Eye on Extremism, July 27, 2017

The New York Times: Taliban Slaughter Soldiers In Pattern Of Attacks In Kandahar
“In a bloody overnight attack in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Taliban routed an Afghan Army outpost, killing dozens of soldiers and raising fears of a concerted insurgent offensive in the province, a former seat of Taliban power that took years of effort by coalition and Afghan forces to secure. The attack happened in Khakrez District, about 30 miles from Kandahar city, and the large number of casualties has raised concerns about new Taliban tactics against an Afghan force already losing men in record numbers.”
Newsweek: When ISIS Is Destroyed, The Islamic State’s Ruins May Give Rise To A New Al-Qaeda
“The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) once spanned nearly half of Iraq and Syria, claiming millions of civilians and tens of thousands of fighters from across the globe as part of its self-proclaimed caliphate. Now ISIS has been declared dead in Iraq and faces a similar fate in Syria, the other major half of its ultraconservative Sunni Muslim empire. As it loses ground, its fighters have been forced to either embrace death, be captured by a hostile power or attempt to flee. Experts say, rather than surrender, a number of jihadists will easily be drawn to the ranks of another international jihadist network: Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda served as the cornerstone for ISIS’s inception as well as the stated target of the U.S.’s 21st-century military intervention in the Middle East.”
Los Angeles Times: Trump Administration Intensifies Demands For Iran To Release U.S. Prisoners
“Since his brother and father were arrested and imprisoned while visiting Iran nearly two years ago, Babak Namazi has been trying to persuade the U.S. government to step up its fight for their freedom. Both inmates — 45-year-old Siamak Namazi and 81-year-old Baquer Namazi — are Iranian American dual nationals who were convicted of espionage in a secret trial last year and are now serving 10-year sentences in Tehran’s Evin Prison, notorious for its harsh conditions. “You always think the worst and it paralyzes me,” said Babak Namazi. Now it appears that the family’s quest for their release is gaining traction.”
ABC News: Boko Haram Ambushes Oil Convoy In Nigeria, Killing 10
“Boko Haram extremists ambushed an oil exploration convoy in northern Nigeria, killing at least 10 people and abducting several others who were later rescued, officials said Wednesday. They said insurgents also had been killed, but gave no numbers. The ambush came several weeks after the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation’s management announced it was resuming oil exploration around Lake Chad following assurances by Nigeria’s military that security had improved in the area, which was once under Boko Haram’s control. Nigeria’s military and a self-defense group in Borno State were providing security for the oil exploration workers. Bunu Bukar, secretary of the self-defense group, known as the Hunters Association, said its members saw the bodies of government soldiers after the ambush Tuesday.”
CNN: US Officials: Iranian-Backed Group Fired Missile Deep Into Saudi Arabia
“Yemen-based Houthi rebels fired a missile Saturday that flew hundreds of miles into Saudi Arabia, two US defense officials told CNN. The missile, described by one official as a Scud, was fired from Houthi controlled territory near Sa’Dah in northern Yemen and flew some 930 kilometers before landing near the western coast of Saudi Arabia. It is assessed that the target was a Saudi oil facility near the port city of Yanbu. One official told CNN that the missile launch was concerning because it flew farther than any other missile fired by the Houthis. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has previously accused Iran of providing the Houthis with arms, including missiles.”
Reuters: UAE Asks Banks To Freeze Accounts Of Those Named On Qatar-Inked Blacklist
“The United Arab Emirates’ central bank has asked all banks and financial institutions to stop dealing with 18 more individuals and entities with alleged links to Qatar, the state news agency WAM reported on Thursday. The move makes it the first financial watchdog in the Gulf to act on the new blacklist, with regulators in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt likely to follow. The four Arab countries announced on July 25 that they were blacklisting nine groups based in Yemen and Libya and nine people from several Arab countries, saying all were directly or indirectly linked to Qatar, which the Saudi-led bloc accuses of financing terrorism. Doha denies the claims. In a circular, the UAE watchdog asked banks and financial institutions to “start immediate search for and freezing of all bank accounts, investments, and deposits that may be held by any individual or entity” included on the July 25 list.”
