Eye on Extremism: December 6

Newsweek: U.S. Military Will Stay In Syria After Isis Is Defeated, Threatening New Conflict With Russia And Iran

The Pentagon has revealed its intention to keep troops in Syria after the defeat of militant group ISIS, despite calls from the country and its Russian and Iranian allies to expel U.S. forces, whose presence they consider illegal. For years, both the U.S. and Russia have sponsored separate, competing anti-ISIS campaigns in Syria. As Moscow and its allies—which included Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran—restored government control over the majority of Syria, they have increasingly called into question the continued role of Washington, which was also directly involved in prolonged conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S., which once supported rebels trying to overthrow al-Assad and later focused on Kurdish militias battling ISIS, said its current presence was necessary as long as the threat of a resurgent ISIS and other Islamist militant groups remained.

Jamaica Observer: US Designates Jamaican As A 'Global Terrorist'

The Treasury Department took action yesterday against a Jamaica-based Islamic cleric accused of helping Islamic State recruits travel to areas controlled by the militant group. Treasury officials designated Abdullah Ibrahim al-Faisal as a global terrorist. The action blocks any property he has within US jurisdiction and prevents Americans from engaging in any transactions with him. “Faisal has recruited for and provided support to IS, and his actions have influenced terrorists who engaged in bomb plots and other horrific attacks on innocent civilians,” said John Smith, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. “This designation will help deter Faisal's global following and prevent US persons from supporting him in any manner.” The New York County District Attorney's office for the State of New York unsealed an indictment in August charging Faisal with helping support IS group recruits. According to the indictment, Faisal is accused of recruiting individuals to travel to IS-controlled territory, providing them with contacts abroad and advice on how to evade detection by law enforcement. He is facing extradition proceedings in Jamaica.

Reuters: Man Appears In Court Accused Of Trying To Kill British PM May

A 20-year-old man appeared in court on Wednesday accused of plotting to kill British Prime Minister Theresa May by first detonating an explosive device to get into her Downing Street office. Naa‘imur Rahman, of north London, has been charged with preparing to commit acts of terrorism. He was remanded in custody after a brief appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court. Prosecutor Mark Carroll told the court Rahman planned to detonate an improvised explosive device at the gates of Downing Street and gain access to May’s office in the ensuing chaos and kill her. “The secondary attack was to be carried out with a suicide vest, pepper spray and a knife,” he told the court. Rahman was carrying two inert explosive devices when he was arrested last week, the court heard.

The Hill: Pentagon Confirms Deaths Of Top Al Qaeda, Taliban Leaders

Joint U.S. and Afghan operations in recent days have killed top leaders for al Qaeda and the Taliban, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) confirmed Tuesday. Omar Khetab, al Qaeda’s No. 2 in the Indian subcontinent, was killed Monday, while Mullah Shah Wali, commander of the Taliban’s special forces branch, was killed Friday, according to a Tuesday news release. ‘These two operations together would never have been possible without the close cooperation between Afghan forces and USFOR-A, and they are proof our strategy is working,’ Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said in a statement. ‘The entire international community agrees Afghanistan deserves security and lasting peace.’

Jerusalem Post: Iran Asks Muslims To Disrupt Israeli Ties In Region

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Muslims on Tuesday to disrupt what he called a plot by unnamed countries in the region to build ties with Israel. He gave no more details on the states. But an Israeli cabinet minister said last month that his government had had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia linked to their common concerns over Tehran. "Some regional Islamic countries have shamelessly revealed their closeness to the Zionist regime,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live by state TV. Both Saudi Arabia and Israel view Iran as the main threat to the Middle East. Increased tension between Tehran and Riyadh has fueled speculation that shared interests may push Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together. The Saudis have not publicly responded to the reports and Riyadh maintains that any relations with Israel hinge on Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Middle East war - territory Palestinians seek for a future state. Regional rivalry between Sunni Muslim monarchy Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran has overflowed into conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Globe And Mail: Fewer Than 3,000 Islamic State Fighters Remain In Iraq, Syria: U.S-Led Coalition

