Eye on Extremism: April 27, 2023

AFP News: US Denies Role In Taliban Killing Of IS Plotter

“The US had no role in the Taliban's killing of the mastermind of the Islamic State suicide bomb attack at Kabul airport during the US pullout in 2021, the White House said Wednesday. US officials reported the killing late Tuesday, saying the plotter was from Islamic State-Khorasan, the Afghan arm of the jihadist group. Officials said he was killed in a ‘Taliban operation,’ without giving his name, the date of the operation or other details. The IS bomber detonated a device among packed crowds at the airport's perimeter as they tried to flee Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.”

The Guardian: National Ban On Nazi Salute And Insignia Would Help Prevent Far-Right Radicalisation, Asio Says

“Australia’s domestic intelligence agency Asio has welcomed a Coalition bill to ban Nazi symbols including the Sieg Heil salute, telling a parliamentary inquiry it would help prevent recruitment and radicalisation by far-right extremists. The bill was introduced by the shadow attorney general, Michaelia Cash, days after a group of men from the Nationalist Socialist Network repeatedly performed the salute on the steps of Victoria’s parliament last month. In response to that event, the Victorian government announced it would move to ban the salute within months. Cash argued similar action was urgently required federally, although senior members of government said a parliamentary inquiry should investigate the proposal.”

United States

Reuters: Alleged Hezbollah Financier Extradited To U.S. On Sanctions Evasion Charges

“A dual Lebanese-Belgian citizen accused by the United States of financing Lebanon's Hezbollah has been extradited from Romania and faced sanctions evasion and money laundering charges on Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors said. Mohammad Bazzi, who Washington says has provided millions of dollars to Hezbollah, was arrested in February on charges of covertly selling real estate he owned in Michigan and transferring the funds abroad, violating U.S. sanctions laws. Bazzi was extradited on Tuesday, and pleaded not guilty in a Wednesday court hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn. He was ordered detained pending trial. The U.S. Treasury Department placed Bazzi, 58, on its sanctions list in 2018 over his alleged ties to Hezbollah, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.”

Associated Press: Va. Man Pleads To Terror Charge After Doing Time In Pakistan

“A northern Virginia man who traveled to Pakistan with four friends nearly 15 years ago seeking to engage in holy war pleaded guilty Wednesday to a terrorism charge, but he is likely to receive only a 1-day jail sentence. The guilty plea from Ramy Zamzam comes after he and his friends spent nearly 13 years in a Pakistani prison after their arrest there in 2009. Rather than seek additional jail time, prosecutors are recommending a 1-day jail term, coupled with 20 years of supervised release. In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said that the time Zamzam and his friends served in Pakistan - on similar terrorism charges — provide an adequate deterrent and that no more prison time is necessary. But prosecutors are pushing 20 years of supervision, noting their ability to avoid detection back when they made their plans in 2009.”

The Jerusalem Post: US-Led Task Force Reports Significant Decline In IS Attacks

“The multinational task force working on dismantling the Islamic State (IS) group announced on Monday that IS attacks have declined as US forces transition away from combat and into an advisory role meant to ensure IS’s defeat. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dana Stroul and Maj. Gen. Matthew W. McFarlane held a special digital briefing on the current status of the Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) and its nine-year anti-ISIS mission in Iraq and Syria at a press conference hosted by the US State Department’s Dubai Regional Media Hub. There are 28 official member countries of the CJTF–OIR, with 85 total countries contributing to the efforts. The US Defense Department launched the task force in October 2014 to battle the newly formed IS group. At its height, IS held territory from Raqaa, Syria to Diyala, Iraq—a swath of land that had 7.7 million inhabitants.”


BBC: Iran: Senior Shia Cleric On Assembly Of Experts Shot Dead At Bank

“Ayatollah Abbasali Soleimani died in hospital after being shot at a bank in Babolsar, in Mazandaran province. Its governor said the attacker, who has been arrested, was a bank security guard and that the motive was unclear. Ayatollah Soleimani was one of 88 clerics on the Assembly of Experts, which appoints the Supreme Leader. The elected body also monitors his performance and can - theoretically - remove him if he is deemed incapable of fulfilling his duties. He also previously served as the personal representative of the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the restive south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, stepping down in 2019 after 17 years in the role. BBC Persian's Parham Ghobadi says he was a hardliner who called for gender segregation in all public spaces in the Islamic Republic, including workplaces.”


Iraqi News: Iraqi Security Arrests 8 ISIS Terrorists In Kirkuk

“The Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday that eight ISIS terrorists were arrested in different areas in the Kirkuk governorate in northern Iraq. The Ministry of Interior mentioned in a statement that the Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency (FIIA) arrested eight terrorists in separate areas in Kirkuk governorate, who were wanted according to the provisions of Article 4 of the Terrorism Law, for their affiliation with the terrorist group of ISIS. The statement revealed that the suspects, during investigations, confessed that they worked for the terrorist group after receiving special training. The statement added that one of the suspects was transporting foodstuffs and aid to ISIS terrorists. The Ministry indicated that the necessary legal measures were taken against the suspects.”


