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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.

Jihadist group Ansar Dine on Tuesday claimed responsibility for two weekend attacks in Mali near the borders with Mauritania and Ivory Coast, and threatened to strike both countries.

Three soldiers and nine militants were killed on Saturday as a military camp came under attack in the town of Nara, according to the government, while public and police buildings were ransacked in Fakola on Sunday.

"We are claiming the attack at Nara and the one at Fakola -- Islamic lands -- to punish the enemies of Islam," Ismael Khalil, a radical preacher and member of Ansar Dine, said by telephone.

He added that the militants would "multiply the attacks in Ivory Coast, Mali and Mauritania, countries that work with the enemies of Islam".

Little is known about Khalil but a Malian security source said he attended Koranic school in the central region of Mopti before visiting Saudi Arabia and Nigeria and eventually joining up with Ansar Dine leader Iyad Ag Ghaly in northern Mali in 2012.

Read more: Yahoo News (AFP)

Syrian rebel group Jaysh al-Islam has executed 18 alleged members of Islamic State (Isis) in a gruesome video that imitates the ones produced by the rival extremist group.  The footage shows fighters from the anti-Assad group, which rejected membership of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, wearing the orange prison clothes of the IS victims – while the IS members are dressed in black and chained together. The prisoners are also wearing ankle and hand shackles with metal balls attached.

Further to the reverse colour scheme, sophisticated sound effects and visuals are similar to those featured in IS execution videos, as well as quotes from Islamic texts.  Fighters for Jaysh al-Islam – which is a joint force created by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra front and Ahrar al-Sham, another Islamist rebel group – say in the video that the IS members are being executed as revenge for the beheading of three of the rebel group's members.

Jaysh al-Islam, which has fast become one of the most successful actors in the Syrian war, is based in Ghouta, in the outskirts of Damascus. It accused IS of being allied with the Assad regime against its fighters.  It claimed that IS is betraying Sunni Muslims and joining forces with Shi'ite Muslims and "Nusayris", a derogatory terms for Assad's Shi'ite offshoot of the Alawite sect.  The video also features confessions from IS fighters, who admitted not fighting against the Syrian army. At the end of the clip, 18 men are forced to kneel before Jaysh al-Islam fighters, who then shoot them in the head.  Just like in IS videos, the shots are filmed from different angles and with close-up shots.

Source: International Business Times

Around 1,200 prisoners, including al Qaeda suspects, escaped during clashes at a jail in central Yemen on Tuesday, officials said.  The incident is the biggest in a series of prison breaks that have freed Yemeni militants in recent years and signals the further erosion of the state amid a raging civil war.  "Groups of al Qaeda supporters ... today attacked the central prison in the city of Taiz and more than 1,200 of the dangerous prisoners escaped," state news agency Saba quoted a security official as saying.

Another local official told Reuters some of the escapees were "suspected of belonging to al Qaeda" but said they left amid heavy clashes between warring militias in the city.  Shi'ite Muslim Houthi fighters entered Taiz in March, in a southward push from their base in the capital Sanaa that drew military intervention from a Saudi Arabian-led coalition.  But three months of air strikes have yet to push back the group and units in Yemen's army that are loyal to Houthi ally Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country's ex-president.

Read more: Reuters

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threatened on Tuesday to turn the Gaza Strip into another of their Middle East fiefdoms, accusing Hamas, the organization that rules the Palestinian territory, of being insufficiently stringent about religious enforcement.  “We will uproot the state of the Jews (Israel) and you and Fatah, and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be over-run by our creeping multitudes,” said a masked ISIS member in the message addressed to the “tyrants of Hamas,” according to Reuters news agency.

“The rule of sharia (Islamic law) will be implemented in Gaza, in spite of you. We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in Gaza,” he said, referring to ISIS’s advances in Syria, including in a Damascus district founded by Palestinian refugees.

Read more:  Al Arabiya

Militants carried out a broad attack on Egyptian Army checkpoints and other security installations in the northern Sinai Peninsula early Wednesday, killing at least 18 soldiers and police officers, according to state news media.  A militant group affiliated with the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the offensive. In a statement circulated on social media, the group said it had attacked more than 15 checkpoints and police installations, using heavy weapons including mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.  The army said the checkpoints had come under attack by militants driving pickup trucks equipped with antiaircraft guns.

Witnesses and security officials speaking to state news media described gunmen firing from rooftops and deploying car bombs in the town of Sheikh Zuwaid, near the checkpoints, where civilians were wounded in the fighting. The death toll in the attacks was expected to rise.  Ambulance workers said roads leading to the town had been booby trapped with explosive devices.  Unnamed security officials told The Associated Press that at least 30 soldiers had been killed, and that others had been taken captive by militants who also seized armored vehicles and weapons.

Read more:  New York Times