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Old 09-16-2021, 10:00 AM
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Arrow Eye on Extremism - 09-16-21

Eye on Extremism - September 16, 2021
By: Counter Extremism Project 09-16-21

Eye on Extremism - As of September 16, 2021:

Voice Of America: Al-Shabab Attack Kills 11 In Mogadishu

“An explosion from suicide bombing has killed at least 11 people Tuesday in the Somali capital, witnesses and officials said. Witnesses said a suicide bomber walked into a teashop made of corrugated tin and detonated an explosive vest. The attack occurred near a checkpoint manned by Somali government security forces in Wadajir district, which is next to both Mogadishu’s airport and the headquarters of the Africa Union forces known as AMISOM. Soldiers as well as civilians are among the dead according to a Somali government official who requested anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the media. The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack. The prime minister of Somalia, Mohamed Hussein Roble, condemned the “barbaric act” by al-Shabab. “I condemn today's bombing by al-Shabab terrorists at a teashop in Wadajir district, which resulted in the death and injury of innocent people,” he said in a Twitter post. “May God have mercy on the dead and heal the wounded.” Roble said the attack shows that al-Shabab are “thirsty for the indiscriminate bloodshed of the Somali people.”’

CNN: Taliban Co-Founder Disputes Internal Rifts, Denies He Was Injured In Any Clash

“Taliban co-founder and acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar appeared in a television interview Wednesday to refute rumors he had been injured or even killed in a dispute last week at the presidential palace in Kabul. Rumors had been circulating -- and widely shared on social media -- that Baradar had come to harm during a dispute between factions of the Taliban and the powerful Haqqani network, which holds key positions in Afghanistan's interim government. Baradar first refuted the claims in an audio clip on Monday, but no video or images were forthcoming then. On Wednesday he appeared in an interview with Afghan national TV, which was posted on Twitter by the Taliban's political office in Doha.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: 17 Pro-Iran Militants Killed, Injured In ISIS Attack In Central Syria

“Seventeen members of the pro-Iran Liwa Fatemiyoun militia were killed and wounded in an attack carried out by the ISIS terrorist group in the Homs countryside in central Syria. A source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the militants, who are affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, were killed in an ISIS ambush on Monday night. The ambush targeted a Liwa Fatemiyoun military position in the Doubayat gas field area that is a stronghold of the militia. Eight members of the militia were killed in the attack. Nine others were wounded and they were taken to a field hospital in Palmyra for treatment. Groups affiliated with the IRGC in Palmyra attempted to dispatch military reinforcements to the site of the attack, but it was targeted by another ISIS ambush along the road connecting Plamyra to al-Sukhna region. This forced Russian jets to intervene. They carried out over 20 strikes against ISIS in the area. An opposition activist in the city of Salamiyah said ISIS has increased its activity in the Syrian desert in Hama, Homs and central parts of the country in recent weeks. It has staged surprise attacks against IRGC positions and regime convoys in the desert (Badia). Vehicles transporting pro-Iran militants, of various nationalities, cross Salamiyah on a daily basis headed towards the Hama desert to reinforce positions there, he revealed.”


Associated Press: Shootout In Northwest Pakistan Kills 7 Soldiers, 5 Militants

“Pakistan’s military raided a militant hideout in the country’s restive northwestern region bordering Afghanistan, triggering a shootout that killed seven soldiers and five insurgents, the military said Wednesday. The Pakistani Taliban released a statement claiming responsibility for the incident and saying they had ambushed the troops. The militant group — which is separate from the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan — has been fighting the Pakistani government for several years. A statement from the military said the overnight raid took place in the district of South Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a former tribal region that was a haven for militants from both sides of the border until 2017, when the Pakistani army declared it had cleared the region of insurgents following several operations. The military provided no further details on the overnight raid and only said a search operation was still in progress. Pakistan’s national security adviser Moeed Yusuf confirmed the attack, telling reporters at a press conference on Wednesday that he hoped the new Taliban government in Afghanistan would not allow any militant group, including the Pakistani Taliban — known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP — to use the Afghan soil for attacks against Pakistan or any other country.”


