Eye on Extremism: June 18

NPR: Dallas Police Fatally Shoot Heavily Armed Gunman Outside Federal Courthouse Building

“Dallas police on Monday shot and killed a masked gunman carrying a military-style rifle and 150 rounds of ammunition. Authorities later identified the man as 22-year-old Army veteran Brian Issack Clyde of Fort Worth. No one else was seriously hurt in the shootout, which took place outside the Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse around 8:40 a.m. ET. However, some glass panes on the building were shattered. "It's a lot of rounds — a lot of rounds at his disposal, a large powerful weapon at his disposal," FBI agent Matthew DeSarno was quoted by The Associated Press as saying. "But for the actions for the Federal Protective Service officers, this likely would have been a very deadly incident," he said. Dallas Morning News photographer Tom Fox took a photo of the gunman, face covered and wearing glasses and what appears to be body armor and a waist belt containing several magazines of ammunition.”

CBS News: Syrian Civilians Seek Refuge As Bombings Hit Hospitals Inside Idlib

“Syrian regime forces have begun a new bombing campaign, and there are fears that a full-scale offensive could be next. The Province of Idlib, home to three million people, is one of the last remaining areas in western Syria that the government does not control. CBS News correspondent Holly Williams has gained rare access inside Syria, which is now in its eighth year of civil war. She recently returned from Idlib, where she saw firsthand what life is like for those living in constant fear. She reports that Syria's war machines are menacing Idlib, where there is no defense against regime and Russian airstrikes – just warnings to take cover, passed on by radio. After an airstrike, and news that there are other jets in the area, an alert was broadcast over walkie-talkies that there could be more planes leaving regime bases. Williams headed into an olive grove, where many in Idlib were sheltering.”

Fox News: Hany Farid: Deepfakes Give New Meaning To The Concept Of 'Fake News,' And They're Here To Stay

“Fake news is not new, nor are its deadly consequences. What is new, thanks to the internet and social media, is their reach and frequency. Today, misinformation propagates around the world at the speed of light. From small- to large-scale fraud, to sowing civil unrest, interfering with democratic elections, and inciting violence, misinformation campaigns today are leading to dangerous and deadly outcomes. Add to this phenomenon the ability to create increasingly more compelling and sophisticated fake videos of anybody saying and doing anything, and the threat only increases. This is the landscape that awaits us in 2019 and beyond.”

The New York Times: Trump Adds Troops After Iran Says It Will Breach Nuclear Deal

“Tensions between the United States and Iran flared on Monday as Tehran said it would soon breach a key element of the 2015 international pact limiting its nuclear program, while President Trump ordered another 1,000 troops to the Middle East and vowed again that Iran would not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. The Pentagon’s announcement of the troop deployment came three days after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the administration has blamed Iran for. And it came hours after Iran said it was within days of violating a central element of the landmark 2015 agreement — intended to curb its ability to develop a nuclear weapon — unless European nations agreed to help it blunt crippling American economic sanctions. Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said that within 10 days the country will have produced and kept in its stockpiles more low-enriched uranium — the sort used to fuel power plants — than allowed by the 2015 containment deal. The agency also left open the possibility that it might soon begin enriching the uranium to higher levels of purity, edging it closer to what would be necessary to build a nuclear weapon.”

The New York Times: Killing Of German Politician Is Treated As Possible Terrorist Act

“Germany’s attorney general’s office took over on Monday the investigation into the killing of a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party, days after the authorities arrested a suspect with a history of violence and ties to far-right extremists. Federal prosecutors take over cases that are thought to be politically motivated and pose a nationwide threat. They said that they were still investigating whether others might have been involved in the death of the official, Werner Lübcke, but said that so far they had no indication that a terrorist organization was involved. The prosecutors assumed control of the investigation into Mr. Lübcke’s death two weeks after he was killed and as the authorities began to treat his case as possibly the first case of fatal right-wing terrorism since a killing spree by a far-right terror cell ended in 2007. The suspect, a 45-year-old German citizen with longstanding ties to right-wing extremists, was identified and arrested after DNA found on the victim’s clothes was matched to him in a criminal database, the authorities said. “We are working on the assumption that the crime has a right-wing extremist background,” said Markus Schmitt, the spokesman for the federal agency.”

