Christchurch mosque attacks: Gunman pleads guilty to murder, attempted murder and terrorism | Stuff.co.nz

The man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks has entered shock guilty pleas, bringing relief to survivors and victims’ families.

Amid extraordinary coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Brenton Tarrant, 29, appeared via video-link in the High Court at Christchurch on Thursday morning and admitted 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of engaging in a terrorist act.

He’d previously pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was scheduled to stand trial on June 2.

GEORGE HEARD/STUFF
Fifty-one people died as a result of the March 15, 2019 attack.

Tarrant, who wore a grey prisoner sweater, was largely silent and emotionless throughout the hearing. He sat alone in a white room with a grey door at Auckland Prison, Paremoremo, where he’s held in maximum security.

The terrorist’s lawyers, Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson, appeared via video-link from another court room.

Brenton Tarrant pleads guilty to murder, attempted murder and terrorism via AVL in the Christchurch High Court.

The names of all 51 people killed were read to Tarrant, before he was asked how he pleaded to the murder charges.

He replied: “Yes, guilty.”

The same process was followed for the attempted murder charges.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/STUFF
Terrorist Brenton Tarrant pictured at his first court appearance, the day after the mosque shootings.

Justice Cameron Mander remanded Tarrant in custody, but has not yet set a date for sentencing, when the summary of facts would be made public.

Few people knew of the special hearing, which was only scheduled late Wednesday, on the eve of an unprecedented nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Six New Zealand journalists attended. Also in court were the imams from both targeted mosques. An-nur (Al Noor) imam Gamal Fouda was visibly upset as the guilty pleas were entered.

JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF
Mustafa Boztas still has a fragment of a bullet inside him.

The hearing concluded at 10.30am, but the judge suppressed the outcome for an hour to allow victims, who were unaware of the hearing, to be notified.

The decision to hold the hearing amid the national state of emergency was not made lightly.

Earlier in the week Tarrant indicated to counsel that he might change his pleas. A formal request was made on Wednesday that the matter be brought before the court.

DAVID WALKER/STUFF
Omar Abdel-Ghany, whose father Ahmed Gamal Eldin Abdel-Ghany was killed at Masjid An-Nur.

Mander said both the Crown and defence asked to have the hearing expedited, despite the severe health restrictions.

The courts were considered an essential public service that was able to deal with “priority proceedings without compromising people’s health”.

The judge said he felt the court had the capacity to safely hear the matter by limiting the number of people in court. In total, 17 people were present.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reflects on the last year following the Christchurch mosque shootings.

It was regrettable the Covid-19 restrictions prevented victims from attending, he said, but the imams had been asked to be present to bear witness to the proceedings.

“It was my assessment that taking the defendant’s pleas at this time was the appropriate course in the circumstances,” Mander said.

“The entry of guilty pleas represents a very significant step towards bringing finality to this criminal proceeding, and I considered the need to take the opportunity to progress the matter was particularly acute coming as it has at a time when the risk of further delay as a result of Covid-19 was looming as realistic possibility.”

Mander said the defendant would not be sentenced before the court returned to normal operations.

The defendant had been remanded to a nominal date of May 1. It was hoped a sentencing date would be confirmed in the interim.

“It is fully anticipated that all who wish to attend court for the sentencing hearing will be able to do so in person.”  

On March 15 last year, Tarrant drove from his Dunedin home to Christchurch with an arsenal of guns and ammunition he’d amassed since moving from Australia to New Zealand in 2017.

The white supremacist entered Masjid An-nur (also known as the Al Noor Mosque) on Deans Ave as Friday prayers were beginning, about 1.40pm, and opened fire – killing and wounding dozens of people.

He then drove across town to the Linwood Mosque where he continued his shooting spree.

Tarrant was arrested a short time later after his car, a gold Subaru Outback, was rammed off the road by two police officers on Brougham St as he tried to make his way to a third target, though to be a mosque in Ashburton, where he planned to carry out another attack.

When police searched the vehicle they found several guns and petrol bombs.

NZ’S WORST MASS SHOOTING

In total, 51 people were killed in the terrorist attack, the worst mass shooting by an individual in New Zealand history.

Tarrant was the first person to be charged under NZ’s Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.

Omar Abdel-Ghany, whose father Ahmed Gamal Eldin Abdel-Ghany was killed at Masjid An-Nur, said he could not understand what caused Tarrant to change his plea.

“I’m both shocked and relieved. Shocked at the sudden change in plea, relieved that my family and I, along with other victims won’t have to relive it all through the courts.”

Muslim Association of Canterbury spokesman Tony Green said his immediate reaction was one of enormous relief and great gratitude.

