Eye on Extremism: March 8, 2023

AFP News: Four Dead In Syria Drone Strike: Monitor

“A drone strike killed four people in government-held eastern Syria on Wednesday in an area controlled by Iran-backed factions, a war monitor said. ‘Four people were killed and eight wounded in a drone strike near a weapons factory belonging to Iran-backed groups and near a truck loaded with weapons,’ Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP. There was no immediate word on who carried out the strike in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor or whether the dead were fighters or civilians. The strike targeted a part of the city that is home to residences of top Iranian commanders and senior officers of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement as well as an Iranian hospital to treat cholera patients, Abdel Rahman said. Pro-Iran factions aligned with the Syrian government, including Hezbollah, are heavily deployed south and west of the Euphrates River which bisects Deir Ezzor province.”

CNN: Six Palestinians, Including Suspected Hamas Gunman, Killed In Israeli Raid

“Israeli forces staged a daylight raid into Jenin in the occupied West Bank targeting the suspect in the killing of two Jewish settlers, leaving the suspect and at least five other Palestinian men dead, officials on both sides said Tuesday. The violence marks the latest round in what has become a brutal cycle of Israeli raids against suspected Palestinian militants, Palestinian revenge attacks on Israelis, and Israeli settler targeting of Palestinians. The Israel Defense Forces named the suspect as Abdul-Fattah Hussein Kharousha, 49, and described him as a ‘Hamas terrorist operative.’ Hamas claimed Kharousha as a member, saying he had killed two Israeli settlers in the town of Huwara in late February. It also hailed the other five men killed as ‘fighter martyrs,’ but did not say they were members of the group. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said at least 11 others were injured in the raid.”

United States

ABC 7 Chicago: Judge Denies Convicted Terrorist's Plea For Compassionate Release From Chicago Prison

“In 2011, when federal agents began tracking west suburban teenager, Adel Daoud, investigators say he was looking to blow up 29 potential targets. More than a dozen years later, Daoud is looking for compassion from U.S. prosecutors and a federal judge by asking to be let out of prison early, so he can tend to his allegedly sick mother. Late Tuesday, his request was denied. The Hillside teen went to a downtown Chicago tavern in 2012 with plans to press a button and detonate a half-ton car bomb, according to investigators. But it was actually an undercover FBI sting operation; the law enforcement ruse ending with Daoud in custody and sentenced to 16 years in prison.”

News Nation: Manchin Condemns Cartels As Terrorists: ‘What Better Definition?’

“West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin condemned Mexican drug cartels as terrorists, calling on the United States and Mexico to do more to quell the illegal shipment of drugs across the southern border. ‘What else definition would you have of terrorist? What better definition would you want?’ Manchin said Tuesday during an appearance on ‘CUOMO.’ ‘What better proof? We’ve got these drugs that are killing more Americans than any war we’ve ever been in.’ An increasing number of members of Congress have echoed Manchin’s sentiments as more and more drugs are being trafficked into America. Fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, was responsible for more than 100,000 overdose deaths in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”


Prensa Latina: Syria Army Clashes With DAESH Members In Idlib, Al-Badieh

“In Idlib regular army detachments shelled positions of the so-called Levant Liberation Board, formerly al-Nousra Front, which is on the international terrorist list, with artillery and rocket launchers in the localities of Ankawi, Quledin, Sarmanieh, Flefel, Safouhen and Kaferwed. The bombing was carried out in response to shell attacks by DAESH on military checkpoints in the southeast of the province. In the Badieh desert, DAESH attacks are increasing, whose members, according to Damascus, are being logistically supported, protected from the U.S. military in the Tanef area in the east of the country.”


