Turkey on alert after US warns of potential terror attacks

Agencies
October 24, 2020

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Ankara, Oct 24: Turkey is facing the spectre of a growing terror threat after the US Embassy in Ankara suspended its visa services on Friday and issued a security alert to foreign citizens in the country.

The US mission cited “credible reports” of potential attacks and kidnappings of foreign nationals, and urged US citizens to “exercise heightened caution” in public places, including offices and shopping malls.

Staff at US missions in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Adana were told to stay alert and keep a low profile, while foreigners were advised to avoid crowds.

“The US mission in Turkey has received credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against US citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including against the US Consulate General, as well as potentially other locations in Turkey,” the embassy said.

Arab News has asked the US Embassy in Ankara for additional details on the security threat.

The terror threat comes as the US focuses on the forthcoming presidential elections and Turkey begins its withdrawal from some key observation points in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province.

Syrians linked to Daesh were recently released from Al-Hol camp in Syria, posing another security threat because of the porous border between the two countries.

Experts believe the latest terror threat is probably linked to Daesh.

“Foreign missions in Turkey sometimes coordinate with Turkish officials by releasing similar statements about the terror threats they perceive,” Mete Sohtaoglu, a security analyst, told Arab News.

“These tactics are designed to detect terror groups because the alerts can activate dormant cells preparing an attack,” he added.

Security at US missions in Turkey has been tightened recently with many Americans visiting the consulate and embassy buildings to post their ballots.

Erol Bural, a former military officer and head of Ankara-based Countering Terrorism and Radicalization Research Center, said the threat to the US diplomatic missions in Turkey is likely to come from the extreme left-wing Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C) or Daesh.

The DHKP-C has been operating in Turkey for decades and has carried out several lethal bomb attacks — one against the US Embassy in Ankara in 2013 that killed a Turkish security guard.

In the past, coordination between US and Turkish security officials has led to several DHKP-C cells being uncovered.

“Terror alerts are an integral part of counter-terrorism efforts in Turkey,” Bural said.

“The timing of this alert raises questions about why the terror threat is increasing when Turkey has increased its counter-terrorism efforts against Daesh cells around the country.”

In Turkey’s deadliest terror attack, twin suicide bombings carried out by Daesh at a rally in Ankara in October, 2015 claimed 103 lives and injured more than 400 people.

Police recently arrested dozens of people in Istanbul over their links to the DHKP-C, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU.

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News Network
December 1,2020

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Nicosia, Dec 1: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian Professor of physics who was the brains behind the Project Amad, Tehran's alleged covert programme for building a nuclear bomb, was killed near the city of Absard, 50 miles from Tehran last Friday in an ambush, by highly trained assassins, believed to be members of Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.

It is unclear how the attack actually took place, as a press report speaks about 12 assassins who exploded a Nissan car when Fakhrizadeh's convoy of three bulletproof cars was passing, and then the gunmen opened fire on the cars, killing the nuclear scientist and his guards. However, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency, quoting Iranian officials, says the assassination was carried out from distance with a remote-controlled automatic machinegun. "No human assets were present at the scene of the assassination and the shooting was carried out only with automatic weapons, " it claimed.

Iran immediately accused Israel of being behind Fakhrizadeh's death and for good reason. Since 2010 Israel had carried out 4 assassinations of scientists who were believed to be involved in Iran's nuclear programme and caused explosions at various facilities associated with the programme. As has been its usual practice, Israel did not publicly admit that it was behind the killings.

It should be mentioned that in 2018, Fakhrizadeh was named by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said that secret documents concerning Iran's nuclear programme, which were stolen by Israel, showed that Fakhrizadeh secretly continued Project Amad.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, promised to retaliate for the killing of the prominent scientist, while President Hassan Rouhani declared that Iran would retaliate for the murder, but pointed out that it would do so at a time of its choosing. "In due time, they will answer for this crime," he said, adding that the assassination shows Iran's enemies despair and depth of their hatred".

An immediate response came from the Iranian Parliament which on Sunday approved a vote to raise the rate of uranium enrichment to 20% (from 4%) and gradually withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (Iran nuclear deal).

BBC reports that John Brennan, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said the killing of the scientist was a "criminal" and "highly reckless" act that "risks lethal retaliation and a new round of regional conflict".

However, although the Israeli government did not publicly admit that the assassination of the top Iranian nuclear scientist was its own doing, a senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the New York Times on Sunday that the world should "thank Israel for killing the father of Iran's nuclear programme" and added that Israel would keep acting to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Many analysts believe that US President Donald Trump gave the green light to the Israelis to kill Fakhrizadeh, pointing out that Trump recently sought options for a military strike on Iran's nuclear programme, but was dissuaded from doing so by his senior advisers.

