10-16-2021  2:57 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

Portland Shootings Prompt DA to Spend $1M to Handle Cases

Multnomah County plans to hire four prosecutors and two investigators to help with an increasing caseload of homicide investigations

Cascadia Whole Health Honors Community Justice Leader, Fine Artist with Culture of Caring Awards

Erika Preuitt and Jeremy Okai Davis recognized for positive contributions to community.

Salem-Keizer School Boards Adopts Anti-Racism Resolution

The Salem-Keizer school board has voted to adopt a resolution outlining the board’s commitment to equity and anti-racism.

NEWS BRIEFS

Joint Center Commends Senator Whitehouse for Hiring Monalisa Dugué as Chief of Staff

Dugué is one of two Black Chiefs of Staff in the Senate ...

FBI Offers up to $25,000 for Information in Mass Shooting Event

18-year-old Makayla Maree Harris killed and six others injured in a Portland shooting on July 17, 2021 ...

Nearly 100 Animals Seized From Woofin Palooza Forfeited to MCAS

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has ruled that dogs and cats seized from an unlicensed facility named Woofin Palooza are now...

City of Seattle Office and Sound Transit Finalize No-Cost Land Transfer for Affordable Housing Development

Rainier Valley Homeownership Initiative will create at least 100 for-sale homes, permanently affordable to low- and moderate-income...

Sierra Club Reacts to Rep. Schrader’s Comments on Climate Change

Schrader Calls Climate Change “biggest threat to Americans” after voting against key policy in committee ...

'Lawless city?' Worry after Portland police don't stop chaos

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown Portland, Oregon, this week – smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at least 0,000 in damage – but police officers didn't stop them. Portland Police Bureau officials say...

Legionnaires outbreak persists at Portland apartment complex

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials have confirmed that a North Portland apartment complex had a new case of Legionnaires’ disease in late September, the latest in an outbreak attributed to the waterborne illness since January. The Multnomah County Health Department said the...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

No. 21 Texas A&M tries to avoid 'Bama hangover at Mizzou

Jimbo Fisher opened his weekly news conference going through everything that Texas A&M did well the previous week, when the Aggies stunned then-No. 1 Alabama before a raucous crowd at Kyle Field. It was a long list. So it wasn't surprising that by the end...

OPINION

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

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

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

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. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South Carolina awards Staley 7-year, .4 million contract

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — It certainly was a big day for Dawn Staley. South Carolina's national championship coach thought it was just as important for women's basketball and gender equity. Staley and the school announced a new, seven-year contract that will pay her [scripts/homepage/home.php].9 million...

New Mexico judge denies lab workers' claim in vaccine fight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge on Friday denied a request by dozens of scientists and others at Los Alamos National Laboratory to block a vaccine mandate, meaning workers risk being fired if they don't comply with the lab's afternoon deadline. The case comes as...

New York's likely new mayor plans to preserve gifted program

NEW YORK (AP) — The Democrat who will likely become New York City's next mayor says he does not intend to get rid of the city's program for gifted and talented students, nipping plans that outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams...

ENTERTAINMENT

Film TV workers union says strike to start next week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union representing film and television crews says its 60,000 members will begin a nationwide strike on Monday if it does not reach a deal that satisfies demands for fair and safe working conditions. A strike would bring a halt to...

Gary Paulsen, celebrated children's author, dies at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Paulsen, the acclaimed and prolific children's author who often drew upon his rural affinities and wide-ranging adventures for tales that included “Hatchet,” “Brian's Winter” and “Dogsong,” has died at age 82. Random House Children's Books...

Todd Haynes: Finding the frequency of the Velvet Underground

The most often-repeated thing said about the Velvet Underground is Brian Eno’s quip that the band didn’t sell many records, but everyone who bought one started a band. You won’t hear that line in Todd Haynes’ documentary “The Velvet Underground,” nor will you see a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Jill Biden travels to Virginia, New Jersey to help Democrats

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — First lady Jill Biden campaigned Friday for Democrats in governors' races in Virginia and...

Authorities call fatal stabbing of UK lawmaker terrorist act

LEIGH-ON-SEA, England (AP) — A long-serving member of Parliament was stabbed to death Friday during a meeting...

US vows to pay relatives of Afghans killed in drone strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Defense Department said Friday that it is committed to offering condolence payments...

At least 46 killed in Taiwanese apartment building inferno

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (AP) — At least 46 people were killed and another 41 injured after a fire broke out early...

Lebanon buries 7 killed amid street battles over port probe

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon on Friday mourned seven people killed in gunbattles on the streets of Beirut the previous...

Moderate earthquake rocks Bali, killing at least 3

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — A moderately strong earthquake and an aftershock hit Indonesia’s resort island of...

