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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 27, 2021

A Brooklyn woman who will be resentenced for supporting Islamic State after a court threw out her "shockingly low" four-year prison term did not attend a Wednesday court hearing, and a prosecutor suggested she may have cut her monitoring bracelet.

U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in Brooklyn said she will issue a bench warrant for Sinmyah Amera Ceasar, 26, who prosecutors have said used the name "Umm Nutella" in her role as a "committed recruiter" for Islamic State.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Richardson said Ceasar was not responding to calls and the government believed her GPS tracking bracket had been "tampered with" and perhaps cut. He said the FBI and probation officials are looking for it.

Read more: Reuters

A gunman killed three police officers and a private security guard on a rampage through a diplomatic quarter of Tanzania's main city Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, before being shot dead while holed up in a guardhouse at the French embassy's gate.

Videos on the internet, apparently filmed by onlookers from buildings across the street from the French embassy, showed the gunman inside the guardhouse. He exchanged fire at very close range with police and men who appeared to be embassy guards.

Police said the attacker had first shot two police officers with a pistol at an intersection in the district, which houses a number of diplomatic missions. He took rifles from the fallen police officers, and headed on foot to the French embassy a few hundred metres away, firing randomly and occupying the guard house.

Read more: Reuters

An Oklahoma man was arrested on Aug. 19 for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Benjamen Scott Burlew, 41, of Miami, Oklahoma, is charged with federal offenses that include assault in special territorial jurisdiction and acts of physical violence on restricted grounds. Burlew made his initial court appearance in the Northern District of Oklahoma on Aug. 20.

According to court documents, Burlew was captured in two videos engaging in a physical assault against a credentialed media member who works as a photographer for the Associated Press. As depicted in the video, the photographer was pulled down a set of stairs near the lower west terrace of the U.S. Capitol Building by two unknown assailants. While attempting to avoid confrontation with these unknown assailants, the photographer relocated his position elsewhere on the stairs, at which point the photographer was aggressively confronted by Burlew. As alleged, after that confrontation, Burlew, together with other assailants including Alan William Byerly, grabbed the photographer and pushed him, then shoved and dragged him parallel to the stairs. Byerly was indicted on Aug. 20 in the District of Columbia in connection with this conduct and for assaulting a District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Officer during another, separate incident.

Read more: Department of Justice

Hundreds of Boko Haram militants attacked a military post in southern Niger overnight, killing 16 soldiers and wounding nine more, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

About 50 of the Islamist militants were killed in the resulting combat in the West African country's Diffa region and significant quantities of weapons were recovered, the ministry said in a statement.

The Boko Haram insurgency broke out in northeastern Nigeria in 2009, but violence frequently spills over into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon in the Lake Chad Basin.

In December, an attack blamed on Boko Haram killed 28 people and burned 800 homes in the Diffa region.

Read more: Reuters

The Ugandan military said on Friday they had arrested a man who was planning a suicide bombing at the funeral of a top police official and had seized materials including a suicide vest and bombs during his arrest.

The man was detained at a hotel in Pader town, about 400 km (60 miles) north of the capital Kampala, said military spokesperson Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso.

The military said in a separate statement that the man had accomplices who were on the run and efforts were underway to arrest them.

The funeral on Friday was for Uganda's deputy police chief, Paul Lokech, who died of natural causes on Aug. 21. He was a former senior military officer who had previously commanded Uganda's troops in Somalia.

Read more: Reuters