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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Mar 19, 2012
A gunman opened fire on a Jewish school in southern France Monday, killing four people -- the third shooting in the area in 10 days.  The shooting in the city of Toulouse left a teacher and three children dead, including a 3-year-old, said local prosecutor Michel Valet.  A fourth child was injured.  The gunman arrived shortly after 8 a.m. and fled on a motor scooter after the shootings. He is believed to have used two different guns, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.  It's the third shooting by a man on a motorcycle in southwest France since March 11, and authorities suspect the cases may be linked, Brandet said.  The interior ministry has ordered police across the country to contact Jewish organizations to arrange increased vigilance, Brandet said.

On March 11, a soldier was on his motorbike when a helmeted man on another motorcycle pulled up and shot and killed him, Toulouse police Capt. David Delattre said.  The soldier was not in uniform, and his motorbike did not have any military identification, Delattre said.  On Thursday, two other soldiers were shot dead and another injured by a black-clad man wearing a motorcycle helmet in the southwestern French city of Montauban, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Toulouse.

Read more: CNN

A Taliban commander expressed skepticism that one soldier carried out a massacre last week that left 16 Afghan civilians dead, and anger that the suspect subsequently was flown out of Afghanistan.  "We don't think that one American was involved," the Taliban official told CNN, refusing to give his name or be otherwise identified.  "The foreigners and the puppet regime (in Afghanistan) are blind to the truth of what happened here.  "But if this was the act of one soldier, we want this soldier to be prosecuted in Afghanistan, and according to Islamic law. The Afghans should prosecute him."

The commander also explained that the Islamic fundamentalist group had halted talks with U.S. officials.  It had set up an office in Qatar on January 3 to reach "an understanding with the international community" and discuss specific issues with American officials.  In a statement Thursday, the Taliban said work from its Qatar office was being suspended, a decision made due to what the group called U.S. officials' "alternating and ever-changing position."  Preliminary talks had already begun over the exchange of prisoners, the Taliban said.

Read more: CNN

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said in a video that he would swap an American hostage for prisoners in the U.S. with links to the organization.  In exchange for Warren Weinstein, Zawahiri specifically called for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the blind cleric convicted of attempting to blow up the World Trade Center in the early 1990s; the family of Osama bin Laden, the assassinated leader of al-Qaida; and Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted in 2010 in New York for attempting to murder U.S. government officials.  Weinstein, 70, was serving as the director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S. firm that advises a range of Pakistani businesses, when he was kidnapped from his bed last August.

"He will not return to his family, by the will of Allah, until our demands are met, which include the release of Aafia Siddiqui, Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the family of Sheikh Osama bin Laden, and every single person arrested on allegations of links with Al-Qaeda and Taliban," Zawahiri said in the video, which was released online on Friday.  "Just as the Americans detain all whom they suspect of links to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, even remotely, we detained this man who has been neck-deep in American aid to Pakistan since the 1970s," Zawahiri said.

Weinstein had worked in Pakistan for several years and speaks the national language, Urdu. The video noted that Weinstein was Jewish.  In the video, Zawahiri also calls on Pakistani citizens to revolt against the government and the military.

Source: JTA

Indonesian counter-terrorism forces have shot dead five suspected militants believed to have been planning a series of attacks in Bali.  Heavily armed officers from Indonesia's crack anti-terror unit Detachment 88 stormed two separate addresses, in Denpasar and in Sanur, on Sunday night where they shot and killed five men.  Witnesses have told AAP that gunshots could be heard for several minutes as officers raided the Lhaksmi Hotel on Jalan Danau Poso in the Sanur area about 9pm local time.  "I heard more than 10 shots. We are not allowed to enter our homes," one witness, who only wanted to be identified as Egi, told AAP.

Three suspected terrorists were shot and killed at the address in Sanur, an area popular with foreign tourists.  Witnesses reported seeing police removing bodies from a bungalow at the hotel, which remained surrounded by heavily armed officers late on Sunday night.  Another two suspected terrorists were shot and killed during a raid at an address on Jalan Gunung Soputan in Denpasar.

Read more: Associated Press

A German-Afghan man whose information helped prompt terrorism warnings across Europe in 2010 goes on trial Monday on charges that he was a member of al-Qaida and another terrorist group.  Ahmad Wali Siddiqui was captured by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in July 2010 and while in custody provided details on alleged al-Qaida plots supposedly targeting European cities.  No attacks materialized.

Attorney Michael Rosenthal, who represents Siddiqui, said the indictment is based largely on statements made by his client to authorities and that Siddiqui plans to address the court as the trial opens in Koblenz state court.  He would not give details.  The 37-year-old Siddiqui faces a possible 10 years in prison if convicted of membership in al-Qaida and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. 

Siddiqui trained with both terrorist groups in Pakistan and in the border region with Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010, with the aim of taking part in violent jihad, or holy war, according to the indictment.  Authorities have said he was one of about a dozen radical Muslims who left the northern port city of Hamburg in 2009 to pursue terrorist training in the border region.  Several of them have been captured or killed.

Read more: Associated Press