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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Dec 10, 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday secured his cabinet's blessing for a draft law targeting "radical Islamism" following a spate of terror attacks, a move some critics fear will stigmatise the French Muslim community, Europe's largest.

The text was originally titled the "anti-separatism" bill, a term Macron has used to refer to radical Islamists withdrawing from mainstream society. Following criticism of that term, it is now called a "draft law to strengthen republican values", mostly secularism and freedom of expression.

Defending the bill at a press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jean Castex said the text does not target religious freedom but is aimed at "the nefarious ideology of radical Islamism".

Read more: France 24

Amherst police are investigating a pair of explosions in a residential area near the downtown while a third device was detonated early Wednesday in a park.

On Monday, Dec. 7, just after 10 p.m., police were called to the area of Rupert and Agnew streets after residents reported a loud explosion that was heard throughout town. Officers responding to the incident found debris from a detonated device on Rupert Street, near the intersection of Agnew Street.

“Our members responded and upon arriving they found debris from a detonated device in that area. No one was hurt and there was no property damage, but they were able to find some debris,” Chief Dwayne Pike said.

Read more: Saltwire (Nova Soctia)

An explosion damaged a Polish supermarket in a Dutch town near Amsterdam early Wednesday morning, the third such blast in two days.

Police said the explosion happened at a store in the town of Beverwijk, 30 kilometers (18 miles) northwest of Amsterdam. Nobody was injured, but the store was badly damaged in the explosion at 5:15 a.m. (0415 GMT).

Dutch media reported that the owner of the store also owns another Polish supermarket in Aalsmeer that was gutted by an explosion and fire early Tuesday. The same night, another explosion hit a Polish supermarket in the southern town of Heeswijk-Dinther.

Read more: AP

Johnny Roman Garza, 21, a member of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, was sentenced today to 16 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a plot to threaten and intimidate journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism.

Garza previously pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to conspiring with other Atomwaffen members to commit three offenses against the United States: interference with federally-protected activities because of religion, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 245; mailing threatening communications, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 876; and cyberstalking, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2261A.

“The United States and other nations fought a global war to rid the world of murderous threats and violence by Nazis. The nation and its allies defeated Nazi Germany, but Nazi-inspired threats and violence continue to plague this nation and others 75 years after the end of World War II. The defendant threatened a Jewish journalist and conspired to intimidate journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism around the country,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “Threats motivated by religious intolerance are unacceptable, and so too are threats aimed at those who work to end such discrimination. The Justice Department will continue the fight against neo-Nazi-related threats and violence and is committed fully to investigating and prosecuting anyone who commits hate crimes.”

Read more: Department of Justice

Notorious convicted terrorist Abdul Nacer Benbrika will face a key High Court challenge today as the Federal Government battles to extend his detention beyond the end of his sentence.

Benbrika was the "guiding light" for a group of 16 men in Melbourne and Sydney who were later arrested under the police operation Pendennis in 2005.

During his trial, it was alleged that the men had planned attacks on several high-profile places and events, and had even discussed assassinating then-prime minister John Howard.

Read more: ABC News (Australia)