Eye on Extremism: June 3, 2024

Reuters: Israel Assessing Alternatives To Hamas Rule In Gaza, Defence Minister Says

“Israel's defence minister said on Sunday that Israel would not accept Hamas continuing to rule Gaza at any stage during the process to wind down the war, and that it was examining alternatives to the Islamist group. "While we conduct our important military actions, the defence establishment is simultaneously assessing a governing alternative to Hamas," Yoav Gallant said in a statement. "We will isolate areas (in Gaza), remove Hamas operatives from these areas and introduce forces that will enable an alternative government to form – an alternative that threatens Hamas," Gallant said. He did not elaborate on the possible alternatives. Iran-backed Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, a year after it won parliamentary elections and following a brief civil war with security forces from the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.”

Associated Press: Yemen’s Houthis Sentence 44 To Death On Charges Of Collaboration With A Saudi-Led Coalition

“A court run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saturday sentenced 44 people to death, including a businessman working with aid groups, on spying charges, a defense lawyer said. The 44 were among 49 people who were detained by the Iran-backed rebels and accused of “collaborating with the enemy,” a reference to the Saudi-led coalition that has been at war with the Houthis since 2015, lawyer Abdel-Majeed Sabra said. Four were given prison sentences, Sabra said. Sixteen were sentenced to death in absentia, while 28 were brought before the Specialized Criminal Court in the capital Sanaa, Sabra said. Among those sentenced to death was Adnan al-Harazi, CEO of Prodigy Systems, a Sanaa-based company that developed systems to help humanitarian groups register and verify the distribution of aid to those in need in the war-stricken country.”

CEP Mentions

Kreiszeitung.De: Knife Attack In Mannheim – “We Have To Expect That This Could Happen More Often”

“...The fact that Stürzenberger was on Mannheim's market square with his information stand was probably no coincidence, says extremism expert Hans-Jakob Schindler from the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), who comes from Kaiserslautern: "There is a large Turkish Muslim community in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. An event and an information stand by Pax Europa in this particular place could be seen as a deliberate provocation." He can imagine that the association deliberately wanted to accept unpleasant scenes and possible arguments with passers-by in order to create appropriate images and create a mood on the Internet. "Of course, that in no way justifies a knife attack," said Schindler in an interview with this editorial team.”

Conservative Home: Ian Acheson: The Confession Of Mountbatten’s Assassin Is Dublin’s Chance To Walk The Walk On Troubles Justice

“Do you know where you were on 27 August 1979? I do. I was sitting in a car having just visited Northern Ireland’s only safari park as a holiday treat. The news came out of the blue cloudless sky into our radio: Earl Mountbatten’s boat, the Shadow V, had been blown up in the water off the county Sligo village of Mullaghmore. What I didn’t know in that day of horrific bloodshed, which concluded with the murder of 18 British soldiers in Warrenpoint, was that someone I knew and whose house I had played in as a small boy, Paul Maxwell, had been killed too. The IRA claimed responsibility for what they called an ‘operation’ against ‘occupation.’ It’s worth dwelling on this description for a moment.”

The National: How Europe's Far Right Divided Over Anti-Migrant Message As It Seeks EU Election Gains

“...The AfD’s woes – also including spying claims against a Krah aide and a police raid on number-two candidate Petr Bystron – mean its campaign is “pretty much collapsing”, said Hans-Jakob Schindler of the Counter Extremism Project. The usual far-right strategy is to “point out the inefficiencies of the system, link that to what they call an uncontrolled immigration problem, and essentially undermine trust in the established institutions”, he told The National. “That would have worked, but unfortunately [candidate] number one and number two have been suspended, so they’re not talking much about anything at this point.” The AfD devotes the second chapter of its manifesto to calling fundamentalist Islam a “danger to Europe” and saying a “romanticised idea of migration” ignores anti-Semitism spread by Muslims.”

Frankfurter Rundschau: Knife Attack In Mannheim - "Must Expect That This Could Happen Even More Often"

“The fact that Stürzenberger was now on the Mannheim marketplace with his information stand is probably no coincidence, says extremism expert Hans-Jakob Schindler from the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), who comes from Kaiserslautern: "There is a large Turkish Muslim community in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. An event and an information stand of Pax Europa in this place of all places should also be understood as a deliberate provocation." He could imagine that the association wanted to consciously accept unpleasant scenes and possible quarrels with passers-by in order to create appropriate images and create a mood on the Internet. "Of course, this does not justify a knife attack in any way," says Schindler in conversation with this editorial office.”