The United States-led international coalition fighting Islamic State estimates that fewer than 3,000 fighters belonging to the hardline Sunni militant group remain in Iraq and Syria, its spokesman said on Tuesday. Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate has crumbled this year in Syria and Iraq, with the group losing the cities of Mosul, Raqqa and swathes of other territory. ‘Current estimates are that there are less than 3,000 #Daesh fighters left - they still remain a threat, but we will continue to support our partner forces to defeat them,’ U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon tweeted, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State. Dillon's tweet was part of his responses to an online question and answer session in which he also said the coalition had trained 125,000 members of Iraqi security forces, 22,000 of which were Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

United States

USA Today: Trump's Jerusalem Decision Alarms World Leaders

Israel braced for violence as President Trump was due to announce Wednesday a controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. Embassy there. The expected declaration has fueled international concern. Trump will address the issue, a campaign promise that he has vowed to keep, from the White House later. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas warned that changing the status of Jerusalem would mark the end of years of peace efforts and have ‘dangerous consequences’ for the ‘security and stability of the region and of the world.’

U.S. News & World Report: Treasury Sanctions Cleric Faisal For Islamic State Recruiting

The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday said it had sanctioned Abdullah Ibrahim al-Faisal for recruiting for Islamic State, alleging the Jamaican cleric had influenced people around the world in attacking civilians and creating bomb plots and also had helped new recruits to the extremist group travel and hide. The New York County District Attorney's office has already indicted Faisal with recruiting and providing support to members of the Islamic State group, Treasury said. Faisal was jailed in 2003 in London for inciting racial hatred and murder, and then paroled and deported to Jamaica in 2007, according to The Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-semitism worldwide.

MPR News: As Life's Pressures Mounted, He Left Minnesota For ISIS

Abdifatah Ahmed's life in Minneapolis seemed carefree — a clean-shaven family man obsessed with selfies, shooting hoops at a local basketball court and pumping iron at an Uptown gym. Below the surface, though, Ahmed, faced a well of problems, and by late 2013, they were closing in. Earlier, he had called an ex-spouse "in tears" because an ex-wife from another state was seeking to collect child support, which may have sent Ahmed, then 33, into a tailspin. By November 2013, he'd flown to London to meet up with friends and shake off the pressure. It seemed to work. Later in the month, while still in London, he'd called a loved one to say he wanted to return to Minneapolis, but first had to change his ticket. But Ahmed, also known as Abdirahmaan Muhumed, never returned. Instead, he would turn up months later in Syria where he became the first Minnesotan to fight for ISIS, and one of the first to die.

Fox News: Trial Begins For Ex-Cop Accused Of Supporting Islamic State

The first law enforcement officer in the U.S. ever to be charged with a terrorism offense is going to trial. Jury selection begins Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, in the case against Nicholas Young, who was a police officer in the region's Metro system when he was arrested last year in a government sting. Prosecutors say Young bought nearly $250 in gift cards he intended for the Islamic State group, giving the cards to an individual who turned out to be an FBI source. Young's lawyers say the sting operation amounts to entrapment. Documents show Young had been under surveillance since 2010. The two-week trial is expected to include evidence that Young trafficked in Nazi memorabilia, evidence that Young's lawyers wanted tossed out as overly inflammatory.

Fox News: Life After ISIS: Christians Say They Can't Go Home Without International Protection

It should have been a positive, uplifting story: Christian residents of a small, newly liberated town in northern Iraq return home after fleeing ISIS in 2014. But now that the town has been freed by Iraqi forces, many of the Christians who have trickled back -- their livelihoods and homes in ruins, their sense of safety and security shattered -- are once again desperate to leave. “The reality is we cannot stay without the U.S. or the U.N. helping to protect Nineveh directly,” Father Afram al-Khoury Benyamen told Fox News after Sunday mass recently at St. George Cathedral, a 133-year-old church. “With international protection maybe we can remain, but if it doesn’t come soon ... we go.” Bahzani, which means “House of Treasure” in ancient Syriac, is considered a contested area between the Baghdad Central Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers provided protection after ISIS was defeated, but then left six weeks ago when Baghdad ordered its troops to take over amid the fallout of the September Kurdish referendum for independence.