The Wall Street Journal: Russia, China Vie For Influence In Central Asia As U.S. Plans Afghan Exit

“As the U.S. seeks an exit from the Afghan war, Central Asia is on the cusp of a new era, with Russia and China vying for influence in a region that will no longer be dominated by America’s post-9/11 undertaking to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. The two countries are wary of Islamist militancy, both on their soil and spilling over from Afghanistan, while China wants to safeguard the billions of dollars its companies have invested in the region under President Xi Jinping’s Belt-and-Road Initiative, according to regional experts. In recent years, Moscow and Beijing have taken more aggressive steps to protect their interests in the face of what they view as the weakening political grip of the American-allied government in Kabul, the expanding sway of the Taliban across Afghanistan, and the threat posed by Islamic State and other Islamist militant groups that have transnational agendas.”

United States

The Atlanta Journal Constitution: Georgia Jailer Latest To Lose Job Over Alleged Extremist Views

“A West Georgia man is out as a jailer for the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office after antifascist activists in Atlanta exposed him and another man as leaders of a Norse pagan group with numerous white supremacist ties. Brandon Trent East is at least the third Georgia law enforcement officer to lose a job over suspected ties to extremist groups in the past year. East submitted his resignation last month after being “doxed” by the left-wing anonymous collective Atlanta Antifascists. It was that or be fired, East said. He had worked in the Bremen jail, about 45 miles west of Atlanta, since January. “The sheriff told me he could either terminate me or have me resign,” he said. “That way my file is sealed or something. I just chose to resign. It seemed like the more dignified thing to do, since it really wasn’t much of a choice anyway.” East’s resignation is the latest victory for Atlanta Antifascists in its vigilante campaign to unmask people with white supremacist connections and force them from positions of public trust. In 2017, the group campaigned to have a high school English teacher in Fayetteville dismissed after their research tied him to numerous racist and antisemitic comments online. The group has sustained a campaign against a John Marshall Law School student for his alleged connections to alt-right organizations and distribution of “white power propaganda” in downtown Atlanta.”

ABC News: Fredericksburg Man Charged With Committing Act Of Terrorism

“Authorities detained a 56-year-old man Monday wanted out of Spotsylvania County for committing acts of terrorism. According to the Greene County Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested Phillip Lee Dabney, and he was charged with committing an act of terrorism. Dabney, who is from Fredericksburg, is being held without bond at Central Virginia Regional Jail.”

Buzzfeed News: Opinion: Four Years Ago My Friend Was Murdered In His Church By A White Supremacist. It Still Hurts Every Day

“It’s very hard for me to talk about South Carolina without talking about the day a white supremacist walked through the doors of the Mother Emanuel AME Church and murdered my friend. It was four years ago today — June 17, 2015 — when he sat down with the Bible Study group that met there every Wednesday night. He didn’t look like them and didn’t share their background, but they welcomed him into their circle. They talked with him and prayed with him, and he repaid their kindness by pulling out a gun he should have never had and killing nine men and women, including Mother Emanuel’s pastor, my dear friend Senator Clementa Pinckney. It was four years ago, but it still hurts so much. It hurts the people of South Carolina and all of us, because this white supremacist was trying to start a race war by massacring men and women — Christians who were simply doing their best to worship their God. It hurts because this racist took my friend from me, took a father from his children, took a husband from his wife, took a dear uncle and brother from his family.”

The New York Times: Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher Goes On Trial For War Crimes

“Wearing a starched white uniform and a chestful of ribbons from years of military service, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher walked into a military courtroom in San Diego on Monday to stand trial on war crimes charges. But what prosecutors initially believed would be a straightforward case has looked increasingly troubled in recent months, with delays caused by prosecutorial missteps and with signs that at least one important prosecution witness had changed his story. Chief Gallagher, a Navy SEAL platoon leader, is charged with shooting unarmed civilians in Iraq in 2017, including a school-age girl, and with killing a captured teenage ISIS fighter with a knife, among other crimes. The chief was turned in by members of his platoon, who told investigators he had become obsessed with killing and had bragged about shooting scores of people in Iraq.”


Al Monitor: Congress Expands Pentagon Aid In Syria To Cover Islamic State Prisoners

“Congress wants to give the Pentagon more freedom to help US-backed forces in Syria detain Islamic State fighters in the war-torn country. The Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act released last week expands an authority the Pentagon can use to build small-scale temporary facilities such as ammunition and resupply points in Syria to also support the detention of Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS) fighters. The new bill calls for expanding previous assistance to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to also cover the “temporary detention and repatriation” of foreign fighters “in accordance with” international law. For months, the Donald Trump administration has called on European allies to play a bigger role in dealing with captured foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. But some experts worry that the move could create false hope among the SDF, which faces a threat from Turkey and protests from Arabs in northeast Syria, as the Pentagon’s support has remained flat over the past two years. “They have kind of fed off of whatever scraps of promises and resources that we’ve thrown them,” said Elizabeth Dent, a former adviser for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and now a nonresident fellow with the Middle East Institute."

