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Old 10-10-2019, 06:34 AM
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Arrow Eye on Extremism - October 10, 2019

Eye on Extremism
October 10, 2019
RE: info@counterextremism.com

As of October 10, 2019:

The Wall Street Journal: German Man Arrested After Failed Attack On Synagogue

“A German man suspected of killing two people near a synagogue in the country’s east and streaming the assault online was arrested on Wednesday after what authorities said appeared to be an anti-Semitic attack by a far-right extremist. Witnesses said they saw the suspect, armed with two guns and wearing a helmet with a camera on top, try and fail to gain access to a synagogue in the city of Halle, where some 60 worshipers, including 10 U.S. nationals, had gathered to celebrate Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. The suspected attacker then lobbed a projectile over the synagogue gate and started shooting, witnesses said. Police said a woman was then shot dead on the street near the synagogue and a man was killed in a nearby kebab restaurant. A hospital spokesman said two people were wounded during the incident and treated at Halle’s university hospital. A senior security official identified the suspect as Stephan Balliet, 27, a German citizen from the state of Saxony-Anhalt, where Halle is located, and said he wasn’t previously known to authorities. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said prosecutors had enough information to assume a far-right motivation behind the attack, even though it was too early to make a final determination.”

AFP: Germany Shooting Livestreamed Despite Efforts By Tech Firms

“Just weeks after a broad effort announced by tech platforms to curb the spread of violent content, a video of Wednesday's deadly shooting in the German city of Halle was posted online, where it was seen by some 2,200 people. Hans-Jakob Schindler of the Counter Extremism Project, a group seeking to curb online violence, said the latest livestream highlights a need for stronger actions against social platforms. "Online platforms need to step up and stop their services being used and in turn, parent companies need to hold them accountable," Schindler said. "Amazon is just as much to blame as Twitch for allowing this stream online. This tragic incident demonstrates one more time that a self-regulatory approach is not effective enough and sadly highlights the need for stronger regulation of the tech sector."

The New York Times: Death Toll Climbs As Turkish Offensive In Syria Enters 2nd Day

“Fighting lit up the sky early Thursday as Turkish troops pressed their air and ground offensive against United States-allied Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. At least 16 Kurds were reported to have been killed, one monitoring group said. Members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were killed in the Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain areas of northeastern Syria, along with six attackers of unknown identity, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a conflict monitor based in Britain. American troops had withdrawn from both areas on Monday.”

Independent: ISIS 'Beatles' Moved From Syrian Prison To Face Trial In US

“Two British men accused of being part of a notorious Isis cell dubbed “the Beatles” and which were filmed executing hostages, have been transferred into US custody to be tried in America. The men, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey, had been among hundreds of suspected Isis figures being held in Kurdish-operated jails inside Syria. After the US gave the green light for Turkey to controversially enter Syria and attack those Kurdish forces who had backed the west’s efforts against Isis, there were also concerns as to what would happen to the prisoners, including those of high value.”

ABC News: American Hostage Held By ISIS Is Alive: Niger President

“An American missionary abducted by Islamic State-linked terrorists in Africa three years ago is still alive and in captivity, the president of Niger said in a recent interview with ABC News. Jeffery Ray Woodke, 59, of McKinleyville, California, was kidnapped in October 2016 while doing humanitarian missionary work in Niger. He is believed to be a hostage of a jihadi group affiliated with ISIS, multiple U.S. counterterrorism officials have told ABC News. “Fortunately -- and I had to declare it a few weeks ago -- he is alive and he is in good health,” Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou told ABC News. Woodke's recovery has been a priority for American military and intelligence assets in the Sahel region of Africa since 2016 -- valuable resources Issoufou said he’d like more of in order to succeed in defeating Islamist militants who cross into Niger to carry out attacks. “We will continue in any case to do everything to make conditions for his liberation,” the Nigerien leader said in French through an interpreter. The interview took place while Issoufou was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly in September. Woodke had worked in Niger for almost three decades as a humanitarian aid worker when he was kidnapped in Abalak and driven off in the direction of Mali while working for a local aid group called JEMED.”

HuffPost: Homicidal Neo-Nazi Terrorist Group Reappears On YouTube Amid FBI Probe

“It took YouTube more than a week to take action against a propaganda video on its site produced by the Atomwaffen Division (AWD) — the neo-Nazi terrorist organization under FBI investigation and linked to five murders in the U.S. — and the poster’s channel remains active. The Google-owned tech giant previously banned an AWD-run channel in response to public uproar, but has since been unwilling or unable to keep the group’s content off its platform. "It’s troubling that YouTube didn’t delete the channel that clearly uploaded an AWD video,” said Joshua Fisher-Birch, a research analyst at the Counter Extremism Project who found and reported the now-removed video. In the past, YouTube was slow to remove channels that uploaded ISIS videos, even after the videos were deleted. "Though violence-minded extremists often congregate on the dark web and on fringe networks, YouTube has continued to be a mainstream place where they 'can communicate with each other and connect and share materials," Fisher-Birch added. "This is preventable."

