Russian jets bomb IS positions in desert region

Russian warplanes have carried out dozens of air strikes on the Islamic State (IS) group’s positions in the Syrian Desert, activists say. The jets are supporting an operation by Syrian pro-government forces to secure the road between Homs and Deir al-Zour, according to a monitoring group. IS militants have carried out a string of deadly ambushes and hit-and-run attacks in the region recently. The latest, on Wednesday, reportedly killed nine soldiers and militiamen. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war in Syria via a network of sources, said three others had died on Tuesday when a landmine … Continue reading Russian jets bomb IS positions in desert region

Man sentenced over French tourist’s killing

An Algerian court has sentenced a man to death over the kidnap and murder of a French mountaineer in 2014. Hervé Gourdel, 55, was abducted while exploring Djurdjura National Park in a case that sparked outrage. A graphic beheading video later emerged of his death with the Jund al-Khilafa group, affiliated to the Islamic State, claiming responsibility. One suspect, Abdelmalek Hamzaoui, appeared in court on Thursday with others being tried in absentia. Hamzaoui denied taking part in the killing, telling the court he had been accused only to “close the case and please the French”. Several of Mr Gourdel’s climbing … Continue reading Man sentenced over French tourist’s killing

Canada labels far-right group ‘Proud Boys’ a terrorist entity

Canada has designated the far-right group Proud Boys as a terrorist entity. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the decision was influenced by the group’s “pivotal role” in the 6 January riots at the Capitol in Washington, DC. The designation allows the Proud Boys’ assets to be frozen, and members of the groups could be charged with terrorist offences if they commit violent acts. The group is all-male and anti-immigrant, and has a history of violent political confrontations. It was founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, the Canadian co-founder of Vice Media. Vice has since worked to distance itself from … Continue reading Canada labels far-right group ‘Proud Boys’ a terrorist entity

Somalia al-Shabab militants attack hotel in Mogadishu

Militant Islamists in Somalia have been involved in a gun battle with security forces at a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu. Al-Shabab said it was behind the attack at the Afrik Hotel, which began with a car bomb on Sunday afternoon. It is not yet confirmed how many casualties there are, but the AFP news agency reported at least three deaths. The group, which is linked to al-Qaeda, regularly carries out attacks against the government, a car hit the hotel’s front entrance and detonated before gunmen stormed the building, according to officials and others at the scene. “The blast made … Continue reading Somalia al-Shabab militants attack hotel in Mogadishu

US issues heightened threat alert after transition

US security chiefs have warned of a heightened threat of domestic terrorism from people unhappy with the outcome of the November election. The Department of Homeland Security said the 6 January attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters may have emboldened some extremists. In an advisory it warned of a threat from “individuals frustrated with the exercise of governmental authority”. But it added that there was no information on a specific plot. The attack on the US Capitol building came as Congress was meeting to confirm Joe Biden’s election victory. Outgoing President Donald Trump had earlier addressed thousands of his … Continue reading US issues heightened threat alert after transition

Update: IS says it was behind deadly suicide attacks in Baghdad

The Islamic State (IS) group has said it was behind a double suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Thursday that killed at least 32 people and wounded more than 100. The target had been Shia Muslims, a statement from the Sunni Islamist militant group’s Amaq news agency said, it was the biggest suicide attack in Baghdad for three years. The bombers blew themselves up among a crowd of shoppers at a second-hand clothes market in Tayaran Square. The admission by the jihadist group, made via its accounts on the messaging app Telegram, came several hours after the attack, … Continue reading Update: IS says it was behind deadly suicide attacks in Baghdad

Two Afghan female judges shot dead in Kabul ambush

Two female judges have been killed by unknown gunmen in an ambush early on Sunday in Afghanistan’s capital, the attack on the Supreme Court judges took place as they were driving to work, Ahmad Fahim Qaweem, a court spokesman, said, Kabul police confirmed the attack. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack and spokesman for the Taliban armed group Zabihullah Mujahid said the group was not responsible. Violence has surged across Afghanistan in recent months despite ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and government especially in Kabul where a new trend of targeted killings aimed at high-profile figures has sown … Continue reading Two Afghan female judges shot dead in Kabul ambush

Indonesia bans Islamic Defenders’ Front, citing terrorist links

Indonesia has banned the controversial, but politically influential, hardline group the Islamic Defenders’ Front, nearly three weeks after its leader was arrested for breaching coronavirus rules, according to the country’s chief security minister. Mahfud MD said on Wednesday the group, widely known by its Indonesian acronym FPI, had been officially outlawed, effective immediately, citing alleged vigilantism and links to terrorism. FPI is led by firebrand Muslim leader Rizieq Shihab, a controversial figure in Indonesian politics who returned from self-exile in Saudi Arabia in November and was arrested in Jakarta earlier this month after appearing at numerous mass rallies despite coronavirus … Continue reading Indonesia bans Islamic Defenders’ Front, citing terrorist links

Kabul governor killed in ‘sticky bomb’ attack on car

Kabul’s deputy governor has been killed in a “sticky bomb “attack in the Afghan capital, security officials have said, Mahboobullah Mohebi was travelling by car on Tuesday when a device attached to his vehicle exploded, no group has yet claimed responsibility. It is the latest in a spate of killings in Afghanistan this month, which have included a government prosecutor, who was shot dead while on his way to work. Journalists, activists and other political figures have been targeted, attackers often use so-called “sticky bombs”, which are stuck to vehicles by magnets. Afghan news channel Tolo TV reports that Mr … Continue reading Kabul governor killed in ‘sticky bomb’ attack on car

Indonesia attacks: Army hunts suspected militants over Christian murders

The Indonesian army has deployed a special force to hunt for suspected Islamic State-linked militants behind a deadly attack on Christians, four Salvation Army members were killed, one of them beheaded in an ambush on Sulawesi island on Friday. Intolerance against Indonesia’s Christian minority has been rising as the Muslim-majority country battles an ongoing Islamic militancy. A church body denounced the killings as terrorism rather than a religious feud, a group of men wielding swords and guns attacked a Salvation Army outpost in remote Lemban Tongoa village in Central Sulawesi province on Friday morning. They killed four of it’s male … Continue reading Indonesia attacks: Army hunts suspected militants over Christian murders

110 civilians killed in ‘gruesome’ Nigeria massacre

A “gruesome” massacre against farmers in northeastern Nigeria killed at least 110 people, the United Nations has said, raising tolls initially indicating 43 and then at least 70 dead, the killings took place in the early afternoon of Saturday in the village of Koshobe and other rural communities in the Jere local government area near Maiduguri, the capital of the conflict-hit Borno state. “Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said in a statement on Sunday, at least 110 civilians were … Continue reading 110 civilians killed in ‘gruesome’ Nigeria massacre

Australia cancels Muslim scholar’s citizenship in a local first

Australia has cancelled the citizenship of an Algerian-born Muslim scholar who was convicted of leading a “terrorist” cell that planned to bomb a football match in Melbourne in 2005, according to Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. Abdul Nacer Benbrika is the first person to be stripped of his citizenship while still in Australia. “If it’s a person who’s posing a significant terrorist threat to our country, then we’ll do whatever is possible within Australian law to protect Australians,” Dutton told reporters in Brisbane on Wednesday. Benbrika was convicted on three “terrorism” charges, he was jailed for 15 years for … Continue reading Australia cancels Muslim scholar’s citizenship in a local first