Tagged: ISIS

Report: White House counterterrorism strategy dismantles terrorist networks, stops recruitment

(LAS VEGAS NOW) — The threat of terrorism and how to fight it is the topic of a 25-page report released by the White House this month.

The report states how counterterrorism isn’t just about killing or capturing terrorists; it’s also about dismantling terrorist networks and stopping recruitment for their groups, which is tough, considering they have a major tool in the internet that allows them to connect with people.

“We will continue to work with friends and allies to deny radical Islamic terrorists any funding, territory or support, or any means of infiltrating our borders,” President Donald Trump said.

According to the National Strategy for Counterterrorism, today’s terrorist landscape made up of radical Islamic terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaida, along with domestic terrorism, is more fluid and complex than ever. The more technology advances, the more cyber threats increase.

“In cyber warfare or cyber terrorism, it can affect the entire United States,” said Shannon Wilkinson, Axiom Cyber Solutions. “It’s kind of like the new arms race if you think about it. Cybersecurity or cyber is like the new tenant of warfare.”

Axiom Cyber Solutions is a Las Vegas-based company that works with businesses and public agencies to help protect them from cyber threats, and at times to respond to them once they’ve already been hit.

“Cyber is really like the new frontier,” Wilkinson said. “They’re all nation-state actors from China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Russia, of course, and Ukraine, all trying to break into not only businesses.”

Terrorists are also using the internet to recruit. Wilkinson does public outreach at locations like schools. Her advice on cyber safety continues to evolve, just like the threats do.

“Just being kind of aware if your children are online; what are they doing? Who are they talking to? If they get sucked into one of these schemes where somebody is trying to recruit them overseas,” Wilkinson said.

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‘TREATED LIKE ANIMALS’ ISIS sex slave reveals harrowing details of abuse suffered at hands of jihadi thugs as women screamed and vomited in terror

(THE SUN) — A YOUNG woman who has just won the Noble Peace prize has revealed horrifying details of being forced into sexual slavery by ISIS.

Nadia Murad, 25, spoke of how she and other Yazidi women screamed and vomited in sheer fear when jihadis kidnapped them.

At age 19, ISIS soldiers attacked the Yazidi community in her village, killing 600 people including six of her brothers and stepbrothers.

She was taken into slavery and beaten, burned with cigarettes and raped when she tried to escape.

Writing in her autobiography featured in The Guardian, Nadia recalled one night at a slave market following her capture.

She said: “We could hear the commotion downstairs where militants were registering and organizing, and when the first man entered the room, all the girls started screaming.”

Nadia’s book, “The Last Girl,” tells of her captivity, the loss of her family and her eventual escape.

It featured, recalls in harrowing detail this examination process before she was sold like cattle.

She said: “The militants touched us anywhere they wanted, running their hands over our breasts and our legs, as if we were animals.”

But her ordeal worsened when she met a high-ranking militant named Salwan – whom she described as “looking like a monster”.

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ISIS’s Second Resurgence

(Institute for the Study of War) — The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) is reconstituting a capable insurgent force in Iraq and Syria despite efforts to prevent its recovery by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. The U.S. Department of Defense stated in August 2018 that ISIS retains nearly 30,000 fighters across Iraq and Syria and is “more capable” than Al-Qaeda in Iraq – ISIS’s predecessor – at its peak in 2006 – 2007. ISIS is waging an effective campaign to reestablish durable support zones while raising funds and rebuilding command-and-control over its remnant forces. On its current trajectory, ISIS could regain sufficient strength to mount a renewed insurgency that once again threatens to overmatch local security forces in both Iraq and Syria. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is issuing a map update depicting ISIS’s current operating areas based on an analysis of its activity from January 1, 2018 to October 1, 2018.

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ISIS Terror Attack Threat Increases as Month of Ramadan Approaches

(OANN) — Experts worry the month of Ramadan could hold an unusual amount of terror activity throughout the world.

While nearly two billion Muslims celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, the Islamic State’s bloody interpretation of the holiday could lead to more extremist attacks.

For the majority of Islam the month of fasting, spiritual renewal, and self-reflection is a reminder of the plight of the poor.

However, in recent years, Ramadan has also seen an increase in terror attacks.

The Quran strictly prohibits waging war during the month, but many extremists reinterpret a battle in the history of Islam as an encouragement of Jihad.

“As a Muslim we condemn these attacks — It is not a good thing, it is against humanity, said Mohammad Naser, a religious scholar in Afghanistan. “You won’t be able to find it anywhere in Islam that allows a Muslim to kill another Muslim, therefore, these attacks are prohibited and especially in the holy month of Ramadan it is completely forbidden.”

ISIS has attempted to turn the time of atonement into a call for violence and bloodshed, even calling it the holy month for Jihad.

In 2017, ISIS claimed 300 attacks across 12 countries during the holy period.

