Review Category : National News

Walter Scott Shooting Witness: ‘Hard to See’ Mistrial for Michael Slager

ABC News(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) — Feidin Santana, the witness who recorded video of the fatal Walter Scott shooting, told ABC News he feels it was “hard to see” a mistrial for former police officer Michael Slager.

The mistrial was announced Monday after jury members said they were unable to come to a unanimous decision in Slager’s state murder trial. They had deliberated since closing arguments ended last Wednesday.

Slager, who is white, was accused of killing Scott, an unarmed black man, at a traffic stop on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina, when Slager was a North Charleston Police Department officer. Witness video shot from Santana’s cell phone surfaced shortly afterward and appeared to show the moment Slager fatally shot Scott as he ran away. The video garnered national attention, propelling Slager into the spotlight.

Slager had pleaded not guilty to murder.

Santana told ABC News that for him, “it was hard to see” this outcome with “the case as clear as it is, with this type of evidence.”

“It’s not a loss, but also it’s not a victory for justice,” he said. “And you ask yourself, what if there was no video? What if I wasn’t there? Would we have gotten this far in this trial?

“It’s hard sometimes,” Santana added. “That’s the way justice is over here and we have to understand it. But it’s a little bit disappointing.”

After the mistrial was announced, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson vowed she would seek a retrial. Slager also faces a federal trial, which is scheduled for next year.

Santana was called to testify by the prosecution last month, telling the court of the moments before, during and after he witnessed the deadly shooting.

Santana told the court how he first saw Scott running and Slager running after him. Santana said he later saw Scott on the ground and heard an “electric sound” and said he decided to approach the scene and start recording.

“It was a lot of movement from both men,” Santana said. “I continued hearing the electric sound as I was approaching to the fence. They were moving a lot. The black man … he just tried to get away from the Taser that I was hearing. But I didn’t know [at the time] that it was a Taser — I just knew that it was something electric sound.”

Santana said the officer’s left hand was trying to control Scott and the officer was on top of him.

Then both men stood up, Santana said, and he saw “the black man trying to get away and the officer trying to control the person.”

“Both men get up very quick,” Santana said in court. He said the officer was holding onto Scott but Scott was able to break away.

“After he got away … it’s been something that I didn’t expect,” Santana said. “[The officer] shoot the man running from him. And he shoot until he gets on the ground.”

In court, defense attorney Andy Savage said Slager shot Scott because he was in fear for his life. Savage added that Slager didn’t know what Scott would do and said Scott could have hurt someone if he got away.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Why Murdered Teen’s Family Is Backing His Alleged Killer, 16

iStock/Thinkstock(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — Dominique Coleman, 16, is being charged as an adult in Kentucky for allegedly shooting his 14-year-old friend, Troyvonte Hurt, to death.

But the defendant has some unexpected supporters — the victim’s family.

“We feel like he shouldn’t be charged,” Hurt’s mother, LaNesha Harris, told ABC News affiliate WHAS-TV outside court Monday, when Coleman was arraigned on his indictment. “I got a lot of hope that some type of way he gets off, like he’s acquitted, no charges filed because really and truly I think the people that came through shooting should be the ones they are looking for,” Harris said.

Coleman is facing one count of capital murder, one count of tampering with physical evidence and one count of weapons possession in the August shooting and could face the death penalty if convicted, according to court documents.

According to police, the teenagers were on Clay and Jacob streets in Smoketown, a Louisville neighborhood, at 8:45 p.m. on Aug. 24, when a shooting began that resulted in Coleman’s allegedly killing hurt.

In a press conference, Lt. Todd Kessinger, of the Louiville Metro Police, described the chaotic scene leading up to the incident.

Kessinger said that a vehicle “fired multiple rounds at a crowd of people standing on the corner,” according to WHAS-TV.

“The people returned fire at the car as it was driving down the road. During the course of that, as they were returning fire, the victim was shot in the back of the head and killed by one of his friends, one of his known associates.”

