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Old 05-31-2019, 06:22 AM
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Arrow Eye on Extremism - May 31, 2019

Eye on Extremism
May 31, 2019

As of May 31, 2019

The New York Times: Huge Wave Of Syrians Flee Intensified Bombing On Last Rebel-Held Province

“Syrian doctors and humanitarian workers voiced growing alarm at the plight of civilians in northwestern Syria this week, as fighting intensified in the nation’s last rebel-held province and hundreds of thousands of people fled north toward the Turkish border. Turkey has closed that border, after eight years of civil war in Syria spurred more than three million people to seek safety in its boundaries. Now, refugees are camping in open fields and in desperate conditions, moving repeatedly as Syrian and Russian forces have escalated artillery and aerial bombardments in a concerted attempt to advance into the province, Idlib. Over a quarter-million people have been displaced in the past month and 160 people have been confirmed killed, the United Nations said on Thursday, warning of an impending disaster if the violence is not stopped. Officials say the actual number of dead is much higher than 160. Video footage of the bombardments, and of dead and injured children being pulled from the wreckage of homes, has flooded social media. In one, a small girl screams as she tugs at the arm of her brother, trapped under rubble. In another, a teenager pulled from a crushed building is told that his brother, lifeless beside him, is sleeping.”

The Times Of Israel: Hamas Leader Thanks Iran For Long-Range Rockets, Threatens Tel Aviv

“Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar on Thursday thanked Iran for providing his terror group the rockets it used to strike deep into Israel and warned the Jewish state that Tel Aviv would be struck again in response to any offensive against the Gaza Strip. “Iran provided us with rockets, and we surprised the world when our resistance targeted Beersheba,” Sinwar said in a live TV address, referring to the weekend of violence at the beginning of the month, during which Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired nearly 700 rockets at Israel. “Had it not been for Iran, the resistance in Palestine would not have possessed its current capabilities,” Sinwar said. The Hamas leader then went on to warn that if Israel “resumes its aggression,” his group would strike Tel Aviv and other cities with twice as many rockets. Israel has long charged Iran with trying to arm Palestinian terror groups in Gaza and maintains a blockade of the Strip to try and stop the import of sophisticated weapons systems. Iran has also supplied tens of thousands of rockets to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon. Sinwar also blasted the Trump administration’s not-yet released Mideast peace plan, saying Washington’s proposal is bound to fail. “The conflict will not be over until the occupation is removed from all of our land.”

The Wall Street Journal: Center In Syria Offers Rare Effort To Rehabilitate Young ISIS Recruits

“In a library with nothing but empty shelves, four new arrivals took turns standing against the wall for a mug shot. Their names, alleged crimes and how each was captured were written down in a notebook with a message inscribed on the cover: “Look to the future.” The program, run by the local U.S.-backed Kurdish administration, aims to rehabilitate young, mostly Syrian former Islamic State fighters and help them reintegrate into society. Only a few such re-education programs are operating in Syria, where tens of thousands of former Islamic State militants and their families are being held in prisons or camps. The center at Tal Marouf, in Syria’s northeast, is part juvenile detention center, part school. Residents are serving sentences, in some cases yearslong. An armed guard patrols the roof and security cameras are mounted in every room. But psychiatrists counsel the young men and a structured schedule of activities such as classes and sports aims to steer them away from Islamic State ideology.”

The Financial Times: Saudi Arabia Calls For Decisive Arab Stand Against Iran

“Saudi Arabia has called for a decisive Arab stand against Iranian threats as King Salman convened a meeting of Arab states that condemned the Islamic republic’s alleged interference in the Arab world. The king, addressing an emergency Arab summit in Mecca on Friday, said Riyadh wanted to avoid war and was willing to extend its hand for peace, even as he attacked what he described as Iran’s perpetuation of terrorism in the region directly and via proxies.”

Vice News: How A Small Budapest Publishing House Is Quietly Fueling Far-Right Extremism

“Online platforms like 8chan and Gab have helped far-right extremist ideologies go global. But when the alt-right wants to put an academic imprimatur on racist ideas, it turns to a small publishing house in Budapest. For the last decade, Arktos Media has quietly churned out books with titles like “Generation Identity” and “Race Differences in Ethnocentrism” and sold them through mainstream booksellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.This attempt to rebrand white nationalism is embodied by Arktos’ founder, Daniel Friberg, a Swedish business magnate who started out as a skinhead running in hardcore neo-Nazi circles in Scandinavia. “[Friberg] is the architect of this new souped-up, cleaned-up, more professional right wing,” said Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director at the Counter Extremism Project and the former coordinator of the U.N. Security Council team monitoring the Islamic State group, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. “The ultra-right has understood that the baseball-wielding, cross-burning neo-Nazi types are not getting them anywhere as far as political influence is concerned.”

