Tuesday (3.6.18)

  • Over the past few days, al Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia and East Africa, has claimed several attacks on Somali and African Union troops across southern Somalia. The first attack was an attempted suicide bombing on a Somali military base near the town of Afgoye, just north of Mogadishu. Shortly thereafter, Shabaab’s forces also ambushed a convoy of Burundian troops near Balad, and Sunday, Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack on Ethiopian troops near the city of Baidoa. 
  • Belgium detained eight people during raids linked to an anti-terrorism investigation, prosecutors said on Monday. Police raided seven homes on Sunday in the Brussels district of Molenbeek as well as the Flemish towns of Geraardsbergen and Mechelen, the office of the federal prosecutor said, adding that no weapons or explosives had been found.
  • Turkish police arrested 12 people in Ankara in an investigation targeting ISIS terrorists, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Monday, hours after the U.S. embassy there said it would remain closed for the day due to a security threat. It said they were foreign citizens and had been seeking to recruit new members to the group.
  • Bahrain said on Saturday it had rounded up 116 members of an armed network established and supported by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, suspected of plotting attacks on Bahraini government officials and security forces. Iran’s foreign ministry could not immediately be reached for comment. But Iran has denied similar charges in the past.
  • In its official claim of responsibility for Friday’s terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso that killed eight and wounded another 80, al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) also confirmed the deaths of several of its senior leaders. According to the jihadist group, the assault on the French embassy in Ouagadougou was in response to the French raids on Feb. 14 between Boughessa, Mali, and Tinzaouatene, Algeria.
  • The UK Metropolitan Police announced on Friday that three men have been convicted on terrorism-related charges after it was learned they planned to use up to 55 children in attacks throughout London. The thwarted plot was conceived by Umar Ahmed Haque, a 25-year-old from east London who worked as an administrator at “an after-school madrasa at Ripple Road Mosque in Barking.”
  • A suicide car bomber struck on Friday in the Afghan capital of Kabul, killing one person and wounding 14 bystanders, officials said, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
  • On Feb. 27, a newly-formed jihadist group in Syria issued a two-page statement calling for the defense of eastern Ghouta. Bashar al Assad’s regime is laying siege to Ghouta, pounding the area in Damascus with air strikes. The statement echoed the theme in recent messages from al Qaeda’s senior leadership, and “Guardians of the Religion” was quickly endorsed on al Qaeda-affiliated social media pages.

Wednesday (3.7.18)

  • A suicide bomber in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad killed a senior religious official and his bodyguard on Wednesday and wounded at least 11 people, officials said. The suicide bomber approached Abdul Zaher Haqqani, head of the Nangarhar provincial director of religious affairs and the Haj pilgrimage, and detonated his explosive vest, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
  • Eight people including two Burkinabe soldiers were arrested on Wednesday in connection with an attack by Islamist terrorists that killed eight security agents in Burkina Faso’s capital on Friday, the country’s prosecutor said. A Mali-based al Qaeda affiliate called Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) claimed responsibility for the assault on the French embassy and the army headquarters in Ouagadougou in which eight gunmen were also killed and over 80 people were wounded.
  • A Moroccan man arrested in Sept. 2016 in Poland was connected to ISIS and attacks in Paris the previous year in which 130 people were killed, Polish prosecutors said on Wednesday. He was involved with the terrorist group in 2015 and 2016 and was an informant for Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a coordinator of the November 2015 attack and an assault on a Paris-bound train that was thwarted, the National Prosecutor’s Office said.
  • On Tuesday, al Qaeda’s propagandists released the latest message from their leader, Ayman al Zawahiri. The message, titled “France Has Returned Oh Descendants of the Lions,” is addressed to Muslims in the Maghreb. Zawahiri praises the historic, local resistance to foreign “invaders,” while also calling for continued jihad against all those who oppose the implementation of sharia.
  • An Iraqi-Canadian man on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a U.S. charge that he helped orchestrate the April 2009 truck bombing of a U.S. base in Mosul, Iraq, that killed five soldiers. Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to murder Americans.
  • The Afghan military said it captured a German citizen who was fighting in Helmand province and belonged to the Taliban’s Red Unit, which the terrorist group fancies as an elite unit that spearheads attacks on Afghan forces. The German national, who goes by the name Abdul Wadood, was captured along with two other Taliban terrorists during a raid in the Gereshk distirct in the southern province of Helmand on Feb. 27, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense told reporters. Five Taliban fighters were also killed during the raid.

