Desk Roundup

Lisa’s desk

FBI: Ft. Lauderdale attacker says he acted on behalf of ISIS

Esteban Santiago, the alleged shooter who killed five people at the Fort Lauderdale airport has reportedly told the FBI that he carried it out for the Islamic State, Michael Ferlazzo, FBI special agent, said under oath at a hearing Tuesday. Santiago was denied bond. Santiago, 26, an Iraq War veteran, opened fire at a baggage claim area at the Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport Jan. 6 where he had recently gotten off a flight and began shooting people at random. Promptly after the attack, federal agents in Alaska reported that Santiago had visited their office claiming that he was hearing voices and that the CIA was controlling his mind and forcing him to watch ISIS propaganda videos. Yet, FBI agent Ferlazzo said Santiago did not refer to these claims during a six-hour interrogation just after the shooting. Santiago also admitted to FBI officials that he


Majority of Paris attackers entered Europe posing as refugees

Seven of the nine ISIS jihadis who launched a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last November entered Europe by posing as refugees. The attackers were part of a group of 14 who plotted their way into Western Europe by riding the wave of the migrant crisis last year, according to Hungarian security officials. By using fake Syrian passports, many of the attackers, already on European terror watch-lists, were able to slip back into Europe undetected, along with thousands of other refugees. One hundred and thirty people were killed in November when a group of gunmen and suicide bombers launched a wave of attacks across Paris, targeting the Bataclan concert hall, the Stade De France and several restaurants and bars. Three hundred sixty-eight people were also injured in the attacks, almost 100 of them seriously. Some of the remaining terrorists in the group

Human Rights

U.S. State Dept. “troubled” by 18-year sentence handed down to U.S. citizen in Iran

The U.S. is "troubled" by reports of an 18-year sentence handed down to a dual U.S.-Iranian national, a State Department official told The Foreign Desk. "We are troubled by reports that Robin (or Reza) Shahini, a person reported to be a U.S. citizen, may have been convicted and sentenced to eighteen years in prison. We reaffirm our calls on Iran to respect and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, cease arbitrary and politically-motivated detentions and ensure fair and transparent judicial proceedings in all criminal prosecutions consistent with its law and international obligations," the State Department said. Earlier story: An Iranian court has sentenced a dual-citizen American Iranian man to 18 years in prison for allegedly ‘collaborating with a foreign government’ and for posts he published on his social media page, his family members told The Foreign