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Arrow Eye on Extremism August 22, 2019

Eye on Extremism
August 22, 2019

As of August 22, 2019:

Reuters: Trump Says Other Countries Need To Fight Islamic State

“U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that other countries will need to take up the fight against Islamic State militants, citing Russia, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran as examples. Earlier this year, U.S.-backed forces reclaimed the last remaining territory once held by Islamic State militants in Syria. Since then, however, there has been concern about the militant group gaining new strength in Iraq and Syria. ”At a certain point Russia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, they’re going to have to fight their battles,” Trump told reporters at the White House, later saying India should also get involved. ”All of these other countries where ISIS is around ... all of these are going to have to fight,” he said, adding that the United States did not want to spend “another 19 years” fighting the Afghan war. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged on Tuesday that Islamic State militants were gaining strength in some areas but said the militant group’s capacity to conduct attacks has been greatly diminished. The State Department, also on Tuesday, offered a reward of up to $5 million each for information leading to the location of ISIS leaders it identified as Muhammad Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, Sami Jasim Muhammad al-Jaburi, and Mutaz Numan Abd Nayif Najm al-Jaburi.”

CBS News: Wave Of Shooting Threats Renews Debate Over How To Combat Domestic Terrorism

“There's been a wave of arrests of people who police said threatened to carry out mass shootings after this month's massacres in Dayton and El Paso, renewing the debate over how to best combat domestic terrorism threats. CBS News senior national security analyst Fran Townsend said on “CBS This Morning” Wednesday that the U.S. needs to start employing the strategies used to fight terrorism abroad here at home. “It is an epidemic. There is no question there's a rise in anti-Semitism, racism,” Townsend said. “What we need to understand is many of the lessons learned about fighting international terrorism apply here domestically.” But applying those same tactics isn't that simple. International agencies have a different set of resources to work with than domestic law enforcement, primarily in terms of surveillance and subpoena capability, according to Townsend. “No question ... that we had all these authorities when we were fighting international terrorism, that we thought, 'Well, do we really want to apply those here in the United States?' I think there are privacy and civil liberties concerns. There are First Amendment concerns. I think we've got to get over that, and I think we have to understand that there's a balance, but we've got to give law enforcement both the resources and the authorities they need.”

USA Today: Sites Like Facebook, Google And Twitter Allowed White Supremacists To Flourish. Now What?

“Before walking into a Norwegian mosque with a pair of shotguns earlier this month, Philip Manshaus called for a race war in a statement he posted on the dark reaches of social media. He couldn’t go to 8chan, the renegade message board where suspects in three recent mass shootings had uploaded white nationalist screeds. That board had been booted days earlier by its internet provider, after the man suspected of killing 22 people in an El Paso Walmart posted his own hate-filled manifesto. It wasn’t hard for Manshaus to find a megaphone, though. The 21-year-old – whose Aug. 10 attack was foiled when a worshiper tackled him – posted on a little-known board called endchan. Much attention since the El Paso shooting on Aug. 3 has focused on 8chan. But white supremacists remain active all across the web – including on the biggest social media sites, where they proselytize in plain sight. Attempts to curb racist and violent views on the internet have become serious only recently, with limited success. In April, a white nationalist charged with killing 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, livestreamed his gruesome shooting spree on Facebook. David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, still maintains his own YouTube channel, as do other prominent white nationalist groups.”

The New York Times: 2 U.S. Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan As Talks With Taliban Resume

“Two United States soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday as violence has intensified amid peace talks and American casualties have risen with it. A statement by the United States military command announcing the deaths did not provide details, which the Pentagon does not disclose until families are notified. But Afghan and American officials said the soldiers were from an Army Special Forces unit carrying out an operation in restive Faryab Province in the north, and had most likely died during a firefight. “Our commandos and the Americans had an operation last night and there was fighting until 1 a.m.,” said Abdul Manan Qateh, the district governor of Almar, where the battle was said to have taken place. The deaths on Wednesday bring American military fatalities in the country this year to 14, up from 13 deaths in 2018 and 11 in 2017. The rising toll is a sign of how the American military is taking a more aggressive role in the conflict again after drawing down to about 14,000 troops and taking on a largely advisory role as Afghan forces fight the Taliban. Those Afghan forces bear the brunt of the conflict, with roughly two dozen fatalities a day. Both sides are intensifying attacks as American diplomats try to negotiate a deal with the Taliban to end the 18-year war.”

