Yemeni Halloween party ‘suicide bomber’ fined in Malaysia

A person in costume waits at a barricade with police officers for the New York City Halloween parade in New York City, NY, US on October 31, 2017. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 17 November 2017
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Yemeni Halloween party ‘suicide bomber’ fined in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A Yemeni man who dressed as a hooded suicide bomber for a Halloween party has been fined in Malaysia for causing a public nuisance, his lawyer said Friday.
Amjad Jalal Ahmed Al-Dahan wore a fake beard and a cardboard belt with two empty water bottles taped to it.
He also had on a white robe with a scarf wrapped around his head at the party in an apartment complex in Petaling Jaya, a city next to Kuala Lumpur.
Al-Dahan, 34, pleaded guilty and was fined 400 ringgit ($100), the maximum fine for the offense, his lawyer Saraswathy Devi told AFP.
Largely Muslim Malaysia has arrested hundreds of suspected militants in recent years, including several people connected to the Abu Sayyaf group operating in the southern Philippines.
Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia have been on alert after Filipino militants backed by foreign fighters and waving the black Islamic State (IS) group flag seized the southern Philippine city of Marawi in May.
The Philippine government and security analysts said the attack on Marawi is part of an IS plan to establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia.


US couple, homeless man charged in GoFundMe scam

In this Nov. 17, 2017, file photo, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., left, Kate McClure, right, and McClure's boyfriend Mark D'Amico pose at a Citgo station in Philadelphia. (AP)
Updated 42 min 36 sec ago
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US couple, homeless man charged in GoFundMe scam

  • The GoFundMe page announced a goal of $10,000 to help Bobbitt rent an apartment, buy a used car and get back on his feet

NEW YORK: Last year, the seemingly heartwarming tale of a homeless good Samaritan who helped a woman driver in need sparked a crowdfunding campaign that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for him.
Now, the story has ended up in court — and appears to have been a scam.
Three people were charged in a New Jersey courtroom on Thursday in connection with the allegedly fraudulent scheme, which allowed them to rake in more than $400,000 on the GoFundMe site.
In November 2017, Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico launched the crowdfunding page asking donors to “pay it forward” to a homeless military veteran, Johnny Bobbitt Jr.
The couple said Bobbitt had given McClure his last $20 to buy gas for her car when he found her stuck along a highway outside Philadelphia, and they wanted to return the act of kindness.
The GoFundMe page announced a goal of $10,000 to help Bobbitt rent an apartment, buy a used car and get back on his feet. But it quickly made that amount many times over.
The story made headlines and thousands donated to what seemed to be a good cause.
But the first twist came in August when Bobbitt sued McClure and D’Amico, saying he had only received a fraction of the money — about $75,000 — and accusing the couple of pulling one over on donors.
Bobbitt claimed the couple had gone on fancy vacations and bought themselves a new BMW, which was seized at the couple’s home in September.
Ultimately, the investigation revealed a second twist: Bobbitt was in cahoots with the couple all along.
“The entire campaign was predicated on a lie,” Burlington County prosecutor Scott Coffina told a press conference Thursday.
“Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live, McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was ‘completely made up’,” he said.
“She did not run out of gas on an I-95 off-ramp, and he did not spend his last $20 to help her,” the prosecutor added.
“D’Amico, McClure and Bobbitt conspired to fabricate and promote a feel-good story that would compel donors to contribute to their cause.”
The three were charged with “theft by deception” and conspiracy to commit such a theft. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said they would be seeking jail sentences “of some length.”
GoFundMe plans to reimburse the 14,000 donors, who contributed $403,000, the prosecutor said.