Eye on Extremism: March 10, 2023

AFP News: IS Claims Afghanistan Attack That Killed Taliban Official

“The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Thursday for a suicide attack that killed the Taliban governor of Afghanistan's Balkh province. An IS fighter waited for the governor outside his office and ‘rushed towards him, detonating his explosive belt,’ the group said in a statement on its Amaq news agency.”

Reuters: Several Dead In Shooting At Jehovah's Witness Church In Germany

“A gunman believed to have been acting alone killed several people on Thursday in a Jehovah's Witness church in the German city of Hamburg, police said, as they focussed their investigation on the motive for the attack. Police declined to say how many people had been killed but said the gunman was believed to be among the dead. The Bild newspaper reported that seven people were dead and eight wounded in the shooting at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness in the northern city that is home to Germany's biggest port. ‘According to the current state of affairs, we assume that there is one perpetrator,’ police said in a message on Twitter.”

United States

Fox News: No Verdict In ISIS-Linked NYC Bike Path Killer's Death Penalty Trial

“Jurors deliberated Thursday without reaching a decision in the death penalty phase of a man convicted of killing eight people on a Manhattan bike path in 2017. The panel had to restart their talks at midday to decide the fate of Sayfullo Saipov after a juror earlier reported that he could not continue after learning that his brother had a heart attack. An alternate juror was added to the jury to restore it to 12 people. Shortly before noon, jurors started to decide anew whether the 35-year-old Uzbekistan citizen will get the death penalty or will spend the rest of his life behind bars at a maximum-security prison. The addition of a juror required them to scrap the results of 2 1/2 hours they spent discussing the matter on Wednesday.”


Prensa Latina: New Terrorist Attack In Syria Claims The Lives Of Three Shepherds

“The provincial police headquarters reported that the radicals, with automatic weapons, opened fire on herdsmen and stole more than a thousand sheep. After the jihadists fled to their hideouts and caves located deep in the desert. At least, another three civilians were killed yesterday by the explosion of a mine planted by Daesh radicals in a residential neighborhood in the city of Deir Ezzor, head of the eponymous Syrian province. Terrorist activities have caused nearly 100 civilians deaths in the last two weeks as a result of attacks or mines planted by those extremist groups.”


Reuters: Turkish Top Court Unfreezes Pro-Kurdish Party's Bank Accounts

“Turkey's top court ruled on Thursday to unfreeze bank accounts of a pro-Kurdish party accused by the state of links to terrorism but likely to have a pivotal role in upcoming elections that are a threat to President Tayyip Erdogan. The Constitutional Court reversed its own previous narrow ruling to block Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) accounts containing government aid. Its statement gave no reasons. The HDP, the third-biggest bloc in parliament, is due 539 million lira ($28.5 million) this year in funds for parties. The court had frozen its accounts while it heard a wider case brought by the state to ban the party over alleged ties to the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), which is designated a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies. The HDP denies supporting terrorism.”


Times Of India: Imran Khan Booked For Murder, Terrorism In Lahore, 80th Case Against Ousted PM

“The police in Lahore on Thursday booked Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and 400 others on charges of murder and terrorism during their clash with police personnel during the party's rally that left one activist dead and scores injured. This is the 80th case against ousted PM Khan registered by the PML-N-led coalition government during its 11 months of rule. Police on Wednesday allegedly killed PT activist Ali Bilal and injured over a dozen during a crackdown outside Khan's residence from where they were to take out a pro-judiciary rally. Over 100 PTI workers were also arrested. The FIR said 11 police officials were injured in the clash with PTI workers who hurled stones at them. The FIR said six PT workers also suffered injuries.”

Dawn: Punjab CTD Arrests 12 Terrorists Linked To Al Qaeda, TTP

“The Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) arrested 12 alleged terrorists, belonging to the banned Al-Qaeda and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), it said in a statement released on Friday. The statement added that they were arrested during a ‘covert operation’ from three cities of the province, including Lahore, from where three ‘terrorists’ were arrested ‘nearby a sensitive area’. The CTD spokesperson said the ‘terrorist network wanted to conduct subversive activities in sensitive districts’. Explosives and material used to make suicide jackets were also recovered from the alleged terrorists, the statement added.”

