Eye on Extremism: May 19, 2023

ABC News: Supreme Court Sides With Twitter, Google In High-Stakes Cases On Social Media, Terrorism

“A unanimous Supreme Court on Thursday sided with Google and Twitter in a pair of cases that had alleged social media liability in terror attacks overseas. Justice Clarence Thomas in an opinion for the Twitter case said that families of victims of a 2017 ISIS attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, did not adequately show that the online platforms had "aided and abetted" the terrorists in violation of federal law. "Plaintiffs have failed to allege that defendants intentionally provided any substantial aid to the Reina attack or otherwise consciously participating in the Reina attack -- much less that defendants so pervasively and systemically assisted ISIS as to render them liable for every ISIS attack," Thomas wrote.”

Washington Post: U.S. Officials Walk Back Claim Drone Strike Killed Senior Al-Qaeda Leader

“U.S. military officials are walking back claims that a recent strike in Syria killed an influential al-Qaeda figure, following assertions by the dead man’s family that he had no ties to terrorists but was a father of 10 tending to his sheep when he was slain by an American missile. Lotfi Hassan Misto, 56, whose family identified him as the victim of a Hellfire missile attack on May 3, was a former bricklayer who lived quietly in this town in northwest Syria, according to interviews with his brother, son and six others who knew him. They described a kind, hard-working man whose “whole life was spent poor.” The operation was overseen by U.S. Central Command, which claimed hours after the strike, without citing evidence or naming a suspect, that the Predator drone strike had targeted a “senior Al Qaeda leader.” But now there is doubt inside the Pentagon about who was killed, two U.S. defense officials told The Washington Post.”


Malta Today: ISIS, Al-Qaeda Footage Shared By Syrian Men Charged With Terrorism Acts Presented In Court

“Seven Syrian men charged with terrorism last month had been regularly posting videos of ISIS and Al-Qaeda leaders on social media, according to documents exhibited in court. The court hearing against the seven Syrian men continued in court on Thursday before Magistrate Nadine Lia. Two police sergeants exhibited social media posts in court belonging to the online accounts of the accused. These posts included videos of Jihadi fighters, ISIS leaders, and Osama bin Laden giving a speech. Other videos glorified terrorist activities, including suicide attacks.”


CNN: ‘No One Feels Safe’: The Taliban Promised To Provide Security To Afghans. New Data Shows Threat From ISIS Is Growing

“…“In 2021, ISIS-K was reduced to a couple of cells in the country and a very tiny, small stronghold in Kunar Province, and that was it. However, in the less than stellar handover procedure, in that chaos, the Taliban opened the prisons, including Bagram, which was a big mistake … they underestimated that there were also a couple of thousand ISIS-K members, who, once freed, just walked off,” said Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director of the Counter Extremism Project, who served as a member and then as coordinator of the UN Security Council’s ISIL, al Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team. “The organization was very diligently able to reestablish itself.”


Indian Express: Pak Anti-Terrorism Court Grants Pre-Arrest Bail To Imran Khan

“An anti-terrorism court here on Friday approved pre-arrest bail for Imran Khan in three cases filed against Pakistan’s former prime minister after his arrest on May 9. While granting him bail till June 2, the Lahore anti-terrorism court (ATC) court also directed the 70-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief to become a part of the investigation. One of the cases registered against Khan pertains to the attack on Corps Commander House in Lahore. Addressing reporters at the ATC courtroom, Khan said he has never seen such a “crackdown” in the last 35 years.”

Dawn: Over 1,720 Held In Police Swoop Across KP

“With its prominent leaders still in hiding, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police arrested over 1,720 Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) workers across the province allegedly involved in violent protests on May 9 and 10, a senior police official told Dawn. The figure, according to a senior KP police official, is likely to go up to 3,000 since raids were being carried out in order to arrested all those nominated in FIRs. He added that some of the protesters were arrested after having been charged under different sections of the law, whereas many others were arrested under Section 3 of the Maintained of Public Order. “The leadership including former members of the national and provincial assemblies is still in hiding and is using VPN or Wi-Fi for contacting the party members and families,” the official said. On May 12, besides arresting people under 3 MPO, police in the provincial capital nominated 29 PTI former members of the National and KP assemblies on murder, attempted murder and terrorism charges.”


BBC: Ken Elliott: Australian Hostage, 88, Freed By Al-Qaeda Militants

“An 88-year-old Australian doctor held captive in West Africa by al-Qaeda militants for more than seven years has been released. Dr Kenneth Elliott is safe and well and has been reunited with his family, Australia's foreign minister said. He and his wife were seized in 2016 near the border between Mali and Burkina Faso, where they operated a clinic for over 40 years. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said at the time it had kidnapped the couple.”


The Express Tribune: Punjab Hands Evidence Of ‘PTI’s Terrorism’ To ECP

“The caretaker Punjab government on Thursday handed “proofs” of involvement of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in “terrorist attacks” on sensitive military installations last week to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). According to an official handout, the interim government arranged a briefing for the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and the ECP members at the Chief Minister House regarding the violence in the province on May 9. “The chief election commissioner and the ECP members were presented solid proofs about the involvement of a political party in the 9th May terrorist incidents,” the handout issued by the provincial government after the meeting said. “The chief election commissioner and the ECP members were presented proofs of pictures, videos, and messaging,” it said. “Proofs of contacts between the attackers and the present political leadership in Zaman Park surfaced through geo-fencing,” it added.”


The New York Times: Extremism Finds Fertile Ground In Chat Rooms For Gamers

“There are rules people must agree to before joining Unloved, a private discussion group on Discord, the messaging service popular among players of video games. One rule: “Do not respect women.” For those inside, Unloved serves as a forum where about 150 people embrace a misogynistic subculture in which the members call themselves “incels,” a term that describes those who identify as involuntarily celibate. They share some harmless memes but also joke about school shootings and debate the attractiveness of women of different races. Users in the group — known as a server on Discord — can enter smaller rooms for voice or text chats. The name for one of the rooms refers to rape. In the vast and growing world of gaming, views like these have become easy to come across, both within some games themselves and on social media services and other sites, like Discord and Steam, used by many gamers.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On October 27, 2018, domestic terrorist Robert D. Bowers carried out an anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He fired on congregants as they gathered for worship, killing 11 people and wounding six others.

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