Eye on Extremism: June 9, 2021

The New York Times: Attack In Afghanistan Kills 10 From Charity That Clears Land Mines

“At least 10 people were killed and 16 others injured in an armed attack on staff members of a British-American charity in Afghanistan that has been clearing land mines in the country for decades, officials said on Wednesday. Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, blamed the Taliban for the attack, which occurred late Tuesday at a demining camp in the northeastern province of Baghlan and targeted employees of the HALO Trust. He said the victims were all Afghan citizens, and the wounded were transferred to hospitals. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied any involvement and said that the area where the “horrifying” attack had taken place was not under the militant group’s control. He added in a post on Twitter: “We condemn attacks on the defenseless & view it as brutality. We have normal relations with NGOs, our Mujahidin will never carry out such brutal acts.” The HALO Trust condemned the attack in a statement on Wednesday. It said that 110 men from local communities had been carrying out humanitarian work at the demining camp during the attack by an “unknown armed group.” Tolo News, a news network in Afghanistan, published footage on Twitter that it said showed people injured in the attack being taken on stretchers to a public hospital in Pul-e-Khumri, a city about 140 miles north of Kabul, the capital.”

Al Jazeera: Thousands Flee After Massacre In Northern Burkina Faso

“More than 7,000 families have fled their homes in Burkina Faso’s northern region following the area’s worst massacre in years, the government has said. The mass flight came after gunmen killed at least 138 people and wounded dozens of others in an attack on Solhan village in Yagha province on Friday. “Steps have already been taken to give [displaced people] a minimum level of comfort, lodgings and food,” Prime Minister Christophe Dabire said on Tuesday. “More than 7,000 families have moved to Sebba,” the capital of Yagha, about 15km (10 miles) from Solhan, he added. In Geneva, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch tallied the number of people fleeing violence at about 3,300 people, including more than 2,000 children and nearly 500 women. Baloch said the death toll of 138 made the attack the “deadliest since 2015”. Burkinabe Communications Minister Ousseni Tamboura said the village “has been completely emptied of people”. One local elected official said most of those who left Solhan had already been fleeing armed group violence, including in the Mansila district to the west. “They killed so many people without even separating the women and children,” Mannou Tambanga, a Solhan resident, told Al Jazeera. “They killed, they burned all the goods they saw. They ransacked,” he added.”

United States

Associated Press: Senate Report Details Broad Failures Around Jan. 6 Attack

“A Senate investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol found a broad intelligence breakdown across multiple agencies, along with widespread law enforcement and military failures that led to the violent attack. There were clear warnings and tips that supporters of former President Donald Trump, including right-wing extremist groups, were planning to “storm the Capitol” with weapons and possibly infiltrate the tunnel system underneath the building. But that intelligence never made it up to top leadership. The result was chaos. A Senate report released Tuesday details how officers on the front lines suffered chemical burns, brain injuries and broken bones, among other injuries, after fighting the attackers, who quickly overwhelmed them and broke into the building. Officers told the Senate investigators they were left with no leadership or direction when command systems broke down. The Senate report is the first — and could be the last — bipartisan review of how hundreds of Trump supporters were able to push violently past security lines and break into the Capitol that day, interrupting the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. The failures detailed in the report highlighted how, almost 20 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. intelligence agencies are still beset by a fundamental issue: a failure of imagination.”

NBC News: House Communications Vendor Compromised By Ransomware Attack

“An online vendor that provides constituent services for House offices has been compromised by a ransomware attack, NBC News confirmed Tuesday morning. David O’Boyle, a spokesman for the House chief administrative officer, confirmed the attack on the vendor, iConstituent, in a statement. The vendor told O'Boyle's office that “their e-newsletter system was hit with a ransomware attack,” he said, noting that the system is an external service available for House offices to buy. “At this time, the CAO is not aware of any impact to House data,” O'Boyle said. “The CAO is coordinating with the impacted offices supported by iConstituent and has taken measures to ensure that the attack does not affect the House network and offices’ data.” The vendor did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment. The attack was first reported by Punchbowl News, which said nearly 60 House offices have not been able to get constituent information for several weeks because of the situation.”

