Eye on Extremism: June 27, 2024

CNN: DHS Identifies 400 Migrants Smuggled Into US By Network That May Be Connected To ISIS

“The Department of Homeland Security has identified more than 400 migrants who came to the US via a human smuggling network that may have some connection with ISIS, prompting an additional review of those individuals, according to two US officials. The purpose of the network was to smuggle people, not bring in terrorists, one of the officials said. But it has ties to the same network that brought a group of Uzbek nationals last summer across the southern border by a facilitator who had ties to ISIS, the official said. CNN was first to report on that incident in 2023. In the latest case, the 400 migrants under scrutiny – mostly from Central Asian nations – are being screened purely because of their connection to the human smuggling network. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters Wednesday that the department hasn’t identified “400 people with potential ISIS ties.””

Bloomberg: US And Israel Ease Weapons ‘Bottlenecks,’ Gallant Says

“Israel’s defense minister said talks with top White House officials eased “bottlenecks” in the supply of arms to Israeli forces, a sign that the two sides want to ease tensions fanned by accusations that the US was withholding weapons. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant cited “significant progress” on the issues of “force build-up and munition supply,” according to a statement from his office released after he met Wednesday with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Washington. “Obstacles were removed and bottlenecks were addressed,” Gallant said in the statement without offering more detail. It appeared to be a reference to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s accusation last week that the US was withholding weapons to Israel in its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. White House officials said they didn’t know what Netanyahu was referring to, though President Joe Biden had earlier held back a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs.”

CEP Mentions

Frankfurter Rundschau: Expulsion Due To Social Media Post: Expert Warns After Faeser’s Initiative – “Difficult Questions”

“Hatred is germinating on the internet. Security authorities have long been observing that extremists are becoming more and more active on social media and are spreading propaganda. A veritable "extremist radicalization machine" is in operation, said NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul a few weeks ago : "Not just on the streets, but above all on the internet. And that's where it gets dangerous." […] Terror expert Hans-Jakob Schindler from the Counter Extremism Project believes the move is fundamentally understandable: "If a person in Germany only has a temporary residence status and makes such statements online, it cannot be expected that this will be accepted without consequences and that the general public will have to bear the risk that this person potentially represents," he said in an interview with IPPEN.MEDIA.”

WTOP News: The Hunt: Terror Attack in Dagestan

“On June 23, 19 people were killed and many others were wounded in a terror attack in Dagestan, in Russia. In this week’s edition of “The Hunt with WTOP national security correspondent JJ Green,” Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director of the Counter Extremism Project, says the Taliban may be culpable.”

United States

CBS News: 8 Arrested Men With Ties To ISIS Feared To Have Been Plotting Potential Terrorist Attack In U.S., Sources Said

“Federal agents apprehended eight men from Tajikistan — a Central Asian nation that borders Afghanistan — because they were concerned the men could have been plotting a possible terrorist attack on U.S. soil, multiple sources familiar with the investigation told CBS News. The eight men residing in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia were taken into custody earlier this month and charged with violating civil U.S. immigration law by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They remain in ICE custody and face removal proceedings, according to two of the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the probe. Multiple sources told CBS News there was no evidence to suggest that a specific targeted attack was planned, and U.S. officials said there was no imminent threat to the homeland.”

Daily Wire: U.S. Special Forces Group Warns U.S. Faces Serious Risk Of Getting Hit By Major Islamic Terror Attack

“A group representing U.S. special forces warned in a letter this week that the U.S. faces an ultra-high threat of getting hit by a major Islamic terrorist attack because of President Joe Biden’s disastrous foreign policy and open border policies. Special Operations Association of America (SOAA) Chairman Christopher Miller, who served as Acting Secretary of Defense at the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in office, said in a letter that the organization was “gravely concerned by the current heightened risk of terrorist attacks against targets inside the United States and both U.S. and allied interests abroad.” The organization — which represents thousands of Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders, Air Force Air Commandos, and other special operators — said that Biden’s disastrous pullout from Afghanistan was a key reason why the threat environment was so high.”

Voice Of America: Evidence Mounts Islamic State Is Looking To The US Southern Border

“U.S. intelligence and security officials are increasing their focus on the country’s southern border, worried the constant flow of migrants has attracted the attention of the Islamic State terror group. The heightened concern follows the arrests earlier this month of eight men from Tajikistan, all of whom entered the United States via its southern border with Mexico, some making the trip over a year ago. While the initial background checks came up clean, U.S. law enforcement subsequently turned up information indicating potential ties to the Islamic State group, also known as IS or ISIS.”


Tehran Times: Iran Condemns Terrorist Attack In Niger, Calls For Global Cooperation Against Terrorism

“In a statement released on Wednesday, Nasser Kanaani conveyed heartfelt condolences to the government and the Muslim people of Niger. Special mention was made of the families who lost loved ones in this tragic event. "We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims' families and stand in solidarity with the people of Niger during this painful time," Kanaani said. Kanaani also underscored the Iranian government's stance on terrorism. "The Islamic Republic of Iran views terrorism as a significant threat to human society and international security. We believe that it is imperative for the global community to unite and engage in comprehensive efforts to counter this shared menace," he emphasized. Kanaani highlighted the urgent need for international cooperation in addressing the root causes of terrorism and implementing effective measures to prevent such atrocities. "Terrorism knows no borders and affects all nations. It is a scourge that requires a coordinated and sustained global response. We urge all countries to collaborate closely to eradicate this threat and ensure the safety and security of all people," he added.”


