Eye on Extremism: October 12, 2021

CBS News: Iraq Captures ISIS Finance Chief And Former Deputy Leader Sami Jasim Al-Jaburi

“Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced on Monday the capture of one of the top leaders of ISIS. Al-Kadhimi said in a Twitter post that Sami Jasim al-Jaburi, the former deputy of the terror group and its head of finance, was detained in a third country, which he declined to name, by Iraqi intelligence forces in a “complex external operation.” Al-Jaburi, born in Iraq in 1973, was a deputy to slain ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and is believe to have remained close to the group's current commander Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. Al-Jaburi was designated as a terrorist by the U.S. government and there was a $5 million reward on offer from the State Department for information leading to his arrest. The Iraqi government considers al-Jaburi a key figure within the terrorist organization. After joining ISIS in the early days following its split from al Qaeda, he played a central role in building ISIS' de-facto state as it seized a huge swathe of territory spanning the Iraq-Syria border between 2014 and 2018. Iraqi political analyst and security expert Fadhil Abu Ragheef told CBS News that al-Jaburi was a trusted deputy to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former ISIS leader who was killed in a U.S. raid in Syria in 2019.”

The National: Saudi Arabia Calls On UN To Hold Houthis Accountable

“Saudi Arabia has called for the UN to hold Houthi militia accountable for their continuing attacks on civilians in the kingdom. It sent a letter to the UN and UN Security Council on Sunday, the second time in a week that the country has demanded action against the Houthis “in accordance with international law”. “The kingdom will spare no effort in taking all necessary measures to protect its lands and preserve the safety of its citizens and residents, according to its obligations under international law,” said Abdallah Al Mouallimi, the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN. Ambassador Al Mouallimi said the Houthi attack on October 8 at Jazan airport caused injuries to 10 civilians and employees, and damage to the airport. He said attacking civilian infrastructure and threatening innocent people could amount to a war crime, for which the Houthi militia must be held accountable in accordance with international law. “As I indicated in my previous messages, it is clear that the continued absence of adequate and strict measures by the international community, especially the Security Council, has sent the wrong message to the Houthis to continue their terrorist acts in the region,” he added.”

Syria

AFP: Car Bomb Kills Six In Northern Syria's Afrin: Monitor

“A car bombing in the northern Syrian city of Afrin on Monday killed six people, including at least one Turkey-backed rebel fighter, a war monitor said. An AFP video journalist saw civil defence members douse the charred remains of a car with water, as rescue workers carried away what appeared to be a victim's remains under a blanket on a stretcher. Afrin, like all Syrian areas held by pro-Turkish rebels, is the scene of regular targeted killings, bombings and shootings that largely remain unclaimed. On Monday, an explosives-laden vehicle detonated in “an area crowded with civilians” in the centre of the city, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The explosion hit near a market and military outpost for the hardline Jaysh al-Islam rebel group, according to the monitor which relies on a network of sources inside Syria. At least two civilians and one Jaysh fighter were among those killed, while 12 other people were wounded, the Observatory said. “Hospitals in Afrin received charred corpses of unidentified persons,” it added. According to the Observatory, a local police force in Afrin arrested two young men suspected of involvement. Last month, Afrin was hit by four separate attacks using explosive devices, including one targeting the vehicle of a rebel commander.”

Turkey

Reuters: Erdogan Says Latest Kurdish YPG Attack On Turkish Police Is 'Final Straw'

“President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey was determined to eliminate threats originating in northern Syria, adding an attack by Kurdish YPG militants that killed two Turkish police was “the final straw.” “We have no patience left regarding some regions in Syria which have the quality of being the source of attacks on our country,” Erdogan said in a news conference following a cabinet meeting. “We are determined to eliminate the threats originating from here either with the active forces there or by our own means,” he added. Two Turkish police were killed on Sunday in a guided missile attack in northern Syria's Azaz region, which Turkey said was launched by the YPG, according to the Interior Ministry. The attack was launched from the Tal Rifaat region, it said. Separately, ammunition that landed in two separate areas caused explosions in the southern Gaziantep province's Karkamis district, across the border from Syria's Jarablus, the governor's office said. A third piece of ammunition landed within Jarablus, it said, adding that it was believed to be launched from a region controlled by the YPG, the U.S.-backed Kurdish militants which Ankara considers a terrorist organisation. “The latest attack on our police and the harassment that targets our soil are the final straw,” Erdogan said.”

