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Taj Mahal security elevated following threat from Islamic State (ISIS) Terrorist Group

After the release of graphics indicating towards threat to one of the wonders of the world, security tightened at the Taj Mahal

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Lucknow, Mar 18, 2017: Security at the Taj Mahal has been amplified following a media report about a threat to the heritage site from terror group ISIS.

“A link has been circulated in which it is claimed that Taj Mahal is on the target of ISIS. We are probing it. However, security has been enhanced in and around the monument,” Additional Director General, Law and Order, Daljeet Singh Chowdhury told PTI.

After a website showed graphics of a terrorist standing beside the Taj Mahal with a something resembling a weapon, the security was enhanced. According to reports, a pro-ISIS media group published a graphic depicting Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, as a possible target of the terror outfit.

After a website showed graphics of a terrorist standing beside the Taj Mahal with a something resembling a weapon, the security was enhanced. According to reports, a pro-ISIS media group published a graphic depicting Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, as a possible target of the terror outfit.

The graphic was released a week after security agencies executed combing operation in Uttar Pradesh in which Saifullah, one of the accused was killed while six others were arrested.

As per reports, Saifullah carried out a train attack in Bhopal after he brainwashed by the ISIS through online medium.

The graphic shows an ISIS wearing combat gear and a black headgear, armed with an assault rifle standing beside the taj Mahal. It also features three inset pictures- an image of Taj Mahal within crosshairs with the words “New Target” below it, a van with the Arabic text “Agra istishhad” (Agra martyrdom-seeker) written in English, implying the threat of a suicide bombing, and an image of a “bomb”.

The Taj Mahal, the biggest attraction for foreign and domestic tourists, is now protected by internal security provided by Central Industrial Military Force, a central para-military force which provides protection for industrial units, metro rail, airports along with other sensitive places.

The Uttar Pradesh Police and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) man the outer periphery.

Outside the 500 metre security ring, police teams keep a strict watch on the movement of vehicles both on the western gate parking and the Shilpgram parking slot towards the eastern gate.

-Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

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Why Does Trump Separate Families, A Policy Or A Law?

A video released Monday by Customs and Border Protection

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In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, June 17, 2018.
In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, June 17, 2018. VOA

The Trump administration at least since April has been separating children and parents who enter the United States illegally at the border — that much is supported by the numbers. But much of everything else surrounding the practice has become mired in confusion.

Here is what we know:

In recent weeks, news stories of children in detention centers have circulated more widely, and the numbers of detained children have grown.

Department of Homeland Security officials told reporters Friday that between April 19 and May 31 of this year, nearly 2,000 (1,995) children were separated from their parents or other adults with whom they were traveling.

A video released Monday by Customs and Border Protection shows what appears to be humane conditions at a shelter site for children, but many worry that this video, the only video that has been released from within one of the detention centers, may not accurately depict them.

A policy or a law?

As criticism over the separation of parents and children at the border grows, the Trump administration has struggled to explain the policy.

Trump, himself, said the practice is the result of a law passed by Democrats, which has forced his administration into separating parents and children.

But there is no such law.

Rather in May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance” policy, which means that those detained entering the United States illegally would be criminally charged. This approach generally leads to children being separated from their parents because the law requires it.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about religious liberty at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center's annual leadership mission in Washington, June 13, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about religious liberty at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center’s annual leadership mission in Washington, June 13, 2018, VOA

On Sunday, senior policy adviser to the Trump administration Stephen Miller told The New York Times that the crackdown “was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry. Period.”

Administration officials, including Miller and Sessions, have defended the separation of families, saying that having children does not exempt anyone from the consequences of breaking the law.

“If you cross the border unlawfully, even a first offense, we’re going to prosecute you. … If you don’t want your child to be separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” Sessions told a gathering of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies.

The administration has said the new practice is directed at combating a “surge” of unlawful border crossings. But the “surge” appears to be numbers marking a return-to-normal after a dip last year.

Not a new idea

Though the practice of treating all people who cross the border unlawfully as subject to criminal prosecution is new under the Trump administration, it is built on existing policies from the Bush and Obama administrations.

Amid a surge of unlawful migration from Central America to the United States in 2014, the Obama administration considered many plans to deter illegal border crossings, including separating parents and children. Ultimately, Obama decided against separations but did expand the detention of immigrant families. New facilities were opened along the border, which held women and children for long periods of time before their cases were processed.

Following widespread criticism after photos of detained women and children, accompanied by testimonies of people being held for extended periods, a federal judge in Washington effectively ruled that asylum-seeking mothers could not be held for longer than 20 days, leading to what has been called a “catch and release” system where adults were released with GPS ankle monitors tracking their movements until their cases could be heard in court.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs' Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018.
=U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018. VOAU.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018.VOA

But this “catch and release” system has been heavily criticized by Trump and his administration.

Also read: Trump Launched A New Attack On Mueller Probe In Russia

“This get out of jail free card for families and groups who pose as families has spread,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. “The word of this has spread. The smugglers and traffickers know these loopholes better than our members of Congress. I’m sad to say that from October 2017 to this February, we have seen a staggering 315 percent increase in illegal aliens fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into this country. This must stop,” she said. (VOA)