Eye on Extremism: August 12

Bloomberg: Facebook, Twitter Pressed To Help Prevent Domestic Terrorism

“Social media companies came under fire again last week after another mass shooting was linked to a hate-filled manifesto posted online. For years, Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. largely reacted to horrific events after the fact. Now they’re now being asked by politicians to take a more proactive approach to prevent domestic terrorism. But while the companies certainly want to make their platforms safe and not be seen as nests for violence or hatred, the proposals from politicians wouldn’t be easy to achieve and could even backfire on some of the proponents. The attacker in El Paso, Texas, who killed 22 in a rampage at a Walmart Inc. store last Saturday, posted a racist screed on message site 8chan minutes before the attack began, laced with words and phrases President Donald Trump has used in reference to immigrants and the media. On Monday, the president ordered federal officials to work with social media companies to identify people who may perpetrate mass shootings before they can act. He asked tech companies to find “red flags” in social media postings that would help deter shooters before they strike and the FBI has put out a call for a contract on social media monitoring technology to parse public user postings to predict threats.”

Voice Of America: Islamic State Working To Make US Military's Fears Come True

“In the 4½ months since U.S.-backed forces declared victory over the Islamic State terror group’s last shred of territory in Syria, there has been a steady drumbeat of doubt. One by one, military leaders, diplomats and experts began raising concerns, aiming to convince policymakers that for all of the success in rolling back IS’s self-declared caliphate, the group was far from dead. “This is not the end of the fight,” U.S. Special Representative for Syria Ambassador James Jeffrey warned, just days after the victory celebrations in Syria in late March. “That will go on,” he said. “It is a different type of fight.” A series of new reports, citing intelligence from United Nations member states, the U.S. military and other sources, now indicate it is a fight that IS is increasingly well-positioned to win. “As long as it can gain revenue, it will remain a danger,” the Rand Corp. declared Thursday in “Return and Expand?” a report on the terror group’s finances and prospects following the collapse of its caliphate. The Rand report estimates IS had perhaps in excess of $400 million in assets by early 2019. Intelligence from U.N. member states, included in another recent report, indicates even after the fall of the caliphate, IS may still have up to $300 million at its disposal.”

The New York Times: The Global Machine Behind The Rise Of Far-Right Nationalism

“Johnny Castillo, a Peruvian-born neighborhood watchman in this district of Stockholm, still puzzles over the strange events that two years ago turned the central square of this predominantly immigrant community into a symbol of multiculturalism run amok. First came a now-infamous comment by President Trump, suggesting that Sweden’s history of welcoming refugees was at the root of a violent attack in Rinkeby the previous evening, even though nothing had actually happened. “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden!” Mr. Trump told supporters at a rally on Feb. 18, 2017. “They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.” The president’s source: Fox News, which had excerpted a short film promoting a dystopian view of Sweden as a victim of its asylum policies, with immigrant neighborhoods crime-ridden “no-go zones.” But two days later, as Swedish officials were heaping bemused derision on Mr. Trump, something did in fact happen in Rinkeby: Several dozen masked men attacked police officers making a drug arrest, throwing rocks and setting cars ablaze. And it was right around that time, according to Mr. Castillo and four other witnesses, that Russian television crews showed up, offering to pay immigrant youths “to make trouble” in front of the cameras.”

Express: Children Of ISIS Fighters Will Not Be Brought Back To UK As Rescue Efforts ‘Too Dangerous’

“The Government has ruled that children of British fighters stuck in warzones will not be rescued as it would be too risky. Sajid Javid made the ruling as one of his last acts as Home Secretary, before being promoted to chancellor under Boris Johnson’s Government last month. Concerns emerged too that parents who had been stripped of their British citizenship could use their repatriated children to reclaim citizenship under human rights laws. The decision was not reached by Mr Javid alone, having also been discussed in a cross departmental review, the Times revealed. But the move is likely to spark criticism from children’s charities working to help youngsters in Syria who argue that innocent children should not be made to pay for their parents’ mistakes. The review also covered processes for children rescued from Syria. Officials explored options to allow relatives living in Britain to adopt the children, as well as making provision in the care system. Mr Javid made the decision to revoke her citizenship in order to “protect the country”, after she showed no remorse for fleeing the UK in February 2015 to join Islamic State. He said that “the loss of any child is a tragedy”, but told the Commons: “I do not want any more children brought into a war zone because their parents think that they will automatically be bailed out.”

