Terror strikes bearing similar hallmarks rock four countries; Tunisia worst hit



By NewsGram Staff Writer

At least 27 beachgoers were gunned down in Tunisia and one man was decapitated in a factory near Lyon as Islamic extremists struck terror in four countries.

On the same day, a suicide bomber left 25 people dead at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait, while al-Shabaab militants killed 30 peacekeepers in Somalia.

As of now, there has been no suggestion that the attacks were coordinated, yet they all bore similar hallmarks.

Interestingly, the attacks come a year after Islamic State officially declared its caliphate in Syria and Iraq and renewed its push to take more territory.

The attacks underline the difficulty security services are facing in tackling what has now become a franchise; the extremist group luring thousands of fighters from the Middle East and Europe.

Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of Cornerstone Global Associates, which advises clients on risk in the Middle East says that one can expect more of these attacks unfortunately.

“Most of the attacks over the past year have been carried out by lone individuals or small groups and that’s the difficulty here. Dealing with what’s happening requires going back to the root causes, which means tackling the ideology,” Nuseibeh said.

Tunisia saw the deadliest of the attacks as gunmen opened fire on a beach in the Mediterranean tourist town of Sousse.

In Kuwait, a bomb ripped through a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers, echoing recent incidents in Saudi Arabia.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility of the bombing in Kuwait according to regional television channel Arabiya. In addition to the death toll, the Interior Ministry also said that more than 200 people were injured.

Another attack took place at a gas plant near Lyon in southeastern France where one person was decapitated and two others were injured in an attack on. The attackers beheaded the man and posted the severed head at the factory’s entrance with an inscription in Arabic pinned to it before driving at high speed into gas cannisters.

The attacks in Somalia were claimed by Al-Shabaab. No statement of responsibility for the attacks in Tunisia and France was made.

A year after Islamic State declared a caliphate in areas under its control in Iraq and Syria on June 29, the violence shows the rapid spread of extremism with a number of radical Sunni groups from Egypt to Tunisia and Yemen pledging allegiance to the organisation.

“What the attacks reveal are different tactics on part of groups that all claim adherence to the same organisation,” said Crispin Hawes, Director of Middle East and North Africa practice at Teneo consultancy in London.