At least 12 people were killed on the 12 Apr 15 when militants linked to the Islamic State carried out three separate attacks on Egyptian security forces in the northern Sinai Peninsula, including bombing a police station, according to officials from the ministries of Interior and Health. The attacks were the latest in a series of sophisticated assaults by the militants, carried out across towns that have become the focal point of an insurgency against the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. An Egyptian extremist group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, appeared to claim responsibility for the attacks on Twitter. The security vulnerabilities have undercut an effort by Mr. Sisi to establish Egypt as a regional military power. In recent months, Mr. Sisi has sent warplanes to strike jihadists in Libya and committed the Egyptian military to a Saudi-led offensive on Houthi militiamen in Yemen. Saudi officials have also raised the possibility of launching a ground invasion of Yemen that would likely lean heavily on Egyptian troops. Cairo’s participation in that war carries risks for Mr. Sisi in Egypt, where many remember the country’s calamitous military intervention in Yemen in the 1960s, which left thousands of Egyptian soldiers dead. Mr. Sisi has also championed a proposal to create an Arab military force to fight extremist groups around the region. In Egypt, the military has struggled to contain the insurgency, despite a heavy-handed crackdown in Sinai that has included razing the city of Rafah, on the border with the Gaza Strip. On the 12 Apr the militants attacked a fuel tanker and an armored vehicle, killing at least six soldiers. Hours later, a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle laden with explosives outside a police station in the town of Arish, killing at least six people, including one civilian. The group that claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Sinai Province, is the most prominent of the new Egyptian militant. The group, which changed its name from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State in November, released a video last week showing the execution of a soldier it had captured this month.
The logo of the terrorist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. The colour black is a very significant colour in the Islamic tradition. It is linked to the both the battle flag of Muhammad (al-rawa) to the medieval Abbasid Caliphate. In this sense it most often represents jihad and the Caliphate, evoking a historical sense of both concepts. Black is also used to show adherence and strict piety in both Sunni and Shiite traditions. For example both the Taliban and the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizing the wearing of black turbans specifically and black clothing in general. In jihadi imagery the colour black is usually employed to emphasis the importance, or occurrence of jihad and evokes sentiments regarding the percieved need to re-establish the Sunni Caliphate. Modern weapons such as rifles and RPG’s illistrate the violent nature of Jihadi warfare and also exaggerate the power of jihadists military technology. The globe is being used for jihadi visual propoganda to globalise specific issues and conflicts as well as articulate the global aims of particular groups. The open book symbolizes the Koran, further emphasising the group’s Islamic ideology. The open Koran symbolises historic Islam and a declaration of faith. (Sources: https://www.ctc.usma.edu)
Libya – A bomb has exploded at the gate of the Moroccan embassy in the Libyan capital, a security official reported on the 13 Apr 15; Nobody was injured in the bomb attack, which occurred early on Monday morning local time, he told the Reuters news agency. The gate and a residential building next to the embassy were damaged. Fighters claiming loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) said on Twitter they were responsible for the attack, but it was not possible to verify the authenticity of the claims. The blast came just hours after gunmen killed two people and injured a third in an attack on the South Korean embassy on the 12 Apr 15. The gunmen opened fire on the embassy compound from a passing car in a drive by shooting killing two people and injuring a third, a Libyan interior ministry spokesman stated. A security source at the location said the two dead were both Libyan guards, adding that while the embassy had been closed for several months, South Korean officials were continuing to use it. The foreign ministry in Seoul confirmed the attack, saying three South Koreans working in the embassy - including two diplomats - were unhurt. ISIL-aligned fighters claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter, according to SITE Intelligence Group. "The Soldiers of the Caliphate in the city of Tripoli killed two of the guards at the South Korean embassy," the monitoring group quoted the fighters as saying on Twitter.
