Posts Tagged ‘mosque’

Trump official Gorka derided for US mosque attack claim

August 9, 2017

Trump remains silent but adviser Sebastian Gorka suggests Minnesota attack could have been staged.

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No one was hurt in the attack on a mosque near Minneapolis, Minnesota [AP Photo]

A senior White House official’s suggestion that the bomb attack on a mosque in the US state of Minnesota could have been staged has sparked derision on social media.

Sebastian Gorka, a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, told MSNBC on Tuesday that some recent hate crimes were fake.

He failed to give examples to back his allegations.

The comments led to criticism of the official, who has ties to far-right activists in Hungary and was sacked from a consultancy role by the FBI over his anti-Islam rhetoric, according to US outlet, the Daily Beast.

When asked by anchors whether the White House would be commenting on the Minnesota bombing that took place in the early hours on Saturday, Gorka said it would but only after an investigation into who was behind the attack.

“There’s a great rule, all initial reports are false, you have to check them, you have to find out who the perpetrators are,” said Gorka.

“We’ve had a series of crimes committed, alleged hate crimes by right-wing individuals, in the last six months, which turned out to be actually propagated by the left.”

Sebastian Gorka has ties to a Hungarian far-right order historically linked to the Nazis [Susan Walsh/AP]

“People fake hate crimes in the last six months with some regularity. I think it’s wise to find out what exactly is going on before you make statements,” he added.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which documents hate crimes, noted 1,863 incidents between Trump’s election in November 2016 and April 2017.

In May, two men were killed by a white supremacist in Oregon when they tried to stop him abusing two Muslim girls on a bus.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) noted a 91 percent rise in anti-Muslim hate crime since the start of the year.

The comments by the Trump official on MSNBC prompted criticism online.

FBI investigation

No one was hurt when the explosion happened during morning prayers at the mosque in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis.

The mosque affected has received more than $100,000 in donations after the attack.

The FBI is trying to determine who was behind the explosion and Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton has labelled the incident a “terrorist attack”.

Trump has not spoken about the attack on the place of worship but has posted 26 tweets on topics as varied as “fake news”, the “failing” New York Times, a senator he described as a “con artist”, the ongoing tensions with North Korea, and new job figures.

The US president was criticised on social media after the attack for his silence and his lack of response to other attacks when the perpetrators do not appear to be Muslim.

Far-right links

In April the online magazine Forward published a piece detailing Gorka’s ties to a Hungarian far-right groups that stretched back decades.

Vitezi Rend has historic links to the Nazis during their occupation of Hungary, but Gorka said he “never swore allegiance formally”.

Source: Al Jazeera News

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/trump-official-gorka-derided-mosque-attack-claim-170809071507801.html

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Minnesota mosque explosion: FBI says it is investigating possible hate crime

August 7, 2017

Investigators are looking for suspects in the early-morning attack

By Emily Shugerman New York

The Independent 

The FBI is looking for suspects in an explosion at a Minnesota mosque where worshippers had assembled for morning prayers. Officials are investigating whether the explosion was a hate crime.

The blast went off early Saturday morning at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, according to Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts. A room in the mosque was damaged, but no people were harmed.

Richard Thornton, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis Division, said the blast appeared to have been caused by an improvised explosive device. The FBI recovered pieces of the device from the scene.

The agency is now looking for the person responsible for the explosion, and seeking to determine whether it was a hate crime.

“At this point, our focus is to determine who and why,” Mr Thornton said at a press conference. “Is it a hate crime? Is it an act of terror?”

They FBI have so far interviewed witnesses, sent evidence to labs, and collected video and cellphone data for analysis.

The Bloomington Police thanked the FBI and the community as a whole for their help, tweeting: “Thank you Bloomington community for your kind words & support today. We will always be here for you & will serve to the best of our ability.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke is also aware of the situation, and is in contact with federal and local authorities.

“The Department of Homeland Security fully supports the rights of all to freely and safely worship the faith of their choosing and we vigorously condemn such attacks on any religious institution,” the DHS said in a statement. “We are thankful that there were no injuries, but that does not diminish the serious nature of this act.”

Police, federal authorities investigating early morning explosion at Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. Report came in at 5:05 AM

Neighbours in the sleepy suburb reported waking up to a loud bang on Saturday morning. Windows in the imam’s office at the mosque were shattered, and smoke poured through the building. Asad Zaman, director of the local Muslim American Society, described the attack as a “firebombing”.