80-percent of them were in Iraq and Syria, where the extremists have lost ground and are resorting to terror attacks.

Soldiers in Afghanistan are still observing the fast, but are also upping security.

“We are fully prepared for it and will do our best to provide security with hyper vigilance, so our people can observe the fasting month in a safe environment,” said Bahlol Karwan, an Afghani soldier.

Attacks this year have already turned deadly.

In the ISIS spokesman’s first communication in 10 months, the group called for its followers to redirect attacks to apostate Arab states. He went on to say there is no difference in fighting Muslims in Palestine, Egypt, Iran and Saudia Arabia than the American crusaders as well as Russia and Europe.

While the call was for regional attacks, extremists around the world have responded in the days leading up to the holy month with attacks in France and Indonesia.

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Former ISIS Fighter: Islamic State Will Return With More Rigid Ideology

(OANN) — A former ISIS fighter issues a warning to the U.S. the ideology of the Islamic State will not go away.

Thursday, a Belgian man claiming to be one of the first foreign members of ISIS, gave an interview from a terrorist prison in Syria.

He warned of continued plots and splinter groups that will arise from the now defeated Muslim caliphate in Syria.

He said fighters were already planning to organize break away terror groups before the fall of Raqqa.

Reports show, many displaced ISIS fighters from Syria and Iraq are now moving to areas of the Philippines, where one in five residents are Muslim.

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9 journalists killed in Afghanistan: This is ‘a reminder of the extreme dangers to media workers’

(ABC NEWS) — Nine journalists were killed in dual blasts in Kabul, Afghanistan, this morning.
Interested in Afghanistan?

A Kabul police spokesman said the second suicide bomber was among the crowd of reporters who were rushing to the scene of the first blast when another device was detonated, according to The Associated Press.

Police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said the second attacker was pretending to be a member of the media, the AP reported.

PHOTO: Security forces run from the site of a suicide attack after the second explosion in Kabul, April 30, 2018. A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul.Massoud Hossaini/AP Images
Security forces run from the site of a suicide attack after the second explosion in Kabul, April 30, 2018. A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul.
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The health ministry in Afghanistan released the names and affiliations of the nine journalists who were killed:

Shah Marai, a longtime photographer for Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Ebadullah Hananzai, from Radio Free Europe

Sabawoon Kakar, from Radio Free Europe

Yar Mohammad Tokhi, a Tolonews cameraman

Ghazi Rasooli, a 1TV reporter

Nowrooz Rajabj, a 1TV cameraman

Saleem Talash, a Mashal TV reporter

Mahram Durani, a journalist from Shamsad TV

Ali Salimi, a Mashal TV cameraman.

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the Kabul attacks, which left at least 25 people dead and 45 others injured.

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“Soon in your country”: ISIS Threatens to Set Seattle Ablaze

(PJ MEDIA) — By Bridget Johnson

ISIS supporters released posters this week depicting President Trump in an orange jumpsuit like the terror group uses for prisoners in execution videos and showing Seattle ablaze.

The first poster, stating “soon in your country” and “a message to America,” photoshops Trump’s head on the body of a kneeling prisoner as the late Mohammed Emwazi, aka British terrorist “Jihadi John,” stands beside him with knife in hand.

The background is church pews and stained-glass windows, with the point of view toward the altar.

In the second poster, a camouflage-clad Trump is depicted again kneeling in front of an executioner who points a gun at his head. Another jihadist stands nearby with his foot on a disembodied head.

In the background, a handful of buildings are on fire in the Seattle skyline.

The releases are reminiscent of a cache of posters spread across ISIS Telegram channels and social media late last year.

ISIS supporters circulated a gruesome Christmastime poster depicting the beheading of Barron Trump, showing a masked jihadist standing over an adult body in an orange jumpsuit with the 11-year-old’s head photoshopped into the terrorist’s hand.

The ISIS supporters’ holiday threat spree essentially took the terror group’s PR into their own hands with a flurry of propaganda posters encouraging lone jihadists to attack, including one reiterating previous calls to “put terror in their hearts by running them over or stabbing them or burning structures and forests.”

Another poster from ISIS supporters circulated in the holiday spree showed an armed jihadist overlooking a Christmas display as the Statue of Liberty loomed overhead. “Make your motto ‘I will not survive if they cross worshiper survived,'” jihadists were advised.

“And for you Crusaders, we swear by Allah the Almighty you will see the strength of the Caliphate Soldiers, and the battles will be in your homeland, we will break your cross and destroy your thrones and we will shed your blood,” the text added. “And the news is what you see not what you hear.”

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ISIS ‘Beatles’ in chilling terror warning: ‘There will be MORE attacks in Europe’

(UK EXPRESS) — By Latifa Yedroudj

TWO men thought to be members of the ISIS ‘Beatles’ terror cell have declared there will be “more IS-inspired attacks in Europe”. The duo, Alexanda Kotey and Shafee Elsheikh, were captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) this year.

