Monday (4.10.17)

  • A suicide bomber wearing army uniform killed at least nine soldiers at a camp in Somalia's capital on Monday, authorities said, and a government official was killed by a bomb planted in his car. Al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, al Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at the military training camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu.
  • Suspected ISIS members arrested in Kuwait and the Philippines were planning to carry out bombings against U.S. military forces in Kuwait, the Gulf country's al-Rai newspaper reported on Monday. The suspects were also plotting a suicide attack on a hussainiya, or Shi'ite Muslim meeting hall.
  • Over 40 worshippers were killed and approximately 80 people wounded when bombs were detonated at two Egyptian churches early Sunday. ISIS’ Amaq News Agency quickly claimed credit for the attacks, saying that a “covert cell” had struck churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. The first bomb was detonated at Saint George church in Tanta and the second at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. Pope Tawadros II, who heads the Coptic Orthodox Church, was reportedly in attendance at Saint Mark’s either shortly before or after the jihadists struck.
  • Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for Sunday’s suicide car bombing that targeted the newly minted chief of defense forces near Somalia’s Ministry of Defense in Mogadishu. General Mohamed Ahmed Jimale, the bombing’s target, survived the blast, but at least 15 people were killed. Jimale was travelling with other Somali officials near the defense ministry headquarters when the Shabaab suicide bomber detonated his vehicle. In addition, a nearby passenger bus was also hit in the explosion. Shabaab’s statement acknowledges that the general escaped the assassination attempt.
  • ISIS fighters launched two suicide attacks on U.S.-backed Syrian rebels near the border with Iraq, leaving at least 12 dead in the fighting and many wounded, rebel sources said on Sunday. They said eight ISIS members and four of their own men died. An attack at midnight on a heavily defended base near the al Tanf border crossing involved at least one explosive-laden vehicle that rammed an entrance to the base. At least two U.S.-backed rebels were killed and scores wounded, a rebel source said. The terrorists also staged a suicide attack on a convoy of rebel fighters from the Western-backed Osoud al Sharqiya rebel group, who had sent reinforcements from their outpost near the Rukban refugee camp further south west. Two of the fighters in the convoy were killed in the ambush.
  • Pakistani police said on Saturday 10 militants from Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, died in a gun battle in the eastern city of Lahore, including a key suspect behind a February blast that killed 13 people. The clash came just days after a suicide attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban on an army census team that killed at least six people and wounded 18 in Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city.
  • A U.S. soldier was killed while conducting operations against ISIS in Afghanistan late on Saturday, a U.S. military spokesman said in a message posted on Twitter. "The soldier was mortally wounded late Saturday during an operation in Nangarhar Province" in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. Navy Captain Bill Salvin said in a message on the official Twitter account of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission. The soldier was a Special Forces operator. The circumstances of the death were unclear and Salvin said more information could be released later.
  • A 39-year-old Uzbek man being held in custody is the suspected driver of a hijacked beer delivery truck that plowed into crowds in central Stockholm, killing four people and wounding 15 in an apparent terror attack, police said on Saturday. The Uzbek man expressed sympathy for ISIS in the past and was wanted for failing to comply with a deportation order. The man, detained on Friday night on terrorism charges after the attack in the heart of the capital, appeared to have acted alone.
  • Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Saturday executed five people it said were Islamist terrorists responsible for killing three senior government officials last year, a military court official said. Abdifatah Haji Aden, chairman of Puntland's military court, said the five were behind the killings of a director at Puntland's presidential palace, a military prosecutor and a deputy police commander in the port city of Bossaso in December. The court said the accused were members of al Shabaab.
  • Australia's counterterrorism unit was investigating the fatal stabbing of a petrol station employee, but authorities said on Friday it was unclear if the attack was related to an organized militant group. Police said they arrested two males, aged 15 and 16, in relation to the deadly attack in the town of Queanbeyan just outside the national capital Canberra on Thursday night. The 16-year-old was being investigated for suspected links to global terrorist groups.