“I think the victims will feel a huge weight has been lifted from their shoulders. Our position has always been to let justice take its course, but a trial would have put a lot of pressure on our families. If you look at the anguish caused by the trial of Grace Millane’s killer you can see how bad it would be for 51 families.”

Mustafa Boztas, who lay on the ground inside the Masjid An-nur with a bullet in his leg, pretending to be dead, said from Turkey he always knew Tarrant would be found guilty. 

“I feel he basically played with our minds and emotionally upset us more for no reason.”

Boztas said he would have stayed in the country instead of going overseas if he’d known Tarrant was going to plead guilty. 

“While it can’t undo the damage it has brought upon our community and country, it gives me hope that this help bring not only justice but some closure to those touched by this event.

“To the families, I hope this brings you peace, and a sense that love can conquer hate. While this closes the criminal proceedings for the shootings, please know there is still a long way to go in recovery for some of us, so thank you for your continued support.”

Yasir Amin, whose father 67-year-old Muhammad Amin Nasir was shot in the back by the gunman shooting from his car, said the guilty pleas were good news.

“It’s good to avoid a trial because we would be reminded of everything, every day of the six week trial. We’ve avoided that mental torture and we’re not in a situation where the outcome is not 100 per cent sure.”

Nasir was to undergo another operation on Monday but the operation was postponed due to Covid-19 measures. He had spent two months in hospital after the shootings and had another 20-day stay in December.

“He is now doing well. He goes for walks and eats well.”

Just about every organ in his father’s body except his heart had been damaged by the shotgun pellets, Amin said.

Nasir was shot about 200 metres from the mosque on Deans Ave. The gunman drove past Amin and his father, who were walking to the mosque along the footpath, when he aimed a shotgun at them from his car. Both ran for their lives but Nasir was shot. Their plight was captured by a motel CCTV camera. 

‘HE’S GOT TO PAY THE TIME’

Tarrant’s grandmother, Marie Fitzgerald, had no idea about the plea until called by Stuff.

“I feel sorry he did the crime, but he’s got to pay the time now.”

She declined to comment further.

Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso said support was ongoing for hundreds of victims who still need help coping with the trauma of the event and rebuilding their lives.

“We’re pleased victims no longer have to face the trauma of the trial.”

The victims had shown remarkable courage and resilience in the face of a heart-breaking, shocking and senseless tragedy, Tso said.

“They have our utmost respect and promise that we will be here for them for as long as they need us.”

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the pleas were a “significant milestone in respect of one of our darkest days”.

“I want to acknowledge the victims, their families and the community of Christchurch – the many lives that were changed forever. They have inspired all of us to be a kind and more tolerant community.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would provide some relief to the many people whose lives were “shattered” on March 15.

“These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, and other witnesses, the ordeal of a trial,” she said.

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Birth Tourism: Pregnant Nigerian Women To Be Denied United States Visa Under New Policy – Motherhood In-Style Magazine

The United States Government on Thursday gave visa officers more power to block pregnant women abroad including those from Nigeria from visiting America. Under a new rule, the US Department of State directed visa officers to stop “birth tourism” — trips designed to obtain citizenship for children of pregnant women to the country.

The President Donald Trump’s administration is using the new rule, which takes effect on Friday, to push consular officers abroad to reject women they believe are entering the United States specifically to gain citizenship for their child by giving birth.

The visas covered by the new rule are issued to those seeking to visit for pleasure, medical treatment or to see friends and family, a report by The New York Times, said.

Conservatives have long railed against what they call “anchor babies,” born on American soil and used by their parents to bring in other family members.

President Trump has also criticised the constitutional provision that grants citizenship to most babies born on American soil.

It is not clear whether such “birth tourism” is a significant phenomenon or that “anchor babies” do lead to substantial immigration, but many conservatives believe both issues are real and serious.

“Birth tourism poses risks to national security,”

Carl C. Risch, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs at the State Department, wrote in the final rule.

“The birth tourism industry is also rife with criminal activity, including international criminal schemes.”

Consular officers were already unlikely to grant visa to women, who they believe were travelling to the United States solely to give birth. But with the new rule, the White House seems to be signalling to officers abroad that those close to delivering a child would be added to a growing list of immigrants unwelcome in the United States.

Nigeria is number three on birth tourism list in the United States after Russia and China. On Tuesday the US announced plans to impose fresh visa restrictions on countries including Nigeria.

Trump’s administration said the move was necessary to prevent potential acts of terrorism, as countries on the list don’t adequately vet their travelers to America.

