Eye on Extremism: April 19, 2022

Associated Press: Gaza Militants Fire Rocket Into Israel As Tensions Soar

“Palestinian militants fired a rocket into southern Israel for the first time in months on Monday, in another escalation after clashes at a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem, a series of deadly attacks inside Israel and military raids across the occupied West Bank. Israel said it intercepted the rocket, and there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. Israel holds Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers responsible for all such projectiles and usually launches airstrikes in their wake. It was the first such rocket fire since New Year’s Eve. Early Tuesday, Israeli fighter jets carried out a series of airstrikes in southern Gaza Strip, targeting a “weapons manufacturing site” for Hamas, the Israeli military said. There were no reports of injuries. Hours earlier, the leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group, which boasts an arsenal of rockets, had issued a brief, cryptic warning, condemning Israeli “violations” in Jerusalem. Ziad al-Nakhala, who is based outside the Palestinian territories, said threats to tighten an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza imposed after Hamas seized power 15 years ago “can’t silence us from what’s happening in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.” However, no Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Palestinians and Israeli police clashed over the weekend in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, which has long been an epicenter of Israeli-Palestinian violence.”

Voice Of America: Al-Shabab Claims Mortar Attack On Somali Parliament

“Terrorist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for a mortar attack on Somalia’s parliament Monday that injured at least six people during a joint session. Somalia’s newly elected members of parliament were meeting Monday to approve procedures for the election of speakers when the grounds were hit by a mortar attack. In a Facebook post, lawmaker and presidential candidate Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame said several rounds were fired and several people wounded, including two of his bodyguards. Somali militant group al-Shabab, in media posts, claimed responsibility for the attack. Somalia’s Office of Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble condemned the assault, which it called a terrorist act. In posts on social media, it said the attack was a cowardly attempt to intimidate parliament, which is in the process of finishing Somalia’s indirect election. Roble commended the efforts of lawmakers to expedite the elections. Before the attack Monday, lawmakers unanimously agreed to elect the speaker of the Upper House on April 26 and the Speaker of the Lower House a day later. Somalia’s indirect elections were delayed for months because of political wrangling between the prime minister and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmaajo.”

United States

Daily Mail: Terror At Our Border: Agents Caught 23 People On US Terror Watchlist Crossing Southern Border In 2021, Including Suspects From Saudi Arabia And Yemen

“US Customs and Border Patrol intercepted 23 people on a federal terror watchlist crossing the southern border during 2021, including men from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Data obtained by Fox News via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request showed that four of the apprehensions took place in the Rio Grande Valley Sector and four others were reported by Del Rio Sector. Border patrol officers assigned to the El Centro Sector and San Diego Sector each reported four arrests. There were three apprehensions made by El Paso Sector agents while Yuma Sector and Tucson Sector each recorded two arrests.  According to the network, the 23 people were taken into custody between January 20, 2021 and December 30, 2021. Their names matched those that appeared on the Terror Screening Database, which has information on the people who are either proven or alleged of having been involved in terror activities. In March, Republican Representatives James Comer and John Katko urged Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandra Mayorkas to publicly release the numbers of migrants who were stopped at the southern border and whose names are listed on the Terror Screening Database.”

Syria

Daily Sabah: Turkish Intel. Nabs 2 Daesh Terrorists Plotting Attacks In Syria

“Turkish intelligence apprehended two Daesh terrorists in Syria planning to carry out an attack against Turkish forces in Syria, reports said Monday. The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) carried out an operation to determine the whereabouts of Daesh terrorists Orhan Moran and Mustafa Kılıçlı and nabbed them in Syria. The terrorists had been planning to carry out an attack against Turkish troops in Syria and Turkey, according to their testimony. They also confessed that they had been providing assistance to Daesh terrorists in the region. Intelligence officers handed the terrorists to the Hatay Gendarmerie Command near the border with Syria upon their arrival in Turkey. Security forces have carried out numerous anti-terrorism operations against the Daesh network in recent years. Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Daesh as a terrorist group in 2013, as soon as it emerged. The country has since been attacked by Daesh numerous times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings and four armed assaults that killed 315 people and injured hundreds of others. In response, Turkey launched military and police operations at home and abroad to prevent further terrorist attacks.”

