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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 17, 2020

Hate crimes in the U.S. rose to the highest level in more than a decade as federal officials also recorded the highest number of hate-motivated killings since the FBI began collecting that data in the early 1990s, according to an FBI report released Monday.

There were 51 hate crime murders in 2019, which includes 22 people who were killed in a shooting that targeted Mexicans at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso, Texas, the report said. The suspect in that August 2019 shooting, which left two dozen other people injured, was charged with both state and federal crimes in what authorities said was an attempt to scare Hispanics into leaving the United States.

There were 7,314 hate crimes last year, up from 7,120 the year before — and approaching the 7,783 of 2008. The FBI’s annual report defines hate crimes as those motivated by bias based on a person’s race, religion or sexual orientation, among other categories.

Read more: AP

French ground forces and military helicopters killed a jihadist commander linked with al-Qaida in Mali along with four others, the French military announced Friday.

The operation Tuesday targeted Bah ag Moussa, military chief for the RVIM Islamic extremist group, who had been on a U.N. sanctions list and was believed responsible for multiple attacks on Malian and international forces in the country, French military spokesman Col. Frederic Barbry told reporters Friday.

Surveillance drones helped French forces in Mali identify Moussa’s truck in the Menaka region of eastern Mali, which was then targeted by the helicopters and 15 French commandos sent to the scene, Barbry said. All five people in the truck were killed after they ignored warning shots and fired on the French forces, he said.

Read more: AP

Neighbors are back in their homes after ATF agents destroyed explosives found inside a Henryetta home.
ATF said the investigation began when they were told a man hurt himself when he blew up an explosive device in Okfusgee County.

Authorities said the suspect was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Tulsa.

Federal agents said around 250 people were evacuated from the area when their search led them to the house and the discovery of a number of explosives.

Read more: KOTV-DT (Oklahoma)

The White House will bring home 2,500 troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by the end of the year against the guidance of top military officials, a drawdown order that reduces the American presence by about a third, from 4,500 to 2,500 in Afghanistan and 3,000 to 2,500 in Iraq, according to a U.S. official.

NPR's Tom Bowman reported the move is opposed by senior military leaders, given Afghanistan's fragile state. Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have seemingly stalled, and violent attacks have risen 50% in recent months. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, have advised the troop reduction be pushed to the spring, Bowman reported.

Read more: NPR