Eye on Extremism: June 14, 2022

Associated Press: NATO Chief: Sweden Ready To Address Turkish Security Fears

“NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday he was “glad” that the Swedish government has confirmed its “readiness to address Turkey’s concerns as part of assuming the obligations of future NATO membership.” After decades of military non-alignment, Russia’s war in Ukraine pushed Finland and Sweden to apply to join NATO in May. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, accuses the Nordic nations of supporting Kurdish militants deemed by Turkey to be terrorists and has vetoed their entry into the alliance until they change their policies. Sweden is taking “the Turkish concerns very seriously” and “not at least their security concerns when it comes to the fight against terrorism,” said Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and added that her “ambition is that we should have these matters resolved.” Stoltenberg said Sweden “has already started to change its counter-terrorism legislation” and that the Scandinavian country “will ensure that the legal framework for arms exports will reflect their future status as a NATO member with new commitments to allies.”

Reuters: Armed Men Kill At Least 100 In Burkina Faso Border Zone - Security Source

“Armed men killed at least 100 civilians in a rural district of northern Burkina Faso close to the border with Niger over the weekend, a security source said. The attackers targeted men but appeared to spare women and children in Seytenga district on Saturday night, the security source and two other sources said, all speaking on condition of anonymity. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the assault happened in borderlands where militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State are waging an insurgency. About 3,000 people who fled the attack have arrived in Dori, the capital of Burkina Faso’s surrounding Sahel region, where aid agencies are on the ground, said a local official who asked not to be named. There were differing accounts of the death toll. The security official said on Monday at least 100 people had died. A local source who did not wish to be named said the provisional tally stood at 165. Burkina Faso’s government spokesman, Lionel Bilgo, said 50 bodies had been found so far but that the figure was not final. Soldiers were going house to house looking for bodies, he said. Violence linked to Islamist insurgents has killed thousands and displaced millions across Burkina Faso and neighbouring Mali and Niger since 2015. Army officers angry about the escalating attacks overthrew Burkina Faso’s president in January and vowed to improve security, but levels of violence have remained high.”

United States

Military.com: Neo-Nazi Group Plasters VA Hospital With White Supremacist Propaganda

“A far-right group peppered white supremacist messaging at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Oklahoma, posting pictures to social media of a bathroom covered in racist slogans. A Wednesday post on Telegram from White Lives Matter, a group described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a neo-Nazi group, claimed one of its members placed stickers across a VA hospital in Oklahoma City with text including “Make White Children” and “White People First.” “It was brought to our attention Thursday that inappropriate and offensive stickers may have been placed at the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System,” Terrence Hayes, a VA spokesperson, said in an email to Military.com.”After a thorough search of the campus, remnants of stickers were found. At this time, it is unknown who placed these stickers and how long they were there” he added. “This conduct is absolutely intolerable and is an affront to our personal and organizational values. VA Police is investigating this matter.” It is unclear whether the stickers were placed by a patient, a member of the hospital's staff, or a trespasser. White Lives Matter has more than 12,000 followers on Telegram, a platform with no active moderation efforts that has frequently been used for criminal activity such as child poronography and by terror groups including the Islamic State.”

Boston Herald: Boston-Area Jewish Groups Condemn ‘Antisemitic Attack’ From The Mapping Project; FBI Tracking The Website

“Boston-area Jewish groups are sounding the alarm about a “truly vile perpetration of hate against the Jewish community” as a new pro-Palestine website puts a bullseye on local Jewish organizations, schools and others. The “Mapping Project” interactive map went live last week, naming and listing the addresses for scores of Jewish groups — including the Anti-Defamation League, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, JCRC of Greater Boston, Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, Jewish Arts Collaborative, Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston, and many more. The website also targets politicians, such as Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, along with local governments, police departments, universities and corporations. The creator of the website is unknown, but the map has been promoted by BDS Boston — “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement in the greater Boston area in solidarity with Palestine.” “Our goal in pursuing this collective mapping was to reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them,” the Mapping Project website states. “Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.” The local Jewish community and partners are now condemning this website, coming together on Monday to speak out against the targeting.”

