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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 5, 2017

The social networking giant said Sunday it plans to be hostile to terrorists and pledged to "aggressively remove terrorist content" after an attack in London left at least seven dead this weekend.

"We want Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists," Simon Milner, the company's director of policy, said in a statement.

The comments come after British Prime Minister Theresa May called for new regulations to restrict the spread of extremist content.

"We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed, yet that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide," she said in a statement outside Downing Street.

Read more: CNET

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency released a short video showing the destruction of a church inside Marawi city. This is the second video released by Amaq from the southern Philippines city. The video comes as the crisis in Marawi enters its second week. At least 175 people have been killed in the siege so far, while thousands of civilians have been forced to flee the city.

The video details Islamic State-loyal fighters destroying religious symbols and vandalizing the inside of the church. Afterwards, the jihadists set the structure on fire before the video ends. It is unclear when the footage was filmed, however, destruction of churches inside Marawi have been reported since the attack started late last month.

The siege began on May 23 when the extremists, who have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State, infiltrated Marawi. The jihadists quickly began fighting local security forces, capturing buildings, and setting up checkpoints.  According to Filipino sources, the jihadists inside Marawi are led by Isnilon Hapilon, who has been appointed as the overall leader of Islamic State’s forces in the Philippines. 

Read more: The Long War Journal

Officials in London installed barriers on bridges to protect pedestrians from future terror attacks days after a van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge.  The barriers, made of concrete and metal, were installed at Lambeth Bridge, London Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge.  Transport for London said the bridges closed during installation early Monday but most have reopened.

On Saturday, at least seven people were killed by three masked men who drove a white van into pedestrians on the London Bridge, then leaped out and stabbed several people at Borough Market's nearby bars and restaurants.  The suspects were shot dead.  The Islamic State took responsibility for the attack.  On March 22, five people were killed by after 52-year-old British-born Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, then fatally stabbed a police officer. Masood was shot dead.

Meanwhile, politicians resumed campaigning Monday ahead of Britain's general election on Thursday following a suspension in honor of the victims.

Read more: The Guardian

Police are investigating possible terror links to a siege in which police gunned down one man and found another dead in Melbourne’s southeast.  A senior law enforcement figure told the Herald Sun the gunman was on parole for a criminal offence and rated as a low-risk figure of interest to counter-terror authorities.  

Police shot dead the gunman, a second man was found dead in the foyer of an apartment building in Brighton and three police officers sustained gunshot wounds in the bloody hostage drama.  The Herald Sun can confirm the gunman is known to counter-terrorism police.

A male caller to the Channel 7 newsroom in Melbourne said: “This is for IS” and “this is for Al-Qaeda.”  The station said a woman could be heard screaming in the background.  A Victoria Police statement confirmed police are investigating whether the incident is terrorism related.

Read more: Herald Sun

MI5 and police faced growing pressure today over whether the London Bridge murders could have been prevented after it emerged that at least one of the attackers was a known extremist who had been reported to the authorities.

Neighbours in the block of flats in Barking where “Abs” — one of the three alleged terrorists — lived said that he had been thrown out of his local mosque because of his views and had a reputation for aggressive behaviour.  There were further claims that he had twice been reported to police over fears about his extremism and that police had last month secretly recorded Islamic State-inspired plotters in Barking talking about mounting a van and knife attack.
 
Footage of the killer, who is understood to be aged 27 and of Pakistani heritage, has also emerged from a Channel 4 documentary last year in which he is seen among a group of radicals unveiling an Islamic State flag in a London park.  Other film of him berating police outside a mosque has also been published.

Reports today claimed he was a known follower of the jailed extremist Anjem Choudary, who ran the proscribed extremist organisation al Muhajiroun and other banned groups, and was also linked to the IS fighter Sidartha Dhar, who was shown in a video with other militants shooting hostages in the head in Syria.

Read more: Evening Standard