Eye on Extremism, June 08, 2017

The Washington Post: As ISIS Retreats In Syria, U.S. And Iran Scramble For Control
“U.S.- and Iran-backed forces are locked in a race to take Islamic State strongholds in southeastern Syria and seize a stretch of land that will either cement Tehran’s regional ambitions or stifle them. The scramble for pole position in Deir al-Zour province is likely to be one of the most consequential fights against the extremist group in Syria, posing a regional test for President Trump as his administration turns up the rhetoric against Iran. On Wednesday, the Islamic State asserted responsibility for twin attacks in Tehran that left at least a dozen people dead, a clear reminder of the group’s reach as it faces off against Iranian and U.S. forces and the proxies they support in Syria and Iraq. If confirmed, they would be the group’s first major strikes in Iran.”
The Times Of Israel: Hezbollah Threatens To Attack American Forces In Syria
“The Syrian government’s allies will strike at American positions inside Syria if it crosses any ‘red lines,’ Hezbollah warned on Wednesday. The Lebanese terror group, a close ally of the Syrian government, issued the threat via its military media arm one day after American forces bombed pro-government forces in eastern Syria. The Pentagon said Tuesday the pro-government forces were infringing on a ‘de-confliction’ zone established to protect US-backed local opposition forces, who are engaged in fighting the Islamic State group. On its TV station al-Manar, Hezbollah broadcast footage it said was of an Iranian drone tailing an American one over eastern Syria. It said the video was proof the Syrian government’s backers could strike American units at will.”
Voice Of America: Battle For Raqqa Pits US-Backed Kurds Against Syrian Government-Backed Militias
“U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG militia forces chanted as they advanced toward the northern outskirts of the Islamic State-held town of Raqqa in northern Syria, attempting to set foot inside the city and dislodge the militant group from its so-called capital. The U.S. envoy to the anti-IS coalition, Brett McGurk, said Wednesday in Baghdad that the battle for Raqqa would ‘only escalate,’ as the group loses control of its northern Iraqi stronghold of Mosul. He added that the fight for Raqqa would be a ‘difficult and very long-term battle.’ McGurk made the comment one day after Kurdish YPG spokesman Talal Selo announced the start of the campaign to liberate Raqqa, while surrounded by militia fighters in a northern suburb of the city. He also thanked the U.S.-led coalition and President Donald Trump for helping his forces.”
Daily Beast: Here’s How Al Qaeda Protected Iran—Until Now
“A team of terrorists struck the Iranian Parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini on Wednesday. At least 12 people were killed, according to Iran’s state media, and ISIS quickly claimed responsibility. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps blamed Saudi Arabia, raising tensions in the region dramatically. The attack is a significant development, to grossly understate the matter. Tehran had long avoided being hit by the types of “martyrdom” operations that routinely rock the neighboring capitals of Baghdad and Kabul. This is no accident. The Iranian government’s security services are ruthlessly effective at suppressing all forms of opposition, including both legitimate protesters and those with ill-intentions.”
Reuters: Islamic State Jails Hidden Among Ordinary Villas In Mosul
“Islamic State built prison cells inside an ordinary villa in Mosul as part of the group’s tactic of boosting the safety of its jails and security centers by concealing them among regular houses. Despite their outward appearance, the jails had the regular attributes of state-run detention centers where inmates have their documents and belongings taken away when they arrive, to be given back to them if and when they are released. A camera hanging in one cell where men were kept was linked to the guards’ office. ‘This is to keep the prisoners subdued,’ said the Iraqi military intelligence officer showing the villa to journalists.”
Washington Post: Iran’s Top Diplomat Says White House Statement On Tehran Attack Is “Repugnant.’
