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Aide to Chota Shakeel Nabbed by Police, was Planning to Kill Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah

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Tarek Fatah, a renowned writer condemns some practices of Islam. Wikimedia
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  • Chota Shakeel is a well-known confidant of the fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim
  • Police have recently nabbed Chota Shakeel’s aide who is accused of planning the assassination of Tarek Fatah
  • Tarek Fatah is a prolific Pakistan-born Canadian writer who is famous for being vocal against terrorist ideologies and criticizing hardliners

New Delhi, July 09, 2017: The fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim’s well-known confidant, Chota Shakeel, and his close aide were planning to assassinate the prolific Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah before the police spoiled such plans.

The Delhi Police’s Special Cell has arrested Chota Shakeel’s aide who had reportedly received 1.5 lakh for the killing of writer Tarek Fatah. The arrested, Junaid Chaudhary, was nabbed on June 07 in Northeast Delhi, mentioned PTI report.

Junaid, son of a milkman, lived in Gokalpuri area in northeast Delhi. At age 21, he was a student of class XII from an open school.

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Tarek Fatah is a vocal critique of terrorist ideologies and extremism. There have often been cases where his statements have been considered controversial. He strongly opposes terrorism.

A pistol with four live cartridges was found on the Junaid, the arrested person. He also had arranged for additional weapons from western Uttar Pradesh. A few youths were also recruited for the plan. Junaid has been arrested before in June last year with 4 other youth for money sent in hawala by Chota Shakeel. He had also received arms and ammunitions. The plan was to kill Swami Chakrapani, the Hindu Mahasabha chief at that time.

Junaid got out on bail after four months, after which he contacted Shakeel again.

prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

 

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Whether Extremism in E. Libya Will End After Derna Capture Or Not?

Haftar's army could wrench Derna from a coalition of local and Islamist fighters

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A view of destroyed buildings and cars after the street was controlled by forces loyal to Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar in Derna, Libya, June 13, 2018.
A view of destroyed buildings and cars after the street was controlled by forces loyal to Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar in Derna, Libya, June 13, 2018. VOA

Forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) are poised to capture the last remaining city outside of their control in eastern Libya, after weeks of heavy fighting, bombardment and airstrikes, and after years of siege.

Haftar’s army could wrench Derna from a coalition of local and Islamist fighters known as the Derna Protection Force, formerly known as the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council.

“What remains outside the control of our forces is considered a small combat zone, less than just 10 kilometers squared,” LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari told Reuters earlier this week. “The operations are in their final stages and the fighting is very heavy.”

Last month, Haftar’s forces renewed their offensive “to liberate Derna from terrorists.” Few experts, however, believe the city’s capture will be the end for jihadists in Libya.

Libya, Map
Libya, Map, Pixabay

“The fight against extremism is only going to be symbolically won by any LNA [Libyan national Army] takeover of Derna, or any other city for that matter,” said Darine El Hage, regional program officer at U.S. Institute of Peace’s Center for Middle East and Africa.

“Indeed, evidence has shown that grievances stemming from heavy-handed military and security measures might make people more susceptible to joining extremist groups,” she told VOA.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies based in Washington, said “if the LNA captures Derna and expels jihadists from the city, they will not be finished in Libya.”

“Jihadists already have a presence in the south of the country, among other areas,” he added.

 An armed motorcade belonging to members of Derna's Islamic Youth Council, consisting of former members of militias from the town of Derna, drive along a road in Derna, eastern Libya Oct. 3, 2014.
An armed motorcade belonging to members of Derna’s Islamic Youth Council, consisting of former members of militias from the town of Derna, drive along a road in Derna, eastern Libya Oct. 3, 2014. VOA

‘Escalating humanitarian crisis’

This week, both the United Nations and the human rights group Amnesty International sounded the alarm over the escalating humanitarian crisis in Derna.

“From the people we have spoken to inside Derna, they have explained that the situation is quite dire,” said Marwa Mohammed, Libya researcher with Amnesty International, in an interview with VOA.

“They’ve had very, very limited supplies that had gotten in, and that includes foodstuffs, medical supplies, fuel, cooking gas,” she said.

Amnesty International had earlier in the week issued a statement on the fighting in Derna, in which the human rights watchdog said unnecessary hardships are being inflicted on ordinary men, women and children by the use of “blockade tactics.”

According to Mohammed, people are afraid to flee Derna “because we do know there are people who are being arbitrarily detained, based on their profile” of being male and from Derna. After that, she said they disappear.

“What we are calling for is the protection of civilians, giving them free access to flee without been profiled,” said Mohammed.

‘Permissive environment’

With the Libyan National Army getting set to declare victory in Derna, many observers are pondering whether Haftar is considering something other than his stated goal of freeing Derna from the clutches of terrorists.

Khalifa Haftar (C), the military commander who dominates eastern Libya, leaves after an international conference on Libya in Paris, France, May 29, 2018.
Khalifa Haftar (C), the military commander who dominates eastern Libya, leaves after an international conference on Libya in Paris, France, May 29, 2018. VOA

“It is difficult to identify one single reason behind the timing of the battle,” said El Hage of USIP’s Center for Middle East and Africa.

“The underlying root causes that allow for radicalization in or outside of Derna, are not won by military victories, at least not for the long term,” she said.

Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, says the best-case scenario, from a humanitarian and strategic point of view, is for the fighting in Derna to end quickly. If it gets drawn out, he said jihadists will be able to regroup and build their networks.

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“Libya will remain a permissive environment until a political entity emerges with the will and capability to deny jihadists the ability to operate,” he said.