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Arrow Eye on Extremism - September 20, 2019

Eye on Extremism
By: Counter Extremism Project - 9-20-19

As of September 20, 2019:

The New York Times: Man Trained By Hezbollah Scouted Times Square As Target, Prosecutors Say

“A New Jersey man trained in bomb-making and intelligence-gathering by Hezbollah spent years scouting sites like Times Square and New York’s airports, tunnels and bridges for how to do the most harm in an attack, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. The man, Alexei Saab, 42, of Morristown, was charged with various terrorism-related crimes in a nine-count indictment unsealed in Manhattan. A United States citizen since 2008, he was also charged with participating in a sham marriage to help an unnamed co-conspirator obtain citizenship. In announcing the indictment, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said that despite Mr. Saab’s citizenship status, “his true allegiance was to Hezbollah.” Mr. Saab, who was arrested in July, is being held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, according to federal prison records. An arraignment had not yet been scheduled, and he has not entered a plea. His lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”

CBS News: CBS News Goes Inside Syrian Refugee Camp Filled With ISIS Supporters

“A sprawling refugee camp in northeast Syria is described as a breeding ground for ISIS and a ticking time bomb. A few hundred U.S. allies guard the Al-Hol camp, where the strict laws of ISIS are followed. The guards call the Syrian refugee camp the “Islamic State” because while they control the fence, inside, they said, ISIS is in charge. Ten thousand foreigners live there. They are wives and children of accused ISIS fighters. The men are mostly dead or in prison. CBS News went inside and met women who wouldn't say where they come from, but sound British, and they defended ISIS terror attacks in Europe and the U.S. “This is ISIS ideology, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. That's what it is,” one woman said. When there's violence here, and there have apparently been several murders, it's almost impossible to find the perpetrators, because all of the women are covered. In an ISIS propaganda video, women send a message from the camp. We're a ticking bomb, one says, just you wait and see. In another video, young boys chant that they'll crush the heads of non-believers. There are no real schools there, but one guard said the entire camp is effectively an ISIS academy. Many women said they're repentant.”

The New York Times: Trump’s National Security Aides Refining Possible Iran Options

“Senior national security officials from across the government met on Thursday to refine a list of potential targets to strike in Iran, should President Trump order a military retaliation for missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil fields last weekend, officials said. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are to present the updated options to Mr. Trump at a National Security Council meeting scheduled for Friday, a senior American official said. In advance of being presented with the newest set of options, Mr. Trump has sent different signals on his intentions. He has threatened to order “the ultimate option” of a strike on Iran to punish the nation for its behavior, but also has made clear his continued opposition to ordering the United States into another war in the Middle East.”

Reuters: Islamic State Claims Attack In Burkina That Killed 24 Soldiers

“Islamic State claimed responsibility for one of the deadliest attacks against the Burkina Faso military in recent months, the SITE website that tracks militant attacks reported on Thursday. The attack took place on Aug. 20 in Koutougou, in the country’s northern Soum province. Militants killed 24 Burkinabe soldiers and injured seven others. A statement from Islamic State quoted by SITE attributed the attack to the group’s West Africa branch. Once one of the region’s most peaceful countries, Burkina Faso has suffered a spillover of Islamist violence from its neighbors and large swathes of the country’s north are now out of control. Deteriorating security prompted the Ouagadougou government to declare in December a state of emergency in several northern provinces bordering Mali, including Soum.”

BBC News: Fastest-Growing UK Terror Threat 'From Far-Right'

“The fastest-growing terror threat in the UK comes from far-right extremism, police have said. Neil Basu, the UK head of counter-terrorism, said seven of the 22 plots foiled since March 2017 have been linked to the ideology. He said far-right terrorism had gone from 6% of the caseload two years ago to 10% today, adding: “It's small but it's my fastest-growing problem.” But, he said, the biggest threat still came from jihadists. Mr Basu, Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, said some of the right-wing plots they disrupted were “designed to kill people” - and methods mimicked those seen in jihadist attacks, with some even using Islamic State materials. Speaking at a briefing on Thursday, Mr Basu said about 10% of around 800 live terror investigations were linked to right-wing extremism. Children as young as 14 have been involved in extremist activity, the briefing was told. He also said the government's terrorism-prevention programme, Prevent, which aims to stop people being radicalised, has seen referrals nearly doubling since 2015/16 to 18%. “Despite the increases, right-wing terrorism remains a relatively small percentage of our overall demand, but when nearly a third of the plots foiled by police and security services since 2017 relate to right-wing ideology, it lays bare why we are taking this so seriously,” he said.”

