Eye on Extremism: August 20

The New York Times: ISIS Is Regaining Strength In Iraq And Syria

“Five months after American-backed forces ousted the Islamic State from its last shard of territory in Syria, the terrorist group is gathering new strength, conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria, retooling its financial networks and targeting new recruits at an allied-run tent camp, American and Iraqi military and intelligence officers said. Though President Trump hailed a total defeat of the Islamic State this year, defense officials in the region see things differently, acknowledging that what remains of the terrorist group is here to stay. A recent inspector general’s report warned that a drawdown this year from 2,000 American forces in Syria to less than half of that, ordered by Mr. Trump, has meant the American military has had to cut back support for Syrian partner forces fighting ISIS. For now, American and international forces can only try to ensure that ISIS remains contained and away from urban areas. Although there is little concern that the Islamic State will reclaim its former physical territory, a caliphate that was once the size of Britain and controlled the lives of up to 12 million people, the terrorist group has still mobilized as many as 18,000 remaining fighters in Iraq and Syria.”

Associated Press: Afghanistan Mourns, Vows To Crush Militants After Attack

“As Afghanistan mourned the 63 people killed in a suicide bombing at a Kabul wedding , a brother of the groom spoke through tears of his weariness at the bloodshed in the country and the crushing guilt he felt at having to face his neighbors, many of whom lost relatives in the weekend blast. “Around 20 victims’ families live in our very neighborhood,” said 22-year-old Ramin, whose brother, Mirwais Alami, survived along with his bride, Raihana. “We don’t know how we should look at them,” said Ramin, who like many Afghans uses only one name. “Maybe they don’t want us, or like us, anymore.” He was drained after a day of burying the dead, which included the 8-year-old brother of the bride. The bomber detonated his explosives Saturday night in the middle of a dancing crowd in the wedding hall, wounding nearly 200 others. The attack was claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State. “We are just tired of this life,” Ramin said of the decades of war and insurgency that Afghanistan has endured. The country on Monday marked a subdued 100th Independence Day after the bombing, with President Ashraf Ghani vowing to “eliminate” all safe havens for the IS affiliate. Many outraged Afghans are asking whether an expected deal between the United States and the Taliban to end nearly 18 years of fighting — America’s longest war — will bring peace as the IS affiliate poses a growing threat.”

Fox News: Islamist Terror Plots In Europe Declining, But Schemes Getting More 'Creative,' Analysis Says

“Despite being driven from its former Iraq and Syria strongholds six months ago, ISIS continues to find ways to wreak havoc across the Middle East, remaining an innovative -- if less strategically successful -- terror force. According to a new report from The Heritage Foundation, ”The Post-Caliphate Terror Threat in Europe – and the Need for Continuing U.S. Assistance,” ISIS' territorial defeat can be directly equated with the decline in attacks; but, the author also notes, the threat landscape has changed. “America’s strategy has worked: It took almost four-and-a-half years, but the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq has been dismantled. Yet the threat from ISIS is far from over,” the report, authored by Heritage National Security and Foreign Policy fellow Rob Simcox, states. “Increased focus is now being placed instead on the danger that ISIS is likely to pose as an insurgency.” The total number of attacks on European soil has declined since 2014, the year ISIS emerged and undertook a stunning campaign that won it large swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria. In 2014, Europe was targeted with 16 Islamist attacks and plots, the number rising to 44 in 2015 and then up to 84 in 2016 – the height of ISIS' influence before major efforts were undertaken by numerous world powers to force the terrorists from their operations base.”

