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Summary of Terrorist Incidents and CT Operations: May 2015

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The ICT Database Team is pleased to present a brief overview of the terrorist incidents and counter-terrorist actions that occurred worldwide in May 2015. The incidents covered in this month’s report join the over 35,000 previously-recorded terrorist and counter-terrorist incidents in the ICT database.

This month’s report covers counter- terrorist incidents throughout the world, with special emphasis in the Middle East, specifically Syria. On May 16, a US led special forces killed a high ranking IS militant named Abu Sayaff and arrested his wife Umm Sayaff, during an overnight counter terrorist raid in Deir Ezzor province. During the raid 31 other IS militants were killed.  

US authorities said the aim of the raid was to capture Sayaff, however, upon landing in Syria, a firefight broke out between the militants and the US Special Forces as they entered the building where Abu Sayaff was hiding, resulting in his death. US officials said Abu Sayaff was directly responsible for is gas and oil operations, that funded IS operations. Umm Sayyaf was detained for questioning about IS operations in Syria and she was believed to be a key source of intelligence, however, as she is an Iraqi citizen, she faced deportation to Iraq, where she faced questioning by Iraqi authorities.

During the operation, the US soldiers also freed a Yazidi woman, 18, who was captured by the IS militants.

May 2015 also marked by counter-terrorist incidents in: Australia, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Iraq, Israel and the West Bank, Lebanon, Nigeria, North America, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and Yemen.

This month’s report covers terrorist incidents throughout the world, with special emphasis in North America. On May 4, two gunmen opened fire outside an art exhibition and cartoon contest which was organized by an anti-Islam group, at the Culwell Event Centre in Dallas. They shot and injured a security officer in the leg and then the attackers were fatally shot by police.

One of the suspects was identified as Elton Simpson, who was known to authorities. Amongst the keynote speakers was Geert Wilders, a well-known critic of Islam and it was likely that the main target even though he had not received any threats. 

May 2015 was also marked by terrorist incidents in: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Israel and the West Bank, Kenya, Libya, Macedonia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Thailand and Turkey.

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