Eye on Extremism: June 26, 2024

Bloomberg: Germany Cracks Down On Foreigners Who Glorify Terrorist Acts

“Germany’s ruling coalition is seeking to crack down on foreigners who glorify the killing of Israeli civilians or similar acts of terror with updated legislation that would facilitate their expulsion from the country. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet will approve the amendment to Germany’s deportation law at its regular meeting Wednesday in Berlin, according to Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, a member of Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats. It’s part of a push to claw back the initiative in an increasingly heated debate over migration, an issue successfully exploited by the far-right Alternative for Germany party. The updated rules would mean that even a single comment on social media deemed to be lauding terror can be enough to prompt deportation for people without a German passport.”

Associated Press: Expanding Extremist Groups In Africa Fuel Worries That They Could Attack The US Or Western Allies

“Violent extremist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are growing in size and influence across Africa, fueling worries that as they improve their tactics they could attack the U.S. or Western allies. U.S. defense and military officials described the threats and their concerns about growing instability in Africa, where a number of coups have put ruling juntas in control, leading to the ouster of American troops and a decline in U.S. intelligence gathering. “Threats like Wagner, terrorist groups and transnational criminal organizations continue to sow instability in multiple regions,” Air Force Gen. CQ Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in opening remarks Tuesday at a conference of African chiefs of defense in Botswana. “I think we can all agree, what happens in one part of the world, does not stay in one part of the world.””

United States

The New York Times: The Southern Border, Terrorism Fears And The Arrests Of 8 Tajik Men

“When eight Tajik men sought asylum at the southwestern U.S. border months ago, federal authorities had no reason to doubt that they were desperate migrants fleeing a poor country in war-torn Central Asia. But soon after they were admitted into the country, the F.B.I. learned they might have ties to the Islamic State and opened a counterterrorism investigation. This was no ordinary inquiry. Dozens of personnel monitored the men closely as they made their way to different cities across the United States, officials said. The White House was updated regularly. The bureau hoped to gather information about a broader terrorist network. But heightened concerns about a potential attack in at least one location triggered the arrest of all eight men earlier this month on immigration charges, according to several U.S. officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive investigation.”

NBC News: DHS Identifies Over 400 Migrants Brought To The US By An ISIS-Affiliated Human Smuggling Network

“The Department of Homeland Security has identified over 400 immigrants who have come to the U.S. from Central Asia and elsewhere as “subjects of concern” because they were brought by an ISIS-affiliated human smuggling network, three U.S. officials tell NBC News. While over 150 of them have been arrested, the whereabouts of over 50 remain unknown, the officials said, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement is looking to arrest them on immigration charges when they are located. “In this case, it was the information that suggested a potential tie to ISIS because of some of the individuals involved in [smuggling migrants to the border] that led us to want to take extra care,” said a senior Biden administration official, “and out of an abundance of caution make sure that we exercised our authority in the most expansive and appropriate way to mitigate risk because of this potential connection being made.””


Associated Press: Suspected Houthi Attack Targets A Ship In The Gulf Of Aden, While Iraq-Claimed Attack Targets Eilat

“Suspected attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels early Wednesday targeted a ship in the Gulf of Aden, while a separate attack claimed by Iraqi militants allied with the rebels targeted the southern Israeli port city of Eilat, authorities said. The attacks follow the departure of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower after an eight-month deployment in which the aircraft carrier led the American response to the Houthi assaults. Those attacks have reduced shipping drastically through the route crucial to Asian, Middle East and European markets in a campaign the Houthis say will continue as long as the Israel-Hamas war rages in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Houthis faced allegations they seized commercial aircraft that brought back pilgrims from the Hajj amid a widening economic dispute between the rebels and the country’s exiled government.”

Reuters: Yemen's Houthis Say They Targeted 'MSC Sarah V' Vessel In Arabian Sea

“Yemen's Houthis said on Tuesday that they used a new ballistic missile to hit the MSC Sarah V vessel in the Arabian Sea, claiming responsibility for an attack reported a day earlier. The Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Joint Maritime Information Center on Monday said the Liberian-flagged vessel was targeted by a missile in the Arabian Sea, but was not hit. It said it was likely attacked due to perceived Israeli association. Yahya Sarea, the Yemeni group's spokesperson, claimed a "accurate and direct" hit on the ship, describing the vessel as "Israeli." The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations has said the crew were reported safe and that the vessel, which was sailing 246 nautical miles off Yemen's Nishtun when it was targeted, was heading to its next port of call.”


