- - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

UPLAND, Calif. — Four Southern California men have been charged with plotting to kill Americans and destroy U.S. targets overseas by joining al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, federal officials said Monday.

The defendants, including a man who served in the U.S. Air Force, were arrested and charged with plotting to bomb military bases and government facilities, and for planning to engage in “violent jihad,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

A federal complaint unsealed Monday says Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, of Pomona introduced two of the other men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, a now-deceased al Qaeda leader. Mr. Kabir served in the Air Force from 2000 to 2001.

The other two — Ralph Deleon, 23, of Ontario, and Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, of Upland — converted to Islam in 2010 and began engaging with Mr. Kabir and others online in discussions about jihad, including posting radical content to Facebook and expressing extremist views in comments.

They later recruited Arifeen David Gojali, 21, of Riverside.

FLORIDA

Girl, 13, fatally shot on school bus

MIAMI — A 13-year-old girl was fatally shot in front of her sister and several other students while riding the bus to a charter school Tuesday, Miami-Dade police said.

A male student was in custody but authorities did not release his name or age and said they are still interviewing him. A gun was also recovered at the scene in Homestead, south of Miami, but authorities didn’t say where or how many times the victim was shot.

“We still don’t know what the motive may have been,” said police spokesman Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.

Eight other children, including the victim’s 7-year-old sister, were on the bus but were not harmed.

Authorities took the children and the bus driver to a police station to be interviewed.

CALIFORNIA

San Francisco board OKs limit on public nakedness

SAN FRANCISCO — City lawmakers disappointed committed nudists on Tuesday by narrowly approving limits on public nakedness despite concerns the measure would undermine the city’s reputation as a sanctuary for free expression.

The Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 in favor of a public-safety ordinance that prohibits exposed genitals in most public places, including streets, sidewalks and public transit. The law still must pass a final vote and secure Mayor Edwin Lee’s signature to take effect early next year.

Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced the ban in response to escalating complaints about a group of men whose bare bodies are on display almost daily in the city’s predominantly gay Castro District.

TEXAS

Woman gets 80 years for fatal day care fire

HOUSTON — A Houston woman was sentenced to 80 years in prison Tuesday for her felony murder conviction in the death of one of four children killed in a fire at her home day care.

Jessica Tata, 24, was convicted last week in connection with the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo. Authorities say Elias was one of seven children whom Tata left unsupervised at her home while she went to a nearby Target store. Prosecutors say she left a pan of oil cooking atop a stovetop burner and that this ignited the February 2011 blaze. Three other children were seriously injured.

Along with the prison sentence, Tata was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

She still faces three more counts of felony murder in relation to the other children who died, and three counts of abandoning a child and two counts of reckless injury to a child in relation to three who were hurt.

OHIO

Three men get prison in failed bridge bomb plot

AKRON — Three men who admitted taking part in an unsuccessful plot to bomb a highway bridge in Ohio were sentenced Tuesday to prison terms ranging from eight years to more than 11 years.

The ringleader, Douglas Wright, 26, of Indianapolis, received the toughest sentence, 111/2 years. He apologized to his family and the community, saying he was an addict and needed help for substance abuse, not just prison.

Brandon Baxter, 20, was given nearly 10 years in prison, and Connor Stevens, also 20, the least involved of the trio, was sentenced to more than eight years by U.S. District Judge David Dowd.

After leaving prison, all will be on supervised release for the rest of their lives.

The judge had ruled last week that the men should be sentenced as terrorists, making them subject to harsher prison terms.

A fourth defendant is being sentenced Wednesday, and a fifth is undergoing a psychiatric exam.

NEW YORK

Son of RFK acquitted in hospital scuffle

WHITE PLAINS — Douglas Kennedy, a son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was acquitted Tuesday of child endangerment and harassment charges stemming from a scuffle in a hospital maternity ward.

Mr. Kennedy had tried in January to take his newborn son from Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco. He said he just wanted the 2-day-old boy, Anthony Boru Kennedy, to get some fresh air.

However, several nurses objected, saying his request would violate hospital policy. He tried to leave anyway, and two nurses claimed he hurt them as they blocked his way.

Mount Kisco Town Judge John Donohue, who heard the case without a jury, ruled that Mr. Kennedy broke no laws. He said testimony showed the baby was not in danger except from the nurses’ actions.

NEW YORK

Superstorm Sandy leads to rental car shortage

NEW YORK — Thanksgiving travelers who have yet to rent a car in the Northeast are out of luck: Superstorm Sandy has created a shortage.

The storm has damaged thousands of cars — including those owned by rental companies. The loss of vehicles has been compounded by rising demand. Thanksgiving and Christmas are normally busy rental periods. And lingering mass-transit problems caused by Sandy have added to demand.

Existing reservations are mostly being honored, but people who still want to book for Thanksgiving are finding almost no cars left. The few cars available carry a hefty premium.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide