Prosecutors say a Binghamton couple, described as white supremacists, robbed and killed a black man on the city’s West Side in 2015 after the woman told her boyfriend the other man had raped her.
Details of what prosecutors call a “mixed-motive case” against Ariana Edwards, 38, were revealed Wednesday in Broome County Court, ahead of her Jan. 30 trial in connection with the Aug. 22, 2015, death of 38-year-old Michael C. Thomas inside a Mather Street apartment. The victim’s body was found two weeks later, and police say his death was ruled a homicide.
But the defense lawyer for Edwards, who was accused of the crime along with her 31-year-old boyfriend, Bradley Miles, countered that Judge Joseph Cawley should not allow prosecutors to use any prejudicial “white supremacist” characterization against her. On Wednesday, Cawley heard arguments on the issue during a pretrial hearing.
Assistant District Attorney (((Joshua Shapiro))) briefly detailed his dual-motive theory: a robbery that resulted in the victim’s death, and evidence alleging Edwards and Miles are white supremacists.
“It’s our position that (Edwards) told Bradley Miles that Michael Thomas raped her … to manipulate her white supremacist boyfriend to commit this crime,” Shapiro said in court Wednesday.
Although Edwards is not charged with a hate crime, prosecutors are using the allegation as a component of what sparked the crime. Evidence, including various racist writings connected to the defendant, would be introduced at trial to help support this argument, Shapiro said.
Of 921 reported attacks on refugee centers, 857 had a suspected far-right background, German criminal police office (BKA) said in response to a request for information filed by Die Welt daily.
Among others, the figure includes 66 arson attacks, 211 cases of hate speech and 371 cases of property damage, the report said. The remarkable statistics marks almost a fivefold increase from just 199 crimes in 2014, the criminal police asserted.
“This figure is frighteningly high,” Eva Hoegl, the Social Democrats’ (SPD) deputy parliamentary group leader and domestic security expert, told the newspaper. “People come here and need protection. What we don’t need to do is to confuse refugee policy and terrorism,” she said in an apparent reference to the recent truck attack on a Christmas market Berlin, which killed 12 people and injured 48 others.
In the latest incident in late December, a total of 28 residential containers, which together made a two-story makeshift building burned down at Hamburg refugee center. The fire department said that “human life [was] in danger.” When fire brigades arrived, they found a crowd of about 30 people watching their shelters burn to the ground.
In mid-September, a violent confrontation erupted between 20 refugees and some 80 locals in the eastern town of Bautzen, with both sides throwing bottles at each other and attacking police. The town has seen similar clashes since the beginning of the year, and some media reports even said the local far-right “hunted down” migrants.
Earlier this year, a refugee center planned for the city of Bautzen, Saxony, was set ablaze to the delight of a crowd, which cheered and tried to prevent firefighters from putting the fire out.
“Some people reacted to the arson with derogatory comments and undisguised joy,” local police also said in a statement, adding that some of the onlookers had been under the influence of alcohol.
In August, a two-story refugee home in Bavaria caught fire in southern Germany burned to the ground. Though police found no evidence of an arson attack, this possibility was being looked into, according to DPA news agency.
AN ISLAMIC centre has been torched to the ground by a suspected arsonist as emergency services desperately try to save anyone who may have been trapped inside.
Police reported that the fire appears to have been started deliberately by an arsonist and it has spread across two buildings, both of which are known to contain asbestos.
The site, formerly a public swimming baths, was bought earlier this year by the Association of Islamic Communities in Culemborg, which had submitted plans to turn the building into a mosque.
It is not clear if anyone has been injured in the blaze or if any arrests have been made.
The fire was said to have spread to two other buildings stocked with heat resistant abstestos.
The building was damaged significantly and part of it collapsed following the blaze.
It is not yet known if someone was inside the building at the time of the fire.
No arrest has been made so far, but the authorities have launched a probe into an alleged hate crime.
On Wednesday night, five cars went up in flames in the Twerweijde neighbourhood in the city.
The police do not believe that the fire spread from one car to another.
Earlier in December, a man shot and injured three people when he burst into a Muslim prayer hall in the Swiss city of Zurich.
TENSIONS are bubbling over in a small Dutch town after an influx of migrants rocked the community leading to protests and sparking the creation of vigilante groups.
Oude Pekela, in the Netherlands, has been the scene of heated demonstrations as locals fight back against the Syrian invaders being housed there.
As cities were overwhelmed with the number claiming asylum, the Dutch government was forced to house applicants far away from built-up areas.
Shelters were hastily set up in suburbs where their presence caused friction among residents, fearful immigration was impacting their small community.
Oude Pekela resident, Heye Meyer, said: “Our community is too small for this number of people.”
And even migrants themselves acknowledge the close-knit towns they have been placed in are less than welcoming.
A refugee from Aleppo, 20-year-old Ahmad, said: “It is maybe strange for them that we are here.”
Close to the German border, the village has a scant population of just 8,000, and is seeing rise to organised groups patrolling the town.
One such group, Kameraadschap Noord-Nederland, which describes itself as a “national-minded people with a socialist heart,” has organised several protests in the area.
