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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Dec 29, 2016

Google is reportedly refusing to prevent its enhanced search features from helping users search for and access content uploaded by Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, known as the pied piper of jihad. Awlaki, a US and Yemeni imam, who has previously been implicated in the planning of several al-Qaeda attacks, allegedly posted numerous online recordings such as lectures, which can easily be accessed by users by typing a few words on Google search, according to a report.

When searching for Awlaki, Google's autocomplete feature suggests additional search options such as "quotes" and "lectures". Although Awlaki was killed in 2011 in a US drone strike, his propaganda and hate-filled lectures appear to be still of interest by those who continue to be seek them online.

Read more: International Business Times (UK)

Police plan to use parked patrol cars and heavy, water-filled barricades at key crossings along the 5.5-mile Tournament of Roses parade route in response to recent terrorist attacks that used trucks as weapons.

In announcing the new security measures on Wednesday, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez stressed there was no known threat to the parade, the Rose Bowl Game or the city of Pasadena. But he said the changes were made in an abundance of caution, adding that parade security is frequently tweaked as terrorism tactics and threats evolve.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

Nigerian police say they have arrested a leader of oil militants along with explosives they say he plotted to use to bomb a bustling bridge in Lagos, the country’s commercial hub.

A police statement Thursday says Abiodun Amos was hunted down to a riverbank hideout. He was found along with two boxes of explosives, 125 detonators and two assault rifles.

The statement says he has identified others still at large among “criminal militant elements planning a series of attacks on government infrastructures and facilities in Lagos state.”

The 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) Third Mainland Bridge usually is crammed with traffic.

Militants previously had restricted their attacks to oil installations, slashing Nigeria’s petroleum production. Militants want a larger share of oil proceeds for residents as oil pollution has destroyed their agriculture and fishing.

Read more:  USA Today

Iraqi security forces on Thursday began the second phase of their offensive against Islamic State militants in Mosul, pushing into some eastern districts where the battle has been in deadlock for nearly a month.

Thousands of federal police troops who redeployed from Mosul's southern outskirts two weeks ago also pushed into a handful of southeastern districts, state television reported.

"This is the second phase of the operation to liberate Mosul conducted by the special forces, the federal police and us on this front," General Nejm Jabouri, a senior army commander, told Reuters in a village just north of Mosul.

Since the offensive to capture Mosul began nine weeks ago, counter-terrorism forces have retaken a quarter of the city, the militants' last major stronghold in Iraq, but their advance has been slow and punishing. They entered a planned "operational refit" earlier this month, the first significant pause of the campaign.

An officer from an elite Interior Ministry unit said on Thursday it was advancing alongside counter-terrorism forces in Mosul's Intisar district, where army troops advised by U.S. forces had made little progress.

"Our troops now are advancing. In the first five or 10 minutes they took 500 metres. Just now they are starting to shoot," the officer said.

Read more:  Reuters

A 40-year-old Tunisian man has been detained in Berlin in connection with last week's attack on a Christmas market, German state prosecutors say.

They say his number was found on the phone of Anis Amri, who killed 12 people by hijacking a lorry and ramming it through the stalls.

Police raided the home and workplace of the man in the Tempelhof area of Berlin, German media report.

Officials have until Thursday to decide whether to formally arrest him.

Amri was shot dead by police in Milan early last Friday, four days on from the attack, after the 24-year-old Tunisian opened fire and injured an officer during a routine check.

Meanwhile government officials have said the lorry's automatic braking system may have prevented the loss of more lives, German media reported

Read more:  BBC News