Iraq

Kurdistan 24: Iraqi F-16s Target ISIS Militants In Diyala

“Iraqi F-16 fighter jets targeted a group of ISIS militants in the country's eastern Diyala province on Sunday afternoon, the military announced. The jets conducted three airstrikes on the militants in the Nareen region of the province based on intelligence gathered by the National Security Service, the military's Security Media Cell announced. Security forces arrived at the site shortly afterward to survey the damage. The results of their findings will be provided “later”. Following the official conclusion of the US-led coalition's combat mission against ISIS in December 2021, Iraqi security forces have ramped up their efforts to hunt down the group's remnants. As part of these efforts, Iraqi airstrikes have killed at least 70 ISIS militants, a top official recently said. The group's militants mainly operate in the remote areas of the east and north of the country. The Iraqi Air Force and Iraqi Army regularly attack their hideouts. In recent months, the Kurdistan Region's Peshmerga forces have also conducted joint operations with the Iraqi forces against ISIS in the so-called “disputed territories” between Erbil and Baghdad, where the group is most active.”

Afghanistan

The National: 'Pakistan Air Strikes' Kill At Least 47 In Afghanistan, Officials Say

“The death toll from air strikes in the Afghanistan provinces of Khost and Kunar carried out by the Pakistan military has risen to at least 47, officials said on Sunday. Afghan authorities claim the pre-dawn air assault was carried out by Pakistani military helicopters. Since the Taliban seized power last year, border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have risen, with the former claiming militant groups are carrying out regular attacks from its neighbouring country. It has urged Afghanistan to act against militants launching attacks on Pakistan. The Taliban deny harbouring Pakistani militants but have been angered by a fence Pakistan is erecting along the shared 2,700-kilometre border. The air strikes hit residential houses in Khost and Kunar along the border, said Afghan officials who claimed Pakistani forces had fired rockets. “Forty-one civilians, mainly women and children, were killed and 22 others were wounded in air strikes by Pakistani forces near the Durand line in Khost province,” Shabir Ahmad Osmani, director of information and culture in Khost told AFP. Najibullah, an official with the Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Khost, said the death toll in the province was 48. “Twenty-four people were killed from one family itself,” he said. Jamshid, a tribal leader from Khost, also confirmed that more than 40 people were killed.”

Middle East

The Times Of Israel: Islamic State Supporter Indicted For Murder Of Three Jerusalem Residents

“An Islamic State supporter was indicted Monday for the murders of three Jerusalem residents and the attempted murders of two others, over the past three years. Police last week said they believed Wasim a-Sayed was responsible for the 2019 double homicide of an elderly couple in Jerusalem, as well as the killing of a Moldovan foreign worker last month. According to the indictment submitted to the Jerusalem District Court, a-Sayed, 34, a Palestinian from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, joined the Salafia Jihadia jihadist group in 2011 and swore allegiance to Islamic State in 2014. After his release from a Palestinian prison in January 2019, he decided to carry out attacks against Jews in Jerusalem, the indictment read. The indictment accuses him of the murder of Yehuda and Tamar Kaduri in their Jerusalem apartment in January 2019, a crime police had struggled for years to crack. The investigation also found that a-Sayed was responsible for the attempted murder of teenager Hadar Betzalel days before murdering the Kaduri couple, with the attack on Bezalel marking his first attempted killing. The indictment said a-Sayed was actually arrested and placed in Israeli administrative detention, without trial, for around two years at some point following these crimes due to his affiliation with Islamic State — though he was not suspected at the time of the Kaduri murders.”

