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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 30, 2020

A convicted felon who subscribes to an anti-government philosophy was arrested at an MBTA station on Thanksgiving while carrying a loaded firearm with spare ammunition and wearing body armor, federal authorities announced Friday.

Pepo Herd El, who also goes by Pepo Wamchawi Herd, was arrested at Ruggles Station, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.

El had purchased the gun, body armor and "material that could be used to assemble explosives," Lelling's office said. He was suspected of collecting chemicals that can be used to manufacture explosives and was under law enforcement surveillance.

Read more: WCVB (Boston)

Iranian versions of what happened have changed significantly but it appears that Fakhrizadeh was mortally wounded when his car was sprayed with bullets in the town of Absard, to the east of Tehran. During the attack a bomb in a Nissan pickup truck is also reported to have exploded.

Pictures on social media show a road strewn with wreckage and blood, and a bullet-riddled vehicle. First the defence ministry reported a gunfight between Fakhrizadeh's bodyguards and several gunmen.

Then Iranian media said the scientist had in fact been killed by a "remote-controlled machine gun" or weapons "controlled by satellite".

And on Monday, Rear Admiral Shamkhani, who heads the Supreme National Security Council, confirmed it had been a remote attack, using "special methods."

Read more: BBC News


At least 110 people have been killed in an attack on a village in north-east Nigeria blamed on the Boko Haram jihadist group, according to the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country.

“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” Edward Kallon said in a statement after initial tolls indicated 43 and then at least 70 dead from the massacre on Saturday by suspected Boko Haram fighters.

“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year,” Kallon said, adding: “I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice.”

The attack took place in the village of Koshobe near the main city of Maiduguri, with assailants targeting farmers on rice fields. The Borno state governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, attended the burial on Sunday in the nearby village of Zabarmari of 43 bodies recovered on Saturday, saying the toll could rise after search operations resumed.

Read more: The Guardian (UK)

Five years after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, Tina Meins no longer cries every day for her father.

Jolene Verdehyou is able to freely talk about losing her mom.

And Robert Velasco is no longer haunted by questions about whether he could have done something to save his daughter.

But that doesn’t mean the pain is gone. Or any less.

“It still feels very raw,” Meins said of the mass shooting that took the life of her dad, Damian Meins. “Sometimes it feels like it’s been five years and sometimes it feels like it just happened.”

Read more: San Bernardino County Sun

FBI agents arrested a New Jersey woman early Wednesday on federal charges of providing material support to the al-Nusra Front, a terrorist group described as al-Qaeda in Syria.

Maria Bell, 53, of Hopatcong, is charged with providing material support to the al-Nusra Front, also known as the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which operates in northwest Syria. A search of her home Wednesday morning turned up a significant cache of weapons.

Bell served in the U.S. Army National Guard and on active duty in the Army for a total of 14 months from late 1984 to early 1986.  She received an “other than honorable discharge" in lieu of a court martial, according to court papers.

Read more: NBC New York