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April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

Brooklyn Family Killed in Shabbat Fire

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

A Brooklyn family in Midwood was destroyed when a fire ripped through their home early Saturday morning.

The fire was described as the deadliest fire in New York City in eight years.

As the family slept, a fire began the kitchen, apparently from a malfunctioning “blech”, an electric hot plate.

As Orthodox Jews do not cook on Shabbat, various other solutions are used to keep food warm throughout the Shabbat, such as specially designed electric hotplates.

Smoke and fire raced up to the second floor of the house on 3371 Bedford Avenue between Avenue L and M.

The fire department believes that smoke detectors may not have been installed on the first and second floors, though a smoke detector was found in the basement.

The Sassoon family members who were killed were identified as Eliane, 16; Rivkah, 11; David, 12; Yehoshua, 10; Moshe, 8; Sara, 6; Yaakov, 5.

The mother, Gayle Sassoon, 45, and her 14-year-old daughter, Tzipora, survived by jumping out a window, and are currently hospitalized with burns.

The fire department arrived within minutes and fought their way through the fire getting the children out and to the hospital, but they didn’t survive.

The father was not home at the time, and neighbors believe he is currently at a conference.

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.

Delta Plane Crash, Snowstorm Paralyze LaGuardia Airport in NYC

Friday, March 6th, 2015

What a snowstorm didn’t accomplish directly, it managed to get done anyway by slicking up a runway.

The storm warnings began already on Wednesday, with meteorologists telling travelers that Thursday would likely be wet and white. By Thursday morning, New York’s LaGuardia International Airport was all but paralyzed as snow and ice turned the runways into skating rinks. Freezing rain, thick fog and a slick surface faced the pilot on Delta Flight #1086 as he approached the snowy airport.

As the landing gear touched down and the wheels tried to lock on to the runway, passengers told television viewers on CNN they felt the plane slide to the left, veering off the runway upon its arrival from Atlanta, Georgia around 11 am local time.

The aircraft ground into a snowbank after having smashed through a security fence, finally coming to a halt just a few feet away from the water.

Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye said the runway had been plowed shortly before the incident.

The flight carried 127 passengers in addition to five crew members. At least 24 people were slightly injured in the crash; three were taken to an area hospital. A fuel leak on the left wing of the plane was stopped by fire crews.

Two runways were shut down immediately; as of 9 pm local time, only one runway was operational in the airport.

Nearly 900 flights were canceled and travelers with flights either departing from or arriving at LaGuardia were advised to check their flight status before setting out.

In NYC, The ‘Slush Man’ Cometh

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The city that never sleeps is about to be buried under a mountain of slop, according to meteorologists.

On Tuesday morning WINS-1010 News Radio reported that it was only 15 degrees Farenheit in the city and even colder out in the suburbs.

While city residents had for the most part managed to dig out from a weekend snowfall layered with inches-thick ice, they were warned to prepare to be hit again.

High temperatures in New York expected to reach a “heatwave” of 26 degrees would really reach only the single digits when the wind chill factor was figured in. The “real feel” on Tuesday would be “only one degree,” said the meteorologist. For Israelis, it’s minus 17 degrees Centigrade.

(As a means of contrast, in the southern Israeli Negev city of Arad Tuesday at midday, people were walking around without coats under sunny skies and a temperature of about 68 degrees Farenheit.)

“It’s bitter cold” outside and there’s “ice and slush to deal with” the newscaster told listeners. “You can hear the ice and slush crunch under your shoes,” she said. The biggest accomplishment for some pedestrians was “staying upright while walking on the sidewalk,” one local interviewee said.

Snow showers were predicted for Wednesday, “one inch” of snow on the plate for Thursday and a brand-new storm forecast for Friday, possibly lasting for the duration of the weekend.

The past weekend’s storm brought a slushy mix that left nine to 16 inches of wintry junk in the New England region, where three feet of snow piled up just last week.

In Brooklyn residents paid others as much as $100 or more to shovel or plow away between four to six inches of the mess. Drivers took up to half an hour to melt the thick ice on their car windows before heading out on to the slippery roads.

