Eye on Extremism, December 13, 2016

MSNBC: Russian Interference?

“CEP Spokesperson Tara Maller discusses the CIA’s contention that Russia attempted to interfere with the recent American election and the type of intelligence necessary to reach such a conclusion.”

Associated Press: The Latest: Syria Claims 99 Percent Control Of Aleppo

“Syrian state TV says government forces and their allies now control 99 percent of the northern city of Aleppo’s formerly rebel-held neighborhoods. The channel says on Monday night that the army has seized control of the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood and cleared it of all opposition fighters. The pro-government al-Ikhbaria TV says the ‘terrorist groups’ withdrew from the al-Sukkari neighborhood. Earlier Monday, troops captured the al-Fardous and Sheikh Saeed neighborhoods. Syrian troops backed by Russian airstrikes and militias from across the region launched a large-scale offensive on eastern Aleppo last month and are on the verge of driving the rebels from the city. Doing so would hand President Bashar Assad his greatest victory yet in the 5 ½-year civil war.”

Wall Street Journal: Facing Reprisals, Aleppo Civilians Plea For International Help

“With Syrian regime forces closing in, those left in rebel-held territory in eastern Aleppo pleaded Tuesday for international help to protect them from atrocities and revenge killings. Antigovernment activists and Aleppo residents said at least 80 people have been killed since Monday, most of them either caught in the regime’s advance or discovered hiding in their homes. Regime firing squads killed most of them, they said. “The Assad militias are maybe 300 meters away, no place now to go, it’s the last place,” Abdulkafi al-Hamdo, a teacher, said in a live video feed early Tuesday morning. “I hope that you can do something for Aleppo people, for my daughter, for the other children. I hope you can do something to stop the expected massacres,” he said.”

The Wall Street Journal: European Diplomats Attack Russia’s Syria Position After Islamic State Retakes Palmyra

“Senior U.K. and French diplomats said Monday that the renewed Islamic State push into the Syrian city of Palmyra demonstrated that Russian forces were focused on propping up President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, not tackling terrorism in the country. In a blistering attack on Russian actions in Syria, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels that Russian policy in Syria was one of ‘permanent lies.’ ‘The Russians, who claim to be fighting against terrorism, concentrate in fact on Aleppo and have left a space for Daesh—for Islamic State—who are in the process of retaking Palmyra. Quite a symbol,’ he said. Daesh is the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.”

Reuters: Iraqi Police Say Ready To Join Assault On East Mosul

“Several thousand Iraqi federal police are ready to join the assault against Islamic State in east Mosul, a spokesman said on Monday, reinforcing troops who have faced weeks of fierce counter-attacks from the militants. The extra forces are being deployed as the grueling U.S.-backed campaign to crush Islamic State in its Iraqi stronghold enters its ninth week. Elite army troops have retaken a quarter of the city, but their advance has been slow and punishing. The federal police units, around 4,000 strong, have been moved to an area southeast of the city, near where an army tank division last week made the deepest incursion into Mosul so far, briefly seizing a hospital used as a base by the militants.”

New York Times: For Women Under ISIS, A Tyranny Of Dress Code And Punishment

“By the time the jihadists had finished, not even a woman’s eyes were legal. Showing them was a punishable offense. The dress code imposed on the women of Mosul started soon after the Islamic State overran the city more than two years ago. It was carried out gradually, until every part of the female body was erased, starting with the face, then the rest of the body — including the hands, which had to be covered with gloves, as well as the feet, which had to be hidden by socks. It ended with an announcement blared over loudspeakers, telling women to wear a film of black cloth over their eyes.”

Time: Turkey Moves To Crush Kurdish Party After Deadly Bombing

“Turkish authorities arrested at least 291 officials and members of a major parliamentary opposition party on terrorism charges Monday, following a deadly twin bomb attack in Istanbul that killed at least 44 people. The arrests marked the continuation of government reprisals against the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (known by the Turkish acronym HDP), which controls the third-largest bloc in Turkey’s parliament. The arrests come in the context of a broader crackdown on critics of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has moved to shore up his own power after surviving a deadly military coup attempt last July.”

Daily Mail: Egypt Accuses Brotherhood Of Supporting Church Attackers

“Egypt’s interior ministry Monday accused fugitive Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have fled to Qatar of training and financing the perpetrators of the bomb attack on a Cairo church that killed 25 people. It said investigations revealed the group was led by a suspect who received financial and logistical support and instructions to carry out the attacks by Brotherhood leaders residing in Qatar. The Muslim Brotherhood had denied any involvement with the explosion at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church on Sunday. The incident was the deadliest attack in recent memory on the Christian minority, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population.”

