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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 28, 2018

A young New York woman pleaded guilty Monday to supporting the Islamic terror group ISIS with a scam involving bank fraud, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and money laundering authorities said.

Zoobia Shahnaz, a 27-year-old resident of Brentwood, Long Island, admitted to wiring more than $150,000 to individuals and shell entities that were fronts for ISIS in Pakistan, China and Turkey in 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.

During the same year, she was intercepted trying to leave the United States with the goal of traveling to Syria, which has been a hotbed of ISIS activity.

Read more: CNBC

A motive has yet to be determined for the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting on Nov. 7 in which 12 people and the suspect died, officials said at a news conference Tuesday at the Ventura County Sheriff's Office station in Thousand Oaks.

In one of the first major releases of information since the week the incident occurred, officials from the sheriff's office, FBI and Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office detailed how the suspect shot more than 50 rounds, described the resulting chaos and confusion and spoke about the victims' chances of survival.

"As to the motive, we are no closer to determining that today than we were at the onset of the incident," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said.

But investigators have ruled out some reasons for the rampage.

"At this point, we have no indication of radicalization but along with the sheriff's department we continue to look to identify any motive," said Paul Delacourt, assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles field office.

Read more: Ventura County Star

A driver allegedly yelled "hateful remarks regarding Jewish heritage" at two men after they left a synagogue and then tried to plow into them on a Los Angeles street, police said.

The two men, ages 37 and 57, were "suddenly and viciously attacked," Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michael Moore said at a news conference Monday.

No one was hurt, police said.

The incident unfolded at about 9:30 p.m. Friday when the two victims, standing with other congregants on the sidewalk outside the synagogue, walked down the street together, LAPD Deputy Chief Horace Frank said at Monday's news conference.

Read more: ABC News

Two Iranian citizens were charged Wednesday as part of a sophisticated international computer hacking scheme targeting U.S. city governments, hospitals and transportation systems in which victims paid $6 million in ransom for hijacked data.

Operating from inside Iran, Faramarz Shahi Savandi, 34, and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri, 27, allegedly led cyberassaults on more than 200 victims, including the cities of Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey, whose computer systems were locked down as the suspects sought payments for crucial data supporting their operating systems, federal prosecutors claimed.

In addition to the ransom payments, authorities said the attacks caused more than $30 million in losses.

There is no allegation in the court documents that the suspects, who remain fugitives, were acting as agents for the government of Iran, Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said.

According to court documents, the so-called ransomware assaults spanned a 34-month period, beginning nearly three years ago.

The court documents state that Savandi and Mansouri would demand ransoms be paid in the virtual currency Bitcoin in exchange for access to the encrypted data.

"The hackers infiltrated computer systems in 10 states and Canada and then demanded payment," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said. "The criminal activity harmed state agencies, city governments, hospitals and countless victims."

Authorities did not identify the victims who made the ransom payments for the return of the data.

Source: USA Today


 
 

A US-backed alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters is closing in on the last pocket of territory in eastern Syria controlled by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

Four years ago, IS militants overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq, proclaimed the creation of a "caliphate", and imposed their brutal rule on almost eight million people. Now, they control only about 1% of the territory they once had.

However, the US military has warned that while the jihadists are "in the final throes of their evil ambitions" they are "not yet defeated". 

One recent US report said there were still as many 14,000 IS militants in Syria and as many as 17,100 militants in Iraq, where they no longer fully control any territory.

UN experts meanwhile estimate that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 IS militants in Libya and about 4,000 in Afghanistan. The group also has a presence in South-East Asia, West Africa, Egypt's Sinai peninsula, Yemen, Somalia and the Sahel.

In Iraq and Syria many militants have shifted tactics and returned to their insurgent roots, carrying out bombings, assassinations and kidnappings while attempting to rebuild their networks.

Individuals inspired by the group's ideology continue to carry out attacks in Europe and elsewhere.

Read more: BBC News