September 2018 Terror Threat Snapshot: Homegrown Extremism Rising
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By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security
The latest Terror Threat Snapshot from U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) describes the growing number of homegrown terror arrests in the United States in recent years, as well as some impressive gains in the war against global terrorism.
McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, releases the monthly report which covers “the persistent terror threat to America” from jihadist extremist groups along with the latest developments in worldwide terror-related cases.
September 2018 Terror Threat Snapshot Key Takeaways
As is the case in each edition of the Terror Threat Snapshot, McCaul and his Committee found numerous nuggets of information to share in an effort to educate the public on the ongoing threats to the nation, including:
- Aug. 31: Two Americans were stabbed at a train station in Amsterdam. A 19-year-old Afghan asylum seeker was arrested by Dutch law enforcement who later stated that the attacker had a “terrorist motive.”
- Aug. 22: The leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakral-Baghdadi, released a message calling for more attacks in the West. Contents of the audio speech indicated it was recently recorded because it mentioned the disagreement between Turkey and the United States over the jailed U.S. citizen Andrew Brunson.
- Aug. 21: Ibrahim al-Asiri, one of Al Qaeda’s (and arguably the world’s) most sophisticated and skilled bomb-makers, was killed during a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. He was reportedly behind several major incidents including the 2009 attempt to down an airplane over Detroit using an “underwear bomb.” Asiri was also developing bombs that could be hidden in a person’s laptop or tablet, resulting in the now-standard TSA requirement of passengers removing such devices from their carry-on bags at security checkpoints.
- Aug. 13: Fazliddin Kurbanov, an Uzbek refugee serving a 25-year sentence in a California prison for plotting a terrorist attack, will now serve an additional 20 years for attempting to stab a warden in the throat.
- Aug. 11: A couple in Arizona was arrested in Tuscon and charged with “falsifying immigration documents.” Mohamed Abdirahman Osman, 28, and his wife, also allegedly omitted Osman’s previous connections to al-Shabab – a jihadist fundamentalist group based in East Africa.
- Aug. 9: Moroccan citizen, Mounir el-Motassadeq, who was connected to the “Hamburg Cell” that provided support for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, will be released from a German jail three months earlier than originally planned.
Homegrown Terrorism Climbs
According to the Terror Threat Snapshot, homegrown terrorism continues to rise in the United States as people in nearly every state continue to radicalize. Since 2013, 159 homegrown jihadist terror-related cases have occurred in the United States. Here are some of the recent homegrown cases as outlined in the snapshot:
TEXAS: Asher Abid Khan, 23, of Spring, Texas was sentenced Aug. 1 to 18 months in prison for providing material support to ISIS.
CALIFORNIA: Everitt Aaron Jameson, 27, of Modesto, California, was sentenced Aug. 6 to 15 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to ISIS.
ILLINOIS: Faress Muhammad Shraiteh, 21, a resident of Chicago but currently living in Israel, was indicted Aug. 10 for attempting travel to join ISIS.
INDIANA: Marlonn Hicks, 31, was sentenced Aug 20 to 15 years in prison for dispensing information on how to manufacture and utilize explosives to carry out violent attacks.
NORTH CAROLINA: On Aug. 22, Basit Javed Sheikh, 29, a Pakistani citizen pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to al-Nusra Front.
FLORIDA: Samuel Baptiste, 25, of Miami, was indicted Aug. 23 by a Grand Jury on “four counts of distributing information regarding explosives, one count attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and one count attempting to provide material support to terrorists.”
The snapshot also describes some of the recent successes gained against ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Taliban and al-Shabaab.
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