Nigeria

Sahara Reporters: Breaking: Boko Haram Terrorists Currently Attacking Nigerian Army Base In Borno

“Insurgents from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province formerly known as Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād, are currently attacking the Forward Operational Base (FOB) in Molai, Borno State. Molai is located at the outskirt of Maiduguri, about 7km away. SaharaReporters gathered that the insurgents invaded the town after iftar, the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan, shooting sporadically as residents of the community fled into the forest for safety. According to sources, the terrorists who came in no fewer than 10 gun trucks are presently engaging the army formation in the community. Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province, have killed thousands and displaced millions in North-Eastern Nigeria. The Nigerian military has repeatedly claimed that the insurgency had been largely defeated and frequently underplays any losses. In the past months, soldiers have been targeted by the insurgents, who waylay them. Hundreds of soldiers and officers have been reportedly killed since January 2022.”

Africa

The Irish Times: Mozambique’s Battle With Terrorism Hinges On Unprecedented Co-Operation

“The potential for historical grievances to undermine international efforts to stabilise Mozambique’s war-torn north was brought sharply into focus last week after regional leaders modified their military mission in Cabo Delgado province. At a Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit on April 12th, member states agreed to adapt their operation in the troubled province from a force with rapid deployment capabilities to one that is more multidimensional. The move has come on foot of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (Samim), which to date has comprised mainly special forces, recording decisive battlefield victories against Islamic insurgents who have terrorised the area since 2017. Using the African Union’s military classifications system, Samim – which was first deployed to Cabo Delgado last July – had been operating under Scenario 6, an intervention designed to degrade the jihadists’ military capabilities. The group, known locally as Al-Shabaab (“the youth”), has attacked towns and villages in the province, killed more than 1,400 civilians and forced hundreds of thousands more to flee their homes, creating an internal refugee crisis. But under the new approach to the conflict, Samim will transition to a Scenario 5 operation, according to South Africa’s Lieut Gen Siphiwe Sangweni.”

United Kingdom

The National: Heathrow And Other UK Airports To Relax Counter-Terrorism Security Checks On Staff

“UK airports are set to relax counter-terrorism security checks on new staff, in an attempt to ease shortages that have contributed to travel chaos over the Easter period. London's Heathrow Airport has been hit by four-hour queues and flight delays. It blamed the upheaval last week on coronavirus checks, but it has been compounded by high levels of Covid-19 sickness and resurgent passenger numbers following the ending of UK travel restrictions in March. In the rush to secure more staff and mitigate the security-check obstacle, last week British Airways offered £1,000 ($1,300) “welcome bonuses” to cabin crew with safety clearances. Now the UK government is seeking to alleviate the problem by allowing unvetted staff to train on airport premises in the coming weeks. The news was revealed in a letter by UK aviation minister Robert Courts leaked to the The Telegraph. In the letter, he also said the training intake would not be allowed access to aircraft and runways. At the moment, the UK Department for Transport can take up to 30 weeks to complete security checks — double the allotted time. Budget UK airline easyJet is currently awaiting DfT clearance for 100 new employees. EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said the delay had contributed to the spate of flight cancellations.”

Daily Mail: Priti Patel Vows To Overhaul Prevent In Wake Of David Amess Murder Amid Concern Anti-Terror Strategy Focuses Too Much On Right-Wing Extremism And Not Enough On Islamist Threat

“…Ian Acheson, Senior Advisor at the Counter Extremism Project, agreed Prevent needed to change.  He tweeted today: 'As the Home Secretary says and some of us have been saying for a while, Prevent has morphed into a strategy that awards a (convenient) completely false equivalence between Islamist and XRW threat and is swamped by mission creep. Time for a reset.' Meanwhile, Lord Carlile of Berriew, a former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation who previously led the review of Prevent, told the Times that Prevent had an 'overemphasis on right-wing extremism' because of an 'overemphasis on not being anti-Muslim'. The Henry Jackson Society's Dr Alan Mendoza said: 'This shake-up could not come soon enough... Priti Patel should be congratulated for cutting through the Home Office bureaucracy to make it happen. 'Her reforms must be allowed to restore Prevent to its founding purpose – cracking down on terrorism.' Now Miss Patel has pledged that 'things need to change' once she has been handed the findings of a long-awaited independent review of Prevent. 'The Prevent review is really important to me,' the Home Secretary said. 'I can't pre-judge that review. But it is quite clear to me from my own observations that there are things that need to change.'”

