Homeland Security Network Blog

The information source for first responders.

SDF Releases 853 ‘Non-Violent’ ISIS Detainees

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  Kurdistan 24 SDF Releases 853 ‘Non-Violent’ ISIS Detainees: RIC "According to local sources, this batch is set to be the first of many, as the AANES attempts to relieve its overcrowded camps & prisons of non-violent ISIS detainees." ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that it has released 853 “non-violent ISIS” detainees from prisons across the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) “in collaboration with local sheikhs, the Syria-based Rojava Information Center reported on Saturday.According to the center, approximately 80 percent of the released detainees were originally from Syria’s Arab-majority Deir al-Zor province. They were released “after thorough investigations proved they were not involved in violent acts as part of ISIS.”“According to local sources, this batch is set to be the first of many, as the AANES attempts to relieve its overcrowded camps & prisons of non-violent ISIS detainees,” the Rojava Information Center tweeted....

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Pentagon Report: Islamic State Down But Not Out In Syria And Iraq

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  Al Monitor Islamic State Down But Not Out In Syria And Iraq: Pentagon Report Also, Al-Monitor’s on-the-ground reporting on the security situations in Syria and Iraq, including the impact of the Turkish lira crisis on Idlib. Islamic State ‘entrenched as low-level insurgency’ The most recent report from the Pentagon’s Inspector General on Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led diplomatic and military operation against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, indicates that IS has weakened but remains a priority for US national security interests in the region. These quarterly reports provide the most comprehensive reporting and assessment of the US-led mission against IS and therefore deserve attention. Among the latest findings:   The report makes clear that the United States and its coalition partners remain essential to the continued success of the mission.The Iraq-Syria border remains an area of concern for IS activity.Economic hardship, the COVID-19 pandemic and a devastating drought,...

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Manchester Arena Inquiry: Mosque Failed To Act On Extremism

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  BBC NewsManchester Arena Inquiry: Mosque Failed To Act On Extremism, Families Say The mosque which the Manchester Arena bomber attended failed to adequately "challenge extremist ideology" in the years before the attack, the families of his victims have said.A former Didsbury Mosque imam has told the Manchester Arena Inquiry support for terror groups was preached there.In a statement, some of the bereaved said they were "dismayed" by the mosque's "failure to acknowledge this".A trustee has previously told the inquiry the mosque was "mainstream".On Tuesday, the chairman of the mosque's trustees, Fawaz Haffar, said encouraging any radicalisation would be "in contradiction of our charitable objects"."We are a mainstream mosque welcoming all Muslims, but we are in the middle of the road," he said.Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds more injured when Abedi detonated his homemade device at Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017.The inquiry has previously heard how his elder brother...

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SUV Crash Into Wisconsin Christmas Parade Is Latest Among Deadly Car-Ramming Incidents

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The Washington Post SUV Crash Into Wisconsin Christmas Parade Is Latest Among Deadly Car-Ramming Incidents By Annabelle TimsitPolice say that the driver of an SUV that plowed through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wis. Sunday, killing five people and wounding 48, did not appear to know anybody in the parade.At a news conference Monday afternoon, Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said police are “confident” that the suspect, identified as Darrell E. Brooks Jr., 39, acted alone, and there is “no evidence this is a terrorist incident.” Car-ramming incidents have become all too familiar in the United States and around the world.They have an explicit endorsement from the Islamic State, for instance, as they are relatively simple and inexpensive to carry out — but can cause great harm if done in very crowded areas. They are also becoming a more prominent tool in attacks against protesters by far-right or far-left groups.Driver suspected...

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U.S. Blacklists 3 Leaders, Financial Facilitator For Afghan Affiliate Of Islamic State

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Reuters U.S. Blacklists 3 Leaders, Financial Facilitator For Afghan Affiliate Of Islamic State WASHINGTON, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on three leaders of Islamic State's Afghanistan branch and another man it accused of acting as a financial facilitator for the group, in a move that follows a series of attacks in Kabul claimed by the militant group.The State Department on Monday named the group's emir, Sanaullah Ghafari, spokesperson Sultan Aziz Azam and Kabul province leader Maulaw Rajab as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.The U.S. Treasury Department also blacklisted Ismatullah Khalozai, accusing him of operating a Turkey-based informal money-moving network, known as a hawala, to transfer funds to finance the Islamic State-Khorasan Province."Today's designation underscores the United States' determination to prevent ISIS-K and its members from exploiting the international financial system to support terrorist acts in Afghanistan and...

