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US officials say ISIS recruiter influenced Ohio State attacker

Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 2:16 PM

Gov. John Kasich said: "This is just an incredible and magnificent place. So when I heard that this morning, of course, I right away thought about the stab wounds, the perhaps the gunfire and frankly took a piece out of everybody here at our beautiful Ohio State University that this could have happened here."

A man accused of influencing numerous terrorist attacks, including the Ohio State University attacker during Thanksgiving weekend last year, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  

Abdullah Ibrahim al-Faisal, a Jamaica-based recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was sanctioned by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He is believed to have directly or indirectly influenced numerous terrorists, including OSU student Abdul Razak Ali Artan who drove a 2002 silver Honda Civic onto a crowded sidewalk on Nov. 28, 2016.  
» MUST-READ COVERAGE: OSU releases records, videos from terrorist attack on campus

He then jumped out of the car and began slashing people with a large kitchen knife. Security cameras captured images of the Civic driving on campus but not the actual attack.  

“Faisal has recruited for and provided support to ISIS and his actions have influenced terrorists who engaged in bomb plots and other horrific attacks on innocent civilians,” said OFAC Director John E. Smith. “This designation will help deter Faisal’s global following and prevent U.S. persons from supporting him in any manner.”

» MORE: Fairfield grad who shot OSU attacker a ‘stand-up guy’

The sanction designation means all property and interests in property of Abdullah Ibrahim al-Faisal’s in the U.S. are blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.  According to a state of New York indictment, Faisal is accused of recruiting others to travel to ISIS-controlled territory and, in concert with other individuals, using online applications and networks to facilitate the travel of others to join ISIS by providing them with contacts outside of the United States and advice on how to evade detection by law enforcement.  

» RELATED: Officer who stopped attack honored

Faisal is also accused of directly or indirectly influencing: Faisal Shahzad, the attempted Times Square bomber in New York City in 2010; Mohammed Chowdury, who planned and attempted to bomb the London Stock Exchange in 2010; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber who attempted to down an airliner over Detroit, Michigan in 2009; two of the four bombers of the July 7, 2005 bombings in London; and Richard Reid, the 2001 shoe bomber.  

Abdul Razak Ali Artan struck as many as 10 pedestrians at Ohio State, and then used a butcher knife to stab some of the pedestrians. The Cincinnati Division of the FBI said it determined the perpetrator acted alone and was not directed by a terrorist group. Also, the perpetrator appeared to have been influenced by extremist ideology, including ISIS propaganda.

The FBI said its federal investigation has ended, and that no further details are expected to be released.  OSU police officer Alan Horuijko, a 2007 graduate of Fairfield High School in Butler County, shot and killed Artan. He was cleared by a grand jury in May and lauded as a hero.

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Wright State trustees fire former provost who was on paid leave for 3 years

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 7:27 PM

Former Wright State Provost Sundaram Narayanan, left, and his attorney Ted Copetas, right, sit in a Wright State board of trustees meeting on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Trustees voted to terminate Narayanan’s position as a faculty member.
MAX FILBY / STAFF
Former Wright State Provost Sundaram Narayanan, left, and his attorney Ted Copetas, right, sit in a Wright State board of trustees meeting on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Trustees voted to terminate Narayanan’s position as a faculty member.(MAX FILBY / STAFF)

Wright State University’s board of trustees voted to fire its former provost who has been on paid leave in a faculty position for more than three years.

Six of the board’s nine members voted this evening to fire Sundaram Narayanan effective June 30. Three board members were absent from the closed-door meeting Wednesday when trustees met with Narayanan and his attorney Ted Copetas.

“At the end of the day, Dr. Narayanan was a decision-maker at the highest levels of the university at a time that resulted in millions of dollars in losses and the board feels there needs to be accountability from our administrators … and I think in the end that’s what it came down to,” board chairman Doug Fecher said after the vote.

» RELATED: Wright State to layoff up to 40; expects $10M loss next year

Following the private meeting, trustees returned to public session and voted to accept president Cheryl Schrader’s recommendation to terminate Narayanan’s employment.

Narayanan was placed on paid leave in May 2015 when a federal investigation was launched possible violation of immigration laws at WSU.

There was nothing “happy or satisfying” about the decision trustees made Wednesday, Fecher said. Fecher said he hopes that the decision helps the university move on from the visa scandal.

How WSU trustees voted on Narayanan’s termination

Doug Fecher: Yes

Bruce Langos: Yes

Bill Montgomery: Yes

Stephanie Green: Yes

Grace Ramos: Yes

Anuj Goyal: Yes

Michael Bridges: Absent

C.D. Moore: Absent

Sean Fitzpatrick: Absent

“This was not easy. There’s nothing to be happy about,” Fecher said. “This was hopefully the end of a very long and difficult chapter in the university’s history and I’m hoping we can all begin to put this behind us and move on and learn what lessons need to be learned and put the university on the path to the success that it deserves.”