BBC News: How I Stopped My Teenager Being Recruited Online

“A mother expressed her concern about extremist content poisoning the minds of boys as they use the internet, in a post that went viral. She thinks there are warning signs parents should heed.  In an age where anyone can access just about anything on the internet, white boys in the US seem particularly at risk from dangerous radicalisation online. Many mass shooting suspects in the US have three things in common: They are young, white and male. The suspect behind the El Paso shooting that killed 22 people in Texas is believed to have posted a racist manifesto online. Police investigating a deadly attack in Dayton the following day said the gunman was influenced by a “violent ideology”, although no motive has been disclosed. The dangers of the internet are not a novel talking point for parents and teachers, but these most recent tragedies have sparked renewed debate over what families can - and should - do when it comes to raising white boys in America. “The red flags started going up for us when, a year or so ago, [our kids] started asking questions that felt like they came directly from alt-right talking points,” says Joanna Schroeder, a Los Angeles-based writer, media critic and mother of three.”

Bloomberg: Brazil Considers Labeling Hezbollah As Terrorists In Pivot To U.S.

“Brazil is considering designating Lebanese group Hezbollah a terrorist organization, as President Jair Bolsonaro increasingly aligns his government with the U.S. on foreign policy. Officials are reviewing their options to move forward with the idea, which is being discussed at the highest levels of government but doesn’t have across-the-board support, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter. It wouldn’t be easily implemented due to the particularities of Brazilian law, they added, requesting anonymity because the discussion isn’t public. The idea is part of Bolsonaro’s efforts to forge stronger ties with Donald Trump, with whom he also seeks a trade deal. It also fits into the world-view of Brazil’s right-wing president and his inner-circle. During last year’s presidential campaign, his son Eduardo, who may become the Brazilian ambassador to the U.S., already advocated a strong stance against Hezbollah, and Hamas. Yet the move could strain relations with Iran, a Hezbollah ally which imports $2.5 billion of Brazilian products per year, and displease Brazil’s influential Lebanese community. The government also worries it could make the country a target of terrorism, said one of the people.”

United States

Newsweek: Ex Antifa Member Wants Group Labeled A 'Domestic Terrorism' Threat, Claims They're Trying To 'Hurt' And 'Harass'

“An ex-Antifa member is calling out the group, claiming that the far-left group is “trying to hurt” and “harass” and that its actions should be designated as “domestic terrorism.” President Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers have pushed for labeling the decentralized left-wing group's activists, who fight back against far-right white nationalism and fascism, as terrorists. But unlike white nationalists and supporters of the far-right, Antifa members have never been responsible for any deaths, although they routinely brawl with far-right demonstrators at protests. Nonetheless, Gabriel Nadales, who now works with the conservative Leadership Institute, views the ideology and its activists as a significant threat. “Antifa sounds good,” Nadales, who joined the group back in 2010, said during an interview with Fox News America's Newsroom on Monday morning. “Antifa stands for anti-fascism and I joined thinking I was going to be doing something good.” “But unfortunately, once you get into Antifa and you start realizing that what they're doing is not right,” he continued. “They're trying to hurt people, they're trying to harass people. And you know, the reason I left Antifa was because I started asking questions and as soon as I asked questions, they started harassing me.”

The Hill: A Domestic Terrorism Law Is Not Enough To Combat Gun Violence

“In response to the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton earlier this month, Americans are rightfully focused on legislative solutions to address the issue of gun violence. One idea that has resurfaced is that of establishing a federal crime of domestic terrorism, and similar bills doing just that have been introduced in the Senate by Republican Martha McSally of Arizona and also in the House by Democrat Adam Schiff of California. While I salute their efforts to step up and propose more than mere platitudes, the fact remains that these bills alone would do little to combat the threat of white nationalism and other extremist ideologies and nothing to address the scourge of gun violence in the United States. As drafted, the bills would establish domestic terrorism as a standalone crime defined as committing murder, kidnapping, assault, or creating a substantial risk of serious bodily injury by destroying property with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilians or influence government policy. They would impose harsh sentences on violators, including the death penalty or life imprisonment for attacks where a victim is murdered. The Senate version would impose new obligations on the Justice Department to report each year to Congress on the domestic terrorism threat, while the House version focuses on the civil liberties implications.”


