Eye on Extremism: July 11

Haaretz: Syria's Assad, Aided By Russia, Poised To Snuff Out 'Cradle' Of Revolt

“President Bashar al-Assad is poised to snuff out the Syrian rebellion in the place it first began more than seven years ago, as rebels in Deraa city enter talks with his Russian allies on withdrawing or accepting a return of state authority. Government forces backed by Russia have seized most of Deraa province in the campaign that got underway last month and on Monday encircled rebel-held parts of Deraa city and seized the entire Jordanian frontier that was once in opposition hands. Assad, whose control was once reduced to a fraction of Syria, now holds the largest chunk of the country with crucial help from his Russian and Iranian allies. Deraa was the scene of the first anti-Assad protests that spiralled into a war now estimated to have killed half a million people. The conflict has driven over 11 million people from their homes, with some 5.6 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring states alone and many more in Europe.”

Associated Press: Islamic State Claims Suicide Attack That Killed 14 In Syria

“The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in southern Syria that killed more than a dozen soldiers and pro-government fighters. The IS-linked Aamaq news agency carried the claim for the attack in the southern village of Zeizoun, which was captured by government forces this week as part of a major offensive against rebels in southern Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group that closely monitors the civil war, said the attack left 14 soldiers and pro-government gunmen dead. The attack came as government forces continued to mass troops on Wednesday ahead of an attack on the Yarmouk Basin region, which is controlled by the IS-linked Khaled bin Al-Waleed Army.”

Reuters: Saudi Arabia Says It Intercepts Houthi Missile Launched At Jizan

“Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces intercepted a missile launched toward the kingdom’s southwestern Jizan region by Yemen’s armed Houthi movement, state media said on Tuesday. The Houthi-run al-Masirah TV said earlier that a Badr 1 missile had targeted Jizan Economic City, where Saudi Aramco is building a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery that is expected to become fully operational in 2019. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The Iran-aligned Houthis, who control Yemen’s capital Sanaa, have fired dozens of missiles into the kingdom in recent months, part of a three-year-old conflict widely seen as a proxy battle between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. Most of the missiles have been intercepted by the Saudi military.”

ABC News: Pompeo Accuses Iran Of Using Embassies For Terror Plots

“U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused Iran of using its embassies to plot terrorist attacks in Europe and warned Tehran that its actions have "a real high cost" after it threatened to disrupt Mideast oil supplies. Pompeo's comments came during a short trip to the United Arab Emirates, a staunch U.S. ally, and as senior U.S. officials were wrapping up three days of talks in neighboring Saudi Arabia on countering threats from Iran and starving it of oil revenue. "Just this past week there were Iranians arrested in Europe who were preparing to conduct a terror plot in Paris, France. We have seen this malign behavior in Europe," Pompeo said in an interview with Sky News Arabia.”

The Washington Post: Facebook Faces U.K. Fine Over Its Privacy Scandal

“Facebook is facing its first financial penalty for allowing the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to forage through the personal data of millions of unknowing Facebook users. A U.K. government office that investigated the Cambridge Analytica scandal announced its intention to fine Facebook 500,000 pounds ($663,000) for failing to safeguard that user information. The amount is the maximum that the agency, the Information Commissioner’s Office, can levy for violation of Britain’s data-privacy laws. The penalty is a pittance for Facebook, which generates that sum roughly every seven minutes, based on its first-quarter revenue of $11.97 billion. But it would represent the first tangible punishment for the company’s privacy scandal, which tarnished its reputation, temporarily pushed down its shares and forced CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, but otherwise led to few lasting repercussions.”

United States

Durango Herald: Aryan Brotherhood Leader Dies At Supermax Prison In Colorado

“A leader of a white-supremacist prison gang has died while incarcerated at a federal Supermax prison in Colorado. The Pueblo Chieftain reports Barry “The Baron” Mills was found dead Sunday, one day after his 70th birthday. Mills and three other leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood were convicted in 2006 in a federal racketeering case, which included multiple counts of murder, conspiracy and drug trafficking. Mills was serving four life terms at the administrative security U.S. penitentiary in Florence. Fremont County Coroner Randy Keller says the death does not appear to be suspicious, but an autopsy will be conducted Monday. He says all signs so far indicate a “natural death.” Mills entered the gang at San Quentin in California after being convicted of armed robbery in 1969.”

