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Armed border group shuts down camp at border in New Mexico

Armed border group shuts down camp at border in New MexicoSUNLAND PARK, N.M. (AP) — An armed group that has been patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border left its post in the New Mexico desert Tuesday amid pressure from law enforcement following videos that showed militia members stopping migrants who had illegally crossed into the country.



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Islamic State group claims Sri Lanka suicide bombings

Islamic State group claims Sri Lanka suicide bombingsThe Islamic State group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a devastating series of suicide attacks against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed more than 320 people. The claim, accompanied by a photo and video of the men the group said had unleashed the carnage, emerged more than two days after the near-simultaneous blasts ripped through three high-end hotels popular with foreigners and three churches packed with Christians celebrating Easter. Sri Lanka’s government had said initial investigations suggested the attack had been carried out as “retaliation” for shootings at two mosques in New Zealand last month that killed 50 people.



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Alleged commander of militia reportedly said group was training to assassinate Clinton, Obama

Alleged commander of militia reportedly said group was training to assassinate Clinton, ObamaThe group has posted social media videos of its volunteers apprehending migrants crossing the U.S. border in New Mexico.



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Little-known Islamist group NTJ accused in Sri Lanka blasts

Little-known Islamist group NTJ accused in Sri Lanka blastsBefore being named prime suspects in Sri Lanka’s Easter bomb suicide attacks, National Thowheeth Jama’ath’s main claim to fame was being linked to vandalising of Buddhist statues. After long wrangling with radical Buddhist leaders, suicide bomb attacks against churches and hotels would be a spectacular departure for the little-known Islamic extremist group. Cabinet minister and government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne on Monday said authorities believed the NTJ was behind Sunday’s attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels in which 290 people died.



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Armed militia group that detained migrants kicked out of their New Mexico camp

Armed militia group that detained migrants kicked out of their New Mexico campMembers of the United Constitutional Patriots militia, who had set up camp in Sunland Park, New Mexico, were told to leave their campsite by Friday.



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FBI arrests leader of armed group stopping migrants in New Mexico

FBI arrests leader of armed group stopping migrants in New MexicoThe arrest came two days after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the group of illegally detaining migrants and New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered an investigation. Hopkins, 69, also known as Johnny Horton, was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. “We’re not worried about it, he’s going to be cleared,” said Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), blaming his arrest on political pressure from Lujan Grisham.



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Sri Lanka bombings: 'international network' linked to attack as local Islamist group blamed

Sri Lanka bombings: 'international network' linked to attack as local Islamist group blamedApreviously obscure Islamist extremist group known only for vandalising Buddhist statues has emerged as the prime suspect behind suicide bomb attacks that killed close to 300 in Sri Lanka. All seven bombers were Sri Lankan but the the scale and coordination of the attacks has led investigators to decide the homegrown group acted with the help of a more sophisticated international terrorist network, such as Islamic State. Sri Lankan officials admitted they had been tipped off earlier this month that the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) group was due to attack churches, but the warning failed to stop carnage. Three churches and three hotels were devastated in nearly simultaneous blasts across the island that killed at least 290 and wounded around 500. “We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country,” said Rajitha Senaratne, the health minister and cabinet spokesman said on Monday. “There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.” Among the Britons feared dead are Anita Nicholson, 42, and her 11-year-old son Alex Credit: Facebook As Sri Lanka remained on edge and subject to curfew, the US warned that terrorists were plotting more attacks against the country which hoped it had put decades of violence behind it. Tourist sites, hotels, airports, and night life venues were all potential targets, the US State Department warned. More bombs were destroyed in a controlled explosion on Monday after they were found in a van close to St Anthony's Shrine which was attacked on Sunday. Detonators were also found in the capital by police. One of the two bombers to strike the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo was identified as Insan Setiawan. A copper factory he owned was raided and nine suspects arrested. While 36 hours after the Easter Sunday blasts there had still been no claim of responsibility, Sri Lankan government sources told The Telegraph the NTJ was now considered the prime suspect. The country's president, Maithripala Sirisena, awarded the military sweeping wartime powers to arrest and detain suspects. Read more | Sri Lanka attacks Sri Lanka is thought to have been tipped off about the possibility of attacks on churches by intelligence from India which named the NTJ. The newly formed radical Islamist group supporting global jihad had sparked little attention among the crowded field of international terrorist groups, although it had been flagged as violently anti-Buddhist, the majority religion on the Indian Ocean island. The sophisticated nature of the multi-pronged assault and the targeting of Christians and Westerners have now raised the possibility the group could have joined forces with global terrorist networks like Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) or Al Qaeda on the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). The Indians had reportedly become aware of the NTJ as a fertile recruitment ground for the Islamic State terrorist group, said sources in Delhi, although only a few dozen radicalised Sri Lankans are believed to have joined Isil in the Middle East, compared to hundreds from the nearby Maldives. Sri Lanka attacks – Locator map One working hypothesis in Delhi is that the NTJ may have hooked up with returning insurgents from Iraq and Syria. The prospect of attempts by former Asian Isil fighters coming home to set up a regional terror hub has long been a fear among security experts. A well-placed security source said the NTJ were believed to have been inspired by Isil jihadist attacks. Analysts have predicted that the “localisation” of terrorism where seemingly insignificant groups are inspired by or merge with more powerful global networks could be the future of jihad in Asia. pic gallery “The reality is that inevitably this group has links outside,” said Madhav Nalapat, a professor of geopolitics at India’s Manipal University. “My assessment is that the motivation, the masterminds are outside the country.” “I think their aim is global, it’s not in Sri Lanka. Wherever they can get a soft spot they hit because they need recruits all the time and the only way that they can get recruits is by doing these kinds of spectacular activities. This is essentially a recruiting tool for them.” Islamic State group made no claim of responsibility for Sunday's blasts, but its supporters praised the attacks online. The US-based SITE intelligence group, which monitors online jihadi activities, said Isil media channels were “posting rampantly” about the explosions and praying “may Allah accept” them. An Isil-supporting Indonesian Instagram account had issued a further chilling warning alongside videos of the Sri Lankan bombings, reported SITE, with a message stating “the Bloody days in your church has begun.”



