The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Musab Mohammad Masmari, the man who tried to burn down a popular gay bar in Seattle on a packed New Year’s Eve, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The sentence, handed down on Thursday, was considered exceptionally stiff, after Masmari had agreed to a plea bargain on arson charges only, meaning he would not face the federal hate-crime charges that were considered in the case. According to the Seattle Times, the sentence more than doubled the time agreed to in the plea bargain.
Masmari, a 30-year-old American citizen of Libyan extraction and upbringing, was caught on camera as he carried a container filled with gasoline through Neighbours, a popular bar in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, on New Year’s Eve. Shortly afterwards, patrons smelled smoke and found the container on the landing to a set of stairs engulfed in flames; their prompt action quickly doused the fire.
An estimated 750 people were in the bar at the time, and the matter quickly became a hate crime investigation. “It was just a great thing that people acted as fast as they did to put out the fire,” a police spokesperson said. “We could have had mass, mass casualties, and we’re very lucky that that didn’t happen.”
Some of the people present at the bar that night were in the courtroom during Masmari’s sentencing hearing on Thursday. Shaun Knittel, a Seattle LGBT-community activist, said he and others in the community were “disgusted” with the plea bargain’s five-year sentence. Neighbours, he said, was packed that night with “people who are irreplaceable to us.”
“This was a blatant attack on our lives,” he said.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez told the courtroom he would use his discretion to impose the exceptional sentence because Masmari had clearly targeted his victims because they were gay, and because of the possibility of a huge loss of life.
Masmari, who claimed in a presentencing statement that he had blacked out that night after drinking a bottle of whiskey, did not speak during the hearing. His attorney said the stiff sentence was not entirely a surprise, “due to the political nature of this case.”
Yahoo News: Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu defends his role in anti-immigrant protest.
AlterNet: How conservative media forced a Texas charity to cancel plans to house child refugees.
The Gadsden Times (AL): Law-enforcement officers to receive training on how to deal with domestic extremists.
Right Wing Watch: Sandy Rios suggests treating child refugees like lepers, warns they will cause death ‘in large numbers’.
The Alternative Press: Ted Nugent’s planned performance in Montclair, N.J., stirs controversy.
Indiana Lawyer: Sovereign citizen who was convicted of kidnapping his daughter loses court appeal.
Think Progress: Ted Cruz says he won’t support funding for refugees unless President Obama deports DREAM Act youth.
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OK, time for a survey. First question: How much danger do you think liberty is in right now as a result of President Obama’s policies, actions and agenda for America’s future? ( continue to full post… )
Camille Marino, a radical animal liberation activist who advocates violence against scientists who use animals in their research, was arrested on Saturday during a protest at the University of Florida.
According to campus Police Chief Linda Stump, Marino now faces extradition to Michigan, where she could be jailed on charges of violating a protective order obtained by Donal O’Leary, a researcher at Detroit’s Wayne State University whom Marino had singled out for harassment. ( continue to full post… )
Between refining his farcical anti-Obama “birther” conspiracy theory, fear-mongering about a nonexistent planned merger between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, and groundlessly declaring that oil is not derived from living things and is therefore an infinite resource, right-wing attack dog Jerome Corsi is one busy dude.
The weight of these responsibilities seems to have become too much for the poor dear, who has reportedly compromised his normally impeccable ethics with a bit of plagiarism. On Dec. 19, Corsi published in WorldNetDaily (WND) an “exclusive” article titled “Obama’s legacy of broken promises – in Kenya.” Purportedly based on the results of a long-term research project headed by an unnamed former member of the Kenyan parliament, the article details Obama’s failure to come through on financial promises the president allegedly made to the Kenyan government, including the donation of money to improve the village in which his Kenyan relatives live. ( continue to full post… )
A Mississippi man has been convicted in the 2010 murder of a white supremacist leader. Vincent McGee was charged with capital murder in the death of Richard Barrett, the founder of the neo-Nazi Nationalist Movement. McGee claimed that Barrett made sexual advanced towards him, while the prosecution claims the motive was robbery.
A plea deal has been made in the case of a Montana white supremacist teen accused of threatening a Native American man with a gun. Allen Goff, 19, had been charged with felony assault and obstruction as well carrying a concealed weapon, and was previous charged and acquitted in the shooting of a Hispanic teen. Goff has been reported as the leader of the Montana Creators Assembly, an offshoot of the white supremacist Creativity Movement.
The saga of the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia murder conspiracy trial continues as the judge announced a delay in the bail hearing of one of the defendants. Coleman Barney, 27, asked the court to release him as he awaits trial, after his bail was reduced from $2 million to $100,000 dollars. Barney stands accused, along with five other militia members, of plotting to kill state officials and law enforcement officers.
Warren Jeffs, leader of the polygamist FLDS Church, appeared in court today to answer charges of sexual assault of a child. Jeffs told the judge that he is representing himself, addressed the court in a 25-minute rant, and repeatedly interrupting the prosecutor, forcing the judge to call a recess. Jeffs faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has launched its 13th immigration and crime sweep and reported 27 arrests by Monday night. Officials say 18 of the people in custody are suspected of being illegal immigrants with the other nine arrested on various charges.
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Anti-immigration activists, hate group members and counter protestors gathered at a rally in Phoenix.
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Wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan “Stop the Invasion” and applauding exhortations to “take back our country,” opponents of amnesty for illegal immigrants gathered at a Grange hall in Yakima.
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