Des Moines Register: Iowa Teenager Faces Terrorism Charge For Snapchat Photo Of 8 Guns 'Ready For School'

“An Iowa teenager was arrested Sunday on terrorism charges for posting photos of guns with a foreboding message about school on Snapchat. The Federal Bureau of Investigation notified the Jefferson Police Department of the photo on Snapchat, according to the city's police log. It showed eight long guns with the message: "Ready for school 7 can join me." Police traced the message to a 15-year-old boy in Jefferson. He quickly admitted to posting the photo, said Jefferson Police Captain Heath Enns. But it didn't appear that the teenager had any intention of taking the weapons to school, he said. "He was very forthcoming," Enns said.  Police found eight firearms in his home: three BB guns; two single-shot, 12-gauge shotguns; a 50-caliber black powder rifle; a .22 rifle; and a 12-gauge pump shotgun. All eight firearms were removed from the home.”

Newsmax: Tackling Terrorism 3.0: Terror's Shift Into Big Business

“As the war waged in Syria has moved forward with YPG (Kurdish) troops in the North and U.S.-supported FSA and Iraqi Troops in the East, ISIS took major hits and was reduced in operational functionality over 2017. The Trump Administration’s push into infiltrating ISIS cells on Telegram led to further wins in 2018 — however this led to shifts in ISIS’s operational strategy and focus. With much of Syria lost, ISIS has moved in two major directions: 1) To the North to Afghanistan 2) To the South in Africa (backing up Boko Haram, whose Emirs they started supporting a few years ago, plus linking themselves to Al-Shabab). This shift has moved terrorist organizations to become commodity traders as well — facilitating ongoing operations and regional control — with significant impacts to how these organizations maintain themselves and continue funding operations into the future. Even with regional strategic wins in Afghanistan’s Nanganhar.”

Syria

Oil Price: ISIS Recaptures Two Oil Fields In Oil-Rich Syrian Region

“Islamic State militants recaptured on Monday two oil fields in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region in Syria, a Turkey-based Syrian news agency reported on Tuesday. According to Qasioun news, the Islamist militants advanced to the Sayyad and Dahash oil fields in the Deir Ezzor area after a sudden attack on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Harijy area in the northern part of Deir Ezzor. ISIS has tried to recapture several areas in the region, but this, according to Qasioun news, is the first time that the Islamic State militants have advanced to the northern countryside of the Deir Ezzor region. In November last year, the Syrian regime said it had liberated the city of Deir Ezzour from Islamic State, cutting off an important source of oil revenues for the terrorist group from the oil fields in the region.”

Foreign Policy: Trump Should Strike A Deal With Putin On Syria

“President Donald Trump is reportedly considering making a deal on Syria with Russia’s Vladimir Putin during their July 16 summit in Helsinki. In principle, this would be a positive development. The Bashar al-Assad regime’s ongoing assault on one of the few remaining areas controlled by the opposition underscores the urgent need for the United States to pursue a diplomatic solution if it is to preserve its interests in the conflict, namely maintaining the gains made against the Islamic State and constraining Iranian influence in the country. Over the past four years, the United States has enjoyed a luxury in Syria that will soon disappear: The top U.S. priority (defeating the Islamic State in the eastern part of the country) was compatible with the Syrian regime’s top priority (defeating insurgents in the western part of the country).”

Rolling Stone: The Untold Story Of Syria's Antifa Platoon

“A first met Karim Franceschi in November 2016, in the hills of northeastern Syria, at a remote compound everyone called the Academy. It was a former oil facility that had been turned into a training camp for the volunteers from the U.S. and Europe who were coming to battle the Islamic State with the Kurds. A lot of the fighters were soldier-of-fortune types, veterans of the French Foreign Legion or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but at least half were militant leftists like Franceschi, an avowed communist who wore a Mao pin on the lapel of his camouflage uniform. He had been one of the first to arrive, in October 2014, and by the time we met, he had seen more combat than any other Westerner around.”

