Eye on Extremism, June 23, 2016

Counter Extremism Project

The Atlantic: A Tool to Delete Beheading Videos Before They Even Appear Online

“A computer-science professor at Dartmouth is proposing a system that proactively flags extremist photos, videos, and audio clips as they’re being posted online. He teamed up with the Counter Extremism Project, a nonprofit led by a star-studded roster of former government officials, to propose a sister program to PhotoDNA that would help online platforms keep extremist content off the internet. Researchers at the Counter Extremism Project have been painstakingly collecting extremist content for years, even enlisting crowdsourced help from other social media users to point out offensive accounts. Mark Wallace, the organization’s CEO, proposes starting just by flagging the ‘worst of the worst’ of extremist content: files like ISIS’s savage beheading videos, or audio and video footage of Anwar al-Awlaki’s propaganda speeches. Wallace has high hopes that impeding the spread will discourage terrorists from committing violent acts and hobble their propaganda machine.”

Spy Museum: Combatting Extremism: An Interview with CEP Spokesperson Dr. Tara Maller

“SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Dr. Tara Maller, the Spokesperson and a Senior Policy Advisor for the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), to discuss the growing threat — and responses to — online extremism.”

The New York Times: After Orlando, Questions Over Effectiveness Of Terrorism Watch Lists

“The shooting rampage at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., has focused new attention on the vast but murky terror watch lists that the government has used with mixed results to identify potential security threats. At the time of the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, there were just 16 names on the government’s so-called no-fly list. Today, that number stands at about 81,000, officials said, and the largest of the watch lists has 1.5 million names on it, all but a small fraction of them foreigners. One of the names on the F.B.I.’s terrorism watch list as of early 2014 was Omar Mateen, the shooter in the Orlando attack. But when the F.B.I. dropped its investigation into his suspected terrorist sympathies, his name came off the list, and he was legally allowed to go into a Florida gun store this month and buy a semiautomatic assault rifle used in the killings. That sequence of events has set off a round of debate in Congress over the law allowing someone on the list to buy a gun.”

Reuters: Gains Against Islamic State Not Yet Enough, Could Backfire: U.S. Officials

“President Barack Obama and some administration officials have hailed recent military gains against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, but other U.S. officials and outside experts warn that the U.S.-backed air and ground campaign is far from eradicating the radical Islamic group, and could even backfire. While Islamic State’s defeats in Iraq and Syria have erased its image of invincibility, they threaten to give it greater legitimacy in the eyes of disaffected Sunni Muslims because Shi’ite and Kurdish fighters are a major part of the campaign, some U.S. intelligence officials argue. A second danger, some U.S. officials said, is that as the group loses ground in the Iraqi city of Falluja and elsewhere, it will turn increasingly to less conventional military tactics and to directing and inspiring more attacks against ‘soft’ targets in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.”

Associated Press: Islamic State Militants Push Back In Syria, Iraq And Libya

“Even as internationally backed forces chip away at Islamic State-held territory in Syria, Iraq and Libya, the militants have demonstrated a stubborn resilience this week in the face of recent losses. The IS forces dealt an embarrassing setback to the Syrian army near the militants’ self-styled capital of Raqqa with a swift counteroffensive that rolled back incremental gains by troops loyal to President Bashar Assad. Pockets of extremist fighters north and west of Fallujah continued to hold off elite Iraqi special forces Wednesday, preventing them from making significant advances one month after the government launched its campaign to retake the city west of Baghdad. And in the battle for the Libyan city of Sirte, pro-government forces besieging the IS stronghold were stunned by renewed clashes there, with 36 people killed, a hospital spokesman said.”

U.S. News & World Report: Libya Loses Ground To ISIS

“Libyan forces suffered a setback Wednesday against the Islamic State group, the first loss after what had been a string of victories against the extremist organization that controls significant territory throughout the Middle East. Libyan forces said 36 of their men were killed attempting to retake the city of Sirte Wednesday; nearly 150 were injured Tuesday, Reuters reports. Most of these forces are from the city of Misrata, the country’s third largest city. A unity government based out of the country’s traditional capital, Tripoli, is attempting to assert full control of country; the Misrata forces are loyal to Tripoli. In addition to the Sirte deaths, a mystery explosion in Tripoli Wednesday killed at least 25, the BBC reports, in likely an additional setback for the government. The explosion has not yet been attributed to any party.”

