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Germany Arrests Two Alleged Russian Spies

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Two German-Russian men were arrested in Bavaria on suspicion of spying for Russia and planning blasts and arson attacks to undermine Berlin’s military support for Ukraine, German prosecutors said Thursday.

The pair, identified only as Dieter S. and Alexander J., were arrested in the city of Bayreuth in southeastern Germany on Wednesday, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The main accused, Dieter S., is alleged to have scouted potential targets for attacks, “including facilities of the US armed forces” stationed in Germany.

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Police officers also searched both men’s residences and workplaces on Wednesday.

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They are suspected of “having been active for a foreign intelligence service” in what prosecutors described as a “particularly serious case” of espionage.

According to prosecutors, Dieter S. had been exchanging information with a person linked to Russian intelligence services since October 2023, discussing possible sabotage acts.

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The actions were intended, in particular, to undermine the military support provided from Germany to Ukraine against the Russian aggression,” prosecutors said.

The accused allegedly expressed readiness to “commit explosive and arson attacks mainly on military infrastructure and industrial sites in Germany”.

To this end, Dieter S. collected information about potential targets, “including facilities of the US armed forces”.

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Fellow accused Alexander J. began assisting him in March 2024 at the latest, they added.

Dieter S. scouted some of the potential targets by taking photos and videos of military transport and equipment. He then allegedly shared the information with his contact person.

Dieter S. also faces a separate charge of belonging to a foreign terrorist organisation, as prosecutors strongly suspect he was a fighter of an armed unit of the so-called “People’s Republic of Donetsk” in eastern Ukraine in 2014-2016.

Germany has been shaken by several cases of alleged spying for Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, amid suggestions that officials in Berlin are too sympathetic to Moscow.

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A former German intelligence officer is currently on trial in Berlin, accused of handing information to Moscow that showed Germany had access to details of Russian mercenary operations in Ukraine. He denies the charges.

In November 2022, a German man was handed a suspended sentence for passing information to Russian intelligence services while working as a reserve officer for the German army.

AFP

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FG Threatens To Punish Schools Shunning Safety Guidelines

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The National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre, under the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, has issued a stern warning to schools across the country about the importance of adhering to safety guidelines.

The Commander of the centre, Hammed Abodunrin, announced that deliberate failures to comply could result in significant sanctions.

In a chat with The PUNCH on Wednesday, Abodunrin emphasised the critical nature of the Safe School policy, which aims to ensure security and prevent violence in educational institutions nationwide.

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“While the policy remains voluntary at this stage, the government is strongly advocating for compliance among school managements and communities,” he stated.

Abodunrin clarified that the policy was currently not enforceable by law but highlighted the government’s expectation that schools would willingly adhere to the guidelines.

“Everyone desires security, and we do not foresee widespread refusal to comply. However, should there be capacity gaps making compliance difficult, assistance will be provided to those schools,” he explained.

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Despite its voluntary status, the NSCDC is taking a proactive stance. “Where failures are noted to be deliberate, the Safe School teams will report to the authorities for appropriate actions which may include sanctions,” Abodunrin warned.

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The commander also discussed the government’s efforts to institutionalise school safety and security within higher education. He revealed plans to introduce specialised programmes on school safety, potentially up to the doctoral level.

Higher institutions will be encouraged to run special programmes in school safety, recognising it as a critical field of study,” he said.

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Abodunrin noted the growing importance of these issues, drawing parallels to fields like disaster management and peace and conflict studies, which have only recently been established as distinct academic disciplines.

“The specific need to address school safety and security underscores its potential to be integrated either as a subject within the security studies curriculum or as an independent field,” he said.

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Two Arrested Over South Africa Barber Shop Shooting

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Two suspects aged 24 and 28 have been arrested over a barber shop in Khayelitsha, South Africa, that left three children and a 30-year-old man dead.

The gunmen opened fire on Qwarha Street in Site C before fleeing the scene on Saturday afternoon. The children killed in the incident were aged 12, 11 and five. Two other individuals were unharmed.

Police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said the suspects are facing murder and attempted murder charges and will appear in the Khayelitsha magistrate’s court on Friday, June 14.

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With the investigation unfolding, the possibility of more arrests and further charges being pursued cannot be ruled out.”

She said Western Cape serious violent crime detectives are also investigating another multiple murder shooting incident that occurred in Nyanga on Sunday. No arrests have been made.

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Six Russian Nationals With ISIS Ties Arrested In US

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Six Russian nationals with potential ties to ISIS have reportedly been arrested in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles in a coordinated sting by law enforcement.

Two ICE officials have told the New York Post they arrested the suspected terrorist affiliates last week after the FBI raised the alarm.

The suspects are originally from Tajikistan, and they also have Russian citizenship, according to the Post

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Anonymous ICE officials told the newspaper a wiretap revealed one of the suspects talking about bombs.

‘Remember the Boston marathon [bombing]? I’m afraid something like that might happen again or worse,’ one official told The Post.

READ ALSO: Russian Embassy Denies Forcing Nigerian Students To Fight In Ukraine

The suspect in question has been involved with law enforcement before and had a court date next year, according to the source.

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It comes as top law enforcement officials warned the threat of a terrorist attack in the US has risen ‘enormously’ over the past few months.

Attorney General, Merrick Garland made the astonishing admission while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday last week during a hearing dedicated to investigating the department’s politicization.

‘I am worried about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the country after October 7,’ Attorney General Garland said. ‘The threat level for us has gone up enormously.’

‘Every morning, we worry about this question. We try to track anyone who might be trying to hurt the country,’ he continued. ‘Of course, this is a major priority for the Justice Department.’

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FBI Director Christopher Wray, also said ‘we have seen the threat from foreign terrorists rise to a whole other level’ after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack.

‘We have seen a rouges’ gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies,’ Wray said.

‘Just in the time I have been FBI director we have disrupted multiple terror attacks around U.S. cities.’

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‘I would be hard-pressed to think of a time when so many different threats to our public safety and national security were so elevated all at the same time.’

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Wray said threats against Jewish Americans has been particularly acute.

‘We’ve seen an elevated threat to the Jewish community in the United States.’

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Though he said Jewish communities were targeted before the October 7 attack, since then the threats ‘went up dramatically.’

‘Religiously motivated hate crimes, close to 60 percent of them, are targeted at the Jewish community,’ Wray testified, noting how the community only makes up two percent of the U.S. population.

‘Increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, not unlike an attack we saw in the Russia theater,’ he added, referring to the Crocus City Hall concert shooting in March.

 

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