Tag Archives: State

Merkel dismisses U.S. request for a lot more military aid against Islamic State

BERLIN Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday brushed off what a Germany magazine stated was a request from the United States to provide far more military aid in the fight against Islamic State.

“I think Germany is fulfilling its portion and we do not need to have to speak about new concerns associated to this question at the moment,” Merkel told the ZDF broadcaster when asked about the Der Spiegel magazine report of the U.S. request.

Der Spiegel reported on Saturday that U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had sent a letter asking for a larger military contribution from Germany, a week after parliament approved a program to join the campaign in Syria.

A German Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed a letter had been received from the United States and its content was under consideration, providing no further particulars.

Der Spiegel said the letter did not make distinct demands and was equivalent to requests sent to other U.S. partners.

Germany’s mission contains six Tornado reconnaissance jets, a frigate to protect the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, refueling aircraft and up to 1,200 troops.

The deployment is a direct response to a French appeal for solidarity soon after militant attacks in Paris killed 130 people. Germany does not strategy to carry out air strikes in Syria.

Germany has over the past two years shown a developing readiness to commit troops to foreign missions.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen mentioned final week Germany may well require larger armed forces to cope with the a lot more assertive function.

More than three,000 personnel are currently deployed overseas and the Syria mission will raise that by up to 1,200. Von der Leyen also wants to send 650 troops to Mali to help the French campaign against Islamist militants there.

Germany last year began arming Iraqi Kurds fighting Islamic State.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold Writing by Joseph Nasr Editing by Alison Williams)

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Islamic State can make fake Syrian passports: U.S. report

WASHINGTON A U.S. government agency report has warned that Islamic State has the potential to develop fake Syrian passports, a federal official confirmed on Friday.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed the contents of a story by CNN on Friday about the report, but declined to offer a copy of the report.

The report says Islamic State has access to Syrian government passport printing machines and blank passports, raising the possibility the travel documents could be faked, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement supply. (cnn.it/1Rf6lE1)

The CNN supply added that there was also concern that because the militant group had access to biographical and fingerprint information on Syrian citizens, there was also a possibility of identity theft.

ABC News, which initial reported the story on Thursday, stated the report was released to law enforcement by the Homeland Safety Investigations agency last week and raised the possibility that militants could use the documents to travel to the United States. (abcn.ws/1IKPl5I)

“Because far more than 17 months [have] passed given that Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour fell to ISIS, it is attainable that men and women from Syria with passports ‘issued’ in these ISIS-controlled cities or who had passport blanks, may have traveled to the U.S.,” ABC News quoted the report as saying.

State Division spokesman John Kirby, asked at a briefing on Friday about the ABC report, replied: “We have been conscious of reports, not just in the press, that they might have obtained this capability.”

FBI Director James Comey told a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday: “The intelligence community is concerned that they [Islamic State] have the ability, the capability to manufacture fraudulent passports, which is a concern in any setting.”

(Reporting by Eric Walsh Editing by Sandra Maler)

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3 Islamic State leaders killed in recent strikes: U.S. military

WASHINGTON The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria has killed the group’s finance minister and two other senior leaders in air strikes in current weeks, a U.S. military spokesman said on Thursday.

Army Colonel Steve Warren told a Pentagon briefing coalition strikes had killed Abu Salah, Islamic State’s economic minister, in late November.

“He was 1 of the most senior and seasoned members of ISIL’s monetary network and he was a legacy Al Qaeda member,” Warren said.

Warren stated Salah was the third member of the finance network who had been killed in as numerous months.

“Killing him and his predecessors exhausts the understanding and talent required to coordinate funding inside the organization,” Warren added.

According to a Brooking Institute report, Abu Salah’s true name is Muafaq Mustafa Mohammed al- Karmoush.

Warren stated a senior leader responsible for coordinating the group’s extortion activities and an additional leader who acted as an executive officer had also been killed.

The Islamic State, which the United States calls the wealthiest militant group of its sort in history, has a quantity of income streams.

It has built up what amounts to a “sturdy and resilient financial portfolio,” funded by oil sales, extortion, and sales of antiquities, mentioned Thomas Sanderson, an professional on terrorism at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Lately, U.S. defense officials estimated that Islamic State was earning about $ 47 million per month from oil sales prior to October.

That very same month, the Pentagon began an operation recognized as “Tidal Wave II” targeting Islamic State’s oil income.

Warren stated it was too early to inform what the impact of the strikes had been and that it was similar to a boxing match.

