CLG News 2018-0328

Orlando nightclub shooter’s father ‘was FBI informant for 11 years’ –The FBI has previously come under criticism for investigating Omar Mateen for 10 months starting in 2013 and ultimately concluding he was not a threat. [Right, because then he apparently became an employee. Thanks, Comey!] | 27 March 2018 | The father of the 29-year-old who killed 49 people at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub in 2016 was an FBI informant. He came under scrutiny himself after investigators found receipts for mon-y transfers to Turkey and Afghanistan in the wake of the mass shooting, recently filed court documents show. The revelation came in documents filed by defence lawyers for the shooter’s wife, Noor Salman, who is on trial in Orlando on allegations that she aided and abetted her husband’s attack and obstructed law enforcement’s investigation into it. The attack by her husband, Omar Mateen, is one of the deadliest mass shootings on US soil. Omar Mateen said before police killed him that it was done in the name of the Islamic State terrorist group. Salman’s trial has been under way for weeks, but defence lawyers argued that they were not told about the father’s FBI work until Sunday…Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, was an FBI informant at various points between January 2005 and June 2016, court documents say.
American who escaped Al Qaeda captivity says FBI, under Mueller and Comey, betrayed him | 26 March 2018 | After he escaped from Al Qaeda in Syria, American photojournalist Matt Schrier investigated his own kidnapping and uncovered what he describes as a pattern of “betrayal” by FBI agents handling his case. Schrier is now asking hard questions of former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who now leads the special counsel Russia probe, and former FBI Director James Comey who was fired by President Trump in May 2017. In an exclusive cable interview that first airedMonday on “The Story.” Schrier went in depth, sharing emails, fin-ncial records and formal letters of complaint, which backed up allegations that after he was taken hostage in 2012, the FBI monitored his accounts as Al Qaeda terrorists used his mon-y to get at least a dozen computers and tablets.
Fire crews kept away from Manchester terror bombing for 2 hours – report | 28 March 2018 | Firefighters and rescue crews were kept away from the scene of the Manchester Islamist terror attack for two hours, an official report into the May 22, 2017, bombing of Manchester Arena revealed Tuesday. Additionally, the report said there had been confusion over whether a gunman was on the loose after the bombing at the close of a concert by U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande. Suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device, killing 22 people. Hundreds more were injured in the blast. The report said the fire service was left effectively out of the loop of police and ambulance crews, so firefighters trained in first-aid and terror scenarios were not given permission to go to the scene, despite being stationed less than a kilometer away from the arena. Firefighters heard the bomb explode from their fire station, but were turned away from the scene, said the report.
Manchester terror attack: fire crews sent away as children lay dying after blast –Only three paramedics were allowed into foyer where bomb had gone off | 28 March 2018 | Every firefighter in Manchester stood idle for two hours after one of the worst terrorist attacks in more than a decade because of a series of command and communications failures, an independent review has found. Visibly frustrated firefighters — many trained to respond to terrorist incidents — were relocated after the suicide bomb at Manchester Arena that killed 22 people and injured hundreds more last May, according to a report by Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, commissioned by Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester.
US judge tosses Saudi Arabia’s motion to dismiss 9/11 complicity lawsuits | 29 March 2018 | US District Judge George B. Daniels in Manhattan has dismissed the motion filed by Saudi Arabia to end long-running litigation over what those affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks claim is Riyadh’s complicity in the tragedy. The allegations put forward by the victims’ relatives and those who were injured in the attack “narrowly articulate a reasonable basis for this Court to assume jurisdiction under JASTA (The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) over Plaintiffs’ claims against Saudi Arabia,” Daniels stated in the court opinion. Taking this into account, “this Court will exercise its discretion to allow Plaintiffs limited jurisdictional discovery,” it added before announcing the Saudi Arabian motion dismissed.
Ecuador cuts off WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s communications with the outside world from their London embassy where he has lived for more than five years –Swedish authorities have dropped their investigation into Mr Assange –But he believes he will be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the building | 28 March 2018 | Ecuador’s government is cutting off WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s communications outside the nation’s London embassy. Officials announced on Wednesday they were taking the measure in response to Mr Assange’s recent activity on social media. As part of an agreement between Mr Assange and the Ecuadorean government, he is not permitted to send any messages that could interfere with the South American nation’s relations with other countries.
Assange’s internet connection cut following ‘agreement breach’ – Ecuador | 28 March 2018 | The Ecuadorian government has suspended Julian Assange’s communication privileges with the outside world. The move was sparked by Assange’s alleged breach of an agreement to refrain from interfering in other states’ affairs. The Ecuadorian government specifically cited Assange’s activity on social media, claiming that his recent posts may have jeopardized Ecuador’s relationship with the UK, the EU and other nations…Kim Dotcom has called on Assange supporters to gather outside the embassy building in solidarity, with several protesters already congregating there by Wednesday afternoon. Dotcom decried what he dubbed a “gagging agreement” and tweeted to say that the Ecuadorian government was making a “grave mistake” by “silencing Julian Assange.” 