ABC News: American Fighting ISIS With Syrian Democratic Forces Says He’s On A Mission For ‘Justice’
“Christian,” as he calls himself, with his California accent, closely cropped blond hair, and tattoos that run across his face and neck, certainly stands out from the crowd in ISIS-controlled Syria. He grew up in an orphanage in Sonoma, California, and received his military training in the French Foreign Legion. Today, he’s fighting with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed group that includes Kurds, Arabs, ethnic Christian groups, Arab Muslim groups, Christian-religious forces and volunteers from around the world in an effort to topple ISIS in Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of the terror group’s self-declared caliphate.”
New York Times: Freed From ISIS, Yazidi Women Return In ‘Severe Shock’
“The 16-year-old lies on her side on a mattress on the floor, unable to hold up her head. Her uncle props her up to drink water, but she can barely swallow. Her voice is so weak, he places his ear directly over her mouth to hear her. The girl, Souhayla, walked out of the most destroyed section of Mosul this month, freed after three years of captivity and serial rape when her Islamic State captor was killed in an airstrike. Her uncle described her condition as “shock.” He had invited reporters to Souhayla’s bedside so they could document what the terror group’s system of sexual abuse had done to his niece. “This is what they have done to our people,” said Khalid Taalo, her uncle. Since the operation to take back Mosul began last year, approximately 180 women, girls and children from the Yazidi ethnic minority who were captured in 2014 by the Islamic State, or ISIS, have been liberated, according to Iraq’s Bureau for the Rescue of Abductees.”
CNN: US Tells Local Syrian Allies They Must Only Fight ISIS And Not Assad, Prompting Exit Of Allied Group
“The US-led coalition fighting ISIS has told its local Syrian allies that they must be exclusively focused on fighting ISIS and not fight the Syrian regime, a directive that prompted one rebel group to depart a joint coalition base in Southern Syria, several coalition and US defense officials told CNN. ‘The coalition supports only those forces committed to fighting ISIS,’ coalition spokesman US Army Col. Ryan Dillon told CNN. But one US-backed group which calls itself ‘the Shohada Al Quartyan’ has balked at the restriction, opting to leave the base to carry out independent operations against Syrian regime troops several US and coalition officials told CNN. The officials added that other local allies remain at the garrison and continue to cooperate with coalition advisers.”
Reuters: U.S. Pledges Extra $140 Million To Lebanon For Syrian Refugees
“The United States will give Lebanon an extra $140 million to help Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them, the State Department said during a U.S. state visit by Lebanon’s Prime Minister. Lebanon is hosting at least 1.5 million Syrian refugees who have fled the more than six-year conflict there and who now make up about a quarter of the country’s population. The latest grant means the United States has given Lebanon more than $1.5 billion in humanitarian assistance since the start of the conflict in 2012, the State Department said. In its 2017-2020 Crisis Response Plan, the Lebanese government said it needed $2.8 billion to address the challenges of hosting refugees.”
Reuters: Man Tied To Planned Islamic State-Inspired Attack Due In Boston Court
“A Massachusetts man charged with conspiring in an Islamic State-inspired plot to behead a woman who had organized a 2015 competition featuring cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed is due in court on Wednesday. David Daoud Wright has pleaded not guilty to charges including planning the attack on the organizers of the Garland, Texas, ‘Draw Mohammed’ contest with his uncle, Usamaah Abdullah Rahim. Their plot went off the rails when Rahim told Wright and a third man that he could no longer wait and that ‘I’m just going to, ah, go after them, those boys in blue.’ That conversation was picked up by law enforcement, who had the group under 24-hour surveillance, and when officers tried to question Rahim in a Boston supermarket parking lot, he pulled a large knife and was shot dead by police.”
NBC News: Trump Bans Transgender People Serving In The Military
“President Donald Trump announced Wednesday a ban on transgender people serving in the military, reversing U.S. policy in a series of tweets. ‘After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,’ Trump wrote in a trio of consecutive tweets. The abrupt policy shift will affect thousands of transgender troops in the military.”
