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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 16, 2021

Four polio vaccination workers were killed and three injured in separate attacks in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad, a provincial health department official said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of attacks against health workers.

A wave of assassinations have hit urban centres since peace talks began between the Taliban and the Afghan government last year in Doha, many of them targeting government employees, health workers, media and civil society members.

Dr Jan Mohammad, the head of polio immunisation drive in Nangarhar of which Jalalabad is the main city, said gunmen targeted polio workers in three locations in the city that killed four and wounded three others.

Read more: Reuters

A new federal intelligence report warns that adherents of QAnon, the conspiracy theory embraced by some in the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, could target Democrats and other political opponents for more violence as the movement's false prophecies increasingly fail to come true.

Many QAnon followers believe former President Donald Trump was fighting enemies within the so-called deep state to expose a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals operating a child sex trafficking ring. Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden disillusioned some believers in “The Storm,” a supposed reckoning in which Trump’s enemies would be tried and executed. Some adherents have now pivoted into believing that Trump is the “shadow president” or that Biden's victory was a sham.

The report was compiled by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and released Monday by Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat. It predicts that while some QAnon adherents will pull back, others “likely will begin to believe they can no longer ‘trust the plan’ referenced in QAnon posts and that they have an obligation to change from serving as ‘digital soldiers’ towards engaging in real world violence.”

Read more: US News & World Report

Pulling a pistol from his waistband, the young man spun his human shield toward police.

“Don’t do it!” a pursuing officer pleaded. The young man complied, releasing the bystander and tossing the gun, which skittered across the city street and then into the hands of police.

They soon learned that the 9mm Beretta had a rap sheet. Bullet casings linked it to four shootings, all of them in Albany, New York.

And there was something else. The pistol was U.S. Army property, a weapon intended for use against America’s enemies, not on its streets.

The Army couldn’t say how its Beretta M9 got to New York’s capital. Until the June 2018 police foot chase, the Army didn’t even realize someone had stolen the gun. Inventory records checked by investigators said the M9 was 600 miles away -- safe inside Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“It’s incredibly alarming,” said Albany County District Attorney David Soares. “It raises the other question as to what else is seeping into a community that could pose a clear and present danger.”

Read more: AP

The White House on Tuesday announced a national effort for countering domestic extremism, which includes moves the Defense Department put into action earlier this year.

Among them are initiatives to better screen potential recruits, monitor extremist activity while in uniform and better educate new veterans about the possibility of being targeted for recruitment into an extremist group. The White House strategy would like to see those measures extended to law enforcement, according to a Tuesday release.

“While domestic law enforcement agencies take the lead, the Department of Defense will do our part to support this important strategy,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement. “That includes maintaining the Department’s robust relationship with federal law enforcement as well as refining our policies to better address this issue within the Department.”

The strategy builds off of a study released to Congress in March, a senior administration official told reporters on Monday.

Read more: Military Times

A car bomb explosion at a military base in the Colombian border city of Cucuta injured 36 people on Tuesday, the defense minister said, casting blame for the attack on leftist rebels.

The explosion took place at a base used by the 30th Army Brigade in the northeastern city near the border with Venezuela.

"We reject and repudiate this vile and terrorist act which sought to attack the soldiers of Colombia," Defence Minister Diego Molano told journalists. "Thirty-six people were injured. Three of them with a degree of gravity."

One of the injured has had surgery, Molano said, and 29 are hospitalized.

Read more: Reuters