Articles on this Page
- 12/16/15--21:07: _San Bernardino Shoo...
- 12/16/15--10:09: _UConn Board of Trus...
- 12/16/15--14:11: _Worker Killed in Ac...
- 12/17/15--06:46: _'Talented', 'Absolu...
- 12/17/15--08:53: _Threat Against Ind....
- 12/17/15--07:45: _Syrian Engineer Sta...
- 12/17/15--14:09: _Steady Evening Rain...
- 12/17/15--10:22: _Disney, Universal, ...
- 12/17/15--05:14: _Fire Destroys Barn ...
- 12/17/15--16:01: _Muslim Student Repo...
- 12/17/15--11:12: _US Commandos Group ...
- 12/17/15--15:03: _Man Beaten With Bat...
- 12/17/15--11:48: _Ex-House Speaker Ha...
- 12/17/15--16:00: _Man Exposes Himself...
- 12/17/15--12:55: _Moore to Trump: We ...
- 12/18/15--01:49: _Forever 21 Pays $10...
- 12/17/15--13:45: _Man Indicted in Mur...
- 12/17/15--08:16: _ISIS Fighters Launc...
- 12/17/15--23:25: _CA Man Accused of A...
- 12/17/15--15:23: _U.N. Moves to Disru...
- 12/16/15--21:07: San Bernardino Shooters Buried
- 12/16/15--10:09: UConn Board of Trustees Approves 4-Year Tuition Hike Plan
- 12/16/15--14:11: Worker Killed in Accident at Naugatuck High
- 12/17/15--06:46: 'Talented', 'Absolute Leader': Putin Praises Trump
- 12/17/15--08:53: Threat Against Ind. Schools Leads to Lockdowns in Plainfield
- 12/17/15--07:45: Syrian Engineer Starts Over in U.S. With $450K Gift
- 12/17/15--14:09: Steady Evening Rain, Dry Tomorrow
- 12/17/15--10:22: Disney, Universal, SeaWorld Adding Metal Detectors at Theme Parks
- 12/17/15--05:14: Fire Destroys Barn in Middletown
- 12/17/15--16:01: Muslim Student Reports Harassment at CCSU
- 12/17/15--11:12: US Commandos Group Ordered Out of Libya
- 12/17/15--15:03: Man Beaten With Bat at the Hyatt House Hotel in Shelton
- 12/17/15--11:48: Ex-House Speaker Hastert Recovering From Stroke
- 12/17/15--16:00: Man Exposes Himself to Women Near Starbucks: Police
- 12/17/15--12:55: Moore to Trump: We Are All Muslim
- 12/18/15--01:49: Forever 21 Pays $100K in Penalties for Westfarms Mall Store
- 12/17/15--13:45: Man Indicted in Murder for Hire Scheme Over $150,000 Debt
- 12/17/15--08:16: ISIS Fighters Launch 17-Hour Assault on Kurds
- 12/17/15--23:25: CA Man Accused of Aiding Terrorists
- 12/17/15--15:23: U.N. Moves to Disrupt ISIS' Money Supply
Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the shooters in the San Bernardino terror attack, were buried in Southern California Tuesday afternoon, representatives for Farook’s family confirmed.
Both David Chesley and Mohammad Abuershaid, attorneys for the Farook family, declined to give the exact location of where they were buried.
Farook, 28, and his wife, Malik, 27, killed 14 people and injured 21 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, where Farook's colleagues with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health were renting space for a celebration on Dec. 2.
Tashfeen Malik (left) and Syed Rizwan Farook (seen in a California DMV photo) are suspected in a South California shooting rampage that left 14 dead and 22 injured on Wednesday, December 2, 2015.
It’s finals week at UConn, but many students have other stresses as the university's Board of Trustees voted to approve a four-year tuition hike plan.
UConn’s chief financial officer made a recommendation to the Board of Trustees to increase tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students and the board has voted to approved it.
“It’s high enough already. It’s just going to add to the level of stress for the students. We don’t need it,” Ciara Hamilton, a sophomore at UConn, said.
The increases under the plan are gradual, spread out over a four year span, starting in the fall of 2016. This marks the second four-year scale tuition hike Uconn has ever done as oppose to voting on it every year and it's the first time the university is increasing tuition by specific dollar amounts instead of percentages.