11 packages containing explosives, letters sent to Washington, D.C., area before man’s arrest | 28 March 2018 | Within days, 11 suspicious packages containing explosives and a letter filled with “ramblings” about mind control and terrorism were sent to the White House and various military, law enforcement and intelligence facilities across the Washington, D.C., area. The FBI saysthey all came from Thanh Cong Phan, an Everett, Wash., man who they say for years has sent letters and emails to various government agencies. He was arrested before midnight Monday on charges of shipping explosive materials. On Wednesday, the FBI released more details about where the packages were sent, which included a number of military bases, defense and intelligence facilities, along with the NSA, CIA and FBI, according to the bureau’s Washington field office. The White House was also sent one of the packages, but it was intercepted during screening by the Secret Service, according to a criminal complaint filed in Seattle federal court. 

Washington state man arrested in cases of suspicious packages sent to government offices | 27 March 2018 | A 43-year-old Washington state man has been arrested in connection with sending multiple packages to government facilities. Thanh Cong Phan of Everett, Wash., was taken into custody right before midnight Monday is expected to make his first appearance at 2 p.m. PTin a Seattle federal court. The arrest came after five packages containing “potential destructive devices” were sent to District of Columbia area military installations and the CIA, the FBI said Tuesday. Among the locations where packages were recovered: the CIA in Langley, Va.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington; Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington; and Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va.
FBI intercepts SIX suspicious packages containing explosive components and disturbing messages sent to military sites around DC –Two additional packages were found at a CIA mail processing facility and a White House mail processing facility | 26 March 2018 | Six suspicious packages were intercepted at various military intelligence sites in the DC area Monday. The FBI seized the packages that were stuffed with explosive components such as black powder, fuses, and circuit boards. The first package raised alarm at The National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington DC around 8:30amaccording to NBC News. The package was found to contain black powder, which can be used to make explosives. An X-ray also found what appeared to be a GPS and a fuse. 
Multiple suspicious packages sent to DC-area military and intelligence installations | 26 March 2018 | The FBI has taken custody of multiple suspicious packages sent to military locations and the CIA in the Washington, DC area, officials said Monday. They said packages were sent to the CIA, Fort Belvoir and Fort McNair. A US official said a Naval Support Facility in Dahlgren, Virginia, also received a suspicious package and that the FBI is leading the investigation. A law enforcement official told CNN there were more than 10 devices…At least one package, sent to the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, contained explosive material and was ultimately rendered safe.
Trump keen to meet Kim after ‘successful’ China talks | 28 March 2018 | US President Donald Trump has said he is keen to meet Kim Jong-un after being told the North Korean leader’s trip to China “went very well”. But Mr Trump said maximum sanctions and pressure on North Korea would continue ahead of proposed talks in May. He added that denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula was now a possibility. The comments follow Mr Kim’s meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, in his first known foreign trip since taking office in 2011.
Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un hold talks in Beijing | 28 March 2018 | At the invitation of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), paid an unofficial visit to China from Sunday to Wednesday. During the visit, Xi held talks with Kim at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan held a welcoming banquet for Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju and watched an art performance together.
Evidence first: Several European countries refuse to follow UK lead in Russia diplomat expulsions | 27 March 2018 | As Western countries expel Russian diplomats over the Skripal case without any evidence that Moscow was responsible, other nations are being more level-headed, refusing to act until the investigation has been completed. On Monday, 18 European Union nations, other European countries, the US, and Canada announced they would be expelling Russian diplomats from their territories in solidarity with the UK’s recent decision…However, there have been some dissenting voices in the sea of uniformity. On Tuesday, Switzerland noted that it would wait for the results of the investigation before taking any action. Austria, an EU member, said it would not be taking any “national measures,” while noting its desire to “keep the channels of communication to Russia open.”
Trump orders expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, closure of Seattle consulate | 26 March 2018 | President Donald Trump has ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. It comes in response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, which the UK has blamed on Russia. The move follows major diplomatic pressure by the UK on its allies to follow their lead in expelling Russian diplomats. The Russian embassy in Washington had previously urged Trump not to heed the “fake news” on Skripal’s poisoning.
Spy poisoning: Highest amount of nerve agent was on door | 28 March 2018 | A Russian ex-spy and his daughter first came into contact with the nerve agent that poisoned them at their home, police have said. The highest concentration of the agent used against Sergei and Yulia Skripal was found on their front door. The pair were found collapsed on a bench in Salisbury on 4 March and remain in a critical condition…Traces of the nerve agent had been found at some of the other sites in the city, but they were at lower concentrations.
