Eye on Extremism: October 11

CBS News: Civilians Rush To Escape Turkish Airstrikes In Northern Syria

“Thunderous explosions echoed across northern Syria on Thursday as Turkish artillery paved the way for an all-out ground assault. The Turkish military said they've struck more than 180 "terrorist targets" along a 150-mile path. They said ground troops have already crossed into the stretch of land between Tel Abyad and Ras al Ayn, the two border towns where U.S. special forces vacated bases earlier this week. CBS News found some of the tens of thousands of people who have fled the intense shelling, bottle-necked on the main road leading out of the border city of Gamishli.”

Time: Al-Qaeda Bomb Maker Once Dubbed 'World's Most Dangerous Terrorist' Was Killed 2 Years Ago, White House Says

“Ibrahim al-Asiri, a senior al-Qaeda bomb maker and terrorist coordinator, was killed two years ago in a United States operation in Yemen, the White House announced on Thursday. Al-Asiri had been in hiding in Yemen for years and was the repeated target of U.S. drone strikes. The U.S. mistakenly believed they had killed him in a 2011 strike. They later targeted a man they believed was al-Asiri in a May 2012 strike, but he turned out to be another al-Qaeda leader. As TIME wrote in 2013, the Obama administration believed al-Asiri was “the most dangerous terrorist in the world.” He was connected to the failed “underwear bomb” aboard a U.S.-bound flight on Christmas Day 2009, and allegedly built bombs that nearly detonated within two Chicago-bound international cargo planes in 2010. Al-Asiri also allegedly planned to blow up a U.S. airliner in 2012 around the anniversary of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s death, but was stopped when the member chosen for the suicide mission turned out to be a double agent for the U.S. Per the White House statement, Al-Asiri also built a device used in an assassination attempt of the former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. “Al-Asiri’s death significantly handicapped al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula,” the statement reads.”

Fox News: US To Move About 50 ISIS Fighters From Syria To Iraq Amid Turkish Assault, Officials Say

“Around 50 Islamic State fighters that the U.S. removed from Syria in recent days amidst a Turkish military assault are headed to Iraq, officials there say. Two Iraqi intelligence officials who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday say the transfer of the prisoners is expected to be completed by Friday. The move comes after Turkey began a military offensive into northern Syria against U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who are holding more than 10,000 ISIS members as prisoners. There are concerns that with the assault unfolding, the Kurdish-led forces in charge of guarding the detainees won't be able to secure them or would divert forces to fend off against advancing Turkish troops. U.S. officials said Wednesday that two British militants believed to be part of an ISIS group that beheaded hostages and were known as “The Beatles” already have been moved out of a detention center in Syria and are in American custody. Their exact location Thursday was not immediately clear. The two British men, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey, along with other British jihadis, allegedly made up the ISIS cell that was nicknamed “The Beatles” because of their English accents.” 

The Washington Post: Thousands Of Nigerian Hunters Prepare To Chase Boko Haram

“Thousands of Nigerian hunters, armed with charmed amulets and intimate knowledge of harsh terrain, are preparing an offensive against the Boko Haram extremists who have ravaged the northeast for a decade, calling it “high time” they help soldiers end the deadly insurgency. Nigeria’s government discouraged a similar offensive five years ago, calling it a suicide mission. This time it has the backing of the governor of Borno state, which has suffered the worst of the Boko Haram attacks. It is a sign that Nigerian authorities, who have repeatedly claimed the defeat of Boko Haram, might be running out of options against the Islamic extremists and a recent offshoot that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. Borno state’s new Gov. Babagana Zulum, who inherited the conflict after winning election earlier this year, said he is tired of applying conventional strategies against an extremist group that has killed and abducted tens of thousands of people and displaced millions. The unrest has created a vast humanitarian crisis. The governor recently approved the sourcing of at least 10,000 hunters to help end the fighting.” 

The New York Times: Only A Locked Door Stopped A Massacre At A German Synagogue

“Were it not for a dark wooden door, the authorities say, Stephan Balliet may have succeeded in carrying out a massacre of Jews he had planned to broadcast live around the world. He chose Yom Kippur, knowing the synagogue in Halle, Germany, would be full. But during every service, the thick, narrow door, its outside handle removed, was locked from the inside. It served as the only protection for Halle’s Jewish community from the outside world. On Wednesday, it spared the lives of 51 Jews from the area and a group of young, international visitors, including 10 Americans, who had come to be with them on the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.”

