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Justice Dept. Charges Iranian in Plot to Kill John Bolton

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“Iran has a history of plotting to assassinate individuals in the U.S. it deems a threat,” said Larissa L. Knapp, the executive assistant director of the F.B.I.’s national security branch, which worked on the case with the Justice Department and Secret Service.

By November, Mr. Poursafi had been introduced to several other Americans on an encrypted messaging platform, and made a stunning offer to one of them, the person who turned out to be the informant: He would pay $250,000 to “eliminate” Mr. Bolton, who had left the White House in late 2019 after a tumultuous year-and-a-half tenure.

Mr. Poursafi later hiked the offer to $300,000, then added that he had an unspecified follow-up “job,” for which he would pay $1 million, officials said. Justice Department officials have informed Mike Pompeo, who took a hard line on Iran as Mr. Trump’s secretary of state, that he was the second target for assassination, according to a person close to Mr. Pompeo.

Mr. Poursafi never tried to conceal his connection to the Revolutionary Guards. In fact, he seemed to use his status to intimidate would-be conspirators, U.S. officials said.

By early 2021, he was sharply increasing pressure on the informant to move ahead with the assassination, sending detailed information on the location of Mr. Bolton’s office and residence. In January, he provided the informant “with specifics regarding the former national security adviser’s schedule that do not appear to have been publicly available,” according to a narrative of the case provided to reporters by the Justice Department.

Mr. Poursafi also urged the informant to set up a cryptocurrency account for payment. He made it clear, however, that he would make the deposit only after the job was done, and he demanded the informant videotape the killing. He warned the informant, darkly, that his bosses in Tehran would be “angry” if the job were not completed to their satisfaction.

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California man who fatally stabbed Las Vegas showgirl found unfit to stand trial

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The knife-wielding madman accused of fatally stabbing two people on the Last Vegas Strip — including a showgirl — was found mentally unfit to stand trial, The Post has confirmed.

A Las Vegas judge on Friday ruled Yoni Barrios, 32, must remain at a state psychiatric facility until a court-appointed psychiatrist can determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial, according to court records.

Barrios was charged with two counts of open murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder in the senseless broad-daylight attack on October 6.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said Barrios stabbed showgirl Maris Digiovanni in the heart and bystander Brent Hallet with a kitchen knife near the Wynn hotel.

Yoni Barrios appears in court at the Regional Justice Center, on Oct. 11, 2022, in Las Vegas.
AP

Barrios also allegedly stabbed six others, including showgirls Anna Westby and Victoria Cayetano.

According to a police report obtained by The Post, Barrios went into the Wynn looking for a job. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed Barrios, a Guatemalan national, was in the country illegally.

Las Vegas showgirl Anna Westby was rushed to the hospital after Yoni Barrios allegedly stabbed her in the back.
A Las Vegas showgirl was rushed to the hospital after Yoni Barrios’ attack.
Pierre Fandrich

Police said Barrios spoke to a security guard at the Wynn and said he wanted to sell the knives he had in his possession so he could obtain some money to go back to his country.

The guard told him to “jump in front of a train,” according to the police report.

Yoni Barrios shown in a mug shot.
Yoni Barrios shown in a mug shot.
AP

An enraged Barrios then approached the showgirls, later telling police they laughed and made fun of his clothing.

“Barrios said he became angry and stabbed one of the women [Digiovanni] in the chest after which he began stabbing the other women in the group as they ran away,” the police report said.

“Barrios started running and looking for groups of people so he could ‘let the anger out.’”

If the court determines Barrios is competent, the criminal case will proceed.

Barrios had been living in the streets in Los Angeles before he decided to go to Las Vegas. A friend of Barrios told The Post the 32-year old was a former stripper who mooched off men and women who had romantic interests in him.

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As Ukraine Presses Its Offensive, a Call for Evacuations From a Russian-Controlled Area

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KYIV, Ukraine — Less than a month after driving Russian forces from the city of Kherson on the west bank of the Dnipro River, the Ukrainian authorities on Saturday issued an urgent call for civilians to evacuate from Russian-occupied areas on the eastern bank, suggesting that Kyiv’s military might press its offensive and try to establish a foothold across the waterway.

