Monday, October 24, 2016

Eye on Extremism October 24, 2016

Counter Extremism ProjectTwitterFacebook

Eye on Extremism

October 24, 2016

Counter Extremism Project

MSNBC: How Immune Is Election To Russian Hacks--CEP Spokesperson And Senior Policy Advisor Tara Maller Discusses The Impacts That Russian Hacking Might Have On The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
WABC Radio: CEP Spokesperson Tara Maller Discusses The Fight For Mosul, Russia Hacking And Drones Used By ISIS That Killed Two Kurdish Soldiers In Northern Iraq On The Imus In The Morning Show.
CNN: Mosul Offensive: ISIS Kills Hundreds Of Men And Boys, Iraqi Source Says
“ISIS rounded up and killed 284 men and boys as Iraqi-led coalition forces closed in on Mosul, the terror group's last major stronghold in Iraq, an Iraqi intelligence source told CNN. Those killed Thursday and Friday were used as human shields against attacks forcing ISIS out of southern parts of Mosul, the source said. ISIS dumped the corpses in a mass grave at the defunct College of Agriculture in northern Mosul, the intelligence source said. The victims -- including children -- were all shot, said the source, who asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. CNN could not independently confirm the killings.”
NBC: U.S. Commander: ISIS Attempting To Establish Caliphate In Afghanistan
“ISIS is trying to establish a caliphate inside Afghanistan, the country's top U.S. commander said. ‘Right now we see them very focused on trying to establish their caliphate, the Khorasan caliphate, inside Afghanistan,’ General John Nicholson said in an exclusive interview with NBC News. The push is ‘principally a non-Afghan movement,’ Nicholson said. According to Nicholson, the U.S. has seen foreign fighters, particularly Uzbeks from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, joining the Islamic State Khorasan, or IS-K. The U.S. also sees many Pakistani Pashtun from the Pakistani Taliban who joined IS-K moving into Afghanistan to fight, he said.”
Reuters: Air Strikes, Fighting Break Russian-Declared Ceasefire In Syria's Aleppo
“Fierce fighting and air strikes broke the third day of a four-day unilateral Russian ceasefire in the divided Syrian city of Aleppo on Saturday, a monitor said. The first Syrian or Russian air strikes on Aleppo since Russia began the pause in hostilities on Thursday hit a key front line in the city's southwest, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Clashes and shelling which had continued throughout the day on front lines intensified late in the day, a witness and the Observatory said. Air strikes had continued to target areas outside the city throughout the ceasefire. Russia has been announcing daily that it will abide by the next day of the series of daytime ceasefires, which it said it called to allow civilians and rebels to leave the besieged city, but no announcement was made on Saturday. There have been night-time clashes as each day of the ceasefire has ended, but Saturday saw much fiercer fighting plus the first air strikes.”
Reuters: U.S. Casualty In Iraq Shows Risks Of Shifting Front Lines
“New details from a U.S. military investigation into Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason Finan's death in Iraq are illustrating the twin risks of a bomb-ridden battlefield and shifting front lines in the campaign to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State. Finan on Thursday became the first U.S. military casualty in Iraq's offensive to capture the city of 1.5 million people, a highly complex operation that is expected to become the biggest battle fought in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. At the time Finan was killed, he was helping troops avoid a roadside bomb he identified while they tried to reposition further back from the fighting -- a precaution as Islamic State advanced toward Iraqi forces, a top general said on Sunday, disclosing new information about the incident.”
The Daily Beast: The French Spymaster Of ISIS
“The photograph is nearly a decade old, but it is not difficult to imagine that the young man staring inscrutably into the camera, his face bathed in the white light of a flash, now looks much older. The clean-shaven teenager, about 16 or 17, with close-cropped black hair, probably has a long beard now. Gone will be the stylish patterned t-shirt he’s wearing, which looks like it was picked up at a local H&M. Ditto the blingy chain around his neck. If the ravages of time have been accelerated on this young face in the nine years since this portrait was taken then it is because the young man has got the blood of hundreds on his hands, blood that has been spilled in two capital cities of Europe. The boy in the photograph, which a Western intelligence source shared exclusively with The Daily Beast, is Abdelilah Himich, who U.S. and French intelligence officials have identified as the mysterious Abu Suleyman al-Firansi, the terror operative believed to have been a prime mover of the Paris and Brussels attacks over the last year, and arguably the single most important European in ISIS.”
