Monday (10.16.17) 

  •  Twin car bomb blasts in the Somalian capital Mogadishu on Saturday killed over 270 people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, al Shabaab, regularly conducts attacks in the capital and other parts of the country.
  • Four Egyptian policemen and two civilians were killed and 22 injured on Monday in an attack by terrorists on a security post in North Sinai. This followed another deadly attack on Sunday which killed six Egyptian soldiers and at least 24 terrorists who attacked a military post as Egypt continues to fight an insurgency against ISIS-affiliated terror groups in the Sinai.  
  • Counter-terrorism squads from the Istanbul Police detained a total of 39 ISIS terrorist suspects on Monday in 15 distinct operations in eight city districts. Thirty-two of the suspects were foreign nationals who the police have detained and initiated deportation proceedings against. 
  • Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute, two ISIS-linked terrorists, were killed Monday in clashes with the armed forces of the Philippines. Hapilon, who was one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, had been acknowledged as the emir of ISIS in Southeast Asia by ISIS leadership while Maute was a leader of the ISIS-affiliated Maute Group.   
  • On Sunday, the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for bombings that killed four Pakistani soldiers and wounded three others who were searching for the kidnappers of Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, the couple recently freed after being held hostage by the Haqqani network for five years. 
  • Moroccan authorities dismantled a cell on Saturday linked to ISIS that was active in eight towns and cities. Security forces found guns and ammunition as well as materials for making suicide belts and explosives during the raid. Eleven people were arrested, including one explosives expert. 

Tuesday (10.17.17) 

  • American-backed forces said on Tuesday that they had seized the northern Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, a major blow to the militant group, which had long used the city as the de facto capital of its self-declared caliphate. The apparent rout of the last Islamic State fighters touched off celebrations in Raqqa, where residents had lived under the repressive rule of militants who beheaded people for offenses as minor as smoking.
  • Taliban militants struck government targets in many provinces of Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least 69 people, including a senior police commander, and wounding scores of others. The deadliest attack hit a police training centre attached to the police headquarters in Gardez, main city of Paktia province. Two Taliban suicide car bombers paved the way for a number of gunmen to attack the compound, officials and militants said. At least 21 police officers were killed, including the Paktia provincial police chief, with 48 others wounded, according to government officials.
  • Two suspected U.S. drone strikes on Tuesday killed 11 people on the mountainous Pakistan-Afghanistan border, following a strike a day earlier that killed 20, government and militant sources said. The attacks came days after a Canadian-American couple held hostage by the Taliban were freed from the area in Pakistan’s northwest, striking a rare positive note in the country’s often-fraught relations with the United States.
  • The Department of Defense announced today that “dozens” of Islamic State “members” were killed in a strike on two training camps in Yemen. The US military says the operation was intended to disrupt the “organization’s attempts to train new fighters.” The camps were used “to train militants to conduct terror attacks using AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and endurance training,” according to the Pentagon’s announcement.
  • The Baghdad government recaptured territory across the breadth of northern Iraq from Kurds on Tuesday, making rapid gains in a sudden campaign that has shifted the balance of power in the country almost overnight. In the second day of a lightning government advance to take back towns and countryside from forces of the Kurdish autonomous region, Kurdish troops known as Peshmerga pulled out of the long disputed Khanaqin area near the Iranian border.
  • A lethal bomb generally associated with Iran and its proxies has reemerged in Iraq after a six year hiatus, killing an American soldier. The Washington Post first reported that an explosively formed penetrator (EFP) was used in a roadside attack that occurred in Salah ad-Din province on Oct. 1. The commander of Operation Inherent Resolve Land Component confirmed during his briefing today that a steel EFP struck a US vehicle at a dip in the road along Route Tampa. The bombing occurred as the Islamic State’s territorial control in Iraq wanes.
  • Flanked by soldiers and officers, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Tuesday declared the southern city of Marawi “liberated from terrorist influence,” five months after Islamic militants stormed the town, killing scores and sending thousands fleeing. The president’s visit to Marawi came one day after the authorities declared government forces had killed the insurgency’s leaders in a gunfight. But gunfire could still be heard in pockets of the city, where about 30 militants, some of them foreigners, continued a last stand. 
  • The number of U.S. service members operating in Somalia has quadrupled since the beginning of the year to 400 troops, making it the biggest contingent deployed to the war-torn country in nearly 25 years. The Pentagon confirmed the total Monday, two days after a massive truck bomb in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu killed more than 300 people.
  • Civilian flights were suspended for several hours at the Libyan capital’s Mitiga airport on Monday evening and Tuesday morning as rival armed groups clashed nearby, a spokesman said. Sporadic shooting could be heard early on Tuesday near Mitiga, a military air base near the center of Tripoli that has also hosted civilian flights since the international airport was largely destroyed by fighting in 2014.

