Eye on Extremism, August 29, 2016

Counter Extremism Project

Yahoo TV: Is social media a new weapon in war?

“CEP Senior Advisor Dr. Hany Farid, the chair of Dartmouth College’s Computer Science Department, was interviewed on Australian television program Weekend Sunrise about the development of CEP’s new technology that can detect and remove the “worst of the worst” extremist video, images and audio messaging from the Internet and social media platforms quickly and accurately.”

The Guardian: Yemen Suicide Bombing Leaves At Least 45 Dead

“A suicide bomber has killed at least 45 people after driving a car laden with explosives into a compound run by local militias in Aden, Yemen. Médecins Sans Frontières said at least 60 other people had been brought to a hospital it runs in Aden’s Mansoura district after the blast. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it resembled previous suicide bombings in the city that Islamic State said it carried out. A security source said the attack targeted a school compound where conscripts of the Popular Committees — forces allied to the internationally recognised president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi — were gathered for breakfast.”

USA Today: Turkey’s Campaign Against Kurds Muddles War On ISIL

“Turkey claimed it had ‘neutralized’ 25 Kurdish fighters in airstrikes across the Syrian border Sunday, the latest attack in Turkey’s stepped-up campaign to retake towns from Kurdish rebels. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, citing the Turkish military, said the attack was carried out against ‘terrorists groups’ that had attacked Turkish troops supporting a Free Syrian Army operation targeting Islamic State militants. Five buildings used by the Kurdish rebels also were destroyed, the military said. The Turkish military said it took ‘all necessary measures’ to protect the local civilian population. The BBC, however, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 35 civilian casualties.”

BBC: Syrian War: Government Regains Darayya After Last Rebels Leave

“The Syrian government has retaken control of the town of Darayya, after the last rebels left under a deal ending a four-year siege. Buses containing the final remaining fighters left on Saturday, and are heading towards rebel-held Idlib city. BBC Arabic reported that the town, near the capital Damascus, is completely empty of rebels, who handed over their heavy weapons before leaving. Elsewhere at least 15 people died in barrel bombings in Aleppo, reports say. The UN’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has urged the warring sides in the city of Aleppo to approve safe delivery of vital supplies by Sunday.”

Reuters: Bangladesh Police Kill ‘Mastermind’ Of Dhaka Cafe Attack

“Bangladesh security forces killed three Islamist militants on Saturday, including a Bangladesh-born Canadian citizen accused of masterminding an attack on a cafe in Dhaka last month that killed 22 people, mostly foreigners, police said. The militants were cornered in a hideout on the outskirts of the capital and, having refused to surrender, were killed in the ensuing gun battle, Monirul Islam, the head of the Dhaka police counterterrorism unit, told Reuters. He initially said four militants had been killed but later revised the number to three.”

The New York Times: Taliban Overrun Afghan Border District, Opening A New Front

“The Taliban have overrun a border district in the southeastern Afghan province of Paktia and inflicted heavy casualties on the Afghan security forces, officials said Saturday, as the insurgent fighters opened a new front in a once-volatile region. Local officials expressed alarm that the attack in the Jani Khel district overnight Friday was led by fighters of the Haqqani network. The network, an arm of the insurgency based in Pakistan, is known for its urban assaults, and the officials say it is trying to create a foothold to re-establish its headquarters in Afghanistan. Abdul Rahman Zurmati, Jani Khel’s governor, said his troops had been under siege for nine days. The district fell to the Taliban late Friday, he said, because his forces ran out of ammunition and reinforcements did not arrive.”

Associated Press: Nigeria President Says Boko Haram Leader Has Been Wounded

“Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said Sunday the military wounded the leader of Boko Haram, his country’s homegrown Islamic extremist group. Nigeria’s military said last week it had ‘fatally wounded’ Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in an airstrike, but it stopped short of saying that he was dead. Boko Haram no longer holds any Nigerian territory and the group has split into small groups attacking soft targets, said Buhari on Sunday, speaking on the sidelines of the Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development in Kenya. The Nigerian government is ready to discuss the release of the Chibok girls held hostage by Boko Haram, Buhari said in a statement from his spokesman. Chibok, in northeastern Nigeria, is where nearly 300 schoolgirls were abducted from a school in April 2014. Dozens of the kidnapped girls escaped, but 218 remain missing.”

The New York Times: Can Israel And The Arab States Be Friends?