Kessinger said at the time investigators believed it was a gang shooting because it was in an area “known for gang activity,” according to the affiliate. Is it unclear if Coleman was part of a gang.

WHAS-TV reports the victim’s family believes others who were on the scene with the two minors started and shooting are responsible for Hurt’s death.

The victim’s grandfather, Henry Booker, was also in the courtroom Monday hoping to see Coleman’s charges dropped. During the hearing, Coleman pleaded not guilty.

“The boy’s a good boy. [Coleman’s] a good person regardless we know him and we know that everything that happened, happened so fast that he wasn’t the one,” Booker said, according to WHAS-TV.

If he’s convicted, Coleman will be sentenced in the juvenile system until the age of 18, when he would be resentenced as an adult. Until that age, Coleman would remain in a juvenile detention facility, says Jefferson County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s spokesperson, Jeffrey Cooke.

Coleman is being held in lieu of $100,000 cash bail and is due in court on Jan. 4 for a bond hearing.

The victim’s family has started a mentorship program for other youths in the community called “Troyvonte’s Troopers.” Booker says the group is meant “to help the kids and show them a different way,” apart from gun violence.

Darlene Campbell, at Bates Memorial Baptist Church in Louisville, tells ABC News the group, started by Booker in memory of his grandson, is meant to “educate kids and keep them off the streets.”

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Men Left ‘to Die’: Gen. James Mattis’ Controversial Wartime Decision

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The former Marine general tapped to become Donald Trump’s secretary of defense has been hailed as an “iconoclastic thinker” and a “warrior monk,” but a decorated ex–special operations officer recently remembered him another way: as the commander who he said left soldiers “to die” in Afghanistan.

Trump announced retired Gen. James Mattis as his pick for the next defense secretary Thursday, sparking a renewed interest in the blunt-talking Marine’s history. The next day, a controversial incident from 15 years ago came under the spotlight in the form of a Facebook post by former Army Green Beret Jason Amerine, who won the Bronze Star for valor in Afghanistan.

In the post, Amerine told the story of when his Special Forces team, along with “scores” of allied Afghan fighters, reportedly was hit by friendly fire in December 2001, just weeks after the initial invasion of Afghanistan. With men seriously wounded, Amerine said his team reached out for rescue to the closest American military installation: a Marine contingent commanded by then-Brig. Gen. Mattis.

Mattis, lacking information about the security situation on the ground and the number and severity of the wounded, decided against sending a rescue force without more intelligence, according to an account of the incident excerpted from the 2010 book “The Only Thing Worth Dying For” by author Eric Blehm.

“I hear you, but no, I’m not sending a rescue mission,” Mattis reportedly told another officer. “We. Don’t. Know. The situation.”

Amerine wrote on Facebook that Mattis finally allowed his Marines to help but only after an Air Force special operations unit stopped at his installation on its way to help the injured soldiers.

“‘Fog of war’ would rightly have delayed the situational awareness of Mattis but he also had a major and a sergeant major from our calls from my element, JSOC [Joint Special Operations Command] and the CIA,” Amerine wrote. “Mattis had an excuse to delay launching medevac while he gathered the facts, but not the six hours it took for AFSOC [Air Force Special Operations Command]” to come to the rescue with the “same information.”

“[Mattis] was indecisive and betrayed his duty to us, leaving my men to die during the golden hour when he could have reached us,” Amerine said. The “golden hour,” emergency responders say, is the short window immediately after a severe injury in which it is critical to get the victim to a medical facility for the best chance of survival.

Amerine, who declined to comment for this report, said an American soldier died around the time he finally reached the installation commanded by Mattis. In all, three American soldiers and at least five Afghans were killed in the incident.

While Amerine sharply criticized Mattis for the delay, others have defended the decision as prudent. Mattis has not spoken publicly about the incident, and Blehm, the author of “The Only Thing Worth Dying For,” told ABC News Mattis declined requests for comment on it prior to the book’s publication in 2010. Through representatives, Mattis also declined to comment for this report.