The Jerusalem Post: US Warns Its Citizens Of Possible Kidnappings, Terror Attacks In Turkey
“The US State Department warned American citizens early on Sunday of increased terrorist threats in Turkey.  In the updated travel warning, the State Department urged US citizens to avoid travel to Turkey's volatile southeast region near the Syrian border, while reminding citizens that risks remain for travel throughout the country. The advisory also warned that foreigners and US tourist have recently been targeted by terrorist groups operating in Turkey.  ‘Most recently, extremists have threatened to kidnap and assassinate Westerners and US citizens,’ read the government notice. ‘US citizens are reminded to review personal security plans, monitor local news for breaking events, and remain vigilant at all times.’”
Reuters: Egyptian Court Confirms 20-Year Prison Sentence On Mursi
“An Egyptian court confirmed a 20-year prison sentence against former president Mohamed Mursi on Saturday, judicial sources told Reuters. The sentence was for a conviction arising from the killings of protesters during demonstrations in 2012. It is the first of Mursi's four convictions to reach the end of the judicial process, and he cannot appeal further against it. Twenty-year jail sentences were also confirmed against other senior figures from the then-ruling Muslim Brotherhood, including Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian. The men were convicted in April 2015 on charges including kidnapping, torture and the killings of protesters during unrest in 2012. The Muslim Brotherhood denies responsibility and says that most of those killed were from its own ranks.”
CBS News: Officers: More Than 80 Nigerian Soldiers Missing In Boko Haram Attack
“Some 83 Nigerian soldiers are missing in action since Boko Haram Islamic extremists attacked a remote military base in the northeast, senior army officers said Sunday. The soldiers were unable to fight back and fled because Boko Haram had superior fire power, the officers told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to give information to reporters. Morale also was low among the troops because they were being rationed to one meal a day and their allowances were being pilfered by their commanders, the officers said.”
Aljazeera: Al-Ahabab Seizes Somali Town After Peacekeeper Pullout
“Fighters from al-Shabab have seized control of yet another town in central Somalia after it was abandoned by African Union peacekeepers, according to a spokesman for the group and a local official. It was the third time this month that the al-Qaeda-affiliated group moved into a town in the region after the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces. On Sunday, an Ethiopian contingent abandoned the town of Halgan in the Hiran region, allowing the group's fighters to enter soon after, Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab's spokesman on military operations said. A military offensive launched in 2014 by African Union forces and the Somali army pushed out al-Shabbab of major strategic centres, but the fighters, who once held sway over much of the Horn of Africa country, still control some settlements and rural areas.”
Deutsche Welle: From Anti-Antifa To Reichsbürger: Germany's Far-Right Movements
“The violent death of a police officer in Bavaria has suddenly thrown the Reichsbürger movement into the media spotlight. Before the attack, not even the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic intelligence agency, considered the group to be dangerous even though it does not recognize the present German state, calls Angela Merkel a ‘Jewish Freemason’ and longs for the German borders of 1937. About three dozen associations, fellowships, open networks and organized political parties in Germany promote right-wing extremist ideals, which include anti-Semitic, anti-Islam and xenophobic views. In its recently published report for 2015, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution states that there are 22,600 registered members of right-wing extremist groups in Germany and that 8,000 of them are prepared to use violence. After years of decline, there has been a surge in right-wing extremism since 2014.”
CNN: Massive Cyberattack Turned Ordinary Devices Into Weapons
“A cyberattack that took down large swaths of the internet around the world on Friday was carried out, in part, by unsuspecting devices connected to the internet. Security firm Flashpoint said it believes that digital video recorders and webcams in people's homes were taken over by malware and then, without owners' knowledge, used to help execute the massive cyberattack. Hundreds of thousands of devices appear to have have been infected with the malware. It was a distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attack. Using the malware, hackers were able to flood a website with so much traffic that it impaired normal service. The DDoS attack overwhelmed the servers of New Hampshire-based company Dyn and came in three waves Friday starting around 7 a.m. ET. Dyn says the attack has ended.”

