Eye on Extremism, September 16, 2016

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CNN: Syrian Airstrikes Kill 23; Russia, US Allege Violations

“At least 23 people, including nine children, were killed during airstrikes in Syria on Thursday, as the United States and Russia accused each other of violating a fragile ceasefire. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was unclear which side was behind four airstrikes in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, an area not included in the ceasefire. In addition to the fatalities, 30 people were injured, some critically. Most of the casualties occurred when a school being used as a shelter for families displaced by the fighting was hit, according to SOHR. The town targeted in the raids, Al-Mayadin, is controlled by ISIS. The ceasefire does not apply to areas held by the group.”

Newsweek: French Isis Recruiter Behind Recent Attacks Tells Followers To ‘Send Head To Élysée Palace’

“The French recruiter for the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) that authorities believe is behind a spate of attacks and plots on the country’s soil in recent months has sent a chilling call to his followers to behead a civilian and send it to the country’s Presidential residence. He made the morbid demand about Élysée Palace in an audio message posted on his private Telegram channel to some 300 followers on Tuesday, according to a report in Dutch-language Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. Kassim, a 29-year-old jihadi living in either Iraq or Syria, said: ‘Everything that needs to be said has been said. You know what to do. Don’t wait any longer.’”

RT: Hybrid Warfare: Lone-Wolf Attacks Ordered Via Whatsapp Or Facebook, German Spy Chief Says

“Lone-wolf terrorist attacks in Europe are ordered and orchestrated through social media platforms like Facebook or WhatsApp, which creates a type of ‘hybrid warfare,’ chief of German domestic intelligence believes. Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, said that potential attackers presumably receive orders from foreign terrorist leaders through encrypted instant messaging systems. The details of what he described as ‘hybrid warfare’ were disclosed at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday, according to Deutsche Welle. Attacks are ordered through social media or messengers such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram, while ‘perpetrators themselves are safe and not recognized.’”

Reuters: U.S. Confirms Two More Freed Guantanamo Inmates Rejoined Militant Groups

“In the first six months of 2016, two more militants released from the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have returned to fighting, the U.S. government said on Wednesday. Washington has confirmed that a total of nine people freed from Guantanamo have rejoined militant groups since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, according to a report issued on Tuesday by the Office of Director of National Intelligence, or ODNI. The report said the number of militants freed by the Obama administration whom U.S. agencies “suspect” of having returned to action dropped to 11 from 12 between January and July.”

War On The Rocks: The Jihadist Entrepreneur: What The Anjem Choudary Case Can Teach Us

“Last week, British militant Islamist activist Anjem Choudary was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for providing support to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Choudary is best known as a radical, charismatic, and rabble-rousing Islamist preacher who influenced and inspired more than 100 Britons to carry out acts of terrorism or fight abroad. His true influence, however, is even more far-reaching, extending beyond his role as a source of radicalization of British Muslims and converts and beyond support for a single terrorist group. Choudary is a jihadist entrepreneur who has been instrumental in setting up an international jihadist movement. The so-called “Sharia4” movement epitomizes how present day terrorist actors cooperate in pursuit of militant objectives. Such cooperation involves an increasingly diverse array of actors, ranging from formal organizations to informal networks as well as terrorist entrepreneurs such as Choudary. Such new collaborative forms between terrorist actors pose both conceptual and policy challenges to the counterterrorism community.’

The Wall Street Journal: Behind Boko Haram’s Split: A Leader Too Radical For Islamic State

“Some people can be too extreme even for Islamic State. The self-proclaimed caliphate’s biggest and deadliest franchise outside the Middle East, the ‘West Africa Province’ also known as Boko Haram, fractured in recent weeks over Islamic State’s decision to replace its notorious leader, Abubakar Shekau. Mr. Shekau hasn’t recognized the August appointment of a rival Boko Haram commander, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, as the group’s new ‘governor.’ The two factions have repeatedly clashed since then and their followers have accused each other of abandoning the true faith. This split, while weakening Boko Haram in the immediate term, could have dramatic consequences for how jihadists continue their struggle in Nigeria and in neighboring countries. Boko Haram’s areas of influence were cut down by the recent offensives of regional militaries, which were aided by U.S., British and French advisers.”

