Tag Archives: suspected

Venezuela investigates Guaido over photo with suspected Colombian criminals

Venezuela investigates Guaido over photo with suspected Colombian criminalsVenezuela’s state prosecutor’s office said on Friday it would open an investigation into Juan Guaido after the interior minister presented photos on state television showing the opposition leader in the company of two suspected members of a Colombian drug-trafficking group. Guaido on Friday said the two men had asked to take a photo with him when he secretly crossed into Colombia from Venezuela in February via an informal border route after a Venezuelan court had barred him from leaving the country. “We didn’t ask for their criminal record to take a photo,” he told reporters in Caracas.



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Russia investigated disappearance of suspected US spy as possible murder

Russia investigated disappearance of suspected US spy as possible murderOleg Smolenkov hadn’t been seen after he went on holiday in 2017, but Russian authorities concluded he had fled abroadThe Kremlin in Moscow in 2018. Photograph: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty ImagesThe CIA Russian spy drama currently gripping Washington has taken a new turn as Russian media reported that a suspected US mole inside the Kremlin was a member of Vladimir Putin’s administration who disappeared in 2017 and was initially thought to have been murdered.Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed the man, Oleg Smolenkov, had worked for the Kremlin but played down his importance, insisting he was a low-level employee who had been fired two years ago.The Russian news site Daily Storm reported in September 2017 that Smolenkov, who had once worked in the Russian embassy in Washington, had not been seen since he went on holiday with his wife and three children to Montenegro in June of that year. The Russian authorities first investigated the disappearance as a possible murder but then became convinced that Smolenkov was still alive and living abroad.On Monday night, the New York Times and Washington Post confirmed a CNN report that a US agent inside the Kremlin had been spirited out to the US after concerns about his safety, but they did not name the spy.The US reports said that the agent had worked for US intelligence for more than a decade and reached a senior level with access to Putin himself. According to CNN, he had even provided pictures of documents on Putin’s desk.But there were different versions of the motivation for the emergency “exfiltration”. One source told CNN that the decision was driven partly by Donald Trump’s divulging classified information to Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in an Oval Office meeting on 10 May 2017, a month before the exfiltration.Trump had fired the FBI director, James Comey, the previous day at a time when the bureau was the midst of an investigation into Russian interference in the 2106 presidential election. The New York Times and Washington Post, however, quoted sources as saying that the agent was persuaded to leave Russia amid increased scrutiny by Kremlin officials after US intelligence agencies revealed what they knew about Russian election interference, and in particular, Putin’s role in it.Peskov dismissed the US reporting as “pulp fiction”.The Kremlin spokesman said he could not confirm that Smolenkov was the longtime American agent referred into in the US reports. Speaking on Tuesday, Peskov said Smolenkov had no “contacts” with Putin, and was removed from his government post in 2016 or 2017.“Smolenkov worked for the presidential executive office but he was discharged in line with an internal directive several years ago,” Peskov said in Moscow. “I do not know whether he was an agent or not. The only thing I can tell you there was such an employee in the administration. He was dismissed.”Peskov also downplayed the accounts of an extraordinary operation in 2017 to exfiltrate the US asset from Moscow. “All this discussion by American media about who was urgently evacuated, who was saved from whom and so on are in the genre of pulp fiction,” said Peskov. “So let’s leave it up to them.”Peskov refused to be drawn on Smolenkov’s current whereabouts. “We are not engaged in tracing people. I can only say in this case that there really was such an employee of the administration, and that he was fired several years ago,” he said.Smolenkov is reported to have worked at the US embassy in Washington under the ambassador Yuri Ushakov. He then followed the ambassador back to Moscow in 2008, when Ushakov was appointed Putin’s foreign policy adviser. Putin served as prime minister from 2008 until 2012, when he returned to the Kremlin for a third presidential term.Kommersant, a Russian business daily, cited former colleagues as saying that, contrary to Peskov’s denials, Smolenkov did have direct access to Putin. “This is serious,” an unnamed official said. Another said that it was unlikely Smolenkov had sight of secret material of value to the US intelligence services.According to the New York Times, the CIA first tried in late 2016 to extract the source from Moscow. The informant at first refused, citing family concerns – prompting doubts about his trustworthiness, and unhappiness inside CIA headquarters. The source finally agreed to flee months later, as the story of Russia’s clandestine support for Trump dominated the headline, the paper said.Smolenkov vanished on 14 June 2017, from his family home in Kargopolskaya Street, in a northern suburb of Moscow, Russian media reported. He flew with his wife Antonina, a civil servant, and their children – girls aged two and seven, and a 13-year-old son – to Montenegro. The family did not return and switched off their social media accounts.With Smolenkov nowhere to be found, in September 2017 Russian authorities opened a criminal investigation into his suspected murder. Russia’s FSB spy agency eventually dropped the case after concluding that the missing government official was still alive, the Daily Storm reported.The source appears to have settled in the US, in a comfortable house on the outskirts of Washington. In June 2018 the Washington Post’s real estate section listed the purchase of a six-bedroom home in Stafford, Virginia, by Antonina Smolenkov and one Oleg “Smokenkov”. The property cost $ 925,000. The difference in spellings appears to be a mistake.CNN reported that the difficult decision to remove the US’s Moscow mole was made after President Trump divulged top secret information in May 2017 to Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s veteran foreign minister. The White House has rubbished such claims. On Tuesday, Mike Pompeo – the US secretary of state and former CIA head – said: “Suffice it to say that the reporting there is factually wrong,” without specifying exactly what he was disputing.The source’s removal would have dealt a significant blow to the US’s ability to understand top-level Kremlin decision making. The Russian government – largely made up of former KGB officers, now in their mid-60s – is paranoid about western spies.Former diplomats say the chaotic nature of Russia in the 1990s under Boris Yeltsin made it a fertile time for recruiting Russian assets. One of those hired by MI6 during this period was Sergei Skripal, who the British say was targeted for murder by two Russian assasins.



