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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jan 5, 2021
The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) today published a list of the 20 most dangerous extremists on the planet. The list highlights the last known location, deaths attributed to these harbingers of terror, as well as analyzing the influence these extremists have had over their group, their followers, and their extremist movement at large.
The notorious leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah; the founder of the Russian Imperial Movement, Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev; and Samantha Lewthwaite, the infamous “White Widow” member of al-Shabaab as well as former wife of 7/7 terrorist bomber Germaine Lindsay all feature on this extensive list of treachery.
CEP has considered extremists from across the spectrum of ideologies and beliefs, from ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Muslim Buddhist group in Myanmar to Generation Identity, all are considered a huge threat to international security.
Read more: The Counter Extremism Project

A pharmacist accused of trying to destroy hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine is a conspiracy theorist who believed the medication wasn't safe, Wisconsin authorities alleged Monday.

The man, Steven Brandenburg, 46, was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bond by Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Malloy during a brief appearance.

Police in Grafton, about 20 miles north of Milwaukee, arrested Brandenburg, a pharmacist with Advocate Aurora Health, on Thursday after 57 vials of the Moderna vaccine appeared to have been spoiled. Police said Brandenburg took the vaccine doses from a refrigerator and left them out for 12 hours, possibly rendering them useless.

Read more: NBC News

A follower of the QAnon conspiracy theory who parked his armored vehicle in the middle of a bridge near the Hoover Dam and held an armed standoff with law enforcement has been sentenced to nearly eight years in an Arizona prison.

Matthew Wright, 33, of the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nev., pleaded guilty during a mid-December court hearing in Mohave County Superior Court to making a terrorist threat and fleeing law enforcement.

Wright, who was arrested after he fled the bridge and his armored vehicle became stuck in the Arizona desert, initially faced a slew of charges that could have imprisoned him for life.

Wright, in an interview with a psychologist hired by his defense attorney, said his June 2018 action was an attempt to gain publicity for a pair of causes, both of which are rooted in conspiratorial thinking.

Read more: AZ Central

A man suspected of placing a hoax bomb that evacuated a mall in Queens, New York, on Monday morning is a right-wing conspiracy theorist who was arrested and accused of arson last week and has been under investigation by police for at least a week.

Law enforcement officials said they are looking for the man, Louis Shenker, 22, after New York City firefighters discovered a stolen car with wire, cans and electrical wiring in the form of a hoax bomb device on top of the car's trunk. No explosives were found in the vehicle — a Tesla with Nevada plates parked on a spiral ramp between parking garage levels at the Queens Place mall — but police rescued a husky dog from inside it.

The car had pro-Black Lives Matter movement signage, raising questions of whether the signs were intended to discredit the movement, three senior law enforcement officials said.

Read more: NBC News

A Maine man has been charged with trying to burn a Massachusetts church with a predominantly Black congregation.

Dushko Vulchev of Houlton, Maine, was arrested Friday by Pittsfield police, authorities said Saturday. He is due to be arraigned Monday on several counts of malicious damage and three counts of attempted arson at the Martin Luther King Presbyterian Church in Springfield on Dec. 13 and Dec. 15. Authorities also are investigating a fire that heavily damaged the church Dec. 28.

It was unknown Saturday whether Vulchev has an attorney.

In 2008, a few hours after Barack Obama was elected president, a Black church in Springfield was destroyed in an intentionally set fire that authorities said was racially motivated. Three white men were arrested and convicted.

Read more: AP