#AceNewsReport – Apr.16: In this case, the jihadi was active in Norway, Denmark, and the UK. He moved freely among the three. Authorities say they believe “he was part of a group that sought to strike a church in England, possibly St. Paul´s Cathedral in London, but British police thwarted the plot….The man was also allegedly involved in plans for one or more attacks in Denmark in March and April 2019.”
Norway: ‘ Unidentified jihadist plotted massacres in Denmark & London, spread #IslamicState material in 2019 with a plan to attack St Pauls but British police thwarted the plot, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported Monday’
Authorities believe the 24-year-old man, who wasn’t identified, was part of a group that sought to strike a church in England, possibly St. Paul´s Cathedral in London,
The man was also allegedly involved in plans for one or more attacks in Denmark in March and April 2019 with help from at least one Danish citizen, prosecutor Geir Evanger told NRK. Those attacks are believed to have been prevented as well.
The man has maintained his innocence. If found guilty, the man who claims to be innocent, faces up to 21 years in jail, NRK said. The trial starts in Oslo on May 18.
Evanger was quoted as saying by NRK that as to his involvement in IS, the man spread “extremist material, violent material and material with religious content” online. He was an administrator for several groups on social media, including some he had created, the prosecutor said, adding they consider him to be “a relatively central participant in many of these groups.”
NRK said the man had been held in custody for a while….
#AceNewsReport – Apr.12: In rejecting prosecutors’ request for a 17-year term, U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood said that while any terrorism case is serious, the scheme that Jones was convicted of “was not of comparable severity” as many others where specific violence was planned:
‘Man sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for conspiring to assist the #IslamicState Joseph Jones and his friend Edward Schimentiwere convicted by a federal jury in 2019 of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organisation’
“This is not a case where anyone claims Mr. Jones was actually planning on carrying out a terrorism attack,” Wood said. “And it’s not disputed … that Mr. Jones never actually made contact with anyone directly involved with ISIS.”
But Wood also said she could not give Jones time served as suggested by his attorneys, adding that Jones had tried to “minimize his conduct” in statements to law enforcement after his arrest and in his testimony at trial.
The lengthy sentencing hearing played out over two days beginning last month and included a tearful statement from Jones, who apologized for his “grave mistake.” But he also denied being a terrorist and accused federal investigators of ensnaring him in an undercover operation by “preying on my sympathies.”
“Sometimes I feel like I have every reason to hate the government, but I don’t hate them,” Jones said. “I forgive them for what they’ve done.”
Jones also insisted he was never out to hurt anybody but simply “trying to be a good Muslim and a good American.”
“I consider myself a patriot,” he said in a voice choked with emotion. “I have my own view and my own beliefs, and it’s not about hatred.”
In asking for a 17-year sentence, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas wrote in a court filing that although the friends were not planning to travel overseas themselves to fight, they celebrated the violence that ISIS perpetrated and believed they were assisting in it.
“The defendants deliberately attempted to assist an extremely violent terrorist group they knew was engaged in a wide range of atrocities,” Jonas wrote. “Not only were defendants aware of these atrocities, they celebrated them, gleefully watching horrific execution videos and sharing such ISIS propaganda online.”
Jones’ attorney, Patrick Boyle, had asked for a term of time served, which as of February was just under four years behind bars. In a lengthy court filing this week, Boyle described how Jones’ family life had deteriorated with his father’s drug addiction, leading him into his own problems with substance abuse and petty crime.
Jones found Islam as a teen and credits the religion with helping get him sober, Boyle said. But his continuing research on the formation of an Islamic state “took him to dark places on the internet,” including “slick” videos produced by ISIS that glorified attacks on civilians, which Jones does not condone.
“He believes that Islam never justifies violence against people who are just trying to live their lives,” Boyle wrote.
Renewing an argument from trial that Jones was entrapped by undercover FBI agents, Boyle said that Jones feels betrayed by the government and that “they pressured him into something he didn’t want to do.”
The case against Jones and Schimenti marked the only time so far Islamic State-related charges have gone to trial in Chicago, instead of ending with a guilty plea. The trial featured days of testimony about the group’s brutal tactics — including torture and beheadings — as well as its notorious propaganda campaigns aimed at impressionable Americans.
Jurors were shown one propaganda video found on Schimenti’s computer showing terrorists clad in all black standing behind six captured Kurdish fighters whispering prayers while on their knees. Prosecutors stopped the video as the terrorist narrating it in English held a large knife up to the throat of one of the captives.
The investigation began in September 2015 when an undercover agent posing as a motorist arrested in a traffic-related incident approached Jones at the Zion Police Department, where Jones was being interviewed about the recent slaying of a friend.
That agent introduced Jones and Schimenti to others posing as devotees of ISIS, including an informant they knew as Mohammed, who told them he was going to the Middle East to join the Islamic State ranks, according to prosecutors.
In February 2017, Schimenti took the informant to a gym in Zion to train for the battlefield. Remarking on his own weight problem, Schimenti said on an undercover recording that what mattered most in jihad was “hand-to-hand” combat skills, not physical fitness.
“Man, you know I’m all big, fat,” Schimenti said on the recording played for jurors. “But (God willing) the brothers will just have me be the one to cut the neck.”
