One of the gunmen who murdered 148 people at a university in Kenya had been a Kenyan law school graduate known for his straight-A’s and his influential father – a government official – states Slate magazine.
Abdirahim Mohamed Abdullahi, who was gunned down by Kenyan security personnel alongside his three accomplices, was the son of a “chief” in Mandera County, states the Kenyan publication Standard.
Abdullahi’s father is a “chief” in Madera, a town near the Somali border, states Slate.
The Guardian explains, “chiefs are officials retained by the national authorities to solve disputes at local level and their remit includes identifying criminals.
The 24-year-old “will likely go down in history as the mass murderer with the most innocent face,” notes Kenya’s the Daily Nation.
Known as Ababmo by his classmates, he was known for his good grades as much as for his tailored suits.
“But below the nice suits and the veneer of normality was a cauldron of hatred and religious fanaticism which culminated in mass murder last week,” adds the newspaper.
The British newspaper Guardian:
“All four al-Shabaab gunmen were killed after the attack, in which they stormed the Garissa university at dawn on Thursday before lining up Christian students in their hostels and spraying them with bullets. Twenty two students who were attending morning devotion were killed after several grenades were lobbed into their makeshift chapel.
“The final death toll after the deadly rampage was given by authorities as 148, comprising mainly students between the ages of 19 and 23. Six security officers were killed trying to end the 12-hour siege.”
A coroner has ruled the deaths of a Pennsylvania couple found dead in their home with chainsaw lacerations a murder-suicide, reports CBS Philly.
The station identifies the couple as 48-year-old Christopher Peppelman and 43-year-old Nicole Peppelman. Fox 4 News of Kansas City states Nicole Peppelman was 41. The man reportedly killed his wife by chainsaw, and then turned the chainsaw on himself.
Authorities say the Philadelphia-area husband and wife bled to death, according to ABC News.
They were found dead around 1 p.m. Tuesday by their 14-year-old son in their Lower Moreland Township home, reports the station.
Lower Moreland Township is about 16 miles northeast of Philadelphia, according to cbsnews.com.
Nicole Peppelman’s death was ruled a homicide. She reportedly died of an injury to her abdomen caused by a chainsaw. She was also stabbed and choked, according to the station.
Christopher Peppelman died of an injury to his abdomen and thigh caused by a chainsaw, reportedly a suicide.
(Updated article: age discrepancy on wife)
According to Wikipedia, “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” is the name given to the 1929 Valentine’s Day murder of six mob associates and one mechanic from the North Side Irish gang led by George “Bugs” Moran during the Prohibition Era. It was the result of a power struggle between the Irish American gang and the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone in order to take control of organized crime in Chicago.
Former members of the Egan’s Rats gang were also suspected of having played a significant role in the incident, assisting Capone.
Al Capone sought to consolidate control by eliminating his rivals in the illegal trades of bootlegging, gambling and prostitution, according to the History channel.
Moran was one of Capone’s longtime enemies, and the gang members were shot to death by several men dressed as policemen. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, as it was known, was never officially linked to Capone, but he was generally considered to have been responsible for the murders, according to The History Channel.
Over the years, Capone consolidated control over most of Chicago’s crime rackets by ruthlessly gunning down his rivals. In 1924, authorities counted some 16 gang-related murders; in 1929, it reached a high of 64 murders that year. Federal authorities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had much less jurisdiction than they have today, and did not include Chicago’s gang-related activity.
Moran ran his bootlegging operations out of a garage on the North Side of Chicago. On February 14th, the seven members of Moran’s operation were gunned down while standing lined up, facing the wall of the garage.
Some 70 rounds of ammunition were fired. When police officers from Chicago’s 36th District arrived, they found one gang member, Frank Gusenberg, barely alive. In the few minutes before he died, they pressed him to reveal what had happened, but Gusenberg wouldn’t talk.
Police could find only a few eyewitnesses, but eventually concluded that gunmen dressed as police officers had entered the garage and pretended to be arresting the men.
