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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Mar 2012

Eight days after the police shot dead the self-confessed killer of four Jews and three French paratroopers in southwestern France, elite units on Friday raided localities in several parts of the country and detained 17 people described as Islamic militants.  In the early hours, officers raided addresses in Toulouse — where the gunman, Mohammed Merah, 23, was slain after a 30-hour siege last week — in the Paris region and in southern and western cities including Nantes, French media reports said.  President Nicolas Sarkozy said Kalashnikov assault rifles had been seized in the raids, which, he told Europe 1 radio, “are going to continue” and would lead to “a certain number of people” being expelled from France.

Investigating judges on Sunday had already filed preliminary murder and terrorism charges against Mr. Merah’s older brother, saying that the killer acted with his guidance.  The brother, Abdelkader Merah, 29, was described by the police as an Islamic radical who reportedly had ties to at least one jihadist network.  Although Mohammed Merah told the police that he had acted alone, investigators believe that he operated “under the influence of his brother,” said Élisabeth Allannic, a spokeswoman for the office of the prosecutor in Paris, which handles terrorism cases.

Read more: NY Times

Gary Thomas will never forget the letter he received in early 2000.  It was from John Joe Gray, a suspect in a felony assault case, offering a not-so-subtle warning to the area's chief criminal investigator: He had no intention of answering charges that he had attacked a state trooper.  "What he said was this: 'If y'all come to get me, bring body bags,' " said Thomas, now a local justice of the peace.  Thomas remembers the message clearly, not because of its unvarnished threat, but because — after 12 years — Gray, who doesn't acknowledge the authority of any government, continues to dare police to come and get him.

Sequestered on a 50-acre, wooded compound in East Texas since jumping bail more than a decade ago, Gray and his clan have effectively outlasted the administrations of four local sheriffs, all of whom have decided that John Joe's arrest is not worth the risk of a violent confrontation.  The stalemate, perhaps the longest-running standoff in the U.S. between law enforcement and a fugitive living in plain sight, is also emblematic of what the FBI believes is a troubling re-emergence of an anti-government movement that vaulted to notoriety in 1995.


Read more: USA Today

The Hutaree terror case officially ended today with the last two defendants cutting deals with the government, two days after their five codefendants were cleared of all charges by a federal judge.  While defendants David Stone Sr. and his son Joshua Stone faced a handful of weapons violations, they pleaded guilty to possession of a machine gun that is punishable up to 10 years in prison.  The judge agreed to release the two on bond.  The prosecution objected to releasing Stone Sr., saying he remained a threat to society, but did not object to releasing his son Joshua Stone.  Under the terms of the plea agreements, Stone Sr. faces 33 to 48 months in prison. Joshua Stone faces 27-33 months. They will be sentenced in August.
             
Read more: Detroit Free Press

A former nuclear physicist went on trial in Paris on Thursday on accusations of plotting attacks with the North African wing of Al Qaeda.  But his defenders say he only sent some angry emails and fear he may be unfairly linked with a gunman who recently sowed terror in southern France.  Adlene Hicheur, who used to work at Europe's most prestigious particle accelerator, has been in prison for two and a half years awaiting trial.  Now that the trial has started, his allies worry the timing couldn't be worse: it comes days after France's biggest terror attacks in years.

The Merah case has stirred up such a national fervor that re-election-minded President Nicolas Sarkozy has floated a proposal to make it a crime to repeatedly visit jihadist websites -- in part because French counterrorism officials fear "lone wolf" attacks by militants who self-radicalize online.  And Hicheur's case is all about the Internet.

Read more: Fox News

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that PATRICK NAYYAR, a citizen of India who had been residing illegally in the United States, was found guilty yesterday in Manhattan federal court of five counts related to support he attempted to provide Hizballah, a designated foreign terrorist organization.  NAYYAR was convicted after a seven-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet.

According to the superseding indictment filed in Manhattan federal court and the evidence presented at trial:  Between July 2009 and September 2009, NAYYAR and his co-conspirator, Conrad Stanisclaus Mulholland, agreed to provide weapons, ammunition, and vehicles to Hizballah, a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization based in Lebanon.  During a series of meetings with a confidential informant working with the FBI, who represented himself as able to deliver materials to Hizballah, NAYYAR and Mulholland agreed to sell guns, ammunition, vehicles, bulletproof vests, and night vision goggles to the confidential informant.  During these meetings, NAYYAR and Mulholland provided the confidential informant with a handgun, a box of ammunition, and a pick-up truck, believing that he would deliver the items to Hizballah in Lebanon.

Read more: FBI Press Release