Newsweek: From 8Chan To Telegram: Experts Point To Far-Right Extremists' New Favorite Messaging Platform

“Telegram, an encrypted messaging app, has outpaced WhatsApp, Twitter and other messaging services to replace 8chan as the go-to online gathering place for religious and right-wing extremists, according to one expert from the Counter Extremism Project. Researcher Joshua Fischer-Birch told The Hill on Wednesday that Telegram's 65 publicly visible white extremist channels have experienced a surge in users over the past month, with each channel welcoming hundreds of new members. On average, each channel grew by 256 members, or 43 percent. According to a 2017 report by the Counter Extremism Project, Telegram knowingly allowed ISIS and other terrorist and religious extremist groups to use its messaging platform despite growing evidence of its role in numerous terrorist attacks.”

United States

NBC News: Suspected Gunman In El Paso Walmart Shooting Pleads Not Guilty To Attack That Killed 22

“The Texas man accused of killing 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, in an attack that authorities said targeted people of Mexican descent, pleaded not guilty in court Thursday. Patrick Crusius, 21, entered the plea during a brief court appearance. Court documents previously released say that he confessed to opening fire at the store on Aug. 3, that he told police “I'm the shooter” when he surrendered and that in an interview with detectives he “stated his target were 'Mexicans.’” Crusius is charged with capital murder and is being held without bail.”

The Daily Beast: Al Qaeda Underwear Bomb Maker Died In U.S. Operation Two Years Ago: White House

“The maker of an underwear bomb that was worn by a terrorist on a Detroit-bound Christmas Day flight in 2009 has been killed, the White House confirmed Thursday. In a statement, the White House said senior al Qaeda bomb maker and terror coordinator Ibrahim al-Asiri was killed two years ago during a U.S. operation in Yemen. The Trump administration also said Al-Asiri was behind three other failed or foiled bombing attempts: a printer cartridge bomb plot in 2010, a 2012 bomb that was meant to be used against a passenger aircraft, and a device in the attempted assassination of the former crown prince of Saudi Arabia.”

CNN: US Detention Of ISIS 'Beatles' Shows The Collapse In Relations With Turkey

“It has seemed an intractable problem. What to do with hundreds of foreign ISIS fighters, accused of atrocities, but caught in such a legal quagmire that nobody even wanted to punish them? Yet, in a sign of the seriousness of the crisis unfolding in northeastern Syria, the two British members of an ISIS cell known as the Beatles, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were swiftly transferred to US military custody on Wednesday, ending months of legal and moral wrangling about what to do with them. The two surviving members of the cell were accused of being behind the torture that preceded the execution of several Western ISIS hostages. In an interview with CNN earlier this year, they denied violence, but confessed to assisting in ransom negotiations, for which Elshafee said he was sorry. The legal wrangling was partly of the UK's own doing, and partly a product of the sheer chaos of Syria's breakdown. The UK quietly stripped the pair of their citizenship, a move designed to prevent their return and also reduce the UK's responsibility for them. Yet it created a legal hurdle, and it made it even more complex, UK officials said, to repatriate them to face charges. Another hurdle was the fact they were being held by Syrian Kurds, in a part of Syria where there was no officially recognized government.”

CNN: How The Extreme-Right Gamified Terror

“It was an eerily familiar scene. A gunman livestreaming an attack on a head-mounted camera, in the style of a first-person shooter video game, and uploading it along with an extremist tirade. The parallels between the attack on a synagogue in the German town of Halle and other recent far-right shootings points to a wider trend: the gamification of terror. Looked at together, some analysts say the atrocities in Christchurch, New Zealand; Poway, California; El Paso, Texas; and Baerum, Norway, paint a picture of a growing terror network with roots in alt-right culture and online safe havens, not just isolated events carried out by people holding similar beliefs. “Notably, all attackers seem to be influenced by the violence enticing extreme-right/incel [involuntary celibates] nexus found on certain threads in forums such 8Chan, 4Chan. In addition, gaining recognition and appraisal from likeminded forum users/anons seems to be an important motive,” Jacob Aasland Ravndal, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) at the University of Oslo, told CNN by email. “All of this suggests that not only ideology but also emotions and (failed) social relations, as well as the gamification of real-life mass-shootings, need to be taken into account when trying to understand these attacks.”

