Eye on Extremism: October 2

Voice Of America: IS Foreign Women Smuggled Out In Northeastern Syria Camp

“A group of intruders who disguised themselves as security forces protecting al-Hol refugee camp in northeastern Syria have helped smuggle out several women affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) fighters, local authorities told VOA. “Some smugglers put on SDF uniforms or security police outfits, and they helped some IS women escape the camp for money,” said Judy Serbilind, who monitors IS female affiliates detained at the overcrowded camp. Serbilind refused to disclose the number of the escaped women but said there were dozens. She said most of them came from outside of Syria, particularly from Europe. “We believe that they fled to Idlib then to Turkey. We think some of them might reach out to the embassies of their countries and some (will) stay in Turkey.” Al-Hol is a makeshift encampment set up for those who were displaced during the war against IS in eastern Syrian province of Dir el-Zour. The camp’s population skyrocketed from about 10,000 refugees in December 2018 to over 70,000 by April 2019 following a U.S.-led operation that defeated IS from its last stronghold of Baghouz.”

ABC News: American Service Member Injured In Al-Shabab Attack In Somalia: US Military 

“A U.S. service member suffered a concussion injury from Monday's attack by the terrorist group al-Shabab at a U.S. military airfield in Somalia, according to U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). In the aftermath of the attack, defense officials reported that there were no injuries or casualties at the Baledogle Military Airfield. However, on Tuesday AFRICOM officials clarified that one U.S. service member suffered a concussion injury. The attack on Baledogle Military Airfield was one of two attacks conducted by al-Shabab in Somalia on Monday. In the attack on the U.S military airfield, a suicide car bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives at the airstrip gate, according to Yusuf Abdourahman, a regional administrative security official. The U.S. military conducted a self-defense airstrike in response to the attack, killing 10 militants, according to an AFRICOM news release on Monday. The second attack -- also a suicide car bomber -- targeted Italian peacekeepers in the state capital of Mogadishu. The explosion missed the European Union peacekeepers, but there were reports that some Somali civilians were injured in the attack. AFRICOM disclosed that there was another airstrike in the country on Tuesday targeting one al-Shabab militant in a separate part of Somalia.”

Middle East Monitor: Daesh Makes Resurgence In Syria, Captures Town, Attacks Kurdish And Russia Forces

“Daesh has conducted manoeuvres to make a resurgence in Syria today by besieging Russian and regime forces, attacking a prominent Kurdish militia and capturing a town in the east of the country, fulfilling recent predictions of the extremist group’s recuperation in the conflict. Daesh militants attacked a gathering of regime militias and Russian special forces in the ancient town of Palmyra through the use of a booby-trapped car filled with explosives, as well as surrounding a Russian convoy and besieging it. The militant group’s own media outlet named Amaq News Agency then allegedly reported that planes launched heavy shelling on its positions in an attempt to break the siege.”

ABC News: 25 Dead After Extremists Attack Army Camps In Central Mali

“Al-Qaida-linked groups attacked two army bases in central Mali, killing at least 25 people and leaving 60 missing, Mali's government said Tuesday. Assailants rode into the community of Boulikessi with heavy weaponry overnight Sunday to Monday to attack a Malian battalion of the regional G5 Sahel Force, said a force commander, Niger Gen. Oumarou Namatou Gazama. He blamed “the terrorist group” Ansarul Islam.Mali's government said that after exchanges of gunfire, the army had retaken Boulikessi, killing at least 15 extremists and destroying five of their vehicles. It said a joint force with Burkina Faso soldiers was pursuing the extremists behind the attacks. The attack on the camp caused “heavy equipment losses and major damage,” Malian government spokesman Yaya Sangaré said earlier in a statement. Around the same time early Monday, armed men attacked another army camp in Mondoro. A resident there said two civilians were among the casualties. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears for his safety. Meanwhile, nearly 30 people have been killed in Burkina Faso's Bam province the past two weeks, including 17 over the weekend, according to the provincial high commissioner, Ambrose Ouedraogo.”

