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Homeland Security News

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

On the north coast of Colombia there is anxiety over the return to the South American country of one of the most feared former paramilitary commanders: Hernán Giraldo Serna. “El Patrón” (the boss) or “El Taladro” (the drill, as he became known for sexually abusing girls in the area) stepped on Colombian soil Monday after finishing a 16-year sentence in a U.S. prison for drug trafficking earlier this month.

Giraldo, 74, was deported from the U.S. and immediately taken into custody by authorities in Colombia, where he is expected to serve time for crimes against humanity, including torture, forced displacement of people, sexual slavery and kidnapping, as well as drug trafficking.

A photo provided by Colombian immigration authorities showed Giraldo stepping onto a jet bridge wearing a surgical mask and a bulletproof vest on top of gray sweatpants. Another photo showed him walking through a building with heavily armed police ahead and behind him.

Read more: AP

In San Antonio today, 22-year-old Cost resident Jaylyn Christopher Molina, aka Abdur Rahim, admitted to conspiring to provide material support to the designated foreign terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham/Syria (ISIS), announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Gregg N. Sofer and FBI Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio Division Christopher Combs.

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Farrer, Molina pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS and one count of receiving child pornography. By pleading guilty, Molina admitted that since May 2019, he conspired with 34-year-old South Carolina resident Kristopher Sean Matthews, aka Ali Jibreel, and others to provide services to ISIS by administering an encrypted, members-only chat group for persons who supported ISIS ideology; by collecting, generating and disseminating pro-ISIS propaganda; by attempting to recruit individuals to join ISIS; and by disseminating bomb-making instructions.

Molina also pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography. On Sept. 18, 2020, federal authorities executing a search warrant at the defendant’s residence seized his cell phone, which contained 18 images depicting child pornography.

Read more: Department of Justice

Dutch police detained more than 150 people in a third night of unrest in cities across the Netherlands, where roaming groups of rioters set fires, threw rocks and looted stores in violence triggered by a night curfew aimed at curbing the coronavirus.

The nation's first curfew since World War II followed a warning by the National Institute for Health (RIVM) over a new wave of infections due to the "British variant" of the virus, and was imposed despite weeks of declines in new infections.

Ten police were injured in the port city of Rotterdam, where 60 rioters were detained overnight, Dutch news agency ANP said on Tuesday.

Read more: NBC News

He wanted to imitate Anders Breivik and Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the two right-wing extremists who in 2011 and 2019 committed massacres in Utoya, Norway, and Christchurch, New Zealand. What drove him was a white supremacist ideology fueled by a deep hatred of Jews and women, both considered subjects to be physically eliminated, and he dreamt of a violent revolution against “the state occupied by the Zionists.”

Andrea Cavalleri, 22, a native of Savona, wanted to turn these ravings into reality through the extreme right-wing group that he himself founded, the Nuovo ordine sociale (New Social Order), for which he spread propaganda on a Telegram channel called “Sole nero” (“Black Sun”), which was also used to recruit new followers.

His plans collapsed on Friday morning, when the police, in a mission coordinated by the Prosecutor’s Office of Genoa, knocked on his door and arrested him. Also arrested was a minor, a friend and accomplice of the young man and his mad plans, while the homes of 12 other people were searched in Genoa, Turin, Cagliari, Forli, Cesena, Palermo, Perugia, Bologna and Cuneo.

Read more: Il Manifesto (Italy)

The revelation that the Capitol mob — covered in emblems of extremist groups — included off-duty law enforcement officers possibly assisted by working police is escalating pressure on sheriffs and police chiefs nationwide to root out staff with ties to white supremacist and far-right armed groups.

Law enforcement leaders have faced criticism in the past for failing to police their own officers’ involvement with extremist groups. However, the selfie photos that off-duty officers took inside the Capitol during the violent siege, which left one police officer dead and dozens of others injured, were a wake-up call for many who have long denied the extent of the problem within policing.

National Sheriffs’ Association President David Mahoney said many police leaders have treated officers with extremist beliefs as outliers and have underestimated the damage they can inflict on the profession and the nation.

Read more: Washington Post