Eye on Extremism: May 28, 2024

Reuters: Yemen's Houthis Free More Than 100 Prisoners

“Yemen's Houthi group freed more than 100 detainees in Sanaa on Sunday, calling the move a "unilateral humanitarian initiative" to pardon prisoners and return them to their families. "Most of them are humanitarian cases, including the sick, the wounded, and the elderly," said Abdul Qader Al-Murtada, head of the Houthi-run prisoner affairs committee, who announced the release and said the detainees had been government soldiers captured at the battlefront. But Yemen's internationally recognised government said the detainees were not soldiers, but civilians the Houthis had kidnapped from homes, mosques and workplaces. "Releasing these victims under any name does not absolve (the Houthis) of this crime," Majed Fadail, deputy minister for human rights in Yemen's internationally recognised government wrote in a post on social media platform X.”

Reuters: Iran's Near-Bomb-Grade Uranium Stock Grows, Talks Stall, IAEA Reports Say

“Iran is enriching uranium to close to weapons-grade at a steady pace while discussions aimed at improving its cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog are stalled, two confidential reports by the watchdog showed on Monday. The International Atomic Energy Agency faces a range of difficulties in Iran, including the fact it only implemented a small fraction of the steps IAEA chief Rafael Grossi thought it committed to in a "Joint Statement" on cooperation last year. "There has been no progress in the past year towards implementing the Joint Statement of 4 March 2023," one of the two reports to member states, both of which were seen by Reuters, said. Grossi travelled to Iran this month for talks with Iranian officials aimed at improving cooperation and IAEA monitoring in Iran. Follow-up talks have stalled, however, after the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash last week.”

CEP Mentions

Pamfleti: Islamic Terrorism Is About To Return To Europe, The Possible Targets Of The Paris Olympics And Euro 2024

“..."The current terrorist threat to Europe is very large, as there is an intersection of a series of disconnected but unfortunately mutually reinforcing events," says Hans-Jakob Schindler, director of the Berlin-New York-based Counter-Extremism Project. . "The attacks of October 7 changed the level of threat from groups that for a long time did not pose any threat on the European continent. Certainly there has always been Islamic terrorism, but it is not Islamic terrorism in all its varieties from Hamas to Al-Qaeda. It's usually Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and lone actors. Whereas now we have Hamas, Hezbollah, actors acting alone, Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, extreme left and right. And all of these can see their targets. The threat of terrorism has been there all along, but because of the attacks on October 7, 2023, it has taken off the media's attention, and this is the threat that comes from the Islamic State ," he adds.”

CapX: Extremism Has Plagued Our Streets For Too Long

“The Prime Minister knows, rain or shine, the only place to make the case for things that matter to him and to the nation is outside his front door. His previous foray, then in fairer weather, took place on March 1 in the aftermath of George Galloway’s election victory when he warned democracy was being targeted by extremists who hijacked the political process and protests to undermine democratic values. Ironic, really, that the starting gun for the general election on Wednesday was almost drowned out by a protest song blaring on a loudspeaker just beyond the gates to Downing Street.  Whatever you make of Rishi Sunak or the timing of this election, it’s abundantly clear he is alarmed at the way violent extremism has infiltrated and animated legitimate protest in this country.”

Panay News: US Warns Of Worldwide Attacks Vs Pride Month

“...The Counter Extremism Project, a New York-based non-profit group, noted that anti-LGBTQ ideas had been taken up by both Islamist and far-right extremists. “It is no surprise that neo-Nazis and jihadis often express mutual admiration for their shared anti-gay visions,” Mark D. Wallace, the project’s chief executive, said in a statement. Protests and threats against LGBTQ communities by homegrown US groups also have been on the increase in recent years, according to a number of experts and research organizations. According to a report by the Anti-Defamation League and Glaad, a group formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, there were at least 145 incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence, harassment and vandalism during Pride Month in 2023. (BBC).”

BBC: Good Morning Scotland

“Interview with Hans-Jakob Schindler on AFD in Germany.”

Deutschlandfunk: How The "Islamic State" System Works  

“Documentary on terrorism financing in Germany. Interviews with Hans-Jakob Schindler and Sofia Koller.”

The National: ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants For Netanyahu And Sinwar

“... Director of think tank the Counter Extremism Project, Hans-Jakob Schindler, called the request for arrest warrants “powerless” and questioned whether they would be enforced if they are issued as they are “very unlikely to ever travel to a country in which the ICC has jurisdiction”. Director of think tank the Henry Jackson Society Alan Mendosa added: “This is the start of an arrest warrant process, not the end, and there will be no consequences for Israeli leaders unless and until the ICC judges agree to issue them.” Last week, Israel defended its attack on the south of Gaza against claims of genocide, telling the UN’s highest court that any state would do the same. Denying a claim by South Africa that Rafah is the “endgame” of Gaza’s destruction, Israel said it entered the city to bring down a “military stronghold for Hamas”.”

