Eye on Extremism: September 29, 2020

The New York Times: Paris Suspect Said Attack Was Aimed At Paper That Mocked Islam’s Prophet

“The suspect in the stabbing of two people outside the former Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has confessed and said his attack was directed at the publication because it printed cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad, a French judicial official said on Saturday. Charlie Hebdo’s former office was the target of a January 2015 terrorist attack that killed 12 people after the weekly first published the cartoons. It republished them in early September on the opening day of the trial of 14 people suspected of having links to the 2015 attack. The stabbing took place during the long-awaited trial of alleged accomplices in the 2015 attack, which has forced France to relive the trauma of a series of terrorist strikes in the past few years. French authorities have said that the suspect, who was arrested shortly after the attack on Friday, is an 18-year-old Pakistani man who arrived in France three years ago as an unaccompanied minor. Although he was briefly arrested a month ago for carrying a screwdriver, he had not been previously identified as an Islamist radical, France’s interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, told France 2 television on Friday.”

NBC News: 2 Alleged ISIS Supporters In U.S. Accused Of Plotting Attacks On White House, Trump Tower

“Two men faces charges in connection with an alleged plot to bomb or shoot at high-profile sites in the U.S., including the White House and Trump Tower in New York City, a federal complaint shows. Jaylyn Christopher Molina, of Texas, and Kristopher Sean Matthews, of South Carolina, face charges of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. An email and phone call to Molina's attorney seeking comment did not receive an immediate response. Court records do not list an attorney for Matthews. According to a criminal complaint filed in the federal court for the Western District of Texas, Molina and Matthews used an online chat group in 2019 to discuss attacking U.S. targets on behalf of ISIS. The pair also allegedly discussed traveling to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group. They were allegedly studying how to build car bombs, suicide belts and other explosives and discussed plans for attacks with others on an encrypted messaging application. Matthews told Molina that they needed four recruits to carry out multisite attacks “that could be Netflix worthy,” the complaint said.”

Reuters: Saudi Arabia Says It Busted Terrorist Cell Trained By Iran's Revolutionary Guards

“Saudi Arabia said on Monday it had taken down a terrorist cell this month that had received training from Iran's Revolutionary Guards, arresting 10 people and seizing weapons and explosives. The spokesman for the presidency of state security said in a statement on state media that three of those arrested had been trained in Iran while the rest were “linked to the cell in various roles”. Cell members “received military and field training, including on how to make explosives, inside Revolutionary Guards sites in Iran” for several weeks in late 2017, he said. The statement said weapons and explosives were confiscated at two locations, a house and a farm, in the Gulf Arab state, the world's largest oil exporter and a key U.S. ally. Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran are locked in several proxy wars in the region, including in Yemen. Riyadh has blamed Iran for an unprecedented missile and drone attack on the kingdom's oil facilities last year, a charge Tehran denies.”

United States

New York Post: Trump To Designate KKK, Antifa As Terrorist Groups In Black Empowerment Plan

“President Trump unveiled an economic empowerment plan for black Americans in Atlanta on Friday that will designate both Antifa and the Ku Klux Klan as terrorist organizations. The “Platinum Plan” details Trump’s vision for a potential second term, including increasing access to capital to black businesses by almost $500 billion, which will create 3 million new jobs for the black community, and creating 50,000 new black-owned businesses, the document said. It comes as the Trump campaign tries to boost support among black voters, touting their criminal justice reforms and record low African American unemployment before the pandemic. “In 39 days, we’re going to win four more years in the White House, and we will do it with a record number of votes from the black community,” Trump told a crowd of supporters in Georgia. “Our movement is welcoming millions of black Americans back to the Republican Party, the party of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln,” he continued. “Today I want to share what you have to gain from voting Republican on Nov. 3.”

