Jail for Plymouth Muslim who sexually assaulted 12-year-old girl in bedroom

A MAN who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl has been jailed.

Burhan Abdulrahman, aged 34, was found guilty of indecently touching the youngster following a trial at Plymouth Crown Court.

He has now been sentenced after a delay to five months in prison.

Adbulrahman angrily told police when he was taking into custody that he would “rape her next time”, the court heard.

He had denied sexual assault between February and May 2013, but was convicted by a jury in November last year.

The victim told the court that Abdulrahman had touched her indecently as they sat on a sofa in a shared house in the city.

The court heard she had been visiting a family friend – who was also friends with Abdulrahman.

The girl said he told her to stop, but he carried on touching her.

She added that she then told the family friend, who threw Abdulrahman, also known as “Biggy”, out of the house.

The girl said she did not tell the police what happened until a few weeks later.

Abdulrahman, of Mount Gould Road, admitted being in the room with the girls but denied touching the complainant indecently.

The court heard that he had previously been in trouble with the police but had no convictions for sexual offences.

Judge Advocate Alan Large adjourned the case for a probation report but sentence was delayed further by a mix-up over the venue.

The judge, sitting at Taunton Crown Court, also ordered him to sign the Sex Offender Register for seven years. He must also pay £70 victim surcharge.

Source: www.plymouthherald.co.uk

See on Scoop.itUNITED CRUSADERS AGAINST ISLAMIFICATION OF THE WEST

*Videos* FATHER OF ‘JIHADI BRIDE’ CAUGHT ON FILM AT PROTEST CALLING FOR SHARIA LAW IN THE UK

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The man who blamed police for his teenage daughter running off to join Islamic State has been revealed as attending a rally led by hate preacher Anjem Choudary that was also attended by Michael Adebowale, the killer of soldier Lee Rigby.

Abase Hussein, whose testimony is included in a report on foreign fighters, blamed the police for placing a ‘heavy burden’ on his daughter Amira Abase by giving her a letter for her parents asking for permission to question her and her friends further, the Daily Mail reports.

Amira was one of three girls who left for Syria last month to join a close friend and have not been heard from since. The country’s top police officer was forced to say sorry to their families over a ‘misplaced’ letter relating to the fourth girl’s disappearance after being told the families were left in the dark over the threat they faced.

The relatives of the girls, who included 16-year-old Kadiza Sultana and 15-year-old Shamima Begum spent an hour in front of MPs refusing to take any responsibility for the radicalisation of their daughters.

Yet one of the very men who blamed everyone but himself for his daughter fleeing to a country where hostages are beheaded and gay people pushed off buildings can be seen on video at the front of a crowd of Muslims shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and demonstrating behind a banner reading “The followers of Mohammed will conquer America” while the US flag is burned.

Hussen

Abase Hussein, father of Amira Abase, one of three girls who left for Syria last month

Hussen-Rally

The relatives of the girls who addressed the home affairs committee were led by their lawyer Tasnime Akunjee, who once represented a close associate of the Woolwich killers. He demanded an apology and accused Scotland Yard of a ‘catalogue of errors’ in handling the disappearance of the trio in February and their  friend two months before.

Mr Akunjee said if the parents had received the letter they would have been ‘on notice’ for issues such as radicalisation and foreign travel. The lawyer attacked the Met, saying it would have cost only an envelope to ‘avoid all this’.

Throughout these high profile appearances, not once did Mr Hussen admit his own attendance at one of the most notorious militant Islam rallies of the last few years – refusing to shoulder any responsibility for his daughter’s disappearance.

Domestic extremism expert at the Henry Jackson Society, Hannah Stuart, said:

“We saw Mr Hussen on TV looking very innocent, holding a teddy bear. But he was linked with individuals who espouse an extremist ideology.

“The impression given was that Islamic extremism was an alien world to his daughter. This footage suggests it wasn’t.”:

Last night, Scotland Yard said it would examine the footage to see if any criminal offences had been committed with a spokesman saying: “We will review any material brought to our attention which purports to show any criminal offence taking place.”

At the rally attended by Mr Hussen, two men were arrested as the angry crowds called for Sharia law to be imposed in the UK. Thousands took part in protests against a film called Innocence of Muslims which was attacked for ridiculing Islam, including 150 who clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy in Mayfair.
source: Breitbart / Mail Online / YouTube

UK: MPAfzal Amin joined Birmingham wing of the Murabitu, a Muslim fundamentalist cult

Revealed: ‘Walter Mitty’ Tory vote fixer exposed by MoS wrote jihadi pamphlet calling on warriors to create Muslim state in Europe.

afzal amin Capture

Resigned: Afzal Amin was exposed after after failed attempt to plot with far-Right extremists to stir up racial hatred

  • Tory Election candidate was exposed for plotting with far-Right extremists 
  • Afzal Amin joined Birmingham wing of the Murabitu, a fundamentalist cult
  • In 1992, at the age of 18, he left the group after becoming disillusioned
  • Two years later, a book crediting him as the author criticised the Murabitun
  • It praised men engaging in conflict against the kuffar [unbeliever]’ and hoped for the ‘liberation of the Muslims wherever we are’
  • But Amin says his words were doctored to include the extremist views

The Tory Election candidate exposed for plotting with far-Right extremists to stir up racial hatred is a former member of a fanatical Islamic sect that believes the Nazis were misunderstood and that Jews control the world.

Afzal Amin, who resigned after The Mail on Sunday published undercover recordings of him meeting the English Defence League, joined the Birmingham wing of the Murabitun, a fundamentalist cult which questioned the Holocaust and praised Hitler.

In 1992 when Amin was 18, he left the group, founded by Scottish hippy Ian Dallas, after becoming disillusioned.

Two years later, a book crediting him as author Raja Afzal Raza Amin al-Quraishy, was published in which he criticised the Murabitun and called for jihadi warriors to establish a Muslim state in Europe.

Amin says his words were doctored to include the extremist views, which he yesterday described as ‘disgusting’.

In the pamphlet Amin – described last week by a colleague as a ‘Walter Mitty character’ – demeans women and calls for restaurants that serve alcohol to be burned.

Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi

Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi (of the Tariqa Habibiya, subsequently al-Murabitun) known also as Ian Dallas

The book, which is entitled Ian Dallas: The Shaykh Who Has No Clothes, criticised the group for not being radical enough.

It states: ‘My troubles with the Birmingham community began when I realised that we were all illiterate, in Shar’iah terms, ignorant, and nobody had a plan to take the city in which we lived.

‘My pushing for study of the Shar’iah and a militant Islam resulted in my expulsion to Slough.

‘Those of us in the cities of Europe need to free ourselves economically from kafir [unbeliever] institutions, state and private, by creating our own arenas of trade, with Islamic coinage… and the building of independent villages for Muslims, from where the mujahidun [jihad warriors] can burst out and conquer lands establishing Dar ul-Islam [a Muslim region].

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Extracts: Passages from the pamphlet credited to Afzal Amin

Extracts: Passages from the pamphlet credited to Afzal Amin

‘May Allah bless the men currently engaged in military conflict against the kuffar [unbeliever] and may He assist us in preparing the liberation of the Muslims wherever we are.’

Recounting the tale of another Muslim, a passage in the book says that he ‘as any man would, refused to be taught the “methodology of jihad” by a female. You see nobody can be strengthened by somebody that is weaker.’

Discussing Indian restaurants which sell alcohol, he says: ‘My complaint is primarily with the hypocrisy of a group of people who claim to be the “cutting edge” of Islam, yet instead of burning the alcohol-selling restaurants are accepting…’

Last week, former student Abu Abdullah, who said he met Amin while studying at the School of African and Oriental Studies in London, claims Amin proudly gave him a copy of the pamphlet in 1998.

Afzal Amin resigned after The Mail on Sunday published undercover recordings of him. Pictured: The Mail on Sunday's front page last week

Afzal Amin resigned after The Mail on Sunday published undercover recordings of him. Pictured: The Mail on Sunday’s front page last week

He said: ‘We were shocked when we saw what he had written and asked him to move out.’

Amin said yesterday: ‘This work is not a book, it is merely stapled photocopied pages. It has been the subject of legal action and any suggestion that I share these views is defamatory. My rights were infringed by the author.

‘When I was 19 years old I was asked by a former member of the group to send him my account of the few months I spent with them.

‘He has inserted phrases throughout which are not my words and the last few paragraphs are a complete fabrication. I have been actively opposing such extreme and rejectionist views my whole life.’

Amin, 40, was exposed for attempting to hatch a plot with the EDL to announce a demonstration in his Dudley North constituency which would then be cancelled, allowing him to claim credit for brokering peace.

amin clip Capture

So why DID the Tories let him stand for a seat?

Serious questions were raised last night over the vetting process which put Afzal Amin on Tory Central Office’s ‘approved list’ of candidates.

Calls for a review came from the leader of his local constituency association, who said Dudley North had been saddled with a ‘complete maverick’.

