Eye on Extremism: September 13

The Week: ISIS Wants Militants To Avoid Syria And Iraq, Instead Focusing On The Philippines

The Islamic State, after losing ground in Syria and Iraq, is switching its attention to a different battleground: the Philippines. ISIS's media arm has released a seven-minute video in English that uses militants already in the southern part of the Philippines to encourage would-be fighters to join them as they fight government troops near Marawi, a city of 200,000 people. Since May, Philippine soldiers have been trying to get ISIS-linked militants out of the city, and more than 60 troops have been killed and 200 wounded in clashes. In the video, a fighter calls on Muslims, specifically those in Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia, to come to the Philippines to help the fight in Marawi, joining militants from three ISIS-aligned groups: Maute, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and Abu Sayyaf, a onetime offshoot of al Qaeda.

Fox News: EU Anti-Terror Chief: IS Still Has 2,500 European Fighters

The European Union's counter-terrorism coordinator says the Islamic State group still has about 2,500 fighters from Europe among its dwindling ranks. Gilles de Kerchove told German daily Welt in an interview published Tuesday that the extremist group used to have about 5,000 European fighters in Iraq and Syria. De Kerchove says about 1,500 fighters have since returned home and 1,000 have been killed. He says many of those remaining are likely to die fighting or at the hands of IS if they desert, while some may move to other conflict areas such as Somalia or Yemen.

Daily Beast: Bin Laden’s Son Is Poised To Unify Terrorists Worldwide

One day in early November 2001, on a hillside south of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden bade farewell to three of his young sons. In the shade of an olive tree, he handed each boy a misbaha—a set of prayer beads symbolizing the 99 names of God in classical Arabic—and instructed them to keep the faith. The scene was an emotional one. “It was as if we pulled out our livers and left them there,” one of the boys would later recall in a letter to his father. Having taken his leave, bin Laden disappeared into the mountains, bound for a familiar redoubt known as the Black Cave, or Tora Bora in the local Pashto dialect. The three boys who received the prayer beads that day would face three very different destinies. One, Bakr (also known as Ladin), would distance himself from al-Qaeda, both geographically and ideologically. Another, Khalid, would die protecting his father at their compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011. The third, Hamza, would vanish for years before reemerging in 2015 as the most likely candidate to reunite a fractured jihadi movement and lead al-Qaeda to a future still more violent than its past.

Al Arabiya: Saudi Arabia Foils ISIS Attempt To Attack Defense Ministry

Saudi Arabia has said that attempts by ISIS militants to attack the defense ministry have been foiled, the kingdom's Presidency of State Security confirmed to Al Arabiya News Channel on Monday. Two Yemeni nationals named Ahmed Yasser al-Kaldi and Ammar Ali Mohammed were arrested for plotting attacks targeting two headquarters of the Ministry of Defense in Riyadh. Below is a full translated statement from the Presidency of State Security regarding the ongoing investigation into the plots: First: The arrest of the suicide bombers, Ahmed Yaser al-Kaldi and Ammar Ali Muhammad, before they reached the target location, neutralizing their danger and controlling them by the security men. The initial investigations revealed that they were of Yemeni nationality and their names differed from those recorded by the identity evidence that was seized.

Newsweek: Israel's Next War? Spy Chief Warns Hamas, Hezbollah Gearing Up For New Conflict

Israel's security elite fears a military alliance between Hezbollah and Hamas and backed by Iran could lead to a new conflict in the Middle East.  Nadav Argaman, who is head of Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet, has warned that Hamas—which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007 and fought three wars with Israel in the last decade—is now building influence in Lebanon, where top Hamas operative, Saleh al-Arouri, is in hiding following his expulsion from Qatar in June. He said that Iran remains ‘the largest backer financially and militarily’ of Hamas's armed wing—known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades—and that with the help of Tehran, the group was now preparing to battle for ‘the liberation of Palestine,’ Times of Israel reported.