Associated Press: Militants Leave Key Rebel Town As Syrian Troops Push In

“The main insurgent group in the Syrian province of Idlib pulled out of a key rebel town as government forces advanced in the area on Tuesday amid intense bombardment and airstrikes, a militant group and opposition activists said. According to a statement from Syria’s main al-Qaida-linked faction, the group made “a redeployment,” with its fighters withdrawing to areas south of the town of Khan Sheikhoun. From there, they would continue to defend the territory, it said. The withdrawal is a significant loss for the opposition in its last major stronghold of Idlib, in northwestern Syria. Syrian government forces have been on the offensive in Idlib and northern parts of Hama province since April 30, forcing nearly half a million people to flee to safer areas further north. The fighting also killed more than 2,000 people, including hundreds of civilians. Backed by Russian air power, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces were able to enter parts of the town overnight, according to opposition activists. Syrian troops are now clearing the area abandoned by militants of explosives and booby-traps, activists said. “After fierce bombardment by the criminal enemy that avoids direct confrontation with holy warriors by implementing a scorched earth policy, our fighters have redeployed south of Khan Sheihoun,” the statement said.”


Al Jazeera: Iran Warns US Against Seizing Oil Tanker

“Iran has warned the United States against attempting to seize an Iranian oil tanker that set sail from Gibraltar after being impounded for six weeks. The Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, headed east into the Mediterranean Sea on Monday hours after authorities in Gibraltar rejected a request from Washington to hold the ship. Its destination was the Greek port of Kalamata, according to shipping data. Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, told a news conference that any attempt at seizing the vessel, which has a cargo of 2.1 million barrels of crude oil, would have “grave consequences”. “If such an action is taken or even if it is stated verbally and not done, it is considered a threat against the maritime security in international waters,” said Mousavi. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has given necessary warnings to the US officials through official channels, especially the Swiss embassy in Tehran, not to commit such a mistake because it would have grave consequences.” The British Royal Marines seized the ship on July on suspicion it was shipping oil to Syria in violation of European Unionsanctions. Iran had denied the tanker was ever headed to Syria. The British move triggered a sharp deterioration in relations between Iran and the United Kingdom, and Tehran subsequently detained a British-flagged tanker in what was seen as a tit-for-tat move.”


Iraqi News: Iraqi Police Destroy Three Islamic State Hotbeds In Diyala

“The Iraqi Interior Ministry has announced that three hotbeds of the Islamic State terrorist group were destroyed during a security operation in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk. “Federal police forces, acting on intelligence information, destroyed three Islamic State hideouts in Valley Shaybah in Kirkuk province,” Maj. Gen. Saad Maan, the ministry spokesman, said in a press statement. “The hideouts contained 15 explosive charges, two magazines and foodstuffs,” the statement read. Kirkuk officials previously urged reinforcing military troops in the south and west of the province, as the region still has Islamic State members who escaped during liberation of Hawija to remote areas. In October 2017, former prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country. Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State occupied in 2014.”

Xinhua: Iraqi Forces Captures Militant Close To Top IS Leader In Western Iraq

“Iraqi forces have arrested an Islamic States (IS) militant close to IS group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Iraq's western province of Anbar, authorities announced Monday. The militant was ambushed and captured in the town of Heet, some 160 km west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense said in a statement. “The terrorist is close to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and he is the father of several terrorists. Some of his sons were killed by the security forces and another one blew himself up during a suicide attack, while another fled the country after being wounded during the battles which liberated Iraqi territories from IS group,” the statement said without identifying the captured terrorist. The captured militant is accused of displacing a number of families in Heet and forced security members to leave their weapons and to abandon their duties, according to the statement. The security situation in Iraq has dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country in late 2017. IS remnants, however, have since lied low in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas, carrying out guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.”


