USA Today: At Least 25 People Under Investigation For Terrorism In Connection With Capitol Riot

“At least 25 people are under investigation for terrorism related to Wednesday’s siege at the Capitol, according to a Defense official and a member of Congress. Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat of Colorado and a former Army Ranger, said he spoke with Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy on Sunday and was told that “at least 25 domestic terrorism cases have been opened as a result of the assault on the Capitol.” A Defense official who was informed about the call initially confirmed that the cases involved troops but later corrected that statement. The official said some troops – active and reserve duty – may have been involved in the riot, and the military will investigate them as necessary. “There is concern that military members may have been involved in the riot,” the official said. Those under investigation for domestic terrorism are suspected of taking part in the insurrection that shut down Congress as it formalized President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Five people died, including a Capitol Hill police officer, after the pro-Trump mob overwhelmed security lines. “We are engaged in identifying all of those who took part in breaching the Capitol, regardless of their affiliation,” Justice spokesman Marc Raimondi said Sunday.”

The New York Times: U.S. To Declare Yemen’s Houthis A Terrorist Group, Raising Fears Of Fueling A Famine

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will designate the Houthi rebels in Yemen as a foreign terrorist organization, four U.S. officials familiar with the decision said on Sunday, deploying one of his last means of hard power against Saudi Arabia’s nemesis at the risk of exacerbating a famine in one of the world’s poorest nations. It is not clear how the terrorist designation will inhibit the Houthi rebels, who have been at war with the Saudi-backed government in Yemen for nearly six years but, some analysts say, pose no direct threat to the United States. Mr. Pompeo will announce the designation in his last full week as secretary of state, and more than a month after meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who began a military intervention with Arab allies against the Houthis in 2015. That campaign has killed civilians, destroyed infrastructure and aggravated a humanitarian crisis that has led to millions of hungry Yemenis. Spokespeople for the State Department did not respond to requests for comment Sunday night, and the U.S. officials who confirmed the designation spoke on the condition of anonymity as it had not yet been announced. The imminent announcement was reported earlier Sunday evening by Reuters.”

Voice Of America: Cameroon Says Boko Haram, Separatists On Offensive

“Cameroon said Saturday that at least 22 people, including four soldiers, were killed in two Friday morning attacks – one by Boko Haram fighters on its northern border with Nigeria and the other by separatists fighting to create an independent English-speaking state in the country’s western regions. Officials warn of a new wave of violence and killing they say is being prepared by the separatists and Boko Haram terrorists. Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of Cameroon’s Far North region, says there was general confusion in the town of Mozogo when militiamen warned civilians about Boko Haram suicide bombers from neighboring Nigeria in their midst. He said some scared people fled into the bush, where they always go for safety, but many Nigerian suicide bombers were already hiding there. He said 11 civilians were killed on the spot when bombers detonated explosives. He said three were shot by the terrorist group in Mozogo, a town in Cameroon’s Mayo Sava administrative unit. “Yesterday (Friday) we got an attack of Boko Haram in Mayo Tsanaga Division. Fourteen people died,” said Bakari. “We have been instructed by the hierarchy to extend a message of condolence and we condemn this act of Boko Haram and all measures will be taken with our vigilant committees [militias], who are working day and night alongside our forces to secure our populations.”

United States

CNN: Extremists Intensify Calls For Violence Ahead Of Inauguration Day

“Trump or war. Today. That simple.” “If you don’t know how to shoot: You need to learn. NOW.” “we will storm the government buildings, kill cops, kill security guards, kill federal employees and agents, and demand a recount.” In the weeks, days and hours ahead of Wednesday’s siege on the Capitol by President Donald Trump’s zealous supporters, the warning signs were clear: online posts from hate groups and right-wing provocateurs agitating for civil war, the deaths of top lawmakers and attacks on law enforcement. And now, as the dust settles and the country struggles to make sense of the violence that left five dead — including an officer with the US Capitol Police — experts warn that the calls for violence have only intensified ahead of Inauguration Day, when President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as commander in chief. “We are seeing … chatter from these white supremacists, from these far-right extremists — they feel emboldened in this moment,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks and counters hate. “We fully expect that this violence could actually get worse before it gets better.”

