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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Apr 13, 2021

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula officially denied “in whole” a United Nations report that said the group’s leader, Khalid Batarfi, had been arrested in an October raid in which his deputy, Saad Atef al Awlaki, had been killed.

The report, which did not included further details about arrest or imprisonment, had been included in a report to the UN Security Council from a monitoring team tracking terror groups. “In addition to leadership losses, AQAP is suffering an erosion of its ranks caused by dissensions and desertions, led primarily by one of Batarfi’s ex-lieutenants, Abu Omar al-Nahdi,” the report also said.

AQAP issued a statement Thursday calling the news “a false and deceptive report and an outright lie to the public.”

Read more: Homeland Security Today

A woman is now facing charges after multiple explosive devices were planted across Trinidad.

Media outlet All Things 81082 was the first to announce the arrest of Leah Armijo. You can see her mugshot, obtained by All Things 81082, at the bottom of this article.

Investigators connected Leah to the case against Jonathon Armijo. Armijo is suspected of planting explosive devices in Trinidad, including one device that seriously injured a 22-year-old man. Armijo is facing two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of possession/use of an explosive device.

11 News was there when Armijo was taken into custody on Feb. 8, less than a day after the second of two explosions happened within city limits. The first explosion happened on Feb. 5 at a Walmart parking lot, according to arrest papers. The second explosion happened on Feb. 7 at the Trinidad Apartments and nearly claimed the life of a man.

Read more: KKTV

After a career in the Army, little surprises Col. Christopher Nyland, garrison commander at Fort George G. Meade.

He knows that there are members of the Army and the military as a whole that express extremist behaviors. That was only reinforced by the training he underwent and led regarding extremism in the military.

“I would challenge you to find any group of 3 million people that didn’t have some members in their ranks that didn’t have some of those beliefs… So that was about overcoming the ‘we don’t have a problem,’” Nyland said.

“And I think no one in the room was surprised, at least in the group that I led or the group that I participated in, that that kind of behavior was unacceptable.”

Read more: Baltimore Sun

The G7 group of leading economic powers warned Russia on Monday to "cease its provocations" on its border with Ukraine.

The seven foreign ministers, including top diplomats from the US, Germany and the UK, said they were "deeply concerned" by the build-up of Russian military forces on Ukraine’s borders and in Crimea.

"These large-scale troop movements, without prior notification, represent threatening and destabilizing activities," the statement said.

What is the background to the conflict?
Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in February 2014 before annexing it through a referendum that has been widely rejected by the international community, including the United Nations.

Read more: Deutsche Welle

A shooting at a Knoxville high school on Monday left a student dead and an officer injured, Tennessee officials said.

Officers responded to reports of a potentially armed individual at Austin-East Magnet High School around 3:15 p.m. ET Monday, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI). Director David Rausch said during a news conference.

Officers found the individual in the school's restroom, and they ordered him out. He refused and after he fired shots, at least one officer returned fire, Rausch said.

The gunman, who was identified as a student at the school, died at the scene, Rausch said. Authorities said they are not releasing the student's name at this time.

Read more: CNN