Eye on Extremism, September 8, 2016

arte-visual-1Counter Extremism Project

PBS Newshour: Why It’s So Hard To Fight Extremist Propaganda Online

Daily Beast: An ISIS Plot To Blow Up Notre Dame Cathedral — And Rule The World?

“The probable attack was uncovered in Paris on Sunday morning, at about 7 a.m., but the average citizen did not hear about it until Wednesday when French news outlets reported it as the confiscation of a car filled with seven propane tanks on a street near Notre Dame cathedral. No detonators or other explosive devices were found inside, but documents in Arabic were. The vehicle, a Peugeot 607, raised suspicions in the 5th arrondissement because it had been parked improperly with its lights still on and the license plates had been removed, possibly because the car had been listed as stolen. Then, late Tuesday evening, two unnamed suspects, a 34-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, both known to France’s domestic intelligence service, as BFMTV reported, “for espousing the ideology of Daesh,” were taken in custody at police headquarters, where they remain as of this writing.”

Voice Of America: Intelligence Officials: Technology Allows Terror Threat To Spread

“Even though the U.S.-led coalition has made progress in efforts to oust Islamic State from its ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria, top U.S. intelligence officials warn that technology is allowing the threat of terrorism to spread across even wider circles. ‘The terrorism threat we face is broader, wider and deeper than in the recent past,’ said Nick Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center at an intelligence and national security summit in Washington. ‘It is more geographically expansive and as a result, considerably less predictable. Plotting in this environment matures more quickly and with much less warning.’ Director of National Intelligence James Clapper emphasized the difficulties in predicting how technology will affect national security, saying the influence of IS on the global terrorism landscape has created a new intelligence reality.”

Reuters: Iraq Militia Fighters Join Battle For Syria’s Aleppo

“An Iraqi Shi’ite militia said on Wednesday it had dispatched more than 1,000 fighters to the frontline in neighboring Syria, escalating foreign involvement in the battle for Aleppo, the biggest prize in five years of relentless civil war. New footage emerged of civilians choking in the aftermath of an apparent attack with poison chlorine gas on an opposition-held district as the battle for Syria’s biggest city approaches what could be a decisive phase. Aleppo has been divided for years into government and rebel sectors, but President Bashar al-Assad’s army has put the opposition areas under siege and now hopes to capture the whole city in what would be a devastating blow to his enemies. Government forces are backed by Russian air power and battle-hardened Lebanese and Iraqi Shi’ite militia fighters under the apparent oversight of an Iranian general.”

The New York Times: Erdogan Says Turkey Would Join U.S. To Fight ISIS In Raqqa, An ISIS Bastion In Syria

“Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, suggested that his country was ready to carry out a joint operation with the United States in northern Syria to fight the Islamic State in its de facto capital, Raqqa, Turkish news media reported on Wednesday. The move would represent a major escalation in the two countries’ interventions in Syria. But there was no immediate comment from United States officials. In the past, the United States and Turkey announced ambitious new joint policies concerning Syria that failed to materialize as disagreements emerged over what had been agreed to. An operation in Raqqa would entail an expansion of cooperation on Syria between Turkey and the United States, NATO allies whose relations have been strained over Syria policy.”

Reuters: Taliban Offensive Nears Afghan Provincial Capital

“Taliban forces have fought their way to within a few kilometers of the capital of Afghanistan’s central province of Uruzgan, officials said on Wednesday, warning of its collapse unless authorities provide air support and ground reinforcements. The Taliban are battling to topple the Western-backed government of Afghanistan 15 years after they lost power in a U.S.-led military operation. Overstretched Afghan security forces and their foreign military advisers have focused on blunting Taliban attacks in southern Helmand province and the northern city of Kunduz, besides battling Islamic State militants in eastern Nangarhar. Many of the embattled police and soldiers around the Uruzgan capital of Tarin Kot are fighting with minimal reinforcements and often with insufficient food and ammunition, say regional officials.”

Reuters: U.S. Military Strikes Against Somalia’s Al-Shabaab, Kills Four Militants

“The US military has in the past used drones to target al Shabaab’s senior leaders. The Pentagon said in June it carried out a strike in late May against Abdullahi Haji Da’ud, one of al Shabaab’s senior military planners and served as a principal coordinator of attacks in Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda. The latest strikes took place in Torotorow in Lower Shabelle region, on Monday. “During a Somali-led counter-terrorism operation, a large group of armed al Shabaab fighters attacked the force, threatening the safety and security of the forces in the area,” Captain Jennifer Dyrcz, a U.S. Africa Command spokeswoman, said. “In response, the U.S. conducted two self-defence strikes… killing four al Shabaab militants.”

