Eye on Extremism: July 1, 2024

Associated Press: US Bases In Europe On High Alert For Possible Terrorist Attack: DOD

“U.S. military bases throughout Europe have been put on heightened alert status due to a potential terrorist attack, Fox News Digital has confirmed.  "There is credible intel pointing to an attack against U.S. bases over the next week or so," a U.S. defense official told Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson.  The official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, did not elaborate on the nature of the threat, but confirmed it was not tied to the French elections. The official said all U.S. military bases in Europe have been placed on high alert, not a lock-down. The U.S. bases have raised the status of the alert level to, "Force Protection Charlie," which means the Pentagon has received credible intelligence indicating some form of a terrorist attack is in the works. The new alert applies to all U.S. military facilities and personnel in Europe, including facilities in Germany, Italy, Romanian and Bulgaria, per reporting from Stars and Stripes.”

Associated Press: Female Suicide Bombers Kill At Least 18 In Coordinated Attack In Nigeria, Authorities Say

“Female suicide bombers targeted a wedding, a funeral and a hospital in coordinated attacks in northern Nigeria that killed at least 18 people, local authorities said Sunday. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the the attacks in Borno state, which has been heavily affected by the insurgency launched in 2009 by Boko Haram. The extremist group previously has used women and girls in suicide bombings, prompting suspicions that some attackers come from the many thousands of people the militants have kidnapped over the years, including schoolchildren. The first suicide bomber detonated a device during a marriage celebration in the northeastern town of Gwoza, Barkindo Saidu, director-general of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, told reporters. “Minutes later, another blast occurred near General Hospital,” Saidu said, and the third bomber at the funeral service was disguised as a mourner. Children and pregnant women were among those killed. At least 30 others were wounded, and Saidu said that injuries included abdominal ruptures and skull fractures.”

CEP Mentions

Tagesspiegel: Less US Military Aid For Jerusalem? How Dependent Is Israel Really On America’s Weapons

“[…] Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director of the international Counter Extremism Project, also believes that a complete cessation of military cooperation is out of the question. "Not only is it politically unthinkable that a US administration would completely end this cooperation, it would also be completely pointless from a military perspective," Schindler told Tagesspiegel. "Israel is one of the most important hubs in the projection of US military strength in the region." The dispute over the delays mainly concerns the delivery of so-called 2,000-pound bombs with very high explosive power. The United States is concerned that Israel could use these bombs in the Gaza Strip, specifically in the southern city of Rafah - and that this would affect many Palestinian civilians. Then in May, the government released a report finding that since October 7, Israel has used US weapons “in cases inconsistent with its obligations under international humanitarian law.””

Vanguard: Police Arrest Female Prison Officer Filmed Having Sex With Inmate In UK Cell

“... Ian Acheson, a former prison governor, commented on the security implications of the incident: “If this footage is authentic, and I’ve been assured it is, the problems confronting a likely new Labour administration go far beyond overcrowding.” The case has raised serious concerns about security protocols and staff conduct within the prison system.”

Tagesschau: What Happened To The IS Caliphate?

“... Al-Baghdadi's appearance caused a stir around the world. Hans-Jakob Schindler, a terrorism expert at the Counter Extremism Project organization, says it was crucial that the caliphate was proclaimed in a mosque, on a prayer pulpit. Because in addition to its ideological function, the caliphate also had a religious one." The last caliph was deposed in Turkey in the 1920s. That ended the caliphate," explains Schindler. The proclamation of the caliphate was intended to build on this. "With the idea of establishing a new political order worldwide. This caliphate was then supposed to spread from Iraq and Syria, first through the Islamic world and then of course the whole world - as is always the case with these extremist, terrorist-Islamist ideologies."”

