Eye on Extremism: June 14, 2024

The Washington Times: Threat Status: ISIS-K And The Global War On Terror

“Afghanistan is once again a dangerous breeding ground for extremist terror groups such as Islamic State-Khorasan Province as questions swirl over the extent to which President Biden’s “over the horizon” counterterrorism tactics have failed. Washington Times National Security Editor Guy Taylor sits down with former U.S. Counterterrorism Coordinator Nathan Sales at the Atlantic Council to discuss the global war on terror at a moment of increasingly sophisticated jihadist propaganda, an expanding network of terror proxies backed by Iran and the growing threat of ISIS-K attacks on the world stage.”

Associated Press: A Missile Strike From Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Sets A Cargo Ship On Fire In Gulf Of Aden

“Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched two anti-ship cruise missiles and struck a commercial ship Thursday in the Gulf of Aden off Yemen, setting it on fire and severely wounding one civilian mariner, authorities said. The M/V Verbena was still ablaze and the mariner was flown by a U.S. helicopter based on the USS Philippine Sea to another nearby ship for medical treatment, the U.S. military’s Central Command said. In a statement, Central Command said the Verbena is a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned and Polish-operated bulk cargo carrier that had docked in Malaysia and was on its way to Italy carrying wood. “The M/V Verbena reported damage and subsequent fires on board. The crew continues to fight the fire,” the statement said. The attack is the latest such assault in the Houthis’ campaign over the Israel-Hamas war. Earlier Thursday, the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said a vessel had been attacked and had caught fire.”

CEP Mentions

Metro: Euros Are Security Challenge ‘On Steroids’ With Fears Of Terror And Right-Wing Violence

“...Dr Hans-Jakob Schindler identified terrorism, hooliganism and far-right violence as being among the red flags for police and security services. The former terror analyst for the German government told Metro.co.uk that ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups present a resurgent threat. Drone and ‘lone actor’ attacks are also part of the matrix, he said. UEFA’s competition kicks off in Germany tonight and will take place across 10 venues, with at least 500,000 England and Scotland fans expected to make the trip, with or without tickets. Current advice from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) states: ‘Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Germany.’ These could be ‘indiscriminate’, the guidance says. A series of terror arrests have taken place in host nation Germany in the run-up to the games, including of alleged Hamas and ISIS supporters.”

United States

Associated Press: Minnesota Man Who Joined Islamic State Group Is Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison

“A Minnesota man who once fought for the Islamic State group in Syria after becoming radicalized expressed remorse and wept in open court Thursday as he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Abelhamid Al-Madioum, 27, cooperated with federal authorities ahead of Thursday’s hearing, which prosecutors factored into their recommendation for a lower sentence than the statutory maximum of 20 years. U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery said among the cases she has presided over in her 40 years on the bench, Al-Madioum’s was “extraordinary.” She cited his confounding path from a loving Minnesota home to one of the world’s most notorious terror organizations and his subsequent collaboration with the government he betrayed. When Al-Madioum rose to speak before being sentenced, he thanked the U.S. government for giving him another chance. He then turned to address his parents and two young sons, who were rescued from a Syrian orphanage and brought to America with the help of federal authorities.”


Associated Press: Iran Installing And Starting Cascades Of Advanced Centrifuges As Tensions High Over Nuclear Program

“Iran has started up new cascades of advanced centrifuges and plans to install others in the coming weeks after facing criticism over its nuclear program, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog said Friday. The U.S. called the moves “nuclear escalations.” Spinning up new centrifuges further advances Iran’s nuclear program, which already enriches uranium at near-weapons-grade levels and boasts a stockpile enough for several nuclear bombs if it chose to pursue them. However, the acknowledgement from the International Atomic Energy Agency did not include any suggestion Iran planned to go to higher enrichment levels amid wider tensions between Tehran and the West as the Israel-Hamas war rages in the Gaza Strip. The IAEA said its inspectors verified Monday that Iran had begun feeding uranium into three cascades of advanced IR-4 and IR-6 centrifuges at its Natanz enrichment facility.”


