Recent highlights in terrorist activity, June 2013

Somali security force members carry away a wounded civilian following a suicide car bomb blast in the capital Mogadishu, 5 May 2013 (Photo: AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

Somali security force members carry away a wounded civilian following a suicide car bomb blast in the capital Mogadishu, 5 May 2013 (Photo: AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

May 1, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): Afghan Taliban militants killed Malim Shahwali, a senior member of Afghanistan’s peace council, in Helmand Province. Two of Shahwali’s bodyguards were also killed. – Reuters, May 1

May 1, 2013 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a Pakistani election candidate in Sindh Province, injuring two bystanders. The election candidate, Mohammad Ibrahim Jatoi, was unharmed. – AFP, May 1

May 2, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): An improvised explosive device killed eight Afghan police in Logar Province. The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility. – AFP, May 2

May 3, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): A new public opinion poll from the Pew Research Center found that four in 10 Afghans believe that suicide bombing is justified “in order to defend Islam against its enemies.” According to RFE/RL, “Out of 39 countries in the study, only Palestinians showed the same level of support for the idea that suicide attacks are sometimes justified.” – RFE/RL, May 3

May 3, 2013 (PAKISTAN): Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants shot to death Awami National Party candidate Sadiq Zaman Khattak and his four-year-old son in Bilal Colony in Karachi. – The Nation, May 4

May 4, 2013 (MALI): Militants attacked a Malian army patrol in Gao, killing two soldiers. A suicide bomber attacked the soldiers while another group of gunmen in a car shot at the troops. Three militants were also killed. – AP, May 4

May 5, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): A roadside bomb reportedly killed five U.S. troops in Kandahar Province. – AFP, May 5

May 5, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): An Afghan soldier shot to death two NATO soldiers in Farah Province. – AFP, May 5

May 5, 2013 (SOMALIA): A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle attacked a convoy carrying a Qatari delegation in Mogadishu, killing at least eight people. Most of those killed may have been innocent bystanders. Al-Shabab took responsibility, claiming that the attack killed six soldiers and that it was directed at the Somali interior minister. – CNN, May 6

May 6, 2013 (PAKISTAN): A bomb killed at least 25 people at a political rally for the Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Islam (JUI) religious party in Kurram Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility, and said that the bomb was intended for a lawmaker elected as an independent but allied to the outgoing government coalition in Kurram. The lawmaker was reportedly not injured in the attack. – AFP, May 6; NBC, May 6; New York Times, May 6

May 6, 2013 (LEBANON): Lebanese authorities arrested four members of a cell with suspected links to al-Qa`ida. The cell members—Lebanese and Syrian nationals—were detained for allegedly possessing explosives. The arrests occurred in a Beirut suburb. – Lebanon Daily Star, May 10

May 6, 2013 (PHILIPPINES): Suspected Abu Sayyaf Group militants ambushed and killed a Philippine Army major and a soldier in Basilan Province in the southern Philippines. – Gulf Today, May 8

May 7, 2013 (FRANCE): A leader in al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) urged Muslims worldwide to attack French interests in response to its military intervention in Mali. French President Francois Hollande later said that France is taking the threat seriously. – AFP, May 7; Voice of America, May 7

May 7, 2013 (TUNISIA): Tunisian armed forces were reportedly searching for more than 30 suspected al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb-linked (AQIM) militants close to the border with Algeria. – Reuters, May 7

May 7, 2013 (NIGERIA): Boko Haram group militants raided the town of Bama in northeastern Borno State, burning down the city’s police station, military barracks and government buildings. An estimated 200 heavily-armed militants freed 105 prisoners in the pre-dawn raid, which lasted five hours. Approximately 22 police officers, 14 prison officials, two soldiers, four civilians and 13 Boko Haram members were killed. – BBC, May 7; Telegraph, May 8

May 7, 2013 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber detonated explosives near a vehicle carrying a political candidate from the Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Islam religious party in Hangu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The explosion killed 12 people, although the candidate only received slight injuries. – AP, May 7; AFP, May 7

May 8, 2013 (IRAQ): A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle targeted Kurdish peshmerga security forces near Kirkuk, killing one of them. – AFP, May 8