United States

Associated Press: US Removes Gaza Aid Pier Due To Weather And May Not Put It Back, Officials Say

“The pier built by the U.S. military to bring aid to Gaza has been removed due to weather to protect it, and the U.S. is considering not re-installing it unless the aid begins flowing out into the population again, U.S. officials said Friday. While the military has helped deliver desperately needed food through the pier, the vast majority of it is still sitting in the adjacent storage yard and that area is almost full. Aid agencies have had difficulty moving the food to areas further into Gaza where it is most needed because the humanitarian convoys have come under attack. The U.N., which has the widest reach in delivering aid to starving Palestinians, hasn’t been distributing food and other emergency supplies arriving through the pier since June 9. The pause came after the Israeli military used an area near the pier to fly out hostages after their rescue in a raid that killed more than 270 Palestinians, prompting a U.N. security review over concerns that aid workers’ safety and neutrality may have compromised.”

Associated Press: US Shifts Assault Ship To The Mediterranean To Deter An Escalation Of The Israel-Lebanon Conflict

“The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp entered the eastern Mediterranean Sea this week as the U.S. positions warships to try to keep fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon from escalating into a wider war in the Middle East. While the Wasp has the capability to assist in the evacuation of civilians if full-scale war breaks out between Israel and the Iranian-backed militant group along the Lebanon border, that’s not the primary reason it was rotated in, a U.S. official said. “It’s about deterrence,” the official said. A second U.S. official said the rotation is similar to the U.S. sending the USS Bataan assault ship into the waters around Israel shortly after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, with the vessel remaining for months in the eastern Mediterranean to help provide options and try to contain the conflict. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive operational details.”


Associated Press: A Decade After The Islamic State Group Declared A Caliphate, It’s Defeated But Remains Lethal

“A decade after the Islamic State militant group declared its caliphate in large parts of Iraq and Syria, the extremists no longer control any land, have lost many prominent leaders and are mostly out of the world news headlines. Still, the group continues to recruit members and claim responsibility for deadly attacks around the world, including lethal operations in Iran and Russia earlier this year that left scores dead. Its sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq still carry out attacks against government forces in both countries as well as U.S.-backed Syrian fighters, at a time when Iraq’s government is negotiating with Washington over a possible withdrawal of U.S. troops. The group that once attracted tens of thousands of fighters and supporters from around the world to come to Syria and Iraq, and at its peak ruled an area half the size of the United Kingdom was notorious for its brutality.”

Associated Press: UNESCO Finds Islamic State Group-Era Bombs In Mosul Mosque Walls, Years After The Defeat Of IS

“The U.N. cultural agency has discovered five bombs hidden within the walls of the historic al-Nouri Mosque in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, a remnant of the Islamic State militant group’s rule over the area, UNESCO said in a statement Saturday. The mosque, famous for its 12th-century leaning minaret, was destroyed by IS in 2017 and has been a focal point of UNESCO’s restoration efforts since 2020. The U.N. agency said that five large-scale explosive devices, designed for significant destruction, were found inside the southern wall of the Prayer Hall on Tuesday. “These explosive devices were concealed within a specially rebuilt section of the wall,” the statement said. “Iraqi authorities were promptly notified, secured the area, and the situation is now fully under control.” It added that “one bomb has been defused and removed, while the remaining four are interconnected and will be safely disposed of in the coming days.””


Associated Press: The Taliban Tell The West To Look Past Harsh Edicts On Afghan Women And Girls And Build Ties

“The Taliban on Sunday told the West to look past the measures they have imposed on Afghan women and girls for the sake of improving foreign relations. Their chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban uphold certain religious and cultural values and public aspirations that “must be acknowledged” to facilitate progressive bilateral relations rather than encountering disputes and stagnation. Mujahid made his demand on the opening day of a United Nations-led meeting in Qatar on increasing engagement with Afghanistan and to have a more coordinated response to the country’s issues. It’s the third such U.N.-sponsored gathering in Doha. The Taliban were not invited to the first meeting, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said they set unacceptable conditions for attending the second one in February, including demands that Afghan civil society members be excluded from the talks and that the Taliban be treated as the country’s legitimate rulers”