Express: Neo-Nazi Group In Threat To Kill One Of Britain's Top Police Officers - Exclusive

“The group has reportedly called for the deaths of European Parliament politician Guy Verhofstadt and YouTube chief executive officer Susan Wojcicki. Joshua Fisher-Birch, a research analyst at the Counter Extremism Project in New York, said: "This is a small group, but they have a very radical ideology. Even among the extreme right, it can be hard for them to find recruits. They want a race war. They want to commit terrorist attacks. This is different from other groups. They have an 'accelerationist' ideology. They think they need to bring this about, they think it is their duty."

United States

The Washington Post: New Jersey Man Charged With Scouting Terrorist Targets In Manhattan For Hezbollah

“A New Jersey man has been indicted on charges that he secretly worked for the terrorist group Hezbollah, scouting potential targets in New York, including Grand Central Terminal, the New York Stock Exchange and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Charges were announced Thursday against Alexei Saab, 42, and the FBI said he had been part of Hezbollah for more than 20 years. He also tried to kill a man in Lebanon under orders from one of his instructors, but the gun didn’t fire, authorities said. Court papers filed in Saab’s case also show that U.S. officials have gotten significant cooperation from a former member of Saab’s group who was arrested in 2017 and has since pleaded guilty. Authorities charge that Saab was part of the Islamic Jihad Organization, described as a wing of Hezbollah tasked with “the planning and coordination of intelligence, counterintelligence, and terrorist activities.” Officials said Saab was arrested in July, following several months of FBI interviews in which he allegedly made admissions about his work for Hezbollah. A lawyer for Saab could not immediately be identified. Court papers say Saab admitted he had been recruited into Hezbollah as a college student and had received explosives and military training from the group.”

Fox News: American Airlines Mechanic Shared ‘Disturbing’ ISIS Videos, Told Agents He Had ‘Evil Side,’ Prosecutors Say

“An American Airlines mechanic accused of sabotaging a plane in July reportedly told arresting agents he had an “evil side,” a nefarious persona prosecutors sought to expose Wednesday as they presented alleged evidence of his Islamist sympathies -- and aspirations -- at a bail hearing in Miami. Prosecutors said Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani allegedly displayed support for ISIS by making statements about wishing Allah would use “divine powers” to harm non-Muslims and sharing ISIS videos on his cellphone -- which he allowed the FBI to search. One of the videos showed a person being shot in the head, according to prosecutors. Federal investigators said they also learned that Alani lied about taking a trip to Iraq in March to visit his brother and also sent $700 to someone in Iraq. Alani allegedly told an American Airlines co-worker in June his brother was kidnapped and became a member of the terrorist organization. Alani, 60, worked as a mechanic for the airline when he allegedly sabotaged a Nassau-bound Boeing 737 with 150 passengers and crew aboard at Miami International Airport over stalled labor negotiations. Prosecutors said Alani glued styrofoam inside the nose of the aircraft that disabled a part used to gauge airspeed and other critical flight data.”

The Wall Street Journal: Pentagon Weighs Sending More Military Assets To Mideast

“The Pentagon is considering sending additional antimissile batteries, another squadron of jet fighters and added surveillance capabilities to the Middle East to shore up the military’s regional presence in the wake of the attack last weekend on Saudi Arabia’s petroleum industry, U.S. military officials said. The measures under consideration also include a commitment to maintaining the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier and other warships in the Middle East for the foreseeable future, the officials said. The extra force would be meant to show heightened resolve and to bolster defenses following Saturday’s strikes, and is under consideration as President Trump also is weighing options for a response to the attack, which U.S. officials charge was carried out by Iran.”


