Eye on Extremism: January 25, 2023

Reuters: U.S. Sanctions Lebanon Money Exchanger For Alleged Ties To Hezbollah

“The U.S. Treasury said on Tuesday it was placing sanctions on Lebanese money exchanger Hassan Moukalled and his business for alleged financial ties to blacklisted group Hezbollah. Its announcement said Moukalled was a financial adviser to Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which is also designated by the United States, and carried out financial transactions on its behalf that earned him hundreds of thousands of dollars. "Today, the Treasury Department is taking action against a corrupt money exchanger, whose financial engineering actively supports and enables Hezbollah and its interests at the expense of the Lebanese people and economy," Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism Brian E. Nelson said. A Treasury statement said Moukalled's business CTEX was licensed by Lebanon's central bank. Neither Moukalled, Hezbollah's media office nor the central bank immediately responded to Reuters' requests for comment. It also sanctioned Moukalled's two sons, saying they were involved in the same financial dealings.”
CNN: Closing Arguments Conclude In Trial Of Accused NYC Bike Path Terror Suspect
“Closing arguments concluded Tuesday in the trial of Sayfullo Saipov, the man prosecutors say was radicalized by ISIS propaganda before he allegedly drove a rented truck down a bike path in New York, killing eight pedestrians in 2017. The judge is expected to charge the jury with the case Wednesday morning. He indicated the reading of the jury instructions will take several hours before deliberations begin. Defense attorney David Patton acknowledged in his closing argument that the defense does not dispute facts of the attack Saipov is accused of committing on Halloween in 2017. “It is no defense ‘I was convinced by others to do it,’ nobody forced him to do this and he’s guilty of murder and assault among many other crimes,” Patton told the jury. Six foreign tourists and two Americans were killed in the attack, the deadliest terrorist attack New York had seen since 9/11.”

United States

New Jersey Herald: Hopatcong Woman Who Helped Fund Terror Group's Fight Against Assad Sentenced To Prison

“A 55-year-old Hopatcong woman was sentenced to two years and 10 months in federal prison after admitting she concealed financial funding and guidance she provided to terrorist organizations in Syria that were fighting to topple President Bashar Assad, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Maria Bell − a U.S. Army veteran − pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing in June, having admitted she used encrypted apps throughout 2018 to communicate with members of Jabhat Fath al-sham, also known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, both of which have been designated terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department, and provided $3,150 to the groups' allies in Turkey and Syria, according to court records. Furthermore, documents claim Bell used her military knowledge to advise the groups' members on matters of operational security, communications and firearms purchases.”

Iraq

Iraqi News: Yazidis Welcome German Decision Recognizing ISIS Crimes

“In a move that was popularly welcomed by the Iraqis, especially the Yazidis, the German Parliament recognized the crimes committed by ISIS terrorist group against the Yazidis in Iraq in 2014 as genocide, recommending a series of support measures for the Yazidis. The decision stressed that the primary goal of ISIS was to completely eliminate the Yazidi community, and that more than five thousand Yazidis were tortured and brutally killed by ISIS, especially in 2014 The decision noted that male Yazidis were forced to convert, and were immediately executed, deported or turned into forced labor slaves if they refused. The decision indicated that Yazidi girls and women were subjected to enslavement, rape and sale, and added that sexual violence aims to strip communities of their humanity, humiliate and fragment them, and accordingly, the German parliament considers crimes committed by against the Yazidi community as genocide. “Although a number of European parliaments preceded the German Parliament in describing the horrors of genocide committed by ISIS in Sinjar against the Yazidis, but through some provisions approved by the German Parliament, it is an advanced and more comprehensive decision, as it addresses the effects of that genocide, compensates those affected, and prosecutes those involved,” former Iraqi MP, Hussein Nermo, told Sky News Arabia.”

