Eye on Extremism, May 23, 2017

The New York Times: Ariana Grande Manchester Concert Ends In Explosion, Panic And Death

“An explosion that appeared to be a suicide bombing killed at least 22 people on Monday night and wounded 59 others at an Ariana Grande concert filled with adoring adolescent fans, in what the police were treating as a terrorist attack. Panic and mayhem seized the crowd at the Manchester Arena as the blast reverberated through the building, just as the show was ending and pink balloons were dropping from the rafters in a signature flourish by Ms. Grande, a 23-year-old American pop star on an international tour. Traumatized concertgoers, including children separated from parents, screamed and fled what appeared to be the deadliest episode of terrorism in Britain since the 2005 London transit bombings.”

Reuters: Islamic State Supporters Celebrate Manchester Attack Online, No Official Claim

“Islamic State supporters celebrated on social media on Tuesday after a blast at a concert venue in the north of England killed at least 19 people, although the militant Islamist group has not formally claimed responsibility. British police have said they are treating the blast at the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande as a ‘terrorist incident’. More than 50 people were wounded. Twitter accounts affiliated to Islamic State have used hashtags referring to the blast to post celebratory messages, with some users encouraging similar attacks elsewhere.”

Daily Caller: Isis Called Upon Followers To ‘Hunt Your Prey’ In Uk Before Manchester Explosions

“Pro-Islamic State accounts called upon followers to “hunt your prey” prior to Monday night’s explosions at the Manchester Arena, according to SITE Intelligence Group. The accounts provided information on U.K. community centers, government buildings and tourist areas, according to SITE Director Rita Katz. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, ISIS accounts have celebrated the incident on social media. British counter-terrorism authorities are reportedly treating the event as a “possible terrorist incident.” Users on a pro-ISIS forum referred to the attack as “a successful and surprising blow” against the U.K. and considered it revenge for the country’s participation in air strikes in Iraq and Syria, according to Katz.”

United States

Fox News: Trump in the Middle East — why he’s already winning more than Obama did: President Trump’s trip to one of the most conflicted regions in the world reveals a far-sightedness, focus and pragmatism that few detractors can discredit. Within the region – where I have traveled recently – the President’s visit is welcomed as a thrilling and meaningful opportunity by both the people and leaders in the Middle East.

BBC News: US forces kill seven al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, says Pentagon

“US forces have carried out a raid on an al-Qaeda compound in Yemen, killing seven militants, the US military says. They were killed ‘through a combination of small arms fire and precision air strikes’ in the Marib governorate, east of Sanaa, on Tuesday morning. The primary objective of the operation was to gather intelligence. The military did not say whether there were any US casualties during the raid which was supported by the Yemeni government. In a statement, the US Central Command says the militants were members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).”

The Washington Post: What Kind Of Deal Is Trump Making With Saudi Arabia?

“The optics of Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, where he addressed dozens of leaders from Arab and Muslim majority countries, suggested a dramatic departure for American Middle East policy. The reality is far more prosaic. Trump outlined a highly conventional U.S. Middle East policy focused on cooperation with traditional regional allies against Iran and terrorism. Even Trump’s Islam speech, which many feared would be a declaration of civilizational war, was dominated by conventional American language. Trump’s strategic concept of renewed partnership with traditional autocratic allies in the service of confrontation with Iran and counterterrorism is a deeply familiar one.”

NPR: U.S.-Turkey Dispute Over Washington Protest Heats Up

“A diplomatic dispute deepened when Turkey summoned the American ambassador in Ankara to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Monday, to protest ‘the aggressive and unprofessional actions taken’ by American security personnel against Turkish security officers. It stems from a violent confrontation that broke out in front of the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., on May 17 — the same day Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was visiting President Trump at the White House. Video appears to show Erdogan’s security forces pushing past D.C.’s Metropolitan Police officers and violently breaking up a group of protesters, knocking down some and repeatedly kicking them in the head. Around a dozen people were injured.”

