Islamic Imam Thought To Be Key Figure In Spanish Terror Cell

From Breit-Bart:
A police official in Spain says an imam whose home was searched as part of the investigation into two deadly vehicle attacks is believed to be the radicalizing force behind the cell of young men — and is now thought to have died in an explosion linked to the attacks.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal details of the new suspicions surrounding imam Abdelbaki Es Satty. Officials in Es Satty’s former mosque in the northern town of Ripoll, which he left abruptly in June, on Saturday denounced the attacks in Barcelona and a nearby seaside town.

The mosque president, Ali Yassine, said Es Satty told him he wanted to return to Morocco for three months and hasn’t seen him since. The police official says Es Satty is believed to have died in an explosion Wednesday that destroyed a house south of Barcelona.

The two vehicle attacks in Spain left 14 dead and over 120 wounded. Possible suspects whose names have emerged so far in the investigation are all from Ripoll.

Girl Axed To Death For Marrying Of Her Choice

From Tribune:
A 24-year-old girl was axed to death allegedly by her family members for marrying of her own will in Yazman, Bahawalpur District, police said on Friday.

An official of Yazman police station told The Express Tribune that Sughran Bibi, daughter of Allah Bachaya, had tied the knot with Muhammad Madni, a resident of Pakka Laraan, against the will of her family about eight months ago.

He added Sughran Bibi was not in contact with her parents but they were making efforts to bring her back home. He maintained, “Four days back, accused Allah Bachaya, his sons Zahid, Javed and Pervaiz brought the girl home by deceit.”

The official pointed out when Sughran Bibi came to her parents’ house, the accused allegedly axed her to death in the name of honour. “The accused fled the scene after committing the murder,” he said.

“Later, the accused tried to involve victim’s husband Muhammad Madni in the murder case,” he elaborated.

Soon after the incident, police reached the spot and shifted the body to hospital for legal formalities. The official said, “A case has been registered against Allah Bachaya, Zahid, Javed, Pervaiz and mother of the deceased girl.”

He said raids were being conducted to arrest the culprits and further investigation was underway.

Earlier in June 2017, a sixty-year-old woman was killed by her son in Multan for ‘honour’. Police said accused Kamran opened fire on his mother, who was sleeping at the time, killing her on the spot.

The accused was later arrested by the police. Kamran had become vary of his widowed mother’s ‘character’ after a relative had sent her a marriage proposal.

Moment Knifeman Wearing A Fake Suicide Vest Flees After Stabbing Eight People

From Daily-Mail:
A teenage knifeman wearing a fake suicide belt wounded at least eight people in a frenzied attack in a Russia this morning.

The attacker, named locally as 19-year-old Artur Gadzhiev, was shot dead by police in a busy main street in Surgut, central Russia, at about 11.20am local time.

He is believed to be from Dagestan, a strongly Muslim region of Russia in the Caucasus.

Gadzhiev's father Lametulakh was reported to be registered with Russian police as an 'extremist' and 'supporter' of radical Islam.

Shocking CCTV shows people fleeing for their lives as the attacker rampaged outside shops in the city.

Footage shows him running by a pavilion and throwing something away before he was shot dead.

At least two people are fighting for their lives, while another five were hospitalised in the stabbing spree, authorities said.

However witnesses claimed that the number of victims could be much higher.

The attacker was originally named as Bobichel Abdurakhmanov but his 'real name' was later reported by Mash, a media seen as close to law enforcement sources, and quickly reported by mainstream Russian news sources, including state media.

There was no immediate separate confirmation from the authorities. Gadzhiev was from Khasavyurt town, and it was unclear why he was in Surgut.

He was reported to be a supporter of Zenit St Petersburg and Manchester United football clubs.

His behaviour was sometimes described as 'strange' but he was not registered as a person with 'mental problems', according to unidentified locals.

Earlier the Russian Investigative Committee said it was looking into 'his possible psychiatric disorders'.

But local news agency, Surgut Inter Novosti, suggested the violent attack was larger than the authorities had initially revealed.

'According to witnesses, unknown people threw a Molotov cocktail bottle inside 'Severny' shop, then they attacked a woman with an axe near a cash machine.

'More than 10 people with injuries have been taken into emergency care.'

But there was no immediate official confirmation of this claim.

The knifeman 'carried out attacks on passers-by, causing stab wounds to eight,' Russia's Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes said.

