At a Glance | October 16

Truck Explosions Kill Hundreds in Somalia


On October 14, approximately 275 people were killed and more than 300 injured when twin truck bombs rocked the capital of Mogadishu. This incident is the deadliest terror attack in Somalia since 2007 and the 36th car bombing in Mogadishu since the beginning of the year, according to Long War Journal. The attack coincided with the United States’ renewed efforts to defeat al-Shabaab, a Somali-based militant group with ties to al-Qa’ida, who have terrorized the region for years. Since January, the United States has launched 15 airstrikes against al-Shabaab.  While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, in recent years, al-Shabaab primarily targets the capital and the commercial sector, notably hotels and restaurants frequented by foreign diplomats and officials.

Atlantic County Women Arrested With Rifle, Explosives After Tip

A tip obtained by two Atlantic City patrol officers prompted local and federal investigators to arrest two women while recovering a rifle and enough explosives to make five pipe bombs, authorities announced October 10. Within hours of learning that two Atlantic County women were trying to sell weapons, police arrested Danielle Demers, 37, of Atlantic City, and Nina House, 31, of Margate, on October 5. “The public is our greatest partner in assuring that these things do not occur. When the public steps up and when they see something, they say something, we are able to act at a much quicker pace,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner. He also thanked agencies that assisted in the operation, including the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. The suspects could face up to 20 years in prison. The suspects do not appear to have terrorism links and did not plan to use the rifle, a Savage .30-06 with a scope, more than 300 rounds of ammunition, or the explosives themselves, authorities said. Demers offered to provide instructions on how to assemble a pipe bomb, noting that the pipe “should be filled with nails” to act as shrapnel, police said.

United States Issues Bounties on Hizballah Figures

 The United States on October 10 took aim at Hizballah, a terrorist group backed by Iran that has been supporting the regime in Syria’s 6-year war. The State Department offered up to $7 million for information on Talal Hamiyah, believed to head Hizballah’s foreign operations, and $5 million for information on Fuad Shukr, leader of the group’s forces in southern Lebanon. The State Department said he played a key role in Hizballah’s recent military operations in Syria. A Hizballah official told The Associated Press in Beirut Wednesday that the measures are “part of the continuous efforts to demonize Hizballah. They are false accusations that will not have any effect on the operational activities of Hizballah.”

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