US law enforcement accused of using entrapment to ensnare ‘terrorists’ (Al-Jazeera)

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“The recent arrests on terrorism-related charges of six young Somali-Americans from Minneapolis and others throughout the United States have prompted renewed questions over the issue of entrapment, and over the degree of real security achieved by disrupting plots that law-enforcement had helped shape.

The six, ages 19 to 21, were charged with conspiracy to aid and support a terrorist organization, and are accused of trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also called ISIS).

“These were focused men who were intent on joining a terrorist organization,” Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said at a news conference.

But the case relies partly on a confidential human source (CHS), who had been a part of the group seeking to join ISIL before he began cooperating with the FBI.”

Read the full article here.

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France ‘foils five terror attacks’ – PM Valls (BBC)

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“French police have foiled five terror attacks in recent months, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said.

He said the latest was a planned attack on churches in Villejuif outside Paris.

An Algerian man was arrested on Sunday over the alleged plan, after he apparently shot himself by accident and called an ambulance.”

See the full report here.

Background Briefing on the Report Required To Rescind Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism Status (State)

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This transcript contains the full background briefing on American-Cuban Relations in regards to the pending review of Cuba’s status as a state sponsor of terrorism. Read the full briefing here.

The Bureaucracy of Terror New Secret Documents Reveal al Qaeda’s Real Challenges (Foreign Affairs)

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“A new trove of documents that were among those seized in the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, were presented recently during the trial of Abid Naseer at the Brooklyn federal district court.

The documents—which consist of correspondence between Osama bin Laden and senior al Qaeda leaders—reveal the state of the global terror operation in the months leading up to bin Laden’s death. They paint a picture of an organization crippled by the U.S. drone campaign, blindsided by the Arab Spring, and struggling to maintain control over its affiliates—and yet still chillingly resolute in its mission to strike inside the United States.

The documents offer some insight into the effectiveness of U.S. counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda. They also, believe it or not, provide a few laughs.”

Read the full article by Jennifer R. Williams

Shabab Militants Learning to Kill on a Shoestring (JEFFREY GETTLEMAN of the NYT)

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“In the pecking order of the world’s leading terrorist groups, the Shabab militants, based in Somalia, operate on a shoestring budget. But as the attack on a Kenyan university last week showed, they have become proficient in something terrible: mass murder on the cheap.”

See the full article here.

Terrorist Attack in Tunisia (Multiple Sources)

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Numerous militants in military uniforms killed at least 19 civilians, with minimum of 17 foreigners, were killed at the Bardo Museum in Tunis. Tunisian security forces killed at least 2 attackers. The attacks may have been affiliated with IS.

For more information see:

BBC’s Tunisia museum shooting: Tourists killed by gunmen

CNN’s “Tunisia museum attack kills at least 19; three suspects sought.”

NYT’s “Tunisia Museum Attack Is Blow to Nation’s Democratic Shift.”

Reuters’s “Islamic State militants say Tunisia attack ‘first drop of the rain'”

WSJ’s  “Tourist Massacre in Tunisia Jolts Cradle of Arab Spring”

THE STING HOW THE FBI CREATED A TERRORIST (The Intercept)

Sami OsmakacOsmakac was the target of an elaborately orchestrated FBI sting that involved a paid informant, as well as FBI agents and support staff working on the setup for more than three months. The FBI provided all of the weapons seen in Osmakac’s martyrdom video. The bureau also gave Osmakac the car bomb he allegedly planned to detonate, and even money for a taxi so he could get to where the FBI needed him to go. Osmakac was a deeply disturbed young man, according to several of the psychiatrists and psychologists who examined him before trial. He became a “terrorist” only after the FBI provided the means, opportunity and final prodding necessary to make him one.”

See details on the sting operation here.