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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Oct 15, 2021

Conservative MP Sir David Amess has died after being stabbed multiple times at his constituency surgery in Essex.

Police said a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder after the attack at a church in Leigh-on-Sea.

They recovered a knife and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. A counter terrorism team will lead the investigation.

Boris Johnson has spoken of his shock and sadness at the loss of "one of the kindest" people in politics.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs "with immediate effect", a Home Office spokesman said.

Sir David, 69, had been an MP since 1983 and was married with five children. He is the second serving MP to be killed in the past five years, following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.

Read more: BBC News

A West Virginia man who was accused of selling machine gun conversion devices to followers of a far-right extremist movement received a five-year prison sentence Wednesday.

Timothy John Watson pleaded guilty in March in federal court in Martinsburg to possession of an unregistered firearm silencer.

Three other charges against Watson were dismissed. As a part of a plea agreement, Watson was ordered to forfeit the silencer, 3D printers and parts along with items seized in a November 2020 search that prosecutors said are devices used to convert semi-automatic AR-15 rifles into fully automatic machine guns.

Prosecutors said Watson, 31, of Ranson, made and sold hundreds of the devices to nearly 800 people online. Some of those included supporters of the anti-government “boogaloo” movement, the code word they use for their talk of a second civil war. Their prominence has grown during the pandemic as the gun-toting supporters, many dressed in Hawaiian shirts and camouflage garb, attended protests against government shutdowns.

Read more: CBS Pittsburgh

Military veterans say they are increasingly and aggressively being recruited by extremist groups, including those allegedly involved in the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

The News4 I-Team reported in July about growing concerns extremist groups spread disinformation by social media to try to lure military vets to join. The investigation found dozens of military veterans and at least one active duty Marine are charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, including a number allegedly affiliated with extremists.

Veterans service groups say extremists recruit them because vets are considered influencers who can bring others along if they join extremist causes and because veterans have experience in planning and equipping for missions.

According to testimony at a congressional hearing this week, the groups of concern include the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters -- all of which have also been linked to the Jan. 6 riot.

Read more: NBC Washington

The suspect in a deadly bow-and-arrow attack in Norway has been handed over to health services and won't appear in court on Friday, a regional police spokesperson told CNN.

Espen Andersen Bråthen, 37, has been charged with murder over the attack, which took place in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday evening and left five people dead.

Bråthen "is not disputing what happened," the police spokesperson told CNN Friday.

The prosecution has asked a judge that the suspect is held in detention for at least four weeks, including two in isolation, the spokesperson added. The court is expected to make a decision later on Friday, according to a press release from the regional police.

Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) chief Hans Sverre Sjøvold told reporters on Thursday that the attack "appears as if it may be an act of terrorism" but noted that it is important the investigation goes ahead and "we get to clarify what the motives of the accused are."

Read more: CNN

A federal judge in Washington has repeatedly sentenced people who stormed the U.S. Capitol to more prison time than prosecutors sought, saying that even people who were not violent should face consequences for joining the unprecedented assault.

In the past week, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has imposed sentences ranging from 14 to 45 days on four people who pleaded guilty to unlawful parading and picketing inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6 — a misdemeanor offense.

"There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government, beyond sitting at home," Chutkan said at one of the hearings.

Read more: Reuters