Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 11-17 September

  • Jan Merička
  • 19.9.2017 08:40

Europe

On Friday 15 September a bomb attack took place in the London underground, injuring 29 people. An unknown perpetrator detonated an improvised trap but the explosive in the device failed and only a limited explosion, which burned several victims, was caused. After this attack, the British government set the terrorism threat level to 'critical', the highest possible level, which was then lowered to 'severe' on Sunday. The so-called Islamic State (IS) took credit for the attack. 

An unknown man used a knife to attack a soldier patrolling as a part of Operation Sentinelle in Paris on Friday 15 September. The incident happened at the Châtelet underground station near the Notre-Dame cathedral. The attacked soldier escaped without injuries and the man was immediately arrested. The attack is being investigated as an act of terrorism with Islamist subtext since the attacker shouted Islamist slogans during the attack.

On Tuesday 12 September, the lower house of the Italian parliament novelised a law aimed to curb fascism put forward by the Democratic Party due to growing racism in Italy, particularly caused by the migration crisis. The novelised law sanctions the use of the "Roman salute" and spreading of Nazi or Fascist parties. Offenders risk up to two years of imprisonment under this law. When these opinions are shared on the internet the culprit faces up to two years and eight months in prison. Opposition parties consider this law a threat to freedom of speech.

Middle East

Two attacks in the town of Nasiriyah in southern Iraq on Thursday 14 September killed 60 people and injured 80 more. The first attack took place at a local restaurant where a suicide bomber detonated and, immediately afterward, gunmen with automatic weapons started firing. The second attack happened at a nearby checkpoint where an attacker detonated a car loaded with explosives. The target of these attacks were Shia pilgrims, including many Iranians. The IS claimed responsibility.  

On Saturday 16 September, a car loaded with explosives detonated in Kirkuk, Iraq. One person was killed and ten more injured in the attack. Kirkuk lies in an area with multiple oilfields and, moreover, Kurdish representatives are planning on holding a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan here, even though the town is beyond the borders of the Kurdistan area and most of its residents are of Arabic and Turkmen origin.  

On Monday 11 September, a suicide attacker from the Taliban attacked an American army convoy using a car loaded with explosives in the Parvan province in Afghanistan. According to available information, this attack was meant to mark the 16th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Six soldiers were injured in the attack, with the injuries not being life-threatening. Another attack was conducted on 13 September by the IS in Kabul during a cricket tournament near an Afghan security forces' checkpoint. It was a suicide attack which killed two policemen and one civilian and injured five people. 

During a bombing attack by the IS at the Sinai peninsula on Monday 11 September, 18 Egyptian policemen were killed. The bomb exploded on a road near the town of El Arish and destroyed three armoured vehicles and one signal troops vehicle. The militants started firing their machine guns at those who survived the bomb attack. In the subsequent shootout, the police killed five attackers.

About author: Jan Merička

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