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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Keyword: worldwide terrorism threats & domestic extremist threats & trends

New York City Police Department and other law enforcement personnel responded to a threat from ISIS after someone re-released a September 2014 message that tells followers to "rise up and kill intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers, and civilians."

The threat specifically named the United States, France, Australia and Canada as targets. 

Read more: CNN

A day after terror struck Paris, Europe’s resurgent far-right and anti-immigrant parties trumpeted a unified message: I told you so.  Populist movements warning of the “Islamization” of Europe have been gaining ground across the continent, in small countries like Denmark and large ones like Britain, Germany and France. The attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo could win more supporters to their cause.

Fears of precisely the kind of commando-style attack that struck the newspaper on Wednesday, killing 12 people, have risen sharply in recent months as home-grown fighters return from Syria and Iraq. Such warnings have been aired across the political spectrum, but it’s the anti-immigrant parties that have reaped the biggest benefits.  Now the surreal scenes of carnage on a quiet Parisian street — with cartoonists as victims — are likely to feed into the arguments of rightwing forces that have been the loudest in declaring Islam to be incompatible with Western values. There are concerns that more mainstream Europeans will be pulled into their orbit, and that mainstream parties will be tempted to parrot the hardline rhetoric.

Read more: Washington Post

A man arrested for attacking guards near the Turkish prime minister's offices in Istanbul belongs to a banned Marxist group, Turkish media report.  TV footage showed a man being arrested by guards outside Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul on Thursday.  Reports say he threw two grenades which failed to explode.  Turkey's Sabah news said he shouted slogans of the banned DHKP-C group and said he had acted to avenge the death of a boy fatally injured by police.

The suspect reportedly shouted "We will avenge the death of Berkin!" - a reference to 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died last year from injuries sustained in anti-government protests in 2013.  Mr Elvan died in March 2014 after nine months in a coma. He had been hit by a police tear gas canister.  The Istanbul suspect was armed with a gun, as well as the grenades, and had reportedly spent time in jail previously.  The DHKP-C is considered a "terrorist" group by Turkey, the European Union and US. It has carried out sporadic and sometimes deadly attacks in Turkey and abroad. It claimed a suicide bombing in February 2013 at the US embassy in Ankara, where a security guard was killed.  The offices at the palace are used by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, but he is not believed to have been there at the time.

Source: BBC News

ISIS has executed nearly 2,000 people in Syria - half of them from an important Sunni tribe - since announcing their “caliphate” in June, a monitoring group said Sunday.  “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the execution by the Islamic State of 1,878 people in Syria between June 28 when it announced its ‘caliphate” and December 27,” the group said in a statement.  The dead included 930 members of the Shaitat tribe which rose up against ISIS in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor in the summer, the UK-based Observatory said.

On Dec. 17, the Observatory said a mass grave containing the bodies of 230 Shaitat had been found in the province.  The monitoring group, which relies on a network of activist and medical sources on the ground in Syria, said the victims were shot dead, beheaded or stoned to death in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Hama, Homs, Hasakeh and Raqqa.

Read more:  Al Arabiya

Researchers have long studied the relationship between mental illness and terrorism, particularly lone-wolf terrorists.  One study examined ninety-eight lone wolf attackers in the United States, and found that 40 percent of them had identifiable mental health problems, compared with 1.5 percent of the general population.
Another study reviewed 119 lone wolf attackers and a similar number of members of violent extremist groups in the United States and Europe, and found that nearly 32 percent of lone wolves had been diagnosed with a mental illness, while only 3.4 percent of terrorist group members were mentally ill.
The researchers say that there is a significant link between mental problems and the making of a lone-wolf terrorist, leading to cautious hope that future attacks may be avoided. “It’s never an either-or in terms of ideology versus mental illness,” one researcher said. “It’s a dangerous cocktail.”
A study funded by the U.S. Justice Department and conducted by Ramon Spaaij, a sociologist at Australia’s Victoria University, and Mark Hamm of Indiana State University, says that there is a significant link between mental problems and the making of a lone-wolf terrorist, leading to cautious hope that future attacks may be avoided.