Reuters: Israel Eyes Law To Remove Online Content Inciting Terrorism

“Israel’s Justice Ministry is drafting legislation that would enable it to order Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media to remove online postings it deems to be inciting terrorism. ‘We are working on draft legislation, similar to what is being done in other countries; one law that would allow for a judicial injunction to order the removal of certain content, such as websites that incite to terrorism,’ Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said. Israel blames a wave of Palestinian attacks which erupted in October last year on incitement to violence by the Palestinian leadership and on social media. Palestinian leaders say many attackers have acted out of desperation in the absence of movement towards creating an independent Palestinian state.”

Wall Street Journal: Defeating ISIS On The Digital Battlefield

“Clearly, the U.S. and its allies can and should meet Islamic State on the battlefield, whether in Syria or Iraq. But the war with the ISIS “virtual state” — those the terrorist organization inspires over the internet, like Omar Mateen in Orlando — will be much harder to fight and will go on long after ISIS ground forces are driven into mountains and caves. This virtual phase of the war is going to require a massive intelligence effort based on a deep capability to look into real-time human behavior in the digital world: what people are saying on social media, what people are browsing on the web, where people go, what they buy, who they chat with. Only through a significant investment in monitoring the digital fingerprints of all of us will we be able to identify patterns of behavior in real time that identify threats before they materialize.”

Newsweek: Boko Haram Splinters With ISIS Over Child Suicide Bombers: U.S. General

“The nominee to lead the U.S. military’s Africa headquarters has suggested that Boko Haram’s alleged ties with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) have fractured, with one of the issues of contention being its use of children as suicide bombers. Marine Lieutenant General Thomas Waldhauser is the nominee to lead Africom, which oversees U.S. military operations throughout the continent. Waldhauser said that Boko Haram’s enigmatic leader Abubakar Shekau had failed to abide by requests from ISIS to stop using child suicide bombers and that this was one reason behind the fragmentation of Boko Haram, during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Reuters reported.”

The Washington Post: Right-Wing ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorists Are Greater Threat To Europe Than Islamist Ones, Report Says

“A new study by a leading British think tank suggests that not enough attention is being paid to the threat posed by right-wing violence in Europe. The study, published this week by the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based organization focused on security issues, charted a decade and a half of ‘lone wolf’ terrorist attacks on the continent. Its data set found that, from 2000 to 2014, ‘right-wing attacks caused 260 injuries and 94 fatalities, while religiously-inspired attacks killed sixteen and injured 65 people.’ It mapped 98 lone-actor terrorist plots in that period, ‘leading to 72 launched attacks of differing scope with substantial variations in impact.’”

United States

Daily Mail: Teenager In Indiana Is Arrested For Trying To Join ISIS And Commit Acts Of Terrorism On U.S. Soil

“An Indiana teenager has been arrested on charges of supporting ISIS. Akram I. Musleh, 18, of Brownsburg, was arrested by FBI agents who claim he was about to board a bus to New York to take a plane to Morocco and from there enter ISIS-controlled territory in the Middle East. The FBI had been tracking the teen since 2013, when the agency says he began posting messages sympathetic to ISIS, such as videos of Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born leader of al-Qaeda, who was killed in a drone strike attack in 2011, to YouTube. When agents interviewed Musleh at Brownsburg High School in 2013, he said he was just trying to learn about Islam, according to USA Today. However, nine months later, the government said that he purchased an ISIS flag and in June 2015, he posted a picture of himself standing in front of it on an unidentified social media platform. He also began communicating with others online, asking how he could join the terrorist group, and discussed trying to pull off terrorist attacks in the U.S., perhaps in Florida.”

