Eye on Extremism, December 1, 2016

The Washington Post: FBI: Ohio State Attacker Might Have Been Inspired By Islamic State

“Marielle Harris, a research analyst at the Counter Extremism Project, which tracks radical jihadi sites, said Artan’s praise for Awlaki and disparagement of other imams suggests he has spent a fair amount of time watching Awlaki’s videos and had adopted Awlaki’s rhetoric. His post also contained a line: ‘Stop the killing in Burma.’ That was a reference to the oppression of the Muslim Rohyinga minority in Burma, whose population is majority Buddhist. That, Harris said, is an effort to ‘propagandize a current conflict’ and spur ‘young disillusioned’ Muslims to carry out attacks to avenge perceived mistreatment.”

CNN: ISIS Uses Water As Weapon In Mosul Fight

“At least half a million people caught in the crossfire inside the Iraqi city of Mosul now have no access to running water, the United Nations told CNN on Wednesday. One of three major water pipelines was struck as Iraqi troops fought back ISIS militants in parts of eastern Mosul. The damaged conduit remains inside the group’s territory, making it inaccessible for repairs, according to a UNICEF statement released Wednesday. An Iraqi-led offensive began in October to liberate Mosul after more than two years under ISIS control. Mosul is the terror group’s last major power base in Iraq.”

Reuters: Syrian Rebels Vow To Resist Army Advances In Aleppo

“Syrian rebels on Wednesday vowed to fight on in east Aleppo in the face of sudden government advances that have cut the area held by the opposition by a third in recent days and brought insurgents in the city to the brink of a catastrophic defeat. Gains by the Syrian army and its allies since last week have brought whole districts back under government control and led to a human exodus as thousands have fled their pulverized neighborhoods near the rapidly shifting front lines. With the rebels now reduced to an area just kilometers across, the leaders of Russia and Turkey, two of the most powerful supporters of the opposing sides in the war spoke by phone on the need for a ceasefire, according to sources in Ankara.”

Associated Press: Iraq’s Special Forces Control 19 Mosul Neighborhoods

“Iraqi special forces fighting Islamic State militants on the eastern side of Mosul have retaken 19 neighborhoods from the extremist group since the battle for the city began last month, a senior Iraqi commander said on Wednesday. Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil of the special forces told The Associated Press his men were now about four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Tigris river, which slices the city in half. He said the 19 neighborhoods constituted less than 30 percent of the part of the city east of the Tigris. The government last month launched a massive campaign to retake Mosul from IS. The offensive was launched on multiple fronts, but most of the fighting has to date been concentrated in the city’s eastern sector, with Iraq’s special forces taking the lead.”

The Washington Post: How Iranian Weapons Are Ending Up In Yemen

“Weapon shipments intercepted in the Arabian sea by Australian, French and U.S. warships this year contained large quantities of Russian and Iranian weapons, some of which had markings similar to munitions recovered from Houthi fighters in Yemen, according to a new report released by an independent research group Wednesday. In October, U.S. officials claimed to have captured five shipments of Iranian weapons bound for Yemen. The report, published by Conflict Armament Research, or CAR, draws on markings found on rifles, rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles and munitions, providing some of the more concrete evidence to date of Iran’s logistical support to Houthis fighting in Yemen’s nearly two-year-old civil war.”

Daily Beast: Elite U.S. Special Operators Build Center For Perpetual War On Terror

“Preparing for a multi-generational, international fight against terrorists, U.S. special operations chiefs are launching a new counterterrorist nerve center at an undisclosed location in the Middle East to fight the so-called Islamic State, al Qaeda, and any other terrorist actor. The Joint Special Operations Command, the U.S. military’s premier counterterrorist strike force, is expanding its existing targeting nerve center in the region to make space for more American terror hunting personnel from three-letter agencies like the CIA, NSA, and FBI to foreign partners like Britain, France, Iraq and Jordan.”

