France/Terrorism – France created a new counter-terrorism task force on the 7 Jun 17 comprised of all intelligence services that will coordinate responses to attacks, a day after a man carrying Algerian papers attacked police officers outside the Notre Dame cathedral. Newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron, portrayed by rivals as weak on security during the presidential campaign, last month instructed the task force be created to bring together France’s multiple security agencies inside the Elysee presidential palace. The performance of France’s intelligence services have come under close scrutiny since the Nov 15 attacks on Paris, when militant gunmen and suicide bombers struck entertainment venues across the capital, killing 130 people. In total, more than 230 people have been killed in a wave of attacks in France either claimed by or inspired by Islamic State over the past two-and-a-half years. In Tuesday’s attack, a 40-year-old Algerian student armed with a hammer and kitchen knives shouted “this is for Syria” as he wounded a policeman, before being shot by police officers. A source close to the investigation said a video in which the attacker pledged allegiance to Islamic State had been found in his flat during a police raid on the evening of the 7 Jun 17. Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said that the assailant had not previously “shown any signs of radicalisation”. A surveillance video showed the assailant running up to three police officers in the square outside Notre Dame and attempting to land a blow with the hammer. One officer was hurt before the aggressor was shot in the chest. Macron on the 7 Jun 17 appointed Pierre de Bousquet de Florian to head the new intelligence task force known as the National Centre for Counter Terrorism. It will be under direct authority of the president. Bousquet de Florian once headed France’s DST regional intelligence service that was disbanded under former president Nicolas Sarkozy. It will include some 20 people representing the various security services and be operational 24 hours seven days a week. “This has been created to ensure that the intelligence services truly cooperate,” said a French presidency official. Macron also named career diplomat Bernard Emie, who served as ambassador to Britain, Turkey, Libya and Jordan, as head of the DGSE external intelligence service.
Germany – One of Germany’s biggest music festivals was interrupted on the 2 Jun 17 over a "possible terrorist threat," police said. Organizers asked fans at the three-day event to leave calmly “in order to help police investigations” but said they were hopeful the festival would resume on the 3 Jun 17. The three-day “Rock am Ring,” held at the famous Nuerburgring sports complex near the western city of Nuerburg, was scheduled to run until the 4 Jun 17. It draws tens of thousands of people annually. In a statement, police in the city of Coblenz said they were in possession of “concrete elements, in the light of which a possible terrorist threat cannot be ruled out.” “As safety is the key priority and any danger to festivalgoer’s has to be avoided as much as possible, a decision has been taken to suspend the festival for today,” the statement said. There were no further details. Security for the festival had already been stepped up, with an additional 1,200 staff, in response to the 22 May 17 Manchester bombing which occurred after a concert by US singer Ariana Grande. The country remains on high alert after a militant attack on a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19. Anis Amri, a 24-year-old Tunisian, hijacked a truck, killed its Polish driver and ploughed the vehicle through the market, claiming 11 more lives and wounding dozens.
Germany – A German police officer was critically wounded and two passers-by hurt on the 13 Jun 17 when a lone gunman fired shots at a commuter rail station near the German city of Munich before being injured himself and detained, police said. A Munich police spokesman told reporters there was no indication of a "political or religious" motive behind the morning rush hour incident. "The sole male perpetrator was motivated by personal reasons," said spokesman Marcus da Gloria Martins. Police identified the gunman as a 37-year-old German national, whose criminal record showed only one charge for possession of a small quantity of marijuana in 2014. Martins said the man had tried to push at least one police officer in front of an incoming train at an S-Bahn station in Unterfoehring, a north-eastern suburb of the Bavarian city. A scuffle ensued during which the assailant snatched an officer's gun and fired. "The police officer was shot in the head and critically injured," Martins said. She is 26 years old. Two other people at the station, one German and one Romanian, were seriously wounded and are being treated in local hospitals but their lives were not believed to be in danger."The assailant was arrested. He was also injured. There are no indications of further perpetrators," police tweeted. The officers had been called to the scene when a fight broke out among several people on a train, witnesses said. The train was stopped at the Unterfoehring station and the brawlers were hauled out by police, leading to the escalation. The station is on a busy line leading to and from Munich's main international airport. Travellers were diverted to another rail line after the shooting. The perpetrator was not shot but rather injured in the scuffle, in which neither of the two victims were involved, police said. In Jul 16 18-year-old David Ali Sonboly shot dead nine people at a Munich shopping mall before turning the gun on himself, having spent a year planning the rampage. Police said the German-Iranian teen was "obsessed" with mass murderers such Norwegian right-wing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Da’esh terror group. In Mar 16, an axe-wielding attacker wounded nine people in a bloody rampage at a railway station in the western city of Duesseldorf. The 36-year-old Kosovan had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic with a history of high anxiety and self-harm, police said, ruling out a terrorist motive. Instead, they suggested he might have carried out the attack at the station to end his own life. The suspect was taken into custody after jumping off a bridge. And in May 16, a psychologically disturbed man killed one person and wounded three in an apparently random knife attack at Grafing railway station east of Munich. The suspect reportedly yelled "Allahu akbar" but police found no evidence of a political or religious motive. German authorities have been on high alert since a series of attacks claimed by Da’esh. The deadliest was in Dec 16 when a Tunisian rejected asylum seeker rammed a truck into a crowded Berlin Christmas market in an attack that killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others.
