President Trump says IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died 'a coward' in raid

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump says Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died after running into a dead-end tunnel and igniting an explosive vest, killing himself and three of his young childrenPresident Trump is describing the U.S. raid in Syria that killed perhaps the world's most wanted man.The president says during remarks from the White House's Diplomatic Room that al-Baghdadi spent his last moments in utter fear and claims that the IS leader was "whimpering and crying" and died as "a coward, running and crying."President Trump had teased the announcement with a tweet Saturday night, declaring that "Something very big has just happened!"He says the U.S. received immediate and positive identification on the body and that the world is now a much safer place.

Starbucks sees no bias in 'ISIS' cup for Muslim man

A man in Islamic dress believes he faced discrimination at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, where an employee at another location last year called police on two black men, prompting nationwide racial bias training.Niquel Johnson gave his Islamic name, "Aziz" (ah-zeez), to a Starbucks barista on Aug. 25th but never heard it called out as the names of the three drinks he ordered were read instead.

Guilty plea: 2nd man faces 20 years in federal prison, convicted in attempt to join ISIS

MILWAUKEE -- A second man charged federally in a case in which prosecutors said the men tried to join and fight for the Islamic State has reached a plea deal in the case against him.Federal prosecutors said Yosvany Padilla-Conde, a Cuban national, agreed to assist Jason Ludke in an attempt to join ISIS by traveling from Wisconsin through Mexico to Syria and Iraq in order to work under ISIS' direction and control.Federal court documents show in September 2016, an undercover FBI employee received a friend request from Ludke on social media, and a series of conversations ensued via email, voice chat and video chat -- with Ludke indicating he "wanted to make hijra (migration) away from darul kufr (land of the infidel) in order to join ISIS," and Padilla-Conde was aware this occurred.Prosecutors said Padilla-Conde also swore his allegiance to ISIS and expressed his intent to travel to the Middle East in videos that the undercover agent and Ludke requested he make.

Milwaukee man who attempted to join ISIS sentenced to 7 years in prison

MILWAUKEE -- A 35-year-old Milwaukee man who tried to join and fight for the Islamic State has been sentenced to seven years in a federal prison.Federal prosecutors say Jason Ludke was a "true danger" and asked for a 20-year sentence followed by a lifetime of supervised release.However, Ludke's attorney asked for five years, saying his client was a "lost soul."In the end, Ludke was sentenced to seven years with 10 years of supervised release.In 2016, Ludke and another man -- 30-year-old Yosvany Padilla-Conde -- were charged with attempting to provide support to a foreign terrorist organization.Padilla-Conde's trial is scheduled for the end of June.

Alabama woman who joined Islamic State seeks return to US

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama woman who left home to join the Islamic State after becoming radicalized online wants to return to the United States.A lawyer for the family of 24-year-old Hoda Muthana told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that the woman knows she was wrong to join the terrorist organization.Attorney Hassan Shibly says Muthana is ready to pay the penalty for her actions but wants freedom and safety for the 18-month-old son she had with an IS fighter who has since died.Muthana fled her home in suburban Birmingham in late 2014 and resurfaced in Syria, where Shibly says she wed two IS fighters.

US carries out first airstrikes against ISIS in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The U.S. military for the first time has conducted two airstrikes against Islamic State group fighters in Somalia, where the group is a growing presence in a country long threatened by the al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab.A U.S. official said the strikes were carried out in northeastern Somalia, with the first around midnight local time and the second later Friday morning.

US-allied forces begin final assault on IS in Syria's Raqqa

BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Syrian fighters launched an operation to retake the last Islamic State-held pocket of the northern city of Raqqa on Sunday after some 275 militants and their family members surrendered.The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said the operation will continue "until all the city is cleansed from terrorists who refused to surrender."The SDF has been on the offensive in Raqqa since early June and now controls about 90 percent of the city that was once the extremist group's self-styled capital.

"Why would he do that?" US soldier arrested after pledging loyalty to Islamic State

HONOLULU  — A U.S. soldier who was recently arrested on terrorism charges expressed support for the Islamic State group as early as 2011, but remained in the Army for years while the military and the FBI investigated to determine whether he posed a threat, authorities said.Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang was taken into custody over the weekend after the 34-year-old veteran of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan declared his loyalty to the terrorist group and exclaimed that he wanted to "kill a bunch of people," according to authorities.The case highlights the challenges investigators face with protecting the public from a potentially dangerous actor on one hand and gathering sufficient evidence to enable prosecution on the other.Kang is on record making pro-Islamic State comments and threatening to hurt or kill other service members back in 2011, according to an FBI affidavit filed Monday in federal court.The Army revoked his security clearance in 2012, but gave it back to him the following year.

Islamic State warns Syrian dam at risk, evacuates residents

RAQQA, Syria — The Islamic State group ordered residents to evacuate the Syrian city of Raqqa on Sunday following reports that a dam contested by U.S.-backed forces upstream on the Euphrates River could collapse, activists reported.The militants said coalition airstrikes had weakened the Tabqa Dam, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Raqqa, and that the water level behind the dam was rising.

Madison man who tried to join ISIS sentenced to 10 years in prison

MADISON -- The Madison man who tried to join the Islamic State was sentenced to ten years in prison on Friday, February 17th.U.S. Attorneys say 36-year-old Joshua Van Haften planned to "betray the United States and join terrorists dedicated to the murder of innocent individuals."