Boston Herald: Convicted ISIS Terrorist Out To ‘Kill Boys In Blue’ Resentenced To 30 Years In Prison

“Convicted ISIS terrorist David Daoud Wright of Everett — part of a terror cell out to “kill boys in blue” — was resentenced Monday to 30 years in prison and a lifetime of supervision. Wright, brought back to Boston, fought back tears as he told the judge he was flawed, but he did not apologize. “I have learned more about myself in nearly three years incarcerated than I had in almost 30 years of life,” he told federal Judge Douglas Woodlock. “What exactly have I learned? I’m still learning things. … I’m an imperfect creature like everybody else in need of perfection from the creator.” He added police had been among his “mentors” and he once considered going to college to one day be a “federal probation officer.” He said “snippets from phone calls” of his terror cell conspiring to kill “boys in blue” was not his “reality.” He added, tearfully, that he’s “missed 16 funerals … weddings, graduations” while in an Indiana prison. Protesters outside the U.S. District Court in South Boston called for Wright’s freedom as his defense attorney, Jessica Hedges, said inside the courtroom he was just a “misfit” who “retreated into (an) online world” where he had “fantastical” thoughts.”

Syria

Al Monitor: 'Guardians Of Religion' Extremist Group Under Siege In Syria's Idlib

“Jabhat al-Nusra — currently known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) — split from al-Qaeda in 2016. Jabhat al-Nusra's hard-line current Fateh al-Sham saw the split as a betrayal to al-Qaeda and two years later, in February 2018, pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and formed a new jihadist group called the Guardians of Religion Organization (GRO). Some of this current’s most prominent leaders are Jordanian jihadists such as Jabhat al-Nusra's Khaled al-Arouri (nicknamed Abu al-Qasim al-Urduni) and members of the Shura Council Samir Hijazi (Abu Hammam al-Shami or Faruq al-Suri), Sami al-Aridi (Abu Mahmoud al-Sham) Bilal Khreesat (Abu Khadija al-Urduni), Faraj Ahmad al-Naanaa and Abu Abdel-Karim al-Masry. In June 2019, the US Department of Defense announced that one of its drones had targeted a building in southern Aleppo where some top figures in the GRO and other factions were meeting, killing two prominent leaders of the GRO. On June 14, 2020, US strikes killed Arouri, one of the organization's co-founders and its military commander. He was close to al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Masaan al-Zarqawi, who was killed in 2006. Arouri came to Syria in 2015 and became a leader of Jabhat al-Nusra after it split from al-Qaeda.”

Iraq

Al Jazeera: Iraq: Five Civilians Killed In Baghdad Rocket Attack

“Iraqi armed groups fired two Katyusha rockets at a house in Baghdad, killing two women and three children while severely wounding two other children, the Iraqi military said on Monday. It was the first time in months an attack led to civilian casualties. The three Iraqi children and two women were from the same family and were killed when a rocket targeting Baghdad airport, where US troops are stationed, fell on their home instead, the army said in a statement. The rockets were launched from the al-Jihad neighbourhood of Baghdad. The home was completely destroyed. The military accused “cowardly criminal gangs and groups of outlaws” of seeking to “create chaos and terrorise people”. It said Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi had ordered the arrest of the perpetrators and said “these gangs will not be allowed to go around and tamper with security” with impunity. The deaths were the first among Iraqi civilians in the latest outbreak of violence, during which Iran-backed Iraqi Shia fighters have been blamed for targeting US interests in the country.”

Asharq Al-Awsat: Iraqi Army Searches For ISIS Cells Between Kirkuk, Saladin

“The dispute over the US military presence in Iraq has raged and the attacks on the US embassy in the Green Zone in central Baghdad have not abated as the Iraqi army continues to pursue ISIS cells in western and northern provinces. The leader of the Sadrist Movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, warned about what he called “losing Iraq” amid rocket attacks and assassinations carried out by some factions of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). “You should know that the things some armed groups affiliated with this broad force (the PMF) are doing is weakening Iraq, its people and state, which means strengthening the external forces, on top of which is the great evil America.” The Fatah Alliance led by Hadi Al-Amiri condemned attacks that targeted diplomatic missions and official institutions. In a statement released on Thursday, the Alliance said: “These actions undermine the state and its authority.” “The PMF has always been the primary defender of Iraq, its unity and its sovereignty, alongside our brothers in the security forces.” He urged its fighters to abide by the law and distance themselves from everything that harms Iraq.”

