Turkey Seizes Christian Monastery

From Aina:
After Mardin became a Metropolitan Municipality, its villages were officially turned into neighbourhoods as per the law and attached to the provincial administration. Following the legislative amendment introduced in late 2012, the Governorate of Mardin established a liquidation committee. The Liquidation Committee started to redistribute in the city, the property of institutions whose legal entity had expired. The transfer and liquidation procedures are still ongoing.

In 2016, the Transfer, Liquidation and Redistribution Committee of Mardin Governorate transferred to primarily the Treasury as well as other relevant public institutions numerous churches, monasteries, cemeteries and other assets of the Syriac community in the districts of Mardin. The Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation appealed to the decision yet the liquidation committee rejected their appeal last May. The churches, monasteries and cemeteries whose ownerships were given to the Treasury were then transferred to the Diyanet.

Inquiries of the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation revealed that dozens of churches and monasteries had been transferred to the Treasury first and then allocated to the Diyanet. And the cemeteries have been transferred to the Metropolitan Municipality of Mardin. The maintenance of some of the churches and monasteries are currently being provided by the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation and they are opened to worship on certain days. Similarly, the cemeteries are still actively used by the Syriac community who visits them and performs burial procedures. The Syriacs have appealed to the Court for the cancellation of the decision.

Cancellation cases

"We started to file lawsuits and in the meantime our enquiries continued" said Kuryakos Ergün, the Chairman of Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation. Ergün said they would appeal to the court for the cancellation of nearly 30 title deed registries.

Speaking to Agos, Ergün made the following remarks:

"For years, minority foundations could not acquire property in Turkey. Then legislative amendments were introduced in 2002 upon which we engaged in a number of initiatives. We were able to have some of the title deeds registered in the name of our foundation. And for others, the legal process was ongoing. It was not possible for us to follow-up all the title deeds. In the meantime cadastral works were carried out as well. At the cadastral offices, they did not show any sensitivity about the legislative amendment enabling the acquisition of property by minority foundations. In the face of the situation, we are filing lawsuits to the extent possible. In places where we couldn't follow up the situation, some monasteries and other property were given to the legal entity of the Village.

"After Mardin became a Metropolitan municipality the governorate established a liquidation committee. The liquidation procedures began and many places were redistributed. We were expecting them to be transferred to the municipality however they transferred the assets to the Treasury instead. The Metropolitan Municipality of Mardin took the decision to Court. However we assume that the cases were dropped after a trustee was appointed.

We have also filed appeals to the Commission numerous times and taken witnesses however they told us that legally it was not possible to give it to us and that it's transfer procedures to the Treasury had been completed. On the other hand the Treasury gave the church monastery and the cemetery to the use of Diyanet. Here we are talking about around 50 churches and monasteries. We are still working on identifying the properties transferred. We will file an application to the directorate General of Foundations and will also file a court case. So far we have filed court cases for around 20 title deeds and we will do the same for around 30 more."

Problem of registration

Foundation of Mor Gabriel Monastery, filed a court case at the Civil Court of First Instance in Mardin against the registration of title deed records in the name of Treasury. In the petition filed to the court it has been noted that the properties subject to the court case had been, since ancient times, under the possession and ownership of the Foundation and the significance of Mor Gabriel Monastery has been underlined; "Its history dates back to the 4th century BC. The Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the world which is still active and is one of the most ancient religious centers of Syriacs and the entire world with its history of more than 1600 years. Midyat Syriac Deyrulumur Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation had been established on the basis of the imperial order of Sultan Abdülmecid Han during the Ottoman Empire in "1267 Islamic calendar (1851/1852 Gregorian calendar) and its status was redefined, became a legal entity, on the basis of the Foundations Law of 13.06.1935 with no 2762 . The Foundation had been recognised as "a religious community foundation" on the basis of a Regulation issued in 2002 by the Directorate General of Foundation and was included in the List of Religious Community Foundations drafted same year. Foundations that I'm not included in this list are in not recognised as religious community foundations."

It has been underlined in the petition that the properties which have been registered in the name of the Treasury, have so far been protected and maintained by the Foundation.

