Eye on Extremism: February 21, 2024

Associated Press: The US Vetoes An Arab-Backed UN Resolution Demanding An Immediate Humanitarian Cease-Fire In Gaza

“The United States on Tuesday vetoed an Arab-backed and widely supported U.N. resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in the embattled Gaza Strip, saying it would interfere with negotiations on a deal to free hostages abducted in Israel. The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 13-1 with the United Kingdom abstaining, reflecting the strong support from countries around the globe for ending the war, which started when Hamas militants invaded southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking 250 others hostage. Since then, more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s military offensive, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which says the vast majority were women and children. It was the third U.S. veto of a Security Council resolution demanding a cease-fire in Gaza and came a day after the United States circulated a rival resolution that would support a temporary cease-fire linked to the release of all hostages.”

New York Post: Israel Uncovers Hole That Hamas Used To Move Militants, Weapons At UN School Used As Refugee Shelter

“Israeli forces discovered a hole in the wall of a United Nations school-turned refugee shelter that about 60 Hamas gunmen used to stash and access a weapons cache to attack Jewish soldiers, the army said Tuesday. Footage taken at the three-story school in Khan Younis shows a large hole in the courtyard wall covered by a tarp, with the space allowing for easy access from the school to an adjacent building. Just a few feet past the courtyard hole, another impromptu entrance was created on the neighboring building, where the Israel Defense Forces discovered a slew of weapons and explosives.”

CEP Mentions

ACAMS Today: Edmund Fitton-Brown On Yemen And The Houthis

“In the latest episode of the “Sanctions Space” podcast, Justine Walker is joined by Edmund Fitton-Brown, senior advisor at the Counter Extremism Project and former U.K. ambassador to Yemen. They discuss the ongoing tensions in the Red Sea, the political situation in Yemen and the origin and aspirations of the Houthi group, as well as sanctions actions taken by the U.S. and others against the Houthis. Fitton-Brown holds advisory or fellowship positions with RUSI, the Middle East Institute, The Soufan Center and New America. In addition, one of Fitton-Brown’s former roles includes being coordinator of the United Nations ISIL/Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team. Read Fitton-Brown’s bio here.”

United States

Politico: Russia Adds Lindsey Graham To List Of ‘Terrorists’ After He Pushes Consequences For Navalny’s Death

“Sen. Lindsey Graham has been added to Russia’s list of “extremists and terrorists” days after he proposed that the U.S. designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism following the death of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. Russian state media first reported that Graham (R-S.C.), a long-time Russia hawk, had been added to the list, which is monitored by Rosfinmonitoring, the country’s state financial watchdog. That followed Graham blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for Navalny’s death in prison last week.”

Washington Post: A Reporter Investigated Neo-Nazis. Then They Came To His House In Masks

“Jordan Green reports on extremists for the news website Raw Story, where his stories have included alleged neo-Nazis joining the U.S. military or protesting at drag shows. For the past few months, he has worked on an investigation into a teenage gang that local police had linked to a spate of racist vandalism, including a brick attack on a Jewish center in Pensacola, Fla. As Green prepared to publish his story, neo-Nazis came to his house. Green’s reporting had found that the Pensacola gang was part of a larger online network known as 2119 Blood and Soil Crew, with members operating in several states. On Feb. 10, five people connected to 2119 appeared outside his home in Greensboro, N.C., according to Green, as well as photos the group itself shared on social media.”


Associated Press: Syria Says An Israeli Strike That Hit A Damascus Residential Area Killed 2 People

“Israeli strikes hit a neighborhood of the Syrian capital on Wednesday morning, killing two people and causing material damage, Syria’s state TV said. There was no confirmation of the strikes from Israel. The Syrian state TV reported that several missiles hit the western neighborhood of Kfar Sousseh but did not elaborate or say who were the people killed. The pro-government Sham FM radio station said the strike hit a building near an Iranian school. Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition war monitor, said the two killed were inside an apartment but did not give any clues about their identities. He added that the strike was similar to last month’s killing in Beirut of Saleh Arouri, a top official with the militant Palestinian Hamas group. The strike damaged the fourth floor of a 10-story building, shattered window glass on nearby buildings and also damaged dozens of cars parked in the area. An empty parked bus for the nearby Al-Bawader Private School was also damaged and people were seen rushing to the school to take their children.”


