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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

The government plans to give U.S. retailers a list of materials that can be used in explosives and ask them to look out for suspicious behavior as a way to combat domestic terrorism, the homeland security secretary said on Wednesday.  On the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Jeh Johnson said the so-called home-grown or "lone wolf" attack like last year's Boston Marathon bombing was the hardest to detect and the one he worried about most.

He said his department would issue a public advisory to retailers this week identifying the materials and suspicious behavior to look for in anyone buying large quantities of them. Homemade bombs in pressure cooker pots were placed at the finish line of the famous race in Boston on April 15, 2013, killing three people and injuring 176 others in the worst attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

"So we can't and we shouldn't prohibit the sale of a pressure cooker," Johnson told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "We can sensitize retail businesses to be on guard for suspicious behavior by those who buy this kind of stuff."

Read more:  Reuters

Somalia's al-Shabaab said Saturday the militant group had named a new leader, after its commander was killed in a U.S. drone strike.  The group said it had named Ahmed Omar Abu Ubeyd to succeed Ahmed Abdi Godane, who died of wounds sustained in the drone strike Monday in Somalia's remote Lower Shabelle region, said the group's spokesman, Abdiasis abu Mus'ab.  "We will not sit alone," he said, vowing revenge for a strike that appears to have killed not only Mr. Godane but several of his top aides.

Analysts said it was too soon to tell if al-Shabaab was indeed still unified or attempting to forestall its fragmentation after the death of a charismatic leader, who had sidelined or eliminated other powerful figures in the group since taking over in 2008...Al-Shabaab has been formally allied with al Qaeda since 2012—a partnership that is largely credited to Mr. Godane.

Read more:  Wall Street Journal

The United States is concerned that the Islamic State group and other terrorists could get a hold of chemical weapons if Syria is hiding any stockpiles, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Thursday.  Samantha Power spoke to reporters after the Security Council received a briefing from Sigrid Kaag, who heads the international effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.

The joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons will end at the end of the month after destroying nearly all of Syria's declared stockpile. But Kaag said the OPCW is still working with Syria to resolve discrepancies in its declaration, which she said range from outdated records to discrepancies on the volume of materials.

Power said the U.S. is concerned not only that President Bashar Assad's regime still has chemical weapons but that any stockpiles left behind could end up in the hands of the Islamic State group, which has seized large swaths of Syria and Iraq.

Read more:  ABC News

The U.S. believes that about a dozen Americans are fighting with ISIS in Syria, part of a larger group of more than 100 Americans who have joined various rebel groups in the country.  The new estimate was provided by the Pentagon in a clarification of comments made Wednesday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a CNN interview at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.  During the interview Hagel said, “We are aware of over 100 U.S. citizens who have U.S. passports who are fighting in the Middle East with ISIL forces.”  He added, “There may be more. We don’t know.” ISIL is another name used to refer to the group.

On Thursday, a Pentagon spokesman clarified that the number used by Hagel was actually a reference to the more than 100 Americans the U.S. believes have traveled to Syria to join various groups. That estimate has been discussed publicly by U.S. officials for several months.  Col. Steve Warren told reporters that “We believe that there are approximately 100 American passport holders operating inside of Syria, we don’t know specifically who they are aligning themselves with.  We believe that there are maybe a dozen that are with ISIL.”

Read more:  ABC News

As thousands of Western jihadists, including hundreds of American passport holders, are getting hardened combat training in Syria and Iraq, Jihadists globally have been given instructions on how to make and detonate car bombs inside America in a new English-language magazine published by Al Qaeda. They've also been provided a new list of suggested targets for "lone-wolf" terror attacks.

Homeland Security Today previously reported that Al Malahem, the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) -- which recently signaled solidarity with the Islamic State -- released the first issue of its new magazine, Palestine – Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience, earlier this month that's designed to inspire jihadism among Muslims around the world, but especially in the West. It also implied that an attack is coming soon.

AQAP’s new targets for jihadi attacks include casinos and night clubs in Las Vegas; oil tankers and trains; Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Georgia; the United State Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and the General Atomics headquarters in San Diego, California. General Atomics is the manufacturer of the Predator drone that was used to kill top AQAP and other Al Qaeda members.

Read more:  HSToday