Wall Street Journal: Al Qaeda Alumnus Promotes Saudi Rehab

“When the U.S. returned former al Qaeda operative Khalid al Jihani to Saudi Arabia after more than three years in prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he was ready to rejoin the terror group. Instead, the Saudi government put him in its program aimed at de-radicalizing former jihadists before they are released back into society. The monthslong program, at a secured compound in Riyadh, teaches religion to former jihadists with a focus on rejecting violence. It helps men find jobs and sometimes even a wife. Officials call residents “beneficiaries,” and the rehabilitation compound features a swimming pool and an art-therapy center.”

The Washington Post: German Militant Who Denounced Islamic State Now Under Investigation For Murder, War Crimes In Syria

“German prosecutors have launched a murder and war crimes investigation of an Islamic State fighter who claimed in interviews that he had refused to engage in violence in Syria but was caught on video taking part in a public execution, a German official said. Harry Sarfo, 28, a German citizen whose sanitized accounts of his experiences in Syria appeared on front pages of major newspapers and television broadcasts, is now suspected of playing a direct role in the killing of seven hostages in the ancient city of Palmyra last year.”

Voice Of America: Islamic State Expanding Schools In Afghan Province

“Officials in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarar province say the Islamic State group is trying to imprint a lasting legacy on children in the region through an increasing network of religious seminaries and schools. Authorities say IS runs at least 25 seminaries in four districts of the province where children are taught military ideology and how to prepare for suicide attacks. Madrassas, or Muslim seminaries, “that were built by local people are now being used by IS for militant activities,” Abdul Zahir Haqqani, director of religious affairs in Nangarhar, told VOA’s Afghan service. “They use them as military centers where they teach militancy, conduct military trainings and plan their activities.”

Wall Street Journal: Saudis Go Online To Intercept Militant Recruits

“Every day after work, Abdulrazaq al Morjan spends hours on Twitter to infiltrate networks of young Islamic radicals and stop groups like Islamic State from recruiting them. The most effective weapon at his disposal is knowledge of his country’s ultraconservative brand of Islam, which extremists draw upon for inspiration. “Saudi Arabia is the heart of Islam. They can’t play around with us” when it comes to religious interpretations, says Mr. Morjan, a digital forensics expert and leading member of a volunteer initiative called Sakinah. “We know how to bring al Qaeda and Daesh in our dialogue, how to put them to shame, how to challenge them,” he said, using an acronym for Islamic State. Sakinah, operating independently, complements other Saudi efforts. Long blamed for inspiring jihadists through its promotion of a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam, Saudi Arabia is using that religious clout to combat violent Islamic extremism.”

United States

The Washington Post: Foreign National Faces Sentencing In D.C. For Supporting Al-Qaeda-Backed Terrorism

“A dual Dutch-Turkish national was in federal court in Washington Wednesday to face sentencing for providing material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a U.S.-designated terrorist group active in Afghanistan. U.S. prosecutors are seeking a maximum, 15-year prison term for Irfan Demirtas, 57, who they said served as a European-based fundraiser and recruiter for IMU leader Tahir Yuldashev. Demirtas has admitted that between January 2006 and May 2008, he provided funds to Yuldashev and was present when the IMU leader thanked him for money and made threats to Americans.”

The New York Times: Ohio State Attacker May Have Been ‘Inspired’ By Al Qaeda, F.B.I. Says

“The student who wounded 11 people this week at Ohio State University, plowing his car into a cluster of pedestrians and then slashing some of them with a butcher knife, may have been inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki, a Qaeda recruiter and propagandist, or by the Islamic State terrorist group, investigators said on Wednesday. The assailant, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who was shot dead by a police officer during the attack on Monday, bought a knife earlier that morning at a Walmart store, but it was not clear whether it was the weapon he used to wound people, officials said at a news conference in Columbus. They appealed for help from the public in tracing his movements in the hours between leaving the store and arriving on campus.”

The Guardian: Ohio State University Attack: ‘Too Soon’ To Determine Terrorism Link

“Officials said it is ‘too soon’ to determine whether Monday’s attack at Ohio State University, in which 11 people were injured, had any connection to terrorism. A student at the university, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, is believed to have driven a car into a group of pedestrians on campus Monday morning. Police said he then got out of the car and began slashing people with a butcher knife. A campus police officer fatally shot Artan minutes after the attack began. Officials said on Wednesday that multiple witnesses heard the officer tell Artan to drop the knife before he opened fire. Angela Byers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Cincinnati division, and other law enforcement officials gave updates on the Columbus attack on Wednesday afternoon.”

