Eye on Extremism: August 15, 2023

Fox News: Philadelphia Teen Charged With Planning National Terrorist Attack

“Heavily armed law enforcement officers swarmed the Philadelphia home of a teenager who was plotting to launch a national terrorist attack, authorities said. The suspect, an unnamed 17-year-old, was in contact with a global terrorist group affiliated with al Qaeda and had access to a "significant" number of guns and was building bombs, FBI Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire said during a Monday press conference. The teen, who was arrested Friday, "conducted general research" into potential targets that weren't confined to one location, and they were not just in Philadelphia, she said. "Most concerning was the evidence to his access to firearms and purchased items and materials commonly [used] for constructing improvised explosive devices," Maguire said. "Among the items he purchased were tactical equipment, wiring, chemicals and devices often used as the detonators.”

CBS News: 2 Years Since Taliban Retook Afghanistan, Its Secluded Supreme Leader Rules From The Shadows

“On the border with Pakistan, thousands of Afghans are waiting in line to get their passports stamped so they can leave Afghanistan behind and never return. On this hot and humid day, as they cram between two fences like livestock, the sight of desperate travelers passing out is all too common, with waiting times averaging from three hours to a whole day during the busiest periods. The only relief from the heat is the bottled water sold by children as young as five who run up and down the fence shouting prices at thirsty travelers. Beyond the chaotic crossing, a former contractor sighs in relief.”

United States

The New York Times: The Long, Lonely Wait For Justice For 17 Fallen U.S. Sailors

“In the nearly 12 years since a prisoner was charged in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole warship, eight parents of the 17 fallen American sailors have died waiting for a trial to begin. In the two decades since the attack, 10 more shipmates have also died. Early in the case, relatives and survivors would travel to Guantánamo Bay to observe pretrial proceedings, filling the seats in a special section of the court. Late this June, just two members of that group were there — a sailor’s father and a naval officer who survived the blast. The bombing of the Cole never garnered the attention of Guantánamo’s better-known prosecution of the five men who are accused of plotting the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. That case also grinds on in its second decade.”

Victoria Advocate: National Editorial: White Nationalist Patriot Front Members Sue For Being Exposed

“…In the Pacific Northwest, the group has defaced civil rights and Pride murals, and monuments and signs that promote equality, a tactic it employs nationally, according to the Counter Extremism Project, The Seattle Times reported.”


Rudaw: Three ISIS Suspects Arrested In Sulaimani

“Sulaimani’s internal security forces (Asayish) on Monday announced they had arrested three “wanted” Islamic States (ISIS) suspects through two separate operations since the start of the month. The Asayish forces were able to arrest the suspects “after receiving intelligence from the security agencies of the [Iraqi] federal government regarding the presence of three wanted individuals according to Article 4 of the anti-terror law,” read a statement from the forces. Article 4 of the 2005 Iraqi anti-terrorism law stipulates that anyone who participates in committing a “terrorist act,” as defined by the law, shall be given the death sentence, with life imprisonment sentences being handed out to those found guilty of intentionally concealing a “terrorist act” or harboring a perpetrator of the act. Two of the detainees were arrested in a security operation carried out on August 2, while the other suspect was arrested in an operation on Sunday. The latter has been accused of “taking, transporting, and distributing” the properties and assets of Yazidis from Shingal (Sinjar).”


Grey Dynamics: Grey Wolves: Turkish Ultranationalist Paramilitary Or Idealist Hearths?

“…David Ibsen, the Executive Director of ‘The Counter Extremism Project’, explained that nationalists view the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkan wars as a great tragedy (source). This somewhat explains why the group are seeking to consolidate its influence in Bosnia.”


The Mirror: ISIS And Al-Qaeda 'Back In Afghanistan' After 'Foreign Policy Failure' Ex-Diplomat Warns

“Terrorists have returned to Afghanistan two years after Western forces quit the war-torn nation, Britain’s former ambassador to the country warned today. Marking the second anniversary of the Taliban rampaging back to power in Kabul, Sir Laurie Bristow raised fears Afghanistan could once again become a lair for extremists to plot attacks on the West. Admitting that failing to build an Afghan regime which could repel a Taliban revival was “a foreign policy failure”, he said: “There was no shortage of resources put into Afghanistan, primarily by the Americans, secondarily by the UK and other allies. “But what they didn’t produce was a state that was capable of standing on its own two feet. We need to understand why that was. My own view was that we didn’t engage early enough in the question of how to create the kind of political settlement that would bind in the Taliban and the people they represent in a way that would enable us safely to withdraw our troops.”

Middle East

Associated Press: UN: Islamic State Still Has Thousands Of Fighters Across Syria And Iraq

“The Islamic State group still commands between 5,000 and 7,000 members across its former stronghold in Syria and Iraq and its fighters pose the most serious terrorist threat in Afghanistan today, U.N. experts said in a report circulated Monday. The experts monitoring sanctions against the militant group, also known by its Arab acronym Daesh, said that during the first half of 2023 the threat posed by IS remained “mostly high in conflict zones and low in non-conflict areas.” But the panel said in a report to the U.N. Security Council that “the overall situation is dynamic,” and despite significant losses in the group’s leadership and reduced activity in Syria and Iraq, the risk of its resurgence remains. “The group has adapted its strategy, embedding itself with local populations, and has exercised caution in choosing battles that are likely to result in limited losses, while rebuilding and recruiting from camps in the northeast of the Syrian Arab Republic and from vulnerable communities, including in neighboring countries,” the experts said.”


Reuters: Niger Junta Says It Will Prosecute Ousted President For Treason

“The military junta that seized power in Niger in a coup last month has said it will prosecute ousted President Mohamed Bazoum for high treason over his exchanges with foreign heads of state and international organisations. The United States, United Nations and West African leaders condemned the move, calling it a further sign that the junta is unwilling to seek a peaceful route out of the crisis. The coup leaders have imprisoned Bazoum and dissolved the elected government, drawing condemnation from global powers and West Africa's regional bloc ECOWAS, which decided last week to assemble a standby military force that could intervene if diplomacy fails. At stake is not just the fate of Niger - a major uranium producer and Western ally in the fight against an Islamist insurgency - but also the influence of rival global powers with strategic interests in the region.”

The Star: Two Killed, Three Missing In Lamu Terror Attack

“At least two civilians have been killed in an attack by suspected al Shabaab militants in Lamu. Three other people are also missing. Police said the incident happened when the suspected terrorists attacked vehicles travelling towards Mokowe in the Milihoi area. Police and witnesses said they fired semiautomatic weapons/assault riffles at the vehicle leading to the deaths in the Tuesday morning incident.”


The Spectator: The Importance Of Remembering The Omagh Bombing

“On this day, 25 years ago, not long after the ink had dried on the Good Friday Agreement, a car bomb exploded in the market town of Omagh in Country Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The bomb had been set in the town’s busy main shopping area by dissident republican terrorists styling themselves as the ‘Real IRA’. The group had rejected the acceptance by Sinn Fein, the Provisional IRA’s political mouthpiece, that Irish unification could not be achieved by violence, and instead bathed a community in blood. Twenty nine people were killed that day.”

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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