Buhari replies CAN, says ‘I won’t tolerate politicisation of religion’ – Daily Nigerian

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration would never tolerate politicization of religion in whatever form.

The President stated this in reaction to the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, call to deploy every available resources for the rescue of all Christian hostages by the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, terrorists.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu said the security agencies are working hard to rescue people held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgents and reunite them with their families.

“The security forces of Nigeria are working continuously to return those taken hostage by Boko Haram to their families, friends, and communities. In doing this, the government has full confidence in their ability to accomplish the task.

“On its own part, the government has condemned some of the appalling acts of terror, especially following the festive period.  Yet, to continue to see these happenings solely in religious terms – removed from social, economic and environmental factors – simplifies complexities that must be heeded.

“Not seeing them as they should be is exactly what the terrorists and groups wish: they want Nigerians to see their beliefs as a reason to turn against one another.

“On the contrary, Christians and Muslims alike are united in their opposition to Boko Haram and the hatred for decency that the infamous group stands for.

“Nigerians must continue to be united in ensuring that they do not subscribe to the terrorists’ message of division. Unfortunately, some leaders and politicians seek to make political capital from our religious differences.

“As we fight Boko Haram on the ground, so too must we tackle their beliefs: stability and unity in face of their hatred is itself a rejection of their worldview.

“This government shall never tolerate religious intolerance. We clearly and unambiguously restate our support for the freedom to practice whichever belief you wish. The politicisation of religion – as forbidden by the constitution – has no place in Nigeria,” the statement added.

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Boko Haram Behead Christian Bride, Bridal Party En route to Wedding

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Every member of the bridal party for the bride-to-be, Martha Bulus, was killed by Boko Haram extremists on Dec. 26 at Gwoza, in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

A jihadist insurgency affiliated with Boko Haram brutally murdered a Christian bride and her bridal party days before her wedding, a spokesperson for a Catholic diocese in Nigeria has confirmed.

Father Francis Arinse, the communications director for the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri, told the Catholic News Service that every member of the bridal party for the bride-to-be, Martha Bulus, was killed by Boko Haram extremists on Dec. 26 at Gwoza, in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state.

Arinse said the bridal party was traveling from Maiduguri to Bulus’ country home in Adamawa at the time they were killed.

Bulus’ wedding was scheduled to take place on New Year’s Eve in Adamawa state.

“They were beheaded by suspected Boko Haram insurgents at Gwoza on their way to her country home,” Arinse was quoted as saying, according to Christian Post.

According to Arinse, Bulus used to attend St. Augustine Catholic Church in Maiduguri when he was first ordained.

The alleged murders of Bulus and her friends came just a day after the murder of 11 Christian aid workers by the Islamic extremists after being taken hostage in Maiduguri and Damaturu.

The terror group known as the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a breakaway group of Boko Haram affiliated with the Islamic Satte in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), claimed responsibility. A 56-second video was published by the Islamic States’ propaganda media arm, Amaq News Agency, showing one of the aid workers being shot and 10 others beheaded.

The terror group claimed that the killing of the 11 aid workers was revenge for the killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi thanks to U.S. military operations last October.

In the video, captives were shown pleading for the Christian Association of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue them.

Arinse also told the Catholic News Service that there have been a series of abductions in the Maiduguri area recently, and called on government agencies to improve security in northeast Nigeria.

Last month, the U.S. State Department listed Nigeria on its “special watch list,” designating it among countries that have “severe violations of religious freedom” because of the Nigerian government’s inability to thwart an increase in violence and abductions carried out in various areas of the country.

“We are designating [Nigeria] special watch list for the first time because of all of the increasing violence and communal activity and the lack of effective government response and the lack of judicial cases being brought forward in that country,” U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback told reporters in December.

“It is a dangerous situation in too many parts of Nigeria. The government has either not been willing to or have been ineffective in their response and the violence continues to grow.”

The U.K.-based nongovernmental organization Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust issued a report in November claiming that at least 1,000 Christians were killed by Fulani and Boko Haram extremists in 2019 while as many as 6,000 have been killed since 2015.

Would you pray for Christians living in Nigeria? Please pray they will receive peace and comfort, and that one day they’ll be able to practice their faith openly without fear of death.

Nigeria ranks as the 12th-worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List.

Borno Christians Among The World Most Persecuted

The post Boko Haram Behead Christian Bride, Bridal Party En route to Wedding appeared first on Believers Portal.

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ISIS confirms death of its ‘caliph’, al-Baghdadi, names new leader

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…as it warns America ‘not to rejoice’ in the death of its leadership

ISIS has confirmed the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after the self-appointed ‘caliph’ died during a U.S. special forces raid in Syria last weekend.

In an audio statement today the terror group named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as its new leader.

The jihadists also confirmed the death of their former spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir in a separate operation.

READ ALSO: ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi was sold out by wife

The message today is the first official statement from ISIS since Donald Trump announced Baghdadi’s death five days ago.

‘We mourn you… commander of the faithful’, said new ISIS spokesman Abu Hamza al-Quraishi.

However, the extremists warned America not to ‘rejoice’ in the death of two senior ISIS figures.

‘America, don’t you realize that the Islamic State is now at the forefront of Europe and West Africa? It is extended from the East to the West,’ the statement said.

Warning that ISIS was not limited to the Middle East, the terrorists vowed that their extremist ‘mission’ would continue.