United States

CNN: ISIS Fighters May Not Go To Guantanamo Bay, Trump Says In Apparent Policy Shift

“President Donald Trump Wednesday appeared to rule out sending the thousands of ISIS foreign fighters currently being detained by US allies in Syria to the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying that the ISIS detainees should be repatriated to their countries of origin. “We're going to tell them and we've already told them take these prisoners that we've captured because the United States is not going to put them in Guantanamo for the next 50 years and pay for it,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn. Trump's statement represents a shift from comments he made previously after he signed an executive memorandum which raised the prospect of sending ISIS fighters there. “I am asking Congress to ensure that in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. And in many cases for them it will now be Guantanamo Bay,” Trump said at his State of the Union address in January. Also Wednesday, Trump repeated a threat to “release” ISIS fighters back to their country of origin. “We're holding thousands of ISIS fighters right now and Europe has to take them and if Europe doesn't take them, I'll have no choice but to release them into the countries from which they came which is Germany and France and other places,” Trump said.”

CNN: At Least 27 People Have Been Arrested Over Threats To Commit Mass Attacks Since The El Paso And Dayton Shootings

“When authorities arrived Friday to arrest a 15-year-old in Florida after threats to commit a school shooting showed up on a video game platform, he told them he was joking, they said. “I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum,” the boy wrote using a fake name, according to a Volusia County Sheriff's Office report. The teen is one of more than two dozen people who have been arrested over threats to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in one weekend this month in shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The raft of cases follows a directive by the FBI director immediately after the two early August massacres for agency offices nationwide to conduct a new threat assessment in an effort to thwart more mass attacks. The FBI was concerned that US-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by the attacks to “engage in similar acts of violence,” the agency said in a statement. Indeed, it was a tip to the FBI that sent sheriff's deputies to the home of the Florida teen, the sheriff's report states. CNN is not naming him because he is a minor. A woman who said the boy is her son told authorities that kids say things like that all the time and her child should not be treated like a terrorist, body-camera footage from the arrest shows.”


CNN: Defense Secretary Says ISIS Not In A Resurgent State In Syria Despite Pentagon Report Saying ISIS Is Re-Surging

“Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Wednesday that ISIS was not “in a resurgent state in Syria” despite a Pentagon inspector general report saying the terror group is re-surging in that country. “I don't agree that ISIS is in a resurgent state in Syria, but that doesn't mean we haven't seen them spring up in places like Afghanistan,” Esper said in an interview with Fox News, his first since becoming Defense secretary. His comments appear to be at odds with a report from the Pentagon's Office of the Inspector General published earlier this month, which said ISIS was “re-surging” in Syria following President Donald Trump's decision to reduce troops there. “Despite losing its territorial 'caliphate,' the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was re-surging in Syria,” the report said. Trump initially sought to withdraw all US troops from Syria but later opted to keep a residual force in place. At the height of the anti-ISIS campaign the US had just under 3,000 troops in Syria. Those numbers have been reduced by more than half, according to officials. The report said that reduction had made it harder for the US to advise America's local allies including the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who have led the fight on the ground.”

