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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 3, 2021

Nashville police are changing how they investigate bomb threats after a committee analyzed their handling of a 2019 tip that an Antioch man was building an explosive. The department never made contact, and the man went on to detonate his RV on Second Avenue downtown on Christmas morning last year.

Police Chief John Drake says officers responding to the initial allegations did what they were supposed to, but that a five-person review panel found “deficiencies” in the follow-up process. They want better coordination and documentation.

“While the committee concluded that there is no way to know for sure whether the Christmas Day bombing could have been prevented, and that patrol officers followed protocols and procedures during the August 2019 call, deficiencies were identified in the follow-up investigative process,” Drake said in a statement. “It is of paramount importance to all of us that any deficiencies are corrected.”

Read more: WPLN (Nashville)

Former President Donald Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election united right-wing supporters, conspiracy theorists and militants on Jan. 6, but the aftermath of the insurrection is roiling two of the most prominent far-right extremist groups at the U.S. Capitol that day.

More than three dozen members and associates across both the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers have been charged with crimes. Some local chapters cut ties with national leadership in the weeks after the deadly siege. The Proud Boys’ chairman called for a pause in the rallies that often have led to clashes with anti-fascist activists. And one Oath Keeper has agreed to cooperate against others charged in the riot.

Some extremism experts see parallels between the fallout from the Capitol riot and the schisms that divided far-right figures and groups after their violent clashes with counter-protesters at the “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. The white supremacist “alt-right” movement fractured and ultimately faded from public view after the violence erupted that weekend.

Read more: PBS News Hour

A group of hackers suspected to have links to the Chinese government breached computer systems belonging to New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in April, according to the New York Times.

Transit officials told The Times that the breach did little damage and hackers did not gain access to train controls.

A forensic analysis of the attack further found that hackers did not access nor compromise customers' personal data or put riders in danger, The Times reported. The hack was reported to law enforcement and other state agencies but was not announced to the public.

"The M.T.A.'s existing multilayered security systems worked as designed, preventing spread of the attack," Rafail Portnoy, the MTA's chief technology officer, told The Times. "We continue to strengthen these comprehensive systems and remain vigilant as cyberattacks are a growing global threat."

Read more: Business Insider

A 14-year-old Florida girl was at a hospital Wednesday recovering from gunshot wounds after she and another child broke into a home and found guns they used to shoot at deputies, officials said.

The children, 14 and 12, ran away from a group home in Volusia County on Tuesday before breaking into the home, the sheriff’s office said.

Inside the house, the pair discovered a handgun, shotgun, what was described as an AK-47 style rifle, and ammunition, which they are accused of using on deputies who surrounded the home.

"Nobody comes to work to shoot and kill anybody. We certainly don't come to work to get into gunfights with 12- and 14-year-olds," Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a news conference.

Read more: NBC News

Tyler Light, a 25-year-old self-proclaimed militia member and Boogaloo Bois supporter, pleaded guilty to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

Appearing before U.S. District Judge Fred Biery this morning, Light admitted to possessing firearms and ammunition while under a family violence protective order.  According to court documents, Light was placed under a permanent restraining order on November 3, 2020, for committing family violence.  Federal law prohibits a person who is the subject of a qualifying protection order from possessing a firearm or ammunition.  On December 1, 2020, Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies executed a state search and arrest warrant at Light’s residence for violation of the protection order and terroristic threats.  During the search, authorities seized a handgun from inside Light’s waistband as well as an AK-47 assault style rifle and an assortment of ammunition.

Light remains in federal custody.  He faces up to 10 years in federal prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for August 31, 2020, before Judge Biery.

Read more: Department of Justice