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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Apr 29, 2021

Germany's domestic intelligence agency says some parts of the anti-Covid lockdown movement are being kept under observation amid concerns they may be trying to delegitimise the state.

They are focusing particularly on some members of the "Querdenker" (lateral thinkers) movement and say they do not fit into previous extremist categories.

The BfV agency highlighted links with far-right and other extremist groups.

Lawful protest was being "exploited to provoke an escalation", it warned.

Although the majority of protesters are not seen as extremists, "Querdenker" anti-lockdown demonstrations have drawn support from a variety of groups, including the far-right AfD party, anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists.

The BfV (federal office for the protection of the constitution) said the protest organisers' agenda had gone beyond objecting to anti-Covid measures and had been connecting with Reichsbürger (Reich Citizens) and Selbstverwalter (Sovereign Citizens) who reject the authority of the German government and spread anti-Semitic slurs.

Read more: BBC News

The French government on Wednesday unveiled a new counterterrorism and intelligence bill aiming at better preventing attacks, notably via a greater surveillance of extremist websites.

The bill, which had been in preparation for months, was formally presented in a Cabinet meeting just days after a French police official was killed inside her police station in what authorities are investigating as a terrorist attack.

In a news conference, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the text will strengthen French intelligence services’ power to watch people’s online activities.

Extremists “are using less and less phone lines and more and more internet connections,” he said.

Read more: France 24

Tribal elder Dawlat Khan still has nightmares about fighters from the local affiliate of the global Islamic State terror network who swept across his and other villages in eastern Afghanistan five years ago.

The extremists, including Afghans, Pakistanis, Arabs and men from Central Asia, quickly imposed a reign of terror. They kidnapped some locals who worked for the Afghan government, later dropping off their decapitated corpses in public places. In one instance, villagers were summoned to a beheading where some fainted while others froze as they watched in horror.

Militants of the Islamic State group have since been driven back into the mountains by blistering U.S. and Afghan bombing raids and a fierce ground campaign by the Taliban, Afghanistan’s homegrown insurgents. The Taliban, eager to expand their domestic political power, pledged to the Trump administration last year they would prevent any attacks on the West from Afghan soil after foreign troops leave.

Read more: AP

Justen Michael Watkins, the self-proclaimed leader of the white nationalist group known as The Base, is facing additional charges in Huron County for one count of breaking and entering.

A pretrial was held in district court April 22 on the case.

According to court documents, Watkins is accused of breaking into a garage of a property on Sullivan Road in Bad Axe.

The home is the same location where Watkins was arrested on Oct. 29, 2020, when the FBI and Michigan State Police executed an arrest warrant for him.

At the time of Watkins’ original arrest, the home was owned by Eric Webb, and was reportedly the Huron County location for The Base. However, according to county tax data the property was sold late last year.

Read more: Huron Daily Tribune

Two Spanish journalists and the Irish director of a wildlife foundation were killed in an ambush in eastern Burkina Faso, the Spanish government and Burkinabe officials have said.

Burkina Faso’s government confirmed late on Tuesday that three foreigners were killed in the attack on an anti-poaching patrol the previous day.

“The worst of news is confirmed,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had said on his Twitter account earlier on Tuesday, sending his condolences to the two men’s families. He named them as David Beriain and Roberto Fraile.

Read more: Al Jazeera