Recent Highlights in Terrorist Activity

Nov 28, 2012

October 1, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber attacked a joint NATO-Afghan patrol in Khost, killing at least 14 people. Three of the dead were U.S. soldiers. The Taliban claimed responsibility. – Voice of America, October 1

October 1, 2012 (IRAQ): The Iraqi government announced that 365 people were killed in militant attacks in September, the highest number of monthly deaths in more than two years. According to the figures, 182 civilians, 95 soldiers and 88 policemen were killed during the month. – Reuters, October 1

October 1, 2012 (KENYA): Suspected al-Shabab militants hurled a grenade at a Kenyan police post in Garissa, close to the Kenya-Somalia border. There were no casualties. – Reuters, October 1

October 4, 2012 (YEMEN): The U.S. State Department officially identified Ansar al-Shari`a in Yemen as an alias of al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). According to the statement, Ansar al-Shari`a “is simply AQAP’s effort to rebrand itself, with the aim of manipulating people to join AQAP’s terrorist cause.” – Wall Street Journal, October 4; U.S. State Department, October 4

October 4, 2012 (YEMEN): Three U.S. drone strikes killed five suspected members of al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula in Shabwa Province. – CNN, October 4

October 8, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle attacked an Afghan police station in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province. The explosion killed at least two Afghan intelligence agents. – AFP, October 8

October 8, 2012 (SYRIA): A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb near Syria’s Air Force Intelligence compound on the outskirts of Damascus. Jabhat al-Nusra claimed responsibility, and said that the attack involved two car bombs. – AP, October 8; BBC, October 9

October 8, 2012 (YEMEN): Yemeni authorities arrested a U.S. citizen at a hotel in Shabwa Province on suspicions of having links to al-Qa`ida. The man was carrying two U.S. passports as well as a German passport. – AP, October 13

October 9, 2012 (UNITED STATES): Abu Hamza al-Masri, an Islamic cleric charged with aiding al-Qa`ida, was arraigned in a U.S. court after eight years of fighting extradition from the United Kingdom. – Bloomberg, October 9

October 9, 2012 (PAKISTAN): Taliban militants shot a 14-year-old female student activist in the head while she was on her way home from school in Mingora, located in the Swat Valley. A spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility, and said that the girl, Malala Yousafzai, “has become a symbol of Western culture in the area.” Yousafzai survived the attack, but is in critical condition. According to many press reports, Pakistanis were shocked over the incident. – New York Times, October 10; Voice of America, October 10

October 10, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A U.S. drone killed five suspected insurgents at a compound in North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. – AAP, October 12

October 11, 2012 (YEMEN): Masked gunmen shot to death a Yemeni security official who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Sana`a. The official, Qassim Aklan, had “worked for the U.S. Embassy for almost 20 years and had been involved in investigating the storming of the U.S. Embassy compound by protestors last month,” said a report from USA Today. He was killed when two men on a motorcycle opened fire on his vehicle. – New York Times, October 11; USA Today, October 11

October 11, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A U.S. drone killed 18 suspected insurgents at a militant compound in Orakzai Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Most of the dead were reportedly Afghans. – AAP, October 12

October 12, 2012 (SYRIA): Rebel fighters seized a government missile defense base near Aleppo in northern Syria. Among the rebels included members of Jabhat al-Nusra, a Salafi-jihadi group.  – CBS News, October 12

October 12, 2012 (ALGERIA): Algerian troops reportedly killed Boualem Bekai, also known as Khaled al-Mig, near Tizi Ouzou. Bekai was considered the number two in al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb. – BBC, October 15

October 13, 2012 (GLOBAL): Al-Qa`ida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri released a new audiotape urging Muslims to wage holy war against the United States and Israel due to the film Innocence of Muslims that portrays the Prophet Muhammad in a highly negative light. – AFP, October 13

October 13, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber on a motorbike targeted a local intelligence office in Maruf district of Kandahar Province, killing at least nine people. Two of the dead were Americans. The Taliban claimed responsibility. It was later revealed that the bomber was an Afghan intelligence agent who had worked at the agency for eight years. The bomber had moved his wife and children to Pakistan a week before he attacked the facility. – AP, October 13; AFP, October 16

October 13, 2012 (PAKISTAN): A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle killed at least 14 people near an arms bazaar in Darra Adam Khel in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. – Reuters, October 13; New York Times, October 13

October 13, 2012 (ISRAEL): Israel killed Hisham Saidani, an influential Salafi-jihadi, in an airstrike in the Gaza Strip. Saidani was killed along with one other top militant. As stated by the Associated Press, “In recent years, a number of shadowy groups that claim inspiration from al-Qaida have been on the rise in Gaza. While they are not believed to have direct links with the global terror network [al-Qa`ida], they share the same belief that they can impose their fundamentalist version of Islam by force and frequently borrow its tactics. They have also clashed with Gaza’s ruling Islamic militant Hamas movement.” – AP, October 14

October 14, 2012 (NORTH AFRICA): Abdelmalek Droukdel, the leader of al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), reportedly appointed Yahya Abou El Hamame as amir of the Sahel. El Hamame, whose real name is reportedly Djamal Okacha, will replace Nabil Makhloufi, who is believed to have died in a car accident in September 201. – AFP, October 15

October 15, 2012 (IRAQ): Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in the town center of Tuz Khurmatu, killing two policemen. – AFP, October 15