Iran International: Family Of US Citizen Killed In IRGC Attacks Sues Iran

“The family of Omar ‘Chicho’ Mahmoudzadeh, a US citizen who was killed in an Iranian ballistic missile and drone attack in Iraq, has sued the Islamic Republic in a US court. Mahmoudzadeh – along with at least 12 others -- was killed during the Revolutionary Guard’s bombing campaign in late September, when the regime stepped up attacks on Iraq’s Kurdistan region, presumably to pressure Iranian Kurdish opposition groups whom it accused of fomenting the unrest ignited by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in police custody. The lawsuit, which was filed Monday in the US District Court in Washington DC by Mahmoudzadeh’s wife and daughter, seeks $300 million in punitive and $50 million in compensatory damages ‘for severe personal injuries and other irreparable harm’ suffered as a result of his extrajudicial killing and alleged acts of terrorism by the Islamic Republic and its military arm, the Revolutionary Guards. The lawsuit is filed under the terrorism exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) by plaintiffs’ attorney Ali Herischi of Herischi Human Rights Law Center. The provision in the law allows US victims to sue designated state sponsors of terrorism. The IRGC was labeled a foreign terrorist organization in 2019.”


AFP News: US Troops 'Ready To Remain' In Iraq At Its Invitation: Pentagon Chief

“Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said in Iraq on Tuesday that US troops were ‘ready to remain’ in the country at Baghdad's invitation in a non-combat role against the Islamic State group. ‘These forces are operating in a non-combat advise, assist and enable role to support the Iraqi-led fight against terrorism,’ Austin said. ‘This is a critical mission and we are proud to support our Iraqi partners but we must be able to operate safely and securely to continue this vital work.’”

Iraqi News: 4 Killed, 3 Injured In Armed Attack In Eastern Iraq

“An Iraqi security source mentioned on Monday that four civilians were killed and three others were wounded in an armed attack that followed an explosion of an improvised explosive device in Diyala governorate in eastern Iraq. The source elaborated that four civilians were killed and three others were wounded after an improvised explosive device targeted a car, before armed men open fire at civilians at the explosion site in the village of Hazaniyah in Diyala governorate. The security forces cordoned off the scene of the incident and searched for the perpetrators, the security source added, pointing out that there is no information yet whether the attack was a terrorist attack or due to tribal disputes. Diyala witnesses repeated attacks by ISIS terrorists targeting security forces and civilians. The governorate also witnesses tribal disputes from time to time that sometimes develop into armed clashes, which cause deaths and injuries among civilians.”


Associated Press: UN: Afghanistan Is World’s Most Repressive Country For Women

“Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the country has become the most repressive in the world for women and girls, deprived of many of their basic rights, the United Nations said Wednesday. In a statement released on the International Women’s Day, the U.N. mission said that Afghanistan’s new rulers have shown an almost ‘singular focus on imposing rules that leave most women and girls effectively trapped in their homes.’ Despite initial promises of a more moderate stance, the Taliban have imposed harsh measures since seizing power in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO forces were in the final weeks of their pullout from Afghanistan after two decades of war. They have banned girls’ education beyond sixth grade and women from public spaces such as parks and gyms. Women are also barred from working at national and international nongovernmental organizations and ordered to cover themselves from head to toe. ‘Afghanistan under the Taliban remains the most repressive country in the world regarding women’s rights,’ said Roza Otunbayeva, special representative of the U.N. secretary-general and head of the mission to Afghanistan.”


Dawn: KP Police Set Up Unit To Probe Terror Financing Through Extortion Money

“The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police have established the Counter Terrorist Financing Unit (CTFU) to ‘reduce and investigate’ the growing cases of extortion to finance terrorist activities. ‘Extortion is taking place at a huge scale. This was a low priority area. There was confusion on who would deal with it in the first place,’ KP Inspector General of Police Akhtar Hayat Khan told Dawn about the initiative. A standing order issued by the Central Police Office said the volume of terror financing, extortion and transfer of money through illegal means, inland and across the borders, was higher than the number of registered cases. It added that the cases reported to the police were just a tip of the iceberg.”

The Print: Pakistan: Militants Throw Grenades At Two Police Posts In Peshawar

“Two police posts came under attack when militants threw grenades in the Malazai and Jabba Masjid areas of Peshawar on Monday, officials said, Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported. According to officials, the first incident took place in the jurisdiction of Regi police station when unknown militants hurled a grenade, which fell in an open area around the Malazai police post. There were no casualties in the attack. Militants also threw grenades at the Jabba Masjid police post in the jurisdiction of the Michni Gate police station. There were, however, no casualties.”

