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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 25, 2020

A car has been driven into the gates of Angela Merkel's Federal Chancellery building in Berlin, German police say.

A 54-year-old man was detained but the background to the incident was unclear.

The Volkswagen car had messages daubed in white on both sides. One called for an end to "globalisation politics" while another referred to "you damned killers of children and old people".

The incident came hours before Mrs Merkel held talks with regional leaders on extending Covid safety measures. 

It is not known if she was in the building at the time. Germany's "lockdown light" is expected to be extended until 20 December and the restrictions have prompted protests from Covid deniers and far-right activists.

However, there were indications that Wednesday morning's low-speed crash was not related to the protests. 

An interior ministry spokesman later confirmed German reports that the man detained had also driven into the gate in February 2014. On that occasion the car had different white slogans daubed on the side. One called for an end to climate change while another read simply: "Nicole, I love you." 

Police said they were trying to establish whether the driver on Wednesday had a psychological condition or a particular motive. A government spokesperson said at no point was there any risk to the chancellor or anyone else.

Read more: BBC News


Counter-terrorism experts have criticised as “ludicrous” and “retrograde” a government decision to allow some regional Australian airports to remove all passenger and baggage screening to cut costs, warning there are now no measures in place to prevent extremists hijacking planes flying into cities.

Guardian Australia can reveal more than 50 regional airports have no passenger or baggage screening processes in place for regular services that fly into capital cities, after a gradual reduction of security requirements imposed after the September 11 attacks.

The most recent changes, to take effect from next month, mean at least eight regional airports, including Longreach, Blackall, Barcaldine and Cloncurry in Queensland, have been allowed to remove their security screening equipment and associated staff, meaning passengers will no longer be subject to body scans or have their luggage searched.

Read more: The Guardian (UK)

A man has been arrested after he was accused of trying to blow up a vehicle outside a Denver Police station Sunday evening.

According to the Denver Police Department (DPD), the man, identified as Derick Joseph Smialek, 37, pulled up outside the west entrance of the District 6 station at 1566 N. Washington St. at 5:13 p.m.

HALO footage caught Smialek pacing around the vehicle that was parked in the driveway before he fired a flare gun into the vehicle. The contents of the vehicle were later found to be soaked in gasoline, according to a DPD probable cause statement.

Smialek was not successful in blowing up the vehicle, DPD said. He then walked into the police station to make a report.

Read more: KUSA (Denver)

Russia said on Monday it had detained a police colonel from the southern region of Dagestan and charged him with offences including terrorism after accusing him of aiding a suicide bomber in a 2010 attack on the Moscow metro.

The country’s Investigative Committee, the body that probes major crimes, said it had detained Gazi Isayev, an Interior Ministry official overseeing the Kizlyarsky district of Dagestan as part of a investigation into the attack that killed 39 people and injured more than 100 others.

It said that Isayev had driven a female suicide bomber, clad in an explosive belt, to a bus station near the town of Kizlyar, from where she would travel some 1,470 km (910 miles) north to carry out the attack.

Read more: Reuters

The Federal Government has cancelled the citizenship of Abdul Nacer Benbrika, one of Australia's most notorious terrorists, ahead of his expected release from a Victorian prison.

Benbrika was jailed for 12 years in 2008 for his role in a plot to attack a number of targets in Victoria and New South Wales.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton confirmed the Government had now revoked Benbrika's Australian citizenship.

"I cancelled the Australian citizenship of convicted terrorist Benbrika, [making him] the first individual to have lost citizenship onshore," he said.

Read more: ABC News (Australia)