terrorism

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.

Police in Brazil have arrested 10 people for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack against the upcoming Olympics in Rio, according to Brazil's justice minister.

Authorities say the group, based in multiple states across Brazil, had "moved beyond discussion to active planning," NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro says.

Members of the group allegedly had pledged allegiance to ISIS but had not had any direct contact with the militant group, Lulu reports from Rio.

"It's a first for modern Brazil — Brazilians plotting a terrorist attack on their own country," Lulu says.

Andrew Mack, a former strategic planning director at the United Nations and now a fellow at the One Earth Future Foundation in Broomfield, Colorado, coined the term "asymmetric conflict" back in 1975.

On Thursday night, in Nice, France, thousands of people were gathered on a seaside promenade to watch the Bastille Day fireworks.

Then a man in a truck accelerated into the crowd, and kept going. His attack killed more than 80 people, and didn't end until police shot him dead.

Imad Dafaaoui, a Moroccan university student, was horrifyingly close to the truck. He told Morning Edition he saw a crowd of people running toward him, with a white truck behind them, and he too turned to flee.

But he made a nearly fatal error: he ran in the wrong direction.

At a beachside restaurant in Nice, France, Eric Drattell and his wife were relaxing after a fireworks show when a white truck began speeding down the seaside promenade, mowing people down.

"You go from having an absolutely marvelous time to sheer terror in a blink of an eye, literally," he says. "It was a spectacular fireworks show. And then all of a sudden this happens and people are screaming."

Monday's bombing in the Saudi city of Medina stands out, even among the wave of terrorist attacks in recent days. It wasn't the death toll. It didn't produce the scenes of carnage like Saturday's bombing in Baghdad that killed nearly 200 people or last week's attack on the airport in Istanbul that left 44 dead.

It was the chosen target — Medina, the site of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad's tomb and his house.

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Ahmed Saad/Reuters

Baghdad is no stranger to violence, but a bombing on Sunday stunned the Iraqi capital.

“They’re still digging out the bodies,” says reporter Jane Arraf. “They don’t know exactly who died or how many died.”

The death toll is officially at least 150, but many people are still unaccounted for. Most are women and children.

“This was different,” says Arraf, “because of the scale; because of the fact that they struck during the holy month of Ramadan, and because of the victims. The victims included entire families.”

From west to east, the targets ranged from a U.S. consulate in Jeddah to the holy city of Medina and a mosque in the city of Qatif. So far, at least, the casualties are relatively light when compared to recent similar attacks. In at least one case, the attacker died before reaching their target.

Information about the attacks is still emerging, and some early reports may prove off-base. We'll move quickly to correct the record and we'll only point to the best information we have at the time. Refresh this page for the latest.

On Tuesday, three suicide bombers armed with guns and explosives killed more than 40 people at the Ataturk airport in Istanbul.

Less than a day later, the airport was up and running, with workers sweeping away the broken glass and wiping off blood from the ceiling. Two days later, police — who suspect the Islamic State was behind the attack — have arrested 13 suspects and identified the nationalities of the suspected attackers.

And the funerals have begun.

Turkish officials say Islamic State militants orchestrated the terrorist attack that killed 42 people and injured more than 230 at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport Tuesday.

ISIS has not claimed responsibility. The attack at the airport was the latest and one of the most deadly in a string of at least a dozen attacks in Turkey over the past year. Turkey has blamed most of these attacks on either Kurdish separatists or ISIS.

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