Report

Islamic State Attackers Assault Church in France

Two men attacked a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, killing an 84-year-old priest and leaving another person severely wounded. The two assailants, armed with knives, claimed to be part of the Islamic State and were killed by police as they exited the church. The attack comes less than two weeks after the Bastille Day massacre in ...

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Two men attacked a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, killing an 84-year-old priest and leaving another person severely wounded. The two assailants, armed with knives, claimed to be part of the Islamic State and were killed by police as they exited the church. The attack comes less than two weeks after the Bastille Day massacre in Nice, France and amid a marked increase in terrorist attacks in France and Germany. The identities of the attackers has not been released, but French counterterrorism prosecutors are conducting an investigation.

The Islamic State released a video of Mohammed Daleel, the Syrian asylum-seeker who detonated a suicide bomb in Ansbach, Germany, on Sunday, wounding 15 people. Daleel was thought to have tenuous or no links to terrorist groups, but the video released by the Islamic State shows him delivering a rant before the attack in which he claims the bombing is revenge for the “killing and displacing of Muslims.” Investigators are now working to determine the level of coordination and support he received from the Islamic State. “We’re wondering whether he had help building the device,” one German official told reporters. “Just because you have knitting instructions doesn’t mean you can knit.”

Turkey Issues Warning about Gulenist Coups to Other Countries

The Turkish government has begun warning other countries about the threat of Gulenist coups, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, including Kyrgyzstan, where Cavusoglu claimed there has been “constant infiltrations inside the Kyrgyz state structure.” Turkey’s purges continue, and has hit the media, military, and academia the hardest. Two senior Turkish military officers who have been coordinating Turkey’s mission in Afghanistan were arrested in Dubai; Emirati authorities cooperated with Turkish intelligence on the arrests.

Headlines

  • Assad regime forces seized the rebel-held Leramun neighborhood of Aleppo and are advancing on the neighborhood of Bani Zaid, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

 

  • The 2016 Arab League summit in Mauritania canceled its second day after only seven of 22 heads of state attended discussions yesterday; the delegations in attendance yesterday discussed the Arab-Israeli peace process and the creation of safe zones in Syria.

 

  • Three former members of the Gaddafi regime responsible for participating in the military response to the country’s revolt and laundering millions of dollars were found living comfortably in Britain, according to an investigation by BuzzFeed.

 

  • The Iranian government denied that three senior al-Qaeda leaders are living in Iran after the U.S. Treasury Department issued sanctions against the individuals, noting that they are working from Iran to transfer money and fighters from South Asia to the Arab states.

 

  • Libyan protesters rallying against the presence of foreign troops and threatening to replace the Government of National Accord with a revolutionary council nearly overran the naval base in Tripoli that serves as the seat of government, leading Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj to flee the area.

 

  • The Solar Impulse 2, a plane powered entirely by solar energy, completed a round-the-world flight, landing in Abu Dhabi last night; the United Arab Emirates was an investor in the plane and has been pushing for increased development of solar and other renewable energy projects.

Arguments and Analysis

Turkey: Independent monitors must be allowed to access detainees amid torture allegations” (Amnesty International)

“Amnesty International spoke to lawyers, doctors and a person on duty in a detention facility about the conditions detainees were being held in. The organization heard multiple reports of detainees being held in unofficial locations such as sports centers and a stable. Some detainees, including at least three judges, were held in the corridors of courthouses. All of the interviewees wished to remain anonymous for security reasons. The organization heard extremely alarming accounts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, particularly at the Ankara Police Headquarters sports hall, Ankara Başkent sports hall and the riding club stables there. According to these accounts, police held detainees in stress positions, denied them food, water and medical treatment, verbally abused and threatened them and subjected them to beatings and torture, including rape and sexual assault.”

 

Yemen: An Opportunity for Iran-Saudi Dialogue?” (Dina Esfandiary and Ariane Tabatabai, Washington Quarterly)

“The events of early 2016 make it increasingly difficult, but equally as important, for the two sides to engage. The Saudi execution of a Shia religious leader, the sacking of Saudi interests in Iran by hardliners, and the subsequent move by Riyadh to sever diplomatic relations with Tehran (which galvanized other Arab states to follow course), have made the grim prospect of dialogue even more unlikely. Today, some in the GCC believe that dialogue with Iran on Yemen is not possible, because Tehran should not be at the negotiation table when it comes to Arab affairs. Even prior to these developments, Riyadh feared engaging with Iran. Following his election, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made it clear that after the nuclear agreement and boosting Iran’s economy, engagement of Iran’s neighbors was the top of the policy agenda. Tehran reached out to Saudi officials a number of times at the highest levels of the diplomatic corps, but did not receive a positive answer. The window of opportunity for such engagement could close in summer 2017, if the Rouhani government is not re-elected for a second four-year term. As a result, the next year is crucial to the future of the region. Across the region, including in Tehran and GCC capitals, many recognize that the key to bringing stability and security to the region lies in Saudi-Iran dialogue.”

-J. Dana Stuster

CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images

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