Skip Navigation

Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jan 8, 2021

Among many critical national security lessons, 2020 emphasized the importance of staying nimble as multiple threats simultaneously unfold. A pandemic was coupled with the most active Atlantic hurricane season in history, political tension and protests kept law enforcement on its toes, and entities from critical infrastructure operators to local governments and houses of worship were forced to assess and adjust security postures based on an overlapping – and often overwhelming – saturation of threats.

Even the response to COVID-19 gave the homeland community fresh insight on confronting this shifting threat landscape in 2021. With all of the other challenges vying for the attention of security professionals, entities must resolve to wisely shape counterterrorism strategies and not let this focus take a backseat. Today’s threats underscore the need to adapt as concerns arise with new or evolved groups, movements, and tactics.

Read more: Homeland Security Today

Wednesday’s mob insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., is unlikely to be the last violent action from far-right extremists, who may also be using the week’s extraordinary events to recruit members for a swelling coalition around outgoing president Donald Trump, according to experts on extremism. 

While this week’s attack was extraordinary in it’s brazenness, it was also a wake-up call to federal and local law enforcement that threats from far-right Trump supporters should be taken very seriously over the last two weeks of Trump’s presidency and beyond, said Mary McCord, legal director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

“There’s a whole lot of talk about what happened in far-right extremist forums and chatrooms today, and about how the inauguration on January 20 will be the last stand and now is the time to recruit,” McCord said.

State capitols should ramp up security, much as Washington, D.C., has started to do, she said, in the expectation that Trump's followers may try to repeat this week's attack or worse.

Read more: USA Today

Federal prosecutors in western Pennsylvania say a man is facing federal charges in connection with an incendiary device thrown from a moving vehicle into a parked sport utility vehicle over the weekend in Pittsburgh.

The U.S. attorney’s office said 33-year-old Charles Baker is charged with illegal possession of an unregistered destructive device and being a felon in possession of a destructive device. Prosecutors said he was also charged as a felon in possession of a firearm, the device, stemming from previous burglary, trespass and drug convictions.

Read more: NBC 12

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has died following injuries suffered in the violent siege on the building Wednesday, according to a press release from the department.

The death is the fifth connected to the riots, which saw swarms of pro-Donald Trump protesters overwhelm police barricades, surge into the Capitol and force lawmakers to go into hiding.

The officer, identified as Brian D. Sicknick, died at 9:30 p.m. Thursday evening, police said.

"Officer Sicknick was responding to the riots on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol and was injured while physically engaging with protesters," USCP said in a statement. "He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners."

Read more: ABC News