Syria

Reuters: Russia Will Continue To Fight To Rescue Aleppo From Terrorists: Lavrov

“Russia will continue its operations in eastern Aleppo and will rescue the Syrian city from terrorists, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday during a visit to Turkey. Speaking at a joint press conference after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in the Mediterranean town of Alanya, Lavrov said Russia would continue efforts to allow humanitarian aid into Aleppo, according to a Turkish translation of his comments. Cavusoglu said he and Lavrov had agreed on the need for a ceasefire in Aleppo and the rest of Syria, although he said Turkey’s stance on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was clear.”

Reuters: Syrian State News Agency Says Eight People Killed By Rebel Shelling In Government-Held Aleppo

“Syrian state news agency SANA said on Wednesday that eight people, including two children, were killed by rebel shelling of government-held districts of western Aleppo. The shells hit the Aadhamiyeh, New Aleppo, and Furqan areas, wounding seven people, SANA reported, quoting a source in the Aleppo police. Aleppo has for years been divided between the government-held west and rebel-held east.”

Iraq

Reuters: Sunni Tribesmen Battling Islamic State Demand Federalism In Iraq

“As mortar bombs landed ever closer, Sunni tribal fighters preparing to attack Islamic State seemed more preoccupied by the failures of Iraq’s political class than the militants trying to kill them. The men – and one woman – from the Lions of the Tigris unit gathered on Wednesday in Shayyalah al-Imam, a village near Mosul, with some of their leaders expressing deep distrust of the politicians and saying Iraq’s governance must change once Islamic State is defeated. ‘Iraq needs serious reforms,’ said Sheikh Mohammed al-Jibouri, the top commander of the tribesmen. ‘Only serious reforms will lead to the unity of Iraq.’”

The New York Times: Another Mass Grave Dug By ISIS In Iraq, And A Ghastly Ritual Renewed

“The battle was over in Hamam al-Alil, Iraq, an old spa resort town that the country’s security forces had wrested from the Islamic State a few days ago, but one Iraqi soldier was still on a very personal mission. The soldier, Zaman Mijwal, was looking for his older brother, Munther, a former policeman he described as ‘a quiet man, a poor man,’ who lived in a nearby village but hadn’t been heard from in weeks. Mr. Mijwal’s circuit had taken him to a stretch of road flanked by two dirt fields. He pointed to one side, where decaying, headless corpses were lying in heaps of trash on a barren plot of land that had once been a shooting range for the Iraqi Army.”

Turkey

Reuters: Twelve Detained After Turkish Dormitory Fire Kills Schoolgirls

“Police in southern Turkey detained 12 people on Wednesday and sought two others over a fire in a dormitory that killed 11 schoolgirls and one other person, an official at the prosecutor’s office handling the investigation said. Flames swept through the mostly wooden interior of the two-storey dormitory in the town of Aladag late on Tuesday, causing the roof to collapse. Images from the scene showed shattered windows as pupils tried to escape by jumping out. Prosecutors in the nearby district of Kozan issued arrest warrants for 14 people including the staff of the dormitory and executives from the foundation that runs it, they said in a statement. Twelve have been arrested, the official said.”

Reuters: Turkish And Russian Leaders Agree On Need For Aleppo Ceasefire – Sources

“Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria’s Aleppo with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone for the third time in a week on Wednesday and agreed on the need for a ceasefire, sources in Erdogan’s office said. The sources said the two leaders agreed on intensifying efforts towards a cessation of hostilities and on the need for the provision of aid to the city, the sources said. Russia is a main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey supports the rebels fighting to oust him, but the two have been trying to find common ground on Syria since a rapprochement in August.”

