Iran arrests 10 suspects in suicide bombing that killed two

A suicide bomber killed at least two people outside the police headquarters in the port city of Chabahar in restive southeastern Iran, according to a revised official toll. (AFP)
Updated 09 December 2018
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Iran arrests 10 suspects in suicide bombing that killed two

  • “Good clues have been obtained and hopefully with the public’s cooperation ... we will get to the main leads,” according to Iranian police chief
  • At least 48 people were also injured in Thursday’s suicide car bomb attack by a Sunni militant group on a police headquarters in the port city of Chabahar in southeast Iran

DUBAI: Iranian security forces have detained 10 people suspected of links to a suicide car bomb attack this week that killed at least two policemen, police chief Hossein Ashtari said on Sunday.
“Good clues have been obtained and hopefully with the public’s cooperation ... we will get to the main leads,” Ashtari was quoted by the state news agency IRNA as saying.
More suspects have been identified and are being sought, Ashtari added.
At least 48 people were also injured in Thursday’s suicide car bomb attack by a Sunni militant group on a police headquarters in the port city of Chabahar in southeast Iran, according to state media.
While suicide bombings are rare in Iran, Sunni militant groups have carried out several attacks on security forces in recent years in Sistan-Baluchestan province, where Chabahar is located.
The province is home to a Sunni minority in the largely Shiite country, and it has also long been plagued by violence from both drug smugglers and separatists.
The US-based SITE Intelligence Group and Iranian state media reported that Sunni Baluch militant group Ansar Al-Furqan had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Iran has threatened to hit militant bases in neighboring Pakistan unless Islamabad took action to secure its border area, which Tehran says has become a safe haven for anti-Iran groups to operate.


US weighing options on American Daesh sympathizer in Syria

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands guard on top of a building on February 17, 2019, in the frontline Syrian village of Baghuz. (AFP)
Updated 20 February 2019
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US weighing options on American Daesh sympathizer in Syria

  • Neither option would likely pass muster in the cases of US citizens, who enjoy strong legal protections under the Constitution

WASHINGTON: The United States said Tuesday it wanted to ensure foreign terrorists remain off the battlefield as it weighed options on an American detained in Syria who says she wants to return home.
The United States has urged European powers to take back hundreds of their citizens who fought with the Daesh group in Syria, but acknowledged the situation was complex in the rare case of an American terrorist.
Hoda Muthana, a 24-year-old from Alabama who became a prominent online agitator for the extremists, said in an interview published Sunday with The Guardian that she had been brainwashed online and “deeply regrets” joining the movement.
While declining to discuss Muthana’s case specifically, State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said that the status of US citizens detained in Syria “is by definition extremely complicated.”
“We’re looking into these cases to better understand the details,” he told reporters.
Palladino said that the United States generally did not see a different solution between what to do with US fighters and with foreigners, saying the fighters pose “a global threat.”
“Repatriating these foreign terrorist fighters to their countries of origin, ensuring that they are prosecuted and detained — that’s the best solution, preventing them from returning to the battlefield,” he said.
The situation of foreign terrorists detained by US-allied Kurdish forces has taken a new urgency as President Donald Trump plans to withdraw US troops from Syria.
The Syrian Democratic Forces say they may have to refocus on fighting Turkey, which has vowed to crush Kurdish fighters it links to separatists at home.
Trump has contemplated reopening the US military base at Guantanamo Bay to take in new foreign inmates, while Britain on Tuesday revoked the citizenship of a female terrorsist who wanted to return home with her newborn baby.
Neither option would likely pass muster in the cases of US citizens, who enjoy strong legal protections under the Constitution.
Muthana, who was married three times to terrorists and has a son with one of her husbands, fled her family in 2014 to join the Daesh group in Syria, where she took to Twitter to urge attacks on fellow Americans.
In the interview with The Guardian, Muthana said that she was “really young and ignorant” when she joined Daesh and has since renounced radicalism.
“I believe that America gives second chances. I want to return and I’ll never come back to the Middle East,” she told the newspaper.
Hassan Shilby, a lawyer for Muthana, told ABC television’s “Good Morning America” that the young woman had been “brainwashed and manipulated” and is “absolutely disgusted” by the person she became.