Eye on Extremism: October 7, 2022

The Washington Post: U.S. Conducts Back-To-Back Raids In Syria, Killing Key ISIS Operatives

“The U.S. military announced on Thursday that it had conducted two raids in Syria within a day of each other, killing two key ISIS targets and their associates. According to U.S. Central Command, American forces conducted an airstrike in northern Syria on Thursday that targeted and killed Abu-Hashum al-Umawi, a deputy wali, or governor, in Syria, as well as “another senior ISIS official associated with him,” whom the military did not name. “This strike will degrade ISIS’s ability to destabilize the region and strike at our forces and partners,” Army Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, who leads U.S. Central Command, said in a statement announcing the raid and al-Umawi’s death. “Our forces remain in the region to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.” The operation against al-Umawi followed a Wednesday night helicopter raid in northeastern Syria, near the village of Qamishli, that targeted and killed Rakkan Wahid al-Shammri, as well as one other associate. Al-Shammri was an ISIS smuggler known to bring in weapons, fighters and money to support the terrorist organization, who had also beheaded two members of the Syrian Defense Forces, according to a person familiar with the operation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the particulars of the raid and its target. The raids are the latest in recent operations aimed at killing influential ISIS figures.”

Reuters: Hamas Delegation To Visit Syria This Month Aiming To Revive Ties -Sources

“A Hamas delegation will visit Syria later this month, two sources told Reuters on Thursday, in a move by the Palestinian Islamist group to rebuild ties after shunning President Bashar al-Assad for years over his violent crackdown on protests. A senior Hamas official said the visit would take place after a Hamas delegation concludes an Oct. 10 trip to Algeria to discuss reconciliation with the rival Palestinian Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. A second source, a Palestinian official familiar with the issue, confirmed details of the Syria trip. A Palestinian source in Syria denied that a visit would take place, while Hamas officials in Gaza, the coastal enclave where the group has ruled since 2007, declined to comment. There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government.”


NBC News: ISIS Infiltrated A Refugee Camp To Recruit Fighters. Inside The Biden Admin’s Plan To Stop It.

“The Biden administration has enacted a new plan to reduce the population of a sprawling refugee camp near the Iraq-Syria border that has become a haven for the Islamic State terrorist group to recruit members, plot a comeback and carry out some of its most brutal tactics — including the torture and sexual abuse of women and girls — according to five senior administration officials. The core of the administration’s effort is to work with other countries to repatriate refugees from the al-Hol camp in rural Syria. The administration’s main focus is on Iraq, according to a U.S. military official and a Biden administration official. Six European countries and Australia have so far agreed to transport dozens of their citizens being held at the camp back to their homelands in the coming weeks, those officials said. The Australian government, for instance, is already working to repatriate dozens of Australian citizens, mainly women and children related to ISIS fighters who are dead or in jail in Syria, the officials said. Jason Koutsoukis, the senior media adviser for Australian Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, did not confirm the plans. “The government’s overriding priority is the protection of Australians and Australia’s national interests, informed by national security advice,” he said by email.”


Kurdistan 24: Iraqi Air Force Kills Suspected ISIS Leader In Kirkuk

“The Iraqi military announced on Friday that it had killed a suspected ISIS military leader in Kirkuk along with two of his comrades in an airstrike. Nicknamed Abu Mustafa, the slain militant was the deputy military leader in charge of the terror group’s Kirkuk province, the Security Media Cell added. Two more militants were killed in the Iraqi airstrike targeting a hideout in Zghitoun Valley in Kirkuk province, the statement added. Iraqi forces usually conduct their airstrikes via F-16s in the remote areas of the country that had become a hotbed for ISIS militants following the 2017 territorial defeat. Sweeping military operations are similarly conducted in those areas to thwart the resurgence of the extremists that once ruled a large swathe of lands in Iraq for three years.”


The Jerusalem Post: Ongoing Terrorist Attacks Disprove Taliban’s Claim Of Peace, Security In Afghanistan

“The Hazara Shiite Muslim community in Kabul has once again become a victim of terrorism, as a suicide bomber killed dozens of students, mostly young girls, in a private academy on Friday. For more stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org The death toll from the Kabul explosion has reached 53, including at least 46 young girls and women, and 106 wounded, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a tweet on Monday. The was carried out in the Dasht-e-Barchi area in western Kabul, where the majority of the Hazara community resides. The powerful bomb attack was one of the deadliest incidents in Afghanistan in recent months. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, since assuming power in August 2021, the Taliban government has faced numerous attacks from Islamic State – Khorasan Province (IS-KP), an affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group active in South Asia and Central Asia, which has targeted the Hazara community in the past as well.  Meanwhile, the influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr released a statement holding the Taliban government responsible for the Kabul bombing. The statement also expressed concern for Afghan Shias and “moderate Sunnis” who disagree with Taliban ideology. Al-Sadr demanded the intervention of the Saudi government in Afghanistan.”

Middle East

The Times Of Israel: Mossad Head Said To Warn Of Face-Saving Hezbollah Strike On Gas Field As Deal Wavers

“The head of the Mossad spy service reportedly told government officials that the Hezbollah terror group would likely attempt a limited attack on Israeli-controlled installations in a disputed offshore gas field, as Jerusalem put troops in northern Israel on alert after a maritime border deal appeared to falter Thursday, sending tensions spiraling. The warning from Mossad chief David Barnea, reported by Channel 12 news, came as other officials signaled that hope remained alive for a milestone deal between Israel and Lebanon to resolve a maritime border dispute that will allow both countries to begin pulling gas riches out of the sea. Ministers meeting in the high-level security cabinet Thursday night agreed to give Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett power to deal with a possible escalation of tension or violence in the north of the country, after Israel said it would not accept Lebanon’s proposed amendments to a US-brokered deal, the channel reported.”


