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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Dec 14, 2016

One was a well-liked elementary school assistant. Another was a hard-working cargo handler. The third was a friendly grocer. They were longtime friends in their quiet suburban neighborhood, and they joked with teenagers and greeted children with a smile.  Yet in the early hours of Nov. 20 agents from France’s internal security agency swooped down, plucking the three and one other from their apartments, charging them with plotting a terrorist attack, and locking them up in a prison outside Paris.

Here was a new type of terrorism arrest: decently paid men in their 30s giving no warning signs of radicalization — no beards, no robes, no proselytizing.  And unlike many troubled youths in Paris and Brussels who have latched onto the Islamic State, they did not live on the margins. They had stable jobs and no previous brushes with drugs or crime.

Read more: New York Times

The Islamic State terror group was manufacturing weapons in and around Mosul on an industrial scale with products largely bought in bulk from Turkey, according to a report published by an arms research group Wednesday.

The findings showed that ISIS maintained a "robust and reliable" supply chain between Turkey and Iraq that allowed the fighters to produce tens of thousands of weapons, the London-based Conflict Armament Research said. The group's researchers studied ISIS weapons found at manufacturing facilities and on the battlefield during the Iraqi operation to retake Mosul that is underway.

As Iraqi forces advance, the extremists are losing the physical capacity to manufacture weapons on an industrial scale, but the research group's executive director James Bevan warned that highly trained fighters will take their expertise with them as they retreat.

Read more: Fox News

A female would-be suicide bomber arrested last week one day before her planned attack in Indonesia's capital said she took orders from Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian with the Islamic State group in Syria accused of orchestrating several attacks in the past year.

Dian Yulia Novi and her husband Nur Solihin were among four suspected militants arrested Saturday after police detected their plot to bomb a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace. A neighborhood on the outskirts of Jakarta was evacuated after a bomb was found. Police suspect the four were part of a militant network responsible for a bomb-making lab in West Java province that was operating under the direction of Naim.

Novi, a former migrant worker in Singapore and Taiwan, said in a TVOne interview broadcast Wednesday that she learned about jihad on social media such as Facebook. She said she was influenced by articles from an Islamic website on upholding monotheism and defending the caliphate and Aman Abdurrahman, a radical cleric serving a nine-year prison sentence in Indonesia.

The active involvement of a woman in the plot is a new development for violent radicalism in socially conservative Indonesia, where women married to or associated with militants have typically stayed in the background.

Read more: ABC News

A coalition airstrike this month killed three top Islamic State leaders, including two terrorists involved in supporting the last year's Paris attacks that killed 130 people, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

The men were killed in a "precision airstrike" conducted Dec. 4 in Raqqa, the Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria, a Pentagon statement said.

The two involved in facilitating the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks were Salah Gourman and Sammy Djedou, the Pentagon said. The pair were close associates of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, an Islamic State leader in charge of planning terror attacks around the world.

The third Ieader killed in the strike, Walid Hamman, was a suicide attack planner convicted in absentia in Belgium for a terrorist plot disrupted in 2015, the Pentagon statement said.

Read more:  USA Today

So-called Islamic State say it was behind a bomb attack on a church in Cairo on Sunday in which at least 25 people were killed.

One of its fighters carried out the suicide attack on the Coptic Christian cathedral, the group said in a statement.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi had earlier named the attacker as Shafik Mahmoud Mohamed Mostafa, 22.

Mr Sisi said the attack caused "pain to all Egyptians".

IS named the attacker as Abu Abdallah al-Masri.

President Sisi used his address at a service for victims on Monday to urge the government to amend the country's terrorism laws, which he said were "restricting the judicial system" in its battle to prevent such attacks.

He also declared three days of national mourning for the victims of the blast.

Read more:  BBC News