The spokesman added that armed police 'liquidated' the attacker.

Nobody was killed in the assault but victims needed immediate medical treatment, said officers.

At least two of the victims were fighting for their lives while five more were in a stable condition, the government of the Khanty-Mansi region said in a statement.

There were reports that more than one attacker was involved and that the number of victims was higher than officials have disclosed, but these claims have not been verified.

The attacker may have suffered from a psychiatric disorder, the interior ministry said.

'The version that the attack was a terrorist one is not the main one,' the interior ministry added.

'In the interests of public calm and also of the investigation, citizens and media are recommended to use reliable information in assessing the situation until all the circumstances are established.'

Surgut is the largest city of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area region with a population of around 350,000.

It is a major centre for oil and gas production in the country.

Three People Killed In Suspected Al-Shabaab Attack

From KBC:
Three people have been killed by suspected Al-Shabaab militants at Maleli in Witu area of Lamu West constituency. Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo confirmed the incident saying the attack happened around 12:30am.

Suspected Al Shabaab militants reigned terror on villagers of Maleli in Witu area of Lamu West constituency.

According Kitiyo, a group of heavily armed militants raided one of the villages and beheaded three locals, torched several houses before escaping into the bush.

Kitiyo says his officers are currently pursuing the attackers who are believed to be part of the group that has been hiding in the nearby Boni Forest.

The attack comes barely a fortnight after nine people were butchered in Jima and Poromoko villages of Lamu County.

Three other people were also killed on 2nd August when suspected Al Shabaab militants attacked a passenger bus in Nyongoro area of Witu, Lamu County.

Suspected Al-Shabaab militants have been reigning terror on residents and security personnel in Lamu County and use the expansive Boni Forest as their hideout.

Last month, at least nine people were killed by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Pandanguo and Jima area of Lamu County. Reports from the area local chief indicated that the nine were brutally beheaded.

The suspects are said to have trespassed into the country through the porous Kenya-Somalia border.

Elsewhere, two people died Friday morning following a grisly road accident at Salama junction along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

The accident involved two Lorries. Area police boss Charles Muthui said a lorry coming from Mombasa tried to overtake a fleet of cars when it had a head-on collision with an oncoming truck.

Muthui said occupants of the lorry died on the spot. The truck driver and his conductor who sustained injuries were rushed to hospital.

The accident caused a heavy traffic snarl up along the busy highway.

The wreckages were towed to Salama police station and bodies of the deceased taken to Machakos level 5 hospital mortuary.

Two Dead And Several Wounded In Finland Stabbing

From Fox-News:
Police in Finland shot a man who reportedly screamed "Allahu Akbar" before stabbing at least six people on Friday.

The man, who was not immediately identified, was shot in the leg, the BBC reported. The mass stabbing incident occurred in the Puutori-Market Square area. One of those stabbed was pushing a stroller, The Sun reported.

Sound from a video that appeared to be taken by someone near the scene and was widely shared on social media featured a person repeatedly screaming "Allahu Akbar," a phrase often shouted by Islamic terrorists. Authorities had not officially labeled the incident in Finland as terrorism.

Images on social media showed at least one body -- that had been covered -- laying on the ground.

Man Kills Another For Refusing To Honor Kill His Daughters For Shaking Boys Hands

From RT:
A man in Sweden has been charged with murdering a family member with scissors, according to local media. The victim’s wife says it was an “honor killing” because the victim refused to kill his daughters after they had shaken hands with boys.
The incident, which occurred in May 2017 at Stensjön lake in Grycksbo, involved “cutting or stabbing with scissors” in the victim’s neck, according to the indictment, which was seen by The Local.

The 46-year-old victim “died from bleeding as a result of the vascular injuries to his throat.”

The victim’s wife says the incident occurred after the suspect became offended that the victim’s daughters had shaken hands with boys – an action which the suspect believed damaged the family’s honor.

As a result, the 50-year-old suspect reportedly asked the victim to kill his daughters. The father refused and ended contact with the suspect.
However, the victim’s wife believes her husband was later lured to the lake and killed by the man in an “honor killing.”

Prosecutor Gun-Britt Strøm has said the attack was carried out with intent and “could be called honor conflict,” SVT quoted her as saying.

The suspect has denied committing murder, saying he was assaulted by the man and merely used the scissors as a self-defense weapon.

