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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Oct 5, 2021

Anti-vaccine residents in a village in rural Guatemala have attacked nurses who were trying to administer Covid-19 jabs, holding them for seven hours, officials say.

About 500 people blocked a road and vandalised the team's cars in Maguilá, in the northern Alta Verapaz province.

The 11 workers were released after police negotiated with the villagers, who destroyed about 50 vaccine doses.

Authorities say online disinformation is feeding resistance to the vaccines.

The nurses were "verbally and physically attacked" by the residents, who let the air out of the workers' tires and destroyed the cool boxes storing the doses, the health ministry said.

"We were very scared because we had never been through something like this. We were just doing our duty," a nurse was quoted by the statement as saying. "We tried to explain a number of times that vaccination is voluntary and that we did not want to force anyone, yet they didn't let us [work]."

Read more: BBC News

One federal agent was killed and another is in critical condition following a shooting on an Amtrak train in Tucson, Arizona. The shooting broke out as the agents were searching for guns and drugs.

Officials said the violence started as a confrontation on the train between two DEA agents and a suspect.

"They were checking for illegal guns, money, drugs, this is something they do, as I said, routinely," Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said.

But this time, it turned deadly. 

When the first barrage of shots were fired, onlookers didn't know what was happening until they saw a K-9 officer run toward the gunman. Then someone yelled, "Get out of there! Get out of there!" before more gunfire began. 

Read more: CBS News

Created in response to terrorism events around the globe, CISA’s Office for Bombing Prevention (CISA OBP) plays a leading role in protecting the United States against bombing incidents by enhancing security and resilience at all levels of government, across the private sector, and among the public.

In 2006, Congress recognized the need for an enhanced and coordinated national bombing prevention effort and directed that CISA OBP take action. Fifteen years later, CISA OBP has stayed true to that mandate, working tirelessly across all States and territories to strengthen the knowledge and capabilities of local agencies, law enforcement officers and first responders, businesses and critical infrastructure facilities, schools and faith-based institutions, and the public. Its successful domestic work has also been exported globally, through information sharing, training, and assistance to partners ranging from the European Union, Mexico, and Canada, to the Caribbean, Asia, and the United Nations.

Read more: Homeland Security Today

Sri Lankan prosecutors have indicted the alleged mastermind of the 2019 Easter Sunday suicide bombings along with 24 men they say are co-conspirators in the island’s worst single “terror” attack.

Nearly 300 people including dozens of foreign nationals were killed in the April 21 attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels, in a wave of killings singling out Sri Lanka’s Christian community.

Prosecutors have brought more than 20,000 charges against the suspects, three of whom have already been accused of “terrorism” by the US Justice Department.

The suspects are in police custody, but one of them did not appear in court on Monday as he was suffering from COVID-19, officials said, adding that hearings will begin on November 23.

Read more: Al Jazeera

Citing an increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation’s public schools, today Attorney General Merrick B. Garland directed the FBI and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to meet in the next 30 days with federal, state, Tribal, territorial and local law enforcement leaders to discuss strategies for addressing this disturbing trend. These sessions will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment and response by law enforcement.   

“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” wrote Attorney General Garland. “Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”

According to the Attorney General’s memorandum, the Justice Department will launch a series of additional efforts in the coming days designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel. 

Read more: Department of Justice