Influence: Amin Afzal with former Tory chairman Baroness Warsi

Influence: Amin Afzal with former Tory chairman Baroness Warsi

Anne Millward said: ‘On paper, Afzal Amin was a very good candidate when he was selected in 2013, but I think the whole process needs to be thoroughly looked at after this Election.

‘If someone is on the list, you would have thought that they’d have been thoroughly vetted by Central Office and they’d be there on merit, but you then find you’ve got a complete maverick who doesn’t want to do what he’s told or toe the party line.’

Of Mr Amin’s explanation about the fake EDL march idea – comparing it to ‘negotiations with the Taliban’ – Mrs Millward added: ‘This is not Kandahar. It’s Dudley North.’

Meanwhile, Paul Goodman, editor of the Conservative Home website for grassroots members, said a long and highly critical comment about Amin’s military career – describing him as ‘a fantasist with questionable integrity’ – was posted at the end of an article Amin wrote 16 weeks ago, but was not followed up.

‘I’m sure plenty of senior people in the party would have seen it,’ said former MP Mr Goodman. ‘You might have thought it would ring alarm bells.’

source: Mail Online

UK: Travel ban teenage girls from same school as Syria trio

Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets

Journalists said local parents needed to know whether the eight teenagers were all pupils at Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets.

Four teenage girls barred from travelling abroad are pupils at the same east London school attended by three girls already thought to have fled to Syria.

All seven teenagers attend Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets.

The four girls, along with a fifth girl who is home-schooled, have been made wards of court and had their passports removed.

The school was revealed after reporters argued it was in the public interest.

“Right to know”

The judge, Mr Justice Hayden, had made an order saying the five girls could not be identified at the High Court in London.

He made a ruling allowing the school to be named at a follow-up hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

Journalists argued that parents in Tower Hamlets considering schools for their children had a “right to know” whether the three missing teenagers and the grounded girls went to the same school.

Barrister Christopher Barnes, for Tower Hamlets Council, and barrister Jennifer Carter-Manning, for the Metropolitan Police, argued against naming the school attended by the girls barred from travel.

They said revealing the name would pose a risk of the teenagers’ identities being revealed – and said the girls could suffer.

However the point was made that staff and pupils at the academy were already likely to know who the pupils were.

Revealing the name of the school to members of the public outside the school “community” would not create a significant risk of the girls being identified, it was argued.

Mr Justice Hayden ruled in favour of the press.

Islamic State

JIHADI BRIDES IS Capture

Jihadi Brides In Syria

The five girls – two aged 15 and three aged 16 – were barred from travel after showing an interest in going to Syria.

Mr Justice Hayden made the move to bar travel following an application from Tower Hamlets social services officials.

He was told that social workers had raised concerns that the girls might flee to areas controlled by Islamic State (IS) and he said sometimes the law had to “intervene to protect young people from themselves”.

The judge has continued to analyse the girls’ cases at further hearings – and has heard evidence from counter-terrorism specialists at the Metropolitan Police.

“More radicalised”

A number of adults involved in their care have also had their passports seized.

There was evidence to suggest family members in the case had not been “full and frank” with social services, the judge said, and that the girls were becoming “more radicalised”.

In mid-February police raised concerns following the disappearance of Kadiza Sultana, 16, Shamima Begum, 15, and Amira Abase, 15, from their homes in east London.

9British women who have travelled to Iraq and Syria to create an “Islamic utopia” could return home to carry out attacks as the conflict drags on, experts have warned.

Shamima used the passport of her 17-year-old sister to leave the UK, police have said.

The three girls were friends and pupils at Bethnal Green Academy.

A fourth girl from the same school, Sharmeena Begum, 15, from Bethnal Green, left about two months before the three girls.

All four teenagers are thought to be in Raqqa – the Syrian city where IS has its headquarters.

source: BBC NEWS

Muslims Sexually Enslaving Children: Global Phenomenon

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As shocking as the Muslim-run sex ring in Rotherham, England may seem to some—1,400 British children as young as 11 plied with drugs before being passed around and sexually abused in cabs and kebab shops—the fact is that this phenomenon is immensely widespread. In the United Kingdom alone, it was the fifth sex abuse ring led by Muslims to be uncovered…. there have been others since ,too, in Oxford and the West Midlands.

Some years back in Australia, a group of “Lebanese Muslim youths” were responsible for a “series of brutal gang rapes” of “Anglo-Celtic teenage girls.” A few years later in the same country,four Muslim Pakistani brothers raped at least 18 Australian women, some as young as 13. Even in the United States, a gang of Somalis—Somalia being a Muslim nation where non-Muslims, primarily Christians, are ruthlessly persecuted—was responsible for abducting, buying, selling, raping and torturing young American girls as young as 12.

MUSLIM RAPE JIHAD OF BRITISH WOMEN AND SCHOOL GIRLS

The question begs itself: If Muslim minorities have no fear of exploiting “infidel” women and children in non-Muslim countries—that is, where Muslims themselves are potentially vulnerable minorities—how are Muslims throughout the Islamic world, where they are dominant, treating their vulnerable, non-Muslim minorities?

The answer is a centuries-long, continents-wide account of nonstop sexual predation. Boko Haram’s abduction and enslavement of nearly 300, mostly Christian, schoolgirls last April in Nigeria is but the tip of the iceberg.

The difference between what happens in Nigeria and what happens in Western nations is based on what can be called “Islam’s Rule of Numbers.” Wherever Muslims grow in numbers, Islamic phenomena intrinsic to the Muslim world—in this case, the sexual abuse of “infidel” children and teenagers—comes along with them.

muslim grooming 2 Capture

Thus in the United Kingdom, where Muslims make for a sizeable—and notable—minority, the systematic rape of “subhuman infidels” naturally takes place. But when caught, Muslim minorities, being under “infidel” authority, cry “Islamophobia” and feign innocence.

Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram

In Nigeria, however, which is roughly 50 percent Islamic, such “apologetics” are unnecessary. After seizing the nearly 300 schoolgirls, the leader of Boko Haram appeared on videotape boasting that “I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah…. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell.”

It’s the same in Pakistan—the nation where many of the United Kingdom’s Muslims, including the majority involved in the Rotherham sex ring, come from. See this article for a long list of Christian children—as young as 2-years-old—who were targeted by Muslim men for abduction, enslavement, and rape. In every single case, police do nothing except sometimes side with the Muslim rapists against their “infidel” victims.

7-year-old Sara Masih, the daughter of a poor Christian family, was gang-raped by 4 Muslim men in Sialkot.

For example, on Easter Sunday 2013, four Muslim men gang-raped a 7-year-old Christian girl named Sara, leaving her in “critical condition.”  According to Asia News, “the police, instead of arresting the culprits, helped the local clan to kidnap the girl’s father… to ‘force the family not to report the story, to reach an agreement with the criminals and to avoid a dispute of a religious background.’”

Kiran George, 20, passed away in hospital after she was burned by her Muslim employers, rights activists say. Photo: Jawad Mazhar for BosNewsLife

As for systematic child grooming, in 2010, Kiran George, a Christian girl who was “enslaved by a woman, Sama, a dealer of youth to be sold as prostitutes or slaves to wealthy Muslim families,” was doused with gasoline by a police officer involved in the sex ring, set on fire, and burned to death.

And a recent report confirms that “an estimated 700 cases [of abduction, enslavement, and/or rape in Pakistan] per year involve Christian women, 300 Hindu girls”—very large numbers when one considers that Christians and Hindus each make for one percent of the population of Pakistan, which is about 97 percent Muslim.

One can go on and on. In 2011 a Christian group in Muslim-majority Egypt exposed a highly organized Muslim ring centered in the Fatah Mosque in Alexandria. The investigation also uncovered a systematic “religious call” plan, where young Muslim males in high school and university are urged to approach Coptic girls in the 9-15 age group and manipulate them through sexual exploitation and blackmail. The plan … aims at sexually compromising Christian girls, defiling them and humiliating them in front of their parents, thereby forcing them to flee their homes, and use conversion to Islam as a “solution” for their problems.

Approximately 550 Coptic Christian girls have been abducted and sexually abused by Muslim men during the last three years—especially under the Muslim Brotherhood’s aegis, when sexual crimes were particularly widespread.

So what animates this phenomenon of Muslim on non-Muslim rape?  And we must call it Muslim rape since Islam is the common denominator in all these cases from otherwise diverse nations that have little in common except for large numbers of Muslims.

AISHA MARRIED imagebot

As for the pedophilia aspect, Muhammad—the prophet of Islam whom the Koran exhorts Muslims to emulate in every possible way—was “betrothed” to a six-year-old girl, Aisha, “consummating” their marriage when she was nine-years-old.   Accordingly, Islam’s clerics routinely defend child “marriage”—sometimes even if the girl is still in the cradle—based on the example of the prophet.

As for the subhuman treatment of “infidel” children, this is seen as a right by supremacist Muslims. Discussing the 2010 rape of a 9-year-old Christian girl, local sources in Pakistan put it well: “It is shameful. Such incidents occur frequently. Christian girls are considered goods to be damaged at leisure.  Abusing them is a right. According to the [Muslim] community’s mentality it is not even a crime. Muslims regard them as spoils of war.”

