France – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned on the 19 Jul 16 that the country can expect more attacks and deaths and will have to “learn to live with the threat.” “Even if these words are hard to say, it's my duty to do so: There will be other attacks and there will be other innocent people killed,” Valls told French deputies debating an extension to the country's state of emergency. “We must not become accustomed, but learn to live with this menace,” added Valls, speaking days after an attacker ploughed a truck through a crowd at a July 14 fireworks display in Nice, killing 84 people.
France/Nice Attack – Five suspects have appeared in court in France charged with terror offences in relation to the Nice truck attack. The four men and one woman, aged between 22 and 40, are accused of helping driver Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel prepare the terror attack. One of the suspects returned to the scene of the attack the following day to film the aftermath, French prosecutor Francois Molins said. Lahouaiej-Bouhle killed 84 people when he drove into a crowd on Bastille Day. He received logistical support for the attack from the five suspects, Mr Molins said, and had planned the attack for several months. Three of the suspects, identified as Franco-Tunisians Ramzi A and Mohamed Oualid G, and a Tunisian named Chokri C, were charged as accomplices in "murder by a group with terror links". An Albanian man named as Artan and a women who is a French-Albanian dual national, identified as Enkeldja, are suspected of providing Lahouaiej-Bouhlel with a pistol and were charged with "breaking the law on weapons in relation to a terrorist group". All five will be held in custody, Mr Molins said. Like Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, none of those detained were known to French intelligence prior to the attack, although Ramzi A had previous convictions for drugs and petty crime, Mr Molins said. He said information from Lahouaiej-Bouhlel's phone showed searches and photos that indicated he had been studying an attack since 2015. The so-called Islamic State group said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was one of its "soldiers" - but the lorry driver had not been on any French police watch list.
France/Da’esh – Assailants loyal to the Dash terror group forced an elderly priest to his knees before slitting his throat and took several worshippers hostage in a French church on the 26 Jul 16 before police shot the attackers dead. It was the latest in a wave of attacks in Europe inspired by Da’esh based in Iraq and Syria that is on the defensive against a US-led military coalition in which France is a major partner. The knifemen entered the church during morning mass near the northern city of Rouen, northwest of Paris, killing Father Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old parish priest, and taking four other people hostage, one of whom was seriously injured. “They forced him to his knees and he tried to defend himself and that’s when the drama began,” Sister Danielle, who escaped as the attackers slayed the priest, told RMC radio. “They filmed themselves. It was like a sermon in Arabic around the altar,” the nun added. Police shot the attackers dead as they emerged from the church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Speaking at the scene of the attack, President Francois Hollande said Da’esh had declared war on France, which should “use all its means” within the law to fight the group. The attack was the latest in a string of deadly assaults including the mass killing in Nice, southern France, on Bastille Day 12 days ago and four incidents in Germany, most recently a suicide bombing at a concert in Ansbach. Da’esh has called on its supporters to take action with any available weapons targeting countries it has been fighting. The anti-terrorist unit of the Paris prosecutor’s office is investigating the attack. Police said one person had been arrested. The centre-right opposition wants the government to put all militant suspects subject to a confidential security notice under administrative detention to avert potential attacks. Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who is also expected to run for the presidency, said both major parties had failed on security. “All those who have governed us for 30 years bear an immense responsibility. It’s revolting to watch them bickering!” she said on Twitter. 361 COMMENT: These types of incidents are not likely to stop. As the supporters see the demise of the so called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria the more that supporters will want to take revenge. The supporters will see how easy it is to carry out an attack whether it be with a knife, gun or vehicle large or small it will be easy for them to conduct attacks. Sadly it will be extremely difficult to stop as the security forces cannot be everywhere. The general public in all countries at the moment need to play their part and anything suspicious no matter how small it me be must be reported. COMMENT ENDS
Follow-on Report – Police have identified the second assailant who attacked a church in northern France this week as a 19-year-old known to security services as suspected of having "Islamist militant" links, sources say. Police on the 28 Jul 16 identified the man as Abdel-Malik Nabil Petitjean from a town in eastern France on the border with Germany, a judicial source said. Security services had in Jun 16 opened a special file on Petitjean for becoming radicalised, a police source said separately. The government has said there are about 10,500 such people in France. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant released on the 27 Jul 16 a video that purportedly shows the two men pledging allegiance to the group, which is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and operates in parts of Syria and Iraq. The footage, which was posted on the 27 Jun 16 on the ISIL-linked website Amaq, appears to show two young men naming themselves as "Abu Omar" and "Abu Jalil al-Hanafi" and reciting a pledge of allegiance to Baghdadi.