Reuters: Afghanistan To Have Gender Equal Team In Paris, No Taliban Allowed-IOC

“Afghanistan will field a gender equal team at the Paris Olympics with three women and three men in a largely symbolic move, while no Taliban official will be allowed at the Games, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday. The Olympic body said fielding a gender equal team was a message to both Afghanistan, which under Taliban rule has restricted women's and girls' access to sports and gyms, and to the rest of the world of what is possible. Both the head of Afghanistan's national Olympic committee (NOC) recognised by the IOC and its secretary general are currently in exile, the IOC said. "We have been working with the NOC president and the secretary general, who we recognise in exile, over some time," IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told a press conference. "We made it clear we wanted a gender equal team. That was the demand and that is what we achieved."”


Associated Press: Leaders Of Un And Aid Groups Urge Immediate Release Of 17 Staffers Being Held By Yemen’s Rebels

“The heads of six U.N. agencies and three international humanitarian organizations issued a joint appeal Thursday to Yemen’s Houthi rebels for the immediate release of 17 members of their staff who were recently detained along with many others also being held by the Iranian-backed group. Their appeal was echoed by a statement from several dozen nations and the European Union ahead of a U.N. Security Council meeting on Yemen where U.N. special envoy Hans Grundberg said the Houthis were holding all those detained in the crackdown incommunicado.The Houthis said Monday they had arrested members of an “American-Israeli spy network,” days after detaining the staffers from the U.N. and aid organizations. Maj. Gen. Abdulhakim al-Khayewani, head of the Houthis’ intelligence agency, announced the arrests, saying the spy network had first operated out of the U.S. Embassy in the capital Sanaa.”


Reuters: Hezbollah Says It Attacked 9 Israeli Military Sites With Rockets, Drones

“Hezbollah said it had launched rockets and weaponised drones at nine Israeli military sites in a coordinated attack on Thursday, ramping up hostilities on Lebanon's southern border for the second consecutive day. The attacks were carried out in retaliation for an Israeli strike on Tuesday that killed a senior Hezbollah field commander. A security source told Lebanon it was the largest attack waged by Hezbollah since October, when the group started exchanging fire with Israel in parallel with the Gaza war. In the early hours of Friday, a strike on a building east of the port city of Tyr left one civilian woman dead and more than a dozen wounded, many of them children, according to two Lebanese security sources. Asked about the incident, the Israeli military said it was looking into it. Hezbollah said in a statement earlier that it had fired volleys of Katyusha and Falaq rockets at six Israeli military locations. Its Al-Manar television reported more than 100 rockets fired at once.”

Middle East

Reuters: Senior Hamas Leader Says Proposed Amendments To Gaza Ceasefire 'Not Significant'

“The changes that Hamas has requested to a ceasefire proposal by the United States are "not significant" and include the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip, a senior leader in the group told Reuters on Thursday. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that Hamas had proposed numerous changes, some unworkable, to the U.S.-backed proposal, but that mediators were determined to close the gaps. The U.S. has said Israel has accepted its proposal, but Israel has not publicly stated that. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said Israel will not commit to ending its campaign before Hamas is eliminated. The senior Hamas leader said his organisation had demanded to choose a list of 100 Palestinians with long sentences to be released from Israeli jails. The Israeli document had excluded 100 prisoners with long sentences and restricted releases to only prisoners with sentences of less than 15 years remaining, the Hamas official said.”

Associated Press: Colombia Plans To Provide Medical Treatment To Palestinian Children Injured In Israel-Hamas War

“A Colombian military hospital would provide medical treatment to Palestinian children injured in the Israel-Hamas war under a plan announced Thursday by the country’s Foreign Ministry. Colombia’s Deputy Minister of Multilateral Affairs Elizabeth Taylor Jay told reporters the children would travel with their families to Colombia for rehabilitation. She did not provide further details, including the number of children who would receive treatment, when they would arrive in Colombia or how long they would remain in the country. Neither the foreign ministry nor the office of President Gustavo Petro immediately responded to a request for additional information from The Associated Press. Taylor Jay made the announcement during Petro’s trip to Sweden.”


Associated Press: Sudan Tops UN Envoy’s Concerns About Children Caught In Conflicts, With Congo And Haiti Next

“The United Nations envoy charged with reporting on violations against children in conflicts around the world said Thursday that first and foremost she is worried about what’s happening to youngsters in war-torn Sudan, followed by Congo and Haiti. Virginia Gamba told a news conference officially launching the secretary-general’s annual report and U.N. blacklist of violators that she is also very worried about children caught in Myanmar’s civil war and the spillover into neighboring Bangladesh. “For the future, on the horizon,” she said, “I’m worried about Somalia and Afghanistan.” The report for the first time put both Israeli forces and Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants on the blacklist for violating children’s rights in 2023 during Hamas’ Oct. 7 surprise invasion of southern Israel and its massive military retaliation in Gaza that is ongoing.”