The Guardian: US Moves Two British Isis Fighters From Syria To Iraq 

“The two British Isis members accused of involvement in the beheading of western hostages are being taken to Iraq by the US military as the Turkish offensive in north-east Syria enters its second day. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh were members of a British group of Isis militants known as “the Beatles”. They were seized overnight, with lawyers predicting that their transfer to Iraq would be a precursor to them being taken to the United States. Details remain sketchy, but western officials confirmed that the two Britons have been taken across the border, after previously being held in detention by Syrian Kurdish forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Overnight, Donald Trump announced that the two had been moved, tweeting: In case the Kurds or Turkey lose control, the United States has already taken the 2 ISIS militants tied to beheadings in Syria, known as the Beetles, out of that country and into a secure location controlled by the U.S. They are the worst of the worst! The two are understood to be part of a larger group moved by the US, with some reports saying it numbered around 40 Isis fighters. Earlier, Trump had said the US had “taken a certain number of Isis fighters that are particularly bad, and we’ve wanted to make sure that nothing happened with them with respect to getting out”.


Fox News: Syria Pullout May Trigger 'Complete Reversal' Of U.S. Gains: Former Intel Officer Who Interrogated ISIS Leader

“The former U.S. Navy intelligence officer who interrogated the leader of ISIS during the Iraq war warned that President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria may result in a similar set of circumstances that unfolded after President Barack Obama’s pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011. The extraction of U.S. troops from northern Syria has raised concerns that ISIS members, who are detained in Syria under the control of Kurdish forces, may be freed.  There about 2,500 Islamic State foreign fighters and another 10,000 fighters from Syria and Iraq, currently being held in Syria.”

USA Today: U.S. And Kurdish Soldiers: Side By Side Just Days Ago, Battling ISIS, Now The Kurds Are Under Attack

“Two days before President Trump announced that he would pull U.S. military back from the border zone in Syria, Americans and their Kurdish allies had removed senior ISIS fighters from the battlefield, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to speak publicly. The capture of the two fighters occurred as part of daily regular commando raids U.S. forces had been running with Kurdish soldiers, the official said. Trump's abandonment of Kurdish allies fighting ISIS has shocked members of the U.S. military and left it scrambling to protect American forces in Syria – and to look on as those they worked with side by side only a few days ago are now under attack as Turkey's military continues to step up assaults on the region.  Thursday marked the second day of Turkey's assault on Kurdish forces in the region. Turkey launched the assault because it views a Kurdish militia that dominates the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as a terrorist group. Earlier this week, Trump said he was delivering on a campaign promise to remove U.S. troops from “ridiculous endless wars.” Trump also defended his decision on Wednesday to end U.S. support for the Kurds, saying they had failed to fight with Americans in World War II.”

CBS News: As Turkey Attacks Kurds In Syria, Trump Says Any ISIS Escapees Are Europe's Problem

“President Trump has dismissed concerns that Turkey's incursion into northern Syria could enable hundreds of hardened ISIS fighters to go free as a problem for other countries. There are more than 10,000 ISIS detainees held in jails across northern Syria run by America's long-time Kurdish allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Kurds had warned that a Turkish offensive against them, which began on Wednesday, would force them to turn their attention from ISIS, to self defense. About 2,500 of the ISIS detainees held in Syria are believed to be highly dangerous foreign fighters from Europe and elsewhere. On Wednesday, the U.S. military confirmed to CBS News that it had taken custody of two of those prisoners, a pair of British nationals suspected of involvement in the brutal murder of American hostages. “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan said Thursday that the two Brits who had been held jointly by the U.S. and the Kurds were being moved to Iraq, where the U.S. has bases and can be more confident in their security.  Speaking on Wednesday, Mr. Trump seemed unconcerned by warnings that thousands of other ISIS fighters — and thousands of their family members who are held in separate facilities in the region, including many who still sympathize with the extremist group — could escape amid mounting chaos.”

The Washington Post: Our Sons Were Killed By The Islamic State. Don’t Let ISIS Prisoners In Syria Go Free.

