Eye on Extremism: May 29, 2024

ABC: Pressure Builds On Biden After Israeli Strike Kills Dozens Of Civilians In Rafah

“The Biden administration on Tuesday expressed sympathy after dozens of civilians were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah over the weekend, but signaled it would wait for a full Israeli investigation to play out before taking any action. "You've all seen the images, they're heartbreaking, they're horrific. There should be no innocent life lost here as a result of this conflict," National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby said during a White House press briefing. "Israel, of course, has a right to go after Hamas. And we understand that this strike did kill two senior Hamas terrorists who are directly responsible for attacks against the Israeli people," he continued. But eliminating those two Hamas targets cost at least 45 Palestinians their lives and inflicted gruesome injuries on scores of others when the strike ignited a large fire that tore through a nearby encampment, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.”

Associated Press: Suspected Militants Burn Girls’ School In Northwest Pakistan, In Third Such Attack This Month

“A group of militants used kerosine to set fire to a girls’ school in a former Pakistani Taliban stronghold, destroying furniture, computers and books, police said Wednesday, in the latest in a surge in such attacks. No one was hurt in the overnight attack in North Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, local police official Rehmat Ullah said. Two other girls’ schools in the region were bombed earlier this month. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but authorities suspect Islamic militants, who targeted girls’ schools years ago, saying that women should not be educated. North Waziristan is a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban, who are also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. It is a separate group but a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in neighboring Afghanistan in 2021. The Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan has emboldened the Pakistani Taliban.”

CEP Mentions

Tagesspiegel: Civilian Victims And Fighting Islamists: Is Israel Losing The War Against Hamas?

“Only one third of Hamas terrorists eliminated, two thirds of their tunnels still intact. According to a report by the magazine "Politico" analysts of the US intelligence services come to this assessment. The Islamists are also said to have succeeded in recruiting a large number of new fighters in recent months. On Sunday, Hamas also proved that it is still able to fire rockets at the greater Tel Aviv area. This is all bad news for Israel. After almost eight months of war, the country seems to miss one of its main goals: the complete destruction of Hamas.”

Attitude: US State Department Issues Rare ‘Worldwide’ Security Alert For Pride

“...“It is no surprise that neo-Nazis and jihadis often express mutual admiration for their shared anti-gay visions,” Mark D Wallace, chief executive of the Counter Extremism Project, said in a statement. The warnings come eight years after gunman Omar Sateen shot dead 49 people at Orlando gay club Pulse during Pride month in 2016.”

The Business Standard: Journalist Who Interviewed Osama Bin Laden Thrice, And Told The Tale

“... Osama had become the mujahedin darling of the Afghan war in the 1990s, according to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), an international policy organisation. According to the CEP, the media-savvy former al-Qaeda leader agreed to conduct interviews with numerous Western journalists during that time. Eventually, his interviews with journalists became platforms for him to communicate his message of jihad to the masses around the world. Fisk was the first western journalist to interview Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden gave his first interview to the Independent newspaper's Robert Fisk in 1993. The interview was titled, "Anti-Soviet warrior puts his army on the road to peace," and related to bin Laden and his recruited mujahideen's road building in Sudan overseeing construction and agricultural projects.”

United States

NBC: Biden Administration Tries To Plug Loophole That Released Migrant Linked To Terrorism Into The U.S.

“The Biden administration is giving immigration judges and asylum officers more access to classified information to help them determine which migrants might have ties to terrorism or pose a threat to public safety. The change in policy follows an April 11 NBC News story that revealed an Afghan migrant on the terrorist watchlist was released on bond by an immigration judge in Texas after prosecutors from Immigration and Customs Enforcement withheld information about a possible connection to terrorism because the evidence was classified. Instead of arguing that the man was a national security risk, the prosecutors argued he was a flight risk, two sources familiar with the case said. Mohammad Kharwin, 48, was caught crossing the border in 2023, but released because the Border Patrol lacked biometric information connecting him to the terror watchlist.”

