02-06-2023  2:30 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

Washington State Gov. Inslee Tests Positive for COVID-19

He plans to continue working. Trudi Inslee, the first spouse, has tested negative.

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

NEWS BRIEFS

Market Features Work of Local Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

MESO Makers Market in Portland to feature the work of 40 local, Black-owned small businesses to celebrate Black History Month in...

The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

Homework Help, The Seattle Public Library’s free after school tutoring service, will add two locations and increase hours in...

County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

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"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

The traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum tells a fascinating community and family history about Seattle’s Japantown ...

NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

Community leaders will hold a prayer vigil Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon, to reflect on the tragic brutality that led to the death of Tyre...

US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

DeVries and Drake earn 85-82 2OT win over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Drake beat Valparaiso 85-82 in double overtime on Saturday night. Roman Penn scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (19-6, 10-4 Missouri Valley...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be months away from publicly declaring his presidential intentions, but his potential rivals aren't holding back. No fewer than a half dozen Republicans eyeing the White House have begun actively courting top political operatives...

At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sound of the djembe drums started as a low tremble and grew more distinct as the musicians drew closer to the hundreds gathered inside the Memphis church. “We love you, Tyre,” the drummers chanted, referring to Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Why is R&B music more explicit than ever? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tank was nervous after sending his manager a preview of “When We” — he’d never released a song that explicit. “He’s like, ‘You’re crazy, but it’s jammin'!’” the R&B singer recalled. “It ended up being my biggest record ever.” Released in...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen...

Sinema's split from Democrats shows party discord in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Kyrsten Sinema won Democrats a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona for the first time in a generation...

Grammys Moments: A rap tribute for the ages, Beyoncé triumph

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Pope, Anglican, Presbyterian leaders denounce anti-gay laws

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis was backed by the ceremonial head of the Anglican Communion and top...

Europe bans Russian diesel, other oil products over Ukraine

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe imposed a ban Sunday on Russian diesel fuel and other refined oil products,...

Ukraine defense minister expects help from West on warplanes

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's defense minister expressed confidence Sunday that Western allies would agree to...

Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister CNN

(CNN) -- A veteran al Qaeda operative indicted in connection with the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa is alive and well in Libya, according to Western intelligence sources.

Abu Anas al Libi, 48, has been seen in the capital, Tripoli, the sources say, and there is concern that he may have been tasked with establishing an al Qaeda network in Libya. It's unclear whether Libya's government is aware of his presence, or whether it has been approached by Western governments seeking al Libi's arrest.



One Libyan official told CNN he didn't know whether al Libi was back in Tripoli but was aware that he had been in Afghanistan.

Counterterrorism analysts tell CNN that al Libi may not have been apprehended because of the delicate security situation in much of Libya, where former jihadists -- especially those who once belonged to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group -- hold considerable sway. He is wanted in the United States, but there is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and Libya.

Alternatively, al Libi may have dropped off the radar screen, as have several jihadist leaders in Libya -- some of whom have previously been associated with al Qaeda.

Just when al Libi returned home is unclear. According to one intelligence source, he appears to have arrived in Tripoli in the spring of last year, amid Libya's civil war. According to this source, a Western intelligence agency had placed al Libi under surveillance and had taken photographs of him. But back in December 2010, before the outbreak of unrest, Libyan authorities told the United Nations al Qaeda Sanctions Committee that al Libi had returned, even providing a Tripoli street address for him.

Whether he is still active in jihadist circles is unclear.

In August, a report prepared by the U.S. Federal Research Division for the Library of Congress said that while al Libi's whereabouts were unknown, he was "most likely involved in al Qaeda strategic planning and coordination between AQSL (al Qaeda Senior Leadership) and Libyan Islamist militants who adhere to al Qaeda's ideology."

Whatever his current activities, al Libi's return to Libya is likely to heighten concern about the growing role of jihadist groups there after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. CNN has been told of no evidence linking al Libi to the attack.

