Eye on Extremism, January 23, 2017

USA Today: Coalition Warplanes Take Out Islamic State Fleet In Mosul

“U.S.-led coalition warplanes successfully targeted a flotilla of 90 Islamic State boats being used by the militants to cross the Tigris River in a desperate effort to escape fighting in eastern Mosul, the U.S. military announced Saturday. The airstrikes occurred as coalition-backed security forces seized the eastern portion of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, and began preparations for clearing the western side of the city. The city is divided by the Tigris River. The strikes targeted 90 boats and three barges between Wednesday and Friday, the coalition said in a statement. Most were being used by the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, to escape from the eastern part of the city, which has been secured by Iraqi forces in recent days. Since the Mosul operation began in October, the coalition has hit 112 watercraft on the Tigris River in Mosul.”

Reuters: Islamic State Blows Up Mosul Hotel To Prevent Iraqi Forces Using It

“Islamic State blew up a landmark hotel in western Mosul on Friday in an apparent attempt to prevent advancing Iraqi forces from using it as a base in their offensive to capture the city, witnesses said on Sunday. The Mosul Hotel, shaped as a stepped pyramid, appeared to be leaning to one side after the explosions, two witnesses said by phone. They requested anonymity, saying the militants killed those they caught communicating with the outside world. The Mosul Hotel stands close to the Tigris river which divides the city. Iraqi forces appear about to take full control of the east and to be preparing to attack the western bank.”

The New York Times: Renewed Fighting And Drone Strikes In Yemen Kill About 75

“Renewed fighting in the Yemen conflict killed about 75 people on Saturday and Sunday, some of them in the first drone strikes launched during the new administration of President Trump, according to Yemeni news reports. Two drone strikes in the central Yemeni province of Bayda on Saturday killed 10 militants with Al Qaeda, three of them hit while riding on a motorcycle and the other seven killed in a vehicle in a separate drone attack in the same area, the reports said. The United States did not take responsibility for the strikes, as is its standard policy. No other forces are known to be conducting drone strikes in the area.”

BBC: Syria War: ‘Forty Jihadists’ Killed In Aleppo Air Strikes

“Most of those killed are said to have belonged to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which is excluded from the current ceasefire. t is not clear whether US-led coalition, Syrian or Russian planes carried out the attack. Meanwhile the UN Security Council is to discuss preparations for peace talks between the Syrian government and rebels due in Kazakhstan on Monday. The UN said on Thursday that its Syrian envoy Staffan de Mistura would attend the meeting in Astana, which has been convened by Russia, Turkey and Iran. It will mark the first time the two warring sides have met since UN-brokered talks broke up amid acrimony in Geneva in April 2016.”

Reuters: Syrian Rebels Call On Russia To Help Defend Ceasefire

“A Syrian rebel group called on Russia to withstand pressure from Iran and the Syrian government to help ensure that a ceasefire agreed last month holds, the head of a delegation at peace talks told Reuters on Sunday. Mohammad Alloush said a failure by Moscow to end what the opposition says are widespread violations of a Turkish-Russian brokered ceasefire would be a blow to its influence in Syria. ‘It’s a real test of the power of Russia and its influence over the regime and Iran as a guarantor of the deal, so if it fails in this role there will follow bigger failures,’ Alloush said in the Kazakh capital, where talks are due to begin on Monday.”

Reuters: Militants Blow Themselves Up After Gunfight With Saudi Forces

“Two men accused of planning attacks against Saudi Arabia blew themselves up following a confrontation with security forces in the city of Jeddah on Saturday, the interior ministry said. Saudi security forces surrounded a house in Jeddah’s eastern Al-Harazat district and exchanged fire with the men, who blew themselves up, an interior ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by state news agency SPA. A Saudi man and his Pakistani wife alleged to have links to the men were arrested, the spokesman said. Saudi-owned Arabiya TV showed footage of smoke rising above Jeddah and an explosion tearing through a building. Islamic State has carried out a series of bombings and shootings in Saudi Arabia since mid-2014 that have killed scores of people, mostly members of the Shi’ite Muslim minority and security services.”

