Eye on Extremism: April 4, 2023

United States

CNN: US Strike Kills Senior ISIS Leader In Syria, US Central Command Says

“A US strike in Syria has killed a senior ISIS leader who planned attacks into Europe, United States Central Command said in a statement. The strike, carried out on Monday, was a “unilateral” US operation that killed Khalid ‘Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri, CENTCOM said in the statement posted to Twitter. Al-Jabouri was a senior ISIS figure who “was responsible for planning ISIS attacks into Europe and developed the leadership structure for ISIS,” CENTCOM said.”

Associated Press: Lone Suspect In 1980 Paris Synagogue Bombing Goes On Trial

“A Lebanese-Canadian academic who is the lone suspect in a 1980 bombing outside a Paris synagogue went on trial in absentia Monday, nearly 43 years after four people were killed and 46 wounded in the unclaimed attack. French authorities identified Hassan Diab as a suspect in 1999. They accuse him of planting the bomb on the evening of Oct. 3, 1980, outside the synagogue where 320 worshipers had gathered to mark the end of a Jewish holiday. Diab, 69, has denied involvement in the attack and said he was at a university in Beirut at the time of the western Paris bombing. His supporters and lawyers in France and Canada claim Diab has been wrongly pursued by French judicial authorities as a victim of mistaken identity.”


Associated Press: Syria Says Israeli Strikes In Damascus Area Kill 2 Civilians

“Israel staged airstrikes on the southern suburbs of the Syrian capital of Damascus early Tuesday, killing two civilians and causing some material damage, Syrian state media reported. Damascus residents said strong explosions were heard in the capital and its southern suburbs as Syrian state television reported that the country’s air defenses were confronting ‘an Israeli aggression.’ State TV, quoting an unnamed military official, said two civilians were killed in the strikes near Damascus and southern Syria, adding that some of the missiles were shot down by Syria air defenses before they reached their targets. It that the strikes also caused some material damage. Israel’s shadow war with Iran in Syria intensified over the past days with four strikes on the Damascus area and the central province of Homs killing two Iranian military advisers since last week.”

The National: Roadside Bomb Hits Bus In Syria, Wounding 16

“Sixteen people were wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Deraa governorate, Syrian state media reported on Monday. The attack reportedly occurred on a bridge at the Nasib border crossing with Jordan and was carried out against customs officials. Sixteen employees of the joint Syrian-Jordanian duty free zone were injured after terrorists planted an explosive device near the bus they were on,’ state news agency Sana said. The attack took place ‘near the Saida bridge on the Damascus-Amman highway’, Sana said.”


Voice Of America News: IS-Khorasan Leader In Alleged Audio Message Discusses Afghanistan Losses

“An official pro-Taliban media outlet in Afghanistan has released an alleged audio clip of the leader of the local affiliate of Islamic State in which the man acknowledges his group's significant recent losses. ‘Only a few of our comrades are left, and their number can be counted on the fingers,’ Shahab al-Muhajir, the so-called emir of IS-Khorasan, said in Pashto language in a message to his group. The militant commander also spoke about the killings of key leaders in recent Taliban counterterrorism operations against IS-Khorasan hideouts in the capital of Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan. The al-Mersaad state-affiliated channel, which released the audio, is working to counter IS-Khorasan terrorist propaganda, according to Taliban officials. There has been no comment from IS-Khorasan on the alleged audio clip attributed to its leader.”

Al Arabiya News: Taliban Raid Kills Six ISIS Members In Afghanistan’s Balkh Province

“An overnight raid by Taliban forces in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh province killed six members of the extremist ISIS group, a Taliban spokesman said on Tuesday. The regional affiliate of the ISIS group — known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province — has been the key rival of the Taliban since their takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. The militant group has increased its attacks, targeting both Taliban patrols and members of Afghanistan’s Shia minority. According to Mohammad Asif Waziri, a spokesman for the police chief in Balkh, the operation late Monday night targeted an ISIS hideout in Nahri Shahi district and six members of the militant group were killed.”