The National Interest: Islamic State Wants You To Fear Its Snipers

“Snipers stalk the sprawling battlefields of Iraq and Syria. Hiding, quietly waiting and squeezing off long-distance kill-shots at unsuspecting human targets, sharpshooters on all sides of the Syrian civil conflict and the war on Islamic State have a greater impact on the fighting’s outcome than their small numbers imply. For in addition to precisely, selectively killing front-line fighters and leaders, sharpshooters wield disproportionate deterrent value. They’re scary — even rumors of nearby enemy snipers can grind combat operations to a halt. ISIS knows it. Hence the terror group’s latest propaganda video, chillingly entitled Picking Heads. The slick propaganda piece depicts ragtag militant sharpshooters who, despite apparently inadequate training and equipment, nevertheless strike fear in their enemies. ISIS seizes every opportunity to churn out propaganda. Snipers with their terrible, bloody mystique are perhaps the perfect subject for militant hagiographers. The terror group has released multiple videos promoting its sniper brigades and has posted photos of the snipers on social media pages. The Islamic State snipers in Picking Heads appear to have limited training and rely on a random assortment of equipment.”

The Defense Post: Syria: Civilians Injured In Car Bomb Blast Near Qamishli Asayish HQ

“A vehicle bomb exploded in the city of Qamishli in Al-Hasakah governorate of northeastern Syria on Monday, June 17, with civilian casualties reported. Local media reported the vehicle exploded by Sony roundabout near the Asayish internal security forces headquarters in the city. The bomb reportedly caused casualties among civilians and damage to nearby buildings. Joan Garcia from the Rojava Information Center told The Defense Post that the bombing occurred outside the Asayish headquarters in the Qidurbek neighborhood, and that “injuries and shrapnel damage to surrounding homes and businesses have been reported.” Garcia added that an 8-year old child had been taken to the hospital but there had been no deaths reported. A local source told The Defense Post that civilians had been “hit” in the explosion. Qamishli is the capital of the self-declared autonomous region of North and East Syria. Most of the city is under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a mixed Kurdish-Arab militia that is supported by the U.S.-led Coalition in the fight against ISIS, although parts of the city are also under the control of the Syrian government. Islamic State’s propaganda outlet Amaq said later on Monday that ISIS fighters “blew up a car bomb” in front of the “intelligence headquarters” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.”


The New York Times: With A New Threat, Iran Tests The Resolve Of The U.S. And Its Allies

“After coming to office vowing to solve two very different nuclear crises, President Trump finds himself in a bind familiar to his predecessors: careening toward a confrontation with Iran and stalemated with North Korea. Iran’s announcement on Monday that it expects within 10 days to blow past the limits on how much nuclear fuel it can stockpile opens a new and perilous phase of its confrontation with the West. After a year of restraint, during which Iran complied with the terms of an agreement that Mr. Trump very publicly abandoned, there is a greater sense than at any time in recent years that what began as an effort to drive Iran to the negotiating table may instead push the two countries into a conflict leaders on both sides insist they do not want. Iran is still well more than a year away from being able to build a weapon — perhaps much longer. North Korea, by contrast, already has dozens, and appears to be adding to its arsenal at a rapid clip, according to American intelligence experts, despite Mr. Trump’s insistent wooing of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. It is not clear yet what Mr. Trump is getting in return.”

The Wall Street Journal: Iran, Europe And Trump

“Iran said Monday that by the end of June it will exceed the limits it had agreed to on its stockpile of enriched uranium, and the question now is whether Europe will take this lying down. Exceeding the cap would violate the 2015 nuclear deal and force European leaders to decide if they want to acquiesce to Iran or join the U.S. in an effort to pressure Tehran to renegotiate the failed nuclear deal. Europe has been clinging to the remnants of the nuclear deal since the U.S. withdrew in 2018. Its leaders have refused to join the U.S. effort to drive Iran back to the negotiating table to plug the holes in the 2015 deal. Those holes include no ban on ballistic missiles, which Iran keeps testing; no inspections of certain sites inside Iran; and a 2025 expiration date on many of the deal’s terms. Much to Europe’s chagrin, President Trump has since imposed even tougher American sanctions on Iran. These include the first sanctions on the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a nearly complete ban on Iran’s oil exports. It turns out the U.S. has enough economic power through the dollar’s role in world trade that European companies are abiding by the sanctions rather than risk losing access to the U.S. market.”


