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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 12, 2019

The North Carolina man charged with killing three much-admired Muslim university students pleaded guilty Wednesday, four years after the slayings.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 50, entered the plea to three counts of first-degree murder in a Durham courtroom packed with dozens of the victims' family and friends. It came two months after the new district attorney dropped plans to seek the death penalty in hopes of concluding a case that she said had languished too long.

"I've wanted to plead guilty since day one," Hicks told Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson. The judge said Hicks had agreed as part of his plea bargain to accept three consecutive life sentences without parole.

Police say that in February 2015, Hicks burst into a condo in Chapel Hill owned by 23-year-old Deah Barakat and fatally shot Barakat, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her 19-year-old sister Razan Abu-Salha.

Read more: Fox News

Yemen’s rebel Houthi movement has claimed responsibility for a cruise missile strike on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport, the group’s Al-Masirah TV channel reported early Wednesday morning.

The attack injured 26 civilians, according to representatives for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis, and came just a day after Saudi authorities said they intercepted two drones launched by the group. Abha airport is in southwestern Saudi Arabia, roughly 100 miles from the Yemeni border.

The airport is used by thousands of people daily, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, which reported that eight people were admitted for hospital treatment while 18 were discharged after receiving initial first aid. Flights were halted for several hours but have now resumed, authorities said.

Read more: CNBC

A Washington, D.C., man charged last week with selling methamphetamine to an undercover police officer allegedly had a strong support for ISIS, according to prosecutors who opposed bail for the defendant.

According to court documents, Jeremy Stevenson first came under FBI scrutiny on Jan. 19, 2017, after he had donned a mask and taunting patrons at a Washington, D.C., bar by displaying ISIS propaganda from his cell phone, including photographs of the ISIS flag and a video depicting a beheading at the hands of an ISIS militant. The incident occurred during the week of the presidential inauguration, and the FBI identified Stevenson as the perpetrator later that year.

The FBI spoke with Stevenson twice in 2017. According to court documents, the suspect defended ISIS beheadings during these interviews, comparing such acts to death sentences handed down by the U.S. criminal justice system.

Read more: NBC Washington

Critics of a Los Angeles Police Department program that identifies potential terrorist activities called for it to be dismantled Tuesday, complaining that people of some races and ethnicities are unfairly targeted.

An audit from the Police Commission’s inspector general said the LAPD mostly followed correct policy in classifying 348 reports of suspicious activity filed by community members and police in 2016 and 2017. But two dozen critics turned out at a meeting of the panel, many holding signs denouncing the program.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

On June 5th, eight Americans were quietly flown home from the former isis caliphate in Syria. The two women and six minors, whose identities were not disclosed, are now being resettled at unnamed locations with help from the U.S. government. They are not the first citizens of the Islamic State to return. Four other Americans—three men and a woman—await trials on various charges of aiding or abetting the world’s most notorious terrorist group. Three more agreed to plea deals; one has already served time and been released. A lone American opted for a trial and was sentenced to twenty years, although his case is under appeal.

They won’t be the last returnees, either. For months, the F.B.I. has been searching for Americans among the two thousand foreign fighters who surrendered or were captured on the battlefield. (After five years of war, the Islamic State finally collapsed on March 23th.) Another twenty or so Americans, including half a dozen fighters, have been identified, U.S. officials told me. Most were in prisons run by the Kurdish-led militia that defeated isis or detention camps for women and children. The U.S. intention is to bring them all home—eventually.

Read more: The New Yorker