SOFREP: Utah Paramedic ‘Baby Dog’ Left Dayjob, Flew To Ukraine To Fight Russians

“…A release by Berlin and New York-based Counter Extremism Project (CEP) reported that “given the available information, it is reasonable to deduce that only a fraction of those who indicated an interest in traveling to Ukraine after February 2022 actually did so.” “Their number ranges from merely several hundreds to a few thousands,” it concluded. “This is dwarfed by tens of thousands of Ukrainian volunteers who joined units in Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Force (TDF).” Baby Dog said that her experience working as a paramedic in a unit of foreign fighters makes it feel as if she is living out a James Bond film. Like the fictional secret agent, Baby Dog has gotten her share of the harsh realities of combat and death. “I had my big medic bag on. Everybody had all their gear on. It was raining. It was miserable,” she said. “We were climbing a 45-degree hill on the road, and then out of nowhere, just this huge cluster bomb.” The explosion pushed her off into the treeline, she recounted. Almost immediately, she started running towards a colleague that was lying on the open road. “I got there, and then the second barrage went off,” she said. “They usually come in twos here.” There have been several reports of Russian forces using “double-tap” tactics to increase damage and casualties against a target.”

Iraq

The Washington Post: Iraqi Held At Guantánamo Bay Pleads Guilty

“An Iraqi man who has been held at the Guantánamo Bay detention center for more than 15 years pleaded guilty Monday to war crimes charges for his role in al-Qaeda attacks against U.S. and allied forces along with civilians in Afghanistan. The pleas by the prisoner known as Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi before a military commission at the U.S. base in Cuba amount to a legal milestone, aiding efforts to resolve the long-stalled Guantánamo tribunals and wind down operations at the detention center. Prosecuting Hadi al-Iraqi has been delayed for years by some of the same legal and logistical challenges that have held up other Guantánamo cases as well as by his deteriorating spinal condition that has left him partially paralyzed. Hadi al-Iraqi, who is about 60 and says his real name is Nashwan al-Tamir, was arraigned at Guantánamo in 2014 before the commission, which was set up to prosecute prisoners for war crimes in a high-security court that combines military and civilian law. He pleaded guilty to four of five charges against him, including conspiracy and several violations of the international laws of war as an al-Qaeda commander early in the conflict in Afghanistan that formally ended with the U.S. withdrawal in August.”

Middle East

Arab News: Arab League Group Of Experts Discusses Ways To Tackle New Terrorism Threats

“New ways of tackling terrorism threats topped the agenda at an Arab League meeting in Egypt. A group of experts in counterterrorism on Sunday began a three-day extraordinary session to look at further advancing initiatives to prevent attacks by terror organizations and individuals. The meeting, being held at the Cairo headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League and chaired by group leader Ahmed Al-Zahrani, involved specialists from member states’ justice, interior, defense, and foreign affairs ministries, along with the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers. Minister plenipotentiary, Yasser Abdel Moneim, the director of the Arab League’s legal affairs department responsible for the technical secretariat of the Council of Arab Justice Ministers, said: “The meeting will discuss ways to activate the development of the team’s work in line with the new challenges in the field of combating terrorism.” Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, he added that the experts’ gathering was a follow-up to their last round of discussions in February that produced a set of recommendations adopted by the league’s foreign ministers in March. Abdel Moneim noted that a number of proposals on countering terrorism had been put forward by countries including Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. The group of experts is a permanent body established to deal with issues of combating and preventing terrorism in the Arab world.”

Nigeria

Premium Times Nigeria: Gunmen Kill 37 In Attack On Rural Community In Benue

“Gunmen, who attacked Igama, a rural community in Benue State on Sunday morning, killed 37, residents of the community told PREMIUM TIMES. A survivor, Ambrose Adah, said the attackers raided the community while he and his family were preparing for Mass. Igama, an agrarian community, located in Okpokwu Local Government area, is 160 kilometres from Makurdi, the Benue State capital. “While we were preparing for the early morning Mass on Sunday, herdsmen in large numbers riding on motorbikes, invaded our community,” Mr Adah said. “Members of our community mostly women and youths were killed during the attack. “So far 37 corpses have been recovered and presently deposited at St Mary’s General Hospital, Okpoga,” the headquarters of Okpokwu Local Government. “My three-bedroom bungalow and other valuables were destroyed by the herdsmen,” Mr Adah disclosed in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday. He added: “Dozens of houses were razed to the ground,” while over 500 hundred residents who were displaced by the attack are seeking shelter at Ojigo ward, and other neighbouring communities. To forestall further attacks, Mr Adah appealed to the federal government to station a military base in the area.”

Somalia

All Africa: Somalia: Army Carried Out Operation Against Al-Shabaab

“At least 12 Al-Shabab members were killed in an operation conducted by the Somali National Army (SNA) on Sunday, the state media reported. The operation took place near Qabdho village under Mataban district of the Hiiraan region in the latest assault against Al-Shabaab. During the operation the Somali National Army destroyed Al-Shabab bases which they used to collect taxes from the local people, according the army radio, citing SNA officials.”

