Continue reading the main stoHowever, for days the vice president’s antics brought new attention to just how mixed up and troubled northern Afghanistan is this year. Even without Mr. Dostum in the vanguard, militiamen have been flowing in to fight the Taliban — and increasingly, local officials say, one another. “There were up to 9,000 people gathered here,” Mr. Dostum said in his palace in Jowzjan after meetings with militia commanders. “They wanted to go to Faryab and fight the Taliban. But what can I do? The president does not allow it.” In Faryab Province, a crucial gateway to the north, it is increasingly clear that the injection of such militias, with fluid loyalties, has made the battlefield so chaotic that it reminds many locals of the factional fighting of the 1990s, a bitter conflict that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. The Taliban in the province are numbered at about 3,000 local fighters, security officials said, and are aided by about 500 foreign militants, largely from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which pledged loyalty this year to the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS. The local government will not disclose the number of soldiers and police officers in Faryab, but it has clearly not been enough: The Taliban have been gaining ground, despite an estimated 5,000 militia fighters called in desperation to help. Officials and commanders with the security forces described struggling to distinguish between the militias fighting on their side, a large number of whom derive their authority from their relationship to Mr. Dostum, and the insurgents they are supposed to be battling. Both the militias and the Taliban lack specific uniforms, both forces carry Kalashnikov assault rifles, both rely heavily on motorcycles and both have displayed fluid loyalties. And increasingly, locals say, both forces have also turned to looting and burning. Roughly 30,000 civilians have been displaced by this year’s violence in Faryab, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council aid group. Much of the displacement has happened just as the people were preparing to reap the year’s harvest. The United Nations, reporting a 160 percent increase this year compared to last year in civilian casualties resulting from fighting between rival pro-government militias, said that “significant levels” of the displacements were caused by pro-government groups. One resident of Faryab Province, Ishan Qul, 70, said he was forced to flee his home in Pashtun Kot district. His family, along with two others, are living in the provincial capital, Maimana, in a mud-brick hut that used to be a shelter for stray dogs. Unlike previous years, when the Taliban took a 10 percent tax of his crops, Mr. Qul said the insurgents took his entire harvest this year. And now the militias are involved, too. “The militias also beat and kill people; they ask for a share,” Mr. Qul said. “They have taken up weapons to bring security, but they are doing the looting themselves.” A senior security official acknowledged that the militias were harassing the locals, but said they had been warned “not to touch people’s property.” “It was a tradition here: when the Taliban raided a village, they would loot and burn houses,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the trouble. “And when the government took back the area, the militias would do the same, they would be so happy to come with us on the operation.” On the battlefield, the militias are often working to undermine rivals — even if it means switching sides to the Taliban, local officials said. One recent example was the militia belonging to a commander named Khairullah, made up of 150 to 400 armed men, according to varying accounts. Days after the Afghan government provided nearly 7,000 rounds of ammunition to Mr. Khairullah’s forces and 5,000 rounds to the forces of another commander named Amin Bek, according to an official briefed on security meetings, Mr. Khairullah’s security posts dotting the village of Qaraee came under attack by the Taliban for 14 days. The Khairullah fighters survived on stale bread and water during the siege. Pretty soon, Mr. Bek — who has had a long, bloody rivalry with Mr. Khairullah — switched sides to the Taliban and his soldiers opened fire on Mr. Khairullah’s posts using government ammunition. Eleven of Mr. Khairullah’s fighters were killed, 15 were wounded and 22 disappeared, his fighters said. Weeks later, aides to Mr. Dostum trumpeted the return of Mr. Bek to the government’s side as the surrender of a Taliban group. Mr. Dostum said that much of the heavy fighting in Faryab and large parts of the north had been carried out by the foreign fighters. Relying on the militias, which he, like much of the Afghan government, calls “popular uprisings,” is a desperate last resort. Others say the vice president’s direct involvement in the response to the Taliban offensive is a reason the Taliban have increased their numbers, turning Faryab into a decisive battle for honour. As Mr. Dostum was preparing to travel to Faryab, a district in the province of Sar-i-Pul fell to the Taliban. The chief of the Afghan Army was on the phone. “In Sar-i-Pul, I will give them a lesson myself,” Mr. Dostum could be heard telling the army chief, declaring that his “heart is brimming.” To illustrate, Mr. Dostum recounted a story: As he was taking a helicopter ride recently, he saw the blur of a man on a motorcycle. He felt the desire to ask the gunner if he could sit behind the weapon. (No shooting took place.) “The poor guy was probably innocent,” Mr. Dostum said, “but I have developed such a hatred for those riding motorcycles.” Many of them are probably his own men.