Reuters: U.S. Says Libya Close To Eliminating Islamic State From Sirte

“U.S.-backed Libyan forces are close to vanquishing Islamic State from its last holdouts in the city of Sirte, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday. Carter said forces aligned with Libya’s U.N.-backed government, who have been aided by U.S. air strikes since the beginning of August, had cornered Islamic State in one small section of the city. ‘I expect that they’ll eliminate …. remaining opposition shortly,’ Carter told a news conference in London. Libyan forces said on Saturday they had advanced against some of Islamic State’s last holdouts in the city. The jihadist group exploited Libya’s deep political divisions to seize Sirte more than a year ago, using it as a base for Libyan and foreign fighters. Losing the city would compound the setbacks it has suffered in Syria and Iraq.”

The Times Of Israel: Israel Begins Work On NIS 2 Billion Underground Gaza Barrier

“Israel recently broke ground on a new subterranean barrier along the length of its border with the Gaza Strip, aimed at stopping Palestinian terror groups from tunneling into the country and carrying out attacks. The Defense Ministry in July approved the NIS 2 billion ($530 million) project that would see a concrete wall — both below and above ground — built along the entire the 60 kilometer (about 37 miles) border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Construction on the barrier wall began at the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, to protect a cluster Israeli towns bordering the northern Gaza Strip from cross-border attacks, the Ynet news website reported.”

Washington Post: Families face a long wait and uncertainty in repatriating American militiamen killed in Syria

“William Savage was a restless soul. After getting blocked from enlisting in the U.S. military because of a childhood seizure problem, he left the United States about three years ago in an unsuccessful attempt to join the French Foreign Legion. Still determined to wear a uniform, Savage eventually entered the ranks of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the U.S.-backed militia fighting the Islamic State in Syria. The 27-year-old from St. Mary’s County in Maryland was killed Aug. 10 while attempting to evacuate people from a building in the Syrian city of Manbij as it was being shelled by the militant group, according to his sister Brenna Savage. “When I hear about his bravery and his heroism, I’m like ‘My brother?’” said Brenna, who lives in Greenbelt, Md. “But this is what he wanted to do. He wanted to help people and to fight, and he did what he wanted to do.”

Deutsche Welle: Rich And Scared – Why Germans Are Doing Well But Fear The Future

“It’s no coincidence that the expression “German angst” is used to describe a certain sense of anguish, anxiety or fear: Germans are especially good at worrying. A new study by the Allensbach polling institute conducted for the Social Democrats in the Bundestag shows that Germans feel pretty secure economically – and yet have a pessimistic, anxious view of the future. ‘Material satisfaction is growing,’ Spiegel Online writes, ‘but optimism concerning the future has dramatically decreased.’ Only 36 percent of the 1,431 people Allensbach polled are hopeful and optimistic about what the next year has in store for them. According to Spiegel Online, the last time so many people had a bleak outlook on life was at the start of the financial crisis in 2008. Before that, it was right after 9/11.”

United States

Reuters: U.S., Russia ‘Not There Yet’ On Syria Deal: State Department

“The United States and Russia have not reached a ceasefire deal for Syria, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday, saying it could not confirm Moscow’s announcement that the U.S. and Russian foreign ministers would meet in Geneva on Thursday. ‘We’re not there yet,’ State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a briefing after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone for 45 minutes. Kerry and Lavrov have met twice in two weeks but failed to reach an understanding on how to proceed. After talks on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Hangzhou, China last week, the United States accused Russia of pulling back on issues that Washington thought had been resolved.”

The Washington Times: U.S. Struggling To Contain Al Qaeda In Yemen

“The United States is struggling to contain al Qaeda’s formidable terror cell in Yemen, despite a devastating aerial campaign coupled with an extended American military presence on the ground, according to the White House’s top counterterrorism official. The battle against the jihadi terror cell, known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has been overshadowed by the ongoing fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, National Counterterrorism Center chief Nick Rasmussen said Wednesday. The Yemen group ‘is still something we find ourselves focused on,’ Mr. Rasmussen said during a counterterrorism symposium in Washington, D.C. But dislodging the terror cell, which is widely seen al Qaeda’s best-financed and most-dangerous faction, has been a challenge that American and allied intelligence agencies have yet to solve.”

