Killer of French police couple 'acted on ISIL message'

Al Jazeera

The man who killed a French police officer and his partner in a stabbing attack outside their home near Paris was inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, according to a video he posted on Facebook during the attack. Larossi Abballa filmed himself with the couple's child, calling for more attacks and referenced ISIL spokesman Abu Mohamed al-Adnani, who called for attacks on Europe and the United States during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. French prosecutor Francois Molins on Tuesday said Abballa told negotiators that he had sworn loyalty to ISIL three weeks earlier. Molins said police had found a hit list at the scene naming police, dignitaries, journalists and rappers to be targeted. ISIL (also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the killings shortly after the attack.

Pipe bomb explodes before charity run in New Jersey; no injuries

Los Angeles Times

A pipe bomb exploded in a Jersey Shore town Saturday shortly before thousands of runners were due to participate in a charity 5-kilometer race to benefit Marines and sailors, authorities said. No injuries were reported in the blast at Seaside Park around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County prosecutor's office. He also said no surrounding structures suffered any apparent damage. The third annual Semper Five run was canceled and the immediate area was put on lockdown.

Orlando shooting investigation broadens to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia

Los Angeles Times

Investigators are collecting data from at least two cellphones used by Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub Sunday, as well as other electronic media and email accounts, a U.S. law enforcement official said Tuesday. So far, the official said, investigators have not encountered any data that has been encrypted, a major stumbling block in the FBI's investigation of an iPhone used by the couple who killed 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino on Dec. 2. The lack of encryption is expected to speed the widening investigation into why Mateen, a 29-year-old private security guard, opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle in the Pulse nightclub. He was killed later in a shootout with police. With the investigation spreading, a law enforcement official said that Mateen's widow, Noor Zahi Salman, is talking to the FBI, which is looking into whether she helped him plan or scout out the rampage at the Orlando nightclub, or knew about his plans in advance.

Britain's sweeping surveillance powers act raises concerns for human rights activists

Los Angeles Times

To Silkie Carlo, the sweeping surveillance powers British legislators have voted to grant intelligence agencies and police make no sense in a democracy. Carlo and other civil liberty and human rights advocates oppose new rules that essentially allow authorities to spy and hack into communications of ordinary citizens. "It defies common sense," said Carlo, policy officer at human rights organization Liberty. "We are very, very resolutely in opposition to mass surveillance, which can never be considered proportionate or necessary in a democracy." But after a year of debate, the Investigatory Powers Bill was approved by Parliament last week and is expected to be ratified into law by the end of the year.

Family of father who died in struggle with Pasadena police files federal lawsuit

Los Angeles Times

The family of a mentally ill man who died during a struggle with Pasadena officers in September has filed suit in federal court alleging that police violated his and his family's civil rights by using excessive force and then conspired cover up evidence of their recklessness. Reginald Thomas Jr.'s mental health issues were well-known to officers in the Pasadena Police Department and they should have called in a crisis response team to de-escalate the situation, said the plaintiff's lawyer, Caree Harper. The suit, which seeks damages as well as compensation for legal and funeral expenses, alleges that Pasadena Police have a practice of using excessive force against black men like Thomas and that they are never disciplined for their behavior. "We really would like to get something in place changing how officers respond to a known mental health crisis," Harper said. "We want to have change."