Washington Post: How Russia Quietly Undercuts Sanctions Intended To Stop North Korea’s Nuclear Program

Russian smugglers are scurrying to the aid of North Korea with shipments of petroleum and other vital supplies that could help that country weather harsh new economic sanctions, U.S. officials say in an assessment that casts further doubt on whether financial measures alone can force dictator Kim Jong Un to abandon his nuclear weapons program. The spike in Russian exports is occurring as China — by far North Korea's biggest trading partner — is beginning to dramatically ratchet up the economic pressure on its troublesome neighbor in the face of provocative behavior such as last week's test of a powerful nuclear bomb. Official documents and interviews point to a rise in tanker traffic this spring between North Korean ports and Vladivostok, the far-eastern Russian city near the small land border shared by the two countries. With international trade with North Korea increasingly constrained by U.N. sanctions, Russian entrepreneurs are seizing opportunities to make a quick profit, setting up a maze of front companies to conceal ­transactions and launder payments, according to U.S. law enforcement officials who monitor sanction-busting activity.

The Washington Post: Syria Signs Aleppo Power Plant Contract With Iran

Syria’s government signed a contract with an Iranian company on Tuesday to import five gas-fired power plants to the war-battered city of Aleppo, in an early sign of the major role Tehran is expected to play in Syria’s reconstruction. The deal, reported by Syria’s state news agency SANA, is part of a broader understanding reached by Damascus and Tehran promising Iranian companies contracts to restore electrical infrastructure in Syria, Electricity Minister Zuhair Kharboutli said during a visit to Tehran. The Aleppo contract was awarded to the Iranian firm Mabna and is valued at around 130 million Euros, according to a Kharboutli statement carried by SANA on Sunday.

United States

Cleveland.Com: Three Charged With Exporting Millions Of Dollars In Goods To Iran, In Violation Of U.S. Embargo

Three Iranian natives have been charged in Cleveland federal court with violating a U.S. embargo by participating in the sale of millions of dollars in products from the United States to their native country. Federal authorities tracked shipments from the U.S., including the Cleveland area, to countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. From there, the packages were shipped to Iran, according to an indictment. The exported goods were to be used in the oil, gas, energy and petroleum industries, among others. Mohammad Khazrai Shaneivar, Arezoo Hashemnejad Alalmdari, Parisa Mohamadi and the Canadian company IC Link Industries are named as defendants in the indictment.

New York Post: Texas-Born Al Qaeda Bomber ‘Turned His Back’ On US: Prosecutors

A Texas-born man on trial for his role in the 2009 ​a​l Qaeda-orchestrated bombing of a U.S. base in Afghanistan “turned his back on this country” to “murder Americans,” prosecutors told jurors ​as his trial got underway in Brooklyn ​Tuesday. “He turned his back on this country, joined terrorists, and lived with them for seven years until he was caught,” Assistant US Attorney Saritha Komatireddy said as she pointed at Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh. The feds say ​Al Farekh ​took part in a plot to bomb the ​A​rmy base with explosive​s​-filled trucks. But the Jan. 2009 plot failed when the first truck detonated at the gate, and the second truck, which was packed w​​ith enough ​ammo to take out the entire camp, fell into the crater caused by the first truck and the driver fled.

Guernica Magazine: When White Supremacy Gets Road Rage

In 2016, cars became the single most deadly form of attack in Western countries, responsible for more than half of the terrorism-related deaths in the West. According to the Counter Extremism Project, this increase is attributable to that fact that ISIS has explicitly called on supporters to use cars as weapons. ‘The ISIS call, as well as that of other terrorist groups, has been to use what you have on hand,’ John Miller, deputy commissioner of intelligence for New York police, told CNN in 2015. ‘And that means if you can make a bomb, you’re a bomber. But if you can’t, use a gun. And if you can’t find a gun, use a knife. And if you can’t find a knife, use a car.’

