Eye on Extremism: September 20, 2023

Reuters: Iraq To Summon Turkish Ambassador Over Deadly Kurdistan Airport Strike

“Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid will summon Turkey's ambassador to Iraq to protest a drone strike on a small airport in the Kurdistan region on Monday that left several members of the Iraqi security forces dead, a presidency statement said Three members of the Iraqi counterterrorism service were killed and three others wounded on Monday in the strike on the small military airport of Arbid, the Iraqi military said. Bafel Talabani, president of the PUK, one of the dominant Kurdish parties in northern Iraq, said a total of six dead and several wounded were members of the Iraqi Kurdish counter-terrorism force. The drone entered Iraqi airspace through Turkey's border, Iraqi military spokesman Yahya Rasool said in a statement early on Tuesday, adding: "Iraq reserves the right to put an end to these violations." Turkey regularly carries out air strikes that it says target Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq, and has dozens of outposts in Iraqi territory. The PKK took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. A Turkish foreign ministry statement, while not outright claiming the strike, said "the latest incident has once again confirmed the accuracy of Turkey’s measures."”

Reuters: UN Records Torture, Deaths Of Detainees In Taliban Custody

“The United Nations has recorded over 1,600 incidents of rights violations against people detained by the Taliban authorities, nearly half of them acts of torture and ill-treatment mostly by police and intelligence agents, a report released on Wednesday showed. The U.N. Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) said 18 people had also died in prisons and in the custody of police and intelligence in the 19 months ending July 2023. The Taliban have staffed and controlled the police and the intelligence agency since they took over the country as foreign forces withdrew in 2021. "In attempts to extract confessions or other information, detainees were subjected to severe pain and suffering, through physical beatings, electric shocks, asphyxiation, stress positions and forced ingestion of water, as well as blind-folding and threats," UNAMA said in a statement. Other violations included not being informed of the reason for arrest, not being able to access a lawyer and inadequate medical care in custody.”


India Today: 'Trudeau Needs To Come Clean': Canada's Opposition On Terrorist Nijjar's Killing

“Conservative Party leader, Pierre Poilievre, on Wednesday said that PM Justin Trudeau needs to provide all the facts on his allegations connecting Indian government agents with the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. "I think the Prime Minister needs to come clean with all the facts, we need to know all the evidence possible so that Canadians can make judgment on that," he said while speaking to the media on Wednesday. "The Prime Minister has not provided any facts, he provided a statement and I want to just emphasize that he didn't tell me more in private than he told Canadians in public, so we want to see more information," Poilievre added. On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that there was a "potential link" between Indian government agents and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), who was killed in Surrey in June. The Canadian government also expelled a top Indian diplomat soon after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations.”


Voice Of America: UN Survey: Women's Rights Crucial For Taliban Recognition

“Hundreds of women in Afghanistan say the United Nations should not recognize the Taliban government until women's access to work and education is restored, according to a new survey. About 46% of the 592 Afghan women who spoke to U.N. surveyors in July said the world body should not recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan "under any circumstances." Half of the survey respondents said that any recognition of the Taliban government should hinge on tangible improvements in women's rights, including their rights to education and work. Since seizing power in 2021, the Taliban have shuttered secondary schools and universities for girls, leaving countless young women without access to education, and have enforced sweeping restrictions on women's employment. The Islamist regime has also imposed myriad other restrictions on women's social rights such as access to sports and entertainment sites prompting the U.N. and human rights organizations to call Afghanistan a country under "gender-apartheid."”

