It’s been a busy week in international affairs, ranging from spy games to old names we haven’t heard in a while.
In England, the recent nerve agent poisoning attack in Wiltshire, England, was attributed to a perfume bottle, according to one of the victim’s brothers.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, separatist groups attacked the home of Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams — underscoring that long standing tensions may be at risk of flaring up again.
Sad news coming out of Pakistan, as an ISIS led attack killed 128 — including a politician. This attack underscores the dangers of ISIS’s moves outside of Syria into Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Additionally, Pakistan opened a terrorism investigation into their former Prime Minister’s party, just days before their elections. This highlights the fragile nature of the current state of affairs on the ground.
Today, as polls opened, bombings killed over 100 in polling stations across Pakistan.
BBC reports, “former PM Nawaz Sharif was arrested after flying home from the UK. Sharif and his daughter Maryam were taken into custody by officials from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after landing in the northern city of Lahore. They were then put on a chartered plane bound for Pakistan's capital Islamabad. They were later transferred to a local prison.”
Unrest has risen in southern Iraq as access to the basics — water and electricity have been in short supply over the past few weeks. This is worth keeping an eye on, as it’s previously been the flashpoint leading to insurgencies.
Lastly, in Syria, the government widened their offensive to the southwest — pushing a number of rebels to the north
“Government forces, backed by the Russian military, have captured most of the southwest’s Deraa province in a push that began in June. Rebels still hold a strip straddling Deraa and Quneitra provinces which adjoins the occupied Golan Heights. Islamic State-affiliated militants also occupy a pocket on the Jordanian border.”
“Israel has threatened a 'harsh response' to any attempt by Syrian forces to deploy in that zone. Israel does not want its enemies Iran and Hezbollah, both allies of Assad, to move forces near its border.”
Oz Sultan is a leading Big Data and counterterrorism expert who focuses on anti-recruiting and ISIS counterterror (CT) research within social media. He also advises a number of Fortune 1000 companies and is Adjunct Faculty at City University of New York (CUNY) Baruch. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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