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Arrow Eye on Extremism - January 9, 2020

Eye on Extremism
January 9, 2020

As of January 9, 2020:

Express: France Terror Warning: PM Says Country On 'High' Alert 5 Years After Charlie Hebdo Attacks

“The terrorist threat to France “has not disappeared” and “remains high,” M Philippe said in an interview with RTL radio. The secular country remains on high alert after being the target of a string of deadly attacks by Islamist extremists since 2015, with more than 250 people killed in total. “I have made no secret of the fact that the terrorist risk to France remains high. It would be madness to forget this. Recent events have shown us that the risk of a terrorist attack on French soil has not disappeared,” he warned. France remains on high alert after being hit by a string of attacks by jihadist extremists since 2015, with more than 250 people killed in total. The latest terror attack took place on Friday, when a knife-wielding man ran amok in a park south of Paris, killing a man walking with his wife and wounding two other people before being shot dead by police. The attacker, identified as 22-year-old Nathan C., was a radicalised Muslim who converted to Islam in 2017 and is believed to have suffered serious psychiatric problems since he was a child. He shouted the Muslim invocation “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) during the attack, according to local magistrates. The attack in the Paris suburb of Villejuif came just four days before the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.”

The Hill: TikTok Announces New Content Rules Against Misinformation, Terrorist Activity

“The hugely popular social media app TikTok on Wednesday tightened its rules around what kind of content it permits, clarifying that it will take down videos that contain misinformation, promote terrorism or incite hatred against minorities. The Chinese-owned app, which revolves around short-form videos set to music, is overhauling its previously sparse community guidelines as it continues to face scrutiny over its ties to Beijing and questions about whether it censors content according to the Chinese government's sensibilities. In a blog post, the company said the guidelines are intended to foster a “rewarding and fun” community that can also grapple with “serious or controversial content.” TikTok, which burst into Western markets over the last few years, is widely known for its never-ending stream of wacky videos and very young user base. In 2019, TikTok quickly became one of the most downloaded apps on both Apple and Google, surpassing 1.5 billion downloads and edging out popular American social media apps such as Instagram. The company says it has lagged behind other social media companies in areas such as content moderation and community standards as it has gathered hundreds of millions of users.”

USA Today: Iran May Stand Down, As Trump Says, But Cyber And Terror Attacks Are The Real Threat

“President Donald Trump says Iran appears to be standing down after retaliating in a limited way to last week’s U.S. strike killing Iran’s top military commander, Qasem Soleimani. We will see whether that’s true, at least from an overt military perspective. But we should not relax our vigilance when it comes to other types of threats to Americans and U.S. regional security partners. Iran’s capacity to conduct asymmetrical warfare, such as terrorist acts, targeted assassinations and cyberattacks, is far greater than its conventional military capabilities. That’s where Iran is most likely to focus any additional retaliation. Making contingency plans and bolstering our defenses against this type of retaliation will require the concerted effort of the U.S. intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security communities, and not just a resort to military tools and troop deployments. The nature of this work also requires deft diplomacy and close cooperation with a wide range of allies and security partners in the region and across the globe in the hopes of deterring further escalation of the conflict. The United States first designated Iran a state sponsor of terrorism in 1984. In the decades since, Iran has cultivated a network of terrorist organizations, proxies and criminal organizations stretching from Afghanistan to West Africa and including the Western Hemisphere.”

New York Post: Ukraine Not Ruling Out Terror As Cause Of Deadly Plane Crash In Iran

“Ukraine has walked back its statement that ruled out a terror attack as a cause behind the crash of a Boeing 737 that killed all 176 people aboard shortly after takeoff in Tehran. “Information on the causes of the plane crash is being clarified by the commission. Any statements regarding the causes of the accident prior to the decision of said commission are not official,” according to a new statement by Ukraine’s embassy in Iran, CNN reports. Responding to a question about speculation that a rocket downed Flight PS752, Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk said in Kiev: “Any versions before the official conclusion is just manipulation.” Honcharuk added that Ukraine asked to join an Iranian-led probe into the crash of the Ukraine International Airlines jet. Its flight and data recorders have been found, Iranian state broadcaster IRIB reported, citing the Tehran prosecutor. Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Facebook post that the country has set up a commission to “work through all possible versions.” The three-year-old Boeing 737-800 NG, which was bound for Kiev, was last seen on radar at 7,925 feet, according to FlightRadar 24, whose data suggest that the crash could have happened just two minutes after takeoff.”