Although the charges do not allege the two participated in any violence, Schimenti talked with the informant about future plans to attack Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, a short distance from his home.
On April 7, 2017, Schimenti and Jones dropped off Mohammed at O’Hare International Airport equipped with cellphones they had purchased at his direction, according to the charges.
“Drench that land with they, they blood,” Schimenti allegedly said as he and Jones saw the man off at the airport.
Boyle told reporters he was “disappointed” that jurors rejected his argument of entrapment.
“The government had my client under surveillance going back to 2015, including aerial surveillance,” Jones said. “Then they concocted a ruse to introduce an undercover (operative) and worked on him for almost two years.”
#AceNewsReport – Apr.12: The nationalities of the 12 people found ‘tied up and beheaded’ in the northern town of Palma cannot yet be confirmed, a local police commander said:
Mozambique: Militants tie up and behead twelve expatriates: ‘Their bodies were found near to natural gas projects worth £43.6billion: They are all believed to be foreigners because they are white, Commander Pedro da Silva said’
“Bodies of 12 beheaded white expats are found after ISIS massacre in Mozambique town where British worker was killed in desperate escape bid,” by Jemma Carr, MailOnline, April 8, 2021:
Standing near to an area of disturbed earth where he said he buried the bodies himself, Commander Silva told state broadcaster TVM: ‘They were tied up and beheaded here.’
The latest attack comes less than a month after dozens of innocent people were killed when Islamist insurgents launched a raid in Palma on March 24, including 50-year-old Briton Philip Mawer.
A body matching Mr Mawer’s description was pulled from the wreckage of a car destroyed in the attack.
It is believed he was fleeing from the siege by ISIS-linked insurgents at the Amarula Hotel….
Mozambique is a majority Christian country, with Muslims comprising around a fifth of its population.
A religious movement, Ansar al-Sunna, first appeared in 2015 in the north of the country, formed by followers of radical Kenyan cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed who has been linked to the 1998 US embassy bombings.
The group attracted disaffected young men who resented a lack of opportunities in an area of rich natural resources.
It started building mosques and religious schools, becoming more and more popular with locals.
But in 2017, the group starting launching attacks and became known locally as al-Shabab, although they do not have any known connection to Somalia’s jihadist rebels of that name.
Militants started posting photos on the encrypted messaging service Telegram posing in front of the ISIS flag and praising its then leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Islamic State then confirmed that jihadis in Mozambique had joined its Central Africa Province division (ISCAP), along with militants in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
ISIS have since claimed responsibility for many of the attacks carried out in Mozambique, including brutal beheadings and massacres, often posting photos of the victims online.
In an official ISIS news bulletin in June last year, leaders taunted the West and African nations for failing to stop the insurgency in Mozambique, and said its interest there is financial with the country’s huge coal and gas reserves.
The militants still refer to themselves as al-Shabab but they are now strongly considered to be an arm of ISIS, which was confirmed by US officials in December….
#AceNewsReport – Apr.06: The UK’s “conservative” Telegraph recently played right into the jihadist scheme. It published a glamor photoshoot of the highly dangerous jihadist Shamima Begum, which made her appear as if she has reformed. A week later, she was telling the sympathetic media that she joined the jihad because she didn’t feel loved as a child. But this is how Begum described how she felt about the first severed head she saw:
France: #IslamicState widow wants to go ‘home,’ sheds Islamic veil, flaunts baseball cap and sweats: ‘Emilie Konig is a jihadist, and is begging to be repatriated. It’s the same story repeatedly: dangerous jihadist brides of the Islamic State want to return “home” because their lives have turned into a living hell, due to the fallout of the dismantling of the Islamic State in the region’
“French IS widow in Syria camp, veil-free, wants to ‘go home,’” AFP, March 30, 2021 (thanks to Henry):
In a Syrian detention camp for people linked to the Islamic State group, French mother-of-five Emilie Konig has swapped her all-engulfing black robe for a sweatshirt and baseball cap.
The 36-year-old widow — who is on UN and US blacklists of dangerous militants, accused of recruiting IS fighters and inciting attacks in the West — says she’s now desperate to go home.
Joining IS “wrecked” her life, said Konig, who was captured in late 2017 by Kurdish forces battling the jihadists in the eastern Syrian town of Shadadi.
“I want to go home to France,” she told AFP. “I have my family there. I want to start my life over and right my mistakes.”
Konig — who frequently appeared in IS propaganda videos, including in a 2013 clip showing her training with a shotgun — now lives in the Kurdish-run Roj camp in northeast Syria.
Now sporting a hooded top, faux leather leggings and white hightop trainers, she said: “I’m already dressing … to get used to my returning”.
She said she hopes to work as an accountant back in France — even if Paris has been reluctant to repatriate citizens with IS links and would likely seek to try them on terror-related charges.
“When I do return, I won’t be able to wear” a veil, she said, her dark, blond-streaked hair braided into a plait under her Yankees cap. “In the job I want to do… you can’t wear it.”….
