Jewish group gets information on mass graves with appeal on radio station accused of anti-Semitism

(JTA) — A Jewish group’s appeal led hundreds of radio listeners to provide information about mass graves and burial sites of Jews to a Catholic radio station that has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism.

Some 300 calls have been received by the call center at Poland’s Radio Maryja with information about sites of mass executions of Jews, stolen tombstones and unknown hiding places of Jews during the Holocaust, according to the From the Depths group, which made the appeal for information last week and again Wednesday on Radio Maryja.

The hosting at Radio Maryja’s studios of Jonny Daniels, the London-born Israeli Jew who founded the From the Depths group in 2013, follows a controversy over a visit last year by the station’s director, Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, to the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw.

Rydzyk spoke there with Ambassador Anna Azari in a meeting that liberal watchdog groups said was inappropriate in light of accusations that Radio Maryja and Rydzyk personally promote anti-Semitic hate speech.

According to a U.S. State Department report from 2008, “Radio Maryja is one of Europe’s most blatantly anti-Semitic media venues.” A Council of Europe report stated that Radio Maryja has been “openly inciting to anti-Semitism for several years.”

In July 2007, Rydzyk was recorded making “a number of anti-Semitic slurs,” the report also stated. Rydzyk said Jews were pushing the Polish government to pay exorbitant private property restitution claims, and that Poland’s president was “in the pocket of the Jewish lobby,” according to the report.

Daniels disagrees with individuals and groups that believe this background should preclude cooperation by Jewish groups with Radio Maryja.

“More often than not this so-called Polish anti-Semitism is based on a lack of knowledge and openness,” Daniels said.

He was interviewed on Radio Maryja, which has millions of listeners, for the first at the end of 2016. Daniels’ group has received some 200 emails and phone calls with information on execution and burial sites, which the group attempts to preserve.

In a statement, Rydzyk claimed the airing of content that is deemed anti-Semitic by his radio station represents its commitment to free speech.

“After 50 years of communism, our radio is the only live radio in Poland where whoever wants can call and be put on air, every opinion is welcome. This creates an honesty and openness,” he said. “Sometimes there are controversial opinions, but we still let people talk.”


Trump’s Latest Appointee Was Accused of Sexually Assaulting Male Students — 5 TIMES
By Matt Agorist

Washington, D.C. — Earlier this year, President Donald Trump promised to seek out sexual predators and those who are participating in the “human trafficking epidemic” and bring them to task. However, his recent actions in the White House appear to be doing the exact opposite.

Last week, the Free Thought Project reported on Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta. As TFTP noted, former U.S. Representative, Cynthia McKinney, is none too pleased with this confirmation, tweeting shortly after the news,

“He (Acosta) let Jeffrey Epstein off pedophilia charges with a wristslap; now he’s Trump’s SecLabor….”

Epstein is a convicted child molester and sexually abused no less than 40 underage girls. Despite this fact, Acosta protected him while serving as a U.S. Attorney in Florida.

These are undisputed facts — yet Trump still appointed Acosta.

Acosta’s appointment should come as no surprise, given Trump’s outspoken praise for Epstein, including referring to the convicted pedophile as a “terrific guy,” he is “fun to be with,” and “he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

Giving Trump the benefit of the doubt with Acosta would be easier had he not made those comments. It would also be easier to overlook if he didn’t just appoint another alleged sexual predator to his cabinet.

According to ProPublica, a political appointee hired by the Trump administration for a significant State Department role was accused of multiple sexual assaults as a student several years ago at The Citadel military college.

Steven Munoz was hired by the Trump administration as assistant chief of visits, and has been accused of sexually assaulting male students — not once — but at least five times.

As ProPublica reports, at The Citadel, five male freshmen alleged that Munoz used his positions as an upperclassman, class president and head of the campus Republican Society to grope them. In one incident, a student reported waking up with Munoz on top of him, kissing him and grabbing his genitals. In another, on a trip to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., a student said that Munoz jumped on him in bed and he “felt jerking and bouncing on my back.”

“Munoz coerced, threatened, and convinced me to allow inappropriate touching, grabbing, and kissing by leading me to believe it was what I needed to do to gain acceptance in the corps of cadets,” one accuser said in their statement. “He threatened to call my upperclassmen who would be upset if I did not comply with him.”