Syria

Reuters: Air Strikes Kill 69 In Syrian East Since Sunday: Observatory

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air strikes likely to have been carried out by Russian warplanes have killed 69 people since Sunday near the Euphrates River in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zor. The Russian defense ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Tuesday’s report by the Britain-based monitoring group. The Observatory, which identified the victims as civilians, said the air strikes hit civilian encampments on the western bank of the Euphrates and vessels crossing the river to the eastern side.

BBC News: Syria War: 'Russian Air Strikes' Kill Dozens In Deir Al-Zour

Dozens of civilians have been killed since Sunday in suspected Russian air strikes along the River Euphrates in eastern Syria, activists say. Jets are reported to have hit camps for displaced people on the western bank of the river and passenger ferries outside the city of Deir al-Zour. It was not possible to verify the reports, and Russia has not commented. But it is providing air cover to Syrian government forces battling so-called Islamic State in the Euphrates valley. Last week, troops and militiamen broke a long-running siege by the jihadist group of a government-held enclave in Deir al-Zour and a nearby military airport.

Reuters: Hezbollah Declares Syria Victory, Russia Says Much Of Country Won Back

The Lebanese Shi‘ite group Hezbollah has declared victory in the Syrian war while Russia said government forces had driven militants from much of the country where President Bashar al-Assad’s rule seemed in danger two years ago. The comments from two Syrian government allies mark the most confident assessments yet of Assad’s position in the war, though significant parts of the country remain outside the government’s control. Russia’s assertion that the army had won back 85 percent of Syria was dismissed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It said the government held 48 percent of Syria. On Tuesday, Russia’s defense minister met with Assad in Damascus to discuss joint military efforts and the fight against Islamic State.

The Guardian: Hundreds Of ISIS Defectors Mass On Syrian Border Hoping To Flee

Hundreds of defectors from Islamic State have massed in Syria’s Idlib province, with many planning to cross the nearby Turkish border and find ways back to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Several dozen former fighters have already made it across the heavily patrolled frontier to towns and cities in Turkey’s south in recent weeks, the Guardian has confirmed. Four Saudi Arabian extremists arrived in a southern Turkish community in early September after paying smugglers $2,000 each for the perilous journey past border guards who have shot dead scores of infiltrators this year alone.

Radio Free Europe: Russia's Shoigu Meets Assad In Damascus To Discuss Syria War

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, as Russia-backed government troops press their assault against the extremist group Islamic State (IS) in the country's east. The Russian Defense Ministry said on September 12 that Shoigu and Assad discussed military cooperation between Moscow and Damascus as well as the countries' joint efforts to defeat IS in Syria, according to Russian news agencies. The meeting focused on plans to recapture the eastern city Deir al-Zour from IS militants and to ‘strengthen efforts to combat terrorism in all Syrian territory until its utter annihilation,’ Assad's office said.

Japan Times: After Documenting Islamic State Horrors, Activists In North Syrian City Of Raqqa Become War Reporters

They honed their media skills secretly filming Islamic State (IS) group beheadings in Raqqa. Now, these Syrian activists have become impromptu war reporters, covering the U.S.-backed assault on their city from the ground. “If the crack is sharp and the column of smoke goes straight up, it’s an airstrike,” Syrian activist Tim Ramadan said from Raqqa, using a pseudonym and communicating through a Facebook profile that disguises his identity. Every night, Ramadan discreetly turns on his internet satellite service, uploads his daily records from the battle-torn city to Europe-based colleagues at the “Sound and Picture” collective, then immediately deletes the messages. Media networks including Sound and Picture are providing a rare window into life in Raqqa, ravaged by fighting since the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) broke into the city on June 6.

Iraq

Reuters: Barzani Vows To Press On With Kurdish Referendum, Defying Iraq Parliament

Iraq’s Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani vowed on Tuesday to press ahead with a referendum on Kurdish independence on Sept. 25 despite a vote by Iraq’s parliament to reject the move. Earlier the parliament in Baghdad authorized the prime minister to ‘take all measures’ to preserve Iraq’s unity. Kurdish lawmakers walked out of the session before the vote and issued statements rejecting the decision. Western powers fear a plebiscite in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region - including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk - could ignite conflict with the central government in Baghdad and divert attention from the war against Islamic State militants.

