Mar 13, 2019

Podcast #5: China is getting CT all wrong

Here is a link to the YouTube version of podcast (it is also available on iTunes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uy_S0Inojk

Here are some informative links about China’s campaign against the Uyghurs

https://thediplomat.com/2019/01/are-indonesia-and-malaysia-ready-to-stand-up-for-chinas-muslims/

https://www.rfa.org/english/women/suffering-01302019152956.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/02/07/uighurs-australia/?utm_term=.59e0784d5aea

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2186446/beijing-backs-patriotic-actions-chinese-students-who-reported

https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Chatter/is-supporter-calls-to-kill-chinese-in-defense-of-islam-and-uyghurs.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/02/21/how-china-tried-stop-my-freedom-speech-canada/?utm_term=.214ddb57f282&wpisrc=nl_todayworld&wpmm=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/china-has-put-1-million-muslims-in-concentration-camps-mbs-had-nothing-to-say/2019/02/24/370be676-36e4-11e9-854a-7a14d7fec96a_story.html?utm_term=.84e60354c337&wpisrc=nl_todayworld&wpmm=1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/chinas-expanding-war-on-islam-now-theyre-coming-for-the-kazakhs/2019/03/01/16ebbe76-38ff-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html?utm_term=.0e75941659e5&wpisrc=nl_todayworld&wpmm=1

Featured terrorist attack – Kashmir

https://www.economist.com/asia/2019/02/15/a-deadly-bombing-provokes-a-crisis-between-india-and-pakistan

Terrorism this fortnight (Feb 12-25)

Afghanistan

Afghan Intelligence forces arrested two members of Jaish-e-Mohammad group during an operation in eastern Nangarhar province on February 12.  According to a statement released by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) the two men were deployed to Nangarhar province to carry out suicide and coordinated attacks.

More than twenty Taliban militants have been killed during the operations of the Afghan armed forces in northern Faryab and northeastern Takhar provinces, the Afghan Military said on February 13.

ISIS Khurasan (ISIS-K) terrorists killed two group members of Taliban in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan on February 14.

At least 22 Taliban militants have been killed during the airstrikes which have been conducted in southern Uruzgan and southeastern Ghazni provinces according to information made available on February 16.

A top Taliban commander who was involved in coordinating high profile attacks has been killed during an operation in Sayyidabad district of Wardak province.

According to the informed military sources, Taliban commander Qari Sahid, known for coordinating attacks high profile attacks in Kabul was killed in an air strike 23 February in Sayyidabad district, Wardak province.

Egypt

Seven militants were killed and 15 Egyptian military personnel were killed or wounded February 16 in a clash in North Sinai

Egyptian security forces killed 16 suspected ‘militants’ in the Sinai on February 19.

It was announced on February 20 that Egypt’s security forces in North Sinai targeted seven terrorist hotbeds, killing eight highly dangerous terrorists and destroying two car bombs.

A suicide bomber killed three members of Egypt’s security forces in an attack near Cairo’s historical centre on February 19.

Germany

German authorities banned two media organizations it said were linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) following raids on February 12.

Police searched the Mesopotamia Publishing House and MIR Multimedia in the western states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony and seized material, the Interior Ministry said.  The PKK is considered to be a terrorist organisation by the European Union and Turkey.  The ministry said the groups were posing as publishing companies, but the earnings from the two organizations went exclusively to the PKK and strengthened its capabilities in Germany.  With about 14,500 supporters, the PKK is the biggest radical foreign organization in Germany, which is a base for recruitment and refinancing.

India

At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed while 40 others were wounded on February 14 in a militant attack on a vehicle convoy in Indian occupied Kashmir.  The soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off on a paramilitary convoy on a key highway some 20 kilometres from Srinagar.  “An IED went off as a CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) convoy passed by,” Indian police officer Munir Ahmed Khan told AFP while adding that one bus and at least five other vehicles were also destroyed by the blast.  Indian authorities blamed Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammad for the attack.  The death toll was later raised to 4460 KG of RDX was used in the attack in the form of a ‘shaped charge’ to pierce armour.