“Spoils of war” is quite correct. Here is how the late Majid Khadduri, “internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on Islamic law and jurisprudence,” explained the idea of “spoils” in his War and Peace in the Law of Islam:

The term spoil (ghanima) is applied specifically to property acquired by force from non-Muslims. It includes, however, not only property (movable and immovable) but also persons, whether in the capacity of asra (prisoners of war) or sabi (women and children). … If the slave were a woman, the master was permitted to have sexual connection with her as a concubine.

Ibn Ishaq (327) – “Allah made booty lawful and good. He used it to incite the Muslims to unity of purpose. So enjoy what you have captured.”

Nor is this limited to academic talk. Last year, Jordanian Sheikh Yasir al-‘Ajlawni said Muslims fighting to topple “infidel” president Bashar Assad in Syria are permitted to “capture and have sex with” all non-Sunni women, including Shia Muslims, Alawites, Christians, Druze, and Yazidis.

Before him, Egyptian Sheikh Ishaq Huwaini lamented how during the heydays of Islam, “You [could] go to the market and buy her [enslaved, infidel concubines for sale]….  In other words, when I want a sex-slave, I go to the market and pick whichever female I desire and buy her.”

In order to eliminate sexual immorality from among male Muslim youth, Kuwaiti political activist Salwa al-Mutairi suggested the formal reinstitution of sex-slavery—not unlike what was recently exposed in Rotherham. She said on video that Islam’s greatest authorities from Mecca, the city of Islam, all confirmed the legality of sex-slavery to her.  According to the Kuwaiti woman:

A Muslim state must [first] attack a Christian state—sorry, I mean any non-Muslim state—and they [the women, the future sex-slaves] must be captives of the raid. Is this forbidden? Not at all; according to Islam, sex slaves are not at all forbidden. Quite the contrary, the rules regulating sex-slaves differ from those for free women [i.e., Muslim women]: the latter’s body must be covered entirely, except for her face and hands, whereas the sex-slave is kept naked from the bellybutton on up—she is different from the free woman; the free woman has to be married properly to her husband, but the sex-slave—he just buys her and that’s that…. For example, in the Chechnya war, surely there are female Russian captives. So go and buy those and sell them here in Kuwait; better that than have our men engage in forbidden sexual relations. I don’t see any problem in this, no problem at all.”

What happened in Rotherham is hardly an aberration. Rather, it is Islam coming to town, Muslims growing in numbers.  Even Dr. Taj Hargey, a British imam, just confirmed that the majority of the UK’s “imams promote grooming rings.” He said Muslim men are taught that women are “second-class citizens, little more than chattels or possessions over whom they have absolute authority” and that the imams preach a doctrine “that denigrates all women, but treats whites with particular contempt.”

Change “whites” to “non-Muslims”—this is not about race but religion—and the experiences of those 1,400 children in Rotherham is one with the experiences of countless non-Muslim minorities throughout the Islamic world.

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Don’t miss The Glazov Gang’s special 2-part series with Gavin Boby of the Law and Freedom Foundation about Muslim rape gangs in the UK and how Islamic theology inspires and sanctions their barbaric crimes against helpless young girls:

SOURCE: FRONTPAGEMAG/ mirror of an article published by Raymond Ibrahim in September of 2014

Rotherham scandal: IPCC to investigate 44 police officers over handling of child sex claims

The watchdog has expanded its investigation into South Yorkshire police officers over their handling of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

Rotherham

In Rotherham, South Yorkshire Police “regarded many child victims with contempt” Photo: Ross Parry Agency / rossparry.co.uk

The investigation into how police handled child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham has been expanded, it emerged last night, after the police watchdog said it had received complaints involving more than 100 allegations against 42 named officers.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced that since their inquiry began four months ago, it has received 30 complaints relating to South Yorkshire Police’s handling of reports about CSE.

The IPCC initially began investigating the 10 police officers involved in the incidents highlighted by the Jay Report, which described how at least 1,400 children were raped, trafficked and groomed in the South Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013.

The watchdog said yesterday it has now identified a total of 42 police officers, both retired and serving, from the complaints it has received over the past few months.

It said that there are also a number of allegations against officers whose identities are currently unknown.

South Yorkshire Police’s station at Rotherham (Getty Images)

The IPCC said in a statement: “Work to establish the identity of the unknown officers and to identify any links between the different complaints and incidents is ongoing.

“The allegations range from neglect of duty by failing to adequately investigate on the basis of intelligence or to deal with incidents appropriately, inappropriate comments and suggestions of corrupt relationships between police officers and offenders.”

The IPCC is also investigating an allegation that South Yorkshire Police failed to act on information passed to them in 2004 and 2006 about alleged child sexual exploitation in Sheffield.

This complaint relates to two named police officers who are now retired from the police service.

A number of potential police misconduct allegations were identified in the Jay Report, which was published in August last year.

Professor Alexis Jay compiled a report on child sexual exploitation (Tom Maddick / rossparry.co.uk)

The report set out how hundreds of teenagers, mainly girls, were being exploited by gangs of mainly Asian men with impunity.

Professor Alexis Jay, who wrote the report, said police and senior council officers had failed to tackle problem or take it seriously.

The Jay Report was followed by another damning report by Louise Casey, which was scathing in its criticism of Rotherham Council.

Last month, the council’s entire leadership resigned following the publication of Casey’s damning report, which had been ordered by Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles.

It concluded that the local authority was “not fit for purpose” after finding it has a culture of “bullying, sexism, suppression and misplaced ‘political correctness”‘.

After more revelations about the scale of CSE in neighbouring Sheffield, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Billings, last month called for a wide-ranging inspection of his force, along the lines of Ms Casey’s review of the council’s actions.

Last month, a police officer who was being investigated in relation to the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal has died following a car crash.

PC Hassan Ali, right, was hit by a car in January (Ben Lack)

South Yorkshire Police said PC Hassan Ali, 44, died after he was involved in a collision in Sheffield last month when was off-duty.

It is understood that two complaints had been made about PC Ali, connected to the probe into sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham and he had been placed on restricted duties while the matter was being considered by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

PC Ali, who had been with the South Yorkshire force for 18-years, had been on foot when he was hit by a car at around 10.15pm on Wednesday 28 January.

source : The Express

UK: The terrorist trial of Erol Incedal that couldn’t be reported on

Erol Incedal (centre), formerly known in the case as AB

Erol Incedal (centre), formerly known in the case as AB0

On 13 October 2013, armed police blew out the tyres of a car near the Tower of London. That much we know for sure about the arrest and prosecution of Erol Incedal for preparing for acts of terrorism.

Since then, he has faced two trials for preparing for acts of terrorism. But what was his alleged plan?

Well, we simply do not know – and the jury at his retrial has decided it did not buy whatever it was being told he was supposed to have done.

This has been the most secret prosecution since World War Two – and it has ended with the only defendant being cleared.

A few journalists were permitted to hear to some of the secret Old Bailey sessions – but they will go to prison if they reveal what they learned.

The rest of us were allowed in to Court Nine for some brief open sessions – but most of the time the doors were locked.

Two weeks before his arrest, traffic police had stopped the 26-year-old for speeding.

Tower Bridge seen at night

On 13 October 2013, armed police blew out the tyres of a car near the Tower of London.

He was taken to a police station for two hours – and while he was there, officers searched the black, E-class Mercedes.

They found a note inside a glasses case of the address of a property owned by former Prime Minster Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie.

Court sketch of Erol Incedal

In the brief public opening of the trial, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC alleged Incedal had been considering a range of options for a terrorist attack, including against an “individual of significance” or, perhaps, a gun attack on the streets, similar to that in Mumbai in 2008.

During the first trial, these allegations were left hanging in the air.

In the second, the court was told Incedal had allegedly met a British jihadist called “Ahmed” on the Turkish-Syrian border earlier in 2013 and this second man had asked him to do something in the UK.

They allegedly exchanged coded emails relating to Mumbai and Kalashnikov rifles.

But here is the problem. Incedal denied the allegation – and the Crown’s case was not fully detailed in open court. There was no cross-examination in public that helped the public to understand what the evidence amounted to.

We do not even know if either of these allegations were at the core of the case or, perhaps, peripheral to something else said behind the closed doors.

Was Tony Blair the individual of significance or just one of a number of possible alleged targets?

One part of the case was clear. Incedal had a memory card hidden in a phone case, and it contained bomb-making plans.

Incedal was convicted of possessing this document at the end of the first trial.

His co-accused, Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, also admitted having the same document.

Surprisingly, the clearest evidence came from a normally secret source.

The security services had bugged Incedal’s car – and the jury heard recordings that sounded like he was downloading and watching jihadist battles in Iraq.

During one discussion he talked about getting a gun and bullets, using the code “sausage and sauce”.

He said he hated white people, praised Islamic State commanders, and, briefly, talked about being in Syria’s mountains.

ISIS flag near the Turkish border

Black flag of Islamic State – seen from the Turkish side of the border with Syria

Incedal was no stranger to the region. Born in Istanbul, his late father was a member of a Kurdish Communist group in Turkey.