The Wall Street Journal: Pakistan’s New Plight In Kashmir: What To Do About The Jihadists

“India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy leaves Pakistan’s leadership in a bind over how to handle jihadist groups that Pakistan’s military nurtured to liberate the disputed area. Islamabad is under international pressure to crack down on the extremists or face financial sanctions. Worst, attacks by those militant outfits could ignite armed conflict between India and Pakistan. But the government is also under domestic pressure to counter India’s move in a region Pakistan views as an integral part of its identity, making such extremist groups a tempting tool. Now, after India’s shift, experts say Pakistan is unlikely to continue what they say is the government’s first serious effort to dismantle its jihadist infrastructure. While Hindu-majority India has long viewed Jammu and Kashmir as one of its states, it had until now given the Muslim-majority area an unusual degree of autonomy. India regards its shift last week as a purely domestic issue, while Pakistan sees it as an annexation of a disputed territory. The developments have put on edge already fraught relations between the two nuclear-armed nations over the mountainous border region between them. India, which has hundreds of thousands of soldiers there, has imposed an almost complete military lockdown and cut off nearly all phone service in Jammu and Kashmir.”

United States

The New York Times: Las Vegas Man Planned Attack Of Synagogue, Officials Say

“The authorities arrested a Las Vegas man who discussed attacking a local synagogue and charged him on Friday in connection with bomb-making materials found in his home, officials said. The man, Conor Climo, was charged on Thursday with one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, namely, the component parts of a destructive device, the Department of Justice said in a statement. Prosecutors said that Mr. Climo, 23, had communicated with people who identify with a white supremacist extremist organization, and had encrypted online conversations in which he regularly used derogatory racial, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs. Conor Climo tried unsuccessfully to recruit a person who was homeless to conduct surveillance on a local synagogue and other targets leading up to an attack, officials said. He discussed attacking a Las Vegas synagogue, making Molotov cocktails and improvising explosive devices, officials said. Mr. Climo also discussed conducting surveillance on a bar he believed served the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in downtown Las Vegas. During the execution of a search warrant on Thursday, the authorities seized a notebook with hand-drawn schematics for a potential Las Vegas-area attack.”

The New York Times: Inside The Government, Addressing Domestic Terrorism Has Been Fraught

“Not long after Barack Obama took office in 2009, a Homeland Security Department analyst produced a report presciently predicting that the deep economic downturn, the rise of social media and the election of the first black president would combine to make race-driven extremism a growing and serious threat to national security. But when the report was made public, it ignited a storm of protest, mostly from the right. Mike Pompeo, then a Republican congressman from Kansas and now secretary of state, said focusing on domestic terrorism was a “dangerous” undertaking born of political correctness that denied “the threat that radical Islamic terrorism poses.” Inside the Obama administration there was concern that highlighting the issue would only fuel white supremacist conspiracy theories or give unwarranted publicity to fringe figures, according to six former administration officials. Within weeks, Janet Napolitano, then the homeland security secretary, rescinded the threat assessment. The report’s primary author left the government, and the department’s unit dedicated to tracking domestic terrorism was essentially disbanded.”

CBS News: What Is “Domestic Terrorism” And What Can The Law Do About It?