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Seven Kings stabbings: Two men arrested on suspicion of murder after three knifed to death in north east London | London Evening Standard

person car

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after three men were knifed to death in Seven Kings yesterday. 

The pair, aged 29 and 39, were detained following the incident in north-east London on Sunday evening, the Metropolitan Police said.

Officers were called to Emstead Road at 7.38pm, to reports of a disturbance, and three men were found with stab wounds. 

The London Ambulance Service sent paramedics to tend to the wounded but despite their efforts they were pronounced dead at the scene. 

Crime scene: A murder inquiry has been launched (Nigel Howard)

The victims, who have not yet been formally identified, are believed to be in their 20s and 30s.

Scotland Yard today said the arrested men and the deceased knew each other and are believed to be members of the Sikh community in the area. 

Investigations: Officers in the area following the stabbings (PA)

Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman said officers are still making efforts to contact the families of the victims and described the incident as “horrific”. 

“It was a horrific scene for anyone to come across and my heart goes out to the families and those affected by it because it is unprecedented to have something like this,” he added.

Cordon: Police remain at the crime scene this morning (PA)

On Monday morning, a police cordon was in place outside Seven Kings railway station.

The motive for the attack remains unclear, though police have ruled out terrorism. 

A tent has been set up by police within the cordon (PA)

Post-mortem examinations following the deaths are set to be arranged.

The leader of Redbridge Council, Jas Athwal, said he believes knives were used in the bloody killings and that it was an isolated incident.

Police dogs joined officers on the scene (Nigel Howard)

“An incident like this is unheard of within the Sikh community here in Redbridge,” he said.

“I think tragically there are at least three families who are going to be in mourning and this is going to last a lifetime for the people left behind.

“We’ve got to look at the causes of why this happened and address those.”

The incident has been described as ‘unprecedented’ (PA)

He was critical of bloody footage shared on social media – appearing to show the aftermath of the killings – and denounced those who put the footage online. 

“I think the first response should be ’What can we do to help?’. To put it on social media is not right.”

Detectives have urged anyone with information to call police on 101 quoting reference 6374/19jan or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Biafra: Nnamdi Kanu Makes ‘Strong’ Allegation Against Buhari Govt, Facebook

person

The leader of the (IPOB) and Director of Radio Biafra, , has accused Facebook staff in Nigeria of colluding with President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to remove his followers and reduce reactions to his posts on the popular social media platform.

reports that the IPOB leader who made this claim in a recent statement personally signed by him, said it was so bad that the social media giant was also diverting some of his followers to fake accounts opened under his name, just to sabotage his effort to attain freedom for Biafra.

Kanu bemoaned that despite reporting the fake accounts severally to the Nigerian office of Facebook, the fake accounts had been allowed to flourish and garner more followers who mistook them for his own.

His words: “I wish to apologise to my followers on Facebook for the Nigerian government sponsored attack on my page with the help of corrupt Facebook local staff based in Lagos.

“Facebook Nigeria in collusion with the Nigerian government is removing my followers and reducing the reactions to my post in an effort to demoralise our activist base and give the misleading impression that not many people are interested in exposing the ills of the totalitarian Fulani APC regime and Biafra restoration.

“Facebook is actively preventing the general public from accessing the truthful messages that I publish.

“Tactfully, they are directing my followers to numerous fake “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu” Facebook page cloned by Nigeria’s secret police, DSS with the help of Facebook Nigeria in an effort to defraud the public and control the narrative.”

“IPOB had on many occasions reported these fake Mazi Nnamdi Kanu Facebook accounts to their highly corrupt Nigeria office but it continued to be an active participant in this massive effort to deceive the public.

The IPOB leader added that “Also Radio Biafra Facebook page and many frontline IPOB activists have also been experiencing this pattern of attack for many months now.

“This shameful practice by Facebook Nigeria to allow the suppression of truth and free speech is indirectly supporting state-sponsored terrorism in Nigeria.

“IPOB made an official complaint to Facebook headquarters in California USA, and we expect the management to clear its reputation, and desist from this shameful act.

“I will continue to expose evil in Nigeria, fight for the enthronement of justice for all and restoration of Biafra regardless of the corrupt tendencies of Facebook Nigeria,” Kanu opined

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Facebook, FG Diverting My Followers to Fake Accounts, IPOB Leader, Kanu Alleges

person

• Accuses Facebook of Supporting State-sponsored Terrorism

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has accused Facebook staff in the Nigeria office of colluding with the federal government to hinder his followers from viewing his posts on the popular social media sites.

Kanu, in a press statement he personally signed, said it was so bad that the social media giant was also diverting some of his followers to fake accounts opened under his name, just to sabotage his effort to attain freedom for Biafra.