The National: Cross-Border Raids Continue Amid Increasing Israel-Hezbollah War Rhetoric

“Cross-border air strikes, rocket and drone attacks between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah continued into Monday, amid threats by both sides that a far bigger conflict could be looming. A build-up of tensions between both sides has led to fears of a destructive, full-tilt war that could include thousands of attacks a day, compared to the dozens, sometimes scores a day now. Even still, many residents of southern Lebanon say the situation already feels like full-scale war. Israeli air strikes hit southern Lebanese border towns – Rab al Talatine, Kafr Kela, and Blida – overnight into Monday. The night of heavy strikes followed the injury of 18 Israeli soldiers – one of them severely – in a Hezbollah-claimed drone strike in the Israel-occupied Golan Heights earlier on Sunday.”

Middle East

Voice Of America: Israel's Netanyahu Vows 'Victory' As Cease-Fire Talks With Hamas Are Stalled

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his vow Sunday that there is “no substitute for victory,” telling his Cabinet that Israel would continue its war against Hamas in Gaza until the militants are defeated and 120 Hamas-held hostages, both dead and alive, are returned. He said the war, nearly 10 months long, would continue “until we achieve all our goals,” including that Hamas “no longer poses a threat on Israel.” Netanyahu contended, “Everyone knows the simple truth: Hamas is the only obstacle to freeing our hostages,” in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians jailed by Israel. But there appeared to be no change in the stalemated cease-fire talks, with Israel calling for a six-week halt in the fighting and exchange of hostages and prisoners, while Hamas demanded a permanent stop to the fighting and an Israeli withdrawal of its troops.”

The New York Times: Palestinian Fighters In West Bank Seek To Emulate Hamas In Gaza

“The alleys are cast in permanent semidarkness, covered by black nylon tarpaulins to hide the Palestinian fighters there from Israeli drones overhead. Green Hamas flags and banners commemorating “martyrs” hang from the buildings, many badly damaged during Israeli raids and airstrikes to try to tamp down a growing militancy in the territory, fueled by the war in Gaza. This is not Gaza or a traditional Hamas stronghold. It is a refugee camp in Tulkarm, a town in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where the relatively moderate Palestinian faction of Fatah had long held sway. I recently met a local commander of these young militants, Muhammad Jaber, 25, in one of those dusty, shattered alleyways. One of Israel’s most wanted men, he and other fighters like him say they have switched allegiances from the relatively moderate Fatah faction, which dominates the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to more radical groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad since the Hamas-led attack on Israel on Oct. 7.”


Garowe Online: Somalia Government Sets Conditions For Potential Talks With Al-Shabaab

“Hussein Sheikh Ali, the national security advisor to the Somali President, clarified that the government is not currently engaged in talks with Al-Shabab. He emphasized that the President has laid out clear conditions for any future dialogue with the group. "They must sever any link with global terror groups and accept Somalia's territorial integrity. They must be willing to pursue their political agenda peacefully," Sheikh Ali stated, outlining the government's stance on the matter. This announcement comes on the heels of President Hassan Sheikh's remarks in Oslo, Norway, where he expressed his government's readiness to engage in talks with Al-Shabab. The President indicated that the conclusion of the ongoing conflict would likely involve a negotiation process. The Somali government's position reflects a strategic approach to addressing the persistent threat posed by Al-Shabab, which has been a significant security concern in the region.”

Garowe Online: Somali National Army Strikes Against Al-Shabaab In Middle Shabelle

“In a significant blow to Al-Shabaab, the Somali National Army (SNA) has successfully targeted and neutralized several of the group's hideouts in the Middle Shabelle region. The operation, which took place recently, saw the SNA not only destroy key infrastructure used by the militants but also neutralize a number of them and capture several suspects. The SNA has been actively working to maintain control and strengthen its presence in the region, with the ultimate goal of eradicating the remaining terrorists. This operation marks a major step forward in that effort, demonstrating the SNA's commitment to ensuring the safety and security of the Somali people. The successful targeting of Al-Shabaab hideouts is a testament to the SNA's growing capabilities and its determination to rid the country of the terrorist threat. With each operation, the SNA is sending a clear message to Al-Shabaab and its supporters that their actions will not be tolerated and that the government is committed to restoring peace and stability to the region.”


