Eye on Extremism, November 28, 2016

Reuters: Iraqi Forces Grind On In East Mosul As Political Rift Opens Over Shi’ite Militias

“Iraq’s sectarian political leaders have plunged back into a dispute over the status of Shi’ite armed groups, undermining efforts to reunite the country as its troops press on with the assault of Mosul, Islamic State’s biggest stronghold. Forty days into the biggest ground offensive in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, about a quarter of the city has been taken by U.S.-backed government units on the eastern side. The western part could prove far more dangerous, Major General Najm al-Jubbouri, one of the army’s top commanders, told Reuters. Residents still wearing the long beards demanded by Islamic State welcomed Iraqi troops into a neighborhood of east Mosul with coffee, cheers and kisses after the fighters left.”

The Washington Post: Iraq Gives Militias Official Status Despite Abuse Claims

“The Iraqi parliament passed a law Saturday making militia units, including ­Iranian-backed groups accused of human rights abuses, an official part of the country’s security forces. Lawmakers passed the measure 208 to 0 in a session that was boycotted by most Sunni politicians, who opposed an initiative that extends the influence of powerful Shiite groups that many Iraqi Sunnis view with suspicion. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi praised the law, saying that it gave due to fighters who had proved themselves a key part of Iraqi defenses since the onslaught by Islamic State militants in 2014.”

BBC: Syria War: Key Aleppo Rebel Area Captured By Forces

“Syrian government forces have captured a key part of eastern Aleppo, splitting rebel-held territory. Both state TV and the monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that the district of Sakhour had fallen to the Syrian army. The Syrian army and their allies launched a major offensive to retake control of Aleppo in September. Thousands of civilians have fled rebel-held eastern Aleppo districts after a weekend of heavy fighting. Hundreds of families have also been displaced within the besieged area.”

Financial Times: Foreign Fighters Pour Into Syria To Bolster Assad Regime

“As mourners carried the coffin of a slain Hezbollah commander, they moved quickly to wipe away blood still dripping from his body — it had been washed in haste as it was rushed from the battlefields of Aleppo to its final resting place in Lebanon. While Russian war planes and bombs have dominated headlines about outside intervention in Syria’s five-year conflict, thousands of those fighting on the ground in support of President Bashar al-Assad are just as foreign. They are part of a large and growing force of Shia militias hailing from Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and beyond that see the war as both an ideological and regional struggle against Sunni rivals.”

The New York Times: Israel Defense Forces Kill 4 ISIS-Linked Attackers In Golan Heights

“The Israeli military said it killed four militants linked to the Islamic State on Sunday after they attacked Israeli forces in the Golan Heights. The confrontation appeared to be the first of its kind between Israel and Islamic State-affiliated forces based in Syria. It was not immediately clear if the militants’ attack had been spontaneous or if it signaled a possible change of policy by extremist groups. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military, described the exchange as ‘unique’ in magnitude. He said jihadist fighters, riding in a vehicle with a machine gun mounted on its roof, had assaulted an Israeli reconnaissance unit with gunfire and mortars on the Israeli-controlled side of the contested territory.”

New York Times: Obama Expands War With Al Qaeda To Include Shabab In Somalia

“The escalating American military engagement in Somalia has led the Obama administration to expand the legal scope of the war against Al Qaeda, a move that will strengthen President-elect Donald J. Trump’s authority to combat thousands of Islamist fighters in the chaotic Horn of Africa nation. The administration has decided to deem the Shabab, the Islamist militant group in Somalia, to be part of the armed conflict that Congress authorized against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to senior American officials. The move is intended to shore up the legal basis for an intensifying campaign of airstrikes and other counterterrorism operations, carried out largely in support of African Union and Somali government forces.”

Wall Street Journal: U.S.-French Operation Targeted Elusive North African Militant, U.S. Says

“French aircraft struck and likely killed one of the most wanted senior al Qaeda operatives in southern Libya this month, marking a new level of cooperation between France and the U.S. on targeting militants, U.S. officials said. This wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. thought that a strike killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an elusive insurgent leader known as the “one-eyed terrorist” because of an accident years ago that left him disfigured. Reports of his death following previous operations to target him over the years have proved false.”