“Iran’s foreign minister on Thursday derided a White House statement on the Tehran attacks as “repugnant” after the Trump administration linked the twin assaults to what it called Iran’s support for terrorism. Meanwhile, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry identified five of the attackers — all killed during Wednesday’s bloodshed — as Iranians who had left the country to join the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The ministry published photos of their bodies. At least 17 people were killed at Iran’s parliament in Tehran and at the sprawling mausoleum complex for the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s Islamic revolution. The State Department and White House joined other nations with statements condemning the attacks. But Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, fired back at both the White House and Senate.”
CNN: US Led-Coalition Permits Pro-Syrian Regime Airstrike In Unusual Move
“In a highly unusual move, the US-led anti-ISIS coalition permitted a pro-regime Syrian aircraft to conduct an airstrike inside a restricted zone in southern Syria where American forces were stationed. Tuesday’s strike, which took place near the US-manned At-Tanf Garrison on Syria’s southern border, was intended to protect Iranian-backed Shia militia fighters aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who had come under attack from anti-government forces. The US does not support the militia group but approved the strike after a request from the Syrian government was relayed by the Russians through established communication channels. But just hours later, the US-led coalition conducted its own airstrike against the pro-regime forces after they refused to leave the de-confliction zone.”
The New York Times: Turkey Throws Support Behind Qatar In Rift Among Arab Nations
“Turkey signaled support for Qatar on Wednesday after the tiny Gulf country was isolated by several of its neighbors in a major rift among Arab nations. Meeting in a special night session of Parliament, Turkish lawmakers rushed through new laws that will allow the Turkish Army to conduct joint military exercises with Qatar and members of the Turkish gendarmerie to train their Qatari counterparts. The new legislation also allows Turkey to send more troops to Qatar, where it has an army base and about 150 soldiers. The moves followed a speech by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in which he criticized the countries that acted against Qatar, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen.”
Reuters: Virginia Man Convicted Of Supporting Islamic State
“A Virginia man who traveled to Syria to become a suicide bomber for Islamic State was convicted on Wednesday of providing material support to the militant group, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement. Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 27, spent about 2-1/2 months in early 2016 traveling with Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq and participating in the group’s religious training, the statement said. He was detained by Kurdish peshmerga forces in northern Iraq in March 2016 and turned over to U.S. authorities. The jury in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted Khweis of all three charges, which included providing and conspiring to provide support to Islamic State and a firearms count. He faces a sentence of five years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 13.”
CNN: Trump’s Saudi Pivot Is A Golden Opportunity In Terror Fight
“It aims to create regulatory guidelines for governmental agencies across the Islamic coalition on how to drain financial funding of terrorism — working with several respected worldwide anti-money laundering organizations — and work closely with counter-radicalization/terrorism organizations such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum and the Counter-Extremism Project. In the sphere of cyber security, this Islamic coalition would work closely with NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center for Excellence (CCDCOE) as well as the Forum for Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) to heighten levels of cooperation and coordination to prevent cyber-security attacks and rapidly respond in the event of a cyber-attack.”
Fortune: The U.S. Might Expand The Laptop Ban To Flights From 71 Airports
“The U.S. government might expand a ban on larger electronics like laptops in airplane cabins to flights originating from dozens of airports in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the head of Homeland Security said on Wednesday, though an expansion could be avoided if countries agree to improved security procedures. The U.S. restrictions imposed in March currently cover about 350 flights a week originating from 10 airports, primarily in the Middle East. Extending the ban to all European airports that directly serve U.S. airports would affect nearly 400 flights a day and cover 30 million travelers and pose major logistical challenges, airlines and security officials say.”
Reuters: Boko Haram Launches Major Attack On Northeast Nigerian City
“Suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked the city of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria on Wednesday, the Islamist militant group’s most serious assault on the regional capital in a year and a half. The raid comes six months President Muhammadu Buhari said Boko Haram had ‘technically’ been defeated by a military campaign that had pushed many jihadists deep into the remote Sambisa forest, near the border with Cameroon. Aid workers and Reuters witnesses reported explosions and heavy gunfire for at least 45 minutes in the southeastern and southwestern outskirts of the city. Thousands of civilians fled the fighting, according to Reuters witnesses.”