The Washington Post: Turkey Suspends Three Mayors, Alleging Links To Kurdish Militants

“Turkey’s government said Monday that it had indicted three popular mayors from Kurdish-majority provinces on terrorism charges and replaced them with state officials.  The suspension came five months after the mayors won landslide victories in local polls. Opposition parties criticized the move as anti-democratic, saying it was the latest evidence that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is intent on marginalizing pro-Kurdish voices. The mayors — of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van provinces — are members of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, a pro-Kurdish party. Between them, they won nearly a million votes in local elections held in March — easily defeating candidates from Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP. Erdogan has frequently accused the HDP of links to the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has fought a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish government. HDP officials have denied such links. Dozens of HDP members have been arrested in the past three years, including mayors who were replaced with state administrators.  ”This is a new and clear political coup,” the HDP said in a statement. “It also constitutes a clearly hostile move against the political will of the Kurdish people.”


The Washington Post: The Islamic State Is Far From Defeated. Here’s What You Need To Know About Its Affiliate In Afghanistan.

“The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 63 and wounded nearly 200 people at a wedding in Kabul over the weekend, signaling the group’s enduring reach and underscoring one of the challenges to a U.S. and Taliban peace negotiation. The militant group lost its self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria earlier this year. But Saturday’s bombing showed that the Islamic State remains a potent force beyond the borders it once claimed and fixed a glare on one of its lesser known but growing affiliates: the Islamic State in Khorasan, as the Afghanistan branch is known. The bombing came as the U.S. and the Taliban work to finalize a peace deal that would end the 18-year war in Afghanistan. The Trump administration’s top negotiator presented a draft agreement to President Trump Friday that outlines a plan to withdraw thousands of American troops from the country — a move some fear would allow the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, to gain an even bigger footprint. Here’s what is known about the Islamic State in Afghanistan: The Islamic State in Khorasan officially began operating in Afghanistan in 2015, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Its name invokes the Khorasan Province, a medieval region that encompassed parts of Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia.”

Voice Of America: Trump: Talks With Taliban Continue, Afghanistan Still Terror 'Breeding Ground'

“The fate of a much-anticipated peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban is hanging in the balance after both adversaries in Afghanistan's 18-year-old war said they still have “some details” to discuss. Taliban and U.S. negotiators in recent days have repeatedly asserted they are ready to sign a deal. The statements triggered widespread media speculation that a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his national security team this past Friday could lead to a formal announcement about a U.S. troop drawdown. Trump shared details of the meeting with reporters on Sunday as he headed back to the White House from New Jersey, suggesting the drawdown plan is still in the works. “We’re having very good discussions [with the Taliban]. We will see what happens. We've really got it down to probably 13,000 people [troops] and we’ll be bringing it down a little bit more and then we will decide whether or not we will be staying longer or not,” he said. The U.S. plans to leave behind a “very significant intelligence” force, Trump stressed, for operations against Islamic State and al-Qaida, maintaining that Afghanistan remains “a breeding ground” for terrorists.”

The National Interest: Taliban Trolls Could Adopt New Terrorist Tactics In The Wake Of America's Peace Plan

“President Donald Trump wants out of Afghanistan by 2020. He may get his wish. Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan, has been negotiating with the Taliban for a nearly a year and is hopeful that the next round of talks will produce a “lasting and honorable” peace agreement. While peace would be wonderful, the United States should not be too hasty in reaching a deal. Two of the Trump administration’s top counterterrorism priorities—defeating ISIS and preventing Afghanistan from once more becoming a hub of global terror—are sometimes viewed as separate objectives. In fact, they are part of the same fight—and that fight is complicated. For starters, Al Qaeda and the Taliban aren’t the only extremist groups operating in Afghanistan. More than twenty foreign terrorist organizations or organizations that have provided support to terrorists are active there. One of the worst is the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K), which is an Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State. When the organization was formed in January 2015, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi hand-pickedHafiz Saeed Khan to lead it. Khan was joined by Abdul Rauf, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and member of the Taliban, who defected to al-Baghdadi’s cause.”

NPR: U.S. And The Taliban May Be Near A Deal. What Does That Mean For Afghanistan?