Another victim described how Munoz “instructed me to sit on his bed during these meetings. … After a few meetings he began to rub my leg with his hand. He moved his hand under my shorts and the first time I pushed his hand off my leg he said he was just playing and that he did it with his other knobs so I shouldn’t mind. I had seen this in the past and when I asked my classmates about the interaction, they said when they resisted, he yelled at them for not trusting him and Mr. Munoz made them stay longer in his room.”

In another meeting, Munoz “put his other hand down my underwear until I again pushed him away, but he did not stop. He said as a new leader I had to learn to trust other leaders on the team and this was how I should show him I trusted him.” Munoz said “he read the Bible and knew what it said and I should not question his love of God. He continued to rub my leg and rub my private area. … He said this needed to stay between us and dismissed me.”

In spite of an investigation finding that these assaults “likely occurred,” a local prosecutor reviewed the case and declined to go after Munoz. Instead of charging Munoz with assault, he was let off with a warning only to be given several awards for “leadership, sound character, and service to others” upon graduating in 2011.

After he graduated, even more students came forward. These claims prompted an investigation by police. After the investigation by police in 2012, Munoz was banned from campus and all students were sent an email notifying them of this ban.

In spite of the Citadel investigation finding that  “certain assaults likely occurred,” Munoz was able to weasel his way back onto the campus. Later that year, ProPublica writes, the school partially rescinded the no-trespass order, “permitting general access to public facilities and events, but no direct cadet interactions.” Asked why, the school pointed to the prosecutor’s decision not to seek indictments.

Despite the very public allegations of sexual assault, in 2012, staunch Christian, and RINO, Rick Santorum found no problem hiring Munoz either.

BuzzFeed reported that Munoz “ran Santorum’s presidential campaign’s advance team,” and, more recently, that Munoz was paid for event planning for the Romney presidential campaign, on two occasions this summer.

So how does a five-time accused sexual predator find his way on to the Trump train? Well, the answer to that question is fairly simple.

As Vice News points out, the Trump administration is no stranger to allegations of assault. Aside from his “grab ’em by the pussy” comment, the president himself has been formerly accused of sexual assault in court. In the 1980s, Trump’s former pick for secretary of labor, Andrew Puzder, was accused of domestic abuse, and Steve Bannon was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery in 2001, although the case was later dropped.

As the Free Thought Project reported last month, during Trump’s presidential run last year, Judge Tim Nolan of California, Kentucky, was serving as the chair of his campaign. In April, Nolan was arrested and charged with numerous felonies for the sex trafficking of children — all which took place while he worked on the Trump campaign.

Children and the vulnerable, take note: steer clear of the Trump swamp as you may be raped, abused, or otherwise sold into sex slavery by many of the people with which the president chooses to surround himself.

This article originally appeared on The Free Thought Project.

US files charges against teen accused of JCC bomb threats

The US Department of Justice said on Friday it had filed charges against an Israeli-American teenager accused of making over 200 bomb threats against mainly Jewish institutions in the United States.

The teen, whose identity remains under gag order in Israel, was arrested last month in the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon after a joint investigation by Israeli and US authorities, including the FBI.

On Thursday an Israeli court extended his remand until April 24.

The 18-year-old living in Israel left scores of messages graphically describing children’s deaths in calls to Jewish community centers and schools across the United States, using an online calling service to disguise his voice as a woman and hide his identity, according to the federal indictment filed Friday in Florida.

He was charged with 28 counts of making threatening calls and conveying false information to police, according to the indictment filed in federal court in Orlando.

Separately, he was charged with three more counts of making threatening calls, conveying false information and cyberstalking in an indictment filed in federal court in Athens, Georgia.

The calls to the Jewish community centers and schools stoked fears of rising anti-Semitism and led to campus evacuations.

Online federal court records in Florida showed no attorney listed for the suspect.

The Florida indictment said that he made 245 threatening calls, most of them to Jewish community centers and schools, from January to March, using an online calling service that disguised his voice and allowed him to hide his identity. He recorded each of the calls himself and kept them in organized files at his home in Ashkelon, along with news articles describing the police responses to the threats, the indictment said.

He also paid for the online calls using the semi-anonymous currency Bitcoin. A large antenna at his apartment building allowed him to make long-distance, outdoor wireless connections, the indictment said.

