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Islamic State’s Growing Threat to Taliban in Afghanistan

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

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Photo credit: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Islamist & Anti-Muslim Extremism 

UN Warns Islamic State Present In All Afghan Provinces

  • The U.N. envoy to Afghanistan says an affiliate of the Islamic State group has grown and now appears present in nearly all 34 provinces.
  • U.N. Special Representative Deborah Lyons told the U.N. Security Council that the presence of the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP) needs “more attention from the international community.”
  • Attacks made by the ISKP, an ideological enemy of the Taliban, have increased from 60 strikes in 2020 to 334 this year. 

Man Sentenced to 16 Years for Attempting to Aid ISIS

  • New York resident Elvis Redzepagic was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the al-Nusrah Front.
  • In July 2015, Redzepagic traveled to Turkey and made multiple unsuccessful attempts to cross the border into Syria.
  • Redzepagic admitted he traveled to Turkey to “perform Jihad and join Jabhat Al-Nusra” and that at the time he was prepared to strap a bomb to himself.
  • A search of the defendant’s laptop yielded a variety of ISIS-specific extremist propaganda.

Alt-Right & Alt-Left Extremism

Photo credit: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Antifa Protestors Riot in Portland Following Rittenhouse Verdict

  • Around 200 people gathered near the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse in Wisconsin.
  • Authorities declared a riot after demonstrators smashed windows and clashed with police.
  • One individual was arrested on a warrant, another was criminally cited. The crowd eventually dispersed without further incident.

Black Separatists Gather During Ahmaud Arbery Trial

  • Members of BLM 757, Lion of Judah Armed Forces, and the New Black Panther Party marched outside the Glynn County Courthouse in Georgia as lawyers in the Ahmaud Arbery case delivered closing statements. 
  • The New Black Panther Party is a black separatist militia and a virulently racist and antisemitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence.
  • A man outside the courthouse who identified himself as the supreme commander of the New Black Panthers gave a warning, “Y’all are in serious trouble because the wrath of karma is coming on America.”

 Proud Boys Leader Invokes Rittenhouse Case in His Defense

  • Zachary Rehl, leader of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys organization, faces charges of conspiracy, disorderly conduct and obstruction of an official proceeding in relation to his alleged participation in the January 6 Capitol riot. 
  • Rehl is also among the accused 1/6 rioters currently named in a civil lawsuit from Capitol Police officers that alleges he and others engaged in “bias-motivated acts of terrorism.”
  • In a brief released last week, Rehl’s defense attorney, Jonathon Moseley, compared the actions of the Proud Boys with that of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Neo-Nazi Plot to Murder Antifa Member Foiled by the FBI 

  • Three neo-Nazis plotted to kill an Antifa activist who they knew lived close to one of the assailants.
  • The FBI arrested the three men during a national crackdown on The Base, an international neo-Nazi group they were members of, in January 2020.
  • The neo-Nazis inadvertently hired a fourth man who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

Hostile Foreign Influence Operations

Photo credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Iranian Nationals Indicted for Foreign Election Interference

  • Two Iranian nationals ran a 2020 presidential election interference campaign, sending intimidating emails made to look like they were coming from the Proud Boys.
  • They also sent emails threatening violence to tens of thousands of Democratic voters.
  • The Iranians were working to hack into 11 state voter websites, and in one case were successful, stealing data on 100,000 voters, per court files.

Russians Allowing Foreign Actors to Use their Ransomware Platforms

  • Researchers at threat intelligence firm Flashpoint have observed a spike in activities of Chinese origin hackers on a Russian-language ransomware forum.
  • Flashpoint suspects that this could be part of a social engineering experiment to manipulate the media and cover up an international alliance to distribute ransomware.

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