Eye on Extremism: June 5

The New York Times: F.B.I., Pushing To Stop Domestic Terrorists, Grapples With Limits On Its Power

“Dakota Reed’s mind brimmed with thoughts of mass murder. In November, he wrote on Facebook, “I am shooting for 30 Jews.” The next month, he uploaded a video of himself in his bedroom of his mother’s Seattle-area home proudly displaying new gun sights he had mounted on his AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle. White supremacist propaganda adorned the walls. He said he was “fixing to shoot up” a school. The F.B.I., which had been investigating the 20-year-old Mr. Reed for about four months, weighed charging him. But federal prosecutors were concerned that the threat was too vague, so the F.B.I. quickly passed the case on to local law enforcement officials, who thought they could build a case under state law. In early December, a detective from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mr. Reed. He pleaded guilty in May to making bomb threats and was sentenced on Tuesday to a year in jail. The outcome was typical of the limits the F.B.I. faces investigating domestic terrorism cases, roughly defined as violent acts inside the United States intended to intimidate a part of the population. The First Amendment protects hate speech and other activities that might be early indicators of plans to commit violence, keeping agents from investigating or making arrests in many cases.”

The Washington Post: New Online Magazine Aims To Counter Extremist Propaganda

“Before they joined forces to battle radicalization and extremism, Jesse Morton and Mitch Silber were on opposite sides. Morton was an al-Qaeda supporter who helped create “Inspire,” an English-language online magazine devoted to promoting the terrorist group. Silber was director of intelligence analysis for the New York Police Department whose job was to trace people like Morton. After Morton abandoned his militant ways and Silber left the NYPD, the two men came together in 2017 to create Parallel Networks, a nonprofit organization that aims to de-radicalize people who are part of extremist groups and help them reintegrate into society after prison time. Eventually, they also started working with former members of left- and right-wing extremist organizations, which they monitor online. Now Morton and Silber are launching part of the effort to counter extremist propaganda online with a new magazine called Ahul-Taqwa, Arabic for People of Consciousness. The layout of the magazine resembles al-Qaeda and Islamic State pamphlets, in an attempt to draw in the targeted audience. But the stories will question the legitimacy of the Islamic State’s ideology and self-declared caliphate, and will include interviews with former followers of extremist groups, Morton said.”

Voice Of America: Iran Honors Iraqi Shiite Paramilitary Group That US Labels Terrorists

“In an apparent effort to sway Iran’s public opinion in favor of the regime’s involvement in Middle East conflicts, the Iranian government’s television channels are airing a video that glorifies a key anti-American Iraqi Shiite group. The music video, titled “The Noble Ones," has been shown several times on state TV channels. It praises Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, an Iraqi Shiite paramilitary group that was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States earlier this year. The video, over five minutes with Persian and Arabic lyrics, depicts a fighter of the Iraqi Shiite group who joins the fight against the Islamic State and loses his life in the battle. It shows the man’s lone young son vowing to continue the group’s path. The song ends with lyrics describing how the next mission of Iraqi Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba after the defeat of IS will be targeting Israel. Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, or the Movement of the Noble Ones, is a radical Shiite militia group of nearly 10,000 fighters known for its anti-American and pro-Iranian rhetoric. The Shiite militia group is mainly active in Iraq, but it has also sent hundreds of members to fight in Syria since its establishment in 2013. In 2017, the group announced the formation of the Golan Liberation Brigade, which aims to remove Israel from the Golan Heights. The U.S. State Department designated the group as a global terrorist organization in March.”

Reuters: Islamic State Claims Deadly Attack In East Congo's Ebola Zone

“Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a deadly overnight attack in an area of eastern Congo hit by an Ebola epidemic, although its account of the violence differed from local reports.  The deputy mayor of Beni in the eastern Democratic of Congo said 13 civilians were killed late on Monday in an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) - a group thought to be linked to Islamic State.  “The victims were killed by bullets and others by bladed weapons,” Mayor Modeste Bakwanamaha told Reuters.  In a statement on the messaging website Telegram, Islamic State said it was behind the attack. It said it had targeted the Congolese army in Beni, killing or wounding 25 people.  The bloodshed added to widespread insecurity that has hampered efforts to contain the second-worst Ebola epidemic on record. The number of cases hit 2,000 this week as the rate of infection accelerated.”

