Eye on Extremism: March 6, 2023

Outlook India: Pakistan: 9 Policemen Killed, 13 Injured In Blast In Balochistan, Officials Suspect Suicide Bombing

“…The think tank Counter Extremism Project (CEP) notes, "Multiple separatist groups seek independence for the Balochistan region in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. After Pakistan’s 1947 partition from India, Balochistan was divided between Pakistan’s Balochistan province, Afghanistan’s Balochistan region, and Iran’s Sistan province. The largest of these separatist movements is the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), an armed separatist group based in Pakistan’s Balochistan region with activities also in Afghanistan and Iran. The BLA seeks to create an independent Balochistan nation in the Baloch regions of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran." There are other Baloch groups as well, such as the Balochistan Republican Army and the United Baloch Army that merged in January 2022 to form the Balochistan Nationalist Army (BNA), according to CEP.”

AFP News: Burkina Faso Imposes Curfews To Help Fight Jihadists

“Burkina Faso has put the North and parts of the Centre East region under curfew to aid the fight against jihadists, according to official documents seen by AFP on Sunday. The long-running insurgency in the impoverished Sahel nation has left thousands of civilians, police and soldiers dead and forced more than two million people to flee their homes. ‘In the framework of the fight against terrorism, a curfew is established from 22:00 to 05:00 across all the regional territory from Friday March 3 to Friday 31 March,’ said a note from the secretary general of the governorate for the North, Kouilga Albert Zongo. The curfews ban the movement overnight of people and the use of two and four-wheeled vehicles.”

United States

NBC Boston: Former U.S. Soldier Gets 45 Years For Helping Neo-Nazi Group In Plot To Kill Troops

“A former U.S. Army soldier was sentenced Friday to 45 years in prison, the maximum, for plotting what prosecutors described as a ‘murderous ambush’ overseas on members of his own troop. Eric Melzer, a 24-year-old from Kentucky, shared location and layout information about a sensitive U.S. military installation to the violent, anti-government, neo-Nazi organization Order of Nine Angles. He was arrested in June 2020 and pleaded guilty in 2022. Federal prosecutors alleged that Melzer intended to spark a jihadist terror attack on his own unit or any other that took up its location in order to undermine the United States abroad and further the goals of O9A, a largely United Kingdom-based group that has sympathized with al Qaeda.”

The Washington Free Beacon: Biden Admin Awards Grant To Palestinian Activist Group Whose Leaders Hailed Terrorist As 'Hero Fighter'

“The Biden administration gave a $78,000 grant to a Palestinian activist group whose leaders attended an anniversary event celebrating the founding of a terrorist group and praised the murderer of a U.S. military attaché as a ‘hero fighter,’ according to a funding announcement. The Community Development and Continuing Education Institute (CDCEI), an activist group based in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories, received the grant to promote ‘youth participation and accountability in local governance,’ the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced in November. But an anti-terrorism watchdog group is raising concerns about the funding, after finding that the activist group's board chairman participated in a celebration for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group, while other board members lauded convicted terrorists as ‘heroes’ and applauded Hamas missile attacks on Israel. NGO Monitor, a watchdog group that investigated the CDCEI funding, questioned the federal government's vetting process for grantees.”

The Hill: Greene To Introduce Resolution Declaring Antifa A Terrorist Organization

“Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said on Sunday that she will be introducing a resolution to declare Antifa as a terrorist organization on Tuesday, after blaming the group for protests at a police training facility in Atlanta. ‘Antifa are domestic terrorists and I’m introducing my resolution to officially declare them a terrorist organization on Tuesday,’ she tweeted on Sunday. A progressive group called ‘Stop Cop City’ has been protesting against the new training facility being built in the wooded parts of Atlanta since plans for it were announced, arguing it will promote the militarization of the police and may result in environmental concerns. Fox 5 reported Sunday that the facility was on lockdown after at least one construction vehicle was set on fire amid the latest protests on Sunday. Greene blamed the far-left organization Antifa for the incident on Twitter, though she did not offer any evidence that Antifa was behind the protests on Sunday.”