The Wall Street Journal: Syria Talks In Kazakhstan Will Test Russia-Turkey Cooperation

“Russia and Turkey, which for years have backed opposing sides in Syria’s civil war, say they will work to map the outlines of a peace agreement during negotiations this week, the first major test of whether the powers’ newfound cooperation can achieve a breakthrough to end the conflict. The Trump administration has said it won’t be sending a delegation to the talks—which begin Monday in the Kazakh capital, Astana—despite being invited to attend alongside Syrian rebels and envoys from Iran, and will be represented instead by the U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan.”

The Jerusalem Post: ISIS Destroys Famous Monument In Syria’s Palmyra

“Islamic State militants have destroyed one of the most famous monuments in the ancient city of Palmyra, the Tetrapylon, and the facade of its Roman Theater, Syrian antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim told Reuters on Friday. The Tetrapylon, marking a slight bend along Palmyra’s grand colonnade, comprises a square stone platform with matching structures of four columns positioned at each of its corners. Satellite imagery sent by Abdulkarim to Reuters showed it largely destroyed, with only four of 16 columns still standing and the stone platform apparently covered in rubble. The imagery also showed extensive damage at the Roman Theater, with several towering stone structures destroyed on the stage.”

Radio Free Europe: Afghan Official Reports Iranian, Pakistani Aid To Taliban In Helmand

“The governor of Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand Province said Iranians and Pakistanis have recently met with Taliban insurgents involved in fighting Afghan forces. Governor Hayatullah Hayat told Radio Free Afghanistan on January 22 that ‘Iranian interference [in Afghan affairs] has increased’ recently, noting the meeting with Taliban fighters in Helmand’s Garmsir district that he said also involved Pakistanis. He said the Afghan intelligence agency has confirmed the meeting and he has ordered a further investigation into foreign interference in Helmand. Hayat said rockets with Iranian markings were also found after a Taliban attack on the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.”

Daily Mail: Alleged French IS Recruiter Charged After 4 Years In Syria

“A 23-year-old French man whom international authorities allege was a leading recruiter for the Islamic State group has been arrested and given preliminary terrorism charges in France. A judicial official said Sunday that Kevin Guiavarch will remain in custody pending further investigation. Guiavarch was handed preliminary charges Saturday of association with terrorist criminals and financing terrorism, said the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named giving details about an ongoing investigation.”

Associated Press: Libya’s Neighbors Demand National Dialogue To End Crisis

“Representatives of Libya’s neighbors meeting in Cairo on Saturday warned the North African nation’s main rival factions against seeking to settle their differences through military force, as Egypt announced that efforts were underway to bring their leaders together to chart a ‘joint vision’ for the country. The representatives came from Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Chad, Niger and Tunisia. Also attending was U.N. envoy to Libya Martin Kobler. Libya has plunged into chaos and lawlessness since the ouster and later killing of Muammar Gadhafi in a 2011 uprising and subsequent civil war, with two rival administrations operating in the east and west of the vast, oil-rich nation. Also operating in Libya is an array of militant Islamic groups, including a local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State.”

United States

ABC News: U.S. Will Not Take Part In Syria Peace Talks In Kazakhstan

“The United States will not send a delegation to Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan, citing ‘Our presidential inauguration and the immediate demands of the transition,’ the State Department announced Saturday. The U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan, however, will be an observer to the talks being sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran. ‘The U.S. government this week received an invitation from the government of Kazakhstan to attend the January 23 talks in Astana,’ said Mark Toner, the acting State Department spokesman. ‘We welcome and appreciate Kazakhstan’s invitation to participate as an observer.’”

