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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 28, 2019

While the Islamic State has lost much of its foothold in Iraq and Syria over the past few years of fighting, the militant group is still a global threat with up to $300 million in its coffers, U.N. counterterrorism officials warned Tuesday.

Senior officials warned the U.N. Security Council that the group -- also identified as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh -- has influence through a network of affiliates from West Africa to Southeast Asia.

"It capitalizes on its affiliates and inspired attacks and has an estimated residual wealth of up to $300 million at its disposal," said Vladimir Voronkov, undersecretary-general for the U.N. Office of Counter-Terrorism.

Read more: UPI

YouTube is experimenting with an algorithm change to reduce the spread of what it calls “borderline content” in the UK, after a similar trial in the US resulted in a substantial drop in views.

According to the video sharing site’s chief executive, Susan Wojcicki, the move is intended to give quality content “more of a chance to shine” and has the effect of reducing views from recommendations by 50%.

YouTube has long taken action against content that violates the site’s policies, removing infringing videos and issuing “strikes” against creators that can ultimately result in them being blocked from uploading new videos.

But only recently has the company moved against content that, in Wojcicki’s words, “brushes right up against our policy line”. This sort of content is the bedrock of the fear that YouTube is a driver of extremist views worldwide: the combination of borderline content and a recommendation algorithm that rewards the most engaging content can, critics argue, cause audiences to spiral towards more radical viewing.

Read more: The Guardian (UK)

Explosions hit two police checkpoints in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing three officers and wounding several other Palestinians, the Hamas-run interior ministry said, declaring a state of emergency after the blasts.

Such attacks on Hamas, which has the most powerful armed apparatus in the enclave, were rare.

Interior ministry spokesman, Eyad Al-Bozom, said security forces were making progress in their pursuit of those behind the explosions, but he did not disclose further details.

Read more: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned Lebanon, Hezbollah's chief and the head of Iran's elite Quds Force to "be careful" with their words and actions. With tension mounting on the Israeli border, Netanyahu said Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah "knows very well that the state of Israel knows how to defend itself well, and to repay its enemies."

"I want to say to him and the Lebanese state, which is hosting this organization that aims to destroy us, and I say the same to Qassem Soleimani: Be careful about your words, and even more cautious about your actions."

He said Nasrallah should "calm down."

Read more: CBS News