Eye on Extremism: September 15, 2023

Associated Press: US Military Resumes Drone Flights And Manned Counterterrorism Missions Out Of Niger Bases

“The U.S. military has resumed flying drones and manned aircraft out of air bases in the Niger more than a month after a coup temporarily halted all those activities there, the head of U.S. Air Forces for Europe and Africa said Wednesday. Since the July coup, the 1,100 U.S. forces deployed in the country have been confined inside their military bases. Last week the Pentagon said some military personnel and assets had been moved from the air base near Niamey, which is the capital of Niger, to another in Agadez. Niamey is about 920 kilometers away from Agadez. In response to a question from the Associated Press on how the U.S. was able to continue its counterterrorism missions without those flights, Gen. James Hecker, the top Air Force commander for Europe and Africa, said in recent weeks some of those intelligence and surveillance missions have been able to resume due to U.S. negotiations with the junta.”

NBC News: Number Of People On Terrorist Watchlist Stopped At Southern U.S. Border Has Risen

“This year U.S. border agents have encountered a “growing number of individuals” on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist trying to enter the country via the southern border, according to the Homeland Threat Assessment released Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security.  As of July, 160 migrants whose identities match those on the Terrorist Screening Dataset had been apprehended by Customs and Border Protection trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border during fiscal year 2023, compared to 100 in fiscal year 2022. Fiscal years end on Sept. 30. The number of all people, including U.S. citizens, on the terrorist watchlist who had been stopped at the southern border as of July this fiscal year was 216, compared to 165 in all of fiscal year 2022. The number of border crossers on the watchlist was higher in fiscal year 2019, at 280.”

United States

Associated Press: Florida Man Who Hung Swastika Banner On Highway Overpass Is Arrested

“A Florida man who authorities described as being a member of an extremist group has been arrested in displaying a banner with swastikas on a highway overpass, a violation of a new state law that makes it a crime to display images onto a structure without permission. The law was passed earlier this year in response to the distribution of antisemitic literature and the projection of racist and antisemitic words on buildings. The man from Cape Canaveral was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Brevard County Jail on an arrest warrant from Orange County in Orlando. According to the arrest warrant, the man, along with others dressed in black and camouflage, displayed the banner with swastikas and a “white power” flag over an overpass that crossed Interstate 4 in Orlando in June.”


Al Arabiya News: Iraq Sentences ISIS Member To Death Over 2014 Pilgrim Bombing

“An Iraqi court on Thursday sentenced an ISIS member to death after convicting him of involvement in a 2014 suicide bombing that killed 17 pilgrims, the judiciary said. The attack in Taji district north of Baghdad targeted a “mawkeb,” one of the many stalls providing free food and drinks to pilgrims during Shia Muslim festivals. The pilgrims had been heading on foot to Samarra, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Hassan al-Askari, one of 12 imams revered by Iraq’s Shia majority. A criminal court in Baghdad on Thursday sentenced “a terrorist to death for the explosion of a mawkeb in 2014” during the pilgrimage in Samarra, the judiciary said on its website.”


Associated Press: Delegation From Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Flies Into Saudi Arabia For Peace Talks With Kingdom

“A delegation from Yemen’s Houthi rebels has flown into Saudi Arabia for talks with the kingdom on potentially ending the yearslong war tearing at the Arab world’s poorest nation, officials say. It remains unclear what terms now are being discussed between Riyadh and the Iranian-backed Houthis, who have held Yemen’s capital of Sanaa since September 2014. But the trip comes after regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a Chinese-mediated détente earlier this year and as there’s been a flurry of diplomatic activity between the different parties in the proxy war. This latest effort appears to have begun with a visit Monday to Oman by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the assertive son of King Salman who launched the kingdom-led war back in March 2015. Oman long has served as an interlocutor between both Iran and the Houthis during the war.”


Associated Press: UN Envoy For Sudan Resigns And Warns That The Conflict Could Be Turning Into Full-Scale Civil War

“The U.N. special envoy for Sudan who was declared unwelcome by the country’s military rulers resigned Wednesday in a final speech to the U.N. Security Council, warning that the conflict between Sudan’s rival military leaders “could be morphing into a full-scale civil war.” Volker Perthes, who had continued to work outside Sudan, said the fighting shows no sign of abating, with neither side appearing close to “a decisive military victory.” He also said the violence in Sudan’s western Darfur region “has worsened dramatically,” with civilians being targeted based on their ethnicity. Tensions between Sudan’s military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, burst into open fighting in mid-April.”

Associated Press: Niger’s Junta Released A French Official Held For 5 Days

“A French official detained in Niger last week has been released, the French government said Thursday. The arrest heightened tensions between France and Niger, where military officers deposed an elected president last month and ordered French officials to leave. France’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Stephane Jullien, counselor for French citizens abroad, was released Wednesday, five days after he was arrested. It didn’t provide details about the release, or about the reason for his arrest. The French government had urged his liberation. Military officers in Niger overthrew and detained elected President Mohamed Bazoum in July and last month ordered the French ambassador to leave the country. France, Niger’s former colonial ruler, has refused to heed the order, saying that the junta isn’t the country’s legitimate authority.”

The Nation: Teachers Demand To Be Guarded By KDF For Fear Of Al-Shabaab

“Non-local teachers posted in northern Kenya have demanded security from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) before returning to their posts after their request for transfers to other regions was rejected. Through the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), they had demanded to be transferred out of the region, citing frequent attacks by suspected al-Shabaab terrorists. “The expatriate teachers face serious security threats from al-Shabaab, which has killed 40 teachers in the past decade and four in the past two months alone,” said Kuppet Deputy Secretary-General Moses Nthurima. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) classifies northern Kenya as a “hard-to-staff” region, where schools are understaffed and vacancy notices usually attract few applicants.”

United Kingdom

CapX: Suella Braverman Is Right – Prevent Should Be About Stopping Potential Terrorists, Not Treating Them As Victims

“…My organisation, the Counter Extremism Project contributed a submission to the review, which delivered its analysis in February this year. Shawcross delivered a pretty devastating critique of the way we manage people reported to be at risk of being drawn into ideological violence. He said the strategy had lost focus on its core mission – to stop people getting into terrorism. Motivation was looked at through the lens of vulnerability, not agency. Double standards applied to the interpretation of Islamist and extreme right wing ideologies, the former being tightly prescribed, the latter on a mission creep that threatened to stifle legitimate political discourse.”


The Hindu: Islamic State Terror ‘Conspirator’ Held At Delhi Airport

“The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested an alleged key Islamic State terror conspirator after he arrived at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport from Nairobi in Kenya. Arafath Ali had been absconding since 2020, and has been operating from abroad to promote the anti-India terror agenda of the banned outfit. He was taken into custody the moment he landed at the airport. He has been accused of indulging in Islamic State propaganda activities and planning terrorist acts, according to the NIA. The agency, through a statement, said Arafath Ali was a resident of Shivamogga in Karnataka. He was allegedly involved in “the identification, radicalisation and recruitment of gullible Muslim youth into the ISIS fold while working from abroad”.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On September 15, 2019, a truck bomb exploded outside of the Al-Rai Hospital in Syria’s Aleppo Governorate, killing 12 civilians and injuring many more. There were no immediate claims of responsibility. 

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