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al-qaida set to gain as islamic state disintegrates


beirut — over several nights in september, some 10,000 men, women and children fled areas under islamic state control, hurrying through fields in northern syria and risking fire from government troops to reach a province held by an al-qaida-linked group.for an untold number of battle-hardened jihadis fleeing with the civilians, the escape to idlib province marked a homecoming of sorts, an opportunity to continue waging war alongside an extremist group that shares much of the islamic state's ideology — and has benefited from its prolonged downfall.while the u.s.-led coalition and russian-backed syrian troops have been focused on driving is from the country's east, an al-qaida-linked insurgent coalition known as the levant liberation committee has consolidated its control over idlib, and may






india: islamic state unable to gain foothold in the country


new delhi — india's home minister said saturday that the islamic state group has been unable to gain a foothold in the country even though india has the world's second-largest muslim population.indian security agencies are keeping a close watch on islamic state's activities and have been successful in countering the challenges posed by the group, home minister rajnath singh said.he told reporters in new delhi that good coordination between state and central security agencies has led to the arrest of more than 90 islamic state sympathizers in india.five members of indian mujahideen, an indian terror outfit, have been sentenced to death, underlining the government's successful efforts to check terrorism, singh said.his remarks came amid fears that islamic state's influence is growing in the






3 mali islamic extremist groups merge, pledge to al-qaida


dakar, senegal — a group that monitors jihadist sites says three extremist factions in mali have officially announced a merger, pledging allegiance to al-qaida's leader.leaders from ansar dine, al-mourabitoun and al-qaida in the islamic maghreb made the declaration in a video distributed thursday, according to site intelligence group. it says they now call the merged group "jama'at nusrat al-islam wal muslimeen," which in english translates to "support of islam and muslims."site intelligence group says the mali group is now led by iyad ag ghaly, the former leader of ansar dine. ag ghaly said the groups have been inspired by the unification of factions in syria.islamic extremists took control of northern mali in 2012. a french-led intervention drove them from strongholds in 2013, but attack






pentagon: out with 'isil,' in with 'isis'


washington — the change of u.s. administrations has produced a change of terminology in the war against the islamic state group.out goes the name preferred by the obama administration: the islamic state of iraq and the levant, or isil.in comes the name favored by president donald trump: the islamic state of iraq and syria, or isis.why?a feb. 13 memo from the office of defense secretary jim mattis says the switch to "isis" makes the pentagon "consistent with" trump's language in a jan. 28 directive in which he called for a new plan to defeat the extremist group.when the islamic state group swept east from syria to grab large swaths of iraqi territory in 2014, the world was divided over how to refer to the extremist group, which traces its roots to al-qaida in iraq, which declared an islamic






blind islamic cleric jailed for 1990s terror plots in u.s. dies in federal priso


a u.s. commando raid in yemen that set off a fierce firefight revealed the growing strength of an al-qaida affiliate that has targeted both the united states and europe in recent years.al-qaida in the arabian peninsula, or aqap, as the branch is known, had collected enough intelligence to anticipate... (sudarsan raghavan)






3 islamic extremist groups in mali merge, pledge to al-qaida


dakar, senegal — three prominent islamic extremist groups in mali have announced they have merged into one and pledged allegiance to al-qaida's leader, according to an organization that monitors jihadist websites.leaders from ansar dine, al-mourabitoun and al-qaida in the islamic maghreb made the declaration in a video distributed thursday, according to site intelligence group. the merged group is now called "jama'at nusrat al-islam wal muslimeen," which translates to "support of islam and muslims," the monitoring group said.the merger brings the threat of increased insecurity not only in mali but also in neighboring west african countries which until recently had been relatively free of deadly attacks by extremist groups. the new group also is a threat to the u.n. peacekeeping force in ma






