US won’t join international agreement against online extremism


The U.S. says it supports an international effort spearheaded by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron to find ways to stop social media from spreading hate — but won’t take part in it. Signing onto the effort are the UK, Japan, Australia, Italy, India, Germany, and Spain, along with tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube. The White House suggested it has concerns about First Amendment violations.

Sri Lanka blocks social media to fight anti-Muslim backlash after bombings


Sri Lanka has blocked Facebook and WhatsApp after an eruption of retaliatory attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in the wake of the Easter bombings by Islamist militants. “The attack continued for nearly two hours and they attacked one house also in the village. There were hundreds of attackers,” a resident of the Muslim-majority town of Kiniyama told reporters.

Gunmen storm Pakistani hotel


Gunmen stormed a hotel in China-operated Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, Pakistan. The nationalist terrorist Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) is claiming responsibility for the attack.

Twitter suspends over 160,000 accounts for terrorism content


Twitter is making progress on tackling online terrorism content on its platform as it suspended over 166,000 accounts in the second half of last year. Together with other large tech companies, Twitter is under pressure from regulators and governments all over the world to remove extremist content more rapidly or face more heavy-handed legislation.

Pakistan: Suicide bombing kills 10


A bomb targeting Pakistani police outside a major shrine in the city of Lahore on Wednesday killed at least 10 people and wounded more than 20, officials said. The blast went off near the Data Darbar, one of the largest Muslim shrines in South Asia, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors a year.

Sri Lanka mastermind used Facebook to radicalize


Muslim community leaders say the mastermind of the Sri Lanka Easter suicide attacks used Facebook to publicly call for the death of non-Muslims, and worked for months in private chatrooms to persuade six young men to sacrifice themselves for that cause. He also used social media to inspire wealthy brothers Ilham and Inshaf Ibrahim to bankroll his assault.

Clint Watts: What should America do about its white nationalist problem?


“Small, simple steps can help stem the rising tide of white nationalist terrorism, but one thing above all could dramatically reduce domestic extremism: leadership. Offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ via tweets accomplishes nothing. Elected leaders must acknowledge white nationalist terrorism now, publicly refute the divisive ideology, and affirm their commitment to protect all Americans against threats foreign and domestic.”

Why did ISIS leader Baghdadi reappear now?


Infamous Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in an ISIS video in five years. As speculation grows behind the reason for his reappearance, many believe that he is attempting to assure supporters that the caliphate is not dead, despite heavy losses over the last few months. Others believe that he is signaling to lone-wolf attackers to work autonomously as the communication and structure of ISIS break down.

Two sixth graders charged with plotting school shooting


The students were charged with conspiracy to commit murder on Friday for allegedly scheming to kill students and parents at South Cumberland Elementary School before killing themselves. A school resource officer heard about a rumor about a “hit list” relating to a future school shooting, and was able to alert the authorities on time.

Sri Lanka shows ISIS still a threat


At least one suicide bomber in the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka trained with Islamic State in Syria, reflecting the extremist group’s continued reach even after the collapse of its self-declared caliphate. As many as four of the bombers are being investigated for travels to Turkey, Syria or Iraq, where they learned bomb-making and communications skills and were sent home to Sri Lanka to start local operations.

Authorities thwart CA terror plot


Mark Domingo, an Army veteran and convert to Islam, had planned a terror attack in Long Beach, Calif., that would have targeted a white supremacist rally in the area in retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attack. Domingo was arrested by federal authorities before any attack took place. A supporter of violent jihad, Domingo spoke about becoming a martyr and of pledging allegiance to ISIS if it established a presence in the U.S.

Wounded rabbi stands strong against hate


Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was wounded during the shooting at Chabad of Poway synagogue outside of San Diego. Despite losing a finger in the attack, Goldstein said, “We are a Jewish nation that will stand tall. We will not let anyone or anything take us down. We need to battle darkness with light…” The attack left one dead and four wounded.

Family members of Sri Lanka terrorist killed


The father and two brothers of the alleged organizer of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, Zahran Hashim, were among those killed in a security forces raid on Friday, police confirm. Hashim, who blew himself up at a hotel in Colombo, founded the Islamist group accused of carrying out the attacks. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan president has announced a nationwide ban on face coverings, an emergency measure he said he is taking on national security grounds.

Synagogue shooter linked to mosque arson


A 19-year-old man who authorities said gave himself up to police shortly after carrying out a deadly shooting in a Southern California synagogue filled with Sabbath worshippers is also under investigation in connection with an unsolved mosque arson.

Sri Lanka remains on high alert a week after Easter attacks


Bengaluru and Mysuru in southern Sri Lanka are on high alert with security tightened in the aftermath of the serial blasts in Sri Lanka on April 21, a top police official said on Friday. “We have deployed additional forces in all sensitive areas, religious places, markets, malls and shopping plazas to prevent untoward incidents,” Bengaluru Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar said.

Army vet was targeting Muslims when he drove car into crowd


A driver intentionally plowed his car into a crowd of people in Silicon Valley because he thought at least some of them were Muslim, authorities said Friday, in what a prosecutor called a “horrifying and horrible crime.” Eight people were injured in the crash Tuesday evening, including a 13-year-old girl.

Global effort to stop spread of terror on social media


In the wake of recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that she and French President Emmanuel Macron will lead a global effort to stop social media from promoting terrorism. Freedom watchdog groups worry they could enact laws and regulations that infringe on people’s privacy and freedom of expression, but Ardern says their efforts will uphold the principles of a free Internet.

Terrorist says Trump rallies were ‘like a new-found drug’


Domestic terrorist Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man who admitted to sending pipe bombs to various media outlets and Democratic officials and donors last year and who pleaded guilty last month to 65 felony counts, told a judge in a handwritten letter on Tuesday that “the first thing you [hear] entering [a] Trump rally is, we are not going to take it anymore, the forgotten ones, etc. … It was fun, it became like a new-found drug.” Populism will do that to you.

Arrested militia leader allegedly told FBI they were training to assassinate Obama, Hillary Clinton


The leader of a militia group who’s been detaining migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border allegedly told the FBI his militia was training to assassinate former President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Democratic donor George Soros. Larry Hopkins, head of the United Constitutional Patriots, is charged with possession a firearm as a felon and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

IS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings


The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka that killed over 300 people and injured about 500. The group did not give any evidence for its claim, and the news came after the Sri Lankan government had already blamed National Thowheeth Jamaath for the deadly attacks.

Sri Lanka blocks all social media


The Easter terror attacks which killed over 200 in Sri Lanka created a flood of fake news and false claims online. To stop the flow of fake news, Sri Lankan authorities blocked access to social media sites. While authorities say the ban is temporary, residents of Sri Lanka have no idea when they will be able to access social media sites.