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By Aaron Mehta and Tara Copp  - Militarytimes.com WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced a new plan for Afghanistan Monday night with calls for additional U.S. forces, greater NATO participation and regional pressure that held echoes of the previous administrations even as the president said his way forward would be a much more aggressive plan that delivers results.“Nearly 16 years after Sept. 11 attacks, the American people are weary of war without victory,” Trump told a largely military audience at Fort Myer in Virginia. Trump said he was initially inclined to withdraw all forces. As he said on the campaign trail, he still feels that the U.S. had spent too much time, energy and money trying to rebuild Afghanistan, like Iraq, to resemble American governance.After repeat consultation with his military advisers, however, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joseph Dunford, he relented and determined that...
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by Anna Pazos - Haaretz.com Israel has faced waves of car-rammings and stabbings over the last decade and may be the go-to place for European countries seeking help in preventing low-tech terror BARCELONA, Spain – With concrete barriers protecting pedestrians on busy streets and around famous monuments, more bag searches and a beefed-up police presence, Europe’s streets are looking more and more like Israel’s as the Continent faces attacks by jihadis increasingly using cars, knives and other low-tech weapons to target civilians. Last week’s car-ramming in Barcelona in which a van mowed down pedestrians, followed by a stabbing rampage in the Finnish town of Turku, were eerily reminiscent of the incidents that have plagued Israel in recent years. With the authorities Monday expanding the hunt for the suspected driver in the Barcelona attack beyond Spain’s borders, the immediate response across Europe was similar to the Israeli approach. Over the weekend,...

