Eye on Extremism, November 16, 2016

Reuters: Global Terrorism Deaths Fall, But Rise 650 Percent In OECD Countries: Report

“Deaths from terrorism in OECD countries increased by 650 percent last year despite a marked fall globally as Islamic State (IS) and Boko Haram militants suffered military defeats at home but committed more attacks abroad, a report said on Wednesday. The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) said worldwide there had been 29,376 deaths caused by terrorism in 2015, a drop of 10 percent and the first fall in four years, as action against Islamist militants IS in Iraq and Boko Haram in Nigeria cut the numbers killed there by a third. However, the report said the groups had spread their actions to neighboring states and regions, causing a huge increase in fatalities among OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) members, most of which are wealthy countries such as the United States and European nations.”

CNN: ISIS Shells Liberated Area Of Mosul, Iraq

“Two civilians are dead and at least seven are wounded — including children — after an ISIS attack on a Mosul neighborhood previously declared “liberated” from the militants, Iraqi army officials told CNN on Wednesday. The officials said at least four mortars landed in the eastern Mosul neighborhood of al Zahraa, which was declared under the full control of Iraqi security forces nearly a week ago. Witnesses also told CNN there had been civilian deaths and injuries from the attacks.”

Associated Press: Iraqi Forces Attack IS In East Mosul Neighborhood

“Iraqi special forces have begun a new push deeper into the northern city of Mosul, backed by airstrikes but under attack by rockets and suicide bombers from the Islamic State group. Troops have established a foothold in the city’s east, and drove northward Wednesday into the Tahrir neighborhood, where families left their houses to flee the fighting. Artillery and airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition supported the advance, sending plumes of smoke into the air over the city.”

New York Times: Airstrikes On Aleppo Resume As Russia Begins New Offensive In Syria

“Warplanes resumed airstrikes on the besieged rebel-held sections of Aleppo, Syria, on Tuesday, as Russia began a major new offensive against insurgents battling Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, said it had started “a big operation to deliver massive strikes” against the Islamic State and the Levant Victory Front, formerly known as the Nusra Front, in Idlib and Homs Provinces. Jets taking off from Russia’s aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, conducted their first strikes on Syria, the Russian military said, noting that its forces were hitting targets in the two provinces. It was unclear whether the strikes on Aleppo were by Russian or Syrian government warplanes.”

Al Arabiya: Arab Coalition Intercepts Boats Carrying Weapons To Yemen

“Arab coalition helicopters and naval units intercepted two boats off the port of Salif, north of the Hudaydah governorate in the Red Sea and forced them to stop for inspection and found arms, ammunition and modern telecommunications equipment on board. This comes two days after the coalition’s air force destroyed two boats at the entrance of the Salif port for smuggling weapons to Houthi militias.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Amid Tears And Confessions, 3 More ISIL Defendants Are Sentenced To Prison

“Late Tuesday afternoon, closing an emotional day of sentencing in the nation’s biggest ISIL recruiting investigation, Senior U.S. Judge Michael Davis called the parents of defendant Adnan Farah to stand before him in court. Noting that another of their sons faces sentencing in the same case tomorrow, Davis said: “I wanted you to see me closer and understand that I would never want to be in your place, having two sons that are going to go to prison,” said Davis, who has struggled openly for two days with the fates of the young men before him. Adnan, he told them, will go to prison for 10 years.”

Military Times: Senior Libyan Al-Qaida Leader Reported Slain In Drone Strike

“A senior al-Qaida leader was reportedly killed in a late-night drone strike that hit his home in Libya’s remote south, a Libyan news agency said Tuesday. The strike was suspected to be the work of a Western military but a Pentagon spokesman denied it was carried out by the United States. The LANA news agency said that Abu Talha al-Hassnawi, a key figure in al-Qaeda’s North African affiliate, was killed in his house in Sabha late on Monday.”