Afghanistan

Reuters: Conflict Displaces Record Number Of Afghans In 2016, U.N. Says

“The number of people displaced by conflict in Afghanistan this year has surpassed half a million people, the United Nations reported on Wednesday, the highest number since it began tracking such statistics in 2008. More than 515,800 people have been internally displaced by fighting in 2016, surpassing the previous record of about 471,000 set last year, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Violence has spread around the country as the Western-backed government battles Taliban and other insurgent groups. The Taliban are estimated to control or contest nearly a third of the country, and casualties among civilians and the security forces are near record highs. Tens of thousands of Afghans have sought asylum in Europe and other areas, but many have been forced to return home.”

Reuters: China Dismisses Report Of Military Patrols In Afghanistan

“China’s Defence Ministry on Wednesday dismissed reports Chinese military vehicles were patrolling inside Afghanistan, after an Indian media outlet said Chinese security forces were making regular patrols there. India’s WION news outlet this month published pictures on its website showing what it said were likely Chinese security forces patrolling in Afghanistan’s far northeastern Little Pamir region, where the country shares a border with China. Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun dismissed the report. ‘Reports in foreign media of Chinese military vehicles patrolling inside Afghanistan do not accord with the facts,’ he told a regular news briefing.”

Yemen

BBC: Yemen Conflict: Terror Of Life Under Siege In Taiz

“In parts of Taiz, in south-western Yemen, snipers haunt the streets and open spaces. Civilians there say bullets come from nowhere, with no warning. In the back of his mind, Qays al-Radami was always aware of the danger, he said. He had grown used to cutting between houses and sticking close to walls as he moved around the city with his children. But by the time Qays heard the bullet that killed his son last week, it was already too late. The round cut through the early afternoon sun and hit six-year-old Mohammed in the back, punching straight through his chest.”

Middle East

The New York Times: Mahmoud Abbas Proposes Palestinian Unity Government With Hamas

“Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority that operates in the West Bank, proposed on Wednesday the creation of a temporary unity government along with Hamas, the militant rival faction that controls the Gaza Strip. In a three-hour address at a conference of his Fatah party, Mr. Abbas sought to push forward long-stalled efforts to reconcile the two major competing Palestinian factions, and to present an image of unity amid wide discord outside the hall where he spoke. Mr. Abbas invited Hamas to send representatives for negotiations to bridge the divide, and he thanked Khaled Meshal, the organization’s political chief, for offering a supportive message that Mr. Abbas passed along to the conference.”

The Jerusalem Post: Is ISIS Opening A New Front Against Israel?

“In the incident that took place at the beginning of the week, for the first time, publicly and intentionally, Islamic State opened hostilities against an IDF force in the Southern Golan Heights. The IDF response was clear and unequivocal: the force returned fire, and the Israel Air Force attacked the squad that executed the fire and killed the four terrorists. However, this is not how the matter ended. The following morning the IDF made another attack on the ISIS operations center in the southern Golan Heights. According to an IDF spokesman’s announcement, the center, which is located in an abandoned UN post, was the base from which the ISIS attackers had set out.”

RT: Israeli Warplanes Launch 2 Rockets Across Syrian Border That Strike Near Damascus

“Syrian state media said Israeli fighter jets fired two missiles that hit west of Damascus, causing no casualties. Earlier reports indicated the missiles had hit Hezbollah militia targets near Al-Saboorah, a government-controlled suburb of Syria’s capital. Israeli planes launched the airstrike from Lebanese airspace at dawn to ‘divert attention away from the successes of the Syrian Arab Army,’ a Syrian military source said, according to SANA news agency. Al-Masdar news agency reported earlier that the Israeli Air Force had launched four air-to-surface Popeye missiles targeting Hezbollah positions. The jets themselves are not believed to have entered Syrian airspace.”

The Jerusalem Post: Despite Russian Involvement In Syria, Israel To Maintain Watchful Eye

“Throughout 2016, there were very few reports about two alleged strikes by the Israel Air Force against weapons convoys traveling from Syria to Hezbollah. This was in a sharp contrast to dozens of reports about similar attacks in the preceding three years, so commentators reached the conclusion that Israel was reducing its involvement in Syria due to the massive Russian presence there in general, and the deployment of its air force and its sophisticated anti-aircraft radars and batteries, which practically cover the entirety of Israel, in particular. But the attack attributed to the IAF which took place at 1 a.m. on Wednesday proves that the impression is wrong: despite Russian involvement in the bloody Syrian civil war, Israel still maintains, at least partially, its freedom of action in Syria.”