US deploys Green Berets to Mozambique as jihadis continue beheading children: ‘The announcement comes as the Mozambique government confirmed another jihad massacre, in which dozens were reported dead. Witnesses described beheaded bodies in the streets’
“US deploys Green Berets to Mozambique; ISIS-linked militants accused of beheading children,” by Emily Wood, Christian Post, March 29, 2021:
The United States has deployed U.S. Army Green Berets to Mozambique to train local troops as the country faces a growing insurgency that has seen children as young as 12 beheaded as well as thousands killed and displaced in the southern African country.
Analysts say this intervention is long overdue with a worsening humanitarian crisis and rise in “appalling atrocities.” More than 2,600 people have died since 2017 from the fighting and terrorist activity that began in north Mozambique, according to the United Nations.
The U.N. reports the “mysterious group” of insurgents has committed “killing, rape and other atrocities.”
The U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers were sent to train Mozambican marines for two months to counter the spread of violence by the Islamic extremist group, al-Shabab.
“The United States is committed to supporting Mozambique with a multifaceted and holistic approach to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism and violent extremism,” the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique said in a statement. “Civilian protection, human rights, and community engagement are central to U.S. cooperation and are foundational to effectively counter the Islamic State in Mozambique.”
“This approach addresses socioeconomic development issues as well as the security situation,” the statement adds.
The elite Green Berets are often deployed worldwide to build relationships, go on missions with locals and teach them how to fight effectively, Business Insider reports.
The U.S. government launched the two-month Joint Combined Exchange Training program to help prevent the spread of terrorism and will also provide communications and medical treatment.
The U.S. recently designated the Islamic State-linked insurgents in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province a “foreign terrorist organization” on March 10.
Islamic State affiliates in Mozambique are also known as Ansar al-Sunna and known locally as al-Shabaab. The group reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in 2018. …
#AceNewsReport – Apr.02: According to court documents, James Bradley, 20, of the Bronx, New York, and Arwa Muthana, 29, of Hoover, Alabama, are ISIS supporters who attempted to travel to the Middle East to join and fight for ISIS. As alleged in the complaint, Bradley has expressed his support for ISIS and his desire to join the group overseas or commit a terrorist attack in the United States. Bradley and his wife, who has also expressed her support for ISIS, were arrested while attempting to travel together by cargo ship to the Middle East to join and fight for ISIS. Bradley and Muthana were presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman in Manhattan federal court today.
Man and Woman Charged with Attempting and Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIS: ‘James Bradley, aka Abdullah, and His Wife, Arwa Muthana, Were Arrested at a Seaport in New Jersey While Allegedly Attempting to Travel Overseas to Join and Fight for #IslamicState’
Note: A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
“As alleged, the defendants planned to travel overseas to join and support ISIS,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The threat of terrorism at home and abroad remains, and the National Security Division is committed to holding accountable those who would provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations. I want to thank the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this case.”
“James Bradley allegedly pledged devout allegiance to ISIS, expressing his desire to ‘fight among the rank[s] for the Islamic State.’ Suspecting he may be unable to travel, Bradley instead allegedly discussed conducting terrorist attacks along with his wife, Arwa Muthana, also an ISIS supporter, against the US Military Academy at West Point or another area university where Bradley knew military recruits to be training,” said U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss for the Southern District of New York. “But in an alleged attempt to evade the watchful eye of law enforcement, the two ultimately planned to travel to Yemen by cargo ship to fulfil their wish to fight with the terrorist organization. As Bradley suspected, he and his wife were indeed on law enforcement’s radar – he was confiding in and planning their journey for terror with an undercover officer – and their plans to wage attacks against the United States have been thwarted.”
“Today’s announcement underscores the commitment of the FBI and its JTTF partners that anyone who chooses to turn their backs on the United States of America in support of ISIS and its violent agenda will be held accountable,” said Assistant Director Jill Sanborn of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “The charges alleged that both defendants were attempting to travel overseas to join and fight for ISIS and one even expressed desire to commit a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. In doing so, both are accused of betraying this country and will now face the consequences of these actions in the U.S. justice system.”
“Like others who followed a similar path before them, Mr. Bradley and his wife Mrs. Muthana have now learned their alleged attempts to fight on behalf of ISIS, inside the U.S. or overseas, instead begin with two pairs of FBI JTTF handcuffs and court appearances in lower Manhattan,” said Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. for the FBI New York Field Office. “Our goal is to interdict violence before it occurs, and once again I commend the work of the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force personnel who work 24/7 to keep their fellow citizens safe.”
“James Bradley and his wife Arwa Muthana’s alleged determination to join ISIS and carry out terrorism against Americans overseas or here in New York is well documented in this multi-year investigation. It is yet another example of the effectiveness of the undercover operatives, detectives and analysts of the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau working in seamless coordination with our partners at the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force,” said Commissioner Dermot Shea of the New York Police Department.
Bradley and Muthana are charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, which also carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Since at least 2019, Bradley has expressed violent extremist views, including his desire to support ISIS by traveling overseas to join the group or committing a terrorist attack in the United States. In May 2020, Bradley stated to an undercover law enforcement officer (UC-1) that he believed that ISIS may be good for Muslims because ISIS was establishing a caliphate. Bradley further expressed his desire to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States and discussed potentially seeking to attack the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. Bradley explained that if he could not leave the United States because he might be on a terrorism watch list, he would do “something” in the United States instead, referring to carrying out an attack.