The Wall Street Journal: U.K. To Ban Neo-Nazi Group Under Terror Laws

“The U.K. government said Monday it was outlawing for the first time an extreme far-right group under antiterrorism laws introduced 16 years ago. The neo-Nazi group National Action holds threatening demonstrations across the U.K. and its activities and materials had crossed the line from extremism to terrorism, the government said. ‘National Action is a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organization which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it,’ Home Secretary Amber Rudd said in a statement.”

The Daily Beast: On The Trail Of Germany’s Right-Wing Terrorists—Are Cops Complicit?

“For months, members of an alleged right-wing terror cell spent their evenings standing around a gas station in Freital, a small city in the eastern German state of Saxony. They drank beer, munched bockwurst and planned attacks against refugees and left-wing dissidents. This was right under the nose of the local police, whose station was across the road. And, now, it appears, one officer was helping them all along. The 51-year-old policeman, who was dismissed from his job last week, is currently being investigated for tipping off the group about the time and place of police deployments around town—useful information for those who want to blow up the car of a city councillor from a left-wing party or send fireworks through the windows of an asylum seeker’s home.”

International Business Times: US Terror Threat Level Update: NYC Transit Employees Should Be Checked With Terror Watch Lists, Schumer Says

“Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is urging New York City to cross check mass transit employees throughout the city with federal terrorism watch lists in the midst of the bustling holiday season and ahead of the next White House administration. The Democrat called on the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to enact a measure immediately in a press conference on Sunday, warning of an uptick in terror threats throughout the city, which receives added tourists during the winter months. ‘With terror threats on the rise, a transit terror cross check here in the nation’s transit epicenter could be the next lifesaver,’ Schumer said, speaking to reporters at his office. ‘It could ensure safety for thousands and thousands of New Yorkers, and it’s not very hard or expensive to do.’”

Voice Of America: In Bordeaux, An Experiment In Preventing Radicalization

“This iconic wine capital seems an unlikely ground zero in France’s battle against militant Islam. Yet, down a narrow street off the city’s center, an experiment is under way to bring at-risk youngsters back from the edge. A partnership, between Bordeaux’s city hall and the local Muslim federation, is one of dozens of initiatives springing up around France to tackle a daunting challenge: how to fight the powerful lure of radical Islam. The question is critical for France, western Europe’s biggest exporter of jihadists and the target of three major, and largely home-grown terrorist attacks in two years. If it works, some see Bordeaux’s holistic and inclusive approach to preventing radicalization as a model for other French cities.”

United States

ABC News: Why 200 More US Troops Are Going To Syria

“Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced this weekend that 200 additional American special operations troops will be heading to Syria to help Kurdish and Arab rebel forces retake Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital in Syria. The deployment of the additional troops will raise the total number of American troops inside Syria to 500. Three hundred American special operations troops have been serving in Syria since early this year to mainly train, advise and assist the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of 45,000 Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel forces that have been fighting ISIS in northern and eastern Syria. A small number of these American forces have also been advising and assisting Turkish forces fighting ISIS in northwestern Syria.”

NBC News: Lufthansa Flight Diverted To JFK After Bomb Threat: Authorities

“A Lufthansa flight was diverted to JFK Airport following a bomb threat, authorities said Monday night. Port Authority Spokesperson Steve Coleman said Lufthansa received the phone threat while Lufthansa Flight 441 was traveling from Houston to Frankfurt, Germany. The pilot diverted to JFK and the plane landed safely, he said. Passengers were evacuating the aircraft at 9.30 p.m, and by 10 p.m. the aircraft was in a remote area being searched by a K-9 unit, government officials said. Officials searched the plane and Coleman said nothing suspicious was found. In a tweet early Tuesday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed that a search of the plane yielded nothing.”

Syria

CNN: Analysis: Assad Is Winning A Battle, But Not The War For Syria

“The Syrian regime’s near capture of eastern Aleppo changes the face of the country’s horrendous civil war; the fortunes of the many rebel groups arrayed against it have rarely seemed so bleak. But few observers expect them to sue for peace or lay down their arms. A new phase of the conflict beckons, one in which the government led by Bashar al-Assad tries to consolidate its gains, as ruthlessly as it wishes, while its ever-more radicalized opponents revert to insurgent tactics. All the while, any prospect of repairing the country or allowing its millions of displaced and expelled to return home remains distant. Assad will reign over a wasteland. To the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service, Alex Younger, ‘In Aleppo, Russia and the Syrian regime seek to make a desert and call it peace.’”