Mohamed Omar, the centre’s executive director, said one member saw a pickup truck speeding away from the scene shortly after the explosion. He added that the mosque has received threatening phone calls and emails in the past.

The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes has almost doubled this year compared to the same time period in 2016, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The Council documented 35 attacks on mosques in the first three months of this year.

One regular worshipper at Dar Al-Farooq condemned Saturday’s attacks in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“We came to this country for the same reason everyone else came here — freedom to worship,” said Yasir Abdalrahman. “And that freedom is under threat. Every other American should be insulted by this.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-russia-must-deal-with-conflict-tillerson-says-1502093045?mod=e2fb

FBI: IED caused explosion at Bloomington mosque

August 6, 2017

 

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The FBI says an improvised explosive device is to blame for an explosion at an Islamic center Saturday.

No one was injured in the blast at Dar Al-farooq Islamic Center at about 5:05 a.m.

Bloomington police have handed the investigation over to the FBI Minneapolis Field Office, which held a press conference Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton says now that the device has been identified, the investigation is focused on who and why. He says they cannot answer the question of whether it is a hate crime at this time.

The explosion went off inside an office just before first prayer, according to Bloomington police. Members of the center say there were people inside the building at the time.

Police say there is some damage to the building, including a broken window on the outside. They say it’s not clear whether the explosive was thrown through the window, or the explosion caused the window to break.

There are currently no suspects in custody, and anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI, using option #1.

Bloomington police say the FBI will continue to work closely with them, as well as with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and other partners.

Several people from other local faith groups spoke at a press conference Saturday at noon to show their support for Dar Al-farooq.

“An attack on a mosque is an attack on a synagogue is an attack on a church,” said Curtiss Deyoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches. “It’s an attack on all faith communities. And so we stand with you, a million Protestants in Minnesota.”

Hamdy El-Sawaf, president of the Islamic Community Center of Minnesota board, also gave a message of unity among religious groups.

“We gather together today hands in hands and shoulder to shoulder to give a very clear and precise message,” he said. “We’re not only the Muslims who do have this message, but it is Muslims, Christians, Jews, people of faith all over, we believe that the values of our religion (are) totally, absolutely against what happened today.”

Dar Al-farooq’s executive director, Mohamed Omar, said a congregation member witnessed a truck fleeing at a high speed immediately after the blast.

The Muslim American Society of Minnesota is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement Saturday, saying in part:

“Every place of worship, for all Minnesotans of every faith and culture, must be sacred and safe. My prayers are with the children, families, and faith leaders of the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center today.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar also responded in a statement, saying:

“This is a time for Minnesotans to stand together in opposition to hate. It saddens beyond words to know that someone in our state would set an explosion in a place where children gather every day to learn and play.”

My statement after an early morning explosion was discovered at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington today:

 

© 2017 KARE-TV

http://www.kare11.com/news/explosion-at-bloomington-islamic-center-under-investigation/462157254

Herat mosque blast ‘kills many’ in Afghanistan — At least 50 dead

August 1, 2017

BBC News

A map showing Herat in relation to Kabul within Afghanistan

An explosion at a mosque in the Afghan city of Herat has killed at least 20 people and injured dozens more.

The blast, which struck the Jawadia mosque, coincided with evening prayers at around 20:00 local time (15:30 GMT).

One doctor told the Associated Press news agency that 20 bodies had been transported to his hospital.

Officials said one attacker was a suicide bomber, and a second had been armed with a rifle. Both are dead, a local police spokesperson told AFP.

Reuters also reported grenades were thrown during the attack, citing local police.

A spokesperson for the regional governor told the BBC that the suicide attacker had opened fire inside the mosque before detonating his explosives.

He said around 30 people had been injured and casualty numbers were likely to rise.

The state broadcaster in neighbouring Iran, IRIB, said at least 30 were killed and 50 injured – and reported seven gunmen were involved. The report has yet to be confirmed by local sources in Afghanistan.

No group has said it was behind attack, which occurred in a predominantly Shia Muslim area.

Herat, close to the border with Iran, is considered one of Afghanistan’s more peaceful cities.

The attack there comes one day after a battle at the Iraqi embassy in the capital, Kabul, which also saw gunmen launch an assault following a suicide explosion. So-called Islamic State (IS) said it had carried out that attack.

Graph showing Afghan civilian deaths and injuries 2009-17

Areas dominated by Shia Muslims in Afghanistan have been hit by attacks repeatedly in the past year, by both IS and the Taliban.

Many of the casualties from all walks of live have been civilians, with injury numbers rising for the past five years amid increased attacks.

In May, a huge bombing in the centre of the city killed more than 150 people, the deadliest militant attack in the country since US-led forces ousted the Taliban from power in 2001. It is not clear what the intended target was.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40797016

Image result for Jawadia Mosque, Herat, photos

Relatives assist a wounded man in a hospital after a suicide attack on a mosque in Heart, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. An Afghan hospital official says an explosion inside a minority Shiite mosque in western Herat, on the border with Iran, has killed at least 20 people. Photo: Hamed Sarfarazi, AP

Image result for Jawadia Mosque, Herat, photos

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Suicide bomber targets Shia mosque in Herat city

Death toll from suicide blast at Afghan mosque soars to 50, as mosque packed with worshipers suffers extensive damage.

A police spokesperson said the attack was carried out by two people, one of them was a suicide bomber [Photo courtesy: Bilal Sarwary]

The death toll from a suicide attack at a minority Shia mosque in the western Afghan province of Herat has soared to 50, Jalani Farhad, the provincial governor’s spokesman, has told Al Jazeera.

Mehdi Hadid, a lawmaker from Herat, who went to the site soon after the explosion told The Associated Press that the scene was one of horrific carnage. He estimated at least 100 dead and wounded were scattered throughout the Jawadia Mosque.

Image result for Jawadia Mosque, Herat, photos

Herat Mosque

“At around 8:00pm (1530 GMT) tonight, a terrorist attack was carried out on a mosque in the third security district of Herat city,” Herat police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walizada told AFP news agency.

“Based on our initial information two terrorists were involved one of them wearing a suicide vest, who detonated himself while the second one was armed with a rifle. They are both dead,” he added.

More than 50 people are believed to have been wounded. Many of them were brought to the main hospital in Herat city, the capital of the province.

The attack took place in the middle of evening prayers when the mosque was packed with about 300 worshipers.

Packed with worshipers

Hadid said he rushed to the mosque after hearing about the explosion. He was told the attacker first fired on the private guards outside the mosque before entering. When inside, he fired on the praying worshippers until his rifle jammed then he blew himself up.

Dozens of local residents, who are mostly Shias, attacked the police station pelting it with stones and setting it on fire, said Jalani Farhad, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Shias are a minority in Afghanistan and have been threatened by the affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group that operates in the country’s east.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi has denied responsibility for the deadly attack.

The explosion at the mosque comes a day after an attack on the Iraqi embassy in Kabul, which was claimed by the ISIL group also known as ISIS, killed two people.

The explosion at the mosque comes a day after an attack on the Iraqi embassy in Kabul [Photo courtesy: Bilal Sarwary]

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Image result for Jawadia Mosque, Herat, photos

Man Tries to Drive Car Into Crowd in Front of French Mosque

June 29, 2017

PARIS — A man was arrested after trying to drive a car into a crowd in front of a mosque in the Paris suburb of Creteil on Thursday, police said, adding that no one was injured.

The man’s motives were unclear, and he had not succeeded in reaching the crowd because of barriers in front of the mosque, police said in a statement.

An investigation, to be carried out by a regular police department rather than an anti-terrorism unit, would determine if the man could be held accountable for his actions.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, the man said he had wanted to avenge attacks linked to Islamic State that have killed dozens in Paris over the past years.

Last week, a man drove a van at Muslim worshippers leaving a mosque in London. He was charged with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder.

(Reporting by Ingrid Melander; editing by John Stonestreet)

16 killed in double suicide attack in NE Nigeria

June 19, 2017

AFP

© AFP | A white sheet covers the bodies of some of the victims of the double suicide bombing in Dalori Kofa village in northeast Nigeria

MAIDUGURI (NIGERIA) (AFP) – At least 16 people died in a double suicide bombing near a large camp for people made homeless by years of Boko Haram violence, Nigeria’s emergency services and locals said Monday.It was the biggest in a series of weekend attacks.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the attack took place at about 8:45 pm (1945 GMT) on Sunday close to the Dalori camp in Kofa village, near the Borno state capital Maiduguri.

Regional NEMA spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim said a first attack by two female suicide bombers had been thwarted by security personnel who stopped them getting into the camp.

“Two other female suicide bombers also detonated their explosives at the adjoining Dalori Kofa village, where they killed 16 people,” he said in a statement.

Earlier tolls given by local people said at least 12 or 13 people had been killed but Abdulkadir said three of the injured had since died of their wounds.

