Eye on Extremism: October 8

The Wall Street Journal: France Rocked by Extremist’s Counterterror Role

“France has been rocked by a security breach that allowed an Islamist extremist to work in the heart of its counterterrorism apparatus for years, before he killed four of his colleagues last week. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner faced calls to resign Monday from opposition lawmakers over the assault, which snapped the relative lull in terror attacks in France in recent months. Mr. Castaner brushed aside the calls. Mickaël Harpon, a 45-year-old convert to Islam, was allowed to continue working in the intelligence division of the Paris police, despite arguing with colleagues in 2015 that the terror attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was justified, Mr. Castaner said. Harpon’s colleagues mentioned the conversation to their superiors, but he wasn’t flagged in France’s security database that tracks extremists across the nation.”

The Washington Post: Trump Pulls Troops From Northern Syria As Turkey Readies Offensive

“The United States began withdrawing American troops from Syria’s border with Turkey early Monday, in the clearest sign yet that the Trump administration was washing its hands of an explosive situation between the Turkish military and U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters. President Trump, in a series of Twitter messages Monday, suggested that the United States was shouldering too much of the burden — and the cost — of fighting the Islamic State. He rebuked European nations for not repatriating citizens who had joined the extremist group, claiming that the United States was being played for a “sucker.” And he chided his own Kurdish allies, who he said were “paid massive amounts of money and equipment” to fight the militants.”

Independent: Iraq Protests: Death Tolls Soars As Pro-Iran Militias Accused Of Shooting Protesters

“Iraqi paramilitary groups close to Iran are suspected of joining attacks on protesters in Baghdad and other cities, leading to heavy loss of life among demonstrators. Some 107 people have been killed and over 6,000 wounded in the last six days, though hospital doctors say the government is understating the true number of fatalities. “The pro-Iranian militia have each taken a sector of Baghdad and are responsible for its security,” a source, who does not want his name published, told The Independent.”

The Washington Post: Syria Camp Is At Risk Of Falling Under ISIS Control, Kurdish General Says

“America’s Syrian Kurdish allies are at risk of losing control of the vast camp where the families of the Islamic State’s defeated fighters are being detained as militant women increasingly assert their dominance over the camp, according to the top Kurdish military commander. Guards at the al-Hol camp in eastern Syria are failing to contain the increasingly violent behavior of some of the residents, and the flimsy perimeter is at risk of being breached unless the international community steps in with more assistance, said the head of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Gen. Mazloum Kobane, who uses a nom de guerre and is known simply as Mazloum.”

Military Times: State Department offers $5 million for ISIS combatant linked to 2017 ambush of Green Berets in Niger

“The US is offering a $5 million reward for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of the militants who committed or aided in the deadly October 4, 2017, attack on a joint US-Nigerien military patrol that left four US soldiers dead. The US Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program is also offering a $5 million reward for information or location of Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of the ISIS offshoot known as Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, according to a news release.”

NBC New York: Man Pleads Not Guilty In Deadly Calif. Synagogue Attack

“A man charged with a deadly Passover shooting at a Southern California synagogue pleaded not guilty to murder. John T. Earnest entered pleas in San Diego to charges of hate crime-related murder, attempted murder and other charges included in an updated complaint. A hate crime-related murder conviction would make Earnest eligible for the death penalty, though prosecutors have not said what punishment they plan to seek. Prosecutors said the 20-year-old nursing student, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, opened fire during a Passover service at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego County on April 27. The attack killed 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounded three others, including an 8-year-old girl and the rabbi, who lost a finger. During a preliminary hearing in September, prosecutors played a 12-minute recording of the gunman calmly telling a 911 dispatcher that he had just “shot up” a synagogue to save white people from Jews, describing terms for a peaceful surrender and scolding law enforcement for taking too much time to find him in his parked car.”

United States

The Verge: Should We Treat Incels As Terrorists?

“In April of 2018, a 25-year-old man killed 10 people in downtown Toronto and injured many more. A Facebook post hinted that the killer was part of the incel movement, a mostly online community of men obsessed with their own “involuntary celibacy.” Last week, an interview transcript and video removed all doubt — the perpetrator claimed to be launching an “uprising” against attractive and average men because women refused to date him. But the interview didn’t just confirm what we already knew. It described an inchoate form of terrorism in a surprising way: not as isolated acts inspired by an internet echo chamber, but as something like an organized movement. With growing pressure to fight violent far-right movements based on racism and nationalism, incels are demonstrating more clearly than ever what a terrorist group motivated by gender looks like. And that could be completely intentional. The interview took place soon after the attack, although it was only made public last Friday. Speaking with a detective, perpetrator Alek Minassian — who now faces multiple charges of murder and attempted murder — described a process of being “radicalized” by incel ideology online. He called himself part of an “uprising” or a “rebellion” to overthrow society as it currently exists, all for the purpose of forcing women to “reproduce with the incels.”

