Monday (6.5.17) 

  • Britain's terror threat level will remain at "severe" after terrorists killed seven people and injured 48 in London, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday, describing the assault as an attack on the free world. Additional security measures have been put in place, including at several bridges in central London. ISIS’ Amaq News Agency has issued a short statement claiming responsibility for Saturday’s attacks in London. The message doesn’t identify the terrorists, but cites a “security source” as saying that a “unit of Islamic State fighters” carried out the assault. It is the third attack the so-called caliphate has claimed in the UK since March. The three terrorists who attacked London Bridge and the nearby Borough Market Friday night employed the crude methods ISIS has repeatedly called on followers to use. The men rammed a van into pedestrians and stabbed revelers on Saturday night before being shot by police. Twelve people were arrested in east London on Sunday in connection with the attack. 
  • A bomb planted in a police station killed at least one policeman in Somalia's southern port city of Kismayu on Monday, and terrorist Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility.
  • The Arab world's strongest powers cut ties with Qatar on Monday over alleged support for Islamists and Iran, re-opening a festering wound two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump's demand for Muslim states to fight terrorism. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut relations with Qatar in a coordinated move. Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives joined in later. Qatar denounced the move as based on lies about it supporting terrorists. It has often been accused of being a funding source for Islamists, as has Saudi Arabia.
  • ISIS fighters  holed up in a southern Philippines town stocked weapons and food in mosques, tunnels and basements to prepare for a long siege, officials said on Monday as the battle for control of Marawi City came to the end of its second week. Their comments underlined the level of organization among fighters linked to ISIS, whose ranks of several hundred included foreigners from Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya and Morocco.
  • Shi'ite paramilitaries have captured the Iraqi town of Baaj from ISIS, further shrinking the northern region under jihadist control as part of a U.S.-backed campaign to retake the city of Mosul, the Iraqi military said on Sunday.
  • Islamist terrorists kidnapped and beheaded a young shepherd in Tunisian mountains near the border with Algeria, less than two years after his brother was killed in the same way, security sources and residents said on Saturday. Troops found the body of Khelifa Soltani near Sidi Bouzid after he had been snatched by terrorists on Friday. They gave no reason why he was abducted. Tunisian forces are carrying out operations in Sidi Bouzid, Kasserine and the Chaambi mountain range bordering Algeria to flush out Okba Ibn Nafaa, an al Qaeda-affiliated group, as well as a small number of rival fighters allied to ISIS.
  • The three suicide bombers who killed 20 people and wounded scores more during a complex attack at a funeral at a Kabul cemetery trained at a Pakistani madrassa, according to Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security. The Afghan Taliban has denied involvement in the attack, which has gone unclaimed, and said it was “the result of internal enemy feuds.” The NDS claimed it detained a would-be suicide bomber who was supposed to be blowing himself up along with three others at yesterday’s funeral for the son of an Afghan senator who was killed after security forces opened fire during a protest in Kbaul a day earlier. Twenty people were killed and 89 more were wounded as the three suicide bombers detonated among the crowd of mourners on Saturday.
  • Southeast Asian nations plan to use spy planes and drones to stem the movement of militants across their porous borders, defense officials said over the weekend, as concerns rise over the growing clout of ISIS in the region. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines said they will launch joint air patrols this month at their shared boundaries in the Sulu Sea, in addition to existing maritime patrols. Authorities in the region have urged greater cooperation to counter the fallout from a raging battle with ISIS-linked fighters in the southern Philippines, the biggest warning yet that the ultra-radical group is building a base in Southeast Asia.
  • ISIS’ Amaq News Agency released a short video showing the destruction of a church inside Marawi city. This is the second video released by Amaq from the southern Philippines city. The video comes as the crisis in Marawi enters its second week. At least 175 people have been killed in the siege so far, while thousands of civilians have been forced to flee the city. The video details ISIS-loyal fighters destroying religious symbols and vandalizing the inside of the church. Afterwards, the jihadists set the structure on fire before the video ends. It is unclear when the footage was filmed, however, destruction of churches inside Marawi have been reported since the attack started late last month.

