M.N.: My Opinion: Putin’s Chef” Cannot Cook! | 5:54 AM 2/17/2018 – “There’s no way to know what the impact was.” – Clint Watts

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M.N.: “Putin’s Chef” cannot cook!

Too much salt, pepper, and exotic spices; and no common sense and no good taste. Just what they feed the Russian children for their school lunches, produced by his companies. Fire the scoundrel and exile him to Siberia, to cater for the rich Chukchis and Eskimos (frozen fish in good old Soviet sweet and sour source)! Putin, get a new cook! Henry Kissinger can recommend a really good one, with the impeccable Republican credentials. Go for it! Let him cook something new and exciting, something like “The Sanctions Borscht Special for the Kremlin elites”. They will love it and will give Prigozhin The Big KGB Golden Star and Medal if he did not get them by now already. 

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 file photo, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, around his factory which produces school meals, outside St. Petersburg, Russia. Indicted for alleged U.S. election interference, Prigozhin is a wealthy Russian entrepreneur from St. Petersburg who&squot;s been dubbed "Putin&squot;s chef" by Russian media, with his catering businesses that have hosted the Kremlin leader&squot;s dinners with foreign dignitaries. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File) Photo: Alexei Druzhinin, AP / POOL SPUTNIK KREMLIN

Yevgeny Prigozhin – GS

“Though the indictment does not allege that the Russian activities altered the outcome of the election, it doesn’t foreclose that possibility. Given how close the election was in several key states, proving whether any particular activity might have changed the outcome is all but impossible.

“There’s no way to know what the impact was.

We really don’t know the scale, we really don’t know whose minds were changed,” said Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and researcher on cyber-influence campaigns…

The details in the indictment show that the Russian campaign was far more sophisticated and serious than previously known, Watts said. The ways in which the Russians concealed their identities and made their operation look “authentically American” in order to trick Americans into helping them provided evidence of a sophisticated operation with ties to Russian intelligence, he added.

“This is not what just any goofball could do,” he said. “They got real Americans to do influence for them, unwittingly. That’s next-level.”

The Russians created fake social media accounts, posing as Americans and in some cases using stolen identities of real Americans, to post messages about divisive issues such as guns and immigration.”

Special counsel Mueller indicts 13 Russians, alleging 2016 election interference
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WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller 3rd indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies Friday, accusing them of using stolen identities, fake campaign events and hundreds of social media accounts while spending millions of rubles to 

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  • FILE - In this file photo taken on Sunday, April 19, 2015, a women enters the four-storey building known as the "troll factory" in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. government allege the Internet Research Agency started interfering as early as 2014 in U.S. politics, extending to the 2016 presidential election, saying the agency was funded by a St. Petersburg businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky, AP / Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
  • window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: ‘thumbnails-c’, container: ‘taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-3’, placement: ‘Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 3’, target_type: ‘mix’ }); _taboola.push({flush: true});
  • FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 file photo, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, around his factory which produces school meals, outside St. Petersburg, Russia. Indicted for alleged U.S. election interference, Prigozhin is a wealthy Russian entrepreneur from St. Petersburg who&squot;s been dubbed "Putin&squot;s chef" by Russian media, with his catering businesses that have hosted the Kremlin leader&squot;s dinners with foreign dignitaries. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
  • FILE - In this file photo taken on Sunday, April 19, 2015, a women enters the four-storey building known as the "troll factory" in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. government allege the Internet Research Agency started interfering as early as 2014 in U.S. politics, extending to the 2016 presidential election, saying the agency was funded by a St. Petersburg businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Photo: Alexei Druzhinin, AP

FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 file photo, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, around his factory which produces school meals, outside St. Petersburg, Russia. Indicted for alleged U.S. election interference, Prigozhin is a wealthy Russian entrepreneur from St. Petersburg who’s been dubbed “Putin’s chef” by Russian media, with his catering businesses that have hosted the Kremlin leader’s dinners with foreign dignitaries. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

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FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 file photo, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, around his factory which produces school meals, outside St. Petersburg, Russia.