United States

The Washington Post: We Fought ISIS Side By Side With The Americans. Now They’re Leaving Us To Our Fate.

“The organization I represent, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), is the ally of the global coalition against the Islamic State. Our relationship with the United States began in 2014, after the battle of Kobani, when our men and women in uniform astonished the world with their heroic defense against Islamic State jihadists. I was one of the main advocates for sustaining and improving the relationship between Syrians and Americans. Skeptics warned me: “The U.S has no friends, only interests.” But I rejected such sentiments as an anti-American narrative encouraged by our enemies. Now it turns out that the pessimists were right. I was wrong.”

The New York Times: U.S. Moves To Take ‘High Value’ ISIS Detainees, Including Britons Who Abused Hostages

“The American military is moving to take as many as several dozen Islamic State detainees out of Kurdish-run wartime prisons in northern Syria, including two British men already in custody who are notorious for their roles in the torture and killing of Western hostages, according to United States officials. The decision comes as the Turkish military moved into northern Syria after getting a green light from President Trump. Turkey is targeting the American-backed Kurds — known as the Syrian Democratic Forces — who were the primary allies of the United States in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria. The Turkish invasion called into question the militia’s ability to continue securely holding some 11,000 captured ISIS fighters. Mr. Trump has said that Islamic State detainees will become Turkey’s responsibility, and it is not clear what his administration’s long-term plan will be for those who would instead come into the American military’s custody. For now, the military was taking at least some of the men to Iraq, where the United States has a base where it has held a handful of Islamic State detainees with American citizenship before transferring them to domestic soil — or, in one case, releasing a detainee in Bahrain.”

The Washington Post: Trump Has Ushered In A Grotesque Coda To The War Against ISIS

“By acquiescing to Turkey’s invasion of northeastern Syria on Wednesday, President Trump has opened the door to what could become a genuine nightmare for the United States and its allies: the revival of the deadly terrorist organization that called itself the Islamic State. The danger lies not simply in the group’s sleeper cells that are still active — and that detonated three suicide bombs in the terrorists’ former capital of Raqqa on Wednesday. The larger risk comes from about 11,000 Islamic State fighters who have been detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-led militia that Trump is abandoning, and who may now try to flee. As the SDF mobilizes to combat the Turks, security at nearly 20 makeshift prisons is likely to deteriorate, U.S. officials said. The U.S. military has said that it won’t take control, nor will European allies. Turkey’s claim that it can police the camps is hollow, given that many of these terrorists arrived in Syria after passing through Turkey. The cascade of bad events could get worse if action isn’t taken quickly. U.S. officials fear that as security deteriorates, U.N. relief agencies may abandon control of a camp called al-Hol, which holds more than 70,000 refugees, more than 25 percent of whom are relatives of killed or captured Islamic State fighters.”

NJ.com: Terrorist And Attempted Cop Killer Ahmad Rahimi Faces A 3rd Trial For Bombs Found In N.J.

“Already serving life behind bars for a Manhattan bombing and convicted of attempting to kill five Linden cops on Tuesday, Ahmad Khan Rahimi still faces a possible third trial for bombs authorities say he planted in two New Jersey towns in September 2016. But when that occurs is unclear. The charges against Rahimi in federal court in New Jersey have been on hold with no filings in the case since the days after he was arrested on charges of planting bombs in Seaside Park and Elizabeth. “The federal charges in the District of New Jersey remain pending,” said Matthew Reilly, spokesman for the New Jersey District Attorney’s office. He would not comment on the timeline of when Rahimi is expected to be in court next, or why the New Jersey federal case has had no activity for three years. On Sept. 17, 2016, police say Rahimi placed homemade pipe bombs along a 5K military charity run in Seaside Park, which detonated in a trash can. Nobody was injured in the blast. Later that day, Rahimi placed two pressure cooker bombs in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood — one detonated and injured more than 30 people. He’s also suspected of leaving bombs at the Elizabeth Train Station, which were found by a homeless man and detonated by police using a robot.”

Syria

Associated Press: US Pullback Could Boost Islamic State Group Revival In Syria

“The American pullback from parts of northeastern Syria could help breathe new life into the Islamic State group if fighting erupts between the Kurds and Turkey. Syrian Kurdish authorities are already struggling to guard IS fighters captured during the long U.S.-backed campaign against the militants and to keep a lid on IS supporters and family members thronging displacement camps. Their hold will suffer even more if they are fighting Turkey. The White House has said Turkey will take over responsibility for the thousands of imprisoned fighters. But it is not clear how that will happen, if it all, given that the Kurdish forces are Turkey’s nemesis. Turkey is sending troops along the border in preparation for an offensive against the Syrian Kurds. Ankara has said it wants to impose a zone of control potentially 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep that would stretch the length of the border. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have vowed to fight back. Here is a look at what is at stake and why IS stands to gain. Angered by the sudden pullback of U.S. troops, Kurdish officials sounded the alarm that, to fight any Turkish assault, they will have to divert their forces away from guarding IS prisoners.”

