09-26-2021  3:23 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Lawmakers Fail to Agree House Districts as Deadline Looms

Republicans failed to show up for a session to redraw the state's congressional districts Saturday, thwarting majority Democrats’ attempts to pass new political maps before a looming deadline

Oregon School Board Ban on Anti-Racist, LGBT Signs Draws Ire

An Oregon school board has banned educators from displaying Black Lives Matter and gay pride symbols, prompting a torrent of recriminations and threats to boycott the town and its businesses.

New, Long-Term Black Lives Matter Public Art Piece Installed at Seattle City Hall

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture today announced that a new, long-term Black Lives Matter public art piece has been installed at Seattle City Hall.

Black Man Fatally Shot Outside Bend Nightclub, Man Arrested

A Black man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon

NEWS BRIEFS

5th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway Events to Begin

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House Passes Historic Abortion Rights Legislation With Support of Reps. Bonamici, Defazio, Blumenauer and Schrader

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Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

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TriMet Plans Weekend Construction Along MAX Red Line to Help Keep Trains Running Efficiently

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Larsen Chairs Hearing on Surge in Air Rage Incidents, Effects on Workers, Airlines, Airports

The hearing was an opportunity for the subcommittee to examine the alarming increase in disruptive and unruly airline passengers, the...

Police: 3 killed in shooting outside bar near Seattle

DES MOINES, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say three people were killed and three others injured in a shooting early Sunday outside a bar in Des Moines, Washington. Police said shots were fired after a dispute between two people inside the La Familia Sports Pub and Lounge, just...

1 killed, WSU football player hurt in shooting near campus

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been arrested in connection with a shooting that killed one person and critically injured another near the Washington State University campus early Saturday morning. Police in Pullman, Washington, later identified the injured...

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Clemson falls during frenetic afternoon

For about 45 minutes late Saturday afternoon, college football was on overload. North Carolina State went from agony to ecstasy against No. 9 Clemson. Baylor stopped a 2-point conversion to upset No. 14 Iowa State. No. 16 Arkansas finished off No. 7 Texas A&M to claim a Lone...

BC beats Mizzou 41-34 in OT on Flowers catch, Sebastian INT

BOSTON (AP) — Denis Grosel threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers in overtime, and Brandon Sebastian’s interception sealed the victory on Saturday as Boston College recovered after blowing two fourth-quarter leads to beat Missouri 41-34. BC coach Jeff Hafley said he...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

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Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Nonprofit grants propel prosecutor push on racial injustice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When Deborah Gonzalez took office in January as the district attorney for the Western Judicial District of Georgia, she noticed that too few defendants, especially Black defendants, qualified for a program that promised treatment for addiction or mental health and not jail. ...

Govt offices in Kosovo targeted as tensions soar with Serbia

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — A public building in Kosovo was set on fire and another was hit by grenades that did not explode in what government officials described Saturday as criminal acts related to ethnic Serbs protesting a symbolic move on license plates. Serbian media quoted...

Biden risks losing support from Democrats amid DC gridlock

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden is losing support among critical groups in his political base as some of his core campaign promises falter, raising concerns among Democrats that the voters who put him in office may feel less enthusiastic about returning to the polls in next year's midterm...

ENTERTAINMENT

Harry and Meghan visit with students at a Harlem school

NEW YORK (AP) — Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, offered lots of hugs to kids at a Harlem public school Friday where she read her children's book to about two dozen students who sat cross-legged with her husband in the play yard. The hourlong visit to PS 123,...

'BMF' series explores climb of '80s drug kingpin 'Big Meech'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson remembered hearing stories about how two brothers emerged from rough inner-city Detroit streets to become wealthy drug kingpins and eventually embraced by hip-hop culture. Jackson heard Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory’s...

Elon Musk, singer Grimes 'semi-separated' after three years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk and singer Grimes have ended their romantic relationship after three years. The Tesla and SpaceX founder tells the New York Post's Page Six that he and the Canadian singer are “semi-separated.” But he says they remain on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

UK gas stations run dry as trucker shortage sparks hoarding

LONDON (AP) — Thousands of British gas stations ran dry Sunday, an industry group said, as motorists scrambled...

What's the price of Biden’s plan? Democrats drive for zero

WASHINGTON (AP) — What will it cost to enact President Joe Biden’s massive expansion of social programs? ...

Utah's Lowe killed in shooting less than a year after Jordan

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In Mexico, some Haitians find a helping hand

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So close! Iceland almost gets female-majority parliament

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland briefly celebrated electing a female-majority parliament Sunday, before a...

Israeli troops kill 5 Palestinians in West Bank gunbattles

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli troops conducted a series of arrest raids against suspected Hamas militants across the...

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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