Eye on Extremism: May 15, 2023

AFP News: Jihadist-hit Burkina Extends State Of Emergency By 6 Months

“Jihadist-hit Burkina Faso said Saturday it had extended a state of emergency in place in eight of the country's 13 regions since the end of March by six months. The bill, adopted unanimously by the interim parliament on Friday, will be in effect through to October 29. It ‘aims to strengthen and consolidate the fight against the insecurity and to give more opportunities and resources’ to security forces, Justice Minister Bibata Nebie Ouedraogo said. The government installed the state of emergency in March in areas most affected by jihadist attacks.”

Voice of America News: Somalia Official Says 44 Militants Killed in Military Operation

“Somalia's army says it has killed 44 al-Shabab militants in the latest offensive against the group in the Lower Shabelle region. Somalia's deputy information minister, Abdirahman Al-Adala, told state media Saturday that forces from the intelligence unit, with the support of international partners, killed 44 al-Shabab militants in the Ali Fuuto area, about 200 kilometers from the capital, Mogadishu, near the Kurtowarey district of the Lower Shabelle region. The minister said the militants were regrouping at the time. The operation comes about a week after the Somali army said it killed 67 militants in the central Mudug region.”


Associated Press: Syria’s Main Insurgent Group Seeks To Move Away From Al-Qaida Past, Get Off Western Terrorism Lists

“The leader of an insurgent group that rules much of northwest Syria rose to notoriety over the past decade by claiming deadly bombings, threatening revenge against Western ‘crusader’ forces and dispatching Islamist religious police to crack down on women deemed to be immodestly dressed. Today the man known as Abu Mohammed al-Golani is trying hard to distance his group, Hayat Tahrir al Sham, known as HTS, from its al-Qaida origins, spreading a message of pluralism and religious tolerance. As part of the rebranding, he has cracked down on extremist factions and dissolved the notorious religious police. For the first time in more than a decade, a Mass was performed recently at a long-shuttered church in Idlib province.”

Daily Sabah: Turkish Intelligence Operation Eliminates Senior PKK/YPG Terrorist

“A Turkish intelligence operation in northern Syria resulted in the elimination of a high-ranking PKK/YPG terrorist, security sources said on Saturday. Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) ‘neutralized’ Haydar Demirel, code-named Bager Türk and the terror group's so-called general manager of the Hol province in northern Syria, according to security sources who requested anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. The terrorist, who had been followed by MIT since 2020, was ‘neutralized’ while training PKK/YPG members in the northern town of Tal Hamis in Syria. According to the sources, Demirel joined the terror group in 1993, received training from its convicted ringleader Abdullah Öcalan between 1993 and 1994, and then took part in various terrorist activities.”


Al Jazeera: Iran Summons Iraq Envoy To Protest Presence Of ‘Terrorist Groups’

“Though the groups were not named, the reference appeared to be to Kurdish armed groups, including the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, a banned group that has advocated for the separation of the northwestern province of Kurdistan from Iran and the overthrow of the government. The foreign ministry reportedly conveyed that the groups’ presence goes against a security agreement Iran and Iraq signed last month in Baghdad. Iran’s security chief, Ali Shamkhani, had at the time said Tehran hopes the agreement ‘can completely and fundamentally end the vicious actions’ of Kurdish groups and stop Iraqi borders being used to threaten Iran. Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region hosts camps and rear bases operated by several Iranian Kurdish factions, which Iran has accused of serving Western or Israeli interests in the past and conducting operations with their support.”


Associated Press: Pakistan Leader Says Those Involved In Violence Following Khan Detention Will Face Terrorism Trials

“Pakistan’s prime minister said Saturday that authorities would go after those involved in violent protests following the detention of his predecessor, Imran Khan, including prosecution in anti-terrorism courts. Shahbaz Sharif’s warnings were a sign of further escalation in the long-running showdown between the government and Khan, who has the backing of large numbers of supporters. Khan returned to his home in the eastern city of Lahore early Saturday, after a court agreed to shield him from renewed arrest for two weeks. The 70-year-old former cricket star, who was toppled by parliament a year ago, delivered a speech from his home later Saturday.”

