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Fifth British 'jihadi' added to UN sanction list

Aseel Muthana has been added to the UN list after travelling to Syria last February to join IS.

A fifth British citizen is facing an international travel ban after being added to the list of UK militants subject to United Nations sanctions.

Aseel Muthana, from Cardiff, joins his brother Nasser - who was named earlier this week - on the UN list.

He travelled to Syria in February last year to link up with his brother who had already gone to a join IS.

Aseel Muthana's brother Nasser has appeared in IS propaganda. Credit: IS video

A statement on the UN website said he had been listed for "participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities" in support of Islamic State (IS) - also referred to as Isil.

Aseel Muthana has confirmed via social media that he is a member of Isil and is working to 'spread the khilafaa (caliphate) in the Arab lands'.

Aseel Muthana has spoken publicly in the British media since travelling to the Syrian Arab Republic and has confirmed his commitment to violent extremism, claiming that he is willing 'to die for the cause'.

– UN statement


Muslim families from Wales are 'safe and well' after Hajj pilgrimage crush

The Muslim Council of Wales has confirmed that groups of Muslim families from Wales are 'safe and well' following a crush at the mass Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The death toll following the crush on Thursday, September 24 at the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia is now 769 and the number of injured has risen to 934. Credit: PA

769 worshippers are believed to have died in the crush that happened outside the holy city of Mecca.

There were thought to be between 200 and 250 pilgrims from Wales among the 20,000 from Britain who traveled for the Hajj.

Various groups journeyed from Newport, Swansea and Cardiff to Saudi Arabia as part of the pilgrimage.

The General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Wales, Saleem Kidwai says he now believes that 180-200 people made the journey and after making contact with the group leaders from Wales they have all been accounted for.

  1. National

Hammond expresses sadness after Hajj 'tragedy'

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has expressed sadness at the "enormous loss of life in Mecca" after hundreds were killed in a crush during the Hajj pilgrimage.

It is currently unclear whether any Britons were among those killed and injured, and Hammond said Foreign Office staff were "in close contact with the Saudi authorities and tour operators, and are checking hospitals and other locations to urgently gather information about British nationals who may require assistance."

"We are also deploying further staff from the region to bolster our response," he said.

I was saddened to hear of the enormous loss of life in Mecca. My thoughts are with families and victims at this difficult time. Such a significant tragedy will affect Muslims across the world who take part in the Hajj pilgrimage.

– Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary

Anyone concerned about British nationals attending the pilgrimage is advised to telephone the embassy in Riyadh or tweet the FCO Twitter account.

Pilgrims from Wales among 20,000 at Hajj from Britain

It's thought there are between 200 and 250 pilgrims from Wales among the 20,000 from Britain to have travelled for the Hajj.

There are concerns they may have been caught up in the crush today near Mecca.

It is the worst tragedy to hit the Hajj in 25 years and comes just two weeks after a giant construction crane came crashing down on the Grand Mosque in the Saudi city of Mecca.

We are in contact with local authorities and urgently seeking more information following reports of a crush during the Hajj pilgrimage at Mecca.

– Foreign Office spokesman

The FCO urged worried relatives to contact the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia on + 966 11 4819 100


Fears Muslims from Wales caught up in Hajj crush

There are concerns that Muslims from Wales could have been caught up in a crush at the Hajj festival near Mecca.

Emergency teams responded after a crush on the first day of the Eid festival left hundreds killed or injured Credit: Twitter/Saudi Civil Defence Directorate

The Muslim Council of Wales told ITV Wales that between 200 and 250 Muslims from Wales have travelled to Mecca for the festival.

"The relatives of families are very anxious about the wellbeing of people."

– Saleem Kidwai, Muslim Council of Wales

It's thought there are various groups from across Wales, including Newport, Swansea and Cardiff that have travelled out as part of the pilgrimage.

While one group has been contacted, families here are still trying to establish whether any of their relatives have been caught up in the crush.

Task force plan to help Wales respond to refugee crisis

A task force is to be set up to see how Wales will respond to the refugee crisis in Europe.

At a summit this morning, charities and government ministers said Wales would take its share of people - although no firm figures were given.

The summit took place in Cardiff Bay to discuss how Wales can play its full part in resettling refugees in Wales and develop the most effective response to the crisis.

First Minister Carwyn Jones says an assessment is needed of the challenges it will bring - but council leaders say cost is a concern.

Many refugees 'will not survive another winter'

Oxfam Cymru have urged Welsh local authorities to ensure that their pledge to help refugees is delivered, for fears that those living in camps in Lebanon and Jordan 'will not survive another winter'.

Credit: PA

The comments come ahead of today's summit to discuss the refugee crisis, which will be hosted by the First Minister.

In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have fled war-torn Syria, many risking their lives to enter Europe.

All 22 Welsh local authorities have given their commitment to do all they can to support the refugee crisis, following an outpouring of sympathy from the people of Wales. Their pledge is to be welcomed, and now needs to be delivered, as many people living in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan will not survive another winter.

According to Oxfam’s Fair Share Analysis, Wales should resettle at least 326 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015. There are currently over four million refugees registered in the countries neighbouring Syria – more than the entire population of Wales.

– Carys Thomas, Head of Oxfam Cymru

Government to host summit on refugee crisis

First Minister Carwyn Jones is holding a summit today to discuss how Wales can play a part in resettling refugees.

Over recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have fled war-torn Syria - many risking their lives on dangerous journeys to enter Europe.

Credit: PA

Hundreds of people gathered in Cardiff at the weekend to show their support to refugees.

Many there used the opportunity to call for the UK Government to do more following the announcement they will take 20,000 refugees before 2020.

Carwyn Jones will be joined by a number of charities including the Welsh Refugee Council and British Red Cross. The Government says the discussion will be about developing the most effective response to the crisis.

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