Eighteen Injured in Bomb Attack on Police Vehicle in Turkey’s Mersin

A bomb blast wrecked a bus carrying police officers on Tuesday in the southern Turkish province of Mersin.

According to the report cited by Reuters, the blast injured 18 people in an attack that security sources blamed on Kurdish militants.

Seventeen of those hurt were police officers, Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdag told parliament, branding it a terrorist attack.

“Turkey’s battle against terror will continue under any circumstances in a strong and determined way,” Bozdag said.

Security sources said militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were believed to have carried out the attack. They also said that none of those wounded were in a critical condition.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Local mayor Burhanettin Kocamaz told broadcaster Haberturk the attack took place on a street where the local governor’s office was located and had hit the police vehicle as it passed.

Images from NTV showed smoke billowing from the area, in Mersin’s Yenisehir district. Ambulances, police and fire trucks were sent to the site of the attack, security sources said.

Turkey is battling a three-decade insurgency in its mainly Kurdish southeast. The PKK frequently carries out bomb attacks on security forces in the southeast and elsewhere.

The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union as well as by Turkey. More than 40,000 people, most of them Kurds, have died since it first took up arms against the state in 1984.

Car Bomber Hits NATO Convoy in Afghanistan

A car bomber attacked a Danish convoy belonging to the NATO-led military mission in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Sunday.

International forces were all safe, however, the attack let a number of civilians wounded, according to security officials. Security officials say five civilians had been wounded while the interior ministry put the figure at three.

Some civilians may have been killed but Afghan officials reported no fatalities, a Danish military spokesman stated.

Captain William Salvin, a spokesman for NATO’s Resolute Support mission, confirmed an attack had occurred and said a team was on the scene to recover the vehicle, according to Reuters.

“There are no Resolute Support casualties as a result of the explosion,” Salvin he said in an emailed statement.

The Danish spokesman said the Danish soldiers were part of a security team who normally take part in protecting advisers traveling to and from the Afghan military academy near Kabul.

As Vehicle Attacks Rise, an Ordinary Object Becomes an Instrument of Fear

Barcelona- This time it was Barcelona. An ordinary van was transformed into a deadly and indiscriminate weapon.

It seemed to be yet another blow to trust in a basic social compact: that people are essentially safe when they walk down the street, relying on drivers to at least try to follow the rules. That accidents would be impersonal and random, and that everyone would try to avoid them.

Even though the automotive terrorist attacks of the past two years are far rarer than accidents, they are a warning that a driver can wield the ordinary car as a weapon. If anything — even something as ubiquitous as a car — can be a weapon, that adds a sense of menace to daily urban life.

Years of research has found that fear can eventually divide and poison societies, hardening people against perceived outsiders, even causing them to abandon key values. This kind of attack, using one of the most ordinary objects of daily life, could heighten that effect.

The political scientists Marc Hetherington and Elizabeth Suhay, for instance, have found that when people who are usually open and trusting toward outsiders feel they are at risk of a terrorist attack, they become more likely to support harsh, authoritarian policies and more willing to sacrifice civil liberties in exchange for perceived safety.

Terrorist attacks are designed to draw public attention and inspire widespread terror. They force us, as members of the public, to make a mental calculation: Could this happen to me or someone I love? Is there a way I can stay safe? What would it take to protect me?

To find reassurance, we look for strategies that make it possible to answer those questions in a reassuring way.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, for instance, many avoided flying. People who worked in small, anonymous offices could comfort themselves that only buildings as high-profile as the World Trade Center or the Pentagon were at risk of being targeted.

But cars, trucks and vans are all around us. There is no set of rules or limits, short of withdrawing entirely from public life, that would fully protect against an attack like this.

The risks of being killed in this kind of attack are low. In the United States alone, car accidents kill 30,000 to 40,000 people a year. Worldwide, terrorist attacks using cars or other vehicles have killed a tiny fraction of that number.

But that calculus cannot reason fear away. The possibility of an accident feels different from the possibility of being deliberately, if randomly, targeted for murder.

Still, the story of cities has always been one of managing seemingly widespread dangers, including terrorism.

In the early 1990s, after Provisional I.R.A. terrorists placed a bomb in a garbage can in London’s Victoria train station, the city removed many of the bins. Visiting the city, one was left either to puzzle at the absence of refuse or, if one knew why the cans were absent, to see every bin-less street as a reminder that a bomb could be waiting around any corner. The fear eventually grew less shocking, transmuting into the background of dangers inherent in living in a city.

By twisting the purpose of a commonplace machine, attacks like the one in Barcelona create a sense that public life is tinged with inescapable danger. When anything can become a weapon, that chips away at the hope that terrorist attacks are somehow predictable or controllable. It does not take any special skills or resources to obtain a van and drive it into a crowd of innocent people. All it takes is motivation.

