terrorism

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.

Our original post:

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.

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."

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