Eye on Extremism, April 23, 2018/ISIS Spokesman Calls For Attacks On Arab Nations

Eye on Extremism
April 23, 2018
TIME: 57 Killed In Kabul Suicide Bombing – And ISIS Is Claiming Responsibility
“A suicide bomber struck a voter registration center in the Afghan capital on Sunday, killing at least 57 people in an attack claimed by ISIS. Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said another 119 people were wounded in Sunday’s attack, updating an earlier toll. Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said the suicide bomber targeted civilians who had gathered to receive national identification cards. The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows miles away from the attack site and damaging several nearby vehicles. Police blocked all roads to the blast site, with only ambulances allowed in. Local TV stations broadcast live footage of hundreds of distraught people gathered at nearby hospitals seeking word about loved ones. Majro said there were five small children and 21 women among the dead. More than a dozen children and nearly 50 women were wounded, he said, adding that the tolls could still rise.”
Arab News: Telegram: Russia Ban Spurs Privacy Debate
“A Moscow court decided last week to block the app in Russia because it refused to hand over encryption keys to authorities — sparking fresh controversy around the app, which has previously been banned in countries such as Iran, Afghanistan and Indonesia. Voices from outside Russia have also criticized Telegram for not doing enough to clamp down on terrorists using the app. “Terrorists and extremist groups such as ISIS (Daesh) use encrypted applications like Telegram because it allows them to recruit new members, fundraise, incite to violence, and even coordinate terrorist activity without the threat of being discovered,” said executive director David Ibsen at the US-based non-government organization Counter-Extremism Project.”
The New York Times: ISIS Spokesman Calls For Attacks On Arab Nations
“In his first statement in 10 months, the Islamic State’s spokesman on Sunday called for violence against neighboring Arab nations, suggesting that the group’s focus was turning closer to home. The remarks were a departure from the last pronouncement issued by the spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, which aimed to incite attacks against Europe and North America. It comes as the group is retrenching in its core territory after losing all but 3 percent of the area it once held in Iraq and Syria. In a nearly hourlong audio recording, released inside the group’s chat rooms in the messaging app Telegram, the spokesman called on fighters to redirect their ire toward the leaders of Arab nations in the region, whom he described as ‘apostates,’ a term the group uses to refer to fellow Sunnis who have strayed from its extreme interpretation of the faith. The spokesman said there was ‘no difference’ between fighting the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and the Palestinians ‘and their American Crusader allies, or the Russians or the Europeans.’ He argued that they deserved to be treated even more harshly because ‘these are Arabs and are more fierce and vicious against Islam.’”
Bloomberg Technology: YouTube’s Extremist Problem: CEP Spokesperson Tara Maller Discusses Problematic Content On YouTube In Light Of A Report That Found Ads From 300 Companies Running On YouTube Channels Promoting Extremists And Terrorists, White Nationalists, Nazis And, Pedophilia.
The New York Times: Where Countries Are Tinderboxes And Facebook Is A Match
“Past the end of a remote mountain road, down a rutted dirt track, in a concrete house that lacked running water but bristled with smartphones, 13 members of an extended family were glued to Facebook. And they were furious. A family member, a truck driver, had died after a beating the month before. It was a traffic dispute that had turned violent, the authorities said. But on Facebook, rumors swirled that his assailants were part of a Muslim plot to wipe out the country’s Buddhist majority. “We don’t want to look at it because it’s so painful,” H.M. Lal, a cousin of the victim, said as family members nodded. “But in our hearts there is a desire for revenge that has built.” The rumors, they believed, were true. Still, the family, which is Buddhist, did not join in when Sinhalese-language Facebook groups, goaded on by extremists with wide followings on the platform, planned attacks on Muslims, burning a man to death.”
United States
The Los Angeles Times: An American Accused Of Fighting For Islamic State Deserves A Day In Court
“Thanks to the intervention of a federal judge, the Trump administration has been prevented for now from transferring to Saudi Arabia a U.S. citizen seized in Syria and suspected of fighting for Islamic State. Instead of seeking to overturn the ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, the administration should either charge the man with a crime or give him his freedom. The man, who is known in court documents as John Doe, also holds Saudi citizenship. He surrendered to a Syrian militia backed by the United States in September and was turned over to the U.S. military. It declared him an ‘enemy combatant’ and placed him in a military prison in Iraq, but apparently it lacks the evidence necessary to charge him with a crime. According to his lawyers, Doe claims he was kidnapped by Islamic State and denies fighting alongside the militants. Government lawyers told the court that the decision had been made to transfer Doe to Saudi Arabia only after ‘extensive’ diplomatic discussions.”