Reuters: Turkey Detains Six Suspected Of Spying On Uyghurs For China

“Turkish authorities have detained six people suspected of spying on Uyghurs in Turkey for China's intelligence service, and another suspect was being sought by police, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday. Prosecutors in Istanbul identified seven people believed to be gathering information on notable individuals from the Uyghur community and some associations tied to them in Turkey, Anadolu said, without providing further details. Some 50,000 Uyghurs are estimated to live in Turkey, the largest Uyghur diaspora outside Central Asia. Turks have close ethnic, religious and linguistic ties to the Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim people who speak a Turkic language. Beijing has come under scrutiny - including from Ankara - over its treatment of its Uyghur minority. The Chinese embassy in Turkey did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Anadolu report. Last month, Turkish authorities detained 34 people suspected of being linked to Israel's Mossad intelligence service and of targeting Palestinians living in Turkey. The MIT intelligence service has since carried out other operations against suspected Mossad agents in Turkey.”

Reuters: U.S.-Turkey Ties Now Have Significant Momentum, Senator Murphy Says

“There is significant momentum in relations between the United States and Turkey upon which the two NATO allies can capitalise, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said on Wednesday during a visit to Turkey following its approval of Sweden's NATO membership bid. Ties between them have long been strained by issues ranging from Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems to U.S. support for a Kurdish militia in Syria that Ankara regards as a terrorist group, and various human rights issues. "You definitely feel some real new, purposeful, good feeling in the relationship, and we very much felt that in all of our meetings yesterday," Murphy told Reuters in an interview in Istanbul after talks in the capital Ankara with Turkish leaders. Last week, President Tayyip Erdogan himself spoke of a positive trend in relations between the two NATO allies, with the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey going ahead after it ratified Sweden's NATO accession following 20 months of delay.”


The Independent: Pakistan Parties ‘Stealing Election Mandate’ As Coalition Formed Without Imran Khan

“Two political parties in Pakistan led by Shehbaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari have decided to form a coalition government following 8 February’s elections marred by accusations of rigging. The Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz [PMLN] and the Pakistan Peoples Party [PPP] individually won fewer seats than independent candidates backed by imprisoned former prime minister Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI]. PTI has accused PMLN and PPP of stealing their mandate and election rigging. PPP chair Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced during a joint press conference at the Zardari House in capital Islamabad held at midnight that the PMLN and PPP collectively possessed enough seats to establish the federal government. “The Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz now have complete numbers and we are in the position to form the next government,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari said alongside top leaders from both the parties.”

New York Times: An Election Shatters The Image Of Pakistan’s Mightiest Force

“The intimidating myth of an all-powerful military in Pakistan has been smashed in public view. The first cracks began to appear two years ago, when thousands of Pakistanis rallied alongside an ousted prime minister who had railed against the generals’ iron grip on politics. A year later, angry mobs stormed military installations and set them aflame. Now comes another searing rebuke: Voters turned out in droves this month for candidates aligned with the expelled leader, Imran Khan, despite a military crackdown on his party. His supporters then returned to the streets to accuse the military of rigging the results to deny Mr. Khan’s allies a majority and allow the generals’ favored party to form a government. The political jockeying and unrest have left Pakistan, already reeling from an economic crisis, in a turbulent muddle. But one thing is clear: The military — long respected and feared as the ultimate authority in this nuclear-armed country of 240 million people — is facing a crisis.”


Bloomberg: Houthis Fire At Ship Carrying Humanitarian Aid To Yemen, US Says

“Houthi militants in Yemen on Tuesday fired two missiles at a ship carrying humanitarian assistance to the country, according to US Central Command. One of the missiles exploded near the M/V Sea Champion, causing minor damage, but the ship continued on its course to the Yemeni port city of Aden, Centcom said in a statement on the social media platform X. The statement accused the Houthis of making the humanitarian crisis in their own country even worse. “Houthi aggression in the region has exacerbated already high levels of need in conflict-impacted Yemen, which remains one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, with nearly 80% of the entire population needing humanitarian assistance,” Centcom said in its statement. The regular attacks have snarled shipping through the Red Sea, forcing traffic around the southern tip of Africa and other alternate routes. Although the Houthis say their missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are a response to Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, Centcom pointed out that the Sea Champion “has delivered humanitarian aid to Yemen 11 times in the past five years.”

Associated Press: Attacks On Ships And US Drones Show Yemen’s Houthis Can Still Fight Despite US-Led Airstrikes

“Despite a month of U.S.-led airstrikes, Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels remain capable of launching significant attacks. This week, they seriously damaged a ship in a crucial strait and downed an American drone worth tens of millions of dollars. The continued assaults by the Houthis on shipping through the crucial Red Sea corridor — the Bab el-Mandeb Strait — against the backdrop of Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip underscore the challenges in trying to stop the guerrilla-style attacks they have used to hold onto Yemen’s capital and much of the war-ravaged country’s north since 2014. The campaign has boosted the rebels’ standing in the Arab world, despite their human rights abuses in a yearslong stalemated war with several of America’s allies in the region. Analysts warn that the longer the Houthis’ attacks go on, the greater the risk that disruptions to international shipping will begin to weigh on the global economy.”