“You function the body in (the) early rounds and perhaps you will not get a knockout from those early round body shots, but several rounds later you are going to see your… opponents knees start to get weak … and now he’s beginning to get set up for the knockout,” Warren mentioned.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and David Alexander Editing by Tom Brown)

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China plans to launch registration-based IPO system in two years- state radio

BEIJING Dec 9 China’s plans to launch a registration-primarily based program on initial public offerings (IPOs) at Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges inside two years, state radio reported on Wednesday.

The State Council is awaiting approval from the National People’s Congress, the parliament, on the proposal, state radio stated, citing a normal cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

The cabinet also pledged to take steps to tackle excess factory capacity and deal with so-called zombie firms, although enabling banks to create off far more poor loans, state radio said. (Reporting by China Monitoring Group and Kevin Yao Editing by Robert Birsel)

Russia says it hit Islamic State with submarine-launched missile for initial time

MOSCOW Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu stated on Tuesday that Russia had for the initial time struck Islamic State targets in Syria with missiles fired from a submarine in the Mediterranean.

“The targets have been two large terrorist positions in the territory of Raqqa,” Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin in a televised meeting, adding that the Calibre missiles had been fired from the submarine Rostov-on-Don.

“We can say with total self-confidence that relatively significant harm was accomplished to weapons stores and a factory for preparing mines and, naturally, oil infrastructure.”

Shoigu mentioned Russia had informed Israel and the United States in advance of its program to launch missiles from a submarine.

He mentioned that, over the previous three days, Russia’s air force had flown far more than 300 sorties more than Syria and struck more than 600 targets of numerous varieties.

Russian bombers flying over Syria had been being accompanied by fighter jets, as Putin had ordered, he added.

Russia started intervening straight in Syria’s civil war at the end of September with air strikes in assistance of its ally, President Bashar al-Assad.

But the intervention has had unintended consequences, notably when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that it mentioned had strayed into Turkish airspace, an allegation that Russia denies.

Shoigu presented the flight recorder of the downed jet to Putin at the meeting.

Putin thanked Russian particular services and Syrian government troops for recovering it, and mentioned it would allow specialists to determine exactly where exactly the Russian plane was located when it was hit. He mentioned it need to be opened only in the presence of international professionals, “to cautiously document every thing”.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Anton Zverev Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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U.S. appeals court overturns SEC commissioners in State Street case

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston stated the commission’s findings against John Flannery and James Hopkins, respectively State Street’s former chief investment officer and former head of North American solution engineering, had been “not supported by substantial evidence.”

The choice is a defeat for SEC Chair Mary Jo White, who last December joined a 3-2 majority in holding Flannery and Hopkins civilly liable.

Flannery and Hopkins were accused in 2010 of possessing marketed State Street’s Restricted Duration bond fund three years earlier as protected, even although the fund had grow to be invested practically totally in risky securities.

The fund, which as soon as had $ 1.4 billion of assets, lost about 37 percent of its worth more than three weeks in August 2007, the SEC stated.

Each defendants scored a rare win in 2011 when SEC Chief Administrative Law Judge Brenda Murray dismissed the case.

But SEC enforcement employees appealed, and won a reversal from the complete commission 3 years later.

Hopkins was fined $ 65,000 and Flannery $ 6,500, and each had been suspended from the investment sector for a year.

In Tuesday’s selection, Circuit Judge Sandra Lynch mentioned an Aug. two, 2007 letter to investors about the fund’s approach, a draft of which Flannery had noticed, was not misleading, and for that reason Flannery could not be held liable for it.

She stated the SEC did not show that Hopkins’ conduct was at least reckless, including for failing to update a presentation slide that showed the fund had decreased its credit risk.

The appeals court did not evaluation an Aug. 14, 2007 investor letter from Flannery himself about market place volatility.

But even if that letter have been misleading, “there is not substantial proof to help the Commission’s obtaining that Flannery engaged in a fraudulent ‘practice’ or ‘course of business,'” Lynch wrote.

SEC spokespeople did not right away respond to requests for comment.

“It is a comprehensive repudiation of the SEC’s factual findings,” Mark Pearlstein, a McDermott Will & Emery companion representing Flannery, mentioned in an interview. “At lengthy last, my client has been exonerated.” Flannery is no longer in the securities sector, he said.

John Sylvia, a lawyer for Hopkins, was not right away accessible for comment.

The circumstances are Flannery v SEC, 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 15-1080 and Hopkins v SEC in the exact same court, No. 15-1117.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York Editing by David Gregorio)

Turkish leader’s son denies Russian allegations of Islamic State trade

ROME The son of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has denied Russian allegations that he and his household had been profiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.

Russia’s defense ministry said last week it had proof that the Erdogan family members was benefiting from this trade. Turkey has already dismissed the accusations and the president’s son Bilal added his voice to the numerous denials.

