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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 1, 2017

A car filled with explosives has reportedly rocked a Qatif neighborhood in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia on Thursday just before Maghrib prayers, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

Two people have been confirmed dead so far, with initial reports indicating the bodies belong to two wanted fugitives from the al-Awamiya area. Authorities have identified the dead men as Fadhel al-Hamada and Mohammed al-Somayel.

Three men involved in the attack managed to escape and are currently being hunted by security officers in the area.

Read more: Al-Arabiya

The popular Filipino tourist site Resorts World Manila is on lockdown after reports of gunfire and explosions.  A masked gunman was on the second floor of one hotel, firing at guests, hotel employees fleeing the scene told CNN Philippines.  Police, fire trucks and SWAT teams were seen in the area at about 1:30 a.m. local time Friday.  Heavily-armed SWAT officers wearing bullet proof vests and body armor also descended on the scene, Camille Abadicio of CNN Philippines said.  It was not immediately clear how many people may have been injured or killed.

"The company is working closely with the Philippine National Police to ensure that all guests and employees are safe," the resort complex tweeted. "We ask for your prayers during these difficult times."  Resorts World Manila, also known as RWM, is a resort complex in Newport City, a residential and commercial center in metropolitan Manila.  RWM has an array of hotels, restaurants and bars. Tourists flock to the complex for its casino, shopping mall, cinema and theater.  The complex, which is described on RWM's website as "the first and largest integrated resort in the Philippines," is located across from Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Shortly after Friday's incident began to unfold, the US State Department warned citizens to avoid the area.  The Philippines has been grappling with incidents of terrorism, especially on the southern island of Mindanao.  There, in the city of Marawi, government forces have been battling ISIS-linked militants for control of the city.  The battle for Marawi, a largely Muslim city, has displaced at least 70,000 residents and left 140 people dead. The terrorist siege began last week, just as Muslims worldwide started to mark the holy month of Ramadan.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law over the island of Mindanao in light of the crisis.  Duterte also suggested he might extend martial law through year's end or impose it nationwide, alarming critics.

Source: CNN

Law enforcement officers have started carrying naloxone with them on drug raids, when K-9s are often sent into houses or cars to find narcotics.  Three police dogs in Florida were rushed to an animal hospital last year when they ingested fentanyl, a powerful painkiller that is often mixed with street heroin but 50 times more potent.

Even just a small amount of powdered fentanyl can sicken police officers, so dogs are even more at risk, said Brian Foley, deputy chief in Hartford, where 11 members of a SWAT team were sent to a hospital after they were exposed to a mix of heroin and fentanyl during a raid in September.

Symptoms of opioid exposure in dogs, as with humans, include sedation, pinpoint pupils, vomiting, stumbling and a slow respiratory rate, said Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, a veterinarian and adjunct professor at Tufts University.  Just like people, dogs can require multiple doses of naloxone to reverse an overdose, Smith-Blackmore said.

Read more; AP

As soon as his cab arrived in an Islamic State safe house in December 2015, his lawyers say, Mohamad Khweis realized he had made a huge mistake.  The 27-year-old Fairfax County native fled the group three months later and was captured by Kurdish forces in Iraq.  Now, as his trial begins this week in federal court in Alexandria, a jury will weigh whether a mistake of that gravity can be forgiven under terrorism laws.

Khweis, Carmichael said, was a smoker and a drinker who lived with his parents and relied on their insurance and cellphone plans.  While with the Islamic State, she said, he performed menial tasks: buying groceries, taking out the trash, getting lunch.  He was asked to be a suicide bomber because he had no skills, according to Carmichael, and agreed only because he thought he might be killed as a spy if he did not.

But prosecutors say Khweis showed a sophisticated understanding of the terrorist group he joined.  Before leaving for Syria, Khweis quit his job as a Metro Access bus driver and sold his car, driving a rental to Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport.  He stopped in London and Amsterdam to avoid detection, prosecutors said.  When he landed in Turkey, he took a bus to a border town and contacted Islamic State facilitators on Twitter.  Khweis used a handle that included the phrase “greenbird,” a reference to martyrdom. 

Read more: Washington Post

Eight people, including seven police officers, were killed Wednesday when their vehicle ran over an improvized explosive device in Kenya.  The police officers from the Mangai Rapid Border Patrol Unit were patrolling the Kenya-Somalia border.

A senior police officer from the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the attack to Anadolu Agency, saying the Kenya Defense Forces had found the slain policemen in the Baure area in the Lamu County.  “The Kenya Defense Forces engaged the militants in a fierce gunfight which led to them fleeing the area, the vehicle ferrying the policemen was totally destroyed by the bomb explosion,” the officer said.

The attack comes barely a week after five police officers were killed in a similar manner in Garissa County.  The recent deaths bring the total number of police officers killed by IEDs in Kenya this month to 28.  No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but, in previous years, the Somali-based al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab militant group had increased terror attacks in Kenya and Somalia during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Source: World Bulletin