Eye on Extremism, April 25, 2018/ ISIS Tactics Have Spread To Other Violent Actors

Eye on Extremism
April 25, 2018
CNN: Recent Iranian Shipments To Syria Concern US Intelligence
“US intelligence is monitoring a series of cargo flights from Iran into Syria, that the US suspects may be carrying weapons systems into Syria for potential use by Bashar al-Assad’s regime or Iranian forces, CNN has learned. An administration official confirms to CNN that the flights took place and the US and Israel are both concerned the cargo could potentially include weapons that could eventually be used to threaten Israel. While weapons shipments into Syria are not uncommon, these flights involving Iran have caught the attention of US intelligence because they occurred in the days after the April 13 US airstrikes on Assad regime targets. Rhetoric between Iran and Israel has also escalated in recent weeks over Tehran’s involvement in areas of Syria that can be used to potentially launch missiles or aircraft that could target Israel. Earlier this week, social media sites that track global air traffic recorded at least two flights by Syrian Air Force IL-76 cargo jets between Iran and Syria. The official said other flights, including at least one from an Iranian cargo jet, have also caught US attention.”
The New York Times: American Warplanes Shift Tactics To Target Last ISIS Pockets In Eastern Syria
“The United States-led air campaign to hunt down the last pockets of Islamic State militants in eastern Syria effectively ground to a halt in the past two months after the allies lost their most effective battleground partner, stalling a critical phase of the offensive. With Islamic State fighters now starting to claw back some of their lost territory in Syria, and with President Trump previously threatening to withdraw American troops there before finishing off the last militants holding ground, commanders have rushed to adopt new tactics to regain some momentum. (The president subsequently dropped his demand for an immediate withdrawal when commanders told him they needed time to successfully finish the mission.) The new approach includes stacking several surveillance planes over two big remaining pockets of fighters, patiently watching the suspected enemy’s every move for days — and then striking only when sure the foes are really foes, and the risk to civilians is low. The new tactics have helped increase strikes in eastern Syria to 23 last week compared with only three in the week ending April 5, military officials said. Of course, those figures pale in comparison to the nearly 400 strikes a week during the height of the air war last fall to seize Raqqa, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed headquarters. But American officials say the latest attacks against bunkers, bomb factories and headquarters show the air campaign’s ability to adjust to an unforeseen setback that threatens to hand the Islamic State a lifeline just as the allies are on the verge of wiping out the last insurgent safe havens.”
Reuters: G7 Tells Tech Firms To Boost Efforts To Combat Extremism: Canada
“The Group of Seven leading industrialized nations on Tuesday told leading tech and social media companies to ramp up efforts to combat the spread of extremism, a top Canadian official said. G7 security ministers raised their concerns during a Toronto meeting with Facebook, Twitter Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft Corp, said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. The four companies are part of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), set up last year under pressure from governments in Europe and the United States after a spate of deadly attacks. ‘All through the conversation the message was … some progress has been reported, we needed to see more,’ Goodale told a news conference. Security officials say a spate of so-called lone wolf attacks around the world is in part caused by people becoming radicalized by what they see online.”
The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Struggles To Prepare Convicted Terrorists For Life After Prison
“For seven years, Shaker Masri lived behind bars. He passed the days reading dozens of books about Islamic history, trying to untangle what spurred his desire to join a terrorist group overseas, which led to his arrest. Then, in August 2017, it was time to leave. Prison officials dropped Mr. Masri off at a gas station in eastern Minnesota, where he took the bus to a halfway house in Chicago. He said there was no exit interview, no risk assessment. No one in prison had tried to understand what drew him to jihadist ideology or whether he had disengaged from it. Mr. Masri said he regrets his crime, calling it the “dumbest thing” he’s ever done. But he wished prison offered rehabilitation programs that address why people become attracted to terrorism.”
