Eye on Extremism: May 24, 2023

Associated Press: Suicide Bomber Hits Checkpoint In Northwest Pakistan, Killing 4 In Second Attack In As Many Days

“A suicide bomber targeted a security checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing two soldiers, a policeman and a civilian, security officials said. It was the second attack to hit Pakistan in as many days. The bombing happened in North Waziristan, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that borders Afghanistan and is a former stronghold of the militant Pakistani Taliban group, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP. A number of civilians were also wounded in the attack, according to Rehmat Khan, a local police official. No one claimed responsibility for the attack but suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban. In the last six months, the TTP has stepped up its attacks since it unilaterally ended a cease-fire with the Pakistani government, brokered by neighboring Afghanistan last year.”

The North Africa Post: Benin: 700 People In Prison For Terrorism

“In Benin, 700 people, including expats, are currently held in detention on terrorism charges, head of Benin’s Court of Economic Crimes and Terrorism Repression (CRIET) revealed, as the country strives to combat terrorism in the north. Cyriaque Dossa, head of the Court, said, during a conference held in Benin’s top university of Abomey-Calavi, that the Constitution of the West African country requires ‘life imprisonment for people charged with terrorism.’ Any person informed of a terror plan or attack and who fails to inform authorities also faces 8 to 10 years in prison. The alleged terrorists hail from Benin, Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso, Cyriaque Dossa indicated, adding that they are yet to appear in court for judgement. Benin since November 2021 has been grappling with dozens of terror attacks. The army has lost 22 soldiers and 42 reported wounded according Chief of Staff Abou Issa. At least 52 alleged terrorists have been killed while 72 have been arrested.”

United States

Associated Press: Software Engineer Who Photographed US Landmarks For Possible Attacks Gets 12 Years In Prison

“A New Jersey software developer who prosecutors say once photographed landmarks in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., for possible terrorist attacks was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison by a federal judge who said it seemed he no longer was a danger. In fact, Judge Paul G. Gardephe noted, Alexei Saab, 46, has become a model prisoner since his 2019 arrest, helping others incarcerated at New York City’s federal jails to get high school equivalency certificates, learn English and find relief from psychological problems. Gardephe called Saab’s 2005 exit from his relationship with the Lebanon-based Hezbollah Islamic Jihad Organization and the ‘peaceful and productive’ life he lived in the New York City area afterward among ‘inconvenient facts’ that made it impossible to grant the government’s request that Saab be incarcerated for 20 years. A jury at a trial last year heard prosecutors portray Saab as a highly trained terrorist who scoped out landmarks in the U.S., France, Turkey and the Czech Republic. Prosecutors said Saab was a sleeper cell waiting to activate if Iran was attacked by the United States.”


Reuters: Turkish Drone Kills Three YBS Fighters In Iraq - Kurdish Authorities

“A Turkish drone strike in northern Iraq on Tuesday killed three fighters from the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS), a militia affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Iraqi Kurdistan's counter-terrorism service said. The 5:00 a.m. strike targeted a YBS headquarters in the Sinjar district, the counter-terrorism service said. Turkey has led a long-running campaign in Iraq and Syria against militants of the PKK and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, both of which Ankara regards as terrorist groups. Turkey regularly carries out air strikes in northern Iraq and has dozens of outposts on Iraqi territory.”


Pakistan Observer: CTD Arrests Banned SRA Terrorist

“The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Sindh police claimed to have a banned Sindh Revolutionary Army (SRA) terrorist from Karachi. The SRA operative was arrested during a successful operation in Karachi’s posh area of Clifton. The arrested operator of the Sindh Revolutionary Army has made startling revelations in the initial probe. According to spokesman CTD, a remote control bomb had been recovered from the terrorist, adding that the bomb was to be planted in Karachi’s biggest restaurant.”

Saudi Arabia

The National: Saudi Arabia Executes Citizen Who Planned Terrorist Attack

“Saudi Arabia executed a citizen on Tuesday who it said planned a terrorist attack in the kingdom after joining a training camp abroad. Ahmed Al Badr illegally left the kingdom for training on the use of weapons and bombs provided by a ‘hostile country’, the Saudi Interior Ministry said. It said Al Badr was a spy who returned to Saudi Arabia in possession of weapons ‘to carry out a terrorist act in order to disturb the security of the kingdom’. He was referred to a special court that convicted him of ‘corruption on earth’ and sentenced him to death. He was executed in the eastern region, the ministry added. In March, Saudi Arabia executed two citizens convicted of joining a terrorist cell to target security forces.”