Canada

The Guardian: ‘Incel’ Who Killed 11 In Toronto Van Murders Sentenced To Life In Prison

“A self-described “incel” who killed 11 people when he plowed a rented van into a busy Toronto sidewalk in 2018 has been sentenced to life in prison. Alek Minassian – who was motivated by a hatred of women – was convicted in March of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder, after a judge found that he drove a white rental van on to the sidewalk with the intent to kill. At a hearing on Monday, he was sentenced to 20 years for 15 counts of attempted murder, which are to be served concurrently. Earlier, the Toronto court heard testimony from witnesses and victims, who recounted the horror of the attack, and their struggles with PTSD in the aftermath. “My world has changed forever,” said Janet Zhang, after describing the mental suffering she still experiences after her CPR efforts to save a victim were unsuccessful. First responder Charlene Mackay told the court that she still has panic-inducing triggers and night terrors, which she manages by drinking and not eating well. “I don’t feel like he should have a normal life,” she said of Minassian. Other victims detailed the extensive and life-altering injuries they incurred during the attack, with which they continue to grapple.”

The Jerusalem Post: Calls To Abolish Canada Terror List At Event On Ottawa City Property

“Canada's list of terrorist organizations should be abolished, said Khaled Barakat — The subject of controversy in Canada for his alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization — at the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) in Canada's 5th assembly at the Ottawa city-owned Foster Farm Community Centre on June 3.  “It has to be abolished,” Barakat said at the event. He complained that Hezbollah, Hamas and PFLP we officially recognized by Canada as terrorist organizations. “Canada is listing Palestinians and Arab organizations on the so-called terrorist list,” he said. “Now, we challenge the Canadian government and we say 'why are you listing for example, the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] on your terrorist list? What did the PFLP actually did [sic] against Canada and Canada [sic] interests or commit any kind of crimes against Canadians here or abroad? Zero. Nothing.” The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) noted on Thursday that Lonna Sabah and Rabbi Haim Rothman were Canadian citizens who were victims of PFLP terrorist attacks. This is not the first time Barakat has called for the abolishment of the terrorist list. On a May 12 episode of the Security in Context Podcast, Barakat called for the list's end. He was a guest on the podcast to denounce what he described as a “smear campaign” following an expose on Barakat in the National Post that reviewed the evidence of Barakat's leadership role in the PFLP.”

Europe

Associated Press: German, Swiss Authorities Detain 4 Accused Of Supporting IS

“Germany and Swiss authorities have carried out a joint operation to detain four people who are accused of membership in or support of the Islamic State group, officials said Tuesday. One man was detained in Germany on Monday. He is accused of having prepared a serious act of violence endangering the state and of membership in a foreign terrorist organization, the country’s federal prosecutor said in a statement. In Switzerland, the authorities detained three people, also on Monday, and carried out seven searches altogether, the country’s federal prosecutor’s office said. Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office said the German suspect, identified only as Aleem N., had “long been a follower of jihadist and radical Islamic ideas.” He was detained in Roemerberg, southwest of Heidelberg.”

Technology

Associated Press: Right-Wing Extremists Amp Up Anti-LGBTQ Rhetoric Online

“A few weeks before 31 members of a white supremacist group were arrested for allegedly planning to riot at a northern Idaho LGBTQ pride event, a fundamentalist Idaho pastor told his Boise congregation that gay, lesbian and transgender people should be executed by the government. Around the same time, a lawmaker from the northernmost region of the state, Republican Rep. Heather Scott, told an audience that drag queens and other LGBTQ supporters are waging “a war of perversion against our children.” A toxic brew of hateful rhetoric has been percolating in Idaho and elsewhere around the U.S., well ahead of the arrests of the Patriot Front members at the pride event Saturday in Coeur d’Alene. Police say dozens of men from the white supremacist group piled into a U-Haul truck wearing balaclavas and bearing riot gear, with plans to instigate a riot at the park where families, children and supporters were gathered to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Those arrested came from at least 11 states, including Illinois, Arkansas and Virginia. The defendants were booked on misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot and released on bail. As of Monday afternoon, online court records did not show if the men had retained defense attorneys.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On June 24, 2017, Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) launched back-to-back explosions at a market in Kurram Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in northwest Pakistan. The attack killed 67 people who were shopping in preparation for a religious holiday and wounded 200 others. 

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