Syria
Reuters: Eyeing Deir Al-Zor, Syrian Army Advances On Islamic State Town
“Syrian government forces are nearing the last major town held by Islamic State (IS) in Homs province, part of their multi-pronged advance toward the jihadist group’s strongholds in the east of the country, a military source said on Thursday. The source said combat operations would accelerate toward the town of al-Sukhna, some 50 km (30 miles) from the administrative frontier of Deir al-Zor province, where IS has redeployed many fighters after losing ground in Syria and Iraq. ‘Capturing al-Sukhna means opening the door and path for forces to move to Deir al-Zor directly,’ the source told Reuters, adding that the military had captured positions 8 km (5 miles) southwest of the town on Wednesday evening.”
Reuters: Hezbollah Says Nearing Victory In Battle At Lebanon-Syria Border
“The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Wednesday that the group was close to defeating Nusra Front militants in the battle along the Syrian-Lebanese border. ‘We are in the face of a very big military victory,’ Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech. The militants have ‘effectively lost’ most of the land they held in the barren, mountainous border region of Jroud Arsal, he added. As soon as the fighting ends, the Shi’ite Iranian-backed Hezbollah would be ready to hand over territory it has captured if the Lebanese army requests it, he said. Hezbollah has made rapid advances since it launched an offensive with the Syrian army on Friday to drive Sunni militants from their last foothold along the frontier.”
The Washington Post: Russia: Don’t Blame Syria For Chemical Attack Without Visit
“Russia says the United States and its Western allies rushed to judgment and blamed the Syrian government for using sarin nerve gas in an attack on an opposition-held town in Syria without ever visiting the site and ignoring two witnesses presented by Damascus. It also criticized the report by the fact-finding mission from the chemical weapons watchdog that investigated the incident in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 which killed more than 90 people, calling it ‘very biased.’ A letter from Russia’s U.N. Mission to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Security Council circulated Wednesday contains Russia’s assessment of the status of the investigation into the incident in Idlib province.”
The Washington Post: Russia Says 4 Military Police Battalions Deployed To Syria
“Russia’s defense minister says four battalions of Russian military police are currently deployed in safe zones in Syria. Russia and Iran, both supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Turkey, which backs rebels fighting Syrian government forces, agreed on a plan in May to establish four ‘de-escalation’ zones in Syria, pressing Assad’s air force to halt flights over designated areas across the war-torn country. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Russian news agencies on Wednesday that the four battalions are now operating in the safe zones. The chief of the Russian General Staff last week mentioned military police in just one zone and did not give any numbers.”
USA Today: ISIS Is Rapidly Losing Control Of Raqqa, Its Headquarters In Syria
“The Islamic State is struggling to mount an effective defense of the Syrian city of Raqqa, its headquarters, as local forces make rapid headway in ousting the militants, the U.S. military said.  The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they have captured 40% of the city since June 6, when a ground assault began. ‘We don’t see any significant counterattacks,’ said Air Force Maj. Gen. Dirk Smith, a deputy commander of the U.S.-led coalition, ‘I’d characterize them in disarray.’ Since this month’s recapture of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, from the Islamic State, Raqqa has become the main focus of the fight against the militants, also known as ISIS. The battle to win back control of Mosul took nearly nine months.”
Iraq
Business Insider: Mosul Is Rebuilding Its Shattered Society After 3 Years Of ISIS’ Reign
“Faisal Jeber arrested and interrogated suspected Islamic State militants during the battle for Mosul. Now he is taking up a new fight that could be just as crucial to the city’s future. The 47-year-old geologist is trying to restore historical sites damaged during the militant Islamist group’s brutal three-year rule over the northern Iraqi city. By piecing back together buildings which he says gave Mosul its soul and identity before the war, Jeber hopes also to help rebuild its social fabric.”