The Daily Beast: We Don’t Need New Laws To Fight Right-Wing Terror. We Need To Call It By Its Name.

“Last month’s massacre of 22 people in a Texas Walmart by a man aiming to battle “a Hispanic invasion” is only the latest horror story as the radical right continues to murder and terrorize. For the first time in memory, a consensus of U.S. law enforcement officials agree that white supremacist domestic terrorism has become the No. 1 terrorist threat facing the United States. The question now is, what is to be done? I recently attended a conference hosted by the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, entitled “Domestic Terrorism and Its Global Context: Exploring the USG Approach”—an invitation-only gathering of government officials, civil society activists and academics concerned with the threat. The meeting was convened specifically to make suggestions for U.S. government action. I have been studying the radical right for almost 25 years now, and it’s difficult enough to come up with anything approaching a “solution” for private groups or individuals, let alone laws or police actions that must and should be carried out by a government that respects civil liberties in a free society. There is nothing approaching a silver bullet for the government, or for private citizens.”


The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Begins Pullback From Northern Syria, Clearing Way For Turkish Offensive

“Convoys of American military personnel began pulling back from the Syria-Turkey border, after President Trump ordered the Pentagon to clear the way for Ankara to launch an offensive against Kurdish fighters who spearheaded the U.S.-campaign against Islamic State. Kurdish fighters have warned of all-out war with Turkey in northeastern Syria, where the U.S.-backed forces hold more than 70,000 Islamic State fighters and their families. As the Turkish military prepared to enter Syria, and seize border areas from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led group vowed to fight “at all costs.”

The New York Times: Trump Endorses Turkish Military Operation In Syria, Shifting U.S. Policy

“In a major shift in United States military policy in Syria, the White House said on Sunday that President Trump had given his endorsement for a Turkish military operation that would sweep away American-backed Kurdish forces near the border in Syria. Turkey considers the Kurdish forces to be a terrorist insurgency, and has long sought to end American support for the group. But the Kurdish fighters, which are part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, or S.D.F., have been the United States’ most reliable partner in fighting the Islamic State in a strategic corner of northern Syria.”

CBS News: U.S. Withdrawing Troops From Northern Syria Posts, Leaving Kurdish Allies To Face Turkey

“Turkey's president and Kurdish militia members said Monday that American troops had started withdrawing from positions in northern Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke hours after the White House said U.S. forces in northeast Syria would move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish incursion into the neighboring nation.”

Reuters: U.S.-Backed Syrian Force Warns Of 'All-Out War' In Response To Any Turkish Attack

“The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said on Saturday it would “not hesitate to turn any unprovoked (Turkish) attack into an all-out war” to defend its region in northeast Syria. President Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey will carry out an air and ground military operation, as soon as Saturday or Sunday, targeting the SDF-controlled area east of the Euphrates river in Syria.”

The National: Syria’s Al Hol Camp Could Fall To ISIS, Says Kurdish General

“A displacement and detention camp in northeast Syria has become a hot spot for radicalisation, raising fears the camp could fall into the hands of ISIS. A Kurdish military commander claims weapons are being smuggled into the sprawling Al Hol camp by ISIS members and sympathisers. “There is a serious risk in Al Hol,” he told the Washington Post. “Right now, our people are able to guard it. But because we lack resources, Daesh are regrouping and reorganising in the camp.” The Al Hol camp was created in 2016 and now houses 70,000 people in tents. After the fall of ISIS’ last stronghold in Baghouz in March this year, the camp saw an influx of tens of thousands of women and children from the lost territory. Many were normal Syrians caught up in the fighting, but camp authorities estimate around 30,000 of Al Hol’s residents are loyal to the extremist group. Ten thousand of those are housed in an annex of the camp reserved for foreigners. Camp authorities say female ISIS members have introduced their own religious court and police and have begun to punish other people living in the camp for transgressions against their strict codes.”