ABC News: Islamic State Group To Give Up Last Pocket In Syrian Capital
“Islamic State militants agreed to give up their last pocket in Damascus on Friday, state media reported, as the government seeks to retake the entire Syrian capital and its surrounding areas for the first time since 2011. The capitulation followed a week of escalations by pro-government forces against the IS-held Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood and Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus. Pro-government forces bombed the two areas and blanketed them with artillery fire in a crescendo of violence captured by the state-affiliated Central Military Media outlet on Friday.”
Al Arabiya: Five Civilians Killed In Syria Regime Shelling On ISIS-Held District
“Five civilians have been killed in 24 hours in regime shelling on a southern district of Syria’s capital held by ISIS, a monitor said Sunday. Syrian troops are waging an intense bombing campaign against Yarmuk, a Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of Damascus, and nearby districts that are held by ISIS. An elderly man was killed Sunday in shelling on Yarmuk, and another died after he was wounded in bombardment there the previous day, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A woman, her husband, and their child were killed in shelling in Yarmuk late Saturday, it said. ‘This brings to 11 the number of civilians killed since the shelling escalated on Thursday,’ said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman. The bombing and clashes continued into Sunday, Abdel Rahman said, with air strikes, artillery, and surface-to-surface missiles hitting the neighborhood. Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), said the bombardment had pushed most Yarmuk residents to flee their homes and put the area’s last hospital out of service.”
Haaretz: Iraq Claims Airstrike On Syria Killed 36 ISIS Militants
“An Iraqi airstrike in Syria on April 19 has killed 36 Islamic State militants, including some of the group’s leaders inSyria, an Iraqi military spokesman told Reuters on Sunday. Iraqi warplanes had attacked an Islamic State explosives factory and other positions inside Syria on Thursday, a rare air assault across the border. Israel released details on Tuesday about what it described as an Iranian ‘air force’ deployed in neighbouringSyria, including civilian planes suspected of transferring arms, a signal that these could be attacked should tensions with Tehran escalate.”
Bloomberg: Macron, Merkel Prepare Hard Sell For Trump On Iran Accord
“French President Emmanuel Macron’s arrival in the U.S. kicks off a crucial week for European leaders in an uphill battle to convince Donald Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. Pressure to win over the U.S. president is growing as a potential make-or-break deadline approaches on May 12, when Trump will decide whether to extend sanctions relief for Iran or risk blowing up the accord. Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May have spent months coordinating with one another on potential side agreements they hope will convince Trump to remain part of the agreement. They’ve discussed broader foreign policy arguments that could convince Trump it’s in the U.S.’s interest, and personal appeals that could reach the president. Now comes the test. Macron’s visit Monday and Tuesday – the first formal state visit of the Trump administration – will be quickly followed by Merkel’s working visit to the White House on Friday. While May has no imminent visit planned, she and Trump have been speaking regularly by phone.”
CNN: Iran’s Foreign Minister Warns Of Consequences If Trump Leaves Nuclear Deal
“Iran’s foreign minister warned that President Donald Trump’s threats to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement send a “very dangerous message” about the wisdom of negotiating a deal with the United States. Speaking to reporters in New York, Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States has failed to implement its side of the nuclear pact between Iran and six major powers. Under the deal, which went into force in January 2016 when President Barack Obama was still in office, Iran agreed to put limits on parts of its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions. “That’s a very dangerous message to send to people of Iran, but also to the people of the world — that you should never come to an agreement with the United States because at the end of the day, the operating principle of the United States is ‘what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is negotiable,'” he said. “The situation is creating an impression globally that agreements don’t matter.”
Al Jazeera: Iran Navy Chief: US Is Not Aware Of Our Naval Power
“Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) navy chief has warned the US against underestimating his country’s naval capabilities, according to the official FARS news agency (FNA). Navy Chief–in-Command Rear-Admiral Ali Fadawi said on Sunday the US had little information about Tehran’s amphibious programme before suggesting that forces could be deployed in “free waters in the future”. “The Americans have little information about Iran’s naval power and they understand our real power when either their vessels are sunken or entangled in a terrible situation,” Fadawi was quoted as saying by FNA. Fadawi had stated earlier in March that the US had given up the military option due to the country’s efficacious deterrence, adding the IRGC Navy and Army Navy could deliver a “crushing response” to enemy aggression anywhere in the world.”