“The deadly shooting in El Paso is being treated as a “domestic terrorism” case, prosecutors there said. And the FBI said it has opened a “domestic terrorism” investigation into the July shooting at the garlic festival in Gilroy, California. But the individuals who commit these violent acts will ultimately be indicted on different federal charges — hate crimes or weapons possession. Here's why: Domestic terrorism is defined in the U.S. legal code but it is not codified as a law that can be prosecuted. “It's confusing to the public to call someone a domestic terrorist but not charge them with a crime of terrorism,” said Mary McCord, a former Department of Justice official who served as acting assistant attorney general for national security from 2016 to 2017. The FBI defines domestic terrorism as acts “perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.” The USA Patriot Act from 2001 defines domestic terrorism as a dangerous act occurring within U.S. territory that violates criminal laws in ways that are “intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.”

The Jerusalem Post: What Do White Supremacists And ISIS Recruits Have In Common?

“On the surface, white supremacists and Islamic State recruits would not seem to have much in common. One group embraces a racist, anti-immigrant ideology and is mobilized by fear that a majority of people in the United States will soon no longer be white. The other group believes it must kill “infidels” and create an Islamic “caliphate.” Terrorism experts, however, say the radicalization process, tactics and narratives used by violent white nationalists are actually strikingly similar to those employed by ISIS. Understanding what the two groups have in common, experts say, can help officials develop a strategy for preventing homegrown extremism.  “I see extremism as a structure for beliefs,” said JM Berger, author of the book Extremism. “We need to do a better job in treating extremism as a universal phenomenon.” The challenge of combating domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence was thrust into the spotlight after a gunman, who is alleged to have posted a racist screed online, went on a bloody rampage last Saturday, killing 22 people in the aisles and parking lot of a Walmart in El Paso. (Several hours later, another shooter who had reportedly held leftist beliefs killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio.)”


Voice Of America: Syria's Raqqa Struggles To Recover, 2 Years After IS Ouster

“Once considered the Islamic State’s de facto capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa is slowly recovering, nearly two years after its liberation from the terror group. U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) liberated Raqqa from IS in October 2017. But during the 3-month-long battle, much of the city’s infrastructure was reduced to rubble. Local officials complain the international coalition to defeat IS, which helped free the city, lost interest in rebuilding Raqqa as the focus has shifted to other areas recently liberated from IS. “We used to meet second-tier coalition officials – sometimes from the first tier,” said Abdullah Aryan, head of the planning department at the Raqqa Civil Council, which has been largely responsible for reconstruction. “But now we only get visits by an employee from the French ministry of defense or British ministry of agriculture or an employee responsible for civil society in the U.S. government,” he told VOA. The lack of funding is forcing local officials to concentrate the limited money on restoring essential services, which will allow more displaced people to return. For other restoration projects, they rely on low-cost efforts. “To repair roads and bridges, we had to use primitive methods.”

Reuters: Syrian Army Takes Strategic Town From Rebels In New Advance

“Syria’s army has captured a strategically important town in Idlib in the rebels’ last major enclave, a war monitor and a military media unit run by its ally Hezbollah reported on Sunday.  The capture of al-Hobeit represents the most significant advance the army has made in Idlib province since the start of its offensive three months ago, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.  The Hezbollah media unit described the town as the gateway to the southern countryside of Idlib, to the main Damascus-Aleppo highway and to the city of Khan Sheikhoun. Rebels have not yet commented on the fighting around al-Hobeit but this week acknowledged losing ground nearby as the army ramped up its offensive after a brief ceasefire.  Fighting on Saturday killed more than 100 fighters from both sides as the army and its allies unleashed about 2,000 air and artillery strikes against rebels dug into Syria’s northwest, the Observatory said.  The three-month offensive has made slower progress than any by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since Russia entered the war on his side in 2015, prompting a run of military victories that have brought most of Syria back under his rule.”


