|Helmand: Afghan Commandos ‘Release Captives’ From Taliban Prison|
|[KhaamaPress] Afghan security officials say the commando forces have carried out an operation on a ’s prison in Nahr-e Saraj district of province on Wednesday night.|
Security officials stated, that in an operation carried out by the Afghan Commando forces on a Taliban prison in Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.
At least 27 prisoners held in the captivity of the Talibs were released and freed during the Wednesday night operation.
Reports indicate Afghan commando forces seized a rocket, AK47, two radios, and other Taliban equipment used for planting IEDs.
One of the Taliban guards who had the duty to look after the prison was also killed during the night raid, the statement read.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defense in a post on their Facebook page said, that commando forces rescued at least 13 prisoners from the clutches of the Taliban.
The captured prisoners were rescued from a Taliban jail in the Washer district of Helmand province.
Commando operations backed by air support conducted a mission on Taliban controlled jail during the night.
The overnight mission forced the Talibs to flee to nearby villages.
Security officials told the media, that 13 people including a policeman were rescued from the grips of the Taliban during the operation.
The abductees were held by the Taliban for over a year and were being held inside the prison in a poor condition.
The freed Afghan citizens, including the policeman, have returned to their families.
|Suspected ISIS fighters ambush passenger bus in eastern Hama: 6 killed|
|[AlMasdar] A passenger bus was targeting while it was traveling through the eastern countryside of the Hama Governorate, a government report said this evening.|
According to the report, a group of targeted the passenger bus as it was traveling along the Salamiyah-Ithriya Road, resulting in a number of casualties, including six deaths.
The report said the casualties were all civilians, adding that the were transferred to a local hospital in the al-Salamiyah District of eastern Hama.
No group has for this attack; however, a source in the Hama Governorate said that broke out shortly after the attack on the bus.
The source said the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and local National Defense Forces (NDF) believe the attack was carried out by a group of (ISIS/ /IS/ ) fighters that are active in the eastern region of Hama.
It is noteworthy to mention that last week, the Islamic State carried out a similar attack using a along the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor Highway in eastern Homs.
The Islamic State attack on the passenger bus in eastern Homs resulted in 20 soldiers and 8 civilians killed, along with several more .
|Airstrike kills two ISIS militants in Kirkuk province: Iraqi military|
|[Rudaw] Two ISIS) have been killed in an on Kirkuk province, the Iraqi military’s official media source said on Sunday. (|
The airstrike were conducted by F-16 planes on Wadi al-Kour in the province's Daquq district, according to a statement from Iraqi Security Media Cell published by Iraqi state media.
Though ISIS was declared militarily defeated in Iraq in December 2017, remnants of the terrorist group have been able to continue conducting attacks in territory disputed between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), where security is patchy. Kirkuk was under Kurdish control until October 2017, when Iraqi forces retook the disputed territories following the KRG’s failed independence referendum.
Attacks by ISIS have included ambushes on security forces, the kidnap and execution of suspected informants, and extortion from vulnerable rural populations.
Two Kirkuk residents were kidnapped by ISIS and released for $40,000 in November after being held in captivity for six months.
Two wells were bombed at Kirkuk’s Khabbaz oilfield on December 9, an attack ISIS later for.
ISIS also for an IED explosion in the village of Palkana in November, which killed two Iraqi security force members.
On Thursday, ISIS claimed in its weekly propaganda newspaper al-Naba that it had killed and injured at least seven people in Iraq in the previous week.
Two ISIS were killed in a federal police operation in al-Rashad district, southwest Kirkuk province on December 26, and the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (ICTS) arrested two ISIS in an operation in Kirkuk on December 29.
|Russian Air Force swarms southern Idlib region|
|[AlMasdar] The Russian Aerospace Forces have been conducting non-stop reconnaissance missions across the southern and western regions of the Idlib Governorate, in response to the attack that targeted their military police near the city of Saraqib last week. |
According to reports from the nearby Hama Governroate, the Russian Aerospace Forces have been conducting reconnaissance flights with drones and spy planes, with the aircraft mostly concentrating on the Jabal al-Zawiya region of southern Idlib.
