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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Sep 23, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden will nominate Shannon Corless, a career intelligence expert, as assistant secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Treasury Department, the White House said on Tuesday.

Corless currently oversees economic security, energy security, export controls, sanctions, supply chain, telecommunications, threat finance, and trade partnerships at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

If confirmed, Corless, a former naval intelligence officer, will be part of a team making decisions about sanctioning the Taliban and other issues impacting the flow of capital into Afghanistan.

Before ODNI, Corless served as the director of investment security at ODNI's National Intelligence Council, where she played a critical role on reviews conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Read more: Reuters

New Zealand's parliament took a step closer on Tuesday to making it easier to arrest and prosecute terrorists planning attacks, just weeks after an Islamic State-inspired assault by a knife-wielding assailant wounded seven people at a supermarket.

The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill passed its second reading in parliament with the ruling Labour Party and the main opposition National Party voting in favour, while smaller parties like the Greens opposed it.

The bill, an amendment to the 2002 Terrorism Suppression Act and other related laws, will be enacted once it clears a third reading.

The government said the legislation addresses a major gap in the law by criminalising planning or preparation for a terrorist act. Enforcement agencies have long recommended the change.

Read more: Reuters

Extremists are using mainstream video games and gaming chat platforms to spread hate, BBC Click has found.

Over three months, researchers found anti-Semitism, racism and homophobia on platforms, including DLive and Odysee, where users stream and chat about games such as Call of Duty and Minecraft.

Campaigners say including extremist narratives among everyday conversations can be a pathway to radicalisation.

These conversations then move to spaces such as private Telegram channels.

"Once you're in that world, then the radicalisation starts to happen," Joe Mulhall, of anti-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate, said.

"That's when you start to go to other meetings, to smaller groups that aren't necessarily playing games, talking about politics more explicitly."

Read more: BBC News

A federal investigation is underway after arson damaged a historic Kansas City, Missouri, church that now serves a congregation predominantly made up of people from South Sudan.

John Ham of the Kansas City office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told the Kansas City Star that authorities have determined that the blaze was intentionally set, making it a federal crime.

The fire was discovered about 9:15 a.m. Saturday at the building known as Harlem Baptist Church on the city's north side. Arriving firefighters discovered that the front of the building and an area of stairs going to the basement were fully engulfed in flames, and they determined that's where the fire started.

One firefighter had to be rescued after the stairway collapsed. He was not injured. The church suffered heavy fire damage to the front, and smoke and water damage elsewhere.

The church was founded in 1907 as the Harlem Tabernacle Church. It is the last remaining original building of a non-incorporated community known as Harlem. It now serves as a gathering place for the United Christian Fellowship.

Read more: ABC News

Floyd Ray Roseberry, the North Carolina man charged with making bomb threats on Capitol Hill appeared virtually in Washington D.C. district court Wednesday.

Today, the court deemed Roseberry competent to stand trial. The suspect also pleaded not guilty to the two federal charges against him.

Last month, prosecutors say Roseberry drove up from North Carolina and threatened to set off explosives near the Library of Congress. There was an hours-long standoff with police before Roseberry surrendered peacefully. Prosecutors say during the standoff the suspect took to social media about his frustrations with Democratic leaders in Washington D.C., including President Joe Biden. Court documents reveal Roseberry’s mental health is a central issue in this case.

Roseberry’s attorney says he’s been receiving new medications and treatment while being held in a Washington D.C. jail. Roseberry told the judge during a teleconference hearing that he’s feeling much better and understands the charges against him; threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and an explosive device.

Read more: WITN