The Print: TTP Killed Around 400 Soldiers, Policemen, Rangers In Pakistan From 2013-2023: Report

“As terrorism spreads its tentacles from Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas into the country’s Punjab heartland and other provinces, the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has reportedly killed close to 400 soldiers, policemen and para-military Rangers in last 10 years, reported Times of Israel citing Pak-based Dawn newspaper. These statistics only apply to high-security locations like military and law enforcement facilities, they do not apply to other public areas. The number of injured civilians is significantly higher. Mosques, churches, and other houses of worship are not taken into consideration, including those used by Ahmadiyas, a minority of Muslims in Pakistan who have been classified as non-Muslims by the Constitution.”

Middle East

The Times Of Israel: Rocket Launched From Gaza At Southern Israel After Deadly West Bank Raid

“A rocket launch from the Gaza Strip set off alert sirens in southern Israel during the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning, as security forces were on high alert following a deadly raid against terrorists in the West Bank. The sirens went off at the Nir Am Shooting Range, close to the kibbutz of the same name, and near the city of Sderot next to the northern part of Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces initially said a rocket that had been fired from Gaza landed within the confines of the Strip, but later confirmed that it had landed in Israeli territory, close to the border fence. Surveillance camera footage showed the rocket being launched from Gaza.”

Middle East Monitor: Hamas Calls For Al-Aqsa Mosque To Be Defended Against Settler Attacks

“The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has called upon Palestinians to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque against raids by illegal Jewish settlers. Hamas Spokesman for Jerusalem Affairs Mohammad Hamada made his appeal after Israeli settler groups announced plans to raid Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Jewish Purim holiday today and tomorrow. ‘The Israeli occupation authorities paid a high price for previous attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque, and it will pay a higher price if new attacks take place,’ he warned. ‘The latest calls by the settlers, in addition to far-right extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir's threats, will not go unpunished.’ Hamada accused the Israeli government and its ministers of being ‘fascists’ and intentionally leading the area to an ‘unprecedented escalation.’ He pointed out that Ben-Gvir has threatened to escalate the settler attacks in Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan. ‘Ramadan is a special month for Muslims,’ explained the Hamas spokesman. ‘It is better for Ben-Gvir and the settlers not to provoke us and other Muslims if they did not want to see the Palestinians increasing their resistance attacks.’”

Asharq Al-Awsat: Kuwait Acquits 13 Nationals Of Terror-Funding, Affiliation With Hezbollah

“The Kuwaiti Criminal Court on Tuesday acquitted thirteen nationals of charges of financing terrorism and joining the ranks of the Hezbollah party. In November, 2021, the defendants were interrogated on charges of funding groups and organizations linked to the Lebanese Hezbollah group. The prosecution ordered the defendants be put in prison. Security authorities have run investigations into financial transfers believed to fund Hezbollah-linked associations in Lebanon. The detainees are accused of making large transfers of money over the course of years to external parties, including to Lebanon. The defendants denied the accusations, claiming to work for a charity organization for helping orphans in the last thirty years.”


Garowe Online: Al-Shabaab Launches Morning Raid In Somalia's Jubaland

“Al-Shabaab militants on Tuesday launched a daring attack in Jana Cabdalle, a town located in Jubaland state, reports indicate, in an attack which was direct revenge following the takeover coordinated by regional troops and the Somali National Army [SNA] last month. The town was captured by the Jubaland Darwish forces last month following an operation that was activated by President Ahmed Islam Mohamed Madobe, the Jubaland leader who has been a champion in the fight against the militants for the last ten years since his time in as Kamboni Brigade. Residents in Bulogudud reported hearing the huge explosion early Tuesday morning and it is believed that the militants exchanged fire with the militants who were forcing entry. More often than not, the Al-Shabaab coordinate retaliatory attacks in areas that have been liberated by the military.”


