Eye on Extremism: December 20, 2022

Reuters: Pakistani Forces Retake Anti-Terrorism Centre, Free Hostages – Sources

“Pakistani security forces retook a counter-terrorism interrogation centre on Tuesday two days after it was seized by Islamist militants, security sources said, adding that all hostages, some slightly wounded, had been rescued. Security forces were still looking to clear the compound, in the northwestern town of Bannu, after launching the operation to free the hostages from the Pakistani Taliban who snatched interrogators' weapons and took them captive on Sunday. Six security officials and several detainees had been inside the centre, multiple sources told Reuters. They declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to the media. "Good news is we successfully recovered all the hostages from the terrorists. Some of them are slightly injured but they are fine," one security official told Reuters, adding that some security personnel had also been wounded. "The operation is being concluded and there is no more resistance ... the security forces have entered the compound," he said. Initial reports said nine security force personnel had been wounded. The fate of the militants who had seized the compound was not immediately clear.”

The National: Brussels Bomb Attack Victims 'Feel Like Hostages' As Defendants Dispute Security Measures

“Lawyers of victims of the 2016 Brussels bombing attack on Monday said they had been “taken hostage” by defendants’ repeated walkouts and protests against security measures since the opening of the trial this month. Lawyers of four defendants - Mohamed Abrini, Sofiane Ayari, Ali El Haddad Asufi and Osama Krayem - have said they would not comply with cross-examinations, scheduled to start on Wednesday, as long as the issue of “humiliating” security measures during their transfer to court was not solved. But Maryse Alie, defending Life4Brussels, a group of victims of the triple suicide attacks that killed 32 and injured hundreds, for which ISIS claimed responsibility, said that the situation was becoming “intolerable.” “We are taken hostage, there are threats to boycott the trial, while the people we defend have been waiting for years for it to start,” she said. The security measures include cameras in defendants' toilets in court and strip searches before and after their transfer from their prison cell in the nearby city of Haren, to the court, in Nato’s former headquarters north of Brussels. Defendants' lawyers on December 16 subpoenaed the Court of First Instance, requesting the Belgian state relax security measures. They will make their case on Friday and the court’s president is not expected to give an answer until next week.”

United States

WXYZ ABC: Eastpointe Police, FBI Looking Into Vandalism At Pro-Life Center

“…According to the Counter Extremism Project, Jane's Revenge is an extremist pro-abortion rights group that emerged after the leak of the expected U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The group has been linked to attacks at pro-life centers across the nation. “We were surprised and shocked and alarmed for our safety,” said Nancy Anter who is the Executive Director of the Pregnancy Aid Eastpointe location. Anter says she believes there are misconceptions about the services provided at Pregnancy Aid. “How do you object to giving someone formula? I’m personally driving all over the planet to get formula, so what’s your (motivation). I don’t get it,” said Anter. Anter says, in 2021, they helped over 500 mothers by giving out resources like diapers, formula, clothing, and equipment. The center also offers classes and referral information for people without prenatal care or WIC. The home of a Pregnancy Aid board member was also tagged over the weekend with the message, “If abortions aren't safe, neither are you.” The vandals also identified the board member as Jeanne. “Naturally, we are shocked and saddened by this attack on our home, but we bear no ill will toward the people responsible and pray for them,” Jeanne said in a statement to 7 Action News Monday. “We hope that the community, through knowledge of the attacks on us and Pregnancy Aid Detroit, will be made more aware of the good work that is done by pregnancy resource centers in non-judgmentally responding to the needs of all women who come through their doors.”

Raw Story: 'Part Of War Is Terror': A New Neo-Nazi Group Is Trying To Capitalize On The Moore County Power Grid Attack

“…Only two days before the Moore County power grid attack, Uncle Ben’s Cabin was kicked off of TamTam, following a report by the New York-based nonprofit Counter Extremism Project. In a report released on Dec. 1, the nonprofit reported that TamTam removed 18 channels that promoted “neo-Nazi accelerationism and acts of terrorism.” According to the Counter Extremism Project, the channels “posted bomb-making instructions and encourage other activities meant to create a ‘climate of anxiety’ and fear.” The nonprofit also reported that the channels circulated white supremacist mass-shooter manifestoes, videos from neo-Nazi groups like Atomwaffen and the National Socialist Order and a book “that calls for lone actor violence, workplace violence, attacks on infrastructure, law enforcement, politicians, people of color, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Latinos and LGBTQ+ people.” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has condemned the NSRF banner drop, tweeting on Monday: “Violence and threats against Jewish communities are on the rise all across the world. White supremacy and antisemitism will not be tolerated in North Carolina, and our state stands strong against this hate.”Meanwhile, the neo-Nazi accelerationist group has continued its propaganda campaign beyond the banner drop. A recruitment video showing at least six members dressed in skull masks and tactical gear, and conducting firearms training and performing a straight-arm “Sieg Heil” salute in front of a Nazi flag, began circulating on social media on Sunday.”