NPR: Turkey Launches Offensive Against Kurds In Northern Syria

“Turkey has begun shelling and airstrikes against Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Kurdish militant groups have been key to the U.S.-led fight against ISIS.”

CNN: 'Huge Concerns' Thousands Of ISIS Prisoners May Escape As Turkey Invades Syria

“Fears are growing among American officials that thousands of ISIS fighters may escape from prisons in Syria as the Kurdish personnel guarding them gear up for a fight with Turkey, which launched a military offensive in northeastern Syria on Wednesday. Turkey's assault has already had a “detrimental effect” on American counter-ISIS operations, which have “effectively stopped,” a senior US defense official told CNN on Wednesday. The Turkish offensive, the official said, “has challenged our ability to build local security forces, conduct stabilization operations and the Syrian Democratic Forces' [ability] to guard over 11,000 dangerous ISIS fighters.” When asked Wednesday about the threat of ISIS prisoners escaping, President Donald Trump claimed that some of the most dangerous ISIS prisoners had been moved, “putting them in other areas where it's secure.” He dismissed the overall threat, replying, “Well, they're going to be escaping to Europe.” US officials have long warned of the vulnerability of the “pop-up prisons” housing some 11,000 to 12,000 ISIS fighters captured on the battlefield, 2,000 of whom are foreigners not from Iraq or Syria. Despite Trump's assertion, only several hundred of the prisoners are believed to be from Europe.”

Reuters: Turkish Offensive In Syria Could Reinvigorate Islamic State - Germany

“Germany on Wednesday urged Turkey to halt a military operation in northern Syria, saying the incursion would destabilise the country and risked helping a resurgence of the Islamic State militant group. “Turkey is risking a further detribalization of the region and a reinvigoration of Islamic State,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement. “The Turkish offensive could lead to a new humanitarian disaster as well as new refugee flows.” He added: “We urge Turkey to end its operation and to pursue its security interests in a peaceful way.”

Iran

Associated Press: Iraq’s Uprising An Open Crisis With No Known Path Forward

“Iraq has been plunged into a new cycle of instability that potentially could be the most dangerous this conflict-scarred nation has faced, barely two years after declaring victory over the Islamic State group in a war that left much of the country in ruins and displaced tens of thousands.”

The Telegraph: £1m Charity Cash For Group Linked To Iran

“A human rights organisation has received more than £1 million in charity cash despite being run by self-declared Islamist revolutionaries closely aligned to Iran who say that the West is “the enemy” and Britain a “Stasi state”. According to an investigation by The Times newspaper the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), which is supported by Jeremy Corbyn, speak of “apartheid London”, label anti-terrorism laws a “war on Muslims” and condemn English as a “colonial language that will always subjugate you”.

Financial Times: US Accuses Iran Of Lying About Oil Delivery To Syria

“The US has accused Iran of delivering oil to Syria despite denials from Tehran that the Adrian Darya 1, a tanker seized by British commandos and released weeks later, had been sailing to Syrian ports to sell crude in violation of US and EU sanctions. Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, said the tanker, which had remained off the coast of Syria for several weeks, had offloaded its oil via another ship called the Jasmine.”

Iraq

Iraqi News: Air Raid Kills Two Islamic State Militants In Iraq’s Diyala

“Two members of the Islamic State militant group were killed Wednesday in an air raid on a terrorist hotbed in the eastern province of Diyala, a security committee said. “A series of airstrikes targeted several hotbeds of the Islamic State militant group in al-Maita area on the provincial border with Salahuddin, leaving two IS dead,” Sadiq al-Husseini, head of the security committee of Diyala provincial council, told Baghdad Today. The air raid was based on intelligence information, he added. In January 2015, Iraqi forces announced liberation of Diyala province from Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014. The province has seen months of fighting between Iraqi troops and IS militants especially in the Jalawla and Saadiyah areas in the province’s north and areas near the town of Muqdadiyah.”

Xinhua: 12 IS Militants Killed In 2 Attacks In Iraq

“A total of 12 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed Wednesday in a raid and an airstrike in the Iraqi provinces of Salahudin and Diyala, security sources said. In the central province of Salahudin, an army force raided a house used as an IS hideout at a village in northwest of the provincial capital Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, said a statement by Abdul Muhsin Hatem, commander of Salahudin operations. During the raid, the house which appeared to be booby-trapped was detonated, killing an army officer, and after searching the destroyed house, the troops discovered a bunker where 10 IS militants were hiding, sparking a heavy clash that resulted in the killing of all the militants, the statement said. In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, the Iraqi aircraft conducted an airstrike, based on intelligence reports, on an IS position in a rugged area located near the provincial border with neighboring Salahudin province, destroying the position and killing two IS militants inside, Sadiq al-Husseini, head of the security committee of Diyala's provincial council, told Xinhua. The Iraqi forces are continuing security operations in different areas in central Iraq to track the extremist IS militants and destroy their locations.”