The Baltimore Banner: How Neo-Nazi Leader Brandon Russell Came To Be Accused Of Targeting Baltimore Substations

“When the Baltimore FBI announced last month that they had arrested two suspects for conspiring to attack power substations and cause a massive blackout in Charm City during freezing weather conditions, one name stood out like a neon sign to extremism researchers and law enforcement: Brandon Russell. The 27-year-old native of the Bahamas gained international notoriety in 2017 when he was outed as the founder of the Atomwaffen Division (AWD), a highly influential millenarian neo-Nazi terrorist organization with international ties that coalesced around Russell on a now-defunct chat website called Iron March circa 2015. AWD’s presence was mostly online and unknown to law enforcement until 2017, when Russell’s fellow extremist Devon Arthurs fatally shot Andrew Himmelman and Jeremy Oneschuk, two other AWD members, during an argument in a Tampa, Florida, apartment shared by all four youthful extremists. Following Arthurs’ arrest, a search of the apartment yielded plentiful extremist literature, several firearms, the homemade explosive hexamethylene triperoxide diamine prepared by Russell and stored in a cooler alongside several pounds of ammonium nitrate, solid rocket fuel, thorium and DIY home detonator components. Significantly, authorities also recovered journals in which Russell outlined plans for attacking a series of transformers along Interstate 75 in a section in South Florida known as ‘Alligator Alley.’”


Associated Press: US Military Commander In Syria Briefed On Anti-IS Operations

“The top U.S. military commander on Saturday visited northeast Syria where American troops and their allies are launching a campaign against the Islamic State group, a U.S. military official said. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley met commanders and troops who updated him on the ongoing operations against IS, said Col. Dave Butler, spokesman for Milley. Butler did not say whether Milley met with commanders of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces that have been the main ally of U.S. forces in Syria in the fight against IS. Milley’s visit came a day after the U.S. Central Command said American troops and their allies carried more than a dozen joint operations in northeast Syria in February during which five IS operatives were killed and 11 detained. ‘While there, he received updates on the counter-ISIS mission, inspected force protection measures and assessed repatriation efforts for the Al Hol refugee camp,’ Butler said referring to a camp housing tens of thousands of mostly IS-linked women and children.”

The National: US Mission In Syria Worth The Risk, Says Top General

“A senior US army general has said Washington's eight-year military deployment in Syria is worth the risk to ensure ‘an enduring defeat of ISIS’. Speaking to reporters on a rare visit to Kurdish-controlled north-east Syria, Gen Mark Milley said the presence of American troops in the region to support the Syrian Democratic Forces was tied to US national security. ‘I happen to think that's important, yes,’ he said, while he visited the area to assess anti-ISIS operations and protection for US troops. ‘I think that an enduring defeat of ISIS and continuing to support our friends and allies in the region ... I think those are important tasks that can be done.’”


TRT World: Türkiye Condemns Killing Of Former Turkmen Officer In Iraq's Kirkuk

“Türkiye has condemned the ‘heinous terrorist attack’ in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, which killed a former officer of the Iraqi Turkmen Front's Security Department. ‘We are deeply saddened to learn that Ahmet Tahir, a former officer of the Iraqi Turkmen Front's Security Department, lost his life as a result of an assassination today (March 3) in Kirkuk,’ said Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic in a statement on Friday. Condemning the attack, the statement said: ‘This terrorist act targets not only the peace and security of Turkmens, one of the constituent and primary components of Iraq but also Iraq’s stability.’ Türkiye called on the Iraqi authorities to ‘immediately identify the perpetrators of this attack and bring them before justice,’ it added.”


