Eye on Extremism: February 16, 2024

CBS: Justin Mohn Faces Terrorism Charges For Threatening Federal Employees In Youtube Beheading Video

“Terrorism charges have been filed against a man accused of killing and beheading his father inside a Levittown, Pennsylvania, home and then posting a 14-minute video to YouTube threatening federal employees last month. Justin Mohn, 32, was charged Thursday with three counts of terrorism and additional charges in connection with the Jan. 30 killing of Michael Mohn, the Bucks County District Attorney's Office said. He was already charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. Authorities said Mohn shot and killed his father and then beheaded him with a large knife inside a home on Upper Orchard Drive in Levittown, part of Middletown Township in Bucks County, on Jan. 30. He was arrested hours later over 100 miles away at Fort Indiantown Gap, a National Guard training facility in Lebanon County.  In a video posted to YouTube, Mohn identified himself as a militia member and called on supposed militia members to kill federal employees - he listed the address of a U.S. District Court judge and called for violence against them.”

Wall Street Journal: Israeli Forces Enter Gaza Hospital to Search for Hostages

“Israeli troops entered the main hospital in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, after Israel said it had intelligence indicating that hostages kidnapped by Hamas had been held there and that the bodies of some of them could be on the grounds. Israel had urged patients, medical staff and thousands of people sheltering in the grounds of Nasser Hospital earlier this week to evacuate in anticipation of military operations against Hamas militants it said were hiding there and using it for military activities. “We have credible intelligence from a number of sources, including from released hostages,” that Hamas held hostages there, Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said. “There may be bodies of our hostages in the Nasser Hospital facility.” By Thursday night, Hagari said Israel’s military had yet to find any hostages in the hospital and were still searching its premises.”

CEP Mentions

Iran International: Edmund Fitton Brown Talks About The Complicated Relationship Between The Islamic Republic And The Taliban

“Edmund Fitton Brown, a diplomat and former coordinator of the United Nations Analytical Monitoring Team, talks about the complex relationship between the Islamic Republic and the Taliban.”

Capx: Institutional Timidity Is Allowing Antisemitism On Our Streets

“A video showing a Jewish man being advised by police to hide his Star of David ‘for his own safety’ while watching a pro-Palestine parade in Edinburgh went viral on social media yesterday.  While many people criticised the officer concerned, I think he was acting in good faith. That is to say he perceived a high likelihood in 2024 that the mere sight of a Jew acting completely lawfully on a British street displaying a symbol of his faith would be attacked because of his identity – and terrifyingly, that the police were not going to be able to protect him.”

United States

Voice Of America: US Signs Agreement To Build Bases For Elite Somali Army Force

“The United States and Somalia's government on Thursday signed a security pact that they presented as a road map toward building a functional Somali army, capable of taking over security responsibilities and the fight against al-Shabab militants. In a ceremony presided over by Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of five military bases for Somalia’s National Army. According to a statement from Somalia’s National News Agency, SONNA, the bases will be for the Danab Brigade, the U.S.-trained elite unit of the army.”

Reuters: Kansas City Police Link Super Bowl Rally Shooting To Dispute, Not Extremism

“A quarrel among several people sparked the shooting spree in Kansas City, Missouri, that killed a woman and wounded 22 people after a celebration of the city's NFL Super Bowl victory, police said on Thursday, ruling out any apparent link to extremism. Three people, including two minors, were detained as "subjects" in the investigation, Police Chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference, the day after gunfire erupted in the vicinity of the city's historic downtown rail station. The third detainee, also a juvenile who was determined not to be involved, was later released, according to police spokesperson Alayna Gonzalez. Police were working with juvenile prosecutors to review evidence and "determine applicable charges" against the two minors, both teenagers, still held in custody, she said. The police chief told reporters several firearms had been recovered from the shooting scene.”


Reuters: World Bank Approves Shift To Channel IDA Funds To Afghanistan Humanitarian Aid

“The World Bank Group said on Thursday its executive board endorsed a new approach to aiding Afghanistan that will deploy some $300 million from the bank's International Development Association fund for poor countries through United Nations agencies and other international organizations. The development lender said the funds would remain outside the control of the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan and would complement Afghanistan Resilience Trust Fund (ARTF) donor financing in supporting critical basic services such as food, water, health, education and jobs. The shift marks the first time that the World Bank's own funds would be sent to Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power in August 2021.”

