A small bomb exploded in the vicinity of the main presidential palace in the Egyptian capital on the 30 Jun 14 killing a police colonel and wounding three street cleaners.
The blast came days after a militant Islamist group warned it had planted bombs near the Ittihadiya palace in east Cairo, and claimed it did not set them off to avoid civilian casualties. The attack occurred on the day Egypt is preparing for celebrations to mark the anniversary of 30 Jun protests last year which lead to the ouster of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi. No group had claimed responsibility at the time of writing.
Kenya – Further to the report on this terrorist incident on the 15 Jun 14 when dozens of extremists attacked a Kenyan coastal town they were killing those who couldn't answer questions about Islam and those who didn't know the Somali language it was reported on the 17 Jun 14. This bares a striking resemblance to the Nairobi terrorist attack by al-Shabaab on the 21 Sep 14.
Al-Shabaab fighters have killed at least 15 people in a second night of attacks on Kenya's coast, barely 24 hours after an attack near the coastal town Mpeketoni left at least 48 people dead it was reported on the 17 Jun 14. However, a spokesman of the Somalia-based armed group claimed on the 16 Jun 14 to have killed 20 people, mostly security officers, in the overnight attack on Poromoko, a village located between the city of Mombasa and the Kenyan border. Al-Shabaab also said it would continue its campaign in East Africa's largest economy, saying they want to punish the government for sending troops to Somalia to confront their fighters. Al-Shabaab said it targeted Mpeketoni on Sunday because it was originally a Muslim area that was "invaded and occupied by Christian settlers". "The prospect of peace and stability in Kenya will be but a distant mirage," the al-Shabaab statement said. "Brace yourself for the depredations of war and that which you have with your hands sown." 361 COMMENT: Although the terrorist group have spoken a lot of words, they are actually carrying out their spoken promises. If the Kenyan government is not careful it may end up the same way as Nigeria especially around the border between Somalia and Kenya. The group will also attempt to sway those who have no jobs or the prospect of having any that it would be worth joining the group, training and then returning to carryout attacks as a way of attempting to persuade the government to change direction to domestic issues rather than tourism. The other possibility is they maybe attempting too cause unrest between various groups in order to start some form of sectarian violence. COMMENT ENDS
On the 18 Jun 14 it was reported that the back-to-back attacks close to Kenya’s coast that killed 60 people over two days were the work of local political activists and not international terrorists, Kenya’s president has said. In a live televised statement, Uhuru Kenyatta ignored claims from Somalia’s al-Qaeda army that it was behind the raids and instead attempted to shore up his political standing by blaming opposing politicians. He said “local political networks” had arranged the “ethnic violence” to force people from Mr. Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribe from the town that was targeted, Mpeketoni near Lamu. He named no one and gave no details of investigations against anyone. Kenya’s government is aggressively selling the country as a holiday destination to new markets in Asia, which will help cushion losses from Britain, Europe and the US. The number of Britons visiting Kenya fell from a peak of 203,290 in 2011 to 149,699 last year, the KTB said. Between 2009 and 2012, the number of visitors from China more than doubled from 20,339 to 41,303, although the figure dipped slightly in 2013.
One of Africa’s last 'great tuskers’, elephants with ivory weighing over 100lbs, has been poisoned to death by poachers in Kenya after years of adapting his behaviour to hide himself from humans it was reported on the 14 Jun 14. The bull, named Satao and likely born in the late 1960s, succumbed to wounds from poison darts in a remote corner of Tsavo National Park where he had migrated to find fresh water after recent storms. His carcass yesterday lay with its face and great tusks hacked off, four legs splayed where he fell with his last breath. The elephant’s killing is the latest in a massive surge of poaching of the mammals for their ivory across Africa. African terrorist groups and those involved in drugs are aware that there is a great demand for ivory especially in the East. With governments clamping down and banning the selling of ivory it is now left to poachers from terrorist groups to kill the animals for their ivory which they can then sell at a high price to fund their illegal activities.
Somalia's al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab has warned tourists visiting Kenya that they did so "at their own peril" and should "stay away or suffer the bitter consequences of their folly" because the country was "a war zone". It was the Islamists' strongest threat yet to foreigners in Kenya, and came on the 16 Nov 14 as they claimed responsibility for the deadliest terror strike on its neighbour's soil since the Westgate Shopping Centre attack in Sep 13.
Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Mus'ab, spokesperson for the Al-Shabaab search operations has declared that the Al-Qaeda linked terrorist group has opened bases and battlegrounds in Kenya it was reported on the 18 Jun 14. Abu Mus'ab said that if Kenyan Defence Forces did not withdraw their presence in Somalia, the implemented bases in which the terrorist insurgents will control internal attacks. "In our latest attacks you have seen the fatalities we caused to our enemies and others can expect to be hurt too." He said various terrorism attacks have been staged in Kenya very recently which has resulted in severe fatalities. Kenyan government officials have accused Al-Shabaab for being responsible for those attacks.
The United States said on the 21 Sep 14 it was evacuating some of its Kenyan embassy staff due to security risks in the wake of attacks by Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants that left dozens dead. Travel restrictions have been put into place for government personnel and "based on the recent changes in Kenya's security situation, the embassy is also relocating some staff to other countries," the State Department said. However, despite the evacuations, the Nairobi-based embassy would "remain open for normal operations," it said. The State Department warned US citizens of the risks of travelling to the African country, also urging those already there to "evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime in some areas." "The US government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at US, Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya," it said. "Although the pursuit of those responsible for previous terrorist activities continues, many of those involved remain at large and still operate in the region."
Kenyan fighter aircraft have attacked two bases belonging to al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia and killed at least 80 of them, according to African Union (AU) troops deployed there it was reported on the 23 Jun 14. Al-Shabaab denied any of its fighters had been killed in Monday's reported air strikes. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), whose soldiers launched a new offensive against al-Shabaab this year, said the Kenyan jets carried out the raids on Anole and Kuday in Somalia's southern Lower Jubba region. It did not say when they took place. "The air strikes in Anole left more than 30 al-Shabaab fighters dead, three technical vehicles and one Land Cruiser loaded with ammunition destroyed," AMISOM said. More than 50 fighters were killed in the Kuday raid, it said. Responding to the AMISOM statement, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al- Shabaab's spokesman for military operations, said the group did not have any bases in the area of the raids, which it said took place on Thursday (date cannot be clarified). AMISOM says al-Shabaab has lost control of more than 10 major towns in the ongoing offensive by its troops, including soldiers from Uganda, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Burundi and Sierra Leone. "AMISOM continues to up the pressure on al-Shabaab with a view to liberating more areas in forthcoming operations," the force said. Officials and diplomats have said towns cleared of al-Shabaab are in a dire state, with food stocks emptied and largely abandoned by their inhabitants, creating what one envoy described as "ghost towns". They say al-Shabaab still controls tracts of countryside, making it difficult for supplies to be moved to the towns.
Officials said an armed gang descended on the village of Witu, about 15km (9 miles) from the town of Mpeketoni on the 24 Jun 14. No group has said it carried out the latest attack. Lamu County Commissioner Stephen Ikua confirmed on the 24 Jun that there had been a new "unfortunate attack" overnight.
The United Nations Environment Program says that environmental crime is helping to finance criminal, militia and terrorists groups it was reported on the 27 Jun 14. A new report released the 24 Jun 14 said that the terror group al-Shabaab makes between $38 million and $56 million per year in illegal charcoal. Other groups make between $4 million and $12 million a year by trafficking elephant ivory. And the most lucrative environmental crime is illegal logging, which the report said is worth between $30 billion and $100 billion annually. Achim Steiner, the head of UNEP, called the report a "sad story" that threatens communities and economies. He said a more systematic and systemic response is needed because of the transnational nature of the threat. The report was released during the first ever United Nations Environmental Assembly, a weeklong conference in Kenya.