Associated Press: In Joint Raid, Kurdish Forces Seize IS Militant In Syria

“A Kurdish-led group in Syria said Monday that its fighters alongside U.S. forces have arrested a wanted militant with the Islamic State group that continues to stage attacks in the region. There are some 900 U.S. troops in Syria supporting Kurdish-led forces in the fight against the militant group. The Syrian Democratic Forces said its fighters led a raid on the home of an unnamed IS leader on Dec. 16 in the western countryside of Deir el-Zour. The group’s statement claimed the arrested man managed militant cells in the region. The SDF shared a photo purporting to show evidence they confiscated during the raid, including two cell phones, a dozen SIM cards, an internet router, a Syrian-issued identity document and a pistol with three magazines. The SDF added that this was the fifth such raid over the past two weeks. They have frequently targeted the militants mostly in parts of northeastern Syria under Kurdish control. On Dec. 11, a U.S. helicopter raid in eastern Syria killed two IS militants. Syria has been mired in a bloody civil war since 2011 that has drawn in regional and global powers. Syrian President Bashar Assad has mostly regained control of the country, but parts of its north remain under the control of rebels, as well as Turkish and Syrian Kurdish forces. Turkey strongly opposes the presence of the Syrian Kurdish groups along its border that it blames for attacks within its territory.”


AFP: Four Iran Security Force Members Killed In ‘Terrorist’ Attack - Report

“A 'terrorist' attack killed four members of Iran's security forces in a southeastern region beset by anti-government protests as well as extremist and criminal unrest, official media reported on Monday. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members were killed “during a terrorist act” in the Saravan region of Sistan-Baluchistan province near the Pakistani border, the state IRNA news agency said. The region is one of Iran's poorest and is home to the Baluchi minority, who adhere to Sunni Islam rather than the Shiite branch predominant in Iran. “The powerful presence of the security forces pushed elements of the group to flee towards Pakistan,” IRNA said about the assailants without providing further details. The area has previously seen clashes with drug smuggling gangs as well as rebels from the Baluchi minority and Sunni Muslim extremist groups. Earlier this month a cleric was killed after being kidnapped from his mosque in Khash, a town in Sistan-Baluchistan. A chief prosecutor said last week that the killers of cleric Abdulwahed Rigi had been arrested before trying to cross the border, and accused them of seeking to stir up trouble between Sunnis and Shiites. Violence erupted in the provincial capital Zahedan on September 30 and authorities said six members of the security forces were among the dozens of people killed. Local figures said the protests in Zahedan were triggered by anger over the reported rape of a teenage girl by a police officer.”


Associated Press: Official: 8 Killed In Attack By Gunmen On An Iraqi Village

“Eight people were killed and three injured Monday in an attack by gunmen on an Iraqi village previously held by the Islamic State extremist group, officials said. The attack took place in the village of Albu Bali northwest of Fallujah in Iraq. Uday al-Khadran, commissioner of the al-Khalis district where the attack occurred said “a group of terrorists riding motorcycles” had attacked the village at around 8:30 p.m. and that dozens of residents, some of them unarmed, had rushed to confront the attackers, the official Iraqi News Agency reported. Security forces are searching for those responsible, he said. The violence came a day after an explosive device went off in northern Iraq, killing at least nine members of the Iraqi federal police force who were on patrol. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in the village of Ali al-Sultan in the Riyadh district of the province of Kirkuk. On Wednesday, three Iraqi soldiers were killed when a bomb exploded during a security operation in the Tarmiyah district, north of Baghdad. Among the dead was the commander of the 59th Infantry Brigade. No one claimed responsibility for that attack either, but remnants of the militant Islamic State group are active in the area and have claimed similar attacks in Iraq in the past.”