Reuters: Islamic State Threatens Polling Station Attacks Ahead Of Iraq Vote
“Islamic State said it would attack polling stations in Iraq during parliamentary election next month and that anyone who participated in the vote would be considered an infidel. In an audio message released late on Sunday, the militant group’s spokesman accused Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government of being a proxy of Iran and warned that anyone who runs or votes in the May 12 election would be targeted. Iraqi officials have said polling stations will be well protected. ‘We warn you Sunnis of Iraq of these people (Shi’ites) taking power. Polling stations are a target for us, so stay away from them,’ said Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajer. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in December over Islamic State, which seized a third of Iraq in 2014, but the hardline Sunni militants have reverted to insurgency tactics following the crumbling of their self-declared caliphate.”
Al Arabiya: ISIS Family Members Being Victimized, Says Iraqi Chief For Human Rights Watch
“In a report released on Thursday, Human Rights Watch underlined that the relatives of ISIS members in Iraq are undergoing group punishment. They relatives of ISIS members have become victims of a stigma even though they haven’t done anything wrong. The ill-advised governmental policies have aggravated the problems of those who have been displaced from their homes and properties and moved to camps for the displaced. In this context, the president of the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, Mustafa Saadoun, told Al Arabiya.net that: ‘About 20,000 families or the equivalent of 100,000 people living in scattered camps in the provinces of Nineveh, Saladin and Anbar, are victims of constraints set by the local governments in their regions.’ Saadoun explained that there are other causes that may hinder the return of these families such as tribal issues as well as revenge problems. He said some took advantage of this situation to take over the homes of these families. In fact, some people even changed the documents of ownership of these houses. ‘The Iraqi government must intervene to stop these acts which are non-compliant with human rights as well as charging the wrongdoers and the violators of private rights.’”
Iraqi News: Iraqi Jets Bomb Islamic State Rest House, Kill Baghdadi’s Right-Hand Man In Diyala
“Security troops have killed the right-hand man of the supreme leader of Islamic State in Diyala, the security committee announced on Friday. Speaking to AlSumaria News, Sadeq al-Husseini, head of the security committee of Diyala provincial council, said. ‘The airstrike targeted a rest house by Islamic State members in al-Zor basin, northeast of Baquba, which left two Islamic State members, one of whom was a leader. Preliminary information showed that the leader was the right-hand man of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the so-called Diyala State.’ ‘The targeted rest house was an important headquarter for IS, from which the group’s dormant cells are run,’ Husseini added. Earlier today, Maj. Gen. Mazhar al-Azzawi, commander of Diyala Operations, said shelling the rest house by Iraqi fighter jets left two IS members killed.”
Al Monitor: Trouble Brews As Militants Amass On Turkey’s Border
“Allegations of chemical warfare in Douma and strikes by the United States, Britain and France to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime have actually loaded new burdens on Turkey’s already-ambiguous position in Syria. With the evacuation of opposition forces from areas reoccupied by the Syrian army, the areas Turkey had taken control of with Operation Euphrates Shield — its offensive against the Islamic State and the Kurdistan Workers Party in Syria — have become jihadi reserves. For some reason, Ankara doesn’t seem to be too perturbed by this situation, which poses serious risks to Turkey. Since March 9, about 70,000 Syrians — including fighters and their families — have evacuated from eastern Ghouta to al-Bab, Azaz and the Jarablus triangle under Turkey’s control, and the Idlib area, which is under the observation of Turkish troops. Evacuations from eastern Ghouta were first made under agreements reached with jihadi groups Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and Ahrar al-Sham and opposition group Faylaq al-Rahman; they peaked with the departure from Douma of Jaish al-Islam’s 48,000 people, which included 8,000 fighters.”
Reuters: Islamic State Beheads Three Brothers In Afghanistan: Official
“Militants from Islamic State have beheaded three brothers, all working in the medical profession, in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, an official said on Monday. Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar, the main stronghold of Islamic State in Afghanistan, said the brothers were killed in Chaparhar district on Saturday night. The eldest brother Nisar Tareliwal, 27, was a doctor at a private clinic, the middle brother Nayeem, 24, was working as a vaccine campaigner and the youngest Abdul Wahab, 19, was a medical student. Khogyani said the father of the victims, a doctor was beheaded last year by the Islamic State, which has acquired a reputation for brutality in the province, beheading prisoners on a number of occasions.”
