Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 16-22 October

  • Jan Merička
  • 24.10.2017 09:03


An anti-terrorism unit of the French police arrested ten right-wing extremists suspected of planning violent attacks on police and religious targets on Tuesday 17 October. Aside from the attacks, the group was planning on buying firearms and organising a paramilitary exercise including shooting practice. According to available information, the men are charged with construing a terrorist plot and preparing to commit one or more crimes. The perpetrators are aged 17-25 and were arrested in several locations in France, specifically north of Marseille and in Seine-Saint-Denis, north of Paris. 

On Thursday 19 October a man suspected of terrorism was arrested in Alexandroupoli, Greece. The man is a 32-year-old Syrian national who applied for asylum in northern Greece and was charged with participation in terrorist events. The Greek police are currently investigating the charges and examining data from his mobile phone. 

Russia and post-Soviet space

In the Russian town of Kingisepp near the Estonian border, Farkhood Nazarov, a man suspected of supporting the so-called Islamic State (IS) and recruiting new members in Central Asia through the internet, was arrested on Thursday 19 October. He prompted to commit jihad in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and organise terrorist crimes in Russia. Russian special forces participated in his arrest. Nazarov was armed with a gun and a large amount of drugs and publications with Islamist themes were found on him.

Middle East

On Monday 16 October, two Turkish soldiers were killed and two more injured by an explosive device likely installed by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. A second PKK attack took place the day after in the south-Turkish province of Mersin where a bomb was planted on a police bus and injured 17 policemen and one civilian.

On Tuesday 17 October, Taliban members attacked the Afghan police training centre in Gardez. A suicide attacker began the attack by detonating a car loaded with explosives and gunmen attacked the police centre afterwards. The attack left at least 41 people dead with other 200 civilians and 48 policemen being injured. The victims include the local police chief and Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban is also behind the attack on a military base in Kandahar on Thursday 19 October. This suicide attack was committed using two cars loaded with explosives. The explosion killed at least 43 soldiers, injured nine, and six more are missing. On Friday 20 October, Kabul was also attacked by the IS when at least 39 people were killed and 45 injured in the Imam Zaman Shia mosque. There was another attack just hours later, this time in a Sunni mosque in the Ghor province. Local warlord Abal Ahid, who died in the attack together with his seven security guards, was likely the target. Another 33 people were killed in the attack. The last Taliban attack took place in Kabul on Saturday 21 October. The attack scenario was similar, a car loaded with explosives ran into a bus leaving an Afghan military base. The attack claimed 15 victims, all soldiers. These attacks are likely the revenge for the arrest of a suicide attacker who was apprehended with three tons of explosives and two bombs on a truck on 15 October.

The Pakistani Taliban cell committed a similar attack on Wednesday 18 October when a suicide attacker ran a car into a police truck and detonated his bomb at the outskirts of Quetta. Five policemen and two passersby were killed, 22 more people were injured, eight critically.

About author: Jan Merička


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