Reports: Ripoll imam radicalized Barcelona attackers

Posted by on in Terrorism
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DW Spanish authorities searched the imam's home in Ripoll on Saturday, as part of their probe into terror strikes two days ago.The Muslim cleric, A. Es Satty, abruptly left his post at the Ripoll mosque in June. According to the mosque head, Es Satty recently told his colleagues he would be going to his home country of Morocco for three months.The investigators believe that the cleric radicalized the suspected attackers, all of whom came from Ripoll. He likely motivated them to commit the deadly attacks, a police official told the AP news agency.Missing, presumed deadPolice also suspect that Es Satty might have been killed in the explosion in Alcanar, while the terror cell attempted to create a bomb in the apartment they reportedly used as a base. The Spanish broadcaster RTVE said that human remains of one of the blast casualties could correspond to the missing cleric. This has not...
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Clarion Project By Elliot Friedland Today’s total solar eclipse will start in Salem, Oregon and traverse the United States to Charleston South Carolina. Dubbed the Black Moon by followers of the Wicca religion (a neo-pagan occult movement), the eclipse is being taken by some as a sign of the coming apocalypse.Christian Pastor Paul Begley, host of the Coming Apocalypse radio show, asserts the eclipse signifies the coming of the end of times, citing the prophecy from the Book of Joel 2:31:    “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”Although no specific reference to the moon is given in Islamic theories about the end times, there are a lot of similarities with Christian ideas.So what do Islamic extremists believe about the apocalypse?Sunni ApocalypseThe Sunni apocalypse championed by Islamic State is remarkably similar to the Christian...
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Fox News By Hollie McKay Even as the West continues to be battered by ISIS-claimed terrorist attacks on its own soil, some western volunteers who risked their own lives to take down that terrorist outfit at its source in Iraq and Syria – fighting with predominantly Kurdish groups such as the Peshmerga and YPG, supported by the U.S.-led coalition – say they are returning home only to be targeted by investigators as suspected terrorists themselves.“I was expecting to be stopped by police and debriefed. I wanted to give them all the information I had to assist them in the fight,” YPG volunteer Aiden Aslin, 23, told Fox News. “But I was shocked when I heard I was being arrested under the terrorism act, that I was being accused of planning to commit terrorism against ISIS.” Aslin, a Nottingham native and former care worker, said he first traveled to the Kurdish...
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The Independent Investigation widening amid fears van driver may have fled into France by Lizzie Dearden The imam believed to be the ringleader of the Spain attackers had links with the 2004 Madrid bombers and recently traveled to Belgium, it has emerged.Investigators are piecing together the background of Isis supporters who launched two deadly attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils as the driver of the van used to kill 13 people remains at large.Police say they cannot rule out the possibility that Younes Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan who could be the only surviving member of the terror cell, has escaped into France and traveled onwards through Europe. The investigation into the attacks has spread to several countries recently visited by attackers, including Morocco, France and Switzerland.Belgian media reported that the suspected ringleader of the attack, Moroccan imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, spent at least three months in the country. The mayor of...
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Clarion Project By Elliot Friedland Imam Ammar Shahin of the Islamic Center of Davis, California, drew national attention last month when he called for Jews to be annihilated during a Friday sermon. Now it has been revealed this is not the first time he has encouraged extremism.In his speech he called on Allah to “liberate Al-Aqsa from the filth of the Jews” saying “Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them.”His comments sparked a wave of outrage. The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, issued a statement condemning the sermon as “anti-Semitic and dangerous.”Local Muslim activist Shireen Qudosi launched a petition to demand Shahin be fired (sign the petition below).His mosque initially tried to portray his comments as being taken out of context, but he was eventually forced to issue a public apology.Qudosi rejected Shahin’s...
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Telegraph.co.uk by Barney Henderson, James Rothwell, and Hannah Strange, Barcelona Terror returned to the streets of Europe on Thursday when a van ploughed into a crowd of people in Barcelona, killing at least 13 and injuring more than 100 others.Footage of the scene showed dozens of bodies sprawled across the pavement in Las Ramblas, a street popular with tourists. Two men, one Spanish and one Moroccan, were arrested but police said the driver of the van was still at large. On the early hours of Friday morning, in the town of Cambrils, 70 miles away, police said they were dealing with a “possible terrorist attack”. Police later said they had killed four terror suspects. One suspect was injured. Police said the suspects were thought to have been plotting a similar attack to Barcelona.Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack as Joaquim Forn, Catalonia’s...
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by Dan Stefano - KCRANational CuratorIn another deadly terrorist attack on a major European city, Spanish authorities have confirmed 13 people were killed and at least 100 injured after a speeding vehicle plowed into a Barcelona crowd Thursday afternoon.Catalonia's regional president said two suspects have been detained in connection with the attack, which saw a white van jump the curb and, according to witnesses, aim for pedestrians in the tourist-heavy Las Ramblas area of Spain's second-largest city. Police say a man who ran over two officers at a traffic blockade in the city was shot and killed, but it's uncertain if it was related to the earlier attack. ISIS has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.State-owned RTVE reports the van's driver abandoned the vehicle following the attack and fled the scene on foot. Multiple local media outlets said shortly after that a man took hostages in a Turkish restaurant, but...
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USA TODAY Michael Chertoff, Opinion contributor Virginia didn't have the right plan, needed more boots on the ground, and failed to stop violence upfront. We can't afford to repeat these mistakes when more racial provocations are on the way. The hateful and tragic violence surrounding last weekend's white nationalist marches in Charlottesville, Va., teaches some important lessons to our national, state and local homeland security officials. Sadly, those lessons will be increasingly relevant in the months to come.Many of the neo-Nazi, white supremacist and other "alt-right" groups that marched deliberately spout hateful, racist and violent rhetoric and thrive on provocation. It's not just talk. Although not receiving the media and political attention directed at radical Islamist terror attacks in the USA and Europe, over the past year there has been a notable rise in extreme right violence directed at Muslims and other minorities, including the recent bombing of a mosque...

Taiwan in contact with U.S., Japan on counter-terrorism

Posted by on in Terrorism
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FOCUS Taiwan Taipei, Aug. 12 (CNA) Taiwan has been maintaining close contacts with the United States and Japan to obtain counter-terrorism intelligence in preparation for the 2017 Universiade, a Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) official said Saturday.Although Taiwan is not a member of the International Police Organization (Interpol) and lacks direct access to its databases, the government has been gathering information shared by Interpol with the assistance of Japan, according to CIB deputy chief Ma Chen-hua (馬振華).The European Police Office has also promised to assign counter-terrorism experts to Taiwan to help maintain security during the Universiade, being held from Aug. 19 to 30 in Taipei, and its member states will also share information with Taiwan, Ma said.In addition, police in the participating athletes' countries will also provide Taiwan with related information, he said.Meanwhile, Taiwan's representative to France, Zhang Ming-zhong (張銘忠), said his office had previously approached Interpol with a request to...
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U.N. REPORT BY CALLUM PATON After losing territory and power in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) is outsourcing its deadly attacks on the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan to local splinter groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, because it lacks manpower.Claiming responsibility for a string of high-profile attacks in the country in recent months, particularly in Kabul, ISIS is vying with the more established Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) for dominance in Afghanistan.However, a recent U.N. report has said that while the leaders of the groups remain in open competition for the hearts and minds of Afghanistan’s Islamists, ISIS tends to enlist “partners of convenience” and “outsources” attacks to other local splinter groups, including the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella group for branches of the Pakistani Taliban. The need to reach out to these groups stems from the militants’ lack of presence on the ground....

Boko Haram favors women, children as suicide bombers

Posted by on in Terrorism
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By Robyn Kriel, CNN(CNN)The majority of suicide bombers used by terror group Boko Haram to kill innocent victims are women and children, a US study reveals.Researchers at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and Yale University analyzed the 434 suicide bombings carried out by Nigeria-based militants Boko Haram since 2011, and found that at least 244 of the 338 attacks in which the bomber's gender could be identified were carried out by women. The ISIS-affiliated insurgent group has sent 80 women to their deaths in 2017 alone. Boko Haram's use of women as bombers increased following the abduction of 276 female students aged between 16 and 18 from their school dormitories in April 2014. The Chibok Girls' abduction prompted the global "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign. "Almost immediately after the Chibok kidnappings ... Boko Haram's use of women suicide bombers skyrocketed," says Jason Warner, assistant professor at the Combating...
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By Douglas Ernst - The Washington TimesAn all-female group charged with plotting an Islamic terror attack known as the “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” were assigned plea and trial preparation hearings in a British court on Friday.Mina Dich, 43, her daughter Rizlaine Boular, 21, and Khawla Barghouthi, 20, were arrested in late-April raids in North West London and charged with engaging in the preparation of a terrorist act and one count of conspiracy to murder. The trio appeared before a Westminster Magistrates’ Court judge leading into the weekend and received details on legal proceedings for the next four months.“Justice [Tim] Holroyde set a plea and trial preparation hearing for October 23,” the U.K. Telegraph reported Friday. “The three defendants are set to stand trial at the Old Bailey on November 27.”The newspaper noted that Ms. Dich and Ms. Boular stood by their legal representation wearing “traditional Muslim face veils covering their...
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Express FRANCE'S 'Sentinel' counter-terrorism operation will undergo profound changes to adapt the ever-changing threat, the country's defence minister has said.By Romina McGuinness Florence Parly said the military operation will continue for as long as necessary while the country faces the increased threat of an attack.Mrs Parly said: “Sentinel soldiers will continue to patrol the streets for as long as France needs to protect its citizens from terrorism.“The security operation will most likely be of long duration. Our aim, however, if we wish the operation to be a success, is to continually adapt it to changing conditions and evolving threats to our security." Launched in the wake of the Paris attacks on the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January 2015, Operation Sentinel, in which armed troops patrol busy streets and protect key sites – including churches, mosques and tube stations – is the first...

UK 'faces Islamist threat for next 20 to 30 years'

Posted by on in Terrorism
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BBC News Lord Evans told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the issue was a "generational problem" and that the UK needed to "persevere" with efforts to defeat it.He also said devices connected to the internet needed to be made more secure in the face of emerging cyber threats.And he warned that Russia was likely to try to interfere in the UK's democracy.Lord Evans stepped down as the director general of the security service MI5 in 2013 at a time when it seemed that the terrorism threat from al-Qaeda might be subsiding.But now, with the rise of the so-called Islamic State militant group, he said the threat was unlikely to end soon.Lord Evans said: "There's no doubt that we are still facing a severe terrorist threat but I think its also important to put this in a slightly longer context because right the way back from the 1990s we have been...
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Business Insider UK by Rob Price LONDON — The former head of MI5 has warned against weakening encryption in the fight against terrorism.Speaking to Radio 4, Jonathan Evans said: "I’m not personally one of those who thinks we should weaken encryption because I think there is a parallel issue, which is cybersecurity more broadly." (We first saw his remarks via The Guardian.)The public comments from Evans, who was director-general at the British spy agency between 2005 and 2013, come after Home Secretary Amber Rudd claimed that "real people" don't need end-to-end encryption in messaging apps, and publicly asked messaging apps like WhatsApp to reconsider using it.Strong end-to-end encryption involves encoding messages or data so it cannot be read by anyone other than the intended recipient — including the company whose tech encrypts it, or law enforcement with a warrant.WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, end-to-end encrypts all its messages by...
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DVIDS Story by Airman William Tracy The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks changed law enforcement and military personnel’s approach to national security, the 50th Security Forces Squadron was no exception.August is Anti-Terrorist Awareness Month, during which 50 SFS reminds Schriever to maintain anti-terrorist measures, as they are just as important today.For Tad Davis, 50 SFS anti-terrorist program manager, the phrase “no news is good news” holds true.“We are here to make the base as difficult as a target as possible,” Davis said. “We make sure we are meeting all safety requirements, arrange meetings for and do what we need to do to make sure there are no threats.”As opposed to counter terrorism measures, which more aggressively pursue links to terrorism and employ offensive measures, anti-terrorism focuses on the defense. Davis and anti-terrorism personnel conduct vulnerability assessments, special event assessments, check fence lines, barriers and infrastructure.“We check entry procedures, cyber protection barriers;...
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Washington Free Beacon BY: Nic Rowan    Underfunded and poorly organized Countering Violent Terrorism (CVE) programs face an uncertain future, according to experts speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.An Obama-era initiative, CVE was intended to prevent the radicalization of youth—particularly those attracted to ISIS—by offering community-led and "counter narrative" anti-radical Islamist propaganda. The effort was criticized for funding organizations with little accountability and for its inability to hone in on terror threats. Since President Trump took office CVE policy has changed to favor funding local law enforcement initiatives over community-led efforts."The national CVE strategy is best defined as a series of fits and starts," Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the program on extremism at George Washington University said.Hughes added that for a more long-term solution, the Department of Homeland Security should reduce its efforts to use CVE for broad-based deradicalization programs, and instead rely more on programs that foster one-on-one...

Malaysia detains 400 in anti-terror raids

Posted by on in Terrorism
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BBC News More than 400 people have been detained in a counter-terrorism operation in Malaysia, authorities say.Those held in a series of raids in the capital Kuala Lumpur were mainly from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, officials said.Machines to make fake passports and to forge Malaysian immigration documents were among the items seized.Security in the city is being tightened up ahead of the Southeast Asian Games which begin in just over a week's time.Monday's raids saw police break down doors and lead scores of people away in handcuffs to waiting buses. They were taken to police stations for investigation and screening.Authorities said they were targeting anyone with missing or fraudulent travel documents or who was believed to be affiliated with terror groups in Syria and Iraq."We will detect and take action against foreigners suspected of having links with terrorists, especially those involved in activities in Syria," police counter-terror official Ayob Khan...