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The 18 year-old attacker who killed nine people in Munich on July 22 was obsessed with mass shootings and had an obvious link to Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, German police say.

Police who searched the gunman’s room say they found written material on attacks.

The young man, who later killed himself, had a 9mm Glock pistol and 300 bullets.

Police are investigating whether he may have lured his victims through a Facebook invitation to a restaurant.

The man is suspected of using a fake account under a girl’s name to invite people to the McDonald’s restaurant where he launched his attack.

Anders Breivik murdered 77 people in Norway on July 22, 2011, killing eight with a bomb in the capital Oslo before shooting dead 69 at a summer camp for young centre-left political activists on the island of Utoya.

Now 37, Anders Breivik is held in solitary confinement in Norway after being sentenced to 21 years in 2012. He recently won an appeal against the tough regime of his incarceration.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

Breivik harbored radical right-wing views and said his attack was aimed at stopping Muslim immigration to Europe.

Yesterday’s attack at Munich’s Olympia shopping mall also left 27 people injured, including children.

Seven of the dead were teenagers. Three victims were from Kosovo, three from Turkey and one from Greece.

According to police, the gunman had been in psychiatric care, receiving treatment for depression.

“We are in deep mourning… we share your grief,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel after chairing a meeting of the national security council.

Flags are to be flown at half-mast across Germany in mourning

Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said there was an “obvious” link between the new attack and yesterday’s fifth anniversary of Anders Breivik’s attacks in Norway, when he murdered 77 people.

A spokesman for the Munich prosecutor, Thomas Steinkraus-Koch, said the killer might have been receiving psychiatric care.

“We are assuming that he may have suffered from depression,” he said.

“As far as we know he has no criminal record. In 2012 and 2010 he was a victim of an attack – on one occasion he was beaten by three young offenders.”

Hubertus Andrae warned the number of injured could increase if people who had fled the scene came forward. Ten people were critically ill, including a 13-year-old boy, he said.

First reports of the shooting came in just before 18:00 local time on July 22.

Witnesses say the attacker opened fire on members of the public in Hanauer Street before moving on to the shopping mall.

A grainy video appears to show a man firing a gun outside McDonald’s as people flee.

Another video shows the gunman walking around alone on a flat roof before again opening fire. He can be heard shouting at the person filming, saying at one point: “I’m German.”

Police said the gunman was a dual German-Iranian national who was born in Munich. His name has not been released.

The attacker’s body was found about half a mile from the mall. He had no known links to ISIS, police said.

Police have ruled out any connection to ISIS.

Fears of a new ISIS attack had been high just four days after a teenage Afghan asylum seeker stabbed and injured five people on a train in Bavaria before being shot dead by police.

Claiming the attack, ISIS later released a video showing the 17-year-old brandishing a knife and making threats.

More than 80 people, including children, have been killed after a truck slammed through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice.

The driver ploughed on for 1.2 miles on the Promenade des Anglais at about 23:00 local time on July 14, before being shot dead by police.

Witnesses say the speeding truck swerved and zigzagged in an apparent attempt to hit more people.

Police reportedly found guns and grenades inside the lorry.

France’s President Francois Hollande said the attack was of “an undeniable terrorist nature”.

PM Manuel Valls has declared three days of national mourning for the victims from July 16.

A state of emergency, in place since November’s Paris attacks carried out by ISIS, in which 130 people died, has been extended by three months.

The attack in Nice began shortly after the end of a firework display on the seafront for Bastille Day, which is the country’s national holiday.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

A white truck, the front of which was riddled with bullet holes, continued to be examined by police in Nice on July 15.

A journalist with the Nice Matin newspaper reported from the scene that there was “a lot of blood”.

According to officials, 84 people died in the attack and about 50 people have been injured, 18 of them critically.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has told local media that about 10 children were among those killed.

No group has so far said it was behind the attack; prosecutors said the inquiry would be handled by anti-terror investigators.

According to AFP news agency, the identity papers of a 31-year-old French-Tunisian were found in the truck, citing an unnamed police source.

Local media reports named the man as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, but his identity has not yet been confirmed.

President Francois Hollande addressed the nation on July 15 saying France had been “badly hit” but was strong, adding “we need to do everything we can to fight against” such attacks.

“All of France is under the threat of Islamic terrorism,” he said.

Francois Hollande added that “operational reserves” would be deployed to support the army and security forces across the country, with particular focus on the borders.

Manuel Valls said later that the goal of terrorists was to “instill fear and panic”.

“But France is a great country and a great democracy that will not allow itself to be destabilized,” he said.

President Barack Obama condemned “in the strongest terms” what he said appeared to be “a horrific terrorist attack in Nice”.

Nice’s jazz festival has been cancelled and the southern city of Marseille has announced it is canceling a fireworks show planned to take place on Friday evening.

Three suicide attacks hit Saudi Arabia on July 4, including one near Islam’s second holiest site.

Four guards were killed near the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, while only the bombers died in Jeddah and Qatif.

No group has yet said it was behind the attacks, but suspicion has fallen on ISIS.

The Sunni Muslim jihadist group has called for the overthrow of the Saudi monarchy and its supporters have previously carried out bombings in the Gulf state, targeting the Shia minority community and security forces.