BuzzFeed News: White Nationalist Groups Banned By Facebook Are Still On The Platform

“Over a month after Facebook announced a ban of a number of white nationalist, white supremacist, and other hate groups, they are still on the platform and continue to use it for recruitment. After the deadly attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, where the gunman went live on Facebook for several minutes before killing 51 people, the platform announced several bans around the world of known extremist groups. The bans were imperfect. In Canada, many of the groups remained on the platform. In the US, an early announcement of the ban allowed those who were de-platformed to ask their supporters to follow them elsewhere. Now researchers are saying some of the banned groups are still active on Facebook, and attempts to report them have been ignored by the company. “Facebook likes to make a PR move and say that they’re doing something but they don’t always follow up on that,” Megan Squire, an Elon University computer science professor who researches online extremism, told a joint BuzzFeed News–Toronto Star investigation. Kevin Chan, one of Facebook’s global policy directors, said while they proactively removed some hate groups, the company also relies on users, journalists, and other sources to report when banned personalities make it back on the platform.”

United States

Montana News: Judge Delays Trial Of Man Arrested In Bozeman Amid Terrorism Investigation

“It will be at least September before a man accused of making false statements to the FBI in a terrorism investigation will face trial. Fabjan Alameti, who is originally from New York, came under FBI surveillance after he reportedly made statements about joining ISIS and seeking retaliation for attacks that killed dozens of Muslims in New Zealand. Prosecutors say he flew to Montana, apparently because he thought it was easier to obtain firearms and was subsequently arrested after he went to a Bozeman firing range to rent a gun. Now, U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen is granting a defense request for Alameti to waive his right to a speedy trial, pushing the trial date to this fall. The judge also told attorneys they have until late August to develop any plea agreement in the case. Defense attorneys had asked for the delay to give them more time to sort through thousands of pages of documents that have already been submitted to the court.”

Arab News: Mike Pompeo Calls On Germany To Ban Hezbollah As UK Did

“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Germany to also ban the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah during his state visit on Friday, saying it should follow the UK’s lead. The UK banned Hezbollah early this year, calling it “terrorist organization.” Pompeo made his first visit to Germany as secretary of state at the start of a four-nation European trip as tensions rise between the US and Iran. Pompeo was set to meet Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday before continuing to Switzerland, which has long represented Washington's interests in Tehran and has in the past been an intermediary between the two.”

Fox News: Pompeo Visits Germany As Tensions Rise Between US, Iran

“Mike Pompeo is making his first visit to Germany as secretary of state at the start of a four-nation European trip as tensions rise between the U.S. and Iran. Pompeo was set to meet Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday before continuing to Switzerland, which has long represented Washington's interests in Tehran and has in the past been an intermediary between the two. Germany is one of the signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that is trying to keep it alive after the U.S. withdrew last year. Pompeo's stop in Berlin makes up for a visit that he abruptly called off in early May to fly to Iraq. He is also traveling to the Netherlands and Britain.”

Arab News: Expo Shows Evidence Of Iranian Military Backing For Houthis

“An exhibition held on Thursday on the premises of Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport showcased missiles, unarmed aerial vehicles (UAVs), boats and other equipment used by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen to target Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The Facts in Minutes exhibition showcased the remains of Iranian missiles and drones that targeted Saudi Arabia, including a Qiam ballistic missile fired at Riyadh on March 25, 2018, and a Qiam ballistic missile fired at Makkah in 2016. The exhibition was organized by the Saudi defense and foreign ministries, as well as the Yemen Development and Reconstruction Center. It was attended by leaders of 56 countries and about 390 media personnel.”


Al Arabiya: Syria Regime Strikes Kill Seven In Latest Idlib Bloodshed

“Regime air strikes on an extremist enclave in northwest Syria killed seven civilians on Thursday, a monitor said, the latest deaths in a bloody wave of government attacks. Damascus and its ally Russia have pummelled Idlib province and surroundings over the past month despite a truce deal aimed at staving off a humanitarian catastrophe. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring organization says over 285 civilians have been killed since late April in the enclave, home to almost three million people. “The pace of air strikes decreased relatively on Thursday compared to previous days,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman. But bombings still killed seven civilians, including five in the town of Maaret al-Numan on the western edge of the extremist-held territory, he said. An AFP photographer reported the strikes hit a residential area, collapsing a building and killing some of those inside. The body of a victim could be seen still in bed as rescue workers struggled to reach survivors trapped under the rubble. Idlib province and some surrounding areas are mostly controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group dominated by former members of Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate.”

