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Homeland Security News

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

A bomb killed four people in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Tuesday, the first such attack in years in a part of the country that has enjoyed relative stability, and a senior official said Islamic State militants were suspected of carrying it out.

The blast, near a major hospital in the predominantly Shi'ite Muslim city, was caused by a motorbike rigged with explosives, the military said in a statement, citing preliminary information.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"The blast carries fingerprints of Daesh (Islamic State)," Basra Governor Asaad al-Edani told reporters.

Bomb attacks in the Basra area been rare - the last major one was in 2017, and claimed by Islamic State. The authorities have kept a tight grip on the area where the bulk of the OPEC member's oil is produced and exported.

Read more: Reuters

Explosions rocked a truck and a UN camp in Mali on Sunday while another attack targeted an international military base in neighboring Niger.

West African nations have struggled to contain jihadist insurgencies in the region, with some groups pledging fealty to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida or the so-called Islamic State (IS).

The attack in Niger was aimed at a base that countries in the region use to fight insurgencies. Officials said 79 attackers and 29 soldiers were killed.

An army spokesman said a large group consisting of hundreds had approached the Fianto base in the Tillaberi region on motorcycles to carry out the attack.

The Fianto base is used by the G5 Joint Force, which consists of the five Sahel countries of Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Mali and Burkina Faso. It was created in 2017 to establish order on their common border regions.

Read more: Deutsche Welle

Finnish police arrested five men identified as right-wing extremists on suspicion of preparing a terror attack. 

The men detained on Tuesday were planning to use explosives for terrorism, Toni Sjoblom, detective superintendent from Southwestern Finland Police Department told reporters on Friday, without disclosing who the potential targets were. The case is “exceptional and rare” in the Nordic country, he said.

All suspects live in the Kankaanpaa region of Satakunta, about 270 kilometers (168 miles) from the capital. There is no acute danger to the public, the police said.

The case does not lead to changes in the level of the terrorist threat in Finland from two on a four-point scale, according to Eero Pietila, Senior Analyst at the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service. The level means the threat of terrorism is expected to remain elevated in Finland over the next two years, the agency said earlier this year. 

Read more: Bloomberg

A dissident former leader of Colombia's Farc rebels has been killed in an ambush in Venezuela, local media reported on Sunday.

Hernán Darío Velásquez, nicknamed El Paisa, was reportedly shot dead in Venezuela's Apure state.

His death has not been officially confirmed and the Colombian army said it had no knowledge of the killing.

Local media have speculated that mercenaries may have killed Velásquez, seeking rewards for his capture.

Colombian authorities told El Tiempo newspaper that they would not confirm his death until officials had seen his body. A spokesperson for Colombian President Iván Duque told Reuters news agency that his office was seeking more information.

The Farc rebels were a Marxist group that waged a bitter war against the Colombian government for over 50 years, before eventually calling a ceasefire in 2016.

Read more: BBC News

Two soldiers were killed and several more wounded when Islamist militants attacked a border security post in northern Benin on Wednesday night, the army said.

The raid in Porga region was the second in Benin this week. Islamist militants attacked an army patrol in the department of Alibori on Tuesday morning, army chief Colonel Fructueux Gbaguidi said in an internal statement on Thursday seen by Reuters.

The army killed one jihadist in Tuesday's attack and another on Wednesday night, he said. An official statement by the army later confirmed the deaths and attributed the attacks to unidentified armed men.

Militant attacks are rare in Benin, but groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State are active in its northern neighbours Burkina Faso and Niger and have made increasing incursions south.

Read more: Reuters