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Old 09-17-2021, 09:26 AM
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Arrow Eye on Extremism - 07-17-21

Eye on Extremism - September 17, 2021
By: Counter Extremism Project - 09-17-21

As of September 17, 2021:

Reuters: U.S. Imposes Sanctions On Five Al Qaeda Operatives - Treasury Website

“The United States imposed sanctions on Thursday on five al Qaeda supporters working out of Turkey to provide financial services and travel help to the militant group, the Treasury Department said on Thursday. “These targeted sanctions highlight the United States’ unwavering commitment to sever financial support to al-Qa’ida,” Andrea Gacki, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement. “We will continue working with our foreign partners, including Turkey, to expose and disrupt al-Qa’ida’s financial support networks.” The list included Majdi Salim, an Egyptian-born lawyer based in Turkey, who Treasury identified as a primary facilitator of a range of al-Qa’ida activities in Turkey. Others were Muhammad Nasr al-Din al-Ghazlani, an Egyptian financial courier who used cash transfers to support al Qaeda and Turkish citizens Nurettin Muslihan, Cebrail Guzel and Soner Gurleyen.”

The New York Times: With Fuel From Iran, Hezbollah Steps In Where Lebanon Has Failed

“The Hezbollah militant group said it trucked more than a million gallons of Iranian diesel fuel into Lebanon from Syria on Thursday, celebrating the move as a way of spiting the United States while bringing much-needed aid to a country nearly paralyzed by fuel shortages. With Lebanon suffering one of the worst economic collapses in modern history, Hezbollah portrayed itself as a national savior, stepping in where the Lebanese government and its Western backers had failed. Hezbollah supporters lined roads in northeastern Lebanon as dozens of tanker trucks arrived. They waved Hezbollah flags, distributed sweets, blasted heroic anthems and fired rocket-propelled grenades into the air in celebration. The fuel delivery — which a Hezbollah official said was the first installment of more than 13 million gallons — underscored the severity of Lebanon’s crisis, as well as the government’s failure to address it. Unable to secure help from elsewhere, it has turned to war-torn Syria and economically damaged Iran. The move appeared to violate American sanctions involving the purchase of Iranian oil, but it was unclear Thursday whether the United States would press the issue. Hezbollah, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, is already subject to American sanctions.”

United States

Department Of Justice: Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty To Attempting To Provide Material Support To ISIS

“A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty today to one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 23, of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS in relation to his plan to attack a church in Pittsburgh. “The defendant, motivated by ISIS’s call to violence and hate, plotted a terrorist attack targeting a church in Pittsburgh,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “With today’s guilty plea, he will be held accountable for his crimes. The Department of Justice is committed to identifying, disrupting and holding accountable individuals who seek to engage in such attacks. I commend the agents, analysts and prosecutors who identified the threat posed by this defendant and took action to protect the public from his plans.” “Inspired by ISIS, Mustafa Alowemer devised and intended to carry out a deadly attack on a house of worship and its congregation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman for the Western District of Pennsylvania.”


Fox News: Taliban Could Look To Acquire Additional Weapons After Withdrawal, Experts Warn

“The fall of Afghanistan has emboldened the Haqqani network, the U.S.-designated terrorist group that works hand-in-hand with the Taliban and al Qaeda. Experts say the withdrawal of U.S. troops has opened the possibility of the terrorist groups obtaining more armaments and sophisticated equipment, beyond the material and weaponry left behind by U.S. forces. “The acquisition of significant new military capabilities by the Taliban and their subsidiaries such as the Haqqani family is a serious threat to the region and the world, including the U.S.,” warns David Sedney, who served as deputy assistant secretary for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia and the National Security staff in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. “The military capability that the Taliban and their Haqqani subsidiary now possess, combined with their demonstrated willingness to use terrorism against the U.S. and its allies make the Taliban an immediate threat to the security of the region and the world,” he says. Sources are not only worried about what the Taliban already possess, but the prospect that more material could be delivered to the regime to bolster its military capabilities.”

