Eye on Extremism, June 28, 2017

ABC News: IS Counterattacks In Retaken Parts Of Mosul Stall Iraq Push
“Counterattacks by Islamic State militants on the western edge of Mosul have stalled Iraqi forces’ push in the Old City, the last IS stronghold in the battle, an Iraqi officer said Tuesday. The attacks forced Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition to pull some assets away from the Old City to again clear the Yarmouk and Tanak neighborhoods, which were declared liberated of IS in May. The assaults underscore the Sunni extremist group’s resilience in the city, Iraq’s second-largest, despite months of heavy fighting with Iraqi forces backed by U.S. air power. According to the Iraqi officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, the latest counter-attacks began on Sunday by scores of IS fighters dressed as Iraqi Shiite paramilitaries. The following day, he said, a dozen coalition airstrikes on Mosul’s western-most edge killed about 40 militants.”
The Hill: The US Must Pressure Qatar To Crack Down On Terrorism
“The announcement surprised many across the world, but the decision was the result of Qatar’s long history of dangerous policies and reckless actions. The Counter Extremism Project has outlined Qatar’s troubling behavior in a series of studies that have exposed the country’s well-documented record of supporting and harboring international terrorist organizations and individuals. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has appropriately labeled Qatar a ‘safe haven for religious extremists expelled by other countries.’”
CBS News: North Carolina Man Gets Life In Prison For Plotting ISIS-Inspired Shooting
“A man who pled guilty to plotting to shoot hundreds of people on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) received a life sentence Tuesday in a case that prosecutors say illustrates the dangers of Americans radicalized through social media. Justin Nojan Sullivan, 21, received the sentence in federal court in Asheville after pleading guilty late last year to the foiled plot to attack a nightclub or concert and film it for distribution on terrorist sites. In a statement, the Court said that Sullivan’s plan was similar to the Orlando nightclub attack in 2016 that left 49 people dead. They considered the plan more sinister because he planned to use a mask to hide his identity along with a silencer to kill as many people as possible. The Court called the plan “cold and calculating.”
The New York Post: Why Iran And Israel May Be On The Verge Of Conflict — In Syria
“Some Israelis like to go to the Golan, where from the safety of a ramp overlooking the valley below, they can watch — no binoculars needed — the most consequential regional event of the age: the Syrian civil war. This week, however, the Israel Defense Forces closed the area for visitors, letting in only the local farmers who worried about missing the cherry harvest. That’s because for three days in a row, mortar shells flew across the border onto the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan, putting war gawkers at too much risk.”
Wall Street Journal: Iran Won In Lebanon. What About Iraq?
“In the violent Middle East, Lebanon looks like a miracle. A mix of Christians and Sunni and Shiite Muslims who have fought a brutal civil war, and have weathered aggressive outside interference, Lebanon is still puttering along as a semifunctioning democracy. To encourage and strengthen the Lebanese Armed Forces, the U.S. has given more than $1 billion over the last decade. But looks are deceiving. In Lebanon, despite America’s help, Iran has won. Step back a few decades and remember the pitched battles of the Lebanese civil war—Sunni vs. Shiite vs. Christian. The kidnapping and killing of countless innocents; the murder of the CIA station chief in Beirut; and finally, the end of the civil war with the 1989 Taif Accords, a rare Arab-led initiative, which dictated terms that enabled weary Lebanese fighters to lay down their arms.”
Reuters: Philippines Says Bodies Of Beheaded Civilians Found In Rebel-Held Town
“Five decapitated civilians were found in a Philippine city occupied by Islamist rebels on Wednesday, the military said, warning the number of residents killed by rebel “atrocities” could rise sharply as troops retake more ground. The discovery of the five victims among 17 bodies retrieved would be the first evidence that civilians trapped in besieged Marawi City have been decapitated during the five-week stand by militants loyal to the Islamic State group, as some who escaped the city have previously reported. Some 71 security forces and 299 militants have been killed and 246,000 people displaced in the conflict, which erupted after a failed attempt on May 23 to arrest a Filipino militant commander backed by Islamic State’s leadership.”