United States
Fox News: US ‘Deeply Concerned’ After Turkey Arrests Amnesty International Official
“The Trump administration criticized the Turkish government Wednesday after police in that country detained a prominent human rights lawyer as part of a crackdown on people suspected of links to a U.S.-based cleric accused of masterminding a failed coup. State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said the U.S. was ‘deeply concerned’ by the arrest of Taner Kilic in at his home in the western Turkish city of Izmir along with 22 other attorneys. Kilic served as the Turkey chairman of Amnesty International, which claimed that his home and office were searched.”
The New York Times: U.S. Strike On Syria Mosque Complex Was Legal, Defense Dept. Says
“The Defense Department said on Wednesday that its investigation of the American airstrike on a mosque complex near Aleppo, Syria, in March found that it was legal and appropriate, and that it resulted in one possible civilian casualty, not dozens as human rights groups had asserted. The Pentagon said a meeting of Al Qaeda members was being held in the structure. But, the Pentagon said, the commanders who ordered the strike were never told, as they should have been, that the structure had a madrasa, or religious school, on one side and a mosque on the other. Human rights officials disputed the Defense Department investigation findings.”
Syria
Reuters: Syria Peace Talks In Astana Postponed: Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry
“Russia, Turkey and Iran have postponed a planned round of talks on Syria in Kazakhstan, which Moscow had proposed to hold on June 12-13, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. A spokesman for the ministry said it was unclear when the next round of negotiations, which have also involved the Damascus government and some rebel factions, could take place.”
Reuters: Syrian Government Warplanes Strike Islamic State Near Raqqa City: State Media
“Syrian government warplanes struck Islamic State positions west of Raqqa city on the southern bank of the Euphrates river on Thursday, state media said. ‘The air force destroyed positions and armored vehicles’ in the western Raqqa countryside, about 70 km (44 miles) from the city, state-run news agency SANA said. U.S.-backed militias have separately been pushing into the edges of Raqqa city in the first days of their attack to seize Islamic State’s base of operations in Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, launched an assault this week to take the northern city. The SDF has been closing in for months with the help of air strikes and special forces from the U.S.-led coalition. Islamic State militants have made enemies of all sides in the six-year Syrian conflict, losing territory to several separate military campaigns over the past year.”
Reuters: Pro-Assad Alliance Threatens To Hit U.S. Positions In Syria
“A military alliance fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad threatened on Wednesday to hit U.S. positions in Syria, warning its ‘self-restraint’ over U.S. air strikes would end if Washington crossed ‘red lines’. The threat marks an escalation of tensions between the United States and the Syrian government and its backers over control of Syria’s southeastern frontier with Iraq, where Washington has been training Syrian rebels at a base inside Syrian territory as part of its campaign against Islamic State. The area is seen as crucial to Assad’s Iranian allies and could open an overland supply route from Tehran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – the ‘Shi’ite crescent’ of Iranian influence that is a major concern to U.S.-allies in the region.”
Newsweek: Syrian Forces Threaten To Fight Back After U.S. Military Strikes Multiple Times
“Forces loyal to the Syrian government have threatened to retaliate with force after the U.S. military struck their positions on multiple occasions. A military alliance fighting the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and other insurgents on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies in Iran and Russia issued a statement Wednesday containing five points of criticism after U.S. warplanes carried out strikes against their fighters on Tuesday. The U.S. argued that Iran-backed militants had approached too closely a Special Forces base in the Syrian region of al-Tanf near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, prompting the U.S. to launch its second such attack in three weeks against pro-Assad forces. The ‘Commander of the Operations Room of the Forces Allied to Syria’ condemned what it referred to as ‘a cowardly aggression carried out by America’ and questioned the U.S.’s true motives in Syria.”
