Police Arrest Suspects in Violence at Charlottesville Rally
Several suspects awaited court proceedings stemming from violence at last month’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. A Ku Klux Klan leader from Maryland, Richard Preston, was accused of firing a handgun into a crowd. Police identified Preston, 52, the imperial wizard of the Confederate White Knights of Rosedale, as the shooter in a video (at left) published by the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia. Also in custody and facing extradition to Virginia were two men accused in the beating of a black man on the day of the white nationalist rally. Alex Michael Ramos, 33, surrendered August 28 at the Monroe County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, and Daniel Borden, 18, of suburban Cincinnati, was arrested August 25. A lawyer for the victim said Ramos and Borden were identified after journalist and activist Shaun King posted photos and video of the assault on social media and offered a reward.
Two Men Suspected of Support for Terror Groups
In separate cases, two men face charges related to support for foreign terrorist groups abroad. Authorities arrested Casey Charles Spain (right) on August 31, just 20 days after he was released from prison, following an undercover FBI operation where Spain illegally purchased a semiautomatic handgun. According to federal authorities, Spain, 28, of Richmond, Virginia, was radicalized in prison and wanted to join ISIS. Spain had just served seven years for a 2010 conviction of abduction with intent to defile. Spain had the ISIS flag tattooed on his back, in addition to a “Cop Killa” tattoo on his right cheek, according to an FBI affidavit. Also on August 31, authorities unsealed an indictment charging Dilshod Khusanov with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to ISIS and the Nusrah Front. Khusanov, 31, was arrested in Villa Park, Illinois. According to authorities, Khusanov provided financial support for people to travel to Syria to join ISIS and the Nusrah Front. Authorities previously charged six other individuals in a separate related case; three pleaded guilty to providing material support to ISIS.
UN Report Finds al-Qa’ida Remains Resilient
As the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, al-Qa’ida remains a potent and growing threat on at least two continents, according to a UN report. The report found that al-Qa’ida and its affiliates have “demonstrated significant resilience” in East and West Africa as well as on the Arabian Peninsula. According to the report, al-Qa’ida continues to “retain stronger networks” in these regions as compared to ISIS. Competition between ISIS and al-Qa’ida continues, but “shifting alliances” among fighters “and cooperation on the tactical level in several regions also allow them to move between various groups,” the UN experts said. Prominent al-Qa’ida groups include al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen; the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims, in West Africa; and al-Shabaab in East Africa.