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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 21, 2021

A 24-year-old Sydney man has appeared in court charged with having a membership of terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) following a seven-month-long investigation.

Joseph Saadieh was arrested at Chester Hill, in Sydney’s south-west, on Friday night after police executed search warrants at two properties following an investigation by NSW Police and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Police allege Mr Saadieh has pledged allegiance to IS, his rhetoric online was escalating, he was in possession of a large amount of extremist material, and he possessed several improvised explosives recipes.

He is alleged to have pledged his allegiance to the IS in 2018 and has been linked with targets of past terror investigations. If found guilty, he faces imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Read more: Sydney Morning Herald

Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels on Thursday denied any role in a car bombing at a military base this week that wounded 36 people, causing serious injuries to a Colombian soldier and minor ones to two U.S. military advisers.

The bombing took place on Tuesday afternoon at a base used by the 30th army brigade in the northeastern city of Cucuta, near the border with Venezuela. The injured Colombian soldier remains in intensive care.

"No unit of the National Liberation Army has to do with the attack which took place on Tuesday June 15 at the 30th brigade in the city of Cucuta," the group said in a short audio statement.

Read more: Reuters

A 33-year-old Queens woman was sentenced to more than a decade behind bars for her role in planning a terrorist attack in the United States, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Noelle Velentzas was sentenced to 16 ½ years in prison after she and her co-defendant, Asia Siddiqui, pleaded guilty in August 2019 to teaching or distributing information pertaining to the making and use of an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Mark Lesko, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s National Security Division John Demers, Assistant Director-in-Charge of Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office William F. Sweeney, Jr. and NYPC Commissioner Dermot F. Shea jointly announced. Siddiqui was sentenced in January 2020 to 15 years’ imprisonment.

Read more: NBC New York

The U.S. Marshals Service lacks the capability of adequately detecting threats against federal judges across the nation and uses outdated security equipment to protect judges’ homes, the Justice Department’s inspector general said Wednesday.

The report on the agency’s judicial security program comes nearly a year after a gunman killed the 20-year-old son of a federal judge and wounded her husband at their New Jersey home after posing as a delivery driver.

The inspector general’s report highlights serious security gaps in the Marshals Service’s efforts to ensure the safety of more than 2,700 sitting judges, as the number of threats against judges continues to rise. The agency, which has been thrust into the spotlight in the last year after prolonged civil unrest in Portland and several high-profile fatal shootings by task force officers, is also charged with protecting the deputy attorney general and maintaining security at federal courthouses.

Read more: AP