Bing West, a veteran and military author who interviewed Mattis multiple times for an upcoming book, said the whole story is “really unfair.”

“I understand that Amerine is very angry, but holy smokes,” West told ABC News.

West said that there were separate chains of command with regard to special operations and conventional forces, and that Mattis was not given operational control over the incident with the Army Special Forces.

A former Army Special Forces officer, who has spoken with other officers who were involved in the 2001 incident, backed up Amerine’s complaint and said West’s point is largely irrelevant

“That is a horrible answer. OPCON [Operational control] or not, a distress call is a distress call, especially with wounded Americans in a combat zone,” the officer said in an email. “[Mattis] would have authority to direct HIS forces to assist.”

But even if Mattis had the authority to do something, West said, “Mattis asked fundamental questions that couldn’t be answered.”

Jack Murphy, a former Special Forces soldier, likewise said that Mattis may have made the right call based on the scant information available. He said it was “curious” that Mattis and the officers who approached him face-to-face to request assistance for Amerine and his men were apparently not told whether the Special Forces team remained under fire — which would drastically change the kind of rescue mission that would be launched.

“They should’ve had that basic information,” said Murphy, now the managing editor at the special operations news website SOFREP.com.

A source who was briefed on Mattis’ version of events said the initial information that came in was conflicting both about where exactly the injured men were and what security situation on the ground there was. “They did everything they could, when they could,” the source said, adding that the incident would have come under review for Mattis’ various promotions through the military.

Murphy said that regarding rescue operations in general, “at the end of the day it comes down to the commander” to decide to endanger more troops at any given time.

“There’s no right answer. The guy on the ground has to make these kinds of assessments,” he said.

Murphy said any soldier who’s been in combat knows the frustration of waiting for even a minute longer than you believe you should have to for a medevac, with your friends’ lives on the line.

“The guy’s literally dying, and now there’s a ticking clock. You’re taking care of him as best you can, but you’ve got to get him back to a hospital,” he said. “A story like this really touches a nerve.”

The military’s U.S. Central Command conducted an investigation into the initial friendly fire incident, but it did not touch on the purported controversy over the response or rescue, outside of one interviewer’s aside that it “took a while for the helicopters to get there.”

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Refrigerator Eyed as ‘Possible’ Origin of Oakland Warehouse Fire, Official Says

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — A refrigerator is being eyed as the “possible” point of origin in the Oakland warehouse fire that killed more than 30 people, an official briefed on the probe tells ABC News.

Investigators are working to determine if there was criminal liability, and if so, against whom, in the horrific blaze that killed 36 people after it sparked Friday night, said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

An electrical fire broke out Friday night at the warehouse, nicknamed the Ghost Ship, during a concert party with as many as 100 people in attendance, authorities said.

Darin Ranelletti, who is serving as the interim director of the city’s Planning and Building Department, told the press that the party required a permit, which he said was not obtained.

Survivors of the inferno recalled waking up to a “wall of fire” and billowing smoke so powerful that it opened a window, letting in oxygen that apparently intensified the blaze.

Some victims texted messages to relatives such as, “I’m going to die” and “I love you,” according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly.

The warehouse is under investigation to determine whether it was used to house people illegally, Ranelletti said.

The Ghost Ship is purportedly run by a married couple, Derick Ion Almena and Micah Allison, but the building is owned by Chor Nar Siu Ng, a woman who appeared to have little involvement with its usage as a place for artist studios and a performance space for musicians.

“They’re my children. They’re my friends, they’re my family, they’re my loves, they’re my future. What else do I have to say?” Almena told ABC San Francisco station KGO-TV.

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What We Know So Far About the Oakland Warehouse Fire Investigation

JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Investigators are working to determine whether there was criminal liability, and if so, against whom, regarding the horrific blaze in Oakland, California that claimed the lives of 36 men and women over the weekend.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has said that if charges are brought, they could range from murder to involuntary manslaughter, but there is no guarantee that this will happen.