Deutsche Welle: Kurdish Independence Vote Draws Ire In Baghdad

Iraq's parliament on Tuesday voted to reject a Kurdish independence referendum planned later this month, raising already simmering tensions between Baghdad and Erbil that could potentially explode into violence. The Iraqi parliament resolution said the referendum is ‘a threat to the unity of Iraq, guaranteed by the constitution, and a threat to regional and civil peace since it violates the Iraqi constitution.’ Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the vote in Baghdad, leaving Arab parliamentarians to pass the measure with 204 votes. Parliament has 328 seats.

The Christian Science Monitor: In Push For Post-ISIS Reconciliation, Iraqi Leaders Still A Sticking Point

As the dark cloud of Islamic State occupation is forced to recede from northern Iraq, it is leaving behind a complex array of tensions over sectarian divides, security, and governance that require immediate attention if new violence is to be averted. Already Iraqi peacemakers supported by Western aid groups and the United Nations have been making tangible progress. As Iraqi security forces push ISIS out of one village and city after another, the peacemakers establish mechanisms of reconciliation aimed at preventing revenge attacks. But the liberation of Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul in July has highlighted how much more peacemaking work needs to be done – and urgently, from Kirkuk to Tal Afar, from Erbil to Baghdad – if Iraq’s volatile mix of problems is to be at least contained, if not resolved.

CNN: Iraq Sentences ISIS Foreign Fighter To Death

A Russian national convicted of being an ISIS fighter has been sentenced to death by a criminal court in Baghdad, Iraq's High Judicial Council announced Tuesday. This is the first time that a foreign ISIS fighter in Iraq has received a death sentence. The man was arrested by Iraqi forces during an operation to retake the eastern bank of Mosul -- the country's second largest city -- from ISIS earlier this year. In July, Iraq's Prime Minister announced that all of Mosul had been recaptured from the terror group.

Turkey

Reuters: Turkey Orders 79 School Employees Detained In Post-Coup Probe: NTV

Turkish authorities issued detention warrants for 79 former school employees on Wednesday over alleged links to last year’s failed military coup, broadcaster NTV said. They were suspected of using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app which the government says was used by the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it accuses of orchestrating the abortive putsch in July 2016. The suspects worked at private schools and tutor schools which prepared students for university entrance exams, many of which used to be run by supporters of Gulen. Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, has denied involvement and condemned the coup attempt.

The New York Times: Turkey Signs Russian Missile Deal, Pivoting From NATO

In the clearest sign of his pivot toward Russia and away from NATO and the West, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday that Turkey had signed a deal to purchase a Russian surface-to-air missile system. The deal cements a recent rapprochement with Russia, despite differences over the war in Syria, and comes as Turkey’s ties with the United States and European Union have become strained. It is certain to stir unease in Washington and Brussels, where officials are trying to keep Turkey — a longtime NATO member, and an increasingly unlikely candidate for European Union membership — from entering Russia’s sphere of influence.

Afghanistan

Reuters: Hundreds Of Afghans Demonstrate Against 'Offensive' U.S. Leaflets

Hundreds of demonstrators rallied near the Afghan capital on Tuesday to denounce a propaganda leaflet drop by U.S. forces last week that caused widespread offense and forced American commanders to issue an apology. The leaflet drop near Bagram Air Field, one of the biggest U.S. bases in Afghanistan, was intended to encourage people to report insurgents to the authorities and depicted a lion chasing a dog, symbolizing the Taliban. However it prompted widespread outrage as the picture of the dog, considered an unclean animal in Islam, incorporated a profession of faith from the Quran that forms part of the Taliban flag.

Fox News: Red Cross Staffer Killed By Polio Patient In Afghanistan, Officials Say

A Spanish Red Cross staffer who worked at a rehabilitation center in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh province was shot and killed Monday by a patient she was teaching to walk. Spanish national Lorena Enebral Perez, 38, a physiotherapist working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was described as ‘a skilled and caring physiotherapist who assisted patients, especially children,’ Monica Zanarelli, the head of the ICRC’s delegation in Afghanistan, said. Perez was shot and killed at the hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.

