Monday (6.26.17)

  • Britain will bring in new rules on Monday to crack down on funds used to finance organized crime and terrorism, requiring businesses such as banks, estate agents, accountants and payment firms to carry out more checks on money flows. The government said that while the majority of businesses were vigilant, the new rules would improve the quality of the checks to make sure that businesses can spot suspicious activity and report it.
  • Suicide bombers killed nine people and wounded 13 others in multiple blasts in northeast Nigeria's Maiduguri, police said on Monday, the latest in a spate of attacks in the city worst hit by the Islamist terrorists group Boko Haram. A number of suicide bomb attacks by suspected members of the jihadist group have taken place in the capital of Borno state and its environs in the last few weeks, including blasts that killed 12 people on June 19 and a June 7 raid which left 14 dead.
  • The battle to take full control of Mosul from ISIS will be over in a few days and an attempted fight-back by the terrorists failed, Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, commander of the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) elite units in Mosul said on Monday adding that"only a small part remains in the city, specifically the Old City."
  • Russia's FSB security service said on Monday that the Telegram messaging app had been used by terrorists to plot atrocities on Russian soil, increasing pressure on the service days after the authorities accused it of violating Russian legislation. Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor said on Friday it would block Telegram unless it handed over information about the company that controlled Telegram, something it said Telegram had so far refused to do. The FSB, the successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, added to that pressure on Monday, releasing a statement which said Telegram provided "terrorists with the opportunity to create secret chat rooms with a high degree of encryption."
  • An Indonesian police officer was stabbed and later died of his wounds in an attack by suspected Islamist terrorists in the city of Medan, a police spokeswoman said on Sunday. Police shot dead one suspect and one was arrested after the attack on a police post in the capital of North Sumatra province.
  • Six children were killed in a village in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday when they picked up an explosive device that looked like a toy, officials said. At least 31 people, including several children, have been left disabled or killed in blasts from improvised explosive devices (IEC) since 2016 in the South Waziristan region, part of Pakistan's troubled tribal areas, senior government official Muhammed Sohaib said.
  • A U.S.-backed Syrian coalition of Kurdish and Arab groups advanced against ISIS in the jihadists' Syrian capital of Raqqa on Sunday, taking the al-Qadisia district, they said. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began its assault on Raqqa earlier this month after a long campaign to isolate ISIS inside the city. It took Qadisia, located in the west of Raqqa, after three days of intense fighting, it said in a statement on one of its official social media feeds.
  • Iranian authorities have rounded up at least 50 people suspected of links to terrorist groups in a Western province, a prosecutor said on Sunday, the latest in a wave of arrests following twin bomb and gun attacks in Tehran in early June. The arrests have been made days after Iranian Revolutionary Guards fired missiles from western Iran into eastern Syria, aimed at bases of the Islamic State which had claimed responsibility for the June 7 attacks in the capital Tehran that killed 18 people.
  • A car bomb killed 10 people in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, reported on Sunday. The attack occurred in a market in the town of al-Dana, located in the north of the province near the border with Turkey, according to the Observatory. Three people under 18 were among the dead and the blast also injured at least 30 other people, it said.
  • A faction of Pakistan-based sectarian terrorists Lashkar-e-Jhangvi on Saturday claimed responsibility for twin bombs that hit a market in the northwestern town of Parachinar, killing at least 50 people ahead of the holiday marking the end of Ramadan. LeJ's Al Alami faction said in a statement it was targeting minority Shi'ite Muslims and threatened more attacks over Pakistanis fighting against Sunni terrorists in Syria's civil war.
  • Saudi security forces on Friday foiled a suicide attack on the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, cornering the would-be attacker in an apartment, where he blew himself up, the Interior Ministry said.
  • In a statement read on state television, the ministry said that three cells had planned the attack on worshippers and security forces at the mosque as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan nears its climax. The trapped would-be suicide bomber exchanged fire with the security forces, then set off explosives when he was surrounded in a house in the central Mecca neighborhood of Ajyad al-Masafi near the mosque that had been used as the base for the attack, the ministry said.
  • US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on Friday that Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, a facilitator who handled millions of dollars for the Islamic State, was killed in a June 16 airstrike in Abu Kamal, Syria. Al-Rawi is the latest senior Islamic State figure to be taken out in eastern Syria, which has become an especially important stronghold for the jihadists. The US has conducted a series of airstrikes and other operations targeting key personnel in Deir Ezzor province.

