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Old 10-22-2020, 08:11 AM
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Arrow Eye on Extremism - October 22, 2020

Eye on Extremism - October 22, 2020
By: Counter Extremism Project - 10-22-20

As of October 22, 2020 (News: Expanded information)

France Terror Attack: Seven People To Appear In Court Over Death Of Samuel Paty

Sky News: France Terror Attack: Seven People To Appear In Court Over Death Of Samuel Paty

“Seven people - including two minors - are due to appear before an anti-terrorism judge as part of the investigation into the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty. The 47-year-old was beheaded outside his school in a suburb of Paris after he had discussed images of the Prophet Mohammad with his pupils. Investigators say the 18-year-old attacker, Abdullah Anzorov - who was shot dead by police - had been seeking to avenge his victim's use of the images. A parent, who had reportedly posted a video about the history teacher's class, is included in the group of seven people along with two minors. Prosecutors said the attacker had approached the two pupils outside the school and asked them to identify Mr Paty as he left school for the day. It comes as French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said he asked local authorities to put mosques in the cities of Bordeaux and Beziers under police protection following threats. French regional newspaper La Nouvelle Republique has also received threats on social media after it published a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad on its front page.”

Fox News: Taliban Attacks Increase As US Troops Move Toward Total Withdrawl From Afghanistan

“A crowd gathered recently around an old villager as he wailed in inconsolable anguish, holding him up as his body buckled. Word quickly spread that the man had just lost his entire family to a Taliban attack in his home province of Helmand. That assault was Oct. 13, but was just one of dozens inside the beleaguered region in recent weeks – a microcosm of a country ravaged by war, still dominated by an ever-emboldened Taliban, and unsure if it can stand on as its own as the United States steps away. National Defense Secretary Robert O'Brien affirmed this week that the Pentagon was working to carry out President Trump's vow to further diminish U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, slashing numbers to just 2,500 by early next year. However, Trump has pushed the envelope even further in recent days – advocating that all troops be brought home by Christmas. U.S. troop numbers fell from 12,000 to 8,600 in July. But as Trump makes good on a pledge to bring an end to the “forever war” some 7,000 miles away – months after Washington officials inked a deal with Taliban representatives in Doha centered on the U.S. leaving in exchange for the insurgency not to harbor terrorist outfits such as Al Qaeda – Afghans on the ground are caught in the crossfire of increasing Taliban assaults, the rising death toll and steep uncertainty over what comes next."


Al Monitor: Syrian Extremist Group In Idlib Breaks With Jihadist Ideologue

“Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States, announced through its Sharia Council the disavowal of prominent jihadist ideologue Issam al-Barqawi, aka Abu Mohammad al-Maqdisi. In a statement released Oct. 10, the HTS-affiliated Sharia Council said, “He [Maqdisi] is not one of us, and we do not follow his ways. We distinguish between his heretical notion of 'tawheed' [the oneness of God] and the notion we were taught by our predecessors and successors [scholars]. We disavow Barqawi’s ideology and behavior.” Maqdasi said in a statement via his Telegram channel a few days ago, which was later removed, “We have been shown the injustices and grievances of the HTS members and their cooperation with Turkish intelligence in their investigation with Muslims. Those who abet Turkish intelligence against Muslims commit a contravention in Islam, showing their apostasy and deviation from religion, if they cooperate with Turkey.” Relations between Maqdisi and HTS have been tense since the latter, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, split from al-Qaeda in 2016 and announced the formation of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. The split back then angered the more radical current within Jabhat al-Nusra, which in turn announced the formation of Hurras al-Din (Guardians of Religion), which is affiliated with al-Qaeda.”


