11-28-2020  2:59 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

Of the 33,035 vehicle stops Portland police made in 2019, 18% were for Black drivers and 65% were for white drivers. White people make up 75.1% of the population, while Black people make up 5.8%

Many Turn to Real Christmas Trees as Bright Spot Amid Virus

Oregon wholesale tree farmers and small cut-your-own lots are reporting strong demand and seeing more people earlier than ever

Black Drivers Stopped a Disproportionate Rate in Portland

The police bureau uses a complicated methodology in reporting data

Sharon Gary-Smith Elected New President of NAACP-Portland

New leadership team seeks to set different tone. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Extended Benefits Reduced Based on Oregon’s Falling Unemployment Rate

Benefits will be reduced from up to 20 weeks of benefits to up to 13 weeks, beginning Dec. 13, 2020 ...

Judge Rejects Challenge to Oregon's 2-week Virus Rules

Groups representing Oregon foodservice and lodging businesses had asked the judge to modify the governor’s order ...

D’artagnan Bernard Caliman Named Meyer Memorial Trust’s New Director of Justice Oregon for Black Lives

Raised in NE Portland's Historic Albina, Caliman is currently the executive director at Building Changes in Seattle ...

Oregon Safeway and Albertsons Shoppers Register Support for Schools and Hunger

$450,000 in emergency grant funding is supporting 159 local schools ...

Oregon Employment Department Begins Issuing 'Waiting Week' Benefits

246,300 Oregonians to receive a combined total of $176 million in benefits in the initial payment run ...

Plan released to reduce massive wildfires in US West

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. officials on Friday released an overarching plan for removing or changing vegetation over a huge swath of the U.S. West to stop devastating wildfires on land used for cattle ranching, recreation and habitat for imperiled sage grouse.The plan released by the U.S....

Delays in data reporting distort Oregon COVID numbers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Health officials in Oregon said daily coronavirus reports for Friday and Saturday will be distorted because of a delay in reporting data.KOIN reports that Friday’s total of 826 confirmed/presumptive cases of the coronavirus is relatively low because several of...

No. 3 Ohio State cancels game at Illinois after virus spike

No. 3 Ohio State’s game at Illinois on Saturday has been canceled because the Buckeyes have had a spike of COVID-19 cases this week, leaving the the Big Ten's best team precariously close to being ineligible to play for the conference title.The cancelation Friday night came about seven hours...

Woman soccer player will dress, poised to play for Vandy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Women’s soccer player Sarah Fuller will don a football uniform Saturday for Vanderbilt and is poised to become the first woman to play in a Power 5 game when the Commodores visit Missouri. “Let's make history,” senior Sarah Fuller wrote Friday on...

OPINION

Thanksgiving 2020: Grateful for New Hope and New Direction in Our Nation

This hasn’t been a normal year, and it isn’t going to be a normal Thanksgiving. ...

No Time to Rest

After four years under a Trump administration, we see there is a lot of work to be done. ...

Could America Learn a COVID-19 Lesson from Rwanda?

As of October 28, in a country of just over twelve million people, they have experienced only 35 deaths from the coronavirus ...

Trump’s Game

Trump’s strategy is clear: maintain control of the Republican Party as the Trump Party, install “acting” officials who will not cooperate with the Biden transition team ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

US women beat Netherlands 2-0 in World Cup rematch

BREDA, Netherlands (AP) — Rose Lavelle scored against the Netherlands again, Kristie Mewis scored in her first appearance for the United States in six years and the U.S. women won a rematch of last year's World Cup final by the same score, 2-0, on Friday.The older sister of starter Sam Mewis...

Rabbi attacked at knifepoint by woman assailant in Vienna

BERLIN (AP) — A rabbi was attacked at knifepoint in Vienna by a woman who ripped the Jewish skullcap from his head and yelled an anti-Semitic threat before fleeing, police in the Austrian capital said Friday.The incident occurred Thursday afternoon when the woman, described as about 50 years...

Books by bike: Sri Lankan man runs mobile library for kids

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — During his leisure time, Mahinda Dasanayaka packs his motorbike with books and rides his mobile library — across mostly muddy roads running through tea-growing mountain areas — to underprivileged children in backward rural parts of Sri Lanka.Having...

ENTERTAINMENT

The pandemic is changing Hollywood, maybe forever

NEW YORK (AP) — “No New ‘Movies’ Till Influenza Ends” blared a New York Times headline on Oct. 10, 1918, while the deadly second wave of the Spanish Flu was unfolding.A century later, during another pandemic, movies — quotes no longer necessary — are...

Issa Rae urges participation in Small Business Saturday

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With many small businesses struggling to hold on during the coronavirus pandemic, Issa Rae believes now is the time to support independent stores more than ever. The creator and star of HBO series “Insecure” strongly encourages people to shop locally as part...

A new doc peeks inside the USPS’s Operation Santa program

Filmmaker Dana Nachman wanted to make a documentary about the United States Postal Service’s Operation Santa program for years, but it never seemed like the right time. Then in 2018 she got up some courage and decided to cold email the USPS press office. They responded immediately and agreed...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pandemic pushes Peru's vital peasant farmers to the brink

PISAC, Peru (AP) — Under a punishing Andean sun, Nazario Quispe digs his plow into the soil where he is...

For Big Tech, Biden brings a new era but no ease in scrutiny

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama-Biden administration was a charmed era for America's tech companies — a...

Family of jailed oil exec asks for Venezuelan leader's mercy

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The family of a Houston-based Citgo oil executive convicted and ordered to prison...

The Latest: Merkel says virus measures 'will be worth it'

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel is appealing anew to Germans to adhere to coronavirus restrictions as the...

British bike maker pedals on, with Brexit deal up in the air

LONDON (AP) — The team at Brompton Bicycle Ltd. thought they were prepared for Brexit.Bosses at the British...

Students in Burkina Faso fear extremists more than COVID-19

DORI, Burkina Faso (AP) — Balkissa Barro’s been waiting for months to go back to school, but now...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister CNN

(CNN) -- A veteran al Qaeda operative indicted in connection with the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa is alive and well in Libya, according to Western intelligence sources.

Abu Anas al Libi, 48, has been seen in the capital, Tripoli, the sources say, and there is concern that he may have been tasked with establishing an al Qaeda network in Libya. It's unclear whether Libya's government is aware of his presence, or whether it has been approached by Western governments seeking al Libi's arrest.



One Libyan official told CNN he didn't know whether al Libi was back in Tripoli but was aware that he had been in Afghanistan.

Counterterrorism analysts tell CNN that al Libi may not have been apprehended because of the delicate security situation in much of Libya, where former jihadists -- especially those who once belonged to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group -- hold considerable sway. He is wanted in the United States, but there is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and Libya.

Alternatively, al Libi may have dropped off the radar screen, as have several jihadist leaders in Libya -- some of whom have previously been associated with al Qaeda.

Just when al Libi returned home is unclear. According to one intelligence source, he appears to have arrived in Tripoli in the spring of last year, amid Libya's civil war. According to this source, a Western intelligence agency had placed al Libi under surveillance and had taken photographs of him. But back in December 2010, before the outbreak of unrest, Libyan authorities told the United Nations al Qaeda Sanctions Committee that al Libi had returned, even providing a Tripoli street address for him.

Whether he is still active in jihadist circles is unclear.

In August, a report prepared by the U.S. Federal Research Division for the Library of Congress said that while al Libi's whereabouts were unknown, he was "most likely involved in al Qaeda strategic planning and coordination between AQSL (al Qaeda Senior Leadership) and Libyan Islamist militants who adhere to al Qaeda's ideology."

Whatever his current activities, al Libi's return to Libya is likely to heighten concern about the growing role of jihadist groups there after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. CNN has been told of no evidence linking al Libi to the attack.