NPR: Mosul’s Famed Mosque And ‘Hunchback’ Minaret, Destroyed By ISIS, Will Be Rebuilt
“The United Arab Emirates will contribute $50.4 million to rebuild a mosque and cherished leaning minaret that were destroyed after the Iraqi city of Mosul was overrun by the Islamic State. On Monday the UAE, Iraq and the United Nations signed an agreement that Audrey Azoulay, director-general of the U.N.’s cultural agency UNESCO, called ‘a historic partnership.’ In a written statement, she said it was ‘the largest and [most] unprecedented cooperation to rebuild cultural heritage in Iraq ever.’ The Great Mosque of al-Nuri was built in the 12th century inside Mosul’s Old City. It was named after Nur al-Din Mahmoud Zangi, a Turkic ruler who unified Muslim forces during the Crusades. In July 2014, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stood at the mosque’s pulpit and declared Iraq and Syria as the terrorist group’s ‘caliphate.’”
Extremism
National Post: Mental Illness Or Terrorism – Motives Behind Using Vehicles To Ram Into Pedestrians Vary
“An act of terror or not, the seemingly deliberate use of a vehicle as a weapon brings to mind similar events that have been making headlines around the world.But using vehicles as projectiles has become a signature for extremists. Last week, a Palestinian man was charged after ramming his car into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing two. According to the Counter Extremism Project, a non-governmental organization that monitors terrorism and advocates for stronger laws and government policy to deter terrorists, there have been 36 vehicle attacks specifically linked to terrorists since 2006. Those attacks have killed at least 196 people and injured 1,050.”
The Atlantic: ISIS Tactics Have Spread To Other Violent Actors
“Yesterday’s headline writers took the afternoon off, it seems, and engaged the newsroom’s cliché machine: A van ‘plowed’ into crowds on Toronto’s Yonge Street, killing at least 10 and wounding several. That many readers no longer blanch at this agricultural metaphor—indeed they expect it—is a mark of how far the technique of mass vehicular homicide has spread. The alleged driver does not appear to have anything to do with the Islamic State, with whom the technique is now most associated. But of course we all waited (or rather, some of us did) to discover whether his name was Muslim, and we were ready to deploy our opinions to the crime scene, depending on the result. In fact the alleged driver turns out to be a Canadian of likely Armenian descent, and sympathetic not to ISIS but, according to a Facebook post the company confirmed to be from the suspect’s since-deleted account, to ‘incels,’ short for ‘involuntarily celibate.’ Incels, mostly male, want to have sex but find no willing partners. They often resent the sexually active for spurning them. In 2014, in Santa Barbara, a 22-year-old killed six people, two of them Tri Delta sorority women, as ‘retribution’ (his word, in a manifesto) for his celibate misery. The Toronto police added that yesterday’s van suspect might be ‘mentally ill,’ and by implication defective not in morals but in mind. The evidence we see now points to pure violent sexual frustration. That is most definitely a moral impairment.”
United States
The New York Times: When Presidents Go To War
“When President Trump bombed Syria recently, for the second time in a little over a year, he did so, again, without authorization from Congress and with no real debate by lawmakers. That has been the pattern for presidents since the forever war against terrorists began after the Sept. 11 attacks. Today, American troops are fighting extremist groups in at least 14 countries, with most deployments having occurred at the president’s sole discretion because Congress has given presidents a blank check to wage war. That’s not the way the system was supposed to work. Under the Constitution, decisions about sending American men and women into battle are divided between Congress and the president, with Congress deciding whether to declare war and the president commanding troops. In fact, most legal scholars believe that America’s founders wanted Congress to decide when to fight, except when the country is under attack. Since World War II, however, presidents from both parties have expanded their authority, carrying out many military operations without congressional approval.”
