Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 4-10 December

Europe

The offices of Italian newspaper La Repubblica in Rome were targetted by far-right extremists from the Forza Nuova organisation on Wednesday 6 December. The activists attacked using smoke bombs and declared a political war against the newspaper and the Italian government, who, according to the attackers, are responsible for the discrediting and criminalisation of Forza Nuova. La Repubblica has recently published an investigative report in which they uncovered financing sources of Forza Nuova as well as Italy's second largest neofascist group, CasaPound. These sources led to Russia and far-right organisations in Britain and France. The police subsequently conducted raids on the suspects' apartments and eight people connected to the incident are currently being investigated at large.  

In the night between 6 and 7 December, a home-made explosive device detonated in front of a police station in San Giovanni, Rome. A far-left Santiago Maldonado group, part of the globally-operating Informal Anarchist Federation - International Revolution Front, took responsibility for the incident. The group's statement includes the topic of migration and strongly criticises the approach of the Italian government. 

On Saturday 9 December, 20 masked people attacked the synagogue in Göteborg, Sweden, using molotov cocktails. A Jewish Youth Association meeting was taking place in the synagogue at the time and its participants hid in the building's basement during the attack. None of the molotov cocktails managed to set the building on fire and the police arrested three suspects and possible participants in the attack the following day. The police have so far not disclosed their identities or possible motives. 

On Tuesday 5 December, British Metropolitan police published information about the plan of two men, 20-year-old Naa'imur Zakariah Rahman and 21-year-old Mohammed Aqib Imran, to commit an attack on Prime Minister Theresa May's residence in Downing Street. Rahman was allegedly planning to use the chaos following the initial explosion to get close to May herself and assassinate her. The anti-terrorism unit of the Metropolitan Police has been working on this case for several weeks and both suspects were arrested on 28 November but the case was only made public now due to great risk it posed. Both men are charged with planning a terrorist attack and are currently in custody. 

Middle East

Nine people have died in a bombing attack in Mir Ali, North Waziristan, Pakistan, on Tuesday 5 December. Explosives were placed on a motorcycle standing by a road and were detonated remotely when an army vehicle was passing by. According to the local police, there has been a rapid increase of attacks in northwestern Pakistan, which is a traditional stronghold of radical anti-government groups, in recent weeks. For example, on Friday 2 December, Taliban's suicide attackers invaded an education centre in Peshawar, killing eight students and three security guards.

Africa

Fifteen members of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and five local soldiers were killed in the North Kivu province on Thursday 7 December in an attack by rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces. It is estimated that the number of deaths will further increase since many of the 53 injured MONUSCO soldiers are in a critical condition. Most of the killed MONUSCO soldiers were members of the Tanzanian security forces. A MONUSCO spokesperson stated it was a coordinated and pre-planned attack in which the rebels used mortars and rocket grenade launchers which destroyed several UN armoured transporters. 

About author: Redakce ESJ

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