Time: Moms Of Young Muslims Enlist In The Fight Against ISIS

“The love shared by mother and child is now being used as a weapon to combat radicalization, in a continent reeling from a wave of ISIS-linked attacks. A course devised by Edit Schlaffer, an Austrian sociologist, for troubled regions like Kashmir is now taking off in cities across Europe, aiming to put mothers on the front line of the battle against Islamic extremism. On a recent July morning, the first British graduates of the Mothers Schools, which Schlaffer runs through her Vienna-based NGO, Women Without Borders, gathered at the town hall in the city of Luton in England. Over 10 weeks, 45 women had attended sessions on subjects like monitoring Internet access, better communicating with teenagers and identifying signs of radicalization in children.”

The Washington Post: Man Pleads Guilty In D.C. To Supporting Al-Qaeda-Backed Terrorist Group

“A dual Dutch-Turkish national pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Washington to providing material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a U.S.-designated terrorist group active in Afghanistan. Irfan Demirtas, also known as Nasrullah, 58, faces a maximum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 30. U.S. authorities agreed not to pursue additional charges in a four-count indictment dated Dec. 8, 2011. Demirtas admitted that between January 2006 and May 2008, he provided funds to IMU leader Tahir Yuldashev and was present when he made threats against Americans, Assistant Federal Defender Mary C. Petras told District Judge Randolph D. Moss. U.S. authorities alleged that Demirtas was raising money, recruiting fighters and ‘fomenting terror across Europe and the Middle East,’ then-acting U.S. attorney for the District Vincent H. Cohen Jr. said in a statement when Demirtas was extradited to the United States in July 2015.”

CNN: 75,000 Trapped In Refugee Camp On Jordan-Syria Border, Amnesty Warns

“A clampdown on Syrian refugees entering Jordan has left 75,000 people stranded in the desert in a no man’s land between the countries, cut off from aid for months, Amnesty International says. The rights group released satellite images Thursday that show the extent of a makeshift refugee camp in al-Rukban, an area of desert known as the berm, along Jordan’s northeast border with Syria. It’s also near both countries’ borders with Iraq. The camp grew from 368 shelters a year ago to 8,295 this month, Amnesty said. The group also released video footage, obtained by a tribal council whose activists operate in the area, that it said showed dozens of makeshift graves of refugees who had perished amid the desperate conditions.”

Associated Press: Yemen’s Rebels Say They Captured Post Inside Saudi Arabia

“Yemen’s Houthi rebels and allied troops have captured a Saudi military post in the border region of Jizan, according to military officials from the Shiite movement. They said the Houthi rebels and their allies attacked the post with artillery, rockets and light arms before taking it over in a Sept. 11 battle. A Saudi military spokesman has denied the Houthi claim as ‘lies,’ but a 15-minute video clip posted on social media networks and aired late Wednesday by the Houthis’ al-Masirah TV purportedly shows the shelling of the hilltop post and the attacking force examining weapons and ammunition left behind by the Saudi soldiers who fled. ‘We will fight them with their weapons,’ said one member of the assailing force.”

Haaretz: The Palestinian Professor Who Took Students On Auschwitz Trip And Paid A Heavy Price

“Dajani has devoted most of his time to promoting the study of the Holocaust within Palestinian society. In March 2011, even before his first visit to the camps, he and the Jewish-American historian Robert Satloff published a joint op-ed piece in The New York Times, titled, ‘Why Palestinians should learn about the Holocaust.’ The article explained why it was necessary to introduce the subject into the curriculum of the United Nations schools in the Gaza Strip. ‘Without discussing the Holocaust, discussing genocide is meaningless,’ the authors wrote. These efforts reached a peak in March 2014, when Dajani took 27 Palestinian students on an educational visit to Auschwitz as part of a long-term cooperative project.”

