YEAR IN REVIEW 2017: Islamic coalition vows to ‘wipe terrorists from face of the earth’

Updated 31 December 2017
0

YEAR IN REVIEW 2017: Islamic coalition vows to ‘wipe terrorists from face of the earth’

JEDDAH: Leaders of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) hope their alliance will be the best global terror-fighting organization.
During their first meeting in Riyadh, they revealed that they had institutional plans and strategies aimed at drying up the sources of terrorism and cutting off its financing.
The IMCTC also pledged to correct perceptions and discredit radical narratives as terrorist organizations had falsified the meaning of jihad in Islam.
In November, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated a high-profile meeting in the Saudi capital where top defense officials from the IMCTC agreed to boost its military capabilities to dismantle terrorist organizations.
In his keynote speech, the crown prince vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth.”
He also said that the greatest danger terrorism and extremism have achieved was not the killing of innocents or the spread of hatred (but) the distorting of the Islamic faith.
The prince added: “Today we began to pursue terrorism, and today we see defeats in many countries around the world, especially in Islamic countries, and we shall be those who assure its disappearance from the face of the earth.”
Two days later, King Salman, chairing a Cabinet session, supported the crown prince’s statement about the need to track down terrorism and eradicate it in all its forms and manifestations. The Cabinet also praised the final declaration of the IMCTC meeting.
Under the slogan “Allied against terrorism,” the Riyadh conference also agreed to step up cooperation to cut off financial support to terror groups, and stressed the importance of empowering the media and investing in digital platforms to combat deviant ideology and propaganda.
The final declaration stressed the important role of the military in combating terrorism, enhancing security and peace in the coalition member countries, and contributing to regional and international security and peace.
It also underscored that terrorism had become deadlier than ever, especially in the Islamic world, which is suffering from heavy losses of lives and property to terrorism which has shattered the dreams of broad sectors of societies trying to live in peace and tranquility.
The ministers, who reaffirmed their determination to work with every possible means to confront extremism and terrorism, emphasized the importance of draining the sources of terrorist financing. They also called for more actions to improve compliance with international standards.
IMCTC military commander Gen. Raheel Sharif said the greatest challenge to peace and stability in the 21st century, especially in the Islamic world, is to address the most serious phenomenon in the world “terrorism.”
He added that terrorist organizations have falsified the concept of jihad in Islam in order to achieve their destructive goals.
He said that they would develop, produce and publish factual media content for dialogue to correct perceptions and discredit radical narratives.
Sharif said that IMCTC would endeavor to dry up all types of financial support to terrorist organizations.
The defense ministers of the 41-member coalition expressed their deep appreciation for the Kingdom’s efforts in forming the coalition, and for hosting the inaugural meeting.
They also expressed their gratitude to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for presiding over the meeting.
It is noteworthy to mention that Saudi Arabia announced the 41-state IMCTC in December 2015. In March 2016, chiefs of staff from Muslim countries met in Riyadh and affirmed their insistence to unite efforts in fighting terrorism through joint work.


All eyes on Mina as Hajj begins today

A Hajj security man takes care of a child. Security forces have been deployed around the clock to deal with all emergency cases. (SPA)
Updated 13 min 37 sec ago
0

All eyes on Mina as Hajj begins today

JEDDAH: Around 2 million pilgrims arrived in the Holy Land from outside and inside the Kingdom in preparation to set out from Makkah for Mina.
They will retrace the noble tradition of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and spend the Tarwiyah Day on Sunday in Mina. Here they will make final preparations for the Standing (Wuquf) at Arafat, which marks the climax of the annual pilgrimage, on Monday.
To be able to serve the pilgrims and enable them to perform Hajj rituals with ease and comfort, the government and private sectors concerned with Hajj and pilgrim affairs intensify their preparations, under the direct supervision of Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, adviser to King Salman, the governor of Makkah region and chairman of the Central Hajj Committee, and followed up by his deputy, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar.
The Ministry of Health will provide intensive and continuous health services supported by skillful human cadres and state-of-the-art medical technologies, in order to provide the best health services for pilgrims. The Ministry of Health has employed a total of 29,495 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and technicians to provide extensive health care to the pilgrims.
According to the ministry, its manpower during the Hajj consists of 780 consultants in various medical specializations, 1,248 specialists; 2,718 general practitioners; 1,428 pharmacists; 3,553 nurses; 1,173 technicians and lab specialists; 198 specialists in nutrition; 5,587 administrators; 165 engineers; and 1,491 ambulance drivers.
The General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque will operate and maintain all technical devices and systems of lighting, air-conditioning and ventilation, sound and control systems, cameras, communication devices and electrical stairs, buildings and libraries in the Two Holy Mosques.
Air-conditioning has been installed in the basement and ground floor and many other areas. Thousands of fans have been installed in the Two Holy Mosques and their yards.
The area around the Two Holy Mosques has been equipped with more than 8,441 toilets, as well as more than 6,000 ablution units. All power supply lines have been prepared to make sure there is power 24/7.
More than 10,000 male and female employees will be available to follow up on work and monitor it during Ramadan, in addition to a large number of cleaners.
Among the services also provided by the Presidency are translation of Friday sermons into 10 languages, organization of various scientific programs, and competitions.
A total of 210 doors in the Grand Mosque and 100 doors in the Prophet’s Mosque have been prepared, as well as 28 escalators in the Grand Mosque and four escalators in the Prophet’s Mosque. There are 38 doors for people with special needs and seven for women.
The Saudi Red Crescent deployed 127 emergency centers, 361 ambulances, 20 motorbikes, and more than 1,861 people to work in the ranges of Makkah and Madinah.
There will be 22 operational hospitals in Madinah and the holy sites, 15 temporary emergency centers, supported with more than 87 ambulances and 653 paramedics.
The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs mobilized its human and mechanical capabilities to enable pilgrims to perform their duties in a safe and healthy environment by employing more than 26,000 individuals and 717 mechanisms to implement the hygiene plan in Makkah and the holy sites, as well as specialized field teams to control 33,069 food facilities in Makkah.
Civil defense teams will be deployed around the clock to deal with all emergency cases, where the injuries will be transferred using stretchers and wheelchairs to several medical evacuation sites inside and outside the mosque.
These teams will also be carrying out extraction and rescue operations inside the Holy Mosque and the surrounding area, in addition to providing urgent first aid, and transferring critical cases to the nearest hospitals and health centers, in coordination with the Red Crescent teams around the Holy Mosque. The Hajj security forces leaderships announced their readiness to maintain the security and safety of pilgrims during the pilgrimage season.
The General Command of the Air General Security is supported by all the security services and various government sectors.
In preparation for the Hajj season, the Saudi General Security Aviation Command announced that it has started implementing the first phase of its security plan to ensure the safety of pilgrims in the Kingdom. The aviation command will commence security operations over the holy sites, where special helicopters will monitor the activities surrounding the Hajj season this year. The planes are stationed in the designated locations in Makkah and Madinah from various bases to carry out the tasks assigned to them, namely traffic and security, logistical support for other security bodies, humanitarian services and the monitoring of pilgrims not following the rules.