Nation & World Briefly Feb. 5
10 Baptists charged with kidnapping
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Ten members of a U.S. missionary group who said they were trying to rescue 33 child victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake were charged with child kidnapping and criminal association on Thursday, their lawyer said.
Edwin Coq said after a court hearing that a judge found sufficient evidence to charge the Americans, who were arrested Friday at Haiti’s border with the Dominican Republic. Coq attended Thursday’s hearing and represents the entire group in Haiti.
Group leader Laura Silsby has said they were trying to take orphans and abandoned children to an orphanage in the neighboring Dominican Republic. She acknowledged they had not sought permission from Haitian officials, but said they just meant to help victims of the quake.
The U.S. citizens, most of them members of an Idaho-based church group, were whisked away from the closed court hearing to jail in Port-au-Prince, the capital.
Suspect in Christmas bomb plot gives intel on radical cleric
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Nigerian suspect in a failed Christmas Day airliner bombing turned against the cleric who claims to be his teacher and has helped the U.S. hunt for the radical preacher, a law enforcement official said Thursday.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian who faces terrorism charges in the Christmas bombing, has been cooperating with the FBI for days, providing information about his contacts in Yemen and the al-Qaida affiliate that operates there.
His cooperation talking about U.S.-born Yemeni radical Anwar al-Awlaki is significant because it could provide fresh clues for authorities trying to capture or kill him in the remote mountains of Yemen. Al-Awlaki has emerged has a prominent al-Qaida recruiter and has been tied to the 9/11 hijackers, Abdulmutallab and the suspect in November’s deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood.
A senior U.S. intelligence official said al-Awlaki represented the biggest name on the list of people Abdulmutallab might have information against.