The Times Of Israel: Iran’s Soleimani Claims He And Nasrallah Barely Escaped Israeli Air Raid In 2006

“The head of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps on Tuesday claimed that Israeli aircraft targeted him and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Qassem Soleimani made the comments during his first major interview, a lengthy one-on-one that was screened on Iranian television.”

Irish Examiner: Five Jihadists In Irish Prisons, Says Study

“There are five jihadists held in Irish prisons serving convictions relating to Islamist extremism offences, according to new research. The report Guns and Glory: Criminality, Imprisonment and Jihadist Extremism in Europe, was published by the Counter Extremism Project and the European Policy Centre and examined 10 European countries, including Ireland. The chapter on Ireland, written by Ian Acheson of the project, claimed there was evidence that the threat of radicalisation existed in the Muslim community, especially among its youth.”

United States

The New York Times: Homeland Security Dept. Affirms Threat Of White Supremacy After Years Of Prodding

“The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to address white supremacist terrorism as a primary security threat, breaking with a decade of flagging attention after bigoted mass shooters from New Zealand to Texas took the lives of nearly 100 people in the last six months. In a little-noticed strategy document published last month to guide law enforcement on emerging threats and in recent public appearances by Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, the department is trying to project a new vigilance about violent white nationalism, beating back criticism that the agency has spent a decade playing down the issue. “I would like to take this opportunity to be direct and unambiguous in addressing a major issue of our time. In our modern age, the continuation of racially based violent extremism, particularly violent white supremacy, is an abhorrent affront to the nation,” Mr. McAleenan said during an address last month, describing white nationalism as one of the most dangerous threats to the United States. The department’s new stance contrasts that of President Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed white supremacy as an insignificant fringe movement.”

The New York Times: Congress And Trump Agreed They Want A National Privacy Law. It Is Nowhere In Sight.

“A rare thing emerged in Washington early this year: agreement. Republicans and Democrats in Congress, as well as the Trump White House, all said they wanted a new federal law to protect people’s online privacy. Numerous tech companies urged them on. And they had a deadline. With a broad California privacy law set to go into effect early next year, many federal lawmakers and the tech companies wanted to get ahead of it and avoid having state-by-state rules. But after months of talks, a national privacy law is nowhere in sight.”

Chicago Tribune: ‘It Was An Accident. It’s Not Terrorism,’ Says Lawyer Of Palatine Man Charged With Driving SUV Into Woodfield Mall

“Attorneys for the man charged with terrorism after authorities said he drove his SUV into Woodfield Mall, creating panic among shoppers last month, insisted Tuesday that their client is mentally ill and the crash was an accident. “A mental issue caused him to crash,” attorney Amil Alkass said moments before his client was to appear in a hearing in Cook County Circuit Court. “It was an accident,” he said. “It’s not terrorism.” Javier Garcia, 22, of Palatine, is being held without bail on a state terrorism charge and a felony count of criminal damage to property. The charges stem from a Sept. 20 incident in which Garcia crashed through a mall entrance, and drove into kiosks and store fronts, creating panic among employees and shoppers, prosecutors said. No injuries were reported. Garcia was detained at the scene and spent the next seven days at a mental health hospital, authorities said. He was arrested and charged following his release Friday. Authorities said they found 124 internet searches for the mall on Garcia’s cellphone in a 10-hour period before the crash, indicating it was a planned attack.”

WJCT: How A Jacksonville Man Was Seduced By Online Extremism – And Overcame Hate

“Mak Kapetanovic is a 22-year-old, well-spoken, mild-mannered University of North Florida student. He's also a former white supremacist who's now devoted to deprogramming other young men like himself. Kapetanovic says his story is a case study into how easily people can be sucked into a toxic digital sphere that radicalizes followers into white nationalist, extremist beliefs. And he's concerned that governments around the world aren't doing enough to combat online extremism. “The sort of casual racism and misogyny that was prevalent in a lot of online video games and chats and stuff, that was sort of the first thing that kind of made me think, ‘Oh, these kinds of jokes and these kinds of things are OK.’ That opened the door,” he said Tuesday on WJCT’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross. “It was like I knew some sort of secret about the world that other people didn't know,” he remembers when he found hate-filled message boards as a teenager. Kapetanovic, whose parents were immigrants from war-torn Bosnia, grew up in the U.S. and attended magnet schools in Jacksonville. His mother died when he was 16. He felt lonely and disaffected.”