Associated Press: Syria Rebels Retreat In Aleppo In ‘Terrifying’ Collapse

“Syrian rebels retreated from former strongholds in eastern Aleppo in a ‘terrifying’ collapse Monday, holding onto a small sliver of territory packed with fighters and thousands of civilians as government troops pressed on with their rapid advance. The Syrian military said it had gained control of 99 percent of the former opposition enclave in eastern Aleppo, signaling an impending end to the rebels’ four-year hold over parts of the city as the final hours of battle played out. ‘The situation is very, very critical,’ said Ibrahim al-Haj of the Syrian Civil Defense, volunteer first responders who operate in rebel-held areas.”

The Daily Caller: ISIS’s Latest Victory Subverts Russia’s Whole Syria Narrative

“Islamic State’s Sunday recapturing of the ancient city of Palmyra undermines Russia’s claim that its Syrian intervention is counter-terrorism focused. ISIS frequently used Palmyra to film beheadings, and drew international condemnation for razing ancient ruins during its occupation. Russia and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime used their successful March 2016 offensive on Palmyra to peddle the message that they were the only actors in Syria effectively fighting ISIS. Russian airstrikes since the beginning of the September 2015 intervention have instead been overwhelmingly focused on retaking territory important to the Assad regime.”

Iraq

International Business Times: Why Is ISIS In Syria And Iraq? Amid Aleppo Bombing, Mosul War, Here Are 8 Key Facts About The Islamic State Group’s Territory In The Middle East

“Airstrike campaigns in Iraq and Syria have pitted the violent Islamic State group against the U.S. and other global leaders. But more than two years after ISIS announced it’s so-called caliphate in the Middle East, the civilian death toll in the region has soared and it’s unclear when the fighting will end. In Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced in October a mission to win back Mosul, the last remaining ISIS stronghold in Iraq and the nation’s second largest city. Iraqi federal police were preparing Monday to join the war and shore up troops who have fended off fierce counter-attacks from the militants in recent weeks.”

The Jerusalem Post: Remaining Iraqi Christians Prepare For Christmas In Lands Liberated From ISIS

“In one of the oldest lands of Christianity, Assyrian Christians are awaiting their third Christmas since extremists from Islamic State made hundreds of thousands into refugees in 2014. ‘Around Nineveh [in northern Iraq] the only people are the soldiers and the clergy,’ says Juliana Taimoorazy of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council. ‘They want to go back and return to their homes and rebuild in the spring.’ In 2003 on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq which toppled Saddam Hussein there were around 1.6 million Christians in Iraq. Most of these were Assyrian Christian members of the Assyrian Church of the East or Chaldean Catholic Church.”

Turkey

Associated Press: Pro-Kurd Party Members Arrested In Wake Of Istanbul Bombings

“Turkish authorities arrested more than 200 people Monday following suicide bombings near an Istanbul stadium that killed 44 people. The arrests primarily targeted members of a Kurdish political party that already was a focus of a broader government crackdown. Saturday’s attack, which a radical Kurdish group claimed as an act of revenge for state violence against the ethnic minority in the southeast, was the deadliest to hit Istanbul this year. Authorities blamed the carnage on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. A shadowy offshoot of the movement, which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the state, claimed responsibility for the attack on a website that is blocked in Turkey.”

CNN: Turkey Strikes Back With Airstrikes, Arrests After Twin Bombings

“Turkish fighter jets have targeted a Kurdish militant group after twin bomb blasts that killed dozens in Istanbul over the weekend. The Turkish army said in a written statement that, sometime around 11 p.m. local time Sunday (3 p.m. ET), the air force’s jets struck 12 different targets belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Zap region of northern Iraq. The strikes were expected after the Kurdish militant group claimed responsibility for two bombings that led to the deaths of 44 people, including 37 police officers, and injured 155 others, according to Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag.”

Reuters: Preparations For Final Operation On Syria’s Al-Bab Under Way: Turkish Deputy PM

“Preparations are under way for a final operation by Turkish-backed rebels on the Islamic State-controlled city of al-Bab in northern Syria, Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday. Speaking at a news conference after a cabinet meeting, Kurtulmus also said humanitarian aid shipments to Syria’s Aleppo city should not depend on the establishment of a ceasefire and called on the international community to help set up an aid convoy.”

