- A suicide bomber struck just outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul earlier yesterday. The jihadist detonated his explosive just minutes after Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan’s first vice president, passed through the area. Dostum is a controversial figure who has been accused of various crimes throughout his career. The bombing was claimed by the Islamic State, which issued three short statements via its Amaq News Agency and then a longer message. The jihadists claim that 115 people were killed or injured in the explosion. The death toll from the attack has climbed throughout the day, with press reports indicating that at least 14 people were killed and dozens more wounded.
- Turkish police said on Monday they had detained 43 people on suspicion of being foreign members of the Islamic State militant group in a series of operations across Istanbul. Istanbul counter-terrorism police units captured the suspected militants on Friday in simultaneous raids on 15 homes, a police statement said.
- Kurdish security forces killed gunmen who had stormed a government building in the Kurdish city of Erbil on Monday and took hostages in an attack suspected of being carried out by Islamic State, security officials said. Armed with pistols, AK-47 rifles and hand grenades, the assailants shot their way into the building housing the governorate from the main gate and a side entrance. According to preliminary investigations, one government employee was killed in four hours of clashes. Two policemen were wounded.
- Britain’s interior minister has indicated London would not object to Washington seeking the death penalty against two British Islamic State militants if they are extradited to the United States, the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday. According to a leaked letter published in the newspaper from British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Britain was prepared to waive its long-standing objection to executions in the case of captured fighters, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh. The two men are suspected of being two of four militants, dubbed the “Beatles” because of their English accents, who took part in the kidnap, torture and murder of Western hostages.
- Syrian state television said on Sunday an Israeli air strike had hit a military post in the city of Misyaf in Syria’s Hama province but caused only material damage. The newsflash did not elaborate on what exactly had been targeted. An intelligence source said a major military research center for chemical arms production was located near the city and believed to house a team of Iranian military experts involved in weapons production.
- A truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, largely held on Saturday a day after one of the most fierce flare-ups along the volatile border in years. Hamas said it had agreed to the truce with Israel, a day after clashes killed an Israeli soldier and four Palestinians, three of them Hamas fighters. A senior Israeli official confirmed a truce was in place. The Israeli military declined to comment on the ceasefire but a military spokeswoman said civilians could resume normal activities.
- Militants killed 10 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in an attack on a post on the Iraqi border on Saturday, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, the latest deadly clash in an area where armed opposition Kurdish groups are active. The agency quoted a Revolutionary Guards statement as saying that several of the attacking “terrorists” were also killed in the fighting in which a munitions depot was blown up.
- Pakistani cleric Hafiz Saeed is one of the United States’ most-wanted terrorist suspects, accused over the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. At home, his charities are banned, as is a new Islamist political party launched by his followers. None of that has stopped Saeed from hitting the campaign trail for Pakistan’s July 25 general election, denouncing the outgoing government as “traitors” and whipping up support for the more than 200 candidates he backs. “The politics of the American servants is coming to an end!” Saeed thundered at a rally this month in the eastern city of Lahore, where supporters showered him with rose petals.
- A German court has issued an arrest warrant for a German-Iranian man suspected of carrying out a knife attack on a bus in the northern city of Luebeck but there is no indication that it was a terrorist attack, police and prosecutors said on Saturday. Police said the 34-year-old German citizen wounded 10 people in the attack on Friday but there was no sign he was radicalized or had a terrorist motive. Prosecutors said in a statement they had sought the arrest warrant for the man on suspicion of attempted murder as well as bodily harm and attempted arson. He was ordered to be remanded in custody.
- Multiple explosions hit the Afghan capital Kabul on Tuesday, with two confirmed to have been caused by rockets that hit a residential area of the city, wounding at least four people, officials said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts.
- An airport in central Mali was hit by shells, the regional governor said on Tuesday, the latest unrest just days before the country votes for a president. No one claimed responsibility for the attack overnight, but jihadist groups with links to al Qaeda and ISIS have intensified deadly raids this year across the desert of central and northern Mali, parts of which have become ungovernable.
- Tunisia will not deport a suspected Islamist terrorist who once served as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard back to Germany because he is facing possible “terrorism” charges at home, a Tunisian judicial official said on Tuesday. German authorities deported the man, identified only as Sami A., to his native Tunisia almost two weeks ago despite previous concerns that he might be tortured in his home country Tunisia and despite a court verdict allowing him to stay in Germany a day before the deportation.
- Almost two months after a US Special Forces soldier was killed in an al Shabaab assault in southern Somalia, the very same base has again been targeted by the al Qaeda branch on Monday morning. Somali officials have stated that nearly 100 terrorists were involved in the raid and that 87 of them were killed. Shabaab further claimed that 30 soldiers were killed in the assault.
- Bangladesh police have charged eight terrorists over a 2016 attack on a cafe in Dhaka that killed 22 people, and freed a British suspect detained without charge for the past two years. ISIS had claimed responsibility for the cafe attack, though Bangladesh has denied the group’s involvement in the attack that killed nine Italians, seven Japanese, an Indian and a Bangladeshi- American and four Bangladeshis, including police.
- Suspected Boko Haram terrorists killed 18 farmers and kidnapped nine women in western Chad, authorities said, part of a wave of violence that has spread from neighboring Nigeria across the region. Boko Haram has been fighting for at least nine years to carve an Islamist caliphate out of northeast Nigeria, and carried out raids across the border into Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
- A suicide bomber killed at least 29 people near a polling center as Pakistanis voted on Wednesday in a general election pitting cricket hero Imran Khan against the party of jailed ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
- The Taliban overran the district centers of Omna and Gayan in the eastern province of Paktika on Tuesday after several days of heavy fighting. Paktika province remains highly contested. Of the 19 districts, three are controlled by the Taliban, four by the Afghan government, and the remaining 12 are contested.