The Washington Post: Syrian Kurds Send 8 American IS Women, Children Back To US

“A Kurdish official in northern Syria says local authorities there have transferred eight American women and children who were captured with the Islamic State group back to the U.S. Abdulkarim Omar says the group includes two women and six children. He says they were returned at the request of the U.S. government and based on their own desire to return “without any pressure or coercion.” Omar didn’t identify the women and children involved. It is the second such repatriation from Syria. Earlier this year, an American woman and four children were returned to the U.S. Since the Islamic State group’s territorial defeat in Syria and Iraq, the issue of which authorities should prosecute IS foreign fighters and what to do with the families they left behind has become a priority.”

JNS: No ‘Material Progress’ By Europe To Declare Hezbollah A Terror Group, Says Pompeo

“U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he hasn’t seen “any material progress” by European countries to recognize Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. “The American position is very clear,” Pompeo told American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris in a recorded video played at the AJC Global Forum on Tuesday. “It is a unitarian entity. It is a terrorist organization. It is underwritten by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it, in its entirety, must be designated as a terrorist entity.” The United States designated Hezbollah as a terrorist entity in 1997. Pompeo’s remarks came as German lawmakers are considering outlawing the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Germany, like the European Union, only considers Hezbollah’s so-called military wing a terrorist organization.”

United States

ABC News: Democrats Grill FBI, DHS Officials On White Supremacy Threat

“House Democrats grilled officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security in a Tuesday hearing focused on how the Trump administration is addressing the growing threat of violent white supremacist extremists. The House Oversight subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties hearing, titled 'Confronting White Supremacy: Adequacy of the Federal Response,' was the latest effort by Democrats to spotlight ways they say the Trump administration has systematically cut back on resources used to address threats from domestic extremists even as the FBI has reported a 30-40% rise in domestic terrorism cases just since October. Federal officials in attendance at Tuesday's hearing included FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity, FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Criminal Investigations Calvin Shivers and DHS Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Neumann. Committee chairman Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., opened the hearing by raising issue withthe amount of resources he says the FBI devotes towards investigating cases of international terrorism versus domestic terrorism. Citing figures from the Anti-Defamation League, Raskin noted that from 2009-2018, far-right extremism was responsible for 73% of extremist murders, while international terrorism was responsible for 23% of terrorism deaths.”


Haaretz: Russia Intercepts U.S. Spy Plane Off Syria Coast, Navy Says

“U.S. Sixth Fleet says Russian jet's actions were 'irresponsible,' urging Russians 'to behave within international standards set to prevent incidents.’ A U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft in international airspace off the coast of Syria was intercepted three times by a Russian jet fighter over three hours on Tuesday, including a high-speed pass that was deemed unsafe and put the plane at risk, the U.S. Sixth Fleet said. "While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible," the Sixth Fleet said in a statement. "We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents," it said. The Sixth Fleet said the first and third intercepts of the P-8A Poseidon were deemed to be safe but the second intercept involved a high-speed pass directly in front of the U.S. aircraft that produced wake turbulence and "put our pilots and crew at risk.”

Radio Farda: Russia, U.S. 'Officials' Deny Deal Over Assad Against Sidelining Iran In Syria

“A Russian official has denied a deal between Moscow and Washington over putting an end to Iran's presence in Syria in return for the recognition of Bashar Assad's regime by the United States, says Russian news agency Interfax. Meanwhile, a U.S. official speaking to the UAE newspaper the National on Monday June 3, ruled out a June 2 report by London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily which said the United States is prepared to recognize the legitimacy of Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria. The Nation also quoted the U.S. official as having said that the U.S. position about Bashar Assad has not changed. None of the reports have named any U.S. officials. The Asharq al-Awsat report claimed that the United States was prepared to recognize Assad as Syria's legitimate President if Russia stop Iran's influence in Syria.”