Defense One: The Pentagon Is Making A Ray Gun To Stop Truck Attacks
“The van driver who killed 10 Toronto pedestrians on Monday showed that a terror technique that ISIS pioneered in Iraq and Syria in 2015 remains terrifyingly effective against unsuspecting urban populations. But the U.S. military is working on a new weapon to stop vehicle-born terrorist threats, one that could help police departments as well. The Defense Department’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program, or JNLWD, is pushing ahead with a new direct energy weapon that uses high-powered microwaves to stop cars in their tracks without damaging the vehicle, its driver, or anyone else. The jammer works by targeting the car’s engine control unit causing it to reboot over and over, stalling the engine. Like an invisible hand, the microwaves hold the car in place. “Anything that has electronics on it, these high-powered microwaves will affect,” David Law, who leads JNLWD’s technology division, said in March. “As long as the [radio] is on, it holds the vehicle stopped.”
Canada
Global News Radio: CEP Spokesperson Tara Maller Discusses The Toronto Van Attack And ISIS Propaganda Online With Global News Radio Host Mike Stubbs.
Syria
The Washington Post: Activist Group Publishes Database Of Syria Chemical Attacks
“An activist group on Tuesday published a database of information on suspected chemical attacks in Syria , adding to a growing collection of videos and images documenting alleged war crimes during the seven-year conflict. The Syrian Archive, which works with human rights groups such as Amnesty International, said it has verified 861 videos covering some 212 attacks — most of them believed to have been carried out by government forces. The material comes from 193 sources and much of it was uploaded to social media by ordinary Syrians, the group’s co-founder, Hadi al-Khatib, told an audience in Berlin.”
The Guardian: UN Warns Idlib Could Be Next Syrian Disaster Zone In ‘Marathon Of Pain’
“The UN’s two most senior Syria experts have warned of an Aleppo-style humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib as an EU donor conference aimed to raise up to $6bn (£4bn)to help Syrians displaced both inside and outside the country. Idlib is the last major territory still in rebel hands. It is partly held by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadi group that Russia and the Syrian government regard as a legitimate target in an area where civilians and fighters continue to pour in as part of evacuation deals in other parts of the country. Jan Egeland, the head of the UN’s humanitarian task force for Syria, said: “All my energies currently and in the coming weeks are dedicated to averting a fresh humanitarian disaster.”
NPR: Sheer Number Of Attacks On Health Facilities In Syria Shocks Researcher
“How many attacks are there on health care facilities in Syria? Dr. Rohini Haar, a public health researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, led a team that collected ground reports of attacks in 2016 in northern Syria, filed by civilians via cellphone text. Haar wanted to find out if human rights organizations were missing anything in their reports. Sending outside investigators into a country, or monitoring news reports and social media, certainly has merit, she thought. “But that doesn’t capture all the stuff that goes on day to day that people don’t realize is also a violation of international law,” she says. She was shocked by the relentlessness of the attacks. The data, which appears Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, shows a total of 200 health care-related attacks in the governorates of Aleppo, Idleb, Homs and Hama. Haar and her team focused on these provinces because they include large, historically rebel-held cities — Idleb and Aleppo — that had already sustained a lot of violence.”
Iran
CNBC: Iran Pours Scorn On Nuclear Talks, Dismisses ‘Tradesman’ Trump
“Iran’s president poured scorn on Wednesday on U.S. and European discussions over Tehran’s nuclear agreement, and dismissed Donald Trump as a “tradesman” who lacked the qualifications to deal with a complex international pact. Hassan Rouhani spoke after French President Emmanuel Macron flew to Washington to try to persuade Trump not to scrap the 2015 agreement — under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions. “They say that with the certain leader of a European country we want to make a decision about a seven-sided agreement,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state TV. “For what? With what right?” he added. He reserved particular scorn for the U.S. president, who has called the agreement one of the worst deals ever negotiated and has threatened to restore U.S. sanctions next month unless what he sees as severe flaws are fixed.”