al-qaida leader tells fighters to prepare for long syria war


beirut (ap) — the leader of al-qaida urged his followers and other militants in syria to unite ranks and prepare for protracted jihad, or holy war, in a recording released sunday night.ayman al-zawahri told the jihadis, who control syria’s northwestern idlib province and other territory, to remain steadfast and change tactics in order to wage guerrilla war.al-qaida began fighting alongside syria’s rebels early in the civil war and won allies among the opposition because of its military prowess. al-qaida’s official branch, the nusra front, changed its name to the fatah al-sham front and formally cut ties with al-qaida last year, but is still widely seen as being linked to the global terror network.in sunday’s message, released through al-qaida’s as-sahab media arm, al-zawahiri cast the syri






short of allies, syria’s rebels are down but not out


gaziantep, turkey (ap) — they are veterans of syria’s rebellion, trying for years to bring down president bashar assad. but these days they’re doing little fighting with his military. they’re struggling to find a place in a bewildering battlefield where several wars are all being waged at once by international powers.syria’s civil war has become a madhouse of forces from turkey, the united states, syrian kurds, the islamic state group, al-qaida as well as assad’s allies russia, iran, lebanon’s hezbollah, iraqi and afghan shiite militias — all with their own alliances and agendas.syrian rebel factions, battered by defeats and as divided as ever, reel around trying to find allies they can trust who will ensure their survival.“we have become political dwarfs, fragmented groups which hardly ha






short of allies, syria's rebels are down but not out


gaziantep, turkey — they are veterans of syria's rebellion, trying for years to bring down president bashar assad. but these days they're doing little fighting with his military. they're struggling to find a place in a bewildering battlefield where several wars are all being waged at once by international powers.syria's civil war has become a madhouse of forces from turkey, the united states, syrian kurds, the islamic state group, al-qaida as well as assad's allies russia, iran, lebanon's hezbollah, iraqi and afghan shiite militias — all with their own alliances and agendas.syrian rebel factions, battered by defeats and as divided as ever, reel around trying to find allies they can trust who will ensure their survival."we have become political dwarfs, fragmented groups which hardly have co






yemeni officials say suspected us drone kills al-qaida men


sanaa, yemen — yemeni security officials say a suspected u.s. drone strike has killed four alleged al-qaida fighters in the country's central marib province.the officials say the men were killed on wednesday and have yet to be identified but the area is a known al-qaida hotbed.they say that a day earlier, five other suspected al-qaida operatives were also killed in a similar drone attack in the neighboring shabwa province.al-qaida in the arabian peninsula is considered by washington to be the group's most dangerous branch. it has expanded its territory in the chaos of yemen's civil war.the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to release the information.






can trump end the war in syria?


with the near-doubling of u.s. forces in northern syria, and perhaps more on the way, president donald trump is moving aggressively on his pledge to "demolish and destroy" what remains of the islamic state. american troops, backing a coalition of kurds and arabs known as the syrian democratic forces (sdf), now have raqqa, the capital of the islamic states's self-described caliphate, in their sights. meanwhile, the trump administration seems to be ramping up the intensity of the u.s. bombing campaign against al-qaida's deadly syrian affiliate. but the lasting defeat of the islamic state and al-qaida will take more than american firepower - it will require a clear strategy to end the syrian civil war. as long as the conflict rages, it will be impossible to address the underlying drivers of e






1 dead, 3 wounded in stabbing attack at university of texas


a somali-born student who carried out a car-and-knife attack at ohio state university might have been inspired by the islamic state group and a former al-qaida leader, investigators said wednesday.law enforcement officials said that it's too soon to say the rampage that hurt 11 people on monday... (tribune news services)






roadside bomb in somalia kills 8 soldiers, police say


mogadishu, somalia — a somali police official says a roadside bomb in a remote town in somalia's semiautonomous state of puntland has killed eight soldiers and injured three others.ahmed mohamed tells the associated press that sunday's blast targeted a military convoy in galgala. security forces have been battling islamic state-linked fighters in the region.there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but the is-linked extremists have carried out such attacks in the past.fighters affiliated with the islamic state are a relatively new and growing threat in somalia, where the al-qaida-linked al-shabab extremist group has been entrenched for years.






