Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #ForeignFighters

Most recents (24)

"#ISIS is not gone" per @WHNSC's Joshua Geltzer, who says ISIS still sticking w/its basic game plan of taking advantage of ungoverned spaces, instability, carry out attacks and try to establish some territorial control

ISIS claiming 350 attacks this year in #Iraq #Syria
US sees financial movement between #ISIS core & its affiliates, as well as attempts to maintain a coherent over-arching strategy, @WHNSC's Joshua Geltzer tells @MiddleEastInst @ICSR_Centre
"There is a level of collaboration & coordination" per @WHNSC's Joshua Geltzer on #ISIS & its affiliates

Points to call by ISIS core earlier this year for affiliated to ramp up attacks - a call he says was answered
Read 7 tweets
NEW: An estimated 20,000 foreigners expressed interest in becoming #foreignfighters in #Ukraine -including some extremists" since #Russia invaded but evidence suggests "only a fraction...actually did so" per a new report by @FightExtremism & @KacperRekawek
#Ukraine #foreignfighter number "ranges from merely several hundreds to a few thousand" per @FightExtremism report "This is dwarfed by tens of thousands of Ukrainian volunteers who joined units in Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Force (TDF)"
Per @FightExtremism report, at least 2 violence-oriented foreign extremists who traveled to #Ukraine "have been killed in the latest round of hostilities"

"Both were on the pro-#Russia side, including one who was a left-wing extremist"
Read 6 tweets
#Chechens in Ukraine: "They have their own little war in there" @vera_mironov tells @TheSoufanCenter webinar on #Ukraine-#foreignfighters

Says Chechen contingent fighting for #Russia includes prisoners, drug addicts, others who say they take orders only from Ramzan Kadyrov
MORE: Chechen units taking orders from Kadyrov "kind of settling their previous scores" but also being kept far from #Ukraine held territory so they don't defect, per @vera_mironov

There's also a group of #Chechens fighting for #Ukraine, she says
.@dbyman tells @TheSoufanCenter he's "worried there is an intersection" between white supremacist movement & foreign fighters in #Ukraine even if the numbers right now appear to be small
Read 20 tweets
NEW: #Russian forces still stalled in #Ukraine

"Not a whole lot of changes...no real changes by the #Russia|ns on the ground near #Kyiv" per a senior US defense official, who says #Moscow's advanced force still 15km to the north, 30km to the east of the capital city
US seeing some fighting in #Izyum, #Ukraine forces trying to take back territory from the #Russia|n forces, per a senior US defense official
NEW: #Russia now firing on #Mariupol from several ships in the #SeaofAzov, per a senior US defense official

Russian forces also inside the city, including separatists forces but still a tough fight, per official
Read 10 tweets
NEW: @SecDef Lloyd Austin will travel w/@POTUS to #Brussels & #Poland for mtgs with @NATO allies on #Russia-#Ukraine, per @PentagonPresSec
NEW: "We have not seen an influx into #Ukraine of #foreignfighters hired or recruited by #Russia, but we continue to see an interest by Russia in doing just that"
per @PentagonPresSec

re #Wagner Group - "We know they're there & we know they wants to increase their presence"
Efforts among US, allies to get #Ukraine long-range air defense systems - "These are active, active consultations" per @PentagonPresSec

"We're all mindful of the clock & that #Russia's intensifying their bombardment" of Ukrainian cities, population centers
Read 16 tweets
NEW: #Russia "Advances continue to be generally stalled" near #Kyiv, per a senior US defense official

"No tangible progress" but rear forces are being moved forward, per official

#Ukrainians still holding town of #Brovary to the east, per official

#Russia-#Ukraine
#Mariupol isolated w/#Russia forces north & east of the city, per a senior US defense official