ISIS has also claimed a series of deadly attacks in the predominantly Muslim countries of Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq during the holy month of Ramadan.

In July 4 first bombing, two security officers were wounded when a man detonated an explosive vest he was wearing near the US consulate in the coastal city of Jeddah shortly after midnight.

An interior ministry spokesman identified the assailant as a 35-year-old Pakistani expat called Abdullah Qalzar Khan, who it said had worked as a private driver in Jeddah for 12 years.

The second attack took place near dusk outside a Shia mosque in the mainly Shia eastern city of Qatif.

A resident told the Reuters news agency that there were believed to be no casualties apart from the bomber, as worshippers had already left to break their daylight Ramadan fasts.

However, the interior ministry spokesman said the remains of three people had been found and were being identified, without providing any details.Medina suicide attacks July 2016

Not long afterwards, another bomber struck near the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, where thousands of worshippers had gathered for the Maghrib prayers.

On July 5, the Senior Council of Ulema issued a statement saying those behind the three attacks, whom it described as “renegades”, “have no respect for any sanctity and they have no religion or conscience”.

The head of the Shura Council, Saudi Arabia’s main advisory body, said the attack was “unprecedented”.

The Grand Sheikh of Cairo’s al-Azhar University, the leading religious institute in the Sunni Muslim world, also stressed “the sanctity of the houses of God, especially the Prophet’s Mosque”.

The foreign minister of Shia power Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival,tweeted: “There are no more red lines left for terrorists to cross. Sunnis, Shiites will both remain victims unless we stand united as one. #Medina.”

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Interior Minister, Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, meanwhile sought to reassure his fellow citizens, saying: “The security of the homeland is good, it is at its highest levels and thanks be to God it gets stronger every day.”

According to the official Saudi Press Agency, the prince made the statement while visiting the security officers wounded in the Jeddah bombing.

Emirati citizens are being urged not to wear national dress outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE) region, days after businessman Ahmed al-Menhali was detained in the US.

Ahmed al-Menhali was detained while wearing traditional robes in a hotel in Avon, Ohio.

According to local media, a hotel employee feared he was pledging allegiance to ISIS.

The UAE’s ministry of interior issued advice on July 2 urging citizens to be careful about what they wear abroad.

UAE nationals should avoid wearing traditional costume “to preserve their safety”, the ministry said without referencing the Ohio incident.

Ohio broadcaster WEWS reported that police received a call from the sister of a hotel clerk who had said there was a man “in full headdress with multiple disposable phones pledging his allegiance to ISIS”.UAE national dress

Police later received a call from the employee’s father alleging the same thing.

A video of Ahmed al-Menhali’s arrest, filmed by police, was published by WEWS on July 1.

The footage shows armed police approaching him outside a hotel and forcing him to lie on the floor, before searching him.

Ahmed al-Menhali, who is wearing white robes, the ghutra headdress and the agal – cords to hold the headdress in place – is heard repeatedly asking why police had stopped him.

“They were brutal with me,” he told the UAE newspaper The National.

“They pressed forcefully on my back. I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest.”

Avon’s mayor and police chief have since apologized to Ahmed al-Menhali, who was recovering in Ohio after treatment following a stroke.

After meeting him, Muslim community leaders invited the officials to break fast with them as part of the holy month of Ramadan.

The UAE ministry of interior warning was distributed on July 2. A day later, the ministry also issued travel advice to Emirati citizens, urging them to respect bans of the full-face veil where they are in place.

The note also urges people “to take caution while abroad due to the security developments in some European countries, triggered by the unfolding unrest in the Middle East region, and their fallout, especially the refugee crisis”.

ISIS militants have killed at least 75 people in two bomb attacks carried out in Baghdad, Iraqi officials say.

Some other 100 people have been injured in the attacks.

In the first attack on July 2, a suicide car bomb exploded near a restaurant and shopping area in the central district of Karrada.

The street was busy with shoppers after sundown in the holy month of Ramadan.

ISIS militants control large areas of Iraq and neighboring Syria

ISIS militants control large areas of Iraq and neighboring Syria

A second bomb exploded later in a predominantly Shia area north of the capital.

The bombings come a week after Iraqi security forces recaptured the city of Falluja from Islamic State militants.

Authorities say the city was used as a launching pad for attacks on Baghdad by ISIS.

On July 2, ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide car bomb in Karrada, which caused a huge street fire on the main street, in a statement distributed online by supporters of the hardline Sunni group.

The car bomb went off as people were eating out late during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends next week.

ISIS still controls large swathes of territory in the country’s north and west, including Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

However, ISIS has been under pressure in Iraq and in neighboring Syria, where it has been targeted by government forces and US-backed rebels.

At least 20 people have been freed after Bangladeshi troops cleared Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in the capital Dhaka where suspected Islamist gunmen took hostages, including foreigners.

Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina said 13 hostages were freed and six attackers shot dead. One of the gunmen was arrested, she said.

Some of those who were held at the cafe were believed to be Italian and Japanese.

ISIS has said it carried out the attack.

The 12-hour siege began as diners were gathering to break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

In a TV statement, PM Sheikh Hasina said: “It was an extremely heinous act.

“What kind of Muslims are these people? They don’t have any religion.