ABC News: Iran-Allied Militants Claim An Attack Targeting The Israeli Port City Of Eilat

“An Iranian-backed umbrella group known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed an attack targeting the southern Israeli port city of Eilat on Wednesday. The militants are allied with Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are suspected of attacking a ship in the Gulf of Aden the same day. Shipping has reduced 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. International criticism is growing over Israel’s campaign against Hamas as Palestinians face severe and widespread hunger. The eight-month war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and basic goods to Gaza, and people there are now totally dependent on aid. The top United Nations court has concluded there is a “plausible risk of genocide” in Gaza — a charge Israel strongly denies.”


Associated Press: Women’s Rights Will Be Raised At The UN Meeting Being Attended By Taliban, UN Official Says

“The U.N. political chief who will chair the first meeting between Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers and envoys from about 25 countries answered sharp criticism that Afghan women have been excluded, saying Wednesday that women’s rights will be raised at every session. Undersecretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo stressed to a small group of reporters that the two-day meeting starting Sunday is an initial engagement aimed at initiating a step-by-step process with the goal of seeing the Taliban “at peace with itself and its neighbors and adhering to international law,” the U.N. Charter, and human rights. This is the third U.N. meeting with Afghan envoys in Qatar’s capital, Doha, but the first that the Taliban are attending. They weren’t invited to the first and refused to attend the second. Other attendees include envoys from the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the United States, Russia, China and several of Afghanistan’s neighbors, DiCarlo said.””


Nikkei Asia: Pakistan Eyes New Counterterror Operations As Security Deteriorates

“Pakistan is planning to launch fresh counterterror operations as Beijing grows increasingly wary about investing in the country after deadly attacks on Chinese nationals and key economic projects. But the plan, dubbed Operation Azm-i-Istehkam (Operation Resolve for Stability), is facing strong pushback from the political opposition, and there are few assurances that it will be enough to placate Pakistan's key investor. The new counterterror blueprint was announced on Saturday, just a day after a top Chinese official warned that security is crucial to Beijing pouring more money into the South Asian nation. "As people often say, confidence is more precious than gold," said Liu Jianchao, head of the Chinese Communist Party's International Department. "In the case of Pakistan, the primary factor shaking the confidence of Chinese investors is the security situation."”


Wall Street Journal: Biden Administration Scrambles to Head Off Wider War Between Israel and Hezbollah

“A Biden administration push to curtail worsening border clashes between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon is running into major headwinds because of the difficulty the U.S. faces arranging a cease-fire in Gaza, U.S. officials say. The connections between the two fronts underscore the diplomatic conundrum facing the White House as it seeks to prevent a full-scale war that could draw in Iran and broaden the fighting well beyond Gaza. The White House insists that de-escalation along Israel’s northern frontier can’t be conditional on an elusive cease-fire in Gaza and is mounting a major diplomatic effort to defuse tensions in the north after weeks of unsuccessful pressure on Hamas to agree to a halt in the fighting in the south. But Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated terrorist group and a key ally of Hamas, has intensified rocket and drone attacks in northern Israel in recent weeks, putting more pressure on the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which has vowed to end the threat and return some 70,000 citizens who have had to be evacuated to the north.”

Middle East

NPR: Israel’s Many Conflicts Could Soon Crack Its Iron Dome

“Tensions are high along Israel's border with Lebanon, where Israeli forces have been trading fire with the militia group Hezbollah. In a speech last week, Hezbollah's leader warned that if war erupts, then all of Israel would be under threat. "The enemy knows very well that no place will be safe from our missiles and drones," Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said on June 19. Keeping those weapons from hitting Israeli territory is the job of a sophisticated air defense system called Iron Dome. It has intercepted thousands of missiles over the years, and it has been critical to protecting Israel's cities during the latest war in Gaza. But some experts warn that Hezbollah's arsenal could push the system past its limits.”

The Times Of Israel: Israeli Strikes Said To Kill 2 In Syria, Flatten Building In Lebanon, Wounding 5

“The Israeli military allegedly struck targets in Syria and Lebanon on Wednesday night, according to state media in the two countries. Two people were killed in an Israeli strike on southern Syria, the official SANA news agency reported, citing a military source. “At around 11:40 p.m., the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial assault from the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting a number of positions in the southern region, killing two people and injuring a soldier,” SANA said, after initially reporting one death. It said Syrian air defense had also shot down some missiles, without giving further details. The strike was reportedly near Sayyida Zeinab, which is home to an important Shiite sanctuary and is defended by pro-Iranian militias and the Syrian army.”