Forbes: U.S. Government Confirms New Aircraft Cybersecurity Move Amid Terrorism Fears

“Aircraft security is under the spotlight after the U.S. government confirmed a move to protect citizens from cyberattacks targeting aviation. It comes amid growing concern that aviation is a major target for terrorists, who could use cyberattacks to threaten planes and passengers. The Department of Home Security is leading the revived program alongside the Pentagon and Transportation Department that aims to test airliners’ vulnerability to hacking, according to the Wall Street Journal. Few details are available, but DHS confirmed that the program would include testing actual aircraft for vulnerabilities.”

Syria

Reuters: Syria 'Safe Zone' Deadline Expires With Turkish Threat Looming

“Turkey’s deadline to jointly establish a “safe zone” with the United States in northern Syria by the end of September has passed, leaving the threat of unilateral military intervention by Ankara hanging over the region. President Tayyip Erdogan told the United Nations last week he wanted to set up the zone along 480 km (300 miles) of border and reaching 30 km inside Syria. Under the Turkish plan, up to 2 million Syrian refugees would be settled in the safe zone, with international support. If implemented, the project could halve the number of Syrian refugees sheltering in Turkey from Syria’s eight-year conflict, and drive the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia - which Ankara says is a terrorist group threatening its security - from the border.”

Asharq Al-Awsat: Uncertain Future For ISIS Orphans In Syria Camp

“Sitting in a wheelchair beside a metal fence in a camp in northern Syria, nine-year-old Ruqaya Mohammad raises a scarf over her face to hide from journalists. The girl lost her left eye, her legs and both her parents during battles against ISIS in their last Syria redoubt in March. She now lives in a large tent along with 23 other orphaned children of foreign ISIS militants in a camp for the displaced in Ain Issa, under the care of older camp residents. “Among the children, Ruqaya moves me the most,” said Sara al-Abdullah, a 37-year-old who helps look after the orphans. “She always looks withdrawn, shy, and sad,” said the widowed mother of three, one of nine women residents of the Ain Issa camp paid a small fee to help look after the children. Outside the tent, tiny children's tops and trousers have been slung across the metal fence to dry. Inside, young boys dip flatbread into bowls of soft aubergine stewed in tomatoes. A volunteer tries to coax a young child into opening his mouth, while another woman feeds an infant with a milk bottle. A small boy dashes across the tent and throws himself excitedly into a pile of bedding. The volunteers say some of the children are still visibly scarred after living with their late parents under ISIS.”

The Guardian: Foreign ISIS Fighters In Syria 'Should Face War Crimes Tribunal'

“Foreign Islamic State fighters held in overcrowded prisons and lawless refugee camps in north-east Syria – including about 60 Britons – should be put on trial there as part of an international effort to de-radicalise the region, according to senior local officials. Politicians and soldiers from the Kurdish-led region said they needed western help to deal with the prisoners locally, including setting up a recognised war crimes tribunal, amid warnings that Isis could otherwise rebuild. Images emerged this week of the insanitary conditions in makeshift prisons where people of more than 50 nationalities were held in packed cells, sometimes 20 to a room. Meanwhile, local politicians admitted they had lost control of the refugee camps to Isis radicals. Dr Abdulkarim Omar, the de facto foreign secretary of the self-styled Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, and the co-chair of its foreign affairs committee, said: “We call for the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute those fighters here in our region. “Those people, the Isis criminals, committed their crimes in our region and against our communities. Evidence, proof and witnesses against them are in this region, and we can prosecute them.” 

