Showing posts with label Killing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Killing. Show all posts

May 3, 2020

Brooklyn Man From Palestine Confesses to Killing and Eating His Father Right on Their House

Crime scene detectives look for evidence in the house of horrors in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Inset, Khaled Ahmad.

October 31, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein Autopsy Points Out to Homicide

                 Image result for jeffrey epstein commits suicide

A forensic pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother claimed on Wednesday that evidence suggested that Mr. Epstein did not die by suicide, but may have been strangled.

The authorities, including the New York City medical examiner, have concluded that the death of Mr. Epstein, the financier who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, was caused by hanging in his jail cell.

But the pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, said on the morning TV show “Fox & Friends” that Mr. Epstein, 66, experienced a number of injuries that “are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”

“I think that the evidence points to homicide rather than suicide,” Dr. Baden said, who observed the autopsy, which was conducted by city officials. 

Dr. Baden, a former New York City medical examiner and a Fox News contributor, added, “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case.”

The findings by Dr. Baden were strongly disputed by the city’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, who previously ruled Mr. Epstein’s death on Aug. 10 in the Metropolitan Correctional Center a suicide.

                    Related image

The death led to several investigations into how a high-profile inmate died by suicide soon after having attempted to take his own life and being placed under additional supervision.

Mr. Epstein was a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender. He used his money and connections to get a widely criticized plea deal in Florida in 2008.

Mr. Epstein was arrested in July at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey by federal officials.

A spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan had no comment on Dr. Baden’s statements about Mr. Epstein’s death.

Azi Paybarah writes the New York Today column. He was raised in Queens, educated in Albany and lives in Manhattan. He worked at The Queens Tribune, The New York Sun, Politico New York and elsewhere before joining The Times. Email him or follow him on Twitter. @Azi

October 23, 2019

A Mob Lynching 4 Young Blacks in 1946. Questions Jury Secrecy

                         Image result for a mob lynching black in 1946

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA — A historian's quest for the truth about a gruesome mob lynching of two black couples is prompting a U.S. appeals court to consider whether federal judges can order grand jury records unsealed in decades-old cases with historical significance.
The young black sharecroppers were being driven along a rural road in the summer of 1946 when they were stopped by a white mob beside the Apalachee River, just over 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Atlanta. The mob dragged them out, led them to the riverbank and shot them multiple times. For months the FBI investigated and more than 100 people reportedly testified before a grand jury, but no one was ever indicted in the deaths of Roger and Dorothy Malcom and George and Mae Murray Dorsey at Moore's Ford Bridge in Walton County.
Historian Anthony Pitch wrote a book about the killings — "The Last Lynching: How a Gruesome Mass Murder Rocked a Small Georgia Town" — and continued his research after its 2016 publication. He learned transcripts from the grand jury proceedings, thought to have been destroyed, were stored by the National Archives.
Image: A bridge that spans the Apalachee River at Moore's Ford Road where in 1946 two young black couples were stopped by a white mob who dragged them to the riverbank and shot them multiple times
A bridge that spans the Apalachee River at Moore's Ford Road wherein 1946 two young black couples were stopped by a white mob who dragged them to the riverbank and shot them multiple times in Monroe, Ga. 
Heeding Pitch's request, a federal judge in 2017 ordered the records unsealed. But the U.S. Department of Justice appealed, arguing grand jury proceedings are secret and should remain sealed.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in February ruled 2-1 to uphold the lower court's order. But the full court voted to rehear the case, and is set to hear oral arguments Tuesday.
Pitch, 80, died just two weeks after the announcement the case would be reheard. His wife, Marion Pitch, has taken her husband's place in the case. Pitch's family also approached Laura Wexler, who wrote another book about the lynching, for help completing his work, and she joined the case.
In 1946, Roger Malcom, 24, was jailed after stabbing and gravely injuring a white man during an argument. A white farmer, Loy Harrison, paid $600 to bail Malcom out on July 25 of that year. Harrison later said he was ambushed by a mob as he drove the four home. Harrison, who is identified in an FBI report as a former Ku Klux Klansman and well-known bootlegger, wasn't hurt. He told authorities he didn't recognize anyone in the mob.
The investigation has been reopened and closed several times since a grand jury failed to indict anyone in December 1946. Students, researchers, and activists have all tried to crack the case.
Rules governing grand jury secrecy include exceptions when records may be released. A 1984 ruling in the 11th Circuit, which set binding precedent, says judges may order their disclosure in "exceptional circumstances." The historical significance in this case qualifies, Judge Charles Wilson wrote in the panel's majority opinion. He added that enough time has passed that witnesses, suspects or their immediate family members likely aren't alive to be intimidated, persecuted or arrested.
Concurring, Judge Adalberto Jordan agreed that the lower court's ruling should be upheld because of the binding precedent. But Jordan said he would have decided the 1984 case differently. Allowing judges to use inherent authority to go beyond the defined exceptions to grand jury secrecy seems too open-ended, he wrote. 
U.S. District Judge James Graham of Ohio, also serving on the panel, dissented. He argued that "judges should not be so bold as to grant themselves the authority to decide that the historical significance exception should exist and what the criteria should be." He also worried people alive today could see their reputations harmed if the records reveal their relative "was a suspect, a witness who equivocated or was uncooperative, a member of the grand jury which refused to indict or a person whose name was identified as a Klan member."
The full 12-judge appeals court is scheduled to hear Tuesday's arguments. Specifically, the judges asked the lawyers whether they should overturn the 1984 precedent. Additionally, they asked, if federal judges can grant disclosures beyond the defined exceptions, is "historical significance" an adequate reason?
Pitch's lawyer, Joseph Bell, argued in a court filing that the 1984 precedent shouldn't be overruled because it acknowledges the need for "exceptional circumstances."
"The historical importance and age of the case, lack of indictment after over seventy years, and fact that other historically significant grand jury records have been released all support the release of the records," Bell wrote
Justice Department lawyer Bradley Hinshelwood countered that Pitch's arguments would allow federal judges to circumvent rules set by Congress and the Supreme Court about the disclosure of grand jury materials.
The rules governing grand jury secrecy provide a "meticulously crafted list of permissible disclosures," Hinshelwood wrote. Even if judges did have the authority to establish other exceptions, it wouldn't extend to historical interest.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 30 news organizations, including The Associated Press, submitted a brief in support of Pitch that was rejected by the court without explanation.

