Egypt – Reports in early November from the Egyptian authorities that the army is demolishing houses in the Sinai Peninsula that are suspected of having underground smuggling tunnels have emerged. The border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip have long been a smuggling route but more so of late as the Egyptians accuse those in the Gaza Strip of supplying weapons, ammunition and explosives to terrorist groups operating in the Peninsula and around Cairo. The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip deny this but the Egyptians are adamant about the accusations. Egypt has for some time now has been the focus of a number of terrorist incidents especially since the removal of former president Morsi. Should these tunnels be closed Egypt will be making a large step in reducing the amount of logistics that the terrorists rely on to carry out attacks and to arm any Muslim Brotherhood members who are attempting to take up arms.
Al-Jazeera reported on the 4 Nov 13 that the trial of former president Morsi was to be delayed until the 8 Jan 14. There was a change of location for the hearing on the 3 Nov as the authorities attempted to foil members of the Muslim Brotherhood from staging huge mass rallies. Security around the venue was tight with police and military. It is unsure at the moment where the next trial will be held.
Mozambique – In recent weeks there has been clashes with between the army and the former terrorist group RENAMO (Mozambique National Resistance Movement). It is reportedly the worst violence since the civil war that ended in 1992. The countries tourist industry has been hit badly as terrorists have been attacking them prompting in foreign vistors staying away. The government has gone on the offensive raiding RENAMO camps and attempting to reassure tourists that the problem is in hand. A spate of kidnappings for ransom has left visitors and Mozambicans anxious about their safety. The kidnappings started a few months ago and have targeted children of wealthy families and now foreigners. Experts believe that the group will not reurn to its previous full scale operations but others disagree. However, with the kidnappings becoming an important part of a terrorist Modus Operandi for collecting funds it is possible that the future does not look good for the country if the group is not shut down quickly. In Oct 12, RENAMO's headquarters were relocated near Casa Banana (also named Sathunjira, RENAMO's former guerrilla base in the 1980's) in Gorongosa, where a training camp was set up for around 800 partially armed followers. Previously, the headquarters had been moved from Maputo to Nampula in 2009. RENAMO leader Afonso Dhlakama threatened to "destroy the country" if his political demands were not met. On 21 Oct 13, Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) captured Sathunjira base after days of combats. RENAMO spokesman Fernando Mazanga claimed that the government forces had shelled the base with heavy weapons (artillery), and that Afonso Dhlakama had fled the base. A RENAMO statement said that the capture of the base puts an end to the 1992 peace deal. RENAMO announced that MP Armindo Milaco was killed in the government raid. On 22 Oct 13, gunmen attacked a police station in Maringué District in apparent retaliation, with no casualties reported.
Nigeria – There was a report on the 4 Nov 13 from the Homeland Security stating that the Nigerian president recently visited Israel. His visit was to find out how the Israelis counterterrorism worked as they had exceptional expertise in the field of combating terrorism. Although months have gone by with Nigeria carrying out anti-terrorism operations in the northeast of the country against Boko Harem the operations are going on far too long and the Nigeria government may feel that it is becoming stagnant and requires to up its game in an attempt to rid the country of this terrorist group.
Somalia – On the 4 Nov 13 it was reported that a top al-Shabaab terrorist Ibrahim Ali Abdi a well know explosive expert was killed by a United States drone. He was well known for his bomb-making expertise in suicide attacks, roadside IED’s car bombs and other homemade devices. This will be a set back for the group but will no doubt have others in the wings to take his place. The US appears to targeting the group recently and carrying out high profile attacks on the group’s members, probably trying to not allow the group further chances of successful terrorist attacks.
Tunisia – The country has had foresight and understands that it is in grave danger of becoming a target for terrorist activities especially after the suicide attacks reported on the 30 Oct 13. On the 12 Nov 13 reports of a military operation aimed at clamping down on terrorist activity was announced with some success. The area of Kebili saw specialist army units which have been conducting a security operation which seized grenades, a truck being fitted with an explosive device, five cars, large sums of funding, IT equipment and thirty mobile phones which could be used for communication or for setting off IED’s. Since Jan 13 when two politicians were killed and numerous policemen have been killed the country was in danger of becoming a problem with its security. Those carrying out the attacks are thought to be jihadists and affiliated to the al-Qaeda franchise. This is a very good step forward in stopping terrorism taking root in Tunisia. Other African countries should endeavour to follow suit and not only learn from this counter terrorism move but work together to stop African countries becoming a new Iraq and Afghanistan.