International Business Times: Terror In France: PM Wants State Of Emergency Extended As ISIS Threat Remains Since Paris Attacks

“French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is seeking another extension to the state of emergency put in place after a series of deadly terrorist attacks struck Paris a year ago, Reuters reported. Valls told lawmakers Tuesday that France’s 2017 elections and involvement in the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group has made the country a target for terrorist attacks, especially those by the militant organization also known as ISIS. He said he would ask parliament for an extension of the state of emergency due to the ongoing security concerns. He did not specify the length.”

Yahoo News: Trump Govt Needs $1 Bn Effort To Fight Extremism: Experts

“The incoming government of Donald Trump needs to create a top-level office for battling Islamic extremist ideology, experts led by ex-CIA chief Leon Panetta and former British premier Tony Blair said Tuesday. While the United States has laid out billions in the armed fight against Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State group and others, it sorely lacks a coordinated effort for the “long war” of preventing their ideology from affecting Muslim youth at home, they said. They said the White House needs to establish a new presidential assistant with a $1 billion-a-year budget to coordinate and fund efforts across the country to stop radicalization.”

New York Times: House Votes To Extend Iran Sanctions In Bid To Ensure Nuclear Compliance

“The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday for legislation to extend American sanctions on Iran for 10 years, a move that proponents called critical economic leverage to ensure Iranian compliance with an international nuclear agreement. The legislation, known as the Iran Sanctions Extension Act, needs Senate approval and President Obama’s signature before the end of the year, when American sanctions are set to expire.”

Gulf News: Hezbollah Military Parade In Qusayr Raises Eyebrows

“Although the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) issued a formal denial on Tuesday that the vehicles that appeared in a Hezbollah military parade in Qusayr (Syria) were never part of the LAF’s arsenal, the United States announced that it had launched an investigation to determine how the party acquired US-made tanks and armoured vehicles. For its part, the Future Movement condemned the parade, describing it as a “threatening message” addressed to the Lebanese, in particular to the newly-elected head of state, asserting that Hezbollah placed “Iran’s interest before the national interest.”

New York Times: Afghanistan Fires 7 From Cabinet In Intensifying Political Crisis

“Afghanistan’s Parliament has dismissed seven government ministers over the past four days, adding to the woes of a fragile coalition that for months had bickered over filling the cabinet positions in the first place. The suddenly vacated cabinet positions, adding to two ministries already vacant because of resignations, will further bog down the work of a government that has struggled to get its house in order while also facing emboldened Taliban offensives and decreasing support across the country.”

Newsweek: Nigeria: 14 Million People Need Aid In 2017 After Boko Haram: U.N.

“Nigeria is facing a massive humanitarian crisis and 14 million people will need aid in 2017, as the country struggles to cope with the fallout of Boko Haram’s insurgency, a United Nations official said. Some 75,000 children are at risk of dying from hunger within two months, the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria, Peter Lundberg, told a press conference in the capital Abuja on Tuesday. Boko Haram, an Islamist group with ties to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), launched an armed insurgency against the Nigerian federal government in 2009.”

United States

Al Jazeera: Syria’s War: US Aims New Sanctions At Assad Backers

“US legislators have passed a bill that would sanction the government of Syria and its supporters, including Russia and Iran, for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, imposing new sanctions on Syria and underscoring US determination to play a strong role in Middle East policy no matter who occupies the White House. Legislators have accused the Bashar al-Assad government of war crimes in a five-year conflict that has killed almost 500,000 people, led to Europe’s worst refugee crisis in modern times, and given room for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group to perpetrate its brand of global terrorism.”

