Jeff Seldin Profile picture
Jan 10 27 tweets 14 min read
NEW: US facing "diverse, geographically dispersed & highly unpredictable threat environment" Nat'l Counterterrorism Center Dir. Christine Abizaid tells @WashInstitute
Attack/threat "most likely to occur in the #UnitedStates from lone actors...motivated by a range of ideologies" from #ISIS #alQaida to racism & white supremacy, sometimes a combination, per NCTC's Abizaid

"The threat is unpredictable" both in US & the Western world, she says
As far as non-US based groups/actors, #alQaida & #ISIS continue to pose top threats to the US homeland, per NCTC's Abizaid
The most likely terrorist attack in the United States is going by an individual driven by racial and ethnic motivated extremism, per NCTC's Abizaid

Often w/a "lower degree of sophistication" that from transnational plots
"The pressure you need to maintain on the #alQaida & #ISIS networks...absolutely necessary" per NCTC's Abizaid

"We're managing what is a dynamic threat environment"
"The most evidence of foreign nexus" is with racially/ethnically motivated extremists, per NCTC's Abizaid

"Some of this is about online collectives that are transnational in nature"

"We're seeing aspect of it in #SouthAmerica" as well as in West, she adds
US, partner pressure on #ISIS "has kept this threat at bay" in #Iraq & #Syria, per NCTC's Abizaid

BUT "this brand expansion of the #IslamicState is really concerning" she says, noting concerning signs in #Afghanistan, expansion across #Africa
#alQaida's center of gravity - "That is the question" NCTC's Abizaid tells @WashInstitute

Dead leader Ayman al-#Zawahiri "was the center of gravity for that netowrk. He was symbolically important...strategically important"
Death of #alQaida's #Zawahiri "test the ties that bind" the rest of the affiliates, per NCTC's Abizaid

Best candidates to replace Zawahiri still stuck in #Iran, she adds
#alQaida in #Syria-"The core alQaida presence is #HurrasalDin" per NCTC's Abizaid "...not jut bcs of its base to operate in Syria...[but bcs of] their stature & interconnectivity"
"The main focus & where we are most #Somalia, our main concern is the #Sahel" per NCTC's Abizaid

BUT "the #SouthAfrica story is a really interesting story...#Mozambique is another interesting example...#DRC"
"It's these other expansionary areas...that provide us this warning" about the growing threat from #ISIS, per NCTC's Abizaid
#Afghanistan - #alQaida in the Indian [#AQIS] subcontinent "defunct" per NCTC's Abizaid, calling it less & less of a threat
#ISIS-#Khorasan in #Afghanistan "we have got to be very mindful of" per NCTC's Abizaid

Abizaid also calls #ISIS-K the threat "that I am most concerned about" as far as reaching outside of Afghanistan
Over-the-horizon CT - "Yes, it can work" per NCTC's Abizaid, pointing to US strike that killed #alQaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri
#Iran's intent to conduct terrorist attacks-"They are very active & intent on revenge for [Quds Force Cmdr Qassem] Soleimani...tit-for-tat w/the #Israel|is"
per NCTC's Abizaid

"What I see is a pretty braze Iranian threat network that is willing to explore avenues for attack"
#Iran threat - "We're seeing it more often & in a way I am very concerned about how metered it well we understand the escalation ladder" per NCTC's Abizaid
#Iran's plots vs activists & journalists "also persistent & concerning" per NCTC's Abizaid
#Iran-"It's not just a proxy battle" per NCTC's Abizaid

"Iran is leveraging its own capabilities" vs the US, West, other enemies
#Hezbollah "most capable...most mature" of #Iran's proxies, per NCTC's Abizaid

"Has a history of capability that goes well outside the region...difficult target to understand & track"
Social media - "We've got to be concerned, we've got to be vigilant but we also have to give room for technology to thrive" per NCTC's Abizaid
#ISIS-#Khorasan "primarily tied up w/fighting the #Taliban" though still reason to be concerned abt their external ambitions, per NCTC's Abizaid

Won't give estimate for when ISIS-K might try to launch attack vs US, West
#Russia|n paramilitary group #Wagner "is a major concern...counterproductive" when it comes to countering terrorism, especially in #Africa, per NCTC's Abizaid
"The online environment is where most of the radicalization is occurring" per NCTC's Abizaid