On Monday, the National Weather Service had issued a winter storm warning for more than 20 counties in New York State, forecasting up to 16 inches of snow for the eastern Catskill Mountains. Some Long Island schools were either closed or opened late – by early afternoon central Massachusetts was already under a foot of snow.

Rush hour commuters were stopped in their tracks on a packed subway train that lost power in Manhattan. They were stranded for more than two hours with five other trains backed up behind them, waiting until the train was towed to a station.

Anti-Semites Wave PA Flag as NY City Council Discusses Auschwitz [video]

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Pro-Palestinian Authority activists disrupted a New York City Council meeting Thursday night during a discussion on a resolution commemorating the anniversary of liberating the Auschwitz death camp.

The noisy protest prompted Councilman David G. Greenfield, a grandson of Holocaust victims, to deliver an emotional speech exposing the demonstrators as plain anti-Semites.

“They are angry because Hitler did not finish the job,” Greenfield said towards the end of his powerful speech, as seen in the YouYube below.

The Council was discussing the resolution when a pro-Arab group in the balcony unfurled the Palestinian Authority flag and yelled at Councilmen who are planning to visit Israel next month.

“Palestinian lives matter,” “Don’t support genocide,” and “Melissa, you’re a hypocrite,” referring to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito who will lead the delegation, were among the epithets they shouted before guards removed them.

When things calmed down, Greenfield, clad in a black kippa, told the Council he actually was pleased that the protesters appeared because they proved they are anti-Semites at the core.

“While we were discussing the resolution regarding the murder of 1.1 million human beings…. they had the nerve, the chutzpah the temerity to unfurl the Palestinian flag and to yell at us while we were discussing that.

“So the reason I am pleased is that we can stop pretending this is about Israel when the reality is that every Middle East country that is in existence today is not democratic and persecutes people of other faiths, and persecutes gays, and persecutes people who disagree with them and persecutes people on Twitter and persecutes women who drive – except for one country, which is the State of Israel.

“So what you saw here today was naked blind anti-Semitism.…, people who are upset for one reason… because Hitler did not finish the job.

“He only wiped out half of my family, and only by the grace of God is the other half— grandchild —still alive today….

“We go to Israel to make a message that is clear, that we will not be cowered by this fear and by this hatred that we have where these are people who would celebrate the death of Jews rather than mourn the death of innocents.”

A ‘Wall of Blue’ Bids Farewell to NYPD 1st Detective Wenjian Liu

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Wenjian Liu, the first Chinese-American cop in New York to be killed in the line of duty, was honored in his home 84th precinct Sunday with a sea of blue stretching “as far as the eye could see.”

Among the crowd were representatives from all the Jewish first response and security teams, as well as many Jewish civilian residents of Brooklyn. “Hakaras hatov” – acknowledging and thanking someone for the good they’ve done – was the reason given over and over when asked why they came.

Tearfully, Liu’s young widow Pei Xia Chen thanked the tens of thousands who gathered to grieve with her.

“He is my soul mate… an incredible husband, son, co-worker and friend; my best friend. As the only son, the Number One Son, he was extremely close [to] and respected his parents, of course,” she added. “One his many passions was being a police officer. He took pride in the fact that he was NYPD… I thank you, my extended family, my family of blue.”

The couple had wed only two months prior to Liu’s death. The 32-year-old police officer, promoted posthumously to first detective, had been on the job for seven years. Together with his parents he emigrated from China 20 years ago, with a dream to become a cop.

In addition to Sunday’s funeral, Liu’s family was to hold private ceremonies in the Buddhist and Chinese traditions as well.

“God bless America. God bless NYPD. You are the best!” Liu’s father said in a broken voice after delivering a eulogy in Chinese.

In addition to his wife, his father, cousins and city officials, a police chaplain and FBI Director James Comey spoke.

“These are our most difficult days,” Comey said. “I make far too many calls [like these] … 115 police officers killed this year, a shocking increase over 2013. I do not understand evil, I cannot understand evil. Our obligation is to do good, to honor this good man and do everything to protect those who would protect us. They want to do good for other people.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was to have spoken as well, but his own father passed away on New Year’s Day and arrangements for the wake and funeral, which are to take place Monday and Tuesday, were still being made.

