WASHINGTON - The Islamic State (IS) group remains a threat in Syria and Iraq, and in some areas has even gained power despite the elimination of their "caliphate", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday. "There are places where ISIS is more powerful today than they were three or four years ago," Pompeo said on CBS's "This Morning" show. "But the caliphate is gone in their capacity to conduct external attacks, it's been made much more difficult," he said. "We've taken down significant risk. Not all of it, but a significant amount. We're very pleased with the work that we've done." US President Donald Trump declared early this year that US-led forces in Syria and Iraq had achieved "100 percent victory" over the Islamic extremist group after a campaign to eliminate their redoubt in the Euphrates river valley in Syria. But many fighters are believed to have melded into the population, and the group maintains small strongholds in remote locations in Iraq. A report by the Pentagon's … [Read more...] about Islamic State persists despite territory loss: US top envoy
German intelligence foiled 2016 islamic state terror attack
BERLIN: Germany has for the first time allowed children whose parents were suspected members of Islamic State to return to Germany from northern Syria and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said it will push for more such children to come to the country.Like other western countries, Germany faces a tricky decision on how to deal with citizens who went to the Middle East to join groups like Islamic State, which was driven out of its last territorial enclave in March by US-backed forces.Three of the four repatriated German children are orphans, according to German media, but no further details were available."We will push for more children to leave Syria," Maas said on Monday (Aug 19). "These are mostly young children ... they cannot be made responsible for the actions of their parents and we want to do something to help," he added.Thousands of Islamic State members, including foreigners, women and children, are being held by Kurdish-led authorities in northern Syria.German intelligence … [Read more...] about Germany takes back four Islamic State children from Syria
KUALA LUMPUR: It was the largest migration of foreign fighters seen in history.Today, with the defeat of the Islamic State group, some experts believe that one of the biggest threats the world is facing is the return of the fighters.Of the 41,000 people believed to have travelled to join the self-declared caliphate, an estimated 1,000 people were from Southeast Asia, some of whom have already returned to plot attacks in their home countries.“If you see the fall of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and say that we’re going to enter a peacetime period, (you’d be) wrong,” warned Ahmad El-Muhammady, a counter-terrorism analyst at the International Islamic University Malaysia.People often make the mistake of thinking that once a terrorist organisation has been crushed, “it’s dead”. But its members would spread globally and could remain “hidden from the government radar”.“We’re going through the hibernation period. … [Read more...] about Islamic State fighters heading home: Is Southeast Asia ready?
HANOI: A Vietnamese man has been sentenced to six years in jail for terrorism and weapons possession after he was convicted for smuggling a cache of guns into the country from Cambodia, a court official said Tuesday (May 28).Terror-related crimes are rare in the one-party communist state, where a hardline administration in charge since 2016 has waged a crackdown on critics, jailing dozens last year alone.Le Quoc Binh was arrested in August ahead of Vietnam's national day in central Binh Dinh province carrying seven rifles and 500 bullets that he smuggled in from Cambodia.A court on Monday sentenced him to one year in jail for allegedly planning an attack and another five years for weapons possession, according to a court clerk and state media."Binh used Facebook to share and popularise the use of weapons and violence against the state," according to a report from Bao Ve Phap Luat, the official mouthpiece of the national procuracy office.The report said Binh was disgruntled because his … [Read more...] about Vietnam man jailed for plotting terror attack
KUALA LUMPUR: Police have arrested four men who were believed to have been planning terror attacks and assassinations in Malaysia to avenge the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim. The suspected militants, comprising two Rohingyas, one Indonesian and one Malaysian, were picked up in Kuala Lumpur, Subang Jaya and Kuala Berang in Terengganu from May 5 to May 7. “All four have pledged allegiance to the now-defunct Islamic State terror group,” Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador told a press conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters, here today. Hamid said the four had targeted not just houses of worship but also four high-profile personalities as well as entertainment spots for attacks to be carried out during the month of Ramadan. He said one of the group’s main objectives was to avenge the death of Adib, who was critically injured when he and his colleagues responded to an emergency call at the Sri Mariamman Temple in Seafield, … [Read more...] about Four nabbed over terror attack plans in Malaysia (Updated)