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Homeland Security News

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

Muslim militants allied with the Islamic State group set off a powerful motorcycle explosive followed by a suicide bombing that together killed 14 people on Monday, many of them soldiers, in the worst extremist attack in the Philippines this year, military officials said.

At least 75 soldiers, police and civilians were wounded in the midday bombings in Jolo town in southern Sulu province, regional military commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan said. The bombings were staged as the government grapples with the highest number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia.

Read more: ABC News

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have issued a joint security advisory on Thursday, warning about an ongoing wave of vishing attacks targeting the US private sector.

Vishing, or voice phishing, is a form of social engineering where criminals call victims to obtain desired information, usually posing as other persons.

According to the FBI and CISA, in mid-July 2020, cybercriminals started a vishing campaign targeting employees working from home for US companies. The attackers collected login credentials for corporate networks, which they then monetized by selling the access to corporate resources to other criminal gangs.

Read more: ZDNet

A former Army Green Beret has been charged with providing information about US national defenses to Russian agents, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.

Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins was arrested for allegedly releasing details to Russian intelligence operatives about the chemical and Special Forces unit he was a part of before and while serving in the US Army.

Prosecutors with the Eastern District of Virginia say Debbins met with Russian operatives on multiple occasions from 1996 to 2011 and was even assigned a code name, "Ikar Lesnikov," by Russian intel agents. Debbins is also accused of signing a statement allegedly affirming that he wanted to serve Russia.

Read more: CNN

A court in New Zealand has heard for the first time an official account of how a terrorist who murdered 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch planned and executed the attacks – and his intentions to burn down both places of worship and attack a third.

The details of the attack were read at the beginning of a high-security hearing to decide whether the Australian man who has admitted committing the mass shootings will ever leave prison.

Those bereaved in New Zealand’s worst peacetime massacre, and its survivors, are facing the gunman, Brenton Tarrant, in court for the first time. All his previous court appearances since the terrorist attack on 15 March last year have been via video link from jail.

Read more: The Guardian (UK)