COVID-19 may reduce pro-IS activity, but attacks still possible: IPAC

first_imgThe COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to reducing the activity of the Islamic State (IS) group in the country, as highlighted by the latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).However, there remains the possibility of IS supporters launching attacks against the Indonesian government as it battles to contain the outbreak nationwide.The IPAC highlighted a decreasing level of IS supporters’ activity, reflected in the low number of arrests against terror suspects during the first months of 2020. It also argued that the reduced activity might be caused by IS sympathizers reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak by staying at home to wait for the end of the world as foretold in Islamic prophecies, rather than carrying out jihad operations.The supporters, it added, viewed the COVID-19 outbreak as a thaun (plague) mentioned in various hadiths. When the plague comes, Muslims are told by the hadiths to stay at home and be patient. If they eventually die of the disease, they will still be considered a martyr.“The IS supporters who take this view tend to choose to stay at home and not carry out jihad operations [amaliyah] – especially if they get the same heavenly reward by doing so,” the report suggests.Read also: What impact is COVID-19 having on Middle East conflicts? Others have seen the outbreak as a sign of the end of time, which occurred before the dukhan, which refers to a hot cloud that will cover parts of the Earth for 40 days and nights. Its appearance is believed to precede the coming of Imam Mahdi, the Islamic messiah.“The IS supporters who take this view believe the pandemic is a dress rehearsal for the dukhan,” the report read.“This second group will also take no action. They prefer to stay at home and train family members in preparation for the end of time, which they believe is imminent.”Despite the reduced activities, IPAC noted there was still a possibility for IS supporters to see the outbreak as an opportunity to launch attacks, as they see the Indonesian government as being in a state of weakness while trying to contain the disease.The report suggested that a possible method of attack would be to use IS supporters who were already infected with the virus to try and deliberately infect those they considered their enemies, such as police officers.In addition, the study predicted that IS supporters could also seek to join insurgent groups in the country that are currently active in recruiting members, as the government’s attention has been diverted to containing the outbreak.The same strategy was used after the Aceh tsunami in 2004, Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006 and Palu earthquake and tsunami in 2018.Authorities were also urged to watch the extremist inmates in Indonesian detention centers and prisons, as the prison population is deemed vulnerable to the disease.Violent unrest could be sparked off once the word on COVID-19 positive cases in prison spread, especially when prison healthcare systems are deemed inadequate to handle the disease, IPAC went on to say.Read also: Overcrowded regional prisons release inmates early to limit contagionThe IPAC suggests that Indonesian authorities also monitor fundraising efforts through online charities or religious organizations in connection with the outbreak, including appeals for protective equipment for healthcare workers.“Most of the private fundraising efforts taking place in connection with the pandemic are going to be legitimate, but over the last two decades, what has happened in Indonesia is that whenever disasters occur, extremists seek to benefit.”Law enforcement agencies were urged to remain vigilant during the pandemic by, among other measures, developing guidelines on procedures for handling unrest in penitentiaries as well as anticipating attempted escapes.The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) would also need to watch out for fundraising efforts for terror activities in the name of humanitarian assistance, the IPAC concluded.Topics :last_img read more

Wolf Administration Approves Funding for 136 Revitalization Projects Aimed at Improving Distressed Areas

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter December 17, 2018 Wolf Administration Approves Funding for 136 Revitalization Projects Aimed at Improving Distressed Areascenter_img Economy,  Human Services,  Infrastructure,  Press Release Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of nearly $18 million in tax credits through the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) to support 136 community revitalization projects across the commonwealth. NAP encourages private sector investment into projects that will help improve distressed communities.“Fostering public-private collaboration and encouraging investment are some of the best ways we can revitalize low-income areas,” Governor Wolf said. “When we lift up our distressed communities, we lift up the entire commonwealth.”The tax credits will support:Thirteen community investments in the central region of Pennsylvania in Adams, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Perry, and York countiesForty-three community investments in the southwest region of Pennsylvania in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Washington, and Westmoreland countiesThirty-five community investments in the southeast region of Pennsylvania in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia countiesSix community investments in the northeast region of Pennsylvania in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, and Wyoming countiesTwenty-six community investments in the northwest region of Pennsylvania in Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Venango, and Warren countiesThirteen community investments in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania in Berks, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Northumberland countiesThe new approvals raise the four-year total under the Wolf administration to nearly $72 million in NAP tax credits supporting 480 projects statewide. The investment will result in more than $305.4 million in additional funds leveraged through corporate contributions.NAP provides tax credits to businesses that donate capital to support projects that address neighborhood and community problems – particularly in low-income areas that need it most. NAP can be used for projects in categories including affordable housing, community services, crime prevention, education, job training, charitable food, blight, special population issues, veteran’s initiatives, and long-term community revitalization.NAP has five main components: the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP), Special Program Priorities (SPP), the Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP), the Charitable Food Program (CFP), and the Enterprise Zone Program (EZP). A description of each of these components is available within the NAP fact sheet.For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to community development, visit the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.last_img read more

3 Vehicle Car Crash Causes Small Fire, Sends 2 Passengers to MidMichigan Medical Alpena

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisA car crash caused five o’clock rush hour to go into a halt.It was a crazy evening and unexpected scene if you were headed home earlier this afternoon after three cars collided causing a small fire inside of one of the vehicles on Hobbs Drive near Grant Street.According to Michigan State Police the fire was put out shortly after the crash. One person was treated at the scene and released and two others were sent to MidMichigan Medical Center Alpena with non-life threatening injuries.The car crash is still being investigated at this time. We’ll update you when we learn more details.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Junior high students get a crash course on financialsNext Disturbing photos of PFAS contamination continue to surface at Van Etten Lakelast_img read more

MLB trade rumors: Astros ‘working hard to acquire’ Mets starter Zack Wheeler

first_img MLB trade rumors: Mets may want Andrew Benintendi from Red Sox for Edwin Diaz The Astros appear to be interested in Zack Wheeler.Houston is “working hard to acquire” the 29-year-old starter from the Mets, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites multiple unidentified league sources.  MLB trade rumors: Padres’ offer for Noah Syndergaard includes multiple major-league players “We can win a seven-game series against any playoff team right now,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said last week, via the Houston Chronicle . “That doesn’t mean there’s not going to be an opportunity that presents itself to bring in another starter who could be a playoff rotation starter. We’re looking at them.”The Mets, meanwhile, acquired right-hander Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays on Sunday in exchange for two pitching prospects, yet they’re reportedly still looking to move Wheeler, who holds a 7-6 record with a 4.71 ERA in 20 starts so far in 2019.“You hear it and see it,” Wheeler said recently about the trade rumors, via MLB.com . “But my concentration is here, doing my job. Whatever happens, happens. You can’t control it. You’re going to try to do the best you can whenever you go out there.”The righty has spent his entire MLB career with the Mets and will be a free agent after the season. MLB trade rumors: Dodgers ‘still in play’ to land Mets’ Edwin Diaz The Astros had been pursuing New York starter Noah Syndergaard, but “backed off” because they did not want prospect Kyle Tucker to be included in the deal, according to an earlier report from The Athletic.Houston entered play Tuesday leading the American League West with a 68-39 record. However, they lack depth in their rotation behind Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley. Related News “Honestly, I hate change,” Wheeler told The Athletic last month. “I’m a homebody. I like the group of guys we’ve got here. … I can’t tell you how many years my name has been in trade talks. I’m kind of used to it right now. But it never gets easy.”The Mets head into action Tuesday six games out of the second National League wild-card spot. They also sent starter Jason Vargas to the Phillies earlier in the week.last_img read more