Republic of Ireland/New Irish Republican Army (NIRA) – A blow was dealt to dissidents on the night of the 2/3 Jun 17 when the Guardai foiled a massive New Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb plot by seizing a 6kg consignment of Semtex in Dublin. Security sources said that the Semtex was “brand new” and had been sourced for the terror group within the last few weeks. Two men were arrested during the raid — one of them believed to have close links to the New IRA. The DUP’s Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (left) praised the Guardai as having “saved lives”, but expressed concern at the prospect of dissident groups having access to new supplies of Semtex. Heavily armed detectives carrying sub-machine guns stopped a seven-seat taxi during the dramatic raid shortly after 1800 hrs local on the night of the 2/3 Jun 17. Security sources told the Irish Independent that the Semtex explosives was "brand new" and had been sourced for the terror group within the last few weeks. Reacting to the news, DUP Lagan Valley General election candidate Jeffrey Donaldson said the Garda interception "had undoubtedly saved lives". The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation by the Garda Special Detective Unit into dissident republican activity. A senior source last night said that the explosives recovered were "big enough to blow up a street". "There were six kilos of Semtex recovered, which would have caused serious damage if used. It is a major catch for Guardai." Jeffrey Donaldson said the possession of new Semtex by dissident Republicans was a very worrying development. "It indicates that the dissident republican groups now have access to new supplies of Semtex explosives and detonators capable of exploding very large bombs," he said. "The question immediately arises: what are their intentions? "Are they planning to target the security forces in Northern Ireland, or perhaps in Great Britain? "But the question also arises: how much more of this Semtex is in the hands of these terrorists - and what are they intending to do with it? "I would urge the PSNI and Garda to co-operate and try and identify any further stashes of Semtex that may be in the hands of dissident republicans." It has also emerged that the second man arrested has no known connections to any criminal gang, leading to fears of a new recruitment drive by the dissident republican terror group. Armed Guardai also raided the house of a politician's relative who has close ties to one of the men arrested. Guardai have said it is too early to rule out a link between the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan feud in Dublin's criminal underworld. Dissident republican Michael Barr (35), who was murdered by the Kinahan cartel as part of the ongoing dispute, had links to the New IRA. The dramatic arrests took place near Spring Garden Street, Ballybough on the Dublin's north side. Residents living in the area were immediately evacuated from their homes. Two men, aged in their 20s and originally from the north-inner city, were detained. They had been placed under surveillance by specially trained detectives ahead of the interception. They are being detained at Clontarf Garda Station in Dublin under Section 30, of the Offences against the State Act.
United Kingdom – Residents heard "loud bangs" when armed officers swooped on two addresses in terror raids it was reported on the 1 Jun 17. The properties, in Huddersfield and Sheffield, were searched by counter-terror officers after police received a tip-off. Explosions heard by eyewitnesses in both locations were caused by police accessing properties, officers said. Two men, aged 24 and 29, were held in Huddersfield and Sheffield on suspicion of terror offences. The BBC understood the arrests were Islamist-related. Police said the raids were not linked to the recent Manchester Arena attack. In Sheffield, residents at the Daisy Spring Works apartment block in Kelham Island said a door was blown off at a second floor property. Nick Meeks, who lives on the same floor as the flat which was raided, said he heard an "almighty explosion". The North East Counter Terrorism Unit said the two arrested men, both from Huddersfield, were being held on suspicion of offences under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act.
United Kingdom – On the evening of the 3 Jun 17 at approximately 2208 hrs local three terrorists in a large rented white van aimed it at pedestrians who were walking along London Bridge. One witness said the vehicle was driven at high speed and in an ‘S’ shape. Shortly after injuring numerous innocent pedestrians with the vehicle the terrorist’s alighted from the vehicle with what appeared to be suicide vests and knives. The terrorist then proceeded to start slashing and stabbing at those who were near enough with large hunting knives. One witness heard one of the terrorist say, “This is for Allah.” This happened in the area of Borough Market a popular location on the warm sunny evening. The police arrived at the terrorist incident location in eight minutes. At 2216 hrs local the police opened fire and fatally wounded the three terrorists. At the time of reporting there were seven fatalities not including the three terrorists and 48 injured in the attack. These figures may change as some others may succumb to their wounds depending on the severity of the injuries. At approximately 1224 hrs on the 4 Jun 17 there were reports of twelve people arrested in Barking, East London after police raided a flat owned by one of the three deceased terrorist attackers. There were reports of controlled explosions from that location. Over the next few days there were several more arrests and on the 5 Jun 17 two of the terrorists were named; Khuram Butt 27, from Barking East and was known by the security services but there was no intelligence to suggest an attack and the other was Rachid Redouane, 30 also from Barking. Butt was a British citizen born in Pakistan and was a key contact of London bomber Mohammed Siddique Khan as well as hate preacher Anjem Choudary; while Redouane claimed Moroccan-Libyan and also used the name Rachid Elkhdar and claimed to be 6 years younger. On the 5 Jun 17 six females and four males arrested after the attack by police were still being questioned. The police did not reveal the third terrorists name due to ongoing enquiries. On the 6 Jun 17 the police named the third terrorist Youssef Zaghba a 22 year old Moroccan-Italian male. It emerged he had been arrested while attempting to gain access to Syria, but was still able to gain access to the UK.
