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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Dec 14, 2020

Russian hackers working for the Kremlin are believed to be behind an attack into U.S. government computer systems at the departments of Treasury and Commerce that likely lasted months, according to reports Sunday.

The Kremlin has denied the allegation.

The agencies' Microsoft Office 365 platform was used to monitor staffers emails, potentially since the spring, Reuters and The New York Times reported Sunday.

A spokesman for the National Security Council, John Ullyot, appeared to broadly confirm the breach, but offered no specifics about which country may have been involved.

"We have been working closely with our agency partners regarding recently discovered activity on government networks," Ullyot said in a statement Sunday. "The United States government is aware of these reports, and we are taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to this situation."

Read more: NPR

A man was fatally shot by police on the steps of a landmark New York City cathedral Sunday after he began firing two semiautomatic handguns at the end of a Christmas choral concert, police said.

The gunfire began just before 4 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

A 45-minute concert held on the cathedral steps had just concluded and a crowd of several hundred people was drifting away when the gunman started shooting, sending people running down Amsterdam Avenue screaming and diving to the sidewalk.

Read more: AP

The United States has lifted Sudan's state sponsor of terrorism designation, the US Embassy in Khartoum announced Monday.

The two countries reached an agreement in October for Sudan to be lifted from the list. The settlement required Sudan to pay $335 million for victims of the 1998 twin bombings against the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the US Embassy said, "The congressional notification period of 45 days has lapsed and the Secretary of State has signed a notification stating rescission of Sudan's State Sponsor of Terrorism designation is effective as of today (December 14), to be published in the Federal Register."

Read more: CNN

Austrian police seized a huge cache of automatic weapons, explosives and hand grenades intended to arm right-wing extremist groups in Germany, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said on Saturday.

Five people were arrested following a series of house searches, Nehammer told a press conference in Vienna. “We have struck a massive blow against the right-wing extremist scene in Austria and organised crime, and how they are connected,” Nehammer told reporters.

The group had built up the arsenal with the goal of attacking society, democracy and basic freedoms, Nehammer added.

Read more: Reuters