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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: May 21, 2021

Disturbing video shows an apparent group of pro-Palestinian protesters attacking diners outside a restaurant in the West Hollywood area Tuesday night.

The incident appears to be an anti-Semitic attack coming amid a renewed conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

The footage is part of a hate crime investigation launched by the Los Angeles Police Department after the violent fight erupted on La Cienega Boulevard just before 10 p.m.

Witnesses told Eyewitness News that the pro-Palestinian group was yelling anti-Semitic remarks at the diners. Video of the chaotic scene shows several men punching another man on the sidewalk while bystanders shout.

We talked to the man in the video getting kicked and punched. He only wanted to be identified as M.

Read more: ABC 7 (Los Angeles)

New analysis suggests online support for extremists groups, including the Boogaloos and the Islamic State, or IS, emerges and evolves in similar ways.

For the study, published Wednesday in the journal Scientific Reports, scientists looked at the mathematical patterns that defined early support for the Boogaloos, a far right group implicated in the storming of the U.S. Capitol in January.

Scientists found online support for the Boogaloos looked like a lot like the emergence of IS.

"This study helps provide a better understanding of the emergence of extremist movements in the U.S. and worldwide," lead author Neil Johnson, professor of physics at George Washington University, said in a news release.

"By identifying hidden common patterns in what seem to be completely unrelated movements, topped with a rigorous mathematical description of how they develop, our findings could help social media platforms disrupt the growth of such extremist groups," Johnson said.

Read more: UPI

Belgian authorities on Wednesday were carrying out a manhunt for a soldier who had made threats to prominent virologist Marc Van Ranst and a number of other people.

The soldier, who was identified in media reports as a 46-year-old, was reported to have taken a rocket launcher, a machine gun, body armor, and a pistol from a barracks at Peutie, north of Brussels.

Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne told Belgian VTR television on Tuesday evening the fugitive soldier posed an "acute threat" and has been listed by Belgium's anti-terrorism agency OCAD because of his extreme views.

According to the Brussels-based newspaper De Morgen, the man had left behind a farewell letter insinuating he was going to "join the resistance and may not survive."

Read more: Deutsche Welle

A bilateral cease-fire took hold on Friday as Israel and Hamas agreed to halt nearly two weeks of fighting that has left hundreds dead and parts of the impoverished Gaza Strip reduced to rubble.

In the countdown to the 2 a.m. (7 p.m. ET Thursday) truce, rocket attacks from the Palestinian militant group continued and Israel carried out at least one airstrike.

There were no reports of violations early Friday, though each side said it stood ready to retaliate for any attacks by the other. Egypt, which mediated the agreement, said it would send two delegations to monitor the cease-fire.

More than 10 days of aerial attacks killed at least 243 Palestinians in Gaza and 12 Israelis, according to officials on both sides. What began with clashes that first erupted months ago in Jerusalem boiled over into a conflict that spread far beyond the city's ancient walls — leading to a wave of civil unrest within Israel and protests across the world.

Read more: NBC News

Ever since their last war in 2006, Israel and Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah militia have constantly warned that a new round between them is inevitable. Yet once again, a potential trigger has gone unpulled.

Hezbollah’s shadow loomed large during Israel and Hamas’ two-week battle, with the possibility it could unleash its arsenal of missiles - far more powerful than Hamas’ - in support of the Palestinians.

Instead, Hezbollah stayed on the sidelines. And if a ceasefire that took effect early Friday holds, another Israel-Hamas war will have ended without Hezbollah intervention.

For now, both sides had compelling reasons not to clash, including - for Hezbollah - the bitter memory of Israel’s punishing 2006 bombing campaign that turned its strongholds in Lebanon to rubble. Lebanon is also in the grips of an economic and financial collapse unparalleled in its modern history and can ill afford another massive confrontation with Israel.

Read more: AP