It will last until spring of 2020. The plan was addressed in two town hall gatherings on campus before Wednesday's trustee meeting, according to a release on UConn's website.
“UConn is committed to affordability, accessibility, and remaining attractive to students and their families. UConn is an exceptional value for Connecticut students and will continue to be,” Scott Jordan, UConn’s executive vice president for administration and chief financial officer, told trustees in his memo about the plan. “It is important to note that both now and at the conclusion of the proposed four-year plan, it will continue to cost a Connecticut student attending UConn a fraction of what it would cost that student to attend any of UConn’s competitors.”
UConn officials said there have been significant cuts in state support and the school has a projected deficit of $40 million, however UConn President Susan Herbst said that university officials aren't complaining and said that the "state has invested greatly in UConn over the last two decades."
Our state’s leadership has been incredibly supportive of UConn, and I believe they would invest more in higher education, if the resources were there to do so. When it comes to UConn’s finances going forward, we’re not facing an either/or question," Herbst said in part in a statement on Wednesday. "The reality is that we need to increase tuition and cut costs simultaneously in order to generate the resources needed to protect academic quality and student outcomes."
The increase is expected to generate $12.8 in the first year to help close that gap in 2016-17, UConn officials said. The remaining $27.4 shortfall will be dealt with through cuts, restrictive hiring, operational efficiencies and other methods deemed necessary that won't affect the academic quality at UConn.
No university strengthens academics by slashing academic budgets. No university supports positive student outcomes by having fewer faculty, bigger classes, or reduced financial aid," Herbst said. "That is what we are seeking to avoid."
UConn tuition is $10,524 annually and $32,066 every year for out-of-state students. By the end of the four years in-state students will paying $3,200 more and out-of-state students will be paying $4,400 more. That's about $700 more for in-state students in the fall, $775 more by 2017-18, $850 in 2018-19 and $950 in 2019-20. For out-of-state and international students tuition will increase by $950 in 2016-17, $1,050 in 2017-18, $1,150 by 2018-19 and $1,250 in 2019-20.
“I think tuition is high enough as it is. A lot of students I already know who don’t get financial aid are struggling with loans and everything to pay for it. I think if anything UConn should work at reducing tuition rather than increasing it." Sadiya Saulet, a freshman, said.
Students say when costs keep rising, it’s a deterrent to even attend college and they’d like to see more state funds
“I don’t think they should cut any problems to be honest with you. I think the state should actually weigh the importance of education, drive students to the school because that’s what’s going to make our state great," Matt Gerst, a senior, said.
State officials are also weighing in on the tuition hike plan. Stat Sen. John Kissel (R-Enfield) was critical of it.
“This is so disappointing. The middle-class is vanishing and under huge financial stress, not qualifying for aid and being priced out of UConn, my beloved alma mater,” Sen. Kissel said in a written statement. “Who is getting a 7% raise this year or a 31% over the next 4 years? No one is fighting for the middle class and it breaks my heart. The trustees just gave thousands of great Connecticut kids a huge lump of coal.”
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Police are investigating after construction worker for a company subcontracted to remove trees was killed in an accident at Naugatuck High School on Wednesday.
Naugatuck police, firefighters and ambulance personnel responded to the accident involving construction equipment in the upper high school student parking lot on Millville Avenue at about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday Naugatuck police said on Facebook.
"The worker was removed from the piece of equipment he was operating," Lt. Bryan Cammarata with the Naugatuck police said. "It appeared that he was crushed in the machine. The circumstances leading up to that are something that we’re still looking at so we don’t have a lot of answers to that at this time."
A 32-year-old worker involved was injured and transported to a hospital, but later died.
The company employing the worker was subcontracted for tree removal services, police said.
The lot is near Lorann Drive and is owned by the Borough of Naugatuck.
The worker's identity hasn't been released at this time.
Police said it wouldn't affect students being able to remove their cars after school ended.
Naugatuck police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the fatal construction accident.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
A 32-year-old worker was crushed and died in an excavation machine while doing tree removal work at Naugatuck High School on Wednesday.
Russia's Vladimir Putin described Donald Trump on Thursday as "talented," and said the real estate mogul is an "absolute leader" in the Republican race for the White House, NBC News reported.
Speaking to reporters after his annual three-hour televised news conference, Putin welcomed the GOP front-runner's stance on relations with Moscow.