Daily Sabah: More Syrians Return Home To Terror-Free Areas

“Another group of 150 Syrians returned home in northern Syria Tuesday to settle in areas secured from terrorist organizations by the Turkish military. A large number of Syrian refugees have headed back home since 2015 within the scope of the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) program run jointly by Turkey's Directorate General of Migration and the U.N. Migration Agency (IOM). Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, millions of Syrians had sought refuge in Turkey, where the government has provided them all kinds of assistance and rights to education, health and work. Turkey has undertaken the responsibility to take in and care for refugees who are trying to survive, rebuild their lives and look to the future with hope. The 150 refugees, including women and children, boarded their buses after completing the necessary processes at the Directorate of Migration the office. They crossed into Syria using the Öncüpınar Border Gate in southeastern Turkey's Kilis. One of the refugees, Muhammed Haydar Bekkari, had left his war-torn hometown Afrin eight years ago and migrated to Turkey. He said he decided to return home as the region he was living in was now clear off terrorists. “I would like to express my gratitude to the Turkish people and especially the president,” he said.”


The Washington Post: Iran-Backed Militias In Iraq Threaten Foreign Aircraft, Adding To Speculation Israel Is Bombing Iraq

“Iranian-backed militias in Iraq warned Wednesday that foreign aircraft flying over the country may be treated as “hostile” amid growing suspicions that Israel is responsible for mysterious explosions at militia bases. The warning came in a statement issued by Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the deputy commander of the powerful coalition of Shiite Muslim militias known as Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which includes paramilitary groups that owe allegiance to Iran. The statement blamed Israeli drones for four big blasts at militia bases over the past month, all of them at warehouses storing ammunition and weapons, and accused the U.S. military of aiding the strikes by allowing Israel to use U.S. bases in Iraq. “We have informed the Joint Operations Command that we will regard any foreign aircraft flying over our headquarters without the knowledge of the Iraqi government as hostile, and will deal with it accordingly,” the statement said. This content is paid for by an advertiser and published by WP BrandStudio. The Washington Post newsroom was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more about WP BrandStudio. The U.S. military responded by tweeting that it operates in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government and complies with all Iraqi laws and directions. The only purpose for being in Iraq is “to enable our Iraqi Security Force partners in the mission of an enduring defeat of Daesh,” the military said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.”


Deutsche Welle: German Defense Minister Meets Islamic State Victims In Iraq

“German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer concluded her three-day tour of the Middle East on Wednesday, full of admiration for the women and girls from the Yazidi minority group in northern Iraq who were enslaved and abused by “Islamic State” militants. “These women have witnessed unspeakable things,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said. The recently installed defense minister was wary of history repeating itself as she said: “They need more targeted help so that they are not victims of this terrorism a second time.” The fight against IS has not finished, the German politician admitted. “This was a very emotional moment for me this morning, and that alone is a good reason to say: We should continue acting here in this region,” she said. During her visit to Erbil, the region's capital and the most populated city in Iraqi Kurdistan, Kramp-Karrenbauer also met with Kurdish Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed. After her meeting with Ahmed, the German Defense Ministry quoted Ahmed on Twitter as saying, ”Our plea to the international community and Germany: strengthen your presence here in the region.” Kramp-Karrenbauer expressed her gratitude to the Iraqi Kurdish fighters for their help in fighting the militants.”

New Europe: ISIS Resurging In Iraq And Syria

“The Islamic State is gathering new strength and conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria, the New York Times reports. It is estimated that ISIS still has up to 18,000 fighters on the ground, who are still actively undermining the consolidation of peace by means of assassinations, ambushes, kidnapping, and sniper attacks. They are thought to have a war chest of $400 million, controlling a string of businesses ranging from fish farming to cannabis plantations. According to Al-Monitor, a high-profile attack occurred in August in northern Iraq, when armed men claiming IS allegiance held a public beheading of a policeman in a rural village south of the city of Samarra in Salahuddin Province, north of Baghdad. A US inspector general report suggests that the withdrawal of 1,000 US troops and the gradual withdrawal of support for Kurdish fighters is creating a number of challenges. Kurdish forces hold over 10,000 IS fighters as prisoners, including 2,000 foreigners, at the Al-Hol camp in northern Syria. A recent UN report echoes the view that Al-Hol could become a breeding ground for an IS resurgence. At the moment, Washington has limited ability to stop the resurgence of IS attacks and is now focusing on preventing the spread of such phenomena in urban areas.”


