Target of SEAL raid in Somalia had planned to attack UN, other sites in Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- The man U.S. Navy SEALs tried to take down in Somalia over the weekend was a Kenyan who had plotted to attack his country’s parliament building and the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi, according to a Kenyan government intelligence report.
The pre-dawn, seaside SEAL raid on Saturday targeted Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, who is also known as Ikrima, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The U.S. troops are not believed to have captured or killed their target. The official insisted on anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information
In the internal report by Kenya’s National Intelligence Service, Abdulkadir is listed as the lead planner of a plot sanctioned by al-Qaida’s core leadership in Pakistan to carry out multiple attacks in Kenya in late 2011 and early 2012. The AP has previously reported that those attacks, linked to the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, were disrupted.
The report, which was leaked to AP and other media in the wake of the Sept. 21 terror attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall that killed more than 60 people, lists Samantha Lewthwaite -- a Briton known in British media as the "White Widow" -- as one of several "key actors" in the plot to attack Parliament buildings, the U.N. Office in Nairobi, Kenyan Defense Forces camps and other targets. The plotters also intended to assassinate top Kenyan political and security officials, the report said.
Police disrupted that plot. Lewthwaite, who was married to one of the suicide bombers in the 2005 attack on London’s transit system, escaped capture when she produced a fraudulently obtained South African passport in another person’s name. Late last month Interpol, acting on a request from Kenya, issued an arrest notice for Lewthwaite.
Administration scrambles as insurers, others, say there’s time to fix online glitches
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The glitch-ridden rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care law has opponents crowing: "Told you so!" and insisting it should be paused, if not scrapped.
But others, including insurance companies, say there’s still enough time to fix the online enrollment system before uninsured Americans start getting coverage on Jan. 1.
After emergency repairs over the weekend, consumers in different parts of the country Monday continued to report delays on healthcare.gov, as well as problems setting up security questions for their accounts. The administration says the site’s crowded electronic "waiting room" is thinning out. Still, officials announced it will be down again for a few hours starting at 1 a.m. Tuesday for more upgrades and fixes.
Despite the confusion, the insurance industry has held off public criticism. Alarmed that only a trickle of customers got through initially, insurers now say enrollments are starting to come in and they expect things to improve.
The last major federal health care launch -- the Medicare prescription program in 2006 -- also had big startup problems. Government leaders who oversaw it say things could look very different in a couple of months for Obama’s law if the administration manages to get a grip on the situation.
Post-coup Egypt swept by nationalist fervor centered around the military, its chief
CAIRO (AP) -- While riots turned the neighborhoods of Cairo into deadly battlegrounds this weekend, Egypt’s most powerful man -- the head of the armed forces -- enjoyed a star-studded show.
In a sports stadium, celebrities and pop singers lavished praise on the military in a televised extravaganza complete with dancers and an elaborate fireworks display.
The scene crystalized Egypt’s situation since the July 3 coup that ousted the country’s first freely elected president, Mohammed Morsi, and ended a year of rule by Islamists.
The new leadership has seemingly taken a two-pronged approach to building the future: On one hand, it pumps up a pro-military, nationalist fervor, while on the other it tries to crush Morsi’s Islamist supporters and his Muslim Brotherhood. So far, the result has led to more turmoil.
The scenario raises doubts about whether Egypt can progress toward the democracy that those who supported Morsi’s ouster say they want to achieve -- or whether the leaders can tackle pressing issues like the damaged economy. Repeated bouts of violence since July have only worsened the slump in the vital tourism industry, amid high unemployment, low productivity and steep price increases.
Attacks on security, installations in Egypt surge a day after deadly street attacks
CAIRO (AP) -- A string of attacks killed nine members of Egypt’s security and military forces and hit the country’s main satellite communications station Monday, in an apparent retaliation by Islamic militants a day after more than 50 supporters of the ousted president were killed in clashes with police.