Ben Brumfield CNN

(CNN) -- Jihadist social media postings helped lead to the arrest and charging of four Los Angeles area men who were allegedly on their way to Afghanistan to train with the Taliban and join al Qaeda, federal officials said.

They were also plotting to kill American soldiers and bomb government installations, according to a joint statement Monday by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.

One of the men, a U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, encouraged two of the others to embrace violent Islamic doctrine by introducing them online to radical teachings, including those of deceased U.S.-born al-Qaeda imam Anwar al-Awlaki.

The three exposed their connection to each other and their radical leanings explicitly on Facebook for over a year. And one of them detailed his intentions to participate in jihad in an online chat with an FBI employee.

Another man was recruited at a later point to join the other three in their training.

All four were charged Monday in a federal court in California, where three of them appeared for the first time. One of the men was already in Afghanistan, where he was apprehended, said U.S. attorney André Birotte Jr. and assistant director Bill Lewis from the FBI's Los Angeles field office in a joint statement.

Sohiel Omar Kabir, Ralph Deleon, Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales and Arifeen David Gojali face charges of supporting terrorists who conspired to kill, kidnap or harm U.S. officers and other U.S. citizens, as well as bomb public places and government facilities.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force in Riverside, California, arrested Deleon, 23, Santana, 21, and Gojali, 21, on Friday. Kabir, 34, is in custody in Afghanistan, according to the criminal complaint submitted to the U.S. District Court.

At a detention hearing Monday, Deleon and Santana were ordered held without bond pending another hearing on December 3. Gojali requested a delay in his detention hearing, according to the FBI, and it was rescheduled for next Monday. He will be held at least until that court appearance.

"If you notice their ethnicities, they're all from a variety of backgrounds," David Bowdich of the FBI told reporters Tuesday. "You have Philippino, Vietnamese, Mexican and Afghani.

"They all had one common cause," he added, referring to the alleged terrorism. Bowdich is the special agent in charge of the counterterrorism division at the FBI's Los Angeles office.

According to authorities, Kabir is a naturalized U.S. citizen, who was born in Afghanistan and lived in Pomona, California. Deleon is a permanent U.S. resident living in Ontario and was born in the Philippines. Santana, a resident of Upland, is a lawful permanent resident, born in Mexico, who has applied for U.S. citizenship. Gojali, 21, of Riverside, is a U.S. citizen.

The men face a maximum sentence of 15 years in a federal prison, if convicted.

Kabir entered the U.S. Air Force on July 20, 2000, and was honorably discharged on December 17, 2001, said spokesman Mike Dickerson of the U.S. Air Force Personnel Center.

He was an airman first class whose specialty was mobility technician -- a logistics post -- and he served at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, Dickerson said.

Kabir also spent six months in Germany before arriving in Afghanistan last July, where he was preparing for the others' arrival.

Deleon's attorney, Randolph Driggs of Orange, California, declined to comment Tuesday. The attorney for Santana also declined to comment Tuesday.

The 74-page complaint details evidence collected against the men from online chats with FBI employees, travel documents, extensive contact with an informant, recorded conversations and their active social media accounts.

Kabir, Santana and Deleon all posted radical jihad content to their Facebook page, the court documents allege. But Kabir's page in particular contained multiple links to and videos by al-Awlaki, videos depicting mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan, improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings.

"Deleon and Santana 'liked' postings on Kabir's Facebook page as early as May 2011," according to the court document.

Kabir led Santana and Deleon to convert and join the Taliban, eventually leading to membership in al-Qaeda, the criminal complaint alleges. Santana recruited Gojali, the fourth man, to join them for the trip abroad to train as terrorists.

Santana tipped off authorities about his militant inclinations when a customs officer at the border with Mexico questioned him about the jihad magazine "Inspire" he was carrying into the United States.

He allegedly engaged in chat conversations with an FBI "online covert employee" and confirmed his desire to join al Qaeda.

An unnamed "confidential source" working for the FBI won the trust of Santana and Deleon, according to the complaint, spent time with them and recorded many of their conversations.

"Santana and Deleon told a confidential source...that they planned to travel to Afghanistan to engage in "violent jihad," the FBI and U.S. Attorney statement said.

Their conversations with the confidential source revealed details of their "travel logistics, including flights, passports and visas." Kabir was to meet up with the three others and lead them to the Taliban, the court document said.

Santana and Deleon allegedly pre-trained on a firing range and at a paintball center and took the confidential source along with them.

Deleon told the confidential source he would quit school and withdraw his tuition money to help pay for the trip to Afghanistan, the criminal complaint said.

Santana told the confidential source said he would like to drive a truck bomb, if he could do it with a big truck. "Just drive it into like the baddest military base," he said, according to the document. "If I'm gonna do, I'm gonna do that. I'm gonna take out a whole base."

CNN's Irving Last, Jaqueline Hurtado, Michael Martinez, Kyung Lah and Sonya Hamasaki contributed to this report.

 

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