The Independent: As Syrian Government Touts Fight Against ‘Terrorists’ In Idlib, Towns That Resisted Extremism Come Under Fire

“As the bombs rain down on the towns and villages of Idlib, the Syrian government and its Russian ally have sought to portray its latest offensive as a battle to uproot terrorists. Syrian state news is littered with reports of operations against “dens” and “fortifications”. But while radical groups and government forces are indeed facing off in the last rebel-held bastion, the reality on the ground is more complicated. Civilian casualties from Russian and Syrian government airstrikes are rising by the day, hospitals and medical facilities are being destroyed by the dozen, and towns whose residents stood against extremism for years have spent the past few weeks pulling bodies from under the rubble. The town of Kafranbel is perhaps the most striking example. From the first days of the Syrian revolution, residents there held weekly demonstrations against both the Syrian government and extremist rebel groups as the latter grew in strength across the province. For their stubborn adherence to the original, democratic ideals of the Syrian uprising, the town’s residents earned the moniker of “the conscience of the revolution”. But it didn’t help them avoid the carnage.”

The Jerusalem Post: Israel, U.S., Russia To Discuss Syria In Trilateral Meeting In Jerusalem

“A trilateral Israeli, US and Russian meeting of national security advisers is scheduled to take place in Israel in June to deal with regional security issues, and is expected to focus on Iran’s involvement in Syria. On Wednesday night, just before the Knesset decided to dissolve itself, the White House issued a statement saying that US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolay Patrushev will meet in Jerusalem in June “to discuss regional security issues.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned the planned meeting in the agitated statement he gave after the Knesset vote, saying that these are the issues the country should be dealing with, not another round of elections.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: GCC Summit Communique Supports US Measures Against Iran, Stresses Joint Defense Agreement

“Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states condemned, in the final communiqué of the Gulf summit held in Makkah, attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militias against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, affirming that such terrorist acts represented a direct threat to peace and security in the region, the freedom of maritime navigation, international trade and the stability of oil markets. The Supreme Council reviewed the critical circumstances and serious challenges facing the region as a result of the recent attacks on the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Council expresses solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the face of these terrorist threats aimed at provoking unrest in the region and reiterated support to all measures taken by the Kingdom to protect its security, stability and territorial integrity.”

Al Jazeera: Bolton To Present Evidence Iran Was Behind Gulf Tanker Attacks

“The United States could present evidence linking Iran to attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates earlier this month to the United Nations Security Council as early as next week, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Thursday. Speaking during a visit to the UK, Bolton reiterated earlier claims suggesting that Iran was behind the May 12 attack on four commercial ships in the Gulf. "I don't think anybody who is familiar with the situation in the region, whether they have examined the evidence or not, has come to any conclusion other than that these attacks were carried out by Iran or their surrogates," Bolton told reporters in London. On Wednesday, Bolton, without offering evidence, alleged the tankers were targeted by "naval mines almost certainly from Iran". Tehran rejected the accusation as "ridiculous" and has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident.”

Forbes: Iran Forced To Cut Military Budget Just As U.S. And Saudi Warn 'No More Threats'

“We have been consistent in our messaging," Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on May 30. "Iran should show more of an interest in talks than threats and we have seen on an almost daily basis from the Iranian regime that they will not talk with the United States." This followed Ayatollah Khamenei's comments a day earlier, again dismissing the possibility of talks. "The Islamic Republic of Iran will absolutely not sit for talks with America," the Iranian leader told an audience in Teheran. "First it bears no fruit and second, it is harmful." Iranian state media reported Khamenei saying that "Iran’s leverage is not military unlike what the anti-Iran propaganda says, even though that option is not off the table in case of necessity.”

The Washington Post: Everything That’s Wrong With Iran In One Grotesque Televised Scandal

“A bizarre scandal rocked Iran this week. Former Tehran mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi shot and killed his wife, Mitra Ostad. But it’s how authorities and the state media have handled the crime that has Iranians outraged. While cases of gun violence in Iran are extremely rare, domestic violence has been a fact of life for Iranian women throughout history. The high-profile killing is shocking on its own merits. Yet the way the story unfolded publicly, with the help of real-time coverage by the state broadcaster, has created an utterly grotesque allegory for the excesses of this regime and the way it presents itself to the public. First, quick review of the key details: Najafi, 67, an MIT-educated former mayor of Tehran, married Ostad, 35, his second wife, in 2017. He was and is still married to his first wife, the mother of his children.”