Reuters: Turkish Warplane Crashes Near Southeastern City Of Diyarbakir: Army

“A Turkish fighter jet on a training mission crashed on its final approach to an airport in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on Monday, Turkey’s military said on Monday, noting that the pilot had ejected from the plane and was unharmed. An investigation had started into the cause of the crash, the army said in a statement. Security sources said the jet crashed in an empty field. Helicopters were scanning an area of between 3 km and 4 km (about 2 miles) around the site, for any unexploded ordnance. Commercial flights to predominantly Kurdish Diyarbakir’s civilian airport, next to the military air base, were rerouted to nearby airports, sources said. Jets from the base regularly carry out air strikes against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.”

Afghanistan

Sputnik: High-Ranking Taliban Commander Killed In Central Afghanistan

“A top commander of the Taliban group, Mullah Naiem Kor, was killed in the central Afghan province of Parwan, the country’s interior ministry said on Monday. The ministry said that the commander had been involved in terrorist activities across the Parwan province. Three militants are said to have been injured during the special operation. The Taliban group has not commented on the reports yet. Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil, with Taliban insurgents and other extremist factions such as the Daesh jihadist group, outlawed in Russia and many other countries, taking advantage of the instability in the country.”

Saudi Arabia

Bloomberg: Hack Of Saudi Arabia Exposes Middle East Cybersecurity Flaws

“More than a year after a drowned Syrian toddler washed up on a beach in Turkey, the tiny refugee’s body, captured in a photograph that shocked the world, reappeared on computer screens across Saudi Arabia — this time as a prelude to a cyberattack. The strike last month disabled thousands of computers across multiple government ministries in Saudi Arabia, a rare use of offensive cyberweapons aimed at destroying computers and erasing data. The attackers, who haven’t claimed responsibility, used the same malware that was employed in a 2012 assault against Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, and which destroyed 35,000 computers within hours.”

Egypt

Associated Press: Suspect In Egypt Chapel Bombing Had 2014 Run-In With Police

“The young man suspected of blowing himself up inside a Cairo chapel during Sunday Mass, killing at least 25 people, had been arrested and beaten by police two years ago after allegedly taking part in an Islamist demonstration, his lawyer said Monday. If independently confirmed, Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa would be the latest Egyptian to be radicalized after being subjected to police abuse, a practice that was common for decades and has become rampant after a crackdown on dissent following the military’s 2013 ouster of an Islamist president.”

The Washington Post: Anger Grows Among Egypt’s Christians After Deadly Church Bombing In Cairo

“President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi said Monday that a suicide bomber was responsible for an attack that killed 24 worshipers at Cairo’s Coptic cathedral complex during Sunday Mass, as outrage grew among Egypt’s Christian minority. Speaking to hundreds of mourners at a state funeral, Sissi said that the bomber wore a vest packed with explosives and that four people suspected of aiding him had been arrested. Security forces were looking for two people with possible links to the attack, he said. The country’s Interior Ministry described the bomber as a 22-year-old man from the town of Fayoum, 60 miles south of the capital, Cairo. It also released a picture of what it said was the bomber’s head.”

The New York Times: Cathedral Bombing In Cairo Leaves Egypt Alarmed, And Its President Scrambling

“President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Monday made dramatic efforts to reassure Egypt’s Coptic Christians — a pillar of his government’s support — as they buried victims of a bombing on Sunday at their cathedral in Cairo, an act that has stirred fears of resurgent Islamist violence. Standing alongside Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic Church, Mr. Sisi identified a 22-year-old man who he said detonated a suicide vest in a chapel on the grounds of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, the seat of Egypt’s Orthodox Christian Church, during Mass. At least 25 people, most of them women, died in the attack, the deadliest in years against Egyptian Christians. Mr. Sisi said the authorities had arrested four of the bomber’s accomplices and were looking for two others.”

Middle East

Haaretz: Israeli Soldiers Often Contaminate Evidence After Shooting Palestinian Assailants, Prosecutors Say

“It is often impossible to investigate cases where soldiers shoot Palestinians, because the soldiers disturb the evidence at alleged terror attack scene, senior prosecutors and police officers warned the Israeli Defense Forces. Nor is this just a problem for the law enforcement agencies, they warned. It could also become a serious problem for the army itself, because it could make it harder to defend soldiers in civil or criminal proceedings overseas. Police and prosecutors first warned the army about this problem in March, about a week before one such shooting became a cause celebre: soldier Elor Azaria’s shooting of a Palestinian assailant in Hebron when the Palestinian was already lying on the ground severely wounded.”