AFP News: Around 60 Killed In Burkina Attack Last Month: NGO

“Around 60 people were killed when suspected jihadists attacked a community in eastern Burkina Faso last month, but no official toll was given, a human rights group said Tuesday. National and regional authorities did not respond to AFP's requests for comment. On February 26, ‘armed terrorist groups invaded the commune (Partiaga), killing, destroying property and taking away cattle,’ the Burkinabe Movement for Human and Peoples' Rights (MBDHP) said in a statement. ‘In the absence of any intervention by the security forces, the horror lasted all day, with (a volunteer force supporting military anti-jihadist efforts) quickly overwhelmed,’ it said, adding that ‘around 60 people were killed as well as those missing’.”

Voice Of America News: Cameroon To Revamp Wildlife Reserve Hit By Terrorism, Poaching, Deforestation

“Tourism officials in Cameroon are meeting to revamp the country’s most important wildlife reserve, Waza National Park, which has suffered from terrorism, poaching, and deforestation. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Cameroon’s northern border with Chad and Nigeria that used to attract thousands of visitors per year. Officials say Boko Haram terrorists scared off most tourists while poachers and illegal loggers continue to wreak havoc on the park. Moki Edwin Kindzeka reports from Yaoundé, Cameroon. Cameroon’s Waza National Park, on the borders with Chad and Nigeria, is the country’s most diverse wildlife reserve, with lions, elephants, giraffes, antelopes and numerous species of birds. The 170,000-hectare park has been recognized since 1979 as a UNESCO World Heritage biosphere reserve. But the government says the number of tourists visiting Waza dropped from close to 4,000 in 2013 to less than 300 last year.”

Garowe Online: Ethiopia Sends Non-ATMIS Troops To Somalia In Fight Against Al-Shabaab

“A few days after Somalia revealed a planned deployment of more soldiers from the neighboring countries, Ethiopia has become the first nation to send additional troops to the Horn of Africa nation, who are now required to join their compatriots serving in the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS]. Reports indicate that a contingent of Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] soldiers entered Somalia on Monday, in which would raise the number from the current 4,500. The agreement signed indicated that each of the countries was to are 1,000 soldiers. The new contingent of Ethiopian soldiers will be joining their compatriots in Sectors Ill and VI where they have been serving for over a decade.”


Reuters: Belarus Detains 'Terrorist' Behind Attempted Sabotage At Air Base - Lukashenko

“Belarus detained on Tuesday what it said was a ‘terrorist’ and more than 20 accomplices working with Ukrainian and U.S. intelligence services over attempted sabotage at a Belarusian air field, President Alexander Lukashenko was cited as saying. Belarusian anti-government activists said last month they had blown up a sophisticated Russian military surveillance aircraft in a drone attack at an airfield near the Belarusian capital Minsk, a claim disputed by Moscow and Minsk. ‘The Security Service of Ukraine, the leadership of the CIA, behind closed doors, are carrying out an operation against the Republic of Belarus. A terrorist was trained,’ the Belta news agency quoted Lukashenko as saying. Lukashenko said the aircraft had suffered only superficial damage in the attack, which was carried out using a ‘small drone’, Belta reported.”

Anadolu Agency: NATO Chief Welcomes Sweden's New Terrorist Legislation That Includes PKK

“NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday welcomed Sweden's new anti-terror legislation which includes the PKK, describing it as a step up in the country's fight against terrorism. ‘Türkiye has legitimate security concerns and I welcome that Sweden has stepped up in the fight against terrorism, including the PKK, by introducing new terrorist legislation and strengthening counterterrorism cooperation with Ankara,’ Stoltenberg said in a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. ‘I also welcome that Sweden is ensuring that there are no restrictions on arms exports to Türkiye,’ he added. Stoltenberg and Kristersson discussed finalizing Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO, the alliance’s chief said, adding: ‘This is a top priority and we are making progress.’”