In the 1990s, al Libi was regarded as one of al Qaeda's most capable operatives -- an expert in surveillance and computers. His role within the organization came to light through testimony from a fellow al Qaeda operative who described al Libi's visit to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in 1993. He is alleged to have conducted surveillance of possible Western targets, including the U.S. Embassy.

Five years later, on August 7, 1998, al Qaeda attacked the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, killing more than 200 people. In 2001, al Libi was indicted in U.S. federal court for his alleged role in the attacks. U.S. authorities offered $5 million for information leading to his apprehension or conviction. But by then, he was on the run.

Al Libi's real name is Nazih Abd al Hamid al Ruqhay. He joined al Qaeda soon after its founding, when the group was building a presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Much of what is publicly known about his role in al Qaeda during the 1990s comes from the testimony of L'houssaine Kherchtou, a Moroccan al Qaeda operative who knew al Libi.

Kherchtou told a federal court in 2001 that al Libi had impressed other al Qaeda operatives with his mastery of computers. And when Osama bin Laden relocated to Khartoum in Sudan in 1992, al Libi followed. It was at about this time that bin Laden began to think of attacking U.S. targets, because of the deployment of U.S. peacemakers to Somalia.

After his surveillance trip to Nairobi, al Libi left al Qaeda because the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was pressuring the Sudanese government to expel about 20 Libyans involved with the group and based in Khartoum. But he joined the jihadist Libyan Islamic Fighters Group before moving to Qatar and then Britain.

He settled in Manchester before a police raid on his home in 2000.

That raid was in response to intelligence suggesting that al Libi might have links to international terrorism, according to sources familiar with the investigation. It uncovered a document that became known as the "Manchester Manual" -- hundreds of pages of guidance on carrying out a terrorist campaign. One of the things the document advocated was "attacking, blasting, and destroying" embassies.

But by the time police launched the raid, al Libi had slipped out of the country, according to intelligence sources.

After leaving Britain, al Libi is thought to have spent some time in Afghanistan, and to have reconnected with al Qaeda, before fleeing to Iran after the fall of the Taliban. Western intelligence sources say they believed he remained in Iran for almost a decade before returning to Libya.

Al Libi is not the only al Qaeda operative back in Libya, nor even the only the one who lived in Manchester in the late 1990s.

As CNN has previously reported, in the spring of 2011, onetime Manchester resident Abdulbasit Azuz was dispatched from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region by al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri to establish a foothold for al Qaeda in Libya. Azuz based himself in Derna in eastern Libya, where he began to recruit fighters, according to counterterrorism sources. In June, a senior Libyan official told CNN that Azuz was one of five radical Islamist militant commanders who were operating in the Derna area, with 200 to 300 men under their command in camps in the area.

Some of those camps have since been abandoned, in part because of growing resentment among local people and in part out of fear that they might be targeted by the United States. CNN reported in June that U.S. surveillance drones had been flying over the region, citing Libyan sources.

The Obama administration has thus far downplayed suggestions that al Qaeda "central" had any role in planning or ordering the Benghazi attack. But U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested Wednesday that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was using its greater freedom of movement in Mali to extend its influence throughout North Africa.

Speaking at the United Nations, she said that "with a larger safe haven and increased freedom to maneuver, terrorists are seeking to extend their reach and their networks in multiple directions."

"And they are working with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions under way in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi," she added.

Some analysts say it is too early to discount the possibility that the al Qaeda leadership had some advance knowledge of the attack, pointing to a video released the day before the attack in which al Qaeda leader al Zawahiri called on Libyans to attack Americans.

The possible significance of al Zawahiri's message was highlighted in a letter Wednesday from four Republican U.S. senators to Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Criticizing her assertion that the attack was spontaneous rather than planned, Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said there was "a significant network of al Qaeda affiliated groups and other terrorists in eastern Libya."

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh contributed to this report.

 

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.