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Married couple suspected of murder escape after overpowering guards while being extradited

Married couple suspected of murder escape after overpowering guards while being extraditedA married couple wanted for murder have escaped from custody after overpowering guards who were transporting them through Utah in the United States.Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, broke free from two guards on Monday evening.



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Mexico to deport U.S. citizen suspected of supporting 'violent jihad'

Mexico to deport U.S. citizen suspected of supporting 'violent jihad'Mexican authorities arrested a U.S. citizen suspected of supporting militant Islamists in an example of Mexico’s security cooperation with the United States even as the two neighbors grapple with sharp disagreements over trade and migration. The unidentified American man sought by Interpol was under investigation for supporting terrorist groups and will be deported to the United States later on Friday, the Mexico’s attorney general’s office said in a statement. The man was detained at a migrants office near Mexico’s border with Guatemala in the town of Huehuetan with the help of officials from Mexico’s National Migration Institute.



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Mexico to deport U.S. citizen suspected of supporting 'violent jihad'

Mexico to deport U.S. citizen suspected of supporting 'violent jihad'Mexican authorities arrested a U.S. citizen suspected of supporting militant Islamists in an example of Mexico’s security cooperation with the United States even as the two neighbors grapple with sharp disagreements over trade and migration. The unidentified American man sought by Interpol was under investigation for supporting terrorist groups and will be deported to the United States later on Friday, the Mexico’s attorney general’s office said in a statement. The man was detained at a migrants office near Mexico’s border with Guatemala in the town of Huehuetan with the help of officials from Mexico’s National Migration Institute.



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The Latest: Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs

The Latest: Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logsA person familiar with the probe of Jeffrey Epstein’s death at a federal jail says guards are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on inmates in his unit every half hour, when they actually weren’t. Epstein is believed to have killed himself early Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, where he was awaiting trial in a sex trafficking case. The Justice Department said earlier Tuesday that two guards assigned to watch Epstein had been placed on administrative leave.



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Bystanders leap into action and subdue a man suspected of killing a woman, stabbing others in Australia

Bystanders leap into action and subdue a man suspected of killing a woman, stabbing others in AustraliaA knife-wielding man is suspected of slaying a woman in Sydney, Australia. Bystanders used a milk crate and chair to restrain him.



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Two bodies found near Canadian river believed to be teens suspected of 3 murders

Two bodies found near Canadian river believed to be teens suspected of 3 murdersThe bodies of Kam McLeod and Bryan Schmegelsky, who are suspected in three killings, have been found, according to Manitoba Police.



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At least 20 dead. Suspected gunman could face death penalty. What we know about the El Paso shooting

At least 20 dead. Suspected gunman could face death penalty. What we know about the El Paso shootingAt least 20 people were killed after a suspected gunman went on a rampage Saturday at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Here's what we know so far.