Sofia Globe: Bulgarian Supreme Court Confirms Life Sentences For Bourgas Airport Terrorist Attack

“Bulgaria’s Supreme Court of Cassation has confirmed at final instance the life sentences without parole for Meliad Farah and Hassan El Hajj Hassan for their role in the July 2012 terrorist attack at Bourgas Airport in which five Israelis and a Bulgarian died. This was announced on March 7 2023 by Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev. Meliad Farah, holder of Australian and Lebanese citizenship, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian passport-holder, are the subject of an Interpol red notice. Both were tried in absentia after charges against them were lodged in 2016. Geshev said civil claims by the heirs of the dead had been upheld.”


Outlook India: Explained: Rahul Gandhi Calls Rss A Secret Society, Compares It With Muslim Brotherhood, What Does It Mean?

“…The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Egypt by schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna. The organisation seeks to establish a global Islamic state governed by Islamic law called sharia, according to think tank Counter Extremism Project (CEP). ‘The Muslim Brotherhood is a transnational Sunni Islamist movement that seeks to implement sharia (Islamic law) under a global caliphate...Banna [founder] was concerned with what he considered the greatest threat to Islam: the rise of secularism and Western culture in Muslim societies. To counter this danger, Banna began dawa (proselytization) in schools, mosques, and coffee houses, spreading his pan-Islamist ideology and emphasising the need to return to sharia,’ noted CEP. Islamism refers to a range of beliefs that use Islamic symbols and texts for political purposes. While some have explained it as ‘political Islam’, others say it's a broad spectrum of beliefs that uses Islamic religion for sociopolitical objectives. Scholars emphasise that Islam and Islamism are not the same.”


Hope Standard: Woman Facing Federal Terrorism Charge Has Chilliwack Hearing Delayed

“A peace bond hearing for a woman charged with the rarely seen ‘fear of terrorism offence’ has been pushed back as the court waits for a psychological report on Kimberly Polman. Polman appeared by video at the Chilliwack Law Courts Tuesday (March 7), with B.C. provincial judge Kristen Mundstock presiding. Her lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, intended to file an application to allow her to attend the March 16 peace bond hearing by video. But without a psychological report in hand, everything was punted. Polman is scheduled to have a psychological assessment in Chilliwack May 1.”

New Zealand

NZ Herald: Teen Who Planned Auckland Terrorist Attack Targeting Non-Muslims Sentenced To Prison

“An Auckland teen who, after years of isolation and online radicalisation, took steps to plan a local terrorist attack that he hoped would kill 20 to 30 non-Muslims has been sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment. The North Shore resident, now 21, sat in the dock in the High Court at Auckland today nodding as Justice Rebecca Edwards declined his lawyers’ request for home detention at the conclusion of the lengthy name suppression and sentencing hearing. The judge pointed out that journal entries obtained by the police indicated that on three occasions the defendant had left his house intending to carry out attacks, including a time when he brought a kitchen knife to a hockey game but lost his nerve after encountering people who were nice to him. ‘It was the kindness of strangers that stopped you that day,’ the judge said. ‘But ... you were well down the track of acting on your plan.’”


Hindu Post: Islamic Jihadists Plotted To Establish A ‘Sharia Village’ In Bangladesh

“Islamist militancy outfit Jamaat Ul Ansar Fil Hind Al Sharqiya (JAFHS) wanted to establish ‘Caliphate Village’ within Chittagong Hill Tract areas. Kingpins of this dangerous group wanted to buy lands and run militancy activities under the garb of agricultural farms. They also were planning to lure local residents towards religious conversion. For this mission, JAFHS had established secret connections with several leaders of Tablighi Jamaat. According to law enforcement agency sources, JAFHS were continuing recruitment and training of militants and were giving them combat training alongside teaching methods of making improvised explosive devices (IED). It said, two top dogs of JAFHS, former college teacher Shamim Mahfuz aka Shamin Mahfuz and agriculturist Mohsin Imam were running this militancy outfit copying the ideologies of Harkatul Jihad Bangladesh (HuJI-B), a banned jihadist outfit. Spiritual guru of JAFHS is HuJI-B leader Abu Sayeed alias Doctor Jafar, who currently is a condemned prisoner in Bangladesh jail.”

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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