Morning Security Brief: U.N. Inspectors under Fire, Sentencing for Fort Hood Shooter, Yosemite Fire Threatens Towns, and More
UN inspectors were fired on this morning while heading toward the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was convicted on Friday and begins sentencing hearings today. Wildfires in Yosemite now threaten several towns.
► U.N. inspectors headed to the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria were fired upon this morning, according to The Washington Post. No one was hurt, but the inspectors’ vehicle was inoperable after the incident. A New York Times article quotes officials in the Obama administration who announced yesterday that there was “very little doubt” that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons against civilians last week.
► Today, a military jury will begin the sentencing phase in the trial of Nidal Hasan, who opened fire at a Fort Hood, Texas , processing center four years ago. The Army Medical Corp officer was convicted on 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder on Friday. According to CNN, Hasan has requested the death penalty, saying he would like to die as a martyr.
► A wildfire raging through a remote part of Yosemite National Park now threatens several communities, according to The Guardian. The fire has been driven by 50-mph winds, engulfing 225 square miles and reaching treetops as high as 100 feet. Firefighters are using bulldozers to clear lines in an effort to protect three towns that are in the path of the blaze. The fire began August 17 and subsequent lightning storms have sparked a dozen smaller fires in the area.
► Boston has been awarded more than $17.5 million in homeland security grants , according to the Associated Press. The funding is awarded through the Urban Areas Security Initiative and is an increase of $7 million over last year’s grants. In applying for increased funding, city officials noted that the grants were key in responding to the Boston Marathon bombings.