In June 2020, Bradley stated to UC-1 that his plan to attack a military base was something he really wanted to do and that it would be his contribution to the cause of jihad. In January 2021, Bradley mentioned to UC-1 another university in New York State where he frequently saw Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets training. Bradley stated that he could use his truck in an attack, and that he along with Muthana could take all of the ROTC cadets “out.”
In late January 2021, Bradley married Muthana in an Islamic marriage ceremony. Beginning before and continuing after their marriage, Bradley and Muthana discussed, planned, and ultimately attempted to travel to the Middle East together in order to join and fight with ISIS. In or about early March 2021, Bradley traveled from New York to Alabama to visit Muthana. Bradley and Muthana subsequently traveled together to New York in order to begin their journey to join ISIS. Thereafter, Bradley raised the possibility of UC-1 helping Bradley and Muthana get on a cargo ship to travel to Asia or Africa for the purpose of ultimately joining and fighting for ISIS. UC-1 subsequently put Bradley in contact with a purported associate who could assist Bradley in making arrangements for Bradley and Muthana to travel to the Middle East via cargo ship. In reality, the purported facilitator was a law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity (UC-2).
Later in March 2021, Bradley met with UC-2 and expressed his desire to travel via cargo ship and to “fight among the rank[s] of the Islamic State.” In a subsequent meeting with UC-2, Bradley provided UC-2 $1,000 in cash as travel costs for Bradley and Muthana to take a cargo ship to Yemen. Bradley told UC-2 that he and Muthana both planned to be “fighting” after arriving in the Middle East. Bradley also told UC-2 that he had a dream that he had given “bay’ah,” an Arabic term meaning the oath of allegiance, to Abu Ibrahim al-hashimi al-Qurashi, the current leader of ISIS.
On March 25, 2021, UC-2 told Bradley that the cargo ship would be leaving on Wednesday, March 31, from a seaport in Newark, New Jersey. Bradley praised Allah and confirmed he and Muthana planned to travel on the ship.
On March 31, 2021, Bradley and Muthana met with UC-2 en route to the seaport. During the course of this meeting, Muthana confirmed to UC-2 that she was traveling to the Middle East to fight for ISIS. Bradley and Muthana were arrested as they walked on a gangplank to board the cargo ship. After Muthana was arrested, she waived her Miranda rights and stated during an interview that she was willing to fight and kill Americans if it was for Allah. Also on March 31, 2021, in connection with a court-authorized search, the FBI seized from a bedroom previously used by Bradley what appears to be a hand-drawn image of a jihadi flag commonly used by ISIS and a hand-drawn map of the Pakistan region.
U.S. Attorney Strauss praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which consists of investigators and analysts from the FBI, HIS, the NYPD and over 50 other federal, state and local agencies; the NYPD’s Intelligence Division; and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol New York Field Office Director of Field Operations (DFO) Marty C. Raybon. Ms. Strauss also thanked the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, as well as the FBI’s Birmingham, Alabama Field Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew J. DeFilippis and Jason A. Richman of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Trial Attorneys Jennifer Burke and Andrew Sigler of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
A complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.31: One of the highest-profile atrocities committed by Jamaah Ansharut Daulah was a spree of bombings in the Indonesian city of Surabaya:
Indonesia: ‘Newly weds identified as the jihad suicide bombers who attacked church on Palm Sunday and is believed to be linked to the group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, which is itself linked to the #IslamicState’
“Couple who married 6 months ago identified as suicide bombers in Indonesian church attack,” RT, 30March 29, 2021:
Indonesian police have identified the suspects in Sunday’s church suicide bombing as a recently married couple with suspected jihadist ties. Families have been involved in some major terrorist attacks in the region.
The explosion occurred outside a Roman Catholic church in the city of Makassar after two people entered the churchyard on a motorbike and were prevented from entering by security guards. The blast left 20 people injured and killed the attackers. It happened shortly after a Palm Sunday Mass service was held inside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral.
The perpetrators were identified as a couple living in the same city who got married six months ago, National Police spokesperson Argo Yuwono revealed on Monday. Lab tests matched the male’s DNA to that of his relatives and confirmed the female’s identity via fingerprints. The police only gave the initials of the man, L, and his wife, YSF, but local media pinpointed the young couple’s residence and spoke to neighbors.
Police say the couple are believed to have had links to Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Indonesian jihadist group linked to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). The group has been responsible for a number of terrorist attacks in Indonesia and elsewhere in the region.
One of their highest-profile atrocities was a series of bombings in the city of Surabaya, the capital of Indonesia’s East Java province. Three bombs targeted Catholic churches, while one was set off by accident at a perpetrator’s residence and another exploded when police stopped two members of the group for a check. Three families were behind the spree of violence and included their children – as young as seven – in the attacks, investigators reported….