Los Angeles Times: Three Sri Lankan Nationals Charged In U.S. Court With Aiding 2019 Bombings That Killed Hundreds

“Three Sri Lankan nationals were charged Friday in federal court in Los Angeles with supporting an ISIS cell that killed hundreds of people in a string of coordinated suicide bombings that shook Sri Lanka in 2019. Mohamed Naufar, Mohamed Anwar Mohamed Riskan and Ahamed Milhan Hayathu Moahmed are accused of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. Naufar and Milhan are also charged with aiding and abetting the receipt of military training from ISIS. All three remain in custody in Sri Lanka, U.S. authorities said. It couldn’t be determined Friday if they had lawyers who could speak on their behalf. Sri Lankan authorities arrested Naufar, Riskan and Milhan but have yet to file charges against them or anyone else implicated in the attacks, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. If the three were brought to the United States to stand trial, federal court in Los Angeles would be the proper venue, the agent wrote. John C. Demers, an assistant attorney general who leads the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, said in a statement that U.S. authorities “fully support the Sri Lankan investigation and prosecution of these terrorists” and are working toward a “shared goal of holding these defendants accountable for their crimes.”

The New York Times: Fear Spreads In Minnesota Town As ‘Extremist Group’ Moves To Open Church

“Maria Barron came to rural Minnesota 10 years ago from Mexico so her husband could work in a nearby dairy farm. They quickly grew to love the pastoral fields in Murdock, a town of fewer than 300 people. They joined a Roman Catholic church and felt safe when their children, 12 and 14, played outside with children of Mexican and Central American families that settled nearby. But in December, that feeling of security crumbled when Murdock’s mayor and City Council gave an organization for “ethnic European folk,” known for excluding anyone who is not white, a permit to open a church on Main Avenue, about four blocks from Ms. Barron’s church. The group, the Asatru Folk Assembly, which describes itself as centered around a “native, pre-Christian spirituality,” has been identified as a white supremacist hate group by other Pagan believers and organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center. The 3-1 vote in December to approve a permit for the group has made Murdock, which was mostly known for soybeans, corn and its proximity to enormous dairy farms, the subject of intense national attention.”

Detroit Free Press: Michigan Man Faces Terrorism Charges Over Fake Bomb Call, Threat To Lawmaker

“A Michigan man faces terrorism and other felony charges after allegedly calling in a fake bomb threat to the state Capitol and separately threatening to kill a state representative. But officials have not explained why Michael Chad Varrone was not arrested nearly a month ago, when he allegedly used his cell phone to threaten to kill state Rep. Cynthia Johnson, D-Detroit, and her family, identifying himself and even spelling his name in a voicemail message he left with a legislative office. A Michigan State Police spokeswoman initially said House sergeants — not the MSP — handled the investigation of the Dec. 12 voicemail message that threatened Johnson. But Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesman for the House speaker, said House sergeants deal only with immediate threats around the Capitol complex, and they referred the phone call to the MSP. “Yes, they shared information with us about the matter,” said MSP spokeswoman Shanon Banner. “However, they did not refer the complaint to us. It was for awareness only.” Johnson told the Free Press Friday she wants a thorough investigation and said whoever is responsible for not pursuing the matter should be fired. “The guy is white; I am Black,” Johnson said. “If I was a white woman I think this would be handled a little differently.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: Monitor Reports Strong Return Of ISIS To Syria’s Desert Badia