BBC News: Nigerian University Builds Trench To Stop Boko Haram Attacks
“Authorities in north-eastern Nigeria have begun digging a 27km (17 mile) trench around the University of Maiduguri to prevent attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militants. On Sunday three suicide bombers attacked the university killing themselves and a security guard. There has been a dramatic upsurge in violence in Maiduguri in recent months. Boko Haram, who want an Islamic state, loosely translates from Hausa as ‘Western education is forbidden’. Nigerian police say that in the first attack on Sunday, a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the grounds of Maiduguri’s university, killing a female security guard. Minutes later, four female suicide bombers then attacked two villages just outside the city, killing 12 people.”
United States
The New York Times: U.S. Has Seen Chemical Weapons Activity In Syria, Pentagon Says
“President Trump has drawn a new red line for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, with American officials describing preparations at a Syrian air base for a chemical weapons assault as they sought Tuesday to bolster Mr. Trump’s threat to deter an attack. But the administration elaborated little on the president’s unexpected, 87-word statement a night earlier that warned that Mr. Assad would ‘pay a heavy price’ if he again released toxic gas on rebel-held territory, leaving lingering questions in Washington and in the Middle East about Mr. Trump’s intentions in Syria.”
Voice Of America: US Sends Fresh Troops To Afghanistan As Policy Debate Continues
“The Army is deploying about 1,500 soldiers to Afghanistan this week, but U.S. officials say the troop movement is not part of any increase in forces in the war zone. Troops of the 82nd Airborne Division began leaving Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on Tuesday. A U.S. military official told VOA the troops will be assigned to duty in Kabul, Kandahar and Helmand provinces, in addition to areas in the east and north of Afghanistan. General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been in Afghanistan this week for meetings with Afghan and American officials as well as coalition leaders and troops. The Marine general is said to be working on the final elements of a military strategy that will include expanding the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan by nearly 4,000 soldiers.”
The Hill: NC Man Gets Life For Planned Mass Killings In ISIS’s Name
“A North Carolina man who wanted to create an ISIS in the U.S. has been sentenced to life in prison for actively plotting ‘the mass killing of innocent people,’ the Department of Justice announced Tuesday. Justin Nojan Sullivan, 21, of Morganton, pleaded guilty last fall to the charge that he attempted ‘to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries, in support’ of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. U.S. Attorney Jill Rose, who is based in the Western district of North Carolina, said Sullivan aimed to carry out an attack on behalf of ISIS that was ‘designed to inflict maximum casualties and maximum pain.’”
The Washington Post: Chemical Weapons Activity Monitored At Syrian Air Base, U.S. Officials Say
“The United States said Tuesday that it has observed Syrian chemical warfare personnel visiting known production facilities, suggesting that President Bashar al-Assad’s government is preparing fresh strikes on the rebel-held north of the country. The White House warned late Monday that the Assad government would pay a ‘heavy price’ for any such strikes, indicating publicly for the first time that it believes the Assad government is capable of launching new chemical attacks. Marine Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, said Tuesday that the activity was centered at least in part on one aircraft hangar at the central Shayrat air base. U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles hit the base in an April 7 barrage of strikes that marked the first American military intervention against Assad’s forces in six years of war.”
The New York Times: Airstrike On ISIS Prison In Syria Kills Dozens, Activists Say
“An airstrike in eastern Syria destroyed a house that the Islamic State had turned into a prison, killing dozens of people, Syrian activists said Tuesday, and they blamed the military coalition led by the United States for the attack. A spokesman for the coalition confirmed that it had bombed buildings controlled by the Islamic State in the area on Monday and said that it was investigating the reports of civilian deaths. Reports of civilians killed by coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have climbed in recent months, and American officials have attributed the rise to the increasingly urban nature of the battle to defeat the jihadists.”
Reuters: Islamic State Orders Businesses To Use Its Currency
“Islamic State ordered shopkeepers and traders to price goods in its currency, the dirham, as of Tuesday and set the value at 1,000 Syrian pounds (1.41 pounds) per dirham, seeking to steer its own monetary policy even as its territorial grip is shaken. The announcement, circulated in an audio statement on Islamic State-run messaging platforms, said two Syrian banknotes – the 1,000 pound note and 50 pound note – would be banned in the areas it controls as of July 25. The militant group has lost swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, and is under siege in its de facto Syrian capital at Raqqa as U.S.-backed forces press an assault to capture the city. It is also on the brink of defeat in the Iraqi city of Mosul.”