With reddened eyes and a husky voice, Police Commissioner William Bratton expressed the feelings of the “thousands upon thousands” of officers standing outside a Brooklyn funeral home on a “very gray morning.” He commented that Liu was about to join his partner, “his partner for all time,” First Detective Rafael Ramos – also promoted posthumously –to be laid to rest. The two were executed by deranged gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley while eating lunch in their squad car. Brinsley turned the gun on himself right after.

“Liu believed in the possibility of a city free from fear,” Bratton told his family, who had traveled from China to attend the funeral. “The NYPD has done that for millions upon millions of citizens of this city.”

Addressing the tens of thousands of officers, Bratton went on to explain: “He left China at age 12, and his parents worked hard; his father was a garment worker in Queens. Liu called himself Joe and was on the way to becoming an accountant on 9/11, the day Al Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers.” That event changed his life, and inspired Liu to become a cop instead.

“The NYPD looks like the city it serves,” Bratton noted. “Our heroes are from everywhere too.” He listed the departed and the lands from which they had emigrated to America. Ramos and Liu came last.

NYC Pulls Cops from Homicide to Secure Swelling Protests

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

New York City is paying a big, big price for not giving in to “politically correct” pressure over an unpopular grand jury decision not to indict a cop in the death of a perpetrator who was “taken down” while resisting arrest.

The city’s police department so far as paid more than $23 million in overtime to its regular patrol officers to keep them on the street and securing the protesters. It’s the “equivalent of 38,700 tours of duty since Dec. 3,” according to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

But this week the NYPD has been forced to pull even its detectives off homicide cases in order to provide adequate security for the swelling protests spreading around the city. In fact, detectives are being pulled off other investigations as well, all to help deal with the ‘endless barrage of anti-cop protests in the city,” law enforcement sources told The New York Post on Monday.

Thousands of marchers closed down intersections, highways and bridges in New York in a rage against police and “the system.” A gang of “protesters” attacked two police officers on the Brooklyn Bridge last weekend when they attempted to prevent a co-protesters from hurling a trash can on to police below from an elevated walkway. On video, some of the protesters were chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”

The disturbances began when a grand jury declined to indict a police officer after petty criminal Eric Garner died while resisting arrest in Staten Island. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became the mantra for the mobs in New York City, along with the resurrected chant of the 1991 Crown Heights riots, “No justice, no peace.” Since then, there have been endless “Die-In” demonstrations in all kinds of places, marches and yes, “inclusion” in Rev. Al Sharpton’s March for Justice on Washington DC last weekend.

All this in spite of NYPD’s “retraining” program for its force of 35,000, and an apologetic Mayor Bill DeBlasio who waved away the issue of expense for police overtime due to protests.

“Do we tell people they’re not allowed to raise their voices? Do we tell people they’re not allowed to march? This is the result of something organic,” he said.

No one is talking about enforcing the laws broken by the increasing number of protesters who complicate the lives of commuters and shoppers every day.

Nevertheless, the strategy seems to have worked thus far; no major violence has been reported in the city that is home to more residents than there are citizens in the entire State of Israel. The city has been fortunate to have skipped a few other problems as well.

In Ferguson, Missouri, similar protests — for a similar reason — went from a march to flames in the space of one night. TWo incinerated police cars and 24 burned-out commercial properties later, Ferguson showed no signs of slowing down.

“Protesters” were also tweeting boasts of having received guidance on how to deal with tear gas from Palestinian Authority Arabs. In some photos, protesters were demonstrating wearing keffiyahs in the black-and-white colors of the PA’s leading Fatah faction, wrapped as scarves.

The connection between the Palestinian Authority and American civil rights issues was never made clear; what became painfully obvious was the fact that pro-PA demonstrators are still looking for any excuse to hitch a ride on any issue they can find, legitimate or not, to make their point. Even the death of a teen, even a town burning down.

Clearly, New York City’s mayor and police commissioner are both doing their best to make sure it doesn’t happen on their turf. They succeeded, so far.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nyc-pulls-cops-from-homicide-to-secure-swelling-protests/2014/12/17/

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