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Homeland Security News

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

Three Sri Lankan nationals were charged Friday in federal court in Los Angeles with supporting an ISIS cell that killed hundreds of people in a string of coordinated suicide bombings that shook Sri Lanka in 2019.

Mohamed Naufar, Mohamed Anwar Mohamed Riskan and Ahamed Milhan Hayathu Moahmed are accused of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. Naufar and Milhan are also charged with aiding and abetting the receipt of military training from ISIS.

Read more: Los Angeles Times


The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) today published a list of the 20 most dangerous extremists on the planet. The list highlights the last known location, deaths attributed to these harbingers of terror, as well as analyzing the influence these extremists have had over their group, their followers, and their extremist movement at large.
The notorious leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah; the founder of the Russian Imperial Movement, Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev; and Samantha Lewthwaite, the infamous “White Widow” member of al-Shabaab as well as former wife of 7/7 terrorist bomber Germaine Lindsay all feature on this extensive list of treachery.
CEP has considered extremists from across the spectrum of ideologies and beliefs, from ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Muslim Buddhist group in Myanmar to Generation Identity, all are considered a huge threat to international security.
Read more: The Counter Extremism Project

Palestinian militant groups who comprise most of the Joint Operations Room (JOR) announced Wednesday they will be conducting a joint military exercise on Dec. 29. 

The JOR – also known as the Common Room – is a grouping of Palestinian militant factions in Gaza that operate as a quasi-army against Israel. 

Palestinian factions have been heavily promoting the event by publishing material detailing the militant groups involved in the exercise including the creation of a Telegram channel dedicated to the upcoming event. 

According to Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades, the military maneuver dubbed ‘Strong Supporter’ – which is taken from a verse in the Quran – is the first of its kind and is an effort to ready Palestinian militant groups against a potential military conflict against Israel. 

The upcoming drill is a first for Palestinian groups, however, the JOR has already fought several short lived conflicts against Israel in 2018 and 2019.

The last-large scale military exercise in Gaza was conducted by al-Qassam Brigades in 2018. The militant group heavily promoted the event by publishing videos of different military scenarios its fighters were training for. 

In one example, al-Qassam fighters assaulted a mock Israeli Merkava IV battle tank and successfully captured the IDF soldiers operating it. 

Additionally, in another exercise, explosions and anti-aircraft fire from an al-Qassam Brigades position unintentionally triggered Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system which launched multiple interceptor missiles against the airspace above Gaza. 

The goal of the maneuver is to send a message of deterrence to Israel by projecting unity and military strength among the largest Palestinian factions in Gaza. How Israel will react to the message remains to be seen. 

Read more: Long War Journal


Police in Slovakia have revealed that "suspects from Austria" tried to buy ammunition there in the summer and that Austrian authorities were tipped off.

Four people were fatally shot and 23 others wounded when a gunman went on the rampage in the centre of Vienna on Monday night.

It has since emerged he had been released early from a jail sentence for trying to join jihadists in Syria.

Reports suggest his trip to buy bullets failed as he had no gun licence.

According to German media, the 20-year-old, who was shot dead by police, travelled to neighbouring Slovakia in July to buy ammunition for a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle but returned empty-handed. 

Slovak police confirmed that they had passed the message on to their Austrian colleagues immediately, adding they would not comment further. 

Read more: BBC News


Somalia's spy agency, National Intelligence and Security Agency (Nisa), says it has seized 79 tonnes of sulphuric acid smuggled into the country for use by al-Shabab militants to make explosives.

"We have seized 79 tonnes of sulphuric acid and arrested a number of people who smuggled it into the country and were transporting it to al-Shabab mafia," Nisa said in a tweet. The agency added that investigations were ongoing and the suspects will be arraigned later in court. It did not reveal when the seizure was made. 

The announcement comes as Somalia marks the third anniversary of the 14 October 2017 bombing in the capital, Mogadishu, that killed more than 600 people. Al-Shabab did not say it carried out the attack, although it frequently stages attacks in the capital.

The UN Security Council had in June warned that al-Shabab was capable of smuggling explosives-making components into the country.

Source: BBC News