The reports specified that no s were carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces; however, their response is likely imminent, especially as three of their military personnel were as a result of a roadside attack outside the city of Saraqib.
While no organization has for the attack, a source from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) said it is believed that groups loyal to the Armed Forces were involved.
This coincides with what the Russian Reconciliation Center originally stated about "pro- gangs" carrying out the attack against their military military personnel in the Idlib Governorate last week.
With the new year comes new problems with the in central and eastern Syria; however, the looming threat in the Idlib Governorate remains, as hardline groups continue to wreak havoc in the Jabal al-Zawiya region.
|Roadside bombing in Egypt’s Sinai kills 2 police|
|[IsraelTimes] 2nd attack in area this week wounds 5 as Egyptian forces battle -led insurgency near Israel’s southern border.|
A went off Friday in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula, killing two members of the country’s security forces and wounding five, security and medical officials said.
According to the officials, the security forces were patrolling in the town of Bir al-Abd when their armored vehicle was hit by a remotely-detonated bomb. The were transferred to a military hospital in Sinai’s coastal city of El-Arish. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the attacks with the media.
Friday’s bombing was the second in the past three days. On Wednesday, one member of the security forces was killed and three were in a ing in a village near Rafah, a town on the border with the Strip.
There was no clear claim of responsibility for Friday’s attack, but the Islamic State group posted a statement on Friday, saying it was behind Wednesday’s bombing and three other recent attacks. The claims could not be independently verified.
In February 2018, the Egyptian military launched a massive operation in Sinai and also in parts of the Nile Delta region and the desert along the country’s western border with Libya. Since then, the pace of IS attacks has diminished.
|Two Kurdish security forces injured by IED planted under ISIS flag in Said Sadiq|
|[Rudaw] Two Kurdish security force members ISIS) group on Saturday, officials and eyewitnesses in the eastern Sulaimani province district of Said Sadiq confirmed to Rudaw. when an improvised (IED) planted under a flag of the (|
The IED explosion occurred on a hill in the Said Sadiq district between the villages of Kani Spika and Bardarash.
The two Asayesh members injured were Sarkhel Sarawi and 47-year-old Atta Qadir, a in Said Sadiq told Rudaw.
Said Sadiq mayor Diyari Rafiq told Rudaw English he had been notified by local residents of the mine’s presence at 10 am.
"This is new for us and no one was expecting this... this can’t happen somewhere so close to the city," Rafiq said. "The security of the people is a red line".
Ismail Ibrahim, a 22-year-old from Bardarash, was out with a group of friends at the spot they frequently head to for picnics when they spotted the flag on the hill.
A few of them walked up to the flag and debated removing it, Ibrahim told Rudaw English, but decided against it. The friends rang the Asayesh, who advised them "not to go near it".
"We saw Asayesh guys arrive... then we spotted blue smoke," Ibrahim said.
In footage taken by Asayesh member Sarawi, Qadir can be seen removing the soil around the flag before the planted IED explodes.
ISIS took control of large parts of Iraq in 2014. Although the Iraqi government announced the territorial defeat of ISIS in December 2017, remnants of the group have returned to earlier insurgency tactics, ambushing security forces, kidnapping and executing suspected informants, extorting money from vulnerable rural populations, and IED attacks.
Remnants of the Islamic State in Iraq are most active in the northern provinces of Nineveh, Salahaddin and Diyala, as well as the western province of Anbar.
On Thursday, ISIS claimed in its weekly propaganda newspaper al-Naba that it had killed and injured at least seven people in Iraq in the previous week.
|The Grand Turk|
|Turkish security forces arrest 24 Iraqis for alleged ISIS links|
|[Rudaw] ISIS) in the central province of Kirsehir on Thursday night, state media reported on Friday. police arrested 24 Iraqis for alleged ties to the (|
Counter-terrorism units in Kirsehir city carried out simultaneous raids against 26 suspects at 32 addresses and arrested 24 people. They are searching for the two remaining suspects, according to Anadolu Agency.
ISIS-related documents and materials were confiscated in the raids.
security forces have carried out several large-scale arrests of foreign ISIS suspects recently. On November 13, they arrested eight Iraqis in the Black Sea province of Samsun. On Monday, forces in Kayseri province arrested seven Syrians allegedly involved in armed ISIS activities in Syria's Azaz town between 2011 and 2015.
has not disclosed the ethnicity of the Iraqis arrested and there have been no comments from the Iraqi government.
Turkey is a member of the multinational Global Coalition against (ISIS), formed when ISIS took control of swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory in 2014. Though Ankara has undertaken domestic operations against the group, its efforts beyond its borders have been limited. A 2016-2017 military campaign in northern Syria, dubbed operation Euphrates Shield, aimed to push ISIS fighters away from the border and halt the advance of Kurdish forces. Ankara has conducted two other military operations against Kurdish forces in Syria, in 2018 and 2019.
Ankara has been accused of providing financial and military support for ISIS, a charge it has denied.
|Militant Groups Behind Illegal Drug Trade in Afghanistan: MoI|
|[ToloNews] Militant groups such as , al Qaeda and "are the main backers of drug trafficking" in Afghanistan, the counter-narcotics department of the Ministry of Interior said on Saturday.|
The ministry said the provinces such as , Nimroz, Farah and Badakhshan where the Taliban has more influence, poppy cultivation and drug processing "have been on the rise" compared to other places.
"Three main groups including Al Qaeda, and the Taliban are the main networks in Afghanistan that are supporting (drug) trafficking in the country," said Abdul Sami Popalzai, head of the counter-narcotics department of Ministry of Interior Affairs.
Taliban rejected their involvement in the illegal drug trade, saying they are not in a position to prevent drug smuggling in areas under their influence.
"We basically control rural areas where there is agriculture. The people cultivate everything there... We cannot prevent them because we do not have an alternative for them. Therefore, we cannot go against them because we are in a war situation," said a Taliban .
The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in a recent report said that despite the US spending of $94 billion to fight drug trafficking in Afghanistan since 2002, the efforts have not left any significant outcome to eradicate it completely.
The Afghan government recently said that counter-narcotics forces have arrested 270 suspects since the start of autumn.
"47 of the suspects were arrested from International Airport," said Ahmad Khalid Muwahid, a for Counter Narcotics Justices Center (CNJC).
According to the ministry, the Afghan counter-narcotics forces have confiscated at least 280 tons of drugs and chemicals in 2,170 operations launched last year.
|Home Front: WoT|
|How an ISIS Member Got Past Immigration and Became a U.S. Citizen|
|[FrontPage] Over a thousand Iraqi refugees have been resettled in Portland.|
The year that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Trump administration's Islamic terror state travel ban, an Iraqi member of ISIS applied for American citizenship.
Hawazen Sameer Mothafar didn’t have much to worry about. Not only was he already living in the United States, but under political pressure, Iraq had been taken off the travel ban list.
And no one would have suspected Mothafar of being an ISIS terrorist. He was in a wheelchair.
When Mothafar was asked at his immigrantion interview this year whether he was involved with a terrorist organization, he must have thought it was a formality. But three months later, Mothafar was under arrest, charged with lying to a government agency, and aiding ISIS.
Mothafar not only managed to get through an immigration interview while denying any terrorist ties, but he spoke in court through an Arabic translator, suggesting a poor grasp of English.
Not only did our immigration system make an alleged ISIS member a citizen, but took an immigrant with nothing to offer this country, who doesn’t even speak the language, and who, according to his lawyer, has to be cared for by his family, and welcomed him in.
Over a thousand Iraqi refugees have been resettled in Portland, Oregon. The small city of Troutdale near Portland, once an all-American locale perfect for picture postcards, has absorbed some of the spillover. And there was nothing all-American about Mothafar.
Mothafar hadn’t come to Troutdale for the annual summerfest parade (cancelled this year because of the pandemic) or hiking past waterfalls. When he came into town under the great ‘Gateway to the Gorge’ arch that’s Troutdale’s claim to fame, he was coming for Jihad.