“My government is determined to root out terrorism and militancy from Bangladesh.”

Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said one Japanese citizen was shot and wounded in the attack, and that seven others were in the cafe. Japan’s government has not yet been able to contact them, he said.

Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper said the gunmen tortured anyone who was unable to recite the Koran. They provided meals overnight for only the Bangladeshi captives, the Daily Star said.

Sumon Reza, a supervisor at the cafe, was in the restaurant when the attack began but managed to flee to the roof.

“The whole building was shaking when they set off explosives,” he told media in Bangladesh. He later jumped off the roof and escaped.

Explosions and heavy gunfire were heard earlier, as the army and navy commandos stormed the cafe.

Armored vehicles were also seen moving in the Gulshan neighborhood.

The gunfire stopped after about an hour.

The identity of the rescued hostages and the fate of other captives believed to have been in the cafe were not immediately known.

At least two police officers were killed in exchanges of fire on July 1, and 30 police officers were injured.

The attack began when eight or nine armed men burst into the cafe in the diplomatic area of Dhaka at about 21:20 on July 1 and opened fire.

A statement on the ISIS’ self-styled Amaq news agency said militants had attacked a restaurant “frequented by foreigners”. It said that more than 20 people “of different nationalities” had been killed but this has not been confirmed.

Seven Italian nationals are believed to have been in the cafe, the Italian ambassador in Dhaka, Mario Palma, was quoted as saying by Italian media.

Lt. Col. Tuhin Mohammad Masud, commander of the Rapid Action Battalion, told Associated Press the gunmen did not respond when asked to negotiate. It is unclear if they made any demands.

The attack comes after a spate of murders of secular bloggers, gay activists, academics and members of religious minorities, blamed on Islamist militants.

Holey Artisan Bakery is described as being popular with expats, diplomats and middle-class families.

Media reports quoted witnesses as saying that “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is great”, was heard as the militants entered the cafe.

A number of hostages have been taken by gunmen that stormed a popular cafe in the diplomatic area of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, officials say.

Several foreigners are among those being detained by eight or nine gunmen in Dhaka’s Gulshan district, they add.

Two police officers have been killed in a gun battle, a spokesman said, and about 30 others injured.

ISIS has already said it carried out the attack.

A statement on ISIS’ self-styled news agency Amaq said militants had attacked a restaurant “frequented by foreigners”. It said that more than 20 people “of different nationalities” had been killed but this has not been confirmed.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Security forces say they are trying to negotiate the hostages’ release.

Initial reports said that as many as 20 foreigners were among those taken captive.

Italian nationals are believed to be among them, a source at the Italian foreign ministry said, quoted by Reuters.

Benazir Ahmed, chief of the Rapid Action Battalion, Bangladesh’s elite police force said: “We want to resolve this peacefully. We are trying to talk to the attackers.

“Our first priority is to save the lives of the people trapped inside.”

Police said the gunmen burst into the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe at about 21:20 local time and opened fire.

The cafe is described as being popular with expats, diplomats and middle-class families.

Media reports quoted witnesses as saying that “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is greatest”, was heard as the attack took place.

Another local resident, Tarique Mir, said he could hear sporadic gunfire nearly three hours after the attack began.

Although high-profile gun attacks are rare in Bangladesh, the latest incident follows a series of murders widely blamed on Islamist extremists.


Turkish sources claim that the three men who carried out the deadly attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on June 28 were all from parts of the former USSR.

One is said to be from Russia’s North Caucasus region and the others from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Turkey believes ISIS was behind the suicide gun and bomb attack that left 44 people dead and some 240 injured.

Meanwhile, Turkish police detained at least 13 suspects in Istanbul and more in Izmir on June 30.

One image on Turkish media purported to show the three men together at the airport moments before the attack, wearing dark jackets and carrying hold alls. Two are wearing caps, one is smiling.Istanbul airport attackers USSR

An unnamed Turkish official confirmed for Reuters news agency the dead attackers’ countries of origin after Turkish media reports.

Some agencies named one of the men as Osman Vadinov, said to have crossed into Turkey from the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria in 2015.

Reports that Osman Vadinov was a Chechen have been denied by an unnamed police source in the North Caucasus, Russia’s Interfax news agency reports.

The organizer of the attack has been named by Turkish media as Akhmed Chatayev, a Chechen believed to have acted as an ISIS recruiter, who is on a US counter-terror sanctions list. His fate was not immediately clear.

ISIS has long recruited members from mainly Muslim parts of the former USSR, with Russian President Vladimir Putin putting the overall number at between 5,000 and 7,000 in October.

However, data published by the Soufan Group security consultants in December suggests the numbers are lower: 2,400 from Russia and 500 apiece from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Turkey’s government has made no official statement on nationalities yet and no-one has said they carried out the attack on June 28.

PM Binali Yildirim said on June 29 that “our thoughts on those responsible for the attack lean towards Islamic State”.


Turkey has carried out raids against suspected ISIS militants after the deadly attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.

At least 13 suspects were detained in the raids in Istanbul, with more in the western coastal city of Izmir.

Turkey believes ISIS was behind June 28 suicide gun and bomb attack that left 42 people dead and more than 230 injured.

More details of the victims have emerged, many of them airport workers.

