A man from President Obama's hometown of Chicago has been arrested for allegedly sending Obama and his staff envelopes containing HIV-infected blood, in the hopes of killing or harming them.
It's only the second time ever that HIV-infected blood has been sent with malicious intent through the U.S. mail system, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said.
In the weeks leading up to Obama's inauguration, Saad Hussein, an Ethiopian refugee in his late 20s, sent an envelope addressed to "Barack Obama" to offices of the Illinois government in Springfield, Ill., according to court documents.
The envelope contained a series of curious items, including a letter with reddish stains and an admission ticket for Obama's election-night celebration in Chicago's Grant Park. Court documents said Hussein, who takes drugs to treat a mental illness, later told FBI agents he is "very sick with HIV" and cut his fingers with a razor so he could bleed on the letter.
Hazmat teams were called in after the envelope was opened, and offices of the Illinois Department on Aging and the Department of Revenue were locked down for nearly two hours, locking 300 staffers in their offices, court documents said.
Hussein, with his brother acting as an interpreter, told FBI agents he was actually "an admirer" of Obama and was "seeking help from the government," according to court documents. He also told them he was hoping to obtain tickets to the Inaugural ceremonies in Washington, the documents said.
Days after sending the letter to Obama, Hussein allegedly placed two more letters in the mail, one addressed to "Emanuel," an apparent reference to Obama's current Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. The two letters contained what appeared to be dried blood, the court documents said.
Hussein, who has never held a job in the three years he's been in the United States, was arrested last month. He was charged with "knowingly" mailing letters "containing HIV-infected blood, with the intent to kill or injure another," in violation of federal law.
The charging documents do not address whether the letters could have actually killed or injured anyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV is spread only through sexual contact with an infected person, through sharing needles with an infected person, or through blood transfusions of infected blood.
The spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Peter Rendina, expressed confidence that the U.S. mail system is safe.
"To me the U.S. Postal Service is the most secure form of communication in the world," he said. "In no way are we seeing a trend."
Hussein is currently being detained in a Chicago correctional facility. A judge ordered he receive a mental examination to see if he's fit for trial, but as of two weeks ago the court couldn't locate a translator to conduct the examination, according to court documents.
A publicly-appointed attorney representing Hussein declined comment, saying he was "not at liberty to discuss pending criminal matters."
This is not the first time law enforcement officials have had to take Hussein into custody. He was arrested by police in 2006 after starting a fire in the middle of a crowded Chicago intersection. When officers arrived on the scene, he was waiving the Koran in the air and yelling"Allah Akbar," or "God is Great" in Arabic. Court documents say he was transported to a hospital, where he called President Bush a terrorist and criticized American foreign policy. He was not formally charged, but he did spend time in the mental health unit of the hospital.
The latest case marks the second time HIV-infected blood has been sent through the U.S. mail. In 2006 a "disturbed individual" placed a plastic vial of HIV-infected blood in the mail, according to Rendina. The unidentified individual was arrested and charged, and is now receiving psychiatric treatment at a federal medical detention center, Rendina said.
January 20, 2009:
This is truely a sad day for Amercian; a sad day that has been a long time in the making. Something we allowed to happen by inaction. God has abondoned this nation and we must now pay for our transgressions.
But on a brighter note, I hear the the drums of succession beating softly in the distance. I will head in that direction.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The National Socialist Movement is, according to its website, the largest and most active Nazi party in the United States. Accordingly, it refers to itself as 'America's Nazi Party' and aims to instigate major change in the US.
Wikinews was able to conduct an interview with the head of the party, Commander Jeff Schoep. Fresh back from a march in Missouri, Commander Schoep told Wikinews his views on Barack Obama, the economy and much more.
Read the full exclusive interview below:
Does your party believe America will be a better or worse place with Obama as President?
WN Obama says he wants to close Guantanamo Bay - what are your views on this?<DL> <DD>
WN Why do you think Obama succeeded over McCain?<DL> <DD>
WN Oil will eventually run out. That may or may not be short-term, but what is clear is that the prices, although back down from the record highs, are set to rise. Would you commit to using alternative sources of fuel and energy to combat this, or have you another energy policy in mind?<DL> <DD>
WN America recently revealed that they had lost a nuclear weapon off Greenland forty years ago. Many others have gone missing. Do you think nuclear weapons safety is adequate, does it need revamped, or should America commit to nuclear disarmament?<DL> <DD>
Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting "Assassinate Obama." Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.
Incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are dampening the post-election glow of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America.
From California to Maine, police have documented a range of alleged crimes, from vandalism and vague threats to at least one physical attack. Insults and taunts have been delivered by adults, college students and second-graders.
There have been "hundreds" of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.
One was in Snellville, Ga., where Denene Millner said a boy on the school bus told her 9-year-old daughter the day after the election: "I hope Obama gets assassinated." That night, someone trashed her sister-in-law's front lawn, mangled the Obama lawn signs, and left two pizza boxes filled with human feces outside the front door, Millner said.
She described her emotions as a combination of anger and fear.
"I can't say that every white person in Snellville is evil and anti-Obama and willing to desecrate my property because one or two idiots did it," said Millner, who is black. "But it definitely makes you look a little different at the people who you live with, and makes you wonder what they're capable of and what they're really thinking."
Potok, who is white, said he believes there is "a large subset of white people in this country who feel that they are losing everything they know, that the country their forefathers built has somehow been stolen from them."
Grant Griffin, a 46-year-old white Georgia native, expressed similar sentiments: "I believe our nation is ruined and has been for several decades and the election of Obama is merely the culmination of the change.
"If you had real change it would involve all the members of (Obama's) church being deported," he said.
Change in whatever form does not come easy, and a black president is "the most profound change in the field of race this country has experienced since the Civil War," said William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina. "It's shaking the foundations on which the country has existed for centuries."
"Someone once said racism is like cancer," Ferris said. "It's never totally wiped out, it's in remission."
If so, America's remission lasted until the morning of Nov. 5.
The day after the vote hailed as a sign of a nation changed, black high school student Barbara Tyler of Marietta, Ga., said she heard hateful Obama comments from white students, and that teachers cut off discussion about Obama's victory.
Tyler spoke at a press conference by the Georgia chapter of the NAACP calling for a town hall meeting to address complaints from across the state about hostility and resentment. Another student, from a Covington middle school, said he was suspended for wearing an Obama shirt to school Nov. 5 after the principal told students not to wear political paraphernalia.
The student's mother, Eshe Riviears, said the principal told her: "Whether you like it or not, we're in the South, and there are a lot of people who are not happy with this decision."
Other incidents include:
_Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free speech expression, including one that said: "Let's shoot that (N-word) in the head." Obama has received more threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.
_At Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read: "Osama Obama Shotgun Pool." Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. "Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count," the sign said. At the bottom of the marker board was written "Let's hope someone wins."
_Racist graffiti was found in places including New York's Long Island, where two dozen cars were spray-painted; Kilgore, Texas, where the local high school and skate park were defaced; and the Los Angeles area, where swastikas, racial slurs and "Go Back To Africa" were spray painted on sidewalks, houses and cars.
_Second- and third-grade students on a school bus in Rexburg, Idaho, chanted "assassinate Obama," a district official said.
_University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur. "It seems the election brought the racist rats out of the woodwork," Houston said.
_Black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. The president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas said a rope found hanging from a campus tree was apparently an abandoned swing and not a noose.
_Crosses were burned in yards of Obama supporters in Hardwick, N.J., and Apolacan Township, Pa.
_A black teenager in New York City said he was attacked with a bat on election night by four white men who shouted 'Obama.'
_In the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills, a black man said he found a note with a racial slur on his car windshield, saying "now that you voted for Obama, just watch out for your house."
Emotions are often raw after a hard-fought political campaign, but now those on the losing side have an easy target for their anger.
"The principle is very simple," said BJ Gallagher, a sociologist and co-author of the diversity book "A Peacock in the Land of Penguins." "If I can't hurt the person I'm angry at, then I'll vent my anger on a substitute, i.e., someone of the same race."
"We saw the same thing happen after the 9-11 attacks, as a wave of anti-Muslim violence swept the country. We saw it happen after the Rodney King verdict, when Los Angeles blacks erupted in rage at the injustice perpetrated by 'the white man.'"
source: yahoo news</td></tr></tbody></table>