Iran

The Wall Street Journal: Facing Threats At Home And Abroad, Iran’s President Takes A Harder Line

“For much of his presidency, Hassan Rouhani has been at loggerheads with Iran’s military and conservative establishment, as he forged diplomatic ties with the West to break his country’s international isolation. But now with his political survival in question, Mr. Rouhani is sounding a lot like Iran’s hard-liners. During a visit to Switzerland last week, Mr. Rouhani responded to U.S. plans to enforce a global freeze on Iranian oil exports by threatening to disrupt the flow of Middle Eastern oil through the Persian Gulf. It was seen as a warning to the world that Iran could block the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway for about one-third of global seaborne oil trade—a threat made before by Iran’s military, but not by Mr. Rouhani. Iran’s military leaders, whose powers Mr. Rouhani has tried to curb, were suddenly praising the politically moderate president. “I kiss your hand for expressing such wise and timely comments,” Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, said in an open letter to Mr. Rouhani that grabbed state media headlines. Gen. Soleimani, who is one of Iran’s most powerful military figures, added: “I am at your service to implement any policy that serves the Islamic Republic.”

NPR: Online Protests Erupt In Iran After Arrest Of Teenager For Social Media Posts

“Iranians are protesting and mocking clerical rulers on social media after the arrest of a teenage girl for posting videos of herself dancing on Instagram. Maedeh Hojabri currently has more than 11,000 followers and had uploaded dozens clips in which she is dancing to Western and Iranian music. Islamic sharia law in Iran has strict requirements for women in public: they are required to wear headscarves and dancing is banned. Instagram, however, has blurred the lines between public and private spheres in the country. The social media site is one of the only Western social media outlets allowed — Facebook and Twitter are blocked. The New York Times reports an obscured video of Hojabri appeared on a state television show called "Wrong Path," in which she sobbed as she said dancing is a crime in Iran and that her family was unaware that she was posting videos to social media.”

Fox News: US Slaps Terror Designation On Iran-Linked Group In Bahrain

“The United States designated a Shiite militant group in Bahrain as a foreign terrorist organization Tuesday to ramp up pressure on Iran. The al-Ashtar Brigades are "yet another in a long line of Iranian-sponsored terrorists who kill on behalf of a corrupt regime," Nathan Sales, the coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department, said in a statement detailing the designation. The militant group has been critical of a violent crackdown by Bahrain's Sunni-led government on a 2011 Shiite-led uprising. It has since claimed responsibility for a number of bombings and attacks in Bahrain, including two that killed police. The designation, which prohibits Americans or U.S. companies from doing business with the group, is the latest Trump administration effort to increase pressure on Tehran after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear accord.”

The National: Qassem Soleimani: Iran's Shadowy General And Spymaster

“By all accounts, Qassem Soleimani is not a brash man. His humble background from a poor village in Iran’s Kerman province would not immediately make him a likely target for United States ire. His decades in the top ranks of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, however, do. Soleimani left his roots in 1979 soon after the Iranian Revolution unfolded. He quickly became a committed follower of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic republic’s founder. Soleimani then joined the Guards, a Khomeini invention that has evolved into a powerful and secretive organisation, and which to this day is tasked with protecting the Iranian revolution. The Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) was when Soleimani began to rise in stature. One of his early tasks was ferrying water to front-line positions. He soon took charge of a rifle company where his leadership earned him a reputation for bravery. There were also reports that he was injured during the war.”

Jerusalem Post: U.S. Accuses Iran Of Plotting Paris Attack

“The Trump administration accused Tehran on Tuesday of plotting a terrorist attack against a regime opposition rally held in Paris last month. German authorities stopped an Austria-based Iranian diplomat based on Sunday on a European warrant, claiming he and a couple in Belgium had planned to bomb a large gathering of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq group. Vienna had lifted the Iranian official's diplomatic immunity based on intelligence provided by the Belgian authorities. And France also detained an individual of Iranian origin suspected to be involved in the plot. Iranian officials dismissed the case as a "false flag" operation, claiming the MEK itself was behind the scheme. The Iranian regime and its supporters claim that the MEK is a terrorist organization. But a senior State Department official said the administration is unconvinced.”