Another, United We Stand Holland: Protecting Our Citizens, sprung up after locals banded together to apprehend a migrant, following claims he “behaved inappropriately” toward a 12-year-old girl in a supermarket.
The police were brought in to control the crowds, and the town’s mayor was forced to use an emergency order to disperse the crowd.
Since September patrols by citizen’s groups were set up around the village.
Mayor Jaap Kuin acknowledged residents fears and promised to cut the number of people housed at the site.
Dutch citizens are turning away from incumbent Mark Rutte and his Party for Freedom and Democracy, with immigration emerging as a key issue defining next year’s elections.
The Netherlands goes to the polls in March to pick their new leader.
S.O.O. Quebec: Purging The Cucks, Increasing Patrols
In the early evening darkness, four figures huddled in the parking lot of a Quebec City arena, all wearing black sweatshirts emblazoned with a drawing of Odin, a Norse god of war.
One was a professional hunter, another a wood-factory worker. They stomped their boots in the cold, shared a cigarette or two, then set off to patrol the historic streets of the city, armed only with a flashlight and the belief they were protecting Quebecers from a vague but dangerous threat.
Leading the group that night was a 47-year-old father of four, Dave Tregget, who paints cars by day, but on evenings and weekends was in charge of the Quebec chapter of Soldiers of Odin.
“We are Canadians helping Canadians,” said Tregget as he steered the group through Saint-Roch, a neighbourhood where urban renewal meets poverty in Quebec City.
“I want to protect our Canadian charter of rights and liberties. We’ve got to fight to keep these rights.”
Tregget felt the group’s success in Quebec depended on softening its anti-immigration image and putting some distance between the founding Finnish members, who have been accused of having ties with neo-Nazis.
“We’re Canadian, and Canada was based on immigration so we cannot be against it,” Tregget said, marching the group up Langelier Boulevard in the Quebec capital on a Tuesday night in early December.
It was a position that proved untenable. Last Friday, he was replaced by his second-in-command, Katy Latulippe. There are conflicting accounts of what happened. Latulippe says Tregget was suspended; Tregget says he quit, “finished with the racist image of Finland,” as he later told CBC News in a Facebook message.
Regardless of the details, what is clear is that with Tregget out, and Latulippe in, the group will undergo a reorientation. The new acting president has vowed to return the Quebec branch of the Soldiers of Odin to its Finnish roots and ramp up patrols of the more Muslim areas of Quebec City.
“We won’t allow them to bring mayhem to our streets and the gang rapes that we’re seeing in certain countries currently,” she said. “That’s all we want to do.”
Latulippe is still a relative newcomer to Quebec City, having moved there recently from Magog, Quebec.
“Dave (Tregget) avoided that, on patrols, we go into areas where there are a lot of Muslims or Islamization,” she said.
The Soldiers of Odin have around 3,500 members in Canada, with 400 of them in Quebec.
They have, since February, organized patrols through various neighbourhoods, sometimes as many as three or four times a week.
They also attracted attention by providing security at a demonstration outside the National Assembly in October, which was attended by several other far-right groups in the province.
And the group has teamed up on a number of occasions with Atalante Québec, an openly neo-fascist organization that speaks of protecting the “neo-French.”
The two groups joined forces for a food drive last month and jointly patrolled the Laval University campus after a spate of sexual assaults there in October.
“What we’ve aimed for since we started Soldiers of Odin is to unite all the groups of what we’ll call the ‘far right’ because our common denominator is (being against) the system”, they said.
Soldiers of Odin, dubbed ‘extreme anti-refugee group,’ patrol Edmonton streets
The Soldiers of Odin, a European organization that has been dubbed “an extreme anti-refugee group” by the Anti-Defamation League, has begun setting up shop in Edmonton.
About 10 men, all wearing matching insignia on their backs, a Norse horned helmet with a Canadian flag for a beard, have been seen patrolling the city’s streets.
According to social media posts by the group, marches have also taken place in British Columbia and Ontario.
While some see them as protectors, anti-whites & foreigners consider them dangerous vigilantes.
The group’s bylaws state their goal is to take back the streets, and patrols are their way of doing that.
Inspector Dan Jones said the Edmonton Police Service is aware of the Soldiers of Odin, but hasn’t received any complaints.
If they are the Soldiers of Odin like they are in Europe, we are going to be very concerned,” Jones said. “But at this stage, we don’t have any reason to believe they have engaged in criminal activity.”
Soldiers of Odin opens chapters in Yukon, Hamilton
A group that has been deemed an extreme anti-refugee vigilante organization has set up shop in Yukon, according to the RCMP.
S.O.O. Yukon organizes through a closed Facebook group, & its members are also active in public, carrying out street patrols.
Yukon RCMP say they have not yet received any complaints about the local Soldiers of Odin chapter.
S.O.O. is also setting up a chapter in Hamilton.
The presence in Hamilton is informal right now, with about eight or nine members getting organized as of August, said Soldiers Of Odin national president Joel Angott. There’s a lot of interest, but potential Hamilton members are being carefully vetted.
Group activities include neighbourhood street patrols & cleaning up local parks.