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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 30, 2021

The group known as ISIS-K had long planned attacks on American personnel and others. That's one reason why President Biden said he wanted to limit the duration of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On Thursday, this regional affiliate of the Islamic State struck at the heart of Kabul, setting off an explosion outside Hamid Karzai International Airport. The attack killed more than 150 Afghan civilians and at least 13 U.S. service members.

The next day, the U.S. hit back with a drone strike that killed two ISIS-K targets involved in the airport attack, the Pentagon said.

Here's what is known about the group, which reportedly has claimed responsibility for Thursday's bombing:

The Islamic State Khorasan emerged more than six years ago and operates as an ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Khorasan is a historical term for a region that includes present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and surrounding countries. The group is also known as ISIS-K, ISK or ISKP.

The founding members included militants who left both the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani Taliban.

Read more: NPR

Rockets were fired at Kabul airport early Monday, but as many as five were intercepted by a missile defense system, highlighting the continual threat to the international rescue mission ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline for American troops to pull out.

There were no initial reports of U.S. casualties, reported Reuters, citing an unidentified American official. A Taliban spokesman said there were no reports of Afghan deaths and that the Islamist group was investigating the attack. A top U.S. commander warned last week that a local affiliate of the Islamic State, which carried out a suicide bombing and gunfire attack at an airport gate on Thursday that killed 13 U.S. troops and at least 170 other people, is seeking to target Kabul airport with rockets.

The U.S. military carried out an airstrike Sunday on a vehicle that posed an “imminent” ISIS threat to the airport, Pentagon officials said. Ten civilians, including several small children, killed by the U.S. drone strike in Kabul, family members of the victims told The Post.

Read more: Washington Post

A southern Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to a federal weapons violation after being accused of bragging about his illegal shotgun and plans to kill a law enforcement officer at a rally in support of former President Donald Trump at the Minnesota Capitol in January.

Dayton C. Sauke, 22, of Owatonna, on Wednesday admitted in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to illegal possession of an unregistered firearm following his arrest after he allegedly sold an illegal firearm to two undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Many of Sauke's social media posts reflected antigovernment sentiments similar to the Boogaloo Bois, according to court records. One social media photo showed Sauke carrying a gun along with the caption "Sic Semper Tyrannis," a Latin phrase co-opted by the Boogaloo movement meaning justice will befall tyrants. The same words were uttered by Abraham Lincoln's assassin and appeared on Timothy McVeigh's T-shirt the day he killed 168 people in the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

On Snapchat and his public-facing Instagram page, Sauke posted photos of himself holding guns alongside far-right sentiments and expressions of a desire to kill someone, namely a police officer or politician, according to court records. One post shows him burning an American flag with a blue stripe — a symbol of the pro-law enforcement Blue Lives Matter movement — alongside the caption: "Police lives don't matter."

Read more: Minneapolis Star Tribune

An alleged bombmaker charged with plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should not get an early look at the government's witness list due to safety concerns raised by an apparent drive-by shooting earlier this year at one suspected witness' workplace, prosecutors said Thursday.

Prosecutors revealed the drive-by shooting while fighting attempts by defense lawyers to identify government witnesses in a case involving allegations of violent extremism, political violence and weapons of mass destruction.

Many details about the apparent drive-by shooting remained unclear Thursday, including the location and identities of those involved. But the April shooting followed sustained attempts by accused kidnap plotter Barry Croft to identify government witnesses and confidential informants within the ranks of self-styled militia groups, including the Wolverine Watchmen and Three Percenters, according to prosecutors.

Read more: The Detroit News