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The Defense Post French actions ‘neutralize 50 terrorists’ near Mopti in central Mali Barkhane operations between February 9 and 17 targeted Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliated militants by Fergus Kelly Around 50 militants were “neutralized” in actions carried out by the France-led Operation Barkhane targeting Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliated fighters in Mali, according to an Armed Forces Ministry release.The operations, conducted in two phases between February 9 and 17 around the central town of Mopti, were the result of “preparatory work and intelligence gathering that made it possible to characterize with certainty the activity of armed terrorist groups,” the Thursday, February 20 release said.Around 30 motorcycles and two pickup trucks were destroyed, and weapons, telephones and electronic equipment were seized during the actions.In the first operation, carried out northwest of Mopti between February 9 and 10, airstrikes conducted by Reaper drones and Mirage 2000 jet fighter aircraft along with...

US Airstrikes Kill 4 Islamic State Terrorists In Afghanistan

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  Voice Of America US Airstrikes Kill 4 Islamic State Terrorists In Afghanistan  By Ayaz Gul ISLAMABAD - U.S. military officials in Afghanistan say airstrikes have killed at least four Islamic State terrorists in eastern Afghanistan as a weeklong reduced fighting truce between U.S.-backed Afghan security forces and the Taliban insurgency entered its fourth day without any significant breaches.The two counterterrorism airstrikes Tuesday focused on areas in the Afghan province of Kunar, which houses Islamic State bases and borders Pakistan, the U.S. military spokesman tweeted.“We continue to eliminate ISIS terrorists wherever they hide to protect Afghanistan while honoring U.S.-Afghan-Taliban agreement to reduce the violence,” stressed Col. Sonny Leggett in reference to the Middle Eastern terrorist group.    Read more: https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/us-airstrikes-kill-4-islamic-state-terrorists-afghanistan...
Military Times Taliban Attacks Significantly Down As Reduction In Violence Deal Appears To Hold by Shawn Snow The week-long reduction in violence deal hashed out between the Taliban and the U.S. appears to be holding up. Attacks have so far been significantly reduced, potentially leading to the signing of a long-term peace deal on Feb. 29 and the withdrawal of American troops.Reports emanating from the battlefield indicate only a handful of attacks over the last four days across Afghanistan since the reduction in violence deal went into effect on Feb. 22. Afghanistan-based Tolo News has reported a total of 17 attacks carried out by the Taliban between Feb. 22 and Feb. 25.New York Times journalist Mujib Mashal reported roughly nine major attacks and 15 dead over the first three days of the implementation of the violence reduction trial period.The Taliban claimed a couple of IED strikes against Afghan military and...
INSIDER More than 50 people were injured when the driver of a silver Mercedes mowed down a carnival crowd in Germany by Rhea Mahbubani At least 52 people were hurt when the driver of a silver Mercedes station wagon drove into a carnival procession in Volkmarsen, Germany, on Monday. Eighteen children who were celebrating Rose Monday have been injured and 35 people are still in hospital, police say. A 29-year-old German man has been arrested in connection with the attack, but a motive is still unknown since police have been unable to interview him since he too was injured. Volker Bouffier, the leader of Hesse, the state in which Volkmarsen is located, said he was "shocked at the terrible act." This attack comes on the heels of a far-right mass shooting that left nine people dead in Hanau, Germany, on February 19. Read more: https://www.insider.com/52-people-injured-car-plows-into-crowd-german-carnival-volkmarsen-2020-2...
Asharq Al-Awsat 3 Terrorist Camps Discovered In Tunisia’s Kasserine Mountains Mongi SaidaniTunisia’s interior ministry confirmed that security units had discovered, between February 10 and 22, three terrorist camps in the Kasserine Mountains in western Tunisia.The Ministry of Interior confirmed that these camps were uncovered during combing operations across mountainous highlands, and through intelligence provided to security services.In the three camps, equipment used in the manufacture of conventional mines, which terrorists had previously used to hinder army and security units that were chasing them, was found.Also found were cooking utensils, medicinal residues, water sterilization material and drilling tools.Tunisian extremist groups experts emphasized that the recent use of these camps confirms that the battle with terrorism has not ended yet and that hostility against the civilian state is still harbored. Read more: https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2147216/3-terrorist-camps-discovered-tunisia%E2%80%99s-kasserine-mountains...