Saudi Arabia

Reuters: Houthis Leave Riyadh After Talks With Saudis, Some Progress Reported -Sources

“Houthi negotiators left Riyadh on Tuesday after a five-day round of talks with Saudi officials on a potential agreement paving the way to an end to the eight-year-old conflict in Yemen, sources familiar with the meeting and Houthi media said. The Houthi delegation and Omani mediators landed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa after a round of negotiations in Saudi Arabia, the Houthis' al-Massira TV said. Some progress has been made on the main sticking points, including a timeline for foreign troops exiting Yemen and a mechanism for paying public wages, two sources said, adding that the sides would meet for more talks after consultations "soon". The Saudi government did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. nThe Houthi delegation arrived in Saudi Arabia last week. It was the first such official visit to the kingdom since the war broke out in Yemen in 2014 after the Iran-aligned group ousted a Saudi-backed government there. The talks are focused on a full reopening of Houthi-controlled ports and Sanaa airport, payment of wages for public servants, rebuilding efforts, and a timeline for foreign forces to quit Yemen. An agreement would allow the United Nations to restart a broader political peace process.”

Middle East

The Times Of Israel: Palestinians Say 1 Killed By Israeli Forces During Rioting On Gaza Border

“A Palestinian man was killed by Israeli forces during rioting on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, health authorities in the territory announced. In addition to the slain 25-year-old, another 11 Palestinians were wounded, including one who was listed in serious condition, the Hamas-run health ministry said, following the third straight day of rioting on the border. The Israel Defense Forces said troops deployed crowd dispersal means and used live fire in some cases against the rioters, adding that several were hit. The IDF said the rioters had set off a number of makeshift bombs in the area. Rioting has escalated on the border with Israel in recent weeks, with Palestinians detonating explosive devices, setting tires on fire, trying to breach the security barrier, and opening fire at troops in a handful of cases. No IDF soldiers have been wounded in the recent riots so far. The death on Tuesday was the first apparently caused by Israeli fire during the recent riots. Last week, six Palestinian rioters were killed while attempting to detonate a makeshift bomb on the border during a riot.”

Associated Press: Six Palestinians Are Killed In Latest Fighting With Israel, At Least 3 Of Them Militants

“Israeli military operations in the occupied West Bank and unrest in the Gaza Strip have killed six Palestinians, Palestinian health officials said Wednesday, the latest spike in a wave of violence that has roiled the region for more than a year. At least three of those killed were claimed as militant fighters. The death toll from the most recent flare-up stood at four late Tuesday. But on Wednesday the Palestinian Health Ministry raised it, saying an Israeli raid into the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank killed four people and wounded some 30 others, while a raid in a separate refugee camp killed another Palestinian. A sixth Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire in unrest in the Gaza Strip, officials said. The deadly violence between Israel and the Palestinians over the last year and a half has surged to levels unseen in the West Bank in some two decades. Israel has stepped up its raids on Palestinian areas and Palestinian attacks against Israelis have been mounting. Tensions also appear to be spreading to Gaza.”

Reuters: Azerbaijan Launches 'Anti-Terrorist Operation' In Karabakh

“Ethnic Armenian separatist authorities on Tuesday reported a major escalation of hostilities in Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region, as Azerbaijan launched an offensive. Here are some facts about the fighting: Azerbaijan said it was launching "anti-terrorist measures of a local nature" in Nagorno-Karabakh, and began shelling parts of the mountain enclave, which is controlled by ethnic Armenian authorities backed by Armenia. It said it was attacking Armenian military units in response to what it called "terrorist provocations", and that it would provide "humanitarian corridors" for civilians. Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said peace in the breakaway region could only be achieved once Armenian troops left and the separatist local authority was dissolved. The defence ministry said it wanted to "disarm and secure the withdrawal of formations of Armenia’s armed forces from our territories, (and) neutralise their military infrastructure".”


Associated Press: Several Security Forces Killed In An Ambush By Gunmen In Nigeria’s Southeast

“Gunmen opened fire and killed several members of a patrol of security forces in Nigeria’s southeastern region Tuesday, police said, in the latest in a spate of violent attacks that typically are blamed on separatist militants. A team of various Nigerian security agencies were patrolling a remote community in Imo state’s Ehime Mbano district when they were ambushed by the gunmen, police said. Authorities said they were still investigating the attack and that they could not immediately confirm the number of dead, but Lagos-based newspapers reported eight of the security personnel were killed, citing local sources. Videos that appeared to have been shot at the scene showed bodies of the security forces lying beside burning vehicles. The police in Imo said security forces have been deployed to restore calm to an area that has become concerned over the trend of such attacks in areas with inadequate security presence. “The commissioner of police has ordered an investigation to fish out the perpetrators of that dastardly act to face the full wrath of the law,” Imo police spokesman Henry Okoye told The Associated Press.”


