Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 24 - 30 April


A special police anti-terrorist unit prevented a planned attack in Wildesden, North London, United Kingdom, on 27 April, and arrested five suspects. A 20-year-old female suspect was shot during the raid on a house, where a Somali family was supposedly living. The motive for the planned attack has not been confirmed yet, but terrorist undertones are suspected. Another person with possible connection to the group was later arrested in Kent, Southeast England.

On the same day, London Metropolitan Police arrested a 27-year-old suspect in front of the Westminster Parliament building. The man, Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali, has been monitored by intelligence services in the past, and is a British national born abroad, more specific information about his origin has not been disclosed so far. There were three knives found in his backpack. No one was injured during the arrest, the man was acting calmly, barely resisted and is now being questioned as a suspect of orchestrating a terror attack. A search of two premises and collection of further evidence is being conducted in connection to his arrest.

 A member of the German Bundeswehr has been arrested during his training at his home base in Hammelburg, Bavaria, on 27 April. The man has been suspected of orchestrating a xenophobically motivated terror attack aimed at refugees and has previously been shortly retained at the Vienna airport, where he wanted to pick up his hidden illegally held firearm, in February 2017. However, he was released due to insufficient evidence. It has also been revealed that he registered as a Syrian refugee under a false name in 2015. In connection to this arrest, another man suspected of ties to far-right extremists was arrested in Offenbach. Illegally obtained weapons and explosives were found in his house. The connection between the two suspects is still under investigation.

French police annouced the arrest of two men, suspected of connections to the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attack, in Charleroi, Belgium, on 26 April. The raid was a part of a joint French and Belgian police operation aimed at uncovering the background of the 2015 Paris attacks. The latest information from the investigation of an attack against a Jewish kosher shop in Paris shows possible connection between the perpetrators and far-right organisations. One of the ten arrested suspects, Claude Hermant, could have helped Amed Coulibali, the perpetrator of the attack, obtain the weapons used during the attack and, according to the prosecutors, is connected to far-right groups in Northern France, which, as well as his link to Coulibali, he has denied.

Nine men were arrested in Barcelona, Spain, on 25 April in connection to the Brussels terror attacks of 2016. Official sources said that the offenders, eight Morrocans and one Spanish man, are suspected of being tied to a group connected with jihadist activities. According to the police, four of them are directly tied to the Brussels attackers.

Russia and Post-soviet space

The Russian intelligence service FSB arrested 12 people of Central Asian origin suspected of connections to islamic extremists in Kaliningrad on 26 April. More information about their identities has not yet been disclosed, but they are supposedly connected to the group Islamic Jihad. On the same day, local security forces have announced the arrest of two alleged Islamic State supporters suspected of planning a terror attack at the Sachalin Island. Homemade explosives were found during a raid in their homes.

About author: Redakce ESJ


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