Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 13-19 November

Europe

On Saturday 18 November, an unknown man threatened Spanish policemen with a knife during a roadside inspection in the town of La Jonquera, Catalonia. The man was a passenger in the inspected car and after the policemen asked him to exit the vehicle during the inspection, he started shouting Islamist slogans and threatening the police with a knife. He did not stop even after the police fired warning shots. The police subsequently shot him and he was taken to a hospital in a critical condition.

A 35-year-old Tunisian man armed with a knife was arrested in Paris near the Grand Mosque on Saturday 18 November for threatening passers-by. He was allegedly quoting the Quran during the incident. No one was injured, the police subdued the man by using tear gas and a taser. 

On 13 November, local anarchists claimed responsibility for an arson attack on the Implenia construction company which took place in Bern, Switzerland, between 6 and 7 November. The attack destroyed two cars and one construction vehicle. The motive for the attack is tied to the anarchists’ fight against the deportation and prison systems, since the Implenia company is currently involved in extending and finishing building prisons in Switzerland.

Middle East

On Monday 13 November, a trial with 46 members of the so-called Islamic State (IS) who participated in the terrorist attack on the Istanbul airport in June 2016 started in Turkey. 45 people died in the attack and more than 230 were injured. A third of the defendants have Russian citizenship. On Wednesday 15 November, the Turkish police arrested 11 people suspected of working with the forbidden Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Kurdistan Communities Union. The arrests took place in the Ercis and Catak districts in eastern Turkey, large amounts of evidence were also found.

On Tuesday 14 November, the Taliban conducted attacks on dozens of police stations in the Afghan province of Kandahar, killing 22 policemen and injuring 15. The Afghan security forces fought off the attack after reinforcements arrived. On Thursday 16 November, a suicide attacker killed 14 people after exploding during a political gathering in Kabul. 18 more people were injured, including both security forces and civilians.

A suicide attack by the IS killed at least 35 civilians in eastern Syria on Friday 17 November. Unofficial sources mention up to 50 deaths. A car loaded with explosives detonated at a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) checkpoint between the Conoco and Jafra oil fields in the Deir ez-Zor province. This oil-rich province is the Islamic State’s last stronghold and is currently under attack by both Syrian government forces and the SDF.   

About author: Jan Merička

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