Libya– On July 24, it was reported that a vehicle bomb had exploded in the city of Tripoli. The Canadian Embassy, which is located in the area of Tripoli Towers where the explosion occurred, is believed to have been the target of the attack. The vehicle exploded in the car-park next to the towers, although no injuries were reported due to the offices in area being closed. Although there have been a series of bombings in Libya over the past few months, no responsibility has been claimed for them.
On July 25 it was also reported that the UAE embassy in Tripoli was attacked using a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG). Due to the insecurity of the country, it is possible that outside influences are being used to coerce a group or individuals to attack countries, like the UAE, that are supporting the Syrian opposition. Another possibility is that al-Qaeda aligned organizations in Africa are using the lack of security in Libya to attack foreign embassies in the country.
Nigeria – On July 16, a British national working in the oil industry was kidnapped outside of the international airport in Lagos. He was later released on July 21, and the kidnapping was probably the work of criminals. A ransom for the British man was demanded, but in a sting operation by local police, a suspect was apprehended when he went to pick up the ransom money, and he led them to the kidnapped man. With a crackdown by Nigerian security forces in the south-eastern areas of the country, more criminals are moving into Lagos State.
On July 30, a series of explosions in the northern city of Kano resulted in approximately twenty eight people being killed. In another report twenty civilians were reportedly killed by Boko Haram in a fishing village on Lake Chad. The Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency, and sent the Nigerian army to provide security in the northeast region of the country.
Tunisia – On July 25 it was reported that a prominent opposition politician and member of the Tunisian parliament had been shot. This set off violent protests in the country, and shouts that the Islamist led government should stand down. The weapon used was said to be the same one that was used to kill another politician, Chokri Belaid, six months prior to this attack. The main suspect is a militant Salafist, Abu Bakir Hakim, who is already being hunted for smuggling weapons into the country from Libya. Tunisians who see that the Egyptians were able to oust the Morsi government will no doubt attempt the same type of action in Tunisia.
In Egypt, however, it was the Egyptian army that led the overthrow of the Morsi government. It is unclear which side the Tunisian army will take, even though it deployed on the streets of Tunisian cities to curb political violence. In a separate report on the same incident, the Tunisian government is blaming al-Qaeda elements for the assassination.
Paul Ashley is the Senior Counter-Terrorist Analyst