 … more

Photo: Alexei Druzhinin, AP

FILE – In this file photo taken on Sunday, April 19, 2015, a women enters the four-storey building known as the “troll factory” in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. government allege the Internet Research Agency started interfering as early as 2014 in U.S. politics, extending to the 2016 presidential election, saying the agency was funded by a St. Petersburg businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin.

 less

FILE – In this file photo taken on Sunday, April 19, 2015, a women enters the four-storey building known as the “troll factory” in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. government allege the Internet Research

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Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky, AP

Key players in the Trump-Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A look at some of the key players in the Trump-Russia probe after a federal indictment charged 13 Russians in a plot to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election:

PUTIN’S CHEF

One of the key figures indicted with plotting to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential is a Russian restaurateur believed to have ties to President Vladimir Putin.

An entrepreneur from St. Petersburg, Yevgeny Prigozhin has been dubbed “Putin’s chef” by Russian media because his restaurants and catering businesses have hosted the Kremlin leader’s dinners with foreign dignitaries. In the more than 10 years since establishing a relationship with Putin, Prigozhin’s business has expanded to services for the military.

Trump authorises release of classified memo alleging misconduct by FBI

Donald Trump has authorised the release of a secret memo which alleges misconduct by FBI officials that are investigating his 2016 presidential campaign. The release ramps up the Trump administration’s fight to delegitimize claims that the billionaire’s campaign team conspired with the Russians to win the election. The House Intelligence Committee made the memo public despite opposition from intelligence and law enforcement officials. The memo alleges that government officials favoured Democrats over Republicans and federal law enforcement abused their authority when they requested permission to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. “I think it’s terrible. It’s a disgrace what’s going on in this country,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “When you look at that, and you see that, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that.” Earlier today, Trump took to Twitter to argue that senior officials in the FBI and Justice Department were biased. Both the FBI and Justice Department have denied wrongdoing and opposed the public release of the memo. Republican senator John McCain said the memo’s release served only to distract Americans from the threat of Russian president Vladimir Putin. “The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests — no party’s no president’s, only Putin’s,” McCain said. “The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why special counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. “Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the lens of politics and manufacturing political sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.” Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections since May 2017. He is also thought to be examining if President Donald Trump’s interference with the Russia probe constitutes an obstruction of justice.

Now Playing: Trump authorises release of classified memo alleging misconduct by FBI

Donald Trump has authorised the release of a secret memo which alleges misconduct by FBI officials that are investigating his 2016 presidential campaign. The release ramps up the Trump administration’s fight to delegitimize claims that the billionaire’s campaign team conspired with the Russians to win the election. The House Intelligence Committee made the memo public despite opposition from intelligence and law enforcement officials. The memo alleges that government officials favoured Democrats over Republicans and federal law enforcement abused their authority when they requested permission to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. “I think it’s terrible. It’s a disgrace what’s going on in this country,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “When you look at that, and you see that, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that.” Earlier today, Trump took to Twitter to argue that senior officials in the FBI and Justice Department were biased. Both the FBI and Justice Department have denied wrongdoing and opposed the public release of the memo. Republican senator John McCain said the memo’s release served only to distract Americans from the threat of Russian president Vladimir Putin. “The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests — no party’s no president’s, only Putin’s,” McCain said. “The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why special counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. “Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the lens of politics and manufacturing political sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.” Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections since May 2017. He is also thought to be examining if President Donald Trump’s interference with the Russia probe constitutes an obstruction of justice.

Media: Euronews

Prigozhin’s assets also include an oil trading firm that reportedly has been sending private Russian fighters to Syria. Prigozhin is on the list of those sanctioned by the U.S.

In comments to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, Prigozhin dismissed the indictment.

“Americans are very impressionable people,” he was quoted as saying. “They see what they want to see.”

THE TROLL FACTORY

Based in St. Petersburg, Putin’s hometown, the Russian Internet Research Agency employs bloggers and online commentators to influence public opinion in Russia and abroad.

The indictment says that the company was funded by Prigzhin and that it purchased internet advertisements in the names of Americans whose identities they had stolen, staged political rallies while posing as American political activists and paid people in the U.S. to promote or disparage candidates. They started out by posting pro-Russian or controversial comments on social media and popular web sites and then developed more sophisticated tactics.