Iran

Reuters: Iran To Cut Nuclear Deal Commitments Until It Reaches 'Desired Result': Supreme Leader

“Iran will continue reducing its commitments under its 2015 nuclear deal until it reaches the “desired result,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday, according to his official website. “We will continue the reduction of commitments,” Khamenei said in a meeting with commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guards. “The responsibility is with the Atomic Energy Organization and they must be carry out the reduction ...in a precise, complete and comprehensive way and continue until the time we reach a desired result.”

Arab News: Iranian Tanker Delivers Oil To Syria Despite Zarif’s Assurances: Mike Pompeo

“The Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1 is still delivering oil to Syria, despite Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s promises to Britain, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. In a tweet, Pompeo shared a satellite image of the tanker near the Syrian coast, accusing Iran of breaking its assurances not to sell crude oil to the country, after it was previously detained on July 4 by British forces for breaching European Sanctions.”

The Hill: What Happens In The Next Clash Between Iran And Saudi Arabia?

“Is “maximum pressure” campaign used by President Trump against Iran leading the United States and Saudi Arabia toward war or negotiations? He temporarily diffused the crisis over the Iranian drone and missile attack on Saudi oil facilities by limiting the United States reaction to bolstering Saudi air defenses and sending a few hundred more American troops. In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Trump did not once mention the attack, content to excoriate Iran’s aggressive behavior in general but pledging U.S. economic and financial sanctions “will not be lifted. They will be tightened.”

Iraq

The Washington Post: Hundreds Wounded In Iraq As Police Fire Tear Gas, Bullets, At Protesters

“Hundreds of Iraqi protesters were wounded Tuesday when security forces fired bullets and tear gas at crowds of anti-government protesters, officials said. The protests were the largest to date against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s fragile year-old government. Demonstrators had gathered to decry a host of problems that plague the daily life of many Iraqis, among them corruption, a lack of services and unemployment.  In Baghdad, the capital, police fired tear gas and, later, live ammunition on about a thousand protesters who had marched into a central square, their numbers swelling hour by hour amid a heavy police presence. The tear gas started when the crowd moved on toward the heavily fortified Green Zone. Next came live ammunition, and a frantic dash to carry bleeding protesters away to safety. In a statement, the country’s Interior Ministry said that it “regretted” the day’s violence, and blamed “a group of rioters” for inciting it. Iraq’s Health Ministry said that one person had died and 286 were wounded nationwide, among them 40 members of the security forces, with protests also taking place in the cities of Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah and Basra.”

Iraqi News: Iraqi Intelligence Arrest Islamic State Jihadist In Anbar

“Iraqi military intelligence forces announced on Tuesday the capture of an Islamic State terrorist during a military operation in Anbar province. In a press release carried by Iraqi website Ayn Al Iraq, the Iraqi Military Intelligence Directorate said that its troops arrested an Islamic State terrorist in Ramadi district in Anbar. The arrest of the IS militant was based on intelligence information, added the directorate. The militant took part in the fight against security forces during the group’s three-year capture of vast swathes of Iraqi territories, the statement. Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November 2017 with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq. IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.”

Kurdistan 24: Iraqi Forces Foil Suspected ISIS Attack On Shia Pilgrims South Of Baghdad

“Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism units said on Tuesday that it had foiled a suspected Islamic State attack on Shia pilgrims south of Baghdad. The incident comes as millions of Shia Muslims prepare to go to the city of Karbala to perform the Arbaeen rituals, which mark the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein. In a statement on its official Facebook page, the Counter-Terrorism units said its forces had carried out “an inspection in one of the agricultural areas south of Baghdad.” During the operation, 20 bags of explosive material (TNT), weighing 750 kilograms, were found, the statement added. “A terrorist cell belonging to the ISIS terrorist organization was planning to target the visitors of the upcoming Arbaeen rituals.” At least three million people are expected to make their way to Karbala during the Arbaeen ceremony, which begins on Oct. 19. The so-called Islamic State has often carried out attacks against Shias, most recently claiming a deadly minibus bombing in Iraq’s Karbala. The assault was one of the largest the Islamic State has claimed since its military defeat in Iraq in 2017. Despite the former Iraqi government declaring a “final victory” against the terror group over two years ago, the Islamic State continues to pose a threat through its sleeper cells which still launch sporadic attacks in previously liberated areas and region’s it never controlled.”

