IW Roundup — April 26, 2021

This Week in Irregular Warfare

Afghan interpreters plead for visa to escape; Russia behind Czech munitions depot blasts; Navalny’s Russian opposition might be branded as extremist groups; President of Chad dies on frontline; Blast in luxury hotel in Quetta; and more…

Welcome to the latest installment of The Irregular Warrior’s news digest on Irregular Warfare and Special Operations. We hope you’ll find this collection to be interestingly broad in its scope and sourcing, in addition to bringing you the stories most relevant to U.S. readers. To that end, we’ll be updating the format as we go in order to make this product as useful and informative as possible. Now on to the roundup:

Interpreters plead for visa to escape before foreign troops leave Afghanistan

The Afghan interpreters who assisted Australian forces have pleaded for urgent humanitarian visas to the federal government to leave the country as fear of death lurks over. As the violence rise in the country, the interpreters fear that they would be killed by Taliban or other extremists once foreign troops leave the country.  An April letter stated that nearly 300 interprets and their families have been killed since 2016. The Guardian, April 23. [Interpreters who helped Australian forces in Afghanistan plead for visas to escape ‘extreme threats’ | Afghanistan | The Guardian]

Czech Republic finds Russia behind 2014 Czech munition depot blasts

Czech Prime Minister on April 17th announced that operatives from Russia have been found to be behind 2014 munition depot blasts amid souring relations. The Czech government expelled 18 Russians diplomats and called for the arrest of 2 others directly involved (who also are accused in the Skripal assassination attempt). The Russian government dismissed the accusations calling them absurd and responded by expelling almost the entire Czech embassy staff. The Czech opposition lawmakers have labeled Russian acts as State Terrorism. The Indian Express, April 20. [Is Russia behind the 2014 Czech munition depot blasts? | World News,The Indian Express]

Navalny’s Russian opposition might be branded as extremist groups

The jailed Russian opposition leader and Putin-arch-rival Alexei Navalny’s political and anti-corruption networks might be banned as “extremist groups” in a closed court hearing. The evidence used in the case has not been revealed as it is said to involve state secrets. If the court rules against the opposition group, the networks will be placed in the list of terrorist organizations such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.  The Navalny’s workers will face six years in jail if they continued their work. The Washington Post, April 24. [Russia may ban political networks of jailed Kremlin critic Navalny. Even T-shirts could be outlawed. – The Washington Post]

Chad President dies on frontline as soldiers battle rebels

President of Chad, Idriss Deby, who had just won another term in the office on election held on Tuesday lost his life on the frontline while commanding his army against the rebel groups. On April 11, the election day, the rebels had launched offensive in the northern part of the country. The re-elected President postponed his victory speech and went out to assist the military fighting rebels. Mahamat Idriss Deby, late president’s son, has become the new head of state. Al Jazeera, April 20. [Chad President Idriss Deby dies visiting front-line troops: Army | Idriss Deby News | Al Jazeera]

Blast in luxury hotel in Quetta, Pakistan

On Wednesday, the explosives were set in a vehicle in the car parking area of the five-star Serena hotel located in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed the responsibility of the attack stating that the security officials were the target of the attack. The Interior Minister of the state hinted towards an involvement of a foreign element. A Chinese delegation was a staying in the hotel however, fortunately were not present at the time of the attack. The Hindu, April 22 [Pakistan Taliban claims deadly blast at luxury hotel – The Hindu]

Legal challenge dropped by Christchurch Shooter

Brenton Tarrant, an Australian national and the extremist gunman behind the Christchurch mosque attack in 2019, killings more than 50 people, has dropped his challenge over his prison conditions and his status as terrorist entity. Tarrant is the only person labeled as a terrorist in New Zealand. The white supremacist had filed the challenge last week but failed to appear in court for hearing. The Guardian, April 23. [Christchurch terrorist drops legal challenge over New Zealand prison conditions | New Zealand | The Guardian]

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