United Kingdom

International Business Times: Far Right Terrorism A Growing Threat Home Secretary Amber Rudd Warns Jewish Community

“Home Secretary Amber Rudd has warned of a growing threat from right wing extremists following the whole-life jailing of Thomas Mair for the murder of Member of Parliament Jo Cox in June 2016. Rudd’s warning comes as counter terrorism experts warn that in some areas of the UK right-wing extremists pose as much of a threat to the country as Islamists. Speaking at a UK-Israel conference in Westminster organised by Jewish News and Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM), Rudd said far-right groups were becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous. Jewish groups, she noted, were at risk both from Islamists and from the far-right and anti-Semitic attacks were on the increase across Europe. Jihadist attacks have targeted synagogues, museums, schools and kosher supermarkets in recent years.”

Germany

Newsweek: Arrest Of Employee Inside Germany’s Domestic Spy Agency For Islamist Comments Is ‘No Surprise’

“The arrest of a suspected Islamist in Germany who worked in the country’s domestic intelligence service is not a surprise because of the agency’s ‘easygoing’ attitude towards security clearances, according to a top counter-terror expert. German authorities arrested a German citizen working in the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) on suspicion of making Islamist declarations online and disclosing internal agency information in online chatrooms, an agency spokesman said on Tuesday. He had offered to disseminate sensitive information about the agency, compromising its activities, the spokesman said, according to a Reuters report. He declined to disclose details about the suspect’s position in the agency or the length of his employment.”

Deutsche Welle: Six Arrested Following Raids On Suspected Dresden Neo-Nazi Group

“Saxony’s public prosecutor’s office said that six members of the neo-Nazi group were arrested following Wednesday’s raids. The ‘Freie Kameradschaft Dresden,’ which translates as the ‘Free Comradeship of Dresden,’ is suspected of involvement in 14 criminal acts, including an explosive attack, attempted arson, damage to property and several instances of causing bodily arm. The detained members were also charged for attacking asylum seekers and political opponents. The prosecutor’s office said the group had targeted refugee lodgings in Freital, Heidenau and Dresden.”

Deutsche Welle: German NGO Illuminates Anti-Semitic Crimes – With A Projector And A Wall

“It takes about 30 minutes to list off the recent anti-Semitic crimes committed in Germany. That is to say, it takes 30 minutes to highlight 126 of them slide by slide onto the side of a building – which is exactly what happened in Cologne on Wednesday evening. The figure 126 represents just a fraction of what is expected to be at least 1,000 for this year, according to the Berlin-based Amadeu Antonio Foundation, an NGO which campaigns against right-wing extremism and discrimination. It has chronicled anti-Semitic crimes since 2002. On Wednesday night, the Foundation projected slides detailing these incidents onto the back wall of one of Cologne’s largest art museums, illuminating what would be a dark side street on any other winter evening.”

Associated Press: German Spy Agency Finds It Hired An Islamic Extremist Mole

“On one side of the internet chat was an Islamic extremist who had just got himself a job with Germany’s domestic intelligence agency. On the other side was an agent of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency pretending to be an Islamic extremist. When the 51-year-old mole, a German who had converted to Islam, offered to use his new job to provide information to ‘help the brothers’ plan an attack against his employer, German law enforcement swooped in. It appears little harm was done to the intelligence agency, known by its German acronym BfV, Duesseldorf prosecutors said Wednesday.”

Deutsche Welle: German Domestic Spy Agency Denies Security Lapse After Islamist Mole

“The head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Hans-Georg Maassen, said that the body maintained all security standards and had no way of knowing that a 51-year-old employee, hired last April, was a follower of the radical Salafist movement. ‘We carried out a thorough background check in which we interviewed five references and looked at the entire spectrum [of information],’ Maassen told reporters. According to news magazine ‘Der Spiegel,’ the man, who was tasked by the BfV with observing the Salafist scene, had himself converted to Salafism in 2014 unbeknownst to the Office or even to his own family. He was uncovered after another BfV employee found him revealing confidential information on an Internet chat room and offering to help get a radical Islamist into BfV headquarters in Cologne, ostensibly for the purposes of a terror attack.”

