France/Da’esh/al Nusra Front – French President Francois Hollande called on the 9 Jul 16 for international action against an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, warning that the recent losses sustained by ISIS could embolden other extremist groups. “Da’esh is in retreat, that is beyond dispute,” Hollande said after a meeting with the leaders of the United States, Germany, Britain, Italy and Ukraine on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Warsaw. But, Hollande added, “We must also avoid a situation whereby as Da’esh becomes weaker, other groups become stronger.” Hollande singled out al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front as particularly standing to benefit from the US-led military campaign against its arch-rival ISIS. Faced with a barrage of airstrikes and ground offensives by local forces, ISIS has lost territory in both Syria and Iraq in recent months. “We must coordinate among ourselves to continue actions against Da’esh but also... take effective action against al-Nusra,” Hollande said, directing his appeal at Russia and the US. On the 6 Jul 16 US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed in a telephone call to “intensify” military coordination between their two countries in Syria. Russia had in May proposed joint air strikes with the US against jihadist targets in Syria - a suggestion that was rebuffed by Washington. The White House reported that the two leaders, in their call this week, “confirmed their commitment to defeating ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front.” The two groups are excluded from a broader truce brokered by Moscow and Washington in Feb 16. 361 COMMENT: President Hollande has a very valid point regarding Da’esh and the future of their demise. When they have been cleared out of Iraq and just as importantly Syria there will be a void. Some of the fighters from Da’esh will no doubt join other organisations fighting against the Assad regime, but there will be a vacuum in ideologies and some of the smaller groups will attempt to exploit this. This would mean more strife for the war-torn region. Perhaps Russia was right to target all terrorist groups whereas the United States does not want to due to the point that they would like the removal of Assad. This would appease the Israelis as it would give the Palestinians, Iran and Syria less of a platform to conduct attacks against the Israelis. COMMENT ENDS
France/Germany – France is on the verge of a 'civil war' which could be sparked by the mass sexual assault of women by migrants similar to the one seen in Cologne on New Year's Eve, the country's head of intelligence has said on the 12 Jul 16. He believes the situation is so tense and fragile that another major Islamist terror attack or mass migrant sexual assault could lead to a huge right-wing backlash. Patrick Calvar, chief of the Directorate General of Internal Security, told members of the French parliamentary commission: 'We are on the brink of civil war'. According to French newspaper Le Figaro, he said: 'This confrontation I think it will take place. 'Even one or two attacks and it will happen. It therefore behooves us to anticipate and block all these groups.' On the 11 Jul 16 a leaked report revealed a staggering 1,200 women were sexually abused in German cities during the New Year's Eve celebrations. The police document said detectives believe 2,000 men were involved across various cities but that the bulk of the crimes were committed in Cologne and Hamburg, where 600 and 400 sexual assaults on women were reported respectively. Of the 2,000 perpetrators, only 120 have been identified, and about half of them were foreign nationals who had only recently arrived in Germany. Eyewitnesses described the night of the 31 Dec 15 which saw many Arab and North African asylum seekers and immigrants gang rape and attack hundreds of women, as being akin to a war zone. The warning from Mr Calvar follows similar concerns expressed by prominent police, army and security experts from across Europe. In May 16 the former head of MI6, Richard Dearlove, said Europe would face a 'populist uprising' if its governments did not take control of the migrant crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also told by security experts last October that middle class citizens in Germany were becoming 'radicalised' because of her open borders migrant policy. She was warned that it could lead to widespread disorder.
France – France's intelligence chief on the 13 Jul 16 believes that Islamist extremists like those who carried out two waves of attacks in Paris last year will look to increase their capacity to kill by using booby-trapped cars and bombs. The remarks by Patrick Calvar, testifying before a parliamentary commission examining French means to fight terrorism, were published on the 12 Jul 16 in a 300-page report. The Nov. 13 attack on a stadium, a concert hall, bars and restaurants were carried out by suicide bombers and assailants with assault rifles. But Calvar said in his May 24 testimony that he thinks attack methods will evolve. He said: "I'm convinced they'll go to booby-trapped vehicles and bombs, thus upping their power." The commission's work uncovered intelligence letdowns that led to the failure to foil the attacks that killed 147. The head of the investigating commission of lawmakers concluded last week that intelligence failures, in France and abroad, led to the failure to foil the Paris attacks, while rival units of security forces trapped by rules and stepping on each other's feet made the situation worse during the attacks.