USA Today: In Blasting Iran, Trump Woos Israel And Saudi Arabia

“President Trump used his first foreign trip to repeatedly blast Iran for its aggressive behavior, a topic that unifies U.S. allies in the region, especially Saudi Arabia and Israel. Trump has been a staunch critic of the Iran nuclear deal brokered by the U.S. and other world powers that was implemented in January 2016. The president has allowed the deal to remain in place but has focused on Iran’s missile development and support for terrorism in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. I’ran should be very grateful to the United States. Iran negotiated a fantastic deal with the previous administration,’ Trump said Monday in a joint appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.”

The Washington Post: Trump Says He Never Told The Russians Classified Intelligence Came From Israel

“President Trump said Monday that he never told Russian diplomats during a May 10 Oval Office meeting that the classified information about the Islamic State he was sharing with them had come from Israel — something he has not been accused of doing. Trump veered off the script of his heavily choreographed visit to Israel during a brief media appearance alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem to address the issue. Both men responded to a shouted question asking Netanyahu whether he had any concerns about intelligence cooperation with the United States. ‘The intelligence cooperation is terrific,’ Netanyahu said. Trump then hushed the room so he could respond as well.”

The Washington Post: In Israel, Trump Urges New Middle East Harmony But Faces Old Suspicions

“President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sketched the broad outlines of a new architecture for the Middle East here late Monday, declaring common cause among the United States, Israel and Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia to roll back Iranian aggression and defeat Islamist terrorism. Their joint cooperation could ‘create conditions for realistic peace’ in the region, a beaming Netanyahu said as he praised Trump for what he called a changed U.S. policy toward Iran. In their talks earlier in the day, he said, Trump had ‘noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners.’”

Reuters: Trump Says Concerns About Iran Driving Israel, Arab States Closer

“U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that shared concern about Iran was driving Israel and many Arab states closer and demanded that Tehran immediately cease military and financial backing of ‘terrorists and militias’. In stressing threats from Iran, Trump echoed a theme laid out during weekend meetings in Saudi Arabia with Muslim leaders from around the world, many wary of the Islamic Republic’s growing regional influence and financial muscle. Trump has vowed to do whatever necessary to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, dubbing a peace accord ‘the ultimate deal’. But ahead of his Holy Land visit, he gave little indication of how he could revive talks that collapsed in 2014.”

Tampa Bay Times: ‘Neo-Nazi’ In Florida National Guard Arrested After Explosives Found At Tampa Palms Murder Scene

“A man accused of shooting his two roommates Friday in a Tampa Palms apartment told police he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with the men until he converted to Islam then killed them because they showed disrespect for his faith. The revelations weren’t over. Officers found a garage stocked with bomb materials as they arrived to investigate the double homicide, leading to federal explosive charges against Brandon Russell — a Florida National Guardsman and admitted neo-Nazi who kept a framed photo of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh on his dresser. Russell, 21, was the man Tampa police officers found crying outside his door Friday evening when murder suspect Devon Arthurs led them back to the apartment that the four had shared in an affluent suburb north of the University of South Florida. Russell, wearing camouflage, had just returned from National Guard duties.”

Slate: Member Of “Alt-Reich Nation” Facebook Group Arrested In Murder Of Black Student

“On Sunday, University of Maryland police chief David Mitchell announced that the FBI had been called on to assist in the investigation of the murder of black visiting student Richard Collins III as a hate crime. Mitchell’s suspected killer Sean Urbanski, who has been charged with first and second degree murder and first degree assault, is a member of a racist Facebook group called Alt-Reich Nation. Collins was killed after being approached by Urbanski while waiting for an Uber with two other students.”


Reuters: Car Bomb Explodes, Kills 4 In Syria’s Homs: State TV

“A car bomb exploded in Homs on Tuesday morning, Syrian state television said, two days after the city passed back under full government control for the first time since 2011. Authorities destroyed another vehicle rigged with explosives near a Shi’ite Muslim shrine south of Damascus, the broadcaster and other state media outlets reported. Syrian state television, quoting the head of the Homs health authority, said the blast killed four people and injured 32 in the al-Zahraa neighborhood of the city, which lies around 160 km (100 miles) north of the capital.”