Reuters: Iran May Seek Naval Bases In Yemen Or Syria: Chief Of Staff

“Iran may seek to set up naval bases in Yemen or Syria in the future, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces said in remarks published on Sunday. His comments, likely to be of concern to Shi’ite Iran’s Sunni regional rival Saudi Arabia and its allies, raised the prospect of distant footholds perhaps being more valuable militarily to Tehran than nuclear technology. ‘We need distant bases, and it may become possible one day to have bases on the shores of Yemen or Syria, or bases on islands or floating (bases),’ said General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, quoted by the Shargh daily newspaper.”

The Sydney Morning Herald: Australian Terrorist Neil Prakash May Have Been Tracked By Social Media Posts

“Australia’s most wanted terrorist, Neil Prakash, tried to flee Islamic State by sneaking into Turkey but may have been undone by his social media posts, Fairfax Media has learned. An international tug-of-war is looming following his arrest in Turkey a few weeks ago, more than six months after the US and Australian governments said Prakash had been killed in a targeted drone strike in Mosul, Iraq.”

New York Times: Manila Police Detonate Improvised Bomb Near US Embassy

“An improvised bomb found Monday in a trash bin near the U.S. Embassy and detonated by police has the same design as one used by local sympathizers of the Islamic State group in a Sept. 2 bomb attack that killed 15 people in southern Davao city, the Philippine police chief said. National police chief Director-General Ronald dela Rosa told a news conference that police are theorizing that Maute militants could be behind Monday’s “attempted act of terrorism” that appeared to target the U.S. Embassy. The improvised bomb fashioned from an 81-mm mortar round, cellphone, blasting cap and a small battery could have been powerful enough to kill people within 100 meters (110 yards), police officials said.”

NPR: In Northern Iraq, ISIS Leaves Behind An Archaeological Treasure In Ruins

“In 2014, the Islamic State surged through Iraq, taking nearly a third of the country’s territory, along with several ancient sites, including Nimrud, which is about 20 miles southeast of Mosul. They smashed and blew up Ashurnasirpal II’s palace. Salih, who later worked with the state board of antiquities, had not seen the site since 2014. But she had, like millions, seen the videos the extremists made of their henchmen attacking the masonry and sculptures, deeming them heretical. Last week, the Iraqi army retook Nimrud from the extremists, part of a push by an assortment of Iraqi security forces to dislodge ISIS from Mosul and surrounding areas. So Salih returned to see the site for herself.”

International Business Times: New US Terror-Sponsors Law Means Britain ‘Could Be Sued By Jihadi John Victims’

“Senior British political and military figures have warned that the UK may face legal claims for not doing enough to tackle terrorism, and it could even be sued by victims of Jihadi John. In September, the US Congress overruled President Barack Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Jasta). Also called the 9/11 bill, Jasta means families of victims of the 9/11 attacks can sue the Saudi Arabian government over its alleged links with the perpetrators of the attacks, 15 of whom came from the kingdom. But a letter to the Telegraph signed by 21 figures including Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Lord Hain and Lt Gen Sir Simon Mayall, says that the new law will have a huge impact on Britain’s counter-terrorism work with the US, serving to encourage ‘ambulance-chasing lawyers’ in America.”

United States

CNN: Susan Rice: Coalition Forces Have Seized 55 Percent Of ISIS Territory In Iraq

“Coalition forces are making progress in the battle against ISIS, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Sunday. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Rice said she believes the key cities Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria would fall to US-backed Syrian forces. ‘The Iraqi Security Forces inside of Iraq have taken back about 55 percent of the populated territory that ISIL originally seized back in 2014,’ Rice said, using another name for the Islamic State. ‘They have now, with our support and that of our 68-country coalition, encircled Mosul and they’re beginning to move into parts of Mosul,’ she added.”

The Jerusalem Post: US Supertanker Begins First Mission Putting Out Flames Raging Across Israel

“The US Supertanker, which arrived late Friday evening from the United States, took off on its first mission Saturday afternoon. Based on the Boeing 747, the plane was set to help extinguish the flames near Jerusalem, adjacent to Highway 1. The Supertanker is the largest aerial firefighting aircraft in the world and is capable of carrying up to 19,600 gallons of retardant or water. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the decision to bring the plane Friday. Contracted through the company Global Super Tanker, the plane was brought in hopes of avoiding the same fate of the Carmel fire disaster, when the Supertanker was brought to Israel too late, rendering it unusable.”