Years later, his much older sister was killed fighting alongside Kurdish separatists.

He was raised in London by his mother. She is an Alawite Muslim, the same ethnic group as Syria’s ruling elite.

Incedal was excluded from school, convicted of petty crime and married at 17. He became a father of two and had various business plans – but none accounted for his flashy lifestyle.

Israfl Erbil knows the family well – and says that Incedal lacked a father figure in his life.

“It was difficult to get communication with Erol because he was acting apart from the community and the family,” he says.

“He was not a calm person, difficult to call him… he has his own mind and ideas.”

So what was Incedals’s defence?

He told the jury in the open proceedings he had been planning an armed robbery – he said he had been going to try to enlist three sons of the radical cleric Abu Hamza a-Masri. He denied wanting a gun for terrorism.

But time and again, the open evidence left us with unanswered questions.

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How secret was the secret trial?

  • First trial autumn 2014. Jury failed to reach a verdict on preparing acts of terrorism
  • Second trial in February – March 2015
  • Approximately 68 hours of evidence
  • 10 of them in open and public court
  • 28 hours of secret evidence heard by “accredited journalists” – but remains secret until a legal ruling otherwise
  • 30 hours of evidence heard in complete secrecy before judge, lawyers and jury
A line

When the defendant’s car was first stopped for speeding, Incedal had apparently “made demands” the police could not accommodate.

During questioning after his arrest, detectives stopped the interview so they could digest a handwritten statement from the suspect.

The contents of that statement have not been read in open court.

And from the witness box in the first trial, the defendant said he had a reasonable excuse for carrying a memory card containing bomb-making plans.

The BBC’s man on the inside was senior producer Jeremy Britton who co-ordinates our coverage of the Old Bailey.

He is not allowed to tell any of his colleagues anything about the evidence he heard or saw in some of the secret parts of the trial.

“On a typical day we would wait around for a couple of hours outside court,” he says.

“A policeman would come out and gives us 10 seconds to hurry in.

“We hand over our telephones to the policeman that are then put in a metal box and locked up.

“We then collect our ‘secret’ notebooks from a metal safe, and then we walk in front of the judge and the jury in total silence to our desk and start writing.

“After about 20 minutes we would do the whole thing in reverse.

“I’ve worked at the Old Bailey for 15 years, and I have never come across anything like this before.

“It is totally unique – and I wouldn’t want to repeat it.”

Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar

Co-accused: Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar admitted possessing bomb-making plans last year

The Times’s crime and security editor, Sean O’Neill, was also on the inside. He says the enforced secrecy ran against the basic instincts of every reporter.

“It’s been very difficult,” he says.

“I have always been unhappy with the idea of being an ‘accredited journalist’ – accredited by the state to cover a trial. I have become more and more uncomfortable with that as the process has gone on – particularly this business of handing your notebook to a counter-terrorism police officer every day and having it locked in a safe.

“It’s a deeply unhealthy process.”

“There is a lot that we have heard in court that should not have been secret and should be aired in public and scrutinised.

“They can take your notebook away, but they can’t take this stuff out of your head.

“The key facts are there and I’m itching to write them.”

Lord (Ken) Macdonald QC is the former Director of Public Prosecutions. He oversaw a string of major terrorism trials – but none of them ever required this kind of secrecy.

“It would be disastrous if we moved into a world where courts were more routinely going into closed session,” he says.

“Public confidence in the criminal justice system requires transparency and openness.

“The people have to be able to see what’s happening in the courts.

“They have to be able to see the evidence that leads to convictions, and I don’t believe that people will have confidence in the decisions of the courts if we allowed too much secrecy.”

The jury has heard all 68 hours of evidence and has cleared Incedal of the main charge he faced.

He still faces jail for his conviction on the lesser charge of possessing a document useful to terrorism.

For those of us on the outside, we heard less than a one-seventh of the case.

There were tantalising glimpses of the full story: chinks of light into a dark process that nobody other than those behind the closed doors could understand.

More on this story

  • Erol Incedal: Student cleared of planning terror attack
    2 hours ago

MPs warn on growing numbers of British jihadists

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Not enough is being done to prevent people leaving the UK to join Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a group of MPs has warned.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said Britain must win their “hearts and minds”.

The committee’s report comes as the BBC launches a database tracking British jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

It shows that many people left in clusters from certain UK areas – often due to friendships and peer groups.

The MPs’ report argues that preventative work with communities, families and international partners is “vital” and needs to be a top priority for the Home Office.

‘Relentless battle’

“The number of cases being brought to public attention should ring alarm bells,” said Labour MP Mr Vaz.

“This must be a relentless battle for hearts and minds, and without a strong counter-narrative we are in danger of failing to prevent even more departures. We are at the edge of a cliff.”

The BBC has been tracking the stories of the men, women, boys and girls who have gone to Syria and Iraq to understand why they go, where they go from and what happens to them.

By analysing around 160 profiles, it reveals the way in which people have travelled in clusters – a group of three young friends from Coventry, another group from Portsmouth, drawn out by one person they knew, others in Cardiff linked to people involved in an extremist organisation.

Social media might play a part but face-to-face contact appears just as, if not more, important, according to the database.

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Tracking Britain’s jihadists

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It includes the stories of:

  • 36 who are reported to have died
  • 13 who have been convicted by the courts in England
  • Many others the BBC has established to be alive and active in Syria or Iraq
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The BBC research emphasises the extent to which real-world contacts, rather than just online connections, are often a key driver of radicalisation and intent to travel to Iraq and Syria.

Some of the experts who appeared before the Home Affairs Committee also argued the internet was a secondary influence.

They said that universities and prisons were among the two most significant places where radicalisation occurred.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police, which was not aware of the MPs’ report, said it would have “welcomed the opportunity” to have given evidence to the committee and that it planned to look at the report in detail.

The disappearance of schoolgirls Shamima Begum, Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, from east London in February, raised questions as to who could have done more to prevent their departure.

After taking evidence from the police and the families of the girls among others, Mr Vaz said their case suffered from a “lack of immediate action”.

He added: “Schools and the police must inform parents immediately, and work with them even if there is the smallest hint of radicalisation, or a close association with someone who is thought to have been radicalised.”

However, the Met Police spokesman defended the speed of the police response to the schoolgirls’ disappearance. He said the committee’s criticism was “misleading”, pointing to the evidence given by both UK and Turkish authorities of “rapid exchanges” between the two.

The committee’s report said there needed to be an advice service which would be a less extreme step than calling the anti-terrorist hotline.

The Association of Chief Police Officers lead officer for the government’s anti-terror strategy Prevent, Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy, agreed that more needed to be done.

However, he said the police “do not have the capacity” to routinely work with every school in the country.

He added: “The police service will play its part but the prime responsibility for dissuading young people from getting involved in extremist activity has to lie with parents, families and carers.”

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Sources for BBC database:

  • Information provided in open court, or by governments or security agencies
  • Information volunteered by relatives
  • BBC research to verify individual accounts
  • Information from other credible sources who have assisted the BBC
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The committee also pointed to weaknesses in information sharing with airlines and other countries.

It said greater care needed to be taken at airport check-in desks when people were travelling to destinations of concern – namely Syria, Somalia, Iraq and Nigeria, as well as neighbouring countries, such as Turkey.

The report said police also needed to work faster to alert overseas partners and airlines when there were concerns over individuals.

There were signs that some of the girls had followed extremist accounts on social media, the report said.

The committee said that social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, should be prepared to suspend accounts when there is evidence they are being used to promote violent extremism.

The report also said it was disappointed the Home Office had not implemented a programme for individuals returning to Britain where there is evidence they had fought in Syria.

Security officials estimate that some 600 Britons have left the country to join IS – and while around half may have returned, many are still out there – and some have died.

The BBC project includes detailed profiles of individuals which can be searched, based on hometown, age and gender, as well as those who have been convicted in the courts or who are believed to have been killed.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “People seeking to travel to Syria or Iraq for terrorist activity should be in no doubt that we will take the strongest possible action to protect national security, including prosecuting those who break the law.

“Our priority is to dissuade people from travelling to these areas of conflict and the Prevent strategy is working to identify and support individuals at risk of radicalisation. The new legal duties we have introduced on public bodies including schools, police, prisons, councils and universities will help strengthen this work.

“The recent Counter-Terrorism and Security Act has also added measures to disrupt travel including a new temporary passport seizure power. We continue to work with the airline industry to develop new arrangements to ensure that young people at risk are properly identified.

“It’s vital that if families are worried that a loved one may be at risk they should contact the police.”

Trojan Horse School: Nansen Primary head teacher dismissed

Nansen Primary School in Saltley.

Nansen Primary School in Saltley.

The interim head of a Birmingham school embroiled in the Trojan Horse scandal has been axed after less than two months in the job.

Dr Rashida Sharif’s departure from Nansen Primary – placed in special measures last year – was confirmed after a damning Ofsted report found violence, racism and wasted funds.