Gatestone Institute: Turkey's Government Enables Terrorists

“…Below is a brief list of the terror groups and regimes that Erdogan's government enabled in pursuit of pro-jihad ideological and territorial gains. Islamic Republic of Iran As the Counter Extremism Project notes: "The Islamic Republic of Iran has aggressively sought to remake the Middle East under its dominion, mainly by anchoring loyal 'proxies' in the region. "Some of Iran's proxies in the Middle East include Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis in Yemen, and others. Where its proxies have not been able to take root, Iran has engaged in subversive activities via the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to undermine its rivals and enhance its influence. Iran's quest for regional dominance has created tremendous instability in the region and inflamed wars that have left thousands dead.”

The New Arab: Five Pro-Iran Forces Killed In IS Attack In Eastern Syria

“…The rise of IS in these areas challenges the Assad regime's contention that it has reimposed order on areas formerly controlled by the group. A report from the Counter Extremism Project counted at least 69 confirmed attacks by IS in Syria in April alone. The attacks resulted in the deaths of at least 84 Syrian regime soldiers and fighters and 44 civilians, and more than doubled the total number of confirmed IS operations for all of 2024.”

United States

The Guardian: Arizona Secretary Of State Calls Threats To Election Officials ‘Domestic Terrorism’

“The rising threats against US elections officials are a form of domestic terrorism, the secretary of state in the presidential campaign battleground state of Arizona has said. “Terrorism is defined as a threat of violence for a political outcome,” Adrian Fontes said in remarks recorded for an NBC Meet the Press episode airing on Sunday morning. “That’s what this is, and … we do have to address it for what it is.” Fontes’s comments came as he formed part of a Meet the Press panel of top elections officials from states whose voters could decide in November whether Joe Biden serves a second term in the White House or Donald Trump returns to the presidency. The Guardian has reported how Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa, has taken extraordinary measures to protect its staff and the counting of ballots.”


Associated Press: Syrian Kurdish Authorities Hand Over A British Woman And 3 Children Linked To IS To A UK Delegation

“A British woman and three children linked to the militant Islamic State group in Syria were handed over to a U.K. delegation that visited the region this week, Syrian Kurdish-led authorities said Friday. The handover, which took place on Wednesday, is the latest in a push to repatriate people from al-Hol and Roj camps in northeastern Syria that house tens of thousands, mostly wives and children of IS militants but also supporters of the extremist group. The Kurdish authorities did not release the names of the four, saying only they were held at Roj camp before the handover. According to a statement, a delegation led by Britain’s Special Representative for Syria Ann Snow visited northeastern Syria, where they discussed with the Kurdish authorities the ongoing threat that IS still poses, five years after the extremists lost the last sliver of land they once controlled in large parts of Iraq and Syria.”

Associated Press: Car Bomb In The Syrian Capital Kills One. Drone Strike Near Lebanon Border Targets Two Vehicles

“A bomb attached to a car exploded early Saturday in the western part of the Syrian capital that is home to several diplomatic missions, killing one person and causing material damage, state media reported. Damascus’ Mazze neighborhood houses the Iranian consulate, destroyed last month in a strike blamed on Israel. The attack at the time killed seven people including two Iranian generals and a member of Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah, and triggered a direct Iranian military assault on Israel for the first time, sparking fears of a regionwide war. Several airstrikes have hit the tightly-secured neighborhood over the past months, mostly targeting Iranian officials. State news agency, SANA, didn’t say who the person killed was but said the blast set two other cars ablaze.”

Associated Press: Donor Fatigue Persists As Nations Commit Around $8.1 Billion For Conflict-Hit Syrians

“International donors meeting in Brussels said Monday they will commit 7.5 billion euros ($8.1 billion) in both grants and loans to support Syrians battered by war, poverty, and hunger for the rest of this year and beyond. The pledges surpassed the modest $4.07 billion that the United Nations had appealed for, but was also a significant drop from amounts pledged last year and previously — an indication of persisting donor fatigue as the world’s attention is focused on conflicts elsewhere, including the wars in Ukraine and Sudan, and most recently Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. At last year’s conference, donors pledged $10.3 billion, just months after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and much of northern Syria, killing over 59,000 people, including 6,000 in Syria.”