The New York Times: Trump Signals Openness To A ‘New Deal’ To Constrain Iran
“President Trump signaled on Tuesday that he was open to a new arrangement with European allies that would preserve the Iran nuclear agreement by expanding and extending its terms to constrain Tehran’s development of missiles and other destabilizing activities in the Middle East. Hosting President Emmanuel Macron of France at the White House, Mr. Trump again assailed the agreement made by the Obama administration as “insane” and “ridiculous,” but said he could agree to “a new deal” negotiated by American and European officials if it was strong enough. He made no commitment, however, leaving it unclear whether he will pull out of the agreement by a May 12 deadline he has set to either “fix” the Iran agreement or walk away from it. At the same time, Mr. Trump signaled more optimism about brokering a nuclear accord with North Korea as he prepares for a summit meeting with its leader, Kim Jong-un, in May or early June. Dispensing with harsh criticism of the past, Mr. Trump even praised Mr. Kim in strikingly positive terms, calling the head of one of the world’s most authoritarian governments “very open and very honorable.”
Iraq
Reuters: In Power For 15 Years, Iraq’s Shi’ites Split Ahead Of Crucial Vote
“United in their fight against Saddam Hussein’s oppression for decades, Iraq’s Shi’ites have become deeply fragmented and disillusioned with their leaders after 15 years in power. In Iraq’s Shi’ite heartlands, many who once voted blindly along sectarian lines are now turning their ire against the Shi’ite-led governments they say have failed to repair crumbling infrastructure, provide jobs or end the violence. The divisions within the community now risk splitting the Shi’ite vote in a May 12 election, which could complicate and delay the formation of a government, threaten gains against Islamic State and let Iran meddle further in Iraq’s politics. In the oil-rich southern province of Basra, 81-year-old retired teacher Mowafaq Abdul Ghani is disappointed with the performance of the Shi’ite leaders since Saddam fell in 2003. ‘I’ve been waiting for Saddam to fall since the 1970s. I’ve been waiting for you! Why would you do this to us?’ he said.”
Turkey
Newsweek: Thousands Of Afghan Refugees Who Fled The Taliban Are Being Forcibly Deported From Turkey, Human Rights Group Says
“Thousands of Afghan refugees who fled the Taliban’s brutality for the safety of Turkey have been repatriated since the beginning of the month, and thousands more are at risk of being forcibly deported, according to human rights group Amnesty International. Since Afghanistan and Turkey signed a repatriation agreement at the beginning of April, an estimated 7,100 Afghans have been rounded up in Turkey and deported home, Amnesty says. This estimate is based on numbers reported by Turkish officials and the Turkish media. Now Amnesty says thousands more are at risk of being sent back to an exceptionally dangerous situation. ‘Asylum seekers who are forcibly returned to Afghanistan face grave danger. This isn’t conjecture, it’s well-documented fact,’ Daniel Balson, Amnesty International’s advocacy director for Europe and Central Asia, told Newsweek.”
Afghanistan
Reuters: Taliban Announce Spring Offensive, Dismiss Peace Overtures
“The Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive on Wednesday, dismissing an offer for peace talks by President Ashraf Ghani but pledging to focus on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The announcement of the Al Khandaq campaign, named after the so-called Battle of the Trench, fought by the Prophet Mohammad to defend the city of Medina in the early days of Islam, marks the symbolic start of the fighting season. But heavy fighting has been going on in different parts of the country and hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in a series of high profile attacks in Kabul since the beginning of the year, despite Ghani’s offer in February for peace talks ‘without preconditions.’ The Taliban, in their statement on Wednesday, dismissed the peace overtures as a ‘conspiracy.’”
Axios: Kabul Attack Underscores Security Issues Ahead Of Afghan Elections
“The terror group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the April 22 attack on a voter registration site in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed more than 60 people. The tragedy followed four other election-related attacks, including the abduction of three election workers in the central province of Ghor, over the past week. Why it matters: Violent attacks by both ISIS and the Taliban underscore the security challenges facing Afghanistan as it prepares to hold parliamentary elections in October. Afghanistan is confronting the prospect of two major terror groups taking aim at election-related targets. The Taliban, which rejects elections, frequently attacks such sites. ISIS has traditionally hit sectarian targets, and it went after Shia Muslim voters on Sunday — another mass-casualty attack that demonstrates the group’s astonishing resilience, despite a relentless three-year campaign of Afghan and American air strikes. As the targeting tactics of these rival groups coalesce, the threats to Afghan elections have mounted.”