The Washington Post: Clashes Between Germans And Refugees Spark New Tensions. This Is What ISIS Envisioned.

“The city of Bautzen in eastern Germany has been at the center of tensions between refugees and anti-immigration protesters in recent months. In February, Germans applauded as a refugee accommodation burned down, allegedly after an arson attack. But on Wednesday evening, those tensions reached a new peak when 20 refugees were involved in violent clashes with 80 German nationals, according to police. The incident occurred nearly exactly one year after the influx of refugees into Germany reached its climax, with thousands arriving in the country every day. There have been attacks on refugee residences nearly every day since then. But frustration among migrants and newcomers with their increasingly unwelcoming host nation has also caused stirs, and has raised worries among counter-terrorism experts and officials.”

United States

Voice Of America: US Lawmaker Urges Egypt To Release Dual Citizen

“A northern Virginia congressman is calling on the Egyptian government to release a prisoner whose arrest two years ago has drawn condemnation from human rights groups. Aya Hijazi grew up in the Washington suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, and is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Egypt. She had been running a foundation in Egypt dedicated to helping street children when she and her husband were arrested in 2014. Democratic congressman Don Beyer will meet with Hijazi’s family Thursday on Capitol Hill, to be followed by an afternoon news conference. Fellow Democratic congressman Gerry Connolly will join him.”

CNBC: Big US Military Aid Package To Israel Has Strings Attached

“After months of negotiating, the United States and Israel have signed a huge, $38 billion deal for military aid to the Jewish state — with some changes from previous pacts between the countries. The 10-year agreement is the largest in U.S. history, with a significant portion of the money expected to be used to upgrade Israel’s air force to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter aircraft. But while the actual memorandum of understanding hasn’t been officially released by either country, it has a number of conditions that are different from previous U.S.-Israel aid deals. Most importantly, it’s structured so that more Israeli defense spending goes to U.S. companies. Israel’s long-standing special arrangement for funds from the United States previously allowed Israel to spend 26 percent of the money in Israel — on Israeli-made defense products.”

Associated Press: AP Sources: USTo Shift Military Assets To Syria Under Deal

“The U.S. military will have to shift surveillance aircraft from other regions and increase the number of intelligence analysts to coordinate attacks with Russia under the Syria cease-fire deal partly in order to target militants the U.S. has largely spared, senior officials say. Senior defense and military officials told The Associated Press that they are sorting out how the U.S.-Russia military partnership will take shape and how that will change where U.S. equipment and people will be deployed. They said, however, that they will need to take assets from other parts of the world, because U.S. military leaders don’t want to erode the current U.S.-led coalition campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.”

Reuters: U.S. Lawmakers Say Afghanistan Corruption Threatens Future Spending

“U.S. senators questioned State Department officials closely on Thursday about corruption in Afghanistan and said failure to address it could cause them to rethink the billions of dollars the United States spends there each year. ‘I don’t know what the political will here in the United States will be to continue to support the Afghans in light of what is going on there,’ said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Menendez described himself as someone who has been supportive of U.S. Afghanistan policy, but said he would ‘have a totally different view’ if the government in Kabul does not act. On Wednesday, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) issued a report that strongly criticized Washington for pouring billions of dollars into Afghanistan with so little oversight that it fueled corruption and undermined the U.S. mission.”

