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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 29, 2017

With 2,500 inmates, the penitentiary institution of Fresnes, about 20 miles south of Paris, is one of the largest prisons in Europe. Like most French prisons, Fresnes is overcrowded. Built in the late 19th century, its tiny cells, each meant for one prisoner, most often house three.

Inmates scream curses and catcalls from their barred windows as I visit a small, empty sports yard ensconced between cell blocks. Plastic bags and punctured soccer balls are caught in the surrounding concertina wire.

The prisoners here yelled out in just this way back in November 2015, refusing to honor a minute of silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks on Paris cafes and the Bataclan concert hall.

Read more: NPR

A Paraguayan man charged with conspiring to export loads of cocaine to the United States pleaded not guilty in Miami federal court on Monday.

But what the conspiracy charge against Ali Issa Chamas did not mention was that he is close to a network of relatives and associates with ties to Hezbollah, a terrorist organization based in Lebanon accused of numerous bombings and plots against Israeli and other Western targets, according to published reports and terrorism experts.

Chamas, 36, is of Lebanese descent but has lived for the past decade in Paraguay, which along with Brazil and Argentina form what’s known as the Tri-Border area. U.S. authorities say it’s a hub for a variety of illicit enterprises such as drug trafficking and money laundering that have long operated as fundraising fronts for the Hezbollah.

Read more: Miami Herald

Malawi has launched Africa's first air corridor to test the use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, in humanitarian missions in partnership with the UN children's agency, Unicef.

Kasungu Aerodrome, in central Malawi, will be used as a test site for aerial scouting in crisis situations, delivering supplies and using drones to boost internet connectivity.

Universities and other partners will also have access to the site.

The project will run until 2018.

Rwanda also launched a commercial drone delivery service last year to deliver medical supplies.

The project, in partnership with US company Zipline, has cut delivery of medical supplies to minutes instead of hours.

Unicef says it is working globally with a number of governments and private sector partners to explore how drones can be used in humanitarian and development missions.

The UAVs will have a range of 40km (24 miles).

Read more:  BBC News

Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk, one of the global companies hardest hit by a malicious software that froze computers around the globe, said Thursday that most of its terminals are now operational, though some remain crippled.

The Copenhagen-based company said that some terminals are “operating slower than usual or with limited functionality.” Problems have been reported across the shippers’ global business, from Mobile, Alabama, to Mumbai in India.

The shipping company is one of a number of major corporations and government agencies — from logistics firm FedEx to Ukraine’s banking system — to have been hit by the software epidemic.

Maersk, as the shipper is known, says it’s able to accept bookings again via the INNTRA booking platform but that its logistics division, Damco, “has limited access to certain systems.”

Maersk says it can’t be specific about how many sites were affected or when business will get to normal. It also said it had deliberately shut down “a number of IT systems” which also had an impact on email systems.

As companies and governments gauged the cost of the attack, experts were trying to shed light on who launched it and why.

Read more:  AP

Iraqi forces captured on Thursday the wrecked historic mosque of Mosul in which Islamic State proclaimed its self-styled "caliphate" three years ago, an Iraqi military statement said.

Taking the Grand al-Nuri Mosque hands a symbolic victory to the Iraqi forces which have been battling for more than eight month to capture Mosul, the northern city that served as Islamic State's de facto capital in Iraq.

The insurgents blew up the medieval mosque and its landmark leaning minaret a week ago, as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces started a push in its direction. Their black flag had been floating on al-Hadba, the ''hunchback'' minaret, since June 2014.

Source:  Reuters