- Suspected ISIS gunmen killed at least six Afghan employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Wednesday as they carried supplies in the north of the country to areas hit by deadly snow storms, government officials said. Another two employees were unaccounted for after the attack in Jowzjan province. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said his group was not involved in the attack.
- Islamist gunmen stormed a hotel in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Wednesday, killing four guards, a senior official and an ISIS agency said. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in Bosasso, according to its news agency Amaq. Islamist leader Abdiqadir Mumin broke away from the main al Shabaab insurgency in 2015 and swore allegiance to ISIS. Experts says the group's strength is unclear, but he may have fighters numbering in the low hundreds under his command.
- Police searched homes and other properties in Britain and the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia on Wednesday for evidence on two suspects believed to have supported the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamist group, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Germany's chief federal prosecutor's office said. They were suspected of collecting donations for the group and had supplied ambulances, medical equipment and medication through groups called "Medicine with Heart" and "Medicine without Borders", it said. A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said the searches were still going on but declined to give further details about the case or the suspects.
- Syrian rebel forces supported by Turkish armed forces seized control of strategically important hills around the ISIS-controlled town of al-Bab after operations launched overnight, Turkey's military said on Wednesday. It said in a written statement that 58 ISIS fighters were killed in air strikes, artillery fire and clashes as part of those operations.
- ISIS claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a suicide attack that killed at least 22 people outside Afghanistan's Supreme Court. The bomber, identified as Abu Bakr Altajiki by the terrorist group, detonated an explosive belt as court employees were leaving work in downtown Kabul on Tuesday evening. "The apostates must know, starting with the tyrant judges, that their blasphemous judgments ... will not pass without severe punishment," the ISIS statement said.
- About three blasts, possibly caused by mortar shells, echoed across the Somali capital on Tuesday, on the eve of a presidential election, witnesses reported. There were no immediate reports of casualties or claims of responsibility, although the al Shabaab terrorist group often stages attacks in Mogadishu and has said it wants to disrupt the vote, in which newly sworn-in members of parliament will choose the president.
- U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering a proposal that could lead to potentially designating Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. U.S. government officials said several U.S. government agencies have been consulted about such a proposal, which if implemented would add to measures the United States has already imposed on individuals and entities linked to the IRGC.
- The Caucasus Emirate branch Vilayat Kabarda, Balkaria, and Karachay (KBK) recently released a video in which fighters from the Caucasus Emirate’s (CE) wing in Syria are shown partaking in battles in northwestern Syria. It is unknown if all the fighters shown in the video are from Vilayat KBK, other branches of the CE, or local members of the group. The video, entitled “On the frontlines in Syria,” was released by Vilayat KBK’s IslamDin media. It begins with fighters participating in a battle, which is indicated to be near the “Shia villages of Fua and Kafraya” in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province. This video marks one of, if not the first time, that a CE media wing originating in the North Caucasus has released a video of its branch in Syria.
I serve as Chairman of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee. Among other areas of jurisdiction, the subcommittee oversees U.S. efforts to manage and coordinate international programs to combat terrorism, and efforts to bring international terrorists to justice. This update provides a daily snapshot of the latest news related to foreign terrorism. For more information on the subcommittee, please click here.