#AceNewsReport – Mar.29: Mozambique’s government said the town – in its northernmost province of Cabo Delgado and about 10km (6.2 miles) from gas developments worth $60bn – came under a three-pronged attack on Wednesday and security forces moved in to establish order:
Mozambique: #IslamicState jihadis ransack town near gas developments worth $60,000,000,000: ‘The jihadis in Mozambique have declared that they want to impose Sharia. If they get hold of these gas developments, they could have plenty of money to finance their jihad for years to come’
“Mozambique military launches offensive after ISIL attack,” Al Jazeera, March 25, 2021 (thanks to Henry):
Bodies were visible in the streets, some of them beheaded, and helicopter gunships exchanged fire with the attackers, a security source told Reuters news agency.
The attack came shortly after French oil giant Total announced plans to resume construction at the nearby site of a $20bn offshore gas project….
Within a few hours of Total’s announcement, strategically important Palma, which hosts numerous international companies looking to cash in on one of the biggest gas finds in a decade, had been hit with its first major strike.
Mozambique’s forces had not repelled the attack as of Thursday morning and fighting was ongoing, according to sources in touch with the Mozambique government and military officials.
Joseph Hanlon, a researcher and author on Mozambique, said vast mineral wealth in the region had been exploited by an elite few with the majority of residents not reaping any profits, leading to the rebellion.
“It is really a serious threat. One of the reasons the Palma attack is so important is this is the closest they’ve come to the gas project in scale. There were more than 100 insurgents, it was well organised, well-coordinated,” Hanlon told Al Jazeera.
He said reports suggest the attackers pulled out of Palma, but not before robbing two banks and having “taken control of the town for a day”.
Palma is located more than 1,800km (1,120 miles) northeast of Maputo in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province, where authorities have grappled with a brutal rebellion since 2017.
Fighters affiliated with the armed group ISIL (ISIS) have raided villages and towns across the province for years, causing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes….
#AceNewsReport – Mar.24: #IslamicState has claimed responsibility for an attack which killed 33 soldiers in Mali, in a clear illustration of Africa’s rising terror threat:
Islamic State jihadis claim responsibility for jihad massacre that killed 33: “According to a France24 journalist Wassim Nasir tweeted: “#Mali the #EI claims the attack on #Tessit#Ansongo “33 dead” in the area of the three borders.”
The attack, which happend on March 15, involved 100 suspected Islamic extremists on motorcycles which ambushed the Malian military convoy in the country’s volatile north, killing at least 33 people in the deadliest attack since the overthrow of the country’s president in a coup last year” https://t.me/reuters_news_agency/69257 Reuters Wire News, [Mar 23, 2021 at 6:28 PM]
Mar 23, 2021 4:00: PM:
“ISIS terror strikes: Militant group claims responsibility for massacre in Mali – 33 dead,” by Ciaran McGrath, Express, March 21, 2021 (thanks to the Geller Report):
Fourteen other people were hurt in the attack near the town, which is about 37 miles southeast of Ansongo in the Gao region, according to a military statement.
Up to now no group had claimed it carried out the attack, but Islamic extremists with links to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group operate in the region.
Islamic State said in a statement that its fighters captured three vehicles as well as weapons and ammunition, according to SITE….
Flags flew at half-staff and Koranic verses played on state media on Tuesday as Niger began observing three days of national mourning for the 137 victims of coordinated raids on villages in the southwest.
The killings on Sunday represented Niger’s worst civilian carnage in recent memory, surpassing an attack by suspected militants in January that killed at least 100 villagers and another last week that killed at least 58.
The scale of the violence this year has called into question claims of progress in the fight against Islamist militants by governments in West Africa’s Sahel region and former colonial power France, which has 5,000 troops there to support them.
A security source blamed Sunday’s attacks, which were carried out by men on motorbikes in the remote Tahoua region near the border with Mali, on the local Islamic State affiliate. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for previous raids against security forces and French aid workers.
Niger only finished a period of mourning for the previous attacks on Friday.
The rising death toll appears to be the result of the Islamists inserting themselves into ethnic conflicts between rival farming and herding communities, said Harouna Abarchi, a civil society activist who leads peace initiatives in the area.
The militants, largely drawn from the Fulani herding community, have targeted civilians in retaliation for killings of Fulanis by self-defence militias formed by the farmers.
“It’s a fragile zone that has seen inter-communal conflicts in the past,” Abarchi said. “They are now going after civilians, which … could set the zone on fire.”
The security crisis will land at the feet of President-elect Mohamed Bazoum, who takes office next week, succeeding Mahamadou Issoufou.
Abou Oumarou, a retired colonel and former regional governor, said the repeated attacks raised questions about the military’s response.
“How is it that 200 people can move around on motorcycles and no one is aware?” he said. “These forces need to surround these zones so that we know when there is a massive movement.”
The government said it is investigating the attacks.
Germany: Islamists allegedly & fraudulently received $1,189,550 in #COVID19 aid, some funds used to ‘direct terrorism financing: ‘The French TV channel M6 just aired an investigation about #IslamicState jihadists who managed to infiltrate the refugee stream across the EU, “particularly in Germany.” They accomplished this infiltration with ease’
Mar 18, 2021 1:00 pm:
“Islamists in Germany fraudulently received €1 MILLION in Covid-19 aid, some funds used to ‘direct terrorism financing’ – media,” RT, March 14, 2021:
The misuse of coronavirus aid to finance terrorist activities was reported by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
“In individual cases there is a suspicion of direct terrorism financing,” a source within Berlin law enforcement told the newspaper.
