As Ramadan draws to a close today, radical Jihadists throughout the Middle East launched a string of attacks over the weekend. Although the Gulf seemed to be hit hardest, attacks reached South East Asia as well. Let’s break down some of the attacks and who they were attributed to.
IS has claimed responsibility for quite possibly one of the most devastating suicide bombings in Iraqi history in the village of Karrada near Baghdad. Most sources are estimating over 200 have died so far after a refrigerator truck full of explosives was detonated. IS also claimed responsibility for a second attack over the weekend in a northern part of Baghdad which took two lives. IS has been losing ground in Iraq as coalition forces move further into Mosul and Fallujah. Security officials believe IS is reacting by launching attacks via sleeper cells. Officials have been trying to crackdown on the insurgency by arresting 40 suspected “terrorists” who they claim where planning more attacks near Baghdad.
On Friday in the capitol city of Bangladesh, the Islamic State reportedly took at least 20 people hostage at a cafe. 18 hostages were killed including several Italians, Japanese and one US citizen. Two policemen were also killed along with 6 IS suspects. Considering the deaths and location, this appears to be a targeted attack on foreigners. Government officials deny that this is an IS-related attack but IS claims otherwise.
Saudi Arabia saw three attacks over the weekend in the cities of Medina, Jeddah, and Qatif. In Medina, four security guards were killed as an attacker walked towards the Prophets Mosque and detonated explosives. In what appears to be coordinated attacks, two suicide bombs went off at a mosque in Qatif– only moments after the blast in Medina. In Jeddah, a suicide bomber killed two people near the United States consulate.
Moving into South Eastern Asia, two police officers were wounded at a border checkpoint in Thailand by an apparent car bomb today. Authorities state they are battling an increasing Islamic insurgency in the region as more than 6,500 people have died in attacks since 2004. Two people were also killed in the province of Yala over the weekend in what appears to be two simultaneous and coordinated attacks.
Individuals claiming to be taking direct orders from IS in Syria launched a grenade into a crowded bar where patrons were watching a sports game. Eight were injured.
A suicide bomber died this morning after attempting to ride a motorcycle into police headquarters. The attacker died after detonating explosives but there were no other fatalities. Authorities aren’t completely sure who is behind the attack. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.
Kenya & Somalia
In Kenya, al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for two bus attacks reportedly killing six people including children. The terror organization also launched in attack at a Mogadishu hotel last week which involved a hostage situation resulting in 14 people being killed. Al-Shabaab claims that by carrying out attacks in the capital city they hope to topple the western-backed puppet government.
IS carried out a triple suicide attack near Aden last weekend as they compete for territory with al-Qaeda. Authorities say at least 45 people have died.
At least 45 people have died and hundreds injured after the triple suicide attack at Ataturk Airport last week. Officials have arrested over 30 people–mostly foreigners reportedly from the Northern Caucus region. The attack came just about a day after Turkey and Israel announced they were going to repair ties. Turkey has also been seeking to improve ties with Russia.
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Founder and editor of Geopolitics Alert, Randi Nord is a US-based geopolitical analyst and content strategist. She covers US imperialism with a special focus on Yemen, Iran, and Lebanon. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she started learning about the media’s pivotal role in selling “humanitarian” interventions as a teenager during the aftermath of 9/11 and Iraq war. Randi Nord has lived in the Empire’s neoliberal tropical paradise (Kingdom of Hawai’i) and Lebanon. She frequently participates in the UN Human Rights Council as a guest of NGOs speaking about Yemen.