North Korean Is Arrested in Killing of Kim Jong-un’s Half Brother

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A man from North Korea has been arrested in the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Malaysian police announced Saturday.

The man, identified as Ri Jong Chol, 46, was arrested Friday evening, the police said, but they provided no further details.

The police had been searching for four men, including at least one North Korean, who they believed had been involved in the attack on Mr. Kim on Monday at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Two women suspected of being involved in the attack, one from Indonesia and one from Vietnam, were arrested earlier in the week. A Malaysian man, described as the boyfriend of the Indonesian woman, was arrested and is said to be assisting the police in the investigation.

On Friday, North Korea broke its silence on Mr. Kim’s assassination, demanding that the Malaysian authorities surrender the body and vowing to reject any post-mortem they conducted.

The response to the assassination, in a statement by the North Korean ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, also accused the Malaysians of plotting to “besmirch” the North over the killing, heightening tensions between the two countries.

The statement was read to reporters outside a Kuala Lumpur hospital where the body of Mr. Kim, 46, has been held since he was attacked on Monday at the airport.

The police believe that the assassination was carried out by two women who struck Mr. Kim with a poisoned needle and wiped quick-acting poison on his face as he awaited a flight to Macau, where he lives with his family.

Indonesia’s national police chief, Tito Karnavian, said Friday that the Indonesian suspect, Siti Aishah, told the Malaysian police that she had thought she was engaged in a prank and had been paid a small amount for her participation. She told the police that she had not realized it was an assassination, he said.

South Korean officials have said they suspect that the assassination was ordered by Kim Jong-un, 33, as part of his effort to consolidate power in the reclusive country, run by his family for nearly seven decades.

Malaysian news media on Thursday quoted officials as saying that the North Korean government had requested the body.

The ambassador’s statement on Friday did not identify the body as that of Kim Jong-nam.

But the statement, quoted by news agencies at the scene, said that the “Malaysian side forced the post-mortem without our permission and witnessing” and that “we will categorically reject the result of the post-mortem conducted unilaterally excluding our attendance.”

Channel NewsAsia, in its account of the ambassador’s response, quoted him as saying, “We will respond strongly to the moves of the hostile forces towards us with their intent to besmirch the image of our republic by politicizing this incident.”

No relatives of Kim Jong-nam have come forward from Macau to claim the body. The South China Morning Post, quoting unidentified sources, reported on Friday that the relatives had been placed under police protection in Macau, fearing for their safety.

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Baylor strength coach arrested in prostitution sting

A member of the Baylor University coaching staff was arrested Saturday morning as part of a prostitution sting, according to a report from The Waco Tribune.

Brandon Washington, an assistant with the football program, was arrested at a local hotel on a solicitation of prostitution charge, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara told the Tribune.

Authorities identified Washington as strength coach at Baylor. The school later confirmed that Washington was part of the football program when the incident occurred, but was immediately terminated when the school learned of the arrest.

https://art19.com/shows/the-audible/episodes/ccf13cd8-34c4-45d0-bc82-f811223ca900/embed?theme=dark-blue

Washington came to Baylor shortly after new head coach Matt Rhule was hired. In 2016, Washington worked on the strength training staff at Temple University, where Rhule was head coach until he was hired away by Baylor in December.

“When we arrived at Baylor we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program,” Rhule said in a statement. “Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct that is contradictory to these values.”

The news is the latest stain on a Baylor program that has been trying to restore its image since the revelations of multiple sexual assault allegations during former head coach Art Briles’ tenure. Just three days ago, documents were released showing text messages purportedly sent by Briles that seemed to encourage assistants to keep some of those matters quiet.

Baylor coach Matt Rhule lands nearly 30 recruits amid scandal-scarred times

18 rabbis arrested during protest at Trump hotel

NEW YORK (JTA) — Eighteen rabbis were arrested at a protest of President Donald Trump’s refugee ban in front of the Trump International Hotel in New York City.

The rabbis, who had gathered as part of a conference hosted by T’ruah, the rabbis’ human rights group, were arrested for obstructing traffic in front of the hotel. After marching with a group of about 200 through Manhattan, they sat in front of the hotel and ignored repeated police warnings to disperse.

“Headed to 33rd precinct as one of 18 rabbis arrested tonight to send message that Jewish community stands with refugees & immigrants & refuses to let US close its borders again. #neveragain,” Rabbi Jill Jacobs, T’ruah’s executive director, posted on Facebook just before 9:30 p.m., about an hour after many of the protesters had left.

