I’D WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT THIS BUT THEY ARE JUST STUPID PEOPLE
AND IT’S BETTER IF YOU READ THIS STORY YOURSELF.
I think these folks are all nuts.
I am gay and the only reason I got married is so when I die and I still have cousins left on earth they can’t come after my assets that are all for my partner unless she predeceases me. If that is the case all my shit goes to my sister’s and her kids – if not them – my sis in law – or then charity.
My rich cousins who think they got there on their own steam – they did not – they mooched off their brother who died in 2008 who was a multimillionaire, and on my dad’s side all of them got $$ from their father’s hard work holding down 3 jobs and an in law’s who’s parents were rich and left them $$$.
When I get rich – it’s all from Mine & My partner’s efforts and talents – screw my cousins – they have not done anything for me ever.
If it were me and I knew these people didn’t like gays I would never ask them to marry me. If the baker doesn’t want to bake a cake for me and my gal then that’s cool – I’ll go someplace else. Every time special laws are made up for people to do this and that – it causes resentment but maybe we need to have blanket laws that cover color, creed, preferences. Religion can take a nose dive somewhere – it’s the root of all evil.
Two Ministers Claim They Could Face 180 Years In Jail For Refusing To Do Gay Weddings
Posted: 10/25/2014 8:21 am EDT Updated: 10/25/2014 9:59 am EDT
Less than two weeks after a federal appeals court struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, two ministers in the northwestern Idaho city of Coeur d’Alene have filed a lawsuit claiming they could face up to 180 years in jail for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding.
The lawsuit, filed Oct. 17 in federal trial court by the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, stoked long-held fears among opponents of marriage equality.
“The day liberals promised would never come is already here,” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council warned in a press release announcing the lawsuit, which was brought on behalf of Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.
Mike Huckabee, former presidential candidate and Southern Baptist minister,weighed in on Facebook: “Remember when same-sex marriage activists used to claim that it would never infringe on other people’s religious beliefs? Well, that was a lie.”
The governor of Idaho declared the ministers’ case to be grounds for asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to rehear the case on the state ban. “One of the key arguments against the Idaho Constitution’s defense of traditional marriage has been that redefining it to include same-sex couples would not harm anyone. But the Hitching Post example shows the fallacy of that position,” Gov. Butch Otter (R) said in a statement.
There is one major problem with all this outrage, according to city officials in Coeur d’Alene: The owners of the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel do not face arrest or fines or any other penalty for refusing to marry same-sex couples.
The lawsuit argues that Coeur d’Alene’s non-discrimination ordinance — which was passed last year and bars businesses and public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity — will “unconstitutionally” force the Knapps to either “violate their religious convictions and ministerial vows” by performing same-sex weddings or face jail time and fines. According to the suit, the city has “privately and publicly threatened to apply” the ordinance to the Hitching Post.
However, according to city officials and the lawsuit itself, the Hitching Post filed papers with the Idaho Secretary of State identifying itself as a religious corporation on Oct. 6, the day before the 9th Circuit struck down Idaho’s ban. The city’s ordinance explicitly states that religious corporations are exempt from the law.
The lawsuit came as a surprise to city officials, who described conversations with the Knapps up until last week as “cordial.”
“We have never threatened them. We have never sent them a letter warning them. There was no ‘we’re going to throw you in jail’ kind of stuff. So we were mildly surprised, well, totally surprised by the lawsuit,” City Attorney Mike Gridley told The Huffington Post.
Moreover, while the lawsuit claims that the Knapps have already turned away multiple same-sex couples, Gridley said that the city had received no complaints about the Hitching Post and had no idea who these couples might be.
How did the Knapps come up with that jaw-dropping figure of 180 years? According to the lawsuit, the city ordinance sets forth fines up to $1,000 and jail time up to 180 days for every day of a violation. The Knapps’ complaint reasons that they “risk going to jail for 180 years and being fined $365,000″ if they refuse to marry one couple for one year.
Is that a real possibility? Gridley laughed. “That’s not correct. Again,” he said.
“I want to make clear,” said Gridley, “that the Hitching Post, or any other minister that I’m aware of, is not subject to our ordinance.”
The Knapps declined to comment on the case.
The lawsuit did not come as a surprise to gay rights advocates and legal experts, who see this case as the latest in a string of lawsuits and proposed laws intended to exempt Christians opposed to same-sex marriage from participating in any way in same-sex weddings. Over the last several years, lawsuits concerning bakers, photographers, florists and owners of wedding venues who declined to serve same-sex couples have played out in the courts. Overwhelmingly, judges have sided with the same-sex couples.
The Hitching Post case stands out, however — not only because it is the first of these cases to involve ordained clergy, but also because no complaint has been filed against the Knapps, and because their business already appears to be exempt from the non-discrimination ordinance in Coeur d’Alene.
“I think there are a lot of people in this country who have anxiety about what marriage equality is going to mean for them, and there’s a widespread misperception that changes to the marriage laws or discrimination laws are going to mean faith leaders are forced to perform weddings they don’t want to perform,” said Amanda Goad, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union. “I think the Alliance Defending Freedom may be playing to those anxieties, but it’s very much not the case,” she said.
Goad served as lead counsel for a couple who filed charges against a Denver bakery owner who refused to sell them a wedding cake. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission sided with the couple in May; the bakery owner announced he would no longer sell wedding cakes to anyone.
Goad described the Hitching Post case as part of a “much bigger Plan B” driven by the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom and other conservative Christian legal and advocacy groups. “Plan A was resisting marriage equality, a fight that resisters have lost in Idaho and appear to be losing everywhere,” she said. “Those people are trying to narrow the scope of equality to give businesses a broader excuse to use religion to discriminate.”
Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, agreed that the case is critical to his group’s broader mission.
“I think it’s of extreme importance,” he told The Huffington Post. “We’ve been warning all along that these sexual orientation non-discrimination laws would be used in this exact way. We’ve got bakers, florists, photographers and now ordained ministers being threatened with jail times, fines and attorney fees that will put them out of business simply because of how they want to follow their faith. If they’re unwilling to celebrate and promote same-sex marriage because it contradicts their beliefs, they’ll lose their livelihoods. The government shouldn’t force them to choose.”
Tedesco argued that Coeur d’Alene has been inconsistent with its message about whether the Hitching Post is exempt from the non-discrimination ordinance. However, he acknowledged, the city does now appear to agree that the Hitching Post is exempt. “That, of course, resulted from the massive public outcry from our complaint,” he said.
The Hitching Post has certainly been inconsistent in how much its owners’ religious faith has restricted its business practices. As blogger Jeremy Hooper revealed this week, the wedding chapel very recently altered its website to limit its service to “traditional Christian” ceremonies. But that was not always true — at least according to the website.
The Hitching Post first made news in May, after a federal judge initially struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, when the Spokane Spokesman-Review quoted Donald Knapp saying, “I cannot in good conscience perform same-sex marriages.” But the chapel’s website said it would perform civil ceremonies and “wedding ceremonies of other faiths,” in addition to religious ceremonies for Christian couples. At the time, the Hitching Post had also not yet filed for status as a religious corporation.
This change has fanned the flames of critics’ claims that the lawsuit was trumped up to appeal to the worst fears of same-sex marriage opponents.
“They’re trying to build up a credible narrative, because it’s not going to be credible at all if the narrative is, ‘We agreed to serve everyone until the law changed and included gay people, and now we don’t like that,’” said Kara Loewentheil, a research fellow at Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law who specializes in religious freedom issues. “That’s not going to play well.”
Coeur d’Alene officials said they have been caught off guard by the flood of messages they’ve received about the small chapel just three buildings down from city hall. As of Thursday, according to city spokesman Keith Erickson, there were around 33,000 emails and 400 phone calls.
“I think a lot of people are fired up over information that is not accurate, and once they hear more accurate information, then they go, ‘Oh, okay,’” Gridley said.
Iran Hangs Woman Convicted Of Killing Alleged Rapist
Posted: 10/25/2014 9:01 am EDT Updated: 10/25/2014 9:59 am EDT
DUBAI, Oct 25 (Reuters) – A 26-year-old Iranian woman convicted of murdering a man she accused of trying to rape her as a teenager was hanged on Saturday, the official news agency IRNA said, despite international pleas for her life to be spared.