That fear is not merely unpleasant. It can have real impact on society and politics.

The recent attacks in Europe may help to explain, for instance, why a recent study from Chatham House, a British research organization, found that over half of Europeans support a ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries.

Other research shows that when people feel they are under attack because of their membership in a particular group, like their religion, their nationality or their race, they become more attached to that identity, and more hardened and suspicious toward outsiders. That can promote what social scientists call “outgrouping” — fear of outsiders and a desire to control or punish them. When terrorist organizations target, say, Westerners, that leads to outgrouping behavior.

That feeling of “us” versus “them” divides society, heightening prejudices and creating social battle lines — precisely the sort of politics championed by right-wing populists who have grown popular in Europe and the United States.

Whatever the effect of such attacks on Western politics, they are already changing, in subtle but unmistakable ways, the mental geography of urban life. As cities inevitably produce more barriers to wall off the remote threat of another attack, we will grow only more conscious of the ever-present threat posed by ordinary objects.

The New York Times

Why do We Attack the World?

Whenever an explosion shakes a city, the same scene is repeated. I see eyes fastened to the breaking news on the screens. I hear the whispers of my colleagues: let’s hope the perpetrator is not an Arab; let’s hope he’s not a Muslim; we don’t need more…

I hear them and share their hopes; but the events quickly contest our wishes. It is no longer a secret that the attack on the world is an appalling specialty that we are unique in.

I know quite well that the man who ran over the tourists here or there does not represent his country or the confession to which he belongs; that he did not obtain official permission to commit his crime; that he was wanted in his country before being included in international lists of wanted individuals; and that the threat he represents to his hometown is more dangerous than his threat to the distant crime scene.

I know that intolerance is not confined to a certain people, a sect or a country; and that frenetic persons are sons of many different springs. But we have to admit unequivocally that we are the record holders of world aggressions. And we have booked ourselves an invincible position in the Guinness Book.

I do not exaggerate dear reader. The sight of tourists bleeding to death as a result of an attack perpetrated by a person coming from our region hits me in great confusion. I don’t know why I feel the duty to apologize to a Chinese family, who happened to be in Barcelona, or a Japanese man who was strolling in Nice, or a German who was on a visit to Luxor. This is awful.

Who gave us the right to violate maps, states and cities? Who gave us the right to assassinate young people celebrating life in Istanbul? Who gave us the right to assassinate the residents of the twin towers in New York?

The invocation of injustice here or there is just a curtain to hide a deep desire to kill the other; a deep desire to eliminate those whose features and affiliations do not match ours. Let’s suppose that injustice was done; do we respond to it by inflicting even greater injustice on innocent people? Talks about the world’s hatred of us are not true.

One cannot deny limited harming practices that can occur sometimes in the West in response to our rude performances, but they certainly do not rise to the level of death banquets that we organize at different and far-flung theaters.

Those, who know the West, are aware that the law there has sovereignty and priority that benefits even the advocates of hatred. Many know that Arab and Muslim communities enjoy freedom in Europe often lacking in their homeland.

Why do we attack the world? Is it because it chose to sail towards the future, while we are determined to sail back to the past? Is it because it invented the plane in which we travel? The car we ride? And the cancer medicine we use in our hospitals?
Then what is the validity of this hatred towards the West when we wish to see our children and grandchildren graduate from its universities?

Why do we attack the world? Is it because we have failed to build modern states… to achieve development… to provide employment… to guarantee freedoms and consolidate the rule of law?

Do we see in the progress of the other a defeat to us and a threat to our existence?
Does the solution lie in detonating ourselves or instead coming out of the tunnels in which we have long chosen to reside?

Is it true that we are horrified by the multiplicity of colors, choices and opportunities and we seek to preserve the one-color world that we perceive as the guarantee of our existence and the continuity of our identity far from any interaction or enrichment?

Is it true that we are alarmed whenever we hear the bells of the new era ringing? The bells of science, technology, medicine, ideas, culture, education and music…

Why do we attack the world? From where did we bring this huge amount of hatred? Why are we tempted to collide with the world instead of living with and within it?

Why do we favor explosions over dialogue? Death over interaction and settlement? Rubble over accommodation in common homes? Ashes over multiplicity? Why do we prefer to retreat instead of extending our hands to peace? Why do we choose the recipe of murder rather than dialogue and recognition?

We cannot continue to attack the world. This policy means destroying our societies before destroying a cafe, museum or a tower in other people’s world.

Roving killers assassinate their homeland while they have the illusion of attacking other countries.

Those countries, which seem fragile, are able to live with the danger, because they are states and institutions that commit mistakes, correct them, reconsider their calculations and promote their capabilities.

It is time to put the war on extremism as a first priority in our life. It is imperative to eradicate the extremism dictionary from homes, neighborhoods, schools and the different curricula. The flow of hatred feelings on the screens and social media must be stopped.