Protesters, many of them rabbis, came to the demonstration wearing prayer shawls, while others blew shofars to signal their opposition to last week’s ban on refugees and nationals of seven predominantly Muslim countries, which was enacted on Jan. 27 and temporarily stayed by a federal judge one week later.

The crowd, barricaded by police, chanted “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here.” Protesters held signs reading “My people were refugees too” and “another rabbi standing for justice.”

T’ruah is one of several liberal Jewish groups that has opposed several of the president’s policies both during the campaign and since the election. The group has come out against Trump’s policies on immigration, refugees and civil rights, and also opposed his appointment of Stephen Bannon as a senior adviser.

French Journalist Arrested After Exposing Israeli Link To Paris Attacks

Investigative journalist Hicham Hamza was detained by French police last month after exposing Israel’s role in orchestrating the Paris Attacks on November 13, 2015.

Police charged Hamza with “violating judicial secrecy,” and have threatened him with potential prison time for a photo Hamza published online.

Below is a translation of Hicham Hamza’s article describing his arrest:

Detained by police for investigating the attacks in Paris

An independent journalist and founder of the investigative website Panamza, I was detained for seven hours by police about an article in which I revealed the Israeli origin of the shocking photo of the Bataclan.

On Monday, February 22nd, I went of my own accord to the police station in response to a summons from the Crimes Against Persons Brigade, located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.

The day before, I had received an “urgent” voice message from an official of the Directorate of the Judicial Police asking me to call him immediately. The reason: my  December 15th article entitled “Bataclan Carnage: The shocking photo was disseminated from Jerusalem.”

I was familiar with the Judicial Police premises, having been summoned twice to respond to “defamation” complaints brought against me by Caroline Fourest and Pierre Bergé.

Surprise! This time, upon arrival I was “placed in custody” following a preliminary investigation by the Paris prosecutor. The officer informed me that I was now suspected of having committed – by publishing my article – the following offenses: “violation of the secrecy of an investigation”, “publication of an image that seriously undermines human dignity,” and “premeditated voluntary violence without ITT.”*

Yes, you read that correctly.

So what happened next?

I was led to cell to await the arrival of my lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre so that she could be present, as the law allows, during my interrogation.

After the interrogation, I was made to read and sign the minutes of my statements. I was then returned to detention pending the police response. Five hours later I left the musty old double-locked room to learn that no decision had been taken by the prosecutor of the Republic.

I was finally allowed to collect my things and go.

The merits of the case?

While following the torturous trail of the shocking, anonymous Bataclan massacre photo, I had done my work as an investigative journalist. My objective was to fully document my sources. So in my article, I inserted the URL of the first web page containing the non-blurred Bataclan picture (which I had chosen to truncate on my site).

The original source of the photo turned out, oddly enough, to be a tweet published by an Israeli organization headed by the U.S. neoconservative Mark Gerson.

My practice – which is increasingly costly and risky – of ultra-sourced web journalism is my guarantee of reliability for my readers: I give them my sources to check so they can judge for themselves the veracity of my information.

Today, the Paris prosecutor – who reports directly to the Ministry of Justice – claimed that I had supposedly “violated the secrecy of the investigation” and committed “premeditated voluntary violence” by “disseminating” the photo necessarily included in this tweet.

Duly noted.

I had already said in my hearing that I contested with the greatest force the validity of such accusations.

The Paris prosecutor’s office, directed by François Molins, now has six months to decide whether to indict me.

In the crosshairs

Keep in mind that on December 1st, the Valls government had announced – via its inter-ministerial delegate Gilles Clavreul – its hostility against me, confessing awkwardly that it would seek “legal loopholes to get (Hamza) prosecuted.”

Meanwhile, the arrival of Jean-Jacques Urvoas to head the Department of Justice was accompanied, more discreetly, by another little-noticed change. Thomas Andrieu, the director of the Civil Liberties and Legal Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Interior (and former right arm of Manuel Valls) became on February 5th the chief of staff of the new Minister of Justice.

On December 2nd I had published an article about this close associate of the pro-Israel network. The chief architect of the state of emergency, Thomas Andrieu had been previously charged with carrying out the government’s promise (which was in the end never kept) of dissolving the Jewish Defense League. (Editor’s note: Responsible for dozens if not hundreds of terrorist attacks, and untold thousands of threats of violence, the JDL has been officially declared a terrorist organization by the FBI; yet due to the power of the Zionist lobby it remains legal in France, Canada, and other countries.)

A detail that speaks volumes: In my article “Bataclan Carnage: The shocking photo was disseminated from Jerusalem,” I also raised questions about the JDL, stressing that this Zionist and racist militia, which is tolerated in France (but considered a terrorist group the United States and Israel) had directly published the gruesome Bataclan photograph on the homepage of its website.