France – At least 84 people were killed and 100 injured (the numbers may increase) in the French city of Nice when a man deliberately drove a lorry into a crowd celebrating the country's main national holiday, authorities said on the 14 Jul 16. The attacker behind the wheel on 14 Jul 16 drove at high speed along the famed Promenade des Anglais seafront, careering into spectators who had been watching a Bastille Day firework display. Police shot and killed the driver, officials said. France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that children were among the dead and 18 people were in a critical condition. "There's no denying the terrorist nature of this attack of yet again the most extreme form of violence," French President Francois Hollande said in an address to the nation in the early hours of the 15 Jul 16. Hollande said that he would extend a state of emergency - which had been in place since the attacks in Paris last November - for another three months from July 26. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. But Nada Bakos, a former CIA analyst said that it "looks very similar" to some of the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda and ISIL. "They were inciting their followers to produce this type of violence," she said. The Paris prosecutor's office opened an investigation for "murder, attempted murder in an organised group linked to a terrorist enterprise". The investigation was being handled by France's intelligence agency and judicial police.
Follow on Report: ISIS claimed responsibility for the truck attack that killed 84 people in Nice on France's national holiday, a news service affiliated with the militants said on the 16 Jul 16. Amaq quoted an ISIS security source as saying one of its "soldiers" carried out Thursday's carnage "in response to calls to target nations of coalition states that are fighting (ISIS)". The Tunisian-born truck driver that carried out the rampage, Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, was born on January 31, 1985 in the Sousse suburb of Msaken and was married to a Franco-Tunisian resident of Nice. They had three children including a baby. Four men believed to be linked to Bouhlel were arrested overnight Saturday, a judicial source said. One of the men being held was arrested Friday (15 Jul 16) and three others on Saturday morning (16 Jul 16), the source added. 361 COMMENT: Although Da’esh have claimed responsibility there is at the time of reporting no credible proof that there was any links between the terrorist group and the perpetrator of the attack. In time that may change. In regards to the claim that Da’esh had encouraged the attack this has very weak links. The claim to attack people was stated two years ago when it was vogue to attempt to kill people using vehicles. It came a year after the murder of the British soldier Lee Rigby in London in 2013. There has never been any mention of death threats using a reefer and bobtail, just ordinary vehicles. To read more click on the link below. COMMENT ENDS
Could Terrorist Lone Wolf’s Change Their Modus Operandi and now use Large Vehicles such as the one in France on the 14 July 2016 to Cause Mass Casualty Attacks?
Spain – Spain ups security at tourist spots in wake of Nice attack. Spain is tightening security measures at airports, tourist spots and on its border with France in the wake of the terrorist attack in Nice last night which left 84 dead. Spain's Interior Minister announced that security measures would be enforced at the nation's airports, busy tourist zones and with the border in France following the "jiadist inspired" attack on the Cote D'Azur. Following an emergency terror threat meeting involving the interior ministry, national and regional police forces, the civil guard and intelligence agencies, it was decided not to raise the risk alert level beyond from four to five. Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said Spain and France had agreed to continue enforcing tighter police controls at border crossings that were introduced for the recent European football championship and the Tour de France. Speaking after meeting with Spanish police officials and political party representatives, he said maximum alert level five would be applied only if security officials unanimously felt a terror attack was imminent. He confirmed that Spain has stepped up police controls in transport centres such as airports, tourism sites and places where large numbers of people gather. Spain’s Interim Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave a televised address to the nation at 9am on the 15 Jul 16 calling it “a day of deep sorrow for the all those who have lost their life and their liberty” in the Bastille Day attack.
Report raises fears of Isis terror plot on Costa del Sol (19 Apr 16)