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By Jenny Goldsberry
A video of a man dangling from a Black Hawk in Afghanistan went viral Monday. Many suspected it was an execution. Others even claimed the man was an interpreter or American citizen. However, an Afghan journalist put all rumors to rest, saying it was a living Taliban fighter attempting to hoist the Taliban flag.
Bilal Sarwary is a respected Afghan journalist who is fortunate enough to live outside the country. “Afghan pilot flying this is someone I have known over the years,” Sarwary tweeted Tuesday. “He was trained in the US and UAE, he confirmed to me that he flew the Blackhawk helicopter. Taliban fighter seen here was trying to install Taliban flag from air but it didn’t work in the end.”
As a result, Twitter began flagging the video posted by others with the warning “this media is presented out of context.”
Yet the presence of U.S. military-grade weapons has lead to deadly consequences in other instances. Sarwary tweeted reports of these weapons being exchanged between the Taliban and fighters in Gulabahar just north of Kabul. “Reports of casualties [and] fatalities on both sides,” Sarwary tweeted. “At least 4 fighters from opposition from Gulbahar killed in one location, multiple sources in Gulbahar tells me.”
According to reports, the military left a number of machinery and weaponry. Over 64,000 machine guns, 350,000 assault rifles and 126,000 pistols fell to the hands of the Taliban. Not to mention the over 22,000 humvees, 50,000 trucks, 160 tanks and more.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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The Tate Brothers and Associates Face Human Trafficking Charges in Romania
In a recent development, the Tate brothers, Andrew and Tristan, along with two associates, find themselves at the center of a high-profile case involving human trafficking allegations.
The charges leveled against them indicate the formation of an organized criminal group in 2021 with the intent to carry out human trafficking operations not only in Romania but also in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
The investigation, which led to their arrest in December last year, has culminated in an indictment filed with the Bucharest court. According to the indictment, the Tate brothers are accused of luring their victims with false promises of love and marriage. Seven individuals have been identified as alleged victims, who were later coerced and subjected to a harrowing ordeal.
Prosecutors contend that the victims were taken to locations in Ilfov county, Romania, where they faced constant surveillance, intimidation, and control. The defendants allegedly forced the victims into debt and coerced them into participating in pornographic activities, with the explicit material subsequently shared on social media platforms. Shockingly, one of the defendants is accused of raping a woman on two occasions in March 2022, further amplifying the gravity of the charges.
While the trial is not expected to commence immediately, as a Romanian judge is granted 60 days to inspect the case files, it is anticipated to be a protracted legal battle. The complexity of the case and the severity of the charges will undoubtedly result in a lengthy trial process, with several years potentially passing before a verdict is reached.
Representatives for the Tate brothers released a statement acknowledging the unsurprising nature of the news but maintaining their belief in their innocence.
As reported by the BBC, the Tate brothers media team stared, “While this news is undoubtedly predictable, we embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.”
They expressed their eagerness to present a comprehensive body of evidence meticulously collected over time, which they believe will substantiate their claims of innocence and restore their tarnished reputation.
However, it should be noted that additional charges, such as money laundering and trafficking of minors, are still under investigation. If evidence is uncovered to support these allegations, a separate indictment could be filed, further complicating the legal proceedings for the defendants.
Andrew Tate, who gained notoriety through his participation in the reality television show Big Brother, has a controversial past, having been removed from the show in 2016 following a video that appeared to depict him assaulting a woman.
Despite subsequent bans on social media platforms due to his contentious statements, he has managed to amass a following, particularly among young men, by promoting an ostentatious and hyper-masculine lifestyle.
As the case unfolds, public attention will undoubtedly be drawn to the trial, with many eagerly awaiting the outcome and hoping for justice to be served for the alleged victims. The complex web of charges and the high-profile nature of the defendants ensure that this trial will be closely monitored and scrutinized by the media and the public alike.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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