Day: December 21, 2019

Afghan official: Dozens of IS members surrounded, detained

KABUL — The Afghan government said Saturday it has arrested or surrounded up to 700 Islamic State group fighters and family members in eastern Afghanistan over the past six months.

The Afghan intelligence service, the National Deteriorate for Security, said at least 75 women and 159 children, most of them from foreign countries, are in custody.

There was no way to independently confirm that the prisoners the government presented to reporters are affiliated with the Islamic State group.

Most of the arrested IS members are from Pakistan, Jordan and Central Asian countries, said an NDS officer who asked that his name not be used as the rules of the agency don’t allow him to be identified.

As many as 277 foreigners are among the arrested militants, he said.

Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted earlier this month that IS in eastern Afghanistan has been weakened by operations carried out not just by the U.S. and Afghan forces, but by the Taliban as well.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said last week that President Donald Trump may announce an American troop drawdown from Afghanistan before the year’s end, which would likely begin next year.

Graham, speaking from the Afghan capital of Kabul, said the president could reduce troop numbers to 8,600, down from the current estimated 12,000.

The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law December 21, 2019 Off

DHS watchdog finds no wrongdoing in deaths of 2 migrant kids

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog found no wrongdoing or misconduct by immigration officials in the deaths of two migrant children last December.

The Inspector General for Homeland Security released statements Friday evening on the deaths of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin, who died Dec. 8, and Felipe Gómez Alonzo, who died Dec. 24. Both children had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border as crossings surged. Both died from bacterial infections.

At the time, lawmakers and immigrant advocates decried how the children had been treated in the hours before their deaths and called for an investigation.

The deaths pushed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to increase medical checks. But increasingly more family members would cross the border, overwhelming border facilities in the months after their deaths.

Border crossings are now down, in part because of Trump administration policies that sent tens of thousands of migrants over the border to wait out their cases in Mexico, and banned asylum for anyone who crossed through another country en route to the U.S.

Colleen Long, The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law December 21, 2019 Off

Amber Alert Cancelled In Alberta After Dad Surrenders 14-Month-Old Child

The RCMP logo is seen here in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. 

An Amber Alert was cancelled in northwest and central Alberta after a toddler abducted by his father near Hinton surrendered him to police.

Cody Armstrong, who was considered “armed and dangerous” is in custody, police said Friday evening. His vehicle was found back in his residence around Friday afternoon, after police first issued the alert around 2:30 a.m. The alert was called off around 7 p.m.

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By The Wall of Law December 21, 2019 Off