A Turkish official told AFP: “Earlier today, the police raided 16 locations to detain 13 IS suspects, including three foreign nationals.”Istanbul airport attack 2016

Turkish media said counter-terrorism police had raided several areas of Istanbul – including Pendik, Basaksehir and Sultanbeyli.

Arrests were also reported in Izmir, where at least nine people were detained, accused of financing, recruiting and providing logistical support to ISIS.

Separately, Turkish media reported that security forces had killed two suspected ISIS militants on the Syrian border on June 25. They said one was planning an attack on the capital Ankara or the city of Adana.

No-one has yet said they carried out the airport attack.

The Hurriyet newspaper identified one of the three bombers as a Chechen but there is no official confirmation.

Turkey’s PM Binali Yildirim has said again that “our thoughts on those responsible for the attack lean towards Islamic State”.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Wednesday a national day of mourning and said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.

Detailing the attack, Binali Yildirim said the three men had wanted to pass through the security system but on seeing the controls “took their weapons out of their suitcases and opened fire at random at the security check”.

One attacker detonated his explosives downstairs in the arrivals terminal, Turkish officials said.

The second went upstairs and set off his explosives there while the third waited outside as passengers fled. He then detonated his explosives, causing the most casualties.

A Kalashnikov assault rifle, a handgun and two grenades were found on the bodies, Turkish media said.

In addition to the 42 killed, more than 230 people were injured and dozens remain in critical condition in hospital.

The assault on Ataturk airport – Europe’s third busiest – is the sixth major attack in 2016 targeting either Istanbul or Turkey’s capital, Ankara.


The number of people killed the Istanbul’s Ataturk airport attack has risen to 41 with 239 injured, the Turkish city’s governor says.

Thirteen of those killed in the attack were foreign nationals, he added.

Three attackers arrived in a taxi and began firing at the terminal entrance late on June 28. They blew themselves up after police fired back.

Turkish PM Binali Yildirim said early signs pointed to ISIS.

However, no-one has so far admitted carrying out the attack.

Turkey has declared June 29 a day of national mourning.

Turkish investigators are examining CCTV footage, witness statements and mobile phone video recorded by terrified passengers to try to determine the identity of the attackers.

According to the Dogan news agency, autopsies on the three dead men suggested they may be foreign nationals but this has not been confirmed.

Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag says that 128 people remain in hospital, including nationals of Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Switzerland, the Associated Press reports.

Of those, 41 are still in intensive care.Istanbul airport attack death toll

Heavily-armed security personnel were patrolling the airport.

Flights had resumed in the early morning, though with many cancellations and delays.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.

Reports of the attack vary but it appears the attackers opened fire at the entrance where X-ray machines are positioned, sparking an exchange with police. At least two of the attackers ran into the building.

Footage on social media shows one moving through the building as people around him flee. He is shot by police and remains on the ground for about 20 seconds before blowing himself up. All three attackers were killed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to Turkey in a phone call with President Erdogan, as the pair seek to rebuild ties.

France’s President Francois Hollande has confirmed two French nationals were injured in the attack, but not seriously.

Pope Francis also denounced the “brutal terrorist attack”, saying: “May the Lord convert the hearts of the violent ones and support our efforts toward the path of peace.”

#PrayforTurkey began trending on Twitter after the attack on Istanbul international airport.

Fifty people have been killed in a shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the city’s mayor Buddy Dyer has said.

Omar Mateen, who was named as the attacker by officials, was killed after taking hostages at the Pulse club.

President Barack Obama said Americans were united in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people” after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.

The Orlando attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

A nationwide moment of silence will be held at 18:00 local time.

According to officials, the killings were likely to be ideologically motivated, though there was no information that the gunman was associated with a particular group.

However, Congressman Alan Grayson said it was “no coincidence” the attack happened in a gay club.Omar Mateen Orlando shooting

“It may be we’ve seen the commission of an awful hate crime,” he added.

Omar Mateen’s father Mir Seddique told NBC News that the incident had nothing to do with religion, and may have been triggered by the sight of a gay couple kissing in Miami.

However, NBC News reported that Omar Mateen called the emergency services before the attack and swore allegiance to ISIS.

The group later said – via its affiliated Amaq news agency – that an ISIS “fighter” had carried out the attack.

The claim did not specify whether ISIS was directly involved or simply taking credit for inspiring the attack.

President Obama described the attack as “the brutal murder of dozens of innocent people”.

“It was an act of terror and an act of hate,” the president said, adding that it was a heartbreaking day for the LGBT community.

An attack on any American was an attack on all, Barack Obama added.

“We are united in grief, in outrage and resolve to defend our people.”

Barack Obama has ordered flags on federal buildings to be flown at half mast until sunset on June 16.

The suspect, who was a US citizen from the Florida town of Port St Lucie and was of Afghan descent, was not on a terrorism watch list.

However, officials revealed that the FBI had twice interviewed Omar Mateen in 2013-2014 after he made “inflammatory remarks” to a colleague. But the investigation was closed.

The death toll of 50 given by Mayor Buddy Dyer means that the Orlando attack surpasses the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech which left 32 people dead.

Another 53 people were injured in the shooting.

Security has also been boosted for the last day of the Capital Pride LGBT festival in Washington DC, which included a moment of silence for the Orlando victims at 13:00 local time, the Washington Post reported.

