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We’ve seized 2,700 items from these searches,

including massive amounts of computer data for us

to work through. We’ve received hundreds of uploads of

video images to our online platform. Given this attack was in

the heart of the capital we also, of course, are dealing with

statements from a wide range of nationalities.

Mark Rowley

Counterterror officer







Saudi Gazette, Saturday, March 25, 2017


UN to probe crimes against Rohingya

London attack:

Joining the dots


The top United Na-

tions human rights body agreed

on Friday to send an international

fact-finding mission to investigate

widespread allegations of killings,

rape and torture by security forces

against Rohingya Muslims in

Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

But Myanmar ambassador Htin

Lynn, speaking before the decision

was taken by consensus, rejected

the move as “not acceptable”.

Myanmar’s national commission

had just interviewed alleged vic-

tims who fled to Bangladesh and

would issue its findings by August,

he said.

The UN Human Rights Coun-

cil adopted a resolution without

a vote, brought by the European

Union and supported by countries

including the United States, that

called for “ensuring full account-

ability for perpetrators and justice

for victims”.

AUN report issued last month,

based on interviews with 220

Rohingya among 75,000 who have

fled to Bangladesh since October,

said that Myanmar’s security

forces have committed mass kill-

ings and gang rapes of Rohingya

in a campaign that “very likely”

amounts to crimes against human-

ity and possibly ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar’s Lynn, referring

to the resolution, said: “Such

kind of action is not acceptable to

Myanmar as it not in harmony with

the situation on the ground and our

national circumstances. Let the

Myanmar people choose the best

and the most effective course of

action to address the challenges in


“We will be doing what needs

to be done and we will do it with

great prudence and probity,” he


China and India said they

would “disassociate” themselves

from the consensus, with China’s

delegation saying the issue “cannot

be solved overnight”.

Activists welcomed what

they called a “landmark decision”

by the 47-member forum, while

regretting that it was not a full in-

ternational commission of inquiry,

and called on the government to


“It is unfortunate that the gov-

ernment of Burma/Myanmar has

chosen to disassociate itself from

this resolution,” John Samuel,

Executive Director of FORUM-

ASIA, said in a statement.

“It is important for the National

League for Democracy led govern-

ment in Burma/Myanmar to see

international human rights mecha-

nisms as an ally in its arduous

struggle with the military, which

still maintains effective control in

the country and stands implicated

in allegations of gross violations.

This resolution is a great opportu-

nity for the government to move

in the right direction. It should co-

operate fully with the international

fact finding mission.”

— Reuters


Pakistan passes climate change act

Pakistan’s parliament has passed a climate change bill that officials

promise “will fast-track measures needed to implement actions on the

ground” in a country that has so far lagged on climate action. The new law

establishes a policy-making Climate Change Council, along with a Climate

Change Authority to prepare and supervise the implementation of projects

to help Pakistan adapt to climate impacts and hold the line on climate-

changing emissions. The legislation has received cautious backing from

climate change experts, who say they welcome its potential but question

whether the government should instead be offering more direct support

to provinces to implement environmental projects. Pakistan has earlier

passed measures to address climate change, but most have been little

implemented, critics charge. Pakistan’s Senate passed the Climate Change

Act 2016 this month, following the bill’s passage in the National Assembly

in December. The legislation is expected to be approved by the President

in the coming weeks, a requirement under Pakistan’s constitution.

Pakistan’s federal minister for climate change, Zahid Hamid, called the

legislation “historic” and said it would “fast-track measures needed to

implement actions on the ground.”

— Thomson Reuters Foundation


18 human skeletons recovered

from alleged smugglers in India

Police in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal say they have arrested

eight men involved in smuggling human bones and recovered 18 skeletons

from them. The men were arrested last week after police received a tip

about a smuggling ring involved in removing bones from decomposing

bodies taken from graveyards in Burdwan district of the state. The men

were being questioned to identify others involved in the trade, top police

officer Anuj Sharma said Friday. The bones are used by medical and

science colleges to teach students. India was among the leading exporters

of human skeletons and bones until the trade was banned in 1985. The

ban has pushed the trade underground and smuggling rings are still

trading in human bones, police say.

— AP


Free soup puts 350 in Myanmar

hospital with food poisoning

A free lunch for villagers in southern Myanmar turned sour after it landed

more than a third of the rural community in hospital with food poisoning,

local officials said Friday. Hundreds of villagers from Eain Ta Lone, west

of Yangon, fell ill after eating fish stew served at a Buddhist ceremony to

celebrate the ordination of local novices. The entire 1,000-person village was

bundled over to the nearest hospital, where 367 were admitted for treatment,

said charity worker Wai Lin Aung, who helped to transport the villagers.