Yemen
Al Jazeera: What Does The Death Of Saleh Al-Sammad Mean For Yemen’s Houthis?
“The killing of Saleh al-Sammad has dealt a heavy blow to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, analysts have said, warning that it risks raising the spectre of further instability in the war-ravaged country. The rebels officially confirmed the death of their ‘president’ on Monday, saying he was assassinated four days earlier along with six of his bodyguards in air raids launched by a coalition assembled by Saudi Arabia. The coalition has been backing forces loyal to Yemen’s exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in their fight against the Houthis. A former teacher by profession, al-Sammad joined the political wing of the Houthis in the early 2000s after two of his brothers were killed in government-led air raids.”
Saudi Arabia
Arab News: Saudi FM Al-Jubeir: Qatar Should Pay For US Troops In Syria
“Qatar should pay for the presence of US military forces in Syria, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). FM Jubeir’s statement came following comments made by US President Donald Trump during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macaron. Jubeir stated that Qatar must send its military forces to Syria “before the American President cancels American protection of Qatar, which hosts a (US) military base on its lands”. In his statement, the Saudi FM also said that if US does withdraw its protection – in the form of military base – “the (Qatari) regime would fall there in less than a week.”
Epoch Times: Internal ISIS Communications Reveal Plan To Threaten To Bomb Saudi Cinema
“There was a recent spike in internal communications of the terrorist group ISIS, where they discuss plans to make terrorist threats on social media platforms. Among the planned threats is to allegedly bomb a new, co-ed movie theater in Saudi Arabia. An anonymous user on an internal ISIS chat network, translated from Arabic, states on April 22 that for Muslims near the cinema in the Arabian Peninsula, it ‘is necessary to issue a threat to blow it up because of proximity to it and Muslims are quick to remind you.’ The communications were intercepted by the scanning tool MORSE used by private darknet intelligence company BOC Intel, which currently logs real-time communications of 200 terrorist groups on WhatsApp and gives alerts when chats begin to surge—something that often takes place ahead of terror attacks or during new terror campaigns. A translator with BOC Intel notes there were other mentions of the movie theater in Saudi Arabia, which appears to be ‘something that got one of them upset’”
Lebanon
France 24: Attack On Anti-Hezbollah Candidate Exposes Splits Among Lebanese Shiites
“An attack on an independent Lebanese Shiite candidate running on an anti-Hezbollah platform in the May 6 general elections has exposed the rifts among Lebanese Shiites and the movement’s strongarm tactics. But will it affect the upcoming polls? On Sunday afternoon, Mohamed al-Amin was in Beirut when he got a text message from a relative saying his father had been attacked in their ancestral village of Shaqra in southern Lebanon. The 28-year-old tech industry worker immediately called his mother in Shaqra, but she had no idea what he was talking about. ‘My mother hadn’t heard anything about the incident although she was there in the village,’ said Mohamed in a phone interview with FRANCE 24. It wasn’t long before Mohamed got the confirmation he was seeking. ‘About 30 minutes later, I saw that some TV stations were running news flashes that a candidate was under attack,’ he explained. His father, Ali al-Amin, is a Shiite journalist and director of the news website ‘Al Janoubia’ – or ‘The South’ in Arabic. A well-known critic of the Shiite movement Hezbollah, Amin is running as an independent candidate in Lebanon’s South III voting district in next month’s general elections.”
