Eye on Extremism: November 2, 2022

Fox Business: Treasury Sanctions Arms Traffickers Connected To ISIS And Al-Shabaab In Somalia

“The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions on Tuesday against arms traffickers connected to ISIS and al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist network that claimed responsibility for a car bomb that killed more than 100 people in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu on Saturday. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to all who lost loved ones and were injured in Saturday’s horrific attack and strongly condemn this indefensible act of terrorism,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement. “Today, we take direct aim at the networks funding and supplying both ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabaab that support their violent acts.” Tuesday's sanctions mark the first time that the Treasury has targeted ISIS in Somalia, though sanctions were also levied against al-Shabaab in mid-October. Several of the individuals sanctioned on Tuesday primarily traffic weapons between Yemen and Somalia, including Isse Mohamoud Yusuf, who the Treasury said runs a network of smuggling vessels to transport AK-47s, PKMs, RPG-7s and IED parts to ISIS.  Another sanctioned individual, Osama Abdelmongy Abdalla Bakr, is a supporter of ISIS in Brazil.”

Reuters: Blast In Kabul Hits Bus Carrying Taliban Admin. Employees, Injures Seven

“A blast hit a bus carrying Taliban administration employees in the Afghan capital on Wednesday morning, police said, injuring seven people. "Due to a blast on a mini bus from the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, seven have been injured," said Khalid Zadran, Kabul's police spokesperson, adding the explosion was caused by a roadside mine. It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast. Several attacks have taken place in urban areas in recent months. Last month an attack by gunmen on a vehicle in western Afghanistan, which was claimed by the Islamic State, killed five medical personnel employed by Taliban security forces. The Taliban say they are focused on securing the war-torn nation since they took over the country in 2021. Though large-scale fighting has ended since foreign forces withdrew over a year ago, the United Nations has said security is deteriorating.”

United States

The Wall Street Journal: Kansas Native Sentenced To 20 Years For Training Islamic State Women’s Brigade

“Allison Fluke-Ekren was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for working with Islamic State after an emotional court hearing that explored how a mother of 12, who grew up on a Kansas farm, came to run a women’s brigade for the murderous terrorist group in Syria. “Even terrorists are telling her she is too extreme,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh said, describing how Fluke-Ekren worked with several terrorist groups and trained over 100 women and girls for Islamic State on using assault rifles, grenades and suicide belts in 2017. He laid out how she aspired to commit an attack at a shopping mall or college in the U.S. and moved her children through war zones for a decade. She “brainwashed young girls and trained them to kill,” Mr. Parekh said. Fluke-Ekren pleaded guilty in June to her work for Islamic State, in one of the first cases to detail an American woman’s extensive operational role in the terrorist group. She also admitted to helping another terrorist group review U.S. government documents seized by one of her ex-husbands from the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. On Tuesday, one of her daughters told the court about abuse she said she faced at her mother’s hands while they lived in Syria—and described how her mother married her off to an Islamic State fighter when she was 13, soon after her father, the emir of the group’s snipers in Syria, had been killed.”

Mediaite: GOP Senator Accuses Democrats Of ‘Trying To Wipe Christianity Out In This Country’

“…The nonpartisan Counter Extremism Project defines “The Great Replacement Theory” here: The Great Replacement Theory is an ethno-nationalist theory warning that an indigenous European—e.g., white—population is being replaced by non-European immigrants. The Great Replacement concept was popularized by French writer Renaud Camus in his 2012 book, Le Grand Replacement (“The Great Replacement”). Camus postulated that black and brown immigrants were reverse-colonizing native “white” Europeans. Tuberville agreed with Bolling about his replacement theory, and added that it could be a miscalculation because many people crossing the border are Christian or have Christian values, which he claimed “they” are trying to “wipe out” in America. The “they” in this context being the left and Democrats. I agree with you. But the problem they’re going to have is there are going to be a lot of conservatives in this group because there’s a lot of Christians coming across that border and they’re trying to wipe Christianity out in this country and they’re letting more in than is not. I think they’re going to be surprised by the Hispanic vote coming up in eight days. I think they’re going to be shocked and hopefully they are because if they’re in this country now, they’re part of our country and they need to make sure that we keep it the way it is and not what they came from.”