United States

CBS Dallas: Texas DPS Releases Reports On Domestic Terrorism, Assessing Mass Attack Threats

“The Texas Department of Public Safety released, at the behest of Governor Greg Abbott, two intelligence assessments of threats posed by domestic terrorists and the prospect of more mass violence events. One of the reports indicates racially motivated individuals are currently the most active type of domestic terrorists. Another report described as a growing threat the emergence of “incels,” or involuntary celibate males who blame women and society for their inability to develop intimate romantic relationships. “Evaluating our state’s public safety vulnerabilities in today’s threat environment is critical to keeping Texas safe from the most unthinkable tragedies,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Texas is fortunate that the Governor and our state leaders place such a high focus on not only responding seamlessly to public safety threats but also doing everything possible to prevent them. These reports will assist law enforcement and the public in doing just that by providing increased information and awareness of mass attacks and domestic terrorism threats to our state.”


U.S. News & World Report: Four Turkish Soldiers Killed In Northeast Syria Bomb Attack: Ministry

“Four Turkish soldiers were killed in a car bomb attack in northeast Syria on Wednesday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement overnight. It said the attack occurred during a roadside security check in the region east of the Euphrates river in Syria, where Turkey carried out a military operation with allied Syrian rebels in October. The Turkish incursion targeted the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which spearheaded the U.S.-led war against Islamic State and which Ankara regards as a terrorist group tied to militants fighting an insurgency in southeast Turkey. No further details on the attack were immediately available.”


CNN: FBI, Homeland Security Warn Of Iranian Terror And Cyber Threat In New Intelligence Bulletin

“The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned of the terror threats Iran poses to the US in a joint intelligence bulletin sent to law enforcement throughout the country on Wednesday. In the bulletin, which was obtained by CNN, the agencies predicted Iran could take immediate steps to attack the US in cyberspace, and noted that Iran has a history of attempting assassinations and planting operatives in the US to conduct surveillance for terror attacks. The bulletin does not name any specific or credible threat, and an FBI spokesperson reiterated Wednesday that the agency was not aware of one. “In the event [Iran] were to determine to conduct a Homeland attack, potential targets and methods of attack in the Homeland could range from cyber operations, to targeted assassinations of individuals deemed threats to the Iranian regime, to sabotage of public or private infrastructure, including US military bases, oil and gas facilities, and public landmarks,” the agencies wrote. “[US government] actions may also provoke violent extremist supporters of [Iran] to commit attacks in retribution, with little to no warning, against US-based Iranian dissidents, Jewish, Israeli, and Saudi individuals and interests, and [US government] personnel,” they said.”

Newsweek: Donald Trump Says U.S. And Iran 'Should Work Together' Against Isis, 'Embrace Peace' After Missile Strikes

“President Donald Trump said that the United States and Iran should work together against their common foe of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), hoping the Islamic Republic would change course after the latest incident in the dramatic escalation of tensions in which Iran launched missiles at Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. and allied troops. Iran's Revolutionary Guard launched short-range ballistic and cruise missiles Tuesday against Ayn al-Asad Air Base and a military site in Erbil in what the elite Iranian military branch said was “retaliation for the brutal assassination” of Iran's Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike Thursday in Baghdad. Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to target Soleimani, a U.S.-designated terrorist, but announced that Iran's attack inflicted no U.S. or Iraq casualties. The president attributed this to “precautions taken, the dispersal of forces and an early warning system that worked very well.” With no lives lost, Trump opted to avoid a military response and instead sought to expand his maximum pressure campaign, arguing Tehran “must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism.”