CNN: CIA Chief Doubts Syria And Iraq ‘Can Be Put Back Together Again’

“CIA Director John Brennan is questioning whether Syria and Iraq ‘can be put back together again’ given the violence and sectarian tensions in both countries, raising doubts about a central tenet of US policy toward the region. ‘I don’t know whether or not Syria and Iraq can be put back together again. There’s been so much bloodletting, so much destruction,’ Brennan told the CTC Sentinel, a publication of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. ‘I question whether we will see, in my lifetime, the creation of a central government in both of those countries that’s going to have the ability to govern fairly,’ he added in the interview which was published Wednesday.”

Voice Of America: US Military Says Airstrikes Killed 13 Militants In Yemen

“The U.S. military says a series of airstrikes targeting al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen during the past two weeks killed 13 militants and injured one other. A statement Tuesday from U.S. Central command said the three strikes happened in Yemen’s central Shabwah province between August 24 and September 4. It also noted that al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula ‘remains a significant threat to the region’ and the U.S. The U.S. campaign targeting AQAP with drones has been going on for seven years with more than 100 strikes that have killed some of the group’s top leaders, but also brought criticism about civilian deaths. In July, the White House acknowledged at least 64 civilians deaths from drone strikes in places like Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan since 2009, a figure that many watchdog groups said is really much higher.”

Syria

BBC: Syria: The Long Path To Peace

“The fifth-floor meeting room of what its director grandly described as ‘the global headquarters’ of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, alongside the Thames in London, may seem a strange place to launch a peace plan for Syria. But this is where diplomats and the media assembled on Wednesday for the presentation by the so-called High Negotiation Commission of its framework for a political solution to the crisis. Any political deal to end the bloodshed and horror is long overdue. Now in its sixth year of bitter civil war, the Syrian conflict has fragmented the country. It has sent millions on the road to internal displacement or to become refugees abroad. The true death toll is unquantifiable.”

The Wall Street Journal: Syria’s Opposition Unveils Peace Plan

“Syria’s main government opposition issued a road map for a transition to a democratic state without President Bashar al-Assad, as officials from the U.S., European Union and regional powers gathered for talks in London on possible ways out of the conflict. The proposal by the opposition High Negotiations Committee on Wednesday comes amid faltering efforts by the U.S. and Russia on a deal to curb the fighting in Syria, now in its sixth year. U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin failed in talks Monday in China to reach agreement on a cease-fire for the delivery of humanitarian aid. Mr. Obama, who is months away from the end of his time in office, told reporters afterward that Moscow and Washington ‘haven’t yet closed the gaps in a way we think it would actually work.’ A White House official described the final differences between the U.S. and Russia on a Syria deal as ‘technical’ and related to implementation of the proposed agreement.”

The Guardian: Losing Ground, Fighters And Morale – Is It All Over For Isis?

“It has been a bad few months for Islamic State (Isis). For the first time since the terror group laid claim to much of Iraq and Syria, it no longer has a direct path to Europe. Black flags are no longer flying over towns and villages near the Turkish border and the militants of the so-called caliphate are on the run. If the decay continues, Isis will soon lose much of its remaining foothold in Syria. Its last bastion will be Raqqa and the north-eastern deserts, where it all began for the group’s latest incarnation in April 2013, and from where much of its subsequent rampage was plotted. Since mid-July, Isis has been methodically pushed from towns and villages it controlled near the Turkish frontier by the most concerted ground advance of the past two years. The jihadist group now looks to be far less of a threat to the regional order than when its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed his rule over a swath of eastern Syria and western Iraq in mid-2014.”

ABC News: First Syrians Return Home From Turkey Since Start Of Turkish-Backed Incursion, Officials Say

“Hundreds of civilians have begun returning to the border town of Jarabulus in northern Syria, two weeks after pro-Ankara fighters recaptured it from Islamic State (IS) jihadists. Loaded with luggage and domestic items, the residents headed for the frontier and queued for customs inspection at the border gate outside the Turkish town of Karkamis, an AFP photographer said. ‘The formal returns have begun today. We wouldn’t consider anything before that as formal passage,’ a spokesman at the governor’s office for Gaziantep province, which lies across the border from Jarabulus, said. Held by IS since 2013, Jarabulus was on August 24 easily retaken by pro-Ankara fighters supported by Turkish tanks and aviation on the first day of the more than two-week Turkish incursion into Syria.”