September 12, 2019

Abel Acevedo At Sentencing For Killing His 15 yr Old Bully, Abel Being Seen As Gay

Abel Cedeno at his sentencing on Tuesday. Mr. Cedeno was convicted of manslaughter after fatally stabbing a classmate at their Bronx high school in September 2017.

Abel Cedeno at his sentencing on Tuesday. Mr. Cedeno was convicted of manslaughter after fatally stabbing a classmate at their Bronx high school in September 2017.

CreditCreditBrittainy Newman/The New York Times
By Colin Moynihan
Lacey Providence vividly remembers the day two years ago that a pair of detectives at a hospital in the Bronx told her that her 15-year-old nephew had “succumbed” to injuries after being stabbed in school by a teenage classmate.

She remembers her sister collapsing and her nephew, in shock, dropping a container of Tic Tacs. She said she could still hear the sobs and shouts from family members imploring God to bring back her nephew, Matthew McCree.

Also indelible, she said in State Supreme Court in the Bronx on Tuesday, is the memory of Matthew’s body being rolled into a room on a gurney.

“Matthew’s lifeless body was drenched in blood with a cut so deep I could see his ribs,” Ms. Providence told the court, her voice breaking. 

Ms. Providence spoke before Abel Cedeno, a then-18-year-old student at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for fatally stabbing Matthew and grievously injuring another student, Ariane Laboy, in September 2017.

The fatal attack was the first in a New York City school in more than 20 years. It drew heightened attention because of the circumstances surrounding it. Mr. Cedeno said he had suffered years of physical and emotional abuse because he was gay and then lashed out in self-defense against students who had been afflicting him.
Justice Michael A. Gross of State Supreme Court in the Bronx rejected that defense in July after a bench trial and found Mr. Cedeno guilty of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

On Tuesday, Justice Gross declined to grant a request by defense lawyers that their client is treated as a youthful offender, saying that a history of being bullied could not be seen as a “license for murderous rage.”

Mr. Cedeno, wearing a pinkish shirt and with his hair dyed red, sat impassively through Ms. Providence’s statement and the sentencing.
In a statement on Tuesday, Darcel D. Clark, the Bronx district attorney, said: “There was no evidence at trial that Matthew McCree or Ariane Laboy had ever bullied the defendant. His explosion of rage has left so many lives in ruins, including his own.”

