IW Roundup — May 17, 2021

This Week in Irregular Warfare

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City kill nearly 200; Western intelligence agencies seek new Afghan allies; U.S. targets domestic extremism with new efforts; New Zealand calls for “ethical algorithms” to counter online radicalization; and more…

Welcome to the latest installment of The Irregular Warrior’s news digest on Irregular Warfare and Special Operations. 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:

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City kill nearly 200 people

Israel’s intense raids and strikes have destroyed multiple residential building and killed almost 200 civilians which include 58 children and 34 women. The home of Hamas Chief Yehya Al Sinwar was also targeted. Despite diplomatic efforts to restore peace, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the end of hostilities, going on for a week, was not imminent. Al Jazeera, May 16. [Gaza death toll nears 200 amid surge of Israeli raids | Conflict News | Al Jazeera]

Western intelligence agencies seek new Afghan allies

As United States withdraws from Afghanistan, Western intelligence agencies look for new entities to provide intelligence information about militias and terrorist threats. The hunt has become more essential as the Intelligence agencies are of the view that the peace will not last long in Afghanistan and ultimately the country will face civil war. Ahmad Massoud, son of Ahmad Shah Massoud head of Northern Alliance in 1980s, is among the considered candidates for intelligence information. The New York Times, May 14. [Spy Agencies Seek New Allies in Afghanistan as U.S. Withdraws – The New York Times (nytimes.com)]

U.S. targets domestic extremism with new efforts

In the wake of Capitol Riot on January 6, President Biden pressed Federal Law enforcement agencies to figure out the threat of domestic extremism. The report launched by the department in March warned about amplified threat from white supremacists and Militias. The Department of Homeland Security on May 11 took new initiatives to curb the threat. These include the dedication of an intelligence wing to curb domestic terrorism and the opening of a new center to help local and state law enforcement. The New York Times, May 11. [Biden Targets Domestic Terrorism With New Initiatives – The New York Times (nytimes.com)]

U.S. sanctions seven Lebanese men connected to Hezbollah

The United States Treasury Department has sanctioned seven Lebanese men connected to Hezbollah for participating in evasive “shadow banking” activity. the seven men had been involved in illicitly transferring as much as $500 million on behalf of Hezbollah. The sanctions imposed by the U.S. block all assets the individuals hold in any U.S. banking facility and any future transactions. The U.S. Treasury director said in a statement that Hezbollah persistently abuses and drains Lebanon’s financial resources. Al Jazeera, May 11. [US imposes sanctions on seven Lebanese men connected to Hezbollah | Hezbollah News | Al Jazeera]

New Zealand calls for “ethical algorithms” to counter online extremism

In order to get rid of extremist content online, New Zealand and France hosted an initiative called the Christchurch Call. The Initiative was initiated after the Christchurch attack where the attacker live streamed the attack. The commission of the Christchurch mosque attack found out that the attacker had been radicalized by watching white supremacist content online. New Zealand’s Prime Minister urged tech companies to work on algorithms to control the extremist content online. The Guardian, May 15. [Jacinda Ardern calls for ‘ethical algorithms’ to help stop online radicalisation | New Zealand | The Guardian]

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