Associated Press: Explosions Strike Syrian Cities Of Damascus And Homs

“Syrian state TV is reporting that an explosion in the central city of Homs has killed several people and that government forces ‘destroyed’ a truck bomb near the Damascus airport. The TV says the explosion in Homs occurred near the city’s power station but gave no further details. Earlier this week, opposition fighters had left the last rebel-held neighborhood in Homs, bringing the entire city back under government control for the first time in more than five years.”


Newsweek: ISIS Wants To Attack The West’s Food Supply, Practiced By Poisoning Prisoners In Iraq

“The Islamic State group used prisoners as ‘human guinea pigs,’ carrying out chemical weapons experiments in order to plan for attacks against the West, documents found in Mosul have revealed. The papers detailing the tests, which led to the agonizing deaths of prisoners, were discovered at Mosul University in January when it was recaptured by Iraqi special forces. The documents verified by United States and British forces were detailed by The Times in a report published Saturday.”

Voice Of America: UN Official: Islamic State’s Days Numbered In Iraq

“The United Nations’ top diplomat in Iraq said the so-called Islamic State’s days ‘are numbered’ in that country and the liberation of the city of Mosul is ‘imminent.’ ‘The days of so-called ISIL caliphate in Iraq are numbered, thanks to the bravery and patriotism of the Iraqi security forces, including the popular mobilization forces, the peshmerga and the tribal volunteers, as well as the endurance of the Iraqi people,’ the head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq, Jan Kubis, told Security Council members Monday. ‘The liberation of Mosul is imminent,’ he said of the terror group’s last stronghold in Iraq. ‘Operations are shifting to remaining areas and pockets of Daesh presence, including along the borders with Syria,’ Kubis said.”


Politico: Iran’s President Isn’t A Reformer. He’s An Enabler

“Hassan Rouhani, the newly re-elected president of Iran, is a creature of the Islamic Republic’s establishment, an apparatchik with much guile and little imagination. And yet Rouhani’s subversive political campaign may do lasting damage to the Islamic Republic. In the process of reclaiming his office, he shed light on the regime’s dark past and made fantastic promises that he has neither the ability nor the intention of keeping. Rouhani’s campaign alienated the regime’s power brokers and his tenure will inevitably disillusion his constituents. The Rouhani presidency will once more remind the Iranian people that the theocratic state cannot reform itself.”


The Washington Post: Turkey Partially Destroys IS-Attacked Istanbul Nightclub

“Turkey’s state-run news agency says authorities have partially destroyed the upscale Istanbul nightclub where an Islamic State extremist killed 39 people during New Year’s celebrations. The Anadolu Agency says parts of Reina nightclub, on the shores of the Bosporus, were demolished Monday by Istanbul’s municipality, which cited a breach of construction regulations. Piles of rubble were left on the ground of the nightclub close to a bridge across the Bosporus. The surprise move came as questions remained on the future of the club that has been closed since the Jan. 1 shooting claimed by IS. The dead included 25 foreign citizens.”

Reuters: Turkish Police Detain Two Hunger-Striking Teachers In Raids: Lawyers

“Turkish police detained two teachers overnight who have been on hunger strike for more than two months protesting against a government crackdown in which they lost their jobs following last year’s failed coup, their lawyers said on Monday. The detention of literature professor Nuriye Gulmen and primary school teacher Semih Ozakca brought 150 people onto the streets of Ankara, chanting for workers rights, before riot police fired tear gas to disperse them. Some demonstrators were dragged away by police and detained, but others returned shortly afterwards trying to maintain their protest.”


Associated Press: Official: 5 Security Forces Killed In Afghanistan Ambush

“Insurgents in northern Afghanistan ambushed a security convoy on Monday, killing five members of the local police, an official said. Karim Yuresh, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Faryab, said a group commander and four of his bodyguards were killed. The commander, identified only as Sadat, and his men were on their way to a funeral in Kohistanat district when the attack happened, Yuresh said. He added that the ambush triggered a shootout that also killed and wounded an unspecified number of insurgents.”

