Eye on Extremism: January 17, 2020

The Washington Post: FBI Arrests 3 Alleged Members Of White-Supremacist Group ‘The Base’ Ahead Of Virginia Gun Rally

“The FBI has arrested three alleged members of a white-supremacist group on federal gun and alien-harboring charges amid growing concerns about safety surrounding planned gun rights protests in Virginia’s capital next week. The charges announced Thursday grew from an investigation of a collection of online extremists who refer to themselves as “the Base,” which is the English translation of “al-Qaeda.” According to experts who track hate groups, its members promote racist views and seek to unite different hate groups in preparation for a race war. Officials said Brian Mark Lemley Jr., 33, and William Bilbrough IV, 19, both of Maryland, were charged with transporting an alien and conspiring to harbor an alien. Lemley is also charged with transporting a machine gun. Also charged is Patrik Mathews, 27, who has been living in Newark, Del. He is accused of transporting a firearm and ammunition with the intent to commit a felony. Federal officials moved on the trio partly out of concerns they might engage in violence at a gun rights rally planned for Monday in Richmond, according to people familiar with the investigation. The Virginia General Assembly’s new Democratic majority is advancing four bills that seek to restrict some people’s access to firearms.”

Foreign Affairs: China’s Rights Abuses In Xinjiang Could Provoke A Global Terrorist Backlash

“In mid-November 2019, The New York Times published more than 400 pages of leaked internal documents from the authorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, a province in northwestern China. At least one million people, but perhaps twice that number—mostly ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities—have been incarcerated in the province’s so-called reeducation camps, where detainees are held against their will and forced to perform manual labor, forbidden from contacting relatives, and in some cases psychologically and physically tortured. The leaked documents included painstaking instructions for the silencing of those whose parents had been locked away, as well as internal speeches in which Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the Chinese people to show “no mercy” and use all the “weapons of people’s dictatorship” to combat a perceived extremist threat. The leak confirmed what human rights organizations, practitioners, and China watchers have long feared: that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is engaged in the systematic persecution of the country’s domestic religious and ethnic minorities. So far, Chinese authorities have carried out this campaign with impunity.”

Reuters: Taliban Open To 10-Day Ceasefire With U.S., Talks With Afghan Government: Sources

“The Taliban will implement a 10-day ceasefire with U.S. troops, a reduction in violence with Afghan forces and discussions with Afghan government officials if it reaches an agreement with U.S. negotiators in talks in Doha, two sources have said. If an agreement is reached, the move could revive hopes for a long-term solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. Taliban and U.S. negotiation teams met on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the signing of a peace deal, according to a spokesman for the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar. The talks between the two sides were “useful” and would continue for a few days, the spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, said in a tweet early on Friday. The stop-start talks between Taliban militants and the United States to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan were called off in September by U.S. President Donald Trump after an American soldier was killed in an attack by the Taliban. Talks that had resumed after Trump visited U.S. troops in Afghanistan in November were put on “pause” again the following month after the Taliban launched a suicide attack on a U.S. base outside Kabul killing two civilians.”

United States

The New York Times: F.B.I. Arrests Suspected Members Of Neo-Nazi Group Before Virginia Gun Rally

“The F.B.I. has arrested three men suspected of being members of a neo-Nazi hate group, including a former reservist in the Canadian Army, who had weapons and discussed traveling to a pro-gun rally next week in Richmond, Va., in anticipation of a possible race war. The men were taken into custody on Thursday morning as part of a long-running investigation into the group, known as The Base. The men were charged with various federal crimes in Maryland, according to the Justice Department. They were scheduled to appear in federal court before a judge on Thursday afternoon. One of the men, Patrik Jordan Mathews, 27, a main recruiter for the group, entered the United States illegally from Canada, according to the officials. He was arrested along with Brian M. Lemley Jr., 33, and William G. Bilbrough IV, 19. Mr. Mathews was trained as a combat engineer and considered an expert in explosives. He was dismissed from the Canadian Army after his ties to white supremacists surfaced. Mr. Lemley previously served as a cavalry soldier in the United States Army. The Base has become a growing concern for the F.B.I. as it has worked to recruit more people to its violent cause. The Base is an “accelerationist group that encourages the onset of anarchy,” according to the Counter Extremism Project, a group that tracks far-right extremists. Experts following the group say its founder, an American, appears to be living in Russia.”

