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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Dec 21, 2020

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released the Mitigating Attacks on Houses of Worship Security Guide and Fact Sheet to help houses of worship understand and mitigate potential threats. Houses of worship face a breadth of threats on a daily basis, and the security guide makes a number of recommendations based on an analysis often years of data on targeted attacks on houses of worship. Threats range from physical attacks such as active shooter incidents, arsons, or bombings to less visible cyberattacks.

“CISA has a strong partnership with faith-based communities and today’s release of the Mitigating Attacks on the Houses of Worship Security Guide furthers that partnership to share best practices to make our nation’s houses of worship more safe and resilient,” said CISA Acting Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security Scott Breor.

Read more: Homeland Security Today

A terrorist whose plan to carry out a massacre on a packed high-speed international train was foiled by the heroic actions of a group of passengers has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a French court.

Ayoub El-Khazzani, 31, opened fire with an assault rifle on the Amsterdam-to-Paris Thalys train in August 2015. Having shot two passengers, Khazzani was wrestled to the ground and restrained by three US tourists, two of them off-duty servicemen, and a British traveller.

Khazzani was convicted of attempted murder in connection with terrorism, possession of weapons in connection with terrorism and participation in a terrorist group.

Read more: The Guardian (UK)

The NYPD is circulating a memo warning its own about continuing threats against current and former officers from terrorists and extremists.

Just this past June, three NYPD officers were attacked in Brooklyn.

One was stabbed and two were shot in what’s been described as an Islamic terrorist attack.

Back in 2014, there was a violent hatchet attack on a group of rookie cops in Jamaica, Queens, that was also deemed an act of terror.

Read more: CBS New York

The cyber-security firm that identified the large-scale hacking of US government agencies says it "genuinely impacted" around 50 organisations.

Kevin Mandia, CEO of FireEye, said that while some 18,000 organisations had the malicious code in their networks, it was the 50 who suffered major breaches.

The US Treasury and departments of homeland security, state and defence are known to have been targeted.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Russia for the hack.

So too have the chairs of the Senate and House of Representatives' intelligence committees.

However, President Trump cast doubt on Russia's role in two tweets on Saturday, hinting instead at Chinese involvement.

Read more: BBC News