Associated Press: Taliban Fighter Case Stirs Question On Law Of Armed Conflict

“Two years after being brought to the U.S. to face charges in an attempted attack on American forces in Afghanistan, Irek Hamidullin is arguing he should never have been prosecuted at all. A federal court appeal from Hamidullin, a former Russian army officer who defected to fight alongside Taliban-affiliated forces, raises anew the question of how the U.S. government should handle people captured overseas for acts of violence they commit against the American military. At issue is whether Hamidullin should be regarded as an ordinary criminal or, as he contends, a lawful combatant entitled to be treated as a prisoner of war and immune from the U.S. court system.”

Syria

The New York Times: Half A Million Children Are Trapped In Syria, United Nations Says

“With violence escalating in Aleppo and elsewhere across war-ravaged Syria, the United Nations said Saturday that the number of children trapped in besieged areas had doubled in less than a year to half a million. A report by Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, said the children were among hundreds of thousands of civilians in 16 areas under siege across the country who had been ‘almost completely cut off from sustained humanitarian aid and basic services.’ The report said some of these areas had received little or no aid in nearly two years, despite repeated efforts by international relief agencies to provide food and medicine. ‘This is no way to live,’ Unicef’s executive director, Anthony Lake, said in the report.”

Iraq

Daily Mail: Australia’s Most Wanted Terrorist Was ‘Burned And Horribly Disfigured’ In Iraq Drone Strike That Prompted Reports He Was Dead

“Australia’s most wanted terrorist was burned and disfigured in the targeted drone strike that was earlier reported to have killed him. But Neil Prakash was alive, and headed across Iraq to the Turkish border using a fake passport after recovering from his injuries, Daily Telegraph reported. He was unaware Australian spies and U.S. intelligence agencies were on the case, and tracked him for seven months before his arrest. Australian and Turkish officials were waiting for him at the border and captured him at gunpoint earlier this month.”

The Wall Street Journal: Iraq’s Sunni Lawmakers To Challenge Legal Recognition Of Shiite Militias

“Iraq’s Sunni lawmakers pledged on Sunday to challenge in court a newly passed law that formalizes the combat role of Iranian-backed Shiite militias, one of the country’s more powerful adversaries of Islamic State. The legislation legally empowers the militias and makes them ultimately answerable to Iraq’s prime minister, but it also allows groups that have been accused of abuses against Sunnis to maintain command structures separate from the nation’s police and military. The move raises questions of who will oversee the militias on the battlefield and feeds into criticism from Sunnis that such divisions threaten to partition the country along sectarian lines.”

Turkey

Associated Press: BBC, Voice Of America Reporters Detained In Southeast Turkey

“Turkish authorities detained two reporters working for foreign news organizations in southeast Turkey, the latest journalists taken into custody as part of the government’s sweeping crackdown following a failed coup in July. BBC Turkish correspondent Hatice Kamer was detained Saturday in the town of Sirvan while covering a recent copper mine collapse that killed at least 11 workers, the broadcaster said. Voice of America said its freelance reporter, Khajijan Farqin, was detained the same day in Diyarbakir. Kamer was released on Sunday, BBC Turkish said. She told German broadcaster WDR by phone after being freed that she was told she would face charges of having supported the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, through her reporting. Kamer said there was no evidence for that.”

Voice Of America: Turkey Accuses IS Of Chemical Attack In Syria

“Turkey said Sunday it suspects Islamic State fighters used chemical weapons against Turkish-backed rebels in northern Syria. A Turkish military statement in the state-run Anadolu news agency says 22 rebels showed symptoms of exposure to ‘chemical gas’ after a rocket attack east of al-Rai, near the Syria-Turkey border. The statement did not indicate when the attack took place. The wounded were evacuated to the Turkish border town of Kilis where they are being tested for traces of chemical weapons, Turkish media reported. There have been several episodes of chemical weapons being used against civilians and fighters in Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, which would be a clear violation of international law.”

Afghanistan

Voice Of America: Afghan, Pakistani Leaders Discuss Tense Bilateral Ties

“Pakistani and Afghan leaders met Saturday on the sidelines of an international conference in Turkmenistan to discuss issues straining ties between their two countries. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani discussed bilateral relations and regional issues, Pakistani officials said without giving further details. Sharif and Ghani are attending the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference the United Nations has convened in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat. The two-day international gathering is aimed at highlighting the fundamental role of sustainable transport in fighting climate change and achieving a sustainable future.”