Reuters: Three Turkish Soldiers Killed In Clash With Kurdish Militants

“Three Turkish soldiers were killed in a clash with Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey near the borders with Syria and Iraq, the local governor’s office said on Thursday. Three militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were “neutralized” in the fighting, the Sirnak governor’s office said in a written statement. It said the soldiers were maintaining security for state energy company Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) near the town of Silopi in Sirnak when the clash broke out on Wednesday. The militants had previously been spotted by a drone in the same area, it said. The PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and European Union, launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.”


The Washington Examiner: ISIS Replacing Taliban As Biggest Threat To Peace In Afghanistan While Rebounding In Iraq And Syria

“A pair of congressionally mandated Pentagon reports out this month paint a sobering picture of brutal Islamic State fighters who have been disrupted but not defeated and are on the rise in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The latest report from the Department of Defense’s lead inspector general — delivered to Congress Friday and released publicly yesterday — covers U.S. counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and concludes that ISIS’ Afghan offshoot remains “a significant threat.” Apart from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, which aims to build up Afghan government forces fighting the Taliban, the United States has a separate mission dubbed “Freedom’s Sentinel,” which uses U.S. Special Operations Forces and “partner forces” to launch unilateral operations against al Qaeda and increasingly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – Khorasan or ISIS-K. “[W]hile these operations have disrupted ISIS-K, the terrorist group will remain an enduring threat in Afghanistan, even if the Afghan government and the Taliban reach a political settlement,” the report concludes.”


Gulf Today: Arab Coalition Forces Shoot Down Two Saudi-Bound Houthi Drones

“The Arab Coalition Forces on Thursday morning intercepted and shot down two drones launched by the Houthi militia from Yemen's Amran province towards Khamis Mushait in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Press Agency, SPA, quoted the Coalition Spokesman Colonel Turki Al Maliki as saying that “all attempts by the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia to launch drones are doomed to fail.” He explained that the Coalition follows rules of engagement to prevent civilian casualties when responding to such threats, adding that the “repeated attempts reflect the despair of the terrorist militia.” Al Maliki added that by resorting to misleading media reporting of its false successes, further confirms the magnitude of losses the militia is suffering and the popular discontent it’s facing. He concluded by stressing that the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition continues to implement deterrent measures against the terrorist militia to “neutralise and destroy these capabilities strictly and in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

The Jordan Times: Extremists Undermining Chances Of Peace In Yemen

“The politico-military advantage in the stalemated war in Yemen has shifted recently in favour of the Houthi rebels, who are now reinforcing their political position ahead of prospective peace talks by calling on Iran for support. Having shunned accusations of an Iranian-Houthi connection over the four and a half years of war, the Houthis dispatched a delegation to meet with no less a figure than Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and appointed an ambassador to Tehran. The encounter with Khamenei also marked a major change in attitude towards the Yemeni war at the senior-most level in Iran's two-tier system of government, of clerical and elected personnel, in which he is the ultimate decider. Khamenei declared his “support for the mujahidah [struggle] for Yemen”, and accused Saudi Arabia and the Emirates of seeking “to divide Yemen”. In a signal that Iran may intend to become involved in peace-making, Houthi representatives met the ambassadors of Britain, France, Germany and Italy to Tehran. The participants discussed the crisis in Yemen and agreed that the conflict must be settled through political action. They urged the parties to implement the truce agreement reached in Stockholm last December and extend it to the whole of the country.”

Middle East

The Washington Post: Our Son, Hadar Goldin, Was Abducted By Hamas. We Want His Remains Returned.

