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Deal Meant To End War in Afghanistan Seen To Embolden Taliban Stars & Stripes By J.P. LAWRENCE KABUL, Afghanistan – The drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has encouraged the Taliban’s belief that they are closer than ever to victory, analysts and fighters said, one year after a deal was signed with the militant group meant to bring peace to the country.On Feb. 29, U.S. and Taliban representatives gathered in Doha, Qatar, to sign an agreement that would allow for the withdrawal of American troops in exchange for concessions by the militants.The concessions included opening peace talks with the government in Kabul and preventing extremist groups like al-Qaida from using the country to launch attacks on America and its allies.But a year later, a peaceful end to the bloodshed remains elusive, with the increasingly emboldened Taliban escalating their attacks on government forces, still maintaining ties with al-Qaida, and remaining unlikely...
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 The Detroit News Ohio Man Accused Of Making Terrorism Threat Against Port Huron Police, School by Jordyn Grzelewski Port Huron police announced Sunday an Ohio man has been charged with making a terrorism threat against police officers and an elementary school.Police in a news release identified the suspect as Dominik Hricovsky, 32. They said Hricovsky was arraigned Sunday on charges of threat of terrorism, discharging a firearm in or at a building, two felony firearm counts, being a felon in possession of a firearm, resisting and obstructing, and being a habitual offender.The charges are tied to an incident reported Wednesday morning, according to the news release. Police said emergency dispatch for St. Clair County "received several calls from an unknown male making threats to burn down Cleveland Elementary School and shoot police officers." Officers responded to the school, which went into a "soft lockdown," police said. Dispatchers traced the calls...
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Politico By JOBY WARRICK How The Pentagon Got Inside ISIS’ Chemical Weapons Operation—And Ended It How shady reports of ISIS-made poison gas led the U.S. to a valuable ISIS weapon-maker, who helped bring the whole operation down. The Kurdish fighters dug in along Highway 47 in Kesik Kupri, Iraq, on January 23, 2015, could hear the truck from far off and knew the attack was coming. The defenders crouched behind their vehicles or squatted along a low ridge, rifles trained on the narrow road. From the ridge to the earthen barrier across the highway were perhaps 500 men, skilled veterans of Iraq’s Kurdish Peshmerga brigades as well as teenagers and elderly volunteers from neighboring villages who had come in their civilian coats, sneakers and checkered scarves to reclaim their homes from the men of ISIS. In two hard days of combat, they had seized a strategic crossroads and now effectively...
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Reuters Arrival Of “Sticky Bombs” In Indian Kashmir Sets Off Alarm Bells By Fayaz Bukhari, Devjyot GhoshalSRINAGAR, India (Reuters) - Security forces battling a decades-long insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir are alarmed by the recent arrival in the disputed region of small, magnetic bombs that have wreaked havoc in Afghanistan. “Sticky bombs”, which can be attached to vehicles and detonated remotely, have been seized during raids in recent months in the federally administered region of Jammu and Kashmir, three senior security officials told Reuters.“These are small IEDs and quite powerful,” said Kashmir Valley police chief Vijay Kumar, referring to improvised explosive devices. “It will certainly impact the present security scenario as volume and frequency of vehicular movements of police and security forces are high in Kashmir Valley.”The Indian government flooded Kashmir, already one of the world’s most militarised regions, with more troops in August 2019, when it split the country’s only...

U.S. Carries Out Airstrikes on Syria Militias

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Bloomberg U.S. Carries Out Airstrikes on Syria MilitiasU.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin briefs reporters on the airstrikes in Syria on Thursday. The U.S. targeted facilities near the Iraqi border used by Iranian-backed militia groups. The Pentagon said the strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this month that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member and other coalition troops. View Bloomberg video https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2021-02-26/u-s-carries-out-airstrikes-on-syria-militias-video...

