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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 December 2014. 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 terrorist incidents throughout the world, with special emphasis in Oceania, specifically in Australia, where on December 15, Man Haron Monis, an Iranian self-proclaimed sheikh and IS supporter, took 17 people hostage inside the Lindt Chocolat Café at Martin Place, Sydney for 16 hours.
Downtown Sydney was placed on lockdown. During the first few hours of the incident, hostages were seen holding an Islamic black flag with the Shahadah creed written on it in Arabic up, which looked similar to an IS or Al-Nusra Front flag, against the window of the cafe. During the siege, five people managed to escape. The gunman demanded an IS flag and to speak to the Australian Prime Minister.
After a 16-hour standoff and upon hearing gunshots from inside the café,police officers from the Tactical Operations Unit stormed the café, tossing flash grenades inside. Monis was shot dead by police when they stormed the café. Hostages Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, who was the manager of the store, died in the initial stages of the attack, while three other hostages and a police officer were injured during the police raid.
Authorities said the gunman was known to authorities and had a "long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism and mental instability." He had pledged alliance to the IS on his Web site.
December 2014 was also marked by terrorist incidents in Afghanistan, Egypt, France, Israel and the West Bank, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Tunisia and Yemen.
This month’s report also covers counter-terrorist incidents throughout the world, with particular emphasis on events in Asia, specifically in Pakistan, where on December 6, Adnan Shukrijumah, 39, Al-Qaeda’s Chief of Global Operations, was killed in a counter-terrorism raid by the Pakistani military on a compound in South Waziristan.
Authorities said that two other militants were also killed and Shukrijumah’s wife and four children were arrested. US authorities had placed Shukrijumah on their most wanted list since 2010, while the justice department had charged him with ordering an attack on the New York subway system. The US State Department had offered up to a $5 million reward for his capture.
December 2014 was also marked by counter-terrorist incidents in Canada, Cameroon, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Israel and the West Bank, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Somalia, Sweden, UK and North America.