“Nearly two decades into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. suddenly appears to be nearing an agreement with the Taliban that could bring the remaining 14,000 U.S. troops home. That's causing unease inside the Afghan government, which has been left on the sidelines as the U.S. and the Taliban have held multiple rounds of talks this year in the Gulf nation of Qatar. The latest round wrapped up last week without a deal, but with signs of progress. The Afghan government says it's prepared to negotiate with the Taliban — but the Taliban are refusing to reciprocate, calling the Afghan government an American puppet. Roya Rahmani, Afghanistan's ambassador to the U.S., said that while she supports efforts toward peace, “peace negotiations would start when the Taliban are able and ready to face the Afghan people, the people they are fighting, and their legitimate elected government.” The Taliban seized power in her homeland in the 1990s, when she was a teenager. She spent most of those years as a refugee in Pakistan, but in visits home during that time, she says she “found my country drained of energy and worse than that, drained of hope.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: UAE Minister Says Confronting Houthi Coup Priority In Yemen

“United Arab Emirates State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Monday that the priority in Yemen is confronting the coup by the Iran-backed Houthi militias. “Any decision on Yemen must be the culmination of Yemeni dialogue within the political solution that we all aspire for,” he added. Tensions have been high in Aden after southern separatists seized military camps and other state institutions after four days of clashes with the legitimate government forces. Saudi Arabia intervened to end the fighting and is set to host a meeting for the rival parties.”

Middle East

The National: The World Cannot Keep Turning A Blind Eye To Qatar’s Funding Of Terrorism

“A country smaller than Armenia in both land mass and population, Qatar commands a global presence disproportionate to its size. With plans to host the World Cup in summer 2022, Qatar remains at the forefront of the world’s attention. While this spotlight has occasionally shed light on abuses of workers’ rights in the build-up to the World Cup, far too little attention has been heeded to perhaps Qatar’s most looming concern - its role as a sponsor of terrorism. To this day, Qatar remains one of Hamas’s largest funders and supporters. Qatar has pledged more than $1.1 billion to Hamas since 2012. However, Hamas is an extremist group with a malign influence on the Arab-Israeli conflict and an extremist agenda. Doha has also welcomed high-profile Hamas figures, inviting senior officials such as Khaled Meshaal, the former chief of Hamas’s political wing. Ever since, Meshaal has taken full advantage of his hosts, arranging a Hamas conference at Doha’s Four Seasons hotel and revealing the group’s new charter in the city’s Sheraton hotel. Ultimately, Qatar has encouraged the Iranian-backed group to operate with impunity.  In addition to harbouring Hamas, the Qatari government has sought to amplify the organisation's voice and mission, as well as that of other terrorist groups.”


The Washington Post: Egypt Court Hands Out 6 Death Sentences On Terror Charges

“An Egyptian court has sentenced six people to death on terror charges for carrying out attacks that killed at least three people, including a policeman, on the outskirts of the capital. Giza criminal court on Monday also sentenced 41 defendants, including 28 in absentia, to life in prison on similar charges, including possession of weapons and explosives. Another seven defendants received 15 years, and one got three years. The court acquitted 14 others. The verdict can be appealed. The charges stem from two different attacks in 2013 and 2015 in the town of Kerdasa, located near the famed Giza Pyramids. Kerdasa had been a hotbed of Islamist support for ex-President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the military in June 2013 after massive protests against his rule.”


Voice Of America: Under Pressure, IS Militants In Somalia Look To Ethiopia

“Islamic State militants in Somalia say they will release jihadist materials in Amharic — a step unmistakably aimed at winning recruits in restive, neighboring Ethiopia. The announcement came in the form of a three-minute video released last month by pro-Islamic State sites and endorsed by the official IS media. The video posted the words to one of Islamic State's best-known chants in Amharic and promised IS will release more materials in the language, one of the two most-spoken tongues in Ethiopia. Matt Bryden, an Africa analyst with Kenya-based Sahan Research, believes Islamic State — also known as ISIS — is reaching out to Ethiopia's Muslim community in an attempt to take advantage of ongoing ethnic and political unrest in Africa's second most populous nation. “I think ISIS sees in Ethiopia a potential opportunity. We know the group has been expanding its influences and its activities across Africa quite aggressively — so far with small results in much of the continent but they are persisting,” Bryden told VOA's Somali service. He says Ethiopia's unrest may be worsening despite political reforms enacted by Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed, including the release of thousands of political prisoners and the signing of a peace treaty with longtime foe Eritrea.”