The Washington Post: Obama’s Generals Want More U.S. Troops In Iraq

“As the war against the Islamic State in Iraq shows signs of fragile progress, U.S. military leaders there are preparing to ask President Obama for the one thing he is resisting above all else in his final months — the deployment of hundreds more U.S. troops. Military leaders directing operations against the terrorists in Iraq are readying requests for more troops and equipment they feel are needed to solidify and quicken progress toward defeating the Islamic State. These proposals have not yet been formally submitted to the White House for approval, and would first be vetted by the Pentagon leadership, but key generals have already told many in Washington they need hundreds more U.S. personnel to do the job right.”

Voice Of America: US To Host Pledging Conference For Iraq

“The United States will host a pledging conference next month to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to help Iraqis return to normal life. The State Department said Wednesday that the events in Fallujah — where Iraqi forces are succeeding in taking back the city from Islamic State — are the most recent reminder of the toll that the war is taking on vulnerable civilians. The U.S. will co-sponsor the conference with Canada, Germany and Japan on July 20. Washington said it planned to make a ‘substantial pledge’ at the conference and urged other nations to join in.”

CNN: Orlando Nightclub Massacre: Friend Says He Told FBI About Mateen

“A man who attended the same mosque as Omar Mateen said he notified the FBI of his suspicions in 2014 about the future Orlando nightclub gunman. Mohammed Malik told CNN’s ‘Erin Burnett OutFront’ that he didn’t think Mateen fit the profile of a radical but he was concerned about comments Mateen made to him. Malik, who first wrote of his contact with Mateen and with the FBI in an op-ed in the Washington Post, told CNN that Mateen mentioned Anwar al-Awlaki — American-born Muslim scholar and cleric who acted as a spokesperson for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — to him and that Mateen watched his videos. ‘He told me they were powerful,’ Malik said. ‘… those raised the red flags for me and prompted me to speak with the FBI.’”

Fox News: Anatomy Of The Terror Threat: Files Show Hundreds Of US Plots, Refugee Connection

“Newly obtained congressional data shows hundreds of terror plots have been stopped in the U.S. since 9/11 — mostly involving foreign-born suspects, including dozens of refugees. The files are sure to inflame the debate over the Obama administration’s push to admit thousands more refugees from Syria and elsewhere, a proposal Donald Trump has vehemently opposed on the 2016 campaign trail. While the June 12 massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub marked the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since 2001, the data shows America has been facing a steady stream of plots. For the period September 2001 through 2014, data shows the U.S. successfully prosecuted 580 individuals for terrorism and terror-related cases. Further, since early 2014, at least 131 individuals were identified as being implicated in terror.”

Associated Press: Senate Blocks Access To Online Data Without Warrant

“The Senate on Wednesday blocked an expansion of the government’s power to investigate suspected terrorists, a victory for civil libertarians and privacy advocates emboldened after a National Security Agency contractor’s revelations forced changes in how the communications of Americans are monitored. After the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, senior Republicans had pressed for allowing the FBI to obtain a person’s digital fingerprints without first securing a judge’s permission. The mass shooting in Orlando on June 12 left 49 dead and 53 injured. The gunman had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and other militant groups. But the Senate rejected the amendment 58–38, two votes short of the 60 necessary to move ahead with the measure that would give federal law enforcement direct access to email and text message logs, internet browsing histories and other potentially sensitive online data.”


Deutsche Welle: Syria’s Assad Appoints New Prime Minister

“In a surprise move, President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday appointed former Electricity Minister Emad Khamis to form a new cabinet, Syrian state news agency SANA reported. Khamis is set to replace current Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki, although no details were given in the report as to why the change was happening. The 54-year-old al-Halaki had held the post since August 2012. The announcement comes two months after Assad’s Baath party and its allies won the majority of seats in the country’s parliament in an election that was decried internationally as a fraud. The EU imposed sanctions against Khamis in March 2012, accusing the former electrical engineer of sharing culpability for violence committed against Syria’s population. Assad’s appointment of Khamis casts further doubts on stalled UN-backed peace talks aimed at achieving a political end to the over five-year conflict.”