We still do not know all the details about provenance and chain of custody of the photograph in question, which was designed to elicit terror, and whose authenticity is has been much discussed in the foreign alternative media. What we do know is that it first appeared on the website of a webmaster based in Jerusalem.

But it should come as no surprise that the Jewish Defense League – a small group linked to similar networks of the Israeli extreme right – could publish the photo without attracting the wrath of Bernard Cazeneuve, the Minister of the Interior who is extremely obliging to the Zionist movement and its operational relay in France: the MOSSAD.

Surprise, surprise: Along with the explicit title “Bataclan photo of the victims,” the shocking picture, whose publication by the JDL was exposed a month later on Panamza, has since been replaced by an off-topic illustration showing  … the seats in the house.

Someone in high places must have protected the JDL from any police summons by quietly asking them to remove the photograph.

As for me: For revealing the Israeli source of the image, which was manipulated through social media to instil fear and acceptance of draconian security measures, I was detained by police, at the request of prosecutors, for seven hours.

Now I am under threat of new prosecutions likely to bring, this time, a prison sentence.

Six minors arrested for starting fire near Acre

The Israel Police arrested six minors Sunday who started a fire near the Arab Israeli town of Kafr Yasif in northern Israel in an apparent act of arson.

Officers in the area spotted smoke coming from the bushes near Route 70 and, upon arriving at the scene, saw a vehicle driving away, police said in a statement.

Police stopped the car and detained the six minors in the vehicle, all of them from the local Arab region of Jadeidi-Makr. A firefighting plane arrived soon after and extinguished the fire.

The minors were being questioned at the Acre district police station. On Monday, police will decide whether to release them or continue to hold them for questioning, police said.

In a statement on Sunday, police said they suspect that some 30-40 of the 90 fires that have swept the country in the past six days were started by arsonists, according to Hebrew media reports.

Police also said that although much of the evidence was destroyed by the fires, they were using forensic samples to determine whether the fires were ignited intentionally.

A photograph of a camera showing what appears to be a Palestinian man starting a fire in a field near Battir, outside of Bethlehem on November 26, 2016. (Parks Authority)

However, police have not yet found any evidence that the arson was coordinated nationally or planned in advance. Their assessment is that the arson was local and opportunistic, the statement said.

Since Tuesday, firefighters have been battling wildfires throughout the country, including fires that hit the city of Haifa on Thursday, forcing some 60,000 residents to evacuate their homes. The residents have since been cleared to return home, though about 600 houses have been damaged.

Police chief Roni Alsheich said Sunday that there had been similar arson attacks in the past and that they should be considered acts of terror, Army Radio reported.

“If setting the fire was deliberate, it is definitely terror,” Alsheich said during a visit to the West Bank settlement of Halamish, where a fire destroyed 18 homes on Friday night. “By the way, that is nothing new, there have been arson incidents in the past. The concentration of a relatively large number of days, and the number of incidents and the weather conditions, brought about these results, but there is nothing new and there were incidents like this in the past.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, police chief Roni Alsheich, Minister of Construction Yoav Galant and Minister of Interior Arye Deri during a briefing in Haifa, where a major fire was raging, November 24, 2016. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Alsheich said the security services are equipped to deal with terror and hinted that Israel was prepared to employ more stringent measures if necessary.

“We have good tools for dealing with terror — we haven’t yet taken advantage of them; we will review things and if we think that the measures are lacking we will demand them… There are sufficient measures in the Israeli book of laws.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday there was “no doubt” some of the fires were started deliberately. “There is a price to pay for the crimes committed, there is a price to pay for arson terrorism,” he said.

Iran arrested 12 top officials for spying in last 2 years, MP says (GOOD!!!)

An Iranian lawmaker said Tehran has arrested 12 top officials who held dual citizenship over the past two years, Arabic-language media reported on Wednesday.

MP Hussein Ali Haji Degana said the 12 had allegedly infiltrated into top government decision-making posts and had been put on trial, the pan-Arabic Asharq Al-Awsat said.

Al Arabiya said some of them had been arrested simply for holding dual citizenship.

Degana called on Iran to conduct their trials with transparency and called for the identities of the detainees to be made public.

In August, Tehran reportedly arrested Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, one of the nuclear deal negotiators, who also held British citizenship.

Esfahani was a member of a team working on lifting economic sanctions under last year’s landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. In October, Iran’s intelligence minister said Esfahani had been cleared of all charges.

Dual nationals have been increasingly targeted by security forces since the nuclear deal. Iran does not recognize dual nationalities, meaning those detained cannot receive consular assistance.