Iraq
Reuters: Iraqi Kurds plan independence referendum on Sept. 25
“Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on Wednesday announced it would hold a referendum on independence, in a move the central government in Baghdad is likely to oppose strongly. ‘I am pleased to announce that the date for the independence referendum has been set for Monday, Sept. 25, 2017,’ Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said on Twitter. Barzani’s assistant Hemin Hawrami tweeted that voting would take place in the disputed region of Kirkuk and three other areas also claimed by the central government; Makhmour in the north, Sinjar in the northwest and Khanaqin in the east. The president of Iraq’s ruling Shi’ite coalition told Reuters in April it would oppose a Kurdish referendum. Ammar al-Hakim especially warned the Kurds against any move to annex oil-rich Kirkuk.”
Turkey
NPR: Turkey Detains Chair Of Amnesty International Turkey
“Amnesty International says that shortly after sunrise on Tuesday, security forces turned up at the home of its Turkey country chairman, brought him to his office, then took him into custody. The detention of Taner Kiliç is part of a massive crackdown on people accused of having links to cleric Fethullah Gulen started after last July’s failed coup attempt. Turkish authorities blame the attempt on the U.S.-based cleric, who has denied involvement. Critics see the accusations as a pretext for silencing opponents.”
Afghanistan
BBC: Taliban Territory: Life In Afghanistan Under The Militants
“Sixteen years after they were ousted in the US-led invasion, the Taliban have fought their way back to control swathes of Afghanistan. The country remains mired in conflict, and recent months have seen a series of bloody attacks. In the south, key towns are now Taliban territory. The BBC’s Auliya Atrafi was invited by the militants to spend four days behind the front line in Helmand province witnessing life under their control. In the town of Sangin, two dozen men sat cross-legged inside a huge mud compound. Under the full moon, their black turbans cast deep shadows over their sunburned features. These were the Taliban’s special forces; the Red Unit.”
Middle East
The Times Of Israel: Will The Saudi-Qatar Clash Push Hamas Into A Dangerous Corner?
“There’s one key problem with the recent reports in the United States that claim Russian hackers were involved in planting a speech allegedly by Qatar’s ruler that sparked the crisis with neighboring Arab states: They misrepresent the situation in the region. In the purported speech, whose authenticity is strenuously denied by Qatar, FBI officials and others, the emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani criticized the Trump administration, lambasted Saudi Arabia’s anti-Iran policy, and said that Hamas was the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people (as opposed to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority).”
Washington Free Beacon: Israel Steps Up Fight Against ISIS, As Terror Group Wages ‘War’ For Control Of Egyptian Border
“Israeli military forces are quietly conducting operations to counter the threat of Islamic State terrorists along the Sinai border area with Egypt, according to senior Israeli defense officials who described ISIS as the ‘most quickly advanced threat we’ve ever had.’ ISIS terrorists have been locked in what Israeli military officials described as an ‘ongoing war’ along Sinai Peninsula, as they attempt to wrench control of the key territory along Israel’s southern border from Egyptian hands. The daily battle, which has received little coverage in the Western media, has become a chief concern for Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) personnel operating along the Jewish state’s southern border, eclipsing even Hamas terrorists in the region.”
The Washington Post: Islamic State Claims New Reach Into Iran With Twin Attacks In Tehran
“The Islamic State has struck at Iran and its allies for years — but always from afar, in places such as Iraq against Tehran-backed militias and in Syria battling government troops aided by Iranian forces. That appeared to change Wednesday when bloodshed came to Tehran. In a few chaotic hours, Iran endured the kind of deadly rampages so often claimed by the Islamic State elsewhere. The twin attacks, the first ­major assaults in Iran claimed by the Islamic State, targeted the heart of Iran’s political identity and the notion that militants were no match for the security forces zealously guarding Tehran.”