The Wall Street Journal: Iraq Sentences Seven ISIS Fighters From France To Death

“Iraq handed death sentences this week to seven French citizens who joined Islamic State, in trials that have drawn criticism from rights groups and spotlighted the challenges of dealing with foreign fighters captured in Iraq and Syria. Among those sentenced was 32-year-old Brahim Ali Mansour Nejara, who was led into the dock wearing a yellow prison uniform on Tuesday, facing multiple charges, including membership in a terrorist organization. The evidence against him included an Islamic State propaganda video in which he appeared. He pleaded guilty but said he was forced to appear in the video. “Do you regret what you did?” asked the judge. “Certainly I do,” replied Mr. Nejara. “I destroyed my life and my family’s.” His defense lawyer asked for clemency, but within hours Mr. Nejara was sentenced to hang. The French Foreign Ministry said it would take the necessary steps to prevent the men being executed. Capital punishment is constitutionally banned in France. An estimated 2,000 foreign Islamic State fighters are in custody in Iraq and Syria after U.S.-backed forces claimed victory over the extremist group this year. But the international coalition that helped defeat it is struggling to clear up the aftermath.”

Al Jazeera: Iraq: Series Of Deadly Explosions Hit Kirkuk

“Several people have been killed and more than a dozen others wounded in a series of blasts that struck the city of Kirkuk, the Iraqi military has said. At least six improvised explosive devices went off on Thursday in the northern city and two more were defused by security forces, the military said in a statement. It gave a death toll of three people and said 16 others were wounded. Unidentified security officials told The Associated Press news agency that the blasts killed at least four people and wounded 23, while medical sources in Kirkuk's general hospital told Reuters news agency that at least five people were killed and 18 wounded. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Saad Harbya, the head of Kirkuk security operations, blamed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) armed group. Speaking on Rudaw TV, he accused ISIL of trying to “retaliate against the harsh attacks by Iraqi forces”, adding that the situation was under control. The explosions reportedly struck in the centre of Kirkuk, in a commercial area that has several shopping centres, cafes and restaurants, sending people fleeing in panic. The blasts went off in quick succession after iftar, the meal that breaks daylong fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when streets are typically crowded with shoppers and people out having dinner.”

Fox News: Iraqi Christian Survives Being Burned Alive By ISIS 3 Times: '[Jesus] Spoke To Me'

“An Iraqi Christian who said Jesus appeared to him twice in his dreams recounts being imprisoned by ISIS, tortured and burned three times by the terrorist group. The man, a Yazidi, recounts his harrowing story in a documentary by Sean Feucht and Bethel Music. “The Yazidis... were really targeted by ISIS for genocide...they were raped, they were beaten, they were executed,” Feucht told Fox News. “ISIS didn't even want to imprison them, they just wanted to kill them, wipe them off the map.” Feucht interviewed the man, who was not named, through his non-profit, Light A Candle Project, which goes into all parts of the world but primarily Iraq, where the Islamic State was at the height of its brutality, to help people who've experienced some of the world's worst suffering. Sean Feucht, the founder of The Light A Candle Project, told an Iraqi Christian who was tortured by ISIS that Jesus appeared to him in his dreams because he loves him. His story was their first supernatural encounter documented in an upcoming documentary with Bethel Music called “Heart and Hands: Iraq.” (Bethel Music) The Yazidi man says he was burned alive three times by ISIS after they found out he was a follower of Christ.”

Iraqi News: Security Forces Free Yazidi Female From ISIS In Anbar

“The Security Media Cell announced, on Thursday, freeing a Yazidi female from a hideout belonging to the Islamic State group in Anbar desert. In a statement, the cell said that Iraqi intelligence forces freed a Yazidi female from the Islamic State’s grip. The female was imprisoned in one of the terrorist group’s hideouts in Anbar desert. Earlier, Iraqi security forces stormed the hideout and killed 7 terrorists; the statement added. It further explained that the operation was carried out based on accurate intelligence information from the Federal Police Directorate. It is noteworthy that the IS militants have abused many Yazidi women after capturing their areas. Large number of Yazidi girls in Iraq allegedly raped by IS fighters have committed suicide. The Islamic State militants treated the women they captured as sex slaves or spoils of war. Women and girls who convert to Islam are sold as brides, those who refuse to convert are tortured, raped and eventually murdered.”