Ansar al Sharia Libya, the al Qaeda-linked jihadist group notorious for its role in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, relaunched its social media presence in late March it was reported on the 9 Apr 15. The group set up several official Twitter feeds to promote its propaganda, including messages from its new sharia official. The feeds form a “correspondents” or “reporters” network, similar to the ones used by other jihadist groups, including the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. Like other jihadist groups, Ansar al Sharia’s Twitter pages have long been subject to a game of cat and mouse. Twitter would suspend one account run by Al Raya Media Foundation, the organization’s propaganda arm, only to have another one pop up shortly thereafter. Other accounts have been dormant for months. But now the group operates several feeds simultaneously. Images from the Twitter pages can be seen. Ansar al Sharia’s propaganda is also being retweeted by other sites, including a Twitter feed that is associated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an official branch of al Qaeda that is openly loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri. The United Nations has recognized the operational ties between AQIM and Ansar al Sharia, and there is much evidence indicating that Ansar al Sharia has long operated as part of al Qaeda’s global network. One of the new Twitter feeds is devoted to Ansar al Sharia’s radio station, 96.9 FM on the radio dial in Benghazi. Short audio clips from the radio station’s broadcasts are posted online. Much of Ansar al Sharia’s propaganda focuses on its ongoing war with General Khalifa Haftar’s forces. For example, some photos show buildings that have been damaged by Haftar’s supposedly indiscriminate bombing campaign. Other videos and photos focus on the jihadists in battle against Haftar’s men. Even while embroiled in a war with Haftar, Ansar al Sharia still highlights its governance efforts. In late Mar 15, Ansar al Sharia’s fighters were pictured opening a general services office in Benghazi, with construction and other service vehicles driving through the streets.
Morocco/Holland – Morocco's Interior Ministry says it has dismantled a militant cell with ties to Moroccans in the Netherlands that is suspected of planning attacks. The statement on the 13 Apr 15 said the six men were arrested in Salwane, a small town near the city of Nador in northern Morocco, close to the Spanish enclave of Melilla. The men sympathized with the Islamic State group and were training in the woods in the surrounding hills. They were planning to kill those "with religious convictions contrary to this terrorist organization," said the statement. Investigators also informed Dutch authorities of a Moroccan living in the Netherlands in close contact with the cell and planning his own attacks. There is a large Moroccan population in the Netherlands. Moroccan security frequently reports arresting extremists.
Kenya – On the 2 Apr 15 al-Shabaab terrorists attacked a university in the town of Garissa in the northeast of Kenya. The terrorists attacked shortly after dawn with four terrorists having strapped themselves with explosives. The attack started with grenades being thrown then masked gunmen entered the university as students were sleeping in their quarters and the terrorists shooting them as well as taking some hostage while shouting “we are al-Shabaab.” The two armed security guards were killed early in the attack, the only security for the university. The terrorists were also heard to say, “We came to kill or finally be killed”. In the usual al-Shabaab pattern questions were put to the students and those that could answer the Muslim questions were freed but the Christian students were killed. Reports of 147 personnel were killed in the attack. Some students hid wherever they could for hours so that the terrorists would not kill them. Twenty security officers were thought to have been killed by sniper fire but eventually the security services cornered the terrorists in a dormitory where four died using their explosive vests. A fifth was reportedly arrested. The Kenyan government have stated that a former Kenyan schoolteacher, Mohamed Kuno, (also known as Dulyadin and Gamadhere) was thought to be behind the planning of the attack and have offered a reward of $53, 000 for him. He is thought to be in Somalia. It is thought the final death toll of students in the attack was 147 with many of the bodies recovered to Nairobi for identification. 361 COMMENT: During the last reporting period and from other sources there were a number of warnings that were published. Embassies as well as newspapers pointed out that there was an imminent attack ready to take place. Now it has done. This is the second time this year that a school has been attacked by terrorists, is this now a new terrorist trend? AMISOM contributors are all targets of al-Shabaab with Kenya being the forth highest out of six countries contributing military personnel. The attack was well planned and executed. COMMENT ENDS
On the 4 Apr 15 there was a report that Somali armed group Al Shabaab had threatened to carry out more attacks in Kenya. In a statement issued on the 4 Apr the group warned Kenyans that their cities will "run red with blood". "No amount of precaution or safety measures will be able to guarantee your safety, thwart another attack or prevent another bloodbath from occurring in your cities," the statement read.
Nigeria/Chad/Niger – Chad's army said its forces had killed hundreds of Boko Haram fighters and lost nine of its own troops in clashes in northern Nigeria. Soldiers from Chad and Niger drove the group from Malam Fatori, one of Boko Haram's last major footholds near Nigeria's border with Niger, early in the reporting period. The clashes took place on the 1 Apr 15 as they were mopping up the area in Nigeria's Borno state. Niger military sources just across the border said air strikes began before an offensive by ground troops. "There was fighting and we recorded nine dead and 16 injured. There were hundreds of dead on Boko Haram's side," said Colonel Azem Bermandoa, a spokesman for Chad's army. Bermandoa said the fighting had driven the group's fighters more than 10km outside the town, which had been held by Boko Haram since Nov 14. There was no immediate comment from Niger's army on any casualties. An offensive by Nigerian, Chadian and Nigerien troops this year has since pushed the group out of most of the towns they previously controlled. The armed group failed to deliver on threats to cause havoc during the just-concluded presidential election that was won by former army general Muhammadu Buhari. The president-elect Buhari promised on the 1 Apr 15 to "spare no effort" to defeat the group, which seized swathes of territory under outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan.
