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January 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: africa

FBI: Premature to Conclude Motive of Machete Attack at Ohio Diner

columbus ohioBy Steve Neavling

The machete-wielding man who attacked diners at an Ohio restaurant was from Guinea, the FBI said.

But the bureau said it’s premature to discuss the motives behind the Thursday attack in Columbus, the Associated Press reports.

Mohamed Barry, 30, was shot and killed by a policeman.

Police said they contacted the local terrorism task force based on information about the registration of Berry’s car.

Four people were injured in the attack.

Secret Service Tough Guys? Agents Show Soft Side in Kenya Ahead of Clinton Visit

By Steve Neavling

Secret Service agents have come under heavy criticism over the past few years for reports of wild sex parties, drunken driving and other seedy behavior.

But that media attention often misses the positive side of the Secret Service.

While preparing for former president Bill Clinton’s visit to Nairobi, Kenya, several agents spotted children playing soccer with an empty milk jug and sprung to action, The Washington Post reports.

The agents bought new soccer balls, and since they didn’t want credit for it, they “gave the gifts to Clinton’s permanent detail and asked for the balls to be delivered to the school’s headmaster,” The Post wrote.

Clinton also was reportedly moved.

Other Stories of Interest

Parker: A Lesson in Civility from a “Developing” Nation

Ross Parker

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office
By Ross Parker

A recent trip with a dozen friends to Malawi in southeastern Africa provided much food for thought about the meaning of the character of a nation.

We were a group of well meaning but amateur voluntourists from a nation many consider to be the most advanced civilization in the world and we were traveling to one of the world’s poorest countries. Our objective was to help a rural village build a school but, along the way, we brought home some perplexing thoughts about our two countries’ value systems.

By any conventional and objective measurement, Malawi is a desperately poor people who have little educational opportunity, are largely undernourished, live a short life expectancy, and have limited health and medical care. They live on about a dollar a day. In the rural areas where 85% of the population lives, few have electricity or ready access to clean, running water.

What kind of reception could we from the Land of Conspicuous Consumption expect in such a place? Particularly in a time when Americans seem to be increasingly vilified around the world.

“We love you, Muzungus,” (Bantu for people of European descent) came the joyous cries of children in village after village as we traveled along the rutted dirt road to our project. Nor was this friendly reception limited to children. Adults out gutting a goat or tending a garden would pause, smile and wave to these strangers who had nothing to offer but a return wave.

After 17 days of this, we could only conclude that people in Malawi are just plain nice. Nice to each other, and nice to visitors whether they bear gifts or not.

This experience was disconcerting for Americans who are becoming increasingly accustomed to the erosion of civility in our daily lives. Let’s face it, in all walks of life in America people are less and less civil to each other.

On line discussions and transmissions are commonly vile. Most of us have tuned out politicians who would rather demonize than compromise. Bullying is a rite of passage in school. Rage on our roads, throats cut in business, rude customers, stressed out elementary children, drugs for recreation and anaesthetisation.

One day while we were shopping for supplies in the market of Mangochi, a medium sized city, I got separated from the Muzungu Bus. As I was wandering around, a young guy realized my plight, helped me on the back of his bicycle, and we toured around until we sighted my colleagues. I tried to give him a few kwacha but he just smiled, patted me on the back and pedaled off. Each of us could tell a dozen such stories of kindness.

That’s why they call their country the “Warm Heart of Africa.” I guess.

There is considerable debate about the benefits of these kinds of projects in “developing” Third World nations. No doubt there is a serious negative potential from those which are poorly conceived and without local control and participation.

But consider the phenomenon from a different perspective.

Countries like America which seem to be “developing” in the wrong direction need all the help we can get from civilizations that have learned that, even in the most difficult life circumstances, people can be polite, generous, and civil to each other.


FBI Director Comey Pledges to Continue Fighting Terrorism As Bureau’s Top Priority

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

 On the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks, FBI Director James Comey pledged to continue fighting terrorism as the bureau’s top priority, the Arizona Republic reports.

“We made a promise to the American people 13 years ago … that we would do everything we can to make sure that there was never an attack on American soil anywhere near as horrific as that,” Comey said during a press conference at the agency’s Phoenix headquarters. “So we’re about that obligation, keeping that promise every single day.”

The visit was part of Comey’s pledge to stop by all 56 field offices.

Comey said the threat of terrorism remains high.

Terrorism organizations to be concerned about are in North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean.

“It’s especially worrisome in Syria, where you have thousands and thousands of foreign terrorists fighting with groups like ISIL,” Comey said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.


FBI, CDC Investigating After TSA Agent Attacked with Syringe in Nigerian Airport

By Steve Neavling

 The FBI and CDC launched an investigation after someone attacked a federal air marshal with a syringe inside the Lagos, Nigeria airport on Sunday, Fox News reports.

The air marshal, who was on the public side of the airport, was injected with an unknown substance.