Associated Press: ICC Convicts Al-Qaida-Linked Leader Of Abusing Prisoners in Mali

“The International Criminal Court on Wednesday convicted an al-Qaida-linked extremist leader of the religious persecution and torture of prisoners in Mali in 2012-13 when he headed the Islamic police in the historic desert city of Timbuktu. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud sat stoically while the decision finding him guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity was read out at the court in the Dutch city of The Hague. He faces up to life in prison when the sentence is decided at a later date. Al Hassan was acquitted of several charges focusing on the abuse of women. The three-judge panel found that rape and sexual slavery did occur while Al Hassan’s group controlled Timbuktu, but that Al Hassan couldn’t be connected to those crimes. The court found the 47-year old Malian was a key member of Ansar Dine, an Islamic extremist group with links to al-Qaida that held power at the time.”

United Kingdom

BBC: Recordings ‘Chilling Expression Of Terrorist Intent’

“The prosecution in the case of 10 people facing terrorism charges linked to the New IRA says secretly recorded conversations were a "chilling expression of terrorist intent". The case arises from a major undercover surveillance operation by MI5 and police, called Operation Arbacia, into the activities of alleged violent dissident republicans. On Tuesday, a defence lawyer had claimed recordings made during Operation Arbacia amounted to nothing more than "republican pub talk". As part of the operation, security forces recorded two meetings at properties in County Tyrone in February and July 2020, as well as one in Edinburgh. Lawyers for nine of the accused have applied to have the case against their clients dismissed. The charges include directing a terrorist organisation, belonging to a proscribed organisation, preparing terrorist acts, conspiring to direct terrorism and possessing articles for use in terrorism.”


Associated Press: France Bans Extreme-Right And Radical Islamic Groups Ahead Of Polarizing Elections

“France’s government on Wednesday ordered the dissolution of multiple extreme right and radical Muslim groups, four days before the first round of high-stakes legislative elections that may see a surge in support for political extremes. Snap national elections called by pro-business moderate President Emmanuel Macron have plunged the country into a hasty and disorderly electoral race, in which hate speech is becoming a growing concern. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced Wednesday that the government ordered the shutdown of several groups peddling extremist hatred. A series of decrees announcing the shutdown outlined investigations into the groups and said they posed risks of violence. The groups affected include GUD, known for violence and antisemitism. Its members have supported far-right political leader Marine Le Pen in the past.”

Reuters: French Court Upholds Warrant For Syria’s Assad Over Chemical Weapons

““A French appeals court on Wednesday upheld an arrest warrant issued for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the use of banned chemical weapons against civilians. The warrant approved by French judges in November 2023 refers to charges of complicity in crimes against humanity and complicity in war crimes. It followed a French investigation into chemical attacks in Douma and the district of Eastern Ghouta in August 2013 that killed more than 1,000 people. Assad's government has denied using chemical weapons against its opponents in the civil war, which broke out in March 2011. Syrian authorities did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the Court of Appeal ruling. Prosecutors, who would be responsible for asking the police to carry out the warrant, had challenged its validity, arguing that, as a sitting head of state, Assad was immune from trial and prosecution in France.”


The Washington Post: Germany Moves To Ease The Deportation Of Foreigners Who Glorify Terrorist Acts

“Germany’s government on Wednesday launched new legislation to ease the deportation of foreigners who publicly approve of terrorist acts. Under the law, a single comment on social media could provide grounds for kicking people out. The measure approved by the Cabinet was pledged by Chancellor Olaf Scholz following a knife attack last month on members of a group that describes itself as opposing “political Islam,” an assault that left a police officer dead. It comes as Scholz’s government faces broader pressure to curb migration. The Interior Ministry said that the law on residence will be changed so that approving or promoting “a single terrorist crime” is grounds for a “particularly serious interest in expulsion.” That means that in future a single comment that “glorifies and endorses a terrorist crime on social media” could constitute a reason for expulsion.”

DW: Germany’s New Law Backs Deportations For Terrorism Praise

“German government ministers on Wednesday agreed on draft legislation to simplify the deportation process for individuals who express support for terrorism, Germany's Interior Ministry said. The move comes in reaction to online hate posts that celebrated the Hamas attack on Israel and other terrorist incidents. The draft law would allow deportation if someone is considered to have approved of a single terrorist offense. No criminal conviction would be necessary for an individual to be deported. Expressions of approval could include not only posting of hateful content on social media but also marking a hate post with a "like" or other positive reaction on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok.”


The Guardian: Teenager Charged With Planning Terrorist Attack After Allegedly Entering NSW MP’s Office With ‘Intention To Kill’

“A New South Wales teenager has been charged with planning a terrorist attack after he allegedly entered Labor MP Tim Crakanthorp’s office carrying items including “knives and tactical equipment” with the “intention to kill”. Jordan Patten, a 19-year-old from Raymond Terrace, was arrested in Newcastle after midday on Wednesday and was charged with one count of preparing or planning a terrorist act. Investigators confirmed Patten circulated a 200-page document to a number of media outlets and public figures. Patten appeared in a Parramatta court on Thursday via video conference from custody. The magistrate told the court that police will allege Patten had intended to kill Crakanthorp “due to his position in the Labor party”.”

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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