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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 Libyan militant was indicted Tuesday on new charges arising from the 2012 Benghazi attacks, including crimes punishable by the death penalty, the Justice Department said.  The new 18-count grand jury indictment, which includes multiple counts of murder, had been widely expected since Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured in June by U.S. special forces and brought to the United States to face trial.

Abu Khattala, 43, the first militant to be prosecuted for the Benghazi violence, had initially been charged with conspiracy to provide support to terrorists, resulting in death.  U.S. officials had described the initial, one-count indictment as a placeholder to allow for him to be brought into court and for a grand jury to hear more evidence of the case.  The new indictment includes multiple counts that make Abu Khattala eligible for the death penalty if convicted, including murder of an internationally protected person and killing a person during an armed attack on a federal facility.

Read more:  AP

A suburban Chicago teen has been charged with trying to travel overseas to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  Federal prosecutors said Monday that FBI agents arrested 19-year-old Mohammed Hamzah Khan, of Bolingbrook, on Saturday evening at O'Hare International Airport. They accuse him of attempting to travel overseas to support terrorism.  Khan is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years and a maximum fine of $250,000. Khan could end up under supervision for life.

The slight, bearded Khan appeared in a federal court Monday morning in orange jail clothes. He could be seen speaking with his attorney before his hearing started. He left the courtroom in handcuffs. His father waved at him, reports CBS News' Adrianna Diaz. Khan nodded to acknowledge the wave.  Khan's U.S. passport was issued on May 2 of this year, reports CBS Chicago.  The federal complaint alleges Khan was trying to travel to Vienna and then to Turkey.  The judge ordered that Khan be held at least until his detention hearing Oct. 9.

Read more: CBS News

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group is planning on seizing Tehran’s nuclear secrets and urging its fighters to plan for war with Iran, UK weekly newspaper The Sunday Times reported.  The group urged its members to help them reach their ambitions in a manifesto which was allegedly written by Abdullah Ahmed al-Meshedani, a member of the group’s highly secretive six-man war cabinet.

In the document, which has been examined by western security officials - who believe it to be authentic - Meshedani wrote that ISIS is aims to get hold of nuclear weapons with the help of Russia, to whom it will offer access to gas fields it controls in Iraq’s Anbar province in return for the Kremlin to give up “Iran and its nuclear program and hands over its secrets.”  The manifesto said that Moscow would also have to abandon support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and back the Gulf States against Iran.

Read more:  Al Arabiya

A new Islamic State video released titled "Message of the Mujahid" Friday calls on Western jihadists unable to travel to territory controlled by the terrorist group to conduct attacks at home. The message also offers a pointed rebuke of British Prime Minister David Cameron and the U.S.-led bombing campaign.  "A message to all of the brothers who cannot do Hijrah, I advise you to respond to the call of the sheik, the mujahid (Holy Warrior) Mohammed al-Adnani, to cause terror in the hearts of the kuffar (unbelievers)," the unidentified Islamic State spokesman said. "You are living in the West, you can cause terror in the hearts of the kuffar, right in the center of the kuffar in the center of all that shirk (polytheism), you can cause terror right from within.

"So unlike us, you can cause real damage right within the heart of Dar al-Kuffar (Land of Unbelief), so rise up my brothers. Rise up!"

Read more:  The Investigative Project on Terrorism

An Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for plotting to bomb a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland's town square four years ago.  Prosecutors had sought a 40-year term for Mohamed Mohamud, 23, in the plot that actually was an FBI sting.  Mohamud was arrested Nov. 26, 2010, after pressing a keypad button on a cellphone that he believed would trigger a massive truck bomb and kill people gathered for the annual event. But the bomb was a fake provided by undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaida recruiters.

The undercover agents made friends with Mohamud — a Somali American — after learning he had written for an online jihadi magazine and exchanged emails with accused terrorists.  Jurors rejected Mohamud's entrapment defense at his January 2013 trial. The sentencing was pushed back a year after the government disclosed that warrantless overseas wiretaps helped make its case. The defense unsuccessfully sought a new trial.

Government attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Garr King to give Mohamud to four decades in prison. Lead prosecutor Ethan Knight said the former Oregon State University student never wavered or hesitated in his willingness to kill people that day.  Chief Federal Public Defender Stephen Sady said 40 years would be "draconian," and asked for King to impose no more than 10 years.  Sady said Mohamud has shown remorse, and been doing everything he can while in prison to become a better person.  He contends Mohamud had no plans to carry out an attack until after he met the undercover agents.

Source: ABC News