swiss police lead raids, arrest 1 in probe of is recruiting


geneva — at least one person has been arrested in southern switzerland as part of a criminal probe over suspected recruiting for the islamic state group or related organizations.the office of the swiss attorney general said more than 100 federal police searched several houses in the italian-speaking ticino region, as well as of a house of prayer.the federal probe centers on two men of swiss-turkish and turkish nationality for alleged violation of laws banning extremist organizations such as al-qaida and the islamic state group.






al-qaida says trump has ignited 'the flame of jihad' with yemen raid


by loveday morris, (c) 2017, the washington postirbil, iraq — president trump is “foolish” and has ignited the “flame of jihad” with a raid in yemen in which civilians were killed, al-qaeda said friday in its first official comments on the new u.s. administration. that the raid e only days after trump’s vow to eradicate islamist terrorism in his inauguration speech makes it “clear for us that the threat was not directed to the islamic militants only, but to all the muslims, men, women and even children,” al-qaida’s al-nafeer bulletin said, accusing the trump administration of intentionally killing women and children. u.s. central command, or centcom, has not specified how many civilians were killed in the raid urday, in which u.s. navy seal william “ryan” owens also died. among those repor






us says airstrikes killed "dozens" of militants in yemen


washington — the u.s. military said monday it killed dozens of islamic state fighters in airstrikes on two training camps in yemen.in a statement, the pentagon said the strikes disrupted the islamic state group's attempts to train new fighters to conduct attacks using ak-47s, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.the statement was not specific about how the u.s. attacks were conducted, but a defense official said they were carried out by drones. the official was not authorized to publicly discuss details and spoke on condition of anonymity.the u.s. has no combat troops in yemen but has periodically conducted airstrikes to attack militants, including fighters of al-qaida in the arabian peninsula.yemen fell into chaos following its 2011 arab spring uprising that removed longtime autocra






the latest: syrian activists say airstrike kills 8


beirut — the latest on the syrian conflict (all times local):5:45 p.m.syrian activists say eight family members, including five children, have been killed in an airstrike apparently carried out by the u.s.-led coalition as they fled the islamic state-held town of tabqa.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights says the family was fleeing in a car from fighting between u.s.-backed syrian kurdish forces and islamic state militants on monday.it says the children were between six months and 15 years old.the activist-run raqqa is being slaughtered silently also reported the airstrike, saying a family was killed.the us.-backed syrian democratic forces, which also include arab fighters, have surrounded tabqa, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of raqqa, the de facto capital of th






roadside bomb in somalia kills 8 soldiers, police say


mogadishu, somalia — a somali police official says a roadside bomb in a remote town in somalia's semiautonomous state of puntland has killed eight soldiers and injured three others.ahmed mohamed tells the associated press that sunday's blast targeted a military convoy in galgala. security forces have been battling islamic state-linked fighters in the region.the al-qaida-linked al-shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for the blast. is-linked extremists also have carried out such attacks in the past.fighters affiliated with the islamic state are a relatively new and growing threat in somalia, where al-shabab has been entrenched for years.






3 islamic extremist groups in mali merge, pledge to al-qaida


dakar, senegal (ap) — three prominent islamic extremist groups in mali have announced they have merged into one and pledged allegiance to al-qaida’s leader, according to an organization that monitors jihadist websites.leaders from ansar dine, al-mourabitoun and al-qaida in the islamic maghreb made the declaration in a video distributed thursday, according to site intelligence group. the merged group is now called “jama’at nusrat al-islam wal muslimeen,” which translates to “support of islam and muslims,” the monitoring group said.the merger brings the threat of increased insecurity not only in mali but also in neighboring west african countries which until recently had been relatively free of deadly attacks by extremist groups. the new group also is a threat to the u.n. peacekeeping force






