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Terrorism: Pakistan assures NAF of continued support

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The Pakistan Air Force has promised to further strengthen its partnership with the Nigerian Air Force in the ongoing fight against terrorism and other forms of criminality in the country.

Air Chief Marshal Mujahi Khan, the Chief of the Air Staff of Pakistan gave the assurance when he visited his Nigerian counterpart, Air Chief Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, in Abuja.

A statement by Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the spokesman of the Nigerian Air Force on Tuesday, said Khan spoke when he paid a visit to Abubakar.

The Pakistani air chief also stated the partnership would stretch to areas of equipment and spares acquisition, research and development.

Khan said that the Nigeria military stands to benefit from the experiences of Pakistan in battling insurgency for over two decades in overcoming its current security challenges.

He said the Pakistan air force should be seen as a dependable partner.

Khan commended his counterpart for his visionary and focused leadership of the NAF in the counter insurgency operations in Nigeria.

Earlier, Abubakar described Khan’s visit as a demonstration of commitment of partnership between the two countries’ Air Forces.

He noted that the Pakistan air force played significant role in the successes being recorded in the theatre of operation in the North East.

Abubakar recalled that the PAF had provided the NAF with four Super Mushshak trainer aircraft along with instructor pilots and technical crew.

He also said that NAF personnel had been trained in various specialties in Pakistan, with some currently undergoing training there. (NAN)


ORD/JEY/IS

Edited by Johnson Eyiangho/Ismail Abdulaziz

Foreign

3 men arrested on terrorism charges during anti-racism protests in Las Vegas

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Three men, who allegedly incited violence during anti-racism protests in the United States city of Las Vegas have been arrested on terrorism charges, the United States Attorney’s Office in District of Nevada said in a statement.

“… Three alleged members of the ‘Boogaloo’ movement — a term used by extremists to signify a coming civil war and/or collapse of society — have been charged with violations of federal and state law for conspiracy to cause destruction during protests in Las Vegas, and possession of an unregistered destructive device (specifically, an improvised incendiary device commonly known as a Molotov cocktail),” the Attorney’s Office in the district said.

According to United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich, the three men used peaceful demonstrations in Nevada, which erupted over African American man George Floyd’s death in police custody, for their own radical agendas.

“Law enforcement is focused on keeping violence and destruction from interfering with free public expression and threatening lives,” Trutanich said, as cited by the statement.

Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee to the man’s neck for over eight minutes as he was kept handcuffed face down on the street, repeatedly saying he could not breathe.

In an official medical report, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner in the United States state of Minnesota ruled Floyd’s death a homicide.

Since then, the United States has been rocked by violent protests against police brutality and racism.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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National security laws in Egypt help reduce terrorism: Egyptian legislator

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Cuba condemns United States terrorism, political manipulation

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Cuba condemns its inclusion on a United States list of countries that do not fully cooperate with counterterrorism efforts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday, denouncing the move as “unilateral” and “arbitrary.”

“This is a unilateral and arbitrary list, without ground, authority or international support,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.

On May 13, Cuba was added to a blacklist by Washington, which unilaterally claimed that the island country has failed to be certified for 2019 under a United States law on defense exports control.

It was the first time that Cuba was not certified since 2015. The United States State Department said it was because of the presence of negotiators from Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group, who traveled to Cuba’s capital Havana in 2017 to negotiate with the Bogota government but have not returned.

The White House alleged that Cuba refused to send the ELN negotiating group back to Colombia.

Cuba’s foreign ministry called the presence of ELN members in Cuba “a dishonest and weak pretext” by the United States.

Washington severed its diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961. In 2015, the Obama administration removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism as the two countries re-established diplomatic ties. However, U.S. sanctions on Cuba have not been fully lifted.

(XINHUA)

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Interview: Egypt’s national security laws help reduce terrorism: MP

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Egypt has witnessed a noticeable decline in terrorist activities thanks to national security and anti-terror legislations in recent years, an Egyptian legislator has said.