ISWAP Jihadists Overrun Nigerian Army Base As Residents Flee

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Defense Post Agence France-Presse ISWAP Jihadists Overrun Nigerian Army Base As Residents Flee Late on Friday ISWAP fighters on board several trucks fitted with machine guns raided Dikwa, in Borno state, where the Nigerian army has one of its key "super camp" military bases. Staff Writer with AFP February 22, 2021A jihadist attack in northeast Nigeria has forced many people to flee after Islamic State-affiliated insurgents overran a key army base, military sources and residents told AFP Sunday.The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group that split from the Boko Haram movement in 2016 has become a dominant threat in the region, attacking soldiers and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.Late on Friday ISWAP fighters on board several trucks fitted with machine guns raided Dikwa, in Borno state, where the Nigerian army has one of its key “super camp” military bases.“The terrorists attacked the super camp…...

Taliban Threat In Afghanistan 'Will Significantly Rise'

Posted by on in Terrorism
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 Deutsche Welle Taliban Threat In Afghanistan 'Will Significantly Rise,' Says German Defense Minister German defense chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told DW that militants have vowed to carry out more attacks targeting international troops if the NATO alliance doesn't leave Afghanistan by a May deadline. NATO has made no decision on whether or when to pull out of Afghanistan, the military alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.A peace deal struck in February 2020 between the Taliban and the United States calls for all US and NATO forces to leave Afghanistan by May 1 in exchange for the Taliban to reduce violence and cooperate with the Afghan government However, the Taliban have increased violent attacks, and the so-called "intra-Afghan" talks with the government have gone nowhere. "We are faced with many dilemmas, and there are no easy options," Stoltenberg told journalists after talks between defense ministers in Brussels."If we stay beyond May...

US warns Beijing against force at sea

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The Straits Times US warns Beijing against force at sea, again rejects claims on S. China Sea WASHINGTON • The United States on Friday warned China against the use of force in disputed waters as it reaffirmed its view that Beijing's assertive campaign in the South China Sea is illegal.The State Department voiced "concern" about new legislation enacted by China that authorizes its coast guard to use weapons against foreign ships that Beijing considers to be unlawfully entering its waters.The text "strongly implies this law can be used to intimidate the PRC's maritime neighbors", State Department spokesman Ned Price said, referring to the People's Republic of China."We remind the PRC and all whose forces operate in the South China Sea that responsible maritime forces act with professionalism and restraint in the exercise of their authorities," Mr Price told reporters."We are further concerned that China may invoke this new law to...

