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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

The Islamic State-inspired terrorist who stabbed six people at an Auckland supermarket searched online for “safety and security guidelines for lone wolf mujahedeen”, days after buying a hunting knife.

The searches were revealed in court documents relating to Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, who was shot dead by police during his attack, that were released on Monday.

Samsudeen had owned the same model of knife the year before but it had been seized by the police.

In the days following his purchase, Samsudeen made a series of internet searches including “Islamic state dress”; “Enemies of Allah”; “Isis allegiance”; and “Heroes of the Islamic state”.

He also searched for: “Safety and security guidelines for lone wolf mujahedeen”.

Samsudeen also looked at a number of video clips online, some of which provided “instruction on the use of the knife and footage of attempted decapitation using a hunting knife”.

Read more: The Sydney Morning Herald

A 29-year-old Afghan man in Germany attacked and severely injured a 58-year-old landscape gardener who was working in a park in Berlin, allegedly because he didn't like the fact that as a woman she was working.

The attack in the city's Wilmersdorf district took place Saturday afternoon [Sep. 4], and a 66-year-old passerby, who tried to come to the woman's rescue, was also severely injured.

Police said in a statement the suspect may suffer from a mental illness. However, prosecutors and criminal police are also investigating him on suspicion that his attack may have been motivated by Islamist ideology.

Read more: ABC News via AP

Seventeen suspected jihadists and five members of a civil defense militia have been killed in an attack in northern Burkina Faso, security and government sources told AFP Thursday.

“Armed men arriving on about 20 motorbikes attacked the VDP (defense militia) camp in Bilakoka,” located in Burkina’s northern region of Sahel bordering Mali and Niger, on Wednesday, a government official told AFP.

“The volunteers repelled the attack, neutralizing 17 terrorists. Five VDP members also lost their lives during the attack.”

A security source confirmed the toll and said the armed forces were carrying out a “sweep” and securing the area.

Burkina Faso, a landlocked and arid Sahel nation, has been battling attacks since 2015 from forces that include the Group to Support Islam and Muslims, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).

Read more: The Defense Post

The security situation in Herat City has deteriorated over the past several days, and the city is in danger of falling to the Taliban.

The Taliban is fighting inside Herat City, has seized control of a key district, and has taken control of the road that connects the provincial capital with the airport.

On July 30, the Taliban retook control of “the strategic Karakh district,” which is east of the city, Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary reported. The Taliban previously seized control of Karakh on July 8. The government retook control on July 23 and held it for one week.

If the Taliban is able to maintain control of the road to Herat International Airport to the airport and lay siege to it, the Afghan military will have a difficult time maintaining control of Herat City. The airport is a key lifeline for Herat City, as the Taliban controls nearly all of the districts in the province, and thus the roads to the city highly contested.

Read more: Longwar Journal

The UK and US believe Iran was behind a tanker attack that killed two people, and have vowed to respond, calling it a violation of international law. The MV Mercer Street, operated by an Israeli-owned firm, was attacked off Oman on Thursday. A British national and a Romanian citizen were killed.

The statements came after Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said there was "evidence" that its longstanding foe Iran was responsible. Mr Bennett warned that "we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way", while Tehran rejected what it called the "baseless accusations".

The attack on the MV Mercer Street appears to be the latest escalation in an undeclared "shadow war" between Israel and Iran.

For months there have been several attacks on both Israeli and Iranian-operated vessels, which are seen as tit-for-tat incidents, though casualties are rare.

Read more: BBC