Reuters: U.S. ‘Strongly Condemns’ Resumption Of Russian Air Strikes In Syria

“The U.S. State Department strongly condemned Russia’s resumption of air strikes in Syria on Tuesday and said it believed the targeting of hospitals and civilians in cities like Aleppo was a violation of international law. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said the renewed bombing coincided with multiparty talks in Geneva between the United States, Russia and other countries seeking to achieve a cease-fire in the conflict and a road map toward a political settlement. “We strongly condemn the resumption of air strikes in Syria by the Russians as well as the Syrian regime,” Trudeau told reporters at a State Department briefing. “The most recent reported attacks were on five hospitals and one mobile clinic in Syria. We believe it’s a violation of international law.”

Syria

BBC: Syria Conflict: Assad Hopes For ‘Anti-Terror Ally’ In Trump

“Bashar al-Assad said Mr Trump would be a “natural ally” if he fulfilled a campaign pledge to fight terrorism. But he said it was “dubious” whether Mr Trump could “live up to his promises”. Mr Trump had previously said it was “madness” to oppose both Syrian forces and IS militants, and that fighting Syria could lead to fighting Russia. Conflict continues to rage in Syria. Government aircraft on Tuesday bombed besieged rebel-held eastern districts of the city of Aleppo for the first time in three weeks, activists said.”

Fox News: While Assad Bans Aid Deliveries, UN Tells Agencies To Cut Back Syria Funding Requests

“The United Nations is quietly urging its agencies and non-governmental organizations operating in Syria to scale back their multibillion-dollar requests for aid for next year by more than 20 percent, according to an internal document examined by Fox News. The main reasons: acute donor fatigue, and an inability to actually deliver on the expanding wish list of projects to ease the plight of millions of suffering Syrians. The document also cites bans on delivering aid, either by ISIS militants or, more often, the Bashar Al-Assad dictatorship, that are, it states, now the “main impediment” to U.N. relief activities.”

Iraq

Reuters: Islamic State Kills Civilians In Mosul To Deter Support For Army

“Islamic State has summarily killed 21 civilians in Mosul it accused of collaborating with U.S.-backed security forces, which said their offensive to recapture the city from the jihadists had made further advances. The killings, reported on Tuesday by a medical source, indicate that the ultra-hardline group has maintained its ability to police Mosul, more than four weeks after the start of the offensive on the northern Iraqi city. The campaign that began on Oct. 17 is the biggest military operation in Iraq in more than a decade of turmoil unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.”

Iraqi News: Terrorism Index: ISIS Defeats Brought Iraq Deaths Down 32%

“Military interventions against the Islamic State in Iraq have brought deaths in the country down by 32%, according to the Global Terrorism Index released on Wednesday. “Military operations are clearly contributing towards restraining ISIL in Iraq, but the continued appeal of the organisation, evident in the ISIL-inspired attacks in Europe, demonstrates the limitations of a purely military approach,” said Steven Killelea, founder of the Institute of Economics and Peace, which releases the index. There had been 29,376 deaths caused by terrorism in 2015, a fall of 10 percent, the first in four years, according to the report. “Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria accounted for 78 per cent of the lives lost in 2014,” it added.”

Associated Press: Iraqi Troops Finds Civilians Left Hungry By ISIS In Mosul

“Hundreds of Iraqi civilians spilled into the streets Tuesday in eastern Mosul areas recently retaken from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to demand food from the military as rations run low in their neighborhoods, an Iraqi officer said. About 700 residents gathered in three areas of the city’s Zahra and Qadisiya neighborhoods, the latter of which was the scene of a fierce ISIS counterattack a day earlier, said Maj. Salam al-Obeidi. The Iraqi troops were sharing what rations they have with the civilians.”

Turkey

Sputnik International: Turkish Forces Attack Militants’ Positions In Northern Syria — Reports

“The Turkish troops conducted the assault using artillery and missile launchers, according to the Lebanese Al-Manar TV channel. On August 24, the Turkish forces launched a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield aimed at combating Daesh outlawed in Russia. After liberating the Syrian border town of Jarabulus, the Turkish forces, backed by the Syrian opposition, continued the offensive in the southwest direction. On September 20, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara planned to clean the northern Syrian cities of Manbij and al-Bab from Daesh militants soon and create safe zones there.”

