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US Appeals Court Rules Benghazi Attacker’s 22-Year Sentence Unreasonably Low

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

Marshalls patrol outside the federal courthouse where Ahmed Abu Khatalla, a ringleader of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans, is in custody
Marshalls patrol outside the federal courthouse where Ahmed Abu Khatalla, a ringleader of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans, is in custody – Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Islamist Extremism

US Appeals Court Rules Benghazi Attacker’s 22-Year Sentence Unreasonably Low

  • A U.S. appeals court decided that Ahmed Abu Khatallah’s 22-year sentence for his role in the 2012 Benghazi attack wasn’t enough.
  • Khatallah, 51, was originally convicted in 2018 on several counts for his involvement in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. He appealed his sentence, but the government cross-appealed, arguing the original sentence was “unreasonably low.”
  • Khatallah’s sentencing guidelines would have ranged between 30 years and life in prison. Read More

US Drone Strike Kills Al-Qaeda Leader

  • A U.S. airstrike killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan.
  • Zawahiri was the FBI’s most-wanted terrorist. He was Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenant and is believed to have been the “operational brains” behind the 9/11 attacks.
  • Zawahiri was killed from the balcony of his home in Kabul by a precision missile that killed him without hurting his wive and daughter inside. Read More

ISIS Media Personality Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

  • A Saudi-born Canadian citizen, Mohammed Khalifa, 39, was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
  • In addition to fighting for ISIS, Khalifa served as a lead translator in the group’s propaganda production and the English-speaking narrator on multiple violent ISIS videos.
  • Khalifa was captured in 2019, following a firefight between ISIS fighters and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) . Read More

Man With AK-47 Arrested Outside Iranian Dissident’s Home

  • Khalid Mehdiyev, 23, was arrested outside the home of Iranian dissident journalist Masih Alinejad.
  • Mehdiyev was found with an assault rifle, a high-capacity magazine and more than $1,000 worth of cash when he was arrested.
  • Law enforcement observed Mehdiyev stalking Alinejad for several days. Read More

Alt-Right & Alt-Left Extremism

Matthew Belanger
Matthew Belanger – Twitter via Israel HaYom

Neo-Nazi Arrested for Plotting Attack on Synagogue

  • Matthew Belanger, an ex-Marine from Long Island, N.Y., has been arrested on charges stemming from a federal investigation into his plot to commit mass murder.
  • Belanger procured weapons and plotted to attack an unnamed Long Island synagogue with firearms and homemade explosives.
  • Belanger is a member of neo-Nazi group Rapekrieg, a group that calls for the rape of women in order “to increase the production of white children.” Read More

Communist Group Leader Arrested

More News From the Alt-Right

  • Francis P. Harker, 22, of Norfolk, Va., pled guilty to a weapons charge that he sought out violent extremists and discussed a potential attack on Virginia Beach police. Read More

More News From the Alt-Left

  • Antifa activist Colleen Newton, 24, from Los Angeles, Calif. pled guilty to vandalizing a federal courthouse with anti-police graffiti. Read More

Hate Crime

Flima Zlatsin following his assault on the NYC subway
Flima Zlatsin following his assault on the NYC subway – Fima Zlatsin/via Dov Hikind via The Jerusalem Post

Jewish Man Violently Assaulted on NYC Subway

  • A Jewish man was attacked on the NYC subway for being identifiably Jewish. The perpetrator said he would have killed the victim if he’d had a gun. Read More
  • A teenager in Sandy, Utah was arrested after allegedly assaulting a 17-year-old boy. The suspect is alleged to have shouted homophobic slurs before assaulting the victim. Read More

Hostile Foreign Influence Operations

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell – Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

China Targeting the Federal Reserve

  • According to a report released by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, the Chinese government has targeted the Federal Reserve for nearly 10 years, working to recruit and influence employees in an effort to obtain information and monetary benefit and to influence U.S. monetary policy. Read More

Senators Call on Social Media to Moderate Russian Disinformation in Spanish

  • Members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee are calling on the CEOs of Meta, Twitter, and Telegram to increase their efforts to moderate Spanish language content by Russian state media services. Read More
Ukrainian soldiers and foreign fighters board a vehicle on the frontline in June in Mykolaiv, Ukraine
Ukrainian soldiers and foreign fighters board a vehicle on the frontline in June in Mykolaiv, Ukraine – Pierre Crom/Getty Images

Possible Threat of Neo-Nazi Fighters Returning to West After Fighting in Ukraine

  • A report from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) warns of the threat posed by neo-Nazi foreign fighters returning to the West from fighting in Ukraine.
  • Some 20,000 foreign fighters went to serve in Ukraine at the beginning of the conflict from across the U.S. and Europe.
  • MEMRI’s Domestic Terror Threat Monitor (DTTM) has identified members from over 35 neo-Nazi, anti-government and white supremacist extremist groups who are foreign fighters in Ukraine. Read More

Accelerationist Guide Advocates Attacks on Trains

  • A 261-page accelerationist guide, claiming to be the product of 100 authors, circulated among extremist channels on Telegram, calls for mass shooting of migrants and attacking rail infrastructure.
  • Accelerationism has been associated with a variety of white supremacist violence. It is based on the idea that Western governments are irreparably corrupt, and the best thing white supremacists can do is accelerate their demise by sowing chaos and creating political tension. Read More

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