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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 18, 2021

Jesse James Smallwood, Delveccho Waller, Jr., Bruce Thompson, Judah Coleman Bailey, and Dashun Martin have been sentenced to prison for conspiring to commit arson of a City of Gainesville Police Department patrol vehicle.

“The defendants sought out and intentionally destroyed a police vehicle using the cover of legitimate peaceful protest,” said U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine.  “The criminal conduct of these defendants showed a reckless disregard for the safety of others.”     

“The FBI Atlanta Field Office is committed to supporting our local and state law enforcement partners in an effort to maintain public safety in the communities we serve,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “We are not focused on peaceful protests, but instead concentrating on identifying, investigating and disrupting those individuals who are taking advantage of the protests to incite violence and engage in criminal activity.”

“We want our community to know we stand with them during their rights to peacefully protest. However, these defendants did not peacefully protest, rather, they took this opportunity to target one of our officers at his residence. This type of violence and destruction will not be tolerated in our community,” said Jay Parrish, Chief of Police, Gainesville Police Department.

Read more: Department of Justice

A knife attack on a train in Bavaria on Nov. 6 which left several people injured is being investigated as terrorism related, prosecutors in Munich said on Tuesday. read more

An initial evaluation of social media accounts of the suspect, who was arrested at the time, showed that an Islamist motive for the crime could not be excluded, said the prosecutors, adding they were looking at all possibilities.

A man had injured four people when he attacked passengers in the train from Passau to Hamburg with a knife. Some of the injuries were serious.

Initially, investigators had believed that the man had psychological problems. Prosecutors said experts are still assessing whether his condition means he has only diminished culpability due to his condition.

Read more: Reuters

The Budapest Prosecutor’s Office of Investigations has pressed charges against a 22 year-old man for preparing to carry out a terrorist act in Hungary “aimed at intimidating European residents”.

The Hungarian man converted to Islam in a Budapest mosque in June 2020 and became a follower of radical, Jihadist Islam by the spring of 2021, supporting the Islamic State terrorist organisation, the prosecutor’s office said.

He took an oath to the terrorist organisation, prepared an Islamic flag and displayed it in his home, and started looking for potential targets for an attack. Between March and May he communicated with people on various online platforms about carrying out terrorist attacks. He received written materials and advice about preparing a pipe bomb and started acquiring the necessary materials to prepare one, ordering a remote controller from a webshop.

Read more: Hungary Today

The Church of England says it is not aware of any link between conversion and asylum system abuse after it emerged Liverpool bomb attacker Emad Al Swealmeen had become a Christian.

Al Swealmeen, who died in the attack on Sunday, was a failed asylum seeker who had been refused permission to stay in the UK.

It comes after newspaper reports suggested changing religion could be a way to "game the asylum system".

The Home Office declined to comment.

Al Swealmeen, 32, who was born in Iraq, died in the explosion outside Liverpool Women's Hospital. Police believe he had been planning an attack for months.

Read more: BBC News

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on Tuesday to a ceasefire at their border, the Armenian Defense Ministry said, after Russia urged them to step back from confrontation following the deadliest clash since a war last year.

Armenia had asked Moscow to help defend it after the worst fighting since a 44-day war last year between ethnic Armenian forces and the Azeri army over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave that killed at least 6,500 people.

That conflict ended after Russia, which has a military base in Armenia, brokered a peace deal and deployed almost 2,000 peacekeepers to the region. Turkey took the side of Azerbaijan, which regained swathes of land it lost in an earlier conflict.

"In accordance with an agreement mediated by the Russian side, fire ceased on the eastern section of the Armenian-Azeri border, and the situation is relatively stable," Armenia's Defense Ministry said.

Read more: CNN