After the fatal stabbing, Mr. Cedeno’s case became something of a cause célèbre. Some gay rights advocates rallied to his defense, seeing him as emblematic of young people who are abused because of their sexuality. Members of the L.G.B.T.Q. the community argued that the school should have taken action against those who had bullied a gay student.

Mr. Cedeno was represented at no charge by two gay lawyers, Christopher R. Lynn, and Robert J. Feldman, who said the proceedings were a “gay pride trial.”

Mr. Cedeno also had the support of several elected officials, including City Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr., who has been criticized for making homophobic remarks but helped Mr. Cedeno post bail soon after he was charged. Mr. Díaz also wrote a letter to the judge urging leniency in the sentencing of Mr. Cedeno, who lives in his district in the Bronx.

A Gay Teenager Fatally Stabbed a Classmate. Was It Self-Defense? July 12, 2019

It emerged during the trial that Mr. Cedeno had bought an illegal switchblade online for $44.89. He testified that he obtained it for protection after years of abuse. On that day in 2017, after students threw crumpled pieces of paper and broken pencils that he thought were meant for him, he said, he flicked it open, then waited in a defensive posture, with the blade extended.

Other students who testified said that Mr. Cedeno started the fight and that he was the one who had used homophobic slurs. The lead prosecutor, Nancy Borko, told Justice Gross that Mr. Cedeno had practiced with the switchblade and was looking for a fight with “his trusty new knife.” 

Mr. Laboy’s mother, Felicia Laboy, also addressed the court on Tuesday, telling Justice Gross that although she was the “more fortunate of the two mothers,” the attack by Mr. Cedeno had “devastated my son and deeply affected my family.”

“He lost his best friend, his childhood, his joyful nature,” she said, adding that Mr. Laboy is now home-schooled because his hand was injured so badly that he cannot hold a pen.

Ms. Borko told the court

that Mr. Cedeno’s conduct had been “intentional and violent” and that he had shown little remorse while trying to minimize his actions. She asked Justice Gross to sentence Mr. Cedeno to 30 years in prison, partly as a way to bring justice to the families of his victims.

“There is no pain equal to that of a mother who has lost her child to unexpected violence,” she told the judge. “The order of the universe is reversed.”

Mr. Lynn countered that Mr. Cedeno had accepted responsibility for his actions and urged the judge to consider mitigating factors in his sentence. Mr. Cedeno had no previous criminal history, Mr. Lynn said, was not a danger to anyone, was not likely to become a danger and had garnered letters of support from prominent people who believed that he could go on to lead a productive life.

Mr. Cedeno addressed the court in a halting voice, pausing frequently as he told Justice Gross that he was not the same person he had been two years earlier and that he regretted the pain he had visited upon others.

“I know that I was the one who brought in a knife,” he said, adding: “I wish I could take it all back.” 

Justice Gross said he believed that Mr. Cedeno had been bullied but noted that he had testified that he had not really known his victims and that they had not tormented him. He added that on the day of the stabbings, he had issued an “obscenity-laced invitation” to fight.

Matthew “died within minutes on the floor of that classroom,” Justice Gross said. “With his passing died a future of boundless dreams.”

A few moments later, Mr. Cedeno rose unsteadily to his feet and was handcuffed before being taken from the courtroom. From the left side of the gallery, faces stared at him. On the right side, some people raised a hand.

“We love you, baby,” called one supporter, as Mr. Cedeno appeared to nod in acknowledgment before being escorted away by court officers.

July 17, 2019

A Bullied Gay Teen is Found Guilty of Manslaughter, Assault and Criminal Possession by State Judge

Image result for killed Matthew McCree
Abel Cedeno facing 50 years. Something went very wrong here. A Youth is attacked for being gay and one of his attackers paid with his life. No one is taking the blame but at least the parents of all involved should review why two of them went for a boy classmate because of his orientation and of the gay boy and the school for not helping this boy with the bullying. There is much that could have been done. Any learning points for this community and SCHOOL?.

Abel Cedeno testified that, after years of bullying, he feared for his life when he fatally stabbed a classmate who had punched him. 

In September 2017, Abel Cedeno stabbed and killed Matthew McCree at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx.  The New York Times

On a September morning two years ago, Abel Cedeno put on a pink Kylie Minogue shirt, and then tossed his books and inhaler into his backpack.

Just before leaving for school that day, he took a switchblade knife he had bought online from the top of his dresser and placed it in his pocket.

Within a few hours, the then 18-year-old senior had fatally stabbed Matthew McCree, 15, and permanently maimed Ariane LaBoy, 16, in a history class at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx.