Stars And Stripes: US Says Airstrike In Somalia Kills Al-Shabaab Militant

“The U.S. military says it has conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab militant in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, killing a militant. In a statement, U.S. Africa Command says the airstrike was carried out Tuesday in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia. The command says it appears that no civilians were wounded or killed in the strike. The director of operations for U.S. Africa Command, Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, says the strike is an example of the pressure U.S. Africa Command places on terrorist networks, including the al-Qaida aligned al-Shabaab.” Gayler says persistent pressure limits militants' freedom of movement, creates confusion within the network, and supports Somali partners “as they continue to take the fight to al-Shabaab.”

Xinhua: Somali Forces Kill 20 Al-Shabab Militants In Southern Region

“Somali special forces (Danab) killed 20 al-Shabab militants in counter-offensive in southern Somali region of Lower Shabelle on Sunday night, officials said on Monday. Odawa Yusuf Rage, the commander of Somali infantry division said the militants launched an attack on Somali army base in Bariire town in Lower Shabelle region but the forces fought them back bravely and inflicted severe casualties. “The confrontation was fierce but our forces repelled the militants, killing 20 of them and injured more than 30 others,” Rage said, adding that the forces were on alert to counter any attempts by the militants. Locals reported seeing bodies on the streets following the clashes. “We were shocked by the sounds of heavy gun fire last night and in the morning we saw many bodies in the streets near the army base,” Guled Adow, a resident told Xinhua by phone. On Aug. 14, the militants drove suicide car bombs on the army's base in Awdheegle town in the same region in which the government said it killed 7 al-Shabab militants and injured 10 others. The militant group reportedly deployed hundreds of its fighters to Lower Shabelle region after losing control of Bariire, Sabiid, Caanole and Awdheegle towns this year.”


Reuters: At Least 10 Burkina Faso Soldiers Killed In Militant Attack

“Unidentified militants killed at least 10 soldiers and wounded many others in an attack on a military unit in northern Burkina Faso on Monday, the army said.  Burkina Faso has been overrun by Islamist violence this year that armed forces have been unable to contain. Hundreds of civilians have died and more than 150,000 have fled as the influence of jihadist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State spreads across the Sahel region.  Monday’s attack occurred in the early hours of the morning in Koutougou in Soum province, an army statement said, without providing much further detail.   “In reaction to this barbaric attack, a vast air and land search operation is seeking to neutralise the many assailants,” the statement said.  Once a pocket of calm in the Sahel, Burkina has suffered a spillover of Islamist violence from its neighbors, including the kind of ethnic attacks that have destabilized Mali in recent years.  Deteriorating security prompted the Ougadougou government to declare a state of emergency in several northern provinces bordering Mali in December, including Soum.”

Voice Of America: Cameroon President Assists Militia After Boko Haram Raids

“Authorities in Cameroon are giving huge consignments of food, money and equipment to militias fighting Boko Haram on the country's northern border with Nigeria. The militias are defending areas from which the military has withdrawn. Twenty-year old cattle rancher Hussein Abu still suffers from pain in his abdomen and forehead from when he fell into a river while hiding from attacking Boko Haram fighters on August 3. Abu says he and his father were part of the militia on duty in Kousseri that day. He says his father was killed in the attack alongside four other vigilante group members. Abu says if his father were alive, he should have been able to ensure his young ones would have education, food and clothing, and he should have had a means to take care of his failing health and that of his mother. He says he wants the state to help them. The government appears to be listening.  Authorities have given a half-million dollars worth of food to Kousseri and an unspecified amount of money.  They pledged to give $1 million to militias in other areas. The militias are defending areas from which the military has withdrawn, presumably to fight separatists in Cameroon's English-speaking areas.”