The Florida indictment said recordings of the calls stripped of the software-enabled disguise revealed a speech impediment in the caller’s voice that matched his.

The Georgia indictment connects him to several incidents of “swatting” in which authorities are called to respond to an emergency that ends up being fake. The indictment alleges that in January the University of Georgia Police Department received a phone call about a home invasion that ended up being untrue.

The JCC Association of North America said in a statement that it welcomed the charges and that it was “enormously proud of the extraordinary commitment to safety and security” at the community centers.

“Today’s charges into these violent threats to Jewish Community Centers and others represent this Department’s commitment to fighting all forms of violent crime,” US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “These threats of violence instilled terror in Jewish and other communities across this country and our investigation into these acts as possible hate crimes continues.”

FBI Director James Comey added: “This kind of behavior is not a prank, and it isn’t harmless. It’s a federal crime. It scares innocent people, disrupts entire communities, and expends limited law enforcement resources. The FBI thanks our partners for working with us here at home and around the world.”

The suspect, said Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth E. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, “allegedly took extraordinary steps to conceal his identity and location through several technological means, including voice alteration, use of proxy IP addresses, virtual currencies and caller ID spoofing.”

A wave of bomb threats to American Jewish institutions since the start of the year helped spread fear amid an apparent increase in hate crimes and anti-Semitic acts in the United States. Some said that the rise of Donald Trump as US president encouraged the extreme right and emboldened hate groups.

Shira Nir, a lawyer of an American-Israeli teenager suspected of calling in fake bomb threats to Jewish community centers across the world, shows the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court what she says is an image of a cancerous growth in her client's brain, on March 30, 2017. (Flash90)

The arrest of a Jewish teenager over dozens of the threats complicated the debate, however.

He is also alleged to have made threatening phone calls over the past two to three years targeting schools and other public institutions in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, Israeli police say he is suspected of a bomb threat to Delta Airlines in February 2015 that led to an emergency landing.

His lawyer has said that he has a brain tumor and suffers from autism. His parents have also argued that he is unfit to stand trial, though they have apologized for his alleged actions.

During Thursday’s remand hearing, the teenager’s parents asked the court to replace their son’s attorney with a public defender, but the defendant insisted that his current lawyer, Shira Nir, remain on the case, Channel 10 reported. The court ruled that Nir should remain the suspect’s counsel.

“After I saw documents related to the suspect’s past, I decided to ask his parents to bring a private psychiatrist to the prison, in order to help clarify that he is not fit for detention,” Nir told Channel 10. She said the suspect’s father refused to pay for a private psychiatrist and subsequently asked the court to replace her with a public defender.

Former teacher accused of kidnapping ‘troubled’ teenager captured at a remote California cabin


During the nearly six weeks that Tad Cummins and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas were missing, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation received more than 1,500 tips.

Late Wednesday night, the tip they were desperately hoping for finally arrived.

It came from a caller who told investigators that the 50-year-old Cummins and the teenager he is accused of abducting might be living in a remote cabin near Cecilville, Calif., a onetime mining town about 100 miles from the Oregon border.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference Thursday afternoon, TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said investigators quickly coordinated with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, which was able to locate a silver Nissan Rogue belonging to Cummins and keep the vehicle under surveillance for several hours.

“The area where the pair was reported to be is a very remote, isolated area with no or limited cellphone services,” DeVine said. “As daylight broke this morning, they were able to take Tad Cummins into custody and safely recover Elizabeth without incident.”

Authorities said Elizabeth was physically unharmed, but they declined to comment on her emotional well-being or where the pair has been since they vanished last month.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn said Elizabeth will be flown back to Tennessee in a TBI aircraft to be reunited with her family. At the same time, he noted, investigators from TBI, the FBI and the Maury County Sheriff’s Office are on their way to Northern California to continue their investigation.

NEW: Here’s the mug shot of Tad Cummins from California. He’s now facing state and federal charges.

Gwyn said Cummins — who is being held by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department without bond — faces charges that “could keep him behind bars for many years.”

“What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end,” he added. “We are extremely thankful the hard work of all partners in this search has paid off. We’re also grateful for the public’s support and vigilance throughout this search effort.”

Once Cummins is extradited to Tennessee, he will be charged with sexual contact with a minor and aggravated kidnapping, authorities said.