“Israel and Saudi Arabia have no formal diplomatic relations. The Saudis do not even recognize Israel as a state. Still, there is evidence that ties between Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states and Israel are not only improving but, after developing in secret over many years, could evolve into a more explicit alliance as a result of their mutual distrust of Iran. Better relations among these neighbors could put the chaotic Middle East on a more positive course. They could also leave the Palestinians in the dust, a worrisome prospect. A recent case in point was a visit to Jerusalem last month by a Saudi delegation, led by a retired major general, Anwar Eshki, that included talks with Dore Gold, a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official. The meeting was notable because it was openly acknowledged. General Eshki and Mr. Gold reportedly began secret contacts in 2014; they went public last year by appearing together at an event in Washington.”

Wall Street Journal: An Average Man Takes On ISIS Online

“Mohamed Amin Ahmed manages a gas station in Minneapolis. He is a father to four children, all under the age of 8. And in his spare time, he fights back against the Islamic State propaganda he believes is poisoning his local community. Mr. Ahmed, 40, is one of a handful of Muslim leaders in the U.S. engaging in direct messaging against Islamic State on social media. Mr. Ahmed, whose online persona is “Average Mohamed,” makes animated cartoon videos debunking various parts of the terrorist group’s ideology, explaining, for instance, why beheadings don’t comport with true Islam.”

Daily Mail: The White British ISIS Child Executioner: Horrific Propaganda Video Appears To Show Blue-Eyed Boy With Jihadi Fighter Shooting A Prisoner In The Head In Syria

“A chilling new video from ISIS shows a British boy and four other children executing prisoners in cold blood in Syria. The grotesque nine-minute video is believed to have been recorded recently in the ISIS capital of Raqqa, in Syria, and shows the organisation is becoming even more brutal as it retreats into its heartland. The video shows five boys — believed to be from Britain, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Uzbekistan, wielding handguns and wearing the desert camouflage.”

Daily Caller: Another ‘Allahu Akbar’ Stabbing Attack Rocks Germany

“A German couple was stabbed at music festival Saturday by an intoxicated man shouting ‘Allahu akbar.’ The couple was enjoying a picnic in the town of Oberhausen when the suspect attacked them. The 57-year-old male victim managed to overpower the suspect, despite receiving serious injuries. The female victim, aged 66, is fighting for her life. Police did not speculate on a possible motive behind the attack, but said the 26-year-old suspect was under the influence of narcotics. Police said the attacker is homeless and has no known affiliations with extremism. A judge ordered the man be put in a forensic psychiatric facility until further notice.”

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Revamps Line Of Attack In Social-Media Fight Against Islamic State

“Recent initiatives by technology companies to push back against Islamic State’s social-media messaging highlight a sobering fact: The U.S. government’s battle on that front has mostly sputtered. In a number of terrorist attacks over the past year, the attackers were found to have been inspired by Islamic State propaganda and videos, which are often described as Hollywood-level productions. Despite numerous military victories against Islamic State, U.S. officials acknowledge they have struggled to counteract the terrorist group’s online campaign. Since early 2014, approximately 100 individuals have been arrested in the U.S. on charges related to providing support to Islamic State. In 69% of the cases, officials found the individuals had watched or read the group’s electronic dispatches, according to a report released last month by Fordham University’s Center on National Security.”

Reuters: U.S. And Russia Fail To Close Deal On Ending Violence In Syria

“The United States and Russia failed on Friday to reach a breakthrough deal on military cooperation and a nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria, saying they still have issues to resolve before an agreement could be announced. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, addressing a joint news conference after more than nine hours of off-and-on talks in Geneva, said teams from both sides would try to finalize details in coming days in the Swiss city. Kerry said the talks with Lavrov had ‘achieved clarity on the path forward’ but together they offered few details on how they planned to renew a February cessation of hostilities and improve humanitarian assistance.”


The Wall Street Journal: Fighting Escalates on Turkey-Syria Border, Endangering U.S. Forces

“The death of a Turkish soldier in the newest battlefront of the Syrian war is stoking tensions between two U.S. allies, Turkey’s military and Syrian Kurdish rebels, heightening the risk to U.S. forces in the area and their common fight against Islamic State. Syrian monitoring groups said that at least 70 people were killed over the weekend, mostly civilians, in the Turkish operations. The Turkish military said they killed at least 25 ‘terrorists,’ and didn’t comment on the reported civilian deaths, except to say that commanders are taking all necessary measures to protect noncombatants. It wasn’t possible to independently verify the Syrian casualty figures or the identities of those killed.”

CNN: Syria Barrel Bomb Attack: At Least 16 Killed At Wake In Aleppo

“A helicopter dropped two barrel bombs on a funeral wake for children in the Syrian city of Aleppo, killing at least 16 people, Syrian monitoring groups said. The wake was being held Saturday in the rebel-controlled neighborhood of Bab al-Nayrab, the same area where 15 people were killed in a barrel bombing Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Another group, the Aleppo Media Center, reported a higher death toll of 24 people killed and 30 others injured in the attack. Barrel bombs — oil drums filled with explosives and shrapnel and dropped by aircraft — killed more than 3,000 civilians in Aleppo 2014, according to a report last year by Amnesty International. The human rights organization said barrel bombs are a common tactic of the Syrian government, which has been fighting rebels in a civil war since 2011.”