CNN: Raqqa: Secret Video Shows ISIS Losing Chokehold On Its ‘Capital’
“At first, the video shows a seemingly normal urban life — men and women shopping in the streets, with steady traffic passing by them. A closer look shows this is a city under threat — tarpaulins along streets hide the movements of fighters from surveillance drones and sandbags outside buildings might offer some protection from a blast from the sky or the ground. For this is not any normal city — this is Raqqa, the heart of ISIS’s attempt to build its own state or caliphate. And it is crumbling. Just the fact that activists filmed the secret footage now obtained exclusively by CNN is perhaps the most telling sign that the self-proclaimed capital of a reign of terror is coming to an end.”
Reuters: Kremlin: U.S. Warning To Syria Over Possible Chemical Attack Unacceptable
“White House warnings to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his military not to conduct a chemical weapons attack are unacceptable, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. ‘I am not aware of any information about a threat that chemical weapons can be used,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters. The White House warned Assad on Monday that he and his military would ‘pay a heavy price’ if it conducted a chemical weapons attack and said the United States had reason to believe such preparations were underway. ‘Certainly, we consider such threats to the legitimate leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic unacceptable,’ Peskov said.”
Reuters: Iraqi Forces Seize More Ground In Mosul From Islamic State, PM Sees Victory Soon
“Iraqi forces on Tuesday pushed towards the river side of Mosul’s Old City, their key target in the eight-month campaign to capture Islamic State’s de-facto capital, and Iraq’s prime minister predicted victory very soon.  Iraqi forces, battling up to 350 militants dug in among civilians in the Old City, said federal police had dislodged IS insurgents from the Ziwani mosque and were only a few days away from ousting militants completely from the Old City. ‘The victory announcement will come in a very short time,’ Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on his website on Monday evening.”
Reuters: In Mosul’s Old City, Iraqi Soldiers On Foot Fight Last Pocket Of Islamic State
“Peering through a lookout hole at the Mosul frontline on Tuesday, Iraqi soldiers clad in black uniforms surveyed the last remaining patch of land controlled by Islamic State in the city’s historic center. Just steps away in no-man’s land stands the stump of the Hadba minaret, which towered above the city for 850 years until the militants rigged it with explosives and razed it to the ground last week. Getting this deep into Mosul’s Old City means soldiers from the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) must dismount from their armored Humvees and walk for 10 minutes down a maze of narrow alleyways which at some points are barely wider than a man.”
International Business Times: ISIS Suicide Bomber ‘Accidentally Kills 12 Militants’ In Iraq
“A member of the Isis militant group accidentally killed himself and another 12 militants when his suicide belt went off before a planned attack in Iraq, according to reports. It is believed the militants were holing a small celebration to bid farewell to the aspiring suicide bomber before the planned attack in Diyala, eastern Iraq, when the militant’s belt exploded prematurely. At least 12 militants died, police chief Jassem al-Saadi said in a statement, quoted by Iraqi News website. IBTimes UK could not independently verify the report, which surfaced as Iraqi troops, aided by a coalition, are advancing in the besieged town of Mosul, which Isis seized in 2014.”
Newsweek: ISIS Is Almost Defeated In Iraq, But Thousands Of Christians Refuse To Return To Their Homes
“Three years ago, as darkness fell over the northern Iraqi town of Qaraqosh, Sabah Petrus Shema helped his extended family pile into a pickup truck and leave town. When they were gone, he grabbed two Kalashnikovs and waited as the sound of mortar fire drew near. Miles down the road, the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) was advancing. By early the next morning, nearly all of the town’s residents were gone, and a stream of panicked soldiers began to pass through, retreating from the front. That’s when Shema knew it was time to flee. ‘It was a painful decision,’ he says. ‘We were leaving behind our homes, our churches, everything. All we took was our clothes, our IDs and some money.’”
