Eye on Extremism: October 4, 2023

Associated Press: Turkey Hits Kurdish Militant Targets In Iraq And Detains About 1,000 People Days After Ankara Blast

“Turkish warplanes carried out new airstrikes against suspected Kurdish militant sites in northern Iraq on Tuesday, days after a suicide attack in the Turkish capital. Police, meanwhile, detained almost 1,000 people in raids across Turkey. A defense ministry statement said the air raids hit 16 targets, including caves, shelters and depots, used by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK in the neighboring region. It said the operation aimed to protect Turkey’s borders and prevent terror attacks. It was Turkey’s second cross-border aerial operation against PKK targets in northern Iraq since the attack in Ankara on Sunday. Earlier, police conducted raids in several Turkish provinces, detaining close to 1,000 people, including dozens with alleged links to Kurdish militants. An opposition news anchor was also briefly detained. Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said that 55 people suspected of being part of the PKK’s “intelligence structure” were detained in 16 provinces. At least 12 other suspected PKK members were rounded up in a separate operation in five provinces, Yerlikaya wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.”

Reuters: Mali In Meltdown As Militants Advance And U.N. Withdraws

“Islamist militants in Mali began a blockade of Timbuktu by cutting road access in August and then shut off river and air routes in an offensive that has put the city once again on the frontline of a jihadist insurgency. The bombing began soon after. On Sept. 21, witnesses said rockets hit a hospital, killing two children, and landed near a school where survivors of a passenger boat attack that killed more than 100 people were sheltering. "Our worry is the shelling," businessman Sory Touré said in Timbuktu, which was occupied by jihadists a decade ago. "It creates a real psychosis and leaves a lasting impression. I have this fear within me." Since the United Nations began winding down its peacekeeping mission in July, al Qaeda affiliated militants launched an offensive in central Mali, fighting has resumed between the army and Tuareg rebels from the north and, in the east, Islamic State-allied insurgents have continued to carry out attacks. Mali, run by a junta that has spurned the support of U.N. and French forces, is in meltdown and the violence risks adding to instability across West Africa's Sahel, a region already reeling from military coups in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.”

United States

The New York Times: Lawyers Expand Legal Fight For Longest-Held Prisoner Of War On Terrorism

“Lawyers for the longest-held prisoner in the U.S. war against terrorism have begun a new legal offensive in multiple courts aimed at securing his release from Guantánamo Bay. The prisoner, known as Abu Zubaydah, was captured in Pakistan in March 2002 in a raid by U.S. and Pakistani security services. He was the first person held in the U.S. secret prison network known as the black sites and the first to be waterboarded by the C.I.A. The initiative follows the Pentagon’s disclosure over the summer that a national security parole-style board deemed Abu Zubaydah too dangerous to release. He has never faced criminal charges at Guantánamo. U.S. intelligence concluded that while he was a militant in Afghanistan in the 1980s and ’90s, he had never joined Al Qaeda and had no link to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Abu Zubaydah, 52, is being held indefinitely as a detainee of the war on terrorism the United States declared in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. He is colloquially called a “forever prisoner” because of the endless nature of that war. Lawyers in Europe and the United States are seeking compensation and condemnations for Abu Zubaydah, who is Palestinian but was born in Saudi Arabia. His true name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Husayn.k, a former federal and New York City prosecutor who recently joined Abu Zubaydah’s legal team.”


Associated Press: Pakistan Announces Big Crackdown On Migrants In The Country Illegally, Including 1.7 Million Afghans

“Pakistan’s government announced a major crackdown Tuesday on migrants in the country illegally, saying it would expel them starting next month and raising alarm among foreigners without documentation who include an estimated 1.7 million Afghans. The country’s caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said the crackdown was not aimed at Afghans and would apply to all nationalities, though the vast majority of migrants in the country are Afghans. The campaign comes amid strained relations between Pakistan and neighboring, Taliban-led Afghanistan over what the Pakistani government says are attacks in Pakistan by Taliban-allied militants who go back and forth across the countries’ shared 2,611-kilometer (1,622-mile) border and who find shelter in Afghanistan. Bugti said that any migrants in Pakistan illegally should go back to their countries voluntarily before the end of October to avoid mass arrest and forced deportation. He said the government planned to confiscate the property and assets of illegal migrants, and would set up a special phone line to offer rewards to members of the public who tip off authorities about such migrants.”


The Times Of India: Pakistan: 10 Terrorists Killed In Gun Battle With Security Forces In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

“At least 10 terrorists were killed in a gun battle with the security forces in the Tank region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Pezu neighbourhood on Tuesday, ARY News reported citing the country's military media wing. The Pakistani military media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Tuesday that the terrorists were killed after the security forces carried out an intelligence-based operation on the "reported presence of terrorists".Ten terrorists were killed immediately as a result of a fierce firefight with Pakistani soldiers that took place during the operation. "These terrorists remained actively involved in numerous terrorist activities against security forces as well as extortion [and] killing of innocent civilians," the ISPR said, according to ARY News. The security forces found a sizable stockpile of weapons, ammunition, and explosives from the terrorists after the operation. The troops have stepped up operations against militants as a result of an increase in terrorist activity since the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced the termination of a ceasefire with Pakistan in November of last year.”

Middle East

Fox News: Jailed Terrorist's Illicit Acts With Prison Guard Leads To Ban On Female Workers: Reports

“Israel’s prison system is under scrutiny after local media reported a female prison guard had a sexual relationship with a convicted terrorist, but her lawyer says his client is the victim and faced assault by the prisoner. The convicted terrorist threatened to "hurt her and her family, and to ruin her life," the guard’s lawyer Yair Ochayon, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. The lawyer added that the inmate allegedly assaulted the woman but they did not have sex. The Times of Israel identified the prisoner in the reported scandal as Mazen Al-Qadi, a 43-year-old convicted terrorist who was involved in a 2002 attack that left three Israelis dead in Tel Aviv. The prisoner allegedly had a cellphone he used to talk with the female guard and send photos, according to the outlet, which reported that other female guards may have also been involved with the prisoner. Local media reported Friday that female soldiers could no longer serve in the prison system, with officials citing an investigation into an alleged relationship between a female guard and an inmate. Initial media reports stated a female guard had a consensual relationship with the terrorist. Israel Defense Forces sources said the guard in question was a conscript serving at a prison, not an Israeli soldier, according to the Jerusalem Post.”


The Jerusalem Post: Israel Arrests Nine In Operation Targeting Online Terrorism Incitement

“Nine people were arrested over seven months of operation by a special online terrorism incitement team established by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, his office announced on Tuesday morning. Since the unit was founded in February, twenty-five other people were arrested, 100 incidents are under investigation, 40 other investigations were filed, and 759 posts were removed from social media. The team was created in response to a wave of terrorism in 2022, which according to the ministry was fueled by incitement by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist elements. The incitement led to teenagers as young as 13 being inspired to carry out attacks. he anti-online incitement team is composed of police officers, Shin Bet officials, the IDF and prosecutors, and claims to be monitoring and reviewing online content. Ben-Gvir said that the results proved that the team was having an impact. "For years, senior security officials in Israel have been warning that social media is fertile ground for terrorist organizations to exploit," said Ben-Gvir.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On May 8, 2019, Taliban insurgents detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and then broke into American NGO Counterpart International’s offices in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and 24 were injured.

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