Middle East

Reuters: UN Food Agency Pauses Deliveries To The North Of Gaza

“The World Food Programme said on Tuesday it was pausing deliveries of food aid to northern Gaza until conditions in the Palestinian enclave allow for safe distribution. "The decision to pause deliveries to the north of the Gaza Strip has not been taken lightly, as we know it means the situation there will deteriorate further and more people risk dying of hunger," the Rome-based WFP, the United Nations' food agency, said in a statement. Three U.N. agencies - the WFP, the World Health Organization and children's agency UNICEF - said on Monday food and safe water were "incredibly scarce and diseases are rife...resulting in a surge of acute malnutrition" in Gaza more than four months into the Israel-Hamas war. The food crisis is particularly serious in the north, where in January one in six children under the age of two were reported as acutely malnourished, and where "the situation is likely to be even graver today", the agencies said. The WFP said it had resumed food deliveries to the north on Sunday after they were suspended for three weeks because of an attack on a U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) truck and "the absence of a functioning humanitarian notification system.”


Reuters: Belarus Leader Lukashenko Calls For Armed Street Patrols, Warns Of 'Extremist' Crime

“Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko called on law enforcement agencies on Tuesday to organise patrols with small arms on the streets of Belarusian cities to ensure the safety of people. "People should feel safe at home, at work, on the street, at any time of the day," Lukashenko said in a video from a meeting with the country's top security bodies, posted on Pul Pervovo, a state outlet that reports on Lukashenko's activities. Lukashenko said that while the crime rate in Belarus was decreasing, the country was at risk of crimes of an "extremist nature". "Today, this is the most important aspect of maintaining law and order – to suppress the actions of thugs and preventing the loss of souls, who do not yet fully understand what foreign curators are targeting them," he said in the video clip. "I warn the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the KGB, the special services, everyone, the prosecutor's office - anyone: we need to take control of this. Our patrol guys must be on the streets...Patrols must be armed with small arms, at least pistols.”

Reuters: Greek Ship Attacked In Red Sea By Houthis Arrives In Aden With Cargo

“The Greek-flagged bulk cargo vessel Sea Champion arrived in the southern Yemeni port of Aden on Tuesday after being attacked in the Red Sea in what appeared to have been a mistaken missile strike by Houthi militia, shipping and military sources said. Shipping risks have escalated due to repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait by the Iran-aligned Houthis since November. U.S. and British forces have responded with several strikes on Houthi facilities but have so far failed to halt the attacks. The U.S. military's Central Command said late on Tuesday that the Houthis had fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles at the Sea Champion, a U.S.-owned bulk carrier. It said one of the missiles detonated near the ship causing minor damage. The Sea Champion, which was ferrying corn from Argentina to Aden, the seat of Yemen's internationally recognised government, was attacked twice on Monday, with a window damaged but no crew injuries, Greek shipping ministry sources said.”

Associated Press: Italy Again Prosecutes Egypt Officials For The 2016 Torture And Death Of Italian Student In Cairo

“Four high-level Egyptian security officials went on trial in absentia before a Rome court on Tuesday, accused in the 2016 abduction, torture and slaying of an Italian doctoral student in Cairo. Giulio Regeni’s body was found on a highway days after he disappeared in the Egyptian capital on Jan. 25, 2016. He was in Cairo to research union activities among street vendors as part of his doctoral thesis. His mother has said his body was so mutilated by torture that she was only able to recognize the tip of his nose when she viewed it. Human rights activists have said the marks on his body resembled those resulting from widespread torture in Egyptian Security Agency facilities. Regeni’s parents, Paola and Giulio Regeni, were on hand for the opening court session and posed outside the tribunal with a banner “Truth for Giulio Regeni.” “We have been waiting for eight years this moment,” said Regeni’s longtime family attorney Alessandra Ballerini. “We finally hope to have a trial against those who perpetrated all the possible pain in the world on Giulio.”


Medium: How TikTok’s Lack Of Trust & Safety Enforcements Are A Danger For Germany’s And The World’s Democracy

“TikTok did not remove content which explicitly or through dog whistles support said party members, their actions or the ideology. The reject rate for actual violative content was 70%, TikTok only accepted 30% of the reports. Example 1: In these short images you see in the first one a demonstration of a nazi group (Deutsche Jugend), where else is one of the points of interest is showing a Nazi salute and the caption “Love for your country is not a crime” (also a German phrase), explicitly promoting Neo-Nazi actions, and violence, thus should have been removed and information of the user forwarded to the Verfassungsschutz.”

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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