During the run-up to New Year’s Eve 2017 there were a number of terrorist attacks in the Middle East and parts of Africa by groups such as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qaida ally Boko Haram, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Shabaab, and other lesser known, but just as dangerous, organizations.
“They share one goal: the creation of a world devoted to Allah and ruled by Sharia law,” said former police counterterrorism expert Joseph Manziano, now a director of security for an international firm. “And because they share a common fanaticism — religious intolerance — they are the most dangerous human beings on the planet,” he added.
Fellow director of security for a multi-national corporation, Raymond Martaan, agrees with Manziano, but takes it even further. “Joe [Manziano] is right, but all of the groups he mentions including ISIS are Sunni Muslims whereas Iran is a known practitioner of Shi-ite Islam. Shi’ites believe in the end times rise of Islam and are obsessed with the study of the end times known as Eschatology
(Eschatology / ˌ ɛ s k ə ˈ t ɒ l ə dʒ i / is a part of theology concerned with the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity.)
The list below is based of reports received by the 13,000-member National Association of Chief of Police. It focuses on groups that were practically ignored for years by the Obama Administration.
Boko Haram in Nigeria
Nigerian military officials announced that there is a large problem with the collateral damage that makes it difficult to recapture the cities and towns invaded and occupied by Boko Haram terrorists especially in Nigeria’s Borno State. The military officials were responding to the report that Boko Haram fighters shot and killed about 15 villagers and wounded dozens of others in Kautikari. Most of the casualties were farmers who were non-Muslims living and farming in Borno State, a region that’s recognized as a Islamist stronghold.
The terrorist attack was launched just after a handful of terrorists reportedly were killed when an IED (improvised explosive device) exploded due to what is believed to be an error in the handling of the powerful bomb. In anger, the terrorists decided to torch more than 20 homes in the defenseless village. Kautikari is located adjacent to the still suffering town of Chibok , the community from which 200 school girls were abducted and dragged off by Boko Haram terrorists in April 2014. Most of the girls, and others kidnapped since April, are still being held captive by the vicious jihadists.
Al Shabbab in Kenya
During his New Year’s address to the Kenyan people, the country’s President acknowledged the increasing threat posed by Muslim terrorists, especially Al Shabaab, and claims his government in the new year will take “the war against terrorism a notch higher for the sake of stability and growth of the nation.” The Kenyan leader said that he is committed to ruthlessly engaging the enemy in their jihadist endeavors.
African media reported his intentions to secure Kenya and he urged his people to play their role in ensuring their own personal security and the security of their nation. Also on New Year’s Eve, Kenya’s officials announced that at least 10 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being investigated for “probable links with Somalia-based Al Shabaab.” According to the Kenyan police, the NGOs are suspected of soliciting funds in the name of delivering food and medical aid, but then using the money to finance Islamist terrorism in the country and the region.
Al Shabaab in Somalia
Two journalists from war-torn Somalia were wounded on New Year’s Eve after Al Shabaab attacked a newsroom and tossed at least two grenades their radio station, the Somalia journalists’ union announced. The two newsmen, — assistant news director Shiine Abdi Ahmed and anchorman Abdullahi Mohamud Aden — suffered leg and arm shrapnel wounds but none of the injuries are life-threatening. Somalia is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for reporters to operate.
“We condemn this attack on Radio Galkayo, and call on Galkayo authorities to safeguard working journalists by tracking down those responsible. Attacks against journalists in Galkayo are occurring with alarming regularity,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General, in a statement released last New Year’s Eve.
Somalia’s President Hassan Mohamud had promised that 2014 would see the end of Al Shabaab, an Al-Qaida-linked terrorist group that has been battling successive governments for years. His promise could not quell the pessimism of the Somali people since that nation possesses a weak army and even weaker police force.
Taliban in Afghanistan
Besides the continued warfare between the Islamists and Afghanistan’s military and police forces, civilians continued to be targeted by the radical Muslims from the Taliban. On New Year’s Eve 2016, the Taliban fired a rocket that targeted a wedding party. The rocket killed at least 20 wedding participants — including the bride — and wounded another 45 people.
Sangin district is a Taliban stronghold and Afghan security forces battling the Islamists are fighting against the terrorists on their own since the withdrawal of U.S., British and other military forces from the area during the previous U.S. administration. Many of those killed by the rocket are said to have been women and children.
Ansar al-Sharia in Libya
In Libya, seven Coptic Christian men were abducted in a city under the control of Islamic terrorist groups such as Ansar al-Sharia, a group-linked to al-Qaida. Father Estefanos, a priest in Anba Karas, confirmed to reporters that seven Egyptian Coptic men in the Libyan city of Sirte were abducted. “Gunmen stopped a vehicle that was transporting the seven men who were with other colleagues, but they were the only ones kidnapped,” said Estefanos highlighting that he received the information from those riding with them.
A large number of Egyptian Christians have been killed in Libya since the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime. Also, Middle East news sources reported that a teenage Coptic Christian girl was abducted after terrorists murdered her parents in Sirte. Sirte is occupied by Islamist groups, including Ansar al-Sharia which is accused of running Islamic State training camps.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula
On New Year’s Day 2017, the U.S. State Department condemned the suicide attacks on people in Yemen who were engaged in a peaceful celebration honoring the “Prophet’s Birthday” on New Year’s Eve. A terrorist wearing a vest containing an IED (improvise explosive device) blew himself up during the religious celebration. The Yemeni government claimed that least 26 people died and another 48 were wounded.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wounded in the attack,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “This cowardly attack is an ugly reminder of the lengths to which terrorists will go to destroy society and harm innocent people.”
The above list doesn’t include terrorism occurring in Egypt (Muslim Brotherhood), Israel (Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad), Iraq (ISIS), Syria (ISIS, al-Nusra Front), Lebanon (al-Qaida, Hezbollah), Tunisia (Ansar al-Sharia), Algeria (al-Qaida in the Maghreb), Mali (al-Qaida in the Maghreb), and other hot spots.