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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 6, 2020

A federal indictment unsealed Thursday accuses an Oregon man of advocating violent jihad in an online Arabic newspaper in support of the terrorist organization ISIS.

Hawazen Sameer Mothafar, 31, of Troutdale was arrested Thursday morning, federal authorities said.

Mothafar pleaded not guilty to a five-count indictment that charges him with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, providing and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, making false statements on an immigration application and making a false statement to a government agency.

Read more: The Oregonian

The United States has seized 27 domain names that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unlawfully used to further a global covert influence campaign.

As described in the seizure documents, all 27 domains were being used in violation of U.S. sanctions targeting both the Government of Iran and the IRGC. Four of the domains purported to be genuine news outlets but were actually controlled by the IRGC and targeted audiences in the United States, to covertly influence United States policy and public opinion, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The remainder targeted audiences in other parts of the world.  This seizure warrant follows an earlier seizure of 92 domains used by the IRGC for similar purposes.

“Within the last month we have announced seizures of Iran’s weapons, fuel, and covert influence infrastructure,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.  “As long as Iran’s leaders are trying to destabilize the world through the state-sponsorship of terrorism and the taking of hostages, we will continue to enforce U.S. sanctions and take other legal steps to counter them.”

“Today's 29 seizures are another important step against Iran's worldwide disinformation campaign,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson.  “This work will continue.  We cannot allow Iran's attachment to fake news to overtake our commitment to the rule of law.”

Read more: Department of Justice

The office of Belgium’s federal prosecutor says two underage people suspected of plotting what has been labelled a terror attack have been arrested.

Aged 16 and 17, the suspects were arrested on 31 October after raids in the cities of Eupen and La Calamine, located in the province of Liège. The prosecutor’s office said they were suspected of “attempted terrorist assassination and participation in a terrorist organisation.”

The two minors have been placed in a youth protection centre. According to Belgian broadcaster RTBF, the suspects had recorded a video of allegiance to Islamic State and were suspected of planning a stabbing attack against police officers.

Read more: The Guardian (UK)

Philadelphia police are investigating an alleged plot to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Action News has learned that police got a tip about a group driving up from Virginia in a Hummer to unleash an attack at the Convention Center where votes are being counted in Philadelphia.

Police tell Action News they found a weapon and two people were transferred to Central Detectives.

However, it's unclear how or if the people are connected to the investigation.

Early Friday morning, the Hummer was still on 13th Street near Vine. The vehicle had a window sticker and a hat with the logo for the internet group QAnon known for spreading conspiracy theories.
The FBI has labeled them a domestic terror threat.

Read more: ABC 6 (Philadelphia)