"He is a bright personality, a talented person, no doubt about it," Putin said. "It is not up to us to appraise his positive sides, it is up to the U.S. voters. But, as we can see, he is an absolute leader in the presidential race."
Putin added: "He is saying that he wants to move to a different level of relations with Russia, to a closer, deeper one. How can we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome that."
Photo Credit: AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015.
Two schools in Plainfield were locked down Thursday morning for a threat that was actually aimed a schools in Indiana.
Plainfield High School and Shepard Hill Elementary School were locked down at 8:30 a.m. after police received a call from Vernon police about a potential threat against Plainfield High School.
The threat, which was posted on social media, made references to someone opening fire and setting pipe bombs throughout the school, according to police.
Officers were immediately dispatched to schools across the town and the high school and Shepard Hill were placed into lockdown.
With the help of Vernon police and South Windsor police, investigators determined the threat was actually re-posted by someone in South Windsor, Plainfield contacted the FBI, which confirmed the original threat was aimed at Plainfield High School in Plainfield, Indiana and Danville, Indiana.
After learning the threats were not intended for Plainfield High School in Connecticut, the lockdowns were lifted, police said.
South Windsor police are investigating the re-post of the original threat, but said it appears the person in South Windsor didn't actually make any of the threats himself.
The cancer-stricken Syrian civil engineer who touched hearts as "The Scientist" on the Humans of New York blog flew to Troy, Michigan, with four of his children as part of a United Nations refugee resettlement program on Thursday.
When told that a Hollywood star had helped raise $450,000 for him, the engineer told NBC News, "I didn't hear about it, but I want to thank him very much from the humanity perspective." Oscar-nominated actor Edward Norton was moved to tears after reading the refugee's biography on the photography site last week and launched the fundraiser.
The Scientist, who asked NBC News to refer to him as "Abu Ammar" to protect family in Syria, said his life was shattered by a bomb that killed his wife and daughter just under three years ago. He was later diagnosed with stomach cancer, and has had to care for five remaining children. For about two years, the family had been living close to destitution in Turkey.
Abu Ammar said he didn't know anything about the debate over Muslims and immigration raging in the U.S. and he didn't have a solution to the war raging in his home country, but said "as long as there are good people in the world, and everyone looks into his or her conscience, then we can stop this bloodshed."
Photo Credit: NBC News
"Abu Ammar," a Syrian refugee became known as "The Scientist" whose story of love, loss and endurance on the Humans of New York blog moved people around the world.
Steady rain is falling across Connecticut and it will continue through the evening.
A cold front comes through around midnight and it will usher in change for the weekend.
Tomorrow will feature some sun mixed with clouds, with temperatures in the 40s. There can be a sprinkle.
This weekend will feature the coldest air so far this season, though it will be very short-lived.
Mostly cloudy skies on Saturday could produce a flurry in the hill towns, and temperatures will range from the middle 30s to lower 40s.
Sunday is the brighter weekend day and it will be warmer. High temperatures will range from upper 30s in the hills to middle 40s on the shoreline.
It looks unsettled early next week, but that won't stop temperatures from rising. Temperatures will be near 50 on Tuesday with cloudy skies. There's a chance for rain.
Rain is likely on Wednesday as temperatures rocket into the lower 60s. Keep in mind, inland averages next week are only in the upper 30s!
Lower and middle 60s are possible on Christmas Eve with a blend of clouds and sunshine.
For a complete preview of the weather for the week of Christmas, click here.
Disney, Universal and SeaWorld are installing metal detectors and beefing up other security measures at theme parks in Florida and California, the companies said Thursday.
"We continually review our comprehensive approach to security and are implementing additional security measures, as appropriate," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement Thursday morning.
Those measures include metal detectors, which are already in place at Disney World in Orlando, NBC affiliate WESH reports. According to Disney, guests will be selected at random "for a secondary screening using a metal detector."
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, will also implement metal detectors, officials said. Park spokeswoman Suzi Brown told NBC Los Angeles the changes were made after a security review.
Disney said it has added other "visible and non-visible security measures" over the past few weeks, including uniformed law enforcement personnel and specially trained dogs. Parks will also stop selling toy guns, and guests ages 14 and older will no longer be allowed to wear costumes.
The Universal Orlando Resort in Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood in California are also testing metal detectors, according to the company.
