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Terrorism News

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

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leadership issued death threats to the British fighters amongst their ranks who are reportedly desperate to return to the UK, the Observer reported.  At least 30 British militants fighting for ISIS want to return home, former Guantánamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg told the British newspaper, adding that they were held in Syria and Iraq against their will.  These reports follow the death of yet another young British Muslim, Muhammad Mehdi Hassan, 19, who was reportedly killed in the battle to claim control over the Syrian-Kurdish town of Kobane, the fourth man to die in Syria from the UK city of Portsmouth.

Begg, who offered to help negotiate the release of British ISIS hostage Alan Henning but was refused by the British government, called that returning fighters be pardoned, and instead of being prosecuted be put through rehabilitation centers such as those in Denmark.  “When it becomes solidified as an Islamic State, a caliph, and you swear allegiance, thereafter if you do something disobedient you are now disobeying the caliph and could be subject to disciplinary measures which could include threats of death or death,” he told the Observer.  Many Britons are “stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Begg said adding that “there are a large number of people out there who want to come back. The number in January was around 30, that was the number given to me. That number has definitely increased since.”

Read more: Al-Arabiya

The United States on Monday unveiled what it called an information coalition with Muslim and Western nations to combat efforts by Islamic State to recruit online and stoke sectarian hatred through a "cult of violence".  U.S. officials told delegates from European and Arab countries at a meeting in Kuwait that this should complement parallel campaigns against the armed group on the battlefield and in the world of finance.

"There is a military coalition that is on the battlefield with Daesh (Islamic State) every day and from the very beginning the partners in the coalition ... felt that there should be an information coalition that complements the military coalition," U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Affairs Richard Stengel told a news conference after the talks.  Worried by the growing threat from Islamist militants after the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria in June, Washington has been working with regional and world powers to fight the militants militarily, financially and politically.

Read more: Reuters (via Yahoo News)

Prime Minister David Cameron will announce plans on Wednesday to tighten the law to help stop charities being used as a front to raise funds for terrorist groups.  Several individuals convicted of terrorism offences in Britain had raised funds in public, purportedly for charitable purposes, the majority of which the charities never received, the government said.  Three British Islamists jailed last year for planning mass suicide attacks had tried to fund their plot by posing as street collectors for the Muslim Aid charity organization, raising 12,000 pounds.

The planned new powers include banning those who have criminal convictions, such as for terrorism offences or money laundering, from being a charity trustee.  The Charities Commission, a regulatory body which earlier this year asked the government for more funding and powers to tackle abuse in the sector, will be given the authority to disqualify trustees it considers unfit and to shut down a charity where there has been mismanagement.

Read more: International Business Times UK

Al-Qaeda's deadly Yemen-based franchise on Friday urged Muslims worldwide to support Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq in the face of attacks by a U.S.-led military coalition.  Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, classified by the United States as the network's deadliest franchise, "prohibits taking part in the fight against" ISIS, which controls swathes of both Iraq and Syria, AQAP said in a statement posted on jihadist forums.  "We urge all mujahedeen [Muslim fighters] to set aside their differences and inter-factional fighting and move instead against the crusade targeting all" jihadists, it added.  "We also urge all Muslims to back their brethren, with their souls, money and tongues, against the crusaders."

AQAP urged "whoever can weaken the Americans to weaken them militarily, economically, and media-wise."  "This is a campaign against Islam" that has brought together "crusaders [Christians], majus [a pejorative term for Iranians], and traitor apostate leaders," it said.

Warplanes from four Arab states of the Gulf -- Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- have since last month taken part in U.S.-led air strikes on IS targets in Syria.

Read more: Al-Arabiya

The U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards totaling up to $45 million for information leading to the locations of eight key leaders of the Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorist organization. The Department has authorized rewards of up to $10 million for information leading to the location of Nasir al-Wahishi and up to $5 million each for information leading to the locations of Qasim al-Rimi, Othman al-Ghamdi, Ibrahim Hassan Tali al-Asiri, Shawki Ali Ahmed Al-Badani, Jalal Bala’idi, Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, and Ibrahim al-Banna.

AQAP was formed in January 2009 by Yemeni and Saudi terrorists under the leadership of Nasir al-Wahishi, who had headed AQAP’s predecessor group Al-Qa’ida in Yemen.

AQAP has launched numerous high-profile terrorist attacks against the Yemeni Government, and U.S. and other foreign interests. In March 2009, an AQAP suicide bomber killed four South Korean tourists and their Yemeni guide. A few months later, AQAP dispatched Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to detonate an explosive device aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 over the continental United States on December 25, 2009. In October 2010, AQAP claimed responsibility for a foiled plot to send explosive-laden packages to the United States via cargo plane. To spread its extremist propaganda, AQAP launched an English-language magazine called Inspire in 2010 and the Arabic-language al-Madad News Agency in 2011. AQAP, operating under the alias Ansar al-Sharia, carried out a May 2012 suicide bombing in Sana’a that killed more than 100 people. In 2013, more than 20 U.S. embassies were temporarily closed in response to a threat associated with AQAP.

Read more: U.S. Department of State