At least 12 people including three US civilian contractors were killed on the 22 Aug 15 when a suicide car bomber struck a NATO convoy, officials said, underlining the precarious security situation in the Afghan capital. The Taliban denied responsibility for the blast, which struck outside a civilian hospital in Kabul following a wave of fatal bombings earlier this month. The blast killed 12 people and wounded 66 others. Fierce fighting is raging in southern Afghanistan, where national security forces with the help of the U.S.-led foreign military coalition have undertaken a counteroffensive to halt Taliban advances. Local officials said on the 28 Aug 15 the fighting has left about 150 insurgent fighters dead or wounded. The Taliban earlier during the reporting period overran parts of a strategically important Musa Qala district in Helmand province, clearing the way for the insurgents to advance on the provincial capital of Lashkargah. NATO’s Resolute Support mission confirmed that U.S. aircraft repeatedly bombed militant positions in Musa Qala while some foreign soldiers are assisting the Afghan ground forces. Earlier this week, the militants assaulted the district from all sides and killed as many as 35 Afghan soldiers before seizing control on the 26 Aug 15 according to Afghan provincial authorities. The Taliban already controls another district in the province called Nawzad that officials said facilitated the insurgents’ march on Musa Qala. The Islamist insurgents have made battlefield gains in Afghanistan and inflicted heavy casualties on national defence forces since the end of the NATO-led combat mission in December 2014. The Taliban, however, has not been able to maintain for long its hold on territories it has captured. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s efforts to seek a negotiated settlement of the conflict have not yet produced results, and Taliban advances, critics say, need to be halted to push the insurgency towards peace talks. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reiterated in a statement its violent campaign continues because the “occupation” of Afghanistan has not ended. He was referring to the presence of NATO-led, mostly American forces in the country. Mujahid would not say if the insurgent group is ready to hold direct peace talks with the Afghan government. Instead, he said that reasons for continuing the insurgency are very much present. The Taliban has linked its campaign to the complete withdrawal of international forces and the installation of an “Islamic government” in Afghanistan. President Ghani, however, rejected any compromise on the state structure in the country, saying it is in place in accordance with a constitution fully in accordance with Islam.
Australia – Neo-Nazi group Combat 18 has been distributing hate material at a Melbourne playground, outraging parents whose young children have discovered the material it was reported on the 28 Aug 15. A local mother, who asked not to be named, took her four-year-old son to a park in West Heidelberg on the 25 Aug 15 where they discovered white supremacist stickers reading "No Islamic Takeover" and "Support your local Skinheads". Later, she drove to the Diamond Valley shopping centre in Watsonia, and discovered more stickers on the post box. Disturbed, she took to Facebook to warn other parents. "Clearly a broad area is being targeted," she wrote. She told Fairfax: "It's a real mix of middle class people and Muslims and migrants and some drug abusers and some rough stuff, but no one I know in this area has ever seen anti-Muslim stuff. I think it's as much a scare campaign as it is a recruitment tool." The woman said she reported the stickers to police and the Banyule Council. Combat 18, also known as Blood and Honour, is a white supremacist skinhead group that devotes itself to "saving the white race", and combating the "Zionist media" and "hip hop culture". The "18" in its name originates from Adolf Hitler's initials, with A and H being the first and eighth letters in the alphabet. The group began in the United Kingdom, but has since spread to other countries. In 2010, members of the group were charged over their part in a drive-by shooting outside a Perth mosque. The group has a strict no-media policy.
India – The 32-page document released by ISIS reveals that preparations for an attack on Bharat are in full swing and terms it as a “final battle” leading to victory of good over evil, something similar to Ghazwa-e-Hind announced earlier by al-Qaeda and supported by Pakistan’s ISI.