Turkey
Reuters: Turkey’s Erdogan Says Israel Damaging Jerusalem’s ‘Islamic Character’
“Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel on Wednesday of inflicting damage on Jerusalem’s ‘Islamic character’, in comments likely to further inflame regional tensions in a dispute over the Al-Aqsa mosque. The dispute over security at the mosque compound – where Israel installed metal detectors at entry points after two police guards were shot dead this month – has touched off the bloodiest clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in years. Hoping to calm days of unrest, Israel removed the metal detectors from the entrances to the compound and is expected to install advanced CCTV cameras instead, but Palestinians have said the modified measures are still unacceptable.”
Afghanistan
The Daily Caller: Troops Falter In Face Of Taliban Offensive As Trump Considers Afghan Surge
“Taliban militants have overrun separate districts in three different faraway provinces, demonstrating their ability operate effectively in multiple theaters, The Long War Journal reported Tuesday. The districts are separated by hundreds of miles of territory and each have different ethnic groups controlling them. ‘The loss of the three districts shows that the Taliban is capable of conducting operations in all regions of the country,’ the Long War Journal stated. The losses come just days after a massive suicide bombing in the Afghan capital of Kabul and discussions at the highest levels of the Trump administration on raising the level of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.”
Qatar
Reuters: Qatar Says New Terror List Is “Disappointing Surprise”
“Qatar said on Wednesday a decision by four Arab states to add 18 groups and individuals allegedly linked to Doha to their ‘terrorist’ lists was ‘a disappointing surprise’ and that it was doing all it could to fight extremism. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain put another nine groups based in Yemen and Libya and nine people from several Arab countries on the blacklist, saying all were associated with Qatar. ‘(The new list) comes as a disappointing surprise that the blockading countries are still pursuing this story as part of their smear campaign against Qatar,’ Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed al-Thani, director of the Gulf kingdom’s Government Communications Office, said in a statement sent to Reuters.”
Egypt
Reuters: Egypt Sets Up National Council To Fight Terrorism
“Egypt established a national council for combating terrorism on Wednesday, giving it broad authority to set policies aimed at ‘fighting extremism,’ a presidential decree stated.  Egypt has been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula that has killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers since 2013, though attacks have increasingly moved into the mainland in recent months. After two deadly church bombings earlier this year claimed by Islamic State that killed at least 44 people, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a state of emergency and pledged to establish a national council that would root out extremism.”
Middle East
The Times Of Israel: Netanyahu Demands Al-Jazeera Offices In Israel Be Shut Down
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would look for ways to shutter the presence of satellite news station al-Jazeera in Israel, accusing the Qatar-based channel of inciting violence. In a Facebook post Wednesday night, Netanyahu said he had asked law enforcement authorities to shut down the station’s Israel offices a number of times. ‘Al-Jazeera has not stopped fomenting violence around the Temple Mount,’ he said, referring to escalating tensions surrounding Muslim protests against Israeli security measures at the holy site. There were put in place following a July 14 terror attack in which three terrorists shot two Israeli policemen to death with weapons they had smuggled onto the compound. Israel shut the site for two days and re-opened it with new security arrangements including metal detectors and cameras.”
Libya
Bloomberg: Macron’s ‘Photo Op’ Unlikely To Cement Elusive Libya Peace
“A French-led effort to reunify fractured Libya failed to consult powerful local forces and risks achieving little beyond boosting the legitimacy of a renegade general who has recently racked up significant battlefield gains. On paper, the step taken by Libya’s rival leaders on Tuesday — guided by French President Emmanuel Macron and a United Nations envoy — was their boldest yet toward resolving Libya’s six-year crisis. After talks at a country mansion outside Paris, UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and eastern military strongman Khalifa Haftar agreed to — but didn’t sign — a text calling for a ceasefire, combining the North African crude producer’s divided state oil company and holding elections ‘as soon as possible.’”
Reuters: Libyan Forces Step Up Patrols To Stop Islamic State Regrouping
“Libya forces allied with UN-backed government who last year defeated Islamic State in Sirte are increasing patrols to stop the militants regrouping and threatening to launch attacks on the port city of Misrata, a military commander said. The forces, mainly brigades from Misrata drove Islamic State from Sirte at the end of last year after a six-month campaign backed by U.S airstrikes. Islamic State took over the city in 2015 taking advantage of Libya’s political chaos. ‘We have spotted movements by Daesh (Islamic State) in the south of Sirte, where they are trying to regroup and break through our forces’ lines in the south,’ said Mohamed Ghasri, spokesman for the “Al-Bunyan al-Marsous” forces in Misrata.”