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that ISIS has made a “strong comeback” to the Syrian desert Badia, saying it has seized control of positions in the Hama region. Over 30 regime fighters, allied militants and ISIS fighters have been killed. It said that Russian warplanes continue to fly over the Badia, carrying intense strikes against ISIS positions in the Hama countryside. The war monitor said ISIS carried out a strong offensive against positions held by the regime and allied militants, making advances in the Al-Shakusiyah and al-Rahjan areas. The regime has struggled to contain the attack even with Russian air cover. The fighter jets carried out over 130 strikes in the past 48 hours. The Observatory said 19 regime forces and allied militants and 12 ISIS fighters were killed in the fighting. The toll is expected to rise. It documented the killing of seven members of the regime-backed National Defense militia in clashes with ISIS in the al-Shoula region in western Deir Ezzor during a combing operation by the militia. The toll is also expected to rise. Since March 2019, the Observatory has documented the killing of at least 1,177 regime soldiers and loyalists of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities, including at least two Russians, and 145 Iranian-backed non-Syrian militiamen.”

Kurdistan 24: SDF-Linked Police Killed In Clash With ISIS In Syria’s Al-Hol Camp

“During clashes with a suspected Islamic State sleeper cell in Syria’s al-Hol camp on Friday, a member of the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) was killed, local authorities said on Friday. The incident occurred as Asayish forces responded to the killing of two Iraqi refugees at the notorious al-Hol camp, which houses tens of thousands of Islamic State-affiliated women and their children. The patrol conducted a search operation to find the perpetrators, authorities said in a statement. The responders found and surrounded the suspect “in one of the buildings at the camp.” However, the authorities added, the militant detonated an explosive belt he was wearing, killing himself and an Asayish member, Hani Muhammad al-Naia. Although the SDF and the US-led Coalition announced the Islamic State’s territorial defeat in Syria on March 23, 2019, in Baghouz, the terror group’s sleeper cell attacks persist in areas liberated from their brutal rule, including in al-Hol camp. According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), unidentified assailants earlier in the day attacked the head of the camp’s so-called “Syrian Council,” killing him and injuring his son.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: Old Grievances, Reborn As ISIS Accusations, Tie Iraqis To Camps

“Languishing in a tent in northern Iraq, Nour yearns to return home but can’t because she is accused of supporting militants– an allegation she insists has been designed to obscure a land dispute. The 22-year-old’s family is one of hundreds rights groups fear will remain stuck indefinitely in limbo due to long-standing wrangles being repackaged by neighbors or authorities into accusations they belong to the ISIS group. Exacerbating their situation, authorities have since autumn sped up long-stated plans to close displacement camps across Iraq where 200,000 people still live. Nour’s brother left their hometown near the northern city of Mosul and joined the militants in 2014, the year ISIS seized a third of Iraqi territory in a lightening offensive. But even before her brother’s departure stoked unwelcome attention, the family had already been locked for years in a dispute with an influential local sheikh, AFP reported. “He resented us because we owned land that he claimed belonged to him,” said Nour. “The sheikh tried to discredit our family,” she alleged, nervously stirring sugar into her tea before downing it in one gulp. “Every time there was a problem in town, it was my father’s or my brother’s fault,” she added.”


ABC News: Afghan Officials: Bomb Kills 3 In Kabul Amid Peace Talks

“A roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan’s capital Sunday, killing at least three people in a vehicle. It was the latest attack to take place as government negotiators in Qatar resume peace talks with the Taliban. Tariq Arian, spokesman for the interior minister, said a spokesman for the ministry’s public protection forces — a security force — was one of the three killed in the attack. One other person was wounded he said. No one immediately claimed responsibility. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in the capital in recent months, including on educational institutions that killed 50 people, most of them students. IS has claimed responsibility for rocket attacks in December targeting the major U.S. base in Afghanistan. There were no casualties. Taliban militants have meanwhile continued their insurgency against government forces while keeping their promise not to attack U.S. and NATO troops. Sunday’s attack comes as Afghan negotiators are to resume talks with the Taliban aimed at ending decades of relentless conflict. Frustration and fear have grown over a spike in violence and both sides are blaming each other. The stop-and-go talks between the Taliban and the government come amid growing doubt over a U.S.-Taliban peace deal brokered by outgoing President Donald Trump’s administration.”