The New York Times: War-Weary Iraqis Feel For Gaza, But Fear Spread Of The Conflict

“Iraqis have known the bitter taste of war so intimately and frequently over the past 40 years that they say they can feel viscerally the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. They remember the dreaded whistling of a shell before impact, the fear of a knock at the door bringing word of a loved one’s loss, the stench of blood drying on concrete. This was daily life for many Iraqis for years as an insurgent struggle against the American occupation and a civil war between Sunni and Shia Muslims brought destruction and death to their neighborhoods, shattered families and left behind countless widows and orphans. Those memories initially prompted thousands of people to join demonstrations on the streets of Iraq’s cities to show their solidarity with the Palestinian cause. But as the war in Gaza dragged on, those displays of support faded.”


Modern Diplomacy: Afghanistan: The Fountainhead Of Terrorism In The Region

“Afghanistan, a nation characterized by rugged mountains and a rich tapestry of ethnic diversity, has for decades been at the epicenter of regional and global terrorism. Its geopolitical significance, combined with a history of foreign intervention and internal strife, has fostered an environment conducive to the proliferation of terrorist activities. To understand Afghanistan’s position as a fountainhead of terrorism, it is essential to trace the historical context that has shaped its current state. Afghanistan’s modern history is marked by a series of conflicts that have significantly influenced its political and social landscape. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 marked a critical turning point. The decade-long conflict saw the rise of the Mujahideen, a conglomeration of Afghan resistance fighters who, with substantial support from the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, fought against Soviet forces.”


Associated Press: 7 Pakistani Soldiers, 23 Militants Killed In Separate Shootouts During Raids Along The Afghan Border

“Pakistan’s security forces were conducting several raids in the country’s volatile northwest, a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban, when shootouts ensued leaving seven soldiers and 23 militants dead, the army said Monday. The first exchange of fire occurred overnight on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, killing six militants and two army officers who “embraced martyrdom,” according to a statement by Pakistan’s military. A second shootout happened during another security operation on Monday in the district of Tank, leaving 10 militants dead, the statement said, adding that five soldiers and seven militants were also killed during a separate fire exchange in the district of Khyber. The military provided no further details, but previous operations in the area targeted members of the Pakistani Taliban who have started regrouping in the northwestern region in recent years.”


Reuters: Yemen's Houthis Say They Launch Attacks On 3 Ships Including One In Mediterranean

“Yemen's Houthis launched attacks on three ships in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Sea, the Iran-aligned group said on Friday, although the manager of the ship allegedly attacked in the Mediterranean said there was no sign of such an incident. The reported attacks are the latest in a months-long campaign of Houthi strikes against regional shipping in what the group says is solidarity with Palestinians fighting Israel in the Gaza war. The Houthis' military spokesman Yahya Sarea said in a televised speech that Houthi forces had targeted the Yannis ship in the Red Sea, the Essex in the Mediterranean Sea and MSC Alexandra in the Arabian Sea. Houthis "fired several missiles at the ship Essex in the Mediterranean Sea while it was violating the decision ban that prevents entry into occupied Palestinian ports", Sarea added.”

Saudi Arabia

Associated Press: Saudi Arabia Appoints First Ambassador To Syria Since 2012

“Saudi Arabia on Sunday announced the appointment of its first ambassador to Syria since severing ties with Damascus in 12 years, marking an ongoing thawing in relations since the war-torn country was readmitted to the Arab League over a year ago. Faisal al-Mujfel’s appointment as the kingdom’s first ambassador to Syria since 2012 was announced by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. It comes over a year after Syria was readmitted to the 22-member Arab League. It remained suspended from the group for more than a decade over President Bashar Assad’s brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters in 2011. Riyadh severed ties with Damascus in 2012. Syrian state media and authorities did not immediately comment on the development.”


Associated Press: An Israeli Strike In Southern Lebanon Kills 2 People Near A Hospital, Officials Say

“An Israeli strike targeting a motorcycle in southern Lebanon hit next to a hospital entrance Monday, killing the motorcycle driver and a hospital security guard and wounding several civilians nearby, local health officials said. It was not immediately clear who the driver was or why he was targeted in the strike in the town of Bint Jbeil. The Israeli army did not give a statement on the strike but said it had targeted other areas of southern Lebanon in response to “terrorist launches.” The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has been exchanging strikes with Israeli forces in the border area almost daily since Oct. 8, a day after the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza began. Mohammed Suleiman, director of the Salah Ghandour Hospital in Bint Jbeil, said they had initially received one person killed and nine wounded in the strike, most of whom were “civilians who were in front of the hospital, where family members and people accompanying the patients usually gather.”


