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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

A man who plotted a suicide car bomb attack at a Wichita, Kansas, airport in 2013 was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on Monday.

Terry Loewen, 60, had access to secure airport areas because of his work as an avionic technician, according to federal officials, who dubbed the bomb plot an attempted terrorist attack.

He was arrested trying to enter the ramp area of the airport known then as the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport with what he believed was a vehicle loaded with explosives. He had planned to detonate the explosives next to a terminal and die in the blast, according to federal officials. The airport was recently renamed the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.

Loewen pleaded guilty to one count of attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction, and entered into a plea agreement reached with prosecutors calling for the 20-year prison sentence, followed by lifetime supervision.

Read more: Yahoo News (Reuters)

A Chicago-area man pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court to a charge that he tried to travel overseas to join an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria.  Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, 21, of Aurora, Illinois, was arrested in 2013 as he prepared to board a plane at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport bound for Istanbul, Turkey, prosecutors said.

Tounisi, then 18, had spent four months conducting online research related to overseas travel and violent jihad, focusing specifically on Syria and the Jabhat al-Nusrah terrorist group, prosecutors said.  Jabhat al-Nusrah is listed by the State Department as an alias for al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Tounisi made online contact with someone he thought was a recruiter for Jabhat al-Nusrah, and expressed his willingness to fight for the jihadist cause, according to a plea agreement. A U.S. citizen, Tounisi had planned to travel from Istanbul to Syria, prosecutors said.

Read more:  Yahoo News

A federal trial is underway this week for an Uzbek refugee charged with supporting a terrorist organization.  Fazliddin Kurbanov, a Russian-speaking truck driver who fled Uzbekistan in 2009, was arrested in 2013 by federal authorities who said he was teaching people to build bombs to target public transportation and other targets.  Prosecutors say Kurbanov traveled the West assisting a militant group in his native Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country that has a southern border with Afghanistan. The 32-year-old, who lives in Boise, has pleaded not guilty to the five terrorism-related charges.

Jury selection was expected to take all day Monday at the federal courthouse in Boise as attorneys continued to winnow a pool of 92 potential jurors.  Prosecutors have charged Kurbanov with committing felonies in Idaho and Utah, saying he conspired with others to provide resources, including computer software and money, to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The U.S. has identified the IMU as a terrorist organization.

Kurbanov has denied all of the allegations. In a trial brief filed by the defense late last month, his attorneys wrote, "Mr. Kurbanov never agreed or attempted to provide material support to the IMU or to terrorists as alleged (by providing personnel, money or software); nor did he possess an unregistered destructive device."

Read more: ABC News

A spate of mail bombs targeting Winnipeg law offices and businesses, along with additional reports of suspicious packages, have raised fear levels among Canada Post employees.  At least four suspicious packages were reported on Monday alone, including one at Winnipeg city hall and two on Canada Post depots (Wellington Avenue and McDermot Avenue). Those reports, as well as another on Donald Street, turned out to be false alarms.

The wave of suspicious packages comes after one exploded inside a law office on River Avenue on Friday, seriously injuring family lawyer Maria Matousis.  "Folks are scared. This is very close to home, you know. It is packages that definitely were handled by our members," Todd Jarema, a prairie region officer with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, told CBC News.  "Obviously, people are unsure as to, you know, 'Is this package that I've got in my hand, is this a bomb too?'"  Guido Amsel, 49, faces numerous charges, including attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Read more: CBC News

FBI agents have arrested another New Jersey man who is accused of plotting to support the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  Authorities on Monday charged 23-year-old Alaa Saadeh, of West New York, of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and witness tampering. They say he tried to persuade a witness to lie to the FBI.

Saadeh was scheduled to appear in front of a judge Monday afternoon. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.  The FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force have been investigating several people in New York and New Jersey. Samuel Rahamin Topaz, of Fort Lee, was charged earlier this month with conspiring to join the terror group.

A Rutherford man who authorities say traveled to the Middle East in May to join the Islamic State was arrested in Jordan. The criminal complaint alleges that Saadeh - along with Topaz and a man that matched the description of New York City college student Munther Omar Saleh - discussed plans to travel overseas to join ISIS, even after Saadeh's brother had been arrested in Jordan on suspicion of joining the terror group.

Read more: CBS News