ASPEN, Colorado – The Islamic State group’s effort to inspire troubled Americans to violence has become more of a terror threat to the U.S. than an external attack by al-Qaida, the FBI director said Wednesday.
FBI Director James Comey told an audience at the Aspen Security Forum that the Islamic State group, which has proclaimed a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq, has influenced a significant but unknown number of Americans through a yearlong campaign on social media urging Muslims who can’t travel to the Middle East to “kill where you are.”
Twitter handles affiliated with the group have more than 21,000 English-language followers worldwide, he said, thousands of whom may be U.S. residents.
Interim police chief goes on duty today
FERGUSON, Mo. – Ferguson’s next interim police chief said his top priorities will be to build trust and relationships with residents and improve community policing.
Andre Anderson, 50, has spent 24 years with the force in Glendale, Arizona, where he is now police commander. Anderson will take a six-month leave of absence from the Glendale department to serve the city of Ferguson. His first day is today.
Tom Jackson, who was chief when Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown and during the protests that followed, resigned shortly after a report from the Department of Justice in March. It strongly criticized the city’s police and court operations. Jackson’s salary was about $95,000.
Deputy Chief Al Eickhoff had been interim chief since. He will remain in the department, sources said.
N. Dakota abortion law ruled unconstitutional
BISMARCK, N.D. – A federal appeals court agreed Wednesday that one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws is unconstitutional – a North Dakota statute banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a decision last year from U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who ruled the law unconstitutional. The law was approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature in 2013, though it was quickly put on hold after the state’s lone abortion clinic filed a lawsuit that July.
Drug-trafficking case involves 105 suspects
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A group of 105 people in Puerto Rico face murder, drug and weapon charges in one of the largest racketeering cases in the history of the U.S. Department of Justice, authorities said Wednesday.
They are suspected of running a drug-trafficking organization in the U.S. territory for nearly a decade that generated an estimated $82 million in profit, said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez. The group also is suspected of committing at least 28 killings in recent years, with 18 of the suspects eligible for the death penalty.
Members of the group are charged with selling crack, cocaine, heroin and marijuana in public housing complexes in the capital of San Juan and other nearby areas. Three of the 34 suspects arrested by Wednesday afternoon were detained in Tampa, Florida, and another 32 were already in jail on other charges, authorities said.
Some 700 federal and local agents were involved in the arrests, which began around dawn Wednesday.
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