Monday (2.26.18)

  • French security forces have foiled two planned attacks so far this year as ISIS set their sights on domestic targets in response to the group’s military setbacks in Iraq and Syria, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on Sunday. One of two would-be attackers arrested in January had planned to hit a “major sporting facility” and another suspect had been targeting troops on anti-terrorism patrols.
  • One hundred and ten girls are missing after an attack on a school in northeast Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram terrorists, the information ministry said on Sunday, in what may be one of the largest abductions since the Chibok kidnappings of 2014. There had been confusion over the number of those missing, with estimates ranging from about 50 to more than 100.
  • At least 14 people were killed and 40 wounded when Islamist car suicide bombers and gunmen tried to storm the headquarters of a counter-terrorism unit in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen on Saturday, security and medical sources said. ISIS, in a statement carried by its Amaq news agency, claimed responsibility for what it described as two “martyrdom operations” targeting the camp in Tawahi district in south-western Aden.
  • Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia and East Africa, claimed Friday’s suicide assault on the presidential palace in Mogadishu. A nearby hotel was also targeted as part of the strike. At least 40 people were killed in the first terrorist attack of its kind in Mogadishu this year. Shabaab also said its forces lost five fighters, the two bombers and three gunmen, in the assaults.
  • The Taliban killed more than 20 soldiers during a raid on an Afghan military base in the western province in Farah overnight on Friday. The Taliban overran the base and seized weapons and other military equipment. Security in Farah has deteriorated over the past several years and Afghan officials now say the provincial capital is again threatened by the Taliban.
  • A Malian terrorist group who is affiliated with al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed two French soldiers in the West African country on Wednesday. The soldiers were killed after their armored vehicle was hit by an explosive device near Mali’s border with Niger and Burkina Faso, an area that has become increasingly dangerous for international forces seeking to quell Islamic insurgencies in the remote Sahel region.
  • Two Tuareg militias in northern Mali, the Imghad and Allies Self Defense Movement (GATIA) and the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), have battled terrorists loyal to ISIS over the past few days. The jihadists are under the leadership of Abu Walid al Sahrawi, the leader of the so-called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS). French special forces have been taking part in the operations alongside the Tuareg groups.
  • Saraya al Ashtar, an Iranian-supported terrorist group in Bahrain, has formally changed its logo to adopt the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) branding. This branding is common among many Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the Middle East, including Lebanese Hezbollah, the Badr Organization, and Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq.

Wednesday (2.28.18)

  • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group on Wednesday as part of a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks aimed at ending more than 16 years of war. The offer, made at the start of an international conference aimed at creating a platform for peace talks, adds to a series of signals from both the Western-backed government and the Taliban suggesting a greater willingness to consider dialogue.
  • US forces launched a strike on Tuesday that killed two members of al Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia and East Africa, and wounded another fighter. The strike occurred in Jilib, a village south of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. The US has now conducted a total of six strikes in Somalia in 2018, all of which have targeted Shabaab, AFRICOM Media Relations Officer stated.
  • A California man has been charged with trying to travel to Libya to join ISIS, New York federal prosecutors announced Tuesday. In a criminal complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors said that Bernard Augustine, 21, traveled to Tunisia in February 2016 and from there attempted to reach ISIS-controlled territory in Libya.
  • The State Department announced on Monday that seven ISIS-affiliated groups have been designated as terrorist organizations. Underscoring the so-called caliphate’s growth outside of Iraq and Syria, the move targets ISIS affiliates in Bangladesh, Egypt, the Philippines, Somalia, Tunisia and West Africa.
  • In a newly released Taliban video, the group documented an overnight assault on a military base in the southern province of Kandahar. The base was situated in the highly contested district of Khakrez, where the Taliban has overrun several military outposts and took control of the district center for a short period of time last year. The Taliban fighters fought an extended battle and remained at the base through the following day, without fear of being targeted by Coalition or Afghan aircraft.
  • The commander of a Palestinian faction fighting in Syria was recently eulogized by a central al Qaeda jihadist terrorist in Lebanon, further highlighting his group’s ties to the terrorist outfit. Abu Muhammad al Filistini, the leader of Saraya Ghuraba Filistin, was feted by Tawfiq Taha after he was killed in combat by regime forces in Syria’s northwestern Latakia province.

Thursday (2.1.18)

  • A mortar attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu, claimed by  al Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, killed three civilians and injured two others on Thursday, the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM said. Earlier on Thursday, al Shabaab terrorists set off a suicide car bomb at a checkpoint about 15 km (nine miles) outside the capital. At least five people were injured including soldiers, police officers said.
  • Egypt's military says two officers have been killed and two others wounded in fighting a part of a massive security operation against ISIS in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula and other areas. The armed forces said in a Thursday statement that forces killed 13 terrorists in an exchange of fire and arrested 86 people, including "highly dangerous" terrorists and "criminals."
  • Four U.N. peacekeepers killed by a roadside bomb in central Mali on Wednesday were from Bangladesh, as were four peacekeepers seriously wounded in the blast, the United Nations said. The incident occurred in the central Mopti region, where attacks by Islamist terrorists have surged in recent months, although U.N. officials did not say who was responsible for the blast.
  • Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other internet companies must show the European Union within three months that they are removing extremist content more rapidly or face legislation forcing them to do so. European governments have said that extremist content on the web has influenced lone-wolf attackers who have killed people in several European cities after being radicalized.
  • Afghan security forces in the southern province of Helmand have captured a German national during a raid on a suspected Taliban bomb-making compound, a local official said on Wednesday. If confirmed, it would be a rare example of a European national fighting on the side of the terrorists in Afghanistan, which has not had the same influx of Western foreign fighters seen in Syria or Iraq.