Eye on Extremism: February 1, 2024

Associated Press: US Blames Group Of Iran-Backed Militias For Deadly Drone Attack In Jordan As It Weighs Reprisals

“The United States on Wednesday attributed the drone attack that killed three U.S. service members in Jordan to the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iran-backed militias, as President Joe Biden weighs his options to respond to the strike. Iran threatened to “decisively respond” to any U.S. attack on the Islamic Republic after the U.S. said it held Tehran responsible. The U.S. has signaled it is preparing for retaliatory strikes in the Mideast in the wake of the Sunday drone attack that also wounded more than 40 troops at Tower 22, a secretive base in northeastern Jordan that’s been crucial to the American presence in neighboring Syria.”

Reuters: Pakistan Election Candidate Shot Dead In Tribal District - Police

“A national assembly candidate in Pakistan's election next week was shot dead on Wednesday in a tribal district along the Afghan border, police said, in the second killing of a candidate linked to jailed former leader Imran Khan's party this month. Rehan Zaib Khan, an independent candidate in the Feb. 8 election who had claimed to be supported by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and four aides were shot in Bajur district, police officer Rasheed Khan said. Rehan Zaib Khan died at a local hospital and his aides were in a critical condition, he said.”

CEP Mentions

Jewish News Syndicate: America Must Wake Up To The Danger Of The UK-Banned Hizb Ut-Tahrir

“The United Kingdom just banned Hizb-ut Tahrir (HT), an extremist Islamist group with affiliates in at least 32 countries, including the United States, that calls for re-establishing the Islamic Caliphate and implementing Sharia (Islamic law). Given its outsized role in radicalizing several convicted terrorists, including notorious ISIS executioner “Jihadi John,” HT Britain has a far more notorious reputation than its still-active Transatlantic cousin, HT America.”

DW: Germany's Middle East Policy Has Reached A Dead End

“Germany can only keep repeatedly raising this, Hans-Jakob Schindler, analyst for the Middle East at the nonprofit organization Counter Extremism Project, told DW. Israeli resettlement plans for the Gaza Strip, which two Israeli cabinet ministers publicly support, would be "the surest way to securely anchor Islamist extremism in the future in Gaza, and probably among Palestinians in general," Schindler believes.”

United States

Voice Of America: Kataib Hezbollah Should Take US Warning ‘Seriously,’ White House Says

“National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby warned that Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed group based in Iraq, should take "seriously" the Biden administration's determination to respond to Sunday's drone attack by Iran-backed militants that killed three American soldiers on a U.S. base in Jordan. VOA White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara spoke with Kirby following Kataib Hezbollah's Tuesday announcement that it is suspending all military operations against American troops in the region. Kirby also discussed the war in Gaza and other challenges the U.S. is facing around the world.”

Iran

Voice Of America: While Small In Number, Tajik Fighters An Asset For Islamic State-Khorasan

“The Iranian government has traced this month's twin suicide bombings in Kerman city to ethnic-Tajik fighters of the Islamic State Khorasan Province who, experts say, are "fairly small" in number but play "an important part" in the group's military activities. The Afghanistan-based branch of the Islamic State (IS-K) claimed responsibility for the January 3 blasts that killed at least 95 people attending the commemoration of the death of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, who was killed in a January 2020 U.S. drone attack in Iraq.”

Voice Of America: Islamic State Trying To Rise Under The Radar

“The Islamic State terror group, whose name once inspired fear across swaths of the Middle East and beyond, may be seeking to regain its reputation, pushing a new campaign it says is focused on killing the group’s enemies wherever they can be found. Starting with its claim of the terror attack on the Iranian city of Kerman on January 3, killing nearly 90 people, Islamic State social media accounts have quickly pumped out claims for some 100 other attacks across Africa, the Middle East, and South and East Asia. “The Islamic State calls on its soldiers and eager Muslims to renew their activities,” the group’s spokesman said in a speech released along with the initial claims of responsibility, according to a translation by JihadoScope, a company that monitors terrorist activity on social media. “Invade their homes, kill them, and inflict harm upon them in every possible way,” the spokesperson added.”

