Five alleged members of the militant group Islamic State were referred to the Criminal Court by the prosecution on Friday, state-owned media reported. Arrested members, was planning a trip to Libya to train themselves before to come back in Egypt to carry out terrorists attacks. In a recent development, the leader (emir) of the Islamic State’s branch in Egypt warned Muslims to stay away from Christian gatherings, as well as military, security, and governmental facilities, which are “legitimate targets for the organisation”. Although the declaration of the state of emergency and the Egyptian government’s pledge to end militancy, the activities of the Islamic State have started to turn its sights on targets outside its base in Sinai to reach Cairo and the Delta.
Islamic State could be imposing its rules over North Sinai Provicne, according to Reuters. Indeed, Interviews with residents of North Sinai and reviews of Islamic State videos suggest the group’s local affiliate, known as Sinai Province, is seeking to impose its hardline interpretation of Islam on the local populace for the first time. According to Sinai Province videos reviewed by Reuters, the group has created a morality police force, known as a Hisba, to enforce strict rules against such behaviour as smoking, men shaving their beards or women exposing their faces. And, even if the Cairo policy toward islamic groups is cleared, the eradication of these groups, we can still deplored terrorist attacks, and peoples killed or injured by IS in North Sinai Province. According to the report, IS try to keep an influence on the area, in despite of controlling a geographic area.
Ministry of Defense’s Falcon Intelligence Cell revealed, on Monday, that the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is still alive and staying in Syria, while warned of the “political terrorism” after the liberation of Mosul. Head of the Falcon Intelligence Cell said in a press statement that the criminal al-Baghdadi is still alive and moving freely on the Syrian borders to Iraq. He also warned of the Islamic State danger on the country, calling it the phase of political terrorism after the liberation of Mosul, while pointed out that the terrorist group is planning to extend its strategy to some politicians, who are taking advantage of the invasion of the Northern provinces.
U.S.-backed forces fighting Islamic State in Syria launched a new phase of their offensive on Thursday, a statement said, but they have not yet begun to attack the militant group’s stronghold of Raqqa city in an apparent delay in the operation. But the fourth phase of the campaign aims to clear Islamic State pockets from the countryside north of the city, the SDF statement said. It did not say when the assault on Raqqa itself would begin. “We aim to liberate dozens of villages in the Wadi Jallab area and the northern countryside and clear the last obstacles in front of us to pave the way for the operation to liberate Raqqa city”, it added.
The Iraqi Prime Minister Hider al-Abadi said in his weekly press conference that the referendum cannot be held in Kirkuk, as the Islamic State terrorist group still occupy areas in the province and as thousands of civilians from the province are displaced. Al-Abadi called for dialogue and cooperation in order to resolve the disputed area issue. Adding that “Baghdad stands on an equal distance from all components of Kirkuk as part and parcel of the country”. Earlier this month, the provincial council of Kirkuk voted for a referendum on the province’s secession from Iraq and joining Kurdistan Region, the vote came after the council decided to raise Kurdistan flag in Kirkuk and its governmental buildings. Joint delegation from the two leading Kurdish parties of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Democratic Party had visited the capital Baghdad to discuss holding a referendum as well for addressing the disputed areas issue.
The number of people displaced from the western side of Mosul has reached up to 281,000 since operations were launched in February to retake that region from Islamic State militants, according to the Iraqi government. The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement said in a statement on Monday that the “Number of the displaced civilians from western Mosul went up to 281,630 persons, and those were distributed among the ministry camps in the south and east of the city”. “The ministry teams received today 6,855 displaced persons from the west of Nineveh. They were provided shelter at camps of al-Narkezliya, al-Jadaa, al-Haj Ali, al-Madraj, al-Khazer, Hassan Sham and Jamkour”, it added.The statement also indicated that “the ministry provided all essential needs of food and medical requirements at stores, in case more families were displaced from western Mosul”.
In a highly unusual move, Israel shut down the Taba Crossing to Israelis trying to enter Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on the eve of Passover on Monday, citing fears of an imminent terror attack by the Islamic State terror group. Israel announced the closure of the border for at least one week (until next Thursday). However, thousands of Israelis were expected to pass the border for the Passover Holidays. The closure was ordered by Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, after discussion with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and other security officials. Since the official opening of the border in 1982, it had been closed few times, the last one had been in 2014.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) liberated two villages from Islamic State (ISIS) control during the third phase of the Operation Wrath of Euphrates to isolate the ISIS-held Syrian city of Raqqa. The two villages are situated near Swediyah al-Kabirah to the west of Raqqa. The SDF are currently advancing towards Raqqa on three fronts, and while progress during the third phase has been rapid, some fierce clashes have broken out as ISIS militants look to stem the SDF’s advance. After cutting several strategic roads, the SDF are moving closer to their aim of surrounding and isolating the Syrian city entirely, in anticipation of an operation to liberate the city from the jihadist group. That operation is believed to start within the coming weeks. The SDF, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters who have been successfully fighting ISIS in northern Syria, has been steadily moving in on the jihadist group in Raqqa for the past five months. The operation to isolate the ISIS-stronghold of Raqqa began on November 5, 2016.
A single terrorist attacked Westminster killing four people, included a police officier and wounding 40 other civilians, before being killed. He indiscriminately ran into people with a car on Westminster Bridge. The use of the vehicle to attack civilians was a direct copy of an Islamic State tactic used previously with murderous effect in Nice and Berlin. The initial working theories of the police investigation are the attacker was inspired by Isis and was most likely a “lone actor”.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating an Islamic State Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) cell known as the “Dokumacılar” since a suicide attack killed two U.S. citizens and two others on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue on March 19, 2016, according to revelations from a case file at the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office. Five suspects from the attack were put on trial by the Istanbul 23rd Court of Serious Crimes in connection with the attack.