web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

Fourth Brooklyn Man Charged in ISIS Recruiting Plot

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

A fourth Brooklyn man was named in a revised indictment submitted Monday on charges of providing material support and conspiracy to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Daesh, or ISIS) terror organization.

Dilkhayot Kasimov, 26, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court on charges of collecting $1,600 from multiple individuals to help send one of two Brooklyn men to Syria to join the group.

Both were arrested earlier this year, along with a third who worked together with Kasimov. All four are Uzbekistani nationals. Kasimov’s protege, Akhror Saidakhmetov, was caught in February at JFK International Airport just before boarding a flight to Turkey, where he expected to cross the border into Syria.

Kasimov allegedly encouraged others to participate in violent jihad through the use of electronic messages, according to prosecutors. He worked together with Abror Habibov, who owned cell phone kiosks, and who allegedly also helped in facilitating the travel of foreign fighters to Syria.

Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev had allegedly also planned to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS.

The three defendants picked up in February have already pleaded not guilty in March at a hearing in Brooklyn federal court to charges of conspiracy.

All four are being held at a detention center in New Jersey, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Authority.

Biggest Democratic Foe of Obama on Iran Indicted

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) was indicted on Wednesday, April 1. The 61-year old senator has been in public life for more than 40 years.

Menendez was indicted on corruption charges which accuse the senator of actions taken on behalf of a wealthy campaign donor in exchange for expensive vacations and gifts.

The indictment charges Menendez with conspiracy with his friend and donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, eight counts of bribery and other charges, including making false statements.

The indictment states that Menendez made overtures to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which claimed Melgen overbilled the government by nearly $9 million. It also claims that Menendez intervened two other times by making inquiries on behalf of Melgen and his friends.

In exchange for taking these actions on behalf of Melgen, Menendez allegedly accepted, among other things, free flights on Melgen’s private jet and vacations at Melgen’s resort home in the Dominican Republic, as well as campaign contributions and contributions to the senator’s legal defense fund.

Menendez said the charges against him are “outrageous.” He claimed that all the claims against him were trumped up by political enemies.

“I’m confident that at the end of the day, I will be vindicated, and they will be exposed,” Menendez said.

However, the senator will step down from his position as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is from that seat that the New Jersey senator has proven to be particularly irksome to this administration, as Menendez has pushed hard for increased sanctions against Iran throughout the current negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear power program.

Most congressional Democrats have been in lock-step with U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, but Senator Menendez has pushed back hard against the administration’s insistence on pursuing an agreement with a wily adversary few believe will ever follow the terms of any deal.

Menendez also opposed Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. The senator is Cuban American.

US Army Vet Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ on Trying to Join ISIS

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Turkish authorities caught a U.S. Armed Forces veteran this past January as he was allegedly attempting to join Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group, or ISIS.

U.S. federal authorities say U.S. Air Force veteran and New Jersey native Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, 47, flew to Turkey from Egypt in January, but was denied entry to the country. Instead, they say Turkey sent Pugh back to Egypt, who then deported the veteran to the U.S.

(Given the skill and speed with which Turkish authorities caught this suspect, one wonders how three Islamic schoolgirls from the UK managed to sneak through the country into Syria to become Daesh “brides.”)

Pugh was arrested January 10 in Turkey and on January 16 in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and has been held in custody since that time, the Wall Street Journal reported. The alleged wannabe terrorist was formally charged by the federal grand jury with attempting to provide material support to ISIS and obstruction of justice. On Wednesday he pleaded “not guilty” in a New York federal court room, CNN reported.

If found guilty, Pugh could be sentenced to a maximum of 35 years in prison.

According to a post on the blog of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Pugh’s Face­book pro­file included mul­ti­ple anti-Semitic and anti-Israel posts as well as posts sup­port­ing Hamas.

One of the posts written by Pugh in July 2014 stated in part, “All the evil done by the Jews came from within them­selves. On the day of Judg­ment full respon­si­bil­ity of the starv­ing, tor­ture, jail­ing and killing of inno­cent Mus­lims will rest upon there (sic) shoul­ders. Allah must really hate them to give the rope to hang them­selves.” He also posted an image with text stat­ing, “Most Jews do not like to admit it, but our G-d is Lucifer.”

In August 2014, he shared an image that ref­er­enced blood libel accu­sa­tions, depict­ing Israel’s Prime Min­is­ter Binyamin Netanyahu slit­ting the throats of sleep­ing children. Pugh also posted sev­eral car­toons equat­ing Jews, Israelis or Zion­ists to Nazis, as well as numerous images claim­ing to depict Israeli war crimes.

Under questioning while being held in Egypt prior to deportation to the U.S. Pugh claimed he had traveled to Turkey to seek employment, denying he had intended to go to Syria, according to the criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court.

