Marisa’s Musings: Moscow Subway Attack, Militia, Heroin in the Suburbs

By Marisa Bramwell

Mar 29, 2010 9:39pm

Medvedev vows to find those responsible for the deadly subway attacks, the FBI arrests another member of the Hutaree militia in Michigan and an increasing number of suburban teens are adopting heroin as their choice drug.  I'm Marisa Bramwell and here's the latest from the ABC News desk:

MOSCOW TRAIN BOMBING:  Moscow’s metro system has returned to its normal routine, no sign of this morning’s deadly explosion that killed dozens during rush hour.  At least 30 people were killed and dozens injured when two female suicide bombers detonated their explosives in the city’s underground transit system.  “The woman bombers are suspected to be from the North Caucasus…a region where Islamic militants are waging a war for a separate Muslim state.  Women from that region known as ‘Black Widows’ have attacked Russian targets before to avenge the deaths of loved ones,” Alex Marquardt reported on WORLD NEWS.  President Obama called Russian President Medvedev to offer his condolences, and said the US was willing to help bring justice to those involved in the attack.  This evening Medvedev laid flowers at the site of the bombings, said investigators would “find and destroy” those responsible for the attack. 

FBI ARRESTS CHRISTIAN MILITIA MEMBERS:  Eight members of the Christian militia group Hutaree were arrested over the weekend in a raid by the FBI.  Today the members were charged with a plot to “levy war on the United States” and “attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.”  Dan Harris reports: “According to the indictment, they allegedly had detailed plans to kill a local law enforcement official and then attack the funeral procession with IEDS…killing perhaps hundreds of fellow law enforcement officials….after that attack, according to the indictment, the Hutaree planned to retreat to several ‘rally points’ where they would dig in for a long fight which they believed would provoke a ‘widespread uprising against the government.’”  The group now faces life in prison.  Tonight the FBI arrested Josh Stone, the ninth member of the militia that a warrant was issued for, after a stand-off in North Adams, Michigan. 

SOUTHERN WEATHER/NORTHEAST FLOODING:  The Southeast is cleaning up after a round of severe storms and tornadoes ripped through the region overnight.  “Today weather officials across five states were busy confirming tornado sightings…there were more than a dozen…and frightened residents managed to get incredible pictures,” Steve Osunsami reported on WORLD NEWS.  And now that same storm system is moving north: in the Northeast, flood warnings are in effect for parts of New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts.  Record-breaking rainfall is expected in Boston, New York City, Providence and Portland, all of which could get at least 7 inches of rain over the next day.

VATICAN-POPE SCANDAL:  Jim Sciutto reports: “Today, the Vatican's version of a chief prosecutor, who is in charge of investigating crimes within the church, including child abuse by priests, told ABC News that every allegation is taken seriously, but that accusations of a cover-up by the Vatican are ‘false and unjustified.’ Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican has investigated 3,000 of the most serious cases of abuse _ and handed out punishment in every one, ranging from dismissal to forced resignation to other disciplinary measures.
He called the idea that the pope himself would know what every priest is doing ‘a myth.’”

EDUCATION GRANTS:  The Obama Administration will award millions of dollars in aid to the education programs in Delaware and Tennessee as part of its “Race to the Top” initiative to improve education standards.  “Both Delaware and Tennessee agreed to tie teacher’s salaries to student performance and implement reforms in every school district statewide.  Crucially, they also got full support from the teacher’s unions,” David Wright reported on WORLD NEWS.  Both states will get $600 million dollars.

HEROIN IN THE SUBURBS:  Sharyn Alfonsi filed a stunning report on the increasing use of heroin among America’s suburban teens:  “The explosion of heroin in suburban America isn’t by accident.  Rather, it is the plan of drug lords from Mexico and Columbia who are aggressively marketing the drug to Middle America.  Packets of heroin now stamped with popular brand names, even blockbuster movies like Twilight.  Drug lords using infrastructure that’s already in place…dealers who used to peddle pot…to push heroin.  Often they give it away for free in the suburbs.  Once kids are hooked, they sell it to them…dirt cheap.”

GOP SPENDING:  Teddy Davis reports: “The Republican National Committee is undertaking an investigation in the wake of news that nearly $2,000 in party funds was spent at Voyeur West Hollywood, a risqué night-club in Los Angeles….According to an RNC spokesperson, The $1,946.25 RNC reimbursement was made to a ‘non-committee staffer.’” That staffer is Erik Brown, who said he would reimburse the RNC for the bill from the club. 

MEXICO CONSULATE MURDER SUSPECT:  Mexican authorities have arrested a suspect possibly linked to the killings of a U.S. Consulate employee and her husband.  Enrique Torres, spokesman for the Chihuahua State Police, says the suspect is a leader of the Barrio Azteca gang.  No other details were disclosed.

TREASURY CITIGROUP STOCK:  The US Treasury announced today it plans to sell its 27 percent stake in Citigroup, about 7.7 billion shares, over the next year.  Matt Jaffe reports that “at today’s prices the transaction could net taxpayers an $8.1 billion profit, the largest haul from any bailed-out firm’s stock sales, and it would also be the second-largest stock sale in history.”

DOW ALERT:  Dan Arnall reports: “The stock market has been on a real tear lately – jumping more than 5% during a one-month streak.  It’s likely we’ll see the markets stretching for Dow 11,000 (first reached back on January 9, 2006 when it closed at 11,011.90) at some point during trading this week if the positive news keeps coming. Once it reaches that level, the Dow will have rallied 68 percent from its March 2009 low.”  Today the Dow closed up 45.50 points, or 0.4 percent, to 10,895.86.

CANTOR THREATS:  Police arrested and charged Philadelphia resident Norman Leboon for making threats against Representative Eric Cantor and his family.  In a posted a video on YouTube and Google, Leboon threatened Cantor, his wife and kids and called the congressman a “liar” and “Lucifer.”  If found guilty, Leboon faces up to 15 years in jail.

BULLYING CHARGES:  Nine Massachusetts teens have been charged with “unrelenting” and “intolerable” bullying that led to the suicide of a classmate.  Fifteen-year-old Phoebe Prince hanged herself earlier this year after being bullied by classmates in a four-month physical and verbal harassment campaign.  The charges included criminal harassment, statutory rape and stalking.  Three other female students faced delinquency charges.

BARBARA BUSH:  Barbara Bush remains hospitalized in Houston and will “probably not getting out today or even tomorrow unless they get a break.  She is in no pain, so there is no rush,” says her spokesman.

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