Tag Archives: Los Angeles

FBI investigating possible ISIS attack in U.S.

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The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating a possible an Islamist-inspired terrorism plot in the United States, CNN reported on Saturday, quoting law enforcement officials.

A Federal law enforcement official who asked not to be named said there was a known threat to Los Angeles International Airport, but did not say whether this was a new threat or was associated with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

CNN said the investigation started after intercepted communication and other intelligence information that led officials to believe that a plot could be under way.

The network quoted an official as saying the plot focused on parts of California and that officials there had stepped up security.

The Transportation Security Administration had also alerted local law enforcement agencies responsible for security around airports in the state although the possible threat was not necessarily related to aviation, CNN said.

It added that some U.S. cities had increased their security, but gave no further details.

No one at the FBI was immediately available to comment. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson also declined to comment on the reported threat to Las Angeles airport.

Missing Malaysian jet’s black box batteries may have died

The Associated Press

A U.S. Navy P8 Poseidon takes off from Perth Airport en route to rejoin the ongoing search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in Perth, Australia, Sunday, April 13, 2014.

Following four strong underwater signals in the past week, all has gone quiet in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, meaning the batteries in the plane’s all-important black boxes may finally have died.

Despite having no new transmissions from the black boxes’ locator beacons to go on, air and sea crews were continuing their search in the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday for debris and any sounds that may still be emanating. They are desperately trying to pinpoint where the Boeing 777 could be amid an enormous patch of deep ocean.

No new electronic pings have been detected since Tuesday by an Australian ship dragging a U.S. Navy device that listens for flight recorder signals. Once officials are confident that no more sounds will be heard, a robotic submersible will be sent down to slowly scour for wreckage.

“We’re now into Day 37 of this tragedy,” said aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas. “The battery life on the beacons is supposed to last 30 days. We’re hoping it might last 40 days. However, it’s been four or five days since the last strong pings. What they’re hoping for is to get one more, maybe two more pings so they can do a triangulation of the sounds and try and narrow the (search) area.”

Recovering the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders is essential for investigators to try to figure out what happened to Flight 370, which vanished March 8. It was carrying 239 people, mostly Chinese, while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.

After analyzing satellite data, officials believe the plane flew off course for an unknown reason and went down in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia’s west coast. Investigators trying to determine what happened to the plane are focusing on four areas – hijacking, sabotage and personal or psychological problems of those on board.

Two sounds heard a week ago by the Australian ship Ocean Shield, which was towing the ping locator, were determined to be consistent with the signals emitted from the black boxes. Two more pings were detected in the same general area Tuesday, but no new ones have been picked up since then.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has expressed confidence that the pings picked up by the Ocean Shield were coming from the plane’s two black boxes, but he cautioned that finding the actual aircraft could take a long time.

“There’s still a lot more work to be done and I don’t want anyone to think that we are certain of success, or that success, should it come, is going to happen in the next week or even month. There’s a lot of difficulty and a lot of uncertainty left in this,” Abbott said Saturday in Beijing, where he was wrapping up a visit to China.

Searchers want to pinpoint the exact location of the source of the sounds – or as close as they can get – before sending the Bluefin 21 submersible down. It will not be deployed until officials are confident that no other electronic signals will come, and that they have narrowed the search area as much as possible.

The underwater search zone is currently a 1,300-square-kilometre patch of the seabed, about the size of Los Angeles.

The sub takes six times longer to cover the same area as the ping locator, and will need about six weeks to two months to canvass the current underwater zone. The signals are also coming from 4,500 metres below the surface, which is the deepest the sub can dive.

The surface area being searched on Sunday for floating debris was 57,506 square kilometres) of ocean extending about 2,200 kilometres northwest of Perth. Up to 12 planes and 14 ships were participating in the hunt.

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Al Qaeda calls for car bombs in US cities, other ‘crusader’ countries

The spring 2014 edition of Inspire magazine, seen above, urges jihadists to target specific U.S. locations using car bombs. Detailed instructions and simple diagrams on every step are provided.

Al Qaeda is calling on terrorist affiliates to detonate car bombs in major U.S. cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, in the latest edition of its Inspire magazine.

The issue comes nearly a year after the Boston Marathon bombing, and as the city readies new security measures for this year’s race, being held next month. Inspire is the same magazine that included instructions for how to make pressure cooker bombs, which were used in last year’s Boston attack.

The magazine’s Spring 2014 issue urges jihadists to target heavily populated events such as political rallies and sporting events, both in the United States and abroad — including in Great Britain, France and other “crusading” countries.

“Choosing the place and time is a crucial factor to success in any operation,” the magazine reads. “Choose targets in your own country. You know the enemy better, you are within … The important thing is that you target people and not buildings.”

Would-be bombers also are urged to consider launching attacks during “election seasons” and between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Specific targets are also cited, including Chicago’s “Sears Tower” (now called the Willis Tower), military bases in northern Virginia and soccer stadiums in Great Britain, particularly during Premier League matches.

“Disguise yourself during the operation, appear fat (add some clothes on you), change your complexion, be a ‘clone’, use any mask (believe me embarrassment is the last thing you will think about), wear a mask suitable for the festival, white beards on 25th Dec,” it reads. “All in all, be creative brother. The most important part to hide is your eyes and around.”

The issue also contains extremely detailed, “absolutely simple” instructions on how to build such a bomb.

“My Muslim brother, before you start reading the instructions, remember that this type of operation, if prepared well and an appropriate target is chosen, and Allah decrees success for you, history will never forget it,” the magazine reads. “It will be recorded as a crushing defeat on the enemies of Islam.”

via Al Qaeda calls for car bombs in US cities, other ‘crusader’ countries | Fox News.

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Julia Roberts’ Half-Sister Found Dead In LA

(Reuters) – The half sister of Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts died from a possible drug overdose, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said on Monday.

Nancy Motes, 37, was found dead in a bathtub full of water at a Los Angeles residence on Sunday, L.A. County Coroner spokesman Captain John Kades said.

Prescription drugs were found at the residence, which was not Motes’s home. Kades said nothing has been ruled out, including an accidental drug overdose or a suicidal overdose. He added that indications of a suicide note had been found at the residence.

An autopsy for Motes was scheduled for Monday, but an actual cause of death may take as long as 8 to 10 weeks to be determined, pending a toxicology report.

Motes is the half sister of Oscar-winner Roberts and her brother, Eric Roberts, also an actor. She was born to their mother.

Julia Roberts, 46, who is currently nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in “August: Osage County,” did not appear at the Oscar nominees luncheon hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences on Monday.

Representatives for both Julia Roberts and Eric Roberts did not respond to Reuters for comment.

In a statement to People magazine, the Roberts family said they were “shocked and devastated” by Motes’s death.

“It is with deep sadness that the family of Nancy Motes … confirms that she was found dead in Los Angeles yesterday of an apparent drug overdose,” the family said.