Here is what we know about the ongoing investigation into the fire:

The Ghost Ship

“The Ghost Ship,” as the warehouse was called by some, was purportedly run by a married couple, Derick Ion Almena, and Micah Allison, but owned by Chor Nar Siu Ng, a woman who appeared to have little involvement with its usage as a place for artist studios and a performance space for musicians. Neighbors and occupants of the warehouse told the Associated Press that Almena, who often went by the name Derick Ion, illegally carved the warehouse into what it became prior to the fire.

It is possible that the building may not have cleared safety standards, or been properly inspected, but no official statement has been made by authorities regarding these possibilities.

Oakland police said that they have responded to numerous calls about the warehouse in the past, but it is unclear how many. It is also unknown whether or not Ion, Allison, or Ng will be held accountable by authorities for the death toll created by the fire.

The last permitted use of the building was as a warehouse, according to the City of Oakland. The city said it received complaints of blight and unpermitted interior construction at the building on November 13, 2016. A few days later, on November 17, 2016, a City building inspector visited the property and verified the blight complaint, but could not gain access to the building to confirm the other complaint regarding unpermitted construction.

ABC affiliate KGO-TV reached out to Ion for comment on Sunday.

“They’re my children. They’re my friends, they’re my family, they’re my loves, they’re my future. What else do I have to say?” Almena he told the station.

Ion appeared to address the fire in a Facebook post early on Saturday morning by saying that what he worked for was destroyed, but failed to elaborate on what work he put into the warehouse prior to the fire.

“Confirmed. Everything I worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah were at a hotel safe and sound … it’s as if I have awoken from a dream filled with opulence and hope … to be standing now in poverty of self worth,” he wrote.

A Wall of Fire

As many as 100 people were at Ghost Ship for a party on Friday night when what authorities described as an “electrical fire” broke out just before midnight.

Electrical fires can be caused by any number of problems, ranging from faulty electrical sockets to damaged wiring, but no specifics have emerged to determine what may have initially sparked it. No allegations of arson have surfaced in the days following the doomed party, but possibility hasn’t been ruled out.

Darin Ranelletti, who is serving as the interim director of the city Planning and Building Department, told the press that the party required a permit, which he said was not obtained.

Survivors of the inferno recall fifteen feet of flames and billowing smoke so powerful that it opened a window, letting in oxygen that apparently intensified the blaze.

Nikki Kelber, a resident of the warehouse, which housed artist studios, said she was asleep Friday night and “woke up to smoke and an entire wall of fire.”

Kelber was one of the lucky ones, as victims of the fire ultimately died of smoke inhalation, according to authorities.

Some victims texted messages to relatives such as, “I’m going to die” and “I love you,” according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly.

A Housing Crisis

Ranelletti also told the press that the warehouse is under investigation to determine whether or not it was used to house people illegally.

The Bay Area has among the highest costs of living of any region in the U.S., and housing costs and a lack of availability were among the chief concerns of those living there, according to a study by the Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored public policy advocacy group.

Oakland’s warehouses have become hubs for artists and musicians in recent years, according to residents who spoke to ABC News, largely because they can’t afford to live elsewhere.

Carol Crewdson, a friend of Sara Hoda, a Montessori school teacher who was one of the victims of the Ghost Ship fire, remembered her friend fondly in a conversation with ABC News. She frequently touched on the crisis of space that affected many of the Bay Area’s poor and young. Crewdson said she lived with Hoda in a house where people occupied spare bathrooms as bedrooms, and some occupants lived on the lawn.

Crewdson described some of Oakland’s buildings as functioning almost like shelters, where people live due to a lack of alternatives.

“There were a lot of people in tough situations just trying to make ends meet,” she said of the space she shared with her late friend.

