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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Keyword: policy support

France will host a high-level meeting on the crisis in Iraq and Syria on June 2, the government announced Wednesday, as the international community battles to stem the advance of the Islamic State group.  French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced at a cabinet meeting "that there would be a meeting in Paris on the whole situation in Syria and Iraq," adding that US Secretary of State John Kerry would attend.

Some 24 ministers -- including German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier -- will also travel to the French capital, as well as representatives from top international organisations, diplomatic sources said.  The announcement of the meeting came as Islamic State fighters overran part of the historic Syrian city of Palmyra.

Read more: Yahoo News

Sweden's Financial Supervisory Authority on Tuesday fined the country's two biggest banks for negligence in their work to prevent money laundering and terror financing.  The FSA fined Nordea 50 million kronor (5.4 million euros, $6.0 million), and Handelsbanken 35 million kronor.

The agency was scathing in its criticism of Nordea.  "Nordea has not complied with the money laundering rules for several years. The bank has not evaluated the risks associated with various customer groups and in some cases has been unaware of whether they actually have high risk customers," the FSA said in a statement.  "This means that if people have tried to launder money or finance terrorism that they could have done so without Nordea having been able to detect this. This is very serious," it said.

The deficiencies at Handelsbanken were considered less serious, the FSA said. While it handed down a warning on Nordea, it gave Handelsbanken a "remark".  "Handelsbanken has not complied with the money laundering rules in several areas," it said.  "These deficiencies are significant and mean that Handelsbanken ran a high risk of being used by people to launder money or finance terrorism," it added.

Read more: Yahoo News

The FBI on Thursday arrested an Iraqi-born American citizen in Texas, alleging he traveled to Syria to fight with ISIS terrorists and returned to the U.S.  The case against Bilal Abood is one indication of federal counterterrorism officials' new stance on terrorism cases in light of the recent foiled terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, against a Mohammed cartoon contest event.  Prosecutors charged Abood with lying to the FBI, but the case represents much more. Abood is one of hundreds of people the FBI is monitoring in some way, many of whom investigators suspect could be motivated to carry out attacks but though the evidence remains difficult to assemble.

Abood, who formerly worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army in Iraq, migrated to the U.S. in 2009.  The FBI alleges that agents stopped Abood as he tried to travel in 2013, when he claimed he was planning to visit family in Iraq.  He later told the FBI in an interview in 2013 that he actually was planning to travel to Syria to fight with the Free Syrian Army, a rebel faction fighting the Assad regime that has in the past enjoyed some U.S. support.  Abood later left the U.S. for Turkey via Mexico, the FBI alleges.

Read more: CNN

As fighters surged into Syria last summer, a video surfaced online with the grisly imagery and sneering tone of a propaganda release from the Islamic State.

“Run, do not walk, to ISIS Land,” read the opening line of a script that promised new arrivals would learn “useful new skills” such as “crucifying and executing Muslims.” The words were juxtaposed with images of the terrorist group’s atrocities: kneeling prisoners shot point-blank; severed heads positioned next to a propped-up corpse; limp bodies left hanging from crosses in public squares.

The source of the video was revealed only in its closing frame: the U.S. Department of State.

“Welcome to ISIS Land” was in some ways a breakthrough for the U.S. government after years of futility in attempting to compete with the propaganda of al-Qaeda and its offshoots. The video became a viral phenomenon — viewed more than 844,000 times on YouTube — and a cause of significant irritation to its target.

But the minute-long recording also became a flash point in a much broader debate over how far the United States should go in engaging with a barbaric adversary online.

Read more: Washington Post
 

A Virginia woman who tried to help a teenager join the Islamic State militant group and carry out a suicide bombing was sentenced Monday to 4½ years in federal prison for lying to the FBI about the plot.

Heather Elizabeth Coffman of Glen Allen said in a written statement read aloud by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney that she now believes the terrorists she befriended on social media "are not what I thought them to be" and that she regrets actions that have separated her from her 7-year-old son.

Gibney said that while Americans are free to believe as they choose, Coffman crossed the line by recruiting for the Islamic State and lying to federal agents facing the daunting task of preventing terrorism.

"It's not like lying to your parents about who broke the lamp," Gibney said. "Her lies were blatant and just as two-faced as you can imagine."  Coffman, 30, pleaded guilty in February to making a materially false statement about an offense involving terrorism.

Read more: ABC News