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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jan 8, 2019

US counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia show no signs of slowing down despite a report last week that said the Pentagon plans to reduce its role there. The US military has launched four airstrikes against Shabaab during the first week of 2018.

US Africa Command, which directs operations against Shabaab – al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia and East Africa – announced that it launched two strikes against Shabaab fighters and killed four of them as they attacked Somali forces near Baqdaad just north of Mogadishu on Jan. 7. AFRICOM killed six fighters near Dheerow Sanle on Jan. 6, and 10 more in the same area on Jan. 3. 

AFRICOM has continued the increased pace of attacks against Shabaab, as well as the Islamic State’s network in Somalia, which began after the Trump administration recognized the growing threat of terrorist groups in the country. In 2017, the US launched 31 attacks against Shabaab and four more against the Islamic State. The total number of strikes in 2017 was greater than the combined number against Shabaab (30) for the previous eight years, according to data compiled by FDD’s Long War Journal. 

That number grew to 47 in 2018; all of the operations targeted Shabaab, which is the dominant terrorist insurgency group operating in Somalia.

Read more: Long War Journal

Six Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals living in Sweden have gone on trial in Stockholm accused of transferring funds to the extremist group Islamic State (IS).

Three of the Central Asian men are also charged with plotting an attack in the Scandinavian country.

The first day of the trial took place at the Stockholm district court's high-security chamber on January 7, with the defendants sitting behind a bulletproof-glass wall.

The suspects were identified in court documents as Uzbek nationals Akromion Ergashev, Bakhtior Umarov, Gulom Tadjiyev, Shoahmad Mahmudov, and David Idrisson. The Kyrgyz suspect was identified as Atabek Abdullayev.

Read more: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

President Trump's surprise announcement that he was pulling the U.S. military out of Syria came with no plan in place for what to do about more than 790 imprisoned ISIS fighters and their families. Now his administration is in a frantic search for solutions, including a renewed look at sending the most dangerous fighters to Guantanamo Bay, U.S. and congressional officials tell NBC News.

The scramble has been complicated by the fact that the timeline for the planned U.S. withdrawal keeps evolving, with Trump and his aides giving shifting descriptions of how fast the troops are leaving. The ISIS detainees are being held in Syria by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, who have warned they may have to let the ISIS fighters go if a feared onslaught by Turkish forces occurs.

Read more: NBC News

A Utah man is behind bars Friday morning, accused of plotting to set off pipe bombs on New Year's Eve.

Sgt. J.C. Holt with West Jordan Police Department told 2News that Rocky Graczyk, 40, had intentions of setting off bombs within the city of West Jordan.

"Obviously, we were concerned," Holt stated.

According to court documents, family members called police after they said Graczyk asked to borrow money to buy ammunition, guns and explosive devices.

West Jordan Police confirmed to 2News that they arrested Graczyk late Thursday evening.

Read more: KUTV

U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered only six immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in the first half of fiscal year 2018 whose names were on a federal government list of known or suspected terrorists, according to CBP data obtained by NBC News.

The low number contradicts statements by Trump administration officials, including White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders who said Friday that CBP stopped nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists from crossing the southern border in fiscal year 2018.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters on Monday the exact number, which NBC News is first to report, was classified but that she was working on making it public.

Read more: CNBC