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Washington Post by Liz Sly BEIRUT — The Islamic State may still have in excess of 30,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq and appears to have rebounded from some of its worst setbacks, according to two new reports that call into question whether the militants are as close to defeat as the U.S. military has suggested.The figures, contained in reports by the U.S. government and the United Nations, are far higher than previous estimates of Islamic State strength following its major defeats last year, when the militants were driven out of their territory in Iraq and most of their key strongholds in Syria. The U.S. military has not released any figures since last year, but comments by military officials had indicated there were not many more than 10,000 fighters left.U.S. military officials disputed the new assessments but declined to give alternative numbers, saying it is against military policy. The figures...
The Express A CHILLING UN report has revealed Libya is experiencing a resurgence in al-Qaeda presence, prompting fears of a terrorist onslaught in the region. By Sam Stevenson In North Africa, Libya is believed to be home to between 3,000 and 4,000 ISIS militants and is believed to be experiencing a revival in al-Qaeda presence.Al-Qaeda’s leaders in Iran “have grown more prominent” and have been working with the extremist group’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, “projecting his authority more effectively than he could previously” including on events in Syria, UN experts said.Egypt is also believed to have some 1,000 ISIS fighters.The news comes despite the armed group’s defeat on most fronts and following a significant halt in the flow of foreigners joining its ranks. According to the UN experts, the heightened terrorist presence is despite both ISIS and al-Qaeda suffering major losses.The UN report, which was released on Monday, analysed ISIS...
By Matt Richardson | Fox News The children discovered at an “extremist Muslim” compound in New Mexico earlier this month were both trained to use firearms and taught multiple tactical techniques in order to kill teachers, law enforcement and other institutions they found corrupt, state prosecutors revealed on Monday.The prosecutors provided more details about the accusations during a court hearing in which they asked that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and four other defendants be held pending trial on child abuse charges. But the judge in the case ruled against prosecutors’ request. Judge Sarah Backus said although she was concerned by "troubling facts," prosecutors failed to articulate any specific threats to the community.She set a $20,000 bond for each defendant and ordered that they wear ankle monitors and have weekly contact with their attorneys. It was also announced Monday that 3-year-old Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, who had been missing since December, allegedly died amid...
Chicago Tribune by Jason Meisner - Contact ReporterA former Chicago man has been charged in federal court here with flying overseas in 2015 to join the Islamic State terrorism group with two friends, one of whom was later killed in a suicide attack.The indictment made public Friday charged Faress Muhammad Shraiteh, 21, with two counts of providing and attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. According to the four-page indictment, Shraiteh and two friends — identified only as Individuals A and B — boarded an Alitalia flight from O’Hare International Airport to Cairo on May 13, 2015, using tickets purchased by Shaiteh a week earlier.Later that month, the trio then flew to Istanbul, but Shraiteh was denied entry because of issues with his passport. Shraiteh, who was 18 at the time, traveled instead to Israel, where he had family, while his friends remained in Turkey, according to the...
King 5 News by Taylor MirfendereskiSEATTLE — The Horizon Air employee who stole and crashed an empty commercial plane on a remote Pierce County Island Friday left behind more than grieving friends and family members who are trying to make sense of his actions.Richard “Beebo” Russell left authorities with a blueprint of significant security flaws within the U.S. aviation industry and a wake-up call that counterterrorism and aviation security experts say the country must take seriously.“We are not as prepared as we could be to defend against the insider threat,” said Jeff Price, one of the nation's leading aviation security experts and consultants. “The airline industry should take away the very real possibility that somebody with terrorist-intent could be hired at the low-level at the airport. It’s been part of the terrorist narrative for quite some time."Russell, the 29-year-old ground service agent who stole the Q-400 turboprop plane on Aug....