Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 20-26 November

Europe

Six people suspected of ties to the so-called Islamic State (IS) were arrested by the German police during several raids in the cities of Hannover, Essen, Leipzig and Kassel on Tuesday 21 November. Some 500 policemen participated in the raids. The arrested, aged 20-28, were supposedly planning a terrorist attack on the Christmas market in Essen using firearms and explosives. This information has not been confirmed by the police so far.

On Friday 24 November, a 19-year-old man suspected of spreading propaganda promoting radical Islamism and terrorism was arrested by the Metropolitan police in London. His arrest is a part of a broader investigation in which two people aged 17 and 43 have already been arrested this October for allegedly spreading pamphlets encouraging terrorist acts.

A Swiss court found a 25-year-old Imam of Ethiopian origin from a local mosque in Winterthur, Zürich canton, guilty on Friday 24 November of encouraging violence against non-Muslims. The court's verdict, though not final yet, is 18 months of imprisonment followed by deportation and denial of entry to the country for 10 years. The man was also supposedly encouraging burnings of Muslims who refused to attend his worship services.

A 15-year-old of Morrocan origin was arrested in Italy on Wednesday 22 November after confessing to planning a bombing attack on a local train station in the town of Lodi in Lombardia, northern Italy. He was supposedly a member of the so-called Lone Mujahid radical jihadist group. The attack was to be committed using a drone and he was looking for materials and manuals on the Internet. He was also searching for specifically IS-distributed manuals.

Middle East and North Africa

A devastating attack took place on Friday 24 November in the town of Bir al-Abed in northern Egyptwhich resulted in 305 deaths and 100 injuries. A group of attackers numbering around 30 drove off-road vehicles in front of the entrance to the Al Rawdah mosque where they created a barricade, detonated an explosive and started shooting bystanders. One group of the attackers were shooting people trying to run away from the mosque, the rest entered the mosque and started shooting inside. The attackers were allegedly carrying an IS flag but no one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. Some of the attackers afterwards retreated to fortified positions, where other participators in the attack were also supposedly hiding. The Egyptian government, therefore, deployed the air force, the attackers were only defeated by battle helicopters and fighter-bombers which levelled the attackers' position to the ground. 

Asia

Three armed perpetrators and one member of a police intervention team were killed in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Wednesday 22 November during a raid on suspected radicals hidden in a multi-story office building, which lasted almost 24 hours. The police were under heavy fire, the perpetrators used assault rifles and grenades against them in a very confined space. One of the perpetrators was arrested afterwards, some of them were likely members of a criminal organisation but some sources claim all of them were IS militants. One of the perpetrators was a Chechen radical suspected of participation in the attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport this June. 

About author: Redakce ESJ

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