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  Reuters U.S. Creates New Envoy Position To Counter Rising Terrorism In Sahel by Humeyra PamukWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has created a special envoy for Africa’s Sahel region, a State Department spokesman said on Friday, to counter rising violence from groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State which are expanding their foothold.Envoy Peter Pham, started his new role earlier this week, the spokesman said. He has been serving as U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa since November 2018.“Sahel is one of the places where the situation is getting worse in the continent,” the spokesman said.Security has progressively worsened in the Sahel, an arid region of West Africa, just below the Sahara desert, with militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State strengthening their foothold across the region, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence. Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-sahel/u-s-creates-new-envoy-position-to-counter-rising-terrorism-in-sahel-idUSKBN20T2ZJ...
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All Africa Nigeria: U.S. Renews N2.52bn Bounty Offer for Boko Haram Leader, Shekau The United States Department of State has renewed its $7 million reward, about N2.52 billion, for information that can lead to the arrest of the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, whose fighters have waged war against Nigeria and other neighbouring countries.The renewal was made yesterday on the French version of the official Twitter account of the US State Department Rewards for Justice Programme.The US reward is said to be the biggest placed on all the terrorists declared wanted by the United States government. Read more: https://allafrica.com/stories/202003050408.html...
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Washington Free Beacon by Adam KredoNew legislation being considered by Congress would significantly tighten security screening for foreign military students who travel to the United States on exchange programs, according to a copy of that legislation previewed by the Washington Free Beacon.In the wake of a deadly 2019 terror attack by a Saudi military exchange student stationed at a military installation in Pensacola, Fla., Senators Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) and Rick Scott (R., Fla.) have crafted legislation aimed at ensuring this type of attack never again takes place.The legislation, dubbed the Secure U.S. Bases Act, would require strenuous background checks for all foreign military students before they are permitted to enter the United States. It also would create a new class of visas for these students that severely limits the activities they can engage in while on U.S. soil, such as possessing a firearm. Read more: https://freebeacon.com/national-security/in-wake-of-terror-attack-new-legislation-would-tighten-security-screening-for-foreign-military-students/...
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BBC News Manchester Arena Attack: Brother's Fingerprints Linked To Arena Bomb The discovery was made after police found various crushed-up metal tins in the garden of the Abedi family home, jurors were told.Hashem Abedi, 22, is on trial at the Old Bailey, accused of helping his brother Salman plan the bomb attack.He denies 22 murders, attempted murder and conspiring to cause explosions.The court heard how a piece of metal found at the scene was linked to a vegetable oil tin with the alleged plotter's fingerprints on it.Police found the crushed up tins in the garden of the Elsmore Road home in Manchester with prints from both brothers on them, the court heard.A piece of a Consumer's Pride cooking oil tin was found to have 10 finger and palm prints belonging to Hashem on it, jurors were told. Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-51746053...
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Fox News Missouri Man Gets 19 Years In Prison For Role In ISIS Attack Planning By Louis Casiano A Missouri man accused of plotting a terrorist attack with who he believed to be members of the Islamic State but who were in reality undercover FBI agents was sentenced Wednesday to 19 years in prison.Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr., 28, of Columbia, pleaded guilty in September to attempting to provide material support to the terror group from October 2016 to February 2017, the Justice Department said. Prosecutors said Hester advocated violence on social media and was contacted by the undercover agents who posed as ISIS operatives. He said he was willing to assist ina jihadist attack. Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/us/missouri-man-sentenced-isis-attack-planning-role...
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  NBC News The FBI Has Failed To Identify And Track Homegrown Extremists, Justice Department Watchdog Says Since 9/11, homegrown violent extremists have carried out over 20 attacks in the U.S., federal authorities said Wednesday. By Corky SiemaszkoThe FBI has not done enough to identify and fight homegrown extremists, the Department of Justice’s internal watchdog said Wednesday.The agency also failed to follow up on some cases that had been flagged as potential threats to the country, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote in his report.“The FBI has not taken a comprehensive approach to resolving deficiencies in its counterterrorism assessment process,” Horowitz concluded.The FBI defines homegrown violent extremists as “global jihad-inspired” individuals who were radicalized in the United States and are not taking marching orders directly from “foreign terrorist organization” like Al Qaeda or the Islamic State militant group. Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-has-failed-identify-track-homegrown-jihadists-justice-dept-watchdog-n1149696...
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CBS News Pentagon linguist charged with espionage exposed U.S. sources in Iraq, feds sayBy Robert Legare and Clare Hymes Washington — A Pentagon contractor working as a linguist in Iraq has been arrested and charged with espionage for allegedly passing highly classified information about U.S. intelligence sources to an individual tied to Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist organization, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.Mariam Thompson, 61, of Rochester, Minnesota, made her first appearance in U.S. District Court in Washington. She faces one count of unlawfully retaining defense information and one count of transmitting the information to a representative of a foreign government, as well as a count of conspiracy. The latter two counts carry potential sentences of life in prison or the death penalty, under certain circumstances. The sentence for the first count is up to 10 years.Wearing plainclothes and a pink cardigan, hair pulled back in a bun, Thompson listened quietly as...
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ABC News Mom Of California Terrorist To Plead To Destroying Evidence Prosecutors say the mother of a terrorist who killed 14 people in a 2015 attack on a Christmas party in California has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence by shredding a map her son may have used to plan the massacre. By The Associated Press RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The mother of a terrorist who killed 14 people in a 2015 attack on a Christmas party in California has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence by shredding a map her son may have used to plan the massacre, prosecutors announced Tuesday.Rafia Sultana Shareef, 66, of Corona agreed to plead guilty to a charge of intending to impede a federal criminal investigation by altering, destroying and mutilating records, the U.S. attorney's office said.The crime carries a potential 20-year federal prison sentence. But under the plea agreement, Shareef is expected...