Reuters: Conflict Among U.S. Allies In Northern Syria Clouds War On Islamic State

“A smoldering confrontation between Syrian armed groups backed by the United States but hostile to each other is escalating, complicating the fight against Islamic State in the war-torn country. Syrian Arab rebels under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner say they are in a growing struggle against the Kurdish YPG militia that are helping the United States wage its campaign against IS in Syria. On June 12, one of the many FSA groups in the Aleppo area fired a guided TOW missile at a YPG position, the first attack of its kind, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and YPG said. The two sides have different priorities in the war, with the FSA rebels battling to oust President Bashar al-Assad, while the YPG is trying mainly to carve out its own areas of control in northern Syria.”


Reuters: Falluja Gains Boost Iraqi PM Ahead Of Mosul, But For How Long?

The rapid entry of Iraqi forces into central Falluja last week surprised many who expected a drawn-out battle with Islamic State for the bastion of Iraq’s Sunni insurgency, where some of the toughest fighting of the U.S. occupation took place. The campaign has offered Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi respite from a political crisis that paralyzed government and turned violent when demonstrators breeched Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone. Yet questions remain about whether Abadi — who declared victory on Friday even though Islamic State militants are still fighting in Falluja — can convert those military gains into political success, and what kind of model Falluja offers for the next major military campaign, against Islamic State-held Mosul.”

International Business Times: ISIS In Iraq: Why The Iraqi Military Has Taken So Long To Defeat Islamic State Group In Fallujah

“It’s been two years, but the battle for Fallujah is not over. After Iraqi security forces announced victory there last weekend, the U.S. said that only a third of the city, situated in Iraq’s western Anbar province, had been cleared of Islamic State group militants. The main obstacle for a clean win is money — or a lack of it. The years of combat have taken their toll on the U.S.-backed coalition fighting the terrorist group, also known as ISIS. And at a cost of billions of dollars, it’s one of the most expensive battles since the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011. The fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria comes with a hefty price tag of $11.5 million a day. The U.S. alone has pledged $5.3 billion to fight ISIS in 2016, about 1 percent of the total defense budget, while the Iraqi economy is carrying the burden of a military outlay that makes up a fifth of its annual budget.”


Associated Press: Report: Turkey Probes 300 For Social Media Activity

“Turkish police are investigating 300 people for alleged terrorist propaganda and defamation of the country’s president on social media, news reports said Wednesday. The investigation comes after a six-month probe by the cybercrimes bureau of the southern town of Isparta, the private Dogan news agency and pro-government media reported. The suspects — in Turkey and abroad — were determined to have shared propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, and the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, as well as denigrating the Turkish flag and insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. An earlier, similar investigation by the same bureau resulted in 14 arrests.”

Reuters: State Suspects Held In Turkey Over Transgender Attack Plot: Dogan

“Three suspected Islamic State militants were arrested in Istanbul late on Tuesday after a tip-off they had planned an attack on a transgender march, Dogan News Agency said. The suspects — one Turkish national and two from Russia’s volatile Dagestan — were ordered held in custody pending formal charges by an Istanbul court, the agency added. There was no immediate comment from authorities. The reported arrests came after police late last week confiscated suicide vests during raids in two Istanbul suburbs. Officers said they had acted on intelligence reports the Sunni hardline group was plotting to attack the ‘Trans Pride’ rally on June 19. Authorities banned that march, citing security concerns and riot police fired tear gas and rubber pellets to disperse around 50 people who turned up.”

BBC: Turkey ‘Blocking’ German Mps’ Visit To Incirlik Air Base

“Turkey is blocking plans by a senior German delegation to visit the Incirlik air base, German officials have said. Germany has 250 soldiers and several planes at the base in southern Turkey, from where they carry out operations against so-called Islamic State (IS). But ties between Berlin and Ankara have been strained by a German parliamentary vote to label as genocide the 1915 killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Turkey has not commented on why it has not approved the German plans. The visit had been expected to take place in July.”