ThinkProgress: Man With ‘Strong Anti-Islamic Sentiment’ Arrested In Florida Prior To Planned Attack

A man in Jacksonville, Florida was arrested Friday for planning a mass-shooting at a local Islamic center, in the latest case of domestic extremism targeting Muslims. Bernandino Bolatete, 69, allegedly planned to ‘shoot up’ the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida, authorities stated on Monday. Bolatete, who is currently being held by the FBI, reportedly expressed ‘strong anti-Islamic sentiment’ according to a tip received in October by Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams’ office. Following the tip, an undercover detective reached out to Bolatete to earn his trust. ‘I just want to give these freaking people a taste of their own medicine, you know,’ Bolatete allegedly told the detective, referring to Muslims. He claimed he owned five guns, including at least one AR-15, and reportedly planned to attack the mosque in revenge for extremist attacks in the news.

San Antonio Current: Houston Man Pleads Guilty To Supporting ISIS

A Houston-area man plead guilty to making plans on social media that provided ‘material support’ to the Islamic State — also called ISIS or IS — on Monday in a federal court. The prosecution will be dropping five other counts in the indictment of 23-year-old Asher Abid Khan for making plans to join ISIS in return for his full cooperation with further federal investigations in his case, according to the Associated Press. This includes three counts of conspiracy. Khan could still get up to 15 years in prison; however, the prosecution may honor leniency if he remains true to the plea agreement.

The Post: Last Iraqi Student At OU Recalls Islamic State Occupation In Mosul

Safiya Ahmed fled Mosul, Iraq, in the summer of 2014 to Erbil, Iraq, when the Islamic State, or IS, group entered the city. Since coming to the U.S. in January 2015, she is one of the last students from Iraq to study in the U.S. Ahmed studies under the Higher Committee for Education Development, or HCED, program, a scholarship program from the Office of the Prime Minister of Iraq. In May 2015, the country’s higher education minister signed two measures that cut funding to study abroad programs by 50 percent and limited the government’s support to three years, according to The Conversation. In April 2016, some HCED students lost funding for tuition because of a problem with Trade Bank of Iraq, Iraq’s largest government bank, according to Alhurra, a news organization operated by non-profit corporation The Middle East Broadcasting Networks. HCED fixed it and sent the tuition after seven months. ‘We were here without salary, so we really had a bad time,’ Ahmed, a graduate student studying civil engineering, said. ‘That’s why they stopped HCED.’ Ahmed said the government is using a lot of money to liberate cities and help them recover from the IS, so it stopped sending students abroad through the HCED.

Syria

Washington Post: The Latest: Syria Opposition Says Assad ‘Rejecting’ Talks

The leader of the Syrian opposition is challenging the United Nations, its Syria envoy and the world community to acknowledge that President Bashar Assad’s government is ‘rejecting’ peace negotiations in Geneva. Nasr Hariri spoke to reporters after meeting with U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura as the U.N.-mediated peace talks resumed after a weekend pause, but with the government delegation a no-show. Hariri said the newly expanded opposition was committed to implementing U.N. Security Council resolutions that call for political transition, among other things.

Iraq

Reuters: Commentary: Why Iraq Should Limit Islamic State Trials

At the height of its power in Iraq, Islamic State controlled 40 percent of the country’s territory and the daily lives of millions of Iraqis. Tens of thousands of Iraqis came to serve the IS administration, including as doctors, teachers, judges, cooks, and lawyers, arguably contributing to the group’s control of the cities it occupied. Just as Iraqis were forced to join the Baath party under Saddam Hussein, many in IS-controlled areas say they were forced to join the group to keep their jobs – though no doubt some also supported IS’s extremism. But today, under Iraqi law – and as urged by various United Nations resolutions – Iraq is trying to prosecute them all. Those convicted face life in prison or the death penalty merely for IS membership. But such broad prosecutions would be a grave mistake if Iraq is ever to establish some modicum of national reconciliation.

