09-20-2019  10:18 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

New Treasurer Steps In At Multnomah Dems

Self-described ‘boring guy’ Dean Price steps in amid party tensions

Governor's Lawyer Declines Court Nod Amid Uproar

Misha Isaak has declined his appointment by Gov. Kate Brown to the Court of Appeals after the state's public records advocate accused him of unethical behavior

Resignation of Oregon Public Records Advocate Stirs Doubts

Ginger McCall says Brown's general counsel pressured her to secretly advocate for governor's office

NEWS BRIEFS

Mac Group Returns to GFO Sept. 25

User group to cover email, iCloud and more ...

Johnell Bell Named to National Small Business Leadership Council

Portland small business owner joins National Economic Development Association ...

Buffalo Soldier Dedication to Be Held at Fort Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 21

The installation will be the first African-American memorial in the city of Vancouver ...

Africa-America Institute Set to Honor Angola, New York Times Magazine, and Netflix Film During 35th Annual Awards Gala

New York City’s premiere Africa event takes place during the week of the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd session. ...

YouTube Originals Debuts Michelle Obama’s Reacher College Prep Course

‘A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College’ debuted last week ...

Portland students join global climate protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of students demanding action on the global climate crisis walked out of class in Portland, Oregon, part of global protests that stretched from Australia to South America.KOIN reports that students rallied Friday outside City Hall, making demands of Mayor Ted...

Prosecutors say key witness lied in motorcycle gang trial

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Prosecutors have asked a judge in Las Vegas to throw out the testimony of a key witness in a federal racketeering trial after they say he lied on the witness stand.The trial stems from a 2011 shootout that killed a rival Hells Angels leader in a northern Nevada...

South Carolina tries to keep success against Missouri going

The only player on the Missouri roster who knows what it's like to beat South Carolina is Kelly Bryant, and the quarterback transfer didn't even accomplish the feat with the Tigers.He did it two years ago while playing for Clemson.The Tigers, who welcome South Carolina to Faurot Field for their SEC...

SEC building some of the top defenses in college football

While defenses are still a work in progress around the Southeastern Conference, they still rank as some of the best in college football.Florida leads the nation with 16 sacks, including 10 in the opener against rival Miami. Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia combined to shut out overmatched opponents...

OPINION

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

Do Black Kids Deserve This Treatment in School?

Three White Pearland ISD employees are named in a federal lawsuit after humiliating a 13-year-old Black student by blackening his scalp with a Sharpie ...

Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trudeau's support holds after apology for wearing brownface

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that he let down his supporters — and all Canadians of color — by appearing years ago in brownface and blackface. Yet the scandal's fallout may be limited in a country without the harsh and still-divisive racial...

'Welcome back' - a reporter's fraught re-entry to Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The immigration officer lifted his stamp to put the visa into my passport and I heaved a sigh of relief. But then my passport was taken by a smiling woman who asked, "Have you been to Zimbabwe before?"Through questioning she determined that I had worked as a...

2 Muslim men from Texas say American Airlines profiled them

DALLAS (AP) — Two Muslim men from Texas say American Airlines profiled them and canceled their flight after crew members said they "didn't feel comfortable" flying with the pair.Abderraoof Alkhawaldeh and Issam Abdallah said they filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation...

ENTERTAINMENT

'House Hunters' host Suzanne Whang dies at 57

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Suzanne Whang, whose smooth, calm voice provided the narration for HGTV's "House Hunters" for years, has died. She was 57.Her Tuesday death was confirmed Friday by her longtime agent, Eddie Culbertson. Whang first gained fame as the on-screen host of the show, where...

Chris Sullivan of 'This is Us' takes risks on the red carpet

NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Sullivan may or may not win at this weekend's Emmy Awards, but it's a sure bet that when he strikes a pose on the red carpet, his unconventional attire will make a statement.At past events, Sullivan has donned a top hat and cane, brightly colored flowered pants and...

Former Charlie Rose makeup artist sues, alleging harassment

NEW YORK (AP) — The former chief makeup artist at Charlie Rose's interview show is suing him, saying the disgraced television journalist ran a "toxic work environment" for women.Gina Riggi said in her harassment lawsuit filed Thursday that she worked for 22 years for Rose and Bloomberg, the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hurricane Lorena skirts east coast of Mexico's Baja

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Lorena skirted along the east coast of Mexico's Baja California...

AP Source: Altered doping data could restart Russian scandal

The Russian anti-doping agency could face suspension again based on information indicating data from the Moscow...

History buff finds ships that sank in 1878 in Lake Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — A diver and maritime history buff has found two schooners that collided and sank into the...

US, El Salvador sign asylum deal, details to be worked out

NEW YORK (AP) — The United States on Friday signed an agreement that paves the way for the U.S. to send...

Cubans wait hours in gas lines as fuel crisis bites

HAVANA (AP) — A fuel shortage blamed on the Trump Administration has turned filling a tank in Cuba into an...

Climate change will grab globe's focus with summit, strikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Get ready to hear about global warming — or the "climate emergency " as the United...