Middle East

Associated Press: ‘We Have Nothing.’ As Israel Attacks Rafah, Palestinians Are Living In Tents And Searching For Food

“The tent camps stretch for more than 16 kilometers (10 miles) along Gaza’s coast, filling the beach and sprawling into empty lots, fields and town streets. Families dig trenches to use as toilets. Fathers search for food and water, while children look through garbage and wrecked buildings for scraps of wood or cardboard for their mothers to burn for cooking. Over the past three weeks, Israel’s offensive in Rafah has sent nearly a million Palestinians fleeing the southern Gaza city and scattering across a wide area. Most have already been displaced multiple times during Israel’s nearly 8-month-old war in Gaza, which is aimed at destroying Hamas but has devastated the territory and caused what the United Nations says is a near-famine.”

Reuters: Tanks Reach Rafah's Centre As Israel Presses Assault

“Israeli tanks reached the centre of Rafah for the first time on Tuesday, witnesses said, three weeks into a ground operation in the southern Gaza city that has sparked global condemnation. The tanks were spotted near Al-Awda mosque, a central Rafah landmark, the witnesses told Reuters. The Israeli military said its forces continued to operate in the Rafah area without commenting on reported advancements into the city centre. Overnight, its forces pounded the city with airstrikes and tank fire, residents said, pressing its offensive despite an international outcry over an attack on Sunday that sparked a blaze in a tent camp, killing at least 45 Palestinians, more than half of them children, women and the elderly. Since that strike, at least 26 more people have been killed by Israeli fire in Rafah, officials in the enclave run by Hamas militants said.”

Associated Press: Netanyahu Says Deadly Israeli Strike In Rafah Was The Result Of A ‘Tragic Mishap’

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a “tragic mishap” was made in an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza city of Rafah that set fire to a camp housing displaced Palestinians and, according to local officials, killed at least 45 people. The strike only added to the surging international criticism Israel has faced over its war with Hamas, with even its closest allies expressing outrage at civilian deaths. Israel insists it adheres to international law even as it faces scrutiny in the world’s top courts, one of which last week demanded that it halt the offensive in Rafah. Netanyahu did not elaborate on the error. Israel’s military initially said it had carried out a precise airstrike on a Hamas compound, killing two senior militants. As details of the strike and fire emerged, the military said it had opened an investigation into the deaths of civilians.”


Reuters: White House: Nigeria Making Progress In Combating Boko Haram

“Nigeria has made progress in combating Boko Haram although the Islamist militant group is still a threat, the White House said on Thursday, adding that the United States has assisted Nigerian authorities working to secure the release of schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants. "The threat still remains and it is quite serious, and it is why the United States continues to be committed to supporting them as they counter that threat," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a daily press briefing.”

BBC: At Least 160 Villagers Reported Taken In Deadly Raid

“Ten people have been killed and at least 160 other villagers have been kidnapped from a remote community in Nigeria's central Niger state, officials say. A large number of armed men, suspected to be from Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram, invaded Kuchi village on Friday night, local official Aminu Abdulhamid Najume told the BBC's World Service. Those kidnapped were mostly women and children, while those killed included local hunters who were providing security for the area, he said. The gunmen reportedly rode into Kuchi on motorbikes and even spent time cooking food, making tea and looting houses before leaving more than two hours later. Mr Najume , who chairs the Council of the Munya Local Government Area, said the Kurchi community had been left traumatised and anxious to hear news of those taken. Writing on social media, Amnesty International expressed its "deep concern" at the mass abduction.”


The Atlantic: Five Dead Following Militant Attack On Mourdiah Military Post, Mali

“A Macina Liberation Front (MLF) attack on a Malian Army (FAMA) post in the southwestern village of Mourdiah has left five soldiers dead and a ‘significant number’ of terrorists neutralized. According to a statement from the General Staff of the Malian Armed Forces, at approximately 5:40 a.m. on Sunday, May 26th, the Macina Liberation Front militants “carried out an attack with the use of two kamikaze vehicles and shelling against the FAMA post of Mourdiah, Nara region.” While the total number of militants killed has not been released, the statement alludes to the death of a ‘significant number’, as well as claiming dozens more militants were injured in the attack. Additionally, eleven PKM machine guns, various rockets, nine motorcycles, three radios, and a significant amount of ammunition were recovered.”