May 8, 2013 (YEMEN): Suspected al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula-linked militants shot dead three Yemeni air force colonels from al-Anad air base in Lahij Province. – AFP, May 8

May 8, 2013 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a barrier outside a police station in Bannu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, killing two people. – AFP, May 7

May 8, 2013 (INDONESIA): Indonesian counterterrorist forces killed seven suspects during coordinated raids on groups reportedly linked to Santoso, the country’s most wanted terrorist. – Australian, May 10

May 10, 2013 (SPAIN): Police in Gibralter deported Cengiz Yalcin, a suspected Turkish member of al-Qa`ida, to Spain. Yalcin was arrested in August 2012 along with two Chechen suspects, and they were accused of plotting bomb attacks. – AFP, May 10

May 10, 2013 (MALI): A suicide bomber in a vehicle attacked a camp of soldiers from Niger in Menaka, but the bomber was the only casualty. – AFP, May 10

May 10, 2013 (MALI): Four suicide bombers detonated explosives in Gossi, located in Timbuktu region, wounding two Malian soldiers. – AFP, May 10

May 11, 2013 (TURKEY): Two car bombs tore through the Turkish border town of Reyhanli, Hatay Province, killing 52 people. Authorities suspected that militants with links to Syria were responsible for the attack. The bombing was described as the “deadliest single act of terrorism ever to occur on Turkish soil.” – Reuters, May 30; Hurriyet, June 20

May 11, 2013 (EGYPT): The Egyptian Interior Ministry announced that they foiled a plot by an al-Qa`ida-linked cell to bomb the U.S. and French embassies and other targets in the country. The cell, which included three Egyptians, had already acquired explosives. – Lebanon Daily Star, May 11; BBC, May 11; Reuters, May 15

May 11, 2013 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle tried to assassinate the police chief for Baluchistan Province outside the officer’s home in Quetta. The explosion killed at least six people, but the police chief survived the attack. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan later claimed responsibility. – AFP, May 12; RFE/RL, May 14

May 13, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): A truck bombing killed three NATO troops in Helmand Province. The explosion targeted the entrance to the Georgian outpost in Musa Qala district. – AP, May 13

May 13, 2013 (IRAQ): A suicide bomber attacked an army checkpoint near Ramadi, Anbar Province, killing three Iraqi soldiers. – AP, May 13

May 14, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): A roadside bomb killed three U.S. soldiers in Zhari district of Kandahar Province. – Fox News, May 14

May 16, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber attacked a NATO military convoy in Kabul, killing at least 15 people.  Among the dead were two U.S. soldiers, four civilian contractors, and nine Afghan civilians. Hizb-i-Islami, an insurgent group, claimed responsibility, and warned that the attack is part of a stepped-up campaign against foreign troops in Afghanistan. – BBC, May 16; Reuters, May 16; Los Angeles Times, May 16

May 17, 2013 (IRAQ): Two bombs exploded outside a Sunni mosque in Ba`quba, Diyala Province, killing at least 43 people. The bombs detonated just as worshippers left Friday prayers. – Reuters, May 17

May 17, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): Four insurgents on motorcycles assassinated an anti-Taliban police chief in Farah Province. – Los Angeles Times, May 18

May 17, 2013 (YEMEN): Gunmen shot to death a Yemeni intelligence officer in Mukalla, Hadramawt Province. – AFP, May 18

May 18, 2013 (YEMEN): A suspected U.S. drone strike killed four militants from al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula in Abyan Province. – AP, May 18; AFP, May 18; AFP, May 20

May 19, 2013 (TUNISIA): Supporters of the Islamist militia Ansar al-Shari`a clashed with police after the government banned the group’s annual rally. Ansar al-Shari`a is considered the most radical of the Islamist militia groups to emerge in Tunisia since the revolution in 2011. – Reuters, May 19

May 20, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): The head of the provincial council in Baghlan Province was assassinated in a suicide bombing that left 12 others dead. The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility. – Washington Post, May 20

May 20, 2013 (IRAQ): According to press reports, more than 60 people were killed in a series of car bombs targeting Shi`a across Iraq. – Reuters, May 21