Voice Of America: Pakistani PM Offers Joint Patrols With Afghanistan

Pakistan’s prime minister has offered ‘joint patrols’ and ‘joint posts’ with Afghanistan as a means of bi-lateral verification of action taken against terrorist groups or their sanctuaries.’Whatever it takes to fight terrorism ... Pakistan is totally open to that,’ Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said while briefing foreign journalists Tuesday in Islamabad. The details of the bi-lateral verification methods could be worked out at the operational level, he said. But Abbasi insisted Afghanistan in turn needed to do more to fight terrorism against Pakistan.

Yemen

Reuters: Indian Priest Kidnapped In Yemen Has Been Freed: Oman

An Indian priest kidnapped by gunmen in Yemen last year has been freed, Oman’s state news agency ONA said on Tuesday, posting a picture of him appearing in good health after being transferred to the Omani capital Muscat. Father Tom Uzhunnalil was abducted in March 2016 when four unidentified gunmen attacked a care home in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden, killing four Indian nuns, two Yemeni female staff members, eight elderly residents and a guard. ONA said Omani authorities had coordinated with ‘Yemeni parties’ to locate Uzhunnalil and transfer him to the sultanate. He will return home to India, it said, without mentioning which group had been holding him in Yemen.

Qatar

The Washington Post: Arab Feud Over Qatar Boils Over At Cairo Meeting

A Qatari diplomat says ‘dogs’ backed by ‘some regimes’ are waging a media campaign against his country, a thinly veiled jab at Gulf countries that drew a sharp rebuke at an Arab League meeting. Qatar’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Soltan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, delivered the remarks at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Tuesday, angering Saudi and Egyptian representatives. After his speech, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry rejected what he said were ‘baseless insults.’

Egypt

Associated Press: Report: Egypt Cuts Military Ties With North Korea

Egypt’s defense minister, on a visit to Seoul, announced that his country has cut military ties with North Korea, according to a report by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. There was no immediate confirmation from the Egyptian government of the agency’s report, but Cairo has come under mounting pressure in recent weeks to sever ties with North Korea as the United States seek to curb Pyongyang’s efforts to develop long-range nuclear weapons. Last month Washington cut or delayed nearly $300 million in aid to Egypt over its human rights record and its ties with Pyongyang.

Middle East

Reuters: Iran Arrests Islamic State Member, Foils Attacks: Revolutionary Guards

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards arrested a member of Islamic State and foiled a plan for suicide attacks, a Guards commander said on Wednesday. Col. Amin Yamini, the Guards commander for the western Tehran suburb of Shahriar, did not say when the arrest was made but said the attacks were being planned for a 10-day Shi’ite religious holiday that begins next week. The Islamic State member arrested was from the Syrian branch of the militant Sunni organization and had planned to organize about 300 people to carry out suicide attacks, Yamini said, according to Basij Press, the news site for the Tehran branch of the Guards.

Arab News: Stand-Off At Arab League As Qatar Praises Iran

Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) diplomats on Tuesday lashed back at Doha’s latest “provocations” after Qatar’s state minister for foreign affairs praised Iran and blamed the bloc for a humanitarian crisis caused by their blockade of Qatar. During a meeting of ministers at the Arab League, Sultan Saad Al-Muraikhi, Qatar’s permanent envoy to the Arab League, also challenged the quartet to present evidence that his country was supporting extremist groups and terrorists. “We are advocates of peace and speak openly. We don’t work like bats at night and our decisions are issued in broad daylight,” he said. He also referred to Iran as an “honorable state” for not obliging Doha to open an embassy on its soil.