It has been widely reported in American media that ISIS has a grand design of uniting the numerous Afghan and Pak terrorist groups to forge a new “Army of Terror” based in Af-Pak region and triggering a war in Bharat to provoke the United States. The revelation is based on 32-page document in Urdu that details the future battle plans of the ISIS in pursuance of its ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic State Caliphate (ISC), a common goal of all global jihadist terror outfits. It urges the “ummah”, entire global Muslim community, to recognise Islamic State’s head Baghdadi as the sole ruler of the world’s Muslims under a religious empire “Caliphate”. It also reveals its focus on armed uprisings in the Arab world. The document reveals that preparations for an attack on Bharat are in full swing and terms it as a “final battle” leading to victory of good over evil, something similar to Ghazwa-e-Hind announced earlier by al-Qaeda and supported by Pakistan’s ISI. Al-Qaeda also released a video titled ‘War must continue, a message to the Muslims of Kashmir’, late last year. The latest ISIS document has been declared “rubbish” by our Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Home Ministry. Some analysts have also termed it as an American ploy to draw Bharat into its fight against ISIS, further its regional interests and possibly to justify unleashing another war in the region. Whatever may be the authenticity of the captured document, does it justify an outright rejection or being termed as “false”. The Government of Bharat has acknowledged the threat of growing radicalisation of the Muslim youth and they being motivated by the ISIS ideology being spread through the social media. “Attraction towards radical ideology of any religion is a matter of concern” was stated by a home ministry official. The government maintains that the appeal of ISIS in Bharat is confined to a few radicalised youth from the minority community and there is no direct threat from the organisation. The government has decided to put in place a strategy of “Counter Radicalisation” for de-radicalisation of youth attracted by the idea of Jihad, to combat the ISIS threat in Bharat. Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah has even termed the waving of ISIS flags in Kashmir as “a mere expression of anger and frustration by the youth who want to wake up the nation.”
Before dwelling on the ISIS threat, it is necessary to understand the ISIS and its ideology. Frederick W Kagan, a renowned American expert has described ISIS as follows. “The greatest evil of our time has taken root in Iraq and Syria. ISIS is not a terrorist organisation; it is an army of conquest that is destroying all traces of civilisation in the lands it holds. It slaughters innocent civilians. It loots ancient sites for profit and demolishes what it cannot steal. It has declared its intent to conduct genocide against all Shiite Muslims and follows through whenever it can. It has re-established slavery and distributes captives as property among its troops and allies. It encourages its soldiers to rape, including through forced “marriage”, women who fall into its hands. It boasts of the most brutal methods of murdering its hostages.” He has aptly summed up the medieval outlook and thought process of the dreaded outfit. According to ISIS anybody who does not subscribe to their interpretation of Islam is not a Muslim and needs to be killed. ISIS is the richest terrorist organisation in the world. It occupies swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria (equal to size of Jordan) and runs its own government. It possesses oil wealth, generates revenue and imposes taxes on non-Muslims. It’s a state of non-state actors. It is best poised for re-establishment of a Caliphate. It has no dearth of recruits both domestic as well as global. Its core cadre of fighters comprises erstwhile Sunni Baathists officers and soldiers and are well trained. It has sophisticated war-fighting machinery. Its cadre is motivated and buoyed by numerous successes. ISIS has mastered the use of social media and uses it effectively to not only spread its ideology but for brainwashing and radicalising the young minds to motivate them for jihad. It also uses social media for international scouting of fighters. ISIS also exports terror to the civilised world through return of thousands of indoctrinated, trained and battle-hardened fighters to their respective home lands. Bharat has been on the radar- screen of global jihadist, Sunni-Islamist terror outfits since long. Though ISIS rose to prominence only a just more than a year back, it has been focusing on Bharat since the very beginning. Khalifah Ibrahim alias Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in his message at the eve of holy month of Ramzan last year released a list of ‘enemies of Islam’ nations and Bharat figured in the list. In his message he commanded the Muslims to revolt against the government and wage a holy jihad. Number of Bharatiyas were motivated to join the ISIS ranks and were reported to be fighting alongside ISIS in Syria. ISIS further renewed its effort in Bharat by translating on-line training literature in three Bharatiya languages. It considers Bharat as a fertile ground for recruitment. Recently, a group of Bharatiyas was detained before it could fly out to join ISIS. Some of the Bharatiya fighters are also reported to have died in Syria. Those alive may be used to join the proposed “Army of Terror” to fight in Bharat. The death of Mullah Omar and reported elimination of his son has minimised the challenge posed to ISIS by the Afghan Taliban. Many factions of jihadists in the Af-Pak region have already announced their loyalty to ISIS. Al-Qaeda is also facing severe financial as well as manpower crisis. The launch of al-Qaeda in Bharatiya Subcontinent with much fanfare has turned out to be a damp squib. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the ISIS supremo, has no rival to his self-proclaimed title of Khalifah (Caliph) after the death of Mullah Omar. The stage is ideally set for move of ISIS into Afghanistan and for forming the “Army of Terror” for launching the “final battle” in Bharat. Many analysts call it a far-fetched proposition. But all of them agree that Bharat is threatened by global jihad. Are we ready for this onslaught by the proposed “Army of Terror”? The “Counter Radicalisation” strategy may to some extent be capable of preventing radicalisation and alienation of the minority community youth, but is it adequate to combat the threat of global jihad against Bharat? The physical threat to Bharat from ISIS may manifest only after it is able to firm up in the Af-Pak region. Therefore, it is very critical for Bharat to ensure that ISIS is unable to spread its tentacles and influence in this region. With ground situation in its favour, Baghdadi will soon try to wrest the initiative in Afghanistan. It will attempt to coerce or lure Pakistan’s ISI to join the bandwagon. To this include ISI’s plan to extend the arc of terror and revive Sikh militancy. Recent terrorist acts at Dinanagar, NH1 near Udhampur and Basantgarh and renewed violence in Kashmir Valley are enough indicators of its intent. If ISIS and ISI join hand, global jihad led by ISIS and fully supported logistically by ISI will be at our door step. Bharat has to prepare itself to meet this threat. It requires a matching counter strategy formulated by professionals who have the ground experience and not by arm-chair bound bureaucrats. Bharat badly needs a separate Ministry of Homeland/Internal Security by clipping the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Brig Anil Gupta (The writer is a Jammu-based political commentator, security and strategic analyst)
Thailand/Bangkok – Several foreigners were believed to be among a network of at least 10 people involved in the Bangkok shrine bombing, according to Thailand’s police chief. Somyot Poompanmuang said the worst terrorist attack in Bangkok’s history had been planned for at least a month. But the country’s junta said that no link was “likely” between the attack and international terrorism on the 17 Aug 15. Thai police said they would circulate a description to Interpol of the chief suspect, an unidentified “foreign man” who is believed to be "Caucasian, Arab or mixed race”. Officers are unsure if the suspect in the bombing that killed at least 20 people at the Erawan shrine on Monday evening has already fled the country. In a televised address to the nation, the junta spokesman said that while questioning of witnesses and survivors led to the arrest warrant for the “foreign man”, there was not believed to be a link to an international terrorist group. The assertion by the Thai authorities that the bomber was a foreigner and part of a network, but not linked to a global terrorist faction, seemed to throw no further light on the motives for the attack or who committed it. Amid fraying nerves, officials read assurances about security in English and Chinese and said that Chinese tourists were “not the direct target” of the perpetrators as the government tries to avoid an economically disastrous collapse in foreign visitor numbers. Gen Somyot, the national police chief, earlier described a “big network” believed to have been involved in the attack. "There was preparation using many people," he told reporters, according to Reuters, adding that police believed that more than half were foreigners. "This includes those who looked out on the streets, prepared the bomb and those at the site and those who knew the escape route,” he said. “There must have been at least 10 people involved." The chief suspect spoke on his mobile phone in a language that was neither Thai nor English as he left the scene, according to a motorcycle taxi driver who believes that he picked up the man. The driver’s testimony and description of his passenger has played a key role in the investigation as police released a sketch and issued an arrest warrant for an unidentified “foreign man”. Police also expanded on their description of the chief suspect who is believed to have planted the ball-bearing-laden pipe-bomb that killed at least nine Thais and 11 ethnic Chinese visitors from other Asian nations. The suspected bomber appeared to be "Caucasian, Arab or mixed race", aged 20 to 30 and about 170cm (5ft 7in) tall, officials said. The investigators’ belief that the man was a foreigner seemed to throw no further light on the motives