Highlighting the decision to spend almost £7,000 on upgrades to the headteacher’s room and a meeting room, the document said: “Some decisions made by the interim headteacher have not been in the best interest of the pupils.”

Dr Sharif’s appointment was revealed to parents in a letter on January 5.

Adrian Packer, executive principal of the Core Education Trust, responsible for Nansen Primary…. AN ex-circus performer who taught singer Amy Winehouse

But executive principal Adrian Packer – himself criticised by Ofsted for failing to keep a close enough eye on Dr Sharif – said in a letter to families yesterday that she had been “removed from her post immediately” following February’s inspection.

He went on: “Having made reasonable progress in the previous monitoring inspection in November, we are of course disappointed that progress has stalled and that there are clearly many issues for us to address in order to put the school back on track towards the removal of special measures.

“You will note from the report that many of the concerns relate to the leadership of the school at the time of the visit in February.

“You will know from my previous letter to you immediately after the inspection, that the interim headteacher at the time of the inspection, and to whom this latest report is addressed, was removed from her post immediately.”

Look: Secret documents allege conspiracy at Birmingham schools

View Gallery here: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/nansen-primary-interim-headteacher-trojan-8912584

Mr Packer said the headteachers from Arden and Nelson Mandela schools, Tony Lacey and Azita Zohhadi, previously involved at Nansen, had once again stepped in.

He told parents: “I have also been running staff surgeries and can report a more positive picture and improving staff morale at this time.

“Our previous more positive inspection findings from November were the result of a strong team effort from the heads of Nelson Mandela and Arden supported by myself and lead trustee, Pat Smart.

“Although we understand you will be disappointed by this latest report, we trust you will appreciate that the right team is now back in place and are well equipped to steer the school back to a reasonable progress judgement for the next visit.

“Since the latest monitoring inspection to which this report relates, we have focused heavily on improving pupil behaviour and monitoring the quality of teaching.”

Mr Packer said a search was continuing to find a permanent principal.

Nansen was placed in special measures with four other Birmingham schools following a series of investigations into the Trojan Horse claims of takeover plots by hardline Muslims.

But the latest Ofsted inspection highlighted a string of problems.

Teachers told inspectors that children as young as eight hit them without any action being taken when they reported it to the school’s leadership.

Racist name calling was said to be a “regular occurrence” with pupils saying they did not complain because nothing would happen.

Behaviour was found to have deteriorated to an “inadequate” level since special measures were imposed.

Parents told inspectors they were concerned about children coming home with “bumps and bruises”.

The report said: “Leadership has weakened.

“The school is in an extremely fragile position.

“Senior leaders have not raised pupils’ achievement or improved the quality of teaching.

“The trustees and the executive principal have not kept a close enough check on the work of the interim headteacher. Consequently, some decisions made by the interim headteacher have not been in the best interest of the pupils.

“For instance, while resources are needed to support pupils’ learning, almost £7,000 was spent on refurbishing the headteacher’s room and a meeting room.”

The report stated: “Pupils, especially older boys, were observed hitting, punching and thumping each other in the playground.”

Children’s understanding of life in modern Britain and of different faiths and cultures was found to be “insecure” and “not taught well”.

Inspectors also found: “Members of staff told inspectors that pupils as young as eight years of age hit them and senior leaders fail to take appropriate action.

“The majority of staff who completed the Ofsted staff questionnaire raised concerns about pupils’ behaviour.

“Pupils told inspectors that name calling, particularly racist name calling, is a regular occurrence.

“Some pupils stated that they do not report incidents of racist name calling because staff do not act on their concerns.”

Dr Sharif was also found to have reduced support from staff at Nelson Mandela and Arden schools.

In one lesson pupils were told to draw a picture rather than complete the written part of the planned activity.

Standards in reading, writing and maths were found to be lower than in a monitoring inspection carried out last November.

Children were found to “scribble, reverse numbers and letters, and produce untidy, careless work”.

Teaching was judged to be “inadequate” and worse than when Nansen, in Saltley, was placed in special measures.

Nansen told the Mail the school’s new leadership had improved methods of reporting behavioural concerns and there were no “live” staff complaints about teachers being abused.

A separate report for Park View School, which was also implicated in the Trojan Horse scandal, found it had made “reasonable progress” towards the lifting of its special measures.

The school, in Alum Rock, said in a statement it was “particularly pleased that improved overall achievement, better teaching and well-mannered and polite student behaviour are all highlighted”.

Teaching was found to have improved as a result of “well thought-out plans” to improve the maths and science academy.

But around a quarter of staff who responded to a questionnaire did not believe the school was well-led and managed.

Golden Hillock and Oldknow, two of the other schools caught up in the Trojan Horse furore, were also found to have been making “reasonable progress” towards the removal of special measures.

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Teachers at the centre of the ‘Trojan Horse’ plot to takeover Birmingham schools exchanged messages that the murder of soldier Lee Rigby was a hoax, it emerged today.

A damning report into Birmingham schools has unearthed ‘compelling evidence’ of an attempt by a group of hardline Muslims ‘to gain control of governing bodies’, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said.

The investigation, led by former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke, revealed details of a WhatsApp group called The Park View Brotherhood which also included a description of homosexuals as ‘animals’ with ‘satanic ways’.

TROJAN HORSE SCHOOLS imagebot

Four different investigations into the Trojan Horse allegations of a hardline Muslim takeover plot at a number of Birmingham schools have reported back. Here are the main findings of each:

Peter Clarke report, ordered by former education secretary Michael Gove

Mr Clarke’s inquiry did not look for, or find, evidence of terrorism, radicalisation or violent extremism in the schools of concern.

It concluded there was a deliberate effort by a number of individuals to introduce an ‘intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos’ into a number of Birmingham schools.

This was achieved in some schools by gaining influence on governing bodies, installing ‘sympathetic’ head teachers and senior staff, appointing ‘like-minded’ people to key positions, and removing heads who were not ‘compliant’ with a particular agenda.

The 129-page report was highly critical of Birmingham City Council, accusing the authority of failing to support under-pressure head teachers who were dealing with inappropriate behaviour by governors.

Ian Kershaw report, ordered by Birmingham City Council

Found no evidence of a ‘conspiracy to promote an anti-British agenda, violent extremism or radicalisation in schools in east Birmingham’.

It concluded that key individuals were ‘promoting and encouraging certain Islamic principles’ in Birmingham classrooms amid poor oversight from education chiefs.

He suggested problems were allowed to run ‘unchecked’ due to what he branded ‘weaknesses in the system and poor oversight of governance’ mainly by the city council, but also by Ofsted, the Education Funding Agency and the Department for Education.

Ofsted:

The watchdog inspected 21 schools in the city, concluding that a ‘culture of fear and intimidation’ had developed in some schools.

Warned that Birmingham City Council failed to support a number of schools in the area in their efforts to protect pupils from the ‘risks of radicalisation and extremism’.

Five schools placed in special measures as a result: Golden Hillock School, Nansen Primary School and Park View Academy – all run by the Park View Educational Trust (PVET) – as well as Oldknow Academy and Saltley School. A sixth – Alston Primary – was already in special measures.

Education Funding Agency

The EFA, which oversees academies, published highly critical reports on PVET and Oldknow Academy at the same time as the Ofsted findings were made public.

It said PVET had ‘many weaknesses’, breached its funding agreement, and had restricted its curriculum to a ‘conservative Islamic perspective’.

A separate report following the inspection of Oldknow Academy in Small Heath found it was ‘taking on the practices of an Islamic faith school’ and had excluded non-Muslim staff and pupils from an annual trip to Saudi Arabia for three years running.

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SHOCK VIDEO! Cornell dean says ISIS welcome on campus in undercover video!

joe scaffido Capture

Joseph Scaffido, has been caught on camera saying the school would welcome active members of the terror organizations ISIS and Hamas onto campus.

One of America’s prestigious Ivy League universities, Cornell, has a motto that’s a popular quotation from a founder of the New York institution of higher learning: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

In light of a shocking new undercover video from James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, that motto takes on new, and to many, disturbing meaning.

CORNELL UNI imagebot

This guy is either the dumbest Ivy League bigwig ever or politically correct to a fault — for welcoming offers to bring ISIS and Hamas to Cornell University.

A video sting operation shows Cornell’s assistant dean for students, Joseph Scaffido, agreeing to everything suggested by an undercover muckraker posing as a Moroccan student.

Scaffido casually endorses inviting an ISIS “freedom fighter’’ to conduct a “training camp” for students at the upstate Ithaca campus — bizarrely likening the activity to a sports camp.

Is it OK to bring a humanitarian pro-“Islamic State Iraq and Syria” group on campus, the undercover for conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas asks.

Sure, Scaffido says in the recorded March 16 meeting.

Scaffido doesn’t even blink an eye when the undercover asks about providing material support for terrorists — “care packages, whether it be food, water, electronics.”

How about supporting Hamas?

No problem at all, Scaffido said.

“The university is not going to look at different groups and say, ‘You’re not allowed to support that group because we don’t believe them’ or something like that. I think it’s just the opposite. I think the university wants the entire community to understand what’s going on in all parts of the world,” Scaffido said.