The Washington Times: 'We Knew There Would Be Consequences': U.S.-Iran Clash Threatens War On Terror

“The decision by Washington and NATO to suspend work with Iraqi forces against the Islamic State is raising difficult questions about whether the U.S.-Iranian clash is undercutting the fight against the terror group. With the Pentagon’s focus shifting toward protecting U.S. and allied forces in Iraq from attacks by Iran — and with many in Baghdad calling for U.S. forces to leave Iraq altogether — some regional experts are warning the counter-ISIS fight could suffer. Bill Roggio, a counterterrorism analyst with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and editor of the foundation’s Long War Journal, said it is too early to tell how the counter-ISIS campaign will be affected, but said it is likely the “campaign will probably be weakened” if U.S. forces leave — or are forced to leave — Iraq. “I think if U.S. troops do withdraw, it could negatively impact the situation, or it’s possible that the Iranians and the Shia militias in Iraq, who are aligned with Iran, may step up their own fight against ISIS remnants — and it becomes an Iraq and Iranian problem and no longer an American problem.” Two days after the U.S. drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 3, the U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq announced a pause in its years-long partnership with Iraqi forces.”

The Jerusalem Post: Did Trump Just Reignite Iran V. ISIS War? - Analysis

“At least two comments by US President Donald Trump in his speech on Wednesday left many analysts scratching their heads: his remarks about NATO, and those about ISIS versus Iran. While there are many possible interpretations, one is that the US is going to accelerate its withdrawal from Iraq and the Middle East, hoping it can leave NATO to hold the bag – and not minding much if ISIS makes a small, third comeback to keep Iran busy. In broad terms, Iran and ISIS (and its forerunners) have been fighting for influence and control over Iraq and Syria since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Experts have split the ISIS era into all sorts of phases, but the first major successful Sunni jihadist insurgency was led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not become preeminent until much later, and only after al-Zarqawi was killed in 2006. After the US troop surge in Iraq in 2007, ISIS's forerunner was put on the run for several years. Between 2011-2014, as Syria fell apart and as Iraq's Shi'ites, pushed by Iran, continued to abuse Iraq's Sunni population, ISIS made its second move and first full scale comeback. Starting in 2014, it took over large swaths of Iraq and Syria. Another big piece of what allowed ISIS to fill the vacuum in Iraq was the American withdrawal.”


Bloomberg: Islamic State’s Revival Is Back in Play

“When Iraq’s prime minister declared a final victory over Islamic State in December 2017, he paid tribute to the militias that had repelled the jihadists. Many of them had been guided by Qassem Soleimani. Less than a month earlier, dozens of fighters crowded round the smiling Iranian general as he toured Al-Bukamal just across the border in Syria after helping them flush the extremist group from the town. Among the many potentially dangerous by-products of Soleimani’s killing by an American airstrike last week and the new chapter of upheaval for Iraq is that it could give rise again to the conditions that Islamic State can exploit. Tehran and Washington were targeting a common enemy in the three-year battle against the group. Iranian-backed militias did a lot of the combat fighting while the U.S. provided air power. Now they risk turning Iraq into a theater of conflict again just as the country seeks to extricate itself from the influence of outside forces. If Soleimani was heralded as a savior for helping defeat Islamic State, he was also partly responsible for its rise by stoking the sectarian tensions that have defined Middle East conflicts for generations.”

Time: Why Iraqis Are Worried About An Islamic State Resurgence After Soleimani's Death

“As the conflict between the U.S. and Iran simmers, there is a mounting fear within Iraq that a conflict of another kind could take shape amid the upheaval: A terrorist comeback from the remnants from the Islamic State, or ISIS. Nearly a week after a U.S. drone strike killed Iran’s top military commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport, regular Iraqis and officials see his death as a blow to their fight against the terrorist group, which was almost entirely crushed in 2018 after a four-year war, fought by the U.S.-led coalition and a collection of Iraqi military forces and militia groups, as well as some Iranians themselves. “People are talking not only about ISIS but a new version that might arise now,” Dhia Al-Asadi, an Iraqi politician and former Member of Parliament aligned with Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, told TIME by phone on Wednesday. “Soleimani is going to be missed by almost all those who were serious about fighting against Al-Qaeda and ISIS.” The U.S. strike against Soleimani has handed the ISIS remnants an unwitting victory, by stoking anger among Iraqis against the group’s archenemy, the Americans, and diverting their attention from other grievances.”