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5 dead, more than 40 injured after SUV plows into crowd at Christmas parade in Wisconsin

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5 dead, more than 40 injured after SUV plows into crowd at Christmas parade in Wisconsin Washington Post By Reis Thebault, Andrea Salcedo, Bryan Pietsch and Jennifer Hassan Five people were killed and more than 40 were injured after a driver in an SUV plowed through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wis., on Sunday evening, officials said — a violent end to the otherwise festive scene where children were dancing in the street and a marching band played “Jingle Bells.”The toll of dead and injured could increase as more information is gathered, the Waukesha Police Department said early Monday.Authorities have recovered the driver’s vehicle and have taken one person into custody, Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said at a news conference Sunday evening. Thompson, who said the investigation was still “very fluid” and that it was “unknown at this time whether the incident has any nexus to terrorism,” did not comment...

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UK Christmas Crowds Warned Of Increased Terror Threat From Emboldened Extremists

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The National UK Christmas Crowds Warned Of Increased Terror Threat From Emboldened Extremists Patrols by armed police will be increased and security plans for major events reviewed after Britain's terrorist threat level was raised following the Liverpool attack.Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes, the head of UK counterterrorism policing, said the public will see an increased police presence in key locations and officers will boost their work online.The British public were also asked to remain alert during the Christmas period and report anything suspicious to the police.Speaking in Leicester Square in London’s West End on Wednesday, Mr Jukes told the PA news agency: “All across the country you will have seen plans for major events reviewed, you will see an increased armed policing presence in some key locations. “In places like London where we have dedicated counterterror patrols, they will be very focused.“You will see some more visible policing but, of course, also...

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UK Counter-Terrorism Police Arrest Three After Liverpool Car Blast

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Reuters UK Counter-Terrorism Police Arrest Three After Liverpool Car Blast LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Counter-terrorism officers arrested three men after a vehicle exploded outside a hospital in the northern English city of Liverpoolon Sunday,killing one person and wounding another, police said.A male passenger in the car was declared dead at the scene, while the male driver was injured and was in hospital in a stable condition, police said.Counter-terrorism officers said they were investigating the case with local police and that they were keeping an open mind as to what had happened.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his thoughts were with those people affected and interior minister Priti Patel said she was being kept regularly updated.Three men - aged 29, 26, and 21 - were detained in the Kensington area of the city and arrested under the Terrorism Act, police said in a statement. Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said police were...

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An ISIS Attack In Iraq Provokes Conflict Between Neighbors, Stirring Sectarian Violence

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The Washington Post An ISIS Attack In Iraq Provokes Conflict Between Neighbors, Stirring Sectarian Violence By Louisa Loveluck and Mustafa Salim MUQDADIYA, Iraq — The attack on the village of Rashad last month was unusual in recent Iraqi times for its cruelty.Islamic State gunmen opened fire on a group of seven young men — four cousins, three friends — as they smoked nargilah pipes on a warm evening, residents of the mostly Shiite Muslim village said. Then the militants waited in the dark until a rescue party arrived and turned the guns on them, too. Within hours, Shiite tribesmen had crossed the stream that separates Rashad from its Sunni Muslim neighbors and were going house to house. Families cowered in the foliage. An old man was shot in his bed. By midnight, at least nine more villagers were dead, and the sky burned red as fires ate up their homes. The initial...

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DHS Issues Fresh Warning Of Terrorism, Citing 'Diverse And Challenging Threat Environment'

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  USA Today DHS Issues Fresh Warning Of Terrorism, Citing 'Diverse And Challenging Threat Environment' by Kevin Johnson and Josh Meyer Federal authorities extended a national terror warning, citing a "challenging threat environment" in part related to the chaotic U.S. exit from Afghanistan where there are increasing concerns for the reconstitution of terror groups, including al Qaeda and ISIS.The new Department of Homeland Security bulletin, which takes effect today, builds on an alert issued in advance of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacksand the looming threat posed by domestic violent extremists as a busy holiday season approaches.In September, FBI Director Christopher Wray referred to the rising domestic terror threat, telling a Senate committee that domestic terror cases had more than doubled since early 2020.  "The Homeland continues to face a diverse and challenging threat environment as it approaches several religious holidays and associated mass gatherings that in the past...

