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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 18, 2020

A Florida man who questioned government authority over individuals living in the U.S. through an online forum was fatally shot, allegedly by a woman who has espoused similar “sovereign citizen” views, police said Tuesday.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that Neely Petrie-Blanchard was arrested in Georgia one day after the killing of Christopher Hallett in his Ocala-area home. Witnesses to the shooting said Petrie-Blanchard accused Hallett of working with the government to deny her custody of her children.

Hallett, 50, ran an entity called E-Clause LLC that featured a Facebook page filled with documents, graphics and articles about whether governments have authority in many instances over individuals. This viewpoint is frequently summarized as the “sovereign citizen” movement.

Read more: Tampa Bay Times

Three rockets, apparently fired by an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, landed in the U.S. Embassy complex within Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone late Tuesday, amid rising tensions with Iran in the waning days of the Trump administration.

A U.S. military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in advance of a formal statement, said initial reports indicated there had been no injuries to U.S. personnel or damage to American facilities. Another rocket reportedly landed elsewhere in the zone, and the Iraqi army said in a statement that another three fell outside the area, killing a young child and wounding five Iraqi civilians.

The attack came as President Trump has consulted with top members of his national security team about a possible strike on Iran following reports of a sharp expansion in its uranium enrichment program. The government in Tehran has said it has no intention of building a nuclear weapon.

Read more: Washington Post

At least five people have been killed in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant near a police academy.

Mohamed Abdirahman, a police officer at the scene, said two of the victims of Tuesday’s attack were police personnel.

More than 10 people were wounded and rushed to hospital, some in serious condition, Abdirahman told AFP news agency.

Witness Abdukadir Hussein said there had been dozens of people in the restaurant when the attack took place.

Read more: Al Jazeera

A surge in online extremism, at a time of COVID-related isolation, has created a "perfect storm" for radicalisation, according to the UK's top counter terrorism police officer.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu has said growing numbers of young people in particular have been sucked in by the increase in hateful ideology online and set on a path towards violent extremism.

AC Basu revealed that 17 children, some as young as 14, were arrested on terrorism charges in the past 18 months.

Over the same time period, more than 1,500 children under the age of 15 were referred to the Prevent counter radicalisation programme.

Read more: Sky News

Head lowered, an Islamic State operative listened silently as a Paris judge on Monday detailed his alleged plot to unleash mass slaughter on a high-speed train before he was tackled and subdued by American vacationers whose heroics inspired Clint Eastwood to direct a Hollywood re-enactment.

Opening a month-long trial for Ayoub El Khazzani, the judge said the 31-year-old Moroccan with ties to a notorious mastermind intended to “kill all the passengers” aboard the Amsterdam to Paris train in 2015 but “lost control of events.”

El Khazzani, who is on trial with three suspected accomplices, acknowledged the charges against him with a simple “Yes.”

Read more: AP