Foreign Policy: Idlib Faces A Fearsome Future: Islamist Rule Or Mass Murder

“In recent months, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the radical Islamist group that now controls Idlib—the last redoubt of Syria’s armed opposition—has shown a growing willingness to compromise. HTS was once as extreme as they come, with roots in al Qaeda. But with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s victorious Russian-aided forces bearing down, and mindful of the collapse of the ultra-hard-line Islamic State, the group’s leaders are taking a more lenient, pragmatic approach to enlistment. The rank-and-file composition of the group has also changed. Through several rounds of infighting with more moderate rebel groups, HTS absorbed thousands of nonobservant Muslim fighters into its ranks from the defeated factions. In addition, it welcomed more moderate fighters who have been displaced from further south—much to the surprise of some of the new enlistees. “In Damascus I was sure that HTS are like the Islamic State, that no one smokes among them and they dress in Islamic garb, but honestly, I didn’t find any of that,” said one HTS fighter called Mazen, who smokes cigarettes and crops his beard.”

Voice Of America: Russia, China Block UN Humanitarian Resolution On Syria’s Idlib

“Russia and China joined forces Thursday to block adoption of a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at establishing a cease-fire in northwestern Syria and gaining full access for humanitarian workers to the province of Idlib. The two veto-wielding powers blocked the text put forward by drafters Belgium, Germany and Kuwait, who hold the Syria humanitarian file on the Security Council. “We remain convinced that the council cannot stay silent and must act,” German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen said. "That is why we have tabled this humanitarian resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities.” But Russia said the text was “doomed to failure” and ignored the need for fighting terrorists. Thursday’s veto was its 13th on Syria since the conflict began in 2011."

Al Jazeera: Russia Blasted At UN For 'Carpet Bombing' Syria

“Russia and China nixed a draft UN Security Council resolution on Thursday that called for a truce in northwest Syria, where government forces seek to overtake the last rebel stronghold in the country's brutal civil war. The double-veto marked the thirteenth time Moscow blocked UN action on Syria, and the seventh time for Beijing, in an eight-year conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and divided world powers. The document, drafted by Kuwait, Belgium and Germany, called for a ceasefire in the northwestern province of Idlib by midday on September 21 and a halt to an aerial bombing campaign that has killed civilians and medical staff and destroyed hospitals. Equatorial Guinea, which holds a two-year council seat, abstained and the remaining 12 members of the body voted in favour. Voting against the document, Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's UN ambassador, said the text did not include a carve-out for military operations against UN-designated "extremist" groups.”

Voice Of America: Living In The Crossroads Of Syria

“A quiet strip of land in northern Syria hosts some of the world’s strongest powers and bitterest enemies. Russian, American, Turkish, Syrian and Kurdish flags fly in the countryside while troops on both sides of the newly established and hotly contested “safe zone” along the Turkish border try to keep the peace. Inside the nearby city of Manbij, locals mostly will not say who they want to be in charge. In the eight years since the Syrian Civil war began, the city has been controlled by four different groups, each overthrowing the last. “We try to be adaptable and live with anyone,” says 33-year-old Jamal Haji, an unemployed engineer, in a crowded indoor marketplace. “We don’t want violence. You cannot find anyone in Syria who hasn’t lost someone to the war.” ‘Safe zone’ Both the Syrian and Turkish governments have said they intend to take over Manbij, which is currently controlled by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces that are allied with the United States.”


