Russia jails Daesh pair for 15 years over planned attacks

Daesh holding a parade in Raqqa in June, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Updated 11 February 2019
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Russia jails Daesh pair for 15 years over planned attacks

  • Bakhtiyor Makhmudov and Zafarkhon Rakhmatov from Muslim-majority Tajikistan will serve their sentences in a “strict regime camp”

MOSCOW: A Russian court on Monday jailed two members of the Daesh group for 15 years for planning attacks on a mall and public transport in Moscow, news agencies reported.
Bakhtiyor Makhmudov and Zafarkhon Rakhmatov from Muslim-majority Tajikistan will serve their sentences in a “strict regime camp,” a court statement said.
Russia’s FSB security service arrested the duo in December 2017, accusing them of planning suicide bombings over the New Year and during a forthcoming presidential election campaign.
The pair pleaded guilty, the RIA Novosti news agency said.
Almost 2,900 Russian extremists, mainly from Muslim-majority republics in the south of the federation, have fought in Iraq and Syria, according the FSB.
Several thousand others from ex-Soviet Central Asian countries are also believed to have fought in conflicts there.
In 2017, Russia was hit by several terrorist attacks, the most serious of which left 15 dead and many injured in the metro of second city Saint Petersburg.


Palestinians to cut civil servant salaries after Israeli tax freeze

Updated 21 February 2019
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Palestinians to cut civil servant salaries after Israeli tax freeze

  • Israel's security cabinet on Sunday approved the freezing of $138 million (122 million euros) over the PA's payments to the families of prisoners, or prisoners themselves, jailed for attacks on Israelis
  • Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday he would not accept anything but full payment of the tax transfers owed by Israel

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian finance minister on Thursday announced salary cuts for civil servants, days after Israel said it would withhold tens of millions of dollars in tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority.
Israel's security cabinet on Sunday approved the freezing of $138 million (122 million euros) over the PA's payments to the families of prisoners, or prisoners themselves, jailed for attacks on Israelis.
Israel, which collects taxes on behalf of the PA, says the payments encourage further violence.
The PA claims they are a form of welfare to families who have lost their main breadwinner.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday he would not accept anything but full payment of the tax transfers owed by Israel.
The PA, which is already running a deficit, will "pay the salaries of civil servants in time, but they will be reduced", said PA finance minister Shukri Bishara after a meeting with EU representatives in Ramallah.
The cuts will not apply to salaries "paid to pensioners and families of martyrs, wounded or prisoners", he added, adding that wages below 2,000 shekels ($550) would also not be affected.
Many Palestinians view prisoners and those killed while carrying out attacks as heroes in their conflict with Israel. Palestinian leaders often venerate them as martyrs.
Under a 1994 agreement, Israel collects around $190 million each month in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.
The money it then transfers to the PA is the authority's most important source of revenue.
The Palestinians want EU countries to pressure the Israeli government to rescind its decision, said Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy of Abbas's Fatah party.
Palestinian leaders will take steps to "boycott Israeli goods", he said, adding they had already prepared "a list of Israeli products that have local (Palestinian) equivalents".