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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Sep 20, 2021

The FBI is working to identify the person, or persons, responsible for leaving explosive devices with threatening notes outside cellphone stores this week in Cheboygan and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

The FBI announced Friday that on Thursday, Sept. 16, two explosive devices were found at cellphone stores in the aforementioned northern Michigan cities. Law enforcement officers and bomb technicians from the Michigan State Police and the FBI responded to the locations and rendered the devices safe, the FBI said.

Both devices were packaged inside USPS Priority Mail boxes, sealed with black duct tape, and placed outside the cellphone stores. There were threatening notes addressed to Verizon and AT&T on the top of each box. The notes were signed either “HJ” or “Handcuff Johnny.” The letters “CMT” were written on each box.

Moreover, authorities believe these devices are related to a series of letters found in the Upper Peninsula last month. The letters, claiming to be from the “Coalition for Moral Telecommunications” (CMT) were found at multiple telecommunications tower sites across the UP. The letters made specific demands to the telecommunications companies, the FBI said.

Read more: WDIV (Detroit)

A gunman opened fire on a Russian university campus on Monday killing at least eight people, investigators said, in the country's second mass shooting this year to target students.

Videos circulating on social media showed people throwing belongings from windows of university buildings in the central city of Perm before jumping to flee the shooter.

The Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said several people were injured in the attack at Perm State National Research University and that the suspect, a student at the university, had been wounded while being detained.

State media broadcast amateur footage reportedly taken during the attack showing an individual dressed in black tactical clothing, including a helmet, carrying a weapon and walking through the campus.

Read more: CBS News

A Rwandan court on Monday found Paul Rusesabagina, a one-time hotel manager portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide, guilty of being part of a group responsible for terrorist attacks.

"They should be found guilty for being part of this terror group - MRCD-FLN," judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi said of 20 defendants including Rusesabagina. "They attacked people in their homes, or even in their cars on the road traveling."

The case has had a high profile since Rusesabagina, 67, was arrested last year on arrival from Dubai after what he described as a kidnapping by Rwandan authorities.

Since being portrayed by actor Don Cheadle as the hero of the 2004 film "Hotel Rwanda", Rusesabagina emerged as a prominent critic of President Paul Kagame, based in the United States. He had denied all the charges against him, while his supporters called the trial a sham and proof of Kagame's ruthless treatment of political opponents.

Read more: Reuters

A redux of Jan. 6, it was not.

A far-right rally staged near the heavily-guarded Capitol opened and closed Saturday with a modest gathering of demonstrators who appeared at some points outnumbered by police and journalists.

Planners for the much-anticipated event had projected up to 700 protesters, but far fewer turned up for an event billed to raise support for hundreds of rioters arrested in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol assault.

Capitol Police estimated that the gathering numbered up to 450. But that did not account for a legion of journalists who descended on the Union Square plaza along with counter-protesters who joined the group.

Organizers and demonstrators immediately attributed the sparse gathering to the heavy security presence, fears of violence and unfounded chatter on social media that the event was designed as a set-up for a new sweep of arrests by law enforcement.

Read more: USA Today