Violation of Lausanne

The petition has made a reference to the Lausanne Treaty underlining that the registration in the name of the Treasury has constituted a violation of the Treaty;

"According to Article 42/3 of the Lausanne Treaty the Turkish Government undertakes to grant full protection to the churches, synagogues, cemeteries, and other religious establishments of the above-mentioned minorities (non-Muslims). All facilities and authorisation will be granted to the pious foundations, and to the religious and charitable institutions of the said minorities at present existing in Turkey, and the Turkish Government will not refuse, for the formation of new religious and charitable institutions, any of the necessary facilities which are granted to other private institutions of that nature. By the same token according to Article 37 of the Lausanne Treaty, Turkey undertakes that the stipulation's contained in Article 38 to 44 shall be recognised as fundamental laws, and that no law, no regulation, nor official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulation's, nor shall any law, regulation, nor official action prevail over them. Evidently this erroneous ownership status is in explicit violation of the Lausanne Treaty which is the founding Treaty of the Republic of Turkey."

The petition has also made reference to the precedents of the Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation as well as the European Court of Human Rights and its additional protocols.

Gunmen Kills Three In Suspected Extremist Attack

From ABC-News:
Three people were killed and three others wounded in a suspected Islamic extremist attack in Kenya's Mandera County, which borders Somalia, officials said Friday.

Four gunmen shot dead two civilians and a policeman at a bank in Elwak, Northeastern Regional Security Coordinator Mohamud Saleh said. Saleh said three people were wounded before the gunmen drove off toward Somalia.

Kenya's border with long-chaotic Somalia is mostly unguarded.

In a separate incident, the Kenya Red Cross said two people escaped unhurt after their car ran over a homemade bomb in Mandera.

Saleh said al-Shabab extremists from Somalia were suspected to be behind both attacks.

Similar homemade explosives in Kenya in the past month have killed at least 38 people, including 20 police officers.

Analysts have called the blasts a change in strategy by al-Shabab. Al-Shabab has said its attacks in Kenya are payback for the country deploying troops to Somalia to fight the extremist group in 2011.

Thirty Four Killed In Parachinar Blasts

From The-News:
Multiple blasts killed at least 34 people and wounded dozens in Parachinar on the last Friday of Ramzan, officials said.

 They said 13 people were killed and 124 wounded when twin blasts tore through a market in Parachinar, capital of Kurram district But the death toll rose to 34 late on Friday night.

Local official Nasrullah Khan told AFP that the first blast detonated as the market was crowded with shoppers preparing for the Eid ul-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramzan.

"When people rushed to the site... to rescue the wounded, a second blast took place," he said, adding that he could not give further details of the attack but that officials fear the toll will increase.

Sabir Hussain, the medical superintendent at Parachinar´s main hospital, said it had received 13 bodies and 124 wounded.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for security to be beefed up across the country as he condemned the attack, saying that no Muslim could ever imagine committing such a "horrific" act.

Pakistan has seen a dramatic improvement in security in the last two years, but groups such as the umbrella Pakistani Taliban and other extremist outfits still retain the ability to carry out attacks.

Local lawmaker Sajid Hussain Turi, the owner of the market, said bazaars in Parachinar had been barricaded off and vehicles banned from the area after multiple attacks have hit the city this year.

Parachinar was the location of the first major militant attack in Pakistan in 2017, a bomb in a market which killed 24 people in January and was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.

In March a second Taliban attack killed a further 22 people.

Bomber Blows Himself Up Among Civilians Fleeing Mosul

From Tribune:
A suicide bomber blew himself up on Friday among civilians fleeing Mosul’s Old City, where Iraqi forces are gaining ground against militants mounting a fierce but desperate defence, officers said.

Ahmed Hashem, a major and medic in the Iraqi army speaking to AFP from a field hospital, said the attack took place in the Mashahda neighbourhood of the Old City.

“We received 12 people killed and more than 20 wounded in our field hospital, including women and children,” he said.

A colonel in the army’s 16th infantry division said it was difficult to get a definitive casualty toll because the area where the attack happened was not fully cleared.

French journalist Stephan Villeneuve killed in Mosul

“The suicide bomber infiltrated a group of displaced people and blew himself up among them before reaching our troops,” he said.

Thousands of civilians have fled the Old City of Mosul since Iraqi forces launched their most perilous assault yet against the Islamic State group.

Around 100,000 more remain trapped by the militants, who have made human shields a key element in their defence of the Old City, their last redoubt in Iraq’s second city.