The New York Times: Trump Says There’s A ‘Chance’ Of Military Action Against Iran

“President Trump said in a British TV interview broadcast on Wednesday that there was “a chance” of military action against Iran, after months of threats and an apparent de-escalation of tensions between Tehran and Washington. Mr. Trump made the remarks on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” to Piers Morgan, the show’s co-host who was the winner of “The Celebrity Apprentice” in the United States in 2007-8 and someone Mr. Trump considers a friend. They were aired during the third and last day of his state visit to Britain. When Mr. Morgan asked Mr. Trump whether he was considering military action against Iran, the president, who almost never rules anything out, said: “There is always a chance. Do I want to? No, I’d rather not. But there’s always a chance.” He added, “I’d much rather talk.”

NBC News: Iran Agrees To Release U.S. Resident Jailed For Spying

“Iran has agreed to free a Lebanese man with permanent U.S. residency who has been imprisoned since 2015, Lebanon’s foreign ministry said Tuesday. After a request from Lebanese President Michel Aoun and other officials, Iran’s ambassador to Beirut has “expressed the readiness of the authorities in Iran to receive any Lebanese delegation at any time for the extradition of Lebanese prisoner” Nizar Zakka, Lebanon’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants thank the Iranian authorities concerned for ending this file and moving forward the bilateral relations between the two countries,” the ministry added. Some Iranian media outlets also reported Zakka could be freed soon but did not provide more details."


Iraqi News: Two Islamic State Militants Killed In Gunfight With Iraqi Forces In Anbar

“Iraqi security forces killed on Tuesday two Islamic State terrorists in the western province of Anbar, an Iraqi mayor said. Shaker Mahmoud, the mayor of Anbar’s Al-Ameriya district, told Al-Ahd news website that an army force, backed by policemen and tribal fighters, clashed with two IS militants, who infiltrated into al-Abar city in western the district coming from neighboring Syria. The two terrorists were killed in the gunfight, the mayor added. Earlier in the day, an IS suicide bomber was killed while driving his motorbike in al-Qa’im district, west of Anbar. Between June 2014 and December 2017, Islamic State seized large areas of Iraq and led a campaign of widespread violence and systematic violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations against Islamic State in Iraq on December 9, 2017 three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory. On July 10 that year, the former premier had formally declared victory over Islamic State extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold.”

Rudaw: Covering Their Tracks, ISIS Assassins Target Local Mukhtars

“One evening last September, after a grueling hot day, Khaled Ahmad returned to his home in Mosul, hoping for a quiet evening. He had taken up residence in a house partly destroyed by an airstrike the year before when Iraqi security forces backed by the US-led coalition crushed the Islamic State group (ISIS) which had ruled the city with an iron fist for three years. Just as Khaled, 54, was putting his feet up, there was a knock at the door and a mysterious man in sunglasses appeared with a piece of paper in his hand. The man wanted to move to the Zohour neighborhood in the east of the city and asked Khaled to sign the document. “I could not see his face but he spoke with a Mosul accent,” Khaled recalled. His five recently adopted children gathered around him as he spoke to the strange visitor, while their mother was busy inside. Their father had been viciously murdered by ISIS militants in July 2014 for being a member of the Iraqi federal police. Khaled had been appointed as a neighborhood chief, known as mukhtars in Arabic. Mosul officials and security forces had overhauled the mukhtar system in September 2017 shortly after retaking the city, as some of these local chiefs had collaborated with ISIS.”