Reuters: Turkey Returns Fire On Kurdish YPG In Northern Syria: Military
“Turkish forces retaliated with artillery fire overnight and destroyed Kurdish YPG militia targets after YPG fighters opened fire on Turkey-backed forces in northern Syria, the Turkish military said on Wednesday. The United States supports the YPG in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, despite repeated protests from NATO ally Turkey, which sees the Syrian Kurdish fighters as terrorists and fears their advance will inflame a Kurdish insurgency at home. The Turkish army said that YPG machine-gun fire on Tuesday evening targeted Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army elements in the Maranaz area south of the town of Azaz in northern Syria.”
Associated Press: At Least 13 Killed In Violence In Southeast Turkey
“Turkey’s military says 10 Kurdish militants have been killed in aerial operation in southeast Turkey. Three soldiers meanwhile, died in an attack by suspected Kurdish insurgents. A military statement said the military carried out the air raids near the town of Gence in the mainly-Kurdish province of Bingol on Tuesday. It said the operation against the rebels was on-going. In the nearby province of Sirnak, suspected Kurdish militants attacked a military vehicle that was taking food for troops at a military base, killing three soldiers, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.”
Newsweek: Video Games ‘Resident Evil’ And ‘Call Of Duty’ Spread Islamophobia, Says Turkey’s Government
“Video games like Call of Duty and Guitar Hero provide entertainment to millions around the world. But Turkey’s Youth and Sports Ministry says that many popular foreign-made games are responsible for intentionally spreading fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims—or Islamophobia—and desecrating Islamic symbols. The head of the ministry’s Education, Culture and Research Commission, Huzeyfe Yilmaz, told the Turkish parliament that some 25 million people play videogames for a total of 39 million hours per day in the country, Turkish paper Hurriyet Daily News reported on Monday.”
CNN: Qatari Foreign Minister And Tillerson To Meet For First Time Amid Gulf Crisis
“United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with his Qatari counterpart Tuesday, three weeks after the start of a Saudi, Emirati, Bahrani and Egyptian-backed boycott on the small, gas-rich US ally. The meeting comes days before the deadline on a stern list of demands sent to Qatar by the four Arab states last Thursday. Tillerson has already said that parts of the demands ‘will be very difficult for Qatar to meet.’ US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani shake hands prior to a meeting at the State Department in Washington, DC, May 8, 2017.”
Arab News: Qatar’s Links With Al-Qaeda Network In Iran
“A key demand by the Arab Coalition to Qatar has been to significantly curtail Doha’s alleged ties with Tehran’s external security and intelligence entities, specifically the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash was quoted Saturday as saying: “Qatar seeks to promote an Iranian agenda. Some analysts in the West have scoffed at demands for Qatar to stop alleged cooperation with Iran. But they have conveniently overlooked the fact that of all the Gulf countries, only Qatar has reportedly maintained historically deep security and intelligence cooperation with Tehran.”
Reuters: Egyptian Air Strikes Hit 12 Vehicles Crossing From Libya: Military
“Egyptian air strikes destroyed 12 vehicles loaded with arms, ammunition and explosive material trying to cross the border from Libya, the army spokesman said on Tuesday. The airforce acted after hearing that ‘criminal elements’ had gathered to try and cross the western boundary, the army statement said, without giving details on exactly where or when the strikes took place. The attacks came a month after Egypt launched a series of air raids in Libya on what it said were Islamist militants responsible for attacking Christians in its territory. Twenty-nine Coptic Christians were killed in Egypt’s southern Minya province in May when masked men attacked their buses as they headed to a monastery. Islamic State claimed responsibility.”
Middle East
Reuters: Fresh Economic Sanctions On Qatar Being Considered – UAE Envoy
“Gulf Arab states are considering fresh sanctions on Qatar and could ask their trading partners to choose between working with them or Doha, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Russia said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain severed diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar this month, accusing it of funding hardline Islamist militant groups in the region, a charge Doha denies. ‘There are certain economic sanctions that we can take which are being considered right now,’ Omar Ghobash told the newspaper in an interview in London.”
The Jerusalem Post: Shin Bet Chief Warns Of ‘Real World Surprises’ If Cyber Attackers Go After Israel
“Cyber attackers ‘can expect real world surprises’ if they go after Israel, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman told a Tel Aviv University cyber conference on Tuesday. ‘Our defense does not recognize any borders… We follow threats everywhere… We connect the cyber and the physical world,’ Argaman said in his first public remarks on cyber issues since taking over the agency in May 2016. ‘We do not just wait to get hacked. We go aggressively after hackers to get them before they attack,’ the Shin Bet director said. He said the agency had ‘used cyber intelligence to stop many real world attacks,’ including identifying 2,000 potential ‘lone-wolf’ threats in 2016.”