On Monday, a state judge found Mr. Cedeno guilty of manslaughter, assault and criminal possession of an illegal knife, rejecting Mr. Cedeno’s claim he had acted in self-defense after Mr. McCree had punched him. Mr. Cedeno faces up to 50 years in prison. 

Related image
 Mathew McCree15 died of stabbed wounds and wounded Ariane LaBoy 16, partner of Matthew in the fight
Shouts of “Yes!” echoed through the courtroom when the guilty verdict was read. Mr. Cedeno, who had been free on bail, showed no emotion. His mother, Luz Hernandez, wept from where she was sitting a few rows behind him before he was handcuffed and taken into custody.

Mr. Cedeno had waived his right to a jury and had put his fate in the hands of Justice Michael A. Gross of State Supreme Court in the Bronx.

In eight days of testimony stretched over a three-week bench trial, more than 20 witnesses, many of them students, testified regarding what Officer Oliva Carvajal called “a scene out of a massacre” and what prosecutors said took just 15 seconds to unfold.

By the time Officer Carvajal of the New York Police Department had responded to the emergency call, blood covered the walls of the fifth-floor classroom and Matthew shuddered for breath outside the door as people inside the classroom crowded around Ariane, tapping his face to keep him from fading away.

Mr. Cedeno, now 19, told Justice Gross last week that the knife, which he purchased on Amazon for $44.89, was meant only to “deter” students he said had bullied him for years because he is gay.
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On that morning in 2017, students in the back of the classroom were throwing crumpled paper and broken pencils, which Mr. Cedeno said he thought were aimed at him. Mr. Cedeno said he confronted the students, which led Matthew to move toward him. Fearing for his life, Mr. Cedeno said, he grabbed his knife, flicked open the blade and “just waited.”

During closing arguments last week, Nancy Borko, the lead prosecutor, said Mr. Cedeno was looking for a fight with “his trusty new knife.”

Matthew’s death, the first homicide in a New York City school in two decades, prompted protests from parents over the lack of metal detectors at a school with a history of violent incidents. Members of the L.G.B.T.Q. the community argued the school should have taken action against those who had bullied a gay student.

Christopher Lynn, one of the defense lawyers, said in closing arguments that Mr. Cedeno “did not attack anyone that day.” Instead, he had tried to de-escalate the onslaught, as he often did, by leaving class in the midst of a pummeling. But when he returned, Mr. Cedeno was hit with debris again, Mr. Lynn said. “He was attacked and never the aggressor,” Mr. Lynn said.

Mr. Lynn and Robert J. Feldman built a defense on the premise that Mr. Cedeno had suffered unchecked taunts in the classroom that drove him to take extreme action.

The two lawyers took the case, pro bono, at the behest of Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr., who has been criticized for making homophobic remarks but who had helped Mr. Cedeno post bail soon after he was charged. Mr. Cedeno lives in Mr. Díaz’s district in the Bronx.

Mr. Feldman framed the proceedings as “a gay-pride trial.” He and Mr. Cedeno often wore matching rainbow heart pins clipped to their lapels. Tom Shanahan, who is representing Mr. Cedeno in a lawsuit against the Department of Education and joined the defense table, also wore rainbow-colored accessories.

The defense’s decision to forgo a jury trial drew criticism. Mr. Feldman explained in an interview ahead of the trial that he did not believe Mr. Cedeno could get a fair jury trial in the Bronx, where he said anti-gay sentiment among African-Americans was high.

Further, Mr. Feldman said, Mr. Cedeno, whose family is from Puerto Rico, could not count on Hispanic support.

But ultimately, the judge determined that Mr. Cedeno, regardless of his sexual orientation and the history of unchecked school bullying, could not provide an account of what happened that day that supported his claim of self-defense. Other students who testified said Mr. Cedeno initiated the fight, and that he was the only person using homophobic slurs that day.

The case sparked strong emotions, as well as extensive litigation.

The defense lawyers and lawyers for the victim’s families regularly held news conferences after each day’s proceedings. During one, defense lawyers suggested that the victims had been gang members, though they provided little evidence to prove it.

Matthew’s mother, Louna Dennis, repeatedly disputed the defense’s assertion that her son was a bully or was prejudiced against gay men. She also said Mr. Cedeno intended to kill her son.

In closing arguments, Mr. Lynn spoke about the violent reputations of both victims.