Fox News: Leaders Of The Taliban May Have Moved To Afghanistan From Pakistan

“After operating out of Pakistan for more than a decade, the leaders of Afghanistan’s Taliban movement may have moved back to their homeland to try to build on this year’s gains in the war and to establish a permanent presence. If confirmed, the move would be a sign of the Taliban’s confidence in their fight against the U.S.-backed government in Kabul. It could also be an attempt by the militants to distance themselves from Pakistan, which is accused of supporting the movement. The Taliban’s leaders have been based in Pakistani cities, including Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar, since their rule in Afghanistan was overthrown in the 2001 U.S. invasion after the 9/11 attacks.”

Yemen

Reuters: Yemen’s Exiled President Visits Civilians In Aden

“Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi arrived in the southern city of Aden on Saturday from Saudi Arabia to address civilian grievances including complaints about deteriorating services and delays in paying salaries, army and security sources said. The exiled Hadi is backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition that has been trying to roll back gains made since 2014 by the armed Houthi movement, allied with Iran, and restore the president to power. His visit is expected to last several days. At least 10,000 people have been killed in the 20-month conflict, which has unleashed a humanitarian crisis on one of the Arab world’s poorest countries.”

Egypt

Associated Press: Egypt Says It Arrested Suspected Militants Planning Attacks

“Egypt’s Interior Ministry says authorities have arrested an extremist cell planning anti-government attacks. Ten suspects have been arrested in the province of Suez and have confessed to doing surveillance work in preparation for targeting a number of security locations and police personnel, the ministry said in a statement. One of those arrested, Abdel Rahman al-Hadi, has links to militants in North Sinai and has received bomb-making and weapons training there, it said. Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate is active in Sinai, where the Egyptian army is fighting to curb a militant insurgency and consolidate its grip on the area.”

International Business Times: Egypt Troops In Syria: Cairo Denies Reports Of Military Presence In War-Torn Country

“Egypt denied media reports that alleged the presence of its military units in Syria. The country’s foreign ministry said Sunday Egypt does not intervene in the internal affairs of other countries. ‘These claims only exist in the imagination of those who promote them,’ the ministry reportedly said in a statement, adding that such an intervention would require public legal measures. The statement did not refer to any specific media outlets behind the claims but most reports cited As-Safir, a Lebanese daily which reported last week that Cairo sent a military unit of 18 pilots to an air base in the west-central Syrian city of Hama earlier in November. The report was based on ‘well-informed Arab sources’ who said the unit was joined by four senior military officials upon arrival.”

Middle East

The Times Of Israel: Military Intelligence Head Warns Of Instability In West Bank, Possible Wave Of Terror

“Israel should prepare for a possible wave of terror attacks amid growing instability in the West Bank caused by a power struggle in the Palestinian Authority over who will succeed President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate warned on Sunday. Speaking at a closed conference at Tel Aviv University, Maj-Gen Herzl Halevi said that the next year ‘would be a year of instability in the Palestinian Authority,’ adding that there will be a number of ‘elements who will challenge Abbas’s leadership [while] Hamas will try to make gains,’ according to a report in Haaretz. ‘The result will be a very challenging reality in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank],’ he said.”

The Jerusalem Post: Israel To Purchase 17 More Stealth Fighters At Cost Of $1.5b

“The security cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved the purchase of 17 additional F-35 aircraft from the US, bringing to 50 the number of stealth fighters purchased at a cost of about $85 million each. The planes will be purchased as part of the $38 billion, 10-year Memorandum of Understanding signed with the US in September. Israel is expected to have two squadrons of F-35s by early next decade, with each squadron being made up of 25 planes. A third squadron of 25 planes may be purchased a later date. The first two of the state-of-the-art fighters are scheduled to arrive on December 12 at the Nevatim Air Force Base near Beersheba.”

Voice Of America: Qatari Minister: Gaza Risks Becoming Easy Launchpad For Islamic State

“Palestinian infighting and years of an Israeli blockade could turn the impoverished Gaza Strip into an easy ‘launching pad’ for Islamic State recruiters, Qatar’s foreign minister says. The small gas-rich Gulf state is a major backer of Hamas, the armed movement which has maintained its control over the coastal enclave for almost a decade despite conflicts with Israel and a rift with Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas. Foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said in an interview in Doha on Saturday that a blockade imposed on Gaza’s borders by Israel and Egypt had turned the territory into an ‘open-air prison.’”