Reuters: Afghanistan Investigating If Civilians Killed In Strike Against Taliban

“The Afghan government is investigating an air strike by its military in the southern province of Nimroz that local officials say resulted in the deaths of 14 civilians, as local residents brought their bodies to the provincial capital in protest. Government officials confirmed the Saturday night strike, but said on Sunday that initial information showed the deaths were all of Taliban insurgents fighting Afghan security forces. The clashes came just as representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban kicked off the second round of peace talks in the Qatari capital Doha on Saturday. “An air strike in Khashrod district has resulted in heavy casualties for the Taliban, and investigations into allegations that civilians have been killed are ongoing,” the Afghan Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Sunday. A local government official told Reuters, on condition of anonymity, that the Afghan air force targeted a residential house where it suspected Taliban were present. The official said the 14 killed were all from one family. Local residents told Reuters by phone that people from the area where the strike took place had brought the bodies to the centre of Nimroz’s capital, Zaranj, to prove that the deceased were not Taliban fighters.”

Newsweek: Why Is The Taliban Murdering Journalists—Even As It’s Trying To Rebrand?

“Despite ongoing peace talks, unprecedented violence in Afghanistan endures. In addition to regular attacks on Afghan police and U.S. forces, there has been a marked increase in targeted killings of Afghan journalists, intellectuals, human rights activists and government officials over recent weeks. Notably, at least 51 journalists have been killed since 1992 in Afghanistan, ten this year alone, and in the last 15 years, most were killed by Taliban militants. The continued attacks on media have been described as “an alarming pattern”, and have prompted several theories, among them comparisons to the targeted assassinations by mujahideen in the early 1990s prior to the collapse of the Soviet-backed Afghan government. “Afghan journalists are always threatened to stop spreading ‘anti-jihad’ and ‘anti-Taliban’ sentiments or be targeted as enemies,” Shahzad Aryobee, former Afghan minister of communication, told me. “Taliban consider media as anti-Taliban propaganda, so journalists are viewed as legitimate targets.” While the targeting of opposition figures, intellectuals, civil society activists and government officials is horrifying, there is a “wartime logic” to those killings. These figures remain opposed to the Taliban and as such present a threat to the group, its ideology and its narrative.”


Reuters: Pakistan Sentences Lakhvi To Five Years For Terrorism Financing

“A Pakistan court on Friday sentenced Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, a senior official of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to five years in jail for terrorism financing. Lakhvi and the group are accused by India and the United States of being behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks – though the charges or sentence are not related to any specific incident. He was sentenced to five years concurrently on three counts, with a fine of 100,000 rupees on each count, an order from the court seen by Reuters said. India has long called on Pakistan to try Lakhvi for the Mumbai attack, in which over 160 people were killed, but Islamabad has said that Delhi has not given it concrete evidence that it can use in a court to try the LeT leader, which it had initially arrested in 2008 but was later released on bail. He was arrested again on charges of terrorism financing on Saturday. The United States welcomed his arrest but called for him to be tried for the Mumbai attacks, too. “We will follow his prosecution & sentencing closely & urge that he be held accountable for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks,” the U.S. State Department said on Twitter.”

Al Jazeera: Pakistani Shia End Protests; Hold Funerals For Slain 11 Miners

“Hundreds of Shia Pakistanis gathered on Saturday to bury 11 coal miners from the Hazara community killed by the armed group ISIL (ISIS), ending a week of protests that sought to highlight the minority’s plight. Protesters staged a sit-in after ISIL fighters captured and shot the miners last Sunday in Machh, an area 17km (30 miles) east of Quetta, capital of Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province. Shia across the country joined in the demonstrations – including blocking roads in major cities – demanding that Prime Minister Imran Khan visit the grieving community in Quetta and assure their protection. Ethnic Hazaras make up most of the Shia population in Quetta. Balochistan is the country’s largest and poorest region, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies. Their Central Asian features make them easy targets for Sunni attackers who consider them heretics. Authorities on Friday promised the arrest of the attackers, payment of compensation to the bereaved families and better security for the Hazara. More than 4,000 people attended the last rites of the dead miners whose bodies were laid to rest amid tight security six days after their deaths.”


