Fdd's overnight brief

April 29, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News

Israel

Hamas released a video of two more hostages, including an American-Israeli citizen, in a move that appeared to be designed to increase pressure on the Israeli government to reach a cease-fire deal as anticipation grows for a large Israeli offensive in Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza. – Wall Street Journal

President Biden spoke Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reiterate U.S. concerns about a widespread invasion of Rafah and discuss prospects for a deal that would secure a temporary cease-fire in Gaza and the return of some hostages that Hamas has held since October. – Wall Street Journal

The State Department found evidence that three Israeli army units committed human-rights violations but is delaying a decision on whether to withhold military aid to one of the battalions, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter to Congress released Friday. – Wall Street Journal

Three days after an emotional ceremony at Washington National Cathedral in which World Central Kitchen celebrated the seven workers killed in an Israeli airstrike, the organization announced it would resume operations in Gaza, where more than 1 million Palestinians face catastrophic levels of hunger. – Washington Post

Israeli officials increasingly believe that the International Criminal Court is preparing to issue arrest warrants for senior government officials on charges related to the conflict with Hamas, according to five Israeli and foreign officials. – New York Times

Israel’s foreign minister said on Saturday that a planned incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah could be suspended should a deal emerge to secure the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas. – Reuters

Israel’s hardline national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir was slightly hurt in a car accident and taken to hospital on Friday, police said, adding that they were investigating the circumstances. – Reuters

Editorial: There’s a reason the U.S. isn’t a party to the ICC and Congress has long authorized a President “to use all means necessary and appropriate” to resist ICC arrests of Americans and U.S. allies. Warding off prosecutions against a democratic ally is also necessary. – Wall Street Journal

Michael Makovsky and Charles Wald write: Moving Israel to CENTCOM has already paid huge dividends, both helping defend Israel against a potentially destructive attack and demonstrating regional solidarity against the shared threat of Iran. The United States should continue to invest in expanding these regional partnerships so that no U.S. partner in the Middle East has to defend itself by itself. – The National Interest

Iran

Iran’s decision to launch more than 300 missiles and drones in its first direct attack on Israeli soil earlier this month showed an appetite for risk that is putting renewed focus on Tehran’s nuclear program and whether it will continue to refrain from developing a bomb. – Wall Street Journal

An Iranian court has sentenced a popular dissident rapper to death following his outspoken support of the 2022 women’s rights movement, drawing international criticism of Tehran as it renews a crackdown on dissent. – Wall Street Journal

Russia is ready to expand military and technical cooperation with Iran, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told his Iranian counterpart Gharaei Ashtiani at a meeting on Friday, the RIA state news agency reported. – Reuters

Iran’s foreign minister said the crew of a seized Portuguese-flagged ship linked to Israel have been granted consular access and are expected to be freed, Iranian media reported on Saturday. – Reuters

The United Nations said Friday that it was concerned by reports of new efforts to track and punish Iranian women, some as young as 15, who refuse to wear the headscarf required under the country’s Islamic law. – Agence France-Presse

The Iranian military on April 28 presented a new attack drone designed to fly into targets and explode, like the kind used by Russia in the war in Ukraine. According to the state Tasnim news agency, the new Iranian drone — which has not yet been publicly named — is similar to the Russian Zala Lancet drone, which was first produced in 2020. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

A Kurdish-language teacher in the Iranian city of Sanandaj has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for her cultural activities and support for the Women, Life, Freedom protests that have roiled the country since the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Andrew Ghalili writes: We want a free Iran because we share American interests and honor American values. This victory will encourage Iranian-Americans to keep making the case for their oppressed brothers and sisters. As the U.S. moves toward reapplying pressure on the Islamic Republic, it must also support the Iranian people. – Wall Street Journal

Michel Gurfinkiel writes: One reason why the French are truly concerned by Iran’s move is that they are a middle-sized nuclear power, just like Israel. If the possession of nuclear weapons does not preclude per se a massive instant attack, either nuclear or conventional, as it was the case regarding Israel on April 13, if Israel’s deterrence is bound to be canceled by Iran’s blackmail, what about France’s own deterrence? – New York Sun