CNN: Israeli Wildfires: Police Detain 23 On Suspicion Of Arson

“Police have detained 23 people on suspicion of arson in connection with wildfires that swept across central and northern Israel this week, said police spokeswoman Luba Samri. Firefighters have dealt with more than 250 large fires since last weekend, according to Yoram Levi, spokesman for Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services. Ran Sheluf, head of the investigation unit of the Israel fire and rescue services, said the total number of fires reported to authorities was over 1,500 fires. ‘This is twice the usual number,’ he said. ‘The cause of the fires is either negligence or being started deliberately.’”

Libya

Reuters: Sister, Militant Source Deny Woman Arrested In Libya Is Wife Of Veteran Islamist

“A Tunisian woman who Libyan authorities said they had arrested and was married to veteran Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar is not his wife, her sister and an al Qaeda source have told local media. East Libya’s counter-terrorism department said they had detained the woman, identified as Asma Kadoussi, after she had traveled to the northeastern city of Derna to give birth to a child. They said she had been living with Belmokhtar in the Libyan desert region of Jufra, suggesting that Belmokhtar, a major militant figure in the region who was targeted by a U.S. air strike in Libya in June 2015, was still alive.”

Reuters: Libyan Forces Face Deadly Islamic State Defense In Sirte Holdout

“Libyan forces faced fierce resistance on Saturday from Islamic State militants defending a final strip of land in their former stronghold of Sirte, losing at least five men, officials said. Forces led by fighters from the city of Misrata and backed by U.S. air strikes have taken all but a few dozen houses near Sirte’s Mediterranean seafront since they began their campaign to recapture the city in May. As the battle has worn on they have advanced more cautiously, trying to limit casualties among their fighters and among civilians and captives trapped with the militants.”

Nigeria

The Guardian: Troops Kill 30 Boko Haram Members In Failed Ambush

“Fresh push by soldiers of Operation Lafiya Dole has paid off with the elimination of 30 Boko Haram fighters in a failed ambush. The insurgents appeared to have perfected the strategy of laying ambush for troops. Several of the daring acts had been successful, with a recent attack leading to the widely reported death of the late Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Abu-Ali, a commanding officer in the counter-terrorism operation. The tragedy, which Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai described as one death too many, prompted the adoption of a new strategy for combating the insurgents.”

The Guardian: The Small African Region With More Refugees Than All Of Europe

“As Ali Kawu eases his handcart to a halt on a recent morning in north-east Nigeria, it is the first time he has dared to stop walking in more than 24 hours. A day earlier, at 8am, Boko Haram militants raided his village. Kawu, 25, escaped with what he could – his wife, their three children, and kindling for a fire. They left behind their papers, six sacks of beans, up to 15 dead neighbours, and 10 kidnapped villagers. Then they walked all day and all night. But safety doesn’t mean comfort. Kawu is just the latest of approximately 140,000 displaced people sheltering in this remote town of 60,000 people. North-east Nigeria has been hit by a displacement crisis that dwarfs any migration flows seen in Europe in recent years. Since the Boko Haram insurgency began, more people have migrated to Monguno alone than left all of north Africa for Europe in the first nine months of this year.”

United Kingdom

Telegraph: Britain ‘Faces US Legal Claims’ After America Passes Terror Sponsors Law

“Britain faces a wave of claims from US lawyers and could even be sued by victims of Jihadi John, senior military and political figures warn, after Washington passed a controversial terrorism sponsorship law. In a letter to the Telegraph on Monday, they warn that America’s new Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Jasta) gives US-based lawyers the ability to sue foreign states such as Britain for failing to do enough to tackle terrorism. Signed by 21 figures, including Col Tim Collins, Lord West, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Lord Hain and Lt Gen Sir Simon Mayall, the letter says the new law will undermine Britain’s counter-terrorism work with the US.”

Germany

 Haaretz: German Jewish Leaders Meet With Left Party To Discuss Growing Anti-Semitism

“Fears about an increase in populist and right-wing extremism were at the top of the agenda for Jewish leaders in Germany in their first ever meeting with leaders of the Left Party. In a joint statement, the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Left Party called on civil society and government to take a stand against a “worrying tendency” toward xenophobia and anti-Semitism as Germany prepares to enter a national election year. On the table in Thursday’s two-hour meeting in Berlin were trends among some extreme groups toward denial of Israel’s right to exist, as well as hate crimes directed at recent refugees from war-torn countries in Africa, the Middle East and South-Central Asia.”