United States

BBC: US Expects Israel Will Accept Gaza Ceasefire Plan If Hamas Does

“The US has "every expectation" Israel will accept a ceasefire proposal that would begin with a six-week cessation of hostilities in Gaza if Hamas takes the deal, a senior White House official has said. The three-part plan unveiled by President Joe Biden last week would also see a "surge" of humanitarian aid, as well as an exchange of some hostages for Palestinian prisoners before a permanent end to the war. The proposal, however, has encountered vocal opposition from some members of Israel's government. The negotiations come as fighting continues in Rafah, which came under intense Israeli airstrikes over the weekend. According to the UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, all 36 of its shelters in the Rafah area are empty after residents were forced to flee. Another 1.7 million people are estimated to be displaced in Khan Younis and parts of central Gaza.”


Associated Press: Israeli Airstrikes Near City Of Aleppo Kill Several People, Syrian State Media Say

“Israeli airstrikes around the Syrian city of Aleppo killed several people early Monday, Syrian state media reported. The state-run SANA news agency gave no specific toll. It said the strikes were around the southeastern edge of Aleppo. “The aggression led to a number of martyrs and some material losses,” SANA said. Israel did not immediately acknowledge the strikes and rarely does when it comes to Syria. Syria and Israel have been at war since Israel’s founding in 1948. Syria’s President Bashar Assad has been backed by Iran in his country’s yearslong war, and Israeli strikes previously have targeted Iranian positions and equipment. The strikes also come while Israel is fighting Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel separately has been striking targets in Lebanon as well as Hezbollah continues its cross-border fire into the country.”


Associated Press: Iran’s Acting Top Diplomat Visits Lebanon In The First Official Visit Since His Predecessor’s Death

“Iran’s acting foreign minister arrived in Lebanon Monday, his first official diplomatic visit since his predecessor died in a helicopter crash last month. Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported that Ali Bagheri Kani would visit Lebanon and then Syria “to meet with the two countries’ officials as well as the officials of the resistance front to discuss ways to counter (Israel).” Iran backs a number of armed factions in the region, of which Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah is widely seen as the most powerful. Hezbollah would be Tehran’s first line of defense in case of a direct conflict between Iran and Israel. Bagheri Kani’s predecessor, Hossein Amirabdollahian, a hard-liner close to the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, died in a helicopter crash on May 19 in a mountainous area near Iran’s border with Azerbaijan, along with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and a delegation of other officials.”


Voice Of America: Taliban Accuse Pakistan Of Sowing ‘Distrust' Between Afghanistan, China 

“The Taliban government Friday dismissed the findings of a Pakistan probe that attributed a recent fatal attack against Chinese workers in the country to militants operating from Afghanistan. Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s chief spokesman, told an Afghan television station that his country had nothing to do with the March 26 attack on Chinese nationals in northwestern Pakistan, insisting it was an internal issue for the neighboring country to address. “The report published by Pakistan is an attempt to damage the trust between Afghanistan and China. We have repeatedly denied this report as illogical,” Mujahid told TOLO TV in his audio remarks. The response came a day after a Pakistani delegation visited Kabul on Thursday and shared with Taliban counterparts the results of Islamabad’s investigation into the killings of five Chinese nationals, along with their local driver, in a suicide car bombing. The victims were working on a China-funded hydropower project in northwestern Pakistan.”

Associated Press: River Ferry Sinks In Afghanistan, Killing At Least 20

“At least 20 people were killed when a boat sank while crossing a river in eastern Afghanistan Saturday morning, a Taliban official said. Quraishi Badlon, provincial director of the information and culture department in Nangarhar province, said that the boat sank while crossing a river in Mohmand Dara district, killing 20 people including women and children. Badlon said that the boat was carrying 25 people, according to village residents, of whom five survived. So far five bodies have been retrieved including a man, a woman, two boys and a girl, said the Nangarhar health department in a statement. It added that a medical team and ambulances were sent to the area. The officials didn’t provide details on the cause of the accident and said that rescuers are still searching for other bodies. Residents of the area frequently use locally made boats to travel between villages and local markets.”