Analysts and journalists found that some of the accounts — such as the now-deleted and rabidly pro-Trump @TEN_GOP — accrued national followings and were retweeted by a range of figures as well as several members of Trump’s team, including ex-National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and one of Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr.

Soon enough, they were also organizing flesh-and-blood protests on American soil and being promoted by some of the most senior politicians in the land.

‘UNWITTING’ INDIVIDUALS

Some Trump campaign officials also helped the Russian meddling — unknowingly, the indictment says. Some of the defendants posed as Americans and communicated with “unwitting individuals” associated with the Trump election team in order to coordinate activities, according to the document. Sometimes the Russians used fake U.S. personas co communicate with Trump officials doing local outreach and those officials would then distribute their materials via social media. There was no immediate comment from the White House on this matter.

HOW ONE RUSSIAN OPERATED

The FBI’s indictment carries new tidbits about how its operatives stole Americans’ Social Security numbers and drivers’ licenses to help pull off their fakery.

It appears that the FBI had access to the group’s internal communications. In the case of agency worker Irina Kaverzina, for example, the FBI cites an email she wrote to her family saying: “We had a slight crisis here at work: the FBI busted our activity (not a joke). So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues.” Later, Kaverzina goes on: “I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed it was their people.”

THE CHIEF OF THE INVESTIGATION

Robert Mueller was appointed FBI director shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and stayed on in the position for the next 12 years, transforming the bureau into a national intelligence agency. He retired from government in 2013 and joined a private law firm where he conducted high-profile investigations. He was appointed special counsel on May 17, 2017, by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

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Special counsel Mueller indicts 13 Russians, alleging 2016 election interference | Mcclatchy
 

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WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller 3rd indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies Friday, accusing them of using stolen identities, fake campaign events and hundreds of social media accounts while spending millions of rubles to interfere in the 2016 presidential election in a secret effort to aid the Trump campaign.

The 37-page indictment, the first charges by Mueller’s office accusing Moscow of illegal meddling in the election, says that the Internet Research Agency, a Russian firm known for using troll accounts to post on news sites, orchestrated the interference campaign and that its operatives tried to communicate with at least three unnamed Trump campaign officials using fake identities.

“By early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operation included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” says the indictment.

Although the indictment alleges that the Russians contacted unnamed people in the Trump campaign, it does not allege that any Trump campaign officials knowingly cooperated with the effort.

“There is no allegation that any American was a willing participant” in the Russian plan, and there is no allegation that it altered the outcome of the election, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said in a brief news conference discussing the indictment.

Nonetheless, the indictment seriously undermines President Trump’s repeated contention that the entire Russia investigation is a “hoax” or “witch hunt.” It details specific activities the Russians took, initially focused on creating general discord in the U.S., but eventually focused specifically on boosting Trump’s campaign.

At least some of the indicted people have previously been identified as having close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had been briefed on the indictment.

A few hours later, Trump responded with a tweet, suggesting that the indictment resolved questions about whether his campaign collaborated with Moscow.

“Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong — no collusion!” he said.

The indictment, apparently quoting internal Russian documents, says the operation began with a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system” in general before focusing on backing Trump.

At various times during the campaign, the Russians undertook activities disparaging Trump’s Republican rivals, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida.

The Russians also worked to help Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, in his effort to defeat Clinton in the Democratic primaries, and Jill Stein, whose Green Party campaign reduced Clinton’s votes in the general election in some states.

Though the indictment does not allege that the Russian activities altered the outcome of the election, it doesn’t foreclose that possibility. Given how close the election was in several key states, proving whether any particular activity might have changed the outcome is all but impossible.

“There’s no way to know what the impact was. We really don’t know the scale, we really don’t know whose minds were changed,” said Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and researcher on cyber-influence campaigns.

One key element of the campaign, however, clearly might have worsened a Clinton vulnerability. The Russians aimed a significant part of their effort toward alienating minority voters, with an eye toward getting them to stay home rather than vote. Low minority turnout was one element of Clinton’s loss in some major states, such as Michigan.

