Eye on Extremism: April 3, 2024

Associated Press: Tehran Vows Response After Strike Blamed On Israel Destroyed Iran’s Consulate In Syria And Killed 12

“Iran on Tuesday vowed to respond to an airstrike widely attributed to Israel that destroyed Iran’s Consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus the previous day and killed 12 people, including two Iranian generals and a member of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group. Four Syrian citizens were also killed in the strike, a Syrian official said Tuesday, without providing any details about them. Hezbollah, which has been a key ally of both Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and Iran, also pledged “punishment and revenge” on Israel. Iran’s deputy U.N. ambassador Zahra Ershadi told a contentious emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that some Iranians were injured, but “The final and accurate death toll remains uncertain as the entire diplomatic premises has been destroyed with individuals trapped under the rubble.” Israel, which has repeatedly targeted Iranian officers in Syria and in Lebanon, did not confirm Monday’s attack.””

Associated Press: With Famine Looming, Aid Group Halts Food Delivery In Gaza After Israeli Strike Kills 7 Workers

“Some of Israel’s closest allies, including the United States, on Tuesday condemned the deaths of seven aid workers who were killed by airstrikes in Gaza — a loss that prompted multiple charities to suspend food deliveries to Palestinians on the brink of starvation. The deaths of the World Central Kitchen workers threatened to set back efforts by the U.S. and other countries to open a maritime corridor for aid from Cyprus to help ease the desperate conditions in northern Gaza. President Joe Biden issued an unusually blunt criticism of Israel by its closest ally, suggesting that the incident demonstrated that Israel was not doing enough to protect civilians. “Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians,” he said, adding he was “outraged and heartbroken” by their killings. “Incidents like yesterday’s simply should not happen,” he added. “The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties.””

United States

CBS: Macomb County School Districts Pranked With Threat Of Terrorism

“A fake bomb threat could lead to some very real jail time after schools in Macomb County were put on high alert.  "These threats are very serious, and if you make these threats, we will find you," said Chesterfield Township Police Chief Brian Bassett.  Bassett is talking about recent emailed threats to several school districts in Macomb County over the weekend. The threats were sent to school officials in Clinton Township, Chesterfield Township, New Haven, Armada and Anchor Bay.  "Our primary focus was to ensure this was not a credible bomb threat," Bassett said.  Thankfully, the threats were not credible "Our investigation revealed within the first 12 hours, we were comfortable that this was not credible," Bassett said.  As you can imagine, investigators raced to figure it all out when the threats were made. Bassett said the threats appear to be a case of doxing. The fake bomb threat was sent using a fake email in the name of a former student of the district. The reason was to get revenge. It is believed that a soured online relationship prompted the doxing.”


Voice Of America: Syrian Kurds Say US Presence Important To Regional Stability

“Thirteen years after the start of Syria’s conflict, countless woes remain for millions of Syrians. For people in the Kurdish-majority northeast, one concern tops all else: whether neighboring Turkey will carry out another ground invasion that could put an end to their semiautonomous region, carved out in the wake of the civil war. “People here have been accustomed to shortages of electricity and water, lack of basic services and bad infrastructure, but one thing that they will never like is a Turkish military operation in their region,” said Mahir Qerno, a senior editor at Arta FM, a local radio station that broadcasts in Kurdish, Arabic and Syrian. Arta FM’s headquarters is in the town of Amuda, about 2 kilometers (just over 1 mile) from the Turkish border. Amuda is one of many Syrian border towns that have been under the control of U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.”


Reuters: Many Iranian Options To Retaliate Against Israel, But All Carry Risk

“Iran faces a dilemma following an Israeli attack on its embassy in Syria: how to retaliate without sparking a wider conflict that Middle East analysts said Tehran doesn't appear to want. Monday's strike, which killed two Iranian generals and five military advisers at Iran's embassy compound in Damascus, comes as Israel accelerates a long-running campaign against Iran and the armed groups it backs. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed revenge. Tehran has options. It could unleash its proxies on U.S. forces, use them to strike Israel directly or ramp up its nuclear program, which the United States and its allies have long sought to rein in. Speaking on condition of anonymity, U.S. officials said they were watching closely to see if, as in the past, Iran-backed proxies would attack U.S. troops based in Iraq and Syria after Monday's Israeli strike. Such Iranian attacks ceased in February after Washington retaliated for the killing of three U.S. troops in Jordan with dozens of air strikes on targets in Syria and Iraq linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and militias it backs.”