However, a search of the suspect’s laptop by federal agents turned up a map of Turkish-Syrian border crossing points, and some 180 jihadist propaganda videos – including a number showing ISIS prisoners being executed. Also found on his laptop was a letter addressed to “My Misha,” whicch stated, “I will use the talents and skills given to me by Allah to establish and defend the Islamic States.”

That Pugh refers to ‘Islamic States’ in the plural form is, in fact, quite chilling: Daesh has indeed spread its influence and its forces from Iraq and Syria into a number of other countries, including Yemen, Nigeria and Libya. Pockets of terrorist cells have also been found in the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza, Lebanon, France, Belgium, and Denmark.

Pugh was charged with “obstruction of justice” in response to the suspect’s intentional damage and removal of memory chips from four thumb drives in order to stymie law enforcement officials in their attempts to access data, authorities said. According to the criminal complaint, Pugh was also asked why he had a photo of a machine gun on his cell phone. He replied that he had “no particular reason other than simply liking the photograph.”

But Pugh’s history did not begin with his flight to the Turkish-Syrian border; actually he has been on the “watch list” for more than 10 years. Quoting the criminal complaint, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pugh converted to Islam and then started ramping up his radical sympathies after moving to San Antonio in 1998.

The FBI received a first tip from a co-worker while Pugh was working as a mechanic for American Airlines in 2001, when he was saying he sympathized with Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and supported the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Africa. By 2002, the FBI heard that Pugh had expressed interest in traveling to Chechnya to fight the jihad (Islamic holy war.)

Pugh had already worked as an Air Force mechanic from 1986 to 1990, and was assigned to various bases around the world, according to the U.S. Air Force. He lived abroad for some 18 months, including in Egypt and Jordan, prior to his arrest, according to the criminal complaint. But following his discharge, Pugh had trouble holding down a steady job.

At some point from 2009 to 2010, he worked as an Army contractor for a five month period in Iraq.

Earlier this year, he was fired again, this time from a gig as an airplane mechanic for a firm “based in the Middle East.”

Last Friday, three Brooklyn men also pleaded “not guilty” in Brooklyn federal court to charges of conspiring to aid the ISIS terrorist organization.

Over the past 18 months “dozens” of Americans have faced criminal charges relating to ISIS. FBI director James Comey said at a news briefing last month that his agency has active cases open “in every single state” in connection with the ISIS terror organization.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Preventing Americans from joining ISIS has become a priority for federal law-enforcement officials, but they have been unable to find a singular profile of the type of American who is inspired by the militant group’s propaganda.”

Due to the lack of a hat, a tip of the keyboard will have to do for kudos to WSJ journalists Dion Nissenbaum and Nicole Hong for being able to compose and type that last with a (presumed) straight face.

Snow Cripples the Big White Apple [video]

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

New York turned white Tuesday morning as the “storm of the century” threatens to cause heavy damage, flooding and death.

Fear of the storm was enough for public officials to call on people to leave work early and stay off the highways.

Trains and buses were packed like sardine cans. The subway system, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, and the George Washington Bridge were shut down at 11 p.m.

Major and secondary roads were declared off-limits from New Jersey to Massachusetts so that emergency vehicles will have access to plow away snowdrifts, which will be piled higher than usual because of gale-force winds that are accompanying the blizzard.

The forecast is for up to 30 inches of snow to cover New York, followed by freezing weather that will leave citizens snow-bound for up to a few days.

Emergencies have been declared from New Jersey to New England, and Boston also has suspended public and private transport.

Snowfall to the south, in Pennsylvania and Maryland, was less than predicted.

Hurricane-force winds of up to 75 MPH are forecast for New England, which will be buried even deeper than New York.

Following is the warning from New York:

Locations: New York City, and southern Westchester County in southeast New York.

Hazard types: Heavy snow and blowing snow, with blizzard conditions.

Accumulations: snow accumulation of 14 to 20 inches.

Snowfall rates, up to 2 inches per hour into this morning.

Winds: north 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

Visibilities: one quarter mile or less at times.

Temperatures: in the lower 20s.

Timing: heaviest snow and strongest winds into this morning.

Impacts: Life-threatening conditions….. Strong winds may down power lines and tree limbs.

 


Northeastern United States Gears Up for Epic Blizzard

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Forecasters are predicting another “epic” blizzard that could top the one that buried New York and surrounds last winter.

The “potentially historic” snowstorm could dump up to three feet of snow along a swathe from New Jersey as far as southern Maine, according to the National Weather Service.

New Yorkers were out in force as early as Sunday to stock up on essentials, such as candles, matches, snow shovels, rock salt to melt the expected ice on their sidewalks and extra food supplies.

The blizzard warning was issued as early as this weekend, with shoppers already out in force to scour the store shelves in a 250-mile stretch along the northeastern United States. “Milk, cereal, snacks for the kids, orange juice – in general I made sure we had enough food to last through the storm for the next two or three days,” Brooklynite Shlomit Belilos told JewishPress.com late Sunday night.