The Washington Post: Suicide Bomber Kills Six At Afghan Defense University While Moscow Talks Fail To Deliver Cease-Fire

“A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle filled with explosives Thursday afternoon outside the national military academy here, killing at least six people and wounding 16, officials said. The vehicle exploded as cadets at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University were leaving the hillside campus overlooking the Afghan capital for their weekly two-day break. The extremist Islamic State group asserted responsibility for the bombing. The attack occurred after three days of Afghan peace talks in Moscow concluded without any significant progress in ending the war, or even the hoped-for announcement of a cease-fire at the end of the holy month of Ramadan next week. Last June, a three-day truce raised nationwide hopes for a war settlement. In the talks, a 14-member Taliban delegation headed by Abdul Ghani Baradar held several lengthy closed-door meetings with Afghan power brokers. They did not include representatives of the elected Kabul government, which the insurgents view as a U.S. puppet, although members of a government-appointed peace council attended the conference. The participants included former president Hamid Karzai, former national security adviser Hanif Atmar — a key contender challenging President Ashraf Ghani in elections slated for September — and Atta Mohammad Noor, a former provincial governor and influential figure.”

Al Jazeera: Taliban Says Progress Made At Afghan Talks In Moscow

“A Taliban official says “decent progress” has been made at talks with a group of senior Afghan politicians in Moscow, but there is no breakthrough and further talks would be needed, Russian news agencies reported. The Taliban delegation, led by chief negotiator Mullah Baradar Akhund, met Afghan politicians, including senior regional leaders and candidates planning to challenge President Ashraf Ghani in this year's presidential election, as diplomatic efforts to end the 18-year-long war gather pace. The Taliban insists that international forces must leave Afghanistan for peace to be agreed “The Islamic Emirate wants peace but the first step is to remove obstacles to peace and end the occupation of Afghanistan,” Baradar said, appearing openly on television in what appeared to be a calculated move to establish his legitimacy as one of the main public faces of the Taliban. The Taliban, overthrown by US-backed forces weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, refers to the country as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The meeting in Moscow was opened on Tuesday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said that his country sees peace as the only possible scenario of settlement in Afghanistan.”

Saudi Arabia

Al Jazeera: Saudi King Blasts Iran For 'Naked Aggression' In The Gulf

“Saudi Arabia's king has accused the kingdom's key rival, Iran, of developing nuclear and ballistic missiles which threaten regional and global stability, telling regional leaders that action is needed to stop Iranian "escalations" following a series of attacks on oil assets in the Gulf. The comments by King Salman Abdul Aziz came as Saudi Arabia on Thursday hosted in Mecca emergency meetings of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League to counter what it said was Iran's growing influence. A Gulf-Arab statement and a separate communique issued after the wider summit both supported the right of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to defend their interests after the attacks on oil pumping stations in the kingdom and tankers off the UAE. But in a sign of regional tensions, Iraq, which has good ties with neighbouring Iran and the United States, said it objected to the Arab communique, which stated that any cooperation with Tehran should be based on "non-interference in other countries.”


The National: How Cooperation Can Conquer Terrorism

“Former army officer Hisham Ashmawi has terrorised Egypt for the best part of a decade. He is thought to have been behind several deadly attacks, including the killing of 28 Coptic Christians in Minya province, Sinai, and the assassination of Egypt's chief prosecutor Hisham Barakat in 2015. He is also accused of an attempted assassination of Egypt’s then interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in 2013. Since being thrown out of the Egyptian army in 2011, he had become one of his country’s most-wanted terrorists and was finally caught in October last year in Libya, where he had been hiding since 2012, by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army. His handover to Egyptian authorities this week for trial marks the first step in ending his reign of terror, which has plagued Egypt for years and has been allowed to fester in Libya’s lawless territories. His escape and capture encapsulate how terrorism has become a transnational issue in North Africa. In a microcosm, it also paints a bigger global picture of how extremism can spread rapidly across borders. After leaving the military, Ashmawi helped create Ansar Beit Al Maqdis, an ISIS-aligned organisation based in Sinai, which has since been renamed Wilayat Sinai.”


