Terrorism colours world’s weekend: news roundup

Terrorism raised its head across the globe over the weekend, and governments were pooling their expertise to connect the dots, with al-Qaeda figuring prominently among suspected organizations for at least some of the bombings and close calls. Here’s a roundup of incidents from Friday to early Monday 1 November:

  • Two bombs called “viable” by governments, who say they were programmed to detonate on their own, were found Friday, one at Midlands Airport in the UK and the other in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Both are suspected of being the handiwork of a 28-year-old Saudi man believed to be living in Yemen, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. He has been on Saudi Arabia’s most wanted list for nearly two years. Saudi Arabia tipped off US and UK authorities, and the bombs, containing the plastics explosive PETN, which is difficult to detect, were found Friday. They were hidden in HP printers, part of cargo plane goods, sent via UPS from Yemen for delivery to synagogues in Chicago, Illinois in the US. The UAE package had earlier been flown on two passenger planes, airline officials have confirmed. A woman and her mother arrested in Yemen in connection with the bombs were released after the younger woman claimed she was a victim of identity theft. BBC, CNN
  • A suicide bomber in Istanbul, Turkey blew himself up in the city’s main plaza, Taksim Square, Sunday, and 32 people were injured, 10 of them reportedly police officers and the rest passers-by. Kurdish separatists are under suspicion due to previous attacks on Turkish police, but the attack was not immediately claimed by any group. Jerusalem Post, Reuters
  • Thirty-seven people died, most of them hostages, and nearly 60 were injured, when police in Baghdad stormed a Catholic church where scores of hostages were being held Sunday; al Qaeda links are suspected, according to US and Iraq authorities. The gunmen who stormed the church had attacked the Baghdad Stock Market, where a gun battle ensued, before fleeing to the church. The deaths, according to Iraq’s defense minister, were mainly from explosives set off by the kidnappers. Al Jazeera, CNN, Xinhua
  • Two bombs were found by the public and defused by specialist police in Northern Ireland over the weekend: one was in a Toyota in a long-term car park and the other was hidden in a beer keg in Lurgan, Co Armagh. Dissident republican groups are suspected. Belfast Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald (AFP)

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