It is unclear at this time how many people may have been living at Ghost Ship under illegal or unsafe conditions as of Friday night.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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What We Know So Far About the Oakland Warehouse Fire Investigation

JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Investigators are working to determine whether there was criminal liability, and if so, against whom, regarding the horrific blaze in Oakland, California that claimed the lives of 36 men and women over the weekend.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has said that if charges are brought, they could range from murder to involuntary manslaughter, but there is no guarantee that this will happen.

Here is what we know about the ongoing investigation into the fire:

The Ghost Ship

“The Ghost Ship,” as the warehouse was called by some, was purportedly run by a married couple, Derick Ion Almena, and Micah Allison, but owned by Chor Nar Siu Ng, a woman who appeared to have little involvement with its usage as a place for artist studios and a performance space for musicians. Neighbors and occupants of the warehouse told the Associated Press that Almena, who often went by the name Derick Ion, illegally carved the warehouse into what it became prior to the fire.

It is possible that the building may not have cleared safety standards, or been properly inspected, but no official statement has been made by authorities regarding these possibilities.

Oakland police said that they have responded to numerous calls about the warehouse in the past, but it is unclear how many. It is also unknown whether or not Ion, Allison, or Ng will be held accountable by authorities for the death toll created by the fire.

The last permitted use of the building was as a warehouse, according to the City of Oakland. The city said it received complaints of blight and unpermitted interior construction at the building on November 13, 2016. A few days later, on November 17, 2016, a City building inspector visited the property and verified the blight complaint, but could not gain access to the building to confirm the other complaint regarding unpermitted construction.

ABC affiliate KGO-TV reached out to Ion for comment on Sunday.

“They’re my children. They’re my friends, they’re my family, they’re my loves, they’re my future. What else do I have to say?” Almena he told the station.

Ion appeared to address the fire in a Facebook post early on Saturday morning by saying that what he worked for was destroyed, but failed to elaborate on what work he put into the warehouse prior to the fire.

“Confirmed. Everything I worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah were at a hotel safe and sound … it’s as if I have awoken from a dream filled with opulence and hope … to be standing now in poverty of self worth,” he wrote.

A Wall of Fire

As many as 100 people were at Ghost Ship for a party on Friday night when what authorities described as an “electrical fire” broke out just before midnight.

Electrical fires can be caused by any number of problems, ranging from faulty electrical sockets to damaged wiring, but no specifics have emerged to determine what may have initially sparked it. No allegations of arson have surfaced in the days following the doomed party, but possibility hasn’t been ruled out.

Darin Ranelletti, who is serving as the interim director of the city Planning and Building Department, told the press that the party required a permit, which he said was not obtained.

Survivors of the inferno recall fifteen feet of flames and billowing smoke so powerful that it opened a window, letting in oxygen that apparently intensified the blaze.

Nikki Kelber, a resident of the warehouse, which housed artist studios, said she was asleep Friday night and “woke up to smoke and an entire wall of fire.”

Kelber was one of the lucky ones, as victims of the fire ultimately died of smoke inhalation, according to authorities.

Some victims texted messages to relatives such as, “I’m going to die” and “I love you,” according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly.

A Housing Crisis

Ranelletti also told the press that the warehouse is under investigation to determine whether or not it was used to house people illegally.

The Bay Area has among the highest costs of living of any region in the U.S., and housing costs and a lack of availability were among the chief concerns of those living there, according to a study by the Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored public policy advocacy group.

Oakland’s warehouses have become hubs for artists and musicians in recent years, according to residents who spoke to ABC News, largely because they can’t afford to live elsewhere.

Carol Crewdson, a friend of Sara Hoda, a Montessori school teacher who was one of the victims of the Ghost Ship fire, remembered her friend fondly in a conversation with ABC News. She frequently touched on the crisis of space that affected many of the Bay Area’s poor and young. Crewdson said she lived with Hoda in a house where people occupied spare bathrooms as bedrooms, and some occupants lived on the lawn.

