Monday (7.10.17)

  • Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was set to declare victory over ISIS in Mosul on Monday as only a few dozen militants put up resistance in the city that was the capital of their self-declared caliphate for the past three years.
  • U.S. Stryker vehicles led a convoy of Kurdish reinforcements into the embattled Syrian city of Raqqa, according to Kurdish activists on the ground and videos posted on social media by the SMART News Agency— the largest Syrian opposition news outlet. The videos shed light on the extent of the direct support of U.S. forces in the fight against ISIS in Syria. 
  • A court in Sanaa has sentenced to death four Saudis convicted of belonging to al Qaeda and beheading 14 Yemeni soldiers in a 2014 attack, according to media run by the Houthis, the northern rebel group in control of Yemen's capital. The 2014 attack was one of many carried out by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on state security targets in the period preceding Yemen's descent into full blown war involving Saudi Arabia. The conflict has killed around 10,000 people and displaced another 3 million.
  • Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (the “Assembly for the Liberation of the Levant,” or HTS), a terrorist coalition of several groups, claims to have launched security operations targeting ISIS cells throughout the Syrian province of Idlib. The jihadist joint venture, which includes the organization formerly known as Al Nusrah Front, announced the arrests of more than 100 fighters accused of being Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s loyalists on Sunday.
  • National security adviser H.R. McMaster on Saturday officially announced that a cease-fire in southwest Syria would take effect at noon Sunday Damascus time, touting the move as a diplomatic success for the U.S. in the fight against terrorism in the region. "The United States remains committed to defeating ISIS, helping to end the conflict in Syria, reducing suffering, and enabling people to return to their homes," McMaster said in a statement released Saturday, according to a press pool. "This agreement is an important step toward these common goals."
  • Somali security forces said on Sunday they had killed 18 Islamist terrorists during an operation in the northern region of Puntland, although the militants denied sustaining any casualties. Puntland's security forces are trained and supported by a small number of U.S. operatives based in the semi-autonomous northern region. It was not clear whether the United States had any involvement in the operation.
  • Clashes between rival Libyan factions east of Tripoli extended into a second day on Monday, keeping the coastal road shut and preventing residents from returning to their homes, a local town council spokesman said. The fighting began on Sunday when armed groups opposed to the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli tried to approach the capital and met resistance from rival groups that have aligned themselves with the government.
  • ISIS’ Sinai branch launched a deadly assault on a military outpost in the northern Sinai on Saturday. More than 20 Egyptian soldiers, including several officers, were killed and at least 33 others wounded.
  • Italian police said on Saturday they had arrested a Chechen man suspected of being a militant of ISIS and involvement in attacks in the Chechen capital Grozny in 2014. The 38-year-old man is accused of crimes of international terrorism and is now in prison in the south Italian town of Foggia, a police statement said.
  • Suspected Islamist terrorists beheaded nine men in an attack on a village in the Kenyan coastal district of Lamu on Saturday, police said, days after Somali militants killed three policemen in an attack on a nearby village. Residents had called police to report suspected al Shabaab militants in the area earlier on Friday.
  • British police arrested a 19-year old man on Friday at an airport in northern England in connection with a suicide bomb attack in Manchester which killed 22 people after a pop concert in May.

Tuesday (6.11.17) 

