It’s paramedic refresher time, which means I’m stuck up in Los Angeles all weekend. Back next week.—BK
Schemes to carry out a Presidents Day jihadist attack on a train station in Kansas City. Bomb a Sept. 11 memorial event. Blow up a 1,000-pound bomb at Fort Riley. Detonate a weapon of mass destruction at a Wichita airport — the failed plans all show imagination.
But how much of it was real?
Often not much, according to a review of several recent terrorism cases investigated by the FBI in Kansas and Missouri. The most sensational plots invoking the name of the Islamic State or al-Qaida here were largely the invention of FBI agents carrying out elaborate sting operations on individuals identified through social media as being potentially dangerous.
In fact, in terrorism investigations in Wichita, at Fort Riley and last week in Kansas City, the alleged terrorists reportedly were unknowingly following the directions of undercover FBI agents who supplied fake bombs and came up with key elements of the plans.
“What I get concerned about is where the plot is being hatched by the FBI,” said Michael German, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and former FBI agent. “There has been a clear effort to manufacture plots.”
Law enforcement has increasingly used undercover agents and informants to develop such cases in recent years, especially against people suspected of being inspired by the Islamic State.
Of 126 Islamic State-related cases prosecuted by federal authorities across the country since 2014, nearly two-thirds involved undercover agents or informants, according to the Center on National Security at the Fordham University School of Law in New York. The FBI has stepped up its use of sting operations, which were once seen as a tactic of last resort.
Johnson said it’s harder to find the real threat in sting cases, such as Hester’s, where a person spouting off on social media, with no resources or ability to carry out an attack, is led by undercover FBI agents down a path to acting out a pretend terrorist plot.
“He was sort of pretending to be somebody and playing the role,” Shorstein said. “He’s not a threat to anybody. It’s not a terrorism case — it’s a mental health case.”
This guy is full of shit. https://t.co/QjCxWeLQD4
— BK (@BKactual) March 6, 2017
No kidding. https://t.co/gO3Vu52YUf
— BK (@BKactual) March 9, 2017
The “Naked Warrior” Navy SEAL figure in Coronado will soon get another brother as Virginia Beach, Virginia, has approved the installation of a mirroring statue along its boardwalk.
The Virginia Beach city council this week approved the project by the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum. The same Fort Pierce, Florida-based museum donated the statue that was installed at Coronado’s Glorietta Bay Park in November.
It will also carry 292 stars to honor SEALs and sailors from precursor units who were killed in action. There will be eight paw prints to commemorate SEAL military dogs killed in action, as well.
Perhaps the most unique part of the Virginia Beach installation will be the sand displayed around the statue.
It comes from 100 different places around the world where SEALs or their forefather units, called Underwater Demolition Teams, have fought: Tarawa, Normandy, Vietnam.
“People are scouring beaches from the ends of the earth and sending it to me,” said Rick Woolard, the retired Navy SEAL captain and Virginia Beach resident who is spearheading the drive. He is also a board member of the Florida museum.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WTKR) -– Recently released video shows a Navy sailor caught on camera, trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife.
“Like I said, I don’t know what else to do,” 38-year-old Chadwick Ghesquiere can be seen saying in the undercover video. “I tried the legal way dude, you know it.”
Court records say Ghesquiere tried to have his wife killed, because “he didn’t want to deal with her or pay child support.”
“Next time I talk, she’ll be dead, problem solved,” the hit man can be heard saying off-camera. Ghesquiere would later come to learn that hit man was actually an undercover federal agent.
Ghesquiere was arrested at NAS Oceana on August 18, 2016, according to court records. Testimony given in court by federal agents say they brought Ghesquiere in for questioning on a ruse that his wife had been killed, and that the sailor pretended to cry over the death of his wife.
“Chad, I lied to you about what I do for a living,” the undercover agent says. “I’m really a federal agent.”
An undocumented immigrant charged in the death of a California mother of two has been deported to Mexico five times since 1998.
Estuardo Alvarado, 45, is facing five felony charges including murder, vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated in connection with a Feb. 19 car crash that claimed the life of Sandra Dunn, CBS News reported.
The 42-year-old woman, engaged to be married, was on her way home from church when Alvarado allegedly plowed into the side of her car while fleeing the scene of another crash in North Hills.
Federal authorities said the driver is in the country illegally and has been deported repeatedly, most recently in 2011.
Alvarado has been charged with more than 20 felonies since 1990, including being a felon in possession of a weapon, possession of marijuana for sale and the sale or transport of a controlled substance, according to court records cited by the Southern California News Group.
The FBI raided the Maryland home of a Washington Post tech employee last month and arrested him after he was accused of impersonating a federal customs agent.
Itai Ozderman, 35, was released on bond last month after the raid, according to news channel ABC 7 in D.C.d
Ozderman, originally from Israel, was working at the Washington Post at the time in the IT division, the news channel said.
He allegedly impersonated an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Virginia multiple times, according to court documents obtained by ABC 7.
Sources told ABC 7 he pretended to be an ICE agent numerous times in Falls Church, Va., several times.