The security forces have been wary of Iraqi IS members attempting to flee the Old City death trap by blending in with the population, while the Chechen, French and other foreign militants stay behind to mount a suicidal last stand.

Suicide Attack Targeting IGP Office Claims Twelve Lives

From The-News:
At least 12 people were killed and 16 injured in a suicide attack near the office of Balochitsan Police Chief on Gulistan Road here early Friday, according to security and hospital officials.

DIG Abdul Razzaq Cheema said that the bomber detonated the explosives-laden vehicle after he was stopped by the law enforcement personnel for screening as he was mysteriously taking rounds in the area. Bomb Disposal Squad confirmed that the explosives were planted in a vehicle.

Police bore the maximum brunt as five policemen embraced martyrdom in the early morning blast while nine were hurt and under treatment at different health facilities in the provincial capital.

The police cordoned off the Shuhada Chowk vicinity, where the incident took place. Two vehicles can be seen damaged in video footage of the crime scene.

Balochistan government spokesman Anwar ul Haq Kakar said the blast happened near the office of the inspector general of police when officers stopped the car to search it near a checkpoint.

"It´s possible the IG office was the target, or the assailants were trying to enter the (army) cantonment which is close by," he said.

The rescue services shifted the victims to the nearby hospitals. Several injured are said to be in critical condition.

Important government offices are located in the area where the explosion occurred. The city was on high alert due to Friday.

Balochistan have been targeted by the militants to spark panic and terror among the citizens. Indian RAW agent Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav confessed to have been involved in subversive activities in Balochistan.

Kakar said India has been playing a dirty game in the region since long but we will not let them play havoc with the innocent lives of Pakistanis.

Cop Stabbed By Man Shouting Praises To Allah

From Express:
AN ALLEGED terrorist stabbed a police officer in his back and neck at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan.

The officer, named as Lieutenant Jeff Neville, was raced to hospital in a critical condition, according to Michigan State Police.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the horrific stabbing, which is being treated as a "potential terror attack", according to NBC.

Sources told the news organisation that the suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar", meaning "God is the greatest" in Arabic.

Horrified eyewitness Ken Brown said he saw the officer bleeding from his neck while dropping off his daughter at the airport.

He told local media: "The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck. I said they need to get him a towel."

The FBI said: "We are working with local law enforcement to determine the nature of the incident. No determination has been made at this point."

A spokesman for the airport said all passengers are safe and were being evacuated.

In a statement posted on Facebook, he added: "Please check with your airline for potential cancellations or delays.

"We will release more information as we have it."

Mayor Karen Weaver said extra police officers are being deploted around Flint City Hall following the horrific incident.

She added: "My thoughts and prayers are with all of our law enforcement officers who work to service and protect us each and every day.

"I want the public to know that several agencies are involved and working to ensure the situation is under control.

"However, at this time we are taking extra precautions just to be safe."

Lieutenant Neville is now reported to be in a stable condition, while a Canadian-born man has been taken into custody.

It took place shortly after 9am local time (2pm UK time).

The name of the suspect has named by local media as 49-year-old Amor Ftouhi.

Muslim Threatens Goodwill Store Customers To Convert To Islam

From Jihad-Watch:
It is the context of Khalid Sulaiman Bilal’s behaviour that makes this report so flabbergasting, but he is doing what he sees as his personal duty of “good will”; what he did is also what countless numbers of his coreligionists are doing around the world, as they follow the dictates of Islamic texts.

According to Quran 2:193:

Fight them until there is no fitnah and worship is for Allah.

In the Hadith (Sahih Muslim 33):

The Messenger of Allah said: “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

The good news is that Bilal was deported back to Saudi Arabia before he could inflict greater harm. The bad news is that there are many others like him among us in the West who — in their view — are obligated to subjugate infidels using violence and other methods of conquest.

A Saudi Arabian national and former student at Ball State University has been deported after being arrested in March for the alleged violent threatening of shoppers at an Indiana Goodwill store unless they converted to Islam.

Khalid Sulaiman Bilal, 24, was arrested on March 25, accused of threatening people in a Muncie, Indiana, Goodwill store. Police said Bilal was “forcibly” trying to convert shoppers to Islam, Fox 59 reported.

Bilal, charged with 15 crimes, reportedly threatened shoppers, resisted arrest, attacked police, and choked a store clerk, the Muncie Star Press reported.

In March, Fox 59 described the incident vividly:

Bilal allegedly entered the store and began forcefully trying to convert people to Islam while claiming to be the Prophet Muhammad and trying to place his hands on them. He struck and strangled an employee and told her he would kill her if she didn’t convert to Islam. He attacked responding officers, breaking one of the officer’s hands and repeatedly kicking the other. During the scuffle, Bilal yelled “Allahu Akbar,” a phrase meaning “God is greater” and commonly used by Islamic radicals before a violent attack, according to an affidavit filed by Homeland Security.

After a Department of Homeland Security investigation, Bilal was deported

Coptic Christian Boy Still Traumatized From Seeing ISIS Militants Kill His Father

From Christian-Daily:
Mina Habib, a 10-year-old Coptic Christian, still has not recovered from the trauma of seeing his father being gunned down for his faith by Islamic State militants during a bus attack in Minya, Egypt, last month that left 29 dead and 24 others injured.

Like other residents of the Christian village of Dayr Jarnous whose family members were killed in the Minya bus attack, Mina is still on the road to recovery and leaves his house only on rare occasions. The bereaved families of the ISIS victims said the government has not helped them and is doing nothing to protect them from such attacks, Reuters detailed.

"We saw dead people, just dumped on the ground," Mina recalled. "They asked my father for identification then told him to recite the Muslim profession of faith. He refused, said he was Christian. They shot him and everyone else with us in the car."

Two of the victims in the Minya bus attack were children. They were identified as 2-year-old Moreska Mina Samuel and 4-year-old Marfy Hany Moussa, the Egyptian Streets reported.

Mina told Reuters that they were spared from death by chance, and he did not know why the other children were killed. His 14-year-old brother Marco, on the other hand, also survived the massacre and remembered that the 15 gunmen had Egyptian accents and only two were masked.

Because the government did not provide them with treatment for the trauma the bus attack has caused them, Habib is undergoing therapy at a local church. Marco, meanwhile, treats Bible reading at a monastery as his therapy.

At present, the residents of the village want Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay true to his promise to protect the Copts. Because there is no added security in their place, they fear that they would be vulnerable if a similar attack occurred.

Islamic State Targets Children To Punish Parents In Mosul

From DW:
UN officials have accused "Islamic State" extremists of using children as a "weapon of war" to deter families from fleeing violence. Iraqi-led forces have surrounded the militant group in its last bastion in Mosul.

The UN Children's Fund on Thursday decried the targeted killing of children by the self-styled "Islamic State" (IS) militant group as a means to punish families trapped in Mosul.
"They are using children as a weapon of war to prevent people from fleeing," said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF's Iraq representative. "This just highlights how indiscriminate and catastrophic this war is."

IS rose to notoriety in 2014 when it captured large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, culminating in the occupation of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. In October, Iraqi-led forces launched a major operation to recapture the city.

Backed by a US-led coalition, Iraqi forces have managed to retake most of the city, except for the Old City center, considered the last district under the militant group's control.

Millions of children in need of humanitarian aid
Humanitarian organizations have warned that more than 100,000 civilians - roughly half of them children - may be trapped inside the city and purposefully placed in extremely dangerous conditions.

At least 1,075 children have been killed and 1,130 injured since IS captured territory in Iraq in 2014, UNICEF said. It noted that more than 5 million children are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

"Across Iraq, children continue to witness sheer horror and unimaginable violence," UNICEF said in a statement. "They have been killed, injured, abducted and forced to shoot and kill in one of the most brutal wars in recent history."

Suicide Car Bomb Kills Dozens

From CBS-News:
A local police chief in Afghanistan says a suicide car bombing targeted Afghan soldiers lining up outside a bank in southern Helmand province, killing at least 29 people.

The governor of Helmand province put the death toll in the bombing outside the bank at 29, saying most of those killed in the explosion were civilians. Governor Hayatullah Hayat said the attack outside the Kabul Bank in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, also wounded 60 people.

People likely had gathered there to collect salaries ahead of the upcoming holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Haji Moladad Tobagar, health director in Lashkargah told The Associated Press that the hospital received 25 bodies after the attack, as well as 60 wounded.

He says he fears an even higher casualty toll as more victims were being brought in. The discrepancies in the casualty tolls could not immediately be reconciled.