Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The IPT Terrorism Newsletter – July 17, 2019

July 17, 2019


Domestic Terrorism

US v. Pourghannad

July 16, 2019
A three-count indictment unsealed July 16, 2019, charged Ali Reza Shokri Pourghannad and Farzin Faridmanesh with exporting carbon fiber from the United States to Iran. Pourghannad, an Iranian national, was arrested on those charges on May 3, 2017, in Germany and was extradited to the U.S. Between 2008 and July 2013, Pourghannad, Shokri and Faridmanesh lived and worked in Iran. During that period, they worked together to obtain carbon fiber from the U.S. and surreptitiously export it to Iran via third countries. In particular, Shokri worked to procure many tons of carbon fiber from the U.S.; Pourghannad agreed to serve as the financial guarantor for large carbon fiber transactions; and Faridmanesh agreed to serve as the trans-shipper. Carbon fiber has a wide variety of uses, including in missiles, aerospace engineering, and gas centrifuges that enrich uranium.

International Terrorism

Turkish Diplomat and Iraqi Civilian Shot Dead in Iraqi Kurdistan

July 17, 2019
A Turkish diplomat was among two people shot dead on Wednesday in Irbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan Region. The victims, who were eating at a restaurant when gunmen opened fire, were reportedly Turkey's deputy consul in the city and an Iraqi civilian. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the "heinous attack". No-one has so far said they were behind it. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought Turkey for decades and has bases in Iraq, has denied any role.

Pakistan Arrests the Alleged Mastermind of Mumbai Terror Attacks, But India Remains Cynical

July 17, 2019
Hafis Saeed was taken into custody in Punjab province while traveling from the eastern city of Lahore to the city of Gujranwala, according to counterterrorism official Mohammad Shafiq. Mr. Saeed founded Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, which has been banned since 2002. It was blamed for the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, though never held to account. Only a handful of peripheral planners — and one gunman captured after the attack — have been convicted.

Terrorist Summer Camps in the Gaza Strip

July 15, 2019
Every summer Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) conduct summer camps in the Gaza Strip for youngsters, mostly for high school students. Thousands of campers enjoy summer activities, which are combined with radical ideologies and paramilitary training. Hamas is the most prominent organization conducting summer camps (as a continuation of the military training in the high schools during the school year). The PIJ also conducts summer camps, which ended this year on July 4. Hamas summer camps are supposed to begin on July 20, 2019, and registration is in progress.

Child Suicide Bomber Kills At least 5 at Afghan Wedding Party

July 12, 2019
A child was used as a suicide bomber at a wedding party on July 12 in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least five people and injuring about a dozen others, local authorities said. The motive of the 13-year-old who blew himself up during the event has not been confirmed. Members of the Taliban and ISIS have a presence in the region, but no one has taken responsibility for the attack.

The Imam Al-Mahdi Scouts Association: Hezbollah's youth movement which indoctrinates youth with Iranian radical Shiite Islam

July 11, 2019
Hezbollah maintains an extensive network of social foundations in the Shiite community in Lebanon. These foundations deal with healthcare, education, finance, welfare, and media. They support Hezbollah's military infrastructure. They also serve as a means of disseminating Hezbollah's ideology and strengthening its position among the Shiite community and in Lebanon in general. They provide the Shiite community with large-scale social services that are generally provided by the state while exploiting the weakness of the Lebanese administration and its long-standing neglect of the Shiite community. Thus, Hezbollah's civilian infrastructure enables it to maintain a sort of "Shiite mini-state" within the Lebanese state. The residents of this "Shiite mini-state" enjoy large-scale Iranian financial support and Hezbollah's military infrastructure is located among them.

Terrorist Designations

Treasury Targets Al-Qa'ida in Mali

July 16, 2019
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in concert with the Department of State, took action on July 16th targeting Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), a west African terrorist group designated in September 2018, by designating a JNIM leader as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. Specifically, OFAC designated Bah Ag Moussa for acting for or on behalf of JNIM. OFAC also designated Bah Ag Moussa for acting for or on behalf of JNIM leader, Iyad ag Ghali, who was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 in February 2013. The Department of State also designated Ali Maychou as an SDGT pursuant to E.O. 13224.
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