The attacks show a dangerous expansion of targets, including the first strike against civilian infrastructure in the heart of the capital. They also blur the lines between the country’s political instability, continued protests against the military ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, and an insurgency that had been previously been largely confined to the northern Sinai Peninsula.
It is also likely to harden positions of the military-backed government and its opponents, making reconciliation more difficult.
"We are at war with them," said Mohammed Ibrahim, the country’s interior minister in charge of security forces, pointing to militant groups. He suggested the surge in attacks, particularly the targeting of the satellite station-- which left a minor damage on one of the dishes -- was in retaliation for the government crackdown on Sunday’s protests.
"This is an attempt to prove they are still around and are not broken," he told The Associated Press, without specifying which groups are behind the attacks. "They also aim to confuse, to distract" security forces.
Audits show Indian tribes mishandle millions in fed funds, suffer few consequences
ETHETE, Wyo. (AP) -- American Indian tribes have been caught misappropriating tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, according to internal tribal audits and other documents. But federal authorities do little about it -- due to a lack of oversight, resources or political will.
The result? Poor tribes like the Northern Arapaho of Wyoming suffer.
One Arapaho manager pocketed money meant to buy meals for tribal elders. Another used funds from the reservation’s diabetes program to subsidize personal shopping trips. And other members plundered the tribal welfare fund, then gambled the money away at one of the tribe’s casinos.
Altogether, employees drained at least a half-million dollars from the coffers of a tribe whose members have a median household income of about $16,000 a year.
Federal agencies questioned millions more dollars the Northern Arapaho government spent, but decided not to recover any of the money -- and even increased funding to the tribe.
Militant backlash feared after U.S. snatched al-Qaida militant in Libya
CAIRO (AP) -- The Libyan militant accused by Washington in the killing of the U.S. ambassador told The Associated Press on Monday he’s not worried about being next on the list for capture by the Americans after the U.S.commando raid that spirited a senior al-Qaida suspect out of Tripoli.
Ahmed Abu Khattala’s confidence reflects the power that Islamic militants have grown to wield in Libya since the 2011 ouster of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi. Militia groups, some of them inspired by al-Qaida, operated with virtual impunity in the country, with the central government too weak to take action against them.
Now many of the groups are furious over Saturday’s U.S. special forces raid that captured Abu Anas al-Libi, wanted by the Americans for more than a decade over the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. Some have hinted at retaliation at U.S. and other foreign interests and have lashed out at the government, accusing it of colluding with Washington.
"We only fear God," Abu Khattala told AP by telephone from Benghazi, when asked if he is concerned he too could be snatched. Abu Khattala lives openly in the city, despite the indictment against him in a U.S. court over the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed the ambassador and three other Americans. He denies any role in the attack.
One prominent ultraconservative Muslim cleric, Sheik Ahmed bu-Sidra, warned that "all options are on the table" after the seizing of al-Libi, who was spirited out of the country and is now being held on a U.S. warship, according to American officials.
3 win Nobel Prize for studying cell’s internal delivery service for precious cargo
NEW YORK (AP) -- Two Americans and a German-American won the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for illuminating how tiny bubbles inside cells shuttle key substances around like a vast and highly efficient fleet of vans, delivering the right cargo to the right place at the right time.
Scientists believe the research could someday lead to new medicines for epilepsy, diabetes and other conditions.
The work has already helped doctors diagnose a severe form of epilepsy and immune deficiency diseases in children. It has also aided research into the brain and many neurological diseases, and opened the door for biotech companies to make yeast pump out large quantities of useful proteins like insulin.
The $1.2 million prize will be shared by James Rothman, 62, of Yale University, Randy Schekman, 64, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Thomas Sudhof, 57, of Stanford University.
They unlocked the mysteries of the cell’s internal transport system, which relies on bubble-like structures called vesicles to deliver substances the cell needs. The fleet of vesicles is sort of the FedEx of the cellular world.