The details in the indictment show that the Russian campaign was far more sophisticated and serious than previously known, Watts said. The ways in which the Russians concealed their identities and made their operation look “authentically American” in order to trick Americans into helping them provided evidence of a sophisticated operation with ties to Russian intelligence, he added.

“This is not what just any goofball could do,” he said. “They got real Americans to do influence for them, unwittingly. That’s next-level.”

The indictment accuses the 13 Russians and three businesses of “impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.”

Rosenstein said the Justice Department had not yet had contact with Russian officials about extraditing any of the accused.

One of those charged was Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a wealthy Russian businessman and caterer who has been publicly identified as a close associate of Putin’s.

A company controlled by Prigozhin, Concord Management and Consulting, funded and directed the interference campaign in the U.S. and other countries, employing the Internet Research Agency, a shadowy internet troll factory that operated from St. Petersburg in Russia, according to the indictment, which refers to the agency as “the organization.”

“Concord was the organization’s primary source of funding for its interference operations,” the indictment says. “Concord controlled funding, recommended personnel and oversaw organization activities.”

In 2014, the organization created a special department focused on using YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms to influence the U.S. presidential election.

More than 80 employees were assigned to the project and by 2016, its monthly budget exceeded $1.2 million, the charging documents say.

The Russians created fake social media accounts, posing as Americans and in some cases using stolen identities of real Americans, to post messages about divisive issues such as guns and immigration.

The attempts to sow division continued after the election, Rosenstein said, noting that the Russians staged rallies in New York to support and oppose Trump on the same day.

Democrats said the indictment vindicated Mueller’s investigation.

”For all of those who have been asking, ‘Where is the evidence of a crime?’ — this is it. This is the criminal conspiracy,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the senior Democrat on the House Oversight Committee.

”This is what President Trump and his allies have repeatedly called a ‘hoax’ and ‘fake news.’ This is what they tried to cover up,” Cummings said. “This is what we might never have known if President Trump had been successful in shutting down this investigation.”

The indictment suggests that Mueller’s investigators have obtained internal documents from the Internet Research Agency that shed light on its internal operations. The charging documents also quote from personal emails of Russians involved in the interference, indicating that Mueller has gotten access to sensitive U.S. intelligence communications intercepts.

”We had a slight crisis at work, the FBI busted our activity (not a joke),” one of the Russians, who was working in the U.S., wrote in September to family members back home.

The apparent FBI raid came after Facebook and other social media platforms began cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, supplying information about Russian-controlled accounts.

According to the indictment, the Russian operatives bought credit card and bank account numbers online to evade the security checks at PayPal.

On Friday, Mueller’s office revealed that one of those who sold account numbers, Richard Pinedo, 28, of Santa Paula, Calif., had pleaded guilty to one count of identity fraud.

The criminal charge against Pinedo says he knowingly dealt with people outside the U.S., both in buying and selling account numbers, but a law enforcement official said there is no evidence that he knew he was dealing with a Russian intelligence operation.

The indictment describes how several defendants in 2014 “traveled to the United States under false pretenses for the purpose of collecting intelligence to inform the organization’s operations,” making stops in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, New York and Georgia.

The visit was conducted with many of the trappings of an intelligence operation, complete with drop phones, evacuation scenarios and a virtual private network to allow the Russians to conceal the origin of their social media posts.

Concealment of their identities was key to the Russian effort, Rosenstein said. “The nature of the scheme was, the defendants took extraordinary steps to make it appear that that they were ordinary American political activists,” he said.

U.S. charges Russians with 2016 U.S. election tampering to boost Trump
 

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Russian Internet agency oversaw a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton, said an indictment released on Friday that revealed more details than previously known about Moscow’s purported effort to interfere.

The office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies. The court document said those accused “had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

(Indictment: tmsnrt.rs/2EvtgMh)

The indictment said Russians adopted false online personas to push divisive messages; traveled to the United States to collect intelligence; and staged political rallies while posing as Americans. In one case, it said, the Russians paid an unidentified person to build a cage aboard a flatbed truck and another to wear a costume “portraying Clinton in a prison uniform.”