He added that the fake accounts had been allowed to flourish and garner more followers who mistook them for his own, despite severally reporting the fake accounts to the Nigerian office of Facebook.

Kanu said, “I wish to apologise to my followers on Facebook for the Nigerian government sponsored attack on my page with the help of corrupt Facebook local staff based in Lagos.

“Facebook Nigeria in collusion with the Nigerian government is removing my followers and reducing the reactions to my post in an effort to demoralise our activist base and give the misleading impression that not many people are interested in exposing the ills of the totalitarian Fulani APC regime and Biafra restoration.

“Facebook is actively preventing the general public from accessing the truthful messages that I publish.

“Tactfully, they are directing my followers to numerous fake “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu” Facebook page cloned by Nigeria’s secret police, DSS with the help of Facebook Nigeria in an effort to defraud the public and control the narrative.”

IPOB had on many occasions reported these fake Mazi Nnamdi Kanu Facebook accounts to their highly corrupt Nigeria office but it continued to be an active participant in this massive effort to deceive the public.

He added that, “Also Radio Biafra Facebook page and many frontline IPOB activists have also been experiencing this pattern of attack for many months now.

“This shameful practice by Facebook Nigeria to allow the suppression of truth and free speech is indirectly supporting state-sponsored terrorism in Nigeria.

“IPOB made an official complaint to Facebook headquarters in California USA, and we expect the management to clear its reputation, and desist from this shameful act.

“I will continue to expose evil in Nigeria, fight for the enthronement of justice for all and restoration of Biafra regardless of the corrupt tendencies of Facebook Nigeria.”

The post Facebook, FG Diverting My Followers to Fake Accounts, IPOB Leader, Kanu Alleges appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.

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Facebook colludes with Nigerian govt to demoralise IPOB, suppress truth — Nnamdi Kanu

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Kanu, IPOB, Jonathan
Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra

Chimaobi Nwaiwu

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday alleged that Nigerian Government is faking his Facebook page and using it to sponsor attacks, while also colluding with Facebook Nigeria in removing his followers and reducing the reactions to his post.

He alleged that the action of the Nigerian Government and Facebook Nigeria is in an effort to demoralise the IPOB activist base and give the misleading impression that not many people are interested in exposing the ills of the alleged totalitarian All Progressives Congresses, APC, the government in Nigeria.

Also read: Biafra: Lawyer files criminal complaint against Kanu at ICC, seeks arrest warrant

Mazi Kanu in a statement he personally signed, titled, “Facebook Nigeria has become another corrupt entity of the terror-sponsoring Fulani Government” said he and IPOB as a group have made an official complaint to Facebook headquarters in California USA and expects the management to clear its reputation, and desist from the shameful act.

The IPOB leader further alleged that Nigerian government in connivance with Facebook Nigeria is directing his followers to numerous fake “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu” Facebook page, allegedly cloned by Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services, DSS in an effort to defraud the public and control the narrative.

He, however, stated that he will continue to expose evil in Nigeria, fight for the enthronement of justice for all and restoration of Biafra regardless of the corrupt tendencies of Facebook Nigeria, and the effort by the Nigerian government conceal the truth.

Mazi Kanu’s statement read, “I wish to apologise to my followers on Facebook for the Nigerian government-sponsored attack on my page with the help of corrupt Facebook local staff based in Lagos.”

“Facebook Nigeria in collusion with the Nigerian government is removing my followers and reducing the reactions to my post in an effort to demoralise our activist base and give the misleading impression that not many people are interested in exposing the ills of the totalitarian Fulani APC regime and Biafra restoration.

“Facebook is actively preventing the general public from accessing the truthful messages that I publish.

“Tactfully, they are directing my followers to numerous fake “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu” Facebook page cloned by Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of States Services, DSS, with the help of Facebook Nigeria in an effort to defraud the public and control the narrative.

“IPOB had on many occasions reported these fake Mazi Nnamdi Kanu Facebook accounts to their highly corrupt Nigeria office, but it continues to be an active participant in this massive effort to deceive the public.

“This present attack has come in the critical time when Nigeria, West Africa and Biafra land are experiencing the horrific slaughter of 11 Christians in Nigeria during this goodwill season of Christmas.

“Facebook by its actions as part of a wider government effort to clamp down on the truth is knowingly aiding and abating terrorism.

“Also Radio Biafra Facebook page and many front line IPOB activists have also been experiencing this pattern of attack for many months now.”

According to Mazi Kanu, “This shameful practice by Facebook Nigeria to allow the suppression of truth and free speech is indirectly supporting state-sponsored terrorism in Nigeria.”