In previous cases, like the detention of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, officials initially announced indictments had been handed down without providing specifics. Later, news organizations with close ties to security services offered details of the charges.

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, center, appears with his wife Yeganeh Salehi and mother Mary Reazaian in Germany on January 20, 2016, following his release from Iranian custody (screen capture: YouTube)

It’s unclear why Iran is increasingly detaining dual nationals, but analysts and others have suggested hard-liners were seeking concessions from the West in exchange for releasing them.

Meanwhile, Iran denied on Friday that it had in any way breached its nuclear deal with world powers, insisting it was meeting its commitment to cap its stocks of controlled materials.

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency last week showed that Iran’s stocks of so-called heavy water had inched above the 130-ton level set out in the agreement.

Heavy water is not itself radioactive but is used in certain types of nuclear reactor, which can in turn produce plutonium that can be used in an atomic bomb.

Iran's heavy water nuclear facilities near the central city of Arak. (CC-BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia/Nanking2012)

The July 2015 deal with world powers sets Iran’s heavy water “needs” at 130 tons and states that any excess must be “made available for export.”

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said arrangements were in hand to export the excess.

“Iran has fulfilled its obligations on heavy water stockpiles,” state broadcaster IRIB quoted him as saying.

“We were required to put on the international market any excess over 130 tonnes and so far we have sold 70 tons,” he said.

“Negotiations are under way with interested countries, in particular European,” to sell the rest.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano had chided Iran on Thursday for exceeding the agreed limit on its stockpiles for a second time.

“It is important that such situations should be avoided in future in order to maintain international confidence in the implementation,” he said.

Washington has played down concerns about Iran’s exceeding of the stockpile limit.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said last week that it was “important to note that Iran made no effort to hide this” and that he was “not sure whether that constitutes a formal violation.”

In all other respects, the IAEA found that Iran was continuing to abide by the agreement’s terms.

N.S.A. Contractor Arrested in Possible New Theft of Secrets

WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. secretly arrested a former National Security Agency contractor in August and, according to law enforcement officials, is investigating whether he stole and disclosed highly classified computer code developed by the agency to hack into the networks of foreign governments.

The arrest raises the embarrassing prospect that for the second time in three years, a contractor for the consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton managed to steal highly damaging secret information while working for the N.S.A. In 2013, Edward J. Snowden, who was also a Booz Allen contractor, took a vast trove of documents from the agency that were later passed to journalists, exposing surveillance programs in the United States and abroad.

The contractor was identified as Harold T. Martin III of Glen Burnie, Md., according to a criminal complaint filed in late August and unsealed Wednesday. Mr. Martin, who at the time of his arrest was working as a contractor for the Defense Department after leaving the N.S.A., was charged with theft of government property and the unauthorized removal or retention of classified documents.

Mr. Martin, 51, was arrested during an F.B.I. raid on his home on Aug. 27. A neighbor, Murray Bennett, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that two dozen F.B.I. agents wearing military-style uniforms and armed with long guns stormed the house, and later escorted Mr. Martin out in handcuffs.

 

 

According to court documents, the F.B.I. discovered thousands of pages of documents and dozens of computers or other electronic devices at his home and in his car, a large amount of it classified. The digital media contained “many terabytes of information,” according to the documents. They also discovered classified documents that had been posted online, including computer code, officials said. Some of the documents were produced in 2014.

But more than a month later, the authorities cannot say with certainty whether Mr. Martin leaked the information, passed them on to a third party or whether he simply downloaded them.
When F.B.I. agents interviewed Mr. Martin after the raid, he initially denied having taken the documents and digital files, according to the complaint. But he later told the authorities that he knew he was not authorized to have the materials. He told the agents, according to the complaint, that “he knew what he had done was wrong and that he should not have done it because he knew it was unauthorized.”

The Justice Department unsealed the complaint — which was filed in United States District Court in Baltimore — after The New York Times notified the government it intended to publish a story about Mr. Martin.

In a brief statement issued Wednesday, lawyers for Mr. Martin said: “We have not seen any evidence. But what we know is that Hal Martin loves his family and his country. There is no evidence that he intended to betray his country.”

If true, the allegations against Mr. Martin are a setback for the Obama administration, which has sustained a series of disclosures of classified information. Along with Mr. Snowden’s revelations, the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks in 2010 disclosed hundreds of thousands of documents from the State and Defense Departments. In the aftermath of the Snowden disclosures, the administration took steps to put measures in place to prevent the unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, defended the Obama administration’s procedures for protecting national security information, arguing on Wednesday that since Mr. Snowden’s disclosures, agencies have tightened their security measures. He cited the creation of a task force that sets and monitors security requirements for agencies that handle classified information, and an overhaul of the government’s background check process, including adding more frequent updates.

