terrorism

Success on the battlefield against the Islamic State won't translate into an immediate reduction in the threat from attacks in the West, the top U.S. counterterrorism leader told NPR.

Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said the tactical gains the U.S. military and its partners are making in Iraq and Syria are a "necessary" part of quashing the danger it poses — but not "sufficient."

"We do need that success — but there'll be a lag in the benefits we accrue," he said.

Police in Brazil have arrested 10 people for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack against the upcoming Olympics in Rio, according to Brazil's justice minister.

Authorities say the group, based in multiple states across Brazil, had "moved beyond discussion to active planning," NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro says.

Members of the group allegedly had pledged allegiance to ISIS but had not had any direct contact with the militant group, Lulu reports from Rio.

"It's a first for modern Brazil — Brazilians plotting a terrorist attack on their own country," Lulu says.

Rethinking Lone Wolf Terrorism

Jul 15, 2016

The man who drove a truck through packed crowds celebrating Bastille Day, killing more than 80, may have acted alone, according to the early reports. We don't know if he was inspired by a jihadist ideology or linked to any specific group. In any event, these extremist groups are increasingly embracing a "lone wolf" approach, and the West should prepare for more such attacks.

Updated at 12:46 p.m. ET

Law enforcement and judicial officials have identified 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel as the suspect who they believe plowed into a crowd in Nice, France, killing at least 84 people.

At a news conference, French anti-terror prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters that Bouhlel was born in Tunisia and living in Nice. He said Bouhlel worked as a delivery driver and was married with children.

On Thursday night, in Nice, France, thousands of people were gathered on a seaside promenade to watch the Bastille Day fireworks.

Then a man in a truck accelerated into the crowd, and kept going. His attack killed more than 80 people, and didn't end until police shot him dead.

Imad Dafaaoui, a Moroccan university student, was horrifyingly close to the truck. He told Morning Edition he saw a crowd of people running toward him, with a white truck behind them, and he too turned to flee.

But he made a nearly fatal error: He ran in the wrong direction.

At a beachside restaurant in Nice, France, Eric Drattell and his wife were relaxing after a fireworks show when a white truck began speeding down the seaside promenade, mowing people down.

"You go from having an absolutely marvelous time to sheer terror in a blink of an eye, literally," he says. "It was a spectacular fireworks show. And then all of a sudden this happens and people are screaming."

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

After the shooting in Orlando, Donald Trump called on Muslim Americans to do more to stop attacks on American soil.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Two French police officers — a couple who lived in a suburb of Paris with their 3-year-old — died Monday night in an attack after which their assailant broadcast a live video from their home via Facebook, according to media reports in France. A police raid killed the attacker; the young boy survived.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports for our Newscast unit:

"The attack took place on two off-duty officers at their home about 30 miles west of Paris. The attacker surprised the male police officer at his home as he arrived from work, stabbing him repeatedly.

The Orlando nightclub killings mark the third time in just over a year an attacker has claimed allegiance to the Islamic State, a group that has aggressively advocated for such lone wolf attacks.

So how significant is this?

One school of thought is that individual shooters are simply seeking maximum publicity by invoking the Islamic State, yet have no real links, and therefore the claim is of limited value in understanding the motive or preventing future attacks.

Details are still trickling in from today's attacks in Brussels that have killed at least two-dozen people. We're keeping you updated on the latest here.

While the tragedy in Brussels is the focus of headlines around the world, we're reminded that there have been a number of other attacks recently that have seen less attention, some in places where access is difficult and reporting resources are limited.

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