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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 2019

An Ohio woman who authorities say corresponded in prison with Charleston, S.C., church shooter Dylann Roof and plotted mass violence pleaded guilty Tuesday to a terrorism charge in a case that a top federal prosecutor said could serve as a model to pursue white supremacists or other domestic extremists.

Elizabeth Lecron, 24, pleaded guilty in federal court in Toledo to providing material support to terrorists and transporting explosives in interstate commerce, agreeing to spend 15 years in federal prison and be subjected to a lifetime of supervision by federal authorities after she is released.

Justin E. Herdman, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said he had never used the terrorism charge outside of an international context in his seven years as a national security prosecutor, from 2006 to 2013. But in Lecron’s case, he said, he was able to do so because it involved explosives. Herdman said he’s hopeful that other prosecutors might consider similar charges in domestic extremism cases.

Read more: Washington Post

Authorities say a terrorist plot in Queens has been stopped and a teen is under arrest.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the 19-year-old was arrested as part of a “national security investigation.” He was apparently planning an attack using a knife in the name of Islamic terror group ISIS, somewhere in Queens.

The suspect reportedly lives in a neighborhood in East Elmhurst and FBI were still outside his house on Butler Street late Thursday night.

The suspect was reportedly under constant surveillance by law enforcement and insist there was no threat to public safety.

Law enforcement sources told CBS2 that a 19-year-old suspect was allegedly texting with undercover agents and revealed his plans to carry out the ISIS-inspired attack. An exact time and target has not been revealed.

Read more: CBS New York

Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls Gaza, said Thursday that it had arrested 10 people responsible for suicide bombings that killed three police officers in Gaza City on Tuesday.

The suspects, according to two Hamas security officials briefed on the investigation, included current and former members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a rival militant group that often works in concert with Hamas, especially against Israel.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation, said the suspects also belonged to an extremist movement, known as Salafi jihadism, that is at odds with the more moderate Hamas and has clashed repeatedly with it in recent years. Salafi jihadists view Hamas as insufficiently pious and overly interested in politics at the expense of violent struggle.

Read more: New York Times

A white man opens fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, targeting Mexicans and killing 22 people. Another kills 11 Jewish worshipers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The two mass shootings and a presidential tweet put a spotlight on the idea of "domestic terrorism," adding momentum to a debate about whether such attacks should be classified and tried in the same way as crimes against America by foreign extremist groups and their supporters. A Republican senator and a Democrat in the House of Representatives are drafting bills to do that while some Republicans call for a left-wing group to be designated a terrorist organization.

"Domestic terrorism is in our backyard, and we need to call it and treat it under the law the same as other forms of terrorism," said Senator Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican who intends to introduce legislation when Congress returns in September.

Read more: CBS News

A 19-year-old student found with guns in a North Carolina college dorm had a plot to “kill people,” police say.

Officials on Tuesday night took away two guns that freshman Paul Arnold Steber had on the campus of High Point University, according to a news release.

Police say he had a “plan and timeline to kill people,” WFMY reports.

Read more: Durham Herald Sun