i24 News: IDF Determines Hezbollah Bomb Wounded UN Peacekeepers In Lebanon

“Israel Defense Forces (IDF) disclosed on Wednesday morning its findings on an explosion which wounded UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon, determining it was an explosive device planted by Hezbollah. Arabic language spokesperson for the IDF, Lieutenant Colonel Avichay Adraee, released a statement with the latest information available on the incident in Rmeish, which occurred last Saturday, during which three United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) observers and a translator were wounded. Adraee described the cause of the attack on the UNIFIL patrol, as "the detonation of an explosive device that had been previously planted in this area by Hezbollah." The United Nations, immediately on Saturday, announced that the wounded were evacuated for medical treatment and the international agency would launch its own investigation. According to initial reports from Lebanon, the attack was blamed on "an Israeli strike" carried by drones. However, Adraee had quickly responded that the IDF did not target any UNIFIL vehicles in the area.”


JNS: Biden Must End Qatar’s Malign Role In Gaza Ceasefire Talks And Pier

“After the success the Gulf state of Qatar achieved in helping restore the Taliban to power in Afghanistan, Doha is now investing all its energy in seeking to keep Hamas in power in Gaza. For more than a decade, the tiny Gulf emirate has been using the massive profits it derives from its vast energy resources to sponsor radical Islamist ideology that underpins terrorist organisations such as Hamas. Qatar was an enthusiastic supporter of the disastrous Muslim Brotherhood regime that briefly ruled Egypt a period mainly memorable for the murderous attacks carried out against Christian communities and Cairo’s diplomatic overtures to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Qatar has also been an enthusiastic financial and military backer of radical Islamist groups in Libya, Tunisia and Syria, where some of the groups backed by Doha during the Syrian civil war were almost indistinguishable, in terms of their brutality and ideology, from terror groups such as Al-Qaeda.”

Middle East

Associated Press: Palestinians Seek Full UN Membership Again, But US Is Almost Certain To Block It For A Second Time

“Supporters of the Palestinians’ request for full membership in the United Nations asked the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to revive their application for admission submitted in 2011. But the United States is again almost certain to block it. The supporters’ letter to the council president included the names of 140 countries that have recognized a Palestinian state, including members of the 22-nation Arab Group at the United Nations, the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the 120-member Nonaligned Movement. The Palestinians are making a fresh bid for U.N. membership as the war between Israel and Hamas that began on Oct. 7 nears its sixth month, and the unresolved decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains in the spotlight after years on the back burner. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered the Palestinian Authority’s application to become the 194th member of the United Nations to then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sept. 23, 2011, before addressing world leaders at the General Assembly.”

Bloomberg: Divided By Politics, Israelis Unite To Defy Global Isolation

“As 100,000 protesters shouted outside for early elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press conference Sunday to defend his conduct of the Gaza war. He was asked why the world is increasingly against Israel. “The virus of antisemitism,” he replied. That’s why the state of Israel was created, to provide physical security to Jews, he added. Of all the things he said, that remark was probably the one that resonated most strongly with the furious citizens outside. Israeli society may be deeply divided politically, but it is increasingly unified in the belief that the country stands alone. Six months after it was attacked by Hamas and then responded with the longest, most destructive war since its creation, that poses new risks both for how Israel conducts itself internationally and for how it views and reacts to external events. “Even for left liberals, there is a sense of isolation and frustration,” said Daniel Ben Simon, a former Labor Party lawmaker and author. “The right will tell you this is the nature of being Jewish. But even people who hate Netanyahu are feeling they can’t count on the world community. They accuse anyone who does of being naive.””

i24 News: Ramming Attack Near Arab-Israeli Town: 4 Police Wounded, Terrorist Eliminated

“Israel Police stated overnight four officers were wounded following a car ramming attack by an Arab-Israeli driver, near the Kokhav Ya'ir Junction in the center of the country, the terrorist was shot and killed. The officers were initially described as one in serious condition, and the rest in moderate and light conditions. Beilinson Medical center later updated that the seriously wounded had improved to a moderate condition. According to the police statement, a 26-year-old resident of Tira had deliberately attempted to attack the officers at a checkpoint deployed as part of activity against car thieves.  After driving into the police officers at the temporary checkpoint, the driver kept going and reached the Eliyahu checkpoint where the terrorist got out of the car in an attempt to stab the security guards. The terrorist was shot and killed at the Eliyahu checkpoint. Following a preliminary investigation, it emerged to be the same driver who carried out the two terror attacks.”