Daily Caller: Mattis Celebrates First Day At Pentagon By Blowing Up ISIS 31 Times

“Newly minted Secretary of Defense James Mattis celebrated his first full day at the Pentagon by overseeing 31 strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Mattis entered the Pentagon Saturday with a smile for his first full day of work, and for good reason, considering the significant bombardment ISIS forces received. A variety of fighters, bombers and remotely piloted aircraft engaged in the bombing run, which saw 25 strikes in Syria and six in Iraq. In Syria, two strikes destroyed ISIS units and artillery near the town of Bab. ISIS forces in Raqqa, the terrorist group’s de facto capital, took a heavy beating, as 22 strikes destroyed 12 tactical units, nine fighting positions, two underground improvised explosive bomb factories and an ISIS headquarters. The final strike targeted two ISIS oil wells in Deir ez Zour.”

Syria

Reuters: Syrian Army Nears Turkey-Backed Rebels In New Advance

“The Syrian army and its allies on Sunday drove Islamic State from several villages east of Aleppo, a military media unit run by Hezbollah and a war monitor reported, bringing them closer to territory held by Turkey-backed rebels. Several overlapping conflicts are being fought in Syria, dragging in regional and global powers as well as the government and local groups, complicating the battlefield in the north of the country and raising the risk of an escalation in the war. The main struggle in Syria’s civil war is between President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran, Russia and Shi’ite militias including the Lebanese Hezbollah, against rebels that include groups backed by Turkey, Gulf monarchies and the United States.”

Reuters: Syrian Opposition Will Only Discuss Ceasefire At Kazakhstan Talks, Spokesman Says

“A Syrian opposition delegation to peace talks set to open in the Kazakh capital on Monday said it would only discuss ways to salvage a fragile Russian-Turkish ceasefire it sees as having been violated chiefly by Iranian-backed militias in Syria. The Syrian government considers most of the rebel groups attending the conference to be foreign-backed ‘terrorists’, but says it is ready to engage in talks with armed groups that surrender their arms and enter reconciliation deals. Mainstream rebel groups under the banner of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) have rejected these terms, saying their goal is to end President Bashar al Assad’s rule through a U.N. backed political transition process.”

Reuters: Blast Kills Four In Syrian Camp Near Jordan – Monitor

“A car bomb on Saturday killed at least four people and critically injured a number of others at the Rakban refugee camp in Syria near the border with Jordan, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring organisation. The camp is home to refugees and also to rebel groups, including the Jaish al-Ashair, which fight both President Bashar al-Assad and the jihadist Islamic State movement, and was targeted by bombings last year. More than 75,000 people live in Rakban. Millions of Syrians have fled their homes during the civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands since it began in 2011.”

Iraq

Reuters: Iraqi General’s Tour Suggests Tough Fight Ahead In West Mosul

“Residents of east Mosul held up their children and took selfies with Iraqi counter-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi after his men cleared Islamic State fighters from their neighbourhoods. But his tour on Saturday of homes once occupied by the militants was a reminder of the dangers ahead as security forces prepare to expand their offensive against the Sunni militants into west Mosul. Flanked by bodyguards in the Mohandiseen neighbourhood, Saadi got a firsthand view of Islamic State’s meticulous planning and reign of terror as he moved from house to house, greeted by locals as a hero.”

Turkey

BBC: Turkey’s President Erdogan Wins Power-Boosting Vote

“Turkey’s parliament has approved a new draft constitution paving the way for a presidential system of government. The reforms – which would significantly increase the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – received the required three-fifth majority in the assembly. The bill will be put to a referendum, probably in April, and will become law if more than 50% of voters back it. Critics say the move could usher in authoritarian rule, and amounts to a power grab by Mr Erdogan. But the president says the changed system will resemble those in France and the US.”

Reuters: Turkey Orders More Than 400 Arrests In Post-Coup Probes: Report

“Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for more than 400 people, including soldiers and security officers, in 48 provinces across the country following July’s failed coup, broadcaster Haberturk said on Saturday. They were being sought on suspicion of using Bylock, an encrypted smartphone messaging app that the government says was used by the network of Fethullah Gulen who is alleged by Ankara to have orchestrated the attempted coup, Haberturk reported. Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied the charge and condemned the coup.”