Al Monitor: Following US Warning, Iraq Steps Up Pressure On Outlawed Militias

“The US warning to the Iraqi government to take action against the militias in the country has shaken up the political scene. There have been a series of statements and a flurry of diplomatic exchanges in response to the message from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Iraqi President Barham Salih that all attacks on foreign missions and troops must stop, or else the United States would consider closing its embassy and targeting all militias involved in attacks against the United States. In an urgent meeting called by Salih Sept. 27, and attended by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi and President of the Supreme Judicial Council Judge Faiq Zaidan, the attacks on foreign missions and the urgent need to protect them from further assaults were discussed. Following the US warning, head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Falih al-Fayadh and head of the PMU-affiliated Fatah bloc Hadi al-Amiri, among many other Iraqi politicians, have condemned the attacks against foreign missions and troops. Leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr asked Kadhimi to form a security committee to draw up a plan for stopping the attacks and overseeing this process.”

Stars And Stripes: Carrier-Launched Airstrikes Hit ISIS Targets In Iraq As USS Nimitz Patrols Persian Gulf

“For the first time in over two years, carrier-launched U.S. aircraft conducted an airstrike against Islamic State targets in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the global coalition battling the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. A pair of Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets from Carrier Air Wing 17, embarked on the USS Nimitz, conducted the strikes on Sept. 23, Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, confirmed via email on Monday. “The last such strike was by USS Theodore Roosevelt in [March] 2018,” said Rebarich, who said the Super Hornets’ strike last Wednesday was carried out in Iraq. A coalition strike that day, coordinated with the Iraqi military, took out a cave and three shelters used as ISIS hideouts in Iraq’s Wadi al-Shai, a rural area in Kirkuk province, Inherent Resolve spokesman Army Col. Wayne Marotto said on Twitter Thursday. “Daesh operatives will continue to try and take advantage of safe havens; but there is no safe place for terrorists to hide,” he said. It was not clear whether that strike was carried out by the carrier-launched sortie. Rebarich referred questions about the Navy strike to Inherent Resolve, which did not immediately respond to an inquiry on Monday.”

Turkey

The Daily Beast: Turkey Sends ISIS Warlord To Azerbaijan To Face-Off Against Putin’s Armenian Allies

“On Sunday afternoon, a video depicting a large convoy of Islamist Syrian rebel fighters yelling enthusiastically as they drove off to war circulated widely on Arabic social media. Fighters in the packed trucks, driving quickly past the group of children filming with their phones, could be heard yelling “Allahu Akbar!” and, “Our leader, 'til the end of time, is our master, Muhammad!” However, what shocked those watching the video weren’t the shouts of the Syrian fighters but rather those of the children filming, who yelled back at the soldiers in a language unfamiliar to most Syrians following their country’s nine-year war. “That’s not Kurdish, right?” said one user in an online group where the video emerged. “If they were Kurds, you think they’d be cheering them on?” responded another with a laugh out loud emoji. Over the next several hours, rumors swirled that the video was shot in Azerbaijan, a small Turkic-speaking nation lodged between Iran and Russia, and that the Syrian rebel fighters had been sent there to prop up the Azeri government in its war against neighboring Armenia that had begun that day. According to high-ranking Syrian rebel sources that spoke to The Daily Beast, these rumors are true.”

Daily Sabah: Al-Qaida-Linked Terrorist Apprehended At Turkey’s Southern Border

“A wanted terrorist linked to al-Qaida was apprehended by border forces in the Altınözü district of southern Turkey’s Hatay province, the Turkish Defense Ministry said Monday evening. Islom Saydalimov was being sought with a red notice. The ministry statement said Saydalimov was detained with his wife and three children and sent to the Babatorun Gendarmerie Station for processing. Turkish security forces frequently carry out domestic counterterrorism operations to apprehend terrorists from groups such as Daesh and the PKK. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Wednesday that Turkey has foiled 152 terrorist attacks by Daesh terrorists in the past year, as well as plots by the PKK and DHKP-C.”