Tuesday (4.11.17)

  • Philippine troops killed at least five suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists and suffered three fatalities during a firefight in Bohol province on Tuesday, the military said. The clash took place after the United States and Canadian embassies in Manila warned citizens against traveling to Central Visayas, which includes Cebu and Bohol, where rebel groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings during Holy Week in the predominantly Catholic nation. Cebu and Bohol are two of the country's most popular tourist destinations, far away from the island strongholds of Abu Sayyaf, an ISIS-linked group known for extortion, piracy and kidnaps for ransom.
  • The man suspected of the Stockholm truck attack has admitted to carrying out a "terrorist crime", his lawyer said. At a hearing in the Swedish capital on Tuesday, the lawyer for Rakhmat Akilov, a 39 year-old from the central Asian republic of Uzbekistan, said that his client accepted his continued detention. Akilov, who did not speak in court, has not yet been formally charged. He will remain in custody in until a trial begins.
  • ISIS now controls less than seven percent of Iraq, down from the 40 percent it held during 2014, an Iraqi military spokesman said Tuesday.
  • Niger security forces killed 57 members of Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram who attacked a village in the southeastern Diffa region overnight, the defense ministry said in a statement on Monday. Fifteen soldiers and two civilians were wounded during the attack by heavily armed men in Gueskerou village, which is around 22 miles northeast of Diffa town. The security forces recovered a Toyota pick-up along with a 60 mm mortar, two RPG 7s (rocket propelled grenade launchers), five machine guns, 20 AK-47s and a lot of ammunition.
  • Kenya soldiers on Monday killed 15 al Shabaab terrorists in an operation in West of Catamaa, in the Gedo region of Somalia. KDF spokesman Joseph Owuoth said the forces' AMISOM detachment from a nearby location engaged the terrorists using artillery and mortar fire and successfully destroyed the terrorists’ camp.
  • Egyptian security forces killed seven suspected ISIS fighters in a shootout on Monday as they were meeting to plan attacks on minority Christians, the Interior Ministry said. The incident in the southern city of Assiut occurred a day after Egypt's cabinet approved a three-month state of emergency in the wake of ISIS attacks on two Christian Coptic churches that killed at least 44 people.
  • A terrorism-inspired children’s board game based on “Snakes and Ladders” (also known as Chutes and Ladders) that glorifies the Hamas terror group is soon set to hit stores in the Gaza Strip. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, “Reaching Jerusalem” was designed by Muhammad Ramadan Al-Amriti, an employee of the Hamas Interior Ministry who has previously produced and directed videos praising Hamas and terror attacks against Israel. In a post on his Facebook page, Al-Amriti said the purpose of the game is to teach Palestinian children the proper tenets of Islam and “that return to the homeland will be achieved only through resistance and jihad.”

Wednesday (4.12.17)

  • ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on Wednesday near the Afghan Defense Ministry that killed at least three people. At least one civilian and two members of the Afghan security forces were killed, a ministry spokesman said, adding that the target appeared to be a police post near military headquarters. ISIS claimed responsibility in an online post.
  • The use of children as suicide bombers by the insurgents of Boko Haram has surged in 2017, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday. In the countries fighting Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region - Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad - 27 children have been used in suicide attacks by the armed Islamist group in the first three months of the year, UNICEF said in a report and statement. There were nine cases in the same period last year, and 30 children used for bombings in all of 2016, most of whom were girls.
  • Nigeria's state security agency said on Wednesday it had thwarted plans by Boko Haram fighters linked to ISIS to attack the British and United States embassies in the capital Abuja. The Department of State Services (DSS) said it arrested five suspected members of the Islamist terrorist group based in Benue state, in the country's middle belt, between March 25 and 26.
  • German authorities arrested a suspected Islamist terrorist on Wednesday in connection with an attack on a bus carrying players of one of the country's top soccer teams. Borussia Dortmund's team bus was attacked with explosives on Tuesday shortly before the start of their Champions League game against AS Monaco, injuring defender Marc Bartra and forcing the match to be postponed by a day. Three explosions went off at 7:15 p.m. near the hotel where the team was staying and the team appeared to be the target.
  • A leader of a terrorist group who was directly involved in the kidnap and execution of Canadian and German nationals was among those killed by Philippine troops in a clash on a resort island this week, the military said on Wednesday. Troops killed at least six members of the ISIS-linked Abu Sayyaf during the firefight on the popular tourist island of Bohol on Tuesday, but suffered four casualties. The military has recovered the body of Muamar Askali, also known as Abu Rami, a former spokesman for Abu Sayyaf.
  • An Uzbek man suspected of ramming a truck into a crowd of people in the Swedish capital Stockholm had tried to travel to Syria in 2015 to join ISIS, an Uzbekistan security source said on Wednesday. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the suspect, Rakhmat Akilov, was an ethnic Tajik who while living in Sweden came under the influence of a Tajik ISIS cell.
  • Senegalese police said on Tuesday that they had arrested three suspected foreign jihadists in the capital Dakar, the second such series of arrests this year. Two Moroccans were taken into custody on March 29 for alleged ties to ISIS, the police said in a statement, while a Nigerian was arrested on April 1 as he left the Nigerian embassy, on suspicion of recruiting for Boko Haram.
  • U.S.-backed forces fighting ISIS in Syria advanced to within 1 mile of a key stronghold near the jihadist group's de facto capital of Raqqa on Tuesday, and a counter-attack by the terrorists was repulsed, officials said. The multi-phased campaign by the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by air strikes and military advisers from a U.S.-led coalition, ultimately aims to oust ISIS from Raqqa.

Thursday (4.13.17)

  • U.S.-backed forces fighting ISIS in Syria launched a new phase of their offensive on Thursday, a statement said, but they have not yet begun to attack the terrorist group's stronghold of Raqqa city in an apparent delay in the operation. The multi-phased campaign by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance made up of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighting groups, was launched in November and aims ultimately to drive the jihadists from Raqqa, their de facto Syrian capital. The SDF have closed in on Raqqa from the north, east and west. They have surrounded the ISIS-held Tabqa area and its adjacent dam, some 25 miles to the west of Raqqa, which is the focus of heavy fighting and where ISIS has launched a number of counter-attacks.
  • Joseph Jones and Edward Schimenti, both 35 and from Zion, Illinois were arrested on Wednesday on charges they conspired to help ISIS, with one suspect saying he wanted to see the jihadist group's flag over the White House, the U.S. Justice Department said. The pair pledged allegiance to Islamic State and took to social media to back violence in support of the terrorist group.
  • Egypt on Wednesday named the suicide bomber who attacked a cathedral in Alexandria as 31-year-old Mahmoud Hassan Mubarak Abdullah, describing him as a fugitive with links to terrorist cells that carried out previous strikes in the country. The interior ministry said Abdullah had links with the Islamist terrorist cell behind the December suicide bombing on Cairo's main Coptic cathedral, an attack also claimed by ISIS. Authorities are still trying to identify the Tanta attacker.
  • Bangladesh executed an Islamist terrorist leader and two of his aides on Wednesday for a grenade attack on the British ambassador in 2004, a senior prison official said, days after the president turned down their clemency pleas. Mufti Abdul Hannan, the head of the banned Harkat-ul Jihad Islami group, Sharif Shahedul and Delwar Hossain were convicted and sentenced to death in 2008 for the attack, which took place on May 21, 2004, after Friday prayers in the northeastern district of Sylhet.
  • The U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS is pulling back on its airstrikes near the Syrian city of Raqqa amid "tensions" following a U.S. missile strike in the country last week. “We have made adjustments to our operations to account for the potential tensions that resulted from the strikes that were conducted because of the Syrian regime’s chemical attack,” Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday. “But make no mistake, we do plan on continuing our operations and we do continue to look for ways to accelerate them.”