Iraqi News: U.S. Airstrike Kills 16 Islamic State Jihadists In Iraq

“Sixteen Islamic State militants were killed Monday in an airstrike by the U.S.-led international coalition on a terrorist hotbed in Nineveh province, federal police said. In a press release carried by Alsumaria News TV channel, the Security Media Cell said that 16 Islamic State terrorists were killed inside a tunnel that was targeted by warplanes of the U.S.-led international coalition in al Kosb valley in Nineveh. “The military operation was carried out based on intelligence information,” the statement read, without giving further details. The Islamic State group appeared on the international scene in 2014 when it seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, declaring the establishment of an Islamic “caliphate” from Mosul city. Later on, the group has become notorious for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions and beheadings, prompting the U.S. to lead an international coalition to destroy it.”

Iraqi News: National Security Forces Foil Terrorist Attack South Of Baghdad

“Iraqi Security Media Cell announced, on Monday, foiling a terrorist attack south of Baghdad, Alsumaria News reported on Monday. Spokesperson for the cell, Yahia Rasul, said that forces from the National Security Services foiled the so-called “Ramadan Invasion”, after dismantling a terrorist network, south of Baghdad. Rasul added, in a statement obtained by Sumaria News that the National Security Service succeeded in foiling a terrorist attack. The so-called “Ramadan Invasion” was carried out by the Islamic State group. “During the military operation, security forces dismantled a terrorist network, which was deployed in the north, west and Sahara of southern Baghdad,” Rasul explained. It is noteworthy that security forces managed to apprehend all terrorists.”


Xinhua: Over 100 militants killed In Afghan fighting In 3 days

“More than 100 militants have been killed in conflict-battered Afghanistan over the past three days as government forces have stepped up crackdown on Taliban group, officials said Monday. In the latest operations on the anti-government armed militants, the security forces pounded Taliban hideouts in Chardara district of the northern Kunduz province Monday morning, killing four armed fighters and injuring three others, provincial police spokesman Inamudin Rahmani said. According to Rahmani, no security personnel have been hurt in the ongoing operations. Similarly, the government forces initiated operations against Taliban fighters in Pashtrod district of the western Farah province on Sunday and so far have killed eight insurgents and injured nine others, police spokesman in the province Mohibullah Mohib reported. The government forces have also killed 19 militants in the northern Faryab and 15 others in the eastern Ghazni provinces over the past 24 hours, officials have confirmed. Similarly, at least 55 armed insurgents have been killed and several others injured during operations in the southern Kandahar and adjoining provinces over the past three days, provincial police chief of Kandahar Tawdin Khan said Monday.”

The Stars And Stripes: Prospect Of US Withdrawal Brings Fear, Hope In Taliban-Contested Southern Afghanistan

“Locals in the provincial capital of Helmand often show visitors reminders of the days when the Taliban attacked: a bathroom where a rocket hit and killed a co-worker; a house where citizens hid from withering crossfire; a checkpoint built from an old Soviet tank that was almost overrun by the militants. The Taliban attacked Lashkar Gah in 2015, a year after most international troops withdrew from Afghanistan. Their offensive threatened much of the province and led to the return of some U.S. troops to Helmand. Today, prospects of another U.S. withdrawal - a key part of ongoing talks with the Taliban - have raised hopes for peace but also heightened fears of a Taliban resurgence in battleground provinces such as Helmand, in the country’s south. Talks this week in Doha between the Taliban and U.S. diplomats, led by Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, will be the seventh round of negotiations aimed at ending America’s longest war. Hopes are high for a breakthrough in the latest talks, which are focused on the withdrawal of U.S. troops. “The Americans have decided to give the Taliban some privileges to take the negotiations out of the current situation,” Wahid Muzhda, a Kabul-based political analyst, told Afghanistan’s Tolo News.”