Framing Putin – Saga of the Spy and the Nerve Agent | 15 March 2018 | …Who’s Got CW? Russia got rid of all its chemical weapons under the supervision of OPCW. On the other hand, the US hasn’t destroyed all its chemical weapons yet and there are still two CW sites in the US! The US government claims it will destroy them within the next five years. Ha ha…Samples Everywhere: The fact is that many labs around the world have samples of that deadly agent. It so happens that there is a UK military chemical lab in Porton Down, just a few miles from where the alleged incident took place. Each lab has a signature attached to it. If the UK wanted to be credible, it would release the samples to third parties — Russia and OPCW — so they can analyze it and see where it came from. But the UK refuses to do so. Guess Who Lives in the US? The “father” of Novichok defected to the US a long time ago and lives in the US now. He brags about it openly on his Facebook page. His name is Vil Mirzayanov.
Russians rage over mall fire that killed dozens of kids | 27 March 2018 | Distraught and angry, thousands of Russians took to the main square of a Siberian city Tuesday to confront local officials whom they blamed for a shopping mall fire that killed at least 64 people, most of the children. President Vladimir Putin, who also visited the city, blamed the deaths on “a criminal negligence, sloppiness,” as he laid flowers in tribute to the victims. The blaze engulfed the Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo on Sunday, the first weekend of the school recess, trapping dozens of parents and children inside. Witnesses reported that fire alarms were silent and many doors were locked.
In response to California sanctuary law, Orange County Sheriff makes public inmates’ release dates | 27 March 2018 | The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, whose leadership opposes the new California sanctuary law that limits cooperation with federal immigration officials, announced Monday that it is now providing public information on when inmates are released from custody. As of Monday, March 26, an existing “Who’s in Jail” online database includes the date and time of inmates’ release — a move agency officials say will enhance communication with its law enforcement partners. The release date information applies to all inmates, not just those who are suspected of being in the country illegally. But the goal is to assist agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
White House defends citizenship question on census | 27 March 2018 | The White House on Tuesday defended its decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, a shift that has drawn sharp criticism and lawsuits from Democrats. “This is a question that’s been included in every census since 1965, with the exception of 2010, when it was removed,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday. “We’ve contained this question that provides data that is necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters and specifically help us better comply with the Voting Rights Act.” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the citizenship decision in a memo released Monday night.
California Sues Trump Administration Over Citizenship Query | 27 March 2018 | California is suing the Trump administration over its decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 U.S. Census, calling the move a reckless decision that violates the Constitution. The lawsuit was filed in federal court Monday hours after the Commerce Department announced the citizenship question would be added to the next Census to enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voting rights and helps prevent the unlawful dilution of the vote based on race.
2020 census to include citizenship question | 26 March 2018 | The Commerce Department said Monday evening that the 2020 census will include a question on citizenship, despite the strong objections of Democrats. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced his decision to reinstate the citizenship question in a post on the department’s website. The citizenship question has not appeared on the census since 1950, but Ross argued that collecting citizenship data has been “a long-standing historical practice.” The Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reportedly pushed for inclusion of the question, arguing that it would allow the department to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.
John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment | 27 March 2018 | (New York Times editorial) Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday…That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment. [John Paul Stevens is a retired associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.]
‘There’ll Be a Civil War’: Watters Blasts John Paul Stevens’s Call for 2nd Amendment Repeal | 27 March 2018 | Fox News host Jesse Watters reacted to an op-ed by retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens who said “March For Our Lives” participants should seek a repeal of the Second Amendment. The 97-year-old Stevens, a Republican nominated by President Gerald Ford, said repealing the right to bear arms is the most effective “lasting reform” that could be sought on the matter. “There’ll be a Civil War if you take away the Second Amendment,” Watters said. “[The government would say] surrender your weapons or else.” Watters said many Americans would object to federal agents seeking arms confiscation, and the policy change would cause “an absolute bloodbath.”
Free speech at universities ‘being shut down’ | 27 March 2018 | Criticism of speakers, debates and literature by opposing students and societies is hampering free speech at UK universities, a new report has claimed. The Joint Committee on Human Rights found the discussion of unpopular and controversial ideas is being opposed on campuses across the country, with some attempting to shut down such debates rather than confront them. Although the report found the idea of free speech is supported by most students, there was concern regarding high-profile incidents such as Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg becoming embroiled in a scuffle with protesters the University of West England in Bristol. So-called “safe space” policies, which seek to create an environment in which students can express themselves without fear of harassment and discrimination, have also been questioned as they may restrict the expression of those with unpopular but perfectly legal views.
Nevada lawmaker: ‘Rumor mill’ says Ryan headed for exit [Good riddance!] | 26 March 2018 | Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) told a local news station that there is a “rumor” that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will resign soon, stepping up speculation about the Speaker’s political future. “The rumor mill is that Paul Ryan is getting ready to resign in the next 30 to 60 days and that Steve Scalise will be the new Speaker,” Amodei told Nevada Newsmakers, referring to the Majority Whip from Louisiana…”The speaker is not resigning,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement Monday.
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CLG News Editor-in-Chief: Lori Price. Copyright © 2018, Citizens for Legitimate Government ® All rights reserved. 
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