Bloomberg: Bring Back Sanctions On Iranian State TV, Too

“An 18-year old gymnast named Maedeh Hojabri is the latest Iranian to confess to a crime on state television. Her offense? Posting videos on Instagram that featured her dancing to popular music without wearing a hijab. Crying on camera, she said she made the videos herself and apologized, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran. She has yet to be sentenced, but Friday’s confession was followed by a vow from Iran’s internet authorities to target indecent posts on social media. This kind of repression is not uncommon in Iran, and there’s usually very little the U.S. can do about it besides issue a public condemnation. In this case, however, President Donald Trump has a more forceful option: Re-imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, or IRIB, the umbrella organization that controls the regime’s foreign and domestic state-run media.”

Voice Of America: US Adds Iran-Backed Bahraini Militant Group To Terror List

“Al-Ashtar Brigades, a Bahraini Shi'ite militant organization with ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has been identified as a specially designated global terrorist organization by the United States, the U.S. State Department announced Tuesday. A statement from the State Department said al-Ashtar Brigades earlier this year adopted the IRGC branding and pledged loyalty to Tehran. It accused the group of enhancing Iran’s agenda in the Gulf region and working to overthrow the U.S.-backed government of Bahrain. “From Africa, Europe, North America, Asia, and the Gulf, Iran is using terrorist proxies to extend its malevolent influence and upend international peace and stability,” said the department's counterterrorism coordinator Nathan A. Sales.”

Iraq

Iraqi News: Over Twenty Islamic State Members Arrested In Operation, Northwest Of Mosul

“Twenty-three Islamic State members, including leaders, were arrested, northwest of Mosul, a security source from Nineveh police said. Speaking to BasNews, Lt. Gen. Emad Hassan, of Nineveh Operations Command, said “security troops still besiege al-Atshana mountain for the fourth day in row in Badush village to follow Islamic State members.”

Iraqi News: Eight Islamic State Members Killed In U.S. Coalition Airstrike In Diyala

“Eight Islamic State members, planning for a fake checkpoint, were killed in an airstrike by the U.S.-led Coalition in Diyala, the Security Media Center said on Tuesday. In a statement, the center said, “based on intelligence information from the Counter-Terrorism Service, the Coalition jets carried out an airstrike targeting Islamic State pockets in Hamreen mountains in Kabashi region in al-Saadiya town.”

Afghanistan

The Sun: US Special Forces Wipe Out Major ISIS Afghan Stronghold Killing 167 Fighters With NO Casualties

“After its caliphate in Syria and Iraq collapsed, the death cult has been trying instead to colonise the mountainous country. But that ambition received a major set-back after US warplanes pummelled the group's main base in Nangarhar in the east of the country. Elite US and Afghan troops then stormed the area. After several days of heavy fighting 167 of the death cult’s troops died and large quantities of its equipment were captured.”

Associated Press: Peace In Afghanistan More Elusive As Taliban Shrug Off Talks

“With the Taliban shrugging off the Afghan government's latest offers of a cease-fire and negotiations, peace seems as elusive as it has been for decades in this war-battered country, both for troops on the front lines and for civilians facing frequent attacks. The Taliban have been gaining more ground in their annual spring offensive, ignoring President Ashraf Ghani's calls for talks. Hoping to end the nearly 17-year war, he had offered unprecedented incentives, including passports for insurgents and their families. Ghani had also offered to work toward removing international sanctions against the group's leaders and allowing the Taliban to open official headquarters in the capital, Kabul. But for that to happen, he stressed, a cease-fire must first be agreed on and the Taliban have to become a political group rather than an armed insurgency.”