Xinhua: Libyan Authorities Arrest 2 Members Of Al-Qaida, IS

“Libyan Interior Ministry announced on Thursday the arrest of a member of al-Qaida and another one of Islamic State (IS). Al-Qaida member Ali Attaher Mohamed al-Badri, also known as Abu-Jandal, who is involved in terrorist activities, was arrested by security services, the ministry said. IS member Fares al-Haj, also known as Khattab, who is also involved in terrorist activities, was arrested by Joint Security Force of Misurata city, 200 km east of the capital Tripoli. Libya's security forces arrest terrorist members and leaders occasionally in different parts of the country, particularly in western Libya. Most of the arrested people were plotting to carry out terrorist attacks. The ministry has recently announced the arrest of another IS member Ali Saleh Khalifa al-Majri, also known as Abu-Dajana, in Misurata city.”


The Punch Nigeria: NGOs Providing Logistics Support To Boko Haram Terrorists, Army Claims

“The Nigerian Army has again accused some Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the North East of breaching security and sabotaging ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the zone. Army Spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, on Thursday said the military established this after the arrest of a Boko Haram commander, Mohammed Modu on Sunday. The army had in 2018 levelled similar accusations against NGOs operating in the region. Musa alleged that the high profile commander belonged to the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of the terrorist group. The army spokesman said that preliminary investigations revealed that the Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram had been receiving “humanitarian support of food and drugs supplies from some NGOs operating in the North East.’’ Musa described the NGOs’ actions – providing logistics support to terrorists, as “serious security breaches.’’ He, therefore, warned the affected NGOs to “desist from compromising Nigeria’s national security and war efforts against terrorism.’’ Musa advised them to operate in accordance with the extant rules and regulations guiding the operations of humanitarian aid workers. He said they must also operate in line with the guidelines and procedures of International Humanitarian Laws, as well as the Laws of Armed Conflict.”

Daily Post Nigeria: Boko Haram Defeated, Nigerian Military Fighting Another Terrorist Group – Buratai Reveals

“Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has said that Boko Haram has been defeated According to him, Nigerian military was now fighting an international criminal gang known as Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP). The Army Chief spoke in Abuja when pupils of several schools in Abuja interacted with him. On how he copes with the pressure of office, the COAS said, “When I was appointed the Chief of Army Staff, I had the feeling that I will be the least controversial COAS. I had the feeling I will have an excellent relationship with the media. “This first thing I did was to call the then Director of Army Public Relations and I told him that henceforth, all our actions and activities must be reported and made known to the media. “They had a right to know. It is the Nigerian Army. There should be no gaps about information in our operations in the North East or elsewhere. “Before then, we used to have so many reporters in the north east including informants for the terrorists who plant stories and breaking news some of which went contrary to happenings, with a ploy to make troops unstable or demoralized. “So we started reporting events and occurrence about the battle, attacks in the northeast.”


The Defense Post: Islamic State Puts The Sahel In West Africa – For Now

“Starting in May, Islamic State began to attribute insurgent activities in the Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger tri-border area to its West Africa Province affiliate. This region is far to the west of ISWAP’s normal operational area around Lake Chad, but rather than a westward expansion by that Nigerian-led group, these claims appear to represent the promotion of the actions of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara under the West Africa Province brand. ISIS finally recognized ISGS as a local affiliate years after its leadership first pledged bayat to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Experts told The Defense Post that ISIS has grouped ISGS with the Wilayah of West Africa, but that doesn’t mean there is a definitive link between ISGS and ISWAP, and there remains the potential for ISIS central to give ISGS control of its own province. ISGS was founded in mid 2015 by Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi. Believed to be from Western Sahara, Sahrawi (also spelled Sahraoui) had been involved in Islamic militancy for years, and was spokesperson for MUJAO, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa. When MUJAO merged with Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s al-Mulathameen (the Masked Ones) in 2013, Sahrawi remained a senior commander in the new al-Mourabitoun (The Sentinels).”

The Defense Post: Islamic State Claims Attacks On DR Congo Army, UN; FARDC Says 26 ADF Fighters Killed

“Islamic State claimed fighters from its Central Africa Province affiliate attacked military bases in Mavivi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while the Congolese army said more than 20 Allied Democratic Forces fighters had been killed in nearby Ngite. ISIS in a Thursday, May 30 statement claimed ISCAP fighters attacked three “barracks of the Congolese army and the United Nations crusader forces” near Mavivi. It said the forces were preparing to attack ISCAP positions, and that clashes led to “dozens” killed and injured, while the “Mujahideen returned to their positions safely.” A later release from ISIS propaganda agency Amaq said that “Islamic State fighters today attacked 3 military bases located on Road No. 4” near Beni, clashing with Congolese army and U.N. MONUSCO peacekeeping forces for three hours. It said “dozens” were killed and wounded before the ISCAP fighters withdrew from “the attack area near the city’s airport.” Mavivi town is in Beni territory of North Kivu province, and Ngite is just to the north. Mavivi airport, also known as Beni airport, is on the south side of the town, just off the N4 road to Beni city which is around 10 km south. MONUSCO, which has a base at the airport, rehabilitated the runway in 2016.”