Reuters: Turkish Military Says Killed 65 Islamic State Militants In Syria

“Sixty-five Islamic State militants were killed in operations by the Turkish army in support of rebels in northern Syria on Sunday, the Turkish military said on Monday. Turkey launched an operation to drive the jihadists away from the Syrian border five months ago and have been besieging the Islamic State controlled town of al-Bab for weeks.”

Reuters: Gunman Fires On Turkish Police; Suspect Identified In Earlier Attack

“An unidentified gunman attacked police in Istanbul on Saturday morning, a day after rocket attacks targeting Istanbul’s police headquarters and an office of the ruling AK Party. No casualties were reported in either attack. The gunman in Saturday’s attack opened fire on a police vehicle in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district, then fled when police officers returned fire, the private Dogan News Agency reported. He left behind his gun and a bag of grenades, Dogan said. Meanwhile, Turkish authorities have identified one of the assailants responsible for Friday’s attacks as a member of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), the broadcaster NTV reported on Saturday.”

Afghanistan

Associated Press: Roof Collapses In Eastern Afghanistan Refugee Camp, Kills 6

“An Afghan official says the roof of a shoddily constructed house in a refugee camp in eastern Afghanistan collapsed as a family was sleeping inside, killing 6 family members, including two women and two children. Attaullah Khogiyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor, says four other members of the family were injured in the incident, which took place early on Monday morning. The family was among tens of thousands of refugees who have returned from neighboring Pakistan in recent years. There are an estimated 1.5 million Afghan refugees still living in Pakistan.”

Radio Free Europe: Head Of Afghan High Peace Council Dies In Kabul From Illness At Age 84

“The head of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council — a government panel tasked with negotiating an end to the country’s conflict with the Taliban – has died at the age of 84. Abdul Khabir Ochqun, the deputy head of the council, told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan that Council Chief Pir Saye Ahmed Gailani died at a hospital in Kabul at 7:45 p.m. local time in Kabul on January 21 as a result of an illness. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is expected to appoint Gailani’s replacement. However it was not immediately clear who Gailani’s successor would be. Gailani rose to prominence during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s as a resistance leader and the founder of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan — one of seven U.S.-backed groups that fought against the Soviet invaders.”

Reuters: Afghanistan’s Abdullah Welcomes Trump Commitment To Troops

“Afghan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah on Saturday expressed hope that the United States would continue its support for the Afghan government after American President Donald Trump publicly spoke with U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan after his inauguration on Friday. ‘I want to congratulate the U.S president on behalf of myself, the Afghan government and the people of Afghanistan,’ Abdullah said at an event to launch a bid for $550 million in international humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, which remains locked in a bloody war between the Western-backed government and insurgent groups like the Taliban.”

Yemen

Reuters: Three Suspected Al Qaeda Members Killed In Drone Strikes In Yemen: Officials

“Three suspected members of al Qaeda’s Yemen branch were killed on Sunday by what local officials said they believed were two separate U.S. drone strikes. If confirmed, they would be the first such attacks since U.S. President Donald Trump assumed office on Friday. In the first strike two men were killed when a missile hit the vehicle in which they were travelling in the al-Soumaa district of southern al-Bayda province, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The second strike, also on a car in al-Soumaa, killed another man suspected of membership in al Qaeda, according to one official and local tribal leaders. The United States conducted dozens of drone strikes throughout Barack Obama’s presidency to combat al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, regarded as one of the global militant group’s most dangerous branches.”

Saudi Arabia

International Business Times: Suicide Bombers Blow Themselves Up In Saudi Arabia After Gunfight

“Two suicide bombers have blown themselves up in Saudi Arabia’s second city of Jeddah, local media reported. Saudi security forces surrounded a house in the city and exchanged fire with the men before they detonated themselves, the state-affiliated website Sabq.org reported on Saturday (21 January). Images circulated on social media appear to show the affected building covered in rubble and riddled with bullets. The Saudi interior ministry had no immediate comment.”

