Eye on Extremism: November 30

The New York Times: Dozens Of Former Afghan Security Forces Dead Or Missing Under Taliban, Report Says

“More than 100 former members of the Afghan security forces in four provinces have been killed or disappeared by the Taliban in the first two and a half months of the militants’ rule, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. The deaths are part of a string of assassinations and summary executions, largely considered revenge killings, that have been happening across Afghanistan since the fall of Ashraf Ghani’s government in August. The attacks underscore the dangers that Taliban critics, activists and members of the former government’s security forces face despite the Taliban announcement when they seized power of a general amnesty for former government workers and military officials. In a report released on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch detailed the killing and forced disappearance of 47 members of the former government’s security forces who had either surrendered to the Taliban or were detained by them between Aug. 15 and Oct. 31 in four of the countries 34 provinces: Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, and Kunduz.”

Reuters: Gunmen Free More Than 260 Inmates In Nigerian Jail Attack

“Gunmen freed more than 260 inmates during an attack on a prison in Nigeria's central city of Jos, officials said, in the country's fourth such raid this year. The attackers opened fire on guards on Sunday evening, starting a gunbattle that left one guard and nine prisoners dead, the correctional service said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the raid in the capital of Plateau State. Regions further north have been plagued by bandits and Islamist militants. "Some of the attackers and a total of 262 inmates escaped in the melee before reinforcement could come from sister services," the service said in a statement.”

Syria

The Wall Street Journal: Pentagon To Investigate 2019 Syria Airstrike That Killed Women And Children

“Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered an investigation into a 2019 U.S. strike in Syria that killed dozens of people, including women and children, but that wasn’t publicly acknowledged by the military until this year, the Defense Department said Monday. Gen. Michael X. Garrett, who is in charge of Army Forces Command, will lead the inquiry and will look at the number of civilians killed, whether the U.S. complied with the laws of war in launching the attack, how the military records such events, and whether anyone should be held accountable for the deaths, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. The defense chief sought Gen. Garrett to lead the investigation because he wasn’t part of the decision to launch the strike and therefore could lead a dispassionate review, Mr. Kirby said. Mr. Kirby didn’t say why the defense chief hadn’t ordered an investigation until now. But the decision follows a New York Times investigation that reported this month that the U.S. military sought to hide the outcome of the strike and never investigated it, even after the decision to launch it immediately raised questions internally. The strike, carried out in March 2019 in the Syrian city of Baghuz, killed approximately 80 people.”

Kurdistan 24: SDF Arrests ISIS Facilitator In Raqqa

“The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) arrested an alleged ISIS facilitator in Raqqa in a joint operation with the US-led coalition on Tuesday. The SDF and the Coalition forces conducted “operations in Ar Raqqah Province resulting in the detention of a key Daesh (ISIS) facilitator”, the US Special Operations Joint Task Force-Levant (SOJTF LEVANT) tweeted. SOJTF LEVANT, which oversees activities in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, also announced in a Friday tweet that the SDF carried out the operation in Markada, Hasakah province. “This is part of continued efforts to protect the Syrian people and Coalition partners by deterring the reconstitution of Daesh (Arabic acronym for ISIS),” the official account said. Raqqa was liberated from ISIS in October 2017 by the SDF with support from the US-led coalition. The entirety of ISIS’s self-styled caliphate was destroyed following the SDF’s capture of the eastern town of Baghouz in March 2019. However, the group still launches regular sleeper cell attacks in SDF-controlled parts of Syria, especially the Arab-majority eastern province of Deir al-Zor.”

Iraq

The National: Verdict Expected In Case Of ISIS Member Accused Of Yazidi Genocide

“The landmark trial of an Iraqi ISIS member accused of genocide against the Yazidi community is to conclude on Tuesday in Frankfurt, Germany. Prosecutors accuse Taha Al J of enslaving a 5-year-old Yazidi girl called Rania and allowing her to die when she was tied up outside in the scorching Fallujah heat in the summer of 2015. A key witness in the trial has been Rania’s mother, who Taha Al J is also accused of keeping as a slave and abusing. Although German courts have already convicted ISIS members who returned to Germany for crimes against the Yazidis, Tuesday’s judgment could be the first time that a court decides that what happened to the community is genocide. About 10,000 Yazidis were killed when ISIS swept through northern Iraq in 2014. Around 7,000 women and girls were enslaved. Taha Al J is believed to have joined ISIS in early 2013 but was arrested in Greece in May 2019. He is accused of purchasing and beating Rania and her mother, and depriving them of food. They were kidnapped in the summer of 2014 after ISIS invaded the Sinjar region of Iran. Last month, Taha Al J’s wife Jennifer Wenisch was jailed for 10 years by a Munich court for the death of Rania on charges of crimes against humanity and membership of a terrorist organisation.”

Middle East

The Times Of Israel: Man Seriously Injured In Jerusalem Terror Attack Released From Intensive Care

“A man seriously injured in a deadly terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City last week has been released from intensive care, the hospital where he is being treated announced Monday. Shaare Zedek Medical Center said 26-year-old Aharon Yehuda Imergreen’s condition was improving and that he will remain in the hospital to undergo several more operations. His family asked the Israeli public to pray for his full recovery. “A Hanukkah miracle,” a statement from the hospital said, referring to the Jewish holiday that began this week. Imergreen was one of several people wounded in the shooting attack, in which Eli Kay was killed. Kay, an employee at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation who had made aliyah from South Africa, was heading to work when he was fatally shot by terrorist Fadi Abu Skhaydam. Abu Shkhaydam, an East Jerusalem Palestinian who taught at a public school in the city, was shot dead by police at the scene, following a brief gun battle. According to Israeli authorities, he was a member of Hamas’s political wing.”

