Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Defendant Sentenced for Conspiring to Provide Material Support to Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and the members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), announce that Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed, 31, a naturalized United States citizen and resident of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro, for conspiring to provide material support to three separately designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, al-Qa’ida, al-Qa’ida in Iraq/al-Nusrah Front (“AQI/al-Nusrah Front”), and al-Shabaab.

On July 11, 2014, Mohammed pled guilty to Count 1 of an Indictment charging him with conspiracy to provide money and recruits to al-Qa’ida, AQI/al-Nusrah Front in Syria, and al-Shabaab in Somalia.  The charges allege that Mohammed sent a series of wire transfers to coconspirator Mohamed Hussein Said for the purpose of supporting al-Shabaab, and to an individual whom he believed was a terrorist fundraiser, recruiter, and supplier for the purpose of supporting al-Qa’ida and AQI/al-Nusrah Front.  In addition, Mohammed agreed to support al-Qa’ida and AQI/al-Nusrah Front by recruiting individuals to fight in the conflict in Syria.  Mohammed earmarked certain of his financial contributions for the purpose of buying weapons and funding attacks on United States citizens or the United Nations.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force.  The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jolie F. Zimmerman from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian K. Frazier and Ricardo A. Del Toro.

Military Airstrikes Hit ISIL in Syria and Iraq

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 17, 2014 – U.S. and partner-nation military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported.

Officials provided details of airstrikes conducted Dec. 15 through today.

Airstrikes in Syria

In Syria, five airstrikes near Kobani destroyed an ISIL building, an ISIL staging area, an ISIL bunker, and an ISIL mortar and struck two ISIL tactical units, two additional buildings and two ISIL fighting positions. Near Abu Kamal, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Separately, U.S. and partner-nation military forces conducted 61 airstrikes in Iraq using fighter, bomber, attack, and remotely-piloted aircraft:

-- Eight airstrikes near Mosul destroyed two ISIL heavy machine guns, three ISIL buildings, one ISIL mortar position, one ISIL bulldozer and an ISIL bunker and also struck a large ISIL unit and an ISIL tactical unit;

-- Two airstrikes near Tal-Afar destroyed an ISIL building and three ISIL bridges and also struck an ISIL tactical unit;

-- Two airstrikes near Sinjar destroyed two ISIL vehicles, two ISIL guard towers, three ISIL containers and one ISIL storage container;

-- An airstrike near Hit destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle and an excavator;

-- An airstrike near Rawa destroyed an ISIL building and a storage container;

-- An airstrike near Irbil destroyed an ISIL vehicle and struck an ISIL tactical unit;

-- An airstrike near Ramadi destroyed an ISIL building; and

-- An additional 45 strikes were conducted in support of the Peshmerga and Iraqi security forces operating in the region. Precision airstrikes from 15 coalition aircraft destroyed approximately 50 targets, to include bulldozers, vehicles, checkpoints, enemy fighting positions, enemy fighters, and equipment.

All aircraft returned to base safely. Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports.

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition Nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the U.S., Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ten Things You Should Know About the Global Counterterrorism Forum

December 16, 2014

The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) was created in 2011 to strengthen the international civilian architecture for addressing 21st century terrorism. Its primary objectives are to counter violent extremism and strengthen criminal justice and other rule of law institutions that deal with terrorism and related security challenges. By sharing expertise, identifying urgent needs, devising innovative solutions, and mobilizing resources, the GCTF is diminishing terrorist recruitment and increasing countries’ capabilities for dealing with terrorist threats within their borders and regions.

1. GCTF has 30 founding members (29 countries and the European Union). More than 75 non-member countries and organizations have participated in Forum activities.

2. GCTF activities have generated contributions of more than $300 million to support efforts to build civilian institutions, including the training of border officials, prosecutors, police, judges, and corrections officials, with a focus on countries in transition.

3. GCTF has six expert-driven working groups that allow for practitioners and experts to engage with key counterparts: the criminal justice sector and rule of law; countering violent extremism (CVE); detention and reintegration; foreign terrorist fighters; capacity building in the Sahel; and capacity building in the Horn of Africa Region. Each group is co-chaired by two GCTF members from different regions.

4. GCTF has adopted a series of rule-of-law based “good practice” documents to offer practical guidance on counterterrorism (CT) and CVE to policymakers and practitioners. This guidance addresses a wide range of topics, including: effective, human rights-compliant CT practice in the criminal justice sector; preventing and denying the benefits of kidnapping; community engagement and community-oriented policing; CVE and education; and prison radicalization and de-radicalization. These and other documents can be found in Arabic, English, and French at:

5. GCTF members adopted in September 2014 the first-ever set of international Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) Phenomenon: This document informed the drafting of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 on FTFs, adopted during the 2014 Security Council Summit presided over by President Obama.

6. Hedayah, the first Forum-inspired institution and first-ever international center of excellence for training, dialogue, research, and collaboration on CVE, was launched in December 2012 in Abu Dhabi.

7. The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law Center (IIJ), the second Forum-inspired institution, was launched in June 2014 in Valletta, Malta. It provides rule-of-law based training to criminal justice officials from across North, West, and East Africa, as well as the Middle East, on counterterrorism and related security challenges.

8. The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), the third Forum-inspired institution and the first-ever public-private global fund to support local, grass-roots efforts to counter violent extremism, was established in September 2014 in Geneva.

9. To support the practical implementation of the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices for Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists, the GCTF has developed a set of highly interactive, discussion-based training modules.

10. One of the Forum’s main purposes is to reinforce and support the UN Global CT Strategy at the regional and national levels, and to do so in a way that complements and reinforces the work of the UN and other multilateral organizations.