#Mykolaiv - no major changes/Russian forces still outside the city, per official

#Odesa-US observing more naval activity & shelling nearby likely by Russian warships, per official
US not seeing indications YET of #Russia|n amphibious assault targeting #Odesa, despite the increased naval shelling, per a senior US defense official
Read 25 tweets
1/ Ukrainian Theater of War, Day 16: Russian forces initiate an operational pause to refit and reorganize after failed attempts to encircle Kyiv. The Ukrainians continue to harass Russian supply routes and hold key cities of Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Mikolaiyv. #UkraineRussiaWar
2/ A few updates of note to the overall Theater of War graphic. Internally displace persons are now indicated. An estimated casualty table has been reintroduced and notes the differences of reporting among various sources.
3/ Humanitarian Impact. UN sources report more than 2.5 million refugees have now fled Ukraine. Another 1.8 million persons are displaced in Ukraine. Indiscriminate attacks of civilians continue to mount. Mariupol suffers over 1,500 killed since start of siege. #HumanRights
Read 28 tweets
NEW: #Russia's launched +710 missiles vs #Ukraine, evenly split btw launch points from inside & outside the country, per senior US defense official
NEW: #Russia forces on outskirts of #Kharkiv, advancing 20km in recent days, per senior US defense official

Russian troops also closing in on #Mikolayiv, increasing shelling, official adds

Russian efforts to move on #Kyiv remain stalled - no progress on Day 14 of the invasion
US discussions w/#Ukraine ongoing about defensive needs - "We're doing the best we can to meet them with stuff we can get our hands on" per senior US defense official

Also "actively having discussions w/allies & partners"whose inventories are a closer match to #Kyiv's
Read 17 tweets
NEW: Growing concerns abt #ISIS-#Khorasan

Just releases @UN intel report finds ISIS' affiliate in #Afghanistan may have doubled in size since US left & now has close to 4,000 fighters

In August, @CENTCOM said there were at least 2,000 hardcore ISIS-K
Per @UN report, up to half of #ISIS-#Khorasan could be #foreignfighters

ISIS-K also now "controls limited territory in eastern #Afghanistan...capable of conducting high-profile & complex attacks"
#ISIS-#Khorasan also getting money from ISIS core, per @UN member state intel - possibly in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars

"The ISIL core is assessed to have allocated in excess of $500,000 for the support of ISIL-K"
Read 4 tweets
NEW: Just released @UN report warns of "heightened threats emerging" from #ISIS #alQaida affiliated groups worldwide

"This is especially true in parts of West and East #Africa" per the report, based on member state intelligence
In West/East #Africa, affiliates of #ISIS #alQaida "can boast gains in supporters and territory under threat, as well as growing capabilities in fundraising & weapons, for example, in the use of drones" per the @UN report
#ISIS in #Syria "has evolved into an entrenched insurgency, exploiting weaknesses in local security to find safe havens & targeting forces engaged in counter-ISIL operations" per the @UN report
Read 55 tweets
NEW: "The terrorist threat is far from behind us at this point" @StateDept's acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism & acting envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat #ISIS John Godfrey tells @MiddleEastInst
Under @POTUS @JoeBiden "We will avoid announcing major policy initiatives or posture adjustments in a way that comes as a unwelcome surprise to partners & allies" @StateDept's Godfrey notes

"We will consult & we will coordinate"
Strategic review ongoing re white supremacist/domestic violent extremism - but not just domestically

"We're also focused on the transnational linkages of these domestic violent extremists" per @StateDept's Godfrey in @MiddleEastInst virtual conference
Read 22 tweets
NEW: @USAfricaCommand warns #alQaida-linked #alShabaab "remains adaptive, resilient, and capable of attacking Western & partner interests in #Somalia & East #Africa" in final @DoD_IG report on US counterterrorism ops in Africa
Despite ongoing train/advise/equip efforts by US, others "The Somali government...has not met milestones for the development of its security forces" per @DoD_IG Sean O’Donnell

