 billion. Much of the biggest northern city of Mosul was reduced to rubble. Security is still threatened by sectarian tensions, which erupted into a 2006-2007 civil war at the height of a 2003-2011 U.S. occupation. The election's victors will have to contend with the fallout from US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran, a move that raised fears among Iraqis that their country will be a theatre of conflict between Washington and Tehran. Iraq has defeated Isil but is still grappling with corruption and economic hardship Credit: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images The three main ethnic and religious groups – the majority Shia Arabs and minority Sunni Arabs and Kurds – have been at odds for decades, and sectarian divisions remain as deep as ever even though they joined forces to fight Islamic State. "I will participate but I will mark an 'X' on my ballot. There is no security, no jobs, no services. Candidates are just looking to line up their pockets, not to help people," said Jamal Mowasawi, a 61-year-old butcher. The three main candidates for prime minister, all Shia, are incumbent Haider al-Abadi, his predecessor Nuri al-Maliki and Shia militia commander Hadi al-Amiri. All need the support of Iran, which has economic and military sway in Iraq as the primary Shia power in the region. Abadi is considered by analysts to be marginally ahead, but victory is far from certain for the man who raised hopes that he could forge unity when he came to office.  His office released photographs of him voting on Saturday morning and going through the same security pat down as other Iraqi voters.  السيد رئيس مجلس الوزراء الدكتور حيدر العبادي يدلي بصوته في احد مراكز الانتخاب( مدرسة بغداد) في منطقة الكرادة . pic.twitter.com/rBLvrHj2jO— PM Media Office (@IraqiPMO) May 12, 2018 In office Abadi reached out to minority Sunnis but alienated Kurds after crushing their bid for independence. He improved his standing with the victory against Islamic State, which had occupied a third of Iraq. But Abadi lacks charisma and has failed to improve the economy and tackle corruption. He also cannot rely solely on votes from his community as the Shi'ite voter base is unusually split this year. Instead, he is looking to draw support from other groups. Even if Abadi's Victory Alliance list wins the most seats, he still has to negotiate a coalition government, which must be formed within 90 days of the election. Amiri, 63, spent more than two decades fighting Saddam from exile in Iran and leads the Badr Organisation, the backbone of the volunteer forces that fought Islamic State. Victory for Amiri would be a win for Iran, which is locked in proxy wars for influence across the Middle East with Saudi Arabia. But many Iraqis are disillusioned with war heroes and politicians who have failed to restore state institutions and provide badly needed health and education services. "There is no trust between the people and the governing class," said Hussein Fadel, a 42-year-old supermarket cashier in the capital. "All sides are terrible. I will not vote." Hadi al-Amiri, a Shia militia commander running for prime minister, shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Baghdad Credit: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah Some people expressed frustrations at technical problems which kept them from voting in Falluja, which used to support Saddam, was devastated by battles between US troops and insurgents during the occupation and is now far from recovering from the war against Islamic State militants. "I have to vote it's very important. My voice is going to waste. Are they telling me no election? Shall I just go home?," asked labourer Khalid Abd, 65. Critics say Maliki's sectarian policies created an atmosphere that enabled Islamic State to gain sympathy among some Sunnis as it swept across Iraq in 2014. Maliki was sidelined soon afterward, having been in office for eight years, but he is now trying to make a comeback. He is again posing as Iraq's Shia champion, and has proposed doing away with the unofficial power-sharing model under which all main parties have cabinet representatives. Maliki, who pushed for US troop withdrawals, and Amiri, who speaks fluent Farsi and spent years in exile in Iran during Saddam's time, are both seen as closer to Tehran than Abadi. More than 7,000 candidates in 18 provinces, or governorates, are running this year for 329 parliamentary seats. More than 24 million of Iraq's 37 million people are eligible to vote in the election, the fourth since Saddam's fall. In Kirkuk, the main oil city disputed by Iraq's Kurds and the Baghdad government, 90-year-old Najm al-Azzawi has witnessed Iraq's upheaval over many years: Saddam's military adventures and the crippling international sanctions that followed, the US occupation, sectarian bloodshed and Islamic State's reign of terror. But he has not lost hope. "God save Iraqis from the darkness they have been in," he said. "It is the most joyful thing to vote." 



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The Latest: Iraq strikes Islamic State targets in Syria

The Latest: Iraq strikes Islamic State targets in SyriaBEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the Syria conflict (all times local):



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4 Islamic Jihad members killed in Gaza 'work accident' blast

4 Islamic Jihad members killed in Gaza 'work accident' blastGAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The militant Islamic Jihad group said four of its members were killed Saturday in a "work accident" in the southern Gaza Strip along the border with Israel.



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Turkey detains 48 suspected Islamic State members: Anadolu, police

Turkey detains 48 suspected Islamic State members: Anadolu, policeTurkish police have detained 48 suspected Islamic State members who were preparing to launch an attack, an Istanbul police spokesman and state-run Anadolu news agency said on Saturday. Police raided six addresses in three districts of Istanbul late on Friday, and detained 31 foreign nationals, the police spokesman said in a statement. Seventeen more foreign nationals who were also preparing to launch an attack were detained in raids across the capital Ankara, Anadolu said, without specifying when the operation was carried out.



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U.S.-backed Syria force denies Islamic State in area targeted by Turkey

U.S.-backed Syria force denies Islamic State in area targeted by TurkeyBy Ece Toksabay, Ellen Francis and Tuvan Gumrukcu ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) – The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rejected a Turkish army statement that Islamic State was present in the Afrin region of northwestern Syria, where Ankara launched an offensive four days ago which has raised international concern. The Turkish military said late on Tuesday it had killed at least 260 Syrian Kurdish fighters and Islamic State militants in its offensive into the Kurdish-dominated Afrin region of northwest Syria.



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