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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 2, 2021

A Seattle man was arrested on Friday, May 28, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on criminal charges related to his alleged efforts to join Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization, in order to engage in violent acts of terrorism in the Middle East or the United States.

According to court documents, Elvin Hunter Bgorn Williams, 20, of Seattle, was arrested as he prepared to board an international flight following a lengthy investigation into his efforts to join ISIS.

“As alleged, Williams was determined to support ISIS either by traveling overseas to join and fight with the terrorist organization, or by conducting an attack here in the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The FBI was just as determined to stop him, and he was intercepted as he tried to make his way abroad. The threat of terrorism at home and abroad remains, and the National Security Division is committed to holding accountable those who would provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations. I want to thank the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this case.”

Read more: Department of Justice

At least 55 people were killed overnight in two attacks on villages in eastern Congo, the United Nations said on Monday, in potentially the worst night of violence the area has seen in at least four years.

The army and a local civil rights group blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist armed group, for raiding the village of Tchabi and a camp for displaced people near Boga, another village. Both are close to the border of Uganda.

Houses were burned and civilians abducted, the U.N. office for humanitarian affairs said in a statement.

Albert Basegu, the head of a civil rights group in Boga, told Reuters by telephone that he had been alerted to the attack by the sound of cries at a neighbour's house.

Read more: Reuters

Turkish agents have captured a nephew of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen in an overseas operation and have brought him to Turkey where he faces prosecution, Turkey’s state-run news agency said Monday.

Selahaddin Gulen, who was wanted in Turkey on charges of membership in a terror organization, was seized in an operation by Turkey’s national spy agency MIT, the Anadolu Agency reported.

The report did not say where he was seized or when he was returned to Turkey. Gulen’s nephew however, was believed to be residing in Kenya.

His case is the latest in a series of forced repatriation of people affiliated with Gulen’s movement, which the Turkish government blames for a failed coup attempt in 2016.

Gulen, a former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who now lives in exile in Pennsylvania, has rejected the accusations of involvement in the coup attempt.

Read more: Bloomberg

An off-duty firefighter opened fire Tuesday morning at a fire station north of Los Angeles, killing a 44-year-old member of the LA County Fire Department, fire officials said.

The shooting happened just before 11 a.m. at Los Angeles County Fire Station No. 81 in the 8700 block of Sierra Highway in Agua Dulce and touched off a rapidly unfolding series of events that ended with a standoff and fire that burned for hours at a property about 10 miles away in Acton.

Details about what led the gunfire were not immediately available, but authorities said it stemmed from some sort of dispute involving the shooter, also a member of Station 81, and victims.

Read more: NBC Los Angeles

Brazil’s JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) told the U.S. government that a ransomware attack on the company that disrupted meat production in North America and Australia originated from a criminal organization likely based in Russia, the White House said on Tuesday.

JBS, the world's largest meatpacker, said on Tuesday night it had made "significant progress in resolving the cyberattack." The "vast majority" of the company's beef, pork, poultry and prepared foods plants will be operational on Wednesday, according to a statement, easing concerns over rising food prices.

The cyberattack followed one last month by a group with ties to Russia on Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, which crippled fuel delivery for several days in the U.S. Southeast.

Read more: Reuters