Reuters: Militants Kill 10 Afghan Soldiers In Base Attack: Defense Officials

“Militants attacked an Afghan government army base in the southern province of Kandahar, killing at least 10 soldiers and wounding nine, defense officials said on Tuesday. The attack began just before midnight on Monday, the Afghan defense ministry said in a statement. Government forces at Camp Achakzai in Shawali Kot district battled for several hours, killing at least 12 attackers, ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told Reuters. Militants have stepped up attacks in Afghanistan in recent weeks. The United States is considering whether to send 3,000 to 5,000 more military advisers to help train and assist Afghan security forces battling a 16-year-long insurgency led by the Taliban.”


Daily Caller: Egypt Rounds Up Suspected ISIS Terrorists Over Church Bombings

“Egypt referred 48 suspected Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists believed to have been involved in several fatal church bombings to the country’s military judiciary, Egypt’s chief prosecutor said Sunday. Egypt declared a state of emergency after ISIS militants bombed two churches in Alexandria and Tanta on Palm Sunday, killing nearly 50 people, The New York Times reports. The April attacks followed one from Cairo in December that ended the lives of over 25 members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.”

Middle East

Newsweek: Hamas: Donald Trump’s Speech In Saudi Arabia Shows ‘Bias’ Toward Israel

“Hamas has criticized President Donald Trump over his speech linking the Palestinian group to terror, calling the statements a ‘distortion’ that shows U.S. bias toward Israel. Spokesman for the Islamist group Fawzi Barhoum said Sunday that Hamas rejected Trump’s Riyadh speech, in which he linked Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) with terror, adding that the president’s position on the Middle East showed his White House was continuing the policies of previous administrations. ‘The statement describing Hamas as a terror group is rejected and is a distortion of our image and shows a complete bias to the Zionist occupation,’ Barhoum said, according to Reuters, referring to Israel.”

The Jerusalem Post: Police Officer Stabbed In Potential Terror Attack In Netanya

“A suspected assailant was shot and wounded after reportedly stabbing a police officer in the central Israeli city of Netanya, authorities said on Tuesday. A policeman was injured and was taken to Laniado Medical Center, according to authorities. Magen David Adom rescue services said that the 26-year-old man had been mildly wounded with a stab wound to the neck. The suspect, a 44-year-old Palestinian from Tulkarem, was shot by authorities and was treated at the scene by MDA in moderate condition. MDA Paramedic Yaki Hagag, who was at the scene, stated that the attacker was laying on the sidewalk nearby the wounded policeman with wounds to his upper extremities.”

The Jerusalem Post: Report: Terror Attack Thwarted In East Jerusalem During Trump Visit

“An attempted stabbing attack took place in Abu Dis in east Jerusalem Monday afternoon, according to Israel Police. The assailant was shot and ‘neutralized’ after attempting to stab a Border Police officer in the east Jerusalem neighborhood. The thwarted attack took place as US President Donald trump visited Jerusalem’s Old City for his historic visit to Israel on Monday. The condition of the attacker remains unclear. No Israelis were reported injured in the event. Trump, along with a cadre of senior advisers and the First Lady, were on the way to the Western Wall when the attack occurred.”


The Guardian: UN Urges Libyan Government To Shut ‘Inhumane’ Refugee Centres

“The UN refugee agency has called on the Libyan government in Tripoli to close its refugee detention centres, describing conditions as inhumane and shocking. The call comes as the Libya Quartet meets in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss how to slow the flow of refugees across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy. The Italian coastguard said that on Friday alone 2,100 people were rescued from the sea. Up to 17 May, 45,754 migrants from the Libyan coast have been rescued at sea and taken to Italy this year, more than 8,500 of whom arrived in the past two weeks. The figures represent a big increase on the same period last year.”


