June 19, 2012
Significant Terrorist Events in the News: May 18- June 18, 2012
START's Significant Terrorism Events in the News is designed to give a brief overview of the past month's most significant developments in terms of terrorism and counterterrorism. The cases were selected based on visibility in the news and regional diversity. The articles selected are intended to be a sample of current events regarding terrorism around the world and not a definitive list.
United Kingdom: Crackdown on Real IRA leads to the arrest of nine in Northern Ireland
In the past month, at least nine people have been arrested on terrorism charges, including at least three charges of "directing terrorism." The seven arrested in the first sweep included three family members of a senior Real IRA figure, a single mother of three and three other individuals. The woman and the three other individuals were arrested in the city of Omagh, where the most deadly attack in the region occurred in 1998. Several days after this arrest, two more individuals were arrested and charged with terrorism when seven pipe bombs were discovered in their vehicle.
- Associated Press "7 charged with terror crimes in Real IRA crackdown," May 19, 2012.
- Belfast Telegraph "Mother charged with directing terrorism in Northern Ireland," May 21, 2012.
- Belfast Telegraph "Two charges with terror offences," May 29, 2012.
Libya: Embassies targeted in Libya
Unrest continues after the end of the Gadhafi regime as the U.S. and U.K. embassies have been targeted in attacks within days of each other. Two attacks targeted representatives from the U.K. An embassy convoy was attacked in Benghazi. While information about the nature of the attack was not released initially, later reports indicate that the convoy, escorting a British ambassador, was hit by a rocket propelled grenade attack. Two bodyguards were injured in the attacks. Another convoy was targeted by unknown explosives near the city of Sabha.
A few days before the attack on the British ambassador, also in Benghazi, a bomb was placed outside of the U.S. embassy walls. The explosion occurred late at night or early in the morning. While no deaths or injuries were reported, damage was done to one of the gates into the embassy compound. While there are a number of theories about who may be responsible for the attacks, no group has claimed responsibility.
- Reuters "Bomb Targets U.S. Mission on Libya," June 6, 2012.
- Associated Press "UK embassy convoy attacked in Libya," June 11, 2012.
- Associated Press "British embassy convoy attacked in eastern Libya, all staff accounted for," June 11, 2012.
- Washington Post "Attacks on Western targets in Libya sow fears of Islamist extremists," June 15, 2012.
Afghanistan: Attacks on school teaching girls sends hundreds to the hospital
At least 280 students and a few teachers were sent to hospitals after being poisoned in two separate incidents at the Aahan Dara Girls School. Afghan authorities believe that members of the Taliban are responsible for the poisonings. However, the Taliban has blamed NATO and U.S. forces. Before the Taliban was removed from power in Afghanistan, women were not allowed to go to school or work outside of the home. Women and girls who have begun attending school in the last 8 years have been the targets of frequent attacks, including poisonings and acid attacks. Authorities suspect that some sort of poison was sprayed inside the classrooms before the students arrived.
- Reuters "Afghan girls poisoned in second anti-school attack," May 23, 2012.
- Voice of America "120 Afghan Girls Poisoned," May 23, 2012.
- CNN "Official: 160 girls poisoned at Afghan school," May 29, 2012.
- CNN "Afghan school poisonings an omen?" May 30, 2012.
Russia: Ten convicted in 2009 train bombing
Ten people have been convicted for their roles in the bombing of a Nevsky Express train that left 27 dead and another 130 people injured on November 28, 2009. The attack was claimed by a group called the Caucasian Mujahadeen shortly after it was carried out. The claim was posted on the website, Kavkazcenter.com. According to the BBC, this website is known to have reliable information regarding claims of attacks within the region. In the recent convictions, there were a variety of charges and sentences. Only four of those convicted were given life terms for murder. The rest were convicted of lesser charges and received sentences of no more than eight years. (Global Terrorism Database Event ID: 200911270009)
- BBC "North Caucasus group in Russia train bomb web claim," Dec. 2, 2009.
- United Press International "4 sentenced to life for train bombing," May 22, 2012.
- BBC "Russia: Ten jailed for bomb," May 22, 2012.
United States: Terror suspect in Seattle wants evidence thrown out
Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif (aka Joseph Anthony Davis) faces charges of plotting to attack the Military Entrance Processing Station in Seattle. Some of the evidence against him was collected through a secret warrant obtained through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. According to the Associated Press, it is unclear if throwing out the evidence will truly impact the prosecution’s case. Abdul-Latif was arrested when he and a co-conspirator went to a warehouse to buy machine guns to use in the planned attack.
- Associated Press "Seattle terror suspect wants evidence tossed," June 5, 2012.
- CBS "Two arrested in alleged Seattle terror plot," June 23, 2011.
This compilation of Significant Terrorism Events in the News was edited by START Researcher Jaime Shoemaker.