France 24: Nine Jihadists Killed In Russia Strikes On Idlib: Monitor

“Nine jihadists were killed Saturday in Russian airstrikes on Syria's war-torn province of Idlib, a monitoring group said. “Russian strikes this morning targeted the Hurras al-Deen group and Ansar al-Tahwid in eastern Idlib... killing nine jihadists,” said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding eight others were wounded. Six of the dead were members of the Al-Qaeda linked Hurras al-Deen, a group which is also targeted by the US-led coalition. Moscow is a key ally of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the country's civil war, and despite an Idlib ceasefire deal reached on August 31, the province has continued to be targeted by Russian air attacks. Russia-backed regime fighters have for weeks been chipping away at the edges of the province bordering Turkey that is the last jihadist stronghold outside of Assad's control. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham -- a group led by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate -- extended its administrative control over the whole of Idlib in January, but other rebel factions remain present. In late August, clashes between anti-government fighters and regime forces left more than 50 dead on both sides, when the jihadists attacked loyalist positions in the south.”

The Washington Times: Trump Oks Turkey's Custody Of ISIS Prisoners, Military Operation In Syria

“The White House gave Turkey a green light Sunday evening on both an upcoming military operation in northern Syria and the custody of captured Islamic State terrorists. In a statement, press secretary Stephanie Grisham said President Trump had spoken with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the two men had discussed Turkey’s “long-planned operation into Northern Syria.” “The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area,” Ms. Grisham said. The White House did not specify the nature of the Turkey’s military operation, but Ankara has long been suspicious of the region’s Kurds and fought a lengthy guerrilla war against Kurdish groups within its own territory. The Kurds, especially those living in Iraq and Iran, have long been one of the few groups in the region consistently allied with the U.S. The Sunday night statement also expressed frustration with how other NATO allies had handled, or not handled, captured ISIS fighters and also put that issue in Ankara’s hands. Ms. Grisham said the U.S. had “pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came” but “they did not want them and refused.”


The Jerusalem Post: Israel Should Focus More On Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Than On Hezbollah’s Missiles

“A senior Israeli official recently said that Israel’s top priorities are to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon and to thwart Hezbollah’s precision missile project. Those are the biggest security challenges Israel faces but there is a huge difference between them. An Iranian nuclear attack might annihilate Israel and cause hundreds of thousands of casualties. Hezbollah’s precision missiles present a major problem, but on a much smaller scale than the nuclear one. The gap between the two issues is so vast that it requires putting each one of them in its own category.”

Reuters: Exclusive: Iran Not 'Drawing Back' Militarily After Saudi Attack - U.S. Admiral

“Iran has not drawn back to a less threatening military posture in the region following the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Arabia, the top U.S. admiral in the Middle East told Reuters, suggesting persistent concern despite a lull in violence. “I don’t believe that they’re drawing back at all,” Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in an interview. The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denies involvement in the strike on the world’s biggest crude oil-processing facility. The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen has claimed responsibility.”

The National Interest: Is Iran's Regime Really Be About To Collapse?

“Iran and the United States are as close to direct conflict as they have been for three decades, since Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 which was, at the time, the largest surface naval engagement since World War II. A lot of ink has been spilled and oxygen expended discussing the matter, some of it good and some of it simplistic. Here a few thoughts, informed by being lucky enough to spend close to seven months studying in the Islamic Republic while finishing a doctorate in philosophy on Iranian history. I worked on the Iran desk at the Pentagon during the George W. Bush administration, frequently visit the Persian Gulf, and have followed Iran almost continuously for a quarter century.”

The Times Of Israel: Trump’s Policy Of Inaction Is Whetting Iran’s Appetite For Aggression

“The Trump administration’s disregard for the unprecedented September 15 Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries and fields is reminiscent of the actions — or lack thereof — taken by former US president Barack Obama in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s 2013 chemical attack in Ghouta al-Sharqiya, in the country’s southwest, which left hundreds of people dead. Back then, it was clear that an American response was imminent because Obama himself had warned that an attack using unconventional weapons, especially on civilians, would constitute crossing a “red line,” the likes of which the US would not abide. But lo and behold, the Americans refrained from responding, choosing instead to hammer out a deal that significantly reduced Syria’s chemical stockpiles.”

Fox News: German Intelligence Reports On Iran's Illicit Nuclear Activities Met With Silence From European Powers

“Serious questions have emerged about the International Atomic Energy Agency’s and the European powers’ silence regarding a series of German intelligence reports documenting the Iranian regime’s illegal attempts to obtain nuclear weapons technology as late as 2018. Emily B. Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Project at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, told Fox News that the material in the German documents necessitate “confronting Iran with the intelligence and asking hard questions.”