Times Of Oman: Iraq Criticised Over Mass Trials Of Suspected Militants

Human Rights Watch in a report on Tuesday criticised Iraq and the autonomous Kurdish authorities over mass trials of suspected IS group militants. In ‘Flawed Justice: Accountability for ISIS Crimes in Iraq,’ HRW said Baghdad and the Kurdish authorities in the north were holding ‘thousands of trials of IS suspects without a strategy to prioritise the worst abuses under Iraqi and international law.’ ‘The broad prosecution under terrorism law of all those affiliated with ISIS (IS) in any way, no matter how minimal, could impede future community reconciliation and reintegration, and clog up Iraqi courts and prisons for decades,’ the New York-based group said.

Turkey

Guardian: Democracy In Turkey Is Going On Trial

On 6 and 7 December democracy goes on trial in Turkey. Opposition politicians Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ will appear in court on trumped-up charges of terrorism, facing lengthy jail sentences. Their party, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) is the third largest in Turkey. In 2015 they won parliamentary seats for the first time, representing a breakthrough for progressive forces and democracy in the country. However, the state of emergency in place since the July 2016 coup attempt has been used to clamp down on all forms of opposition in Turkey. In November 2016 HDP MPs across the country were taken from their homes and detained. Currently there are nine MPs from the HDP in Turkish prisons along with 85 mayors and an estimated 10,000 activists. Journalists, academics and public sector workers have been purged from their posts. One million people are displaced in Turkey’s largely Kurdish south-east with cities including Cizre and Nusaybin flattened. The prosecutions of Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ are nothing more than show trials. We send a message of solidarity to Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş and demand their immediate and unconditional release from prison.

Afghanistan

Daily Mail: Trained By The Taliban To Enforce Their Sharia Teachings: Boys Sit For Their Exams As AK-47-Wielding Guards Stand Over Them At Afghan Islamist School.

Images showing the next generation of Taliban militants pouring over their exam papers – as armed invigilators patrol above them - have emerged from Afghanistan. Taliban chiefs have been setting up a string of of schools in their strongholds in Afghanistan and remote parts of Pakistan to indoctrinate boys into their fundamentalist teachings that embrace Sharia law. The Imam Ghazali School is in the Hindu Kush mountain range north of the capital Kabul and the pictures were released by the Taliban's official TV channel.

Yemen

Atlantic: 'I Will Die In Yemen'

In the 1990s, after using Islamic militants to win Yemen’s civil war and unifying the country under his rule, Saleh turned a blind eye to their activities, even allowing their sympathizers to work in his intelligence services. Shortly before the USS Cole was bombed by al-Qaeda in Aden’s harbor in 2000, Saleh gave a speech supporting jihad against Israel by its neighbors and railing against the United States for its support of the Jewish state. When U.S. agents, myself included, arrived to investigate the attack, Saleh promised cooperation, only for elements of his intelligence services to stymie our progress at every turn.

ABC News: Civil War, Humanitarian Crisis Escalates After Former Yemen President Killed, Signals Challenges For US

After Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed at the hands of Houthi rebels, experts in the region say his death could ignite an ‘explosion’ of unrest in the already troubled Gulf nation that has been wracked by civil war. Yemen, which has previously been vital to U.S. interests in the region, is also experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has brought nearly seven million to the brink of starvation. One factor that will now work against Houthi leadership in coming days is the very public manner in which Saleh was killed when he tried to escape from the house in which he had barricaded himself. ‘Many people are out for blood now,’ Adam Baron, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations told ABC News. ‘The fact that he was killed in such a humiliating manner has really aroused anger in a lot of people.’

