This month’s report covers terrorist incidents throughout the world, with special emphasis on events in the Middle East, specifically Lebanon. On 15 August, a powerful car bomb exploded on a busy shopping street in a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut, killing 16 people and injuring approximately 200 others. The Brigades of Aisha, a previously unknown Sunni Islamist group, claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened more operations against Hezbollah. On 24 August, 47 people were killed and approximately 500 others were injured in a double bombing in Tripoli. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks. On 30 August, two religious clerics were charged in connection with the bombings. Two Syrians, including an army officer, were also charged in absentia for placing the bombs outside mosques. August 2013 was also marked by terrorist incidents in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel and the West Bank, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and Syria.
This month’s report also covers counter-terrorist incidents throughout the world, with particular emphasis on events involving the USA. Intelligence relating to an intercepted secret message between Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri and Nasser al-Wahishi, the head of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), discussing plans for a major terrorist attack in Yemen or North Africa, is reported to have contributed to a decision to temporarily close 21 US embassies in the Middle East and North Africa. Following the shutdown, Canada also closed its embassy in Bangladesh. Similarly, Britain, France and Germany closed their embassies in Yemen. August 2013 was also marked by counter-terrorist incidents in India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen.