A report first published by Vocative Media and later republished by sources including the USA Today, AOL and ABC affiliates, allege that the Islamic State (ISIS) has published the names and addressed of thousands of churches in the United States, calling on its adherents “to attack them during the holiday season.”
According to the report, a message posted in Arabic late-night Wednesday in the group’s “Secrets of Jihadis” social media group call for “for bloody celebrations in the Christian New Year” and announced the group’s plans to utilize its network of lone wolf attackers to “turn the Christian New Year into a bloody horror movie.”
The social media post specifically calls upon the followers of ISIS to target “churches, well-known hotels, crowded coffee shops, streets, markets and public places.”
The report comes just hours after ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack at a Berlin Christmas market which killed a dozen people and injured nearly 50 others.
No Federal security agencies have offered the list of specific churches, however, terrorism monitors say this year’s Christmas holiday may provide a highly symbolic target for ISIS, as December 25th falls upon a Sunday and many of the Christian faith’s faithful will be gathered in churches on the holy day.
In the wake of this week’s attack in Berlin and with the latest revelation of calls for church attacks, many localities across the country have upgraded their security throughout the holiday week.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for all of western North Dakota and South Dakota Christmas Day Sunday through Monday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, “A significant winter storm will impact much of the northern plains and upper midwest Christmas Day Sunday into Monday.”
In a winter weather message released by the National Weather Service in Bismark, North Dakota, foreceasters stated, “Confidence continues to increase that heavy snowfall and strong winds will impact western and central North Dakota. A widespread area of around 6 to 12 inches of snowfall is possible. Blizzard conditions are possible…Especially Sunday afternoon through Monday morning when strong gusty winds develop leading to dangerous Christmas travel conditions.”
In a separate winter weather message released by the National Weather Service in Rapid City, South Dakota, forecasters stated, “A strong low pressure system will cross the Rockies Saturday night and rapidly develop over the northern plains on Sunday. This system will bring rain, snow, and freezing precipitation to the area… Along with strong northwesterly winds and near zero visibilities Sunday into Sunday night.
“At this time, the heaviest snow looks to fall across northwest South Dakota north of Interstate 90 – where 5 to 9 inches are possible. This is also where the strongest winds are currently forecast…With sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph with frequent gusts over 60 mph and possibly as high as 70 mph.”
Meteorologists caution that such high wind speeds would lead to significant blowing and drifting snow and prolonged periods of near zero visibility, “With travel becoming impossible. The strong winds could also lead to power outages and tree damage. Further south…Less snow is currently forecast. However…The strong winds could still lead to blizzard conditions even with only a few inches of snow.”
A blizzard watch means there is a potential for falling and/or blowing snow with strong winds and extremely poor visibilities. This can lead to whiteout conditions and make travel very
The National Weather Service is urging drivers to continue to monitor this storm – and to be flexible with their travel plans.
Wednesday morning, Adam Saleh, a YouTube prankster who claims to be “a professional idiot” found himself as the most talked about individual on social media after posting a video from London’s Heathrow Airport which showed him being apparently “kicked off” an airplane for no other reason than speaking with his mother in “another language.”
After sharing the video with his nearly 300,000 Twitter followers, #BoycottDelta became the top trending item on Twitter with users of the social media platform pledging to cease doing business with the “racist company” due to them reportedly kicking the 23-year-old New York native off their plane.
Saleh later posted multiple updates via Twitter:
We are still stuck at the airport and Delta has not given us any info. They keep telling us to wait. Please spread the word #BoycottDelta
Though at face value, the vlogger’s story is heartwrenching, upon deeper inspection, one can’t help but question whether Saleh’s most recent controversy isn’t just another chapter in a long series of controversies and stunts for the sake of garnering attention.
A video titled “Racial Profiling Experiment'” uploaded on Saleh’s YouTube channel in October 2014 became viral around the world. In the video Saleh and Sheikh Akbar argued with each other in front of a police officer wearing western outfits, but the cop ignored them. A few minutes later they fight again while dressed in Muslim clothes, but this time the cop stops them and behaves rudely with them. The video received more than 200,000 views on YouTube and it was also picked up by media. Public reaction to the video was against the police officer. Later Saleh admitted that the video was a hoax.
The Daily Mail has referred to Saleh as a “criminal” for his YouTube video in which he steals his manager’s car to prank him, and drives it with one hand while holding the camera and saying that he cannot legally drive in the United Kingdom.
These videos pale in comparison to a more recent video Saleh published onto YouTube on December 13, 2016, when he claimed to have flown from Melbourne to Syndey… in a suitcase: “I Smuggled Myself On A Plane to Another City and IT WORKED!!! (IN A SUITCASE)”
The video forced Tiger Air to release a statement directly to the YouTube prankster, saying, “You wouldn’t have been accepted by our automated bag drop machines in Melbourne as they only take a maximum 32kg per piece… It gets pretty cold at 36,000 feet without any heating… by the time you arrived in Sydney you would have been a popsicle… We have footage of you boarding the aircraft (using your legs).”
