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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.

A bomb killed four people in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Tuesday, the first such attack in years in a part of the country that has enjoyed relative stability, and a senior official said Islamic State militants were suspected of carrying it out.

The blast, near a major hospital in the predominantly Shi'ite Muslim city, was caused by a motorbike rigged with explosives, the military said in a statement, citing preliminary information.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"The blast carries fingerprints of Daesh (Islamic State)," Basra Governor Asaad al-Edani told reporters.

Bomb attacks in the Basra area been rare - the last major one was in 2017, and claimed by Islamic State. The authorities have kept a tight grip on the area where the bulk of the OPEC member's oil is produced and exported.

Read more: Reuters

Police in Des Moines say they’ve arrested a man suspected in a string of overnight arson fires involving half a dozen vehicles that also damaged at least two homes.

Police say in a news release that the fires occurred starting around 11:30 p.m. Sunday into early Monday morning.

The fires included six vehicle fires, two of which damaged homes, an electrical box fire, and a trash fire that all happened within blocks of each other in northeastern Des Moines.

Police say patrol officers spotted a person leaving the scene of the last fire around 2:20 a.m. Monday and arrested 32-year-old Andrew Anthony, of Des Moines. Police said later Monday that Anthony has been charged with seven counts of arson and a drug possession count.

Read more: WOWT (Omaha)

The Alabama Association of School Boards has cut ties with a national group two months after the national organization asked federal law enforcement for help policing threats against school officials.

Alabama officials said Monday that the decision to split came after a long history of “dysfunction” in the National School Boards Association, which represents school boards nationwide.

“AASB chose to let its membership in NSBA lapse due to long-standing concerns with the organization’s governance and commitment to its mission and its ability to represent Alabama school board members’ needs,” spokesperson Dana Vandiver said in a statement. “The letter to the president and subsequent developments were symptoms of that dysfunction.”

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Police are on the hunt for a masked man who was spotted at the scene of a firebombing incident in Strathaven.

Officers have been reviewing CCTV after an item on fire was thrown towards Scott Bennett’s Platinum Vets and K9 Fertility in Strathaven.

The incident happened around 8.15pm on Thursday, December 2 on Common Green.

Witnesses told how young men on bikes targeted the facility with bricks and firebombs.

Two youths were reportedly seen cycling up to the premises in the rain before taking the bricks out of bags.

Pictures taken from the scene show fire crews and police in attendance following the incident, with officers cordoning off the area outside the vets while firefighters battled the flames.

Read more: Daily Record (Scotland)

Western powers have called on Russia to lower tensions with Ukraine, ahead of a video call between US Joe President Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Responding to fears of a Russian invasion, Mr Biden agreed with leaders of the UK, France, Germany and Italy to use "all the tools at their disposal".

Moscow denies it has plans to attack.

But Russia has moved thousands of troops near Ukraine's eastern borders, and Ukraine says tanks have been moved to the front line inside its territory.

Hours before the video talks scheduled for 15:00 GMT, it appeared Washington was not planning a US military response, but focusing instead on tough economic sanctions.

In a conference call on Monday night, the White House said the five Western leaders had formed a joint strategy "to impose significant and severe harm on the Russian economy" should Russia launch an invasion.

Read more: BBC News