North Korea

The Wall Street Journal: North Korea Executed Members Of Nuclear-Negotiating Team, Defectors Say

“U.S. and South Korean authorities are looking into a report that North Korea has executed several members of its nuclear negotiating team as a consequence of the no-deal outcome at February’s nuclear summit with President Trump in Vietnam. High-level North Korean defectors say multiple diplomats were executed in March, while other senior officials have been demoted or purged. On Friday, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea’s nuclear envoy in Hanoi, had been executed, along with four diplomats involved in talks with the U.S. Kim Jong Un’s regime had accused them of “colluding with American officials and betraying the leader,” according to the report, which cited an unnamed source.”

United Kingdom

The National: British Al Quds March Organiser Should Be Probed By Counter-Terror Police – Report

“A group which organises the annual Al Quds Day march in London should be investigated by Britain’s counter-terror police, according to a recommendation by a leading think tank. A report published on Thursday by the Henry Jackson Society investigating the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) found the non-profit organisation had been permeated “at every level” by “extremism, support for overseas terror groups and extreme anti-Semitism”. The IHRC, which has UK charitable status through its subsidiary IHRC trust, was co-founded in 1997 by Massoud Shadjareh, an outspoken supporter of Ayatollah Khomeini. The report’s author research fellow Emma Fox accuses Mr Shadjareh as well as the group’s director Nazim Ali of expressing anti-Semitic remarks at the Al Quds march. The march, which takes place annually in the British capital during the last week of Ramadan, was initiated by Iran to denounce Zionism and Israel. Hezbollah flags and banners were a regular feature of the march. However, Hezbollah was outlawed in the UK in February meaning anyone found supporting the terror group could face up to 10 years in prison. London’s Metropolitan police said it fully intended to enforce the law at the upcoming Al Quds march on Sunday.”

The National: Little Attempt Being Made To Assess Far-Right Extremist Funding, Report Warns

“Attempts to disrupt and investigate the funding of far-right extremism lags well behind similar work into ISIS-like groups, a report has warned. Little effort has been made to understand the evolving ways and “overlooked phenomenon” that far-right groups and people are supported financially. This is despite the UK’s interior minister reporting a 36 per cent increase in 2018 in the number of suspected right-wing extremists being referred to the government's deradicalisation programme. The report by the Royal United Services Institute also urged the private sector, such as banks and social media companies, to boost their coordination in order to stem the spread of hate. The cooperation between Facebook and PayPal to limit the influence of anti-Muslim campaigner Tommy Robinson - real name Stephen Yaxley Lennon - was cited as a good example. “A coordinated and harmonised approach is needed if extremist actors are not easily to find other channels for promoting and financing their activity,” said the paper. “Despite the significant threats posed by extreme right-wing groups and, specifically, extreme right-wing terrorism… it would appear that very limited focus is applied to the funding of these groups and individuals,” the research found.”


The New York Times: Lyon Bomb Suspect Told Police He Pledged Allegiance To ISIS

“The main suspect in the bombing last week in the central French city of Lyon has told investigators that he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, a French judicial official said on Thursday. The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, identified the suspect as Mohamed M., but did not provide any additional details. The suspect was arrested on Monday at a bus stop in Lyon and is still in custody, where he admitted to investigators that he had carried out the bombing. But his exact motivations — and whether he had direct ties to the Islamic State or to a wider network — remain unclear, the French authorities said. There has been no claim of responsibility from the Islamic State for the bombing, in which 13 people were lightly wounded by a device packed with screws, metal balls and batteries that exploded outside a bakery in the center of Lyon, France’s third-most populated city. Over 300 police officers used witness accounts and footage from video surveillance cameras to retrace the suspect’s steps and identify him. The French police had taken in the suspect’s parents and brother for questioning, but the Paris prosecutor’s office, which handles terrorism investigations nationwide, said on Thursday that all three had been released for lack of incriminating evidence.”


