Egypt – Egyptian on the 8 Jul 14 banned all activities of Hamas, a Palestinian offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas has been in control of the Gaza Strip since summer 2007. In Dec 13 the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group, freezing its assets, making membership in the group a crime, and banning all its political activities. The Egyptian military, now holding effective power in Egypt, has always regarded Hamas as a security threat, accusing the group of supporting Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula and Islamists radicals inside Egypt.
Egypt/Israel – Egyptian security thwarted on the 13 Jul 14 an attempt to launch two rockets from Sinai at Israel it was reported as the Jewish state came under rocket fire from both its northern neighbours Syria and Lebanon. The security operation in Sinai came shortly after at least one rocket was fired from Syria at the Israeli occupied Golan Heights in the north. The attacks from Lebanon and Syria have coincided with an Israeli offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. 361 COMMENT: This maybe the Sinai group joining in supporting HAMAS or with encouragement from those that are responsible for firing rockets into Israel to widen the conflict. If the conflict was widened then HAMAS would then turn the propaganda war back towards Israel claiming how it has been wronged even though the group claims to have no responsibility and control over those who fire the rockets. This may well be out of convenience. On the other side of the coin with Egypt thwarting an attack, this may well bring them under the spotlight for supporting Israel’s stance against HAMAS, either way Egypt cannot win. COMMENT ENDS
Kenya – At least 29 people have been killed in two deadly shooting attacks in Kenya's coastal districts. Witnesses said heavily armed men raided a trading centre in the village of Hindi, in Lamu county, and a police station in Gamba, Tana River county, overnight on the 5 Jul 14. The Somali militant Islamist group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility. They claimed they were attacking because Muslim lands were being taken. Terrorists broke into the town's police station, reportedly freeing at least one suspect who had been detained over a deadly al-Shabaab-claimed attack two weeks ago. The police were unsure how many detainees had been released.
British tourists should avoid all but essential travel to Kenya's popular tourist destination of Lamu and the surrounding area, the British Foreign Office said in an update to its travel advice and was published on the 12 Jul 14. More than 80 people have been killed in a series of attacks over the past four weeks that have terrorized the population on the mainland opposite the Lamu archipelago. Al-Qaeda-linked militant’s al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were carried out as revenge against Kenya's military operations in Somalia. Although hotels and houses catering to western tourists on the Lamu archipelago have not been targeted, Britain's latest travel warning against the Kenyan coast is likely to damage further the country's vital tourism industry. The updated advisory – which stresses "a high threat of terrorism" – came just days after gunmen attacked another village in Lamu County, torching houses and stealing weapons, food and medical suppliers. The Kenyan government condemned an earlier Foreign Office warning that Britons should avoid some Indian Ocean beach resorts and the port city of Mombasa, saying that "unfriendly" advisories played into the hands of terrorists. Other countries including America, France and Australia have also issued advisories against travel to certain parts of Kenya. Rising insecurity, that began with the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi in Sep 13 and followed by a series of smaller-scale bombings and grenade attacks linked to militant groups, has undermined visitor confidence.
Libya – Libya's government says it has resumed control of two eastern oil terminals, Ras Lanuf and Sidra, that were seized in 2013. The government said the move, which resulted from an agreement with the rebels, ended the country's oil crisis. Rebels originally seized four terminals as they demanded more regional autonomy. The two other ports were returned to the government in April 14. This will greatly assist the world’s oil prices and bring down prices which have escalated due to the Iraqi crisis.
Rebels from the Zintan region who control the international airport have been attacked by a rival group trying to take over the area in which Tripoli airport is situated it was reported on the 13 Jul 14. Flights had been suspended amid reports of heavy shelling and gunfire. Although some of the rival militias who attacked the airport road are known as Islamists - this is not a clear-cut battle of ideologies. At the heart of this fighting is a turf war between militias that has been brewing in the capital for a long time. Tripoli is divided along district lines with local militias controlling their areas and others from outside the capital who at different times were on various government payrolls. But there has long been a belief that those who control key instillations are the ones who yield the most power over the capital. Zintan fighters seized control of the airport and surrounding areas, 30km (18 miles) south of Tripoli, shortly after Col Gaddafi's 42-year-rule came to an end. It was not clear who the attacking rebels are, but Libyan media report they call themselves the Stability and Security Force. Armed vehicles massed in the area overnight before fighting broke out at dawn. Reports had surfaced regarding recent threats from various militias wanting to seize the airport area. As usual the situation in Libya remains unstable as a complex web of armed groups, which emerged from the aftermath of the civil war are fighting for power. Analysts believe that the rebels are seen by Libyans as both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, in the absence of an effective army, they provide security across much of the country and protect the borders.