Nigeria – “The Nigerian Security services had received intelligence report to the effect that insurgents intends seizing petrol tankers and plant improvised devices in the tankers and drive them to crowded places in Abuja it was reported in the Osun Defender a Nigerian newspaper on the 18 Jun 14. “Against this backdrop, we hereby call on the Petrol Tankers Association to be on the red alert and advise their members to report any attempt or seizure of their vehicles to security agencies. “In this wise, Nigerians are also advised to report any broken down tanker in any part of the territory to security agencies. Similarly, we are using this opportunity to appeal to the public to be on the alert particularly when they see any tanker driving dangerously.” He said
Twenty-one people were confirmed killed in yet another bomb explosion that rocked a major shopping mall in Wuse 2, Abuja, on the 25 Jun 14. Seventeen others were injured while the explosion also damaged 17 vehicles. Reports said a terror suspect who was caught with a second bomb was arrested and another died while fleeing the scene. The latest explosion is coming about two months after a twin bomb blast similarly killed 75 people and wounded several others at Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on 14 Apr 14. Less than three weeks later in May another bomb was to went off also at Nyanya, killing several people and wounding many others. The extremist Boko Haram Islamic sect had claimed responsibility for the two successive explosions. The 25 Jun 14 bomb went off at Emab Plaza, a busy shopping mall in the highbrow area of the FCT on Aminu Kano Crescent.
On the 29 Jun 14 Suspected terrorists from Boko Harem barged their way into four churches in the village of Kwada shooting worshippers and then setting the churches on fire. Although there are many attacks carried out by the group it is raising concerns regarding the Nigerian armies’ ability to secure the area and their pledge on improving security in the area where the terrorists move around with impunity.
Somalia – A doctor was killed on the 18 Jun 14 and two others injured when a car bomb exploded at Keysansey Hospital in northern Mogadishu. The bomb is believed to have been attached to a car belonging to a doctor at the hospital, which is run by the Somali Red Crescent Society with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Mogadishu has been hit by a string of attacks by al-Shabaab militants. This is an unusual incident as this appears to be an Under Vehicle Improvised Explosive Device (UVIED) which was common in Northern Ireland and used by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and not seen in many other places. (However, without a proper Weapons Intelligence Report it is difficult to assess the type of UVIED was used). As vehicle searches get much better when entering facilities this maybe a case of the searchers not performing their tasks correctly. It also may mean that the terrorists have exploited a weakness in security and noticed that the doctor was waved in rather than being checked.
At least two Djiboutian soldiers and two al-Shabaab fighters were killed in an attack on a hotel used by African Union troops in Somalia it was reported on the 26 Jun 14. The attack happened at the Amalow hotel in Buulobarde on the 26 Jun. Al-Shabaab fighters hurled explosives at the entrance before exchanging fire with Somali and African Union troops at the hotel. The gunmen failed to enter the compound but had killed two Djiboutians. Two al-Shabaab fighters dressed in military fatigues or uniform were also killed. Al-Shabaab meanwhile said it had killed six AU soldiers. "Our well-armed Mujahedeen ... entered Hotel Amalow in Bulobarde again. They are carrying out the operations, shootings," Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab's spokesman for military operation told Reuters news agency. Al-Shabaab killed several Djibouti soldiers in an attack at the same hotel in Mar 14. The attack involved a 60-year-old Norwegian suicide bomber and at least a dozen heavily armed fighters, al-Shabaab said.
Former members of Hizbul Islam, which split from al-Shabaab in 2012, have formed a new political party called “Istiqlaal”, Somalia's it was reported on the 23 Jun 14. Sheikh Mohamed Moalim, former foreign affairs secretary for Hizbul Islam and now the chairman of Istiqlaal, said his party would pursue non-violent engagement in Somali politics. He said the party would engage in peaceful negotiations with the Somali government. Hizbul Islam has been inactive since it split from al-Shabaab and formally renounced violence in 2013. Hizbul Islam's founder Hassan Dahir Aweys, who fled from al-Shabaab and surrendered to the government after he formally renounced the militant group, has been under house arrest since June 2013. (361 COMMENT: It is possible that this newly formed group could be the political wing of al-Shabaab. COMMENT ENDS)
An explosive device was initiated in a busy market in the capital of Somalia on the 30 Jun 14. At the time of writing no group had taken responsibility for the terrorist attack but indicators point to al-Shabaab. The terrorist group had previously vowed to carry out a series of attacks during Ramadan which started on the 29 Jun 14. Also on the 29 Jun 14, al-Shabaab had shot dead three people and stated that this was the start of the groups Ramadan campaign, therefore the attack on the market will probably have been conducted by the group.