Egypt

Reuters: Egypt To Allow Italian Experts To Examine CCTV Footage In Regeni Murder Investigation

“Egypt’s public prosecutor agreed on Sunday to allow experts from Italy and a German company that specialises in salvaging CCTV footage to examine cameras in Cairo as part of the investigation into last year’s murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni. A statement from the prosecutor said that the experts would examine recordings made by the closed-circuit television camera at the metro station in the Cairo neighbourhood of Dokki, where Regeni lived, to find ‘the facts of the incident and its perpetrators’. Regeni, who was working on postgraduate research into Egyptian trade unions, was last seen by friends on Jan. 25 last year. His body, showing signs of extensive torture, was found in a ditch on the outskirts of Cairo on Feb. 3.”

Middle East

Haaretz: Two Killed In Tel Aviv Shooting

“Two people were killed in a shooting at an underground garage in Tel Aviv last night, police said. Paramedics said the pair succumbed to wounds. Police said one of the victims, a 33-year-old man, had a criminal background and has recently moved into the neighborhood with his family, who were allegedly present during the shooting. The second victim is believed to have been his security guard. Police said the unknown assailant fled on a motorbike after the shooting, apparently part of  an ongoing clash in the Israeli underworld.”

Voice Of America: Israel To Iran: We Are Your Friend, Not Your Enemy

“Israel’s leader has recorded a conciliatory message to the people of Iran, saying, ‘We are your friend, not your enemy.’ In a video uploaded to his Facebook page Saturday, Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the people of Iran in English, with Farsi subtitles. Netanyahu said he will soon discuss with U.S. President Donald Trump how to counter the threat of an Iranian regime that calls for Israel’s destruction, but that he distinguishes between the regime and the people. ‘You have a proud history. You have a rich culture. Tragically, you are shackled by a theocratic tyranny,’ he said. Israel regards Iran as its most dangerous adversary because of its nuclear program, development of long-range missiles and continued support for militant groups.”

The Times Of Israel: Keep Calm And Carry Goods: How Israel Is Keeping Truck With Hamas

“The trucks streamed through the Kerem Shalom border crossing between southern Gaza and Israel last Monday morning, carrying diesel fuel that, in a short while, would rescue the residents of the Gaza Strip from the prolonged power outages they had been suffering. Aside from bringing electricity to the people, the Hamas terror group hoped the electricity would also save its regime from having to deal with mass demonstrations, thus ensuring its retention of power.”

Nigeria

Voice Of America News: Nigerian Army: Boko Haram Attacks Town Previously Bombed By Country’s Air Force

“Around 15 Boko Haram fighters were killed when the jihadists attacked a town in northeastern Nigeria, two days after the air force accidentally killed dozens of people there, local and military officials said. On Tuesday, the air force said it had bombed Rann in Borno state, epicentre of Boko Haram’s seven-year-long attempt to create an Islamic caliphate in the northeast. Boko Haram fighters then attacked Rann — home to thousands of people displaced by the jihadists’ insurgency — using two jeeps on Thursday night, residents said. ‘We battled them for almost 30 minutes,’ Lieutenant Colonel Igwe Omoke, commander of the 3rd battalion based in Rann, told Reuters on Friday during a visit organized by the army.”

United Kingdom

NBC News: British Tanks Roll On Channel Tunnel Test Run Amid Trump, Russia Fears

“Tourists know the Channel Tunnel as the undersea railroad that allows cheap and easy trips from Britain to mainland Europe. But in the dead of night this week, Britain’s military sent five tanks down the 30-mile ‘Chunnel’ to test whether it would be an effective route for forces if deployed to places such as Eastern Europe amid tensions between Russia and NATO. The fact that Wednesday’s exercise came two days before President Trump’s inauguration appears coincidental; the British army told NBC News the test had been planned for a year.”

Daily Mail: Universities Are Monitoring Students’ Emails To Stop Them ‘Being Drawn Into Terrorism’ And Radicalised On Campus 

“Universities across Britain are monitoring student and staff emails as part of the government’s counter-extremism strategy. King’s College London is one of the latest to announce that emails would be ‘monitored and recorded’. The prestigious university published a notice on its email login page warning users not to sent material deemed ‘indecent, offensive, defamatory, threatening, discriminatory or extremist’. The new policy at the university is part of the government’s PREVENT program and comes as other universities across Britain also agreed to comply with the program.”

