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UAE Envoy’s Syria Visit Shows Arab World Ready to Re-engage With Assad

A weekly compilation of the most important developments in the struggle against radical ideologies

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UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Islamist & Anti-Muslim Extremism 

UAE Envoy’s Syria Visit Shows Arab World Ready to Re-engage With Assad

  • The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates met with Syria’s President Bashar Assad in Damascus. 
  • Gulf countries have sought warmer ties with Syria, which was expelled from the 22-member Arab League in 2011, in hopes of diminishing their ties to Iran.

Federal Judge Unseals Documents That Led to 2018 Arrest of Omar Ameen 

  • The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), identified by the Justice Department as an “entity” of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, filed a motion in late September to unseal the documents which led to the arrest of a Sacramento refugee from Iraq, Omar Ameen.
  • A federal judge agreed with the motion and made the decision to unseal the documents.
  • Ameen was arrested in 2018, after he was accused of the murder of an Iraqi police officer.
  • He is currently accused of lying on his refugee application to gain entry into the U.S., and a decision on whether Ameen can stay in the country or be deported is expected to be made next week. 

Ambassador to UK Hotovely Narrowly Avoids Attack by Anti-Israel Protesters

  • Israel’s UK ambassador, Tzipi Hotovely, was forced to evacuate from an event at the London School of Economics (LSE) after protestors started harassing her.
  • The event protests were organized by the LSE’s Palestinian Student Union and the Islamic Society.
  • UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly described the behavior of protesters as ”aggressive and threatening.” 
  • Ahead of the event, an Instagram account called “LSE Class War” encouraged people to smash her car windows.

New Zealand Mosque Shooter Considers Appealing Life Sentence

  • Brenton Tarrant, the White supremacist who killed 51 Muslim worshippers at mosques in Christchurch, is considering appealing his life sentence.
  • Tarrant, who live-streamed his actions, is claiming his guilty plea was entered under duress because he was subject to “inhuman and degrading treatment.”

Alt-Right & Alt-Left Extremism

Philip Pacheco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Police Lieutenant’s Connection to Oath Keepers Under Internal Investigation 

  • A Pittsburgh police lieutenant is under internal investigation, and has been given an administrative assignment, while the city investigates whether he signed up as a member of the Oath Keepers.
  • The FBI describes the Oath Keepers as a paramilitary organization of loosely organized militias who believe in a government conspiracy to subvert individual rights.
  • Last month, a group called Distributed Denial of Secrets breached the group’s database and revealed politicians and members of law enforcement as having signed up as members.

Capitol Rioter Seeks Asylum in Belarus 

  • Evan Neumann, a man who allegedly participated in the Capitol riot Jan. 6 and is wanted by the FBI, is now seeking asylum in Belarus.
  • Neumann, who sat down for an interview with Belarusian state television, is wanted on charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds, as well as assaulting, resisting, and obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder.
  • Belarus does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S., and relations between the two countries have been frayed since American officials accused Belarus’s August 2020 presidential election of being rigged.

Tampa Oath Keeper and Alleged Jan. 6 Rioter Tries to Sell home on Zillow, Accidentally Reveals Cache of Explosives

  • Jeremy Michael Brown, a former U.S. Army special forces soldier and member of the Oath Keeper militia, is currently in jail for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
  • Prior to entering jail, Brown put his home up for sale on the real estate site Zillow, which included a photo of an incriminating whiteboard that federal authorities believe accidentally revealed ownership of a hidden cache of weapons and explosives.

CPD Cancels Days Off, Anticipating Civil Unrest

  • The Fraternal Order of Police claims the Chicago Police Department has canceled regularly scheduled days off in apparent anticipation of civil unrest in the event that Kyle Rittenhouse is acquitted.
  • The Chicago Police Department claims the reason for the cancellation for all city officers was to “enhance public safety and to address current crime patterns.”

Boston Antifa Protest Turns Violent, 2 Arrested by Riot Police 

  • An anti-vaccine mandate protest in Boston turned violent after Antifa groups arrived with the intention of disrupting the event. 
  • Several organizations, including a group known as “Green Monster Antifa,” led the counter protests with the message that those who disagree with them should “get the hell out of town.”
  • Boston Police showed up in riot gear and arrested two people after the opposing sides started fighting.

Hostile Foreign Influence Operations

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Biden Seeks to Challenge China’s Belt and Road Initiative

  • The Biden administration’s “Build Back Better World” program is seeking to counter China’s Belt and Road initiative.
  • White House officials have so far visited nations in South America and Africa for discussions on several projects within the initiative, which could launch in the coming months.
  • The Belt and Road Initiative is a massive infrastructure project that would stretch from East Asia to Europe and is seen as a expansion of Chinese power and global influence

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