126th cross-border tunnel discovered in Arizona

Posted by on in Terrorism
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American Military News Video: 126th cross-border tunnel discovered in Arizona U.S. Border Patrol agents, working with Mexican law enforcement, discovered yet another cross-border tunnel Tuesday, that runs beneath the streets of Nogales.Tucson Sector agents and Mexico’s Guardia Nacional located the tunnel’s entrance in the floor of the existing Grand Avenue drainage system in Mexico. The rudimentary tunnel, located approximately 580 yards west of the Dennis DeConcin Crossing at the Nogales Port of Entry, is hand-dug with no shoring, ventilation or lighting. The tunnel runs approximately 15-20 feet underground at its deepest point and extends approximately 30 feet from beginning to end, where the cartel left it incomplete. Read more: https://americanmilitarynews.com/2020/02/video-126th-cross-border-tunnel-discovered-in-arizona/...

Today’s Islamic Conquest of the West

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Today’s Islamic Conquest of the West Clarion Project By Raheel Raza An Islamic scholar and grand imam in Egypt was demoted from his senior status and banned from giving lectures or Friday sermons for daring to question the legitimacy of the concept of Islamic conquest.As reported by The Arab Weekly, Nashaat Zarraa contends that Islam does not call for attacking others because of their differing religious beliefs and that the Quran sanctions religious freedom.Zarraa pointed to the consequence of promoting the concept of Islamic conquest:    “The risk with sanctifying Islamic conquests in such an absolute way is implicitly condoning the approach by that terrorist organisations that use conquests as justification for jihad against all those who disagree with them in thought and belief, despite the fact that Islam restricts jihad to self-defense and does not justify the use of intimidation, killing and enslaving women to spread the faith.” Read more:...
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WTOL Toledo Law enforcement urges caution after slew of violent crimes at Toledo gas stations Police are cautioning the public to constantly be vigilant when visiting public places like gas stations and convenience stores after recent violent incidents. by Michael Tatar (WTOL)TOLEDO, Ohio — After a number of violent crimes at local gas stations and convenience spots, local law enforcement is reminding community members to stay vigilant when out in public.This warning comes after a woman was stabbed to death in what seems to be random attack at a gas station in Toledo Saturday. Lucas County Sheriff's Cpt. Matt Luettke stressed that it's not only gas stations and convenience stores."The important thing to remember is it can happen anywhere," he said. "Restaurants, gas stations, anywhere where there's the public." Read more: https://www.wtol.com/article/news/local/police-warn-to-stay-vigilant-at-public-places-after-violent-crimes/512-6c71f96c-2b9d-4ca6-bb14-0d6c1bb8ff28...