The suspect says he had the scissors in his tackle box, as he was at the lake to go fishing. He claims he would have used another weapon in the box, such as a knife, if he had intended to kill the man, according to Expressen.

READ MORE: Teenage girl found chopped up in freezer in suspected honor killing

The suspect’s trial will include nine witness interviews, forensic evidence including blood samples, and an analysis of the alcohol in the suspect’s bloodstream at the time of the incident.

It comes just one month after six people were convicted of murder by a court in Gävle, Sweden, after a man was killed for having an affair with a married woman.

Honor crimes are those which are viewed as having brought shame upon the family in some way, with common “offenses” involving those who challenge, defy, or break strict rules imposed on them, such as a female refusing to enter into an arranged marriage.

Mosque Prayer Leaders Arrested For Magnetic Bomb Attacks

From Khaama:
At least two people were arrested for being involved in magnetic bombings in Kabul city amid a steep rise in such bombings in the city.
The officials in the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of interior said the two men were arrested earlier this week.

The officials further added that the two men were serving in a mosque as prayer leaders and were in the meantime involved in magnetic bombings.
According to the CID officials, the two men had recently planted a magnetic bomb in a residential house in the vicinity of the 10th police district of the city.
The suspects were arrested after the police forces were informed regarding the threats being issued to the residents of the house and the magnetic bomb was planted in their garage, the officials said.

They also added that the two men are in custody of the security forces for further investigations and it is yet not clear to which group the two men belong to.
The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.
This comes as there has been a steep rise in magnetic bombings in Kabul city and other key areas of the country during the recent months.
At least three people were wounded in a similar attack late on Sunday after a magnetic bomb planted in their vehicle went off in Deh Afghanan area of the city.

Sixty Five Year Old Arab Sheikh Buys Minor Girl In India

From India-Today:
In a shocking incident, a minor from Hyderabad has been married off to an elderly sheikh based in Oman for a payment of Rs 5 lakh. Her parents approached the Falaknuma Additional Commissioner of Police on Wednesday and filed a complaint.

The 1982 Bollywood movie Bazaar, starring veteran actors such as Naseeruddin Shah, Farooq Sheikh, Smita Patil and Supriya Pathak, was based on the theme of 'bride selling' in Hyderabad and showed how a girl was sold off by needy parents to an affluent expatriate based in the Gulf.
Over three decades since then, the reality of the place, also known as the 'City of Pearls' has not changed.
In a shocking incident, a minor from Hyderabad has been married off to an elderly Sheikh based in Oman for a payment of Rs 5 lakh. Her family on Wednesday approached the Falaknuma Additional Commissioner of Police and filed a complaint, alleging that the 16-year-old had been fraudulently married off to Ahmed, a 65-year-old Omani national.

The teenager's parents have been pleading the authorities to help them bring the girl back from Muscat, where she was taken after marriage.
In her complaint, the teen's mother Unnisa alleged that her sister-in-law Ghousia colluded with her husband Sikander to fudge documents with a Qazi's help. The mother added that without her knowledge, they performed her daughter's nikaah (marriage) with the elderly sheikh at a hotel in Barkas area of Hyderabad Old City before this Ramzan.
The mother also alleged that for this unethical contractual marriage, the Omani Sheikh paid Rs 5 lakh to Ghousia and Sikander.
This is not the first time such a case has been reported from the city, which is otherwise known for its cultural heritage and close association with Arabs.
The nexus of contractual marriages mainly of minor girls from poor families to Arab Sheikhs by Qazis or distant relatives is rampant. These sheikhs come to the city to find 'suitable' brides after paying amounts ranging from Rs 10,000 to lakhs of rupees.

The teenager's parents have been pleading the authorities to help them bring the girl back from Muscat, where she was taken after marriage.
In her complaint, the teen's mother Unnisa alleged that her sister-in-law Ghousia colluded with her husband Sikander to fudge documents with a Qazi's help. The mother added that without her knowledge, they performed her daughter's nikaah (marriage) with the elderly sheikh at a hotel in Barkas area of Hyderabad Old City before this Ramzan.
The mother also alleged that for this unethical contractual marriage, the Omani Sheikh paid Rs 5 lakh to Ghousia and Sikander.
This is not the first time such a case has been reported from the city, which is otherwise known for its cultural heritage and close association with Arabs.
The nexus of contractual marriages mainly of minor girls from poor families to Arab Sheikhs by Qazis or distant relatives is rampant. These sheikhs come to the city to find 'suitable' brides after paying amounts ranging from Rs 10,000 to lakhs of rupees.