Associated Press: Pakistani Army Says Raid On Militants In Southwest Leaves 7 Troops, 6 Militants, Civilian Dead

“A raid on militants in Pakistan’s southwest in response to an earlier attack on soldiers left seven troops, six militants and a civilian dead, the army said Saturday. The operation continued for two days after a group of militants attacked a camp of soldiers in the Qila Saifullah district of northern Balochistan province early Friday. The militants also held hostage three families, including women and children, at the residential area of the army camp, the army said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for that attack. A statement by the military’s media wing said seven soldiers, six militants and a civilian were killed in the ensuing raid. A woman was also wounded during the operation.”

Middle East

Outlook India: Israel And Palestinian Islamic Jihad Reach Ceasefire After Days Of Rocket Attacks And Air Strikes

“…The PIJ is a Palestinian terrorist organisation committed to the destruction of Israel, says think tank Counter Extremism Project (CEP). ‘PIJ is dedicated to eradicating Israel and establishing an autonomous Islamic Palestinian state in the lands currently comprising Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. PIJ believes that the land of Palestine is consecrated for Islam, that Israel usurped Palestine, and, therefore, that Israel is an affront to God and Islam and that Palestine’s re-conquest is a holy task,’ says CEP. The PIJ is the second-largest Palestinian terrorist group after Hamas, which is also committed to the destruction of Israel. Hamas rules Gaza.”

Reuters: Kurdish PUK Party Returns To Cabinet Meetings After Boycott

“One of the dominant Kurdish parties in northern Iraq on Sunday ended a more than half-year boycott of regional government cabinet meetings with its main coalition partner, easing tensions between factions that fought a civil war in the 1990s. The rifts had been a source of alarm to Western countries, and especially the United States, which has backed both parties, most recently in the fight against Islamic State. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Party (PUK) ministers returned to cabinet meetings for the first time since a rare assassination in the city of Erbil in October last year, according to three Kurdish government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media. Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani's ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) which has long tussled for influence with its junior coalition partner in government, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by the Talabani clan, have largely kept a lid on mistrust since the war.”

The Jerusalem Post: Terrorists Behind Third Huwara Shooting Attack Arrested In Nablus

“The terrorists behind the last of three shooting attacks in Huwara in which two IDF soldiers were injured in March were arrested by Israeli forces in Nablus on Sunday morning. The terrorists were identified as Iyad Takrouri and Musab Mazhar, residents of of Nablus. During the arrests, armed clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces, with one Palestinian shot and injured during the clashes. Israeli forces seized an M16 and ammunition during the raid as well. With the arrests, all of the terrorists involved in the three shooting attacks carried out against Israelis in Huwara this year have been apprehended.”

The Jerusalem Post: Gaza Conflict By The Numbers: 1,478 Islamic Jihad Rockets, 422 IDF Attacks

“With Operation Shield and Arrow concluded after around five days of fighting following a ceasefire late Saturday night, the IDF on Sunday put out its summary of the Gaza conflict. From May 9 to May 13, Islamic Jihad fired 1,478 rockets and mortars on Israel, while the IDF hit the terror group 422 times, including 278 completely distinct targets. The Iron Dome missile defense system shot down around 95% of Islamic Jihad rockets that threatened Israelis, with over 430 shoot downs. In addition, 20% of Islamic Jihad rockets landed in Gaza, killing three Gazans and wounding dozens. Another key aspect of the IDF’s strategy was successfully keeping Hamas out of the conflict.”


Garowe Online: Somalia: At Least 4 Soldiers Killed In Al-Shabaab Bomb Attack

“Uganda-trained soldiers were among security officers killed in Sunday's suspected Al-Shabaab explosion, police said in a report, just moments after Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre lauded the progress made in the restoration of safety in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. Abdikadir Ahmed Ali is reported to be among at least four soldiers who were recently trained in Uganda who died in a landmine exptosion on Sunday evening in the Kahda district, Mogadishu. The explosion was the first in as many days within Mogadishu,

which has been experiencing relative peace and stability.Several others were wounded in the IED attack on their military vehicle, police said, adding that those injured were rushed to various hospitals within Mogadishu for advanced treatment. The Al-Shabaab militants have been targeting security officers who have heightened crackdown against the group in recent months.”

Garowe Online: Somalia: FGS Dispatches Troops For Second Phase Of Al-Shabaab Crackdown

“Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has dispatched soldiers to various front lines awaiting the second phase of a crackdown against Al-Shabaab militants, in what comes a few days to the official scale-down of soldiers serving in the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS]. The second phase will focus on the elimination of Al-Shabaab terrorists from Jubbaland and Southwest states where the militants may have shifted bases, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said. The first phase mainly focused on Galmadug and HirShabelle states which Hassan Sheikh said were ‘almost liberated in totality’. At Mogadishu on Sunday, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud inspected a guard of honour mounted by the newly trained soldiers whom he later flagged off to join the rest of the Somali National Army [SNA] in various frontlines ahead of the battle in Jubaland and Southwest where the militants have been waging sporadic retaliatory attacks.”