Associated Press: Roadside Bomb In East Afghanistan Kills Policeman, Civilian

“An Afghan official says a roadside bombing in the country’s east has killed a traffic policeman and a civilian. Deputy police chief of Nangarhar province, Abass Sadat, says the explosion took place in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, on Wednesday. He says the explosion also wounded two civilians. Sadat also says that the bomb was likely detonated by remote control and that it went off near a police checkpoint. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Sadat blamed the Taliban. Taliban attacks against both Afghan security forces and civilians have escalated across the country as part of the insurgents’ warm-weather offensive.”

Reuters: Afghanistan Risks ‘New Spiral In Violence’, U.N. Official Says

“Afghanistan faces the risk of a new spiral in violence following a series of attacks on civilians in the last few months but on the battlefield, security forces have been holding their ground, the top U.N. official in the country said. The assessment by Nicholas Haysom, the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, painted a mixed picture of the security situation some 18 months after international forces ended their main combat operations. While the bomb attacks that killed at least 22 people in Kabul and the northern province of Badakhshan on Monday underlined how dangerous Afghanistan remains, fears that the Taliban would overwhelm security forces have not been realized.”

Reuters: Afghanistan’s Dwindling Sikh, Hindu Communities Flee New Abuses

“Once a thriving minority, only a handful of Sikh and Hindu families remain. Many have chosen to flee the country of their birth, blaming growing discrimination and intolerance. For centuries, Hindu and Sikh communities played a prominent role in merchant trade and money lending in Afghanistan, although today they are known more for medicinal herb shops. Although Afghanistan is almost entirely Muslim, its constitution, drawn up after U.S.-led forces drove out the Taliban government in 2001, theoretically guarantees the right of minority religions to worship freely. But as the conflict drags on, Avtar Singh said conditions were worse than under the Taliban, which imposed strict Islamic laws, staged public executions and banned girls from schools.”


Associated Press: UN: Shortfalls Will Disrupt Already Limited Yemen Food Aid

“The U.N. will be forced to scale back already limited food distribution in war-scarred Yemen by August because of severe funding shortages, a senior official said Wednesday. About 14 million people, or roughly half the country’s population, suffer from food insecurity at ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’ levels, said George Khoury, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen. Emergency level is just one step before famine on the U.N.’s food insecurity scale. The World Food Program currently reaches about 3.5 million people in Yemen every month. The WFP would need about $200 million to keep its food distribution at current levels in the coming months, he said. U.N. agencies requested $1.8 billion in overall aid for Yemen in 2016, but only 20 percent of that money has arrived, Khoury said.”


Fox News: Egyptian Mob Reportedly Burns 80 Christian Homes On Rumor Of New Church

“An angry crowd of Muslims reportedly looted and burned the homes of 80 Christian families in an Egyptian village Friday after rumors circulated that they wanted to build a church. Christian media reported the violence taking place in the village of Qarayat al Bayda, near Alexandria, quoting witnesses who claimed police did little to protect them. The alleged violence began after noon prayers, when a throng of Muslims gathered in the front of a home being built, Mousa Zarif told International Christian Concern. ‘They were chanting slogans against us,’ Zarif said. ‘Among these slogans were, ‘By no means shall there be a church here.’ Egypt is roughly 85 percent Muslim and Coptic Christians have long faced persecution in the Arab nation. The village in which the attacks were reported to have occurred has no Christian churches, according to International Christian Concern.”

Middle East

USA Today: Two Years After Gaza War, Israel Wants Underground Wall To Block Another War

“As the second anniversary of the Israel-Gaza war nears, the Israeli government is taking an extraordinary step to avert a new war with Hamas militants who govern the Palestinian strip. Israel recently announced plans to build an underground wall along its 37-mile border with Gaza to thwart Hamas’ sophisticated underground network of tunnels and bunkers. Hamas, which said Gazans are gearing up for the next war, used tunnels to smuggle weapons, supplies and fighters to attack Israel during the 50-day conflict that began July 8, 2014.”