Though Moran and others immediately blamed the massacre on Capone’s gang, the famous gangster himself claimed to have been at his home in Florida at the time. No one was ever brought to trial for the murders.
Capone went to prison due to income tax evasion. The U.S. Treasury Department later launched an investigation of Capone for income tax evasion. Through forensic accounting, Special Agent Frank Wilson and other members of the Intelligence Unit of the Internal Revenue Service were able to put together a case, and in June 1931 Capone was indicted for evasion of federal income tax. Convicted that October after an internationally publicized trial, Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison, first in Atlanta and later at Alcatraz.
A senior police official said that police foiled a plot by two suspects to go to a mall in Halifax, Canada, and kill as many people as they could before committing suicide on Valentine’s Day. The mall was the Halifax Shopping Centre. One suspect has committed suicide.
The official told The Associated Press on Friday the suspects were on a chat stream and were apparently obsessed with death and had many photos of mass killings. Police and other officials said it was not related to Islamic terrorism.
Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath, 23, of Geneva, Illinois, and Randall Steven Shepherd, 20, of Nova Scotia, were arrested on Friday and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, according to a statement.
A third suspect, 19-year-old James Gamble, killed himself as police moved to arrest him at his home in Nova Scotia.
A fourth – a 17-year-old boy – has been released from custody.
The official said the 23-year-old American woman, was arrested at Halifax’s airport and confessed to the plot. The official said she pre-wrote a number of pronouncements to be tweeted after her death.
Police said the suspects had access to firearms, but did not elaborate.
The official said the 19-year-old male shot himself to death after police were tipped off about the plot and they surrounded his home. Police saw two people leave the house who they determined were his parents and pulled them over on a traffic check. They then called the suspect. As the man told police that he didn’t have any guns and he was on his way out of the house he shot himself, the official said.
A Pakistani army spokesperson said Thursday that 12 local Taliban militants have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the deadly school attack last year that killed at least 148 people.
The militants were part of what is believed to be a 27-member cell, of which nine others have been killed, according to jurist.org.
Pakistan credited the cooperation of Afghanistan, where six of the militants were arrested.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan has been working closely with the Afghan government to search for the Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, who allegedly ordered the school attack and assigned commanders.
The Pakistani Taliban have a history of fighting against the Pakistani government and have tried to overthrow the authorities and impose Sharia. Since it is the main place of operations of the Taliban, Pakistan has been a focal point of global anti-terrorism efforts.
The Washington Post states that NATO played a role: “At a news conference on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, the chief spokesman for the Pakistani military announced that six Taliban militants were arrested recently during a joint mission by NATO and Afghan troops in eastern Afghanistan.”
Lassana Bathily has been described as the hero of the Kosher supermarket siege.
He saved lives during the hostage drama by hiding shoppers in a freezer when a gunman stormed the building.
Today, January 20th, his efforts were rewarded with a special ceremony in which the 24-year-old was granted a French passport and a medal for bravery.
Similar to George Bush after 9/11, French president Francois Hollande is seeing a spectacular revival in his dismal popularity ratings after the terror attacks in Paris earlier this month.
According to sources, two major surveys yesterday showed French voters applauding his handling of the country’s most deadly Islamist attacks.
The boost for Hollande and his government, however temporary, prevented the anti-immigrant National Front party of Marine Le Pen from capitalizing on this month’s Paris violence as some analysts had predicted, one of the surveys showed.
Also similar to Bush, while the French leader’s improved image could help him combat resistance to his economic deregulation drive that is going through parliament, poll groups said the downbeat jobs outlook meant the boost in polls might not last.
Three gunmen killed 17 people in Paris two weeks ago, including staff at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, before they themselves were shot dead by security forces.
The Turkish President Erdogan, continues to make waves with his public comments in the wake of the Paris terrorist atrocities last week.
Erdogan was quoted by the AFP news agency as telling a group of businessmen in Ankara that Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper whose cartoonists and writers were targeted by jihadist gunmen last week, was guilty of “wreaking terror by intervening in the freedom space of others.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, the first edition of Charlie Hebdo since the killing of 12 of its staff members at its central Paris offices last week aroused anger across the Muslim world, since it depicts the Prophet Mohammed shedding a tear while holding a sign that reads, “Je suis Charlie.”
