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FBI arrests Kansas man over alleged suicide car bomb plot in support of Islamic State

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A U.S. man was arrested on Friday as part of a sting operation by the FBI in which he was plotting a suicide car bombing at Fort Riley army base in Kansas in support of the Islamic State militant group, prosecutors said.

John T. Booker, Jr., 20, of Topeka, Kansas, had arrived at the base with two undercover FBI agents to detonate what he did not realize was an inert bomb, prosecutors said.

Booker has been charged with three criminal counts including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to Islamic State, a militant group that has captured parts of Iraq and Syria over the past year and has symphathizers in several countries.

According to the criminal complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been tracking Booker since March of last year when he posted Facebook messages in which he said: “Getting ready to be killed in jihad is a HUGE adrenaline rush!! I am so nervous. NOT because I’m scared to die but I am eager to meet my lord.”

If convicted, Booker faces up to life in prison. A lawyer for Booker could not be immediately identified for comment.

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Booker had signed up for the U.S. army in Kansas the previous month and when interviewed by FBI agents after the Facebook postings admitted he had enlisted “with the intent to commit an insider attack against American soldiers” similar to the attack carried out in November 2009 by Major Nidal Hassan at Fort Hood, Texas, the complaint said.

He was denied entry into the army before his basic training began last April as a result.

Since October, he had unknowingly been in contact with an undercover FBI agent and in March of this year was introduced to another undercover agent who posed as a high-ranking Islamic sheik planning attacks on the United States.

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Booker planned to carry out a suicide bombing because it would ensure he would hit his mark and never be captured, the complaint said.

On March 10, Booker, accompanied by the two undercover agents, made an Islamic State propaganda video near Marshall Army Airfield at Fort Riley, prosecutors said. He made an additional video two days ago in front of what was, unbeknownst to him, a stack of inert explosive materials.

(Additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Andre Grenon and Grant McCool)


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Here’s the insidious role Sean Hannity played in derailing Al Franken’s political career

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The U.S. Senate lost one of its most prominent liberals when Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, dogged by sexual harassment allegations, announced his resignation in December 2017. Some of Franken’s defenders believed the Democratic Party was too quick to throw him under the bus; other Democrats stressed that in light of the #MeToo movement, his resignation was absolutely necessary. Franken’s political downfall is the subject of an in-depth report by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who describes — among many other things — the role that Fox News’ Sean Hannity played in the media firestorm.

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The media got it wrong: There’s no evidence GOP support for Trump improved after his racist outburst

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One of the most popular articles last week involved claims that polls showed Republicans had increased their support of President Trump.  But a closer analysis of the data reveals that any increase in support was within the margin of error.  So the polls couldn’t conclude that GOP support for President Trump had gone up or down.

Polls are tricky creatures.  We either give them near god-like status, or discount them entirely, often depending on whether they show us what we want.

I remember the movie “Machete,” where an opportunistic Texas politician fakes his own shooting.  Within five minutes of that story breaking, the news anchor reported that the politician had drastically improved his standing in the polls.  Surveys don’t work that way.

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Activism

Rep. Rashida Tlaib defies Trump in NAACP speech: ‘I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president’

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) defiantly insisted on Monday that she would be in Congress until President Donald Trump is impeached.

At the 2019 annual NAACP convention, the announcer noted that Tlaib is a member of the four congresswomen known as The Squad who have recently been told by Trump to "go back" home.

Tlaib began her remarks by alluding to the president's attack.

"I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president," she shouted.

Watch the video below from the NAACP.

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