Arab News: Lebanon Arrests Syrian Plotting Daesh Bomb Attacks On Churches

“A Syrian national has been arrested in southern Lebanon on suspicion of involvement with the Daesh terrorist group. It is alleged he discussed with other people potential locations, including churches, for attacks in Lebanon where the largest numbers of people could be targeted and killed. It is thought that they were aiming to emulate similar Easter attacks in Sri Lanka. Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi released a video message in April in which he praised the Sri Lankan terrorists. A security source confirmed that a Syrian man has been detained and investigations are continuing. He added that the arrest “came on the basis of a professional intelligence operation” and that the security forces are working with external parties. The General Directorate of Internal Security Forces (ISF) said that as a result of “preventive and proactive security operations conducted by the Information Division of the ISF concerning the monitoring of activities of serious terrorist cells, especially those affiliated with Daesh, the division was able to monitor and identify a resident of southern Lebanon who was active on social media spreading the ideology of the organization and recruiting people for it.” It continued: “A special force from the Information Division arrested a person named Z.M. who was born in 1999 and is a Syrian residing in the town of Yater.”

Middle East

The New York Times: Terrorism On The High Seas

“After their cruise ship was hijacked by Palestinians in October 1985, Marilyn Klinghoffer struggled to care for her sickly husband, Leon. One of the hijackers, Bassam al-Ashker, put a blanket over him, a gesture of kindness. But afterward another hijacker, Youssef Magid al-Molqi, shot Klinghoffer twice and ordered that his body and wheelchair be thrown into the sea. In “An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer,” Julie Salamon describes these moments in an effort to tell the human side of a harrowing tale. The hijackers tried fruitlessly to negotiate the release of dozens of Palestinians who were being held in Israeli prisons and — after killing Klinghoffer — fled the ship. His death, and the hijacking on the high seas, Salamon writes, helped to “alert the public to the threat of terrorism, which still seemed remote to Americans in the days before 9/11.” Behind every act of terrorism are ordinary people — those who are the victims, those who are the perpetrators and those who watch from the sidelines — and Salamon’s goal is straightforward: to present all of the actors, the Klinghoffers, the hijackers, White House aides and others, as real-life husbands, wives, sons and daughters, instead of symbols or stock characters in a political drama.”

TV7 Israel News: Hezbollah Alleged To Hold Key Role In Global Drug Trade

“Israel’s former Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor is calling on European authorities to “open their eyes” and take action against Hezbollah activity in their nations. Prosor now heads the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy, which just released the findings of a study documenting the Lebanon-based group’s involvement as a key middleman along the global narcotics route from South America to West Africa and onto Europe. In an interview with TV7, Ambassador Prosor said most European countries make an “artificial differentiation” between Hezbollah’s military and political wings – which he maintains is “non-existent.” Unlike the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, other western countries and “even the Arab League, which knows what it’s dealing with,” Prosor explained that because the European Union has only designated Hezbollah’s military arm as a terror organization, its “so-called political arm is able to operate freely on European soil and serve as the organization’s lifeline” in the acquisition of money necessary to fund its activities on the continent as well as the Middle East.”


Egypt Today: Egypt, Togo Continue Sahel-Saharan Joint Exercise To Combat Terrorism

“Groups of army personnel from Egypt and Togo continued the second round of the joint military exercise of Sahel-Saharan States to combat terrorism at Mohamed Naguib base, with the participation of special forces from both countries.  Theoretical lectures were given to unify concepts, learn about the combat experiences of both sides, and implement many planned practical activities, according to the Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al-Rifae.  The training comes within the framework of the efforts made by Egypt and the Armed Forces to enhance the fighting capabilities of the Sahel-Saharan States to confront any dangers that may face the region and threaten the security and stability of Africa.  Ibrahim Sani Abani, secretary general of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), said in 2018 that Egypt has always offered help to other African states. Abani said that Egypt has supported CEN-SAD states by providing their defense and security forces with 1,000 training grants, following a meeting between CEN-SAD defense ministers in 2016.  Concerning counterterrorism efforts, Abani said that Egypt has actually backed the Sahel-Saharan Anti-Terrorism Center, adding that safety and security are keys to progress, as investment and two-way trade cannot be carried out amid the spread of terrorism and state of instability.”

Fox News: Egypt's Morsi Quietly Buried, A Day After Courtroom Death

“A lawyer says Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi has been buried, a day after collapsing and dying in a Cairo courtroom. Abdul-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud says Morsi's family attended funeral prayers early Tuesday in the mosque of Tora prison, then buried him in Cairo's western district of Nasr City. He says there was heavy security at the cemetery. The 67-year-old collapsed during a court session Monday. Morsi hailed from Egypt's largest Islamist group, the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, and was elected president in 2012 in the country's first free elections following the ouster the year before of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. The military toppled Morsi in 2013 after massive protests and crushed the Brotherhood in a major crackdown, arresting Morsi and many others of the group's leaders.”