The Washington Examiner: Virginia Man Gets 11 Years In Prison For Trying To Join Islamic State

“A northern Virginia man who is originally from Sudan was sentenced on Friday to 11 years in prison and a decade of supervised release for attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State and making false statements to the FBI. Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan of Woodbridge, Va., pleaded guilty on Oct. 24 to aiding and abetting his friend’s attempt to travel from the U.S. to Syria to join the terrorist group. Joseph Hassan Farrokh, a 29-year-old from Woodbridge, would travel overseas first and Elhassan, 26, would follow at a later date, according to a news release from the Justice Department. The two men attempted to plan their trip to join the Islamic State by using a computer app they thought law enforcement did not monitor, prosecutors said. In mid-2015, they began exchanging digital messages about the two trips.”


Voice Of America: Taliban Push For Normalizing Male-Only Higher Education

“In coming weeks, tens of thousands of students in Afghanistan are set to sit for university entrance examinations. Notably absent from the list of candidates will be females. The upcoming exams are expected to determine the admission of about 70,000 students to public academic and professional institutions this year. Last week, when officials from the Taliban's Ministry of Higher Education unveiled the specifics of the upcoming exams, they conspicuously omitted any mention of the exclusion of female students from university admissions. Despite facing widespread domestic and international criticism for their prohibition of women from educational and professional opportunities, the Taliban have persisted in enforcing discriminatory gender policies. “The exclusion of women from higher education significantly limits the country's economic potential, as half the population is unable to contribute effectively to the workforce,” David Roof, a professor of educational studies at Ball State University, wrote to VOA.”


Associated Press: Missile Attacks Damage A Ship In The Red Sea Off Yemen’s Coast Near Previous Houthi Rebel Assaults

“Missile attacks twice damaged a Marshall Islands-flagged, Greek-owned ship Tuesday in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, with a private security firm saying radio traffic suggested the vessel took on water after being struck. No group claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have launched a number of attacks targeting ships over Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The first attack on the bulk carrier Laax happened off the port city of Hodeida in the southern Red Sea, near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that links it to the Gulf of Aden, according to the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center. The vessel “sustained damage” in the assault and later reported an “impact in the water in close proximity to the vessel,” the UKMTO said. “The crew are reported safe and the vessel is proceeding to its next port of call,” the center said.”

Middle East

Associated Press: Israeli Strikes Kill At Least 37 Palestinians, Most In Tents, Near Gaza’s Rafah As Offensive Expands

“Israeli shelling and airstrikes killed at least 37 people, most of them sheltering in tents, outside the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight and on Tuesday — pummeling the same area where strikes triggered a deadly fire days earlier in a camp for displaced Palestinians — according to witnesses, emergency workers and hospital officials. The tent camp inferno has drawn widespread international outrage, including from some of Israel’s closest allies, over the military’s expanding offensive into Rafah. And in a sign of Israel’s growing isolation on the world stage, Spain, Norway and Ireland formally recognized a Palestinian state on Tuesday. The Israeli military suggested Sunday’s blaze in the tent camp may have been caused by secondary explosions, possibly from Palestinian militants’ weapons. The results of Israel’s initial probe into the fire were issued Tuesday, with military spokesman Rear Adm.”


Leadership: Boko Haram Terrorists Now Use Elon Musk’s Starlink For Internet Connection

“Some members of the Boko Haram terrorist group have been caught using Starlink, the super-fast device owned by billionaire Elon Musk in Sambisa Forest. According to a counter Insurgency Expert and Security Analyst, Zagazola Makama, the Nigerian troops “Operation Hadin Kai” successfully killed a top commander of the sect, Tahir Baga, and recovered digital connectives like Starlink Wi-Fi system, mobile phones amongst other weapons. Starlink which is owned by the second richest man in the world, announced its presence in Nigeria in January 2023 with the aim of providing low-cost internet to remote location in the country and is sold for N450, 000 on pre-order. The terrorist group were said to have fled and abandoned the items when they could no longer withstand the firepower of the Nigerian troops.”


Russia To Remove Taliban From Terrorist List | Firstpost

“Russian state media has reported that Moscow will remove the Taliban from a list of banned terrorist organisations. The move comes three years after the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan. For years, Russia has fostered ties with the radical organisation, holding multiple rounds of talks and boosting trade with Afghanistan despite international sanctions. Russia recently invited the Taliban to attend its biggest annual economic forum, which was once considered the cornerstone of its economic ties with the West. No country has recognised the Taliban government so far, mainly due to human rights and terrorism-related concerns. The Taliban seized power in 2021 from a US-backed government.”

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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