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Homeland Security News

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

Ethiopia's 10-month war has come at a huge human cost, with thousands killed, millions displaced and many in desperate need of assistance.

But that's not the only damage being done to Africa's second most populous nation - the war has incurred a huge economic cost, too, that could take years to repair.

In the capital Addis Ababa, 26-year-old Tigist, who didn't want her full name to be used, says her monthly expenses have doubled for two reasons: the war that broke out in the northern region of Tigray in November and the coronavirus pandemic.

"Before Covid and the conflict, I would pay 1,000 birr [about $22; £16] each month for groceries. Now I spend 2,000 birr," she says. "Things are more expensive now - phones, food and clothes."

Read more: BBC News

He was shot by police on Fountain Square in 1988, beat a man while impersonating an officer in 2014 and now he has pleaded guilty to making fake IDs to impersonate a Homeland Security agent.

David Lomache, 61, faces up to 15 years in prison after he fraudulently obtained a Defense Logistics Agency badge and produced other documents making portraying himself as a Homeland Security special agent, according to court documents.

Lomache was arrested in April. Federal agents said during a search of his residence they found 26 law enforcement badges including a Cincinnati police badge and other paperwork advertising himself as a bounty hunter.

"He ordered cards he designed, which designated him a 'RECOVERY AGENT' and proclaiming that he could 'pursue a fugitive' and could 'break and enter into his house for that purpose,'" court document state.

Read more: Cincinnati Enquirer

The Biden administration has designated the Department of Homeland Security as the lead federal agency charged with facilitating the entry of Afghans into the United States. Refugee resettlement groups say the process has been too slow, but they remain hopeful the nation is up to the task.

Homeland Security will coordinate efforts across federal agencies to resettle vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the U.S. The efforts include immigration processing, COVID-19 testing, quarantine of people who test positive and support for evacuees who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, according to the White House.

Mark Hetfield, chief executive of the Jewish humanitarian organization HIAS, said the coordination of federal agencies is progress but not enough to make up for what appears to be a lack of earlier planning.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

The last US military planes have left Afghanistan, Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, announced Monday at the Pentagon. The US departure marks the end of a fraught, chaotic and bloody exit from the United States' longest war.

"I'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the end of the military mission to evacuate American citizens, third country nationals, and vulnerable Afghans," McKenzie told reporters. "The last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 30th, this afternoon, at 3:29 p.m. East Coast time, and the last manned aircraft is now clearing the airspace above Afghanistan."

"There's a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure," McKenzie said. "We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out."

President Joe Biden weighed in with a statement later on Monday and thanked the final US forces serving in Afghanistan for executing the "dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled," with no further loss of American lives.

Read more: CNN

At least 13 people were injured following an explosion at a police station near Colombia's border with Venezuela, officials in the city of Cucuta said on Monday.

Police said the explosion was caused by an "improvised explosive device" that was left at the station, which is located in one of Cucuta's lower income neighborhoods.

So far authorities have refrained from blaming any of the armed groups that operate in the area. In June, a car bomb at a military base in Cucuta injured 44 people, including several U.S. soldiers who were there to train Colombian military personnel. Ten days later, President Ivan Duque's helicopter was shot at as it approached the city's airport.

Read more: Minneapolis Star Tribune