Turkey

The New York Times: Turkey Launches Offensive Against U.S.-Backed Syrian Militia

“Turkey launched a ground and air assault on Wednesday against a Syrian militia that has been a crucial American ally in the fight against ISIS, days after President Trump agreed to let the operation proceed. As Turkish warplanes bombed Syrian towns and troops crossed the border, the chaos in Washington continued, with President Trump issuing seemingly contradictory policy statements in the face of strident opposition from his Republican allies in Congress. Mr. Trump acquiesced to the Turkish operation in a call with Turkey’s president on Sunday, agreeing to move American troops out of Turkey’s way despite opposition from his own State Department and military. On Wednesday, hours after the operation began, he condemned it, calling it “a bad idea.” By that time, Turkish fighter jets were streaking through the sky over Syrian towns, while artillery shells boomed overhead. Traffic was jammed with terrified civilians fleeing south in trucks piled high with possessions and children. After about six hours of airstrikes, Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies crossed the border, opening a ground offensive. At least seven people were killed in the Turkish attacks on Wednesday, according to the Rojava Information Center, an activist group in northeastern Syria.”

NBC News: Turkish Invasion Of Syria Would Be 'Godsend' For ISIS, Experts Warn

“For years, U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria paid with their lives to defeat the Islamic State militant group. In the wake of President Donald Trump's announcement that U.S. forces were pulling back from northeast Syria, the remaining fighters worry that their comrades' sacrifices will have been in vain. “We have more work to do to keep ISIS from coming back and make our accomplishments permanent,” Mustafa Bali, the spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, tweeted Tuesday. “If America leaves, all will be erased.” The SDF has been a crucial U.S. ally in the war against ISIS and currently controls much of the area close to the border with Turkey. The forces say they have lost 11,000 fighters during the struggle. In March, the group captured the last sliver of land held by the extremists, marking the end of the so-called caliphate that was declared by ISIS' leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014. Now they are caught between a U.S. president anxious to deliver on promises to remove America from foreign wars, and a Turkish government that sees Kurdish fighters as terrorists who threaten the integrity of its country.”

Afghanistan

The Washington Post: U.S. Airstrikes Against Taliban Drug Labs Killed 30 Afghan Civilians, U.N. Report Says

“U.S. airstrikes in May on suspected Taliban drug facilities killed 30 civilians, the United Nations said Wednesday in a detailed report on the incident. The U.S. military disputed the claims, arguing that all those killed in the strikes were combatants. The strikes targeted drug labs run by the Taliban that produce methamphetamine. The U.S. military said the workers in those labs are legitimate targets because the “personnel in the labs were members of the Taliban,” according to a statement released by the media office of U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday. The U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan “disputes the findings, legal analysis, and methodology” of the U.N. report, according to the statement, and questions “their reliance on sources with conflicted motives or limited knowledge . . . and their narrow definition of legally targetable combatants.” The United Nations said under international law “facilities that contribute economically or financially to the war effort . . . are considered civilian objectives.” The U.N. report determined strikes on more than 60 sites killed 30 civilians and wounded five. The strikes were carried out in Afghanistan’s western Farah and Nimruz provinces. The dispute surrounding the drug lab strikes reflects the difficulty of separating civilians from combatants as Afghan government troops battle an insurgency with support from U.S. forces.”

The Washington Post: The Taliban Vowed Massive Attacks On Election Day. Here’s How Afghanistan Avoided Them.

“The Afghan army commander scrolled through months of intercepted Taliban communications on his phone: references to large-scale attacks, plans to launch waves of suicide bombs, and repeated calls to disrupt Afghanistan’s election “by any means.” Afghanistan had been braced for the worst on Sept. 28. “Everyone was worried,” said Brig. Gen. Abdul Moqim Abdulrahimzai, the director general of operations and plans for the Interior Ministry and one of the officials who oversaw election security plans nationwide. But when the polls closed, Afghan officials and civilians breathed a sigh of relief. The Taliban launched more than 200 attacks that day, but they were small and scattered. The Defense Ministry said indirect fire and small explosives killed five civilians and wounded 76 nationwide. The relative calm on election day is a rare success for the country’s military and police forces, which have struggled in combat with the Taliban. Afghan and American officials attribute the low toll to aggressive planning and coordination, after months of intense military pressure on Taliban strongholds.”

The New York Times: Ally Of Al Qaeda Killed In Afghanistan Raid, Officials Say, But Taliban Deny It

“American and Afghan commandos killed the head of an affiliate of Al Qaeda in a southern Afghanistan raid last month, according to a statement released Tuesday by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency. The Taliban denied the assertion, calling it propaganda by “officials of the stooge Kabul administration.” The intelligence agency’s statement followed weeks of rumors that the militant, Asim Umar, had been killed in the Sept. 23 raid, which was said to have left dozens of civilians dead. The raid, in the Musa Qala district of Helmand Province, also killed a Pakistani who had close ties to Mr. Umar, the leader of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent since 2014, and to Ayman al-Zawahri, the current head of Qaeda’s main branch, the statement said. He was identified only as Raihan. The presence of the commander of a Qaeda-linked group in a Taliban-controlled district in Afghanistan’s violent south underscored the ties between the Taliban and associates of the militants who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks 18 years ago. It also cast doubt on the Taliban’s pledge, during recent peace negotiations with the United States, to prevent Afghanistan from reverting to a safe haven for violent extremists.”