BBC News: Hezbollah Denies Any Role In Production Of Amphetamines

“The leader of Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah has denied accusations it is involved in amphetamine production. Sheikh Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, a staunch ally of the Syrian regime, said there was “no credibility” to the allegations. Suspicion fell on the group following the seizure in June 2020 of 14 tonnes (30,100lb) of the drugs in Italy. The drugs came from the Syrian port of Latakia, according to the Italian authorities. “We contacted officials in Italy in order to trace its origins,” Hassan Nasrallah said. “The accusations had no foundation in reality. On the contrary, they’re investigating the Islamic State, the Italian and Russian Mafia and other criminal networks.” He said Hezbollah was being targeted by “fake news” and indicated western “propaganda” was behind the claims. US and European drugs agencies have long accused the Lebanese group of profiting from the drugs trade. In the televised speech, the secretary-general of Hezbollah said, “Our position on drugs, of all kinds, is [clear]. It’s religiously banned to manufacture, sell, buy, smuggle and consume. In some cases, the punishment could even be execution, according to Sharia laws.” He said any involvement in the drugs business was banned by religious scholars, “even if the plan was to pass it on to the enemy.”


This Day: Nigeria: Military Kills 28 Boko Haram Terrorists In Gujba Clash

“Nigerian military said it obliterated Boko Haram terrorists in a major victory on Saturday, leaving 28 dead and few others injured and fleeing the battle front. The military gained a major mileage in the ongoing war against elements of Boko Haram/ISWAP who invaded Gujba town in Yobe state on Saturday. A statement on Sunday signed by Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, said the troops of the newly launched Operation Tura Takaibango, a subsidiary Operation of Operation Lafiya Dole, had continued to obliterate elements of Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals with uncommon ferocity. Onyeuko said: “the latest encounter with the marauding Boko Haram criminals occurred on 9 January 2021 at Gujba local government area of Yobe State where the gallant troops identified and encycled a Boko Haram criminals ambush site. “The troops from HQ Sector 2 who were led by the Commander Sector 2 and later reinforced by troops from 27 TF Bde Buni Gari and Special Forces Training School Buni Yadi tactically out-manouevered the criminals and engaged them with superior fire power resulting in high casualty on the terrorists.”

The Punch Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills Commuters, Seizes 11 Vehicles In Borno

“Boko Haram terrorist sect has killed some commuters at Aligambori, near Gajiram, along the Maiduguri-Monguno Road in Borno State. Eyewitnesses said the incident happened on Wednesday, and the casualty figure was yet known as of press time. According to an eyewitness and driver plying the route, Ya lawan Dawo, the terrorists also snatched 11 vehicles from drivers and took them to the bush. “They snatched 11 vehicles and killed the passengers at Aligambori, where they (terrorists) usually mount checkpoints,” Dawo told our correspondent. Another transporter, Abba Monguno, said the Maiduguri-Monguno Road had been a nightmare to both drivers and commuters as they were always fearful of being attacked by the insurgents at any of their four checkpoints along the road. Abba said the insurgents usually operated at will at the checkpoints, looting commuters’ belongings and demanding money from drivers. He said, “They have four roadblocks along that road. There is one each at Tuhuba, Kwanan Tsamiya, Aligambori, and Ayikime. They stop commuters at these checkpoints and rob them of their belongings like phones and money. Sometimes, they even strip passengers of their clothes.”


