IW Roundup — May 5, 2021

This Week in Irregular Warfare

Anti-poaching journalists killed in Burkina Faso; France to use algorithms to detect extremism; Seven Italian terrorists arrested in France; Close aide of ISIS leader caught in Istanbul; 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:

Two Spanish journalists and Irish ranger kidnapped and killed in Burkina Faso

The journalists, David Beriain and Roberto Fraile, were filming a documentary on Anti pouching efforts with an Irish ranger when they were kidnapped and later killed. The security situation at the border of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali has been deteriorating, resulting in increased violence. Most of the recent attacks have been linked to the terrorist groups Islamic State and Al Qaeda. The terrorists are alleged to have conducted forceful conversion to Islam and killing in cases of non-compliance. The New York Times, April 27. [2 Spanish Journalists and an Irish Ranger Killed in Burkina Faso Ambush – The New York Times (nytimes.com)]

France to use algorithms to detect extremism

The recent terror acts have brought French President Emmanuel Macron under pressure. The nature of attacks has majorly been changed from planned attacks conducted by terrorist organizations to young individuals using knives without any credible affiliation with any terror organization. The French government is planning to strengthen counter-terrorism laws by using algorithms to curb the extremist threats keeping in view next year’s Presidential elections. The Guardian, April 28. [France planning to allow use of algorithms to detect extremism online | France | The Guardian]

Seven Italians far-right terrorists arrested in France

Guerilla fighters involved terror activities of late 1960 and early 1980s in Italy hid in France for decades. Under the Mitterrand Doctrine the convicts were allowed to live in France as long as they were not involved in violent activities. The Italian government has been urging French government to detain and extradite terrorist for many years. The terrorists were arrested after a meeting between Italian and French Justice minister on April 8th.  The Guardian, April 28. [France arrests seven Italians convicted of far-left terrorism | France | The Guardian]

Close aide to ISIS leader Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi caught in Istanbul

According to the Turkish police, top ISIL figure has been caught in an operation in Turkey. Baghdadi’s close aide, who has been identified with a code name, Asim, is an Afghan national. He suspected to have been involved in helping Baghdadi hide in Syria after the group went through a decline in 2019. He is also believed to have organized training for ISIL in Syria and been a member of the decision-making council of the organization. Al Jazeera, May 2. [Turkish police say top ISIL figure captured in operation | ISIL/ISIS News | Al Jazeera]

Crypto firms added to terrorist funding regulations in Turkey

Under a Presidential decree, the Cryptocurrency trading platforms have been added to the list of firms covered by anti-money laundering and terror financing regulations. The trend of increasing tilt towards cryptocurrency has been seen in Turkey as a protection from the declining value of lira. The Central bank of Turkey banned the use of crypto assets for payments last month. Al Jazeera, May 1. [Turkey adds crypto firms to terror funding regulations | Business and Economy News | Al Jazeera]

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