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Terrorism News

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

A car exploded on a downtown street, killing at least one person and leading to a shelter-in-place order for nearby residents, and federal authorities are helping local officials in the investigation. The blast happened in Allentown around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Assistant Police Chief Gail Struss said early Sunday.

“We can confirm that there is at least one fatality,” she said in a statement. A news conference was planned Sunday afternoon. City and Lehigh County authorities are investigating along with state police, the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “There is not believed to be any remaining threat to public safety,” the FBI said in a message on Twitter. “We thank residents of the area for their patience as evidence is collected and secured.”

A bus station was turned into a makeshift command center with armored vehicles, dozens of police cruisers, mobile command units and even portable bathrooms, the paper reported. Several portable tents were also erected for evidence processing. Residents were asked to avoid the area, and people who live nearby were asked to shelter in place. A shelter was set up at an elementary school.

The FBI earlier said it was working with other agencies and “to assess the situation and determine the cause, with public safety the bureau’s highest priority.” Officials asked anyone who witnessed the blast or had information about it to contact investigators.

Read more: AP


 

Security forces in northern Syria’s Raqqa city said on Sunday they had uncovered an Islamic State sleeper cell which was plotting series of large attacks across the devastated city. 

Raqqa served as the de facto capital of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate until it was retaken by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia alliance last October. 

A spokesman for the Raqqa Internal Security Forces set up by the SDF said it had killed two members of an Islamic State cell and detained five others during an operation on Saturday. 

“Special forces and explosives experts carried out a counter operation .. to confront plans which were about to be executed by a terrorist cell affiliated with mercenaries of Daesh in a neighborhood in Raqqa city,” the unit’s spokesman Mohannad Ibrahim said at a news conference. 

Daesh is an Arabic acronym for Islamic State. 

Read more: Reuters

Political assassinations are rising sharply in South Africa, threatening the stability of hard-hit parts of the country and imperiling Mr. Mandela’s dream of a unified, democratic nation.

But unlike much of the political violence that upended the country in the 1990s, the recent killings are not being driven by vicious battles between rival political parties.

Quite the opposite: In most cases, A.N.C. officials are killing one another, hiring professional hit men to eliminate fellow party members in an all-or-nothing fight over money, turf and power, A.N.C. officials say.

The party once inspired generations of South Africans and captured the imagination of millions around the world — from impoverished corners of Africa to wealthy American campuses.

But corruption and divisions have flourished within the A.N.C. in recent years, stripping much of the party of its ideals. After nearly 25 years in power, party members have increasingly turned to fighting, not over competing visions for the nation, but over influential positions and the spoils that go with them.

The death toll is climbing quickly. About 90 politicians have been killed since the start of 2016, more than twice the annual rate in the 16 years before that, according to researchers at the University of Cape Town and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Crime.

The murders have swelled into such a national crisis that the police began releasing data on political killings for the first time this year, while the new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has lamented that the assassinations are tarnishing Mr. Mandela’s dream.

Read more: New York Times

Cameroon’s president says Boko Haram has been defeated in the country, the first such announcement since he declared war on the extremist group four years ago.

President Paul Biya spoke during his first visit to the Far North region since 2012 as he campaigned on Saturday ahead of the Oct. 7 election. The 85-year-old, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, has been in power since 1982 and is likely to win again as the fractured opposition has been unable to put forward a strong candidate.

Security is a major issue in Cameroon, a U.S. and French military ally, as it also faces a bloody English-language separatist movement in the southwest and northwest.

The region for years has been the target of suicide bombings and other attacks by Boko Haram fighters who spilled over the border from Nigeria, where the extremist group is based. Nearly a quarter-million people in Cameroon have been displaced.

Boko Haram has not carried out a major attack in Cameroon in the past year and the number of attacks has fallen. Its fighters continue to attack military targets and cities in Nigeria’s northeast despite repeated government declarations that it has been “crushed.”

Read more: AP

Three Saudi men accused of terrorism were killed on Wednesday after they resisted arrest in the eastern Shi’ite Muslim region of Qatif, a Saudi security spokesman said on Thursday. 

Three members of the Saudi security forces suffered light injuries, he said. The three killed “are linked to the terror incidents that happened in Qatif,” he said.

In January 2016 Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shi’ite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, one of the most vocal critics of the Al Saud royal family and a supporter of anti-government protests that erupted in the eastern region in 2011. 

His execution triggered protests in this region, where Shi’ites complain of marginalization and discrimination by the Sunni-led kingdom. Riyadh denies discrimination against Shi’ites. 

News Source: Reuters