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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 6, 2020

The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any person who works with or for a foreign government for the purpose of interfering with U.S. elections through certain illegal cyber activities.

The reward offer seeks information on the identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction of or under the control of a foreign government, interferes with any U.S. federal, state, or local election by aiding or abetting a violation of section 1030 of title 18, which relates to computer fraud and abuse. The Rewards for Justice program is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service.

Persons engaged in certain malicious cyber operations targeting election or campaign infrastructure may be subject to prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, which criminalizes unauthorized computer intrusions and other forms of fraud related to computers. Among other offenses, the statute prohibits unauthorized accessing of computers to obtain information and transmit it to unauthorized recipients.

Read more: Homeland Security Today

A 24-year-old man arrested last month for allegedly cutting the brake line of an NYPD van in Brooklyn was arrested early Wednesday by FBI agents and faces federal charges, officials said.

Jeremy Trapp was initially cuffed by NYPD officers who spotted Trapp emerging from under the van July 17. A pair of scissors was found on him, police officials said.

Video of Trapp allegedly sabotaging the vehicle shows him underneath the van, which was parked in Sunset Park along Fourth Avenue and 42nd Street that day.

Read more: NBC New York

Turkey continues to be a regional transit hub for the Islamic State group, even though the NATO ally has recently stepped up efforts to counter attempts to smuggle ISIS fighters and weaponry into war-torn Syria, a new Inspector General’s report says.

In a report released Tuesday by the Lead Inspector General for the military’s mission in Syria and Iraq, U.S. European Command called Turkey a “major facilitation hub” for ISIS and said security at the country’s southern borders with Syria and Iraq continues to be a problem.

Turkey has been criticized for years by Western allies for failing to stop the flow of foreign fighters into Syria, something critics have said contributed to the initial rise of ISIS in the region. But in recent months, Ankara has dealt more aggressively with ISIS within its borders and inside Syria, EUCOM said in the report.

Read more: Stars and Stripes

At first glance, the shipping trailers that arrived at the Italian port of Salerno appeared to contain only paper, rolled up on giant industrial spools as tall as a man. But when an investigator sliced into one of the rolls with an electric saw, he unleashed an avalanche of little beige pills.

Police found more caches inside other paper rolls, and by the time the search ended on July 1, customs agents had recovered 84 million tablets of the amphetamine Captagon. It was a record haul, worth an estimated $1.1 billion, and even more jarring was the suspect initially named by police as the likely source: the Islamic State.

Yet, within days, suspicions began to shift toward different Middle Eastern groups. Intelligence officials concluded that the drugs did originate in Syria, but in factories located in areas controlled by President Bashar al-Assad’s government. The amphetamines departed Syria from Latakia, a coastal city with dedicated Iranian port facilities, and a known hub for smuggling operations by Tehran’s ally, Hezbollah.

Read more: Washington Post

A woman is facing charges after allegedly helping a man who attempted to fire-bomb municipal vehicles last month in west suburban Lombard.

Amanda Wolf, 23, is charged with attempted terrorism and possession of an incendiary device, the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office said.

Wolf allegedly supplied Christian Frazee, 25, with materials to make the Molotov cocktail he was seen holding as he walked toward village-owned vehicles about 12:30 a.m. on June 1, prosecutors said.

Read more: NBC Chicago