Afghanistan

ABC News: Official: Taliban Attack A Northern City In Afghanistan

“An Afghan official says Taliban fighters have launched attacks in districts in and around Taluqan, the capital of northern Takhar province. Jawad Hajri, the provincial governor's spokesman, says Wednesday that over the last three days there have been sporadic gun battles between Afghan forces and Taliban around Taluqan. More than 4,000 families are displaced as a result of gun battles in three districts, said Hajri. He said Afghan forces have started a clearing operation against the insurgents. In a separate report form northern Kapisa province six civilians, including women and children, were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb, said Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry. Rahimi blamed the Taliban and added that two other civilians were wounded in Tuesday evening's blast in Nejrab district. The Taliban have not commented.”

Reuters: Taliban To Visit Pakistan, Discuss Failed Afghan Peace Talks 

“An Afghan Taliban delegation will visit Pakistan on Wednesday, the insurgent group said, the latest stop on a tour of regional powers after an Afghanistan peace process broke down. A delegation of Taliban members, led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the group’s founders, will discuss “important issues” with Pakistani officials in the capital, Islamabad, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said on Twitter. Pakistan supported the Taliban from the group’s founding in the midst of Afghanistan’s civil war in the early 1990s. The United States and the U.S.-backed Afghan government have for years suspected Pakistan has maintained its support for the militants, as a tool to block the spread of Indian influence in Afghanistan, despite Pakistani denials. The Taliban delegation would inform Pakistan’s leadership of the factors that derailed the talks with the United States aimed at striking a deal allowing U.S. and other foreign troops to withdraw in exchange for Taliban security guarantees, said a Taliban official, who declined to be identified. U.S. and Taliban said last month they were close to reaching a deal, despite concern among some U.S. security officials and within the Afghan government that a U.S. withdrawal could plunge the country into even more conflict and open the way for a resurgence of Islamist militant factions.”

The Atlantic: ‘We Shouldn’t Be Buying The Taliban’s Excuse’

“Peace is our common objective, and terrorists are our common enemy,” Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib told the United Nations yesterday. “We must not rush the former at the risk of empowering the latter.” Mohib, who has in the past made headlines with his blunt critique of American policies in his country, came to New York with an explicit message for the Taliban and a subtler one for the United States government. To the Taliban, he said: “Join us in peace, or we will continue to fight.” To the United States, which until talks collapsed in September seemed on the verge of concluding its own deal with the Taliban that did not include the Afghan government: “The next step belongs to us Afghans.” Mohib spoke with me shortly after the speech, and a few weeks after President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he was calling off a roughly yearlong negotiation with the Taliban following the death of a U.S. soldier and 11 others in Kabul. (The soldier was the 16th U.S. service member to die in Afghanistan in 2019, while negotiations went on; a 17th died a little over a week later.)”

Yemen

The National: Yemen's Houthi Rebels Deny Entry To Top UN Rights Official

“The Houthi rebels in Yemen have denied entry to the top UN human rights official and ordered his plane to take off from the capital, Sanaa, just after landing, officials said on Tuesday. The development followed a damning report by experts commissioned by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights detailing abuses by the rebels in Yemen's civil war, including sexual violence against women in rebel-run prisons. Just after the UN representative, Elobaid Ahmed Elobaid, landed in Sanaa on Monday, rebel security officers boarded the plane, withdrew his travel permit and ordered the plane to leave, officials told AP. The UN agency's Rupert Colville confirmed Mr Elobaid's expulsion from Sanaa but would not elaborate.”

