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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Oct 2, 2018

Four members of a militant white supremacist group who engaged in "street battle" at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last year were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the violent marches, according to federal prosecutors.

The men, all part of the Rise Above Movement, or RAM, according to a criminal complaint, who flew from California to Virginia to take part in the rally, "assaulted an African-American man, two females and a minister wearing a clerical collar," among others, said the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Thomas T. Cullen.

The four men — Benjamin Daley, 25, and Thomas Gillen, 34, both of Redondo Beach, California; Michael Miselis, 29, of Lawndale, California; and Cole White, 24, of Clayton, California — have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the federal riots statute and one count of violating the statute.

Read more: NBC News

Ibrahim Abbas had planned to run at Australians "slicing their necks" and "chopping to kill" as they celebrated Christmas in Melbourne's Federation Square, a terror trial has heard.

Abbas told police his goal was to "cause as much chaos, destruction, fear, bloodshed" as possible, believing it was "fine" for him to kill Australians because Australia supported the fight against Islamic State which had killed innocent Muslims.

Despite admitting his plan to police and pleading guilty in the Supreme Court, Abbas now claims much of his plot was made up on the spot and the details were "hugely exaggerated."

Chilling details of the plot were revealed in court on Tuesday as he gave evidence against his younger brother Hamza Abbas, 23, cousin Abdullah Chaarani, 27, and Ahmed Mohamed, 25, who are accused of conspiring to prepare an attack on revellers on Christmas Day 2016.

Read more: 9 News (Australia)

Two pieces of mail delivered to the Pentagon mail facility on Monday have initially tested positive for ricin, according to a US defense official.

The two suspicious envelopes were addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and to Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, the official told CNN.  The mail facility is in a separate building on the grounds of the Pentagon and the piece of mail which tested positive never entered the Pentagon building.

All US Postal Service mail received at the Pentagon mail screening facility on Monday is currently under quarantine and poses no threat to Pentagon personnel, according to Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning.

Read more: CNN

A suicide bomber attacked an election rally on Tuesday in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, killing at least 14 people and once again highlighting security concerns as candidates prepare for an Oct. 20 parliamentary vote amid a raging war.

The attack struck at a gathering of about 300 supporters of the candidate Nasir Mohmand in Nangarhar’s Kama district. Najibullah Kamawal, the province’s director of public health, said at least 43 others were wounded. Officials feared the toll could rise.

Mr. Mohmand survived, but with more than two weeks until Election Day, at least other seven candidates have already been killed across Afghanistan.

Nangarhar has seen a drastic increase in violence in recent years, with the emergence of the Islamic State, which has its foothold in the province, adding to insecurity caused by the Taliban. Corruption and a heavy infiltration of mafia have complicated the situation, so much so that after back-to-back suicide bombings in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, the government recently changed all senior police officials and handed control of security to the army.

In a separate incident on Tuesday in the province’s Bati Kot District, explosives placed in a cricket field wounded seven children, according to Attaullah Khogyani, the spokesman for the provincial governor of Nangarhar. The children were aged between 12 and 15, and the condition of two was critical, he said.

The parliamentary election, delayed by three years, comes amid rising violence nationwide. Nearly half of Afghan territory is controlled or influenced by a resurgent Taliban, forcing one-third of the polling stations to remain shut on Election Day. The Islamic State continues to claim deadly attacks in urban centers.

Read more: New York Times

Around 200 French police officers launched a major counter-terrorism raid in northern France on Tuesday targeting a Muslim Association suspected of supporting terror groups. The raid was carried out in the town of Grande-Synthe, near the port city of Dunkirk in the far north of France.

Around 200 police officers including members of specialist counter-terrorism units were involved in the operation that targeted the Shiite Muslim Association Centre Zahra France. Police raided the homes of the association's leaders and made 11 arrests in total following 12 separate operations.

The association has been on the radar of anti-terrorism investigators in France due to alleged support for jihadist groups. French authorities also froze the financial assets of the centre which is headed by Yahia Gouasmi, who is known for his anti-Zionist views and links to Iran. 

Police have been closely following the activities of the Zahra Centre "because of the strong support by its leaders for several terrorist organisations and in favour of movements backing ideas that are contrary to the values" of France. On its website, the association says its purpose since its foundation in 2009 has been "to make known the message of Islam through the eyes of the Prophet and his family."

It was unclear whether the arrests were linked to a suspected plot in France to bomb a gathering of Iranian opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in June. Police swooped on six people in Belgium, France and Germany after authorities revealed the alleged plot, including an Iranian diplomat. 

France is still on high alert after a wave of Islamist attacks since 2015 in which 246 people have lost their lives.

Read more: The Local.fr