Des Moines Register: Pre-Trial Release Hearing Set For U.S. Capitol Attack Suspect Doug Jensen, Whose Attorney Says Fell Victim To QAnon

“A District of Columbia judge said on Tuesday he will review later in June whether U.S. Capitol attack suspect Doug Jensen can be released from jail while he awaits trial. Jensen, of Des Moines, was arrested three days after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, which left five people dead.  After several indictments, he now faces seven charges, including allegations that he brought a folding knife into the Capitol. Jensen was photographed aggressively confronting officers in the building, including at one point chasing one up a staircase at the head of a larger mob. In March, it was reported he was in plea talks with prosecutors to resolve the case. At a hearing Tuesday, prosecutors indicated the “main sticking point” to those plea negotiations is the question of pretrial detention. Judge Timothy Kelly agreed to address the matter swiftly. “If that seems to be the next thing to move the case forward, I’ll take that up and do my best to resolve it promptly, perhaps on the same day,” he said. Kelly set a new hearing June 24 to review Jensen's request for pre-trial release. Tuesday's hearing comes one day after Jensen's attorney filed a motion to for bond review.”

Patch: MA Hate Group Founder: Students Should Bully 'Kids Who Race Mix'

“The nonprofit Counter Extremism Project says NSC-131 is a “leaderless, decentralized organization” and lists Hood, previously of Malden, as its “alleged founder.” During the Jan. 6 riot, screenshots taken from Telegram, the encrypted messaging app NSC-131 uses to communicate, showed members holding up the group's logo outside the Capitol. “Known NSC tactics include antagonizing social-justice protesters, vandalism, and posting stickers and other propaganda,” the Counter Extremism Project says in its entry on NSC-131. “NSC members have joined right-wing and pro-police rallies where they have displayed Nazi flags and symbols, as well as engaged in physical altercations.” In 2017, Hood graduated from Henry Owens High School, a Chelsea school for behaviorally and academically challenged students and adults run by the Shore Educational Collaborative. In 2016, the nonprofit featured a photo of Hood on its annual report. “Chris is a good student, respected by his teachers, counselors, support staff, and peers,” the photo's caption reads. “He is involved in Shore's Student Council and is on the Track Team. Chris attributes his high school success to the individualized support he has received from his teachers and counselors at Shore.”

Syria

The National: The Case For Repatriating ISIS Families In Syrian Camps

“At the height of its power, ISIS recruited thousands of people from across the world. Many of them were women and minors. The women had various reasons for joining. Some went to seek adventure or felt they were joining what they deemed a “noble” cause. Some went to fight in the feared, all-female Al Khansaa Brigade, a self-appointed ISIS female “police team”. Others went with romantic notions, to marry and have children. Gulfer Ulas, a researcher at the London School of Economics determined that the “typical” female recruit was a second or third generation immigrant living in a western country. In countries such as France, where Muslims often feel alienated and are pushed to the periphery of society in terms of housing, education and work – an ISIS “family” was a heady notion. Being a part of such a unit in a false caliphate gave them a sense of purpose. Today, two years after the collapse of the so-called caliphate, more than 200 women from 11 European countries and their 650 children live in two Syrian camps called Al Hol and Roj. European women are a minority in the camps compared to others who are Iraqi or Syrian, but European governments are under pressure from rights’ groups to bring their citizens home.”

Yemen

The National: Activists Say Hamas Honouring The Houthis Was A 'Smack In The Face' For Yemeni People

“Hamas's representative in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, Mouath Abu Shamala, met Houthi leader Mohammed Ali Al Houthi in his office on Sunday, leading to widespread anger. Al Houthi was honoured with a Hamas plaque of honour for his support to the Palestinian cause and in recognition of the donation campaign launched by the rebel group to support the Gazan militants financially. A woman from the Akhdam community holds her son in a slum area in Yemen's south-western city of Taez. Reuters'The marginalised': the plight of Yemen's forgotten black minority The meeting sparked anger on social media, after which the Palestinian group said Abu Shamala was acting on his own. A Yemeni politician and member of Parliament, Shouqi Al Qadhi, said on Twitter that he was shocked by the visit and called for an explanation. Mr Al Qadhi said Yemen’s internationally recognised government could sever ties with Hamas. “We are waiting for a full clarification regarding its shocking stance. Does Hamas officially represent Abu Shamala?” he said. Hamadan Al Alyae, a Yemeni journalist, accused Hamas of betraying Yemenis by honouring Houthi militants who have attacked innocent civilians. Baraa Shiban, a Yemeni expert and consultant, said this was not the first time that Hamas had thanked the rebels.”