“Egypt suffered much from terrorism and there were terrorist groups operating in the country … eliminating terrorism and disorder requires strong laws and perfect measures and that is what Egypt has been doing recently,” Egyptian Parliament Member Samir Ghattas told Xinhua.

“The rules for formulating a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism and maintain national security require, along with very important and vital elements, the adoption of legal legislations, said Ghattas, who is also president of the Cairo-based Middle East Forum for Strategic Studies.

The Egyptian parliament approved the anti-terrorism law in 2015 and agreed to amend it several times in the next five years, with the latest update in February.

“The new law No. 15 of 2020 includes major amendments on the definitions of funds, the financing of terrorism and the amendment of the Law of Terrorist Entities,” the legislator said.

In light of the astonishing development of terrorist entities using information and Internet technologies for advocacy, recruiting, and instructing, Ghattas said the Egyptian parliament ratified a 45-article “Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimeslaw in 2018.

“This law is meant to prevent and deprive terrorist groups, entities and individuals from converting these technologies to tools that can serve the terrorist goals,” he said.

“It was necessary to issue this law to complete the main components of the comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism and ensure national security,” he added.

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace 2019 Global Terrorism Index, Egypt droped out of the top 10 countries affected by terrorism as the country has witnessed a remarkable decline in terrorist activities.

He affirmed that such laws can also deter those who are considering joining or intend to join terrorist groups, and those who support them, in accordance with explicit legal sanctions.

Anti-terror and national security laws must be reviewed and evaluated periodically to keep pace with the development of terrorist methods, Ghattas also said.

In addition to ratifying the country’s Anti-Terror Law, the Egyptian parliament has also approved amendments to the Emergency Law after COVID-19 broke out, which has granted more power to the president during a major public health emergency, Ghattas added.

(XINHUA)

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Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service says IS leader in Iraq killed

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The Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said Tuesday that Mu’taz al-Jubouri, leader of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq, was killed by international coalition airstrike.

Al-Jubouri, also known as Hajji Taysir, who is also assistant of the top IS leader, was killed in an airstrike in Deir al-Zour area in eastern Syria, according to accurate intelligence reports presented by the Iraqi CTS, a CTS statement said.

Al-Jubouri was tracked inside and outside Iraq, he has more than one passport and identity card, and he never used the phone, according to the statement.

On May 20, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS) said in a statement that it has arrested Abdul-Nasser Qardash, a former candidate to succeed the dead IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Qardash was one of the most important leaders of IS, but the group later chose Abdul-Rahman al-Mawla to succeed al-Baghdadi.

(XINHUA)

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Conviction of former Prague Imam for terrorism charges upheld in court

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Former Prague Imam Samer Shehadeh lost an appeal on Thursday here at the High Court of Appeal against his 10-year sentence for participating in a terrorist group and financing terrorism, local media reported.

“As far as guilt is concerned, we have no doubt,” Judge Alexander Karolyi said, noting that Shehadeh’s confession and the “indisputable” evidence against him was sufficient for the court’s decision.

The court found that he helped his brother Omar Shehadeh and sister-in-law Fatima Hudkova go to Syria to join the Al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria. He had also funneled money from the Czech Republic to Syria to assist the group, according to the Czech News Agency (CTK).

Omar Shehadeh received an 11-year prison sentence and Fatima Hudkova received a six-year prison sentence, both of them prosecuted as fugitives in late February.

(XINHUA)

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Cuba rebukes U.S. for adding it to counter-terrorism blacklist

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The Cuban government said Wednesday it is a victim of “terrorism organized, financed and executed” by the United States after Washington included Havana into the list of countries that “do not fully cooperate with the U.S. counter-terrorism efforts.”

“The United States added Cuba to the spurious list of countries (that do) not fully cooperate with its counter-terrorism efforts, but did not avoid and condemn the terrorist attack against our embassy in Washington,” Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez tweeted.