Voice Of America: 11 Somali Soldiers Killed As AU Forces Start Second Round Of Troop Drawdown

“Eleven Somali government soldiers were killed and three others injured in a roadside explosion Monday in the southwestern Gedo region, officials said, as the African Union peacekeeping force began a second round of troop withdrawals. The explosion targeted a convoy of military vehicles between the towns of Luuq and Doolow, deputy governor of security and policy for the region, Osman Nuh Haji, told VOA Somali. "The technical vehicle they were riding in has been hit by an explosion," Haji said. He said the vehicle was burnt and destroyed. The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the roadside explosion. Haji initially insisted only two soldiers were killed and two others were injured. But VOA Somali spoke to multiple sources including a senior regional official who said 11 soldiers were killed in the attack, and three others injured. Among the wounded is a commander with the 10th brigade of the 43rd Division of the Somali National Army, Rashid Bohol. "He was injured but his injury is light, he is walking and working," Haji said.”

Reuters: EU Executive Says Aid Payments For Somalia 'Temporarily Suspended'

“The European Union's executive said on Tuesday that disbursements of humanitarian aid in Somalia were "temporarily suspended" after a U.N. probe found widespread theft and misuse of support meant to avert famine. Quoting senior EU officials, Reuters reported exclusively on Monday that the European Commission had temporarily suspended funding for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Somalia because of the U.N. findings. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the European Commission, Balazs Ujvari, confirmed the temporary suspension. "The Commission has not asked for the suspension of humanitarian operations in Somalia: as per standard procedures, the ongoing operations have received a pre-financing of 80% and can still be implemented through this initial funding," he said. "Nevertheless, in view of the issues communicated by the report concerned, the Commission had to take some precautionary measures to safeguard the EU funds and therefore further disbursements are temporarily suspended until clarifications and reassurance are provided as regards the resolution of the identified issues."”

United Kingdom

Garowe Online: UK Pumps More Funds Into Somali Security Forces

“The government of the United Kingdom [UK] has pumped an additional £5 million into Somalia, which will help Somali Security Forces [SSF] to stabilize and take over security responsibilities from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], which has been coordinating security activities in the country. Through the United Nations Support Office in Somalia [UNSOS], London made the donation at the time local security forces heightened the fight against Al-Shabaab in central and southern regions. Somalia is actively involved in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants. The funding was made public during the meeting between UK Deputy National Security Advisor for International Affairs Dame Sarah Maclntosh and Somalia's presidential advisor on matters of national security Hussein Sheikh Ali, a close ally of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. "The funding builds on the UK's substantial contributions to date through the UNSOS Trust Fund, which provides non-lethal logistical support to the SSF, which will include food, shelter and lifesaving medevac support," read the statement.”


BBC: Germany Bans Neo-Nazi Group Hammerskins

“The move set "a clear signal against racism and antisemitism", Germany's interior minister said. The authorities raided the residences of 28 leading members of the group across the country. Hammerskins, founded in the US in the late 1980s, is thought to have about 130 members in Germany. The German authorities described the ban as "a hard blow against organised right-wing extremism" and said it was putting an end to "the inhumane actions of an internationally active neo-Nazi association". "Right-wing extremism remains the biggest extremist threat to our democracy. That's why we continue to act very decisively," said German interior minister Nancy Faeser. A key goal of the skinhead group was to use concerts to spread its far-right ideology, she said. Hammerskins was heavily involved in setting up neo-Nazi music labels, selling antisemitic records and organising clandestine music events.”

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On October 27, 2018, domestic terrorist Robert D. Bowers carried out an anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He fired on congregants as they gathered for worship, killing 11 people and wounding six others.

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