The administration has also slashed the number of employees that have access to classified information, Mr. Earnest said, reducing it by 17 percent in the past couple of years.

“The president’s got a lot of confidence that the vast majority of people who serve this country in the national security arena, particularly our professionals in the intelligence community, are genuine American patriots,” Mr. Earnest said.
Another administration official said that investigators suspected that Mr. Martin began taking the material before Mr. Snowden’s actions became public, adding that reforms put into place after Mr. Snowden’s theft would not have stopped Mr. Martin.

“This is something that has its origins certainly before Snowden came on the scene, so many of the forms that have been in place since 2013 wouldn’t be relevant to stopping what happened,” the official said.

The information believed to have been stolen by Mr. Martin appears to be different in nature from Mr. Snowden’s theft, which included documents that described the depth and breadth of the N.S.A.’s surveillance.

Mr. Martin is suspected of taking the highly classified computer code developed by the agency to break into computer systems of adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, some of it outdated.

Several officials said that at the moment it did not look like a traditional espionage case, but the F.B.I. has not ruled anything out.

Mr. Martin does not fit any of the usual profiles of an “insider threat,” and one administration official said that investigators thought that he was not politically motivated — “not like a Snowden or someone who believes that what we were doing was illegal and wanted to publicize that.”

Mr. Martin, a Navy veteran, has degrees in economics and information systems and has been working for a decade on a Ph.D. in computer science. Neighbors described him as cordial and helpful but knew little about his work.

Law enforcement officials said that the F.B.I. was investigating the possibility that he had collected the files with no intention of passing them along. That by itself would represent a serious security vulnerability, but it would put Mr. Martin in the company of countless other senior Washington officials who have been caught taking classified information home. One of the officials described Mr. Martin as a hoarder.

Samuel R. Berger, a former national security adviser, stole classified documents from the National Archives and hid them under a construction trailer. Alberto R. Gonzales took home documents about the nation’s warrantless wiretapping program home with him while he was attorney general. As C.I.A. director, John M. Deutch kept classified information on his home computer.

Law enforcement officials are also looking into whether Mr. Martin was able to pass the information on, but are also entertaining a theory that he took it with that intention and then did not follow through.

But there are many unanswered questions about Mr. Martin’s case, including when and how the authorities learned this identity, and when they believe he began taking information. It is also not known if the case has any connection to the leak of classified N.S.A. code in August attributed to a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, or whether he had any role in a series of leaks of N.S.A. intercepts involving Japan, Germany and other countries that WikiLeaks has published since last year.

“We’re struggling to figure him out,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because no indictment has been publicly released.

For the N.S.A., which spent two years and hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars repairing the damage done by Mr. Snowden, a second insider leaking the agency’s information would be devastating. The agency’s director, Adm. Michael Rogers, who previously ran the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command, was brought in to restore the agency’s credibility, open it to more scrutiny and fix the problems that allowed Mr. Snowden to sweep up hundreds of thousands of documents.
It is also problematic for Booz Allen, which has built much of its business on providing highly technical services to the N.S.A. and other intelligence agencies.

When the company “learned of the arrest of one of its employees by the FBI,” Booz Allen said in a statement on Wednesday, “we immediately reached out to the authorities to offer our total cooperation in their investigation, and we fired the employee. We continue to cooperate fully with the government on its investigation into this serious matter.”

Library Worker Beaten and Arrested for Peacefully Defending Free Speech of Anti-Israel Activist

http://www.renegadetribune.com/library-worker-beaten-arrested-peacefully-defending-free-speech-anti-israel-activist/

 

Renegade Editor’s Note: This story was covered on the latest False Flag Weekly News, which had Jeremy Rothe-Kushel as a guest to tell his side of the story. Also, I have added pictures to this article and slightly edited the title. Rothe-Kushel might not actually identify as an “anti-Israel activist”.

By Justin Gardner of The Free Thought Project

Kansas City, KS — Since 9/11, the American police state has been constantly trying to outdo itself in the oppression of civil rights. From the Patriot Act to National Security Letters to warrantless wiretapping to militarized protest crackdowns, the State has been unable to hide its authoritarian desires.

The oppression of rights and free speech was put on full display recently at the Kansas City Public Library, where a senior library staff member was brutally taken down and arrested by police and private security officers — for peacefully intervening in the harassment of a library patron.

Dennis Ross (Photo by Tucson photographer Martha Lochert.)
Dennis Ross (Photo by Martha Lochert.)

The armed guards were present as security detail for Dennis Ross, champion of the Israeli lobby and former Bush official who pushed for the Iraq invasion. Ross was giving a talk called “Truman and Israel.”

Steve Woolfolk, director of public relations at the library, became the victim of abuse when he tried to remind the security detail of library policy after an audience member was forcibly removed from the microphone during the Q&A session.

The library hosts several speaking events every month, and Woolfolk knew this would be one of the more controversial events where the library makes a rare exception allowing armed security guards. The library has conditions when security details are brought in for speakers.

According to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BRDC):

“First, nobody could be forcibly removed for asking an unpopular question. Second, nobody could be removed at all without consulting with the library staff, who would only allow an individual to be removed if staff concluded they were an imminent threat.”

Woolfolk had positioned himself near the stage where people ask questions, prepared to ask those who went on too long to give up the microphone for the next person. Jeremy Rothe-Kushel was first up.

jeremyAccording to an official statement from the Kansas City Public Library issued on September 30:

The activist, Jeremy Rothe-Kushel, was first to the microphone when Ross’ presentation turned to Q&A, and his question inferred that the U.S. and Israel have engaged in state-sponsored terrorism. Ross responded and, when Rothe-Kushel attempted to follow up, he was grabbed by one of the private security guards and then by others in the private security detail. Steven Woolfolk, the Library’s director of programming and marketing, attempted to intervene, noting that public discourse is accepted and encouraged at a public event held in a public library.

Woolfolk thought he had successfully defused the situation, noting that Rothe-Kushel said he would leave voluntarily, which he attempted to do.

But these off-duty police officers, along with private security guards from the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF), couldn’t stop themselves from initiating violence once they had caught the scent.

The BRDC describes how Woolfolk, seeking to keep the peace and the commitment to free and lively discourse, became the victim of brutality by agents of the State and the Israeli lobby.

“Woolfolk wanted to make clear that this was a public event at a public library and thus Rothe-Kushel was not trespassing. He went to find his supervisor, but before he could do so Woolfolk says an off-duty and out of uniform police officer grabbed him from behind and threw him against a pillar. Per Woolfolk, the officer never announced who he was or told Woolfolk he was under arrest, but just kept telling him to “stop resisting.” As Woolfolk told the Dissent NewsWire, he informed the officer, “I’d be happy to do whatever he wanted, and that all I was resisting was the urge to fall face first onto the floor.”  According to Woolfolk, a second police officer, this one in uniform, delivered several blows to Woolfolk’s knee, causing him to be diagnosed with grade 1 torn MCL. Eventually he was thrown over a chair and handcuffed. When he asked what he was being arrested for, the officer told him he didn’t know.”

One can only imagine how other members of the audience felt as they watched this shameless assault by armed security on a library worker who did nothing more than peaceably calm down a volatile situation.

woolfolk

Woolfolk was charged with interfering with the arrest of Rothe-Kushel, who was himself charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. Library director Crosby Kemper says the arrests were unwarranted and “an egregious violation of First Amendment rights.”

“The First Amendment’s protection of the rights of free speech and assembly is cherished by all Americans but particularly by libraries and their patrons,” he says. “An overzealous off-duty police officer violated the rights of one of our patrons at Ambassador Ross’ talk in the Library and doubled down by arresting Steve Woolfolk, who was trying to explain the Library’s rules to the officer.

In defense of the freedom of speech, the Library stands fully in support of Steve.”

For someone to be assaulted and then arrested for asking a question, in a public library of all places, is abhorrent. The library should be a place where people of all points of view can feel safe and welcome,” said Woolfolk. “Nobody, be it an individual or an agent of the state, should be able to take it upon themselves to silence a point of view simply because they disagree.

The security detail for Dennis Ross – who held important diplomatic positions in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations – was certainly tapped into the surveillance state and most likely knew about the activism of Rothe-Kushel. He and an associate were the only ones searched before being allowed to enter, according to Rothe-Kushel.

Ross has a notorious history in pushing the “statecraft” behind America’s military hegemony focused on the Middle East. He worked under neocon war-monger Paul Wolfowitz early in his career, and signed two letters in March 2003 by the Project for a New American Century supporting an invasion of Iraq.

Ross served in various “special” roles involving the Middle East and Southwest Asia under three presidents and is a “distinguished fellow” at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which is funded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Considering this background, it’s no wonder Ross didn’t stop his jackboots from pouncing on a peace activist challenging the narrative, or assaulting a member of the library staff who dared defend free speech. Stifling dissent is crucial to the message that invading countries and drone bombing women and children is necessary to secure the peace.