The National Interest: How To Start A U.S.-Iran Shooting War: Iran Closes The Strait Of Hormuz?

“The recent mining of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, attributed to Iran by the United States, offers an important window into the strategic thinking of Iran and similarly situated regional powers. The incident is notable because the act of mining a limited number of vessels makes relatively little sense when viewed through the lens of traditional patterns of coercive behavior. Limited coercive acts typically have little value with regards to gaining concessions from a determined opponent. Generally, these acts may serve as a visible demonstration of a state’s willingness to enact some other, more substantial threat, such as shutting down the Strait of Hormuz outright. However, this requires the state making the threat to have the capacity to make good on its more substantial threats and for its opponents to believe that it is willing to incur the risks entailed. Iran, however, could not shut down the Strait of Hormuz for very long even if it wished to—something noted by President Donald Trump—and is unlikely to incur the substantial risks that an attempt would entail. Iran’s opponents, then, clearly don’t see its limited provocations as harbingers of something worse.”

Al Jazeera: Iran Says Chinese State Oil Firm Has Withdrawn From $5bn Deal

“China's state oil company pulled out of a $5bn deal to develop a portion of Iran's massive offshore natural gas field, the Islamic Republic's oil minister said. The South Pars field deal, struck in the wake of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, appears to be just the latest business casualty of the United States' pressure campaign on Tehran following President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of the US from the deal.”

The Wall Street Journal: My Brother Ali Is Iran’s Latest Hostage

“As the Trump administration speaks of placing “maximum pressure” on Iran, my brother Ali Alinejad has become another victim of Iran’s perpetual maximum pressure on its own citizens. Two weeks ago, Intelligence Ministry agents raided his home in Tehran and blindfolded and handcuffed him in front of his two small children, and dragged him away. He is now being interrogated at Iran’s notorious Evin prison. His only crime is being my brother. Around the same time as Ali’s arrest, a team of seven agents raided my former husband’s home in the northern city of Babol. The agents arrested his sister and brother, again using blindfolds and handcuffs. They too were targeted only because of their connection to me.”


Deutsche Welle: Turkey Detains 5 Germans On Terror Charges

“The German Foreign Ministry has confirmed five German citizens are receiving consular support, following reports that Turkish authorities detained five German citizens this week. The five are accused of membership in an illegal organization and spreading propaganda, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported late on Friday, without naming a group of their alleged membership. Since a failed coup in 2016, several Germans have been targeted in Turkey over alleged terror ties, mainly to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The PKK is considered to be a terror group by Ankara, the United States and the European Union. Speaking to the French news agency AFP, the German Interior Ministry denied claims that information leading to the detention of the five had been handed over to Turkish authorities during Interior Minister Horst Seehofer's visit to Ankara this week. However, a ministry spokesman would not rule out that such information could have been exchanged “as part of the routine cooperation between our security services.” A series of arrests of Germans in 2017, including the detention of journalists and activists, fueled a diplomatic spat between Berlin and Ankara. Many of those arrested were allowed to leave Turkey while court cases against them continue in their absence.”


The New York Times: Taliban And U.S. Envoy Meet For First Time Since Peace Talks Collapsed

“Taliban officials have met in Pakistan with the top American diplomat who recently led peace negotiations with them, current and former members of the insurgent group said on Saturday. It was the first such meeting since President Trump halted the talks last month, calling off a deal that had already been broadly agreed upon, and blaming an uptick in Taliban violence. The meeting in recent days in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, between Taliban officials and the American diplomat, Zalmay Khalilzad, came after a surge in bloodshed. The Taliban had spent days concentrating attacks across the country before last week’s Afghan presidential election, in an effort to derail the electoral process and keep voters from the polls. A State Department spokesman, as well as Taliban spokesmen, declined to comment. Reuters was first to report the meeting on Friday. The discussions between the two sides were informal, the Taliban members said, and did not indicate the beginning of a new round of peace discussions, only that one may take place in the future. After Mr. Trump canceled the talks and a possible peace deal, Washington has been quiet on the United States’ future strategy for Afghanistan.”

The New York Times: Opium-Smuggling Taliban Leader’s Release From Prison Raises Questions

“Eleven Taliban commanders have been released from the high-security prison in Bagram, Afghanistan, according to Taliban officials, in an apparent deal that included a prominent former Taliban regional leader who was caught personally escorting a shipment of nearly a ton of opium five years ago. Afghan and American officials have remained tight-lipped about the apparent releases, refusing to comment on whether a deal had been struck with the Taliban and the Afghan officials saying they were still looking into the matter.”