for the attack or who committed it. Police had earlier focused on two other “persons of interest” seen in security video footage close to the suspect as he apparently planted the bomb. In the released footage, one man stood up from the bench to leave a space for the suspect to sit down. He then stood with another man in front of the suspect, possibly shielding him as he took off his bag and left it under the bench a few minutes before the blast. The two men left together at the same time as the suspect separately walked away. Kasem Puksuwan believes that he then picked up the suspect at a motorcycle taxi stand a short walk from the shrine just after the explosion. "He had a conversation on the phone," Mr Kasem told Thai Channel 3. "I don't know what the language is. I don't know, but it is surely not Thai nor English language." The driver said that the man did not speak to him to give directions for his ride but instead handed him a piece of paper with the words "Lumpini Park" written in English. The park is the Bangkok equivalent of London’s Hyde Park or New York’s Central Park and sits in the middle of a busy commercial area in the centre of the city, a short drive from the Erawan shrine. Mr Kasem said that he did not know the man’s movements after he dropped him off there. "I didn't see anyone at where I left him," he said. "It was dark. There are some trees and it's hard to see. The latest developments on the suspected terror network seemed to throw no further light on the reasons for the attacks. The country is ruled by a junta that staged a coup last year as political protests paralysed the country. But if the bomber was indeed not Thai, that would appear to indicate that the attack was not the result of the domestic political turmoil that convulsed the country for nearly a decade. The country has also faced a long-running Islamic insurgency in the south but the description and sketch do not seem to match the appearance of the predominantly ethnically Malay rebels. However, an attack by an international Islamic terror group would normally be accompanied by a claim of responsibility and no such claim has been made. Further, the shrine is well-known as a popular destination for Thais and Asian Buddhist visitors rather than for Western tourists who would be the expected targets for such an atrocity. In the absence of another explanation, some Thai media have suggested that there might be a connection with the Muslim Uighurs of western China. For Thailand recently deported more than 100 Uighur men back to China, despite protests that they faced persecution there. The theory went that Uighur extremists might have targeted the shrine in the knowledge that they would kill both Thais and the ethnic Chinese foreign visitors who flock to the site. But there has been no evidence of a Uighur connection and Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the prime minister and junta leader, strongly played down that theory when asked by reporters. Nor have police ruled out the possibility that the suspect was a Thai man disguised in a wig and fake nose.
History of Thai bombings
31 Dec 06
In the year of a military coup, eight bombs exploded around Bangkok during New Year celebrations and another targeted Chiang Mai Mosque the next day. Three people were killed and 83 injured. The perpetrators were never found.
14 Feb 12
Five Iranian intelligence officers accidently blew up a safe house in Bangkok where they were making bombs probably to use against Israeli diplomats. All five were injured. Three of the spies were jailed in Thailand, the rest managed to leave the country.
31 Mar 12
A series of car-bomb attacks in two southern provinces, the scene of an Islamic insurgency, killed 16 people and injured hundreds.
06 May 14
The bombs in the southern city of Hat Yai, where the Islamic insurgency is taking place, injured eight people.
01 Feb 15
Two small pipe bombs exploded outside Bangkok’s Sian Paragon shopping mall injuring two people.
17 Aug 15
A bomb blast exploded in Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, killing at least 20 people and injuring over 120.
On the 29 Aug 15 Police in Bangkok say they have arrested a man in connection with a bomb that killed 20 people in the Thai capital on the 17 Aug 15. Officers raided an apartment used by the man in northern Bangkok on the 29 Aug 15 and found possible bomb-making materials, a police spokesman said. The suspect "looks like the one we are looking for", said the spokesman. Mr Thawornsiri said that the arrested man is a foreigner but refused to say whether he is Turkish, as reported by some Bangkok media. "We have detained one person," deputy national police chief General Chaktip Chaijinda said. "We have found components of bomb-making materials in his apartment and I am confident that he is likely involved with the bomb attack," he said. A photo fit image was released showing the suspect with dark hair and glasses. Police stated that, "We found dozens of passports inside his room. We have to check which nationalities they belong to." Police said at the time they suspected the attack had been planned a month or more in advance and involved at least 10 people, but said a connection to international terrorism was unlikely.