On Thursday, the defense submitted a photograph of an African-American teenager who was wearing a black bandanna and identified him as the slain student, Matthew. They said the bandanna indicated an affiliation with a local gang. Shortly after, Ms. Dennis took the stand and said the person in the photo was not her son.

“I’m glad I got the chance to say something, to make corrections about some of their errors,” she said after taking the stand. “They perpetrated a lot of lies.”

Later, outside the courthouse, Ms. Dennis labeled the defense’s arguments as “straight racist.”

Sentencing is set for Sept. 10.

June 18, 2019

The Polish Teen Who Called Prince Harry a "Race Traitor" and Called for Him To be Shot~~Sentenced 4 Yrs

Image result for Michal Szewczuk, 19,
Michal Szewczuk, 19

LONDON (UK Reuters) - 

A teenage neo-Nazi who called for Britain’s Prince Harry a race traitor months after his marriage to U.S. actress Meghan Markle and suggested he should be shot was jailed for more than four years on Tuesday, the BBC reported.

Michal Szewczuk, 19, posted far-right online propaganda which included an image of Harry, the Duke of Sussex, with a gun to his head with the caption “See Ya Later Race Traitor”.

It was posted months after his wedding to Meghan, whose mother is African American and father is white. 

Szewczuk and his co-defendant Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, both Polish nationals, pleaded guilty to encouraging terrorism and Szewczuk also admitted five counts of possessing material likely to be useful to someone planning a terrorist act.

“Dunn-Koczorowski and Szewczuk clearly see themselves as superior to the majority of society and they feel there duty is to express their beliefs, in turn teaching others,” Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of counter-terrorism policing in northeast England.

“The considerable amount of material they have posted on social media channels not only reflects their extremist beliefs but was intended to encourage others to carry out despicable acts.” 

Szewczuk was jailed for four years and three months while Dunn-Koczorowski was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Other posts by the men included support for Norwegian far-right mass killer Anders Breivik and backing for the neo-Nazi group, Sonnenkrieg Division.

April 19, 2019

19 Yr Old. Girl in Bangladesh Set on Fire For Accusing Her Teacher of Assault

Nusrat Jahan Rafi was burned to death for reporting sexual harassment at her school in Bangladesh

 The horrific death of a young student who was burned alive after she reported sexual assault allegations to the police has sparked protests in Bangladesh to demand more justice for women.
Nusrat Jahan Rafi, 18, who was from Feni, 100 miles south of the capital Dhaka, was tricked into going onto a rooftop at her madrassa, or school, on April 6, where at least four people doused her in kerosene and set her alight, reported Human Rights Watch.
She was attacked for refusing to back down from an earlier allegation of an attempted sexual assault against her headmaster. She died four days later from burns covering 80 percent of her body.
“The horrifying murder of a brave woman who sought justice shows how badly the Bangladesh government has failed victims of sexual assault,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW’s South Asia director.
“Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s death highlights the need for the Bangladesh government to take survivors of sexual assault seriously and ensure that they can safely seek a legal remedy and be protected from retaliation.”
People in Bangladesh are protesting for justice for Ms Rafi
People in Bangladesh are protesting for justice for Ms Rafi CREDIT: MAMUNUR RASHID/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
The police handling of her case has compounded public anger. A video of Ms Rafi filing the assault case reportedly shows a police officer telling her that the incident was “not a big deal”.
According to the BBC, she appears distressed, trying to cover her face with her hands.
The video was later leaked to the local media. Death threats ensued and the pressure to withdraw the complaint worsened after the headmaster was arrested.
On April 11, as she tried to enter her school to sit her final exams, she was lured to the roof and surrounded by four people wearing burkas, demanding that she renounce her accusations.
She refused and they set her on fire, attempting to make it look like suicide. But in a final defiant stand as she succumbed to her injuries, she recorded a message on her brother’s phone. “The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime until my last breath,” she said.
The brutal case shocked Bangladesh to its core. Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister, expressed deep sorrow over her death and personally ordered law enforcement agencies to find the perpetrators and take punitive action.
Relatives of Nusrat Jahan Rafi weeping as her body is handed over
Relatives of Nusrat Jahan Rafi weeping as her body is handed over CREDIT: MAMUNUR RASHID/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
To date, 15 people have reportedly been arrested, seven of them allegedly involved in the murder, and one has confessed. The headmaster remains in custody and the police officer who filmed Ms Rafi has been removed from his post and transferred to another department.
However, human rights groups say Ms Rafi’s case highlights a wider problem of the ongoing vulnerability of women who suffer sexual harassment in the conservative South Asia country, and who are targetted when they brave social stigmas to speak out.
Ms Rafi’s tragedy is not an isolated incident, giving rise to scepticism about the authorities’ record in prosecuting sexual violence cases.
Human Rights Watch noted that the murder occurred close to the fourth anniversary of a case of mass sexual harassment of at least 20 women during Bengali New Year celebrations at Dhaka University in 2015. There has been little progress on their court case.
According to Ain O Salish Kendra, a Bangladeshi human rights organisation, there were over 700 cases of rape reported in 2018, but the actual numbers are likely to be higher given the fear of many victims of being shamed and humiliated.
“Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s cruel death is a sobering reminder of the pervasive risk of sexual violence that is faced by Bangladeshi women and girls,” said Meenakshi Ganguly.
“The government should ensure justice for her family, urgently put legal protections in place to prevent sexual assault, and provide effective protections to survivors.”

