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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Aug 4, 2021

Since Jan. 19, 2020, the FBI in Washington state has been investigating at least 41 incidents of eco-sabotage, specifically direct action against railways and rail lines connected to oil production.

In one instance on Dec. 22, a train was derailed and caught on fire in Custer, Wash., near the Canadian border, The Guardian reported.

This was regarded as the most serious eco-sabotage incident in recent memory, with the damage resulting in 29,000 gallons of crude oil being spilled and the evacuation of 120 people, the National Transportation and Safety Board reported.

During that time, about a dozen eco-sabotage incidents took place.

On Nov. 28, two women — Samantha Brooks and Ellen Brennan Reiche — were arrested for allegedly placing a "shunt” on railway tracks near Bellingham, Wash. A shunt is a wire that stretches between the tracks and mimics the electrical signal of a train, which causes oncoming trains to engage their emergency brakes, The Guardian reported.

Read more: The Hill

A Pentagon police officer was killed Tuesday morning in an incident at the Metro bus platform outside the building, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency confirmed. Two law enforcement sources told CBS News that investigators at this point believe that there was an altercation in which the suspect stabbed the police officer.

The law enforcement sources said there appeared to have been a tussle over the officer's weapon and the weapon went off. The suspect was fatally shot, the sources said.

A federal official confirmed that the suspect has been identified as 27-year-old Austin Lanz of Georgia. A Marine Corps spokesperson said Lanz enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2012 but was "administratively separated" in early November 2012, and never earned the title of Marine.

Read more: CBS News

On the second anniversary of the El Paso shooting, senators heard from experts on domestic terror who are calling on Congress to enact new laws to make it easier for law enforcement and prosecutors to fight back against domestic terrorism.

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) said the federal government isn’t doing enough to fight domestic terrorism.

“The nation is facing the highest levels of violence based on religion, race, ethnicity and politics in decades,” he said.

Witnesses testified about other growing threats on the two-year anniversary of the shooting in El Paso targeting Hispanic Americans.

“Approximately 60% of Asian adults have heard people express racist or racially insensitive views about people who are Asian,” said John Yang with the group Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Read more: ABC 10

A former Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Deputy with ties to an ‘extremist’ group has been sentenced to federal prison following an FBI lead investigation.

According to officials with the United States Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Georgia, Cody Richard Griggers, 28, of Montrose, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 44 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in April 2021, to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm.

In April, following the guilty plea, Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said Griggers, as a former law enforcement officer, was well aware he was breaking the law by being in possession of unregistered weapons, silencers, and even a machinegun. Leary also said Griggers’ extremist views make him a particular danger to society. “Coupled with his violent racially motivated extreme statements, the defendant has lost the privilege permanently of wearing the blue,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

Read more: WNCT

El Pasoans remembered the anniversary of a massacre by grieving and honoring the victims, and by warning that ongoing anti-immigrant vitriol could bring about another tragedy.

“I want to keep the 23 members of our community that lost their lives (and) also their families and friends in our thoughts and also our first responders and everyone who was there on August 3 in our prayers and thoughts,” El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

He expressed hope that the racially motivated Aug. 3, 2019, mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart won’t repeat itself. “There is no room for hate,” he said.

Read more: KTSM