The New York Times: Iran’s Foreign Minister Vows ‘All-Out War’ If U.S. Or Saudis Strike

“A military strike against Iran by the United States or Saudi Arabia would result in “an all-out war,” the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Thursday, repeating his government’s denial of responsibility for an attack last week that damaged Saudi oil facilities and hampered the global flow of oil. The Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are supported by Iran in their fight against a Saudi-led coalition, claimed responsibility for the attack on Saturday, but top American officials blamed Iran, and some within the Trump administration are advocating military retaliation. The administration is still weighing how to react, but President Trump has appeared reluctant to order military action. Asked on Thursday about Mr. Zarif’s comments, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Mr. Trump wanted to find a peaceful path forward. “We’d like a peaceful resolution, indeed,” he told reporters traveling with him in the United Arab Emirates before flying back to Washington after a two-day emergency trip. “We’re still striving to build out a coalition. I was here in an act of diplomacy while the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war to fight to the last American.”

The New Yorker: Iran Entrenches Its “Axis Of Resistance” Across The Middle East

“Spy Mountain, the moniker for Mt. Avital, rises high on the Biblical Golan Heights. Surveillance antennas are conspicuous atop a heavily fortified installation. It’s Israel’s forward observation post peering into Syria; it’s also now the place from which Israel monitors Iran and its allies on the other side of the border. Roughly a kilometre away, on the Syrian side, is Sleeping Elephant Hill, nicknamed for its shape. In 2012, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and its Hezbollah allies set up a signals-intelligence post on the hill to monitor Israel. In 2015, they attempted to set up a more robust military presence nearby. An Israeli air strike took out their reconnaissance team, including the Revolutionary Guard general Mohammad Ali Allah-Dadi and Jihad Mughniyah, the Iranian-trained son of Imad Mughniyah, the assassinated first military commander of Hezbollah. As it usually does, Iran temporarily stepped back, regrouped, and modified its tactics. In 2016, the Revolutionary Guard started shipping kits to convert short-range rockets into longer-range missiles, with precision guidance systems capable of hitting strategic targets in Israel, from an electricity grid to an airport or a desalination plant. “That’s what’s called a game-changer,” Uzi Rubin, the former head of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization, told me. “They converted a weapon of terror into a military weapon for war. They’d only need two hundred to stop Israel’s ability to wage its own war.”


Xinhua: Iraqi Forces Conduct 2 Airdrop Operations To Combat IS Militants

“Iraqi security forces conducted on Thursday two airdrop operations in western and southern Iraq, capturing one Islamic State (IS) militant and destroying two IS hideouts. In the western Anbar province, a joint force from the Iraqi army and tactical units of the provincial police conducted an airdrop operation in the Jalabat desert area, destroying two IS hideouts stashing weapons and ammunition, a statement by the media office of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said. Also in the province, a force from Anbar's Operations Command carried out an operation in a desert area, destroying an IS vehicle and capturing a wanted IS militant, the JOC statement added, without providing further details. The JOC said in another statement that a force from the intelligence service, in coordination with the Iraqi army's aircraft ,conducted an airdrop operation In the area of Hawr al-Dulmouj, which is situated between the southern cities of al-Diwaniyah, al-Kut and al-Nasiriyah. The operation resulted in seizing caches of weapons and ammunition containing assault rifles, anti-armor missiles and different kinds of other weapons, the statement said.”

Xinhua: UN Team To Cooperate In Probe Into IS Crimes In Iraq

“A United Nations team tasked with investigation in crimes committed by the Islamic State (IS) group stressed the importance of cooperation with Iraqi authorities for justice of victims, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement on Thursday. Karim Khan, head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/Islamic State (UNITAD), visited the central Salahudin province on Monday and met with senior officials in the provincial capital Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, according to the statement. Khan discussed with the officials “cooperation with Iraqi judicial institutions, including practical steps in which the Camp Speicher investigations can be deepened with the assistance of UNITAD,” the statement said. In June 2014, IS militants carried out an attack on a military air base, known as Camp Speicher, and committed a massacre when they executed 1,700 Iraqi soldiers and students of the Air Force academy and threw their bodies into the Tigris River. In a press conference, Khan emphasized that the justice UNITAD is helping bring about “is not born from some notion of collective guilt,” but holds individuals accountable for specific crimes they committed, according to the statement.”