Afghanistan

Firstpost: Taliban To Buy Blowfish Drones From China For War Against Islamic State

“Even as Afghanistan reels under extreme poverty with people dying due to the severe Afghan winter, the Taliban regime is hell-bent on using the limited finances at its command to buy weapons. According to an ANI report, the Taliban regime of Afghanistan wants to buy attack drones with the funds that the United States (US) sent as humanitarian aid for the Afghan people. Instead of using the money for subsidizing education or developing Afghanistan, it seems that the Taliban “will use its limited cash” to buy or acquire Blowfish drones from China, 19FortyFive reported. The US Defence Department has already expressed fears that Blowfish exported to the Middle East might reach the wrong hands, according to 19FortyFive report. The United States should not be fooled by China’s statement that drones are required to help the Taliban’s counter-terrorism, considering the Taliban’s ties with Al Qaeda, as per the news report.”

Middle East

Middle East Monitor: Hamas Slams Israel's 'Ethnic Cleansing' Of Khan Al-Ahmar

“The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement criticised on Monday Israel's plan to forcibly displace the residents of the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar, east of occupied Jerusalem, describing it as "ethnic cleansing" by the occupation state. "The [Israeli] occupation's announcement of its intention to deport the residents of Khan Al-Ahmar in Jerusalem is not new," said the movement's spokesman, Hazem Qassem. "Displacing the owners who have the right to the land is a racist policy practised by the Israeli occupation government in favour of expanding the illegal settlements." Qassem stressed that the Palestinian masses who came out on Monday to support Khan Al-Ahmar villagers demonstrated that the land is Palestinian and Israel cannot expel the Palestinians from it. Israel's extreme far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, demanded during the weekly cabinet session on Sunday that Khan Al-Ahmar should be demolished and the community expelled. Israel has been given the legal green light by the High Court to demolish the homes of residents in Khan Al-Ahmar to make way for Jew-only settlements. A new date for the eviction of the residents of the village has been set for 1 February.”

i24: Terrorist Killed After Attempted Stabbing Attack Near Kedumim

“An attempted stabbing attack was thwarted near the Israeli settlement of Kedumim in the northern West Bank on Wednesday, according to the Israeli army. The terrorist arrived at a military station at Ma'ale Nehemiah carrying a knife and tried to stab a soldier before being shot by Israeli forces, the military said. Hananel Dorni, head of the Kedumim Local Council, confirmed that the terrorist was dead. The attack occurred on Route 55 near Kedumim. No casualties to Israeli forces were reported.”

Somalia

Voice Of America: US Military Strike In Somalia Kills 2 Militants

“The United States has reported conducting a new airstrike against al-Shabab in Somalia on January 23, killing two militants. In a statement, the U.S. military's Africa Command, known as AFRICOM, said it conducted a "collective self-defense" strike against al-Shabab following a request from the Somalian government. The strike was in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabab, AFRICOM said. The strike occurred in a remote area near Harardhere, approximately 396 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu where Somali forces were conducting operations. "Given the remote location of the operation, the initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed," the statement said.”

Mali

AFP: Armed Groups Creating 'Misery' In Mali: UN Representative

“Armed groups in northern Mali are creating misery in the vacuum left by French troops' withdrawal, with the protracted crisis causing international "fatigue", the UN refugee agency's representative in the country said Tuesday. On the heels of a military coup in 2020 that saw the troubled west African state bring in Russian paramilitaries, France withdrew the last of its soldiers in November, ending its long-running Barkhane anti-jihadist operation. "Since the departure of Barkhane and European troops, there is a vacuum," Mohamed Toure told reporters in Geneva, via video link from Mali, following a mission to the north to meet freshly displaced people. "We don't have any state authorities in that region, so it's really left in the hands of terrorist armed groups which are spreading terror, killings, rapes, creating misery. "Mass displacement has been noticed," including refugees from other countries forced to move again, he added.”

Reuters: WHO Doctor Kidnapped In Eastern Mali

“Unidentified assailants in eastern Mali have abducted a doctor working for the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.N. agency said in a statement on Tuesday. Dr Mahamadou Diawara was taken from his car on Monday in the town of Menaka, located in an eastern region where jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State are active. Assailants also attacked his driver but left him behind. WHO "is working with local authorities to investigate the abduction and ensure our colleague's quick return to his family," the statement said. Diawara was sent to Menaka at the start of 2020. He has been leading efforts to provide medical care to remote communities at risk of violence.”

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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