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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Mar 1, 2021

An explosion outside the Nebraska Chinese Association left its members and police scratching their heads.

Officials say someone started a fire Thursday night, but they can’t yet confirm if it was a hate crime because it’s unclear what the intent was. The explosive was detonated on concrete stairs that lead from the sidewalk to the NCA property.

The NCA lends part of its building to Tribe Church, which hosts a bible study on Friday nights.

“Tribe Church is 100 percent behind the Nebraska Chinese Association,” Sebastian Baxter said. “We’re with them, our community, and our hearts are with them.”

Read more: WOWT (Omaha)

A UK-born woman who went to Syria as a schoolgirl to join Islamic State should not be allowed to return to Britain to challenge the government taking away her citizenship, because she poses a security risk, Britain’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

Shamima Begum left London in 2015 when she was 15 and went to Syria via Turkey with two school friends. While there, she married an Islamic State fighter. She gave birth to three children, all of whom died as infants, and is now being held in a detention camp in Syria.

She was stripped her of her British citizenship in 2019 on national security grounds.

Read more: Reuters

A member of the Oath Keepers militia group charged with plotting with other extremists in the attack on the U.S. Capitol disavowed the anti-government group in a court hearing Friday, telling the judge she is “appalled” by her fellow Oath Keepers and “humiliated” by her arrest.

Jessica Watkins, one of nine members and associates of the far-right militia group charged with planning and coordinating with one another in the Jan. 6 siege, said she plans to cancel her Oath Keepers membership and has disbanded her local Ohio militia group. Watkins’ remarks came before the judge ordered her to remain behind bars while she awaits trial.

“I did it out of the love of my country but I think it’s time to let all of that go,” the Army veteran who ran an Ohio bar said during the hearing held via videoconference. “I’m not a criminally minded person... I am humiliated that I am even here today,” she added.

Read more: AP

Decades after going to prison, some of the men responsible for the World Trade Center bombing that killed six people 28 years ago Friday are still trying to whittle down their onetime life sentences on the remote chance that they could someday be freed.

And they are having some success.

In the last year, four men implicated in the 1993 bombing have won reductions to their sentences after one part of their convictions was dropped to be consistent with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Once each sentenced to 240 years in prison, appeals have won them sentence deductions as they continue efforts to get judges to take fresh looks at their cases.

Read more: AP

A federal criminal complaint was filed late this afternoon charging Jeremiah Peter Watson, age 22, of Hyattsville, Maryland, with being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

The criminal complaint was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Acting Chief of Police Gregory T. Monahan of the U.S. Park Police.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, on the evening of February 25, 2021, a dark four-door sedan, with significant damage to the passenger front and side, pulled up to the gated entry of the Secret Service facility within the National Agricultural Research Center, which is federal property.  The driver of the vehicle was having a conversation on speaker on his cellular phone, which had a green case.  The driver got out of the car and approached the security guard in an aggressive manner.  Another security officer arrived to assist.  Despite being given verbal commands to stop, the driver continued to approach and the security officer deployed pepper spray at the driver.

Read more: Department of Justice