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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 13, 2017

The United States carried out an air strike on al Shabaab militants in Somalia on Sunday, and Somalia said its special forces had joined in the attack to destroy one of the group's main training and command posts.

The Pentagon estimated that the strike, in response to attacks in Somalia by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, killed eight militants.

The strike was the first by the United States in Somalia under new authorities granted by President Donald Trump in March and was conducted in coordination with regional partners, the Pentagon said. It was a drone strike, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.

Read more: Reuters

An audio message purporting to come from the spokesman of Islamic State called on followers to launch attacks in the United States, Europe, Russia, Australia, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and the Philippines during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began in late May.

The audio clip was distributed on Monday on Islamic State's channel on Telegram, an encrypted messaging application. It was attributed to the militant group's official spokesman, Abi al-Hassan al-Muhajer.

The authenticity of the recording could not be independently verified, but the voice was the same as a previous audio message purported to be from the spokesman.

Read more: Reuters

The dispute that has seen Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies isolate Qatar stems from allegations that the tiny gas-rich nation is sponsoring extremist groups which are destabilising the Middle East.  This is not the first time Qatar's neighbours have expressed their displeasure over its individualist foreign policy - diplomatic relations were severed for nine months in 2014.

Tensions have arisen from Qatar's support for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood; its close relationship with groups such as the Taliban and certain al-Qaeda affiliates; and its relationship with Iran, which has most recently led to allegations from Saudi Arabia that the state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera is supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen fighting government forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Doha has strongly denied Riyadh's accusations, and said it has taken more robust counter-terrorism measures than some of its neighbours.

Read more: BBC News

Three Syrian men alleged to have been sent to Germany with forged passports by the Islamic State group have gone on trial in Hamburg.

The men, aged 18, 19 and 26, arrived in Germany at the end of 2015, at the height of the influx of migrants. They were arrested at homes for asylum-seekers in September. All three are charged with membership in a terrorist organization. Two of them also are charged with using forged documents, and the third with attempting to do so.

Defendants don't enter formal pleas in Germany. News agency dpa reported that they declined to address the allegations against them as the trial opened Tuesday at the Hamburg state court. The trial is scheduled to continue until early November.

Source: AP 

As the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) continues to lose territory in Iraq and Syria, its chemical weapons capabilities this year have been severely reduced, according to new analysis.

Since July 2014, ISIS has been accused of using chemical weapons at least 71 times—30 in Syria and 41 in Iraq, mostly chlorine and mustard gas. But this year, there has only been one reported ISIS chemical attack in Syria, in January near Aleppo, compared with 13 attacks in the same area six months prior, according to London-based defense consultancy IHS Markit.

The decline of chemical weapons attacks in Syria is a combination of a loss of territory and a continued degradation of the group’s weapons arsenal and chemical weapons experts, analysts say. “The operation to isolate and recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul coincides with a massive reduction in Islamic State chemical weapons use in Syria,” said Columb Strack, senior Middle East analyst at IHS Markit. 

The campaigns have forced a large ISIS cohort into the Euphrates River Valley in the Syrian countryside near the Iraqi border. U.S. officials consider some of the group’s most important assets to be in the area, and potentially where Baghdadi is hiding. 

Read more: Newsweek