Eye on Extremism: March 20, 2024

Associated Press: Houthis In Yemen Blow Up A Resident’s House, Killing At Least 9 From The Same Family, Residents Say

“Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen blew up a house Tuesday in a town southeast of the capital, Sanaa, killing at least nine people from the same family, officials and residents said. This came a day after two Houthi fighters were killed in an ambush allegedly set up by the house’s owner, Ibrahim al-Zalei. The deceased — a set of parents and their seven children — were killed in the explosion, according to residents Ahmed Baydawy and Arman Mahmoud. Rescuers and civilians were trying to pull out others buried under the rubble, they said. Baydawy and Mahmoud said the Houthis besieged the house and its surroundings in the district Radea, in the Bayda province early Tuesday, before booby-trapping the house and blowing it up, causing severe damage to neighboring buildings. In a statement, the Houthi-run Interior Ministry said detonating the house was an “irresponsible reaction” by security forces who used “excessive force in an illegal way” while pursuing suspects behind Monday’s ambush. It said an investigation committee has been formed to bring those involved to justice.”

Politico: Germany Arrests 2 Afghans Over Swedish Parliament Attack Plot

“German police on Tuesday arrested two suspected Islamic State supporters who are accused of planning to attack the Swedish parliament. Two Afghan nationals, named by authorities as Ibrahim M. G. and Ramin N., were arrested in the state of Thuringia, according to a statement from Germany’s Federal Public Prosecutor General. “The accused have been supporters of the ideology of the foreign terrorist group ‘Islamic State (IS)’ since at least 2023,” the statement said. Prosecutors said Ibrahim M. G. was tasked by the Islamic State Khorasan Province group with retaliating against Quran-burning incidents in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, which inflamed tensions in Muslim-majority countries. The “concrete” plans, which involved both accused co-conspirators, included a firearms attack on police officers and others “in the vicinity of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm,” prosecutors said, adding that the men “researched the local conditions around the possible crime scene on the internet and tried several times, albeit unsuccessfully, to obtain weapons.””

United States

Associated Press: Top Former US Generals Say Failures Of Biden Administration In Planning Drove Chaotic Fall Of Kabul

“The top two U.S. generals who oversaw the evacuation of Afghanistan as it fell to the Taliban in August 2021 blamed the Biden administration for the chaotic departure, telling lawmakers Tuesday that it inadequately planned for the evacuation and did not order it in time. The rare testimony by former Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and U.S. Central Command retired Gen. Frank McKenzie publicly exposed for the first time the strain and differences the military leaders had with the Biden administration in the final days of the war. Two of those key differences included that the military had advised that the U.S. keep at least 2,500 service members in Afghanistan to maintain stability and a concern that the State Department was not moving fast enough to get an evacuation started. The remarks also contrasted with an internal White House review of the administration’s decisions which found that President Joe Biden’s decisions had been “severely constrained” by previous withdrawal agreements negotiated by former President Donald Trump and blamed the military, saying top commanders said they had enough resources to handle the evacuation.”


Reuters: UN Mission Probing Islamic State Crimes Forced To Shut In Iraq

“A United Nations mission set up to help Iraq investigate alleged Islamic State genocide and war crimes is being forced to shut prematurely before it can finish its probes, following a souring of its relationship with the Iraqi government. The removal of the U.N. mission set up in 2017 comes nearly a decade after the extremist group rampaged across Syria and Iraq and at a time when many of the Islamic State's victims still live displaced in camps and long for justice. "Is the work done? Not yet, this is pretty clear," Christian Ritscher, head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh (UNITAD), told Reuters in an interview. "We need more time... If you look at an end-date of September 2024, we will not achieve a completion of all investigative lines," nor other projects such as creating a central archive for millions of pieces of evidence, he said. Ritscher was speaking at length about the closure for the first time since the U.N. Security Council in September renewed the agency's mandate for only one final year at Iraq's request.”