According to the report, law enforcement in Germany’s capital is currently conducting over 100 investigations into potential misuse of coronavirus aid for terrorism funding. Some 60 individuals, as well as mosques and other Muslim associations, are being targeted by the inquiries.
The fraud may yield lengthy prison terms for perpetrators, ranging from five to 10 years behind bars in the most aggravated cases. The funds were originally intended to support businesses struggling with the pandemic and it was not immediately clear how the cash ended up in the hands of Islamist groups.
The misused funds are estimated to total around €1 million, while some €250,000 was seized by police during searches. In at least three cases the fraudulently procured funds were used to directly support terrorist groups active in the Middle East.
Members of the recently-outlawed hardline Islamist group Jama’atu Berlin are believed to have been among the recipients of the coronavirus relief funds. The group was targeted during a large-scale operation by Berlin police in late February.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.15: The head of the investigations department at the Attorney General’s Office, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour, said that the Tunisian authorities received Thursday three women and five children from the families of ‘ISIS’ members who were in the city of Sirte before its liberation.
Libya deports families of #IslamicState jihadis to Tunisia: ‘In a press statement, Al-Sour said that at the request of the Tunisian authorities, seven women and nine other children will be deported next week’
Mar 14, 2021 12:00 pm:
“Libya deports number of families of ISIS members to Tunisia,” Libya Observer, March 12, 2021 (thanks to Henry):
He also pointed out that Tunisia was refusing from the beginning to accept these women and children, adding that the Attorney General does not object to handing over all wives and children of ‘ISIS’ members, except those accused in cases that are being considered by the Libyan courts.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.03: The airstrikes were carried out on Friday in central Mali near the borders of Burkina Faso and Niger, Parly said after meeting members of Mali’s transitional government in Bamako: I would like to reveal an operation of great importance which was carried out on October 30 in Mali by the Barkhane force, which was able to neutralize more than 50 jihadists,” Parly said on Mali state television. The minister was referring to the French-led anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane: Around 30 motorcycles were destroyed, the French minister said. The operation was launched after a drone detected a “very large” motorcycle caravan in the “three borders” area, he added: When the jihadists tried to escape, two Mirage jets were sent in, along with a drone to launch missiles on the insurgents, according to Parly:
Four terrorists have also been captured, military spokesman Colonel Frederic Barbry told reporters, adding that explosives and a suicide vest were found: The group had been “about to attack [an army] position in the region,” he said: Another operation targeting #IslamicState (IS, formerly ISIS) in the Greater Sahara was also underway, with a total of 3,000 soldiers involved, Barbry added:
#AceNewsReport – Nov.03: A fourth victim of the terrorist attack in the Austrian capital Vienna has died. One of the assailants was a young man who was convicted for attempting to join #IslamicState (IS, formerly ISIS) militants in Syria last year: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has confirmed that one more person has died, bringing the number of victims in the recent Vienna attack to four: The fourth victim was a woman, Austrian media reported, citing the country’s interior ministry. A total of 14 people have been injured, some of them seriously, according to Kurz: Gunmen opened fire on Monday evening outside the city’s main synagogue. They then proceeded to shoot bystanders in several other locations and exchanged fire with police. One of the attackers was killed in a shootout with security forces, while at least one of his accomplices remains at large: Interior Minister Karl Nehammer revealed on Tuesday morning that the killed assailant was an “Islamist terrorist” with links to IS, while police said that he had a dummy suicide vest:
Nehammer told the Austrian Press Agency that the perpetrator has been identified as 20-year-old Fejzulai Kujtim. He said that the terrorist was sentenced to 22 months in prison in April 2019 for trying to travel to Syria and join Islamic State fighters. The young man was released on parole in December, however: Kujtim’s parents had arrived from North Macedonia. He had dual Austrian and North Macedonian citizenship: Nehammer said that police searched 15 houses across Vienna and the town of St. Poelten, not far from the capital, and several people were arrested. Meanwhile, the media outlet Kurier reported that two people were detained in St. Poelten, citing police:
Footage shared to social media and retweeted by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra shows the accomplished musicians serenading patrons after the evening’s show had ended, as police kept everyone indoors amid the carnage on the streets outside.
Elsewhere in the city, terrified citizens were seen fleeing the violence and seeking shelter wherever they could. Heavily armed police also scoured the streets for at least one gunman and their suspected accomplices.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.02: The group’s Amaq News Agency sent out a message claiming Islamic State had carried out the attack and had targeted judges, investigators, and security teams working for the government. It claimed 80 people had been killed in the incident: The official number of those killed stands at 22, however, with more than 20 other people wounded: Shots were first heard at around 11.30am local time, before an hours-long battle between the attackers and Afghan security forces. The three perpetrators were killed, according to the country’s interior ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian, who described the assault on the university as a “savage terrorist attack.”
RT News reports ………that President Ashraf Ghani branded the violence an attack on “the honor, advancement, and bright future of Afghanistan,” and the Afghan government has declared Tuesday a national day of mourning.
