New York - Earlier today, Al-Qaeda operative Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, aka Spin Ghul, 47, was sentenced to life in prison following his March 16, 2017 trial conviction of multiple terrorism offenses, including conspiracy to murder American military personnel in Afghanistan, conspiracy to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, and providing material support to al-Qaeda.

As proven at trial, Harun traveled from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan weeks before Sept. 11, 2001, where he joined al-Qaeda, trained at al-Qaeda training camps, and eventually swore allegiance to Usama bin Laden. Harun, also known by the nom de guerre “Spin Ghul,” a Pashto name meaning “White Rose,” then traveled with other al-Qaeda jihadists to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, where he operated under Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi, one of bin Laden’s deputies and a senior al-Qaeda military commander.

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Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in Japan to begin meeting with foreign leaders in the region, building on the momentum from President Donald Trump’s historic visit at the end of last year.

The Vice President will participate in bilateral meetings with leaders in Tokyo and Seoul to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will also lead the U.S. Delegation to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeonchang to reinforce the strong U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear message of American resolve to the North Korean regime.

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A Russian national has been extradited from Spain and will be arraigned later today in Connecticut on charges stemming from his alleged operation of the Kelihos botnet – a global network of tens of thousands of infected computers, which he allegedly used to facilitate malicious activities including harvesting login credentials, distributing bulk spam e-mails, and installing ransomware and other malicious software.

Peter Yuryevich Levashov, 37, also known as Petr Levashov, Peter Severa, Petr Severa and Sergey Astakhov, of St. Petersburg, Russia, has been detained since April 7, 2017, in Spain when he was arrested by Spanish authorities based upon a criminal complaint and arrest warrant issued in the District of Connecticut.

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Asher Abid Khan, 23, of Spring, Texas, pleaded guilty today to providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The investigation began in 2014 when Khan and his friend, who was living in South Texas, devised a plan to travel to Turkey and then to Syria for the purpose of fighting on behalf of ISIS. Khan had been living with a relative in Australia. Prior to leaving for Turkey from there, Khan told Mohamed Zuhbi, a Turkish-based foreign terrorist fighter facilitator, that he wanted to join ISIS.

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New Russian legislation that allows the Ministry of Justice to label media outlets as “foreign agents” and to monitor or block certain internet activity presents yet another threat to free media in Russia. Freedom of expression—including speech and media which a government may find inconvenient—is a universal human rights obligation Russia has pledged to uphold.

The United States has previously highlighted the threat posed by Russia’s Foreign Agents Law, which has been used to justify a constant stream of raids, harassment, and legal proceedings that effectively obstruct non-governmental organizations from doing their work. Expanding the Foreign Agents Law to include media outlets opens the door to onerous requirements that could further stifle freedom of speech and editorial independence in Russia.

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The First Family will celebrate their first Christmas in the White House with a nod to tradition. This year's theme, “Time-Honored Traditions” was designed by First Lady Melania Trump to pay respect to 200 years of holiday traditions at the White House.

In the East Wing, visitors find a tribute to our service members and their families with the Gold Star Family Tree, which has been decorated with gold stars and patriotic ribbon. Visitors are encouraged to write a message to their loved ones who are on duty or abroad on the digital tablets provided.

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