He and his team were whisked back to the U.S. with the syringe.

“The [air marshal] reported that the subject stuck him with a syringe and it is believed he was injected with an unknown substance,” according to an alert from the TSA. “After consultation with the consulate and physicians, the [federal air marshal] was given precautionary medication.”

An FBI spokesman added: “Out of an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted an on-scene screening of the victim when United Flight 143 landed in Houston early Monday morning. The victim did not exhibit any signs of illness during the flight and was transported to a hospital upon landing for further testing. None of the testing conducted has indicated a danger to other passengers.”

FBI Director James B. Comey Steadfast in Keeping Terrorism As Top Concern for Bureau

FBI photo

Steve Neavling

When James B. Comey became the FBI’s new director last year, many observers believed he’d usher in a new era at the bureau by shifting some of the focus away from terrorism.

But the New York Times reports that Comey, a former Justice Department prosecutor who focused on gun cases, appears to have underestimated the threat still posed by terrorism.

“I didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become,” Mr. Comey said, referring to offshoots of Al Qaeda in Africa and in the Middle East during an interview with the Times at the J. Edgar Hoover Building. “There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”

Comey said he therefore will keep terrorism as the main focus of the FBI.

President Obama appeared to indicate last year that the U.S. would move past terrorism soon and that “we have to recognize that the scale of the threat resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”



FBI Raids Home, Ministry of Popular Preacher Who Helps Rescue Kidnapped Children in Africa

Steve Neavling 

A well-known preacher who rescues kidnapped children in Africa is the subject of an FBI investigation after agents raided his home and ministry headquarters, CBN News reports.

Sam Childers, who last year won the Mother Teresa Humanitarian Award for his work, found out last week that agents combed through his house and ministry in Somerset County, PA.

“I was told they came in guns drawn and told everyone to put their hands in the air, patted everyone down,” Childers told CBN News.

“They made them all leave the building, put my daughter into a closed room and they started their search,” he continued. “We suspect that they were searching for things leading, showing that I’m smuggling arms to Africa and selling them, which is totally crazy.”

Childers said he’s uncertain why agents searched his places but said he did nothing wrong.

The FBI couldn’t be reached for comment.

A Friend Who Was a Victim of a Vicious Crime and the Rule of Law

 By Ross Parker

A friend named Carolyne was a victim of a vicious and brutal crime last week.

Such a crime is especially distressing when its victim is such a gifted and empathic

person who has dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of kids at risk.

Her advice and guidance have placed many children on the right path to productive lives.

This is not another Detroit crime story. Or even one that occurred in these United  States. It happened in Africa.

When I retired a few years ago, my Dad gave me some advice. “Don’t spend all of your time in pool halls.” He was joking because I never was very good at the game, but I have nevertheless attempted to follow his advice. This has led to meeting some amazing people, some here and some in other countries. Most of the time our interaction has had little to do with crime, but after three decades in the criminal justice business, it’s hard not to notice. Hence some columns on Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, as well as a bunch on the U.S. of A. This is another one.

Carolyne lives in a poor but peaceful country with a lot of good people, men and women, who are dedicated to improving the lives of their countrymen and women, and especially for the next generation. They are of different faiths, but they look up to America and are invariably friendly to visiting Americans.

But every nation has crime. It’s what is done in reaction to crime that matters.

Carolyne was attacked in her home by a gang of burglars and killers and badly beaten. The same group killed another woman earlier in the evening. The police were remarkably efficient and picked up one of the perpetrators in a short time.

After a session at the police station that satisfied the officers that they had the right guy, he was taken out to a field and killed.

The execution was not done by vigilantes or rogue cops. It was deliberately videotaped by law enforcement officers for their future use in presenting in graphic fashion the penalty for such crimes. The objective was deterrence, and it is hard to argue with its efficiency, at least when the police are right and the crime merits such a punishment.

Those who love Carolyne have mixed emotions about this ending. Mostly they are glad she is recovering and will hopefully soon be back at her school helping kids.

America has an imperfect criminal justice system, an unacceptably high crime rate, disparity and discrimination among similarly situated accused, and a sometimes tedious and laborious process of determining guilt or innocence.

 But whatever its imperfections, we have for over two centuries carved out the rule of law. And there are thousands of men and women who risk their lives daily to maintain and improve that rule of law. People who, in addition to doing their best to secure our safety, also protect the principle of every person’s right to a fair and meaningful day in court and a result that is reasoned and based on the law of this nation.

No criticism is intended of this African country. In fact, I am a great admirer of the country and its people. It would be presumptuous to moralize on an entirely different culture, with a different set of problems and a different history. I will leave to their citizens the judgment of how to protect the innocent and to punish the wrongdoers.

But I am reminded of the first time I stood outside the United States Department of Justice Building in Washington and read the inscription:

 No Free Government Can Survive that is not

Based on the Supremacy of the Law.

Where Law Ends, Tyranny Begins.

Law Alone Can Give us Freedom.