The Washington Times: How Sex Trafficking Funds The Taliban And Terrorism

“With the last U.S. troops now gone from Afghanistan, those left to the Taliban’s oppressive rule will soon fade from the news cycle and be largely forgotten about. Those now most vulnerable to the Taliban’s violence are Afghanistan’s women, especially to the violence of sex trafficking and forced marriages. It is imperative to proactively counter these crimes during the earliest stages of this new transition of power. In the last few weeks, numerous reports have come out about the Taliban’s rounding up young women in Afghan households to serve as sex slaves and forced brides for their fighters. The Daily Mail UK reports Taliban fighters have been going door-to-door and forcibly marrying girls as young as 12 and forcing them into sex slavery, viewing them as ‘spoils of war’ to be divided up among the victors. Last month, reports had emerged that Taliban fighters were asking for lists of all women aged 15 to 45 who were unmarried or widowed. However, reports are that this has now extended down to girls as young as 12. Offering “wives” or sex slaves is part of the Taliban’s recruitment strategy to lure militants to join the Taliban. Which only serves to solidify their rule further. Furthermore, the selling and trafficking of these women help to fund and fuel their operations.”

Dhaka Tribune: Most Taliban Govt Members On UNSC Sanction List

“More than half of the Taliban’s 33-member cabinet in Afghanistan are on the UN Security Council's (UNSC) terrorism blacklist, according to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP). Among the 19 designated members of the interim government are acting prime minister Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund and Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, who will serve as acting minister of the interior, a role in which he will have extensive authority over policing and legal matters. Dr Hans-Jakob Schindler, a senior director of the CEP – an international non-profit policy organization, revealed the matter in a statement. His findings counter the Taliban’s claims of a new moderate government that will guarantee the rights and safety of its citizens and productively cooperate within the international community. If recognized by the UN, the Taliban government could potentially receive hundreds of millions of dollars in aid that could instead be allocated towards terrorist activities, the CEP said. “The Taliban interim government is dominated by individuals that the UN Security Council has designated and placed on its terrorism blacklist—a clear indication that the Taliban’s government will not advocate for a more moderate platform.”

Saudi Arabia

Reuters: Saudi-Led Coalition Thwarts Houthi Missile And Drones Attack -Media

“The Saudi-led coalition said late on Thursday that it thwarted and destroyed four Houthi explosives-laden drones and a ballistic rocket fired in the direction of the southern Saudi city of Jazan, Saudi state media reported. The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing forces of the ousted government of President Hadi and fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi group. There was no immediate claim of responsibility by the Houthis, but the group regularly launches drone and missile attacks targeting the gulf kingdom.”


Associated Press: Libyan Commander, Chadian Rebels Clash In Southern Libya

“Forces loyal to a powerful Libyan commander said Thursday they are now battling their former allies, Chadian rebels who have sought refuge in southern Libya as they fight the government in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena. The self-styled Libyan army led by commander Khalifa Hifter said it launched an operation against the Chadian fighters in the Libyan towns of Tamsah and Tarbo, on the border with Chad. The clashes, which flared up earlier this week, could further destabilize the wider Sahel region, months after Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno — who ruled Chad for more than 30 years and became an important ally to Western nations in the fight against Islamic extremism in Africa — was killed under murky circumstances. The Chadian government blames the rebels for his killing. Hifter’s forces, which control eastern and most of southern Libya, said they launched airstrikes on the rebels’ positions and sent reinforcement to the border area. The Chadian rebels — the Front for Change and Concord in Chad, also known by the French acronym FACT — reportedly have 1,000 to 1,500 fighters in their ranks. In April they clashed with Chadian forces north of N’Djamena, leading to the killing of Deby.”


Reuters: Nigerian Jet Thought To Have Killed 9 Civilians In Pursuit Of Militants

“The Nigerian air force said on Thursday it may have killed and injured civilians while pursuing suspected Islamist insurgents in the northeast, in an incident that local authorities said left nine people dead. Another 23 people from the village of Buwari, including five children, were injured on Wednesday, the State Emergency Management Agency in Yobe State said, after what it described as reports of a strike. The Nigerian armed forces are fighting two Islamist insurgent groups in the northeast, Boko Haram and Islamic State's West African Province (ISWAP), in a conflict that has killed 350,000 people and made millions dependent on aid. The air force, after initially denying involvement in the incident, said it may have killed and injured civilians by mistake. Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet said a fighter jet had responded to intelligence on suspicious movements of suspected insurgents from Boko Haram or ISWAP on Wednesday and fired “some probing shots”. “Unfortunately reports reaching Nigerian Air Force headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed while others were injured,” he said in a statement. “Therefore a board of inquiry has been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident.”

