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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 10, 2020

The trial of a 28-year-old man accused of killing 10 and injuring 16 after driving a van down Toronto’s Yonge Street in 2018 over the course of several minutes begins in a downtown courtroom Tuesday morning.

Alek Minassian admitted to planning and carrying out the April 23 attack through an agreed statement of facts presented to the court in March. However, the judge previously said the case will turn on Minassian’s state of mind at the time of the attack, not whether he did it.

Once proceedings get underway, defence lawyers are expected to try to convince Justice Anne Molloy that Minassian had an unspecified mental illness that rendered him incapable of knowing what he did was wrong. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Read more: Global News (Canada)

The trial of three suspected Islamist militants accused of helping the perpetrators of a double jihadist attack in 2017 began on Tuesday at Spain’s National Court in San Fernando de Henares near Madrid.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the double attack in Barcelona and the resort town of Cambrils, resort 100 kilometres (60 miles) further south. The attacks left 16 people dead and a further 140 wounded. 

Two of the defendants are accused of belonging to the jihadist cell. The third is on trial for collaborating with the group. Prosecutors have not yet charged the three men with direct responsibility for the attacks.

"We want transparency, we need to know the truth about what happened so that it does not happen again, because until now there has been a lot of murkiness," Spanish news agency EFE cited Cambrils mayor Cami Mendoza as saying.

Read more: Deutsche Welle

A Russian soldier killed an officer with an ax and then shot two more officers at a military base near Voronezh, southern Russia, the country's investigative committee said in a statement Monday.

"According to the investigation, on November 9, 2020, at 5:30 a.m. [the soldier] killed an officer using an ax in order to obtain a weapon and after that shot his colleagues, two of them died, one was wounded," the body said.

The military department of the Voronezh Investigative Committee has launched a criminal probe into the incident.

Read more: CNN

An Indiana woman has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for aiding ISIS terrorists by smuggling "cash and gold" to help fund their actions.

Officials announced on Monday that Samantha Marie Elhassani, also known as Samantha Sally, had been sentenced to 78 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon. Elhassani, 35, pleaded guilty to financing terrorism and will spend three years on supervised release after completing her sentence.

"Once again, the Justice Department has held accountable an individual who turned her back on her country to support a terrorist organization," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a statement.

Read more: Newsweek

Police say attackers beheaded and dismembered more than 50 people in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province over the past three days as violence in the area continues.

The ISIL-linked fighters attacked several villages in the districts of Miudumbe and Macomia, killing civilians, abducting women and children and burning down homes, Bernardino Rafael, commander-general of Mozambique’s police said during a media briefing on Monday.

“They burned the houses then went after the population who had fled to the woods and started with their macabre actions,” said Rafael.

Witnesses told local media the assailants herded residents onto the local football field in the village of Muatide where the killings were carried out.

Read more: Al Jazeera