Associated Press: Libya Clashes, Blast At A Depot Kill More Than 60

“Fierce clashes in Libya between pro-government militiamen and Islamic State militants in the city of Sirte and an explosion at a depot near the capital, Tripoli, left more than 60 dead in just one day, a spokesman and a Libyan state news agency reported Wednesday. In Sirte, the last bastion of the Islamic State group in the North African country, Tuesday’s clashes killed 36 militiamen aligned with the newly-UN brokered government. The militias, mainly from the western town of Misrata, have been leading an offensive since early May to take full control over Sirte. At first, the militiamen rapidly advanced into the city but the push got bogged down in recent days amid a series of suicide bombings by IS. Along with the 36 militiamen killed, mostly in direct gun battles with IS militants, Misrata hospital spokesman Abdel-Aziz Essa also said that about 140 were wounded in Tuesday’s battles.”


Associated Press: Bring Back Our Girls Demands News Of Escaped Chibok Girl

“Nigeria’s Bring Back Our Girls movement demanded Wednesday that the government provide news of the only one of 219 kidnapped schoolgirls to escape the clutches of the Boko Haram extremist group. In a statement marking the 800th day of the mass abduction that outraged the world, the group also asked what the government is doing to try to rescue the other girls. Hunters found Amina Ali Nkeki on May 17, wandering on the fringes of Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest stronghold with her 4-month-old baby and the father of the child, a Boko Haram fighter who she said helped her escape.”

Associated Press: Aid Group: 200 Refugees Die Of Starvation In Nigerian City

“Nearly 200 refugees from Boko Haram have died of starvation and dehydration in the northeastern Nigerian city of Bama in the past month, Doctors Without Borders said Wednesday. The refugees ‘speak of children dying of hunger and digging new graves every day,’ according to a statement from the group, also known by its French acronym MSF. ‘A catastrophic humanitarian emergency’ is unfolding at a makeshift camp on a hospital compound where 24,000 people have taken refuge, it said. The doctors referred 16 emaciated children at risk of dying to their special feeding center in Maiduguri. One in five of the 15,000 children are suffering severe acute malnutrition, the group found.”

United Kingdom

AP Interview: NATO Head Says Europe Safer With Britain In EU

“Britain’s remaining in the European Union is key for trans-Atlantic security and common efforts to fight violent extremism, the chief of the NATO alliance said Wednesday. ‘It’s up to the people of Great Britain to decide whether to remain or leave,’ NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told The Associated Press. ‘But what I can do is tell you what matters for NATO. A strong U.K. in a strong Europe is good for the U.K., but it’s also good for NATO.’ Stoltenberg spoke one day before British voters are to cast ballots in a national referendum on EU membership. NATO and the EU are currently stepping up efforts to cooperate on a range of issues, including against cyberattacks, widespread instability in the Middle East and North Africa and what Stoltenberg termed the ‘terrorist threats’ posed by the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations.”


Associated Press: Germany Warns Of New Risks To Europe; Urges Dialogue

“Seventy-five years after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, which led to the deaths of tens of millions, Germany’s foreign minister warned Wednesday that ‘Europe is at risk of splitting along new divides,’ while Russia’s president drew parallels to the lead-up to the attack and today, saying the West still seeks to isolate his country. In an op-ed printed in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, Frank-Walter Steinmeier cautioned ‘peace in Europe cannot be taken for granted, not even today.’ Referring to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Steinmeier said ‘unilateral shifting of borders in breach of international law and the failure to respect the territorial integrity of neighboring countries … take us back to the times from which we believed we had escaped, times that nobody can wish for.’”

Reuters: Germany Loosens Restrictions On Monitoring Radicalized Teenagers

“Germany is planning to loosen restrictions that have prevented its intelligence agencies from monitoring radicalised teenagers after several attacks this year by young Islamic extremists exposed flaws in surveillance rules. According to an amendment to an anti-terror law due to be voted on by parliament on Friday, the age of suspects that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is allowed to track and collect data on will be reduced from 16 to 14. The move comes after a 15-year-old girl, identified by police as Safia S., nearly killed an officer in the Hanover train station in February by stabbing him in the neck with a kitchen knife.”