Sky News: Former Yemen President's Nephew 'Also Killed In Attack'

The nephew of Yemen's former president died in the same attack in which his uncle was killed at the weekend, it has emerged. Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, a senior military commander for the Yemen government, died of wounds suffered during the attack by the Houthi rebel group in the country's capital, Sanaa, the General People's Congress party said. Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, his uncle, died in the attack as he was allegedly attempting to flee the country, it was reported on Monday.

Al Arabiya: Exiled Son Of Yemen’s Saleh Vows Revenge Against Houthi Militia

The powerful exiled son of Yemen’s slain ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed on Tuesday to lead a campaign against the Houthi movement that killed his father after he switched sides in the civil war. The intervention by Ahmed Ali Saleh, a former leader of the elite Republican Guard once seen as a likely successor to his father, gives the anti-Houthi movement in Sanaa a potential figurehead, after a week of fighting that saw the Houthis rout Saleh’s supporters in the capital. In a statement sent to Reuters by an aide, his son said his father was killed at “the hands of the enemies of God and the country”. Ahmed Ali said he would “confront the enemies of the homeland and humanity, who are trying to obliterate its identity and its gains and to humiliate Yemen and Yemenis”. In an earlier statement carried by Saudi state media, Ahmed Ali said he would lead “the battle until the last Houthi is thrown out of Yemen ... the blood of my father will be hell ringing in the ears of Iran.

Lebanon

New York Times: It’s Official: Lebanese Prime Minister Not Resigning After All

A month after he declared under Saudi Arabian pressure that he was quitting his post, Lebanon’s prime minister officially rescinded his resignation on Tuesday, closing a chapter in a curious political saga that threatened to destabilize Lebanon and transfixed the region. The reversal by the prime minister, Saad Hariri, was considered a setback for Saudi Arabia and its brash young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who had summoned Mr. Hariri to Riyadh last month. Western diplomats and Lebanese officials have said the prince coerced Mr. Hariri into announcing his resignation and effectively kept him under house arrest for more than two weeks, until an international diplomatic scramble brought him home. The episode was widely seen as an attempt by Saudi Arabia to counter its regional rival, Iran, by collapsing Mr. Hariri’s government, which includes Hezbollah, the Shiite militia and political party that is Iran’s Lebanese ally.

Pakistan

Reuters: Bomb Blast Kills Nine People In Pakistan, Near Afghan Border

A bomb rigged to a motorcycle exploded in a militant-plagued part of northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border, killing nine people, officials said on Wednesday, the latest violence in a recent rise in attacks in the nuclear-armed country. The bomb was detonated by remote control late on Tuesday when an army vehicle passed in Mir Ali town in the North Waziristan region, said three Pakistani officials who declined to be identified as they are not authorized to speak to the media. A spokesman for the Pakistani army, which is responsible for security in the volatile, ethnic Pashtun region, did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Foreign Policy: Pentagon Has No Plans To Lift Freeze On Funds For Pakistan

The United States and Pakistan remain at odds over Islamabad’s track record on countering Islamist militants near the Afghan border, and Washington has no plans to lift a freeze on a key reimbursement fund for the country, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Tuesday. The Trump administration says Pakistan has not done enough to rein in the Haqqani network, which is blamed for lethal attacks in neighboring Afghanistan against civilians and U.S. and Afghan security forces. The impasse showed no sign of easing after a visit by Defense Secretary James Mattis to Islamabad on Monday.

Egypt

Washington Examiner: After The Sinai Terror Attack, Let Egypt Lead Itself

It was the deadliest terrorist attack Egypt has faced in the modern era. A group of two dozen Islamist extremists, riding in SUVs and loaded with enough explosives, weapons, and bullets to lead a platoon, surrounded a Sufi mosque in the northern Sinai town of Bir al-Abed and opened fire. Positioning themselves by the exit and entry points of the mosque and along the windows, the militants detonated explosives and started spraying bullets at worshipers inside. Those who tried to escape the violence were blocked by burning vehicles the militants set on fire. Ambulances sent to the scene were fired upon. By the time the assault ended, 305 people lay dead, Egypt’s government vowed extreme vengeance and revenge for those who were killed, and an entire nation was left shocked at the horrific violence.