CBS: Yemen's Houthis Threaten Escalation After American Strike Using 5,000-Pound Bunker-Buster Bomb

“Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis on Friday threatened to escalate attacks on Red Sea shipping after overnight strikes by the United States and Britain that the rebels said killed 16 people. Three officials told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin on Friday that the U.S. used a 5,000-pound bunker-buster bomb as part of the joint strike against Houthi targets. The GBU-72 bomb was dropped by a U.S. Air Force jet in an effort to destroy an underground Houthi facility. One official said the bomb hit the target, but it wasn't yet clear if it had been destroyed or if there were any civilian casualties. The Houthis, who control much of Yemen, said 16 people were killed and 40 more wounded, including an unspecified number of civilians, but there was no independent confirmation of those numbers.”

Associated Press: Houthi Rebels Say At Least 16 Killed And 42 Others Wounded In Joint US-British Airstrikes In Yemen

“Joint British-U.S. airstrikes targeting Yemen’s Houthi rebels killed at least 16 people and wounded 42 others, the rebels said Friday, the highest publicly acknowledged death toll from the multiple rounds of strikes carried out over the rebels’ attacks on shipping. Three U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe a then-ongoing attack, described the strikes Thursday as hitting a wide range of underground facilities, missile launchers, command and control sites, a Houthi vessel and other facilities. They called it a response to a recent surge in attacks by the Iran-backed militia group on ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden over the Israel-Hamas war. The U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets involved in the strikes took off from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier in the Red Sea, officials said. Other U.S. warships in the region also participated.”


Associated Press: Two Lebanese Shepherds Killed Amid Ongoing Escalation Along Lebanon-Israel Border

“Two Lebanese shepherds were killed in an Israeli strike that hit their house in the town of Houla near the Lebanon-Israel border on Sunday, state media reported. Lebanon’s National News agency said the men were civilians who used to sell sheep milk to neighboring villages. Lebanese Agriculture Minister Abbas Hajj Hassan said in a statement that a separate Israeli strike Sunday morning had damaged his ministry’s office in the town of Bint Jbeil, as well as the city’s commercial market and local government headquarters. Also Sunday, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed a drone attack on an Israeli military facility in the Golan Heights. It said the strike had hit a radar system for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, as well as forces operating it. The Israeli military did not confirm damage to the radar system but said that two drones “were identified falling in open areas” and “as a result of one of them, a fire broke out adjacent to Katzrin in the Golan Heights and was extinguished shortly afterward.” It said no injuries were reported.”

Associated Press: Hezbollah Fighters Shoot Down An Israeli Drone In Lebanon And Fire Rockets At An Israeli Base

“The militant Hezbollah group said it shot down an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon and fired rockets at an Israeli military base on Saturday, hours after Israeli drone strikes killed at least one person and wounded several others. Hezbollah said in a statement that its fighters struck the Hermes 900 Kochav drone, saying such aircraft have been targeting militants and civilian homes. The exchange of fire along the Lebanon-Israel border has been intensifying over the past weeks with Israel’s military push on Gaza’s southern city of Rafah. The Israeli military said a surface-to-air missile was fired toward a drone operating in Lebanese airspace, adding that it was hit and fell in Lebanese territory. “The incident is under review,” the military said. The Hermes 900 Kochav is a medium altitude and long endurance drone that can carry four anti-tank guided missiles.”

Middle East

Times: Condemnations Mount Over Israeli Proposal To Label U.N. Aid Agency A Terrorist Group

“Qatar and Saudi Arabia on Sunday condemned an Israeli parliamentary bill that seeks to label UNRWA, the main provider of aid for Palestinians in Gaza, a terrorist group, joining a growing number of nations opposed to the proposal. The bill, which passed a preliminary vote in parliament last week, is the product of increasingly tense relations between Israel and the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees. Israel has accused the agency of militant links, claiming that hundreds of its employees are members of militant groups, including some who allegedly participated in the Oct. 7 attacks on southern Israel. Those allegations led to a freeze in funding by many donors to the agency at a time when Gaza has been buckling under a humanitarian crisis triggered by the war. UNRWA says it took swift action against those accused and an independent review of the agency’s neutrality found that Israel did not raise previously concerns about the workers and did not provide evidence backing its claims.””