Bloomberg: Top Republicans Seek Delay In Veto Override Of 9/11 Bill

“Two leading Republican voices on national security — Senators Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham — want to postpone a vote on whether to override President Barack Obama’s promised veto of legislation to let families of 9/11 terrorist attack victims sue Saudi Arabia. The delay would give senators more time to consider the likelihood its enactment would ‘backfire on us’ because ‘once we create the opportunity for U.S. citizens to sue another government we also open the door for the same thing to happen to us,’ said Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Corker and Graham are raising concerns about the foreign policy ramifications of the legislation even though it sailed through both chambers and was sent to the president a day after the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”

Syria

Newsweek: Syria Cease-Fire Faces Deep Skepticism On All Sides

“The Syrian cease-fire agreed to last week by Russia and the United States has reduced violence in the short term, but there are troubling signs it may collapse like previous attempts to end the war, now in its sixth year. The crucial element of the agreement is a ‘cessation of hostilities’ among all parties involved in the truce. Should the pause in fighting last for seven days, starting at sundown September 12, the beginning of the Muslim Eid-al-Adha holiday, joint U.S.-Russian airstrikes will commence against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). The agreement also calls on all signatories to allow for the distribution of humanitarian aid, along with an end to all sieges and the release of all detainees, particularly women and children.”

Turkey

Reuters: British Embassy In Ankara Closed For Security Reasons – Foreign Office

“The British government has shut its embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara on Friday for security reasons, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said on its website, without giving further details. ‘The British Embassy Ankara will be closed to the public on Friday 16 September for security reasons,’ the foreign office said late on Thursday. The embassy had been closed from Monday to Thursday for the Eid al-Adha holiday this week, one of the two most important festivals of the Islamic calendar. Turkey has been repeatedly targeted in the past by militants, both Islamist and Kurdish. A suicide bomber at a wedding in the southeastern city of Gaziantep last month killed more than 54 people, including 22 children, the deadliest such bombing this year. That attack is believed to have been carried out by Islamic State militants.”

The Washington Post: Turkey Plans To Build Dozens Of New Jails After Post-Coup Crackdown

“Authorities in Turkey plan to construct 174 prisons over the next five years to ‘meet the unanticipated increase in the number of convicts,’ according to a Justice Ministry statement. Though not explicitly stated, the move is most probably linked to the strain placed on Turkey’s penal system amid a nationwide purge launched in response to a coup attempt on July 15. In the weeks since, authorities have rounded up and jailed tens of thousands of people suspected to be connected to a movement led by Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in exile in the United States who Ankara claims was behind the coup plot.”

Newsweek: We Are Trying To Prevent Further Chaos In Turkey

“During the past year Turkish politics has fallen into a habit of replacing each and every adverse political development with an even worse one. Following the coup attempt on July 15, the Turkish political institutions, having warded off a major debacle, should have performed gloriously. However, Turkey isn’t a country where democracy is institutionalized and, as of now, instead of superseding a coup through stronger democracy it is in effect superseding the coup attempt with yet another one. It is true that generals, most fortunately, could not seize the power, and the only reason they failed was the united opposition by all political parties and the peoples of Turkey. But today, one part of the society that opposed the coup is under attack: the Kurds and those associated with the People’s Democratic Party (HDP).”

Afghanistan

Voice Of America: Protracted Afghan Political Tensions Worry UN

“Afghan officials say leaders of the beleaguered national unity government are resolved to overcome internal differences so they can jointly tackle security and many other challenges facing the war-torn country. The pledge comes a day after the United Nations declared the political situation ‘precarious,’stemming from internal disputes between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and called for a prompt resolution. A political deal, mediated by the United States to end a protracted election dispute between Ghani and his election rival Abdullah, enabled the two leaders to establish the national unity government in September of 2014. The agreement allowed for the creation of a new chief executive post to share power with the president.”

Yemen

Reuters: Houthis Study U.S. Truce Proposal For Yemen: Negotiator

“A senior U.S. diplomat has presented a proposal for a comprehensive ceasefire in Yemen to the country’s dominant Houthis at a meeting in Oman, a member of the Houthi negotiating team said on Thursday. Negotiators will return to Houthi-controlled Sanaa on Friday carrying the plan offered by U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon in talks in Muscat, he said. Shannon met the Houthi team, officials of the allied General People’s Congress (GPC) party and an Omani mediator in Muscat on Sept. 8 and 9 to discuss how to end a war that has killed over 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million. In Washington, U.S. officials said the plan was an ‘extension of the efforts Secretary (of State John) Kerry initiated in Jeddah.’”

