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Homeland Security News

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

The United States on Tuesday revoked its designation of the Colombian group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as a foreign terrorist organization five years after it reached a peace deal with the Colombian government.

The 2016 peace accord ended the FARC's part in the Andean country's decades-old internal armed conflict, which has left millions displaced and more than 260,000 dead.

The group no longer exists as a unified organization that engages in terrorism, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The two dissident groups that have formed out of FARC, La Segunda Marquetalia and FARC-EP, or People's Army, have been designated as foreign terrorist organizations, he added.

Read more: Reuters

Australia on Wednesday classified neo-Nazi organisation The Base and Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia Islamist political party and militant group, as terrorist organisations.

The classification makes it illegal for anyone to be a member of The Base, the white supremacist group formed in 2018, or Hezbollah. Anyone convicted of being a member can be imprisoned for up to 25 years.

"There is absolutely no place in Australia for violent extremism. There is no cause – religious or ideological – that can justify killing innocent people," Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews told reporters in Canberra.

Hezbollah is not believed to be active in Australia, though authorities have said The Base has actively sought to develop cells.

Read more: Reuters

The Biden administration is preparing to remove Colombian rebel group FARC from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations, five years after the rebels signed a peace agreement with Bogota, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The U.S. State Department notified Congress on Tuesday of its planned delisting of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by the Spanish acronym FARC, and an announcement is expected in coming days, one of the sources told Reuters.

Dropping the terrorism designation could help free up U.S. aid to projects that involve former rebels and bolster the agreement overall with a further demonstration of U.S. support.

"We have started the process of consulting with Congress on actions that we are taking with regards to the FARC," State Department spokesman Ned Price told a daily briefing, adding that there would be more details in coming days.

Read more: Reuters

The Biden administration blacklisted a key financial facilitator for the Islamic State's Afghanistan branch as it targets the terrorist organization as its threat to the United States grows.

The Treasury sanctioned Ismatullah Khalozai, accusing him of being an international financial facilitator for the Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or ISIS-K.

The federal department said Khalozai has operated a Turkey-based business for the past two years that has transferred funds to finance ISIS-K operations. Prior to that, he operated a United Arab Emirates-based scheme that supported ISIS-K through sending luxury items to international locations for re-sale, the Treasury said, adding he is also accused of carrying out human smuggling operations for the terrorist organization.

Read more: UPI

This report explores how and why mis/disinformation develops in the wake of terror attacks and the ways it is used by extremist groups to attempt to shape public understanding and political responses. These uses include extremist sympathisers engaging in information manipulation and obfuscation as part of their attempts to explain or justify the violence, as well as distorting and deceptive messaging designed to marginalize or stigmatize other social groups. Having presented evidence and insight about the construction of these messages, the discussion also looks at the policy and practice options in terms of ‘what works’ with regard to managing and mitigating any such messaging and the harms it seeks to induce.

It is now largely taken for granted that social media and the wider changes to the media ecosystem with which it is associated have had profoundly disruptive and transformative impacts upon the institutional and interactional ordering of society. But while very few social and political commentators would contest the general tenor of this assertion, it is increasingly clear that the effects of social media upon patterns of communication and knowledge are complex, especially with respect to specific policy and practice domains. One such domain is political violence and the countermeasures intended to limit its effects.

Read more: Homeland Security Today