Voice Of America: Iraq Discovers Remains Of More Than 50 IS Victims In Mass Grave

“Iraqi officials say they have found a new mass grave that contains the remains of several dozen people who appear to have been executed on the spot by Islamic State in the disputed northern province of Kirkuk. Yehia Rasool, military spokesperson for Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, announced Tuesday on Twitter that Iraqi forces found the corpses of more than 50 people by chance as they were pursuing the IS remnants in the Dawud Aluka village in Riyadh subdistrict. “They were executed by Daesh terror gangs during their rein over the village,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for IS. Rasool didn’t provide further details on the identities of the victims. Thousands of Iraqis have gone missing since 2014 when IS took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, along with a large swath of territory in other parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria. Among the missing in Kirkuk are several dozen Kurdish peshmerga fighters who were last seen in an IS propaganda video in 2015. The footage showed the soldiers in orange jumpsuits atop the beds of pickup trucks in a parade through the streets of Kirkuk’s Hawijah district."


Al Jazeera: Taliban Ambush Kills Dozens Of Afghan Forces In Northern Province

“Dozens of the members of Afghanistan’s security forces have been killed and many others wounded in an attack by the Taliban in the northern province of Takhar, officials said. Takhar provincial health director Abdul Qayoum told AFP news agency on Wednesday that 34 security personnel were killed in the ambush, including the province’s deputy police chief. At least eight others were wounded in the incident, which took place overnight in Baharak district, a province that is contested between the Taliban and government forces. Local politicians placed the death toll at up to 42, DPA news agency reported. Baharak is one of the districts of Takhar province, where 11 of the 16 districts have been largely controlled by Taliban fighters for years. Hejri said the security forces had been on their way to an operation in Baharak when they were attacked by the Taliban. “The Taliban had taken positions in the houses around the area. They ambushed our forces who were there for an operation against the enemy,” he said. The Taliban have not commented on the attack yet. Following the Taliban’s campaign in Helmand, the Takhar attack is believed to be the second major offensive by the group in less than a month.”

Saudi Arabia

Arab News: New Daesh Threat Puts Saudi Fight Against Extremism In The Spotlight

“In a cryptic audio message, the extremist group Daesh has called on its followers to launch terrorist attacks against oil pipelines and economic infrastructure inside Saudi Arabia as retaliation for the Kingdom’s support for the UAE and Bahrain’s normalization of ties with Israel. The statement, posted on the group’s Telegram channel, came as the UAE on Monday formally ratified the US-brokered deal, known as the Abraham Accords, which allowed commercial flights between Israel and the Gulf state for the first time. “The Kingdom supported normalization by opening its airspace to Israeli aircraft on their flights to the United Arab Emirates,” a voice purportedly of Daesh spokesperson Abu Hamza Al-Quraishi said in the recording. “The normalization agreements are considered a betrayal of Islam. Our targets are plenty, starting with striking and destroying oil pipelines, factories and facilities that constitute sources of income for the tyrannical government.” Daesh, which at its 2014 peak controlled a portion of the Middle East that included large swathes of Iraq and Syria, lost all its territories in March 2019 after suffering a string of military defeats. Its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, was killed in a US-led operation in October that year.”

The New York Times: A Dozen Protesters In Nigeria Reported Killed By Security Forces

“With music playing and food being passed around, a festive atmosphere hung over the protest encampment on Tuesday night, despite the anger over police brutality that in recent weeks had driven youthful demonstrations that were the biggest Nigeria had seen in a generation. As darkness fell, Nigerian flags were handed out among the thousands of people gathered there. Philip Agu, a sound engineer who had volunteered to run the huge speaker system, said a protest leader took the microphone and told the crowd that the police would likely arrive soon, but that if they sat down, sang the national anthem and waved their flags, they would face no danger. The speaker told the crowd, Mr. Agu recalled, that all around the world, “No soldier can shoot any citizen holding their own national flag.” Three hours later, dozens of people were hit by gunfire from security forces, some fatally, and images of bloodied protesters and their bloodied flags strewn on the ground flooded the social media accounts of millions of Nigerians. Survivors recalled a sudden shift from sitting peacefully to fleeing in panic. Some said military and police units surrounded the demonstrators in the affluent suburb of Lekki, preventing them from leaving.”