France/United Kingdom – France has drafted in heavily armed soldiers and police to its ports in fear of ISIS jihadis boarding UK-bound ferries it was reported on the 30 Jul 16. The specialist forces have been called upon following intelligence warnings that ferries heading to Britain could be at risk. The heightened risk of a terrorist attack across the Channel comes after the Bastille Day lorry attack in Nice and the execution of a priest in a Normandy church. The French president Francois Hollande said he would increase armed security at transport hubs and crowded areas, but the move at Calais is said to have shocked British authorities. A senior UK security source told the UK Daily Mirror: 'The presence of the police and soldiers near Calais is very alarming – there's nothing routine about it. 'Apparently they are at a high state of alert because there is a fear of jihadists getting on to a ferry headed for Britain and executing people on the ship. 'It is also possible that ISIS may have been told security has in the past been reasonably lax so they believe they can get terrorists into Britain via a ferry.' Britain's Special Boat Service have been training to deal with ship hijackings. P&O Ferries on the night of the 29/30 Jul 16 declined to comment on the latest move by the French authorities.
Germany – A hand-painted flag of so-called Islamic State has been found in the room of an Afghan refugee accused of carrying out an axe and knife attack on a southern German train, officials said on the 19 Jul 16. The 17-year-old injured four people from Hong Kong, two critically, in the attack in Wuerzburg on the evening of the 18 Jul 16. He was shot dead by police as he fled. He had shouted Allahu akbar", a witness said. The attack comes days after a deadly IS-claimed attack in Nice in France. Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of the state of Bavaria, told German TV the flag had been found among the teenager's belongings in his room in his foster home in the nearby town of Ochsenfurt. Mr Herrmann said it was too early to say whether the teenager was a member of an Islamist group or had become self-radicalised in recent times. Two of those injured are in a critical condition. Another woman was injured outside the train as the man fled. Fourteen people were treated for shock. The teenager, who had claimed asylum after travelling to Germany as an unaccompanied minor, had been living with the foster family since moving from a refugee centre in the town. Investigators are talking to the foster family. Last year Germany registered more than one million migrants, including more than 150,000 Afghans, although the number has slowed dramatically this year since new EU measures were taken to stop the flow. The South China Morning Post said it was believed four of the people injured were a 62-year-old man, his 58-year-old wife, their daughter, 27, and her boyfriend, 31, from Hong Kong. The 17-year-old son travelling with them was not hurt, it said. A source told the paper the father and boyfriend had tried to protect the other members of the group. The attack happened at about 2115 hrs local (1915 hrs GMT) on the train which runs between Treuchlingen and Wuerzburg. Police said the attacker had fled the train but was chased by officers who shot him dead. 361 COMMENT: Although currently unsure as to where the radicalisation had taken place there will be a further degree of mistrust with migrants in Germany which will fuel far-right groups. Especially after coming so close to the French Nice attack although that perpetrator was not a migrant. Until the facts are known then it will be difficult to know how and when the individual in the German attack was radicalised. This will do nothing in the mean time to alleviate fears of further attacks in locations that people do not consider dangerous. COMMENT ENDS
Germany – Germany’s interior minister has warned of the “serious” threat from lone wolf attacks in the country and across Europe, telling the public to expect further attacks it was reported on the 20 Jul 16. The stark assessment of Germany’s security situation follows a warning from the French Prime Minster that his country should "learn to live with the threat” from Islamist extremists. Speaking in Berlin, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said the Afghan refugee who attacked train passengers with an axe in the southern state of Bavaria was now thought be from Pakistan. Responding to the incident, which was claimed by Islamic State, the senior German cabinet minister said similar attacks were now highly likely. He told reporters: "Like several EU countries, like the whole EU, Germany is also in the target area of international terrorism. Therefore, I have said for a long time, the situation is serious.” The French PM issued a strikingly similar warning this morning, saying that the country must be prepared for more deadly attacks. He said: ”Even if these words are hard to say, it's my duty to do so: There will be other attacks and there will be other innocent people killed. “We must not become accustomed to, but learn to live with, this threat.” Germany was added to the list of terror-struck European nations after an axe-wielding 17-year-old Afghan refugee attacked passengers on a train in the southern state of Bavaria. The multiple crises involving radicalised young men with links to groups operating in the Middle East and North Africa - including those in Brussels, Paris and Nice - have stretched the continent's intelligence services to breaking point. Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), said the German train attack "illustrates the reality that some ISIS sympathisers will have slipped through European borders". The London-based think tank said around two per cent of Germany's population arrived last year, making it "impossible in practice for European security services to screen new arrivals with thoroughness sufficient to preclude the possibility of attacks”.