Acting U.S. attorney Jack Smith said his office had also filed a federal charge of transportation of a minor across state lines for criminal sexual intercourse — a charge that carries a minimum 10 year sentence.

Anthony Thomas, Elizabeth’s father, told NBC affiliate WSMV-TV that he wasn’t surprised that they were in the northwest and said he’d heard the pair were in a commune.

“I’m very happy,” he said. “She’s probably going to be hungry.”

“We’re going to have to figure out what kind of state of mind she’s in, of course, and probably get her some help,” he said. “Maybe a long road, but at least we’ve got her back.”

Maury County Public Schools also issued statement Thursday, calling Elizabeth’s return “wonderful news for our community.”

“Thanks go to all who have kept the message of finding Elizabeth Thomas and working on her safe return as top-of-mind throughout the nation,” it said.

The teen and Cummins — a 50-year-old from Middle Tennessee — had been missing since March 13, when an Amber Alert was issued. Cummins was Elizabeth’s high school teacher at Culleoka Unit School.

“Investigative efforts have revealed a troubling pattern of behavior by Tad Cummins, suggesting the 50-year-old may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her,” the agency said in a statewide Amber Alert.

“Having now been on the run for more than five days, Cummins may have taken her, frankly, anywhere,” the agency said last month.

On March 13, video surveillance at a Columbia gas station showed Cummins filling up his silver Nissan Rogue. A short time later, investigators say, he drove to a Shoney’s restaurant, where Elizabeth had been dropped off by a friend and was waiting. Investigators said they think he manipulated her into leaving with him, but he wasn’t authorized to take a minor, and she wasn’t old enough to consent. That afternoon, investigators say, they determined Elizabeth was 80 miles away in Decatur, Ala.


Then, nothing. After their disappearance, investigators said they had received hundreds of tips from 24 states, but not enough information to tighten the dragnet despite a multi-state manhunt and Cummins’s addition to Tennessee’s most-wanted list.

In a news release, the TBI said Cummins might be keeping Elizabeth out of sight of authorities, possibly sleeping in his car or in a rural community.

Last month, the agency released new images of Cummins in an effort to keep the case in the spotlight. The pictures were from a week before Cummins and Elizabeth disappeared, and they showed him wearing a camouflage cap and pushing a shopping cart at a store.

Accused San Bernardino Shooter’s Facebook Fawning Disguised Homicidal Rage


At the start, the photographs, the Facebook postings, the video — it all looked so, so right. Godly even. At least that’s the way Cedric Anderson depicted it.

Anderson wrote as if he and his vibrant, striking bride — school teacher Karen Smith — had been destined for each other. The evidence appeared in his frequent Facebook postings: a gentle wedding kiss, the video of the newly married couple cooing at the camera over a sumptuous dinner, then more baby talk and snuggling during their honeymoon in Sedona, Arizona. He called himself “blessed.”

But all that would resonate with painful incongruity after Monday’s horrific shooting at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, California — with 53-year-old Smith and one of her 8-year-old students killed, her husband of less than three months dead of an apparent self-inflicted gun shot and another student, 9, in stable condition, according to authorities.

Before Monday’s deadly outburst, most of what appeared in Anderson’s Facebook-curated world seemed just right, belying what police described as the couple’s estrangement.

They had been together for several years, but Smith grew terrified of Anderson, her family said. She never filed a police report, but went into hiding, keeping the details of their marital troubles under wraps.

“She didn’t deserve to die like this, she didn’t. She deserved better,” son Adam Smith told NBC Los Angeles.

“Personally, she was my rock, my best friend and my world,” added daughter Jennifer Smith.

Related: Student, Teacher Dead in ‘Murder-Suicide’ at Elementary School

Anderson seemed to share a similar view. Three weeks after their Jan. 28 wedding, the smitten husband described a nearly perfect two days. It began with a visit to Saddleback Church in Orange County, where Anderson, 53, routinely found inspiration in the form of evangelical pastor Rick Warren. In a jean jacket, brilliant orange dress and wide smile, the seemingly content Karen posed in front of a waterfall and the “Prayer Tree.”

In a video posted to his Facebook page, the newly minted husband rhapsodized about the time that followed: “Last night, cuddling, listening to the rain after watching my wife choice (girly movie.) This morning ‘BAM!’ Breakfast is served! I love this lady!”