Sputnik: Rise In Number Of French Who Agree The Use Of Torture On Terrorists

“The French human rights group, Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture, conducted a survey of 1,500 people in April, which showed a significant rise in public acceptance of torture compared to a similar survey carried out by Amnesty International in France in 2000, where only 25 percent of people agreed that torture was a viable option for terror suspects. The survey was taken only four months after the terror attacks in the French capital of Paris, where 141 people were killed and many more wounded. 36 percent of respondents said that in exceptional circumstances, torture should be allowed on terror suspects. 54 percent of French nationals agree that even if a person is only suspected of planting a bomb they should be subjected to electric shocks.”

Business Insider: People Who Are Sympathetic To Terrorists Are Keeping Police On Their Toes In France

“Keeping track of individuals who sympathize with terror groups like the Islamic State is proving to be a daunting task for law-enforcement officials around the world. France, thought to have the most ISIS loyalists in Europe, might be having the toughest time of all, a New York Times report revealed Tuesday. The report highlights the case of Larossi Abballa, who pledged allegiance to ISIS in a Facebook Live video shortly after killing a policeman and his partner at their home outside Paris last week. Abballa had been on French officials’ radar for years, but had no connection to terrorism for police to act on. He committed the murders just weeks after police wiretaps on him had ended.”

Daily Caller: France Has Twice As Many Terror Suspects As It Does Anti-Terror Police

“France has 10,000 active suspects on its highest threat level terror watch list and less than 5,000 federal agents to surveil them, chairman of the French Center for the Analysis of Terrorism told The New York Times. French anti-terror agents can only surveil 250 of the 10,000 suspects at any one time, because 24-hour surveillance requires twenty agents per suspect. All 10,000 people on the ‘S-list’ are considered radicalized by French security services. The suspected terror watch list also lacks any prioritization by threat level. All suspects are considered equally dangerous, making cross-agency coordination and threat level monitoring difficult for French authorities.”


Deutsche Welle: Why Are Some People Attracted To Jihad?

“Hundreds of young people choose to go to Syria, despite their vastly more comfortable lives in Europe. But why does ‘Islamic State’ attract so many Europeans? Radicalization expert Maarten van de Donk explains. One of the most important reasons is that, very often, people want to flee from their current situation. Sometimes it is because they feel discriminated against, or they feel they are not being taken seriously. Quite often people don’t see any opportunities here [in Europe], but they see opportunities in Syria. Another group is those who are very ideological, religiously driven. These are people who are either very deep into Islam or into solidarity among Islamic people. And finally, we have the thrill seekers, who want to have an adventure. They think they can go to Syria and fight, that they will have a luxury bed to sleep in every night and a lot of women around them.”

Newsweek: Putin Accuses West Of Underestimating Terrorism And Nazis

“Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of underestimating ‘terrorism’ just as it once apparently underestimated Nazism in order to vilify Moscow instead. Putin spoke at the final plenary session of the current lower house of parliament before a summer recess and new elections in September. Putin’s own United Russia party are doing poorly in polls with a June survey showing support for the party was at its lowest point this year (35 percent) and dropping, while the Communist Party of Russia and the far-right, nationalist Liberal Democrat Party of Russia were gathering momentum. Putin began his address on Wednesday with a sombre reminder that the day marked the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II.”

Associated Press: Denmark Finds Man Guilty Of Traveling To Syria To Join IS

“A Danish court on Wednesday convicted a 24-year-old pizzeria owner of joining Islamic State militants in Syria, dismissing his claims that he had gone there to work as a cook. The Copenhagen suburban Glostrup City Court found Hamza Cakan, who has dual Danish and Turkish citizenships, guilty of enrolling in the radical Islamist group, the first such ruling in the Scandinavian country. Cakan, who ran a pizzeria in Copenhagen, has acknowledged traveling twice to Syria in 2013 but said he didn’t go there to fight. However, he admitted to filling in a form saying he had joined IS to become a fighter. He was arrested last year after attempting to head for Syria again.”