"We want our guests to feel safe when they come here. We've long used metal detection for special events, such as Halloween Horror Nights. This test is a natural progression for us as we study best practices for security in today's world," said Tom Schroeder of Universal Orlando.
SeaWorld Orlando is following suit and said guests "can also expect thorough bag checks as well as metal detector checks" upon entering the park.
"The safety of our guests and team members along with the welfare of our animals have always been our top priority. Like other major attractions and venues, we continually evaluate our existing comprehensive security plans. We are enhancing security measures for the busy holiday season, including increased security presence both inside and outside the parks," SeaWorld said in a statement Thursday.
All three companies emphasized that the measures are precautionary and not in response to any specific threat or concern.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/File
People watch a show on stage in front of Cinderella's castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
At least four fire departments responded to a barn fire in Middletown on Thursday morning.
The fire broke out around 5 a.m. in a barn at 416 Atkins Street.
No one was in the barn at the time of the fire and no one was hurt, according to fire officials.
The blaze was put out in about an hour, but the barn was destroyed.
The cause is still under investigation.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
At least four fire departments responded to a barn fire in Middletown on Thursday morning.
The president of Central Connecticut State University has sent a message to students and faculty after a Muslim student complained she was harassed at the school.
The student reported on Tuesday that she was verbally harassed. CCSU police and the school's Officer of Diversity and Equity are working with the student, according to Dr. Jack Miller.
"I want to say clearly that such harassment is totally unacceptable and contrary to everything that we as a university sand for," Miller said in a statement posted on the CCSU Department of Psychological Science Facebook page.
The student told a professor that a week before Thanksgiving, she was walking to her car on campus and she believed she heard two men say "killer" and that she thought the comment was directed at her because she was wearing a hijab, according to a university spokesperson. It was unclear if the men were students.
When the student told the professor of the incident, the professor emailed CCSU administrators, who contacted CCSU police and the Office of Diversity and Equity.
Miller said the university is a place that is welcoming and supportive of all who work and study there.
"At a time when anti-Muslim rhetoric has become so loud and pernicious in our country, we should especially embrace our Muslim colleagues and students and let them know that they are safe, welcome, and valued here," Miller said in the statement.
He urged anyone who experienced or witnessed any type of harassment to call CCSU Police, the Office of Diversity and Equity or Student Affairs.
A group of U.S. commandos were ordered to leave Libya shortly after landing Monday due to a possible mix-up between the Libyan air force and army, U.S. and Libyan officials said Thursday.
Senior U.S. defense officials confirmed the incident to NBC News after the Libyan Air Force posted pictures to its Facebook page appearing to show the group of U.S. Special Operations Forces at one of its air bases.
One U.S. defense official suggested the group was asked to leave because of a lack of communication between the base in Wattiya and the Libyan forces who would normally "engage" with the American advisers.
The revelation comes the same day Libya's rival parliaments signed a United Nations-sponsored deal to form a government in the country, which has been in turmoil since the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
Photo Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images
This file photo shows Libya near Tripoli.
A man was beaten with a bat at the Hyatt House Hotel in Shelton.
When police arrived to the scene they found the bloodied victim on the floor of the hotel's parking lot before the suspect fled.
Police arrested Chadwick Adams, 28, of Pleasantville, New Jersey 15 minute later on the Merritt Parkway.
Adams followed his wife to the hotel in Shelton from New Jersey and confronted her with another man. When an argument ensued, Adams began striking the man several times with a bat, according to Shelton police.
The victim is currently hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
Adams was charged with assault, carrying a dangerous weapon, reckless endangerment, breach of peace and criminal mischief. He is being held on a $100,000 bond and schedule to appear in court on Dec. 18.
It is not clear if Adams has an attorney.
Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is recovering in the hospital after he suffered a stroke while awaiting sentencing in a federal hush money case, his attorney confirmed Thursday.
Attorney Thomas Green said in a statement that Hastert was admitted to the hospital in the last week of November.
"Mr. Hastert has suffered a stroke and has been treated for Sepsis. While in the hospital two surgeries on his back were performed," Green said. "We are hopeful that Mr. Hastert will be released from the hospital in the early part of the new year. The family very much desires that during Mr. Hastert’s continued hospitalization his privacy will be respected.”
A letter recently written to the judge in Hastert’s hush-money trial indicated that he had been hospitalized.