Amos Yadlin, Chairman of the Institute for National Security Studies of Israel told the Army Radio that whoever operated in Tehran "has one eye, maybe two on Washington. If the Iranians respond, it will enable President Donald Trump to order his generals to act against them. And if they don't, it could still possibly block the Biden administration from opening negotiations."

A similar view was expressed by Sweden's former Prime Minister Carl Bildt who said: "It's not unlikely that this targeted killing was part of efforts to prevent the Biden administration from reviving diplomacy with Iran and going back to the nuclear agreement".

Zvi Bar'el, Middle Eastern Affairs Analyst for Haaretz newspaper, points out that the timing of the assassination, "even if it was determined by purely operational considerations, is a clear message to President-elect Joe Biden, intended to show Israel's criticism of the intent to return to the nuclear accord with Iran and other issues, like freezing Iran's ballistic missile programme in return for economic cooperation".

Haaretz newspaper's diplomatic reporter Noa Landau writes that US President Donald Trump has more than a month before he leaves the White House, and on his way, he could set the world on fire. In starting this conflagration, it seems as though he plans to strike every match in the box. Standing beside him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be more than happy to lend him a lighter".

Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei stated on Sunday that the Islamic Republic "should not fall into the trap of linking the assassination to past nuclear negotiations". He added that the killing of Fakhrizadeh would not remain unanswered, but not at a time that they want or the way and place they expect. "Iran sets the time and the place," he concluded.

What is noteworthy is that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have maintained a deafening silence on the matter and did not utter a word about the assassination.

However, given that they publicly vowed to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, they probably think that by the targeted killing of Fakhrizadeh, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was betting on a harsh response by Iran, and in this way tried to sabotage future US negotiations with Tehran. This is something that it will be difficult for Biden to forget.

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News Network
December 1,2020

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Hyderabad, Nov 30: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday termed Karanataka Minister KS Eshwarappa remark on 'no ticket to Muslim candidate' as disgusting and shameful, but not surprising.

"Disgusting & shameful, but not surprising. Hindutva believes that only 1 community has the right to political power & all others are subservient. This ideology cannot co-exist with our Constitution, which talks about liberty, fraternity, equality & justice," Owaisi said in a tweet.

Karnataka Minister and BJP leader KS Eshwarappa had on Sunday said that the party ticket might be given to Hindu candidates from any community but not to a Muslim.

"We might give the party ticket to any community among Hindus. Whoever we might give it to -- maybe Lingayats, Kurubas, Vokkaligas, or Brahmins but definitely, it will not be given to Muslims," Eshwarappa told media persons.

Eshwarappa is a Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister.

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News Network
November 20,2020

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Davangere, Nov 20: Hindu Mahasabha Karnataka Parliamentary Secretary Dharmendra said the Mahasabha would field its candidates in the next Lok Sabha polls for the development of the country and the preparations are in progress.

Speaking to media persons, here on Thursday, he said BJP's divide and rule policy is more dangerous than that of Britishers and Mughals. BJP which came to power in the name of building corruption-free India and Hindu nation, has indulged in caste-oriented politics. The government is trying to woo castes by forming development corporation.  It is dividing the religion on the basis of castes. If it continues, people would reject BJP in the coming days.

 He charged that the state is not witnessing development at all. The government which looted money in the name of Covid-19 is dividing the Hindu religion in the name of development.

He said many towns and cities in the country have circles or roads named after British officers and Mughal emperors. Similarly, there must be a circle named after Nathuram Godse in the country. The bust of Godse must be established without fail.

 He also alleged that the Centre and the states are misguiding children by calling Mahatma Gandhi as the father of the nation.

Mahasabha State Working President Rajesh Pavitran said the birth anniversary of Godse would be celebrated as Akhanda Bharat Sankalpa Diwas.  The mahasabha would extend support to state bandh called by pro-Kannada organisations on December 5 over the formation of Maratha Development Authority.

He also alleged that BJP is set to make Karnataka as the state of Muslims. So, the leaders must rename it as Bharatiya Jinnah Party, he ridiculed.

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M SHARIEF SULTAN
 - 
Saturday, 21 Nov 2020

Very intelligent person to say
- He wants the state/nation as Hindu Nation
- Gandhiji is not father of nation
- He wants to Glorify Godse, the assassin of Gadhiji.

He needs immediate medical OR therapy.
Very unfortunate, still such a leaders exist, and blindly adhored by majority.
God save our land.

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