Today In

Somalia

US Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced visit to Mogadishu on May 5. The Somali government has “banned” the use of Shabaab’s name by the country’s media, though no punishment was outlined for outlets that continue to use the term.

Egypt

Egypt proposed blocking extremist media during an anti-Islamic State conference in Cairo. One policeman was killed and five injured in clashes with Morsi supporters in Nile Delta city.

Syria

A new round of UN-backed peace talks has started in Geneva. The French president admitted to supplying Syrian rebels with weapons in 2012. At least two civilians were killed and dozens wounded when mortar rounds were fired into a neighborhood by “foreign-sponsored militants” in Aleppo. The Islamic State assaulted Kurdish forces in Hasakeh, killing at least 16, according to SOHR. Assad announced that he would send reinforcements to help troops besieged by Al Nusrah near Jisr al-Shughour in Idlib province. The US-led coalition has conducted one airstrike in Syria, near Al Hasakeh, since May 4.

Libya

The Islamic State crucified three brothers in Derna after accusing them of supporting the Libyan government. Three people were killed when a rocket hit a medical center in Benghazi.

Algeria

The National Defense Ministry announced that three terrorists were killed by troops in Ain Defla and Bouira in the past 24 hours. The Algerian Premier froze a document “liberaliz[ing] alcoholic beverages” after protests from salafists.

Mali

Tuareg rebels attacked the Malian army in the town of Dire in northern Mali. The President of the High Islamic Council of Mali called on rebels to lay down their arms and sign a peace agreement. A French ex-pat captured in Mali went on trial in Paris for collaborating with al Qaeda.

Nigeria

Some of the women and girls recently rescued from Boko Haram by the Nigerian military say the jihadist group began brutally murdering captives as rescue forces neared. Local leaders in Plateau state accused the Nigerian military of murdering civilians and torching homes in revenge for the deaths of six soldiers killed by tribesmen. The military arrested a man accused of supplying food and fuel to Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria.

Libya

The Tripoli-based Islamist faction rejected the UN’s peace proposal that included recognizing the rival internationally-recognized parliament as “the only legislative authority in the country.” The bodies of five Libyan journalists kidnapped eight months ago have been found near the city of Al Bayda, close to the site of their disappearance.

Algeria

The Defense Ministry announced that the Army killed six armed jihadists belonging to the Katibat Ennour group in the Hendu area 120 km east of the capital. Separately, “ten smugglers and four drug traffickers were arrested” on Apr. 27.

Tunisia

Islamic State propoaganda infers that Tunisia is a new target for the expansion of the group’s ‘Caliphate.’ Tunisia will soon be taking delivery of 12 US Blackhawk helicopters to assist in counterterrorism operations.

Mali

Gunmen killed two soldiers and a child when they opened fire on a national guard camp in the town of Goundam in northern Mali. Tuareg rebels attacked UN peacekeepers outside of Timbuktu and fighting broke out in the town of Menaka, casting doubt on a UN-brokered peace process.

Nigeria

The Nigerian Army claimed that it rescued hundreds of kidnapped women and girls in the Sambisa Forest, a known Boko Haram stronghold. According to a spokesman, none of the girls were those kidnapped from Chibok over a year ago.

Syria

The US-led coalition conducted seven airstrikes in Syria between Apr. 21-22, one near Hasakah and six near Kobani. SOHR estimates that the US-led air campaign has killed 2,079 people, including 66 civilians, since its inception in September. A report claims that Al Nusrah’s Khorasan Group has regenerated after taking significant losses early in the Western air campaign. Fighting between Islamist rebels and the Islamic State north of Damascus left over 40 dead, with estimates of 30 rebels and 12 jihadists killed. Russia is arming both the Syrian regime and Iraq in the conflict with the Islamic State. The Islamic State has banned Nike clothing in Iraq and Syria and issued a list of forbidden words, including “‘bitch,’ ‘whore’ and ‘hussy’ as well as religious terms such as ‘vicar’ and ‘cross.'”

Somalia

Shabaab claimed credit for gunning down a senior military officer in Mogadishu. The  jihadist group has promised to continue recent attacks against UN targets. A Kenyan administrative chief was abducted by Shabaab in north Kenya and is now believed to be in Somalia.

Egypt

A shell killed one person and wounded four after hitting a house in Sheikh Zuweid city in North Sinai; the source of the artillery is unknown. Egypt and Bahrain will conduct joint military exercises aimed at influencing the political process in Yemen.

Libya

Jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State released a video showing the execution of 30 Ethiopian Christians on a Libyan shoreline. A bomb exploded in front of the Spanish embassy in Tripoli, causing no injuries.

Mali

A driver was killed during an ambush on a UN peacekeeping supply convoy near Gao in northern Mali, marking the third attack on the UN mission in a week. Al Mourabitoun claimed responsibility for one of the previous attacks, a suicide bombing of a barracks in Ansongo that killed two civilians and wounded nine Nigerien peacekeepers on Apr. 15.

