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Persecuted

Hyeon Soo Lim: Ottawa urged to step up pressure to gain release from North Korean prison

Ottawa is failing to take "clear" steps which could help secure the release of a seriously ailing Toronto pastor from a North Korean prison, despite messages relayed from the authoritarian country that those steps would up his chances of getting home, say Canadian sources familiar with the case.

Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim was convicted in December of plotting to overthrow the North Korean government, and since then has languished in a hard labour camp. The 62-year-old senior pastor of Mississauga's Light Korean Presbyterian Church is apparently in pain, has lost weight and is slower in his responses.

Ottawa says it is doing everything in its power to get Lim out of prison and in the interest of his case, it won't divulge many details on its exact efforts to make that happen.

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Canada a 'target of direct threats' from ISIL and other extremists, government says in overdue report

Canada's "principal terrorist threat" comes from those inspired by extremist ideologies to conduct attacks, the government said Thursday in its latest update on the security challenges facing the country.

Released by Pubic Safety Minister Ralph Goodale just over two weeks after a failed ISIL-inspired suicide bombing in Ontario, the report said ISIL and its sibling al-Qaida "continue to appeal to certain individuals in Canada."

Some promote violence online, radicalize their peers, recruit and fundraise, it said. "Others may consider travelling abroad to join a terrorist group or conducting terrorist attacks themselves," said the 2016 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada.

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Nice truck attack kills 84 people in France, leaving 77 more victims critically wounded: 'We are facing a war'

A Tunisian living in France drove a large truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day along Nice's beachfront, killing at least 84 people, many of them children, according to police and hospital officials. The slaughter ended only after police killed the armed attacker in a hail of bullets.

French leaders on Friday extended the country's nine-month-old state of emergency and vowed to deploy thousands of police reservists on the streets after Thursday night's massacre of pedestrians leaving a fireworks display for France's independence day. French prosecutors said Friday that 25 more victims are on life support, and 52 are in critical condition.

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Fears of 'Sharia Police' and Islamic State support in German city after wave of refugees

Eyewitnesses reported seeing three people wearing burkas and black gloves driving around Hamburg's Wandsbek district in a black VW.

They said a sticker with an Islamic logo and the words Sharia Police was fastened to the car's bonnet.

There were also reports of another incident in the Dammtor area of Hamburg where witnesses claim to have seen five to seven masked people sitting in a van.

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IS group claims it downed Syrian warplane in country's east

The Islamic State group says it has shot down a Syrian government plane in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour and that its pilot has been killed.

A video released on Thursday by the group's media arm, Aamaq, purports to show the plane's wreckage in flames and the body of the pilot, strung up on what appears to be a pole.

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Trudeau's leadership MIA during terror scare

Terrorism threatens not only innocent lives, but also our collective sense of security.

It is for this reason that the death of failed terrorist Aaron Driver, 24, in Strathroy, Ont. last week hit Canadians so hard.

I was among the first three journalists at the scene of the police standoff in front of Driver's southwestern Ontario house Wednesday - arriving just two hours after the explosion that injured a cab driver and left Driver dead (whether by his own bomb or by police shooting we don't yet know.)

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2,000 men allegedly sexually assaulted 1,200 women in Germany on NYE: police leak

At first, there was complete silence from officials. As rumours spread on social media, police had nothing to say about allegations of mass sexual assaults and other crimes carried out on New Year's Eve in the German city of Cologne.

It was only days later that officials reported that hundreds of women were victims of assault in Cologne, Hamburg and other German cities.

But numbers that are now emerging are likely to shock a country still coming to terms with what happened in Cologne more than half a year ago. According to a leaked police document, published by Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and broadcasters NDR and WDR, the previous estimates have to be dramatically revised - upward.

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Christian leaders from Middle East ask for Canada's help

A trio of Christian leaders from the Middle East are calling on Canada's government to provide direct aid to Christians being persecuted in that region.

The three church leaders - one from war-torn Syria, one from Iraq and one from Lebanon - were in Toronto Wednesday as part of the Knights of Columbus' annual Supreme Convention gathering.

All three spoke of the persecution of Christians in Middle Eastern hotspots by radical Muslim groups, such as the Islamic State (ISIS).

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'You thought wrong': Bin Laden's son threatens revenge against U.S. for killing his father, 'oppression' of Muslims

Al-Qaida's media arm has released an audio in which the purported son of the late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden threatens revenge against the U.S. for assassinating his father.

In the video released by As-Sahab Saturday, Hamza bin Laden tells Americans that they are accountable for the decisions of their leaders. He says al-Qaida will continue waging jihad, or holy war, against the U.S. in response to its "oppression" of Muslims.

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Islamic State Answers Pope Francis: Ours Is a Religious War and We Hate You

The Islamic State terror group has come out publicly to reject Pope Francis' claims that the war being waged by Islamic terrorists is not religious in nature, assuring the pontiff that their sole motivation is religious and sanctioned by Allah in the Qur'an.

In the most recent issue of Dabiq, the propaganda magazine of the Islamic State, ISIS criticizes Pope Francis for his naivete in clinging to the conviction that Muslims want peace and that acts of Islamic terror are economically motivated.

"This is a divinely-warranted war between the Muslim nation and the nations of disbelief," the authors state in an article titled "By the Sword."