RT: ISIS-Linked German Attacker Planned To Poison Children With Ice-Cream & Blow Up Nursery – Report

“A letter from a teenage ISIS-sympathizer linked to the April bombing attack on a Sikh temple in the German city of Essen to another suspect unveils his plot to murder nursery school children with poisoned ice-cream and a car bomb, German media report. Mohammed Ö., an 17-year old teenager, was arrested in August this year in connection with investigation of an attack on the Sikh wedding that left three people heavily injured. He was subsequently sentenced by German district court in the city of Gelsenkirchen to two years behind bars in October for taking part in the improvised bomb trials ahead of the attack, German Focus daily reported on Wednesday, citing Bild tabloid.”

France

The Washington Post: French President Says Czech Help Vital In Anti-Terror Fight

“France President Francois Hollande says his country is thankful to the Czech Republic for its help in the fight against terrorism. Hollande said through a translator after meeting Czech President Milos Zeman on Wednesday that sharing information and coordinating police activities were particularly important because the Czech Republic is a ‘transit zone.’ Hollande didn’t elaborate. But Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says extremists have traveled to Western countries through Czech territory. Sobotka also says one of the suspects linked to the terror attacks in Paris last year previously had been in the Czech Republic.”

Europe

International Business Times: Just 10% Of Isis Fighters Returning To Europe Will Reject Group Ideology, Study Says

“Only 10% of Islamic State (Isis) extremists who return to Europe from Syria and Iraq are disillusioned with the ideology, according to new research. A report by German authorities, obtained by Die Welt, found that 48% of those who return remain committed to the ideology, or remain in contact with extremist friends. It found that 8% may have come back to Germany to recover before rejoining Isis on the battlefield in the Middle East. According to the study, most of those who decided to travel to Iraq and Syria to join Isis were radicalised by friends and acquaintances they met in mosques or Islamic seminars.”

Sputnik News: Italy Deports Over 60 Suspected Religious Extremists In 2016 – Interior Minister

“Italian authorities have deported a total of 61 people from the country since the start of the year in an effort to tackle religious extremism, Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Wednesday. A 26-year old migrant from Kosovo was one of the two recently deported, the minister added, noting that the Kosovar had been in contact with a Moroccan who left northern Italy’s Brescia in 2013 to join Daesh in the Middle East. A 42-year old Pakistani national was also deported over contacts with radical Islamists with links to militants in Afghanistan. The Islamic State is a designated terrorist organization outlawed in Russia and numerous other countries around the world. The group took over vast swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, prompting many radicals from Europe to join its ranks.”

The Washington Post: Hungary: Syrian Native Gets 10-Year Sentence For Border Riot

“A Hungarian court sentenced a Syrian native to 10 years in prison on Wednesday for taking part in a riot after Hungary closed its borders to migrants and refugees last year. The court in the southern city of Szeged convicted Ahmed Hamed, a Syrian who has lived in Cyprus for about a decade, of committing an ‘act of terror’ by using violence — throwing rocks — to try to force police into letting in migrants. In July, the 40-year-old man’s parents were part of a group also sentenced to prison for allegedly taking part in the rioting on Hungary’s border with Serbia in September 2015.”

BBC: Secret Europol Terror Data Found Online

“A police officer working for Europol exposed sensitive data about security investigations to the internet. The European Union’s law enforcement agency acknowledged the error ahead of a Dutch documentary’s broadcast. The TV programme Zembla said it had found more than 700 pages of confidential dossiers, including details of terrorism probes, on a hard drive linked to the net. It said the networked drive was not password protected. Europol said it had launched an investigation into the matter. ‘Although this case relates to Europol sensitive information dating from around 10 years ago, Europol immediately informed the concerned member states,’ a spokesman for the law agency said.”

