Two women charged with kidnapping offences after woman found in boot


“It appears to be just personal violence related,” he said on Sunrise. “We are still following up inquiries… but that is what the early indications are that I have been told.”

Police were alerted to the incident after the truck driver called Triple Zero about 11.30am on Wednesday from the Hume Highway at Pheasants Nest.

Patrol officers set up in different positions along the highway and police stopped the car, a white Holden Commodore, about 45 kilometres south in Berrima at 11.50am.

The woman in the boot, 24, was found suffering multiple stab wounds to her knee, thigh and forearm but had non-life-threatening injuries. She was transported to Liverpool Hospital, where she assisted police with inquiries.

Chief Inspector Bernie told 2GB the woman had a “fair amount of blood on her”. “I think very thankful she was found by police,” he said.

Police are still investigating where the two women were planning to take the third woman.

But Chief Inspector Bernie said police had been told that all three women first met up at a place in Claymore, in south-west Sydney, on Tuesday evening. “Sometime yesterday morning she was stabbed and placed in the boot,” he said.

“We’ll be alleging she was in the car for several hours before she was sighted… We’ve got a few more investigative steps to take.”

He told Sunrise that the woman was “holding up remarkably well”. “She is still in hospital. We are expecting her to undergo surgery on the wounds to her legs and forearm,” he said.

“But it is certainly unusual and insanely good work done by both the motorist who was very observant in finding and seeing the hand, calling Triple Zero and by our Highway Patrol officers who picked up the car a short time later.”

Police arrested Ms Henderson and Ms Ketley and took them to the Southern Highlands police station where they were charged with a number of offences on Wednesday night. Chief Inspector Bernie said they complied with police inquiries.

Both women have been charged with wounding a person with the intent of causing grievous bodily harm, kidnapping offences, and taking and driving a car without the consent of its owner.

Ms Henderson was also charged with driving a vehicle without a license, while Ms Ketley was charged with driving a vehicle while disqualified and drug possession.

Chief Inspector Bernie on Wednesday described it as “a terrible incident”. “It’s very rare that police have intercepted it in the process, so to speak. We’re just happy no one was killed or seriously injured,” he said.

Ms Henderson was a close friend of teenager Brayden Dillon, who was killed in a revenge execution in 2017. “He was a really good friend of mine. It’s so hard to accept the fact that he’s gone,” she told media at the time.

The two women were refused bail and will appear in Picton Local Court on Thursday.

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Opinion | Why Is Iran Kidnapping and Executing Dissidents?


And then in 1988, six leading public figures and dissident intellectuals were murdered in Tehran. Many more killings were revealed over time and the murders came to be remembered as “the chain murders.”

Tehran’s nasty habit of assassinating critics and opponents at home and abroad seemed to have been reined in around 1997 after Iran faced international blowback for the killings and the subsequent election of a reformist president.

In 1992 Iranian agents killed Sadegh Sharafkandi, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, at a Greek restaurant in Berlin, where he was meeting Ingvar Carlsson, the former prime minister of Sweden, and Mona Sahlin, the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party. The Swedish leaders had to cancel at the last minute, which may have saved their lives. Germans vigorously investigated and prosecuted the case, which led to a landmark ruling by a German court in April 1997, and international arrest warrants were issued against top Iranian regime officials including Ayatollah Khomeini.

A few months later, in August 1997, Mohammad Khatami, a reformist cleric, was elected president with a large popular backing and a mandate for change. Tehran sought to present a new face to the world; the assassination program was reined in. Iran’s energized reformists and reinvigorated press pressured the regime to investigate the assassinations. Eighteen intelligence operatives, who were described by Tehran as “rogue agents,” responsible for the murders, were put on trial. Three operatives were sentenced to death.

In the following years, dozens of opposition media outlets opened outside Iran, and exiled dissidents like myself didn’t fear for our lives in Europe and North America anymore. Mr. Zam’s abduction and execution is among several recent incidents that is forcing Iranian dissidents living overseas to reconsider the threat to their lives.

On Dec. 17, Turkey released video footage and documents exposing how Iranian authorities collaborated with drug gangs to kidnap Habib Chabi, an Iranian-Swedish activist for Iran’s Arab minority. Mr. Chabi was lured to Istanbul for a rendezvous with a female agent posing as a potential lover. He was kidnapped from Istanbul, smuggled across the border to Iran and put on trial there. He faces execution. A California-based member of an Iranian militant opposition group-in-exile, Jamshid Sharmahd, was abducted from Dubai in July.

Tehran seems to have revived its old tactics, and the timing of Mr. Zam’s execution within weeks of President-elect Joe Biden’s win and his desire to rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal raises questions about the motives.

