Displaying items by tag: Terrorism
The sixth Paris Peace Forum, on 10 and 11 November, will focus on four different topics. Emmanuel Macron, along with Barbadian PM Mia Mottley and several African leaders, will assess the progress of the ‘Paris Pact for People and the Planet’, launched in June, which aims to provide substantial funding to combat poverty and climate change, in preparation for December’s COP28 in Dubai. An appeal will be launched to address the ‘collapse’ of ‘all ice surfaces on a global scale.’States affected by glacier loss, such as Nepal and Kyrgyzstan, will participate, as will China and India. Although Russia, a major Arctic actor, will not participate due to the conflict in Ukraine, the Elysée asserts that this will not be an obstacle to cooperation between other countries. Macron will also preside over the fifth Christchurch Call Summit, launched with New Zealand after the terrorist attack in Christchurch in 2019, aiming to enhance efforts to ‘combat terrorist and violent extremist content online’. Another top priority for Macron is to regulate digital platforms and artificial intelligence.
The British royal family has publicly condemned Hamas as terrorists and expressed their dismay at the attacks on Israel. King Charles and the Prince and Princess of Wales have all criticised the group's actions. The comments come as the BBC faces pressure to refer to Hamas as terrorists rather than militants. The controversy regarding this reluctance has sparked debate among political figures and former executives. The BBC has defended its stance, stating that using the term ‘terrorist’ could compromise journalistic impartiality. Critics argue that by not using the term, the BBC is taking sides, and claim that it fails to accurately report acts of terrorism and war crimes. Despite the debate, the royal family remains focused on supporting interfaith and inter-community dialogue and promoting peace and understanding in challenging times. The King has a history of engaging in peace efforts in the region, including visits to Israel and the West Bank.
The Hezbollah terror group has recently raised the frequency of provocations on Israel's northern border. On 12 July angry rioters went to the security fence on Israel's northern border with Lebanon to light fires and hurl rocks. Israel’s soldiers (IDF) were forced to fire warning shots to disperse them. Also, recent missile fire near Ghajar only barely missed a military vehicle. A different result would have utterly changed the situation in northern Israel. Hezbollah has illegally erected several tents within the Mount Dov area and has coerced Lebanon’s government into asserting additional claims on Israel, demanding they remove a fence securing the village of Ghajar. ‘No one knows when it will happen, but war is just a matter of time. We are on high alert. There are provocations on the border fence’, said the IDF commander.
Arab reports indicate a Palestinian terror group based in Syria with ties to Iran and Hezbollah is actively preparing for a new series of attacks inside Israel. Speaking from Syria, Fadi Malach, commander of the Galilean Wolves, said, ‘We are in the midst of preparations for a series of additional operations inside Israel, despite Israel’s warning to Hezbollah, who might go on another adventure.’ Malach also said that his group was responsible for a roadside bombing at the Megiddo Junction in northern Israel on 13 March, which injured an Israeli motorist. The man who planted the bomb was subsequently killed by Israeli soldiers while driving back towards the Lebanese border. Explosives and a weapon were found in the vehicle, and the terrorist wore a suicide bomb belt. Malach said Galilean Wolves have been active since 2004, in an effort to liberate Galilee in the first stage, and they are not co-opted by Iran.
Bassam Tawil, a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East writes, ‘If anyone has been desecrating al-Aqsa Mosque, it is Muslims who have been rioting and using rocks and fireworks to attack police officers and Jewish visitors. Muslim rioters, not peaceful Jewish visitors, are the real threat to the sanctity of the mosque. Israeli authorities have clarified that the route of the “flag parade” absolutely does not include entry into any mosque. Such assurances have not stopped Palestinians and other Muslims from spreading fake news and libels against Jews. Iran's terror proxies Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have also used the celebrations in Jerusalem to spread the libel that Jews are planning to “desecrate” al-Aqsa Mosque. As far as Hamas and other Palestinians are concerned, the very presence of Jews at their holy site and in Israel is a “provocation”. Terror groups are repeating the lie that the mosque is in danger.’
Following two nights of violence between police and ‘agitators’ at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque, 34 rockets were launched into Israel’s civilian population from southern Lebanon terrorists. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said 25 of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system. See Israel’s military then carried out air strikes on Hamas targets in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Gaza retaliated with dozens more rockets. IDF warplanes struck Hamas’ infrastructures in Lebanon and Gaza, including an underground shaft to construct weapons, three weapons workshops and an underground terrorist tunnel. Another 44 rockets from Gaza towards southern Israel were intercepted. See On Good Friday, two British-Israeli sisters were killed and their mother later died after being shot in the West Bank. The next day, an Italian tourist was killed and seven others injured in a Tel Aviv car-ramming. Benjamin Netanyahu has called up army and police reservists.
The military junta in Myanmar has carried out its deadliest attack yet on civilians in rebel-held areas. It bombed a meeting of community leaders, killing about 100, including 30 children. The junta has increasingly used airstrikes to crush resistance since it seized power in 2021, often targeting schools and clinics run by the opposition. Myanmar’s military is losing against armed ground battles that have sprung up since the coup, so they are increasingly relying on airstrikes, targeting the most vulnerable. The whole country is up in arms, and every single community is involved in some kind of armed resistance against this military dictatorship. So they are trying to terrorise the civilian populations into submission with mass arrests, torturing prisoners, beheading civilians, and media repression. Graphic images posted online and verified by Al Jazeera and other media show burning limbs at the recent bomb scene. The UN warns of worsening human rights violations across Myanmar.
The director of MI5 says Iran has plotted the assassination and kidnapping of at least ten British residents it accuses of being ‘enemies of the regime’. A Home Office statement said, ‘You may have seen Ken McCallum’s annual threat update, in which he said that Iran’s instability is bringing real-world consequences here in the UK. It has become the state-actor which most frequently crosses into terrorism, and we see the regime resorting to more and more extreme measures to silence its critics at home. We also see Iran projecting threats directly to the UK through its aggressive intelligence services. We know, at the most extreme end, its ambitions include kidnapping and killing British or UK-based individuals they perceive to be enemies of the regime.’
On 2 September, al-Shabaab terrorists killed 18 civilians and destroyed several relief trucks in central Somalia. Al-Shabaab has increased attacks over the summer. In August they killed several Somali soldiers and attacked military bases in Kenya, Mali, and Ethiopia. An attack on a Mogadishu hotel lasting 35 hours killed 21 people. Its leaders want to replace al-Qaeda and expand their reach. Al-Qaeda has not found a leader to replace Ayman al-Zawahiri. If one is not chosen soon, al-Shabaab could declare its East African government separate from al-Qaeda and hope to overthrow the government of Somalia itself. They are receiving resources through forcing people to pay taxes by threatening them, bombing their businesses, or kidnapping their daughters. Despite the danger, many continue to share the story of Jesus. These are not US or European missionaries; they are Muslim background believers living in close proximity in the same culture. World Mission sends them solar-powered audio Bibles in the local language.
The Houthi terrorists are based in Yemen. Recently, senior Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi went on an antisemitic tirade supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine, stating, ‘It is because Ukraine’s President is Jewish. Any country run by a Jew ends up going to war.’ His statement gives an insight into what to expect from Iran and its proxies. Many are saying, ‘We must recognise Iran for what it is and redesignate the Houthis, who operate as a weapon of war for the Iranian regime.’ Currently Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are raising serious concerns about any new agreement between the USA and Iran that involves Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability. They see that embracing Iran comes from a false hope that it will lead to better behaviour by its regime and terrorist proxies.