Eye on Extremism: March 9, 2023

AFP News: UN Urges 'Immediate' End To Israeli-Palestinian Violence

“The United Nations on Wednesday urged Israel and the Palestinians to ‘immediately’ end violence as intra-Palestinian tensions erupted following a deadly Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank city of Nablus fired tear gas at mourners attending the funeral of a Hamas militant killed in Tuesday's raid, amid a surge in violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ‘We are in the midst of a cycle of violence that must be stopped immediately,’ UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland said in a statement. ‘The Security Council has spoken with one voice, calling on the parties to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.’”

Reuters: Islamist Militants Suspected Of Killing At Least 36 In East Congo Village

“Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 36 people in an overnight attack on a village in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a local official and the head of a civil society group said on Thursday. The sources said the assailants were believed to be members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group based in east Congo that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State and wages frequent deadly raids on villages. The attack targeted the village of Mukondi, around 30 km (19 miles) south of the city of Beni in North Kivu province, an area plagued with rebel activity, which has been under military administration since 2021 in an attempt to restore order. Provincial governor Carly Nzanzu Kasivita said on Twitter early on Thursday that at least 36 people had been killed in the attack, which started on Wednesday evening.”

United States

Associated Press: Al-Qaida Suspect Transferred From US Prison To Saudi Arabia

“U.S. military officials said Wednesday they had returned a suspected al-Qaida operative long held at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to his home country, Saudi Arabia. Ghassan al Sharbi’s transfer was the latest aimed at emptying the Guantanamo military prison of those detainees who are no longer facing possible prosecution or who have finished their sentences following the U.S. military’s global roundup of extremist suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. U.S. officials over the years depicted al Sharbi as a loyal al-Qaida supporter and collaborator. Al Sharbi featured in a now famous memo by a Phoenix FBI agent — little heeded at the time — who correctly warned months before the 9/11 attacks that Middle Eastern students appeared to be taking flying lessons for the purpose of attacks involving civil aviation. The U.S. says al Sharbi fled to Pakistan after the Sept. 11 attacks for training in bomb-making. He was arrested there the next year, allegedly tortured in custody, and sent to Guantanamo.”

New York Post: Marine In Kabul Airport Blast Says He Was Told Not To Shoot ISIS Bomber

“A Marine who survived the deadly bombing at Kabul’s airport during the 2021 US withdrawal from Afghanistan told lawmakers Wednesday he was told not to kill a suspected ISIS terrorist who he believes was responsible for later killing 13 of his fellow service members and countless Afghans. Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews recounted to the House Foreign Affairs Committee how his team deployed to Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26, 2021, and were tracking a man who intelligence officers believed was a suicide bomber ‘throughout the entirety’ of the day leading up to the explosion. ‘Intel guys confirmed the suicide bomber … described as clean-shaven, brown-dressed, black vest and traveling with an older companion,’ he said. ‘I asked intel guys why he wasn’t apprehended sooner since we had a full description. I was told the asset could not be compromised.’”

Dayton 24/7 Now: Columbus Man Pleads Guilty To George W. Bush Assassination Plot

“A Columbus man who was charged last year with a plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday. Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab was arrested by federal agents last year. Prosecutors said he exchanged money as part of an attempt to illegally smuggle Iraqi foreign nationals via the Mexican border to the U.S. to assassinate the 43rd president. The Department of Justice said Shihab, who lived in Columbus and Indianapolis, originally entered the United States in September 2020 on a visitor visa. In March 2021, he filed a claim for asylum with United States citizenship. Agents with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force said Shihab admitted to wanting to smuggle foreign nationals associated with ISIS to kill the former president in retaliation for Iraqi deaths during ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom.’”


Daily Sabah: US Continues To Back YPG/PKK Terrorists In Syria: Diplomatic Sources

“The United States continues to support the PKK's Syrian offshoot YPG terrorists in Syria, diplomatic sources said Wednesday. ‘Our colleagues invited the (US) ambassador (to Ankara Jeff Flake). We have given the necessary warnings and messages,’ the sources told the reporters in the capital Ankara. The remarks came after Flake was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday over chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley's recent visit to regions occupied by the YPG/PKK terror group in northeastern Syria, where US State Department spokesman Ned Price claimed that Milley ‘met only with U.S. troops while in Syria.’ ‘But this is a fact: Regardless of whether or not this meeting is held, the U.S. continues to support this terrorist organization,’ Turkish diplomatic sources stressed.”