Middle East

The Jerusalem Post: Israel Prepares Civilians For Threat Of 230,000 Enemy Rockets

“The IDF Home Front Command is preparing for the possibility that Hezbollah will fire thousands of missiles from Lebanon into Israel during the next war. A national war drill will be held from Sunday to Wednesday, including a nationwide air raid siren at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday. The goal of the exercise is to train civilians how to quickly enter ‘safe zones’ in homes and workplaces, in the event of a mass rocket attack. According to assessments by the Home Front Command, in any multi-front conflict, some 95% of enemy rockets would be light-weight and have ranges less than 40 km., and 1% of all incoming projectiles would score direct hits on buildings.”

Libya

Associated Press: Libya’s East-Based Parliament Promotes Powerful General

“Libya’s internationally recognized parliament, which is based in the far east and effectively runs this part of the country, has promoted a powerful general. The gesture is likely to rile the U.N.-brokered government in the capital, Tripoli, which is not recognized by the east-based parliament. According to an announcement late Wednesday, Parliament Speaker Agila Saleh promoted Gen. Khalifa Hifter to field-marshal. The move comes days after Hifter’s forces seized three key oil terminals from a militia linked to the Tripoli government. Hifter enjoys the support of key Arab nations but is viewed in some Western powers as an obstacle to peace.”

Voice Of America: Libya Report Slams British, French Ouster Of Gadhafi

“A group of British lawmakers has strongly criticized the intervention by Britain and France in 2011 that led to the ouster of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The report from the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee said a lack of planning for the aftermath meant that Libya quickly descended into chaos, with rival militias battling for power, and the terror group Islamic State gaining an increasing foothold in the country. In Washington, the State Department echoed that the power vacuum facilitated the disorder that followed the fall of Gadhafi. The damning British verdict came exactly five years after then-British Prime Minister David Cameron and then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy stood triumphant in Benghazi’s Liberty Square in September 2011, cheered by huge crowds. Their joint campaign of air and missile strikes had swiftly ousted dictator Gadhafi.”

Bloomberg: One War Nears An End In Libya. Battle Scars May Prevent Another

“Standing next to a tank, Libyan commander Abdul Hadi Lahwal picks up his walkie-talkie and speaks with snipers positioned in a disused school on the frontline of the battle against Islamic State. He was attempting to recover the bodies of two of his men, killed the day before. The battle to oust the jihadist group from its last major stronghold in the North African nation looks to be nearing the end, with the militants holed up in two small areas in Sirte. When the guns fall silent, the victory will largely belong to militias from Misrata, whose predecessors ended the Libyan uprising five years ago by tracking down Muammar Qaddafi as he hid in a culvert. More than five years on, they are now fighting under the auspices of the United Nations-backed unity government seeking to stabilize the holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves.”

Nigeria

International Business Times: ISIS At War With Boko Haram? New Islamic State Leader Creates Conflict Within Nigerian Terrorist Group

“Boko Haram and the Islamic State group, two terrorist organizations who have been aligned since 2015, may be at war with one another. Earlier this month, ISIS — a terrorist group that operates primarily out of Syria but has several affiliated operations throughout the Middle East and Africa — named a new leader for Boko Haram, replacing Abubakar Shekau, who was at the helm when the group pledged allegiance to the foreign group last year. The coronation quickly created a rift in the Nigerian terror group, leading to bloody clashes between supporters of both leaders that have killed at least a handful of militants. ISIS named the new leader, Abu Musab al-Barnawi, in one of the most recent editions of the purported ISIS news outlet Al-Naba.”