New York Post: US Marine Killed In Iraq Days After Pentagon Warned Of ‘ISIS Resurgence’

“A US Marine from Colorado who had been serving in Iraq was killed in combat over the weekend — just days after the Pentagon warned of an “ISIS resurgence,” according to defense officials. Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, died Saturday “after being engaged by enemy small arms fire,” the Pentagon said in a statement. He was advising an Iraqi Security Force mission in Ninewah Province — in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, a US-led military campaign to counter ISIS — when the incident occurred. “Koppenhafer was assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina,” defense officials said. His death “is under investigation.” Koppenhafer hailed from the Colorado town of Mancos, which is about 30 miles west of Durango. He joined the Marines in 2005 — first serving as a machine gunner and later as a scout sniper, according to KUSA. Over the course of his military career, Koppenhafer won several medals — including two Bronze stars and a Humanitarian Service medal. He was dubbed MARSOC’s Critical Skills Operator of the Year in 2018. The Marine reportedly leaves behind a wife and two children. Koppenhafer’s death comes just days after Pentagon officials reported a resurgence in ISIS-related activity in Iraq and Syria.”


The Washington Post: Taliban Says Latest Talks End On US’s Afghanistan Withdrawal

“A Taliban spokesman says the latest round of talks with the United States on a deal to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan has ended and now both sides will consult their leadership on the next steps. A statement by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says the eighth round of talks in the Gulf nation of Qatar ended after midnight on Monday. He called them “long and useful.” Another Taliban spokesman last week said a deal was expected at the end of this round. The agreement is expected to include Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan would not be a base for other extremist groups. It also could include a cease-fire and Taliban negotiations with other Afghan representatives, though the Taliban has refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, dismissing it as a U.S. puppet.”

The National Interest: The Rise Of Afghanistan's Taliban

“The latest round of U.S.-Taliban talks appears to be heading to a framework for peace. In exchange for a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the Taliban have agreed to a guarantee that Afghan territory will not be used to sponsor terrorist groups or stage attacks against the United States or its allies. This would be followed by a nationwide ceasefire and the start of an intra-Afghan dialogue, leading to the release of prisoners from both sides. For all the progress, the peace talks face criticism for excluding the Afghan government. The Taliban have consistently refused to recognize Afghanistan’s elected government—calling it a U.S. puppet—and demanded to negotiate solely with the United States. But intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan leadership will only begin once a deal with the United States is agreed upon. The ugly truth is that the Taliban have a legitimate claim of representing a part of Afghan society. The southern provinces of Helmand, Oruzgan, Zabul and Kandahar—part of the Pashtun heartland—does not fully reject the Taliban and provides 80 percent of its fighters. It has also become a fertile recruiting ground for Al Qaeda as well as Daesh.”


Reuters: India's Kashmir Clampdown Pushes Some In Pakistan To Discuss Rejoining Militants

“Three decades ago, Ali Mohamad says he made a trip into Indian-controlled Kashmir to join a small armed militant group. Now he works in a shop on the Pakistani side of the region, but he hasn’t given up thoughts of returning to the conflict. After the Indian government clamped down on Kashmir this week, Ali has again been thinking of going back. ”I have not left, we are all watching”, he said, adding that he believes all Kashmiris will take up arms when needed.  “I fought for my rights. When someone crushes you then what else can you do?” said Ali, 53, who was born in Indian-controlled Kashmir and then moved to the Pakistani side. Seeking to tighten its grip on the region, India this week withdrew special rights for Jammu and Kashmir state. It has cut off almost all communications, prohibited assemblies of more than four people and detained hundreds of political and separatist leaders. The constitutional change will mean that non-residents will be able to buy property, get government jobs and take college places in the state, to the fury of arch-rival Pakistan, which claims the region as its own and accuses India of trying to change the demographics of its only Muslim-majority state.”


