August 2011


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AFP) – A 21-year-old man from Kosovo apologized in court Wednesday for killing two US servicemen at Frankfurt airport as they headed to Afghanistan, saying he had been influenced by Islamist propaganda.

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SF GATE

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) —

Nigeria’s secret police say that two men have been arrested in connection with a car bombing at the United Nations’ headquarters in the oil-rich nation that killed 23 people.

The State Security Service issued a statement Wednesday saying the two suspected members of the radical Muslim group Boko Haram were being held at a military base. The secret police also said it sought a third man they said had “al-Qaida links who returned recently from Somalia.”

At least 81 others were wounded in the bombing Friday at the U.N. headquarters. The attack was claimed by a sect known locally as Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language.

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

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There are now enough Operation Fast and Furious officials playing hide-and-seek in the Obama administration to fill a “rubber room.”

That’s the nickname for taxpayer-subsidized holding pens — such as the ones in the New York City public schools — where crooked employees are separated from the system and paid to do nothing. Perhaps the White House can stimulate a few construction jobs by adding an entire rubber room annex for “reassigned” scandal bureaucrats at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s getting mighty crowded. Continue Reading

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A group of Muslims furious over a head-scarf ban at Rye Playland got into a brawl with security yesterday that resulted in 15 arrests, authorities said.

Westchester officials who run the amusement park blamed the Queens tour operator who organized the outing celebrating the end of Ramadan, saying he failed to tell the 3,000 members of the Muslim American Society of New York who made the trip that, out of safety concerns, scarves are not permitted on some of the site’s most popular rides.

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BALTIMORE (AP) — For years, William Hillar’s tales about his exploits as an Army Green Beret and a puffed up resume helped him land jobs teaching counterterrorism and drug and human trafficking interdiction, but the scheme has now earned him 21 months in federal prison.

Hillar, 66, of Millersville, pleaded guilty to wire fraud earlier this year and was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court. He must pay $170,000 in restitution to the law enforcement and first responder organizations and schools that hired him believing that he had spent 28 years in the U.S. Special Forces, reaching the rank of colonel. He must also perform 500 community service hours at Maryland’s veteran cemeteries.

His scheme started to unravel when a skeptical veteran emailed members of the Special Forces community to see if anyone knew of Hillar, former Green Beret Jeff Hinton testified Tuesday. Hillar’s story was suspicious because there were only a handful of colonels during the period Hillar claimed to have served, he said.

Hinton, whose “Professional Soldiers” social networking site for Special Forces members has become a clearinghouse for people checking on possible fraudsters, filed Freedom of Information requests. When he learned that U.S. Special Operations Command had not heard of Hillar, he decided to expose him and warn the organizations that had hired him, he said.

“The training he was giving them would most likely put people at risk,” he said. “Basically it’s worthless.”

While Green Beret impostors are not uncommon, Hinton called Hillar the most prodigious fraud he has come across, noting that this case is the first he has seen result in jail time. Hillar’s trading on a reputation that’s “forged in blood” is reprehensible, dishonorable and disrespectful to those who have served and died, he said.

Hillar was paid more than $170,000 by state and local organizations across the country and the federal government – including the U.S. Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground, FBI Command College and various local divisions of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs – to teach, lead seminars or speak since 1998, according to his plea agreement.

Prosecutor Leo Wise argued for a prison term on the higher end of the sentencing guidelines, as a deterrent to others: 27 months. Hillar not only endangered first responders with worthless information, he also displaced qualified trainers, Wise said.

Wise played a recording of Hillar’s introduction at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in which Hillar tells the audience he was fortunate to be in the military for 28 years.

“I have been trained as a terrorist,” he said, explaining that an American would consider him a freedom fighter, but to an enemy in the Balkans or elsewhere he would be a terrorist. He said he was an adviser in Laos during the Vietnam War, spent time in drug interdiction in central America, trained with U.S. Special Forces’ British, German and Israeli counterparts and spent time training mujahedeen during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, becoming an “adrenaline junkie.”

“I like the rush that you get, or at least that I get,” he said. But he told the audience that his life came with a price: His morals were compromised and he ended up in counseling.

“The only thing true about this is that he compromised his value system and his morality. The victims in this thought they were getting `Black Hawk Down,'” Wise said, referring to a book and movie depicting real-life experiences in the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia. “Instead they got `Rambo’ – a fiction.”

Hillar told the judge he takes full responsibility, apologized and said he has had to admit to himself that he is a fraud. He told the judge that people just assumed that he had a background with Special Forces.

“I never denied it and after years I actually adopted it,” he said. “I know that was wrong and I apologize. I didn’t do it for the money and believe it or not, I’m a patriot.”

Hillar also portrayed himself as a human trafficking expert whose daughter was kidnapped and killed by sex traffickers. He said the movie “Taken” was based on his search for his daughter. Monterey even held an essay contest with cash prizes in memory of the daughter, whom prosecutors said was not kidnapped and is alive.

Public Defender Gary Christopher, who argued for a sentence of time served – Hillar spent six weeks in a maximum security prison – and probation, said Hillar was a teacher at heart and his teaching style involved storytelling.

“He just could not resist embroidering himself into those tales,” Christopher said. “He needed to be the hero.”

Obama Onyango, left. Zeituni Onyango...

Obama Onyango, left. Shaft Zeituni Onyango of South Boston, right.
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President Obama’s accused drunken-driving uncle — who was busted after a near collision with a Framingham cop — has had a valid Social Security number for at least 19 years, despite being an illegal immigrant ordered to be deported back to Kenya, the Herald has learned.

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The man who led the controversial Fast and Furious anti-gun-trafficking operation will step down as the interim head of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Justice Department announced Tuesday as it named a new acting director for the agency.

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By Sunday afternoon, the Gallup tracking poll showed a 17-point spread in the president’s approval rating — 38 percent approval to 55 percent disapproval. Such polls are fickle and can go up and down quickly, often depending on unwarranted and unfair perceptions and media hype, hinging on everything from hurricanes to killing bin Laden. That said, these recent abysmal numbers might suggest that for the first time, a considerable number of Americans are starting to be turned off not just by Barack Obama’s economic policies, but by Barack Obama himself. But why now?

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