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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Sep 15, 2021

Officers arrested a man on suspicion of committing a hate crime after he reportedly made threats on social media, saying he was thinking of shooting worshippers at a Woodland mosque.

Abdul Rehman Khalid, 23, of Woodland was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, along with the hate crime charge, according to the Woodland Police Department.

On Monday, officers received a report from members of the Woodland Muslim Mosque & Islamic Center on North Street that someone had threatened them via Facebook messages.

Investigators determined the threatening messages were from Khalid, who said he was thinking about committing a mass shooting at the Woodland mosque, according to police.

Khalid also said in Facebook messages that he was in possession of a gun and ammunition, and he threatened to kill everyone at the mosque, police said.

Read more: Sacramento Bee

A recent "credible" threat made to a middle school in Frederick is highlighting the multi-agency effort to mitigate security concerns and assure children are safe. 

Frederick police said they are still investigating the threat initially posted on Snapchat, allegedly by a juvenile. The threat detailed a plan to shoot students at Monocacy Middle School including specific targets, investigators said. The families of those targets have been notified. 

A primary suspect has been identified. While a plan was verbalized, it has been determined the suspects involved did not have “access to the means” to carry out the plan.  

"There are parents with concerns and I fully understand being a parent to have those concerns but I want to ensure the parents and community that we are fully investigating," Sgt. Rebecca Carrado of Frederick City Police told WUSA9.

Read more: WUSA9

Federal authorities are now assisting Pittsburgh Police after threats were called in to two different churches over the weekend.

About 30 worshippers were escorted out of St. John’s Catholic Church on Saline Street in Greenfield in small groups with heavily armed police at their side Sunday morning after a man threatened to harm himself and others there.

According to police, a man called 911 threatening harm just after 11:15 a.m. He told 911 he had multiple firearms.

Police also responded to a church on the North Side where congregants called 911 after observing a parishioner wearing a gun during the service. Police responded and the man provided a valid conceal carry permit and was allowed to leave.

Read more: WPXI

Syria is still unsafe for the return of refugees a decade after its conflict began, U.N. war crimes investigators said on Tuesday, documenting worsening violence and rights violations including arbitrary detention by government forces.

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria said the overall situation was increasingly bleak, noting hostilities in several areas of the fractured country, its collapsing economy, drying riverbeds and increased attacks by Islamic State militants.

"One decade in, the parties to the conflict continue to perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity and infringing the basic human rights of Syrians," the Chair of the Commission, Paulo Pinheiro said, releasing its 24th report.

"The war on Syrian civilians continues, and it is difficult for them to find security or safe haven in this war-torn country."

Read more: Reuters

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet warns the increasingly brutal conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region threatens to spill over to the whole Horn of Africa.

Preliminary findings of a joint investigation by the U.N. Human Rights Office and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission into alleged violations in Tigray have been submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council.   

Since her last update in June, fighting has continued unabated in Tigray and has expanded into neighboring Afar and Amhara regions. U.N. rights chief Bachelet said mass detentions, killings, systematic looting, and sexual violence have displaced nearly two million people in this region and created an atmosphere of fear. She said civilian suffering is widespread and impunity is pervasive.

Bachelet said investigators have documented multiple allegations of human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and enforced disappearances.  She says sexual and gender-based violence, including gang rapes, have been characterized by a pattern of extreme brutality and ethnically targeted. 

Read more: Voice of America