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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 6, 2019

The FBI is opening a domestic terrorism investigation into the shooting that killed three people and injured 13 others at a popular California food festival.

The gunman, Santino William Legan, killed three people, two of them children, and wounded 13 others with a Romanian-made AK-47 variant rifle at the festival before turning the gun on himself.

Describing Legan's ideology as "fractured," John Bennett said the FBI was continuing to dig through his online presence.

"He appeared to have an interest in variant, competing, violent ideologies," Bennett said.

Read more: USA Today

The FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), which represents more than 14,000 active and former bureau agents, called on Congress Tuesday to make domestic terrorism a federal crime.

“Domestic terrorism is a threat to the American people and our democracy. Acts of violence intended to intimidate civilian populations or to influence or affect government policy should be prosecuted as domestic terrorism regardless of the ideology behind them,” FBIAA President Brian O’Hare said in a statement.

“FBIAA continues to urge Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime. This would ensure that FBI Agents and prosecutors have the best tools to fight domestic terrorism,” he added.

The statement came in the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that between them killed at least 31 people.

The suspect in the El Paso shooting has been tied to a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto posted online shortly before the attack.

The incidents have also led to scrutiny of what critics say is insufficient focus by the Trump administration on the threat posed by white supremacist violence.

In letters Monday, Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) asked FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General William Barr for further information on how they track, categorize and share domestic terror-related information, noting that they failed to respond to an earlier letter in May.

“Since the date of our request, there have been numerous mass attacks, including Virginia Beach, VA; Gilroy, CA; El, Paso, TX; and Dayton, OH. ... These continued mass attacks make it clear that the federal government has more work to do in preventing domestic terrorism," the two wrote.

Source: The Hill

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan responded to a report Tuesday that an initiative focused on targeted violence and terrorism prevention has about a quarter of the staff and an eighth of the budget of a similar program in the Obama administration. "We need to invest more — no question," McAleenan said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

"I've asked Congress for an out-of-cycle budget request to help bolster it and increase our reach and capability. But it doesn't cover the level and scope of effort across the Department of Homeland Security enterprise," McAleenan said, adding the Secret Service reaches out to communities about what threat indicators to look out for and the department provides active shooter training to cities around the country.

There have been more than 250 mass shootings so far this year in the U.S., more than the number of days in the year thus far. At least 31 people were killed and scores were hurt in two mass shootings last weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.  

Read more: CBS News

There are significant differences between the Islamic State and the white nationalist terrorists who have been ramping up attacks in the U.S., but "the parallels are stunning," terrorism expert Will McCants tells The New York Times. In fact, writes Max Fisher at the Times, "white nationalist terrorism is following a progression eerily similar to that of jihadism under the leadership of the Islamic State, in ways that do much to explain why the attacks have suddenly grown so frequent and deadly."

The parallels include an apocalyptic ideology that promotes a world-consuming civilizational conflict — for ISIS, Muslims versus the West; for white nationalists, nonwhites versus whites — showy and indiscriminate murders recorded and shared over social media, purportedly to hasten this global battle as well as recruit and radicalize new adherents, and new forms of communication that allow such violent ideologies to spread virulently, typically among young male loners.

Read more: The Week

An Arkansas man has plead guilty to sending threatening letters to judges and other federal personnel in Memphis.

Back in March 2018, court documents show the United States Clerk's Office for the Western District of Tennessee received a bomb and violence threat in the mail in the 160 block of North Main Street.

Patrick Hayden, 32, from Charleston, Arkansas plead guilty to sending the letters.

Officials said an envelope postmarked March 2, 2018 was forwarded from inmate Arron Lewis from Marianna, Arkansas.

Investigators said the envelope contained several letters from four Arkansas state inmates and a note stating ‘"federal employees there is a bomb in the building! 901 confederates #savethestatues."

Read more: Fox 13 Memphis