The National: ISIS Stole Their Childhood, Now They Must Have A Future

“Following the final collapse earlier this year of ISIS’s territory, which once stretched across vast tracts of Iraq and Syria, world leaders have focused on what to do with the many foreign fighters who travelled to join the so-called caliphate. While an important question, this has diverted attention from an altogether more vulnerable group: the children born under ISIS’s brutal reign. There have been fears that these youngsters could become a lost generation, traumatised by the conflict they have seen and, in many cases, also rendered stateless. For nearly three years, ISIS ruled large areas of Iraq with an iron fist. In 2017, it was driven from its stronghold of Mosul. Until now, children born in these areas have only possessed ISIS-issued papers, which are not recognised by the Iraqi authorities. However, after months of deliberation with parliament and civil rights groups, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights has announced that the country will establish special courts to help provide these children with official documents. An estimated 45,000 children lack birth certificates, which are essential to obtain Iraqi citizenship, and live trapped in refugee camps. Many are orphaned, which makes the task of providing identification all the more difficult.”


The New York Times: I Met The Taliban. Women Were The First To Speak.

“Afghanistan remains the worst place in the world to be a woman, and the continuation of war makes it additionally difficult for Afghan women to live full, secure lives. Kabul has recently witnessed a new wave of shootings of women, including the murder of a prominent Afghan journalist by her husband’s family. To put an end to this prolonged violence, an end to the war through a peace deal with the Taliban is necessary. The United States has accepted the Taliban as a legitimate stakeholder and is directly negotiating with them in Doha to bring the long war to an end. While renewing hopes for peace, the United States-Taliban talks have also renewed fears that when the Taliban join a new political order, Afghan women, who suffered terrible atrocities and oppression under the Taliban rule in the 1990s, will be forced to relive those dark times.  But it is both possible and necessary to negotiate peace with the Taliban while ensuring that women’s rights are secured. I came to believe this after meeting with the Taliban in Doha last month. There is an opening, albeit small and fragile, to talk to the Taliban about women’s rights and freedoms.”

The Washington Times: Mike Pompeo Refutes Reports That The Afghan Government Has Been Cut Out Of Taliban Peace Talks

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday downplayed the notion that the Afghan government is not being included in U.S.-led peace talks with the Taliban, despite reports that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is frustrated about being left out of the direct dialogue between the Islamist insurgent group and American officials.  In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. Pompeo said it is “just false” to portray Mr. Ghani as being left on the sidelines, even though the Taliban has refused to negotiate directly with him or his government. U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John R. Bass “talks to President Ghani multiple times per day on average,” Mr. Pompeo said in London, where he has joined President Trump for a state visit. The secretary of state added that Amb. Bass is “working jointly” with Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran U.S. envoy who is leading the Taliban talks. Those talks, seeking an end to America’s longest military combat mission in history, have focused on the pursuit of guarantees the insurgents won’t harbor terrorists once U.S. forces leave Afghanistan, as well as timetable for the possible withdrawal of some 14,000 U.S. troops. The U.S.-Taliban talks — on pause since an early-May session at which little progress was reported — are slated to resume again in Qatar in the coming days.”


Voice Of America: US Wants Pakistan To Urge Taliban To Show 'More Flexibility' In Dialogue

“The United States is scheduled to hold another round of meetings with the Taliban this month in Qatar in a fresh bid to end the deadlock in peace talks with the Afghan insurgent group while reaching out to regional stakeholders, including Pakistan, for assistance. The direct dialogue between the two adversaries began nearly a year ago and has achieved noteworthy progress toward ending the nearly 18-year war in Afghanistan. The process has, however, stalled lately over the Taliban’s demand for all American troops to withdraw from the country before it stops fighting and participates in peace negotiations among Afghans.  Washington wants a final deal that covers all the elements before it announces a military drawdown timetable. Ahead of his talks with insurgent interlocutors in the Qatari capital of Doha, chief American negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad traveled Sunday to Islamabad, where he discussed what Pakistan can do to help advance the Afghan peace process, the envoy noted in a post-visit tweet. He did not elaborate. In comments to VOA, sources privy to Khalilzad’s discussions in Islamabad said, “Since the peace process is practically stalemated, he [Ambassador Khalilzad] wants everyone including Pakistan to urge [the] Taliban to demonstrate more flexibility.”