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Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: 41 dead and 239 injured in 'hideous' suicide bombings in Turkey

The death toll from a triple suicide bombing at Istanbul's Ataturk airport rose to 41 dead and 230 injured on Wednesday, as Turkish investigators pored through video footage to identify the killers.

Five Saudis, two Iraqis and citizens from China, Jordan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Ukraine were among 13 foreigners dead.

The attack on Europe's third-busiest airport was the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings this year in Turkey, part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State and struggling to contain spillover from neighbouring Syria's war.

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France church attack: Priest killed by two 'IS soldiers'

The attackers entered the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass, taking the priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, 84, and four other people hostage.

Police later surrounded the church and French TV said shots were fired. Both hostage-takers are now dead.

The Amaq news agency, linked to so-called Islamic State, said "two IS soldiers" had carried out the attack.

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Number of Refugees Arrested for Terror Higher than Reported

New data from the Senate Judiciary Committee reveals that 40 refugees have been arrested on terrorism-related charges since 9/11; a number far higher than the State Department's previous estimate of a dozen.

Clarion Project reported in November 2015 that a little-noticed poll showed that 13% of Syrian refugees express favorable feelings towards the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). The Obama Administration plans to resettle between 8,000 and 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this year. It is about half way towards that goal, having resettled about 4,000.

The new congressional numbers show that 580 individuals have been convicted on terrorism-related charges since 9/11, with 131 convictions happening since early 2014 when ISIS burst onto the scene.

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Olympics target of planned ISIS-inspired attack, 10 arrested: Brazilian official

Brazilian police arrested 10 people who allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group on social media and discussed possible attacks during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, officials said Thursday.

Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said in the capital, Brasilia, that 10 suspects had been detained and two more were being sought. All are Brazilian, and one is a minor. The gender of the people was not given.

Police acted because the group discussed using weapons and guerrilla tactics to potentially launch an attack during the Olympics, which begin Aug. 5, Moraes said.

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Suspect in German cinema attack killed

An attack at a cinema in Viernheim, Germany, has left at least 25 people injured, German public TV reported Thursday.

The suspect entered the cinema, apparently heavily armed, around 3 p.m. local time, authorities said. The attacker has been killed, a state interior minister told a local newspaper, according to Reuters.

It's not clear if any of the injured were shot, or were injured in other ways.

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Nice attacker had help, planned for months: officials

The truck driver who killed 84 people on a Nice beachfront had accomplices and appears to have been plotting his attack for months, the Paris prosecutor said Thursday.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said five suspects currently in custody are facing preliminary terrorism charges for their alleged roles in helping 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel in the July 14 attack in the southern French city. Molins' office, which oversees terrorism investigations, opened a judicial inquiry Thursday into a battery of charges for the suspects, including complicity to murder and possessing weapons tied to a terrorist enterprise.

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Redacting Orlando 911 calls turns blind eye to terrorism

See no evil, hear no evil, transcribe no evil...

The Orlando terrorist's 911 calls were released Monday morning - but his loyalty to ISIS and its demented leader was edited out. In other words, his motive.

Barack Obama's attorney general, Loretta Lynch, claimed she did not want to "revictimize" the 49 dead and 53 wounded in Omar Mateen's attack on Pulse, a gay nightclub.

So the transcript read like this.

'Like a slaughterhouse': ISIS claims responsibility for axe attack on train in Germany

A note found in the Afghan train attacker's room where he also kept a hand-painted flag of the Islamic State group indicates he may have been self-radicalized, a top German security official said Tuesday.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters that the 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, who shouted "Allahu akbar" as he attacked people on a train Monday night in southern Germany, had written notes in Pashto that indicated he may have self-radicalized.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack which was posted on the group's Aamaq news agency on Tuesday.

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6 detained in Belgium in connection with foiled train attack

Six people were detained in connection with an attack last year on a Thalys express train to France that was foiled by three Americans, Belgian authorities said Monday.

The Federal Prosecutor's Office said six houses in the greater Brussels area were searched in the operation and an investigating judge was to decide later whether the people taken in for questioning should remain in custody.

No arms or explosives were found and the prosecutor's office said no further information would be made public about the people detained or the items seized in the police searches.

In August 2015, a man on a Thalys train that had just crossed into France from Belgium tried to open fire with an assault rifle but was overpowered by three Americans, two of them off-duty members of the U.S. armed forces. French police termed it an Islamic extremist attack, but the alleged gunman, Ayoub El Khazzani, maintained he wanted to commit a robbery.

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Terror must be named

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel ploughed a 20-ton refrigerated truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice last week -- zigzagging along the Promenade des Anglais before police shot him dead.

He left a trail of corpses behind him, 84 dead and more than 200 injured.

In the attack's wake, political and media focused largely on whether or not the Tunisian migrant acted alone.

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Toronto Pride Parade included in posts on pro-ISIL channel threatening North American attacks

Security for next month's Toronto Pride Parade was being "evaluated on an ongoing basis," a Toronto Police spokesman said Tuesday after a threat to the event was posted on a pro-ISIL propaganda channel.

The U.S.-based Middle East Media Research Institute said in a report on Tuesday that a post on a Telegram channel that promotes ISIL had singled out the Pride Parade in Toronto, providing the date, time and location of the event.

"The Toronto Gay Pride Parade is an excellent target. Plenty of kafir sodomites to kill," said an image on the messaging site, MEMRI said. Photos of a handgun and scenes from what appear to be the Toronto parade were inset within the image.

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