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Russian state investigators open criminal case over kidnapping of Chechen teen last seen in humiliation video




The Gelendzhik branch of the Russian Investigative Committee in Krasnodar Krai has launched a criminal investigation into the reported kidnapping of Salman Tepsurkayev. The 19-year-old moderator of the Chechen opposition Telegram channel 1ADAT was last seen being tortured and humiliated in a video circulated online in September 2020.

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Boko Haram claims kidnapping of Nigeria school students in north


Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadist rebels have claimed responsibility for the abduction of hundreds of students in one of the largest attacks in years on a boys’ school in northern Katsina state.

More than 330 students are missing from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara after gunmen with assault rifles attacked their school Friday night.

The government and the attackers are negotiating over the fate of the boys, according to Nigerian presidential spokesman Garba Shehu.

“The kidnappers had made contact and discussions were already on, pertaining to the safety and return” of the children to their homes, said Shehu on Twitter on Tuesday. He gave no information about the identity of the abductors.

The Daily Nigerian said it received an audio message from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau saying that his group abducted the schoolboys because Western education is against the tenets of Islam.

“What happened in Katsina was done to promote Islam and discourage un-Islamic practices as Western education is not the type of education permitted by Allah and his Holy Prophet,” the paper quoted Shekau as saying.

There has been no independent verification of the audio message but Shekau has in the past released video and audio messages on Boko Haram’s behalf.

Katsina State police spokesman Gambo Isah said in a statement that the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara was attacked on December 11 by a large group of bandits who shot with AK-47 rifles. (AP)
Several armed groups operate in northern Nigeria where Katsina state is located. It was originally believed that the attackers were bandits, who sometimes work with Boko Haram.

The attack and the rescue operation

The government said a joint rescue operation was launched Saturday by Nigeria’s police, air force and army after the military engaged in gunfights with bandits after locating their hideout in the Zango/Paula forest.

Many of the more than 600 male students were able to escape during the attack while the attackers were in a gunfight with police, according to Katsina State police spokesman Gambo Isah.

Boko Haram’s history of school abductions

Boko Haram has in the past abducted students from schools.

Nigeria’s most serious school attack took place in April 2014, when more than 270 schoolgirls were abducted from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School in Chibok in northeastern Borno State. About 100 of the girls are still missing. Boko Haram said at the time that it wanted to stop women from attending schools.

The recent incident at the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, is the worst attack on a boys’ school since February 2014, when 59 boys were killed during a Boko Haram attack on the Federal Government College Buni Yadi in Yobe State.

International scrutiny into group’s ‘war crimes’

The assault comes as Boko Haram and the Nigerian military may be investigated for war crimes in the insurgency, which has lasted more than 10 years.

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor last week said a decade-long probe has found enough evidence to merit opening a full-scale investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity by Boko Haram extremists as well as into charges that the Nigerian government forces have also perpetrated abuses.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said there is a “reasonable basis to believe” Boko Haram and splinter groups linked to it committed crimes including murder, rape, sexual slavery and torture, as well as intentionally targeting schools and places of worship and using child soldiers. While a vast majority of the criminality in the conflict has been carried out by Boko Haram, prosecutors also found grounds to believe members of Nigeria’s security forces had committed crimes, she said.

Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Nigeria
People gather inside the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Nigeria, December 12, 2020. (AP)

Amnesty International last week released a report saying at least 10,000 civilians have died in Nigerian military custody since 2011 after being detained in connection with the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria.

Boko Haram and the breakaway faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province, are fighting to impose strict Islamic Shariah rule in Nigeria.

Thousands have been killed in the more than 10-year-old insurgency and more than a million people displaced.

– Reported with Associated Press



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Man charged after allegedly staging his own kidnapping and assault


A man has been charged after police allege he staged his own kidnapping and attempted to extort money from people he knew in western Sydney.

Just after 5am on Tuesday police were told a 31-year-old Toongabbie man had been kidnapped and assaulted.

A man has been charged with faking his own kidnapping.

Police launched a large-scale recovery operation with officers from Camden, Parramatta and St George police area commands, assisted by the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad.

Just before noon, detectives found the man at a cafe in Brighton-Le-Sands with two other men, aged 27 and 28, and a 24-year-old woman.



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Michael Ibrahim allegedly threatened to kill sister after kidnapping of nephew


Convicted drug lord Michael Ibrahim, who is serving a 30-year jail sentence for trying to import two tonnes of MDMA into Australia, has been charged after allegedly threatening to kill another Ibrahim family member.

Criminal Groups detectives allege Michael made threats to his sister Fifi Ibrahim, also known as Armani Stelios, following the kidnapping of her son Michael Haddad.