After Narayanan and Copetas met with trustees behind closed doors, the former provost declined to comment on the then-pending decision. But, before trustees voted to fire Narayanan, Copetas said he thought the meeting “went very well.”

“I thought we made our point for the board and I can only hope that they make their decision based on the evidence and the record,” Copetas said before the vote.

Narayanan was one of four university administrators initially suspended in May 2015 because of the federal probe, which a Dayton Daily News investigation revealed was related to the university’s use of H-1B temporary work visas to secure employees for an area IT staffing firm.

» RELATED: Wright State pilot program saves students thousands on textbooks

University researcher Phani Kidambi, who was also suspended since May 2015 because of the federal probe, resigned from the university in August, records show.

The two others were university chief general counsel Gwen Mattison and senior advisor to the provost Ryan Fendley. Mattison was forced to retire in August 2015 with a $301,331 separation payment.

Sundaram Narayanan, former provost at Wright State University. CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

Fendley was fired in August 2015, but then filed two lawsuits against the university. A breach of contract suit was settled with Wright State Applied Research Corporation paying him $13,209. A wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Fendley in the Ohio Court of Claims was decided in Wright State’s favor in September.

Copetas has not said whether he and Narayanan would file a lawsuit if the university terminated the former provost.

“We’ll have to evaluate our options after the board of trustees makes that decision,” Copetas told ;this news organization last week.

While Fecher said he hopes another lawsuit isn’t in the university’s future, he said Wright State’s leaders would handle one if it’s filed.

“That’s always a possibility,” Fecher said. “We’ll handle that if it comes. But, I don’t know that you can let that type of thing affect the kinds of decisions that you feel need to be made.”

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Storm Center 7’s Kirstie Zontini flies with U.S. Navy Blue Angels

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 8:26 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 6:00 PM

Kirstie Zontini prepares to fly with U.S. Navy Blue Angels

It was a ride of a lifetime for Storm Center 7 Daybreak meteorologist Kirstie Zontini, who suited up Wednesday afternoon with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

The flight crew is in town for this weekend’s Vectren Dayton Air Show.

Zontini took off with the team at 4:30 p.m., and is now safely back on the ground after quite the ride on an F/A-18C Hornet aircraft.

This Blue Angels jet has made its arrival at the Dayton Air Show.

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The Blue Angels are making their first appearance at the Vectren Dayton Air Show since 2014.

The fastest speed the team reaches during its performances is about 700 mph.

News Center 7 will bring you the behind the scenes look at the team and Zontini’s flight throughout Wednesday.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Chance for showers and storms tonight, into start of weekend

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 4:15 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 7:00 PM

Heavy downpours and gusty winds are possible Wednesday.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Passing showers and storms this evening
  • Temperatures cool a bit Thursday
  • Increasing rain chances late Thursday into Friday

>> LIVE Doppler 7 Interactive HD Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

This evening/overnight: Expect passing showers and a chance for a few thunderstorms through sunset, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Eric Elwell said. Most showers and storms should dissipate after dark, Elwell said. 

Temperatures will hold into the 80s before falling to a low in the middle to upper 60s overnight under partly cloudy skies, Elwell said.

>> FLOODING: Know your risks

Thursday: Partly cloudy skies and a break in humidity to start the day. However, a front will quickly return to the area, bringing the threat for more showers and storms by the afternoon and into the evening. Highs will reach the upper 70s. 

Friday: Mostly cloudy skies with numerous showers and storms likely especially in the afternoon. A few storms could be severe, along with locally heavy rainfall. Highs will be near 80 degrees. 

>> Cloudy with a chance of podcast

Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds to start the weekend with a passing shower or storm possible, especially in southern counties. Highs will hold in the upper 70s.  

>> WHIO free Weather App

Sunday: Expect a mix of sun and clouds with another changer for a shower or storm, mainly in southern counties. Highs will be in the lower 80s. 

>> The UV index explained

Monday: Mostly sunny skies return with highs reaching the lower 80s. 

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Crews respond to report of partial structure collapse in Dayton

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 5:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 6:10 PM

Woman falls through porch in Dayton

UPDATE @ 6:10 p.m.

A 40-year-old woman fell through a concrete porch this evening and was taken to Miami Valley Hospital.

The woman was a visitor to the duplex in the 1400 block of Hochwalt Avenue.

The woman’s injuries are considered not life-threatening, and a building inspector has been called, Dayton fire officials said.

Yellow caution tape has been placed on the porch.

FIRST REPORT

Crews were called this evening to a report of a partial structure collapse.

The incident was reported around 5:40 p.m. in the 1400 block of Hochwalt Avenue in Dayton.

According to initial reports, a woman fell through a porch when it caved in. 

We have a crew on the way and will update this report.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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