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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 27, 2018

A major shipping route located between Oman and Iran where nearly one-third of the world's sea-traded oil passes through daily may become a new flashpoint after a top Iranian Navy general said Monday that the country has taken full control of the Strait of Hormuz.

The head of the navy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Alireza Tangsiri, said that Iran had full control of both the Persian Gulf itself and the Strait of Hormuz that leads into it, Reuters reported.

The strait, which at its narrowest point is 21 miles wide, has shipping lanes that are 2 miles wide in each direction and is the only sea passage from many of the world's largest oil producers to the Indian Ocean.

Read more: Fox News

A former Elkhart mother provided funds and supplies, including tactical gear, to ISIS fighters, according to an indictment.

Samantha Marie Elhassani, also known as Samantha Sally, was charged Wednesday in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to provide material to support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, and aiding and abetting individuals in providing material support to ISIS.

“My office is committed to aggressively pursuing and prosecuting those who support designated terrorist organizations such as ISIS,” U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II said in a release. “...The indictment alleges that Elhassani traveled abroad and provided funds and supplies for use by two ISIS fighters. The seriousness of the charges reflect the gravity of Elhassani’s alleged conduct.”

Elhassani, 32, appeared in Hammond’s federal court last month on a previous indictment accusing her of lying to the FBI on March 19, 2015, in the Northern District of Indiana. Elhassani pleaded not guilty.

Read more: Chicago Tribune

Afghan security forces ceded control of the district of Ghormach in Faryab province after being besieged by the Taliban. The Afghan military’s weak grip on remote areas of the country forced the government to punt again on another district.

Ghormach “completely fell into the hands of Taliban insurgents on Monday after security forces exited the town,” Pajhwok Afghan News reported, based on comments by anonymous Afghan officials. The Taliban ambushed Afghan forces as they left the district and killed three soldiers, according to ATN News. Afghan military officials claimed that 50 Taliban fighters, including two commanders, were killed in retaliatory airstrikes.

The Taliban, in a statement on its official website, Voice of Jihad, reported that “those enemy troops who were under siege of Mujahideen for the last one year following the conquest of Ghormach district center and other installations, fled earlier today through invaders aircraft, bringing the whole district under complete control of Mujahideen.”

Ghormach has switched hands several times in the past year. Most recently, the Taliban overran Ghormach in Aug. 2017. Afghan forces were able to retake the district center, but held little else in the district. The Taliban surrounded the administrative seat and besieged Afghan forces stationed there.

 

Read more:  Long War Journal

Islamic State has lost most of the territory it once held in Syria and Iraq. It is vying for survival with other, sometimes stronger, extremist groups. But one sphere where Islamic State still reigns supreme among terrorists is in cyberspace.

The group’s vast online presence is a critical recruitment and marketing tool that has helped it build a brutish brand using propaganda and sometimes false claims. Maintaining the perception that Islamic State can shape the actions of loyalists has become all the more important as its territorial control, or self-declared caliphate, has almost completely collapsed.

The latest example of the role of such online propaganda came on Thursday, when Islamic State’s official news outlet claimed that a man who stabbed his mother and sister to death in France had responded to its calls to attack citizens of countries that are part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the group. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb disputed the statement, saying the perpetrator was mentally unstable.

That claim came a day after Islamic State released what it said was a recording of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the first in nearly a year, calling for supporters abroad to continue attacks on Western cities.

 

Read more:  The Wall Street Journal

Police searched on Monday for a motive in the third mass shooting in Florida in two years, which left two people dead and 11 wounded in Jacksonville, before the gunman killed himself at a video game tournament.

Witnesses told local media that the gunman, identified by police as David Katz, 24, of Baltimore, was a disgruntled gamer, angry because he lost Sunday’s tournament. It was not clear if he knew his victims.

While police have not identified the victims, family members told Jacksonville CBS television station WJAX that the two people killed were Eli Clayton and Taylor Robertson, both were video game contestants.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office said 11 other people were wounded by gunfire and at least two others were injured while fleeing the scene of Sunday’s shooting.

Police say Katz killed himself and his body was found near the bodies of two shot dead at The Landing, a popular riverside shopping and restaurant spot in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams declined Sunday to comment on possible reasons for the attack.

Police and FBI agents swarmed Katz’s upscale townhouse in South Baltimore late on Sunday, multiple media accounts said, including the Baltimore Sun.

Police also seized Katz’s vehicle parked nearby the tournament site.

 

Read more:  Reuters