Associated Press: Down Another Key Minister, Iraq Continues Mosul Push

“Iraq’s security forces continue to gear up for a long-awaited operation to retake the Islamic State-held city of Mosul. But they will be doing so without the minister of defense who has presided over most of the military’s recent successes against IS. Khaled al-Obeidi was abruptly dismissed by a parliamentary no-confidence vote Thursday after weeks of political wrangling over dueling allegations of corruption with the parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri. The allegations of corruption were quickly exploited by a handful of Iraq’s powerful political blocs looking to weaken Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi by removing one of his key Sunni allies. Neither al-Jabouri’s nor al-Obeidi’s allegations of corruption have been publicly proven.”

Sputnik: Victorious On The Battlefield, Iraqi Army Losing Out To Corruption

“The Iraqi army has dislodged Daesh militants from al-Qayyara city located south of Mosul and is now poised to capture the terrorists’ de-facto capital in Iraq, Izvestia wrote citing an Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman in Baghdad. However, there is a big problem it is now facing in the ‘corridors of power’ in Baghdad. According to the head of Iraq’s counterterrorism agency, Abdel Ghani al-Asadi, an estimated 250 Daesh fighters were killed during the operation to capture Al-Qayyara. The Iraqi armed forces earlier managed to retake a nearby military airfield that will be used in airstrikes on Daesh positions in Mosul. Meanwhile, ignoring the country’s military gains on the battlefield, the parliament has passed a vote of no-confidence against Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi, who has been repeatedly accused of corruption.”


Associated Press: 3 Top Former Turkish Diplomats Jailed In Failed Coup Attempt

“Turkey’s state news agency says three former top Turkish diplomats have been jailed for their alleged involvement in the failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Anadolu Agency said Saturday that Ali Findik and Tuncay Babali, former ambassadors to Costa Rica and Canada, and former envoy Gurcan Balik ‘have been removed from their posts’ due to their alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who Turkey blames for the July 15 coup attempt. Gulen denies the claims. Balik is a former senior aide to ex-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as well as a foreign policy adviser to the country’s former president. Turkey has detained more than 40,000 people and dismissed or suspended nearly 85,000 from their jobs since the failed coup that left 270 people dead.”

Associated Press: Kurdish Militants Fire Rocket At Civilian Airport In Turkey

“Kurdish militants launched a rocket-propelled grenade at a civilian airport in southeast Turkey early Sunday, causing minor damage and no injuries, officials and the state-run news agency said. Rebels linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, were apparently targeting a police checkpoint at Diyarbakir Airport, the Anadolu Agency said. Passengers were taken to safety after the attack and flights resumed after a brief pause during the police investigation. Windows at the VIP passenger entrance were damaged, the Diyarbakir governor’s office said, adding that a search for the perpetrators had been launched. Violence between the PKK and the security forces resumed last year, after the collapse of a two-year peace process in July. Since then, more than 600 Turkish security personnel and thousands of PKK militants have been killed, according to Anadolu. Rights groups say hundreds of civilians have also been killed in the clashes.”

BBC: Syria War: Rival Claims As Turkish Strikes Kill At Least 25

“Tens of people have been killed in continuing Turkish strikes on Kurdish-held areas in Syria near the border city of Jarablus. A monitoring group said at least 35 civilians and four militants had been killed in the Turkish attacks. The Turkish military said 25 people, all Kurdish militants, had been killed. The strikes came on the fifth day of Turkey’s military operation to target so-called Islamic State (IS) militants and Kurdish militia inside Syria. Speaking in Gaziantep, where IS militants killed 54 people at a Kurdish wedding last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said ‘operations against terrorist organisations will continue until the end’.”


Reuters: Taliban Fighters Overrun District In Eastern Afghanistan

“Taliban insurgents overran a district in eastern Afghanistan, killing and wounding dozens of police and soldiers and threatening strategically important road routes to Pakistan, officials said on Saturday. The attack comes amid heavy fighting in other parts of Afghanistan, notably in the southern province of Helmand, where U.S. military advisers have been deployed to bolster the defenses, and around the northern city of Kunduz, which fell briefly to the insurgents last year. More than 20 soldiers and police were killed and another 20 wounded in the fighting overnight, while some 200 Taliban insurgents were killed, Solamal said. There was no immediate means of verifying the claims of Taliban casualties. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement dozens of Afghan soldiers and police had been killed in Jani Khel and large amounts of equipment had been captured, including armored vehicles, light and heavy weapons and ammunition.”