Victor Davis Hanson writes: So Iranians will learn their homeland is now vulnerable and, for the future, no longer off limits. And they will conclude that Israel has more effective allies than Iran and that their own ballistic missiles may be more suicidal than homicidal. As a result, they may conclude that the real enemies of the Iranian nation are not the Jewish people of Israel after all, but their own unhinged Islamist theocrats. – New York Post

Dov S. Zakheim writes: Needless to say, if, as is expected, the administration grants these waivers, nothing will change until Election Day. Tehran will continue to sell oil to China and to accumulate revenue. America will continue to confront Iranian stonewalling at the negotiating table. And Iran will continue its nefarious efforts to further destabilize the Middle East, to the detriment of America’s friends, allies and interests throughout this perpetually troubled region. – The Hill

Michael Eisenstadt writes: By operating in the gray zone, the United States and Israel would be giving Tehran a taste of its own medicine, enabling them to test Iran’s risk and response thresholds to see what they can get away with; erode and circumvent the Islamic Republic’s red lines (see below); and create uncertainty in the minds of Iranian decisionmakers about how to respond to ambiguous events (such as industrial accidents that might in fact be acts of sabotage). – Washington Institute

Russia & Ukraine

Russia hammered Ukraine’s electrical grid with nearly two dozen missiles overnight Saturday, officials said, in the latest assault on the country’s energy system. The missiles struck four thermal power plants belonging to the country’s largest private energy company, officials said. – Washington Post

U.S. intelligence agencies have determined that Putin likely didn’t order Navalny to be killed at the notoriously brutal prison camp in February, people familiar with the matter said, a finding that deepens the mystery about the circumstances of his death. – Wall Street Journal

A long-awaited influx of U.S. weapons will help Ukraine to blunt Russia’s advance in the coming months, Biden administration officials said after Congress passed a major aid package, but an acute troop shortage and Moscow’s firepower advantage mean that Kyiv won’t likely regain major offensive momentum until 2025 at the earliest. – Washington Post

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed Friday a $6 billion commitment for long-term contracts to provide Ukraine with weapons such as Patriot missiles, artillery ammunition and drones. – Bloomberg

Vladimir Putin’s forces have made further gains in at least three locations along the eastern front in Ukraine – including for the first time in several months an advance in the northern Kharkiv region – highlighting again Kyiv’s need for ammunition and weapons from the United States and other allies. – CNN

Maksym Skrypchenko writes: This aid not only supports Ukraine but also serves as preemptive peacekeeping to deter further Russian aggression, potentially sparing the U.S. from deploying troops to defend NATO allies in the future. It’s a strategic investment in global stability, aiming to prevent a larger conflict where the stakes and costs would be significantly higher for the U.S. and its allies.- The Hill

Hezbollah

Israel and Hezbollah are locked in an escalating cycle of violence that risks spiraling further in the aftermath of an unprecedented exchange of direct fire between Israel and Iran. – Wall Street Journal

Getting to the hospital’s nerve center these days involves navigating past 15-foot concrete barricades and multiple blast doors, then descending several floors into a labyrinthine subterranean complex. That is where thousands of patients and hospital workers have been for the past six months as strikes have intensified between Israeli forces and Hezbollah, the powerful Iranian-backed militia in Lebanon, just six miles to the north. – New York Times

Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said Saturday it had targeted northern Israel with drones and guided missiles after cross-border Israeli strikes killed three people, including two of its members. – Agence France-Presse

France’s foreign minister said on Sunday there had been progress in discussions with senior officials in Lebanon aimed at easing tensions between Hezbollah and Israel and preventing a war breaking out. – Reuters

Lebanon has moved towards accepting the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction to prosecute violations on Lebanese territory since October, in what Human Rights Watch said on Saturday was a “landmark step” towards justice for war crimes. – Reuters

Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades took responsibility for a barrage of over 20 rockets that were launched from Lebanon towards the Upper Galilee in Israel’s north, according to the group’s Telegram channel on Monday. – Jerusalem Post

