Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 10 - 16 July

Europe

On Tuesday 11 July, a 17-year-old was arrested in the town of Redhill at the edge of the London agglomeration. The reason for his arrest was spreading propaganda materials encouraging terrorism, financing terrorist activities and taking part in gathering information useful for carrying out a terrorist attack. On the same day, a 23-year-old man suspected of planning and preparing a terrorist attack was also arrested in South London, further house raids and investigations are still ongoing.

A counterterrorism police unit arrested a 49-year-old man at the London City airport on Thursday 13 July, immediately after his return from an unspecified destination. The man, whose identity has not been disclosed so far, was accused of preparing a terrorist attack. House raids on specific locations in Essex are underway following the arrest.

A pro-Islamic State profile on Telegram messenger called for carrying out "lone wolf" attacks against Jewish targets in Great Britain in connection to an attack in Jerusalem. Synagogues are to be the main targets. On Saturday 15 July, British police arrested a man who was trying to enter a synagogue in Hendon, London, with two hidden knives.

Middle East

Two Israeli policemen were shot by three Palestinian attackers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday 14 July. The attackers were armed with homemade machine guns and handguns and, after they opened fire at the policemen, ran towards the centre of the temple complex - the al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock. The attackers were shot in a subsequent shootout with security forces. The successful smuggling of weapons into the area is considered a security failure and as a result of the incident, security frames are now being installed at all entrances. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, and no radical organisation took credit for it so far.

According to a Turkish general staff statement from Thursday 13 June, local security forces, led by the army, managed to eliminate 79 radicals from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and other NATO members, during house raids taking place last week. The raids took place mainly in the east of the country, 19 terrorist hideouts were destroyed and 70 assault rifles, 50 grenades, several machine guns and more than 35 improvised explosive devices were seized. Some of the radicals were presumably also arrested during the operation, however, official sources do not mention any arrests.

On Friday 14 July, an unknown attacker assaulted female tourists with a knife in the Red Sea hotel resort in Hurghada, Egypt. Two German tourists died from injuries sustained in the attack, one Czech and one Armenian tourist were injured. The man bypassed security checks in the resort by swimming in from a public beach. During the attack, he shouted that he does not want to hurt Egyptians. The man was then pacified by hotel staff. Some sources mention possible ties to the Islamic State and, even though this was not confirmed officially, an islamist motive behind the attack is likely.

About author: Redakce ESJ

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