“IPOB made an official complaint to Facebook headquarters in California USA, and we expect the management to clear its reputation, and desist from this shameful act.

The post Facebook colludes with Nigerian govt to demoralise IPOB, suppress truth — Nnamdi Kanu appeared first on Vanguard News.

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DSS Wanted Sowore To Sign Death Warrant While In Detention –- Falana SAN

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Femi Falana, counsel to the convener #RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, on Monday alleged that the federal government, through the Department of State Services (DSS) offered the Sahara Reporters publisher a death warrant deal while he was in their detention.

Falana, who made this revelation featuring as a guest on TVC flagship programme, “Your View”, insisted that the Nigerian government reached out for the deal during Sowore’s first 45 days in detention.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) alleged further that when the government went behind Sowore to get an order to detain him for 45 days to investigate his alleged terrorism, “at the end of the investigation, nothing was found but they went to him in detention to reach a deal.”

To buttress his claims, Falana explained that the DSS also reached out to him to convince Sowore when they could not persuade him to take the death warrant deal he was being offered.

“When they could not succeed, they met me and they wanted me to persuade him to agree to sign his death warrant and I told them off. So, when they could not convince him to take the deal, the DSS then filed charges against him,” he said.

While giving clarifications on the event that happened in the courtroom last Friday, he maintained that his client was assaulted inside the court contrary to the claims by the DSS.

“We have already identified those involved in this act of gangsterism. We know them. They know I know all of them. Sowore’s rearrest inside the court was acknowledged by the head of the DSS team inside Justice Ijeoma’s office.

“The judge summoned the DSS leader to her office and challenged him on the incident and he apologised profusely right in her office in my presence. Their claim of arresting Sowore outside the court is a reckless lie,” said Falana.

Countering the DSS claim, he posited that if truly “Sowore’s arrest was stage-managed by his supporters assaulting him in court, was the DSS not supposed to protect him?” he queried.

The post DSS Wanted Sowore To Sign Death Warrant While In Detention –- Falana SAN appeared first on TheNigerialawyer.

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Revealed: how the FBI targeted environmental activists in domestic terror investigations

Protesters were characterized as a threat to national security in what one calls an attempt to criminalize their actions

Dakota Access pipeline

Helen Yost, a 62-year-old environmental educator, has been a committed activist for nearly a decade. She says she spends 60 to 80 hours a week as a community organizer for Wild Idaho Rising Tide; to save money, she lives in an RV. Shes been arrested twice for engaging in non-violent civil disobedience.

Yost may not fit the profile of a domestic terrorist, but in 2014 the FBI classified her as a potential threat to national security. According to hundreds of pages of FBI files obtained by the Guardian through a Freedom of Information Act (Foia) lawsuit, and interviews with activists, Yost and more than a dozen other people campaigning against fossil fuel extraction in North America have been identified indomestic terrorism-related investigations.

The investigations, which targeted individual activists and some environmental organizations, were opened in 2013-2014, at the height of opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline and the expansion of fossil fuel production in North America.

From
From an FBI communication on Helen Yost, dated 24 July 2014.

The new Foia documents reveal the bureaus motivation for investigating a broad cross-section of the environmental movement and its characterization of non-violent protesters as a potential threat to national security.

In 2010, the DoJs inspector general criticized the FBI for using non-violent civil disobedience as grounds to open domestic terrorism investigations. US citizens swept up in such investigations can be placed on terrorism watchlists and subjected to surveillance and restrictions on international travel. The designation can also lead local law enforcement to take a more confrontational approach when engaging with non-violent activists.

The FBIs 2013-2014 investigation of Keystone XL activists in Houston violated internal agency guidelines designed to prevent the bureau from infringing on constitutionally protected activities. The investigations opened in 2013-2014 were closed after the FBI concluded that the individuals and organizations had not engaged in criminal activity and did not a pose a threat to national security.

In 2015, the Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project, which required state department approval because it would cross international borders, handing the environmental movement a major victory. More large-scale protests followed, including the standoff over the Dakota Access pipeline, which temporarily delayed the project.

But those decisions have been reversed in recent years. Donald Trump has approved construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and his administration has also advocated for stiffer penalties against activists who engage in non-violent direct action targeting fossil fuel infrastructure. Meanwhile, in the wake of the Standing Rock protests, seven states have passed legislation making it a crime to trespass on property containing critical infrastructure.

In its July 2014 file on Yost, the FBI cited federal anti-terrorism legislation prohibiting attacks and other violence against railroad carriers as the primary justification for opening the investigation. Violation of the law can lead to up to 20 years in prison. Activists who engage in non-violent civil disobedience and are charged with minor offenses such as trespassing are typically released within 48 hours.