The National: Brother Of Yemen’s Houthi Leader Assassinated Near Sanaa

“Ibrahim Badreddin Al Houthi, the brother of Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al Houthi, has been assassinated, several outlets reported. Reuters, quoting a Yemeni security source, said the senior leader was found dead in a house near the capital, Sanaa. The Houthi-owned Al Masirah channel announced the killing on Friday, saying ”the treacherous hands affiliated with the US-Israeli aggression and its tools assassinated Ibrahim Badreddin Al Houthi”. But Al Alrabiya news station released its own detailed account of the killing, saying Ibrahim was assassinated in his car on Wednesday at 8pm while travelling from Omran to Sanaa.  It said the killing was an inside job in a battle between different Houthi wings, and the senior figure was killed along with nine of his guards.  Sources linked with the Arab Coalition said that he was killed in an air strike on the border with Saudi Arabia. Ibrahim was a de facto finance minister for the Iran-supported rebel movement.  A source in Sanaa told The National that the young Houthi leader was found dead in his house and attributed his murder to deep rifts among senior leaders in the Houthi movement. “Frictions are behind the murder of Ibrahim Al Houthi,” the source said. Ibrahim was the younger brother of Abdulmalik.”

Middle East

The New York Times: Israeli Military Kills 4 Palestinian Militants After Attack At Gaza Border

“Israeli forces shot and killed four Palestinian militants near the Gaza border fence after one tossed a hand grenade at Israeli troops on Saturday, the military said. The men were armed with assault rifles, anti-tank missiles and other grenades, the Israeli military said on Twitter. The Israeli military posted images of the weapons it said the men had been carrying. It said, “These are the weapons possessed by the terrorists who attempted to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza last night.” At a news briefing, an Israeli army spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, said that it had been a “very significant attempt to attack Israel.” He said Israeli soldiers had opened fire when the militants tried to climb the fence, and that the militants had returned fire before being killed. No Israelis soldiers were hurt, he added. A spokesman for Hamas, the Islamist group that governs Gaza, said on Saturday that the Palestinian militants had been engaging in “an individual act,” stressing that the operation had not been planned by Hamas. The spokesman, Abdel-Latif al-Qanou, said the attempted infiltration had been carried out by “angry youths” who were reacting to Israel’s 12-year blockade of Gaza.”

The Wall Street Journal: Israel Says It Foiled Large Attack On Gaza Border

“Israel’s army said it killed four heavily armed militants from Gaza attempting to cross into the country early Saturday, accusing the Palestinian territory’s ruler Hamas of allowing what it called a potential mass-casualty attack. The militants were armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPG grenade launchers, hand grenades and wire cutters, the Israeli military said. The quality of their arms pointed to a planned attack, it added, noting the militants were carrying energy bars and dates in case they needed to hide out. “A large terror attack was thwarted,” Israeli army spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said. It wasn’t clear whether Israeli civilians or soldiers were the target of attack, the military said. The militants threw one grenade at Israeli soldiers but didn’t injure anyone, the military said. Israel didn’t directly blame Hamas for the attack but said it was responsible for not preventing it as the sole authority in Gaza. No one immediately claimed the infiltration attempt. The border has seen a few infiltration attempts by individuals from Gaza in recent weeks. Israel has also warned recently that Islamic Jihad, the enclave’s second-largest militant group, is acting to inflame tensions in the region. Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanoa said in a statement that the attack was carried out by “angry and rebellious youth” inspired to act due to Israel’s “organized terrorism and the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip.”

The Jerusalem Post: Hamas Distances Itself From Terror Attack, Wants To Keep Truce With Israel

“Hamas has distanced itself from Saturday’s botched attempt to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip by arguing that the four terrorists who were killed by the IDF had acted independently.  This was the second time in the past 10 days that Hamas has distanced itself from a terrorist attack along the Gaza-Israel border. By disassociating itself from the recent terrorist attacks, Hamas is signaling that it is keen on preserving the ceasefire understandings reached with Israel earlier this year under the auspices of Egypt and the United Nations, Palestinian political analysts explained. Earlier this month, Hani Abu Salah, 20, was killed in a gun battle with IDF soldiers after he infiltrated the border with Israel. An IDF officer and two soldiers sustained moderate and light injuries during the exchange of gunfire.  Although Abu Salah was said to be a member of Hamas’s military wing, Izaddin al-Qassam, sources in the Gaza Strip said that he carried out his attack to avenge the killing of his brother, Fadi, by the IDF during the weekly protests along the Gaza-Israel border last year. Hamas did not endorse Abu Salah as one of its “martyrs” and said that the attack was “personally motivated.” 