CNN: Australian Aid Worker Freed 4 Months After Kidnapping In Afghanistan

“An Australian aid worker who was abducted in Afghanistan in April has been freed, according to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. The woman, who Bishop identified as Kerry Jane Wilson in a Monday news release, was taken by armed kidnappers at dawn from her home in Jalalabad late April. The Australian government said it would not release any more details circumstances of Wilson’s release, citing the need to protect others who remain captive or face the rise of kidnapping in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) said Wilson secured her freedom after a special operation conducted by the NDS. Several suspects were arrested and an investigation is ongoing, the NDS said.”


Reuters: Houthis Say Ready For Fresh Yemen Talks If Attacks Stop

“Yemen’s Houthi-run governing council said on Sunday it was ready to restart peace talks with the country’s exiled government provided a Saudi-led coalition stopped attacking and besieging Houthi-held territories. U.N.-sponsored negotiations to end 18 months of fighting in the impoverished country on Saudi Arabia’s southern border collapsed earlier this month and the dominant Iran-allied Houthi movement there resumed shelling attacks into the kingdom. At its weekly meeting at Sanaa’s presidential palace, the council said that its willingness to restart peace talks was contingent on the ‘total cessation of the aggression and lifting of the unjust siege on the Yemeni people’. In talks in Jeddah this week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the conflict had gone on too long and needed to end.”

The Wall Street Journal: Yemen Houthi Rocket Attack Kills Two Girls In Saudi Arabia

“A rocket fired from Yemen killed two girls Sunday in the Saudi Arabian border town of Najran, a Saudi civil defense official said, as Houthi rebels escalated their attacks after the collapse of political talks to end the 17-month conflict. The attack, which also injured five other family members, came a day after a 3-year-old boy was killed and his 9-year-old cousin injured when a Katyusha rocket fired from Yemeni territory hit their home in the kingdom’s southern region, the official said. The frequency of attacks on Saudi border towns have increased since the suspension earlier this month of peace talks hosted by Kuwait and sponsored by the United Nations between the Houthi rebels and their allies, and President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi ’s government, which is backed by the Saudi Arabia-led Arab coalition.”

BBC: Yemen Suicide Attack ‘Kills Dozens’ In Aden

“At least 40 people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a military facility in the southern Yemen city of Aden, officials say. A training camp, or compound used by the pro-government Popular Resistance militia, was hit, reports say. The attack comes amid a fresh push to end Yemen’s 17-month-old war between Saudi-backed government and rebels. The UN says more than 6,600 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in the fighting. Some 2.5 million Yemenis have also been displaced. It is unclear who was behind Monday’s attack, though bombings in the southern port city are often carried out by militants from al-Qaeda or so-called Islamic State (IS). Other reports to news agencies from medical sources put the death toll higher — between 45 and 60.”


Associated Press: Egypt Court Releases Lawyer Who Defied President

“An Egyptian rights lawyer who had been held in solitary confinement for over 100 days after defying President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was released from jail Sunday on a court order. Malek Adly, who was incarcerated on a rolling series of administrative detention orders, was freed after a court rejected an appeal by prosecutors a day earlier that had attempted to hold him longer over accusations that included attempting to overthrow the government. Adly’s supporters say authorities targeted him over a televised interview in which he objected to el-Sissi’s decision in April to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, implying that such a move was traitorous.”

The Jerusalem Post: Sisi And Egypt’s Christians: A Passing Crisis Or The End Of An Alliance?

“The relationship between the Copts and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Sisi is one of necessity. Beginning on July 3, 2013, this relationship crystallized when Coptic Pope Tawadros II appeared in the front row as Sisi delivered a speech announcing the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi. The Copts, at the time, saw Morsi as a direct threat to their existence, especially after sectarian incidents against them escalated during the year the Muslim Brotherhood was in power. This included the assault on St. Mark’s Cathedral in Abbassia in central Cairo, the Coptic papal seat, during a Coptic funeral for four people killed in previous attacks in a Cairo suburb.”

Middle East

Associated Press: Rivals Hamas, Fatah Gear Up For First Election Since 2006

“Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah are gearing up for their first contest at the polls since 2006 — a vote for mayors and local councils in 425 communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Each side hopes the election will give it a foothold in what has been the other’s exclusive territory since mutual purges in 2007. At the time, the Islamic militant group Hamas seized Gaza, driving out Fatah, while Fatah’s leader, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, cracked down on Hamas in the autonomous areas of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The Oct. 8 ballot might not allow either side to proclaim victory. Popular independents are part of the candidate mix, tribal loyalties often trump factional allegiances at the local level and Hamas activists can’t run openly in the West Bank for fear of arrest by Israel. But the election provides at least an indication of the popularity of Hamas and Fatah, after the foes shunned competitive elections over the past decade.”

