LBN – Special Report – Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

*Report: Manchester Bomber Met With ISIS Unit in Libya
Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people in Manchester last month, met with so-called Islamic State militants in Libya prior to the attack, The New York Times reported Saturday. Citing current and retired intelligence officials, the report said Abedi traveled to Tripoli and the town of Sabratha to meet with members of the Katibat al-Battar al-Libi, an ISIS unit that had previously been based in Syria and has been tied to the 2015 Paris attacks. Abedi, who came from a family of Libyan immigrants, continued communications with members of the group after returning to Manchester, a European intelligence chief said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. While the Islamic State’s involvement in the attack comes as no surprise, investigators had previously been unable to say whether Abedi acted alone or was guided by the militant group. Experts now say Abedi’s contacts with the group may point to a resurgent threat to Europe posed by militants in Libya, where the group recently suffered military setbacks but seems to have retained its operational capabilities. “Most of the blood spilled in Europe in the more spectacular attacks, using guns and bombs, really all began at the time when Katibat al-Battar went back to Libya,” Cameron Colquhoun, a former counterterrorism analyst for Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, told The New York Times. While members of the group are losing ground in Syria, they can easily shift operations to Libya, he said. “That is where the threat trajectory to Europe began—when these men returned to Libya and had breathing space,” he said. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind behind the 2015 Paris attacks, is believed to have gotten his start in the group. Anis Amri, last December’s Berlin truck attacker, was also found to be in direct contact with the group in Libya.


*Putin to Megyn Kelly: A ‘3-Year-Old Girl’ Could’ve Hacked the U.S. Election

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday continued denying Kremlin involvement in the anti-Hillary Clinton hacking campaign during the 2016 election, telling Megyn Kelly that a child could commit such an attack. When the famed journalist, making her debut for NBC News, told Putin during a forum event in St. Petersburg that all evidence “points to Russia,” the Kremlin leader replied with a deflective denial. “What are you talking about? IP addresses, they can be invented… A kid of yours can send it, your girl that is 3-year-old can perpetrate such an attack, they present it like this, they can pass it off like this, and the specialists can invent anything and then they will blame someone else. These are not proofs. These are trying to shirk responsibility.” He went on to say that the problem lies in American policy, saying Hillary Clinton and the Democrats “don’t want to recognize their mistake right now” in losing toDonald Trump, and so they blame the Russians. Putin also said that connecting the Kremlin to the hackings “reminds me of anti-Semitism and blaming the Jews. This is disinformation.”

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***David Arquette, UTA managing directorJay Sures and former Playboy Playmate Kelly Carrington in the crowd at LA hotspot the Peppermint Club to see the Jingle Punks Hipster Orchestra led by “Jingle Jared” Gutstadt.   ***Drew Barrymore hit the streets of New York, again, to pass out her new print publication. Barrymore handed out free copies of Flower Press at New Stand NYC in the Columbus Circle subway station on Friday. The actress looked chipper in a fedora and rainbow muumuu, greeting potential readers on an escalator.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Giraffes sleep only 1.9 hours a day in five- to 10-minute sessions. Koalas, however, are the longest-sleeping mammals, sleeping up to 22 hours a day.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Bret Stephens: In 1967 Israel was forced into a war against enemies who then begrudged it the peace. Egypt, at least, found its Sadat. The drama of the Six-Day War will close when Palestinians find theirs.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Bill Maher: UC Berkeley used to be the cradle of free speech, and now it’s just the cradle for f***ing babies.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Robert Reich (Former U.S. Labor Secretary): If unpopular views can’t be expressed at a university, university education is severely compromised, and the First Amendment is reduced to a popularity contest. Speech should not be blocked because it’s offensive, provocative, or even hateful.

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “History is a vast early warning system.” –Norman Cousins —– .


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***John Mellencamp may be best recognized as a singer/songwriter, but he may also be a love guru. “Girls, never trust a man under 40, because he’s still a boy,” the 65-year-old said. “I’ve met thousands of tough guys, thousands of nice guys; they’re all the same.”

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord
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