Germany – More than three-quarters of Germans believe their country will soon be the target of terrorism, a survey showed on the 22 Jul 16 after a 17-year-old asylum-seeker wounded passengers on a train in an axe attack claimed by ISIS. Seventy-seven percent expect an attack to happen soon, up from 69 percent two weeks ago, according to the survey compiled by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for broadcaster ZDF. Bavarian police shot dead the teenager after he wounded four people from Hong Kong on the train and injured a local resident while fleeing. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said investigations suggested he was a “lone wolf” who had been spurred into action by ISIS propaganda. The axe rampage came days after a Tunisian drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing 84 in an attack also claimed by the militant group. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told Bild newspaper’s Friday (22 Jul 16) edition that there was “no reason to panic but it’s clear that Germany remains a possible target”. The survey of 1,271 respondents, which showed 20 percent do not expect an attack soon, was conducted during the three days following the train attack. It also showed 59 percent think enough is being done to protect them from terrorism - almost twice as many as think they should be better protected.
Germany – An 18-year-old German-Iranian man who complained he had been bullied killed nine people then himself during a gun rampage through Munich on the 21 Jul 16 with police probing claims he lured some of his young victims to their deaths with a promise of free McDonald's food. A fake Facebook page reportedly told youngsters to gather in a specific fast food restaurant yesterday afternoon for the special offer. At around 1750 hrs local, Ali Sonboly burst from the restaurant's toilets and began 'killing the children' with a pistol, witnesses said. He then continued his bloody spree in a local shopping centre and on the streets around Munich's Olympic quarter. A number of 'adolescents' were among the dead and several 'children' were injured, Munich Police President Hubertus Andrae said. Asked whether the Facebook 'game' was linked to the attack, he replied it was 'one part of the comprehensive investigation we are conducting'. He confirmed the attacker had dual nationality and had lived in Germany for some time - at least two years, possibly much longer. During the night of the attack German commandos raided the home the attacker shared with his parents in the suburb of Maxvorstadt. Locals described him as a 'quiet guy'. The attack paralysed the southern German city, bringing renewed fears of terrorism to mainland Europe just a week after the Nice atrocity. A total lockdown of the area was only lifted early when police confirmed the gunman was acting alone and had killed himself in a side street nearby and gave a 'cautious all-clear'. The motive for the attack, which was captured in numerous dramatic videos, remained unclear this morning, however police were investigating footage posted online which showed the gunman talking of being 'bullied for seven years', raising fears it was a revenge attack on youngsters who had wronged him. But just a week after another teenager attacker launched an ISIS-inspired axe attack on a German train, witnesses in McDonald's described hearing the attacker shouting 'Allahu Akbar', or 'God is Great'. And ISIS supporters took to social media in the hours after the atrocity to celebrate the killings.
Germany – A Syrian refugee set off an explosion at a bar in southern Germany that killed himself and wounded 12 others late on the 24 Jul 16 German media agency DPA reported citing the local interior minister. The 27-year-old man, whose asylum application had been rejected a year ago, had intended to disrupt a nearby pop music festival where 2,500 people had gathered, Joachim Herrmann said. The incident will add to growing public unease surrounding Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy, under which more than a million migrants have entered Germany over the past year, many fleeing wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters at a hastily convened news conference on the 25 Jul 16 that it was unclear if the man had planned to commit suicide or “take others with him into death”, according to news website Nordbayern.de. Herrmann, whose remarks were confirmed by a ministry spokesman, said the Syrian man arrived in Germany two years ago and had tried to commit suicide twice before. The man was carrying a backpack filled with explosives and metal parts that would have been sufficient to kill more people, Herrmann said. He said he could not exclude the possibility of an attack, but said that would have to be confirmed by an investigation.