The note written on the former speaker’s behalf reads: "In light of his recent hospital stay, I would hope that probation in lieu of confinement would be considered.”
The Associated Press reported in July 2006 that Hastert was hospitalized for cellulitis, a skin condition.
Hastert is due to be sentenced in February for making illegal bank withdrawals, reportedly in an effort to cover up sexual misconduct against a student when he was a high school coach.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
A man has been arrested for exposing his genitalia to women in a Starbucks parking lot in North Haven, police said.
Gary Germaine, 59, of New Britain was arrested on Thursday for indecent exposure.
In September, three women reported walking to their car from the Starbucks on Washington Avenue when a man quickly backed his 2004 Hyundai Sonata into the space next to them. All the women noticed the man intentionally showing them his genitals before taking off, police said.
Germaine has been charged with public indecency and breach of peace. It is not clear if he has a lawyer.
Photo Credit: North Haven Police
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has written an open letter condemning Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.
Before posting the message on his Facebook page Wednesday night, Moore stood outside the Trump Tower in New York City Wednesday holding a sign that said "We are all Muslim." He was forced to leave after police arrived, Moore said on Twitter.
In his letter, the activist recalled their first encounter in the green room of an unnamed talk show in 1989, when the self-described "tough from Queens seemed like a fraidey-cat."
"The producer says you're worried I might say or do something to you during the show. Hey, no offense, but I barely know who you are," he wrote in the post, adding that he remembered thinking what a "wuss" Trump was.
Moore described Trump's recent anti-Muslim statements, made in "desperation and insanity," as something that arises out of fear, a reminder that ol' "Donny" is still a wuss.
"You are frightened by a bogeyman who is out to get you," he said. "That bogeyman, in your mind, are all Muslims. Not just the ones who have killed, but ALL MUSLIMS.
The Oscar winner reminded Trump that today's America is no longer a country of "angry white guys" and noted that the future U.S. president will be chosen by a more diverse electorate — voters that "fortunately" no longer looks like Trump or his supporters.
Earlier this month, the current frontrunner among the Republican candidates seeking the party nomination for the presidency, called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" during a campaign rally in South Carolina amid a string of terror attacks in Paris and in California.
Moore appealed to Trump to exit the race "so we can elect a real president who is both compassionate and strong -- at least strong enough not to be all whiny and scared of some guy in a ballcap (sic) from Michigan sitting next to him on a talk show couch," he quipped.
"You're not so tough, Donny," Moore wrote.
The "Fahrenheit 9/11" director has also launched a social media campaign called #WeAreAllMuslim, asking users to post a photo of themselves on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, holding a "We Are All Muslim" sign in solidarity with the Muslim community.
"I will post all the photos on my site and send them to you, Mr. Trump. Feel free to join us," Moore wrote.
In this file photo, filmmaker Michael Moore attends the Centerpiece Gala Premiere of Dog Eat Dog Films' "Where to Invade Next" during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi at the Egyptian Theatre on November 7, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
Retailer Forever 21 has agreed to pay $100,000 in penalties and to correct the safety hazards at its Westfarms Mall store in Farmington, Connecticut, the U.S. Department of Labor announced on Thursday.
Forever 21 will pay $100,000 to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after it inspected the Farmington store in May 2015.
OSHA found boxes were stacked over 10 feet tall that could fall over and injure an employee. The boxes were stacked in an "unstable" manner while blocking exit routes for employees, OSHA found.
“While the settlement resolves this case, it also sends a message to Forever 21 and other retailers, either stand-alone businesses or multiple-store enterprises, that it’s their responsibility under the law to take effective steps to protect employees at their establishments, wherever located, against these hazards,” said Michael Felsen, the regional solicitor of labor for New England.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
A man who owed a restaurant manager $150,000 has been indicted with orchestrating a murder for hire scheme, the U.S. attorney's office announced on Thursday.
Larry Talledo-Torrejon, 29, a citizen of Peru residing in Stamford, attempted to purchase a restaurant for $300,000 but gave the manager $150,000 in personal bank checks with insufficient funds, the attorney's office said in a release. Talledo-Torrejon directed a person who owed him $5,000 to follow the manager to his New York home and murder him. In exchange for the murder, Talledo-Torrejon said he would absolve the man of the $5,000 debt and pay him an additional $5,000 in cash.