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem warned Saturday that full-scale war will not bring residents of northern Israel home, but rather end their presence there “once and for all,” as Hezbollah attacks on the north and Israel strikes in Lebanon continued. – Times of Israel

Selin Uysal writes: As others have assessed, Hezbollah does not want all-out war at present. Yet Iran’s attack on Israel showed that the continued loss of important leaders can push the “axis of resistance” to change its calculus. French and U.S. diplomatic efforts are therefore necessarily precarious—they can fail at any moment if hostilities escalate, and even if they result in an agreement, the parties may simply use the resultant lull to better prepare for a future conflict they deem inevitable. Despite these concerns, however, there is no alternative to diligently seeking another arrangement that can help delay a destructive war, prevent the complete collapse of Lebanese institutions, and nurture reformist elements in the hope that they will be ready to take charge when regional dynamics allow it. – Washington Institute

Iraq

An Iraqi TikTok star known to her followers as Om Fahad was fatally shot in a late-night attack outside her home in Baghdad, authorities said. – Washington Post

The Iraqi Kurdish ministries of electricity and natural resources said on Saturday they are working with their partners to restore operations at the Khor Mor gas field in Iraq’s Kurdistan region after output was suspended due to a deadly drone attack. […]So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. – Reuters

Human rights groups and diplomats criticized a law that was quietly passed by the Iraqi parliament over the weekend that would impose heavy prison sentences on gay and transgender people. – Associated Press

Turkey

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has postponed a White House meeting with President Joe Biden, a source familiar with the situation and a Turkish official said on Friday of a visit that had been tentatively planned for May 9. – Reuters

A three-ship flotilla planning to reach Gaza with humanitarian aid from Turkey was prevented from sailing by Guinea-Bissau authorities, which took down their country’s flags from two ships, organizers said. – Associated Press

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu called Hamas a “terrorist organization” in an interview with CNN that aired Sunday, further distinguishing himself from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. – Times of Israel

Egypt

Egypt offered a new proposal for a truce between Israel and Hamas in which some Israeli hostages would be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and a three-week cease-fire, in a bid to stave off an Israeli military offensive in the southern Gazan city of Rafah. – Wall Street Journal

Egypt’s president dispatched his intelligence chief to Israel on Friday in a last-ditch effort to revive talks toward a cease-fire in Gaza that would also free Israeli hostages and hold off a planned Israeli military offensive against Hamas in the city of Rafah. – Wall Street Journal

A Hamas delegation will visit Cairo on Monday for talks aimed at securing a ceasefire, a Hamas official told Reuters on Sunday, as mediators stepped up efforts to reach a deal ahead of an expected Israeli assault on the southern city of Rafah. – Reuters

Arabian Peninsula

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Saudi Arabia this week for meetings with regional partners, including Palestinian, Egyptian and Qatari leaders, to discuss efforts for securing the release of Israeli hostages and a cease-fire in Gaza, the State Department said in a statement. After participating in meetings of the World Economic Forum and Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, he will continue on to Jordan and Israel later in the week. – Washington Post

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and several international officials will be in Riyadh this week for talks aimed at pushing for a peace agreement in Gaza to be held on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum meeting, the WEF’s president said on Saturday. – Reuters

Dr. Majed Al-Ansari, adviser to the Qatari prime minister and spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, has become a well-known figure in recent months. In a special interview – the first he has given to an Israeli news outlet, he says – Al-Ansari discusses Qatar’s frustration with both Hamas and Israel’s conduct in talks to reach a cease-fire/hostage release deal, and the need to reach an agreement as soon as possible to prevent further harm to the hostages. – Haaretz

Yemen

Three missiles were sighted approximately 15 nautical miles southwest of Yemen’s Mokha, British security firm Ambrey said on Friday, and the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said that one vessel was damaged. – Reuters

Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saturday claimed shooting down another of the U.S. military’s MQ-9 Reaper drones, airing footage of parts that corresponded to known pieces of the unmanned aircraft. – Associated Press

