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Homeland Security News

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

In a swift and stunning rout, Taliban fighters seized control of Afghanistan’s capital Sunday, completing their sweep of the besieged nation as the Afghan government collapsed after two decades of U.S. efforts to reshape the region as part of its “war on terror.”

Embattled President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the Taliban entered the capital city of Kabul, and American troops scrambled to evacuate thousands of U.S. diplomats and Afghans from the U.S. Embassy.

The Taliban, which had been on the outskirts of Kabul for hours, announced soon after it would move farther into a city gripped by panic throughout the day as helicopters raced overhead to evacuate personnel from the U.S. Embassy. Smoke rose near the compound as staff destroyed important documents. Several other Western missions prepared to pull their people out.

Read more: USA Today

Federal agents raided the home of a Newton County couple associated with Chris Hill, the leader of a far-right militia, and hauled away cell phones, computers and other electronics as part of the widening investigation into the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the couple said.

Donnie Hyatt, who lives on a farm about five miles north of Covington, said he was in his car on his long driveway when 40 federal agents in four armored vehicles converged at 7 a.m. Aug. 10 morning to serve a warrant to search the property.

“They had my 11-year-old daughter at gunpoint,” he said. He said his daughter had laser sights trained on her and “is pretty shaken” by the experience. “She still shakes when she talks about it,” he said.

Hyatt said the agents had a warrant, but it was for a sealed investigation and had few details. A spokesman with the FBI declined to comment when contacted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Read more: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Police arrested a man they say burned a sign outside the Coast Guard base, threatened people based off their race and had “improvised explosive devices.”

Port Angeles officers say they were called out to the Coast Guard base around 2:20 a.m. Wednesday while the man was trying to set fire to the sign.

Another caller also told officers the same man made a “very hateful” statement about targeting and killing people of different races. Even more information came in before officers arrived, saying the man tried to ram another vehicle, driven by a Black person, with his own.

Officials say they also confirmed the man already had a felony warrant out for his arrest because he once refused to surrender his guns.

Read more: KOMO (Seattle)

Two men and a woman who claim to be "sovereign citizens" were carrying loaded handguns when they were arrested Friday in the same building that houses the offices of Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Richard Myrus, authorities said.

Edward Patterson, 54, Charles Jackson, 61, and Kristie White, 46, were arrested at around 4 p.m. inside 100 Westminster St. and charged later Friday, said Providence police Cmdr. Thomas Verdi. 

All three were scheduled to be released on Saturday, after making bail, according to Verdi, who credited the arresting officers with doing an "excellent job in handling" an incident that could have turned tragic.

The three had walked to the building from the nearby post office, he said, adding that a witness had telephoned police with their descriptions and location.

Read more: The Providence Journal

Seventeen suspected jihadists and five members of a civil defense militia have been killed in an attack in northern Burkina Faso, security and government sources told AFP Thursday.

“Armed men arriving on about 20 motorbikes attacked the VDP (defense militia) camp in Bilakoka,” located in Burkina’s northern region of Sahel bordering Mali and Niger, on Wednesday, a government official told AFP.

“The volunteers repelled the attack, neutralizing 17 terrorists. Five VDP members also lost their lives during the attack.”

A security source confirmed the toll and said the armed forces were carrying out a “sweep” and securing the area.

Burkina Faso, a landlocked and arid Sahel nation, has been battling attacks since 2015 from forces that include the Group to Support Islam and Muslims, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).

Read more: The Defense Post