Reuters: Algeria Busts Islamic State Cell Led By Veteran Militant: Security Source
“Algerian police have broken up an Islamic State militant cell led by a former al Qaeda commander convicted in France more than a decade ago for planning an attempted bombing in Strasbourg, a security source said on Wednesday.  Mohamed Yacine Aknouche, 43, was once a Europe-based affiliate of Algeria’s Islamic Armed Group (GIA), and was sentenced in absentia by a French court in 2004 to eight years prison, said the source, who asked not to be named. The source told Reuters that Algerian forces captured Aknouche this week near Tipaza, a coastal city 50 km west of the capital Algiers where officials charge he had been planning to carry out attacks on security forces. It was not clear when he had returned to Algeria.”
Nigeria
Associated Press: Boko Haram Ambushes Oil Convoy In Nigeria, Killing 10
“Boko Haram extremists ambushed an oil exploration convoy in northern Nigeria, killing at least 10 people and abducting several others who were later rescued, officials said Wednesday. They said insurgents also had been killed, but gave no numbers. The ambush came several weeks after the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation’s management announced it was resuming oil exploration around Lake Chad following assurances by Nigeria’s military that security had improved in the area, which was once under Boko Haram’s control.”
United Kingdom
Reuters: British Judge Rejects Legal Challenge To Counter-Terrorism Strategy
“A British judge rejected on Wednesday a case brought against the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, according to lawyers for the claimant, a Muslim activist.  Salman Butt, 31, had claimed the government’s ‘Prevent’ programme breached his right to free speech as it imposed a duty on universities to stop radicalisation by restricting some speakers from addressing students.  Rejecting Butt’s case, Judge Duncan Ouseley ruled that universities could disregard the advice in certain cases and that the right to free speech was not restricted, the lawyers said. The ‘Prevent’ programme is aimed at halting the spread of radical ideology, attempting to address such issues as the dissemination of material online and through public speakers.”
BBC News: Anti-Terrorism Barriers At Edinburgh Festival
“High security barriers are being installed in Edinburgh in a bid to stop terrorists driving vehicles into pedestrians. The temporary measure is being installed ahead of the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe. Police Scotland said although there was no specific intelligence to suggest the events would be targeted, the UK terrorism threat remains ‘severe’. The National Barrier Asset (NBA) system is provided by UK government. The Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world, lasting for just over three weeks in August. A review of security has taken place following recent attacks in London and Manchester. Police Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council submitted a request for the barriers, which will be paid for by the UK government.”
Newsweek: ISIS In Britain: Teen Girl Charged Over Plot To Attack At Home
“British authorities have charged a 17-year-old girl with terror offenses after she plotted to commit a mass-casualty attack in the country. The girl allegedly communicated with a fighter in the ranks of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), according to Scotland Yard, the headquarters of Britain’s Metropolitan Police service. She also asked for help in shaping her attack plan, and took steps toward obtaining weapons and training in their use. The target of her attack plot remains unclear. Her arrest comes after an investigation into her plan by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter-Terorrism Command.”
Germany
The New York Times: German Islamic Extremist Is Convicted Of Supporting Terror Group
“A German court on Wednesday sentenced one of the country’s best-known Islamic extremists to more than five years in prison for raising money and recruiting people for the Islamic insurgency in Syria. The Düsseldorf state court found the man, Sven Lau, 36, guilty of ‘serving as a contact for those willing to leave the country and fight’ with the Army of Emigrants and Helpers, known by the Arabic acronym Jamwa, which is close to the Islamic State. ‘From July to November 2013, he played a significant role in bringing two men living in Germany to a Jamwa unit in Syria,’ Frank Schreiber, the presiding judge, said in his ruling. One of the men went on to fight with the group in Syria.”