United States

The New York Times: Pentagon Expects Mosul Push To Unlock Trove Of ISIS Intelligence
“The Pentagon is sending dozens of additional intelligence analysts to Iraq to pore over a trove of information that is expected to be recovered in the offensive to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State, data that could offer new clues about possible terrorist attacks in Europe. The analysts will have several immediate priorities: Share with the Iraqi military any information crucial to the unfolding fight in Mosul; pass along insights useful to American officials planning an attack on Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital in eastern Syria; hunt for clues about the location of the group’s shadowy leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; and search for any information about terrorist cells in Europe and any attacks they may be plotting.”
The Washington Post: Plans To Send Heavier Weapons To CIA-Backed Rebels In Syria Stall Amid White House Skepticism
“As rebel-held sections of Aleppo crumbled under Russian bombing this month, the Obama administration was secretly weighing plans to rush more firepower to CIA-backed units in ­Syria. The proposal, which involved weapons that might help those forces defend themselves against Russian aircraft and artillery, made its way onto the agenda of a recent meeting President Obama held with his national security team. And that’s as far as it got. Neither approved nor rejected, the plan was left in a state of ambiguity that U.S. officials said reflects growing administration skepticism about escalating a covert CIA program that has trained and armed thousands of Syrian fighters over the past three years.”


BBC: Syria Blamed For Chemical Weapons Attack In 2015
“Syrian government forces carried out a third chemical weapons attack last year, a confidential report to the UN Security Council has found. The leaked report says helicopters dropped barrel bombs holding chlorine gas, a prohibited weapon, on the north-west province of Idlib in March 2015. An earlier report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) blamed the Syrian government for two other gas attacks in 2015. The government has not yet commented. Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under the terms of an agreement negotiated between Moscow and Washington.”
Associated Press: Kremlin: Demands For Assad's Departure "Thoughtless"
“The entire territory of Syria must be ‘liberated,’ Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said in remarks televised Saturday, dismissing demands for Syrian President Bashar Assad's departure as ‘thoughtless.’ The Russian statement came as intense clashes were reported in northern Syria between Turkish troops and Turkey-backed opposition fighters with Kurdish-led forces. The Syrian army command condemned the fresh offensive by Turkish troops inside Syria, describing it as ‘an occupation that will be dealt with by all available means.’ The Turkish military intervened in the Syrian war in August this year under orders from Ankara to clear the border area of Islamic State fighters and U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces linked to Turkey's own outlawed Kurdish insurgency.”
BBC: Syria War: Aleppo Ceasefire Ends With Clashes
“Heavy clashes have been reported in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo after a three-day ceasefire ended on Saturday. The unilateral ceasefire was announced last week by Russia, which has been carrying out air strikes in support of the Syrian government. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighting and air strikes took place on Saturday night. There are also concerns humanitarian aid did not reach the city during the ceasefire. The Observatory said air strikes hit a key front line in the south-west of the city on Saturday, with clashes between rebel fighters and government troops intensifying in rebel-held eastern districts of Aleppo.”


Time: Darkness At Noon: ISIS Sets Oil And Sulfur Fires In The Battle For Mosul
“A toxic pall has formed south of the city, harming and even killing civilians and advancing troops alike. Here in the Iraqi town of Qayyarah, in the desert south of Mosul, the sun is an orange orb burning through a screen of black and gray clouds that cover the sky. The sky at midafternoon is the color of dusk, and the air is painful to breathe. Retreating ISIS fighters have set fire to oil wells as well as a sulfur plant in the area, sending up plumes of toxic black and white smoke that blanket the sky and burn the lungs. Some of the oil fires have burned since last summer. On Friday, Islamic State fighters reportedly torched the Mishraq sulfur plant, north of Qayyarah. At least two civilians died from the effects of the gas.”
Reuters: Iraqi Kurds Claim Capture Of Town In Advance On Mosul
“Kurdish fighters said they had taken the town of Bashiqa near Mosul from Islamic State on Sunday as coalition forces pressed their offensive against the jihadists' last stronghold in Iraq. Masoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdish region, told U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter that the Kurds had succeeded in liberating Bashiqa from Islamic State. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters told reporters at the scene that they had entered Bashiqa. Journalists were not being allowed into the town, which lies 12 km (8 miles) northeast of Mosul.
Reuters: Iraqi Army Drives Islamic State From Christian Region Near Mosul
“Iraqi army troops on Saturday stormed into a Christian region that has been under Islamic State control since 2014 as part of U.S.-backed operations to clear the entrances to Mosul, the militants' last major city stronghold in Iraq. The advance took place as U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter met Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad to evaluate the campaign that began on Monday with air and ground support from the U.S-led coalition. A military statement said Iraqi units entered the center of Qaraqosh, a mainly Christian town about 20 km (13 miles) southeast of Mosul, and were carrying out mop-up operations across the town.”
CNN: Peshmerga Forces 5 Miles From Iraq's Mosul In Key Battle Against ISIS
“Kurdish Peshmerga forces are within five miles (eight kilometers) of Mosul, commanders said Sunday, after days of fighting and sweeping territorial gains in the operation to free the key Iraqi city from ISIS control. A coalition of 100,000 troops have been closing in on Mosul since Monday, liberating surrounding communities village by village and making quicker-than-expected gains. The coalition vastly outnumbers its opponent. No more than 5,000 ISIS fighters are in Mosul, a US military official said, although the terror group's supporters put the number at 7,000. Officials and analysts say that entering Mosul is likely to kick off intense street fighting as coalition forces try to retake what has become the cultural capital of ISIS' envisaged caliphate, or Islamic state.”
Reuters: Battle For Mosul Can Shape Or Break Iraq Further
“It has taken two years of training a demoralized army, backed up by the air cover and special forces of the world’s greatest powers, for Iraq to mount an offensive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State. Almost week into the U.S.-led onslaught, many of those running the campaign say the battle to retake the city could be long and hard. But they have also identified what they think is a chink in the jihadists' armor. If local fighters in Mosul can be persuaded to drop their allegiance to Islamic State, there is a chance that the battle can be brought to a more speedy conclusion, and that could have major implications for the future of Iraq.”