Crewdson described some of Oakland’s buildings as functioning almost like shelters, where people live due to a lack of alternatives.

“There were a lot of people in tough situations just trying to make ends meet,” she said of the space she shared with her late friend.

It is unclear at this time how many people may have been living at Ghost Ship under illegal or unsafe conditions as of Friday night.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Some Victims of the Oakland Warehouse Fire Texted Family Members Before Dying

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Some victims of the Oakland, California, warehouse fire that killed at least 36 people texted messages to relatives such as, “I’m going to die” and “I love you,” according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly.

Ten more victims were identified overnight. The 36 people who died range in age from 21 to 35, and primarily hailed from the Bay Area. Each of them died of smoke inhalation, officials said.

Authorities are not expecting the death toll to rise further from the Friday night blaze, Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahren told reporters Tuesday.

Ahren also said officials were working from a list of 50 people whose whereabouts are unknown, but noted that not all the missing may be directly related to the blaze that a fleeing survivor described as looking like a “wall of fire.”

Of the 36 victims, 22 have been positively identified and their families have been notified, the city said in a statement. An additional 10 victims have been tentatively identified and three victims need scientific identification. Three of the victims were from outside the country: Finland, Korea and Guatemala.

The Oakland Fire Department first responded to reports of a structure fire at the 4,000-square-foot warehouse known as the Ghost Ship around 11:32 p.m. Friday night. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed told reporters Monday the facility appeared to function as a residential building that hosted a makeshift artists’ studio as well as parties like the one that took place Friday night.

Authorities Sunday asked families with missing loved ones who they believe attended the party to preserve DNA samples as a way of confirming the identities of those who died in the blaze, and the District Attorney’s Office launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

Investigators are trying to determine whether there was criminal liability and, if so, against whom, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said. If charges are brought, they could range from murder to involuntary manslaughter.

Fire Chief Reed Monday told reporters that the history of the building is being examined for clues about how the fire started.

“The city of Oakland is still looking at the history with the building … We’ve got a vibrant community in Oakland that we embrace, and we obviously want to make sure that we’re preventing any disasters like this in the future,” she said.

Oakland police have responded to numerous calls about the warehouse in the past, the department said, but it is unclear how many.

Darin Ranelletti, who is serving as the interim director of the city Planning and Building Department, told reporters Tuesday morning that the warehouse is now under investigation to determine whether it was used to house people illegally.

Ranelletti added that the party that was hosted Friday required a permit, which he said had not been obtained.

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Other Than ISIS: Half of US Terror Suspects Support ISIS Rival Groups, New Report Details

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Almost half of the suspects charged with terrorism offenses in the U.S. since the Syrian civil war began five years ago have not associated themselves with ISIS but with the group’s bitter rivals such as al-Qaeda or embraced the broader jihadist ideology, a new study by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism has found.

While emphasis is often placed on whether ISIS directs or inspires terrorism suspects who attack or are arrested before carrying out attacks, the new study suggests that radicalization to Islamist violence will be a problem in the West far beyond the existence of ISIS or other groups because of an extreme ideology many find alluring.

The study, entitled “Not Just The Caliphate,” which was provided to ABC News in advance of its release Tuesday, examined 178 individual terrorism cases since 2011 inside the United States. Researchers found that — alongside those lured to the self-declared “caliphate” created in Syria and Iraq by terror leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi more than two years ago — 79 individuals nabbed by law enforcement on terror charges supported a dozen other U.S.-designated foreign terrorist groups. Those groups including al-Qaeda and the Taliban espouse a similar Salafist-jihadi ideology, but are each locked in a bloody war with ISIS from Iraq to Afghanistan to North Africa.

“Most aspiring militants at the grassroots level in the West care little about the divisions between the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, they just want to fight jihad. What attracts them is a common ideology, a blend that takes from all jihadists groups and ideologues without much distinction,” said Lorenzo Vidino, director of the Program on Extremism, who oversaw the research.