A gay pride parade has also been taking place in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.

At least 11 people have been killed after a car bomb targeted a police bus in central Istanbul, Turkish officials say.

The explosives were remotely detonated as the vehicle passed through the busy Vezneciler district at the morning rush hour, reports said.

Four civilians and seven police officers were among the dead, Istanbul’s governor, Vasip Sahin, said. Some 36 other people were injured, he added.

No group has said it carried out the attack.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Turkey violence has escalated recently as a result of tensions with Kurdish separatists and the conflict in neighboring Syria.

The explosion happened near the city’s historic Beyazit Square neighborhood, a major tourist attraction.

Pictures showed the wreckage of a bus destroyed and the facade of nearby buildings damaged. Armed police were also seen next to the site.

Reports said gunfire was heard in the area after the blast.

ISIS and Kurdish militants have both carried out bloody attacks in Turkey in recent months.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said terror groups are targeting civilians because they are losing their struggle against Turkish security forces.

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against ISIS and allows coalition planes to use its air base at Incirlik for raids on Iraq and Syria.

A two-year-old ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdish militant PKK broke down last summer.

Body parts, personal belongings of passengers and debris from missing EgyptAir plane have been found in the Mediterranean Sea, Greek and Egyptian officials say.

Flight MS804 was en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew when it vanished on May 19.

Seats and luggage has also been retrieved by Egyptian search crews.

The debris was discovered about 180 miles north of Alexandria, the Egyptian military said.

European Space Agency (ESA) satellites spotted an oil slick in the area where the flight had vanished but the organization said there was no guarantee it was from the missing plane.EgyptAir MS804 debris

The search is now focused on finding the plane’s flight recorders, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has expressed his “utmost sadness and regret” at the crash.

Military units from Greece, Egypt, France and the UK have been taking part in a search operation near the Greek island Karpathos.

Greece said radar showed the Airbus A320 had made two sharp turns and dropped more than 25,000ft before plunging into the sea.

Egypt says the plane was more likely to have been brought down by a terrorist act than a technical fault.

However, there has been “absolutely no indication” so far as to why the plane came down, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on May 20.

Three investigators from the French air accident investigation bureau, along with a technical adviser from Airbus, have joined the Egyptian inquiry.

The missing plane was forced to make an emergency landing in 2013 after the pilot noticed the engine overheating, but an official report said defect was repaired.

In France, the focus is on whether a possible breach of security happened at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

After last year’s attacks in the French capital, some airport staff had their security clearance revoked over fears of links to Islamic extremists.

ISIS has briefly overrun a hospital complex in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour, reports say.

Activists say about 35 pro-government fighters were killed and some medical staff taken hostage. More than 20 ISIS fighters were also reported killed.

The attack was centered on al-Assad hospital, to the west of the city.

Syrian government forces retook the hospital after several hours, reports say, but the fate of the hostages is unclear.ISIS Deir al Zour

ISIS controls more than of half of Deir al-Zour and is seeking to capture the entire city.

The jihadist group has been besieging government-held areas there for two years, trapping about 200,000 civilians.

ISIS’s Amaq news agency said its fighters had carried out a “major offensive” in Deir al-Zour on May 14, storming the hospital and cutting the route between a Syrian army base and the city’s airport.

Amaq said it had also taken over a fire station, university accommodation, grain silos and territory near the al-Tayyam oil fields.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, government forces retook the hospital after several hours of fierce fighting.

Deir al-Zour is in an oil-rich area and on a vital supply route to the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

Mustafa Amine Badreddine was killed in artillery fire by jihadists, Lebanese Hezbollah group says.

The death of the Hezbollah’s top military commander in near Damascus airport was announced on May 13 and initially blamed on Israel, Hezbollah’s chief enemy.

Mustafa Badreddine was believed to have run all Hezbollah’s military operations in Syria since 2011.

Thousands of Hezbollah troops are supporting President Bashar al-Assad.

This has pitted it against several groups of anti-Assad rebels – from ISIS to the al-Nusra Front.Mustafa Badreddine death

Without naming any group, the Hezbollah statement said: “Investigations have showed that the explosion, which targeted one of our bases near Damascus International Airport, and which led to the martyrdom of commander Mustafa Badreddine, was the result of artillery bombardment carried out by takfiri groups in the area.”

Takfiri is used to describe militants who believe Muslim society has reverted to a state of non-belief.

The Lebanese Shia Islamist movement has played a major role in helping Iran, its main military and financial backer, to prop up the government of President Bashar al-Assad since the uprising erupted in 2011.

Thousands of Hezbollah fighters are assisting government forces on battlefields across Syria, particularly those near the Lebanese border, and hundreds are believed to have been killed.

The Hezbollah statement said Mustafa Badreddine’s death “will increase our determination… to continue the fight against these criminal gangs and defeat them”.

Born in 1961, Mustafa Amine Badreddine is believed to have been a senior figure in Hezbollah’s military wing. He was a cousin and brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyeh, who was the military wing’s chief until his assassination by car bomb in Damascus in 2008.

They are alleged to have worked together on the October 1983 bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut that killed 241 people.