Pakistan: Terror And Impunity – Analysis

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Eurasia Review Pakistan: Terror And Impunity – Analysis By Ajit Kumar SinghBacked by ‘all weather friend’ China, Pakistan again escaped the ignominy of being put into the ‘club’ of High-Risk Jurisdictions, commonly referred to as the ‘black list’, by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran are the two present members of the ‘club’.  Despite Islamabad’s continued attempts to deceive FATF by taking superficial action and come out of the Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring, the ‘grey list’, however, FATF decided to keep Pakistan in this listing, along with 17 other countries. Pakistan has been on the ‘grey list’ since June 2018.  FATF President Xiangmin Liu of China, chaired the FATF Plenary held on February 19-21, 2020, at Paris, France. In a release dated February 21, 2020, FATF noted that “all deadlines in the action plan have expired” and the FATF “again expresses...

Germany: Injury toll rises in Carnival attack

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DW Germany: Injury toll rises in Carnival attack Dozens of people were hurt when a man ploughed his car through a crowd during Carnival festivities in the western German town of Volkmarsen. Authorities are set to question the 29-year-old suspect. The number of injured in the German town of Volkmarsen has been put at over 50 on Tuesday, a day after a man drove a vehicle into a crowd in what police are calling a "deliberate act."  Eighteen of the injured were children. 35 people are still being treated with injuries.Investigators are hoping to question a 29-year-old man, who is suspected of driving a silver Mercedes car into the Rose Monday Carnival parade.The suspect reportedly was a local from the town of 6,800 inhabitants. He was known to police in connection with other offenses including breach of the peace and assault. He was not known to authorities as an extremist,...
Bloomberg U.S. Bombs Al-Shabaab Compound In Somalia, Wounding Three By Steven T. Dennis The U.S. Africa Command bombed an al-Shabaab compound near Dujuuma, Somalia, on Sunday, the seventh in a series of strikes on the terrorist group this month in operations coordinated with the Somalia government.Three militants were wounded, per a U.S. assessment, a day after two others were killed and one wounded at a compound near Saakow, Somalia, and four days after a strike killed three people near Wadajir, Somalia. No civilians were injured or killed, per a U.S. assessment.Gregory Hadfield, the deputy director of intelligence for the U.S. Africa Command, touted the importance of U.S. support for the counter-terrorism mission. Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-23/u-s-bombs-al-shabaab-compound-in-somalia-wounding-three...
The Washington Post Al-Qaeda And Islamic State Groups Are Working Together In West Africa To Grab Large Swaths Of Territory By Danielle Paquette and Joby Warrick NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania — Groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, at war with each other in the Middle East, are working together to take control of territory across a vast stretch of West Africa, U.S. and local officials say, sparking fears the regional threat could grow into a global crisis.Fighters appear to be coordinating attacks and carving out mutually agreed-upon areas of influence in the Sahel, the strip of land beneath the Sahara desert. The rural territory at risk is so large it could “fit multiple Afghanistans and Iraqs,” said Brig. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, head of the U.S. military’s Special Operations arm in Africa.“What we’ve seen is not just random acts of violence under a terrorist banner but a deliberate campaign that is...
Military Times Record Breaking US Airstrikes Pushing Al-Shabab Fighters Into Urban Areas by Shawn Snow  A recent UN report said that record breaking airstrikes targeting al-Shabab militants in Somalia is forcing the group to move from rural areas to urban centers to mitigate American air power.The report also detailed that improvised explosive attacks carried out by the al-Qaida-affiliated Islamic extremist group are up. From May 1, 2019 to Oct. 12, 3019, Shabab fighters carried out 99 IED attacks —which is an increase from the 83 carried out by the group during the same period in 2018, according to the UN.The U.S. kicked off 2020 with a bang in Somalia launching nearly 14 airstrikes since the start of the new year putting the U.S. on pace for another record breaking year for airstrikes against militants in the country, according to figures provided by U.S. Africa Command. Read more: https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2020/02/20/record-breaking-us-airstrikes-pushing-al-shabab-fighters-into-urban-areas/...
Washington Examiner Terror In South America: Iran And Hezbollah Threaten The Region, Insiders Say by Abraham Mahshie The phrasing and emphasis were deliberate. Colombian Defense Minister Carlos Trujillo stood at a podium at the Pentagon reading a prepared statement in English when he turned to U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper to pause and enunciate one word at the end of a list of shared threats: “Hezbollah.”The Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization has long had a presence in Latin America, but recent United States-Iran tensions and the potential for a proxy strike on U.S. interests from a staging point in not-so-friendly Venezuela have brought concerns to the forefront.“We also reaffirmed our joint commitment to counterattack the illegitimate Maduro regime's harboring of terrorist groups such as the ELN, the FARC, and others, such as Hezbollah,” Trujillo said of his Feb. 7 meeting with Esper. Read more: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/terror-in-south-america-iran-and-hezbollah-threaten-the-region-insiders-say...