The men, both from west London, did not deny being members of the ‘Beatles’ group and appeared to show no regret for their actions in an interview for Sky News today.

They did not denounce terror attacks in London, Manchester, Paris and Brussels and said that joined the Islamic State for “religious reasons” and accepted being a part of IS.

Speaking to Chief Correspondent Stuart Ramsay, Shafee Elsheikh said:

“There is a difference being aligned to Islamic state or agreeing with Islamic State policy.

“It is by default, just like being born into a certain country.

“We are British citizens, do you agree with everything beingd done in the UK?”

Replying to comments from Mr Ramsay, Mr Elsheikh said:

“You being a British citizen, you don’t turn around one day after the UK commits a war crime or an act of terrorism… and say this isn’t what I signed up for.”

Alexanda Kotey, a 34-year-old from Paddington, was described by his neighbors as a “reserved and polite boy”.

He left to Syria in 2009, leaving behind his London life and two children.

Since becoming a member of IS, the terrorist is believed to have helped recruit other Britons to join the terror group.

El Shafee Elsheikh came to the UK as a child refugee from Sudan.

The 29-year-old worked as a mechanic and was described by his mother as “very clever” and a “nice boy”.

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The women stolen by ISIS speak out: Dunya Mikhail details their journeys in new book

(THE NATIONAL) — By M. Lynx Qualey

It was the summer of 2014 when Dunya Mikhail learned that ISIS forces were not only kidnapping Iraqi women, but buying and selling them in open markets. Mikhail, an Iraqi poet living in the United States, says she “felt so insulted as a woman.” The Iraqi poet was so enraged by the treatment of women in her homeland by ISIS that she wrote a book detailing their pain – and strength

Mikhail, who now teaches at Michigan State University, went on to write Fi Souq Al Sabaya, which was longlisted for this year’s Sheikh Zayed Book Award. The English edition, titled The Beekeeper: Saving the Stolen Women of Iraq, was co-translated by the author and Max Weiss and was published by New Directions this month. The book is also being translated into Sorani Kurdish.

On the news, she heard of people being ordered to leave their homes. Online, she watched videos of hundreds of Iraqis fleeing on foot, many of them Yazidis. When Mikhail heard these women’s stories, she said: “I didn’t know what to do with my anger, but I contacted my friends in northern Iraq.”

She called a Yazidi journalist friend, who told her he’d heard horrifying stories from women who’d been kidnapped and escaped. He sent her the phone numbers of three women. At first, Mikhail didn’t call, as she wasn’t sure what to say. When she finally picked up the phone, the first two women spoke Kurdish, and Mikhail knew only a few words. At the third number, a man answered in Arabic. This was Abdullah, “The Beekeeper”, and he helped relay his cousin Nadia’s story. He also told Mikhail he was using his earnings from selling honey to assemble a network of smugglers and help women escape.

Mikhail is a multi-award-winning poet, the author of Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea and The War Works Hard (translated by Elizabeth Winslow) and The Iraqi Nights (translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid). Yet although she wrote for The Baghdad Observer as a young woman, it had been a long time since she’d practiced journalism.

“In the beginning,” she said, “I thought I was going to write a long poem – an epic – in response to that crisis.”

But the more she heard women’s stories, and spoke with Abdullah about his attempts to help escapees, the more she “wanted to stay behind the story and not in front of it, so that I could let their voices be heard”. There are still poetic moments in the book, which Mikhail says she kept “as breaks for the reader and myself”.

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Italy arrests five suspected ISIS supporters

(THE NATIONAL) — Italian police on Thursday arrested five people as part of a major operation against suspected supporters of ISIL around Rome.

The swoop is the latest in a series of similar raids this month, coming as Italy steps up the number of foreigners it expels.

“A vast anti-terrorism operation” was being carried out by special investigation forces in Rome and the nearby town of Latina, police said in a statement on Thursday.

The five men are suspected of having links to Anis Amri, the Tunisian who carried out the 2016 Berlin Christmas market truck attack and was later killed in a shoot-out with police in Italy.

In a tweet on Thursday, the Italian police said one of the five was believed to have procured fake Italian identity papers that allowed Amri, a failed asylum seeker, to move around Europe.

Amri killed 12 people when he hijacked a truck and drove it into a crowded Berlin Christmas market in December 2016. The attack was later claimed by the insurgents. Using fake documents, he later fled to Italy and died in a shoot-out with police near Milan four days later.

On Wednesday anti-terrorism police arrested an Italian citizen of Moroccan origin who they said was an ISIS sympathizer planning a truck attack.

Interior Minister Marco Minniti said on Wednesday the security threat to Italy from ISIS supporters was higher than ever because more foreign fighters were attempting to return to Europe via Italy after the insurgents suffered defeats in Syria and Iraq.

So far this year, 29 foreigners, mostly Muslim, have been expelled from Italy as suspected threats to national security.

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