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Old 05-17-2022, 10:21 AM
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Arrow Biden Approves Return Of US Troops For Somalia Counterterrorism Fight, Reversing Trum

Biden Approves Return Of US Troops For Somalia Counterterrorism Fight, Reversing Trump
By: Counter Extremism Project: 05-17-22

Eye on Extremism - 05-17-22:

ABC News: Biden Approves Return Of US Troops For Somalia Counterterrorism Fight, Reversing Trump

“Reversing a decision by predecessor Donald Trump, President Joe Biden has approved a Pentagon request to redeploy several hundred American troops to Somalia for what the National Security Council calls “a persistent U.S. military presence” there as part of counterterrorism efforts. The move will reestablish an open-ended mission in Somalia assisting the country in its fight against al-Shabab, a local al-Qaida affiliate. The group once ruled Somalia and has been seeking to regain territorial control over parts of the country. It has carried out overseas terror attacks in Kenya, including in January 2020 when three Americans died in an assault targeting a U.S. base. The Biden administration believes the move will “enable our partners to conduct a more effective fight against al-Shabab, which is al-Qaida's largest, wealthiest, and deadliest affiliate and poses a heightened threat to Americans in East Africa,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said Monday. A senior administration official told reporters later Monday that the number of U.S. troops returning to Somalia would be “under 500” and that they would continue with the same mission of training Somalia's military and assisting local forces on counterterrorism missions. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stressed on Monday afternoon that “our forces are not now nor will they be directly engaged in combat operations.”

The Washington Post: Only 22 Saw The Buffalo Shooting Live. Millions Have Seen It Since.

“Live-streamed from a camera mounted on the Buffalo gunman’s helmet, the video is hauntingly gruesome — a first-person view as he fires a rifle into 10 people, some of them crawling on the supermarket floor. When he discovers a light-skinned man hiding in a checkout aisle, the gunman spares him, saying, “Sorry.” It is exactly the kind of horrific terrorist video that the world’s biggest tech companies have vowed to block. But two days after the shooting, the footage was still widely available online — just as the gunman had hoped, according to a screed he wrote beforehand, bringing more attention to his racist cause. The episode shows how little has changed in the three years since a live-streamed rampage at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, revealed how mass shooters could harness leading social platforms to make their carnage go viral. When the Buffalo gunman broadcast the shooting in real time Saturday on the live-streaming site Twitch, only 22 people were watching, and company officials said they’d removed it with remarkable speed — within two minutes of the first gunshots. But all it took was for one viewer to save a copy and redistribute it online. A jumble of video-hosting sites, extremist message boards and some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names did the rest, ensuring millions of people would view the video.”

United States

Associated Press: Authorities: Hate Against Taiwanese Led To Church Attack

“A gunman motivated by political hatred against Taiwan chained shut the doors of a California church and hid firebombs inside before shooting at a gathering of mostly elderly Taiwanese parishioners, killing a man who tackled him and possibly saved dozens of lives, authorities said Monday. David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas — a U.S. citizen who authorities say grew up in Taiwan — drove to Orange County on Saturday. The next day, he attended a lunch held by Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which worships at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the community of Laguna Woods. Though he knew no one there, he spent about an hour mingling with about 40 attendees and then executed his plot, authorities said at a news conference. Authorities said Chou chained the doors and put super glue in the keyholes. He had two 9 mm handguns — legally purchased years ago in Las Vegas — and three bags, containing among other things four Molotov-cocktail-type incendiary devices and extra ammunition. He opened fire and in the ensuing chaos Dr. John Cheng, 52, tackled him, allowing other parishioners to subdue him and tie him up with extension cords.”