Reuters: East Libyan Forces And Chadian Rebels Clash In Southern Libya

“The Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar clashed with Chadian rebel forces in the south of Libya on Tuesday and Wednesday, both sides said. The fighting underscores the risk of further instability in the Sahel region, where an array of groups operate across borders and where fighting has created space for militant organisations. Statements from the LNA, which holds most of eastern and southern Libya, said it was engaged in military operations against what it called terrorist groups and the Chadian opposition. The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) said via social media that its positions on the frontier had been attacked by Haftar's forces, fighting alongside what it said were Sudanese mercenaries and French troops. The LNA said it had carried out air strikes and was conducting aerial patrols. FACT said French air strikes had hit its positions. The French army said it had no forces on the ground or in the air in that area. FACT had been based in Libya and fought alongside the LNA during periods of Libya's civil war, receiving heavy arms from Haftar, researchers say. In April, FACT advanced into northern Chad, battling the army there. Chadian authorities said president Idriss Deby, who had ruled for 30 years, was killed in the clashes. His son has taken over as transitional president.”


Reuters: One Million Nigerian Children To Miss School Due To Mass Kidnappings, UNICEF Says

“At least one million Nigerian children could miss school this year as the new term begins amid a rise in mass school kidnappings and insecurity, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said on Wednesday. Schools have become targets for mass abductions for ransom in northern Nigeria by armed groups. Such kidnappings in Nigeria were first carried out by jihadist group Boko Haram then later its offshoot Islamic State West Africa Province, but the tactic has now been adopted by criminal gangs. So far, there has been 20 attacks on schools in Nigeria this year, with more than 1,400 children abducted and 16 dead, UNICEF said, adding that more than 200 children are still missing. “Learners are being cut off from their education... as families and communities remain fearful of sending children back to their classrooms due to the spate of school attacks and student abductions in Nigeria,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria. More than 37 million Nigerian children are due to start the new school year this month, UNICEF said. An estimated eight million have had to wait for more than a year for in-person learning after schools were closed due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Insecurity also lead to school closures in Nigeria.”


Associated Press: France Says Head Of Islamic State In Sahara Has Been Killed

“France’s president announced the death of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara’s leader late Wednesday, calling Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi’s killing “a major success” for the French military after more than eight years fighting extremists in the Sahel. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that al-Sahrawi “was neutralized by French forces” but gave no further details. It was not announced where al-Sahrawi was killed, though the Islamic State group is active along the border between Mali and Niger. “The nation is thinking tonight of all its heroes who died for France in the Sahel in the Serval and Barkhane operations, of the bereaved families, of all of its wounded,” Macron tweeted. “Their sacrifice is not in vain.” Rumors of the militant leader’s death had circulated for weeks in Mali, though authorities in the region had not confirmed it. It was not immediately possible to independently verify the claim or to know how the remains had been identified. “This is a decisive blow against this terrorist group,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly tweeted. “Our fight continues.” Al-Sahrawi had claimed responsibility for a 2017 attack in Niger that killed four U.S. military personnel and four people with Niger’s military.”

Deutsche Welle: Living In Fear Of Terrorists In Niger

“They have killed our husbands, the other men have fled, our storehouses have been burned down,” said Hajiya Sibti Mouhamadou, who lives in the small village of Sara Koira in Niger's volatile Tillaberi region. “Today, it's the females who have to take on the role of both the men and the mothers ... and take care of the children and the old people,” Mouhamadou says in the DW interview. “How should we manage to do all of this?” Tillaberi is a vast arid area of 100,000 square kilometers (39,000 square miles) in Niger's southwest, where people primarily live from livestock herding and subsistence farming. The situation in Tillaberi, which forms part of the tri-border region shared by Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, has sharply deteriorated in the past few years. “It's not easy to live in such a situation because as soon as you hear the sound of a motorcycle, panic breaks out in the village,” Mouhamadou said, referring to the habit of terrorists and armed bandits to use motorbikes to raid villages like hers. In neighboring Anzourou, the mayor lists the effects of the attacks on his rural community. “Up to 22 schools with a total of 1,800 students are closed,” Halidou Djibo told DW."

