IW Roundup — May 10, 2021

This Week in Irregular Warfare

Germany takes action against extremist group; U.S. Attorney General requests more funding to curb domestic terrorism; SOCOM knocks down a straw man; The Canadian Proud Boys dissolves; and more…

Welcome to the latest installment of The Irregular Warrior’s news digest on Irregular Warfare and Special Operations. We’re coming to you late this week due to a family emergency. As always, we hope you’ll find this collection to be interestingly broad in its scope, in addition to bringing you the stories most relevant to U.S. readers. Now on to the roundup:

German spy agency labeled Pegida as extremist group

German intelligence agency has decided to broaden its surveillance of Islamophobic group ‘Pegida’. The intelligence agency, known as LfV, labelled the group as extremist and said that it has become a platform for right-wing extremists to disseminate anti-constitutional ideologies. Dirk-Martin Christian, president of the agency, said everyone belonging to the group would be put under surveillance with the exception of those who are just protesting peacefully. The Hindu, May 7. [Islamophobic group Pegida is extremist: German spy agency – The Hindu]

Islamic group Ansaar banned by Germany as extremist group

The German interior ministry has banned and alleged that the Islamic organization Ansaar International has been financing terrorism across the globe. The interior minister, Horst Seehofer, tweeted that Ansaar and its affiliate spread Salafist world view and financed terrorism under the cover of humanitarian aid. The website of the alleged organization states that it provides humanitarian aid to the people of war-torn areas and those affected by crises. The Hindu, May 5. [Germany bans Islamic group Ansaar, suspected of financing terrorism – The Hindu]

U.S. Attorney General requests more funding to curb domestic terrorism

The United States’ top law enforcement officer, Merrick Garland, asked for increase in funding during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing about the justice department’s budget request The increased funding is intended to help the Justice Department investigate domestic terrorism and elevate civil rights enforcement. Garland submitted proposals for $45 million additional funding for FBI to curb domestic terrorism and $232 million to limit gun violence. The Washington Post, May 3. [Merrick Garland hearing: Attorney general seeks more funding for domestic terrorism, civil rights work – The Washington Post]

The Canadian chapter of Proud Boys dissolves itself

The Far-right extremist group, Proud boy’s Canadian branch has dissolved itself. The organization was added to the list of terrorist organization by Canada in February. The organization was accused of far-right extremism and holding anti-Muslim and misogynist rhetoric. In response to the dissolution of the network, the Canadian anti-hate network tweeted that it is important to recognize the dissolution but that does not mean that the members of the group have abandoned their perceptions. Al Jazeera, May 3. [Canada branch of far-right Proud Boys group dissolves itself | The Far Right News | Al Jazeera]

SOCOM study highlights struggle over civilian control of special operations

A study being conducted by Joint Special Operations University (the academic arm of the U.S. Special Operations Command) is set to review arguments for and against establishing a separate military branch for the special operations community. It also asks what SOCOM may be able to learn from then-President Donald Trump’s surprise campaign to establish a separate service for the military’s space professionals. Former and current officials see the study as an elaborate straw-man argument meant to keep civilian oversight at a minimum. [Internal study highlights struggle over control of America’s special ops forces | Politico]

This study comes as the top brass at SOCOM and the Pentagon are wrangling over how and how much to empower the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (ASD(SO/LIC)). Congress has mandated that the ASD(SO/LIC) be given oversight authority over SOCOM and that they be placed in its administrative chain of command. SOCOM has been reluctant to give up the enormous autonomy that it has enjoyed since it’s central role in responding to the 9/11 attacks, and the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy is bristling at having one of its components cut away to act as a stand-alone policy enti.

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