CNBC: Terrorism Is Costing The Global Economy $34 Billion A Year, Research Says

“Global terrorism claimed less lives in 2018, but its economic and social impact remains widespread, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI) from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). “Although the intensity of terrorism has diminished, its breadth has not,” the Australian-based think tank warned. The total number of deaths from terrorism declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, falling by 15.2% on the year to 15,952 — a 53% reduction since its peak in 2014. The primary driver of the reduction in deaths has been a fall in the intensity of conflict in the Middle East, and military successes against terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. However, the report adds that terrorism remains a widespread problem and a major global threat — costing the global economy a conservative estimate of more than $34 billion in 2018. “This is the second worst year on record for the number of countries suffering at least one death, and highlights the need for continued assertive international action to combat terrorism,” the report said. “The international community has been very good at taking away the capabilities of terrorist groups to harm and commit their attacks, but the ideology, root cause and the grievances for international terrorism are still there,” Serge Stroobants, director for MENA and Europe at IEP told CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”

New York Post: Suspect Al-Qaeda Militant Charged In 2016 Terror Attack Murder Of US Missionary

“Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have charged a purported Al-Qaeda militant in Africa with coordinating a 2016 terror attack in Burkina Faso that killed an American missionary and 29 others. The US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn announced Thursday that it is pinning murder and terrorism conspiracy charges on Mali man Mimi Ould Baba, 32, for orchestrating the attack that killed Michael James Riddering, a Florida native living in the West African nation at the time. Riddering, 45, was the sole American killed in the Jan. 15, 2016 attack, where Al-Qaeda gunmen stormed a restaurant and hotel in the capital city of Ouagadougou and opened fire. Baba is currently being held in Mali and is awaiting extradition to the US, US Attorney Richard Donoghue’s office said — but declined to comment on the process of getting him to the states. According to the US State Department website, the US does not have an extradition treaty with Mali. The feds allege he played a “central role” in the 2016 attack in Burkina Faso, even though he didn’t pull a trigger himself. In the attack, three men toting AK-47s and hand grenades opened fire on a restaurant called the Cappuccino Cafe and the Splendid Hotel and then took more than 170 people hostage.”

Fox News: DOJ Charges Mali Man With Murdering American, Supporting 2 Terror Groups

“A Malian man was charged in U.S. federal court this week with playing a role in two 2016 terror attacks in West Africa that killed an American missionary and 29 other people. Mimi Ould Baba, 32, scouted attack locations for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and arranged the transport of assault rifles and hand grenades used in the attack on a hotel and cafe in Burkina Faso's capital of Ouagadougou, authorities alleged in a criminal complaint. The shooting killed 45-year-old Michael J. Riddering, an American missionary who had been eating dinner with a local pastor at Café Cappuccino when the attackers opened fire with AK-47s. The attack lasted for nearly 12 hours and killed people from 18 different countries, including the wife and young daughter of the Italian cafe owner, two French citizens, two Swiss citizens and six Canadians. All three gunmen were killed. Several weeks after the Burkina Faso shooting, prosecutors said, Baba also helped plan a similar Al Qaeda attack on Westerners in Ivory Coast. In that attack, three men armed with hand grenades and AK-47s walked along a beach in Grand Bassam and opened fire. Nineteen people were killed.”

CBS Philly: New Jersey Expands Definition Of Terrorism Under State Law Following Deadly Kosher Market Attack

“New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Wednesday expanding the definition of terrorism under state law in response to last month’s fatal attack on a kosher market in Jersey City, Hudson County. Murphy said the new law will make it clear that New Jersey is committed to the elimination of “hate in all its forms.” The legislation passed unanimously in the Democrat-led Legislature on Monday, about a month after the attack that left a Jersey City police detective dead, along with three people inside the market. Authorities have said that the attackers, David Anderson and Francine Graham, who both died in a gunfight with police, had expressed hatred of Jews and law enforcement. “This legislation is crucial to making it clear that hatred will not be tolerated in our state,” Murphy said in a statement. The new law says terrorism includes crimes aimed at inciting terror against people based on their religion, race or national origin, among other factors. Previous law said someone was guilty of terrorism if the person committed crimes aimed at promoting terror, terrorizing five or more people, influencing government policy through terror or impairing public transportation, communication, or other public services.”