The surprise 37-page indictment could alter the divisive U.S. domestic debate over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, undercutting some Republicans who, along with Trump, have attacked Mueller’s probe.

“These Russians engaged in a sinister and systematic attack on our political system. It was a conspiracy to subvert the process, and take aim at democracy itself,” said Paul Ryan, Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The indictment is silent on the question of whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin, which Mueller is investigating.

In a Tweet on Friday, Trump said: “Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!”

INVESTIGATION CONTINUES

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller’s work, told reporters in announcing the charges that the investigation was not finished. The special counsel’s office last year charged four other people.

The indictment broadly echoes the conclusions of a January 2017 U.S. intelligence assessment, which found that Russia had meddled in the election, and that its goals eventually included aiding Trump. In November 2016, Trump won a surprise victory over Democratic Party candidate Clinton.

Mueller’s indictment did not tie the meddling effort to the Russian government. But the earlier U.S. intelligence assessment said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the U.S. election.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the allegations that Russian nationals interfered in U.S. elections absurd.

Trump has never unequivocally accepted the U.S. intelligence report and has denounced Mueller’s probe into whether his campaign colluded with the Kremlin as a “witch hunt.”

Some of those charged, posing as Americans, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign, the indictment said. Last year, two former Trump campaign aides pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI – charges brought by Mueller’s office.

The indictment of the Russians, coupled with the FBI disclosure that it failed to heed a warning about the Florida high school shooter, were blows to the White House, still reeling from the fallout of a scandal involving a former aide accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives.

Trump, who had hoped to focus the entire week on his infrastructure proposal, was closeted in the Oval Office as the reports rolled in, and his communications team was slow to respond to the ever-growing list of queries.

‘CONSPIRATORS’

Rosenstein told a press conference: “The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”

The indictment describes a sophisticated, multi-year and well-funded operation, dubbed “Project Lakhta,” by Russian entities to influence the election, beginning as early as May 2014.

Russians unlawfully used stolen social security numbers and birth dates of Americans to open accounts on the PayPal digital payment platform and to post on social media using those fake identities, the indictment said.

Mueller also on Friday reached an agreement with an American named Richard Pinedo, who pled guilty to aiding and abetting interstate and foreign identity fraud by creating, buying and stealing hundreds of bank account numbers that he sold to individuals to use with large digital payment companies.

According to a source familiar with the indictments, Pinedo is the person cited in the document as helping the Russian conspirators launder money, as well as purchase Facebook ads and pay for rally supplies, through PayPal Holdings Inc..

Pinedo’s attorney, Jeremy I. Lessem, said in a statement that “Mr. Pinedo had absolutely no knowledge of the identities and motivations of any of the purchasers of the information he provided.”

The Russians sought to measure the impact of their online social media operations, tracking the size of U.S. audiences reached through posts and other types of engagement, such as likes, comments and reposts, according to the indictment.

Facebook and Twitter, the social media companies whose platforms were used, both declined to comment on the indictment.

The Internet Research Agency was registered with the Russian government as a corporate entity in July 2013 and the St. Petersburg location “became one of the organization’s operational hubs,” for the project, the indictment said.

The organization employed hundreds of people, ranging from creators of fictitious person to technical experts, and by September 2016, its budget was in excess of $1.2 million, the court document said.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that he had already seen evidence Russia was targeting U.S. elections in November, when Republican control of the House of Representatives and Senate are at stake, plus a host of positions in state governments.

The indictment said the Russians it charged tried to destroy evidence of their crimes.

For example, in September 2017, one of the defendants wrote an email to a family member stating: “We had a slight crisis at work: the FBI busted our activity (not a joke). So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with colleagues.”

The email continued: “I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”

Reporting by Warren Strobel, Dustin Volz, Jonathan Landay; additional reporting by Lisa Lambert, Mark Hosenball, David Shepardson, David Alexander, Steve Holland and David Ingram; Jack Stubbs and Christian Lowe in Moscow; editing by Mary Milliken and Grant McCool

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school shooting statistics by year – Google Search
 

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school shooting statistics by year – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story .

Image result for school shooting statistics by year

How should you respond to an active shooter?

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