NPR: Taliban Bombing Targets Afghan Polling Station
“A suicide bombing killed more than 50 people at a voter registration center today in Kabul today. Journalist Ahmed Rashid and Michel Martin discuss Afghanistan’s fragile security situation.”
ABC News: Afghan Officials: Taliban Attacks Kill 14 Troops, Policemen
“Taliban attacks in western Afghanistan killed 14 soldiers and policemen on Monday as Kabul residents prepared to bury their loved ones slain in a horrific bombing by the Islamic State group that targeted a voter registration center the day before, killing 57. Prayer services were held for the Kabul victims as families of those killed in Sunday’s bombing carried the bodies of their kin and dug the graves at a cemetery in the hills above the Afghan capital. The first of Monday’s near-simultaneous attacks in western Badghis province hit army units in the district of Ab Kamari, killing nine soldiers, said Ghulam Sarwar Haidari, the deputy provincial police chief.”
Al Arabiya: Popular Campaigns In Yemeni Province Aim To Eradicate Houthi Sectarian Slogans
“Residents of the Ibb province in Yemen have begun popular campaigns rejecting Houthi slogans and sectarian thought, starting with spray painting ‘X’ on Houthi slogans that have filled the walls of the province’s mosques, houses and buildings. Residents have also publicly burned books containing texts promoting Houthi thought, expressing their rejection of its promotion of sectarianism in Yemen. According to local sources, the militia has in turn tried to find out who is behind these campaigns by making random arrests and threats. The Houthis had fired live ammunition last week inside a large mosque in the old town part of Ibb with the aim of frightening and intimidating civilians. According to local sources, there’s a consensus among Ibb residents to fight the permeation of Houthi thought by rejecting its slogans and boycotting mosques that have Houthi-influenced imams. Sources added that although these may seem like small feats, but they have worked in their own way.”
Al Arabiya: Houthis Making ‘Mockery Of Justice’ After Sentencing Yemeni Mother On Death Row
“In a serious precedent, the first Yemeni woman faces a death penalty after a politicized judgement issued by a Houthi-controlled court in Sanaa in an unfair trial that lacked transparency and integrity. Asmaa al-Omeissy, 22, was sentenced on charges of ‘conspiracy and espionage’ in favor of one of the countries linked to the coalition fighting to support legitimacy in Yemen. Omeissy, is currently in a Houthi prison in Sanaa facing death and a mother of two children. Observers say she is just of example of the many facing serious abuses and violations by the militia in using the judiciary to ‘settle political scores,’ as per what Amnesty International commented on the verdict. Yemeni Human rights advocates, civil and women organization have asked the UN and the international community to pressure the Houthi militias to suspend the unfair and politicized judgment against Omeissy and have asked for her immediate and unconditional release.”
Saudi Arabia
Arab News: Saudi Arabia Downs Houthi Missile Fired Across Border
“Saudi air defenses on Sunday intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militia at the Kingdom’s southern border city of Najran, which set a farm ablaze, state media said. “Saudi forces were able to intercept (the missile),” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthis. “But the shrapnel scattered over residential areas and caused a fire at a farm belonging to a citizen, without causing any injuries.” The missile was launched from Saada, the Houthi stronghold in northern Yemen, the coalition was cited as saying. The coalition said another missile crashed in a Saudi desert on Sunday, without specifying a location, adding it caused no damage. Sunday’s strikes are the latest in a series of rebel bombardments on Saudi territory.”
The Telegraph: Qatar PM Went To Wedding Hosted By ‘One Of The World’s Most Prolific Terror Financiers’
“Qatar is facing fresh questions over its claim to be cracking down on support for terrorism after the Gulf state’s prime minister was guest of honour at an event hosted by one of the world’s most prolific terrorism financiers. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Qatari prime minister, was photographed alongside Abd al-Rahman bin Umayr al-Nuaymi, weeks after his government designated Mr Nuaymi a financier of terrorism, following similar declarations made by Britain, the US and the United Nations Security Council.”