The Jerusalem Post: Israel Warns Of Europe Terror Threat In Holiday Travel Advisory

Ahead of the mass exodus of Israelis looking to exploit remaining days of annual leave during the High Holy Days, the National Security Council’s Counterterrorism Bureau has issued a number of travel warnings for those seeking to travel abroad. The travel warnings, which the bureau said are based on intelligence reports and credible information, were issued due to the real likelihood of threats against Israeli and Jewish targets across the world. Most of the travel warnings relate to Arab and ‘enemy’ countries.

Radio Free Europe: Netanyahu Says Israel Still Opposes Iran Nuclear Agreement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeated his opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement during a press conference as he visited Argentina. Noting recent press reports that Israel might support leaving the agreement in place, Netanyahu said on September 12: ‘Let me take this opportunity and clarify: Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal -- either fix it or cancel it. This is Israel's position.’ He accused Tehran of operating what he called ‘a terror machine that encompasses the entire world, operating terror cells in many continents, including Latin America.’

Reuters: Israel Endorses Independent Kurdish State

Israel supports the establishment of a Kurdish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, as Kurds in Iraq gear up for a referendum on independence that lawmakers in Baghdad oppose. Israel has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the 1960s, viewing the minority ethnic group -- whose indigenous population is split between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran -- as a buffer against shared Arab adversaries. On Tuesday, Iraq’s Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said he would press ahead with the Sept. 25referendum despite a vote by Iraq’s parliament rejecting it.

Nigeria

Deutsche Welle: What Makes Young African Muslims Join Jihadi Groups?

For years, Khadijah Hawaja Gambo has been struggling with an uncomfortable question: What exactly drives young African Muslims to Islamism and eventually into the clutches of jihadi organizations like Boko Haram? ‘Many young Nigerians are so frustrated that they are desperately looking for an escape,’ said the Nigerian human rights activist in an interview with DW. ‘Yet most don't find that escape and just become more angry, frustrated and aggressive toward society.’ From there, she explained, it is just a small step towards radicalization.

Voice Of News: Arrests, Long Detentions Mar Efforts To Win Over Boko Haram Defectors

Over the last six years, people persuaded by the militant group Boko Haram to sacrifice their lives have killed thousands of civilians in markets, schools and other public places across northeast Nigeria and neighboring countries. In response, the Nigerian government has acknowledged the need to encourage defections and deradicalize former Boko Haram members. The government says it is working with defectors at camps in the northeast, with the aim of reintegrating them into society. But human rights groups question the effectiveness of the efforts, which they say amount to little more than indefinite detention in squalid conditions.

United Kingdom

The Guardian: Clubs Step Up Counter-Terrorism Measures Before Champions League

Europe’s top football clubs have received expert advice on stepping up their counter-terrorism and security operations before the start of group matches this week in the Champions League and Europa League. Safety and security officials from all Britain’s competing clubs and football associations met their European counterparts last week in Munich, at an annual stadium and security conference jointly organised by Uefa and the EU, to consider the latest strategies for preventing terrorist attacks. Since the atrocity at the Manchester Arena in May, when a suicide bomber killed 22 people by attacking as spectators left an Ariana Grande concert, security officials are concentrating more intensively on safety as crowds exit stadiums. Police and stewards now patrol the areas around the grounds more intensively, and CCTV scans are carried out, before exit doors are opened at the end of matches.

BBC News: Ismael Watson Guilty Of Syria Terrorism Plan

A Muslim convert caught trying to join so-called Islamic State has been convicted of planning to travel to Syria to engage in terrorism. Ismael Watson was stopped as he tried to cross the Turkish border into Syria in July 2016, the Old Bailey heard. He had denied preparation of terrorist acts and opted to represent himself but refused to attend court. His first trial was abandoned and following a two-day retrial, he was found guilty in his absence. The 27-year-old, born Jack Watson, was found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

Germany

Fox News: The Latest: Germany Says EU Migrant Ruling Must Be Accepted

Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says a verdict by the European Union's top court on relocating migrants in the EU must be accepted even by those who don't agree with it. The European Court of Justice rejected legal action by Hungary and Slovakia seeking to avoid accepting refugees under an EU-wide plan. The ruling was seen as a victory for European countries bearing the greatest burden of the continent's migrant influx. Hungary and Slovakia — along with the Czech Republic and Poland, which also rejected the plan — said the court decision have not changed their critical view.

