Crown Prince Mohammed is now Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia; Prince Khalid is Defence Minister

News Network
September 28, 2022

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Jeddah, Sept 28: King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday named Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman the Kingdom’s prime minister and appointed Prince Khalid bin Salman defence minister in a Cabinet reshuffle by royal decree.

The crown prince had previously been defense minister, and Prince Khalid was deputy defence minister. King Salman will continue to chair Cabinet meetings that he attends, the decree said.

The other major appointment in the reshuffle was that of Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Bunyan, chief executive of the Saudi chemical manufacturing company SABIC, as minister of education.

The ministers who retain their portfolios are the Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Minister of Investment Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, and Minister of Finance Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan.

Prince Abdullah bin Bandar also remains as Minister of the National Guard, Walid Al-Samaani stays in his role as Minister of Justice, and Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh remains as Minister of Islamic Affairs.

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan retains his post as Minister of Culture, and Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal keeps his role as Minister of Sports.

Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah will also stay in his role as Minister of Hajj and Umrah, and Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi also remains as Minister of Commerce.

Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef remains as Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Ahmed Al-Khateeb as Minister of Tourism, Faisal bin Fadhil Alibrahim as Minister of Economy and Planning, and Fahd bin Abdulrahman Al-Jalajel as Minister of Health.

The new defense minister, Prince Khalid, is a former Saudi ambassador to Washington. He graduated from the King Faisal Air Academy in Riyadh and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force.

The prince received his initial pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and advanced training at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. He also studied advanced electronic warfare in France.

Previously, he was an F-15 pilot and tactical intelligence officer in the RSAF. Before a back injury ended his flying career, Prince Khaled flew more than 50 combat missions as part of the international coalition campaign against Daesh in Syria, and the Decisive Storm and Renewal of Hope operations in Yemen. 

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News Network
November 20,2022

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Newsroom, Nov 20: Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Sunday condemned the minor explosion in a moving auto rickshaw in Mangaluru and urged Kartanaka Police to immediately arrest all those responsible. Calling the blast an "act of violence", the former chief minister said it exposed the failure of the intelligence department.

In a tweet, Siddaramaiah said, "DGP has confirmed that the blast in Mangaluru is an act of terror. I strongly condemn this act of violence and strongly urge the police to immediately arrest those responsible for the act."

"The blast has exposed the failure of the intelligence department and the home minister should accept responsibility," he further said, urging people not to panic and give leads to the police about all suspected persons.

A day after a moving autorickshaw exploded in Mangaluru, Karnataka Director General of Police Praveen Sood on Sunday said the 'mysterious blast' was an act of terror and a "deep probe" into the incident is underway.

Visuals of the blast showed the autorickshaw exploding after it came to a stop near a building where construction work was going on. The state police is probing the blast along with central agencies and an NIA team has been dispatched to the coastal district.

Additional Director General of Police Alok Kumar has ordered a high-level probe into the blast as the state police found a suspicious explosive material inside an exploded cooker that was carried by a passenger.

The auto driver and the passenger sustained burn injuries in the blast and both are currently under treatment.

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News Network
November 21,2022

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Mangaluru, Nov 21: The accused in the autorickshaw blast in coastal Karnataka's Mangaluru was "inspired by ISIS terror group" and used dark web to contact his handlers, the police said today, claiming a big breakthrough. 

The police said Mohammed Shariq worked under multiple handlers, one of them from Al Hind, a terror outfit influenced by ISIS.

A resident of Shivamogga district, Shareeq was carrying the improvised explosive device (IED) in a pressure cooker in an autorickshaw on Saturday when it exploded, leaving him with severe burn injuries. He is currently undergoing treatment in a city hospital.

"...Our priority is to see that he survives, we have to take him to a stage where we can question him," ADGP Alok Kumar said.

The police had termed the blast "an act of terror with intention to cause serious damage."

The accused made bombs at home and even conducted a "trial blast" on the banks of a river, the police officer added.

"Shariq's immediate handler was Arafat Ali, an accused in two cases. He was in touch with Mussavir Hussain who is an accused in Al-Hind module case. Abdul Matin Taha was one of the main handler of Shariq. Another 2-3 handlers also worked with Shariq but they are yet to be identified," Mr Kumar said.

So far, the police have conducted searches at five locations across Karnataka, including his home in Mysuru where materials used to make bombs were seized, he said.

"Shariq was driven by ISIS ideology and made bomb at his home. On September 19, Shariq along with two other accomplices carried out a trial blast in a forest on the banks of a river in Shivamogga," the police officer said.

The police arrested two his accomplices the next day but Shariq managed to escape and took a house on rent with stolen Aadhaar card in Mysuru and continued to make bomb, the police added.

"We have formed five different teams and they're working on it. Four locations in Thirthahalli town of Shivamogga district and one place in Mangaluru city were searched this morning. Yesterday two places were searched. So, we have searched seven places and seized some electronic devices," the senior police officer said.

A man has been detained in Coimbatore for his alleged links with Shariq. The man, Tamil Nadu police sources said, stayed with Shariq at a dormitory and also gave him his Aadhaar card to procure a sim card.

"We have probed him and verified the circumstances under which he stayed with him. He appears to be innocent. We have shared the information with Mangaluru Police," an investigating officer said.

The Tamil Nadu police has also launched investigations after it emerged that Shariq visited several places in the state days before the blast. From Tamil Nadu, Shariq went to Kerala, where he allegedly received a consignment via Amazon, it is learnt. 

Special teams have been formed to investigate if he had met or had links with Jameesha Mubin, the prime accused in the recent car blast case in Coimbatore. The police have invoked sections of the stringent anti-terror law UAPA in the Coimbatore car blast after 75 kg of explosive raw materials were seized from the residence of Jameza Mubin who died in the blast.

Though the police have confirmed that Shareeq and Jameza Mubin were ISIS sympathisers, they have not found any link between the two.

Shariq is reported to have suffered 45 per cent burn injuries in the blast in the autorickshaw. Though he is out of danger, the police say he is not well enough to give a statement.

The police said he was carrying a low-intensity Improvised Explosive device or IED. A burnt pressure cooker fitted with batteries was found inside the vehicle.
 

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News Network
November 26,2022

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Bengaluru, Nov 26: A special court in Delhi on Saturday allowed Karnataka Pradesh Congress president D K Shivakumar to travel to Dubai from December 1 to 8 for personal works.

MP/MLA Court Special judge Vikas Dhull, who heard Shivakumar's plea, allowed him to travel foreign country with certain conditions.

Earlier this week, Shivakumar, who is facing money laundering cases, filed an application seeking permission to travel to a foreign country. However the Enforcement Directorate (ED) advocate objected to his travel, saying he is facing serious money laundering charges.

The money laundering case was registered against Shivakumar after Rs 8.59 crore cash was seized from his Safdarjung Enclave apartment. At present, he is on bail.

Shivakumar said that he wanted to visit Dubai as he got invitations from different Kannada associations requesting to attend their programmes.

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