Saudi Arabia

Asharq Al-Awsat: Saudi Arabia Reiterates Solidarity With Egypt In War On Terrorism

“The Saudi cabinet reiterated on Tuesday the Kingdom’s solidarity with Egypt in its fight against terrorism. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques chaired the cabinet meeting that was held at the al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. The cabinet hailed the latest measures taken by the armed forces and police in northern Sinai. The ministers then reviewed the latest Arab, regional and international developments, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s address before the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York last week. The address urged the international community to stand united and firmly to exercise the greatest pressure to put an end to Iran’s terrorist and hostile behavior, which for 40 years has known nothing but bombings, destruction and assassinations throughout the world. The cabinet lauded the participating countries at the General Assembly for their stances of support with Saudi Arabia and condemnation of Iran over last month’s attack against Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais. The cabinet highlighted Saudi Arabia’s fulfilment of its commitment to donate $500 million to the relief effort in Yemen, $50 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and $10 million in relief to Rohingya Muslims.”

Lebanon

Bloomberg: Don’t Abandon Lebanon to Hezbollah and Iran

“Lebanon is transfixed by reports that Prime Minister Saad Hariri gave $16 million to a South African model with whom he was romantically linked. The money transfers began in 2013, when Hariri was not in office, and no laws appear to have been broken. For some, it is a welcome diversion from a deepening economic crisis, for others, a reminder of the yawning gap between Lebanese, who are struggling with a serious currency crunch, and their leaders.”

Egypt

Asharq Al-Awsat: Egypt: Regional Forum On Terrorism Recommends Enhancing Security Institutions

“The capabilities of security institutions combating terrorism must be enhanced and mechanisms must be established to put an end to some countries’ regional interventions, a regional Arab-African forum held in Cairo recommended. The third edition of the forum, “Terrorism and Regional Interventions and their Effects on Arab and African Security and Culture,” was held on Tuesday with the participation of officials and specialists from 16 Arab and African countries. At the closing ceremony, the Forum announced several recommendations, namely establishing an international center for studies to address crises, especially in the Arab world and Africa. In addition, it called for resolving “regional interventions of some countries in Arab and African affairs,” and establishing a committee, led by the Arab League and African Union, to address the meddling. The Forum also called for forming a partnership with civil society, especially the youth and women, saying they are an important ally in the fight against terror, and urging young people to beware of the dangers of terrorism.”

Nigeria 

The Christian Post: Boko Haram Militants Execute Two Christian Aid Workers, Release Video Footage

“Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has released a video in which its militants executed two Christian aid workers in Nigeria and vow to kill every believer they capture in the future. According to Morning Star News, the terrorist group released the video last week on its official news agency site Amaq. In the video, Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham, both members of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) in Plateau state, are shown kneeling while three masked, armed men stand behind them. The two young men, who had gone to Maiduguri to help build shelters for people displaced by Islamic extremist violence, are then shot from behind. Speaking in the Hausa language, one terrorist states the group has vowed to kill every Christian they capture in revenge for Muslims killed in past religious conflicts in Nigeria. Pastor Pofi, a cousin of the two executed Christians, told Morning Star News that the two men were captured by Boko Haram, now called the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), as they carried out their work in a displaced persons camps. “Lawrence and Godfrey left Abuja for Maiduguri in search of opportunities to utilize their skills for the betterment of humanity and paid with their lives,” Pofi said.”

Africa

Sahara Reporters: 2000 Days Of Chibok Schoolgirls In Boko Haram Captivity: President Buhari Keeps Mum

“Today is exactly 2,000 days since the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, on April 14, 2014, but President Muhammadu Buhari and his regime have said no word on concrete plans to bring back the remaining schoolgirls. Daily Trust reports that the town of Chibok has never been the same since the infamous abduction of schoolgirls that attracted global attention to it over five years ago.”

