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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 24, 2021

Israeli warplanes bombed Hamas sites in Gaza in response to incendiary balloons launched from the Palestinian enclave that caused brush fires in southern Israel, its military said early on Tuesday.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the air strikes that targeted what the military said was a weapons production facility and a rocket launch site belonging to Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza.

Since an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire halted 11 days of Israel-Hamas fighting in May, Gaza militants have sporadically sent balloons carrying incendiary material into Israel, drawing Israeli strikes on Hamas facilities.

Palestinians say the balloons are aimed at pressing Israel to ease restrictions on Gaza and allow aid to reach the territory. Balloons launched on Monday set off fires in Israeli fields along the Gaza border, Israel's Fire and Rescue Service said.

Read more: France 24

Earlier today, a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Bernard Raymond Augustine, a U.S. citizen and California resident, of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS” or “the Islamic State”). The verdict followed a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. When sentenced, Augustine faces up to 20 years in prison.

The evidence at trial established that in February 2016, the defendant traveled from San Francisco, California, to Northern Africa, with the goal of joining ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization. In the months leading up to his travel, the defendant watched ISIS propaganda, including videos glorifying ISIS’s violence, such as “The Flames of War.” The defendant conducted internet searches for, among other things, “how to safely join ISIS,” and reviewed websites related to ISIS recruitment practices, including one titled “How does a Westerner join ISIS? Is there a recruitment or application process?” 

Augustine also posted numerous statements in support of ISIS and violent extremism on the internet. He posted statements such as “the Islamic State is the true Islam,” “Muslims who leave the west . . . answer the call for the struggle, and march until they are victorious or martyred are the true believers,” and the ISIS caliphate “can’t be established and maintained except through the blood of the mujahideen who practice the true belief.” 

Read more: Department of Justice

Recently released from a juvenile detention center, the random shooting on the South Beach pier Friday was committed by the same teen who plotted a shooting at Paw Paw High School in 2018, South Haven Police confirmed.

Aidan Ingalls, 19, shot two people, killing a man and critically injuring a woman before shooting and killing himself, police said. 

Ingalls was released from a juvenile detention center in June after a Van Buren County Judge sentenced the then 15-year-old to remain under the supervision of the juvenile justice system until he turned 19.

Weeks after his release, police say he shot two people on a pier in South Haven and then himself as crowds ran from the beach and people scrambled to get out of the water Friday afternoon. 

Read more: WWMT (Kalamazoo, MI)

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced Monday to more than five months in jail for burning a church's Black Lives Matter banner in December and bringing high-capacity rifle magazines to Washington, DC, days before the US Capitol insurrection.

The decision was handed down Monday by Judge Harold L. Cushenberry Jr. of DC Superior Court. Even though Tarrio was not in Washington on the day of the January 6 insurrection, the judge said Tarrio's preceding conduct in the nation's capital undermined American democracy.

"This court must respect the right of any citizen to peacefully assemble, protest, and make his or her views known on issues," Cushenberry said. "But Mr. Tarrio's conduct in these criminal cases vindicate none of these democratic values. Instead, Mr. Tarrio's actions betrayed them."

Tarrio, who has led the far-right extremist organization since 2018, pleaded guilty in July to the two misdemeanors. Federal prosecutors had asked the judge to give Tarrio three months in jail.

Read more: CNN

A Capitol police officer lawfully shot and killed a California woman who was one of hundreds that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, an investigation concluded.

The internal investigation conducted by the United States Capitol Police cited a policy which says “an officer may use deadly force only when the officer reasonably believes that action is in the defense of human life, including the officer’s own life, or in the defense of any person in immediate danger of serious physical injury.”

The unidentified officer will not face internal discipline.

Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, had traveled from her home in San Diego to participate in the riot, during which four other people also died.

“I sent her a text, can I get a status check? And I never heard back from her,” her husband had told KRON4’s sister station in San Diego.

Read more: KRON (San Francisco)