Terrorism and extremism weekly summary 29 May - 4 June


Three attackers drove a van onto the sidewalk on London Bridge, injuring pedestrians, and subsequently attacked the passersby with knives on Saturday, 3 June. Seven people were killed and forty-eight injured. Two of the men were identified, Khuram Shazad Butt of Pakistani origin and Rachid Redouane of Moroccan-Libyan nationality. Armed police officers, who arrived at the scene about eight minutes after the attack, shot the perpetrators. Initially, it seemed that the attackers were armed with suicide explosive vests, but the police found them to be fake. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack, and a post from IS supporters appeared on social networks, informing that it was revenge for the picture of a RAF hellfire missile with the words "Love from Manchester" written on it. British Prime Minister Theresa May stated that Britain has had enough of Islamic extremism, and the counter-actions will now be much stronger, likely including changes of policy regarding such threats.

As a result of these attacks, extensive raids took place the next day, on Sunday, 4 June, in which 12 suspects were arrested in Barking, East London. According to local media, four women were among the arrested and were taken away by police, but the information has not been confirmed yet. Investigations and further house searches are still ongoing.

According to information from Friday, 2 June, 31-year-old Yassine A. was arrested in Brussels, Belgium, for assisting the terrorists who killed 130 people and wounded many others in Paris in November 2015. According to the state prosecutor, the arrested man is allegedly a leading figure of a terrorist cell, who was, among other things, accused of direct involvement in a murderous terrorist attack. No further information has been released yet. 

Six radical Islamists were arrested on Monday, 29 May, in the French city of Bordeaux and during raids in the Île-de-France district. The raids were conducted by the special anti-terrorist unit of the National Police, SDAT, four men and two women were arrested. The reason was their alleged help to other Islamists trying to get to Syria in order to fight with the local militants. The oldest of the detainees was supposedly imprisoned in the US Guantanamo prison in Cuba in the past.

Russia and post-Soviet space

Russian special unit, a part of the FSB intelligence service, arrested 18 people linked to the IS in Moscow on 2 June. Most of the arrested are of Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationalities, the rest are native Russians. All of them are charged with preparing terrorist attacks in local restaurants and a subway. House searches were conducted as part of the arrests, and improvised explosive devices, AKM assault rifles with ammunition and hand grenades were found.

Middle East

A massive explosion shook the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, 31 May, and killed at least 90 people and injured more than 460. It was a suicide attack, the perpetrator detonated himself in a truck full of explosives near the German Embassy in the Wazir Akbar Khan district. The explosion was so strong it even damaged the nearby buildings of the British, Pakistani and Chinese embassies. The attack took place during the busy morning hours, when the streets were full of people. The responsibility for attack has not been claimed yet, although similar incidents were linked to both Taliban and the IS in the past; however, Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.

About author: Redakce ESJ


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