The Jerusalem Post: Rocket Alert Sirens Sound Along Southern Border With Egypt

“Red alert sirens sounded in the southern Negev near Israel’s border with Egypt on Tuesday morning. According to initial reports, a projectile launched from Egypt in the direction of Israel triggered the sirens however landed in the Sinai Peninsula. There were no reports of any projectiles landing within Israeli territory as well as no immediate reports of injuries or damage. According to an IDF assessment, the incident was a result of errant fire emanating from internal fighting in Sinai. An Islamist insurgency in the rugged, thinly populated Sinai has gained pace since the military toppled former president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.”

United Kingdom

The Times Of Israel: Man Yelling ‘Kill All Muslims’ Stabs London Train Passenger

“An Asian man was stabbed on a London train Monday afternoon by another man who was shouting that he wanted to kill a Muslim, British media reported. Witnesses said the attacker walked through the moving overland train shouting, ‘Go back to Syria’ and, ‘Muslims…kill them all,’ while looking for a victim, witnesses said. While British Transport Police said they were treating the incident as a ‘serious hate crime,’ they said there was ‘no suggestion of wider terrorist aspect.’ The attacker, 38, also allegedly shouted, ‘I wanna kill me a Muslim.’ Spotting a Muslim woman wearing a hijab, he reportedly said, ‘I don’t want me a Muslim woman, I want me a Muslim man.’”

Reuters: Six Held In UK Anti-Terrorism Raids; Bomb Disposal Called In

“Police said they had arrested six people in anti-terrorism raids across central England and London on Monday, with bomb disposal officers later dispatched as officers carried out searches. Detectives detained four men from Derby and another in Burton upon Trent in central England while a woman was also arrested in London on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism. Police said the arrests were linked to ‘international related terrorism’. Six properties were being searched as part of the investigation and an Army bomb disposal team had been sent as a precaution to the Normanton area of Derby. No houses were evacuated, police said.”

Associated Press: Police Arrest 6 In UK On Suspicion Of Terrorism Offenses

“Police have arrested six people in Britain on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism. The North East counter terror unit led the morning raids Monday on six properties in London, Derby and Burton. Four men from Derby aged 22, 27, 35 and 36 were arrested on suspicion of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism as were a 27-year-old man from Burton-upon-Trent and a 32-year-old woman from London.”

France

Associated Press: French Police Detain 11 In Bastille Day Truck Attack In Nice

“French police have detained 11 people suspected of providing logistical support, including arms, to the Tunisian who drove his 19-ton truck into a crowd of Nice revelers on Bastille Day, killing 86. A judicial official says that 10 of the arrests were made Monday morning in the southeastern city and an 11th suspect was arrested in Nantes, in western France. Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre of the Paris prosecutor’s office, which handles terrorism cases, said some of those arrested were from eastern Europe, notably Albania. Among other things, they are suspected of a role in supplying arms.”

Europe

Associated Press: 2 Men Who Gave Cash To Brussels Suspect Sentenced In Britain

“Two men who provided cash to a key suspect in the deadly Paris and Brussels bombings received prison sentences in Britain on Monday. A judge sentenced Mohammed Ali Ahmed to eight years in prison and Zakaria Boufassil to three years. Boufassil, 26, was found guilty last week. Ahmed, 27, had confessed. They gave 3,000 pounds ($3,700) to bombing suspect Mohamed Abrini at a meeting in Birmingham, England, in July 2015. Abrini is the ‘man in the hat’ seen on video footage shortly before the March 22 bombings at the Brussels airport that killed 16 people. He also is a suspect in the Paris attacks that claimed 130 victims in November 2015. He is in custody in Belgium.”

Associated Press: Bosnia Preparing For Return Of Islamic State Fighters

“Bosnian officials said Monday they expect citizens who joined the Islamic State group will soon return home and pose a threat to the country or elsewhere in Europe. At a meeting in Banja Luka, Bosnian and Serbian security agencies discussed actions they will take to prevent attacks, organized crime and corruption. Bosnia will mobilize non-government organizations for de-radicalization projects and try to identify the motives that drive young people to embrace radical Islam, officials said. The situation at the Syrian front lines ‘could result in the return of fighters from Bosnia and further spreading of their ideology,’ Bosnian Serb police head Dragan Lukac said.”