In the 1990s, al Libi was regarded as one of al Qaeda's most capable operatives -- an expert in surveillance and computers. His role within the organization came to light through testimony from a fellow al Qaeda operative who described al Libi's visit to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in 1993. He is alleged to have conducted surveillance of possible Western targets, including the U.S. Embassy.

Five years later, on August 7, 1998, al Qaeda attacked the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, killing more than 200 people. In 2001, al Libi was indicted in U.S. federal court for his alleged role in the attacks. U.S. authorities offered $5 million for information leading to his apprehension or conviction. But by then, he was on the run.

Al Libi's real name is Nazih Abd al Hamid al Ruqhay. He joined al Qaeda soon after its founding, when the group was building a presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Much of what is publicly known about his role in al Qaeda during the 1990s comes from the testimony of L'houssaine Kherchtou, a Moroccan al Qaeda operative who knew al Libi.

Kherchtou told a federal court in 2001 that al Libi had impressed other al Qaeda operatives with his mastery of computers. And when Osama bin Laden relocated to Khartoum in Sudan in 1992, al Libi followed. It was at about this time that bin Laden began to think of attacking U.S. targets, because of the deployment of U.S. peacemakers to Somalia.

After his surveillance trip to Nairobi, al Libi left al Qaeda because the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was pressuring the Sudanese government to expel about 20 Libyans involved with the group and based in Khartoum. But he joined the jihadist Libyan Islamic Fighters Group before moving to Qatar and then Britain.

He settled in Manchester before a police raid on his home in 2000.

That raid was in response to intelligence suggesting that al Libi might have links to international terrorism, according to sources familiar with the investigation. It uncovered a document that became known as the "Manchester Manual" -- hundreds of pages of guidance on carrying out a terrorist campaign. One of the things the document advocated was "attacking, blasting, and destroying" embassies.

But by the time police launched the raid, al Libi had slipped out of the country, according to intelligence sources.

After leaving Britain, al Libi is thought to have spent some time in Afghanistan, and to have reconnected with al Qaeda, before fleeing to Iran after the fall of the Taliban. Western intelligence sources say they believed he remained in Iran for almost a decade before returning to Libya.

Al Libi is not the only al Qaeda operative back in Libya, nor even the only the one who lived in Manchester in the late 1990s.

As CNN has previously reported, in the spring of 2011, onetime Manchester resident Abdulbasit Azuz was dispatched from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region by al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri to establish a foothold for al Qaeda in Libya. Azuz based himself in Derna in eastern Libya, where he began to recruit fighters, according to counterterrorism sources. In June, a senior Libyan official told CNN that Azuz was one of five radical Islamist militant commanders who were operating in the Derna area, with 200 to 300 men under their command in camps in the area.

Some of those camps have since been abandoned, in part because of growing resentment among local people and in part out of fear that they might be targeted by the United States. CNN reported in June that U.S. surveillance drones had been flying over the region, citing Libyan sources.

The Obama administration has thus far downplayed suggestions that al Qaeda "central" had any role in planning or ordering the Benghazi attack. But U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested Wednesday that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was using its greater freedom of movement in Mali to extend its influence throughout North Africa.

Speaking at the United Nations, she said that "with a larger safe haven and increased freedom to maneuver, terrorists are seeking to extend their reach and their networks in multiple directions."

"And they are working with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions under way in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi," she added.

Some analysts say it is too early to discount the possibility that the al Qaeda leadership had some advance knowledge of the attack, pointing to a video released the day before the attack in which al Qaeda leader al Zawahiri called on Libyans to attack Americans.

The possible significance of al Zawahiri's message was highlighted in a letter Wednesday from four Republican U.S. senators to Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Criticizing her assertion that the attack was spontaneous rather than planned, Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said there was "a significant network of al Qaeda affiliated groups and other terrorists in eastern Libya."

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh contributed to this report.

 

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