May 20, 2013 (YEMEN): A suspected U.S. drone strike killed two alleged al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula militants in Bayda Province. – AFP, May 20

May 21, 2013 (RUSSIA): Russian security forces reportedly killed Dzhamaleil Mutaliyev, the deputy to the country’s most wanted militant Doku Umarov, in Ingushetia. – AFP, May 21

May 21, 2013 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated explosives near a vehicle carrying a candidate from the hard line Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Islam religious party in Hangu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The candidate was not injured, but 12 other people were killed in the explosion. – AP, May 23

May 21, 2013 (PAKISTAN): A roadside bomb killed a local leader of the secular Pakistan People’s Party in Lower Dir District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Two of the leader’s guards and two supporters were also killed in the explosion. – AP, May 23

May 22, 2013 (UNITED KINGDOM): Two men in a vehicle ran down an off-duty British soldier who was walking outside an army barracks in London and then proceeded to attack him with meat cleavers. The soldier was killed in the attack. When police officers arrived, they shot and wounded the two suspects, identified as Michael Adebolajo, a British citizen of Nigerian descent, and Michael Adebowale, also of Nigerian origin. British authorities later revealed that Adebolajo had ties to al-Shabab, an al-Qa`ida-linked group based in Somalia. – New York Times, May 26

May 22, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber killed Habibullah Khan, an anti-Taliban village elder, and six other people in Ghazni Province. The bomber was described as a teenager on foot. – RFE/RL, May 22; AFP, May 22

May 23, 2013 (NIGER): AQIM-linked militants executed two simultaneous suicide bombings against a military garrison and the French Areva uranium mine in Arlit, killing 25 people. Authorities claimed that the militants crossed into Niger from southern Libya. Both Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s Signatories in Blood brigade and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) claimed responsibility, saying that the attacks were in response to France’s military intervention in neighboring Mali. – AP, May 28; al-Arabiya, May 24

May 23, 2013 (PAKISTAN): A bomb planted in a three-wheeled auto-rickshaw exploded as a truck carrying Pakistani security forces passed by in Quetta, Baluchistan Province. The bomb killed 11 security force personnel and two civilians. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. – Reuters, May 23

May 24, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): Four Taliban militants attacked the International Organization for Migration office in Kabul, killing an Afghan police officer and two civilians. The attack involved a car bomb as well as militants wearing suicide bomb vests and armed with shoulder-fired grenade launchers. Ten international aid workers were in the office at the time, but the facility’s Nepalese guards and then later Afghan security forces managed to kill all the militants. – AP, May 26

May 24, 2013 (NIGERIA): The Nigerian army said it has destroyed a number of camps used by the Boko Haram group in northeastern Nigeria. The army also claimed that its offensive in the northeast has resulted in the freeing of three women and six children who were abducted by Boko Haram on May 7. – BBC, May 24

May 25, 2013 (RUSSIA): A female suicide bomber detonated explosives in the central square of Makhachkala, the provincial capital of Dagestan. The bomber was identified as a “black widow,” a term used in the region to describe the widows of male militants killed by security forces. According to the Associated Press, “Islamic militants are believed to convince ‘black widows’ that a suicide bombing will reunite them with their dead relatives beyond the grave…Since 2000, at least two dozen women, most of them from the Caucasus, have carried out suicide bombings in Russian cities and aboard trains and planes. All were linked to an Islamic insurgency that spread throughout Dagestan and the predominantly Muslim Caucasus region after two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya.” One person died in the attack. – AP, May 25; AFP, May 26

May 25, 2013 (KENYA): Al-Shabab militants killed six people, including two police officers, near the border town of Liboi in Kenya. The militants targeted two police outposts. – AFP, May 25; Christian Science Monitor, May 30

May 25, 2013 (PHILIPPINES): Philippine troops engaged in a firefight with Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) gunmen in Patikul, Sulu Province, in the southern Philippines. The goal of the military operation was to rescue six foreign and Filipino hostages and limit the ability of the group to conduct more kidnappings in the south. Seven Philippine soldiers and seven ASG fighters were killed in the confrontation. – Philippine Star, May 29; New York Times, May 26

