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Homeland Security News

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

At least 16 people were killed and dozens others injured in an attack on Aden airport in Yemen on Wednesday, shortly after a plane carrying a newly formed Yemeni Cabinet arrived from Saudi Arabia. No one on the government plane was hurt.

Mohammed al-Roubid, deputy head of Aden’s health office, told The Associated Press that along with the 16 killed, at least 60 people were wounded in the explosion. The source of the blast remains unknown and no group immediately claimed an attack on the airport in the southern city.

Loud blasts and gunfire were heard at the airport shortly after the plane arrived, witnesses said.

The cabinet members including Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik, as well as Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Said al-Jaber, were transferred safely to the city's presidential palace, the witnesses and Saudi media said.

Read more: NBC News

The FBI has joined a criminal investigation of what police said appears to be an "intentional attack" on gas service lines in Aspen, Colorado, that left thousands of residents and businesses without heat as temperatures in the skiing mecca plunged to near zero degrees.

Work crews are scrambling to restore gas service, and local authorities handed out electric space heaters to residents still without heat Tuesday, as a storm is forecast to bring up to 8 inches of snow in the Rocky Mountains region this week. Temperatures are forecast to fall to 2 degrees in Aspen on Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Aspen police said the apparently coordinated acts of vandalism occurred Saturday night at three separate Black Hills Energy gas line sites, one in Aspen and two elsewhere in Pitkin County.

Read more: ABC News

The leader of the Parker Republicans was posting the names and home addresses of public health employees online with veiled threats of retribution for COVID-19 restrictions.

Mark Hall, lead co-chair of the Parker Republicans, began publishing the names and home addresses of public health workers Monday, adding, “Take this information and make your own decisions.”

“We will publish the names/addresses of these people with no law enforcement abilities,” Hall posted to the Facebook group. “If they want a war, we can give them that but it is time for a revolution.”

Hall outlined his intended targets while announcing the new effort on his own Facebook page.

“If you work for the state, CDPHE, Tri-County or other agencies, you are on the radar, at your homes and elsewhere," Hall wrote. "You want to be Anti-Americans, Patriots are going to show you the errors of your ways. We didn’t ask for this but you brought it on."

Read more: 9 News (Denver)

Imam Asad Zaman believes Michael Hari should be labeled a terrorist.

Hari, after all, masterminded the bombing of a place of worship. He appointed himself leader of an armed militant group that harbored anti-government sentiment. He rejected the ideology of American citizens and sought correction through violence.

"To me, it is not enough that Hari goes to prison," said Zaman. "I want to know where Hari got his money. And I want those people to also go to jail for 20 or 30 years."

Earlier this month, a jury found Hari guilty of orchestrating and helping carry out the 2017 bombing of Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, a mosque in Bloomington. Zaman and other Muslim faith leaders in the Twin Cities are now calling on lawmakers to create a new statute specifically designating the crime of "domestic terrorism." The law, they say, would allow prosecutors to push for harsher penalties for homegrown attackers like Hari and to pursue cases against co-conspirators who give them money, weapons or other forms of aid.

Read more: Minneapolis Star Tribune

The hard-line Islamic Defenders Front was outlawed by the Indonesian government on Wednesday and ordered to cease all activities less than two months after its fiery leader, Rizieq Shihab, returned from self-imposed exile and pledged to lead a “moral revolution.”

In a statement signed by top officials and the national police chief, the government said that members of the group had engaged in terrorist and criminal acts and that activities organized by the group had disturbed public order.

Mr. Rizieq, 55, a cleric who claims to be descended from the Prophet Muhammad, is accused of violating coronavirus protocols by holding gatherings of thousands of people. He surrendered to the police earlier this month and faces up to six years in prison. Days before his arrest, six of his bodyguards were shot and killed by the police in what the authorities said was self-defense. Mr. Rizieq remains in jail.

Read more: New York Times