Middle East

AFP: Post Does Not Depict Palestinian Violence Against Queer Community

“…Researchers at the Counter Extremism Project, a non-profit international group working to combat the threat from extremist ideologies, confirmed the context of the video to AFP. It was taken in Homs province, and released by ISIS member Wilayat Homs on August 13, 2015, with the title: “But Who is Better Than God in Judgement.” According to the researchers, the description of the video reads as follows: “Execution of two men identified as “people of Lot,” (referring to gay men) by ISIS. ISIS proclaims that two men thrown from the building’s roof are to be executed for being gay. After both men are thrown from the building, they are pelted with stones, and their bodies are then washed, wrapped in a shroud, and buried.” The SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist threats, also confirmed the origin of the video to AFP, providing a link to its website that contains the photo. In September 2015, AFP wrote about similar killings of men accused of being gay by jihadists in central and northern Syria.”

Fox News: Palestinian President Pays $42k To Family Of Terrorist Who Killed Israelis After Biden Restarted Aid: Report

“The president of the Palestinian Authority reportedly greenlit a payment of $42,000 to a terrorist who stabbed two Israelis to death as part of the government’s policy of paying terrorists following the Biden administration’s $100 million aid package to the Gaza Strip. Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this week reportedly sent a district governor of Ramallah, Laila Ghannam, to personally deliver the cash to the family of Muhannad Al-Halabi, who was part of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The payment came “on behalf of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to ‘complete the payment of the cost’ of their home, which was demolished by Israel following the attack,” according to the a report from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). The MEMRI report was first flagged by the Washington Free Beacon. “The governor stressed that the meeting was being held on instructions from Abbas, who had ordered [Ghannam] to handle the issue of the house ‘in order to preserve the dignity of the family,’” MEMRI wrote. “Ghannam thanked Abbas, who she said ‘attributes special importance to the families of the martyrs, prisoners and fighters’ and is ‘like a compassionate father to all our [Palestinian] people.’”

Egypt

Associated Press: Egyptian Officials Say IS Militants Abduct 5 People In Sinai

“At least five Egyptians were abducted by Islamic State militants on Tuesday in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, security officials said. The five were driving to their workplace in the small town of Bir al-Abed when the militants from the Islamic State group stopped their vehicle and took them to an unknown place. The five include three engineers, a laborer and their driver, said the officials. They all work at the el-Salam canal project that moves the Nile Delta drainage water to be reused in agriculture in the peninsula. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. The two security officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Egypt has been battling militants, now led by the Islamic State group, in the northern part of Sinai for years. Violence and instability there intensified after the 2013 military’s ouster of Egypt's elected but divisive Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, amid nationwide protests against his year in power. IS has carried out numerous attacks, mainly targeting Egyptian security forces, the country's minority Christians and those whom the militants accuse of collaborating with the military and police. They have also kidnapped people, mostly Christians and Bedouins, sometimes for ransom.”

Nigeria

Deutsche Welle: Death Of Boko Haram's Leader Spells Trouble For Nigeria And Its Neighbors

“Several times in the past, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was declared dead, only to reappear in videos taunting the government of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Nevertheless, Nigerian security expert Kabir Adamu is fairly sure that this time Shekau was killed. “Every sort of source that could confirm the information has verified that it is true,” he told DW. Boko Haram's rival, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), claimed that Shekau detonated a suicide vest during a gunfight in Sambisa forest on May 18, to avoid being taken prisoner and made to renounce the leadership of his group. The Nigerian military is showing some reticence, pointing to ongoing investigations to ascertain what happened. But their plan to obtain DNA to prove a death that occurred three weeks ago is not realistic. “He is said to have blown himself up, so any remains will be difficult to get,” Adamu said. Shekau's faction has not confirmed his death either. But this is mainly due to its current state of disarray, which precedes Shekau's purported death. “In the last few months, its commanders have been arrested. Most have either accepted the leadership of ISWAP, or they've been killed,” said Adamu, pointing out that in the last couple of years, the number of followers in Shekau's camp has been dwindling at a steady rate, while ISWAP has had no trouble finding recruits.”

