Eye on Extremism: June 17, 2024

The New York Times: U.S. Designates Largest Neo-Nazi Group In Sweden As Terrorist Organization

“The State Department on Friday designated the largest neo-Nazi group in Sweden and its leaders as terrorists, only the second time it has applied the label to a white supremacist group known for a long history of violence. The decision comes as the group, the Nordic Resistance Movement, foments violence online and forges connections with like-minded organizations and people in the United States, officials said. Those actions have incited concerns among federal law enforcement officials responsible for thwarting domestic terrorism. “The group’s members and leaders have carried out violent attacks against political opponents, protesters, journalists and other perceived adversaries,” the State Department said in a statement. The Biden administration said the designations were part of a broader effort to crack down on white extremists.”

The New York Times: F.B.I. Director Makes Rare Visit To Africa As Terrorism Threat Grows

“Christopher A. Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, paid a rare visit to sub-Saharan Africa this week to discuss counterterrorism strategies with regional partners at a time when both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda are gaining momentum on the continent. Mr. Wray, who met with officials in Kenya and Nigeria, repeated his warning that the United States and its allies worldwide are “operating in a heightened threat environment” that has been energized by the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. “The main reason for my visit to both countries was to raise awareness about threats on the continent that have serious implications for the U.S. homeland but that don’t get the attention they deserve,” Mr. Wray said in a telephone interview from Nigeria on Friday. “For several years now, groups like ISIS, like Al Qaeda, have considered Africa very fertile ground.””

CEP Mentions

Tagesspiegel: Ceasefire Lasting Several Hours A Day in Southern Gaza

“It could alleviate the suffering of many people in the southern Gaza Strip a little and at least temporarily spare them from new fighting: Israel's military announced "daily tactical pauses" on Sunday. Between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time (7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central European Time), the guns will be silent in selected parts of the coastal area, meaning that army operations will cease. Israel says it wants to enable the delivery of larger quantities of aid supplies. The ceasefire will apply to the route from the Kerem Shalom border crossing to Salah al-Din Street and then further north. The decision was made following consultations with the United Nations and other organizations, it said. […] Hans-Jakob Schindler believes it is plausible that the ceasefire is justified by humanitarian concerns. However, according to the senior director of the international Counter Extremism Project, military considerations are probably also behind the decision.”

Metro: Moment Police Close In On Axeman With Firebomb Near Euro Fan Zone

“Footage has now come through of the moment police confronted an attacker at the Euro 2024 Championship earlier this afternoon. The clip shows the individual, dressed in black, holding an axe in one hand and what appears to be a Molotov cocktail in the other. The individual shouts at officers deployed in Hamburg’s Reppenbahm district before he is doused in pepper spray. Turning away from the spray, the attacker then heads off down the street in the opposite direction. […] Experts have recently said how the championship has presented an exceptionally ‘complex security challenge’ as authorities seek to monitor and contain a wide variety of different threats. Dr Hans-Jakob Schindler has identified terrorism, hooliganism and far-right violence as some of the most pressing concerns at present.”

Merkur: Horror Scenario In The European Championship Stadium: “Mass Panic Is The Real Danger”

“Berlin – Visually, the poster is reminiscent of pixelated 3D shooting games from the 90s: A man in camouflage clothing and with a machine gun stands in a stylized football stadium. Above it in broken English is the sentence: "Score the last goal" - and three possible targets: Berlin, Dortmund and Munich . The message of this and numerous other images in the radical Islamist propaganda magazine Stimme von Khorasan is nothing less than a call for terrorist attacks during the 2024 European Championships in Germany. […] "IS wants to exploit Moscow's momentum," believes terrorism expert Hans-Jakob Schindler from the Counter Extremism Project (CEP). At the end of March, more than 130 people were killed in a terrorist attack on an event center near Moscow . Immediately after the attack, IS released a long speech as an audio recording. The message: Europe is the next target. "They want to show that they are active and are now putting it into action," explains Schindler.”

United States

Bloomberg: US Sanctions Israeli Extremist Group For Destroying Gaza Aid

“The State Department imposed sanctions on an Israeli extremist group accused of blocking and destroying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the latest in a broader US push to ease what the United Nations says is a looming famine in the enclave. The sanctions targeted Tzav 9, a group that “repeatedly sought to thwart the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including by blockading roads, sometimes violently, along their route from Jordan to Gaza, including in the West Bank,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement. Miller’s statement linked Tzav 9 to a May 13 incident in which protesters ransacked an aid truck, smashing boxes and tossing their contents across a highway. Video footage of the incident provoked global condemnation and renewed accusations that Israel wasn’t doing enough to facilitate the flow of aid into Gaza or crack down on groups disrupting it.”