Middle East
The Washington Post: Qatar Denies UAE, Bahrain Allegation Over Military Jets
“Qatar is denying an allegation by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain that it sent military fighter jets dangerously close to an Emirati commercial airliner. Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement Monday that the UAE sent a military aircraft into its own airspace “without prior permission … and in a flying route close to that of the UAE civil aircraft.” Qatar said its jets’ mission “was known.” Bahrain’s state-run news agency early Monday identified the flight Sunday as going from Dammam, Saudi Arabia, to Abu Dhabi. Only Abu Dhabi-based Etihad flies that route. Etihad did not immediately respond to a request for comment. This marks just the latest allegations between Qatar and the UAE over their flights being harassed since a diplomatic crisis between them began in June.”
Reuters: U.S. Army Trainers Try To Build West Africa Defenses Against Jihad
“Kicking up clouds of pink Saharan dust, U.S. military trainers impersonated militants, waved flags saying ‘death to outsiders’ and threw smoke grenades toward approaching Nigerien commandos this week, as a surveillance drone hovered overhead. The joint military exercises between U.S.-led Western forces and several West African nations, dubbed ‘Flintlock,’ have been going on since 2005. This year, however, they have focused more closely on the evolving threat posed by Islamist militants, whose mounting numbers and capabilities require an ever more sophisticated response, military commanders told Reuters. ‘Flintlock … has over the years evolved,’ Major General J. Marcus Hicks, who leads some 1,000 American special operations forces across about a dozen African countries, told Reuters.”
The Guardian: Egyptians In Sinai Living Under Siege Due To Anti-Militant Campaign, Says HRW
“The Egyptian government’s ongoing military campaign against Islamist militants in the Sinai peninsula has left citizens living under siege, according to Human Rights Watch. In a new report published on Monday, the organisation states that up to 420,000 residents of four cities in north Sinai are now in urgent need of humanitarian aid due to shortages of food, medicine and other cooking essentials, as well as cuts to water, electricity, communications and freedom of movement. The Egyptian military began a large-scale offensive against militants aligned to the Islamic State group in early February after the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, ordered the military to rid the peninsula of the insurgents within three months, in a speech last November. The command followed an attack on a mosque in north Sinai that killed over 300 people.”
Voice Of America: Hamas Says Man Gunned Down In Malaysia Was Important Member
“Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group said Saturday that a man who was gunned down in Malaysia was an important member of the organization, raising suspicions that Israel was behind the brazen killing. Hamas said Palestinian engineer Fadi al-Batsh was a “loyal” member and a “scientist of Palestine’s youth scholars.” It gave no further details on his scientific accomplishments but said he had made “important contributions” and participated in international forums in the field of energy. Hamas stopped short of blaming Israel, saying only that he had been “assassinated by the hand of treachery.” But relatives of al-Batsh said they believe Israel targeted him. Malaysian police say the 36-year-old al-Batsh was gunned down early Saturday by two assailants who shot at least eight bullets from a motorbike as he was heading to a mosque for dawn prayers in Kuala Lampur. It said closed-circuit television showed him targeted by assassins who had waited for him for almost 20 minutes.”
Garowe: Militants Raid Military Base In Mogadishu
“Blasts and gunfire heard in Mogadishu after armed militants launched an attack against a Somali military base in Mogadishu, the Somali capital on Saturday midnight, Garowe Online reports. The assault began with grenade explosions followed by heavy gunfire erupted at the army camp in Mogadishu’s Wardhigley district. At least one soldier and a civilian were confirmed dead in the gunfight. Security sources told GO that government soldiers managed to repulse the attack after engaging in a fierce gun battle raged on for minutes with the fighters belonging to the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabab group. “The attackers fled the area immediately after encountering stiff resistance and suffered grave casualties,” said a Somali military in Mogadishu, who spoke to GO on condition of anonymity. The raid took place as the minister on Internal security for the Federal Government of Somali, Mohamed Abukar Islow, along with other army and security chiefs were inspecting military barracks in the capital. Local residents said the troops carried out a massive operation early on Sunday morning in Hamar-Jajab neighborhood, in response to last night’s militants’ onslaught and detained several suspects in connection with the incident.”
