Under the Radar in Basel

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Ali J. presenting at Kirschgarten-Gymnasium

In the past couple days I’ve incidentally run across news stories out of Basel, Switzerland, involving the arrest in one case and the prosecution in another of two Islamists.  In one case, Ali J. alias “der Apotheker” (“the Pharmacist”) is currently sitting in detention awaiting deportation.  In the other, Safet Čajlaković alias Šejhan (S.C. in the press) is nearing the end of his trial, a process which began approximately two years ago and of which we are only now being told.  Little of what follows is unique to me apart from finding the identity of Čajlaković and a couple pieces here and there, but it’s something I haven’t seen in the English-language press yet and thought my readers would find of interest.  It’s piqued my interest in radical individuals/groups coming out of Switzerland, though, and I look forward to digging into Lorenzo Vidino’s 2013 report on the country now. Continue reading

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Nice and the Refugee Crisis

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Since late July, I’ve seen virtually nothing new regarding the Nice terror attacks.  For about two weeks following the attack, both the French and Italian press (and to a smaller extent the Albanian press) seemed to be making some headway in getting to the bottom of what happened, who helped Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel make it happen, and some of the suspicious movements he and his associates made in the last year and a half. Continue reading

The Young and the Restless

German special police forces escort a Syrian suspected of being members of Islamic State in Karlsruhe
German special police forces escort a Syrian suspected of being members of Islamic State outside the building of the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) in Karlsruhe, Germany September 13, 2016. Police raided asylum-seekers homes in northern Germany today , arresting three Syrians suspected of being members of Islamic State and awaiting instructions from them to take part in terror attacks. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Cells, plots, and threats of violence from unstable teens and twenty-somethings continue to issue forth on a near-daily basis in the highways and byways of Western Europe.  Here are three vignettes of the “new normal” from just this week. Continue reading

Desperation in Europe?

France Gas Canisters
Police officers stand guard as they take part in a raid in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, east of Paris, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. French police detained three women planning ‘imminent and violent action’ after a standoff Thursday linked to a terrorism investigation into six gas canisters found in a car abandoned near Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)/XTC102/16252777977527/1609082356

The more information that comes out about the female terror cell arrested in France this past week, the more ludicrous and self-defeating their efforts appear to be.  I’m not one to be dismissive about the dangers posed by groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, but if this is not some big misdirection, it certainly gives the feel that the Islamic State is beginning to grasp at straws to effect something spectacular on the Continent. Continue reading

Still in the Game

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Melouk, Kouachi, Beghal, and Laidouni hitting the soccer field in Cantal, France, on 4/4/2011

In my last post, I mentioned that I had decided to take one individual from an old plot—in this case, Slimane Khalfaoui from the 2000 Strasbourg Cathedral/Christmas Market plot—and research what had become of him.  I ended up going off on a tangent and looking at Rabah Boukaouma, a conspirator most recently with respect to the Sid Ahmed Ghlam affair. Continue reading