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Islamic State fighter publicly executes his mother, report says


The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights says a 20-year-old Syrian fighter shot his mother ‘in front of hundreds of people’

Report says the mother and son had argued over his commitment to the Islamic State

Since June 2014, the human rights group has documented the Islamic State killings of 3,707 people in Syria

This undated image taken from video posted online by Communications Arm of Islamic State, purports to show a member of the Islamic State group before Islamic State group members seem to execute five men they accuse of spying for Britain in Syria. A well-respected Syrian human rights group is reporting that an Islamic State fighter has executed his own mother. AP

A well-respected Syrian human rights group is reporting that an Islamic State fighter has executed his own mother.The report came from the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights in Britain, which told The Washington Post that a 20-year-old Syrian fighter shot his mother, who was thought to be 47, “in front of hundreds of people near the post office building . . . where she was employed,” as the group put it in a statement. The mother and son had argued over his commitment to the Islamic State; after she objected to his service, he reported her to the extremist organization, which arrested her. The murder took place in Raqqa, the Islamic State stronghold.”His mother spoke with him and asked him to leave ISIS and leave Raqqa to go to a different area of Syria and Turkey,” Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory said in a telephone interview, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “. . . After that he told ISIS and, 1-2-3, they arrest his mother.” Though the Islamic State is known for its macabre execution videos, Abdulrahman said he was not aware the killing was videotaped.Abdulrahman said that, since June 2014, the Syrian Observatory has documented the Islamic State killings of 3,707 people in Syria – a total that includes 2,001 civilians, 106 women and 77 children. He said that he thought he had heard of an Islamic State fighter who killed his father, but this was the first matricide he was aware of.

“It is the first time we’ve recorded this,” he said.

Texas armed standoff ends after 15 years

After almost 15 years, what is believed to be the longest armed standoff in American history quietly came to a peaceful close earlier this week. 

John Joe Gray was arrested in 1999 for assaulting a state trooper during a traffic stop. Gray said it was his God-given right to carry the pistol he had that day, without a concealed handgun license. When the trooper tried to arrest him, Gray got into a scuffle with the officer and bit him.

Gray was eventually charged with assaulting a public servant, but he refused to return to court, and instead, armed himself at home.

“If they come out after us, bring extra body bags. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword,” Gray told ABC News in a 2000 interview.

Since the felony charge in 1999, Gray has never left his 47-acres along the banks of the Trinity River between Tool and Trinidad, Texas.

Instead, Gray, his children, grandchildren, and friends patrol their property with pistols and rifles and refuse to let strangers inside.

National Geographic said it took a crew two years to earn the family’s trust recently.

“We’ve never shot no one yet,” Gray told National Geographic. “But they know, if they come on us, they’ll be surprised what’s going to happen to them.”

An old mugshot of John Joe Gray. (Photo: Courtesy: Henderson Co. Sheriff’s Dept.)

The felony charge of assaulting a peace officer was actually dismissed in December 2014, when the district attorney left office. But for some reason, no one notified the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office or even the Gray family, until now.

“Being a peace officer, you do have some emotions — that you would like to see him brought before court and the case tried — but on the other hand, was it worth all that it might have cost to do that?” Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt said about the incident.

And while it may be easy to draw comparisons between the standoff currently underway in Oregonand what happened in this rural Texas county, the situations are completely different, according to Nutt.

“Those folks have occupied a public building. Joe Gray is on 47-acres that he owns out there,” the sheriff explained.

The Grays painted their paranoia on signs posted along their fence. “Vaccinations equal annihilation” reads one of the anti-government messages.

Sheriff Nutt said he’s glad the district attorney decided to drop charges.

Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt (Photo: WFAA)

“Yeah. It takes pressure off people. And it may take pressure off them,” the sheriff said. “There’s always been the potential for something bad happening.”

Nutt said he didn’t go get Gray because deputies could have died.

“It wasn’t worth it,” the sheriff said. “Joe Gray has been in prison out there himself, in my opinion, for 14 years.”

It was justice served, the sheriff suggested, in a felony case that never went to court. And for the first time this century, Joe Gray is free to leave his home.

New developments in Sacramento “Stingray” case

Finally admitting to the lies they have been telling all along (Sort of)

The man who headed up the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department “Stingray” admitted in court Friday he and his team members never told judges or prosecutors that they were using the so-called “cell site simulators” – nor did they specifically ask for permission to use one.

Lt. Dan Morrisey testified in a case brought by the Sacramento County Public Defenders Office.

Morrissey said prosecutors and judges were not on the list of people who he was allowed to talk with about Stingray.

“I don’t think that’s the way the FBI wrote that non-disclosure agreement,” Morrissey said. “I think it was that you had to be a sworn peace officer.”

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said the public defenders will have to ask for information on  individual cases.

But public defender David Lynch presented the court with a spreadsheet containing 10,000 potential instances where Stingrays may have been used – saying it would be like searching for a “needle in a haystack.”

“That’s not justice. It’s not practical, and it’s not fair,” Lynch said.

Lt. Morrissey testified that his team always deleted evidence gathered by Stingrays after passing it on to detectives, who further developed criminal investigations. So, he said, there’s no way to track when the Stingray was used.

Lynch specifically questioned Morrissey about why, if he has no record of Stingray usage, was the sheriff previously able to say 500 criminal cases involved Stingray surveillance.

Morrissey said the 500 number was an “estimated guess.”

When Lynch asked what other surveillance devices were used with the Stingray, and how they were used, Morrissey repeated the same answer: “Those are privileged”, or “That’s privileged.”

But the Sheriff’s former Stingray team leader made another admission. He said detectives normally got a “Pen Register” or “Trap and Trace” order to find the general area where suspect’s cell phone’s might be, and then his team rolled out its Stingray.

Most of those orders were signed by Judge Steve White; the same judge who is presiding over this case.

Just for information the officer cited “Privilege” multiple times during his testimony.

Another hearing on the matter is scheduled for February 19th.