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Old 05-16-2022, 09:59 AM
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Arrow Eye on Extemism - 05-16-22

Eye on Extremism
By: Counter Extremism Project 05-16-22

May 16, 2022

Associated Press: US Set To Remove 5 Groups From Foreign Terrorism Blacklist

“The United States is poised to remove five extremist groups, all believed to be defunct, from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, including several that once posed significant threats, killing hundreds if not thousands of people across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Although the groups are inactive, the decision is politically sensitive for the Biden administration and the countries in which the organizations operated, and could draw criticism from victims and their families still dealing with the losses of loved ones. The organizations are the Basque separatist group ETA , the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, the radical Jewish group Kahane Kach and two Islamic groups that have been active in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Egypt. The U.S. State Department notified Congress on Friday of the moves, which come at the same time as an increasingly divisive but unrelated debate in Washington and elsewhere about whether Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard should or can be legally removed from the U.S. list as part of efforts to salvage the languishing Iran nuclear deal. That designation, which was imposed by the Trump administration, was not mentioned in Friday's notifications.”

USA Today: Buffalo Attack Highlights Most Lethal Domestic Threat: Racist, Extremist Violence

“The details emerging from America’s latest mass shooting were as stunning as they were familiar. A lone gunman, allegedly driven by long-simmering racial animus, opened fire at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, with the apparent purpose of taking Black lives. The 18-year-old, white suspect, dressed in body armor and armed with a rifle, killed 10 and wounded three, police say. It is a grim scenario that has rattled federal, state and local law enforcement officials for years as racially motivated extremists have taken lives in Charleston, South Carolina; El Paso, Texas; Pittsburgh; Charlottesville, Virginia; and now Buffalo, New York. FBI Director Christopher Wray, in testimony last year before a Senate committee, offered perhaps the most daunting assessment of an increasingly toxic threat, saying racially motivated attackers represented the most deadly and “biggest chunk” of an estimated 2,000 open domestic terror investigations. Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, called the surge in hate crimes targeting Blacks, Asians, Jews and others as “a fire season all year long.” An examination of hate crimes in major U.S. cities tracked by Levin's group and set to be published this year found a nearly 39% increase in such offenses from 2020 to 2021.”

United States

Associated Press: Buffalo Shooting: Sites Yank Videos Faster, But Not By Much

“Social platforms have learned to remove violent videos of extremist shootings more quickly over the past few years. It's just not clear they're moving quickly enough. Police say that when a white gunman killed 10 people and wounded three others — most of them Black — in a “racially motivated violent extremist” shooting in Buffalo Saturday, he livestreamed the attack to the gaming platform Twitch, which is owned by Amazon. It didn’t stay there long; a Twitch spokesperson said it removed the video in less than two minutes. That's considerably faster than the 17 minutes Facebook needed to take down a similar video streamed by a self-described white supremacist who killed 51 people in two New Zealand mosques in 2019. But versions of the Buffalo shooting video still quickly spread to other platforms, and they haven't always disappeared quickly. In April, Twitter enacted a new policy on “perpetrators of violent attacks” to remove accounts maintained by “individual perpetrators of terrorist, violent extremist, or mass violent attacks,” along with tweets and other material produced by perpetrators of such attacks. On Sunday, though, clips of the video were still circulating on the platform.”

Reuters: Accused NY Subway Shooter Pleads Not Guilty To Terrorism, Weapons Charges

“A man charged with last month's mass shooting in a New York subway, one of the most violent attacks in the history of the city's transit system, pleaded not guilty to terrorism and weapons charges in Brooklyn federal court on Friday. Frank James, 62, is accused of carrying out an April 12 gunfire and smoke bomb attack that injured 23 people. He entered his plea before U.S. District Judge William Kuntz, dressed in khaki prison clothes. James' lawyer, Mia Eisner-Grynberg from the Federal Defenders of New York, did not seek to have her client released on bail, and declined to comment after the plea. Ten people were shot in the attack, which unfolded as a Manhattan-bound N train was pulling into the 36th Street station in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood during the morning commute. Thirteen others were injured in a frantic rush to flee the train. No one was killed. The incident set off a round-the-clock manhunt that culminated in James' arrest some 30 hours later. After his arrest, Eisner-Grynberg said James saw his photograph in the news and then called the New York Police Department's tipline to turn himself in.”


