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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 9, 2019

While the US has been pulling back, the Islamic State (ISIS) has moved forward with its plan to continue waging guerrilla warfare. 

ISIS describes its “overarching strategy” for its “desert-based insurgency” as consisting of three parts: “sahara” (desert), “sahwat” (meaning awakenings — a derogatory reference to any Sunni Muslims who oppose the group), and “sawlat” (“hit-and-run operations”). This is according to CJTF-OIR, which submitted responses to the inspector general office’s questions. 

Therefore, whereas the Islamic State had once proclaimed that is territorial caliphate was “remaining and expanding,” the group quickly returned to its insurgent roots after losing its turf, conducting guerrilla-style warfare against all of its enemies in the region. 

According to the inspector general’s report, CJTF-OIR highlighted five “Sunni-majority provinces” in Iraq where the group captured ground in 2014 and now carries out regular attacks. As is the case with other insurgents of the past and present, ISIS draws “popular support” to a large extent from “isolated and rural areas” outside of the security forces’ reach.

As in Iraq, ISIS continues to pick its spots in Syria, seeking to undermine rival authorities. According to US Central Command (CENTCOM), ISIS’s “strategy in Syria is to create turmoil in territory that it has lost to challenge ruling authorities and assert its power.” In both countries, ISIS focuses “on assassinations and the burning of fields of crops” — operations that have been trumpeted in the group’s media. 

Read more: Long War Journal  

The operator of a network of businesses in Lebanon and Africa whom the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated as a financier of  Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist group, was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to forfeit $50 million by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton of the District of Columbia.

Kassim Tajideen, 63, had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in furtherance of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).  In 2009, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Tajideen as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist based on his tens of millions of dollars of financial support of Hezbollah.  The designation prohibited Tajideen from being involved in, or benefiting from, transactions involving U.S. persons or companies without a license from the Department of the Treasury.

“This defendant knowingly violated sanctions and put our nation’s security at risk,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Criminal Division.  “His sentencing and the $50 million forfeiture in this case are just the latest public examples of the Department of Justice’s ongoing efforts to disrupt and dismantle Hezbollah and its support networks.”

Read more: Department of Justice

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Joseph Maguire, the current chief of the National Counterterrorism Center, will become the acting director of national intelligence.

Trump’s announcement on Twitter came after the deputy director of national intelligence, Sue Gordon, resigned. She said in a note to Trump that stepping down was not her “preference,” but added, “You should have your team.”

Trump said Maguire will take over the acting post on Aug. 15, when Dan Coats, the current director of the agency overseeing civilian and military intelligence, steps down.

“Admiral Maguire has a long and distinguished career in the military, retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2010,” Trump said on Twitter.

Read more: Reuters

The FBI has labeled two of those attacks , at a Texas Walmart and California food festival, as domestic terrorism — acts meant to intimidate or coerce a civilian population and affect government policy. But the bureau hasn’t gone that far with a shooting at an Ohio entertainment district.

Even if there’s a domestic terrorism investigation, no specific domestic terrorism law exists in the federal criminal code. That means the Justice Department must rely on other laws such as hate crimes and weapons offenses in cases of politically motivated shootings.

The legal gap has prompted many survivors, victims’ families, law enforcement officials and legal experts to call on lawmakers to create a domestic terrorism law that could aid investigators and punish perpetrators.

Read more: AP

Egypt’s interior ministry said on Thursday it has identified the perpetrator behind a car bombing outside Cairo’s main cancer hospital this week that killed more than 20 and injured dozens.

It also said security forces killed 17 suspected militants on Thursday morning during raids on their hideouts in three separate incidents in Helwan, Cairo and in the province of Fayoum, south of Cairo.

The ministry said the bomber was a member of the militant group Hasm and identified him as fugitive 24-year-old Abdel Rahman Khaled Mahmoud Abdel Rahman.

Read more: Reuters