Eye on Extremism: November 15, 2023

Reuters: Israeli Troops Enter Gaza's Al Shifa Hospital In Culmination Of Siege

“Israeli troops entered Gaza's biggest hospital on Wednesday and were searching its rooms and basement, witnesses said, culminating a days-long siege that caused global alarm over the fate of thousands of civilians trapped inside. Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City has become the main target of operations in a headquarters in tunnels beneath it, which Hamas denies. World attention has been focused on the fate of hundreds of patients trapped inside without power to operate basic medical equipment, and thousands of displaced civilians who had sought shelter there. Gaza officials say many patients including three newborn babies died in recent days as a result of Israel's encirclement of the facility. Israel said its troops killed fighters in a clash outside the gates before entering, and had brought medical supplies for those inside. "Before entering the hospital our forces were confronted by explosive devices and terrorist squads, fighting ensued in which terrorists were killed," the Israeli military said.”the ground operation by Israeli forces, who say Hamas fighters have the "beating heart" of their operations in a headquarters in tunnels beneath it, which Hamas denies.”

Voice Of America: Mali’s Army Says Kidal Recaptured From Rebels

“Mali’s army said Tuesday it has retaken the northern city of Kidal from rebels, after a raid that left many insurgents dead. The reported capture, not confirmed by independent observers, would mark a symbolic victory for Mali’s army as they have been virtually absent from the city, with ethnic Tuareg rebels controlling much of the northern part of the country. "Today, our armed and security forces have taken over Kidal. Our mission is not complete," Mali's junta leader, President Assimi Goita, said on X. “I recall it consists of recovering and securing the integrity of the territory, without any exclusion, in accordance with the resolution of the [U.N.] security council." Mali’s army said it called for peace in the town of about 25,000 and told its residents to obey soldiers. Rebel leaders expecting a military offensive cut phone lines in Kidal, and there has been difficulty in contacting the remote town. Insurgents have not commented on the reported takeover. The Kidal region has long frustrated the Mali government, after the army suffered several defeats there from 2012 to 2014, and has been unable to regain much of a foothold in the region since. Mali has faced much violence since 2012 when a coup in Bamako allowed insurgents to seized the northern half of the country.”

CEP Mentions

The New European: Israel, Gaza, And The Rise Of Global Insecurity

“…The New York- and Berlin-based Counter Extremism Project cites Iran as the chief backer of Hamas, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, the Houthis in Yemen, as well as other militant groups across the Middle East, a reflection of the regime’s regional ambitions. The thinktank has launched a global boycott of Qatar, saying it funnels hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Hamas, and provides safe haven for its leaders.”

The Messenger: Top Hamas Commander Who Survived Two Assassination Attempts Killed In Israeli Airstrike

“... According to a profile listed by the Counter Extremism Project, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit international organization, Ghandour was the commander for the northern branch of Hamas' military wing and a "close confidant" of the terror group's supreme commander, Mohammed Deif. Ghandour also oversaw the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006. Shalit's capture prompted heavy Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and ultimately the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for his release. Ghandour is also believed to have survived two assassination attempts allegedly carried out by Israeli forces in 2002 and 2012, according to the Counter Extremism Project. In 2017, Ghandour was designated by the U.S. State Department as a global terrorist for his position in Hamas. Reports of the airstrike emerged as the IDF confirmed it has killed other Hamas leaders and operatives in recent days, including a battalion commander who oversaw the Khan Yunis Bridge's anti-tank system and a second commander accused of holding some 1,000 Palestinian civilians hostage inside a Gaza hospital” On Monday,  Israel also claimed its troops had killed 21 Hamas operatives who fired on Israeli soldiers from Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City, the strip's second-largest hospital.”

United States

Reuters: White House Says It Has Evidence Hamas Using Al Shifa Hospital To Run Military Actions

“The White House on Tuesday said it had its own intelligence that Hamas was using Gaza's largest hospital Al Shifa to run its military operations, and probably to store weapons, saying those actions constituted a war crime. "We have information that confirms that Hamas is using that particular hospital for a command and control mode" and probably to store weapons, national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters aboard Air Force One. "That is a war crime." He said the United States had information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were using some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Al Shifa, to conceal or support their military operations and to hold hostages. He said those groups were also prepared to respond to Israeli military operations against that facility. That information came from a variety of intelligence methods, he said, adding that the Biden administration had downgraded the classification level of some of the data on Tuesday so it could share its conclusions with reporters  Kirby underscored that Hamas' actions in the hospitals did not lessen Israel's responsibility to protect civilians, but acknowledged that it made Israel's efforts to root out Hamas more complicated.”