Turkey

Associated Press: Minister: Turkey Thwarted Some 230 Kurdish Militant Attacks

“Turkey’s deputy prime minister says authorities have foiled close to 230 Kurdish rebel attacks in the past few weeks, including 19 would-be suicide bombings. In a news conference following a Council of Ministers meeting Wednesday, Nurettin Canikli told reporters the security forces and intelligence officials had thwarted as many as 229 attacks between Aug. 15 and Sept. 7. Canikli said they included 155 planned bombings – 39 of them involving car bombs. In addition, Turkish authorities arrested 24 suspects who were allegedly preparing to launch attacks, he said. Turkey has been rocked by a series of deadly car bombings targeting police or military facilities blamed on militants linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.”

Associated Press: Turkey Expels 73 More Personnel From Armed Forces

“Turkey said Wednesday it expelled 73 more personnel from its armed forces as part of an ongoing effort to rid the military of what it says are followers of the alleged mastermind of the failed July 15 coup. The Turkish Ministry of Defense said on its official Twitter account Wednesday the expelled personnel belonged to the air force. It said the dismissals have strengthened the military ‘as it gets rid of traitor FETO,’ a reference to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of being behind the coup attempt. Gulen denies this. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said 105 detention orders have been issued in 17 provinces for ‘imams running the military forces’ and soldiers connected to Gulen’s organization. The ‘imams’ are said to be Gulen followers who hold important command positions for the network.”

BBC: Islamic State Group: Turkey And US ‘Ready To Invade Capital’

“Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested he and the US are ready to drive so-called Islamic State (IS) from its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa. Mr Erdogan said US President Barack Obama floated the idea of joint action against the militants when they met at the G20 summit in China. He said Turkey would have ‘no problem’ with such action. Last month Turkey launched an operation inside Syria, targeting both IS and Kurdish rebels. The US State Department would not confirm the details of Mr Erdogan’s statement, but an official said it was important that ‘local forces’ were involved in the fight to deliver ‘a lasting defeat’ to IS.”

Afghanistan

Voice Of America: UN: 93 Aid Workers Abducted In Afghanistan In 2016

“The United Nations has warned of a growing threat to aid workers in Afghanistan where it says millions of people are in urgent need of life-saving assistance. ‘I am deeply concerned that aid workers are being targeted, with 93 of our colleagues abducted since the beginning of this year,’ said Stephen O’Brien, the U.N.’s emergency relief coordinator, in speaking with reporters in Kabul at the end of a visit to Afghanistan. O’Brien also called on the international community to urgently increase its support to around 1.1 million people who are expected to be displaced internally and cross borders by the end of the year. O’Brien said the humanitarian community in Afghanistan urgently needs $150 million to respond to the ‘life-saving’ needs for the next four months in the wake of the increase in numbers of new people on the move.”

Yemen

Reuters: Yemen Foreign Minister Urges More Support For Fight Against Militia Foes

“Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi on Wednesday urged the international community to step up its support of his government in its fight against the armed Houthi movement, and to help combat arms smuggling from Iran and elsewhere. ‘We are grateful for the international support for Yemen and the legitimate government, but we need more, of course,’ Mekhlafi said to the German Council on Foreign Relations. ‘Above all, we need more pressure on the militias so that they take part in the peace process.’ U.N.-sponsored talks to try to end 18 months of fighting collapsed in failure last month and the Houthi movement and allied forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh resumed shelling into neighboring Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led coalition began a military campaign in Yemen in March last year with the aim of preventing Houthi rebels and Saleh supporters from taking control of the country.”

Middle East

Haaretz: Israel Strikes Syrian Regime Targets After Errant Mortar Fire Hits Golan Heights

“The Israel Air Force struck Syrian regime targets on Thursday, the Israeli military announced, several hours after mortar fire from the Syrian military errantly spilled into the northern Golan Heights. According to an IDF statement, IAF jets targeted Syrian regime mortar launchers in direct response to the mortar fire. The statement added that the IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for all that happens in its territory. This is the second incident of its kind this week. On Sunday, Israeli forces attacked artillery belonging to the Syrian government in response to a shell that exploded in the Israeli Golan Heights. No injuries or damage were reported in the explosion that took place in an open field in Israeli territory.”

