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Eye on Extremism


The Guardian: Nigerian Army Drone Strike Accident Kills At Least 85 Civilians “A Nigerian army drone strike accidentally killed at least 85 civilians observing a Muslim festival in the north-west on Sunday, the country’s armed forces have admitted. Villagers in Tudun Biri in the state of Kaduna had gathered for the Maulud celebration when at about 9pm they heard what sounded like an aeroplane followed by a huge explosion. We couldn’t even run,” Danjuma Salisu, a survivor, said from his hospital bed, where he was being treated for hand and leg injuries. According to local reports, villagers fled the area, fearing further strikes. Army officials and representatives from the Kaduna state government have met village elders, promising that those affected would be compensated. The army said it had been carrying out “a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community”. It did not give casualty figures or explain how the accident had happened but local residents said 85 people, many of them women and children, had been killed. Idris Dahiru, a villager, said: “I was inside the house when the first bomb was dropped … We rushed to the scene to help those affected and then a second bomb was dropped. “My aunt, my brother’s wife and her six children, wives of my four brothers were among the dead. My elder brother’s family are all dead, except his infant child who survived. We buried 85 people that were killed in the bomb attack.”” Voice Of America: Leader Of Pakistan Ethnic Rights Group Detained “The leader of a Pakistan ethnic group has been detained after authorities said armed men in his vehicle opened fire on police. Raja Athar Abbas, the deputy commissioner of the northcentral city of Chaman, which sits on the border with Afghanistan, said that Manzoor Pashteen was arrested in connection with the shooting incident, as well as for violating a ban on entering Balochistan province. Pashteen is the head and co-founder of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, a loose network of Pashtun activists demanding equal rights and protections for minority Pashtuns in Pakistan. The PTM issued a statement alleging Pashteen’s vehicle was fired at by law enforcement agencies while he was traveling from Chaman to the nearby city of Turbat, where he was scheduled to address a protest. The statement said one woman is being treated at a hospital after she was injured in the shooting. The PTM says Pashteen and his entourage returned to Chaman and surrendered to authorities. Pashtuns make up about 15% to 18% of Pakistan’s population, mostly in the insurgency- and counterinsurgency-stricken province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along the porous border with Afghanistan. Members and supporters of the PTM claim that their leaders are incarcerated, harassed and even eliminated by government forces.”


CEP Mentions

DW: European Countries Raise Terror Threat Levels “There's growing concern about the violence the Israel-Hamas war could be inspiring here in Europe. Over the weekend a German tourist was fatally stabbed in Paris. The suspect was identified as an alleged radical Islamist with mental health problems. Several other European security agencies have made arrests over alleged plots in recent weeks and warn of an escalated terror threat. European security agencies are taking precauctionary measures fearing an increase in islamist attacks fueled by the Israel-Hamas war. There are hightened fears after an attack in Paris over the weekend killed a German tourist. The attack came as France had issued its highest counter-terrorism alert Is that a new dimension to the threat facing Europe? Interview with CEP Senior Director Hans-Jakob Schindler.” DW: Germany Launches Investigation Into Paris Tourist Killing “... Hans-Jakob Schindler, a senior director at the non-profit Counter Extremism Project (CEP), told DW the attack demonstrated the "new terror method of not actually planning complex attacks, but trying to inspire individuals online to conduct attacks." He added that IS was trying to "inspire inside terror attacks in Europe, including in Germany, in order to show relevance, because obviously terrorism only works publicly and the Islamic State needs to get back in headlines."” Foreign Policy: The Taliban’s Enemies Can’t Agree On Anything “…The lack of international attention on Afghanistan’s renewed terror threat is laying the groundwork for what Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director of the Berlin- and New York-based Counter Extremism Project, called a “back to the future” repeat of the atrocities committed by al Qaeda, with Taliban collusion, in the United States in September 2001.”

