Eye on Extremism: December 22, 2022

The National: Security Council Condemns Terrorist Attacks In Iraq

“The UN Security Council has condemned terrorist attacks in Iraq that have left 17 dead amid a surge in violence in the country. ISIS terrorists killed nine federal police officers in an ambush on Sunday in Iraq's northern Kirkuk province. A day later, extremists on motorbikes killed eight civilians in a village in Diyala province. “The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the cowardly terrorist attacks near Kirkuk and Albu Bali,” the council said. They repeated “their support for the independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, democratic process and prosperity of Iraq”. The Security Council extended its condolences to the families of the victims and to the government of Iraq, and wished the wounded a speedy recovery. ISIS seized large areas in Iraq and Syria in 2014 and declared a “caliphate” that it ruled with extreme violence before it was defeated in late 2017 by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led military coalition. The extremist group lost its last bastion — in Syria, near the Iraqi border — in 2019. Despite the setbacks that have left ISIS a pale shadow of its former self, it can still call on its underground network of between 6,000 and 10,000 fighters to carry out attacks on both sides of the porous border, a UN report said earlier this year. Last Wednesday, three Iraqi soldiers were killed when a bomb exploded during a security operation in Tarmiyah district, north of Baghdad.”

Barron’s: I.Coast Seeks Life For Four Suspects Over 2016 Attack

“An Ivory Coast prosecutor Wednesday urged life in jail for four suspects over one of West Africa's bloodiest jihadist attacks -- a 2016 machine-gun assault on a beach resort that killed 19. State prosecutor Richard Adou demanded a life sentence for the four defendants present at a trial that started last month over the attack, saying it would be "an exemplary and dissuasive punishment". He also asked for life for 14 other suspects being tried in absentia, including the suspected masterminds of the assault. They are either on the run or being held in neighbouring Mali. All 18 stand accused of acts of terrorism, murder, attempted murder, criminal concealment, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition "and complicity in these deeds". The verdict is expected on Thursday. On March 13, 2016, three men wielding assault rifles attacked Grand-Bassam, a tourist complex popular with foreigners that lies 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of the capital Abidjan. In an operation echoing a jihadist massacre the previous year in Tunisia, the trio stormed the beach and then attacked several hotels and restaurants.”

United States

The New York Times: Frank James To Plead Guilty To Terror Counts In Brooklyn Subway Shooting

“Frank R. James, who was accused of carrying out the worst attack on the New York subway system in years, is expected to plead guilty to terrorism in connection with an April shooting spree on a train in Brooklyn, his lawyers said Wednesday. Mr. James’s lawyers said in a letter filed Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn that he would plead guilty to an 11-count indictment, which charged Mr. James with 10 counts of terrorist attack for each of the 10 people shot in the assault, as well as with a firearms charge. A judge overseeing the case set a Jan. 3 change-of-plea hearing. On April 12, the authorities said, Mr. James unleashed a barrage of gunfire on an N train during the morning rush hour in Brooklyn. No one was killed, but the attack rattled many in the city and set off a 31-hour manhunt that culminated in Mr. James’s arrest in Manhattan. The assault — which came as New Yorkers were starting to ease back into weekday commutes suspended by the pandemic — seemed to crystallize several New York crises at once: the vulnerability of the transit system and its riders, gaps in mental health care and the paradoxical ability of a suspect to disappear into a city of millions with hundreds of thousands of cameras. The city seemed to freeze until Mr. James’s arrest. Mr. James, 63, faces a possible life sentence. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, which brought the case, declined to comment.”


Deutsche Welle: Syria: Bring Extremists' Children Out — But Leave Mothers?

“In May this year, an 8-year-old boy drowned in a sewage trench in the camp. In November, two girls, aged 12 and 15, were found in another sewage trench, reportedly beheaded after being sexually assaulted. An expert in extremism told DW they had seen young children in al-Hol camp being taught to behead cats and dogs, practicing for recruitment to the extremist “Islamic State” (IS) group. Al-Hol in north-eastern Syria, often described as “the most dangerous camp in the world,” is home to over 53,000 people. Although not all the inhabitants still support IS, they are best known as being the displaced families of the group, who were forced to come here when the brutal extremist group was defeated in its Iraqi and Syrian strongholds. A boy who works as a porter pauses for a portrait in the marketplace at Al-Hol camp.A boy who works as a porter pauses for a portrait in the marketplace at Al-Hol camp. Most of those in the camp are from either Iraq or Syria but there are also between 10,000 and 11,000 foreigners from other countries, including in Europe, the US and Canada. The camp's population consists mainly of women and children. Aid organizations estimate that between 60% and 64% of the camp's population are children, and mostly under 12. Given the conditions in the overcrowded camp, a lack of medical care, limited supplies and barely any education, life for the thousands of children in al-Hol was already hard. Over the past year, it has only become harder. There were 126 murders and 41 attempted murders recorded in 2021, making it al-Hol's most violent year.”


