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terrorism

Three years ago, the Islamic State overran large swaths of Iraq and Syria, and soon declared a caliphate that straddled the border between the two countries. Today, the group's physical caliphate is declining — and the group is preparing its base of fighters for a future under siege.

One of the ways it is doing that is through its musical propaganda.

President Trump has often accused the news media of not covering terrorist attacks adequately. In a speech in February he said, "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino [...] It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported."

Updated 4:10 a.m. ET

A van drove into pedestrians early Monday morning in north London, police say, in what they are investigating as a terrorist attack.

"One man was pronounced dead at the scene," the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement. "Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals; two people were treated at the scene for minor injuries."

Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

ISIS has claimed responsibility for Saturday's terror attack in London. The Islamic State's news agency Amaq said in a statement Sunday that ISIS "soldiers" carried out the attack.

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Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

A huge truck bomb explosion early Wednesday killed at least 80 people and wounded more than 400 others in Kabul's diplomatic zone, Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health says. The attack struck the busy neighborhood in the capital city just before 8:30 a.m. local time, during Kabul's morning commute.

The explosion destroyed or damaged more than 50 vehicles, the Ministry of Interior Affairs said.

Ariana Grande has canceled shows in London and put her tour on hold following Monday's bombing at a concert in Manchester that killed 22 people and injured dozens more.

Yesterday Britain's prime minister Theresa May put the country on high alert, deploying the military to help guard against another attack while police investigate whether more people were involved in Monday's bombing.

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

One day after a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, killed at least 22 victims and wounded dozens more, police have identified a suspect: Salman Abedi, 22, who also died in the attack. The Greater Manchester Police says it's investigating whether anyone helped to carry out the attack.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

One police officer is dead and two seriously wounded after a shooting on Paris' famous Champs Elysees, in an incident that left one attacker dead. The assailant reportedly targeted a police vehicle. Authorities say a bystander was also wounded.

French prosecutor Francois Molins said the authorities have identified the shooter and are assessing whether the attacker had accomplices. Raids and searches were ongoing, Molins said.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Russian investigators say an "explosive device" ignited and ripped through a train car as it was traveling in between metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday afternoon. A second, unexploded device was found at a different metro stop.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

A man in his late teens has been arrested in Israel as the "primary suspect" behind a string of phoned-in bomb threats to Jewish community centers across the U.S. and elsewhere.

The arrest was the result of an investigation by Israeli police and the FBI, a police spokesman says.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET Thursday

British authorities have made eight arrests in their investigation into Wednesday's attack in London, police said Thursday morning.

Mark Rowley, the national lead for counterterrorism policing, told reporters that there were four dead, including the attacker, and 29 people have been treated in hospitals. Seven people are in critical condition, he said.

Police had earlier said there were five dead including the attacker.

Gunmen dressed as medical staff stormed a military hospital in Kabul on Wednesday morning, killing at least 30 people and injuring dozens more in a raid that lasted hours. In a statement published on the Islamic State-affiliated Aamaq news agency, the militant group claimed responsibility for the assault in the Afghan capital.

The attack on Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital ended midafternoon local time, after several hours of floor-by-floor clashes with Afghan security forces left all four attackers dead, according to Gen. Dawlat Waziri, an Afghan defense ministry spokesman.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

President Trump, in another broadside against the news media, on Monday accused "the dishonest press" of failing to report terrorist attacks.

Updated at 8:25 a.m. ET

A man being sought for the truck attack on a Berlin street market was shot and killed Friday by police in a suburb of the northern Italian city of Milan, according to Italy's interior minister.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

A day after a truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin killed 12 people and wounded 48 more, the only identified suspect has been released from custody due to a lack of evidence, according to German officials.

No other arrests have been made in connection with the attack. ISIS' semi-official Amaq news agency claimed that the driver was "a soldier of the Islamic State" who was responding to the group's calls to carry out attacks, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites.

Jay S. Tabb, Jr. (far right) heads the FBI's Seattle office.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

The new head of Seattle’s FBI field office offered some perspective this week on the transition to a Donald Trump administration. 


Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube say they are creating a database to keep track of terrorist recruitment videos and other terror-related images that have been removed from their services.