United Kingdom/Da’esh – ISIS has warned that the Manchester terror attack will be the first of many, and claimed that efforts to show defiance against jihadists have been a 'complete failure' it was reported on the 8 Jun 17. The terror group's online magazine said the focus of its followers has shifted to carrying out attacks on 'Crusader soil'. Last month's attack at the Manchester Arena by 22-year-old Salmon Abedi claimed 22 innocent lives, including that of a girl as young as eight. It comes against the backdrop of the fundamentalists losing territory in Iraq and Syria, leading to a change of focus. Since the attack and the publication of the magazine, eight people were killed during an attack by three fanatics at London Bridge. An editorial in the jihadists' Rumiyah magazine said: 'Just one week before the blessed month of Ramadan, the world’s attention was focused on the British city of Manchester. The piece continued: 'The explosion rocked the city and filled its residents with terror as many of them scrambled to try to contact their loved ones and ensure that they were safe. 'Then, the casualty figures started emerging: More than 20 had been killed and dozens more had been wounded. The total would later climb to nearly 100 dead and wounded.' And the item, which was written before the weekend's One Love Manchester concert, in which performers from around the world showed their defiance to terrorists, claimed the 'enemies of Islam' had failed. It said: 'In the wake of the bombing, the panic-ridden friends and relatives took to social media to enlist the help of strangers in the search for their loved ones, local pubs began offering free booze to emergency personnel in need of clearing their minds of the traumatic scenes they had witnessed, British 'Muslims' came out and offered their token denunciations out of fear of retaliation, massive numbers of police and military personnel were deployed on the streets, the UK threat level was raised to 'Critical,' politicians brought their campaigning for the upcoming general elections to a halt, the distraught and 'broken' American singer placed her European tour on hold and went home, and the Chelsea FC football team cancelled their victory parade in London. 'The enemies of Islam did their best to put on a brave and defiant face, but their efforts were a complete failure. They were clearly suffering.' The terror group has acknowledged that the Manchester attack confirmed the conclusions of analysts who said ISIS was shifting its tactics. But it denied that it had been defeated in Iraq, claiming it was 'regrouping, redoubling its efforts, rekindling the flames of war, recapturing every inch of territory it had lost, and expanding into Sham, Sinai, Khurasan, and multiple other regions around the world'.
United Kingdom/The Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) – The Continuity IRA has called a permanent ceasefire - or at least one half of it has. A message to the Limerick Leader newspaper claims that the group has called an end to its "futile" war against the British state. It thanked clergy and others who have helped it move to peace and said that it now wanted to fight for a united Ireland by peaceful means. However, Republican Sinn Fein, the official political wing of Continuity IRA, was quick to distance itself from the movement and attributed it to a splinter group that formed in 2010. Des Dalton, the president of Republican Sinn Fein, said he believed the statement was issued by the splinter group, which has strong roots in Limerick and the border area. A former leading member of Republican Sinn Fein also said she believed the statement was from this breakaway organisation. This splinter group formed in 2010 following a tussle for the leadership of Republican Sinn Fein and has been heavily involved in punishment attacks on drug dealers. It claims to have taken the vast majority of Continuity IRA members with it and accused the official leadership of deliberately "running down" CIRA and of moving to peace. In 2014, M15 allegedly succeeded in secretly recording several months of the breakaway group's army council meetings at a house in Newry. Seven men - the majority with addresses in the Republic of Ireland - are facing charges as a result. A PSNI officer told a court that the men were "leading key figures" in the breakaway Continuity IRA group. The men deny the charges. In Apr 14, Tommy Crossan (43), the former Belfast leader of the breakaway CIRA, was shot dead in the city. In 2013, a member of the breakaway group, Rose Lynch, was jailed for life for murdering David Darcy, a Dublin man she mistook for a prominent drug dealer. This is the second dissident group to move to peace this year. A leading member of Republican Network for Unity, which is the political wing of Oglaigh na hEireann, announced at Easter that the group is seeking alternatives to violence - a statement backed up by an RNU statement. In the Easter statement, the group acknowledged its poor performance in elections and said that it must listen to ordinary people, who clearly did not have a desire for armed struggle.