Nigeria – 1 Apr 15: Nigerians have chosen General Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, over incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, to be their president. Buhari will face daunting challenges, as the general political and economic situation in Nigeria is problematic. Nigeria is home to a corrupt government. The economy is in crisis: Nigeria has an unhealthy dependence on its oil exports, which represent more than 80 percent of its national income. The World Health Organization recommends that governments spend 15 percent of their budget on health, but Nigeria spends only 6 percent of its budget. The situation in northern Nigeria is critical, and Nigeria’s neighbors have been more active than the Nigerian government in fighting Boko Haram. The way the government has addressed violence in the north has been abysmal. Muslim clerics identified lack of good governance as the primary reason Boko Haram succeeded in recruiting members. With these conditions Boko Haram filled a vacuum. The militants will now be much harder to remove but ultimately, the next government can take steps to start tackling the problems that allowed them to gain a foothold. (For the full article go to: http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20150401-buhari-wins-but-the-new-president-of-nigeria-faces-an-enormous-challenge)
Islamist Boko Haram militants disguised as preachers killed at least 24 people and wounded several others in an attack near a mosque in northeast Nigeria's Borno state, a military source and witness said on the 6 Apr 15. The attackers arrived in cars late on the 5 Apr 15 and gathered people at a mosque in the remote village of Kwajafa, pretending to preach Islam. They then opened fire on them.
Somalia – Al-Shabaab militants have attacked a government complex in a busy area of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, leaving at least 17 people dead, including seven assailants it was reported on the 14 Apr 15. The attack began when a suicide bomber struck the walled compound - which houses the education ministry and other government buildings - in a car laden with explosives. Gunmen then streamed through the hole in the building's defences and started shooting. It was thought that around seventeen people died in the attack. These included eight civilians, two soldiers - one from the African Union Mission and the other from the Somali military. Seven al-Shabab fighters also died. During the reporting period Somalia placed a bounty on the top 11 leaders of the group.
South Africa – Violence against immigrants in South Africa has killed at least five people since last week in one of the worst outbreak of violence in years against foreigners in years. Hundreds of migrants mostly from other African countries had been forced out of their homes it was reported on the 14 Apr 15. Khadija Patel, a South African journalist said that there have been previous instances of violence against foreigners. "Hundreds of foreign nationals were displaced in Isipingo (20km south of Durban) late last month, when a group of South Africans attacked foreigners living and working in the area. The victims of that continue to reside in a makeshift camp at a sports ground in Isipingo," Patel said. "The Isipingo attacks was blamed on a labour dispute at a local wholesaler, and government refused to caegorise the violence as xenophobic violence," Khadija added. Hundreds of foreign nationals were displaced in Isipingo late last month, when a group of South Africans attacked foreigners living and working in the area. The victims of that continue to reside in a makeshift camp at a sports ground in Isipingo, Most of the recent unrest occurred in and around the coastal city of Durban, where police said two foreigners and three South Africans were killed. Despite the increased police presence, authorities are hard pressed to stop unrest that recalls similar violence in South Africa in 2008 in which about 60 people died. In Jan 15 four people died during a week of looting of foreign-owned shops and other violence in Soweto and other areas of Johannesburg, stores owned by foreigners in Johannesburg are closing for fear of the violence spreading. Some South Africans have accused immigrants of taking jobs and opportunities away from them. 361 COMMENT: Although not a terrorist incident these types of disputes have a tendency to escalate and produce a home grown terrorist organisation. This incident has that mark. There have been a number of reports through sources indicating that there have also been a lot of attacks on white people, especially females. The reports are unconfirmed but there are a number of them, too many to be discounted. President Zuma does not appear to have the ability to be able to control these attacks if true, against either black or white so is the countries security failing under the ANC? COMMENT ENDS
Deep in rural South Africa, a terrifying white supremacist movement is brainwashing teenagers to rise up in defiance of Nelson Mandela's hard-fought dream of a Rainbow Nation it was reported on the 15 Apr 15. The far-right Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) is training thousands of youths in military-style boot-camps northwest of Johannesburg to fight for a separate white state. By day, they are pushed to their physical limits with assault courses and self-defence lessons, all the while being told of the danger from 'the millions of blacks trying to kill you'. Then by night, they are subjected to vile racist indoctrination which many hoped had disappeared from South Africa for good. The camp is run by Colonel Jooste, a veteran of the South African apartheid era. 'South Africa is bleeding,' he says. 'And this is why we have to train our people to be prepared. His lectures sound like something taken straight out of the slave-trade era. Later, members of the camp are filmed burning the South African flag while holding the Afrikaner one.