Voice Of America: Nigeria Army Chief: Boko Haram Capabilities ‘Virtually Eliminated’

“The Nigerian military has made tremendous progress against the Boko Haram terrorist group, the country’s chief of army staff told VOA Daybreak Africa. Visiting our Washington studio, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai praised the collaboration with troops from neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. ‘It is interesting to note that the ability of the Boko Haram terrorist group to move freely as they were doing before, the ability to hold ground, the ability to take on territories or ransack large communities and towns has been virtually eliminated,’ he said. Boko Haram released a video this week that shows hundreds of supporters, suggesting the group is still potent. Buratai dismissed the video as propaganda.”

United Kingdom

Daily Mail: Defence And Security Chiefs Told David Cameron Bombing Libya Wasn’t In Our National Interest As Damning Verdict Blames Former PM For The Rise Of ISIS

“Bombing Libya was not in Britain’s national interest, defence and security chiefs said today in a further dent on David Cameron’s foreign policy legacy as Prime Minister. Lord Richards, the former chief of the defence staff, said he and MI6 chief John Sawers raised doubts over the Government’s plans to intervene in Libya in 2011.  He criticised Mr Cameron for failing to conduct a ‘rigorous analysis’ of the situation in the National Security Council. He spoke as a damning report by MPs warned that Mr Cameron’s ‘ill-conceived’ military campaign in Libya had fuelled the migrant crisis and spurred the growth of ISIS.”

Germany

Sputnik News: Terrorist Threat On Rise In Germany, Attacks Possible At Any Time

“Germany may be targeted by jihadists at any time with air, railway transport as well as crowded places such as fairs, markets and festivals being especially vulnerable to possible terror attacks, according to secret governmental report on domestic security. The terrorist threat in Germany continues to increase and the country could be targeted any time, a secret governmental report on domestic security said as cited by a local newspaper Thursday. The paper said that there is the heightened risk that sympathizers of terrorist organizations that have no direct links to such groups may commit their own attacks. According to the report, there is an almost uncalculated in the long term threat posed by jihadists, who left for Syria and Iraq and later returned in Germany.”

Deutsche Welle: Muslim Fashion Shops In Germany Linked To Extremist Salafists

“Hijab stores in Germany have been making headlines recently after reports that they serve as stepping stones to extremism. Through clothing, they propagate a subculture that promotes patriarchy and Islamic extremism. The Hijabi has made the headlines for its alleged links with Salafists. Earlier this week, Germany’s public broadcaster ARD ran a report on how stores like Hijabi and a similar one in Wuppertal, in the country’s west, helped women integrate into an orthodox Islamic way of living, eventually assimilating them into Salafism and subsequently, extremist Islam.”

BBC: German Restaurant In Islamic Veil Row After Woman Expelled

“A restaurant manager in Bielefeld, northern Germany, triggered a social media storm after expelling a woman wearing the Islamic full-face veil (niqab) from his premises. On Facebook, Christian Schulz said he had to defend his Seekrug restaurant against ‘negative judgments’. So, he said, he had ‘deleted two of my posts with nearly 800 comments’. Currently the comments on his page are overwhelmingly supportive. He strongly denies claims of ‘racism’. His Facebook page displays photos of him with a Seekrug chef who is apparently African. German media report that he employs staff from Nigeria, Ghana, Pakistan and Portugal.”

France

The Jerusalem Post: French Official Visits Israeli Jail In West Bank As Paris Grapples With Terror

“A French politician and top anti-terrorism expert who has urged his country to adopt the practice of administrative detention visited Israel’s Ofer Prison on Thursday morning, to learn more about how Israel uses the controversial procedure. The Jerusalem Post has learned that the official, Georges Fenech, the French counter- terrorism ‘czar’ and head of the country’s inquiries into its failure to block major recent terrorist attacks and an opposition MP, met with IDF Judea and Samaria Court President Col. Netanel Benishu during his visit.”

Daily Caller: France Thinks Would-Be Terrorists Will ‘Volunteer’ To Be De-Radicalized

“France is planning on opening de-radicalization centers to combat its growing Islamic terrorist threat, and then hoping jihadis volunteer to be ‘de-radicalized.’ France plans on building 12 of these centers, which can only accommodate up to 25 people at one time. French officials told The Washington Post that the centers were for potential terrorists ‘looking for way out’ and that the government could not order citizens to take part. 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 in late June, 2016.”