The FBI characterized Yost as being driven by a desire to stop fossil fuels which, in her political view, are destroying parts of the US, specifically Montana, Idaho and Washington. In addition, the FBI discussed the case with the US attorneys office in Idaho, local law enforcement, and BNSF Railway, which operates the main rail line delivering coal and oil to export terminals in the Pacific north-west.

FBI
From an FBI communication on Helen Yost, dated 24 July 2014.

According to the FBI file, the bureau opened the investigation based on information that Yost was organizing and planning on conducting illegal activities against railroad companies from Montana into Idaho and Washington.

Yost said Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) never organized direct action protests to disrupt oil train traffic passing in the region. The heavily redacted Yost investigation concludes that no potential criminal violations or priority threats to national security warranting further investigation were identified.

WIRT did participate in a series of community-led events and workshops in July and August 2014 opposing the transport of oil and coal by rail. Investigators may have conflated several community events to assume such fictitious allegations, Yost said in an email.

For several years, WIRT, founded in 2011, had been publicizing its actions on the organizations Facebook page. Much of its activity had focused on stopping the passage of huge trucks known as megaloads, which transport processing equipment to tar sands oil fields in Canada and weigh hundreds of thousands of pounds, along one of Idahos scenic byways.

The campaign involved posting public records on the megaload routes, tracking their progress, and at times blockading their movement.

Yost was also active in protesting against the shipment of coal and oil by rail to export terminals in Seattle. In the summer of 2014, WIRT, along with several other environmental organizations and native groups across the Pacific north-west, sponsored a series of rallies and workshops in the region.

Those protests were peaceful a handful of activists in Montana including the environmental writer Rick Bass were arrested for trespassing and in the end the FBI concluded that Yost did not pose a threat to national security. Several months later the investigation was closed.

However, in the file closing the case, it appears that Yost has been watchlisted, which is standard for named subjects of FBI domestic terrorism investigations, according to Mike German, a former FBI agent who is now a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice. Being watchlisted can lead to heightened scrutiny from law enforcement and delays or additional screenings when traveling. Yost said she had not traveled overseas since the FBI investigation.

Yost, who was contacted by an FBI agent when the case was still active, said she was not surprised by the agencys actions. Surveillance was a form of suppression, she said, and this was another attempt to criminalize the actions of normal people working to protect natural resources. But she remains undeterred.

Assume they know the color of your underwear every morning and get up and resist anyway, Yost said.

Herb Goodwin, a 70-year-old activist, has a similar philosophy. Were all under surveillance, Goodwin said. If they want to look at your stuff, theyre going to.

In 2013-2014 Goodwin frequently participated in actions organized by Yost and WIRT. He was also part of the Occupy Wall Street protests in Bellingham, Washington, in 2011 and was one of 12 individuals arrested that year for blockading a BNSF coal train passing through the city. They became known as the Bellingham 12.

Goodwin was one of at least a dozen environmental activists, many of them affiliated with the group Deep Green Resistance, contacted by FBI agents in autumn 2014. In early October that year, not long after Goodwin returned from a megaload resistance campaign in Idaho, an FBI agent and a police intelligence officer showed up at his residence.According to Goodwin, they wanted to ask him questions about the environmental group Deep Green Resistance. Goodwin refused to cooperate and referred the agents to his lawyer, who himself became a subject of interest to the FBI.

Founded in 2011 Deep Green Resistance (DGR), based on the principles laid out in the book of the same name, describes itself as a radical organization that uses direct action in the fight to save the planet. Though the group supports underground movements, its members abide by a code of conduct that includes a commitment to nonviolence and operating entirely above-ground. According to the groups website, We do not want to be involved in or aware of any underground organizing. In another FBI interview with a DGR member documented in the files, the activist even invited the agents to attend one of DGRs presentations.

FBI files show that the bureau initiated the two-year investigation into DGR to determine if the group or any of its members were planning to engage in the destruction of energy facilities or attacks against railroad companies, referring to the same federal statute cited in the Yost investigation.

But the FBI also took an interest in constitutionally protected activities, including DGR members participation in public meetings and lectures and the groups early organizing efforts.

Even though the FBI investigation found no evidence that DGR was planning to engage in violent activity, it often portrayed the group as an extremist organization. One individual contacted numerous times by the FBI was said to have been a suspected member of the Deep Green Resistances extremist wing and a participant in DGRs Midwest extremist planning process. DGR did have a strategic planning conference in Wisconsin in spring 2012 which they said was attended by about 30 people, but it was publicly advertised and focused on building the organization, fundraising and leadership training.