afghan official: is moves to seize osama bin laden's hideout


kabul, afghanistan — islamic state fighters captured some territory around tora bora, the former stronghold of osama bin laden in afghanistan's eastern nangarhar province, officials said wednesday.the push and capture of the giant cave complex that once housed the late al-qaida chief would be a major scoop for the islamic state group in its increasingly deadly rivalry with the afghan taliban. the caves had until now been under taliban control.attahullah khogyani, a spokesman in nangarhar, said is attacks in the mountain range began late on tuesday night. clashes continued into the day, with is militants battling the taliban and some local villagers in the area.by wednesday, the islamic state group had managed to seize some territory around tora bora — but not the bin laden hideout itself,






al-qaida tries comeback with bin laden son as mouthpiece


the voice is that of a soft-spoken 28-year-old, but the message is vintage osama bin laden, giving orders to kill. when the audio recording began turning up on jihadist websites two weeks ago, it was as if the dead terrorist was channeling himself through his favorite son.“prepare diligently to inflict crippling losses on those who have disbelieved,” hamza bin laden, scion of the sept. 11, 2001, mastermind, says in a thin baritone that eerily echoes his father. “follow in the footsteps of martyrdom-seekers before you.”the recording, first aired may 13, is one in a string of recent pronouncements by the man who many terrorism experts regard as the crown prince of al-qaida’s global network. posted just two weeks before monday’s suicide bombing in manchester, england, the message includes a s






fugitive turkish al-qaida convict arrested working as imam


ankara, turkey — turkish media reports say a fugitive who was convicted in absentia for involvement in a 2003 bomb attack against hsbc bank in istanbul and of membership in al-qaida has been arrested.the state-run anadolu agency said the man, identified by his initials z.c., was arrested wednesday in a village in the central turkish province of cankiri, where he was working as an acting village imam.the private dha agency reported that he had escaped to afghanistan while on trial for his role in the attack. he was later convicted of membership in the al-qaida network and sentenced to six years in prison.the al-qaida attacks in istanbul in november 2003 targeted the hsbc bank, two synagogues and the british consulate, killing 57 people.






mattis: defeating islamic state still top us priority


washington — defense secretary jim mattis says the u.s. cruise missile strike on a syrian air base does not signal a change in the pentagon's military campaign there, which is focused on defeating the islamic state group and al-qaida remnants.at his first pentagon news conference as defense chief, mattis said the u.s. strike was meant only to demonstrate washington's intolerance of violations of an international convention against the use of chemical weapons. the syrian government has denied that it used chemical arms in an attack on a syrian town last week.mattis said that if syria were to use chemical weapons again it would "pay a very, very stiff price."






mattis: defeating islamic state still top us priority


washington (ap) — defense secretary jim mattis says the u.s. cruise missile strike on a syrian air base does not signal a change in the pentagon’s military campaign there, which is focused on defeating the islamic state group and al-qaida remnants.at his first pentagon news conference as defense chief, mattis said the u.s. strike was meant only to demonstrate washington’s intolerance of violations of an international convention against the use of chemical weapons. the syrian government has denied that it used chemical arms in an attack on a syrian town last week.mattis said that if syria were to use chemical weapons again it would “pay a very, very stiff price.”






ex-hamas member named in killing of senior hamas commander


gaza city, gaza strip — hamas officials say the shooter who killed a senior hamas commander in march was a former member of the group who joined a radical al-qaida-inspired rival and was secretly recruited by israel.hamas said tuesday it arrested 45 alleged collaborators with israel, including three allegedly involved in killing mazen faqha outside his gaza home.it was the largest such sweep since the islamic militant group seized gaza a decade ago.hamas released a purported videotaped confession in which the shooter says he was recruited by israel and was allegedly paid to form al-qaida-style cells.a hamas official says the assailant was expelled from hamas four years ago and joined an al-qaida-inspired outfit. he spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss th