Egypt Today: Turkey, Qatar Smuggle Weapons To Terrorists In Libya: Ex-Libyan Minister

“Former Libyan Interior Minister Saleh Ragab accused Turkey and Qatar of smuggling weapons to terrorist groups and militia in Libya to keep fighting against the Libyan National Army in Tripoli.  In his speech during a Monday meeting with Libyan figures and politicians in Cairo, Ragab said that Libyans support LNA efforts to restore the country’s stability and security.  Ragab also criticized The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) interference in the Libyan affairs, which led to the country’s deterioration in the past.  The former official also noted that the United Nations failed to reach a political solution to the Libyan conflict over the past years.  Cairo hosted on Monday a meeting attended by Libyan national figures, politicians and tribal leaders who discussed the latest efforts by the Libyan National Army (LNA) to fight terrorism, to restore stability in the country and preserve its unity.  The meeting aims at asserting the role of Libya's national powers in preserving the state, putting an end to the control of terrorists and extremists of Tripoli, restoring the state's stability and maintaining its sovereignty.”

The Daily Caller: Libyan National Found Guilty Of Terrorism Charges In Attacks On Us Embassy In Benghazi

“A Libyan national was found guilty of participating in the 2012 attack on the facility in Benghazi, Libya, the Department of Justice noted in a press statement Monday. Mustafa al-Imam, 48, was found guilty on June 13 of conspiracy to provide support to terrorists and placing lives in jeopardy. He faces nearly 35 years in prison for participating in the attack, which culminated in the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and U.S. government personnel Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. The jury failed to reach a verdict on 15 other charged counts, according to the press statement. The trial began May 8, wherein the government presented testimony from 27 witnesses, some of whom were wounded in the attack on Benghazi. “We will never forget those we lost in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 – Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Ambassador Christopher Stevens,” Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division John Demers wrote in the statement. Geist was joined in the interview by Kris “Tanto” Paronto and John “Tig” Tiegen. The trio helped write the book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi,” which was adapted into the Michael Bay directed movie.”


Daily Post Nigeria: Boko Haram: UN Sends Message To Nigeria Over Multiple Bombings In Borno

“UN Secretary-General, António Guterres has commiserated with Nigeria over the triple suicide attacks in Konduga village, Borno State. Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on Monday said 30 persons lost their lives while 42 others were injured when three suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Mandarari community. Usman Kachala, SEMA Director of Search, Rescue and Operations, who disclosed this to newsmen when he visited the scene of the attack on Monday, said the incident occurred around 8 pm on Sunday. Reacting, the UN Secretary-General, in a statement by his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, expressed his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Nigeria. “He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured. He hopes those responsible for these attacks will be swiftly brought to justice”, it added. “The Secretary-General reiterates the solidarity of the United Nations with the Government of Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism. “He also renews the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support regional counter-terrorism efforts.”

Sahara Reporters: We Have Eliminated Boko Haram Terrorists In Sambisa, Nigerian Airforce Claims

“The Nigerian Airforce has said that it launched an air strike which eliminated Boko Haram insurgents in Sambisa Forest, Borno state.  NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said air strikes were conducted on specific targets in the forest. The claim is coming less than 24 hours after Boko Haram suicide bombers detonated their Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at a viewing center in Mandarari ward, Konduga local government area of Borno state on Sunday evening. Ibikunle said:” In continuation of its sustained air strikes against terrorists’ targets in Borno State, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has severely degraded another Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) hideout in the Sambisa Forest. “The operation was executed yesterday, 16 June 2019, after persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions revealed heavy presence of BHTs at a new camp with several structures hidden under the thick foliage of the Forest. “Accordingly, the ATF dispatched an Alpha Jet to attack the location.” Its bombs hit the target area, with devastating effects on several of the camouflaged structures, neutralizing their BHT occupants.”


New Europe: UN Condemns Terrorist Attacks In Kenya And Somalia

“The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, condemned the attack in Wajir County, Kenya, on 16 June, in which at least eight police officers were killed when their car struck an improvised explosive device, after three police reservists were kidnapped the day before. He also condemned the car bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, in which at least eight people were killed and dozens were injured. Both terrorist acts were claimed by the armed group Al-Shabaab, which is particularly active in Eastern Africa. Guterres expressed his deepest condolences to the families of those killed and to the Governments and people of Kenya and Somalia and wished a quick recovery to the injured.” 