The Washington Examiner: State Department: ISIS Scaring Taliban Into Peace Talks With US

“Taliban leaders have an interest in negotiating with the United States because of the risk that an Islamic State offshoot will establish a caliphate in Afghanistan, according to a senior diplomat. “I think the Taliban appreciate ... that there is a cost to Afghanistan’s development [imposed] by the ongoing war,” Alice Wells, an acting assistant secretary of state, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee during a Thursday hearing. “And they also see, frankly, the rise of other terrorist groups who pose a threat to themselves and to the future of Afghanistan.” ISIS Khorasan is chief among a “vegetable soup” of terrorist groups that a unified Afghan government could confront if the Taliban and the U.S.-backed central government ever strike a peace deal. The ISIS affiliate, named for a historic region that stretches across multiple modern countries, has coalesced at the expense of the Taliban, despite an ongoing campaign of airstrikes from U.S. and NATO forces. “That is a terrorist group that doesn’t recognize Afghanistan as a nation state,” Wells told lawmakers. “This is a group that focuses on [a] caliphate and borderless territory under the organization’s control. That’s a deep threat to all the people of Afghanistan, including the Taliban.”

Al Jazeera: Afghanistan: US Confirms Drone Attack That Killed 30 Farmers

“The US forces in Afghanistan have admitted that a drone attack that killed at least 30 pine nut farmers in Nangarhar province on Thursday was conducted by them. At least 40 others were injured in the attack in Wazir Tangi area of Khogyani district that was previously attributed to the West-backed Afghan government. A spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan confirmed on Thursday that the drone attack was conducted by the US with the intention of destroying a hideout used by the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group. "Initial indications are members of Daesh [ISIL] were among those targeted in the strike," Colonel Sonny Leggett, spokesman for the American-led coalition in Afghanistan said. "However, we are working with local officials to determine whether there was collateral damage."


Xinhua: 4 Killed In Bomb Attack On Passenger Bus In SE Yemen

“A roadside bomb explosion hit a passenger bus in Yemen's southeastern province of Hadramout on Thursday, leaving four people killed, a security official told Xinhua. The Yemeni security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the roadside blast struck the civilian bus while it was traveling near the Saudi-Yemeni border post of Wadia in Hadramout province. “An explosive device hit a traveling bus carrying 46 passengers near the Wadia crossing, killing four passengers and injuring 21 others, six of them seriously,” the source added. The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was apparently planted to target a military convoy of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that passed later through the same road, according to the official. Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb blast struck a military patrol of the Saudi-led coalition forces in the historic town of Shibam in Hadramout province that's controlled by Yemeni government forces. A Yemeni official based in Hadramout confirmed to Xinhua that the blast killed a Saudi army commander named as Abu Nawaf along with five of his bodyguards. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks in Hadramout. But militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch are active in the region and often use roadside bombs to target government officials as well as Yemeni security forces.”

Saudi Arabia

Arab News: Saudi Arabia To UN: Aramco Strikes Were ‘Organized Terrorist Attack’

“Saudi Arabia said that Saturday’s strikes on two Aramco facilities were an “organized terrorist attack” in a letter to the UN Security Council. The Saudi Mission to the United Nations sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and another to the President of the Security Council Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya and members of the Security Council on Wednesday. The letters stated that “all indications are that the weapons used in the Aramco attack are Iranian.” They also explained that Saudi Arabia will take measures to respond to the attacks in accordance with international law, and called on the UN and international experts to participate in the investigation into the attack.”

The New York Times: Attack On Saudi Oil Facilities Tests U.S. Guarantee To Defend Gulf

“The oil-rich monarchies of the Persian Gulf have relied for decades on the promise of protection by the United States military, a commitment sealed by the rollback of the 1990 invasion of Kuwait and reinforced by a half dozen American military bases that sprang up around the region. Now that commitment is facing its most serious test since the first gulf war: an attack last Saturday by a swarm of at least 17 missiles and drones that crippled Saudi Arabia’s most critical oil installation and temporarily knocked out 5 percent of the world’s oil supply. Washington and Riyadh blamed Iran, despite its denials, and President Trump threatened that the United States was “locked and loaded.” Yet despite months of such bravado, Mr. Trump has been hesitant to take military action that might risk an expanded conflagration. For better or worse, such a muted response could signal another turning point for the region.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: Lebanon Concerned Over Possible Hezbollah Engagement In Regional War