February 13, 2019

He Pays $110K For Her, He Plays with Her, He Pets Her and Admires her Then Kills her This Beautiful Rare Animal

Image result for American trophy hunter Bryan Kinsel Harlan paid $110,000 to kill a rare
American trophy hunter Bryan Kinsel Harlan paid $110,000 to kill a rare mountain goat in Pakistan. His guide, Tabarak Ullah, distributed footage of the hunt. 

 The photograph, published last week in Pakistani newspapers, was stunning. It showed a magnificent mountain goat, with huge, symmetrically spiral horns, nestled on a rock and surrounded by breathtaking snowy mountains, with a man kneeling and smiling behind him. 
It took a few seconds to realize that the animal, a wild Astore markhor, was dead. The caption described the man as an American hunter who had paid a record $110,000 to shoot it on a tourist expedition to Pakistan’s northern Himalayan region of Gilgit-Baltistan.

“It was an easy and close shot. I am pleased to take this trophy,” the hunter, identified as Bryan Kinsel Harlan, was quoted as saying. His home state or city was not identified, but his Pakistani guides said he is from Texas.
The story drew immediate expressions of sorrow and indignation on social media here. Some Pakistani commentators asked why there was no legal ban on hunting the markhor (Capra falconeri), which is the official national animal. Others suggested that foreign tourists be taken to photograph the exotic goats, not shoot them.
But there is another, more benign, the rationale behind allowing Harlan, along with two other Americans, to pay enormous sums to kill three long-horned markhors in northern Pakistan in the past month. According to Pakistani officials and conservation groups, the practice has actually helped save a rare and endangered species from potential extinction. 
For decades, the population of markhors, which are native to the Himalayan ranges of Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, has been dwindling, the result of local poaching for meat, deforestation, and logging, military activities, competition with livestock and uncontrolled domestic trophy hunting for their splendid horns. By 2011, there were only an estimated 2,500 markhors left. Several years ago, regional officials and conservationists began taking action to save them. India designated five sanctuaries for markhors in the mountainous border state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan banned all local hunting but started allowing a small number of foreign hunters to shoot 12 male goats per season in “community conservation areas” in Gilgit and elsewhere.
American hunter Bryan Kinsel Harlan poses with an Astore markhor, a mountain goat found in the Himalayan ranges of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, that he killed this month as part of a conservation program. Harlan paid $110,000 to shoot the goat, with the funds to be distributed to impoverished residents in the goats’ habitat areas. (Tabarak Ullah)
Most of the funds are supposed to be distributed to the impoverished, isolated residents in the goats’ mountainous habitat areas, which get 80 percent of the fee as well as income as hunting guides and hosts — all extra incentive not to poach the markhors. Government wildlife agencies get 20 percent.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in an effort to encourage U.S. trophy hunting of markhors as a conservation method, also reclassified the animal as “threatened,” rather than endangered, which allowed hunters to bring back trophies such as their horns, which can grow as long as five feet. 
As a result, the markhor populace had rebounded enough by 2015 that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature upgraded the species from endangered to “near-threatened.” According to the conservationist website Green Global Travel, the comeback of the markhor is “one of the world’s great but little-known conservation success stories.”
Pakistan has a mixed track record on protecting rare and endangered animals. Officials routinely allow parties of royals from Qatar and Saudi Arabia to shoot internationally protected birds called houbara bustards (chlamydotis undulata), which Pakistanis are banned from hunting. In 2014, a Saudi prince reportedly shot more than 2,000 bustards despite having a permit to kill just 100, creating an international uproar.