#Somalia #alShabaab
In North #Africa, #alQaida in the Islamic Maghreb (#AQIM) & #ISIS-#Libya "significantly degraded & currently pose no threat to the US homeland & a minimal threat to US interests in the region" per @DoD_IG Sean O’Donnell
Read 43 tweets
NEW: US making "limited progress" in degrading #ISIS #alQaida in #Africa, per @DoD_IG report

"In East Africa, #alShabaab moved freely & launched attacks in #Somalia & #Kenya...In the #Sahel & LakeChad regions, violence continued at high levels & expanded to new territories"
"In North #Africa, ISIS-#Libya resumed small-scale attacks in the southern desert region of #Libya" per @DoD_IG Sean O'Donnell "The ongoing civil war...intensified as more foreign fighters and mercenaries deployed to Libya to fight on both sides of the conflict"
MORE: Spread of #COVID19 across #Africa "did not appear to slow VEO (violent extremist organizations) activity" per @DoD_IG O'Donnell "The pandemic exacerbated many of the underlying conditions that foster VEO growth, including economic and food insecurity"

#Africa #terrorism
Read 21 tweets
NEW: "We are much closer to the start of a peace negotiations than we have ever been before"
#Afghanistan acting Minister of Foreign Affairs @MHaneefAtmar tells @USIP "We are optimistic"

re talks w/#Taliban #AfghanPeace
"The last hurdles in terms of release of prisoners & a couple of difficult questions that we had are being addressed successfully" adds #Afghanistan acting Minister of Foreign Affairs @MHaneefAtmar
.@MHaneefAtmar's bottom line for peace deal:

"[#Afghanistan] will have to remain an independent, sovereign, unified state w/its full territorial integrity...It will have to be a constitutional, representative democracy on the strong foundation of human rights, women's rights"
Read 15 tweets
More info about detained in Belarus #WagnerGroup mercenaries is coming out. According to the Ukrainian media – it was planned for several months operation of Security Service of Ukraine #SBU. This story shows interesting trajectories of #ForeignFighters from Ukraine. #Thread 1/16
The aim of operation was to found and detain people responsible for shooting down the MH 17 plane in July, 2014 – both member of 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Federation and cooperating with them – so called pro-russian separatists (mainly mercenaries). 2/16
Operation has been planned and preparated for more than year by General Intelligence Board at Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Security Service of Ukraine #SBU and war crimes department at Attorney General's Office of Ukraine. 3/16
Read 17 tweets
NEW: "Efforts to reduce extremism in the #Philippines do not appear to have made a substantial difference" per acting @DoD_IG Sean O'Donnell in new report on Operation Pacific Eagle–Philippines
#ISIS-#EastAsia, "other violent extremist groups in the #Philippines that either coordinate with or share members w/ISIS, have remained about the same size & strength for the last few years" per @DoD_IG

"...little change in the capabilities, size, financing, & operations"
#Philippine armed forces "continues to conduct counterterrorism operations that keep #ISIS-EA from spreading, & continues to rely on US-provided intelligence, air assets, & other support to conduct counterterrorism operations" per new @DoD_IG report
Read 12 tweets
#ISIS in the Greater #Sahara "remains the most dangerous group in the tri-border area" per new @UN report "...where it benefits from the support of family members within local communities and reported financial agreements with some armed groups in #Mali"
#ISIS-Greater #Sahara "less isolated than in previous years" per @UN member state intel

ISGS "can build on its direct contacts with the #ISIL core" per the report, which adds it is still "operationally distinct" from #ISIS-West #Africa Province
Peaceful coexistence between #ISIS-Greater #Sahara & Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (#JNIM) is over, per @UN report

"Major clashes started in March 2020 and JNIM was reinforced by Tuareg groups and self-defence militias from northern #Mali..."
Read 7 tweets
#Libya ripe for #ISIS exploitation

Member states estimate branch has just 100s of fighters, but "1 Member State put it as high as 1,400" per @UN report

"Persistent lawlessness & preoccupation /interfactional fighting will create opportunities for ISIL-Libya to thrive further"
#Libya remains "integral" to #ISIS plans in #Africa per @UN report