Ahmad Khan Rahami (GOOD MAN, HERO) Is Arrested in Manhattan and New Jersey Bombings

 

The man who the police said sowed terror across two states, setting off bombs in Manhattan and on the Jersey Shore and touching off a furious manhunt, was tracked down on Monday morning sleeping in the dank doorway of a neighborhood bar and taken into custody after being wounded in a gun battle with officers.

The frenzied end came on a rain-soaked street in Linden, N.J., four hours after the police issued an unprecedented cellphone alert to millions of people in the area telling them to be on the lookout for Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who was described as “armed and dangerous.”

Even as the remarkably swift arrest eased fears across the region, investigators were still in the earliest stages of trying to determine what provoked the attacks, why a street in Chelsea was one of the targets and whether the bomber was aided by others. While investigators have been focused on Mr. Rahami’s actions immediately before and after the bombings, they were also working on Monday to trace his activities and travel in both recent months and years.

One law enforcement official said that the bomb technicians involved in the investigation believed that Mr. Rahami constructed all the devices and that his handiwork raised the possibility that he had received training from someone with experience building improvised explosive devices.

“If you’re working off the premise that the guy made all these devices,” the official said, “then the guy is a pretty good bombmaker. And you don’t get that good on the internet.”

It could not be determined on Monday whether Mr. Rahami had a lawyer, and his father did not respond to questions from reporters waiting outside the family’s apartment.

Mr. Rahami and his family had traveled periodically to Pakistan, and on one trip, he stayed for nearly a year. A senior law enforcement official said that no evidence had yet been uncovered that he had received military training abroad.

The senior law enforcement official said agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation were examining Mr. Rahami’s electronic devices as part of an effort to determine if he was inspired or directed by the Islamic State or any other terrorist organization.

Assistant Director William F. Sweeney, who heads the F.B.I.’s New York office, said investigators had not found any indication that there is a terrorist cell operating in the area or in the city, he said.

The arrest was the culmination of a sweeping, connect-the-dots manhunt that grew in urgency as the police and F.B.I. agents pieced together clues gleaned from both high-tech investigative tools and practiced detective work.

The weekend began with what seemed like an odd and troubling event, but one that hardly aroused widespread alarm.
At 9:30 a.m., three pipe bombs tied together blew apart a trash can just before the scheduled start of a Marine Corps run called Seaside Semper Five in Seaside Park, N.J.

Only one of the three bombs had detonated and no one was injured. The F.B.I. was brought in to investigate, but there was no indication about what would unfold 11 hours later.

Investigators believe that Mr. Rahami drove a car registered to his father into New York City shortly before the Chelsea blast erupted at 8:30 p.m.

In a review of surveillance video, the police later saw him near West 23rd Street and Avenue of the Americas wearing a backpack investigators believe contained one pressure cooker bomb. He was pulling a patterned duffle-type rolling bag that they believe contained another pressure cooker bomb and wearing a fanny pack on his left hip.

A short time later, a powerful explosion sent debris flying and shattered windows up and down the block. The bomb, filled with shrapnel and placed under a Dumpster on the busy crosstown thoroughfare, injured 29 people.

City streets were soon locked down and a tip to 911 led the police to a second device, the other pressure cooker bomb with a cellphone attached, four blocks to the north. Surveillance video collected by investigators would later show Mr. Rahami on West 27th Street, without his backpack but pulling the patterned bag and leaving it beside a mailbox.

But it would take hours to gather and analyze all of that video and zero in on Mr. Rahami as the man who left the bag behind.

 

 

All officials knew on Saturday night was that someone had deliberately placed bombs on a city street. Mayor Bill de Blasio was hesitant to call it an act of terrorism, and officials cautioned against linking the attack to the explosion in New Jersey.

The unexploded bomb found on West 27th Street, however, held critical clues. Once the police were able to remove it and examine it, they discovered a fingerprint that matched one in an arrest record for Mr. Rahami.

They also found similarities between the New York and New Jersey bombs, leading them to reverse their conclusion that they were not linked.

Most or all used old-style flip phones — an LG and a Samsung on the two Manhattan devices and an LG in Seaside Park — as timers, with Christmas-tree-style lights as initiators, the officials said. They said HMTD, an explosive compound, served as the detonator and a compound similar to a commercial explosive known as Tannerite served as the main charge in some devices.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, the suspect in a bombing in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan that injured 29 people Saturday night, was arrested in Linden, N.J.

