Cameroon – On the 19 Jan 15 it was reported that at least 80 people had been abducted and three others killed in a cross-border raid in northern Cameroon by the Nigerian armed group Boko Haram. The attack occurred in the village of Mabass, in the Far North region, Cameroon's Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said. He said three 80 houses were destroyed some of the hostages were children. The raid came a day after neighbouring Chad deployed troops to combat Boko Haram in Cameroon and Nigeria, as part of a regional bid to combat the group. Concern is growing that Boko Haram is expanding its operations into neighbouring countries. Cameroon came under attack on the 12 Jan 15 when it said its troops repelled a raid by Boko Haram on a northern military base. The group has been recruiting fighters in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, and recently issued a video threatening Paul Biya, Cameroon's president.
Egypt – One person was killed by a car bomb, parked near a police station by suspected Islamist militants, in the Egyptian city of Alexandria early on the 27 Jan 15. The attack was on Egypt's second-biggest. Security sources also said that unknown assailants had attacked a police station in western Alexandria with Molotov cocktails, setting it alight. 361 COMMENT: These attacks maybe the result of those that were killed in recent anti-government demonstrations. On the other hand they maybe a coordinated effort by a terrorist group. COMMENT ENDS.
At least 26 people, mostly soldiers, have been killed in a series of attacks (29 Jan 15) by Islamist militants in the north of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula it was reported on the 30 Jan 15. Militant group Sinai Province, which changed its named from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis when it pledged allegiance to Islamic State, said it carried out the "extensive, simultaneous" attacks. Security officials said rockets were first fired at police offices, a military base and a military hotel in El-Arish, before a car bomb exploded at the rear gate of the military base. Several army checkpoints in the city were also targeted.
Libya – Gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Libya's capital, killing at least 11 people, including three guards and five foreigners, before blowing themselves up after being surrounded by security. The attack, which included the use of a car bomb, struck the popular Corinthia Hotel, which sits along the Mediterranean Sea and is a major hub for diplomatic and government activity in Tripoli. The government in Tripoli said the attack's target was Prime Minister Omar al-Hassi, who normally resides at the hotel but was not there at the time. A senior US State Department official confirmed that a US citizen was among those killed in the attack, but did not provide further details. A French national and three citizens of a former Soviet republic also were killed. He said an investigation was under way and the car used by the gunmen is believed to be the same one used in an assault on the Algerian Embassy 10 days ago that wounded three guards. According to security sources at the scene, the attack began when four armed men detonated a car bomb in front of the hotel, killing a guard, before rushing inside. The gunmen entered the hotel and then went straight to the upper floor. They used hand grenades and AK47s. In a brief statement on Twitter, the Tripoli branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group claimed the attack, the SITE Intelligence monitoring group said. 361 COMMENT: This attack was well planned and executed. There was a slight problem with their intelligence as they were hoping that the Prime Minister would be in residence. During the attack the terrorists made their way straight to the top floor which would indicate that they thought their intended target would be there. If this is an attack by the Libyan Islamic State this would also indicate that they are attempting to spread their wings and are now not in a training and observing capacity. COMMENT ENDS
Mali – Jihadists in Mali have attacked two towns in the last 24 hours, leaving at least four dead in the restive African country reports claim on the 17 Jan 15. Suspected al Qaeda militants struck the United Nation's base in Kidal in the north with a complex assault. Two suicide car combs and a rocket barrage left at least one Chadian peacekeeper dead. The second attack occurred yesterday in the central Malian town of Teninkou and left two Malian soldiers and one civilian dead. The assault began when around 20 gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on Malian soldiers manning a checkpoint near the entrance of the city. The fire-fight lasted for about three hours before the jihadists withdrew. While most reports state that three people were killed, other sources have claimed that casualties were much higher. No group has yet to take responsibility for the attack but al Qaeda-linked forces are suspected to be the perpetrators. On the 8 Jan 15 al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al Qaeda's official branch in North Africa, assaulted a military base in Teninkou. No one was injured in the attack, but it was said to have been a probing operation to test the response of the Malian military. That incident followed two other attacks in central Mali that occurred less than a week apart. On the 7 Jan 15 AQIM attacked the nearby town of Djoura before quickly retreating, leaving one civilian dead. And on the 5 Jan 15 AQIM assaulted a Malian military base in the town of Nampala close to the Mauritanian border, killing seven troops. Jihadists in Mali and neighbouring states have increased their operations despite an ongoing French-led counterterrorism mission. The al Qaeda groups in Mali appear to have regrouped and re-equipped in recent months. According to Malijet, AQIM is pursuing a new strategy for central Mali. The strategy includes using the Wagadou Forest as a base of operations to conduct offensives on nearby towns. The jihadist group used the forest in this manner before being forced out by Malian and Mauritanian forces in 2011. Other jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda have also conducted attacks recently in northern Mali. Al Murabitoon, which was formed from the merger between the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and Mokhtar Belmokhtar's al Mulathameen Brigade, has conducted several recent assaults near Gao and Ansongo. Ansar Dine, the local wing of AQIM, is thought to have been behind the 10 Jan attack near Kidal that left seven Senegalese peacekeepers wounded.