Taliban: The Real Winners of the Afghan Election

Posted by on in Terrorism
Gatestone Institute The Real Winners of the Afghan Election: The Taliban by Con Coughlin  Of the country's 9.6 million registered voters (among a total population of 37 million), a total of just 1.82 million votes were counted. Of these, Mr Ghani achieved his victory by winning a paltry 923,592 votes, which can hardly be described as a commanding mandate. The result should serve as a warning to US officials as they enter a crucial phase in peace talks with the Taliban about the organisation's true motives. Far from having an interest in achieving a negotiated settlement of the long-running Afghan conflict, the Taliban's ultimate goal is to persuade the Trump administration to end its military presence in the country so that it can once again seize control of the country and turn it into a safe haven from which Islamist terrorists can again plot their devastating attacks against the West....
New York Post ‘Bike Path Terrorist’ Sayfullo Saipov Threatened To Decapitate Corrections Officer: Court Papers by Gabrielle Fonrouge Accused bike path terrorist Sayfullo Saipov threatened to decapitate a federal corrections officer for repeatedly waking him while he’s locked up at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a new court filing detailing a trove of the government’s evidence against him alleges.Saipov, who’s accused of killing eight people during his 2017 Halloween terror attack on the West Side Highway, allegedly threatened the officer on Dec. 17 last year for repeatedly slamming a door at night, making it hard for the ISIS follower to sleep, the filing states.“During the course of this confrontation, the defendant threatened to kill the Officer. Indeed, as the defendant later admitted to the MCC’s disciplinary committee (the ‘Committee’), he told the Officer that if the Officer dared to open the defendant’s cell, in two minutes ‘other guys will be picking...

Ukraine, U.S. to intensify cooperation on counterterrorism

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UNIAN Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, has agreed with Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, coordinator for counterterrorism with the U.S. State Department, on enhancing counterterrorism cooperation between the two countries.Danilov thanked the United States for its continued strong support, according to the NSDC press service,"We are grateful to the American people for their sincere assistance and support to Ukraine in these difficult times of war with the Russian aggressor," the NSDC secretary said.The NSDC secretary has stressed that countering terrorist threats is one of Ukraine's key tasks."We understand how insidious terrorists are, while the fight against terrorism is one of our main challenges. At the same time, it's cyberterrorism that comes to the fore today," he said. Read more: https://www.unian.info/politics/amp-10880957-ukraine-u-s-to-intensify-cooperation-on-counterterrorism.html  ...