Reyhaneh Jabbari walked to the gallows at dawn on Saturday in Tehran’s Evin prison after failing to secure a reprieve from the murder victim’s relatives within the 10-day deadline set by sharia law in force since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The death sentence sparked international condemnation, prompting the government of President Hassan Rouhani, who won election last year partly on promises of liberal reform, to intervene to get it commuted.
Justice Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said in early October that a “good ending” was in sight but official media reported later that the slain man’s family could not be persuaded to approve leniency for Jabbari.
Jabbari was sentenced to death in accordance with Koranic “qisas,” or eye for an eye, law after being found guilty of stabbing dead an older man with a kitchen knife in 2007.
She had pleaded self-defense but failed to sway judges at various stages of appeal and had been kept in prison since her arrest.
Her last chance of reprieve lay with Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose powers transcend all state mandates, but he never mentioned the case and has only rarely interfened in court cases regardless of political considerations.
Immediately after the execution, the Tehran state prosecutor’s office issued a statement that appeared aimed at countering sympathy for Jabbari.
“Jabbari had repeatedly confessed to premeditated murder, then tried to divert the case from its course by inventing the rape charge,” said the statement carried by IRNA.
“But all her efforts to feign innocence were proven false in various phases of prosecution. Evidence was firm. She had informed a friend through text message of her intention to kill. It was ascertained that she had purchased the murder weapon, a kitchen knife, two days before committing murder.”
The hanging comes at an inopportune time for Rouhani, who has been treading a precarious path to rapprochement with the West after decades of mutual hostility largely rooted in Iran’s disputed nuclear program and human rights practices.
Rouhani has come under fire from secular Iranians, his main political constituency, over a spate of acid attacks on young women deemed by their attackers to have insufficiently covered their hair in accordance with sharia.
Many Iranians believe the attacks have been provoked by Islamist hardliners in a continuing campaign to thwart the political and social reforms pledged by Rouhani during his electoral campaign.
But many of Iran’s more secular voters have also voiced frustration that domestic reforms appear to have taken a back seat to foreign policy under Rouhani, in particular the tortuous negotiations with world powers to resolve the nuclear stand-off.
(Reporting by Mehrdad Balali; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
PUBLISHED: 17:45 EST, 25 October 2014 | UPDATED: 22:16 EST, 25 October 2014
School gunman Jaylen Fryberg publicly disowned his cousin for winning the girl he fancied – just weeks before shooting him in the head.
The popular 15-year-old shocked the community when he opened fire in Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Friday, killing one of his friends and critically wounding four more, including two relatives.
But it has since emerged that Jaylen was left heartbroken over a girl who rebuffed him for the cousin he treated like a brother: Andrew Fryberg.
In an ominous indication of the anger that spurred his deadly tirade, Jaylen tweeted last month: ‘Dude. She tells me everything. And now I f***ing HATE you! Your no longer my ‘Brother’!’
Friends say it was a reference to the fact that he was crushing on the girl dating Andrew, 15, who is now fighting for life.
The girl has not been officially named.
the killer/shooter/cousin – ugly ass kid
Andrew, the cousin is cute
Love triangle: Jaylen Fryberg (left) fell out with his cousin Andrew (right) for dating a girl he fancied. Just weeks later, Jaylen opened fire in the school cafeteria, shooting Andrew, another cousin, three friends and himself
Like brothers: Jaylen raged on Twitter weeks ago in an ominous indication of the anger that spurred his attack
Friends say Jaylen was crushing on a girl, who has not been officially named, but she started dating Andrew
The boys grew up together in the Native American Tulalip tribe along with Nate Hatch, 14, another brother-like cousin who is fighting for his life after the attack in Harborview Medical Center.
‘They’re just three complete buddies, and they couldn’t be closer than three brothers,’ according to Don Hatch, Nate’s grandfather and Andrew’s great uncle.
The two other surviving victims who are being treated for severe head wounds in Providence Regional Medical Center have been identified as Jaylen’s friends: Shaylee Chuckulnaskit and Gia Soriano, both 14.
According to KIRO-TV, Andrew is being treated in Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center for a gunshot wound to the head while Shaylee, who posed in the same photo with Fryberg, is in a ‘very critical’ condition in the Providence Regional Center in Everett.
While friends at first could not comprehend why Jaylen, a homecoming prince and football player, unleashed his attack, they all said he had not got over Andrew’s relationship with a girl he fancied.
He had also only recently returned to school after being suspended for a fight on a football field – believed to be caused by another playing directing ‘racist comments’ at him.
The popular schoolboy who was a member of the football and wrestling team shot five people with his ‘father’s gun’, killing one, before turning the gun on himself.
Bella Panjeli, speaking outside a vigil on Friday, said she attended a different school but was friends with one of the female victims, calling her ‘a beautiful girl and so, so sweet.’
Attack: Jaylen Fryberg (back circled) shot his cousins Nate Hatch (left circled) and Andrew Fryberg (right circled) and their friend Shaylee Chuckulnaskit (front circled) at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington weeks after they posed for this picture at their homecoming dance. He also shot a further two girls
Victim: Jaylen’s cousin Nate Hatch is also in a ‘very critical condition’ in Providence Regional Medical Center in Washington, after being shot in the jaw. His grandfather says Jaylen, Andrew and Nate were ‘best buddies’
Fighting for life: Jaylen’s two friends Gia Soriano (left) and Shalyee Chuckulnaskit (right) were also shot
Tribe: Nate, Andrew and Jaylen (pictured at the front of the boat) grew up in the Native American Tulalip tribe
Shocked: The tribe’s chairman said the community is in total shock and had no idea Jaylen could do this
She also said Fryberg was in an ongoing dispute with his cousin over the victim’s affections.
‘I heard he asked her out and she rebuffed him and was with his cousin,’ Panjeli said, adding that she learned of the connection after talking to the victim’s family and friends. It was a fight over a girl.’
There were no indications on Fryberg’s social media accounts that he had been planning such a rampage, but on Tuesday he posted his feelings of despondency, apparently over a romantic split, on Twitter.
‘It breaks me… It actually does… I know it seems like I’m sweating it off… But I’m not.. And I never will be able to,’ he wrote.
A friend on Twitter said Jayden was ‘heartbroken’ over a girl and didn’t know what to do. She added that he ‘wasn’t a bad kid’.
A junior has also revealed that he had a brief conversation with Fryberg the morning of the attack.
Junior Nathan Heckendorf told CNN that the shooter had just returned to school after being suspended following a fight during football practice.
He said: ‘His final words that he said to me were about the fight. He said ‘It was an act of anger, and an act of aggression and I should have used words’.’
Students with their hands raised flee the scene of the shootings at Marysville-Pilchuck high school
Police attend the scene of the school shooting yesterday after student Jaylen Fryberg opened fire
Armed officers are pictured patrolling the grounds of Marysville-Pilchuck school after the shooting
Assailant: Jaylen Fryberg, 15, was crowned a homecoming prince at school before shooting five classmates
Ominous: Fryberg’s last tweet posted the night before the shooting read:’ It’s won’t last… It’ll never last….’
Describing the attack, Jordan Luton told the station: ‘He came up from behind and had a gun in his hand and he fired about eight bullets … They were his friends so it wasn’t just random.’
‘Then he turned and looked at me and my girlfriend … and kind of gave us a smirk and turned around and then shot more bullets outside,’
There could have been more victims of the attack, but teacher Megan Silberberger is believed to ran into the room and grabbed Jaylen’s arm before he could fire anymore bullets.
Authorities have also said a cafeteria worker attempted to stop the gunman.
Students dived for cover and others fled but as the popular teenager stopped to reload his gun, witnesses told KIRO-TV, Silberberger walked over and grabbed his arm.
In a two-second struggle, Fryberg is said to have pointed the gun at her before shooting himself dead.
The shocking account suggests Silberger, a first year social services teacher and part-time soccer player, may have prevented a massacre at the Washington school.
She heard the gunshots first and she came in running through the door. She grabbed his arm
Erick Cervantes, the student who called 911, on Megan Silberberger
Nonetheless, hundreds of students, teachers and parents piled into a nearby church tonight for a candlelit vigil as the community reels in shock struggling to cope with the tragic loss of life as four teenagers are treated in hospital.
Erick Cervantes, the first student who called 911 during the attack, told KIRO-TV: ‘I believe [Megan Silberger] is actually the real hero.
‘She’s the one that intercepted him with the gun.
‘He tried either reloading or tried aiming at her. She tried moving his hand away and he tried shooting and shot himself in the neck.
