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Entries in Arrested (6)

Wednesday
Dec052012

John McAfee Arrested in Guatemala for Entering Country Illegally

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images(GUATEMALA CITY) -- Eccentric software tycoon John McAfee, wanted in Belize for questioning in the shooting death of his neighbor, has been arrested in Guatemala for entering the country illegally, his Guatemala attorney told ABC News.

Before McAfee's arrest, he told ABC News in an exclusive interview he would be seeking asylum in Guatemala. McAfee was arrested by the Central American country's immigration police and not the national police, said his attorney, who was confident his client would be released within hours.

"Thank God I am in a place where there is some sanity," said McAfee, 67, before his arrest. "I chose Guatemala carefully."

McAfee said that in Guatemala, the locals aren't surprised when he says the Belizean government is out to kill him.

"Instead of going, 'You're crazy,' they go, 'Yeah, of course they are,'" he said. "It's like, finally, I understand people who understand the system here."

But McAfee added he has not ruled out moving back to the United States, where he made his fortune as the inventor of anti-virus software, and that despite losing much of his fortune he still has more money than he could ever spend.

 

In his interview with ABC News, a jittery and animated but candid McAfee called the media's representation of him a "nightmare that is about to explode," and said he's prepared to prove his sanity.

McAfee has been on the run from police in Belize since the Nov. 10 murder of his neighbor, fellow American expatriate Greg Faull.

During his three-week journey, said McAfee, he disguised himself as handicapped, dyed his hair seven times and hid in many different places.

He dismissed accounts of erratic behavior and reports that he had been using the synthetic drug bath salts. He said he had never used the drug, and said statements that he had were part of an elaborate prank.

Investigators said that McAfee was not a suspect in the death of the former developer, who was found shot in the head in his house on the resort island of San Pedro, but that they wanted to question him.

McAfee told ABC News that the poisoning death of his dogs and the murder just hours later of Faull, who had complained about his dogs, was a coincidence.

McAfee has been hiding from police ever since Faull's death -- but Telesforo Guerra, McAfee's lawyer in Guatemala, said the tactic was born out of necessity, not guilt.

"You don't have to believe what the police say," Guerra told ABC News. "Even though they say he is not a suspect they were trying to capture him."

Guerra, who is a former attorney general of Guatemala, said it would take two to three weeks to secure asylum for his client.

According to McAfee, Guerra is also the uncle of McAfee's 20-year-old girlfriend, Samantha. McAfee said the government raided his beachfront home and threatened Samantha's family.

"Fifteen armed soldiers come in and personally kidnap my housekeeper, threaten Sam's father with torture and haul away half a million dollars of my s***," claimed McAfee. "If they're not after me, then why all these raids? There've been eight raids!"

Before his arrest, McAfee said he would hold a press conference on Thursday in Guatemala City to announce his asylum bid. He has offered to answer questions from Belizean law enforcement over the phone, and denied any involvement in Faull's death.

Over the weekend, a post on McAfee's blog claimed that he had been detained on the Belizean/Mexico border.

On Monday, a follow-up post said that the "John McAfee" taken into custody was actually a "double" who was carrying a North Korean passport with McAfee's name.

That post claimed that McAfee had already escaped Belize and was on the run with Samantha and two reporters from Vice magazine.

McAfee did not reveal his location in that post, and a spokesman for Belize's National Security Ministry, Raphael Martinez, told ABC News on Monday that no one by McAfee's name was ever detained at the border and that Belizean security officials believed McAfee was still in their country.

However, a photo posted by Vice magazine on Monday with their article, "We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers," apparently had been taken on an iPhone 4S and had location information embedded in it that revealed the exact coordinates where the photo was taken -- in the Rio Dulce National Park in Guatemala -- as reported by Wired.com.

 A subsequent blog post on McAfee's site confirmed that the photo had mistakenly revealed his location, and said that Monday was "chaotic due to the accidental release of my exact co-ordinates by an unseasoned technician at Vice headquarters.

"We made it to safety in spite of this handicap," the post read. "I had to cancel numerous interviews with the press yesterday because of this and I apologize to all of those affected."

"I apologize for all of the misdirections over the past few days....It was not easy to exit Belize and required many supporters in many countries."

Belizean authorities said there was no manhunt, and have questioned McAfee's sanity.

"He is extremely paranoid. I would go far as to say even bonkers," said Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, circling his index finger.

But now, all the misdirection may be coming to an end. Asked if he feels safe, McAfee told ABC News, "Oh, absolutely. I feel like I've come home."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar162012

'Kony 2012' Activist Filmmaker Arrested

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire(SAN DIEGO) -- Invisible Children co-founder and director of the Kony 2012 viral video Jason Russell was arrested in San Diego Thursday night for intoxication, masturbating in public and vandalizing cars, according to reports.

Russell was allegedly dancing around an intersection wearing “speedo-like underwear.” He then removed the underwear and made sexual gestures, sources told TMZ.

Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children, said Russell had been dealing with health problems and was hospitalized on Thursday.

“Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better,” Keesey said in a statement. “The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday. ”

In the past two weeks, a 30-minute video produced and voiced by Russell has gone viral. Supporters, many of whom learned about alleged Ugandan war lord Joseph Kony for the first time through the video, purchased t-shirts and action kits to help fund Invisible Children’s quest to bring Kony to justice.

“Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue,” Keesey said. “We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug242011

Pakistani Cops Arrest 3 in American Kidnapping

Pakistan police have released a sketch of a person they believe to be involved in the abduction of Warren Weinstein. Handout(WASHINGTON) -- Pakistani police have arrested three men in connection with the kidnapping of 70-year-old American Warren Weinstein more than 10 days ago.

