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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Terrorism And the Pragmatics Of Transnational Intervention

ANALYTIC GROUNDING: The Boko Haram terrorist (BHT) group was founded in 2002 by a Sunni Islamic preacher Mohammed Yusuf in Maiduguri, Borno state in Nigeria’s north – east. Yusuf exploited the seemingly conservative nature of Northern Nigeria as reflected in the region’s opposition to or backwardness in western education. Consequently, Yusuf built a mosque and Islamiyah School in Maiduguri (madrassa). At the madrassa that thousands of people, mostly uneducated and poor Muslims and converts from across Nigeria and the neighboring countries of Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger were dogmatically radicalised into Boko Haram ideology. Similarly, the endemic poverty, illiteracy and unemployment in the north – east was also exploited by Yusuf, thereby succeeded in creating a cult like followership. Continue reading

“I’m down for a Jihad”: How 100 Years of Gang Research Can Inform the Study of Terrorism, Radicalization and Extremism

Vol 9, No 1 (2015) > Decker  by Scott H. Decker and David C. Pyrooz

Abstract [1]

One of the difficult tasks in the social sciences is integrative, interdisciplinary work. There are many commonalities across the social sciences in method, theory, and policy. The study of gangs has a tradition in the U.S. that dates back nearly 100 years, with an emerging focus in Europe and other parts of the world. This Research Note argues that there is considerable overlap between the study of gangs and that of radicalized groups. Both fields examine violence conducted largely in a group context. Group structure, demographics, marginalization, strength of membership bonds, leaving the group, and the role of prison in expanding membership are all issues the two have in common. There are lessons those who study radicalized groups can take from the long tradition of gang research. This Research Note identifies twelve lessons learned (mistakes and successes) from the study of gangs that have relevance to the study of radicalized and extremist groups.

Keywords: gangs; criminology; terrorist groups; organized crime; terrorism research.

Introduction

How can the study of gangs, gang members, and gang crime provide insights and guidance for the study of radicalization, extremism and terrorism? It is our contention in this short Research Note that lessons learned in the study of gangs have direct applicability to understanding terrorist groups and acts. While the study of political radicalization has a long tradition, the recent global concern over terrorism has focused increased attention and resources on the issue. Many criminologists paid little attention to acts of terror prior to the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.[2] Thus there has been some “catching up” in understanding radicalization and extremism, with several independent groups of scholars holding that much can be learned through the comparative study of radicalization and extremism with other groups of criminological, political, and sociological relevance.[3] 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

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.

Continue reading

The Maldives-Syria Connection: Jihad in Paradise?

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 22
November 21, 2014 04:03 PM

 

Screenshot from Abu Turab video in Divehi (Source: YouTube)

The Maldives, the Muslim-majority archipelago country in the Indian Ocean, is going through a tumultuous time, facing increasing Islamist activities at home, an exodus of radicalized youth to join the jihad in Syria and a growing domestic clamor for the implementation of Shari’a law. This has been accompanied by the targeted abduction and intimidation of local Maldivians who hold progressive ideals and secular values. Although the country is better known as a romantic honeymoon destination, these developments – which include the establishment of the “Islamic State of the Maldives” (ISM) group – have exposed the deep extremist undercurrents in Maldivian society and are increasingly drawing the attention of local and international security forces. Continue reading

Boko Haram Uses Female Suicide Bombers to Maximise Panic

Boko Haram Uses Female Suicide Bombers to Maximise Panic

A picture of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, some of whom are suspected to being coerced into suicide bombing. (Agence France-Presse)

Lagos, Nigeria Boko Haram is using female suicide bombers to sow wider panic and fear across Nigeria as well as gain greater publicity for its cause, experts said, after two fresh attacks in a week. The attacks, in Azare in the northeastern state of Bauchi and the Niger state town of Kontagora in the northwest, came after four attacks in a week in the northern city of Kano in July.

In June, another woman was said to have blown herself up in a twin bombing in the southwestern city of Lagos, although her involvement was never confirmed by the authorities. Continue reading