We must ask ourselves about the culture that promotes the rise of this tendency to attack the world. In the absence of a daring rational confrontation, we will sink even further in mud and blood and we will produce more roving killers.

Experts Criticize Halting of Investigations into 2016 Attack against Saudi Diplomatic Missions in Iran

A number of prominent experts in Iranian affairs strongly denounced and rebuffed the Iranian regime for procrastinating and eventually halting investigations into the 2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.

The 2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran was a mob action on 2 January 2016 by a crowd of protesters who stormed the embassy in Tehran and another Saudi diplomatic consulate in Mashhad, ransacking offices.

The experts criticized Iranian authorities for rejecting the participation of a Saudi team in the investigation process, considering it a sign that Iran is not serious to chase the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

More so, the experts added that such behavior is not strange, citing the 1979 storming of the American embassy in Tehran, and holding its staff captives for 444 days, the 1987 attack against the Saudi and Kuwaiti embassies respectively, the 1988 attack on the Russian embassy, the 2007 offensive on a Kuwaiti diplomat, the 2009 aggression against the Pakistani embassy, the 2011 attack on the British embassy and the latest attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate general in Mash-had in 2016.

In an expression of good will, Iran be keen on advancing investigations and bring criminals to justice, the Saudi Press Agency cited the experts as saying.

Working under the false banner of revolution, Iran is planning to destabilize the region, added the experts.

They said prolonging the pace of investigations is yet a clear evidence that the Iranian regime is involved in the attack against the Saudi diplomatic missions.

Those gave statements to SPA on the issue include a number of Tunisian politicians, scholars, and media personalities.

They include Chairman of the foreign, political and national security affairs at the Arab parliament Ahmed Al-Mashraqi, President of Tunisian Justice and Development party Abdulrazaq bin Al-Arabi, Shaker Sharfi, a Tunisian academician and politician, and Hasan bin Ali, a Tunisian media man.

Other commentators from Jordan are expert in Iranian-affairs Dr. Nabeel Al-Atoum, and Editor-in-chief Madar Al-Saa (round-the-clock) news agency of Amman, Jordan, Awwad Al-Khalaylah.

Saudi Security Officer Dies in Qatif Terror Attack

Saudi

Dammam– A Saudi security officer from the Saudi Emergency Forces (SEF), was killed on Sunday in al-Musawara district in Awamiyah in Qatif, east Saudi Arabia after an explosive device was detonated. Six of his colleagues were wounded and transferred to the hospital.

Governor of Eastern Province Prince Saud bin Naif visited the security men who were wounded during the terrorist attack at the Internal Security Forces Hospital in Dammam.

Upon his arrival, Prince Saud was briefed on the treatment of the wounded. He conveyed the greetings of King Salman and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, stressing that these wounds are a badge of honor.

The Prince said that security men are sacrificing their lives to safeguard the country against a group of people who thought it was okay to threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom.

He ensured that security forces will pursue those endangering Saudi Arabia if they don’t repent.

Security spokesman of the Ministry of the Interior Maj-Gen Mansour al-Turki said that at 8:30 in the morning on Sunday, a security patrol was attacked by an explosive projectile while carrying out its security tasks in al-Masoura district in Qatif governorate.

“The attack resulted in the martyrdom of Sergeant Mahdi bin Saeed Bin Dhafer al-Yami and the injury of six security men who were taken to the hospital and their condition is stable,” stated Turki.

He reiterated that security authorities have begun investigating the terrorist crime, which is still the subject of security monitoring.

Security men injured said that their sacrifices are only minor to protect the country adding that thwarting the attack is something that makes them proud. They confirmed that these injuries are badges of honor, stating that the Prince’s visit gave them the strength to return back to the field to protect the country.

A number of Qatif province citizens expressed their condemnation to the attacks of the terrorist group, praising the sacrifices of the security men to protect citizens from any attack.

Sheikh Hussein Al Suwaileh stated that Qatif citizens reject the terrorism and violence this group is trying to create in the city. He reiterated that the residents in Qatif denounce all terrorist actions and support the leadership.

Engineer Jaafar al-Shayeb confirmed that everyone stands as one with the leadership against terrorism, and everyone cooperates with the brave vigilant security men.

Sheikh Hussein Al Qoreish expressed Qatif’s appreciation for the security men’s sacrifices. He added that people in the province denounce the sabotage and destruction this group is trying to spread around.

Four Female Suicide Bombers Kill 15 in Nigeria

At least 15 people were killed when four female suicide bombers detonated their explosives in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, police said on Wednesday, in the latest violence to hit the strategic city.

Borno state police commissioner Damian Chukwu told reporters the four struck in the suburb of Molai Kalemari on Tuesday night and that most of the victims were civilian militia manning security posts.