Europe

The Daily Beast: Europe Stops At Nothing To Hunt Down Terrorists In Refugee Camps

“There is often a fine line between pity and fear when it comes to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have landed on European shores in the last year. On one hand, it’s difficult not to feel an outpouring of sympathy over pictures of babies born on perilous rescue missions, or the bodies of children washed up on the waves. Just as it is almost as difficult not to feel distrust and anger over news that, yet again, alleged jihadists have been found hiding among the legitimate refugees.It’s also the case that while refugees and migrants are living in camps awaiting word on their status requests, they are often subject to practices that invade their privacy in ways regularized citizens would never accept. Counter-terrorism police in Italy, who are part of the country’s anti-Mafia forces, don’t even try to hide the fact that refugee phones often are tapped and that there are undercover faux refugees at most major camps for the sole purpose of spying on them.”

The Washington Post: Flow Of Foreign Fighters Plummets As Islamic State Loses Its Edge

“The flow of foreign fighters to the ranks of the Islamic State — once a mighty current of thousands of radicalized men and women converging on Syrian and Iraqi battlefields from nations across the globe — has been cut to a trickle this year as the group’s territory has shrunk and its ambitions have withered. The decline, officials and experts say, has been dramatic, prolonged and geographically widespread, with the number of Europeans, Americans, North Africans and others joining up to fight and die for the idea of a revived Islamic caliphate falling as precipitously as the terrorist group’s fortunes.  From a peak of 2,000 foreign recruits crossing the Turkey-Syria border each month, the Islamic State and other extremist groups operating in Syria are down to as few as 50, according to U.S. intelligence assessments.”

Bloomberg: U.K. Diplomat Gets Green Light To Become EU’s Anti-Terror Chief

“Julian King, a British diplomat, won European Parliament support to become Europe’s counter-terrorism chief after sailing through a confirmation hearing at which he pledged to act independently of the U.K. government as it prepares to trigger Brexit negotiations. The European Union assembly gave the green light on Thursday in Strasbourg, France, for King to take on the role of ‘commissioner for the security union.’ He is the new U.K. appointee to the European Commission, the 28-nation EU’s executive arm, after Jonathan Hill resigned in the wake of the Brexit referendum in June.”

Technology

Sputnik: Deception Detecting Technology’ To Counter Terrorism, Bad Cops And More

“Word of warning to all the deceptive-types that live amongst us. Tech has advanced a little further from the comparatively primitive polygraph devices invented over 100 years ago, monitoring pulse rates or sweat glands to detect when someone may be lying. Deception, however, can now – literally – be spotted in the eye of its beholder. EyeDetect is one of many latest ‘deception detection’ products, that although has been developed for some time, has been fine-tuned by the team of scientists and polygraph experts, as well as business professionals all operating under the umbrella company name Converus. It prominently targets nervous government officials and border security teams in the area of terrorism-linked individuals, potentially infiltrating rising numbers of global refugee groups due to existing vetting inadequacies. The placement of eye lie detecting devices at country borders, the company feels, could enhance safety concerns.”

Fortune: What Counterterrorism Gurus Say About Propaganda In The Age Of Social Media

“They’re trying to get help from technology companies. With terrorists using social media services and Internet technologies to spread propaganda and gain recruits, U.S. counterterrorism experts are trying to get help from the private sector to combat the messaging. That’s one of the themes discussed by U.S. national security officers about technology and terrorism during a conference on Thursday in San Francisco hosted by Internet-security and performance company CloudFlare. Although the general public might believe that many recent terrorist attacks are carried out by people who feel isolated from the rest of the world, many of these attackers ‘feel anything but alone,’ said Jen Easterly, a special assistant to President Obama and the senior director of counterterrorism at the national security council.”

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