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Homeland Security News

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

The newly installed chief of the U.S. Capitol Police says the force, still struggling six months after an insurrection that left its officers battled, bloodied and bruised, “cannot afford to be complacent.” The risk to lawmakers is higher than ever. And the threat from lone-wolf attackers is only growing.

In an interview with The Associated Press, J. Thomas Manger said his force is seeing a historically high number of threats against lawmakers, thousands more than just a few years ago. He predicts authorities will respond to close to 9,000 threats against members of Congress in 2021 — more than 4,100 had been reported from January to March.

“We have never had the level of threats against members of Congress that we’re seeing today,” Manger said. “Clearly, we’ve got a bigger job in terms of the protection aspect of our responsibilities, we’ve got a bigger job than we used to.”

Read more: AP

Today, a South Florida federal district judge sentenced Paul Nicholas Miller, 33, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to 41 months’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in 2018, possessing ammunition as a convicted felon in 2021, and possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle in 2021.

Miller, who had previously been convicted of three separate felony offenses in New Jersey, took a live firearms training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in January 2018, during which he fired a handgun. Miller then used the certificate of completion from this training to apply to Florida authorities for a concealed weapon license. In this application, Miller falsely affirmed that he had never been convicted of a felony. Florida authorities denied Miller’s application due to his prior felony convictions. Federal law enforcement then arrested Miller on March 2, 2021 after a federal grand jury returned an indictment in connection with Miller’s 2018 conduct.

After this arrest, law enforcement discovered an unregistered short-barreled rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside Miller’s home. Miller admitted that he had bought the ammunition and that he had tried to build his own rifle in part to learn about firearms manufacturing in preparation for a coming civil war. In the months immediately before his arrest, Miller had made hundreds of internet posts publicizing his animosity towards various minority groups and his support for the initiation of a race-based civil war in the United States.

Read more: Department of Justice

Authorities believe an explosion at a Swedish apartment building on Tuesday -- which injured a number of people and started multiple fires -- was probably intentionally caused by a bomb-like device.

The blast occurred at the building in Gothenburg, which is located in far western Sweden about 250 miles southwest of Stockholm.

Officials said a 10-year-old boy is among the injured.

Police said they're investigating the explosion as a potential crime, but didn't specify any possible suspects.

The blast, which occurred early Tuesday, sparked fires throughout the building. Officials immediately evacuated the residents and the surrounding area.

Read more: UPI

Police say an early morning traffic stop on Tuesday led to the discovery of an improvised explosive device in a Plainview man's vehicle, and later an illegal weapon at his home.

During a brief news conference late Tuesday afternoon, Plainview Police Chief Derrick Watson said the traffic stop came after police had been searching for 60-year-old Calvin Padgett as they followed up on information indicating that he was in possession of an explosive device, which Watson described as a small pipe bomb.

"Our investigators had developed information that Mr. Padgett was in possession of an explosive device during another investigation," he said. "Out of due concern for our citizens, we went and found Mr. Padgett."

He said it took about nine hours from the time they were alerted to the potential bomb risk until they found Watson during the traffic stop just before 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Read more: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

A suicide car bomb killed at least eight people in the Somali capital on Saturday at a street junction near the president's palace, police said, and al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab said it was behind the attack which targeted a convoy going into the palace.

Police spokesperson Abdifatah Aden Hassan told reporters at the scene of the blast the casualties could be higher, since some of the dead and wounded had been taken away by their relatives.

"Al Shabaab is behind the blast. They killed eight people including a soldier and a mother and two children. Al Shabaab massacres civilians," he said.

Read more: Reuters