Eye on Extremism: July 13, 2021

The Independent: The Base: UK To Ban US-Based White Supremacist Group As Terrorist Organisation

“The British government is to ban US-based white supremacist group The Base as a terrorist organisation. The neo-Nazi group, which was formed in 2018, has been attempting to recruit armed militants to launch terror attacks and prepare for a “race war”. The Home Office said The Base shared much of its ideology and mission with Atomwaffen Division, which it banned earlier this year. Priti Patel, the home secretary, said: “We continue to take robust action against evil white supremacist groups, who target vulnerable people across the world to join in their hateful ideologies and their sick promotion of violence. “I am committed to making it as difficult as possible for these organisations to operate in the UK, both by banning them and increasing the penalties for membership or support, in order to protect the public and our national security.” Proscription makes it a criminal offence in the UK to be a member of the group or invite support for it, with maximum prison sentences of 14 years for membership. The order was laid in parliament on Monday and, if approved by MPs, will come into force later this week. Officials said the ban followed advice from a proscription review group, including intelligence agencies and experts.”

Sahara Reporters: Kidnappers Kill 5,800 Nigerians In 6 Months, Abducted 1,344 In June Only— Report

“A project of the Council on Foreign Relations' Africa program, Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), says there has been reported 5,800 deaths, while 2,943 people were kidnapped in the first half of 2021 in Nigeria. According to the NST, the data revealed that kidnappers who are bandits, Boko Haram terrorists, killer Fulani herders and ritualists averagely killed 32 persons per day while they abducted 17 people per day between January and June this year. This was revealed at the weekend by a data consulting firm, StatiSense stating that the Northern Nigeria recorded 4,490 deaths, while the Southern part of the country had 1,310. The data gave a monthly breakdown of the sad occurrences with May recording the highest number of deaths at 1,045, April had 1,032 and June with 1,011. Others are 958, 879 and 875 for January, February and March respectively. Also, 1,344 persons were kidnapped in June, 474 in May, 406 in April, 605 in March, 709 in February and 405 in January. Looking at the six geo-political zones with total reported deaths between January and June 2021, the North West had the highest with 1,976, the North East had 1,424, the North Central had 1,090, the South East had 574, the South-South had 406 and the South West had the lowest number, 330.”

United States

New York Post: FBI Urges Monitoring Of ‘Family Members And Peers’ For Extremism

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned Americans over the weekend to keep an eye on friends and family members for “signs of mobilization to violence” as part of the Biden administration’s continued focus on domestic extremism. “Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence,” the FBI tweeted Sunday. “Help prevent homegrown violent extremism … learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the FBI” The tweet included a link to the 2019 edition of the “Homegrown Violent Extremist Mobilization Indicators” report published by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center. The report defines Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) as “a person of any citizenship who lives or operates primarily in the United States or its territories, and who advocates, engages in, or is preparing to engage in or support terrorist activities in furtherance of a foreign terrorist organization’s objectives, but who is acting independently of foreign terrorist direction.”

The Independent: Four Arrested With 100 Rounds Of Ammunition In Suspected Terror Plot On MLB Game

“Police say a mass-shooting at the Major League baseball All-Star game in Denver may have been averted, after four men were arrested and a stash of weaponry was seized. Authorities were tipped off by a maid who was working in a hotel near the Coors Field baseball park, leading police to execute a search warrant. They discovered narcotics, body armour, 16 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in an eighth-floor room with a balcony overlooking the downtown area, according to the Denver Post. Denver police are not ruling out the possibility that a “Las Vegas-style” shooting had been planned. The hotel room’s vantage point, potentially overlooking large crowds, along with the quantity of weapons and ammunition drew comparisons with the Las Vegas shooting massacre in October 2017. Stephen Paddock, 64, fired into a crowd of music festival-goers from a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, killing 60 and injuring hundreds more. The FBI has said it has no reason to believe there was an intended threat to the MLB game. Denver FBI office Acting Public Affairs Specialist Courtney Bernal, said in a statement: “We have no reason to believe this incident was connected to terrorism or a threat directed at the All-Star Game,” adding “We are not aware of any threat to the All-Star Game events, venues, players or the community at this time.”