yemeni officials say us warships fire on al-qaida positions


sanaa, yemen — yemeni security officials say they suspect u.s. warships have been firing cannons and rockets targeting al-qaida militants in the country's southern coastal areas.they said on thursday that the naval strikes, underway for five days, targeted mountainous areas north of the coastal town of shakra where militants have been m ing fighters. dozens of al-qaida fighters are embling there as well as north of the nearby town of zinjibar.the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to reporters. they say al-qaida militants on thursday attacked the town of lauder, further to the east, killing six soldiers.al-qaida in yemen, considered by washington to be one of the most dangerous of the group's offshoots, has exploited the chaos of yemen's civil






ap news guide: the islamic state after mosul


baghdad — iraq's announcement of victory in mosul effectively shatters the islamic state group's self-styled caliphate. but a complete territorial defeat will take many more months, and the extremists will likely pose a threat in iraq, syria and beyond for years to come.here is a look at the islamic state group, the three-year war against it, and what comes next.the self-styled caliphateis traces its roots back to the iraqi insurgency that followed the 2003 u.s.-led invasion, and includes several seasoned intelligence and army officers who once served under saddam hussein. the group formally split from al-qaida under the leadership of abu bakr al-baghdadi in 2014, after seizing the city of raqqa and other territory across syria.in june 2014 the group overran mosul, iraq's second largest ci






al-qaida-led fighters on the offensive against syrian troops


beirut — a syrian monitoring group says insurgents led by an al-qaida-linked group have launched a wide offensive against pro-government troops south of their stronghold in the western province of idlib.the syrian government-affiliated central military media outlet says troops and allied militias have pushed back against the offensive, which started on tuesday in northeastern rural hama province, on the border with idlib, killing a number of insurgents.rami abdurrahman, the head of the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights, says airstrikes pummeled the area of the fighting. he says the push is the widest so far by al-qaida-linked hayat tahrir al-sham and its allies, including chinese fighters of the turkistan islamic party.abdurrrahman says thousands of insurgents are involved






dunford: counter-is plan will have global scope


washington — the nation's top military officer says a pentagon-led review of strategy for defeating the islamic state group will present president donald trump with options not just to speed up the fight against is but also to combat al-qaida and other extremist groups beyond iraq and syria.gen. joseph dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said the intention is to craft a plan that addresses the threat of violent extremist in the broadest sense. he said this includes the problem of militants being exported from dozens of countries to unstable places like iraq and syria.trump on jan. 28 ordered a 30-day review of strategy and a "preliminary draft" of a plan to defeat the islamic state.defense secretary jim mattis is expected to deliver it next week.






suspected us airstrike kills 4 al-qaida operatives in yemen


sanaa, yemen — yemeni tribal and security officials say a suspected u.s. airstrike has killed four al-qaida operatives in yemen's east.the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media, say the operatives killed in marib on sunday were driving a car when an unmanned aircraft targeted their vehicle. two of the men killed were identified as belonging to one of the local tribes, the others remain unidentified.the airstrike comes less than a day after a similar strike killed three al-qaida members in the neighboring province of shabwa.al-qaida in the arabian peninsula, seen by washington as among the most dangerous branches of the global terror network, has exploited the chaos of yemen's civil war, seizing territory in the south and east.






friday prayers cancelled across north syria after airstrike


beirut — friday prayers were cancelled in rebel-held parts of northern syria after an airstrike that struck a crowded mosque, killing at least 40 people and wounded many others, syrian opposition activists said.a powerful syrian opposition group and other opposition activists blamed the u.s.-led coalition of responsibility for the airstrike on the omar ibn al-khattab mosque in the jeeneh district in aleppo province. the coalition has been targeting the islamic state group and al-qaida's affiliate in syria for more than two years.the u.s. central command based in tampa, florida, said separately that it had carried out an airstrike on an al-qaida "meeting location" in the nearby idlib province, killing "several terrorists." it said in a statement that idlib has been a significant safe haven