Vox: A Neo-Nazi Idea To Spark A Race War Inspired The Buffalo Killings

“The weekend’s mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, was not merely a random act of hate. It was the product of a violent strategy, formulated in obscure neo-Nazi magazines and disseminated on the internet’s darkest corners, that aims to bring about the destruction of American society. This idea is called “accelerationism,” and violent white supremacists like the Buffalo shooter see it as their best chance to stop the so-called “Great Replacement”: the notion that the West’s white population is being “replaced” with nonwhites, a deliberate demographic shift often blamed on Jewish cabals. Accelerationists believe that race and ethnicity create inherent divisions within Western societies, which individual acts of violence can inflame. The idea is to “accelerate” the crackup of Western governments — and bring on a race war that culminates in white victory. In a 180-page document, the Buffalo shooter — who, per law enforcement, targeted Black people — directly credits his actions to accelerationist thinking. In a section titled “destabilization and accelerationism: tactics for victory,” he claims that “stability and comfort are the enemies of revolutionary change. Therefore we must destabilize and discomfort society wherever possible.”

The Charlotte Observer: What Is The ‘Great Replacement’ Theory And The Role It Played In The Buffalo Shooting?

“…The “Great Replacement” is most popular among extremist groups, according to The Counter Extremism Project, a nonprofit and non-partisan organization that studies extremist ideologies. The conspiracy theory suggests that non-white people are being planted into the United States in order to diminish or “replace” the white voting population to carry out a political agenda. “Violent white nationalists believe they are ensuring the survival of their own race through violence against other ethnicities,” CEP states on its website. The gunman’s alleged manifesto displays a troubling resemblance to writings published by the Christchurch shooter who killed 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand in 2019. The title of the Christchurch shooter’s nearly 80-page manifesto reportedly draws inspiration from the “Great Replacement” theory. Months after the shooting, another attack took place in a Walmart located in El Paso, Texas, where 21 people were killed. The shooter reportedly was also inspired by the conspiracy theory and allegedly believed there was a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Adolphus Belk Jr., professor of political science and African American studies at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, told NPR that white nationalist movements, including those inspired by replacement theory, come about because white supremacists see people of people of color as a threat. Belk explained that extremists’ dedication to the conspiracy theory poses a great risk to marginalized ethnic groups.”


Arab News: Turkey Foils Daesh Suicide Bomber In Province Bordering Syria

“As part of its countrywide counterterrorism operations, Turkey has arrested a suicide bomber allegedly linked to Daesh who was planning an attack in the southeastern province of Urfa, bordering Syria. Bashar Al-Mizhen, codenamed Abi Enes Al-Kathani, has confessed to the authorities. Mizhen, who joined Daesh in 2015 and received special arms training from the terror group, was allegedly preparing the attack in coordination with the Damascus branch of Daesh. He is the 10th terrorist caught this year on Turkish soil. The authorities seized several digital materials and are currently examining various organizational documents belonging to the terror group. Bashar Al-Mizhen, codenamed Abi Enes Al-Kathani, has confessed to authorities. Daesh members have carried out a number of attacks against Turkey, including at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings, and four armed attacks, which killed 315 people and injured hundreds of others. Last year, Turkey also arrested a Daesh terrorist identified as the right-hand man of the late terrorist leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. In the first quarter of this year, dozens of Daesh members, including the sons of its top officials in Iraq, were caught in several Turkey cities, including Urfa, the northern province of Samsun and the western province of Izmir. Last month, Turkey’s intelligence agents also caught two Daesh terrorists who were planning attacks against the country’s troops on home soil and in Syria.”


Reuters: Pakistan Says It Foiled Suspected Suicide Attack Against Chinese Nationals

“Pakistani police arrested a would-be suicide bomber who planned to blow herself up near a convoy of Chinese nationals along the China Pakistan Economic-Corridor (CPEC), a police statement said. Monday's arrest came two weeks after a woman suicide bomber blew herself up on a university campus in the southern port city of Karachi, killing three Chinese teachers and their Pakistani driver. Police arrested the militant in southwestern Balochistan province that borders Afghanistan and Iran, the statement said. She belongs to the separatist Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), which has started using women militants as suicide bombers, police said, a new phenomenon for counter-terrorism police who are more used to dealing with such attacks by Islamist militants. “The woman wanted to target a convoy of Chinese nationals,” police said, adding the attack was planned along a route of China Pakistan Economic-Corridor (CPEC). Police recovered explosives and detonators from the woman and investigated her, revealing her plans to target Chinese nationals. No other evidence was produced to support their accusation. The Karachi suicide bomber was also a member of the BLA, the police statement said. China is a close Pakistan ally and the CPEC is $65 billion-plus investment in infrastructure in Pakistan, part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative to seek road and sea trade routes to connect with the rest of the world.”