The New York Times: At Least 12 Killed In Pair Of Terrorist Attacks In Iran
“Armed assailants, including some disguised as women, stunned Iran on Wednesday with brazen attacks on the Parliament building and the tomb of its revolutionary founder, the worst terrorist strike to hit the Islamic republic in years. At least 12 people were killed and 46 were wounded in the near-simultaneous assaults, which lasted for hours, clearly took Iran’s elite security forces by surprise and shattered the self-proclaimed image of calm in a turbulent region. The six known attackers also were killed, official news media said, and five suspects were reported detained. Their identities were not made clear.”
Voice Of America: Islamic State Threatens More Terror Against Iran
“Near simultaneous terror attacks on Iran’s parliament and the tomb of former leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini could set off a new round of hostilities in a tense Middle East. At least 12 people were killed and another 42 wounded in Wednesday’s brazen strikes by machine-gun-wielding assailants and two suicide bombers, claimed almost immediately by Islamic State. In a new twist, the terror group’s Amaq news agency also quickly distributed a 24-second video of the attack showing a bloody, lifeless body inside the parliament complex, and threatened it would strike again. Iranian security officials late Wednesday confirmed IS involvement, saying the attackers, many disguised as women, were Iranians who had joined the terror group.”
United Kingdom
Voice Of America: Pressure Builds On British Muslims To Better Identify Extremists
“As Britain confronts a wave of terrorist attacks, pressure is mounting on its Muslim community to do a better job of identifying potential extremists and policing itself. At the forefront of such efforts is Nazir Afzal, a Muslim and former top prosecutor. Afzal gained national attention for pioneering difficult prosecutions to tackle honor-based violence and forced marriage, as well as child sexual exploitation and grooming in the northwest of England, including Manchester, the site of last month’s suicide bombing that killed 22 people at a pop concert.”
Fox News: More ‘Known Wolves’ Mean Tough Questions For British Security
“Britain’s security services face new questions over news that perpetrators in the Manchester and London Bridge attacks were ‘known wolves’ — extremists who’d attracted public attention, even proclaiming themselves would-be jihadis. Yet authorities considered none to be anything more than a ‘suspicious person’ — and certainly not an imminent threat. One London attacker, Khuram Shazad Butt, actually appeared last year in a TV documentary on ‘The Jihadis Next Door’ unfurling an ISIS flag in a public park. He also had close ties to one of the 7/7 transit terrorists as well as to a radical preacher known as a recruiter of British Muslims to extremism.”
Newsweek: Extremism In Britain: Has Theresa May Cut Police And Counterterrorism Forces’ Funding?
“The terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 had international implications for policing, illustrating that whatever happens globally affects you locally. Following the attacks, EU heads of state approved a Europol initiative to establish the European Counter Terrorism Centre in January 2016. Its aim was to perform a similar role to the U.K.’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre based in MI5 headquarters, which has been in operation since 2003. In the U.K., this coincided with a spending review and autumn statement, in which then-chancellor George Osborne pledged to protect police budgets in real terms, and increase counter-terrorism budgets by 30 percent. It was this decision that the Conservative party confirmed to The Conversation that May was referring to in her election interview.”
Associated Press: The Latest: Family Of London Attacker “Shocked” By His Acts
“The Latest on the attack on London Bridge and Borough Market (all times local): 7:15 p.m. Relatives of London Bridge attacker Khuram Butt say they are ‘shocked and appalled’ by his actions. Butt, 27, was one of three men who killed eight people and injured dozens in the Saturday night attacks on and near London Bridge. ‘As a family we are shocked and appalled by the actions of Khuram and his associates,’ his family said in a statement on Wednesday. ‘Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families at this time. Now, more than ever, we need to work together to stop the actions of the mindless few who claim to be acting in the name of Islam.’”
RT: Islamist Hate Preacher Anjem Choudary Could Be Free Next Year
“Notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary, accused of radicalizing the London Bridge terrorists, could be released from prison by the end of next year having served less than half of his sentence. Choudary was jailed last September for five-and-a-half years after being convicted of drumming up support for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). The 49-year-old British-born co-founder and leader of outlawed group al-Muhajiroun was charged after posting a series of YouTube videos recognizing the ‘caliphate’ created by IS in Iraq and Syria.”