“The 16 does not include the bombers,” he told AFP.

Dalori is about 10 kilometres (six miles) southeast of Maiduguri and is one of the largest camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in the remote region.

There are nearly 50,000 people in the two Dalori camps, with Dalori 1 housing some 35,000 and Dalori 2, which was targeted in the bombings, sheltering around 10,000.

Boko Haram has previously tried to target the camp: at least 85 people were killed in January last year when insurgents rampaged through communities near Dalori.

– A bloody weekend –

The latest attack is the most deadly in Nigeria since June 8, when 11 people were killed in a rare combined gun and suicide attack in the Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri.

Also at the weekend, Boko Haram attacked Gumsuri village, 20 kilometres from Chibok, killing five people late on Saturday, locals said.

But they were fought off by local vigilantes who engaged them in a gunbattle.

“The vigilantes got the upper hand. They killed 12 attackers and apprehended six others,” said Bitrus Haruna, a vigilante from Chibok, whose account was corroborated by a community leader from the town.

“The Boko Haram gunmen were not lucky. They were confronted by the gallant vigilantes who killed 12 of the attackers and arrested six of them.”

Then on Sunday, Boko Haram jihadists killed three soldiers in an ambush near Wajirko village, 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Maiduguri, a local vigilante said.

Last weekend, gunmen killed eight members of a civilian militia force assisting the military in the Konduga area not far from the Dalori camp.

The spate of bombings underlines the threat still posed by the jihadists, despite official claims they are a spent force.

Since the start of Boko Harm’s uprising in 2009, at least 20,000 people have been killed since and more than 2.6 million made homeless, many of whom are facing severe food shortages or starvation.

Related:

12 Killed in Suicide Bombings in Northeast Nigeria

June 19, 2017

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Authorities in northeastern Nigeria say 12 people are dead after suicide bombing attacks not far from the city of Maiduguri.

Police spokesman Victor Isuku said Monday that the attacks were carried about by five female bombers in Kofa, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Maiduguri.

The first attack killed several people near a mosque, while five others were killed in a house.

Last late year Nigeria declared that the Boko Haram extremist group had been crushed but attacks continue, often with young women strapped with explosives to carry out suicide attacks.

Many of the young women are believed to be among those abducted by the jihadists, who have pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State.

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19 June 2017 – 13:19BY AFP
Camp Dalori is about 10 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri.

Camp Dalori is about 10 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri.
Image: AMINU ABUBAKAR / AFP

At least 16 people were killed in suicide bomb attacks near a camp for those made homeless by Boko Haram violence in northeast Nigeria, emergency services said on Monday.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the attacks took place at about 8:45 pm on Sunday close to the Dalori camp at Kofa village, near the Borno state capital Maiduguri.

NEMA northeast region spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim said two female suicide bombers tried to get into the camp but were thwarted by security personnel.

“Two other female suicide bombers also detonated their explosives at the adjoining Dalori Kofa village, where they killed 16 people,” he added in a statement.

Earlier tolls given by local people said at least 12 or 13 people had been killed but Abdulkadir said three of those injured and taken to hospital had since died.

“The 16 does not include the bombers,” he told AFP.

Dalori is about 10 kilometres (six miles) southeast of Maiduguri and is one of the largest camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in the remote region.

Boko Haram has previously tried to target the camp: at least 85 people were killed in January last year when insurgents rampaged through communities near Dalori.

Residents were shot and their homes burned down while female suicide bombers blew themselves up among the crowds of people fleeing the violence.

The latest attack is the most deadly in Nigeria since June 8, when 11 people were killed in a rare combined gun and suicide attack in the Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri.

Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted the strategic city, particularly its outlying communities, IDP camps and the city’s university.

The bombings and sporadic hit-and-run attacks underline the threat still posed by the jihadists, despite claims from the authorities they are a spent force.

Gunmen killed eight members of a civilian militia force assisting the military on June 11 in the Konduga area, which is on the same road as the Dalori camp.

At least 20,000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2009 and more than 2.6 million made homeless, many of whom are facing severe food shortages or starvation.

Finsbury Park Mosque: Former hub of radical Islam

June 19, 2017

AFP

© AFP / by Alice RITCHIE | The Finsbury Park mosque gained global notoriety as the place where Abu Hamza spouted his anti-American vitriol after the 9/11 attacks

LONDON (AFP) – The Finsbury Park Mosque, which appeared Monday to have been the target of an anti-Muslim terror attack, has fought for years to throw off its reputation as a centre for radical Islamism.The red-brick mosque is famous around the world as the place where hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza spouted his anti-American vitriol after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Worshippers included Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber” who plotted to blow up a transatlantic flight, and Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in the United States over 9/11 — though Hamza always denied knowing them.