ISIS has sent operatives through Europe’s porous borders to attack Paris and Brussels in several operations directed by senior leadership in Raqqa, Syria. However, nothing suggests that ISIS-directed cells have been discovered inside the U.S., where the terror group has had greater success inspiring radicalized extremists working alone or in pairs, such as in several cases, to plan or execute attacks.

Only one American jihadi, Elton Simpson — who was on the FBI’s radar for a decade and had a terrorism-related court conviction on his record — is known to have communicated privately with an important American-ISIS recruiter in Somalia — Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, known as “Miski.”

But a senior counterterrorism official recently told ABC that the FBI still has not been able to read encrypted messages between the two, meaning it remains unknown whether Miski directed Simpson’s ill-fated assault on a “Draw the Prophet Mohammed” contest in Garland, Texas, in 2015, where he and another armed assailant were shot dead by police officers.

The Program on Extremism did not include in its data pool Simpson and at least a dozen other individuals killed by police during attacks since 2011, or those Americans who successfully traveled overseas to undertake violent jihad. The focus was placed on people charged in federal court where there is a record and evidence of their offenses, mindset and motives, said the think-tank’s deputy director Seamus Hughes.

A third of the non-ISIS defendants were charged in 2011, several years before ISIS emerged as a standalone jihadist group in Syria in a violent break with al-Qaeda. With the rise of the group since 2014, however, arrests for terrorism in the U.S. have climbed but those arrested by the FBI for supporting groups other than ISIS declined over the past three years. Only 15 non-ISIS defendants have been charged since 2015.

“There is a focus on these terrorist organizations, and that’s important, but it’s not the be all, end all. It’s Coke versus Pepsi, but it’s still soda at the end of the day,” Hughes told ABC News.

Most of those supporting al-Qaeda, the Taliban or 10 other jihadi groups, or simply supporting extreme Salafist-jihadist ideology broadly, were U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and their ages ranged from 17 to 76, with an average age of 26. Almost half tried or did succeed in traveling overseas.

The authors of the study have not changed their assessment from a year ago, when the program released its “ISIS in America” report. That study found that there is no profile of a typical radical Islamist extremist in the United States, which makes rooting out radicalized people difficult for law enforcement, they said.

Karen Greenberg, a terrorism expert and author at Fordham University, said law enforcement now focuses almost entirely on ISIS and those inspired by it or possibly directed by it, but she agreed that deciding which group to support is driven by a core belief in using extremism to advance Islam.

“The ideology has persisted over various incarnations,” Greenberg said on Monday. “But it has also changed from being attached to a specific target or specific grievance to something that’s more amorphous, more self-directed in terms of targets of potential attacks, and it picks and choses from various versions of jihadist ideology.”

The Program on Extremism report puts emphasis on the bombing attacks in Manhattan and New Jersey in September, which were allegedly perpetrated by Afghan immigrant Ahmad Rahami, whose case is still working its way through federal court in New York.

Rahami in a partially-damaged diary allegedly praised indirect “guidance” he perceived from public statements and sermons by American imam turned al-Qaeda terrorist leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a CIA drone in Yemen in 2012, and ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Adnani, who was killed recently by a U.S. airstrike in Syria. Citing both men from warring jihadi groups on the same page “suggests Rahami was driven by a Salafi-jihadist ideology that drives both groups, rather than by his allegiance to a specific terrorist organization,” the Program on Extremism report’s primary author, Sarah Gilkes, wrote.

“Group affiliation is perhaps less important than identification…with the central tenets of Salafi-jihadist ideology,” the report said. Many of those radicalized in the U.S. “often care little about the philosophical or tactical differences among jihadist organizations. Which organization they identify with is often a function of circumstance, opportunity and serendipity.”

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Thousands Hold Vigil to Mourn Oakland Warehouse Fire Victims

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Thousands of people attended a Monday evening vigil to mourn the victims of the warehouse fire in Oakland on Friday night that claimed 36 lives.

