Eye on Extremism: May 23, 2024

The New York Times: New Video Shows Hamas Fighters Taking Israeli Soldiers Hostage

“The families of several Israeli female soldiers taken hostage during the Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7 have released video of their abduction in an attempt to pressure the Israeli government to revive stalled cease-fire talks that could pave the way for the captives’ release. Family members first saw the footage a few weeks ago via the Israeli military, which formally handed them a copy on Tuesday night, according to the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, which represents families of hostages held captive in Gaza. “I’m asking you, please show this clip every day, open your broadcasts with it,” Eli Albag, whose daughter Liri Albag can be seen in the video, said in a television interview with Israel’s Channel 12. “Until somebody wakes up, the nation wakes up, and realizes that they’ve been abandoned there for 229 days.””

Associated Press; Missile Splashes Into The Red Sea, Causing No Damage In Latest Suspected Yemen Houthi Rebel Attack

“A missile splashed down in the waters of the Red Sea on Thursday, but caused no damage to a passing commercial vessel in an attack likely carried out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, officials said. The Houthis did not immediately claim the attack, though it can take hours or even days for them to acknowledge their assaults. The attack happened in the southern Red Sea near the crucial Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said. The private security firm Ambrey similarly reported the attack. The Houthis have launched attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in recent months, demanding that Israel ends the war in Gaza, which has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians there. The war began after Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking some 250 hostage.”

United States

The Washington Post: GOP Challengers Make Gains But Lose Bid To Oust Hard Right In North Idaho

“A rebel Republican bloc aiming to curb far-right extremism in North Idaho made significant gains Tuesday, flipping dozens of local seats, but fell short of the votes needed to change the hard-line GOP leadership in an area with historic ties to the far right. The primary-election showdown in Kootenai County, a mountainous region near the Canadian border, drew national attention as a rare example of self-described “traditional” Republicans organizing against the party’s hard-right swing of recent years. Ultimately, however, a majority of members of the county GOP committee kept their jobs. “The predictions of my demise were greatly exaggerated,” Brent Regan, chairman of the GOP committee and target No. 1 for the challengers, posted on X early Wednesday. Regan and other GOP leaders have been linked to far-right figures but have strongly rejected the extremist label.”


Reuters: Islamic State Claims Attack On Vehicle In Iraq Which Killed Soldier

“One Iraqi soldier was killed and two were wounded after an explosive device detonated on their vehicle in an area between the Diyala and Salahuddin governorates in eastern Iraq on Wednesday, two security sources said. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its Telegram channel later on Wednesday.”


Voice Of America: Pakistan Claims Killing Dozens Of Afghan-Based 'Terrorists' In Recent Operations

“Pakistan’s military said Wednesday that its operations against a recent surge in terrorist attacks from Afghanistan, and cross-border militant infiltration attempts, have resulted in the killings of nearly 30 “terrorists" in the last month. The announcement came a day after a U.S. research group said in a report that "Afghanistan has become a breeding ground for terrorist activities” since the Taliban regained power in 2021. While sharing details of its ongoing counterterrorism actions, the Pakistani military said it was focused on parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan border provinces. It noted that one of the operations a week ago also led to the death of an army major. “Of late, Pakistan has witnessed a surge in terrorist incidents orchestrated from Afghan soil, wherein terrorists from Afghanistan attempt to infiltrate through the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and target security forces as well as innocent civilians,” the statement said.””


Reuters: Qatari Emir, Gulf Foreign Ministers Travel To Iran For President Raisi's Funeral

“Qatar's emir and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait travelled on Wednesday to Tehran to attend the funeral of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, under whose tenure a historic deal that thawed relations between Tehran and its Gulf neighbours was brokered. While Qatar has typically enjoyed warm relations with Iran, acting as a mediator between the Shi'ite Muslim country and the United States, other Gulf states had volatile relations with their neighbour. They had accused Iran of interfering in internal state affairs and backing regional foes, up until Riyadh and Tehran signed a landmark deal to normalise ties in 2023. In the same year, the UAE also upgraded diplomatic ties with Iran. Both states share business and trade ties stretching back more than a century, with the UAE's Dubai long being one of Iran's main links to the outside world.”