Voice Of America: Expanding Extremist Groups In Africa Fuel Worries That They Could Attack The US, Allies

“Violent extremist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are growing in size and influence across Africa, fueling worries that as they improve their tactics they could attack the U.S. or Western allies. U.S. defense and military officials described the threats and their concerns about growing instability in Africa, where a number of coups have put ruling juntas in control, leading to the ouster of American troops and a decline in U.S. intelligence gathering. "Threats like Wagner, terrorist groups and transnational criminal organizations continue to sow instability in multiple regions," Air Force Gen. CQ Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in opening remarks Tuesday at a conference of African chiefs of defense in Botswana. "I think we can all agree, what happens in one part of the world, does not stay in one part of the world." Wagner is the Russian mercenary group that has gone into African nations to provide security as Western forces, including from the U.S. and France, have been pushed out.”

Associated Press: Looting And Fighting Reported In A Central Sudan City As Paramilitary Group Attacks Military Troops

“Fighters from Sudan’s notorious paramilitary group looted homes and shops and took over the main hospital in a central city, forcing tens of thousands to flee, residents said Sunday, as a new front opened in a a 14-month war that has pushed the African country to the brink of famine. The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces began its offensive against Sudan’s military in Sennar province earlier this week, attacking the village of Jebal Moya before moving to the provincial capital of Singa, where fresh battles have erupted. The fighting forced about 57,000 people to flee their homes, according to the United Nations. RSF fighters in pickup trucks mounting automatic rifles rampaged through Singa, about 350 kilometers (217 miles) southeast of the capital, Khartoum, over the weekend, according to residents and a local rights group. They looted houses, shops in a local market and took over the city’s main hospital, they said.”


Associated Press: US And Europe Warn Lebanon’s Hezbollah To Ease Strikes On Israel And Back Off From Wider Mideast War

“U.S., European and Arab mediators are pressing to keep stepped-up cross-border attacks between Israel and Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah militants from spiraling into a wider Middle East war that the world has feared for months. Iran and Israel traded threats Saturday of what Iran said would be an “obliterating” war over Hezbollah. Hopes are lagging for a cease-fire in Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza that would calm attacks by Hezbollah and other Iranian-allied militias. With the stalled talks in mind, American and European diplomats and other officials are delivering warnings to Hezbollah — which is far stronger than Hamas but seen as overconfident — about taking on the military might of Israel, current and former diplomats say. The Americans and Europeans are warning the group it should not count on the United States or anyone else being able to hold off Israeli leaders if they decide to execute battle-ready plans for an offensive into Lebanon.”


Associated Press: Dagestani Jews Look To Rebuild After Extremist Attacks In The Restive Region Of Southern Russia

“Jews in the predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan in southern Russia say they are determined to regroup and rebuild following a deadly attack by Islamic militants on Christian and Jewish houses of worship in two cities last weekend. The attacks in the regional capital of Makhachkala and the city of Derbent on Sunday killed 21 people — most of them police officers — and injured at least 43 others in the restive region in the North Caucasus on the Caspian Sea. Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar said a 110-year-old Derbent synagogue, which was a center for Jewish life in the region, was destroyed in a fire during the attacks. Among those slain was the Rev. Nikolai Kotelnikov, a 66-year-old Russian Orthodox priest who was killed as the faithful gathered on Pentecost, also known as Trinity Sunday, at a church in Derbent, which is Russia’s southernmost city and one of its oldest.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On May 8, 2019, Taliban insurgents detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and then broke into American NGO Counterpart International’s offices in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and 24 were injured.

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