Germany
Reuters: Germany Moves Closer To Pulling Troops From Turkey Base
“Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday backed the withdrawal of troops from the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey following Ankara’s refusal to allow German lawmakers access to its soldiers there. Germany plans to move the 280 German troops to an air base in Jordan but has stressed it wants to minimize any disruption to the U.S.-led coalition operation against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, of which it is part. Turkey has refused to allow German lawmakers to make what they see as a routine visit to the base, saying that Berlin needs to improve its attitude towards Turkey first.”
Associated Press: German Official: Curbing Rights Would Be Win For Terrorists
“Germany’s justice minister has assailed British Prime Minister Theresa May for suggesting that human rights protections may need to be changed in order to tackle terrorism. Heiko Maas said Wednesday on Twitter that ‘whoever restricts human rights grants terrorists the first victory.’ Maas added that ‘the quality of a state of law becomes apparent when it is threatened.’ The recent attacks in London and Manchester prompted May to call for tougher counterterrorism laws even if it means changing human rights protections.”
Daily Mail: Syrian Man, 27, Stabs Red Cross Psychologist To Death At A Refugee Counselling Centre In Germany
“A psychologist working for the German Red Cross has been stabbed to death by a Syrian man at a counseling centre for refugees in the western state of Saarland. The charity said the attack took place on Wednesday in the state capital, Saarbruecken. The 27-year-old Syrian attacked the Red Cross psychologist following an argument, German news agency dpa reported. The suspect, who wasn’t identified, was arrested shortly after the attack. The 30-year-old psychologist had been working for the Red Cross since 2014, helping people who had experienced trauma begin lives. The shocking incident comes after an attack on Sunday that saw a five-year-old child stabbed to death by an Afghan national at a refugee shelter in southeastern Germany.”
France
Reuters: France Creates New Counter-Terrorism Task Force, Notre Dame Attacker Identified
“France created a new counter-terrorism task force on Wednesday, bringing together all the intelligence services, to coordinate the response to attacks, a day after an Algerian student assaulted police officers outside Notre Dame cathedral. Newly elected President Emmanuel Macron, portrayed by rivals as weak on security during the presidential campaign, ordered the task force to be set up last month to steer France’s multiple security agencies from his Elysee Palace offices. The performance of France’s intelligence services has come under close scrutiny since the November 2015 attacks on Paris, when militant gunmen and suicide bombers struck entertainment venues across the capital, killing 130 people.”
Europe
The Daily Caller: Eastern Europe Suffers Low Terror, Also Takes Few Refugees
“While Western Europe has been quick to take in many migrants from the Middle East, Eastern European countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary have made it clear that they are not interested in submitting to the pressure from the European Union elites. Beata Szydło, prime minister of Poland urged the EU to rethink their Refugee Policy.  ‘Where are you headed, Europe? Rise from your knees and from your lethargy, or you will be crying over your children every day,’ Szydło said, following the Manchester terrorist attack. Hungary and Slovakia have taken the EU Commission to court over their refusal to take in Refugees, stating that it threatened their sovereignty.”
ISIS
All4Syria: Syria: Prominent ISIS Leader Defects
“A prominent ISIS leader from the city of Raqqa, named Abdullah al-Jalqeef, defected and turned himself in to the Kurdish militias, which recently announced the launching of their battle to free this Syrian city. Activists claimed al-Jalqeef was in charge of issuing punishments against civilians, due to their “apostasy” and “collaboration with the {anti-ISIS} coalition”. Syrian activists disclosed that before joining the ranks of ISIS in 2012, al-Jalqeef had belonged to a gang claiming to be affiliated with the Free Syria Army in Raqqa’s al-Karamah district. At that time, he was described as a “drunkard, thief and Shabih (thug).” The gang carried out several acts of armed robbery and looting, assaulting the property of residents, including fuel stations, seizure of a fuel tanker which was heading towards a filling station in the district. The gang then sold the fuel at double the price, exploiting the needs of citizens.”
