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Al-Shabab attacks military base in Kenya’s Lamu county

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Al-Shabab fighters have stormed a military base in Kenya’s Lamu county used by both United States and Kenyan military personnel, a government official and the armed group said.

“There was an attack but they have been repulsed,” Irungu Macharia, Lamu Commissioner, told AFP news agency.

It was unclear whether there were any casualties following the dawn attack by the al-Qaeda-linked group.

“The Mujahideen fighters covertly entered enemy lines, successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of a part of the base,” the group said in a statement.

The armed group said the raid resulted in “severe casualties on both American and Kenyan troops stationed there.”

The attack underscores the resilience of al-Shabab, which has maintained a campaign of deadly bomb and gun attacks despite being ejected from their bases in the Somali capital, Mogadishu and other areas years ago.

The group also carries out attacks in Kenya, which sent thousands of its troops into Somalia to fight al-Shabab.

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Traded in White Hooded Sheets for White Mask; Nationalists March in Washington With Police Escort

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WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Police escorted masked members of a white nationalist group on a march through Washington’s National Mall on Saturday that Metropolitan Police said occurred without incident or arrests.

More than 100 members of the Patriot Front, dressed in khaki pants and caps, blue jackets and white face masks, shouted “Reclaim America!” and “Life, liberty, victory!” video of the march showed.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Patriot Front as a white nationalist group that broke off from a similar organization, Vanguard America, in the aftermath of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

At that rally, self-described neo Nazi James Fields drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump drew criticism from his fellow Republicans as well as Democrats for saying that “both sides” were to blame for the deadly 2017 incident.

Video of Saturday’s march in Washington posted on the News2Share Facebook page showed occasional hecklers, but there appeared to be no organized counter-protest movement waiting for the Patriot Front as the group marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol grounds and later a nearby Wal-Mart parking garage.

They were accompanied by dozens of police, some on bicycles, but it was unclear whether the group had obtained a permit for the march. A spokeswoman for District of Columbia Metropolitan Police said it had no record of a permit for the march. Capitol Police and the National Park Service could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said that the “First Amendment demonstration was peaceful with no incidents or arrests.”

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Mitch Mayfield, a 23 soldier killed in Kenya attack identified by family

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The Pentagon has identified the U.S. soldier killed in an al-Shabab attack in Kenya on Sunday.

Army Spc. Henry “Mitch” Mayfield Jr., 23, died while supporting Operation Octave Shield, the name for the mission focused on targeting militant groups in Somalia, the Pentagon said.

He was killed during an attack that included mortars and small arms fire, breached the base’s perimeter and damaged six aircraft. There was no immediate information released regarding how Mayfield was killed during the attack.

Mayfield was assigned to 1st Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment, 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group, out of Fort Rucker, Alabama. His battalion provides expeditionary air traffic control and airfield management.

Mayfield and two DoD contractors died after the attack on Manda Bay Airfield, which is roughly 150 miles south of the Kenya-Somalia border. Two other Defense Department members were also injured in the attack, but remain in stable condition, according to U.S. Africa Command.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Specialist Henry ‘Mitch’ Mayfield’s family, friends and loved ones,” said Col. William Garber, commander of the fallen soldier’s unit. “Mayfield was a dynamic soldier who inspired those he served with to excel both on and off duty. The 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group will miss his leadership and camaraderie.”

Mayfield, a native of Evergreen Park, Illinois, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment, 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group in Fort Rucker, Alabama. The DOD said Mayfield was in Kenya supporting Operation Octave Shield. No further details have been released. U.S. authorities are investigating this incident.

Mayfield is a native of the Chicago, Illinois suburb Hazel Crest. He enlisted into the Army in August 2017. His mother, Carmoneta, said that she last spoke with her son during the New Year’s holiday.

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Trump tells Congress to follow him on Twitter for updates on war with Iran

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After ordering the assassination of a top Iranian commander without giving notice to congressional leaders, Trump has told Congress to follow him on Twitter for updates on his acts of war against Iran.

Today’s dramatic tweet from the president follows another issued on January 4th, in which Trump threatened the destruction of 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites. (The targeting of cultural sites is considered a war crime.)

Trump has long used Twitter to harass, insult, and demean his enemies, and as president, he has used the platform to issue surprise orders, announcements, and even threats against other nations like North Korea. In 2018, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by tweet. More generally, federal agencies have struggled to reckon with the president’s use of Twitter during his administration, often wondering whether his mercurial pronouncements should be handled as official government policy.

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