The Washington Post: At Least 15 Killed In 2 Attacks In Afghanistan As Islamic Scholars Debate Taliban War

“At least 15 people were killed on Tuesday in two separate attacks by militants in Afghanistan as Islamic scholars gathered in Saudi Arabia to discuss the legitimacy of the Taliban’s war against the U.S.-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani. One of the attacks, by a suicide bomber, happened near a government security checkpoint on the outskirts of the eastern city of Jalalabad, where 12 people, including security forces and civilians, were killed, provincial officials said. The second strike targeted government civil servants in Ghazni province, southwest of Kabul, a bastion for the Taliban insurgents. Several people, including a district chief, lost their lives in that incident, officials said. The Taliban said it was behind the raid in Ghazni. On its website, the Islamic State said its local affiliates carried out the Jalalabad attack, the latest of several strikes by the network in Kabul and Jalalabad in recent months.”

Pakistan

Associated Press: Pakistani Taliban Claim Bombing At Rally That Killed 21

“The Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday claimed responsibility for an overnight suicide bombing at a rally that killed a secular politician and 20 others two weeks before nationwide elections. Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said they targeted the Awami National Party rally in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing Haroon Ahmed Bilour, a candidate for a seat in the provincial legislature. Another 65 people were wounded. Islamic extremists grew to despise the ANP when it ruled the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, from 2008 to 2013. During that time the military waged a major offensive against militants in the Swat Valley. The militants responded by carrying out a wave of attacks ahead of the 2013 elections, killing hundreds of ANP supporters. Bilour's father, Bashir Ahmed Bilour, was killed by a suicide bomber in 2012.”

Reuters: Son Of Slain Anti-Taliban Politician Among 20 Dead In Pakistan Blast

“A suicide bomber blew himself up at a rally by an anti-Taliban political party in Pakistan, killing 20 people, including a candidate in July 25 elections, police and hospital officials said on Wednesday. Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Haroon Bilour was killed in the late Tuesday blast in the northwestern city of Peshawar. His father, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour, was killed in a suicide bombing in late 2012, in the run-up to Pakistan’s last election. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the Tuesday attack. The death toll from last night’s suicide attack has reached 20 while we have 65 injured, some of them in critical condition,” Zulfiqar Ali Babakhel, a spokesman for Peshawar’s main Lady Reading Hospital, told Reuters. The ANP is a predominantly secular, ethnic Pashtun nationalist party, which has long competed with Islamist parties for votes in Pakistan’s volatile Pashtun lands, along the border with Afghanistan.”

Yemen

Al Arabiya: Yemeni FM Protests Against Hezbollah In Letter To Lebanese Counterpart

“In a letter sent to Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, Yemen’s foreign minister, Khaled Hussein al-Yamani, objected to the Lebanese-based Hezbollah backing Houthis in Yemen. The Yemeni minister called on the Lebanese government to restrain the pro-Iranian militia and its aggressive behavior, and to align its values with Lebanon’s self-proclaimed dissociation policy. Al-Yamani asserted his country has the right to raise the issue in front the Arab and International communities saying: “We in the Yemeni Republic reserve the right to present the matter to the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the UN Security Council.”

Reuters: Yemeni Negotiators To Meet U.N. Ahead Of Possible Talks With Houthis

“Yemeni government negotiators will meet with deputy U.N. envoy to Yemen Maeen Sharim by mid-July, an official told Reuters on Tuesday, in a sign that peace talks with the Iran-aligned Houthis could resume soon. The gathering in Riyadh aims “to crystallize the discussion topics before going to direct talks with the Houthis”, the official said. U.N. Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths said last month he hoped to get the warring parties to the negotiating table in the next few weeks to end fighting in the port city of Hodeidah, a lifeline for Yemen. The United Nations hopes a breakthrough at Hodeidah could lead to a wider solution to the three-year-old conflict, which is widely seen as a proxy battle between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. The war has killed more than 10,000 and caused the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis, with millions facing starvation and disease.”

