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The following is a summary and analysis of the terrorist attacks and counter-terrorism operations that occurred during January 2014, as researched and recorded by the ICT Database Team. Among the most important events occurring this January:
- On January 1, Lebanese authorities announced that Majid al-Majid, the leader of al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB) was arrested in Beirut. However, details of the intelligence operation, regarding his capture (in late December 2013) until the announcement of his death, are ambiguous. It was reported in local media of a US tip-off leading to his capture. The AAB was responsible for the November 2013 attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut and Majid’s arrest was part of an investigation into the attack. On January 4, al-Majid died of kidney failure whilst in a military hospital in Beirut.
- On January 9, a suicide bomber was prevented from attacking the Ibrahimzai School, where 2000 children were attending an assembly, in a Shia dominated area of northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. Schoolboys Aitazaz Hassan Bangash, 14 and his cousin Musadiq Ali Bangash became suspicious of a man dressed in school uniform who asked them for directions to the school. Aitazaz challenged the man and during the scuffle, he detonated his explosives, killing both himself and Aitazaz. Two people were injured including Musaqiq. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) claimed responsibility for the attack. The military called for the nation’s highest military award for Aitazaz.
- On January 9, Spanish police arrested eight people with suspected links to Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA). Amongst the suspects were Arantza Zulueta and Jon Enparantza, two well known lawyers who were accused of trying to revive the ‘prisoners front’, a wing of ETA aimed at keeping jailed activists in line with the group’s aims.
- On January 14, Turkish security forces raided offices and homes aligned to the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, the largest non-governmental organization that is suspecting of aiding al-Qaeda. Turkish authorities said that Ibrahim Sen, a senior Al-Qaeda militant who was released from the Guantanamo Bay in Cuba in 2006, was amongst those arrested.
- On January 20, Detachment 88, Indonesia’s anti-terrorism police, thwarted a plot to bomb police stations, nightclubs, and a brothel in East Java, Indonesia. Two militants identified as Isnaini Ramdhoni 30, and Abdul Majid, 35, were arrested.
- On January 22, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced that it arrested three Palestinians from east Jerusalem who were in the advanced stages of plotting to carry out a series of large-scale bombing and shooting attacks on multiple targets in Israel. They were recruited online by Ariv Al-Sham, an al-Qaeda operative in Gaza.
- On January 24, a series of bombs targeted police in Cairo, Egypt killing 10 people and wounding 100 others. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) claimed responsibility for the attacks.
- On January 30, 24 people were killed and 50 others wounded when a team of armed militants attacked a government Ministry of Transportation building in north-eastern Baghdad, Iraq and took a number of people hostage; nine were killed. Four bombers detonated their explosives vests during the assault, a fifth was shot dead by security forces and the last died shortly after being shot. No group claimed responsibility for the attack but authorities blamed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Click here for the full ICT Database Report – January, in PDF format.