August 1st – 5th

Monday 1st

FRANCE: An investigation has been launched after the attack of a 70 years old Muslim in Barentin (Seine-Maritime). The attacker first tried to attack the septuagenarian daughters, who were about to hit the road to Paris after visiting their father. He then attacked their father. (Liberation)

GERMANY: On Sunday afternoon, 20,000 Turks in Koln have come together to show their support to the Turkish president after the coup attempt failed two weeks ago. Representatives of Kurds in Germany had to them deliberately renounced manifest to avoid throwing oil on the fire. (Liberation)

SYRIA: Rebel fighters in Aleppo have launched a major military operation aimed at breaking a weeks-long regime siege of the opposition-controlled eastern part of the Syrian city. Fighters say they have pushed back Assad forces, as Russian helicopter shot down over Idlib province. A Russian helicopter was shot down about 25 miles south of Aleppo on Monday morning, killing all five people on board. The defense ministry said the Mi-8 was returning to Russia’s Latakia airbase after delivering aid to the city. (The Guardian)

WAR ON TERROR: Islamic State called on its group members to carry out jihad in Russia in a nine-minute YouTube video on Sunday. It was not immediately clear why Russia would be a target, but Russia and the U.S. are talking about boosting military and intelligence cooperation against Islamic State and al Qaeda in Syria. Islamic State has called on its supporters to take action with any available weapons targeting countries it has been fighting. (Reuters)

Tuesday 2nd

EUROPEAN UNION: The European Commission has finally announced, on 2nd August, the creation of a Commissioner for the safety of the Union, Julian King. He replaces Jonathan Hill, who resigned after the referendum on leaving the EU on June 23. King´s nomination must be approved by the European Parliament. (Le Monde)

LIBYA: The United States confirmed that it had carried out strikes against IS in the city of Sirte at the request of the Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council/Government of National Accord (PC/GNA). The US statement revealed that additional US strikes will continue to target IS in Sirte. (The Libya Herald)

TURKEY: Turkey has threatened to tear up a controversial migrant deal and send hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers to Europe if its citizens are not granted visa-free travel to the EU’s Schengen Area within October. But the European Commission refused to back down in the dispute, insisting it will only agree to visa-free travel when Turkey reforms its anti-terror laws. (The Telegraph)

Ankara threatens to punish Berlin for blocking Erdogan´s  video intervention. Germany’s relations with Turkey hit a new low yesterday when Ankara summoned the chargé d’affaires to express outrage at a court decision banning President Erdogan from addressing a rally of his supporters in Cologne by videolink. (The Times)

Wednesday 3rd

FRANCE: Tuesday night, before the presidential press the Head of State, Francois Hollande, has ruled out any public funding for mosques, noting that it would be a departure from the 1905 Act. He also wished to reactivate the Foundation for Islam, which is led by Jean-Pierre Chevènement. (Le Figaro)

ITALY: Today, a 23 years old Syrian has been arrested in Genova for participation in association with the purpose of terrorism. On 2 August a Pakistani 26-year resident of the province of Milan was expelled for security reasons with a measure of the Minister of Interior. (RaiNews)

The Italian Ministry of Defense, Roberta Pinotti, stated during the question time at the House of Representatives that the Government is ready to consider positively any request by the US for the use of Italian bases and the national airspace if it was functional to a more ‘ quick and effective accomplishment of the mission in Libya against Daesh. (RaiNews)

TUNISIA: Tunisia’s political leaders will meet at the Presidential Palace in Carthage on Wednesday to agree on the prime minister who would lead Tunisia’s national unity government. The meeting will also see the announcement of the positions of the Tunisian General Labor Union and the Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts towards the Tunisian president’s nomination of his relative, Youssef Al-Chahed to occupy the post of the prime minister. Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi has proposed a family member as his candidate to replace ousted Premier Habib Essid. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Thursday 4th

