Sunday, June 28, 2015

TERROR ON THREE CONTINENTS: Attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait Revive Concerns on Security

Members of the Tunisian security forces escort a man 
through a street in al-Sousse on Friday, after gunmen
 opened fire on tourists at two hotels, killing at least 27.
World leaders facing challenge of violence carried out by small groups
Terrorist attacks that killed dozens rattled three continents on Friday, sparking new fears over Islamic State’s influence and debate over how to respond to jihadists across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 
Security forces stand guard outside the Imam Sadiq 
Mosque following a suicide bomb blast. 
Photo: Zuma Press
In Tunisia, a man with a Kalashnikov hidden in a parasol shot dead at least 37 tourists at a beach resort, among them Europeans. Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the Tunisia attack. In Kuwait, an Islamic State suicide bomber killed at least 27 people praying in a mosque. In Somalia, al-Shabaab militants slew a number of peacekeeping soldiers. And in France, a suspect decapitated his boss at a U.S.-owned industrial gas plant which he allegedly tried to blow up.
Bodies lie on a beach in Sousse after a gunman killed 37 
people on vacation at the Tunisian resort. Security 
forces shot dead the suspect.
U.S. defense officials said they didn’t see indications the assaults were coordinated, citing a lack of warnings and no hints that Islamic State militants orchestrated all of them. More likely, U.S. officials said, is that the attacks were inspired by an Islamic State call to arms near the one-year anniversary of it declaring a caliphate.
The attacks came days after Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani promised rewards for attacks on nonbelievers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began in mid-June, renewing fears the extremist group was inspiring sympathizers and trying to touch off a sectarian war.
“You all must rush to it and be keen on waging invasion in this eminent month, and commit martyrdom in it,” Mr. Adnani said.
It also came days before the one-year anniversary of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s June 29 declaration of a caliphate spanning the territory under the group’s control in Syria and Iraq after it captured the Iraqi city of Mosul. At that time, he demanded allegiance from other extremist groups.
Attacks that are inspired or motivated by militant extremism are more difficult to counter, U.S. officials said.
“What this says is that soft targets will always be able to be hit,” said a senior defense official. “We’re still pretty good at looking at networks, but it’s much harder to go after the lone wolf.”
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