Al Jazeera: Afghanistan 'Frees' Several Taliban Prisoners

“Taliban officials said that several of the armed group's members have been freed from Afghan jails, including former shadow governors, the first move of its kind since a peace deal that seemed imminent was declared “dead” and just days after a US envoy met top Taliban leaders in the Pakistani capital. The officials also said the Taliban has released three Indian engineers who were being held, though that has yet to be confirmed by New Delhi or the Afghan government. The Taliban officials spoke to AP news agency on Sunday on condition of anonymity because they were not cleared by their leadership to speak to the media. Shadow governors in northeastern Kunar province and southwestern Nimroz province, Sheikh Abdul Rahim and Maulvi Rashid, were among the Taliban freed, the officials said. The Taliban have established a shadow government throughout the country; in areas under their control they have even established courts. Afghanistan's defence department and the president's office declined to comment to AP. US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met last week with the Taliban's top negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the hardline Taliban movement and head of a Taliban delegation to the Pakistani capital.” 

Radio Free Europe: Taliban Militants Kill Six Afghan Police At Remote Checkpoint Northeast Of Kabul

“Taliban fighters have killed six Afghan police officers at a checkpoint in the province of Kapisa to the northeast of Kabul, Afghan officials say. According to provincial councilors Mohammad Hussain Sanjani and Mohammd Mahfooz Safi, three police officers were also wounded during the Taliban's overnight attack in the remote Nejrab district. They said the Taliban had established a presence in part of Nejrab district and occasionally attack checkpoints there. Meanwhile, the police chief for Zareh district in the northern Balkh Province died on the evening of October 4 from injuries he sustained in a recent Taliban attack. The attacks came as Taliban negotiators announced that they met in Islamabad with Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. peace envoy for Afghanistan, for the first time since President Donald Trump in September called the peace process “dead.”


Gulf News: Al Houthis Manipulate Women To Lay Landmines

“Security authorities in Yemen’s western province of Jawf have said they uncovered several groups of bombers, including women linked to Al Houthi militiamen. “Security forces have captured a number of cells sent by Al Houthi militias to plant mines and explosives in markets and other gatherings of civilians,” chief of special security forces in Jawf, Col Abdullah Al Barbar, said, according to Saudi newspaper Asharq Al Awsat. “They included a women cell who had explosives in their possession,” he added. Rights groups have repeatedly accused Iran-aligned Al Houthis of indiscriminately laying landmines in civilian areas in war-racked Yemen, resulting in large deaths mainly women and children. “The expertise gained by Al Houthi militias in manufacturing and hiding explosives has been transferred to them by experts from [Lebanese] Hezbollah group and Iran sent to Yemen to train Al Houthis in killing the Yemeni people,” Col. Al Barbar said. He added that military engineers in Jawf had managed to remove and defuse many landmines, mostly planted in busy markets and on roads. Al Houthis plunged Yemen in war in late 2014 when they toppled the country’s internationally recognised government and seized parts of the impoverished country including the capital Sana’a.”

Arab News: Houthis Killed In Clashes With Yemeni Army

“Several elements of the Houthi militia were killed and wounded in confrontations with Yemeni armed forces in west of the country’s Al-Jawf province, Saudi state news agency reported on Sunday. The clashes happened after the Iranian-backed militia tried to sneak into the army’s sites in the fronts of Sadah and Waqaz in Al-Masloup district. The troops warded off the Houthis’ attempt and forced them to leave.”


The Times Of Israel: US Sanctions On Iran-Backed Hezbollah Deepen Lebanon’s Economic Crisis

“The conflict between Iran and the US that has created tensions throughout much of the Middle East is now also being felt in Lebanon, where Washington has slapped sanctions on Iran-backed Hezbollah and warned they could soon expand to its allies, further deepening the tiny Arab country’s economic crisis. The Trump administration has intensified sanctions on the Lebanese terror group and institutions linked to it to unprecedented levels, targeting lawmakers for the first time as well as a local bank that Washington claims has ties to the group.”