AFP News: 33 Civilians Killed In Burkina Faso 'Terrorist' Attack

“At least 33 people were killed when gunmen opened fire on vegetable farmers in a jihadist-hit region of Burkina Faso, the governor said Saturday, as the country struggles to stem an insurgency. A state of emergency has been in force in eight of Burkina Faso's 13 regions since March, including in western Boucle du Mouhoun. The attack on the farmers happened on Thursday evening around 5:00 pm (1700 GMT), Governor Babo Pierre Bassinga said in a statement. ‘The village of Youlou in the department of Cheriba, Mouhoun province suffered a cowardly and barbaric terrorist attack,’ he said. ‘The gunmen targeted peaceful civilians’ who were farming along the river, he said, adding that the ‘provisional death toll’ included 33 people.”

United Kingdom

BBC: Weapons Found At 'Neo-Nazi Terrorist' Prison Officer's Home, Jury Told

“A bow and arrows, an eight-inch knife and an axe were found at the home of a West Yorkshire prison officer accused of being a neo-Nazi terrorist, a court has heard. Ashley Podsiad-Sharp, 42, is alleged to have set up a club to train like-minded right-wing extremists. The HMP Leeds worker sent rap songs glorifying Hitler to the group online, a Sheffield Crown Court jury heard. Mr Podsiad-Sharp denies possessing and disseminating terrorist documents. The prison officer, from the Barnsley area, is alleged to have been the founder of a group called the White Stag Athletics Club and created a channel for the group on the messaging app Telegram, where he called himself ‘Sarge’.”

BBC: Teen's Terror Plot Against Police And Soldiers Thwarted By Mother

“The judge at the Old Bailey has adjourned the sentencing of 19-year-old Matthew King from Wickford in Essex. He was put under surveillance after his mother raised concerns that videos he was watching promoted hatred.  Judge Mark Lucraft KC said she had ‘done exactly the right thing’. King pleaded guilty in January to the preparation of terrorist attacks between 22 December 2021 and 17 May 2022.”


The National: Europe's New Push To Bring The Women Of ISIS To Justice

“…Two opposing narratives are commonly heard in courtrooms. While defendants' lawyers often present these women as being subjugated to violent husbands, some experts and victims believe that by supporting the men in the household – and sometimes also in the ISIS security apparatus – they contributed to strengthening the group's grip on the region and its ability to terrorise western countries with a string of suicide attacks in 2015 and 2016. The reality probably lies somewhere in between, says Sofia Koller, a senior research analyst at the Counter Extremism Project, a non-profit organisation in New York. ‘It would be wrong to say they were all naive, but also wrong to say they all knew exactly what they were doing,’ she told The National.”


The Tribune: Security Forces Bust Terrorist Hideout In J-K's Anantnag

“Security forces on Sunday busted a terrorist hideout after a brief exchange of fire with the ultras in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district, police said. The security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Andan in the district's Sangam area following information about the presence of terrorists there, a police officer said. Security forces on Sunday busted a terrorist hideout after a brief exchange of fire with the ultras in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district, police said. The security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Andan in the district's Sangam area following information about the presence of terrorists there, a police officer said.”

The Nation: CTD Arrests Four Terrorists Of Banned Outfits In Punjab

“The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) arrested four terrorists belonging to banned outfits, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Al-Qaeda group, during multiple operations in Punjab. As per details, CTD conducted a grand operation on the hideouts of terrorists in several districts of Punjab including Multan Rawalpindi and Sargodha and arrested four terrorists. During the operation, the forces arrested four most wanted terrorists including Ayaz Khan, Yasin, Saleem and Asad, said CTD spokesperson. Apart from suicide jackets, explosives, ammunition was also recovered from the arrested terrorist of the banned outfits.  The spokesperson said that cases were registered against the terrorists and the investigation was underway.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On June 6, 2021, the Taliban attacked a complex in Ghor province, killing nine and injuring seven. That same day, the Taliban launched similar attacks on the police headquarters in Faryab province, killing 28 security forces, and in Balkh province, killing 19 and injuring 69 others.   

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