All Africa: What Nigerians Displaced By Boko Haram Say About Ex-Militants

“A surge of surrenders by Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria has turned the spotlight onto how the government deals with fighters who claim to have repented and are now - controversially - looking to be reintegrated into a society scarred by 12 years of war, writes Obi Anyadike for The New Humanitarian. Anyadike visited Muna Garage, a camp for some 40,000 people displaced by the conflict on the eastern edge of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, to ask residents how they felt about the return of the former mujahideen, and whether they could ever forgive them for the violence they had unleashed. The surrender of the ex-militants has forced people in Muna to both confront the past and consider the future. The people spoken to, weighed a demand for justice and accountability, with the hope that the defections could signal a new, more optimistic phase in the long-running war. The Boko Haram insurgency has killed approximately 36,000 people and displaced about two million people in Nigeria since 2009. The government and military has hailed the Boko Haram surrender as a victory - proof that the tide of the war is finally turning after a string of military reversals.”


Reuters: After Killing Sahel Islamic State Leader, France To Hunt Other Chiefs

“French military forces have killed the leader of a West African affiliate of Islamic State by drone strike in a “decisive blow” against the group, and vowed to continue hunting down jihadist leaders to restore stability in the Sahel. Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi was the head of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), a jihadist group that broke away from other militants in Mali in 2015 when it pledged allegiance to Islamic State. Since then, ISGS militants have spread into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, carried out hundreds of deadly attacks on civilians and armed forces, and rendered large areas of West Africa's arid Sahel region ungovernable. “The death of Sahrawi is a decisive blow to ISGS and its cohesion,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told reporters. Sahrawi had been tracked by French counter-terrorism forces in northern Mali, and then killed by a drone strike while riding a motorbike in mid-August, she said. France estimates the group is responsible for the deaths of 2,000-3,000 people, mostly Muslims, and that it still has hundreds of fighters, although Parly said its leadership was now less international and more from the local Fulani tribe. Sahrawi targeted U.S. soldiers in a deadly attack in 2017, Macron's office said. In August 2020, he personally ordered the killing of six French charity workers and their Nigerian driver, France said.”


France 24: German Police Arrest Four On Yom Kippur Over Synagogue Attack Plot

“A 16-year-old boy and three other people were detained Thursday in connection with a suspected plan for an Islamic extremist attack on a synagogue in the German city of Hagen, authorities said. The detentions took place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, and two years after a deadly attack in another German city on the Yom Kippur holiday. Police cordoned off the synagogue on Wednesday and a worship service planned for the evening was called off. Officials had received “very serious and concrete information” that there could be an attack on the synagogue during Yom Kippur, said Herbert Reul, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state, where Hagen is located. The tip pointed to “an Islamist-motivated threat situation”, and named the possible timing and suspect, he added. Police using sniffer dogs found no dangerous objects in or around the synagogue, Reul said. On Thursday morning, the 16-year-old, a Syrian national who lives in Hagen, was detained. Three other people were detained in a raid on an apartment, and authorities are investigating whether they were involved in the suspected plan, the minister said. He said the synagogue had called off its celebration of Yom Kippur, when observant Jews hold overnight vigils.”

Latin America

The Washington Post: How To Bury A Terrorist? Peru Debates What To Do With The Remains Of Shining Path Founder Abimael Guzmán.

“Days after the death of Abimael Guzmán, the mastermind of the guerrilla movement Shining Path, Peru’s young government now faces a critical question: What to do with the remains of a man who terrorized the country for much of the 1980s and ’90s, whose organization was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people? Under Peruvian law, authorities are supposed to turn Guzmán’s body over to designated direct relatives, the attorney general’s office said this week. In this case, that’s Elena Iparraguirre, Guzmán’s widow and second-in-command in the Maoist movement, who is herself serving a life sentence in prison. On Wednesday, a prosecutor denied her request for her husband’s remains, leaving them in the custody of the attorney general’s office. Politicians and public officials feared that giving the remains to Iparraguirre would lead to a burial site that would become a shrine for the Shining Path, whose factions continue to inflict violence on the country. The debate is forcing this South American country once again to confront the most brutal period in its past, one of the bloodiest internal conflicts of its time in Latin America. “Once and for all, what is Guzmán’s place in the history of Peru?” asked Carlos Meléndez, a Peruvian political analyst and researcher at Diego Portales University in Chile.”

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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