United Kingdom

Business Standard: UK To Cooperate With India In Counter-Terrorism

“The Ukhas acknowledged India’s stand on Terrorismand expressed its resolve to cooperate in the field of counter-terrorism.  Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre in a meeting with UK’s Minister of Defence Procurement Harriett Baldvin in London ‘drew attention to challenges being faced by the two countries due to increased terrorist activities globally, as well as cross-border Terrorismbeing faced by India’, a statement issued by the Ministry Of Defencesaid. Baldvin ‘acknowledged India’s stand on Terrorismand expressed the UK’s resolve to cooperate in the field of counter terrorism,’ it said. The two leaders also explored avenues for Defence co-operation, especially in the context of the NarendraModigovernment’s Make In Indiainitiative.”

Germany

Associated Press: Merkel: Migrant Situation In Germany ‘Many Times Better’

“Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday strongly defended her government’s handling of the flood of migrants that crossed into Germany last year, but conceded that more still needs to be done and that concerns that have led to increasing support for an anti-immigrant nationalist party need to be taken seriously. Merkel told lawmakers that since she addressed them at this time last year, Germany has managed to come a long way in dealing with the hundreds of thousands of migrants that flooded in to the country. ‘The situation is many times better than a year ago, but there remains a lot to do,’ she said. On the weekend, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union suffered an embarrassing election performance in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where Merkel has her parliamentary constituency, when it was beaten into third place by the nationalist, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany, known as AfD.”

Associated Press: Germany Considers New Charges Against Extremist Suspect

“German prosecutors say they’re reopening their investigation of a man suspected of joining the Islamic State group after his name surfaced on one of the organization’s recruitment questionnaire forms, leaked and published earlier this year. Duesseldorf prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrueck told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper Wednesday that a slightly changed version of Ugur S.’s name and his correct birthday and date of travel appeared on one of the forms. S., whose last name wasn’t given in line with German privacy laws, was acquitted earlier this year of extremism-related charges for lack of evidence. Herrenbrueck, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, says the case is now being examined by federal prosecutors to determine whether new charges can be brought. The 31-year-old suspect is already in custody for unrelated criminal activity.”

NBC News: German Military, Police To Team Up Amid Fears Of ISIS Attack

“Germany is preparing to train troops to be deployed within its borders for the first time since World War II amid fears of terrorist attacks. The country’s armed forces will hold joint drills with police early next year, officials confirmed. Authorities stress that counterterrorism measures will primarily remain the responsibility of police. However, the potential for large-scale attacks have made the use of German military assets ‘conceivable, even probable,’ according to Lt. Gen. Martin Schelleis, the Bundeswehr’s chief of joint support services. Plans to involve soldiers in counterterrorism operations — and the suggestion troops could also be used to beef up security in public places — have proved controversial in a country only seven decades removed from totalitarian rule that’s still grappling with guilt from the Nazi era.”

France

Associated Press: 4 Convicts Held In Extremist Attack In French Prison

“French anti-terrorism investigators are questioning three Islamic radical convicts amid suspicions they helped another prisoner plot an attack on prison guards that has prompted national concern. The attack Sunday in the prison of Osny north of Paris left two guards hurt, and has sparked criticism of special prison units that group together Islamic radicals. The attacker used a razor to slash one guard’s throat and wounded another guard in the arm before being subdued with a rubber bullet. A terrorism inquiry was opened, and the Paris prosecutor’s office said the attacker and three others were in special custody Wednesday as authorities try to determine whether it was part of a broader plot. France, targeted on multiple occasions by Islamic State extremists, has long had problems with radicalism in prisons.”

BBC: Paris Terror Arrest After Gas Tanks Found In Notre Dame Car

“Paris police have arrested a man on the terrorism watch list after his car was found near the Notre Dame Cathedral with seven gas cylinders inside. The Peugeot 607 was found with its hazard warning lights flashing and without number plates, police said. One of the canisters, on the front passenger seat, was empty, and there were no detonating devices inside. In November, 130 people died in Paris in a series of terror attacks carried out by so-called Islamic State (IS). An associate of the car’s owner, also known to police, was also arrested, French news agency AFP reported. Some French media reports said several people had been arrested. Documents with writing in Arabic were also found in the car, police said.”

Europe

Associated Press: Prosecutors: Man With Knife Attacks Brussels Police Officers

“A man carrying a knife attacked two police officers in the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels on Wednesday, but the officers were wearing bulletproof vests and suffered only bruises, prosecutors said. Brussels prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch said the motives of the suspect arrested in the attack, a 24-year-old Moroccan known for having committing several thefts and who was residing in Belgium illegally, were not immediately known. Van Wymersch said the officers approached the man around 2:45 p.m. after a woman walking with her children in a park told them she’d spotted a man holding a knife. She said the man allegedly then attacked the officers without saying a word. The knife struck one officer seven times and the other once, but protective vests prevented the blade from penetrating their skin.”

