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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Oct 10, 2018

Somali militant group al-Shabab says it has killed five men it accuses of spying - one of them for the UK. According to a jihadi website, he had admitted giving information to British intelligence services about al-Shabab supporters living in the UK. The five men, aged between 22 and 36, were shot dead in a public execution on Tuesday in an area under the control of the Islamist group. Another was said to be working for the Somali government. 

That individual is alleged to have attached a device to a vehicle in an al-Shabab convoy which had then helped American drones to carry out an air strike. Al-Shabab told Reuters news agency that three of the men were US spies who had helped guide drones to carry out strikes in Somalia.

The UK, US and Somali governments have not yet commented on the reports. The identity of the alleged British spy has not yet been confirmed, despite earlier reports that he was a British national.

Separately, local police say suspected al-Shabab militants shot dead two non-Muslim teachers at a school compound on Tuesday night in northern Kenya, close to the Somali border. BBC correspondents say it is possible they were targeted for reasons of their religion, since the militant group has singled out Christians during previous attacks in Kenya.

Read more: BBC News

European security chiefs struggled over solutions to the migrant crisis and oversaw a simulated terrorist attack on a stadium Tuesday, with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions looking on.

Elite police forces staged the anti-terrorism exercise in the French city of Lyon as part of meetings of interior ministers of six European countries plus Morocco. Sessions didn’t speak publicly at the event.

Countering terrorism, including dealing with the return of foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq, was a main topic at the closed-door meetings. The touchy subject of migration, another focus, had officials differing sharply over how best to tackle mass migration given the open internal borders within the European Union.

Poland’s interior minister, Joachim Brudzinski, said European countries are coming around to his nation’s view that “migration today, whether it’s legal or illegal, can be a threat to Europe.” He said Italy’s new populist government was among those coming around to Poland’s hard-line position.

Read more: Washington Post

In a startling disclosure, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday that agents are conducting thousands of terror investigations around the world.

"Right now, as I sit here, we're currently investigating about 5,000 terrorism cases across America and around the world and about a thousand of those cases are homegrown violent extremists and they are in all 50 states," Wray said in his prepared testimony.

He said the threat of a large scale, big city attack still exists from groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS but homegrown violence is as prevalent as ever.

Read more: ABC News

An agreement to help the US prosecute two British Islamic State suspects who could ultimately face the death penalty is not unprecedented, the UK’s security minister has said.

Ben Wallace said that although the process of mutual legal assistance in the cases of El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey had been temporarily suspended pending a high court challenge, there were two previous occasions in recent years on which the government did not seek assurances regarding the death penalty when cooperating with foreign states.

Elsheikh and Kotey, who were raised in Britain, are alleged to have been part of an Isis terrorism cell, some of whom were known as “the Beatles”, which is thought to have carried out 27 beheadings of US and UK citizens in Isis-held territory. Both have since been deprived of their UK citizenship and are being held by Kurdish forces in Syria.

Read more: The Guardian (UK)

While the exploits of ISIS may have splashed across more headlines in recent years, there is growing concern among U.S. officials that Al Qaeda (AQ) is the much more dangerous force in the Sahel region of Africa, where the group threatens American and other allied forces.

AQ in September declared it had formed a “new cell” in Burkina Faso, according to intelligence sources from the region, after splitting from an AQ-affiliated group in Mali, the JNIM. "Now they are distinguishing themselves as separate,” noted one source. “From an organizational point, that is significant when it comes to Al Qaeda.”

Several dozen cell members were said to have come into the region unarmed, the first few arriving several months ago to scope out hiding areas and attack plans. “They form the cell, then once they have a series of attacks and ‘wins,’ they make formal declarations so as to appear stronger,” the source said.

Read more: MSN