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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Apr 6, 2012

The notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout, dubbed the Merchant of Death, made it clear he had heard enough in court, although a federal prosecutor was only two minutes into an argument urging a harsh prison sentence. "It's a lie!" Bout blurted out in English _ a rare show of raw defiance for a defendant facing a possible life term on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan.

Despite Bout's outburst and his insistence that he was framed, he received only the mandatory minimum 25 years in prison in a case that demonstrated the U.S. government's determination to bring him to justice. The way federal agents went about capturing Bout _ an elaborate sting that lured him to Thailand _ appeared to play in his favor at his sentencing in federal court.

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Babar Ahmad, the British man jailed without trial since 2004 while fighting extradition on terror charges, has pleaded to be tried in Britain and accused the police of "outsourcing" his case to the US. Ahmad, accused of running a US-hosted website that encouraged terrorism, said he had never been formally questioned about the allegations against him or been presented with any evidence.

Ahmad, speaking on BBC Radio 4's World at One programme following a high court challenge by the broadcaster to secure the interview, admitted he had previously fought "battles" in Bosnia but said he believed terrorism to be wrong. He accused the British police of "outsourcing" the case to the Americans. He said: "All the offences against me are alleged to have happened in this country. "I believe terrorism to be wrong and I believe targeting and killing innocent people to be wrong."

Read more: The Guardian

"The enemies of Allah who boast of their freedoms have not spared any effort to eradicate our blessed media." After two weeks of silence, the jihadist forum Shamukh al Islam came back online yesterday with a gloat: an apparent cyberattack against Shamukh and four similar sites had failed to shut it down permanently. But terrorism analysts see the event in a different light. As they investigate the mystery of who caused the outage and why, most can't help but see in the blackout one more piece of evidence that al-Qaeda is in disarray.

Websites like Shamukh al Islam perform a critical function in jihadist circles. Loaded with videos that depict alleged Western atrocities against Muslims, they recruit supporters, while their chatrooms and forums allow jihadists around the globe to communicate with one another and to exchange information, including instructions on bomb construction and chemical warfare. So when Shamukh al Islam, perhaps the most prominent of jihadist forums, suddenly fell silent on March 22 or 23, terrorism analysts took notice. That interest only grew over the next few days as four other sites went down and, with one exception, stayed that way. "For four of these sites to be offline for two weeks is unprecedented," says Aaron Zelin, a researcher at Brandeis University. "We've seen other cyberattacks on these sites before, but they've never managed to keep them down for that long."

Read more: TIME

Yemeni government troops have killed more than 100 al-Qaeda fighters in the past two days in an offensive against militant hideouts in the country's south, the interior ministry said Thursday. The military has been waging intense battles in the southern Abyan and Lahj provinces to rout the militants. The area has seen heavy fighting in the past week after two subsequent militant attacks on Yemeni army bases.

The interior ministry said the air and land offensive has rattled the militants, who are trying to regroup near the sea. The authorities vowed to continue their campaign. The ministry's figure could not be independently confirmed. Earlier figures reported by The Associated Press said nearly 50 militants have been killed in the last few days of fighting in southern Yemen.
Read more: USA Today