Afghanistan

AFP: Under-Pressure Taliban To Meet EU In Bid For 'Positive' Ties

“The Taliban will hold face-to-face talks with European Union officials, the acting foreign minister said on Monday, in a diplomatic push by the hardline Islamists groping for international support. The Taliban are seeking recognition, as well as assistance to avoid a humanitarian disaster, after they returned to power in August following the withdrawal of US troops after 20 years of war. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged the world to donate more money to Afghanistan to head off its economic collapse, and he slammed the Taliban's “broken” promises to Afghan women and girls. The Taliban's Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said the meeting with the EU would take place on Tuesday, days after he led the Taliban's first in-person talks with United States officials since the American pullout. The Taliban badly need allies as Afghanistan's economy is in a parlous state with international aid cut off, food prices rising and unemployment spiking. The regime, still yet to be recognised as a legitimate government by any other country, is also facing a threat from the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), who have launched a series of deadly attacks. “Tomorrow we are meeting the EU representatives.”

CNN: Taliban's Religious Police Instructed To Be More Moderate, But Vulnerable Afghans Say Brutal Justice Is Still Being Meted Out

“The blood-stained bodies of the four accused kidnappers were hung off construction cranes with heavy chains, one with a warning sign strung around his neck, “Abductors will be punished like this.” In the public spaces in the western Afghan city of Herat, the crowds squinted into the sun, peering up at the lifeless figures. Adults took video and pictures with their cellphones, while small children climbed up on the edge of the fountain, directly underneath one of the bodies, to get a better view. “People are really happy about this decision,” one of the bystanders, Mohammed Mansour, told CNN. “Because people believe that by doing this, kidnapping can be removed from this province.” Under the previous government, corruption was rampant and crime rates were high. Since ousting the US-backed administration and storming to power in August, the Taliban have gained favor with many for meting out swift, albeit brutal, justice under the group's strict interpretation of Sharia law. In another incident, just after the group seized control of the city, two alleged criminals were paraded before a jeering crowd, their faces painted -- a punishment the Taliban favor for petty thieves.”

Pakistan

Associated Press: Police: TV Reporter Killed In Bomb Attack In Pakistan

“A local Pakistani journalist was killed in an overnight attack when a roadside bomb went off near his car in the country's southwest, police said Monday. Shahid Zehri, 35, was traveling in his car when the bomb exploded in the town of Hub in the Baluchistan province on Sunday, according to Shafiq Mengal, a local police officer. Mengal said the attack apparently targeted Zehri, but officers are still investigating. Zehri worked for a regional Metro 1 News TV news channel. Hours after the blast, the Baluch Liberation Army separatist group claimed responsibility. Baluchistan is the scene of a long-running insurgency by Baluch secessionist groups, such as the Baluchistan Liberation Front and the Baluchistan Liberation Army, which for decades have staged attacks mainly on security forces to press their demands for independence. However, separatists have also threatened and attacked journalists in recent years. Pakistan has long been a deadly country for journalists. In 2020, it ranked ninth on the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual Global Impunity Index, which assesses countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free, with 15 unsolved murders.”