Voice Of America: About 10 Civilians Killed In DR Congo Rebel Attack, Sources Say

“Around 10 civilians were killed in the latest attacks blamed on ADF rebels affiliated with the Islamic State group in eastern DRC this weekend, prompting local authorities to launch an urgent appeal for help, sources told AFP Sunday. The ADF, originally mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels, have established a presence over the past three decades in eastern DRC, killing thousands of civilians. In recent weeks they have stepped up their attacks and looting of villages and health centers. "Our people are fed up with burying civilians every day," Leon Kakule Siviwe, leader of the Beni-Mbau district in the north of North Kivu province, told AFP. "We are making a heartfelt appeal to the country's authorities and asking them to help us restore peace to our region." Siviwe put the death toll at three on Friday and four on Saturday, with around 10 people also missing.”

United Kingdom

BBC: Man Charged With Terrorism Offences After Syria Trip

“A man has been charged with terrorism offences after travelling to Syria, the Met Police has said. Isa Giga, previously of Hounslow, west London, allegedly went to fight for the "Jaysh Al Fath" groups. He was arrested after arriving in London on a flight from Turkey on Thursday. The 31-year-old was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday. Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "We have been clear for some time now that should anyone return to the UK whom we suspect of being involved in any terrorist-related activity overseas, then they can expect to be thoroughly investigated. "We work very closely with other partners and agencies here in the UK and overseas in order to do this and help keep the public safe."”


Associated Press: Spain And Norway Formally Recognize A Palestinian State As EU Rift With Israel Widens

“Spain and Norway moved to formally recognize a Palestinian state with Ireland to follow suit on Tuesday in a coordinated effort by the three western European nations. Israel slammed the diplomatic move that will have no immediate impact on its grinding war in Gaza but adds to international pressure on Tel Aviv to soften its devastating response to last year’s Hamas-led attack. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the Spanish Cabinet will recognize a Palestinian state at its Tuesday morning meeting. “This is a historic decision that has a single goal, and that is to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace,” Sánchez, standing at the gates of the prime minister’s palace in Madrid, said during a televised speech. Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz lashed out at Spain on X, saying Sánchez’s government was “being complicit in inciting genocide against Jews and war crimes.””


India Today: Sri Lanka Zeroes In On Handler Of Four ISIS Terrorists Arrested In India

“Sri Lankan security forces suspect that a 46-year-old man acted as a handler of the four Sri Lankan nationals who were arrested at Ahmedabad airport in India last week for suspected links with the banned Islamic State (ISIS) outfit, a media report said on Monday. Sri Lanka Police revealed that the wanted suspect, identified as Osmand Gerrard - a resident of Dematagoda, often changes his appearances, and these are some of his appearances that detectives suspect he may be using now, Newsfirst news portal reported. Sri Lanka Police recently announced a cash award of Rs 2 million for any credible information on the whereabouts of the wanted suspect. The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on May 19 arrested four Sri Lankans with links to the ISIS at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel airport in Ahmedabad.”


The Times Of India: China Backs Probe Into Suicide Attack As Pakistan Asks Afghan Taliban To Hand Over Plotters

“Beijing backed Monday Pakistan’s investigation into the recent suicide attack that killed five Chinese engineers and their Pakistani driver in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on March 26, after Islamabad accused Taliban authorities in Afghanistan of sheltering the “plotters” and demanded that they be handed over. However, China refrained from holding Afghanistan’s interim govt responsible for sheltering the terrorists, as alleged by Islamabad, as it finds itself in a quandary because it shares close ties with Taliban govt in Afghanistan and has extended diplomatic recognition to the interim regime. The Chinese workers died when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into their bus. The Chinese were working on Dasu hydropower project, which is about 300km north of Islamabad. The 4,320MW project is being constructed by China Gezhouba with funding from World Bank.”


Voice Of America: Diplomat: Russia Moving Closer To Delisting Afghanistan's Taliban As Terrorist Group

“A senior Russian diplomat says Russia’s foreign and justice ministries have told President Vladimir Putin that Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban “can be removed” from the list of Moscow-designated terrorist organizations. Zamir Kabulov, the special presidential envoy for Afghanistan, told state-run TASS news agency Monday that the delisting would enable Moscow to decide whether to recognize the Taliban government. “Without this [removal of the ban on the Taliban], it will be premature to talk about recognition,” he was quoted as saying. “Therefore, work on this issue continues. All considerations have been reported to the top leadership of Russia. We are waiting for a decision." Separately, TASS quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as saying Monday that the Taliban is the “real power” in Afghanistan and that the group’s possible removal from Moscow’s list of banned organizations reflects “objective reality.””

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.

View Archive