"It remains an important outreach post between the core and #ISIL affiliates on the continent"
"Between February & April 2020, #ISIL-#Libya resumed activity in the south, coinciding with surging ISIL activity in the core conflict zone [#Iraq/#Syria]" per @UN

"It maintains sleeper cells in the coastal cities, including #Tripoli"
Read 7 tweets
#ISIS #ISIL behind a growing number of terror attacks and "absolutely omnipresent online" @UN_CTED Exec Dir. Michèle Coninsx tells @WashInstitute
Concerns about #foreignfighters, families - especially still in #IDP camps - world must act to "not to create another generation of over radicalized persons," per @UN_CTED Exec Dir Michèle Coninsx
#COVID19 impact on terror groups "is not yet clear" per @UN_CTED Exec Dir Michèle Coninsx

"We are confronted with uncertainty..." she says, noting there has been an increase in online activity, recruitment
Read 5 tweets
US "took major strides last year" against terror, per @StateDept's Amb Nathan Sales on the new 2019 State Department Country Reports on Terrorism

Hails defeat of #ISIS caliphate... repeats that US now focused more heavily on ISIS & #alQaida affiliates in #Africa
#ISIS - "It's evolved" from an entity that purported to control territory to a global network that reaches almost every continent" per @StateDept's Sales
US remains worried about rise in racially/ethnically motivated terrorism, per @StateDept's Amb Sales "We're particularly concerned about white supremacist terrorism"
Read 16 tweets
Happening now: maintaining & securing stability - including freedom of navigation - and security key US interests in the US, @CENTCOM Commander, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie tells @MiddleEastInst Image
"The greatest threat to stability and security in the region is #Iran" per @CENTCOM's McKenzie "Iran actively stokes instability" in #Syria #Yemen & elsewhere

"They use both state violence & proxy violence"
Next comes #ISIS #alQaida - "they do retain the aspiration to attack the #UnitedStates & our allies" per @CENTCOM's McKenzie

Then comes great power competition from #Russia, #China
Read 26 tweets
HAPPENING NOW: "Our fight against ISIS continues, and it will be here for the foreseeable future. We cannot rest" says @SecPompeo to open D-#ISIS ministerial, adding ISIS sees no borders Image
.@SecPompeo calls for coalition partners to contribute to goal of $700 million for the anti-#ISIS fight for 2020, and to pay to hold #foreignfighters in prison
"We are counting on this Coalition to fund the secure and humane detention of the thousands of #foreignterroristfighters in custody in #Syria and #Iraq" per @SecPompeo

Pompeo urges more countries to follow #Italy #Germany & repatriate their foreign fighters, try them in court
Read 6 tweets
NEW: @UN report on #Taliban casts doubt on ability of US-Taliban agreement to succeed

"There are divisions within the group [Taliban], which make compromise with its adversaries difficult, and its messaging remains hard-line" per UN Sanctions Monitoring Team
#Taliban "also appears well prepared for the 2020 fighting season and raising the tempo of its attacks on #Afghan government targets" per the @UN report
New @UN report sees problems due to #Taliban drug trafficking

"The scale of the problem remains huge and has been further complicated by a boom in methamphetamine production and trafficking" per report
Read 33 tweets
[Thread] Looking for webinar resources in these socially distant times? We've compiled a list of webinar recordings from the past week featuring ICCT fellows sharing their expertise on counter-#terrorism! (1/4)
@USIP and @resolvenet's webinar on Career #ForeignFighters, featuring @JeanineRvz, @cldaymon, @drdavidmalet and @ColinPClarke, explores how these fighters influence current conflict dynamics (2/4)
@RUSI's webinar on extreme communication, featuring @reed_alastair, @NafeesHamid, @galwaygrrl and @mattfreear, explores #StrategicCommunications and the challenges and threats facing Western liberal democracies (3/4) pscp.tv/w/1DXxyedNdQbxM
Read 5 tweets

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