Mustafa Badreddine is reported to have sat on Hezbollah’s Shura Council and served as an adviser to the group’s overall leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Hezbollah was established in the wake of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon in the early 1980s, and has called for the “obliteration” of Israel.

Mustafa Badreddine was also charged with masterminding the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri in Beirut in 2005.

An indictment from the ongoing Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague details Mustafa Badreddine’s role in bombings in Kuwait in 1983, that targeted the French and US embassies and other facilities, and killed six people. He was sentenced to death over the attacks, but later escaped from prison.

Thirteen people have been injured and at least one person died in a car bomb blast near the main police station in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, officials say.

The explosion hit Gaziantep, 6 miles from the Syrian border, at about 09:30 local time.

CNN Turk said the explosion was heard several miles away.Gaziantep police station explosion

Turkey has been hit by a series of deadly blasts over the past year, linked either to Kurdish militants or ISIS.

Ankara, Istanbul and Bursa are among cities that have been targeted by suicide bombings.

According to Gaziantep’s regional governor, nine of the injured were police officers.

Some reports said gunfire was heard after the blast. There was no immediate word on who is behind the latest blast.

Gaziantep is known to have several ISIS cells.

The US will send 250 additional military personnel to Syria to support local militias in the fight against ISIS, officials have said.

The goal, they say, is to encourage more Sunni Arabs to join Kurdish fighters in north-eastern Syria.

The new deployment will bring to 300 the number of US forces in non-combat roles in Syria.

Most of the additional personnel will be special operation forces, the AP reports. The group will also include medical and logistical troops, it adds.

A formal announcement is expected from President Barack Obama during his visit to Hannover on April 25, where he will discuss Syria and other foreign policy issues with leaders of the UK, Germany, France and Italy.

Barack Obama has resisted calls to send US troops into Syria, where a five-year-old conflict has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced some 11 million others.Syrian rebels to succeed ISISisis

Of those, four million have fled abroad, including growing numbers who are making the dangerous journey to Europe.

The crisis has put pressure on leaders there, who are struggling to halt a massive influx of migrants and refugees.

Speaking alongside Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 24 urged warring parties to set up safe zones in Syria where refugees would be protected within the country.

Angela Merkel expressed hope that such a plan might eventually be agreed at peace talks taking place in Geneva.

Barack Obama, however, said it would be “very difficult” for those zones to work without a large military commitment.

ISIS has lost parts of the territory it once controlled in Syria. Most recently, they were pushed back by Russian-backed Syrian forces from the strategic city of Palmyra.

The group has also had significant setbacks in Iraq, including the loss of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.

The US has led a coalition against the militant group in both Syria and Iraq.


One of the Brussels bombers once worked as a cleaner at the European Parliament, officials say.

The man had month-long summer jobs there in 2009 and 2010, the EU Parliament said, without revealing his identity.

However, sources say he is Najim Laachraoui, one of the airport bombers.

Belgian PM Charles Michel has defended his country’s approach to fighting terror threats, insisting Belgium is not a “failed state”.

Charles Michel said everyone in authority had to take a share of the blame for failings before and after March 22.

Najim Laachraoui, already a major suspect on the run after the Paris attacks in November, was named as one of the two bombers who targeted Zaventem airport.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

The EU Parliament said the cleaning company had provided proof that the person hired had no criminal record at the time.

PM Charles Michel said 30 measures were being put place in Belgium, including a ban on pre-paid mobile phone cards.

“Our key message today is we return to normal life in Brussels and in Belgium,” the Associated Press quoted him as telling reporters.

“When there is an attack like that of course that’s a failure and nobody can deny this,” he said.

“[But] I cannot accept the idea that we’re a failed state.”

Belgium has been accused of taking an un-co-ordinated approach to terror threats because it has multiple institutions representing the country’s complex linguistic and political makeup.

The Brussels region alone has six police zones.

According to Belgium’s De Tijd newspaper, Charles Michel said it was “short-sighted to say a unified police force could have prevented the attacks”.

He said there had been some successes like the recent arrest of the surviving suspect of the Paris attacks last November, Salah Abdeslam, adding it had taken 10 years to track down al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks in the US.

The search for the March 22 attackers is not yet over as pictures taken at Zaventem airport show three men entering the terminal building with explosives.

Najim Laachraoui and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui detonated their bombs and the third is thought to have escaped.


Brussels International Airport is ready to partially reopen but flights will not restart until Friday evening (April 1) at the earliest.

Zaventem airport has been closed since March 22 when two suicide bombers blew themselves up in the departure hall.

The departures area would only be operating at 20% of normal capacity, the airport’s operators said in a statement.

The attacks on the airport and another suicide bomb on the Brussels Metro killed 32 people and injured hundreds.

ISIS has said it was behind the bombings.

The reopening announcement follows days of tests for a temporary check-in system at Zaventem.

“Brussels Airport Company has received the go-ahead from the fire services and the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority for a partial restart of passenger flights at the airport,” the airport’s statement said.

“The airport is thus technically ready for a restart of passenger flights in the temporary infrastructure foreseen for check-in.

“However, the authorities have yet to take a formal decision on the restart date. Until Friday evening no passenger flights will take place at Brussels Airport.”

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

The airport said the temporary system could receive 800 departing passengers per hour, far fewer than normal.