Yemen’s Houthis said on Saturday their missiles hit the Andromeda Star oil tanker in the Red Sea, as they continue attacking commercial ships in the area in a show of support for Palestinians fighting Israel in the Gaza war. – Reuters

The U.S. military said on Sunday it had engaged five unmanned drones over the Red Sea that “presented an imminent threat to U.S., coalition, and merchant vessels in the region.” – Reuters

Middle East & North Africa

It was a pattern that has repeated itself around the region since Israel, responding to an attack by Hamas, began a six-month war in Gaza: Arab citizens’ grief and fury over Gaza’s plight running headlong into official repression when that outrage takes aim at their own leaders. In some countries, even public display of pro-Palestinian sentiment is enough to risk arrest. – New York Times

France is ready to participate in funding a 3 gigawatt power cable linking the Moroccan city of Casablanca to the town of Dakhla in Western Sahara, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday. Western Sahara has been disputed between Morocco – which calls it its southern provinces – and the Algeria-backed Polisario front, which demands an independent state there. – Reuters

“The Israelis clearly warned Assad that if Syria was used against them they would destroy his regime,” said a Western diplomat who requested anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the media. – Agence France-Presse

Dalia Dassa Kaye and Sanam Vakil write: High-profile regional gatherings, however, that openly advertise the Arab states’ political engagement with Israel are not in the cards unless Israel ends its war on Gaza. Until then, Arab states’ efforts to maintain their economic ties to Israel will also remain limited. A more realistic near-term strategy will prioritize supporting their ability to mediate—and prevent—future conflicts between Iran and Israel. – Foreign Affairs

Korean Peninsula

North Korea criticized the United States for supplying long-range missiles to Ukraine, state media KCNA reported on Monday, citing a statement from the defence ministry. – Reuters

U.S. and South Korean officials outlined respective visions for a new agreement on sharing the cost of keeping American troops in South Korea in talks this week and will continue to consult as necessary, the chief U.S. negotiator said on Friday. – Reuters

North Korea accused the United States on Saturday of politicizing human rights in the East Asian country, denouncing what it called political provocation and conspiracy. – Reuters

South Korea’s exports are expected to have risen at a faster pace in April, extending gains for a seventh straight month on strong chip sales, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. […]By destination, exports to the United States are set to remain the main driver in April, while demand in China has started to recover, economists said. – Reuters

China

Germany is considering scaling back plans to step up government scrutiny of Chinese investments, the latest example of how a country deeply intertwined with—and increasingly conflicted about—China is pulling its punches as others get tougher on Beijing. – Wall Street Journal

China will host Palestinian unity talks between Islamist militant group Hamas and its rivals Fatah, the two groups and a Beijing-based diplomat said on Friday, a notable Chinese foray into Palestinian diplomacy amid the war in the Gaza Strip. – Reuters

An appliance maker in southern China is finding it hard to ship its products to Russia, not because of any problems with the gadgets but because China’s big banks are throttling payments for such transactions out of concern over U.S. sanctions. – Reuters

A key outcome from that episode was the creation of a team inside the US State Department to help when Beijing responds to political disputes with economic and trade weapons — what the US and its allies call economic coercion. Demand for that help has been strong, according to the US official in charge of the program. – Bloomberg

Gordon G. Chang writes: Blinken received a cold welcome in Shanghai. There was no red carpet, Hu pointed out. No senior Chinese official bothered to go to the airport to greet him. And then there was an unmistakable sign of disrespect for Secretary Blinken and the country he represents: The launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. – The Hill

South Asia

Armed men ambushed and kidnapped a senior judge in Pakistan’s restive northwest, a police official said Sunday. – Associated Press

India and Oman will sign a trade deal in the coming months, two Indian government officials said, as New Delhi seeks to expand its ties in the Middle East, where rising tensions are putting major shipping routes at risk. – Reuters

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif discussed a new loan programme with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Sunday, his office said in a statement. – Reuters

Sri Lanka has approved a new law backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) allowing the state to seize any proceeds from criminal activities, a cabinet spokesperson said on Friday. – Reuters