Republic World: Pakistani Forces Kill 6 Militants In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

“Pakistani security forces gunned down six wanted terrorists during an intelligence-based operation in the country's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the military's media wing said on Thursday. The forces shot dead six militants in a shootout on Wednesday in the Datta Khel area of the tribal North Waziristan district bordering Afghanistan, the Inter-Services Public Relations said in a press release on Wednesday. Those killed were wanted by the forces for various terror attacks on law enforcers and the civilian population. Arms and ammunition were seized from the possession of the slain militants.”

Middle East

Reuters: Hamas Gunman Wounds Three In Tel Aviv Attack

“A Palestinian gunman opened fire in Tel Aviv on Thursday, wounding three people before being killed by police in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labelled a ‘terror attack’ amid rising unrest in the West Bank. The Islamist militant group Hamas claimed the shooter, a 23-year-old from the occupied West Bank, as a member. Police cordoned off a corner of Dizengoff street in the city centre where the attack took place. A restaurant was empty after customers apparently fled mid-meal, Reuters footage showed.”

The National: Saudi Arabia Executes Two Men Over Terrorism Offences

“Saudi Arabia on Thursday executed two citizens convicted of joining a terrorist cell to target security forces, the Interior Ministry said. The ministry identified the men as Ali bin Omar bin Mousa Al Ahmari and Ibrahim bin Ali bin Maraee Haroubi, and said they were executed in Makkah. They were found to have joined a terrorist cell, supplied weapons and ammunition, and tracked and photographed security sites and headquarters in the kingdom with the aim of targeting them and killing security forces, it said. The two men allegedly embraced ‘takfiri’ thoughts, the ministry added.”

i24 News: Attack Thwarted In West Bank As Armed Terrorist Shot Dead

“A Palestinian terrorist wielding a knife and armed with improvised explosives was killed by an Israeli whose West Bank farm he infiltrated in order to perpetrate an attack, Israeli media reported Friday. The suspect hurled two homemade pipe bombs at a Jewish-owned farm, after which the owner of the farm gunned him down. The terrorist was pronounced dead by emergency services. At least 10 pipe bombs were found nearby. The incident took place in the Samaria region near Ma'aleh Shomron. This comes amid another escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including a terrorist shooting in central Tel Aviv Thursday night.”

The Jerusalem Post: Beitar Illit Residents Warned About Potential Terrorist Infiltration

“A terrorist infiltration alert was issued in the town of Beitar Illit on Thursday evening. The IDF's Homefront Command ordered residents in the area to stay indoors and wait for further instructions and all traffic in the area was immediately suspended until further notice. The alert was given after a suspicious bag was found on a bus in Beitar Illit, KAN News reported. The bag, which was giving off smoke, was destroyed by a bomb squad. The alert was activated to rule out an intrusion by the suspect, who had placed the bag on a bus, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said.”


Sahara Reporters: Islamic State, Iswap Terrorists Attack Nigerian Police Base In Borno, Kill Officer, Cart Away Vehicle

“The Nigeria Police Force personnel in Borno State have reportedly repelled an attack by some suspected members of the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP) in North Eastern Magumeri, Borno State. According to Zagazola Makama, a publication focused on the Lake Chad region, a policeman was killed during the attack. A source close to the operation told the publication that the insurgents sneaked into a police formation at about 2am on one Hilux truck and a motorcycle. They were said to have dropped their vehicle and sneaked on foot to avoid any sound that will alert the troops.”

The Sun Nigeria: Troops Destroy 74 Illegal Refineries, Arrest 71 Oil Thieves; 1,332 Terrorists Surrender In 2 Weeks

“The Defence Media Operations (DMO) has said troops on internal security operations in the Niger delta region have destroyed 74 illegal refining sites and arrested 71, oil thieves in the last two weeks. The soldiers also recovered 209,000 litres of crude oil, 145,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 4,500 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 27 variety of weapons, 468 assorted ammunition, 2 speed boats, 2 outboard engine, 8 vehicles and 4 motorcycles discovered and destroyed 341 storage tanks, 31 wooden boats, 260 ovens and 15 dugout pits. The Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami, who made this known, said soldiers on counter-insurgency operations and other internal security operations across the country, killed 17, terrorists and arrested 165, terrorists, bandits, cultists among other criminals terrorizing the peace in the country. Gen. Danmadami, at a media briefing on military operations conducted between February 23-March, 9, said 1,332 terrorist and their family members comprising 222 males, 411, females and 699 children surrendered to troops at different locations within the theatre of Operations.”


AFP News: Dozens Of 'Terrorists' Killed In Recent Clashes: Burkina Army

“Burkina Faso's army said Thursday it had killed 112 ‘terrorists’ in a series of clashes in recent days, losing 11 of its own soldiers. A statement from the army's command said several large-scale operations had been launched simultaneously to recapture territory in the northeast of the country, without saying precisely when. As well as killing 112 ‘terrorists’, the army had also either destroyed or seized weapons, vehicles and explosive devices. Eleven soldiers were killed and another four wounded in the fighting, which saw troops on the ground supported by the air force, the statement added. The operations were carried out over several days and were continuing in the region. The northeast of Burkina Faso has been particularly hard hit by jihadist violence.”

United Kingdom

The National: Fears Raised Over Iran-Backed Hezbollah And Houthis' High-Tech Weaponry

“Non-state actors including internationally recognised terrorist groups are increasingly acquiring highly sophisticated weapons which pose a significant threat to peace and security, military experts have warned. Hezbollah, which the US and the UK have designated a terrorist organisation, and the Houthis were cited as examples of organisations showing more powerful capabilities. The noticeable shift in the tactics of paramilitary, armed resistance and militant groups was noted by speakers at the Royal United Services Institute’s (Rusi) air and missile defence conference on Thursday. Air Vice Marshal Lincoln Taylor, the Royal Air Force’s Chief of Staff Capability, highlighted the critical role modern weapons such as swarm drones were playing in attack strategies and warned of ‘an accelerating adversary’ when it comes to defence. Developing technology is increasingly being used by groups, providing them with new fighting methods, he said.”

The Times Of Israel: Ireland To Withdraw Soldiers From UN Observer Force On Israel-Syria Border

“Ireland will be withdrawing its forces from a United Nations peacekeeping force between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights, Irish officials said on Wednesday. In a statement, Irish defense minister Micheál Martin informed the government that the 130 infantry troops stationed on the Syrian side of the border as part of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) will be withdrawn in the near future. Martin, who is also the deputy head of government, said the decision was made based on an ‘assessment of the sustainability of the [Irish military’s] overseas commitments.’ The Irish Department of Defence said the troops’ withdrawal would ensure the Irish military can ‘fulfill their commitment to the EU Battlegroup,’ a military unit subordinate to the defense arm of the European Union. The exact date of the withdrawal was to be discussed with UN officials.”


Associated Press: German Police Nab Man Suspected Of Planning Frankfurt Attack

“An 18-year-old man suspected of having planned an extremist attack in Frankfurt has been arrested near Germany’s border with Austria as he attempted to leave the country for Iraq and join the Islamic State group, German investigators said Thursday. The man, a German citizen with Moroccan roots who grew up in Germany, was arrested on Wednesday at a highway rest area near Passau, Frankfurt prosecutors and Hesse state criminal police said in a statement. The arrest stemmed from an investigation that started last summer. The man, whose name wasn’t released, is accused of having planned a shooting attack in Frankfurt, of having researched how to build explosive devices online, and of procuring a stabbing weapon that he kept in his parents’ garage. German authorities were alerted by a foreign intelligence service, which Thursday’s statement didn’t identify. When the suspect’s home was searched in August, investigators found depictions of the Islamic State group’s flag and ideologically loaded pictures of fighting and executions, but couldn’t immediately substantiate suspicions that he was planning an attack.”