United Kingdom

BBC News: Brexit Referendum Aftermath Sees 'Rise In Extremism'

“Political extremism has increased since the 2016 Brexit referendum, the head of terrorism investigations in the North West has told BBC Radio Manchester. Det Supt Will Chatterton said dealing with far-right extremism was a real challenge, with “open hostility” towards politicians. He said the unit's cases included “horrific sentiments” posted online. The Home Office said it was “committed to stamping out extremism in all its forms”. Det Supt Chatterton said Brexit was “a very emotive issue”. “Unfortunately people will sometimes vent their frustration against politicians,” he said. “With Brexit we are seeing an increase in right-wing activity. “You can see politicians are worried and you see the open hostility sometimes against politicians. “Sadly, Jo Cox was murdered at the hands of someone that counter terrorism ended up investigating. It's a real challenge. “Most recently we uncovered and disrupted a plot to try to kill a serving MP.” In May, Jack Renshaw was jailed for life over a plan to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper.  The trial at the Old Bailey heard he was radicalised as a teenager after joining the English Defence League and then the British National Party, but there was no evidence that Brexit played a part.”

The Guardian: ‘Domestic Extremism’ Is No Way To Describe Peaceful Protest

“One of the greatest threats to free speech in Britain is the routine labelling, by the police, of non-violent protests and campaigns as “domestic extremism”. This term has no clear legal definition but is used to justify intensive surveillance and the retention of information on people who in many cases have never been arrested. Designating a campaign as extremist means everyone associated with it may also find themselves labelled in this way, even if they do nothing unlawful. From anti-fracking and anti-racist campaigners to peace and anti-nuclear groups, international solidarity activists and opponents of hunting, so many people who are legitimately protesting are also subjectively targeted by sweeping terrorism powers. This includes the draconian “counter-radicalisation” Prevent programme, which has been used to try to stifle the political views of young people, their parents and those who work with children and vulnerable adults. Categorising legitimate free speech and dissent as “domestic extremism” intimidates and alienates people from taking part in protest activities, restricting their ability to exercise their rights to freedom of assembly and association. This cannot continue.”

Yahoo News: British ISIS ‘Beatle’ Ringo Says Jihadi John Beheading Videos Were ‘Entertainment’

“A member of the infamous Isis “Beatles” has said that the group’s beheading videos were “entertainment”. Alexanda Kotey, 35, nicknamed “Ringo”, who is being held in a prison in northern Syria, says he wants to return to the UK with his wife and three daughters, aged one, three and five. The most senior British Isis terrorist still alive told the Daily Mirror he was sorry for his crimes but was “grateful” for his time in Isis because he was able to take a jihadi bride. The notorious “Beatles” cell is believed to have participated in the killing of at least seven hostages. Their leader, Mohammed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John”, was seen in a number of beheading videos. He was later killed in a drone strike in Syria in November 2015. Kotey said he wept when he learned the news of his fellow Londoner Emwazi’s death. He said he too would have beheaded people if a gun had been put to his head.”


Xinhua: Three people probed in France over links with terrorists

“Three individuals, including two women, were placed under formal investigation here on charges of links with terrorist groups following their stay in Syria in 2013-2014, French media reported on Monday. A French national and his two wives were indicted on Sunday for “criminal terrorist conspiracy” after being extradited from Turkey with their nine children last week, BFMTV news said. The man, who left for Syria with his first wife in 2013, remained in custody while the two female suspects were put on probation, it added, citing a judicial source. The nine children, some of whom were born in conflict zones in Syria, were handed to social services to receive medical and psychological treatment. By the end of May, 277 French nationals who had joined combats in Syria returned home, according to the report. France has previously expressed a preference for their citizens held in Iraq and Syria and who fought with the Islamic State to be prosecuted there, for national security considerations. Meanwhile, it pledged to examine the situation of minors case by case.”


CNN: UN Terrorism Chief Heavily Criticized For Trip To China's Xinjiang Region

“United Nations counter terrorism chief Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov has come under heavy criticism from the United States and human rights groups over his recent trip to China's repressive Xinjiang region. Voronkov finished a three-day trip to the region on June 15, and issued a statement in which he said he met with local officials in Urumqi and “briefed on the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.” There was no mention in Voronkov's press release of the estimated two million Muslim majority Uyghur who, according to the US State Department, have been held in mass detention centers in the far western region. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres raised the issue of Xinjiang with President Xi Jinping during a trip to China in April though the details of their conversation weren't made public. Quoting a statement from China's foreign ministry, state media reported that local officials and Voronkov had reached a “broad consensus” during his trip, suggesting the UN was supportive of its counter-terrorism efforts. Activists and former detainees have described mass camps in Xinjiang where inmates live in jail-like conditions and receive repetitive lessons in Chinese propaganda.”