AUSTRIA: Austria’s chancellor, Christian Kern, says there are signs that Turkey is heading toward a dictatorship and questions the sense of continuing negotiations with it over EU membership. Kern said “there is no realistic perspective for membership” for Turkey. Instead, the Austrian leader calls for a “new approach” based on the need for close economic ties between the EU and Ankara. (The Daily Star- Lebanon)

UK: A 19-year-old man is being held on suspicion of murder after a woman was killed and five other people were injured in multiple stabbings in central London in Russell Square, near the Imperial Hotel and the British Museum. The nationality of the attacker is Norwegian of Somali origins emigrated from Norway to the UK in 2002. The victim is an American woman. The police described the attack as “spontaneous”. (The Guardian)

The Bank of England cut interest rates for the first time since 2009 and said it would buy 60 billion pounds of government debt to ease the blow from Britain’s June 23 vote to leave the European Union. The Central Bank said it expected the economy to stagnate for the rest of 2016 and suffer weak growth throughout next year. It cut its main lending rate to a record low 0.25 percent from 0.5 percent. Sterling fell 1% against the dollar following the announcement, while British government bond yields hit record lows and the main share index rose by 1%. (Reuters)

WAR ON TERROR: Egypt’s military said on Thursday it had killed Abu Duaa al-Ansari, which it identified as the leader of the Sinai branch of Daesh, in a series of airstrikes near the town of Al-Arish. Egyptian military spokesman Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir said that during the raid has also been killed 45 other Daesh fighters and destroyed arms and ammunition stores used by the group. There was no immediate confirmation from Sinai Province, Daesh’ offshoot in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. (Haaretz)

 Friday 5th

FRANCE: An Afghan refugee suspected of wanting to carry out a terrorist attack and sought by all the police of France, was arrested Friday morning in Paris. Arrested, he should be placed in custody at the anti-terrorist section of the crime squad of Paris. The refugee is suspected to be entered France two months ago, specifically to commit an attack, and investigators will determine if this is certainly plausible. (Le Parisien)

ITALY: This morning a Tunisian man has been arrested in Caserta, with the charge of being the head of a gang of smugglers who favored illegal immigration. The investigation is led by the counter-terrorism office of the Prosecutor of Naples. The criminal organization granted, with the back of a complacent textile company, false labor contracts and payroll in favor of North African immigrants, in exchange for money. Thanks to these false documents the immigrants obtained the residence permit regulating their position in the national territory. The man arrested seemed also to be self-radicalized and declared himself ready to die for Daesh. (Rainews)

TUNISIA: The official designation of Youssef Al-Chahed to form Tunisia’s unity government has sparked a wave of conflicting reactions among local political parties. Two parties announced their withdrawal from negotiations aimed at forming a national unity cabinet, in protest against Chahed’s appointment. Al-Masar Social Democratic Party’s Secretary General Samir Al-Tayyeb said that despite his group’s refusal to join the government, it would actively support the implementation of the Carthage agreement. Ruling coalition parties, including Ennidaa, Ennahda, Afaq Tunis and the Free Patriotic Union, announced their support to the prime minister-designate and their commitment to successful political negotiations to form a unity government. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

TURKEY: An Istanbul court issued an arrest warrant against the exiled preacher in the US Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of masterminding the failed coup. The US government reiterated on Thursday by the voice of the spokesman of the State Department Mark Toner, this legal process took time. The Department of Justice “still trying to determine whether the documents provided are a formal extradition request”, said Mark Toner. (Liberation)

UK: The man suspected of murdering an American woman in a stabbing rampage in central London has been named locally as Zakaria Bulhan. A profile on a book rating website in Bulhan’s name shows an interest in Islamic theology, listing a biography of the Prophet Mohamed and a book of Quran verses and hadiths as recent reads. Bulhan remains in custody as police continued to investigate the motives for Wednesday night’s stabbing in Russell Square. (The Independent)

WAR ON TERROR: UN refugee agency, UNHCR; says it has received reports that Daesh has seized up to 3,000 internally displaced people in Kirkuk. In its daily report on events in Iraq, UNHCR said on Friday that 12 of the captives were thought to have been executed by Daesh. (Al Jazeera)

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