Afghanistan

CNN: Afghanistan: Suicide Bomber Kills 4 Near Defense Ministry In Kabul

“A suicide attack near the Defense Ministry in Kabul has killed at least four people and wounded 11, according to an Afghan official. The attack Wednesday in the Pule Mahmoud Khan area of Kabul targeted an Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) vehicle, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said. Some civilians were among the casualties, he added. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.”

Yemen

Reuters: Kerry Announces Yemen Ceasefire Over Objections Of Government

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that Yemen’s Houthi group and the Saudi-led coalition fighting it had agreed to a ceasefire from Thursday, as Washington presses for an end to the war before President Barack Obama leaves office. The internationally recognized Yemeni government quickly rejected the move, complaining of being bypassed. But it may have little choice if Saudi Arabia, which supports President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi militarily and financially, threw its weight behind the move. More than 10,000 people have been killed and over 3 million displaced in the past 20 months in a war that has been overshadowed by the Syria conflict but which has created a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Egypt

New York Times: Court In Egypt Overturns Mohamed Morsi’s Death Sentence

“One of Egypt’s highest courts overturned a death sentence imposed on Mohamed Morsi, who was the country’s first democratically elected president and was ousted in 2013 by the military. Mr. Morsi, who is serving a life sentence in prison for offenses related to espionage and inciting violence, is likely to remain in prison indefinitely. The annulment of his death sentence — as well as the sentences against five other leaders of Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement — suggests the government’s reluctance to execute leaders of the Brotherhood, which still maintains some public support after its role in the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.”

Libya

Reuters: Air Strike Targeting Militants Kills Seven In Southern Libya: Official

“An air strike targeting Islamist militants has killed at least seven people near the southwestern Libyan city of Sabha, a local official and media reports said on Tuesday. Gunmen later seized the remains of the suspected militants from a morgue, said the official, who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals. The early morning strike hit three houses in Gardah, northwest of Sabha, destroying two of them and damaging the third, said the official. It was not clear who carried out the strike, and military officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Forces on both sides of conflict-ridden Libya’s east-west political divide have used warplanes to strike militant targets.”

Libya Observer: 14 people wounded in car explosion eastern Benghazi

“A car bomb went off near the vegetables public market in Bu Dazira area in eastern Benghazi, eyewitnesses said. Media sources also confirmed that many people were injured in the blast and were sent to Al-Jalaa Hospital in Benghazi. “14 persons were admitted to Al-Jalaa Hospital.” The head of the media office at the hospital, Fadia Al-Barghathi said.”

Nigeria

Associated Press: Militants Claim Bombing Of 3 Oil Pipelines In South Nigeria

“Nigerian militants and a local leader say attackers have bombed oil pipelines 100 kilometers (60 miles) apart, the fifth attack this month in response to a military campaign in Nigeria’s southern, petroleum-producing Niger Delta. The Niger Delta Avengers say on Tuesday night they blew up three Nembe Creek trunk lines carrying 300,000 barrels a day to the Bonny export terminal of Dutch-British producer Shell. Community leader Stephen Igwe says two other explosions blasted Italian company Agip’s Tebidaba-Brass pipeline.”

United Kingdom

Daily Mail: Aid Convoy That Took Jihadi John Hostage Alan Henning To Syria Was Infiltrated By Fanatics Who Helped Set Up Terrorist Sniper Team, Court Hears

“Murdered British aid worker Alan Henning was taken to Syria on a convoy linked to extremists, a court has heard. Mr Henning, of Salford, Greater Manchester, was beheaded by ISIS executioner Jihadi John in 2014 after travelling to the Middle East in convoys with men now on trial for terror offences. The aid convoys were allegedly used as cover to send thousands of pounds in money and equipment to terrorists as part of a scheme to set up a team of ‘night snipers’ in Syria.”