Iran

The Parliament Magazine: Why The EU Should Take A Tougher Stance On Iran

“Mahsa Amini was 22 years old when she was arrested by the morality police in Tehran on 13 September for allegedly failing to properly wear the hijab. Three days later, Amini died after reportedly being beaten by the same Iranian forces. Since her death, Iranian men and women have been flooding the streets to form the largest protest movement that the country has seen in years against the daily systematic oppression and persecution that they face. So far, over 100 civilians have lost their lives, and thousands more have been injured or arrested. On 17 October, the Council of the European Union agreed to a new package of human rights-related sanctions against 11 Iranian individuals and four entities linked to Tehran’s crackdown on protesters and the death of Amini – including Iran’s morality police. It is in this context that there is a need to reflect on how Europe’s narrowly focused pursuit of a nuclear deal (officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) has prevented it from taking meaningful action against ongoing human rights violations in Iran. In a joint letter to the EU’s Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell on 26 September, 51 MEPs called for the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime to be applied to Iran’s morality police, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other Iranian law enforcement agencies.”

Nigeria

All Africa: Nigeria: Military Thwarts Boko Haram's Attempt To Attack Base In Niger

“An attempt by the Boko Haram terrorist group to infiltrate the military base in Wawa town in the Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State has been thwarted by the combined team of soldiers and air force personnel. The terrorist group, which tried to forcefully gain entry into the military base, according to a reliable source, planned to secure some of their members who were being detained in the military base. According to a very reliable source, the heavily armed terrorists came into the town in large numbers and started shooting sporadically to scare the military men in the base. However, the alert soldiers countered the terrorists' onslaught and in the process eight of the terrorists were neutralised. It was also learned that the soldiers, however, secured the services of their colleagues in the air force, who were said to have deployed Tucano fighter jets to wipe out the terrorists. “Some soldiers were injured but no one died,” a competent source told THISDAY. However, as at the time of this report, there was still panic in the town, though the security situation was said to be returning to normal. The public, according to a report, has been advised to remain indoors till further notice. No official of the government was available to confirm the story, but a top traditional title holder in the Wawa emirate, who preferred anonymity, confirmed it.”

Somalia

Voice Of America: Death Toll Rises To 121 In Somalia Al-Shabab Attacks

“The death toll from two al-Shabab bombings in Mogadishu has risen to 121, Somalia’s Health Minister Dr. Ali Haji Adam, said Tuesday. In an interview with VOA’s Somali Service, Adam said 10 people have been recorded as missing from the Saturday bombings. He said the National Response Committee appointed by the government also recorded 333 injuries. “This morning there are 142 injured people in the hospitals, some of them in the intensive care unit,” he said. Adam said the government set up a call center for people who are missing their loved ones to contact. He said the government has also been distributing food and water to the wounded and their relatives who are coming to the hospitals. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has appealed to the international community to send doctors to help treat the wounded. Adam said Turkey was the first country to respond to the appeal made by the president. “We were expecting an air ambulance, carrying medical supplies and doctors (from Turkey) today but it was delayed,” he said. He said they are also expecting medical supplies, two ambulances and a trauma team from the World Health Organization. Adam said the government also set up a victims’ support fund, to which the government has donated $1 million. Three private companies, Dahabshiil, Hormud and BECO have donated $500,000, $200,000, and $50,000 respectively.”