Militants in Kashmir struck again on February 18, killing an Indian Army major and at least three other soldiers just days after orchestrating a devastating bombing that killed dozens of Indian security forces.  Under the cover of darkness, a group of militants opened fire on an approaching army contingent, killing the major and three soldiers and critically wounding at least one other soldier in the Pulwama District of the Kashmir Valley.  Indian officials attributed the latest attack to Jaish-e-Mohammed, the violent separatist group that claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack.

The Uttar Pradesh police on February 22 arrested two alleged operatives of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Deoband, Saharanpur.  The Kashmiri youths arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) were identified as Shahnawaz Teli and Aqib Ahmed Malik. 

Iran

A suicide bomber killed at least 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on February 13 in a southeastern region where security forces are facing a rise in attacks by militants from the country’s Sunni Muslim minority.  The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it wants greater rights for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack.  A suicide bomber driving a vehicle laden with explosives attacked a bus transporting members of the Guards, the force said in a statement.  A video posted showed blood and debris at the site of the attack on the road between the cities of Zahedan and Khash, a volatile area near the Pakistan border where militants and drug smugglers operate.  The explosion was so powerful that the bus was turned into a twisted pile of metal.

Iraq

On Febuary 14 an Iraqi court in Nineveh sentenced six brothers to death for joining IS. The defendants were found guilty of killing several Iraqi security forces personnel and citizens before dumping them in the “​​Khosafa”, an area south of Mosul thought to contain mass graves. The defendants were also also found guilty of planting explosive devices and participating in attacks against the security forces in ​​Hamam Al-Alil in Nineveh province. 

An Iraqi officer was killed and another was wounded while confronting an attempted terrorist attack in Diyala province on February 13.  A special forces officer was killed while another one was wounded when they held off terrorist attackers in Maqdadiah. 

Five fishermen were killed in a suspected IS attack in Najaf province, raising fears that the extremist group is stepping up activity in Iraq as its fighters cling to their last patch of territory across the border in Syria.  Their bodies were found on February 23.  Although no group claimed responsibility for the attack, it fit in with a campaign of kidnappings and random killings by IS sleeper cells to undermine the Baghdad government.  Cells operating in four northern provinces have carried out abductions, assassinations, and roadside ambushes aimed at intimidating locals and resuming the extortion rackets that financed IS’s rise to power six years ago.

Macedonia

Police in North Macedonia have prevented a planned “terrorist act” by supporters of the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the Western Balkan country’s Interior Ministry says, reported by Radio Free Europe. 

The ministry on February 15 said the authorities launched several raids after exchanging intelligence with a “partner country” regarding IS supporters’ “potential plans and intentions for committing a terrorist act.”

It said the raids took place in “several locations…taking away objects and devices related to the possible attack.”

Malaysia

Malaysian authorities said on February 15 that  they arrested six people, including a Bangladeshi and three other foreigners, suspected of planning attacks or being members of militant groupsPolice said the six were arrested in five separate raids between December and January, on suspicion of planning attacks or having links to militant groups.

“They include two Malaysians and four foreigners from Singapore, Bangladesh, the Philippines and a South Asian country,” Fuzi Harun, police inspector general, said in a statement posted on social media.

The group included a 48-year-old Singaporean accused of planning to attack a building used by Freemasons in the state of Johor. He is believed to have links with Akel Zainal, a Malaysian identified as an IS fighter in Syria, police said.

Police also detained a suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in a separate raid in the eastern state of Sabah, where he worked as a labourer. The 21-year-old suspect is believed have ties with ASG leader Furuji Indama, Fuzi said.

A 28-year-old man from an unidentified South Asian country was arrested during a raid in Selangor state. Interpol had issued a warrant, known as a red notice, for his suspected involvement in criminal and militant activities, Fuzi said.