“Between 2012 and 2014, our children — James Foley and Steven Sotloff — were taken hostage, tortured and killed in Syria by members of the Islamic State. We were promised by two administrations that their murderers would be brought to justice. We watched as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led coalition of local troops in northeastern Syria backed by U.S. forces, captured more than 10,000 ISIS prisoners. Northeastern Syria, which borders Turkey, is a critical zone in which our U.S. troops, with our international coalition, have supported the Kurds in the fight against ISIS. The SDF have been guarding the 10,000 ISIS fighters and their 70,000 family members in camps. They have been awaiting extradition and trial. Among them are Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, two suspected members of the “Beatles,” the British ISIS fighters responsible for killing the hostages. We have waited, month after month, for the U.S. government to find ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and other culpable ISIS fighters, and to finally prosecute Kotey and Elsheikh for the horrors inflicted on our children. Earlier this week, we learned, with the rest of the world, that President Trump was abruptly pulling back U.S. forces in northeastern Syria and abandoning our local allies.”

Business Insider: ISIS Has A Plan To Bust Out 70,000 Supporters From Kurdish Jails Now That The US Has Abandoned The Area To The Turkish Military

“ISIS fighters will be closely watching the fighting between Turkish and Kurdish troops in northeastern Syria, waiting for a chance to break thousands of fighters, and tens of thousands of family members, out of Kurdish prisons, according to a former member of the group, Western intelligence officials, and Kurdish commanders. Concerns of a mass-scale ISIS prison break have grown as Turkish troops enter northeastern Syria to confront the Syrian Defence Forces. The SDF is a predominately Kurdish group regarded as terrorists by Turkey but a key American ally in the ground war against ISIS. SDF officials, who have warned that their resources were already overstretched guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners before the invasion, now say the situation is critical. Thousands of ISIS fighters are being held in a dozen SDF facilities. Nearly 70,000 women and children are being held at the al Hol camp in Syria. US special operations troops overnight Wednesday moved several dozen high profile prisoners, including those accused of murdering Western hostages, to an undisclosed location outside of Syria. But that won't be enough to prevent ISIS from attempting to break out thousands of lesser known but vital fighters, according to a former member of the group.”

National Review: Intel Officials Warn Of Possible ISIS Resurgence After U.S. Withdrawal

“Current and former U.S. intelligence officials warned that ISIS could regroup following the American withdrawal from northeast Syria, according to a report from NBC. Kurdish organizations are currently holding 12,000 ISIS fighters in prison, said the officials, and it is unclear what will happen to them after Turkey’s invasion of Syria. If the fighters are set free, the officials fear that ISIS terrorists will regroup similar to how ISIS was formed during the years 2010 to 2013, when the group’s founders were released or escaped from jail as American forces left Iraq. President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that if ISIS fighters manage to break free, they “are going to be escaping to Europe, that’s where they want to go. They want to go back to their homes.” The officials interviewed by NBC agreed with an assessment that ISIS is still a dangerous threat. The bipartisan Syria Study Group, a panel appointed by Congress to assess the situation in the country, released a report days before the Turkish invasion indicating that ISIS would seize an opportunity to regroup. “There’s ample evidence ISIS is still very much active, it has access to tremendous resources, its brand still has international appeal,” said report co-author and senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Dana Stroul.”

Reuters: Islamic State Will Not Have Presence In Northeast Syria - Erdogan 

“Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday he guaranteed that Islamic State jihadists will not have a presence in northeast Syria after Turkey completes its offensive against a Kurdish militia in the region. In a speech to officials from his AK Party, Erdogan said Islamic States prisoners who need to be kept captive will be held in prison and those accepted by their own countries will be returned home.”


The Independent: Iran Oil Tanker On Fire After ‘Being Hit By Rockets In Terrorist Attack’ Off Saudi Coast

“Two rockets have struck an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia, causing a major explosion, according to officials in Tehran. “Two missiles hit the Iran-owned ship near the Jeddah port city of Saudi Arabia,” state television reported. “The oil tanker ... sustained damages to the body when it was hit by missiles 96km from the Saudi port city of Jeddah.” The foreign ministry said the tanker had sustained damage from the explosion. “Experts believe it was a terrorist attack,” the agency reported, adding that oil spilled out into the sea after the blast. The leak was later stopped. “Those behind the attack are responsible for the consequences of this dangerous adventure, including the dangerous environmental pollution caused,” a spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry said. The vessel was on fire in the Red Sea following the blast, which occurred early on Friday morning. The Nour news agency reported that all crew members were safe. “None of the crew members were injured at the explosion... the situation is under control,” the news agency, which is close to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, reported. A spokesperson for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, which oversees the region, said authorities there were “aware of reports of this [latest] incident,” but declined to comment further.”


