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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 19, 2021

A conspiracy theorist caused more than £100,000 of damage by setting fire to a 5G phone mast after previously covering himself in tin foil to protect himself from their waves.

"Delusional" online theories about the dangers posed by the technology sparked the drastic action and arson attack by David Patterson.

He set fire to one of the masts in Gateshead above a garage, causing between £100,000 and £150,000 damage to the mast and around £15,000 damage to the business. 

 Newcastle Crown Court heard Patterson was suffering a mental disorder at the time and had been adversely influenced by material he had read online.

Judge Sarah Mallett said: "He believed he was protecting his family and others, in reality, from the harm he thinks, in his delusional beliefs, was coming from the aerial."

Read more: Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, UK)

A former gendarme who preaches a French version of the QAnon movement has been charged with fomenting revolt in the armed forces and campaigning to overthrow the French state.

Christian Maillaud, 53, who also served as a paratrooper, was found in hiding in central France. He is one of four former members of the armed forces to be arrested over the past nine months for alleged involvement in National Council of Transition (NCT), a group that advocates rebellion against the state.

Like QAnon in the US, the NCT maintains that the country is run by a global elite of Satan-worshipping paedophiles, but it was founded a decade ago, before the emergence of the Trump-era American movement.

Read more: The Times (London)

Oregon State Police troopers are requesting public assistance regarding a homemade explosive device that caused fires in Wheeler County.

On Saturday, July 31, at approximately 4:15 a.m., Mitchell Fire Department, Wheeler County Fire and Rescue and Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office were called to a report of several grass fires along Highway 26 near milepost 76, just east of Mitchell, according to an OSP press release.

The fires were on both private and public lands.

Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office requested the investigation assistance of the Oregon State Police Arson Unit.

Investigation determined a homemade explosive device was detonated in the center of the highway, which caused multiple grass fires to start on both sides of the highway. Due to light winds, low temperatures and high humidity levels, the fires remained small and were extinguished at about 1/10 of an acre total.

Read more: Blue Mountain Eagle

Unidentified armed men have killed 37 civilians, including 14 children, in an attack on a village in southwest Niger, according to internal security service memos and a local official.

The attack occurred on Monday in the commune of Banibangou, in the Tillabery region near the Malian border, where Islamist militants have massacred hundreds of civilians this year.

The government did not respond to requests for comment on the information shared by two security sources and confirmed by a local official who attended a mass funeral in the village.

Armed groups in the Tillabery and Tahoua regions have killed over 420 civilians and driven tens of thousands of others from their homes in 2021, New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch said in an Aug. 11 report.

Read more: Reuters

A powerful roadside bomb exploded among a procession of Shiite Muslims in central Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least three and wounding over 50 people, local police said.

Videos circulating on social media showed police and ambulances rushing toward the site of the explosion. Several wounded people were seen waiting for help along a road in the deeply conservative city of Bahawalnagar in the eastern Punjab province, where the attack took place.

City police officer Mohammad Asad and Shiite leader Khawar Shafqat confirmed the bombing. Witnesses said tensions are now high in the city, with Shiites protesting the attack and demanding retribution.

Read more: Bloomberg