On the 31 Aug 15 it was reported that Bangkok police have named a Thai woman wanted for questioning about the lethal shrine explosion as they said they were seeking two new suspects after bomb-making material was found in a second apartment in the city’s outskirts. Investigators released a photograph of the woman, identified as Wanna Suansan, 26, showing the suspect wearing a hijab in a picture from an identity card. Ms Wanna is the first suspect named in the investigation into the 17 Aug 15 bombing. She was said to have been living with an unidentified foreign man in an apartment where police found explosives, electric wiring and timing devices after a tip-off. A photofit of the new male suspect was also released. Officers arrested a man carrying a fake Turkish passport in a raid on another apartment on the 29 Aug 15 in the first major breakthrough in the investigation into Bangkok’s worst terrorist atrocity. The scale of explosives material discovered at the two locations appears to indicate that more bomb attacks were planned in the Thai capital. "We found fertiliser bags, watches, radio controls - parts to make bombs and electric charges," said Prawut Thavornsiri, the national police spokesman. The material were discovered during a raid in the north-eastern suburb of Minburi on the apartment that Ms Wanna is believed to have rented. Although Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, it has a significant Muslim population in the south and in parts of Bangkok. Police said that the man was tracked down after investigators trawled through tens of thousands of phone signals picked up near the blast site and narrowed them down to three Turkish mobile phone numbers that activated international roaming services. The arrested man was carrying a fake Turkish passport in the name of Adem Karadag, 28. But his identity remained unclear and Turkish diplomats said they did not believe he was a Turk. The suspected Turkish connection to the blast has fuelled suspicion that the worst terrorist atrocity in Bangkok’s history might have been carried out by or with support from an extremist faction called the Grey Wolves. The ultra-nationalist Right-wing Turkish terrorist group might have committed the atrocity in retaliation after Thailand recently deported a group of ethnic Turkic Uighurs to China in the face of protests. There have been no claims of responsibility for the bombing that claimed the lives of six Thais and 14 visiting ethnic Chinese Asian tourists. Thais and Chinese could be targets for the Grey Wolves, security analysts noted.
Thailand's prime minister has announced that a second foreign man has been arrested at a checkpoint on the Cambodian border on suspicion of involvement in last month's deadly shrine bombing. The announcement on the 1 Sep 15 was the second confirmed arrest in connection with the 17 Aug 15 blast that tore through a religious shrine in downtown Bangkok and killed 20 people. The suspect was being flown back to Bangkok from the border by helicopter. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who also heads the nation's military government, was asked by reporters to comment on rumours a man had been arrested. "He has been arrested at Sa Kaeo checkpoint," Prayuth told reporters, referring to the Thai side of the border, adding: "He is a main suspect and a foreigner." No Further Details Known (NFDK)
Grey Wolves of Turkey Logo
Grey Wolves ideology: Turkish Nationalism, Pan-Turkism, Neo-fascism, Anti-Kurdism, Anti-Armenianism and historically anti-communism.
Terrorist incidents have mainly been assassinations and bombings.
Grey Wolves (Turkish: Bozkurtlar) is the youth organisation of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party ("Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi", MHP) They are named after Asena, a legendary ancient female wolf that led captive Turks to freedom. Their formal name in Turkish is ülkücüler (idealists) and Ülkücü Hareket (The Idealist Movement), inspired from 19th Century Turkish writer Ziya Gökalp later developed by 20th century writer Nihal Atsiz (who was also high school teacher of Alparslan Türkeş) and Italian fascist Giovanni Gentile's "Actual Idealism" theory as a pseudo-philosophical reference. Ülkü Ocakları (Forges of Ideal), the proper platform of Grey Wolves, denies any "direct" links with MHP and presents itself as an independent youth organisation. Their female supporters are called Asena. When loudly acclaimed while visiting an Istanbul synagogue in 1992, Alparslan Türkeş referred to the gatherers, with some humour, as the "Grey Wolves of Moses". Turkish authorities accused the organisation in 1981 of carrying out 694 murders in the years of 1974 to 1980. It is considered as a terrorist organisation by Martin A. Lee and Khitij Prabha of the Indian Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). The Grey Wolves were founded as the youth organisation of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) created by Alparslan Türkeş in 1969. A significant pillar of the MHP's ideology is the dream of creating the Turan, the "Great Turkish Empire", including all Turkic peoples mainly in the successor Central Asian countries of the former Soviet Union as well as the Caucasus and the Uygurs' homeland of East Turkestan found in the Xinjiang province of north-western China. The concept of Turan is similar to concepts of Pan-Arab Nationalism spearheaded by Gamal Nasser, which aimed to unite Arab nations. However, many Armenians and Greeks link Alparslan Türkeş, the Grey Wolves, and their ideology, to Adolf Hitler and Nazism, comparing them to Pan-Aryan ideologies. The Grey Wolves also rally around Pan-Turkic Causes including: the economic isolation and territorial integrity of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; the Armenian control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, and the subsequent displacement of Azeri civilians; the suppression of the Iraqi Turkmens in Kirkük and adjacent regions in Northern Iraq by the Kurdistan Regional Government; and the suppression of Uygur culture and Chinese colonisation of Eastern Turkestan. The Grey Wolves are also known to be supporters of Azeri activists that campaign for greater cultural rights in Iran. They have also been known to support non-Turkic people whom they consider to have kinship with Turkish people. It is for this reason that Grey Wolves have supported the Chechen Independence Struggle, the KLA-led Albanian movement in Kosovo, and the Bosniaks' resistance in the Bosnian War.
