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Terrorism News

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

There is no evidence that al-Qaeda terrorists are plotting attacks to coincide with the May 1 anniversary of the U.S.-led raid that killed Osama bin Laden, White House counter terrorism adviser John Brennan said.  “At this time we don’t see any active plot that is under way but we are maintaining our guard,” Brennan said today on ABC’s “This Week” program.  “We are vigilant throughout the course of the year but on a day that marks the one-year anniversary of bin Laden being brought to justice, we are especially vigilant.”  A decade after almost 3,000 people were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks bin Laden orchestrated against New York and Washington, Brennan said al-Qaeda’s ability to conduct terrorist strikes has weakened.

Read more: Bloomberg

Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate Monday offered to free a British hostage if London allows a radical cleric described as a leading figure in the terror group in Europe to leave Britain for another country.  Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in a statement posted Monday on a militant website said it would release Stephen Malcolm if the cleric Abu Qatada were let go.  It warned that the British government would be responsible for the consequences if it follows through on a plan to deport him to Jordan, where he faces trial on terrorism charges.

Authorities in Britain have been trying to expel the Palestinian-Jordanian preacher since 2001, but the European Court of Human Rights ruled he could not be deported to Jordan because of a risk that evidence obtained through torture would be used against him there.  Earlier this month, British authorities detained the cleric once again, and at the time said they were close to deporting him to Jordan.

Read more: USA Today

On May 2, 2011, Navy SEALs shot and killed al-Qaida leader and Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in his home in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  It was a raid made especially daring by the fact that there was only a 50-50 chance the terrorist leader was there.  After his death, these are five of the top al-Qaida leaders who pose a clear and continuing threat of an attack within the U.S., according to U.S. intelligence and counterterrorist officials.

Ayman al-Zawahri - Egyptian cleric Ayman al-Zawahri took over the organization, after Osama bin Laden's killing last year by Navy SEALs. 

Abu Yahia al-Libi - The Libyan militant, as his name implies, is now the group's de facto No. 2 moving up a notch in al-Qaida hierarchy after the bin Laden raid. 

Mullah Mohammed Omar - Leader of the Taliban, Afghan Mullah Omar has sheltered al-Qaida during the Taliban rule and since.

Nasser al-Wahishi - Once Osama bin Laden's aide-de-camp, Wahishi commands Yemeni affiliate al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the group U.S. counterterrorist officials warn is most capable of launching an attack on U.S. soil.

Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri - Chief bombmaker for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, responsible for building the underwear bomb used to try to bring down a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas 2009 and the printer-cartridge bombs intercepted in U.S.-bound cargo planes a year later.

Read more: Kansas City Star

Yesterday’s bombing of THISDAY Newspapers’ head office in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the first such attack on a Nigerian media house in recent times, amplifies the question again: should bombs, bullets and bloodshed define the nation’s democracy?  According to Mr. Segun Adeniyi, chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, three people were killed in the morning attack by suicide bombers who reportedly gained entrance in a jeep from the rear entrance of the building in Jabi, Abuja.

Also, yesterday in Kaduna, the suicide bombers targeted the media office of ThisDay, the Sun and the Moment, killing four.  The Boko Haram Islamic militant sect, which has carried out successive, bloody suicide bombing operations in Northern Nigeria, including the FCT, for over a year now, has claimed responsibility.  Yesterday’s powerful blasts that destroyed the media house’s office and extensively damaged neighbouring property opens up a new sinister chapter in the terrorism war against the state – a clear attempt to muzzle the media.

Read more: Leadership

At least 27 people were injured on Friday when a series of blasts hit Ukraine just weeks before it is due to co-host the Euro 2012 football championship.  Authorities said they were treating the attack as an act of terrorism.  The blasts went off in quick succession around noon in the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk, targeting a tram stop, a cinema and a railway station.  Witnesses said it appeared that explosive devices had been placed in nearby rubbish bins. Authorities said at least four blasts had gone off, but some reports placed the number as high as 10.

Ukraine has no history of modern terrorism and it was unclear who could be behind the blasts.  The attack will raise concerns as Ukraine gets ready to host Euro 2012 from 8 June.  Dnipropetrovsk lost its bid to host a match, but nearby Donetsk is one of the championship's main sites.

Read more: The Guardian