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Asian American Federation arranges neighbourhood tour of Indo-Caribbean locality Richmond Hill

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Richmond Hill is known for housing multicultural communities. A large Indo-Caribbean community has developed in this area since the 1960s. However, despite existing in large numbers, the Indo-Caribbean community has always been in low-profile, with their needs often being sidelined.

On Thursday, June 25, 2015, the Asian American Federation will be hosting a neighborhood tour of Richmond Hill, Queens in partnership with the Indo-Caribbean Alliance (ICA) to highlight the contributions and needs of the largest Indo-Caribbean community in New York City.

The tour will take place from 2:00-4:00 PM, beginning at the Queens library at Lefferts, located at 103-34 Lefferts Boulevard.

The ICA, one of the few social service agencies serving the Indo-Caribbean community, will guide the tour through the commercial and residential districts of “Little Guyana,” as Richmond Hill is locally known, to discuss the community’s culture, small businesses, and housing issues.

The tour includes stoppage at one of the oldest Hindu temples in NYC, as well as seeing the only collection of Indo-Caribbean literature in the City.

Following the tour, there will be a meeting at the ICA office to discuss the best ways in which the Indo-Caribbean community, which is one of the fastest-growing yet one of the most underserved immigrant communities in the City, can be supported.

Through this event, the Federation aims to bring increased visibility to the Indo-Caribbean community and its pressing needs that must be addressed in order for Richmond Hill to become a thriving neighborhood. Participants will be given a copy of the first-ever neighborhood profile of Richmond Hill to take back to their organizations.

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IS Sudden Claim for New York City Truck Attack Raises Questions on the Collapse of the Group

With IS claiming the New York City truck attack, questions arise on the collapse of the group's self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria

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New York City Attack
The Home Depot Truck being removed after the NYC Attack.VOA.

New York, November 4: Key differences between Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the New York City truck attack and claims for previous terror attacks have caught the eye of counterterror officials, who are trying to determine what it might mean for the state of terror group.

Most notably, they said, the way in which IS issued the claim failed to follow the group’s usual patterns, raising questions about whether the collapse of the group’s self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria was starting to take a toll.

“One of the soldiers of the Islamic State attacked a number of crusaders on a street in New York City,” the group’s weekly al-Naba newsletter said late Thursday, claiming attacker Sayfullo Saipov, 29, as one of its own.

“This is one of the most prominent attacks to target crusaders in America,” al-Naba continued, adding, “[By] the grace of Allah, the operation instilled fear in crusader America.”

But officials and analysts said that it’s rare for IS to make such a claim first in al-Naba.

“It’s not unprecedented, but it is something we’re not used to,” said Raphael Gluck, an independent researcher.

While considered an official IS channel, al-Naba has traditionally been used to follow up on the group’s initial claims, which often come from its Amaq or Nashir news agencies, in multiple languages, via social media.

Relying on those news agencies this time, however, may not have been possible.

“The Amaq news agency has sputtered in recent weeks, and struggled without a website,” Gluck said.

New York City Truck Attack
Police stand near the New York City Truck Attack. VOA.

Statement wording

There are also questions about how the statement in al-Naba was worded, which also differs from wordings in many previous claims.

“The al-Naba story on the New York attack relies exclusively on outside media reporting of the attacks,” according to an analysis done by Ryan Pereira for the Counter Extremism Project.

“Traditionally, Amaq and al-Naba claims for responsibility include language suggesting that a source close to Amaq or a source close to the Islamic State relayed attack details to the group’s media officials,” Pereira wrote.

Nor did the account in al-Naba offer any evidence to substantiate the group’s claim.

Additionally, it has been rare, though not unprecedented, for IS to claim an attacker as a “soldier of the caliphate” if he is still alive.

Another part of the al-Naba statement that caught the attention of counterterror officials was the way it referred to the deadly October 1 shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more.

Al-Naba described the Las Vegas shooting as “the attack carried out by the mujahid brother Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki — may Allah accept him — against a large gathering of crusaders.”

It was not the first time IS had claimed the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, as one of its own, referring to him with an Arabic nom de guerre. But so far, investigators have yet to come forward with any evidence that connects him to IS.

Instead, U.S. counterterror officials have cautioned for months that IS is increasingly opportunistic, even desperate, with one official noting the group has been “stepping up its claims of inspired attacks even in cases that do not appear to be connected to the group.”

And, although they admit IS has been been able to adapt to losses and hardships, some see the claim late Thursday for this week’s attack as possibly falling along those lines. (VOA)