Many were vomiting and some described aches and pains all over their

body, he added. “They felt like that after eating stewed hilsa (type of fish)

and cassia soup at the donation.” The sick returned home later on Thursday

and were recovering, Myaung Mya township chief administrator Aung Kyaw

Zaya told AFP. “They are all back in the village now. We are monitoring the

whole village to see if there are any other health problems.” Myanmar has

a poor food safety record and visitors to the country often complain of food

poisoning. Tests of street food in the largest city Yangon reportedly found

around a third of it contained stomach-churning bacteria.



Sydney teenager pleads guilty

to plotting terrorist attack

A Sydney teenager pleaded guilty on Friday to plotting a terrorist attack on

an Australian Veteran’s Day ceremony last year. The then 16-year-old was

arrested and charged with one count of planning a terrorist attack on April 24,

one day before hundreds of thousands of Australians gathered at ceremonies

across the country to mark ANZAC Day. The annual holiday commemorates

the April 25, 1915, Gallipoli landings in Turkey — the first major military action

fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I.

The youth, who cannot be identified because of his age, pleaded guilty in

Parramatta Children’s Court in western Sydney to planning a terrorist act by

trying to source a gun or a bomb-making manual. He will remain in custody

until the case returns to court on April 21.

— AP


UK police are combing through

“massive amounts of computer data” and more

than 2,500 items seized in searches across

the country as they look for clues about why

a British-born man became radicalized and

launched a deadly attack on Parliament

London’s top counterterror officer Mark

Rowley said the attacker, Khalid Masood,

previously used the name Adrian Russell Ajao.

In a briefing outside Scotland Yard he also

announced two more “significant” arrests had

been made. That brings the total number of

people in custody for the Wednesday attack to


“We’ve seized 2,700 items from these

searches, including massive amounts of com-

puter data for us to work through,” Rowley

said, adding that contact had been made with

3,500 witnesses.

“We’ve received hundreds of uploads of

video images to our online platform. Given

this attack was in the heart of the capital we

also, of course, are dealing with statements

from a wide range of nationalities.”

Masood drove his car into crowds of

people on Westminster Bridge on Wednesday

afternoon before stabbing a police officer to

death at the Houses of Parliament. He was

shot dead by police.

Police say three civilians and the police

officer died, while 31 people required hospital


The 52-year-old attacker was born in

southeastern England and had most recently

been living in the central city of Birmingham,

where several properties have been searched

by police.

Rowley said police want “to hear from

anyone who knew Khalid Masood well,

understands who his associates were and can

provide us with information about places he

has recently visited.”

Police believe Masood acted alone, but

Rowley said police are investigating whether

he “acted totally alone inspired by terrorist

propaganda, or if others have encouraged, sup-

ported or directed him.”

Police say Masood has used several aliases

and had a string of convictions between 1983

and 2003 for offenses including assault and

possession of an offensive weapon.

The statue of Winston Churchill is seen in Parliament Square opposite the Houses of Parliament in central London on Friday, two days after the

terror attack. — AFP

Prime Minister Theresa May said Thurs-

day that Masood was “investigated in relation

to concerns about violent extremism” some

years ago. But she called him “a peripheral


“Our investigation focuses on understand-

ing his motivation, his operation and his

associates,” Rowley told reporters.

Born Adrian Russell Ajao in Kent to the

southeast of London on Christmas Day in

1964, he moved though several addresses in

England, although he was known to have lived

recently in Birmingham in central England.

The Daily Mail newspaper said he was

brought up by his single mother in the town of

Rye on England’s south coast, later converting

to Islam and changing his name. Other media

reports said he was a married father of three

and a former English teacher who was into


Known by a number of aliases, he racked

up a string of convictions, but none for

terrorism-related offenses. His occupation was


It was as long ago as November 1983 that

he first came to the attention of authorities

when he was found guilty of causing criminal

damage, while his last conviction came 14

years ago in December 2003 for possession of

a knife.

A former neighbor from Birmingham said:

“When I saw the pictures on TV and in the

papers of the man who carried out the attack,

I recognized him as the man who used to live

next door.”

“He had a young child, who I’d think was

about 5 or 6 years old. There was a woman

living there with him, an Asian woman. He

seemed to be quite nice, he would be taking

care of his garden and the weeds,” Iwona

Romek, 45, told reporters at her home.

In December, she said, he suddenly moved


The car Masood used in Wednesday’s at-

tack had been hired from rental firm Enter-

prise’s Spring Hill branch in Birmingham,

suggesting he still had connections to the area.

Masood may have rented an apartment

close to the Edgbaston area of Birmingham,

not far from the Enterprise offices, and that

was one of the properties raided by armed of-


— Agencies