Middle East

The Jerusalem Post: Israeli Citizen Indicted For Trying To Join Isis, Produce Explosives

“A resident of the southern Israeli town of Tel Sheva was indicted on Sunday for attempting to join the ISIS terrorist organization and produce explosives. Bilal Abu Rakaik, 20, intended to join the terrorist group and travel to Syria because he supported ISIS ideology. In an attempt to identify with the jihadist organization, Rakaik would listen to songs praising ISIS and read posts and news from the group, including about the war the organization was fighting in Syria, Somalia and Iraq, and about terrorist attacks conducted by it in these countries. The accused bought uniforms similar to those used by ISIS through the Internet, and wore them daily with sandals outside of his house and in the mosque that he attended. He also took pictures in the uniform and published them on Facebook. Rakaik found an Internet site detailing the requirements for joining ISIS, including the necessity to apply for a passport to exit Israel. In order to fund his trip to Syria, the accused planned on producing explosives and selling them to others. Rakaik looked at multiple websites for information on how to produce explosives and explosive material. He bought hydrogen peroxide, salicylic acid and aluminum foil and attempted to produce the explosive material in his home.”

The Arab Weekly: Conditions Propitious For Extremism In The Arab World

“If we want to have some control over our present and our future – and avoid repeating mistakes, it is essential we develop an acute awareness of history. This is the argument put forth by Mahmoud Ismail, a professor of Islamic history at Ain Shams University, when he tries to determine the future of extremist religious groups in the Arab world. Ismail said terrorist organisations will not be disappearing anytime soon in the Middle East. He bluntly stated that the time of the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) and others has not ended. “Do not think that the defeat of ISIS means the end of the time of terrorist organisations. These organisations mutate or are reborn and they are able to expand as long as the surrounding environment allows them to grow and renew themselves,” he said. Ismail issued that warning in speaking to The Arab Weekly after a three-year hiatus from writing because of illness. He said the best way to stop terrorist movements and keep them from spreading is to have more freedom, expand political participation and address the economic and social imbalances in Arab countries that have experienced revolutions.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: Muslim Brotherhood Demands Kuwait To Stop Handing Over Its Members To Egypt

“The Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait demanded on Friday local authorities to cease handing over its detained members to Egypt. The party urged Kuwait to instead to allow the them to “safely depart Kuwait to any other country”. The statement was issued days after Kuwait handed over to Cairo Khaled al-Mahdi, a member of the youth leadership in the Brotherhood. He has been sentenced to ten years in jail by Egypt for his involvement in violent acts and financing the group. The Muslim Brotherhood is banned by Egypt and designated as a terrorist organization. A security source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Brotherhood fugitives wanted by Egypt and residing in Kuwait are handed over to Cairo based on an agreement signed by the two countries. Mahdi, he revealed, attempted to recruit Egyptian expatriates in Kuwait and to set up electronic militias in the Gulf country in order to attack Egypt. In a statement on Friday, the Brotherhood acknowledged the existence of its cell in Kuwait. It was arrested by authorities and its members turned over to Egypt. The statement said the detainees were members of the Brotherhood and that they had verdicts issued against them by Egypt. Kuwait has the right to determine their fate.”


Sahara Reporters: Boko Haram Kills 16 Civilians, 11 Soldiers In Borno

“Boko Haram terrorists have killed 16 civilians and 11 soldiers in Borno State. This was disclosed to AFP by military and militia sources on Saturday. On Thursday, insurgents ambushed a military convoy near Mauro Village in Benisheikh district, according to a military source. “Our men on patrol fell into a terrorist ambush... which claimed 11 soldiers and wounded 16 others. “Two other soldiers are still missing,”  an officer, who asked not to be identified, said. He added, “The terrorists made away with 11 AK-47 rifles and anti-aircraft gun mounted on the gun truck.” In another attack that same day, Boko Haram insurgents opened fire on a vehicle at Frigi Village, killing one person and injuring another, militia sources said. Jihadist fighters also killed two militiamen in Gubio, 80 kilometres from the state capital, Maiduguri. On Saturday, Boko Haram fighters stormed a camp for those displaced by the conflict in the town of Banki near the border with Cameroon, killing two residents and injuring three vigilantes guarding the area, two militia sources said. The decade-long Boko Haram campaign has killed 35,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in North-East Nigeria.”

Sahara Reporters: Boko Haram Terrorists Burn Emir’s Palace In Yobe

“Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday afternoon burnt a section of the Emir of Jajare’s Palace in Babangida headquarters of Tarmuwa Local Government Area of Yobe State, according to a report by The Nation.   Eyewitness said the insurgents headed straight for the emir’s palace upon entering the town but the Emir had left the palace before that time. Apart from setting the palace on fire, the hoodlums also went away with a Hilux van belonging to the Emir. A resident of the community claimed that the insurgents were on a mission to eliminate the District Head in a revenge mission for earlier giving intelligence report to security agencies that led to the elimination of some Boko Haram members.”


