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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Evacuating residents say the smoke is unbearable and Idaho officials say high winds are forecast again today in the area of a wind-driven wildfire near Sun valley that's burning its way through sage and pine trees.

Sheriff's deputies have expanded evacuation orders to 1,600 homes for the 100-square-mile Beaver Creek Fire included residences in drainages and foothills west of the towns of Hailey and extending to north of Ketchum in central Idaho.

More than 600 state and federal firefighters were working to get the blaze under control and protect property in the affluent resort region that's a second home to celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis. Another 1,000 firefighters will join the battle.

Managers at the Sun Valley Ski Resort turned on water cannons that are normally used for wintertime snowmaking, in case sparks from the fire threaten mountaintop lodges

Published in National News

   SAN DIEGO (AP) — A close family friend suspected of abducting a 16 year old girl after killing her mother and younger brother fired his rifle at FBI agents before they killed him deep in the Idaho wilderness, authorities said Monday.

   Hannah Anderson didn't know her mother and brother were dead until she was rescued from 40 year old James Lee DiMaggio, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said.

   "I can't make it any clearer: She was a victim in this case. She was not a willing participant," Gore said at a news conference with Hannah's father, Brett Anderson.

   During a shootout with the FBI, DiMaggio fired at least once and perhaps twice, the sheriff said.

   Hannah Anderson reunited with family in San Diego to begin what her father said would be a slow recovery. He thanked the horseback riders who reported seeing the pair near an alpine lake, saying the search might have taken much longer without them.

   "She has been through a tremendous, horrific ordeal," said Brett Anderson, who declined to answer questions and pleaded for privacy.

   Christopher Saincome, Hannah's grandfather, said his son-in-law wanted to take Hannah with him to Tennessee, where he recently moved. Saincome told him that she should stay in the San Diego area, where she was raised and has a large circle of friends.

   "I think she needs to be here with friends," Saincome said. "I know she's taking it very tough. One of her best friends is with her, talking to her."

   Gore declined to address how Hannah's mother and brother died, describe Hannah's captivity or say whether she tried to escape. The sheriff also refused to discuss the rescue or how many times DiMaggio was shot, other than to say the suspect is believed to have fired first and that Hannah was nearby.

   Gore said the crime was "not spur of the moment" but would not elaborate. Sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser said last week that investigators believe DiMaggio may have had an "unusual infatuation" with the girl.

   DiMaggio is suspected of killing 44 year old Christina Anderson and 8 year old Ethan Anderson and leaving their bodies in his burning home near San Diego on Aug. 4. Hannah's disappearance triggered a massive search in much of the western United States and parts of Canada and Mexico that ended with Saturday's shootout and rescue.

   A DiMaggio family friend, Andrew Spanswick, said the suspect appears to have followed in his father's footsteps in a carefully laid plan. His house burned down exactly 15 years after his father disappeared. Saturday's shootout came exactly 15 years after his father committed suicide.

   The younger DiMaggio "clearly had a death wish," Spanswick said.

   The father, James Everet DiMaggio, was arrested after breaking into the home of his ex-girlfriend in 1988, wearing a ski mask and a carrying a sawed-off shotgun and handcuffs, Spanswick said. The former girlfriend wasn't home, but DiMaggio held her 16 year daughter and her boyfriend at gunpoint. The girl escaped after asking to use the bathroom.

   The elder DiMaggio was imprisoned for a separate attack and died in 1998 after consuming a large amount of methamphetamine intravenously and walking into the desert.

   The massive search for Hannah Anderson probably would have taken longer if a sharp-eyed retired sheriff and three other horseback riders in the rugged backcountry hadn't seen the pair Wednesday. Gore called it the "key event" in the search.

   Mark John, who retired as a Gem County sheriff in 1996, shared his suspicions with the Idaho State Police after encountering DiMaggio and the girl on the trail. That enabled investigators to focus efforts on a specific portion of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, a roadless 3,600-square-mile preserve in the heart of Idaho.

   "They just didn't fit," said John, 71. "He might have been an outdoorsman in California, but he was not an outdoorsman in Idaho. ... Red flags kind of went up."

   Initially, it was the lack of openness on the trail and a reluctance to engage in the polite exchange of banter like so many other recreationists John has encountered during horseback excursions.

   The riders were puzzled why Anderson and DiMaggio were hiking in the opposite direction of their stated destination, the Salmon River.

   But more than anything, it was their gear — or lack of it. Neither was wearing hiking boots or rain gear. DiMaggio, described as an avid hiker in his home state of California, was toting only a light pack. It even appeared Anderson was wearing pajama bottoms.

   The riders had a second encounter Wednesday, this one at the lake as they were getting ready to head back down the trail.

   But it wasn't until Thursday afternoon when the Johns returned home and saw the girl's photographs on the news that they made a connection and notified police.

   On Friday, police found DiMaggio's car, hidden under brush at a trailhead on the border of the wilderness area. A day later, searchers spotted the pair by air, and two FBI hostage teams moved in on the camp at Morehead Lake, about 8 miles inside the wilderness border and 40 miles east of the central Idaho town of Cascade.

   Rescue teams were dropped by helicopter about 2 1/2 hours away from where Anderson and DiMaggio were spotted by the lake, said FBI spokesman Jason Pack. The team had to hike with up to 100 pounds of tactical gear along a rough trail characterized by steep switchbacks and treacherous footing.

   DiMaggio was extraordinarily close to the family, driving Hannah to gymnastics meets and Ethan to football practice.

___

Dvorak reported from Boise, Idaho. Associated Press writers Julie Watson in San Diego, Tami Abdollah in Los Angeles, and Rebecca Boone in Cascade, Idaho, contributed to this report.

Published in National News

CASCADE, Idaho (AP) — Law enforcement officials in Idaho say they are making sure Hannah Anderson is getting the physical and emotional care she needs after a harrowing weeklong search ended in the wilderness yesterday with her rescue and the death of the man who apparently kidnapped her.

FBI agents first spotted the California teen and James DiMaggio from the air, then moved in on their campsite.

DiMaggio is suspected of killing Anderson's mother and brother, who were found in his burning house outside San Diego last week.

The 16-year-old appeared to be uninjured and is expected to be reunited with her father today. She has been recuperating in an Idaho hospital.

The FBI is sending investigators to try to fill in the details about the ordeal. DiMaggio was a friend of the Anderson family, and Hannah's father says the children thought of him as an uncle.

 

Published in National News

   BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An Uzbekistan national living in Idaho is expected to appear in federal court Friday on charges he conspired with a terrorist group on a scheme to use a weapon of mass destruction.

   Federal agents raided the Boise apartment of 30 year old Fazliddin Kurbanov Thursday after a grand jury issued a three-count indictment accusing him of federal terrorism charges.

   The indictment alleges Kurbanov gave money, computer software and other resources to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan - a designated foreign terrorist group.

   He's also charged with helping prepare for the use of a weapon of mass destruction.

   Federal prosecutors say any potential threat has been contained by his arrest.

   A separate federal grand jury indictment accuses him of taking part in terrorist activity in Utah earlier this year.

 
Published in National News

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