The Daily Caller: German State Criticized For Aggressively Going After Potential Terrorists
“The German state of Bavaria recently passed a new law to counter extremism and prevent future terror attacks, but some lawmakers argue the measures go too far. Germany suffered a number of terror attacks in 2016 with a rapidly growing population of Islamists. The southern state of Bavaria is now going after prospective terrorists by expanding police powers. New measures that will take effect in August include ankle bracelets and heightened surveillance of so-called ‘terror threats.’ Individuals who are deemed to pose a risk may be detained for a longer period of time without being charged with a crime.”
Deutsche Welle: German Army Helicopter Crashes In Mali On UN Mission, Two Dead
“The Tiger type army combat helicopter with two pilots onboard crashed for unknown reasons around 12:20 GMT/UTC about 70 kilometers (43 miles) northeast of Gao in eastern Mali, the Bundeswehr said on Wednesday. ‘Onboard the helicopter were two service members, who died in the crash,’ the Bundeswehr said in a statement. The German soldiers were taking part in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The German military said UN forces had been dispatched to the crash site to carry out an investigation. UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said that the helicopter had been monitoring ground ‘confrontations,’ which means the site of the accident must be secured before MINUSMA teams can access it.”
France
Sputnik News: French Tourism Bounces Back As Terrorism Fears Begin To Fade
“Paris is enjoying a revival in its tourism industry as fears stoked by recent terror attacks in Europe begin to abate and the numbers of travelers start to trend upward. In the first four months of 2017, Paris saw an all-time record 2.6 million foreign visitors, in an upswing that began towards the end of 2016. This is a 19 percent increase from the same period last year. A combination of attacks, like the one in November 2015 when suicide bombers and gunmen killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more in the French capital by striking bars, restaurants, a stadium and a concert hall, contributed to dropping tourist numbers, along with bad weather and labor reforms.”
Europe
Reuters: Top EU Court Adviser Deals Blow To Easterners’ Refugee Battle
“The top European Union court’s adviser on Wednesday dismissed a challenge brought by Slovakia and Hungary against the obligatory relocation of refugees across the bloc, dealing a blow to the easterners’ migration battles that upset their EU peers. The two states – backed by their neighbour Poland – wanted the court to annul a 2015 EU scheme to have each member state host a number of refugees to help ease pressure on Greece and Italy, struggling with mass arrivals across the Mediterranean. But the court’s Advocate General Yves Bot rejected the procedural arguments presented by Bratislava and Budapest that obligatory quotas were unlawful.”
Voice Of America: Italy Loses Patience With France’s Macron Over Migrants, Libya
“In the first flush of enthusiasm for France’s Emmanuel Macron, the fresh young politician who upended French politics and snatched his country’s presidency this year, Italian politicians were no different from European counterparts in seeing him as a JFK-type figure who’d help Europe overcome major challenges — from Brexit to the migrant crisis. But Italy is quickly falling out of love with Macron and irritation with France’s president is mounting in Rome. Tensions have crept into diplomatic relations between France and the government of Paolo Gentiloni, prompted by Macron’s response to Italian pleas for more European assistance with the mainly sub-Saharan migrants crossing the Mediterranean in record numbers and his largely uncoordinated diplomatic intervention this week in the Libya crisis.”
BBC News: EU Top Court Keeps Hamas On Terror Blacklist
“The European Union’s top court has ruled that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas should remain on the 28-member bloc’s terrorism blacklist. The Court of Justice (ECJ) overturned a General Court ruling, which had said there was not enough evidence to keep travel bans and asset freezes on Hamas. The lower court had said in 2014 the listing was based on media reports, not decisions by ‘competent authorities’. But the ECJ said such decisions were not needed to keep groups on the list. In Wednesday’s ruling, the Luxembourg-based ECJ said decisions by the competent authorities were only required for the initial listing of groups or individuals.”