Reuters: Kenya Says It Kills Three Militants Planning Attacks In Mombasa

“Kenyan police shot dead three men suspected of planning militant attacks in the coastal city of Mombasa on Tuesday, ahead of national day celebrations to be hosted in the city this month, according to a senior official. The suspects were killed in a raid on a house in Majengo Mapya, a suburb in the city’s south, said Paul Leting, director of criminal investigations in the coast region. Seven other suspects were detained. “That house was a hideout for planning attacks and other criminal activities,” Leting told journalists at a press conference in Mombasa. Weapons including a grenade, 1,700 rounds of ammunition, a rifle and 15 pistol holders were seized in the raid, Leting said. Police also recovered two bullet-proof jackets, Quran journals, police and military uniforms, military face masks, eight machetes and gun oil from the suspects’ hideout. Two security sources who asked not to be identified said the slain suspects were on Kenya’s terrorism watch-list and had been trailed for a while. A terrorism alert from police last month warned that fighters from the al Shabaab Islamist group in neighboring Somalia were planning attacks at targets including churches, universities, hospitals and schools in Kenya’s coast region.”

United Kingdom

Breitbart: British Ice Cream Seller Who Joined Islamic State In Syria Begging To Come Home

“A British ice cream seller who fled to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria five years ago is begging to come home because he misses his mother and his former life in Cardiff, Wales. Aseel Muthana left Wales in February 2014 to join the jihadist group along with his brother Nasser and another friend, Reeyad Khan. His family feared he had been killed, but Muthana has resurfaced at a northern Syria prison camp and is now pleading to come home. All three were featured in one of the first propaganda videos ISIS used to attract western recruits. Muthana, who is now 22 years old, claimed in an ITV interview that he joined ISIS and traveled to Syria to “help the poor.” “Back then when I first came to ISIS, you have to understand I came way before the caliphate was pronounced,” he said. “Before all of these beheading videos, before all of the burnings happened, before any of that stuff.” “We came when ISIS propaganda and ISIS media was all about helping the poor, helping the Syrian people,” Muthana added. The widely publicized ISIS beheadings came later in 2014 when ISIS militants beheaded journalist James Foley and others, broadcasting their murders in widely disseminated propaganda videos.”

Europe

NBC News: 1 Dead, 10 Injured After 'Violent Attack' At Vocational College In Finland

“One person was killed and 10 were injured Tuesday in an attack by a man with a sword and a firearm at a vocational school in central Finland, police said. The attacker was wounded after police opened fire, and he was taken into custody. The suspect was a Finnish student at Savo Vocational College, near a shopping mall in the city of Kuopio, police said. They did not give an age but said he was born in 1994 and did not have a criminal record. Kuopio University Hospital tweeted that they were treating the 10 injured, among whom authorities said are students and staff members. Injuries to two were described as severe. Police did not reveal a possible motive for the attack. “The violence at Savo Vocational College in Kuopio is shocking and completely unacceptable,” Finish Prime Minister Antti Rinne tweeted.”

Deutsche Welle: 'Islamic State' Returnees In Kosovo Guided Back Into Society 

“Mensur Hoti chain smokes. In a cafe in the Kosovar capital, Pristina, the country's director of public security reveals the secret operation that took place in the early morning hours of April 20. Hoti was responsible then when a chartered plane landed in Pristina under cover of darkness. On board: 110 Kosovar citizens — returnees from the so-called Islamic State (IS), who had last lived as prisoners in Kurdish camps in northern Syria. Not even the relatives of the returnees knew anything. Coordinating the complex logistics of the repatriation left him sleepless for days, Hoti recalls, taking a sip from his coffee cup. His country has no official relations with the Kurdish contingent of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls a large area in northern Syria. US forces, which are allied with the Kurdish-led military coalition and have stationed troops in the area, made Kosovo's repatriation of the former IS adherents possible. The Pristina airport was shut down to the public when the 32 women, 74 children and four men were brought back to Kosovo in April and transported on dimmed buses shortly thereafter. Men were sent to the high-security prison Podujeve; women and children for medical and psychological examination in the Vranidol arrival center.”