Local media reports said there had been an explosion and gunfire at a book fair at the university, which had been attended by Afghan and Iranian officials, including the Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan: Footage showed students being evacuated from the campus, and people could be seen running, to the backdrop of loud bangs: One student, Fathullah Moradi, who escaped through the university’s gates, told Reuters: “They were shooting at every student they saw.”
#IslamicState also claimed responsibility for a bomb attack at a Kabul education center just over a week ago that killed 24 people: Bloodshed has continued in the country, despite recent peace talks between the Taliban and the government, with the UN envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, warning of “near-record violence.”
On Monday, in a separate incident, a vehicle struck a roadside mine in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, killing at least seven people:
#AceNewsReport – Nov.02: The #Taliban said they were not involved in today’s incident at Kabul University, but several education centres have been attacked over the years by extremist groups such as Islamic State (IS): Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramerz told AFP most of those killed were students: Hamid Obaidi, a spokesman for the ministry of higher education, told AFP the attack started when government officials were arriving for the opening of an Iranian book fair organised at the campus: Gunmen stormed the facility, sending hundreds fleeing and scrambling over walls of the campus as they tried to escape the firing, witnesses said: Afghan security forces later surrounded the area, cordoning off all roads that led to the university, witnesses and an AFP correspondent reported: “The attack is over, but sadly 19 people have been killed and 22 more wounded,” interior spokesman Arian said on Twitter:
Attack at university in Afghanistan’s capital leaves at least 19 dead and 22-injured AFP reported:
‘ Policemen stand guard at an entrance gate of the Kabul University in Afghanistan ‘
Sources told TOLOnews that there were three attackers. According to the report, an explosion and gunfire occurred when Afghan and Iranian officials were opening a book exhibition.
The outlet posted photos of students being evacuated from the campus.
Students spoke of chaos and confusion. “We were studying inside our classrooms when suddenly we heard a burst of gunfire inside the university,” said Fraidoon Ahmadi, 23, adding that he and several other students were besieged for more than two hours before being rescued: “We were very scared and we thought it could be the last day of our lives… boys and girls were shouting, praying and crying for help.”
About 800 students were in the social sciences faculty where he was studying: “I have no words to express how we survived today’s attack by gunmen on our university,” he added:
#AceNewsReport – Sept.23: Militants have taken over paradise islands in the Indian Ocean, burning down hotels and imposing Sharia Law: Luxury islands off the coast of Mozambique, where A-list celebrities spend their holidays, have been overrun by insurgents linked to #IslamicState
“Hell in Paradise: ISIS take over stunning islands where Daniel Craig and Bono holiday burning down luxury hotels and imposing Sharia Law,” by Claudia Aoraha, The Sun, September 17, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace): Luxury hotels, wildlife, and homes have been torched and “reduced to ashes” in the militant attacks.
The ISIS insurgents have ordered residents to abandon the islands of Vamizi and Mecungo – where celebrities like Daniel Craig, Bono and Prince Albert of Monaco have holidayed in luxury: Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and political leader Nelson Mandela have also been known to have enjoyed holidays on the picturesque island.
Burnt-out beach huts and torched safari cars were pictured on Vamizi Island………….The ISIS-linked militants also captured and occupied the port town of Mocimboa de Praia on the Mozambican mainland – telling locals that it would become their new capital, run under Islamic law:
The Cabo Delgado provence has also been ransacked and raided by the jihadists: One man who had fled to Mecungo Island from Mocimboa da Praia said: “They arrived at night in small fishing boats. They removed people from the houses and then torched them: “ They didn’t hurt anyone, they just gave orders to leave the islands.”…………………….In the past year, the militants have taken credit for the brutal insurgency, naming themselves the Islamic State Central Africa Province….
#AceNewsReport – Sept.04: Omer Kuzu – a 23-year-old U.S. citizen captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces and returned to the U.S. by the FBI after a five-year stint handling communications for #IslamicState – pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to provide material support to terrorism:
Repatriated #IslamicState Fighter Pleads Guilty to Terror Charge & Supplying Propaganda
“This defendant, an American citizen radicalised on American soil, pledged allegiance to a brutal terrorist group and traveled halfway across the world to enact its agenda,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas. “The United States must do everything we can to prevent and deter this type of radicalisation and prioritise prosecution of those that support the terroristic agenda of #IslamicState ………I am gratified Mr. Kuzu faced justice in an American court.”
“Preventing terrorism remains the FBI’s top mission priority: The defendant intentionally left the United States to join, train with, and fight on behalf of ISIS. The North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force worked closely with our domestic and foreign partners to ensure the threat he posed was mitigated,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno. “We remain vigilant in our effort to prevent terrorism as well as hold terrorists, and those who provide support to terrorist organizations, accountable for their actions.”
In plea papers, Kuzu admits that he and his brother, Yusuf, departed Texas for Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 16, 2014: They then traveled to Orfa, Turkey, where an “ISIS taxi” picked them up and smuggled them across the border into Syria: They crashed in a series of “waiting houses” before ending up in Mosul, Iraq: In Mosul, alongside 40 other foreign fighters, the brothers underwent five days of physical and weapons training led by ISIS instructors: They were then sent to Raqqah, Syria, where Kuzu started work at the ISIS telecommunications directorate: Shortly thereafter, Kuzu admits, he pledged allegiance, or “Bay’ah,” to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Islamic Caliphate: He was given a monthly stipend, a Chinese-made AK 47, and an ISIS bride: Subsequently, Kuzu was sent to the second lines in Kobani, Syria and Hama, Syria, to provide communications support for ISIS fighters on the front lines: He also worked in the Caliphate’s technology center.
