A Canadian citizen inspired by Islamic State to create “the next 9/11” and two other men plotted to attack Times Square and the New York City subway system with bombs and a shooting rampage during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan last year, according to federal charges unsealed Friday.
Abdulrahman El-Bahnasawy, 19, of Mississauga, Canada, bought bomb-making materials and studied maps of the subway system, but the planned attacks were thwarted by an undercover FBI agent who was posing online as an Islamic State sympathizer, the charges said.
El-Bahnasawy was arrested in May 2016 and has already pleaded guilty.
On the same day his administration stopped accepting applications from so-called Dreamers for protection from deportation, President Trump on Friday welcomed Latino American leaders to the White House to honor their cultural heritage in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month.
In rambling remarks, Trump said the United States remains "a beacon" to people of other nations and lauded young attendees for the contributions they would make to the nation -- notes at odds with his restrictive immigration talk and policies, including the phase-out of the Deferred Action for Childhoood Arrivals program.
Trump did not mention his decision, which took effect at midnight, to shut down DACA. Since 2012, the Obama-era program has given temporary legal status, for two years at a time, to some 800,000 people brought to the country illegally as children.
The Las Vegas massacre has breached Republicans' solid opposition to additional gun restrictions, prompting party leaders as well as the National Rifle Assn. to say they will consider placing limits on so-called bump stocks, devices that can turn assault rifles into virtual machine guns.
The White House signaled a willingness Thursday to consider a ban, and the NRA, which has powerful sway among Republicans, said it could back a limit on bump stocks — but as a federal regulation, not a law.
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” the group said.
A sweeping new statement by the Justice Department calls religious freedom a “fundamental right of paramount importance,” placing the Trump administration squarely on the side of religious conservatives in America’s culture wars.
The statement by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, with a long legal analysis by the department’s lawyers, is intended to be guidance to the rest of the federal government on how to decide conflicts involving declarations of religious belief – for example, the recent case involving a baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple's wedding. The Justice Department already has intervened in that case on the side of the baker.
The statement released Friday makes clear that, in Sessions’ view, the benefit of the doubt should go to the person declaring a religious belief over those claiming illegal discrimination.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for half a decade after abandoning his Afghanistan post, is expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, two individuals with knowledge of the case said.
Bergdahl's decision to plead guilty rather than face trial marks another twist in an eight-year drama that caused the nation to wrestle with difficult questions of loyalty, negotiating with hostage takers and America's commitment not to leave its troops behind. President Trump has called Bergdahl a "no-good traitor" who "should have been executed."
The decision by the 31-year-old Idaho native leaves open whether he will return to captivity for years — this time in a U.S. prison — or receive a lesser sentence that reflects the time the Taliban held him under brutal conditions. He says he had been caged, kept in darkness, beaten and chained to a bed.
The Trump administration began unraveling the Obama-era program shielding people brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation, though a split Congress has made no progress on writing similar protections into law as President Trump asked.
The phaseout of the five-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program began at midnight Thursday. The administration no longer is accepting or processing new or renewal applications for so-called DACA protections, even if they were mailed before the deadline.
Now, with five months to go before hundreds of people daily begin losing their legal status, Congress is struggling to respond to Trump’s request for a legislative solution over an issue that traditionally has divided lawmakers along partisan lines.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma walloped the labor market last month, causing the nation to lose jobs for the first time in seven years, the Labor Department said Friday.
Total nonfarm employment declined by 33,000 net jobs in September compared with an upwardly revised gain of 169,000 the previous month. The Labor Department said 1.5 million workers — the most in 20 years — were not at their jobs during the survey week last month because of bad weather.
Restaurants and bars took the biggest hit. Total employment in September declined by 105,000 “as many workers were off payrolls due to the recent hurricanes,” the Labor Department said.
President Trump, surrounded by military leaders and their spouses at a White House dinner Thursday night, made some cryptic but seemingly ominous remarks suggesting some “storm” ahead.
“Maybe it’s the calm before the storm,” Trump told a few reporters who were ushered into the room to photograph the assemblage. Trump grinned mischievously and waved his hand in a semicircle as the military leaders flanked him.
The comments could mean anything -- or nothing, given Trump's penchant for off-the-cuff comments and teases to the press. Rarely if ever do presidents joke about potential military action. And given tensions in so many global theaters -- for example, with North Korea over its nuclear ambitions, with Iran over its support for terrorist activities, and now the prospect of retaliation for the killing of three Green Berets this week in Niger -- Trump's comments immediately provoked serious questions.