Al Monitor: Latest Islamic State Attack Highlights Security Challenges Facing Iraq

“At least nine members of the Iraqi security forces were killed and three others were wounded on Sunday in a bomb attack targeting their convoy in the Kirkuk governorate of northern Iraq. The Islamic State (IS) immediately claimed responsibility via its Telegram account. The attack took place near Safra, a village about 20 miles south of Kirkuk in the Kurdistan Region. Immediately following the explosion, a clash broke out between security forces and IS militants, leading to the killing of one IS member. The area is located near the borders of the Salahuddin and Diyala provinces, and the nature of the terrain — with desert plains and mountains — provides a safe haven for the terrorist organization. The area falls within the so-called “Death Triangle,” a moniker it received in 2004 when members of al-Qaeda and later IS used the area for preparing attacks in the surrounding areas and even in the capital, Baghdad, in the past. Although Iraq declared in 2017 that IS had been officially defeated, its sleeper cells are still active in remote areas toward the center of the country and stretching toward the west. Last week, another IS attack in Salahuddin province killed one member of the Popular Mobilization Units and left two others wounded.”

Middle East

Reuters: Three Jordanian Police Killed In Raid On Militant Shooting Suspects -Police

“Three Jordanian police were killed on Monday as they raided a hideout of militants suspected of gunning down an officer during riots in the southern city of Maan, police and security sources said. One suspect was killed, nine others were arrested and a large cache of weapons was found in the operation near the desert city, police said. The three officers were “martyred in a raid on a terrorist sleeper cell that holds Takfiri ideology,” the police statement said, referring to Islamist militants who accuse Muslims who don't follow their beliefs of being apostates. The raid took place four days after unrest over fuel price rises boiled over into riots in Maan and several cities across southern Jordan, in some of the worse unrest seen there in years. The city of Maan, a tribal stronghold of over 100,000 people about 250 km (156 miles) south of the capital, has proved to be a fertile ground for Islamist recruitment in the past. A senior policeman was shot dead on Thursday evening as security forces clashed with crowds. Security sources, who asked not to be named, said there was evidence that the group raided on Monday followed the ideology of Islamic State and were trying to exploit the unrest to destabilise the country. Police said evidence showed the 20-year old militant who opened fire before he was killed was the gunman responsible for shooting the senior policeman.”

The Jerusalem Post: Terrorist To Be Indicted For Car Ramming Attack In Tel Aviv

“A prosecutor’s statement was filed against 31-year-old Hamad Ali, originally from the village of Silwad, near Ramallah. He is suspected of carrying out a car ramming attack in Tel Aviv on December 8. The incident was first reported as a traffic accident between a private car and a motorcycle on Abarbanel Street, in which the motorcycle driver was hit and sustained moderate injuries. During the investigation, it became clear that the incident was a targeted attack. Suspicion grew in the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) that the motive for the incident was nationalistic, and the investigation was transferred to a joint operation by Shin Bet and a special unit of the Israel Police. Ali finally admitted that he had decided to carry out the attack as revenge for the death of his cousin, who was killed in a firefight with Israeli security forces in the West Bank the previous day. The suspect entered Israel illegally without a driver’s license, driving a discarded Israeli car that had been transferred to the West Bank with fake license plates. He was arrested after the incident on suspicion of involvement in an accident and illegal residency in Israel. At the end of the investigation, the police filed a statement against Ali and asked the court to prolong his detention.”


Al Monitor: Libya Court Sentences 17 Islamic State Members To Death

“A Libyan court sentenced 17 former Islamic State (IS) members to death on Monday on charges of joining the group and killing 53 people. The Tripoli-based top prosecutor issued a statement saying that these 17 former members were convicted of the death of 53 people and the destruction of public property while attacking “the state and social peace,” The Associated Press reported. The statement added that another 16 militants were given lesser sentences, two with life in prison. Details about when the sentences will be carried out are still unknown. The North African nation has been divided between two competing administrations for years, one based in the east and the other in the west, each supported by different foreign powers. The division resulted from the NATO-backed revolt that brought down Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. The chaos that ensued left a power vacuum that was filled by different groups and a tangible power struggle. The chaos helped IS seize various areas and establish administrative pockets across the country but without gaining supremacy due to the presence of armed militia forces scattered everywhere. A UN report revealed that the Libyan armed conflict displaced hundreds of thousands of Libyans. A report by the International Organization for Migration said that “by June 2022, a total of 688,121 individuals previously displaced were reported to have returned to their places of origin in 56 municipalities that had been previously affected by armed conflict or insecurity.”


