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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Oct 1, 2021

A Texas man pleaded guilty today to a federal riot charge in connection to the 2020 civil unrest, announced Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk.

According to court documents, Ivan Hunter, 24, admitted to traveling from San Antonio, Texas to Minneapolis with the intent to participate in a riot. Hunter is a self-described member of the Boogaloo Bois, a loosely connected group of individuals who espouse violent anti-government sentiments. The term “Boogaloo” itself references an impending second civil war in the United States and is associated with violent uprisings against the government.

On the night of May 28, 2020, Hunter was captured on video discharging 13 rounds from an AK-47 style semiautomatic rifle into the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building. At the time of the shooting there were other individuals believed to be looters still inside the building. Law enforcement recovered from the scene discharged rifle casings consistent with an AK-47 style firearm.

Read more: Department of Justice

A Texas man who plotted to blow up a data center in Virginia was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

Seth Aaron Pendley, 28, was arrested in April after attempting to obtain an explosive device from an undercover FBI employee in Fort Worth. He pleaded guilty in June to malicious attempt to destroy a building with an explosive and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor.

“The Justice Department is constantly on guard for threats posed by violent domestic extremists,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “As this case shows, radicals are lurking on the internet, looking for ways to lash out – and far too often, they move their plans off of the web and into the real world. We are indebted to the FBI employee who put his life on the line to disrupt Mr. Pendley’s plot before he could inflict real harm on data center workers, and are proud of today’s sentence.”

Read more: Department of Justice

U.S. Central Command on Thursday identified Salim Abu-Ahmad as the senior al-Qaida leader killed in an airstrike near Idlib, Syria on Sept. 20.

“Salim Abu-Ahmad was responsible for planning, funding, and approving trans-regional al-Qaeda attacks,” Army Maj. John Rigsbee, a CENTCOM spokesman told Military Times. “There are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike. This strike continues U.S. operations to degrade international terrorist networks and target terrorist leaders who seek to attack the U.S. homeland and its interests and allies abroad.”

On Sept. 20, rescue workers and a war monitor described the attack as a drone strike that hit a vehicle traveling on a rural road in rebel-controlled northwestern Syria, killing at least one person.

Read more: Military Times

Police in Sweden are searching for a man they believe connected with an explosion and fire at an apartment building that injured 16 people this week, officials said Thursday.

Senior authorities said the man is suspected of public destruction and hasn't been found. His identity has not been released, but media in Sweden reported that he is in his 50's and lived with his mother in the Goteborg apartment building.

"We still do not know what caused the explosion," senior police officer Anders Borjesson said at a press conference. "The investigation is far from over, we still have a lot ahead of us."

Borjesson said that the warmth and the lack of oxygen inside the building had made it difficult for the investigators to do their work.

Read more: Newsweek

Angry mobs. Police tape. Obscenities hurled at elected officials. Smashed windows. Physical confrontations, assaults and arrests.

The unruly and violent conduct at many school board meetings, plus death threats directed toward elected members, has risen to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes, the national group representing school boards said Thursday in a letter to President Joe Biden's administration.

The National School Boards Association requested an investigation by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education and Homeland Security and assistance from the FBI to maintain safety for school board members, as well as district staff and students.

"We urge the federal government’s intervention against individuals or hate groups who are targeting our schools and educators," the letter said.

School board meetings in many communities have become the epicenter of increasingly uncivil arguments and sometimes violent altercations over everything from COVID-19 protocols to how classrooms address race, equity, social justice and sexual equality.

Read more: USA Today