Reuters: Two Police Killed, 19 People Wounded In Bomb In East Turkey: Sources
“Two police officers were killed and 19 people were wounded when a car bomb exploded near a passing police vehicle in the eastern Turkish province of Bingol on Sunday, security sources said. The bomb, planted by militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), was detonated near the district governor's office, the security sources said. Five police officers were among the injured, they said. Hours before the bombing, PKK militants had attempted an attack overnight on the district governor's home, using long-range rifles and rocket launchers, Dogan news agency reported. Two militants made it to the door of the house, but fled when police returned fire, it said.”
The New York Times: Turkey’s Push To Join Battle For Mosul Inflames Tension With Iraq
“A dispute between Iraq and Turkey has emerged as a dramatic geopolitical sideshow to the complicated military campaign to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, from the Islamic State. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has insisted on a role in the battle for Mosul, trying to ramp up an involvement in Iraq that has already alarmed the Iraqi government. ‘We have a historical responsibility in the region,’ Mr. Erdogan said in a recent speech, drawing on his country’s history of empire and defeat, from Ottoman rule of the Middle East to its loss in World War I. ‘If we want to be both at the table and in the field, there is a reason.’ In response, the normally mild-mannered Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, warned last week of a military confrontation between Turkey and Iraq. If Turkish forces intervene in Mosul, he said, they will not ‘be in a picnic.’”
Reuters: Turkey 'Obliged' To Press On To Syria's Al-Bab, Erdogan Says
“Turkish-backed forces will press on to the Islamic State-held town of al-Bab in Syria, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, emphasizing Ankara's drive to sweep militants and Syrian Kurdish fighters from territory near its border. The Syrian military, however, said the presence of Turkish troops on Syrian soil was unacceptable and a ‘dangerous escalation and flagrant breach of Syria's sovereignty.’ Backed by Turkish tanks, special forces and air strikes, a group of rebels fighting under the loose banner of the Free Syrian Army crossed into northern Syria in August and took the border town of Jarablus from Islamic State largely unopposed.”


