Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 7 - 13 August

Europe

On Wednesday 9 August, an attacker of Algerian nationality drove a car into a group of patrolling soldiers in Levallois-Perret, Paris, six of them were injured, three seriously. The man then drove away, but French police pursued him and surrounded his car at a highway some 260 km north of Paris. The police started firing at the attacker's car and injured him, he was subsequently transferred to a hospital. The attacker was Hamou Benlatreche, 36 years old, who, according to the police, was not on any lists of suspects of radicalisation or ties to terrorist groups. This attack raised doubts about the continuing Operation Sentinelle, which was launched in 2015 and put thousands of policemen and soldiers into French cities. However, the men are overstrained and their training or deployment in foreign missions is lacking due to inflexible rotations. 

Spanish police arrested a reporter and writer with Turkish and Swedish citizenship using an international arrest warrant at Barcelona airport on Tuesday 8 August. The man was a longtime critic of the Turkish regime and was labelled a terrorist by Erdogan's government. He flew to Sweden in 1984 and his arrest and extradition to Turkey were opposed by Swedish authorities, including a local journalist association, whose aim now is to get the man released and stop his extradition.

According to information from the investigation of the suicide bombing attack in Manchester published on Sunday 13 August, Hasham, the brother of Salman Abedi, the attacker, planned an attack on the British ambassador in Libya, Peter Millet. With three other accomplices, he formed a cell which was also supposed to kill the prime minister of the Libyan government in Tripoli, Fayez al-Sarraj, and UN ambassador Martin Kobler. Shortly after the death of his brother during the attack in Manchester, Hasham fleed his house in Tripoli but was detained by security forces who discovered on him a suicide vest with explosives. His ties to the so-called Islamic State have been established.

Middle East and South Asia

A planted explosive detonated in Quetta, the capital of Pakistani Baluchistan on 12 August and, according to the latest information, killed 15 people and injured 32. The attack was aimed against a military truck and killed eight soldiers and seven civilians. The incident happened near the local Independence Day memorial, where celebrations of the 70-year anniversary of this occasion were happening since Friday. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. Similar attacks are not uncommon in Quetta, the city is a frequent target of suicide bombers from the IS, since the organisation has strong backing in Baluchistan.

On Sunday 13 August in Istanbul, a man, detained on suspicion of ties to the Islamic state and preparation of a suicide attack, attacked a police officer with a knife. The officer later died from his injuries and the attacker was shot by other policemen. Despite an initial search, the man was able to hide a knife during his detainment, which led to criticism of the intervening security forces.

Other regions

On Saturday 12 August, during violent clashes between demonstrating right-wing nationalist groups and protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, three people died and at least 33 more have been injured. A 20-year-old man drove a car into a group of protesters during the demonstration and killed one person. A Virginia State Police helicopter, which was assisting other units during the clashes, crashed, which caused the deaths of two officers. 

About author: Redakce ESJ

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