Voice Of America: Under Sanctions, Taliban Pay Debts, Seek More Electricity From Neighbors

“Afghanistan's electricity payments fell into arrears following the collapse of the former government in August 2021. This prompted service cut-off threats from some suppliers. Facing severe banking and economic sanctions, the new Taliban government struggled to make timely payments for nearly a year. Last week, a spokesperson for DABS said Kabul paid a staggering $627 million in bills incurred by the former government. However, Amanullah Ghalib, a former DABS director, disputes this figure. "The outstanding payments were $40 to $50 million tops," Ghalib told VOA. "Payments were due every two weeks, and delinquencies incurred strict fines and fees. It was not like DABS had not paid for years or months." Afghanistan pays approximately $250 million annually for 600 to 650 megawatts of imported electricity, Ghalib added. VOA reached out to the spokesperson for DABS for clarification on the payment and amount, but he declined to comment.”


Reuters: Yemen's Houthis Fire Missiles At British Ship In Gulf Of Aden, Spokesman Says

“Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis fired naval missiles at the British ship 'LYCAVITOS' in the Gulf of Aden, the group's military spokesman Yahya Sarea said in a televised speech on Thursday.”

Middle East

Reuters: Israel Says It Killed Senior Hezbollah Fighters In Lebanon Strike On Wednesday

“An Israeli air strike in the Lebanese city of Nabatieh on Wednesday night killed a senior commander of Hezbollah's elite Radwan Force, his deputy and a third fighter, the Israeli military said on Thursday. It named the first two men as Ali Muhammad Aldbas and Ibrahim Issa. Aldbas was helped orchestrate an roadside bombing in northern Israel last March, and had been involved in cross-border fighting since October, it added.”

Reuters: Israel Asks World Court To Reject Request For Rafah Emergency Orders

“Israel has asked the International Court of Justice to dismiss a request by South Africa to issue additional emergency measures because of Israel's plan to extend its offensive in Gaza into the city of Rafah. In documents released on Thursday by the ICJ, also known as the World Court, Israel argued that the emergency measures issued three weeks ago already cover "the situation of hostilities in Gaza as a whole" and the court should reject the South African request. Israel has said it is planning to expand its ground assault into Rafah, where over a million Palestinians have sought refuge from the offensive that has laid waste to much of the Gaza Strip since Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Earlier this week South Africa asked the court to issue extra emergency measures to protect Palestinians' rights in Rafah. The ICJ last month ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, in a case brought by South Africa. Israel has denied all allegations of genocide in connection with its war against Islamist armed group Hamas.”


Reuters: Nigeria Mulls State Policing To Combat Growing Insecurity

“Nigeria is considering the introduction of state police in its 36 states to bolster its national police force as it struggles to contain widespread violence and insecurity, the information minister said on Thursday. An Islamist insurgency in the northeast, kidnappings for ransom, deadly farmer-herder clashes in the central belt and separatist and gang violence in the southeast are some of the challenges faced by Nigeria's police force. President Bola Tinubu met the country's state governors to discuss insecurity, which is hurting farmers and contributing to high food prices and inflation. The federal government and the state governments agreed that a state police force was necessary, marking "a significant shift" in approach, Information Minister Mohammed Idris told reporters after the meeting. This is the first time that Nigeria's federal and state governments have agreed on the need to set up state police to reinforce the more than 300,000-strong national police force in Africa's most populous nation.”


Associated Press: The Islamic State Group Poses Rising Threat In Africa Despite Progress, Un Experts Say

“The Islamic State extremist group poses a rising threat amid political instability in West Africa and the Sahel and remains intent on carrying out attacks abroad, the U.N. counter-terrorism chief said Thursday. Vladimir Voronkov reiterated U.N. findings that IS continues to pose a significant threat to international peace and security, especially in conflict zones, despite significant progress by U.N. member nations in countering the threat. The group has also increased operations in its former strongholds in Iraq and Syria as well as Southeast Asia, Voronkov said. Voronkov told the U.N. Security Council that in West Africa and the Sahel, a broad region cutting across the continent, the situation has deteriorated “and is becoming more complex,” as local ethnic and regional disputes cross with the agenda and operations of the extremist group, which is also known by its Arabic name Daesh, and its affiliates. “Daesh affiliates continued to operate with increasingly more autonomy from the Daesh core,” he said, warning that if this trend persists there is a risk “that a vast area of instability may emerge from Mali to the borders of Nigeria.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

We reiterate once again that the brigades will directly target US bases across the region in case the US enemy commits a folly and decides to strike our resistance fighters and their camps [in Iraq].

Abu Ali al-Askari, Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) Security Official Mar. 2023
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