Saudi Arabia

Gulf News: Iran Accused Of Encroaching Saudi Waters

“Saudi Arabia has sent an official letter of protest to the United Nations complaining about what it says are “repeated infringements” by Iranian boats of its waters. According to the Emirati news agency WAM, Iranian boats have encroached on restricted areas of oil fields and platforms in the Arabian Gulf, in violation of a martime boundary line that was set up between the two countries in October. According to Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Riyadh has sent several protest notes to Iran and the UN over the repeated violations. Abdullah Al Mualimi added that Saudi Arabia held Iran fully responsible for any damages that may arise from such infringments.”

Qatar

Asharq Al-Awsat: Libyan Army Inspects Suspected Arms Shipment From Qatar

“The Libyan National Army is verifying reports that a ship, loaded with weapons provided by Qatar to terrorists, had docked at the al-Khums port east of the capital Tripoli. LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We are investigating any suspicious activity that may pose a security threat, provide support to terrorists or deepen the Libyan crisis.” “We are checking whether the ship may have sailed from Qatar. We cannot confirm its source as of yet,” he added. Security sources at Khums port said that the ship had arrived from Bulgaria and was carrying many types of heavy weapons. Its wheat shipment was used as a cover to hide this illicit activity. Port authorities have since seized the vessel and its cargo.”

Nigeria

CNN: Nigerian Army Hands Over Nearly 200 Boko Haram Child 'Foot Soldiers' To UN

“Nigerian army says it has handed over 183 child "foot soldiers" freed from the Boko Haram terror group to a UN agency and the government. The children aged between seven and 18 years old were released to the Borno State government and UNICEF in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, which has borne the brunt of Boko Haram's decade-long insurgency. Army spokesman John Agim told CNN the children were being used as "foot soldiers" by the militants. "Boko Haram militants send them for different kinds of operations, but they are under-aged. So, they need to be rehabilitated before they are released to their families," Agim said. However, a UNICEF Nigeria spokeswoman said the group of eight girls and 175 boys were released after they were cleared of any affiliation with Boko Haram.”

The Guardian: Troops Kill 15 Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno

“Troops of 7 Brigade, Sector 3 of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have killed 15 Boko Haram terrorists during a clearance operation at Arege, Borno State. The MNJTF comprises forces from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroun and Niger. The mission of the military formation is to rid Lake Chad Basin and Islands of the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents. The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Texas Chukwu, in a statement yesterday in Maiduguri, said the exercise, which lasted for over three hours, forced some insurgents to flee with gunshot wounds. According to him, efforts are being intensified to arrest the fleeing suspects, adding that his men recovered five AK-47 rifles, an anti-aircraft gun and a light machine gun during the military expedition.”

Tunisia

The National: The Al-Qaeda Affiliate Behind Latest Attack On Tunisia’s Soldiers

“In towns and villages across northern Tunisia, the friends and neighbours of the six National Guardsmen killed by militants in the country’s west took to the streets to escort the coffins through the blistering summer heat to their final resting place. Others were buried in an official state funeral in Tunis. The attack near the village of Ain Sultan in Ghardimaou, an isolated and hardscrabble mountainous region in Tunisia’s northwest, has shaken a country that had come to regard the worst of the terror attacks that have dogged its recent history as behind it. In 2015, 22 mostly European tourists were killed and 50 others wounded in an assault on the Bardo National Museum. Just three months later, 38 mostly British holidaymakers were shot dead when gunmen attacked a hotel at the tourist resort of Port El Kantaoui near Sousse. The attacks made international news and devastated the country’s key tourist economy.”

Africa

Daily Nation: Suspected Shabaab Militants Raid Police Post, Officer Missing

“Suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked a police post in Garissa on Tuesday, county police boss David Kerina said. The militants attacked Hamey Police Post which is located near the Kenya-Somalia border at 2am. They raided the post from different corners and had a heavy exchange of fire with officers based at the station. Mr Kerina said an Administration Police officer remained unaccounted for on Tuesday afternoon following the attack. He added that four officers sustained minor injuries and are out of danger. "Four officers only got bruises. They fought hard and repulse the enemies,” he said. The police boss said search is underway for the missing officer. According to a police source, the officers at the station had prior intelligence of an impending attack and were ready to fight back.”

