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Homeland Security News

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

Two activists were killed and five wounded in El Salvador's capital on Sunday after an assailant opened fire on members of the leftist FMLN party, officials said, in one of the worst political attacks in decades.

No group has taken responsibility for the shooting, which comes amid fierce campaigning for upcoming legislative and local elections in the small central American nation.

A man armed with a pistol fired on a truck carrying activists in the center of the Salvadorian capital, FMLN lawmaker Nidia Díaz said.

She blamed the attack on the "hate" fomented by the country's populist president, Nayib Bukele, who days ago criticised 1992 peace accords between the army and the FMLN that put an end to a 12-year civil war that left tens of thousands dead.

Read more: France24

Somalia’s government announced the end of a seven-hour deadly siege in the capital Mogadishu Sunday night, which left nine people dead.
 
Mohamed Nur Galal, a well-known retired general and former defense minister, was among those confirmed killed in the attack on the popular Hotel Afrik. The hotel, located along a strategic road linking downtown Mogadishu with the international airport, is frequented by politicians, lawmakers and senior civil servants.
 
Security forces were able to rescue dozens of people from the hotel during the siege. Militant group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Read more: Voice of America

Trial lawyer Robert Fisher is handling one of America’s most prominent counterintelligence cases, defending an MIT scientist charged with secretly helping China. But how he’ll handle the logistics of the case could feel old school: Under new court rules, he’ll have to print out any highly sensitive documents and hand-deliver them to the courthouse.

Until recently, even the most secretive material — about wiretaps, witnesses and national security concerns – could be filed electronically. But that changed after the massive Russian hacking campaign that breached the U.S. court system’s electronic case files and those of scores of other federal agencies and private companies.

The new rules for filing sensitive documents are one of the clearest ways the hack has affected the court system. But the full impact remains unknown. Hackers probably gained access to the vast trove of confidential information hidden in sealed documents, including trade secrets, espionage targets, whistleblower reports and arrest warrants. It could take years to learn what information was obtained and what hackers are doing with it.

Read more: AP

A former Gainesville resident is back in the United States and is facing terrorism charges. He was arrested overseas on Friday and arrived in North-Central Florida early Sunday morning.

Mohamed Fathy Suliman is charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support, including personnel (himself) and services, to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Suliman made his first appearance in front of Judge Gary Jones at the Federal Court in Gainesville. He remains in custody as Prosecutors with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida expressed concerns during his first appearance that he is a flight risk and danger to the community. He was shuttled into and out of court in an unmarked van.

Read more: WCJB

The Naval Academy is taking part in the Navy’s annual anti-terrorism force protection exercise for the National Capitol region.

In a statement released Monday, the Naval Academy said the exercise is designed to enhance the readiness of Navy security forces and ensure seamless operations among the commands, other services and agency partners. The exercise is conducted by commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and commander, Navy Installations Command on all Navy installations in the continental United States.

Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2021 began Monday for a number of installations, including Naval Support Activity Washington, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Naval Support Activity South Potomac, Naval Support Activity Annapolis, and Naval Support Activity Bethesda. An academy spokesperson said the security exercise could cause temporary delays at Gate 8 on Wednesday.

Read more: Baltimore Sun