Demonstrations Complicated by Attendance of Militia ‘Security’ Forces and Antifa Militants
Politicians and police worry that armed militia members, who attended recent protests in Boston, Portland, Oregon, and Charlottesville, Virginia, could inflame tensions at upcoming demonstrations and complicate law enforcement response. Authorities are also concerned about more clashes between militia members and Antifa activists, far-left militants often armed with bats and improvised weapons. These groups brawled during the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on August 12. An Ohio man who stood with the white nationalists is accused of later driving a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one person. Some militia members, including those in groups such as the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, maintain that they provide security. Police counter that such assistance is not wanted, and a lack of coordination creates problems.
Raids Uncover Terrorist Cell and More Suspects Following Deadly Vehicle Attack in Spain
Police searched a house and cybercafé in Spain as part of the response this week to two vehicle attacks that killed 16 people and injured 120 in and around Barcelona and led authorities to expose a terrorist cell they said comprised a dozen young men, including several of Moroccan heritage. Two of the four surviving Barcelona suspects identified an imam from Morocco who died in an explosion as the cell’s ideologist, according to a judicial official. The explosion destroyed a house where officials said bombs were being prepared. The driver of the van that zig-zagged along a crowded Barcelona boulevard August 17, killing 13, was shot dead August 21. Moroccan-born Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, had fled the carnage on foot, but killed a man to carjack a getaway car. A woman was killed in the second vehicle attack, in nearby Cambrils early August 18 when a car drove into pedestrians and five suspected jihadists were killed by police. ISIS called for more attacks in Spain and claimed the attackers were “soldiers of the Islamic State,” meaning militants inspired but not trained by the group.
Amid Decline in Fighters and Territory, ISIS Still Deadliest Terror Group
ISIS continues to lose fighters and territory, yet remained the planet’s deadliest terror group in 2016, according to a new report. Researchers found ISIS “core” operatives in Iraq and Syria responsible for 1,400 terrorist attacks that resulted in more than 11,700 total deaths—more than one-third of the year’s total deaths—and a 39 percent increase in the group’s lethality. Attacks by ISIS-inspired individuals were concentrated in Western Europe (54 percent of all ISIS-inspired attacks; 65 percent of all deaths) and North America (23 percent of all ISIS-inspired attacks; 30 percent of all deaths), according to the report from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism’s Global Terrorism Database (GTD), which is headquartered at the University of Maryland. Over 13,400 terrorist attacks took place around the world in 2016, leaving more than 34,000 dead, including more than 11,600 perpetrators, the report found. This represented a 9 percent decrease in total attacks, and a 10 percent decrease in total deaths, compared to 2015.