Peru

Sputnik: Terrorist Groups In Peru Receive Funding From Europe

“President of the National Congress of Peru Luz Filomena Salgado Rubianes said that the necessary steps to fight terrorism include the fight against poverty, cooperation with the law enforcement agencies and the use of modern technologies in the work of security agencies. Terrorist groups operating in Peru receive financing from Europe, President of the National Congress of Peru Luz Filomena Salgado Rubianes said on Monday. She stressed that the Peruvian Congress had recently adopted a law allowing the detention of terrorist suspects for a month in order to have enough time to collect evidence.”

Counter-Terrorism

Alwafd: Egyptian Experts Explain Goal Of The Recent Terrorist Bombings

“Egyptian experts claimed that Sunday morning’s bombing attack on St. Mark’s Cathedral in Abbassiya was aimed at overthrowing the Egyptian state, harming the economy and tourism, and unraveling the national fabric between Muslims and Christians. They also stressed that these terrorist acts will have a negative impact on Egypt’s international reputation. Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Qatri, a security expert, noted that the Abbassiya attack indicates that there is a qualitative shift in the strategy of terrorist groups. He asserted that defections within terrorist groups {in the Middle East} have led to the expansion of the terror base in Egypt, which now must be dealt with. On his part, Maj. Gen. Fouad Allam, Egypt’s ex-Chief of the State Security Police, emphasized that the objective behind Sunday’s attack was to overthrow the Egyptian state and ‘sell’ Egypt as a terror {failed} state whose security forces cannot protect its institutions.”

The Seventh Day: Egyptian Expert: Increased Funding Aids In Redeploying Terror From Sinai To Cairo

“Major General Ahmed Al-Awadi, a member of the Defense and National Security Committee at the Egyptian Parliament, stated that terror has moved dramatically from Sinai to Cairo. He added that this crucial shift has explicit goals, the foremost being to increase the number of civilian casualties and maximize the impact. He stressed that since terrorist acts in Cairo have a greater impact globally, this will demand decisive counter-terrorism efforts. The Egyptian parliamentarian asserted that preemptive security operations and intensified monitoring of terrorists, who are moving to Cairo to carry out these terrorist operations, will be the most powerful way to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. Al-Awadi claimed that the increase in foreign financing to terrorists has contributed to the repositioning of terrorism from Sinai to Cairo. Al-Awadi also pointed out that the compelling security strikes on terrorists in Sinai have prompted some of them to move to Cairo. “This requires gathering a lot of information on these militants to expedite their arrest,” he concluded.”

ISIS

Albawabh News: Egyptian Security Source: ISIS Recruited Cathedral Bomber On Facebook

“An Egyptian security source revealed on Monday that suicide bomber, Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa, who blew himself up at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Abbassiya, left his family home in Faiyum two years ago. He arrived in Cairo, where he was recruited via Facebook by ISIS in northern Sinai. The suicide bomber, who adopted jihadist ideology, was trained to carry out terrorist operations. The source added, “{Mustafa} recently came from Sinai together with a group of young men aged 17-23 to execute terrorist operations in Cairo and other provinces. Initially recruited by ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood and offered money to participate in {anti-regime} rallies and riots, the {soon-to-be} bomber and his accomplices were then also paid to monitor the movements of Egyptian police officers and {army} troops.”

Muslim Brotherhood

Elfagr: Egyptian Writer Demands Expulsion Of Muslim Brotherhood Supporters From Government Institutions

“Prominent author Waheed Hamed emphasized that the tragedy of the bombing of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Abbassiya illustrates that Egypt is home to all Egyptians, whether Christian or Muslim. He outlined the need for state agencies to devote {greater} efforts to uncovering Muslim Brotherhood agents inside the country, who earn monthly salaries to smear Egypt’s reputation. Hamed, referring to many {Egyptian} personalities, claimed that “it’s important to know the source of their income.” Hamed asked state employees affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood to immediately submit their resignations. He was quoted as saying: “If they decline to do so it will be necessary to dismiss them from their jobs, because they are cancerous cells.”

Houthi

Yemen Akhbar: Houthis Exploit City-Wide Cleanup Campaign To Collect Funds

“Local sources revealed that over the past two days, militias belonging to the Houthis and ousted Yemeni president Ali Saleh imposed a new tax on shops in the capital, Sana’a, under the banner of a ‘cleanup campaign’. Militias compel owners of shops in the capital to foot the bill for the campaign initiated by the local municipality, which takes place on December 12th of each year.”

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