Libya

Fighting broke out in Tripoli between Libya Dawn and local forces, including one of the Islamist group’s factions, after accusations of support for the Libyan National Army. Pro-government forces conducted air strikes near Tripoli; a “security source” claimed that a missile battery was hit. A new round of peace talks backed by the UN began in Morocco. Russia has pledged to supply weapons to the Libyan government if a UN embargo is lifted.

Syria

A former Australian model who joined the Islamic State was reportedly killed fighting in Syria. Some Palestinian rebels are siding with the Assad regime to combat the Islamic State. A group of insurgents in southern Syria announced that they would not cooperate with the Al Nusrah Front. Human Rights Watch claims the Assad regime used chemical weapons in March. The US-led coalition conducted three airstrikes near Kobani, targeting “two ISIL tactical units … four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.”

Somalia

Shabaab staged a suicide assault on the Ministry of Higher Education, killing at least 12 people and wounding 15. Seven attackers were killed. Unknown gunmen wounded a journalist in Mogadishu on Apr. 9.

Egypt

A bomb targeting a bus killed two military academy students and wounded six in Kafr al-Sheikh. Attacks on a checkpoint, a police station and a highway killed at least 12 in the North Sinai on Apr. 12. Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Libya

Jihadists tied to the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a bomb attack at the gate of the Moroccan Embassy and an assault on South Korea’s mission in Tripoli, both on Apr. 13. New Libyan peace talks kicked off in neighboring Algeria. Jordan’s King Abdullah II met with Libyan General Khalifa Haftar and pledged his country’s support in confrontation with “terrorist organizations.” Ten individuals have been killed during a new round of fighting between pro-government forces and Islamist militias in Benghazi.

Tunisia

An interior ministry press release stated that one of the leaders of the “Katibat Abu Mariem” terrorist cell was arrested on Apr. 12, joining twenty of the group’s jihadists captured on Feb. 11. US ambassador in Tunis Jacob Walles said the US is planning to double military aid to Tunisia in order to support the country’s fight against terrorism.

Mali

Two Malian soldiers were killed and others wounded when their vehicle struck a landline near the town of Diabaly in central Mali. Norway, the Netherlands, Bahrain, Croatia, Mauritius, Andorra and Switzerland have pledged $3 million of the $11 million required to rebuild UNESCO World Heritage sites destroyed by jihadists in Timbuktu between March 2012 and January 2013.

Nigeria

Various ceremonies will mark the one year anniversary of Boko Haram’s kidnapping of over 200 school girls from Chibok. President-elect Muhammadu Buhari said  his “government will do everything in its power to bring them home” but cautioned “we do not know if the Chibok girls can be rescued.”

Afghanistan

A Taliban suicide bomber killed four Afghan civilians in an attack on a US military convoy in Jalalabad. The Taliban killed 12 civilians in an IED attack in Ghazni. A Taliban suicide assault team killed 10 people in an attack on a court in Mazar-i-Sharif.

Syria

Fourteen Palestinian factions support a joint military operation with the Assad regime to retake the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus from the Islamic State. The jihadist group is holding 50 civilians hostage after an attack on the village of Mabujeh on Mar. 31. Islamic State fighters killed 17 pro-regime personnel during attacks on checkpoints in Homs province. The jihadist group released images purportedly showing the brutal execution of a gay man in Homs. Peace talks in Moscow ended, failing to reach an agreement. The US-led coalition conducted seven airstrikes in Syria from Apr. 8-9; “Forces hit ISIS vehicles, a garrison, and fighting positions near Al Hasakah, Ar Raqqah and Kobani.”

Somalia

The government placed a bounty on the heads of 11 members of Shabaab. A reward of $250,000 has been offered for the group’s leader, Ahmed Diriye.

Egypt

A number of former military officers are reportedly joining Islamist insurgent groups. Mortar fire killed 11 civilians in North Sinai. The Islamist group Ajnad Misr confirmed the death of its leader in a firefight with security forces in Cairo. The US State Department approved the sale of Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles to Egypt.

Libya

A spiritual leader and top judge with Ansar al Sharia defected to the Islamic State. The Islamic State’s “Tripoli province” released a video calling on its supporters to help the group take over Libya, followed by Tunisia.

Tunisia

Human Rights Watch criticized Tunisia’s new counterterrorism bill, stating it would “permit extended incommunicado detention, weaken due process guarantees for people charged with terrorism offenses, and allow the death penalty.” A fifth Tunisian soldier has died after an ambush near Kasserine on Apr. 7; the Ajnad al-Khilafa Bil Kairouan group claimed responsibility for the attack on social media.

Mali

The UN has labeled a landmine explosion that injured two peacekeepers in Kidal a terrorist act. Cambodia sent 461 troops to peacekeeping missions in Mali and Sudan. The US and French military are assisting in the search for a hostage kidnapped in Burkina Faso and now believed to be in Mali.

Nigeria

A federal government official contradicted recent statements that the kidnapped Chibok girls may have been killed, saying there is still hope for their rescue. The Nigerian military said that it drove Boko Haram from the jihadist group’s remaining stronghold in Alagarno forest in Borno state.

