French authorities ended a hostage crisis earlier today after an armed man assaulted a supermarket in Trèbes. The man reportedly killed at least three people, including a passenger in a car he attempted to hijack and two others in the market. The Islamic State (ISIS) claims the perpetrator is its “soldier.” ISIS has been tied to a series of plots in France since 2014.
The State Department announced today that Joe Asperman, a French national, has been designated as a terrorist. Asperman works as “a senior chemical weapons expert for ISIS” and “oversaw chemical operations production within Syria for ISIS and the deployment of these chemical weapons at the battlefront.”
Umar Ahmed Haque plotted to use 55 children in attacks throughout London. The plot appears to have inspired by the Islamic State’s use of boys in suicide attacks, executions and other terrorist operations. Thirty-five (35) of the children “require longer-term support” after Haque showed them grisly videos and scared them into submission.
The State Department announced today announced today that seven ISIS-affiliated groups have been designated as terrorist organizations. Underscoring the so-called caliphate’s growth outside of Iraq and Syria, the move targets ISIS affiliates in Bangladesh, Egypt, the Philippines, Somalia, Tunisia and West Africa. Two ISIS leaders in Africa were named as specially designated global terrorists as well.
On January 19, the Pentagon released its new National Defense Strategy, which prioritizes “inter-state strategic competition” from China and Russia over “terrorism.” In many ways, the strategy makes sense. However, the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda has not been eliminated. The jihadists are fighting around the globe, everywhere from West Africa to Southeast Asia.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a shooting at a church in Kizlyar, a town in Dagestan, earlier today. Russian officials have confirmed that at least five people were killed and four more wounded.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency quickly claimed responsibility for an assault near the Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. It is the third major attack inside the Afghan capital in the past eight days. The previous two were carried out by the Taliban.
Dozens of civilians were killed during a bombing at the Tabayan cultural center in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier today. The Islamic State’s Khorasan “province,” which regularly targets Shiite civilians and places of worship in Afghanistan, quickly claimed responsibility.