Wednesday (10.18.17) 

  • ISIS de facto capital is falling. Its territory has shriveled from the size of Portugal to a handful of outposts. Its surviving leaders are on the run. But rather than declare the Islamic State and its virulent ideology conquered, many Western and Arab counterterrorism officials are bracing for a new, lethal incarnation of the jihadi group. The organization has a proven track record as an insurgency able to withstand major military onslaughts, while still recruiting adherents around the world ready to kill in its name.
  • A U.S.-backed campaign against Islamic State in eastern Syria will accelerate now the jihadist group has been defeated in its former capital Raqqa, a spokesman for U.S.-allied Syrian militias said on Wednesday. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which announced the defeat at Raqqa on Tuesday, will redeploy fighters from the city to frontlines with Islamic State in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, Talal Silo told Reuters by telephone.
  • The UK's intelligence services are facing an "intense" challenge from terrorism, the head of MI5 has warned. Andrew Parker said there was currently "more terrorist activity coming at us, more quickly" and that it can also be "harder to detect". The UK has suffered five terror attacks this year, and he said MI5 staff had been "deeply affected" by them. He added that more than 130 Britons who travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with so-called Islamic State had died. MI5 was running 500 live operations involving 3,000 individuals involved in extremist activity in some way, he said.
  • Iran’s military chief warned Israel against breaching Syrian airspace and territory on a visit to Damascus on Wednesday, raising tensions with Israel as it voices deep concern over Tehran’s influence in Syria. General Mohammad Baqeri pledged to increase cooperation with Syria’s military to fight Israel and insurgents, Iranian and Syrian state media said.
  • Kurdish forces pulled out of disputed areas across northern and eastern Iraq on Tuesday, a day after handing the northern city of Kirkuk over to federal forces amid a tense standoff following last month’s vote for independence. The Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, withdrew from Sinjar as well as three towns on the border with Iran, allowing Iraqi government forces and state-sanctioned militias to assume control. The vastly outnumbered Kurdish forces appear to have bowed to demands from the central government that they hand over the so-called disputed territories outside the Kurds’ autonomous region, including areas seized from the Islamic State group in recent years.
  • A Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car into a police truck in the southwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday, killing at least seven people, police said. The attack killed five police officials and two passers-by on the outskirts of the city of Quetta, police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said. He said 22 people were wounded, eight of them critically.
  • Military planners mobilized members of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, an elite group of commandos, to mount a rescue of an American woman and her Canadian husband, according to senior American officials. But the operation was called off amid concerns, and days later, the C.I.A. watched in alarm as militants drove the family out of the camp and across Pakistan’s lawless tribal lands. The top American diplomat in Pakistan, Ambassador David Hale, turned to his host country, one of the officials said, delivering an urgent message to the Pakistani government: Resolve this, or the United States will.
  • At least two U.S. citizens were among the 276 people killed in a huge truck bomb blast last weekend in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, the State Department said Tuesday. It is believed to be the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. At least 300 people were wounded in the blast Saturday, which occurred on a busy street near key ministries.
  • Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is to monitor interpretations of the Prophet Mohammad’s teachings to prevent them being used to justify violence or terrorism, the Culture and Information Ministry has said. In a decree, King Salman ordered the establishment of an authority to scrutinize uses of the “hadith” - accounts of the sayings, actions or habits of the Prophet that are used by preachers and jurists to support teachings and edicts on all aspects of life.

