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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 3, 2016

The Department of State has designated Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Mohamed Abrini as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons and groups determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. As a result of these designations, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Abrini have any interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Abrini.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) is a splinter group of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) based in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. The group, founded by a former TTP leader in August 2014, has staged multiple attacks in the region targeting civilians, religious minorities, military personnel, and law enforcement, and was responsible for the killing of two Pakistani employees of the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar in early March 2016. In late March 2016, JuA carried out the suicide assault at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal amusement park in Lahore, Pakistan that killed more than 70 people—nearly half of them women and children—and injured hundreds more. The Easter Sunday attack was the deadliest terror attack in Pakistan since December 2014.

Read more: U.S. Department of State

Nicholas Young, 36, of Fairfax, who is employed as a police officer with the Metro Transit Police Department, was arrested today on charges of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.  Young will have his initial appearance here at 2 p.m. today in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa C. Buchanan.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Young has been employed as a police officer with the Metro Transit Police Department since 2003.  Law enforcement first interviewed Young in September 2010 in connection with his acquaintance, Zachary Chesser, who one month later pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists.  Over the next several years Young had numerous interactions with undercover law enforcement officers and a cooperating witness regarding Young’s knowledge or interest of terrorist related activity, many of which were recorded. 

Read more: DOJ

Believing he was answering a holy call, Harry Sarfo left his home in the working-class city of Bremen last year and drove for four straight days to reach the territory controlled by the Islamic State in Syria.

He barely had time to settle in before members of the Islamic State’s secret service, wearing masks over their faces, came to inform him and his German friend that they no longer wanted Europeans to come to Syria. Where they were really needed was back home, to help carry out the group’s plan of waging terrorism across the globe.

“He was speaking openly about the situation, saying that they have loads of people living in European countries and waiting for commands to attack the European people,” 

Read more: New York Times

North Korea fired two mid-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, South Korea’s military and U.S. authorities said.  U.S. Strategic Command said it detected what it thought was the simultaneous launch of the missiles, CNN reported.

One of the Rodong missiles is thought to have landed in Japanese waters after flying about 620 miles while the other exploded shortly after launch, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.  South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missiles were launched toward waters off North Korea's east coast at 7.50 a.m. local time.

Seoul said it was the first time that a North Korean missile fell in Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), about 155 miles west of northeastern Japan's Akita Prefecture, indicating the secretive state is testing the range of its Rodong missiles, Yonhap reported.

Wednesday’s launch came after the North fired three missiles on July 19 after Seoul and the United States agreed to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea by the end of 2017.

Source:  USA Today

Italian police arrested a Syrian man in the northern city of Genoa on Wednesday on suspicion he was planning to travel to his home country to join Islamist militants.

Police said in a statement their anti-terrorism unit had arrested an unemployed man, 23, who they said was planning to return to Syria to join the rebel group Nusra Front. He was arrested on suspicion of supporting international terrorism.

The Syrian Islamist rebel group, which emerged at the start of the Syrian conflict, re-branded itself last week as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and cut ties with international jihadist network al Qaeda.

Nusra Front and Islamic State are enemies in Syria, but both were excluded from a U.S.- and Russian-backed ceasefire this year.

Police said they were investigating the arrested man's relationship with other foreigners in the Genoa area to determine whether they were trying to recruit fighters.  They said there was no indication that attacks in Italy were being planned.

Read more:  Reuters