Iran Press News Agency: Afghan Security Forces Kill 6 IS Militants In Western Herat

“‘The security forces of Islamic Emirate launched operations against the hideout of Daesh (ISIS) militants in Rabat Kabuli village of district 14 of Herat city on Friday evening,’ and killed the militants, Abdullah Insaf told Xinhua. The police also seized arms and ammunition including three assault rifles, five pistols and 15 phones during the operations. On Friday evening, Herat residents reported that a series of blasts and gunshots were heard in district 14. However, following this conflict, the security forces announced that an ISIS team house was identified in Herat, after which the security forces entered into a conflict with them, and did not provide more details in this regard, Afghanistan Times reported.”


Outlook India: Explained: What Is Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, What Is Its History, How It Became Pakistan's Security Nightmare

“…The TTP maintains links with the Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda, according to think tank Counter Extremism Project (CEP). The CEP says, "As an ally of the Afghan Taliban, the TTP also fought the US-backed Afghan government prior to the latter’s defeat in August 2021. The TTP was founded in late 2007 by a group of Pakistani militants who had previously fought in Afghanistan alongside both the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and the group has maintained close ties to both organizations since." Researcher Abdul Sayed noted in an article that the TTP emerged out of the post-9/11 attacks jihadist politics.”

The Print: ‘Terrorist’ Killed In Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

“Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa once again came under the grip of terrorism as recently a person, whom the official termed as a ‘terrorist’ was killed in an exchange of fire, Dawn reported citing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa once again came under the grip of terrorism as recently a person, whom the official termed as a ‘terrorist’ was killed in an exchange of fire, Dawn reported citing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The ISPR added the slain militant was ‘actively involved in terrorist activities against security forces and killing of innocent citizens’.”

Middle East

The Jerusalem Post: IDF To Place Purim Closure On West Bank As Tensions Rise Ahead Of Ramadan

“A closure will be implemented on the West Bank over Purim from Monday to Wednesday, as tensions continue to rise after a series of terrorist attacks and IDF raids and ahead of the month of Ramadan which is set to begin at the end of March. The closure will begin on Monday at 5 p.m. and continue until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. During the closure, commercial crossings will remain open and humanitarian and exceptional cases will be allowed through crossings as well with permission from COGAT. Last year was the first year in five years in which a closure was not implemented on the West Bank. On Sunday, the commander of the IDF's Central Command, Yehuda Fuchs, met with leaders of cities and regional councils in the West Bank to hold a situation assessment. Fuchs stressed the severity of the ‘nationalistic crimes’ that took place recently, noting that these attacks needed to be clearly condemned.”

Middle East Monitor: Hamas Condemns Israel's Release Of Huwara Pogrom Perpetrator

“The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas on Friday condemned Israel's release of extremist Jewish settlers who perpetrated Huwara pogroms. ‘Releasing the terrorist settlers, who carried out the Huwara pogrom in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, confirms the fascism and racism of the occupation against the Palestinian people,’ Hamas denounced in a statement. ‘This measure also shows the complicity of the occupation state in the crimes perpetrated before the eyes of the world against the Palestinian people,’ the Hamas statement added. It stressed: ‘Such measures encourage the Israeli settler militias to commit more aggressions against the Palestinians.’ Hamas urged the international community to take: ‘Serious and practical measures to punish the Israeli occupation leaders and hold them accountable for the Huwara pogrom and other crimes against our Palestinian people, and move beyond words of condemnation.’”

Kurdistan24: Kurdistan Region Counter Terrorism Group Arrests Seven ISIS Suspects

“Seven suspects affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were arrested in the Kurdistan Region, according to a statement by the Directorate General of the Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG)  in the Kurdistan Region. The suspects are Najdat Najat Muhammed, Shazad Mahmoud Qadir, Razwan Sami Saadi, Paywand Fazel Abdulrahman, Muhammed Jawhar Ibrahim, Younis Majid Khidr, and Jawad Abdullah, the statement added. The suspects were arrested according to a court order. Some of the suspect’s family members pleaded their innocence to reporters outside the courthouse in Erbil. They claimed that their son’s confessions were made under torture. The Kurdistan Region CTG deny any claims of duress.  The suspects were instructed by Abu Shahab Kurdi to carry out a terrorist act in Erbil before joining ISIS, according to the statement.”