In a joint statement posted by Facebook on Monday, the company said:

A Somali-American woman from Kent, Washington, has been found guilty of funneling money to a terrorist group. Court documents say the money paid for safe houses and military operations for al-Shabaab, a group affiliated with Al Qaeda. 

The case has sparked concerns within the Seattle area’s large Somali community.


Laura Passoni, a 34-year-old mother of two small boys, grew up in a Catholic family in the Belgian town of Charleroi. She converted to Islam at the age of 16 because she says she liked the religion and her best friend was Muslim.

Passoni married a Muslim man and they had a son. Everything was fine, she says — until her marriage collapsed. "My husband met another woman and left me and abandoned his little boy," she says. "And I went into a deep depression."

A domestic dispute in 2014 triggered FBI scrutiny into New York-area bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami.

A law enforcement official said that Rahami's father, Mohammad R. Rahami, had called New Jersey police over the dispute involving his son but later retracted his complaint.

When these types of complaints come in, they usually go into the FBI's Guardian Threat Tracking System, which prompts a limited level of investigation and surveillance.

Here's what we know about Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey, who was taken into custody on Monday after a shootout with police and charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and two counts related to possession of a weapon:

  • He was born in Afghanistan on Jan. 23, 1988.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET with charges

The suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombs has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. Prosecutors in Union County, N.J., say Ahmad Khan Rahami has also been charged with two weapons crimes. His bail has been set at $5.2 million.

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I was in New York for the weekend, visiting a friend who lives on West 27th Street. We'd been in at an event in Brooklyn; in the cab home, the radio had been saying something about an explosion in Chelsea, on 23rd Street between 6th and 7th — four blocks from her home.

Author Lawrence Wright was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, which meant he was required to do two years of what was called "alternative service." He ended up in Egypt, teaching at the American University in Cairo. And it was there that the man from Texas started his obsession with the Middle East.

Since then, Wright has written a lot about the region and about terrorism as a staff writer for The New Yorker. Now, he has compiled his many New Yorker essays into a new book called The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.

New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi is known for her in-depth reporting on terrorism and the Islamic State. Her recent jailhouse interview with Harry Sarfo, a German citizen who joined ISIS and trained in Syria before disavowing the group, revealed the organization's particular interest in recruits from Europe.

Success on the battlefield against the Islamic State won't translate into an immediate reduction in the threat from attacks in the West, the top U.S. counterterrorism leader tells NPR.

Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said the tactical gains the U.S. military and its partners are making in Iraq and Syria are a "necessary" part of quashing the danger it poses — but not "sufficient."

"We do need that success — but there'll be a lag in the benefits we accrue," he said.

Updated at 8 a.m. ET

A suicide bomber in the city of Quetta in western Pakistan has killed at least 63 people and injured more than 100 others.

The attacker blew himself up in the emergency ward of Civil Hospital, NPR's Abdul Sattar reports.

"Most of the victims are lawyers, journalists and common citizens," Abdul says.

Quetta is the capital of the province of Baluchistan, which is home to a number of militant groups, according to Abdul. The Quetta Shura, a group of leaders of the Afghan Taliban, is believed to be based in the city.

The White House has declassified its procedures for approving operations against terror suspects outside of the United States, providing a window into the decision-making process for authorizing drone strikes and other forms of lethal force.

The redacted document, issued by the administration in May 2013, was released in response to a court order resulting from an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit.

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Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Bombs are raining down from the sky every day in Aleppo. 

When residents hear the buzz of planes overhead, most dash for cover.

But a group of volunteers, known as the "White Helmets," continue to rush toward the destruction. And these days it seems their work just doesn't stop. 

"The last few days were like hell," says 29-year-old White Helmet Ishmael Alabdullah. "We don't have any electricity in Aleppo city, the darkness is everywhere ... All that we have now is just bombing, bombing, bombing." 

When a suicide bomber destroyed my home

Jul 28, 2016
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Ismail Taxta/Reuters

At times, life in Mogadishu can feel like living in limbo, somewhere between conflict and peace; if there was a gray area between extreme violence and normal life, this would be it.

No two days are alike, and every day presents a new struggle to maintain a normal routine amid infinite uncertainty.

On Monday I drove 25 kilometers outside of Mogadishu to Afgoye, a town in the Lower Shabelle region that has been a spot for frequent al-Shabaab attacks.

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