Associated Press: Turkish Warplanes Strike Kurdish Militant Positions In Iraq After Attack Kills Soldier, Wounds 4

“Turkey carried out a new round of airstrikes targeting Kurdish militants in neighboring Iraq on Tuesday, Turkey’s defense ministry said, hours after a Turkish soldier was killed and four others were wounded in an attack in the region. Turkey often launches strikes against targets in Syria and Iraq it believes to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a banned Kurdish separatist group that has waged an insurgency against Turkey since the 1980s. On Tuesday, the Turkish warplanes struck suspected PKK positions in the Metina, Zap, Hakurk, Gara and Qandil regions in northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, according to a ministry statement. The jets reportedly destroyed 27 PKK targets, including caves, bunkers, and shelters. There was no immediate comment from the PKK. “We have not left the blood of any of our martyrs on the ground,” the ministry said, suggesting that the airstrikes were in retaliation to the attack that killed the Turkish soldier and wounded four others.”


Reuters: Houthis Say Fuel Tanker In The Red Sea Targeted With Missiles

“Yemen's Houthis targeted a fuel tanker, MADO, in the Red Sea with naval missile and Israel's Eilat port and resort region with winged missiles, the group's military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said on Tuesday. MADO is a Marshall-Islands flagged liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker heading to Singapore from Saudi Arabia, maritime shipping trackers showed. The Houthis described it as American, but Equasis's shipping database indicates that it is owned by Naftomar Shipping & Trading Co Ltd of Greece. Naftomar did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Iran-aligned Houthi militants have repeatedly launched drones and missiles at international commercial shipping in the Red Sea region since mid-November, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians against Israel's military assault in Gaza. The attacks have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to take longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa. The United States and Britain, along with other navies, have carried out strikes against Houthi targets in response.”

Middle East

Associated Press:Heavy Fighting Rages Around Gaza’s Biggest Hospital As Israel Raids It For A Second Day

“Explosions and shootings shook the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital and surrounding neighborhoods as Israeli forces stormed through the facility for a second day Tuesday. The military said it had killed 50 Hamas militants in the hospital, but it could not be independently confirmed that the dead were combatants. The raid was a new blow to the Shifa medical complex, which had only partially resumed operations after a destructive Israeli raid in November. Thousands of Palestinian patients, medical staff and displaced people were trapped inside the sprawling complex Tuesday as heavy fighting between troops and Hamas fighters raged in nearby districts. “It’s very hard right now. There’s heavy bombardment in the area of Shifa, and buildings are being hit. The sound of tank and artillery fire is continuous,” Emy Shaheen, who lives near the hospital, said in a voice message with repeated booms of shelling audible in the background. She said a large fire had been raging for hours near the hospital.”

Associated Press: During The Israel-Hamas War, Jews Will Soon Celebrate Purim — One Of Their Most Joyous Holidays

“Purim is widely depicted as the most thoroughly joyful of Jewish holidays — highlighted by celebrations that include costumes, skits, noisemakers and varying degrees of rowdiness. It celebrates the biblical story of how a plot to exterminate Jews in Persia was thwarted, and thus is embraced as an affirmation of Jewish survival throughout history. For many Jews, it will have extra significance this year during a war in Gaza triggered by the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel in which Hamas killed 1,200 people and took about 250 others hostage. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. This year, that means Purim begins on Saturday night and continues through Sunday. In most of Jerusalem, the holiday is celebrated one day later, from Sunday evening until MondayHere’s an account from the Union for Reform Judaism:”


Voice Of America: China Envoy Meets Hamas Leader As Beijing Steps Into Israel Conflict

“China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday acknowledged a meeting between its diplomat Wang Kejian and the political leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, on Sunday in Qatar to discuss the conflict in Gaza. In a short statement, the ministry said Wang and Haniyeh discussed the conflict but did not elaborate. The meeting is the first announced to have taken place between the Chinese envoy and Hamas since the militants attacked Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 Israelis and taking about 250 hostage. Israel's counteroffensive in Gaza has killed nearly 32,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children, Gaza health officials say. The Israeli military says it has killed thousands of Hamas fighters. The meeting came just days after Wang met separately with officials from Israel and from the Palestinian Authority as part of Beijing's efforts at diplomacy. The Jerusalem Post reports Hamas on Sunday night said Haniyeh told Wang the war must end quickly, the Israel Defense Forces must withdraw from Gaza and an independent Palestinian state needs to be established. Hamas says Wang assured Haniyeh "the Hamas movement is part of the Palestinian national fabric, and China is keen on relations with it."”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

We reiterate once again that the brigades will directly target US bases across the region in case the US enemy commits a folly and decides to strike our resistance fighters and their camps [in Iraq].

Abu Ali al-Askari, Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) Security Official Mar. 2023
View Archive