12-05-2019  10:25 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Man who 'freaked out’ on plane, forced landing pleads guilty

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Washington man who ingested methamphetamine before getting on a plane in Seattle and had what a prosecutor called a "freak out'' on board pleaded guilty Thursday to interfering with crew members after the California-bound flight was forced to land in Portland.The...

Owners of Thai restaurant chain get prison for tax fraud

SEATTLE (AP) — A couple that used software to hide more than jumi million in revenue at the Thai restaurant chain they owned have each been sentenced to several months in prison and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines.The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle said Thursday that Chadillada...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Kansas judge accused of bigotry, profanities in courthouse

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A foul-mouthed Kansas judge accused of bigotry and racism who cursed at courthouse employees so often that a trial clerk kept a “swear journal” documenting his obscene outbursts is facing complaints that his conduct violates the central judicial canons of...

Buttigieg backs black leaders after Indiana event disrupted

HENNIKER, N.H. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is applauding African American leaders in his home city for “speaking their truth” after a protester disrupted an event held to demonstrate black support for the mayor in South Bend, Indiana.African American...

Panel calls for Virginia to purge dozens of old racist laws

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The laws are still on the books in Virginia: Blacks and whites must sit in separate rail cars. They cannot use the same playgrounds, schools or mental hospitals. They can’t marry each other either.The measures have not been enforced for decades, but they remain in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Timberlake apologizes to wife for ‘strong lapse in judgment’

NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Timberlake has publicly apologized to his actress-wife Jessica Biel days after he was seen holding hands with the co-star of his upcoming movie.The pop star and actor wrote Wednesday on Instagram that he prefers to “stay away from gossip as much as I can, but...

Veteran producer of 'WarGames,' 'Blue Bloods," dies at 85

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leonard Goldberg, a network and studio executive and producer whose TV credits ranged from “Starsky and Hutch” in the 1970s to the current drama series “Blue Bloods” and whose independent movies included “WarGames” and...

'Once Upon a Time,' 'Portrait' top AP's 2019 best films list

Associated Press Film Writers Lindsey Bahr and Jake Coyle name their choices for the best films of 2019.LINDSEY BAHR1. “Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood": Quentin Tarantino’s movie business fairy tale, featuring all-time performances from two of our great living movie stars, and the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Micthell Trubisky helps Bears beat Cowboys 31-24

CHICAGO (AP) — Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears appear to be hitting their stride even if it might...

R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake...

Chase with stolen UPS truck ends with shootout, 4 dead

MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) — Four people, including a UPS driver, were killed Thursday after robbers stole the...

Mekong River’s new aquamarine color may be sign of trouble

BANGKOK (AP) — The Mekong River has recently acquired an aquamarine color that may beguile tourists but...

Libyan officials collect evidence of Russian fighters in war

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Officials in Libya’s U.N.-supported government say they plan to confront...

North Korea threatens to resume calling Trump ‘dotard’

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea threatened Thursday to resume insults of U.S. President Donald Trump...

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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