Daily Mail: German ISIS Bride Who Chained Up Five-Year-Old Yazidi Slave Girl In The Sun And Let Her Die Of Thirst For Wetting The Bed Faces Tough New Sentence As Court Overturns 'Too Lenient' Ten-Year Jail Term

“Germany's top court on Thursday ordered a new sentencing hearing for a German ISIS member who was given 10 years in prison for her involvement in the death of a five-year-old Yazidi slave girl. Jennifer Wenisch joined ISIS in Iraq and allowed the young girl to die of thirst after she was chained up in the sun for wetting the bed in August 2015. She and her then husband, an ISIS fighter, had bought the young Yazidi girl and her mother as household slaves. The initial sentencing that saw her jailed for 10 years in 2021 was considered too lenient by the German public prosecutor. The 31-year-old defendant, originally from Lohne in Lower Saxony, now risks a higher sentence.”


Reuters: Sweden Proposes Security Law Seeking Turkey's Backing For NATO Bid

“The Swedish government will send an anti-terrorism bill to parliament on Thursday hoping to persuade NATO member Turkey to lift objections to Sweden joining the U.S.-led defence pact. The new law, work on which started in 2017 after a truck was driven into crowds in Stockholm killing five people, would criminalise ‘the participation in a terrorist organisation’, the government said. Sweden and Finland applied last year to join NATO amid heightened security concerns after Russia invaded Ukraine, but faced unexpected objections from Turkey, which says Stockholm has harboured what Ankara calls members of terrorist groups. Turkey recently indicated it would approve only Finland for NATO membership. A spokesperson for Swedish Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer said the government would submit its bill to parliament on Thursday after formally approving it earlier in the day. ‘Fighting terrorism is a central part of the trilateral agreement,’ Strommer said in an op-ed in daily Dagens Nyheter, referring to a trilateral memorandum on steps toward Turkish ratification signed last year by Turkey, Sweden and Finland.”


News18: Pakistan-India Confrontations May Escalate On Loc, Says US Intel, Warns Of 'Big Militant Attack' In India

“The confrontation between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) may escalate, the US Intelligence Community has warned, hinting at a possible militant attack on India. Noting that Pakistan has a long history of supporting anti-India militant and terrorist groups, the community — in its annual threat assessment report — claimed that the possible confrontations along the LoC like the one in 2021 are of major concern for the US. The report warned that there is a risk of potential escalation. ‘This is more probable given the attitude of New Delhi’s current government vis-à-vis Pakistan’s alleged support for anti-India groups,’ it noted. ‘Each side’s perception of heightened tensions raises the risk of conflict, with violent unrest in Kashmir or a militant attack in India being potential flashpoints,’ the report added.”


CBC: Liberal Government Tables Bill To Allow Aid Groups To Operate In Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan

“The federal Liberal government tabled a bill Thursday that would tweak Canada's terrorism financing laws to allow foreign aid organizations to provide support in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and other terrorism hotspots. The change comes after Canadian charities and other non-governmental organizations largely suspended their activities in Afghanistan because of Criminal Code provisions that essentially prohibit them from operating there. These organizations often have to pay taxes or fees to operate in the country — funding that is now collected by the Taliban, which controls Afghanistan. Under the current law, these NGOs could be held criminally liable for materially supporting a terrorist entity. Charities say that law has had a chilling effect on life-saving aid work. The proposed changes in the government's legislation, Bill C-41, would allow aid groups to apply for an exemption to the law so they can deliver humanitarian assistance and do other work, such as facilitating the passage of Afghan refugees to Canada.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On March 25, 2017, as Bangladesh Armed Forces raided a militant hideout in South Surma Upazila, Bangladesh, militants detonated two bombs in a crowd of 500-600 onlookers. The attack, claimed by ISIS, killed four civilians and three police officers, and injured 50 others.

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