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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 25, 2019

A man and his daughter were driving down a rural highway in Anderson County, South Carolina, on January 30, 2018, when they noticed something odd—a glowing wicker basket in the middle of the road. The man stopped to examine the package. It exploded, causing minor burns to his leg.

Among the bomb remnants police found at the scene was a piece of paper with Arabic writing referencing Osama bin Laden, leading investigators toward a possible terrorism motive. Local, state, and federal law enforcement collected evidence and sent the bomb components to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, where experts looked for fingerprints, DNA, and other clues. The Laboratory’s experts provided on-scene investigators with a steady stream of actionable leads and information based on their findings.

The next day, after word of the incident got out, another resident called the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office to report he had seen a similar-looking device days earlier on a nearby bridge. He did not call police at the time, but he had taken photos of it with his cell phone. On February 4, another bomb-like object was found, placed in a black box with a letter that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and said the community was no longer safe.

A break in the case came when local police talked to a man who said he knew someone who had been practicing building bombs in his home. After additional investigation, the JTTF quickly closed in on the man, Wesley “Dallas” Ayers, 26, who lived very close to the site of the bombings.

After gathering enough evidence for a judge to approve a search warrant, investigators searched Ayers’ home that he shared with his girlfriend. The evidence was overwhelming, including identical bomb components to the ones used in the devices and exact copies of the writings that had been found at the scenes. Also among the evidence were two guns and a type of vest known to be used by suicide bombers.

Ayers’ computer history showed he had self-radicalized, consuming terrorist propaganda from Anwar al-Awlaki, Osama bin Laden, and others.

Read more: FBI

Police are as yet unsure of the motive of the attack. The accident took place in the northern German town of Struckum, roughly 50 kilometres south of the Danish border. 

While the accident took place on Monday, police only released a press release on Wednesday after an investigation. Investigators said that the passengers were fortunate that the train avoided a derailment. 

The blocks weighed approximately 80 kilograms, with a spokesperson for the police indicating they may have been placed in order to puncture or otherwise damage the train’s fuel tank. 

The train – a regional express – was travelling at approximately 100 kilometres per hour in the direction of the holiday island of Sylt, when passengers heard a loud bang. 

The driver, who had been unable to see the concrete slabs, immediately stopped the train and activated the emergency alarm. The train was damaged in the incident.

Although the driver or the passengers of the train did not see the perpetrators, they managed to place more concrete slabs on the tracks after the incident. 

Federal police discovered the new obstructions not far from where the accident had occurred, saying that they appear to have been intended to cause more damage. The police are currently looking for witnesses who may have seen something suspicious around the time of the attack. 

Earlier this year German and Austrian authorities arrested an Iraqi man suspected of committing "terrorist attacks" by sabotaging railway lines in 2018.

The man was suspected of having strung a steel rope across the tracks running between the southern German cities of Munich and Nuremberg, damaging the front window of a high speed ICE train in October last year.

In another case in December last year, cement blocks were put on the tracks. Islamic State (IS) flags and writings in Arabic were found near the crime scenes, Vienna prosecutors said at the time.

Source: The Local.De

After pleading guilty to a terrorism charge for recruiting for ISIS in 2017, a New Jersey native began cooperating with U.S. authorities. But even as she was cooperating, authorities say, she was still secretly in contact with supporters of the terrorist organization, federal authorities said.

After pleading guilty to new charges in March, Sinmyah Amera Ceasar, a Brooklyn resident, was back in the Eastern District of New York court Monday to face sentencing on recruiting for ISIS and obstruction of justice charges.

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The U.N.'s human rights chief says there are only two options for dealing with the tens of thousands of suspected ISIS fighters currently detained in Syria and Iraq: They must be either tried or let go, and their families cannot be detained indefinitely.

Some 55,000 suspected ISIS fighters and their family members have been swept up and detained since ISIS was effectively toppled and lost control of its territory, the U.N. says.

"It must be clear that all individuals who are suspected of crimes — whatever their country of origin, and whatever the nature of the crime — should face investigation and prosecution, with due process guarantees," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said. She also warned that flawed trials "can only serve the narrative of grievance and revenge."

Read more: NPR

A man described as having a “strong historical extremist pedigree” has said he had limited contact with the ringleader of the London Bridge terror attackers, despite owning both the gym and school where he worked and the existence of hundreds of text messages between the pair’s phones.

Sajeel Shahid, who has repeatedly refused to be questioned by police about the attacks, set up Ummah Fitness Centre (UFC) and Ad-Deen primary school, both in Ilford, east London.

Khuram Butt, who with Rachid Redouane and Youseff Zaghba killed eight people on the night of 3 June 2017, worked at both locations. Redouane also worked at the gym and Zaghba worked at the school.

Read more: The Guardian