Eye on Extremism: February 28, 2024

New York Times: Hamas Rejects Cease-Fire Proposal, Dashing Biden’s Hopes Of Near Term Deal

“Hamas officials said on Tuesday that there had been no breakthrough in the mediated talks with Israel aimed at pausing the war and freeing the remaining hostages in the Gaza Strip, one day after President Biden said he was hopeful that a cease-fire would be in place by next week. Basem Naim, a Hamas spokesman, said in a text message that the militant group had yet to formally receive “any new proposals” since senior Israeli officials met with Qatari, Egyptian and U.S. mediators in Paris last week to advance a possible deal.”


Associated Press: 3 Men Snared In Right-Wing Extremism Probe Charged In London Court With Prepping For Terrorism

“Three men arrested in an investigation into right-wing extremism were charged Tuesday in a London court with preparing to commit a terrorist act, authorities said. They were arrested on Feb. 21, Counter Terrorism Policing North East said. Prosecutors said the men had joined extreme right-wing online chat forums, had right-wing text messages and distributed information on guns and ammunition. The men had manufactured an FGC-9 semi-automatic gun, had instructions on assembling a 3D-printed firearm and identified an Islamic education center in Leeds as a possible target. Christopher Ringrose, 33, and Brogan Stewart and Marco Pitzettu, both 24, were held in custody after their appearances by video at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and ordered to return to the Central Criminal Court on March 15. They did not enter pleas.”

CEP Mentions

BNN Breaking: Germany Constructs Medieval Fortification At Reichstag To Fortify Democracy Against Attacks

“... The decision to build a trench around one of Germany's most iconic buildings is not just about physical security; it's a symbolic gesture reflecting the government's resolve to protect its democratic values at all costs. The move comes amid a rising tide of extremism in Germany, with the Counter Extremism Project highlighting the increasing menace of male supremacist extremism. Such groups have been linked to past attacks, and their potential for future violence against democratic institutions remains a significant concern for German intelligence agencies. Parallel to these security measures, there's been a groundswell of pro-democracy sentiment across Germany. Sparked by revelations of the right-wing AfD party's plans for mass deportations, nearly two million people have taken to the streets in nationwide protests. As reported by The Ink, these demonstrations are not just a rebuke of far-right policies but a vibrant affirmation of democratic values. Spearheaded by figures like German Greens MP Ricarda Lang, the movement has galvanized a broad coalition of citizens committed to defending democracy, emphasizing the importance of voting and civic engagement in the face of authoritarian threats.”

The Limited Times: This Is How RAF Terrorist Daniela Klette Was Able To Go Into Hiding For 30 Years: “Grandmas And Grandpas Who Are Adored”

“... The fact that Daniela Klette was able to stay hidden in Kreuzberg for so long is no coincidence, says terrorism expert Hans-Jakob Schindler from the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) to IPPEN.MEDIA. “There is a large and very active left-wing extremist scene in Berlin. Many people in this milieu still consider the RAF men to be heroes. For the new generation of left-wing extremists, these are grandmas and grandpas who are revered.” With such a well-connected support scene behind them, it was easier to go into hiding: “The trio didn’t have to rent an apartment and were also supported financially,” explains Schindler. “Even the first generation of the RAF had little difficulty going into hiding for long periods of time.” The first generation of the Red Army Faction (RAF) around the central figures Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Ulrike Meinhof had left the student movement at the end of the 1960s educated and quickly radicalized. In the years that followed, their successors tried, among other things, to free imprisoned RAF members through acts of terrorism.”

The Spectator: Why Britain’s Prison Guards Are Losing Control

“Professor Ian Acheson, a Spectator contributor and former prison governor who was a Tornado section commander in the 1990s, agrees that low staff numbers, and their relative inexperience may be contributing factors. These days, when faced with acts of indiscipline, but ‘lacking the numbers, there simply isn’t the capacity’ to resolve problems before they escalate, he says. Much easier to retreat from the wing, and let the governor bring in external resources. Acheson does not believe that there has been a rise in large scale disturbances, although there are particular establishments in which ‘the state does not have control and appeasement is now the default.”

United States

Reuters: Extremism Is US Voters' Greatest Worry, Reuters/Ipsos Poll Finds

“Worries about political extremism or threats to democracy have emerged as a top concern for U.S. voters and an issue where President Joe Biden has a slight advantage over Donald Trump ahead of the November election, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed. Some 21% of respondents in the three-day poll, which closed on Sunday, said "political extremism or threats to democracy" was the biggest problem facing the U.S., a share that was marginally higher than those who picked the economy - 19% - and immigration - 18%. Biden's Democrats considered extremism by far the No. 1 issue while Trump's Republicans overwhelmingly chose immigration. Extremism was independents' top concern, cited by almost a third of independent respondents, followed by immigration, cited by about one in five. The economy ranked third. During and since his presidency, Trump has kept up a steady drumbeat of criticism of U.S. institutions, claiming the four criminal prosecutions he faces are politically motivated and holding to his false claims that his 2020 election defeat was the result of widespread fraud.”


Iran International: Iran Continues To Offer Safe Haven To Al-Qaeda, US Confirms

“Iran continues to allow al-Qaeda to facilitate its terrorist activities, a key communication channel to transfer funds and fighters to South Asia, Syria, and elsewhere, the US State Department told Iran International. The State Department said that “Iran continues to deny al-Qaeda’s presence in the country, despite their knowledge of al-Qaeda leadership figures’ activities there," the relationship dating back to as early as 2009. The State Department also confirmed remarks by James Rubin, the US special coordinator for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, who recently talked of “a new partnership between Iran and al-Qaeda" in a briefing in London, saying that Iran is harboring al-Qaeda leaders inside its soil.”