NPR: Egypt Sentences Human Rights Activists To Prison On Terrorism Charges

“Egypt on Sunday sentenced 14 people, including rights activists, to prison terms ranging between five and 15 years on terrorism-related charges in a trial deplored by rights groups as unfair. The verdicts — the latest mass sentencings in Egypt — were reported by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, one of the country's most prominent human rights groups. The suspects were arrested in 2018 as part of a wide-ranging crackdown by authorities on dissent. Two activist lawyers — Ezzat Ghoniem of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms and Mohamed Abu Horarira — were sentenced to 15 years in prison each. They were convicted of joining and funding a terrorist group, which is government parlance for the Muslim Brotherhood.”


Sahara Reporters: ISWAP Fighters Kill 200 Boko Haram Terrorists, Wives, Children In Borno

“In what appeared to be a continuation of their sustained inter-rivalry clash, the fighters of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) have attacked members of the outlawed Boko Haram insurgents in Gezuwa camp – one of the terrorists’ dreaded enclaves in the Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, during which about 200 of them were killed. No fewer than 560 members of the Boko Haram insurgents including top commanders, fighters and abductees have surrendered to the military. Zagazola Makama, a counter-insurgency expert disclosed this in a series of tweets. Makama said the ISWAP fighters had targeted hundreds of Boko Haram members and their families while they were fleeing from attacks. He said the Boko Haram fighters fled to Gwoza, Konduga, Mafa, Dikwa, Gajiram, and Lake Chad shores.”

Humangle Media: Terrorists Kill Senior Police Officer, Others In Zamfara

“A terrorist group has shot dead the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and a police inspector of the Zamfara State Police Headquarters in Maru town, Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria. Other casualties include a vigilante member and a civilian. HumAngle gathered that the terrorists had attacked and abducted an unspecified number of people around Bakin-tasha, a market in Maru, at about 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 5. While the police were preparing to repel the attack, the terrorists stormed the station. DPO, Superintendant Raheem Kazeem and his staff inspector Rabiu Umar of Maru Police Division were killed in a gun duel. ‘The attack in Maru town resulted in the loss of three lives including DPO, a Police Inspector Rabiu Umar of Maru Police Divisional Headquarters and the kidnapping of an unspecified number of people,’ Mansur Ibrahim Maru, a resident, said.”


MSN: Five Killed, 3 Hurt In A Shooting At Mogadishu Cafe

“At least five people are dead and three others wounded in a shooting spree at a busy cafe in Mogadishu on Saturday night, witnesses said. Unidentified assassinate believed to be from Al-Shabaab opened fire randomly at people taking time at the tea shop in Daruslam Villa, North of the capital. Some reports suggest that the gunmen tossed a grenade at the building before beginning the shooting of the innocent people, according to the eyewitnesses. The dead and wounded all were civilians and police said an investigation was underway to determine the motive and who is behind. No group claimed responsibility for the shocking incident but the security officials pointed the finger of the blame at the militant group who often conducts such attacks in Somalia.”

Garowe Online: Special Forces Kill Senior Al-Shabaab Commander In Somalia

“An operation instigated by the Danab Special Forces with the aid of the US Africa Command left a senior Al-Shabaab commander dead and several other militants, the government of Somalia reported, noting that the leader of the group has been planning operations within Jubaland. The elite Darwish forces of Jubaland state also participated in the operation which left a total of 13 Al-Shabaab militants dead, as Somalia increases the intensity in the fight against the group which is losing dominance in central and southern parts of the country following a national crackdown. Friday's operation was activated in the Lower Jubba region where the militants are said to be in control but have since lost to Somali National Army [SNA] with a strong backing of the US Africa Command, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] and local militia, who have been supporting the course. Aruriyow Mohamed Omar alias Ahmed Salah within the circles of Al-Shabaab has been coordinating the group's activities in Lower Jubba until he met his death at Turdho village.”