Other published videos from “the professional idiot” reveal that he has a habit of being a rude passenger on an airplane — regardless of his spoken language: loudly counting backwards, videoing other passengers and just generally being obnoxious.
With video titles such as “Never wear this on a plane in America”, “Arabs on a Plane!!” and “Counting down in Arabic on a plane experiment!!” one can’t help but wonder if perhaps today’s actions by Delta weren’t as unwarranted as maybe thought…
Regardless, when Mr. Selah’s plane finally arrives in NYC Wednesday evening, he will be stepping off into a world that knows his name and one in which he is the center of attention — precisely what he has apparently been craving his entire life.
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Mark McLeod Wygant, 46, of Chico, pleaded guilty today to transportation of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, from early 2011 to early 2012, Wygant surreptitiously filmed a child on numerous occasions using a hidden cellphone and hidden “spy cameras” that he had purchased for that purpose. He then transported those videos and photos from a location in Butte County to South Lake Tahoe. Wygant has been in custody since his arrest on January 29, 2015.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew G. Morris is prosecuting the case.
Wygant is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. on March 3, 2017. Wygant faces a minimum of five years and a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
A short-lived explosive eruption of Bogoslof volcano was reported by several pilots around 4 p.m. AST, Monday.
According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), the pilots reported a volcanic ash cloud rising to an estimated altitude of 34,000 ft (10.3 km). Satellite data show a discrete, short-lived explosion just prior to 4 p.m. that detached and drifted to the south roughly fifteen minutes later.
“On the basis of this information, the Aviation Color Code is increased to Red and the Volcano Alert Level to Warning. There is no ground-based volcano monitoring equipment on Bogoslof volcano so AVO is unable to provide a forecast of future eruptive activity. We will monitor satellite images and data from distant seismic and infrasound instruments for indications of significant explosive activity,” stated the Alaska Volcano Observatory in a statement.
The RED volcano alert warning means, “Eruption is imminent with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere likely OR eruption is underway or suspected with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere [ash-plume height specified, if possible].”
Also known as Agasagook Island, Bogoslof Island is the summit of a largely submarine stratovolcano located in the Bering Sea, approximately 31 miles behind the main Aleutian volcanic arc.
The 173-acre island is unpopulated and has a peak elevation of 490 feet above sea level.(150 m).
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, issued a tornado watch for portions of Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
The watch is in effect until 3 a.m. CST for the following locations:
Tennessee: Bedford Cheatham Chester Davidson Decatur Dickson
Fayette Giles Hardeman Hardin Henderson Hickman Humphreys Jackson Lawrence Lewis Lincoln Macon Marshall Maury Mcnairy
Moore Perry Robertson Rutherford Smith Sumner Trousdale Wayne Williamson Wilson
Mississippi: Alcorn Attala Benton Bolivar Calhoun Carroll Chickasaw Choctaw Clay Coahoma Grenada Holmes Humphreys Issaquena Itawamba Lafayette Lee Leflore Marshall Monroe Montgomery Panola Pontotoc Prentiss Quitman Sharkey Sunflower
Tallahatchie Tate Tippah Tishomingo Union Warren Washington Webster Yalobusha Yazoo
Louisiana: East Carroll, Franklin, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union, and West Carroll
Alabama: Colbert Franklin Lauderdale Lawrence Limestone
Arkansas: Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha, Drew, Phillips, and Union
At 7:18 p.m. MST, the National Weather Service in Billings, Montana, issued an “URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE” to the residents in and around the Livingston area — just west of Billing.
According to the release, a blizzard warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. MST Monday.
Forecasters say traffic in the area will be greatly impacted, as “severe drifting and zero visibility with possible major road closures. Many rural roads will likely become impassable. Dangerous crosswinds combined with poor visibility and slick roads will make travel very dangerous” along I-90 from Livingston to Big Timber.
The weather event is expected to last through at least Sunday night and possibly even longer.
West winds gusting 40 to 60 mph are expected to persist through at least Sunday night and even stronger wind gusts are possible on Monday from Livingston to Nye.
Blowing and drifting snow will bring visibilities under a quarter mile at times — creating snow drifts as high as ft. tall.
A blizzard warning is issued when sustained wind speeds or frequent gusts of over 35 mph are expected with considerable falling and or blowing and drifting snow. Visibilities will become poor with whiteout conditions at times. Those venturing outdoors may become lost or disoriented so persons in the warning area are advised to stay indoors.