‘It started off with an argument, but then I looked back and there was just gunshots and just people falling down.
‘She heard the gunshots first and she came in running through the door, right next to it.
‘It wasn’t [a] wrestle. She just grabbed his arm, and it lasted like two seconds, and I heard another shot.’
That shot, he says, was the one that killed Fryberg.
The shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School lasted just two minutes between 10.41am and 10.43am on Friday.
The horrific attack has left the entire community reeling as friends described Fryberg, a member of the Tulalip Native-American tribe, as a ‘well-respected, great guy’.
Authorities are now scrambling to determine a possible cause for the shooting as the four survivors fight for their lives in hospital.
Pupils have told news stations Fryberg was suspended from the football team in recent weeks after being involved in a fight over ‘racist’ comments.
Tributes: A rainbow shone over the school today as crowds left flowers in tribute to the murdered victim
In a memorial service at Grove Church students from the high school wrote messages and prayers
A vigil was held tonight in Grove Church, Marysville, following a shooting at the local high school
Students hold a candle-lit vigil for the six students shot at Marysville-Philchuck high school
Marysville Pilchuck High School freshman, Cameron Moody, 14, prays at a vigil following the shooting
Others said he had been rejected by a girl.
Last night, Pastor Nik Baumgart told the hundreds who filled the church and spilled out into the parking lot: ‘I hate this tragedy as much as any of you. I hate what’s going on. I hate what we’ve had to see.
‘And I remember all kinds of times when I’ve had the same thoughts that you’ve had about that city, about that situation, about those schools.
‘Now that’s us. Now that’s my alma mater. Here’s what we’re here to do tonight. It’s simple. It’s honestly overly simple. Love one another. Weep together.’
Fryberg’s tweets had become increasingly ominous in the months leading up to his bloody tirade. Recently he tweeted: ‘Your gonna piss me off… And then some s*** gonna go down and I don’t think you’ll like it…’.
His final tweet on Thursday night ominously stated: ‘It won’t last…It’ll never last…’.
Hero? Megan Silberberger, a teacher and part-time soccer player, grabbed the shooter’s arm as he reloaded
Student opens fire at a Washington state high school
So far one student has been confirmed dead, while four others remain in hospital in critical condition
Hundreds packed inside the small church, as the crowd spilled over into the parking lot outside
Students comfort each other after Jaylen Fryberg opened fire at school, killing one, before shooting himself
Pastor Nik Baumgart told people: ‘Here’s what we’re here to do tonight. Love one another. Weep together.’
Fryberg’s last tweet on Friday night read ‘It won’t last…It’ll never last’ before he attacked fellow students
A young girl stands in front of a candle lit stage during tonight’s vigil in Marysville, Washington
Just hours later he entered the crowded cafeteria during lunch break with ‘a blank stare’ on his face and walked up behind one table clutching a handgun, witnesses described.
According to Cervantes there was an argument before Fryberg launched his attack.
Multiple shots were fired, hitting five students.
One is said to have died at the scene before Fryberg turned the gun and killed himself.
All four of the victims were taken to Providence Regional Hospital in critical condition. Two were admitted to theater for surgery, while the remaining two were transported to nearby Harborview Medical Center.
The school has now been closed until November 3 and counselors have been brought in to speak with traumatized witnesses and friends of the victims.
Friday night’s football match between Marysville-Pilchuck and Oak Harbor High School was canceled and Oak Harbor announced it would take second place as a gesture.
Reeling: The community of Marysville, Washington, is desperately waiting for details as they hear a pupil died
Tearful: Students, parents and teachers wept tonight at a candlelit vigil in The Grove Church nearby
‘We have to love one another deeply': A pastor told the tearful audience to build bridges and stay strong
Distraught: Fryberg’s former teammates sat in their uniform crying as they tried to comprehend the situation
Prayer: The group shared a group prayer and a minute’s silence in honor of the two dead and four wounded
Footage taken of the aftermath showed shaking teenagers being evacuated from the school with their hands in the air so officers could be sure they were not armed.
Officers with rifles rushed across the field to check the students for either injuries or weapons before taking them to a local church, where parents were gathered.
The school was placed on lockdown at 10.43am Pacific time after students and teachers called 911 about multiple shots fired in the cafeteria.
By 11am, a full SWAT team was at the scene.
A male victim being treated at Harborview Medical Center emerged from surgery at 4.30pm Easter time but was still in a serious condition.
Last night, Chief Rik Smith of Marysville Police Department told a press conference FBI agents will work through the night interviewing witnesses to piece together details of the crime.
He refused to say Fryberg’s name, adding: ‘I will not perpetuate this cruel act in a place where kids should feel safe. I will not perpetuate that by spending any time on the shooter.
Students were told to walk on to the field with their hands in the air so officers could see they weren’t armed
Shock: Trauma teams were rushed to the school within minutes to recover the wounded and shaken pupils
Emergency: The school was placed on lockdown by 10.49am on Friday after a student called 911 at 10.43am
Action: Armed officers were accompanied by a SWAT team to scale the school to check for any other gunmen
Marysville Pilchuk is a public secondary school for grades 9-12 and is part of the Marysville School District
Washington State school shooting suspect dead, police say
‘Instead I want to focus on the heroic efforts of teacher who quickly moved students to safety and the students who helped each other.’
Herman Williams Jr, chairman of the Tulalip Tribe, also addressed media.
He said: ‘I am deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy in our local school district. Our prayers go out to the families and the entire community.
‘Our first priority is to support the families and the children of those involved.
‘Our community is reeling from this experience, so we ask that the media and the public honor the families and our children in this time of grief. Sadly, we are now experiencing what has become a national trend, which we, as a society, must address.
‘These are our children. They are suffering, and their lives will be forever changed.
‘The fact that tribal members were involved makes it extremely hard to respond to any inquiries until we are aware of all the circumstances.
‘As chairman, I ask everyone to pray for the children and families of those involved.’
A student who spoke to CNN on the phone from inside the school described a grisly scene inside the cafeteria, telling the news outlet: ‘There was blood everywhere.’
Distraught: Terrified students wept as they waited for news at a church where they were reunited with parents
In tears: A girl at the school pictured sobbing and being embraced by a relative after the school shooting
Devastated: Students and parents embrace in a circle at a church after the school shooting
Location: The tragedy played out Friday morning in Marysville, about 35 miles north of Seattle, Washington
Support: Counselors have been sent to the school, which is closed for a week, to support traumatized pupils
According to the unnamed teen, Fryberg was a popular freshman and a member of the Marysville-Pilchuk football team, but he was recently suspended for fighting.
He was also an avid hunter and gun enthusiast, as evidenced by photos posted on his social media accounts.
A few months ago, he shared a picture online showing off a new rifle he had received for his birthday.
Earlier this month, the freshman was crowned homecoming prince, but a classmate told CNN that may have been subjected to bullying.
Police Commander Robb Lamoureux told reporters authorities believed that the shooter acted alone, but had no immediate word on a motive.
However, Jarron Webb, 15, told the Seattle Times Fryberg was angry at a girl for spurning his advance, and that he shot her dead as payback for her rejection.
On the eve of the shooting, Fryberg wrote an ominous final post on Twitter that read: ‘it won’t last…. It’ll never last…. ‘
While Fryberg’s friends and classmates described him as a nice, well-liked boy, his online history paints a somewhat different picture.
Hunter: Fryberg has been described as an avid hunter and regularly shared pictures of his rifle online
Jaylen Fryberg is made homecoming prince days before shooting
Jock: Fryberg was on the football team, but had been suspended recently for fighting over ‘racist comments’
‘Well-respected': Pupils told media they were shocked as Fryberg was a well-respected classmate
Over the past few months, Fryberg had unleashed a series of foul-mouthed and highly sexualized tweets venting his rage over a breakup. In some messages, the high school freshman expressed a desire to end his life.
‘F*** it!! Might As Well Die Now,’ the 15-year-old tweeted in June.
Earlier this week, just days before the shooting rampage, Fryberg fired off a cryptic message that read: ‘Alright. You f***ing got me…. That broke me.’
A boy who witnessed the attack said at one point during the shooting, the gunman’s handgun jammed, and the boy used that opportunity to flee the cafeteria.
He added that the teenager, whom he described as a ‘nice kid,’ remained silent while squeezing off rounds and had a ‘blank stare’ in his eyes.
Police planned to complete a full investigation in the school by 4am local time.
