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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Oct 14, 2020

Somalia's spy agency, National Intelligence and Security Agency (Nisa), says it has seized 79 tonnes of sulphuric acid smuggled into the country for use by al-Shabab militants to make explosives.

"We have seized 79 tonnes of sulphuric acid and arrested a number of people who smuggled it into the country and were transporting it to al-Shabab mafia," Nisa said in a tweet. The agency added that investigations were ongoing and the suspects will be arraigned later in court. It did not reveal when the seizure was made. 

The announcement comes as Somalia marks the third anniversary of the 14 October 2017 bombing in the capital, Mogadishu, that killed more than 600 people. Al-Shabab did not say it carried out the attack, although it frequently stages attacks in the capital.

The UN Security Council had in June warned that al-Shabab was capable of smuggling explosives-making components into the country.

Source: BBC News

On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Erin Nealy Cox, announced a major plea in a firearms case.

Marcus Anthony Braziel has plead guilty to two federal crimes in relation to the Midland-Odessa mass shooting.

Braziel, a resident of Lubbock, plead guilty to selling guns without a license, as well as violating tax laws.

The prosecutors said that while not every sale of a firearm needs afederally licensed firearms dealer, a dealer who has a pattern of sales for profit must have a license.

Authorities believe Braziel is the person who sold the shooter the gun he used to commit the crime on Aug. 31, 2019.

Read more: WCNC

Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor during a June meeting in Ohio, an FBI agent testified Tuesday during a court hearing in Michigan.

Special Agent Richard Trask was part of the investigation that led to six men being arrested and charged last week with plotting to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Seven other men face state terrorism charges.

Trask did not name Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, during his testimony in a federal courtroom in Grand Rapids. He said members of anti-government groups from multiple states attended the meeting.

Read more: WUSA

The men arrested in connection with a kidnapping plot against Michigan's governor were connected with a movement of anti-government extremists that is active in Wisconsin.

Experts who track extremists say the loosely organized groups can serve as a gateway to radicalization — and in extreme cases, that can lead to planned acts of domestic terrorism such as those described in the Michigan plot. Some of these groups deny being anti-government extremists. On the Three Percenters website, the organization states: "We are NOT a militia." But a consistent thread among such groups is the idea that people should be prepared for an armed struggle against the government.

Thirteen men were charged Thursday in what authorities say was a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. According to the criminal complaint, the Michigan men did weapons training in the Wisconsin village of Cambria, and planned to bring Whitmer back to an undisclosed Wisconsin location for what they termed a "trial."

Read more: Wisconsin Public Radio

A Russian attempt to broker a cease-fire to end the worst outbreak of hostilities over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in more than a quarter-century has failed to get any traction, with rivals Azerbaijan and Armenia trading blame for new attacks.

The failure of the truce that was supposed to begin Saturday reflects the uncompromising positions of the two South Caucasus nations that have stymied decades of diplomatic efforts. The escalation of fighting raises the specter of a wider conflict that could draw in Russia and Turkey and threaten Caspian Sea energy exports.

Read more: AP