Skip Navigation

Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jul 27, 2020

A man accused of planting and constructing an explosive device before planting it at a local business has been indicted on federal charges.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Jeffery Allen Smerud was indicted on a charge of possession of a destructive device.

Officials say back in March, an employee at Lowe’s noticed a Smerud placing something under a pallet of mulch and then leaving. Shortly after noticing this, the employee saw an explosion in the area, according to the release.

Read more: KMID (Midland, TX)

John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Michael Bailey, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Jill Sanborn, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, and Sean Kaul, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office, announced that on July 22, 2020, Jill Marie Jones, 35, of Chandler, Ariz., was arrested for attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda, a designated foreign terrorist organization.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendant was in communication with two FBI undercover employees, one of whom she believed to be a member of al Qaeda.  During her conversations with the purported al Qaeda member, Jones agreed to send the employee money to purchase scopes for rifles that would be used by al Qaeda to kill American soldiers. In May 2020, Jones gave the purported al Qaeda member $500 using a prepaid gift card.

Read more: Homeland Security Today

French authorities detained and charged a repentant church volunteer Sunday after he told investigators that he was responsible for an arson attack that badly damaged a 15th-century Gothic cathedral.

The man had previously been questioned and then released after the July 18 blaze that destroyed the organ, shattered stained glass windows, and blackened the insides of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul of the western French city of Nantes.

The 39-year-old, an asylum-seeker from Rwanda who has lived in France for several years, was detained again on Saturday after laboratory analysis determined that arson was the likely cause of the blaze, the local prosecutor's office said.

Read more: France 24

Police have admitted the Christchurch mosque gunman could have been planning his attack weeks before March 15.

An Official Information Act request by Newshub reveals the shooter flew a drone over the Deans Ave mosque on January 8 - 10 weeks before he would open fire and kill 51 people.

He launched it out of Hagley Park, just across the road in an evil act of premeditation.

The news has sickened young Kiwi Muslim leader Haris Murtaza.

"They were being scoped out by the gunman, and he was doing his research," Murtaza told Newshub.

Read more: Newshub (New Zealand)