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Suspected El Paso Shooter’s Dad Once Sought to Help Gun Violence Victim

Suspected El Paso Shooter’s Dad Once Sought to Help Gun Violence VictimJose Luis Gonzalez/ReutersEleven months before his son was arrested for allegedly murdering 20 people and injuring scores more with an assault rifle in El Paso, Texas, John Bryan Crusius started a GoFundMe page for a musician suffering the consequences of gun violence long after being shot by a deranged stranger. The page included a photo of a critically wounded Eric Keyes lying on a hospital gurney. John Crusius wrote that Keyes had been struck by an “overwhelming series of traumatic events,” Crusius reported: “A mentally ill person showed up unannounced at Eric’s door in Denton, TX and told Eric he was a fan of his music. He pulled a gun and shot Eric from short range, the bullet piercing his chest and breaking three ribs, missing his heart by one millimeter, and finally lodged in his left arm. He suffered a collapsed lung (could not sing anymore) and nerve damage that extended to his left arm (could not play guitar).”  John Crusius does not say so in the posting, but he is a mental health counselor. The Veterans Administration had referred Keyes to Crusius’ clinic in Richardson, Texas for help with PTSD such as an ever growing number of American civilians suffer after being shot. Keyes needs only to hear a doorbell ring and he flashes back to the shooting. He was also coping with the pressure of caring for two parents with dementia.Cynics might wonder about the effectiveness of  the “‘whole’ person: Body, Mind and Spirit” approach at John Crusius’ Infused Being Therapy and Sound Healing clinic. Keyes found him to be a true healer. “He does a lot of good work,” Keyes told The Daily Beast.John Crusius sought also to help Keyes with his immediate financial problems, which had at one point forced him to sell his guitars and amplifiers. Crusius’ daughter, Emily, assisted her father’s effort by posting the GoFundMe page on Facebook. She kicked in $ 60.Imagine the shock for father and daughter when they learned her twin brother Patrick Crusius had been identified by police as the gunman and arrested for Friday’s horrific carnage in El Paso. The added twist is that the twins’ mother is a registered nurse such as those who tended the wounded —a 4-month-old baby, a 2-year-old, and a 9-year-old among them—at two local hospitals.Mass Shooting Kills 20 at El Paso Walmart: Gunman ‘Started Shooting Everyone, Aisle by Aisle,’ Witness SaysIn a “manifesto” that police believe Patrick Crusius posted shortly before the shooting, the author begins by endorsing the views of the alleged Christchurch shooter, accused of murdering 51 people at a mosque in New Zealand in March. Patrick Crusius appears to have spoken of himself in the manifesto as defending his nation against an “Hispanic invasion” just as the alleged New Zealand gunman had written in his own manifesto about a Muslim invasion. In both mass murders, the alleged perpetrators were just lone losers who made themselves deadly with assault rifles. The New Zealand lone loser chose an AR-15. The El Paso lone loser used an AK-47-style assault rifle, as had another lone loser last month at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California.The El Paso lone loser had also allegedly brought a handgun, but police say he left that in the dark grey Honda he parked outside the Walmart. He apparently wanted the weapon that could inflict maximum damage.A photo of an actual defender of the nation appears on Emily Crusius’s Facebook page, this of a classmate from Plano High School who is now serving in the Marines. A picture taken at Camp Pendleton shows him holding an assault rifle, a weapon of war designed to be used in war. In posting this photo, Emily Crusius indicates she is proud of her buddy in the Marines, who appears to feel pretty proud himself. He is fit and clear-eyed and he has an air of purpose. He stands as a highly trained member of an elite organization whose collective motto is “Semper Fi,” always faithful. He is the very opposite of a lone loser.  On Saturday afternoon, the picture of her buddy the proud Marine was joined on Emily Crusius’ page by a photo someone posted of her twin in the back of a police radio car. Patrick Crusius was rear cuffed, having just been arrested at the scene of the nation’s latest mass shooting. He seemed to have returned to a paltry truth of himself that no assault rifle could change. He had just turned 21 on July 27 and his major accomplishment at Collin College —according to a document he appears to have posted online himself just before the shooting—had been showing up inebriated at chemistry lab. The difference was that 20 or more innocents were dead. And the survivors would begin a struggle such as his father had sought to ease for Keyes.“It’s gotten so crazy,” Keyes told The Daily Beast. “It’s like just every day.”Keyes said he had never met his counselor’s son and did not even know John Cruisius had twins. Keyes also reported that he had taught himself to play guitar and is about to release an anti-violence music video.“Violence is the lowest form of expression,” he rightly noted..Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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