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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Dec 7, 2020

Ethiopia’s government denied on Monday that northern forces whom its troops have fought for a month would be able to mount a guerrilla insurgency, while diplomats said a United Nations team was shot at while trying to visit a refugee camp.

Federal troops have seized the regional capital Mekelle from the former local ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and declared an end to their month-long offensive.

But TPLF leaders say they are fighting back on various fronts around Mekelle. Ethiopia experts fear a drawn-out insurgency with a destabilising impact around east Africa.

Read more: Reuters

Indonesian police early Monday fatally shot six followers of a firebrand cleric who returned last month from a 3-year exile in Saudi Arabia after criminal charges against him were dropped, officials said, prompting fears of more violence.

The Islamic Defenders Front was once on the political fringes and has a long record of vandalizing nightspots, hurling stones at Western embassies and attacking rival religious groups. It wants Islamic Shariah law to apply to Indonesia’s 230 million Muslims.

Read more: ABC News

Bruno Roy, a Lévis businessman opposed to COVID-19 regulations, peacefully ended an overnight standoff with police on Friday that saw him barricaded inside his own home and apparently armed with a rifle since Thursday evening.

Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Béatrice Dorsainville said Roy surrendered without incident at 11:25 a.m.

In a phone interview with Presse Canadienne conducted late Thursday during the standoff, Roy, a blueberry producer, said he had a hunting rifle in his possession and would not use it if police did not enter his home.

The rifle was “to defend my property but not to cause any misfortune,” he said, adding he had “no intention of hurting anyone” and was “calm” inside his kitchen.

Read more: Montreal Gazette

The Bath Village Police Department is investigating what appeared to be an explosive device that was found outside the Steuben County Mental Health Center on Friday morning.

Bath Village Police Chief Chad Mullen confirmed to WENY News the explosive device was fake and they believe this was an isolated incident. Chief Mullen says the object had a wire and appeared to look like an explosive device. According to Chief Mullen, the object was found on Friday at 8 am by a mental health worker who was walking in the side door of the county building on Liberty street, right across from the Bath Village Police Department. He says the worker immediately notified police who then evacuated the area for two hours and determined the object was not real. Chief Mullen says they're currently investigating and reviewing security camera footage.

"We do have some leads, talking with mental health workers. But with the COVID going on and everything that's going on, peoples mental health high psyches are higher. So it's hard, we've been getting notes around the village in different areas, but they're not something like this. Its not anything to do with putting an explosive device, it's just people's psyches are a little different right now with everything that's going on in the country," said Chief Mullen.

Read more: WENY

President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Somalia in the waning days of his presidency triggered dismay on Saturday from some Somalis, who appealed to the incoming U.S. president to reverse the decision.

“The U.S. decision to pull troops out of Somalia at this critical stage in the successful fight against al-Shabaab and their global terrorist network is extremely regrettable,” Senator Ayub Ismail Yusuf told Reuters in a statement, referring to the al Qaida-linked al Shabaab insurgency.

“U.S. troops have made a huge contribution and had great impact on the training and operational effectiveness of Somali soldiers,” said Yusuf, a member of Somalia’s Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

Read more: Reuters