Reuters: Three Turkish Soldiers Killed In Car Bomb Attack In Syria - Sources

“Three Turkish soldiers were killed in a car bomb attack while carrying out roadside checks on vehicles in northeast Syria on Thursday, security sources said. The sources said the attack was at the town of Suluk, 10 km (6.2 miles) southeast of the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, bordering Turkey. Both towns are in an area that Turkey and allied Syrian rebels took control of in a cross-border incursion launched last October against the Kurdish YPG militia. Ankara views the YPG, the main component of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that helped the United States defeat Islamic State, as a terrorist group with links to Kurdish militants on Turkish soil. Turkey’s offensive was widely condemned by Ankara’s Western allies, who said the assault could hinder the fight against Islamic State in Syria. State-owned Anadolu news agency cited the Turkish Defence Ministry as saying three soldiers were killed in the car bomb attack.”

Fox News: ISIS Panel In Syria Acts As 'Judge, Jury And Executioner,' Report Finds

“A U.S.-based Syrian rights group said Thursday that it's assembled a 24-page report titled “Judge, Jury and Executioner,” detailing the atrocities committed by the Islamic State and the total control with which they ruled over elements of daily life in the country. The 24-page report is based on dozens of documents collected by local Syrian activists from abandoned offices in the Raqqa province, which were then provided to The Syria Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC), according to The Associated Press. The Washington-based group claimed the evidence they've received can help identify militants who've committed horrific crimes and assist in their international prosecution. The Bureau of Justice and Grievances, which claimed to be a watchdog that held Islamic militants to account, was actually doing the bidding of the Islamic State and invading the lives of citizens at every level. According to the documents, the bureau was taking part in prison sentencing, issuing arrest warrants, providing death and marriage certificates and regulating aspects of everyday life, including the use of technology in Islamic State-controlled provinces. SJAC executive director Mohammad Al-Abdallah said the report will help provide prosecutors with a framework for how certain branches of the Islamic State operated and how the chain of command functioned.”

Asharq Al-Awsat: UN: Children Of Foreign ISIS Militants Must Be Repatriated

“UN investigators on Thursday called for thousands of children of militants who fought for ISIS to be repatriated from Syria. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in a report that the children were in a “particularly precarious” situation since they often lacked official papers. “This, in turn, jeopardizes their rights to a nationality, hinders family reunification processes and puts them at a higher risk of exploitation and abuse,” the report said. The UN says around 28,000 children of foreign militants are living in Syrian camps -- 20,000 of them from Iraq. Thousands more are believed to be held in prisons, where teenage children are being detained alongside adults. Commission chair Paulo Pinheiro said the detention of children with adults was “a terrible violation”, urging the relevant governments to take action to stop this. “All this delay in not taking these children from these prisons is outrageous. It's a scandal,” he said. Following the collapse of the self-proclaimed “caliphate” of ISIS last year, foreign militants from nearly 50 countries were detained in Syria and Iraq. Many of their relatives are held in the overcrowded Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, home to around 68,000 and where more than 500 people -- mostly children -- died in 2019.”

The National: More Than 500 Died In Syria's Al Hol Camp For ISIS Families In 2019

“At least 517 people, mostly children, died in 2019 in an overstretched Syrian camp housing displaced people and relatives of ISIS fighters, the Kurdish Red Crescent told AFP on Thursday. The Kurdish-run Al Hol camp in northeastern Syria is home to around 68,000 people who are reliant on humanitarian assistance, especially during the harsh winter months. A Kurdish Red Crescent spokesperson said 371 children were among the 517 people who died in the squalid tent city last year. Malnutrition, poor healthcare for newborns, and hypothermia were among the main causes of death among children, Dalal Ismail told AFP at the camp. “The situation is tragic and the burden is huge,” she said, adding that foreigners were among the children who died. Syrians and Iraqis form the bulk of the camp's residents but Al Hol is also home to thousands of foreigners, mainly relatives of ISIS fighters who are kept in a guarded section of the camp under the watch of security forces. Kurdish authorities say they are holding 12,000 non-Iraqi foreigners, including 4,000 women and 8,000 children, in three displacement camps in north-eastern Syria. The majority are being held in Al Hol. Jaber Mustafa, an official in the camp, said that assistance delivered by aid groups is “not enough” to address the “great suffering” of residents.”