The New York Times: Car Bomb Kills 3 U.N. Staff Members Outside A Benghazi Mall

“At least three United Nations staff members were killed in Libya after a bomb-laden vehicle exploded this weekend outside a shopping mall in the eastern city of Benghazi, a spokesman for the international body said. The attack on Saturday occurred even as the country’s warring sides said they had accepted a cease-fire proposed by the United Nations aimed at stopping combat in the capital, Tripoli, during a coming Muslim holiday. Health officials said the bomb had exploded outside Arkan Mall in the Hawari neighborhood, where people were gathering for shopping a day before the Eid al-Adha holiday. The Benghazi municipal council said the attack had targeted a convoy for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. Footage circulated online showed what appeared to be burned United Nations-owned vehicles as thick smoke bellowed into the sky. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a month after two bomb-carrying vehicles went off in Benghazi, the stronghold of the Libyan National Army, led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter. The July attack killed at least four people and wounded 33 others. The planned cease-fire would be the first since the army began a surprise military offensive on April 4 aimed at capturing Tripoli, ushering in fierce battles with militias loosely allied with a United Nations-supported but weak administration in the capital.”


Sahara Reporters: Boko Haram: Nigeria Intensifies Bombardment Of Sambisa Forest, Kills Several Terrorists, Air Force Says

“The Nigeria Air Force says it attacked and destroyed Boko Haram command and control centre at Dusula located on the fringe of the Sambisa forest, leaving several terrorists dead. According to Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, a spokesperson for the air force, the operation was executed after a series of intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions revealed solar panels, communications equipment, and other facilities at the command centre. The bombardment targeted the remnants of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in northeast of Nigeria, under the Operation Green Sweep 3, aimed at identifying and destroying terrorists’ positions in the troubled Borno State. The air force stated that the structures housing the command centre were destroyed in the airstrikes while several of the terrorists were killed.”

Xinhua: Nigerian Military Kill Boko Haram Militants, Destroy Command Center In Airstrikes

“Airstrikes by the Nigerian military killed a number of Boko Haram militants and destroyed a location identified as their command and control center following a raid in the northeastern state of Borno, a military spokesman said here on Saturday. The raid, on Friday, targeted the command and control center of the Boko Haram terror group in Dusala, on the fringes of the Sambisa forest in Borno, Ibikunle Daramola, spokesman for the Nigerian air force, said in a statement made available to Xinhua in Abuja. Three Alpha jets dispatched by the Air Task Force engaged the location in multiple passes, recording accurate hits on the target area, he said. Daramola declined to give the accurate figure of Boko Haram militants killed in the raid but said the structures housing the command center were completely destroyed by the airstrikes. “The few surviving terrorists, who were seen attempting to flee the area, were taken out by follow-on attacks,” he said. The spokesman said the raid was part of renewed efforts aimed at eliminating remnants of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists in the troubled northeast of Nigeria.”


The Washington Post: Mogadishu’s Mayor Was Killed In A Tragic Attack. A Blind Female Suicide Bomber Was Responsible, Officials Say

“On July 24, shortly after a U.N. envoy left the mayor’s office in the capital of Somalia, a suicide bomber found her way in. The bomb killed at least six people and severely wounded Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman, who was flown to Qatar for treatment. He died a week later. Now, Somali officials say they have identified the perpetrator: a blind woman employed by the municipal government. In a statement Friday, Somalia’s security ministry said the woman and another female colleague had taken time off work a month earlier and are now believed to have traveled to territory controlled by the extremist group al-Shabab. A spokesperson for the extremist group told local media in July that the bomber intended to target the U.N. envoy, veteran American diplomat James Swan. “Preliminary findings show a female who worked in the local government blew herself up with the help of another female, who . . . also worked at the local government,” the ministry statement said. “The female bomber was disabled. She misused the opportunity and acted with enmity against the bosses and the people she worked with.”  The Associated Press reported that visitors to the mayor’s office typically must pass through a number of metal detectors, raising serious questions about how someone laden with explosives was able to gain such proximity to high-level officials.”