Al Jazeera: Syria: 10 Killed, 9 Wounded In Rocket Attack On Bus: State Media

“A rocket attack on a military bus has killed 10 soldiers and wounded nine more in northwest Syria, the country’s state news agency SANA reported. The death toll is the heaviest reported in pro-government ranks from a rebel attack since a truce agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey in March 2020. The truce has largely held despite sporadic attacks by both sides, including continued Russian air raids. The bus was attacked in the west of Aleppo province on Friday morning, the SANA news agency said. Attackers hit the bus with an anti-tank missile, the agency reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which was near the frontier with rebel-held territory close to the Turkish border. Syrian rebel group Ahrar al-Sham posted a video on its Telegram channel on Friday showing a rocket hitting a bus, with a caption declaring that the footage showed the moment a military bus belonging to pro-Assad militias was destroyed west of Aleppo. The content of the video could not be independently verified. The head of Lebanon’s heavily armed Shia movement Hezbollah, which has intervened in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad, offered his condolences for the dead in a televised address later on Friday.”


Kurdistan 24: Iraqi Airstrike Kills 3 ISIS Suspects In Anbar

“The Iraqi Air Force killed three suspected ISIS militants in an airstrike on the country’s western Anbar province, the military’s Security Media Cell announced on Thursday. The strike killed three suspected ISIS members hiding in a tunnel believed to have served as a “hostel” for the group in Wadi Ashwa near Kubaisah in Anbar Province, according to the Media Cell. The Iraqi military regularly carries out airstrikes and operations against ISIS remnants in the country. In recent airstrikes in Mosul and Kirkuk, the air force announced it had killed at least 15 members of the group. In late April, Iraqi security forces launched the second phase of an air-and-ground operation codenamed Solid Will in the western part of the country, mainly in Anbar’s desert regions. During that operation, the Iraqi forces destroyed a number of hideouts and caves allegedly used by the group. On Friday, the US-led coalition’s official Twitter account highlighted Iraqi airstrikes against ISIS, saying they are demonstrative of the air force’s commitment to Iraq’s security and stability.”


Voice Of America: Suicide Blast, Gunmen Kill 8 People In Pakistan

“Pakistani officials said Sunday militant attacks in the country’s northwest had killed at least eight people, including security force members, children and members of the minority Sikh group. The deadliest attack occurred in North Waziristan, a volatile district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killing three soldiers and three children, according to a military statement. It said the children were aged between 4 and 11 years. The Pakistani district borders Afghanistan and was a hub of terrorist groups until recently. “Intelligence agencies are investigating to find out about suicide bomber and his handlers / facilitators,” said the military’s media wing, the Inter Services Public Relations. Separately, police and witnesses said unknown gunmen shot dead two Sikh shopkeepers in a drive-by shooting in the provincial capital, Peshawar. The assailants managed to flee after the shooting. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for either attack. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the militant violence in a statement. The Islamic State group has previously claimed attacks on the minority Sikh community. The outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, known as the Pakistani Taliban, routinely claims attacks against security forces in the Waziristan district and elsewhere in the country. Pakistani authorities say fugitive TTP leaders direct deadly raids from their sanctuaries across the Afghan border.”


Associated Press: Hezbollah Weapons At Heart Of Lebanon's Elections Sunday

“It was a sea of yellow as thousands of men, women and children waving Hezbollah flags and wearing the group's trademark yellow caps rallied in the ancient eastern city of Baalbek in support of the heavily armed militant group. One after another, many attendees vowed to vote Sunday for the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah and its allies in Lebanon's closely watched parliamentary elections, rejecting any attempt to disarm the powerful group. Despite a devastating economic collapse and multiple other crises gripping Lebanon — the culmination of decades of corruption and mismanagement — the deeply divisive issue of Hezbollah's weapons has been at the center of the vote for a new 128-member parliament. Disarming the group has dominated political campaigns among almost all of the group's opponents. Those include Western-backed mainstream political groups and independents who played a role in nationwide protests since the start of the economic meltdown in October 2019. “This is the biggest misinformation campaign. Why? Because they are implementing America's policy against the resistance weapons,” senior Hezbollah official Hussein Haj Hassan told The Associated Press on Friday ahead of the rally in Baalbek.”

The Print: Will Sunday’s Elections Weaken Hezbollah’s Grip On Lebanon?

“David Daoud, the expert on Hezbollah of the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) stresses that the group’s influence within Lebanon is a critical factor that would undermine chances of genuine economic and governmental reform and says, “Through its continued possession of unregulated arms, Hezbollah dominates Lebanon’s decisions of war and peace… Hezbollah is not the singular cause of Lebanon’s dysfunction and economic collapse. The sources of that run much deeper. But the group is both a symptom of those maladies intrinsic to the Lebanese system as it is currently constituted and the primary impediment to remedying them…However, what is clear is that Lebanon cannot begin to recover until the group’s grip over the country is loosened.” Analysts point out that it is not likely that Sunday’s voting will bring meaningful change, as the numerous new candidates who are expected to get the “revenge vote” of the desperate Lebanese people have failed to form a coalition, and besides, lack the money and experience to defeat the existing parties. So, Lebanon may enter a new long period of paralysis before the various factions agree on a new power-sharing cabinet.”