Turkey Arrests Suspected Former ISIS Executioner In Bursa

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The Defense Post Turkey Arrests Suspected Former ISIS Executioner In Bursa ISTANBUL, Turkey (AFP) – Turkish police have arrested a suspected former executioner for Islamic State in Syria, who became a gas repairman when he returned to civilian life in Turkey, local media reported on Tuesday, February 18.The 50-year-old Syrian, known by his nickname “Abu Taki al-Shami,” was arrested at a construction site on Monday in the Bursa province of northwest Turkey, state news agency Anadolu said.The agency described him as an executioner for a senior ISIS leader in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria, a former stronghold of the extremist group.A video of his arrest showed him in work clothes and closely shaved. Read more: https://thedefensepost.com/2020/02/18/turkey-arrests-suspected-former-isis-executioner-busra/...
In Homeland Security U.S. Government Issues Powerful Cyberattack Warning As Gas Pipeline Forced Into Two Day Shut DownA major cyberattack has hit a gas compression facility, forcing it to shut it down for two days as it struggled to recover, according to an alert from the U.S. government.The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) said it had responded to the ransomware attack on a natural gas facility, but it did not reveal when the incident took place, or the identity of the victim organization.The attack happened because the adversary was able to hop from the gas compression facility’s IT network onto the operational technology (OT) network when an employee mistakenly clicked on a malicious email link.Once in, the attacker deployed the data-encrypting malware, ransomware, on both networks. What is operational technology?Defined by analyst Gartner as “hardware and software that detects or causes a change through the direct monitoring and/or control of...

MEMRI TV Former Hamas minister Ismail Radwan said in a February 10, 2020 interview on the Arabic-language Al-Alam TV (Iran) that he salutes Iran on the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, especially in light of the death of Qasem Soleimani and of the recently-released Deal of the Century, which he referred to as the "Deal of Shame." He expressed appreciation for Iran's support of the Palestinian cause and its resistance, and he said that that Hamas is "in the same trench" with Iran, Hizbullah, and all the resistance forces in the region. In addition, Radwan said that the resistance forces are working to thwart the Deal of the Century and that the assassinations of Islamic Jihad official Muhammad Al-Ata, PMU Deputy Chairman Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, and Qasem Soleimani "open the door" for the resistance to settle the score with Israel and the Trump administration. He said that the American administration...
US says it has seized large cache of Iranian-made missiles in the Arabian Sea By COREY DICKSTEIN | STARS AND STRIPES WASHINGTON — The Navy on Sunday captured a cache of illegal, Iranian-made weapons, including about 150 anti-tank missiles, from a small sailing vessel in the Arabian Sea, U.S. Central Command announced Thursday.The supply of weapons captured was nearly identical to another cache seized in November, which was assessed to be a shipment from Iran on the way to Houthi fighters in Yemen, CENTCOM said in a statement. Defense officials said Thursday that they had not determined definitively where this most recent supply of weapons was being delivered.The weapons seized by sailors aboard the USS Normandy, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, included about 150 “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles — Iranian-made versions of the Russian Kornet anti-tank missile. Also seized from the dhow sailing vessel were Iranian-built surface-to-air missiles, thermal imaging weapon...
All Africa Somalia: Alarm As Al-Shabaab Infiltrates State Institutions By Aggrey MutamboAbshir Gaarane Ahmed was a lead singer in a government band in Benadir, the region that covers the capital Mogadishu in Somalia.The public knew him as the man who belted out patriotic songs about his country. His trimmed beard and smooth voice suited a youthful artiste.Then on January 21, the National Intelligence and Security Agency of Somalia (Nisa) paraded him as a terrorist.Side by side, Nisa published videos of him singing about his beloved Somalia as well as a confession: he had worked as an Al-Shabaab "accountant".Nisa did not indicate for how long he had been Shabaab's financial manager. But it only confirmed stories that emerged from last year that the Somalia-based militant group was planting its agents inside government departments. Read more: https://allafrica.com/stories/202002170016.html...

Rocket Attack Strikes Near U.S. Embassy In Iraq

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NBC News Rocket Attack Strikes Near U.S. Embassy In Iraq The incident remains under investigation, a U.S. military official told NBC News. By Yuliya Talmazan and Associated PressA rocket attack struck near the U.S. Embassy in Iraq early Sunday, a U.S. military and Iraqi officials have confirmed."The attack did not injure any personnel, and the coalition remains committed to supporting the government of Iraq to defeat ISIS remits," Col. Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the U.S. military operation in Iraq, told NBC News.He added that they were not able to identify who was behind the attack, and the incident remains under investigation.Three Iraqi security officials told the Associated Press that two of the rockets fell inside the U.S. Embassy compound, while another hit near the coalition base. The Iraqi officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/rocket-attack-strikes-near-u-s-embassy-iraq-n1137496...

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