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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Dec 7, 2016

Three teenagers have gone on trial in Germany over an explosion at a Sikh temple in the western city of Essen.  Prosecutors say the defendants, who are German-born Muslims, met on social media where they became radicalized and hatched a plan to kill people they considered to be "infidels."

In a statement ahead of Wednesday's trial, prosecutors said two defendants, a 16 and 17-year-old, are accused of detonating a fire extinguisher filled with explosives at the entrance of the temple on April 16.  One person was seriously injured and two people suffered minor injuries.

Another 17-year-old defendant is accused of planning the attack.  The teens are charged with attempted murder and serious bodily harm. Their names weren't published and media were excluded from the trial because the defendants are minors.

Read more: Fox News

Libyan militias backed by American airstrikes said they have cleared the stronghold of the Islamic State in Libya, a defeat that would set back the group’s ambitions in North Africa. The country, however, remains very unstable amid battles between rival militias, and the remaining militants could still undermine a fragile U.S.-backed unity government, analysts say.

Libyan fighters erupted in celebration in the coastal city of Sirte on Tuesday after a nearly seven month struggle to oust the Islamic State, as the mostly pro-government forces were searching for any remaining militants.

The Islamic State’s hopes of extending their self-proclaimed “caliphate” beyond Syria and Iraq into Libya have been dashed, at least for now. But while their propaganda war and recruiting efforts have also been weakened, analysts said, the group remains active in other parts of the country.

Read more: Washington Post

Hundreds of terrorists could be using British benefits to fund their extremist activities after the Government admitted it did not know the true scale of problem.

There have been calls for a thorough investigation into the issue after two men were convicted of channelling thousands of pounds of fraudulent housing benefits to the Islamist fanatics beind the Paris and Brussels terrorist outrages.

With more than 850 Britons thought to be currently fighting in Syria, counter terror experts believe large amounts of taxpayers' money is ending up in the hands of jihadists desperate to wage war on the West.

Read more: The Telegraph (UK)

Police arrested an emotionally disturbed man lugging a gas can at Rockefeller Center and carrying a book by the son of a terror group founder, sources said Tuesday.

Yuriy Alterman, 38, had a copy of “Son of Hamas” on him when he was busted Monday afternoon, but a police source said he has no terror connections.

Police were flagged down by a Fox News worker who saw Alterman near Sixth Ave., and W.46th St. Alterman threw at least one bottle and was carrying a gasoline can, as well as matches, authorities said.

Officers Henry Hernandez and Ryan Marrero, both assigned to the Critical Response Command, found him near Rockefeller Plaza.

“(Expletive) the NYPD,” he allegedly yelled as the officers handcuffed him.

There was a gallon of gas in his 2-gallon container, sources said, though he suggested to police he didn’t plan on setting anything on fire.

Read more:  New York Daily News

Turkish warplanes pounded 12 Islamic State targets in the al-Bab region of northern Syria on Wednesday, killing 23 militants, the military said.

The air strikes were launched as Syrian rebels, backed by Turkish troops and firepower, besiege Islamic State controlled al-Bab as part of the three-month-old Euphrates Shield operation to push the jihadists and a Kurdish militia away from Turkey's border.

Separately, one Turkish soldier was killed and six were wounded, one of them seriously, in a vehicle-borne bomb attack in the area on Wednesday morning, the military said in its statement. Media reports had earlier said two soldiers were killed in the attack.

Military and hospital officials said the wounded soldiers were transported to hospitals in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep.

Wednesday's air strikes targeted buildings used by Islamic State fighters as well as three tanks and a bomb-laded vehicle, the army said. Nine similar targets were destroyed in air raids the previous evening, it said in an earlier statement.

The advance by largely Turkmen and Arab rebels backed by Turkey towards al-Bab, the last urban stronghold of Islamic State in the northern Aleppo countryside, potentially pits them against both Kurdish fighters and Syrian government forces.

Read more:  Reuters