  • U.S.-backed Syrian militias have captured a town south of the city of Raqqa where ISIS ran a major military base and training camp, a spokesman for the militias said on Tuesday. An alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias fighting under the banner of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is trying to oust ISIS from its headquarters in Raqqa.
  • Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish targets in two areas of southeast Turkey Monday night, killing 11 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters, the army said on Tuesday. One air operation was conducted near the Syrian border, in the Dargecit district of Mardin province, where warplanes destroyed two gun positions and killed eight terrorists believed to be preparing for an attack, the army said in a statement.
  • The Lebanese army killed a suspected ISIS terrorist accused of carrying out several bomb attacks in Ras Baalbek town near the Syrian border, a security source and a military source said on Tuesday.
  • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters on Tuesday that it had "confirmed information" that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed, but Washington said it could not corroborate the death and Western and Iraqi officials have been skeptical.
  • The German air force on Tuesday resumed refueling operations from an air base in Jordan in support of U.S.-led air strikes against ISIS after moving its Airbus MRTT tanker out of Turkey's Incirlik air base, a military spokesman said. Germany began pulling its troops out of the Turkish base on Sunday after a long-running row with Ankara over its decision to block German lawmakers from visiting German soldiers stationed there.
  • Iraq's prime minister declared victory over ISIS in Mosul on Monday, three years after the terrorists seized the city and made it the stronghold of a "caliphate" they said would take over the world.
  • An Indian citizen pleaded guilty in a U.S. court on Monday to conspiring to aid an al Qaeda leader in Yemen and attempting to pay an undercover FBI agent $15,000 to murder a U.S. federal judge, authorities said. Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, who studied engineering at Ohio State University from 2002 to 2004 and married a U.S. citizen in 2008, is expected to be sentenced to 27-1/2 years in prison and then deported under the terms of his plea agreement, according to the department.
  • A U.S. Army sergeant stationed in Hawaii after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan was charged on Monday with attempting to provide material support to ISIS terrorists, including a drone aircraft and combat training instructions. Ikaika Erik Kang, 34, an air traffic control specialist who also had extensive military training in hand-to-hand combat, was arrested by the FBI on Saturday following a year-long undercover probe, according to the FBI.
  • About 10 Malian soldiers were missing following an ambush by suspected Islamist terrorists in the West African nation's desert north, the army said on Monday. An army convoy was attacked on the road between the towns of Gao and Menako on Sunday, said army spokesman Colonel Diarran Kone, in a region increasingly under threat from a resurgence of terrorist groups, some with links to al Qaeda.
  • Kenya's military said on Monday it had launched air strikes on the forest hideout of Somali Islamists blamed for deadly attacks on civilians and security personnel. Heavily-armed attackers have in the past two weeks beheaded nine civilian men and killed three police officers in coastal Lamu district, which borders Somalia. Al Shabaab Islamists claimed responsibility for the police killings.
  • ISIS’ Wilayah Khorasan (or Khorasan province) has released a new set of photos documenting its battles against the Taliban in the Tora Bora Mountains and the nearby area in Afghanistan. In June, press reports indicated that Wilayah Khorasan had captured bin Laden’s cave complex in Tora Bora from the Taliban. It was a supposedly high-profile win for Baghdadi’s men at a time when they are losing ground in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. 
  • Resolute Support, NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, refuted a false claim by ISIS’ Khorasan Province that it killed two American soldiers in an IED attack in Nangarhar province on July 7 (the two soldiers were wounded, not killed).
  • A grenade attack killed eight people and wounded 50 others in a village in Burundi's northern Kayanza province late on Sunday, police said. Four of the victims died at the scene and the other four succumbed to their injuries, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said.

Wednesday (7.12.17)

  • Iraqi forces clashed with ISIS terrorists holding out in Mosul's Old City on Wednesday, more than 36 hours after Baghdad declared victory over the jihadists in what they had declared the de facto Iraqi capital of their "caliphate".
  • The US military commended “Iraqi Militia Forces” for their role in helping liberate the city of Mosul from ISIS, but warned that the jihadist group remains a threat and still controls areas in Iraq. Many of those same militias operating near Mosul, though, are responsible for killing US soldiers during the occupation and remain hostile to America with the backing of Iran.
  • Israeli forces killed two Palestinians on Wednesday in a raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian medical officials said, and the Israeli military said its troops had opened fire after coming under attack. The incident took place before dawn in Jenin refugee camp, and no Israeli casualties were reported. Israeli forces often carry out searches in the West Bank for suspected militants and weapons manufacturing facilities.
  • The number of terrorist attacks resulting in fatalities in western Europe increased in 2016, despite an overall drop in the number of incidents taking place, according to data released by the Global Terrorism Database. The data shows that there were 30 such attacks resulting in fatalities in western Europe in 2016 and 23 in 2015. This compares with two attacks across the region resulting in fatalities in 2014 and five in 2013.
  • A Philippine government air strike aimed at Islamist terrorists mistakenly killed two soldiers on Wednesday, the military said, the second such deadly accident in a bloody campaign to oust the militants from a southern city.
  • The Dutch counterterrorism agency NCTV said on Wednesday it was looking into a threat allegedly made by ISIS terrorists against the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 soccer tournament due to begin in the Netherlands next week. A spokeswoman for the agency said it was taking the threat, made in a chatroom ISIS sometimes uses to communicate with supporters, seriously.
  • Suicide bombers killed 17 people and injured 21 in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the police commissioner of Borno state said on Wednesday.  Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Borno has been a target of the terrorist group Boko Haram.
  • Turkish police killed five ISIS militants in a raid on a house in the central city of Konya on Wednesday and four police were slightly wounded, the provincial governor's office said.
  • Saudi Arabia executed four people convicted of terrorism in Qatif in the eastern part of the kingdom, state television said on Tuesday quoting a statement by the Interior Ministry. The ministry's statement said the four had been convicted of taking up weapons against the government, joined armed groups and attacked a police station and security patrols.
  • The U.S.-led coalition battling ISIS does not have concrete information about whether ISIS’ leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead or alive, the senior U.S. general leading the campaign said on Tuesday, when asked about reports of his death. This follows a report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that confirmed his death.
  • Two Americans fighting alongside Kurdish forces in northern Syria were killed last week as the battle to retake the ISIS’ de-facto capital there continues well into its second month. Nicholas Warden, 29, and Robert Grodt, 28, died last week on the outskirts of Raqqa, according to U.S. officials and a statement released by the Kurdish People's Protection Units, known as the YPG. Neither appeared to have any prior formal military experience. Another westerner, a British man named Luke Rutter, was also killed in the fighting, the statement said.