Reuters: Yemen's Houthis And WFP Dispute Aid Control As Millions Starve

“A dispute over control of biometric data between the World Food Programme and Yemen’s Houthi group is straining humanitarian efforts and threatens to disrupt aid distribution in a country already on the brink of famine. In an unusually strong statement the U.N. agency, which feeds more than 10 million people a month across the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest nation, said last month it is considering suspending deliveries due to fighting, insecurity and interference in its work. The WFP has said the Iran-aligned Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa, were hampering the rollout of a WFP biometric system to identify those in most need. The biometric system - using iris scanning, fingerprints or facial recognition - is already used in areas controlled by Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states.”

Asharq Al-Awsat: Houthis Ruin Eid Joy, Launch Arrest Campaign

“Spoiling joy, Houthi militias forced Yemenis in areas under militia control to fast on the day declared by the country’s religious authorities as Islam’s Eid al-Fitr holiday, the day marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Houthi coupists, who abide by Iran’s sectarian agenda, deployed banded militants and armored wagons to entrances of mosques and cemeteries to block worshippers from performing rituals due on the holiday. According to local sources, Houthis triggered contempt among thousands in Sanaa, Ibb, Hodeidah, Taiz, Dhamar, and Umran who were forced to leave their hometowns for the holiday, fleeing insurgency militants who were arresting civilians by the hundreds. Eyewitnesses reported Houthi militants raiding a mosque that serves an Isma'ili constituency which decided to celebrate the holiday on the same day approved by the country’s religious authorities but not by the Houthi-styled commission.” 


The Independent: Four Killed In ‘Lone Wolf’ Gun Attack By Former ISIS Member In Lebanon

“A former Isis member, who was released from jail two years ago, has killed four members of the Lebanese security forces in a brazen gun attack in Tripoli on Monday night. The lone attacker, identified by authorities as Abdul-Rahman Mabsout, opened fire on police in the centre of the northern coastal city on the eve of Eid, the feast that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Gunfire rang out in the busy streets as the attacker battled with security forces and was chased across the city on a motorbike. The Lebanese army said Mabsout blew himself up with a suicide belt when cornered by soldiers in an apartment. Two police officers and two soldiers were killed in the shootings. The country’s interior minister, Raya al-Hassan, described the incident as a “lone wolf attack”. As a precautionary measure, Eid celebrations in the city were cancelled on Tuesday while an investigation was carried out. The shooting is the first major security incident to hit Lebanon in more than two years, during which time authorities claim to have thwarted a number of planned Isis attacks. The country suffered a wave of bombings relating to the civil war in neighbouring Syria between 2013 and 2016, both by Isis and the now defunct al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra rebel group.”

Middle East

Al Jazeera: Children Used By Anti-Boko Haram Groups Struggle Against Trauma

“The United Nations and human rights activists have accused both Boko Haram and groups fighting it, of putting children in harm's way. But now, hundreds of former child vigilantes, who had been fighting against the armed group in northeastern Nigeria, are learning skills to help them reintegrate into their communities. Many have returned to school or are learning employment skills. Kaumi Kolo is one of them.”


Reuters: Militants Kill Eight Security Personnel In Sinai: State Media

“Militants attacked a checkpoint and killed eight security personnel on Wednesday in north Sinai where Egyptian forces have long been battling Islamists, state media said.  Five militants also died, state TV and state news agency MENA reported, with some on the run.  Egypt’s military and police launched a major security campaign against Islamic State or related jihadist groups in the Sinai peninsula in February last year.  The campaign followed a jihadist attack in November 2017 on a mosque in which hundreds of worshippers died.  The military says hundreds of militants have been killed since it launched its campaign.  Earlier on Wednesday, state media said that a number of security checkpoints in the area had been attacked.”