Phillippines

News24: 12 Islamic State-Linked Militants Killed In Southern Philippines: Military

“Twelve militants from the Islamic State (IS)-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in central Mindanao have been killed in fresh military operations by the Philippines’ army.  The military operations in Maguindanao province were launched on Sunday and were continuing on Tuesday today (Jul 10). “Continuing military operations killed 12 rebels in Maguindanao,” said Brigadier-General Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force central commander in charge of the operation. “We will go after the bandits to safeguard the civilians and put an end to this menace of society,” he added in a statement. “We are doing our best effort to put a rapid conclusion to this problem, because the more we prolong it, the more it prolongs the agony of many civilians in Maguindanao.” Mindanao island in southern Philippines is a hotspot of militant activities where more than 20 groups have pledged allegiance to IS.”

Russia

CNN: Russian Company Had Access To Facebook User Data Through Apps

“A Russian internet company with links to the Kremlin was among the firms to which Facebook gave an extension which allowed them to collect data on unknowing users of the social network after a policy change supposedly stopped such collection. Facebook told CNN on Tuesday that apps developed by the Russian technology conglomerate Mail.Ru Group, were being looked at as part of the company's wider investigation into the misuse of Facebook user data in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook told CNN that the Mail.Ru Group developed hundreds of Facebook apps, some of which were test apps that were not made public. Only two apps were granted an extension, lasting two weeks, that would have allowed them to collect friend data beyond the cut-off date, Facebook said.”

United Kingdom

Independent: ISIS And Far-Right Extremists 'Changing Tactics', Commission Warns As Study Launched Across England And Wales

“Extremists are "changing their tactics", a new body has warned as it launches an investigation into the scale of extremism in England and Wales. The Commission for Countering Extremism is inviting submissions from the public in the first research of its kind in a bid to understand the drivers of radicalisation that culminated in five terror attacks last year. Sara Khan, the lead commissioner, has already met more than 300 experts and activists across the country and wants to build a “powerful counter extremism movement”. “Extremism is sowing division and hate, spreading fear and undermining democratic values and human rights,” she said. “But it’s also complex and changing – in 2018 the old stereotypes of far-right thugs and Islamist hate preachers don’t always apply.”

Germany

BBC News: Beate Zschäpe Given Life In German Neo-Nazi Murder Trial

“After a five-year trial, a member of a neo-Nazi gang has been found guilty of 10 racially-motivated murders. Beate Zschäpe was the main defendant on trial over the murder of eight ethnic Turks, a Greek citizen and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007. The verdict carries an automatic life sentence. The connection between the murders was only discovered by chance in 2011, after a botched robbery led to the neo-Nazi group's discovery. Zschäpe shared a flat in the eastern town of Zwickau with two men, who died in an apparent suicide pact. The bodies of Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt were found in a burnt-out caravan used in the robbery. Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had formed a cell called the National Socialist Underground (NSU). A fire at their home - apparently in an attempt to destroy evidence - led to Zschäpe turning herself in.”

Technology

The Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers Press Google On Gmail Privacy

“Senior lawmakers requested answers from Alphabet Inc. GOOGL on Tuesday about privacy questions surrounding Gmail, the company’s popular email service. In a letter from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R., S.D.) and two subcommittee chairmen, the lawmakers asked Larry Page, Alphabet Inc.’s chief executive, to explain the company’s practice of allowing third-party app developers to scan email contents for commercial purposes. That practice was revealed last week in The Wall Street Journal. The lawmakers expressed concern that most consumers don’t understand how app developers may be using data from emails including, the letter said, “giving access to personal emails to their employees.” The senators said that Google may not be doing enough to safeguard Gmail data and asked the company to detail all the instances in which app developers have shared Gmail data with third parties.”