However, the baggage reclaim and arrivals area was only slightly damaged and has since been made ready for use, it added.

“The final step for the restart is the formal political approval. In the meantime, it has been decided that there will be no passenger flights until Friday evening.”

Zaventem Airport CEO Arnaud Feist said earlier this week that the airport would take months to reopen fully.

Meanwhile, Brussels airport police have said they criticized security well ahead of the attacks.

In an open letter to authorities published by Belgian broadcaster VRT, police said they had sent “strong daily signals regarding the overall security at the airport”.

They complained “there had not been any security control of passengers or luggage from the airport complex right up to the centralized body searches” area.

They also alleged that too many airport employees had criminal backgrounds.

Police are still searching for the third man who took part in the airport attacks. The man, pictured on CCTV wearing a hat, was said to have fled the scene without detonating his explosive device.

The two airport bombers who died have been named as Najim Laachraoui and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui.

Ibrahim el-Bakraoui’s brother, Khalid el-Bakraoui, blew himself up at Maelbeek metro station.

Police later found a computer in which Ibrahim el-Bakraoui left a final message.


The only person arrested and charged with involvement in the Brussels attacks – man known as Faycal C – has been released on March 28 for lack of evidence.

Belgian media named him as Faycal Cheffou and said he was suspected of being the mystery third man seen in CCTV footage of the bombers.

Last week’s attacks on Brussels airport and the city’s metro system killed 35 people and injured more than 300.

The attacks were claimed by ISIS.

Police have blocked off a Brussels square, Place de la Bourse, which saw clashes between police and nationalist protesters on March 27.

People were allowed to stay in the square, where mourners have placed candles, wreaths and messages for victims of the bomb attacks.

Of the 35 victims, seven have still to be identified, the country’s crisis centre said on March 28.

At least 12 of the victims are foreign nationals from the US, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and China, it said earlier.

The death toll does not include three attackers, two of whom blew themselves up at the airport and one in the metro.

EU institutions based in Brussels will reopen on March 29, following the Easter break, “with important additional security measures in place”, European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva said in a tweet.

The man referred to officially as Facyal C was released on March 28 after being arrested on March 24 in Brussels and charged with “participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempted terrorist murders”.

In a statement, the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said: “The clues that led to the arrest of Faycal C were not substantiated by the ongoing inquiry.

“As a result, the subject has been released by the examining magistrate.”

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

He had been charged only two days before with “taking part in a terrorist group, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder”.

Belgian public TV and Le Soir daily identified the freed man as Faycal Cheffou, a freelance journalist.

CCTV footage released by Belgian police on March 28 shows the two airport bombers alongside a third man, who is wearing light-colored clothing and a dark hat. Each is pushing a loaded luggage trolley.

Twin blasts struck the main terminal of Zaventem Airport. A third, even bigger, bomb was abandoned, prosecutors said at the time. It exploded after the security forces had secured the scene and nobody was hurt, they added.

The man in the hat is believed to have fled the scene.

Brussels was the second large-scale attack on an EU capital city claimed by ISIS, after gunmen and bombers killed 130 people in Paris on November 13.


In a bid to identify the third attacker at Brussels airport, whose bomb did not explode and who fled, Belgian police have released a new CCTV footage.

The attacker is seen wearing light-colored clothing and a hat.

The death toll from March 22 attacks in Brussels rose to 35 after four people died of their injuries in hospital.

More than 300 people were also injured in the attacks, which were claimed by ISIS.

The death toll does not include three attackers, two of whom blew themselves up at the airport and one in the metro.

Investigators have not commented on reports in the Belgian media that the third airport attacker is Faycal Cheffou, a freelance journalist arrested on March 24 outside the prosecutor’s office.Brussels third attacker CCTV

On March 26, a man named Faycal C was charged with “participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempted terrorist murders”, a prosecutor’s statement said.

Separately, three men were charged on March 28 with belonging to a terrorist group.

The three, whose names were given as Yassine A, Mohamed B and Aboubaker O, were arrested during raids on 13 addresses on March 27. A fourth man was released without charge.

Belgian Health Minister Maggie De Block announced the latest deaths in a tweet: “Four patients deceased in hospital. Medical teams did all possible. Total victims: 35. Courage to all the families.”

Of the 35 victims, seven have still to be identified, the Belgian crisis center said on March 28.

At least 12 of the victims are foreign nationals from the US, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and China, it said earlier.

More arrests have also taken place in relation to what authorities say were planned attacks on France.

A man already in Belgian custody was reported to have been charged in connection with a foiled attack in the Paris region.

Separately, Dutch police announced on March 27 that they had detained a 32-year-old Frenchman in Rotterdam at the request of French authorities.

The man was arrested on suspicion of preparing an attack in France and will be extradited to the country. Three other people were also detained.

The Frenchman is allegedly linked to Reda Kriket, who was arrested in a Paris suburb on March 24 and said to be in the “advanced stage” of plotting an attack, AFP news agency reported, citing a police source.

Syrian army has re-captured the ancient city of Palmyra from ISIS, say state media and a monitoring group.

The Syrian government forces had been gaining ground for several days, supported by Russian air strikes. Military sources say the army now has “full control”.

ISIS seized the UNESCO World Heritage site and modern town in May 2015.