Associated Press: Far-Right Proud Boys March In Parade In South-Central Idaho

“A far-right extremist group whose members took part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol participated with a float in a July 3 parade in the south-central Idaho town of Buhl. The Times-News reports that Proud Boys members were among about 100 floats in the Sagebrush Days parade that went through the center of town. The Buhl Chamber of Commerce runs the parade but wouldn’t comment specifically about the Proud Boys taking part. “At this time the Buhl Chamber (of) Commerce will not feed into any negative propaganda,” the group said in a statement to the newspaper. “The Buhl 2021 Sagebrush Days parade saw 90 plus entries who celebrated in a courteous and civil manner. The Buhl Chamber takes pride in welcoming all participants, while giving them the opportunity to celebrate our great nation.” Chamber officials in a later email told the newspaper they were looking into the process for reviewing parade entries. On Jan. 6, the Proud Boys met at the Washington Monument around 10 a.m. and marched to the Capitol before then-President Donald Trump finished addressing thousands of supporters near the White House. The insurrectionists who descended on the Capitol briefly disrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s win and sent terrified lawmakers running for their lives.”

Syria

Kurdistan 24: US Highlights ISIS Danger In Iraq And Syria In Report On Preventing Genocide

“On Monday, the State Department released its annual report on US efforts to prevent genocide and other atrocities in areas of critical concern. The 2021 report included a summary of what the US has done over the past year in six countries—including Iraq and Syria—where it has worked actively to counter the threat posed by ISIS. “The US government is committed to combating ISIS and the risk it poses to civilians, particularly in Iraq and Syria,” the report affirmed. The State Department “has provided nearly $9 million to the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL”—known as UNITAD— which “funds organizations to collect evidence and supports the Iraqi Justice System to prosecute ISIS members,” it explained. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has worked closely with UNITAD, which has praised the KRG’s “excellent support” in establishing a special criminal court to try ISIS members for war crimes. Already in 2016, the US determined that ISIS was responsible for genocide against groups in areas of Iraq and Syria which it controlled, including against “Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims,” as well as other atrocities “against Sunni Muslims, Kurds, and other minorities.”

Iraq

The Times Of Israel: Alarming Rise Of Islamic State In India And Iraq

“There is extremely alarming news about expansion of Islamic State (ISIS) activities in Iraq and India. According to media sources, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) searched seven locations in Kashmir in connection with a case relating to attempts by ISIS to recruit youth in India. The National Investigation Agency said, Islamic State is posting jihadist propaganda materials online to “radicalize impressionable youth by projecting a skewed narrative of imagined injustices in India”. Police officials said that the central agency sleuths raided a few locations at Achabal in Anantnag and detained at least five youths for questioning. The officials also searched a religious seminary in Srinagar besides a few locations in Awantipora and Baramulla. “In order to execute its nefarious plan, an organized campaign has been launched over the cyberspace, which is supplemented by on-ground terror financing activities,” the NIA said in a statement. According to the NIA, Islamic State terrorists operating from various conflict zones along with its cadres in India have created a network wherein ISIS related jihadist propaganda material is disseminated for radicalizing and recruiting members to the terror organization’s fold. All of this is done using pseudo identities.”

Kurdistan 24: ISIS Continues To Regroup In Iraq's Disputed Territories: Report

“Iraqi Intelligence officers and local tribal leaders have warned that ISIS militants are reorganizing in the embattled Middle Eastern nation's disputed province of Kirkuk. This came just two days after the US-led Coalition to Defeat ISIS announced that the extremist organization had regrouped its forces in other areas in central Diyala province that are also disputed by the federal government and the autonomous Kurdistan Region. On Sunday, the Guardian reported that ISIS militants have resorted to a nomadic lifestyle in rugged terrain, bunkers, or other locations that provide cover because they are unable to control such territory outright. According to the article, “Small bands” of ISIS fighters are attacking “military and police checkpoints, assassinating local leaders and assailing electricity transmission grids and oil installations.”  “With their financial resources severely depleted,” it continued, “they seek shelter in the mountains and gorges and constantly move until enough resources and men are mustered to organise an attack.” Such details are consistent with ongoing reporting by Kurdistan 24 showing that, since its 2017 territorial defeat in Iraq, the extremist organization has returned to the guerilla tactics that allowed it to take control of multiple cities, towns, and large tracts of rural land in 2014.”

Turkey

Daily Sabah: Turkey Detains 14 Daesh Terrorist Suspects In Operations

“Turkish security forces detained at least 14 people with suspected links to Daesh terrorists in counterterrorism operations conducted across eight provinces Monday. The Chief Prosecutor's Office in northwestern Balıkesir province issued arrest warrants for the suspects over their alleged affiliation with and financing of the terror group from 2018-2019. Local gendarmerie forces in Balıkesir, the capital Ankara, northwestern Bursa province and Istanbul, as well as western Izmir province and the central provinces of Konya, Nevşehir and Sakarya conducted simultaneous operations to arrest the suspects, said security sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. A large number of organizational documents along with digital materials were also seized by Turkish security units. In May, Ankara arrested a Daesh terrorist identified as the right-hand man of former terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. military operation in Syria in 2019. Reports said that Turkish intelligence played a key role in the death of al-Baghdadi by detaining and extraditing one of his aides to Iraq, who provided U.S. authorities with critical information to help locate the vicious man.”