In March 2019, Kuzu was captured by the SDF, alongside 1,500 suspected ISIS fighters: He was handed over to FBI custody, returned to American soil, and charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS: In his plea papers, Kuzu admits that he knew ISIS had been designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) and engaged in terrorist activities.
‘ He now faces up to 20 years in federal prison…….Sentencing is set for Jan. 22, 2021 ‘
The FBI’s Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation through the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Assistant U.S. Attorneys Errin Martin and Tiffany Eggers and Trial Attorney Michael Dittoe of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.28: About 30-40 ministers and organisations that are part of the wider coalition will convene on the initiative of France and backed by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, aiming to boost the coalition’s presence in northeast Syria, the official said: “This is something President Trump has been working on both to get troops on the ground, airplanes in the air and money flowing to stabilisation in that area from partners and allies who are in the coalition,” said the official, who spoke to reporters on Monday on the condition of anonymity.
Trump said on Sunday that #IslamicState leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had died “whimpering and crying” in the U.S. special forces raid in northwestern Syria, fulfilling his top national security goal: World leaders welcomed Baghdadi’s death but said the campaign against Islamic State, a group that perpetrated atrocities in the name of a fanatical version of Islam, was not over, with so-called “lone wolves” likely to seek revenge.
#AceNewsDesk reports …………..Published: Oct.28: 2019: Reuters: Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Mark Heinrich
#AceNewsReport – Oct.07: Kurdish forces have spearheaded the campaign against #IslamicState in the region, but the policy swerve, after a phone conversation between Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday, means Turkey would take custody of captured Isis fighters, the White House said: It has also raised fears of fresh fighting between Turkey and Kurdish forces in Syria’s complex war now the US no longer acts as a buffer between the two sides Guardian reported. US military vehicles travel along a main road in northern Syria on Monday. Photograph: Hawar News Agency, ANHA/AP
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Monday morning that their US partners had already begun withdrawing troops from areas along Turkey’s border: Footage aired on Kurdish news agency Hawar purportedly showed US armoured vehicles evacuating key positions near the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad in the border region. Erdogan himself also confiirmed the development in remarks to reporters on Monday morning in Ankara.
The SDF spokesman, Mustafa Bali, accused the US of leaving the area to “turn into a war zone”, adding that the SDF would “defend north-east Syria at all costs”
A statement from the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, also early on Monday said that Ankara had “supported the territorial integrity of Syria since the beginning of the crisis and will continue to do so … [We are] determined to ensure survivability and security of Turkey by clearing the region from terrorists. We will contribute to bringing safety, peace and stability to Syria.”
Ruben Gallego, an Iraq war veteran and Democratic congressman from Arizona, tweeted: “Allowing Turkey to move into northern Syria is one of the most destabilising moves we can do in the Middle East. The Kurds will never trust America again. They will look for new alliances or independence to protect themselves.”
In the White House statement issued just before 11 pm on Sunday, however, that agreement was not mentioned: “Today, President Donald J Trump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey by telephone,” the surprise statement said. “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the Isis territorial ‘caliphate’, will no longer be in the immediate area.” https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-85/
The statement suggested that in return for US acquiescence in a Turkish offensive, Erdoğan had assured Trump that Turkey would take over the detention of Isis militants captured by the SDF, on the battlefield: The custody of Europeans and other foreign fighters has long been one of Trump’s preoccupations, and he has lambasted European governments for not taking responsibility for their own nationals in Isis’ ranks……………………“The US government has pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured Isis fighters came, to take them back, but they did not want them and refused,” the White House statement continued.
“The US will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer: Turkey will now be responsible for all Isis fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial caliphate by the United States.”
#AceNewsReport – Oct.05: Spanish police said on Saturday they had arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of belonging to the #IslamicState (IS) militant group, adding that a search of his home found explosive-making chemicals and a list of targets: Identified only as “A.A.A,” the Spanish citizen was arrested in Parla, a town near Madrid, on suspicion of incitement to commit attacks and terrorist threats, police said in a statement. The case is being investigated by Spain’s high court.
#IslamicState claimed responsibility for attacks in 2017 in Barcelona and Cambrils that killed 14 people: Police said that during a raid on the suspect’s home they had found chemicals that could be used to make the explosive triacetone triperoxide or TATP, an unstable explosive that has been used in several attacks in western Europe in recent years: They said they had also found a bulletproof vest with shrapnel attached, along with detailed notes on how to prepare explosives and a list of potential targets.
Spanish newspaper El Pais cited unnamed sources saying the suspect had threatened to attack a judge at Spain’s high court: Police said he was responsible for the Spanish wing of Muntasir Media, which promotes Islamic State and operates internationally to incite followers to commit attacks.
#AceNewsDesk reports …………..Published: Oct.05: 2019: Reuters: Reporting by Sam Edwards; Editing by Alexander Smith