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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: May 10, 2021

Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that a federal jury found Christian Ferguson, 21, of Cleveland, Ohio, guilty of two counts of attempted kidnapping.  Ferguson was arrested on May 8, 2020, for an attempted plot to kidnap and ambush law enforcement officers responding to a false distress call in order to start an uprising.

“Mr. Ferguson devised a plan, and took steps to see it through, that involved placing a fake distress call to lure responding officers to the scene so that he could violently attack them, steal their department-issued weapons and equipment, and incite various militias to similarly attempt to overthrow the U.S. government and its institutions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan.  "Exploiting first responders’ most solemn obligation – to protect and serve – as a way of luring them into a violent ambush and inciting violence against our democratic institutions was cowardly, heinous, and, as Mr. Ferguson’s jury determined today, criminal.  The community members who reported this plan, and the federal agents who worked to prevent it, should be commended for their actions.  Lives were saved.”

“Christian Ferguson's plan was to lure law enforcement to a remote location then murder as many as he could in hopes of starting an "uprising",” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith.  “Mr. Ferguson then attempted to recruit others to assist him in this cowardly and despicable act.  We wish to thank those citizens who advised the FBI of the hateful and violent feelings Ferguson held for law enforcement.  Ferguson's guilty verdict will ensure he is no longer able to promote or commit violence against those charged with the solemn responsibility to stop it.”

Read more: Department of Justice

The funeral for a fallen Delmar Police officer is Monday. Cpl. Keith Heacook will be laid to rest Salisbury.

Hundreds of police officers from Maryland, Delaware and other states, as well as community members whom Heacook served for more than 20 years are expected to attend.

“He’s a devoted father, husband, son,” said Ron Snyder, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police.

Streets around Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury will be closed by 4 a.m. in preparation of the hundreds expected to attend.

“Whenever this happens, whether it be a police officer in this case, a firefighter or trooper, the community rallies together and wants to make sure that we do all we can to ensure that everyone pays the proper respects to a fallen hero like this,” Snyder said.

Read more: WJZ

Explosions caused by a car bomb and mortars outside a school in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday killed at least 55 people and wounded over 150, mostly female students, officials said, in an attack President Ashraf Ghani blamed on Taliban insurgents.

A senior security official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that most of the casualties were students coming out of the Sayed ul Shuhada school, and many were badly wounded in hospital.

Footage on TV channel ToloNews showed chaotic scenes, with books and school bags strewn across a bloodstained road, and residents rushing to help victims.

"It was a car bomb blast that occurred in front of the school entrance," an eyewitness told Reuters, asking not to be named. He said all but seven or eight of the victims were schoolgirls going home after finishing their studies.

Read more: US News & World Report

Palestinian protesters threw rocks and Israeli police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in clashes outside al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on Monday, as Israel marked the anniversary of its capture of parts of the city in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said more than 275 Palestinians were injured in the violence, and at least 205 of them were taken to hospitals. Several of the Palestinians were in critical condition and police said 12 officers were injured.

Al-Aqsa, Islam's third-holiest site, has been a focal point of violence in Jerusalem throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The clashes have raised international concern.

Read more: Reuters

Ethiopian lawmakers declared two political groups as terrorist organizations, as the government moves to quell instability in the run-up to elections next month.

The House of Peoples’ Representatives backed a government proposal to outlaw the Oromo Liberation Army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in a vote Thursday in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office at the weekend accused the OLA of carrying out a series of recent attacks against civilians that left many people dead and displaced and put society “in constant anticipation of danger and fear.” Federal troops have been battling supporters of the dissident TPLF in the northern Tigray region since November.

The OLA, an separatist group that broke away from the Oromo Liberation Front last year, vowed to step up attacks on Addis Ababa.

Read more: Bloomberg