"Very divergent ideologies...are coming together in a single individuals mind"
The amount of money terror groups are spending on "slick" propaganda shows how valuable it is to their causes, per NCTC's Abizaid
#Syria's role in the threat environment - "It's all happening in the same time" per NCTC's Abizaid

High number of radicalized individuals across the country - "It's a festering problem...requires a level of sophistication" to address
#Syria's #alHol displaced person's camp: "It is a significant challenge" per NCTC's Abizaid

"It is a problem we have to stay focused on...It is an intelligence challenge to understand what's going on" in the camp

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More from @jseldin

Jan 10
NEW: US seizes 2,116 AK-47s from a #Iran|ian fishing boat on its way to #Yemen in the #GulfofOman

Per @US5thFleet, the boat, intercepted back on January 6, was crewed by 6 Yemeni nationals & was on a route traditionally used to smuggle supplies to the #Houthis
Per US, the shipment of the AK-47s violates @UN Security Council resolution 2216 & also int'l law

The boat & the crew, minus the weapons, will be repatriated
“These threats have our attention" per @US5thFleet Cmdr VADM Brad Cooper

"This shipment is part of a continued pattern of destabilizing activity from #Iran
Read 4 tweets
Jan 9
Day 320 of #Russia invasion of #Ukraine - pretty severe fighting in #Bakhmut & surrounding areas, per senior US military official

But otherwise, the battlefield "has not changed significantly" per the official, adding airspace remains contested
#Russia claims it targeted school in #Kramatorsk, killing hundreds of #Ukraine troops - US cannot confirm or deny, per senior US military official

"I can't confirm the [Russian} strike took place" per the official
"Every morning I come in to find #Russia has claimed to shoot something that they have not" per senior US military official
Read 7 tweets
Dec 12, 2022
NEW: Intense fighting near #Bakhmut where #Russia launching counteroffensive to take the city from #Ukraine, per a senior US military official
#Russia's Wagner Group active in area around #Bakhmut & Russian forces making some incremental gains, but "the #Ukrainians continue to hold the line" per a senior US military official
"We know the #Ukrainians can fight & fight well under these [winter] conditions" per senior US military official
Read 9 tweets
Dec 12, 2022
ICYMI: US kills 2 more #ISIS officials during an early morning helicopter raid on December 11 in eastern #Syria

Per @CENTCOM, 1 of the ISIS officials -Anas- "was involved in the group’s deadly plotting & facilitation operations"

Per initial assessments, no civilian casualties
This is just the latest is a series of blow by the US & coalition partners against #ISIS...killing or capturing at least 7 ISIS officials this past year
#ISIS losses in 2022:

-Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, #ISIS leader, killed February

-Bashar Khattab Ghazal al-Sumaida'i, captured by #Turkey in May

-Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi, ISIS #Syria ops official, captured in June

-Maher al-Agal, top ISIS Syria official, killed in July
Read 6 tweets
Dec 7, 2022
NEW: Andrii Derkach, a pro-#Russia|n Ukrainian politician, indicted Wednesday on 7 counts of bank fraud & money laundering & sanction violations, per @TheJusticeDept

Derkach is a well-known #Kremlin asset who was already sanctioned by the US for #Election2020 meddling
Wednesday's indictment vs Derkach, unsealed in a federal court in #Brooklyn, #NewYork includes:

-conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Acts (IEEPA)
-bank fraud conspiracy
-money laundering conspiracy
Wednesday's indictment vs Derkach also includes:

-4 counts of money laundering in connection w/the purchase & maintenance of 2 condominiums in #BeverlyHills
Read 8 tweets
Dec 6, 2022
NEW: US to increase rotational forces in #Australia, including US bombers, fighters and @USArmy capabilities, per @SecDef, follow mtg w/@SecBlinken & their Australian counterparts
MORE: #Japan also invited to integrate w/US-#Australia force posture, per @SecDef
US help w/nuclear powered subs "will transform #Australia's strategic posture" per #Australian DefMin @RichardMarlesMP
Read 13 tweets

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