Associated Press: UN Adopts A Resolution Demanding That Sudan’s Paramilitary Force Halt Its Siege Of A Darfur City

“The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Thursday demanding that Sudan’s paramilitary force immediately halt its siege of the only capital in the vast western region of Darfur that it doesn’t control and where more than a million people are reportedly trapped. The British-sponsored resolution, which was approved by a vote of 14-0 with Russia abstaining, also calls on the paramilitary Rapid Support Force and Sudanese military “to seek an immediate cessation of hostilities” leading to an end to their more than year-long war. It expresses “grave concern” at the spreading violence and credible reports that the Rapid Support Forces are carrying out “ethnically motivated violence” in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, as well as last year in El Geneina in West Darfur.”


Associated Press: Boy Accused Of Terrorist Act In Sydney Church Faces New Charges Of Stabbing Bishop And Priest

“A 16-year-old boy accused of committing a terrorist act by stabbing a bishop in a Sydney church in April faces two additional charges, a court was told on Friday. The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested at the scene of the stabbing on April 15 in an Assyrian Orthodox church as a service was being streamed online. The earlier charge of committing a terrorist act carries a possible life sentence, while the new charges carry maximum sentences of 25 years each. A prosecutor told the Parramatta Children’s Court on Friday that the boy had also been charged with wounding with intent to murder Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm a priest, Rev. Isaac Royel. Neither cleric sustained life-threatening injuries. Police have identified 52,000 images and 7,500 videos from the boy’s phone that could be used as evidence in the terrorist charge prosecution.”


Reuters: France, US To Push Roadmap To Stop Hezbollah-Israel Escalation - Macron

“The United States, France and Israel have agreed to work together to step up efforts to push forward a roadmap presented by Paris earlier this year to defuse tensions between Hezbollah and Israel, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday. France and the United States have in recent months worked to try to defuse tensions with Paris submitting written proposals to both sides aimed at stopping worsening exchanges between them on the border between Lebanon and Israel. "With the United States we agreed on the principle of a trilateral (contact group), Israel, the United States and France to advance on the roadmap that we proposed and we will do the same with the Lebanese authorities," Macron told reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy. Hezbollah, which has ruled out ending hostilities until there is a ceasefire between Israel and Islamist militant group Hamas in Gaza, said it had launched rockets and weaponised drones at nine Israeli military sites in a coordinated attack on Thursday, ramping up hostilities on Lebanon's southern border for the second consecutive day.”


DW: German Police Raids Drug Gang With Extremist Links

“Police in the northwestern city German city of Osnabrück said they busted a drug trafficking gang, including one suspect who appeared to have links to the far-right "Reichsbürger" movement. Police, supported by specialized units, conducted raids on 16 properties in Osnabrück, Hanover and smaller towns in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony states.  Investigators said they recovered drugs, luxury watches, jewellery and around €30,000 (roughly $32,500) in cash. They also seized 900 rounds of ammunition, including for a Kalashnikov, at the home of a man believed to be linked to the "Reichsbürger" movement. The "Reichsbürger" (or "Citizens of the Reich" in English) movement does not recognize the formation of modern Germany after World War II. Several senior members, including alleged ringleader and German noble Heinrich XIII Prinz Reuss, were accused late in 2022 of plotting a coup against the German government and are currently on trial.”


The National: Security Focus On Terrorism Threat 'Above All' As Euro 2024 Kicks Off

“Police from across Europe have convened in Germany to bolster its defences against threats to Euro 2024, with the country’s Interior Minister issuing a warning about terrorism. ISIS has called for attacks at the month-long football tournament, which kicks off with the host country's Group A opener against Scotland on Friday. The focus "above all" was on the threat of terrorism, said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser at a ceremony for about 350 foreign police officers dispatched for the event, although "hooligans and their offences, everyday crime, violent criminals", and cyber attacks were also a focus. She said the security authorities had the threat of terrorism "firmly in their sights", adding that authorities were not aware of any specific plots. Germany expects 2.7 million people to attend matches in stadiums across the country and about 12 million in its fan zones for outdoor viewing, including on a long stretch of turf laid out in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.”

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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