The Daily Mail: Portuguese Police Arrest Brother Of Two ISIS Fighters Who Were Known Associates Of Jihadi John

“Police in Portugal have arrested the London-based sibling of two ISIS fighters who were known associates of Jihadi John. Sisters Reema and Zara Iqbal had their UK citizenship stripped earlier this year after fleeing to Syria with their Portuguese-born husbands Celso and Edgar Rodrigues da Costa. On Monday night it emerged Romulo Rodgrigues da Costa had been held by anti-terror police in Portugal. The country's PJ force confirmed it had held 'an individual suspected of lending support to ISIS fighters' in an operation which took place on Sunday. A spokesman said: 'A house search was carried out where the suspect was located. Police confirmed he had been remanded in custody after appearing in court earlier on Monday. He was named locally as Romulo Rodrigues da Costa, the sibling of well-known jihadists Celso and Edgar who Portuguese press said had been killed in combat in Syria several months ago. Respected Portuguese weekly Expresso said he had operated in London with two different identities, one a music producer and the other an ISIS recruiter. Reema and Zara Iqbal are said to have been part of a five-strong all-female terror cell who travelled to Syria from east London in 2013 with their husbands.”


9News.Au: How Australian Tinnie Terror Ringleader Turned Into A 'Rabid Dog' Ahead Of Audacious Philippines Plot

“Jesse Morton, a former Al Qaeda recruiter and propagandist from the US who turned FBI informant, can vividly remember his final communications with Robert 'Musa' Cerantonio, the jailed Melbourne ringleader of the so-called tinnie terrorist plot. Cerantonio, who was already on the radar of Australian counter-terror intelligence agents, had turned into a "rabid dog", Morton says, speaking exclusively to Nine.com.aufrom his base in the US. What Cerantonio did not know, as he covertly interacted over the Internet with the one-time American extremist, was that Morton was now working as undercover informant for the FBI. It was 2015, and Morton had just been released after spending four years inside a US prison, following his capture in Morocco and extradition back to America. Morton had been convicted of soliciting the murder of the writers of cartoon comedy South Park via his notorious Revolution Muslim website, a propaganda platform which spread the vengeful ideology of now dead Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.”

New Zealand

The New York Times: New Zealand Man Gets 21 Months For Sharing Video Of Christchurch Attacks

“A New Zealand man was sentenced to nearly two years in prison on Tuesday for sharing a video of the terrorist attack in March that left 51 people dead at two mosques in Christchurch. The man, Philip Arps, had pleaded guilty in April to charges of distributing objectionable content. In addition to sharing the gunman’s video online, Mr. Arps sent a copy of it to be doctored to look like a first-person-shooter video game, featuring cross hairs and a body count. Immediately after the sentencing hearing in a Christchurch courtroom on Tuesday, a lawyer for Mr. Arps said his client would appeal the sentence. The lawyer, Anselm Williams, asserted that Mr. Arps had received a sentence of prison, rather than home detention, because of his white supremacist beliefs, not his actions. In the week following the March attacks, Mr. Arps was in the news after members of the public complained to the police that vans belonging to the insulation company he owns were decorated with a Nazi symbol. Employees at the company wore camouflage uniforms, and its promotional materials featured other white supremacist symbols and references.”

Southeast Asia

The Financial Times: Maldivian Families Strive To Bring Home ISIS Fighters’ Children

“Scattered across the Maldives, a tropical island chain in the Indian Ocean, are a group of families with an unusual problem. These grandparents, aunts and uncles are trying to rescue 33 children who are trapped in a sandblasted refugee camp in Syria, the sons and daughters of Maldivian parents who joined the jihadist group Isis. Now that US-backed Syrian rebel fighters have forced the Islamist extremists out of their final scrap of territory, governments around the world are struggling to deal with thousands of foreign nationals who are being held in the squalid, overflowing Al Hol camp. The UN says 65 per cent of the more than 70,000 refugees in the camp are children under the age of 12; 2,500 of them are foreign and cordoned off in a restricted section. Unicef estimates there are 9,000 children of foreign Isis members from 60 countries in Syria. A surprisingly large number of them are from the Maldives, which has a population of 400,000. About one in 2,000 Maldivians became Isis fighters. Ali Maher was one of them. He was killed, leaving behind a 10-year-old son in Syria. “Maybe my brother made a wrong decision,” says his brother Abdul Nasir, 43, a hospitality worker. “But we should get the children out . . . they are innocent."