Afghanistan

Associated Press: Facing IS, Last Embattled Sikhs, Hindus Leave Afghanistan

“Afghanistan’s dwindling community of Sikhs and Hindus is shrinking to its lowest levels. With growing threats from the local Islamic State affiliate, many are choosing to leave the country of their birth to escape the insecurity and a once-thriving community of as many as 250,000 members now counts fewer than 700. The community’s numbers have been declining for years because of deep-rooted discrimination in the majority Muslim country. But, without what they say is adequate protection from the government, the attacks by the Islamic State group may complete the exodus. “We are no longer able to stay here,” said a member of the tiny community, who asked to be identified only by his last name, Hamdard, out of fear he may be targeted for speaking out. Hamdard said seven relatives of his, including his sister, nephews, and son-in-law were killed by Islamic State gunmen in an attack on the community’s temple in March, which killed 25 Sikhs. Hamdard said that fleeing his homeland is as difficult as leaving a mother behind. Still, he joined a group of Sikhs and Hindus who left Afghanistan last month for India, from where they will eventually move on to a third country.”

India

The Tribune: Al-Qaeda In Indian Subcontinent Only Capable Of ‘Small-Scale Regional Attacks’: US Official

“Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), a globally-banned terror group, is now probably capable of only “small-scale regional attacks”, a top American counter-terrorism official has told lawmakers. AQIS was set up by al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2014 to expand the terror group’s influence in the region. “In South Asia, al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has struggled to rebound from the death of its leader, Asim Umar, in a US military raid in Afghanistan in September 2019, and is probably only capable of small-scale regional attacks,” Christopher Miller, Director, National Counter-Terrorism Center, told a Senate committee on Thursday. Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the “Threats to the Homeland”, the top American counter-terrorism official said that in mid-March, the AQIS published a special issue of Nawai Afghan Jihad praising the US-Taliban agreement, which mirrored al-Qaeda’s leaders’ statements on the deal. “Finally, Al-Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan has been reduced to a few dozen fighters who are primarily focused on their survival and are probably incapable of conducting attacks outside the country under sustained CT pressure,” Miller said.”

Yemen

The Washington Post: U.S. Launches New Terrorism Review Of Iran-Backed Rebels In Yemen

“The Trump administration is considering new steps to intensify pressure on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, including a potential foreign terrorist organization designation, according to several officials, in a bid to further isolate the group’s patron, Iran. The officials cautioned that no decision has been made but said the administration was discussing several possible moves, which could also include naming individual Houthi leaders as “global terrorists.” Like others, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The terrorist organization designation would make it illegal to provide support to the Houthis, ban members from traveling to the United States and freeze the group’s financial assets. Those actions would have a largely symbolic effect because of the rebels’ already isolated status but could make it more difficult for aid organizations to provide relief in the country. The discussions come as prospects for a swift negotiated settlement appear to be receding in the increasingly fractured conflict, which has spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and allowed Iran to increase its influence on the Arabian peninsula.”

Lebanon

Asharq Al-Awsat: Lebanon Army Tracks Down Isis-Linked Terrorists After Deadly Attack

“Lebanese police have killed nine suspected members of the ISIS group in the hunt for “terrorists” linked to several deadly attacks, including on soldiers, a security source said Sunday. Saturday's operation came more than a month after the army and security forces launched a manhunt for suspects in the August 21 killing of two municipal policemen and the son of the mayor of the northern village of Kaftoun. Police intelligence units raided a house in the northern region of Wadi Khaled where “suspects linked to the ISIS” militant group had been holed up, “killing all the terrorists inside”, the Internal Security Forces (ISF) said in a statement. A security source said “at least nine members of the group were killed”. But the source said the death toll could rise as more bodies could be buried under the rubble of the house, part of which was blown up during the police operation. The ISF statement said the “terrorist cell” was made up of more than 15 suspects. It added that three had been arrested in previous raids. Following the August murders in Kaftoun, the army and police launched operations to track down the assailants.”

Libya

The National: UK Foreign Secretary Calls For ‘Just Outcome’ For Victims Of Libyan-Backed Terrorism

“UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has called for a “just outcome” for British victims of Libyan-backed terrorism but hinted that £11bn assets frozen in the UK would not be used for compensation claims. The regime of Muammar Qaddafi supplied guns and explosives to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during their three-decade violent campaign for an independent Ireland that left more than 3,500 people dead before a peace deal in 1998. MPs have backed the demands of families and injured survivors who want to tap the assets because of the difficulty of bringing legal action against the Libyan government during the country’s civil war. Simon Hoare, the chairman of the UK parliament’s Northern Ireland committee, earlier this month called on Mr Raab to consider payments to families from the fund. His request came after the head of Libya’s sovereign wealth fund said he wanted the UN to allow him to invest billions of dollars sitting idle in its accounts. Mr Hoare said. “I observe that there may be an opportunity to resolve the matter by allocating a proportion of the profits…. to UK victims of Qaddafi-sponsored IRA terrorism.”