Asia

Taiwan reported renewed Chinese military activity near the island on Saturday with 12 aircraft crossing the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait, a day after U.S. Secretary State Antony Blinken ended a visit to China. – Reuters

The U.S. and Taiwan will hold another round of negotiations toward their “21st Century” trade agreement starting on Monday in Taipei, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said on Friday. – Reuters

The Philippines on Saturday denied a Chinese claim that the two countries had reached an agreement over an escalating maritime dispute in the South China Sea, calling the claim propaganda. – Reuters

China’s coast guard confronted Japanese lawmakers in waters claimed by both countries in the East China Sea, China’s embassy in Tokyo and Japanese media said on Sunday, the latest in a series of maritime disputes involving China and its neighbours. – Reuters

Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara has resigned, the government said on Sunday, after being removed from the post of deputy prime minister in a cabinet reshuffle, at a time when the Southeast Asian country seeks to help resolve a conflict in Myanmar. – Reuters

France and the Philippines will begin talks next month on a defense pact that would allow troops from each country to hold exercises in the other’s territory, the French ambassador said Thursday. – Associated Press

Armenians have blocked the Yerevan-Gyumri highway as protests continue against the government’s plans to hand over several border areas to rival Azerbaijan as part of a peace deal. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Peter Singer writes: The landscape of war and geopolitics evolves relentlessly, demanding the adaptation of strategy, doctrine, structures, and equipment. It also demands the adaptation of the thing that makes all that possible: logistics. As the U.S. military looks to the future of the Army and its crucial role in deterrence and defense in the Pacific, far more effort and attention should be devoted to the questions of how to supply, support, and sustain the force. – War on the Rocks

Europe

A British man has been charged under U.K. national-security laws with being a Russian operative following an arson attack on a Ukrainian-linked business in east London, in what could be the latest indication of how Russian intelligence services are expanding their attempts to choke off support for Ukraine’s war effort. – Wall Street Journal

French President Emmanuel Macron is rekindling debate over whether France’s nuclear arsenal should play a role in deterring attacks against European allies, igniting criticism across the political spectrum from lawmakers who say any move to extend the country’s nuclear umbrella risks compromising a linchpin of national sovereignty. – Wall Street Journal

In all, six people in three separate cases have been charged this week in Europe with spying for China: two in Britain and four in Germany. – New York Times

Tensions flared in front of Paris’ prestigious Sciences Po university over the war in Gaza on Friday as pro-Israeli protesters came to challenge pro-Palestinian students occupying the building. – Reuters

Thousands of Georgians marched through the capital, Tbilisi, on Sunday, as protests built against a bill on “foreign agents” that the country’s opposition and Western countries have said is authoritarian and Russian-inspired. – Reuters

More than 1,000 protesters gathered in Hamburg, Germany to take part in an Islamist demonstration over the weekend, German media reported. – Fox News

Elisabeth Braw writes: And because global maritime rules give all civilian vessels the right to so-called innocent passage, Sweden, Finland, Taiwan, or any other country definitely can’t block such vessels from their waters. What they can do is call them out, which is exactly what Rear Admiral Skoog Haslum has done. The more we talk about the shadow fleet’s activities, the less this murky and subversive fleet will remain in the shadows. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Africa

The pain that seared through Innocent Bizimana’s body was almost impossible to describe. Looking down his lanky frame, the 18-year-old saw his left leg torn to pieces, his foot askew, hanging on by shreds of flesh and skin. His lower right leg was perforated by shrapnel from the shell that had just exploded in front of him. – Wall Street Journal

Sudan has requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting on what it calls UAE “aggression” for allegedly supporting paramilitaries battling the army, a diplomatic source said Saturday. – Agence France-Presse

The U.N. Security Council on Saturday expressed its “deep concern” over an imminent attack on al-Fashir in Sudan’s North Darfur region by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). – Reuters

Burkina Faso has suspended the radio broadcasts of BBC Africa and the U.S-funded Voice of America (VOA) for two weeks over their coverage of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report accusing the army of extrajudicial killings, authorities said late on Thursday. – Reuters

