American Scene

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CHICAGO | A 26-year-old Chicago man who told an FBI informant that he didn’t expect to reach the age of 30 was charged with plotting to go to Somalia to become a suicide bomber for al Qaeda and another linked terror group, federal prosecutors alleged in court documents unsealed Wednesday.

During a brief hearing, prosecutors told a judge that Shaker Masri was taken into custody and charged Tuesday evening with trying to aid al Qaeda and al-Shabab, a violent extremist group in Somalia, and attempting to provide support through the use of a weapon of mass destruction outside the U.S.

Mr. Masri, who faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for each charge, was ordered to remain in custody after prosecutors called him a flight risk and a danger to the community. He told the judge he was a U.S. citizen, and court documents said he was born in Alabama and spent years overseas before returning to the U.S. when he was 18.

NEW JERSEY

Man killed at anti-violence party

PATERSON | A man attending a block party, police said, as part of the National Night Out anti-crime initiative was fatally shot in the state’s third-largest city.

Police said Robert Godfrey, 39, was shot in the head while arguing with another man on a crowded street Tuesday.

Police are searching for a 30-year-old man who has been charged with Mr. Godfrey’s murder and weapons offenses.

Lt. Ron Humphrey said witnesses saw the two men arguing loudly when the suspect pulled a gun and shot Mr. Godfrey once in the head.

National Night Out is observed across the U.S. as an annual event meant to heighten drug and crime-prevention awareness.

NEW YORK

Group sues to stop mosque near ground zero

NEW YORK | A conservative advocacy group founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson is suing to try to block a planned Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero.

The mosque proposal has become a fulcrum for balancing religious freedom and the legacy of the Sept. 11 attacks. It would be two blocks from ground zero.

The American Center for Law and Justice says it filed a petition Wednesday challenging a city panel’s decision to let developers tear down a building to make way for the mosque.

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