Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 26 June - 2 July

Europe

According to information from 28 June by the Spanish Interior Ministry, a coordinated series of arrests of Islamists took place in Spain, Great Britain and Germany during the week. Four suspects were arrested in Palma de Mallorca and two more in Birmingham and Dortmund. All of the arrested had Moroccan citizenship. A 43-year-old Islamic preacher, who produced Islamist propaganda films, was detained in Birmingham. The entire group had been secretly meeting in Mallorca, where they planned the recruitment of young people, to whom they would then provide travel to conflict areas in the Middle East. Cooperation within the European security agencies Europol, Eurojust and Sirene greatly contributed to the success of the operation, and allowed the collection of a sufficient amount of intelligence and therefore enabled to carry out the operation. 

On Thursday 27 June in Creteil, France, an unknown man tried to drive into a crowd of Muslims exiting a mosque. However, his vehicle was stopped by barriers and roadblocks placed near the mosque building. No one was injured during the attack, and a man of Armenian origin was arrested, the attack was apparently supposed to revenge the attacks at Bataclan and Champs-Elysees. 

A 21-year-old woman from North London, who was returning from Istanbul, Turkey, was arrested at London's Heathrow airport on Thursday 29 June. The woman is suspected of ties to Islamist terrorist groups in Syria, house raids on two buildings in North London are being conducted in connection with her arrest. More information about the ongoing investigation is not yet available.

The Middle East and South Asia

Three suicide bombings took place on Sunday 2 June in Damascus, Syria. The first one took place at the Tahrir Square in the Bab Tuma district, where the attacker detonated his car loaded with explosives after being surrounded by security forces. The explosion claimed 18 victims, two more suicide bombers were detected and pursued by the police, who cut off their access to the busy districts of the city where the attackers planned to detonate their bombs. Both of the attackers' vehicles were destroyed on a remote route leading to the local airport at the city's outskirts. 

Five suicide bombers detonated their bombs in two refugee camps near the city of Arsal, Lebanon, close to the border with Syria. Local security forces were inspecting the camp, aiming to discover radicals and hidden weapons. A young girl was killed in the attacks, three soldiers were injured. Around 350 people were detained during the inspections due to suspected ties to the so-called Islamic State (IS). Almost 10,000 refugees are staying in the area, and due to its location, both the IS and the Al-Nusra Front have their bases near Arsal.

About author: Redakce ESJ

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