Dalsan Radio: Somalia: Nineteen Al-Shabab Fighters Killed In Bay Region

“At least 19 al-Shabab militants were killed on Tuesday in an operation conducted by the Somali National Army in Bay region. A statement from the army radio quoting senior military officials noted that the soldiers killed 19 Alshabab fighters and captured two others alive in the operation conducted 11 kilometres from Dinsoor district. The statement also noted the military destroyed Alshabab hideouts in the area. Meanwhile, the Somali National Army (SNA) in a joint operation with southwest state army killed two al-Shabab extremists in an operation in Dinsor district in Bay region of Southwest state. President Farmaajo meets cabinet, lauds PM for inclusive cabinet President Farmaajo asks Parliament to approve new cabinet PM Roble names new cabinet, drops key ministers, retains others Confirming the offensive Dinsoor district Commissioner Abdisalan Haji Sidow Mohamed said the forces seized weapons during the offensive. The commissioner also thanked the joint forces for beefing up the peace and stability in the area. Government forces have intensified operations against al-Shabab extremists in some regions, but the militants still hold swathes of rural areas in those regions conducting ambushes and planting land mines in the capital and elsewhere.”


Agence France-Presse: Boko Haram Kills Six Chad Soldiers In Lake Chad Region: Army

“Boko Haram fighters killed six Chadian soldiers in the Lake Chad region, where deadly jihadist attacks against civilians and security forces are on the rise, the army said Tuesday. Security experts say Boko Haram, which originated in Nigeria in 2009, has established bases on islets dotting Lake Chad, a vast swampy expanse in the border region straddled by Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon. The soldiers were killed while patrolling a group of islets on the Chad-Nigeria border, army spokesman General Azem Bermendoa Agouna told AFP. Twelve other soldiers were wounded and the military killed around 10 “terrorists,” he said. The Chadian army launched an offensive against Boko Haram in April after some 100 soldiers died in an attack by the group on one of its bases. President Idriss Deby then claimed to have pushed the jihadists out. But attacks have continued despite the military operation. Fighters from a dissident branch, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group, are also extending their grip and influence around Lake Chad. At least 36,000 people have been killed and around three million displaced in the decade-long Islamist conflict which spread from northeast Nigeria to Chad, Niger, and Cameroon.”


CNN: A Teacher Is Beheaded, And France's War Over Secularism, Freedom Of Speech And Religious Equality Reignites

“France was irrevocably changed by the Paris terror attacks of January 2015. Three days of violence began with a massacre at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had previously published controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. They ended with a siege at a kosher supermarket. Seventeen people were killed and long-simmering tensions over secularism, Islamism and religious equality erupted into public view. Anti-immigration rhetoric targeting France's Muslim communities also became increasingly common. Since then, these divides have only worsened with further attacks and the subsequent fallout. Last Friday, teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in a terrorist attack in the northern Paris suburb of Éragny after displaying the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons to his students during a lesson, anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said. The 47-year-old's murder has now reignited the long-simmering conflict over secularism in France. GlobeIn is a subscription service for ethically sourced artisan goods from around the world, kind of like a club for the world traveler who can’t make their annual trek this year.”

Reuters: France Bans Islamist Group After Killing Of Teacher - Government Spokesman

“France will ban an Islamist group named after the late Sheikh Yassin as part of a crackdown on militants following the murder of a French schoolteacher last week, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday. Samuel Paty was beheaded on Oct. 16 by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin seeking to avenge his victim’s use of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression. Police shot the attacker dead. “This is a battle over security, culture and education,” Attal said. The banned group is named after Sheikh Yassin, a Palestinian Muslim leader and co-founder of the Hamas movement, who was assassinated in 2004. Hamas has denied any links with the French group.”


The Wall Street Journal: German Authorities Probe Tourist’s Killing As Possible Islamist Terrorist Attack

“German authorities are treating the killing of a tourist earlier this month as a possible act of terror after they detained an Islamic State supporter as their prime suspect, prosecutors said on Wednesday. The man, a Syrian asylum seeker known to authorities as an Islamist extremist, was arrested on Tuesday and is suspected of stabbing two tourists on Oct. 4 in the eastern city of Dresden, prosecutors in the state of Saxony said. The attack is one in a series of suspected Islamist terror acts perpetrated in Europe in recent weeks that have punctured a period of relative calm when authorities focused on addressing the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, a Russian refugee decapitated a high-school teacher in a town near Paris for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as part of a civics class about freedom of expression. That came weeks after a Pakistani man stabbed two people in Paris outside the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, the site of a 2015 terrorist attack. On Aug. 19, prosecutors said a series of apparently deliberate crashes on a Berlin highway was investigated as a possible Islamist terrorist attack. The suspect in the Dresden attack is 20 years old and arrived in Germany in 2015 as an asylum seeker.”