Europe

The National Interest: ISIS And Al-Qaeda Condemn Muslims Fighting In Russo-Ukrainian War

“On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a widescale invasion of Ukraine, triggering reactions not only from Western countries, but also from the arch Sunni jihadi rivals, the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda, and their supporters. ISIS is the only group to officially react to the war, while Al Qaeda, quite tactfully, remained silent and made no official comment on the subject thus far. The reactions of Al Qaeda and ISIS supporters were almost identical; favorably viewing the war as a helpful development for Muslims and jihadis and advising Muslims to not get involved in wars of “crusaders.” Furthermore, they denounced the participation of Muslims in the war, particularly Muslim Chechen fighters who were deployed by pro-Russian Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to back up the Russian war in Ukraine. Sending Chechens to fight in Ukraine appears to have no religious basis; rather Kadyrov’s move aimed to prove his loyalty to Vladimir Putin, whose support is the basis of his rule. However, an unofficial pro-Al Qaeda magazine urged Muslims in Europe to capitalize on the war in Ukraine by offering ways to do so—a call which perfectly matches an ISIS supporter’s advice to Muslim youth in the West to exploit Ukraine’s open borders and available arms to carry out attacks on “Crusaders.”

The Local Denmark: Danish Far-Right Extremist Demonstrations Cause Riots In Sweden

“The leader of the Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, who has a criminal conviction in Denmark for inciting racial hatred, intends to stand in Swedish legislative elections in September. He does not yet have the necessary number of signatures to secure his candidature and has been on a “tour” of Sweden. Paludan was previously banned from entering Sweden for two years. But that ban was rendered invalid after it was confirmed he had Swedish citizenship due to the nationality of one of his parents. Rasmus Paludan in 2019. Paludan came to prominence in Denmark through his anti-Islam demonstrations in areas with sizeable minority ethnic communities. The main feature of the demonstrations is the burning and desecration of the Koran. On Thursday 14th April, Paludan’s party had been given permission to hold their demonstration in the Skäggetorp neighbourhood in Linköping, where over 50 percent of inhabitants were born abroad. Riots started in the area before the demonstration. Footage from the scene in the city of Linköping on Sweden’s east coast showed a car burning and dozens of masked people attacking police cars. Three police officers had to be taken to hospital and two people were arrested.”

South Asia

Voice Of America: Islamic State Khorasan Claims Rocket Attack On Uzbekistan

“A regional affiliate of Islamic State on Monday said it had carried out a rocket attack on Uzbekistan from neighboring Afghanistan, the first strike by the terrorist group against the Central Asian nation. Islamic State Khorasan Province fired 10 rockets at an Uzbek military base in the border town of Termez, the group said in a statement released Monday, according to Site Intelligence, which tracks terrorist propaganda. Uzbek authorities did not immediately comment on IS Khorasan's claims. The launching pad was reportedly in Hairatan, a border town in the northern Afghan province of Balkh. The terror group also released a photo and video of the projectiles to back its claims. IS Khorasan has increased attacks in and around Afghanistan following the U.S.-led foreign military withdrawal from the country in August after 20 years. The group has carried out several attacks in neighboring Pakistan, including a deadly suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar last month. The attack killed more than 60 worshippers from the minority sect and wounded scores of others. Pakistani authorities said the bomber was an Afghan refugee who received training in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), designated as a global terrorist group by Washington, has also stepped up attacks in Pakistan from its Afghan bases since the foreign troop withdrawal and the Taliban's return to power.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On December 6, 2021, alleged ISIS fighters from Syria attacked Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq in Nineveh province’s Makhmour district.   

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