The Jerusalem Post: Iran’s Flag On Israel’s Border: ‘We Are Coming’
“Lebanon seems to be having a flag sale. Iranian flags, Hezbollah, the UN, Spain, Palestinian flags. They are all flying provocatively along the border with the northern Israeli community of Metulla. Just meters from the fence that separates the countries, not far from the site of a 1985 terror attack, Hezbollah has festooned the roads with signs of its presence. It’s purposely done so Israeli residents can see the flags and the billboards next to them. In Metulla there is a memorial for the 12 Israeli soldiers killed in the 1985 suicide bombing, while just across the border a huge billboard celebrates the same killing.”
Fox News: Israel And Hamas In Advanced Talks Over Prisoner Swap, Report Says
“Israel and Hamas are ramping up talks on the release of Israeli nationals held hostage in the Gaza Strip by the militant group. The negotiations have gained momentum over the past two weeks, following the return of Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, from a visit to Egypt earlier this month, Israeli Channel 1 reported Monday. While in Egypt, Sinwar met with a number of officials, as well as former senior Fatah official Mohammad Dahlan, who was involved in the 2011 deal that led to the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.”
Reuters: Hundreds Of Fighters From Chad, Darfur Feeding Off Libya’s Turmoil: Report
“Hundreds of fighters from Chad and Sudan’s Darfur region are feeding off instability in Libya, battling for rival factions, seeking to build rebel movements and engaging in banditry and arms trafficking, Geneva-based researchers said on Tuesday. Failure to secure peace deals and reintegrate rebels in Chad and Sudan has led to a ‘market for cross-border combatants’ linking those two countries and Libya, said a report by the Small Arms Survey group. With desert regions already crisscrossed by Islamist militants, people smugglers and arms traffickers, there is a growing risk of destabilization unless long marginalized communities can be integrated, it says.”
United Kingdom
BBC News: Birmingham Terrorism Arrest: Man Held In Spanish Inquiry
“A man has been arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of terrorism offences in connection with a Spanish investigation, police said. A European Arrest Warrant was executed on behalf of Spanish police investigating so-called Islamic State, West Midlands Police said. The 44-year-old was arrested by counter terrorism unit detectives at an address in Sparkhill in the city. The investigation focuses on terrorism material created for online use. The man will be taken to Westminster Magistrates’ Court later to seek his extradition to Spain, police said.”
Reuters: German Police Warned Lawmakers Of Possible Turkish Spying: Newspaper
“German federal police have warned parliamentarians they may have been spied on by Turkish intelligence and may also face potential security risks from Turkish nationalists, Die Welt newspaper reported on Wednesday. The report could further strain already frayed ties between Germany and Turkey, which are at loggerheads over a wide range of issues. ‘The Federal Criminal Police Office carried out so-called ‘security discussions’ with several members of parliament in recent weeks,’ Die Welt reported. ‘The discussions reportedly centered on the possible surveillance of Turkish intelligence and security risks posed by Turkish nationalists.’ The Federal Criminal Police Office was not immediately available to comment on the report.”
Reuters: French Counter-Terrorism Bill Will Impinge On Freedoms – HRW
“Counter-terrorism legislation proposed by the French government will ‘normalise abusive practices’, undermine personal freedoms and may fuel prejudice against the Muslim minority, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday. A bill presented last week would enshrine curbs on fundamental rights in law if approved by parliament, the rights group said. Newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron wants the legislation to replace temporary emergency powers in place since Islamist militants attacked Paris in 2015. ‘Instead of truly ending France’s 19-month temporary state of emergency, the government is making some of its far-reaching powers permanent, but with little effective court oversight,’ HRW’s Kartik Raj said.”