Voice Of America: Residents Of Kunduz In Afghanistan Fear Another Taliban Attack
A bulldozer was busy clearing up the burnt remains of a shop destroyed during more than a week of fighting. Nearby, a man sold vegetables on a cart amidst heaps of charred bricks. Almost two weeks after the Afghan government, with NATO support, managed to fend off a Taliban attempt in early October to take over Kunduz city, residents were trying to get their lives back together. Even though the Taliban failed to take over the city the way it did for a few days in 2015, the fighting, and the subsequent looting, destroyed many businesses. Residents complained of the high costs that war had imposed on them. ‘A loaf of bread has shot up from five to 30 Afghanis. One liter of gas has gone up 50 to 80, so gas is now 300 Afghanis,’ Shafiqullah, a resident of Kunduz, protested.”
Reuters: Aid Agencies Struggle To Assist Wave Of Returning Afghan Refugees
“Perched on top of lumbering trucks overflowing with all their possessions, Afghan families are streaming back to their home country at unprecedented rates, leaving international organizations scrambling to provide aid as winter approaches. The flow of returnees from neighboring Iran and Pakistan this year, estimated by the United Nations to number more than half a million, is straining the capacity of the government and aid agencies, even as violence uproots more Afghans around the country. At Torkham, the busiest border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan, nearly 170,000 Afghans have returned this year, according to the U.N., many of them citing harassment by Pakistani authorities as relations between the two countries have deteriorated. Islamabad has stepped up pressure to send people back and numbers have risen sharply in recent months as Afghan-Indian relations strengthened and those between India and Pakistan soured.”
BBC: Afghanistan Opium Production Up 43% - UN Drugs Watchdog
“Opium production in Afghanistan has increased by 43% in the past year, United Nations officials have said. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said the area used to farm the poppy plant, the source of opium, increased by 10% to 201,000 hectares. But better farming conditions resulted in a higher yield per hectare, increasing overall production. Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of the substance, which is the main ingredient in heroin. Growing opium is a crime in the country, but it is still a major cash crop for impoverished farming communities. The Taliban also taxes poppy production in areas it controls, which is a major source of income for its military activities.”
Voice Of America: Afghan Taliban Political Envoys In Pakistan For Serious Talks
“An Afghan Taliban delegation has traveled to Pakistan from Qatar for talks with officials to raise various issues, including ‘arrests’ of some insurgent leaders, shutting down of some religious seminaries for Afghan refugees and ‘increasing problems’ facing the displaced community in the neighboring country. A senior Taliban official requesting anonymity told VOA the three-member-delegation has been dispatched to Islamabad from its political headquarters in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state, to convey concerns and seek information on what prompted the arrests of Taliban members. The main spokesman for the Islamist insurgency, Zabihullah Mujahid, while confirming to VOA the arrival of the Taliban delegation in Pakistan, said the group routinely interacts with countries with which Afghanistan enjoys diplomatic ties.”
Reuters: Taliban Release Drone Footage Of Suicide Attack
“Afghanistan's Taliban have released drone footage showing a suicide bomber driving a Humvee into a police base in Helmand province and blowing it up this month. An Afghan government official said the video posted online appeared to be authentic. The use of video taken by a drone is unusual for the Taliban but more common among the more media-savvy Islamist groups fighting in Iraq and Syria. The video, 23 minutes long, begins with the purported suicide bomber speaking in front of the Humvee, a vehicle provided to Afghan forces by American advisers. ‘This is the happiest moment of my life,’ the man says, dressed in a black turban and white tunic. ‘I am telling the Afghan stooge forces to repent and join the Taliban or we will use this equipment the foreigners gave them, against them and they can't do anything about it.’"


The Guardian: Yemen War Resumes As Both Sides Ignore UN Call To Extend Ceasefire
“The Saudi-led coalition has stepped up airstrikes on Iran-backed rebels in Yemen and clashes rage on the ground as warring parties ignore a UN call to renew a fragile ceasefire. The 72-hour ceasefire took effect just before midnight on Wednesday to allow aid deliveries in Yemen, whose war has killed thousands of people and left millions homeless and hungry. It officially ended at midnight on Saturday. The UN special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, had appealed for a renewal of the ceasefire, saying humanitarian aid had during the truce reached areas that were earlier inaccessible. However, Yemeni foreign minister Abdulmalik al-Mekhlafi shrugged off the call as ‘useless’, accusing the Houthi rebels of ignoring the ceasefire.”


The New York Times: Egyptian Army Officer Killed Outside Home; Militant Group Is Suspected
“Gunmen suspected of being Islamist militants killed a senior Egyptian Army officer on Saturday in a brazen daylight shooting outside the man’s home in a Cairo suburb. The state media identified the officer as Brig. Gen. Adel Ragai, commander of the army’s Ninth Armored Division. General Ragai, according to multiple pro-state papers, had previously been deployed to Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, where the military is fighting Islamic State militants. The military did not issue a statement. ‘I heard the gunshots and saw him die before my eyes,’ Sumaya Zein el-Abedeen, the general’s wife, told the state media. She said neighbors had told her that they saw three gunmen with assault rifles in a vehicle outside the couple’s home. The men fired on General Ragai and his driver. Both men were taken to a hospital, where they were declared dead.”

