American Scene

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HENNING | Investigators searched Tuesday for the men who gunned down two workers at a rural post office that doubles as a community center in this small town, where the local gas station that sells fried chicken also is its most popular eatery.

Yellow crime-scene tape roped off the one-story brick post office, and two large police command posts were set up outside one day after the violence that shocked Henning. Outside, the flag had been lowered to half-staff Tuesday. No arrests have been made, and authorities haven’t determined a motive.

On Monday, Mike Dunavant, the Lauderdale County district attorney, acknowledged the suspect or suspects were armed and dangerous and said the killings were done with “disturbing violence.”

Killed were Judy Spray, 58, a rural carrier associate, and Paula Robinson, 33, a retail clerk. Their bodies were removed from the post office and sent to a medical examiner for autopsies.

TEXAS

Jordanian man sentenced in plot

DALLAS | A Jordanian man caught in an FBI sting trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper was sentenced Tuesday to 24 years in federal prison.

Hosam Smadi had faced up to life in prison but received a reduced sentence after pleading guilty in May to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Smadi, 20, will likely be deported after serving his sentence.

Smadi acknowledged leaving what he thought was a truck bomb in a garage beneath the Fountain Place building in September 2009. Smadi said he parked the truck, activated a timer connected to the decoy provided by undercover FBI agents, then rode away to watch the explosion.

Smadi dialed a cell-phone number from the roof of a nearby parking garage, where he had planned to watch the explosion. The number was supposed to set off his truck bomb. It instead alerted tactical agents hiding in a stairwell, who swarmed the rooftop and arrested the teenager.

VIRGINIA

Court: Man will admit helping terror group

A Northern Virginia man who warned the creators of the animated TV show “South Park” that they risked death for mocking the Prophet Muhammad is scheduled to plead guilty to supporting an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group, according to court records.

Zachary Chesser of Bristow, Va., a 20-year-old dropout from George Mason University, is scheduled for a plea hearing Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., court records show. He is charged with providing material support to a terrorist group, communicating threats and soliciting crimes of violence.

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