According to a press conference held at around 3pm Eastern time, officers were still finding groups of students and teachers hiding inside classrooms.
‘I was in my classroom and someone pulled the fire alarm and we thought it was a fire drill and we ran out and they told us to go back in a classroom,; student Cindy Rodriguez, 17, told NBC News. ‘We’re scared.’
Ayn Dietrich, an FBI spokesperson in Seattle, said the agency had personnel on their way to the scene to help authorities with the investigation.
Veiled threat? In August, Fryberg ranted on Twitter at someone who had upset him
Washington High School shooter Jaylen Fryberg chanting
Officials at Marysville-Pilchuk posted a message on the school’s website that read in part: ‘Students who attend MPHS campus are being relocated to the Shoultes Community Church at the corner of 116th and 51st Street. Buses will take students home from there.
‘Those parents in the area wanting to pick up their child will need to go to the church location and sign out their child out with school administrator or law enforcement.
‘All after-school activities across the district are canceled today.’
Parents were being asked to bring their identification cards in order to pick up their children from the church.
The latest school shooting in the region happened at Seattle Pacific University, where a gunman killed one student and wounded two others on June 5 this year.
The hatchet-wielding man who attacked several police officers in Queens was described by police officials on Friday as a “self-radicalized” Muslim convert who was inspired by terrorist groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, but who most likely acted alone and on his own initiative.
The man, identified by law enforcement officials as Zale H. Thompson, 32, set upon four New York City police officers as they posed for a photograph on Jamaica Avenue just after 2 p.m. Thursday, striking one in the arm and another in the head, before he was shot and killed by the other officers. A stray bullet also struck a bystander in the back.
The episode underscored the challenges to identifying isolated threats and preventing attacks. Mr. Thompson had never drawn the attention of law enforcement, the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, said, despite evidence that he had become radicalized in recent years.
After speaking with Mr. Thompson’s relatives, authorities determined that he had converted to Islam two years ago. His online history shows that he had recently visited websites related to the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and Al Shabab, the military Islamist group based in Somalia, and viewed videos of beheadings, said John Miller, who oversees intelligence and counterterrorism for the Police Department.
“It appears, just from the electronic forensic piece of this, that this is something he has been thinking about for some time and thinking about with more intensity in recent days,” Mr. Miller said.
On Friday, detectives and counterterrorism investigators with the New York Police Department, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, interviewed Mr. Thompson’s family and friends and scoured his computers, cellphones and bank records, officials said.
What emerged was a portrait of a man officials described as an out-of-work recluse, who spent hours in his room on the computer browsing radical websites and occasionally left comments on Facebook and YouTube that disparaged whites and Christians and most recently supported violent jihad.
Mr. Bratton said that he considered the attack on the officers a “terrorist act,” but said there was as yet no evidence linking Mr. Thompson to any organized group, international or domestic.
“We at this time believe that he acted alone,” Mr. Bratton said at a news conference, which was also attended by Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We would describe him as self-radicalized. It would appear at this time that he was self-directed in his activities.”
Even so, the assault, which occurred in the same week as two similar attacks on military personnel in different parts of Canada, put police officers throughout the city on heightened alert.
On Thursday evening, the New York Police Department issued a memo to “all commands” warning officers on patrol to remain vigilant.
“Due to recent attacks against law enforcement and military personnel, both here in N.Y.C. and in Ottawa, Canada, police officers on patrol should maintain a heightened level of awareness,” the memo said.
The attack on Thursday lasted all of seven seconds. A law enforcement official who gave an account, based in part on surveillance video of Mr. Thompson in the seconds before the attack, said it was clear that the assault had not been random.
“He targeted the police officers,” the official said. “He stakes them out, on video we have, he watches them for a minute or two from the corner,” the official said, adding, “he bends over and it looks like he takes the hatchet out of a backpack and charges right at the officers.”
After being shot by the police officers, Mr. Thompson fell to the pavement and was found by investigators still clutching the hatchet, officials said.
One of the officers injured in the attack, Joseph Meeker, 24, was released from the hospital on Friday, Mr. Bratton said. His colleague, Kenneth Healey, 25, remained in serious but stable condition at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center with a severe wound to the back of his head.
“He is recovering, but in a great deal of pain,” Mr. Bratton said. The injured bystander, identified only as a 29-year-old woman, was in critical but stable condition at the same hospital, he said.
In comments on Facebook and YouTube, retrieved by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity, Mr. Thompson described white Christians as “aggressive and violent” and reproached the “Christianized Negro” for following the faith “his slave master gave him.”
On a YouTube video in support of an Islamic caliphate, a commenter named Zale Thompson made remarks seemingly sympathetic to violent jihad.
“If the Zionists and the Crusaders had never invaded and colonized the Islamic lands after WW1, then there would be no need for jihad!” the commenter wrote. “Which is better, to sit around and do nothing, or to jihad.”
Mr. Thompson, for at least the last decade, appears to have been adrift. He was involuntarily discharged from the Navy in 2003 after only two years in a construction unit in Port Hueneme, Calif., possibly because of drug use, said Chief Robert K. Boyce, who is leading the investigation.
Though Mr. Thompson had no criminal record in New York, he had six arrests in the city of Oxnard, Calif., said Chief Boyce, including one for leaving the scene of an accident, for which he pleaded guilty in 2003.
At some point, he moved back to New York, first into the apartment in East New York, Brooklyn, where he had grown up and then, after he was evicted in January, back and forth between the homes of his mother and father, a short distance from each other in Queens.
Neighbors described him as quiet, though sometimes erratic. Long after his discharge from the Navy, he wore a white sailor’s uniform, said Michelle Britton, the downstairs neighbor at his home in East New York.
Mr. Thompson was angered after a recent spate of deaths at the hands of the police, said Frank Sha Francois, Queens chapter president of the New Black Panther Party. Mr. Francois, who met Mr. Thompson through Facebook three years ago, described him as sympathetic to his organization, but not a member. Recently they marched together in a protest against police brutality.
Mr. Thompson’s former landlord, Sam French, said he had become despondent when served with eviction papers in January and spoke of killing the new manager.
“I had to calm him down and say ‘No, no,’ ” Mr. French said.
HIP HOP & RAP HELP SPREAD HATE – JUST LOOK AT KAYNE WEST. ONE DAY KAYNE WEST WILL BE IN JAIL FOR THE MURDER OF HIS WIFE.
OF THAT I HAVE ZERO DOUBT.
Growing Faith: Prisons, Hip-Hop and Islam
Posted: 03/07/2013 12:43 pm EST Updated: 05/07/2013 5:12 am EDT
Islam is described as the fastest growing religion in the U.S. There are various factors that contribute to this phenomenon, including immigrants arriving in recent decades from Muslim countries, including India, Pakistan, and in the Middle East. In addition, many individuals convert to Islam. This is particularly true among African Americans and more recently, Latinos.
Why is conversion so prevalent among these groups? The answer to this question is complicated and involves ideological factors, such as attraction to Islam’s message of peace and social justice. Some are attracted by the cultural links among Islam, Africa, and Moorish Spain. Still others embrace the faith as a way of distancing themselves from Christianity. But what facilitates their conversion, practically?
Two important but often overlooked factors are prisons and hip-hop music, which are deeply interconnected. In fact, hip-hop culture’s very birth in the U.S. coincided with an incarceration explosion in the 1970s. The harsh impacts of imprisonment would become an ever-present menace to the hip hop generation, which felt the first-hand effects of losing friends and family to the “belly of the beast.” Imprisonment would go on to become a multi-billion dollar industry with two million inmates and counting, at roughly the same time hip hop grew into a multi-billion dollar industry of its own.
As African Americans began consuming hip-hop music, prisons began consuming African Americans. This dramatic prison expansion led the U.S. to become home to the largest prison population in the world, with African Americans consisting of nearly half of those imprisoned.
Prisons would also become major centers for Islamic outreach. Today, prison officials, prison chaplains and scholars claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion behind bars. Although there are no reliable statistics, estimates suggest that 35,000-40,000 inmates convert to Islam each year, and nationwide, it is estimated that 15 percent of the U.S. prison population is Muslim, or as much as 350,000 current Muslim inmates.
Islam’s growth in prison is matched only by its influence on hip-hop culture. For many young Americans, hip-hop leads to their first encounter with Islam. Although listeners are not always aware of the religious underpinnings, hip-hop music has brought Islamic artists, themes and symbols to the center of American pop culture. Groups identifying with Islam include classical heavyweights like Afrika Bambaataa, Public Enemy and Rakim, and include more modern acts like WuTang Clan, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes and Mos Def.
But this just scratches the surface.
Hip-hop’s influence among prisoners is noteworthy, and for some who turn to Islam in prison, a foundation for conversion was likely set long before they stepped through the prison gates. For decades, musical motifs involving Islam, both doctrinal and heterodox, have been setting the table and providing a cultural context for conversion.
In hip-hop music, the prison has been and remains a focus of resistance. Early on, the horrors of imprisonment were brought to life by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message,” a song that tells of a young man’s prison experience that leads to rape, sex slavery and his own suicide-hanging. Later, the cover of Public Enemy’s 1988 album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, would make a critical statement by depicting rappers Chuck D. and Flavor Flav behind bars.
Hip-hop lyrics illustrate a deep consciousness of prisons. In some songs, there are shout-outs to incarcerated Muslims and words of encouragement, as in Brother Ali’s “Shadows on the Sun”: “Tell my man Hasim in prison keep grinnin’ because he’s innocent, and tell him that the tests we get are heaven-sent.” At other times, an entire song or album can revolve around prison themes, as in No More Prisons Volume Iand its sequel, Volume II, which each features a roster of Muslim rappers. Sometimes the lyrics take radical tones like DJ Krush & Company Flow’s Vision of Art: “Unsheathe the jihad blade and become animalistic, authority walks the plank, that’s implicit, the shambles of the gifted, dismantled and imprisoned.”
Prisons and hip-hop music contribute to Islam’s status as the fastest growing religion in the country. In prison, Islam continues to attract a vibrant following and prisons have made the African-American male convert a staple of African Americana, from Malcolm X to H. Rap Brown to Mike Tyson. Likewise, hip hop music has been fertilizer for the greening of America, comparable to reggae music’s role in propagating the Rastafarian faith. Often described as the “official religion” of hip-hop, Islam continues to influence the music, which shows no signs of diminishing anytime soon.
JANET & THE BILLIONAIRE: RUMORS ARE THEY ARE DIVORCING – SHE SAYS NO – THEY ARE BUYING A BIGGER HOME IN NYC? PRO SO SHE CAN DIVORCE HIM THERE – SAFER ON AMERICAN SOIL – I’D SAY
This dude is ugly.
EXCLUSIVE: Janet Jackson Divorce Rumors ‘A Lie’
February 26, 2014
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/ Getty Images
Recent media reports have speculated that Grammy winner Janet Jackson is separating from her husband Wissam Al Mana, but a source close to the couple sets the record straight.
The source tells Entertainment Tonight of Jackson and Mana’s relationship, “The rumors about their marriage are a lie. They are very happy and very much together. In fact, the couple has recently purchased an even larger home in New York.”
“Our wedding gifts to one another were contributions to our respective favorite children’s charities. We would appreciate that our privacy is respected and that we are allowed this time for celebration and joy,” Jackson and Mana said in their wedding announcement.
This coming April, Jackson, 47, will be traveling to Brazil to continue her work for amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research).
In addition to immigration, the state, federal and local prisons of the United States may be a contributor to the growth of Islam in the United States. J. Michael Waller claims that Muslim inmates comprise 17-20% of the prison population in New York, or roughly 350,000 inmates in 2003. He also claims that 80% of the prisoners who “find faith” while in prison convert to Islam. These converted inmates are mostly African American, with a small but growing Hispanic minority. Waller also asserts that many converts are radicalized by outside Islamist groups linked to terrorism, but other experts suggest that when radicalization does occur it has little to no connection with these outside interests.
In a 2004 report, the Justice Department faulted the prison system for failing to protect against “infiltration by religious extremists.” However, the report made clear that the problem was not radical chaplains, but, rather extremist inmates running worship services.
Mark S. Hamm, a criminologist at Indiana State University, describes a phenomenon he calls “prison Islam.” This consists of “small gang-like cliques that use cut-and-paste versions of the Koran” to give a religious patina to violent and criminal activities. Hamm has identified five such examples since 2005, notably the 2005 Los Angeles bomb plot.
The hostages were taken out of their cell one by one.
In a private room, their captors asked each of them three intimate questions, a standard technique used to obtain proof that a prisoner is still alive in a kidnapping negotiation.
James Foley returned to the cell he shared with nearly two dozen other Western hostages and collapsed in tears of joy. The questions his kidnappers had asked were so personal (“Who cried at your brother’s wedding?” “Who was the captain of your high school soccer team?”) that he knew they were finally in touch with his family.
It was December 2013, and more than a year had passed since Mr. Foley vanished on a road in northern Syria. Finally, his worried parents would know he was alive, he told his fellow captives. His government, he believed, would soon negotiate his release.
What appeared to be a turning point was in fact the start of a downward spiral for Mr. Foley, a 40-year-old journalist, that ended in August when he was forced to his knees somewhere in the bald hills of Syria and beheaded as a camera rolled.
His videotaped death was a very public end to a hidden ordeal.
The story of what happened in the Islamic State’s underground network of prisons in Syria is one of excruciating suffering. Mr. Foley and his fellow hostages were routinely beaten and subjected to waterboarding. For months, they were starved and threatened with execution by one group of fighters, only to be handed off to another group that brought them sweets and contemplated freeing them. The prisoners banded together, playing games to pass the endless hours, but as conditions grew more desperate, they turned on one another. Some, including Mr. Foley, sought comfort in the faith of their captors, embracing Islam and taking Muslim names.
Their captivity coincided with the rise of the group that came to be known as the Islamic State out of the chaos of the Syrian civil war. It did not exist on the day Mr. Foley was abducted, but it slowly grew to become the most powerful and feared rebel movement in the region. By the second year of Mr. Foley’s imprisonment, the group had amassed close to two dozen hostages and devised a strategy to trade them for cash.
It was at that point that the hostages’ journeys, which had been largely similar up to then, diverged based on actions taken thousands of miles away: in Washington and Paris, in Madrid, Rome and beyond. Mr. Foley was one of at least 23 Western hostages from 12 countries, a majority of them citizens of European nations whose governments have a history of paying ransoms.
Their struggle for survival, which is being told now for the first time, was pieced together through interviews with five former hostages, locals who witnessed their treatment, relatives and colleagues of the captives, and a tight circle of advisers who made trips to the region to try to win their release. Crucial details were confirmed by a former member of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, who was initially stationed in the prison where Mr. Foley was held, and who provided previously unknown details of his captivity.
The ordeal has remained largely secret because the militants warned the hostages’ families not to go to the news media, threatening to kill their loved ones if they did. The New York Times is naming only those already identified publicly by the Islamic State, which began naming them in August.
Officials in the United States say they did everything in their power to save Mr. Foley and the others, including carrying out a failed rescue operation. They argue that the United States’ policy of not paying ransoms saves Americans’ lives in the long run by making them less attractive targets.
Inside their concrete box, the hostages did not know what their families or governments were doing on their behalf. They slowly pieced it together using the only information they had: their interactions with their guards and with one another. Mostly they suffered, waiting for any sign that they might escape with their lives.
It was only a 40-minute drive to the Turkish border, but Mr. Foley decided to make one last stop.
In Binesh, Syria, two years ago, Mr. Foley and his traveling companion, the British photojournalist John Cantlie, pulled into an Internet cafe to file their work. The two were no strangers to the perils of reporting in Syria. Only a few months earlier, Mr. Cantlie had been kidnapped a few dozen miles from Binesh. He had tried to escape, barefoot and handcuffed, running for his life as bullets kicked up the dirt, only to be caught again. He was released a week later after moderate rebels intervened.
They were uploading their images when a man walked in.
“He had a big beard,” said Mustafa Ali, their Syrian translator, who was with them and recounted their final hours together. “He didn’t smile or say anything. And he looked at us with evil eyes.”
The man “went to the computer and sat for one minute only, and then left directly,” Mr. Ali said. “He wasn’t Syrian. He looked like he was from the Gulf.”
Mr. Foley, an American freelance journalist filing for GlobalPost and Agence France-Presse, and Mr. Cantlie, a photographer for British newspapers, continued transmitting their footage, according to Mr. Ali, whose account was confirmed by emails the journalists sent from the cafe to a colleague waiting for them in Turkey.
More than an hour later, they flagged a taxi for the 25-mile drive to Turkey. They never reached the border.
The gunmen who sped up behind their taxi did not call themselves the Islamic State because the group did not yet exist on Nov. 22, 2012, the day the two men were grabbed.
But the danger of Islamic extremism was already palpable in Syria’s rebel-held territories, and some news organizations were starting to pull back. Among the red flags was the growing number of foreign fighters flooding into Syria, dreaming of establishing a “caliphate.” These jihadists, many of them veterans of Al Qaeda’s branch in Iraq, looked and behaved differently from the moderate rebels. They wore their beards long. And they spoke with foreign accents, coming from the Persian Gulf, North Africa, Europe and beyond.
A van sped up on the left side of the taxi and cut it off. Masked fighters jumped out. They screamed in foreign-accented Arabic, telling the journalists to lie on the pavement. They handcuffed them and threw them into the van.
They left Mr. Ali on the side of the road. “If you follow us, we’ll kill you,” they told him.
Over the next 14 months, at least 23 foreigners, most of them freelance journalists and aid workers, would fall into a similar trap. The attackers identified the locals whom journalists hired to help them, like Mr. Ali and Yosef Abobaker, a Syrian translator. It was Mr. Abobaker who drove Steven J. Sotloff, an American freelance journalist, into Syria on Aug. 4, 2013.
“We were driving for only 20 minutes when I saw three cars stopped on the road ahead,” he said. “They must have had a spy on the border that saw my car and told them I was coming.”
The kidnappings, which were carried out by different groups of fighters jousting for influence and territory in Syria, became more frequent. In June 2013, four French journalists were abducted. In September, the militants grabbed three Spanish journalists.
Checkpoints became human nets, and last October, insurgents waited at one for Peter Kassig, 25, an emergency medical technician from Indianapolis who was delivering medical supplies. In December, Alan Henning, a British taxi driver, disappeared at another. Mr. Henning had cashed in his savings to buy a used ambulance, hoping to join an aid caravan to Syria. He was kidnapped 30 minutes after crossing into the country.
The last to vanish were five aid workers from Doctors Without Borders, who were plucked in January from the field hospital in rural Syria where they had been working.
At gunpoint, Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Abobaker were driven to a textile factory in a village outside Aleppo, Syria, where they were placed in separate cells. Mr. Abobaker, who was freed two weeks later, heard their captors take Mr. Sotloff into an adjoining room. Then he heard the Arabic-speaking interrogator say in English: “Password.”
It was a process to be repeated with several other hostages. The kidnappers seized their laptops, cellphones and cameras and demanded the passwords to their accounts. They scanned their Facebook timelines, their Skype chats, their image archives and their emails, looking for evidence of collusion with Western spy agencies and militaries.
“They took me to a building that was specifically for the interrogation,” said Marcin Suder, a 37-year-old Polish photojournalist kidnapped in July 2013 in Saraqib, Syria, where the jihadists were known to be operating. He was passed among several groups before managing to escape four months later.
“They checked my camera,” Mr. Suder said. “They checked my tablet. Then they undressed me completely. I was naked. They looked to see if there was a GPS chip under my skin or in my clothes. Then they started beating me. They Googled ‘Marcin Suder and C.I.A.,’ ‘Marcin Suder and K.G.B.’ They accused me of being a spy.”
Mr. Suder — who was never told the name of the group holding him, and who never met the other hostages because he escaped before they were transferred to the same location — remarked on the typically English vocabulary his interrogators had used.
During one session, they kept telling him he had been “naughty” — a word that hostages who were held with Mr. Foley also recalled their guards’ using during the most brutal torture.
It was in the course of these interrogations that the jihadists found images of American military personnel on Mr. Foley’s laptop, taken during his assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“In the archive of photographs he had personally taken, there were images glorifying the American crusaders,” they wrote in an article published after Mr. Foley’s death. “Alas for James, this archive was with him at the time of his arrest.”
A British hostage, David Cawthorne Haines, was forced to acknowledge his military background: It was listed on his LinkedIn profile.
The militants also discovered that Mr. Kassig, the aid worker from Indiana, was a former Army Ranger and a veteran of the Iraq war. Both facts are easy to find online, because CNN featured Mr. Kassig’s humanitarian work prominently before his capture.
The punishment for any perceived offense was torture.
“You could see the scars on his ankles,” Jejoen Bontinck, 19, of Belgium, a teenage convert to Islam who spent three weeks in the summer of 2013 in the same cell as Mr. Foley, said of him. “He told me how they had chained his feet to a bar and then hung the bar so that he was upside down from the ceiling. Then they left him there.”
Mr. Bontinck, who was released late last year, spoke about his experiences for the first time for this article in his hometown, Antwerp, where he is one of 46 Belgian youths on trial on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization.
At first, the abuse did not appear to have a larger purpose. Nor did the jihadists seem to have a plan for their growing number of hostages.
Mr. Bontinck said Mr. Foley and Mr. Cantlie had first been held by the Nusra Front, a Qaeda affiliate. Their guards, an English-speaking trio whom they nicknamed “the Beatles,” seemed to take pleasure in brutalizing them.
Later, they were handed over to a group called the Mujahedeen Shura Council, led by French speakers.
Mr. Foley and Mr. Cantlie were moved at least three times before being transferred to a prison underneath the Children’s Hospital of Aleppo.
It was in this building that Mr. Bontinck, then only 18, met Mr. Foley. At first, Mr. Bontinck was a fighter, one of thousands of young Europeansdrawn to the promise of jihad. He later ran afoul of the group when he received a text message from his worried father back in Belgium and his commander accused him of being a spy.
The militants dragged him into a basement room with pale brown walls. Inside were two very thin, bearded foreigners: Mr. Foley and Mr. Cantlie.
For the next three weeks, when the call to prayer sounded, all three stood.
An American Named Hamza
Mr. Foley converted to Islam soon after his capture and adopted the name Abu Hamza, Mr. Bontinck said. (His conversion was confirmed by three other recently released hostages, as well as by his former employer.)
“I recited the Quran with him,” Mr. Bontinck said. “Most people would say, ‘Let’s convert so that we can get better treatment.’ But in his case, I think it was sincere.”
Former hostages said that a majority of the Western prisoners had converted during their difficult captivity. Among them was Mr. Kassig, who adopted the name Abdul-Rahman, according to his family, who learned of his conversion in a letter smuggled out of the prison.
Only a handful of the hostages stayed true to their own faiths, including Mr. Sotloff, then 30, a practicing Jew. On Yom Kippur, he told his guards he was not feeling well and refused his food so he could secretly observe the traditional fast, a witness said.
Those recently released said that most of the foreigners had converted under duress, but that Mr. Foley had been captivated by Islam. When the guards brought an English version of the Quran, those who were just pretending to be Muslims paged through it, one former hostage said. Mr. Foley spent hours engrossed in the text.
His first set of guards, from the Nusra Front, viewed his professed Islamic faith with suspicion. But the second group holding him seemed moved by it. For an extended period, the abuse stopped. Unlike the Syrian prisoners, who were chained to radiators, Mr. Foley and Mr. Cantlie were able to move freely inside their cell.
Mr. Bontinck had a chance to ask the prison’s emir, a Dutch citizen, whether the militants had asked for a ransom for the foreigners. He said they had not.
“He explained there was a Plan A and a Plan B,” Mr. Bontinck said. The journalists would be put under house arrest, or they would be conscripted into a jihadist training camp. Both possibilities suggested that the group was planning to release them.
One day, their guards brought them a gift of chocolates.
When Mr. Bontinck was released, he jotted down the phone number of Mr. Foley’s parents and promised to call them. They made plans to meet again.
He left thinking that the journalists, like him, would soon be freed.
A Terrorist State
The Syrian civil war, previously dominated by secular rebels and a handful of rival jihadist groups, was shifting decisively, and the new extremist grouphad taken a dominant position. Sometime last year, the battalion in the Aleppo hospital pledged allegiance to what was then called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Other factions of fighters joined forces with the group, whose tactics were so extreme that even Al Qaeda expelled it from its terror network. Its ambitions went far beyond toppling Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president.
Late last year, the jihadists began pooling their prisoners, bringing them to the same location underneath the hospital. By January, there were at least 19 men in one 20-square-meter cell (about 215 square feet) and four women in an adjoining one. All but one of them were European or North American. The relative freedom that Mr. Foley and Mr. Cantlie had enjoyed came to an abrupt end. Each prisoner was now handcuffed to another.
More worrying was the fact that their French-speaking guards were replaced by English-speaking ones. Mr. Foley recognized them with dread.
They were the ones who had called him “naughty” during the worst torture. They were the ones the hostages called the Beatles. They instituted a strict security protocol.
When they approached the cell holding Mr. Suder, the Polish photojournalist, they called out “arba’een”: Arabic for the number 40.
That was his cue to face the wall so that when the guards entered, he would not see their faces. Several hostages were given numbers in Arabic, which appeared to be an effort to catalog them — not unlike the numbers American forces had assigned to prisoners in the detention facilities they ran in Iraq, including Camp Bucca, where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, was briefly held.
“When the Beatles took over, they wanted to bring a certain level of order to the hostages,” said one recently freed European captive.
In areas under their control, they established an intricate bureaucracy, including a tribunal, a police force and even a consumer protection office, which forced kebab stands to close for selling low-quality products.
That focus on order extended to the hostages.
After months of holding them without making any demands, the jihadists suddenly devised a plan to ransom them. Starting last November, each prisoner was told to hand over the email address of a relative. Mr. Foley gave the address of his younger brother.
The group sent a blitz of messages to the families of the hostages.
Those who were able to lay the emails side by side could see they had been cut and pasted from the same template.
By December, the militants had exchanged several emails with Mr. Foley’s family, as well as with the families of other hostages.
After the first proof-of-life questions, Mr. Foley was hopeful that he would be home soon. As his second Christmas away from home approached, he threw himself into organizing a jailhouse version of Secret Santa, a tradition in the Foley household.
Each prisoner gave another a gift fashioned out of trash. Mr. Foley’s Secret Santa gave him a circle made from the wax of a discarded candle to cushion his forehead when he bowed down to pray on the hard floor.
As the weeks passed, Mr. Foley noticed that his European cellmates were invited outside again and again to answer questions. He was not. Nor were the other Americans, or the Britons.
Soon, the prisoners realized that their kidnappers had identified which nations were most likely to pay ransoms, said a former hostage, one of five who spoke about their imprisonment in the Islamic State’s network of jails on the condition that their names be withheld.
“The kidnappers knew which countries would be the most amenable to their demands, and they created an order based on the ease with which they thought they could negotiate,” one said. “They started with the Spanish.”
One day, the guards came in and pointed to the three Spanish captives. They said they knew the Spanish government had paid six million euros for a group of aid workers kidnapped by a Qaeda cell in Mauritania, a figure available online in articles about the episode.
As the negotiations for the Spanish prisoners progressed rapidly — the first was released this March, six months after he had been captured — the militants moved on to the four French journalists.
The European prisoners went from answering additional personal questions to filming videos to be sent to their families or governments. The videos became more and more charged, eventually including death threats and execution deadlines in an effort to force their nations to pay.
At one point, their jailers arrived with a collection of orange jumpsuits.
In a video, they lined up the French hostages in their brightly colored uniforms, mimicking those worn by prisoners at the United States’ facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
They also began waterboarding a select few, just as C.I.A. interrogators had treated Muslim prisoners at so-called black sites during the George W. Bush administration, former hostages and witnesses said.
With time, the 23 prisoners were divided into two groups. The three American men and the three British hostages were singled out for the worst abuse, both because of the militants’ grievances against their countries and because their governments would not negotiate, according to several people with intimate knowledge of the events.
“It’s part of the DNA of this group to hate America,” one said. “But they also realized that the United States and Britain were the least likely to pay.”
Within this subset, the person who suffered the cruelest treatment, the former hostages said, was Mr. Foley. In addition to receiving prolonged beatings, he underwent mock executions and was repeatedly waterboarded.
Meant to simulate drowning, the procedure can cause the victim to pass out. When one of the prisoners was hauled out, the others were relieved if he came back bloodied.
“It was when there was no blood,” a former cellmate said, “that we knew he had suffered something even worse.”
As the negotiations dragged on, conditions became increasingly grim.
During one extended stretch, the hostages received the equivalent of a teacup of food per day.
They spent weeks in darkness. In one basement, their only illumination was the finger of sunlight that stretched under their locked door. After dusk, they could not see anything, spilling food on themselves until their guards eventually gave them a flashlight.
Most of the locations had no mattresses and few blankets. Some of the prisoners took discarded pants, tied one end and filled the trouser legs with rags to create makeshift pillows.
The prisoners turned on one another. Fights broke out.
Mr. Foley shared his meager rations. In the cold of the Syrian winter, he offered another prisoner his only blanket.
He kept the others entertained, proposing games and activities like Risk, a board game that involves moving imaginary armies across a map: another favorite pastime in the Foley family. The hostages made a chess set out of discarded paper. They re-enacted movies, retelling them scene by scene. And they arranged for members of the group to give lectures on topics they knew well.
This spring, the hostages were moved from below the hospital in Aleppo to Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate. They were incarcerated in a building outside an oil installation, where they were again divided by sex.
By March, the militants had concluded the negotiations for the three Spanish journalists.
When the first deliveries of cash arrived, the guards discovered that some of the bills were damaged. They complained to the remaining hostages that their governments did not even have the decency to send crisp notes.
By April, nearly half of the captives had been freed. There had been no progress, however, on the ransom demands the jihadists had made for their American and British hostages.
During the triage phase, the guards identified the single Russian hostage, a man known to the others as Sergey, as the least marketable commodity.
Identified in the Russian news media as Sergey Gorbunov, he was last seen in a video released in October 2013. Stuttering, he said that if Moscow failed to meet the kidnappers’ demands, he would be killed.
Sometime this spring, the masked men came for him.
They dragged the terrified prisoner outside and shot him. They filmed his body. Then they returned to show the footage to the surviving hostages.
“This,” they said, “is what will happen to you if your government doesn’t pay.”
Mr. Foley watched as his cellmates were released in roughly two-week increments.
As the number of people in the 20-square-meter cell in Raqqa grew smaller, it was hard to stay hopeful. Yet Mr. Foley, who had campaigned for President Obama, continued to believe his government would come to his rescue, said his family, who learned this from recently freed hostages.
On May 27, the few remaining hostages were reminded that different passports spelled different fates.
Those who had been taken together were, in most cases, released together. Not so for the Italian and British aid workers for the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, a small French organization, who were grabbed less than a mile from the Turkish border after returning from a refugee camp where they had gone to deliver tents.
In late May, the Italian, Federico Motka, was told he could go, according to a fellow captive, allegedly after Italy paid a ransom. (The Italian government denied the claim.) But his co-worker, Mr. Haines, was left chained inside. Mr. Haines was beheaded in September after being forced to read a script blaming the British government for his death.
By June, the cellblock that had once held at least 23 people had been reduced to just seven. Four of them were Americans, and three were British — all citizens of countries whose governments had refused to pay ransoms.
In an article recently published in an official Islamic State magazine, the jihadists described the American-led airstrikes that began in August as the nail in those hostages’ coffins.
At the same time, they laid out the role European and American ransom policies had played in their decision to kill Mr. Foley.
“As the American government was dragging its feet, reluctant to save James’s life,” they wrote in the magazine, Dabiq, “negotiations were made by the governments of a number of European prisoners, which resulted in the release of a dozen of their prisoners after the demands of the Islamic State were met.”
Fifteen hostages were freed from March to June for ransoms averaging more than two million euros, the former captives and those close to them said.
Among the last to go was a Danish photojournalist, Daniel Rye Ottosen, 25, released in June after his family cobbled together a multimillion-euro ransom, three people briefed on the negotiation said. He was one of several departing hostages who managed to smuggle out letters from his cellmates.
“I am obviously pretty scared to die,” Mr. Kassig wrote in a letter recently published by his family. “The hardest part is not knowing — hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all.”
Mr. Foley seemed to sense the end was near. In his letter, amid expressions of love, he slipped in a sentence instructing his family on how to disburse the money in his bank account.
In August, when the militants came for him, they made him slip on a pair of plastic sandals. They drove him to a bare hill outside Raqqa. They made him kneel. He looked straight into the camera, his expression defiant. Then they slit his throat.
Two weeks later, a similar video surfaced on YouTube showing Mr. Sotloff’s death. In September, the militants uploaded Mr. Haines’s execution. In October, they killed Mr. Henning. Only three from the original group of 23 remain: two Americans, Mr. Kassig and a woman who has not been identified, as well as a Briton, Mr. Cantlie.
