Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 1 - 7 May

Europe

French security forces have arrested five people on Tuesday, 2 May, as part of their anti-terrorist raids. The arrests took place in the northern French cities of Rouen and Lille and in Roanne in the centre of the country. Firearms, including pistols and submachine guns, were seized during the raids, the weapons allegedly belonged to an associate of the arrested people, who owned them legally. Similar raids have intensified in France especially after the attack on the police officer at Champs-Élysées from 20 April.

On Friday, 5 May, a former French soldier suspected of preparing an alleged terrorist attack was arrested near a military base in Evreux, Normandy. A recording was found in his car on which the man pledges loyalty to the Islamic state (IS), he also had a flag of the IS in the trunk. According to the judicial source, various weapons, including a shotgun and a revolver, were found during the house search. French security forces are on alert due to the current presidential elections, but the connection between the motives of a potential attacker and the elections has not yet been proven in the investigation.

On Thursday, 4 May, the British police arrested a 30-year-old man at London Heathrow Airport, suspected of terrorism-related crimes. The man came to Britain from Turkish Istanbul and was arrested right after getting out of the plane. He is suspected of preparing terrorist attacks and activities connected to the training of terrorists. In connection with the investigation, the police began house searches in East London, but no further information has been released so far.

Russia and post-Soviet space

On Tuesday, 2 May, a special unit of the Russian National Guard in cooperation with the FSB intelligence service arrested five people suspected of links to the Islamic State. They were citizens of Central Asian states and their association with the IS had the nature of financing the activities of terrorists or people connected to them. Currently, an ongoing inquiry takes place that includes investigation of confiscated bank accounts, credit cards and all communication and financial channels used by the arrested people.

The Middle East and South Asia

At least 37 refugees, including women and children, were killed during an attack by IS militants on Tuesday, 2 May, on the road to Syrian Rojava on the Rajim Salibi border between Syria and Iraq. The refugees were both from Syria and Iraq, 20 people killed on the spot, other people died of their injuries and dozens were wounded. The IS attack was subsequently countered by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

On Wednesday, 3 May, a suicide bomber attack took place in Kabul, Afghanistan, aimed at a convoy belonging to the NATO Resolute Support mission. The attack occurred in the early morning hours near the US embassy, according to local sources, at least 8 civilians were killed and 25 were wounded, including 3 members of the US Armed Forces. The Islamic State allegedly claimed the attack. The explosion destroyed mostly civilian vehicles, the armoured transporters belonging to the convoy withstood the attack and therefore, they could take the injured to the coalition base for medical treatment.

About author: Redakce ESJ

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