Afghanistan

Bloomberg: China Says Taliban Government Must Reform To Be Fully Recognized “China said the Taliban government in Afghanistan should make major changes to its style of governance in order for Beijing to officially recognize it. “We expect Afghanistan to respond to the expectations of the international community and apply moderate policy, have friendly exchanges and engagement with regional countries and other countries in the world, and return back to the big family of the world as soon as possible,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular briefing Tuesday in Beijing. If those conditions were reached, “it would be natural for China to recognize the government of Afghanistan,” Wang said. “As the traditional friend and neighbor of Afghanistan, China always believes that Afghanistan should not be excluded from the international community,” he said. The comments mark a subtle shift in China’s stance toward the Taliban as Beijing has said in the past it won’t interfere in Afghanistan’s affairs. Since ousting the US-backed government and taking power in 2021, the Taliban-led Afghanistan has yet to gain full diplomatic recognition from any country largely because of its repressive policies toward women, including banning them from education and work. A handful of countries, like China, Pakistan and Russia, have accepted Taliban diplomats in their countries even though they don’t formally recognize the government. The Taliban also took control of Afghan diplomatic missions in India late last month.”

Middle East

The Guardian: Israel Investigates Claims Investors Made Millions Short-Selling Before Hamas Attacks “Israeli authorities are investigating claims by US researchers that some investors may have known in advance about the Hamas plan to attack Israel on 7 October and used that information to earn millions of dollars by short-selling Israeli shares. Research by law professors Robert Jackson Jr from New York University and Joshua Mitts of Columbia University found significant short-selling of shares leading up to the attacks that triggered the war. Short-sellers place bets on shares that they expect to fall in price. They pay a fee to borrow shares in a company and then sell them in the hope of buying them back at a lower price and pocketing the profit.” Mittelstand-BRICS: Israeli Intelligence Knows Location Of Hostages “Israeli intelligence services have information on the presumed location of the remaining hostages, reserve Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Jonathan Conricus said at a briefing. "The short answer would be yes, we have [data]," Conricus said when asked by reporters if the IDF had any information on the purported whereabouts of the remaining hostages. "But as you said, as you correctly suggested, I'm not free to share those details because of the sensitivity of the issue, and of course that would jeopardize our efforts in the future. But I can say that this is a key priority," he added. Conricus pointed out that the release of the hostages is a top priority for Israeli intelligence, including IDF Military Intelligence. He also noted that Israel intends to return all hostages. "If it can be done through negotiations, that's great. And if it can't be done through negotiations, then we will act in other, kinetic ways," the spokesman emphasized.” The New York Times: U.N. Says Israel’s Intense Bombing Leaves Gazans With Few Places To Go “Southern Gaza has been under intense airstrikes in recent days, as Israeli troops appear to be closing in on its main city, Khan Younis, and concerns grow that there is nowhere left for civilians to flee. The United Nations’ office for humanitarian affairs said the 24 hours leading up to Monday afternoon marked some of the most intense bombing by Israel since the war started on Oct. 7. The heavy bombardment has come despite strong warnings from U.S. officials to their Israeli counterparts to take a more precise approach in the second phase of war. The first stage of the war left widespread destruction and casualties in northern Gaza. Satellite imagery analyzed by The New York Times showed that the Israeli military had expanded its ground offensive into southern Gaza between Friday and Sunday, advancing into the last section of the strip under full Hamas control. Images from Monday showed smoke rising from flattened buildings and people carrying bodies swaddled in blankets. Asked Monday if Israel was doing enough to take a more targeted approach, Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, said it was “too soon” to make that judgment. He added, though, that Israel was taking an unusual step by warning civilians to leave specific areas ahead of ground maneuvers. Israel has been issuing evacuation orders accompanied by detailed online maps subdividing the strip into 2,400 zones, though some of the areas people were told to flee to on Monday were “already overcrowded,” according to the United Nations’ humanitarian office.”

Europe

Associated Press: Senior EU Official Warns Of Huge Security Risk In Europe Over Christmas As Israel-Hamas War Rages “Europe faces a “huge risk of terrorist attacks” over the Christmas holiday period due to the fallout from the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the European Union’s home affairs commissioner warned on Tuesday. The warning came as French investigators probe a fatal weekend attack near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Questions were raised about the mental health of the suspect, who swore allegiance to the extremist Islamic State group before stabbing a German-Filipino tourist to death and injuring two other people with a hammer. “With the war between Israel and Hamas, and the polarization it causes in our society, with the upcoming holiday season, there is a huge risk of terrorist attacks in the European Union,” EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson told reporters. “We saw (it happening) recently in Paris, unfortunately we have seen it earlier as well,” she said, as EU interior ministers gathered in Brussels. She provided no details about any information that might have led to her warning. Her office did not immediately respond to requests for details. Johansson, whose brief includes security and immigration, said that European Commission will provide an additional 30 million euros ($32.5 million) to help bolster security in vulnerable areas, notably places of worship.”

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