Michael Haddad is the son of Marwan Haddad, who is now divorced from Fifi Ibrahim and is before the courts for his alleged role in a cocaine syndicate.

Convicted drug lord Michael Ibrahim allegedly threatened to kill his sister. (Supplied/Edwina Pickles)

Police say Michael Haddad, 21, was kidnapped from a block of Ryde units on Saturday and found on the side of a road at East Hills, near Bankstown, on Tuesday.

He was taken to Bankstown hospital for minor injuries and is cooperating with police.

Michael Ibrahim was transferred to Goulburn police station yesterday and charged, while his brother Sam Ibrahim was transferred from Long Bay jail and escorted on a flight to Perth where he will be transferred to Christmas Island Immigration detention centre.

9News understands he will be processed on the island before his planned deportation to Lebanon – a country he hasn’t been back to since he was four years old.

Ibrahim will be moved to Christmas Island before being flown to Lebanon.
Sam Ibrahim was released from prison yesterday and will be moved to Christmas Island before being flown to Lebanon. (9News)

The government revoked his permanent residency visa after he was convicted of heading a gun syndicate.

Michael Ibrahim is expected to face court in December charged with using a carriage service to harass his sister after threatening her on a jail phone.

There is no suggestion Michael was involved in his nephew’s kidnapping.

NSW Police Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives are still hunting for the people behind the kidnapping of Michael Haddad and are asking anyone who saw anything suspicious on Morrison Road at Ryde on Saturday to contact Crime Stoppers.



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Arrest made in 2008 kidnapping of New York Times journalist


An Afghan man has been brought to the United States to face charges in the 2008 gunpoint kidnapping of a journalist for The New York Times and two other men in Afghanistan

NEW YORK — An Afghan man has been brought to the United States to face charges in the 2008 gunpoint kidnapping of a journalist for The New York Times and two other men in Afghanistan, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

The charges against Haji Najibullah were in a six-count indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court Wednesday.

He was to make an initial court appearance, but it was not immediately clear who would represent him or could speak for him.

In a release, federal authorities said Najibullah had been brought from Ukraine to face charges including conspiracy and kidnapping.

The kidnapping victims were not identified by authorities, but the description matched the kidnapping of the journalist, David Rohde, who worked for the Times, and an Afghan journalist, Tahir Ludin.

“Journalists risk their lives bringing us news from conflict zones, and no matter how much time may pass, our resolve to find and hold accountable those who target and harm them and other Americans will never wane,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said.



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Paramilitaries also discussed kidnapping Virginia governor, says FBI


The FBI discovered the June 6 meeting in Dublin, Ohio, during an investigation of various anti-government groups, leading to the months-long case in Michigan that relied on confidential sources, undercover agents and clandestine recordings to foil the alleged kidnapping conspiracy.

It was not immediately clear whether talk of targeting Virginia’s Democratic governor went beyond the June meeting, and nothing from a criminal complaint or from Trask’s testimony Tuesday indicated that anyone had been charged with plotting against Northam.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.Credit:AP

Trask said members of anti-government groups from “four or five” states attended that meeting, and the complaint noted that Croft and Fox were among the roughly 15 people who were there.

“They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governor of Michigan and Virginia based on the lockdown orders,” Trask said. He said the people at the meeting were unhappy with the governors’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

During a news conference Tuesday, Northam said he wasn’t going to discuss the alleged plot and stressed that he and his family feel safe with the security the state police provide.

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“I’m continuing my work for the commonwealth as I would any other day.”

Earlier Tuesday, Northam’s spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky, issued a statement in which she said the FBI alerted key members of Northam’s security team throughout the course of its investigation, but neither the governor nor members of his staff were informed, as per security protocols for highly-classified information. She said the governor and his family were never believed to be in imminent danger, and that there have been enhanced security measures in place for them for quite a while.

“Here’s the reality: President Trump called upon his supporters to “LIBERATE VIRGINIA” in April — just like Michigan. In fact, the President regularly encourages violence against those who disagree with him. The rhetoric coming out of this White House has serious and potentially deadly consequences. It must stop,” Yarmosky said in a news release.

President Donald Trump urged supporters to “LIBERATE” Michigan, Virginia and Minnesota in a series of tweets in April, encouraging protesters who turned up at state Capitols to oppose restrictions aimed at minimising the spread of the virus.

Following the arrests last week, the White House said the president has condemned hate, and Trump tweeted: “I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence.”

In the Michigan case, authorities said the men were trying to retaliate against Whitmer due to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some defendants conducted coordinated surveillance of the Democratic governor’s vacation home in northern Michigan in August and September, according to a criminal complaint. Authorities said four of the men had planned to meet last week to pay for explosives and exchange tactical gear.

Defence attorneys for several of the men used their opportunity to question Trask about the investigation to suggest that their clients were “big talkers” who didn’t intend to follow through with action.

During investigations of paramilitary-type groups, “you find a lot of people who talk about things, but they’re never a threat to do anything. It’s fairly common in these groups?” Scott Graham, attorney for Franks, asked Trask.

Adam Dean Fox is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Adam Dean Fox is one of several people charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.Credit:AP

“Big talk between crackpots — you’ve seen that, haven’t you? People who talk a lot, brashly, boldly, but are never going to do anything about that talk.”

Graham described Franks as a “follower, not a leader” and argued that he shouldn’t be detained before trial. He said Franks was a drug addict but had turned his life around and said there is “no evidence whatsoever” he would be a flight risk.

But Assistant US Attorney Nils Kessler countered that it was a “serious plot” and argued that Franks should not be released. “There’s a serious public safety risk,” he said, not disputing that Franks was more of a follower than the men who allegedly led the plot.

During a break, Gary Springstead, an attorney for Garvin, told reporters outside the courthouse that the allegations were “serious.”

“Anyone who is facing a charge like this would be very concerned,” Springstead said. “Literally your life and liberty are on the line.”

Whitmer, who was considered as Joe Biden’s running mate and is nearly halfway through a four-year term, has been widely praised for her response to the virus outbreak but also sharply criticised by Republican lawmakers and people in conservative areas of the state. The Capitol has been the site of many rallies, including ones with gun-toting protesters calling for her ouster.

Michigan, and particularly the Detroit area, were hard hit by the virus early on during the pandemic, leading Whitmer to put major restrictions on personal movement and the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted since spring.

The investigation is ongoing.

AP

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Man jailed for attempted kidnapping of child from father’s arms outside Melbourne library


A man who was suffering from a drug-induced psychosis when he tried to kidnap a toddler, just minutes after being released on bail from a nearby police station, has been jailed for more than four years.

But with time already served, Michael Rawson could be back in the community in 17 months if he makes parole.

Rawson, 41, was high on ice and still in possession of his bail documents when he spotted the boy and his father at the Preston library in Melbourne’s north in November last year, only metres from the police station he had just left.

Dramatic footage released by Victoria’s County Court shows Rawson, clad in a black dressing gown and a Hawthorn football jumper, snatching the two-year-old and pummelling his father into the ground.

In the moments before he was attacked, the boy’s father, who cannot be named, desperately said: “Don’t take the child.”

Today, Rawson wept and used his prison greens to wipe away his tears as Judge Felicity Hampel sentenced him to serve four-and-a-half years in jail for his “harrowing” crimes.

CCTV footage showed the attempted kidnapping outside the Preston library.(Supplied: County Court of Victoria)

“What happened is every parent’s nightmare,” the judge said.

“You grabbed the child and wrestled him from his father as he desperately tried to protect him and keep him safe.

“To see the tenderness with which the father held and stroked his child after you ran away just brings home how terrifying it must have been.”

Attacker had been bailed from police station 150 metres away

In November last year Rawson was found in the street high on ice and trying to break into cars.

He was taken back to the Preston police station where he was charged and bailed, and afterwards put into a taxi.

But the cab had travelled just 150 metres when Rawson got out and made his way towards a boy and his father.

“You ran towards them and said, ‘I’ll help you down,'” the judge said.

“You grabbed the child with both hands and pulled him away.”

The court heard Rawson, who had been awake for days, thought the child was his own and wanted to give it a hug.

“While the child you tried to kidnap was a boy, you said he looked like your youngest daughter,” the judge said.

Chilling footage shows the boy’s father desperately trying to hold onto his son before Rawson pushed him to the ground and pummelled the back of his head, forcing him to let go.

Rawson then seized the boy and ran, but not before being tackled by a bystander who managed to grab hold of his dressing gown.

He escaped but was later found hiding in a garden.

Victims attacked in what should have been ‘a safe place’

Victoria’s County Court heard Rawson, who has since written letters of apology to his victims, was probably in the grips of a drug-induced “psychotic state” which gave him delusions.

But Judge Hampel said that would have been little comfort to them.

“It was a terrifying experience for them and remains so, whether or not the father now knows that you had an impaired capacity to make reasoned judgments,” the judge said.

She said both victims had lost their sense of safety and security.

“This was their neighbourhood. It was a safe place for them and clearly a time of family joy,” she said.

Rawson turned to drugs after the breakdown of his marriage.

He was today also convicted for assaulting and resisting a police officer after he was taken to hospital that night.

Rawson will have to serve at least two years and three months in prison before he is eligible for parole.



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