Somalia
All Africa: Somalia: Al-Shabaab Launches Attack On AU Peacekeepers’ Base Near Mogadishu
“Heavily armed Al-Shabab militants have launched an overnight attack against AMISOM military base in the vicinity of Elasha Biyaha, located on the outskirts of Mogadishu. Residents reported that units from Al-Shabaab carried out the assault in the early hours of the night on Burundi forces based at Arba’ow area, near Elasha Biyaha. “We heard a lot of heavy gunfire and grenade explosion,” a resident who asked to remain anonymous, told Radio Shabelle over the phone. There were no immediate reports on casualties, and Al-Shabaab said in a statement that its fighters inflicted heavy casualties on the AMISOM troops in the base during the gunfight. This comes amidst a time where the Al-Shabab, a militant group linked with Al Qaeda has threatened to step up its attacks against Somali and African Union forces in the country.”
Russia
The Wall Street Journal: Russia Risks A Wider Mideast War
“The prospects of a wider war pitting Israel against Iran, Hezbollah and the Shiite militias in Syria and Lebanon are increasing—thanks to Russia. It is the Russians who “outed” Israel’s April 9 attack against the Iranian T-4 base in central Syria. Israel’s practice has been to strike targets in Syria that are involved with, among other things, the Iranian transfer of qualitatively new weapons to Hezbollah—but never to acknowledge it. So long as the Israelis said nothing publicly, neither the Iranians nor Hezbollah had to retaliate to avoid losing face. But with the Iranians losing at least seven Qods Force officers in the Israeli attack, and the Russians declaring Israeli responsibility, the Iranians have been exposed. Their media is now giving significant coverage not just to the attack but the declarations of senior officials like Ali Akbar Velayati that Iran will retaliate.”
North Korea
The Washington Post: What To Do If The Talks With North Korea Succeed
“As the United States prepares for historic discussions between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the Trump administration and its international partners have a lot of work ahead of them. A successful summit, if it can be achieved, will be only the start of a long and complicated process. Eliminating the nuclear threat and achieving stability and security on the Korean Peninsula will require unconventional thinking and steps that are much broader than denuclearization. Just as we should prepare for the summit to go wrong, we should also prepare for it to “go right.” The stakes are high. The Korean Peninsula is the most militarized region in the world. North Korea has nuclear weapons and long-range missiles that can reach the United States, as well as South Korea and Japan — two allies the United States has pledged to defend. The entire world has an interest in ensuring the security of North Korea’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and weapons-usable materials. The North also has thousands of artillery tubes located within 30 miles or so of Seoul, a formidable conventional threat to the South Korean capital and its population, including thousands of Americans living there.
France
The Washington Post: More Than 70 Nations Hold Talks On Terror Financing In Paris
“About 500 experts from more than 70 nations are holding talks in Paris on how to choke off financing for the Islamic State group and Al-Qaida. Wednesday’s meeting opens a two-day international conference championed by French President Emmanuel Macron under the banner ‘No Money for Terror.’ Islamic State revenues alone are estimated at $2.5 billion between 2014 and 2016, according to the French president’s office. The French organizers are pushing for international coordination and more transparency in financial transactions, as terror groups use increasingly sophisticated methods to transfer money. On Thursday, the conference will gather ministers of justice, finance, foreign affairs and the interior from Western countries, the Arab world and other nationsm as well as representatives of 18 international organizations.”
Germany
BBC News: ‘Bin Laden Bodyguard’ On German Welfare
“A Tunisian man who once allegedly protected Osama Bin Laden has lived in Germany since 1997 and gets €1,168 (£1,022) a month in welfare payments. The figure was revealed by a regional government, after the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) asked about the man, known as Sami A. German media have not reported the man’s full name for privacy reasons. He denies jihadist links. Deportation to Tunisia was ruled out because of fears that he could be tortured there. Bin Laden ran the al-Qaeda jihadist network and approved the devastating 9/11 terror attacks on the US in 2001. He was shot dead by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011.”