“The Lebanese are watching with great concern the developments in the region, most notably the attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil plants, the purported Iranian involvement and its serious repercussions. The recent events have brought back to their mind a speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, when he put himself at the disposal of Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and stressed that any military strike against Iran “will ignite the whole region and annihilate countries and peoples.” Amid the dangerous local and regional developments, the Lebanese State has kept silence about the possibility of Lebanon’s involvement in a regional war, while no official stance was issued by President Michel Aoun or his political team, the Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah’s main ally. In this regard, the coordinator of the General Secretariat of the March 14 Forces, former MP Fares Soueid, said he was not surprised at Aoun’s silence over the risks facing Lebanon due to Nasrallah’s comments.”

Middle East

The Jerusalem Post: What Do You Make Of Qatar?

“Qatar – dubbed “the wild card of the Middle East” – makes for an intriguing case study. Not much is generally known about this stand-alone Gulf state except perhaps that it established what is now a global media empire called Al Jazeera, that its national airline is a long-time sponsor of the Sky News TV channel, and that it won the hosting rights for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in somewhat dubious circumstances, On that matter it should be remembered that when Qatar was awarded that prize, it stated that Israeli players would be allowed to compete – and indeed in March 2019, Israel’s national anthem was played in Qatar after an Israeli athlete won a gold medal at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup. But will there be any Israelis present in Qatar’s stunning new stadium in 2022 to cheer their team on? That is still unclear. So far, Israeli citizens have been unable to apply for visas to visit Qatar. The international NGO StandWithUs is formally requesting FIFA to ensure that the Qatari government will allow Israeli citizens to receive entry visas into the country to attend the 2022 World Cup. FIFA’s code of ethics specifically prohibits banning people based upon their country of origin.”


Xinhua: Boko Haram Terrorists Flee Amid Regional Troop's Offensive: Nigerian Army

“Boko Haram terrorists are fleeing out of their hideout around Lake Chad to north and central Africa sub-regions amid the all-out offensive by multinational force, the Nigerian army said Thursday. The combined onslaught by the troops of Nigerian army and Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) on the identified Boko Haram hideouts was responsible for their exodus, Sagir Musa, the army spokesperson said in a statement reaching Xinhua in Lagos. He said there were credible reports indicating massive movements of the terror group militants out of the area. “This mass movement for their lives was necessitated by the sustained air and artillery bombardments by the Nigerian armed forces and coalition forces of the MNJTF, which killed uncountable number of the terrorists and destroyed their weapons and equipment,” he said. The army spokesperson said the various national troops and the MNJTF were maintaining aggressive patrols and blocking positions against infiltration by the escaping criminals. Boko Haram has been trying since 2009 to establish an Islamic state in northeastern Nigeria, having killed some 20,000 people and forcing displacement of millions of others.”

Xinhua: At Least 9 Killed In Suspected Boko Haram Attack In NE Nigeria

“At least 9 people have been killed in an attack suspected to have been carried out by terror group Boko Haram in a village in Nigeria's northeast region. Military sources who confirmed the attack said it occurred late Wednesday in Aljilati Ngomari village near Maiduguri, the capital of the northern state of Borno and stronghold of the outlawed group. Four of the victims were killed with bow and arrows while five others were hacked to death with machetes, a military source, who requested anonymity, told Xinhua. Lukman Rufai, a leader of the government-backed militia group, the Civilian Joint Task Force, said bodies of the victims were, thereafter, dumped in a nearby bush. “Such silent killing tactics of using the bow and arrows, as well as machetes or knives, were likely deployed by the militants to prevent the people in the community from knowing what was happening at the time of the attack,” said Rufai. Bodies of the victims were brought back to the village early Thursday, set for burial, he said. The northeast region of the most populous African country has been destabilized for over a decade by Boko Haram, which kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in 2014.”