 Tuesday (6.27.17) 

  • Iraqi forces on Tuesday pushed towards the river side of Mosul's Old City, their key target in the eight-month campaign to capture ISIS’ de-facto capital, and Iraq's prime minister predicted victory very soon.
  • The US Department of State added Syed Salahuddin, leader of the Pakistan-supported Hizbul Mujahideen jihadist group, to its list of Specially Designated Global terrorists. State specifically designated Salahuddin for his activities in Kashmir, however he is part of the jihadist alliance which wages war throughout Afghanistan and India.
  • Civilians held hostage by Islamic terrorists occupying a southern Philippine city have been forced to loot homes, take up arms against government troops and serve as sex slaves for rebel fighters, the army said on Tuesday. Citing accounts of seven residents of Marawi City who either escaped or were rescued, the military said some hostages were forced to convert to Islam, carry wounded fighters to mosques, and marry militants of the Maute group loyal to ISIS.
  • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday dozens of people were killed in an air strike believed to have been carried out by the U.S.-led coalition on an ISIS prison in the eastern Syrian town of al-Mayadeen. The coalition said the mission had been "meticulously planned" to reduce the risk of possible harm to non-combatants. It added it would assess the Observatory's allegation.
  • Johan Gustafsson, a Swedish national held hostage by al Qaeda in Mali, was released and returned to Sweden on Monday after nearly six years of captivity, according to the Swedish Foreign Ministry. It is unclear what efforts were made to secure his release. In the past, foreign hostages in Mali have been released in exchanges or ransom payments.
  • Social media giants Facebook, Google's YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft said on Monday they were forming a global working group to combine their efforts to remove terrorist content from their platforms. Responding to pressure from governments in Europe and the United States after a spate of terrorist attacks, the companies said they would share technical solutions for removing terrorist content, commission research to inform their counter-speech efforts and work more with counter-terrorism experts.
  • The Afghan Taliban promoted its network of training camps that it claims are in operation throughout Afghanistan in a recent propaganda video that was published on its official website. Four new Taliban camps have been identified by the Taliban. Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has released a 20-page “code of conduct” emphasizing its allegiance to Ayman al Zawahiri and the emir of the Taliban. AQIS says its members are currently fighting “shoulder-to-shoulder with the mujahideen” of the Taliban and calls on Muslims throughout the subcontinent to join or support the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.”
  • Suicide bombers killed nine people and wounded 13 others in multiple blasts in northeast Nigeria's Maiduguri, police said on Monday, the latest in a spate of attacks in the city worst hit by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

 Wednesday (6.28.17) 

  • A man charged with stabbing an airport police officer in an attack federal investigators are probing as an act of terrorism is expected to appear in a Michigan federal court on Wednesday. Amor Ftouhi, 49, of Quebec, Canada, was charged in federal court with violence at an international airport for stabbing Officer Jeff Neville at the Bishop International Airport in Flint on June 21st
  • Five decapitated civilians were found in a Philippine city occupied by Islamist terrorists on Wednesday, the military said, warning the number of residents killed by rebel "atrocities" could rise sharply as troops retake more ground.
  • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an air strike early on Wednesday killed at least 30 civilians and injured dozens more in a village held by ISIS in eastern Syria. The strike, in al-Dablan, about 20 km (13 miles) southeast of al-Mayadeen on the west bank of the Euphrates, is the second in 48 hours that the Observatory says has killed dozens of people.
  • Six people have been arrested in Spain, Britain and Germany accused of links to ISIS, and the indoctrination and radicalization of potential members, the Spanish interior ministry said on Wednesday. The arrests, organized by Spanish police in conjunction with police in Germany and Britain, detained four people in Palma de Mallorca, one in Britain and one in Germany, the ministry said.
  • The US Department of State added Syed Salahuddin, leader of the Pakistan-supported Hizbul Mujahideen jihadist group, to its list of Specially Designated Global terrorists. State specifically designated Salahuddin for his activities in Kashmir, however he is also part of the jihadist alliance which wages war throughout Afghanistan and India. Salahuddin, who is also known as Mohammad Yusuf Shah, is the emir of Hizbul Mujahideen, a jihadist group with close ties to other Pakistani terror groups that focuses on fighting in Indian Jammu and Kashmir, but also supports al Qaeda and other jihadist groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. Hizbul Mujahideen receives support from Pakistan’s military and the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), which allows the group to operate openly inside Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • Four police officers and four civilians were killed on Tuesday after their truck hit a landmine on a road near Kenya's border with Somalia, police officials said, in the second such attack this month.
  • A North Carolina man accused of murdering his neighbor and offering to pay an undercover agent to kill his parents was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for plotting mass shootings in the name of ISIS, U.S. prosecutors said. Justin Sullivan, 21, of Morganton, was sentenced in federal court in Asheville on one count of attempting to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Thursday (6.2917)