 In Pakistan’s public zoos, neglect and disease have periodically led to the deaths of exotic animals. In the past four years, the main zoo in Islamabad has lost several zebras, lion cubs, an ostrich, and deer. In the past month, four antelopes called nilgais have died of cold or infections. There are numerous private zoos in Pakistan, where wealthy people keep wild cats and other animals without supervision. 
In some other countries, promoting trophy hunting as a conservation tactic has backfired, with some programs charging high fees but failing to regulate the hunts. The Tasmanian tiger was reportedly driven to extinction in its native Australia by intensive hunting that was rewarded with generous bounties.
But in Pakistan, the tactic seems to have been unusually successful. Tabarak Ullah, a professional hunter from Gilgit who has guided Harlan and other Americans, said the high-priced permit funds are used for local health and education as well as preserving species. 
“This is not just about hunting,” Ullah said in a telephone interview. “The number of animals is increasing, and these foreign hunters are millionaires who go back and tell the world that Pakistan is safe.” He noted that after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, foreign visits to Pakistan fell sharply. “Now, more and more tourists are coming.”
Harlan, for one, appears to see himself as participating in a conservation effort as well as an exotic escapade.
In a video recorded on his recent visit to Gilgit, Harlan was shown climbing a cliff, shooting a male markhor that was sitting next to a young goat and then high-fiving his local guides.
In another, wearing a feathered local cap and robe, Harlan said he had been “welcomed with open arms” and encouraged other Americans to follow him, calling Pakistan a safe place for tourists. “This is a perfect example of hunters and villagers coming together for a common goal of game conservation,” he said

November 12, 2018

MBS Crown Prince Discussed Assassination of Enemies A year Before The Khashoggi Killing

"Turkey Shared a tape with the Saudis and the US while Khashoggi was being stranguled with a plastic bad. You can hear him say he can't breathe"Adamfoxie


 Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions.
The Saudis inquired at a time when Prince Mohammed, then the deputy crown prince and defense minister, was consolidating power and directing his advisers to escalate military and intelligence operations outside the kingdom. Their discussions, more than a year before the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, indicate that top Saudi officials have considered assassinations since the beginning of Prince Mohammed’s ascent.
Saudi officials have portrayed Mr. Khashoggi’s death as a rogue killing ordered by an official who has since been fired. But that official, Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, was present for a meeting in March 2017 in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where the businessmen pitched a $2 billion plan to use private intelligence operatives to try to sabotage the Iranian economy.

During the discussion, part of a series of meetings where the men tried to win Saudi funding for their plan, General Assiri’s top aides inquired about killing Qassim Suleimani, the leader of the Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and a man considered a determined enemy of Saudi Arabia.

The interest in assassinations, covert operations and military campaigns like the war in Yemen — overseen by Prince Mohammed — is a change for the kingdom, which historically has avoided an adventurous foreign policy that could create instability and imperil Saudi Arabia’s comfortable position as one of the world’s largest oil suppliers.
As for the businessmen, who had intelligence backgrounds, they saw their Iran plan both as a lucrative source of income and a way to cripple a country that both they and the Saudis considered a profound threat. George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, arranged the meeting. He had met previously with Prince Mohammed, and had pitched the Iran plan to Trump White House officials. Another participant in the meetings was Joel Zamel, an Israeli with deep ties to his country’s intelligence and security agencies.
Both Mr. Nader and Mr. Zamel are witnesses in the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, and prosecutors have asked them about their discussions with American and Saudi officials about the Iran proposal. It is unclear how this line of inquiry fits into Mr. Mueller’s broader inquiry. In 2016, a company owned by Mr. Zamel, Psy-Group, had pitched the Trump campaign on a social media manipulation plan.
A spokesman for the Saudi government declined to comment, as did lawyers for both Mr. Nader and Mr. Zamel.

During the March 2017 meeting about the plan to sabotage Iran’s economy, according to the three people familiar with the discussions, the Saudis asked the businessmen whether they also “conducted kinetics” — lethal operations — saying they were interested in killing senior Iranian officials. The businessmen hesitated, saying they would need to consult their lawyer.

