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Homeland Security News

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

As the effort to resettle those who escaped Afghanistan during the U.S. military withdrawal, there are now more than 46,000 Afghan refugees in the United States, according to law enforcement sources. More than a dozen of them have shown up on terror watch lists, the sources said.

But Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the U.S. has protocols to remove anyone brought to the country who later turns out to be a threat.

"We screen and vet individuals before they board a plane to the United States," Mayorkas told "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell in an exclusive interview. "An individual who does not satisfy our screening and vetting protocols is not admitted to the United States. And if in fact, we learn information subsequently, we place those individuals in removal proceedings so that they are set to leave the United States as swiftly as possible."

Read more: CBS News

The Biden administration has designated the Department of Homeland Security as the lead federal agency charged with facilitating the entry of Afghans into the United States. Refugee resettlement groups say the process has been too slow, but they remain hopeful the nation is up to the task.

Homeland Security will coordinate efforts across federal agencies to resettle vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the U.S. The efforts include immigration processing, COVID-19 testing, quarantine of people who test positive and support for evacuees who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, according to the White House.

Mark Hetfield, chief executive of the Jewish humanitarian organization HIAS, said the coordination of federal agencies is progress but not enough to make up for what appears to be a lack of earlier planning.

Read more: Los Angeles Times

A security researcher said Monday that nearly 2 million records of personally identifiable information -- including passport details, dates of birth, and names -- were exposed in what may be the leak of a secret terrorist watchlist. The records included "no-fly" status information for each person's record, according to a report by Bleeping Computer.

In a blog post on LinkedIn, Security Discovery researcher Bob Diachenko said he discovered the trove of records online July 19 in an unprotected Elasticsearch cluster, which required no password or identity authentication to access. Diachenko said the exposed server had a Bahrain IP address, and it's unclear whether the server is owned by the US government or another party.

Diachenko said he reported his finding to the US Department of Homeland Security the same day, but the records weren't removed from public view until Aug. 3. It's unclear whether any other unauthorized parties had access to the exposed records during that time.

Read more: CNet

On the second anniversary of the El Paso shooting, senators heard from experts on domestic terror who are calling on Congress to enact new laws to make it easier for law enforcement and prosecutors to fight back against domestic terrorism.

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) said the federal government isn’t doing enough to fight domestic terrorism.

“The nation is facing the highest levels of violence based on religion, race, ethnicity and politics in decades,” he said.

Witnesses testified about other growing threats on the two-year anniversary of the shooting in El Paso targeting Hispanic Americans.

“Approximately 60% of Asian adults have heard people express racist or racially insensitive views about people who are Asian,” said John Yang with the group Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Read more: ABC 10

The House select committee formed to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will hold their first hearing on Tuesday, listening to a panel four police officers who defended the building against a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump.

The testimony, which will include new video footage from the day, is expected to be emotionally-charged as the officers detail being overwhelmed by rioters who were better equipped for the battle that unfolded.

Rep. Liz Cheney, one of the two Republicans serving on the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, is expected to give an opening statement today.

The Wyoming Republican, who was tapped by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is serving as the de facto ranking member after Pelosi rejected two of the five GOP members selected by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, prompting him to pull all five off the panel.

Read more: NBC News