Rocket Attack In Iraq Kills A U.S. Military Contractor

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The New York Times Rocket Attack In Iraq Kills A U.S. Military Contractor Some saw the barrage of rockets aimed at an airport in the northern city of Erbil as a test of the new administration in Washington. By Sangar Khaleel and Jane ArrafERBIL, Iraq — A rocket attack on the airport in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil on Monday killed a civilian contractor with the American-led military coalition and wounded six others, including a U.S. service member, according to a coalition spokesman.Several other rockets landed in residential areas of the city, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, including one close to the Chinese Consulate.The attack, rare in the normally peaceful Kurdish city, raised tensions already heightened by threats of Iran-backed militias on American targets in Iraq. It was not clear who carried it out, but previous attacks have been attributed to militias funded and directed by...
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Real Clear Defense Strategic Hub of Landpower Builds in the Black Sea Region By Matthew Van Wagenen & Arnel P. David The NATO alliance grows stronger. It is by no means perfect, but after 72 years, it perseveres as an international instrument to preserve peace and deter aggression. Our new administration recognizes this strategic benefit, and it is no surprise that the first callby the new secretary of defense is to the head of NATO.An area of focus for the alliance is the Black Sea Region. The U.S. Navy recently sailed two ships into the Black Sea to conduct drills and improve interoperability with partners, and on the ground, a new corps is being built in Romania to serve as a hub of land activity in the region. The beauty of belonging to an alliance means that Romania will not have to do this alone. They have many friends who...
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Defense One The drone defense dilemma: How unmanned aircraft are redrawing battle lines By Tom Kington ROME — First there was the video from Libya of a Turkish drone destroying a Russian Pantsir missile defense system.Next came the veteran S-300 air defense system — also Russian — being taken out in Nagorno-Karabakh by an Israeli-built Harop loitering munition.In the conflicts in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh last year, unmanned platforms often made short work of the ground-based systems designed to neutralize them, paving the way for easy attacks on vulnerable troops.What is more, experts say, is that the balance of power between drones and air defense systems is shaping up to be a key to global wars in the near future.“Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and also Syria have just showed us that if a fielded force cannot protect its airspace, then the large scale use of UAVs can make life extremely dangerous,” said Justin...
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  Stars & Stripes Aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt train together in South China Sea By CAITLIN DOORNBOS The aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt and their strike groups met in the contentious South China Sea for joint operations on Tuesday, according to a Navy statement.“The ships and aircraft of the two strike groups coordinated operations in a highly trafficked area to demonstrate the U.S. Navy's ability to operate in challenging environments,” the statement said.Two-carrier exercises are relatively rare, though they have seen a recent uptick in frequency. As of Tuesday, just nine have taken place in the Indo-Pacific region since 2001 — four since June.The Navy last conducted dual carrier operations in the South China Sea in July, when the Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan operated together twice. China claims about 90% of the South China Sea as its territorial waters despite an international...
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Real Clear Defense The Air Force Should Assure Defenses Against Nuclear EMP Threats As It Seeks Electromagnetic Spectrum SuperiorityBy Norman M. Haller & Peter Pry Air Force Chief General Charles Brown tweeted on January 27, 2021, “Let me be clear, the U.S. Air Force is committed to providing Electromagnetic Spectrum [EMS] superior Air Forces to achieve victory in all domain competitions and conflict.” That same day he acknowledged that the Air Force has been “asleep at the wheel” for the last 25 – 30 years when it comes to operations in the EMS. [1]One Air Force element not asleep was the Air University, which formed an Electromagnetic Defense Task Force (EDTF … note “Defense”) that published an action-oriented report in 2018, including exhortations like “IT’S TIME FOR BOLD ACTION” and “In countering EMS challenges, some windows of opportunity needed to compete with our adversaries are closing. Meanwhile, EMS threats that...

Air Force Enhances Special Warfare Training

Posted by on in Terrorism
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National Defense Magazine Air Force Enhances Special Warfare TrainingBy Yasmin Tadjdeh Special operators are known for tackling some of the military’s toughest and most grueling missions. With that often comes both physical and mental stresses that can wear commandos down over time.To better prepare elite personnel for challenging environments, the Air Force is improving how it trains them through the use of innovative technology and techniques.“Human performance experts and technologies are being used after the Air Force identified that Special Warfare candidates and operators were facing injuries and challenges that could be mitigated with upfront training,” Chief Master Sgt. Joshua Smith, Special Warfare human performance program manager, said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide our students with an agile training pipeline that provides tools and knowledge that helps prevent injuries during training and throughout their careers.”The Air Force established the Special Warfare human performance support group in 2018...

DHS and Partners Coordinated to Secure Super Bowl LV

Posted by on in Terrorism
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DHS and Partners Coordinate to Secure Super Bowl LV Homeland Security TodayDavid Pekoske, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, this week met with local law enforcement officials and the National Football League (NFL) to review Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operations to help ensure the safety and security of employees, players, and fans during Super Bowl LV.  Dozens of federal agencies and components, including DHS, are contributing to security measures seen and unseen in connection with the Super Bowl.“While the football teams are on the field, we will be all around it,” Pekoske said. “In addition to the outstanding efforts of the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the NFL Security Team, more than 500 DHS personnel will be working to secure the Super Bowl on Sunday. This is truly a collaborative effort.”As with past Super Bowls, this event...
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The Independent British Troops Begin Missions In Mali Amid Islamist Insurgency 300 British troops sent to west African nation as part of UN peacekeeping force by Kim Sengupta British troops sent to Mali as part of an international force facing an Islamist insurgency have started carrying out missions in an area which has seen extensive jihadist violence and had come under attack recent attacks.  Around 200 troops and 60 armoured cars took part in their first reconnaissance and intelligence gathering patrol in a conflict which has drawn in al-Qaeda and Isis against a background of political turbulence in the country following a military coup.    The 300 British troops, part of a UN peacekeeping force, are operating under a Chinese senior officer in the local chain of command at Gao, in the east of the country.  Beijing started sending troops to Mali two years ago to join the UN Minusma mission...