RFI: Six French Soldiers Wounded In Latest Suicide Bomb Attack In Mali

“The six were injured in an explosion on Friday in the volatile “Three Borders” region between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. They were taken to the military hospital in the northern Malian city of Gao, and three of them will return to France over the weekend. The six, all members of the French Barkane anti-Islamist operation, were injured in the explosion of a car bomb, reportedly driven by a suicide attacker. The official military statement says the French soldiers were on board an armoured personnel carrier, patrolling with members of the Malian armed forces. The convoy was approached by an unidentified vehicle driven at high speed, and the French manouvred to block the road to protect other members of the group. The driver of the unidentified vehicle then set off an explosion. None of the six injured soldiers is seriously hurt, although three of them are to be repatriated on Saturday for further medical treatment. This is the third attack to target French peacekeepers in Mali since the end of December, with five soldiers losing their lives. France’s military has also announced that troops have returned to the scene of an airstrike in central Mali to confirm that only jihadists had been targeted. This follows claims by locals that a wedding had been hit.”


Asharq Al-Awsat: Moroccan Security Forces Arrest Lebanese Affiliated With Hezbollah

“Moroccan authorities said late Thursday they arrested a Lebanese national affiliated with the Hezbollah party over charges of committing fraud and identity theft. They said the 57-year-old man features on the Interpol list of wanted criminals. The National Brigade of the Judicial Police (BNPJ), upon intelligence provided by the National Security Directorate, (DGST), arrested the Hezbollah member last Wednesday in Casablanca over charges of fraud, identity theft, and possession of identity documents and passports reported stolen. The suspect is accused of defrauding money from several victims in Morocco. He also used stolen French and Portuguese passports, fooled his victims claiming he is a manager of foreign companies. At his residence, the security forces found two stolen French and Portuguese passports, registered as stolen in the database of Interpol, several identity documents, French driving licenses with Portuguese, French, and Italian names as well as an unspecified amount of money in foreign currency and local Dirham. The investigations are conducted in coordinating with Interpol as well as with the countries concerned to determine the circumstances of the declaration of the theft of the seized passports.”

Africanews: France Promise Continued Support To Burkina Faso In Fight Against Extremism

“France is “determined to continue to accompany” Burkina Faso, which has been plagued by an unprecedented increase in violence with a jihadist majority for more than five years, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday in Ouagadougou. “France is determined to continue to accompany Burkina Faso in the field of security and in its economic and social development policy,” Le Drian said after a “long discussion” with Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. The minister said he was in Ouagadougou for a “support visit” after the re-election in November of President Kaboré who is beginning his second term. Burkina Faso is, along with Mali and Niger, one of the countries most affected by jihadism and violence in a conflict in the Sahel that has continued to spread since it began in 2012 in northern Mali. At the beginning of 2020, following a series of deadly attacks against military camps of the three countries in the region known as the “three borders” between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, France and the Sahelian countries decided together to step up action.”

The North Africa Post: Tunisia Nabs Senior Al Qaeda Member

“Tunisian Interior ministry Thursday announced the arrest of a prominent member of global terror group al Qaeda preparing terror attacks in the North African country. The ministry did not provide details on the name of the al Qaeda official, the place of his arrest but indicated that the “dangerous terrorist” was planning terror attacks in conjunction with Okba Ibn Nafaa brigade which takes its name from an 7th century Arab general who led the Muslim conquest of North Africa. The ministry also added that the man had been in communication with al Qaeda members outside Tunisia. Tunisia has been in a state of emergency since 2015 after three major terror attacks. They killed dozens of the people including foreign tourists and security forces. The attacks were claimed by the Islamic state group, ISIS, but the country also struggles with several other terror groups including al Qaeda militants.”

United Kingdom

BBC News: Man Arrested In Redhill Over Islamic Terrorism

“A man has been arrested in Surrey on suspicion of terrorism offences, Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) has said. The 47-year-old man was arrested earlier in the Redhill area in a joint operation with Surrey Police. A search is being carried out at the scene, police said. The arrest is linked to Islamic terrorism and there is not believed to be any imminent threat to the public, a CTPSE spokesman said.”