Elwehda: Libya: ISIS Leader Admits To Robbing Three Banks In Central Benghazi
“ISIS leader Ahmed Hassan Al-Musheety, nicknamed “Aseeda”, claimed that the terror group and “Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council” robbed three banks in central Benghazi. This came after ISIS took over Benghazi’s Assabri districts and Sooq Al-Hoot neighborhood. On Monday, the Misurata Crime Department published a video showing Al-Musheety saying: “We robbed some banks in downtown Benghazi with the participation of members of Benghazi Shura. We stormed the branches of Jumhouria Bank, Bank of Commerce & Development and Sahara Bank and took 9 million dinars ($ 6.6 million).” Al-Musheety added that “the robbery of the bank’s safes by militants of ISIS and Benghazi Shura was carried out by detonating explosive devices and transporting the safes to the Qanfoda district. Part of the money was spent by ISIS to treat its wounded in Assabri.” According to Al-Musheety, he received 50k dinars ($37k) of the booty, because he was wounded. Others who were not wounded obtained amounts ranging from 10k dinars ($7300) to 50k dinars ($37k).”
Muslim Brotherhood
Alyemen Today: Yemen: Brotherhood-Affiliated Party Cheats Public Out Of Billions Of Riyals Through A Shell Company
“Eyes are now turning to the financial resources of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked al-Islah Party in Yemen, which amassed huge resources through the promotion of the Palestinian cause at times, and claims of helping the needy at other times. The Party accumulated its wealth through investments, the latest of which was the establishment of “Yemen Co. for Fisheries and Marine Life.” This company, presided over by a cleric and leader of the Brotherhood, ended with the disappearance of billions of riyals. Private sources assert that the number of company shareholders reached 135k. It was headed by one of the most prominent figures from Al-Islah Party, Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zindani, a co-founder of al-Islah. The company’s paid-up capital was over 14 billion riyals ($56 million), but now sources claim the company has in its coffers a mere 700 riyals ($2.7). The fate of the 135k shareholders, all victims of the “Yemen Co. for Fisheries and Marine Life”, is still uncertain.”
Houthi
Hadramout.Net: Houthis Impose New Payments On Sanaa Residents
“Yemeni sources disclosed that Houthi militia in Sana’a is carrying out campaigns in which funds are supposedly being collected for the release of prisoners from the grip of the {government’s} National Army and the Resistance forces. The sources stated that this is the newest way to take citizens’ funds. Militants also hung billboards in the streets of Sana’a, calling on citizens to donate and support prisoners. In another development, informed sources disclosed that criminal prisoners, including those who committed murder and theft, were released by Houthis from prisons in Sanaa and dispatched to fight on the frontlines under the Houthis’ banner.”
Hezbollah
Lebanondebate: US Congress Discusses Draft Bill To Dry Up Hezbollah Funding
“In conjunction with the US Central Command delegation’s tour of the front army positions on the Lebanese-Syrian border, members of Congress will begin discussing the draft of the penal code intended to dry up the sources of funding for Hezbollah and other terror groups. This raised the question: ‘Which view of Washington must Lebanon adopt?’ Is it the one that supports the {Lebanese} army? Or the financial and legal one that seeks to impose sanctions {on the country}? Two days ago, Lebanon hosted an American delegation led by US Central Command Commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel. The delegation met with Lebanon’s President, Parliament Speaker, Prime Minister and Army Chief of Staff General Joseph Aoun. Later, General Aoun and Votel inspected border military positions in Jaroud Arsal and adjacent areas. The delegation’s meetings with senior Lebanese officials, especially President Michel Aoun, sent a positive message with regard to the American position and its support of Lebanon. This prompted Aoun to tell his American visitors that Lebanon is determined to continue confronting terrorist organizations on the border and to pursue its sleeper cells inside.”

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