Morocco Dismantles Pro-ISIS Terror Cell

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Asharq Al-Awsat Morocco Dismantles Pro-ISIS Terror Cell Rabat - Latifa Larousni Moroccan authorities dismantled Monday a suspected terrorist cell in the northeastern city of Sidi Slimane, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.The Central Office of Judicial Investigations arrested four pro-ISIS members aged 23 to 51, which came within the government's efforts to arrest extremist members making terrorist plots.Authorities seized electronic devices, bladed weapons, a military trellis and several manuscripts that proved the cell's affiliation to ISIS, said the ministry.Initial investigations have revealed that the leader of this terrorist cell, who was arrested in 2014 for terror charges following the dismantling of another terrorist cell that used to recruit militants and send them to Syria and Iraq, had recruited the members of his cell who share the same extremist thoughts.The suspects planned to carry out terrorist projects aimed at undermining the security of citizens and destabilizing the public order. Read...
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The Sydney Morning Herald Bollards Take Over The Beaches As Threat Of Terrorism Changes The Face Of Sydney By Andrew Taylor Sydney councils are scrambling to secure crowded places as the federal government warns that sites such as stadiums, shopping centres, pedestrian malls and major events continue to be attractive targets for terrorists.Concrete barriers have been installed as a temporary measure to secure busy locations such as Bondi Beach, the light rail along George Street in Sydney's CBD and in Cronulla. Over summer, North Bondi became the latest site to be surrounded by bollards, after Waverley Council spent $134,000 placing concrete blocks along Campbell Parade to protect the popular beach.   Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/bollards-take-over-the-beaches-as-threat-of-terrorism-changes-the-face-of-sydney-20200227-p5453f.html...
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Reuters Clashes Break Out In Somalia, Slowing Fight Against Al Qaeda-Linked Insurgents by Abdi SheikhMOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali troops clashed with a regional militia on Friday in one of the most serious outbreaks of fighting yet over political rivalries that Washington says are slowing the war against al Qaeda-linked insurgents. Eleven people were killed in the violence, witnesses said.Tension spilled over on Thursday evening between the Somali National Army and the Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a (ASWJ) militia, a group of moderate Sufi Muslims which has played a key role in the fight against the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency.Clashes began in Dhusamareb, administrative capital of central Somalia’s Galmudug state, and spread to Guriel town, 60 km (40 miles) away, on Friday, residents said.One resident said government forces had attacked a house where prominent ASWJ leaders live, and the two sides were fighting with mortars and anti-aircraft guns in the city...
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DW US and Taliban sign historic deal to end Afghan conflictRepresentatives of the United States and the Taliban have sealed a landmark agreement in Qatar to end the 18-year-long Afghan war. The deal will pave the way for an intra-Afghan dialogue. Shamil Shams reports from Doha. After the successful implementation of a weeklong reduction in violence in Afghanistan, the US and the Taliban on Saturday inked an agreement to end the protracted conflict.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban’s spokesperson in Doha, Suhail Shaheen, attended the deal signing ceremony.The deal sets into motion the drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan — a key Taliban demand since the start of the conflict in 2001. Read more: http://www.dw.com/a-52582850...