NPR: That Amazing Moment When 82 Chibok Girls And Families Reunited

“Picture a kaleidoscope of color and a medley of vivid African print cloth surging forward amid screams and weeping — for joy. That was the magnificent and moving scene, Saturday, in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, as 82 former Chibok schoolgirls — now young women — were reunited with their mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and other family members, after three years in Boko Haram captivity. Tears were streaming down their faces and gave way to broad smiles of happiness and relief after years of torment and trauma and missing their families. The Chibok girls, as they’re called, were released on May 7 in the northeast, after negotiations between the Nigerian government and the homegrown, ISIS-affiliated extremist group. But they only got to see their families two weeks later in Abuja.”

Newsweek: Boko Haram: Nigeria’s Top Muslim Leader Calls For End To Child Beggars Recruited By Extremists

“Nigeria’s top Muslim cleric has called to an end of the practice of street begging by children to fund their Islamic education, which has been linked to recruitment by Boko Haram extremists. Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, the current Sultan of Sokoto, said Sunday that the practice—known as almajiri—was ‘not representing Islam and must, therefore, be dissociated from Islam.’ ‘Islam encourages scholarship and entrepreneurship and frowns at laziness and idleness as exemplified by itinerant Almajiri ,’ said Abubakar at a pre-Ramadan meeting of an umbrella group for Nigerian Muslims in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, the country’s e-newspaper Premium Times reported.”

United Kingdom

CBS News: CEP President and former U.S. Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss the latest news from Monday night’s deadly terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

Fox News: CEP Spokesperson Tara Maller discusses the terror attack in Manchester, England following an Ariana Grande concert that took the lives of at least 22 people and wounded many others.

USA Today: At Least 22 Dead In Explosion At Ariana Grande Concert In U.K.; Terror Suspected

“A deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert is believed to be the work of an apparentsuicide bomber, police said early Tuesday morning , killing at least 22 people and sending thousands of terrified concert-goers running for the exits as chaos unfolded in a Manchester arena. At least 50 others were injured and photos from the scene showed carnage as scores of ambulances and paramedics rushed to the area. Grande, who was just finishing her performance when the explosions happened around 10:35 p.m. local time, was not among the injured.”

CNN: Manchester Arena Explosion: 22 Dead After Blast At Ariana Grande Concert

“Monday’s attack outside an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena killed at least 22 people, including children, and was carried out by a lone suspect carrying a bomb, Manchester Police said. ‘The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity,’ said Chief Constable Ian Hopkins. While police believe the suspect was acting alone, investigations are ongoing to establish if he was part of a network. As many as 400 police were deployed overnight, Hopkins said early Tuesday. He added that residents should expect to see more armed officers on the streets.”


Reuters: German Police Give All-Clear After Evacuation Of SPD Headquarters

“Berlin German police gave an all-clear on Monday after the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin were evacuated due to a suspicious object found in the mailroom. ‘There was nothing found that could have been dangerous,’ a police spokesman said. He gave no further details about what kind of object had raised suspicion. Earlier in the morning, employees had to leave the SPD building, including senior party members who were meeting in the Willy Brandt Haus for a weekly board meeting to discuss their manifesto for the Sept. 24 election. In March, German authorities intercepted a package containing a book concealing explosives in the mailroom of the Finance Ministry. It was addressed to Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who is from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.”

Reuters: Germany Urges Iran To Stop Supporting Militants In Syria And Iraq

“Iran must stop supporting armed groups in Syria and Iraq that contribute to the destabilization of the Middle East if it wants good relations with the West, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday. ‘In many conflicts in the region Iran plays a difficult role, especially in Iraq and Syria,’ Gabriel told a news conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. ‘The message must be that we are ready to work with the new government but we expect Iran to behave responsibly in the region, to support not terror but the politics of peace,’ Gabriel said, referring to the re-election of reformist President Hassan Rouhani.


Reuters: French President To Hold Call With UK Prime Minister After Manchester Attack

“May 23 French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a telephone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the Manchester attack, Macron’s office said in a statement on Tuesday. ‘The President of the Republic will pursue with the government, and with British forces, the fight against terrorism,’ said the statement. ‘Emmanuel Macron will hold a telephone call with Theresa May and will be kept informed in real time on developments in the inquiry,’ added the statement, which also expressed France’s compassion and solidarity with Britain.”