He liked to “patrol” with an ICE badge while wearing a bullet proof vest, sources told the network.
He also carried a Baltimore County police badge, the sources told ABC.
The Air Force fears that words like boy, girl, colonial, and blacklist might offend people, according to an email sent to airmen at Joint Base San Antonio…
…The email included an attachment that listed a number of words and phrases that might be construed as offensive.
Now, to be fair there were some legitimately offensive and racially charged words and phrases on the list. But also included on the list were the words boy and girl.
The email was written by a senior Air Force leader and was sent to an untold number of personnel at Lackland Air Force Base.
Airmen were advised to study a list of words and phrases that “may be construed offensive.”
Here’s a partial list of some of the dubious words and phrases deemed troublesome by the Air Force:
3. You people
8. Sounds Greek to me
9. Blondes have more fun
10. Too many chiefs, not enough Indians
“Please be cognizant that such conduct is 100 percent zero tolerance in or outside of the work climate,” the email read. “Let’s capitalize on our richly diverse climate, and help others seek assistance if they are struggling with compliance.”
The Pentagon is sending about 400 Marines to Syria to help local fighters wrest control of Raqqa, which ISIS considers its capital.
The Pentagon says the new troops will fire artillery rounds at ISIS fighters in support of the local forces, as well as provide security for the Marine artillerymen, as NPR’s Phil Ewing reports.
These 400 troops will bring the number of U.S. forces on the ground in Syria to about 900, Phil says.
“The military is trying to copy as much as it can from the playbook it’s using in Iraq, where American troops aren’t supposed to be in direct combat, but instead help local forces with indirect fire, airstrikes, training and weapons,” he adds.
The aggressive new strategy marks a shift for the Pentagon, which has “mostly shied away from using conventional forces in Syria,” as The Washington Post reports.
— The Onion (@TheOnion) March 12, 2017
A 30-year-old woman allegedly chopped off her husband’s penis after the man refused to have a physical relationship with her for 10 years of their marriage. The couple hails from Bulandshahr and has been living in Ghaziabad for the past eight years.
Police said the couple has no children and they fought often over the issue. The incident took place at 9.30am on Thursday.
“She told the police that her husband mentally tortured her by not having a physical relationship with her and avoided having children with her. Frustrated by his behaviour, she picked up a kitchen knife and attacked him when he came out of the bathroom,” said Anil Kumar Yadav, circle officer, Indirapuram…
…“He used boast about his manhood and told me that he can have children with other women but not me,” the woman told the police…
…“The patient’s penis had been cut off. We have performed the surgery. He is in a critical situation but we are hoping that he will survive. In such cases, the patient is able to reproduce after the surgery,” said Dr Saurabh Gupta, surgeon, Jaypee Hospital.
The Army is looking into allegations that some soldiers may be involved in an image-sharing message board where troops from all branches of the service are allegedly crowdsourcing naked pictures of female service members.
“Special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s specialized Computer Crime Investigative Unit are currently assessing information and photographs on a civilian website that appear to include U.S. Army personnel,” Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said in a statement to Army Times.
The special agents are working to “determine if a criminal offense has occurred,” Smith said.
First reported by Business Insider, the Army’s inquiry comes one day after news broke about AnonIB, a website where purported male service members request naked pictures of their female counterparts by name, rank and duty station. The Business Insider report also said the men allegedly were cyber-stalking and sharing nude photos of their female colleagues.
Federal lawmakers are investigating how a former Iraqi insurgent fighter was able to lie about his identity and still get through America’s ‘extreme’ vetting process.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to find out why the terror suspect’s pending arrest was allegedly spiked just over a week before the election. Trump had run on a tough-on-terror platform and had been critical of President Obama’s refugee policy.
“When [Joint Terrorism Task Force] and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Texas sought to prosecute this refugee, the local law enforcement and prosecutors allegedly ‘met resistance’ from officials within the National Security Division’s Counter Terrorism section in Washington DC,” Committee chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said in a March 6 letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“The ‘resistance’ allegedly occurred a few weeks before the 2016 election, and local authorities believed the lack of progress in this case was handled inadequately,” Johnson wrote.
This is a 6ft tall robot – via Viral Thread Credits: Boston Dynamics pic.twitter.com/fzYTzhNuIa
— Science (@scienmag) March 11, 2017
Two drug-crazed, stark naked brothers were arrested on a laundry list of charges after they punched a woman in the face when she opposed to their passionate make-out session outside an apartment complex in Indianapolis on Sunday, officials said.
Timothy Batz and his older brother, Noah, were completely nude when an assistant manager at the Lighthouse Landings apartments spotted them “passionately making out” near a dumpster, according to WISH-TV.
The manager alerted police and urged residents to avoid the incestuous siblings. But an unassuming woman nonetheless came too close to the strange scene, and subsequently took several punches to the face, resulting in a large knot on her forehead, cops said.
Police eventually arrived and cuffed the unhinged brothers, who told arresting officers that they were high on psychedelic mushrooms and marijuana.