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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Nov 2, 2021

Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has appealed to citizens to take up arms to block advancing rebel fighters.

He made the call on Facebook after the rebels, from the northern Tigray state, reportedly seized control of more towns in neighbouring Amhara.

The government has accused rebel fighters of killing 100 youths in one of the towns.

The US has called for a ceasefire in a year-long conflict that has created a humanitarian crisis.

The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) says its aim is to break a siege of the northern region.

In his statement on Sunday, Mr Abiy said the rebels' advance was "pushing the country to its demise".

Read more: BBC News

Video shows a suspect placing a package at the door of Sergio’s Fine Jewelers along with a note demanding jewelry and cash on Oct. 1.

Inside the box? A device that looked like a bomb caused police to evacuate the entire plaza.

“The cop came in and said this is not a drill everybody needs to evacuate,” Michelle Luedtke said.

“The bomb squad came and the bomb robot. There were bomb dogs sniffing everywhere. There was drones going up above checking the buildings and everything,” said McKensey Cleppin.

At first, Michelle Luedtke who works at the Dog Wash didn’t think anything of it was real until police had them move farther away from the jewelry store.

“When they pushed us further back I was like okay something’s real!” Luedtke.

Read more: WJZ

A man from Beavercreek, Ohio pleaded guilty Friday to attempting to help a terrorist organization, namely ISIS.

According to court documents, Naser Almadaoji, 22, an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen of Beavercreek, purchased a plane ticket for travel on Oct. 24, 2018, and was arrested at John Glenn International Airport after checking in and obtaining his boarding pass.  

Investigators say Almadaoji was attempting to travel to Kazahkstan where he planned to be smuggled into Afghanistan so that he could join and receive military training from ISIS-K.

Almadaoji explained to a person he believed to be an ISIS supporter that he wanted “weapons experts training, planning and executing, hit an run, capturing high travel targets, ways to break into homes and avoid security guards. That type of training,” he said.

Read more: WKBN (Youngstown, OH)

A candidate for the Ankeny school board changed his name following conviction on a threat of terrorism charge last year after he said he would shoot up a high school and sexually assault students.

Christian Mathew Holtz, 20, of Ankeny is one of seven candidates running in Tuesday's election for school board. His campaign has focused on addressing bullying, protecting marginalized groups and being a younger voice for students on the board, among other issues. Holtz has been running his campaign and participating in candidate forums as he remains on probation for the threat of terrorism charge, a felony, according to court records.

In March 2020, Holtz was charged in Dallas County District Court after police accused him of sending an email to more than 750 Waukee High School students and staff saying he planned to come to the school with a gun, shoot all the students and go into the locker room to sexually assault and murder girls. According to a criminal complaint, police said he admitted to sending the email.

Read more: Des Moines Register

A U.S. Army veteran from Reseda was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison for plotting to set off a bomb at a Long Beach political rally in a thwarted terrorist attack.

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson rejected prosecutors’ request for a penalty of life in prison for Mark Steven Domingo, 28, who was convicted at his trial in August for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and providing material support to terrorists.

Prosecutors told Wilson that Domingo wanted the aborted April 2019 bombing to avenge the killing of 51 people at mosques in New Zealand “and to stoke terror, chaos, and civil unrest that would weaken the United States and help ISIS and other Jihadist groups spread.”

“His clear intent was to intimidate this nation and the world, and he sought to influence world events and the conduct of the United States government through that intimidation,” Assistant U.S. Attys. Reema M. El-Amamy and David T. Ryan told the judge in a sentencing memo.

Read more: Los Angeles Times