Egypt/Hasm, Muslim Brotherhood – Egyptian security forces managed to capture an extremist cell belonging to the Hasm movement with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, including members who were involved in the Nasr City incident which killed three policemen it was reported on the 25 May 17. The Egyptian interior said that were able to arrest the extremists and identify the group’s officials and those responsible for the recruitment, training and financing, as well as the planning and implementation of terror operations targeting the components of the state and its security apparatus. According to the investigation, nine members of the Muslim Brotherhood organization carried out the attack in Nasr City earlier this month. The militants drove by and shot at police stationed at an intersection of the ring road, a busy Cairo expressway, in the city's eastern neighbourhood of Nasr City. Hasm, a group that the government has tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on its official website. The Brotherhood, outlawed by the government in 2013, maintains that it is a peaceful organization. Little is publicly known about Hasm, though it has claimed a handful of attacks over the past year including an attempt on the life of the former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.
Egypt – Masked gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians on a visit to a monastery south of the Egyptian capital on the 26 May 17 killing at least 26 people, officials said. The assailants sprayed the bus headed for Saint Samuel monastery in Minya province with gunfire before fleeing, provincial governor Essam el-Bedawi told state television. "They used automatic weapons," he said. Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that 26 people were killed and another 25 wounded. Bedawi said police were deploying along the road where the attack took place and had set up checkpoints. The shooting followed church bombings in Dec 16 and Apr 17claimed by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group that killed dozens of Copts. The jihadists threatened more attacks against the Copts, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 90-million population. Friday's shooting came after a historic visit to Egypt by Roman Catholic Pope Francis to show solidarity with the country's Christians. Egypt says it has identified those behind the church bombings, saying they were part of an extremist cell based in southern provinces, offering a reward for their capture. Sisi has defended the performance of his security forces and accused jihadists of trying to divide Egyptian society by attacking vulnerable minorities.
Follow-on Report: Egypt launched six air strikes on jihadist camps in Libya on the 26 May 17 after masked gunmen attacked a bus of Coptic Christians south of the Egyptian capital, killing at least 28 people. Assailants in three pick-up trucks attacked the bus as it was heading for the Saint Samuel monastery in Minya province, more than 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Cairo, before fleeing, the interior ministry said. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in a televised address, said Egyptian forces had hit a jihadist training camp in retaliation. State television reported six air strikes against "terror camps in Libya", specifying that jihadist training camps were hit in the eastern Libyan city of Derna. Witnesses there reported four strikes by a single aircraft. "Egypt will not hesitate in striking terror camps anywhere, either inside (the country) or outside it," Sisi said. A spokesman for the pro-Al-Qaeda Majlis Mujahedeen Derna, which controls the city, said the Egyptian air force carried out eight raids on the city without causing casualties. Addressing US President Donald Trump, Sisi said: "You have said that your priority is to confront terrorism, and I trust you are capable of doing that." In a statement released in Washington, Trump said: "The bloodletting of Christians must end, and all who aid their killers must be punished." "Terrorists are engaged in a war against civilisation, and it is up to all who value life to confront and defeat this evil." No group has yet claimed responsibility for attacking the bus.
Follow-on Report (27 May 17): Egypt said on the 27 May 17 attackers who massacred Christians near a monastery had trained in militant camps in Libya which it targeted with air strikes, after the Islamic State group claimed responsibility. The air force loyal to Egypt-backed Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said it had joined the Egyptian air strikes on the 26 May 17 following the attack on Copts that killed 29 people. But the only confirmed strikes appear to have hit a pro-Al-Qaeda group in the Libyan city of Derna that has fought against ISIS. ISIS said on Saturday that its fighters had ambushed the Christians as they were travelling to the Saint Samuel monastery in Egypt’s southern province of Minya.
Ivory Coast – Soldiers who staged a nationwide mutiny in Ivory Coast have reached an agreement with the government on bonus payments and have agreed to return to barracks, ending a revolt that paralysed cities and towns across the country for four days. Two spokesmen for the mutinous troops said on the 16 May 17 that their financial demands had been met. "We accept the government's proposal ... We are returning to barracks now," Sergeant Seydou Kone told Reuters news agency on the 16 May 17. Soldiers in Bouake, the epicentre of the uprising and Ivory Coast's second largest city, have withdrawn into their bases, and cocoa exporters in the economic capital of Abidjan resumed business after a one-day closure. "We've just handed back control of the entrances to the city [Bouake] to the police and gendarmes this morning, and we're returning to our barracks," another spokesman for the group said. Residents in towns across the country affected by the mutiny said that calm had largely returned and that banks and stores had reopened. According to spokesmen, the proposal accepted by the soldiers means 8,400 will receive an immediate bonus payment of 5m CFA francs ($8,400). Another 2m francs will then be paid at the end of next month.
Kenya/al-Shabaab – At least three Kenyan police officers have been killed when their vehicle hit a landmine near the country's eastern border with Somalia, according to a senior official on the 24 May 17. The officers were part of a three-vehicle early morning patrol heading to the border town of Liboi when their truck hit an improvised explosive device (IED), North Eastern regional commissioner Mohamud Ali Saleh said. Somalia's al-Shabaab armed group claimed responsibility for the attack. "We destroyed the police car. Some died and others were injured," Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab's military spokesperson said. The Kenyan Red Cross said on Twitter eight officers had been wounded. The latest attack came just a day after Joseph Bionnet, inspector general of police, warned that some members of the armed group had sneaked into Kenya and were planning attacks. "The militants have found it difficult to carry out attacks as they used to because all the entry points along the border have been closed. They have now resorted to planting IEDs at selected roads just to target our security officers," Saleh said.
