ISIS Belgium Based Francophone Attack Cell or ISIS-Inspired ‘Lone Wolf’

ISIS Belgium Based Francophone Attack Cell or ISIS-Inspired ‘Lone Wolf’

A US police officer has been critically wounded after being stabbed in the neck at Bishop international airport, in Michigan, the area has been evacuated. The attacker is under arrest and there are unconfirmed reports that the individual shouted “Allahu Akbar."

A terrorist was fatally shot by Belgian soldiers at Brussels Central Train Station on Tuesday after a failed bombing. Belgian police evacuated the station, Gare Centrale, the Grand Place and other public places in the Belgian capital. The attack took place around 9 p.m. local time when the historic city center was busy with tourists and locals. The Belgian security forces reportedly know the attacker’s identity but have not released it or his motive. But Belgium is home to the Islamic State’s (ISIS) Francophone European attack cell. The attack is odd in that it did not involve more attackers, and the bomb did not have the explosive yield of typical ISIS bombs made in Belgium and previously used there and in France. This may indicate that it was an ISIS-inspired lone wolf type attack.

Today, ISIS blew up the Great Mosque of al Nouri as the Iraqi Army approached the site where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the Islamic State caliphate in 2014. For propaganda purposes have blamed the US for the explosion.

In the Pigkawayan, Southern Philippines. approximately 300 ISIS-affiliated Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), gunmen initially attacked a lightly guarded military outpost, and then seized a local school using 20 civilians as human shields. The terrorists planted improvised bombs around the school after Philippine soldiers surrounded it. The unrest occurred in Pigkawayan, a farming town about 160 kilometers from Marawi city where ISIS-linked Maute terrorists are fighting the Philippine Army. The BIFF is one of four groups in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao that have pledged allegiance to ISIS. The BIFF attack may have been intended to help the Maute militants in Marawi by distracting the military. Meanwhile, in Marawi, Philippine aircraft and troops launched a renewed push against ISIS militants in a southern city on Tuesday. The Philippine Army has been fighting to liberate the city from ISIS control for five weeks.

The Afghan government is reportedly starting to develop a "road map" for breaking a battlefield stalemate with the Taliban that has been prolonged by the insurgents' ability to use Pakistan as a sanctuary. On Tuesday, Taliban terrorists opened fire on Afghan security forces in the country's northern Parwan province, killing at least eight guards.

In Pakistan, two suspected terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with security forces when they attempted to raid a checkpoint near Tank in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A Muslim border security officer in Singapore has been arrested for planning to fight in Syria.

A 61-year-old Thai man has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a military-run hospital in Bangkok saying he objected to the May 2014 military coup. The attack last month damaged Bangkok's Phramongkutklao Hospital and injured 20 people.

Death toll from Central Africa Republic clashes has risen to 100 people after fighting broke-out near the town of Bria, around 580 kilometers northeast of the capital Bangui. Thousands of people have died and a fifth of Central Africans have fled their homes in the conflict between mainly Muslim Seleka rebels who ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013. The Insurgency sparked a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias. Thirteen of the 14 armed groups along with representatives from the government signed a Peace Accord in Rome on Monday, but the fighting in Bria broke out between former Seleka members and anti-balaka.

On the international scene, Venezuela walked out of the 34-nation Organization of American States (OAS) meeting in Cancun and said it will become the first nation to withdraw from the OAS after the US fought but failed to muster enough regional support for condemnation of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro and his Socialist government.

Sweden reportedly summoned Russia's ambassador after a Russian Su-27 fighter plane flew unusually close to a Swedish reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

A Russian Su-27 buzzed a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft coming within 5 feet of the American aircraft over the Baltic. The Pentagon is downplaying the rising tensions between the US-led coalition in Syria and the Russian-led pro-Syrian government forces after the US downed a Syrian Su-22 fighter this week. The Trump administration put further pressure on Russia on Tuesday, unveiling sanctions on more than three dozen additional individuals and organizations linked to the seizure of the Crimea and Invasion of Ukraine. Today, a Ukrainian government spokesman has said that Ukraine and separatist rebels have agreed on a new cease-fire.

Interestingly, a Russian Su-27 fighter plane reportedly chased off a NATO F-16 fighter after it shadowed a Russian aircraft ferrying the Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, over the Baltic Sea en route to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad for a meeting to discuss Russia's western flank.

US forces shot down another Iranian drone in southern Syria on Tuesday the second this week.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia promoted his 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman, to Crown Prince and next in line to the throne on Wednesday. Yesterday, US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, accused Saudi Arabia to settle a score with Qatar under the guise of fighting terrorism. A royal decree removed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57-year-old nephew of the king, as next-in-line to the throne. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was also named Deputy Prime Minister and maintained his post as Defence Minister. Salman is widely credited with overhauling the Saudi economy away from its reliance on oil and he also oversees the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Prince Salman has ruled out any chance of dialogue with Iran.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has reportedly taken an unusual step by appointing a member from the top echelons of the Communist Party to a role managing Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development. Xi is the Chairman, and three other Politburo Standing Committee members, Li Keqiang, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli, are Vice-Chairmen.

China has invited US President, Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law to visit later this year.

US and South Korea relations have cooled after an adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in suggested scaling back joint military exercises. South Korea's Air Force, along with Japan, reportedly still held a joint exercise in its airspace involving US B-1B strategic bombers. Senior officials from Seoul and Beijing agreed on Tuesday to maintain close communications on the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea.

In a move to force China to put even greater pressure on North Korea, the US is maintaining the right to impose sanctions against Chinese companies with links to North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs ahead of the US-China security dialogue in Washington this week. President Donald Trump on Tuesday wrote on twitter that efforts to that effect have “not worked out” even though “China tried!”

Japan will test its missile interceptor capability on Thursday, following several North Korean missile tests. The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force will test its Lockheed Martin-made Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3), designed to shoot down in-coming Short and Medium Range Ballistic Missiles to protect Tokyo’s metropolitan airspace.

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