Voice Of America: US Targets Smugglers Supplying Islamic State In Somalia

“…Even the information issued by the U.S. noted that despite efforts to raise funds and the movement of hundreds of thousands of dollars, IS-Somalia members receive low wages. Some former counterterrorism officials think that may have to do with IS-Somalia’s focus, which is not on Somalia itself. IS-Somalia “is much more invested in its ability to support ISIS networks elsewhere,” Edmund Fitton-Brown, a former top U.N. official who is now a senior adviser to the New York and Berlin-based Counter Extremism Project (CEP), told VOA. The notion is supported by intelligence that indicates that despite its small size, IS-Somalia is home to one of the Islamic State’s key regional hubs. U.N. member state intelligence published earlier this year suggests the so-called al-Karrar office based in Somalia serves as a key financial hub for IS, moving money from Yemen to Afghanistan to help buy weapons and pay the salaries of IS fighters in Somalia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Africa

AFP: Fleeing Jihadist Violence, Niger Pupils Return To School

“With blue schoolbags bouncing off their backs, hundreds of schoolchildren hurtle down small sand dunes eager to attend class again. But these boys and girls are survivors of suffering and trauma that few children of their age could conceive. Their new school is in the town of Ouallam in southwestern Niger, a region that for five years has been plagued by attacks unleashed by groups linked with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. The pupils come from 18 villages near Mali whose inhabitants fled to the relative safety of Ouallam in 2021 after jihadist killings that also forced the closure of schools. The UN children's agency UNICEF says 817 schools with 72,421 pupils -- including 34,464 girls -- have closed in Niger, mostly in the Tillaberi, the border region where Ouallam is located. In Ouallam alone, around one hundred schools have had to shut their doors. The chronic insecurity has prompted the authorities to create dedicated educational centres where displaced children can resume their schooling, Mahamadou Illo Abarchi, an education official in Ouallam, told AFP. Some 17,000 pupils have already re-entered the school system and another 55,300 are set to follow suit, enrolling in around 20 centres for displaced children across southwestern Niger, the government says. In Ouallam, almost 1,600 schoolchildren -- some of whom had not attended class for three years -- are registered with three centres built near a site for displaced people.”

All Africa: Africa: As Terrorists Claim New Ground, An African Strategy Is Vital

“As Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda leaders have been targeted and eliminated internationally, the terrorist groups have expanded and consolidated their African operations. According to Jihad Analytics, half the attacks claimed by IS since the beginning of 2022 were carried out in 10 African countries. Among them were Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria - the four Boko Haram-affected countries of the Lake Chad Basin. Boko Haram factions are also expanding operations beyond the region. For a long time, the eight primary target areas of violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin were North and Far North (Cameroon), Lac and Hadjer-Lamis (Chad), Diffa (Niger), and Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (Nigeria). However in 2022 the scope has expanded, particularly with the establishment of Ansaru and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) cells in other parts of Nigeria. This has complicated counter-insurgency operations, especially where national militaries are already overstretched. The extension of terrorist activities beyond the Lake Chad Basin also puts these groups beyond the reach of the region's Multinational Joint Task Force - a military response to Boko Haram set up by Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.”

United Kingdom

Reuters: UK Counter-Terrorism Police Lead Investigation Into Dover Bomb Incident

“Britain's counter-terrorism police are now leading the investigation into an incident in which petrol bombs were thrown at an immigration centre in the southern English port of Dover, police said on Tuesday.” What appears clear is that this despicable offence was targeted and likely to be driven by some form of hate filled grievance, though this may not necessarily meet the threshold of terrorism,” police said. Police also identified the suspect who threw the bombs at the immigration centre on Sunday as Andrew Leak, a 66 year-old man from High Wycombe, southern England, who was later found dead at a nearby service station. “There is currently nothing to suggest the man involved was working alongside anyone else, and there is not believed to be any wider threat to the community in the High Wycombe area or in Dover,” the police statement said. The Dover facility is the first stop for thousands of people making the dangerous journey across the English Channel before being sent to other accommodation while their claims to stay in Britain are reviewed. The attack came as British policy towards migrants and asylum seekers remains a heated political issue. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told his cabinet on Tuesday that the nation is a compassionate and welcoming place for asylum seekers, but this is dependent on the country being able to effectively police its borders.”