From
From an FBI communication on Deep Green Resistance, dated 28 November 2014.

The FBI also focused its attention on DGR organizing at Western Washington University, which hosted a lecture in 2011 by two of the groups members, Max Wilbert and Dillon Thomson. Information about the lecture, titled Environmentalism for the New Century, and about the professor who hosted it was included in the FBI files. Wilbert, who attended WWU, is also a member of DGRs board of directors.

As part of the investigation, the FBI met with the universitys police department to discuss possible Deep Green Resistance presence on the WWU campus. The FBI also said it would attempt to determine whether any of the professors in the environmental sciences department were involved in the DGR movement.

FBI
From an FBI communication on Deep Green Resistance, dated 21 November 2013.

The sweeping investigation into DGRs activities was formally closed in 2014 but Wilbert assumes that the group is still being closely watched. Wilbert, who is also a writer and photographer, frequently posts short polemical essays on his Facebook page or the Deep Green Resistance website.

Wilbert said that on 7 September 2018, nearly four years after the investigation was closed, he got a call from an FBI agent in Seattle informing him that the bureau had received an anonymous tip regarding something he had written online. The agent also left a card at Wilberts parents home.

Im pretty outspoken about being a revolutionary, somebody who believes in the necessity for revolutionary change, Wilbert said. Its not something I hide.

An FBI file documenting the online tip describes Wilbert as an environmental extremist involved in inciting violence in Seattle.

German, the former FBI agent, whose recent book, Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide, chronicles the troubling post-9/11 expansion of the FBIs domestic surveillance powers, said the agency had failed to heed the warnings laid out in a 2010 justice department IG investigation that criticized the FBIs targeting of certain domestic advocacy groups. According to German, the Yost files and the two-year DGR investigation show how ineffective these internal oversight mechanisms are to preventing abusive and wasteful investigations of non-violent protesters.

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Ground Zero Memorial and Rebuilding Fast Facts

Architecture

(CNN)Here’s a look at the rebuilding of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and the memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks.

April 28, 2003 – The World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition launches.
June 2003 – The Memorial Competition submission period closes. 5,201 submissions are received from 63 nations.
    November 19, 2003 – Eight prospective plans chosen from the submissions are displayed for the public in the World Financial Center in New York.
    January 6, 2004 – The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announces its choice of “Reflecting Absence” by Israeli-born architect Michael Arad.
    September 10, 2005 – Supporters of the Take Back the Memorial campaign protest the inclusion of an International Freedom Center in plans for the memorial.
    September 28, 2005 – In a written statement, Governor George Pataki announces that plans for the International Freedom Center adjacent to the planned memorial at the World Trade Center site have been abandoned.
    July 12, 2011 – More than 42,000 passes to the memorial are reserved in the first 24 hours they are made available.
    September 11, 2011 – The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the dedication of the memorial.
    September 12, 2011 – The memorial opens to the public.
    2012 – A dispute between the Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey delays construction of the 9/11 museum planned for the memorial site. The museum was originally supposed to open on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.
    September 10, 2012 – The budgetary dispute delaying the opening of the museum is resolved when all parties enter into a “memorandum of understanding,” an agreement that allows them to restart construction.
    May 15, 2014 – The National September 11 Memorial & Museum opens its doors for the 9/11 community — survivors, families and rescuers. Within it are 12,500 objects, 1,995 oral histories and 580 hours of film and video.
    May 21, 2014 – The museum opens to the public.
    Redevelopment of Lower Manhattan:
    Fall 2001 – New York Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani create the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC). The mission of the LMDC is to “help plan and coordinate the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan.”
    The LMDC also administers the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition, a separate process from that of rebuilding the World Trade Center area.
    A 15-member board of directors governs the LMDC. The governor of New York and the mayor of New York City each appoint half of the members. The LMDC is also assisted by nine advisory councils.
    According to an audit conducted by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the rebuilding cost grew from approximately $11 billion in 2008 to $14.8 billion in 2012.
    August 12, 2002 FEMA and the Federal Transit Administration announce $4.55 billion in federal aid for transportation improvements in Lower Manhattan.
    September 26, 2002 Six design teams are hired, out of 407 submissions, to create land use plans for the 16-acre site.
    December 18, 2002 An exhibit of nine possible designs opens at the World Financial Center.
    February 27, 2003 Daniel Libeskind’s “Memory Foundations” is selected as the new design for the site.
    September 17, 2003 The LMDC releases a revised Master Plan for the site.
    November 23 2003 – PATH train service is restored, linking Lower Manhattan and New Jersey. Trains operate out of a temporary station in the area.
    December 19, 2003 Plans for the Freedom Tower to be built at Ground Zero are revealed.
    January 22, 2004 – Architect Santiago Calatrava unveils his plans for the area transportation hub.
    July 4, 2004 Construction at Freedom Tower begins. A 20-ton slab of granite, inscribed “the enduring spirit of freedom,” is laid as the cornerstone of one of the new skyscrapers that will stand on the site.
    May 4, 2005 Governor Pataki calls for a redesign of the new tower for safety reasons.
    June 29, 2005 – New York officials release the latest design for the signature building at the site after revising it to make the tower more secure.
    September 6, 2005 Architect Santiago Calatrava and public officials dedicate the first steel rail for the future transportation station.
    December 15, 2005 Architect Lord Norman Foster agrees to design the next major building planned for the site. Foster will design a 65-story tower for the northeast corner of the 16-acre site.
    April 26, 2006 The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and developer Larry Silverstein reach an agreement about the financing of Freedom Tower, resolving problems that had delayed construction.
    April 27, 2006 The formal groundbreaking of Freedom Tower takes place.
    March 26, 2009 The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announces dropping the name “Freedom Tower,” and that the first commercial lease in the building has been signed. Upon completion, the building will be named One World Trade Center.
    May 10, 2013 Construction workers bolt the last pieces of a 408-foot spire into place atop One World Trade Center, bringing the building to a height of 1,776 feet. This height references the year the United States declared its independence. It also makes the building the tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the third tallest in the world.
    November 3, 2014 – One World Trade Center opens for business, when the first tenant, Conde Nast, moves in.
    May 29, 2015 – The observatory opens in the top three floors of One World Trade Center.
      March 3, 2016 – The first phase of the World Trade Center transportation hub opens.
      June 29, 2016 – Liberty Park opens to the public.