Nigeria/Niger/Chad/Cameroon – The leader of terror group Boko Haram has threatened more massacres and war on neighbouring countries in a new rant-filled video it was reported on the 22 Jan 15. Abubakar Shekau says that the recent mass killings in Nigeria by the group, were just the tip of the iceberg and that more deaths are coming. He also threatened war against Niger, Cameroon and Chad for having sympathy with France in the wake of the Paris terror attacks on the satirical French magazine and also burns the Nigerian flag. In the footage, which had been posted to Youtube, Shekau can be seen wearing a camouflage coat and reading from a script flanked by two men covering their faces holding weapons. He then explains that the group takes responsibility for the mass killings in the Baga before taunting the leaders of Niger, Cameroon and Chad. Shekau says: 'Muhammed Yusuf, the president of Niger, so you too have the temerity of coming out to pay sympathy visit to Francois Holland the President of France. 'Is this your true character? Muhammed Yusuf, you have amazed us. You shall soon see our wrath, very soon. 'And you, Paul Biya, the president of Cameroon. Now you are asking for foreign assistance; please don’t waste your time because God is more than all the help you will get. 'And even you Idris Debby, you are not spared. You guys have acted too late, very late.' Shekau adds: 'Jonathan you are in trouble. All governors of Nigeria are in trouble. All these war equipment that you see being displayed in the screen are gotten from Baga and Doro. 'Your army kept deceiving the world that you can’t fight us because you have no arms. Liars! You have all that it takes; you are just coward soldiers. 'You forgot that it is God that arms. Is it not amazing that we, who started with sticks and machetes, are today the biggest headache to the almighty Nigerian soldiers? What a shame.' 'This is just the beginning of the killings; what you've just witnessed is a tip of the iceberg; more deaths are coming. 'This will mark the end of politics and democracy in Nigeria. This is to confirm to you that we carried out the Baga massacre, and we are going to do more.' The video comes after a top security advisor to President Jonathan told an audience in London yesterday that the Nigerian army had 'a lot of cowards'. 361 COMMENT: With the up and coming elections in Nigeria a lot of focus will be on which future government will tackle the terrorist group Boko Haram. The current government has not done a great deal to fight against the terrorist group. The elections will also attract a great deal of violence as BH attempt to disrupt the process. COMMENT ENDS
Somalia – At least five people were killed on the 22 Jan 15 in a suicide car bombing against a hotel in Mogadishu on the eve of a visit to the Somali capital by Turkey's president. Although a Turkish delegation was staying nearby at a hotel none was injured. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab rebels have carried out a string of attacks against high-profile targets in Mogadishu in the past. The attacker drove a car loaded with explosives aiming at the gate of the hotel but could not manage to reach inside. The explosion destroyed the perimeter partially. The attack comes even though Mogadishu, and particularly the area around the presidential palace, has been placed under extra-tight security ahead of Erdogan's visit. 361 COMMENT: This will be an attempt by a terrorist group to stop business investment into the country and also a bid to show that the countries security is not very good and that terrorists can breech any security that has been put in place. COMMENT ENDS