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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 14, 2020

Iran and Turkey lashed out at their regional rival the United Arab Emirates on Friday over its decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel, accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause, even as much of the international community welcomed the move.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry called the U.S.-brokered deal a “dagger that was unjustly struck by the UAE in the backs of the Palestinian people and all Muslims.” Turkey said the peoples of the region “will never forget and will never forgive this hypocritical behavior” by the UAE.

The UAE, which has never fought Israel and has quietly been improving ties for years, said the agreement put a hold on Israel’s plans to unilaterally annex parts of the occupied West Bank, which the Palestinians view as the heartland of their future state.

Read more: AP

A leading militant suspect who has been linked to beheadings of hostages, including two Canadians and a Malaysian, in the southern Philippines has surrendered after being wounded in battle, officials said Friday.

A commander of the Muslim rebel group Abu Sayyaf, Abduljihad Susukan, gave himself up Thursday after negotiations with police in southern Davao city. He was served warrants for at least 23 cases of murder, six for attempted murder and five for kidnapping, national police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said.

He is the highest-ranking commander of the small but brutal group to be taken into custody this year.

Read more: AP

Terror groups based in the Middle East are targeting American first responders in an online scam, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The groups are allegedly trying to raise money by offering bogus personal protective equipment at a time of desperate shortages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

ISIS allegedly used the website facemaskcenter.com as a front for peddling fake N-95 masks, according to a senior Department of Justice official. Their targets allegedly included hospitals, nursing homes and first responders.

"They have a sophisticated online operation, and here they were turning that operation to setting up these phony websites to get money to fund terrorism. When you thought you were paying for a mask that you needed," Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division John Demers told CBS News.

Read more: CBS News

Federal law enforcement officials said Thursday that they had conducted the “largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency” connected to terrorism.

Prosecutors unsealed three civil forfeiture complaints and a criminal complaint in federal court in Washington. The forfeiture complaints involve the Al-Qassam Brigades, better known as the military wing of Hamas, in addition to al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The U.S. also indicted two Turkish nationals, Mehmet Akti and Hüsamettin Karatas, on charges of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Authorities have now seized millions of dollars across 300 cryptocurrency accounts, four websites and four Facebook pages connected to these groups.

Read more: NBC News

Gregory Samuel Haasze knew police were there for him.

Officers surrounded his Boynton Beach apartment — the one with the “U.S. Marines” flag hanging in front of it — and Haasze did not put up a fight, according to a police report. Instead he calmly stepped out his front door and told them the pipe bombs they found belonged to him.

Haasze’s admission brought to an end the events that began Wednesday night with reports of a loud noise. It led to the evacuation of apartment complexes and shopping centers along Congress Avenue and Old Boynton Road in Boynton Beach.

Read more: Orlando Sun-Sentinel