Xinhua: 10 IS Militants Killed In Security Operation In Iraq

“A total of 10 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Thursday in an operation by the Iraqi security forces in the central province of Salahudin. Acting upon intelligence reports, a joint force from the Iraqi army, police and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units conducted an anti-IS operation in the village of Smeilat near the town of al-Shirqat, some 280 km north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, said a statement by the media office of the Joint Operations Command. During the operation, the Iraqi troops killed 10 IS militants, four wearing explosive belts, and confiscated their weapons, the statement said. The security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after the Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017. IS remnants, however, have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out frequent hit-and-run attacks against security forces and civilians.”


BBC News: Turkey Syria Offensive: Will Islamic State Re-Emerge?

“Yes, quite possibly, in some form, is the short answer. Jihadist groups like Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda thrive on chaos and disruption. This incursion threatens to bring both to a region that was already a tinderbox of tension. But the outcome will partly depend on the depth, duration and intensity of the Turkish incursion into Syria. The jihadists of IS lost the last remaining square miles of their self-declared caliphate following the battle for Baghuz in Syria in March this year. But thousands of their fighters are still alive and not all are in prisons. The group has vowed to fight on through what it calls a “war of attrition”, hoping to grind down its adversaries by a succession of covertly planned attacks, such as the bombings it claimed in Raqqa this week. In north-eastern Syria, previously an IS stronghold, their resurgence has been kept in check by the large number of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) soldiers, mostly Kurds, backed by US special forces and the firepower at their disposal. The Kurds have not only been a military presence on the ground and on the border with Turkey but they have also performed the task that almost nobody else wanted to do: guarding the thousands of IS fighters and their dependants in overcrowded prisons and camps under their control.”


Xinhua: Airstrikes Kill 8 Militants In Afghanistan's Eastern Ghazni Province

“Afghan air force launched airstrikes against a position of militants loyal to the Taliban outfit in Giro district of the eastern Ghazni province late Thursday night killing eight, Aref Nuri, the provincial governor's spokesman said Friday. In the sorties, several militants were injured, the official said, adding the security forces also captured a number of arms and ammunition. No security personnel and civilians had been harmed during the air raids, Nuri asserted. Taliban outfit has yet to make comment.”


Reuters: Pakistan Arrests Four Aides Of Alleged Mastermind Of Mumbai Terror Attacks

“Pakistani authorities on Thursday arrested four aides of Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind of a four-day militant attack on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, on terrorism financing charges, counter-terrorism police said. Saeed, arrested on the same charges, has been on judicial remand since July, a move welcomed by U.S. President Donald Trump who wants Pakistan to do more to crack down on militancy. But Saeed’s arrest came just ahead of a visit to Washington by Prime Minister Imran Khan and was seen by rival India as a ploy to smooth the way before a meeting with Trump. Thursday’s arrests come ahead of a meeting next week of the Financial Action Task Force, a global watchdog, which will review progress made by Pakistan on controlling terror financing and money laundering. Pakistan, included on a so-called gray list compiled by the FATF, has been under increasing pressure to stop the financing of militant groups. The four aides will appear before a trial court on Friday, police said in a statement.”


Egypt Today: Egypt’s Security Forces Foil Terrorist Attack In Arish

“Egypt’s security forces thwarted a terrorist attack, Thursday, against a security checkpoint in Arish city, North Sinai. According to an official statement by Egypt’s Ministry of Interior, the forces killed the attacker before blowing himself up. Egypt has been countering terrorism and extremism ideologies during the past years since the ousting of the late pro-Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi. In February 2018, the Army launched a military operation titled “Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018,” targeting the hotbeds of terrorists nationwide especially in Northern and Central Sinai. Sinai, in particular, has been a staging ground for militants operating in Egypt for decades. It is also believed to be home to the Islamic State’s Egyptian branch, which has been primarily targeting civilians and security forces.”


