The information, data and findings from the below brief was collected by and sourced from TRAC: Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, in partnership with the Mackenzie Institute. Please click here to visit TRAC.
Amtrak Train Attacker Sentenced to 14 Years, Armed Assault in Burkina Faso, 33 Dead After Bus Attack in Iraq
National Socialist and Alt-right Supporter, Taylor Michael Wilson, Sentenced To 14 Years in Federal Penitentiary for Amtrak Train Attack in Furnas County, Nebraska, (5 October, 2018)
On 22 October 2017, after using the illegal street drug known as “acid,” Taylor Wilson boarded an Amtrak train in Nebraska armed with his pistol. He broke into the train’s secured area, cut power to the lights, and engaged the emergency brake. After the train came to an abrupt halt, Wilson told the train’s crew, “I’m the conductor, bitch.” Upon his arrest, police found a National Socialist Movement ID card in his wallet and Wilson revealed his motivations behind the attack to police at the scene, saying he “wanted to save the train from black people.” On Wilson’s phone, investigators also found a trove of videos and PDF files of a white supremacist banner, as well as other alt-right postings and documents related to the topic of how to kill people.
On 8 October 2018, Neo-Nazi Taylor Michael Wilson was sentenced to 14 years on Federal Terrorism Charges, and will serve his time in a Federal Penitentiary. The case is notable because Taylor Wilson had connections to two Neo-Nazi “thought-leader” podcasters, Michael Peinovich (more widely known as Mike Enoch) of “TheRightStuff”, a website that hosts the podcasts and blogs; as well as Robert Ray (better known as Azzmador) of “The Krypto Report”, a widely popular podcast featured on the DailyStormer website. Both Enoch’s and Azzmador’s influence on the White Nationalist movement in the United States should not be underestimated.
Thirty-three People Killed and Injured in Suspected Islamic State (IS) Bombing of a Bus Near a Chinese Refinery in Baiji, Salahuddin, Iraq, (6 October, 2018)
On 6 October 2018, 33 people were killed and others injured in a suspected Islamic State (IS) bombing of a bus near a Chinese refinery in Baiji, Salahuddin, Iraq. At this time, very little is known of the attack, yet on 12 September 2018, Islamic State Supporter Abu Abdullah Asy Syami began posting numerous items believed to be of interest to other IS supporters on Telegram. Syami is attempting to poise himself as a news agency, even creating a “Breaking News” image for his photos (see below). Islamic State has been steadily peppering Baiji with IEDs all week, a claim for this attack will most likely follow.
Armed Assault Against the Burkinabe Military Deployed to Inata, in Soum Province of Burkina Faso, (03 October, 2018)
On 03 October 2018, an armed assault was executed against the Burkinabe military deployed to Inata, in Soum Province of Burkina Faso. One soldier was confirmed killed. The assailants approached in two pickup-trucks and several motorbikes, and destroyed five vehicles whilst they seized Inata assets.
In response, the French Barkhane forces launched military strikes claiming to have killed 10 fighters and destroyed 10 motorbikes. An official statement released stated:
At the request of the Burkinabe military authorities, the Barkhane force immediately intervened.
A Reaper drone was sent to the area, while two Mirage 2000s and a C135 tanker aircraft took off at a very short notice from the proposed Niamey airbase to join the attack area. A column of several motorcycles leaving the area heading north was detected by the Reaper drone. After observing the behavior of the group and removing the doubt about the terrorist nature of it, an air strike was carried out at night by the two Mirage 2000. The balance sheet of the action is being evaluated.
Photos of destroyed vehicles:
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The above has been compiled by Alexander Sawicki, an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the Department of History at Ryerson University, specializing in the interplay between technological innovation, warfare, and social change throughout history. He was formerly a Research Analyst for the NATO Association of Canada (NAOC), where he published articles that dealt with cybersecurity, US-Russia relations, and Canadian Military Procurement. You can find Alexander on .