Middle East

The Times Of Israel: Hamas Member Killed In Gaza Tunnel Collapse
“A member of the Hamas terror group was killed on Saturday when a tunnel collapsed in the Gaza Strip, reports in Palestinian media said. The official Palestinian news agency WAFA identified the man as Anas Abu Lashin, 22, and said he was a member of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. He was reportedly working in a tunnel in the al-Maghazi area in central Gaza when it caved in. The Brigades in a statement said Abu Lashin was killed ‘during preparation’ of a tunnel, but did not provide further details. The Islamist terror movement which controls the coastal enclave has a network of tunnels in the territory, both for smuggling and attack purposes. It was not clear which type of tunnel Abu Lashin was killed in.”
The Times Of Israel: West Bank, Gaza To Be Closed Off For Simhat Torah Holiday
“The Israel Defense Forces will close off the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Saturday for the Simhat Torah holiday, which begins Sunday evening. Palestinians will be barred passage into Israel for 48 hours beginning at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The army said exceptions would be made for medical emergencies and other ‘humanitarian cases,’ dependent upon the approval of the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). Simhat Torah, a festival of the Jewish Bible, is celebrated at the tail-end of the week-long Sukkot holiday. A closure on the West Bank and Gaza was similarly imposed at the start of Sukkot.”
The Times Of Israel: Sirens Warning Of Rocket Attack Blare In Southern Israel
“Sirens warning of an impending rocket attack blared early Monday morning in communities in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council in southern Israel. The Code Red alarm sounded just before 7:00 a.m. on Monday. The IDF said in a statement shortly thereafter that they didn’t identify any rocket impacts in Israeli territory. In response, Israeli air force jets struck ‘terror infrastructure belonging to the Hamas organization in the northern Gaza Strip.’ There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in either incident. Earlier this month, tensions between Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip flared after a series of rocket launches into Israel and Israeli retaliation.”
Haaretz: Palestinian Authority Releases Four Who Visited Settlers' Sukkah
“The Palestinian Authority released on Sunday four Palestinians who were arrested after they visited a sukkah in the Israeli settlement of Efrat on Thursday. The four, who were held for violating the Authority's boycott of the settlements, were released after the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories intervened.  According to the Efrat council, Riyad Abu Hamad, Yakoub Mousa Abu Hamad, Farouk Mousa Abu Hamad and Mohammad Ahmed Abu Hamad were invited to the sukkah, along with other Palestinians, by regional council mayor Oded Revivi, who said the event was meant to promote peace.”


CNN: 3,300 Migrants Rescued Off Libyan Coast
“Rescuers came to the aid of 3,300 migrants and refugees off the coast of Libya in 24 operations Friday, the Italian coast guard said. The rescue was a coordinated effort by the coast guard, the European Union Naval Force and nongovernmental organizations, the coast guard said via Twitter. Seven bodies were recovered, it added. Libya is a popular jumping-off point for migrants seeking to reach Europe from North Africa via what is known as the Central Mediterranean route. Smuggling networks are well-established there, and the lack of an effective central government makes the job of traffickers easier.”
Reuters: Libya Forces Free 13 Foreign Captives From Militants In Sirte Battle
“Libyan pro-government forces fighting Islamic State in Sirte have freed 11 Eritrean female captives, a Turk and an Egyptian after a battle to recapture a part of the city held by Islamic State, a spokesman for the forces said on Saturday. After a six-month campaign of street-by-street fighting backed by U.S. air strikes, Libyan forces have taken back most of Sirte, where Islamic State is holding out with snipers, boobytraps and car bombs. ‘The forces have completely recaptured the 600 block area in Sirte from gangs of Daesh, and now the Ghiza Bahriya area is the last pocket of resistance,’ said Rida Issa, a spokesman for the pro-government forces, using an Arabic term for Islamic State.”


Associated Press: Widows Of Victims Of Nigeria's Boko Haram Say Aid Overdue
“After her husband was killed by a Boko Haram suicide bomber late last year, Hajjagana Mbasaru was forced to pull her children from school and rely on friends to feed them. Like other widows of civilians fighting the Islamic extremists in northern Nigeria, she spent long months waiting for any kind of government support. Finally, last week, officials in northeastern Borno state stepped up with a small handout: two bags of rice and some beans. Though modest, Mbasaru said it was a welcome change from months of being ignored. During its seven-year uprising, Boko Haram extremists have killed more than 20,000 people and displaced more than 2.6 million in Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Frustrated by the ineffective military response, thousands of ordinary residents in northeastern Nigeria joined local militias.”
Associated Press: Officers: 83 Nigerian Soldiers Missing In Boko Haram Attack
“Some 83 Nigerian soldiers are missing in action since Boko Haram Islamic extremists attacked a remote military base in the northeast, senior army officers said Sunday. The soldiers were unable to fight back and fled because Boko Haram had superior fire power, the officers told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to give information to reporters. Morale also was low among the troops because they were being rationed to one meal a day and their allowances were being pilfered by their commanders, the officers said. Army spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman reported last week that ‘some’ soldiers were missing and 13 wounded when the insurgents on Oct. 17 attacked their base in Gashigar village, on the border with Niger. Usman has not responded to requests for the actual number.”

United Kingdom

The Wall Street Journal: U.K. Police: Device Found In Suspected Terror Plot Not A Viable Threat
“British police investigating a suspected terrorist plot to target London’s subway system said Saturday a suspicious device discovered at a house in Devon, southwest England, wasn’t a viable threat. Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism unit, who had deployed to the town of Newton Abbot as part of a continuing investigation into the suspected plot, came across the item during their search. The area was evacuated while specialists assessed it before giving the all-clear, police said. Detectives from the Met’s counterterrorism unit and Devon police continue to work through the night as they pursue leads in an investigation described by one security source as ‘fluid.’”
The Guardian: Britain Must Not Abandon Its Role Fighting Terrorism In Europe, Says Nick Clegg
“Theresa May will be seen as ‘soft on terrorism and organised crime’ unless she signs the UK up to continued membership of Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency, warns the former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. A key decision over whether the UK remains inside Europol, which pools criminal intelligence and allows this to be shared between police and security forces across the EU, is seen by MPs as the crucial ‘first test’ for the prime minister in Brexit negotiations. MPs of all parties – including those on the cross-party European scrutiny select committee – are demanding a full House of Commons debate and vote on Europol within the next month as a matter of urgency, following calls from police and intelligence agencies for the UK to retain full membership.”


Deutsche Welle: German Police Probe Claims Onlookers Encouraged Migrant Boy Suicide
“German police are investigating claims that onlookers encouraged a 17-year-old Somali asylum seeker with psychiatric problems to jump from an apartment building to his death. Police in the eastern German town of Schmölln responded to a facility for unaccompanied youth migrants after receiving a call from social workers complaining of violence. When they arrived the Somali boy was sitting on the ledge of a fifth-story window. The police and fire department tried to persuade the boy not to jump, but he leaped and died later in the hospital from his injuries. The tragic incident gained attention after the town's mayor Sven Schrade said Saturday that there was information that some onlookers had encouraged the boy to spring to his death.”


BBC: Calais Migrants: France Begins To Clear 'Jungle' Camp
“More than 1,200 police and officials in France have begun an operation to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais. The camp has been housing some 7,000 people in squalid conditions. Migrants queued peacefully to be processed, and the first of some 60 coaches that will carry them to refugee centres across France, has now left. There is concern that some migrants will refuse to go because they still want to get to Britain, and there were some clashes over the weekend. The demolition of the camp is expected to take place on Tuesday. The UK has begun to accept some of the estimated 1,300 unaccompanied children from the camp. The first group without family ties to the UK has arrived in Britain under the ‘Dubs amendment’ rules, which grant refuge to the most vulnerable.”


The Washington Post: E.U. Authorities Brace For Wave Of Islamic State Fighters After Mosul Assault
“A long-awaited offensive this week to dislodge the Islamic State from its stronghold city of Mosul is fueling fears of renewed terrorist attacks, as European counterterrorism officials say more fighters are returning home after waging jihad in Syria and Iraq. The security concerns are a major focus of European intelligence agencies as the Iraqi army and its partners press the assault on Mosul, which the Islamic State has used as a capital for planning and operations for more than two years. Attacks in Paris and Brussels in recent years have been conducted by locally born attackers who in some cases trained with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, then returned home. The threat underlines a central dilemma facing leaders of nations where the Islamic State has carried out terrorist attacks: Even as they support efforts to defeat the group on the ground, they risk dislodging its adherents and casting them elsewhere.”