The militants have announced they will kill Mr. Kassig next.
Across Europe, those who had survived gasped when they saw the footage of their cellmate’s death: The cheap, beige-colored plastic flip-flops splayed next to Mr. Foley’s body were the same pair the prisoners had shared.
They had all worn those sandals to the bathroom.
Those who survived had walked in the same shoes as those who did not.
Correction: October 25, 2014
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misspelled the given name of a British aid worker who was beheaded. He is David Cawthorne Haines, not Davis Cawthorne Haines.
We are taking you back in – be grateful – but no big mouthed assholes got balk – if you don’t like it go back to Liberian shit hole you got sick in and die there.
To Organization: DOCTOR’S WITHOUT BORDERS – if you’re so concerned about the treatment of your healthcare workers don’t allow them to come back home to America sick with Ebola.
It’s astonishing the arrogance of these Doctors and their nurses. Let them rot. They don’t take care of patients here for free like they did over there in Africa. Of course NOT in America you have to pay through the nose to see a doctor. Screw them. I’m not giving them another cent.
Nurse Under Ebola Quarantine Criticizes Her Treatment
Her words echoed concerns voiced by medical professionals that a mandatory 21-day quarantine for doctors and nurses who have treated Ebola patients would deter volunteers from signing on to fight the epidemic.
“I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa,” Hickox wrote. “I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine.”
On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that they will require a 21-day quarantine for travelers arriving at airports in either state who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa. Their decision came a day after Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who had recently returned to New York from Guinea, tested positive for Ebola. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn soon followed suit with a mandatory quarantine in his state.
Hickox arrived at Newark Liberty International airport on Friday and was ushered into a quarantine office, where she was kept for six hours, according to her account.
She said she was treated with hostility and was not given an explanation of what was happening or when she might be able to leave:
One after another, people asked me questions. Some introduced themselves, some didn’t. One man who must have been an immigration officer because he was wearing a weapon belt that I could see protruding from his white coveralls barked questions at me as if I was a criminal.
Two other officials asked about my work in Sierra Leone. One of them was from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They scribbled notes in the margins of their form, a form that appeared to be inadequate for the many details they are collecting.
I was tired, hungry and confused, but I tried to remain calm. My temperature was taken using a forehead scanner and it read a temperature of 98. I was feeling physically healthy but emotionally exhausted.
Three hours passed. No one seemed to be in charge. No one would tell me what was going on or what would happen to me.
I called my family to let them know that I was OK. I was hungry and thirsty and asked for something to eat and drink. I was given a granola bar and some water. I wondered what I had done wrong. (here’s my answer stupid. you went to a foreign country to take care of sick pple who live in garbage like animals who contaminated each other by pissing and shitting all over each other and you caught what they had. Then you come back to America, a place where we also have poor black people living in shit and squalor but you think you’re noble because you went to Africa to take care of the real black people? Shut the fuck and sit in your quarentine for 21 days and get better. It was your fucking choice to go to Africa instead of trying to help people in your own country. No in America the poor have to take inferior Doctor’s and Hostile nurses especially if they are on high narcotics for pain or are on medicaid, medicare or welfare. American poor cannot be cared for doctors in their own country. I hope you die from Ebola you ungrateful witch. Thomas Duncan died in Texas and he could have infected all of these people on the plane with him and so could you have. I’m appalled that you are pissed off. stfu! ) Bonju Patten
get well soon ingrate.
After a subsequent forehead scan registered her temperature at 101 (a result, she wrote, of being flushed and “upset at being held with no explanation”), Hickox was put into quarantine at Newark University Hospital. Though Hickox tested negative for Ebola, she is still going to be held under a 21-day quarantine.
Public health experts have said that mandatory quarantines for people who may have been exposed to Ebola are not medically necessary, since a person does not become contagious until they exhibit symptoms of the disease.
UPDATE [ 11:15 p.m. ET]: Doctors Without Borders has issued a press release expressing concern over Hickox’s treatment, saying the organization is “very concerned about the conditions and uncertainty she is facing and is attempting to obtain information from hospital officials.” The statement continues:
While measures to protect public health are of paramount importance, they must be balanced against the rights of health workers returning from fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to fair and reasonable treatment and the full disclosure of information to them, along with information about intended courses of action from local and state health authorities.
Megan Mahoney, Gym Teacher, Charged With 30 Counts Of Statutory Rape
The Huffington Post | By Andres JaureguiPosted: 10/21/2014 2:44 pm EDT Updated: 10/23/2014 12:59 pm EDT
A former basketball coach and gym teacher at a prestigious New York City high school faces statutory rape charges for her alleged sex abuse of a male student.
Megan Mahoney, 24, was arrested Monday for allegedly having regular sexual contact with the same 16-year-old student over a period of more than two months beginning in late October 2013, the Staten Island Advance reports.
She faces 30 counts of statutory rape in the case. The New York Post reports:
Mahoney romped with the teen “on numerous occasions, that is at least two times per week during the period,” court papers claim.
She also was charged with four counts of “criminal sexual act” because of mutual oral sex that she and the boy allegedly engaged in “at least two times per month during said period.”
In January, Mahoney resigned from Moore Catholic High School in Staten Island, where she taught gym and was an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team.
@mindykaling UR uglier than a raccoon, your writing sucks, Ur show sucks but I’ll stick my dildo up your ass. When can we meet?
Mindy Kaling Defends Controversial Anal Sex Episode
Posted: 10/21/2014 9:47 am EDT Updated: 10/21/2014 9:59 am EDT
Mindy Kaling and the cast of “The Mindy Project” are always keeping it sexy — this season more so than ever, especially now that Mindy and her office crush, Danny Castellano (Chris Messina), are finally in a monogamous relationship.
But with monogamy comes experimentation, at least according to Kaling. The actress, writer and show creator explored that idea during the Oct. 7 episode, titled “I Slipped,” which tackled a possibly-too-sexual, possibly-too-scandalous subject matter for a network sitcom: anal sex.
On set at “The Mindy Project” in Los Angeles on Friday, the 35-year old comedian told The Huffington Post that more than anything, she wants to offer “things that no one is seeing anywhere else [on television].” But what mattered most to Kaling was less about the boundary pushing, and more about whether this was an issue that is relatable.
“There are nine of us in the writers room and if something is making us debate issues or we are scared by it, a lot of times that means we should do it,” she said. “Although it’s taboo, it was so relatable to everybody in the room. We wanted to acknowledge that everybody deals with this but nobody wants to talk about it.”
I think that, we have to, in knowing what their relationship is and knowing that the way it was portrayed, it wasn’t something that made her feel unsafe or degraded … you can love someone and be in a relationship with them when you’re both consenting adults, and people can try things and you can be like … ‘I busted you on that.’
It was not an issue of sexual unsafety. I understand people felt that way, and I disagree … In a larger sense, we have this card — this red card — of stirring fear in men about certain things. I was sad about that because I thought, ‘Is that a situation where we want to use that card for that?’ It bummed me out a little bit. There was no sexual peril in there; it was not a situation where she felt unsafe or was objectified. She just was startled … I was sad about that.
Speaking on-set, Kaling, reiterated that Danny was just trying to see how much he could get away with in the relationship.
“I think a lot of men can relate to that,” she said. “We don’t do taboo things just for the hell of it. But this was also just consistently making us laugh. I think the death of any show is that it’s not relevant anymore.”
“The Mindy Project” airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.
Complications related to alcohol abuse were listed as the causes of death for actress Elizabeth Peña, who died Oct. 14 at the age of 55.
The Los Angeles County Coroner cited cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol, as well as cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiogenic shock and acute gastrointestinal bleeding on the actress’s death certificate. She died in a Los Angeles hospital.
Last week, Peña’s manager, Gina Rugolo, said the New Jersey-born actress died of natural causes after a brief illness.
“She was our star. She was my star. We celebrated her triumphs. We sweated through her struggles,” her nephew Mario-Francisco Robles wrote in an Oct. 15 tribute to his aunt onLatino Review.
“My family is heartbroken,” he continued. “There’s now a void that will never be filled. All we can do now is remember your sharp sense of humor, your endless hunger for life, and your never ending pursuit of happiness.”
Peña’s four-decade-long career included roles in La Bamba, Lone Star andRush Hour. Most recently, she played Sofia Vergara‘s mother, Pilar, on ABC’sModern Family.
Peña is survived by her husband, Hans Rolla, and two children.