Beyond the Wire - 02 January 2018
January 2, 2018Your daily briefing on the state of the world, and the state of the art for all things Transnational Threats. If you are having trouble viewing the interactive map, please click here. We welcome your feedback! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South and Central AsiaBlast at Funeral in Eastern Afghanistan Kills 15
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which comes days after at least 41 people were killed and more than 80 wounded in a suicide attack on a Shi‘ite cultural center in Kabul on Thursday. (Reuters)
Russia's Afghanistan Strategy
For the last decade and a half, Russia and the United States have had largely similar aims in Afghanistan: preventing chaos and the reemergence of a safe haven for terrorists. That convergence has allowed the two countries to work together. But beneath the surface, there are important differences. (Foreign Affairs)
Taliban Ambush Kills Local Police Chief in Afghanistan
The Taliban, who carry out near-daily assaults on Afghan security forces, claimed the attack. (Washington Post)
Emergence of Radical Political Groups Raises Concern in Pakistan
Concerns are being voiced in Pakistan about how a few radical groups with proven terror ties have been allowed to re-brand themselves as political parties. (VOA News)
Europe and EurasiaRussia Indicts St Petersburg Blast Suspect on Terrorism Charges
The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the blast but did not provide evidence to support its assertion. The claim came after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the explosion, caused by what investigators said was a homemade bomb packed with pieces of metal, was an act of terrorism. (Reuters)
Turkey Detains 20 Suspected Islamic State Members, Including 15 Foreigners
The raids by the anti-terrorist branch of the Istanbul police took place on Saturday and targeted four locations across the city, the police said in a statement on Sunday. They did not give the nationalities of the foreign suspects. (Reuters)
Middle East and North AfricaChristians in Shock After Deadly Attack on Coptic Church in Egypt
Islamist militants have claimed several attacks on Egypt’s large Christian minority in recent years, including two bombings on Palm Sunday in April and a blast at Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral in December 2016 that killed 28 people. (Reuters)
An Israeli Citizen Joined ISIS and Lived to Tell the Tale
An Israeli recounts slipping into Syria under fire, fighting his first battle, taking part in a beheading and making an unlikely return home. (Haaretz)
Islamic State Returns to Guerrilla Warfare in Iraq and Syria
Despite Syrian and Iraqi claims of victory over Islamic State, thousands of militants still holed up in both countries have mounted a number of recent guerrilla-style attacks on civilians and military forces, according to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the extremist group and others.
(Wall Street Journal)
Hassan: Its Dreams of a Caliphate are Gone. Now ISIS Has a Deadly New Strategy
ISIS has sought to tout itself as the defender of Sunnis across the region and the choice of words in its statement is designed to drive that message. The sectarian theme is likely to be the group’s main focus in the coming years, as it retreats from a caliphate to an insurgency.
The U.S. Has Pummeled Al Qaeda in Yemen. But the Threat Is Barely Dented.
The United States has tripled the number of airstrikes this year against Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, one of the deadliest and most sophisticated terrorist organizations in the world. American allies have pushed the militants from their lucrative coastal strongholds. And the Pentagon recently boasted of killing key Qaeda leaders and disrupting the group’s operations. Yet the top United States counterterrorism official and other American intelligence analysts concede the campaign has barely dented the terrorist group’s ability to strike United States interests. (New York Times)
East Asia and the PacificHow Many Rohingya Villages Have Been Burned
In the four months since the Myanmar military began a crackdown after Rohingya militants attacked an army base and police posts on Aug. 25, around 655,000 members of the stateless Muslim minority have fled the western state of Rakhine and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh. (Reuters)