Hivisasa: Breaking: Top Al-Shabaab Commanders Killed In Latest Deadly Army Operation

“Al-Shabaab militants on Monday morning suffered a heavy blow following an army operation by Jubaland forces bouyed by Kenya Defense Forces, reports indicate. The raid on the Islamist militants comes a week after ten others were killed after an attempted raid at the Ballidogle military base which is manned by US African Command troops. Reports by Garowe Online, one of the biggest media house in Somalia, say that at least 20 militants were killed at Abdalla Birole in the outskirts of Kismayo.”

BBC News: Rwandan Forces 'Kill 19 Terrorists' In Retaliatory Attack

“Rwandan security forces have killed 19 “terrorists” blamed for an attack that resulted in the deaths of 14 people, police said. The initial attack on Friday was reportedly carried out by ethnic Hutu rebels in the north of the country. Officials suspect that the rebels carried out the killings while searching for food. The retaliatory attack took place near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, police said. Armed attackers reportedly went on a rampage with knives, machetes and stones in Musanze district near the Volcanoes National Park, which is popular with tourists for its mountain gorilla sanctuary. While the death toll was initially put at eight, authorities are now saying that 14 people were killed. The area has been targeted by Rwandan Hutu rebels active within DR Congo in the past. Rwandan police say they were able to track down some of the perpetrators. “The security forces were able to follow these terrorists, to kill 19 of them and arrest five,” the police said in a statement. Tourism officials said that all visitors to the area were safe.”

North Korea

Associated Press: North Korea: No More Talks Until US Ends ‘Hostile Policy’

“North Korea said Sunday that it won’t meet with the United States for more “sickening negotiations” unless it abandons its “hostile policy” against the North, as the two countries offered different takes on their weekend nuclear talks in Sweden.”

United Kingdom

The Sun: Former Head Terrorism Cop Backs Calls For New Task Force To Target Hate Preachers And Extremism

“Britain needs a new hateful extremism taskforce to target hate preachers and groups spreading fake news to whip up tensions, a major report says today. The commission for countering extremism calls for a complete overhaul of the government’s strategy for tackling far-right, Islamist and other forms of non-violent extremism.”

The Guardian: 'It Could Have Been Me': On The Trail Of The British Teenagers Who Became 'Brides Of Isis'

“When the Bethnal Green schoolgirls disappeared off the streets of east London in early 2015, never showing up at home for dinner and instead boarding flights to Istanbul, their parents hadn’t the slightest inkling. The first to leave had been Sharmeena Begum. She left to join Isis, followed two months later by Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana and Shamima Begum (no relation). Just last week, Priti Patel said “no way” could Shamima return to the UK. The girls were bubbly and well-liked at school and seemed like model British Muslim girls: studious, respectful – and walking the delicate line between conservative home environments and liberal modern London. I found myself transfixed by the girls’ defection to Isis, but even more so by the news coverage, the viciousness of it and the swift excommunication of the girls from Britishness. They quickly went from being “our girls” – 15-year-olds who had been groomed by sophisticated predators – to “brides of jihad”. I had to read the press coverage closely – I was teaching journalism at a London university with a large Muslim student population. Maybe my students didn’t read the tabloids, but they lived the atmosphere the papers conjured. The shift was palpable, especially on the bus to campus.”

The Independent: Far Right Poses As Protectors Of Women To Target Muslims, Official Extremism Report Finds

“Far--right activists are exploiting concerns about the safety of women and children to target Muslims and ethnic minorities, an official report has found. The Commission for Countering Extremism said some groups “deliberately distort the truth to persuade their audience to adopt discriminatory and hateful attitudes”. The government agency’s first major report, seen exclusively by The Independent, warned that the tactic was drawing in white communities who would not normally support the far right, and worsening social division. As part of research into all forms of extremism across Britain, the commission examined a series of protests sparked after a woman claimed she was gang raped by Middle Eastern migrants in Sunderland. The report said prominent far-right figures including Tommy Robinson, Jayda Fransen and former Ukip leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters used rallies in 2016 and 2017 to “spread anti-minority and anti-Muslim agendas”. “The marchers said they aimed to improve the safety of women and children locally,” the report said.  “However, their rhetoric targeted ethnic minorities, despite nearly 85 per cent of people convicted of sexual offences in 2018 in the Northumbria Police force area being white.”