Iraqi News: Iraqi F-16 Fighter Jets Hunt 3 ISIS Terrorists

“The Iraqi security announced on Wednesday that three terrorists belonging to ISIS were killed in air strikes in the northern part of the country. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense mentioned in a statement that the Air Force carried out three air strikes targeting a terrorist group in the outskirts of Salah Al-Din governorate. The statement added that the air strikes were carried out by F-16 fighter jets in the Tuz area in eastern Salah Al-Din, and resulted in the killing of three terrorists. The Iraqi forces carry out continuous operations against the terrorist group of ISIS, most of which are concentrated in the outskirts of cities and remote areas where terrorists are hiding.”


Anadolu Agency: Ankara Condemns Anti-Türkiye Activity By PKK/YPG Terrorist Group In European Parliament

“Ankara ‘strongly condemned’ an anti-Türkiye activity by ringleaders, and supporters of the PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist group in the European Parliament building, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. ‘It is unacceptable to allow such an activity that targets our country's integrity, and serves the propaganda of a terrorist organization that is listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union,’ a ministry statement said. This situation once again reveals the ‘hypocrisy and insincerity of the European Parliament in the fight against terrorism,’ it added. Türkiye expects EU institutions and member states to stand by it in its fight against terrorism, which poses a threat to international security, the statement said.”

Daily Sabah: Turkish Forces Persuade 2 PKK Terrorists To Surrender

“The Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday that two members of the PKK terrorist group fled the organization and surrendered to security forces within the last 24 hours. The ministry said the PKK members were convinced to turn themselves in to the Habur police station in the eastern Şırnak province thanks to the efforts of gendarmerie forces and police. The terrorists joined the PKK between 2015 and 2017 and were based in Iraq and Türkiye. With the latest addition, the number of terrorists who surrendered since the beginning of 2023 has risen to 16.”


AFP News: Taliban Governor Of Afghan Province Killed In Suicide Attack

“The Taliban governor of Afghanistan's Balkh province, known for fighting against Islamic State jihadists, was killed in a suicide attack at his office on Thursday, officials said. The killing, a day after he met top government officials visiting from Kabul, makes Mohammad Dawood Muzammil one of the highest-ranking figures slain since the Taliban stormed back to power in 2021. Violence across Afghanistan has dramatically dropped since the Taliban seized control, but the security situation has again deteriorated with IS claiming several deadly attacks. ‘Two people, including Mohammad Dawood Muzammil, the governor of Balkh, have been killed in an explosion this morning,’ local police spokesman Asif Waziri told AFP, adding that the blast happened on the second floor of his office, in the provincial capital Mazar-i-Sharif. ‘It was a suicide attack. We don't have information as to how the suicide bomber reached the office of the governor,’ he said, adding that two people were also wounded. Authorities deployed extra security at the governorate, who forbade journalists from taking photos, an AFP correspondent reported from near the site of the blast.”

Reuters: UN Warns Of Aid Cuts Over Taliban Crackdown On Women's Rights

“The U.N. envoy in Afghanistan warned on Wednesday that a Taliban administration crackdown on women's rights is likely to lead to a drop in aid and development funding in the country, where women fear being cut from public life as much as violent death. The United Nations has made its single-largest country aid appeal ever, asking for $4.6 billion in 2023 to deliver help in Afghanistan, where two-thirds of the population - some 28 million people - need it to survive, said Roza Otunbayeva. But she told the U.N. Security Council that providing that assistance had been put at risk by Taliban administration bans on women attending high school and university, visiting parks and working for aid groups. Women are also not allowed to leave the home without a male relative and must cover their faces. ‘Funding for Afghanistan is likely to drop if women were not allowed to work,’ Otunbayeva said. ‘If the amount of assistance is reduced, then the amount of U.S. dollar cash shipments required to support that assistance will also decline.’”


