Tunisia Shooting Death Toll Rises to 40 After Belgian Tourist Dies

Africa

09:33 27.06.2015(updated 10:39 27.06.2015) Get short URL

A gunman disguised as a tourist opened fire on a beach near the Tunisian resort town of Sousse on Friday.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — A female Belgian tourist died early Saturday after she suffered a lethal wound during Friday’s shooting spree at a Tunisian resort, Belgium’s Foreign Ministry said.

The latest death has brought the death toll up to 40. Most of fatalities were British, Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid said earlier at a press conference. Tunisians, Germans, and French were also killed.

Friday’s deadly attack targeted foreign holidaymakers who were sunbathing on a beach in Tunisia’s northeastern resort town of Sousse. The gunman, pretending to be a swimmer and carrying a rifle under a parasol, opened fire at the beach before entering Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba. Continue reading

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From the Welfare State to the Caliphate

From the Welfare State to the Caliphate

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — When he was 3 years old, Ahmed arrived in southern Sweden from Iraq, together with his older brother and parents. The family settled in one of their new country’s cut-off suburbs, where its many new immigrants come to live, but mostly to be forgotten.

The family found a home in one of the many rows of gray, faceless apartment buildings that make up these deeply segregated suburbs that ring Sweden’s urban centers — in Angered, outside Gothenburg. As he grew into his teenage years, Ahmed began to scold his siblings to be more religious. He spent considerable time in front of his computer, becoming engrossed in graphic, violent videos from the civil war in Syria. Inspired, he read the biographies of martyrs who had died in battle, waging jihad in the holy land. And gradually he turned inward, withdrawing from society and his former life. Continue reading

AQAP’s claim of Charlie Hebdo attack reflects attempt to reassert Al-Qaeda’s relevance and challenge the Islamic State’s rise

Terrorism & Insurgency
14 January 2015

A still from the AQAP video released on 14 January in which the group claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Source: PA

Key Points

  • AQAP’s attempt to take full credit for the attack on Charlie Hebdo and link the operation to an order by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is a likely bid to reassert the group’s relevance in a time in which the Islamic State’s rise is challenging its global legitimacy.
  • On the ground, co-operation between Europe-based jihadists is not constrained by the ideological or military disagreements of the groups that inspire them.
  • Attacks against soft targets by the Islamic State or AQAP sympathisers and Western returnees from Iraq and Syria are far more likely than attacks against hardened targets. Continue reading

AQAP, ISIS Social Media Claim Both Involved in Paris Attacks

By: Anthony Kimery, Editor-in-Chief 01/11/2015 ( 1:28pm)

The “Bakhsarof Al Yaman” Twitter account @ba_yman, which is associated with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and used to post official messages by the jihadi organization on jihadi forums, posted a series of tweets on January 9 taking credit for the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) disclosed.

Meanwhile, in a video filmed before the Paris supermarket attack by Amedy Coulibaly – who was tied to the known jihadi brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi who attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo and killed Friday afternoon in a violent shootout with French counterterrorism forces at a printing plant in Dammartin-en-Goele northeast of Paris — pledged allegiance to ISIS and justified his actions.

The two jihadi groups’ apparent ties to all of the jihadists involved in the Paris attacks raises questions about just how intertwined the two Islamist organizations are. While there’s been considerable punditry about the dislike between the two groups, counterterrorism intelligence officials also have told Homeland Security Today on background that there’s evidence of disturbing ties – including operational ties – between the two jihadi groups, whose goals are the same thing: killing all infidels, apostates and implementing Sharia law.

Similarly, since the Paris attacks, a variety of counterterrorism authorities have opined that with the spotlight having been placed on ISIS, or the Islamic State, Al Qaeda – not wanting to be one-uped — has been forced to show that it’s still a viable jihadi threat with a long reach.

But other seasoned and veteran counterterrorism officials and experts say there is no substantive ideological difference between the two jihadi groups; that they’re both fighting for the same thing: subjugation of all infidels and apostate Muslims and nations and institution of Sharia law.

In November, intelligence emerged indicating Al Qaeda and ISIS leaders agreed to cease in-fighting and join forces to battle their common enemy: the West. Still, some counterterrorism authorities questioned the allegiance. But without reliable human intelligence inside either jihadist group, other counterterrorism intelligence sources said “it’s really difficult to understand what’s going on between them,” as one said. “Without real intel, it’s all talk and supposition.”

Clare Lopez, a former decades-long CIA officer and Islamist expert who is now vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, said, “While security services must track these various groups responsible for training and launching attacks, it is supremely important that the rest of us focus on the broader issue: global Islamic Jihad.”  Continue reading

Islamic State recruits broadly, not just fighters

FILE - In this Oct. 22,2 104 file photo, the apartment building in Aurora, Colo., which police say is the home of two of the three teenage girls who, according to U.S. authorities, were en route to join the Islamic State group in Syria when they were stopped at an airport in Germany. The three teenage girls from Colorado swapped Twitter messages about marriage and religion with recruiters for the Islamic State group, then set out for Syria with passports and thousands of dollars in stolen cash. Authorities intercepted them in Germany, then returned them to their families without criminal charges.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — As it looks to expand its territorial base across broad swaths of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State group is recruiting for more than just fighters

The extremist organization also has been targeting its sophisticated propaganda to entice potential wives and professionals such as doctors, accountants and engineers in its efforts to build a new society.

Among those it has lured were three teenage girls from Colorado, who set out for Syria this fall after swapping Twitter messages about marriage and religion with IS recruiters, and a young woman who sought to fight there — or failing that, to use her nursing skills. It’s a diverse pool of recruits whose motives perplex Western governments seeking to combat the flow.

The group “is issuing a bit of a siren song through social media, trying to attract people to their so-called caliphate,” FBI Director James Comey told reporters. “And among the people they’re trying to attract are young women to be brides for these jihadis.” Continue reading

Another century, another long war

Tuesday, 21 October 2014   By: Peter Leahy

Australia is involved in the early stages of a conflict that may last for the rest of the century and potentially beyond. Terrorism is but a symptom of a broader conflict in which the fundamental threat is from radical Islamists who are intent on establishing Islam as the foundation of a new world order.

While the violence, so far, is mostly confined to Islamic lands, some of the radicals are engaged in a direct war against Western secular nations. The home-grown threat from terror remains and is likely to worsen as radicals return from fighting overseas and the internet dumps unconstrained radical propaganda across the globe. If the caliphate in Iraq and Syria established by the Islamic State survives, it will be a worrying portent of worse to come.

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Germany’s Intelligence Chief Says At Least 550 Germans In IS Ranks

Coat of arms of Syria -- the "Hawk of Qur...

Coat of arms of Syria — the “Hawk of Qureish” with shield of vertical tricolor of the national flag, holding a scroll with the words الجمهورية العربية السورية (Al-Jumhuriyah al-`Arabiyah as-Suriyah “The Syrian Arab Republic”). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

November 23, 2014

The head of Germany‘s domestic intelligence agency says that some 550 citizens of the country have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Hans-Georg Maassen told the newspaper “Welt am Sonntag” in an interview published on November 23 that the number of Germans fighting alongside IS militants had risen from 450, the number German officials have previously been using.

Maassen said about 60 of those German citizens were killed in fighting, with at least nine killing themselves in suicide attacks.

Maassen said German authorities believe some 180 jihadists have returned after fighting in Syria and Iraq and since Germany is part of the alliance fighting the Islamic State extremist group, the country is “naturally” a target for the militants.

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