The New York Times: Cyberattack Hits Ukraine Then Spreads Internationally
“Computer systems from Ukraine to the United States were struck on Tuesday in an international cyberattack that was similar to a recent assault that crippled tens of thousands of machines worldwide. In Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, A.T.M.s stopped working. About 80 miles away, workers were forced to manually monitor radiation at the old Chernobyl nuclear plant when their computers failed. And tech managers at companies around the world — from Maersk, the Danish shipping conglomerate, to Merck, the drug giant in the United States — were scrambling to respond. Even an Australian factory for the chocolate giant Cadbury was affected. It was unclear who was behind this cyberattack, and the extent of its impact was still hard to gauge Tuesday.”
Financing of Terrorism
Alwast: Saudi Organization Points To Links Between Media Outlets In Support Of Extremist Organizations
“The Center for Intellectual Warfare at the Saudi Ministry of Defense has presented data on the financing of terrorism and the links of media outlets in supporting extremist organizations. Tracking of the terror financing reveals the depth of involvement of the “incubator” country’s relationship with extremist groups, and the provision of a safe haven in which to wreak havoc and terrorism. The Center said on its official Twitter account that the Brotherhood is the most dangerous outlet for financing extremists, taking advantage of the political potential of the {unnamed} country harboring them, especially following the worldwide tightening of controls on channeling funds to extremists.”
Middle East Online: Kuwait To Prevent Entry Of Individuals Included On Terrorism List
“Kuwait announced it would not allow the entry into its territories of religious figures appearing on the list of terrorism published by certain Gulf countries and Egypt. It explained its wish to avoid diplomatic embarrassment with the neighboring Gulf countries since it did not include most of these individuals on its lists of terrorism. Kuwaiti sources asserted that “the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry intends to develop a special mechanism to grant visas to clerics of different sects, whether Sunni or Shiite, so as to prevent the entry of any person of questionable repute to the country. This is meant to avoid any potential problem that may arise.” The sources pointed out that “a coordinated joint committee has been set up between the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior to establish this mechanism, which would allow {legitimate} members of the clergy to enter Kuwait.”
Muslim Brotherhood
The Seventh Day: Egypt: Two Muslim Brotherhood Members Accused Of Inciting Violence On The Social Media
“Egyptian security services detained two members of the Muslim Brotherhood during a security crackdown. The arrests came on the heels of a campaign launched in conjunction with the National Security Agency and Special Operations Unit aimed at detaining individuals who incite to violence and belong to a banned group. Qena’s Head of Security Directorate, Salah Hassan, confirmed that two Brotherhood members were detained during a security crackdown in Markaz Qus and Qifţ. They are suspected of inciting violence through social media websites, especially Facebook, and of calling to demonstrate against state institutions.”
Arab Youm: Egyptian Politician Who Supports The Brotherhood Steps Down
“An Islamist party affiliated with the Islamic Group in Egypt yesterday announced the acceptance of the resignation of its leader and the holding of new internal elections. This came after the name of this leader appeared on the lists of terrorism, which were recently issued by Arab countries as part of the crisis with Qatar. Egyptian media reported that the Higher Committee of the Building and Development Party accepted, during its meeting last night, the resignation of Tarek al-Zumar from the presidency of the party, within hours of its submission. Sources inside the Party revealed it would hold internal elections, within 60 days of the resignation date, to elect a new leader in compliance with the party’s internal regulations. The Islamic Group-affiliated party is facing several charges following the inclusion of al-Zumar on the terror list. Officials of the party are outraged at the decision of the Political Parties Committee in Egypt to refer its documents to the Supreme Administrative Court in order to dissolve it and seize its assets.”
Voice-Yemen: Houthi Plot To Sell Yemen’s Largest Cement Production Plant
“Informed sources in the capital Sanaa claim that the leaders of the Houthi militias are scheming to sell the largest national factory and have already begun taking steps during the last few days. The sources disclosed that Houthis and leaders affiliated with ousted President Ali Saleh have sold real estate and machinery belonging to the Amran Cement Plant, the largest cement production plant in Sanaa. The sources confirm that Houthi leaders in mid-Ramadan also sold the Amran Cement-owned hangar and the land on which it stands for YR500 million ($2 million). The sources added that in the past few days these leaders have also sold machinery and equipment belonging to the Amran cement factory, on the pretext of obtaining resources to cover the salaries of the factory’s employees.”


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