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Terrorism News

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

As the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, and other armed groups expand their efforts to recruit Americans, the federal government is trying to implement a strategy for identifying and eradicating what it describes as violent extremist ideology on the home front. A bill before Congress would establish a new office within the Department of Homeland Security for “countering violent extremism,” known as CVE, while the Obama administration is helping to assemble community-led CVE pilot programs in Los Angeles, Boston and Minneapolis.

Modeled after an effort to fight radicalization in Britain, the pilot programs are joint initiatives of the Department of Justice, of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center. They are grounded in the idea that local networks of clergy, health and social service providers, school districts, and police are better equipped than federal agents to intervene before a member of the community carries out an attack. The programs are also intended to enhance communication between citizens and law enforcement, in the hope of harvesting tips like those that led to the recent arrests of six alleged ISIL recruits in Minnesota. All three cities already had a degree of coordination among local organizations and law enforcement that made them ideal testing grounds for CVE programs, according to the Justice Department.

Source: Al-Jazeera America

In a landmark case for cultural crimes, a radical Islamist leader will face trial in The Hague for the destruction of historic tombs in the ancient city of Timbuktu.

The case, the first ever war-crimes prosecution in The Hague for acts of cultural destruction, could set a precedent for further arrests for similar attacks on historic buildings in places such as Palmyra, the ancient site in Syria where temples and tombs have been blown up by Islamic State extremists in recent weeks.

Ahmad al-Mahdi al-Faqi, also known as Abu Tourab, was brought to The Hague on Saturday on an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court. He is charged with overseeing the destruction of nine mausoleums and a mosque in Timbuktu in 2012 after the legendary city in northern Mali was captured by Islamists with links to al-Qaeda.

Read more: The Globe and Mail (Can)

Two men found guilty of plotting to derail a passenger train in Canada with support from al Qaeda have been sentenced to life in prison.  Toronto Justice Michael Code on Wednesday sentenced Chiheb Esseghaier to two concurrent life sentences, as well as an additional 18 years. Raed Jaser was sentenced to life with a concurrent sentence of 13 years.

A jury convicted Esseghaier, a Tunisian national, earlier this year of planning to derail a Via train heading from New York to Toronto and four other terror-related charges.  Jaser was found guilty of conspiring to commit murder in support of terrorism and two other charges.  Jaser, who was born in the United Arab Emirates to Palestinian parents but is not an UAE citizen, was living in Toronto when he was arrested.

Source: CBS News

A Prague court has ruled a Lebanese national and two Ivory Coast citizens can be extradited to the United States to face terror charges.  The three men were arrested in Prague in April 2014 while trying to sell weapons to undercover U.S. law enforcement officials who pretended to be from a Colombian terrorist group.

Spokeswoman Marketa Puci says Prague’s Municipal Court approved their extradition Tuesday.  The three have appealed. If the verdict is upheld, Justice Minister Robert Pelikan will have the final say.

In July, a Czech lawyer for the Lebanese suspect Ali Taan Fayad, also known as Ali Amin, went missing in Lebanon together with four other Czechs and their Lebanese driver, who was identified by Lebanese media as Taan’s relative.  Czech officials have not commented on that.

Source: Washington Post

Another Guantanamo Bay prisoner has been released as part of the drawn-out U.S. effort to wind down and eventually close the detention center on the U.S. base in Cuba, officials said Thursday.
Moroccan prisoner Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri was sent home to his native country after more than 13 years in custody at Guantanamo. His release, which followed an intensive security review and notification of Congress as required by law, was the first from the prison since June.
Read more: ABC News