House Explosion Linked To Barcelona Attack

From Express:
AN EXPLOSION at a house in Catalonia that killed one person is connected to the Barcelona terror attack, Catalan police have confirmed.

The residents of the house which was flattened in the town of Alcanar Platja, which is around 125 miles away from Thursday's attack in Barcelona, were preparing explosives, Catalan police confirmed.

The person killed in Wednesday deadly house explosion is believed to be of Morrocan origin.

A further seven people have been injured.

Butan gas canisters were found near the house, according to Spanish media reports.

Head of the Catalan police (Mosses) Josep Lluís Trapero said that the explosion that occurred last night is related.

The blast was so powerful that not only did it flatten the building but also damaged a six further properties.

The house where the events took place is located on Calle Martinenca B.

Local sources indicate that the collapsed house was inhabited by two Moroccan brother but the Mossos investigation points out, from the remains being found, that there could be three people caught in the blast.

Mr Trapero confirmed at a press conference that no further terrorist attacks are expected in the next few hours.

He said: ”We do not anticipate that an attack can be imminent.”

At Least Thirteen Dead And One Hundred Hurt In Barcelona Van Attack

From Mercury-News:
A driver swerved a van onto a pedestrian area Thursday in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district, ramming into crowds and leaving more than a dozen people dead and scores of others injured along a bloodied stretch of tree-shaded sidewalk. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the violence, which authorities described as a terrorist attack.

The attack broke the peace of a warm summer afternoon in a packed, tourist-friendly area of Barcelona at the peak of vacation season, and the victims came from well beyond the city’s borders. Authorities said that 15 people had suffered serious injuries and that the death toll could rise. More than 100 people were hurt, said Joaquim Forn, the interior minister of the Catalan regional government.

Josep Lluís Trapero, a senior Catalan police official, told reporters that two men were arrested in connection with the attack, a Moroccan national and a Spanish citizen from the enclave of Melilla. The driver is still thought to be at large, he said.

Early Friday, police said they thwarted what they thought was an attempt at a second attack, in the Catalan town of Cambrils, 60 miles southwest of Barcelona, by fatally shooting four suspects. A fifth suspect was injured. They offered no additional details. Amateur video aired by Spain’s state TVE broadcaster showed several police cars speeding along what appeared to be a seafront boulevard as people screamed, followed by a brief volley of about 10 bullets.

Spain had been spared a large-scale terrorist attack since the 2004 bombing of the Madrid rail system that killed 192 people and injured about 2,000, but authorities had long braced for another hit. The attack Thursday brought to Spain the same sort of vehicular carnage that has visited Britain, France, Germany and Sweden since 2016, and highlighted the difficulty of defending dense city centers from violence that requires no explosives or training.

“Terrorists will never defeat a united people who love freedom in the face of barbarism,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wrote via Twitter as he rushed to Barcelona.

The Islamic State’s Amaq news agency said that “the people who executed the Barcelona attack are soldiers from the Islamic State and they did this operation as a response to calls to target coalition states.” Spain is a member of a broad U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State.

It was not immediately clear how closely the Islamic State had worked with the attackers. The group has previously claimed responsibility for attacks inspired by its rhetoric but not directly planned by Islamic State leaders.

Police later said they were looking into a potential link between the van attack and a pair of explosions that destroyed a house in Alcanar, about 100 miles southeast of Barcelona, earlier in the day. One person was killed there and 16 were injured, including police officers and firefighters who were investigating the initial blast. The blast at the house, which apparently contained propane canisters, was initially reported to be a gas explosion.

The connection was not fully explained, but it raised the question of whether the attackers were attempting to use gas canisters in Las Ramblas to cause even more casualties.

The Thursday attack, which took place over a few terror-filled minutes just before 6 p.m. local time, set off a wave of panic and confusion as authorities sought to track down the perpetrator, and fearful people hid for hours in barricaded shops, restaurants and churches.

Witnesses described chaos as the white delivery van suddenly swung off a street and onto the wide pedestrian mall that draws strolling tourists and residents to its bars, cafes and shops. As people started to run away, the driver swerved the vehicle from side to side, in an apparent effort to inflict more damage.