Heavy snow, gale-force winds and widespread coastal flooding is predicted in New York starting sometime late Monday afternoon or early evening and continuing on into Tuesday. Snow is expected to fall at a rate of up to two inches per hour at some points.

“This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said gravely at a news conference held Sunday. Holding up a list of the Big Apple’s Top Ten Snowstorms, de Blasio said the predicted blizzard could make the list, which dates back to 1872.

“Don’t underestimate this storm,” he warned. “Prepare for the worst,” he advised New Yorkers, telling them to plan to leave work early today (Monday, Jan. 26.) Forecasters predict that New York City could be buried under snow drifts as high as 26 inches or more.

More than 1,700 flights are expected to cancel departures and arrivals at airports along the Eastern Coast. Airlines have already prepared to shut down operations at major airports, according to the FlightAware tracking site.

Philadelphia could see between 14 to 18 inches, and Boston is expected to get between 18 to 24 inches of snow, with up to three feet west of Beantown.

Wind gusts of 75 miles per hour or more are possible for coastal areas of Massachusetts, bringing with them coastal flooding, and up to 50 mph winds further inland.

Boy Isolated in NY Hospital for Possible Ebola

Monday, October 27th, 2014

A 5-year-old boy who arrived in the United States on Saturday from Guinea has been hospitalized in New York City’s Bellevue Hospital for symptoms of Ebola, while senior federal officials are concerned over new quarantine policies in New York and New Jersey.

The boy was not under quarantine. He was hospitalized with a temperature of 103 degrees (39 Celsius) and vomiting.

New York has issued a quarantine policy, but the Obama administration warned that it could actually hurt the fight against Ebola because it would deter medical personnel from traveling to West Africa to fight Ebola.

.Four cases of the disease have been documented in the United States, and the first diagnosed victim, Thomas Duncan, died from Ebola.

The quarantine requires people exposed to anyone with Ebola in New York to stay in their homes for 21 days and be checked twice a day by professionals.

Responding to concerns that mandatory quarantine would inhibit doctors and nurses from traveling to West Africa, Cuomo said New York wanted to encourage personnel to go, lauding their “valor” and “compassion,” while also protecting public safety at home.

Reacting to the quarantine, the Obama administration stated, “We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey, and other states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences of policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source in West Africa.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was not changing the policy even though he praised medical workers fighting Ebola “for their valor and their courage and their compassion.”

New Jersey faces a lawsuit by a nurse who was quarantined for 21 days in a hospital after returning from treating Ebola victims in Sierra Leone. She argued that the quarantine violated her constitutional rights.

Gov. Chris Christie said he was sorry that the quarantine made the nurse “uncomfortable but that he had “the people in New Jersey as my first and foremost responsibility to protect.”

Another suit is expected to be filed this week by a patient in Texas wo was quarantined but not tested positive for Ebola.

Officials Try to Dismiss Arson in Fire of NJ Synagogue Leader’s Car

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Police discovered before dawn Saturday morning, the day after Rosh HaShanah, that the car of a synagogue leader was engulfed in flames, but fire official immediately discounted suspicion of arson.

The car belonged to David Kushner, who serves as spiritual leader of the southern New Jersey synagogue though he is not an ordained rabbi. Kushner, who runs a wedding hall in Lakewood, N.J., learned about the fire when he showed up for Sabbath services the next morning.

The fire caused severe damage to the parking lot and the outer walls of the Orthodox Rodef Shalom synagogue, according to the Jewish Exponent of Philadelphia.

“The car had been towed overnight immediately after the incident by the Fire Department for further investigation, so I saw charred remains,” Kushner told the Jewish Exponent, which quoted Kushner as saying that firemen were examining whether the blaze was a hate crime.

The Atlantic City Press reported that fire chief Dennis Brook said, “There’s nothing that’s standing out. Car fires are car fires.”

Medical equipment inside was destroyed, and there were some explosions from oxygen tanks inside the vehicle.

At the risk of looking for anti-Semitism behind every theft or fire of Jewish property, isn’t it kind of strange that a fire chief would say that a parked car suddenly would burst into flames?

Or did the sound of the shofar set off sparks in the car battery?

“Given the fact that it happened on the synagogue property, on … the high holidays, leaves a lot of room for suspicion,” said Kushner.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) regional director Nancy Baron-Baer, the told the Jewish Exponent, “The fact that in America in 2014, a rabbi’s car parked at his synagogue during Rosh Hashanah services could be engulfed in flames and the subject of arson is beyond comprehension.”

The Atlantic City Press noted that there is no history of anti-Semitic incidents at Rodef Shalom.

JTA contributed to this report.

 

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/officials-try-to-dismiss-arson-in-fire-of-nj-synagogue-leaders-car/2014/10/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: