Friday, January 13, 2023


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The Extremism Roundup

Promoting Civil Discourse and Marginalizing the Extremes
A weekly compilation of the most important developments in the struggle against radical ideologies

Islamist Extremism

Trevor Bickford

St. Charles County, Mo., Dept of Correction (via CNN)

ISIS Radical Faces Death Penalty for 2017 NYC Bike-Path Attack

  • The trial of Sayfullo Saipov opened last week. Saipov faces eight counts of murder and 18 counts of attemped murder for his rampage down a bike path on Halloween 2017 on Manhattan’s West Side using a rented Home Depot truck.
  • Saipov is an unrepentant ISIS radical who, according to his attorney, still believes he had a religious obligation to carry out the attack and requested to display an ISIS flag in his hospital room in the wake of his arrest.
  • Saipov immigrated to the United States in 2010 from Uzbekistan under the Diversity Visa Program.
  • He told investigators that he planned the attack for about a year and was inspired by watching ISIS videos. Read More

 Professor Fired for Showing Painting With Depiction of Muhammad

  • An adjunct professor at Hamline University was let go after she showed a painting in an art history class that had a depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, which is against Islamist faith to look at for many Muslims.

  • In a statement released from Hamline University defending the decision, they stated, “Respect for the observant Muslim students in that classroom should have superseded academic freedom." Read More

Alt-Right & Alt-Left Extremism

Charles Warren Campbell

Charles Warren Campbell, 52 - Missoula County Sheriff's Office via NBC Montana screenshot

Aryan Brotherhood Member Sentenced to Seven Years for Drug Trafficking

  • Charles Warren Campbell, 52, who admitted to trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl pills and to firearms crimes, was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. 
  • According to court documents, Campbell claimed to be a ranking member of the Aryan Brotherhood in Arizona and had been receiving and distributing large quantities of meth and heroin. Read More

Boogaloo Boi Indicted for Threatening to Kill Federal Agents

  • A federal grand jury handed up an indictment against Aron McKillips, 29, of Sandusky, Ohio.
    McKillips is charged with five counts of sending interstate threats and one count of possessing a machine gun.
  • According to members of the FBI, McKillips is a well-known member of the Boogaloo Bois, an anti-government group that believes a second Civil War is imminent.
  • Court records claim McKillips posted several messages on social media sites about killing police officers and federal agents, burning down federal buildings and storming federal offices with guns. Read More

Black Nationalist New York Subway Shooter Pleads Guilty

  • Frank James, 63, of Milwaukee, Wis., pleaded guilty to 10 counts of committing a terrorist attack or other violence against a mass transportation vehicle after he shot 10 people on the New York City subway in April 2022.
  • On his social media pages, James promoted Black Lives Matter, the far-left black nationalist group Black Liberation Army, and the black nationalist religious faction Nation of Islam. Read More

Antifa Members Charged With Domestic Terrorism Released on Bond

  • Six Antifa activists who were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism following a clash with law enforcement at the proposed site of Atlanta's new public safety academy have been granted bond. 
  • The activists set up treehouses in the forest since June to block the construction of the facility and had begun attacking police and other emergency services workers at the scene with rocks, bottles and a gas bomb. 
  • Convictions of domestic terrorism carry sentences of anywhere between five and 35 years in prison. Read More

School Threats

Hilliard Davidson High School electronic bulletin board

Hilliard Davidson High School electronic bulletin board via 10 WBNS screenshot

Ohio Teens Charged After Online Threats

  • Two 15-year-old students are now facing charges in connection with making threatening Instagram posts targeting Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio. 
  • Both teens face felony inducing panic charges. Read More

California Man Arrested for Making Terrorist Threat to Schools

  • The Eureka Police Department in California arrested Jared Cochran, 39, for allegedly making a terrorist threat to local schools. 
  • Police say Cochran threatened to harm a family member with a firearm at a school function. He was subsequently interviewed and arrested. Read More

Utah High School Lockdown Following Bomb Threat

  • Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah went into lockdown briefly after police determined a bomb threat had been made. 
  • Details on the threatening message itself and how investigators came to the conclusion it was a bomb threat were not immediately made available. Read More

Hostile Foreign Influence Operations

 LEAP aero-engine model

 Visitors look at a LEAP aero-engine model by General Electric during the 4th China International Import Expo in Shanghai, 2021 - Zhai Huiyong/Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Former GE Engineer Sentenced for Espionage

  • Xiaoqing Zheng, 59, of Niskayuna, N.Y., was convicted of conspiracy to commit economic espionage to aid the People’s Republic of China and sentenced to 24 months in prison.
  • Zheng conspired with individuals in China to steal GE’s trade secrets surrounding GE’s ground-based and aviation-based turbine technologies. Read More

GOP Calls for Investigation Into Chinese Communist Party’s Influence in US

  • In an interview, Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is set to create a select committee on China to investigate the actions of the Chinese Communist Party to influence the United States. Read More

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Violate Iranian Sanction

  • Behrouz Mokhtari, 72, a naturalized U.S. citizen living in McLean, Va., pleaded guilty to two separate conspiracies to violate sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Iran.
  • Mokhtari, who is originally from Tehran, faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each of the two conspiracy counts. Read More

Research and Trends in Extremism

Americans Against Antisemitism

 LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images

A String of Attacks on Power Stations Has Authorities Worried

  • Attacks and suspicious activity at U.S. power stations reached a decade-long high last year, when 107 substations were attacked in the first eight months alone.
  • Each such attack can leave tens of thousands of people without power, and the damage can take many weeks or months to repair.
  • In a recent attack, the MGM Resorts Mega Array project in North Las Vegas, the main source of solar power for all of the company’s 13 Las Vegas casino resorts, was attacked by Mohammed Mesmarian.  Authorities say it may take two years to fully repair the damage.
  • Officials are saying the rise in incidents suggests the perpetrators may be drawing inspiration from each another. Read More

Big Tech Releases Open-Source Software to Fight Terrorism

  • In 2017, several Big Tech companies formed the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), which created a joint database used to create open-source moderation software. 
  • These companies are now releasing their open-source software to help smaller companies moderate content more effectively. Read More

"What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist."

- Salman Rushdie

NOTE TO OUR READERS: We have pulled out the salient points of the articles in this newsletter to keep you informed and focused on the most relevant, important and timely news in national security and extremism. While our national security experts stand behind the summary bullets and deem them trustworthy, Clarion Project does not endorse all the views expressed in the articles linked.

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