Voice Of America News: Clashes Between Pakistan Police, Ex-PM Khan’s Supporters Leave 1 Dead, Several Injured

“Pakistani police Wednesday fired tear gas at demonstrators armed with sticks who are supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan in the eastern city of Lahore, resulting in the death of at least one protester in ensuing clashes. Khan had planned to address an election rally of his opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI, party in the capital of the country's most populous Punjab province, but authorities banned all kinds of public gatherings earlier in the day for unspecified ‘security threats.’ Police sealed off all roads leading to Khan's residence in Lahore and subsequently unleashed a crackdown on PTI workers attempting to reach the venue. Television video showed police firing tear gas shells and detaining several people, with some of them bleeding. One detainee could be seen being severely beaten by baton-armed police officers. He later died in custody, Khan said on Twitter.”

Pakistan Today: Six Terrorists Killed In North Waziristan IBO: ISPR

“The security forces on Wednesday killed six terrorists in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in North Waziristan’s Datakhel area, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement. According to the military’s media wing, the killed terrorists remained actively involved in terrorist activities against the security forces and civilians. The forces also recovered weapons and ammunition from the killed terrorists, it said. ‘Locals of the area appreciated the security forces’ response and expressed their full support to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the area,’ the ISPR added. Last week, security forces gunned down one terrorist during an Intelligence-Based Operation (IBO) in the general area of Mir Ali, North Waziristan district. During the conduct of the operation, intense fire exchange took place between own troops and terrorists. Resultantly, one terrorist was killed.”

Middle East

Associated Press: Palestinian Police Fire Tear Gas, Disperse Militant Funeral

“Palestinian security forces on Wednesday fired tear gas canisters and flash grenades at angry Palestinian protesters during a funeral for a militant in the occupied West Bank. It was a rare encounter that highlighted deep public dissatisfaction with the Palestinian self-rule government. Palestinians gathered in the northern West Bank city of Nablus for the funeral of Abdul Fattah Kharushah, a 49-year-old Hamas militant killed in an Israeli raid Tuesday. Kharushah had been wanted for killing two Israeli brothers in the nearby town of Hawara. It was the latest bloody raid into the flashpoint Jenin refugee camp, leaving five other Palestinians dead and over two dozen wounded.”

The National: Israeli Troops Kill Three Palestinians Near Jenin In West Bank

“Undercover Israeli troops killed three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in an overnight attack. The troops opened fire on a vehicle in the town of Jaba, south of Jenin, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. Another man was arrested and the contents of his house ‘completely destroyed’, it reported. The shooting comes two days after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in a Jenin raid, prompting militants in Gaza to fire rockets at Israel.”


AFP News: Jihadists Kill 37 Fishermen In North Nigeria, Say Militia

“Jihadists in northeast Nigeria's Borno state have killed at least 37 fishermen, militia sources and a local told AFP on Thursday, in the latest violence in the region. Boko Haram insurgents who operate in the area alongside rivals linked the Islamic State group, ISWAP, often target locals to steal or because they accuse them of spying for the military or militiamen fighting them. On Wednesday evening, a dozen fighters believed to be with Boko Haram opened fire on a group of fishermen outside Guggo village, 18 kilometers (12 miles) from the town of Dikwa, three sources said. ‘We have recovered 37 bodies last night along the river bank and nearby bushes,’ militia leader Babakura Kolo told AFP.”

Punch Newspapers: Katsina Police Repel Terrorists’ Attack, Kill One

“Operatives of the Katsina State Police Command in the early hours of Wednesday repelled a terrorists’ attack at the Jabiri area in Funtua Local Government Area of the state. The operatives killed one terrorist, arrested another and recovered one AK-47 in the encounter. The command’s spokesman, Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident this evening. According to him, the police had received a distress call around 1 a.m. on that day that the terrorists had attacked the household in large numbers and were shooting indiscriminately.”