Financial Times: Facebook And Google Are Arbitraging The Data Laws

“As scandals over the misuse of personal information proliferate and data protection laws are tightened, technology companies are leaping to a surprising conclusion: they are publishers. Not always, of course, but when it suits them. Facebook emphasised its role as a publisher with editorial discretion in a California court last week in an effort to block a lawsuit from a developer. Google attempted something even more audacious in a UK case this year involving the “right to be forgotten” in search engine results. It laid claim to an exemption for publishers of journalism, art and literature under European law. Google’s legal sally was ridiculous and was squashed by the high court judge. “I do not consider that Google’s own activity can be equated with journalism,” he wrote firmly, ruling that the technology titan wanted, as one would, to have its cake and to eat it. It was claiming the data-handling privileges of publishers without trying to meet the same journalistic obligations as they do.”

ISIS

Enab Baladi: Syria: Once Again ISIS Seizes Oil Wells

“ISIS has advanced in the northern rural areas of Deir al-Zour and seized oil wells in areas controlled by the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (QSD). Media sources from Deir al-Zour said on Tuesday (July 10th) that during the group's surprise advance it seized the oil fields of Siyad and Dahsh in the Hreiji area, south of al-Suwar village located in the northern rural area of Deir al- Zour. The sources added that the current developments coincide with the military operation initiated by QSD in April, which is still underway. Thanks to that operation, QSD took over the entire province of Hasaka. QSD did not comment on ISIS's advance through the northern rural areas of Deir al-Zour and its seizure of the oil wells.”

Muslim Brotherhood

Arab Youm: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood's Liquid And Frozen Assets Put At EGP 50 Billion

“Judicial sources revealed that the recently formed committee assigned to executing the courts' rulings against groups, entities or individuals classified as “terrorist," according to republican decision No. 290 of 2018, is due to convene soon. Chaired by Dr. Mohammed Yasser Abu El-Fotouh, the committee, consisting of judges from the Court of Appeals, will complete its formation and establish its own general secretariat during this meeting. The sources added that the committee will compile and review all previously issued rulings by the Court of Urgent Matters regarding the appropriation of funds and assets belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders. The same sources estimated the total value of liquid and frozen assets of the banned group at EGP 50 billion ($2.8 billion).”

Elfagr: Media Figure: Muslim Brotherhood Used To Control 65% Of The Mobile Phone Market In Egypt

“Ahmed Moussa, a prominent Egyptian TV host, disclosed that in the past the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood controlled 65% of all investments in the Egyptian mobile phone market. On Monday, on his TV show called “Ala Mas'uliyati” (“My Responsibility”) broadcast on the Egyptian Sada El-Balad channel, the renowned media figure mentioned that the governmental committee tasked with appraising and seizing the funds of the banned Islamist group is currently also running 120 schools and 22 tourist companies, with branches all over Egypt.”

Elbalad: Egyptian Parliamentarian Demands That Funds Of Muslim Brotherhood Schools Be Channeled To Terror Victims

“Member of Egypt's Parliament, Salama El Gohary, called to allot a portion of the funds and properties owned by the Muslim Brotherhood schools to the families of army, police and civilian victims of terrorism. MP El Gohary, a member of the National Security and Defense Committee, stressed that military and police personnel, alongside civilians, had sacrificed their lives in the fight against the outlawed group; therefore, the {victims'} families must be given compensation for these acts of terrorism. The Egyptian parliamentarian also urged the relevant authorities to expedite the transfer of these schools' ownership to the state, subject to the "Terrorist Entities" Law. This law entitles the state to seize all assets and funds of terrorist entities, El Gohary pointed out.”

Houthi

Wakionline: For The Second Straight Week: Houthis Rob Private Sector Funds

“For the second week in a row, the Houthis continue to steal private funds, targeting money exchange shops, shopping malls and trade fairs in Sana'a and the {surrounding} provinces under their control. The group's decision to prohibit the circulation of the new YR1000 and YR500 banknotes, after allowing it for over a year, afforded the Houthis an opportunity to practice their methods of looting and robbing private companies and businessmen, in flagrant violation of the most fundamental principles and charters of human rights. Furthermore, these practices contradict international treaties, values, social ethics and religious teachings. The Ministry of Industry and Trade affiliated with the Houthis issued a circular prohibiting merchants, importers, producers, wholesalers, malls, oil derivative traders and gas station owners from executing business transactions using the new banknotes.”