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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 20, 2018

German security officials say left-wing extremists have become more willing to use violence over the past five years.

Figures released by the domestic intelligence agency BfV on Wednesday show the number of left-wing extremists whom authorities consider potentially violent rose 27 percent from 7,100 to about 9,000 between 2012 and 2017.

The number of violent crimes committed by left-wing extremists rose 88 percent during that period, to 1,648 from 876.

Read more: Minneapolis Star Tribune

A call from the public was key to foiling an Islamic extremist's plan to use the toxin ricin to carry out a deadly attack in Germany, security officials said Wednesday.

The head of the country's domestic intelligence agency said a phone-in tip helped authorities confirm their suspicions about a 29-year-old Tunisian man in the city of Cologne. The suspect, named only as Sief Allah H. in line with German privacy laws, was arrested last week and remains in custody.

Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the BfV intelligence agency, said the alleged plot showed that the danger of an attack in Germany remains high.

According to federal prosecutors, about 3,150 castor bean seeds and 84.3 milligrams of ricin were found in the suspect's apartment along with the components needed to make a bomb.

Read more: Chicago Tribune

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will soon expand a policy that gives extra screening to canisters containing powders to foreign airports that send flights to the United States.

The security agency began having its screeners watch for powder containers last summer, mindful that potentially hazardous materials could be smuggled onto jetliners in that fashion. Screeners are watching for canisters that hold more than 350 milliliters, or about the size of a soda can.

Starting Wednesday, TSA and airlines began an awareness campaign to explain the change. And starting June 30, the agency will ask foreign airports with direct flights to the United States to do the same.

The rule asks passengers to pack larger containers of powder in checked luggage instead of carry-on bags.

The agency said the change is not a ban on powder cans, but screeners could confiscate them at security checkpoints if they are found in carry-on luggage.

Products like baby powder, protein mixes and spices will be allowed in large containers in checked luggage. Gun powder is prohibited from checked or carry-on luggage.

The change addresses concerns that bomb-making elements, weaponized materials or drugs could be smuggled onto planes disguised in the powder canisters.


Read more:  UPI

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants launched a rocket attack on military vehicles on Wednesday, killing two soldiers and wounding another, the local governor’s office said, the latest in a series of attacks in southeast Turkey this week.

The attacks come ahead of nationwide elections on Sunday and coincide with an upswing in Turkish air strikes targeting PKK bases in northern Iraq, notably its stronghold in the Qandil mountain region.

Ankara has recently stepped up warnings of a potential ground offensive into the Qandil region, where high-ranking PKK members are believed to be located. President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to “drain the terror swamp” there.

“Members of the separatist terror group carried out a rocket attack in which two military personnel were martyred and one wounded,” the Hakkari provincial governor’s office said, using Ankara’s term for the PKK.

The attack on Wednesday morning targeted military vehicles leaving a hillside base in Hakkari’s Cukurca district, on the border with Iraq, it said.


Read more:  Reuters

Taliban militants killed 30 Afghan soldiers and captured a military base in the western province of Badghis on Wednesday, the provincial governor said, their first major attack since a ceasefire for the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The three-day Taliban ceasefire ended on Sunday.

Provincial governor Abdul Ghafoor Malikzai said the Taliban attacked two security posts in the early hours. Abdul Aziz Bek, head of the Badghis provincial council, said one military base was targeted, in the district of Balamerghab.

“Large numbers of Taliban came from several directions,” Bek said. “After hours of heavy fighting 30 Afghan security forces were killed and the Taliban captured the base.”

Fifteen Taliban were killed in other areas of the province overnight, he said, adding that the militants prepared their attacks and did reconnaissance of the area during their ceasefire.

The Taliban said heavy fighting was continuing and that so far “tens” of soldiers had been killed.


Read more:  Reuters