Eye on Extremism: February 8, 2024

Associated Press: US Drone Strike In Baghdad Kills High-Ranking Militia Leader Linked To Attacks On American Troops

“A U.S. drone strike blew up a car in the Iraqi capital Wednesday night, killing a high-ranking commander of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah militia who is responsible for “directly planning and participating in attacks” on American troops in the region, the U.S. military said Wednesday. The precision blast hit a main thoroughfare in the Mashtal neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, attracting a crowd as emergency teams picked through the wreckage. It came amid roiling tensions in the region, and will likely further anger Iraqi government leaders, who U.S. officials said were not notified in advance of the strike. Security forces closed off the heavily guarded Green Zone, where a number of diplomatic compounds are located, and there were concerns about social media postings urging protesters to storm the U.S. embassy.”

Jerusalem Post: 'Swarm Of Suicide Drones' Attacks US Army Base In Syria In Retaliation For Baghdad Airstrike

“Explosions have been reported near a US army base in Syria, by the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese media network Al Mayadeen, on Wednesday. The American base in the Al-Omar oil field in the Kurdish-controlled region of northeastern Syria, close to the city of Deir ez-Zor, American troops have been present here since at least 2017. The base was attacked by a "swarm of suicide drones" according to Egypt-based Bayan-gate news and is the second attack of its kind this week against US bases in the region.”

CEP Mentions

Bellingcat: How A Sailboat Exposed A Dutch Cell Of The White Supremacist Active Club Movement

“... Active Clubs “promise a massive status upgrade through white supremacy,” said Alexander Ritzmann, a political scientist and senior advisor at the Counter Extremism Project. “It’s specifically interesting for people who feel unaccomplished, discriminated [against], unseen.…male fragility plus a tendency for violence. That is the target audience.” In the Netherlands, Active Clubs have attracted considerable attention from the country’s authorities in recent months. The Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV), in its most recent December 2023 Terrorist Threat Assessment (DTN) report, devoted a whole section of the report to Active Clubs and similar groups.”

United States

Fox News: 50+ House Republicans Call For Biden Admin To 'Immediately' Designate Houthis A Foreign Terrorist Organization

“Dozens of House Republicans on Wednesday called for the Biden administration to designate the Iran-backed Houthis a Foreign Terrorist Organization, arguing that a recent move to put them on a separate terror list doesn’t go far enough. "We find it deeply concerning that the Administration once again opted not to designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO)," the 54 House lawmakers, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said. The Biden administration placed the Houthis on the Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) list last month, which will trigger sanctions designed to prevent further attacks on global trade in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. "These attacks are a clear example of terrorism and a violation of international law and a major threat to life, global commerce, and they jeopardize the delivery of humanitarian assistance," a senior administration official told reporters last month. The administration had removed the terrorist group from the FTO list in February 2021, which the Houthis had been placed on during the Trump administration, to get more foreign aid to Yemen.”

Turkey

Reuters: Turkey Detains 147 People Over Suspected Islamic State Ties

“Turkish authorities have detained 147 people suspected of having ties to militant group Islamic State in operations across 33 provinces, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on Thursday. The "Operation Heroes-49", was carried out simultaneously across the country, Yerlikaya said on social media platform X. Last month, one Turkish citizen was killed by two Islamic State gunmen at the Italian Santa Maria Catholic Church in Istanbul. Turkish police captured the suspected perpetrators of the attack.”

Pakistan

Reuters: Nine Killed As Violence Mars Pakistan Election; Mobile Services Suspended

“At least nine people, including two children, were killed in militant attacks in Pakistan on Thursday as the country voted in a general election after suspending mobile phone services and closing some land borders to maintain law and order. The interior ministry said it took the security steps after at least 26 people were killed in two explosions near electoral candidates' offices in the southwestern province of Balochistan on Wednesday. Islamic State later claimed responsibility for those attacks.”

Associated Press: Pakistan Votes For A New Parliament As Militant Attacks Surge And Jailed Leader’s Party Cries Foul

“Pakistanis braved cold winter weather and sporadic violence to vote for a new parliament Thursday, a day after twin bombings claimed at least 30 lives in the worst election-related violence ahead of the balloting. Tens of thousands of security forces were deployed at polling stations and authorities suspended mobile phone services across the country to prevent disruptions and flash protests. Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said the decision was made to maintain law and order. It did not say when the suspension would be lifted. There were a handful of attacks that appeared aimed at disrupting the vote. In the northwestern district of Dera Ismail Khan, gunmen set off a bomb and then opened fire at a police van, killing five officers and wounding two others, local police official Khalid Khan said. The officers were assigned to security duty during the elections. No one claimed responsibility for the attack but the area is a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban who often target police forces.”

Middle East

Associated Press: Efforts Intensify To Bring Calm To The Lebanon-Israel Border In Parallel With Gaza Cease-Fire Talks

“Foreign diplomats have put forward proposals to bring calm to the volatile Lebanon-Israel border, in parallel with the ongoing Gaza cease-fire negotiations, according to officials Wednesday. This includes a pullback by the militant Hezbollah group from the frontier and the deployment of thousands of additional Lebanese army troops. The proposal put forward by European diplomats would be based on the “partial implementation” of the U.N. Security Council resolution that ended a 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, two Lebanese political officials and a Lebanese diplomat based in Europe told The Associated Press. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details of the talks. Israel has publicly insisted on a full implementation of the resolution meaning that Hezbollah has to move its fighters north of the Litani River, which is more than 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the border.”

Politico: Netanyahu Rejects Hamas’ ‘Delusional’ Cease-Fire Demands

“Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas’ terms for a cease-fire Wednesday, saying that agreeing to the group’s demands would “invite another massacre” and predicting an Israeli victory “in a matter of months.” His comments came after Hamas stipulated the deal should see the release of hundreds of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, among other conditions, in exchange for freeing Israeli hostages abducted on October 7. At a press conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu called Hamas’ three-stage proposal to end the war “delusional” and pledged to continue Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, now in its fifth month, until achieving “absolute victory.” “There is no alternative to the military collapse [of Hamas],” he said. Unless Hamas is destroyed, “the evil axis of Iran and its affiliates will continue unhindered its campaign of killing and aggression,” Netanyahu added.The setback in peace talks comes as Israel’s forces push towards Rafah, a city on the border with Egypt where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have fled.”

Reuters: Jordanian Guard Wounded, Three Smugglers Killed On Syria Border - Military

“Three drug smugglers were killed and a Jordanian frontier guard was wounded in clashes along the border with Syria, the Jordanian armed forces said, the latest flareup which officials blame on Iran-backed drug cartels. Since the start of the year Jordan has stepped up air strikes inside Syrian territory along the border against suspected farms and hideouts of drug smugglers. Clashes have erupted with hundreds of drug dealers Jordan says have direct links to pro-Iranian militias carrying narcotics over its border from Syria, along with arms and explosives. Iran and Hezbollah deny this, saying the accusations are part of a Western plot against them. Syria's government denies that its security and military forces work closely with Iranian-backed militias involved in drug trafficking. Jordan's government, like its Western allies, says Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah group and other pro-Tehran militias who control much of southern Syria are behind the surge in drug and weapons smuggling.”

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.

View Archive