Middle East

Reuters: Palestinian Militant Dies Of Wounds, Days After Clashes With Israeli Troops

“A Palestinian gunmen, brother of a prominent militant in the occupied West Bank, died in an Israeli hospital on Sunday, two days after being wounded in clashes with Israeli forces. The Palestinian Health Ministry announced Daoud Zubeidi's death, citing information from Israeli authorities, and armed groups vowed revenge. He was the brother of Zakaria Zubeidi, a former commander of the Fatah party's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank city of Jenin who escaped with five other militants from a maximum security Israeli prison in September. All were caught. Daoud Zubeidi, 43, was shot in Jenin on Friday in exchanges of fire with Israeli troops and transferred to hospital in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. An Israeli officer was also killed in clashes in Jenin that day. “We swear to God, the response to the martydom of leader ... Zubaidi will be painful, strong and unprecedented,” the Jenin Brigade, a group within the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, said in a statement. Jenin has been a frequent target of intensified Israeli arrest raids following the killing, since March, of 18 people, including three police officers and a security guard, in Arab attacks in Israel and the West Bank. The Israeli operations have often sparked clashes and brought the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces or armed civilians since the beginning of the year to at least 43.”


Associated Press: Islamic State Claims Attack That Killed 5 Troops In Egypt

“An Islamic State affiliate in Egypt on Saturday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed at least five troops in the restive part of Sinai Peninsula. The extremist group announced its claim of Wednesday’s attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency. The authenticity of the statement could not be verified but it was released on Telegram, as similar claims have been in the past. The attack involved a militant ambush against a border guard checkpoint west of the Mediterranean city of Rafah, which borders the Gaza Strip. The military said at least five troops, including an officer, were killed in the attack. At least seven militants were also killed, it said. It was the second militant attack in less than a week. Last Saturday, at least 11 troops were killed, in one of the deadliest attacks on Egyptian security forces in recent years. The Islamic State group also claimed that attack, which took place in the town of Qantara in the province of Ismailia, which stretches eastwards from the Suez Canal. Egypt is battling an insurgency in Sinai that intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013. The extremists have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and Christians, but the pace has slowed in recent years.”


All Africa: Nigeria: Coalition Against ISIS - NSA Monguno Leads Nigeria's Delegation To Global Coalition To Defeat Isis In Morocco

“The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retired) has led Nigeria's delegation to the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, held in Marrakesh, Morocco. A statement by Zakari Usman, Head, Strategic Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser said, “The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS is an 83-member alliance established in 2014 to reduce the threat ISIS poses to international security in general and the national security of member countries. “The 2022 meeting in Morocco was the first to be convened in Africa and presented an opportunity for the Coalition, led by the United States, to reaffirm the shared determination to continue the fight against ISIS through both military and civilian-led efforts to sustain pressure on ISIS remnants in Iraq and Syria and to counter its global networks, especially in Africa where it has been undermining national security through the proliferation of affiliates”, he said. In a Joint Communiqué issued by Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS following the meeting in Morocco, member countries affirmed that ensuring the enduring defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria remained a priority. “The Coalition acknowledged that, despite significant setbacks suffered by ISIS' leadership in recent times, the group continues to conduct attacks in Iraq and Syria and represents an ongoing threat.”


AFP: Mali Withdraws From Regional Anti-Extremist Force

“Mali said Sunday it was withdrawing from a west African force fighting extremists to protest its being rejected as head of the G5 regional group, which also includes Mauritania, Chad, Burkina and Niger. “The government of Mali is deciding to withdraw from all the organs and bodies of the G5 Sahel, including the joint force” fighting the extremists, it said in a statement. The G5 Sahel was created in 2014 and its anti-extremist force launched in 2017. A conference of heads of state of the G5 Sahel scheduled for February 2022 in Bamako had been due to mark “the start of the Malian presidency of the G5”. But nearly four months after the mandate indicated this meeting “has still not taken place”, the statement said. Bamako “firmly rejects the argument of a G5 member state which advances the internal national political situation to reject Mali's exercising the G5 Sahel presidency”, the statement said, without naming the country. The Mali government said “the opposition of some G5 Sahel member states to Mali's presidency is linked to manoeuvres by a state outside the region aiming desperately to isolate Mali”, without naming that country. Mali has been since January 9 the target of a series of economic and diplomatic sanctions from west African states to punish the military junta's bid to stay in power for several more years, following coups in August 2020 and May 2021.”
Personal note: It always amazes me that everyday somebody is dying
from terrorism. All around the globe somebody is being kill in our world.
Not a day goes by many are being killed each and every day. How sad.

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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