Deutsche Welle: Somalia Pushes On With Offensive Against Al-Shabab Despite Attack

“Security experts say Somalia's government must focus on strengthening its security system to defeat the terrorist group al-Shabab. The latest intensified military offensive against the Islamist militants sparked counter attacks in the south and central regions of the country. On Monday, al-Shabab used at least two trucks and a small vehicle with three suicide bombers to target people in the central Somali city of Beledwayne, in Hiran province.  At least 40 people were killed and almost 100 more injured. Those in critical conditions were flown to the capital Mogadishu. Residents have told DW that the explosions were the worst the city has seen in years. The simultaneous blasts ripped through a military camp that hosts local government offices, destroying several homes and and businesses in the neighbouhood. Residents in central Somalia spent hours digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings with their bare hands in search of dead bodies. “I'm standing now at the third blast site. The catastrophe here is beyond imaginable. They [al-Shabab] claim to be true believers, but this is not a work for Islam,” 23-year-old shopkeeper Hassan Ali told DW. “I have lost my friend. We found his body under the rubble today. Other families are still searching for their loved ones.” Another resident, Abdisalan Mohamed, who owns a wholesale clothing business, said he had lost goods worth $20,000 (€20,314).”


Voice Of America: Cameroon Military Asks Civilians Displaced By Boko Haram To Return

“Cameroon’s defense minister said it is safe for 40,000 villagers displaced by the militant group Boko Haram near the borders with Chad and Nigeria to return home. But villagers say they first need food aid as the fighting forced them to abandon their farms and livestock. Cameroon military officials, led by Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo, told workers at Maroua’s military hospital that the government will foot the bills of all troops injured in battles against the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram. Among the injured soldiers is 31-year-old Damien Ekelle, who lost his left leg in a September 13 battle with Boko Haram fighters in Mayo Tsanaga, an administrative unit on Cameroon’s northern border with Nigeria and Chad. Ekelle said he is grateful that Cameroon’s defense minister and his delegation visited injured soldiers to have an appraisal of the challenges government troops encounter while fighting Boko Haram terrorists. He also said he is thankful to God for saving his life. The government said there are less than 30 injured government troops in the hospital, down from 60 in June. In June, Cameroon said it deployed hundreds of troops along its border with Nigeria, especially in Mayo Tsanaga, after attacks by Boko Haram militants forced more than 40,000 villagers to flee the area. Government officials said the troops were deployed after villagers organized daily protests in front of government offices demanding protection from the military.”


European Eye On Radicalization: The Muslim Brotherhood In Germany: An Interview With Hans-Jakob Schindler

“European Eye on Radicalization is very pleased to have been able to interview Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler, currently a senior director at the Counter-Extremism Project (CEP) and previously the coordinator of the United Nations’ sanctions monitoring team for jihadist terrorists like the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban. EER’s interview focused on the Muslim Brotherhood. Question 1: Are the Brotherhood networks in Germany still demographically similar to those of decades past, or has the composition changed? HJS: I have not conducted demographic research into Muslim Brotherhood (MB) networks in Germany and therefore, will not be able to elaborate much on this point. However, in 2020, my organization, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), conducted research into MB networks in a range of countries in Central and Eastern Europe (see here, here, and here). This research demonstrated that while these networks have been growing since the end of the Cold War, their size, political influence in the respective countries, as well as their influence within the wider community, has been reduced in the past few years, and that other, less structured extremist Islamist networks have been taking their place. As far as Germany is concerned, the influence of MB networks continues to be a factor.”


The Brussels Times: Family Of Brussels Terror Attack Victim In Shock Over Media Report

“The family of one of the victims of the 2016 Brussels Airport attacks has reacted with shock to a report on “forgotten” victims, broadcast on Wednesday evening on RTBF. The reaction came from relatives of a 23-year-old woman from Kontich who is said to have received euthanasia recently because of unbearable psychological suffering following the attacks. The woman's family said, through its lawyer, that the RTBF report was done without the knowledge and cooperation of her next of kin. “It seriously raises eyebrows from a deontological and ethical standpoint,” the family said in a statement. “Moreover, this reporting contains several fundamental inaccuracies,” it charged. The family added that it was shocked and asked that her peace and privacy be respected. At the time of the explosions, the woman in question - then a student of Saint Rita College in Kontich - was about to go on a school trip to Rome. She was reportedly within metres of one of the blasts and was traumatised as a result, although physically unharmed. Despite psychiatric treatment, the woman, who is said to have been admitted to a psychiatric institution several times before the attacks, received euthanasia in May this year, according to the RTBF. A neurologist from the Brugman University Hospital who intervened in the case, believes euthanasia should not yet have taken place since there was still a treatment option.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

We must use our privilege as humans to fight back against the system that keeps animals oppressed... They can’t wait. The earth can’t wait. Get off your ass and FIGHT.

Animal Liberation Front (ALF), ALF statement Jul. 23, 2019
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