Yahoo News: Bureaucracy To Brutality: New Evidence Reveals IS Hierarchy

“Documents compiled by a U.S.-based Syrian rights group reveal how Islamic State militants used one of their most powerful bureaucratic bodies to regulate daily life and impose and execute penalties. The new evidence could be used in international prosecutions. The Washington-based Syria Justice and Accountability Center said Thursday that the evidence — documents produced by IS itself — could help identify individuals responsible for atrocities during the militants' four-year reign of terror and lead to criminal prosecutions. The 24-page report, called “Judge, Jury and Executioner,” is based on dozens of documents obtained by SJAC from inside Syria and collected by a local activist from abandoned IS offices in Raqqa province, where the militants also had their self-declared capital in a city that carries the same name. Dozens of documents showed that the Bureau of Justice and Grievances had a much more expansive role than the militant group had publicly revealed. While IS portrayed it as a body that investigated complaints against its own members and held them accountable, the investigation showed that it had a more integral role in sentencing and executing penalties, issuing arrest warrants and death and marriage certificates, and regulating daily life, including use of technology, in the territories controlled by IS.”


NBC News: U.S. Restarts Counter-ISIS Operations Paused After Soleimani Killing

“The United States has restarted joint counter-ISIS operations with Iraq that were suspended after a drone strike killed a senior Iranian commander in Baghdad, two American military officials told NBC News late Wednesday. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media on the subject, said Iraq was now also interested in the resumption of the operations that have been in place since 2015 as the Islamic State militant group took control of swaths of Iraq and Syria. However, Gen. Abdulkarim Khalaf, a spokesman for Iraq's armed forces, told the state run Iraq News agency that, his country, did not give permission to “the US-Led coalition to be active again.” Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a powerful commander of Iran's secretive Quds Force, as well as the country’s forces in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere throughout the Middle East, died in the drone strike Jan. 3. After the strike, the U.S. military in Iraq focused on force protection, or ensuring the safety of Americans, rather than offensive operations. U.S.-Iraq relations deteriorated after Soleimani’s death, with Iraq calling the U.S. move an unacceptable breach of its sovereignty.”

Kurdistan 24: Iraqi Police Arrest ISIS Religious Official In Eastern Mosul

“Iraqi security forces on Thursday announced the arrest of a senior religious Islamic State official in eastern Mosul. Iraq’s Security Media Cell said in a statement that the Nineveh Police Command’s SWAT team arrested “a so-called sharia official and mufti of ISIS called Abu Abd al-Bari” in the Mansour neighborhood after continuous investigations and “accurate information.” Shifa Al-Neama, nicknamed Abu Abd Al-Bari, was allegedly working as a preacher at several mosques in the city of Mosul. “He is known for his provocative speeches against the [Iraqi] security forces, and he was inciting affiliation and allegiance to ISIS and educating extremist ideology during ISIS’ control over Mosul,” the Security Media Cell said. “He is considered one of the leaders in the first row of ISIS gangs, and he is responsible for issuing fatwas regarding the execution of a number of scholars and clerics who refrained from pledging allegiance to ISIS.” The Security Media Cell also charged the suspect for being responsible for encouraging the bombing of the Prophet Yunus mosque in July 2014. Mosul was previously the so-called Islamic State’s stronghold when they emerged in Iraqi in mid-2014 before Iraqi forces, with support from the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga and US-led Coalition, recaptured it in July 2017.”


The New York Times: Taliban Offer To Reduce Violence In Afghanistan Ahead Of Deal With U.S.

“The Taliban have offered a brief period of reducing violence in Afghanistan during ongoing negotiations with United States diplomats, three officials familiar with the talks said on Thursday, a concession seen as important to finalizing a preliminary peace deal between the insurgents and the United States to end their 18-year war. If the American side accepts the offer, it could amount to the most significant development in the yearlong negotiations since talks resumed  after President Trump had scuttled the peace process on the eve of a deal in September. Though the pledge to reduce violence falls short of the overarching long-term cease-fire sought by the Afghan government, Western diplomats had said getting the Taliban to agree to more than a modest reduction in attacks would be difficult before the withdrawal of foreign forces gets underway. Details of the offer, confirmed by Western and Taliban officials familiar with the negotiations, were unclear, though the Taliban have said in the past that a reduction in violence would mean scaling back attacks on major cities and highways.”


