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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

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

The proliferation of social media has brought extremist ideologues world-wide into closer and more personal contact with potential recruits than antiterror officials ever dreamed possible, but it also has handed Western investigators powerful new tools for tracking potential threats.  The relationships forged over electronic networks are coming under scrutiny as larger numbers of young, radicalized men gravitate from the West toward Syria, drawn by an effective social-media drive by the group calling itself the Islamic State.  "You can have a sense of actually knowing someone, a sense of intimacy with someone you've never met," said J.M. Berger, a counterterrorism analyst who monitors the Islamic State's online presence.

Unlike the message boards of old, militants on Twitter TWTR -0.23%  and Facebook FB -1.75%  often use their real names, or close versions of them. Western-focused recruitment efforts tend to be led by foreign fighters, who use social media to post propaganda and engage with their targets in a more personal way than experts and former counterterrorism officials had seen in the past with al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Read more:  Wall Street Journal

The man accused of killing a New Jersey teenager and three other men as retribution for U.S. military action in the Middle East could eventually be charged with terrorism offenses, according to a national security expert.  William C. Banks, Director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University, said that if the details of a confession by Ali Muhammad Brown described in court papers filed in Washington state Wednesday are accurate, he could face additional charges at either the state or federal level. 
“If he’s got the motivation that he announced he has, which is to extract revenge for the U.S. killing of Muslims in that part of the world, he’s a terrorist," Banks said. "It's a matter of motivation."
Brown, 29, has been in custody at the Essex County Jail in Newark since July 18 on charges related to the murder of Brendan Tevlin, a 19-year-old college student from Livingston who was shot eight times as he drove through West Orange on his way home June 25.  Authorities in Washington have also charged him with a trio of slayings, including the shooting deaths of two gay men in Seattle on June 1, and the death of another man whose body was found on a highway in an unincorporated area outside the city April 27. 
Court documents detailing the charges in the April killing, made public on Wednesday, include statements from Brown indicating that he carried out the killings as “vengeance” for the loss of innocent lives killed as a result of American military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other parts of the Islamic world.
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Islamic State militants are the most dangerous threat the US has faced in recent years, Washington has warned.  Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said US air strikes had helped to break the Islamist advance in Iraq, but the militants could be expected to regroup.  America's top general Martin Dempsey stressed that IS could not be defeated without attacking their base in Syria.
The warnings come after IS posted a video showing the beheading of US journalist James Foley.  The US has now begun a formal criminal investigation into Mr Foley's death, with US Attorney General Eric Holder warning that the country has a "long memory".  It has emerged that a special US military mission tried but failed earlier this summer to rescue Mr Foley and other US hostages held in Syria.  The militants had also reportedly wanted a $132m (£80m) ransom for his release.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Mr Hagel described IS as an imminent threat.
Read more: BBC News

An Arvada woman charged with aiding a foreign terrorist organization has agreed to change her plea to guilty.  Conley, 19, is charged with conspiracy to provide support to ISIS, or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Jeff Dorschner said in a statement released Monday morning that a plea hearing has yet to be scheduled in the case.

Court documents claim Conley joined the Army Explorers to be trained in U.S. military tactics and firearms, and that she told the FBI she wanted to wage Jihad and to go overseas and fight.  She attended middle school in Loveland, then Arvada West High School before transferring to Ralston Valley then back to Arvada West.  Conley was first picked up on the FBI’s radar at the Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada where she was wearing Islamic garb. She told investigators, “If they think I’m a terrorist, I’ll give them something to think I am.”  She also had a number of CDs and DVDs labeled “Anwar Al-Awlaki” that were recovered. Al-Awlaki was the Colorado educated terror suspect assassinated by a U.S. drone missile in Yemen.

Read more: CBS Denver