The individual then contacted police to tell them about Talledo-Torrejon scheme. The individual told Talledo-Torrejon that he had kidnapped the restaurant manager and was holding him hostage.
Talledo-Torrejon informed the individual of his debt with the restaurant owner and also suggested that the pair could start a business kidnapping and extorting people for money, the release said.
In early December, Talledo-Torrejon falsely told Stamford police that the restaurant manager had stolen $150,000 from him. He was arrested after he provided the presumed murderer with $500 in partial payment for the murder of the manager, the release said.
The charge for murder for hire carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.
Talledo-Torrejon has been detained since his arrest. It is not clear if he has an attorney.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Hundreds of heavily-armed ISIS militants launched a 17-hour assault on Kurdish forces in Iraq, said Gen. Mark Odom, the most senior coalition officer in the area.
U.S.-led airstrikes helped stop the coordinated attack, which involved assaults on peshmerga forces in three locations to the north and east of the northern city of Mosul on Wednesday, Odom said, NBC News reported.
Between 80 and 120 ISIS fighters took part in each assault, using vehicles with machine guns, truck bombs and suicide bombers.
The Pentagon press corps traveling to the region with Defense Secretary Ash Carter Carter was briefed overnight on the operation.
Photo Credit: AP
This undated file image posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the Islamic State group marching in Raqqa, Syria.
A federal grand jury has indicted a 22-year-old Fremont web developer with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, though the young man told authorities he only wanted to move away to help Muslim refugees overseas.
"Adam is innocent," Shafi's attorneys said about their client, Adam Shafi, in a statement. "There is no evidence that he was planning to do anything but fly to Istanbul, which is where he had been the year before for two days where he attempted to help the refugees and returned home."
The complaint, which was also unsealed on Thursday, alleges that Shafi tried to provide "personnel" to al-Nusrah Front, or ANF, an organization designated by the Department of State as a terrorist organization. Shafi was arrested on July 3 at San Francisco International Airport on his way to Turkey, a fact that was not publicized until Thursday.
United States Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim in San Francisco set Shafi's bail hearing for Dec. 22 after the Mission San Jose High 2011 graduate entered a plea of not guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors are not charging Shafi with any violent acts. Rather they allege links to possible terrorist associates, alleged allegiances to a terrorist group, and describe what the FBI calls "suspicious" activities, like exercising in his Fremont neighborhood in what an agent described as a "paramilitary style."
Legal analyst Steven Clark, who used to be a prosecutor and now does defense, said the publicity of this arrest on Thursday is directly linked to the terrorism in San Bernardino, where a radicalized Muslim couple killed 14 innocent people.
"The government wants the public to know, 'We got this,'" Clark said. "But there's a huge leap the government has to make between someone being interested in a terrorist group and proving they wanted to participate in it. I think the government wants to tell the public, 'Stay away from this. Do not participate, or you'll get arrested.'"
The complaint details how Shafi allegedly loved the "nuanced" and "less bloodthirsty" approach to jihad, and how he hung out with several unnamed friends who were sympathetic to the worldwide plight of Muslims. The complaint states that Shafi denounced ISIL for "killing indiscriminately," but supported his "love" for "Jaulani, the amir of the ANF.
Shafi's family emailed NBC Bay Area a statement Thursday afternoon: "We have watched him [Adam] grow over the years into a very kind and loving adult. He is simple in his approach, a helper of mankind, and actively works with the homeless and less fortunate across the bay area. All who know Adam understand that the charges brought against him are not at all a part of his character. His family and friends love him and are hopeful that Adam will be cleared and able to come home soon."
The family declined to speak publicly, but nearby, Rakesh Sharma, told NBC Bay Area that the family seemed "perfect," though he had noticed FBI agents around the neighborhood in the recent past.
Shafi, who is in custody, told the FBI when he was stopped at SFO on June 30, that he was on his way overseas to help refugees. When asked if he was traveling to Turkey to become a fighter, he answered, "No," the complaint states.
However, later, the FBI listened to a phone call where Shafi told his friends, "Friggen (sic) hell, what do you think I'm going to say, yes?"
The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Santa Clara was aware of the case and had no comment.
Federal authorities charged another man with terrorism-related activities Thursday. Enrique Marquez, a former neighbor of the couple who killed 14 in San Bernardino this month, faces three charges, including conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook to commit terrorism – the first charges filed in the San Bernardino plot that went undetected by terrorism investigators.