October 16, 2012 (UNITED STATES): A U.S. appeals court overturned the conviction of Salim Hamdan, Usama bin Ladin’s former driver and bodyguard, concluding that “providing support for terrorism was not a war crime at the time of Hamdan’s alleged conduct from 1996 to 2001 and therefore could not support a conviction,” according to Reuters. Hamdan, who was convicted in 2008 while at Guantanamo Bay, was returned to Yemen in November 2008. Yemen freed him in January 2009 to live with his family in Sana`a. – Reuters, October 16

October 16, 2012 (YEMEN): A suicide bomber and other militants killed six Yemeni militiamen during an attack on a checkpoint in Abyan Province. – AFP, October 16

October 17, 2012 (UNITED STATES): The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a Bangladeshi national living in Jamaica, Queens, for plotting to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan. The suspect, identified as 21-year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, tried to detonate by cell phone an inert 1,000-pound bomb that he parked next to the Federal Reserve on Liberty Street. An undercover FBI agent had provided him with the non-functioning bomb. Nafis described Usama bin Ladin as “our beloved sheikh.” – New York Daily News, October 17

October 17, 2012 (UNITED STATES): The U.S. Treasury Department announced that it froze the assets of three Pakistan-based individuals accused of supporting the Taliban and other militant groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The three were identified as Maulawi Adam Khan Achekzai, Aamir Ali Chaudhry and Qari Ayyub Bashir. – Reuters, October 17

October 17, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden vehicle into a joint U.S.-Afghan base in Zurmat district of Paktia Province. At least 45 Afghan soldiers were wounded. The Taliban claimed responsibility. – Reuters, October 17

October 18, 2012 (NIGERIA): According to Reuters, “A senior member of the Islamist sect Boko Haram has been arrested at the home of a senator in the group’s stronghold in northeastern Nigeria…adding to evidence that the group has ties to government officials.” – Reuters, October 20

October 18, 2012 (YEMEN): A U.S. drone killed at least nine suspected militants who were preparing to attack Yemeni troops in Abyan Province. – New York Times, October 18

October 19, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A roadside bomb killed at least 19 people on their way to a wedding in Balkh Province. Most of the dead were women and children. – Reuters, October 19

October 19, 2012 (YEMEN): Al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants killed 16 Yemeni soldiers during an attack on an army base in Shuqra, Abyan Province. According to Reuters, “Two militants disguised in army uniforms drove an explosives-laden car into the military base…moments later, other militants assaulted the base from the sea and a fierce battle ensued.” – Reuters, October 19

October 19, 2012 (IRAN): A suicide bomber targeted a Shi`a mosque in Sistan-Baluchistan Province, killing two Basij militiamen. – AFP, October 19

October 20, 2012 (NORTH AFRICA): A leader of al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb warned France against attempting to rescue six French hostages. – Reuters, October 20

October 21, 2012 (JORDAN): Jordanian authorities announced that they arrested 11 suspected al-Qa`ida-linked militants who were allegedly plotting to attack shopping malls and Western diplomatic missions in the country. – CBS News, October 21

October 21, 2012 (YEMEN): A U.S. drone killed four suspected militants from al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula in Marib Province. – Voice of America, October 21

October 21, 2012 (YEMEN): Said al-Shihri, second-in-command of al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula, released a new audiotape rejecting reports of his death. – Reuters, October 22

October 22, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): Taliban militants killed 10 Afghan troops in an ambush in Herat Province. – AP, October 23

October 23, 2012 (IRAQ): A series of attacks targeted Shi`a neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing nine people. – AP, October 23

October 23, 2012 (RUSSIA): A suicide bomber in a vehicle attacked a police checkpoint in Russia’s North Caucasus region, killing a policeman. The incident occurred between the province of North Ossetia and Ingushetia. – Reuters, October 23

October 24, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A group of Taliban militants reportedly attacked a village bazaar in Faryab Province. Afghan forces, however, managed to kill 24 of the militants, as well as their commander, who has been identified as the Taliban shadow governor for Faryab Province. Five policemen were killed. – AFP, October 25

October 25, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A man wearing an Afghan National Police uniform killed two U.S. Special Operations troops in Uruzgan Province. – Voice of America, October 25

October 26, 2012 (GLOBAL): Al-Qa`ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a new video message criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama, demanding that he admit defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan and North Africa. Al-Zawahiri also called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners. – AFP, October 26

October 26, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A suicide bomber killed at least 40 people in a mosque in Faryab Province. – Reuters, October 26

October 28, 2012 (KENYA): Kenyan police shot to death a Muslim cleric accused of having ties to al-Shabab. The cleric, Omar Faraj, was killed after police burst into his home in Mombasa’s Majengo district. Authorities did not provide further details about the incident. – Reuters, October 28

October 28, 2012 (SOMALIA): Al-Shabab militants killed General Mohamed Ibrahim Farah, a top Somali military commander. The general was ambushed near the strategic town of Merka. – BBC, October 29

October 28, 2012 (NIGERIA): A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at a Catholic church in Kaduna, killing at least seven people. – BBC, October 28

October 28, 2012 (YEMEN): A suspected U.S. drone killed four al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula militants in Sa`da Province. – Reuters, October 28

October 30, 2012 (AFGHANISTAN): A man in an Afghan police uniform killed two NATO service members in southern Afghanistan. – AP, October 30