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Terrorism News

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

The Yemen-based arm of al-Qaeda — flush with millions in ill-gotten gains — is gaining strength from the fractured nation's civil conflict and is sufficiently funded to carry out new terror attacks, according to a new report.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the terror cell behind Paris' Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015 and a descendant of the group behind the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, earns tens of millions of dollars per year and remains "well funded," according to a study by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The group derives its financing from various sources — including taxation, looting, ransoms and oil and gas sales, according to the FDD's analysis.

Read more: CNBC

To the FBI, they were part of a Minnesota militia group possibly gearing up for a violent showdown with the government.

Members of the group, called United Patriots of Minnesota 3%, say they’re nothing more than patriots defending hard-won liberties secured by a handful of forefathers who stood against tyranny.

No one has been charged in the investigation, which spilled into public view recently when a federal judge unsealed search warrants in the case. But the probe underscores the complexity of balancing protected speech with trying to root out domestic terror.

Read more: St. Cloud Times

A 26-year-old failed asylum seeker who carried out a deadly knife attack in a Hamburg supermarket likely had a "radical Islamist" motive, German prosecutors said Monday. 

"It appears that there is a radical Islamist background to the act," they said in a statement with reference to the attack on Friday.

The man, named as Ahmad A., had "self- radicalised", after having toyed with the extremist ideology for some time, said prosecutors.  Two days before he launched the attack, the suspect "finally decided to adopt a corresponding lifestyle," they said.

On Friday afternoon, the suspect entered a supermarket on a lively street in Hamburg and took a kitchen knife measuring around 20 cm (eight inches) from the shelves.  "He ripped off the packaging and then suddenly brutally attacked a 50-year-old man who later died," said deputy police chief Kathrin Hennings.

He later wounded two more men in the supermarket before fleeing, hurting four other people along the way, before he was overpowered by passers-by.

Read more; The Local.de

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) killed one Shabaab fighter in a “kinetic strike” against an al Qaeda branch in southern Somalia on July 29. The offensive is the second of its kind reported by AFRICOM over the past month.

“The U.S. conducted this operation in coordination with its regional partners as a direct response to al-Shabaab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces,” AFRICOM said.

At the end of March, The Trump administration loosened the restrictions on the US military to use force against Shabaab after the Department of Defense noted that Shabaab has become more lethal and dangerous. The group has killed hundreds of African Union and Somali forces while overrunning bases in southern Somalia, and has maintained its safe havens while expanding areas under its control during 2016.

Read more: Long War Journal

The boy did not want to see a beheading, so he held his mother’s hand tight and tried to close his eyes.  But seeing it was mandatory when the Islamic State ruled his hometown in northern Syria: If you were out on the street, you had to watch.

The boy, now 11 and a refugee in Beirut, reckons he saw 10 beheadings, and once he saw a man accused of a crime being thrown off the top of a building.  Videos of executions were shown after the executions — and children were invited to watch inside mosques.  “Some of my friends, they used to go and watch,” said the boy, who gave only his first name, Muhammad.  “They liked it.”

The one constant danger facing children is recruitment by soldiers.  The Islamic State routinely enlisted children to carry out some of its most heinous crimes, including suicide attacks, and boasted of training what it called “caliphate cubs.”  The other jihadist umbrella group, known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and believed to be linked to Al Qaeda, has also enlisted boys as young as 15, according to the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

Muhammad, the boy who escaped to Beirut to join his father, ran away from his hometown, Maskanah, after ISIS seized it.  The militants forced him to grow his hair long, but in a rebellious moment, he cut it off, and both he and his barber were hauled in for a scolding.  He talks in his sleep some nights, his father said. Muhammad tells his father about the beheadings. “  He has seen so many,” his father said. “He’s used to it.”

Read more: New York Times