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Terrorism News

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

A foreign fighter captured during a raid on Islamist militants blamed by Egypt for a deadly attack in its western desert last month is a Libyan national, the Egyptian interior ministry said on Thursday.

The captured fighter, Abdelrahim Mohamed al-Mesmari, 25, is from the eastern Libyan town of Derna, an interior ministry statement said.

A little-known group called Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for the Oct. 21 attack. Three security sources said at the time that at least 52 police officers and conscripts were killed but the interior ministry refuted that figure the next day and said only 16 policemen had been killed.

Read more: Reuters

Philippine troops shelled positions held by a small group of pro-Islamic State militants in southern marshland on Friday, as the military pushed on with a new offensive after the country’s biggest urban battle in decades.

The army estimated 2,000 villagers had been displaced by several days of operations in a region straddling two provinces on the island of Mindanao, as the army went after the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a small and splintered rebel group inspired by Islamic State.

The latest operation follows the end last month of what was the Philippines’ biggest battle since World War Two, in which troops took five months to crush an alliance of Islamic State loyalists including BIFF fighters in Marawi City.

The occupation of the city by the militants and their dogged resistance spread alarm in the region about the rise of extremism and radical aspirations to create an Islamic State caliphate.


Read more:  Reuters

Iraq forces captured the border town of Rawa, the last remaining town under Islamic State control, on Friday, the Iraqi military said in a statement.

Iraqi forces “liberated Rawa entirely, and raised the Iraqi flag over its buildings,” Lieutenant General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah said in a statement from the Joint Operations Command.


Source:  Reuters

Amnesty International said Friday it has documented violations of humanitarian law, some amounting to war crimes, during the five-month conflict between Philippine government troops and Islamic State-allied militants who laid siege to the southern city of Marawi.

The human rights group said the militants committed unlawful killings, hostage-taking, pillage and mistreatment of prisoners. They allegedly used child soldiers and murdered civilians, which is a war crime, with some of their targets said to have been singled out because they were Christian.

Government forces allegedly tortured and mistreated detainees and looted, Amnesty said in its new report.

The siege of Marawi raged from May 23 until the government declared it over on Oct. 23. More than 1,100 combatants and civilians were killed, including more than 900 Filipino and foreign militants, and about half a million people were displaced by the prolonged and widespread fighting.

The military’s bombing of militant-held areas of the city wiped out entire neighborhoods and killed civilians, highlighting the need for an investigation into compliance with humanitarian law, Amnesty’s report said.

Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the armed forces spokesman, said the military is committed to respecting humanitarian law and human rights and the government will answer the allegations in Amnesty’s report after it gets a copy of the report. He said the military chief of staff has told troops he will not tolerate misdeeds.


Read more:  AP

A month after the Trump administration formally lifted decades-old sanctions against Sudan, a top official said on Thursday that the United States would consider removing Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a designation that has been in place since 1993.

The step, which is contingent on further cooperation by Sudan with Washington, would further demonstrate the striking turnabout in relations between the countries, a thaw that began under the Obama administration and a rare area in which the Trump administration has continued the approach of its predecessor.

Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan said the United States was willing to consider removing Sudan from the its list of state sponsors of terrorism if Sudan continued to make progress on counterterrorism cooperation, human rights and other key issues. Syria, since 1974, and Iran, since 1984, are the other countries on the list.

Read more: New York Times