Roughly 20 minutes after Mr. Rahami left the bag on West 27th Street, two men happened upon on the luggage, apparently unaware of its explosive contents. One of the men opened the bag, pulled out the bomb, which was inside a white plastic bag, and then left with the luggage. The authorities, who are eager to talk to the men, said that their handling of the device may have disabled it.

By Sunday, the authorities were monitoring addresses associated with Mr. Rahami. Increasingly confident that he was involved with the bombings, they made the decision to act when they saw a vehicle leaving one of those addresses.

The car was pulled over on the Belt Parkway near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Brooklyn. Five people inside, some of them Mr. Rahami’s relatives, were questioned and later released.

Later on Sunday night, the police received a report of a suspicious package near a train station in Elizabeth, N.J.

The F.B.I., which responded, deployed a pair of robots to examine the bag and determined that it held five bombs, some of which were pipe bombs.

Around 12:30 a.m., the robots tried to clip a wire to disarm one bomb and accidentally detonated it. No one was injured.

The location of the bag was not far from where the Rahami family ran a restaurant, and before dawn on Monday, federal agents and local police officers were swarming a neighborhood of low-rise apartment buildings and small businesses.

They searched the restaurant, First American Fried Chicken, and addresses where Mr. Rahami was reported to have spent time.

It was 3:05 a.m. Anthony Rodriguez, who lives across the street from the restaurant, heard an officer yell: “Come down! Come down!”

The police stormed up the stairs that led to the two apartments above the restaurant. They brought down of the suspect’s brothers. Officers questioned them.

Officers also brought down a woman who looked about 30, draped in colorful shawls that did not cover her head, and a girl wearing pajamas. They were locked inside a squad car.
The suspect’s father came down about 20 minutes later, handcuffed and wearing only shorts.

As investigators realized that all of the attacks were linked and that the bombs reflected a certain level of sophistication, they worried that the bomber would grow desperate and do something even more drastic.

They decided to take the unprecedented measure of using New York City’s emergency notification system — typically for major weather events — to alert people in the region that a dangerous suspect was on the loose. Shortly after 7 a.m., millions of people in the region received the notification to be on the lookout for Mr. Rahami.

Even as the police scoured the area near the restaurant, Mr. Rahami was seeking shelter from the morning rain under a doorway of a bar, Merdie’s Tavern in Linden, which is next to Elizabeth, trying to catch some sleep.

Around 10:30 a.m. the owner of the bar spotted a man sleeping in the doorway, officials said.

Capt. James Sarnicki of the Linden Police Department told reporters that an officer approached the man, later identified as Mr. Rahami, and when he woke him, he saw that he had a beard resembling that of the man on the wanted poster.

The officer ordered him to show his hands, Captain Sarnicki said, but instead, he pulled out a handgun, shooting an officer in the abdomen; the bullet struck his vest.

“The officer returned fire,” he said. Mr. Rahami fled, “indiscriminately firing his weapon at passing vehicles.”

Other officers joined the chase, and Mr. Rahami was shot multiple times. At least one other officer was wounded during the confrontation.

Shortly after 11 a.m., Mr. Rahami was in custody, splayed out beside the street, hands cuffed behind his back and his shirt rolled up, officers standing over him with their weapons drawn.

Mr. Rahami, blood pouring from a wound in his shoulder and splattered on his face, was loaded onto a stretcher and taken to University Hospital in Newark.

Diego Jeronimo, 36, the owner of a store near where the gun battle unfolded, said he opened his front door and saw a police car parked lengthwise across the street, an officer with his back to him with his gun drawn using the car as a shield. He heard around five shots.

“Then it calmed down a little bit, then we hear seven shots, but they were more distant,” he said.
Shawn Styles, 30, who works at Linden Auto Body next door, said he saw numerous police vehicles whiz down the avenue.

“Then multiple, multiple shots,” he said.

By sundown, Mr. Rahami had been charged with seven counts, including five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, with bail set at $5.2 million. Mark Spivey, a spokesman for the Union County prosecutor’s office, said he did not know if Mr. Rahami had legal representation.

Fugitive rabbi suspected of sex offenses arrested upon arrival to Israel

Fugitive Breslov rabbi Eliezer Berland, 79, was successfully extradited from South Africa to Israel on Tuesday morning, with the Israel police arresting him upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on suspicion of various sex offenses.

Berland has been wanted by the authorities since he fled the country in February 2013, and was arrested in South Africa in April this year, leading finally to his was extradition back to Israel after a lengthy legal process.

Upon his arrest, police took the rabbi for questioning. Depending on the developments of the interrogation, police will ask for court approval of an extension of Berland’s custody.