Friday, January 20, 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

A discarded Islamic State flag in the Syrian village of Baghouz, a day after ISIS was declared defeated by US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces - GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Go Fight for ISIS

  • Kevin Iman McCormick, 29, of Hamden, Conn. pleaded guilty in federal court to attempting to provide material support to ISIS.
  • According to court documents, McCormick made several statements to others expressing a desire to travel to Syria and to fight for ISIS.
  • In October 2019, McCormick made a video pledging allegiance to ISIS and purchased a plane ticket from Toronto to Amman, Jordan.
  • McCormick is scheduled to be sentenced in April and faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment. Read More

University of Michigan Rally Openly Calls for Israel's Destruction

  • Anti-Israel activists carrying Palestinian flags marched through the University of Michigan campus openly calling for the violent destruction of Israel.  

  • The demonstrators chanted " Long live the Intifada" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." Protesters also held signs saying, "There is Only One Solution" which, in the context of the calls for Israel's elimination, appeared to be a reference Hitler's final solution. Read More

Man Arrested in Williamsburg for Shooting BB Gun and Shouting Allahu Akhbar

  • According to a neighborhood watch organization, a man was arrested in Williamsburg, Brooklyn after he allegedly shot a BB gun into the air and exclaimed “Allahu Akhbar.”

  • Sheifa Rahim, 24, was arrested and charged with five counts of Menacing as a Hate Crime in the 2nd degree, three counts of Acting in a Manner Injurious to a Child, and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th degree. Read More

Brutal Antisemitic Attacker Receives 6-Month Plea Deal

  • Waseem Awawdeh, 24, of Brooklyn, N.Y. received a six-month plea deal offer from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. 

  • Awawdeh was part of a pro-Palestinian group who attacked an individual who was wearing a yarmulke as he walked to a pro-Israel rally. The group allegedly called the victim a “dirty Jew” and yelled “F–k Israel, Hamas is going to kill all of you” as they viciously beat him and showered him with pepper spray.

  • At his arraignment, prosecutors said Awawdeh told jailers he had no regrets and would do it again if he could. Read More

Alt-Right & Alt-Left Extremism

Aryan Circle Gang Member Tattoo

An Aryan Circle gang member shows off his gang tattoo in a wing of a maximum-security Texas prison - Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

69 Universal Aryan Brotherhood Members Convicted

  • A multi-year investigation into a violent white supremacist criminal organization, the Universal Aryan Brotherhood, which is primarily run from inside Oklahoma prisons, has resulted in 69 defendants being convicted across multiple state and federal cases.
  • Across those convictions, law enforcement seized 62 firearms, more than 300 pounds of methamphetamine and more than $400,000 in drug proceeds.
  • Collectively, the individuals charged federally have been sentenced to 418 years in custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and 216 years of supervised release. Read More

Failed GOP Candidate Shoots Up Homes of His Opponents

  • Solomon Pena, 39, was arrested in connection with a series of drive-by shootings targeting the homes of Democratic lawmakers in Albuquerque.
  • Pena is accused of conspiring with four others, paying them cash to carry out drive-by shootings in stolen vehicles, while Pena “pulled the trigger.” 
  • Authorities claim Pena was angry over his defeat and made baseless claims that last November’s election was “rigged” against him. Read More

Alabama Man Found Guilty for January 6 Charges

  • Joshua Matthew Black, 46, of Alabama was found guilty of multiple charges related to his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
  • Photographs and videos taken during the Jan. 6 riot showed Black standing on the floor of the Senate chamber, and two days later he posted two videos on YouTube in which he admitted to entering the Capitol and bringing a knife with him.
  • Black will be sentenced in May and is facing multiple years in prison in addition to potential fines. Read More

Antifa Member Appears in Court

  • Faraz Martin Talab, 28, of Los Angeles, Calif. appeared in court exactly two years after he allegedly assaulted multiple people during an Antifa riot in San Diego.
  • Talab was one 11 Antifa members indicted in connection to a riot at Pacific Beach in January 2021.
  • His charges include conspiracy to riot with 10 other Antifa defendants, plus five assaults on five different victims. He pleaded not-guilty. Read More

BLM Activist Sentenced

  • Ashton L. Howard, 29, of Wisconsin was sentenced to five  years in federal prison for throwing a brick at a Kenosha police officer during the 2020 riots following the Jacob Blake shooting.
  • Howard pleaded guilty last year to obstructing a law enforcement officer while that officer was engaged in his official duties amid civil disorder. Read More

Pittsburgh Anarchist Sentenced for Throwing Bricks During Riot

  • Jordan Coyne, 26, of Pittsburgh, Penn. was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for throwing bricks and concrete at police during the 2020 George Floyd riots. Read More

School Threats

Hilliard Davidson High School electronic bulletin board

KETV 7 News screenshot

Four People Arrested for Making School Threats to Omaha School

  • Four people have been arrested after allegedly making threats to Omaha, Neb.-area schools online. 
  • The Omaha Police Department has arrested an 18-year-old female, identified as Itzel Bravo, and three juveniles for terroristic threats and disorderly conduct. Read More

Illinois Student Charged for Making School Threats

  • Spencer T. Hurley, 19, was charged with two counts of falsely making a terrorist threat toward Edwardsville High School in Illinois, as well as one count of disorderly conduct in the investigation.
  • According to court documents, Hurley reportedly made comments about “a detailed plan” to conduct a mass shooting against the high school.
  • Hurley is jailed in Madison County on a $150,000 bond. If convicted, Hurley could be sentenced up to 15 years in prison over the threat. Read More

Hostile Foreign Influence Operations

Cyber Espionage

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Russian Hackers Targeted Nuclear Research Labs

  • A group of Russian hackers, known as Cold River, have reportedly targeted three nuclear research laboratories in the U.S. 
  • The group carried out a phishing campaign against scientists in an attempt to obtain passwords. Read More

Feds Drop Chinese Spy Case Against NYPD Officer

  • Federal prosecutors have dropped their case against Baimadajie Angwang, an NYPD officer accused of being a spy for the Chinese government.
  • Prosecutors said they reached the decision after examining “additional information bearing on the charges,” but they offered no specifics. Read More

ICE Reports Increase in Arrests and Detentions of Suspected Terrorists

  • A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement annual report noted an increase in arrests, detentions and expulsions of terrorists in the last fiscal year.
  • In FY 2022, ICE said it removed from the country last fiscal year 2,667 known or suspected gang members, 55 known or suspected terrorists, seven human rights violators, and 74 foreign fugitives wanted by their home governments for crimes including homicide, rape, terrorism and kidnapping. Read More

Research and Trends in Extremism

Bi-partisan House select committee hearing investigating the Jan. 6 attack

Bi-partisan House select committee hearing investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol - Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Report on Violent Far-Right Threat to Conservative Institutions

  • The Council on Foreign Relations released as part of a three-part series an assessment of the threat that far-right terrorists pose to institutions typically cherished by conservatives, including the Republican Party, the U.S. military and American law enforcement. Read More

2023 Trends in Terrorism

  • The Foreign Policy Research Institute analyzed the terrorist threat landscape we face in 2023.
  • The most defining feature of international terrorism in 2023 will be its diversity, reflected by the broad array of ideologies and grievances motivating plots and attacks.
  • Post-organizational terrorism, involving lone actors influenced by accelerationism and other forms of violent extremism with no actual group and no organization to infiltrate, pose new threats for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Read More

"God is not merely interestd in the freedom of brown men, yellow men, red men and black men.He is interested in the freedom of the whole human race."

- Martin Luther King

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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