Tuesday (6.6.17)

  • A suspected bomb outside a historic mosque in the Afghan city of Herat killed at least seven people and wounded 15 on Tuesday, police said, the latest casualties in a particularly bloody week in Afghanistan. Officials in the western city believe explosives were hidden in a motorcycle left in a parking area outside the Jama Masjid, a large mosque dating from the 12th century, known for its intricate blue tiles. The attack came after a spate of violence in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, where last Wednesday more than 150 people were killed and hundreds wounded in a suicide truck-bomb attack.
  • The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Tuesday it had launched a battle to capture Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto Syrian capital, piling pressure on the jihadists whose self-declared caliphate is in retreat across Syria and Iraq. SDF spokesman Talal Silo said the operation started on Monday and the fighting would be "fierce because Daesh (ISIS) will die to defend their so-called capital". The assault overlaps with the final stages of the U.S.-backed attack to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS. It follows months of advances to the north, east and west of Raqqa by the SDF, which includes Arab and Kurdish militias.
  • Australian police on Monday shot dead a gunman in the city of Melbourne who had been holding a woman hostage, police said, a confrontation for which the terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility. Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its escalating action against ISIS, has been on high alert for attacks by home-grown terrorists returning from fighting in the Middle East or their supporters. Three police officers were hurt in a stand-off lasting more than an hour at an apartment building in the beachside suburb of Brighton, police said in a statement. A second man had earlier been found dead from a gunshot wound.
  • British police and security services had previously investigated one of the Islamist terrorists who carried out Saturday's attack in London, but with resources scarce, he was not deemed enough of a threat to warrant close monitoring, police said on Monday. One of the attackers, 27-year-old Khuram Shazad Butt, was a British citizen born in Pakistan who had already been investigated by police and Britain's domestic spy agency MI5. Another attacker, 30-year-old Rachid Redouane, went by the alias Rachid Elkhdar and claimed to be Moroccan or Libyan, police said. He and Butt lived in the same area of east London. The third man was 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba, a Moroccan-Italian man. An Italian police source has confirmed that Zaghba, who lived in east London, had been placed on a watch list, which is shared with many countries including the UK. In March 2016, Italian officers stopped Zaghba at Bologna airport and found IS-related materials on his mobile phone. He was then stopped from continuing his journey to Istanbul.
  • The European Union committed 50 million euros ($56 million) on Monday to help the countries of West Africa's Sahel region set up a multinational force to combat Islamist terrorist groups. The vast, arid zone has in recent years become a breeding ground for jihadist groups - some linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State - that European nations, particularly France, fear could threaten Europe if left unchecked. In a statement released during the visit to Mali of its foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, the European Union said its support would help the so-called G5 Sahel countries of Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania establish a regional task force.

Wednesday (6.7.17)

  • Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked Iran's parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran on Wednesday morning, killing at least 12 people in a twin assault at the heart of the Islamic Republic, Iranian officials and media said. ISIS claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament building and one man, who appeared wounded, on the floor. The rare attacks were the first claimed by the hardline Sunni Muslim terrorist group inside the Shi'ite Muslim country. Iran is one of the powers leading the fight ISIS in neighboring Iraq and, beyond that, Syria. The parliament attackers dressed as women and about five hours after the first reports, Iranian news agencies said four people who had attacked parliament were dead and the incident was over. In the second assault, near the shrine of the Republic's founder, the terrorist detonated a suicide vest while a second attacker was shot dead.  
  • British police arrested a man under counter terrorism laws on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the London Bridge attack. "A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorist acts," police said. At least seven people were killed and dozens wounded on Saturday when three men rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then went on the rampage through the bustling Borough Market area where they slit throats and stabbed people. The three attackers were shot dead at the scene by police.
  • Islamist fighters locked in an urban battle with troops in the southern Philippines had planned to carve out an enclave of their own, officials said on Wednesday after the emergence of a video showing their leaders in a secret strategy meeting. The footage, found on a mobile phone as government forces closed in on the fighters in Marawi City, showed a group of men in a room discussing how they would take hostages from a school, seal off roads and capture a highway into the lakeside town. "There was indeed a bigger plan and it was supposed to wreak more havoc," according to military spokesman Restituto Padilla. The battle for Marawi has raised concern that ISIS, on a back foot in Syria and Iraq, is building a regional base on the Philippine island of Mindanao that could pose a threat to neighboring Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore too.
  • France created a new counter-terrorism task force on Wednesday, bringing together all the intelligence services, to coordinate the response to attacks, a day after an Algerian student assaulted police officers outside Notre Dame cathedral. In Tuesday's attack, a 40-year-old Algerian student armed with a hammer and kitchen knives shouted "this is for Syria" as he struck at and wounded a policeman, before being shot by police officers. A source close to the investigation named the assailant as Algerian-born Farid Ikken, a PhD student of communications registered since 2014 at a university in the eastern city of Metz. The source said that a video in which Ikken pledged allegiance to Islamic State had been found in his flat in Cergy-Pontoise, northwest of Paris, during a police raid on Tuesday evening, after the attack.
  • Lebanese authorities have arrested a Lebanese man accused of planning a suicide attack on behalf of ISIS, state news agency NNA said on Tuesday. The man told police that terrorists had trained him in north Lebanon and that an ISIS operative in Iraq had taught him via the Internet how to make an explosive belt.
  • Three people were killed in eastern Kenya when their vehicle ran over a homemade bomb on Tuesday, police said. This incident is just the latest in a string of attacks in the region, most of which have been claimed by the Somali Islamist terrorist group al Shabaab.
  • The US military again launched airstrikes against forces loyal to the Syrian government after they entered the “deconfliction zone” near At Tanf in southeastern Syria. The US military is training Free Syrian Army-branded militias in the area to battle ISIS. Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition created to battle the ISIS, announced yesterday that the “pro-Syrian regime forces” entered the “deconfliction zone with a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, armed technical vehicles and more than 60 soldiers” and posed a threat to forces based there. American, British and Norwegian special forces are known to be operating at the At Tanf Garrison. CJTF-OIR stated it issued multiple warnings before it destroyed “two artillery pieces and an anti-aircraft weapon” and damaged a tank.

Thursday (6.8.17)

  • Pakistan's military has killed 12 ISIS-linked terrorists in a raid on their cave hideout in Baluchistan province, the army said on Thursday, in an attempt to cut off ISIS’ bid to establish a foothold in the resource-rich province. ISIS, which controls some territory in neighboring Afghanistan, has struggled to establish a presence in Pakistan but it has claimed several major attacks, including one on the deputy chairman of the Senate last month in Baluchistan in which 25 people were killed. The military said the raid near the town of Mastung, 30 miles south of the provincial capital, Quetta, targeted militants from the banned Lashkar-e-Jangvi Al Alami (LeJ-AL) group, which has carried out attacks with ISIS.
  • Al Shabaab terrorists killed 20 soldiers in an attack on a military base in Af Urur, a town in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Thursday, an army officer said. Puntland military retook the town, which had been attacked by the al Shabaab fighters. The assault came days after Puntland sentenced to death five al Shabaab members who were arrested as they drove a vehicle carrying three barrels packed with explosives into Bosaso, Puntland's capital, on April 26.
  • A self-proclaimed commander of Albanians fighting with ISIS, notorious at home in Kosovo for a video showing him beheading a man, has been killed, police and his family said on Thursday. Lavdrim Muhaxheri died in the Middle East, but it was not clear in which country or when.
  • An attack by Boko Haram jihadists on the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri killed 14 people and wounded 24 others, police said on Thursday, the first official toll. Maiduguri is the epicenter of the eight-year fight against Boko Haram which has been trying to set up an Islamic State in the northeast, and has been largely free of violence for the past two years. The fighters attacked the city's suburbs on Wednesday night with anti-aircraft guns and several suicide bombers. Several buildings were set on fire but the military repulsed the terrorists after an hour.
  • British police investigating the deadly attacks on London Bridge on Saturday said they had arrested three more suspects, as footage of the moment officers shot the assailants dead appeared online. Counter terrorism officers, backed up by armed colleagues, arrested two men on the street in Ilford, east London, late on Wednesday, while a third was arrested at a house nearby, police said in a statement. Two of the men, aged 27 and 29, were held on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism while the third was detained over suspected drugs offences.
  • Iranian media announced the death of an Afghan militiaman in the vicinity of Tanf military base in southeastern Syria on Monday, where coalition forces are training Syrian insurgents fighting the ISIS. Mohammad Hosseini aka “Salman” was the intelligence chief of the Fatemiyoun Division’s Hazrat-e Fatemeh Zahra Brigade, according to the media. He was reportedly killed after stepping on a mine during a reconnaissance mission. Iranian media have thus far released no further details. Following last month’s strike, US jets struck yet another pro-regime convoy on Tuesday in the “deconfliction” area of Tanf. The base is located close to the Jordanian and Iraqi borders and a major crossing into Iraq.