Thursday (7.13.17)

  • Malaysia has put on hold a $2 billion plan to replace its aging fleet of combat aircraft, looking instead to upgrade its aerial surveillance capabilities to confront the growing threat of terrorism inspired by ISIS, a source with knowledge of the matter said. The decision comes as Islamist terrorists continue to battle security forces in Marawi in the southern Philippines.
  • Turkish police have detained 44 suspects in anti-terrorist operations, including the planners of two suicide bomb attacks in Istanbul last year, the city's governor said on Thursday.
  • Islamist terrorists on Thursday killed a senior police official and three other policemen guarding him in the Pakistani city of Quetta, police said, in an attack claimed by both the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS.
  • Human Rights Watch has accused Iraqi security forces of forcibly relocating at least 170 families of alleged ISIS members to a closed "rehabilitation camp" as a form of collective punishment. An Iraqi military spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
  • A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a gathering of jihadist near the rebel-held northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on Wednesday, killing and injuring scores, rebel sources said. They said the blast ripped a textile factory where members of Hayat Tahrir al Sham, the rebranded al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, had been using as their quarters. At least 12 were killed, one rebel source said. Idlib province is dominated mainly by Islamist jihadist groups although there is some presence of the moderate Western-vetted Free Syrian Army groups.
  • Two suicide bombers killed at least 12 people and wounded over 40 others in a small town in northern Cameroon near the Nigerian border late on Wednesday, a senior army source and a local official said. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the region has been a frequent target of Boko Haram militants in their eight-year bid to carve out an Islamic caliphate beyond Nigeria.
  • The British government said on Wednesday it would not publish in full its report on the sources of funding of Islamist extremism in Britain, prompting opposition charges that it was trying to protect its ally Saudi Arabia. The review found the most common source of support for these organizations was from small, anonymous donations from people based in Britain.
  • The Saudi-led bloc boycotting Qatar said a counter-terrorism pact struck with the U.S. in Doha to strengthen Qatari action against terrorist funding "isn't enough" to end the Gulf diplomatic crisis. The alliance, which includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, said Tuesday's agreement between the U.S. and Qatar came about due to years of pressure from the bloc, according to a joint statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. They also pledged to maintain the recent measures against Qatar until their demands are met in full.

 Friday (7.14.17) 

  • Gunmen ambushed an Egyptian security checkpoint on Friday, opening fire on a car and killing five policemen in an area just south of the capital, the state-run MENA news agency and the Interior Ministry said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Egyptian security forces have been battling the local Brach of ISIS.
  • The Philippines' anti-graft agency ordered on Friday the filing of criminal charges against former president Benigno Aquino over a botched raid two years ago on a terrorist hideout that led to the deaths of 44 police commandos.
  • Three Arab-Israeli gunmen shot dead two Israeli policemen near one of Jerusalem's most holy places on Friday, and were then killed by security forces, police said. Israeli authorities shut the area to Muslims gathering for Friday prayers afterwards, drawing a call for resistance from Palestinian religious leaders.
  • The lawyer for a U.S. Army sergeant charged in Hawaii with trying to provide material support to ISIS extremists said on Thursday his client suffers from mental illness that FBI agents exploited in a "sting" operation leading to his arrest. U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield in Honolulu ruled after a brief hearing that Kang, 34, posed a flight risk and a danger to the public if released pending further proceedings.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility for two attempted terrorist attacks in Europe last month. The group's monthly online magazine Rumiyah, issued on Thursday, named Abu Maysun al-Faransi as the man who rammed a car carrying weapons and explosives into a police van as it drove in a convoy down Paris's Champs Elysees on June 19. Rumiyah also named Usamah Zaryuh as the man who set off a small explosion at Brussels' central train station on June 21.
  • EU officials proposed new rules on Thursday to stop traders smuggling ancient scrolls, artworks and other antiquities into Europe, an illegal trade they said was funding terrorists. The new rules would require traders to go through a common, stricter licensing process to import archaeological objects into Europe.
  • Iraqi police displayed 23 vehicles that had been turned into car bombs and also an anti-aircraft gun, all captured from ISIS during the battle for the city of Mosul. They appear similar to vehicles used in apparent suicide attacks shown in ISIS propaganda.
  • A senior Kenyan government official was taken hostage with five other people by suspected Islamist terrorists who attacked the vehicle they were traveling in on Thursday, a military spokesman said.Maryam El Maawy, from Kenya's ministry of public works, and three of the party were rescued by military personnel - but the driver and another person were killed during the operation.
  • At a ceremony commemorating an Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander recently slain in Iraq, Major General Qassem Soleimani hailed victory in Mosul against ISIS on July 10. Addressing the crowd with the flags of the Islamic Republic, Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestine and Iraq draped behind him, the Qods Force chief praised Iraqi actors, as well as Iran’s material and combat support to Iraq during the war.