Libya

Guardian: After Six Years In Jail, Gaddafi's Son Saif Plots Return To Libya's Turbulent Politics

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan dictator, is seeking to make a comeback after years in detention, and claims to be leading a military campaign against terrorist groups around Tripoli. Gaddafi was freed in June after six years as the prisoner of a militia in the town of Zintan following the Nato-supported uprising in 2011 that led to the killing of his father, Muammar Gaddafi, and the fragmentation of the country. Saif Gaddafi was once the heir apparent of the Libyan regime, a London School of Economics graduate touted as a moderniser who mixed with British high society. Now, he stands accused of ordering the killing of protesters as the Gaddafis fought desperately to hold on to power.

Nigeria

Vanguard: Air Force Jets Hit Large Gathering Of Boko Haram Terrorists, Kill Many

The Nigerian Air Force said it made significant success in its fight against Boko Haram terrorists last week as two of its fighter jets hit large gathering of Boko Haram terrorists in two separate locations. The operations, according to the Air Force in a statement,Tuesday morning,by its spokesman, Air Vice Marshal Olatukunbo Adesanya, was in furtherance of Operation Lafiya Dole against the terrorists in the North East. The first operation which the statement explained, took place on 24 November 2017, ‘successfully neutralized a large gathering of Boko Haram terrorists in Bogumeri, Borno State.’ ‘A NAF platform, while on routine Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), had previously discovered the large gathering of the Boko Haram terrorists in the area, which was known to have significant Boko Haram terrorists presence.’

North Korea

BBC News: US B-1B Bomber In Attack Drill Show Of Force To North Korea

The US military has flown a B-1B bomber over South Korea as part of a massive joint aerial drill, in a move seen as a warning to the North. The B-1B Lancer plane simulated bombing a military field. The drill is taking place a week after Pyongyang fired what it claimed was a new intercontinental ballistic missile which could hit mainland US. The US has previously deployed bombers as a show of force after North Korean missile or nuclear tests.

United Kingdom

CNN: Manchester Attack Could Have Been Prevented, Report Says

The man who killed 22 fans at a concert by singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in May had been a ‘subject of interest’ to British police and opportunities to stop him were missed, according to an official security review published Tuesday. Security service MI5 came by unspecified intelligence about Salman Abedi in the months before the Manchester attack, the report by senior barrister David Anderson said. The information would have caused an investigation into him to be opened had its true significance been properly understood. Instead, he was not under active investigation when he detonated a suicide device at the Manchester Arena on May 22. ‘On two separate occasions in the months prior to the attack, intelligence was received by MI5 whose significance was not fully appreciated at the time’ the report said.

Voice Of America: Officials: Jihadist Plot To Kill British Prime Minister Thwarted

Two men were charged Tuesday in London with terror offenses over an alleged plot to kill British Prime Minister Theresa May, according to British government officials. Both will appear before a court Wednesday in the British capital in connection with what officials say was a conspiracy to launch a suicide-knife attack on Downing Street, the official home of the prime minister. News of the foiled assassination plot broke shortly after the head of Britain's domestic intelligence service MI5, Andrew Parker, had briefed the cabinet on the terrorist threat and informed ministers that his service had thwarted nine terrorist attacks this year.

Europe

U.S. News & World Report: UN Urges Kosovo To Stop Citizens From Joining Terror Groups

The United Nations is urging authorities in Kosovo to have a clear strategy to deter potential fighters from joining Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq, and to offer more employment possibilities and education. An independent U.N.-commissioned report, made available to The Associated Press on Tuesday, examined returned foreign fighters and the reasons that Kosovars joined extremist groups. It also urged Kosovo and international bodies to develop better policies to prevent violent extremism. According to Kosovo police, 335 citizens have traveled to or been caught en route to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq since 2012, making Kosovo one of Europe's largest exporters of foreign fighters on per capita basis. They included 253 were men, 55 women and 27 children.