Germany

Deutsche Welle: German Interior Minister De Maiziere Promises New System Against Terrorism

“In an interview with German weekly ‘Bild am Sonntag,’ German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said there would be better communication between the police and the judiciary with a new computer system. The system, called ‘Radar,’ was jointly created by the University of Zurich and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). The system will assess the potential threat of Islamist terrorists as moderate, conspicuous or high-risk. De Maiziere told ‘Bild am Sonntag’ that ‘the federal and state authorities also need better arguments against the judiciary when they apply for measures.’ De Maiziere added that the new system would be a ‘crucial building block.’ The states will be familiarized with the system by the end of June, and it will be implemented by states with more potential threats.”

Radio Free Europe: Steinmeier Says Germany Must Prepare For ‘Turbulent’ Times Under Trump

“German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says his country must be ready for ‘turbulent’ times during the term of U.S. President Donald Trump. Steinmeier wrote in the daily Bild newspaper on January 22 that although Germany should prepare for ‘unpredictability and uncertainty’ with the Trump administration, he is convinced that Berlin will find ‘attentive listeners’ in Washington who know that ‘even big countries need partners in this world.’ Chancellor Angela Merkel — who has been criticized by Trump for allowing more than 1 million refugees to enter Germany since 2015 — has said she would look to compromise with Trump on issues like trade and military spending.”

Deutsche Welle: German Police Arrest Terror Suspect In Neuss Linked To Austrian Islamist

“German police arrested a 21-year-old man accused of ‘planning a serious crime targeting the state,’ they announced on Sunday. Authorities have alleged the suspect was linked to an Austrian teenager who was arrested in Vienna on Friday. He was alleged to have been planning a terrorist attack. Police suspect he was linked to radical Islamist groups. The Austrian teenager, of Albanian heritage, had stayed in Neuss as a guest of the 21-year-old and discussed attacks against the German armed forces, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Düsseldorf said.”

Europe

The Jerusalem Post: Finnish Ngo In Violation Of Terrorism Law For Funding Hamas Parlay?

“The Finnish organization CMI doled out $18,177 to fund a meeting of the EU and US classified terrorist entity Hamas with the Palestinian Fatah party in Geneva, Switzerland in December, according to a Friday report in the Finland daily Kirkko ja kaupunki. The Finnish organization Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), which is headed by Finland’s former president Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari, joined the Swiss government to organize the two day talks to unify the Gaza-based Hamas and the West Bank’s Fatah party. The Swiss paid nearly $72,000 for the negotiations.”

Associated Press: Italy Says Its Embassy Staff Is Safe After Libya Bombing

“Italy’s foreign ministry says the staff at its embassy in Tripoli, Libya, are all safe after a car bombing ‘in the vicinity of the Italian and Egyptian embassies’ in that city. The ministry said late Saturday that a vehicle ‘full of explosives’ blew up earlier in the evening and that ‘it seems’ there were two victims, who presumably were the two people in the car. Italy said that Libyan authorities have stepped up security near the Italian embassy, which was recently re-opened.”

Financing of Terrorism

Veto: Expert: Funding – An Important Component Behind Terrorism

“Dr. Mohammed Abu Hammour, a Jordanian political scientist, attended a conference entitled “The world uprising… united against extremism.” During a session on: “Extremism… methods of recruitment and the necessities of liberation”, Abu Hammour said, “We pay no attention in this conference, when speaking about terrorism and seeking its causes, to another component – the funding. If {as we believe} the causes of extremism and terrorism are poverty and unemployment, we find that funds spent on terrorism and terrorist operations far exceed the countries’ spending to institute social justice. These {terror} funds are much higher than those spent on the fight against unemployment.”