  • After eight months of urban warfare, Iraqi government troops on Thursday captured the ruined mosque in Mosul from where ISIS proclaimed its self-styled caliphate three years ago, the Iraqi military said. Iraqi authorities expect the long battle for Mosul to end in the coming days as the remaining ISIS fighters are now bottled up in just a handful of neighborhoods of the Old City.
  • Al Shabaab is blocking  access to hungry parts of Somalia controlled by the Islamist terrorists, threatening the lives of tens of thousands of malnourished children, a charity said on Thursday, as the war-torn nation risks falling back into famine. Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), often fatal without medical care, has "skyrocketed" to more than three times the emergency threshold of two percent in Hiraan region's Mataban District, a survey by Save the Children found.
  • European allies will tell U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Thursday they are willing to help step up NATO's mission in Afghanistan - but only if the United States is clear on its strategy, diplomats said. While no decisions have been made, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said U.S. allies would send more troops to help Afghans "break the stalemate" with resurgent Taliban terrorists.
  • Kenya's security officers confirmed Thursday they have rescued two out of four school children who went missing following a suspected al Shabaab attack in Lamu on Tuesday. At least eight people, including four schoolchildren and four police officers, were killed during the attack believed to have been orchestrated by al Shabaab terrorists.
  • A man charged with stabbing an airport police officer in an attack federal investigators are probing as an act of terrorism will remain in detention until a hearing next week, his lawyers said on Wednesday. Amor Ftouhi, 49, of Quebec, Canada, was charged in federal court with violence at an international airport for stabbing officer Jeff Neville at the Bishop International Airport in Flint on June 21. 
  • Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs objected to the United States’ designation of Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist and claimed the country “has a demonstrated and longstanding commitment of combating terrorism.” However, Salahuddin has admitted to raising funds to wage jihad in Afghanistan and India, and has supported fighting US forces inside Afghanistan. Additionally, Salahuddin has close ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable front, Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

Friday (6.30.17)

  • U.S.-backed Iraqi forces attacked ISIS' remaining redoubt in Mosul's Old City on Friday, a day after formally declaring the end of the terrorists' self-declared caliphate and the capture of the historic mosque which symbolized their power. Commanders of Iraq's CTS counter terrorism units cautioned that with the mostly non-Iraqi ISIS terrorists dug in among civilians and likely to fight to the death, the battle ahead was challenging.
  • ISIS terrorists have withdrawn from the last territory they held in Aleppo province after the Syrian army retook the Ithriya-Rasafa road and areas east of Khanaser, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Friday.
  • Bombers killed two people and wounded 11 others at a U.N.-managed camp in Niger housing thousands of people who have fled Boko Haram violence in the first suicide attack in the region in a year, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday. Two women entered the camp in Kabelawa, around 50 km (30 miles) north of the border with Nigeria, and joined a group of young people before detonating suicide belts just before midnight on Wednesday.
  • Five suicide bombers attacked Lebanese soldiers as they raided two Syrian refugee camps in the Arsal area at the border with Syria on Friday and a sixth militant threw a hand grenade at a patrol, the army said. The army said seven soldiers were wounded and a girl was killed after one of the suicide bombers blew himself up in the midst of a family of refugees. It did not elaborate.
  • A man was arrested after trying to drive a car into a crowd in front of a mosque in the Paris suburb of Creteil on Thursday, police said, adding that no one was injured. The man's motives were unclear, and he had not succeeded in reaching the crowd because of barriers in front of the mosque, police said in a statement.
  • Iran's state news agency quoted a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday as saying ISIS’ leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was "definitely dead". IRNA later updated the news item, omitting the quote on Baghdadi's death. Washington said on Thursday it had no information to corroborate such reports and Iraqi officials have also been skeptical in recent weeks.
  • The 200-strong contingent of Canadian troops helping train Iraqi soldiers in the fight against ISIS will stay in place until end-March 2019, two years longer than previously planned, officials said on Thursday. Canada will also make a Hercules transport plane available to the U.S-led coalition fighting the terrorists.