Eye on Extremism: October 6, 2023

BBC: Syria War: Dozens Killed In Drone Attack On Graduation Ceremony

“The explosive-laden drones targeted a graduation ceremony attended by cadets' families, and women and children were among the dead. A UK-based monitoring group said 116 people had been killed. The Syrian army blamed the attack on "terrorist groups backed by known international forces". There was no immediate claim from the rebels and jihadists battling the government in the country's civil war. The drone attack is believed to have been launched from opposition-held areas north-west of Homs. Later, the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), reported that 11 civilians had been killed in government bombardments on several cities, towns and villages in the opposition stronghold of Idlib province and Aleppo. Syria's state news agency, Sana, quoted a statement from the General Command of the Armed Forces as saying that several drones carrying explosives targeted the Homs military academy just after the afternoon graduation ceremony had ended. The statement said the armed forces "considers this act an unprecedented criminal one, and affirms that it will respond with full force and determination to these terrorist groups wherever they are".”

Associated Press: ‘Prophet Of Doom’ Who Wounded 10 In New York City Subway Shooting Is Sentenced To Life In Prison

“A man who sprayed a New York City subway car with bullets during rush hour, wounding 10 people and sparking a citywide manhunt, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison after several of his victims tearfully and angrily recounted their ongoing trauma. Frank James, 64, pleaded guilty earlier this year to terrorism charges in the April 12, 2022, mass shooting aboard a Manhattan-bound train. He received a life sentence on 10 counts and 10 years for an 11th count of discharging a firearm during an act of violence. Three of his victims spoke in court of the physical and emotional pain they continue to experience more than a year after the attack in a packed subway car. They described the panic and the splattered blood on the train, and how they used their own clothes as tourniquets to stanch the bleeding from victims’ wounds. “I have not been able to make sense of it,” said a young man identified as B.K. At times his voice cracked as he spoke and his eyes turned glassy from tears. Another victim, a 51-year-old man identified as L.C., told the court he had post-traumatic stress disorder and thoughts of suicide.”

United States

Reuters: US Jet Shoots Down Turkish Drone In Syria, Pentagon Says

“The United States on Thursday shot down an armed Turkish drone that was operating near its troops in Syria, the Pentagon said, the first time Washington has brought down an aircraft of NATO ally Turkey. A Turkish defense ministry official said the drone that was shot down did not belong to the Turkish armed forces, but did not say whose property it was. Turkey's National Intelligence Agency carried out strikes in Syria against Kurdish militant targets after a bomb attack in Ankara last weekend, a Turkish security source said on Thursday. On Thursday night, Turkish military air strikes destroyed 30 Kurdish militant targets in northern Syria, including an oil well, a storage facility and shelters, and "neutralised" many militants, the Turkish defence ministry said. Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said Turkish drones had been seen carrying out airstrikes in Hasakah, Syria, on Thursday morning about 1 km away from U.S. troops. A few hours later a Turkish drone came within less than a half a kilometer (0.3 miles) of U.S. troops and was deemed a threat and shot down by F-16 aircraft.”


Reuters: Pakistani Minister Defends Decision To Expel Afghans

“Pakistan's foreign minister defended on Thursday an order that all illegal immigrants, including 1.73 million Afghans, must leave, saying no other country allows illegal immigrants and the decision is in line with international practice. The order, announced on Tuesday and with a Nov. 1 deadline for people to go, has frayed relations with Afghanistan's Taliban rulers, who said the threat to force out Afghan migrants was "unacceptable". "No country allows illegal people to live in their country, whether it is Europe,whether it is countries in Asia, in our neighbourhood," the minister in a caretaker Pakistani government, Jalil Abbas Jilani, told Hong Kong's Phoenix TV in an interview on the sidelines of a forum in Tibet. "So, accordingly,this is in line with the international practice that we have taken this decision." Pakistan has been a refuge for people fleeing from war in Afghanistan since the 1970s. Pakistan's interior minister said on Tuesday some 1.73 million Afghans in Pakistan had no legal documents and the number of Afghan refugees in Pakistan totalled 4.4 million.”

Voice Of America: Pakistan Turns Up Heat Over Cross-Border Attacks

“A senior Pakistani diplomat said Thursday that while the Taliban had brought peace and security to Afghanistan, increased terrorist attacks from the neighboring country threatened stability in Pakistan, putting strains on an already difficult bilateral relationship. "Unfortunately, the peace dividends for us are missing," Asif Durrani, Pakistan's special representative on Afghanistan, told an international seminar in Islamabad. He said his government was engaged in a sustained dialogue with the Taliban to seek an end to the cross-border terrorism orchestrated by fugitive leaders and militants of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, a globally designated terrorist organization. "The TTP attacks on Pakistan along the borders have increased. They are taking shelter on the Afghan soil," the envoy stated. "I cannot blame the government in Afghanistan at the moment," Durrani stressed. "But we as Pakistan expect that the kind of peace they have brought in their land should also contribute to peace in our borderlands, and those TTP people who are taking shelter in Afghanistan either should be returned to Pakistan or be neutralized."”


Haaretz: Lebanese Army Removes Military Outpost On Israeli Side Of Border, IDF Says

“The Israeli military said on Thursday that it had identified a "concrete structure" on Wednesday night which had been built inside Israeli territory along the border with Lebanon, near the northern moshav of Shtula. According to the statement, the military had begun working to remove the structure in coordination with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Earlier Thursday, the Lebanese Army removed it. According to military sources, the structure exceeded the borderline by two to four meters, and was apparently intended for use by Hezbollah. Tensions on the border have risen over the past months as Hezbollah has set up two military posts in Israeli-controlled territory on the border with Lebanon. According to Israeli sources, one of the tents was taken down while another remains standing. Israel is trying to avoid escalation along the border while working to dismantle the posts. Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addressed the issue in July, saying that “Israel doesn’t dare to make a move in [Lebanese] territory against the tent because it knows what will happen.””

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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