A Facebook event page created for the vigil showed more than 5,000 people attending the event at the Lake Merritt Pergola in Oakland.

Attendees posted photos online of mourners gathering around memorials dedicated to the victims.

#oaklandfire #ABC7now pic.twitter.com/DUdlHtmJSN

— Kate Eby (@blueeyed_kate) December 6, 2016

Officials released the names of 10 more victims of the blaze on Monday.

Of the 36 victims, 22 have been positively identified and their families have been notified, the city said in a statement. An additional 10 victims have been tentatively identified and three victims need scientific identification. Three of the victims were from outside the country — Finland, Korea and Guatemala.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has launched a criminal investigation into the incident. Investigators are trying to determine whether there was criminal liability, and if so, against whom, said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

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Ten More Victims Named in Oakland Warehouse Fire That Killed 36

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Oakland city officials identified 10 more victims of the deadly warehouse that is being blamed for 36 deaths.

The victims identified Monday night range in age from 21 to 35 and hailed mostly from the Bay Area.

Authorities are not expecting the death toll to rise further, said Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahren. There is currently a list of 50 people who are unaccounted for, but not all of the missing may be directly related to the fire, Ahren said.

Of the 36 victims, 22 have been positively identified and their families have been notified, the city said in a statement. An additional 10 victims have been tentatively identified and three victims need scientific identification. Three of the victims were from outside the country — Finland, Korea and Guatemala.

The Oakland Fire Department first responded to reports of a structure fire at the warehouse known as the Ghost Ship around 11:32 p.m. Friday night. Reed told reporters the facility appeared to function as a residential building that hosted a makeshift artists’ studio as well as parties like the one that took place Friday night.

Authorities Sunday asked families with missing loved ones who attended the party to preserve DNA samples as a way of confirming the identities of those who died in the blaze, and the District Attorney’s Office launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

Investigators are trying to determine whether there was criminal liability, and if so, against whom, said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. If charges are brought, they could range from murder to involuntary manslaughter.

Reed said Monday morning the history of the building is being examined for clues about how the tragedy took place.

“The city of Oakland is still looking at the history with the building … We’ve got a vibrant community in Oakland that we embrace, and we obviously want to make sure that we’re preventing any disasters like this in the future,” she said.

Oakland police have responded to numerous calls about the warehouse in the past, the department said, but it is unclear how many.

President Obama released a statement Monday, saying his administration is in close contact with state and local entities to help ensure that authorities have the resources needed to investigate its cause.

The president also offered a note of condolence:

“Today our prayers go out to the people of Oakland, California in the aftermath of this weekend’s deadly warehouse fire — one of the worst fires in the state’s history,” the statement said. “While we still don’t know the full toll of this disaster, we do know that an American community has been devastated, and many people — including young men and women with their whole futures ahead of them — have tragically lost their lives. I want to thank the dedicated first responders who have been working tirelessly for days to contain the situation, recover victims, and treat the wounded.”

Speaking to ABC News Monday, Oakland residents described often tenuous housing situations in the area, where large numbers of people frequently live in small or makeshift spaces.

The Oakland-based weekly newspaper East Bay Express previously blamed gentrification and rising rents in the Bay Area for putting the region’s counter-cultural arts scene in a crisis of space and money.

Authorities said Monday morning that firefighters were encountering obstacles in their search because of the precarious nature of the structure.

Reed said firefighters are taking mental health breaks as a way of coping with the exhausting and traumatic job they are undertaking.

“We set up at our union hall yesterday for the anticipation of many firefighters that just wanted to kind of watch football together and chill, eat some pizza, debrief with peers before going home to their families. Sometimes it helps to kind of offload those emotions before bringing it home,” she told GMA.

“We’ve got our peer-support group off the scene, available offsite. We have an incredible number of new firefighters who are realizing the somber effect of a very dangerous fire and the tragic loss in our community.”

Rain is expected in the region Wednesday, which could further complicate recovery efforts for firefighters.

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