The United Nations said on the 14 Jul 14 that it was withdrawing its staff from Libya temporarily because of deteriorating security after rival militias fought over Tripoli International Airport and a renegade general's forces continued to battle Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Ninety percent of the planes parked at Libya’s Tripoli International Airport had been destroyed after shelling attacks on the site it was reported on the 15 Jul 14. The government has studied the possibility to bring international forces to enhance security. It was not immediately clear how many planes were destroyed, but the airport serves as the main hub for several Libyan carriers. Tripoli is witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since the ouster of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, as rival militias fight for control of its airport. On the 14 Jul the capital’s international airport was hit by a salvo of rockets; several Grad rockets hit the airport, damaging the control tower.
Nigeria – Dozens were killed after a Boko Haram car bomb attack in north-eastern city of Maiduguri, the birthplace of Islamist militant group it was reported on the 1 Jul 14. In May 13 the Nigerian president announced a state of emergency in three north-eastern states, and the Nigerian military deployed tens of thousands of troops to the area in an effort to fight Boko Haram. That campaign has been a complete failure. The extremists have been attacking with more frequency and deadliness in recent months, defying assurances by Nigerian security forces and government that they were getting the situation under control.
Three women have been arrested in Nigeria for recruiting female members for the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram it was reported on the 4 Jul 14. The women are said to have targeted widows and young girls, promising them marriage to Boko Haram members. The Nigerian military claims that the militant group now has a female wing. Last month, a female suicide bomber died when she tried to attack a barracks in Gombe State - the first case of its kind in Nigeria. The bomb detonated as she was being searched at a security checkpoint. One soldier was also killed. Women have also been among those detained in mass arrests in cities like Maiduguri in northern Nigeria, a region where Boko Haram enjoys a measure of support. It is thought that the three recent arrests of females was because they were members of an intelligence cell.
At least 50 alleged insurgents were killed during fighting with Nigerian soldiers as security forces repelled an attack on a military base in the north-eastern state of Borno it was reported on the 6 Jul 14. Six soldiers, including the commanding officer, died in the assault on the 4 Jul 14 on a base and a nearby police station in the town of Damboa. The move appeared to be a reprisal attack after a punishing air raid 24 hours earlier caused Boko Haram Islamic extremists to suffer heavy casualties it was thought.
Nigerian police warned on the 12 Jul 14 of a new wave terrorist attacks on the capital Abuja, where more than 100 people have been killed in bombings since Apr 14. Officers claimed they had “credible intelligence reports” of suicide attacks being planned on the city’s transport system, with terrorists also plotting to detonate improvised explosive devices concealed in luggage, bags and cans. The Islamist Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility for killing 75 people in the bombing of the main bus station at Nyanya, on the outskirt of Abuja, on the 14 Apr 14. A car bomb at the same spot two weeks later killed 19 and left 80 others injured, while 21 people were killed on 25 Jun at a crowded Abuja shopping centre in other attacks blamed on the sect. “The terrorists have perfected a plot to carry out attacks on the Abuja transport sector,” the police said in a statement on the 12 Jul. It urged people to be vigilant, and said that security forces were working to “deal with the threat”.
Suspected Islamic extremists bombed a major bridge on a northeast Nigerian highway, further limiting access to base camps in the Sambisa Forest where scores of kidnapped girls are believed to be held captive, witnesses and the leader of a group fighting Boko Haram said on the 14 Jul 14. Gunmen destroyed most of the bridge on the road between Maiduguri and Biu on night of the 12 Jul 14 the spokesman for the Nigerian Vigilante Group, Abbas Gava said. The reports come as a new video shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau crowing over recent victories including two explosions at a fuel depot in Lagos that the government tried to cover up. It would be the first reported bombing by Boko Haram in Lagos — Nigeria's commercial capital, an Atlantic port and probably the continent's most populous city with some 20 million people. At least four people died in the 25 Jun 14 blasts, including an alleged female suicide. Nigeria's government, which often plays down insurgent attacks, said there was one explosion caused by a gas cylinder. But diplomats said there was clear evidence of a car bomb exploding on the crowded road outside the depot, backed up with tankers, and of a person at the entrance gate believed to be a woman wearing a suicide bomb vest. "We were responsible for the bomb in Kano, in Plateau. We were the ones that sent a female bomber to the refinery in Lagos," Shekau says of other recent bombing in the video. He also repeats his demand that President Goodluck Jonathan release detained insurgents in exchange for more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped three months ago. Boko Haram attacks have increased in numbers and casualties since the kidnappings, despite Nigerian military claims that they have the situation under control.