Nigeria

Reuters: Suspected Islamists Kill At Least 11 In Attack On Convoy In Northeastern Nigeria

“Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 11 people in northeastern Nigeria in an attack on a security convoy that was taking people displaced by an insurgency back to their homes, police and security sources said on Saturday. Islamic State, to whom a breakaway faction of Nigerian militant group Boko Haram pledged allegiance in 2016, said on its Amaq news agency that 30 police officers and soldiers were killed in the attack on Friday on a road leading to the strategic fishing town of Baga in Borno state. In a statement on Saturday, Borno state police said eight police officers and three members of a government-approved militia were killed, and 13 people were wounded in the attack around noon (1100 GMT) on Friday. Two soldiers, a police officer and a member of the government-approved militia - all speaking anonymously because they were not authorised to speak to journalists - told Reuters at least four soldiers were also killed. Two Nigerian military spokesmen did not immediately respond to requests for comment. President Muhammadu Buhari “urges security and intelligence agencies to intensify efforts to check sabotage, sanitize the roads, venues and locations well in advance of returning IDPs (internally displaced people)”, a statement issued by his spokesman said.”

BBC News: Nigeria's Boko Haram Crisis: 'Bomb On Donkey' Used To Ambush Borno Governor

“Militants linked to the Islamic State group (IS) have used a donkey strapped with explosives to ambush the convoy of the governor of Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state. Governor Babagana Zulum was returning to the state capital, Maiduguri, from Baga town when they were ambushed. Sunday's attack came two days after he had survived another attack while travelling to an area near Lake Chad. At least 18 people were killed in that ambush. Among them were 14 police officers and soldiers and four civilians. Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) militants, who were behind the attack, split from Boko Haram, an Islamist group that launched its insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria a decade ago. The group's campaign of violence has spread to neighbouring countries, killing more than 30,000 people and forcing two million from their homes, according to the UN. What happened in Sunday's attack? Governor Zulum was returning from Baga where he had accompanied hundreds of residents who returned to the town they fled in 2014 following deadly jihadist attacks. When soldiers saw the donkey on the road, they shot at it.”

Sahara Reporters: Nigerian Troops Kill Boko Haram Terrorists In Borno —Defence Headquarters

“Several Boko Haram terrorists have been killed at Tongule, Bone and Isari Musa communities in Borno State during airstrikes carried out by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole under the subsidiary Operation Hail Storm 2. Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja. He said, “Airstrikes being executed in Borno State by the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE under subsidiary Operation HAIL STORM 2 have continued to yield tangible results. The latest of these include the massive destruction of Boko Haram terrorists’ camps and neutralisation of scores of their fighters in a night attack at Tongule on 24 September and daytime raids at Bone and Isari B Musa on 25 September 2020. “The strike on Tongule was undertaken after surveillance missions revealed a continued assembly of the terrorists within the settlement at nighttime. Accordingly, the Air Task Force dispatched Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunships for a night attack on the location, with their barrage of rockets neutralizing several of the terrorists. “Bone, a settlement along the Yale-Kumshe axis, on the other hand, was attacked by a force package of NAF fighter jets and helicopter gunships after credible intelligence reports established that the location served as a staging area from where the terrorists launched attacks.”

Africa

Reuters: Israel Becomes New Obstacle For Sudan In Quest To Leave U.S. Terrorism List

“Despite over a year of negotiations, Sudan is facing a fresh obstacle to its removal from a U.S. terrorism list that has hindered its economy: a demand that it normalize relations with Israel, three sources familiar with the matter said. However, three Sudanese government officials told Reuters on Thursday that Sudan is resisting the linkage of the two issues, which comes as U.S. President Donald Trump has been touting himself as a historic peacemaker on the campaign trail. Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism dates back to its toppled ruler Omar al-Bashir, and makes it difficult for its new transitional government to access desperately needed debt relief and foreign financing. Sudan’s skyrocketing inflation and plummeting currency have been the biggest challenge to the stability of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional administration. Many Sudanese say the designation, imposed in 1993 because the U.S. believed Bashir’s regime was supporting militant groups, is now undeserved as he was removed last year and Sudan has long cooperated with the U.S. on counter-terrorism.”