Police officers declined to give details about who the men are and what their connection to the Aug. 13 abduction may be. The three were detained by police Tuesday but were not officially arrested until Wednesday, authorities said.

No group has come forward to claim the kidnapping or issue demands in exchange for Weinstein's return -- an unusual development which sparked concern among some officials over Weinstein's fate. But one Pakistani intelligence official told ABC News last week there was no evidence to suggest the abductors had intended to kill Weinstein or that he had been accidentally killed.

"The Pakistanis are leading a very vigorous investigation," U.S. Department of State spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Wednesday, noting that the FBI and the U.S. Embassy are assisting in efforts to track Weinstein down.

Weinstein, a private U.S. citizen who has lived in Pakistan for seven years, was sleeping in his bed when assailants burst into his home to snatch him. The former USAID worker is currently employed by the private U.S.-based development firm J.E. Austin Associates.

All three suspects are from the same province in which Weinstein lived, an area far from the turbulent tribal regions near the Afghan border more usually associated with violent attacks. The men were arrested after investigators managed to track their cellphone numbers, the Lahore police chief said without elaborating.

Weinstein's friends and colleagues describe him as a diligent worker dedicated to helping Pakistani people.

"He is a tireless worker for development in Pakistan," Geoff Quartermaine Bastin, who worked with Weinstein after meeting him six years ago, told ABC News. Bastin said Weinstein "worked 18-hour days, three phones at once while talking to a fourth person at the table."

"He is very smart, very motivated and loved Pakistan and its people. He is careless of his health and safety, going everywhere to push his projects," Bastin said.

Weinstein suffers from a heart condition, and J.E. Austin Associates released a long list of medications that he takes, appealing to his abductors to provide them for him.

Some in Pakistan have speculated privately that Weinstein was not a development worker, but instead worked in intelligence for the U.S. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah publicly announced his suspicions last week, telling local media that Weinstein was involved in "quite suspect" intelligence-gathering for the U.S. government and compared him to Raymond Davis, the American CIA contractor who was jailed in Pakistan earlier this year for shooting two men on the streets of Lahore.

U.S. diplomats said Weinstein is not connected to any U.S. intelligence groups.

Weinstein is the first private citizen to be kidnapped in Pakistan since al Qaeda operatives abducted and murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun152011

US Senators Question Alliance with Pakistan over Informant Arrests

Media and local residents gather outside the hideout of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following his death by U.S. Special Forces in a ground operation in Abbottabad on May 3, 2011. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The American sailors who buried Osama bin Laden at sea came home Wednesday and were greeted as heroes. Not so for the half-dozen or so Pakistanis vital to the mission, whose reward was detention by Pakistan's top spy agency.

In Congress Wednesday, there was palpable outrage at a putative ally that receives more than $2 billion a year in U.S. aid.

"How long do we support governments that lie to us? When do we say, 'Enough is enough'?" Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Wednesday at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. "They arrested people who helped us get him."

Gates prompted laughter with his response.

"First of all, I would say, based on 27 years in CIA and four-and-a-half years in this job, most governments lie to each other," he said. "That's the way business gets done."

Humor aside, the implications of the arrests could be serious, according to former U.S. counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke.

"If the U.S. doesn't have local Pakistani informants, then it's going to be very, very difficult for the United States to stage operations inside Pakistan," Clarke said. "And that's exactly what the Pakistani government wants, for it to be very difficult for the Americans to be able to do this again."

Informants are crucial to U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. It is informants on the ground, usually locals, who provide tips on an enemy target. While information can come by tapping in to cellphone calls and texts, informants can help track and back up what technical monitoring provides. Informants can provide eyes on the ground if a drone strike is called in or a secret raid is conducted to make certain the human target is inside and innocents are not.

The U.S. certainly has leverage over Pakistan. It provides about $2 billion a year in military aid. But even so, this drama is not over.

The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, told the Senate hearing that although the relationship with Pakistan is complicated, not dealing with the Pakistanis would likely mean the U.S. would be out of the picture in Pakistan -- where the Afghan Taliban is believed to have regrouped -- for another five to 10 years. He added that the U.S. is in the midst of building a relationship with Pakistan, which was "badly broken" in the '80s and '90s.

Mullen said that "some of the criticism is more than warranted" when it comes to the relationship with Pakistan.

"Nobody's worked that harder than me, very frankly, with the leadership -- and it's a conscious decision, I think, that we have to make," he said. "If we walk away from it, it's my view it'll be a much more dangerous place a decade from now, and we'll be back."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Iran Arrests American Woman on Espionage Charges, Reports Say

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- An American woman was arrested in Iran on suspicion of espionage, Iran’s state media reported Thursday.

The woman, who has been identified as Haley Talayan, 55, was found with spy equipment, including a camera hidden in her teeth.  She was stopped by customs officials in the northwest border town of Nordouz, apparently without a valid visa to enter Iran.

The town of Nordouz lies between Iran's border with Armenia and is patrolled by Russian soldiers on the Armenian side.´╗┐

A State Department official told ABC News that the U.S. has asked the Swiss, who represent U.S. interests in Tehran since there are no American diplomats there, to check into these reports.  The official said the U.S. has not yet been able to confirm that Talayan is an American.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec252010

Police Arrest 12 Somalis on Terror Charges

File photo. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands) -- Dutch police have reportedly arrested a dozen Somalis suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in the Netherlands.

Prosecutors say the men - aged between 19 and 48, and mostly from the Rotterdam area - were arrested based on intelligence that alleges they were in the process of preparing an attack in the country.

A number homes were searched, but no weapons or explosives have been found.

Authorities continue to question the men.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐







ABC News Radio