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Tag: terrorism

ISIS Claims Responsibility for NYC Terrorist Attack, Calls Suspect ‘Soldier of the Caliphate’

Suspected terrorist Sayfullo Saipov.

Suspected terrorist Sayfullo Saipov.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ISIS claimed responsibility Thursday for the terrorist attack in New York City earlier the week that killed eight people and wounded another dozen.

The statement in the group’s weekly newsletter declared the truck attack as “one of the most prominent attacks targeting Crusaders in America.”

The group called the suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, 29, a “soldier of the Caliphate” and said the attack was a response to ISIS’ call to target “citizens of the Crusader countries involved in the alliance against the Islamic State.”

“On Tuesday, 11 Safar, one of the soldiers of the Islamic State attacked a number of crusaders on a street in New York City, close to the monument for the 9/11 raid, which resulted in killing and wounding more than 60 crusaders, and unto Allah is all praise,” the newsletter said in a translation by SITE Intelligence Group, a company that tracks extremist groups.

It should be noted that 12 people – not more than 60 – were injured in the truck attack.

According to a complaint filed against the suspect, investigators said Saipov was a recently radicalized immigrant who plotted the attack about a year ago after getting his inspiration from ISIS videos. 

FBI Foils Terrorist Plot to Blow Up Mall in South Florida

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI foiled an alleged plot to detonate a bomb in a shopping mall in South Florida, arresting the suspect behind the planned attack.

The arrest of Miami resident Vicente Solano, an alleged ISIS sympathizer, came during an FBI sting operation, CBS News reports

The FBI, acting on a tip by a confidential informant, said the suspect was acting alone and was planning a large-scale attack on Dolphin Mall in Doral, near the Miami International Airport.

Solano planned to detonate what turned out to be a hoax bomb from undercover FBI agents.

Solano is expected to appear in Miami federal court today.

Man Charged After Packing Mason Jar with Explosives at North Carolina Airport

Michael Christopher Estes

Michael Christopher Estes

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Pledging to “fight a war on U.S. soil,” a man packed a Mason jar with explosive chemicals and nails and left it at an airport in Asheville, N.C.

The FBI alleges Michael Christopher Estes placed an improvised explosive device at the airport near the terminal entrance Friday morning, CBS News reports

Estes was charged with attempted malicious use of explosive materials and unlawful possession of explosives at an airport.

Authorities are still trying to determine Estes’ motive to “fight a war in U.S. soil.”

Estes, who is Native American, is being held without bond at the Buncombe County jail. 

Other Stories of Interest

FBI: Number of Domestic and Islamic Terrorism Cases Roughly the Same

police-lineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating about the same number of domestic terrorism cases as the bureau is investigating Islamic terrorism cases, according to FBI Director Chris Wray said.

The Hills reports that the number of open cases for domestic and Islamic terrorism are each about 1,000, Wray told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  

In the past year, Wray said the bureau made 176 arrests of domestic terrorism suspects.

While government data is incomplete to compare white supremacist violence and Islamic attacks, independent research suggests white supremacists commit twice the number of attacks as Islamic terrorists.

“Our focus is on violence and threats of violence against the people of this country,” Wray said. “That’s our concern — it’s not ideology.”

DOJ Program That Combats Terrorism Is Ending After Funds Run Out

virtual_library-terrorism-teamBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has run out of funding to train officers on combating terrorism and is quietly shutting down the program, even after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month.

The last day for the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program is Sept. 30, the Kansas City Star reports

“It makes absolutely no sense,” said Mike Sena, president of the National Fusion Center Association, which runs a network of centers nationwide to help law enforcement combat terrorism.

“Eliminating programs that are critical to preparing our people in the field to identify threats before they manifest and cause harm to our public is an egregious error.”

The task force was revived in 2014.

The Justice Department declined to respond to questions about the program.

Other Stories of Interest

Star-Tribune: Combating Extremism Must Stay Priority After Homeland Security Resignation

homeland-security-sportsBy Editorial Board
Star-Tribune

The resignation of a top U.S. Department of Homeland Security official has left the agency without a strong, outspoken advocate for locally led efforts to combat homegrown terrorism, a threat that the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., put a disturbing spotlight on.

With federal support for these programs now uncertain, private nonprofits and the business community must step up to fill this leadership void.

George Selim, who resigned in late July, led Homeland Security’s Office of Community Partnerships and directed the agency’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) task force. His energetic leadership made him a familiar figure to Minnesota law enforcement authorities and others working here to thwart terror recruiters. Some of these have targeted young people in the state’s large Somali-American community.

Selim, who began his federal career during the George W. Bush administration, merits praise for embracing a more comprehensive approach to fighting extremism. In addition to intercepting recruits and prosecuting them, he argued that preventive measures are needed.

This pragmatic approach is built on the premise that those who put down roots and prosper are less likely to fall prey to recruiters’ deceptive promises. Social services programs that build strong families, as well efforts to “de-radicalize” those who get involved with extremists, are now a critical component of CVE strategy.

Under Selim’s leadership, the Office of Community Partnerships advocated for federal grants to local organizations and finally convinced Congress to appropriate the dollars. The agency awarded the first round of grants in 2016. Two Minnesota organizations received $770,000 in funding: the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Heartland Democracy, a mentoring program for young people.

Unfortunately, it’s unclear if there will be a second round of grants. Selim’s departure raises troubling questions about CVE’s future. The CVE approach has been controversial in some circles because it’s sometimes deemed too soft an approach to terrorism. Other critics dislike that these dollars help immigrants, while others have wrongly contended that CVE shouldn’t encompass white supremacist groups inside U.S. borders.

To read more click here. 

Homeland Security Enlists American College Students in Fight Against Terrorism

university of marylandBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s battle to stop the radicalization and recruitment of young people has tapped American college students for help.

The program, called Peer to Peer: Challenging Extremism, gives students at 50 to 75 universities up to $2,000 each to counter online recruiting efforts by developing social media campaigns, the New York Times reports

Homeland Security and other national security officials judge a competition by students to develop online tools to counter recruiting efforts of terrorist groups like ISIS.

The University of Maryland placed first in the competition with a project, which was built around a video game and social media campaign, that teaches friends and neighbors to identify signs of radicalization.

“Who better to push back against the prejudice, bigotry and hate online than students?” said Tony Sgro, the president of EdVenture Partners, the company that created the program.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI: U.S. Soldier Who Pledged Allegiance to ISIS Planned to Kill ‘a Bunch of People’

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Hawaii-based active duty soldier told undercover FBI agents that he wanted to “kill a bunch of people” after he had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Ikaika Kang, a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army, was arrested Saturday and appeared in court Monday on terrorism charges, the Associated Press reports. 

Kang allegedly helped buy a drone with the intent of using it against American forces. He also is accused of saying he would to shoot “a bunch of people” with a rifle.

Kang thought he was meeting with Islamic State loyalists, but he was actually communicating with undercover agents.

Paul Delacourt, the FBI special agent in charge of the Hawaii bureau, said Kang was a lone wolf.