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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Apr 14, 2021

The Australian man who carried out the Christchurch mosque massacres is launching a legal challenge against his jail conditions in the New Zealand high court.

Brenton Tarrant, who was last year sentenced to life imprisonment for 51 murders and one charge of terrorism, will represent himself in a hearing in Auckland on Thursday.

He has requested a judicial review, which looks at whether decisions have been made appropriately within the law. He is not appealing against his sentence and the hearing has no bearing on the outcome of the criminal case or his terrorism conviction.

Information provided to the Guardian by the court appeared to indicate that the killer wants the court to review decisions made by the Department of Corrections about his prison conditions, and also possibly his designation as a “terrorist entity” under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Read more: The Guardian (UK)

China is working to challenge the U.S. by doubling its nuclear capacity, besting American capabilities in space and expanding its influence abroad, according to a threat assessment by the U.S. intelligence community published Tuesday that highlights the dangers posed by rogue countries ahead of the non-state terrorism threat that once dominated national security thinking.

The authors of the threat assessment, released ahead of testimony by top intelligence officials before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, note that the order in which topics are presented "does not necessarily indicate their relative importance," but those editorial judgments are not made in a vacuum. For years, the dangers of an al Qaeda attack led the threats assessment, and in more recent years the problem of cyber intrusions was featured first.

Read more: NBC News

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday ordered an Army review of an investigation into a January 2020 militant assault on the Manda Bay military base in Kenya that killed three Americans and wounded three others.

In a written statement announcing Austin's decision, his press secretary, John Kirby, did not pinpoint what Austin found lacking in the initial investigation, which was conducted by U.S. Africa Command. By apparent coincidence, Austin plans to meet with Africa Command officials Tuesday in Stuttgart as part of a broader tour of Europe to consult with allies and talk to U.S. commanders. He will also meet separately with officials at U.S. European Command, also in Stuttgart.

Read more: Voice of America

President Joe Biden will withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that precipitated the American invasion that ousted the country’s Taliban leadership, according to people familiar with the plan.

American forces, in conjunction with troops from NATO allies, will begin withdrawing before the end of this month, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on Tuesday. The September deadline isn’t “conditions-based” and could be completed early, the official added.

After a review of U.S. policy that Biden ordered after taking office, the administration concluded it could address any terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan from elsewhere. The official also said the U.S. will work with other countries to protect gains made by women in the country, a major issue given the Taliban largely barred women from education and employment when they were in power.

Read more: Bloomberg

A fugitive last seen in Oregon has been on the run from the FBI for more than a decade.

The FBI says Lisa Quintana, also known as Josephine Sunshine Overaker, was part of an alleged domestic ecoterrorist cell known as The Family.

She was one of the main suspects accused of shoplifting equipment and devices used for several arsons across five states, including Oregon and Washington.

While many of her cohorts have already served their time, Quintana is still on the run.

She’s suspected in crimes dating back to 1996. She was last seen in Eugene in 2004. She is now 49 years old.

Read more: KATU