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Terrorism News

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

A skeletal portrait of the Sterling, Va., man federal authorities have accused of obstructing a terrorism investigation began to come into focus on Monday — that of a directionless youth who converted to Islam at the end of high school, married a significantly older Muslim woman, had a child who died as an infant, and became increasingly religious until an arrest Friday that allegedly included him destroying a computer thumb drive that authorities suspect may have contained evidence of terrorism-related activity.

In the months before that arrest, court filings allege, Sean Andrew Duncan, 21, who will appear in federal court on Tuesday, acted in a manner that was “indicative of an individual planning and researching how to conduct an attack,” including research into materials relating to the Islamic State, terrorist attacks, weapons, surveillance tactics and body armor.

Now, family members are struggling to reconcile the man they had believed Duncan to be with the one federal agents say he had become. 

Read more: Washington Post
 

The cryptocurrency called bitcoin is increasingly popular among members of the far right, according The Washington Post.

Bitcoin, which has seen a rollercoaster rise and fall in price over the last few weeks, offers its users fast transactions and anonymity, which something increasingly enticing for those on radical ends of the political spectrum.

The Post notes that after the violent clashes in Charlottesville over the summer, the need for under-the-radar currency like bitcoin gained a new sense of urgency as groups looked to find ways to dodge and operate beyond the reach of the federal government. Richard Spencer, a white nationalist and leader of the alt-right movement, has endorsed the cryptocurrency, tweeting in March that "Bitcoin is the currency of the alt right."

Read more: CBS News

The man who authorities say was killed after attempting to gun down several police officers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, "is not a terrorist," a family member told ABC News on Saturday.

A day after Ahmed El-Mofty allegedly opened fire in what officials said was a deliberate attack on multiple police officers Friday, Ahmed Soweilam told ABC News that El-Mofty was a timid family man.

"He is a chicken," Soweilam, who described himself as El-Mofty's ex-brother-in-law, said. "He is not a terrorist."

He said the 51-year-old El-Mofty was a native of Egypt and had two children with his wife, from whom he has been estranged for about six years.

El-Mofty shot at police from at three locations in Pennsylvania's capital before responding police officers shot and killed him, Dauphin County prosecutors said.

One officer was injured in the shootings, but her injuries are considered non-life-threatening and she was reportedly "doing well," Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said.

Marisco also told ABC News that his office is trying to determine whether El-Mofty's attacks on law enforcement officers were motivated by terrorism.

 

Read more:  ABC News

The man convicted of planting pressure-cooker bombs in Manhattan last year has been trying to radicalize fellow inmates, providing them with bomb-making instructions, the al Qaeda magazine Inspire and speeches by Osama bin Laden, prosecutors said on Friday.

The disclosures came in a letter from the U.S. Attorney's office to federal judge Richard Berman requesting a hearing on legal representation for Ahmad Rahimi — who says he is on a hunger strike because his family hasn't been able to visit.

The letter says since October, while awaiting sentencing at the Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan, Rahimi "distributed extremist material to other inmates" he met during Friday prayer sessions.

The materials had been found on Rahimi's electronic devices after his arrest for the Chelsea blast that injured 30 people and two other unexploded bombs. They were given to him as pre-trial discovery materials while he was being held in the federal lockup, according to the letter from prosecutors.

"The defendant allowed the inmates to view these materials on his laptop, and also provided some of them with electronic copies," prosecutors said, adding they had recovered the copies from two inmates' electronics.

One of those inmates was identified as alleged ISIS sympathizer Sajmir Alimehmeti. Officials had previously disclosed that they found "terrorist propaganda" belonging to Rahimi on a hard drive in Alimehmeti's locker in the jail law library, where prisoners are allowed to examine the evidence against them.

 

Read more:  NBC News