Premium Times Nigeria: SPECIAL REPORT: Rape, Child Soldiers At Boko Haram’s New Frontier

“When they heard gunshots on 1 April 2022, the Kurebe people of Shiroro in Niger State ran out of their homes. They saw menacing men emerging from Hudawa, a thick forest in the neighbouring Kaduna State, and marching along the community’s untarred roads. Wearing black shaws and blank faces, the invaders ordered the villagers to face down, witnesses said. “We’re Boko Haram,” a villager PREMIUM TIMES interviewed recalled them saying. The terrorists then raided homes, kidnapped innocent girls and boys, commandeered their camouflaged van and took them off. The girls abducted in Kurebe were forced to marry the jihadists, a euphemism for rape and sexual slavery. Rumasau Husaini, 11, was one of them. On the first day of Muslims’ fasting month this year, her father, Haruna Husaini, began searching for his daughter when he realised she had been abducted during the terror raid in the community earlier. “After 3 days, they called and informed us that they had kidnapped her,” Mr Husaini recalled. “We asked them to return her but they told us it was impossible to do so because she has already been taken to their place.” Mr Husaini said he pleaded with the terrorists to pay a ransom but they declined, offering to pay him the girl’s bride price instead.”

Sahara Reporters: Nigerian Air Force, Ground Troops Kill Scores Of Terrorists In Zamfara

“The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) and ground troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have reportedly killed scores of terrorists operating with motorcycles in Malele village in the Dansadau Local Government Area of Zamfara State. SaharaReporters learnt that aircraft troops from NAF and ground troops of the Nigerian Army sustained what was described as a well-coordinated joint operation since Saturday in the state, as it was said that terrorist activities in the area have continued to linger following the protracting crisis between the Hausas and the Fulanis. The crisis has been over the destruction of farm produce. The crisis has made the area very volatile, especially in areas including Malele, Maigoge, Yan Sawayu, Ruwan Tofa, Mai Awaki, and Zama Lafiya, all under Mutunji district of Dansadau Emirate Council. PRNigeria reports that a defence intelligence operative explained how the security services mobilised their troops in launching a series of attacks and airstrikes against bandits coming from different parts of the country. The defence intelligence was quoted as saying that “both the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operations are yielding fantastic results in the area with several terrorists being eliminated as the battle is still on. “Bandits who were fleeing from NAF airstrikes ran into a small village called Mutunji to take refuge.”


Africanews: Burkina Faso: At Least Eight Dead, Including Six Civilians, In Two Separate Attacks

“At least two Burkinabe soldiers and six civilians were killed Saturday in two separate attacks in northern and eastern Burkina Faso, AFP learned Monday from security and local sources. The first attack took place near Bouroum, in the northern province of Namentenga, where “a team of defense and security forces (FDS) on a mission hit an improvised explosive device,” a security source told AFP. “Unfortunately, two soldiers were killed and five wounded who were evacuated for appropriate care,” the source said. The second attack, also on Saturday, occurred in the village of Kokodé, on the Tendokogo-Bittou road, in the east-central part of the country, near Ghana. “Armed individuals intercepted a public transport bus, also causing casualties,” the security source said. Another security source said “six civilians were killed by the assailants, who also robbed the bus passengers. “Among the victims is an important economic operator in the region,” said a member of the union of traders in the region, confirming the toll of the attack. Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been regularly plagued by jihadist attacks that have killed thousands and forced some two million people to flee their homes. These attacks by groups linked to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda targeting military and civilians have increased in recent months, mainly in the north and east of the country.”


ABC Australia: White Nationalist Thomas Sewell Found Guilty Of Assaulting Security Guard As His Friend Filmed

“A neo-Nazi who punched a black security guard after the man reacted to being called a racial slur is facing jail time after being found guilty of the vicious assault. Thomas Sewell, 29, has appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court where he has been fighting charges of recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault outside the Nine Network's headquarters at the Docklands in 2021. Sewell, who recently duped a Melbourne restaurant into celebrating Adolf Hitler's birthday, tried to claim that the brutal attack was in defence of his friend and fellow white nationalist, Jacob Hersant, who was filming outside the television network. Moments before the attack, the court heard that Mr Hersant said to the security guard: "Dance monkey, dance". But Magistrate Stephen Ballek rejected Sewell's self-defence narrative and said that the men were acting "confrontationally, provocatively and mockingly". He said that Sewell was "itching for a fight" and that he and Mr Hersant were "goading" the security guard. "It seems to me that the very second you perceived any physical contact from [the victim] on Mr Hersant, you left him with sustained and unjustified violence, which you later sought to justify," the magistrate said. "The video evidence graphically shows the disturbing nature of a strong man brutally punching an unsuspecting victim to the face, such that he falls backwards and strikes his head on the pavement.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

We must use our privilege as humans to fight back against the system that keeps animals oppressed... They can’t wait. The earth can’t wait. Get off your ass and FIGHT.

Animal Liberation Front (ALF), ALF statement Jul. 23, 2019
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