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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 8, 2017

The European Union wants to give police new powers to obtain information from internet companies including Facebook and Google as part of new measures to fight terrorism.

The European Commission has proposed multiple ways to make it easier for police to retrieve data stored in the cloud directly from technology companies after complaints of slow investigations.

Social media companies are increasingly under pressure to assist law enforcement in the wake of terror attacks. Facebook faced intense criticism following the Westminster attack, for example, for refusing to give law enforcement access to the final WhatsApp messages Khalid Masood sent.

Read more: The Telegraph (UK)

At least 13 people are dead, including four attackers, after Boko Haram launched the deadliest attack in months on the northeast Nigeria city that is the birthplace of the extremist group, police said Thursday. The attack came just hours before a visit by the country's acting president.

Nigeria late last year declared that Boko Haram had been crushed but attacks continue, often with young women strapped into explosives for suicide attacks.  The jihadists attacked late Wednesday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, as evening prayers were ending, targeting four locations around the city. Thirteen people were killed, including four attackers, Police Commissioner Damian Chukwu said.

Extremists also clashed with soldiers outside the city in Alidawari village and Jiddari Polo suburb, where homes were set on fire, Chukwu said.  Nigerian forces killed three Boko Haram insurgents in that fighting, he said, and one attacker was captured alive.

Read more: AP

British police investigating the deadly attacks on London Bridge on Saturday said they had arrested three more suspects, as footage of the moment officers shot the assailants dead appeared online.

Counter terrorism officers, backed up by armed colleagues, arrested two men on the street in Ilford, east London, late on Wednesday, while a third was arrested at a house nearby, police said in a statement.  Two of the men, aged 27 and 29, were held on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism while the third was detained over suspected drugs offences.

Closed circuit TV footage, which appeared online and in British media, showed the attackers - Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba - cornering a victim and starting to stab him before police are seen arriving and opening fire.  

The Times newspaper also said it had obtained footage of the men laughing and joking five days before the attack as they met outside the Ummah Fitness Center, a gym in east London where Butt trained.  Earlier this week the gym put a note on its door which read: "While Mr Butt did occasionally train here at UFC gym we do not know him well nor did we see anything of concern."

Police and the security agencies are facing questions about whether they missed chances to thwart the attack.

Read more: Reuters

The UN has received reports that 231 Iraqi civilians have been killed by so-called Islamic State while attempting to flee Mosul over the past two weeks.  At least 204 are believed to have been shot dead by militants during clashes with Iraqi security forces in the Shifa district last Thursday and Saturday.

The UN Human Rights office said it had documented IS "use of civilians as human shields and its slaughter of those attempting to flee" since the start of the operation, but that recent reports indicated "a significant escalation in such killings".

On 26 May, militants reportedly shot at civilians trying to flee Shifa, killing 27 people, including 14 women and five children.  Another 163 civilians were allegedly shot dead next to a Pepsi factory in the same district last Thursday.  Their bodies were reportedly left on the street for days. 

Read more: BBC News

Heavily armed al-Shabab extremists have stormed a military base in Somalia’s semiautonomous state of Puntland, killing close to 70 people and wounding dozens more, officials said Thursday. Residents said civilians, including women, were beheaded during the rampage.

Officials called it the region’s deadliest attack in years, highlighting the twin challenges facing security forces from the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab and the growing presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State group.

The attack began with a blast at the remote Af-Urur camp, roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of the commercial hub of Bossaso, before the extremists overran the base and killed soldiers at close range, said Ahmed Mohamed, a senior military official.

Close to 70 people were killed, though an exact death toll was not yet available, Mohamed said. Abdi Hersi Ali, Puntland’s interior minister, said troops suffered causalities but he declined to give further details.

Residents in the area reported chaotic scenes, with fighters beheading several civilians they encountered. One witness, Abdibasit Hassan, said women were among those beheaded.

“The situation is grim over there. This attack was an unexpected one,” Mohamed said. The extremists, including suicide bombers, reportedly attacked the base from three directions, forcing soldiers to retreat.

Col. Hashi Ahmed, a senior military official, told The Associated Press that reinforcement troops reached the area and drove the extremists out of the camp. He estimated that at least 100 fighters were involved in the attack.

Read more:  AP