Associated Press: Explosion In Northern Iraq Kills Two Soldiers, Injures Three

“wo soldiers were killed and three were injured in an explosion in northern Iraq, Iraqi state news said Thursday. The soldiers were traveling in an army vehicle a day earlier in the Makhmour district when an explosive device detonated, the state Iraqi News Agency reported. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. It was the latest in a string of similar incidents in recent days. Eight people were killed and three injured Monday in an attack by gunmen on the village of Albu Bali northwest of Fallujah, previously held by the Islamic State extremist group. On Sunday, an explosive device went off in northern Iraq, killing at least nine members of the Iraqi federal police force who were on patrol in the village of Ali al-Sultan in the Riyadh district of the province of Kirkuk. On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani had convened a meeting of security officials to discuss the “terrorist attacks” and the army’s plans to respond, according to an official statement.”


Reuters: Dozens Protest In Afghan Capital After Taliban Close Universities To Women

“Dozens of women gathered outside Kabul University on Thursday to protest in the first major public demonstration in the capital since the Taliban's decision to close universities to female students. Female university students were turned away the previous day from campuses after the Taliban-run administration said on Tuesday that women would be suspended from tertiary education. According to witnesses, about 50 mainly female protestors assembled while holding banners and chanted: "Education is our right, universities should be opened." The Taliban-led administration had already drawn criticism including from foreign governments for not opening girls' high schools at the start of the school year in March, making a U-turn on signals it would do so. The backlash towards restrictions on female education is complicating the Taliban-led administration's efforts to gain formal recognition and the lifting of sanctions that are hampering the economy, diplomats say.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: Yemen’s Al-Alimi Reiterates Demand For Int’l Designation Of Houthis As Terrorist

“Chairman of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council Dr. Rashad Al-Alimi reiterated on Tuesday his country’s demands for the international community to designate the Iran-backed Houthi militias as terrorist. Al-Alimi received in Riyadh a delegation of the European Parliament headed by the Chair of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, David McAllister. He urged the delegation to take action by designating the Houthis as terrorist in view of its egregious practices and violations of international law that “have even surpassed the crimes committed by Al-Qaeda and ISIS terror groups and their allies in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.” “We call on the EU to support the Leadership Council and the legitimate government in achieving reforms and alleviating the suffering of Yemeni citizens,” he said, according to the Yemeni news agency, Saba. Al-Alimi and the delegation discussed the latest developments in Yemen and European efforts required to establish peace and stability, and fulfill the aspirations of the Yemeni people to restore state institutions and end the terrorist Houthi coup. He expressed his gratitude to Europe’s support of the legitimate government and humanitarian efforts in easing the suffering of the people. He stressed the importance of doubling international pressure on the terrorist Houthi militias, and supporting the reforms led by the Presidential Leadership Council and the government as an ideal option to bring peace and reduce the catastrophic repercussions of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”

Middle East

The Jerusalem Post: Israel To Hold Body Of Fatah Terrorist To Negotiate With Hamas

“Israel will hold onto the body of Nasser Abu Hamid, one of the founders of Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, as part of efforts to negotiate a deal with Hamas, Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced on Wednesday morning. The deal Gantz is hoping to achieve would return captured Israelis Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who have been held in Gaza since 2014 and 2015 respectively. It would also see the return of the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul who were killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Gantz said that his decision was simply following protocol already approved by the security cabinet, although Israel has swung wildly back and forth on returning the bodies of Palestinian terrorists in the past. The move was unusual because it appears that Jerusalem is intentionally linking the return of a Fatah militant to negotiations with Hamas, whereas in the past, Israel has preferred to delink such issues so as not to empower Gaza’s current rulers. It was also an unusual move since Abu Hamid died while in Israeli custody serving a life sentence, whereas most other cases of holding back terrorists’ bodies occurred after they were killed in the field. The High Court of Justice has reached various contradictory rulings over the issue of holding onto terrorists’ bodies, all of which have given different Israeli governments a broad level of discretion over the issue.”

