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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Mar 22, 2021

A man accused of setting a Florida church on fire last year is facing a federal hate crime charge, prosecutors announced Thursday.

A federal grand jury in Orlando returned an indictment Wednesday against Steven Shields, 24, of Dunnellon, according to court records. He's charged with using fire to commit a felony and intentionally damaging religious property, a hate crime charge that falls under the Church Arson Prevention Act.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the hate crime and a mandatory minimum of 10 years if convicted of the fire charge. He also faces state arson and burglary charges.

Read more: ABC News

Deputies have disabled a live pipe bomb just outside of an elementary school in South Sacramento.

Sheriff’s department K-9s are searching the area for other possible threats.

Earlier Friday morning, police blocked off the area around Ethel I. Baker in the 5700 block of Laurine Way after a school staff member found a “suspicious device”,  according to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

Read more: CBS Sacramento

An air attack on an oil refinery in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Friday caused a fire that was brought under control, the energy ministry said, after Yemen’s Houthi group said it targeted the site with six drones.

The refinery is operated by state-controlled oil giant Saudi Aramco. The attack, which happened at 6:05 a.m. Saudi time (0305 GMT), did not result in injuries or deaths, and did not disrupt the supply of oil or oil derivatives, the energy ministry said.

The Houthis said earlier in the day that they had hit a facility belonging to Aramco in Riyadh, without specifying the targets they said were hit.

Read more: Reuters

Philippine troops have killed a leader of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group and rescued four Indonesian hostages held since last year, the military said on Sunday.

Majan Sahidjuan, alias Apo Mike, was severely wounded in a gunbattle with the marines on Saturday night in Languyan town in southern Tawi-Tawi province, and later died, said Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan Jr.

He described Sahidjuan as the mastermind in several kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf, which is based in Sulu and has also been involved in bomb attacks and piracy for decades. Since 2014, it has proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Read more: Reuters