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Homeland Security News

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

Governor Kate Brown announced that she would authorize more police from several local agencies to staff protests in Portland and call for more arrests for destructive or violent crimes. The announcement came less than 24 hours after a fatal shooting during downtown demonstrations.

The six-point plan, laid out in a news release from Brown’s office on Sunday evening, also included plans for several local law enforcement agencies to assist Portland Police Bureau in follow-up investigations, and it listed specific types of crimes that the district attorney’s office will prosecute related to the protests.

“We must all come together — elected officials, community leaders, all of us — to stop the cycle of violence,” Brown said. “But this is only the first step. Real change will come from the hard work to achieve racial justice. And it starts with all of us listening to each other, and working together.

Read more: The Oregonian

A convicted terrorist, who used to work in Columbus, has been released from federal prison.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed Iyman Faris was released on August 18.

He had been held in a federal prison in Illinois.

When a federal judge revoked Faris' naturalized U.S. citizenship in February, the U.S. Department of Justice said he had a projected release date from prison this month.

Read more: CBS 10 (Columbus, OH)

Counter-terrorism police said they have detained two men at Stansted Airport.

A 34-year-old man from Kuwait and a 48-year-old man from Italy were detained by counter-terrorism officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit soon after 7pm on Sunday, the Unit said in a statement.

The two men had arrived on a flight from Vienna and were detained under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, police said.

The BBC has reported the plane was intercepted by RAF Typhoon jets following unconfirmed reports of a security threat on board.

Air monitoring agency Mil Radar tweeted at about 7.30pm that two Typhoons had been launched from RAF Coningsby, with tracking showing they had circled in the Stansted area.

Read more: The Telegraph (UK)

Is the Islamic State still a threat? That question has percolated in policy circles ever since the United States and coalition allies succeeded in dismantling the physical caliphate of the world’s most notorious terrorist group in Iraq and Syria in the spring of 2019. To be sure, U.S. officials have been quick to contextualize their victory, depicting it simply as the end of the territorial stage of the group. Yet there has been an undeniable sense over the past year that we have turned the page on the “war on terror,” freeing us up to focus on other priorities, like strategic competition with China.

Yet in war, the adversary also gets a vote, and recent months have seen new signs of life from the terror organization. This resurgence, showcased in a growing number of attacks by ISIS-affiliated elements in Iraq and disruptive activities in areas of Syria nominally under regime control, have raised considerable worries in Washington. They have also indicated that ISIS, though diminished, is still viable — and dangerous.

Read more: USA Today

Soldiers can now face punishment for social media posts supporting extremist groups, under a major revision to the Army’s policy guidance to its commanders.

The first overhaul of Army Regulation 600-20 since 2014 includes more than 60 changes, from minor updates to a host of measures meant to ensure soldiers and civilians are treated with dignity and respect.

Updates now bar online fundraising, promotion and advocacy of extremist causes or criminal gangs on social media. They follow several recent high-profile incidents of troops espousing support for such groups or taking part in their rallies.

Last month, more than two dozen members of Congress asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper to review Pentagon policy on troops’ involvement in white supremacist groups after Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo, who had ties to far-right extremists, was charged with gunning down a federal officer in Oakland, Calif., in June.

Read more: Stars and Stripes