Afghanistan

The New York Times: It’s Situation Normal For U.S. Diplomats In Kabul, Despite Taliban Gains

“A Taliban rampage across Afghanistan is stoking fears that extremists could overrun the capital, Kabul, and force the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy. But inside the building, American diplomats emerging from a monthlong coronavirus lockdown are returning to business as usual. The embassy last week restarted processing immigration visas for Afghan interpreters and others who could be targeted for working with the U.S. government as the nearly 20-year war rapidly comes to a close. As of Sunday, officials planned to interview as many as 200 applicants each day. American envoys returning to their offices will again be allowed to leave the sprawling U.S. compound for diplomatic meetings in Kabul’s international security zone. And a new crop of American diplomats assigned to the embassy will arrive this week for a one-year stint. “I have had people reach out to me and say, ‘Will I still have a job? Should I still come out here?’” Scott Weinhold, the embassy’s assistant chief of mission, said on Thursday. “We fully intend to have the embassy here and open.” Most American combat troops have left Afghanistan, and the top U.S. commander in the country, Gen. Austin S. Miller, stepped down on Monday.”

Voice Of America: Regional Actors Boost Diplomatic Engagement With Taliban As US Exits Afghanistan

“As the American military withdrawal from Afghanistan nears completion, regional countries are stepping up diplomatic efforts aimed at pressing warring Afghans to resume the stalled U.S.-brokered peace talks and prevent the conflict from escalating into a full-blown civil war. The fears of further bloodshed stem from the Taliban’s rapid territorial gains since U.S. and NATO allied troops formally began leaving the country in early May under orders by President Joe Biden.  The withdrawal is due to be completed by August 31. President Joe Biden speaks about the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, July 8, 2021. Fighting has escalated between the insurgent group and Afghan security forces in provinces next to the country’s long border with Pakistan. Last week, Tajikistan ordered 20,000 reservists to bolster border security following the Taliban battlefield advances. Iranian and Turkmen authorities also have taken additional border security measures, fearing the violence could spill over into their territories. The Islamist group has downplayed the prospect of a civil war erupting in Afghanistan after the exit of all foreign troops and sought to reassure anxious neighbors that they pose no threat to regional stability.”

Nigeria

The News Nigeria: Boko Haram Growing Arms Stockpile: Why Lake Chad Basin Leaders Should Be Worried

“Since the emergence of the Boko Haram sect in the early 2000s, the Lake Chad region, consisting of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, has witnessed several attacks by the extremists. In the past few years, the group and its allies have grown brazen in their activities, especially against the military.  On April 26, the Islamic State-aligned fighters of Boko Haram, Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP), reportedly killed more than 30 soldiers in an attack at a military location in Mainok, Borno State, Nigeria. Such onslaught has, unfortunately, become commonplace. Similarly, the group’s attacks against civilian, including killings of over 36,000 persons, kidnapping of schoolchildren for ransom, millions of forced migrations, hoisting of flags in captured communities, and forceful conversion of their captives, are also regular occurrences. While these humanitarian crises are worrisome, the sect’s increasing arms stockpile is another concern with both immediate and long-term devastating effects. Each time they overpower a military base, the terrorists make off with a different cache of weapons. Of course, the forceful acquisition of military weapons is a common pattern insurgents use globally.”

Pulse Nigeria: Borno To Receive Over 200,000 Nigerians Chased To Neighboring Countries By Boko Haram

“Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno, on Monday, briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the planned repatriation of over 200,000 Nigerians displaced by insurgency and residing in Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic. Speaking to State House correspondents after the closed door meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Zulum disclosed that the state government would on November 27 commence the repatriation of the displaced Nigerians, who were willing to return home because of the improved security situation in Borno. “I came to brief the president on the plight of Nigerians that are living in the Republic of Chad, Cameroon and Niger, especially the indigenes of Borno State, numbering over 200,000. “Now that we have started witnessing gradual return of peace to Borno, these people of Borno taking refuge in neighbouring countries are willing to return home. “Therefore, Borno state government has fixed a date of November 27, 2021 for the commencement of their repatriation process, especially to two Local Government Areas of Abadam and Guzamala. “So, I came to solicit for the support of the President with a view to ensuring a hitch-free repatriation exercise.”

