Eye on Extremism: January 13, 2023

Reuters: Britain Is Actively Considering Proscribing Iran's Revolutionary Guard - Minister

“Britain is actively considering proscribing Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organisation but has not reached a final decision on the matter, foreign office minister Leo Docherty told parliament on Thursday. "It would be wrong of me to speculate ... about the outcome of the government's current consideration of this issue, which is active," Docherty said during a debate on the situation in Iran during which some lawmakers had called for proscription. "But I can say that I think the calls right across the house, and the unity with which these calls are being made on all sides will be noted by the government and this is something that we regard as extremely serious." Proscribing Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group would mean that it would become a criminal offence in Britain to belong to the group, attend its meetings, and carry its logo in public.”

Fox News: 'ISIS Beatle' Alexanda Kotey Disappears From US Prison System Records

“The notorious terrorist and member of the ISIS cell dubbed "The Beatles," who was serving a life sentence for the kidnap, torture and murder of western journalists and aid workers in Syria, has disappeared from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Fox News Digital confirmed Thursday.  Alexanda Kotey, 39, was sentenced to life in prison in April after being transported to the U.S. for trial in 2020 following his 2015 capture by Kurdish forces. The U.S. Justice Department in April said Kotey and his three partners participated in the "seizure, detention and hostage negotiations" of four Americans, including James Foley, Kayla Mueller, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig, along with 23 others between 2012 -2015. James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller were Americans killed at the hands of ISIS under al-Baghdadi's leadership. The native Londoner called "Jihadi George" pled guilty to eight counts of hostage-taking and terrorism-related counts resulting in death.”

United States

Associated Press: Connecticut Man Admits To Trying To Help Islamic State Group

“A 29-year-old Connecticut man pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal terrorism charge, more than three years after he was arrested at an airport while trying to travel to Syria to help the Islamic State group, officials said. Kevin McCormick, of Hamden, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, which carries up to 20 years in prison, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Sentencing was set for April 6. A public defender for McCormick, who has been detained since his arrest on Oct. 21, 2019, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday. Federal authorities said McCormick, a former contract driver for a large company, told several people he wanted to fight for the Islamic State group in Syria. He also pledged his allegiance to the IS and its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who took his own life on Oct. 27, 2019, as U.S. commandos closed in on him in northern Syria.”

Syria

DW: Yazidis: Germany To Vote On Declaring Is Crimes As Genocide

“Parliamentarians in Germany are planning to declare that the atrocities committed by the "Islamic State" (IS) against Yazidis amounted to genocide, with a vote in the Bundestag expected next week. The agreement was reported by public broadcaster "Tagesschau" and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper on Friday. Both Chancellor Olaf Scholz's three-party governing coalition and the largest opposition party have agreed to back the vote, which could lead to a judicial reappraisal and financial help for displaced Yazidis to return home. The extremist militant group conquered the Sinjar Mountains in northern Iraq in 2014, where the Yazidis had lived for centuries. They forced women and girls into slavery, recruited boys as child soldiers and killed many of the community's men. Since that time, thousands of Yazidis have fled the region. It is believed that some 5,000 people were killed and another 7,000 were abducted — with many taken to areas of Syria where IS seized control at the time. The Yazidis follow an ancient religion rooted in Zoroastrianism, viewed by IS as heresy.”

Washington Examiner: Spain Repatriates 15 People With ISIS Ties From Syrian Camp

“The Spanish government agreed to repatriate more than a dozen people with Islamic State ties who had been in a Syrian refugee camp. Two women and 13 children made up the group of people who had been in the al-Hol camp in Syria. They were handed over to a Spanish delegation led by Guillermo Anguera, an adviser to the Spanish foreign ministry. “This will be such a relief and marks a very positive start to the year for these children," said Matt Sugrue, director of program operations for Save the Children in Syria, an organization dedicated to helping children in these camps. "They now get to leave the camps behind and look forward to a better future. The remaining 7,000 children still lingering in the camps deserve the same. Efforts must be stepped up to urgently repatriate each and every one of them." The organization also called on the Spanish government to repatriate another four children and one woman, whom they say remain in the camp. U.S. officials have repeatedly cautioned that this refugee camp and the Roj camp are breeding grounds for a new generation of ISIS fighters. They also frequently point to the repatriation of those in the camps as the best way to prevent the radicalization of the tens of thousands of people within the camps.”