Arabic Language Clips


Alghad: Experts (In Jordan): New Textbooks Do Not Reflect The Content Of Counter-Extremism Strategy

Education experts in Jordan confirmed that the new textbooks adopted recently by the Ministry of Education do not reflect the contents of the national strategy to combat extremism. They stressed that the terrorist attack that took place earlier this week necessitates the implementation of this strategy. The experts noted that the ministry “did not instruct the [curriculum] authors in accordance with the plan to fight extremism and terrorism.” They claimed that “ordinary scientific follow-up revealed that the ministry did not modify the school curriculum in any class or grade level; therefore, the new books do not express any significant change in strategy.”


ARA News: Reports: High Unemployment Rates In Kurdistan Region Of Iraq Due To The War With ISIS

Several economic reports and new statistics published in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, indicate a “very high” increase in the unemployment rate last year. The rise is attributed to the “new economic challenges and realities due to the ongoing war against ISIS for more than two years and the hosting of 1.5 million displaced Iraqis in the Region.” Reports also indicate that the influx of displaced Iraqis has had a direct impact on increasing rates of unemployment and low labor wages. A factory owner in the Kurdistan Region was quoted as saying, “The economic reality in the region has changed dramatically compared to the past. There are fewer job opportunities with a clear lack of financial liquidity. This is compounded by declining business activity, a shrinking commodities market and diminishing commercial activities, primarily because ISIS took control of vital trade routes.”

Muslim Brotherhood

Innfrad: (Egyptian) Prosecution Seizes Funds Belonging To 215 Brotherhood Members And Prohibits Raising Banners Of The Group

Judicial sources disclosed that Egypt’s public prosecutor has issued a number of decisions arising from the judgment of the Cairo Criminal Court on April 14th. These decisions were published in the Official Gazette on June 12th. They include the addition of the Muslim Brotherhood to the list of terrorist groups as well as adding 215 of its members to the list of terrorists for a period of three years. The sources noted that the decisions outlined in the ruling include a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood due to its definition as a terrorist entity, prohibition on all their activities, closure of all their premises, prohibition of direct or indirect funding, a ban on joining the group or raising its banners. It was also decided to freeze the assets of 215 Brotherhood members.


Erem News: How Does Hezbollah Recruit Young Palestinians In Refugee Camps To Fight In Syria?

Lebanese sources revealed that Hezbollah has started to recruit Palestinian youth residing in local refugee camps. Some of the new recruits join the Shiite group’s security forces inside Lebanon while others are dispatched to fight in Syria. The new Palestinian recruits are given monetary incentives according to the priority of their mission. The sources claimed that Hezbollah feels a need to compensate itself for the attrition of its forces in Lebanon as a result of their being sent to fight in Syria and Iraq. Thus it has begun to seek an alternative to fill the needs of local militants. The sources added that the Shiite militia lures the Palestinian residents of the camps to join its security forces in exchange for a monthly salary of up to $500, a personal firearm and a car. They emphasized that Hezbollah exploits the various needs of the Palestinian youth; some need money while others are looking for influence and glory.


Treckat: Houthi Coup Spurred A Rise In Yemen’s Foreign Debt To More Than $25 Billion

Yemen’s domestic debt rose from $17 billion in 2014 to $25.9 billion at the end of 2015, according to a government report. The report, issued by the Yemeni Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, warned that the rising domestic debt increases the odds of Yemen’s economic collapse. The report attributed the alarming debt increase to the reliance of the Houthi authorities on treasury bills to cover deficits and pay salaries. This comes after the Central Bank of Yemen failed to pay even the minimum wage to state employees. The Houthis have embarked on a systematic process for draining foreign exchange reserves from the Central Bank of Yemen to finance their war, according to Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malik Al Mekhlafi