The Times Of Israel: Israeli Forces Nab Hamas Member Over Northern West Bank Shooting Attack

“Israeli security forces on Wednesday afternoon arrested a member of the Hamas terror group suspected of being involved in a shooting attack in the northern West Bank over the weekend, police and the Shin Bet security agency said. On Friday, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an Israeli-owned car near the unauthorized outpost of Havat Gilad, south of the West Bank city of Nablus. The Israeli motorist was unharmed in the shooting, but the gunfire — at least four shots — shattered the car’s windows and struck the driver’s headrest. Border Police troops on Wednesday entered Nablus to arrest Mujahid al-Talfiti, 25, over his alleged involvement in the attack. Two other suspects were arrested over the attack earlier this week. Palestinian media reports said al-Talfiti was detained after Israeli forces surrounded a building he was in. Al-Talfiti had been formerly jailed in Israel over various terror activities and his affiliation with the Hamas terror group, according to the Shin Bet. There were no reports of any major clashes during the raid in Nablus. The Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror group claimed responsibility for the attack but did not provide any evidence. In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly targeted military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.”


Sahara Reporters: Boko Haram Terrorists Attack Borno Community, Burn Several Silos Of Grain

“Boko Haram terrorists have invaded Jibwiwi community in Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State and burnt down eight houses and many grains silos. The insurgents, who rode on several motorcycles, stormed the village around 6pm on Monday. A vigilante in the town told Daily Trust that the terrorists set ablaze the silos containing hundreds of cereal bags without taking anything. “They burnt eight houses and many silos; most of the stores contained dozens of bags of maize, guinea corn and groundnuts etc. “From there, they proceeded to Ngulde community in Askira Uba LGA, but we were able to subdue them with the help of hunters. “The quick intervention of vigilantes saved the situation as the terrorists escaped after sighting lights of the hunters’ patrol vehicles,” he said. The chairman, Northeast Hunters/Vigilante Group, Shawulu Yohanna, confirmed the attack, adding that his team was quick to respond and prevent the terrorists from attacking the next community.”


Associated Press: Suspected Extremists Attack Police In Northern Kenya; 3 Dead

“Three people, including two police officers, were killed Wednesday morning in an attack by al-Shabab extremists in northern Kenya, Kenyan police have announced. The victims were in a police vehicle when they were attacked between the Hayley Lapsset Camp and Garissa town, northeastern Kenya police chief George Seda said in a statement. The attack began when the police vehicle was demobilized when it hit an explosive device planted on the road, said police and witnesses. The attackers then fired a rocket-propelled grenade which killed two officers and a civilian, said the statement. Several other people escaped into the bush and their whereabouts are still unknown, it said. The attackers then set the vehicle ablaze. The area is near Kenya’s border with Somalia. Police are pursuing the attackers and more officers have been deployed to the area to search for those missing from the vehicle, said the statement. Al-Shabab, Somalia’s homegrown extremist rebel group that is allied with al-Qaida, is suspected of carrying out the attack by has not yet claimed responsibility. Police say intelligence reports show there are pockets of extremists who have come from Somalia on a mission to carry out violent attacks in Kenya. On Saturday night, police fought off an attempt by suspected extremists to seize control of a police station in Kutulo, Mandera County.”


The Brussels Times: Next Year's Brussels Terror Attacks Trial Schedule Announced By Court

“Brussels Court President Laurence Massart, in charge of presiding the trial for the Brussels March 2016 terror attacks, has announced the schedule of proceedings for the first months of 2023. Victims of the bombings will be heard from 13 February until 9 March before defendants take the stand from 13 March onwards. On Wednesday, the presiding judge of the Brussels terror attacks trial Laurence Massart unveiled the upcoming schedule of proceedings, set to resume after the end-of-year holidays. She announced that investigators and investigating judges will be heard until 30 January, after which five days will be reserved for possible questions from the various parties. The civil parties will then take the stand from 13 February until 9 March, which will see victims testify about their experiences. “We will make sure not to change the schedule again,” Massart added, as certain lawyers for the civil party had regretted a change to the previously announced schedule. The defendants will then be questioned from 13 March onwards.”

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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