Middle East

i24 News: Israeli Counter-Terrorism Operation Arrests Eleven Suspects In The West Bank

“Israeli security forces, with support from the Shin Bet internal security agency, arrested 11 suspects throughout the West Bank before dawn on Tuesday, and seized a stash of weapons and cash. During the operation near Nablus, IDF forces arrested two wanted persons, located and confiscated weapons and ammunition. During the activity, suspects threw stones at the fighters and gunfire was heard in the area. In addition, six other suspects were arrested in several Palestinian villages and in the city of Bethlehem.”

The Times Of Israel: Shin Bet Says It Foiled Hadera Bus Bombing By Umm Al-Fahm Man Recruited By Hamas

“The Shin Bet security agency on Wednesday said it had foiled an attempt by the Gaza Strip-ruling Hamas terror group to carry out a bombing attack on a bus in the north, using an Israeli man to plant the device. In the early hours of April 2, Muhammed Nadir Mahajneh, 20, a resident of the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, was detained by the elite police Unit 33, also known as Gideonim, over his alleged involvement in the plot. According to the Shin Bet, Mahajneh was recruited by the military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, several months ago, to carry out a bombing against civilians on a bus in Hadera. The agency said the suspect, due to financial pressure and mental distress, began to ‘adopt the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, and later decided that he wanted to commit jihad.’ Mahajneh was found to be in possession of ‘media used to communicate with Hamas in the Gaza Strip,’ the Shin Bet and police said.”


Daily Post: Air Strikes Reportedly Eliminate Scores Of ISWAP Terrorists In Yobe

“Airstrikes carried out by the Nigerian Air Force, (NAF), fighter jets have reportedly killed an unconfirmed number of ISWAP terrorists in Turo and Ambia villages, Gujba local government area of Yobe State. The terrorists were said to have been eliminated on Monday afternoon after the fighter jet bombed the ISWAP position in an intelligence-led operation. Impeccable sources from the intelligence community also told Zagazola Makama, Counter-Insurgency Expert and Security Analyst in the Lake Chad region that, the airstrikes were carried out, following surveillance missions showing eight gun trucks conveying ISWAP fighters. The sources said many of them were killed in the process. The Headquarters of Operation Hadin Kai has not yet released a statement on the operation.”


Voice Of America News: US Says Al-Shabab Leader Injured In Airstrike In Somalia

“Al-Shabab's head of external operations was the target of the latest U.S. airstrike against the militant group, two sources, including an al-Shabab defector, told VOA Somali. Former al-Shabab official Omar Mohamed Abu Ayan told VOA that veteran military commander Osman Mohamed Abdi, known as Moallim Osman, was the target. The name of the target and his position was also confirmed by Somalia's Ministry of Information in a statement issued Tuesday. The ministry said Moallim Osman oversees bringing foreign fighters into Somalia to help al-Shabab. He appears to have survived the airstrike, a spokesperson for U.S. Africa Command said.”


Daily Sabah: Turkish Community Urges Germany To Launch Probe Into PKK Attack

“The Turkish minority in northwestern Germany called on authorities to launch an investigation into an attack on a mosque carried out by PKK terrorist sympathizers. A mosque in the northwestern city of Bad Bentheim was vandalized by supporters of the PKK terrorist group, authorities reported on Monday. The assailants sprayed graffiti on the walls of the Bad Bentheim mosque, run by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB). Hakkı Gümüşkuşak, the chairperson of the mosque association, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the attack was carried out by supporters of the PKK terror group on Saturday.”


Daily Mail: Australia's Top Spy Opens Up On Nation's Neo-Nazi Problem - But Warns That Religious Fanatics Are Still The Biggest Security Threat

“The country's top spy has confirmed neo-Nazis are growing in Australia - but warned the biggest threat to national security remains espionage. Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) head Mike Burgess said neo-Nazis were staging public displays more often but monitoring these groups still didn't form the bulk of his organisation's caseload. Appearing before a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday, Mr Burgess said he had briefed Anthony Albanese after he claimed last week that right-wing extremism had 'for some time' posed a growing threat to Australia's security. The Prime Minister made the comments after members of a neo-Nazi group performed the Sieg Heil salute during an anti-immigration rally in Melbourne on May 13 following similar public gatherings earlier this year.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On September 26, 2018, an improvised explosive device planted at the foot of a bridge exploded, killing eight soldiers in the lead vehicle of a Burkinabe military convoy traveling in northern Burkina Faso. 

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