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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: May 28, 2021

Hackers sent patient data stolen during an attack on New Zealand’s Waikato District health system to local media outlets on Wednesday, with the outlets declining to publish the sensitive information.

The Waikato District Health Board (DHB) confirmed the attack in a statement Wednesday, saying that it is “aware that the media have received what appears to be personal and patient information from Waikato DHB information systems.”

“Media outlets have confirmed they will not make this information public and have referred it to the Police,” the statement read. “This is an ongoing criminal investigation and Waikato DHB are working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), The Privacy Commission and NZ Police to respond, remediate and recover from this incident.”

Read more: The Hill

Two investigative reports this year accused the Burkina Faso representative of tobacco giant Philip Morris of funding terrorism through tobacco smuggling. In an exclusive interview with VOA, Apollinaire Compaoré rejects those findings.

Selling cigarettes to smugglers who pay jihadists to protect their convoys.  

That’s the accusation leveled against the Burkina Faso representative of Phillip Morris International by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP.  

In a February report, the Sarajevo-based group cited officials, rivals and former colleagues of Apollinaire Compaoré who accused him of indirectly funding terrorism by working with smugglers who carry not only cigarettes, but drugs and people into Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Libya. 

Read more: Voice of America

French oil and gas group Total (TOTF.PA) and U.S. energy company Chevron (CVX.N) have suspended some payments from a gas joint venture that would have reached Myanmar's junta, earning praise from pro-democracy activists for taking an important first step.

International companies doing business in the country have come under pressure from rights groups and Myanmar's parallel civilian government to review their operations to stop payments flowing to a military government that seized power on Feb. 1.

Myanmar has been in chaos since the army overthrew the elected government and detained its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and the junta has responded with brutal force to daily protests, marches and strikes nationwide in support of the ousted civilian administration.

Read more: Reuters

Activists are condemning what they view as far too light of a sentence for Cameron Swoboda, the St. Peters man who pleaded guilty to assembling explosives meant to target protesters.

As of Thursday, he is back on the streets.

Swoboda, 26, pleaded guilty earlier this month to three felony counts of unlawful possession, transport, manufacture, repair or sale of an illegal weapon. St. Charles County Circuit Judge Deborah Alessi suspended a seven-year sentence, gave Swoboda credit for 60 days served in jail, and placed him on probation for five years. Reverend Darryl Gray said the punishment doesn't go far enough.

"We're trying to understand how a would-be assassin could get five years probation for admittedly preparing to kill Black activists," Gray said.

Police in June seized explosive material and emptied-out shotgun shells at Swoboda's apartment in St. Charles County, near St. Louis. Authorities also found six altered grenades, the makings of two pipe bombs and a claymore-style mine enhanced with BBs, all of which were hidden along a rural road.

Read more: KMOV (St. Louis)

The gunman who authorities say killed nine coworkers in San Jose, California, had a hatred for his workplace that he expressed in notes discovered when he was searched almost five years ago, a Department of Homeland Security official told CNN on Thursday.

Samuel James Cassidy was taken into secondary inspection after returning from a trip to the Philippines on August 8, 2016, and US Customs and Border Protection officers searched his belongings, the official said.

In addition to a black memo book filled with notes about hatred towards the Valley Transportation Authority, officers also found books about terrorism and fear and manifestos, the official said.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the CBP's search of Cassidy.

Read more: CNN