Today Nigeria: Nigerian Military Bombs Boko Haram Commander’s Convoy, Kill Scores

“Troops of the Nigerian Army under the auspices of Operation Hadin Kai have bombed a convoy of Abubakar Sarki, a Commander of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest, killing scores of terrorists who were with him. Sources said the offensive was coordinated by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), Maj Gen Waidi Shaibu on Saturday May 14 2022, at Yuwe location, within the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State. The Army was said to have deployed a massive artillery gun after sighting 8 moving convoys conveying Abubakar Sarki and unconfirmed numbers of fighters in devastating hits. The source said that based on intelligence information, Abubakar Sarki and his team were heading toward Abu-Ubaida’s camp to engage its rival fighters from the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), in a battle of supremacy. Counter Intelligence expert with knowledge of terrorists activitiest in Lake Chad, Zagazola Makama confirmed the artilery bombing of the BH Commander’s convoy. “A ground assessment confirmed that 3 guntrucks with all its occupants were completely destroyed, while the remaining 5 vehicles including Abubakar Saraki escaped” the source said.”


All Africa: Somalia: Somali Forces Detain Two Al-Shabaab Militants

“Elite forces of Somali National Army (SNA) on Saturday arrested two al-Shabab militants after conducting operations in several locations of the Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, officials said. Commander of SNA's 16th Danab Unit Mohamed Abdukadir Ali told SNA-Radio Mogadishu that the operations aimed at pursuing al-Shabab militants who force locals to pay levy (zakat), which is a form of extortion. “Our forces arrested two al-Shabab militants from their hideouts and recovered an AK47 rifle gun during the operation in several areas in the Lower Shabelle region. We are committed to eradicate al-Shabab terrorists throughout the country,” Ali said, adding that the operation against the militants will be intensified across the country. The latest arrest comes amid heightened security in and around Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, ahead of the presidential elections Sunday. The police on Saturday imposed a curfew starting in the evening ahead of the elections which will be contested by 39 presidential candidates. Police Spokesperson Abdifatah Aden Hassan announced suspension of all public and traffic movements in Mogadishu, from 9 p.m., local time, Saturday until 6 a.m. Monday and advised the residents to remain indoors before the country holds a long-delayed presidential election.”

All Africa: Somalia: Lawmakers Urge Dialogue To Curb Terrorism

“Several newly elected lawmakers in Somalia have asked the government to open channels of dialogue with the terrorist group al-Shabaab to explore peace in the African country. “Most Somali people believe reconciliation is important. If you can't defeat al-Shabaab at least you have to open a dialogue, if you do not have to have any alternate solution,” Sadiq Abdullahi Abdi, former public works minister and current member of parliament told Anadolu Agency. Somalia is holding its long-delayed presidential vote on Sunday, with 39 candidates vying for the post, including incumbent Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, two former presidents, several top officials, and one woman - Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adam, a legislator who once served as Somalia's foreign minister. Abdi said a friendly government including Turkiye needs to assist Somalia to improve security. “Not only African Union, but we also need friendly countries like Turkiye. Most Somalis believe Turkiye is the only country that genuinely 100% supports Somalia's security,” he added. Omar Ibrahim Hashi, another member of parliament supported opening a dialogue with the al-Shabaab. He said Somalia is not ready to be in a permanent state of insecurity.”