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Terrorist Prisoners 'Study Psychology To Fool Rehab Professionals'

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The National Terrorist Prisoners 'Study Psychology To Fool Rehab Professionals' by Nicky Harley Terrorist prisoners across Europe, such as London Bridge attacker Usman Khan, are hiding in plain sight and deceiving deradicalisation professionals, a study has found.The Counter Extremism Project think tank is calling for “significant improvements” in rehabilitation schemes after it found some terrorists were studying psychology to bluff professionals into believing they no longer pose a threat.In its study released on Tuesday, the think tank makes 13 recommendations for dealing with extremist prisoners, including the use of lie detectors, and is calling on European nations to follow the UK in ending automatic early release for prisoners convicted of terrorism.It advises that extremists should have limited contact with each other in prison to avoid them exploiting the system.Report author, Ian Acheson, recommends creating a unified team with permanent overall responsibility for offenders to prevent dangerous extremists from "falling through the...

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Terrorism Charges Laid Against 45 People Accused Of Trying To Infect Others With COVID-19

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National Post Terrorism Charges Laid Against 45 People Accused Of Trying To Infect Others With COVID-19 If convicted, the 45 people in New Jersey face up to 10 years in prison by Devika Desai Nearly four dozen people in New Jersey have been hit with terrorism charges as part of the state’s campaign to criminalize threats of COVID-19 transmission. If convicted, the 45 people could each face up to 10 years of prison time and a $150,000 fine, in what defence attorneys of the accused have called a “miscarriage of justice” targeting the poorest and most vulnerable residents of the state. Denise Lewis, 28, told the Guardian she had been arrested while walking on the streets in April 2020, with warrants related to failure to pay traffic tickets and an incident in which she had “escaped” from a police vehicle.She had been a witness to a fight but left the back...

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European Union To Train Mozambican Military To Fight Terrorism

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  Bloomberg European Union To Train Mozambican Military To Fight Terrorismby Borges NhamirreThe European Union will train around 2,000 Mozambican naval and special forces to help fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency that’s left more than 3,400 people dead and halted Africa’s biggest private investment yet. Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest countries, is desperately trying to end a four-year insurgency in gas-rich northern province Cabo Delgado province, which threatens to derail its ambitions to become one of the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporters. In April, TotalEnergies SE suspended work on its $20 billion LNG project due to an escalation of violence in the region. The two-year training mission that began Wednesday aims to create a quick-reaction force specialized in counter-terrorism, said Antonio Sánchez-Benedito Gaspar, the head of the EU mission in Mozambique. It will comply with international humanitarian law and human rights while protecting the population, he said. “We will...

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ISIS Branch Releases Video Of 12-Year-Old Executing Nigerian Soldiers

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Washington Examiner ISIS Branch Releases Video Of 12-Year-Old Executing Nigerian Soldiers by Christopher Hutton A branch of the Islamic State has reportedly released footage of a 12-year-old executing two Nigerian soldiers.The terrorist group released footage of a 12-year-old member of the Islamic State in West Africa Province killing two Nigerian soldiers in a video titled "Makers of Epic Battles." Tomasz Rolbiecki , a researcher of ISIS and its worldwide tactics, noted that the 17-minute-long video depicts the attacks from ISWAP's spring campaign, which erupted in northern Borno and Yobe, two states in Nigeria. "There are no words to describe how awful it is," tweeted Rolbiecki.Large portions of the execution footage has been published in previous photo reports, though not the video in its entirety.The footage also revealed additional details about the organization's growing weapon supply — the video confirmed that ISWAP had acquired a Mowag Piranha APC . Full story https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/isis-12-year-old-execution-nigerian-soldiers-iswap

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Jihadi Networks Are More Resilient Than We Think

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  Foreign Policy Jihadi Networks Are More Resilient Than We Think The world may be distracted by other threats, but jihadis aren’t going away anytime soon. By Daniel Byman With the departure of U.S. troops from Afghanistan this August, the post-9/11 era seems to be ending. Challenges such as climate change, a bellicose China, and the crisis of liberal institutions have crowded out jihadi terrorism as the primary American foreign-policy concern. Even in the narrow counterterrorism realm, white supremacist violence and anti-government extremism are the flavors of the day, and the occasional jihadi attack doesn’t seem to change things.Yet a new book provides a stark reminder of the persistence of terrorist networks despite over 20 years of relentless counterterrorism. In Western Jihadism: A Thirty Year History, Jytte Klausen, a professor at Brandeis University and a highly respected scholar of terrorism, traces the origins of al Qaeda and the broader jihadi movement,...

