Passports confiscated in France
French police confiscated the passports and identity cards of six nationals who allegedly planned to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said French intelligence believed the men were to depart for Syria imminently to join IS militants. The confiscation was made possible under anti-terrorism laws passed last November. The United Kingdom has, and has already used, similar powers to confiscate passports of those suspected of joining militants, and it may prevent re-entry to those already abroad.
Possible IS recruits arrested in U.S.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation says it has arrested three men suspected of trying to join IS. Abdurasul Juraboev, 24, and Abror Habibov, 30, both of Uzbekistan, and Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, of Kazakhstan, were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, reported the BBC. Saidakhmetov additionally threatened a shooting rampage against police and FBI officers if prevented from traveling to Syria. If convicted, each of the three may be handed up to 15 years in prison. New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said, “This is the concern about the lone wolf, inspired to act without ever going to the Middle East.”
Cartel leader captured in Mexico
Servando Gomez, the leader of the Knights Templar cartel, was captured by Mexican federal police early Friday morning. His was arrested outside his house without a shot fired. Known as “La Tuta” and “El Profe,” Gomez extended and secured his cartel’s control over the western state of Michoacan. The Knights Templar primarily deal in the methamphetamine trade while influencing businesses and local politics. The organization is accused of murder, torture, and extortion. Gomez will face judicial proceedings in Mexico City.
Spaniards arrested for fighting in Ukraine
Spain’s Interior Ministry arrested eight Spaniards who had fought alongside Ukrainian rebels. Federal police conducted six separate raids across the country. The suspects had voiced support for the rebels on social media. They also posted pictures of themselves in full combat gear. They are charged with complicity in murder, possession of weapons and violating Spain’s neutrality in the Ukrainian conflict.
Russian opposition figure murdered
Influential Russian opposition figure and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was assassinated within sight of the Kremlin. An unidentified person in a car shot Nemtsov four times in the back before driving off. Only hours earlier, Nemtsov had called for a march to demonstrate against Russia’s role in the war in Ukraine. The march morphed into a mourning rally, attracting tens of thousands.
Nemtsov’s disenchantment with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s handling of Ukraine caused him to fear for his life before he was murdered. “I am afraid Putin will kill me,” he told Sobesednik news outlet earlier this month. Putin has condemned the murder, describing it as “vile and cynical,” and promised an inquiry.
Since 2003, at least six politicians or members of the media who opposed Putin have been shot, poisoned, or killed by mysterious illness.
Brazil’s Truth Commission releases report
Last December, after three years of work, Brazil’s Truth Commission released its report documenting abuses committed during the country’s 1964–88 military dictatorship. The report confirmed that the dictatorship was responsible for at least 191 deaths and 210 disappearances, though the actual numbers are probably higher. The Commission did not have access to documents held by Brazil’s armed forces: the military claimed that relevant documents had been destroyed.
Despite Brazil’s 1979 amnesty law, the Commission recommended the prosecution of government and military leaders it says were responsible for crimes against humanity.
Brazil’s current president, Dilma Rousseff, was among those detained by the regime. She spent almost three years from 1970–73 imprisoned in São Paolo.