Thursday (3.8.18)

  • A suspected U.S. drone strike on a training camp in an isolated part of Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar on Wednesday killed more than 20 Pakistani Taliban preparing to launch suicide attacks in Pakistan, officials said. Two Pakistani intelligence officials said the attack, carried out in a village called Saresha Sultan Shah, killed at least two senior figures in the movement and someone believed to be a trainer of suicide bombers.
  • Four people were seriously wounded in two knife attacks in a district of the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Wednesday evening, but a motive or any connection between the assaults was unclear, a police spokesman said. A male citizen of Afghanistan was later arrested in connection with the second assault, but no further details were immediately available.
  • A Nigerian court on Wednesday sentenced the brother of a suspected terrorist leader to life imprisonment for treason for his involvement in twin car bombings in the capital, Abuja, in 2010. The blasts, which killed at least 10 people near an independence day parade, were claimed by the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, formerly the main terrorist group in Nigeria’s southern oil heartland before it reached a peace agreement with the government.
  • An al Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, roadside improvised explosive device (IED) killed two regional officials and three Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers in the Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on Wednesday. An African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) spokesman warned on March 6 that al Shabaab would increase attacks on government targets as AMISOM and SNA forces reopen supply roads connecting Mogadishu to central and southern Somalia.
  • The Bahrain Interior Ministry reported on March 3 that its security forces arrested 116 members of a terrorist cell operating in the Gulf kingdom. The weekend raids are the latest in a series of major arrests of reportedly Iranian-backed terrorists in Bahrain over the past few years. According to the Bahrain Interior Ministry, the cell was linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Friday (3.9.18)

  • A suicide bomber blew himself up in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Friday, killing at least seven people and wounding 15 civilians. The bomber appeared to have intended to attack a crowd gathered for the anniversary celebrations of the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, a Hazara political leader killed by the Taliban in 1995, but he was stopped before reaching the main gathering.
  • The US military is reported to have struck a training camp in Afghanistan’s remote eastern province of Kunar that was run by the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (TTP) on Thursday. The son of Mullah Fazlullah, the emir of the TTP, and two commanders, including the camp’s trainer of suicide bombers, are reported to have been killed. The US military has not commented on the strike.
  • The United States on Thursday said it was offering a $5-million reward for information on Mullah Fazlullah, the chief of the Pakistani Taliban terrorist group. The U.S. State Department also offered rewards of $3 million each for information on Abdul Wali, the head of a Pakistani Taliban affiliate, and Mangal Bagh, the leader of an allied Pakistani terrorist group accused of attacking NATO convoys. The offer came amid worsening U.S.-Pakistan relations, and coincided with a visit to Washington by Pakistan’s foreign secretary.
  • On Thursday night, Taliban fighters attacked a joint army and police outpost in the northern province of Takhar, killing seven soldiers and 10 policemen, according to Khalil Aseer, a provincial police spokesman. The Taliban said in a statement that 29 soldiers and police were killed in the attack, including four commanders.
  • The Imghad and Allies Self Defense Movement (GATIA) and the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA) have reported its fighters have battled with terrorists loyal to ISIS led by Abu Walid al Sahrawi. The Tuareg alliance reported that five terrorists were killed, including a high level commander named as Djibo Hamma. Other terrorists and vehicles were reported captured.