In Shafi's case, the FBI affidavit alleges that Shafi was stopped at SFO for questioning as he was about to board a non-stop flight to Istanbul, Turkey. That country is a "common point of entry into Syria for foreign fighters hoping to join terrorist organizations such as ANF and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)," the affidavit states.
Shafi had a one-way ticket and was acting "suspiciously," according to the complaint. When he was stopped by agents, Shafi said he no longer wanted to live in the United States, and he disapproved of gay marriage, listing just one of the reasons he wanted to live in a country with people who thought like himself, the complaint states.
The affidavit details a number of alleged telephone conversations Shafi had with his friends in the days and weeks leading up to his trip and his willingness to "die with them," his hope that "Allah doesn’t take [his] soul until [he has] at least, like, a couple gallons of blood that [he’s] spilled for him," his fear of meeting Allah "when [his] face has no scars on it," and his progress in saving enough money for his trip, the affidavit alleges.
The complaint states that Shafi's family had been worried about him since at least last summer, during a trip to Egypt.
His father reported Shafi's disappearance in August 2014 to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The family had gone there for a family trip and Shafi had taken off without telling anyone where he was going. He sent a text message to one of his relatives saying he had gone to "protect Muslims," the father told authorities.
His father explained that he was afraid his son had been recruited and that it was important to find him quickly to prevent him from "doing harm to himself or others," according to the 18-page complaint written by FBI agent Christopher Monika.
Shafi's father worried that his son may have traveled to Syria, Iraq, Gaza or elsewhere to "defend Muslims," the complaint states. Shafi's father was disturbed because his son was "always grieving about what is happening to Muslims," documents states. His father also worried that his son may have been following extreme imams online, and that some of his "high school friends were of the same mindset."
But at some point that week, Shafi's father notified the embassy that his son had returned to them in Egypt and they were soon headed back to the United States, according to the complaint.
After they returned in September 2014, FBI agents interviewed Shafi back at home, where he told authorities that he and his friend flew to Istanbul to "see the condition of the refugees from Syria firsthand" and help them, the complaint states. He didn't tell his family, he told the agents, because he knew they wouldn't want him to go.
He had been traveling and communicating with an individual known in court documents only as A.N., who had listed cryptic messages about "possible entry points" to a river that separates Syria and Turkey in an email. Other friends identified only with initials were also mentioned in the court documents.
In December 2014, FBI agents secretly watched Shafi leading his two younger brothers in "paramilitary style" exercises, including calisthenics and crawling through the mud in Fremont, the complaint states. "Adam appeared to take the training more seriously than his younger brothers did," the complaint states.
This week, NBC Bay Area learned that an accused high-level terrorist, Armin Harcevic, and five other defendants accused of supplying money and equipment to terrorist fighters, including the Islamic State, had been housed for a time in Santa Clara County's main jail. When Harcevic was housed there is unclear.
Shafi is not the first Bay Area resident to be charged with terrorism.
In 2013, the FBI arrested 28-year-old Matthew Adam Llaneza of San Jose for being part of an Oakland bank "bomb plot."
Still, Llaneza was sentenced to 15 years in prison last year after striking a deal with prosecutors.
NBC Bay Area's Jessica Aguirre and Michelle Roberts contributed to this report.
Photo Credit: Mission San Jose High School
A 2010 yearbook photo of Adam Shafi, who graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont in 2011, a spokesperson for Fremont Unified School District confirmed.
The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday aimed at disrupting revenue that ISIS gets from oil and antiquities sales, human trafficking, shakedowns and other criminal activities, NBC News reported.
The updates require United Nation member countries to move more forcefully to stem ISIS's funding sources, freeze the assets and travel of ISIS members, and share information about the group's support networks.
But the finance ministers stressed that the measures means little without the individual nations working to identify and target ISIS operations within their borders and enlisting the participation of banks and other private financial institutions. ISIS still relies on access to the international financial system, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who chaired the meeting, said.
Photo Credit: AP
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, right, addresses the United Nations Security Council, as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, left, and U.S. U.N Ambassador Samantha Power, upper left, listen, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Finance ministers from the 15 nations on the U.N. Security Council are meeting, to adopt a resolution aimed at disrupting the outside revenue that the Islamic State extremist group gets from selling oil and antiquities, from ransom payments and other criminal activities.