Azzaman: Mosul: Number Of ISIS Fighters Does Not Exceed 750

“Lieutenant-General Talib Shagati, head of Iraq’s counter-terrorism service, announced completion of the clearing of the route leading to the right side of the city of Mosul. Meanwhile, federal police forces completed the clearing of two zones – “Economists” and “July 17th” – after taking control of 80 targets and killing 172 snipers. “The counter-terrorist forces have finished clearing the way to the right side,” Shagati said in a statement on Saturday. “It is estimated that there are only about 750 ISIS militants in Al-Farouk and Zanjili districts as well as in the old areas of Mosul’s right side,” said Abdul Sattar Habo, a technical adviser to the governor.”

Alhadath News: ISIS’s New Decision On Use Of Its Coin In Raqqa And Deir Al-Zour

“ISIS compels residents in the Syrian provinces of Raqqa and Deir al-Zour to adhere to its directive on the use of its currency, which originally started back in June 2015. Local sources claim ISIS militants have been forcing people to use the currency in all sales and purchase transactions. The latest decision issued by the so-called “Monetary Authority’s Currency Department” determines the value of each currency against the US dollar, and holds violators accountable. ISIS stressed that this decision must be applied in all shops and markets. It added that money changers are strictly banned from exchanging ISIS’s currency for other currencies. The decision compels shop owners to price their wares solely in the currency issued by the organization, which has assigned a special inspection team to monitor the pricing and ensure that the decision has not been violated.”

Muslim Brotherhood

The Seventh Day: Egypt: Accounting Offices Contracted To Run The Finances Of Muslim Brotherhood Schools

“Dr. Reda Hegazy, Head of General Education Department at the Egyptian Ministry of Education and Technical Education, stated that the ministry would use external accounting offices to oversee the financial aspects of Muslim Brotherhood schools. He disclosed that a security check using these offices is being conducted by authorities. On the sidelines of a conference on “education and the challenges of sustainable development” held on Monday, he asserted that the ministry is in the midst of evaluating the work of the schools’ administrators to decide who will continue and who will be replaced. He promised that the decisions will be formalized in an official announcement and tender. It is worth noting that the Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee seized a total of 115 schools affiliated with the group.”

Elnahar-News: Draft Law To Ban Muslim Brotherhood Supporters From Public Posts Stirs Controversy In Egypt

“There has been controversy among Egyptian law experts over the draft law proposed by Egyptian MP Mohammed Abu Hamed, member of the Social Solidarity Committee. The draft calls to punish anyone found to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood by dismissal from their public posts. Over the past few years, some 5000 Egyptians, including judges, lost their jobs on charges of belonging to the Brotherhood. On his part, Ahmed Al Haddad, a legal expert, noted that there is no article in the law that stipulates the imprisonment of a member of the Brotherhood. He asserted that the society and the circumstances in the country are what have turned Brotherhood membership into an offense. He explained that this happened “After the decision of the former Prime Minister Dr. Hazem Beblawi to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. Then, the word ‘Ikhwani’ (one who is a member of the Brotherhood) became a charge punishable by law. Al Haddad emphasized that previous Egyptian governments declared a fierce war against employees belonging to the Brotherhood and the most prominent of these were from the ministries of education, justice, electricity, transport, interior and higher education, as well as Al-Azhar.”


Yemen Akhbar: A Senior Houthi Military Commander Charged With Stealing SR120 Billion

“The Houthi militia have forwarded a prominent Houthi leader, Abo Ali Alhakem, to investigations after being accused of stealing YR120 billion ($480 million), media sources reported. According to the sources, there are growing rifts among the top leaders of the militia, with some members of the Houthi leadership demanding the trial of Alhakem, who is considered the most famed military leader of the militia. While it is not possible to verify the sums stolen by Alhakem, over the past few years there have been multiple reports concerning the looting of public funds by top Houthi leaders. This looting includes state-owned lands in many provinces, especially in Hodeidah, and in certain areas of Sanaa.”


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