ISIS and Al Qaeda Continue Fight for Ramadan Market Share with Emergence of Hamza bin Laden
The international fight against terrorism continues as a grave challenge to Western security forces, as it was reported that the United Kingdom was looking at a wider conspiracy in the Manchester bombing. Twelve men of Libya extraction remain in custody in Britain, including Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomber Salman Abedi’s brother. While, Abedi’s his younger brother and father are under arrest in Libya.
There has been a car bomb attack reported in the Saudi Arabian Shiite City of Qatif, in the second such incident in the past week. On Wednesday, two people were killed in a shooting in a private school in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. No children were present during the incident.
Russian naval forces reportedly pounded ISIS positions around Palmyra, Syria, with cruise missile yesterday killing an estimated 80 terrorists. It is now estimated that only 10 kilometers of Mosul is left in the hands of the Islamic State. A week ago, Syrian news media reported that the ISIS War Minister Abu Musab al-Masri had been killed in fighting as the noose tightens on ISIS ground forces in Iraq and Syria. Today it was reported that the head of the ISIS media organization, Amaq, Rayan Meshaal also known as Baraa Kalec was killed in fighting along with senior cleric Turki al-Bina’li. Turki al-Bina’li is the notorious published of a pamphlet distributed to ISIS supporters telling them that it was alright to take Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves an architect of the ISIS genocide in the region. In the Philippines, an errant airstrike has killed 10 Philippines soldiers as they try and retake Marawai, Mindanao from the ISIS off-shoot the Maute. Some 140 people have been killed and 70,000 displaced as the Maute force people at gunpoint to recite the Koran. Those that cannot do so are executed.
Singapore is on a heightened state of alert for ISIS attacks as it hosts a major international security dialogue and has increasingly become a focus of ISIS interest in the region.
In Afghanistan the Haqqani-terror network, allied with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, are blamed for the bombing in Kabul’s diplomatic quarter yesterday, that killed 90, and wounded 400. Many of the dead are women and children. This comes a day after women, children and seniors were targeted by a car bomb in Baghdad outside the Al-Faqma ice cream parlor, killing 90 people.
It appears that Osama bin Laden’s 28- year-old son, Hamza bin Laden is emerging as the next leader of a renewed Al Qaeda after he released his first jihadi video this Month. The timing of the video comes as Al Qaeda struggles fort market share with other Islamic extremists, particularly ISIS, and as aging Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, continue to shrink from public view.
Meanwhile, in terms of international security issues, the European Union and China have agreed to stand by their commitments to the Paris Climate Change Accord, while President Trump is expected today to formally withdraw the US from the process.
US President, Donald Trump, signed a waiver today to delay the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israeli security forces shot dead a knife wielding terrorist attacker yesterday.
It was reported that the US intelligence community has warned that Russia’s espionage ‘ground game’ is bigger and better than at any time previous, including the Cold War.
North Korea, in response to Tuesday’s successful US Missile Defense test of a new interceptor and new kill vehicle over the Pacific taking down an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), warned that it would test an ICBM at any time and any place it chose to do so. On Sunday night, North Korea test-fired another missile, its ninth missile test this year for a total of 12 launches. By all accounts this was a Scud Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) that traveled about 280 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan. On May 14th, the North test-fired a Hwasong-12 Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) and on May 21st, Pukugksong-2 Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) that might be precursors to a new North Korean ICBM. The Scud launch was reportedly of a precision-guided derivative that plants the warhead with seven meters of the target. This type of liquid fueled Scud has a shorter launch time than previous Scuds and is launched from a self-propelled caterpillar launch platform.
In response, two of the US Carrier Strike Groups in the Sea of Japan, the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Carl Vinson, have commenced joint exercises and are join by a Japanese helicopter carrier, IJN Hyuga and another warship, as well as Japanese F-15 fighter aircraft. Japan has launched the first of its new Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) into space from its Tanegashima Space Center. The new GPS will almost certainly enhance Japanese military capabilities and its space rocket program and nuclear weapons grade stockpile could be turned into an effective nuclear deterrent overnight. Japan is said to be also considering the purchase of Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLACMs) from the US for its naval forces.