Reuters: Two International Red Cross Workers Kidnapped In Mali - ICRC

“Two workers for the International Committee of the Red Cross have been kidnapped in northern Mali, the ICRC in Mali said on Twitter on Saturday. It said the abductions took place between the northern cities of Gao and Kidal - long a hotspot for jihadist and militia violence. ‘We confirm the kidnapping of 02 of our colleagues this morning ... We ask for no speculation about the incident so as not to hinder its resolution,’ the ICRC in Mali said. It did not disclose the names or nationalities of those kidnapped. Mali has faced instability since 2012, when Islamists hijacked an ethnic Tuareg rebellion in the north. Since then they have spread across West Africa's Sahel, killing thousands and displacing more than 2 million people in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.”


Arab News: Four Militants Escape In Mauritania Prison Break

“Four militant prisoners escaped Sunday night in Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott after an exchange of gunfire at its central prison in which two national guards were killed, the Interior Ministry said. ‘The National Guard has tightened its control over the prison and immediately started tracking down the fugitives in order to arrest them as soon as possible,’ the ministry said in a statement published by the official news agency early Monday. Two guards were also injured, it said. The identities of the escaped prisoners were not given. After the escape, which the ministry said took place at 9:00 p.m. (2100 GMT) Sunday, it asked people to report any information that might help in arresting the fugitives. According to a military official speaking on condition of anonymity, two of the prisoners had been sentenced to death, while the other two were awaiting trial for membership of a terrorist organization.”

United Kingdom

The New Statesman: Why Britain’s Blasphemy Controversies Are Here To Stay

“One day in March 2016 Tanveer Ahmed got in his car and drove four hours from Bradford to Glasgow to stab a shopkeeper, Asad Shah, to death. When police arrived, Ahmed told them: “I respect what you do and have nothing against you.. I have broken the law.” Ahmed is sometimes described as an Islamist, but this doesn’t make much sense: Islamist extremists don’t tend to recognise man-made law, or go down without a fight. It was an early symptom of an emerging trend that connects the murder to the Batley teacher forced into hiding for showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson, The Lady of Heaven being pulled from cinemas and, most recently, the Wakefield Quran scuffing – described as a “desecration” by some local people.”

Hackney Gazette: Two North London Teens Arrested Over Terrorism Offences

“One 16-year-old boy and one 17-year-old boy were arrested at separate addresses on February 28 on suspicion of dissemination of terrorist publications. The Met Police said that they would not provide specific addresses for counter-terrorism arrests. The arrests were pre-planned and part of an ongoing investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command. A police spokesperson said that the investigation was linked to Islamist terrorism and that enquiries continue. The two boys have since been bailed to return on a date in early June.”


Associated Press: Germany: Weapons Found In Raid On Suspected Extremist

“German investigators said Friday that they seized weapons, including three hand grenades and a crossbow, from the home of a suspected anti-government extremist that was searched as part of a hate speech probe. Prosecutors said the 55-year-old from Munich, who is believed to be an adherent of the far-right Reich Citizens’ Movement, was arrested. Its supporters deny the legitimacy of the present-day German constitution and government, claiming instead that the German empire, or Reich, of 1871 still exists. He was being investigated on suspicion of endorsing crimes and disparaging the memory of the dead. That was because of an alleged Twitter post last year approving of the fatal shooting of two police officers in western Germany in January 2022 when they stopped two men suspected of poaching.”

