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Homeland Security News

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

A Pakistani man accused of wounding two people with a meat cleaver in front of the former offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on September 25 is being formally investigated by the anti-terrorism prosecutor.

The prosecutor had previously said the suspect would be brought before investigating judges but that has been amended to a formal investigation by the anti-terrorism prosecutor on suspicion of attempted murder related to a terrorist plan.

Prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard told a news conference on September 29 that the suspect in what the French government has called an act of "Islamist terrorism" carried three bottles of a flammable paint thinner with which he wanted to set fire to the former offices of the satirical newspaper unaware that the weekly had moved.

Read more: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Federal prosecutors are trying to clear the way for former Chicago travel agent Tahawwur Rana to stand trial in India for his connections to a terrorist massacre in Mumbai that left hundreds of innocent victims dead and wounded. 59-year-old Rana once owned and operated an immigration aid and travel agency in West Rogers Park and was convicted for aiding the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba which was responsible for the November 2008 attack in India.

The several-day siege by heavily armed terrorist commandos resulted in 166 deaths and more than 300 wounded at sites scattered across Mumbai. Prosecutors paint Rana as a behind-the-scenes terror operative who grew giddy when he learned of the death toll. In a new filing, prosecutors quote Rana as saying that "they (the Indian people) deserved it." The government memo also states Rana wanted Pakistani officials to give medals of honor to top terrorists involved in the horrific operation. Also, the new government filing states that there is probable cause that Rana committed conspiracy, waged war, murder and a terrorist act -- arguing that he should be extradited to stand trial for numerous crimes where in India the maximum sentence is death.

Read more: ABC Chicago

A Canadian man who was the subject of a New York Times podcast called “Caliphate” was arrested last week for allegedly faking his past involvement with ISIS, putting the validity of the award-winning audio documentary in question.

“The charge stems from numerous media interviews where the accused, Shehroze Chaudhry, a 25-year-old from Burlington, Ontario, claimed he travelled to Syria in 2016 to join the terrorist group ISIS and committed acts of terrorism,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced on Friday.

Read more: Fox News

Sentencing for Conor Climo, who pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge in February, has been delayed again.

Climo, who is accused of plotting an attack against a synagogue, a bar that caters to LGBTQ customers and a McDonald’s location in Las Vegas, was arrested on Aug. 8, 2019. His first sentencing date was scheduled May 14, and has been delayed since.

A continuance agreement OK’d by Climo and the US Attorney’s Office says he will be sentenced on Nov. 13. COVID-19 restrictions were cited in the request to reschedule Climo’s sentencing.

Read more: CBS Las Vegas

A new report on terrorism financing shows that for most Americans who sought to join or support ISIS, the trip was cheap and the money came easily, making it harder for investigators to track would-be terrorists.

“[S]ave for a few exceptions, the vast majority of U.S.-based IS supporters left a remarkably small financial footprint," said the report, which contrasted the low cost of funding ISIS terror with the Al Qaeda's big budget. The small footprint "can represent a challenge for investigators, which often rely on financial operations to uncover terrorism-related individuals and as evidence in prosecutions against them."

The report, by the George Washington University Program on Extremism and the federally funded National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology, and Education Center at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, examined 209 individuals charged with ISIS-tied crimes from 2013 until August of this year.

Read more: NBC News