ISIS fanatics were also urged to heed Baghdadi’s words in his final recorded message in September when he urged his followers to break imprisoned ISIS members out of prison.

More than 10,000 ISIS prisoners are being held in Syria while another camp is home to some 70,000 people, mainly relatives of the extremists.

Terror expert Rita Katz said the message showed that ISIS’s online operations were ‘alive and well’ despite Baghdadi’s death.

‘We should expect to see a campaign for this message spanning various platforms, accompanied by pledges from across the world,’ she said today.

The appointment of al-Qurayshi as the new ISIS leader contradicts rumours that Baghdadi’s former security henchman Abdullah Qardash was set to take the top job.

Qardash, a former officer in Saddam Hussein’s army, had met Baghdadi in a U.S. prison in Iraq after the American invasion in 2003.

On Telegram, a messaging service, the Amaq news agency linked to ISIS has continued to post claims of attacks in the Middle East.

Baghdadi died after fleeing into a network of underground bunkers and tunnels that snaked through the compound in Syria, Trump revealed on Sunday.

The terrorist leader wore a suicide vest and dragged along three children as he fled from the American troops who had arrived by helicopter from Iraq.

Trump said that as U.S. troops and their dogs closed in, the militant went ‘whimpering and crying and screaming all the way’ to his death.

‘He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down,’ Trump said. ‘He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children.’

Trump also declared two days ago that Baghdadi’s ‘number one replacement’ had been ‘terminated’, apparently referring to spokesman Muhajir.

Muhajir was killed on Sunday in a joint raid between Kurdish-led and U.S. forces in northern Syria, a State Department official confirmed on Monday.

Russia had previously voiced doubts about whether Baghdadi was really dead after numerous false rumours of his death over the years.

The American troops had confirmed his identity by matching his DNA to an Iraqi prison where he was held 15 years ago.

Baghdadi had been detained in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion which toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The operation against Baghdadi has already prompted fears of revenge attacks by followers of the terrorist leader.

A military operation led by Kurdish fighters in the Syrian Democratic Forces reduced  Baghdadi’s so-called ‘caliphate’ to nothing earlier this year.

However, Baghdadi was widely seen as a figurehead rather than a day-to-day leader and his followers are still capable of mounting attacks.

Small units of fighters have since gone underground and continued to carry out guerrilla-style attacks in the region.

Security has been tightened at ISIS prisons in northern Syria where Kurdish guards were said to be on ‘high alert’.

Baghdadi had urged his followers to break ISIS fanatics out of prison in the last weeks of his life.

There are also fears that ‘sleeper cells’ around the world will carry out reprisals, and Britain and France have both stepped up security.  (Dailymail)

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CIA stole Baghdadi’s underpants –Fresh details of how ISIS leader was tracked down to death

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Fresh details have surfaced about the US special forces operation that led to the weekend death in Syria of Islamic State elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on which there was a $25million bounty.
One of the details was that a CIA mole around al-Baghdadi at a time, stole his underpants that he handed over for DNA test.
US officials said Baghdadi’s body has been buried at sea, just like Osama bin Laden’s body was buried in 2011 during Barack Obama’s tenure as US leader.
Syrian Kurds claimed to be a key source of the intelligence that led Americans to Baghdadi after years of tracking the man behind a five-year reign of terror across much of Iraq and Syria.
And an unnamed US military dog became an unlikely hero of the raid, incurring injuries as it chased Baghdadi down a dead-end tunnel underneath his northwestern Syria hideout, where the jihadist blew himself and three children up with a suicide vest.
The US military basked in success Monday after eliminating the founder and spiritual guide of the Islamic State (IS) group, capping a years-long campaign to crush the Sunni Muslim extremist organization that had at one point created a “caliphate” the size of England.
“His death marks a devastating blow to the remnants of (IS),” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
He praised the nearly hundred-strong force that helicoptered to the rural compound in the Idlib region of Syria in a complex mission that required coordination with Russians, Kurds, Turks and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to prevent US aircraft from being fired upon.
“They executed the raid in all of its facets brilliantly,” Esper said.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said no one was injured in the operation, despite the US team taking fire when they arrived.
They took two men prisoner, and Baghdadi’s body was taken to a secure facility for a DNA test that would confirm his identity, Milley said.
“The disposal of his remains has been done, is complete and was handled appropriately,” he added, saying it was handled “in accordance with the law of armed conflict.”
Another Pentagon official confirmed that Baghdadi’s body was put into the sea at an unnamed location, similar to the 2011 sea burial of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after his death in a US special forces raid in Pakistan.
A Kurdish official said an inside source the group oversaw was responsible for leading US forces to Baghdadi’s hideout, helping to map out the interior of the compound, its staffing, as well as making it possible for them to identify Baghdadi.
“Since 15 May, we have been working together with the CIA to track al-Baghdadi and monitor him closely,” said Polat Can, a senior adviser to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
The group had an informant who was able to infiltrate Baghdadi’s house.
“Al-Baghdadi changed his places of residence very often,” he said on Twitter.
“Our intelligence source was involved in sending co-ordinates, directing the airdrop, participating in and making the operation a success until the last minute,” Polat Can said.
The source also “brought al-Baghdadi’s underwear to conduct a DNA test and make sure (100%) that the person in question was al-Baghdadi himself,” he said.

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