Afghanistan

Reuters: Aid Chief To Ask Taliban's Kandahar Leaders To Scrap Female Worker Ban

“The head of a major aid group that suspended work in Afghanistan after the Taliban banned female NGO workers said on Thursday he would write to the the administration's senior figures in Kandahar and ask them to change the policy. Jan Egeland, the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told Reuters it was crucial to engage with the leadership in the southern city, home to the Taliban's supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada. "The letter I'm drafting will say: We know you, we worked in ... areas controlled by the Taliban for many years. You know us. "You know that our female staff have always used the hijab. They've had ... a male chaperone on longer travel. Your people are suffering because of your ban on female workers. The Taliban administration last month ordered all local and foreign aid groups to stop letting female staff work until further notice.”

Middle East

Middle East Monitor: Hamas Tells Ben Gvir, 'Your Fate Is To Be Expelled From Our Land'

“The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has hit back at the allegation by Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, that it is a "murderer" organisation. "The government of Israel will not give in to an organisation of murderers," said the far-right minister when he desecrated Al-Aqsa Mosque last week. "The Temple Mount [sic] is the most important place for the people of Israel. We make clear to Hamas, we do not give in, we do not surrender, we do not blink." In response, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem pointed out that, "Al Aqsa Mosque has been and will remain for our Palestinian people, and its Arab-Islamic identity will remain eternal despite the will of the [Israeli] occupation and its terrorist institutions and leaders.”

Somalia

Al Arabiya News: Somalia’s President Urges People To Flush Out Al-Shabaab ‘Bedbugs’

“Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called Thursday on ordinary people to help flush out members of the al-Shabaab extremist group he described as “bedbugs.” Mohamud was addressing large crowds at a government-organized rally against the al-Qaeda-linked militants held at a stadium in the capital Mogadishu under tight security. “I’m calling to you, the people of Mogadishu, the kharijites (renegades) are amongst you... so flush them out. They are in your houses, they are your neighbors, in cars that pass you by,” he said. “I want us to commit today to flushing them out, they are like bedbugs under our clothes,” he added, as demonstrators waved flags and placards with anti-al-Shabaab messages.”

India

Reuters: India Revives Network Of Village Guards In Kashmir After Militant Attack

“India is reviving a network of thousands of village guards in Jammu and Kashmir, including arming some with automatic rifles, after a militant attack in the disputed region killed seven civilians earlier in January, a police official said. New Delhi has battled a decades-long armed insurgency in Kashmir, accusing arch rival Pakistan of stoking violence in the territory - an allegation that Islamabad denies. The nuclear-armed neighbours claim the Himalayan region - that includes the Muslim majority Kashmir valley and Hindu-dominated Jammu - in full but control only parts of it. Authorities reactivated an almost defunct network of 26,000 Village Defence Guards (VDGs) after militants killed seven residents of a Hindu community in a remote village in Jammu's Rajouri district on Jan. 1.”

Africa

The Brussels Times: US Offering Up To $10 Million For Information On Mastermind Behind Attack On Hotel In Kenya

“The United States has announced that it is offering up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest of a man believed to be the “terrorist mastermind” behind a 2019 attack on a hotel in Kenya that caused the death of 21 people, including an American. The U.S. is looking for Mohamoud Abdi Aden, whom it considers a leader of al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based Islamist group that has carried out several bloody attacks in neighbouring Kenya. The group claimed responsibility for the 15 January 2019 attack on the posh DusitD2 hotel in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Twenty-one people were killed during the siege of the hotel, which lasted about 20 hours. Kenyan authorities indicated at the time that all the attackers were killed. U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman told reporters in Nairobi that Mohamoud Abdi Aden was part of the cell that planned the attack on the DusitD2 hotel.  She added that the US is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest of Aden, believed to be a Kenyan national, and others involved in the siege of the hotel. Kenyan intelligence chief Amin Mohamed Ibrahim called Aden the “terrorist mastermind” of the attack.”

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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