Pakistan

News 18: Pakistan Activated 20 Terror Camps, 20 Launch Pads With 50 Terrorists Each Along LoC

“Pakistan has activated at least 20 terror camps and another 20 launch pads along the Line of Control with increased efforts to ensure infiltration of as many terrorists as it can into Jammu and Kashmir before the onset of winter, officials said on Tuesday. The terror training camps and launch pads, with at least 50 terrorists in each, were activated after these were temporarily shut down following the bombing of a CRPF bus in Pulwama in February and subsequent retaliatory bombing of terror camps in Balakot by the Indian Air Force. Pakistani agencies were desperately looking to carry out spectacular terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and even in the hinterlands following the abrogation of the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and its bifurcation into two Union Territories, a security official said quoting intelligence inputs. Since the terrorists have not been able to carry out any major attack, the Pakistani agencies were trying hard to push as many terrorists as they can into Jammu and Kashmir. “We have intelligence inputs that Pakistan has activated at least 20 terror training camps and another 20 launch pads with about 50 terrorists in each. All these terrorists will infiltrate through LoC wherever and whenever there are opportunities,” the official said.”

Yemen

The National: Houthis Recruited 30,000 Child Soldiers, Says Yemeni Minister

“The Houthi rebels in Yemen have recruited at least 30,000 child soldiers to bolster their ranks in the country's five-year war, a senior Yemeni official said on Tuesday, warning of the dire consequences the issue could have on the country’s future. “There is at least 30,000 child recruits with the Houthis today,” Mohamad Askar , the Yemeni minister for Human rights told The National in an interview. He also estimated 320 women detainees held by the rebel group. His numbers are based on human intelligence and reports by witnesses who fled the Houthi-controlled areas.”

Lebanon

Asharq Al-Awsat: STL Asks Lebanese Public For Info On Accused From Hezbollah

“The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has invited the Lebanese public to submit any information on the whereabouts of Hezbollah member Salim Ayyash to the court through an audio-visual and audio public service announcement, and as a poster with info on the accused in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.”

An-Anhar: Hezbollah Threatens Europe With Syrian Refugees

“In an attempt to draw European support for Lebanon as it grapples with financial unease, Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raed threatened the bloc with the sensitive issue of Syrian refugees. “All we have to do is wave the card of Syrian refugees and all the European countries will kneel before us,” Raed said Tuesday, mirroring the comments of Turkish President Recep Erdogan who threatened to reopen the route for refugees and migrants into Europe if he does not receive adequate international support.”

Asharq Al-Awsat: US Criticizes Lebanese Government For Tolerating Hezbollah

“The United States is unhappy with the Lebanese government for tolerating Hezbollah, a western diplomatic source told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday. “The situation has not changed. There are still two armies in Lebanon, one of them being illegitimate and taking orders from abroad,” the diplomat, who was not identified, said. He warned that there could be a large confrontation with Israel if Hezbollah received a certain order from abroad or some of its members decided to turn rogue. The diplomat lashed out at Lebanese leaders for tolerating the status-quo and having a state within a state, in a direct threat to Lebanon’s national interests and its stability and security. The first step towards finding a solution to the situation, the source explained, comes by admitting the problem’s existence. He said that the latest US sanctions are not against Shiite banks or figures, but they specifically target Hezbollah and its members, and everyone who supports the party. “Sanctions could be imposed on any individual who offers support to Hezbollah, regardless of his political, sectarian or religious background,” he said. Asked whether the sanctions would affect the Lebanese government, the source admitted that certain parties in Washington are supporting such an idea.”

Nigeria

Premium Times: Five Boko Haram Terrorists Surrender To Troops – Army

“The Nigerian Army has announced the surrender of five Boko Haram terrorists to troops of 3 Battalion stationed in Gamboru Ngala and Dikwa Local Government Areas of Borno. The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Aminu Iliyasu, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja. Mr Iliyasu, a colonel, said that during preliminary interrogation, the surrendered insurgents revealed that hunger and unending bombardments of their hideouts left them with no choice than to escape from their group. He added that they also disclosed that they belonged to the Al-Barnawi faction. Mr Iliyasu gave the names of the surrendered insurgents as Ramat Mohammed, Alhaji Brazil, Bukar Gambo, Waziri Bukar, and Bashuna Musa, adding that they were currently undergoing further interrogation. “In the NE Theatre, as troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE intensify the bombardment of identified Boko Haram criminals locations and blockade of the criminals’ crossing points and escape routes, more criminal insurgents are giving up their indignant acts of criminality and surrendering to troops. “This sobriety is further exacerbated by hunger resulting from the blockade of their supply routes, arrest of their logistics suppliers and collaborators as well as incessant artillery bombardments of their criminal hideouts,” he stated.”