Muslim Brotherhood
El-Balad: Al-Qaradawi’s Daughter And Son-In-Law Remanded In Custody On Charges Of Muslim Brotherhood Financing
“Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution’s First Attorney-General, Khaled Diaa Eddein, renewed the detention of Ola al-Qaradawi, the daughter of the Qatar-based Islamic preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He also ordered to remand in custody Hossam el-Din Khalaf, al-Qaradawi’s son-in-law who is also leader of the Wasat Party, for 15 days. The couple is accused of Muslim Brotherhood funding and helping it carry out its terrorist schemes against the state and its institutions. Al-Qaradawi’s daughter and her husband face several charges, foremost of which is joining a terrorist group (Muslim Brotherhood) established in violation of the provisions of the law. According to the charges, the purpose of this group is to incite the public to disobey Egypt’s constitution and laws, prevent state institutions from carrying out their work, target public institutions to bring down the state, to harm public order and endanger the safety and security of society. Terrorism was one of the means used by this group to achieve its goals and this was known to the two suspects, the Prosecution charged.”
New Arab: Source: Egyptian Government Seeks To Invest Seized Muslim Brotherhood Assets
“Egypt’s government is seeking to ease the burden of managing seized assets of the Brotherhood and affiliated businessmen who have been added to the terrorist list. The government is looking at ways to invest these assets for profit while reducing its participation in running the entities seized since 2014. A Ministry of Education source disclosed that secret government instructions were issued to the Directorates of Education and Health, as well as to other directorates in all of Egypt’s provinces, in addition to the General Authority for Governmental Services within the Ministry of Finance and several other government agencies. The instructions include preparing an urgent and comprehensive survey of all seized entities owned by individuals appearing on the terrorism list on charges of Muslim Brotherhood funding. The instructions also require presenting a financial evaluation of assets to examine the feasibility of their investment. Among the investment methods is enabling local and foreign companies or investors to lease {the assets} or granting them the right to use them. {The actual investment will not be possible} until such time as a final ruling on the seizure is issued. However, the instructions were issued on the assumption that government agencies entrusted with running these assets lack the capabilities to do so.”
Ahl Misr: Detention Of Muslim Brotherhood-Affiliated Employee In Egypt’s Aswan
“The National Security Service in Aswan recently arrested one of its own employees for being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Head of the Aswan Security Directorate, Major-General Magdy Moussa, received an arrest warrant for “Oueiss M”, a 30-year-old employee and resident of the Markaz Aswan district, for belonging to the Brotherhood. He is suspected of trying to recruit group loyalists to carry out subversive acts against state institutions in order to provoke chaos, in addition to hostile acts against Egypt’s armed forces and police.”
Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)
Al-Ain: Iran: New Law Enables Revolutionary Guards To Compete With Drug Traffickers
“Many Iranians expressed cynicism about their regime’s passage of a new law requiring the Iranian government to distribute drugs to addicts instead of drug dealers. Some accused the Iranian regime of issuing this law so as to allow the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to compete with drug traffickers “officially and legally” at the expense of Iranians’ lives, health and finances. Critics of the law pointed out that for financing most of its terrorist activities the IRGC relies on the cultivation and trafficking of drugs in several countries, especially Lebanon, Afghanistan and Latin American countries such as Ecuador and Colombia. Last April, a European drug-trafficking network belonging to the IRGC and run by Gholamreza Baghbani, one of its leaders, was dismantled in Italy.”
Houthi
Ahl Misr: Qatari Funding For The Houthis Through The Committee For Reconstruction Of Saada
“Two tribal leaders in Saada province claim that Qatar is behind the crimes of Houthi militants against their rival tribes by directly supporting them through the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of Saada, which has been active in this region since 2009. Sheikh of Banu Hudhayfah tribes in Saada, Saleh Qarouch, noted that the Qatari Committee was actually an ATM for the rebels in Dahyan districts. Meetings between committee representatives and the Houthis’ leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, were frequent and direct and did not require any advance scheduling arrangements. On his part, Sheikh Ali Mohammed Qamlan, from Al-Umar tribes in Waila, pointed out that Qatar was one of the most prominent supporters of the Houthi militants throughout the past decade. He added the Houthis have benefited greatly from Doha’s support under the banner of Saada reconstruction.”

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