The Independent: Hezbollah Supporters Say Revenge For Soleimani’s Death Has Only Just Begun

“Qassem Soleimani was often described as a “shadowy” figure; an elusive commander who criss-crossed the Middle East in secret on his mission to sustain a regional military alliance loyal to Iran. But in the days after his killing by a US drone strike this month, his face was suddenly everywhere. Posters and billboards mourning his death appeared in Baghdad, Damascus, Sanaa and Beirut — places where Soleimani had spent years cultivating proxies and militias. In the southern suburbs of Lebanon’s capital, known for its strong support for Hezbollah — one of Iran’s strongest allies — giant images of the Iranian general’s face now loom large. Some two weeks after his death, anger over Soleimani’s killing is still palpable among Hezbollah supporters here. And despite Washington’s hope that the conflagration has been contained, many believe that it has only just begun. “He was putting limits on American influence in the region and it was working for him,” says Umm Kassem Tarheene, 58, who owns a mini-market in Dahiya, south Beirut. “That’s why they killed him.” “Americans pretend to be peaceful and democratic, but they make wars and kill our lives that it is nothing. I think they treat animals better than us. It was for people like Soleimani to stand up against that,” she says.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: Threat Of Terrorists, Migrants, Drugs Worries Libya’s Neighbors 

“As efforts to reach a long-term agreement for Libya’s crisis continue to stumble, its neighboring countries are worried that the ongoing instability will spill over across their borders. Experts from Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria have expressed their concern over the threat of terrorists, migrants and drugs spreading into their countries from Libya. Security expert and member of Egypt’s higher counter-terrorism council, Khaled Akasha said Cairo was working tirelessly to confront ongoing Turkish attempts to “replicate the Syrian tragedy in Libya.” “This threatens neighboring countries, starting with Egypt that shares a 1,250 kilometer border with Libya,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat, citing local authorities’ busting of numerous attempts by terrorists to infiltrate Egypt. The chaos in Libya has driven Cairo to seek a political solution that would see the unification of military and security institutions that will allow them secure the country’s borders and combat terrorist groups on its territories, he added. Commenting on pro-Turkey mercenaries that had arrived in Libya from Syria, he said that the majority of them are members of terrorist groups. They join the militias in Libya that support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, Akasha said.”


Military.com: US Kills Two Al-Shabaab Terrorists In Airstrike Following Deadly Kenya Attack

“Less than a week after an attack by the militant group al-Shabaab on a Kenyan airfield killed a U.S. soldier and two American contractors, the Defense Department has conducted a deadly airstrike on militants in neighboring Somalia. According to initial assessments, two terrorists were killed in the attack, according to officials with U.S. Africa Command. The airstrike was executed in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia and conducted in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, officials said. Early assessments indicated no civilians were injured or killed in the strike, according to a release. “Al-Shabaab presents a threat to America, the African people, and our international partners,” Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, AFRICOM's director of operations, said in a release. “They are a known terrorist affiliate of al-Qaeda, who continue to radicalize and actively recruit. Persistent pressure on the network helps prevent its broader spread.” On Dec. 5, al-Shabaab militants attacked Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya, roughly 100 miles from the Somalian border.”

Military Times: Shabab Militants From Somalia May Have Received Help From Kenyans For Deadly Manda Bay Attack

“U.S. Africa Command officials believe that al-Shabab militants from Somalia crossed the border into Kenya to conduct an attack on U.S. and Kenyan forces earlier this month in Manda Bay — with the assistance of facilitators within Kenya. “We assess that these are al-Shabab coming out of Somalia, but with the support of Kenyan facilitators and potential Kenyan aspirants of al-Shabab,” U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, AFRICOM deputy director of intelligence, told reporters Thursday. “We also assess that after the attack, they’re continuing to make their way back into Somalia as well,” he added. Army Spc. Henry Mayfield Jr. and two U.S. Department of Defense contractors were killed in the attack on Manda Bay, which is currently under investigation. Although the incident coincided with tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the command previously said they believe al-Shabab’s actions were not related. “I can’t say with fact what their motivation was, but I can speculate that it’s tied to a false media campaign and tied to recruiting, and tied to anytime they can attack a U.S. anything, anywhere, they will,” U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, AFRICOM director of operations, told reporters.”


France 24: Attack On Fulani Village In Mali Kills Over A Dozen In Latest Spate Of Ethnic Violence

“Fourteen people were killed and two wounded on Thursday in an attack on a Fulani village in central Mali, according to the UN, in an apparent bout of ethnic violence. The figure, from a UN report on the incident, revises down an earlier death toll of 15 people given by a security official, and reported by AFP. According to the report, armed men on motorbikes, wearing the garb of traditional hunters known as the Dozo, attacked Siba village in the early hours of Thursday morning. They fired at villagers with hunting rifles and set fire to houses. Thirteen men and one girl died in the attack, while two people were wounded and livestock was also stolen. The security official, who requested anonymity, said that some victims had their throats slit in their sleep.  Terrified villagers buried the dead on Thursday, a local teacher told AFP. Tensions between the mostly Fulani villagers of Siba, and neighbouring village of Synda, which is mostly inhabited by traditional Dogon hunters, have existed for some time, the report said. Some Synda villagers were robbed of cattle on Wedneday, the report added, quoting local sources, in an incident blamed on Fulani.”