Malaysia has arrested hundreds of people over the past few years for suspected links to militant groups.

Mali

Five Malian soldiers were killed by IEDs and gunfire by unknown terrorists in two separate incidents on February 13.

French troops fighting Islamist militants in Mali have killed a one of the Sahel region’s leading jihadists, France’s defence minister said on February 22.  Yahia Abou Hamman was the number two in command of Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), an umbrella group for al Qaeda-linked insurgents in West Africa’s Sahara. The group claimed responsibility for a spate of attacks to disrupt Mali’s election last July, and more recent strikes in Burkina Faso.

Mozambique

Six employees of a US oil company were wounded and one killed by suspected jihadis on February 22.

Netherlands

A 48-year-old man from Groningen was arrested in the Overijssel town of De Lutte during the week of February 18 for preparing a terrorist crime, the Public Prosecutor announced on February 28. The police launched an investigation into the man after information from intelligence service AIVD that the man adheres to ISIS ideology. 

The police searched the place where the man was arrested, as well as his home in Groningen. In the Groningen home, the police found a children’s backpack containing a pistol in the meter cupboard, as well as a box with loose ammunition. These items were confiscated, as well as data carriers and documents “in which the armed struggle against the unbelievers is glorified”, the Prosecutor said. 

Nigeria

Three people were killed on February 12 when terrorists from the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) affiliate attacked a convoy carrying the governor of Borno State.  ISWA claimed that it had killed 42 in the incident and there are reports that some ay have been beheaded.

Boko Haram killed five people and abducted nine, including six women, in the Lake Chad region during the night of February 19-20.

Suspected Islamist militants on February 23 attacked a northeastern Nigerian town, forcing people to flee hours before presidential election polls were due to open

Pakistan

At least one person was killed and 11 wounded when an explosives-laden motorcycle detonated in Balochistan on February 24.

Somalia

Al-Shabaab said its fighters launched an ambush attack on Somali military convoy travelling on the outskirts of Mogadishu on February 12.

Heavy battle flared up following the surprise assault between Somali forces and the militants that raged on for several minutes, according to the sources.

The army convoy came under attack at Jazeera area, along the coastal road connecting Mogadishu to Lower Shabelle region, south of Somalia.

There was no immediate reports of casualties as both sides remained silent on the incident which was the latest in a series of attack on the main highway in recent months.

The African Union troops in Somalia will close some of their forward operating bases (FoBs) at the end of the month when further reduction of 1,000 soldiers is implemented.
The second phase of reduction was supposed to be implemented in December last year on the orders of the UN. The first reduction of the troops was in December 2017.

The UN Security Council wants AMISOM to gradually handover the national security to the Somali National Army by 2020 but AMISOM says the reduction of its troops leaves a security vacuum because the Somali army has not developed capacity to deploy in areas from where they withdraw. 

At least one person was killed and two others wounded when a bomb attached to a vehicle exploded in Mogadishu on February 13.  The bomb had targeted a Somali lawmaker.

AS claimed that it had killed three US soldiers in an attack on an army base on February 16.  The US denied this.

Twin blasts rocked a high-rise in northern Mogadishu, the Somali capital on February 17, killing several and injuring a number of others, witnesses said.

The first blast happened early in the morning when a remote-controlled landmine struck a military convoy belonging to the African Union mission in Somalia [AMISOM].

Several minutes later, a second explosion occurred in the same vicinity as AMISOM soldiers were towing their damaged vehicle after the explosion hit its rear end.

Armed militants from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab staged an overnight attack on a Somali military outpost near Mogadishu on February 20.

Burundi announced on February 223 that it would withdraw 1,000 of its soldiers serving in the AMISOM mission.  All 21,500 troops from several nations are expected to be removed by the end of 2020.

The US announced on February 24 that it had carried out four airstrikes against Al Shabaab targets killing two terrorists.

Turkey

Counterterrorism police in northwestern Turkey’s Bursa arrested 52 Syrian nationals suspected of having links to IS on February 14.