Monday (2.12.18)

  • A Taliban infiltrator killed 16 members of a pro-government militia force in the insurgency ridden southern province of Helmand when he turned his gun on men who he had worked with for months, officials said on Monday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killings in the province’s Gereshk district on Saturday, saying two of its fighters were involved.
  • The Pakistani Taliban confirmed on Monday that their deputy leader was killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike last week and said they had appointed a new deputy in his place. The US reportedly killed the deputy emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan in a drone strike along the Afghan-Pakistan border on Friday.
  • A woman was killed and 12 other people injured after a man carried out a knife attack in a mall in a busy shopping district in the Chinese capital, Beijing, police said on Sunday. Beijing police said in a short statement they had detained a man over the early afternoon attack at the Joy City Mall in the Xidan district.
  • A knife-wielding attacker wounded four churchgoers in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta on Sunday before being shot and wounded by police who said they could not immediately confirm whether it was a terrorism-related incident. Police said they were investigating possible motives for the attack by the suspect.
  • Egypt’s air force pounded terrorists in northern and central Sinai early on Saturday, the military said. Sixteen terrorists have been killed and 34 people arrested in a major security operation, Egypt’s military said on Sunday. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday the United States supports Egypt’s fight against ISIS but reiterated that it advocated free and fair elections in the Arab country.
  • As ISIS attempted to hold onto the territory in its so-called caliphate, it deployed a fleet of small drones to harass its foes. On Saturday, US Treasury Department revealed new details about the terrorists’ procurement network for its tiny unmanned aerial vehicles and designated three ISIS facilitators as terrorists and sanctioned three associated entities as well. The move further exposed the terrorists’ support networks in the Philippines, Somalia, and Turkey.
  • Iranian-backed Hezbollah said on Saturday the downing of an Israeli F-16 jet by the Syrian army marked the “start of a new strategic phase” which would limit Israeli exploitation of Syrian airspace. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israeli forces would press ahead with Syria operations despite their loss of an advanced warplane to enemy fire for the first time in 36 years.
  • Pakistan warned India against cross-border strikes in the disputed region of Kashmir after Indian authorities blamed a Pakistan-based group for an attack on an army camp. Saturday’s attack on the camp near Jammu was the worst in months, with five soldiers and the father of one of the soldiers killed and women and children among the ten wounded.
  • Boko Haram freed 13 hostages, Nigeria’s presidency said on Saturday, after authorities negotiated their release with the terrorists. Three of the hostages were lecturers from the University of Maiduguri who were abducted while on an oil exploration trip in Magumeri, in the northeastern Borno state, in July 2017. The other 10 were women police officers kidnapped in a raid on a convoy the previous month.
  • On Friday afternoon, five civilians were killed and another 18 wounded in central Mali when their passenger vehicle struck a landmine, the local governor said on Saturday, two weeks after 26 travelers died in a similar incident in the area. Governor Sidi Alassane Toure blamed the attack on “terrorists”.
  • A U.S. appeals court has thrown out a 2014 jury verdict finding Arab Bank Plc liable for knowingly supporting terrorists attacks in Israel linked to Hamas, a decision that triggers a settlement agreement with hundreds of plaintiffs. Friday’s decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ends 13-1/2 years of litigation over Arab Bank’s liability, which the Jordanian lender has disputed, for 24 attacks in and around Israel in the early 2000s.

Tuesday (2.13.18)

  • Egyptian security forces killed 10 terrorists in an exchange of fire and arrested 400 suspects, including foreigners, in a continuing crackdown in Sinai, the army said in a statement on Tuesday. Based on army statements, around 38 terrorists have been killed since the latest offensive to crush insurgents blamed for a string of attacks began.
  • An Uzbek asylum seeker who confessed to wanting to mow down “infidels” in an April 2017 Stockholm truck attack that killed five people and wounded 10 pleaded guilty to terrorism charges on Tuesday as his trial opened. Akilov, whose Swedish asylum application had been rejected in 2016, had sworn allegiance to ISIS terror group on the eve of his assault in one of Europe’s safest cities, though the terrorist group never claimed responsibility.
  • Hundreds of people suspected of links to Boko Haram stood trial in a detention center in central Nigeria on Monday in a resumption of the country’s biggest legal investigation of the terrorist group, authorities said. More than 20,000 people have been killed and two million forced to flee their homes in northeastern Nigeria since Boko Haram began an insurgency in 2009 aimed at creating an Islamic state.
  • Two Austrian teenagers have been charged with planning to kill as many police officers as they could in a terrorist attack on a provincial police station ordered by a Chechen member of ISIS, according to court documents. The plot came to light when authorities found internet chats that one of the suspects allegedly held with a German man accused in a separate case of plotting a terrorist bomb attack with the help of another Austrian teen.
  • A recent quarterly report released by the Office of Inspector General acknowledged that several US-made Abrams tanks fell into the hands of Iranian-backed militias after being supplied to the Iraqi military. In recent years, Hezbollah, the Badr Organization, and Kata’ib Sayyid al Shuhada which is closely linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) – Qods Force and led by US-designated terrorist Mustafa al Sheibani, have been seen with Abrams tanks.

Wednesday (2.14.18)

  • Pakistani Taliban terrorists shot dead four paramilitary soldiers in Pakistan’s western city of Quetta, where last month seven security men were killed in a suicide attack, police and the terrorist group said on Wednesday. The Frontier Corps troopers were patrolling the residential neighborhood of Langoabad on motorcycles when they were fired on by gunmen also riding bikes, said Naseebullah Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police for Quetta.
  • Pakistan has banned two charities linked to Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed, an official said on Wednesday, in a move against the U.N.-designated “terrorist” who the United States says was behind an attack on Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people. The action comes days before a meeting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money laundering watchdog, which will consider a U.S.-sponsored motion to place Pakistan on a list of countries failing to prevent terrorism financing.
  • The Taliban said on Wednesday they want to end Afghanistan’s war through dialogue but warned that their willingness to find peace did not mean they were exhausted and that their armed campaign would be sustained no matter how powerful the U.S. opposition. A more aggressive U.S. strategy in Afghanistan including a surge in air strikes introduced by President Donald Trump in August has pushed the Taliban back from several district centers and two provincial capitals.
  • Counter-terrorism police were called to Britain’s parliament on Tuesday to investigate white power sent to an office in the building, but the powder was later found to be harmless, officials said. One office remained closed as officers carried out investigations, but the rest of the building was open, police said. Parliament is currently in recess.
  • During the “Chiefs of Defence” meeting held in Kabul on Tuesday, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff claimed that his country “has eliminated all terrorist sanctuaries from its soil” and blamed “residual signatures of terrorists” on Afghan refugees living there. But this claim falls flat on its face since known terrorists and terrorist groups continue to operate unfettered inside Pakistan, often with the tacit approval and support of the state.
  • The man convicted of setting off explosives in Manhattan in 2016, injuring dozens and sparking a sprawling manhunt that ended with a violent shootout with police, was sentenced Tuesday to spend the rest of his life in prison. One of the bombs detonated on Sept. 17, 2016, injuring 31 people, while another was found on a sidewalk and did not explode.