Veto: Dar Al-Ifta Al-Misriyyah: Terrorist Organizations Using Bitcoin

“Dar Al Iftaa’s Takfiri Fatwa Observatory warned of the dangers of the use of Bitcoin by terrorist organizations. This comes especially amid the current military and security campaigns which aim at drying up the sources of terrorism. These campaigns are pushing terror groups to use virtual coins as a means to secure funding and avoid prosecution. The Observatory pointed out that its report, issued in August 2015, outlined the presence of strong indicators concerning ISIS’s use of this currency in the financing of terrorist acts and in sending money to its militants outside of Syria and Iraq.”

Counter-Terrorism

Al-Ain: Economic Conditions Behind The Growing Number Of Terrorists

“Experts and researchers are claiming that poor economic conditions have the greatest responsibility for the increasing numbers of terrorists. They underscored that the repercussions of the {regional} economic downturn are evident in the involvement of larger numbers of young people in violence. The experts assert that the various “terrorists’ motives stem from the deteriorating economic conditions. There are mercenaries who join armed groups as a way to obtain livelihood. There is also a link between criminal activity and terrorism as a means of obtaining mutual benefits.” Ibrahim al-Ghitani, an economic researcher, noted that the deteriorating economic climate supports terrorism. He added that “the involvement of young people from some countries in the region in terrorist operations is an inevitable consequence of poverty.”

Almesryoon: Experts Warn Of The Future Of Investments In Egypt Following Publication Of Terror List

“Egyptian government has high hopes of attracting foreign investment in order to move the wheels of the Egyptian economy forward and increase state revenues. This is especially true after adopting the most difficult step – floating the pound. But now experts are warning of the consequences for the future of investments after the inclusion of many {famous} figures on the terrorism list. These include, for instance, Mohammed Abou-Treika, ex-Egyptian soccer player, and well-known businessman Safwan Thabet. Experts claim that this measure may convey a negative message to the international community which will not feel ‘reassured’ regarding its investments in Egypt. This may delay the entry of foreign investors or may push others from the market. Dr. Ali Abdul-Aziz, a lecturer at the Department of Business Administration at Cairo University, commented: “The newly announced terror list, endorsed by Parliament, sends a clear message to all current and potential investors that Egypt is being managed according to the whims of the regime, and there are no rights or Constitution which govern this country.”

Annahar: Library Of Alexandria Hosted Global Conference Against Extremism And Terrorism

“The Library of Alexandria hosted the Third International Conference entitled “The World Rises Up: United Against Extremism”. It was held January 17th–19th and attended by more than 300 scholars and intellectuals, representing 18 countries and specializing in the issue of terrorism. The aim of the conference was to strengthen the ties between Arab research centers specializing in combating extremism and to build a common vision. It came as part of an integrated program which includes several stages, implemented by the Library of Alexandria to combat intellectual extremism. The first stage begins with advancing research about the phenomenon of extremism in terms of religious sociology.”

Muslim Brotherhood

Shorouk: Egypt: Government Re-Appeals To Block Ruling To Invalidate Seizure Of Muslim Brotherhood Funds

“Egypt’s Appeals Inspection Chamber at the Supreme Administrative Court, headed by Judge Ahmed al-Shazli, Deputy Chairman of the State Council Club, decided to review 10 appeals filed by the Muslim Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee. The appeals aim to block implementation of rulings issued by the Administrative Court. These rulings overturned decisions to seize funds belonging to certain companies and individuals. The next hearing is scheduled to be held on March 25th at which new documents will be submitted by the State. The Court’s decision to hear appeals in cases that were to be ruled on today is based on requests made by the State Lawsuits Authority in every case. This comes following the 6th Circuit of North Cairo Criminal Court’s decision to include on the list of terrorists anyone whose funds were seized. The appeals were submitted for the cases of seized “Al Waha Language Schools”, “United Company” and other individuals whose assets were impounded.”