Europe

AFP: 'Terror' Charge For Swede Over Plot To Kill Party Leader

“A Swede with a history of mental health issues was charged Tuesday with “terrorism” for allegedly killing a prominent psychiatrist and “preparing a terror crime” over plans to murder a top politician. Theodor Engstrom, 33, is alleged to have stabbed to death Sweden's national coordinator for psychiatric care in early July in broad daylight in Visby, on the island of Gotland, near an annual week-long gathering of Sweden's political class called Almedalen. After Engstrom's arrest, police found indications that he also had alleged plans to murder Centre Party leader Annie Loof, who was nearby when the stabbing occurred. The murder of 64-year-old psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren was considered a “terrorist” act as it “could have caused Sweden serious harm” and was designed to “instill grave fear among the population or part of the population”, prosecutors said in the charge sheet, seen by AFP. Prosecutors said the same was true for Engstrom's alleged plans for Loof's “murder or aggravated assault”. In the weeks before the attack, Engstrom had acquired a double-edged knife, two swords and a set of bow and arrows. He also had detailed information of both Wieselgren's and Loof's plans and movements at Almedalen, according to the charge sheet. Prosecutors said they also had notebooks, internet search histories and an encrypted hard disc as evidence for the “terrorism” charges.”

AFP: Netherlands To Repatriate 40 Citizens From Syrian Camps

“Twelve women and 28 children will be repatriated to the Netherlands from detention camps in northern Syria, the Dutch government announced on Tuesday, making the country's largest group yet to be brought back. They will face charges on their return for joining the Islamic State group. The move comes after a Dutch court in May recommended that the women be returned immediately to the Netherlands, or that a commitment to return then be made within four months. “The cabinet is transferring twelve Dutch women suspected of terrorist offences and their 28 children to the Netherlands,” two government ministers said. “The women will be arrested after arrival in the Netherlands and will be tried,” Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra and Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius said in a letter to parliament. The ministerial letter declined to say from which camp the women and children will be fetched or when, adding only it will be done via a “special operation”. The children will be taken into the care of the Dutch child protection services, the ministers added. Western countries have faced a dilemma over how to handle their citizens detained in Syria since the end of military operations against the Islamic State group there in 2019. Thousands of extremists in Europe decided to join the group as fighters, often taking their wives and children to live in the “caliphate” declared in territory conquered in Iraq and Syria. Some 300 Dutch citizens travelled to Syria during the height of the civil war, according to Dutch government figures.”

Technology

The New York Times: Security Training Group Asks Musk To Rid Twitter Of Antisemitism

“The nonprofit organization Secure Community Network, which provides safety consulting and training for Jewish facilities across North America, wrote a letter on Monday to Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, imploring him to clamp down on antisemitic content that could endanger lives. “Twitter has an antisemitism problem — with hashtags such as #holohoax [Holocaust Hoax] and #killthejews abounding on the site,” Michael Masters, the group’s national director and chief executive, wrote in the letter. The group is made up of many former law enforcement officials, including Mr. Masters, who was the chief of staff at the Chicago Police Department. It gave Mr. Musk five recommendations to improve Twitter and the safety of Jewish people, including hiring and training moderators to identify antisemitic content, removing it from the platform and closing user accounts that promote violent extremism. Officials at the nonprofit say they have observed a swell of online posts expressing hate toward or conspiracy theories about Jewish people in the last few years. The organization touches 90 percent of the 7.2 million Jews across North America, Mr. Masters said, providing security training and coordination to synagogues, Hillel groups and other Jewish facilities.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

Without doubt, the secularists are evil and more malicious than the polytheists and secularism is farther astray from the path and more malicious than polytheism. The secularists who are associated with Islam even [merely] by identity are considered apostates by a group of scholars. The Jews, Christians, those who worship graves, and many polytheists and unbelievers have committed lesser acts of unbelief than the secularists.

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Salafist propagandist Mar. 1, 2021
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