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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 16, 2020

Al Qaeda’s second-highest leader, accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly 1998 attacks on American embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran three months ago, intelligence officials have confirmed.

Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was gunned down on the streets of Tehran by two assassins on a motorcycle on Aug. 7, the anniversary of the embassy attacks. He was killed along with his daughter, Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden.

The attack was carried out by Israeli operatives at the behest of the United States, according to four of the officials. It is unclear what role if any was played by the United States, which had been tracking the movements of Mr. al-Masri and other Qaeda operatives in Iran for years.

Read more: New York Times

A man who admitted to planning violent attacks against the Anti-Defamation League, a Las Vegas synagogue and a Fremont Street bar was ordered to serve two years in federal prison on Friday.

Conor Climo pleaded guilty to a weapons charge earlier this year, admitting that he “expressed biases and hatred against various racial and religious groups.”

His sentencing, originally set for the spring, was delayed throughout the pandemic and ultimately conducted through a teleconference.

“I would like to first admit that i was truly wrong for all of this,” Climo told U.S. District Judge James Mahan. “I truly apologize.”

According to his plea agreement, Climo admitted that while online between May 2019 and July 15, 2019 he threatened to use Molotov cocktails and improvised explosive devices in an attack on Lev HaShem Messianic Synagogue, 3644 N. Rancho Drive, about 7 miles from his home. He was arrested in August 2019.

Read more: Las Vegas Review-Journal

A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for plotting to kill a federal judge and prosecutor in Miami who handled a 2018 case in which he was found guilty of murder-for-hire.

U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom sentenced Matthew Alexander King on Friday on charges of retaliation against a federal judge and solicitation to commit murder, according to a news release from the U.S. State Attorney's Office.

King pleaded guilty to the charges on Feb. 10.

An assistant prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida handled the 2018 case in which King was accused of hiring a hit man to kill several family members of his estranged wife.

Read more: WJXT (Jacksonville)

Gunmen in western Ethiopia have killed at least 34 people in an attack on a bus, the national human rights body said Sunday.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said the number of people killed was likely to rise after what it called a "gruesome" attack on the passenger bus in the Benishangul-Gumuz region on Saturday.

Details of the attack remained unclear in a country that has seen escalating violence in recent weeks.

The EHRC also said that "there are reports of similar attacks" in three other areas, including on people "who have fled to seek shelter."

"The latest attack is a grim addition to the human cost which we bear collectively," Daniel Bekele, commission head, said in a statement.

Read more: Deutsche Welle