Saturday January 18, 2020
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2 suspects shot dead after gunfire outside Prophet Muhammad cartoon exhibition

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

On Sunday, US police shot two outraged gunmen outside a provocative conference on cartoons depicting the imagery of Prophet Muhammad in the Dallas suburb of Garland.

Police killed the two gunmen and managed to evacuate the place without having any casualties. However, a security guard was injured.

Police also searched the gunmen’s car for any bomb.

The event was organized by a Islamic group and contests were arranged to draw the cartoons of the Prophet, that hoisted the rage of certain non-social elements.

The event was also attended by Dutch anti-Islamic politician, Geert Wilders, who later tweeted that the shots had been fired and he had safely left the building.

According to Garland Police Department spokesman Joe Harn, the reason for intrusion and shooting was not clear. He further added that there had not been any credible threats in advance of the event.

A news agency in a word with one eyewitness reported that around 20 shots were fired from a car driving past the conference centre, which was followed by two individual shots.

“As today’s Muhammad Art Exhibit event at the Curtis Culwell Center was coming to an end, two males drove up to the front of the building in a car,” the City of Garland government said.

“Both males were armed and began shooting at a Garland ISD (Independent School District) security officer. Garland Police officers engaged the gunmen, who were both shot and killed.”

Police suspected that gunmen’s vehicle could contain some provocative substance like a bomb. Therefore, the bomb squad was called at the scene.

The conference was attended by more than 200 people who were moved to the back of the building before being evacuated using school buses, stated police.

The event was controversial and provocative that jolted the very foundation of different terrorists organizations, said BBC’s Alastair Leithead.

Event was organized by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), which has campaigned against the building of an Islamic centre near the World Trade Center site in New York.

AFDI is operated by controversial blogger and activist Pamela Geller. It is also considered as an anti-Muslim group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group.

Commenting upon the incident, Geller told a news agency that the reason for conducting the contest was to have a free speech. The event also included a $10,000 (£6,600) prize for a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

Earlier this year, a fund raising event was organized by the same conference centre in Garland to build a local Islamic centre, which was besieged by the opponents. Depicting Prophet Muhammad through a cartoon is considered as an offence by many Muslims.

A similar incident happened in January this year when 12 people were murdered by two Islamist gunmen at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo that published similar cartoons.

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More Students From Fake University In U.S. Arrested, Deported

International students who said they were attending a university have been arrested in Michigan on immigration charges

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DHS & ICE created the University to expose weaknesses in the student visa immigration process
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, Calif. A sweeping expansion of deportation powers unveiled this week by the Trump administration has sent chills through immigrant communities and prompted some lawyers to advise migrants to gather up as much documentation as possible. Pay stubs, apartment leases or even gym key tags to prove they’ve been in the U.S. VOA

More international students who said they were attending a university that was actually a shell created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been arrested in Michigan on immigration charges in recent months.

DHS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) created the University of Farmington to expose weaknesses in the student visa immigration process, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Helms wrote in a sentencing memo, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. The paper broke the story last spring.

“While ‘enrolled’ at the university, 100 percent of the foreign citizen students never spent a single second in a classroom. If it were truly about obtaining an education, the university would not have been able to attract anyone, because it had no teachers, classes or educational services,” the memo said.

While the students were granted student visas to enter the U.S., they were in violation when they did not actually attend the school, federal agencies said. Of about 250 people arrested, more than 200 students voluntarily left the U.S., and 50 stayed until being arrested or deported, the Free Press reported. ICE officials said many of the students were from India.

Students in University
Group of students studying in Library of a University. Pixabay

The paper reported that some students — claiming they were entrapped by the U.S. government, which operated the fake university — hired attorneys to defend their right to stay.

It remains unclear what happened to the tuition and fees paid by the students. It cost approximately $12,000 to enroll in the fake school, the Free Press reported.

ALSO READ: China Alerts Students About Studying in United States

Last winter, eight people were arrested and indicted for conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harboring aliens for profit. Federal agencies said those charged helped at least 600 “foreign citizens to illegally remain, reenter and work in the United States and actively recruited them to enroll in a fraudulent school as part of a ‘pay to stay’ scheme.”

After conviction, the eight were sentenced to between 12 and 24 months. They face deportation after they serve their terms. (VOA)