Counter-Terrorism

Bwabtk: Egypt Organizes UN Seminar On Preventing The Use Of IT And Telecommunications For The Benefit Of Terrorism

“Egypt, in the framework of its Presidency of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), organized a special session at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on November 30 and December 1st, 2016, on “How to avoid the use of information technology (IT) and telecommunications for the benefit of terrorism.” Its goal is to review the threats associated with the use of IT, telecommunications and the Internet for terror purposes. {Participants} are also expected to exchange views and ‘lessons learned’, especially following governmental, and other, efforts to address the “toxic” messages promoted by terror {groups} via the internet in particular. The meeting will also debate the role of civic societies, the private sector and relevant companies, in addition to the means of strengthening international cooperation in this regard.”

Combating the Financing of Terrorism

Almada Paper: US Agreement – Iraqi Anti-Terrorist Financing

“Ali Al-Allaq, Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), stated on Wednesday that the {recent} agreement signed with the United States aims to cut off funding for ISIS and other terrorist groups as well as preventing money laundering. He pointed out that the CBI will soon start applying certified international standards in this field. Al-Allaq was quoted as saying, “This first agreement of its kind between the Federal Reserve Bank and the US Treasury Department, on the one hand, and the CBI, on the other hand, was approved in order to control the transfer of dollars and prevent them from reaching illicit destinations.” CBI governor noted that the “agreement includes cooperation, coordination and exchange of financial information relating to the sale and trade of foreign currency.”

Sputnik: Tunisian Activist: Move To Disband Associations Suspected Of Supporting Terror “Came Very Late”

“Tunisian activist Rania Bouchaala, who is also a member of the “State Association”, claimed the step to dissolve 157 NGOs and “charities”, taken by the Tunisian government over the past few days, came very late. This is especially true, since these societies have abandoned their key role and have been supporting suspicious entities. She said that for many years these associations promoted hate speech and caused Tunisia to suffer. She added Wednesday that many of these associations did not have a {real} goal besides serving terrorism and enemies of the state. She claimed they received funding from suspicious foreign entities. An indication of this was their refusal to divulge {the identities of} foreign entities that granted them support. She also wondered: “Why didn’t they spend the money on charitable causes as they should have done?”

Muslim Brotherhood

Veto: Morocco: Social Media Activists Accuse The Brotherhood-Dominated Parliament Of Squandering The People’s Money

“The Moroccan street is being swept by a wave of discontent and anger amid widespread reports that the Parliament allocated $1.45 million to remodel its bathrooms. The Parliament is dominated by the “Justice and Development” Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the kingdom. The local Sabah newspaper published a report claiming that the presidency of the parliament wanted to repair and modernize 120 lavatories, allocating to this end a budget of nearly $1.5 million. The refurbishment project has stirred a great deal of anger among social media activists, who are accusing the Brotherhood-dominated Parliament of squandering the people’s money. They demand the formation of a fact-finding committee on this issue.”

The Seventh Day: Expert: A vast part of Muslim Brotherhood crisis stems from lack of transparency

“Muslim Brotherhood leaders continue to expose their internal scandals to the public. Now they are criticizing the policies of the group’s media channels in Turkey, especially their ignoring of news pertaining to Brotherhood leaders who are affiliated with supporters of the Supreme Administrative Committee (also known as the “Youth Committee”). In addition, Essam Talima, the ex-manager of the Office of Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has accused some of the group’s media channels, which are affiliated with the ‘old guard’ leadership of the Brotherhood, of spreading falsehoods. With regard to these internal rifts, Hisham al-Najjar, a researcher of Islamic movements, claimed that a large part of the Brotherhood crisis as an organization is related to {lack of} transparency, monitoring and accountability. The group is not subject to the control of the State and its regulatory authorities and thus has refused to submit any reports to the regulatory and accountability agencies, in spite of the large scope of transactions, assistance, financing and investments it has undertaken. According to al-Najjar, the Brotherhood discovered during the {current} internal conflict that there is no lack of speculators, corrupt parties and beneficiaries. They also uncovered numerous files being used by the disputants against each other. It is expected that more such files will emerge in the internal debate within the group.”

 

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