ISIS

Akhbar Alaan: Defector Reveals Secrets Of ISIS In Afghanistan

“In a first-of-a-kind interview conducted on TV with an ISIS Khorasan dissident, a reporter from Akhbar Alaan {TV channel} met with Qamandr Bakhtiar. The two met in a hiding place, where Bakhtiar had fled to escape ISIS’s death threats against him and his family after defecting from the ranks of the organization. Bakhtiar acknowledged that he had been lured into joining ISIS by thinking it would bring triumph to Islam. He soon realized, however, that such terrorist organizations {like ISIS} hide behind Islam, which is not to be blamed for their actions. During the interview, Qamandr Bakhtiar described the ugliness of ISIS’s atrocities, which he saw with his own eyes. He said, “Foreign fighters, especially the Pakistanis, carried out heinous terrorist acts, which are not accepted by Islam or by humanity; they robbed citizens in public and took their money. They kidnapped people for a ransom, ranging from $100,000 to $200,000, in exchange for their release. Those who could not afford to pay such large amounts were slaughtered with a knife.”

Muslim Brotherhood

The Seventh Day: Egypt: Shareholders Of Seized Muslim Brotherhood Hospitals Demand Profits

“Hassan Abdul Aziz, Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee, who oversees the cases of the group’s seized hospitals, said that all 53 of the private hospitals which were seized belonged to joint stock companies. The hospitals used to be managed by boards of directors elected by the shareholders’ general assemblies, until the Committee, headed by Mohammed Yasser Abu El-Fotouh, decided to suspend these boards and transfer their authority to the Ministry of Health, which appointed new boards in their stead. Abdul Aziz disclosed that the recently-nominated boards of the seized hospitals raked in, within a short time period, huge profits surpassing by nearly 50% those attained when the hospitals were run by the leaders of Brotherhood. This prompted some hospital shareholders to initiate legal proceedings against the old boards of directors, demanding receipt of their share of the profits.”

Elwehda: Egypt: Prosecutors Examine Reports Regarding The Muslim Brotherhood’s Sale Of State Property To Turkey

“Several lawyers have submitted complaints to the {Egyptian} Attorney General, accusing former President Mohammed Morsi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood of facilitating the seizure of public money and the sale of state-owned lands to Turkey. A judicial source requesting anonymity revealed that all complaints in this matter against Morsi and his group will be reviewed shortly, to determine whether or not they are valid. In the same context, lawyer Tarek Mahmoud stated that he filed a complaint on Tuesday to the Attorney General against Morsi, Talaat Mohammed Afifi, Egypt’s former minister of religious endowments (Awqaf), and Abdelrahman Albarr, the Brotherhood Mufti who fled to Turkey. The complaint (No. 11342 of 2016) deals with charges of facilitating the seizure of public money, claiming that the suspects handed over to Turkey all contracts and deeds of title of Egyptian private property in Turkey. The value of this property is currently estimated at 2 billion pounds ($227 million).”

Shorouk News: Muslim Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee Rejects Appeal By Egypt’s “Moustaghfireen Kindergarten Charity”

“A judicial source disclosed that the Muslim Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee has decided to reject an appeal submitted by the “Moustaghfireen Kindergarten Charitable Society,” whose funds were recently appropriated. The source, who preferred anonymity, noted that the Committee issued a decision at the end of May to take over the society due to its ties with the Brotherhood. The source added that the society had submitted a grievance to the committee demanding the cancellation of that decision. However, it was rejected on the basis that the society is affiliated with the Brotherhood, according to an investigation by {Egypt’s} security agencies.”

Houthi

Gulf Eyes: Yemen: Houthi Group Forces Waqf Offices In Amran Districts To Pay 200,000 Riyals

“The Houthi militia continues to loot public money from institutions and government offices in various provinces under their control. This is done under the pretext of supporting the so-called “war effort.” In this context, the Director of Endowments and Guidance Office of Amran Province, Abdullah Hussein Beheiri, who was appointed by the militia, ordered all endowment offices in the districts of the province to transfer 200,000 riyals ($800) each, under the banner of “the war effort.”

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