Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 8-14 January


On Friday 12 January, German police pyrotechnicians were deployed to an office of the Commerzbank bank in Berlin due to a suspicious package containing an explosive. Later investigation showed that this incident is likely the work of the same culprit who has been sending targetted packages with explosives via the DHL shipping company since last September and attempting to blackmail the company into giving him millions of euros. He has previously targetted Frankfurt an der Oder in November and a shopping centre in Potsdam in December, the police managed to defuse both of these dangerous packages. 

Five men and one woman aged 21 to 38 were accused of preparing violent terrorist attacks and being members of the forbidden far-right National Action group in London on Monday 8 January. They were arrested on 3 January during coordinated raids in several locations across England. Even though the group was outlawed in December 2016, its members are still active and, among other things, operate training camps inspired by the practices of the Irish Republican Army. Last September, British intelligence and police services traced and arrested 11 people connected to National Action, including its former leader Christopher Lythgoe

On Friday 12 January, members of an anti-terrorist unit of the London Metropolitan Police arrested a 27-year-old woman suspected of preparing a terrorist attack at the Heathrow airport. She is a British citizen who was returning from Addis Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia, at the time. More information about the investigation has not been made public so far. Aside from Al-Shabaab, IS cells also operate in Ethiopia and despite relatively low support aim to systematically radicalise the local population, especially in regions further from the country's centre.

Middle East and South Asia

A radical planning a suicide attack at a mosque was arrested in Herat, Afghanistan, on Tuesday 9 January. The man had been evading security forces for several months before they successfully tracked him. Furthermore, according to the investigators, he is a member of an IS-connected Islamist group which killed 36 people during an attack in the Ghor province in 2016.

A suicide attack in the border town of Quetta, Baluchistan province in Pakistan, claimed at least six deaths and 16 injuries on Tuesday 9 January. The explosion, which the Tehrik-i-Taliban movement took responsibility for, took place on a busy road near the provincial government's offices. Tehrik-i-Taliban is an independent Islamist organisation and is not an offshoot of the Afghan Taliban. It is responsible for the bloody attack at a school in Peshawar in 2014 which killed 132 people including a hundred children.

About author: Redakce ESJ


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