Daily Post Nigeria: Troops Kill One Terrorist, Arrest 66, Rescue 12 Kidnap Victims Across Nigeria

“The Nigerian Army on Wednesday revealed that troops in separate operations across the country, between the 1st and 8th of October 2019, have made 66 arrests and rescued 12 persons from kidnapers as well as killed 1 bandit. Colonel, Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, said troops of the Nigerian Army operating in various theatres of operations across the country have continued to record significant achievements against terrorists. According to the statement, during the period under review, troops intensified their operations nationwide to deny criminal elements freedom of action, leading to a safer and more conducive environment especially with the approach of the 2019 festivities. The statement read, “In the NE Theatre, as troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE intensify the bombardment of identified Boko Haram criminals locations and blockade of the criminals’ crossing points and escape routes, more criminal insurgents are giving up their indignant acts of criminality and surrendering to troops. “This sobriety is further exacerbated by hunger resulting from the blockade of their supply routes, arrest of their Logistics suppliers and collaborators as well as incessant artillery bombardments of their criminal hideouts.”

Somalia

Xinhua: Two Senior Al-Shabab Leaders Surrender To Somali Forces

“Two senior members of the al-Shabab militant group on Wednesday surrendered to Somali government forces in the southern region of Gedo, a military official said. Abdi Hakim Mohamed Omar, commander of Unit 10 of the 43rd Division of Somali National Army (SNA) said the two al-Shabab militants - Guuliye Hareed Mohamed and Abdullahi Nasiri Ali - handed themselves over to the government forces in Garbaharey town following the recent operations in the region against the militants. “The two militants contacted our forces and informed they were going to give themselves up and they were ready to leave the militant group and the forces cooperated with them,” the commander said. He added the government is committed to welcoming those who are quitting al-Shabab militants. The two former al-Shabab leaders who also spoke to journalists asked Somali people to forgive them for their past actions. “I regret my previous deeds in al-Shabab as I joined the militant group when I was misguided as a child and I beg my people to pardon me,” said Ali, calling on the other remaining cells in al-Shabab to follow suit. Somali forces are on major operations in southern regions to flush the militants out of their strongholds in those regions.”

Africa

Reuters: Al Qaeda Affiliate Claims Deadly Attack On Malian Army

“Al Qaeda’s West Africa affiliate on Tuesday claimed responsibility for coordinated, deadly attacks last week on two army bases in central Mali, it said in a statement. Thirty-eight soldiers were killed and dozens others went missing during attacks on bases in Boulkessi and Mondoro, in some of the worst violence seen against the army this year. The attack underscored the reach and sophistication of jihadist groups operating in central Mali, which has slipped from government control despite the presence of the French army and other international forces.”

Xinhua: 4 Killed, 5 Injured In Blast On Outskirts Of Mogadishu

“At least four people were killed on Tuesday night and five others injured in a roadside bomb blast along the road linking Mogadishu to Afgoye in the Lower Shabelle region, an official said on Wednesday. A police officer who declined to be named told Xinhua that a bomb planted along the road exploded as a vehicle carrying soldiers was passing by. “The soldiers were coming back from an operation of deactivating mines on the same road when the blast happened. Four people died in the blast and five others got injured,” the official said, adding that among the dead were two soldiers.”

France

The Wall Street Journal: The Enemy Within: How A Member Of French Intelligence Turned To Terror

“As police intelligence agents in Paris tracked Islamist radicals over the summer, one of their longtime colleagues was quietly embracing a more extreme version of his Muslim faith. While away from the office, Mickaël Harpon, a 45-year-old convert to Islam, had begun dressing in more religious garb and established ties with followers of Salafism, a fundamentalist strain of Islam, according to prosecutors. At work, he appeared to avoid physical contact with women, colleagues would later tell prosecutors.”

The National: Emmanuel Macron Vows To Wage ‘Unrelenting’ War On Terror After Paris Police Killings

“France’s President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to wage “an unrelenting fight” against Islamic extremists at a memorial to honour four Paris police staff who were murdered by their colleague last week. Mickael Harpon, a computer expert who worked in the Paris police headquarters’ intelligence-gathering department, stabbed to death three police officers and an administrative worker before being shot dead by police. Prosecutors said initial investigations had shown that the 45-year-old Muslim convert, who was born on the French island of Martinique, had been radicalised and was in contact with a hardline Salafist iman in the months prior to the deadly rampage. “We will wage an unrelenting fight in the face of Islamist terrorism,” Mr Macron vowed at a ceremony on Tuesday. He said that it was “inconceivable and unacceptable” that Harpon, who had worked for the police since 2003, had carried out the killings “in the very place where we pursue terrorists and criminals”. Mr Macron said he wanted to build a “society of vigilance” in France, which has seen several extremist attacks in recent years. Pressure has mounted on the French government to explain how a radicalised individual could have been able to work in the police with access to classified data within the Paris police’s intelligence division.”

Germany

The Wall Street Journal: Synagogue Attack Sparks Concern About Far-Right Extremism In Germany

“Authorities suspect Wednesday’s attack on a synagogue in the east German city of Halle was fueled by far-right extremism, a threat German authorities have been warning about for months. Germany’s domestic intelligence service said in its annual report in June that the arrival of nearly two million asylum seekers since 2015, in particular, had emboldened far-right extremists motivated by racism, anti-Semitism, revisionist theories and anti-democratic values. While crimes classified as far-right in nature dropped slightly last year, violent crime rose, according to the report. Violent anti-Semitic acts, in particular, grew 71.4%. Violent street clashes in the eastern German cities of Chemnitz and Köthen in August and September 2018 in reaction to alleged attacks on residents by migrants had shown far-right agitators could mobilize increasingly large groups, the agency said. Both cities are near Halle, where the attack occurred. “Many posts on social media contain diffuse or explicit encouragements to ‘fight back,’ “ the agency wrote. “Such cycles of radicalization can lead all the way to the formation of terrorist groups.”

The New York Times: A Synagogue Attack Shocks Germany. But Why?

“On Wednesday a gunman attacked a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle while 51 Jews, including a group of young Americans, were inside observing Yom Kippur. When he found the door locked, he killed two people nearby and fled. The man filmed his assault and streamed it live on the internet. Journalists who have seen the video say that the man can be heard rambling anti-Semitic slurs. The police have arrested a suspect and confirmed that he is a 27-year old German.”

The New York Times: Assailant Live-Streamed Attempted Attack On German Synagogue

“A heavily armed gunman with a live-streaming head camera tried to storm a synagogue in eastern Germany on Wednesday as congregants observed the holiest day in Judaism. Foiled by a locked door, he killed two people outside and wounded two others in an anti-Semitic spree that smacked of far-right terrorism. Hours later the police announced the arrest of a suspect in the assault in the city of Halle, one of the most brazen in a string of recent attacks aimed at Jews in Germany. Police officials declined to confirm if the suspect was the gunman or whether he had any accomplices.”

Fox News: Germany Truck Attack That Injured 8 Probed As Possible Act Of Terror, Syrian Man Detained

“Eight people were injured after a Syrian national stole a truck and rammed it into a line of cars in a town in western Germany, authorities said. Authorities are investigating the possible act of terror and the suspect's background as bystanders told police he spoke of “Allah.” The incident happened late Monday afternoon in the town of Limburg, located west of Frankfurt. Officials said the driver apparently commandeered the truck before driving into a line of eight cars, pushing the vehicles into each other. Seven people were taken to area hospitals but were released during the night, according to police. The truck's driver told the Frankfurter Neue Presse newspaper the man dragged him out of the vehicle after he stopped at a red light. The truck drove into a line of eight cars in Limburg, Germany late Monday afternoon, pushing the vehicles into each other. Police said seven people were taken to hospitals and the driver also was slightly injured. “'What do you want from me?'“ the driver told the paper he asked the man. “But he did not say a word. I asked him again. Then he dragged me out of the lorry.” Several bystanders, including a group of joggers, told the Neue Presse the suspect received first aid after the crash and said “Allah” several times.”

Europe

Reuters: Bosnia Will Take Back And Try Nine Captured Islamic State Fighters

“Bosnia is preparing to take back and try nine of its nationals suspected of fighting for Islamic State in Syria, its security minister said on Wednesday. Hundreds of people are believed to have left Europe to fight for Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and many await in detention camps to be handed over to their countries of origin. “We are working to bring back nine persons for whom Bosnia and Herzegovina had issued arrest warrants,” Minister Dragan Mektic told Reuters. Mektic declined to say when the suspects would be returned to Bosnia, but added they would be handed over to the judiciary immediately upon arrival. The Sarajevo-based investigative portal http://www.zurnal.ba reported the nine men, all captured and kept in detention camps in Syria and Iraq, should be returned by the end of the week. According to a 2014 criminal code, all Bosnians who leave the country to fight in foreign wars must be prosecuted under terrorism charges. According to Bosnian intelligence, 241 adults and 80 children left Bosnia or the Bosnian diaspora in 2012-2016 for Syria and Iraq, where 150 more children were born. About 100 adults, including 49 women, remain there, while at least 88 have been killed or died. Islamic State’s last territorial foothold, in Syria, fell in March this year.”

Deutsche Welle: Brussels Conference Discusses Terrorism Challenges In South Asia, Europe

“A Bangladeshi diaspora group, European Bangladesh Forum (EBF), last week organized an international conference in Brussels to discuss the security challenges and threats faced by South Asian nations on account of violent extremism, and the role governments and civil society can play to counter them. Members attending the meeting stressed the need for more concerted efforts to tackle terrorism-related threats in the world. In a globalized world, they said, terror threats were not limited to South Asia; other regions like Europe and North America were also equally affected. Immigration has been a hot topic in Europe over the past several years. In 2015, Germany allowed nearly 900,000 refugees and asylum-seekers to enter the country under Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door policy. Many of them were fleeing war and extreme poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The number of asylum-seekers entering Europe has drastically dropped since then. Still, euroskeptic and right-wing groups have seized on the crisis, claiming it undermines the social fabric of the continent and managing to improve their electoral prospects. The 28-nation EU has not yet found compromise or reached an agreement on a system of distribution for rescued asylum-seekers.”

The National: Muslims Across Europe Face 'New Kind Of Terror' Rooted In White Supremacist Ideology: Report

“In Europe the Muslim community is facing a “new kind of terror” which is rooted in anti-Muslim racism and white supremacist ideology, a report funded in part by the EU has said. According to the European Islamophobia Report, nationalist, populist and far-right movements have increased their influence across the European continent and, where they have achieved power, they have undermined the rights of minorities in general, singling out Muslims in particular. The policies and rhetoric of governments, of the kinds seen in 2018 in Italy, Austria, Hungary and Poland, has eventually led to violence against Muslims, the report outlines. “Finally, the xenophobic and anti-Islam climate fostered by far-right governments paves the way for physical and terror attacks against Muslims or people who might be taken to be Muslim,” it said. Even where they have not come into power, as is the case in the majority of European counties, far-right movements have imposed what the report describes as a “nativist ideology” coupled with an “Islamophobia agenda” on national debate. This leads to Islamophobia entering the mainstream.”

Southeast Asia

Bloomberg: Indonesian Security Minister Stabbed By Suspected Terrorist

“Indonesia’s Security Minister Wiranto was attacked by a knife-wielding man with suspected links to the Islamic State terrorist group, the police said. Wiranto, a former military chief who uses only one name like many Indonesians, was stabbed twice by the assailant near his vehicle after visiting an Islamic boarding school at Pandeglang in the province of Banten west of Jakarta on Thursday. Wiranto, who was flown to the capital, was in a stable condition and set to undergo surgery, President Joko Widodo told reporters after visiting the minister.”

Technology

Daily Mail: Anger As German Synagogue Shooter Is Able To Live-Stream His 35-Minute Attack To Thousands Of Viewers On Amazon-Owned Twitch Before The Site Took The Horrifying Footage Down

“Social media firms faced anger and calls to 'step up' last night after graphic footage of an anti-Semitic gun rampage in Germany was streamed live on Twitch and watched by thousands of people. Wearing a helmet camera, the gunman filmed himself shooting two people dead and trying to force his way into a synagogue in Halle on Wednesday. Last night there were calls for social media sites to take stronger action to stop their platforms being used for violence. 'Amazon is just as much to blame as Twitch for allowing this stream online,' said Hans-Jakob Schindler of the Counter Extremism Project. 'Online platforms need to step up and stop their services being used and in turn, parent companies need to hold them accountable.”

The New York Times: 2,200 Viewed Germany Attack Before Twitch Removed Post

“Twitch, the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform known for its video game content, is developing another, darker reputation as a place to find footage of mass shootings. On Wednesday, a heavily armed man with a head-mounted camera live-streamed his shooting rampage in Halle, Germany, on Twitch for more than 35 minutes. Two people were killed and two others injured in the attack, which took place outside a synagogue and in a kebab shop. Twitch said on Twitter that only five people had watched the live stream of the shooting. But 2,200 people viewed a recording of the attack, which stayed up for 30 minutes before it was flagged and removed. More people watch live streams on Twitch than on any other digital platform, including YouTube and Facebook, according to a report from StreamElements. But the platform has struggled to police content as it is posted. Last year, a Twitch live stream from a gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., captured part of a shooting in which three people, including the gunman, died. In June, Twitch sued users who had posted footage of an attack in March involving mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. On Wednesday, the company said in a statement that it was “shocked and saddened” by the shooting in Germany.”

The Hill: Extremists Find New Home In Online App Telegram

“Experts say that two months after 8chan, the fringe social network known as a breeding ground for white supremacists, went offline, other platforms are now attracting extremist voices. 'Where people really are going is Telegram," said Joshua Fisher-Birch, a researcher with the Counter Extremism Project, which tracks fringe communities online. Over the past month alone, Fisher-Birch has seen the user base of 65 extreme-right-wing channels on Telegram grow by an average of 256 users — or 43 percent. Even though users are certainly moving onto other platforms, extremism researchers said they were still glad 8chan is offline. "I think that it’s always important that people are mindful of the actual violence that’s involved in these sites," Fisher-Birch said. "I am happy that the community that was encouraging more accelerationist attacks on 8chan is no longer there.”

The Wall Street Journal: Facebook CEO To Testify At House Panel About Libra

“Facebook Inc. FB 1.18% Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is slated to return to Capitol Hill this month to testify before a House panel about the company’s foray into cryptocurrency, just weeks after facing a chilly reception from lawmakers about his vision for internet regulation. The House Financial Services Committee said Wednesday that Mr. Zuckerberg will be the sole witness at an Oct. 23 hearing that examines Facebook’s impact on the financial services and housing sectors.”
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