While Mothafar is disabled, he could still use a computer. And that’s what he did.
A senior ISIS official said that when the Islamic terrorist group needed new email and social media accounts, it was Mothafar’s job to get "new accounts when we needed new accounts as soon as possible."
But Mothafar was allegedly doing a lot more than just providing tech support for the Jihad.
Mothafar claimed that he had been an ISIS supporter since 2014 when the Islamic terror group first gained worldwide attention. Last year, he made the ba'yat pledge, an oath of allegiance to the Caliph of ISIS, who would be caught hiding out and killed by the Trump administration later that same year, binding him to full unquestioning obedience to ISIS and to its leader. Such oaths are often taken before its members make some larger commitment to the terror group.
Earlier that year, Mothafar had ambiguously told an ISIS supporter that he wouldn't use his real name because, "if published for the foundation, it could mean 4 terror."
But in 2015, Mothafar had already been working on the ISIS media operation. He initially ran ISIS chat rooms and channels, but he later began working on Al-Anfal's Jihadist propaganda.
Al-Anfal is an ISIS online media outlet, but literally means the spoils of war. That chapter of the Koran has been used as code for campaigns of extermination against non-Muslims and different Islamic sects and populations. ISIS, many of whose members and leaders had come out of the ranks of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, embraced Al-Anfal as a promise that its Jihad would echo the brutal Al-Anfal of Mohammed and of Saddam Hussein in his Anfal massacres.
|Islamic state claims knife attack in capital of Russia’s southern Chechnya|
|[Jpost] has for a knife attack on police on Monday in the capital of Russia’s southern Chechnya region, al-Naba newspaper affiliated with the group said on Friday.|
It made the claim without providing any evidence.
Two assailants killed one policeman and injured another on Monday in Grozny, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said. The poor and mainly region has seen previous attacks on security officials and an insurgency since Moscow fought two wars with separatists after the 1991 Soviet Union breakup.
Kadyrov said the attackers were brothers from the neighboring region of Ingushetia who worked at a bakery in Chechnya. They were while trying to seize weapons, he said.
|Mastermind of Kabul University Attack Sentenced to Death|
|[ToloNews] Mohammad Adil, the of Kabul University attack, was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court, says the Interior Affairs Ministry.|
The Supreme Court in a statement said that five other collaborators of the attack were sentenced to various jail terms on charges of treason, transfer of s and cooperation with .
On November 2, 2020, at least 22 people were killed and over 40 others were after two attacked Kabul University, a raid that ended after six hours.
In total, 18 students, 16 students from the Public Administration Faculty and two of them from the Law Faculty, in the attack.
The attackers had military uniforms.
Later on, Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh blamed the for the Kabul University attack and said there are many evidences to prove his claim.
But the Taliban rejected Saleh’s claims.
Ten of those killed were female students. They were students of the public administration faculty.
All students who aged between 20 to 26 years old.
At least 25,000 students are enrolled at Kabul University.
|At least 17 villagers hacked to death in eastern Congo|
|[JPost] At least 17 people were found hacked to death in a part of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo ravaged by attacks from Islamist militants, a local official said on Friday.|
Donat Kibwana, the administrator of Beni territory, blamed the deaths near the town of Eringeti on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF),
"Yesterday morning, Congolese army soldiers were on patrol when they found 17 bodies," Kibwana told Reuters. "The modus operandi allows us to say that the ADF rebels are responsible."
More than 1,000 civilians have been killed in attacks attributed to the ADF in 2019 and 2020, according to UN figures.
Congo's eastern borderlands with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi have been plagued by attacks by militias, many formed of remnants of groups that fought in Congo's civil wars around the turn of the century.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for many suspected ADF attacks in the past, although UN experts said this week that they have been unable to confirm any direct link between the two groups.
Bravo Muhindo, a civil society representative, put the death toll at a minimum of 30, saying many were beheaded. An unknown number of others were kidnapped.