After a 2003 raid by police investigating a ricin plot, the Finsbury Park Mosque was shut down — though Hamza had already been forced out by other members, and was reduced to addressing his followers in the street outside.

He was arrested the following year and the mosque reopened in 2005 under a new board of trustees, with a particular goal of encouraging community cohesion.

– Tea and biscuits –

Many local residents gathered outside the Mosque on Monday to show their support for those affected by the attack, in which a man drove a van into pedestrians after evening prayers, leaving one person dead and injuring ten others.

Egyptian-born Hamza — whose hands were blown off by an explosives experiment in Pakistan — controlled the mosque from 1997 to early 2003, and for years after many terror investigations in Britain were traced back to his influence.

When he was jailed for seven years in 2006 for inciting murder and racial hatred, the judge said the father-of-nine used his authority to encourage worshippers that killing was a religious duty.

Hamza was later extradited to the United States and jailed for life there in 2015 for playing a key role in the 1998 kidnapping of 16 Western tourists in Yemen, four of whom were killed, and in trying to set up a US terror training camp in 1999.

The new trustees have fought hard to clear the mosque’s name, and in 2015 opened its doors as part of a nationwide initiative to improve cross-community relations following terror attacks in Paris.

Annalou Oakland, an 67-year-old artist who lives nearby, was one of those who visited for tea and biscuits.

“There was big fear around this particular mosque in the past and it’s really good to hear what they’re doing and to meet people one on one,” she told AFP at the time.

“Ten years ago it was different. Since then we’ve worked tirelessly to open our centre, our mosque, our activities to the public,” Khalid Oumar, one of the mosque trustees, had said.

The mosque nonetheless received a string of threatening emails and letters in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Authorities had also warned of an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes across London after the London Bridge attack on June 3.

“Our community is in shock, our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this,” Mohammed Kozbar, the mosque’s chairman, said Monday.

by Alice RITCHIE

Suspected Bomb Kills Seven Outside Mosque in Afghanistan’s Herat

June 6, 2017

HERAT, Afghanistan — A suspected bomb outside a mosque in the Afghan city of Herat killed at least seven people and wounded 15 on Tuesday, police said, the latest casualties in a particularly bloody week in Afghanistan.

Officials in the western city believe explosives were hidden in a motorcycle left in a parking area outside the Jama Masjid, a large mosque dating from the 12th century, known for its intricate blue tiles.

Abdul Ahad Walizada, spokesman for Herat police, said at least seven people were killed and 15 wounded as they made their way to the mosque for prayers.

Near the border with Iran, Herat is one of Afghanistan’s largest cities.

The attack came after a spate of violence in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, where on Wednesday more than 150 people were killed and hundreds wounded in a suicide truck-bomb attack.

Several protesters were killed in clashes with police on Friday at the bomb site, and at least a dozen people were killed when suicide bombers attacked the funeral for one of the dead protesters on Saturday.

(Reporting by Jalil Ahmad Rezaee; Editing by Robert Birsel)

20 Killed in Mosque Attack in Nigeria — Disagreement among herdsmen over grazing land — With AK-47s

May 15, 2017

WARRI, Nigeria — Police in Nigeria say at least 20 people are dead after a suspected reprisal attack on a village.

Niger State police spokesman Bala Elkana said Monday that the Etogi community mosque had been targeted the day before during morning prayers.

The killings are believed to be in retaliation for the death of a herdsman who was killed in a disagreement over grazing land. The herders have refused to pay a tax to the village and are claiming ownership of the land.

Land disputes are common in Nigeria, pitting neighboring communities against each other and frequently resulting in deadly clashes and reprisal attacks.

More than 400 people have been killed in clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in north-central Nigeria over the past two years.

Image result for Nigeria, herdsmen, photos

Nigerian herdman, file photo

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From The Daily Trust

The Nigeria media landscape has been awash in recent time with reports of clashes between cattle herders and farming communities, leading to destruction of lives and properties.

The most recent of them is the reported attack on Fulani herders in Nasarawa State on April 30. Before that came the April 25, Ukpabi Nimbo community Enugu State attack where 20 people were reportedly killed by rampaging herdsmen. That of Benue State had assumed a perrennial status.