When the van came to a halt, its front was smashed and crumpled inward from the impact of the people hit. People were sprawled on the sidewalk, some not moving. Hats, handbags and other items were strewn about.

“All of sudden, everyone started running, so we ran, too,” Andrew Roby, 35, who was visiting from Washington, said in a phone interview.

Roby said he saw several people, apparently wounded, lying in front of and beside the van.

“We saw people on the ground,” he said. “I heard a bunch of people screaming.”

Some locals expressed frustration at authorities’ failure to place barricades at the entrances to the boulevard in a new era of vehicular terrorism. Las Ramblas is one of the city’s top tourist areas, with a wide pedestrian promenade flanked by roadways.

The van was “going entirely too fast. It looked to me as if he was going left to right, hitting people with the little stand,” Tom Markwell, another American tourist, told the BBC. “All of a sudden, people were just screaming and running.”

One British tourist said she hid beneath the counters of a phone shop with 20 other people for half an hour.

“We heard gunshots and people were running and screaming,” said Mandy Wood.

“By the grace of God, we could have been here two minutes earlier,” she said. “We would have been on the street where it happened.”

Another witness said police suddenly told the crowd to run.

“There was a really loud kind of crashing noise. I didn’t stop to look back,” Ethan Spieby, a witness caught up in the commotion, told the BBC.

Hours after the attack, he said he was holed up in a church with about 80 tourists and locals.

“They have locked the doors, and I think the police are outside. We’re just waiting in here right now to hear more news. It’s quite scary to be caught up in it,” he said.

More than four hours after the attack, police finally started evacuating those who were hiding in nearby buildings.

Citizens of Australia, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands were among the dead and injured, said officials from those countries, a measure of the international draw of the cosmopolitan Las Ramblas area, which has long stood at the heart of Barcelona.

Underlining the confusion after the attack, police found the identification card of one local resident in the cab of the van and spent hours searching for him. After his name was widely circulated in local media, he turned himself in to police and said that he had lost his identification card, a security official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation.

And adding to the sense of unease, the Catalan Interior Ministry said late Thursday that a car broke through a police checkpoint outside Barcelona and injured two officers. It was not immediately clear whether the incident, which took place near the town of Sant Just Desvern, just west of Barcelona, was connected to the attack.

Spanish police did not immediately give details about the driver or the incident.

After the attack, Spanish authorities shared the names of at least two people with European and Arab intelligence agencies, but the suspects did not appear to have been flagged for connections to extremism, according to an Arab and a European intelligence official, neither of whom was authorized to speak on the record.

Authorities appear to think that a small group of two or three people planned the attack, the Arab intelligence official said.

Catalan authorities said they will stand firm in the face of terrorism.

“There have been people arrested, and this investigation is still ongoing,” Carles Puigdemont, president of the Catalan regional government, told reporters in Barcelona. “Catalonia will always prevail in the face of terrorism. We will always stand for democracy and freedom. We will always be united.”

Islamic State supporters celebrated the Barcelona attack Thursday and promoted previous threats made against Spain, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has called on supporters to carry out attacks using vehicles. The group has claimed responsibility for car attacks in Europe, as well as at Ohio State University last year.

After the attack Thursday, offers of assistance flooded in from around the world, including the United States.

“The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!” President Trump wrote via Twitter.

Later in the day, Vice President Pence said that the United States would punish the perpetrators.

“Whoever is responsible should know that the United States of America, together with our allies, will find and punish those responsible, and drive the evil of radical Islamic terror from the face of the Earth,” he told reporters in Panama City, where he is wrapping up a tour of Latin America.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said U.S. authorities will offer to help in any way they can.

The Catalonia region of Spain has faced repeated terrorist attacks over decades from the ETA Basque separatist group. Catalonia is planning an independence vote Oct. 1 over the objections of the national government in Madrid, which calls it unconstitutional.

In July 2016, a truck was driven into Bastille Day crowds along a seaside corniche in the southern French city of Nice, killing 86 people. In December 2016, 12 people were killed when a driver used a hijacked truck to drive into a Christmas market in Berlin.

In March, a man in a rented sport-utility vehicle plowed into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people before he ran onto the grounds of Parliament and fatally stabbed a police officer. A month later in Stockholm, a rejected asylum-seeker from Uzbekistan crashed a truck into a central department store in
an attack that killed five people.