Somalia – A suicide car bomb has killed at least five people in an attack at the entrance of the Somali parliament it was reported on the 5 Jul 14. The blast killed at least three soldiers and two civilians a sixth person was shot dead by soldiers as he drove past the attack. There was a large explosion which was thought to be a suicide vehicle bomb. The terrorist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab, al-Shabaab's spokesman for military operations stated, "this is our second attack against the parliament building and we shall continue it." Al-Shabaab gunmen and suicide bombers killed 10 people in an attack on the parliament in May. Al-Shabab killed Mohamed Mohamud Hayd, a senior MP, and wounded another politician in a drive-by shooting in the Somali capital on the 3 Jul 14. There was also a report several days later stating that the group had attacked and infiltrated the presidential compound. The president was not at the palace at the time.
Uganda – At least 58 people were killed after gunmen launched a co-ordinated attack on police stations and military barracks in Uganda it was reported on the 6 Jul 14. The dead included 41 gunmen and 17 police and civilians. The attacks took place in the west of Uganda, near the border with DR Congo. The army said the attacks were caused by a dispute between rival ethnic groups, but there are fears over the possible resurgence of a Ugandan rebel movement based in eastern DR Congo. The attacks targeted security forces in the districts of Kasese, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo. An army spokesman said the attacks were not connected to the Islamist ADF rebel group, which was last active in the area more than a decade ago. "What we know is that this militia is not linked with ADF-NALU (see below) but we're studying them to establish their motives and their backers," an army spokesman reported. Seventeen gunmen were arrested and are being questioned in custody, the police said.
ADF-NALU – The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is a rebel group opposed to the Ugandan government. It is based in western Uganda with rear bases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It began as a minor group in the forested Ruwenzori mountain range along the border in 1996, but expanded its activities over the next several years. As of 2004, the ADF had been largely destroyed by the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF). Remnants fled to Eastern DRC where they established camps in Mwalika, Bundiguya and Eringeti areas. In Feb and Mar 14 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Government Forces reportedly launched operations against ADF-NALU in Beni. The UN Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) was expected to support the offensive aimed at neutralizing these rebels, who had been very active in this zone. In Apr 13, it was reported that ADF started a recruitment campaign in Kampala and other parts of the country. Citing a defector from ADF, "allAfrica" reported that some 10 new recruits joined ADF forces every day. In Jul 13 the ADF renewed its fighting in the Congolese district of Beni. According to the UN Radio Okapi, the ADF together with the NALU, fought a pitched battle with the FARD, briefly taking the towns of Mamundioma and Totolito. On the 11 Jul the ADF attacked the town of Kamango, triggering the flight of over 60,000 refugees across the border into the Ugandan district of Bundibugyo. Early in Sep 13, regional leaders under the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) asked the recently formed combative Intervention Brigade under MONUSCO to attack positions of foreign negative forces operating in DRC, including the ADF. In late Sept 13, 3 people were killed and 30 abducted during an ADF attack in the Watalinga Sector, North Kivu, DR Congo. Omar Kavota, the vice president and spokesman of the local civil society in North Kivu condemned the abductions. According to the civil society, the abductees also included eight miners.
Uganda/United States – The U.S. embassy in Uganda warned on the 3 Jul 14 of a “specific threat” by an unknown group to attack the international airport serving the capital Kampala. “The U.S. embassy has received information from the Uganda police force that according to intelligence sources there is a specific threat to attack Entebbe International Airport by an unknown terrorist group today (3 Jul 14) between the hours of 2100-2300 (1800 GMT to 2000 GMT),” the statement said. Although it did not name any group, al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents have claimed recent attacks in Kenya and Djibouti. Uganda has troops in Somalia as part of the African Union force fighting the Shabaab and is on high alert amid fears of attacks by the Islamist militants. It also warned its citizens of a general threat of attacks which could target hotels, restaurants, clubs, malls, diplomatic missions, government buildings and transport.