Reuters: Germany Softens Stance On Turkish Arms Sales, Citing Security

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday Germany would only restrict some arms sales to Turkey, softening an earlier announcement of a freeze on major arms sales after Ankara said that would hurt their joint fight against Islamic State.  Merkel spoke a day after Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Berlin had put all major arms exports to NATO partner Turkey on hold, citing deteriorating human rights there and strained diplomatic ties. She told broadcaster NDR that Germany would decide on arms sales requests from Turkey on a case-by-case basis, noting that Berlin cooperated with Ankara on security matters.

The Times Of Israel: Life Term Sought For Suspect In Germany Neo-Nazi Murders

German prosecutors Tuesday sought life in jail for the surviving female member of a neo-Nazi trio accused of a string of racist murders that targeted mainly Turkish immigrants. Beate Zschaepe, 42, is co-accused in the 10 killings carried out by the other two members of the self-styled National Socialist Underground (NSU), Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boehnhardt, between 2000 and 2007. Zschaepe for years lived in hiding with Mundlos and Boehnhardt, who shot dead eight men of Turkish origin, a Greek migrant and a German policewoman before the two died in an apparent suicide pact after a botched bank robbery in 2011.

Europe

Voice Of America: PM: Islamic State Flags Not Flying In Bosnia

Islamic State flags are not flying in Bosnia, Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said on Tuesday, dismissing allegations by some European leaders that radical Bosnian Muslims in the Balkan country were posing a terrorist threat for Europe. Bosnian Muslims generally practice a moderate form of Islam but some have adopted radical Salafi Islam from foreign fighters who came to the country during its 1992-95 war to fight alongside Muslims against Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats. Some joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq but police said departures had stopped completely in the past 18 months and more than half of those who returned have been jailed under a law prohibiting people to fight in foreign countries.

Newsweek: These Two Spanish Enclaves Are At The Center Of Europe's War On Terror

The terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in August brought the vulnerability of Spain to jihadi terrorism into sharp focus. Since 2004, when 192 people were murdered in an attack on the Madrid metro, Spain has remained a key target. Despite pulling its support from the war in Iraq and refusing to participate in the bombing of Syria, Spanish security services continue to deal with the threat from jihadi terrorism, and have arrested some 180 suspects since 2015 within Spain. In the aftermath of the Barcelona attacks, public attention has focused on immigrants coming into Spain from Morocco. So far all of the suspects in the Barcelona attacks that have been captured and killed in Cataluña have been of Moroccan descent, either first or second generation, and resident in Spain.

Reuters: EU Tells Easterners To Take In Refugees

Eastern European Union states must drop their resistance and accept their share of refugees who arrived in the bloc, officials and diplomats said on Tuesday after a court ruled they must abide by the quota. The EU’s highest court ruled last week that member states must take in a share of refugees who reach Europe, dismissing complaints by Slovakia and Hungary and reigniting an east-west row that has shaken the bloc’s cohesion. Brussels and other capitals hope member states will respect the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling.

Deutsche Welle: Cities Struggle For Security In Light Of Terrorist Attacks

Burglaries, traffic accidents, shootings — the Swedish capital Stockholm gets its share of crime and violence. Only recently did the police commissioner publicly call for help, saying the police were struggling to get their job done in several Stockholm neighborhoods dominated by gangs. Yet up until recently, a majority of Stockholmers considered their city fairly safe. According to the Better Life Index compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, people in Sweden feel safer than, for instance, those in Belgium or Spain.