The Wall Street Journal: Dyn Says Cyberattack Has Ended, Investigation Continues
“Web service provider Dyn on Saturday said the massive internet attack that rendered many popular internet sites unreachable for parts of Friday has ended, though its engineers were still investigating how it happened. ‘Service to our customers is always our number one priority, and we appreciate their understanding as that commitment means Dyn is often the first responder of the internet,’ strategy chief Kyle York said in a blog post. Dyn, known formally as Dynamic Network Services Inc., said Friday it had been disrupted by a distributed denial-of-service attack, in which devices connected to the internet flooded Dyn’s computers with junk data, blocking legitimate users. Dyn’s domain-name-system services are crucial cogs in helping internet users reach websites.”


Alghad: Mosul: ISIS Intensifies Efforts To Raise Money
“A local source in Nineveh province claimed that ISIS has launched its largest fundraising campaign {ever} to support its militants in Mosul. The source noted that the terror group threatens the use of arms as well as other severe pressure tactics {to collect money}. The source added that while ISIS uses these practices to force residents to 'donate' their money, the repudiation and resentment being voiced by locals {toward the organization} has reached its peak.”
Alhadath News: ISIS Claims It Spent $30 Million Over The Past Year
“ISIS disclosed the amounts spent by its so-called "Zakat Chamber" on beneficiaries in Syria and Iraq over the past year. A news agency close to ISIS reported that the organization had distributed roughly $30 million in Syria and Iraq alone. According to the agency, a total of $15.4 million was disbursed in Iraq, compared to $14.2 million in Syria. The Iraqi province of Nineveh saw the largest amount awarded by the "Zakat Chamber," with $12 million, followed by Anbar province $2.1 million, Salahuddin $730,000, and Kirkuk ranked last with $530,000. In Syria, the organization spent $6 million, with $5.1 million disbursed in Raqqa province {alone}. ISIS spent another $2.3 million in Deir ez-Zor.”

Combating the Financing of Terrorism

Alayam: Bahrain Safeguards Ngos' Funds From Being Used To Finance Terrorism
“(Bahrain's} Minister of Labor and Social Development, Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan, confirmed that the ministry has been proceeding with efforts {initially} launched in 2009 to oversee the movement of funds belonging to NGOs, in order to protect them from being misused by means of money laundering and terrorist financing, according to international standards. This statement came during a meeting with the British Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson. In the meeting, the {Bahraini} minister presented an overview of the policies, legislation and programs adopted by the Kingdom of Bahrain in support of NGOs and in an effort to enhance their capabilities.”

Muslim Brotherhood

Misrday: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Cell In Damietta Was Given Money To Carry Out Terrorist Operations
“{Egypt's} Interior Ministry announced in a statement that on Saturday, security services detained a cell belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood's "Armed Movement Committees" in Damietta province. Cell members were detained in possession of firearms and confessed to having received monthly wages from the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in exchange for executing terrorist operations in the upcoming months.”
Veto: Expert: Muslim Brotherhood Internal Struggle Over Leadership And Money
“Dr. Kamal el-Helbawy, a former Muslim Brotherhood member and current member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights, stated that the struggle inside the Muslim Brotherhood is not an intellectual one. This is because the activities of the entire organization are based on a single idea.  Therefore, according to el-Helbawy, the internal conflict revolves around who deserves to lead it. This struggle between two {competing} groups is for authority, legitimacy, money and international relations.”


Erem News: Egypt: Hamas Accused Of Assassinating Egyptian Army Colonel Who Oversaw Destruction Of Gaza Tunnels
“Samia Zein Al-Abdeen, the widow of the Head of the Egyptian Army’s ninth armor division, Major Adel Ragaai, accused the Hamas movement of assassinating her husband in front of their house Saturday morning. She claimed the assassination was carried out by Hamas' agents in Egypt, who are affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood hit squads. Samia said that the decision to slay her husband was taken four years ago after he ended his service in Sinai. There he had been in charge of destroying the tunnels connecting northern Sinai with the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the brother of Ragaai was quoted as saying that "the assassination was being planned for a long time because of his role in Sinai. It came as revenge for permanently ending the risk of tunnels, which hurt the leaders of Hamas, who had amassed tremendous wealth from smuggling goods and weapons from Egypt." On his part, MP Abdel Rahim Ali explained that the Ragaai assassination was an old Hamas decision {ultimately} carried out as retribution to the Egyptian army. He stressed that Ragaai had been the mastermind behind the operation to destroy the tunnels, which were used to smuggle subsidized Egyptian supplies, commodities and petroleum products. These smuggling activities made Hamas leaders rich, he said.”

No comments:

Post a Comment