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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Sep 10, 2021

Thirty-one late-stage attack plots were disrupted over the past four years by intelligence officers, the director general of the MI5 has said.

MI5 director general Ken McCallum said that the threat of terrorism in the UK remains “a real and enduring thing” and warned that recent events in Afghanistan could lead to a new 9/11-style attack plot.

He added: “We do face a consistent global struggle to defeat extremism and to guard against terrorism - this is real problem.”

He told the BBC’s Today programme on Friday: “In the last four years, working with the police, my organisation has disrupted 31 late-stage attack plots in Great Britain.

“That number includes mainly Islamist attack plots but also a growing number of attack plots from right wing terrorists.”

Read more: The Independent (UK)

Days before the nation marks 20 years since the September 11 terror attacks, New York officials say the remains of two more victims have been identified through DNA testing.

Dorothy Morgan, of Hempstead, New York, and a man whose name is being withheld at his family's request were the 1,646th person and 1,647th person to be identified as victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the office of the city's chief medical examiner said Tuesday.

They were identified through DNA analysis of previously unidentified remains recovered from the World Trade Center site. The attack there claimed 2,753 lives; more than 220 other people were killed in Washington, DC, and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

These were the first identifications of World Trade Center victims since October 2019. The remains of more than 1,100 victims -- about 40% of those who died there -- are yet to be identified, the medical examiner's office said.

Read more: CNN

A 16-year-old boy set up an extremist right-wing group including a member who plotted a terrorism attack, it can now be revealed.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard the teenager ran "The British Hand" from 5 August last year when he was 14 on the encrypted Telegram app.

One group member, Matthew Cronjager, from Essex, was convicted of planning terrorist acts on 3 September.

The cases can now be linked after reporting restrictions were lifted.

The teenager, from south Derbyshire, vetted others in private chat groups where they talked about "doing something" against ethnic minorities and discussed weapons, the court heard.

In one post, he wrote in capital letters: "I am planning an attack against the Dover coast where every Muslim and refugee has been given safety if you're interested tell me now."

Read more: BBC News

A Texas man pleaded guilty today for assaulting a Deputy U.S. Marshal with a construction hammer during a July 2020 protest in Downtown Portland.

Jacob Michael Gaines, 24, pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

“We are very fortunate Mr. Gaines did not severely injure or kill the Deputy U.S. Marshal who confronted him outside the federal courthouse last summer. Assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon is a very serious crime and will be handled by our office accordingly,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“Anyone who assaults or tries to hurt a U.S. Marshals Service employee should expect to be charged. Mr. Gaines could have killed the deputy he struck with a construction hammer, and we’re grateful to the US Attorney’s Office for seeing this case through to its conclusion,” said Peter Cajigal, Acting U.S. Marshal for the District of Oregon.

“We’re pleased to see resolution following the violent acts committed at the Hatfield Courthouse last summer and hope this verdict can help set the stage for peaceful protest conduct in the future,” said Gabriel Russell, Assistant Director for Field Operations, Eastern Zone, Federal Protective Service.

Read more: Department of Justice

The FBI issued a fresh appeal for help to identify the suspect who planted two live pipe bombs near the Capitol the night before the Jan. 6 riots, indicating that the hooded figure captured by area surveillance cameras may have been operating from a local park.

The nine-month search for the bomb suspect, who placed devices at both the Democratic and Republican Party headquarters, remains perhaps the most enduring mystery related to the deadly siege.

The explosives, ultimately discovered on the day of the attacks and disarmed by authorities, were placed between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. the night before, officials have said.

In the latest appeal, officials released a new video of the man, showing him taking a seat on a park bench while carrying a backpack and appearing to check a mobile phone.

Read more: USA Today