“The bombers detonated IEDs (improvised explosive devices) strapped to their bodies at different locations of the area, killing 19 people, including the bombers,” he said.

“A total of 23 people were injured.”

Bello Danbatta, a spokesman for the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) militia and chief security officer at the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said it appeared his men were the targets.

Two of the bombers blew themselves up at checkpoints manned by militia members, who assist the military with security and sometimes accompany soldiers on operations against Boko Haram extremists.

“In all we lost 12 of our gallant JTF,” he said.

He added: “Civilian JTF have sacrificed their lives to protect their people and the life and property of the citizens of Borno state.

SEMA operatives in face-masks and white overalls were on Wednesday seen removing body parts from the scene of the attacks. Victims were covered with rugs awaiting burial, as local people looked on.

Suicide bombings have become a feature of Boko Haram’s eight-year insurgency in northeast Nigeria, which has killed at least 20,000 people and made more than 2.6 million others homeless.

Nine people were killed in a string of suicide bomb attacks in the city last month around the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The University of Maiduguri, which lies on the edge of the city, has become a frequent target since the start of the year, as it teaches the “western” education despised by an affiliate to terror group, ISIS.

Nigeria’s military and government maintain the group is a spent force and on the verge of defeat as a result of sustained counter-insurgency operations since early 2015.

But sporadic fighting still occurs, while mines and blasts remain a constant threat.

Family of London Mosque Attacker Mourn with Victims’ Families

London

London- The family of Darren Osborne, the 47-year-old man whose vehicle hit people as they were leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque, north London, early on Monday morning, described him on Tuesday as a “troubled” person and expressed sympathy with the victims.

His mother, Christine (72) said she screamed when she saw her son’s photo on television.

“My son is not a terrorist. He is just a man with problems.”

The mother added: “I’m not going to defend him but he’s my son and it’s a terrible, terrible shock.”

In a statement on behalf of the family, Osborne’s nephew, Ellis Osborne (26), said: “We are massively shocked. It’s unbelievable. We are devastated for the families, our hearts go out to the people who have been injured.”

According to some witnesses, Osborne shouted he wanted to “kill all Muslims” after he drove a rented van into a crowd leaving a mosque in Finsbury Park on Monday morning.

His Muslim neighbor Khadijeh Sherizi said: “I saw him on the news and I thought ‘oh my God’ that is my neighbor.”
Sherizi added: “He has been so normal. He was in his kitchen yesterday afternoon singing with his kids. He was the dad of the family. He has kids. He lives next door. He seemed polite and pleasant to me. I just can’t believe it.”

For his part, another neighbor Saleem Naema, 50, said: “I have lived here for five years. He was already living here when I moved in.”

Naema added: “If I ever needed anything, he would come. I just can’t believe that he did that. I am a Muslim.”
Darren Osborne, who is from Cardiff in south Wales, is being questioned by police on suspicion of attempted murder and alleged terror offences.

FM Jubeir Snubs Anti-Saudi Accusations by Iran’s Elite Guard

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister rejected an accusation by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards that Saudi Arabia was behind twin attacks in Tehran on Wednesday that killed at least 12 people.

Speaking in Berlin, Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said he condemned terrorist attacks wherever they occur, but said there was no evidence that Saudis were behind the attack in Tehran, adding he did not know who was responsible.

“We condemn terrorist attacks anywhere they occur and we condemn the killing of the innocent anywhere it occurs,” Jubeir told an event hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the think- tank of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the parliament building and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in the Iranian capital. Terror group ISIS later claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament.

Jubeir also said there was no specific trigger for a decision to cut ties with Qatar, but said there was a long list of grievances.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar on Monday and closed their airspace to commercial flights.

Saudi Ambassador Labels Manchester Attack ‘Cowardly’, Reassures Safety of Saudi Citizens

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday strongly expressed its condemnation of the act of violence which targeted a concert in northern England, according to an official statement issued by the foreign ministry.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns and denounces the explosion, which took place in Manchester in the United Kingdom and killed and injured a number of people,” the statement said.

On the other hand, Saudi Ambassador to the UK Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz made a telephone call with the head of Saudi Students Club in Manchester to reassure the safety of its students.

The Saudi Embassy is continuously following-up the latest developments with the concerned British authorities.

The embassy has not been informed of any harm to any Saudi citizens so far.

The blast, at a concert by US star Ariana Grande, killed at least 22 people, including children, and injured dozens.

According to the ministry’s website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed the Kingdom’s solidarity with the United Kingdom, underscoring the need of “a concerted international effort” to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and extremism.

Saudi Arabia offered its sincere condolences to the victim’s families, the government and the people of the UK. “(Saudi Arabia wishes) a speedy recovery for the wounded,” the website quoted a ministry source as saying.

Meanwhile, the Saudi ambassador to the UK conveyed Saudi Arabia’s sincere condolences on what he described as a “cowardly” attack.