Kurdistan 24: ISIS Launches Attack On Iraq-Syria Border Killing, Wounding 4 People: Military

“The so-called Islamic State launched an attack early Thursday against an Iraqi border police headquarters at the Iraq-Syria border, killing two people and wounding two others. Iraq’s security media cell said in a statement that “terrorist elements” attacked “the third regiment in the fourth border police brigade within the Iraqi-Syrian borders, which resulted in the death of two associates and the wounding of two others.” The statement did not provide further details but noted that “the security forces are conducting a search operation” for the militants responsible. The attack occurred despite tight security measures imposed by the Iraqi forces on the border to prevent the infiltration of Islamic State fighters from neighboring Syria. The Islamic State seems to be encouraged by the escalating US-Iran tensions in the region as the terror group continues to launch attacks and attempts to re-establish a foothold in Iraq. Elsewhere, on Thursday, Iraqi security forces carried out their first military operation since the US-led coalition announced the suspension of operations in Iraq.”


The National: Rumblings Within The Taliban Make Ordinary Afghans Cautious Amid Prospects For Peace

“On the last Sunday of 2019, Afghans woke up to an exciting news of the Taliban insurgency agreeing to possible ceasefire, a much-needed respite from the constant violence. Reports suggested that this temporary truce with the US administration could last for as long as 10 days – a week longer than the last ceasefire between the two warring parties, during which time they would sit down to sign a deal to end America’s longest war. There was no mention of negotiations with the Afghan government in Kabul, a party to the conflict with whom the Taliban have consistently refused to talk to. But that did not deter the jubilation among the public who have been the worst victims of a war that began in 2001, when US-led forces – in response to the September 11 attacks on American soil – invaded the country and unseated the terror group from power. People posted on social media about plans to explore their homeland and visit far corners of the country that have been under Taliban control. There was talk of bonhomie and brotherhood between the Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters, much like during the three-day ceasefire – the first of its kind – that took place during Eid Al Adha in June 2018.”

Xinhua: Afghan Forces Kill 5 Militants In Eastern Province

“Five militants were killed as Afghan security forces stormed a hideout of Taliban fighters in eastern Kapisa province on Wednesday, said an army statement released on Thursday. The operation was launched in Sultan Khil area of the restive Tagab district late Wednesday. All those killed in the raids were local militants, the statement said. Taliban militants, who are active in parts of the troubled Kapisa province, have not commented on the report.”


Foreign Policy: Hezbollah’s Moment Of Truth

“Even before he was assassinated by U.S. drones this month, Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, was having a difficult few months. For years, he had steadily expanded his operations through proxies in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. But recently, his forces had taken numerous hits. The Israeli army had attacked many Iranian bases in Syria and Iraq (and potentially Lebanon), killing a large number of Lebanese and Iraqi fighters and commanders and eliminating most of Suleimani’s precision missile factories. Despite the considerable losses, Suleimani had one thing going for him: that he was never forced to directly confront the United States. Eyes on the main prize of securing Iran’s influence over the region, he played down any mishaps and promised a response at “the right time and place,” a mantra for Iranian proxies and officials in recent years. But the right time and place didn’t come. Suleimani, the grand orchestrator of Iran’s regional power, was killed. And now Iran is in a difficult position. Doing nothing will indicate weakness, but responding forcefully could also expose the regime and its proxies to more U.S. strikes. Given the constraints, it is likely that Iran will avoid drastic measures that could lead to war.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: Terror Attack In Nigerian Town Kills 20, Displaces 1,000

“About 20 soldiers were killed and nearly 1,000 people made homeless in a militant attack on a town in northeastern Nigeria, two residents and a military source said on Wednesday. The militants entered Monguno in Borno state posing as a convoy of soldiers on Tuesday evening, the sources said. Later, they attacked troops inside the town, destroying at least 750 homes in the process. Resident Gumati Sadu said people fled into the bush for safety during the fighting and that three civilians were killed by stray bullets, Reuters reported. A military spokesman declined to comment. ISIS West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack on its Amaq news agency. It said that one of its militants detonated a car bomb in the town, killing at least 8 soldiers and destroying 3 armored vehicles. The group also said it had seized a vehicle, weapons and ammunition before leaving the town. ISWAP split from militant group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since staged its own frequent attacks in the region. Boko Haram’s decade-long insurgency campaign has killed thousands and displaced millions in northeastern Nigeria. According to Reuters, thousands in Monguno had already been displaced from their homes elsewhere in Borno state by militants.”