BBC News: Albania Races To Rescue Children From Jihadist Camp

“Eva’s pale, triangular face glows in the frame created by her coal-black shawl and hood. Her pale brown eyes gaze straight into the camera. Now 16, she was kidnapped by her father Shkelzen and taken to Syria when she was nine. After seven years of war and then captivity, she looks like she is from another world, capable of nothing, or anything. We cannot print her photograph because it might endanger her life. She is still in the al-Hol camp in northern Syria, where she was taken with over 70,000 other orphans and widows of jihadist Islamic State fighters, when Barghuz, the last IS stronghold, fell in March 2019. Her brother Endri, 14, is luckier. He was brought home from Syria by Albanian special forces in late October 2020, with a woman and three other children. Frail, thin as a rake, he grins with his uncle Xhetan, who is barely able to believe he can hold his nephew again in his arms. “That camp,” Albanian Interior Minister Sander Lleshaj tells me, “is hell on Earth, as witnessed by our police officers.” In the UK, the al-Hol camp is better known as the temporary home of former London schoolgirl and “IS bride” Shamima Begum, who joined the jihadists in 2015 and later had her UK citizenship revoked.”


The Independent: Calls In Canada For Proud Boys To Be Designated Terror Group After Capitol Riots

“Canadian opposition party leader Jagmeet Singh has strongly condemned the far-right, white supremacist group Proud Boys, calling on the government to ban the organisation and designate them a terror group following their involvement in the storming of the US Capitol. Head of the left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP), the fourth-largest in terms of seats in Canada’s House of Commons, Mr Singh called on the Justin Trudeau-led government to act with urgency and dismantle the group that, though US-based, also has roots in Canada. “We must act urgently to stop the outbreaks of hate here in Canada by banning and designating the Proud Boys as a terrorist organisation”, Mr Singh said in a statement. He added that “hate knows no boundaries” and that action should be taken before Canada sees a similar incident to what occurred in Washington on Wednesday. The NDP has also launched a public petition to designate the Proud Boys a terror group and put a ban on its activities. “The Proud Boys helped execute it. Their founder is Canadian. They operate in Canada, right now. And I am calling for them to be designated as a terrorist organisation, immediately,” Mr Singh said. The petition on the NDP website does not provide a live count of signatures, but Mr Singh claimed it had received overwhelming support and that the site crashed due to heavy traffic.”

Southeast Asia

Christian Post: Teen Muslim Extremists Attack Church In Philippines, Pepper Building With Bullets

“A Muslim extremist group, primarily made up of teenagers, attacked a church in the Philippines, peppering the building and a statue of the patron saint with bullets. Persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reports that in December, the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a terrorist group based in the southern Philippines, attacked a parish church after conducting a raid on the town’s military and police outposts. After a 15-minute firefight, both the church building and a statue of the patron saint bore bullet holes. Police and military authorities said the BIFF had also plotted to set ablaze Sta. Teresita parish church and the church-run Notre Dame of Dulawan high school in the area. However, their attempt to burn the two church facilities was foiled by policemen and soldiers. Just before the attack on the church, around 50 gunmen from BIFF laid siege to the police station of Datu Piang and burned a police patrol vehicle on December 3. The attack was carried out in response to the earlier arrest of two men with relatives in the BIFF. The terrorists also opened fire at local houses, sending residents running to safety or cowering in their homes.”


Yahoo News: Amazon, Apple Join In Moves Against Parler, Citing Extremist Content And Association With Capitol Riots

“Parler, the conservative alternative to Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) and Facebook Inc, (NASDAQ: FB) continues to see itself cut off from major tech services. What Happened: Saturday night, Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) and, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) discontinued services to Parler. Apple removed it from its App Store, and Amazon stopped providing cloud hosting services through Amazon Web Services. Parler had risen to the No. 1 most-downloaded spot in the App Store in the days prior to the removal, as Twitter cracked down similarly on right-wing extremist content. Amazon employees earlier in the day had demanded the move, saying they did not want to be associated with a platform that had been used by organizers of Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol.  Why It Matters: The moves add to a steady stream of moves among companies seeking to distance themselves from violent content on Parler. On Friday, Twitter permanently removed Donald Trump’s account because of his involvement in inciting the riot, and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) removed Parler from its Google Play store.”

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