Stars And Stripes: Airstrikes Devastated ISIS Camps In Libya, Defense Official Says

“A series of recent airstrikes in Libya against Islamic State targets were delivered to “devastating effect,” eliminating roughly one-third of the group’s already weakened fighting force in the country, a defense official said Thursday. U.S. Africa Command launched four airstrikes in Libya in September, resuming attacks after a one-year pause. The strikes killed 43 ISIS fighters who were operating out of desert camps. “We assess that was a pretty significant degradation of their capability,” said the defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. There are now only about 100 ISIS fighters believed to be operating in Libya, the official said. Leading up to the airstrikes, AFRICOM had seen an uptick in attacks in Libya by the militant group, which had taken advantage of an ongoing civil war in the country that has pitted a U.S.-backed government against the so-called Libyan National Army, commanded by rebel leader Khalifa Hifter. While the two forces fought against each other, ISIS launched attacks of its own against the warring sides. Still, ISIS in Libya has struggled to regenerate in the years since it had some 5,000 fighters in the country and dominated a 200-mile coastal section in the north where it had a burgeoning government of its own.” 


Xinhua: At Least 20 Boko Haram Militants Surrender To Nigerian Troops

“At least 20 Boko Haram militants surrendered to Nigerian troops following various clearance operations in the country's northeast region, according to local security officials on Thursday. Among them, 15 high-profile militants laid down their arms during an operation by the army and the government-backed militia, the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), at Pulka village in the Gwoza area of the northeastern state of Borno, said Bashir Kaka, a CJTF leader. Kaka said some of the Boko Haram leaders who surrendered during the operation on Wednesday were among those earlier declared wanted by the army. A chief driver of the Boko Haram terror group was also arrested during the operation, he said. Aminu Iliyasu, a spokesman of the army in Borno, told Xinhua that five additional militants had surrendered to troops in Gamboru Ngala and Dikwa local government areas of the state in similar operations. The militants, Iliyasu said, had stated that they had to surrender to troops due to the severe hunger resulting from the blockade of their supply routes and arrest of their logistics suppliers and collaborators, as well as constant bombardments of their artilleries and criminal hideouts, in previous operations.”


The Washington Post: Destroying A Fragile Peace, Terrorists Wreak Havoc In West Africa

“The girls don’t know each other, but they live in identical plastic tents about a mile apart. They’re both 12, struggling to adjust here, pining for what they can see only in their dreams. “The cows, goats and sheep,” said Hamsa, a daughter of Fulani herders. “Our house made of stone,” said Mariam, a daughter of Dogon farmers. Their families escaped to neighboring camps this spring after gunmen stormed their rural villages in central Mali, spraying bullets into bedrooms and torching grain huts. Their people had shared that land in a fragile peace for decades before the terrorists invaded, setting off a surge of violence between the two communities. Islamist militants who once tried to conquer Mali by force are striking again with an insidious new strategy, security analysts say: Fighters linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are provoking feuds between old neighbors — the Fulani and the Dogon — and gaining ground by offering to protect victims of the conflict they’re stoking. Now a record number of people are fleeing their homes in this West African nation twice the size of Texas.”

Xinhua: Conflicts And Terrorism Disturbing Africa's Progress: Legislator

“Africa's quest to achieve economic development is being stifled by terrorism and conflicts, said a Pan-African Parliament member on Thursday. Kone Aboubacar Sidiki, Chairperson of the Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolutions, said some terrorist groups like Boko Haram, al-Shabaab use cyber for their recruitment and capitalize on religion, poverty, ethnic diversity and political ideology to develop. “With technological advancements, social media platforms are used to to spread negative propaganda, hate speech and false messages undermining the national security and leading to social unrest,” he said while briefing the Pan African Parliament (PAP). “The Sahel, Lake Chad Basin and the Horn of Africa are the most impacted with severe humanitarian and economic consequences,” said Sidiki. He called for political engagement that takes into account evolving global dynamics in support of the security effort.”

North Korea

Associated Press: N. Korea Threatens To Resume Nuke, Long-Range Missile Tests

“North Korea threatened again Thursday to resume nuclear and long-range missile tests, accusing the U.S. of having instigated some members of the U.N. Security Council to condemn its recent weapons tests. The warning by Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry followed the weekend breakdown of North Korea-U.S. nuclear negotiations in Sweden, the first such talks between the countries in more than seven months. North Korea said the talks collapsed because the U.S. didn’t have any new proposals, and whether it maintains a self-imposed moratorium on major weapons tests was up to Washington.”