Europe

Newsweek: Russia Arrests Five Isis Suspects For Plotting Attacks In Moscow, Caucasus

“Russian intelligence has arrested five people suspected of links to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) over plots to attack Moscow and Russia’s Caucasus, it said in a statement Tuesday. The FSB, Russia’s internal security service, said that its agents had raided the suspects’ properties, discovering five firearms, two explosive devices and ammunition. It did not reveal the locations of the properties, only stating that the suspects planned attacks in Moscow or the North Caucasus region of Ingushetia.”

Combating the Financing of Terrorism

Alhayat: Saudi Arabia To Intensify Efforts To Combat Money Laundering And Terror Financing

“Saudi government agencies are attempting to besiege money laundering activities which have taken several forms. This effort comes following Saudi Arabia’s pursuit, during this decade, of suspicious transactions as part of its war on terrorism and extremist organizations. {Within this framework}, the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment is planning to launch inspection tours early next year of real estate and brokers’ offices, to ensure that no dubious transactions take place in connection to money laundering or financing of terrorism. In a related context, Saudi Customs foiled, during the current year, the smuggling of more than seven million Saudi riyals ($ 2 million). Last year, more than 500 cases of smuggling were reported. These included gold, jewelry and currency worth 91,727,910 Saudi riyals (about $25 million).”

ISIS

RC Arabic: Iraq: ISIS Financial Officer Disappears With Millions Of Dollars

“According to a local source in Nineveh province, on Tuesday, the so-called Diwan Al-Hisbah official, accompanied by three of his companions, fled to an unknown destination in possession of millions of dollars. The source claimed: “ISIS’s Diwan Al-Hisbah official in Nineveh province, aka Abu Hafs al-Halabi, fled with three of his aides, who hold Iraqi passports, to an unknown destination.” The source noted that “al-Halabi has close ties with ISIS leaders. He is deemed one of the most important sources of information pertaining to the financial secrets of the organization.”

Muslim Brotherhood

Al-Ahram: Egypt: Postponement Of Lawsuit By Brotherhood Leader To Overturn Decision To Form Awqaf Asset Freeze Committee

“The First Circuit Administrative Court of the Egyptian State Council, headed by State Council Vice President and Judge Bekheet Ismail, decided to postpone the lawsuit filed by Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Saad El-Katatni. In his lawsuit, he demanded the annulment of the {Egyptian} President’s decision to form a {new} committee led by Engineer Ibrahim Mahlab, the former Prime Minister. The committee will be in charge of all properties belonging to Egyptian Endowments, whether lands, buildings, projects or ownership in companies. The lawsuit claimed that this decision was made to extort the Egyptian Endowments (Awqaf) Authority and to pave the way for using the endowments not for the purpose for which they were ordained.”

Albawabh News: Egypt: Imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood Members Use Money To Attract New Recruits

“Money is being pumped to Muslim Brotherhood members in prisons through various means, an Egyptian security source confirmed. The source added, “They rely mainly on money kept in their homes or funds coming from overseas.” The money comes concealed in food {brought into the prison} or clothing, or through the prison staff, who often determine the amounts that go to each prisoner. In this way, the money is conveyed through visitors. The prison condones the money given to the prisoner by his family, even when it exceeds the amount agreed upon in advance. The Muslim Brotherhood needs the money to attract new prisoners to its ranks or to bribe security personnel to arrange their escape. The source claimed that the Brotherhood is a wealthy group, and the money ensures the continuation and expansion of recruitments.”

Houthi

From-Yemen: Houthi Militia Pester School Children To Fund Their War Effort

“The Houthi militia continues its daily campaigns in schools in the Yemeni capital by collecting money from students during the morning routine. These campaigns are taking place under the pretext of “supporting the Central Bank”. Some public-school students have voiced dissatisfaction with the practices of the Houthis, who are constantly badgering them for support of their war effort and the Central Bank.”

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