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Homeland Security News

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

FBI Baltimore announced Wednesday it is launching an awareness campaign to bring attention to hate crimes, which are historically underreported.

The awareness campaign will consist of digital billboards, flyers, and ads on buses, social media and radio throughout Maryland and Delaware. The bureau has seen an increase in reported hate crimes in recent , but said it wants more victims of hate crimes to report.

The FBI defines hate crimes as criminal acts motivated by the offender’s bias against characteristics like race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

“Over the last five years, there’s been a 25 percent increase in reported hate crimes, even still, the vast majority of these crimes are going underreported and that needs to change. The FBI can help, but only if we know about the crime. That’s why we are spreading the word with this campaign,” said Thomas J. Sobocinski, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “Violent acts motivated by hate have no place in our society. Every person has the right to live without fear of violence or intimidation and we will continue to hold those accountable whose hate-filled aggression violates the civil rights of another individual.”

Read more: WJZ

The nation's capital is battening down the hatches in anticipation of right-wing protesters who claim those detained in connection to the Jan. 6 attack are being held unfairly.

Fencing is up around the U.S. Capitol and law enforcement agencies are on high alert amid concerns far-right extremists could be among the protesters who show up for the "Justice for J6" rally. Rally organizer Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign staffer, has said that those coming to commit violent acts aren't welcome at the rally. Experts tracking far-right chatter online said the tenor of rhetoric around this rally is different than in the days leading up to the attack at the Capitol.

"What we are currently seeing pales in comparison to the scale and intensity of organizing and violent rhetoric we saw before Jan. 6's Capitol riot," Jared Holt, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, told ABC News' Will Steakin.

Read more: ABC News

A loyalist of the anti-government extremist Boogaloo movement who live-streamed as he drove the streets of Bowie County searching for a member of law enforcement to assassinate last year was found guilty Thursday by a Bowie County jury of the attempted capital murder of a peace officer.

The jury took less than an hour to convict Swenson of attempted capital murder of a peace officer. Swenson pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of felony evading arrest and terroristic threatening. The jury found Thursday that Swenson violated the Texas Hate Crimes Act when he targeted law enforcement. That means he faces an enhanced punishment range on the terroristic threatening charge.

The jury heard testimony late Thursday afternoon in the punishment phase of trial for Aaron Caleb Swenson, 38. Jurors were instructed by 102nd District Judge Jeff Addison to return to the Bowie County courthouse Friday morning to hear closing arguments on the punishment Swenson should receive.

Read more: Texarkana Gazette

U.S. Capitol police arrested a man who was carrying banned weapons — including a bayonet and a machete — in a truck scrawled with White supremacist symbols that was outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, the department said Monday.

The driver, 44-year-old Donald Craighead of Oceanside, California, claimed to the cops that he was “on patrol” and started talking about “white supremacist ideology,” the U.S. Capitol Police said.

The arrest was made Monday morning, less than a week before people were set to gather at the Capitol for a rally in support of the hundreds jailed in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol invasion.

“At this time, it is not clear if he was planning to attend any upcoming demonstrations or if he has ties to any previous cases in the area,” the department said.

Read more: CNBC

A Texas man pleaded guilty today for assaulting a Deputy U.S. Marshal with a construction hammer during a July 2020 protest in Downtown Portland.

Jacob Michael Gaines, 24, pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

“We are very fortunate Mr. Gaines did not severely injure or kill the Deputy U.S. Marshal who confronted him outside the federal courthouse last summer. Assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon is a very serious crime and will be handled by our office accordingly,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“Anyone who assaults or tries to hurt a U.S. Marshals Service employee should expect to be charged. Mr. Gaines could have killed the deputy he struck with a construction hammer, and we’re grateful to the US Attorney’s Office for seeing this case through to its conclusion,” said Peter Cajigal, Acting U.S. Marshal for the District of Oregon.

“We’re pleased to see resolution following the violent acts committed at the Hatfield Courthouse last summer and hope this verdict can help set the stage for peaceful protest conduct in the future,” said Gabriel Russell, Assistant Director for Field Operations, Eastern Zone, Federal Protective Service.

Read more: Department of Justice