Associated Press: Rocket Fire Reported Off Yemen In Red Sea In A New Suspected Attack By Houthi Rebels

“A rocket exploded late Tuesday night off the side of a ship traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, authorities said, the latest suspected attack to be carried out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The attack comes as the Houthis continue a series of assaults at sea over Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip and as the U.S. and its allies launch airstrikes trying to stop them. The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center, which oversees shipping in the Mideast, reported the attack happened about 110 kilometers (70 miles) off the coast of the Houthi-held port city of Hodeida. The rocket exploded several miles off the bow of the vessel, it said. “The crew and vessel are reported to be safe and are proceeding to next port of call,” the UKMTO said. The private security firm Ambrey reported that the vessel targeted appeared to be a Marshall Islands-flagged, Greek-owned bulk carrier in the area at the time. Another ship, a Panama-flagged, Emirati-owned chemical tanker was nearby as well, Ambrey said. The Associated Press could not immediately identify the vessels involved.”


Reuters: Lebanon's Hezbollah Will Halt Fire If Hamas Oks Gaza Truce, Sources Say

“Lebanon's Hezbollah will halt fire on Israel if its Palestinian ally Hamas agrees to a proposal for a truce with Israel in Gaza - unless Israeli forces keep shelling Lebanon, two sources familiar with Hezbollah's thinking told Reuters on Tuesday. Hezbollah has been exchanging near-daily fire with Israel across Lebanon's southern border since Oct. 8, a day after a bloody Hamas assault in southern Israel that triggered a fierce Israeli land, air and sea offensive on the Gaza Strip. A temporary truce between Hamas and Israel to allow for hostage and prisoner releases led to a week of calm across the Lebanese-Israeli border in late November. Hamas is now weighing a new proposal, agreed by Israel at talks with mediators in Paris last week, for a deal that would suspend fighting for 40 days, which would be the first extended pause of the five-month-old war. "The moment Hamas announces its approval of the truce, and the moment the truce is declared, Hezbollah will adhere to the truce and will stop operations in the south immediately, as happened the previous time," one of the two sources close to the heavily armed, Shi'ite Muslim group said.”

New York Times: Israel Launches Its Deepest Airstrikes In Lebanon In Years

“Israeli airstrikes inside Lebanon on targets associated with the Hezbollah militia hit deeper than any in recent years on Monday, targeting an area close to the Syrian border. The Israeli military said that its fighter jets had struck Hezbollah air defenses in the Bekaa Valley, about 60 miles from the Israeli border. It said that the strikes were in response to a surface-to-air missile attack that downed an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for that attack.”

Middle East

Associated Press: A Deal Between Israel And Hamas Appears To Be Taking Shape. What Would It Look Like?

“Israel and Hamas are inching toward a new deal that would free some of the roughly 130 hostages held in the Gaza Strip in exchange for a weekslong pause in the war, now in its fifth month. U.S. President Joe Biden says a deal could go into effect as early as Monday, ahead of what is seen as an unofficial deadline — the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, around March 10. A deal would bring some respite to desperate people in Gaza, who have borne a staggering toll, as well as to the anguished families of Israeli hostages taken during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack that sparked the war. Here is a look at the emerging agreement. According to a senior official from Egypt, a six-week cease-fire would go into effect, and Hamas would agree to free up to 40 hostages — mostly civilian women, at least two children, and older and sick captives. Israel would release at least 300 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, the official said.”

Reuters: Gaza's Warring Enemies Cautious Over Truce Talks After Biden Says Deal Nearing

“Israel and Hamas as well as Qatari mediators all sounded notes of caution on Tuesday about progress towards a truce in Gaza, after U.S. President Joe Biden said he believed a ceasefire could be reached in under a week to halt the war for Ramadan. Hamas is weighing a proposal, agreed by Israel at talks with mediators in Paris last week, for a 40-day ceasefire, which would be the first extended truce of the five-month-old war. Both sides have delegations in Qatar this week hammering out details. According to a source close to the ceasefire talks, the Paris proposal would see militants free some but not all of the hostages in return for Israel's release of hundreds of Palestinian detainees, a surge in humanitarian aid for Gaza and Israeli troops pulling out of populated areas in the enclave. But it appears to stop short of satisfying Hamas' main demand that any agreement include a clear path towards a permanent end to the war and Israeli withdrawal, or resolving the fate of fighting-age Israeli men among the hostages.”


New York Times: Hunger, Terrorism And The Threat Of War: Somalia’s Year Of Crises

“A 10-year defense and economic deal with Turkey to protect its seacoast and bolster its naval force. An agreement with the United States to construct five military bases for over $100 million. An enhanced defense cooperation accord with Uganda to boost the fight against the terrorist group Al Shabab. The three security pacts signed by Somalia in recent days underscore the increasing perils the Horn of Africa nation faces both internally and externally. Internally, the nation confronts the persistent threat of Al Shabab, the Qaeda affiliate that has remained resilient even as the departure date for African Union peacekeeping forces — whose offensives helped put the group on the back foot — looms in December. Equally worrisome, tensions are growing between Somalia and its western neighbor, Ethiopia, over Somalia’s coastline — the longest in mainland Africa — threatening to set off a new conflict in a vital global shipping route in an increasingly volatile region.”


New York Times: Red Army Faction Fugitive Wanted for Decades Is Arrested in Germany

“One of Germany’s most wanted fugitives was arrested on Monday after living in plain sight in Berlin, just miles from the seat of government that the police say she fought to overthrow in the 1990s. The woman, Daniela Klette, who had evaded the police for decades, was wanted in connection with the bombing of a prison in 1993. The police say they believe she was a guerrilla with the Red Army Faction, originally know as the Baader-Meinhof gang, Germany’s most infamous postwar terrorist group.”

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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