Qaeda, ISIS Affiliates Team Up In West Africa

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Asharq Al-Awsat Qaeda, ISIS Affiliates Team Up In West Africa The only place in the world where militants linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS are cooperating is in West Africa's sprawling Sahel region, giving the extremists greater depth as they push into new areas, according to the commander of the US military's special forces in Africa."I believe that if it‘s left unchecked it could very easily develop into a great threat to the West and the United States,” US Air Force Brig. Gen. Dagvin Anderson told The Associated Press in an interview this week.The leader of US Special Operations Command Africa described the threat even as the Pentagon considers reducing the US military presence in Africa.Experts have long worried about collaboration between al-Qaeda and ISIS. While the cooperation in the Sahel is not currently a direct threat to the US or the West, “it’s very destabilizing to the region,” Anderson said....
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NBC News Russia deploys warships to Syria coast after Turkey loses 33 soldiers in attack Turkish President Recep Erdogan is looking West for support, and at his country's request NATO will be holding a meeting on the situation. By Matthew BodnerLONDON — Russia on Friday announced it had dispatched two state-of-the-art warships to the Middle East after an attack in Syria killed 33 Turkish soldiers.Videos posted on social media showed two of Russia’s newest guided missile frigates, the Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Makarov, making their way through the Bosporus, a Turkish-controlled chokepoint that runs through Istanbul, on their way to the Syrian coast.Though Russia and Turkey have seen a rapprochement in recent years, much to the chagrin of the U.S. and its NATO allies, the two sides pursue opposing goals in Syria: Moscow backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Ankara backs rebel groups opposing him in northern Syria. Read more:...
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A senior official brief on the situation said an employee recently fired from the facility returned to the scene and opened fire By AP, Staff An employee opened fire Wednesday at one of the nation's largest breweries in Milwaukee, killing five fellow workers before taking his own life, police said.Police said the gunman is a 51-year-old Milwaukee man who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.Authorities offered no immediate motive for the attack and did not release details about the shooter or how the shooting unfolded.The identities of those who passed away will be released at a later time, Police Chief Alfonso Morales said. No one was wounded beyond those who were killed, authorities said.Officers worked for hours to clear the more than 20 buildings in the complex where more than 1,000 people work. Police announced at a late evening news conference that the work was done and all employees had...
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The Defense Post French actions ‘neutralize 50 terrorists’ near Mopti in central Mali Barkhane operations between February 9 and 17 targeted Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliated militants by Fergus Kelly Around 50 militants were “neutralized” in actions carried out by the France-led Operation Barkhane targeting Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliated fighters in Mali, according to an Armed Forces Ministry release.The operations, conducted in two phases between February 9 and 17 around the central town of Mopti, were the result of “preparatory work and intelligence gathering that made it possible to characterize with certainty the activity of armed terrorist groups,” the Thursday, February 20 release said.Around 30 motorcycles and two pickup trucks were destroyed, and weapons, telephones and electronic equipment were seized during the actions.In the first operation, carried out northwest of Mopti between February 9 and 10, airstrikes conducted by Reaper drones and Mirage 2000 jet fighter aircraft along with...

US Airstrikes Kill 4 Islamic State Terrorists In Afghanistan

Posted by on in Terrorism
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  Voice Of America US Airstrikes Kill 4 Islamic State Terrorists In Afghanistan  By Ayaz Gul ISLAMABAD - U.S. military officials in Afghanistan say airstrikes have killed at least four Islamic State terrorists in eastern Afghanistan as a weeklong reduced fighting truce between U.S.-backed Afghan security forces and the Taliban insurgency entered its fourth day without any significant breaches.The two counterterrorism airstrikes Tuesday focused on areas in the Afghan province of Kunar, which houses Islamic State bases and borders Pakistan, the U.S. military spokesman tweeted.“We continue to eliminate ISIS terrorists wherever they hide to protect Afghanistan while honoring U.S.-Afghan-Taliban agreement to reduce the violence,” stressed Col. Sonny Leggett in reference to the Middle Eastern terrorist group.    Read more: https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/us-airstrikes-kill-4-islamic-state-terrorists-afghanistan...