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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 23, 2016

Israel targeted Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip by air and with tank fire Sunday, injuring four people, after a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave crashed into the Israeli city of Sderot.  Police said the rocket hit "between two buildings on a road" in Sderot, which is less than four kilometres (2.5 miles) from Gaza, causing no casualties.

Army spokesman Peter Lerner said Israeli forces retaliated by hitting targets of the Palestinian Islamist movement in northern Gaza.  "In response to the rocket attack from the Gaza Strip, the IAF (Israeli air force) and tanks targeted two Hamas posts in the northern Gaza Strip," Lerner said in a statement.

Palestinian health and security sources said two people were lightly wounded by the Israeli fire.  "One of them is a 20-year-old (young man) who was hit by shrapnel in the face," said Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Read more: France 24

As the Islamic State group loses ground in Iraq, the militants are showing strains in their rule over areas they still control, growing more brutal, killing deserters and relying on younger and younger recruits, according to residents who fled battleground territories.

The reliance on younger fighters in smaller communities could be a sign of overstretched manpower as the group's more veteran militants redeploy to Mosul or to neighboring Syria. Other factors could also be in play, like difficulties in finding new recruits and the effect of desertions, which Kurdish officials have said are on the rise.

Read more: Associated Press

The FBI has launched a federal terrorism investigation into a weekend stabbing in Roanoke, Va., looking at whether the attacker may have been trying to behead his victim in an alleged ISIS-inspired assault, sources tell ABC News. 

Federal authorities have been aware of the alleged attacker, 20-year-old Wasil Farooqui, of the Roanoke area, for some time, sources familiar with the case told ABC News. In the past year, he traveled to Turkey and may have tried to sneak into Syria, where ISIS is recruiting and inspiring sympathizers from across the world, sources said. 

During the Saturday stabbing, Farooqui allegedly injured a man and woman at an apartment complex in Roanoke, yelling "Allah Akbar" as he attacked them with a knife, sources told ABC News.  Authorities believe he may have been trying to behead the male victim, who was likely picked at random, ABC News was told. 

Read more: ABC News

Researchers and officials say Islamic State and other militants are now increasingly using the same tactics, perhaps to build ranks depleted by losses, preserve adult fighters or simply catch security forces off guard.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban has long used children. One 14-year-old bomber on a bicycle hit the Kabul NATO base in 2012 killing six people; two years later a teenager blew himself up at French cultural center in the Afghan capital.

In West Africa, Boko Haram has preyed on displaced children or young girls it kidnapped to force them to become bombers. In Iraq and Syria, activists say Islamic State took in children from towns it captures or recruited families to its territory, and indoctrinated their children in its schools and camps.

Islamic State in particular, highlights its child recruits for its "Cubs of the Caliphate" brigades, publishing images and videos on social media of children receiving training and indoctrination, and carrying out bombings or executions.

Read more: Reuters

Nigeria's army says it has killed several commanders of the Islamist group Boko Haram in an air strike and seriously wounded its disputed leader.

An army spokesman told the BBC's Hausa service that Abubakar Shekau's shoulder was badly injured in the strike on Friday in north-eastern Borno state.  

There has been no independent confirmation of the strike.  Claims by the army that it has killed Shekau have proven to be false on at least five previous occasions. 

Read more: BBC News