Terror Financing

The Seventh Day: Egyptian Stock Market Free From Terrorist Transactions

The managements of the Egyptian Stock Exchange and Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry (MCDR) conducted a review of the names included in terrorist lists, issued either by the Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee or the "Arab Quartet," to ensure that no terrorists have made transactions through the Egyptian stock market. An official source revealed the results of the review, conducted over the past two weeks, confirming that so far during 2017, no person or entity implicated in terrorist operations or terror financing has made transactions in Egypt's stock market. The source added that the last of these reviews was conducted on the list published last Friday by the Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee, headed by Dr. Mohammed Yasser Abu El-Fotouh. The list included 14 members of the Brotherhood whose assets were impounded.

Counter-Terrorism

Dostor: Egyptian Official: Economic Development - Pillar In Countering Terrorism

Dr. Sayed Khalifa, head of Egypt's Farmers Union, said: "We, Egyptians, are all in a very difficult historical situation, and we must unite behind our leadership and our armed forces." He noted: "What we see from the world are just {verbal} condemnations and not {actual} aid in countering terrorism," he said. Khalifa explained: "What happened in Sinai and even in the western part of the country are foreign schemes, in place for years, to create chaos." He stressed that economic and social development is the key to fighting terrorism. Khalifa mentioned the projects launched in recent years in the agriculture sector to promote development in Sinai. For instance, 5 billion pounds ($282 million) were allocated for the cultivation of more than 400k acres, including 80k acres in the town of Bir al-Abed. In addition, 26 farming communities were established in the northern and southern Sinai with the purpose of promoting economic development to counter terrorism.

ISIS

The New Arab: Smuggling Gangs Help ISIS Militants Get Out Of Iraq

Iraqi security sources confirmed that dozens of ISIS militants of Asian, European and even Arab nationalities left the country during the past six months heading for Turkey through Syria. They managed to do so by means of smuggling networks and multinational gangs entrusted to secure their escape in exchange for {hefty sums of} money. The amounts {for this smuggling operation} start from $5k per person. Aiming to return to their countries after the demise of the organization, ISIS militants pledge to pay their way through their relatives and acquaintances. The smuggling gangs operate predominantly on the Turkish-Syrian border, where smuggling is a very lucrative business despite the risks entailed.

Muslim Brotherhood

Elwatan News: Egypt: Management Of Seized Brotherhood Real-Estate Firms Entrusted To Nasr General Contracting Company

The Muslim Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee, according to judiciary sources, is inclined to entrust the management of recently seized real-estate investment companies to Nasr General Contracting Company (NGCC), a subsidiary of the Egyptian Holding Company for Construction and Development (HCCD), which is affiliated with {Egypt's} Ministry of Public Sector Affairs. The sources disclosed that the assets of Andalosia Real Estate Investments Co. and its subsidiaries are valued at over 7 billion pounds ($393 million). The sources elaborated that Andalosia Co. has 11 branches in the governorates of Cairo, Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh and operates 14 offices. The Brotherhood Committee is in the midst of preparing an inventory of all these offices.

Houthi

Barakish Net: After His Death: Houthi Group Likely To Confiscate Funds Owned By Former President Saleh

Houthi leaders revealed that the group is inclined to confiscate the funds owned by the former president {Ali Saleh} and those of {his party} the General People's Congress. Leaders claim these funds belong to the {Yemeni} people. Saleh Al-Samad, head of the {Houthi's} Supreme Political Council, issued a statement calling on the judicial institutions under the group's control to take all necessary measures to recover what he called "looted funds" and return them to the state treasury. He also called to track down and recover funds abroad, according to the statement of the Houthi leadership. Houthis launched a crackdown campaign against the General People's Congress before the outbreak of armed confrontations with Saleh's loyalists, demanding the confiscation of assets belonging to the Party.