United Kingdom

Associated Press: Suspects In The Stabbing Of An Iranian Presenter Fled UK After Attack, Counterterrorism Police Say

“British counterterrorism police investigating the stabbing of a journalist who works for a TV channel critical of the Iranian government said that three suspects had fled the country within hours of the attack. Pouria Zeraati, a presenter at London-based Iran International, was stabbed in the leg Friday afternoon outside his home in London. Police said Zeraati, who has been released from a hospital, was attacked by two men who fled in a car driven by a third man. “We have established that after abandoning the vehicle, the suspects traveled to Heathrow Airport and have left the U.K.,’’ Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, said in a statement late Tuesday. “We are now working with international partners to establish further details.’’ Police said that while the motivation for the attack is still unclear, Zeraati’s occupation, together with recent threats to U.K.-based Iranian journalists, triggered a counterterrorism investigation. Iran International, a satellite news channel that broadcasts in Farsi, has previously received threats due to its coverage of Iran.”


Voice Of America: Russia: Taliban Could Be Removed From Terror Blacklist

“Russia said Tuesday that it is engaged in an “active dialogue” with Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban and is working toward removing them from Moscow’s list of terrorist organizations. "The fact is that this is our neighboring country. In one form or another, we maintain communication with them,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, according to Russian news agency TASS. “We have to resolve pressing issues, which also requires dialogue. In fact, we are in contact with them just like everyone else,” Peskov stated. “They are actually the ones who are in power in Afghanistan." He did not elaborate, but his statement came just days after gunmen stormed a concert hall outside the Russian capital and killed at least 144 people, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in the country in two decades. Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly tied the attack to Ukraine — claims the neighboring country and the United States strongly rejected.”

The New York Items: U.S. Intelligence Warning To Moscow Named Specific Target Of Attack

“The U.S. warning to Russia ahead of a terrorist attack near Moscow was highly specific: Crocus City Hall was a potential target of the Islamic State, according to U.S. officials. The warning had the right venue but imprecise timing, suggesting that the attack could come within days. Indeed, the public warning by the United States Embassy on March 7 warned of potential terrorist attacks in the next two days. Gunmen stormed the hall on March 22, killing 144 people, the deadliest attack in Russia in nearly 20 years. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and Russia charged four men from Tajikistan, accusing them of carrying out the massacre. But President Vladimir V. Putin and other top officials have continued to claim, without evidence, that Ukraine could have played a role in the attack, a statement that American officials have repeatedly said was baseless. The news that the U.S. warning specified the precise target of the attack was reported earlier Tuesday by The Washington Post.”


The Times Of India: Kerala: SDPI Support Puts Congress In A Spot; LDF, BJP Allege Extremist Links

“The "unconditional" support offered by Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) for UDF in Lok Sabha in state has put the Congress party in a spot, with both BJP and LDF targeting it over taking support from extremist groups. Congress is treading cautiously on the issue, sensing that BJP could highlight it at the national level, especially since Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is contesting in Wayanad. Also, the party doesn't want the announcement of support of SDPI, which is widely viewed as the political arm of PFI, to alienate Hindu and Christian votes. In the 2019 parliament elections, SDPI contested in 10 seats and won 80,111 votes. It had secured 19,106 votes in Malappuram and 18,124 votes in Ponnani, followed by 8,142 votes in Kannur, 5,749 votes in Palakkad and 5,544 votes in Vadakara constituencies despite a huge minority consolidation in favour of UDF. Its candidates had also won in 103 local body wards/divisions in 2020. The significance of SDPI announcement rests on the party securing over 10,000 votes in 14 parliament constituencies in state in the 2014 election, securing a total of 2.7 lakh votes in state. It got 47,853 votes in Malappuram, 26,640 in Ponnani, 19,170 in Kannur and 15,058 in Vadakara. UDF is not outrightly rejecting the SDPI support as these votes could matter if there is a close fight.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On May 8, 2019, Taliban insurgents detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and then broke into American NGO Counterpart International’s offices in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and 24 were injured.

View Archive