Dawn: 125 Policemen Martyred In Militant Attacks In Three Months

“According to the data, 15 militant attacks were reported against police in January 2023, in which 116 personnel embraced martyrdom and 189 were injured. Three militant attacks were reported in February 2023, in which two police personnel embraced martyrdom and five others were wounded. Seven cases were registered by the police in March 2023, wherein seven policemen embraced martyrdom and 18 others were wounded. Meanwhile, a senior police official told Dawn that following a surge in attacks on the police in January after the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) called off the ceasefire, the police were equipped with latest weaponry, leading to reduction in the number of attacks in February and March. ‘There were fewer attacks reported in February and March,’ the police official said, adding the force was carrying out intelligence-based operations and hunting down the militants. Of the 125 personnel, who embraced martyrdom during last three months, 84 personnel, including officers, laid down their lives on January 30 alone when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque at Peshawar’s police headquarters.”

Middle East

AFP News: Hamas Sentences Two Gazans To Death For Israel 'Collaboration'

“A military court in the Gaza Strip convicted on Monday six people of ‘collaboration’ with Israel, sentencing two of them to death. The court said in a statement the death sentences would be carried out ‘one by firing squad and the other by hanging’. It added the four others were handed ‘life sentences with hard labour’, which in Gaza amounts to 25 years. Those convicted were not identified by officials in the Palestinian territory, which has been run by Islamist group Hamas since 2007, nor were details of their cases published.”

The Times Of Israel: Gunfire Hits Homes On Northern Kibbutz, In Suspected Attack By West Bank Terrorists

“The IDF said Monday that it was responding to a shooting that targeted a northern Israeli town, with an offshoot of the Islamic Jihad terror group claiming responsibility for the attack. There were no casualties and Israeli troops were scanning the area around Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa, where several homes incurred damage from bullets, the army said. Footage published by the Islamic Jihad terror group appears to show assailants opening fire at the Israeli town, seemingly from the West Bank side of the Green Line. The Emek HaMaayanot Regional Council said in a statement that the attack took place Monday afternoon and that the suspects fired from behind the West Bank security barrier.”

Jewish News Syndicate: Palestinian Terrorists Open Fire On IDF Cargo Plane

“Palestinian Arab terrorists fired on an Israel Air Force cargo plane as it flew over Samaria on Sunday. Footage posted to social media networks showed an Israel Defense Forces C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft flying low, Arutz Sheva reported. Gunfire is heard in the video. The caption in the video says: ‘Soldiers firing on a Zionist army plane while it was flying over a Jenin refugee camp.’ Jenin has long been a hotbed of terrorism with the IDF frequently conducting operations in the city in response. Meanwhile, the Israel Air Force shot down an unidentified aircraft on Sunday after it crossed from Syria into Israeli territory, the IDF said in a statement.”


AFP News: Nigeria Gunmen Kill 12 People In Four Attacks

“At least 12 people were killed and several others injured or kidnapped in a spate of attacks in northeast and central Nigeria, police and officials said Monday. Insecurity is a major concern in Africa's most populous country as a new president is set to be sworn in next month following an election disputed by the opposition. In northeastern Adamawa State on Monday, unidentified gunmen stormed Dabna village in Hong district, resulting in the ‘unfortunate murder of three (persons)’, local police spokesman Suleiman Nguroje said, adding that homes were set ablaze. No group has claimed responsibility although Boko Haram jihadists are known to launch occasional attacks in the area from their Sambisa forest enclave in neighbouring Borno State.”


Garowe Online: AU Mission: Al-Shabaab Has Reduced Activities In Somalia

“Al-Shabaab has reduced activities in Somal' within the last few months, African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] Mohammed El-Amine Souef has confirmed, in what is linked to intense operations against the militants across the Horn of Africa nation, Consequently, he added, the security situation in the country has remained relatively calm due to surveillance in every corner orchestrated by a partnership between security forces mainly from the Somali National Army ISNA], ATMIS, the US Africa Command, and local militia, who have been incorporated in the crackdown. The operations against the group were activated last year when President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud assumed power and since then, over 3,000 Al-Shabaab militants have been killed and over 3,700 others critically injured, the government said in a statement. ‘However, we cannot afford to lower our guard since the Khawarij (al-Shabab) remain the greatest threat to Somalia's peace and stability,’ Souef told a media briefing in the Somali capital of Mogadishu as ATMIS celebrated its first anniversary.”

Anadolu Agency: African Union Peacekeepers Hit By Explosion In Somali Capital

“An African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) convoy was hit by explosion in the capital Mogadishu on Monday, with no word yet on possible casualties. Osman Ahmed, a security officer in Mogadishu, told Anadolu over the phone that the convoy was hit near Somalia’s Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in the capital. ‘They were targeted while traveling between the KM4 and KM5 intersections in Mogadishu. We suspect the attack was a landmine explosion planted near the road and an investigation is underway,’ he said. He added that the African Union troops in the convoy had been conducting their daily routines in Mogadishu at the time of the attack.”