New Zealand

New Zealand Herald: New Zealand Woman 'Intended To Facilitate A Terrorist Act' For Islamic State Denied Judicial Review

“A woman who had her passport cancelled because it was believed she planned to facilitate a terrorist act for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has had her application for a judicial review denied. The woman, who has permanent name suppression, applied for a review after her passport was suspended and then cancelled in 2016 and the High Court has today released the decision of Justice Dobson. On April 19, 2016, the Acting Minister of Internal Affairs suspended the woman's passport for 10 working days because a report was being prepared about possible cancellation of her passport and it was believed she would leave New Zealand before it was finished. On May 2, the Minister of Internal Affairs, then Peter Dunne, decided to cancel the woman's passport using the section of the Passports Act 1992 which allows cancellation if the minister believes on reasonable grounds that the person is a danger to the security of a country other than New Zealand because the person intends to facilitate a terrorist act. Dunne informed the woman his decision was based on information provided by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, most of which was classified.”


Nextgov: Bill Would Hold Tech Companies Responsible When Their Algorithms Promote Extremist Content

“House lawmakers Tuesday introduced legislation that would hold tech companies liable if their algorithms amplify or promote extremist content that interferes with civil rights or involving acts of international terrorism. The legislation, introduced by Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides a liability shield for tech firms regarding third-party content shared on their platforms. Called the Protecting Americans from Dangerous Algorithms Act, the bill specifically targets algorithms that amplify content while preserving the core elements of the law that protect users’ free speech, according to lawmakers. The legislation would apply only to platform companies with more than 50 million users, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, which have struggled recently in addressing various extremist content, including QAnon conspiracy theories.… The legislation has early support from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Counter Extremism Project and the Anti-Defamation League. The bill does not yet have support in the Senate."

STL News: Atlanta: United States Seizes More Domain Names Used By Foreign Terrorist Organization

“The United States has seized “” and “,” two websites that were unlawfully utilized by Kata’ib Hizballah, a Specially Designated National and a Foreign Terrorist Organization. “We will be steadfast in protecting our electronic infrastructure and commerce system from use by terrorist groups,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak of the Northern District of Georgia. “This seizure shows that we will continue to leverage our national reach to stop these groups from using U.S.-based resources to further their terrorist agenda.” “Seizures like these are critical to preventing designated entities and terrorist organizations from using U.S. websites to recruit new members and promote their twisted world views,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “While this case is a reminder that terrorists don’t need to step foot in our country to further their aims, today’s actions show that the Department will do what it takes to stop them. “The internet is continuously updating with new threats to our nation’s safety, but we will continue to rise and meet this challenge,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.”

The Washington Post: The Cybersecurity 202: Trump’s Former Homeland Security Adviser Says Russia Remains Major Election Hacking Threat

“ … An A.I. chatbot hosted on the encrypted messaging app Telegram created fake nudes from photos of more than 100,000 women without their consent. The images included the targeted woman's face coupled with a realistic but fake nude body, Drew Harwell reports. The gallery of photos made by the bot included images of women under 18. The service is triggering concerns that increasingly easy access to artificial intelligence technology could lead to new avenues for harassment or blackmail. “It’s just another way people have found to weaponize technology against women. Once this stuff gets online, that’s it. Every potential boyfriend or girlfriend, your employer, your family, may end up seeing it,” said Hany Farid, a computer scientist at the University of California at Berkeley who specializes in digital-image forensics. Farid pinned the ubiquity of the technology on the lack of attention in the male-dominated tech industry to how emerging technologies could be exploited against women. Thousands of users subscribed to the channel hosting the images, which was exposed by researchers at the cybersecurity start-up Sensity. The bot’s administrators denied any wrongdoing.”

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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