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Terrorism News

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

A Maryland man who has identified himself as a Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard was found guilty Tuesday for illegally firing a weapon during last year’s volatile “Unite the Right” rally in the Charlottesville’s downtown.

Richard W. Preston Jr., 53, had planned on going to trial on the gamble that he could possibly persuade a jury that he had acted in defense of himself or others — an argument he made at earlier stages of his case.

But on Tuesday, Preston abandoned that strategy and pleaded no contest to the charge of firing a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school property. After entering his plea, prosecutors laid out the case they would have presented at trial. Immediately afterward, Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Richard E. Moore found Preston guilty.

Read more: Baltimore Sun

When Alexandre Bissonnette learned of Justin Trudeau’s now-famous tweet welcoming refugees to Canada, the waif-like 28-year-old political science student told police that he snapped.

Just hours after watching a television report suggesting Canada would accept immigrants spurned by President Trump, Mr. Bissonnette packed his Glock handgun and rifle, picked up a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, and trudged the snow-covered streets of Quebec to a nearby Islamic Cultural Center.

As 53 men were finishing evening prayers, he unloaded 48 rounds. Six people were killed — several of them by shots to the head — and 19 were injured, one paralyzed for life.

Read more: New York Times

A Minnesota congressman wants full details on what the military knows about extremist activity within its own ranks following news reports detailing at least three service members with ties to a white supremacist group.

Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat who was the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, set a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis late last week asking for information on any investigations into troops’ extremist activities and “steps currently being taken to screen recruits for extremist ties” by the end of the month. He calls the problem an urgent threat to the armed forces.

“Although Department of Defense guidance clearly prohibits discrimination and extremist behavior, it appears that some service members are still able to join and actively participate in extremist organizations,” the letter stated, adding he sees evidence that “volunteers with seemingly credible ties to the white supremacist movement are being allowed to enter the military.”

Read more: Army Times

A 31-year-old Lincoln Park man who allegedly threatened to kill the manager and patrons of several North Side gay bars was mistakenly released from Cook County Jail before being taken into custody Thursday afternoon.

Shane Sleeper, who spent two days on the loose, was arrested in February for allegedly threatening the manager of the popular gay club Sidetrack, saying that “Orlando will happen in Chicago.”

The alleged statement was thought to have been a reference to the 2016 mass killing at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, in which a gunman opened fire inside the club, killing 49 people. Sleeper had been jailed on those charges since Feb. 21.

Read more: Chicago Sun-Times

The August 2017 bombing of Bloomington’s Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center was one of the first “jobs” for an Illinois militia that came to be known as the “White Rabbits,” according to new federal charges filed Wednesday in Illinois.

Three of the four Clarence, Ill., men facing federal weapons charges in Illinois are also charged with arson in Minnesota in connection with the bombing. An Illinois grand jury on Wednesday returned a superseding indictment against all four alleged “White Rabbits” that added conspiracy and other charges.

The new indictment marks the first acknowledgment by the government of the militia’s name and alleges that the group assigned ranks to its members and stored weapons and explosives at a storefront in the tiny rural Illinois town.

Read more: Minneapolis Star Tribune