France 24: Clashes Over Garrison Town Kill 3 Nigerian Soldiers

“Three soldiers have been killed in intense fighting between Nigeria's army and jihadists over a key northeastern garrison town, a security source said Wednesday. The soldiers died when an army vehicle burst into flames after a car filled with explosives rammed into a convoy on Tuesday afternoon, the source told AFP. The attack occurred during fighting with Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) militants in the town of Monguno some 135 kilometres (85 miles) north of Borno State capital Maiduguri. Just three days earlier, Chad withdrew 1,200 troops from the region -- including hundreds from Monguno -- after completing a nine-month mission fighting a rival jihadist group, Nigeria's Boko Haram. The pullout from the largest base in the volatile Lake Chad region, which straddles the borders of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, had sparked widespread fears of increased jihadist attacks. On Tuesday, dozens of ISWAP fighters aboard several trucks fitted with machine guns attacked Monguno. Residents in Monguno said a rocket-propelled grenade struck a refugee camp housing thousands of people, causing a fire that gutted hundreds of tents. “We still don't know if anyone was killed in the camp but some people sustained burns,” said Monguno resident Kulo Gana.”

Sahara Reporters: Again, Nigerian Troops Repel Boko Haram Terrorists In Monguno

“Troops of the Nigerian Army have repelled an attack by a sect of the Boko Haram terrorist in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State. The terrorists have repeatedly attacked Monguno but failed in their several attempts in the past to overrun the town. It was gathered that a patrol team of the Operation Lafiya Dole engaged in the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts against Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa terrorists was attacked near Monguno town on Tuesday evening, PRNigeria reports. Reinforcement was quickly sent from troops located in other platforms to assist in repelling the attack with casualties on both sides. “The attack was subsequently repelled. Though there were fewer casualties on the Nigerian troops through Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices, many Boko Haram terrorists were however, eliminated during the encounter,” the source said.”


All Africa: Somalia: Al Shabaab Car Bomb Hits Security Checkpoint Near Somalia's Parliament And Security Ministry HQ In Mogadishu

“Al Shabaab Car Bomb Hits Security Checkpoint Near Somalia's Parliament And Security Ministry HQ In Mogadishu. A suspected Al Shabaab Vehicle-borne improvised explosive device has gone off at a security checkpoint in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. The explosion took place near Somalia's parliament in Mogadishu one of the most highly-secured locations in the capital. Preliminary intelligence reports show that the bombing happened at a checkpoint located between the and Lower House building in Sayidka area. Immediate BDA and casualties to follow as emergency and security personnel assess the scene. The al Shabaab has been on a new campaign against its sworn enemies which include the Federal Government of Somalia, the US, and Kenya. The campaigns have been headlined by a series of attacks perpetrated by the newly revitalized Martyrdom Brigade a wing that is believed to be the most brutal wing of the terror organization.”

Xinhua: Somalia Says Kills 35 Al-Shabab Militants

“Somali special forces backed by international partners killed 35 al-Shabab extremists on Tuesday in an operation in Lower Juba region in southern Somalia, a military official confirmed on Wednesday. Hassan Mohamad Aden, commander of the Danab Forces in Jubbaland State, said a joint operation was conducted by Somali army and international partners in Lafta Anole neighborhood in Lower Juba. “Following a tip of from the residents, our forces launched an attack in the area killing 35 al-Shabab militants including senior members,” Aden said. Residents told Xinhua there was heavy gunfire that caused panic in the area. “Al-Shabab extremists in the village were attacked by government forces,” said Safi Bilan, a resident. “There was also airstrike which caused many casualties.” The latest operation came barely four days after Somali special forces killed 30 al-Shabab militants in the country's southern region of Lower Shabelle. Somali forces have intensified their operations against the militants in southern regions where al-Shabab holds large swathes of rural areas, conducting ambushes against government forces.”