Yemen

Al Arabiya: US Destroys 10 Houthi Attack Drones, Control Station In Yemen

“American forces carried out strikes in Yemen against 10 attack drones and a ground control station belonging to the Iran-backed Houthis, the US military said Wednesday. A US warship also shot down an anti-ship missile fired by the Houthis and later downed three Iranian drones, Central Command (CENTCOM) said.”

Lebanon

Associated Press; Israel And Lebanon Are Prepping For A War Neither Wants, But Many Fear It’s Becoming Inevitable

“The prospect of a full-scale war between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia terrifies people on both sides of the border, but some see it as an inevitable fallout from Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza. Such a war could be the most destructive either side has ever experienced. Israel and Hezbollah each have lessons from their last war, in 2006, a monthlong conflict that ended in a draw.”

Middle East

Reuters: Israeli Military: Troops Killed Dozens Of Gaza Militants In Past Day

“Israel's military said on Thursday that its troops killed "dozens of terrorists" over the past day in battles that raged across the Gaza Strip. In the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, where Israel has been focusing its offensive in recent weeks against the Hamas Islamist group, the military said its troops engaged in close-quarter combat and directed air strikes. It also reported fighting in central and north Gaza.”

Reuters: Israeli PM Says UN Agency For Palestinians Must Close, Israeli Warplanes Strike Gaza

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Wednesday for the closure of the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) as his forces conducted more air strikes in Gaza amid diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire and release of hostages in the enclave. Israel has accused some UNRWA staff of involvement in the Oct. 7 Hamas assault in southern Israel that triggered the war in Gaza.”

Somalia

Voice Of America: UN, Somalia Launch $1.6 Billion Appeal For Humanitarian Aid

“The United Nations and the Somali government have launched a $1.6 billion appeal to address humanitarian challenges in Somalia. The 2024 Humanitarian Needs Action Plan seeks to provide life-saving support to over 5 million Somalis this year. The U.N. says climate shocks, conflict, widespread poverty and disease outbreaks continue to drive humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa country. The appeal comes as Somalia struggles to deal with long dry spells followed by heavy rains and deadly flash floods.”

Germany

Associated Press: German Domestic Spy Agency Has Its Former Head, Now A Hard-Right Politician, Under Scrutiny

“Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has put its former head, who has become a hard-right politician since being removed from the job several years ago, under scrutiny. Hans-Georg Maassen posted a letter from the BfV agency to his lawyer on his website Wednesday after public broadcaster ARD and media outlet t-online reported that the authority he led from 2012 to 2018 now has him in its files on right-wing extremism.”

Europe

PBS: International Court Of Justice Rejects Most Of Ukraine’s Terror Financing And Discrimination Case Against Russia

“The United Nations’ top court on Wednesday rejected large parts of a case filed by Ukraine alleging that Russia bankrolled separatist rebels in the country’s east a decade ago and has discriminated against Crimea’s multiethnic community since its annexation of the peninsula. The International Court of Justice ruled that Moscow violated articles of two treaties — one on terrorism financing and another on eradicating racial discrimination — but it rejected far more of Kyiv’s claims under the treaties.”

Technology

Bloomberg: Binance Sued By Hamas Hostage, Families Of Victims In Attack

“An American mother who was taken hostage by Hamas in Gaza and the relatives of two men killed following the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 attack, sued crypto giant Binance for allegedly facilitating the violence. Judith Raanan, who was released with her daughter on Oct. 20, and relatives of Itay Glisko and Dr. Daniel Levi Ludmir, who were murdered by Hamas, filed the lawsuit against the digital assets exchange, as well as Iran and Syria, in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On February 26, 2015, a Boko Haram suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a market in Biu, Nigeria, killing 19 people and injuring 20 others. A second attempted-suicide bomber was caught and beaten by a crowd before he was able to carry out his attack.

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