Islamist terror in California, Russia under ISIS threat, IDF’s first anti-ISIS drill
The Islamic State’s menacing global impact spread dramatically Wednesday Dec. 2 with a spate of ISIS-related events in San Bernardino in California, Syria, Moscow, the British air base in Cyprus and IDF headquarters in Te Aviv.
Wednesday night, at least 14 people were killed and 17 injured in a multiple shooting at the San Bernardino regional center for the disabled in southern California. A federal law enforcement source revealed after a manhunt for the shooters, who were masked and wore body armor, that one of them was an American citizen, and did not rule out an act of international terrorism.
The ringleader who was killed was later named as Syed Farouk, a US citizen. A second suspect thought to be his brother is in custody. The third, a woman later identified as Tashfeen Malik, aged 27, and a life companion of Farouk, was also killed.
All three were loaded down with automatic rifles and pistols. Since Wednesday night bomb squads have been working on defusing three explosive devices left in one of the three buildings of the San Bernadino center after the shooting.
The disclosure shortly after the attack began that “one of the shooters is an American citizen whose identity is known” indicated that he was likely on a federal anti-terror watch list, debkafile’s counter-terror sources report. The anonymous FBI source’s comment that, “links to international terrorism are still on the table as the assailants could have been encouraged by a foreign terror group,” also indicated specific knowledge of the suspects’ background and motives.
(Jihad Igor menaces Russia)
A few hours earlier, ISIS released another chilling video, this one threatening Russia with a Paris-style multiple terror attack. The central figure was a Russian version of the late Jihad John who was liquidated by a US drone on Nov. 11 near Raqqa. “Jihad Igor” was depicted in the act of beheading “a Russian Muslim spy” whom Russian intelligence was alleged to have tried to plant inside the ISIS forces in Syria.
The “executioner,” whose face was not masked like that of Jihad John, warned Russia: “You will not find peace in your homes [so long as the Russian air strikes continue in Syria.]. We will kill your sons – for each son you killed here. And we will destroy your homes for each home you destroyed here.”
Our counter terror sources report that Moscow is taking the threat with the utmost seriousness and has declared a countrywide terror alert. The Israeli embassy in Moscow and consulates in other cities were also instructed to stay on high alert. Western anti-terror agencies agreed that an ISIS attack inside Russia was “imminent.”
Earlier Wednesday, the IDF’s Gaza Division conducted an unannounced, wide-scale drill in the Gaza border and Eilat regions, simulating a variety of ISIS assault scenarios. It was the first military exercise on this scale in preparation for an ISIS attack to be carried out by any army in the Middle East or the West.
The exercise practiced terrorist infiltrations of Israeli communities with hostage-taking, border clashes with the ISIS, heavy rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and the abduction of an Israeli soldier to Gaza.
The division also simulated an IDF raid of the Gaza Strip enforcing the "Hannibal protocol" – which means using every possible means to eliminate terrorists who abduct a soldier, even at the cost of the victim’s life.
Other defensive and offensive combat tactics against ISIS-led assaults were tested and appraised by the commanders of the exercise.
The decision to stage this counter-terror exercise without delay was prompted by the Islamic State’s multiple attack on the Swiss Inn Hotel at El Arish in northern Sinai on Nov. 24, which targeted the panel of Egyptian judges, who came from Cairo to monitor the national general election in the northern Sinai district.
The terrorists detonated a car bomb at the hotel entrance, then burst in shooting in all directions. They killed four people, a police officer and three Egyptian judges and injured another 12, nine of them security personnel.
This ISIS operation won sparse media coverage, although it came just three weeks after the downing of the Russian Metrojet passenger plane further south in Sinai, in which 230 people lost their lives.
Shortly after the parliament in London voted in favor of bombing ISIS strongholds in Syria, four British Tornado fighter jets took off from the Akrotiri air base in Cyprus Wednesday night to bomb an oil field in Eastern Syria.