Yahoo News: Al-Shabaab Warns Of More Attacks Against Kenya, US Interests

“Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab on Wednesday warned Kenya “will never be safe”, threatening tourists and calling for more attacks on US interests after they stormed an American base at the weekend. The Al-Qaeda linked group said its attack on Camp Simba, in which three Americans were killed and several aircraft destroyed, should serve as a “warning” and Kenya should withdraw its forces from Somalia while they still “have the chance”. Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission fighting against Al-Shabaab, and has seen several brutal retaliation attacks both on its troops in Somalia and civilians in Kenya. “Withdraw all your forces from our Muslim lands while you still have the chance. Otherwise brace yourselves for the worst and prepare for perilous times ahead, because Kenya will never be safe and Kenyans will never sleep soundly at night,” the statement said. “Tourists and travellers visiting the country are hereby warned that there will no longer be any safe sightseeing or safari trips in Kenya.” The statement comes almost a year after the January 15 siege of the upscale Dusit hotel complex in Nairobi left 21 dead. Previous attacks have killed 67 at the Westgate shopping centre in 2013 and 148 at Garissa University in 2015.”


The Washington Post: UN Envoy: Terrorist Attacks Surging In Sahel And West Africa

“The U.N. envoy for West Africa and the Sahel says the region has experienced “a devastating surge in terrorist attacks against civilian and military targets” in recent months. Mohamed Ibn Chambas told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that the “unprecedented terrorist violence” has shaken public confidence. He said terrorist attacks have increased five-fold in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger since 2016 with over 4,000 deaths reported in 2019 compared to an estimated 770 deaths in 2016. In Burkina Faso, deaths rose even more dramatically from about 80 in 2016 to over 1,800 in 2019, he said. “Most significantly, the geographic focus of terrorist attacks has shifted eastwards from Mali to Burkina Faso and is increasingly threatening West African coastal states,” Chambas said. The U.N. envoy said terrorist attacks are often “deliberate efforts by violent extremists to capture weapons and trafficking routes” and engage in illicit activities including illegal mining that sustain their operations. He said governments, local “actors,” regional organizations and the international community are mobilizing to respond to terrorism and violent extremism across West Africa and the Sahel. Chambas urged leaders in the region to follow through on pledges to tackle terrorism, saying now “is the time for action.”

United Kingdom

BBC News: Man 'Plotted Terror Attacks On London Tourist Hot Spots', Court Hears

“A man who was cleared over a sword attack on police outside Buckingham Palace went on to plan a series of terror attacks, a court has heard. Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 28, was found not guilty of a terror charge over an incident outside the palace in 2017, Woolwich Crown Court heard. He is accused of later planning attacks on places including London's Madame Tussauds and London Pride parade. Mr Chowdhury, of Kirkwood Road, Luton, denies the charge. He appeared in court alongside his sister, Sneha Chowdhury, 25, who is accused of doing nothing to stop his plans. Ms Chowdhury, of the same address, denies two charges of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism. Woolwich Crown Court heard that, in the attack outside Buckingham Palace in August 2017, two unarmed officers suffered cuts to their hands when they fought to disarm Mr Chowdhury as he shouted repeatedly “Allahu Akbar” (God is the greatest). Mr Chowdhury had claimed the incident outside Buckingham Palace had been an attempt at suicide. But the prosecution told the court that after he was cleared at the Old Bailey, Mr Chowdhury bragged to undercover officers who had him under surveillance that he had deceived the jury.”


Express: France Warned It’s ‘Losing Its Battle’ Against Islamic Extremism As It ‘Refuses To Fight’

“France, a country deeply attached to its secular values, remains on high terror alert after being targeted by a string of deadly attacks by Islamist militants since 2015. Bruno Retailleau, a top conservative senator of the opposition Les Républicains (LR) party, warned on Tuesday: “France is losing its battle against Islamic jihadism.” Mr Retailleau said in an interview with French broadcaster Sud Radio: “We are losing this battle because we are refusing to fight [extremism]”. His scathing comments came on the fifth anniversary of the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by two brothers pledging allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). On January 7, 2015, Cherif and Said Kouachi stormed the magazine’s Paris offices and opened fire with automatic weapons, killing 12 people and wounding several others. They then ran out into the street and were challenged by a police officer, Lieutenant Ahmet Merabet. He was shot dead. On January 8, their accomplice Amedy Coulibaly shot dead a female police officer in the Paris suburb of Montrouge and a day later, burst into a kosher supermarket east of Paris and killed four customers. He was a member of the jihadist group Islamic State (ISIS).”

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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