1 Afghan Blast Kills Three American Service Members, Contractor
Officials say that three American service members and one U.S. contractor are dead after a car bomb attack near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The Pentagon reports that three other U.S. soldiers were injured in the explosion. In the aftermath, the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which targeted a U.S. military convoy. They also inflated the tally, claiming nearly a dozen were killed – something they commonly do. The timing is concerning to officials, however, as Taliban reps have reportedly been in negotiations with American officials to structure a settlement to bring an end to America's longest war. About 14-thousand U.S. forces remain in Afghanistan – and their primary mission is to “advise” Afghan security forces.
2 ISIS-Inspired Terror Plot Has Been Stopped
The Maryland man accused of plotting an ISIS-inspired terror attack near Washington, DC is due in court today for a detention hearing. Federal prosecutors charge that Rondell Henry is charged with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle. Henry is accused of stealing a U-Haul and planning an attack similar to the 2016 truck attack in Nice, France. Officials say the 28-year-old was arrested last month after he planned – and failed – to use a stolen U-Haul van to run down pedestrians at the National Harbor waterfront in Prince George's County, Maryland. According to investigators, Henry harbored "hatred" for those who do not practice the Muslim faith. Prosecutors say Henry should remain in custody because he is a flight risk and a danger to the community. Henry was allegedly inspired by videos he watched of foreign terrorists. In court documents, Henry reportedly admitted to considering an attack at Dulles Airport in Virginia but was unable to breach the airport's security perimeter. He then drove around looking the DC and Maryland for a significant target – and when he couldn’t, he attempted to return the van…and it’s then he was taken into custody
3 Sec. Nielsen Pushed Out Over Border Disagreement With Trump
It appeared as though Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen quit, but that may be open to interpretation. Yesterday we told you that Nielsen was leaving, but today it appears it was a “quit or I’ll fire you” situation. Why? According to reports, Nielsen may not be “extreme” enough for President Trump. As the story goes, Nielsen and President Trump were at odds two weeks ago – when he was publicly threatening to completely close the southern border. Sources say the President ordered Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to shut down the port of El Paso on March 22nd – and then to shutter other ports in subsequent days. Nielsen’s counter-proposal? To simply slow down entries at legal ports – saying that all that would be achieved by Trump’s plan is ending legal trade and travel, but migrants will just go between ports. His alleged response? "I don't care." Sources say he also wants officials to ignore judge’s orders and not allow migrants in. "At the end of the day," a senior administration official notes. "The President refuses to understand that the Department of Homeland Security is constrained by the laws."