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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Keyword: domestic extremist threats & trends

Animal-rights activists Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane were arrested by the FBI today and charged with terrorizing the fur industry during cross-country road trips in which they released thousands of mink from farms around the country and vandalized various properties.

According to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed today, Buddenberg and Kissane caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage during the nationwide spree in the summer of 2013. The indictment alleges that the pair snuck onto farms and freed minks and destroyed breeding records in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania during multiple trips, and in one case they released a bobcat from a farm in Montana.

The defendants were charged under the Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. They were arrested in Oakland this morning by agents from the FBI’s San Francisco field office. The government will seek the removal of Buddenberg and Kissane to the Southern District of California to face charges.

In one instance described in the indictment, the defendants traveled from Oregon to San Diego in their 2012 Honda Fit on July 15, 2013 and used paint, paint stripper, a super glue-type substance, butyric acid, muriatic acid and glass etchant to vandalize Furs by Graf, a retail furrier located in San Diego, as well as the Spring Valley and La Mesa residences and personal property of the current and former owners of the business.

To publicize their crimes, the defendants drafted “communiqués” describing their conduct and posted them on websites associated with animal rights extremists, the indictment said.

Among some of the incidents of vandalism cited in the indictment: The defendants slashed tires of a meat distributor’s truck in San Francisco; smashed windows and glued the door locks at a furrier business in Minneapolis, Minnesota; vandalized and attempted to flood the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin home of an employee of the North American Fur Auctions.

According to the indictment, the unemployed defendants sold items on eBay and Amazon to finance their trips. To avoid detection by law enforcement, the defendants withdrew large sums of cash from their bank accounts immediately before setting off on a road trip. During the trips, they largely avoided the use of phones, used only cash for purchases and stopped logging in to known online accounts and email. Instead, they used public internet computers and encrypted email.

Once they returned from the trips, they resumed normal use of phones and computers and no longer relied solely on cash to make purchases.

“Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, there are legal ways to make your opinions known,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “The conduct alleged here, sneaking around at night, stealing property and vandalizing homes and businesses with acid, glue, and chemicals, is a form of domestic terrorism and can’t be permitted to continue.”

“Today's indictment represents the collective efforts of several FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) around the country,” said Eric S. Birnbaum, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's San Diego Field Office.  “The FBI and our JTTF partners will continue to investigate and seek the prosecution of those who engage in similar criminal conduct for the purpose of advancing their own personal agenda.”

News source: Department of Justice

 Counterterrorism investigators are trying to figure out why a 24-year-old Kuwait-born man who seemingly had a typical suburban American upbringing attacked two U.S. military sites in a shooting rampage that left four Marines dead.

Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez of Hixson, Tennessee, did not appear to have been on the radar of federal authorities before the bloodshed Thursday, officials said, and they were still searching for a motive. Abdulazeez was killed by police.

Federal authorities were looking into the possibility it was an act of terrorism but said there was no evidence yet that anyone else was involved.

For months, U.S. counterterrorism authorities have been warning of the danger of attacks by individuals inspired but not necessarily directed by the Islamic State group. Officials have said they have disrupted several such lone-wolf plots.

Read more: Associated Press

Muslim groups say a judge's decision to release from federal custody a Tennessee man accused in court records of planning an attack on a mosque in New York state represents a double standard and should be revisited.  Court records show Robert Doggart, 63, was released into home detention by a magistrate judge on $30,000 bond after he agreed to plead guilty in April to plotting an attack on "Islamberg," a self-named mostly Muslim community near Hancock, New York.

Another judge threw out the plea agreement last month.  Doggart was indicted Tuesday on a charge of soliciting another person to attack the mosque. He is accused in court records of also planning to attack a school and a cafeteria, and use automatic weapons to kill residents by last April 15. Doggart wrote that Islamberg "must be utterly destroyed" and he had contacted a militia group, according to court documents.

Doggart had not been taken into custody as of Thursday.  Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Doggart poses a threat to Muslims and shouldn't have been released. Other groups have echoed those sentiments.  "I think this case has been mishandled and it hasn't been treated with the seriousness it deserves," Hooper said. ""Unfortunately, this fits a pattern of cases in which no Muslim is involved and it is swept under the rug."

Read more: ABC News

On his Facebook page, police killer Norman Walter Raddatz posted about bylaw tickets he considered "constant harassment" by "taxation pirates," railed against the courts and government, called homosexuals "sodomites," and police "pigs."

He maintained that the capitalized spelling of a person's name on government and bank documents was part of a pervasive corporate conspiracy. "They will have to drag me to court by force. I will not voluntarily enter a corrupt admiralty court," Raddatz, 42, wrote on the social media site after receiving a bylaw ticket last summer.

Raddatz is the only suspect in the shooting death of 35-year-old police Const. Daniel Woodall in Edmonton on Monday night. Sgt. Jason Harley survived after being shot in the back. The body of a man believed to be Raddatz was found in the basement of the home after the shooting and a large fire Monday night. An autopsy is being done to confirm his identity and cause of death.

Read more: Edmonton Journal (Can)

More than a year has passed since Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy’s pack of militia supporters faced off against authorities in the Nevada desert, but police continue to glean lessons from the confrontation.

The April 12, 2014, standoff, sparked by the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to round up Bundy’s illegally grazing cattle, pitted hundreds of heavily-armed Bundy backers against a group of federal agents trying to gather the animals. Meanwhile, about two dozen Metro Police officials who showed up to help got caught in the middle.

“We left that day with a different attitude and a different thought process,” said Metro Sgt. Tom Jenkins, who is credited by the police department for helping ease tensions between the groups. “We’d never been faced with a situation where so many people were pointing guns at us.”

Jenkins shared with The Sunday the lessons he learned that day.

A 22-year veteran of the department, Jenkins thought he knew Clark County’s communities well. Jenkins, who is black, was familiar with the sovereign citizen movement of anti-government extremists, but he had a stereotyped idea of who he’d encounter that day.

“In my mind, I’m thinking of white supremacists, skinheads who hate government,” Jenkins said. “Then I see one guy who’s as dark as I am. And there are women and children. When people tell you you’re dealing with sovereign citizens, you can’t assume anything.”

Read more: Las Vegas Sun