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STATESMAN EXCLUSIVE: TERRORISM CASE

Wife: Undercover ‘friends’ pressured Austin man to join ISIS

Wife: Undercover ‘friends’ pressured Austin man to join ISIS

The wife of an Austin man who awaits sentencing on terrorism-related charges says he was pressured by federal informants into committing to travel to Turkey as a step toward joining a militia in Syria.

Asked if her husband, Michael Todd Wolfe, was a member of the so-called Islamic State group, Jordan Furr, his wife of more than two years, told the American-Statesman in her first interview, “No, no, laughingly no. He doesn’t know anybody over there.”

Nevertheless, the 23-year-old Wolfe accepted a plea agreement and now faces up to 15 years in prison — part of a growing number of Americans arrested on terrorism-related charges as federal authorities try to stem a flow of disaffected young people looking to travel overseas to join the Islamic State.

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canada

2 dead in shooting attack at Canada's Parliament
Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

2 dead in shooting attack at Canada's Parliament

A masked gunman killed a soldier standing guard at Canada's war memorial Wednesday, then stormed Parliament in an attack that was stopped cold when he was shot to death by the ceremonial sergeant-at-arms. Canada's prime minister called it the country's second terrorist attack in three days.

"We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated," Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed in an address to the nation.

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development

Austin builders, neighborhoods at odds over changing development rules

The battle lines have been drawn over Austin’s latest developers vs. neighborhoods war.

Except this time it’s not about a specific project — it’s about the entire city.

For the first time in 30 years, the city is overhauling its land development code, a set of regulations that determine what the city looks like, from building height to the size and location of homes, condos and office buildings.

Texas Politics

Texas early voting turnout is up, but who does it benefit?

As healthy early voting totals rolled in this week from the state’s most populous counties, underdog Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis linked the uptick to an organized statewide effort by Democrats to turn out voters, saying it’s a sign she will close a wide gap with Attorney General Greg Abbott in the final weeks before Election Day.

Indiana Murder Suspect

Marines: Murder suspect Darren Vann didn’t meet expectations, standards
Uncredited

Marines: Murder suspect Darren Vann didn’t meet expectations, standards

The former Austin man who allegedly confessed to killing seven women in Indiana was prematurely discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps, according to records from the military branch.

Darren Vann, 43, was a private who joined the Marines in December 1991, according to the public portions of his personnel file. He was discharged in September 1993.


Austin police Department

Austin police lieutenant fired for dishonesty, retaliation

Austin police fired a lieutenant Wednesday after an internal affairs investigation determined he made false reports to have the husband of a woman who was having an affair with him arrested.

Police suspended Lt. Jason Disher indefinitely after they concluded that statements he gave as evidence, which led to the man’s arrest, were embellished and in some cases completely false.

Longhorns football

Texas’ Joe Wickline suing Oklahoma State, claiming he’s UT’s play-caller
Rodolfo Gonzalez

Texas’ Joe Wickline suing Oklahoma State, claiming he’s UT’s play-caller

So is Joe Wickline calling plays at Texas or not? A Travis County jury may get to decide.

Wickline, the Longhorns’ offensive coordinator, has filed a lawsuit in Travis County claiming that Oklahoma State University has not fully released him from his previous coaching contract with the Cowboys.

OSU athletic director Mike Holder doesn’t believe Wickline is actually calling plays, as Texas head coach Charlie Strong said he would this spring.


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