Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 9-15 October

Europe

French police arrested two suspects aged 24 and 29 in the town of Toulon on Tuesday 10 October in connection to the investigation of the attack on two women in Marseille on 1 October. An older man, Ahmed Hanachi from Tunisia, deadly injured the victims when he attacked them with a knife at a local train station. The attacker was shot by the police shortly after. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack, but the investigators have not found any connection between the attacker and the IS so far.

According to information from local police from Tuesday 10 October, two Tunisian nationals were arrested in southern Switzerland due to suspicion of ties to radical Islamist groups. Their activities were a serious threat to Swiss security, according to the investigators. Both arrests took place near the Italian border only days after Anis Hanachi, the brother of the Marseille attacker Ahmed Hanachi, was arrested in Italy on Monday 9 October. Anis is accused of the radicalisation of his brother, whom he was supposed to convince to commit the attack.

In eastern Belfast, Northern Ireland, a paramilitary forensic unit detained a 19-year-old man suspected of committing a serious crime fulfilling the merits of a terrorist act. His car was seized during the raid and the police also raided his apartment. The man is currently being interrogated, the police refused to disclose more information.

Middle East

Chemicals used to create explosives were found in a house in Khouribga, Morroco, on Sunday 15 October, according to a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry. The materials included instructions and supposedly correspond to the explosive devices used by IS radicals. The house raid during which the dangerous chemicals were found took place following the arrest of 11 people suspected of ties to the IS on Saturday. The leader of this Islamist cell was arrested in Fez and the cell was supposed to operate in Casablanca and Khouribga.

Africa

On Saturday 14 October, the Somali capital of Mogadishu was shaken by a massive explosion when a suicide attacker detonated a truck loaded with explosives at an intersection connecting several of the city's busiest streets. The current known number of victims is 276, with 300 more people injured. The explosion even levelled some nearby buildings. Countries such as Turkey, Ethiopia and Kenya have promised humanitarian and medical assistance. The attack happened 48 hours after the Somali Defence Minister and the Army’s Supreme Commander resigned from their posts without explanation.

Russia and post-Soviet space

Members of the Russian intelligence service FSB assisted by police units arrested four people in Moscow and Makhachkala, Dagestan, during several operations on Friday 13 October and Saturday 14 October. The people allegedly have ties to the IS and are suspected of planning extensive attacks on highly populated places in Dagestan. To commit these attacks, they were supposedly planning to use home-made explosives and cold weapons. The attacks were to target civilians but also members of the security forces.

About author: Redakce ESJ

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