Voice Of America: Taliban Agree To Attend UN-Hosted 3rd Doha Meeting On Afghanistan 

“Afghanistan’s Taliban government said Sunday it will send a delegation to the two-day United Nations conference on Afghanistan, set to commence in Doha, Qatar, June 30. This will mark the first time the de facto Afghan rulers will attend a gathering of international envoys on Afghanistan since U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres started the process over a year ago, aimed at developing a coherent and unified world approach to engagement with the Taliban. Zabihullah Mujahid, the chief Taliban spokesman, told an Afghan television channel Sunday that their government had held internal discussions on the agenda for the third Doha conference and agreed to participate. “We will announce the composition of the delegation later, God willing. We believe this will serve the interest of Afghanistan,” Mujahid said in his interview, aired by TOLO News.”


Voice Of America: Pakistanis Along Afghan Border Stuck Between Militants, Military

““We don’t need development. … We want to live in peace,” a frustrated Abdul Khaliq told VOA over the phone. Khaliq is a resident of Pakistan’s tribal district Kurram, where locals held a consultative gathering, or jirga, earlier this month to discuss rising insecurity. The gathering was part of a recent wave of jirgas in Pakistani areas close to Afghanistan, where locals say they are caught between militant violence and military operations. In recent weeks, along with Kurram, tribes gathered in large numbers in the Mohmand, Tank, Bannu and Lakki Marwat districts in the country’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The jirgas were held amid a spike in incidents involving targeted killings and extortion by militants. “We are not afraid for ourselves, but we are scared for our children and families,” a resident of Mohmand who did not want to be identified for security reasons told VOA over the phone.”


Associated Press: Fight For Control Of Yemen’s Banks Between Rebels, Government Threatens To Further Wreck Economy

“Yemen’s Houthi rebels and its internationally recognized government are locked in a fight for control of the country’s banks that experts warn is threatening to further wreck an economy already crippled by nearly a decade of war. The rivalry over the banks is throwing Yemen’s financial system into deeper turmoil. Already, the Houthis who control the north and center of the country and the government running the south use different currency notes with different exchange rates. They also run rival central banks. The escalating money divide is eroding the value of Yemen’s currency, the riyal, which had driven up prices for clothing and meat before the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha started on Sunday. For weeks, Yemenis in Houthi-controlled areas have been unable to pull their money out of bank savings accounts, reportedly because the Houthi-run central bank, based in the capital, Sanaa, has stopped providing liquidity to commercial and government banks.”

Middle East

Associated Press: Israel’s Army Says It Will Pause Daytime Fighting Along A Route In Southern Gaza To Help Flow Of Aid

“Israel’s military announced on Sunday that it would pause fighting during daytime hours along a route in southern Gaza to free up a backlog of humanitarian aid deliveries for desperate Palestinians enduring a humanitarian crisis sparked by the war, now in its ninth month. The “tactical pause,” which applies to about 12 kilometers (7½ miles) of road in the Rafah area, falls far short of a complete cease-fire in the territory that has been sought by the international community, including Israel’s top ally, the United States. It could help address the overwhelming needs of Palestinians that have surged in recent weeks with Israel’s incursion into Rafah. The army said that the daily pause would begin at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) and last until 7 p.m. (1600 GMT) and continue until further notice.”

Associated Press: Israeli Officials Say Netanyahu Has Dissolved The War Cabinet After Key Partner Bolted Government

“Israeli officials said Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the influential War Cabinet that was tasked with steering the war in Gaza. The War Cabinet was dissolved following the departure from the government of Benny Gantz, an opposition lawmaker who had joined the coalition in the early days of the war. He had demanded that a small Cabinet be formed as a way to sideline far-right lawmakers in Netanyahu’s government. Gantz, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant were its members and made key decisions together throughout the war. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the change with the media, said that going forward Netanyahu would hold smaller forums with some of his government members for sensitive issues.”

Reuters: Israel Warns Of Escalation From Cross-Border Fire From Hezbollah

“Intensified cross-border fire from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement into Israel could trigger serious escalation, the Israeli military said on Sunday. "Hezbollah’s increasing aggression is bringing us to the brink of what could be a wider escalation, one that could have devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region," Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a video statement in English. Iran-backed Hezbollah last week launched the largest volleys of rockets and drones yet in the eight months it has been exchanging fire with the Israeli military, in parallel with the Gaza war. After the relatively heavy exchanges over the past week, Sunday saw a marked drop in Hezbollah fire, while the Israeli military said that it had carried out several air strikes against the group in southern Lebanon. The U.S. and France are working on a negotiated settlement to the hostilities along Lebanon's southern border. Hezbollah says it will not halt fire unless Israel stops its military offensive on Gaza.”


