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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: May 25, 2021

International outrage increased as details emerged in Sunday's forced landing of a commercial airliner in Minsk, Belarus, where security forces removed a prominent dissident journalist from the plane and arrested him.

Western officials condemned the act as one of state terror and air piracy. The European Union asked all E.U.-based airlines to halt flights over Belarus and is taking steps to ban Belarus airlines from E.U. airports. The U.K. is considering preventing Belarus' national air carrier from flying in Britain.

Ryanair Flight 4978 was in Belarusian airspace when President Alexander Lukashenko personally ordered a MiG-29 fighter jet to divert the flight and escort it to the Minsk airport. The plane landed, and security officials searched it and passenger baggage.

Read more: USA Today

A New Hampshire mother is now accused of setting a fire at her home that injured her and her children this February, with court documents painting a bizarre picture of the incident.

Authorities believe the woman, now accused of arson and child endangerment, may have been suffering a mental health crisis. Mary Corliss, of Webster, was involved in a series of strange encounters as the fire broke out and was battled Feb. 24, according to court documents.

A witness who saw smoke and called in the fire told investigators she saw Corliss in an upstairs window, according to the documents: “Smoke was coming out of both windows and there were bloodstains on the clapboards below the windows. (The witness) called out to Corliss but she did not reply.”

Read more: NBC Boston

A Palm Desert man was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for firebombing a local Republican club office a year ago, federal prosecutors said.

Carlos Espriu, 24, pleaded guilty in March to one count of attempted arson of a building, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

District Judge Percy Anderson also ordered Espriu to pay nearly $5,500 in restitution.

Espriu was accused of attacking the East Valley Republican Women Federated office in La Quinta shortly after 1 a.m. on May 31, 2020.

Authorities said Espriu used a metal baseball bat to break windows at the office and repeatedly tossed an incendiary device made of bottles through the window before fleeing.

Read more: KTLA

A 55-year-old man died in an explosion Saturday while attempting to make improvised explosive devices in his garage, according to the Ashtabula County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were called to the 1300 block of Clay Street Saturday after receiving a report that the Jefferson Township Fire Department had been dispatched to the address.

Deputies learned that a man was trapped in the detached garage, and once on scene, they found the garage, located behind the residence, burned to the ground with debris scattered into the neighbor's yard.

“They are explosive devices, they could be along the lines with fireworks but a little more than that,” Ashtabula County Sheriff William Niemi said.

Read more: ABC 5 (Cleveland)

The FBI and other law enforcement are investigating a package with white powder sent Monday to Republican Sen. Rand Paul‘s home in Kentucky, according to the FBI Louisville office’s spokesman Tim Beam.

“FBI Louisville is working with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the Capitol Police by providing forensic and technical support,” Beam told CNN.

Paul, in a tweet on Monday, said in part: “I take these threats immensely seriously.”

The package containing a white powdery substance has been taken to be processed for the specific substance, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

Law enforcement does not have a suspect at this time but is working with the US Postal Service to determine from where the package may have been sent, the sheriff’s office said.

Read more: WTOP