The Washington Post: Suspect In Paris Police Stabbings Had Ties To Islamist Extremist Networks, Prosecutor Says

“The suspect in a deadly knife attack at Paris police headquarters worked for more than 15 years in the complex as he began following a “radical vision” of Islam, a top prosecutor said Saturday amid tense political fallout from the incident. French prosecutors are now investigating Thursday’s attack that killed four people — two police officers and two headquarters staff — as an act of terror. But opposition leaders have accused the French government of incompetence for delays in identifying the apparent motives of the suspect, a 45-year-old man identified as Mickaël Harpon who was killed at the scene by a police intern. Initially, French authorities were hesitant to label the attack as possible terrorism. That cautious approach also has drawn fiery opposition backlash against the French Interior Ministry — including calls for Christophe Castaner, France’s interior minister, to resign. Hours after the attack, Castaner told reporters at the scene that the Harpon had “never presented behavioral difficulties, nor the slightest sign of alarm.” But France’s anti-terrorist prosecutor, Jean-Francois Ricard, offered a starkly different portrait in a news conference Saturday.”

Reuters: Terrorist Risk Still 'Very High' In France: Interior Minister

“France’s interior minister said on Monday that the terrorist risk remained “high” to “very high” in France following the killing of four police personnel by a radicalized colleague. Minister Christophe Castaner, who also reiterated he had no plans to resign, added to France Inter radio that since 2003 some 59 terrorist attacks had been prevented by police, including three since the beginning of the year. Castaner rejected opposition calls for his resignation on Sunday but acknowledged opportunities had been missed to prevent the killing of the police staff last week. Mickael H, a 45-year-old IT specialist with security clearance, killed three officers and one civilian employee before he was shot dead by another officer last week.”


Reuters: Spanish Police Arrest Man On Suspicion Of Islamic State Links

“Spanish police said on Saturday they had arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of belonging to the Islamic State (IS) militant group, adding that a search of his home found explosive-making chemicals and a list of targets. Identified only as “A.A.A,” the Spanish citizen was arrested in Parla, a town near Madrid, on suspicion of incitement to commit attacks and terrorist threats, police said in a statement. The case is being investigated by Spain’s high court. Islamic State claimed responsibility for attacks in 2017 in Barcelona and Cambrils that killed 14 people. Police said that during a raid on the suspect’s home they had found chemicals that could be used to make the explosive triacetone triperoxide or TATP, an unstable explosive that has been used in several attacks in western Europe in recent years. They said they had also found a bulletproof vest with shrapnel attached, along with detailed notes on how to prepare explosives and a list of potential targets. Spanish newspaper El Pais cited unnamed sources saying the suspect had threatened to attack a judge at Spain’s high court. Police said he was responsible for the Spanish wing of Muntasir Media, which promotes Islamic State and operates internationally to incite followers to commit attacks.”

Southeast Asia 

The Straits Times: 7 Ex-Muslim Rebels Killed In Philippines By Pro-ISIS Group

“Seven former Muslim rebels have been killed in the southern Philippines in an attack claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, military and police authorities said yesterday. They said the dead were all members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), formerly the country's largest guerrilla group but which began decommissioning weapons last month under the terms of a 2014 peace treaty. A pro-ISIS armed group called Dawlah Islamiyah attacked a MILF camp near the town of Shariff Saydona on Friday, sparking fighting that lasted several hours, said Lieutenant-Colonel Ernesto Gener, commander of a local army battalion. ISIS claimed responsibility in a communique seen by Site Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity. The extremists said eight MILF members were killed, but local police commander, Lt-Col Arnold Santiago, tol reporters the authorities were only aware of seven deaths. Locals said they saw seven bodies being loaded onto a boat at a riverbank in Shariff Saydona, about 900km south of Manila. MILF spokesman Von al Haq declined to comment. The peace pact with MILF ended decades of Muslim rebellion that had claimed 150,000 lives by government estimates in the Mindanao region, home to the Catholic nation's large Islamic minority.”


Facebook Must Play Its Part In Tackling The Paedophiles And Terrorists That Lurk Online

“We cannot waste time when it comes to tackling paedophiles and terrorists online. The technological boom over the past two decades has changed the way we live our lives, opening up an array of new opportunities to communicate. But the internet has also been a force for evil, giving terrorists, paedophiles and other serious criminals a platform to spread hate and prey on the vulnerable.”