ABC: Top ISIS Leader In Somalia Was Target Of US Airstrike

“A United States military airstrike in Somalia targeted the top Islamic State leader in late May, but it remains unclear if the leader was killed in the airstrike, according to U.S. officials. Abdulqadir Mumin has been identified by the U.S. as the head of the Islamic State in Somalia, an African affiliate of the terror group once known as ISIS. A statement from U.S. Africa Command disclosed that on May 31 it had conducted an airstrike in a remote area of northeastern Somalia, south of the Gulf of Aden, that killed three militants affiliated with the Islamic State. The statement did not provide more accurate information about who was specifically being targeted in the airstrike. Three U.S. officials confirmed to ABC News that the target of the strike was the top leader of the Islamic State in Somalia whom the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) identified as Mumin.”

Garowe Online: Al-Shabaab Attacks AU Military Base In Somalia

“Al-Shabaab militants raided a Burundian National Defence Forces (BNDF) base in Somalia, in the latest attack against the peacekeepers, who have played a key role in the stabilization mission within the Horn of Africa nation. According to reports, at around 03:25 am on Saturday, Al-Shabaab militants carried out a propping attack against Burundian troops’s base in Bal’ad, 30km north of Mogadishu. The town is prone to Al-Shabaab attacks. The BNDF responded with heavy weapons which lasted for 25 minutes; no civilian casualties have been reported. The army managed to subdue the militants, who have lost significant territories in the last two years across the country. Later on Saturday, the militants attacked a convoy of civilian, 3-trailer trucks headed to Jowhar in the Middle Shabelle region. The attack occurred near Gololey, north of Bal’ad, and several trucks were damaged.”


Reuters: Islamic State Claims Responsibility For Attack That Killed At Least 42 In Eastern Congo

“Islamic State on Friday claimed responsibility for an attack in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, the group said in a statement on its Telegram channel. The attack, which took place on Wednesday in the village of Mayikengo in Lubero territory, left at least 42 people dead according to two officials from the local administration.”

Reuters: Al Qaeda Affiliate Claims Responsibility For Burkina Attack This Month, SITE Intelligence Group Says

“Al Qaeda affiliate Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) group has claimed responsibility for what it said was attack on June 11 that killed over 100 Burkina Faso soldiers in Mansila area near the border with Niger, the SITE Intelligence Group said on Sunday an attack in the area. SITE quoted a JNIM statement as saying that five days ago "fighters stormed a military post in the town, where they killed 107 soldiers and took control of the site". Several videos shared online by the insurgents showed raging gunfire around the army base. Another video showed a display of dozens of weapons and ammunitions, and at least seven Burkina Faso soldiers captured by the insurgents. Reuters has not authenticated the videos. The reported attack was one of the deadliest suffered by the West African Sahel nation's army as it, alongside neighbours Niger and Mali, struggle to contain insurgencies linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.”


Forbes: European Law Enforcement Takes Down Terrorist Sites

“Europol says it's wound up a year-long investigation into terrorist-operated websites, leading to a series of takedowns this week. In a joint effort by ten countries, known as Operation Hopper II, servers were taken down in Germany, the Netherlands, the U.S. and Iceland, with the Spanish authorities making nine arrests. This followed the seizure of four servers in Romania, Ukraine and Iceland. The operation targeted terrorist-operated websites used to spread propaganda, including sites operated by the so-called Islamic State, al-Qaeda and its affiliates, along with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham. "These websites enable terrorist organizations and violent extremists to bypass the enhanced moderation and content removal efforts of mainstream online service providers, allowing them to maintain a persistent online presence," said Europol.”

Southeast Asia

India Today: Indian Accused In Pannun Killing Plot Extradited To US From Czech Republic

“Indian national Nikhil Gupta, who has been accused in the murder plot of Khalistani terrorist and US citizen Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil, has been extradited to the United States from the Czech Republic. The extradition was carried out on Friday (June 14) at the Prague-RuzynÄ› Airport and Gupta is expected to be produced before a federal court in New York today. "After the final and binding decision of the Municipal Court in Prague dated November 23, 2023, in conjunction with the decision of the High Court in Prague dated January 8, 2024, regarding the admissibility of the extradition of Nikhil Gupta for criminal prosecution to the United States of America, the Minister of Justice of the Czech Republic authorised the extradition of Nikhil Gupta to the United States of America by a decision dated June 3, 2024," Vladimir Repka, spokesperson, Ministry Of Justice, Czech Republic, told India Today.”

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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