05-16-2022  8:38 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

No Sea Serpents, Mobsters but Tahoe Trash Divers Strike Gold

Scuba divers who spent a year cleaning up Lake Tahoe’s entire 72-mile shoreline have come away with what they hope will prove a valuable incentive

House Passes Bipartisan Update to Anti-Poverty Program Led by Bonamici, Thompson

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program has not been updated since 1998.

Portland Unrest Drives Interest in 2 Congressional Primaries

The problems have given Republicans a megaphone and raised the stakes for Democrats as a crowded field of candidates vies to advance to November in a historically blue state

Congressional Black Caucus PAC Endorses Loretta Smith in Oregon’s 6th District

If elected, Loretta will be the state’s first Black member of Congress.

NEWS BRIEFS

WA Childhood Immunization Rates Decline During Pandemic

Immunization rates have decreased by 13% in 2021 when compared to pre-pandemic level ...

Attorney General Rosenblum Warns Against Price Gouging of Baby Formula

This declaration will allow the Oregon Attorney General to take action against any business, or online vendor, who upsells the price...

WA High Court: Drivers Can Get DUIs for Driving While High

A decision that upholds the state’s decade-old law regulating marijuana use behind the wheel of a car. ...

Community Basketball Game and Discussion Events Work to Reduce Gun Violence

Basketball game features Black youth and police officers playing together ...

Oregon Community Foundation Reinvests Nearly Half a Million to Help Further Positive Impact of Black Student Success Initiative

Dozens of culturally led organizations foster and lift up Black youth, to promote educational equality and Black Student Success...

2 pleasure boats catch fire on Columbian River

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Two pleasure boats caught fire on the Columbia River between Vancouver and Caterpillar Island Sunday afternoon. One boat sank, according to the Vancouver Fire Department. The alarm was sounded at 2:39 p.m., the Columbian reported. Vancouver...

Student scuba diver dies during class at JBLM

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) — A scuba diver was found dead after he didn’t resurface during a class in American Lake on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The student diver, a veteran, was participating in a class for civilians, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s...

OPINION

Can Federal Lynching Law Help Heal America?

Despite decades of senseless delays, this new law pushes America to finally acknowledge that racism often correlates to a level of violence and terror woven into the very fabric of this country. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements: May Primary 2022

Primary election day is May 17, 2022. Read The Skanner's endorsements for this important election. ...

Men’s Voices Urgently Needed to Defend Reproductive Rights

For decades, men in increasing numbers have followed women’s lead in challenging gender-based violence and promoting gender equality, so why are we stuck when it comes to abortion? ...

Burying Black Cemeteries: Off the Record

It is a tragedy when we lose a loved one. That tragedy is compounded when are unable to visit their final resting place to honor and remember them. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Buffalo shooter's prior threat, hospital stay under scrutiny

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The white gunman accused of committing a racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket made threatening comments that brought police to his high school last spring, but he was never charged with a crime and had no further contact with law enforcement after his release from a...

EXPLAINER: White 'replacement theory' fuels racist attacks

NEW YORK (AP) — A racist ideology seeping from the internet's fringes into the mainstream is being investigated as a motivating factor in the supermarket shooting that killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York. Most of the victims were Black. Ideas from the “great replacement theory"...

Travis Scott, Morgan Wallen hit Billboard Music Awards stage

Travis Scott and Morgan Wallen made controversial returns on the Billboard Music Awards stage on Sunday, while Mary J. Blige was honored for her musical excellence. Wallen performed in his first major awards show after he was caught on camera more than a year ago using a racial slur....

ENTERTAINMENT

Actor Fred Ward, of 'Tremors,' 'The Right Stuff' fame, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Fred Ward, a veteran actor who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in such films as “The Right Stuff,” “The Player” and “Tremors,” has died. He was 79. Ward died Sunday, his publicist Ron Hofmann said Friday. No cause or place of death was...

Jesse Williams addresses leak of Broadway nude scene

NEW YORK (AP) — Jesse Williams vowed not to be discouraged after leaked video and images of his onstage nude scene in the Broadway play “Take Me Out” were posted online. “I’m not down about it. Our job is to go out there every night, no matter what,” Williams told The...