McMenamins
Elise Labott CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The State Department has put a multimillion-dollar bounty on the heads of two Americans who the United States claims belong to an al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, CNN has learned.

Posters and matchbooks in Somali and English emblazoned with the names and pictures of Omar Shafik Hammami and Jehad Serwan Mostafa tout rewards up to $5 million each for information leading to their arrest or conviction. Both men are on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists List.

The rewards are being offered through the State Department's Rewards for Justice Program.

Hammami and Mostafa are members of Al-Shabaab, the al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, and "have made significant contributions to this terrorist organization's media and military activities," according to a State Department statement on the rewards, obtained by CNN. They are both are believed to be in Somalia and speak English, Arabic and Somali.

A senior FBI official said the United States has information that both men "had a persistent interest in targeting U.S. interests" and are "believed to be involved in planning attacks on U.S. persons or property." But it is unclear what specific attacks against Americans, even ones that have been thwarted, these men have taken part in. Officials said that information is classified.

Hammami, a 29-year-old Alabama native, moved to Somalia in 2006. The State Department claims he joined Al-Shabaab there and received training from Islamic militants, rising through the organization's ranks to command a contingent of foreign fighters. Officials say he was also a "propagandist" for the group, helping to recruit English-speaking youth through writings, rap songs and video statements.

An Alabama court indicted him in 2009 on charges of providing support to a terrorist group.

In July 2011, the Treasury Department placed him on a blacklist prohibiting Americans from doing business with individuals and groups threatening stability in Somalia.

Hammami has been engaged in a public rift with Al-Shabaab over the past year. Last March, he first expressed concern about his safety in an extraordinary Web video. He has since criticized the group's leaders for corruption and living extravagant lifestyles with money fighters collect from Somali residents, and for fighting only in Somalia while ignoring global jihad.

Hammami's family has said they fear for his life.

But the senior FBI official told CNN that Hammami's current status with the group is "immaterial" and that the reward is based on the actions he has already taken to threaten U.S. interests.

"We still believe he is an individual of great significance to the activities that are going on in Somalia with Al-Shabaab," the official said.

Mostafa is believed to be either 27 or 32. He was born in Wisconsin before moving California, where he attended college. He traveled to Somalia in 2005, where officials say he led foreign fighters for Al-Shabaab and served as a media expert and recruiter. He was indicted in California on charges of providing material support to Al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab was labeled a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in 2008. The group was responsible for the July 2010 suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, that killed more than 70 people, including a U.S. citizen, gathering to watch a World Cup final soccer match. Al-Shabaab is also believed to be responsible for numerous other attacks in Somalia that have killed international aid workers, journalists, civilian leaders and African Union peacekeepers.

In February 2012 the group's leader, Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed and al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a video announcing the alliance of the two organizations. The Rewards for Justice Program is already offering up to $7 million for information on seven other Al-Shabaab leaders.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved the rewards before leaving office. Officials said they hope the rewards will generate new leads from both Somalia and in Somali-American communities in the United States. In addition to the posters and matchbooks, U.S. officials will be talking with local media in Somalia to reach people that may have information about the men's whereabouts.

It is rare for the United States to offer a reward for an American citizen. The most notable previous reward offered for an American was $1 million for Adam Gadahn, who has served as senior operative and spokesman for the core al Qaeda organization.

Officials said that in addition to their leadership roles with a terrorist group, the men are of great interest because of their work trying to recruit other English-speaking youth.

"Anytime we have U.S. citizens who are trying to affiliate with groups to obtain experience and training and have the opportunity to bring back that lethal experience back to the United States, it's a concern," a State Department diplomatic security official said. "There is no question the cases against these two guys are based on their activities to date. However, we have a continuing interest in terrorist activates in Somalia right up to now. And these men serve as very powerful images for radicalization and recruitment."

The new bounties raise the question of what the United States will do with the men once they find them. The Obama administration drew fire from Congress and human rights groups for killing two Americans who belonged to the al Qaeda branch in Yemen. In September 2011, U.S. drone strikes killed Anwar al -Awlaki, a firebrand preacher from New Mexico who began running propaganda for al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula and rose to become a senior operative in the group, and Samir Khan from North Carolina, who created an English-language Internet magazine for the group

Both officials said the Rewards for Justice Program -- administered by the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security -- is not involved in drone programs and the intent of the reward is to obtain information that will lead to the men's apprehension and prosecution.

"The purpose of the program is to gather information to bring these guys back lawfully," the senior FBI official said. "We want to bring these people before a court."

The Rewards for Justice Program pays large sums of money for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of anyone who plans, commits or attempts international terrorist acts. Earlier this year, President Obama expanded the program to include payments for information about people involved in transnational organized crime or foreign nationals wanted by any international criminal tribunal for war crimes or genocide.

The program has a track record of gaining actionable intelligence. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid more than $125 million to more than 80 people who provided information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide. The program was central to the capture of Saddam Hussein's sons Odai and Qusai; Ramzi Yousef, convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and others.

Under the Rewards for Justice Program, a $25 million reward was offered for information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden.

 

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