United Kingdom

Al Jazeera: Canada 'Disappointed' By UK Decision On Suspected ISIL Fighter

“Canada has denounced the United Kingdom's decision to revoke the citizenship of a British-Canadian man imprisoned in Syria, saying the move was an attempt to “offload their responsibilities” over the suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) fighter. The office of Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed on Sunday in a statement that 23-year-old Jack Letts had been stripped of his UK citizenship. “Canada is disappointed that the United Kingdom has taken this unilateral action to offload their responsibilities,” the statement said. ”Terrorism knows no borders, so countries need to work together to keep each other safe.” The statement also said officials were aware some Canadian citizens were being detained in Syria, but there was “no legal obligation to facilitate their return”. “We will not expose our consular officials to undue risk in this dangerous part of the world,” it added. Under international law, a person can only be stripped of their citizenship by a government if it does not leave them stateless. The British Home Office does not routinely comment on individual cases, but said in a statement that revoking British citizenship was one way it counters “terrorist threats.”

France 24: Bomb Detonates Near Northern Ireland Border

“An explosive device described as an attempted trap for security forces detonated in a village on the Northern Ireland border on Monday, but failed to injure anyone. Police and bomb disposal experts had been working in the area of Newtownbutler over the weekend since receiving an initial report about a suspect device on Saturday. “I am of the firm belief this was a deliberate attempt to lure police and ATO (Anti-Terrorism Officer) colleagues into the area to murder them,” Stephen Martin from the Police Service of Northern Ireland said in a statement. Martin later told reporters that two Irish republican dissident groups, the New IRA and the Continuity IRA, “would be a very good starting point for the investigation”. However, no group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast which hit near a busy road in County Fermanagh. He added: “It's fair to say their level of activity has increased this year.” Concerns have grown that the possible return of a hard border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit could increase security tensions in the once war-torn province.”


Deutsche Welle: Germany's Far-Right: Police To Restructure As Threat Of Extremism Grows

“Germany's Federal Criminal Police (BKA) wants to set up a new central unit to fight right-wing extremism and hate crimes, research conducted by German media outlets WDR, NDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung showed. They examined a BKA planning paper and concluded that the agency wants to set up the new unit in the state security policing (ST) division. An additional 440 jobs are expected to be created for the purpose. The BKA proposal suggests putting in place a system that helps identify far-right extremist groups and their networks at an early stage. It also recommends better coordination between various national and international bodies dealing with the problem. The plan foresees setting up a risk assessment system, called “RADAR-rechts” (“radar right”) for violent right-wing extremists, similar to the one that's being used to identify Islamist terrorists. As evidence of the rising danger, BKA pointed to incidents like the murder of local German politician Walter Lübcke, who was shot dead in an apparent act of right-wing violence, as well as the shooting attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.”

Haaretz: Germany Begins Repatriating Children Born To Islamic State Militants In Syria

“Four German children fathered by Islamic State militants, including an ill toddler, were handed over to Germany on Monday by Syria's Kurdish-led administration, a Kurdish official and Germany's foreign minister said. The children had been held in detention camps in Syria alongside over 70,000 women and children, many of them foreigners, who emerged from the last ISIS-controlled territories in Syria. Two of the German children are orphans, while a third, who is six months old, is ill. Her mother gave permission for her handover to German authorities, said Abdulkarim Omar, a foreign affairs official in the U.S-backed Kurdish-led administration. He said the handover occurred at a Syrian border crossing with Iraq in the presence of a German foreign ministry official. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Berlin it was “very gratifying” that the four children were no longer in Syria. “We will continue to work so further children can leave Syria. They are mainly small children and their accommodation there is anything but ideal,” he said. Bottom of Form”In the end, they can't be held responsible for the actions of their parents,” he added. Germany is the latest European country to repatriate children born to ISIS militants.”