Follow on Report: A Syrian man, who detonated explosives outside a music festival in the German city of Ansbach, killing only himself and injuring at least 15 people, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant group before the attack, according to a senior government official. The 27-year-old suspect, who was a refugee, blew himself up late on the 24 Jul 16 after being denied entry to the event. Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of Bavaria, said on the 25 Jul 16 that video footage discovered on the suspect's mobile phone showing him pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared leader of ISIL makes it clear the incident was a "terrorist attack". He said the man, who has not been named, also "announced an act of revenge against Germans because they were standing in the way of Islam". Moments later, ISIL claimed responsibility for the bombing on its Amaq website, saying that the attacker was one of its "soldiers". The suspect came to Germany two years ago and his asylum application was rejected last year for reasons that we don't know right at this minute. He had been based in Germany with the knowledge that he was not going to receive permanent asylum in this country. He had twice before tried to take his life and, at some point in the recent past, he had been receiving psychiatric help. German police also said on the 25 Jul 16 that they had found enough materials to make another bomb at the suspect's home, and several violent videos. Germany will boost its police presence at airports and train stations and carry out stop-and-search operations close to border areas, Thomas de Maiziere, Germany's interior minister, said in Berlin.
Germany – A large arsenal of “weapons of war” was found near a radical mosque in Germany, adding to fears that terrorists are well equipped to carry out attacks across Europe it was reported on the 25 Jul 16. The weapons were found in a refrigerator after a SWAT team operation in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Ismail Tipi, a local politician from the Christian Democratic Union, warned of the possibility of more Islamic State sleeper cells holding similar arsenals. “According to my information, a weapons cache was excavated with heavy military weapons in this operation,” Tipi said in a press releas. “The danger of arming violent fundamentalists in Germany is very large. That makes this secret use more than clear.” Some of the weapons used to carry out the 7 Jan 15 Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris came from the vast weaponry left over from the Bosnian War in the 1990s. Other busts of terrorist cells have recovered weapons from Croatia, Serbia and Slovakia — these countries are under pressure from the European Union to tighten regulations for gun sales. “The fear is large that Salafist sleeper cells, jihadis, and ISIS terrorists in Germany get support from foreign intelligence services that are not friendly to us,” Tipi said. “We can assume that the secret arsenals for a major attack are used not only in Germany but the whole of Europe. It would be very negligent if we do not recognize this danger and don’t uncover these arsenals.” French authorities found 334 war grade weapons and made 223 arrests during raids in the aftermath of the Nov. 13 terrorist attack in Paris. About 160 suspicious mosques have or will be closed for radical activities in the country.
Germany – A terror attack plot on a school in Stuttgart has been foiled by German police who found knives, explosives and bullets in a 15-year-old boy's home it was reported on the 27 Jul 16. He is also reported to have had contact online with Ali Sonboly, the teenager who shot dead nine people in Munich on the 22 Jul 16. The boy was arrested after the arsenal of weapons were found in the Ludwigsburg district of Stuttgart. The German magazine Der Spiegel said a search of the boy's flat, where he lived with his parents, found 'extensive evidence, including small-calibre cartridges, several knives and daggers, escape plans for several schools and a large amount of chemicals, materials and instructions for making explosives'. The boy is understood to have been taken into custody in a secure psychiatric unit for young people. There is no suggestion at this point that he had any contact with ISIS or other Islamist groups. According to media reports the boy was betrayed to the authorities by someone he boasted too of his plans. Police quickly established a link to Sonboly through his Internet footprints and the youngster's home was raised. Police said during the course of his interrogation he confessed 'to preparing an outrage against the background of personal and academic problems.' The boy in Ludwigsburg apparently looked up to Sonboly as a figure to admire and emulate.
