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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

Al-Qaida is using U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in Syria as a reason to extend olive branches to the renegade Islamic State group, saying the two should stop feuding and join forces to attack Western targets - a reunification that intelligence analysts say would allow al-Qaida to capitalize on the younger group's ruthless advance across the region.

Analysts are closely watching al-Qaida's repeated overtures, and while a full reconciliation is not expected soon - if ever - there is evidence the two groups have curtailed their infighting and are cooperating on the Syrian battlefield, according to activists on the ground, U.S. officials and experts who monitor jihadi messages.

The Islamic State group has seized about a third of Iraq and Syrian territory and is terrorizing civilians to impose a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Read more: AP

Like many young men in their late teens, Shelton Thomas Bell had a fondness for shooting video of himself.  But while most show them performing or playing pranks, Bell recorded himself burning an American flag, preaching jihad and repeating sermons given by an American-born Muslim cleric who was killed in a U.S. drone strike.  Thursday those images of a bearded and long-haired Jacksonville resident were played in a Jacksonville courtroom while the 20-year-old, now clean-shaven with closely cropped hair, watched impassively with his lawyer while sitting at a defense table in a red prison uniform and shackles.  Bell previously pleaded guilty to conspiring and attempting to provide material support to terrorists and faces up to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors are asking U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan to sentence Bell to 30 years in prison, while defense attorneys are arguing for a more lenient sentence.

Bell generated suspicions at the Islamic Center in Jacksonville after talking with teenagers about jihad and the civil war in Syria. Center attorneys contacted the FBI, and he was arrested on the terrorism charges in July 2013. Prosecutors have said in court documents that immigration authorities in Jordan also alerted the U.S. government to Bell’s actions.  Bell’s plans included traveling to Yemen to join Ansar Al-Sharia, an alias for al-Qaida. Bell and a juvenile who has never been named flew to Jordan in late 2012 in the hopes of crossing over into Yemen and joining the terrorist organization.  But they never crossed the border and ended up being arrested in Jordan after Bell preached jihad at a mosque. The Jordanian authorities sent both men back to America.

Read more: Florida Times-Union

A rookie police officer was struck in the head by a man wielding a hatchet in the New York City borough of Queens Thursday, in an assault that has police checking for any ties to terror organizations or whether the attack could have been inspired by Wednesday’s lone-wolf attack in Canada.

Police opened fire, killing the 32-year-old suspect and wounding a woman who was nearby, according to officials. The officer, 25, survived the attack. A second police officer, 24, was struck with the hatchet in the arm and is also being treated. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.  The 2 p.m. apparently unprovoked attack occurred as four police officers were posing for a passing photographer when the suspect charged the group, swinging a hatchet with a four-and-a-half-inch blade, officials said. He struck one officer in the arm and another in the head before two officers drew their weapons and opened fire as he swung the hatchet a third time, officials said.

"No known motive for this attack has been established," Police Commissioner William Bratton told reporters.

Read more:  NBC News

 

The suspect in Wednesday’s attack on Parliament Hill is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian citizen born in 1982, CTV News has confirmed.  The suspect was gunned down Wednesday morning, following shootings at Ottawa’s National War Memorial and inside Parliament.  Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo, a soldier standing guard at the war memorial, was fatally shot. Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons, later shot the gunman in the main entrance of the Centre Block.

Parliament Hill and Ottawa’s downtown core remain under lockdown, but police are not saying if other suspects are on the loose.  Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said residents need to stay “vigilant” and report any suspicious activity to police. But he did not directly answer questions from reporters about the possibility that another shooter – or shooters – were still at large.  Earlier Wednesday, Ottawa police Const. Marc Soucy said officers believe there may be more than one assailant. He said that police will be assuming that any other assailants are armed.  Boderleau said police received multiple 911 calls around 9:52 a.m. Wednesday about a shooting at the National War Memorial.

Read more: CTV News (Canada)

A Canadian soldier was killed and a Parliament Hill security guard wounded Wednesday morning in a chaotic attack on the nation’s capital that police believe involved more than one assailant.  One assailant was killed.  Shootings occurred at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill. Contrary to early reports, no shooting occurred near the Rideau Centre mall, Ottawa police said. 

Witnesses described seeing the soldier, who was serving as a ceremonial guard at the foot of the cenotaph, shot at point-blank range before the gunman ran off in the direction of Parliament Hill.  Sirens blared and buildings in the area went under lockdown as police and soldiers continued the manhunt into Wednesday afternoon.

Read more: Toronto Star