North/South Korea – North Korea has shelled a South Korean military unit on the western section of the inter-Korean border, a move retaliated by the South's military, according to the South's defence ministry on the 20 Aug 15. Defence ministry said South Korean military detected a projectile from the North, presumed to be a rocket, into the South's Yeonchon area. The ministry also said that the South Korean military fired "tens" of 155mm artillery rounds to the origin point of the North Korean projectile after the incident. The suspected North Korean projectile landed in an area about 60km north of Seoul in the western part of the border zone, the defence ministry said. "Our military has stepped up monitoring and is closely watching North Korean military movements," the defence ministry said. "This follows a recent statement from South Korean military chief telling his forces on the border that they should not hesitate to respond resolutely and powerfully to any North Korean provocation," Fawcett said. The South Korean defence ministry said that North Korea demanded the South to stop the propaganda broadcasting within 48 hours and dismantle all equipment, else it would initiate military actions. The official Yonhap news agency said that Seoul will hold a National Security Council session over the shelling. South Korean residents in the area were ordered to evacuate. On the 4 Aug 15 two South Korean soldiers were seriously injured in a landmine explosion in the southern part of the demilitarised zone, causing them to lose limbs. The response to the landmine blast, South Korea restarted using loudspeakers for anti-Pyongyang propaganda, a first step in their retaliation. "The North Korea responded in kind, starting a similar propaganda campaign, and said that they would target South Korean loudspeakers. This development appears to be an attempt to do that."
Turkey – Eight Turkish soldiers were killed on the 19 Aug 15 in a bomb attack on their vehicle in the southeast blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the army have claimed. The attack is the single most deadly strike to be blamed on the PKK since the government began waging a major "anti-terror" campaign against the Kurdish militants since Jul 15. The soldiers were killed when a remote-controlled explosive device laid by militants on a road in the Silvan district of the province of Siirt was detonated. The army confirmed the toll in a statement, blaming the "Separatist Terror Organisation", its customary phrase for the PKK which it never refers to by name.
Two militants launched an attack with guns and explosives on the 19 Aug 15 on Istanbul's Dolmabahce palace, one of Turkey's main tourist attractions. They hurled a hand grenade at the building, which is also home to offices of the prime minister, and fired shots at police officers who stand on ceremonial guard outside the Ottoman-era palace, the Istanbul governor's office said. The attack heightened a sense of crisis in the country as Turkey's leaders struggle to form a new government amid increasing clashes with Kurdish militants and threats of violence from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Anadolu state news agency said that the suspects were members of the radical Left-wing Revolutionary People's Liberation Front (DHKP-C). The group claimed a similar attack at the palace in Jan 15 when two grenades were thrown at guards but failed to explode. It was also behind an attack earlier this month on ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) headquarters in Istanbul, Anadolu reported. One officer was slightly injured in Wednesday’s assault, according to reports. The militants were later detained near the German consulate and several weapons were seized including two hand grenades, an automatic rifle, a hand gun and a large amount of ammunition.
Turkey – Two Turkish soldiers were killed and three wounded on the 24 Aug 15 when the vehicle they were travelling in hit explosives buried in the road, the latest attack following the collapse of a ceasefire with Kurdish militants. The explosion occurred near the town of Semdinli in Hakkari province, which borders the Iraqi border, in the mainly Kurdish southeast. Turkey has launched more than 400 air strikes against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, where the armed group is based, and in southeast Turkey since late July, in what it says is a response to attacks on police officers and soldiers.