terrorism | KUOW News and Information

terrorism

Updated at 11:15 p.m. ET

At least eight people were killed and "more than a dozen" were injured Tuesday afternoon after a motorist drove onto a busy pedestrian and bicycle path in Manhattan. Police have arrested a 29-year-old man identified by law enforcement officials as Sayfullo Saipov. Authorities have said there are "no others outstanding" in the incident, which unfolded near the World Trade Center.

The initial numbers were staggering — and they grew ever more devastating as rescue workers sifted through debris: More than 300 people dead. At least 300 people injured. A blast area the size of "two or three football fields," as one witness told The Guardian.

The investigation into the Las Vegas shooting is still in the early stages, yet there already is a familiar debate about whether to call it an act of "domestic terrorism."

"It was an act of pure evil," President Trump said — but the president and law enforcement officials have refrained from calling it terrorism.

Several members of Congress, from both parties, did describe the attack as terrorism, including Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Tennessee.

Two key questions crop up every time this debate takes place.

First, what was the attacker's motive?

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

British Prime Minister Theresa May called Friday's morning rush-hour attack on a London subway train that wounded at least 29 people a "cowardly" act and raised the country's threat level to critical.

London's Metropolitan Police are investigating the explosion on the train at the Parsons Green station in the capital, calling it an act of terrorism. The Islamic State's Amaq news agency said the militant group was responsible for the attack, but that claim could not be independently verified.

Why would anyone want to harm an aid worker?

They're just there to help. They don't take sides. They're protected by international humanitarian law. Yet they've repeatedly been the target of some of the worst forms of violence, from kidnapping to gang rape to beheadings. In 2016 alone, 288 aid workers were attacked.

Updated at 6:41 a.m. ET Friday

Hours after a van drove into a crowd of people in Barcelona, Spain, Spanish police say they stopped a second terrorist attack.

Authorities say the two attacks are linked.

Police say five suspects wearing explosives — later determined to be fake — were killed after a shootout with security forces in the Catalan coastal town of Cambrils located about 70 miles southwest of Barcelona. Six civilians and a police officer were injured, police said early Friday.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions was asked how he viewed the car attack in Charlottesville, Va., here's how he responded:

"It does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute," he told ABC's Good Morning America.

That certainly seems to suggest the government is looking into a possible terrorism charge against the suspect, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. At Saturday's rally organized by white supremacists, a car slammed into counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19.

Christian Picciolini says he was a "lost and lonely" teenager when he was recruited by a white nationalist group. Picciolini immersed himself in the organization's ideology and by age 16, he had emerged as the leader of a group called the Chicago Area Skinheads. He even helped recruit others to the cause. That is until, he says, he had an awakening after the birth of his first child.

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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