Images released by the Syrian military on March 26 showed helicopters and tanks firing at positions in Palmyra.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

The date of the footage could not be independently verified.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, there was still gunfire in the eastern part of the city, but the bulk of the ISIS force had pulled out and retreated further east.

In a statement released on March 26, Russia’s defense ministry said the strikes hit 158 ISIS targets killing more than 100 militants.

When ISIS seized Palmyra it destroyed archaeological sites, drawing global outrage. Two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers were left in ruins.

ISIS, which has also demolished several pre-Islamic sites in neighboring Iraq, believes that such structures are idolatrous.

The prospect of Palmyra’s liberation was welcomed by UNESCO, which has described the destruction of the ancient city as a war crime.

The head of Syria’s antiquities authority, Mamoun Abdelkarim, promised to repair as much of the damage as possible as a “message against terrorism”.

Syrian army has entered the ancient town of Palmyra seized by ISIS last year, state TV has said.

According to observers, the government forces have advanced into a hotel district south-west of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Officials launched an offensive to retake the city earlier this month, backed by Russian air strikes.

Palmyra is situated in a strategically important area between Damascus and the contested eastern city of Deir al-Zour.

ISIS seized the ruins of Palmyra and the adjoining modern town in May 2015. It subsequently destroyed two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers, provoking global outrage.

Photo Flickr

Photo Flickr

The jihadist group, which has also demolished several world-renowned pre-Islamic sites in neighboring Iraq, believes that such structures are idolatrous.

UNESCO has condemned the destruction as a war crime.

State media showed warplanes flying overhead, helicopters firing missiles, and soldiers and armored vehicles approaching Palmyra.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the government forces advanced into the hotel district and reached the start of a residential area but were moving slowly because of mines planted by ISIS.

The Syrian troops were also making incursions from the northern part of the city, the AFP reported.

There were unconfirmed reports of casualties on both sides.

The Observatory said civilians began fleeing after ISIS warned them via loudspeakers to leave the city centre as fighting was drawing closer.

The advance comes after the Syrian army and allied militia took control of several hills overlooking the city earlier this week.

Recapturing Palmyra would be a significant victory for the government and Russia, which withdrew most of its forces last week after a six-month air campaign against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad that turned the tide of the five-year civil war in his favor.

Despite the reported setbacks, ISIS claimed its fighters inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing forces, according to its weekly publication Al Naba.

On March 23, ISIS issued pictures purported to show several Syrian army vehicles destroyed by its fire. However, its daily radio news bulletins have not mentioned the fighting in Palmyra in the last few days.

Syrian army has reached the outskirts of the ancient city of Palmyra, after driving back ISIS militants.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian government troops were now only 1.2 miles south of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ruins.

ISIS militants seized Palmyra and the adjoining modern town in May 2015.

They subsequently destroyed two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers, drawing global outrage.

ISIS, which has also demolished several world-renowned pre-Islamic sites in neighboring Iraq, believes that such structures are idolatrous.

UNESCO has condemned the destruction as a war crime.Syrian army reaches Palmyra

The Syrian Observatory, which relies on a network of sources on the ground in Syria, told the AFP news agency that government forces were on March 23 only 1.2 miles from Palmyra’s southern outskirts and 3 miles from its western edge.

The governor of Homs province, Talal Barazi, confirmed the advance and said troops were now stationed on several hills overlooking the Greco-Roman ruins.

“There is continuous progress by the army from all directions,” he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Talal Barazi added that he expected “positive results” over the next few days.

Syrian government forces launched an offensive to retake Palmyra at the beginning of March, backed by heavy Russian air strikes.

Last week, the Russian military said its aircraft were flying up to 25 sorties a day over Palmyra to help liberate what President Vladimir Putin has described as a “pearl of world civilization”.

Palmyra is also situated in a strategically important area on the road between Damascus and the contested eastern city of Deir al-Zour.

At least four people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at a busy shopping area in the Istanbul, officials say.

Another 36 were injured – among them 12 foreign nationals – as the bomb went off near a government building on Istiklal Street.

No-one has admitted carrying out the attack, the latest to target Turkey in recent months.

The Turkish government has blamed Kurdish militants for previous attacks and has retaliated against them.

Today’s attack in Istanbul – Turkey’s largest city – occurred at about 11:00 local time.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Three Israeli tourists were among those injured, local media report say. The Israeli foreign ministry has confirmed Israelis were wounded, but has not given the number or said what condition they are in.

Both ISIS and Kurdish militants have claimed recent attacks in Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said terror groups are targeting civilians because they are losing their struggle against Turkish security forces.

Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against ISIS and allows coalition planes to use its air base at Incirlik for raids on Iraq and Syria.

It has also been carrying out a campaign of bombardment against Syrian Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it regards as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

A two-year-old ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK broke down last summer.

Since then, more than 340 members of Turkey’s security forces have been killed along with at least 300 Kurdish fighters and more than 200 civilians.

The TAK (Kurdistan Freedom Hawks) was formed in 2004. It is regarded as the hard-line offshoot of the PKK, rejecting any attempt at ceasefire talks with the Turkish state.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy for Turkey’s Kurdish minority for decades and has carried out regular attacks on Turkish security forces.