Back to normal? Cannes Film Festival prepares to party

After the 2020 Cannes Film Festival was canceled by the pandemic and the 2021 edition was scaled back — even kisses were forbade on the red carpet — the lavish French Riviera cinema soiree is set to return with a festival that promises to be something like normal. Or at least...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Convicted killer turned tech whiz confronts his sordid past

REHOVOT, Israel (AP) — When he was 20 years old, Harel Hershtik planned and executed a murder, shooting his...

McDonald's to sell its Russian business, try to keep workers

More than three decades after it became the first American fast food restaurant to open in the Soviet Union,...

Uyghur county in China has highest prison rate in the world

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly one in 25 people in a county in the Uyghur heartland of China has been sentenced to prison...

Burkina Faso fashion designers: More to nation than conflict

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Vibrant African clothes, both traditional and contemporary, enlivened the...

Johnson: UK will act on Northern Ireland rules if EU won't

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday renewed British threats to break a Brexit agreement with...

EU cuts forecast for economic growth as war's fallout widens

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has slashed its forecasts for economic growth in the 27-nation bloc amid the...

Tamara Lush the Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- A 25-year-old man from the former Yugoslavia was charged with plotting a radical Islamic attack on crowded locations around Tampa, including nightclubs and a sheriff's office, with a car bomb, assault rifle and other explosives, federal authorities said Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Sami Osmakac, a naturalized American citizen born in Kosovo, recorded an eight minute video shortly before his arrest explaining why he wanted to bring terror to his "victims' hearts" in the Tampa Bay area.

In the video, according to the federal complaint, Osmakac is seen cross-legged on the floor with a pistol in his hand and an AK-47 behind him. Osmakac said in the video that Muslim blood was more valuable than that of people who do not believe in Islam, according to the complaint. He said he wanted "payback" for wrong that was done to Muslims, the complaint said.

There is no indication that Osmakac planned to attack the Republican National Convention, which will be held in Tampa in August, federal authorities said.

Osmakac was arrested Saturday. His first appearance in federal court was scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.

Authorities say Osmakac, from Pinellas Park, Fla. - a small city west of Tampa - was charged with one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill thanked the local Muslim community for assistance in the investigation, without elaborating.

FBI agents arrested Osmakac on Saturday after he allegedly bought explosive devices and firearms from an undercover agent. The firearms and explosives were rendered inoperable by law enforcement.

Federal officials say a confidential source told them in September 2011 that Osmakac walked into the source's business looking for al-Qaida flags. The confidential source then hired Osmakac and was in constant contact with federal officials and audio or video taped their conversations.

Two months later, the federal complaint said, Osmakac and the confidential source discussed and identified potential targets in Tampa that Osmakac wanted to attack.

Osmakac allegedly asked the source for help getting firearms and explosives for the attacks, and the source put him in touch with an undercover FBI employee.

On Dec. 21, Osmakac met with the undercover agent and allegedly told the agent that he wanted to buy an AK-47-style machine gun, Uzi submachine guns, high capacity magazines, grenades and an explosive belt. During a later meeting, Osmakac gave the agent a $500 down payment for the items.

"According to the complaint, Osmakac also asked the undercover employee whether he/she could build bombs that could be placed in three different vehicles and detonated remotely, near where Osmakac would conduct a follow-up attack using the other weapons he requested," the press release said. "The undercover employee said he/she could possibly provide explosives for one vehicle. Osmakac also allegedly said that he wanted an explosive belt constructed to kill people."

On Jan. 1, Osmakac told the agent that he wanted to bomb nightclubs, the operations center of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and a business in Tampa, Florida.

Osmakac told the undercover FBI agent that he wanted to detonate a car bomb and use the explosive belt to "get in somewhere where there's a lot of people" and take hostages.

Osmakac told the agent that after he took hostages he wanted to demand something from the "kuffar" - an Arabic word that means infidels or disbelievers of Islam, federal authorities said.

According to the affidavit, he also stated, "Honestly, I would love to go for the Army people, but their bases are so locked up, I have to do something else."

Osmakac said he wanted to take down the bridges that link the city of Tampa to neighboring Pinellas County.

"This will crush the whole economy," he allegedly said to the agent. "This would crush everything man, they would have no more food coming in. They would, nobody would have work."

During that meeting, the agent told Osmakac he could always change his mind about his plot.

"According to the complaint, Osmakac immediately shook his head in the negative and stated, `We all have to die, so why not die the Islamic way?' " the press release stated.

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Tamara Lush can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush

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