May 26, 2013 (KENYA): Kenyan police killed a Muslim cleric accused of possessing explosives and radicalizing Kenyan youths into joining al-Shabab. Police confronted the cleric, Khalid Ahmed, at his home in Mombasa, resulting in an exchange of gunfire in which Ahmed was killed. Ahmed was a Somali with a Kenyan passport. – Shabelle Media Network, May 27

May 27, 2013 (IRAQ): A series of car bombs ripped through mostly Shi`a areas of Baghdad, killing at least 70 people. – AP, May 27; AP, May 28

May 27, 2013 (MALAYSIA): Police arrested two Malaysian men for suspected links to the Tanzim al-Qa`ida Malaysia group. One of the men, Yazid Sufaat, is a biochemist and a former army captain. In 2001, Sufaat was imprisoned for seven years after being accused of belonging to Jemaah Islamiya. – Reuters, May 27

May 29, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber attacked the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province. A second militant then engaged in a two-hour firefight, in which seven ICRC staff members—all foreigners—were eventually rescued by Afghan security forces. One Afghan security guard and both militants were killed. The Afghan Taliban denied any role in the attack. – AP, May 29; New York Times, May 31

May 29, 2013 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber killed an anti-Taliban village elder in Ghazni Province. The explosion killed elder Habibullah Khan, two bodyguards and a civilian. – AP, May 29

May 29, 2013 (PAKISTAN): A U.S. drone strike killed Waliur Rahman, the second-in-command of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The strike, which killed six other people, occurred near Miran Shah in North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The TTP later confirmed his death. – Washington Post, May 29; Reuters, May 29

May 29, 2013 (NORTH AFRICA): According to a purported al-Qa`ida document recovered by the Associated Press in Mali, al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) received $1.1 million for the release of Canadian diplomats Robert Fowler and Louis Guay in 2009. Militants kidnapped the two diplomats in December 2008, and they were released in April 2009. The document, dated October 3, 2012, also revealed that AQIM’s central leadership was upset that the cell in charge of the kidnapping, which was led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, only demanded $1.1 million, and argued that the ransom should have been higher. After receiving the letter, Belmokhtar quit AQIM and formed his own group, the Signatories in Blood brigade, which was responsible for the In Amenas hostage crisis in Algeria in January 2013. – AP, May 29; Guardian, May 29

May 30, 2013 (GLOBAL): The upcoming issue of al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) Inspire English-language magazine praises the alleged Boston Marathon bombers as heroes and urges readers in the United States to carry out similar acts. The magazine argues that the Boston attacks show that “lone jihad” attacks can be effective in the United States. “Lone-Jihad is impossible to counter and stop, except when basic cooking ingredients and building material become illegal,” an article from the magazine said. The latest issue of Inspire also has a section on the killing of a British soldier in London, which occurred on May 22. – CNN, May 30

May 30, 2013 (IRAQ): According to a Reuters report, an unnamed senior security official revealed that Iraqi security forces foiled an al-Qa`ida-linked plot to use tanker trucks loaded with explosives to blow up a key Baghdad oil facility. – Reuters, May 30

May 30, 2013 (PAKISTAN): Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said that they will not participate in peace talks with the country’s new government, and instead will seek “revenge in the strong way” for the killing of its deputy leader, Waliur Rahman, in a U.S. drone strike on May 29. The TTP also said that they will escalate attacks to avenge Rahman’s death. – Washington Post, May 30

May 30, 2013 (PAKISTAN): Pakistani Taliban militants appointed Khan Said to replace Waliur Rahman, the latter of whom was killed in a U.S. drone strike on May 29. Khan Said served as Rahman’s deputy. – Reuters, May 30

May 30, 2013 (TURKEY): Turkish authorities announced the arrests of 12 people suspected of being members of a terrorist organization. The police raids occurred in Istanbul, as well as in the southern provinces of Mersin, Adana and Hatay near the Syrian border. Authorities did not identify which terrorist organization was targeted in the raids. – Reuters, May 30

Source: Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (United States)

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