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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 20, 2019

A Florida city's council voted to pay a ransom of $600,000 in Bitcoin to hackers that targeted its computer systems — and the payout is a sign of how unprepared much of the US is to deal with a coming wave of cyberattacks. 

The city council of Riviera Beach, Florida, 50 miles north of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, voted on Monday to meet the demands of its hackers in hope of getting back the city's compromised data, CBS News reported. 

According to The Palm Beach Post, the attack began on May 29, when a employee from the police department opened an email attachment that contained malware. 

The software quickly spread through the city's computer systems, affecting its email system and even the 911 dispatch operations. 

Riviera Beach is a stark example but far from the only US city to be crippled by a cyberattack. 

Security experts in the federal government and the private sector have repeatedly warned that much of the US public infrastructure is dangerously exposed to cyberattacks, but many institutions have been slow to respond. 

Baltimore is one of the highest-profile victims and has spent much of the past month paralyzed by a cyberattack that froze a large chunk of its computer network. 

The attack began in early May, shutting down infrastructure for its email systems and the payment of water bills. 

As recently as June 12, local media reported that 30% of city employees still had no email access, and many services would not return to full functionality for months. The city's latest estimate is that the attack has cost it more than $18 million. 

Read more: Business Insider

The FBI on Wednesday arrested a 21-year-old Syrian refugee living in Pittsburgh, accusing him of planning to bomb a church in the name of ISIS.

Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, who was admitted into the country as a refugee in 2016, bought bomb-making materials and cased escape routes from the church, according to a criminal complaint.

Alowemer also shared marked-up satellite maps of the area around the building and a multi-point plan for the attack he'd written out by hand with an FBI informant and undercover agent, the complaint says.

Read more: CNN

European leaders have hammered the United States for nearly two decades about the injustice of Guantanamo Bay, where prisoners are held indefinitely at a detention camp outside the normal U.S. justice system.

But faced with what to do about European nationals who went to fight for the Islamic State and ended up in Syrian detention camps, the continent’s leaders are proving reluctant to bring their citizens to trial at home.

Three months after the collapse of the Islamic State, about 2,000 foreign fighters are imprisoned in Syria and Iraq, and about 800 of them are believed to be European, according to U.S. officials. Those figures don’t include the thousands of wives and children with foreign citizenship.

Read more: Washington Post

Months before Ismail Hamed declared allegiance to ISIS, before he brandished a knife at a Fountain Hills deputy on January 7, prompting the cop to shoot him to the ground, before he racked up a pair of terrorism charges for which he faces decades in prison, the 18-year-old texted a friend: "Islam is the red pilled faith."

Hamed's message stands out for its blurring of two extremist ideologies, both of which he appears to have immersed himself in prior to his alleged attack on Maricopa County Deputy Sergeant Brandon Wells.

Read more: Phoenix News Times

Spanish police on Tuesday detained 10 nationals of Syrian origin accused of financing "Al Qaeda terrorist militia" in Syria, the interior ministry and a source close to the probe said.

With Europol's collaboration, more than 350 agents took part in an operation in Madrid, further south in Toledo and the eastern province of Valencia.

Fourteen homes and other premises were searched by officers.

The source, who refused to be named, said the detainees were Spanish of Syrian origin.

Read more: France 24