The Jerusalem Post: Merkel Refuses To Outlaw Hezbollah, Snubbing German Jews After Kippah Row

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, ignored an urgent plea from the country’s tiny Jewish community to outlaw the terrorist organization Hezbollah amid a shocking climate of antisemitism. When asked on Wednesday by The Jerusalem Post numerous times if the German government – in response to a demand by the nearly 100,000-member Central Council of Jews – plans to ban the Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist organization, Merkel and Seehofer refused to answer. The president of the Council, Dr. Josef Schuster, said on Monday that “a full ban of Hezbollah’s organization has already happened in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom,” adding that “Hezbollah is heavily financed by Iran, and poses, in its entirety, a threat to the entire world.” The US Embassy in Germany wrote on its Twitter feed on Monday: “Germany’s federal courts decided years ago that Hezbollah is a unified organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Symbols of Hezbollah are banned, why not the entire organization?” The undersecretary in Germany’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Niels Annen, said shortly after the UK banned Hezbollah in March that Germany won’t designate all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization.”

The Telegraph: Germany 'In Secret Talks To Send Aircraft To Patrol Syrian Safe Zone

“Germany is reportedly in talks with the US to provide military aircraft to patrol a safe zone in northern Syria proposed by Donald Trump. Angela Merkel’s government has been in secret talks the US over the plans for several months, according to Spiegel magazine. The proposals could see German Tornado fighters patrolling Syrian air space to protect the country’s Kurds from attack by Isil or Turkey. The planned force is seen as an opportunity for the US and Germany to find common ground. The two countries have been increasingly at odds during President Trump’s tenure, particularly over military cooperation. But the proposed German involvement could be scuppered by opposition from Mrs Merkel’s coalition partners, the centre-Left Social Democrats (SPD).”


Reuters: Dutch Hostage Killed While Trying To Escape From Militants In Philippines

“A Dutch photographer held hostage by Islamic State-linked militants in the Philippines since 2012 was killed on Friday by his captors when he tried to escape during a firefight on a remote southern island, the military said. Ewold Horn, a wildlife photographer, was shot by his guards from the Abu Sayyaf group when he tried to flee during a clash between government troops and the militants, said Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo, commander of a Joint Task Force on Sulu island. Horn and a fellow photographer, Lorenzo Vinciguerra from Switzerland, were taken captive as they were sailing off an island called Tawi Tawi on a bird-watching trip more than seven years ago and later taken to Sulu. Vinciguerra escaped in 2014. Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the Netherlands had informed Horn's family. “I am shocked by this terrible outcome”, Blok said, “I have been in contact with the family. I will ask my counterpart in the Philippines for further clarification.” Six militants were also killed in the firefight in the town of town of Patikul on Sulu, Pabayo said. The circumstances of the firefight were not immediately clear. Also killed during the clash on Friday was Mingayan Sahiron, the wife of Radullan Sahiron, a senior leader of the Abu Sayyaf, the military said.”

Southeast Asia

South China Morning Post: Malaysia Arrests Three Islamic State Terror Suspects

“Malaysia’s counterterrorism officers this month arrested three Islamic State terror suspects, including a Malaysian national who rejects the country’s government and believes Muslims who take part in democratic elections are infidels, police said on Thursday. The suspects – from Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh – were detained in a swoop operation conducted between May 17 and 30, said Police Inspector-General Abdul Hamid Bador. The Malaysian suspect, a 42-year-old contractor, was arrested at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport as he was departing for Egypt to join an Isis affiliate group. “The suspect was going to Egypt to join IS Sinai, and from [there], slip into Syria,” said Bador. “The suspect is a firm believer of Salafi Jihadism [and] rejects the democratic and parliamentary system. He does not recognise the Malaysian government and its religious institutions, which he labels as ‘infidels’. The suspect – who had pledged baiah (allegiance) to Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi twice on Facebook – also believes Muslims who participate in democratic elections are infidels who are “permitted to be killed”, Bador said. Although it receives less attention than Isis franchise groups in places such as Libya and Afghanistan, the Isis affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula poses a major threat to regional stability, according to the think tank The Soufan Center.”


The Wall Street Journal: Facebook Pledged Crackdown On Vaccine Misinformation. Then Not Much Happened

“Ten weeks after Facebook Inc. FB 0.45% pledged to fight vaccine misinformation, such content remains widely available across its platforms as the social-media giant grapples with how aggressively to limit the spread of hoaxes and deceptions. Facebook as of this week is still running paid ads for a prominent antivaccination group that suggests unethical doctors have conspired to hide evidence of harm vaccines do to children. Both the company’s main site and its Instagram app recommend additional antivaccine content to users who view similar material. And the top three vaccine-related accounts recommended by Instagram are “vaccinetruth” “vaccinesuncovered” and “vaccines_revealed”—all advocates for the discredited claim that vaccines are toxic.”

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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