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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Feb 8, 2021

United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Logan Scott Debyle of Denver has been indicted for aiming a laser pointer at a Denver Police Department (DPD) helicopter on November 4, 2020.  Debyle was originally charged by a criminal complaint on November 6, 2020.  According to the affidavit in support of the original complaint, Debyle allegedly used a green laser pointer to illuminate the cockpit of a DPD helicopter called “Air 1” as the helicopter observed civil unrest during the evening of November 4, 2020.  The flight crew of Air 1 viewed two men associated with the laser.  The men were then detained by DPD police officers.

“We are proceeding with this and other matters to ensure that laws are enforced both here in Denver, as well as at the United States Capitol,” said United States Attorney Jason Dunn.  “Peaceful protests will be protected, but lawless rule breaking will not be tolerated.”

Debyle is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. § 39A.  If convicted, he faces a sentence of not more than five years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $250,000.  The charge pending against the defendant is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Read more: Department of Justice

A federal grand jury today returned a one-count indictment charging a Providence man with arson, alleging that he intentionally set a Providence Police Department cruiser on fire during a riot in downtown Providence during the early morning hours of June 2, 2020.

It is alleged that Luis Joel Sierra, 36, leaned inside a Providence Police cruiser to ignite a fire. The cruiser was quickly engulfed in flames and destroyed.

According to court documents, the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the torching of the police vehicle was bolstered by video from surveillance cameras, cell phones, and social media, and from information provided via email to law enforcement tip lines, including the Boston FBI tip line.

Additionally, as alleged in court documents, Sierra told another that he was one of the individuals responsible for the arson of the Providence Police Department vehicle by applying a flammable liquid to the interior of the vehicle and then using a lighter to ignite the fire. Law enforcement was also provided with several videos allegedly taken on Snapchat off Sierra’s phone and a recorded conversation with Sierra during which Sierra allegedly detailed his actions igniting the fire.

Read more: Department of Justice

The Saudi-led military coalition engaged in Yemen said on Sunday it had intercepted and destroyed four armed drones launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement towards southern Saudi Arabia.

A bomb-laden unmanned aerial vehicle was intercepted early on Sunday, coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said in a statement on Saudi state media.

Coalition forces later intercepted three drones, also launched towards southern Saudi Arabia with the aim of targeting “civilians and civilian objects”, Malki said in follow up statements which put the total at four.

Read more: Reuters

A bomb went off near a government office in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta on Friday, killing at least two people and wounding five, police said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, which took place near the office of the deputy commissioner, said Abdul Ali, a local police officer. He said rescuers transported the bodies and the wounded to a nearby hospital.

Ali refused to speculate on who could be behind the bombing. Previous such attacks have been claimed by militants and separatist groups fighting in Baluchistan province, where Quetta is the capital.

Read more: AP

In the wake of an intruder gaining unauthorized access and entering a jet at Joint Base Andrews, the Air Force will review security practices around the world, officials said Friday afternoon.

“Everyone is taking this very seriously,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said during a Friday afternoon press conference. “The acting secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force chief of staff are going to order the Air Force Inspector General to fully investigate this.”

The Air Force IG investigation will also include installations worldwide, said Kirby.

“It is not just limited to Andrews,” he said.

The Air Force will “launch a comprehensive review of installation security and trends,” Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman, told Military Times. “Once complete, we will publicly share the results of the investigation into the breach at Joint Base Andrews. We are still gathering information and facts, but we can assure you, installation security is of critical importance to the Department of the Air Force.”

Read more: Air Force Times