“We develop offices in Istanbul … We do not do business in the Mediterranean, in Syria or Iraq,” he was quoted as saying in Corriere della Sera newspaper, speaking about his own corporate issues, which have been referred to as into question by Russian media.

“ISIS is an enemy of my country. ISIS is a disgrace. It puts my religion in a undesirable light. They never represent Islam and I do not contemplate them to be Muslims,” he stated, referring to Islamic State by a single of its numerous acronyms.

1 of the four kids of President Erdogan, Bilal has shipping and maritime assets and controls numerous oil tankers via his company and partnerships in other firms.

However, he denied he had any operational shipping activities, saying his company had a contract to develop “river tankers” for a Russian client, but that it did not operate the ships itself. He also denied that his brother Burak might have transported oil from lands controlled by Islamic State.

“He has a cargo ship, but it can’t be used as a tanker.”

As an alternative, he stated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was profiting from the sale of Islamic State oil. “If you stick to ISIS oil, you will find Assad.”

Damascus has previously accused the Turkish government, which is hostile to Assad, of permitting Islamic State insurgents to smuggle contraband out of northern Syria.

Relations among Turkey and Russia have chilled sharply right after Turkey final month shot down a Russian warplane that it said had crossed into its air space from Syria.

“What happened concerning the Russian jet was unpleasant, but we have to concentrate on the actual troubles: ISIS and the future of Syria,” Bilal Erdogan stated.

Russian media reports suggested that Bilal was straight involved in oil trade with Islamic State and that Turkey downed the Russian jet to defend this oil smuggling company.

Bilal came to Italy earlier this year with his wife and family to finish doctorate research in the city of Bologna. Critics accused him of fleeing Turkey in the wake of preceding graft scandals. He denied any wrongdoing and mentioned he was in Italy to concentrate on his studies.

(Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk Writing by Crispian Balmer Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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China says Islamic State song in Mandarin shows want for international cooperation

BEIJING A Chinese-language song purportedly released by Islamic State shows the need for closer international cooperation against terrorism, China’s Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday, as a senior official stated the fight against Islamist militancy had created progress.

China relies on the Middle East for oil supplies, but tends to leave diplomacy there to the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

It has urged greater coordination to fight terrorism soon after attacks in Mali and Paris and the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey, but has long stated there is no military remedy in Syria, with state media criticizing the West and Russia for air strikes there.

More than the weekend, Islamic State’s propaganda arm, Al Hayat media center, appears to have place on the web a recording in Mandarin that exhorted its “Muslim brothers” to awaken.

In the four-minute song titled “I am Mujahid”, a man chants: “To die fighting on the battlefield is my dream,” and “No force can stop our advance”.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stated she could not comment on regardless of whether the recording was issued by Islamic State, but stated it showed that “terrorism is the common enemy of mankind” and the need to have to quit extremists utilizing the World wide web.

“In the face of terrorism, no nation can stand on its personal, and the international community should stand closer collectively and cooperate to jointly strike against all forms of terrorism,” Hua told a regular news briefing on Tuesday.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told a separate briefing Beijing had already joined in anti-terrorism cooperation with Washington and Moscow, but gave no specifics.

“At present, relevant countries have proactively coordinated and consulted on their anti-Islamic State actions in Syria and they have had definite progress on fighting terrorism,” Cheng added.

As China’s economic and business interests abroad develop, it has increasingly been affected by the activities of militant groups.

Three Chinese executives were killed in Mali when Islamist militants stormed a hotel, and Beijing vowed justice when the Islamic State killed a Chinese captive in November.

Chinese officials warn that some Muslim Uighurs, an ethnic group from the western area of Xinjiang, have traveled to battlegrounds in Syria and Iraq.

The government says it faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists in power-wealthy Xinjiang, where hundreds have died in violence in current years.

Rights groups, even so, doubt that a cohesive militant Islamist group exists there, saying the violence stems from common anger at Chinese controls on religion and culture.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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Iran arrests 53 people for running pro-Islamic State sites: TASNIM

Planet | Mon Dec 7, 2015 3:55am EST


ANKARA Iran’s cyber police chief said on Monday some 53 folks had been arrested for allegedly running sites supportive of the Islamic State militant group, Tasnim news agency reported.

“They were primarily based in provinces near border areas or near our borders,” Hossein Ashtari mentioned.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi Editing by Catherine Evans)

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U.S. Secretary of State Kerry condemns Israeli settlement developing

Globe | Sat Dec five, 2015 4:01pm EST


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WASHINGTON U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry strongly condemned the building of settlements by Israel and said it raised queries about Israel’s extended-term intentions.

“Nearly all of Area C, which comprises 60 % of the West Bank, is effectively restricted for any Palestinian development,” Kerry mentioned in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali Editing by Alan Crosby)

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