News 24: Al-Qaeda Claims Deadly Attack On French, UN Forces In Mali
“Al-Qaeda extremists have claimed responsibility for an attack in northern Mali that killed a UN peacekeeper and wounded seven French soldiers. SITE Intelligence Group reported on Friday that the al-Qaeda branch in Mali posted a message saying it had carried out the attack nearly a week ago. The message called it retaliation for a series of recent military operations that had killed some of the branch’s fighters. Witnesses said the attackers struck the town of Timbuktu in vehicles disguised as belonging to the Malian military and the UN peacekeeping mission.”
Radio Free Europe: Russia Says Nine Terror Suspects Killed In Daghestan
“Russia says nine insurgents in the volatile Daghestan region who allegedly were planning acts of terrorism during public holidays in May have been killed by police. Russia’s Counterterrorism Committee said on its website on April 21 that it had received information that militants who planned to carry out an attack early next month were hiding in Derbent, the second-biggest city of the Muslim-majority republic of Daghestan in the south of the country. The committee said officers found two separate groups of suspects in Derbent and ordered them to surrender. It says the suspects refused and died in subsequent gunfire on April 21. Daghestan has seen a number of attacks in recent years, with several assaults against police claimed by the so-called Islamic State group. Also on April 21, Russia’s Federal Security Service said its officers killed a suspected Islamic State group supporter who allegedly planned terrorist acts in the neighboring Stavropol region.”
United Kingdom
CNN: The ISIS Bride Problem: Don’t Take It Out On The Children
“Navigating the line between innocence and complicity, between knowing and ignorance, between willing agent and unwitting victim — that is the work of those charged with figuring out what responsibility ISIS wives from overseas bear as the rule of the terrorist group winds down. What is certain: these women witnessed a brutal hell of inhumanity from a front-row seat. Stayed until the end of the so-called ‘caliphate.’ They bore and raised children amid hangings, beheadings and the enslavement of other human beings. Saw rape and murder and brutality organized, scaled and viciously and effectively tailored to inflict extreme suffering on a great many. And now, for those women still in Syria, they live in dust-coated tents, or sometimes in prison rooms, alongside their children, inhabiting a legal purgatory until one authority or another figures out what to do with them. What do you do with an ‘ISIS bride’ far from home who says she was a victim, but also played a role in burying human beings?”
BBC News: Security Services ‘To Get More Power To Stop Attacks’
“Police and security services are to get more powers and resources to stop terror attacks at an earlier stage, according to the Sunday Times. It says the new government anti-terror strategy proposes sharing information about suspects more widely, according to a leaked draft which it has seen. It follows a review of last year’s attacks in Manchester and London. The Home Office would not comment on the leaked report but has promised a ‘comprehensive’ strategy.”
BBC: Paris Attack Suspect Salah Abdeslam Jailed In Belgium
“Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect from the 2015 Paris attacks, has been jailed for 20 years in Belgium over a gunfight that led to his arrest. Abdeslam, 28, and co-defendant Sofien Ayari were both convicted of terror-related charges of attempted murder. Ayari, 24, was also given a 20-year sentence. Both fired on officers who raided a flat in Brussels in 2016. Abdeslam is being held in a jail in France and is due to face trial there over the Paris attacks themselves. He had refused to answer questions from the judge in the trial in Brussels, and eventually refused to attend the hearings. Neither he nor Ayari, a 24-year-old Tunisian national, was in court as the verdict was read out on Monday. Both received the maximum 20-year term requested by prosecutors.”
Fox News: Al Qaeda Uses Google Maps To Plan Attacks New Video Reportedly Shows
“A new Al Qaeda video reportedly shows the terror group planning attacks across Middle East using Google Maps and features a former Gitmo detainee who returned fighting for the group after his release. The propaganda video was released Friday by Al-Malahem, an Al Qaeda media-affiliate in the Arabian Peninsula. The content of the footage was first reported by The Washington Free Beacon. It shows an Al Qaeda commander using a tablet computer and Google Maps to plan the terror attacks, according to report from the Middle East Media Monitoring Institute (MEMRI). The terror group’s recent video “documents the training, planning, and execution of a series of operations targeting security forces, checkpoints, and military bases in multiple locations using different tactics including martyrdom operations, commando raids, shelling, shootings, and assassinations,” the report said.”