A day earlier, he had typed out an even more effusive tribute: “My wife Karen is such a pure spirit,” wrote Anderson, who posted multiple videos of himself touring around a plant where he appeared to work. “She has no guile or pretense. She has no ill will toward anyone. (It amazes me!) … I praise God for such a wonderful Lady!”

Image: Karen Smith and Cedric Anderson
Karen Smith and Cedric Anderson via Facebook

There are no obvious signs in Anderson’s busy Facebook feed of a rift in the union during the two months that followed, before the shooting. At least not in Anderson’s mostly-gauzy social media prescribed world. He called his wife “sexy” and “an angel” and seemed to covet their time together, as in an early February post when — fresh off their Sedona honeymoon — he noted that even his wife’s work as a teacher provided a surprise bonus: “We have to visit the museums! And I just happen to love museums!”

But Anderson’s social media persona was not without hints, at least in a couple of videos, that the alleged shooter seemed to be drawn to violent imagery.

On March 12, he posted a more than two-minute New York Post video of a man making an unprovoked attack on an elderly woman — the attacker beginning his assault with a kick to the victim’s head. The story came with the headline: “Can you hear me now?” Anderson’s offered it without much explanation, just this: “Deranged? Yea!”

Feb. 20 brought an expression of Anderson’s apparently aggressive worldview. Titled “The sacrifices of a Father,” the alleged shooter wrote of how he had driven 500 miles in one day and eventually applied to 50 colleges, as his son sought a college football scholarship. He said that he “almost personally attacked 3 Coaches to get my son Jared a scholarship,” adding, “A father is like a lion. He will kill you for his Blood!” And this: “A real man must be willing to submit to his father!”

In more than one other Facebook missive, Anderson touted admonitions from a woman pastor who he appeared to follow closely. In a late February post, he strikes out against those who he suggests have stood in his path. The writing begins with the hashtag “Enemies” and hammers the unnamed individuals who “call around and block you, outright lie on you, build alliances against you, compete with you, out do you and more.”

The post goes on to quote the words of the favored minister, saying that “THIS is the year” that things will change, continuing: “(You can mark THESE here words and TAKE THEM TO THE BANK), BEFORE the year is out, your enemies will have retreated. WHY? Because your CONTINUED victories have left them bruised, battered, and scorned.”

Anderson’s darker writings — replete with anger, alienation and predictions of his ultimate triumph — seemed hard to square with the ones from the effusive newlywed, a man who had filled his Facebook page with sunny aphorisms. “It’s hard to beat a person who NEVER GIVES UP,” Anderson said, quoting Babe Ruth.

Just 41 days later, police say, Anderson walked into North Park Elementary School at about 10:30 a.m. and told the front office that he had to drop something off to his wife. He quickly opened fire in a classroom of 15 students. An 8-year-old boy standing behind the gunman’s wife was fatally shot, and a 9-year-old who was also wounded was rushed to a hospital.

His principal target, Karen Smith, the woman who he once said fulfilled all of his dreams, was dead. Anderson also lay dead on the ground. His .357 Magnum was found by his side.

St. Louis man accused of 8 bomb threats in plot against ex pleads not guilty to cyberstalking

NEW YORK (JTA) — A St. Louis man accused of making eight bomb threats against Jewish institutions, allegedly in a plot to take revenge on a former romantic partner, pleaded not guilty to cyberstalking.

Juan Thompson, 31, made his plea on Monday in a New York City federal court, BuzzFeed reported.

He is facing cyberstalking charges for threats against Jewish community centers and the Anti-Defamation League, which federal prosecutors say were copycat crimes during a wave of nearly 150 bomb threats to Jewish institutions since the beginning of the year.

Thompson, who has worked as a journalist, reportedly made some of the threats in the name of a former romantic partner he had been cyberstalking and some on his own in an attempt to portray himself as the victim of a frame-up.

He was arrested March 3 for the threats, which carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. Bail had been denied at the time of his arrest.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation complaint says Thompson threatened institutions including the ADL, JCCs in San Diego and New York City, schools in New York and Michigan, and a Jewish history museum in New York City.

Nearly three weeks later after Thompson’s arrest, an Israeli-American teen was arrested in Israel for allegedly making the bulk of the threats.

