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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 15, 2021

French forces killed an al Qaeda leader during an operation in the Sahel region of Africa, France's armed forces minister said on Friday, vowing to keep a substantial military presence in the region a day after President Emmanuel Macron ordered a draw-down.

Speaking in an impromptu address, Florence Parly said that Baye ag Bakabo, who she said was responsible for the death of two French reporters in Mali in 2013, was killed on June 5. Three other militants were also killed.

"An operation was then launched against an armed terrorist group which was about to unleash mortar fire on a base held by a Chadian battalion of MINUSMA," Parly said, referring to the United Nations mission in Mali. "Four people were neutralised in the mission."

Read more: Reuters

Authorities in Germany said Tuesday that the number of far-right extremists in the country increased last year as neo-Nazis sought to join protests against pandemic-related restrictions.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said authorities counted 33,300 far-right extremists in 2020, an increase of almost 4% from the previous year.

“Far-right extremists were repeatedly able to protest side-by-side” with non-extremist opponents of the pandemic restrictions, Seehofer said.

The minister added that it was worrying how the protesters often didn't distance themselves from the far-right extremists marching among them.

According to data published in an annual report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic intelligence agency known by its German acronym BfV, some 40% of the far-right extremists in Germany are believed to support the use of violence for political ends.

Read more: ABC News

The White House unveiled its plan for addressing domestic terrorism on Tuesday, rolling out a strategy that set goals and acknowledged challenges as much as it outlined specific steps for combating a growing threat.

The strategy includes a call to bolster law enforcement partnerships and stem extremist recruitment paired with elements deemed more essential after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, including better analysis of social media and programs to boost civics education and battle disinformation.

It also touches on other priorities from President Biden, echoing previous calls for gun control in order to address mass shootings.

Read more: The Hill

Prosecutors laid terrorism charges Monday against a man accused of driving down and killing four members of a Muslim family in London, Ontario.

The prosecution said Nathaniel Veltman's four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism and prosecutors have upgraded those charges under Canada's criminal code. Police allege the incident was a planned and premeditated attack targeting Muslims.

Veltman also faces one count of attempted murder due to terrorism activity.

The upgraded charges were laid as Veltman made a brief court appearance via video Monday morning. He has yet to enter a plea.

Read more: NPR