Haaretz: Police: Israeli Officers Foil Stabbing Attack in Hebron

“Israeli police officers arrested an 18-year-old Palestinian in Hebron on Saturday after finding a knife in his belongings. According to the police, the youth told interrogators that he arrived at the city’s Tomb of the Patriarchs intending to stab Israelis, in revenge for the death of a cousin killed after carrying out a stabbing attack about six months ago. The youth raised the suspicion of Border Police officers stationed outside the Cave of the Patriarchs site in the city. After stopping and frisking him, the officers found the knife on his body.”

USA Today: Israel Expands Patrols Into East Jerusalem To Stem Palestinian Attacks

“Israeli police are expanding their presence into East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods to extend a lull in attacks on Israelis by young residents that began last fall. ‘East Jerusalem is a high priority for us now, and our plan is intended to ensure the improvement of livelihoods both for Jews and Arabs,’ police spokesperson Luba Samri said. She said police are actively recruiting Arab police officers and seeking to foster cooperation with local Arab community leaders to ‘enhance civilians’ feeling of safety and trust in the law enforcement system. Jerusalem police Chief Yoram Halevy announced in August that in addition to the temporary police stations already in place on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, another six stations manned by 1,200 officers will be operating as part of a $262 million plan over the next four years.”


Daily Mail: Desperate Migrants Fleeing Libya Are Rescued From Their Overcrowded Dinghies By Italian Navy 17 Miles From Shores Of Europe

“More than 700 migrants fleeing war-torn Libya have been rescued in the Mediterranean sea today. Refugees fleeing the troubled country on small inflatable dinghies were rescued by emergency teams as they sailed toward the Italian coast, about 17 miles north of Sabratha, Libya, earlier this morning. Members of Proactiva Open Arms NGO, a group set up to help rescue migrants at sea, helped pull them from their inflatable boats before handing them over to the Italian coastguards operating in the area. Thousands of migrants try each year to flee Libya and make it to Italy but many drown during the crossing. They cram into boats that are small and unsafe for the 190-mile perilous journey from Libya’s shores.”

BBC: Heavy Casualties As Libyan Forces Advance On IS In Sirte

“Militia loyal to Libya’s unity government have suffered heavy casualties as they push into the last two areas of Sirte held by the so-called Islamic State group (IS). Hospital sources told reporters that 34 government soldiers had been killed and 150 wounded in fierce fighting. The coastal city was seized by the militant group in February 2015. Forces aligned to Libya’s government of national accord launched an operation in May to re-take Sirte. Overnight, Libyan and US warplanes carried out air strikes and mortar bombardment of districts one and three in the north of the Mediterranean city.”


Reuters: Boko Haram Landmine Kills Four Chadian Soldiers

“A landmine planted by Islamist group Boko Haram killed four Chadian soldiers on patrol near Chad’s border with Niger on Saturday, two security sources said. They were traveling in a vehicle that rode over the mine at Kaiga Kindji, in the Lake Chad region, which has been plagued by the militants since 2009. The Nigerian-based Boko Haram wants to create a breakaway Islamic state in the region and once occupied an area the size of Belgium. But a regional offensive led by Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger — the four countries most affected by Boko Haram — has chased it out of much of that territory. The group has in response retreated to Nigeria’s Sambisa forest, from where it has fought a guerrilla campaign against civilians and security forces. Boko Haram is thought to have killed as many as 15,000 people since the launch of its insurgency seven years ago.”

United Kingdom

BBC: Five Men Arrested By West Midlands Anti-Terror Police

“Five men have been arrested by West Midlands anti-terrorism police. Police said an army bomb disposal team had been sent to Birmingham’s Lee Bank area as a ‘precautionary measure’ as a result of one of the arrests. Two men, aged 32 and 37, were arrested in the Stoke area of Staffordshire. The other three men, aged 18, 24 and 28, were arrested in Birmingham. Police said they were all held on suspicion of commissioning, preparing or instigating acts of terrorism. All five men are being held in the West Midlands. A number of properties in the Stoke and Birmingham areas are being searched as part of the investigation. An area outside the Pentahotel on Holloway Head in Birmingham city centre has been cordoned off.”