Daily Sabah: Chadian Forces Kill 20 Boko Haram Fighters, Free Hostages

“Chadian soldiers have killed 20 Boko Haram fighters and freed 12 civilians, including nine children, kidnapped in the Lake Chad area in which several countries' borders meet, the government said Friday. The extremist group, which originated in Nigeria in 2009, has established bases on islets dotting Lake Chad – a vast, swampy expanse on the border between Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon. It has stepped up attacks in the area in recent months. On September 17, Boko Haram fighters raided a village in the restive zone and kidnapped the civilians, Communications Minister and government spokesman Cherif Mahamat Zene told Agence France-Presse (AFP). The army pursued the raiders and attacked them Thursday in Barkalam, near the Nigerian border, he said, “killing 15” and “freeing 12 civilians.” A little later, there was another encounter at Bilabrim in which five Boko Haram fighters were killed and two Chadian soldiers were wounded. The Chadian army launched an offensive against Boko Haram in April after the deaths of some 100 soldiers in an attack by the group on one of its bases. President Idriss Deby then claimed to have pushed the Boko Haram fighters out. But attacks have continued despite the military operation.”

United Kingdom

The Telegraph: DIY Bomb Video Watched By Manchester Arena Terrorists Still Online

“The bomb-making video used by the brothers who killed 22 people in the Manchester Arena attack is still online, The Telegraph can reveal. The 13 minute clip, which teaches viewers how to build an explosive device at home using “simple tools”, was available on one site for two years where it was viewed more than 17,700 times. Hashem and Salman Abedi used the step-by step guide to learn how to build a shrapnel-packed bomb which was detonated at an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017. Counter terror researchers last night criticised the “unacceptable” accessibility of the video and called for stronger cybersecurity filters to prevent extremist content being shared online. A Telegraph investigation found the video on three websites last week, including the encrypted site Telegram, where it was removed within 48 hours after being viewed 18 times … Joshua Fisher Birch, a researcher at the Counter Extremism Project, said: “It is unacceptable that dangerous ISIS propaganda that contains instructions for making explosives remains online”. Mr Birch said tech companies can prevent the spread of dangerous ISIS content by creating stronger filters to stop it from being uploaded in the first place.”

Daily Mail: Manchester Arena Bomber Salman Abedi's Brother Was Found With ISIS Propaganda And Extremist Images Almost Two Years Before Attack, Inquiry Hears

“The Manchester Arena bomber’s brother posted extremist images and Islamic State propaganda on social media before the attack, the inquiry into the bombing has heard. Families of the 2017 atrocity's victims have criticised MI5's 'obsessive secrecy' over the public investigation, as families were told no members of the security service would be scrutinised in public. Manchester magistrates' court heard yesterday terrorist Salman Abedi’s older brother Ismail published extremist images on social media while his father was friends with a key lieutenant of bin Laden. MI5 checked the Facebook account of Ismail Abedi, now 27, in July 2015, when agents found a series of photographs of him posing with weapons, the public inquiry into the terror attack heard. John Cooper, Q.C., representing families of 12 of the 22 victims, said the account contained ‘images of Ismail Abedi holding a rocket propelled grenade launcher and sitting on an anti-aircraft gun’. He was also depicted holding a machine gun. Photographs were imprinted with the logo of the Islamic State terror group, Mr Cooper said. Two months later in September 2015, Ismail was detained by border officials when entering the UK, his phone was seized and its contents downloaded.”

