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Terrorism News

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

Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia said Monday that the government would seek to revoke the citizenship or curb the rights of Australians involved in terrorism and tighten immigration, visa and hate speech laws in a crackdown on terrorism.  “The terrorist threat is rising at home and abroad, and it is becoming harder to combat,” Mr. Abbott said. “By any measure the threat to Australia is worsening.”

Mr. Abbott’s national security address, delivered at the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Canberra, the capital, followed the release of a review of the nation’s counterterrorism operations and a report on Sunday into a 17-hour siege in a Sydney cafe, in which three people died, including the gunman, who had aligned himself with the Islamic State.  The national counterterrorism strategy introduced Monday would include the appointment of a senior official to oversee counterterrorism measures, better coordination among Australia’s surveillance agencies and initiatives to counter violent extremism.  The prime minister pledged stronger prohibitions on hate speech, intimidation and inciting hatred, but he stopped short of outlawing any organization.  The measures he vowed to take were recommendations from the counterterrorism report.  Some measures, such as a national strategy to counter violent extremism, would be debated by Australia’s state and territory governments, while others may involve redrafting some laws.

He also announced measures to curb the rights of Australian nationals, suspending some of their citizenship entitlements if they engage in terrorism.  This could include restricting a person’s ability to leave or return to Australia.

Read more: New York Times

Imam Mohamed Magid tries to stay in regular contact with the teenager who came to him a few months ago — at his family’s urging — to discuss how he was being wooed by online recruiters working for the Islamic State, the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.  But the imam, a scholar bursting with charm and authority, has struggled to compete.  Though he has successfully intervened in the cases of five other young men, persuading them to abandon plans to fight overseas, the Islamic State’s recruiting efforts have become even more disturbing, he said, and nonstop.  “The recruiters wouldn’t leave him alone,” Imam Magid said of the young man he met with recently. “They were on social media with him at all hours, they tweet him at night, first thing in the morning. If I talk to him for an hour, they undo him in two hours.”

President Obama on Wednesday described the fight against violent extremism as a “generational challenge” that would require the cooperation of governments, religious leaders, educators and law enforcement.  But even before he called on more than 60 nations to join the effort, the rise of the Islamic State and the attacks by homegrown terrorists in Paris, Ottawa, Copenhagen and Sydney, Australia, had jolted American Muslims into action.

Read more: New York Times

Japan on Tuesday announced $15.5 million to fight “terrorism” in the Middle East and Africa, as Tokyo tries to demonstrate its resolve despite the murder of two citizens by Islamist extremists, Agence France Presse reported.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement the aid was part of Japan’s effort to support “counter-terrorism capacity building assistance in the Middle East/Africa,” including border control, investigation and development of legal systems.

Read more: Al Arabiya

A Portland city worker pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to a suicide bombing that killed about 30 people in Pakistan and injured another 300.  Reaz Qadir Khan, 51, admitted before U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman on Friday that he arranged for Ali Jaleel to receive $2,450 before Jaleel participated in the May 2009 attack. He also admitted providing financial help and advice to Jaleel's wives after the bombing, with the knowledge it would help them avoid capture.

The judge set sentencing for June 8. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have jointly requested a sentence of seven years and three months in federal prison. The maximum possible sentence is 15 years.  Khan's attorney, Amy Baggio, did not immediately return a phone call or email seeking comment about the unexpected decision to plead guilty.  Jaleel was one of three people who carried out the attack at Pakistan's intelligence headquarters in Lahore. Jaleel, who died in the attack, took responsibility for the bombing in a video released by al-Qaida.

Khan was arrested in March 2013 and placed on leave from his city job as a wastewater treatment plant operator.  According to the indictment, Khan conspired with Jaleel starting in December 2005. The following month, Jaleel sent Khan an email that prosecutors said "referred to past mutual promises he and Khan had made to seek martyrdom in the name of Allah."

Read more: ABC News

A federal judge refused Tuesday to release a U.S. woman charged with aiding militant groups in Syria and Iraq, siding with prosecutors who described her as potentially dangerous and a flight risk.  Mediha Medy Salkicevic and five other Bosnian immigrants are accused of sending money and equipment to groups the U.S. has deemed terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State group and Nusra Front, an al-Qaida-affiliated rebel group.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole ruled that Salkicevic, a 34-year-old mother of four, must remain in custody. That means she won't be able to travel on her own to St. Louis, where the case is being handled, but will instead be escorted by U.S. marshals.  The judge said prosecutors met their burden of proof during a hearing Monday to show she could be dangerous and a flight risk, allegations her attorney denied.

Read more: AP (via Yahoo News)