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Terrorism News

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

Cameroon's military said on Tuesday that it had killed more than 100 Boko Haram fighters who traveled from Nigeria to attack a town just across the border, according to state media.  Citing a statement from the Communication Ministry, the outlet Cameroon Radio Television said that during the battle in Fotocol on Saturday the army fired mortars at the fighters and pushed them back into Nigeria.  It said no Cameroonian soldiers were killed in the fighting.

Fotocol is just over the border from Nigeria's Borno state, the birthplace of the Boko Haram armed group and the region hardest hit by the group’s violent campaign to seize territory for an "Islamic caliphate."

Thousands of Nigerians have fled into Cameroon to escape the violence, but now the armed group is attacking towns in Cameroon, too. Boko Haram fighters were pushed back toward the Nigerian border town of Gamboru Ngala – separated only by a footbridge from Cameroon – which they seized over a week ago, Agence France-Presse reported.

Read more: Al Jazeera

Convicted terrorism plotter Jose Padilla was handed a new prison sentence Tuesday of 21 years after a federal appeals court ruled his original 17-year sentence was too lenient.  Padilla was convicted in 2007 on charges of supporting Al Qaeda and terrorism conspiracy. The new sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke, who originally gave Padilla more than 17 years in prison. She also previously gave Padilla, a U.S. citizen and Muslim convert, credit for the more than three years he was held without charge as an enemy combatant at a South Carolina Navy brig.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2011 determined that Cooke erred in giving Padilla credit for the brig years and also failed to properly account for his "heightened risk of dangerousness" due to training at an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. In addition, the appeals judges ruled that Padilla -- a former Chicago "Latin Kings" gang member -- deserved a longer sentence because of his numerous previous arrests.

Read more: Fox News

A former top official at the National Security Agency says the Islamic State terrorist group has “clearly” capitalized on the voluminous leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and is exploiting the top-secret disclosures to evade U.S. intelligence.  Bottom line: Islamic State killers are harder to find because they know how to avoid detection.

Chris Inglis was the NSA’s deputy director during Mr. Snowden’s flood of documents to the news media last year. Mr. Snowden disclosed how the agency eavesdrops, including spying on Internet communications such as emails and on the Web’s ubiquitous social media.  Asked by The Washington Times if the Islamic State has studied Mr. Snowden’s documents and taken action, Mr. Inglis answered, “Clearly.”

The top-secret spill has proven ready-made for the Islamic State (also referred to as ISIL or ISIS). It relies heavily on Internet channels to communicate internally and to spread propaganda.  Mr. Snowden “went way beyond disclosing things that bore on privacy concerns,” said Mr. Inglis, who retired in January. “‘Sources and methods’ is what we say inside the intelligence community — the means and methods we use to hold our adversaries at risk, and ISIL is clearly one of those.

Read more: Washington Times

The stunning rise of the ­Islamic State militant group as both a battlefield force and an Internet juggernaut over the summer has given new urgency to a State Department effort to counter online militant propaganda with a U.S. messaging campaign.  A U.S.-government-made video that recently made the rounds on social media — with graphic images of Islamic State executions and a beheaded body — is the best-known example of the attempt to expose the brutality of the Islamist group and undermine its ­online recruitment appeals.

The Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIL and ISIS, has supplanted al-Qaeda as the main object of U.S. efforts to understand and counter militant activity online, U.S. officials said. Intelligence agencies covertly monitor and sometimes try to disrupt militant Web sites, but the smaller, $6 million State Department effort is intended for public consumption. Videos, tweets and other online content in Arabic, Urdu, English and other languages are identified as coming from the U.S. government.

Read more: Washington Post

New counter-terrorism units have been set up at two Australian airports, PM Tony Abbott says, amid concern over Australians fighting in Iraq and Syria.  Mr Abbott told parliament units in Sydney and Melbourne began operating last week.  They had already intercepted at least one person of interest, he said. 
 
Meanwhile Australia's top spy says that 15 Australians are believed to have died fighting for Middle East-based extremist groups like Islamic State.   Mr Abbott did not give further details about how the person was intercepted or their intended destination. 
 
He said the move would be extended to all Australia's international airports, with an additional 80 border force officers to monitor the movements of people on security watch lists.
 
Read more: BBC