The North Africa Post: Spain: Three Moroccan Siblings Stand Trial Over Alleged Financing Of ISIS In Syria

“Three Moroccan brothers are to appear in court this Tuesday October 1st for having allegedly sent money to a fourth brother who has joined the ranks of the Islamic State group (ISIS) in Syria. El Jefaly siblings, according to the prosecution sent an unspecified amount of money to their brother in Syria via a middle-man in Turkey. The money, the prosecution indicated, was raised from the sale of his house in Catalonia, compensation he got from his former work and also from unemployment allowances given by the Spanish government. The ISIS fighter joined the terror group in 2015 via Turkey, one year after he adhered to the ideologies of the group. The three brothers face seven years in prison and €7,000 fine each. After serving their sentence, they will be put on probation for five years and will attended government-sponsored social reintegration program for prisoners charged for terrorism.”

Southeast Asia

Reuters: Thai PM Says No Islamic State Ties To Thailand As Egypt Arrests Student

“Thailand’s prime minister said on Tuesday Islamic State (IS) had no links to his country, after Egypt arrested a Thai student over suspected ties to the Middle East-based militant group. The Thai student, who has not been identified, was taken into custody by Egyptian authorities on Sept 24 in Cairo after a video clip circulated online that showed him voicing support for an “Islamic revolution” in an interview. Photos allegedly linked to IS were also discovered on his mobile phone, the Thai embassy in Cairo said on its official Facebook page. However, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha played down any IS links and said he had instructed relevant agencies to follow the case and provide assistance to the student. “There has been constant monitoring and there are no links here with any foreign group,” Prayuth told reporters. “The Thai ambassador in Cairo has met with the Egyptian deputy foreign minister asking for help and the Egyptian promised to follow up the case and cooperate with Thailand, we will not leave anyone behind,” he said. The arrested student has previously been detained in Sudan and had moved to Egypt because he could not continue his studies in Sudan, said deputy prime minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who oversees security and intelligence agencies.”

Malay Mail: Police Say Stopped 25 Terrorist Strikes Planned Across Malaysia Since 2013

“The police have thwarted 25 planned terrorist attacks in the country since 2013, including several large-scale strikes on Christian, Hindu and Buddhist houses of worship and entertainment outlets in the Klang Valley. Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, principal assistant director of the Counter Terrorism Division (E8) of the Special Branch in Bukit Aman, said they arrested 74 people for various offences linked to terrorism, including planning terrorist attacks and raising funds for the strikes. One of the planned large-scale attacks was to have been carried out by the Daesh Wolf Pack at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ, Subang Jaya, he told Bernama. He said the police foiled the planned terrorist attacks based on police intelligence and information shared by various quarters. “We were able to thwart these Daesh strike attempts since 2013 because we have sound laws,” he said. Ayob Khan said preventive laws play an important role in curbing terrorist activities and every country, with Malaysia being no exception, have specific laws to prevent or deal with terrorism. “The authorities face differing threats now compared to previously, and it is vital for the preventive laws to be in place.”

Technology

CNBC: Leaked Facebook Audio Is A Sign Of Decreased Morale, Former Employees Say

“Facebook finds itself embroiled in controversy yet again after more than two hours of audio from internal company meetings were leaked to The Verge, which published highlights of the recordings on Tuesday. In the audio, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg blasts Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to break up the company. He also explains why he refused to testify in front of various governments around the world and lays out his plan to squash TikTok, an upstart social media app. The recordings offer a taste of Zuckerberg’s real thoughts on a myriad topics, but more notable than Zuckerberg’s candid commentary is the fact that so much was recorded and leaked to the press. The leak shows the growing dissent inside of Facebook.”

The Wall Street Journal: Visa, Mastercard, Others Reconsider Involvement In Facebook's Libra Network

“Cracks are forming in the coalition Facebook Inc. FB -1.27% assembled to build a global cryptocurrency-based payments network. Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. MA -0.23% and other financial partners that signed on to help build and maintain the Libra payments network are reconsidering their involvement following a backlash from U.S. and European government officials, according to people familiar with the matter. Wary of attracting regulatory scrutiny, executives of some of Libra’s backers have declined Facebook’s requests to publicly support the project, the people said.”