ramadan toll shows islamic state in pitched recruiting race


its strongholds in iraq and syria slipping from its grasp, the islamic state group threatened to make this year’s ramadan a bloody one at home and abroad. with attacks in egypt, britain and iran among others and a land-grab in the philippines, the group is trying to divert attention from its losses and win over supporters around the world in the twisted competition for jihadi recruits during the muslim holy month.the militants insisted in their english language magazine this week that losing territory has only made it work that much harder to kill. the attacks since ramadan’s beginning on may 26 show the sweep of the group’s ambition — from attacking the west, to expanding in the philippines, to targeting shiite powerhouse iran — something al-qaida itself never risked.“they can say here is






kids urdu qaida learning 2017 download


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un warns that destroying cultural heritage may be war crime


united nations (ap) — the u.n. security council unanimously adopted a resolution friday condemning the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage and warning the islamic state extremist group, al-qaida and other combatants that such attacks may constitute war crimes.the resolution approved by the u.n.’s most powerful body expands previous measures which were limited to the illicit trafficking in looted cultural items to fund terrorism, and focused on iraq and syria where islamic state extremists have destroyed ancient sites including palmyra.the newly adopted measure targets not only is, al-qaida and its affiliates but all parties to conflicts.it condemns and urges prosecution of those responsible for attacks against historic monuments and sites and buildings dedicated to religion, educatio






suicide bomber strikes damascus justice building, killing 30


damascus, syria — a suicide bomber detonated his explosives' vest inside the main judicial building in the syrian capital on wednesday, killing at least 30 people and wounding many others, state media said.the official news agency, sana, said another suicide explosion struck a restaurant in rabweh district of damascus, leading to an unknown number of casualties.the bombing inside the justice palace, located near the famous and crowded hamidiyeh market in damascus, was the latest in a spate of deadly explosions and suicide attacks targeting government-controlled areas in syria and its capital.it came as syrians mark the sixth anniversary of the country's bitter civil war, which has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions of others. the conflict began in march 2011 as a popula






sunnis seek greater say in post-is iraq but face resistance


baghdad — iraq's sunni minority is pushing for a greater say in power once the islamic state group is defeated, reflecting growing sentiment that the country's government must be more inclusive to prevent extremism from gaining ground once again.but so far, there's little momentum. many shiite politicians are wary, and the sunni leadership is divided and disorganized. on the ground, tensions are further stoked because shiite militias and kurdish fighters control some mainly sunni areas recaptured from is militants and are resistant to withdrawing.the danger is that iraq will miss the chance to break the sectarian cycle that has fueled extremism for more than a decade.sunni resentment over disenfranchisement and the rise of shiite power after the 2003 ouster of saddam hussein fueled an insu






ramadan toll shows islamic state in pitched recruiting race


its strongholds in iraq and syria slipping from its grasp, the islamic state group threatened to make this year's ramadan a bloody one at home and abroad. with attacks in egypt, britain and iran among others and a land-grab in the philippines, the group is trying to divert attention from its losses and win over supporters around the world in the twisted competition for jihadi recruits during the muslim holy month.the militants insisted in their english language magazine this week that losing territory has only made it work that much harder to kill. the attacks since ramadan's beginning on may 26 show the sweep of the group's ambition — from attacking the west, to expanding in the philippines, to targeting shiite powerhouse iran — something al-qaida itself never risked."they can say here is






shealah craighead named trump's official p og her: digital p og hy review


hanging out with these guys during an event i had the pleasure of p og hing. thanks anna roger's for capturing the laughter! you're hired! shamless promo i know...just couldn't contain my excitement of getting in a p o with both the former president @georgewbush and possible future president @marcorubiofla #shamlessselfpromotion #president #gwb #pastmeetspresent=future!a p o posted by shealah craighead p og hy (@shealahdcp o) on oct 17, 2016 at 3:14pm pdtnews outlets are reporting that pete souza's shoes have officially been filled: shealah craighead has been named the official white house p og her under president trump. craighead has previously worked with a number of political figures – she was first lady laura bush's personal p og her and in 2008 followed governor sarah palin on the pai