“This magazine (is) notorious for its provocative publications about Muslims, about Christians, about everyone,” Erdogan is reported to have said.
The Turkish leader said that Charlie Hebdo abused its freedom of expression in order to insult an entire religious group.
“They may be atheists,” Erdogan said of the Charlie Hebdo journalists. “If they are, they will respect what is sacred to me. If they do not, it means provocation which is punishable by laws. What they do is to incite hatred, racism.”
A German court has sensationally thrown out a case against a former Nazi SS member accused of taking part in the massacre of hundreds of French villagers during the Second World War.
Werner Christukat, 89, had been accused of being a member of an armored SS division that attacked Oradour-sur-Glane on June 10, 1944 – savagely murdering nearly all of its inhabitants.
The case against the elderly suspect – who had been charged in January with the murder of 25 people committed by a group, and with aiding and abetting the murder of several hundred others – was dismissed recently for lack of evidence.
Overall, 642 people were killed in the massacre.
Christukat, who lives in Cologne, admitted being in the village with his S.S. regiment on the day, but denied ever killing anybody.
Had he been convicted, it is almost certain that Christukat would have spent the rest of his life in jail.
The massacre the man had been accused of taking part in took place in the tiny village of Oradour-sur-Glane in western France on June 10, 1944.
Today Oradour-sur-Glane exists as a massive memorial – a time capsule where the burned out homes remain exactly as they were on the day they were torched.
SS members stormed a barn where 181 men had gathered, using pistols and automatic weapons to murder them all before setting fire to the structure. They are believed to have then moved on to a church where a further 254 women and 207 children were killed using explosives and machine guns.
The remains of homes in can be seen in Oradour -sur-Glane, where inhabitants were massacred and all homes and businesses destroyed.
Christukat says he has had nightmares about the massacre ever since it took place, particularly overr one small boy whose life he was unable to save.
‘Not a night goes by in which I don’t think of Oradour. In front of me, I can still see the church through the treetops. I hear a bang and then the screaming of women and children.’
Last September German president Joachim Gauck (left) became the first German leader to visit the site when he joined François Hollande (right) and two of the three living survivors on a tour of Oradour-sur-Glane.
The village has been a ghost town since the massacre, with rusting cars nestled long-abandoned beside the rubble of the burned-out church.
Today Oradour exists as a massive memorial – a time capsule where the burned out homes remain exactly as they were on the day they were torched, and even the car of the mayor still lies rusting in the main street.
The location of Oradour-sur-Glane is in central France, approximately 250 miles south of the capital Paris.
Homes and business were all torched by rampaging S.S officers, leaving just empty shells remaining.
The atrocity is an understandably sensitive subjective for France, and last September German president Joachim Gauck became the first German leader to visit the site when he joined François Hollande and two of the three living survivors on a tour of Oradour-sur-Glane.
In a sign of post-war unity, Gauck said he felt a ‘mixture of gratitude and humility’ as he visited the site with his French counterpart Hollande.
The statesman added: ‘The Germany that I have the honor of representing is a different Germany from the one that haunts memories.’
In return, Mr Hollande said: ‘You have made the choice to visit – this is a tribute to you, and at the same time it forces us, once the past has been acknowledged, to go boldly into the future.’
Hollande and Gauck were accompanied by two of only three living survivors of the Oradour massacre – Robert Hebras, 88, and Jean-Marcel Darthout.
However, many could not be extradited from the new East Germany, and 14 of them were Alsatians – French nationals of German descent. 20 men were found guilty, but were all released from prison within five years.
In 2010, Germany re-opened the war crimes file into the massacre after a historian uncovered evidence from former East German files implicating several still-living suspects.
Prosecutors identified seven previously unknown members of the SS unit that carried the attack.
Investigations are now underway into six of the men. The other suspect is Christukat, against whom charges were recently dropped on December 9th.