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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 25, 2021

A Tennessee man was charged yesterday with civil rights violations for his role in the arson of four Nashville area churches.

Alan Douglas Fox, 28, of Nashville, was charged by criminal information with setting fire to the Crievewood United Methodist Church on June 17, 2019; the Crievewood Baptist Church on June 25, 2019; the Saint Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church on June 25, 2019; and the Priest Lake Community Baptist Church on June 26, 2019. Fox is also charged with carrying and using a firearm during the arson of the Crievewood Baptist Church.

The information alleges that Fox intentionally set the fires because of the religious character of the churches.

If convicted, Fox faces up to 20 years in prison for each fire, and a consecutive five-year sentence for the firearms violation.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee made the announcement.

Read more: Department of Justice

Cameron Shea, 25, a leader of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, was sentenced today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to three years in prison for federal conspiracy and hate crime charges for threatening journalists and advocates who worked to expose anti-Semitism, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said, “This conduct cannot be tolerated. This kind of conduct has consequences…It is so serious that it requires a serious sentence.”

“The Justice Department will continue to aggressively prosecute threats motivated by religious intolerance, and to prosecute defendants like this one who threatened violence against individuals who work to end discrimination,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting to the full extent of the  law, violent neo-Nazis and other perpetrators of hate crimes.” 

“This hate-filled conduct strikes at the heart of our communities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman for the Western District of Washington. “This defendant’s goal was to make people fearful in their own homes, and he recruited and cheered on others who joined his sick scheme. This federal prison sentence underscores the human damage from his crimes.”  

Read more: Department of Justice

A potential change to Central Bucks School District's mask policy Wednesday stirred fears of a militia presence in Bucks County over the weekend.

Twitter and Facebook posts spread online that a group called the Proud American Patriots Network planned to gather near the district's regular meeting room at 16 Weldon Dr. in Doylestown at noon Wednesday

The “No mask mandates” flyer was posted hours after a late Friday afternoon announcement from the district that it would hold a special meeting on its health and safety plan beginning at 6:45 Wednesday night.

The district previously approved a mask-optional policy for students and staff on July 27, but the Bucks County Health Department recently recommended schools require masks indoors as coronavirus cases continue to climb in the area.

Among the posts calling out the relatively unknown Patriots Network over the weekend implied the group was planning to take over the limited public comment spots available for the meeting.

Read more: Bucks County Courier Times

Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco, citing what it claimed were hostile acts, plunging decades of difficult relations between the North African neighbors to their lowest point since the 1970s.

Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister Ramtane Lamamra, announcing the move Tuesday in a televised press conference, laid out a litany of grievances going back decades, which include alleged Moroccan support for separatists in Algeria and a dispute over the Western Sahara region that Morocco claims. He also cited more recent causes for strain, including allegations of espionage and Morocco’s new ties with Israel. 

The move risks escalating tensions in a region already mired in disarray. Algeria’s neighbor, Tunisia, is in the midst of an internal political power fight while Libya is struggling for stability as part of a U.N.-backed push to end nearly a decade of fighting in the OPEC member. 

Read more: Bloomberg

Gunmen have attacked Nigeria’s elite military academy, killing two officers and kidnapping another in a brazen assault on a symbol of the armed forces.

The raid on Tuesday on the Nigerian Defence Academy, the country’s main officer training school, is a major blow for a military already struggling with an armed uprising and heavily armed criminal gangs.

“The security architecture of the Nigerian Defence Academy was compromised early this morning by unknown gunmen,” said Major Bashir Muhammad Jajira, spokesman for the academy in the northwestern state of Kaduna.

“We lost two personnel and one was abducted.”

Various army units and security agencies were pursuing the attackers and trying to rescue the kidnap victim, Jajira said.

Read more: Al Jazeera