Bloomberg: What Is Hezbollah’s Role In The Israel-Hamas War?

“Since a new war broke out between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7, the Lebanese militia Hezbollah has expressed solidarity with Hamas through military action. It has fired missiles, mortars, rockets and explosive drones into northern Israel almost daily, prompting Israel to respond with its own fire. Now, an escalation of the fighting appears to have edged the two sides closer to all-out war. In addition, Hezbollah has threatened to bring the nearby island nation of Cyprus into the hostilities, accusing it of allowing Israeli soldiers to train on its soil. Yet both Israel and Hezbollah have reasons to avoid a full-blown conflict.”

Middle East

Associated Press: Israelis’ Lawsuit Says UN Agency Helps Hamas By Paying Gaza Staff In Dollars

“Israelis who were taken hostage or lost loved ones during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack are suing the United Nations agency that aids Palestinians, claiming it has helped finance the militants by paying agency staffers in U.S. dollars and thereby funneling them to money-changers in Gaza who allegedly give a cut to Hamas. But the agency, known as UNWRA, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the staffers were paid in dollars by their own choice. Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank don’t have their own national currency, and primarily use Israeli shekels. The lawsuit, filed Monday in a U.S. federal court in New York, marks the latest challenge to the beleaguered U.N. agency, which has been the main supplier of food, water and shelter to civilians during the Israel-Hamas war.”

Reuters: Israeli Forces Pound North And South Gaza, Battle Hamas In Rafah

“Israeli forces pounded several areas across Gaza on Wednesday, and residents reported fierce fighting overnight in Rafah in the south of the Palestinian enclave. Residents said fighting intensified in the Tel Al-Sultan neighbourhood in western Rafah, where tanks were also trying to force their way north amid heavy clashes. The armed wings of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad said fighters attacked Israeli forces with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs. Since early May, ground fighting has focused on Rafah, abutting Egypt on Gaza's southern edge, where around half of the enclave's 2.3 million people had been sheltering after fleeing other areas. Most have since had to flee again. Medics said two Palestinians were killed in one Israeli missile strike in Rafah earlier on Wednesday.”

Reuters: High Risk Of Famine Persists Across Gaza, Global Hunger Monitor Says

“Gaza remains at high risk of famine as war between Israel and Hamas continues and access to aid is restricted, though delivery of supplies had limited the projected spread of extreme hunger in northern areas, a global monitor said on Tuesday. More than 495,000 people across the Gaza Strip are facing the most severe, or "catastrophic", level of food insecurity, according to an update from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). That is down from a forecast of 1.1 million in the previous update three months ago, but is still more than one fifth of Gaza's population. Under "catastrophic" food insecurity, households suffer an extreme lack of food, leading to acute malnutrition in young children, an imminent risk of starvation, and deaths.”


Associated Press: 21 Nigerien Soldiers Killed In Ambush By ‘Terrorist Group,’ Ruling Junta Says

“An ambush by a “terrorist group” killed 21 Nigerien soldiers near the country’s border with Burkina Faso on Tuesday, Niger’s ruling military junta said in a statement read on national television. The statement Tuesday evening did not specify which group was behind the attack. Niger is struggling with a deadly security crisis involving several armed groups. Last week, the rebel Patriotic Liberation Front attacked a China-backed pipeline and threatened more attacks if the $400 million deal with China isn’t canceled. The group, led by Salah Mahmoud, a former rebel leader, took up arms after the junta staged a coup last year ousting a democratically elected government. Niger and neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso are also battling movements linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State extremist group in a decade-long conflict in the Sahel region that is worsening.”


France 24: Niger In Mourning After ‘Terrorist Armed Group Kill 20 Soldiers, One Civilian

“"A coalition of terrorist armed groups" attacked security forces near the village of Tassia, leaving "21 martyrs including one civilian" and nine injured, the ministry announced in a statement on national television. It said "several dozen" of the assailants were killed and that aerial and ground reinforcements were being deployed to track down the rest of the attackers. Three days of national mourning will begin from Wednesday with flags lowered to half-mast, the ministry said, speaking of the security forces' "unshakeable determination" to "continue this fight for sovereignty". Tassia lies in the Tillaberi region bordering Mali and Burkina Faso where rebels linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have waged a bloody insurgency for almost a decade.”

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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