5 things for November 2: A terror plot a year in the making

We’re learning more about the suspect and the plans behind this week’s deadly New York City terror attack. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. NYC terror attack

Sayfullo Saipov, the man accused of killing eight people in this week’s terror attack in New York, is reportedly talking to authorities. What he has to say is chilling: According to a criminal complaint, he allegedly “felt good about what he had done” and had been planning the attack for a year.

Saipov told investigators he was inspired by ISIS videos, and investigators found 90 videos and 3,800 images that appeared to be ISIS-related propaganda on one of his cell phones, the complaint says.

Saipov was charged with federal terrorism offenses in Tuesday’s attack, but President Donald Trump tweeted that he should “GET DEATH PENALTY.” Trump also vowed to terminate the visa lottery program that help bring Saipov to the United States and branded the justice system a “laughingstock.”

2. Facebook and Russia

The House Intelligence Committee released a small sample of the 3,000 ads a Russian troll farm purchased on Facebook during the 2016 US presidential election. They focused on divisive issues such as immigration, religion and race, and some mentioned Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders by name. 

Some of the ads were sophisticated attempts to appeal to certain interest groups or races. Others pushed false missions, such as a petition to remove Clinton from the ballot or an ad claiming you could vote via Twitter. A few were just downright bizarre, such as an image of Satan and Jesus arm-wrestling for the country’s future. Really. 

3. Brett Ratner

Director and producer Brett Ratner is the latest Hollywood figure accused of sexual misconduct.

In a Los Angeles Times story published Wednesday, six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, accused Ratner of allegations ranging from sexual assault to harassment in incidents in private homes, at industry events and on movie sets. Among other things, Munn accused Ratner of touching himself in front of her, and Henstridge accused him of physically forcing her to perform sexual acts. Rattner’s attorney says his client “vehemently denies the outrageous derogatory allegations.”

4. North Korea

North Korea is working on an advanced version of its existing KN-20 intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially reach the United States, according to a US official. This newly assessed ICBM is just one part of an accelerated effort by Kim Jong Un’s regime to improve every part of its missile and nuclear weapons attack capability as quickly as possible. While it’s scary news all around, the development chiefly means the United States has to recalculate the timing of the threat that a North Korean missile could pose to the country, and rethink what kind of response would be most effective. 

5. Osama bin Laden

The CIA has released a huge collection of files connected with the 2011 raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. This newly released info includes the al Qaeda founder’s personal journal. CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the release “provides the opportunity for the American people to gain further insights into the plans and workings of this terrorist organization.” 

However, it also provides some unexpected insight into the bin Laden family’s viewing tastes. The CIA has withheld some material on the grounds of security or copyright, including family movies such as “Cars,” “Chicken Little” and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” as well as the documentaries “Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?” and “CNN Presents: World’s Most Wanted.” 


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