Friday (10.20.17) 

  • Yemeni tribal leaders say a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed three alleged al-Qaida fighters in the country's southeastern Bayda province. They say the men were traveling on Thursday in the Soum area when a missile hit their car, engulfing it in flames. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.The Taliban overran an Afghan army base in Kandahar last night and killed, wounded or captured all but two of the troops stationed there. The attack is the latest in the southern province, where the Taliban has stepped up its attacks on Afghan military outposts. The Taliban opened the nighttime attack on the base, which is located in Maiwand district, by detonating a HUMVEE packed with explosives on the perimeter, Afghan officials told TOLONews. A Taliban assault team then entered the outpost and battled the surviving Afghan forces.
  • Senior militant commander Asad Afridi has emerged as the favorite to become the new leader of a deadly Pakistani Taliban faction, militant sources said on Friday, days after a U.S. drone strike killed the group’s chief. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban, has killed hundreds of people in bomb attacks and is considered one of the most dangerous militant groups in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation.
  • Unidentified men threw a grenade into a laborers’ hostel in the Pakistani port of Gwadar wounding 26 of them, police said on Friday, in an attack likely to raise concern about security for the Pakistani section of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, one of three on Thursday in the gas-rich southwestern province of Baluchistan, a key section of the plan for energy and transport links connecting western China with the Middle East and Europe.
  • Pakistani security forces have killed one terrorist, arrested seven others and seized arms during a search operation in southwestern Balochistan province, the military said on Friday. "During operations one terrorist was killed and seven apprehended. Cache of arms and ammunition including explosive recovered," a statement from the army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said.
  • Pro-Syrian regime ground forces, backed by Russian airpower, have taken the Islamic State-held town of al Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria. They laid siege earlier this month and captured it this past weekend, facing relatively light resistance. They are preparing to cross the Euphrates River, heading toward the Omar oil fields according to Syrian propaganda. Previously, the Islamic State used Mayadeen as a major hub and its personnel retreated there as the group lost ground in Iraq and Syria. The US-led coalition has run a targeted air campaign in and around Mayadeen.
  • Greek police said they arrested a 32-year old Syrian man suspected of involvement in terrorist acts abroad. The man was arrested on Thursday in the northern city of Alexandroupolis and is expected to appear before a state prosecutor on Friday, police said in a statement. “We are investigating his participation, and its extent, in past terrorist acts outside Greece,” police said.
  • Russian-backed militants launched 15 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas in between Thursday evening and Friday morning. The tensest situation was observed in Donetsk direction, where illegal armed formations used heavy machine guns and small arms to shell Ukrainian strongholds near Butovka coal mine (11.4km north-west of Donetsk). Militants also launched attacks on Avdiivka (18km north of Donetsk) and Verkhniotoretske (22km north-east of Donetsk), using different types of grenade launchers and machine guns.
  • A federal judge scolded a former college student, Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, from suburban Chicago as he sentenced him to a maximum 15-year prison term Thursday for seeking to join terrorist-linked militants fighting Bashar Assad's regime in Syria, saying he would have given him even more time behind bars if statutes allowed it. The judge said the group Tounisi aspired to join, Jabhat al-Nusrah, wasn't merely one of many militant organizations seeking to oust Assad — some of which the United States has supported. It was one affiliated with al-Qaida, which has "openly called for the destruction of this nation," Der-Yeghiayan said.
  • A man has been found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism after chatting online with a covert police officer. The Old Bailey heard how Luton man Mubashir Jamil, 22, offered to wear a suicide vest and "press the button". The jury heard he wanted to join the so-called Islamic State group (IS) to rid himself of "evil spirits". After being found guilty on Thursday, he was told he would be sentenced next month.
  • The US embassy has warned its citizens in Senegal of a "credible threat" of a terror attack in the capital Dakar, advising them to take special care when visiting places and areas popular with Westerners. The embassy also told its own staff members to stay away from seaside hotels in Dakar.