Australian authorities say they broke up an especially “sophisticated” Islamic State plot in late July. The so-called caliphate wanted to bring down an airliner using an improvised explosive device (IED). The Islamic State even shipped the IED components to the suspects in Australia. The accused men were also allegedly experimenting with a bomb intended to disperse hydrogen sulfide.
The UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee has released its investigative report on the Aug. 21, 2015 drone strike that killed UK national Reyaad Khan. The bombing was “the first time outside participation in a military campaign that the UK had conducted a lethal drone strike against a terrorist target.” Khan was one of the Islamic State’s most prolific cyber planners.
On Mar. 30, the US Treasury Department designated Bahrun Naim as a terrorist. Naim is one of the most prolific planners of the Islamic State’s so-called “remote-controlled” attacks. Most of his plots have been thwarted by counterterrorism officials, but he has a broad network of supporters in Indonesia.
The US-led coalition targeted Rachid Kassim near Mosul, Iraq earlier this week. Kassim is an Islamic State operative responsible for “remote-controlling” attacks in France. He has been tied to several plots.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a short statement claiming responsibility for the assault on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany yesterday. Twelve people were killed and dozens more injured when a lorry was rammed into the market. Two attacks in Germany earlier this year were “remote-controlled” by the group’s digital operatives.
Justin Nojan Sullivan has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges, including conspiring with Islamic State operative Junaid Hussain to plan “mass casualty shooting attacks on behalf” of the Islamic State. Hussain, who was killed in an airstrike last year, asked Sullivan to make a video of the attacks and Sullivan agreed. Hussain was one of the Islamic State’s key digital planners.