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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — More than half a million foreigners stayed in the United States after their visas expired during the last fiscal year, according to a new report released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Monday.Of the more t…
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Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, through his lawyers, on Monday invoked the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to hand over documents subpoenaed by a Senat…
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iStock/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) — The Turkish national who forced the emergency landing of American Airlines flight 31 in Honolulu on Friday allegedly told FBI agents “we all have” terroristic ideas, and pantomimed shooting an agent during his interview, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hawaii on Monday.
En route from Los Angeles to Honolulu, 25-year-old Anil Uskanli alarmed passengers and crewmembers while acting “strange,” forcing the pilot lock down the flight deck and prompting the U.S. Pacific Command to send two F-22 fighter jets to escort the aircraft into Hawaii.
— Anthony Quintano 🌴 (@AnthonyQuintano) May 19, 2017
“We all have those ideas,” he said when asked if he ever had terroristic thoughts.
According to the complaint, Uskanli boarded the plane without any luggage, carrying only a phone, laptop, charger, and miscellaneous items in his pockets.
Not long after he was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing at LAX after breaching a security door while under the influence, crew escorted him down the jet bridge in a wheelchair.
Once aboard the Airbus 321, he plopped into a seat in first class. At a flight attendant’s repeated urging, Uskanli eventually moved to 35B, his assigned seat.
After the flight took off, Uskanli began repeatedly moving his laptop from the seatback pocket to the space under the seat, “uttering things and talking to himself,” one passenger told FBI agents.
He then got up to use the lavatory, but failed to lock the door, the complaint adds. When another passenger attempted to enter the lavatory, Uskanli allegedly began “yelling and pounding on the walls.”
After flight attendants escorted him back to his seat, they found what appeared to be cigarette pieces around the toilet.
A short time later, Uskanli “wrapped a blanket around his head, picked up his laptop,” and shuffled towards the front of the aircraft.
A flight attendant used a beverage cart to block the aisle, but Uskanli shoved back, then set his laptop on the cart, triggering immediate alarm among the crew. The flight attendant was concerned following reports that terrorists are attempting to target aircraft with explosives concealed inside electronics, the complaint explains.
While an off-duty law enforcement officer steered Uskanli back to his seat, a flight attendant barricaded the laptop in the rear of the aircraft — standard procedure for handling a possible explosive device. To further mitigate the impact of a potential in-flight bomb, the pilot descended to 5,000 feet, according to the complaint.
Uskanli was restrained with duct tape, witnesses say.
Upon landing, Uskanli was escorted off the flight by law enforcement, and bomb technicians and canine units seized the laptop and secured the plane. No explosives were found inside the laptop, authorities say.
Uskanli’s urinalysis came back positive for benzodiazepine. Other field sobriety tests indicated he may have been high on stimulants or cannabis, according to the complaint.
During a post-incident interview with FBI agents, Uskanli “made a gun shape with his fingers and pretended to shoot,”simulated a ‘chopping motion’” at an agent’s neck, and threatened to kill a female agent, according to the complaint.
Asked if he planned to hurt anyone, he told agents, “it depends on the day.”
He was charged with interfering with a flight crew, and was scheduled to appear in court Monday.
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George Frey/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who is expected to take the Fifth Amendment in response to a Senate committee’s subpoena, once promoted news of Hillary Clinton’s computer-tech aide’s invoking the same constitutional right.
“IT specialist takes 5th over 100 times,” Flynn tweeted, linking to a June 22, 2016, story about the deposition of a former Clinton aide in a lawsuit related to her use of a private email server as secretary of state.
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) June 23, 2016
The Fifth Amendment gives an individual the right to protect against self-incrimination.
Flynn will plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to honor a Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena request for documents relating to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to Trump associates, a source close to Flynn told ABC News Monday.
“He will not be producing the documents they sought. He is entitled to decline, pursuant to the Fifth Amendment,” the source said.
To date, Flynn is the only Trump associate whom the Senate has subpoenaed in its Russia investigation.
Last year, when Flynn was a prominent surrogate for Trump, he and others in the candidate’s circle hammered the campaign of rival Hillary Clinton over the FBI investigation of emails. Flynn also jumped on news of Clinton’s former IT specialist’s pleading the Fifth Amendment when he was asked about her email setup during a deposition in June.
The tech specialist, Bryan Pagliano, was deposed as part of a lawsuit brought by the conservative group Judicial Watch.
“125 times – thats how many times @HillaryClinton IT guy invoked the 5th to cover up her server scandal,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted in June.
Then-candidate Trump suggested that the aide’s taking the Fifth implied guilt and he drew comparisons to the mafia.
“The mob takes the Fifth Amendment,” Trump said at a rally in Iowa in September 2016. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”
Trump himself pleaded the Fifth Amendment 97 times in 1990 during his divorce proceeding from former beauty queen Marla Maples, according to report in The Huffington Post.
Flynn’s tweet on June 23 about the Clinton’s aide’s taking the Fifth Amendment came minutes after his son, Michael Flynn Jr., posted about it.
“Unbelievable,” his son tweeted.
— I LOVE AMERICA🇺🇸 (@mflynnJR) June 23, 2016
Flynn and his son were notably harsh critics of former Secretary Clinton and frequently focused on issues related to ethics when arguing against her candidacy.
In late October, just prior to Trump’s election victory, Flynn called Clinton a “grifter” in a tweet, and claimed that the media had failed to adequately cover her “incredible corruption.”
Responding to a question on Twitter from a user on July 6, 2016, asking what would have happened to Flynn had he acted as carelessly as Clinton while serving as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, a post he held during President Obama’s second term, he suggested that he would have been jailed.
“Removed, clearance revoked, subjected to intense investigation and put in jail,” Flynn wrote. “She’s guilty but will get away [with] it?”
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