 Friday (6.9.17) 

  • A woman detonated her explosive belt in a market east of the Shi'ite holy city of Kerbala on Friday, killing at least 30 and wounding 35, Iraqi security sources said. ISIS claimed the attack in the town of Musayab, south of Baghdad, in a statement on its Amaq news agency, but it didn't identify the bomber. A security officer said the assailant was a woman who hid the bomb under the customary full-body veil.
  • The Philippines army said on Friday it had called on Facebook to shut down dozens of accounts that Islamist terrorists have been using to spread misinformation about their attack on a southern town and to coordinate their battle with security forces. The military's social media-monitoring team identified 63 accounts under fake names that it believed were being used by the ISIS-allied Maute group and its sympathizers.
  • Polish prosecutors have charged a Russian citizen of Chechen nationality with fighting illegally as a mercenary with ISIS in Syria, Polish authorities said in a statement on Friday. Alleged to have fought in Syria from late 2013 until the end of 2014, the Russian man identified as "Kyuri A." has been under arrest in Poland since March 24. He will face trial in Poland on charges which carry a maximum penalty of up to 8 years in prison.
  • Terrorists on Thursday killed three United Nations peacekeepers in an attack outside their base in Kidal in northern Mali, the U.N. said in a statement on Friday. U.N. soldiers face frequent attacks from desert fighters, some affiliated with al Qaeda, who have regrouped since a French-led military operation in 2013 to drive them out of Mali's northern towns. More than 100 peacekeepers have died in recent months, making it the most deadly U.N. mission to date. The U.N. camp came under heavy mortar fire on Thursday, injuring five. Shortly afterwards, three U.N. soldiers were killed in an attack just outside the camp, the U.N. said, giving no further details.
  • Al Shabaab terrorists killed 38 people, mostly soldiers, in an attack on a military base in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Thursday, an army officer said. The killings took place when the Islamists attacked and took over the town of Af Urur.
  • Syrian government warplanes struck ISIS positions west of Raqqa city on the southern bank of the Euphrates river on Thursday, state media said. "The air force destroyed positions and armored vehicles" in the western Raqqa countryside, about 44 miles from the city. U.S.-backed militias have separately been pushing into the edges of Raqqa city in the first days of their attack to seize ISIS’ base of operations in Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, launched an assault this week to take the northern city. The SDF has been closing in for months with the help of air strikes and special forces from the U.S.-led coalition.
  • Two men have been arrested and charged by U.S. prosecutors with scouting potential targets and providing material support to the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. Ali Kourani, 32, of New York City and Samer El Debek, 27, of Dearborn, Michigan, were arrested on June 1, federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced Thursday. Both have appeared in Manhattan federal court, according to prosecutors.
  • Iranian authorities have arrested 41 suspects in connection with this week's attacks in Tehran, the interior ministry said. ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings and gun attacks on parliament and the mausoleum of the Islamic Republic's founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, on Wednesday, that killed 17 people.
  • ISIS has killed two Chinese teachers it kidnapped in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province last month, the militant group's Amaq news agency said on Thursday, in a blow to Islamabad's efforts to safeguard Chinese workers. Armed men pretending to be policemen kidnapped the two language teachers in the provincial capital, Quetta, on May 24. The kidnapping was a rare security incident involving Chinese nationals in Pakistan, where Beijing has pledged $57 billion for its "Belt and Road" plan.
  • British police searched a property in Manchester on Thursday in connection with a suicide bombing which killed 22 people in the northern English city last month and released another three people without charge. A total of six men remained in police custody for questioning over the attacks at the Manchester Arena. Fifteen people have been released without charge.