The undercover asked if he can invite “a freedom fighter to come and do like a training camp for students.”

Scaffido responds, “You would be allowed to do something like that. It’s just like bringing in a coach, to do a training, a sports trainer or something,” the Cornell official said.

The State Department includes both ISIS and Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations.

Cornell brass responded to a Post inquiry made to Scaffido.

“Cornell fully supports the free exchange of ideas and does not review or control the political ideology of our students. We do not, of course, tolerate unlawful advocacy of violence, and the comment about training by ISIS freedom fighters does not reflect university policy,” said Joel Malina, Cornell’s vice president for university relations.

Stethoscopes and AK-47s: Pakistan medics face kidnap epidemic

stethoscope ak47 Capture

When Pakistani doctor Mehmood Jafri gets ready for work in the morning, the first thing he does is put his AK-47 in the car.

Then, after briefing the armed guards at his home, he sets off for the hospital where he works in the troubled northwestern city of Peshawar with his most trusted relative beside him as an escort.

After surviving one murder attempt and one kidnap bid, Jafri takes no chances with his personal safety.

He is one of hundreds of Peshawar doctors living with the daily threat of being killed or abducted for ransom by Taliban militants or criminal gangs.

The doctors’ association in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, estimate that in the past three years around a dozen doctors have been killed and more than 30 kidnapped, while up to 3,000 have fled in search of a peaceful life elsewhere.

Guns have become as important as stethoscopes at clinics and guards watch over doctors’ homes.

Doctors are seen as relatively easy targets in Pakistan. They are well paid, but often lack the protection of influential connections that wealthy businessmen might enjoy.

“I was lucky that I survived two attempts because I sensed the threats moments before they tried to attack me and I escaped,” Jafri told AFP as he finished surgery at Peshawar’s main hospital.

“Many other colleagues were not so lucky and they were either shot dead or kidnapped.”

People walk past a police checkpost outside the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in Karachi

Provincial health minister Shehram Khan Tarakai confirmed the kidnapping of 30 doctors and the killing of “a couple”.

The problem is not confined to the northwest — the medics’ association in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, says 20 doctors have been killed in targeted attempts in the past 14 months while 10 have been kidnapped in two years.

AFP has changed the names of all the doctors in this story for their own safety.

- Fear and trauma -

Kidnapping leaves most of the medics deeply traumatised after their release and unwilling to speak about their experiences for fear of retribution from their abductors.

“They stop interacting with others and restrict themselves to their homes and clinics as the kidnappers tell them they will find them if they ever reveal any details at all,” Doctor Amir Taj Khan, senior vice president of the Provincial Doctors Association, said.

“They don’t even come to our meetings. It’s impossible for them to tell their stories publicly even if you pay them 100 million rupees ($1 million).”

Khan said that of the 32 doctors who had been kidnapped, only two had confided in him what had happened to them.

They told of being tied up with ropes and taken to lawless North Waziristan, for decades the stronghold of Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.

The abductees were isolated from human contact, suffered illness and went untreated, Khan said.

A major offensive launched against militant strongholds in North Waziristan last June brought fresh anxiety.

With the military wading in with artillery barrages and air strikes on insurgent positions, kidnappers and kidnapped became scared, never knowing if the next shell would kill them.

One detainee was moved repeatedly, Khan said, until finally an $80,000 ransom was agreed for his release.

A private security guard stands outside the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in Karachi on March 23, 2015 (AFP Photo/Rizwan Tabassum)

 

- Extortion -

Even the best-laid security arrangements do not always work. One doctor said his kidnappers simply disarmed him and he ended up paying $130,000 for his release.

Most doctors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa now simply pay off the Taliban and criminal gangs, Khan said, making the extortion and kidnapping business a hugely lucrative revenue-earner for militants.

“Almost 100 percent of senior doctors pay extortion to avoid kidnapping and killing — they know there is no other way to survive,” Khan said.

Hanif Afridi, a successful eye specialist with clinics in several cities, pays $2,500 each month to Mangal Bagh, a feared warlord in Khyber tribal region.

“I am paying extortion since 2010. I know I am doing wrong but there is no other solution, security forces are unable to protect us,” Afridi told AFP.

“I have to keep Taliban happy for my own security and security of my business. Besides the monthly fee, I pay them around $5,000 when they demand more money for ‘special assignments’,” he said.

Afridi says he is sometimes taken to the tribal areas for the treatment of Taliban commanders.

Militants pick their targets carefully, carrying out sophisticated undercover surveillance before striking.

“They know everything about everybody. Many Taliban visit our clinics in the disguise of patients and assess how rich we are, so we have to abide by their demands,” Afridi said.

The pressure has become too much for many doctors and a steady stream have left Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, putting further stress on an already weak healthcare system serving an extremely poor part of Pakistan.

“They have migrated to the Gulf, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, UK, USA, Canada, Islamabad and Punjab,” Khan said.

“Up to 20 doctors are moving out every month. I think around 3,000 have left (the province) within three years.”

Aside from the extortion, there is a sectarian aspect to the doctors’ plight.

Most of those targeted, including Jafri, are members of the Shiite Muslim minority that makes up around 20 percent of Pakistan’s population, which is predominantly Sunni.

Sectarian violence, mostly perpetrated by Sunni extremists, has risen sharply in recent years, with attacks on professionals such as doctors fuelling fears of a Shiite “brain drain” from the country.

London’s Jews ‘fear racial attacks’

London has become a sanctuary for French Jews hoping to escape anti-Semitism in recent years.

But there are growing fears about security for Jewish people in the wake of recent attacks and racial abuse abroad.

Jewish school children in London say they are being forced to hide their religious identity because of fear of being attacked.

With levels of anti-semitism on the rise, children as young as eight have been targeted, including a Hasidic boy who was pelted with stones and a group of Jewish girls who were terrorised by a man threatening to kill them.

Sixteen-year-old Elisheva Hersh, who was verbally abused for being Jewish, told Inside Out she feels being Jewish is risky so she tries to hide it.

Elisheva’s decision not to display her religious identity is not unusual in Britain.

According to a recent poll earlier this year by The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism about 37% of Jews admitted doing the same.

Police/London Jews, 20 Jan 15

Police have also stepped up patrols in London’s Jewish communities

Related:

Osborne refuses to call for Tory candidate Afzal Amin to stand down

tory candidateCapture

Conservative candidate Afzal Amin

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEOS: 

The chancellor has refused to call for Conservative candidate Afzal Amin to stand down amid allegations of links with a far right group.

During a visit to the Science Museum in London, George Osborne was asked whether Mr Amin should withdraw as candidate for Dudley North.

george osborne

George Osborne will ‘await the results of the investigation Credit: Reuters

“He has been suspended pending the investigation from the Conservative Party, so that investigation is now taking place very quickly and of course we await the results,” the chancellor said.

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UPDATE:   Afzal Amin is resigning as Conservative candidate for Dudley North with immediate effect, after he was suspended from the party over claims he plotted with the English Defence League .

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Conservative candidate Afzal Amin has insisted he will mount a “robust defence” of his actions at a disciplinary hearing tomorrow and claimed he is the target of a far-right “sting operation”.

The candidate for the marginal Dudley North seat is accused of planning to use an inflammatory march against a new ‘mega-mosque’ by the English Defence League to help his election campaign.

Reports indicate that Amin could be sacked as the Tory candidate in the target seat within days.

Afzal Amin is accused of planning to use an inflammatory march against a new ‘mega-mosque’ in the seat of Dudley North to help his election campaign.

He has reportedly described the allegations as “completely untrue”.

According to the Mail on Sunday, the idea was for the protest to be scrapped with Mr Amin taking the credit for defusing the situation.

In return he allegedly promised that he would be an “unshakeable ally” for the EDL in parliament and help bring their views to the mainstream.

The Mail on Sunday reports that when they confronted Amin in Dudley yesterday, he described the allegations as “completely untrue” and said that a second march “was suggested and we rejected it, and we even informed the police about it.”

A Conservative Party spokesman confirmed that Amin – who was apparently filmed covertly talking about the deal – had been suspended.

“Following an emergency meeting it has been decided to suspend him as a candidate with immediate effect,” the spokesman said.

“The Conservative Party views this as a matter of extremely serious concern.”

A full disciplinary hearing is expected to be held on Tuesday, when Amin will be able to explain his actions and a decision on his future will be taken.

Prime Minister David Cameron is understood to have been informed of the situation and approves of the way it is being handled.

Soubry: Amin ‘should put hands up and go’ if EDL plot allegations are true

Tory defence minister Anna Soubry

Tory defence minister Anna Soubry has said Afzal Amin should “put his hands up” if allegations that he plotted with the EDL to win votes by stirring up racial tension.

Amin has reportedly described the allegations as “completely untrue”.

Ms Soubry said: “If he’s done it then he should put his hands up and go but we’ve said that we’re going to wait until Tuesday.

“He’s suspended but if he’s done it he should go”.

Voters feel damage has ‘already been done’

The damage from this weekend’s headlines about Tory candidate Afzal Amin being suspended after an alleged ‘vote plot’ has reportedly “already been done” according to Conservative candidates and voters in Amin’s Dudley North constituency.

Tommy Robinson interview with LBC:

Anti-racists welcome no-show by supporters of far-right movement in Edinburgh

ANTI-RACISM campaigners have hailed a “no-show” by supporters of a far-right movement at a rally in the Scottish capital.

The Scottish branch of Pegida, the far-right movement from Germany, was expected to hold a static demonstration in Edinburgh this afternoon.

It was due to be the first Scottish rally by the group, whose German acronym means Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West.

There was a “significant” police presence around Waverley Station, the Royal Mile and outside the Scottish Parliament, where Pegida supporters were expected to come face-to-face with a counter-demonstration of around 200 people organised by campaign group Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

But there was no obvious sign of an appearance by Pegida supporters at the foot of the Royal Mile, where police barriers had established a “sterile” area to keep them apart from the rival protest. The road at Horse Wynd was later reopened to traffic without any apparent confrontation having taken place.

Read more here:  www.dailyrecord.co.uk

See on Scoop.itUNITED CRUSADERS AGAINST ISLAMIFICATION OF THE WEST

Kabul mob attack: Women help bury ‘wrongly accused’ Farkhunda

Hundreds of people attended her funeral on Sunday chanting “we want justice” and her coffin was carried by women.

farkundah funeral Capture

Afghan women’s rights activists carry the coffin of 27-year-old Farkhunda at her funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The coffin of a woman, killed by a mob in Kabul on an apparently false charge, has been carried by women, marking a break with Afghan funeral customs.

Hundreds of people attended a funeral for the woman, named as Farkhunda, demanding her killers be punished.

Civil society activists bury Farkhunda

Women’s rights and civil society activists helped bury Farkhunda at the funeral in Kabul

Farkhunda had been accused of burning the Koran, but an official investigator said there was no evidence for this.

The attack on the woman, as well as the alleged failure of police to intervene, have been heavily criticised.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he had ordered an investigation into the killing.

Footage of the attack, filmed on mobile phones, has been widely circulated on social media.

Women at Farkhunda's funeral

The mourners demanded justice for Farkhunda

Picture of Farkhunda displayed at her funeral in Kabul, 22 March 2015

Picture of Farkhunda displayed at her funeral in Kabul, 22 March 2015

A mob, largely made of men, attacked the woman with sticks and stones, beating her to death before setting her body alight, while police reportedly looked on.

Witnesses said the crowd had accused the woman of burning a copy of the Koran.

The attack, near the Shah-Du-Shamshaira mosque and shrine, is thought to have been the first of its kind in Afghanistan.

At the funeral on Sunday, women’s activists carried the coffin, breaking with tradition as men usually perform that role.

An interior ministry official in charge of investigating the case said he had found no evidence that the woman had burnt the Koran.

“Farkhunda was totally innocent,” Gen Mohammad Zahir told reporters. He said 13 people, including eight police officers, had been arrested.

Mobile phone footage circulating on social media shows police at the scene did not save the 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday.

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Scene of the killing in Kabul. 20 March 2015

A blackened area by the river marks the spot where the woman’s body was burned

Afghan men feed pigeons in front of the Shah-Du-Shamshaira mosque, in Kabul, 11 September 2005

The woman was attacked outside the Shah-Du-Shamshaira mosque in Kabul

Earlier claims that the woman was mentally ill have also been contradicted by a relative and a neighbour.

Farkhunda’s brother told Reuters news agency that his sister was training to be a religious teacher. He said her father had said she was ill after hearing of her death, out of a desire to protect the rest of the family.

A neighbour of the family, interviewed by the Associated Press, also said the woman had no history of mental problems and had been training as a teacher.

Mobile phone footage circulating on social media shows police at the scene did not save the 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday.

“Last night I went through all documents and evidence once again, but I couldn’t find any evidence to say Farkhunda burnt the Holy Koran,” General Mohammad Zahir told reporters at her funeral on Sunday. “Farkhunda was totally innocent.”

The top criminal investigator promised to punish all those involved and said 13 people, including eight police officers, had already been arrested.

The killing was condemned by the Afghan president and other officials, but also drew praise from some quarters, including from a prominent cleric, who asserted the men had a right to defend their Muslim beliefs at all costs.

The US has spent millions of dollars on programmes designed to empower and educate Afghan women.

However, women in much of the country still suffer discrimination, and attacks on them often go unpunished.

Star Tory candidate plotted to stage fake EDL demo in cynical bid to win votes

  • Star Asian Tory candidate planned fake English Defence League demo 
  • Afzal Amin promised a salary to the EDL to win him up to 4,000 voters 
  • Scheme would have seen thugs plan phoney march against ‘mega-mosque’
  • EDL would then have called the rally off and Amin would have taken credit
  • Conservative Party in disarray in key seat just weeks before the Election
Tory Election candidate Afzal Amin (pictured) was suspended after plotting with far-Right extremists to stir up racial hatred in a cynical bid to win votes

Tory Election candidate Afzal Amin (pictured) was suspended after plotting with far-Right extremists to stir up racial hatred in a cynical bid to win votes

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A key Tory Election candidate was suspended last night after plotting with far-Right extremists to stir up racial hatred in a cynical bid to win votes.

Afzal Amin hatched a scheme to persuade the English Defence League to announce an inflammatory march against a new £18million ‘mega-mosque’. But – as he revealed in secretly filmed footage obtained by The Mail on Sunday – the plan was that the demonstration would never actually go ahead.

And when the phoney rally was called off, the fiercely ambitious Amin, a Muslim, intended to take credit for defusing the situation – winning over voters, and police, in the marginal seat of Dudley North. 

In return for going along with the scheme, the former Army captain promised the EDL members he would be their ‘unshakeable ally’ who would help bring their extreme views into the mainstream if he was elected to Parliament.

Amin also wanted EDL members to be paid to canvass on his behalf in Dudley – against election law.

But his devious plot was secretly filmed by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, who blew the whistle on Amin’s scheme because he objected to being used as a pawn in his bizarre power game.

      Amin, who has been described on his Tory Party website as a former Army education officer to Princes William and Harry, outlined his plan at an Indian restaurant in Birmingham on Monday.

source: Mail Online

*Video* Lynch mob beats Kabul woman to death for allegedly burning Koran

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A woman in the Afghan capital Kabul has been beaten to death and set on fire by a mob after she allegedly burnt a copy of the Koran. Experts worry that women’s rights are at risk despite making gains in recent years.

Police officials said on Thursday that the lynch mob later threw the woman’s body into the Kabul River close to the Shah-e-Do Shamshera shrine.

“A woman who had burnt a copy of the holy Koran was beaten by a group of people in the Shah-e-Do Shamshera area,” said Farid Afzali, head of the city’s police criminal office.

A mentally impaired woman was allegedly killed in Kabul on Tuesday by group of angry men over accusations of burning a copy of the Qur’an.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi also confirmed the incident, saying that police arrested four suspects in connection with the killing.

Local media identified the woman as 32-year-old Farkhonda. Her family reportedly met the Kabul police’s criminal investigation team and said their daughter had been suffering from mental illness for many years.

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This is the moment a woman was beaten to death by a mob before her body was set on fire and dumped in a muddy river in the heart of Afghanistan’s capital.

The shocking video has emerged on social media of crowds of men repeatedly stamping on the 32-year-old, named only as Farkhunda, near the Shah-e Doh Shamshira shrine and mosque in the heart of Kabul.

At one point, one of the attackers can be seen striking the woman with a piece of wood while another was filmed hurling a brick at her as she lay on the ground.

Progress threatened

Afghanistan has struggled to lift the suppression of women under Taliban rule, which began in the 1990s, but such public attacks, particularly in Kabul, remain unusual.

Since the ousting of militants in 2001, women’s rights have made gains, but observers worry that progress is at risk as widespread violence against women persists and women remain under-represented in politics and public life.

According to a 2013 UN report, most violence against women goes underreported, particularly in rural areas.

On Twitter on Thursday, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior confirmed that four suspects had been arrested in connection with the attack.

sediqu twitter Capture

Human rights groups have already raised concerns whether enough was done to stop the mob.

“I would certainly hope the government would be trying to arrest and prosecute everyone who was involved and doing an internal investigation into whether the police response was appropriate,” said Heather Barr, a senior researcher for women’s rights in Asia for Human Rights Watch.

“The authorities should not only prosecute those responsible for Farkhunda’s killing, but also discipline or prosecute as appropriate police who failed to intervene and officials who have made statements justifying the murder.″

Somali Muslims taking girls from US to Kenya to undergo genital mutilation in secret

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Somali families living in Britain and the United States are bringing their daughters to Kenya to secretly undergo female genital mutiliation (FGM) as their home countries crack down on the internationally condemned practice.

Families pay up to $300 for a girl’s genitals to be cut, said circumcisers and an anti-FGM campaigner in Nairobi’s Eastleigh district, nicknamed Little Mogadishu as it is home to refugees from neighbouring war-torn Somalia and ethnic Somali Kenyans.

“Somalis come from America and Europe,” said one elderly circumciser, wearing a purple and white tie-dye headscarf.

“They always come to me because they are scared to do it there … During the holidays, they come and I cut them.”

The circumciser, who learned the trade as a teenager in northern Kenya, declined to give her name as Kenya has stepped up prosecutions for FGM. The ritual, which involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia, can cause haemorrhage, shock, childbirth complications, fistula and death.

Under Kenya’s 2011 law, those practising FGM face a minimum of three years in jail or a fine, and life imprisonment if the girl dies. Some 50 cases are in court, with at least two people facing murder charges.

Cutters in Kenya are changing their methods in an attempt to evade the law, switching from infibulation — in which all external genitalia are removed and the vaginal opening stitched closed — to sunna, where only the clitoris is cut or removed.

“I just cut a little,” said the circumciser, gesticulating with hennaed fingernails. “Sunna is good. She still enjoys sex. If you cut it all, she suffers.”

FGM is deeply entrenched among Somalis, most of whom believe it is a religious obligation for Muslims. Campaigners say there is nothing in the Koran that advocates FGM.

Circumcisers learn to perform FGM while training with elder women to become traditional birth attendants. Around half of women in Kenya deliver at home and rely on lay midwives.

An anti-FGM campaigner in Eastleigh said she met a Somali-American from Minnesota in December who came to Nairobi for two weeks to have her daughters, aged 12 and 13, cut.

“The mother feels like she is doing the right thing,” the campaigner said. “She says they are not going to undergo pain because they are doing it the modern way.”

The United States banned FGM in 1996 and has since made it illegal to take a girl abroad to be cut.

British Somalis are often wealthier and call circumcisers to perform FGM in their rented homes in more upmarket parts of Nairobi like Hurlingham, the campaigner said.

An estimated 65,000 girls in Britain are at risk of FGM which was outlawed in 1985. Since 2003 it has also been illegal to take a girl abroad for FGM.

Border Force officers have stepped up education and surveillance of airline passengers flying to and from FGM-practising countries, such as Kenya, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Most of the Somalis who come to Kenya to perform FGM lived in Nairobi before, often as refugees, the circumciser said.

In December, she cut a 7-year-old British girl whose elder sisters she had cut in Nairobi several years earlier when the family was living there. Others get her number from former clients in the Somali diaspora.

Leyla Hussein, co-founder of British anti-FGM group Daughters of Eve, said campaigners in Kenya had told her that the diaspora communities were helping keep cutters in business.

“I know loads of women who have been cut in Kenya,” added Hussein, a psychotherapist who helps women with FGM.

Hussein, who was born in Somalia, said campaigners in Kenya had helped get cutters closed down only to see them reappear in “pop-up houses” during the school holidays when families from the diaspora arrive and pay double the money.

“They told me that when the diasporas come they will usually have a group of girls together so it’s a lot of money and the cutters are not going to miss out.”

The head of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, visited Kenya in October to launch a global campaign to end FGM in one generation.

Worldwide more than 130 million girls and women have undergone FGM in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, according to U.N. data.

Retreating Boko Haram leaves mass of throat-slit corpses near Nigerian town

Nigerien soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Soldiers from Niger and Chad who liberated the Nigerian town of Damasak from Boko Haram militants have discovered the bodies of at least 70 people, many with their throats slit, scattered under a bridge, a Reuters (Reuters) – Soldiers from Niger and Chad who liberated the Nigerian town of Damasak from Boko Haram militants have discovered the bodies of at least 70 people, many with their throats slit, scattered under a bridge, a Reuters witness said.

In what appeared to be an execution site for the Islamist group, the bodies were strewn beneath the concrete bridge on one of the main roads leading out of the town. At least one had its head completely severed.

The bodies were partially mummified by the dry desert air, suggesting that the killings had taken place some time ago.

Watch video here: http://www.reuters.com/video/2015/03/20/mass-grave-found-after-boko-haram-retrea?videoId=363580069

Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in a six-year insurgency aimed at establishing an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria. Damasak was seized by the Islamist group in November but recaptured by troops from Niger and Chad on Saturday as part of a multinational effort to wipe out the militants.

Chadian soldiers, who said the bodies were discovered on Thursday, spoke of at least 100 corpses in the area around the dry river bed. A Reuters witness was able to count at least 70.

A trail of blackened blood was visible along the side of the bridge facing the bodies, suggesting they had been thrown off the side after being killed. Among the dead was the imam of the town.

All but around 50 of the town’s residents had fled by the time Damasak was recaptured. Those who remained were mostly too old or too sick to leave. The Reuters witness said a strong smell of decomposition in many parts of town suggested there could be more bodies concealed there.

Chad’s military spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa said the Chadians had asked Nigeria’s military to occupy the town, which lies close to the border with Niger, and would remain there until Nigerian troops arrived.

The regional offensive launched this year with Chad, Niger and Cameroon comes as Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy, prepares to hold presidential elections on March 28.

At the start of this year, Boko Haram controlled around 20 local government areas, a territory the size of Belgium. With the help of its foreign allies, Nigeria’s army said on Tuesday it had pushed the rebels out of all but three districts.

On Thursday, however, two security sources told Reuters that Boko Haram had killed at least 10 people in the town of Gamburu, on the border with Cameroon, demonstrating it can still attack civilians despite being forced into retreat.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been criticized for not doing enough to tackle the insurgency. His challenger Muhammadu Buhari has campaigned on a reputation for toughness gained when he was military ruler of Nigeria in the 1980s.

Source: www.reuters.com

See on Scoop.itUNITED CRUSADERS AGAINST ISLAMIFICATION OF THE WEST

*Videos* Yemen crisis: More than 100 die in attacks on Sanaa mosques

Sanaa issued an urgent appeal for donations of blood after the bombings

Suicide bombers have attacked two mosques in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, killing at least 126 people and wounding many others, reports say.

Worshippers were attending noon prayers at the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques when at least three attackers struck.

The mosques are used mainly by supporters of the Zaidi Shia-led Houthi rebel movement, which controls Sanaa.

Islamic State (IS), which set up a branch in Yemen in November, said it was behind the attacks.

A statement from the group was published on Twitter accounts known as reliable sources for IS propaganda. If confirmed, the attacks would be the first carried out by IS in Yemen.

There are also severe tensions between the Houthi rebels and various powerful, armed elements in Yemen, including militants from al-Qaeda.

Blood ‘running like river’

Witnesses said at least two suicide bombers attacked the Badr mosque, in the south of Sanaa.

One entered the building and detonated his explosive device among dozens of worshippers, the witnesses added. Survivors then sought to escape through the main gates, where the second bomber was waiting.

A man carries a wounded girl after a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen (20 March 2015)

A man carries a wounded girl after a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen (20 March 2015)

The al-Hashoosh mosque in Sanaa. 20 March 2015

The al-Hashoosh mosque was badly damaged in the attack

Al Jazeera reported that the prominent Houthi cleric al-Murtada bin Zayd al-Mahatwari, the imam of the Badr mosque, was among those killed.

A man who was at the al-Hashoosh mosque, in a northern district of the capital, said he was thrown about 2m (6ft) by the blast.

“The heads, legs and arms of the dead people were scattered on the floor of the mosque,” Mohammed al-Ansi told Associated Press news agency, adding that “blood is running like a river”.

Mr Ansi said that many of those who were not killed by the explosion were seriously injured by shattered glass that fell from the mosque’s windows.

The rebel-run al-Masirah TV channel broadcast footage from inside the al-Hashoosh mosque showing volunteers using bloodied blankets to carry away victims. Bodies were also lined up in the prayer hall.

Aftermath of suicide bomb attack at a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen (20 March 2015)

Aftermath of suicide bomb attack at a mosque in Sanaa, Yemen (20 March 2015)++++++

Map showing Houthi areas of influence

More than 260 people were said to have been wounded. Al-Masirah reported that hospitals in the city had made urgent appeals for blood donations.

Another suicide bomber targeted a mosque in the northern city of Saada – a Houthi stronghold – reports said, but only the attacker was killed.

Yemen is the base of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a powerful offshoot of the jihadist militant group that has carried out similar suicide attacks on Houthi supporters.

However, IS is also gaining ground in the country.

Militiamen loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi travel on top of a tank in Aden, southern Yemen (19 March 2015)

Militiamen loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi travel on top of a tank in Aden, southern Yemen (19 March 2015) On Thursday, a battle for control of Aden’s international airport left several people dead

The bombings come a day after deadly clashes in the southern city of Aden, between forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those supporting his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Warplanes later targeted the presidential palace in Aden, where Mr Hadi has been based since fleeing Sanaa last month after the rebels placed him under effective house arrest.

The president, who aides said was evacuated to a “safe place” after the air raid, described Thursday’s events in Aden as a “failed military coup against constitutional legitimacy”.

Mr Saleh was forced to hand over power to Mr Hadi in 2011 after mass protests, but has remained a power-broker. He is currently allied with the Houthis, against whom he fought wars when he was president.

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