CBS: New Policy Will Prohibit Chicago Police Officers From Joining Hate Or Extremist Groups

“A new policy approved by the city's civilian police oversight agency will ban Chicago police officers from participating in hate and extremist groups. The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) unanimously approved the new policy on Monday. The Chicago Police Department now has 60 days to respond to the policy before it officially goes into effect. CBS 2 has reported in the past on allegations of Chicago police officers participating in right-wing anti-government extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. CPD general orders already prohibit officers from "membership in or affiliation with criminal organizations and from association with known members of criminal organizations." The change would widen the net to preclude members and participants in criminal groups from becoming members of CPD. It would add "biased" organizations to the list too. Such "biased" groups would include any organization that "advocates for systematic illegal prejudice, oppression, or discrimination, including disparate treatment, against an individual or group on the basis of any protected class under federal, state, and local law, including race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, source of income, credit history, criminal record, or criminal history."”


Voice Of America: Nearly 60 Attacks On US Forces In Iraq And Syria

“Attacks from Iranian-backed militants have not let up, with a multi-rocket attack coming within a half-kilometer of Mission Support Site Euphrates in eastern Syria on Tuesday. The U.S. says deterrence is working with Iran, and on Sunday the military struck two facilities used by Iran and Iranian-backed militant groups in Syria. Defense officials tell VOA Iranian-backed militants have attacked U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria at least 56 times in less than a month, with at least five attacks happening after the Sunday strikes. “Is deterrence working? We feel that it is," said Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh. "We have not seen this war spread into a wider regional conflict. The strikes that we are taking is to signal and to message very strongly to Iran and their affiliated groups to stop. That is the purpose of those strikes.” Singh acknowledged that Iranian-affiliated groups have continued to attack American troops, but said the U.S. strategy is working. "I think we are being very deliberate on how and when we conduct our strikes against these groups," she said. "And I think that Iran is certainly seeing that message.” More than 50 Americans suffered minor injuries to traumatic brain injuries from the attacks before returning to duty, officials say.”


Reuters: Iran's 'Axis Of Resistance' Against Israel Faces Trial By Fire

“Iran's supreme leader delivered a clear message to the head of Hamas when they met in Tehran in early November, according to three senior officials: You gave us no warning of your Oct. 7 attack on Israel and we will not enter the war on your behalf. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Ismail Haniyeh that Iran - a longtime backer of Hamas - would continue to lend the group its political and moral support, but wouldn't intervene directly, said the Iranian and Hamas officials with knowledge of the discussions who asked to remain anonymous to speak freely. The supreme leader pressed Haniyeh to silence those voices in the Palestinian group publicly calling for Iran and its powerful Lebanese ally Hezbollah to join the battle against Israel in full force, a Hamas official told Reuters. Hezbollah, too, was taken by surprise by Hamas' devastating assault last month that killed 1,200 Israelis; its fighters were not even on alert in villages near the border that were frontlines in its 2006 war with Israel, and had to be rapidly called up, three sources close to the Lebanese group said. "We woke up to a war," said a Hezbollah commander.”


Voice Of America: UN-Mandated Assessment Links Taliban's Legitimacy To Afghan Women's Freedom

“An independent assessment commissioned by the United Nations has linked recognition of the Taliban government to compliance with Afghanistan's international treaty obligations and commitments, requiring it to immediately remove sweeping curbs on women's rights to education and employment opportunities. "Any formal re-integration of Afghanistan into global institutions and systems will require the participation and leadership of Afghan women," said a VOA-obtained draft copy of the report. In March, a Security Council resolution asked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to conduct the assessment providing "forward-looking recommendations for an integrated and coherent" international approach to the Taliban-governed crisis-hit country by November 17. He appointed Feridun Sinirlioglu, a former Turkish government official, as the special coordinator to lead the mission. Sinirlioglu traveled to Afghanistan and engaged with Taliban leaders, Afghan stakeholders residing outside the country, and critical regional and international stakeholders to assess the situation before submitting his report to the U.N. chief.”


Reuters: Yemen's Houthis Say They Launched Ballistic Missiles On Israeli Military Targets

“Yemen's Houthi have launched a batch of ballistic missiles on various Israel targets, including sensitive ones in Israel's Eilat, the group's military spokesperson said on Tuesday. The launch came "after 24 hours of another military operation by drones on the same Israeli targets," the spokesperson added. The spokesperson said that the group "will not hesitate to target any Israeli ship in the Red Sea or at any other place" the group could reach.”

