Skip Navigation

Homeland Security News

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

The US military on Thursday struck a site in Syria used by two Iranian-backed militia groups in response to rocket attacks on American forces in the region in the past two weeks.

"Up to a handful" of militants were killed in the strikes, a US official told CNN.

The strikes, which mark the US military's first known action under President Joe Biden, swiftly drew criticism from a Democratic lawmaker. The site was not specifically tied to the rocket attacks but Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said he was "confident" it was used by the same Iranian-backed Shia militias that had fired rockets at US and coalition forces.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the strikes took place "at President Biden's direction" and were authorized not just to respond to the recent attacks against American and coalition forces but also to deal with "ongoing threats to those personnel."

Read more: CNN

The FBI have identified an Iowa woman and her adult son as participants in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after a tip from a longtime family acquaintance.

An FBI agent says in a court document that videos posted to social media and surveillance video at the Capitol also confirmed that Deborah Sandoval and Salvador Sandoval Jr. were part of the mob. The affidavit describes surveillance video showing 23-year-old Salvador Sandoval pushing two officers with the Metropolitan Police Department and trying to grab the shield of a third. T

The mother and son were arrested on Friday in Des Moines and have been released from custody pending further proceedings.

Read more: KCRG (Cedar Rapids)

Crystal Deck was opening presents on Christmas morning at her brother’s home when she heard the news that an enormous explosion had ripped through the historic heart of Nashville.

She knew instantly that the bomber was her dearest friend, Anthony Q. Warner, and quickly began fitting together clues that he had dropped, including a series of peculiar episodes she had dismissed as inconsequential, but which proved to be central to his suicidal plot.

Ms. Deck had, weeks earlier, found him fiddling with a prerecorded female voice on his laptop. And he had played her the 1964 Petula Clark hit “Downtown,” praising the song’s “significant spirit.” Both became eerie elements of the bombing.

Read more: New York Times

Mafia-type organisations, often based in eastern Europe, are likely to have been behind a recent wave of cyber attacks on French hospitals, rather than foreign powers, said the French minister for digital technology Cedric O on Thursday.

"Concerning the hospitals, in all likelihood it is not foreign powers, but rather Mafia-type organisations - often situated in eastern countries but not just limited to there - who are looking for money," Cedric O told France 2 television.

Cedric O said such criminal organisations would typically demand ransom money from victims to restore their computer systems, after paralysing their software.

Read more: France 24

In the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, global terror groups who took no part in the storming have found a point of admiration in the tactics of domestic extremists, a news story to hold up as justification in their claims that America is weak from within and vulnerable, and a model of inspiration for their own operatives to similarly target locations that hold deep symbolism and may not be as secure as once thought.

Domestic terror movements and Islamist terror groups have long shared similar themes and memes in the ways they recruit and incite as extremists of varying ideologies feed off each other’s best practices. These include using current events to stoke grievances and appealing to existing grievances to reel in sympathizers and recruits while encouraging revenge, promoting the accelerationist belief that societal collapse will hasten their aims to construct a civilization with their ideology dominant, promising training and operations intended to appeal to recruits’ feelings of inadequacy, and heavily promoting successful attacks – regardless of the perpetrators – in order to encourage both cells and lone actors to learn from the attacks’ flaws and emulate the high points.

Read more: Homeland Security Today