The White House said on Wednesday it supported the Christchurch Call’s aims but was “not in a position to join”, citing the need for freedom of speech. The comments came as five of the world’s biggest tech companies pledged to tackle extremist material. The Christchurch Call is a voluntary commitment by governments and tech companies to improve their efforts to tackle extremist content. The Christchurch Call was launched in response to a deadly terror attack that was live streamed on Facebook.
The U.S. government is offering $1 million for help tracking down the son of the late terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. The announcement says bin Laden’s son has emerged as a leader of the al-Qaida terrorist group. His father was killed in a U.S. military raid in Pakistan in May 2011. Hamza bin Laden was named a “specially designated global terrorist” in January 2017. He has released audio and video messages calling for attacks against the U.S. and its allies.
A US military airstrike killed at least 60 al-Shabab militants in central Somalia on Friday in the deadliest airstrike since 2017. The US cooperated with Somali forces to target the militant group. Top US military official Marine General Joseph Dunford said ‘little progress has been made’ dealing with underlying conditions leading to Islamist extremism.
The U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani came to an agreement yesterday in an effort to reduce the funding Qatar has been providing to terrorist groups. At a news conference in Doha, Tillerson said, “The United States has one goal — to drive terrorism off the face of the earth.” The agreement will help the U.S. and Qatar share information and track down the sources of funding for terrorism.
In another act of terrorism, a 50 year old Canadian man stabbed a police officer, Lt. Jeff Neville, in the neck with a 12 inch knife while shouting “Allahu akbar” at Flint airport in Michigan. The suspect was apprehended and was identified as Amor M. Ftouhi, a dual citizen of Canada and Tunisia. An airport official confirmed the police officer is currently in good condition.
After the Manchester bombing, the threat level in the UK has now been raised to critical. Theresa May raised the level from severe to critical saying in a televised statement that adding members of the armed forces would boost security at key sites and military personnel may be deployed at public events such as concerts and sports events. ISIS have taken responsibility for the attack, but UK officials are yet to comment on that.
Terrorism charges were filed, by federal prosecutors, Tuesday, against the suspected New York City subway pipe bomber, Akayed Ullah. Prosecutors say Ullah taunted President Trump online before his subway attack, later professing, ‘I did it for the Islamic State.’ The 10-page criminal complaint against Ullah, who remains hospitalized, includes using a weapon of mass destruction.
Facebook said on Thursday that they will be using artificial intelligence to locate and remove extremist posts and users. Many people have been complaining, famously Theresa May, that terrorism is finding a safe space on the internet and social media platforms.
Former Libyan militant, Ahmed Abu Khattala, was convicted of terrorism charges, Tuesday, related to 2012 attacks on United States facilities in Benghazi. Despite being the first person charged in the attacks, Khattala was acquitted of multiple counts of murder. The mixed verdict demonstrates the difficulty involved in the attempt to prosecute terrorism cases without clear evidence.
On Monday afternoon, an armed man was killed after ramming his vehicle into police convoys on the Champs-Élysées. The vehicle was a Renault Mégane and contained many weapons and explosives, no bystanders were injured.