7 Terror Attacks and Plots Foiled This Christmas Season

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The forces of evil aren’t taking Christmas off, not by a long shot.

Here’s a roundup of both executed and thwarted terrorist attacks during the twelve days of Christmas:

Berlin Christmas market massacre: Of course, the horrifying “truck jihad” attack that killed 12 shoppers at a Christmas market in Berlin is top of the list. Terrorist Anis Amir was the quintessential “known wolf,” long known to authorities as a possible threat and supposedly under surveillance, but still able to murder a truck driver, run down a dozen people with his stolen vehicle, and romp across at least three European countries during his getaway attempt. He died screaming “Allahu akbar!” in a shootout with Italian police on Friday.

The Berlin attack could have profound implications for the future of Germany, and Europe. “He had no ID documents after the event, there was a full manhunt in place and nonetheless he was able to cross two or three borders before he was eventually apprehended and even then really on the basis of more of a suspicious routine stop rather than an intelligence-led operation,” as former head of the U.K. Border Force noted to Sky News.

Amir’s videotaped vow of loyalty to the Islamic State and its “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was released by the terror state within hours of his death.

Ankara assassination: On the same day Germany was dealing with the Berlin attack, a sharply-dressed plainclothes Turkish police officer abruptly drew his gun and murdered Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov before a throng of horrified reporters, while Karlov was giving a speech at an art gallery.

The killer, 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, was killed by Turkish security forces in an ensuing gun battle.

During the attack, he said he was acting on behalf of Syrians and those killed during the siege of the city of Aleppo. Although the Islamic State celebrated the murder of the Russian ambassador, the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front of Syria claimed responsibility, named Altintas as one of its “heroes,” and said Karlov’s murder was the “first act of revenge” for those killed in Syria, and Muslims killed around the world. The authenticity of al-Nusra’s claim has not yet been verified.

Libyan plane hijacked by Qaddafi dead-enders: Fortunately, the hijacking of a Libyan airplane forced to land on Malta, by a pair of twentysomething terrorists who claimed to be armed with grenades, ended with all 111 passengers safe on Friday. 28 of the passengers were women, and one of them was an infant, as reported by the New York Times.

The hijackers sought “asylum in a European country where they can establish a political party named al-Fateh that represents the old regime.”

Oddly, no European countries are rushing forward to give them homes and help them set up their pro-Qaddafi party. Perhaps there was a better way to go about it than hijacking an airplane two days before Christmas.

The grenade and two pistols carried by the hijackers were reportedly fake. In a strange twist, the real hijacking interrupted a fake hijacking that just happened to be filming at the airport in Malta for a movie.

Massive Christmas Day attack thwarted in Australia: Four men aged 21 to 26 were arrested Friday morning for planning to set off a string of bombs at locations in central Melbourne. Among the targets scouted by the group were the Federation Square shopping district, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Melbourne’s busiest train station. Murders by knife and gun were planned to supplement the casualties from the explosions.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described them as “self-radicalized” acolytes of the Islamic State. Three of the suspects have been named as Abdullah Chaarani, 26, Hamza Abbas, 21, and Ahmed Mohamed, 24. The fourth, said to be 22 years old, had not been named at the time of this writing. Australia’s police commissioner said one of the suspects was an Egyptian-born Australian citizen, while the others were of Lebanese background but born in Australia.

Terrorists killed while planning Christmas Day attack on Indonesian police: Three men believed to have been planning to murder police officers on Christmas Day were killed after they threw a bomb at police during a raid on their house Thursday.

“The information we received was there were three bombs ready to explode inside the house – pipe [bombs inside] three backpacks,” a police spokesman told the Sydney Morning Herald. The Christmas Day plan involved stabbing someone to bring a police response, and then detonating a bomb to kill the responding officers.

This cell is thought to be connected to the terrorists who were planning to bomb the presidential palace in Jakarta with a pressure cooker bomb earlier this month – an attack that would have involved a female suicide bomber, a new threat for Indonesia.

ISIS plot to bomb Christmas shoppers in Britain thwarted: British counter-terrorism officials announced they halted a “significant plot” inspired by ISIS to bomb crowded shopping centers during the last few days before Christmas, with four people in custody. The arrests were made ten days ago.

Teen jihadis arrested in Belgium for plotting to bomb Christmas carnival: Ten teenagers were arrested last weekend for planning to attack Christmas carnivals, using bombs they learned how to make online. Presumably due to their age, not much information about them has been released to the public.


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