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Continued vigilance against terrorism is required: Canadian PM

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Ottawa: Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism and so “continued vigilance is essential”, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said.

Harper made the remarks on Tuesday while laying a wreath in the Hall of Honour to mark the “National day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism” observed to honour those killed in the 1985 Air India bombing.

An Air India flight flying from Toronto to London crashed off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 people on board. Most of the dead were Canadians of Indian origin.

Sikh extremists were blamed for the bombing.

Harper said that he cannot help but cast his mind back to the Canadians who perished in Air India Flight 182 and in the World Trade Centre attacks and to the many terrorist activities foiled by the vigilance of Canadian security agencies. The recollections serve as a reminder that Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism and that continued vigilance is essential.

Addressing a gathering in parliament building here, he said it was a terror attack that killed the 329 passengers and crew members aboard Air India.

“On this sombre anniversary, we stand in solidarity with the friends and families who lost loved ones in that heinous attack and honour those lost.  We were deeply moved by this solemn tribute as well as by our meeting the kin of the victims,” he added.

Among the kin of the victims present was Susheel Gupta, whose mother Ramvati died in the bombing. Gupta said he regretted that his children would not be able to meet their grandmother.

Meanwhile, a memorial service in Ireland was attended by India’s Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan and Canadian Minister of Justice Peter MacKay.

(IANS)

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The Son Of The Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi Dies: IS

Al-Baghdadi's fate is still unknown

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This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son.
This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son. VOA

The son of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died in a suicide attack mission in the city of Homs in western Syria, according to the IS media al-Nashir News.

Posting the photograph of a young boy, purportedly Hudhayfah al-Badri, al-Baghdadi’s son, the outlet said he lost his life in an operation against the Russian forces deployed in Homs and the Syrian government forces, referred to as Nusayriyyah by IS.

“Hudhayfah al-Badri (may Allah accept him), the son of the Caliph (may Allah safeguard him), was killed in an inghimasi [suicide] operation against the Nusayriyyah and the Russians at the thermal power station in Homs Willayah,” the news outlet reported.

Inghimasi refers to suicide operations in which a fighter, clad with explosive belt and armed with regular weapons, attacks an enemy position before detonating himself to inflict as much damage on the enemy as possible.

The U.S. military said it has seen the reports of al-Badri’s death but declined any confirmation.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on an attack on forces outside the Coalition. We have nothing more to provide,” U.S. Central Command told VOA.

An Iraqi national, al-Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim Awad al-Badri, announced the Islamic State caliphate in the city of Mosul in June 2014 and made himself its caliph. The leader has since become the world’s most wanted man, with a $25 million bounty on his head.

Islamic Terrorism in NYC
Bicycles and debris lay on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. VOA

Al-Baghdadi’s fate is still unknown, with various reports claiming his death and injury several times, including a claim by the Russian Defense Ministry that he might have been hit by a Russian airstrike in 2017.

Those claims have been rejected by U.S. officials and the whereabouts of the elusive leader remain unknown.

Al-Baghdadi’s infamous role in IS has put a spotlight on his family. In March 2014, al-Baghdadi’s wife, Sujidah al-Dulaimi, was released, along with her two sons and daughter, in exchange for 13 nuns taken captive by al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front militants.

Also read: Will the Latest Message From Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Provoke New Attacks in the West?

It was reported that only the girl was al-Baghdadi’s daughter. The two boys belonged to a man his wife had married before meeting al-Baghdadi. (IANS)