The Times: Hackers Advertise Stolen Card Details On Facebook
“Criminals are using hundreds of groups on Facebook to advertise stolen credit card details, cyberattacks and logins for hacked Amazon and Netflix accounts. Brian Krebs, a security researcher, identified nearly 120 groups apparently dedicated to fraud, hacking and money laundering — activities normally associated with the “dark web”. The groups had more than 300,000 members and had been on Facebook for an average of two years, although some had been active for nine years. MPs said yesterday that they would investigate the groups after being alerted by The Times. Most of the groups advertised their intent by using terms associated with criminal activity in their names, such as “carding” (credit card fraud), “tax refund fraud”, “account takeovers” and DDoS (distributed denial of service attack).”
Bloomberg: Facebook Set Lobbying Record Amid Cambridge Analytica Furor
“Facebook Inc. set a lobbying record in the first three months, just as an uproar flared up the leak of data on millions of users’ without their permission. The company spent $3.3 million, according to disclosures filed with the government Friday, up from the $3.21 million it spent in the same period a year earlier, which represented the company’s prior high. The world’s largest social-media company lobbied on issues including federal privacy legislation, online advertising, internet privacy and security, the filing said. It also referred to “general discussions on data breach,” without providing further details. A company representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for clarification about what the data breach lobbying referred to. Toward the end of the first quarter, Facebook was hit by revelations that data on millions of users had been improperly obtained by Cambridge Analytica, a firm that worked on President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg was grilled on the issue by Congress in April and some members of both parties are considering privacy legislation.”
Combating Terrorist Financing
Arabi21: Egypt: President Al-Sisi Approves Law On Seizure And Disposal Of Funds Belonging To Terrorist Groups
“Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has approved a law that requires the seizure and disposal of funds belonging to terrorist groups and terrorists. This law comes as part of a move aimed at drying up the funding sources of these groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, which the government designated a terrorist group in late 2013. The law provides for the establishment of an independent judicial committee that will be exclusively authorized to take all measures relating to the enforcement of judicial decisions issued against a group, entity or person belonging to a terrorist group or entity. The law, which was passed by the Egyptian Parliament several days ago, went into effect after being signed by al-Sisi on Sunday and published in the official Gazette.”
Al-Hayat: Egypt: Case Of Six Suspected Of Financing ISIS Cell Forwarded To State Security Court
“Egyptian Attorney-General Nabil Sadiq ordered the transfer of the case of six terror suspects to the Supreme State Security Criminal Court on charges of “forming a terrorist cell affiliated with an armed organization targeting members of the armed forces, police and Christian citizens.” Among the detainees are several accused of “financing the terrorist cell with money and explosives to perpetrate their crimes.” The investigations and detailed confessions made by the defendants revealed that the suspect named Ahmad Ibrahim Ahmed al-Hafnawi had received orders from leaders of ISIS to establish a Takfiri city in the {Egyptian} town of Mahalla. Investigations showed that Hafnawi, with the aid of two accomplices, indeed formed the said terrorist cell.”
Muslim Brotherhood
Quds Press: Egypt: Value Of Seized Muslim Brotherhood Funds Revealed
“The governmental committee tasked with appraising and seizing the funds of the banned Muslim Brotherhood announced that it had appropriated funds and properties of 1,400 Muslim Brotherhood activists, in addition to 120 schools, 62 companies, 66 hospitals and medical institutions, 1,120 civic organizations and 19 currency-exchange bureaus. The committee also stated that it had seized EGP 154,758,000 (equivalent to $8.755 million) from Egyptian bank accounts belonging to members of the outlawed Islamic movement along with $2 million in bank deposits belonging to other persons. Moreover, the committee had confiscated foreign-currency bank deposits containing Euro €435,000, SR 1,374,000 ($366,400), £9,000, CHF 16,780, along with 460 vehicles and 400 fedans (1 fedan = 4200 m2 of land). It’s noteworthy that investigations proved that all of these funds and assets were owned by pro-Muslim Brotherhood figures.”
Shorouk News: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Members Convicted Of Sabotaging Electricity Pylons De-Listed From Terror Lists
“The Egyptian Court of Cassation, chaired by Counsellor Abed Ibrahim, on Sunday, issued an order to de-list four Muslim Brotherhood members from the terror lists {to which they had been added} following accusations of sabotaging high-voltage electricity pylons. The Cairo Criminal Court had previously placed these persons on the terror lists for three years, in reference to the top-level state security case No. 304 of 2014. The criminal court had also convicted these banned Islamic group’s associated individuals for bombing electricity facilities and police cars in the El Rihab District of New Cairo.”

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