The Economist: France Weighs Up Its Thankless Mission Fighting Jihadists In Africa

“After nightfall on a moonless evening last November, three French combat helicopters, backed by fighter jets, took off from military bases deep in the African Sahel. Their mission was to support a French commando operation on the ground, tracking terrorists in pickup trucks and motorbikes in the Liptako region of Mali. Flying in tight formation and close to the ground in total darkness, two of the helicopters collided. Thirteen French soldiers, the youngest aged 22, were killed. The deaths shook France. They also revived questions about what exactly the country is doing in this vast semi-arid belt south of the Sahara desert. On January 13th, at a summit he hosted in the French south-western town of Pau with the leaders of five Sahel countries, President Emmanuel Macron tried to provide an answer. France is there to bring “security and stability”, he declared, and nothing else. “If at any time an African state asks the French army not to be there any longer,” Mr Macron said irritably, “we’ll leave.”

Kurdistan 24: France Promises Continued Support Against ISIS In Iraq And Kurdistan

“On Thursday, the French Consul General in Erbil affirmed his country’s ongoing support for the security of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq during a meeting with the head of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Masoud Barzani received the Consul General Olivier Decottignies in the KDP's mountaintop headquarters known as Pirmam, located outside the federal region's capital. In the meeting, both sides discussed the latest security developments and domestic political tribulations Iraq is facing, as well as regional and international tensions playing out on its soil. Decottignies affirmed that Paris would continue its ongoing support as a member of the US-led anti-Islamic State Coalition forces, which resumed operations on Wednesday after their suspension as a result of escalating hostilities between Washington and Tehran that began with attacks by Iranian-backed militias on Iraqi military bases hosting US troops, as well as on the US embassy in Baghdad.  Since 2014, the French government has provided humanitarian, logistical, and military support to the Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi forces in the fight against the extremist group.”


Fox News: Norway’s Government Nears Crisis Over Return Of Former ISIS Member: 'The Terrorist Won'

“Norway seems headed to a political crisis after one of the members of the ruling coalition threatened to quit over the government's decision to bring back a woman who joined Islamic State — a move that could lead to the government falling. According to Norway’s VG, the family – a 29-year-old woman and two children – was moved from northern Syria to Iraq in preparation for them to be moved and repatriated back into Norway. One of the children, 5 years old, is believed to be seriously ill. According to The Local, the woman is described as Pakistani and traveled to Syria in 2013 before marrying a Norwegian jihadist who was killed during fighting. NRK reports that the woman will be arrested and charged with participating in a terrorist organization upon her arrival. “We sincerely ask that all actors respect the absolute protection of the children,” the woman’s lawyer said in a statement to VG. “It is the mother and family's urge that the children's travel to, and meeting with Norway, take place as gently and with dignity as possible. We will answer the questions the public is entitled to know about, but for the sake of the safety and need for the protection of the children, mother and other actors involved, we maintain that such a statement will only be given at a notified press conference after the mother and children are brought in protected environments on Norwegian soil.”


The National: Social Media Companies Continue Virtual Battle Against Extremism

“A top Facebook official says extremists and white supremacists use similar strategies to recruit people online. Dr Erin Marie Saltman, the company’s policy manager for counterterrorism in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the “empowerment structure” offered by extremists was the key ingredient to lure new supporters to their cause. Video platforms such as YouTube and social media websites are frequently used by extremists to propagate their views, spread hate and even live-stream attacks. In March last year, a white supremacist streamed his shooting rampage at two mosques in New Zealand, killing 51 people. “White supremacy terrorism or extremist terrorism or other forms of extremism, the process looks very similar,” Dr Saltman told the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, a global conference organised by India’s foreign ministry and the Observer Research Foundation think tank in New Delhi. “White supremacy movements or extreme right-wing movements across Europe and the US … are offering a lot of comradeship, friendship on social networks, and job opportunities.” Online radicalisation is one of the biggest challenges facing governments across the world.”