US man tied to white supremacists charged with bomb-making

The US flag is seen at half-mast in the distance as protestors take part in a demonstration against white supremacists at Lafayette Square, near the White House, in Washington, D.C., on August 6, 2019. (AFP / Alastair Pike)
Updated 10 August 2019

US man tied to white supremacists charged with bomb-making

  • Conor Climo was charged with possession of bomb-making materials and monitored discussing with white supremacists terror attacks on targets
  • Members of the organization he communicated with “believe in the superiority of the white race,” say prosecutors

LOS ANGELES: A Las Vegas man charged with possession of bomb-making materials discussed attacks on targets, including a synagogue, with white supremacists, prosecutors said Friday.
Conor Climo, 23, was arraigned in federal court in the western US state of Nevada after FBI agents monitored his online conversations with a “white supremacist extremist organization” committed to pursuing its goals “via terrorism and other violent acts,” the US attorney’s office said in a statement.
They discussed making explosives and targeting the synagogue as well as conducting surveillance on a gay bar, the criminal complaint said.
Climo was arrested Thursday. Authorities seized a notebook with hand-drawn plans for a potential attack in the Las Vegas area and drawings of timed explosive devices.
“Threats of violence motivated by hate and intended to intimidate or coerce our faith-based and LGBTQ communities have no place in this Country,” said federal prosecutor Nicholas Trutanich.
“Law enforcement in Nevada remains determined to use the full weight of our investigative resources to prevent bias-motivated violence before it happens.”
If convicted, Climo faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Members of the organization he communicated with “believe in the superiority of the white race,” and the group encourages attacks on the federal government, as well as minorities and LGBTQ people, the statement said.
Climo’s arrest comes after three mass shootings in the US in the past two weeks.
Last weekend, a young white man shot and killed 22 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, a city with a population that is 83 percent of Hispanic descent.
In a manifesto posted online before the attack, the shooter said he was fighting back against a “Hispanic invasion” of Texas.
FBI special agent Aaron Rouse said “the FBI will always be proactive to combat threats that cross a line from free speech to potential violence.”

 


Coronavirus spreads in China prisons, Korean church as fears weigh on global markets

Updated 15 min 23 sec ago

Coronavirus spreads in China prisons, Korean church as fears weigh on global markets

  • Hubei doubles Wednesday’s number of reported new cases
  • Global stock markets, US business activity hit

BEIJING/SEOUL : The coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in Chinese prisons, authorities said, as cases climbed outside the epicenter in Hubei province, including 100 more in South Korea and a worsening outbreak in Italy where officials announced the country’s first death.
A total of 234 infections among Chinese prisoners outside Hubei ended 16 straight days of declines in new mainland cases. Another 271 cases were reported in prisons in Hubei — where the virus first emerged in December in its now locked-down capital, Wuhan.
US stocks sold off and the Nasdaq had its worst daily percentage decline in about three weeks on Friday as the spike in new coronavirus cases and data showing a stall in US business activity in February fueled investors’ fears about economic growth. The rise in coronavirus cases sent investors scrambling for safe havens such as gold and government bonds.
Chinese state television quoted Communist Party rulers as saying the outbreak had not yet peaked amid a jump in cases in a hospital in Beijing.
Total cases of the new coronavirus in the Chinese capital neared 400 with four deaths.
China has reported a total of 75,567 cases of the virus to the World Health Organization (WHO) including 2,239 deaths. In the past 24 hours, China reported 892 new confirmed cases and 118 deaths.
US activity in the manufacturing and services sectors stalled over growing concern of the potential toll of the virus, a survey of purchasing managers showed on Friday.
The IHS Markit flash services sector Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to its lowest since October 2013, signaling that a sector accounting for roughly two-thirds of the US economy was in contraction for the first time since 2016.
Data also showed Japan’s factory activity suffered its steepest contraction in seven years in February, underlining the risk of a recession there as the impact of the outbreak spreads. Asian and European stocks also fell.
The impact of the outbreak on global growth “may be large” given China’s role in the world economy, and may stress financial markets just as tensions over a US-China trade war did in 2019, Bank of England policymaker Silvana Tenreyro said on Friday.
The outbreak may curb demand for oil in China and other Asian countries, depressing prices to as low as $57 a barrel and clouding growth prospects across the Middle East, the Institute of International Finance said.
The WHO warned that the window of opportunity to contain the international spread of the epidemic was closing after cases were reported in Iran and Lebanon.
An outbreak of coronavirus in northern Italy worsened on Friday as officials announced and 78-year-old man was the first Italian to die after being infected. The man was among 17 confirmed cases, including the country’s first known cases of local transmission.
The virus has emerged in 26 countries and territories outside mainland China, killing 11 people, according to a Reuters tally.
“There still is a chance we can focus principally on containment, but it’s getting harder because we’re getting secondary chains of transmission in other countries now,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a US infectious disease expert from Vanderbilt University.

South Korea hot spot
The spike in cases in jails in the northern province of Shandong and Zhejiang in the east made up most of the 258 newly confirmed Chinese infections outside Hubei province on Friday.
Authorities said officials deemed responsible for the outbreaks had been fired and the government had sent a team to investigate the Shandong outbreak, media reported.
Hubei, adding to case-reporting confusion, doubled the number of new cases it initially reported on Wednesday to 775 from 349. The lower number was a result of going back to counting only cases confirmed with genetic tests, rather than including those detected by chest scans.
South Korea is the latest hot spot with 100 new cases doubling its total to 204, most in Daegu, a city of 2.5 million, where scores were infected in what authorities called a “super-spreading event” at a church, traced to an infected 61-year-old woman who attended services.
South Korean officials designated Daegu and neighboring Cheongdo county as special care zones where additional medical staff and isolation facilities will be deployed. Malls, restaurants and streets in the city were largely empty with the mayor calling the outbreak an “unprecedented crisis.”
Another center of infection has been the Diamond Princess cruise ship held under quarantine in Japan since Feb. 3, with more than 630 cases accounting for the biggest infection cluster outside China. Australia said on Saturday that four more of its nationals evacuated from the cruise ship tested positive for coronavirus in addition to two individuals previously identified.
Some 35 British passengers were due to arrive back home on Saturday after spending more than two weeks stuck on the quarantined.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that of 329 Americans evacuated from the ship, 18 have tested positive for the virus.
A second group of Chinese citizens from Hong Kong who had been aboard the Diamond Princess have been flown home from Japan, Xinhua News reported.
In the Iranian city of Qom, state TV showed voters in the parliamentary election wearing surgical masks after the country confirmed 13 new cases, including two deaths. Health officials on Thursday called for all religious gatherings the holy city of Qom to be suspended.
Ukraine’s health minister joined evacuees from China for two weeks’ quarantine in a sanatorium on Friday in a show of solidarity after fears over the possible spread of coronavirus led to clashes between protesters and police.