Europe

The Huffington Post: Far Right Terrorists ‘Much More Hidden’ Than Religious Extremists, Experts Warn After Jo Cox Trial

“Terrorists such as Jo Cox’s murderer Thomas Mair are virtually impossible to detect and stop, an expert has warned, as Far Right extremists are ‘far more hidden’ than religious extremists. Thomas Mair was imprisoned for life this week for stabbing and shooting Cox as he reportedly shouted ‘Britain first!’, a week before the EU referendum. Mair had been communicating with White Supremacists as far back as 1991, when he described how ‘the White Race’ faced a ‘very long and very bloody struggle’. He amassed Nazi propaganda and memorabilia and was researching Far Right movements up until the day before he killed the MP. But his neighbours were shocked the quiet, solitary man they knew, who enjoyed gardening, could commit murder.”

Associated Press: Spanish Police Arrest Man For Attempting To Join IS In Syria

“Spanish police arrested a man at Madrid’s Barajas airport on Sunday who was attempting to join the Islamic State extremist group in war-torn Syria. Spain’s Interior Ministry said the suspect was detained by authorities in Jordan, where he was attempting to cross into Syria, and then handed over to Spain’s Civil Guard for arrest. The suspect is a Spanish citizen of Palestinian origin who lives on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands archipelago. The suspect had been under police surveillance since 2014 when police detected that he was ‘in the process of jihadist radicalization’ after having ‘consumed propaganda from the (IS) terrorist group which had led him to be willing to travel and join their ranks.’”

Australia

Deutsche Welle: Australia Hopes To Extradite Top IS Recruiter From Turkey

“Australia is awaiting a response from Turkey to its extradition request for a citizen believed to be a top recruiter for the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS). Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan said Monday the suspect is believed to be Neil Prakash (photo above), who has been linked to several planned attacks in Australia and appeared in IS videos and magazines. Prakash, who is also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, has been described as ‘the most dangerous Australian’ and was captured by Turkish forces several weeks ago as he attempted to enter Syria from Turkey. Prakash was thought to have died in a United States airstrike in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on April 29, but was merely injured.”

ISIS

All4Syria: ISIS Closes Shops In Deir Al-Zour

“ISIS closed several shops in the city of Deir al-Zour (Syria), claiming that shopkeepers were not complying with the prices fixed by the organization. The shutdown also included fresh produce shops in Hatla Fuqani, a village located outside the city. ISIS punished offenders by closing their shops for two consecutive days and collecting a fine worth some 17,000 Syrian pounds ($80). Meanwhile, ISIS closed several shops inside the neighborhoods of Deir al-Zour city and Al-Mayadin’s rural areas in the east, for the same {alleged} offenses. Previously, the organization imposed hefty taxes on jewelry stores, currency exchange offices and money transfer stations, forcing them to pay the tax immediately.”

Alwasat: Libya: Gambian Fighter In ISIS Earns 500 Dinars Per Month

“On Saturday, Libyan forces of the “Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous” Operation detained in a house in Sirte’s Al-Giza Al-Bahriya district an ISIS militant who holds Gambian citizenship. A military source disclosed that the detainee, nicknamed “Abu Taher”, admitted that 10 months ago he came to Sirte through the desert with an ISIS leader from Gambia. The militant disclosed that he earns 500 dinars ($350) per month. In previous statements, a source in Battalion No. 604 disclosed that on Thursday its fighters had detained two ISIS militants, one from Guinea and one from Tunisia. They admitted that other ISIS militants were hiding out in several houses.”

Albawabh News: Egyptian Terrorist Cell Received Training In ISIS Camps In Syria And Libya

“Investigations by Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution into the case of 20 defendants belonging to a terrorist cell in the Marsa Matrouh governorate revealed that the cell was affiliated with the Libyan branch of ISIS. The defendants, whose case was referred to the criminal court, admitted joining the training camps run by ISIS in Libya and Syria. Investigations by prosecutors and the National Security Agency disclosed that the defendants communicated with the leaders of ISIS terrorist group in Libya via the Internet. They also infiltrated {to Libya} from border areas through the desert in western Egypt. There {in the Libyan camps} they received advanced training in guerrilla warfare techniques, how to manufacture explosive devices and how to use a wide range of firearms.”

Muslim Brotherhood

The Seventh Day: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee Announces Tender For New School Jobs

“The Board of Directors of the {Egyptian} June 30th Group of Schools announced a tender for hiring a legal researcher and school administrators. This is part of the development program for these schools, following the discovery of financial and administrative irregularities. The June 30th Group of Schools is affiliated with the committee in charge of running Brotherhood schools seized by the Muslim Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee, headed by Dr. Mohammed Yasser Abu El-Fotouh.”