Germany – A suitcase bomb has exploded near a migration office on the outskirts of Nuremberg, in Germany on the 27 Jul 16. A loud blast rocked Zirndorf and local reports suggested the device was a suitcase packed with aerosol cans. Witnesses said they heard a loud bang about 200 metres away from the migration centre before finding a burning suitcase in an allotment nearby. No fatalities or injuries had been reported. Police said they were looking for two people believed to have planted the device - a man in his 30s with a Mediterranean appearance and a woman believed to be aged about 25. German police say they have deployed officers near a refugee accommodation centre and a branch of the country's office for asylum seekers. 361 COMMENT: This will be from those who do not support the counties immigration policy and in retaliation for the latest attacks in Germany. Although it appears very amateurish using a suitcase with aerosols the idea is rather novel. It would be curious to know the make-up of the device and what the initiator was. COMMENT ENDS
United Kingdom – Two men who tried to abduct an RAF serviceman at knife-point are likely to have been part of a bigger team, police have warned. The married serviceman was jogging near RAF Marham, Norfolk, on the 20 Jul 16 when he was grabbed by a man who tried to drag him towards a nearby car. He was wearing headphones and listening to music so did not hear what the attacker said, but knocked the man to the ground. An accomplice, carrying a knife, helped the attacker to his feet before they both fled. The serviceman, who is in his late twenties, was said to have been left “very shaken by his ordeal”. Police have appealed for witnesses to help find two “Middle Eastern” men, and said other people not seen by the victim may have been in the car. Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Paul Durham encouraged anyone who thinks they may have seen the dark-coloured people carrier to come forward. He said: “While the victim only witnessed two attackers, there may have been more than two people in the vehicle and, given the nature of the attack, it is likely they were part of a larger team. “This is important because I do not want to deter any potential witnesses from coming forward; it is the vehicle we are interested in, regardless of the number of people seen inside.” Police, who have now lifted the cordon at the attempted abduction scene on Squires Hill, have also appealed to drivers in Marham and King’s Lynn to look at their dash-cam footage in case they come across any useful information. Det Supt Durham said: “Many people now use these devices and they may contain something that the driver or rider isn’t aware of, so I would urge people to review their footage from the week leading up to the incident and contact us if they feel it could assist the inquiry.” Police are keen to trace the two men, a dark-coloured people carrier and also the “military-style” knife, with a 2.5 to 3in blade. Officers have urged anyone who was walking or driving on Squires Hill between midday and 6pm on the 20 Jul 16 to come forward. Norfolk Police released descriptions of the two suspects on the 22 Jul 16 as service personnel were reportedly sent a memo warning them about the incident. The first suspect is described as between 20 and 30 years old, about 6ft tall, of athletic, stocky build, with dark hair, which was long on top. He had a well-groomed beard, was Middle Eastern in appearance, with a dark skin tone, and he wore dark, casual clothing. The second suspect is described as being between 20 and 30 but younger than the first suspect and of a slimmer build. He was approximately 5ft 10in, clean-shaven, with short dark hair. He was also Middle Eastern in appearance, and wore a white T-shirt and dark shorts. The Marham base is home to almost 10,000 people, including members of the RAF, Army and Navy. Military bases were increasingly vigilant after the incident although the threat to the public remains unchanged, police said.
United Kingdom/Pakistan/China – Britain has listed the Pakistan-based East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist organisation, a move likely to please China, which has demanded Western support for its fight against a group it says seeks to split off its western region of Xinjiang. In London, the Home Office on the 22 Jul 16 designated ETIM, which it also called the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), as an "Islamic terrorist and separatist organisation" trying to create an "independent caliphate" in Xinjiang, reports The Nation. The addition of ETIM to the list of proscribed organisations comes as leaders from China and Britain have proclaimed the countries are enjoying a "golden age" in relations. Inclusion on the list criminalises association with the group, according to the Home Office website. Criteria for the listing of a group include factors such as the "specific threat it poses to the UK" and "the need to support other members of the international community in the global fight against terrorism". The Home Office said the group is based in tribal regions of Pakistan, had claimed responsibility for attacks in China, "maintained an active and visible presence in the Syrian war" and had detailed its "jihad against the Chinese authorities". China`s Foreign Ministry did not immediately offer a comment on the designation. Hundreds have died in violence in recent years in Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people. Beijing blames the bloodshed on Islamist militants and separatists, though rights groups say the unrest is more a reaction to repressive Chinese policies. Western countries have long been reluctant to share intelligence with China or otherwise cooperate when it comes to counter terrorism in Xinjiang, saying China has provided little evidence to prove ETIM`s existence and citing worries about possible human rights abuses.