France

Reuters: Knifeman In Paris Wounds Two At Scene Of Charlie Hebdo Attacks

“A man armed with a meat cleaver attacked and wounded two people on Friday who had stepped out for a cigarette in front of the Paris office building where Islamist militants gunned down employees of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo five years ago. Police soon after detained the man suspected of carrying out the attack, with bloodstains on his clothes, next to the steps of an opera house about 500 metres (yards) away. The suspected attacker was from Pakistan, and had arrived in France three years ago as an unaccompanied minor, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said. “We are still in a war against Islamist terrorism,” Darmanin said in a Twitter post. He said he had ordered law enforcement agents to beef up protection at all sites where Islamist attacks had taken place in the past, and at synagogues, where the city’s Jewish community this weekend mark the Yom Kippur holiday. Nathan Messas, a doctor who lives near the scene of Friday’s attack, said it brought back memories of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. “Once again, hatred, gratuitous hatred. I was here five years ago. Five years later, we’re here again. I don’t know when this is going to end,” Messas said.”

Germany

Associated Press: Yom Kippur Synagogue Attack Leaves German Jews Still Uneasy

“As Jews around the world gather Sunday night to mark the beginning of Yom Kippur, many in Germany remain uneasy about going together to their houses of worship to pray, a year after a white-supremacist targeted a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle on the holiest day in Judaism. If the assailant — armed with multiple firearms and explosives —had managed to break into the building, there’s no telling how many of the 52 worshippers inside might have been killed. As it was, he turned his attentions on people outside, killing a passer-by and a man at a kebab stand before he was apprehended. Since then, security has been increased at Jewish institutions across the country, but many wonder whether it is enough amid reports of increasing anti-Semitism and the Halle attack still fresh in their minds. Naomi Henkel-Guembel was inside the building that day a year ago, and didn’t immediately understand what was happening when she heard a loud bang outside. Together with other young Jews from Berlin, the 29-year-old had traveled to the eastern German city to celebrate Yom Kippur, which fell on Oct. 9 in 2019, with the small, aging community there. She still remembers the scene vividly as the 28-year-old German right-wing extremist tried to barge into the synagogue, shooting at the heavy door in an unsuccessful attempt to force it open, then throwing explosives over a wall into a cemetery inside the compound while livestreaming the attack.”

Euronews: Germany Marks 40 Years Since Neo-Nazi Attack On Oktoberfest

“Germany's president warned that far-right terrorism remains a problem in the country as he marked 40 years since a neo-Nazi attack on Munich's Oktoberfest.  “Right-wing extremism has deep roots in our society,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a memorial event in Munich on Saturday.  Thirteen lives were claimed in the bombing on September 26, 1980, and more than 200 people were injured.  “Let's keep the memory of Munich alive - including the mistakes that have been made. Only those who know their mistakes will be able to correct them,” Steinmeier added, according to German media reports.  Investigators first said that the student who perpetrated the bombing, Gundolf Köhler, had personal motives for the attack even though he had trained with a neo-Nazi militia. The investigation was later reopened and in July 2020 prosecutors came to the conclusion that the perpetrator was motivated by far-right extremism. Germany has seen a number of attacks driven by anti-Semitism and far-right ideology in recent years. In February, a far-right extremist committed a mass shooting, killing nine people at two shisha bars in Hanau. And in October of last year, a far-right extremist attempted to enter a synagogue in Halle, killing two people and broadcasting the attack online.”

Canada

The New York Times: Canadian Police Charge Man With Faking Terrorist Activity

“The police in Canada have arrested a Toronto-area man who asserted he was an ISIS executioner, accusing him of perpetrating a hoax that he was involved in terrorist activities. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the man, Shehroze Chaudhry, 25, “claimed he traveled to Syria in 2016 to join the terrorist group ISIS and committed acts of terrorism.” The interviews he gave to media outlets, the national police force said, raised “public safety concerns amongst Canadians.” Sgt. Lucie Lapointe, a spokeswoman for the Mounted Police, said that Mr. Chaudry was the person feature extensively in “Caliphate,” a podcast by The New York Times, under the name Abu Huzayfah. In the podcast, he described in harrowing detail his role in executions. The Times declined to discuss its sourcing. “The uncertainty about Abu Huzayfah’s story is central to every episode of Caliphate that featured him,” Danielle Rhoades Ha, a Times spokeswoman, said in a statement. She noted that one episode confirmed that Abu Huzayfah had misled The Times about the dates of his travel to Syria and the timeline of his radicalization.”