Libya

Libya’s ambassador to the United States said that Libya would like US assistance in containing the Islamic State in Libya, but rejected the idea of a US-led bombing campaign. Interim prime minister al Thinni declared Egypt a strategic partner in the fight against terrorism. A suicide car bomb targeting a checkpoint into the city of Misrata killed six people and wounded 21.

Mali

French forces freed a Dutch hostage held by al Qaeda-linked jihadists since 2011. One person was killed and three injured when three rockets struck the city of Gao.

Nigeria

Boko Haram jihadists disguised as preachers killed at least 24 near a mosque in Kwajafa in Borno state. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees stated his opinion that the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped last year may have been killed.

Syria

International donors pledged $3.8 billion in aid at a conference in Kuwait; the figure is less than half of what the UN said is required to meet the country’s needs. The Islamic State killed more than 40 people, predominantly civilians, when it attacked the village of Mabuja in central Syria on Mar. 31. Canada’s House of Commons approved the country’s participation in air strikes on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Forty-six people were killed by two car bombs as crowds gathered for Kurdish Spring celebrations in the northeastern city of al-Hasakah.

Somalia

On Mar. 30, security forces arrested dozens of individuals suspected of being involved in an attack on the Juba intelligence headquarters in Kismayo. Germany’s parliament authorized the deployment of additional security advisers to Somalia, to augment the 20 troops already there.

Egypt

The US has unfrozen military aid to Egypt that had been suspended in 2013, citing current national security interests. Relatives of Coptic Christians beheaded by the Islamic State in Libya are coming under attack for attempting to build a new church in the village of Al Our, home to 13 of the victims. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told Houthi rebels in Yemen to “back off” as Egypt participates in a regional coalition to stem their advance.

Nigeria

Challenger Muhammadu Buhari defeated incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s presidential election. Chadian and Nigerien soldiers drove Boko Haram from Malam Fatori in northeastern Nigeria.

Libya

A rocket killed a Filipino and wounded eight others, including three Filipinos, one African national and four Libyans, in the western Libyan town of Zawiya. According to Egyptian state media, three Egyptian hostages were freed by Libyan soldiers from their extremist captors in Banghazi. The internationally-recognized Libyan government will request intervention from the Arab League to help stabilize the country.

Tunisia

Prime Minister Habib Essid announced that Tunisian security forces have killed Khaled Chayeb, the commander of the attack that massacred 21 tourists at the National Bardo Museum, and eight other jihadists during an ambush overnight. Political leaders and thousands of Tunisians conducted an anti-terrorism march in Tunis on Mar. 29.

Nigeria

A minimum of 15 -39 people have been killed in Nigeria after Boko Haram’s threat to disrupt elections with violence. Vote counting has begun amid warnings from the US and UK of “deliberate political interference” and one observer noting that the polling was “generally fair.”

Syria

SOHR claims that the regime killed 18 people, including three children, while shelling the town of Daraa in southern Syria.The US dropped graphic anti-jihadist leaflets over the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will investigate claims of a chemical weapons attack on the village of Sarmin that killed sex and wounded dozens. The UN doubled its estimate of Syrians living in besieged areas to about 440,000. An Islamic State suicide bomber hit a Kurdish checkpoint in the city of Hasakah, killing one and injuring another. A Hezbollah commander and two fighters were reportedly killed by Syrian rebels near the Lebanese border.

Kenya

Shabaab gunned down a senior officer with Kenya’s counterterrorism police in Mombasa. Security forces are on high alert amidst reports that Shabaab operatives have snuck into the country to conduct attacks.

Somalia

A senior Shabaab commander was captured along with three others when security forces raided his hideout in Mogadishu, according to a senior intelligence officer. Amisom troops deserted the strategic towns of Awdeegle , Barrire and Sabiib in Lower Shebelle region, according to residents. Interim Jubbaland Forces and African Union troops are conducting an offensive against Shabaab in the Jubba region.

 

Egypt

A ten-year-old girl was killed when she picked up an improvised explosive device placed near her school in Fayoum province. A senior police official was killed in a shootout with unknown gunmen in Suez. The rise in terrorist attacks in Egypts is apparently failing to drive off investors. Egypt is ready to send troops into Yemen along with regional Arab partners.

Libya

Jihadists allied with the Islamic State clashed with both pro-government and rival Islamist militia forces in Sirte and Benghazi. A suicide bomber killed five security personnel working for a rival Islamist faction in Sirte, while a string of suicide bombing in Benghazi killed at least 12 individuals fighting for the internationally recognized government. Islamic State jihadists released two Bangladeshi hostages taken in the attack on the Al Ghani oilfield south of Sirte more than two weeks ago.

Tunisia

Newly released video shows the moment gunfire erupted during the jihadist attack on the Bardo museum in Tunis. Tataouine, the Tunisian town famous as the setting for the planet of Tattooine in the movie Star Wars, has reportedly become a waypoint for jihadists transiting to Libya.

Mali

Two bomb makers were killed when their explosives prematurely detonated, destroying a house in Gao.