Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 29 January - 4 February


Twenty-eight-year-old Luca Traini was arrested in the Italian town of Macerata on Saturday 3 February, after he shot at dark-skinned passersby from a moving car, injuring six of them. More information about the victims of the attack has not yet been published but one person was seriously injured and had to undergo plastic surgery. Traini tried to escape after the shooting but the police surrounded him using their cars. Traini has a far-right past and his attack had a demonstrable racist and hateful motive, which he himself confirmed. The incident occurred just two days after a 29-year-old Nigerian, a drug dealer according to the police, was arrested in the Pollenza village of the same region in connection to a brutal murder of an 18-year-old Italian girl.

On Thursday 1 February, the police detained a 30-year-old man in Elche, Spain, for supporting terrorism and approving of the so-called Islamic State's terrorist activities. The man is a Spanish citizen but his ethnic origin has not been disclosed. According to investigators and locals, he was strange, avoided company and rarely came out of his apartment. On social networks, he allegedly laughed at the victims of the Barcelona bombing attack and called its perpetrators martyrs and heroes. He also approved of other terrorist attacks and called for further attacks against Christians.

Eastern Europe and Russia 

According to a report released on Thursday 1 February, the Russian Interior Security Service (FSB) thwarted a planned terrorist bombing attack when it shot one of the alleged members of an IS cell in Nizhny Novgorod. The man started firing on FSB members as they were about to arrest him. The investigators said he was from one of the former Soviet republics and that strong explosives, handguns and ammunition were found in his apartment. He was supposedly preparing to attack during the Russian presidential elections on 18 March, which the current president, Vladimir Putin, is expected to win once again.

Middle East and South Asia

A suicide bomber who attacked in Kabal, Swat district, northwest Pakistan, on 3 February, is responsible for killing at least 11 and wounding 13 Pakistani soldiers. The attacker, a member of the Pakistani Taliban (Tahrike-Taliban Pakistan), targeted a sports facility close to the local military base, which was allegedly the first major attack in the area over the past three years. In the past, the Swat Valley was held by the Pakistani Taliban, which had established and violently enforced fundamental Islamic rules here. In 2009, the Taliban was pushed out by the army, which now keeps about 6,000 troops there.

On Monday 29 January, a military base of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the western part of Kabul was attacked by five militants from the IS who used both automatic weapons and suicide bombs during the attack. The attack lasted for over five hours and at least 11 Afghan soldiers were killed and 16 more were injured in it. After the two Taliban attacks from the previous weeks that resulted in over 130 deaths, this is further evidence of the critical shortcomings in the security forces' capability to secure the capital.

About author: Redakce ESJ


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