U.S. Releases 20th 9/11 Hijacker
- The Department of Defense announced Mohammad Mani Ahmad al-Qahtani will be released from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and repatriated to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- Qahtani, who is often referred to as “the 20th hijacker,” is an al-Qaeda agent who tried to enter the US to take part in the terrorist attack on 9/11.
- In June 2021, a review board determined that Qahtani’s detention was no longer a “significant threat to the national security of the United States.”
Congressman Calls for Hearing on ICE Release of Terrorist
- Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz, asked House Democrats for permission to hold a hearing about a decision to release a suspected Islamist terrorist.
- Lebanon-born, Venezuelan Issam Bazzi is flagged on the FBI’s terrorism watch list.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement ordered Bazzi released into the US on his own recognizance to pursue an asylum claim, in defiance of the FBI’s recommendation.
- An aide to Rep. Briggs noted that the requests for a hearing to the subcommittee chair have gone unanswered.
Alt-Right & Alt-Left Extremism
Alabama Oath Keepers Leader Pleads Guilty to Seditious Conspiracy
- Joshua James, 34, of Arab, Ala. pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy in connection with the Capitol breach. James is the regional leader in charge of the Alabama chapter of the Oath Keepers.
- According to court documents, on Jan. 6 James traveled to the Capitol on a golf cart, unlawfully entered the Capitol, and assaulted a Metropolitan Police Department officer by grabbing the officer’s vest and pulling him toward the mob.
- James faces up to 20 years in prison for seditious conspiracy and up to 20 years for obstruction of an official proceeding, along with potential financial penalties.
Campus Speaker Evacuated After Antifa Assault
- Antifa protestors disrupted an event at the University of North Texas featuring Jeff Younger, a Republican candidate running for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives, who lost a child custody battle with his ex-wife after contesting his 9-year-old son’s transgender diagnosis.
- A left-wing group, UNT Anonymous, organized the protest.
- Young was physically assaulted and police had to evacuate him, along with event organizer Kelly Neidert, who later hid in a locked janitor’s office till the protestors left the area.
More Alt-Right Developments
- A Michigan judge rejects an entrapment motion made by defense lawyers for three men accused of conspiring to kidnap the governor of Michigan. The individuals, who are members of the Wolverine Watchmen, a Boogaloo Boi-affiliated militia group, allege a government actor coerced them.
More Alt-Left Developments
- Margaret Aislinn Channon of Tacoma, Wash. has been sentenced to five years in prison for arson for burning five Seattle Police vehicles at a BLM protest in June 2020.
Hostile Foreign Influence Operations
Russian White Supremacists Involved in Ukraine
- The Russian Imperial Movement, a white supremacist group that is actively working to push for a purely white Christian Russia, has allegedly recruited and trained Russians to fight on the side of pro-Russian militias in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In 2020, the State Department designated the Russian Imperial Movement as a foreign terrorist organization.
SUNY Shuts Down Chinese Influence Operation
- The State University of New York has shut down the Chinese government-backed Confucius Institutes on their campus this year. Confucius Institutes work to indoctrinate students with Communist Party propaganda and pressure universities to toe the party line. Universities made the decision citing the potential loss of access to critical federal research funding.
Research and Analysis
- Increased incidents of violence against Asian Americans in New York energized the community to combat the problem. However, finding a strategy the community can unite behind has been difficult.
- A new study by the Anti-Defamation League documented more than a dozen reports a day of white supremacist propaganda throughout the country, as well as a substantial increase in antisemitic messaging compared to 2020.