Garowe Online: Somalia: Al-Shabaab Militants Neutralized In Jubaland State

“The Al-Qaeda-linked group, Al-Shabaab was on Tuesday morning neutralized in Jubaland, a top government official said, hours after the group had claimed running over a military Forward Operating Base in the state, killing ‘several’ soldiers. The militants raided the military Jana Cabdalle in Jubaland, in an attack that come several weeks after the local forces conquered the village, although without a significant struggle. Jubaland is mainly controlled by both government and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS| forces. Mohamud Sayid Aden, the Vice President of Jubaland state, maintained that the militants had been repulsed by the military after they attacked a camp within the village which is approximately 60 kilometers west of Kismayo, the regional administrative capital of Jubaland.”

Voice Of America News: Somali Military Court Executes 13 Militants, 5 Soldiers

“A military court in Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in Somalia, executed 13 militants Wednesday who were members of the al-Shabab and Islamic State terror groups. The court said five Somali soldiers were also executed for killing civilians in Puntland. The court gave no details on the killings. A sixth soldier, who was also found guilty, was spared the death penalty after his family pledged to pay so-called blood money to the victim's family.”

Voice Of America News: Somalia’s Lower House Passes Historic Anti-Terrorism Law

“The lower house of Somalia’s Parliament on Wednesday approved a new anti-terrorism law that aims to provide a legal framework that will help government security agencies to better fight and eradicate terrorism in Somalia. Members of Parliament approved the bill 133-3 — with 7 abstentions — on Wednesday after weeks of debate in what Somalia’s intelligence director, Mahad Mohamed Salad, called a crucial law to make the Horn of Africa country a safer place. ‘This law is vital for our war against terrorism, and it comes at a time when we most needed it to perform our national responsibility in preventing terror acts and eradicating terrorism,’ said Salad. ‘Today, a law that would be a shield for women and children from terrorist attacks, and a sharp sword for government security agencies to eradicate the terrorists have successfully passed this house,’ said Abdiladif Sanyare, a Somali lawmaker who supported the bill. Critics of the law say they are concerned about the legislation’s overly broad definition of who is a terrorist, warning that ratification of the law could grant government security agencies excessive and unchecked power. Hassan Abdi Isma’il is one of the lawmakers who expressed reservations about the legislation during debates.”


Prensa Latina: Burkina Faso Army Eliminates 110 Extremist Elements

“According to these sources, quoted by the AIB News Agency, after these air-ground actions the government forces have recovered valuable war material, including explosive devices, supplies and means of transport. The military operations were carried out in areas threatened by insecurity, the report stated. Burkina Faso authorities announced the day before the establishment of a night lockdown in the North region and the provinces of Koulpelogo and Bam so as to facilitate the action of the armed forces in its struggle against extremist groups. Humanitarian organizations indicated that the violence perpetrated in this African territory since 2015 by groups affiliated to the Al-Qaeda network and the Islamic State entity, among other radical organizations, caused about 10 thousand deaths and around two million people displaced.”

Morocco World News: Morocco Dismantles Three-Member Isis Cell

“Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) announced on Thursday the dismantling of a three-member ISIS cell, which was plotting terror attacks to undermine the country’s security and stability. BCIJ in cooperation with the special forces of the General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DGST) arrested the three suspects in separate and simultaneous operations in Souk El Arbaa, a town in the Khenifra province, Tetouan, and Larache, in northern Morocco. According to BCIJ, security services have seized several materials at the houses of the suspects, including bladed weapons, manuscripts advocating ISIS extremism, inciting violence, as well as papers retracing ISIS activists in the Sahel region. Police also seized digital materials and media that will be subject to the necessary technical investigations. Preliminary data shows that the suspects, aged between 19 and 29, pledged their allegiance to ISIS and planned a series of terrorist projects before fleeing to join ISIS camps in the Sahel region.”

United Kingdom

BBC: Terror-Accused Man Posted Image Of Severed Head On Twitter, Jury Told

“A man posted an image of a terrorism victim's severed head on Twitter while encouraging others to decapitate anyone who insulted Islam, a trial has heard. Ajmal Shahpal is alleged to have praised the killer of a French teacher for being ‘as brave as a lion’. He is also said to have called for anyone who insults Islam to ‘be killed immediately’. The 41-year-old, of Birkin Avenue in Radford, Nottingham, is on trial at Birmingham Crown Court. He denies two counts of encouraging others to commit, prepare, or instigate acts of terrorism and two alternative charges of the same offence being reckless as to whether such acts would be encouraged.”