Somalia’s government said it had suspended and detained several members of an elite, U.S.-trained commando unit for stealing rations donated by the United States, adding that it was taking over responsibility for provisioning the force. – Reuters

Latin America

Three police officers were killed on Saturday in southern Chile during what President Gabriel Boric called a cowardly attack that led him to declare three days of national mourning. […]The region where the attack took place is home to long-running tensions between the state and the South American country’s Mapuche Indigenous people. – Reuters

As US supply chains decouple from China, Mexico’s manufacturing sector is emerging as a winner. Manufacturing in Mexico is attractive for companies that experienced pandemic-era supply chain snarls or want to decrease reliance on trade between the US and China amid geopolitical uncertainty. – CNN

Haiti’s transition council on Saturday said it will vote for the country’s next president on Tuesday as part of efforts to bring the Caribbean country under control amid rampant gang violence. – Reuters

United States

Many school leaders have insisted that people outside their colleges are stoking the confrontations, despite limited evidence backing their claims. In many cases, the groups of protesters have mostly involved students and university employees, but a notable exception was at Washington University on Saturday. – New York Times

Nicholas Kristof writes: Transparency is the lifeblood of democracies. For the same reason that the White House takes care to explain how taxpayer dollars are spent on military support for Ukraine, the administration owes it to Americans to be forthcoming about weapons flown to Israel, even if it finds disclosure to be politically uncomfortable. – New York Times

Niall Ferguson writes: By launching their drone and missile swarm at Israel, Iran has unwittingly given many Republicans permission to follow former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo down a path of hawkishness that is anything but isolationist. – New York Post

Erfan Fard writes: This challenge is formidable and necessitates continuous vigilance, innovation, and international cooperation to ensure the integrity of future electoral processes against the sophisticated threats posed by the Iranian mullah’s regime. – Jerusalem Post

Cybersecurity

Six months later, the second AI Safety Summit, a primarily virtual event co-hosted by Britain and South Korea, will take place as hype around artificial intelligence’s potential gives way to questions over its limitations. – Reuters

A “foreign actor” is likely behind deepfake content that made Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sound like he’s urging military action against China, according to his communications office. – Bloomberg

A strain of malware connected to the Chinese Ministry of State Security has been found in more than 170 countries, according to cybersecurity researchers who took control of a command and control server linked to it. – The Record

The computer infrastructure of a Georgia county at the center of an effort to falsely claim that the state’s 2020 presidential election was marked by fraud was struck by a cyberattack earlier this month that prompted state officials to sever Coffee County’s access to statewide election systems. – CyberScoop

Defense

After canceling the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program earlier this year, the U.S. Army has yet to earnestly invest in its manned attack helicopter or other capability to fill the armed recon role, and service leaders warn that without a clear plan, its ability to fight as effectively in future wars could be in jeopardy. – Defense News

A key group of senators is pushing to include their bill on nuclear modernization when the Armed Services Committee drafts its annual defense policy legislation in June. – Defense News

The Defense Innovation Unit wants to improve its process for vetting commercial drones, with the goal of making it easier for companies to sell their systems to the U.S. military. – Defense News

Max Lamparth and Jacquelyn Schneider write: And, perhaps more important for the military, the policy is useful only if buyers, fighters, and planners know enough about how an LLM is made to apply its underlying principles. For that to happen, militaries will need to train and fine-tune not just their LLMs but also their staff and their leaders. – Foreign Affairs

Long War

Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinian gunmen who opened fire at them from a vehicle in the occupied West Bank, the military said on Saturday. – Reuters

At least 23 members of Nigeria’s civilian joint task force were killed on Saturday in separate attacks by militants and an armed kidnapping gang in the north, two officials from the force said on Sunday. In northeast Borno state, the heartland of an Islamist insurgency, suspected Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters used an improvised explosive device (IED) to blow up a vehicle carrying the Civilian Joint Tast Force (CJTF) team, a local force chairman said. – Reuters

Philippine forces killed an Abu Sayyaf militant, who had been implicated in past beheadings, including of 10 Filipino marines and two kidnapped Vietnamese, in a clash in the south, police officials said Friday. – Associated Press