Alarabiya: Egypt: Brotherhood-Affiliated Artist And TV Presenter On Terror List

“Cairo Criminal Court included the name of Egyptian artist Wagdi Alarabi and his sister, TV presenter Kamilia Al Arabi, on the list of terrorists for a period of 3 years. This is the same list on which the name of former international soccer player Mohammed Aboutrika appears. Egyptian security investigations claimed that both tangible and logistical support was provided by the artist, who now lives in Turkey, to “Hasm” terrorist movement. The case of “Hasm” militants was forwarded to the Military Justice system last week. It was also found that Alarabi had supported the Rabia sit-in, incited to kill army and police officers, and called for re-installing ousted President Mohammed Morsi by force. Investigations revealed the artist is a prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader who trained youth for the group and was tasked with preparing reports on their suitability to become Brotherhood members. His sister Kamilia’s funds were seized by the Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee based on information obtained during a surprise raid on “Ahbab Allah Charitable Association for Social Development” in Zahraa Al Maadi, a charity owned by Kamilia.”

The Seventh Day: Egypt: Detention Of Brotherhood Leader’s Relative Found In Possession Of $50k

“Investigations by Egypt’s National Security Agency found that Sheriff Alhlo, an Alexandria-based businessman and owner of “Doctors Exchange Co.”, is suspected of running businesses for the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as transferring money to the group’s {fugitive} leaders in Arab countries. Note that a decision was issued to shut down Doctors Exchange Co. for “harming the national economy and trafficking foreign currency in contravention of the law. The investigations showed that Alhlo had allegedly smuggled foreign currency, in spite of the {earlier} decision to shut his company down for one year. Alhlo is a relative of senior Brotherhood leader Medhat al-Haddad, as his brother is married to al-Haddad’s daughter. Al-Haddad served as an economic adviser to ousted president Mohammed Morsi. Egyptian security forces detained Alhlo in possession of $50,000.”

Alwafd: Muslim Brotherhood Continues To Harm Economy By Trafficking In Foreign Currency

“The National Security Agency within Egypt’s Ministry of Interior has recently detained a large number of Brotherhood leaders who were involved in the collection of foreign currency and trafficking it out of the country. These include a group that formed a “crisis management” cell, under instructions from leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. The cell members were detained in September 2016 in the governorate of Qalyubia in possession of $70,000 and some 106,000 Egyptian pounds ($5,640). In addition, security forces detained other leaders of the group who own foreign currency exchange companies. The most prominent group member is businessman Hassan Malek who faces public prosecution charges. Four other Brotherhood members face charges for executing a scheme aimed at harming the national economy through amassing foreign currency and smuggling it out of Egypt. They are also accused of escalating the instability of the dollar exchange rate.”

Houthi

Veto: Moroccan Businessman Accuses Houthis Of Seizing His Ship After Refusing To Transport Suspicious Cargo

“Mohammed Ul Hasan, a Moroccan businessman, voiced a call for help to save him from persecution by what he described as an “international criminal cartel”. He alleged this “cartel” aims to avenge and assassinate him for his refusal to make business deals with the cousin of Hatim Alhatimi, one of the most powerful figures in Yemen. Alhatimi is known for his support for the Houthis. The Moroccan businessman is accusing the Houthis of seizing his ship, the “Merbey”. This comes following his refusal to transfer suspicious cargo and launder $100 million. Mohammed Ul Hasan, who works in the field of maritime transport, revealed that he had monitored his ship by GPS heading from South Africa to Yemen, with the collusion of the Turkish captain and his Romanian crew. The businessman suggested that this is part of the retaliation plotted by the “cartel” after refusing to cooperate with them.”

Anúncios

Deixe um comentário

Preencha os seus dados abaixo ou clique em um ícone para log in:

Logotipo do WordPress.com

Você está comentando utilizando sua conta WordPress.com. Sair / Alterar )

Imagem do Twitter

Você está comentando utilizando sua conta Twitter. Sair / Alterar )

Foto do Facebook

Você está comentando utilizando sua conta Facebook. Sair / Alterar )

Foto do Google+

Você está comentando utilizando sua conta Google+. Sair / Alterar )

Conectando a %s