The media especially social media, blogs and newspapers have been reporting these incidents with wrongly identified photos for illustration.
The three most viral photographs used to depict killer herdsmen were indeed not taken anywhere in Nigeria, Daily Trust reports.

Mainstream newspapers including the Punch, Vanguard, Thisday, Guardian etc have each repeatedly used the misleading photographs. Even Daily Trust failed in the past in this litmus test.

The social media and online newspapers and blogs are the biggest culprits, Daily Trust checks show.

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Blogs such as Naij.com, Venturesafrica.com, Nigerianeye.com, Bellanaija.com and dailypost.ng. com among many others have made these photos as their postal stamp in herders attack reports.

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Each of these reports on herdsmen attack, you see accompanying photos of a herder brandishing an AK 47 rifle.

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One of these photos is the one having a bare-chested man with a rifle strapped to his neck. At the background is a herd of cows.

Daily Trust’s checks showed that this photo has no origin in Nigeria. The photo credit belongs to Reuters/Goran Tomasevic and it was first published online on December 14, 2013.

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It is a photo of a man from Dinka tribe holding his AK 47 rifle in front of cows in a Dinka cattle herders’ camp near Rumbek, capital of the Lakes State in central South Sudan.

Another photo which has gone so viral that one finds it difficult to locate the very origin is the one with a young man herding cows with a rifle hanging on his shoulders with both hands holding it from the two ends.
The earliest active use of the photo was on January 27, 2015 in the Standard Newspaper of Kenya before Nigerian newspapers cashed in.

Yet another photo that has found massive patronage by the Nigeria press shows a young Pokot warrior by the name Korinamba Ruto, herding his cattle with an AKS 47 gun on his shoulder which the caption says he carries for protection against attacks from cattle rustlers from the neighbouring Turkana community, Kenya.
Turkana tribe is part of the Nilotic tribes and constitutes the second largest pastoralist community in Kenya after the Maasais.
A simple search using the Google reverse image search or Tineye reverse search will help to resolve the question of where the photo is coming from.

Cattle rusting has been rife in Kenya as some of the ethnic groups there have cattle herding as a main occupation.

Reacting to this development, journalism scholar and columnist from the Journalism and Emerging Media School of Communication, Kennesaw State University, USA, Dr. Farook Kperogi said apart from the legal implications of lifting a photo from the internet without permission from the copy right owner(s), “there is an ethical imperative to verify the real source of a picture before using it, especially in light of the tendency for purveyors of hate on social media to mislabel and misidentify pictures to promote predetermined agenda.”

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He counseled media organizations to “always do reverse Google and TinEye images searches before using a picture” adding that “I have seen several pictures of gun-toting Kenyan or Tanzanian Maasai cattle herders misidentified as Nigerian Fulani herders on social media.”

The Nigerian Union of Journalists’ (NUJ) President Waheed Odusile in a telephone interview said it was wrong to “stigmatise a whole group because a few of them are involved in criminal activities.”

He said it is also wrong to use the photograph of foreign herders to illustrate local news with inappropriate identification saying “If it must be used, it should be captioned appropriately indicating that it is not from Nigeria.”
He blamed the practice on some journalists not being “ethically” informed.

The NUJ president challenged the Nigeria media to investigate and expose the criminal elements behind the killing of innocent Nigerians saying “some of the local Fulanis are said to know who the invaders are and their nationalities but are afraid of attack from them (killer herders) should they expose them.”

Also speaking, Dr Kperogi appealed to the national media “to be guided by the age-old professional journalistic ethics of fairness, balance, and accuracy.”
Journalists should particularly watch their language, he says.

He observed that it was “now fashionable to write that someone was killed or kidnapped, or robbed “by suspected herdsmen,’” warning that it was “an unfair criminalization of an entire demographic category.”

Dr Kperogi warned of the dangers in mislabelling of an entire group of people saying: “It’s OK to write that someone was robbed/ murdered/kidnapped by “criminals suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.”
“Writing or saying “suspected Fulani herdsmen” equates “Fulani herdsmen” with criminals. That’s both unfair and inaccurate. To see how invidious and ridiculous this emergent reportorial phraseology is, replace it with descriptors like “suspected Ogoni farmers,” “suspected Bini traders,” “suspected Yoruba spare part sellers,” etc. and see how it sounds. What is suspected isn’t an ethnic identity; it is the perpetrators of a crime.”

Source:Dailytrust