Middle East

Associated Press: The UN Security Council Is Trying For A Fifth Time To Adopt A Resolution On The Israel-Hamas War

“After four failed attempts, the U.N. Security Council is trying for a fifth time to come up with a resolution on the Israel-Hamas war, but it remains to be seen whether serious divisions can be overcome to produce a consensus on wording. The current draft under negotiation would demand “immediate extended humanitarian pauses” throughout the Gaza Strip to provide civilians with desperately needed aid. It also would demand that “all parties” comply with international humanitarian law that requires protection for civilians, calls for special protections for children, and bans hostage-taking. But the draft, proposed by council member Malta and obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, makes no mention of a ceasefire. It also doesn’t refer to Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 that killed around 1,200 people and took some 240 others hostage. Nor does it cite Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes and ground offensive in Hamas-ruled Gaza that the Gaza health ministry says has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children.”

Reuters: Hamas Says It Holds Israel, Biden Responsible For Al Shifa Hospital Raid

“Hamas said in a statement on Wednesday it "holds the occupation (Israel) and President Biden fully responsible for (the) occupation army's raid of Al Shifa medical complex". Hamas said a U.S. intelligence statement on Tuesday that the U.S. supported Israel's conclusion that the militants had operations at Al Shifa "was a green light" for the raid. "The White House and the Pentagon's adoption of the false (Israeli) narrative, claiming that the resistance is using Al Shifa medical complex for military purposes, was a green light for the occupation to commit more massacres against civilians," Hamas said. There was no immediate U.S. comment on the raid.”


Reuters: Brazil's Lula Welcomes Citizens Rescued From Gaza, Condemns 'Inhumane Violence'

“Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday welcomed 32 nationals that his government managed to rescue from the Gaza Strip this week following a month of negotiations, receiving them at the Brasilia Air Base after a nearly day-long flight. The Brazilians crossed the Rafah border between Gaza and Egypt on Sunday and were taken to Cairo, where this morning they boarded an Embraer presidential airplane loaned by Lula and traveled to Brazil via Las Palmas, Spain. Lula greeted passengers with hugs and kisses after their arrival late on Monday evening, offering his support to Brazilians still in or arriving from the Gaza Strip and condemning the killing of civilians in Gaza "I have never seen such brutal, inhumane violence against innocent people," Lula said in a short speech on the tarmac. The flight was the tenth in an operation launched by the South American country last month to repatriate citizens in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip after a war broke out in the region last month. Monday's flight brings the total of those rescued to 1,477 people, including three Bolivians, 11 Palestinians and one Jordanian citizen, as well as 53 pets.”


The Times Of India: Terrorist Killed As Army Foils Infiltration Bid In Jammu And Kashmir's Uri

“One terrorist was killed on Wednesday by alert security troops who foiled an infiltration bid in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri sector along the Line of Control (LoC), Indian Army said in a statement. As per officials, the terrorists were attempting to infiltrate, taking advantage of poor visibility and bad weather. The operation is underway, the officials added. Last month, security forces gunned down two terrorists after an infiltration bid was foiled in the Uri Sector. Based on specific inputs from intelligence agencies and Jammu and Kashmir Police of infiltration in the Uri Sector by heavily armed terrorists from across the LoC, troops were put on a high alert and the counter-infiltration grid was strengthened, according to a statement of the Army. As per the Army Press release, taking advantage of bad weather marked by incessant rainfall and poor visibility, a group of armed terrorists attempted to infiltrate across the LoC on October 21. The group was intercepted by alert troops resulting in a heavy exchange of fire resulting in the elimination of two terrorists. Six pistols, four Chinese grenades, blankets and two blood-stained bags containing Pakistand Indian currency notes, Pakistani medicines and eatables were recovered from the site.”


CNN: How Antisemitic Hate Groups Are Using Artificial Intelligence In The Wake Of Hamas Attacks

“Hate groups and far-right internet trolls have seized on the tensions surrounding the Israel-Hamas war, while leveraging advances in artificial intelligence to further stoke antisemitism in the United States. The confluence of the conflict and the rapid development – and sheer accessibility – of AI tools have allowed antisemitic groups to weaponize the technology, creating images and audio that are used to harass the Jewish community, according to experts who track online extremism. “We’ve seen a real concerning ideological convergence between far-right communities online and pro-Hamas sentiment,” said Ben Decker, CEO of Memetica, a threat analysis company that monitors online hate. The activity is on law enforcement’s radar as antisemitism remains on the rise nationwide: A 316% increase in antisemitic incidents has hit the US since the October 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel, compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary data released Monday by the Anti-Defamation League. Just days after the war between Israel and Hamas began, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned of threats against Jewish, Muslim and Arab-American communities, noting that antisemitism and anti-Islamic sentiment “permeates many violent extremist ideologies and serves as a primary driver for attacks by a diverse set of violent extremists.”"

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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