United Kingdom

Daily Mail: Notorious Hate Preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad Whose Group Inspired Lee Rigby Killers And London Bridge Attackers Is Seen In Family Photo After Lebanon Prison Release

“Relaxing on the sofa in a pair of slippers, notorious hate preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad was barely recognisable yesterday after being set free following nearly a decade behind bars. Pictured here for the first time, the extremist who inspired a generation of jihadis after founding a banned terrorist group has been in prison since 2014 when he was arrested for supporting al-Qaeda in Lebanon. Yesterday legal sources confirmed the 64-year-old had finally been released from jail after serving long beyond his six-year sentence. His release has sparked security fears that he could resume preaching online brainwashing a new generation of British Muslims. Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society think tank warned: 'Omar Bakri Muhammad was one of the most dangerous extremist preachers in his prime, inspiring many to acts of jihadism.”

New Zealand

Reuters: Former New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern To Help Tackle Online Extremism

“Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will help tackle violent extremism online and will also be on the board of an environmental prize set up by Prince William as she looks ahead to a life after politics. Ardern stepped down as prime minister in January saying she had ‘no more in the tank’ to lead the country and would also not seek re-election to parliament. She is due to give her final speech in parliament on Wednesday. Ardern, who became the youngest female leader in the world when she won power in 2017 at the age of 37, will serve as an unpaid special envoy for the Christchurch Call, an initiative she co-founded in 2019 to bring together countries and technology companies to combat extremism, the government said. Attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand's second-largest city, in March 2019 killed 51 people dead and wounded 40. The white supremacist gunman who carried out the assault live-streamed part of it on Facebook.”


The Guardian: Law Council Joins Calls To Abolish Australia’s Powers To Detain Terrorist Offenders To Prevent Future Crimes

“Australia’s peak lawyers body has urged the government to abolish ‘fraught’ powers that allow terrorist offenders to be imprisoned so as to prevent possible crimes being committed in the future. Last week a damning report by Australia’s national security law watchdog recommended scrapping continuing detention orders, which allow terrorist offenders to be imprisoned for three years on the basis of predicted crimes rather than for any crime they have committed. In the report the independent national security legislation monitor, Grant Donaldson, said he doubted ‘that anyone knows whether [the powers] have made us safer’ and said CDOs were completely disproportionate to any terror threat. The use of such preventive imprisonment powers made Australia an outlier among western nations, he said.”


CBC: Terrorism Charges Laid After Knife Attack On Surrey, B.C., Bus

“A B.C. man who allegedly slashed a man's throat on a transit bus in Surrey, B.C., on Saturday is facing terrorism charges. According to court documents filed by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, the man is alleged to have committed the assault for "the Islamic State" — commonly known as ISIS. Abdul Aziz Kawam, born in 1995, faces four terrorism charges for attempted murder, aggravated assault and two counts of assault related to the attack. He was arrested after a stabbing on a bus travelling near the Fraser Highway and 148 Street in Surrey, B.C., just after 9:30 a.m. PT Saturday.”



The Guardian: UK’s Offensive Hacking Unit Takes On Military Opponents And Terrorist Groups

“Britain’s newly created offensive hacking unit, the National Cyber Force, has said it is engaged daily in operations to disrupt terrorist groups, distributors of child sexual abuse material and military opponents of the UK. An official paper, Responsible Cyber Power in Practice, is the first policy statement from the body and is intended to describe how far the UK is prepared to fight back against growing organised online threats. Operational details remain sketchy, although the NCF says it is engaged in techniques to ‘undermine the tradecraft’ of Russian, Chinese and other state-sponsored hackers and in ‘technical disruption’ against terrorist groups, for example to prevent the dissemination of online propaganda. Other activities listed by the NCF include ‘disrupting networks and operational capabilities’ of Britain’s enemies in support of the UK military, and ‘persistent campaigns’ to remove images of child abuse, so making the illegal content harder to find online.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On October 27, 2018, domestic terrorist Robert D. Bowers carried out an anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He fired on congregants as they gathered for worship, killing 11 people and wounding six others.

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