Al Jazeera: Somalia: About 5,000 Sufi Fighters Join Army

“In central Somalia, about 5,000 Sufi fighters are signing up to join the national army. In a surprise move two months ago, the group decided to have its fighters integrated. So far, they are the only local group to go up against al-Shabab fighters and win. Sufism is a mystical branch of Islam and has been widely practised in Somalia before the advent of Salafism in the country following the civil war that broke out in 1991. Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow reports from Dusamareb.”


All Africa: West Africa: Terrorist Attacks In West Africa - 11,400 Die In 4 Years ... Thousands Injured, Millions Displaced

“About 11, 400 people have died in 2,200 terrorist attacks in West Africa in the last four years, with thousands injured and millions displaced into grave living conditions. Director of Defence Intelligence of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Brigadier General Nicholas Andoh who disclosed this in Accra yesterday said the activities of violent and extremist armed groups (VEAG) have increased in the region. At the opening of a two-day meeting of West and North African directors of military intelligence, he said limited collaboration amongst intelligence agencies had restricted efforts to rein in on the groups. Numbering more than 100, the high ranking military officers, drawn from 17 countries and their global partners, have converged for the first time, to devise a robust joint strategy to combat the scourge of terror threats. The meeting was organised by the Department of Defence Intelligence and United States African Command in collaboration with GAF on the theme “Intelligence Support to operations to combating regional threats”, Brigadier General Andoh said the whole continent was saddled with complex transnational crimes committed both in the physical and cyber domain with far reaching implications for everyone.”

United Kingdom

The Economist: How Britain Exports Islamist Extremism To Bangladesh

“Since the first wave of Bangladeshi migrants arrived in Britain in the 1970s, foreign-born preachers have held sway in the community. For a while the most visible consequence to outsiders was when Bangladeshi restaurants stopped selling alcohol, after conservative clerics such as Delwar Hossain Sayeedi came to preach temperance to the diaspora in the 1990s (some curry houses found a theological loophole in the form of “bring your own booze”). Recent years have seen more serious worries about the influence of foreign extremists. In February Shamima Begum, an east-London schoolgirl, was stripped of her British citizenship after running away to join Islamic State (is) in Syria. Yet in Dhaka, amid a rising tempo of terrorist attacks, officials are asking who is radicalising whom. Bangladesh’s government often blames outsiders for its problem with radical Islam. But here it has a point. British citizens have been implicated in the planning, funding and promotion of terrorism in Bangladesh, to the alarm of the country’s security services. “We do not know what is driving radicalisation in Britain,” says a senior officer in Bangladesh’s Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Bureau, “but it is contaminating our society.”

The Guardian: Rise Of The Far Right: A Disturbing Mix Of Hateful Ideologies

“On Thursday, senior counter-terror police officers provided a rare insight into the threat from extreme-right terrorism as they see it, revealing the scale of the problem and some of the motives behind its rise. Their assessment of the threat reveals a disturbing mix of hateful ideologies and grievances, which are inspiring disenfranchised lone actors to plot and in some cases commit acts of far-right terrorism. Rightwing terrorism now takes up around 10% of counter-terrorism policing’s 800 live investigations, up from around 6% in 2017/18, with around a quarter of all counter-terror related arrests linked to the far right. Since March 2017, police and security services have foiled 22 terror attack plots, with around a third – seven in total – relating to rightwing terrorism. And rightwing ideology was behind 18% of referrals to the government’s anti-radicalisation programme, Prevent, in the year to March 2018, up from 10% in the year to March 2016. Counter-terror officers said the rightwing terrorists are being inspired by three distinct sets of ideology, all of which have associated individuals and groups. Cultural nationalism and the far-right is anti-Islam, anti-immigration and anti-government.”


