Eye on Extremism: January 12, 2023

CBS News: Suicide Bomber Attacks Taliban Regime In Afghanistan's Capital Kabul, Killing At Least 13

“A large explosion caused by a suicide bomber in Kabul's diplomatic district left at least 13 people dead and others injured Wednesday in the latest attack targeting Afghanistan's Taliban regime, according to a CBS News source. The blast happened at the main entrance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs just as employees were leaving for the day, and images shared on social media showing multiple people on the ground on the road in front of the building's entrance. A former employee of the ministry told CBS News that at least 13 people were killed, all of them employees of the foreign ministry. Earlier, Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul police force, confirmed to reporters that the explosion, which struck around 4 p.m. local time, had killed at least five people and left many more wounded. An emergency hospital in Kabul run by an Italian charity said it had received at least 40 people for treatment from the incident, but it did not say how many had died.”

Associated Press: 14 Malian Soldiers Killed By Explosives In Multiple Attacks

“Coordinated attacks by Islamic extremists have killed 14 Malian soldiers and wounded nearly a dozen, the army said. Multiple improvised explosive devices detonated between Dia and Diafarabe villages as well as between Koumara and Macina towns in central Mali, said Col. Souleymane Dembele, the director of public relations for the army, in a statement Wednesday. During the same attacks, which occurred earlier this week, Mali’s forces killed more than 30 “terrorists,” Dembele said. The West African nation has been riddled with violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group for a decade. Thousands of people have been killed. Mali’s ruling junta, which seized power in two coups starting in 2020, has been struggling to beat back the jihadis, especially since French troops pulled out of the country in August amid frayed relations with the junta. France has been in the region since 2013 when it sent in troops to Mali to push back extremists encroaching on the capital, Bamako, but the jihadis have since regrouped.”

Afghanistan

CNN: Australia Pulls Out Of Afghanistan Cricket Series Over Taliban’s Restrictions On Women

“Australia’s men’s cricket team has withdrawn from a series of upcoming matches against Afghanistan in protest over the ruling Taliban’s restrictions on women and girls’ education and employment, Cricket Australia (CA) said in a statement Thursday. The teams were scheduled to play three One Day International (ODI) games in the United Arab Emirates in March, but CA decided to cancel the series after “extensive consultation” with “several stakeholders including the Australian government,” the statement said. “CA is committed to supporting growing the game for women and men around the world, including in Afghanistan, and will continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country,” it added. In December, the Taliban announced the suspension of university education for all female students. The move followed a decision in March to bar girls from returning to secondary schools, following months-long closures that had been in place since the hardline Islamist group took over Afghanistan in August 2021.”

Middle East

The Jerusalem Post: Israeli Injured In Terrorist Stabbing Attack South Of Hebron – IDF

“A Palestinian terrorist stabbed Israeli Elyashiv Nahum, 29, near the West Bank outpost of Havat Yehuda, where he lives. Nahum suffered moderate injuries and was transferred to the Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba for further medical attention by Magen David Adom. The Palestinian terrorist was then shot and killed. Reports were mixed about who shot the Palestinian, whether it was Nahum himself, who managed to stay composed, or a visiting electrician who happened to be on the scene. Nahum was bleeding from his upper body in multiple spots. He is in stable condition. The Palestinian stabber has been identified by Palestinian media as Sanad Muhammad Samamra, 18, from the nearby Palestinian town of Dhahiriya, only a few kilometers away. Elyashiv’s wife, Roni, told Ynet that “he was at the entrance to our home. Elyashiv called out to him, ‘Who is it?’ He responded, ‘I only came to drink water.’ Then he pulled his knife.” Roni’s father is Noam Arnon, Ynet added, a spokesman for Hebron.”

i24: Ground Forces Key To Victory In War With Hezbollah

“A decisive and overwhelming victory - that’s what the Israeli military is aiming for in a future war with Hezbollah. It knows that such a victory will be won on the ground rather than, say, by employing overwhelming air power or missiles. "The ground maneuver is one of the tools the military has against the enemy,” says Lieutenant Colonel Shimon Orkabi, an Engineering Corps battalion commander. “Our maneuver can be strong and effective and, if needed, will be able to complete its mission.” Boots on the ground demand a completely different level of logistics that doesn’t end with supplying the infantry and armored corps with all they need to fight. It also means sending the engineering corps in to deal with any surprise the enemy is preparing. This is what the corps have been training for this week. “Our battalion conducted a drill depicting an incursion deep into Lebanon with the scenarios we expect to meet on the battlefield,” says Orkabi. “We aim to allow the infantry and armored corps to reach the targets in the next war.” Israel’s border with Lebanon has been almost tranquil for more than 16 years now, since the summer war in 2006. Both Israel and Hezbollah seem to have an interest in keeping it this way. But both Israel and Hezbollah also know that this silence may be interrupted at any minute.”

Somalia

Voice Of America: Somali Government Says Funding Sources To Al-Shabab Shut Down

“The Somali government says it has shut down the financial infrastructure that supports Islamist militant group al-Shabab. Speaking Wednesday to a gathering of Somali diaspora members in Cairo, Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said his government has closed every known account connected with the militants. “The government has closed down about 250 militant-connected accounts in four banks and also shut down the network and the data services of about 70 mobile phones the militants were using to transfer money,” Hamza said. “This was a major victory and was only possible because of the tips of the Somali citizens and we are in the process of investigating the amount of the frozen money in the closed accounts,” said the prime minister. Hamza said Somali security forces have also arrested individuals carrying money to al-Shabab financial offices. Al-Shabab has funded itself for years by extorting businesses in Mogadishu and collecting taxes in the areas under its control.”

