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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jul 24, 2020

Turkey is taking its decades-old conflict with Kurdish militants deep into northern Iraq, establishing military bases and deploying armed military drones against the fighters in their mountain strongholds.

The cross-border campaign has attracted less attention than Turkey’s incursions into neighbouring Syria - partly because Turkish troops have long been in Iraq - but it is part of a strategy to push the fight beyond its borders after years of bloodshed at home.

Turkey has been battling an insurgency in its mainly Kurdish southeast by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants that has killed 40,000 people since the 1980s and which has largely been directed from within Iraq.

Read more: Reuters

Block Engineering of Marlborough has launched a revised line of its LaserWarn products used to identify chemical threats and protect people from terrorism or accidental chemical release.

The new products can detect and report on multiple chemicals simultaneously in real time and makes use of new artificial intelligence software lowering the limit of detection and reducing the chance of false alarms, according to a release from the company. The products include a rugged version for hazardous environments, as well as a lighter version for portable configurations.

"We currently have LaserWarn units installed globally at airports and other transportation hubs providing 24/7 monitoring for toxic industrial chemicals/materials and chemical warfare agents,” Al Weggeman, president of Block Engineering, said in a release.

Read more: Worcester Business Journal

Two of the British ISIS terrorists dubbed the “Beatles” further incriminated themselves in the mistreatment of Western hostages in Syria, including Americans Kayla Mueller and James Foley, in interviews obtained exclusively by NBC News.

In the interviews, the two men, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, for the first time admitted their involvement in the captivity of Kayla, an aid worker who was tortured and sexually abused before her death in 2015.

Kotey said, "She was in a room by herself that no one would go in."

Elsheikh got into more detail, saying, "I took an email from her myself," meaning he got an email address the Islamic State militant group could use to demand ransom from the family. "She was in a large room, it was dark, and she was alone, and … she was very scared."

Read more: NBC News

A onetime member of the Irish Republican Army paroled after serving time for bombing a police station in Northern Ireland decades ago was deported by Boston ICE officials this week.

Darcey McMenamin, who was 18 when he was charged in the 1993 mortar attack on a police station west of Belfast, lost in his appeal to both remain in the Boston area and be set free during the coronavirus pandemic.

He was deported back to Ireland this week, the New England office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday.

“There is no safe haven in the U.S. for foreign nationals convicted of terrorist activities. ERO Boston officers still continue their duties even during these trying times,” said Todd M. Lyons, field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Boston.

Read more: Boston Herald

A soldier who served in Afghanistan and Iraq was indicted by a federal grand jury in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday for possessing an improvised explosive device, according to court records.

Joshua Colin Honigberg, 35, was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device found by FBI agents and local police officers when they executed a search warrant on his Austin apartment on May 29.

The IED was comprised of a plastic hard case locked in the closed position by a padlock. It contained multiple explosive charges with fusing systems and multiple pieces of metal fragmentation, an FBI agent said in a criminal complaint.

Read more: Army Times