The New York Times: After Attack On Norway Mosque, Body Found At Home Tied To Assailant

“A worshiper thwarted an attack on a mosque Saturday by a young man wearing a helmet and body armor, according to the Norwegian authorities and a witness. Hours later, the police said they had found a dead woman at a home linked to the assailant. The police described the suspect as a young white man who appeared to have acted alone. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection with the mosque attack near the capital, Oslo, and later with murder in connection with the dead body. When the police made their way into a home where the suspect once lived, they found the body of a young woman. “He is indicted for murder,” said Rune Skjold, a police spokesman. During the mosque attack, the suspect was overpowered by a 75-year-old member of the congregation who sustained light injuries, said Irfan Mushtaq, a former director of the al-Noor Islamic Centre mosque and a board member who witnessed it. “The man carried two shotgun-like weapons and a pistol” and was wearing body armor, a helmet and black clothes, Mr. Mushtaq told Norwegian televisionTV2. “He broke through a glass door and fired shots.” Only three people were in the mosque at the time, at about 4 p.m. local time. If he had arrived earlier during prayers, the attacker could have hurt many more people, he said.”

Voice Of America: Norway Mosque Shooting 'Attempted Act Of Terror'

“The shooting at a mosque near Oslo is being treated as an “attempted act of terror”, Norwegian police said Sunday, with the suspect appearing to harbour far-right, anti-immigrant views. “We are looking at an attempted act of terror,” acting chief of the police operation Rune Skjold told a press conference after Saturday's incident left one man injured. Skjold said the investigation had shown that the man appeared to hold “far-right” and “anti-immigrant” views. The suspect, armed with multiple weapons, opened fire in the mosque in Baerum, a suburb of Oslo, on Saturday afternoon, before being overpowered by a man who suffered “minor injuries” in the process. Norway was the scene of one of the worst-ever attacks by a right-wing extremist in July 2011, when 77 people were killed by Anders Behring Breivik. Hours after the attack on Saturday, the body of a young woman related to the suspect was found in a home also in Baerum. Investigators are treating her death as suspicious and have opened a murder probe. Police said earlier Sunday they had tried to question the suspect, described as a “young man” with a “Norwegian background” who was living in the vicinity but he did not want to “give an explanation to police.”


The Washington Post: YouTube’s Arbitrary Standards: Stars Keep Making Money Even After Breaking The Rules

“YouTube stars attract millions of eyeballs and generate billions of dollars in ad revenue for the media giant, which pledges to run its business without tolerating hateful and otherwise harmful videos. But some of the workers hired to flag problematic content accuse YouTube of playing favorites, doling out more lenient punishments for top video creators whose work brings in the most money for the company. Eleven current and past moderators, who have worked on the front lines of content decisions, believe that popular creators often get special treatment in the form of looser interpretations of YouTube’s guidelines prohibiting demeaning speech, bullying and other forms of graphic content. Moderators said that YouTube made exceptions for popular creators including Logan Paul, Steven Crowder and PewDiePie. Google-owned YouTube denies those claims, saying it enforces rules equally and tries to draw the line in the right places. YouTube, the world’s largest video platform with nearly 2 billion people logging in monthly, has faced fierce backlash from critics who say it is enabling hateful and inappropriate content to proliferate. With each crisis, YouTube has raced to update its guidelines for which types of content are allowed to benefit from its powerful advertising engine — depriving creators of those dollars if they break too many rules.”