Mali

RFI: Dozens Die In 'Terrorist' Attack In Restive Niger-Mali Border Zone

“Five civilians, four soldiers and 40 armed attackers were killed on Sunday in a clash in Niger's southwest region near the border with Mali, according to a statement from the authorities in Niger's capital, Niamey. An estimated 100 heavily armed “terrorists” riding motorcycles attacked the Tchoma Bangou village on Sunday afternoon, Niger's Ministry of Defence said in a statement read on public television. The “prompt and vigorous reaction” by the Defense and Security Forces (FDS), “made it possible to repel the attack and inflict heavy losses on the enemy”, the ministry said, adding that its soldiers had seized motorcycles and a cache of weapons, including AK47s and machine guns, from the assailants. Tchoma Bangou is located in the Tillaberi region, bordering Mali and Burkina Faso, an area known as “the three borders” that has been regularly targeted by jihadist groups. Tillaberi has been under a state of emergency since 2017. The authorities have banned motorbike traffic night and day for a year and ordered the closure of certain markets suspected of supplying “terrorists.” Niger has for years battled jihadist insurgencies on its southwestern flank with Mali, as well as Boko Haram on its southeastern border with Nigeria.”

Africa

Voice Of America: 49 Killed In Niger Armed Attack

“Five civilians, four soldiers and 40 armed attackers were killed Sunday in a clash in Niger’s restive southwest region near the border with Mali, the government said. Around 100 heavily armed “terrorists” riding motorcycles attacked the Tchoma Bangou village, striking around 3 p.m. Sunday, Niger’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement read on public television that did not identify who it suspected was behind the latest deadly incident. The “prompt and vigorous reaction” by the Defense and Security Forces “made it possible to repel the attack and inflict heavy losses on the enemy,” the ministry said, adding that its soldiers had seized motorcycles and a cache of weapons, including AK47s and machine guns, from the assailants. Tchoma Bangou is located in the Tillaberi region, bordering Mali and Burkina Faso, an area known as “the three borders” that has been regularly targeted by jihadist groups. Tillaberi has been under a state of emergency since 2017. The authorities have banned motorbike traffic night and day for a year and ordered the closure of certain markets suspected of supplying “terrorists.”

SOFREP: Europe And Africa Rally Behind Mozambique In Its Fight Against ISIS

“The European Union (EU) agreed on Monday, July 12, to send troops to train the embattled and overmatched Mozambican military. Mozambique is in a bloody fight against ISIS terrorists in the restive northern area of Cabo Delgado. The insurgency, which has been ongoing since 2017 and has resulted in over 3,000 deaths and the displacement of more than 800,000 civilians, has gotten significantly worse over the last year. The training is expected to take place late in 2021, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. Specifically, the EU will train 200-300 special forces members of Mozambique’s military. “The mandate of the mission will initially last two years,” the European Council, representing EU members states, said in a released statement. The U.S. Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA) sent troops in March for a two-month mission to train Mozambique’s Marines to combat terrorists. However, back in April, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that there were no other scheduled deployments of U.S. troops to the country and none have been requested. Troops from Special Operations Command – Africa open ceremonies before beginning training of Mozambique Marines.”

Latin America

Reuters: Venezuela Announces Terrorism Charges Against Guaido Ally After Highway Arrest

“Venezuelan prosecutors on Monday said they had charged opposition politician Freddy Guevara with terrorism and treason, among other allegations, after the country's intelligence service arrested him from his car on a Caracas highway. Guevara is a close ally of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized as the South American country's legitimate president by the United States and others. Guaido said unidentified armed men threatened him with arrest earlier on Monday as he left his apartment in an effort to assist Guevara. In a statement, the chief prosecutor's office said it had sought an arrest warrant for Guevara due to his alleged “ties with extremist groups and paramilitaries associated with the Colombian government.” The incidents took place as the government and opposition prepare for negotiations planned for next month in Mexico with mediation by Norway aimed at resolving the South American country's deep political crisis, people familiar with the matter told Reuters last week. In an appearance on state television on Monday, Maduro confirmed the negotiation plans but said the opposition should renounce violent tactics ahead of the talks.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On July 23, 2016, two suicide bombers targeted members of Afghanistan’s Hazara ethnic minority who were demonstrating in Kabul. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed at least 97 people and injured 260 others. 

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