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Left Behind After U.S. Withdrawal, Some Former Afghan Spies And Soldiers Turn To ISIS Cell

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The Wall Street Journal Left Behind After U.S. Withdrawal, Some Former Afghan Spies And Soldiers Turn To Islamic State By Yaroslav Trofimov Some former members of Afghanistan’s U.S.-trained intelligence service and elite military units—now abandoned by their American patrons and hunted by the Taliban—have enlisted in the only force currently challenging the country’s new rulers: Islamic State. The number of defectors joining the terrorist group is relatively small, but growing, according to Taliban leaders, former Afghan republic security officials and people who know the defectors. Importantly, these new recruits bring to Islamic State critical expertise in intelligence-gathering and warfare techniques, potentially strengthening the extremist organization’s ability to contest Taliban supremacy. An Afghan national army officer who commanded the military’s weapons and ammunition depot in Gardez, the capital of southeastern Paktia province, joined the extremist group’s regional affiliate, Islamic State-Khorasan Province, and was killed a week ago in a clash with Taliban...

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Nigerian Army Says Islamic State West Africa's New Leader Killed In Military Operation

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Reuters Nigerian Army Says Islamic State West Africa's New Leader Killed In Military Operation ABUJA, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Nigeria's army said on Thursday it had killed the new leader of insurgent group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in a military operation this month, two weeks after announcing the death of the group's former head Abu Musab al-Barnawi.ISWAP is an offshoot of the Boko Haram insurgent group that has been fighting against the Nigerian armed forces for over a decade. The two militant groups later turned on each other.The conflict, which has spilled into neighbouring Chad and Cameroon, has left about 300,000 dead and millions dependent on aid, the United Nations says.Army spokesman Brigadier Benard Onyuko said in a statement that Nigerian troops had conducted several land and air raids on suspected insurgent locations, during which ISWAP's new leader, Malam Bako, was killed."In the course of the operations within the...

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Miami Man Pleads Guilty To Trying To Aid ISIS With Pipe Bomb-Making Instructions

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Miami Herald Miami Man Pleads Guilty To Trying To Aid ISIS With Pipe Bomb-Making Instructions By Jay Weaver A Miami man who posted pipe bomb instructions on the internet for people he believed to be followers of an Islamic terrorist group faces up to 15 years in prison, U.S. authorities said Monday. Samuel Baptiste, 29, pleaded guilty Friday to attempting to provide material support to terrorists, namely ISIS in the Middle East. Baptiste reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and avoided a potential sentence of up to 115 years if he had been convicted at trial of six terrorism-related changes, including distributing information on how to make explosives. According to court records, Baptiste attempted to provide material support to ISIS in late 2016 by posting information on the internet with links to information about explosive devices, including a bomb-making manual. Federal prosecutors say Baptiste posted and distributed online...

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Pakistan Using Informal Intelligence Channels To Prop Up Taliban Fight Against ISIS

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The Washington Post Pakistan Using Informal Intelligence Channels To Prop Up Taliban Fight Against ISIS By Susannah George, Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung KABUL — As the Islamic State-Khorasan is ramping up attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan is using a network of informal channels to feed intelligence and technical support to the Taliban to combat the threat, according to two Taliban leaders.Pakistan is passing the group raw information as well as helping it monitor phone and Internet communication to identify Islamic State members and operational hubs, according to a senior Taliban leader who, along with a Taliban commander and others in this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.A Pakistani official described the communication between the two sides as informal discussions, rather than an established intelligence-sharing partnership.Pakistan appears to be one of the few foreign governments directly aiding the Taliban in the Islamic...

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Sailors didn't know what to do in USS Bonhomme Richard fire, Navy probe finds

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The Hill Sailors didn't know what to do in USS Bonhomme Richard fire, Navy probe finds By Ellen Mitchell When a fire broke out aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard in July 2020, its sailors did not know how to react and its leaders didn't take control, a Navy investigation found.The 400-page report, officially released on Wednesday, found that 36 individuals, including the ship's commander and five admirals, were responsible for numerous errors and breakdowns that followed after the vessel was purposely set on fire while it sat pier-side in San Diego.“Although the fire was started by an act of arson, the ship was lost due to an inability to extinguish the fire,” the report said.Once the blaze started, “the response effort was placed in the hands of inadequately trained and drilled personnel from a disparate set of uncoordinated organizations that had not fully exercised together and were unfamiliar...

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