The Soufan Group Morning Brief



A new report by released on Tuesday by UNICEF highlights Boko Haram’s use of children as suicide bombers. The report found a more than tenfold increase in the number of children suicide bombers in the last year. 44 kidnapped boys and girls as young as eight years old were used in attacks in 2015 - up from four in 2014. Since 2014, 20 percent of Boko Haram’s suicide attempts have been carried out by children. New York Times, Washington Post

Also, the European Union voted to allocate 67 million euros for the rehabilitation and reintegration of captured Boko Haram members on Monday. Nigeria has begun a deradicalization program for former Boko Haram members with the assistance of UN technical advisors who helped draft Nigeria’s “De-radicalisation Programme Guide.” An EU spokesman said the funding goes beyond radicalization and “covers all the different aspects and support to the country's violent extremism programme.” AllAfrica

Huffington Post: 10 Must-Reads For Understanding Boko Haram’s War On Women
CBS News: Why are world powers unable to stop Boko Haram?
The Atlantic: The Child Suicide Bombers of Boko Haram
New Yorker: Two Years After the Nigerian Girls Were Taken

The FBI reportedly paid professional hackers to break into the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, according to a report in The Washington Post. The government paid a one-time flat fee for creating a solution to crack the iPhone’s four-digit passcode without triggering a security feature that would erase data on the phone. The FBI reportedly did not use the Israeli tech firm Cellebrite as had been rumored. Washington Post

The Hill: Boston judge ordered Apple to give FBI iPhone data in gang case
ABC News: FBI Chief James Comey 'Glad' Dispute With Apple Over Terrorist's Phone Has Ended

Terror suspect: Al Qaeda suspect Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, who is awaiting trial on terror charges, declared that “our terrorism is not over” and “threatened to kill” prosecutors and personnel at a New York courthouse, according to a recently released government memo in the case. Harun, a citizen of Niger, was allegedly involved in a 2003 ambush that killed two American soldiers in Afghanistan and has extensive contacts among high-ranking Al Qaeda members. In 2012, a grand jury indicted Harun on charges including conspiracy to murder American citizens, conspiracy to attack a government facility, and provision of material support to Al Qaeda. CNN

Gitmo: The general overseeing Guantánamo war court defense teams is forbidding his staff to sleep at the Camp Justice compound at Guantanamo Bay. Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker made the decision in response to a new Navy-Marine Corps risk assessment which found evidence of cancer-causing agents at the facility. The assessment listed several health concerns, including the presence of mercury in the former detention center headquarters, formaldehyde in indoor air samples, excessive levels of toxic chemicals in two showers, and arsenic in soil samples on temporary housing sites. Miami Herald

Gitmo Transfers: On Tuesday, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced a bill that would require the Secretary of Defense to certify that Guantanamo detainees approved for transfer “no longer pose a continuing threat to the security of the United States, its citizens and its interests,” before they are sent to another country. The legislation is supported by Republican Senators Steve Daines (Mont.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and James Inhofe (Okla.). The Hill

The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that U.S. airstrikes in southern Somalia over the last two days killed at least 12 al-Shabab fighters in bombings. The targeted militants posed an “imminent threat to U.S. personnel,” according to Pentagon officials. CBS News, CNN

Afghanistan: The Afghan Taliban announced the start of its spring offensive on Tuesday, saying it is planning “large-scale attacks.” However, the Taliban also suggested it may participate in peace talks, saying it would seek to “open a dialogue with our countrymen in the enemy ranks” in order to establish an Islamic government. Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

Yemen: A suicide bomber killed at least four people in the southern port city of Aden on Tuesday. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, which reportedly targeted young Yemeni Army recruits. Reuters

Belgium: Two additional suspects were arrested and charged in connection with the March 22 attacks in Brussels on Monday. The two men, identified as Smail F. and Ibrahim F., were allegedly connected to the rental of an apartment used by suspects in the attacks. This brings the total number charged in the Brussels attacks to more than 20 people. New York Times

Macedonia: Hundreds of protesters gathered in the capital, Skopje, on Tuesday in response to President Gjorge Ivanov’s decision to halt investigations into allegations of a vast government wiretapping operation and government corruption scandal. The controversy, which began last summer, revealed fraud in the electoral system, manipulation of the media and press, and other forms of corruption. New York Times, Voice of America
Haider al-Abadi’s Dangerous Gamble: “The latest troubles began on March 31, when Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, presented a new cabinet to the country’s Parliament,” writes Zalmay Khalilzad in The New York Times. “Mr. Abadi made his move under significant pressure. There has been widespread dissatisfaction with the government’s inability to address economic and governance problems.”

A New Way of Engaging Pakistan: “The United States needs to cease promulgating the fiction that Pakistan is an ally,” writes C. Christine Fair on Lawfare. “The facts suggest that Pakistan behaves more like a strategic competitor or perhaps an enemy of the United States rather than a problematic ally.”

The United States Has No Gulf Allies: “All this is not to say that the United States shouldn’t have alliances in the region. But the objective reality is that it doesn’t,” writes Bilal Saab in Foreign Affairs. “That Washington so frequently mischaracterizes its bonds with Middle Eastern capitals does great disservice to them, to their own expectations from the United States, and to U.S. policies toward the region. It also unnecessarily aggravates nations with which the United States has real alliances.”

For cutting-edge analysis of the geopolitical events shaping global affairs, read today’s TSG IntelBrief: The Philippines Battles Abu Sayyaf

The Center on National Security at Fordham Law will host a full-day conference “Hindsight: Reflections on 15 years of The War On Terror” on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. To RSVP, click here.

Fordham Law School will host the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals for an Outreach Argument and Q&A: “United States v. Staff Sergeant Charles D. Buford Jr.” on Friday, April 15, 2016. To RSVP, click here.

Join Fordham for a discussion on "Iran-U.S. Relations after the Nuclear Deal" on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 12:30pm  To RSVP, click here.

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