The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging or AWB, meaning Afrikaner Resistance Movement, is a political and paramilitary group in South. They are committed to the restoration of an independent Afrikaner republic or "Boerestaat" within South Africa. In their heyday they received much publicity both in South Africa and abroad as an extremist white supremacist group. The AWB was formed on the 7 July 1973 in a garage in Heidelberg, Transvaal, a town southeast of Johannesburg. The former Eugène Terre'Blanche, a former police officer, became disillusioned by then-Prime Minister B.J. Vorster's "liberal views," as well as what he viewed as Communist influences in South African society. Terre'Blanche decided to form the AWB with six other like-minded individuals, and was elected leader of the organisation. Their objective was to establish an independent Boerestaat ("Boer State") for Afrikaner people, existing separately from South Africa, which was considered too left wing by Terre'blanche. The AWB was formed in an attempt to regain the ground lost after the Second Boer War: they intended to re-establish the Boer Republics of the past — the South African Republic (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek) and the Republic of the Orange Free State (Oranje Vrystaat) — which the European and American governments had recognised in the late 1800s.
Essentially a variation of a Swastika, and popular for that reason, the triskele was a symbol occasionally used by the Nazi regime, most notably as the insignia for a Waffen SS division comprised of Belgian volunteers. After World War II, the “Three Sevens” version of the triskele was popularised by white supremacists in Europe and South Africa. (Source: Historical Flags of Our Fathers)
Memorials to South Africa's colonial past were defaced by mainly young black protesters as statues of British monarchs Queen Victoria and King George V were splashed with paint in the cities of Port Elizabeth and Durban respectively it was reported on the 15 Apr 15. Vandals poured paint over Scottish-South African missionary Andrew Murray's statue in the Western Cape. War memorials were also defaced. A bronze rider marking the Anglo-Boer War from 1899 to 1902, was toppled from his horse. In the latest demonstration, vandals smeared paint the figure of a young Mohandas Gandhi. Standing in the square in downtown Johannesburg named for Mahatma Gandhi, the memorial marks the Indian anti-colonial leader's time in South Africa, where he formulated the principle of passive resistance. The protester, who smudged white paint on Gandhi's cloak, accused him of being racist during his time in the country. Founding fathers of Afrikaner nationalism were also targeted. In Pretoria, the memorial of 19th century Afrikaner leader Paul Kruger was twice daubed with bright green paint, while the statue of Marthinus Pretorius, who founded the capital city, was splashed with reddish brown paint, according to local media reports. The statue of Louis Botha, the president of the South African Union in the early 1900s, was smeared with red and blue paint outside parliament in Cape Town on the same day that the Rhodes sculpture was removed from its perch overlooking the University of Cape Town after weeks of student protest. In the Free State province, a statue of Boer General Jan Fick was splashed with red paint in the town named after him in 1883, Ficksburg. The opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, has come out in support of its members who have claimed responsibility for these acts of vandalism. It comes days after white solidarity groups held protests over the removal of a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes from the University of Cape Town after it was daubed with excrement. Members of the university council ordered that the bronze sculpture be removed after hearing its presence made black students feel uncomfortable and was seen a symbol of historical white oppression.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is a South African revolutionary socialist political party started by expelled former African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema, and his allies, in 2013. Malema is President of the EFF, heading the Central Command Team which serves as the central structure of the party. It is currently the third-largest party in both houses of the South African parliament, receiving 1,169,259 votes and a 6.35% share of the vote in the 2014 general election. By December 2014, the EFF claimed to have over half a million members, although this has not been independently verified. The ideology of the group is Revolutionary Socialism, Marxism-Leninism, Left Wing Populism, Anti Capitalism, Pan-Africanism and Anti Imperialism.
The African national Congress (ANC) originally had a fist clenching a spear a symbol of its past. Although the ANC military wing (Umkhonto we Sizwe – Spear of the Nation) also had a figure with a raised spear. As in most cases where the nation and/or continent is placed on the logo, this indicates that it will raise itself for all Africans. The origin of the wrist and fist is apt as the group was formed in South Africa the southernmost country. The yellow mine stands for the wealth of the country whereas the star will probably symbolise its socials roots.