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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.

The Russian-Turkish agreement to avert a Syrian government offensive against Idlib hinges on the response of jihadist fighters in the region and could unravel quickly if Moscow and Ankara cannot jointly impose their plan on the Islamist groups.

Turkey, desperate to avoid all-out conflict and a humanitarian crisis on its southern border, forged the surprise deal with Russia on Monday to set up a demilitarized zone around Idlib, staving off an imminent attack.

Ankara has for months called for a targeted campaign against the jihadists who control parts of Idlib, instead of a broad offensive against a region which is also home to 3 million civilians and tens of thousands of Turkey-backed rebels.

The deal announced in Sochi after talks between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, a strong backer of the Damascus government, and President Tayyip Erdogan gives Turkey the opportunity to put that proposal into effect.

 

Read more:  Reuters

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation, has long stood as a role model for religious pluralism. That’s changing. Political Islam and violent extremism have been taking root in society and may soon do so in the government. President Joko Widodo’s choice of Ma’ruf Amin, a 75-year-old cleric, as his running mate in next year’s election marks an ugly turn for Indonesian politics.

Religious minorities had regarded Mr. Widodo as their defender. His rival, retired general Prabowo Subianto, was expected to play the religion card, questioning the incumbent’s Islamic credentials and building a coalition supported by radical Islamists. By choosing Mr. Amin, the president’s defenders argue, he not only has neutralized the religion factor, but might have prevented it from spilling over into violence against minorities. In office, they believe, Mr. Amin will be contained.

Yet Mr. Subianto is unlikely to be deterred from playing identity politics, and rumors that Mr. Amin is reaching out to radical Islamists for support are troubling. Mr. Amin has a history of intolerance. He signed a fatwa that put a Widodo ally, Jakarta’s former Gov. Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok” Purnama, in jail on blasphemy charges. Ahok, who is Christian and ethnically Chinese, was a symbol of Indonesia’s diversity, and as a popular governor was expected to be re-elected. Instead he lost after rivals told Muslims not to vote for a non-Muslim.

 

Read more:  Wall Street Journal

British police chiefs said on Tuesday a no-deal Brexit would hamper their efforts to tackle terrorism and crime as they announced contingency plans were being put in place in case they lost access to the bloc’s intelligence systems.

If Britain leaves the EU next March without any agreement, British authorities could be frozen out of the bloc’s policing mechanisms such as the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) or the data held by its law enforcement agency Europol.

“Existing EU tools allow us to respond quickly and intelligently to crime and terrorism in the UK and the EU - they make us better at protecting the public,” said Sara Thornton, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

“The alternatives we are planning to use, where they exist, are without exception slower, more bureaucratic and ultimately less effective.”

Thornton said a no-deal Brexit would also seriously affect their European counterparts, noting that for every one suspect arrested on a British EAW, Britain arrests eight people on warrants issued by other EU states.

Richard Martin, the NPCC’s Brexit head, said losing access to current EU systems in a no-deal scenario would mean they could no longer share real-time alerts for wanted suspects; would be slower to deal with hunts for missing people and the ability to map terrorist and criminal networks would be reduced.

 

Read more:  Reuters

An Afghan official says at least nine members of the local police force were killed when another policeman opened fire and shot them at a checkpoint in northern Balkh province, the latest in so-called “insider” attacks in Afghanistan.

Mohammadudin Khanjer, a police official in the district of Char Boldak, says one policeman was wounded and three others were missing after the late Monday shooting.

Khanjer says the attacker was a policeman from another checkpoint in the same district who fled the scene, apparently to join the Taliban. He says the shooter also seized all weapons from the checkpoint.

The Taliban haven’t comment on the attack in Char Boldak but insurgents are active in the district and often attack Afghan security forces.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Source:  Washington Post

More than 100 cars burst into flames at a Brooklyn shopping plaza early Monday, and cops have arrested the man they believe started the blaze — a furious firebug who sources say had revenge on his mind.

The roaring inferno sent huge plumes of smoke into the sky and injured 22 firefighters and six civilians.

Police arrested Avon Stephens, 23, Monday night and charged him with arson. Sources said he made statements admitting to starting the blaze.

A police source said the suspect periodically slept at the garage and had been repeatedly shooed away by mall security.

“I’m sorry. I apologize,” Stephens told reporters as officers led him out of the 63rd Precinct Monday night, according to News12 Brooklyn.

Cops believe Stephens — caught on surveillance footage near the conflagration — might have been angry after getting kicked out of his favorite snoozing spot, the sources said.

“Outstanding job by #NYPD Strategic Response Group Officers Domarecki & Reiff with the apprehension of an individual wanted for questioning in regards to today’s 7 alarm fire in the Kings Plaza Mall parking garage,” the NYPD Special Operations Bureau announced on its Twitter account Monday night.

The seven-alarm blaze broke out about 8:25 a.m. on the second level of the parking garage at Kings Plaza in Mill Basin.

Up to 120 cars were ignited by the fire, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. The cars were being stored there by a local Mercedes Benz dealership.

 

Read more:  Daily News