Africa

Reuters: One Soldier Killed In Attack In Northern Ivory Coast

“One soldier was killed on Monday evening when armed men attacked the northern Ivory Coast town of Tougbo, near the border with Burkina Faso, the army said on Tuesday. Ivorian troops were already deployed in the town and quickly pushed back the assailants. No civilians were killed, said the head of the armed forces, Lassina Doumbia, in a statement. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but previous attacks in the area have been blamed on jihadists. Armed groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State are active in Ivory Coast's northern neighbours, Mali and Burkina Faso, and have made incursions south.  Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said last month that the country would spend 1% of its GDP this year on equipment to prevent “terrorists” from coming into Ivory Coast, which stands between their bases in the Sahel and the West African coast.”

Canada

USA Today: 'Mass Murder': Muslim Family Targeted, Killed In Attack Motivated By Hate, Canadian Police Say

“A man killed four members of a Muslim family and seriously injured another with his pickup in a “planned, premeditated attack motivated by hate,” police in Canada said Monday. Nathaniel Veltman, 20, was arrested Sunday after witnesses said he struck the family of five with his vehicle while they were waiting at an intersection in London, Ontario, police said at a news conference. Veltman, a resident of London, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder and is due in court Thursday. The victims were identified as Salman Afzal, 46; his wife Madiha, 44; their daughter, Yumna, 15; and a 74-year-old grandmother whose name was withheld in a statement issued by extended family. A 9-year-old boy was hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. “Everyone who knew Salman and the rest of the Afzal family know the model family they were as Muslims, Canadians and Pakistanis,” the statement said. “They worked extremely hard in their fields and excelled. Their children were top students in their school and connected strongly with their spiritual identity.” A GoFundMe said the father was a physiotherapist and cricket enthusiast and his wife was working on a Ph.D in civil engineering at Western University in Ontario.”

Europe

The Daily Caller: Italian Neo-Nazis Plotted To Bomb NATO Base, Authorities Say

“Italian anti-terror authorities have reportedly thwarted a plan by a far-right, neo-Nazi extremist group that allegedly included planting a bomb and detonating it at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) base. Italy’s Carabinieri law force conducted a raid against 12 alleged members of the white supremacy-oriented “Roman Aryan Order” extremist group on Monday following a two-year investigation into their activities, Politico reported. The agency uncovered images of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, images of swastikas and a book that allegedly contained Jewish surnames that the group would have used to attack certain individuals, according to Politico. Police conducted the raid after a WhatsApp chatroom, discovered by authorities, allegedly revealed members sharing bomb-making instructions and a plot to detonate the explosives at a NATO base, the outlet reported. The 12 individuals have not yet been formally charged and must report to the local police station weekly until a decision regarding charges is made, according to Politico.”

Southeast Asia

Yahoo News: ISD Detains Singaporean Woman For Supporting ISIS Terror Group

“The wife of a radicalised man who wanted to travel to Syria to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has been detained by the Internal Security Department (ISD). In a statement on Wednesday (9 June), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said 34-year-old Ruqayyah Ramli, a housewife and former freelance religious teacher, was detained in April. She is married to Mohd Firdaus Kamal Intdzam, 33, who was repatriated to Malaysia in August last year. In April, he was jailed three years by the Malaysian High Court for possession of terrorism-related propaganda materials. MHA said Ruqayyah was given a Restriction Order (RO) in August last year after she was found to have been radicalised by Firdaus. “She was willing to accompany him to the conflict zone, where she intended to take care of the family and assist wounded ISIS fighters,” said the ministry. Among other restrictions, Ruqayyah was not allowed to access the Internet or social media without the ISD director's permission. However, since then, MHA said “there has been an escalation in Ruqayyah’s radical behaviour and involvement in activities prejudicial to Singapore’s security.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

The Hispanic population is willing to return to their home countries if given the right incentive. An incentive that myself and many other patriotic Americans will provide… [terrorist attacks will] remove the threat of the Hispanic voting bloc.

Patrick Crusius, El Paso Shooter Aug. 2019
View Archive

CEP on Twitter