“Five years ago this month, our son Hadar Goldin, a second lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces, was abducted by Hamas militants during a humanitarian cease-fire in the 50-day war along the Gaza border with Israel. The militants dragged him into the tunnel from which they had apparently emerged. Hadar was killed — it is not clear how — during the ensuing firefight as Israeli forces raced to try to rescue him. To this day, we believe that Hamas holds our son’s remains, presumably as a bargaining chip to extract political concessions — just as it holds the remains of Oron Shaul, another Israeli soldier who was killed during the conflict, as well as hostages Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed. Hadar, who was 23 when he died, was a gifted young man, a teacher and artist with a winning smile. He was also a budding Talmudic scholar whose notebooks were published posthumously. The death of one’s child is the most painful loss, and finding true comfort will never be possible. But our loss has been made even more devastating because Hadar’s body has not been returned. Jewish tradition requires a speedy burial. The idea is found in the Bible, which demands that even executed prisoners be buried swiftly.”


The Times Of Israel: Egypt Arrests Son Of PA Official, A BDS Activist, For Aiding ‘Terror Group’

“The family of prominent Palestinian politician Nabil Shaath accused Egyptian authorities on Wednesday of arresting Shaath’s son Ramy last month. He has been charged with allegedly aiding a terrorist group, but the family says Ramy was targeted because he criticized the Egyptian government’s ties with Israel and the US as part of his role in the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. “Ramy was arrested on Friday July 5th at 12:45 AM, from his home in Cairo,” the family said in a statement on Facebook. “At least a dozen heavily armed security agents stormed and searched his residence without presenting any legal document,” they added. The son of a senior Palestinian politician and Oslo peace process negotiator, Ramy also entered politics and served as an adviser to Palestinian Liberation Organization head Yasser Arafat. The 48-year-old has lived since 1977 in Egypt, where he has citizenship. His arrest came 10 days after authorities raided 19 businesses allegedly tied to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, accusing them of funding a plot to overthrow the state. Among those also arrested were several prominent secular activists including former lawmaker Zyad el-Elaimy. After disappearing for 36 hours, Shaath appeared before prosecutors and was charged with aiding a “terrorist group” connected to the same plot, the family said.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: Battles Intensify In Tripoli, Militants Surrender To LNA

“Clashes between the Libyan National Army and Government of National Accord intensified in the capital Tripoli on Wednesday. Fierce battles were reported in the al-Sbeaa area in southern Tripoli as LNA chief Khalifa Haftar ordered army commanders to refrain from making statements to the media on the military’s advances. A senior LNA military official told Asharq Al-Awsat that the situation on the ground was “excellent”. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said that the army was close to liberating Tripoli. The army carried out a number of airstrikes on GNA positions in the capital, but did not disclose details about human or material losses. The LNA had launched in April an operation to cleanse the capital of pro-GNA militias. Meanwhile, LNA media said that a group of militants loyal to the Deterrence Force surrendered to the army. In the South, the LNA said its jets were continuing to strike positions of Chadian mercenaries in the city of Murzuq. The strikes were carried out hours after the parliament declared it a violence-stricken city and after the army withdrew its forces. The GNA seized Murzuq, while the LNA had officially accused ISIS and Chadian opposition groups of controlling the city.”


National Review: The U.S. Must Remain In Africa’s Fight Against Boko Haram

“On Thursday, August 15, the international terrorist group Boko Haram attacked a military base and community in Nigeria, killing three soldiers. This comes on the heels of an even deadlier attack three weeks ago, when armed members of the group rode motorcycles into a funeral in northern Nigeria and opened fire on the procession, killing 65 mourners. For many, these are just forgettable attacks by Boko Haram. But for me, this story hit close to home. A few years ago, I was an investigative journalist reporting from where the carnage occurred. And years before that, I served as a Navy SEAL in Africa trying to prevent such carnage from taking place at all. In today’s era of trade war with China and potential hot wars with Iran and North Korea, it’s easy to overlook the threat posed by Boko Haram, and conflicts in Africa more broadly. But I believe we ignore the continent and terrorist groups such as Boko Haram at our peril — and we’d better pay attention now before events force us to pay attention later. Boko Haram is most famous, of course, for its 2014 kidnapping of roughly 300 young girls, an event that shocked the world and even led First Lady Michelle Obama to post a photo with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.”