Technology
Newsweek: Why Are Militants Using Drones? Uav Weapons Have Spread Far Beyond Nation States
“The first airstrike ever launched from an unmanned drone was a failure. On October 7, 2001—the first night of the war in Afghanistan—a CIA Predator drone buzzed above a compound where Taliban leader Mullah Omar and his senior commanders were gathered. But rather than decapitating the Taliban leadership, the strike only blew up a truck parked outside. Alerted to the danger, Omar and his commanders fled into the night. Despite the outcome, the mission was a watershed moment. Some 16 years later, drone technology has revolutionized the way the U.S. fights wars. Drone technology is used on battlefields on land, at sea, and will soon even be in space.”
Fox News: Message Posted On Facebook Before Attack: CEP Spokesperson Tara Maller Discusses The Toronto Truck Attack And Past Incidents Where Extremists Have Used Cars And Trucks To Carry Out Attacks.
Combating Terrorist Financing
Petra: Jordan: Bolstering The Non-Profit Sector And Protecting It From Terror Financing
“The Jordanian Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry’s Associations Registrar and the Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC). Its purpose is to strengthen the non-profit sector and provide it with technical assistance for developing follow-up mechanisms for risk-based associations. The MoU also aims to implement training programs for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, designed for employees of the relevant ministries that work with this sector. The MoU is also intended to build capacity, train the relevant staff members and qualify them in accordance with these policies, and to launch a campaign to raise awareness and increase the ability of associations to handle risks related to money laundering and terror financing.”
Counter Terrorism
Dostor: Small Mosques Are Breeding Grounds For Terrorists In Egypt
“The Egyptian Parliamentarian Religious Affairs Committee has finally woken up to request that the Ministry of Endowments and the government issue new legislation for banning the formation of Zawaya (small mosques) in the lower floors of residential buildings. Investigations have shown that most of the terrorists who perpetrated the recent major attacks in Egypt grew up in these Zawaya, which mostly belong to either Salafists or the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s noteworthy that these small mosques, which are prayer rooms typically set up by locals inside apartment {or others types of} buildings, are not overseen or regulated by the Egyptian authorities. MP Kamal Abdul Halim, member of the Religious Affairs Committee, stated that these small prayer houses, which are located underneath buildings in highly populated neighborhoods, represent a major cause of the extremist and terrorist ideologies spreading in Egypt. On his part, MP Abdul Halim described the small mosques as breeding grounds for terrorists.”
Muslim Brotherhood
Shorouk News: Egypt: New Muslim Brotherhood’s Assets Seizure Committee Will Be Formed Within A Month
“Counsellor Mohammed Eid Mahjoub, Egyptian Deputy Justice Minister, stated that his ministry has begun the selection of seven judges from the Court of Appeals to form an ad hoc judiciary committee to take all necessary measures to implement the recently approved law No. 22 of 2018. It’s noteworthy that this law aims to regulate the legal procedures to seize, manage and dispose of terrorist organizations’ funds and assets. The ministry will soon forward its list of judgeship candidates to the Supreme Judicial Council so that the committee can be formed within one month, Counsellor Mahjoub stated. The eldest judge will chair the committee, and its members will be re-elected on an annual basis, the Deputy Justice Minister added.”
Sout Al-Omma: Source: Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Abroad Search For New Citizenship
“A recently fired employee of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Al-Sharq TV channel, which allegedly broadcasts out of Turkey, posted on his Facebook page that senior leaders of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and their allies abroad are seeking new citizenships. In addition, these prominent leaders of the outlawed Islamic movement have signed various business contracts and invested in large projects, the dismissed employee revealed.”
Hezbollah
Albawabh News: Expert: Multiple Reasons Behind Hezbollah’s Drug Trade
“The Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah group is trading in drugs in Latin American countries for numerous reasons, one of which is because drug trafficking is a very profitable business, said Iranian affairs expert Mohammed Mohsen Abu Al Nour. In remarks made on Monday, Abu Al Nour asserted that profits from the drug trade can be as much as 500%. Another reason is that the people in these {Latin American} countries are heavy consumers of drugs, the expert explained. Moreover, Hezbollah uses its drug trade profits to purchase weapons, equip and train its Shiite militants and recruit new followers.”

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