BBC: Police Given More Time To Quiz Terror Suspects

“Police have been given more time to question five men arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences. Bomb disposal officers were sent to Birmingham’s Lee Bank area on Friday and nearby roads were closed and cordoned off. The men, two aged 32 and 37 were arrested in Stoke-on-Trent and three others, aged 18, 24 and 28, were arrested in Birmingham. Magistrates granted police a further seven days to question the men. Detectives from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit appeared before London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video link on Saturday to submit their request for a warrant of further detention, a spokesman said. The men were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”

The Daily Mail: The White British ISIS Child Executioner: Horrific Propaganda Video Appears To Show Blue-Eyed Boy With Jihadi Fighter Shooting A Prisoner In The Head In Syria

“A chilling new video from ISIS shows a British boy and four other children executing prisoners in cold blood in Syria. The grotesque nine-minute video is believed to have been recorded recently in the ISIS capital of Raqqa, in Syria, and shows the organisation is becoming even more brutal as it retreats into its heartland. The video shows five boys — believed to be from Britain, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Uzbekistan, wielding handguns and wearing the desert camouflage. The Sun reported the British boy was identified only as Abu Abdullah al-Britani. He is white, blue-eyed and aged around 12. Abu means ‘Son of’ in Arabic, which suggests the boy may be the son of Abdullah al-Britani, a young British jihadist who married in Syria and was killed in a drone strike.”


RT: Enemy Within? German Army Looking For Islamist Infiltrators In Its Ranks, Report Says

“German Military Intelligence (MAD) is looking into nearly 300 cases of potential extremists, including Islamist infiltrators in its ranks, and is mulling tougher screening for recruits because of the situation, Die Welt reports, citing military sources. ‘Currently the MAD is checking a three-digit number of suspected extremists in the armed forces: 268 right-wing extremists, 64 Islamists and six left-wing extremists,’ Die Welt reported on Sunday, citing an unnamed military official. According to the outlet, the MAD has tip-offs about plans to enroll so-called ‘short-term servicemen’ into the German army (Bundeswehr) for them to get proper military training. The intelligence agency is also reported as saying that so-called ‘green-on-blue,’ or insider, attacks, would be possible in that case.”


BBC: France Burkini Ban: Mayors Urged To Heed Court’s Ruling

“About 30 French mayors have been urged to follow a court ruling which overturned a controversial burkini ban in a resort town. France’s top administrative court suspended the ban in Villeneuve-Loubet on Friday on civil liberties grounds. However, a number of mayors have said they will continue applying the bathing suit ban. The human rights lawyer who brought Friday’s case has said he will take each town to court. The ruling by the Council of State found that the ban in Villeneuve-Loubet ‘seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms’. Town hall authorities in Nice and Frejus, as well as in the Corsican village of Sisco, have vowed to keep the bans in place.”

Associated Press: Terrorism Charges For Charlie Hebdo Attacker’s Relative

“French investigators have handed preliminary terrorism charges to the brother-in-law of one of the Islamic extremists who attacked the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo last year. Mourad Hamyd, 20, was arrested on a French warrant in Bulgaria last month on suspicion he was trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group. He has denied the allegations. The Paris prosecutor’s office said Saturday that he was given preliminary charges of association with terrorist criminals. Hamyd is the brother-in-law of Cherif Kouachi, one of two brothers who attacked Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office in January 2015, killing 12 and shocking France. A high school student at the time, Hamyd was briefly detained on suspicion of having a role in the attack, but classmates said he was in school.”

Sputnik News: Anxiety About Terrorism Is ‘Insufficient Legal Justification For Burkini Ban’

“The Council of State, France’s highest court in administrative matters, has recently annulled the decision of the mayor of the town of Villeneuve-Loubet, prohibiting Muslim women from wearing full-body swimming suits, burkinis, on beaches. In an interview with Sputnik, French senator Gilbert Roger stressed that the decision applies only to one town and shouldn’t cause any vivid reactions among the public. Burkini is a swimming suit Muslim women wear which covers most of their bodies. The item is considered by some European countries, including France, as religious attire, and was prohibited in about 30 French coastal cities on the French Riviera, including Nice, over safety concerns.”


Voice Of America: Terrorism, Brexit Pose Daunting Challenges For EU Summit

“As the 27-member European Union wakes up from its long August recess next week, thoughts are turning to what will be a critical quarter for the bloc as it makes preparations for divorce talks with Britain as well as strengthening internal and external borders, boosting economic growth and providing jobs for its young people. The bloc will be holding a crucial meeting in Bratislava on September 16 in a bid to forge a common position on the EU’s future and hash out pressing issues. The sharp rise in terrorism, the failure to protect external EU borders and the current failure of the European project to deliver sufficient jobs and prosperity to the coming generation are the daunting challenges that face Europe’s leaders.”


Akhbar Alaan: ISIS Sells Fake Antiquities

“ISIS is facing a severe financial crisis after the loss of vast territories in Iraq and Syria. This has prompted the terror group to seek further sources of funding to purchase weapons and pay its fighters’ salaries. In this context, ISIS has turned to the falsification of antiquities, passing them to buyers on as original artifacts. The counterfeit antiquities find their way abroad through smugglers from Lebanon and Turkey. They reach the black market in Europe and America, where there are dozens of enthusiasts seeking to procure rare artifacts. Currently, ISIS is afflicted with the fleeing of scores of fighters, especially foreigners from Central Asia and the Caucasus. They represent cadres of professional fighters on whom the organization relies in its current warfare. They are fleeing because they haven’t been paid for a long time. This is due to ISIS’s loss of control over oil wells and having to retreat from areas that had been subject to ISIS taxes.”

Muslim Brotherhood

The Seventh Day: Financial Disputes Threaten Muslim Brotherhood Media Channels In Turkey

“Internal disputes have been growing inside several Muslim Brotherhood TV channels. The most notable are Al-Sharq TV, headed by Ayman Nour, and Mekameleen TV supervised by Ahmed Alshannaf, the former editor of RASSD News Network. The disputes stem from Ayman Nour’s takeover of foreign funds delivered to support Al-Sharq TV, while at the same time employees are not receiving their salaries. This has resulted in a state of anger and resentment among employees of Al-Sharq TV, which broadcasts out of Turkey. Sources have revealed that Al-Sharq TV employees are circulating a petition, to be submitted to the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organization, complaining about what they call Ayman Nour’s “robbery” of employees’ salaries, delaying payment and cutting large portions of their salaries.”

The Seventh Day: Terrorist Cell Seeking To Sabotage Egyptian Economy Formed With Muslim Brotherhood’s Help

“Because the economy is the backbone of the State and the path to progress, it is being targeted by terrorist groups. To this end, they have formed terrorist cells seeking to sabotage the (Egyptian) economy by amassing foreign currency and trading it on the black market. Terrorist groups have been aided by several currency exchange companies affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. It is estimated that the number of these companies comes to roughly 70, located in various parts of Egypt. Among the most prominent recently-uncovered cells aiming to harm the economy is the cell formed by the “Hazmoon” movement, affiliated with Salafist preacher, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who is the accused in several cases currently under review of Egyptian courts. Investigations have revealed that this cell worked to collect foreign currencies, including the dollar, from expatriates at a higher rate than the official market rate, and then pumped them into the black market. This activity was aimed at generating an economic crisis in Egypt.”

The Seventh Day: Muslim Brotherhood Youth Declare The Launch Of The “Third Foundation Of The Organization”

“In a new challenge to the group’s veteran leadership and in continuation of the state of confusion inside the Muslim Brotherhood, several youth members have called for the launch of the “third foundation of the organization.” This move is aimed at extricating it from its current crisis. It is also considered a step in preparation for the overthrow of the old generation leadership. Experts claim it is an attempt to increase the representation of young people in the organization at the expense of the veterans, but these experts expect the move to fail. According to Tarek Abo Al Saad, a former leader of the Brotherhood, the “third foundation” of the group is an attempt to heal the wounds caused by the rift inside the organization. This rift became especially wide following the termination of the funding for the families of Brotherhood prisoners who do not support the faction led by Mahmoud Ezzat (the Brotherhood’s current Deputy Supreme-Guide).”

The Seventh Day: Egypt: Son Of Brotherhood Leader Runs Cell To Prevent Direct Transfer Of Money From Egyptian Expatriates

“Among terrorist cells affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which acted recently to harm (Egypt’s) economy by collecting dollars and other foreign currencies and pumping them into the black market, is the cell led by Yousef Ahmed Abd El-Gawad, son of Ahmed Abd El-Gawad, leader of the Brotherhood in Alexandria. Investigations revealed that suspect Yousef Ahmed Abd El-Gawad, together with 37-year old Mohammed Taha, and Ahmed Mahmoud (50 years old) an electricity engineer and Secretary of the Brotherhood in Suez, had formed a terrorist cell, led by Abd El-Gawad and aimed at carrying out terrorist acts against the military, police and judiciary systems. They also targeted the Egyptian economy by collecting foreign currency from the market and buying dollars from Egyptians employed abroad at rates higher than their actual rates. Investigations indicated that the defendants were aided by three women and four thugs who were paid 600 pounds ($68) each, in exchange for their help in executing the cell’s scheme, which was aimed at overthrowing the regime. However, security services detained the cell members while inside an apartment in the district of El Badrashin. They were captured in possession of $140,700, another 223,000 Saudi riyals ($60,000) and 687,400 Egyptian pounds ($78,000). Security forces also found two Thuraya mobile phones, a laptop, a Suzuki car, and a luxury jeep.”