Reuters: Suspected Jihadists Kill Five Malian Troops In Ambush

“Suspected jihadists killed five Malian soldiers on Wednesday in an ambush in the West African country’s volatile centre, the army said, the latest in a string of attacks targeting local security forces in the Sahel region. The statement said the soldiers were travelling between the towns of Hombori and Boni, about 100 km north of the Burkina Faso border, when they fell into an ambush. It came days after gunmen killed 24 soldiers in an attack on an army unit in neighbouring Burkina Faso. “FAMA (Malian armed forces) deplores the killing of five people, which also destroyed military equipment,” the statement said. “Reinforcements have been sent back there.” The remote, grassy borderlands where Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger meet has become a haven for militants and criminal outfits linked to Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. Jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have exploited ethnic rivalries in Mali and its neighbours to boost recruitment and render swathes of territory ungovernable. French forces intervened in Mali in 2013 to push back a jihadist advance from the desert north but the militants have since regrouped and expanded their presence. Some 4,500 French troops remain based in the wider Sahel, which consists mostly of former French colonies, most of them in Mali.”

Xinhua: Boko Haram Kills One, Abducts Seven In Cameroon's Far North Region

“A bus driver was killed and seven passengers kidnapped when terror group Boko Haram hijacked a commercial bus in Cameroon's Far North region on Tuesday, Cameroon army said on Wednesday. “There were 19 passengers altogether when the terrorists attacked. The driver was killed on the spot, and seven passengers were kidnapped. The other 11 passengers were rescued by security forces,” the army said stating that the tragedy took place in Dabanga, a locality in the Logone and Chari division of the Far North region. The Cameroon army is conducting a rescue mission to secure the safe release of the passengers, according to local authorities.”

United Kingdom

Vice: How A UK-Born Accused Terrorist Suddenly Became Canadian

“The curious case of “Jihadi Jack” having his British citizenship strippedshows just how little Western countries want to deal with their own citizens suspected of committing acts of terrorism abroad. One expert calls it “anti-terrorism NIMBYism.” Jack Letts, better known by his media-given name “Jihadi Jack,” converted to Islam as a young man, and travelled to the Middle East from the U.K. in 2014. While his activities in the Middle East aren’t documented extensively, it’s been alleged he was involved with ISIS and supported terrorist actions, which he and his family deny. Letts, 26, is currently being held in a prison in northern Syria by Kurdish forces. He’s been in captivity for two and a half years. In June, his parents were found guilty of funding terrorism by providing their son with funds. Letts, his Canadian-born father, and English mother are all dual citizens of the U.K. and Canada. While it’s illegal under international law to make a citizen stateless, it’s not illegal to strip documents if they still have citizenship elsewhere, as is the case with the Letts. Back in February, Letts said he wanted to go back to the U.K., but he didn’t think his home would take him back. For a while there seemed to be some Canadian effort to bring Letts to Canada, but that seems to have since died down.”


NBC News: Extremists Creep Into Roblox, An Online Game Popular With Children

“It’s become an almost inevitable problem on the internet: If you build it, they will troll. That is, if a company builds a successful gaming or social media platform, trolls, extremists and other users spouting noxious speech will find a way to those online locations. This week, a Twitter user by the name of @lululemew started to find neo-Nazi references on Roblox, a popular online game that has more than 100 million active users worldwide and is popular with children. While such disturbing user names, profiles and content in Roblox aren’t new, they got renewed attention from this woman’s tweets. “My kid plays Roblox,” she wrote in an attempt to alert the company. “Did you know you have members on your site promoting #WhitePowerExtremist #DomesticTerrorism groups?” Roblox, like Minecraft, allows users to create avatars and virtual worlds for those characters to roam around in. While most people use the game’s platform to create fun, innocuous characters, some have used it to try to spread hateful messages. The game has become yet another frontier in the ongoing battle over content moderation and appropriate lines of speech on private platforms that are now often spaces where people congregate.”

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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