Southeast Asia

Malay Mail: Local Group Linked To Islamic State Already Under Watch, Malaysian Police Say

“Malaysian authorities were already monitoring a local group allegedly involved with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation, Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said today. Commenting on news reports citing Finland’s Nordic Counter-Terrorism Network, the inspector-general said the Royal Malaysia Police has been vigilant in observing the possible spread of IS’s influence in the country and taking action to contain this. Malaysian police also collaborated with other security agencies in the region to exchange information and intelligence about possible terrorist activity in the region, Acryl said in a statement today. ‘The public are advised not to be upset by reports about the spread of propaganda by the group supporting the IS.’”


Times Of India: Appeasement Policy Of Congress Led To Spread Of Terrorism, Alleges Kateel

“BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel said terrorism flourished in the country due to the appeasement policy of Congress. He was speaking to reporters after handing over an autorickshaw and Rs 5 lakh to auto driver Purushotham Poojary, who suffered burn injuries after the cooker blast of November 19, on Sunday. He said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, terrorism activities have reduced. However, terrorist activities continued sporadically and the central government banned the PFI. Earlier, SIMI was also banned in the country for terror links, he said. He said the cooker blast was part of a conspiracy to convert India into an Islamic country, which has been mentioned by the NIA in its report.”

The Nation: CTD Arrests Eight Alleged Terrorists

“The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Punjab has arrested eight alleged terrorists of banned outfits during intelligence based operations across Punjab. According to the spokesman, the CTD Punjab conducted 31 intelligencebased operations in different districts of the province to effectively deal with any untoward incident of terrorism, in which 33 suspected persons were interrogated and eight alleged terrorists were arrested with weapons, explosives and other prohibited materials. He said that the arrested terrorists include Tehreek-e-Taliban member Irshadullah, al-Qaeda members Muhammad Luqman, Syed Anas, Muhammad Sulman Khan, Sana Dad, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi members Najeebullah and Muhammad Tahir and a member of Tehreek Jafaria Pakistan, Muhammad Aftab. An IED bomb, 1420 grams of explosives, 17 feet of safety fuse, 7 detonators, one pistol of 30 bore with 7 bullets, 35 stickers of banned organization, 34 pamphlets, 10 books, 4 receipt books, and 11610 rupees in cash were recovered from their possession, he added. The spokesman said that the terrorists had planned to sabotage peace across the province and wanted to target important installations and other religious places.”

Hindustan Times: Terrorist Outfit ISKP Claims Hand In Coimbatore, Mangaluru Blasts

“Terrorist outfit Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) has claimed the responsibility for blasts in Coimbatore and Mangaluru last year, and asked its ‘operatives’ in South India to wage a war against Hindus and the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). ISKP, a UN-designated terrorist organisation, made the claims in the latest issue of its propaganda magazine ‘Voice of Khurasan’. The 68-page issue of the magazine was released by ISKP’s Al-Azaim Media Foundation on Saturday. ‘Do you not consider our attacks in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka (Bangalore) where our brothers took revenge…,’ the magazine read. Though the magazine has named Banglaore instead of Mangaluru while referring to the second attack, it was not clear if was deliberate or a typing error.”


European Eye On Radicalization: EER Podcast: How Terrorists Use Cryptocurrency And What We Should Do About It

“Joining EER on the podcast today is Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler, the Senior Director of the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), to speak about the use of cryptocurrency and related technologies by terrorists and other malign actors. Dr. Schindler began by describing what cryptocurrency is: the philosophy that underpins it, its origins, and how it has become more popular over time. He then went on to describe why crypto is used—the advantages it provides—and how it is used by groups like the Islamic State (ISIS) and Iran’s Hezbollah to move money, even in states where the technological infrastructure would not seem to support it. There is an interaction between crypto and the older hawala system, which Dr. Schindler explained. The use of crypto by outlaw states such as Russia and North Korea to circumvent sanctions was also touched upon. And the regulation of the crypto space was discussed in detail: the resistance of the industry, the steps already taken by the U.S. and E.U., and what else could be done, as well as the potential adaptations terrorists will adopt in the future.”

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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