Express: France Terror Threat: Warning Issued As ‘Homegrown Jihadis’ Remain Huge Concern

“However, M Nuñez warned the threat “has not diminished”. He told FranceInfo radio: “Unfortunately, the threat level remains unchanged.” The UK Foreign Office has also warned “terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in France”. M Nuñez said “homegrown” jihadists inspired by the Islamic State (Isis) group’s ideology remained the biggest security threat to France, stoking fresh concerns over the organisation’s ability to wield influence even after its territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria. “The greatest threat is the so-called homegrown threat by radicalised individuals based in France. These are people who obey ISIS and are inspired by its propaganda,” he said, adding that would-be jihadists were most likely to launch low-tech knife and vehicle attacks. US-backed forces pushed Isis out its remaining territory in March. Hundreds of foreign fighters are now being held in detention camps while western governments try and work out what to do with them. France has so far refused to take back citizens who joined the group’s so-called “caliphate,” insisting adults captured in Iraq or Syria should face trial locally despite the risk of capital punishment. M Nuñez added western states should “remain prudent” amid claims Isis has strengthened its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and is re-surging in Syria. It is crucial for western governments to “track” their movements, he said.”


BBC News: Interpol Detects Foreign Terror Suspects In Mediterranean

“Interpol says it has detected more than a dozen suspected “foreign terrorist fighters” crossing the Mediterranean Sea during a six-week operation. The international police organisation carried out more than 1.2 million searches at ports in six countries between 24 July and 8 September. Operation Neptune II focussed on busy tourist routes between North Africa and southern Europe. It resulted in 31 active investigative leads, Interpol says. In a separate development, France and Italy called for a new system to automatically redistribute migrants across the EU as the number of people entering Europe surged. The current system, French President Emmanuel Macron said, was particularly unfair on Italy. Only this week, hundreds of migrants arrived in Italy and Greece, many travelling by boat from Libya and Turkey. During the operation Interpol used its vast database to look for signs of illegal activity such as stolen travel documents and vehicles. Officials from Algeria, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia carried out the searches at seven ports in the area. “When information is shared between regions via Interpol's networks at the global level, every check, border control or random search is a potential break in a terror investigation,” said Interpol's Secretary General Jürgen Stock.”

Globsec: Pathways To Jihad - Counter Extremism Project

“In 2019, Globsec studied the biographies of more than 300 Western European jihadis. In cooperation with the Counter Extremism Project, the report, Pathways to Jihad, details the pathways and patterns of individual jihadists towards their terrorism involvement.”


The Washington Post: For China’s Embattled Uighurs, A Bank Transfer Abroad Can Become A ‘Terrorism’ Ordeal

“The Chinese state has come down not once, but twice, on Mayila Yakufu. First, the 41-year-old insurance company worker was taken away for 10 months of “vocational training” in one of the internment camps China has set up in the mostly-Muslim Xinjiang region as part of an extensive campaign to strip the Uighur minority of its culture and language. She was out for barely four months before the authorities picked her up again — this time for financing terrorism. Now, the single mother of three is in a prison for criminals, serving a sentence of unknown length. “They are targeting us like the Nazi government targeted the Jews,” said Mayila’s cousin, Nyrola Elima, who lives in Sweden. “We just want to be able to live a normal life.” The Chinese campaign to forcibly assimilate the mostly-Muslim Uighur minority, whose culture and language is Turkic, into the Han ethnic majority is showing signs of entering a new phase. Uighurs living abroad have started to hear reports of family members being arrested and jailed on suspicion of financing terrorism after sending money to relatives abroad. Those relatives have also had their savings and assets confiscated by the state, they say.”


The Wall Street Journal: Zuckerberg Meets With Trump, Faces Tough Questions From Senators

“With his company under a regulatory spotlight, Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg scored a meeting at the White House with President Trump Thursday—but faced a chillier reception from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. A spokesman for Facebook said Mr. Zuckerberg was visiting Washington to meet with policy makers “to hear their concerns and talk about future internet regulation.” The spokesman said Mr. Zuckerberg’s meeting with the president was “constructive.” Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and White House social media director Dan Scavino also joined the meeting, a person familiar with the meeting said. “Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook in the Oval Office today,” Mr. Trump posted Thursday night on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, along with a photo of the president and Mr. Zuckerberg shaking hands.”

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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