Innfrad: Electronic Brigades Of The Muslim Brotherhood Aim To Ignite Chaos Through Social Media

“Numerous tools and websites are at the disposal of the Brotherhood group, specifically what is known as “the Electronic Brotherhood Brigades.” The group worked on the creation of these websites to promote its ideology, or to attack its opponents. {Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Khayrat} al- Shater is one of the first leaders of the Brotherhood, who worked on finding an electronic entity to serve as the group’s mouthpiece. Al-Shater made efforts to develop this network of websites as a new kind of weapon for the group. According to Brotherhood defectors, “the Electronic Brotherhood Brigades” adopted several methods for its work. The most notable ones, however, are character assassination of opponents and spreading rumors. The history of Brotherhood Electronic Brigades dates back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, based on the Brotherhood’s vision to rely on the use of media and exploiting newspapers. This prompted the group to acquire several newspapers and use them to influence public opinion.”

Lomazoma: Demands To Sack Brotherhood Member Holding Senior Post At Egypt’s Ministry Of Electricity

“Egyptian TV host Mohammed Moussa said Brotherhood members are still dominating government posts. He claimed that a Brotherhood member, whom he identified just as “M. Kh”, is the chairman of the largest production company affiliated with the Ministry of Electricity. Moussa added during his “Red Line” show that everyone inside the ministry is aware that this man belongs to a terrorist group. Nonetheless, he still remains in office. The TV host stressed that this official attended the Rabaa sit-in and incited against the state. He also called to overthrow the government and put President al-Sisi on trial. Moussa appealed to {Egypt’s} Minister of Electricity, Engineer Dr. Mohammed Shaker, to verify his allegations, search for this Muslim Brotherhood man and fire him.”

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi

Alkulasa: Sources Of Funding For Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi

“The disbursement of money from the main funding sources of (Iraq’s) “al-Hashd al-Shaabi” (Popular Mobilization Forces) depends on each faction’s number of militants, its achievements on the ground and its prominent leaders. The provision of funds relates also to other factors such as to nepotism and the ties to leaders and political parties. Due to the financial crisis plaguing Iraq, the austerity measures also include the factions of “al-Hashd al-Shaabi”, which was forced to cut its members’ salaries, which come to $550 (per month). The total number of al-Hashd al-Shaabi fighters has risen to about 114,000, spread out over 79 armed factions. Thus, al-Hashd al-Shaabi factions have been trying to secure the sustainability of their income sources. This is with the aim of ensuring the continuity of their activities and not having their fighters move to other factions in search of better financial conditions, as recently occurred.”


Masralarabia: Egyptian Diplomat: Al-Qaradawi Is “Pontiff” Of Terrorism

“Egypt’s Ambassador to Washington, Yasser Reda, described preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Chairman of the Union of Muslim Scholars, as a “pontiff of terrorism.” He wrote in an article published last week in the Wall Street Journal: “Religious programming is popular throughout the Middle East. Television viewers call in or send questions via email or social media to ask scholars of Islamic law about all manner of things.” He went on to say: “Most questions relate to their personal lives, from the mundane — can Muslims listen to pop music? — to such issues as inheritance, alimony and contraception.” Reda continued: “Through his many writings, sermons, speeches and religious edicts, al-Qaradawi has become recognized as a progenitor of radicalism in the Middle East and beyond.” The Egyptian diplomat described al-Qaradawi’s answer to a question regarding suicide bombing, that it is part of his extremist ideology, asserting that by answering in this way, he in effect “accepted suicide bombing as a legitimate weapon of warfare.”

Combating the Financing of Terrorism

Al-Quds Al-Arabi: Europe: Intensified Fight Against Drugs Amid The Siege On Terror Financing Sources

“In recent weeks, European security services have dismantled gangs selling cannabis smuggled from Morocco. This has led to a heightened level of vigilance and confiscation of this substance, for fear extremist and terrorist groups will rely on its sale amid the widening siege on their funding sources. Counter-narcotics operations are expected to see a huge leap if the United States joins the effort. In this regard, the Spanish Interior Minister said on Saturday that the Civil Guard, in coordination with the Italian, British and Gibraltar police departments, managed to dismantle an international gang, led by Polish nationals. The gang operated from the shores of Granada and Almería in southern Andalusia, smuggling drugs from northern Morocco to southern Spain, and from there to northern Europe. Police forces detained 19 people and confiscated vessels used for smuggling large quantities of cannabis.”