Daesh terror plots targeting Europe and Middle East exposed

New documents reveal ISIS wants to launch a fresh wave of attacks in Europe. (AFP)
Updated 14 April 2019
0

Daesh terror plots targeting Europe and Middle East exposed

  • Daesh wants to replicate previous atrocities, such as the Bataclan attack
  • Details of the chilling plans were discovered on a hard drive dropped by a militant in Syria

LONDON: Details have emerged revealing Daesh plans to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East, a UK newspaper reported on Sunday.
The Sunday Times said it obtained “a trove of chilling documents” about the planned attacks, including correspondence between Daesh officials in Syria and the group’s leaders.
The documents were found on a hard drive that was dropped by a Daesh terrorist during a firefight in Syria earlier this year.
Despite the group’s defeat from its last militant stronghold in Syria last month, the documents reveal how Daesh continues to run sophisticated international networks, move fighters over borders, pay for operations and plan bank robberies, vehicle attacks, assassinations and computer hacking, it was reported.
One of the documents seen by the Sunday Times was signed by six Daesh leaders and addressed to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the group’s self-declared caliph, and his deputy. It splits up the group’s strategy abroad into two categories: Operations, which will be under the command of a Daesh member called Abu Khabab Al-MuHajjir, and borders.
The document claims Al-MuHajjir controls a Daesh cell in Russia and two in Germany. Another group will be based in north-eastern Syria under separate command, the Sunday Times reported.
The letter refers to the Paris attacks of 2015 and the “Manhattan attack” as inspiration, and states that the group’s first aim is to steal money to fund its plans.
“Killing infidel venture capitalists, hacking banks through bank accounts, bank robberies or robberies of places that are pre-studied,” the letter says, adding that “after any operation of this kind we will send the money as we procure it.”
Specific targets mentioned included a high-speed train in Germany and an oil pipeline near the Swiss city of Basel, bordering France, chosen for the “economic disaster” they believe it would inflict.
It goes on to explain the attacks in Europe will only be carried out by Daesh members already living on the continent.
The letter said fighters from Europe, Russia and the Middle East are sent in and out of Syria through Turkey and Iranians and those from central Asia are brought through Iran.
In the letter, the Daesh leaders also ask Al-Baghdadi for $10,000 to buy a gun, a motorcycle and a range of electronic goods, including laptops and flash drives.


US envoy ‘disappointed’ by collapse of inter-Afghan peace meeting

Updated 19 April 2019
0

US envoy ‘disappointed’ by collapse of inter-Afghan peace meeting

  • A 250-strong delegation of Afghan politicians and civil society figures had been due to meet Taliban officials in Doha at the weekend
  • The event was abruptly canceled on Thursday amid arguments over the size and status of the group

KABUL: The US envoy for peace in Afghanistan expressed disappointment on Friday after the collapse of a planned meeting between the Taliban and a group of Afghan politicians in Qatar that exposed some of the deep divisions hampering efforts to end the war.
A 250-strong delegation of Afghan politicians and civil society figures had been due to meet Taliban officials in Doha at the weekend. The event was abruptly canceled on Thursday amid arguments over the size and status of the group, which included some government officials attending in a personal capacity.
“I’m disappointed Qatar’s intra-Afghan initiative has been delayed,” Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, said on Twitter. “I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans.”
The collapse of the meeting before it had even started, described as a “fiasco” by one senior Western official, laid bare the tensions that have hampered moves toward opening formal peace negotiations.
Khalilzad, a veteran Afghan-born diplomat, has held a series of meetings with Taliban representatives but the insurgents have so far refused to talk to the Western-backed government in Kabul, which they dismiss as a “puppet” regime.
The Doha meeting was intended to prepare the ground for possible future talks by building familiarity among Taliban officials and representatives of the Afghan state created after the US-led campaign that toppled the Taliban government in 2001. A similar encounter was held in Moscow in February.
President Ashraf Ghani’s office blamed Qatari authorities for the cancelation, saying they had authorized a list of participants that differed from the one proposed by Kabul, “which meant disrespect for the national will of the Afghans.”
“This act is not acceptable for the people of Afghanistan,” it said in a statement on Friday.
Sultan Barakat, director of the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies in Qatar, which had been facilitating the meeting, said there was no disagreement about the agenda.
“Rather, there is insufficient agreement around participation and representation to enable the conference to be a success,” he tweeted.
Preparations had already been undermined by disagreements on the government side about who should attend, as well as by suspicions among rival politicians ahead of presidential elections scheduled for September.
The Taliban derided the agreed list of 250 participants as a “wedding party.” Some senior opposition figures who had been included refused to attend.
The Taliban also objected to Ghani’s comments to a meeting of delegates that they would be representing the Afghan nation and the Afghan government, a statement that went against the insurgents’ refusal to deal with the Kabul administration.