Anadolu Agency: Türkiye Arrests 9 Foreign Nationals In Operation Against Daesh/ISIS Terror Group

“Türkiye arrested nine foreign nationals in an operation against the Daesh/ISIS terror group in the capital Ankara, a security source said on Thursday. The suspects were caught in simultaneous operations across Ankara by counterterrorism and intelligence forces, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. Operations are underway to nab two more suspects, it added. In 2013, Türkiye became one of the first countries to declare Daesh/ISIS a terrorist organization. The country has since been attacked by the terror group multiple times, with over 300 people killed and hundreds more injured in at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed assaults. In response, Türkiye launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.”


Dunya News: HRC Reports 376 Terrorism Incidents In 2022

“Human Rights Commission (HRC) issued its annual report regarding the overall law and order situation in Pakistan during 2022. 376 cases of terrorism were reported in 2022 pilling up to the highest number of incidents during past five years. According to the report of the Human Rights Commission, there were more prisoners in Pakistani jails than the capacity, with a total of 88,687 inmates. In Balochistan, 2,210 cases of enforced disappearances remain unresolved, and 35 cases of blasphemy were recorded from all over Pakistan. 171 individuals were found guilty under blasphemy laws. 33m people were affected by climate change.”

Middle East

WTOP: The Hunt: China Gets Involved In Middle East Peace Efforts

“Against the backdrop of rising terrorism and tension, China is now trying to negotiate peace in the Middle East. On this week’s edition of ‘The Hunt with WTOP national security correspondent J.J. Green,’ Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director at the Counter Extremism Project, said this is not a strong endorsement of U.S. influence in the region.”


Sahara Reporters: EXCLUSIVE: Three Nigerian Soldiers Killed, 10 Injured, Armed Personnel Carrier Destroyed In ISWAP Ambush In Borno

“Three Nigerian soldiers have been killed and others injured by an improvised explosive device planted by militants from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād in Borno State. SaharaReporters gathered that the ambush took place along Damasak/ San San highway. The incident, which occurred at about 8:00am on Monday, is one amongst the many traps the terrorists have used against the military. According to security sources, an Armed Personnel Carrier, several weapons and ammunition were destroyed by the terrorists during the attack. A military signal exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters also confirmed the incident.”


AFP News: Wagner Chief Denies Casualties In Mali Attack

“The head of Russia's Wagner military group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, on Wednesday denied that any of his fighters were among casualties in a jihadist-claimed attack in central Mali. The Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Sevare on Saturday, saying dozens of Malian soldiers and Russian ‘mercenaries’ had been killed or wounded. ‘I can say that, according to my information, there were absolutely no (Wagner) casualties in Sevare,’ Prigozhin said on social media, in response to a question from AFP. ‘Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda and other organisations try to brag, but they've been weak for several years and are unable to attack anyone,’ he said, referring to the GSIM's Arab name, commonly transcribed as Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM).”

United Kingdom

The Guardian: UK Politicians Stigmatising Muslims Over Islamist Terrorism, Report Finds

“Senior politicians must stop stigmatising Muslims by making them feel responsible for Islamist terrorism, according to a report that aims to reset the government’s approach to dealing with religious groups. Muslims are being marginalised in a number of areas of British life, according to the report by the government’s faith adviser, Colin Bloom, including by being made to feel they frequently have to renounce terrorist acts. Bloom also urged ministers to develop sharia-compliant student loans to help more Muslims into university, and to conduct an outreach programme to increase their representation in the armed forces. The comments are part of a sweeping review of the government’s interactions with faith groups at every level of society. The Guardian has previously revealed several of the report’s other main recommendations, including government crackdowns on forced marriage and unregistered religious schools.”


Garowe Online: EU Adds Mozambique's Terror Group Cabo Delgado To Its Sanction List

“The European Union Council today decided to add two individuals and one group affiliated with ISIL and operating mainly in the Cabo Delgado region in Mozambique to the list of those subject to restrictive measures against ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaeda and persons, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with them. These measures target ISIS-Mozambique as well as Abu Yair Hassan and Bonomade Machude Omar, who hold key leadership roles in the group. The sanctioned group and individuals are responsible for terrorist attacks and serious human rights abuses. Their activities contribute to the expansion of the terrorist threat in Mozambique and pose a serious threat to the EU and to regional and international stability.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On September 26, 2018, an improvised explosive device planted at the foot of a bridge exploded, killing eight soldiers in the lead vehicle of a Burkinabe military convoy traveling in northern Burkina Faso. 

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