The lawyer flatly rejected the plan, and the businessmen told the Saudis they would not take part in any assassinations. Mr. Nader told the Saudis about a London-based company run by former British special operations troops that might take on the contract. It is unclear which company he suggested.
Before he was ousted last month, General Assiri was considered one of Prince Mohammed’s closest advisers, a man whose sharp ascent tracked the rise of the young crown prince. In 2016, he became the public face of Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen, giving briefings about the state of the war. He traveled frequently to Washington, where Saudi-paid lobbyists brought him to think tanks to give optimistic assessments about the campaign’s progress and he extolled the Saudi concern for the welfare of civilians.
By 2017, however, the Saudi campaign that General Assiri oversaw in Yemen had ground into a military stalemate and, despite his assurances, a humanitarian catastrophe. But his patron, Prince Mohammed, also consolidated his power over all of the kingdom’s security apparatuses, and he promoted General Assiri to the deputy head of the kingdom’s spy agency, the General Intelligence Directorate.
Western analysts believe that Prince Mohammed moved General Assiri there in part to keep an eye on the spy chief, Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah al-Humaidan, known as Abu Ali, who was close to Western intelligence agencies and suspected of harboring loyalties to one of the crown prince’s royal rivals.
General Assiri was dismissed last month when the Saudi government acknowledged Mr. Khashoggi’s killing and said he had organized the operation. On Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said his government had handed over a recording of Mr. Khashoggi’s killing to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain and France, pressuring President Trump to more harshly punish the Saudis over the murder.

Mr. Nader’s and Mr. Zamel’s plan dates to the beginning of 2016, when they started discussing an ambitious campaign of economic warfare against Iran similar to one waged by Israel and the United States during the past decade aimed at coercing Iran to end its nuclear program. They sketched out operations like revealing hidden global assets of the Quds force; creating fake social media accounts in Farsi to foment unrest in Iran; financing Iranian opposition groups; and publicizing accusations, real or fictitious, against senior Iranian officials to turn them against one another.
Mr. Nader is an adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, a country that, along with Saudi Arabia and Israel, has identified Iran as the primary threat to stability in the Middle East.
Both he and Mr. Zamel believed that Hillary Clinton’s anticipated victory in the 2016 election meant a continuation of the Iran nuclear deal signed by President Barack Obama — and little appetite in Washington for a concerted campaign to cripple the Iranian economy. So, they decided to pitch the plan to Saudi and Emirati officials, even submitting a proposal to General Assiri during a meeting in Belgium.
The election of Donald J. Trump changed their calculus, and shortly after, Mr. Nader and Mr. Zamel traveled to New York to sell both Trump transition officials and Saudi generals on their Iran plan.
Mr. Nader’s initiative to try to topple the Iranian economy was first reported in May by The New York Times. His discussions in New York with General Assiri and other Saudi officials were reported last month by The Daily Beast.
Mr. Nader and Mr. Zamel enlisted Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater and an adviser to the Trump transition team. They had already discussed elements of their plan with Mr. Prince, in a meeting when they learned of his own paramilitary proposals that he planned to try to sell to the Saudis. A spokesman for Mr. Prince declined to comment.
In a suite on one of the top floors of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in New York, Mr. Zamel and Mr. Nader spoke to General Assiri and his aides about their Iran plan. The Saudis were interested in the idea but said it was so provocative and potentially destabilizing that they wanted to get the approval of the incoming Trump administration before Saudi Arabia paid for the campaign.
After Mr. Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, Mr. Nader met frequently with White House officials to discuss the economic sabotage plan.
General Assiri’s interest in assassinations was unsurprising but unrepresentative of official policy, said one Saudi loyal to Prince Mohammed and familiar with the inquiry into the Khashoggi killing. The investigation had shown the general to be a grandiose and ambitious renegade who sought to impress the crown prince with unauthorized schemes for black operations, the person said.
But General Assiri’s well-known closeness to the crown prince — the general often joined Prince Mohammed for meetings in Riyadh with visiting American officials — might make it difficult for the prince’s supporters to distance him from the proposals, just as the same connections have helped convince Western intelligence agencies that the prince must have known about the plot against Mr. Khashoggi.
Moreover, General Assiri and his lieutenants were meeting with Mr. Nader around the same time that Mr. Nader was meeting with Prince Mohammed himself, as Saudi officials have acknowledged. In emails to a business associate obtained by The Times, Mr. Nader sometimes referred to conversations he held with Prince Mohammed — also known by his initials, M.B.S. — about other projects he had discussed with General Assiri.
“Had a truly magnificent meeting with M.B.S.,” Mr. Nader wrote in early 2017, discussing possible Saudi contracts. The crown prince, he said, had advised him to “review it and discuss it with General Ahmed.”

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