The U.S. Department of State said Wednesday that it has included Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea into its list of countries that “do not fully cooperate” with its 2019 “counter-terrorism efforts” on the ground of the Arms Export Control Act.

On Tuesday, Havana denounced “the complicit and suspicious silence” of the United States after an armed attack against the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. on April 30.

The decision by the U.S. government prohibits the sale or license for the export of defense articles and services to the nations contained in the blacklist. It is the first time that Cuba was re-listed as a state sponsor of terrorism by Washington since it was removed in 2015 after having been placed on the terror list for 33 years.

(XINHUA)

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U.S. certifies Iran, Syria, 3 others uncooperative on counterterrorism

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The United States Government has certified Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba as “not cooperating fully” with its counterterrorism efforts in 2019.  

In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of State said it had notified Congress of the certification, done under Section 40A(a) of the Arms Export Control Act.

By this action, the five countries are prohibited from the sale or license for export of defence articles and services, according to the statement.

It also formally notifies “the U.S. public and international community that these countries are not fully cooperating with U.S. counterterrorism efforts,” the statement added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there has long been political and diplomatic frictions between the U.S. and the governments of the five countries.

Noting that this was Cuba’s first year on the register since 2015, the statement cited two major reasons for its certification.

First, it accused Cuba of harbouring members of the National Liberation Army (ELN), a revolutionary left-wing armed group involved in the lingering conflict in neighbouring Colombia.

ELN is designated by the Department of State as a foreign terrorist organisation for alleged ransom kidnappings and armed attacks in Colombia, a U.S. ally.

It said Cuba had refused Colombia’s request to extradite 10 ELN leaders living in Havana after the group claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks in Colombia.

“The United States maintains an enduring security partnership with Colombia and shares with Colombia the important counterterrorism objective of combating organisations like the ELN.

“Cuba’s refusal to productively engage with the Colombian government demonstrates that it is not cooperating with U.S. work to support Colombia’s efforts to secure a just and lasting peace, security, and opportunity for its people,” the statement said.

It also accused Cuba of accommodating several fugitives wanted on charges of political violence in the U.S., many of whom it said had been living in Cuba for decades. 

For Iran, the statement said the Islamic republic remained the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.

It alleged that Iran continued to support Lebanese militant group, Hizballah, “Palestinian terrorist groups, and other terrorist groups operating throughout the Middle East.

The U.S. government said North Korea remained on the register for harbouring four Japanese involved in the hijacking of a Japan Airline flight in 1970.

“Syria has continued its political and military support for terrorist groups, including the provision of weapons and political support to Hizballah.  

“The Assad regime’s relationship with Hizballah and Iran grew stronger in 2019 as the regime became more reliant on external actors to fight opponents and secure areas”, it said.

The statement said the government of President Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela continued to provide conducive environments for “terrorists in the region to maintain a presence”.

“While Maduro was not the recognised President of Venezuela during this period, his control within Venezuela effectively precluded cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism efforts.

“Individuals linked to Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissidents (who remain committed to terrorism notwithstanding the peace accord) and the ELN were present in the country in 2019,” it said.

 

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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France launches national day of commemoration for terrorism victims

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Spanish King Felipe VI joined French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to mark France’s first national day of commemoration for the victims of terrorism.

“This day is a day we hold particularly close to our hearts,’’ Felipe told dignitaries and representatives of security forces and rescue services at the ceremony at the Trocadero in Paris.

“March 11 had originally been named a European day for terrorism victims as the anniversary of the 2004 jihadist bomb attacks on Madrid suburban trains that killed 193 people.

“We will not renounce liberty, the liberty to believe or not to believe.

“We will not renounce equality, equality between men and women, we will renounce nothing, because our children, our friends, our fellow citizens died for that,’’ Macron vowed.

More than 230 people were killed in terrorist attacks in France in 2015 and 2016 that were mostly claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

Another 18 have died in a series of smaller attacks since then.

France had helped eliminate Islamic State’s territories in Syria and Iraq,’’ Macron recalled.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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