India

AFP: Suspected Militants Kill Five Soldiers In Indian Kashmir: Army

“Militants shot dead five soldiers in Indian-administered Kashmir on Monday, the army said, stoking tensions in the restive territory following a string of civilian murders. Separately two suspected rebels were shot dead in different incidents, authorities said. Colonel Devendar Anand told AFP that one officer and four soldiers “were killed during a search operation probably by infiltrators” in a mountain pass near the Line of Control (LoC) dividing the area from Pakistan-administered Kashmir. “The operation is ongoing,” he added. The shootings were the deadliest attack on military forces in the area since a ceasefire along the LoC announced in February. Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947, with both claiming the Himalayan region in full. For over three decades, rebel groups have been fighting Indian soldiers and demanding independence for Kashmir or its merger with Pakistan. Tens of thousands of civilians, soldiers and rebels have died in the fighting. India accuses Pakistan of supporting the militants. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government angered many Kashmiris in 2019 by scrapping the Muslim-majority region’s semi-autonomous status.”

United Kingdom

The National: UK Trustees 'Recklessly Sent Cash To Charity Linked To Al Qaeda'

“Five trustees of Syria and Gaza relief group Human Aid mismanaged cash sent abroad to a charity linked to Al Qaeda, a UK watchdog has found. The Charity Commission has described the trustees as “reckless” after the aid group sent more than £250,000 to a Turkish non-profit organisation, which UK police say had links to Al Qaeda. In its report, the Commission laid out its concerns about the group it referred to as “NPO”. “The Commission’s concerns in relation to the NPO followed a disclosure to the Commission, from the police, which stated in its assessment the NPO was being used to provide support to Al-Qaeda aligned individuals in Syria,” it said. However the body upgraded its investigation to a statutory inquiry after UK counterterrorism police seized $9,774 and £9,200 in cash from Human Aid officials at Heathrow Airport in July 2019, money that was allegedly destined for a different foreign recipient. Police stopped the charity’s UK Director of Operations and two volunteers who said they were delivering aid to Gaza, but were unable to provide evidence of where the funds were due to go. “The individuals told the police that the funds belonged to the charity and were intended for use in Gaza,” the Charity Commission said.”

Europe

Balkan Insight: Kosovo Arrests Five Suspects For Plotting Terrorist Attacks

“Kosovo’s Special Prosecution on Sunday said police had arrested five persons suspected of planning terrorist actions against country’s constitutional order and security. Explosive devices, fire arms, drones and anti-tank weapons were seized during the operation, which was conducted after several months of covert investigation and surveillance, the prosecution said. “Within the due time, Special Prosecution will file a request for detention of the five suspects,” the press release added. BIRN has learned that the five were part of a radical Islamist group, and that all of them have also been arrested before for being part of such groups. Sources told BIRN that Ardian Gjuraj from Peje/Pec is one of the five arrested. In February 2018, he was sentenced to one year and five months in prison for terrorism but was released after five months by the Court of Appeals. The indictment against him specified that while living in Germany during 2014-2015, Gjuraj had become a supporter of the terrorist organization ISIS. His own father, Kujtim Cerkini, reported Gjuraj to the police and the German authorities extradited him to Kosovo in April 2015. According to the same indictment, in December 2015 Gjuraj was part of a group who travelled to Turkey and, after becoming separated from the group, entered Syria to join the group of Kosovo fighters within ISIS.”

Technology

Los Angeles Blade: TikTok’s Algorithm Leads Users From Transphobic To Far-Right Rabbit Holes

“…The publisher of the books, the American Futurist, describes itself as seeking “to spread the message and ideas of James Mason” through “the promotion of books, articles and all other forms of media.” Mason, a neo-Nazi writer whose work is cited in The Movementarian Menace, is also a major influence behind Atomwaffen Division, a violent white nationalist terrorist group. As noted by the Counter Extremism Project, the American Futurist is associated with Atomwaffen Division (also known as the National Socialist Order) and multiple ex-members of the group have contributed content to American Futurist. One such contributor is the author of The Movementarian Menace, Vincent Snyder, whose real name, the American Futurist notes, is John Cameron Denton. Denton, himself the former leader of Atomwaffen Division, was sentenced to 41 months in prison in May for taking part in a conspiracy that involved hate crimes targeting a historic African American.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On October 16, 2020, while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” 18-year-old Abdoulakh Anzorov decapitated history teacher Samuel Paty in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. Paty had recently received death threats after showing caricatures of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in class as part of a lesson on freedom of speech.  

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