United Kingdom

BBC News: 'Neo-Nazi' Teen 'Listed Terror Attack Targets'

“A teenage neo-Nazi who described himself as a “natural sadist” listed targets for a terror attack in his own “guerrilla warfare” manual, a court heard. The 16-year-old boy, from Durham, denies six terrorism offences. He listed “means of attack” and “areas to attack” in the self-written manual, Manchester Crown Court heard. Prosecutors said the boy also marked Adolf Hitler's birthday by calling him “a brave man to say the least”. Michelle Nelson QC, prosecuting, said that since about 2016 the boy had been “an adherent of a right-wing ideology” but “by late 2017 his view had hardened and he became an adherent of neo-Nazism”. In the course of internet searches, he looked for locations of synagogues and wrote of planning to conduct an arson spree targeting synagogues in the Durham area using Molotov cocktails, she told the jury. The boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, also visited websites on firearms, searched for knives and explosives, and was in communication with a gun auctioneer, Ms Nelson said. She told the court a handwritten note by the youth showed him taking on the ideology of “occult Nazism”. Among diary entries he wrote: “In journal format I hope to record events from now all the way to the inevitable race war.”

Reuters: UK Police Charge Pakistan MQM Founder Hussain With Terrorism Offense

“British police said on Thursday they had charged the London-based founder of Pakistan’s MQM movement, Altaf Hussain, with a terrorism offense in connection with a speech delivered in Karachi three years ago. Violence erupted in Karachi after the speech by Hussain was relayed over loudspeakers in the southern Pakistani city in August 2016. Hussain, 66, who lives in Mill Hill, north London, was charged under the Terrorism Act 2006. “On 22 August 2016 (he) published a speech to crowds gathered in Karachi which was likely to be understood by some or all of the members of the public ... as a direct or indirect encouragement to them to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism,” London police said in a statement. Hussain was due to appear at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court later on Thursday. Fearing assassination, Hussain requested asylum in Britain in the 1990s and later gained British citizenship but retains widespread influence in Karachi. The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), one of Pakistan’s biggest political parties, mostly comprises descendants of Muslim Urdu-speaking people who migrated to Pakistan from India around the time of the partition of India in 1947.”


Reuters: In Wake Of Turkish Offensive, France Calls For Urgent Meeting Of Anti-Islamic State Coalition

“French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called for an emergency meeting of the coalition created to fight Islamic State to discuss Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish militias in northern Syria. Le Drian said on France 2 television that the coalition, which includes more than 30 countries, needs to discuss a range of issues because Islamic State could take advantage of the changes on the ground to re-emerge. “It (the coalition) needs to say today what are we going do, how do you, Turkey, want to proceed and how do we ensure the security of places where fighters are held? Everything needs to be on the table so that we are clear,” Le Drian said. Turkey pounded U.S.-allied Kurdish militia in Syria for a second day on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee and killing dozens. Turkey says the Kurdish YPG, the main component of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, is a terrorist group linked to Kurdish insurgents that have fought in Turkey for years. France is one of the United States’ main allies in the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, with its warplanes used to strike militant targets and its special forces on the ground coordinating with Kurdish and Arab fighters.”


The Wall Street Journal: Shooter In German Synagogue Attack Confesses

“The German man charged with murder in Wednesday’s botched attack on a synagogue has confessed to the crime and admitted to anti-Semitic and far-right-wing extremist motives, the federal prosecutor’s office said. Under the German justice system, Stephan Balliet, 27, will still stand trial for the Yom Kippur attack in the eastern city of Halle that left two dead and two injured. It is unclear how confession could affect possible sentencing in what authorities are treating as a terrorist attack.”

The Wall Street Journal: On Edge From Attacks, Germany Finds Far-Right Radicals Within Security Services

“Germany’s security agencies are investigating their own ranks for suspected plots to attack immigrants and politicians, as authorities have become increasingly concerned about allegations of extreme-right radicalism among some soldiers and police officers. The probes examine a range of activities, from racist discussions in online chat forums and illegal weapons possession, to suspected hit lists of left-wing politicians and liberal activists, according to confidential documents and people familiar with the investigations. The inquiries are also examining alleged plots to carry out terrorist attacks.”

