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Homeland Security News

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

Explosions rocked a truck and a UN camp in Mali on Sunday while another attack targeted an international military base in neighboring Niger.

West African nations have struggled to contain jihadist insurgencies in the region, with some groups pledging fealty to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida or the so-called Islamic State (IS).

The attack in Niger was aimed at a base that countries in the region use to fight insurgencies. Officials said 79 attackers and 29 soldiers were killed.

An army spokesman said a large group consisting of hundreds had approached the Fianto base in the Tillaberi region on motorcycles to carry out the attack.

The Fianto base is used by the G5 Joint Force, which consists of the five Sahel countries of Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Mali and Burkina Faso. It was created in 2017 to establish order on their common border regions.

Read more: Deutsche Welle

Early Saturday morning, Des Moines Police officers arrived at a house in the 800 block of Rose Avenue to find a man armed with a gun and wearing a ballistic vest.

A spokesperson with the department said the man also had a homemade explosive device. 

Officers were able to convince the man to drop the gun and surrender into custody. The bomb squad handled the explosive device. 

The spokesperson said the man isn't facing any charges right now and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. 

Read more: ABC 5 (Des Moines)

Finnish police arrested five men identified as right-wing extremists on suspicion of preparing a terror attack. 

The men detained on Tuesday were planning to use explosives for terrorism, Toni Sjoblom, detective superintendent from Southwestern Finland Police Department told reporters on Friday, without disclosing who the potential targets were. The case is “exceptional and rare” in the Nordic country, he said.

All suspects live in the Kankaanpaa region of Satakunta, about 270 kilometers (168 miles) from the capital. There is no acute danger to the public, the police said.

The case does not lead to changes in the level of the terrorist threat in Finland from two on a four-point scale, according to Eero Pietila, Senior Analyst at the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service. The level means the threat of terrorism is expected to remain elevated in Finland over the next two years, the agency said earlier this year. 

Read more: Bloomberg

A dissident former leader of Colombia's Farc rebels has been killed in an ambush in Venezuela, local media reported on Sunday.

Hernán Darío Velásquez, nicknamed El Paisa, was reportedly shot dead in Venezuela's Apure state.

His death has not been officially confirmed and the Colombian army said it had no knowledge of the killing.

Local media have speculated that mercenaries may have killed Velásquez, seeking rewards for his capture.

Colombian authorities told El Tiempo newspaper that they would not confirm his death until officials had seen his body. A spokesperson for Colombian President Iván Duque told Reuters news agency that his office was seeking more information.

The Farc rebels were a Marxist group that waged a bitter war against the Colombian government for over 50 years, before eventually calling a ceasefire in 2016.

Read more: BBC News

Jonathan M. Cuney, age 38, and a part-time resident of East Greenbush, New York, was sentenced today to 87 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, for unlawfully possessing firearms including “ghost guns,” and ammunition.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

Cuney previously pled guilty to unlawfully possessing, as a felon, a Springfield Armory rifle and an FMK Firearms Inc. AR-15-style rifle receiver/frame, and to possessing three unregistered silencers, between September 9, 2019 and November 14, 2019. 

Cuney has a prior conviction for unlawful gun trafficking.  In December 2015, he pled guilty, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, to transporting and selling firearms with obliterated serial numbers while he was a licensed firearms dealer.  He was sentenced to 37 months in prison, and returned to East Greenbush in April 2017 upon his release from prison.

Read more: Department of Justice