United Kingdom

Newsweek: Woman Who Joined ISIS As Teen Asks To Return To U.K., Even If She Faces Terrorism Charges

“A British woman who joined the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Syria when she was a teenager is appealing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to allow her to return home, even if she faces terrorism charges. Shamima Begum ran away from home when she was 15, one of three east London schoolgirls who traveled to Syria in 2015. She has said she married an ISIS member from the Netherlands and had three children. Begum said all of her children have died. In her appeal to return home, Begum has said she is willing to face terrorism charges in Britain and would prove her innocence in court. “If you really think I did do this, why don't you bring me back and put me on trial, and hear my side of the story,” she said. “I am willing to go to court and face the people who made these claims and refute these claims, because I know I did nothing in IS but be a mother and a wife. “The only crime I committed was being dumb enough to join IS.” For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below. A British woman who ran away from home as a teenager to join the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) is now pleading to return home, calling it a “death cult.” A picture taken at the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp, which holds relatives of suspected ISIS fighters in the northeastern Hasakeh governorate, shows families preparing for their released from the camp to return home in the northern Raqqa region on September 14, 2021.”


Associated Press: 2015 Paris Attacks Suspect: Deaths Of 130 'Nothing Personal'

“The key defendant in the 2015 Paris attacks trial said Wednesday the coordinated killings were in retaliation for French airstrikes on the Islamic State group, calling the deaths of 130 innocent people “nothing personal” as he acknowledged his role for the first time. Salah Abdeslam, who wore all black and declined to remove his mask as he spoke in a custom-built courtroom, has been silent throughout the investigation. Observers were waiting to see if he would offer any details during the trial. Nine Islamic State group gunmen and suicide bombers struck within minutes of one another at several Paris locations on Nov. 13, 2015, targeting fans at the national soccer stadium and cafe-goers and ending with a bloodbath in the Bataclan concert hall. It was the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II and among the worst terror attacks to hit the West, shaking the country's sense of security and rewriting its politics. Abdeslam is the only survivor of that cell, most of whose members were French or Belgian. After his suicide vest malfunctioned on the night of the attacks, he fled to his hometown of Brussels.”

The Epoch Times: France Says It Has Killed ISIS-GS Leader, A Former Al-Qaeda Leader, In Africa

“…According to the Counter Extremism Project, an international non-profit working to combat the growing threat of terrorism and extremist ideology, al-Sahrawi was formerly the self-proclaimed leader for the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group “The Sentinels” (“al-Mourabitoun”) in the Sahara. In May 2015, he pledged allegiance to ISIS’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and split to form ISIS-GS. Al-Sahrawi was designated a global terrorist by the United States after he claimed responsibility for a 2017 terror attack in Niger that killed four U.S. military personnel, as well as four soldiers from Niger’s military. His group has also abducted foreigners in the Sahel region of West Africa, and is still believed to be holding American Jeffrey Woodke, who was taken from his home in Niger in 2016. The terrorist is also responsible for ordering the killing of six French aid workers and their Nigerien drivers in August 2020, Macron’s office said. French Defense Minister Florence Parly congratulated military and intelligence agents for their efforts in the covert mission.”


Associated Press: Sidelined By Rivals, Germany’s Far-Right AfD Bides Time

“Immigration is a side issue in this year’s German election campaign, but that hasn’t stopped the country’s biggest far-right party from trying to play it up. “Cologne, Kassel or Konstanz can’t cope with more Kabul,” Alternative for Germany declared on one of its posters ahead of the Sept. 26 election — a reference to the government’s decision to take in several thousand Afghans who had worked for the German military or aid groups before the Taliban takeover. Another poster, showing a retired couple embracing on a pier, reads: “We’ll share our pensions, but not with the whole world. Solidarity has its limits.” The party shook Germany’s political establishment four years ago, when it came in third in parliamentary elections after stoking anti-immigrant sentiment over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to allow hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty into the country. “The 2017 election was strongly influenced by refugee and migration politics,” said Hendrik Traeger, a political scientist at the University of Leipzig. “Alternative for Germany made that its core issue. This time it’s not among the top three election topics, though.” According to surveys, the top issues this time include climate change, COVID-19, pensions and the economy.”


Personal note:
I'm afraid the instability of the world will continue for some time yet.
The Middle East and the Coastal Seaway's will continue to be unstable
for some time yet.
China - North Korea and Russia will continue to stir the pot for another
decade or so - let's hope for the best - and await the out come that's
about any of us can do at this time.

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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