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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Dec 9, 2020

A Utica man is accused of causing extensive damage to several cell phone and radio towers around the county, according to law enforcement officials.

Authorities with the Sheriff’s Office could not say if the vandalism had anything to do with popular internet conspiracy theories regarding the release of new 5G cell networks and health concerns.

Starting in early November, both the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office and the Utica Police Department began receiving complaints of damage and frequent disruptions to radio and cellular towers within the county. There were similar damage reports in Herkimer County. Authorities said the damage was capable of disrupting communications between first-responders, putting people in need of help in further danger.

On Dec. 3, the Sheriff’s Office and the New Hartford Police Department responded to a National Grid location on Campion Road for reports that a man had climbed a fence and shut off power to a tower, attempting to disrupt communications. The suspect and his vehicle were identified, and deputies said they took 38-year-old Nathaniel Sergio into custody at his residence in Utica.

Read more: Rome Sentinel

Police are investigating overnight explosions at two Polish supermarkets in Heeswijk and Aalsmeer.

The explosion in Aalsmeer happened at around 3am, and caused a fire which also spread to the upstairs flat and a car. No-one was injured, broadcaster RTL reported.

The second explosion took place in Heeswijk-Dinther, south of Den Bosch, an hour later. That blast hit the front wall of the store and damaged nearby shops as well. Twenty people living in apartments above the shops were evacuated but have since been allowed home after experts said the property was safe.

Read more at DutchNews.nl

Brahim Aouissaoui, the chief suspect in the fatal stabbings of three people in a church in the French city of Nice in October, was placed under formal investigation on Monday with their murder, anti-terrorism prosecutors said.

The 21-year-old Tunisian national, was shot and seriously injured by police after the October 29 attack. He was placed under formal investigation after his condition in hospital improved, allowing him to be questioned.

France last month raised its attack alert to the highest level after the Nice killings, which came two weeks after the beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee for having shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson on freedom of speech.

Read more: France 24

At least two people were hurt after a fire at a chemical plant in Belle, West Virginia, Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper told CNN affiliate WSAZ.

No additional details have been released on those injured.
An explosion and fire occurred at the Chemours plant Tuesday at 10:02 p.m., according to a news release from Kanawha County Commission.
The incident prompted a 2-mile radius shelter-in-place order, a county official told CNN, which has since been lifted.

Read more: CNN

An inquiry into extremism in Australia will go ahead following a push by Labor for the government to look at the rising threat specifically posed by right-wing extremists.

However, the inquiry will look at all forms of extremism in Australia, not just the increased threat posed by the far-right.

The parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security has signed off on an inquiry to examine the concerns following a referral from Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton.

This comes after vocal demands from Labor’s Home Affairs spokesperson Kristina Keneally for parliament to examine Australia’s preparedness against the increasing threat presented by right-wing extremism.

Read more: SBS News (Australia)