BBC: London's Counter-Terror Prevent Referrals Buck UK Trend - Meeting

“Most of London's anti-terrorism referrals are for ‘Islamist activity’, bucking a national trend, London's Police and Crime Committee has heard. Latest figures from Prevent show there were more than three times the number of referrals compared to right-wing extremism, the meeting heard. London Assembly members were putting questions to the Met Police and the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime. Met Police Commander Dom Murphy said: ‘Our focus is where the threat exists.’ Prevent is a key part of the UK's counter-terrorism strategy and places public bodies, including schools and the police, under a legal duty to identify people who may turn to extremism, and intervene in their lives before it is too late. But in a recent highly critical independent review, Prevent was said to have ‘apparently failed’ repeatedly to identify attackers.”


Euronews: Brussels Terror Threat 'Unlikely' After European Commission Receives Alarming Emails

“A terrorist attack in Brussels is ‘unlikely’, according to the Belgian Federal Police, after the European Commission received two threatening emails, warning of an ‘explosion’ on the city's metro. When approached by Euronews on Wednesday, both the Federal Police and Federal Prosecutor's Office said that the ‘threat was taken seriously’, but that ‘nothing was found’ during a sweep of the Brussels underground line. This came after the US embassy in Belgium released a security alert warning of a ‘threat of a possible metro attack to be conducted today’. They urged people to ‘use caution when travelling in and around Brussels and avoid crowds.’”

Southeast Asia

Philippine News Agency: 4 BIFF Extremists Yield In Sultan Kudarat

“Four more members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have surrendered to military authorities in Sultan Kudarat province, bringing with them their high-powered war matériel, a military official said Thursday. Brig. Gen. Michael Santos, the Army’s 603rd Infantry Brigade commander, welcomed the four extremists back to the fold of the law Wednesday afternoon at the headquarters of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion (7IB) in Bagumbayan town. ‘A better future awaits you. I admire your decision to come out of a useless ideology and restore your faith in the government,’ Santos said in a statement, referring to the surrenderers who belonged to the BIFF Karialan faction. Lt. Colonel Frederick M. Chicote, 7IB commander, said the group also turned over three M79 grenade launchers, an M14 rifle, a Garand rifle, seven 60mm mortar rounds, and improvised bombs.”


ABP Live: 2 LeT Terrorists Arrested In Kashmir's Baramulla, Arms And Ammunition Recovered

“Two militant associates of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (TRF) were arrested at Kunzer in North Kashmir's Baramulla district for allegedly possessing arms and ammunition, an official release from Jammu and Kashmir Police said on Tuesday, as per ANI. According to the press release, the police recovered a large number of arms and ammunition which included two AK 47 Magazines- 2 No’s, 15 AK 47 rounds, and 20 Blank posters of banned LeT (TRF).  The forces of Baramulla Police and 176 Battalion CRPF jointly launched a search operation in Monchkhud village of Kunzer following specific information regarding the presence of terrorists. During the search, two suspected persons were apprehended and identified as Khurshid Ahmad Khan, and Reyaz Ahmad Khan- both residents of Zandpal Kunzer.”

The Pioneer: ISIS Threatens To Hit BJP, Military, Sell Women, Kids

“The outlawed international Islamist terror group ISIS has threatened the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian police establishment and the military with a bloody revenge for their actions against its mujahidin (terrorists). In its latest propaganda magazine Khurasan, the ISIS asserted that Islamists in South India have taken up arms to wage a war against kufr (unbelievers in Islam) and its people. It claimed that the threat against the BJP, the police, and the military has been due to the ‘transgressions crossing all limits.’ Also, the hatred of Islam and its adherents has been shown in words and deeds, the propaganda article claims. The terror outfit has also opposed the imprisonment of its mujahidin and the imposition of curfew in Kashmir.”

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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