Associated Press: The Latest | Israeli Strikes In Central Gaza Kill At Least 11 As The US Pushes A Cease-Fire Plan

“Palestinian health officials said Israeli strikes killed 11 people overnight into Monday, including a woman and three children, in central Gaza. A strike on a home in the built-up Bureij refugee camp late Sunday killed four people, including the three children. The second strike, early Monday, killed seven people, including a woman, in the Nuseirat refugee camp. Earlier Monday, the Israeli military said that the body of a man presumed to be a hostage was found in a community near the Gaza border that Hamas militants attacked on Oct. 7. U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday that Israel has offered Hamas a three-phase cease-fire and hostage release deal, declaring it was time to end the fighting in Gaza and that Hamas is “no longer capable” of carrying out another large-scale attack on Israel. Israel is expanding its offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, once the main hub of humanitarian aid operations.”


Reuters: Egypt Demands Israel Withdraws From Rafah Crossing For It To Operate Again, Sources Say

“Officials from the United States, Israel and Egypt ended a meeting in Cairo on Sunday with Egypt sticking to its position that Israel must withdraw from the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing for it to operate again, two Egyptian security sources said. Israel seized the crossing on the Gaza side in May during its offensive in the city of Rafah along the enclave's southern edge, angering Egypt which said it would stop cooperating with Israel on the crucial artery for aid into the strip and evacuations out of it. The Egyptian security sources said Sunday's meeting was positive despite there being no agreement on reopening of the crossing. Egypt's delegation at the meeting said it would be open to European monitors at the border to oversee its operation by Palestinian authorities if Palestinian authorities agreed to resume work. Israeli and U.S. officials said they would work quickly to remove the obstacles to the operation of the crossing, the Egyptian sources said.”


Associated Press: Soldiers Among 11 Killed By Separatist Militants In Southeast Nigeria

“Militants enforcing a separatist lockdown in Nigeria’s southeastern region attacked security forces deployed to restore order, killing five soldiers and six civilians during a shootout, the Nigerian military said Friday. The soldiers were attacked on Thursday at a checkpoint in Abia state’s Aba town where the separatists were enforcing a lockdown to commemorate the short-lived Republic of Biafra which, in 1967, fought and lost a deadly civil war to become independent from Nigeria, defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Edward Buba said in a statement. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) separatist group often uses lockdowns to push for the creation of an independent country in the southeast, decades after the war that killed at least one million people. Hundreds have been killed in recent years in such violent lockdowns and other attacks blamed on the group, which claims its secessionist campaign is peaceful.”


Associated Press: President Milei’s Surprising Devotion To Judaism And Israel Provokes Tension In Argentina And Beyond

“At the base of the sacred Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, President Javier Milei of Argentina appeared to be in a spiritual trance. With head and hands pressed against the ancient stone, he prayed with the Orthodox rabbi who introduced him to Judaism three years ago. Although born and raised Roman Catholic, Milei has increasingly shown public interest in Judaism and even expressed intentions to convert. Stepping back from the wall, Milei broke down. He hugged Rabbi Shimon Axel Wahnish close, sobbing onto his shoulder. “In that moment, I felt proud that we have such determined leader, with such deep spiritual values,” Wahnish told The Associated Press in a recent interview, recalling their state trip to Israel in February. For many Argentines, that pride was fraught with peril.”


Associated Press: France Files Preliminary Terrorism Charges Against Teenager Accused Of Plan To Attack Olympic Fans

“French authorities on Friday raised preliminary terrorism charges against an 18-year-old accused of a plot targeting spectators attending soccer games at the upcoming Paris Olympics. The interior minister said it was the first such thwarted plot targeting the Games, which start in eight weeks as France is on its highest threat alert level. The man is accused of planning a ‘’violent action’’ on behalf of the Islamic State group’s jihadist ideology, the national counterterrorism prosecutor’s office said in a statement Friday. The man, who was not identified, is behind held in custody pending further investigation. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in a statement that members of the General Directorate of Internal Security arrested an 18-year-old man from Chechnya on May 22 on suspicion of being behind a plan to attack soccer events that will be held in the southern city of Saint-Etienne.”


The Atlantic: The MAGA Internet Calls For War

“After a jury found Donald Trump guilty of 34 felony charges yesterday, Bronze Age Pervert, the alter ego of the edgelord influencer Costin Alamariu, retweeted one of his own posts from March. It is a movie clip depicting a scene of armed men storming buildings and gunning people down. In the text accompanying the post, Bronze Age Pervert jokes that the clip is real footage of a “well-planned neutralization operation” that will take place after Trump wins his reelection campaign. The MAGA faithful are once again on the internet threatening violence. Lots of Republicans, of course, responded to Trump’s felony verdict with simple outrage rather than calls for a “neutralization operation.” But more extreme language has appeared all across the right-wing posting ecosystem.”

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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