- The Washington Times - Friday, May 11, 2007

U.S., Germany probe potential terror plot

U.S. and German agencies are investigating a potential terror plot against U.S. military bases, buildings and citizens in Germany, officials said yesterday.

Authorities had no indication of an imminent attack within Germany or the U.S., FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko said. “We remind the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the appropriate law-enforcement authorities,” he said.

The possible plot was first made public April 20 when the U.S. Embassy in Berlin issued a warning, telling U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities in Germany to increase security and asking Americans there to increase their vigilance. Security outside U.S. bases in Germany also was increased.

Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, said, “The United States is working with German authorities, as we do with our allies around the world, to counter any potential terrorist activity.”

Colombian cartel member sentenced

A former top player in the Cali cartel’s efforts to launder millions of dollars in profits from the illicit sale of Colombian cocaine pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in New York and was sentenced to 40 months in prison on money-laundering charges.

The indictment said Fernando Gutierrez-Cancino once helped to control a powerful narcotics-trafficking organization based in Cali, Colombia, that was involved in the production, transportation and distribution of cocaine bound for the United States.

U.S. Attorney Michael J. Garcia said that Gutierrez-Cancino helped invest the profits in legitimate companies and that he attempted to conceal his involvement in the companies from law-enforcement authorities.

In addition to 40 months in prison, Gutierrez-Cancino also agreed to forfeit his interest in more than $100 million worth of assets in Colombia.

Three killed as planes collide

SHARONVILLE, Ohio — Two small planes collided yesterday afternoon over suburban Cincinnati, raining debris onto roads and back yards and killing three persons onboard but missing those on the ground as rush hour approached, federal investigators said.

The two aircraft narrowly missed falling on a busy freeway.

“I’m just thankful it wasn’t worse than it was, with school buses and people coming home from work and the interstate that we have nearby,” said Michael Schappa, Sharonville’s police chief.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had no information about the planes’ flight plans or why they were so close together. Blue Ash Airport, a runway used by small planes, is several miles away. State Highway Patrol Lt. Wayne Price said investigators assume both planes took off from there.

The planes’ pilots were not required to file flight plans and apparently were not in contact with air traffic controllers, the FAA said.

Two sentenced in bribery case

TUCSON, Ariz. — A former corrections officer and a former Arizona Army National Guardsman were sentenced this week in federal court for their roles in a widespread bribery and extortion conspiracy.

Roman A. De La Mora, 30, a former Arizona Department of Corrections officer, was sentenced to seven months in prison, and Darius W. Perry, 42, a former Sgt. 1st Class in the Arizona Army National Guard, was sentenced to 60 months in prison.

The two each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to enrich themselves by obtaining cash bribes from persons they thought to be narcotics traffickers.

Astronaut waited for rival at airport

ORLANDO, Fla. — Former astronaut Lisa Nowak waited nearly an hour at the airport for the romantic rival she is accused of attacking, donning a trenchcoat as the woman looked for her bags, a video released yesterday shows.

The security footage from Orlando International Airport shows Miss Nowak arriving at 12:33 a.m. Feb. 5, then following 10 to 15 yards behind Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman as Capt. Shipman went to the baggage claim area.

Police say Mrs. Nowak raced the 900 miles from Houston to the Orlando airport to confront Capt. Shipman, wearing an astronaut diaper so she would not have to stop. She was arrested in February after police say she attacked Capt. Shipman in the parking lot, shortly after the video was taken.

Mrs. Nowak, 44, has pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping, burglary with assault and battery. Authorities have said Mrs. Nowak had an affair with Capt. Shipman’s boyfriend, astronaut Bill Oefelein.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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