All Africa: Mozambique: War Against Terrorism 'Almost At An End'

“The General Commander of the Mozambican police force, Bernadino Rafael, said on Friday that “the war against terrorism (in the northern province of Cabo Delgado) is almost at its end, but warned that the final military operations will be tougher. Rafael was speaking to a contingent of troops from Rwanda, in the Chai administrative post, in Macomia district. “We aren't saying that we've come to the end, but we're almost there”, said Rafael. He claimed that 70 per cent of the military operations planned against the terrorist groups have been carried out, leaving just 30 per cent to be undertaken. “The war is tougher, more difficult, when it is nearing its end”, he said. To illustrate successes in the fight against terrorism, Rafael said that 54 jihadists had been killed in the last two months, in clashes that pitted the terrorists against the forces of Mozambique, Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). He claimed that, in these operations, four terrorists were captured, and 195 people escaped from terrorist control. The results on the ground showed that the government forces “are hitting the enemy hard”, declared Rafael. “We shall continue to fight the terrorists, without respite, until their final hideout”, he pledged. Rafael urged the jihadists to lay down their weapons and go home.”

United Kingdom

Daily Mail: Government’s Counter-Terrorism Programme Targeted Mainstream Rightwing Views As 'Far-Right' While Ignoring Islamist Extremism And Backing Groups That Promoted The TALIBAN, Says Bombshell Leaked Report

“Britain's counter-terrorism programme has focused too much on far-Right fanatics and should now crack down on Islamist extremism, a report has found. An official review of Prevent – the Government's flagship counter-extremism policy – has found there has been a 'double standard when dealing with extreme Right-wing and Islamism', according to leaked draft extracts. There were more referrals to Prevent relating to far-Right extremism than to Islamist radicalisation for the first time last year. The leaked extracts, seen by The Guardian yesterday, are also critical of Prevent-funded community groups and organisations, claiming some 'have promoted extremist narratives, including statements that appear supportive of the Taliban'. It also warned 'a renewed focus on Islamist extremism is needed, including when individuals do not yet meet the terrorism threshold'. The review, being carried out by Sir William Shawcross, a former chairman of the Charity Commission who is leading the evaluation into Britain’s flagship deradicalisation programme, also said Prevent was 'carrying the weight' for overstretched mental health services.”


The Guardian: Australia Quietly Shuts Down Anti-Terror Taskforce Set Up After Christchurch Attack

“A taskforce of Australian government agencies and social media companies set up to counter violent extremism online following the Christchurch terror attack has been quietly disbanded. The revelation that the taskforce was wound up last year comes after the Buffalo shooting in the US, as the government faces fresh criticism about its response to the 2019 terror attack by an Australian man. The white 18-year-old male charged with the murders of 10 people at a convenience store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday cited the Great Replacement Theory and the manifesto of the Christchurch shooter in his own manifesto. In response to the Christchurch attack, the government convened a taskforce made up of government bodies, internet service providers and social media platforms to help tackle online extremism from far right and white supremacy groups in Australia. They made recommendations to government in June 2019, including to work to proactively remove terrorism and violent material online, and routinely report back to government on how different aspects of implementing the report were being achieved. But since then, the taskforce has met just three times, with the last meeting in May 2021, when the taskforce was disbanded and responsibility shifted to the eSafety commissioner and Department of Home Affairs.”


The Brussels Times: Belgium Looks To Bring Families Of IS Fighters Back From Syria

“Belgium is looking into whether it can bring back the wives of ISIS fighters from Syria, Het Laatste Nieuws reported. In 2021, six women and ten children were repatriated, but it is not clear how many people will meet the requirements this time. Last year Belgium for the first time ever returned women and children from a relief camp in Roj, near the Iraqi border. Women and children that were imprisoned in the Al-Hol prison camp couldn’t be reached because it was considered too unsafe in the prison camp. Yet Syrian Kurds who run the ramps have relocated several Belgian mothers and their children from Al-Hol to Roj. A Belgian research team visited them recently and questioned the mothers while taking DNA samples from the women and children to determine whether the children were actually born to Belgian parents. It is not clear how many women and children will be eligible for repatriation in 2022 and when the process would start. During the last round of repatriation, at least four Belgian mothers and their children were staying in Al-Hol, although it is likely there would have been more. Belgian authorities are looking into whether more women and children meet the standards for repatriation. Six women were allowed back on 16 July 2021 and were taken into custody upon arrival. Two of them are currently in prison, while the other four have been formally charged.”
Personal note: It sure isn't getting any better anytime soon!

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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