The Washington Post: Synagogue Attacker Hoped To Inspire Further Anti-Semitic Attacks, German Authorities Say

“The suspect in a live-streamed attack on a synagogue in eastern Germany that killed two people is a right-wing extremist with a clear anti-Semitic motive, authorities said Thursday. Government officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the death toll in what authorities have characterized as a terrorist attack would have been higher had the assailant’s apparently improvised weapons and explosives not malfunctioned. A locked door in the synagogue had prevented a “massacre of an extent that is hard to imagine,” said Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. Up to 80 worshipers were inside the synagogue in the city of Halle when the attack began Wednesday, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. The assault prompted questions about the safety of the Jewish community in Germany, and officials said the republic had failed its Jewish citizens. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called Wednesday a “day of shame and disgrace.” Since the end of World War II, German leaders have tried to ensure that the stain of the Holocaust — in which Nazi Germany and its collaborators killed roughly 6 million Jews — never fades from public memory and the national conscience.”

The Wall Street Journal: Live Stream Of Germany Shooting Turns Spotlight To Amazon’s Twitch

“Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -0.10% ’s Twitch has become a go-to place to watch people play videogames, but this week that same platform broadcast a horrific crime that highlights the challenge of preventing extremists from showing their violent acts in real time. A German man was accused of killing two people Wednesday near a synagogue and streaming the assault online. The suspect, identified by a German security official as 27-year-old Stephan Balliet, was charged with murder Thursday.”

DW: Attacks On Synagogues In Germany

“The attempted attack on a synagogue in Halle is not the first in recent years. Even after the horrors of the Nazi era, anti-Semitic incidents occur in Germany — on individuals, memorials and Jewish places of worship.”

The Washington Post: The Germany Yom Kippur Attack Shows It Is Past Time To Focus On The Enemy Within

“Yet again, the peace of an innocent religious community has been murderously disrupted by an ultra-right-wing terrorist. This time, the attack came in Halle, Germany, against a synagogue on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. The alleged perpetrator, a 27-year-old German man, was arrested, but not before he shot two innocent people to death. All that stood between the world and the specter of a much larger crime — up to 80 people, including 10 U.S. citizens, were at prayer — was the synagogue’s locked door, which the terrorist failed to breach, despite using explosives. Whether this was because of the barrier’s strength or the perpetrator’s incompetence has not yet been determined. Those who speak of a miracle have good reason. As a policy matter for Germany, the United States and all other civilized countries, what’s important is not the actual death toll but the intended one, and the particular aim that the deaths were supposed to serve. Abundant evidence speaks of a connection, at least ideological and, perhaps, more tangible than that, between the young right-wing radical in Halle and others like him who previously carried out mass murders at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, mosques in New Zealand and a Walmart in El Paso.”

BBC News: German Synagogue Shooting Was Far-Right Terror, Justice Minister Says

“A shooting at a synagogue in the German city of Halle on Wednesday was a far-right terror attack, said Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht. Alleged perpetrator Stephan Balliet had four kilos (9lb) of explosives in his car, Ms Lambrecht said in a statement with attorney-general Peter Frank. Mr Frank said the gunman had been planning a massacre. The suspect, 27, faces two counts of murder and nine counts of attempted murder, German media report. The German national is due to appear in court on Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors allege he intended to create a “worldwide effect” by deliberately mimicking tactics used during a mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques earlier this year. About 2,200 people watched a live stream he allegedly posted on the online streaming platform Twitch. About 60 worshippers were at a Yom Kippur service at the time of the attack. German police have faced criticism from the nation's most prominent Jewish community group, which accused the force of “negligence” in its handling of the attack. The head of the Central Council of Jews said it was “scandalous” that police were not protecting the synagogue on the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday.”


Vice: Neo-Nazi Terrorism Is Evolving Online

“Neo-Nazi terrorists are taking a page from ISIS' playbook and carrying out calculated, horrific, mass casualty attacks all over the world to shock and scare of the public. And they’re taking another tip from the infamous terrorist group: using internet savvy and encrypted networks to spread propaganda, recruit new members, and ultimately orchestrate terrorism. They have even used famous jihadist images of Osama bin Laden in their propaganda and glorify ISIS videos. After a spate of high-profile deplatforming campaigns on more mainstream social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, the far-right retreated to the more covert corners of the internet, taking up on platforms like Minds. Recently, and similarly to ISIS, neo-Nazis have begun using Telegram for everything from shitposting to coordinating terrorist activities.”