U.S. diplomat arrested, accused of conspiracy with Chinese intelligence agents

A longtime State Department employee was arrested Wednesday and charged with repeatedly lying about her contacts with Chinese businessmen who had plied her with thousands of dollars in cash and gifts to glean inside information about U.S. economic policy, U.S. officials said.

Candace Claiborne, 60, has training in Mandarin and a top secret clearance. She worked for the department for 18 years, rotating on assignments in China, Sudan, Libya, Morocco and most recently in Washington in the department’s office of Caucasus affairs.

The case offers a window into Beijing’s efforts to gain an advantage in its economic jockeying with the United States, and how business owners in China often double as agents for state intelligence.

While stationed in China in 2007, Claiborne began dealings with two Chinese businessmen, including a Shanghai importer — not identified in the documents — who federal authorities believe was gathering information for Chinese state security.

“Clairborne used her position and her access to sensitive diplomatic data for personal profit,” said a statement by Mary B. McCord, acting assistant attorney general for national security.

In 2011, the importer wired $2,500 to Claiborne’s U.S. account and a month later asked her for information about how the U.S. government was evaluating economic negotiations with Beijing, the affidavit says. She responded with publicly available information.

“What they are looking for is what they cannot find on the Internet,” the businessman responded, according to the affidavit.

Claiborne received about $3,000 cash for herself, authorities say. Most of the rest of the gifts went to a younger family member who was not identified. He wanted to study fashion in China but Claiborne could not afford it on her State Department salary, officials said.

The relative received plane tickets, dinners, an apartment and tuition at the Raffles Design Institute in Shanghai, the affidavit says. When he was charged with a serious crime in China in 2013, the two businessmen helped him leave the country, a sign of their influence, the government says.

Worried that she could get in trouble, Claiborne asked the younger relative to cut ties with the men, authorities said. “I really don’t want my neck or your neck in a noose regarding another party/person that has made this possible for you,” she wrote at one point, according to the affidavit.

In interviews with State Department and law enforcement officials, Claiborne repeatedly failed to report the contacts.

Two months ago, the FBI sent an undercover ethnic Chinese agent to her door pretending to seek assistance. He mentioned the names of the businessmen and identified himself as an agent of Chinese intelligence.

Claiborne didn’t deny her previous work, but refused to help him or accept his money, authorities say. She did not report the encounter.

Later, upon questioning by the FBI, Claiborne acknowledged that she eventually realized the two were trying to get information for the government. She said she also passed them information about a dissident who was living at the U.S. Embassy, but insisted that she always provided unclassified information.

Son of Minnesota man, 98, accused of Nazi war crimes, calls for release of evidence

(JTA) – The son of a Minnesota man, 98, accused by a police court of Nazi war crimes, has called for the evidence against his father to be released.

Andriy Karkoc, son of the Minnesota man first identified by the Associated Press as Michael Karkoc, called on Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, the two Democratic senators from Minnesota, to intervene in his father’s case “on legal and humanitarian grounds” and to investigate the source of the evidence against him, the AP reported Saturday. Andriy Karkoc reportedly says the evidence was fabricated by Russian intelligence.

The arrest warrant issued Wednesday by the regional court in Lublin is the first step toward requesting the extradition of Michael Karkoc, The Associated Press reported.

“My father was, is, and remains an innocent man,” his son said Saturday.

Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance–Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation said in a statement on its website that Michael Karkoc was one of the commanders of the SS Galicia Division, also known as the Ukrainian Self-Defense Legion, a unit that burned Polish villages and killed civilians during World War II. He is accused of playing a role in the murders of civilians in the villages of Chłaniow and Kolonia Władysławin in July 1944.

He did not mention his Nazi past when he entered the United States in 1949, which would have prevented him from entering the country, the AP reported.

Andriy Karkoc said his father served “honorably” with the Ukrainian Self Defense Legion, and that he cannot be judged by the actions of other people in the unit.

Michael Karkoc now lives in a nursing home in Minneapolis, according to The New York Times. Its report cited family members as saying that he is innocent of the charges, and that he has dementia and is not fit to stand trial.

In a Ukrainian-language memoir published in 1995, Michael Karkoc said he helped found the Ukrainian Self-Defense Legion in 1943 in collaboration with Nazi officers to fight on behalf of Germany and against the Soviet Union, The New York Times reported.