U.S. Airstrike Kills Top ISIS Leader In Iraq

Posted by on in Terrorism
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The New York Times U.S. Airstrike Kills Top ISIS Leader In Iraq By Jane Arraf and Falih HassanBAGHDAD — American airstrikes in a joint mission with Iraqi forces have killed the top Islamic State leader in Iraq, an attack aimed at stemming the group’s resurgence and exacting retribution for a deadly double-suicide bombing in Baghdad last week.The ISIS commander, Jabbar Salman Ali Farhan al-Issawi, 43, known as Abu Yasser, was killed Wednesday near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, American-led military coalition and Iraqi officials said Friday.The Islamic State no longer holds territory in Iraq but has continued to carry out deadly attacks. The question of what kind of force is required to keep the group in check has been at the heart of American and Iraqi negotiations over reducing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, and the American role in the raid this week illustrates Iraq’s continued reliance...
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Fox News Texas Wannabe ISIS Terrorist Pleads Guilty To Providing Materials To Brutal Group The wannabe terrorist admitted that since May 2019, he conspired with 34-year-old South Carolina resident Kristopher Sean Matthews, aka Ali Jibreel, and others to provide services to ISIS. By Bradford Betz A 22-year-old Texas man pleaded guilty Monday to providing material support to ISIS, federal prosecutors said.Jaylyn Christopher Molina, aka Abdur Rahim, of Cost, Texas, appeared in court in San Antonio before U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Farrer. Molina pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS and one count of receiving child pornography.The wannabe terrorist admitted that since May 2019, he conspired with 34-year-old South Carolina resident Kristopher Sean Matthews, aka Ali Jibreel, and others to provide services to ISIS. These services included, among other things, administering an encrypted chat group for ISIS supporters, collecting, generating and disseminating pro-ISIS propaganda, attempting...

Turkey Faces Mysterious Jihadi Enemies In Idlib

Posted by on in Terrorism
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Al Monitor by Fehim Tastekin Turkey Faces Mysterious Jihadi Enemies In Idlib Turkish forces continue to expand their presence around the key M4 highway in Idlib as attacks by new groups fuel uncertainties in the rebel-held region. Obscure jihadist groups have stepped up attacks on Turkish forces in Syria’s rebel-held province of Idlib, adding to Turkey’s dilemmas amid the fragile status quo in the region. Al-Qaeda-inspired groups such as Hurras al-Din stood out as potential troublemakers when Turkish forces began to reinforce their presence around the key M4 highway last year, coordinating with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the dominant rebel group in Idlib. Caucasian fighters, concentrated in Jisr al-Shughur and the Latakia countryside, were not seen as an immediate threat, though they share the jihadi ideology.The attacks on the Turkish forces, however, have come from unexpected assailants.A group calling itself the Khattab al-Shishani Brigade claimed the first three attacks, which...
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by Tawfik Hamid  •  Gatestone Institute   Al-Azhar, the most respected Islamic university and organization in the Sunni world, is not – by their own definition – a terrorist organization. Yet the question remains. Is al-Azhar truly moderate, or could it be radical? If we fail to establish clear definitions, we can create chaotic situations that result in our asking radical institutions to help us counter radicalism. It is notable in this context to mention that French President Emmanuel Macron met with the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and called for all French imams to be trained at the Al-Azhar religious institution. The President of France probably has asked for this form of training without determining if Al-Azhar itself was a radical organization or a moderate one. Other metrics of Islamic radicalism such as accepting child marriage, considering the lives of Muslims to be more precious than...