Islamist extremists

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Suspect in Timbuktu Shrines' Destruction: 'I Am Really Sorry'

Ahmad al-Mahdi, charged with war crimes, pleads guilty at the Hague

(Newser) - When Islamic rebels backed by al-Qaeda infiltrated Timbuktu in 2012, they wreaked havoc in the Malian city and destroyed Muslim shrines, including nine mausoleums and the door of a mosque that had remained shut for hundreds of years, per the Guardian . Now Ahmad al-Mahdi, a former employee with Mali's... More »

Bangladesh Unravels 3-Year Mystery of Machete Killers

2 militant Islamist groups are behind the attacks, authorities say

(Newser) - Since 2013 in Bangladesh, at least 39 activists, bloggers, foreigners, and religious minorities have been fatally struck down by mysterious machete-wielding figures on motorbikes. Now, authorities say they finally know who is behind the attacks, the New York Times reports. The chief of the police counterterrorism unit says that an... More »

At Least 22 More Suspects Tied to Terror Attacks

'Extensive' terror network that planned Paris, Brussels attacks run out of Belgian district

(Newser) - At least two dozen young Islamic radicals linked to the Paris and Brussels attacks are still on the loose, with investigators trying to penetrate the "extensive web" that may be planning more attacks, a Wall Street Journal investigation finds. Scouring court documents and interviews, the paper finds many of... More »

Decapitated Head Left on Fence in French 'Terror Attack'

1 suspect dead, 2 in custody: French officials

(Newser) - At least one person is dead and two wounded after suspected Islamist militants attacked a US-owned gas factory in France this morning, authorities say. Two men reportedly crashed a car through the entrance to Air Products' premises in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier and hit gas containers that began exploding, reports Reuters and the... More »

FBI Thinks Americans Are Training for Terror in Syria

And it's watching them like a hawk

(Newser) - The FBI is keeping a close watch on Americans who have traveled to and returned from the war in Syria. The US believes that al-Qaeda affiliates in the war-torn country are actively attempting to recruit Americans there and train them to carry out attacks back home, senior intelligence and counterterror... More »

US, Britain Yank Aid to Syrian Rebels

Meanwhile, Islamists kidnap human rights lawyer, two journalists

(Newser) - The US and Britain have cut off aid to Syria's opposition, after Islamist rebel groups seized bases loaded with Western-provided goods from their former Free Syrian Army colleagues. The move won't affect humanitarian aid, a US embassy spokesman tells the BBC , but rather the "non-lethal" military assistance... More »

Russia Sends Syria Ships— and 'Ship Killers'

Moves seem designed to ward off international military intervention

(Newser) - Russia is reportedly sending military aid to Syria that seems designed to counter any attempt at military intervention from the US or other Western countries. US officials tell the New York Times that Russia has sent the regime new, radar-equipped anti-ship cruise missiles, weapons that could fend off an international... More »

'Key Thread' in Boston Bombing: Trip to Russia

Investigators focus on Tamerlan Tsarnaev's possible extremist links

(Newser) - As the Boston Marathon bombing investigation continues, the FBI is really zeroing in on dead suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev's six-month trip to Russia last year, the New York Times reports. The elder of the Tsarnaev brothers visited two predominantly Muslim republics in the country's north Caucasus region—Chechnya and... More »

AP Revises Rule on Use of 'Islamist'

It's not a synonym for an Islamic extremist

(Newser) - The Associated Press has changed the way it uses another politically charged term, reports Politico . First it was "illegal immigrant," and now it's "Islamist." The news service's widely used stylebook says the word should no longer be used as "a synonym for Islamic... More »

Algerian Hostage Raid Over —Casualties Still Unclear

Government confirms some hostages are dead

(Newser) - Algeria says its mission to free about 40 foreign hostages—including Americans—is now over, but there's still no clear information about how many of the captives survived, reports AP . The Algerian government confirms that some hostages were killed in the raid on a gas facility in the desert,... More »

Early Reports: 35 Hostages Killed in Algeria Crisis

Many had already escaped, according to earlier reports

(Newser) - Some 35 hostages and 15 Islamist militants in the Algerian crisis have reportedly been killed in a helicopter attack launched by the Algerian military, reports the AP . Those numbers, however, were released by the militants, who also announced that seven of the 41 hostages taken, including two Americans, are still... More »

France: Mali Campaign Over Within 'Weeks'

But Islamist militants seized another town today

(Newser) - France's foreign minister is optimistic about the campaign it started in Mali Friday, saying it will be over within "weeks." He rejected a comparison to the Afghanistan war, adding, "we have no intention of staying forever," the BBC reports. The country's defense minister was... More »

In Northern Mali, al-Qaeda Building Its Own Country

Extremist groups took over the area after coup

(Newser) - Since the military coup in Mali earlier this year, al-Qaeda's influence in the African nation has increased—to the point that northern Mali, the largest territory held by the terror group, is now basically al-Qaeda's own country. The AP takes an extensive look, describing the elaborate series of... More »

Soldiers Shoot Mauritania's President 'by Mistake'

Islamists, however, had vowed revenge against him

(Newser) - Soldiers in Mauritania have shot and wounded the nation's president, but he assures people the incident was all a mistake, Reuters reports. The government flew President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to France yesterday for medical treatment, where he issued a televised message: "I want to reassure everyone about... More »

Libya Army Traps Militia Blamed for Stevens' Death

But Ansar al-Sharia remains 'very dangerous': commander

(Newser) - Libya's army has blockaded the militia blamed for Ambassador Chris Stevens' death, squeezing Ansar al-Sharia into an eastern wooded region. But the fight is far from over, officials say: "They have 150 to 200 men and 17 vehicles, Toyotas, and four-by-fours," notes a commander. "These people... More »

Egypt Fires Missiles in Sinai for 1st Time Since 1973

Airstrikes target militants after attacks Sunday, last night

(Newser) - Egypt launched its first air attacks in the Sinai Peninsula in nearly four decades in the early hours of today, using helicopters to kill suspected militants close to the border, reports the New York Times . State media puts the toll at 20. The airstrikes came after another assault on at... More »

Islamists Stone Mali Lovers to Death

Militants in north exact extreme punishment for sex

(Newser) - Two young, unmarried lovers, apparently with children, were buried up to their necks then stoned to death in a Mali town taken over by Islamist extremists. Bearded men, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, dragged the couple from the countryside into the center of the town of Aguelhok, reports the New York ... More »

Newt Gingrich Defends Bachmann's Islam Attacks

'Politico' op-ed derided by others

(Newser) - In a six-page, 2,500-word Politico op-ed (with an attached three-page, 1,800-word appendix ), Newt Gingrich makes it crystal clear that he is on the side of Michele Bachmann and her four fellow members of Congress who want an inquiry into whether the government is being infiltrated by Islamic... More »

Boehner Slams Bachmann's Muslim Conspiracy

Calls accusations 'pretty dangerous'

(Newser) - Michele Bachmann and the other House Republicans who want an investigation into the alleged infiltration of US government by Muslim extremists have already been smacked by Anderson Cooper and John McCain —now add two more prominent names to the mix. John Boehner noted today, "I think accusations like... More »

Cooper Smacks Bachmann's Muslim Conspiracy

Dismantles her claim that Muslims infiltrating government

(Newser) - Anderson Cooper doled out an epic takedown of Michele Bachmann and some of her cronies in Congress last night , debunking their idea that Muslim extremists are infiltrating the highest levels of US government. Bachmann and four other Republicans in the House of Representatives want the Inspectors General to investigate this... More »

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