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Sri Lanka says militant group National Thowfeek Jamaath is suspected in Easter Sunday bombings

Sri Lanka says militant group National Thowfeek Jamaath is suspected in Easter Sunday bombingsThe bombing attacks in Sri Lanka killed at least 290 people, including Americans. Who is responsible? National Thowfeek Jamaath, a militant group.



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New Mexico Border Militia Leader Allegedly Said Group Planned to Assassinate Obama, Clinton

New Mexico Border Militia Leader Allegedly Said Group Planned to Assassinate Obama, ClintonPAUL RATJEThe border militia leader who was arrested in New Mexico over the weekend on weapons charges allegedly said that his far-right group was training to kill prominent Democratic figures because of their “support of Antifa.”According to an arrest warrant for Larry Mitchell Hopkins, witnesses told authorities that he’d said the United Constitutional Patriots were training to “assassinate” liberal billionaire George Soros, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and former President Barack Obama.The 69-year-old and his armed militia, which spreads conspiracies and searches for asylum seekers on the border, have been accused of illegally detaining migrants. Hopkins was arrested Saturday on charges of possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports he could face three years probation and a $ 250,000 fine.Witnesses also told authorities in Oct. 2017 that the group “had its ‘base’ at Hopkins’s residence, was supported by approximately 20 members, and was armed with AK-47 rifles and other firearms,” the arrest warrant states. During a search of his property, the FBI found 10 guns in Hopkins’ “office,” which he claimed were owned by Fay Sanders Murphy, his “common law wife.” Hopkins told authorities there were two more guns in his bedroom—a shotgun and a handgun—and another handgun in his kitchen. All told, the FBI seized nine guns from Hopkins’ home as evidence, including shotguns and long rifles. Saturday’s arrest marks the third time the militia leader has been arrested on weapons charges. In 1996, he was convicted for possessing a loaded firearm in Michigan. In 2006, he was also convicted in Oregon of felony possession of a firearm and criminal impersonation of a peace officer.UCP and Hopkins claim to do work with Border Patrol, but the federal law-enforcement agency has denied having any ties to the vigilante group. A UCP spokesperson named Jim told The Daily Beast that there was “no question” about their work together, pointing to the group’s publicity videos in which Border Patrol agents can be seen in the background.“That’s all documented, and not just once. It’s documented hundreds and hundreds of times over in the videos that I post,” he said.Border Patrol, however, said it does “not endorse private groups or organizations” that take “enforcement matters into their own hands.”UCP produces a radio show that spreads conspiracy theories, QAnon beliefs, and misinformation about migrants being connected to terrorists. Hopkins has also claimed President Trump has asked him about “Muslim immigration.”According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, Hopkins made his initial court appearance Monday morning and has a detention hearing scheduled for April 29.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here



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Leader of armed group at U.S. border boasted of assassination training: FBI

Leader of armed group at U.S. border boasted of assassination training: FBILAS CRUCES, N.M./TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – The head of an armed group that stops migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally allegedly boasted of training volunteers to kill former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an FBI agent said in court papers. Larry Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots, appeared in court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Monday to face charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The FBI said it found guns during a 2017 visit to his home.



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