- ISIS terrorists killed scores of people in a series of attacks on government-held parts of southwestern Syria on Wednesday, including multiple suicide blasts in Sweida city, official sources said. The seemingly coordinated attacks were the deadliest to hit government territory in many months.
- A Michigan man seized overseas by a U.S.-backed Syrian militia has been charged with providing material support to ISIS, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday. Ibraheem Izzy Musaibli, 28, of Dearborn, Michigan, provided support to the group from 2015 until last month, the department said in a statement. U.S. prosecutors in Indiana said Musaibli was transferred from the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces along with a U.S. woman, Samantha Elhassani, who has been charged with making false statements to the FBI.
- Egyptian security forces have killed 13 suspected terrorists in a shootout in al-Arish, the capital of North Sinai province, state news agency MENA said on Tuesday. The government in February launched an operation against ISIS terrorists who have waged years of attacks on security forces and civilians, killing hundreds.
- The U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS said on Tuesday it has killed high-value leaders from the group who were planning attacks targeting Saudi Arabia, the United States and Sweden. ISIS, which once declared that it would create a caliphate, has suffered heavy losses in the Middle East but is still seen as a security threat.
- ISIS has issued a short claim of responsibility via its Amaq News Agency for the July 22 shooting in Toronto, alleging that the gunman was its “soldier.” Amaq claims the shooting was carried out in response to the self-declared caliphate’s calls for targeting citizens of the countries participating in the anti-Islamic State coalition. A 10-year-old girl and a young woman were killed in the shooting, while 13 others were wounded.
- Israeli tank shells killed three Palestinian militants as violence flared on the Israel-Gaza border on Wednesday, four days after a truce that had been largely holding. An Israeli officer was also wounded by a Gaza sniper, the Israeli military said. Hamas, the armed Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, confirmed that the three Palestinians killed were its members but no militant group claimed responsibility for shooting at Israeli troops.
- Pro-Assad forces raised the Syrian flag in Quneitra on Thursday, as the government continued its push to regain full control of the Syrian Golan Heights, strategic territory that borders Israel and Jordan. A Reuters photographer saw uniformed men raise the Syrian national flag and the black, white, green and red flag of the Baath Party in the long-abandoned city. No weapons were immediately visible. The Reuters photographer was reporting from a vantage point on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that overlooks Quneitra.
- Islamic State militants killed more than 200 people in a coordinated assault on a government-held area of southwestern Syria on Wednesday, local officials and a war monitor said, in the group’s deadliest attack in the country for years. Jihadist fighters stormed several villages and staged suicide blasts in the provincial capital Sweida, near one of the few remote pockets still held by Islamic State after it was driven from most of its territory last year.
Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through a strategic Red Sea lane after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two tankers in the waterway, underscoring the risk of an escalation in tensions in the region. Saudi Arabia and arch-foe Iran have been locked in a three-year proxy war in Yemen, which lies on one side of the Bab al-Mandeb strait at the southern mouth of the sea, one of the most important trade routes for oil tankers heading from the Middle East to Europe.
Iran’s Quds force chief Qassem Soleimani warned U.S. President Donald Trump against war on Thursday, saying it would “destroy all that you possess”, the website of Iran’s Arabic language Al Alam TV reported. “You know that this war will destroy all that you possess. You will start this war but we will be the ones to impose its end. Therefore you have to be careful about insulting the Iranian people and the president of our Republic,” Soleimani said in a speech, as reported by Al Alam in Arabic.
An Air China flight returned safely to Paris after receiving a suspected terrorist threat, the airline said on Thursday. “Air China has received a suspected terrorist message. Flight CA876 has returned to Paris safely, with the plane and its passengers all unharmed,” it said in its official account on the Chinese social networking service Weibo.
The Turkish parliament on Wednesday approved a new "anti-terror" law that strengthens the authorities' powers in detaining suspects and imposing public order after a two-year state of emergency ended last week, state news agency Anadolu reported. The new legislation allows authorities to control who can enter and exit an area for 15 days for reasons of security, while suspects can be held without charge for 48 hours or up to four days if there are multiple offences. This period can be extended on two occasions under special circumstances.
Canadian authorities said Wednesday they have no evidence to substantiate a claim by the Islamic State group that the gunman who killed two people in a Toronto rampage was an IS soldier. The group's Amaq news agency said the gunman, identified by police as 29-year-old Faisal Hussain, was an IS "soldier" responding to its calls for attacks on nationals from countries fighting the group in Iraq and Syria.
The attorney for a man accused of scouting locations in Cleveland to attack people watching Fourth of July fireworks and who talked about carrying out additional bombings is requesting a competency hearing for his client. Federal public defender Charles Fleming filed a motion Wednesday saying Demetrius Pitts has “longstanding mental concerns,” and Fleming questions whether he is competent to stand trial. Cleveland.com reports that the attorney asked a judge to order a psychiatric or psychological examination and to hold a hearing after the medical report.
I serve as Chairman of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee. Among other areas of jurisdiction, the subcommittee oversees U.S. efforts to manage and coordinate international programs to combat terrorism, and efforts to bring international terrorists to justice. This update provides a daily snapshot of the latest news related to foreign terrorism. For more information on the subcommittee, please click here.