Africa

AFP: West African Chief Vows Support For Extremist-Torn Burkina Faso

“The head of West Africa’s regional bloc has expressed support for extremist-hit Burkina Faso less than five months after an insurgency sparked by militants sparked a new coup, the Burkinabe government said. Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, current president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), made a one-day visit to Ouagadougou on Wednesday for talks with junta leader Captain Ibrahim Traore. Traore, 34, seized power on September 30 at the head of army officers angered at failures to roll back a bloody extremist campaign. In a statement issued after the talks, Traore’s office said Embalo was “reassured by the steady transition” for returning the country to civilian rule. Embalo also “reaffirmed the willingness of the West African organization to support and accompany Burkina Faso in the fight against terrorism.” ECOWAS, a 15-member organization which includes Burkina Faso, is struggling with a string of military coups in its region and an escalating extremist insurgency in the Sahel. It has taken a relatively hard line with Guinea and Mali over coups there, invoking the threat of sanctions to try to speed up the return to civilian rule.”

Reuters: Suspected Islamist Fighters Kill Four Road Workers In Eastern Kenya

“Four workers from Kenya's highways agency were killed in an ambush by suspected Islamist militants on Wednesday near the country's eastern border with Somalia, police said. The workers were leading a three-car convoy from the town of Garissa to Bura when they hit an explosive device planted in the road by suspected members of the Somali insurgent group al Shabaab, according to a police report. "A vehicle with four employees of the Kenya National Highway Authority was attacked with an IED, all the four died on the spot," said John Otieno, a local government administrator. Spokespersons for al Shabaab could not immediately be reached for comment as their phones were switched off. Al Shabaab killed 166 people at Garissa University in 2015, and 67 at a mall in Nairobi in 2013, but the frequency and severity of the group's attacks in Kenya has reduced in recent years. The al Qaeda franchise's cross-border raids are part of its campaign to pressure Kenya into withdrawing its troops from the African-Union mandated peacekeeping force in Somalia, ATMIS.”

United Kingdom

BBC: Bath Man 'Shared Explosive-Making Recipe In Group Chat', Court Hears

“A man shared instructions which could have been used to make an explosive, a court has heard. Elliot Brown, 25, from Bath, shared a video on a messenger app group chat of his speaker reading out a recipe on how to make thermite. Three days later, fellow member Dean Morrice purchased materials to make the explosive substance. Mr Brown is accused of the collection and dissemination of terrorist publication, which he denies. Bristol Crown Court heard Mr Brown recorded a 30-second video on 22 March 2020, in which his Amazon Alexa speaker responded to his question - "how do I make thermite?". Alexa read out instructions from a website, which Mr Brown recorded and sent into a far-right group chat via the messenger app Telegram. The group chat contained messages from members, including Mr Brown, expressing racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic views, the court heard. It also contained photos related to the support of neo-Nazism, the jury was told.””

The National: Extinction Rebellion Tactics Shift But 'Fringe Groups' Dangers Grow

“Extinction Rebellion has launched a 100-day countdown to a large protest in a switch in tactics triggered by tougher enforcement, amid calls for a crackdown on emerging dangers of similar movements. Prof Ian Acheson of the Counter Extremism Project has called on the UK to use existing laws and set up special courts to expedite the arrest, prosecution and punishment of people whose actions have a disproportionate effect on the public. A January 1 announcement by Extinction Rebellion, also known as XR, to end acts of public disruption came as seven members of the group face possible prison sentences for criminal damage. It unveiled a banner on Westminster Bridge on Wednesday as it aims to stage a protest of 100,000 people outside the Houses of Parliament on April 21. It comes as Just Stop Oil has called an online meeting of its supporters to discuss ramping up their activity after the Extinction Rebellion decision.”

Germany

Al Arabiya: German Woman Goes On Trial Over ‘Enslaving’ Yazidi Woman

“A German woman went on trial Wednesday accused of aiding and abetting war crimes and genocide with the ISIS terrorist group in Syria by “enslaving” a Yazidi woman. The 37-year-old defendant, identified only as Nadine K., is also facing charges of crimes against humanity and membership of a foreign terrorist organization before a court in the southwestern city of Koblenz. Federal prosecutors say Nadine K. travelled with her husband in December 2014 from Germany to the ISIS-controlled part of Syria where they joined the terrorist group. Months later the couple and their daughter settled in the Iraqi city of Mosul, the former “capital” proclaimed by ISIS, where they allegedly hoarded weapons and established a hostel providing room and board for “single female members” of ISIS. “From early 2016, Nadine K. and her husband kept a Yazidi woman as a slave,” prosecutors said when she was charged in September. “The man raped and beat the woman regularly, which Nadine K. knew.” They said Nadine K. kept watch to prevent the woman, who was 22 at the time, from fleeing and forced her to do housework and care for children while observing Islamic rituals. “All of this served the declared purpose of ISIS, to wipe out the Yazidi faith,” prosecutors said.”

Europe

WTOP News: The Hunt: Is The West Forgetting About The Threat Of Terrorism?

“In this week’s edition of “The Hunt with WTOP national security correspondent J.J. Green,” Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler warns that terror groups are taking advantage of western countries turning their focus to geopolitical concerns in China and Russia.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

So you go to India, and if you see a Hindu walking down the road you are allowed to kill him and take his money, is that clear? Jews should be killed ... as by Hitler. People with British passports, if you fly into Israel, it is easy. Fly into Israel and do whatever you can. If you die, you are up in paradise. How do you fight a Jew? You kill a Jew. In the case of Hindus, by bombing their businesses.

Abdullah Faisal, ISIS Propagandist Undated
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