Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 23-29 October

Europe

According to a statement by the Berlin prosecutor's office from Wednesday 25 October, the German police seized a large number of firearms and ammunition during raids on four location in the capital. A 40-year-old man of Turkish origin, who is suspected of ties to radical Islamist circles, is supposed to be connected to these raids. The man was to operate in a local mosque, has been charged with illegal possession of firearms in the past and has been monitored for a long time. He is currently awaiting trial. According to the prosecutor's office, the raids were conducted because there was a risk of injury to the suspect's family, possible terrorist attack plans have been ruled out so far.

On Saturday 28 October, a 29-year-old man suspected of committing a series of postal bombing attacks targeting influential local creditors was detained in Athens, Greece. The man placed gunpowder and a lighter in envelopes and set it to flare up on opening. This type of an attack injured former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos earlier this year. The detained man was known for his radical militant past and the attack style is similar to attacks by far-left Conspiracy of Fire Cells, who injured the director of the International Monetary Fund in Paris in March using explosive envelopes.

The leader of British neo-Nazi organisation National Action Christopher Lythgoe was charged with encouragement to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper on Thursday 26 October. Lythgoe, along with 11 other National Action members, was arrested during an extensive raid this September. Aside from this, he was charged with membership in a right-wing terrorist organisation known for its racist, homophobic and antisemitic attitudes, which was also the first organisation of this type to be labelled terrorist and forbidden by the British government.

Russia and post-Soviet space

On Wednesday 25 October, Kyiv, Ukraine, was shaken by an explosion which killed two people and injured two more. It was apparently an attack on Ihor Mosiychuk, a member of the populist opposition Radical Party. Mosiychuk was hospitalised after the attack, his bodyguard and a passerby were killed. According to the investigators, the attackers placed explosives onto a standing motorcycle and detonated them when Mosiychuk was passing by. The Radical Party's leader Oleh Lyashko described the attack as politically motivated and labelled Russia as the perpetrator

Middle East

Up to 63 people suspected of ties to the so-called Islamic State (IS) were detained on Saturday 28 October during anti-terrorism operations in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Urfa in Turkey. Out of these people, 49 are foreign nationals including Syrians and Iraqis. The Istanbul police even managed to discover a car loaded with explosives, which they then disposed of using a controlled explosion. The arrested people were supposedly planning to attack during the celebrations of the 94th anniversary of the Turkish Republic which took place on Sunday 29 October. Intelligence services and special forces also took part in the operations, according to a police spokesperson.

Africa

At least 23 people died and dozens of others were injured during a double bombing attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Saturday 28 October. Both attacks were committed using cars loaded with explosives. During the first attack, the attacker drove into the Nasa-Hablod hotel where Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was supposed to be present. However, government sources denied this and said that the president's meeting was to take place later that night. Immediately after this, three armed men tried to fight their way into the hotel complex but were killed by security forces. The second explosion took place near the Parliament's building. Responsibility for both incidents was claimed by the al-Shabaab Islamist militant group.

About author: Redakce ESJ

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