Middle East

Associated Press: Far-Right Minister Who Visited Contested Jerusalem Site Has Long History Of Controversy

“Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, visited Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site on Wednesday in what he described as a protest against the recognition of a Palestinian state by three European countries. It was the latest act of defiance by an ultranationalist settler leader who has transformed himself over the decades from an outlaw and provocateur into one of Israel’s most influential politicians. In his Cabinet post, Ben-Gvir oversees the country’s police force. As a key coalition partner, Ben-Gvir also has the power to rob Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his parliamentary majority and force early elections. Ben-Gvir has used his influence to push forward pet projects and encourage Netanyahu to press ahead with the war in Gaza against widespread calls to reach a cease-fire deal that would bring home hostages.”

Reuters: Israeli Forces Kill Dozens Of Palestinians As They Push Deeper In Gaza's North And South

“Israeli forces killed 35 Palestinians in aerial and ground bombardments across the Gaza Strip on Thursday and battled in close combat with Hamas-led militants in areas of the southern city of Rafah, health officials and Hamas media said. Israeli tanks advanced in Rafah's southeast, edged towards the city's western district of Yibna and continued to operate in three eastern suburbs, residents said. "The occupation (Israeli forces) is trying to move further to the west, they are on the edge of Yibna, which is densely populated. They didn't invade it yet," one resident said, asking not to be named. "We hear explosions and we see black smoke coming up from the areas where the army has invaded. It was another very difficult night," he told Reuters via a chat app.”

Associated Press: First Aid From US Pier In Gaza Has Reached Starving Palestinians, The UN Says

“The U.N. World Food Program said Wednesday that it has handed out in Gaza in recent days a “limited number” of high-energy biscuits that arrived from a U.S.-built pier, the first aid from the new humanitarian sea route to get into the hands of Palestinians in grave need. The small number of biscuits came in the first shipments unloaded from the pier Friday, WFP spokesman Steve Taravella said. The U.S. Agency for International Development told The Associated Press that a total of 41 trucks loaded with aid from the more than $320 million pier have reached humanitarian organizations in Gaza. “Aid is flowing” from the pier, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Wednesday in response to questions about the troubled launch of aid deliveries from the maritime project. “It is not flowing at a rate that any of us are happy with.””


Garowe Online: UN Security Council Sanctions Top Al-Shabaab Leaders

“The United Nations Security Council has yet again sanctioned more Al-Shabaab leaders, in a strategy that conforms with Somalia’s fight against the militants, who control huge swathes of rural central and southern regions. Somalia has devised both military and ideological approaches in the fight against the group, with international partners helping the country maintain order. The United Nations has invested in sanctions, which freeze the militants from accessing other parts of the world and opportunities. Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, a member of the group, topped the list of the latest victims of sanctions, with the UN Security Council blaming him for participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of Al-Shabaab.”


Associated Press: Tunisia Sentences Journalists To A Year In Prison For Criticizing The Government

“A Tunisian court on Wednesday sentenced two TV and radio journalists to one year in prison for criticizing the government on their programs and on social networks. Borhane Bsaïs and Mourad Zeghidi were each given six months’ imprisonment for disseminating “fake news” and an additional six months for “making false statements with the aim of defaming others,” in reference to Tunisian President Kaïs Saied, court spokesperson Mohamed Zitouna said. The sentences come less than two weeks after both were arrested. They are among a broader group of journalists, activists and lawyers charged under Decree 54, a law criminalizing the dissemination of “fake news” aimed at harming public safety or national defense. The law, passed in 2022 to fight cybercrime, has been widely criticized by rights advocates who say the offenses are vaguely defined and are being used to crack down on the president’s critics.”

United Kingdom

BBC: Crime Report Reveals Scotland 'Terror Attack' Plan

“A multi-agency police inquiry has investigated what appear to have been preparations for a terrorist attack in Scotland. Brief details of the case have been revealed in a report from the National Crime Agency (NCA). The NCA said a counter terrorism investigation titled Operation Ferulic was led by Police Scotland and centred on "the apparent preparation for a firearms attack in the Edinburgh area." Several specialists from the NCA's Major Crime Investigative Support unit were drafted in to assist the inquiry. Forensic clinical psychologists, behavioural investigative advisors and interview advisors were involved in assessing and managing risk and interview preparation. The report does not reveal the outcome of the investigation or whether anyone was arrested or charged. Police Scotland has been approached for comment.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On May 8, 2019, Taliban insurgents detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and then broke into American NGO Counterpart International’s offices in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and 24 were injured.

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