Africa

Foreign Policy: Uganda And Congo Are At War With The Islamic State

“On Aug. 26, as the United States was rushing to evacuate Americans and their allies following the Taliban’s rapid advance across Afghanistan, a suicide bomber attacked the crowds surrounding Kabul’s airport, killing 13 U.S. service members and as many as 170 Afghans. It was the deadliest day for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since 2011. Within hours, the Islamic State-Khorasan claimed the attack, a sobering reminder that despite the Islamic State’s territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria two years ago, the group has not disappeared. In fact, its reach is spreading to new parts of the globe. Last month, the Islamic State claimed its first attacks in Uganda. And on Nov. 16, the Islamic State claimed two nearly simultaneous suicide bombings that rocked downtown Kampala, Uganda, and forced the closure of Uganda’s parliament. The Uganda bombings were perpetrated by the Islamic State’s affiliate group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which calls itself the Islamic State Central Africa Province and is known locally as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). It is one of the deadliest armed groups operating in Congo. Yet there is a heated debate among Congo scholars and contemporary jihadism experts over whether or not the ADF is really tied to the Islamic State.”

Al Jazeera: More Than 20 Killed In Attack On DR Congo Displaced Persons Camp

“At least 22 civilians have been killed in an attack on a camp for internally displaced people in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, an aid worker and civil rights leader have said. Red Cross coordinator Mambo Bapu Mance told the AFP news agency on Monday that 20 people were buried immediately in two common graves, while another two who died of their wounds were buried later. The same camp in Ituri province was attacked less than a week ago when 29 people were killed. Mance accused the armed group Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) of carrying out the attack on Ivo camp on Sunday. Civil rights group president Charite Banza put the toll at 22. “This is the third attack by these outlaws against displacement sites in the space of a week in this part of the country, causing more than 50 deaths and enormous material damage,” Banza told the Reuters news agency. The Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a US-based monitor of violence in the region, cited the same death toll. The army spokesman in the region, Lieutenant Jules Ngongo, said the CODECO rebels were repelled, but did not elaborate. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called for strong action against the perpetrators.”

Al Jazeera: Ethiopia Denies Attack On Sudan, Blames Rebels For Violence

“Ethiopia has denied it staged an attack over the weekend along its shared border with Sudan, blaming unrest in the disputed zone on rebels from its war-hit Tigray region. On Saturday, Sudan’s military said “several” soldiers had been killed in an attack by armed groups and militias linked to the Ethiopian military in the fertile expanse known as Al-Fashaqa. The area has long been a source of tension between Addis Ababa and Khartoum, sparking deadly clashes over the last year. But in comments that aired on state media on Sunday, Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu dismissed claims the military had attacked Sudan as “groundless”. Instead, he blamed the violence on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the fighter group that has been locked in a gruesome war against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government since November 2020 and claims to be approaching the capital Addis Ababa. “A large group of insurgents, bandits and terrorists had entered [from Sudan],” Legesse said in comments aired by the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, without providing evidence. “The Ethiopian National Defence Force and the local militia have destroyed them,” he added. Legesse also said the TPLF was training in Sudan and receiving support from unspecified “foreign backers.”

Australia

Australian Associated Press: Terrorist, 24, Who Branded Herself And Her Husband The 'Jihadi Bonnie And Clyde' Walks Free After Repeatedly Breaching A Federal Control Order

“A woman who described herself and her husband as a jihadi Bonnie and Clyde has been jailed again after repeatedly breaching a federal control order. But Alo-Bridget Namoa has again walked free, after her new sentence was backdated to when she was returned to custody after her re-arrest. The now 24-year-old and Sameh Bayda were found guilty in 2018 of conspiring between December 8, 2015 and January 25, 2016 to do an act in preparation for a terrorist act. Namoa was jailed in the Supreme Court for three years and nine months with a minimum term of two years and 10 months. On her release in December 2019, she was placed on a control order which included conditions aimed at protecting the public from a terrorist act. She later pleaded guilty in the District Court to three counts of failing to comply with the order, including by misusing her permitted mobile phone. Namoa on Monday was sentenced to 16 months with a non-parole period of 12 months. She was released from custody as the term was backdated to when she was returned to jail in July 2020.”

Europe

AEP: Finland's Secret School For Children Of ISIS Fighters

“At home in Helsinki, Ilona Taimela scrolls through hundreds of WhatsApp chats with her former pupils — pictures of animals, maths sums and simple sentences in English and Finnish. Last year, the teacher gave lessons to Finnish children imprisoned about 3,000 kilometres away in Syria's Al Hol displacement camp — using only the messaging app. Al Hol is a sprawling tent city housing around 60,000 people, mainly women and children displaced by the US-backed battle to expel the ISIS militant group from war-torn Syria. Among them are thousands of children of foreign mothers who travelled to Syria to be the wives of ISIS fighters. “Some of the children didn't know what a building is, what a house is, because they've always been in a tent,” Ms Taimela told AFP. “There was so much that they needed to learn.” Rights observers warn the camp's children are under constant threat from violence, poor sanitation and fires. “It's a miserable place, it's out of control,” said Jussi Tanner, Finland's special envoy charged with ensuring the fundamental rights of the Finnish children in Al Hol, including access to healthcare and schooling, and eventual repatriation.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On January 15, 2019, al-Shabaab gunmen stormed an upscale hotel and office complex in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The attack lasted over 12 hours, killing 22 people and wounding 27 others.   

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