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      September 11 Hijackers Fast Facts

      conflicts and war

      (CNN)Here’s some background information about the 19 hijackers of September 11, 2001.

      crime

        The 28 page report on 9/11 you can’t see

      — 8:46 a.m. ET (approx.) – American Airlines Flight 11 (traveling from Boston to Los Angeles) strikes the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The plane is piloted by plot leader Mohamed Atta.
        — 9:03 a.m. ET (approx.) – United Airlines Flight 175 (traveling from Boston to Los Angeles) strikes the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The plane is piloted by hijacker Marwan al Shehhi.
        — 9:37 a.m. ET (approx.) – American Airlines Flight 77 (traveling from Dulles, Virginia, to Los Angeles) strikes the Pentagon Building in Washington. The plane is piloted by hijacker Hani Hanjour.
        — 10:03 a.m. ET (approx.) – United Airlines Flight 93 (traveling from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco) crashes in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The plane is piloted by hijacker Ziad Jarrah.
        Hijackers by Airplane:
        American Airlines Flight 11
        Mohamed Atta – Egypt, tactical leader of 9/11 plot and pilot
        Abdul Aziz al Omari – Saudi Arabia
        Wail al Shehri – Saudi Arabia
        Waleed al Shehri – Saudi Arabia
        Satam al Suqami – Saudi Arabia
        United Airlines Flight 175
        Fayez Banihammad – United Arab Emirates
        Ahmed al Ghamdi – Saudi Arabia
        Hamza al Ghamdi – Saudi Arabia
        Marwan al Shehhi – United Arab Emirates, pilot
        Mohand al Shehri – Saudi Arabia
        American Airlines Flight 77
        Hani Hanjour – Saudi Arabia, pilot
        Nawaf al Hazmi – Saudi Arabia
        Salem al Hazmi – Saudi Arabia
        Khalid al Mihdhar – Saudi Arabia
        Majed Moqed – Saudi Arabia
        United Airlines Flight 93
        Saeed al Ghamdi – Saudi Arabia
        Ahmad al Haznawi – Saudi Arabia
        Ziad Jarrah – Lebanon, pilot
        Ahmed al Nami – Saudi Arabia
        Hijackers by Nationality:
        Egypt
        Mohamed Atta
        Lebanon
        Ziad Jarrah
          Saudi Arabia
          Ahmed al Ghamdi
          Hamza al Ghamdi
          Saeed al Ghamdi
          Hani Hanjour
          Nawaf al Hazmi
          Salem al Hazmi
          Ahmad al Haznawi
          Ahmed al Nami
          Khalid al Mihdhar
          Majed Moqed
          Abdul Aziz al Omari
          Mohand al Shehri
          Wail al Shehri
          Waleed al Shehri
          Satam al Suqami
          United Arab Emirates
          Fayez Banihammad
          Marwan al Shehhi

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