Libya – An attack on an airbase in southern Libya has killed at least 141 people, mostly soldiers loyal to military leader Khalifa Haftar's self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), a spokesman for his forces said. LNA's Ahmad al-Mismari said on the 19 May 17 that members of a militia loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli had carried out summary executions during the assault. The victims also included civilians who worked at the Brak al-Shati airbase or were in the nearby area, he said. "The soldiers were returning from a military parade. They weren't armed. Most of them were executed," he said. The GNA denied ordering the attack, which it condemned. It set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the attack late on on the 19 May 17 and suspended defence minister, Mahdi al-Barghathi, pending an outcome of the investigation. Jamal al-Treiki, the head of GNA's Third Force militia, accused of carrying out the attack, was also suspended. The LNA does not recognise the authority of the GNA, and instead supports rival authorities based in the east. It has promised a "strong" response to the attack. Martin Kobler, the UN envoy to Libya, has voiced "outrage" at reports of fatalities. He suggested that if the reports were true, the "unprovoked attack" could amount to war crimes and may be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. Aguila Saleh, the speaker of the eastern-based parliament, accused the GNA's Third Force of a "serious breach" of a truce agreement reached between Haftar and unity government head Fayez al-Sarraj in Abu Dhabi on May 2. Following the reconciliation talks, both men said they had agreed to put an end to violence in southern Libya, where tribes and militias vie for control of lucrative smuggling routes with neighbouring Chad, Niger and Sudan. Saleh said he has ordered the armed forces "to take the measures necessary to respond to the assault and defend the south and cleanse it of all outlaw militias". His comments prompted alarm in Tripoli, with the GNA calling for an immediate ceasefire in the south.
Libya/Ansar al-Sharia – The Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and deemed a terrorist organisation by the UN and United States, announced its "dissolution" in a communique published online on the 27 May 17. Washington accuses the group of being behind the 11 Sep 12 attack on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in which ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Ansar al-Sharia is one of the jihadist groups that sprung up in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, in the chaos following the death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. They overran the city in 2014. East Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar earlier this month launched an offensive to oust jihadist fighters from their two remaining strongholds in Benghazi. In its communiqué Ansar al-Sharia said it had been "weakened" by the fighting. The group lost its leader, Mohammed Azahawi, in clashes with Haftar's forces in Benghazi at the end of 2014. Most of its members then defected to the so-called Islamic State group. Ansar al-Sharia later joined the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, a local alliance of Islamist militias. At its zenith, Ansar al-Sharia was present in Benghazi and Derna in eastern Syria, with offshoots in Sirte and Sabratha, western Libya. The organisation took over barracks and other sites abandoned by the ousted Kadhafi forces and transformed them into training grounds for hundreds of jihadists seeking to head to Iraq or Syria.
Somalia/Da’esh – The Islamic State group has claimed its first suicide attack in Somalia that left five dead as it steps up activities in a region dominated by the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab. The group's self-styled news agency Amaq claimed the "martyrdom-seeking operation with an explosive vest" in a statement carried by the SITE Intelligence Group which noted it was the first suicide bombing by the militants in Somalia. The suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest at a checkpoint in the north-eastern port city of Bosaso late on the 23 May 17 situated in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. "Security forces stopped the suspect when he approached but he detonated himself leaving five people dead. One of the security officers and four civilians were killed in the blast," said local police official Mohamed Dahir Adan. The blast occurred near a hotel often used as a meeting place for local officials, witnesses said. "I think the bomber was trying to target the hotel but he was stopped at the checkpoint close to the hotel and he decided to detonate his explosives," said witness Awke Mohamed. The region has often come under attack by Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants and is also home to a breakaway group of fighters who have declared allegiance to IS. However the group has so far failed to gather much support while the Shabaab has taking pains to purge those expressing pro-IS sentiment from their ranks. The militants are led by former Shabaab cleric Abdiqadir Mumin who switched allegiance from Al-Qaeda to IS in Oct 15 and was named a "global terrorist" by the US State Department in August. Aside from issuing occasional promotional videos, the group seized the small fishing town of Qandala before being ousted by Puntland forces in Dec 16. Then in Feb 17 IS claimed an attack by gunmen on a hotel in Bosaso which left four security guards dead. Rashid Abdi of the International Crisis Group, said that while Mumin's group was stepping up its activities, the Shabaab remained the biggest threat in the region. Mumin was born in Puntland and lived in Sweden before moving to the UK in the 2000s, where he was granted British citizenship. In London and Leicester, he developed a reputation as a firebrand preacher at extremist mosques and in videos posted online. Monitored by MI5, Britain's domestic intelligence agency, Mumin is thought to have known Mohamed Emwazi, the IS executioner nicknamed 'Jihadi John', and Michael Adebolajo, one of two people convicted over the 2013 murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in London. In 2010, Mumin travelled to Somalia to join the Shabaab, which both Emwazi and Adebolajo had unsuccessfully tried to do. He initially served as an imam and propagandist before taking control of the Puntland faction of the Shabaab and later defecting to IS with a handful of fighters despite lacking battlefield experience. Observers say his supporters are mostly made up of members of his own Majerteen clan, and the very existence of Mumin's group is attributed to complex local clan rivalries. The International Crisis Group estimated in Nov 16 that his group counted some 200 members and warned the threat of IS could not be "dismissed as insignificant". The group called for a "genuine political initiative to address local clan grievances".