“The evacuation is necessary due to the possible intensification of hostilities in this area,” Yaroslav Yanushevych, the head of the Kherson regional military administration, in Ukraine’s south, said in an announcement to residents.

It was not clear how many people would be able to make it across the river on private boats and other vessels because all of the main crossings have been destroyed. The public call for evacuations was also most likely intended to signal to the Russians that an assault might be coming, though Ukraine has in the past used deception to focus Russian attention in one direction while preparing for an offensive somewhere else.

Ukrainian forces are pushing on into the winter after two sweeping offensives in the northeast and south in the fall. They are once again stepping up strikes on Russian supply routes, command centers and ammunition depots from new forward positions.

The Russian withdrawal from Kherson was both an embarrassment for the Kremlin, which had only recently declared the region to be a part of Russia, and a strategic setback as it put the Ukrainians in a better position to threaten supply lines from Crimea with long-range precision weapons provided by its Western allies.

After being driven across the Dnipro River in Kherson, Russian forces set about fortifying defensive positions about 10 to 20 miles from the eastern bank, according to the Ukrainian military and satellite imagery. But the river divides Ukrainian and Russian forces along a route that stretches more than 200 miles, and Russian forces are spread thin.

“Russian forces clearly do not expect to be able to prevent Ukrainian forces from getting across the river, nor are the Russians prioritizing defensive positions to stop such a crossing,” the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based research group, said earlier this week after analyzing publicly available satellite photos of the Russian defensive positions.

A ban on river crossings would be lifted from Saturday to Monday to facilitate the evacuations, Mr. Yanushevych said, noting that only one dock would be opened. All those fleeing Russian-occupied territories must bring documents certifying their identity and confirming their Ukrainian citizenship, he said.

Farther to the northeast, where the river widens into a vast reservoir held back by a vital dam in Nova Kakhovka, Ukrainian officials and residents said that the Russian civilian administration this week had begun to flee farther east.

The Ukrainian military has noted that it was seeing a decrease in the number of Russian troops in the towns and villages along the river. “A minimal number of occupiers remain in the cities,” the military said last month.

The account was supported by local residents reached by telephone in recent days.

North of the dam, speculation continued to swirl around Russian intentions at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which has been occupied by Russian forces since early in the war and where Ukrainian intelligence has estimated at least 500 soldiers are garrisoned.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said at a news conference in Rome on Friday that the agency was “almost there” in brokering a deal for Russian troops to pull out of the plant and to create a demilitarized zone around the facility, which has been at the center of frequent shelling.

“We have a proposal on the table which simply put is aiming to stop the folly of bombing the largest nuclear power plant in Europe,” he said.

Although the Kremlin has pushed back on Ukrainian suggestions that its forces were preparing to leave the nuclear plant, Alexei Likhachev, the head of the Russian nuclear energy agency, confirmed negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog group, were continuing.

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Georgia fugitive gets himself arrested after commenting on ‘most wanted’ post

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This is not a list most would ask to be on.

A Georgia man assisted law enforcement in his arrest after he commented on the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.

When the sheriff’s department, located east of Atlanta, released their “Most Wanted List” for November, Christopher Spaulding appeared offended by the omission.

“How about me” Spaulding asked through his personal Facebook account.

The department was happy to reply on Thursday, saying, “you are correct you have two warrants, we are on the way.” 

Later on Thursday, Rockdale police shared an update to the bizarre exchange. Spaulding, wearing a red Georgia Bulldogs hoodie and hat, was apprehended and handcuffed.

The 40-year-old had two warrants for Felony Violation of Probation, according to police.

The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office was happy to add Spaulding to the list.
Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office / Facebook

“We appreciate you for your assistance in your capture!” the department said in the post.

After Spaulding was taken into custody, the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office reminded wanted fugitives that being left off the “Most Wanted List” isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card.

“Our Top 10 is compiled based off of the severity of the charges only. By not being on this list does not mean our Fugitive Unit is not looking for you if you have an active warrant.”

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