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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 6, 2017

A number of Arab states have severed ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting terrorism but this puts the United States in a tough spot.

The U.S. has located one of its largest air base operations in the desert outside the Qatari capital of Doha which is home to close to 11,000 U.S. military personnel. However, with the recent visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to the Middle East, ties with Saudi Arabia have strengthened.

The Al Udeid U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) military base in Qatar was set up in 2003 after it was moved from the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. The base, which boasts a long runway of 12,500 feet, is an important facility for the U.S. as it can accommodate up to 120 aircrafts. The base in Qatar serves as logistics, command and basing hubs for the U.S. CENTCOM area of operations, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read more: CNBC

The "bloodshed must end,” President Donald Trump said of the latest deadly terrorist attack in London, but counterterrorism and law enforcement experts say efforts to curb the evolving threat of terrorism is complex and may never result in the complete eradication of such violence.

Trump's Sunday night remarks at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., were the first he delivered about the Saturday attack apart from his previous tweets, and he used them to denounce terrorists, whom he called "a vile enemy," and also to offer solidarity to exasperated U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who herself has said “enough is enough.”

But Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, the research director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, said preventing attacks in the modern era is challenging partly because of how the terrorist recruitment process has evolved in recent years, and the kind of people who are susceptible to terrorist propaganda.

Read more: ABC News

An unidentified assailant attacked a police officer near Notre Dame Cathedral on Tuesday, and the officer then shot and wounded the attacker, Paris police said.  A police union official, Cedric Michel, said a man armed with a hammer went after the police officer, who was patrolling the esplanade in front of the world-famous cathedral known for its gothic architecture and gargoyles.  Michel said the attacker was "neutralized" by police. 

A police spokesperson told The Associated Press that the officer used his weapon to shoot the assailant.  The spokesperson was not authorized to be publicly named.  He said the attacker was being taken to a hospital.  The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Large numbers of police cars filled the area on the Ile de Cite island in the Seine River in the center of Paris as authorities urged people to stay away from the area.

Paris remains under high security after a string of Islamic extremist attacks in recent years, including several targeting police officers and security personnel.  In April, an attacker opened fire on a police van on Paris' Champs Elysees, killing one and gravely wounding two others. The attacker was shot dead by police.  The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport in March.

Source: The Baltimore Sun

A gunman who killed a man and took a woman hostage before dying in a police shootout had been acquitted of plotting a terror attack at a Sydney army base years earlier, police said Tuesday.  Three police officers were wounded.  The siege Monday at an apartment building in a Melbourne suburb was being treated as an act of terror, but Victoria state police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the gunman appeared to have acted alone and not as part of any ongoing plot or threat.

The gunman, Yacqub Khayre, 29, was one of two men acquitted by a jury in 2010 of plotting a suicide attack in Sydney.  Three people were convicted of conspiracy in that plot, which police thwarted before it could be executed.  Khayre, a Somali refugee, has an extensive and violent criminal record.  He was sentenced in 2012 to 5 years in prison on convictions including aggravated burglary after beating a woman in her home.  

Khayre spoke about al-Qaida in phone calls to police and to Seven Network television, and Ashton said the gunman may have plotted to lure police into an ambush.  Police said the Melbourne siege was the fifth terrorist-linked incident in Australia since the threat level was lifted in September 2014.  Twelve other plots were disrupted.

Read more: ABC News

British police have named the third London Bridge attacker as 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba and said he is believed to be an Italian national of Moroccan descent.  Police said Tuesday he lived in east London and that his family has been notified, adding that he was not considered to be a "subject of interest" to either police or the intelligence services.  The other two attackers were named Monday as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane.

The three, who were wearing fake suicide vests, were shot dead late Saturday after ramming a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then slashing and stabbing people in nearby Borough Market. During the attack, seven people were killed and dozens more were wounded.

The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported Tuesday that Youssef Zaghba had been stopped in Italy while trying to go to Syria in 2016.   The report said Italy had put him on a watch list and flagged his presence to Moroccan and British authorities.  

The attack, the third in Britain in three months involving suspects who had been on the radar of British authorities, has raised questions over the government's ability to protect Britain following cuts to police numbers in recent years.  All three attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State group.

Read more: AP