Kol7sry News: Sources Accuse Muslim Brotherhood Companies Of Fabricating Medicine Crisis In Egypt

“Sources claimed that the contrived drug crisis in Egypt was initiated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. They allegedly exploited the companies they own to purchase and store vital medicines from the market. Note that some Brotherhood pharmaceutical companies were seized due to administrative irregularities. Authorities claimed these companies had plotted to stop selling medications in drug-stores and to sell them, instead, on the black market. The scheme was aimed at destabilizing Egyptian society by tampering with one of the basic needs of the citizen and patient {population}. Investigations, carried out by regulators and the courts, indicate that leaders of the Brotherhood, whose properties are yet to be appropriated, have financed some cells seeking to “sow dissent and terrorism in Egyptian society.” Some of these leaders exploited their ownership of companies to contrive a medicine-shortage crisis.”

Elfagr: Security Expert Does Not Rule Out Involvement Of Muslim Brotherhood In Promoting Drug Smuggling Into Egyptian Universities

“It seems that hashish merchants have begun to target universities, so as to promote their products there. This move clearly aims at increasing their profits from such trade, especially since universities house the largest concentration of young people. Former Egyptian Minister of Interior’s security assistant, Major General Magdy Al-Shahed, does not rule out the possibility that the excessive promotion of drugs in the past was initiated by Islamist groups. This is because these groups focus on young people in an attempt to “destroy their minds” while also harming the {national} economy. Al-Shahed added that it was recently anticipated that the Muslim Brotherhood might turn to such means in an attempt to control the youth and the Egyptian universities. He asserted that Brotherhood activists, despite their low number, are capable of doing so because they possess money and are influential.”

Almodon: Will Muslim Brotherhood Recover Their Money In The Event Of Reconciliation With The Egyptian Regime?

“The bill for “the Judiciary Committee to seize, manage and dispose of funds owned by terrorist groups and entities affiliated with them”, known simply as the “Terrorist Groups’ Funds” law, is stirring a debate as to the seriousness of calls for reconciliation between the Egyptian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood. In the event that a reconciliation is achieved, the Egyptian government must return the group’s seized assets, according to an official statement released in January 2016. The long list of assets includes 620 companies, 1125 civic associations, 100 schools, 45 hospitals, assets belonging to about 1,400 individuals, 320 acres of agricultural lands, some 20 foreign exchange companies, shops and shopping malls. It is difficult to precisely estimate and assess {the value of} the seized properties owned by the Muslim Brotherhood group and its members. Judicial sources claimed in recent statements, however, that the estimated worth of these properties exceeds 50 billion Egyptian pounds, the equivalent of roughly 2.87 billion dollars.”

Albawabh News: Muslim Brotherhood Seeks To Tighten Its Grip On Agricultural Professions Union In Egypt

“The “Who Loves Egypt” (WLEgypt) campaign disclosed the Muslim Brotherhood’s blueprint to take control of the Agricultural Professions Union which has a total of 630,000 members nationwide. It is one of the biggest unions in Egypt in terms of membership and is the only Union still dominated by the Brotherhood. The campaign revealed preliminary preparations being made by the Brotherhood to back engineer “A. K” who is running for president of the Union and to nominate other members to different key positions, in culmination of their scheme to gain full control of the Union. The WLEgypt campaign urged the National Security Service affiliated with the Interior Ministry to exclude Brotherhood candidates and “give the professional associations back to their members.” This comes after years of exploitation of the Union by Brotherhood-affiliated members to achieve political goals and to serve as the organization’s “front” for carrying out its agenda.”

Houthi

Yemen Akhbar: Houthi Militias Impose New Tax In Amran

“The militias of Houthi and ousted {Yemeni president Ali} Saleh in Amran province, north of the capital Sanaa, have imposed the payment of substantial sums of money on households under the banner of tribal “al-Nakaf” (a term used to beg to tribes to get involved in wars.) Private sources disclosed that leaders of Houthi and Saleh militias have imposed a tax of 2000 riyals ($8) on each household in the Thari-area villages, located in Shaharah District. The villages include Al-Hajar, Dhu Ziyad, Wadi Rajah, Kharab al-Shami and Wadi Sawer.”

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