Myanmar

Reuters: Al Qaeda Warns Myanmar Of 'Punishment' Over Rohingya

Al Qaeda militants have called for support for Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, who are facing a security crackdown that has sent about 400,000 of them fleeing to Bangladesh, warning that Myanmar would face ‘punishment’ for its ‘crimes’. The exodus of Muslim refugees from Buddhist-majority Myanmar was sparked by a fierce security force response to a series of Rohingya militant attacks on police and army posts in the country’s west on Aug. 25. The Islamist group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Untied States issued a statement urging Muslims around the world to support their fellow Muslims in Myanmar with aid, weapons and ‘military support’.

Terror Financing

Almowaten: Saudi Study Warns Of Bitcoin Usage By Extremist Organizations

A new study warns of the danger posed by the use of digital currency (Bitcoin), claiming that extremist organizations tend to use it, along with organized crime groups, in money laundering activities. The study stressed that terrorist organizations use Bitcoin in prohibited financial transactions for the purchase of weapons and {military} equipment, amid great efforts by the international community to dry up the financial sources of terrorism. The study, published by the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies and prepared by researcher Hassan Mohammed, highlighted the role of Bitcoin in financing terrorist groups. It noted that there is a growing tendency among extremist organizations to use digital currencies due to their numerous features and advantages.

Muslim Brotherhood

Ahlmisr News: Expert: Muslim Brotherhood Pays Media Pros Handsomely  

Ahmed Atta, a researcher of the affairs of Islamic movements, said that the Muslim Brotherhood is offering some media professionals hefty payments in dollars. These funds play a significant role in this difficult period being faced by Egypt, he added. Atta stated that some media platforms have been secretly cooperating with activists of the Brotherhood's international organization. The Brotherhood's media activity is fully financed by the group's London-based headquarters. According to Atta, the payment for a telephone interview {which backs the Brotherhood's views} is $500. A media personality who represents the Brotherhood as a guest {on a TV talk show} is rewarded by sums ranging between $1000 to $3000. As for Egypt's state-owned media, Atta noted that "everyone knows there are Brotherhood loyalists within Maspero (Egyptian television headquarters) against whom the authorities are yet to act." The expert stressed the state should pay attention to this phenomenon.

Al-Ahram: Expert: Muslim Brotherhood Draws Strength From Donations

Kamal El Helbawy, a former official of the Muslim Brotherhood, said that sound management and oversight of institutions, be they mosques or charities, are essential in the current period. El Helbawy asserted that authorities should carefully supervise the activities of charities and those who provide them with financial aid. The ex-Brotherhood official explained that most of the funding of the Muslim Brotherhood, whether inside or outside Egypt, comes directly from its leaders and donations from abroad.

Shorouk News: Sources: Muslim Brotherhood's Way To Administrative Courts In Egypt Blocked

Senior judicial sources disclosed that the recent judicial decision to form a committee to manage the assets of the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated individuals accused of funding the group in case No. 653 of 2014, will end the legal pathway, concerning the seized Brotherhood assets, at the State Council (Administrative Courts). The sources emphasized that the appeals of decisions to include individuals on the list of terrorists and of their appropriated funds will be limited solely to the Court of Cassation. Meanwhile, appeals of the Committee's decisions will come only before the Criminal Court or the relevant civil court. To date, the administrative courts have issued hundreds of rulings to revoke the seizure of assets owned by individuals accused of funding the Muslim Brotherhood. This was based on the assumption that the Brotherhood Committee was formed in compliance to the ruling issued by the Court of Urgent Matters, whereby the Brotherhood is a terrorist group and therefore the committee, which has administrative but not judicial powers, is not entitled to appropriate any assets without a court order.

Houthi

Yemen Akhbar: Houthi Revenues From Vehicle Registration

Houthi authorities obtained YR4,710,415,000 ($18,842,000) in revenues from the registration of vehicles and machinery in the Customs Control {office} in Sanaa, as of the end of August. SABA news agency quoted the Houthi-affiliated Director of Customs Control in Sana'a, Ali Hamid, as saying that the number of vehicles registered until the end of last month came to 10,635. Hamid said the revenues of Customs Control of Sana'a from the registration of cars, machinery and goods totaled YR279,375,000 ($1,117,500) during August 2017.