The Daily Post Nigeria: Boko Haram: 20 Killed, Four Injured As Troops, Terrorists Clash In Lake Chad Region

“Troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) operating around Lake Chad region, Tuesday killed 20 Boko Haram terrorists around Arege, Malkonory and Tumbum Rego general area. A statement issued by MNJTF’s Chief of Military Public Information, Colonel Timothy Antigha, indicated that the success recorded was in continuation of the ongoing operation to oust the Islamic State terrorists operating in the area. “In continuation of the ongoing offensive operations to oust Islamic State terrorists from the Lake Chad Area, troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in conjunction with national forces, in an early morning raid today, neutralized over 20 terrorists operating around Arege, Malkonory and Tumbum Rego general area. “Unfortunately, four personnel of the MNJTF were wounded during the fire fight and have been evacuated for urgent medical attention. According to Colonel Antigha, several gun trucks, arms and ammunition, as well as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device, which was meant to disrupt troops advance was also destroyed.”


The Long War Journal: Islamic State Claims First Attack In Mozambique

“Earlier today, the Islamic State claimed its first-ever attack in Mozambique. However, it is not immediately clear if such an attack took place, since the Islamic State’s claim cannot be independently verified. There has been no mention of an attack in local press reporting. “Thanks to God, soldiers of the Caliphate repulsed a Crusader Mozambican Army attack in Mitopy in the Mocimboa region,” the Islamic State’s statement read. The Mocimboa district has seen several jihadist assaults over the past few years, including beheadings. Cabo Delgado has largely been the scene of the nascent jihadist insurgency in the country.  The jihadist group claimed that “several” of the soldiers were killed and wounded, while weapons – including rocket propelled grenades – were captured during the battle. Two photos, which showed weapons and equipment allegedly captured from the Mozambican Army, were included in the claim.  In the bigger picture, the Islamic State’s exact ties to the region remain unclear.  The statement was labeled under the Islamic State’s Central African Province, using the same branding in which the group’s claims for the Democratic Republic of the Congo are released.”

Xinhua: 2 Killed As Kenyan Security Forces Clash With Al-Shabab Suspects

“Two people were killed and unknown number injured in clashes between Kenyan security forces and Somali militants in the northeastern county of Mandera on Monday night, officials said Tuesday. North Eastern Regional Commissioner Mohamed Birik confirmed the clashes, saying one al-Shabab suspect and one National Police Reservist were killed in Dawaduba, Fino in Mandera County. Birik said the security operation was aimed at flushing out the gunmen from their hideout within Kenya, adding that it is believed that many other al-Shabab fighters escaped with bullet wounds and that the operation is ongoing. According to local authorities, the gunmen had crossed the border and camped inside Kenya to carry out terror attacks on unspecified locations, but the security forces received intelligence of their presence and moved there. The fighting went into Monday midnight amid fears of more casualties. Local security said the operation is underway in the area which has experienced a lull of attacks since the beginning of Ramadan due to a heavy security presence. Fino is about 6km from the main Kenya-Somalia border.”

United Kingdom

The Guardian: Britain Should Take Back Children Of ISIS Fighters, Says Mordaunt

“Britain has an obligation to take back “innocent” children born to Islamic State fighters in Syria, the defence secretary has said, arguing that the UK needs to resolve its failure to repatriate minors caught up in the Syrian civil war. Penny Mordaunt said she wanted to “build up a very clear picture” of where children have been taken into camps as Syria’s violent conflict has subsided and be prepared to allow them to come to the UK. Speaking at a military conference in Westminster, she said: “I think the British public would agree we absolutely have an obligation to innocents who were taken into a war zone.” Mordaunt added: “Extracting them would be a very difficult thing to do and would in all practical honesty require the practical consent of the parents who were there.” France and Germany have begun taking back children caught up in the conflict, while the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it would help repatriate children to the UK from the crowded refugee camps in north-east Syria. There are estimated to be 76,000 women and children living in the al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria. A thousand of the children are unaccompanied and many are believed to be of European descent.”


The Jerusalem Post: Hezbollah Members Rise To 1,050 In Germany Amid Growing Jew-Hatred- Intel

“A new German intelligence report asserts the number of Hezbollah members and supporters has climbed from 950 in 2017 to 1,050 in 2018 amid rising Jew-hatred in the federal republic. The Jerusalem Post reviewed the hair-raising new numbers from the intelligence document of the German state of Lower Saxony. The 192-page intelligence report authored by the intelligence agents from the state’s security service noted 150 Hezbollah operatives are situated in Lower Saxony. The report covers 2018 and was released on May 22, 2019. “Hezbollah denies the right of existence of the State of Israel and fights it with terrorist means,” the intelligence report wrote. “In Germany, the followers of Hezbollah maintain organizational and ideological and cohesion in local mosques associations that are financed primarily by donations.” “Hezbollah is against the idea of ​​international understanding and the peaceful coexistence of peoples,” the report noted. “The ‘party’ of Hezbollah was founded under the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran, representing the most radical party of the Lebanese Shi’ite community.” The report said the model for Hezbollah is the Iranian regime’s revolutionary system and the “teaching of the Iranian revolutionary leader [Ruhollah] Khomeini.”

Southeast Asia

The Guardian: Two Students Jailed For 42 And 36 Years For Separate Terrorist Attacks

“A Bangladeshi national who stabbed her Melbourne homestay host in an effort to “become a martyr” has been jailed for 42 years. In a separate case, a radicalised Sydney student who repeatedly stabbed a stranger with a hunting knife in a “violent, ferocious and inhumane” terrorist act has been jailed for atleast 27 years. In the Melbourne case, Momena Shoma, 26, admitted to engaging in a terrorist act when she stabbed Roger Singaravelu as he napped with his five-year-old daughter at Mill Park on 9 February 2018. She is the first woman to be sentenced for directly carrying out a terrorist attack in Australia. Crying “Allahu akbar” (God is great), Shoma plunged the knife with such force it embedded into Singaravelu’s neck and the knife tip snapped off. On Wednesday Justice Lesley Ann Taylor jailed Shoma for 42 years with a minimum of 31-and-a-half years, calling the young woman an “insignificant criminal” with “repugnant logic”. Dressed in a black niqab showing only her eyes, Shoma did not stand for Taylor. “Your actions sent waves of horror through the Australian community, but they do not make you a martyr ... they make you a criminal,” Taylor told the Victorian supreme court.”

Business Standard: Cross-Border Terrorism Poses Major Threat In South Asia: Experts

“Experts at a seminar titled 'Cross-Border Terrorism Taha Siddiqui, a Pakistani journalist who is now living in exile, offered a brief history of Pakistan's obsession with jihadi proxies in the region. "The Pakistan military protects itself by keeping the threat of India alive and though Pakistan initiated conflicts with India, it told the public it is only countering Indian aggression. Pakistan relies on internally-based militant groups to keep tensions simmering, and the army has the 'perfect excuse for a tax burden' on the country's economy, creating a Mafia-like protection racket. The military creates its own demand in Pakistan," Siddiqui said while addressing the audience. "Can the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the UN and other international bodies and governments compel Pakistan to give up its 'jihadi' proxies in the South Asian region?" was the key question put forth by Taha Siddiqui. He spoke of the international commitments Pakistan should fulfil and the pressures it should face for its actions in sponsoring terrorism.”


The New York Times: On YouTube’s Digital Playground, An Open Gate For Pedophiles

“Christiane C. didn’t think anything of it when her 10-year-old daughter and a friend uploaded a video of themselves playing in a backyard pool. “The video is innocent, it’s not a big deal,” said Christiane, who lives in a Rio de Janeiro suburb. A few days later, her daughter shared exciting news: The video had thousands of views. Before long, it had ticked up to 400,000 — a staggering number for a video of a child in a two-piece bathing suit with her friend. “I saw the video again and I got scared by the number of views,” Christiane said. She had reason to be. YouTube’s automated recommendation system — which drives most of the platform’s billions of views by suggesting what users should watch next — had begun showing the video to users who watched other videos of prepubescent, partially clothed children, a team of researchers has found.”