He must appear in court in Poland since the country does not recognize trial in absentia, according to the AP.

The Associated Press said that it stands by its reporting of Michael Karkoc.

Minnesota man accused of Nazi war crimes

A Polish prosecutor announced Monday the filing of a warrant to extradite a Minnesota man accused of committing war crimes for the Nazis during WWII.

Ninety-eight-year-old Michael Karkoc is accused of ordering the burning of a village full of women and children while serving as a Nazi Schutzstaffel — commonly referred to as the SS — commander during the war.

Prosecutor Robert Janicki said on Monday that there is evidence Karkoc was responsible for the death of 44 Poles in that and possibly other attacks during WWII, the Chicago Tribune reported.   

Though it is unclear when this particular village was ravaged, it was the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 that started WWII. Karkoc would have been 20 years old around that time.

He and his family maintain that Karkoc has done nothing wrong, and is unable to defend himself, the Associated Press reported.

In 2015, the German government reportedly halted its own investigation into the matter after determining Karkoc was unfit for trial.

Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Associated Press that an independent assessment of Karkoc should be conducted to determine whether he is well enough to stand trial.

“It’s high time that the Poles became more active seeking people who committed crimes in WWII on Polish soil,” Zuroff told the AP, adding Karkoc’s extradition and others would send “a very powerful message.”

According to a 2015 Wiesenthal Center report written by Zuroff, in the past 14 years there have been at least 102 convictions of Nazi war criminals, some 98 new indictments filed and more than 3,500 new investigations launched.

In 2013, the Jewish human rights organization called on the U.S. Department of Justice to launch an investigation into Karkoc, “who is suspected of being a Ukrainian SS commandant who concealed his wartime record in order to enter the U.S. after WWII.”

Poland recently published a database containing the names of some 200 concentration camp guards online, according to German news organization Deutsche Welle reported.

Some six million jews were killed during the Nazi party’s reign over Germany, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum  

Two gang members in U.S. illegally are accused of kidnapping 3 girls, killing 1 in a satanic ritual

Two MS-13 gang members from El Salvador, both in the United States illegally, held three teenage girls against their will and killed one of them in what was described as a satanic ritual, authorities in Houston said Friday.

Miguel Alvarez-Flores, 22, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18, have been arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping and murder — both first-degree felonies punishable by up to life in prison. Bond has been set at $300,000 for each, but immigration detainers will keep both behind bars.


The 15-year-old girl’s body was found Feb. 16 with gunshot wounds to the face and chest. Homicide detective Sgt. Chris Sturdivant said that the girl’s identity has not been officially determined but that investigators are confident they know who she is — a girl reported missing in January in nearby Jersey Village, Texas.

The captives were three “young, impressionable women” ranging in age from 14 to 16 who succumbed to the allure of gang life before being taken to an apartment and held there against their will, Sturdivant said. The 14-year-old girl told investigators that they were fed drugs and alcohol and forced to have sex.

The girl said the 15-year-old was killed in a satanic ritual because she had struck the gang’s shrine to a satanic saint, according to investigators. She told investigators that Alvarez-Flores made a peace offering to the figure in the form of a cigarette.

“He returned from the statue and told the entire group that the beast did not want a material offering but wanted a soul,” state District Judge Maria Jackson said during the men’s initial court appearance Wednesday.

The 14-year-old said she later awoke to find the 15-year-old gone, according to investigators. The case comes as President Trump is promoting concerns over criminal immigrants living in the United States illegally.

He has announced that he plans to create an agency, called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, or VOICE, to serve victims of crimes committed by such immigrants. It would be part of the Department of Homeland Security.

“The majority of the MS-13 members we come into contact with are here illegally,” Sturdivant said. Attorneys for Alvarez-Flores and Hernandez-Rivera did not immediately return calls Friday night.

Sturdivant said both men admitted their involvement in the abductions and killing after their arrests Monday. An FBI multi-jurisdictional anti-gang task force continues to investigate, and Sturdivant said authorities are seeking other gang members who were possibly involved in the crimes.

MS-13, also called Mara Salvatrucha, is believed to have been founded in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s by immigrants fleeing civil war in El Salvador. It is now a major international criminal enterprise.

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