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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Feb 27, 2019

Pakistan’s military said Wednesday that it shot down two Indian fighter jets that had entered Pakistani airspace, capturing two pilots, in an escalation of hostilities just a day after Indian fighter jets crossed the disputed Kashmir region to launch an airstrike within Pakistan.

India’s government confirmed later Wednesday that one of its MiG-21 fighter jets had been “lost” as it thwarted an attempt by Pakistan’s air force to strike an unspecified target inside India. In the engagement, a Pakistani aircraft was shot down by an Indian fighter jet, New Delhi claimed.

“We have unfortunately lost one MiG-21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” Raveesh Kumar said at a news conference in New Delhi, the chief spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

Read more: New York Times

A federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday sentenced a 23-year-old Oakland man to 15 years and eight months in prison for attempting to aid a foreign terrorist organization -- namely, the Islamic State -- by setting up social media accounts.

Amer Alhaggagi pleaded guilty to the charge before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer last year.

The sentence imposed by Breyer also included two years for charges of identify theft and creation of a fraudulent credit card to which Alhaggagi also pleaded guilty.

Breyer said that he found the most disturbing aspect of the case to be Alhaggagi's "total lack of empathy" for potential victims of never-completed bombing plots he discussed with an undercover FBI agent in 2016.

Read more: NBC Bay Area

There’s more legal trouble for an Alabama man who was arrested in 2017 after allegedly creating several homemade bombs, one of which injured a victim when it exploded and destroyed a vehicle.

In addition to state charges, suspect Sylvio Joseph King, 45, of Dothan, is now facing federal charges.

U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr., ATF Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson, Houston County Sheriff Don Valenza, and Dothan Police Chief Steven Parrish announced the federal indictment against King on Tuesday after he appeared for an initial federal court hearing in Montgomery.

The new charges are for improperly possessing and maliciously using an explosive device, Franklin said.

Read more: WSFA

Around 40,000 civilians have left the last shred of territory controlled by Islamic State in Syria, an official with the U.S.-backed force trying to defeat the jihadists said on Wednesday, surpassing initial estimates and delaying a final assault.

The figure comprises people displaced from Hajin, a town on the Euphrates River that the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured in December, and adjacent Baghouz, which they have completely surrounded, said spokesman Mustafa Bali.

The SDF is waiting to complete the evacuation before storming Baghouz or forcing a surrender, but there was no sign on Wednesday of it ending imminently. Dozens of trucks ferried more civilians out along dirt track roads on Tuesday.

Since the SDF announced its final assault on Baghouz on Feb. 9, about 15,000 people have come out of the area, a cluster of hamlets surrounded by farmland near the Iraqi border, Bali said.

Read more: US News & World Report

Nearly eight years ago, the Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik set the bar for what an individual terrorist could accomplish—detonating a truck bomb in Oslo that killed eight, then murdering 69 more, mostly teenagers, with semiautomatic weapons in another nearby location. All this was done in the name of a twisted ideology he had compiled largely from the internet, cobbled together into a sprawling, 1,518-page tract titled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” in which he raged against multiculturalism, liberalism, and Muslims, while describing his attack preparations in considerable detail.

Breivik was not the first high-profile, lone-actor terrorist to publish his motivations at length—that distinction belongs to Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber. Breivik’s innovation was operational rather than ideological: the deadliest lone-actor terrorist attack in history. Breivik’s success was always destined to cast a long shadow, and its implications are now becoming depressingly clear.

Read more: The Atlantic