The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Robert Lorenzo Hester, Jr., 25, of Columbia, Missouri, on 21 February 2017, for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State (IS) and plotting an act of domestic terrorism. The plan had been an attack on 20 February, the first Presidents’ Day of the Donald Trump administration. Continue reading
In Las Vegas, just after 22:00 Pacific Time on 1 October [6:00 on 2 October, British time], 64-year-old Stephen Paddock fired about 1,100 rounds over a ten-minute period from the thirty-second floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel at the crowd gathered on the Las Vegas Strip for the Route 91 Harvest music festival (the country singer, Jason Aldean, was playing at the time). When the shooting stopped, fifty-eight people had been murdered—making this the deadliest mass-shooting in American history—and 546 people had been injured. Paddock was found dead in the hotel room, having apparently shot himself.
The Islamic State claimed the Las Vegas attack via Amaq on 2 October, and soon released a fuller statement naming the killer as “Abu Abd al-Bir al-Amriki”. This followed the previous pattern laid down by IS when it claims its foreign terrorist attacks. There is as yet no definitive evidence of Paddock being motivated by jihadist ideology, nor of contact between Paddock and IS, and U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement have been quick to claim that such links do not exist.
In the 100th edition of Al-Naba, IS’s weekly newsletter, IS added details to its claims, page three contained a brief article adding details to IS’s claims about Las Vegas. A rough translation of the Naba article is reproduced below. Continue reading
The Islamic State (IS) has escalated a campaign of global terrorism over the past few years, exactly as it was losing overt control of territory. In 2016, IS consolidated a model of guiding and claiming attacks in the West and elsewhere via is media channel, Amaq. The outlines of this have long been known. Now there is significant new detail thanks to a four part reporting series in the German newspaper BILD by Björn Stritzel, who contacted Amaq and posed over many months—in consultation with Germany security agencies—as a potential terrorist. Continue reading
It was an hour into 2017 that the Islamic State (IS) carried out its first act of mass-murder: an IS jihadist attacked the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, massacring thirty-nine people. IS has been attacking Turkey with increasing frequency over the last two years and, since Turkey intervened directly in Syria in August, IS’s media output has elevated the Turks into a priority target for terrorism. The public claim of responsibility by IS for the Reina attack suggests that we are moving into a new era in terms of how IS treats Turkey. Turkey’s increasingly warm relations with Russia have angered many Muslims around the world, providing jihadists an incentive and opportunity, and providing al-Qaeda political space it seemed to have lost to co-opt the Syrian rebellion. It is therefore likely that more bloodshed is to come for Turkey. Continue reading