Tag Archives | Terrorism

9/11 and the Belligerent Empire

In September 11th’s episode of The Empire Files on TeleSUR, Abby Martin examines the two major wars launched under the “Global War on Terror” – their historical development and their aftermath. Featuring former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, this episode digs into the tragedy of a region shaped by Empire.

teleSUR’s The Empire Files airs every Friday night at 10:00 pm EST and is archived at youtube.com/EmpireFiles

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Experiencing 9/11 from prison

Seodaemun Prison
Seth Ferranti writes at Hopes&Fears:

I was doing time at FCI Fort Dix, a low security prison in New Jersey that housed mobsters, drug dealers, drug mules, white collar guys, fraudsters, snitches, political prisoners and undocumented immigrants in 2001 when the Twin Towers crashed to the ground in New York; the events changed everything dramatically, not just out in the world, but even for those of us isolated and locked up deep inside the system.

I had a midnight orderly job in my unit and I remember being woken up by my cell mate who told me the news. I immediately went downstairs to the TV room and watched the images of the Twin Towers burning. People jumping out of the buildings. It was crazy because this was live TV. Staff and prisoners a like were in a frenzy. “I remember being in prison on September 11th,” says Michael Santos.

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Al Qaeda Mag Urges Attack on Koch Brothers, Buffett, Bloomberg

Warren Buffett KU Visit

Warren Buffett. Photo By Mark Hirschey (CC)

Has Al Qaeda finally found a propaganda strategy that will appeal to the 99% of Americans who aren’t billionaires? NBC News reports that the CIA-created organization is encouraging jihadists to attack the likes of the Koch Brothers (which for the sake of clarity, we do not support despite the Kochs’ and other one-percenters’ obnoxious behavior):

A notorious al Qaeda magazine is encouraging lone-wolf terrorist attacks on U.S. economic leaders, including Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffett.

The list in Inspire magazine also included industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch, internet entrepreneur Larry Ellison, and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. A prominent economist was also on the list but asked that his name be withheld. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke was named, though not Janet Yellen, who succeeded him.

Also pictured was Jim Walton, one of the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, although he was misidentified in the caption as his late father, Sam Walton.

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For $525, You Can Learn How To Fight Terrorists (Muslims Need Not Apply)

One imagines that business is thriving, even sans Muslim customers. Via Talking Points Memo:

I’m going to try to scoot you guys across the finish line before you suck a bullet,” barks Larry Vickers, addressing his men with disdain. He was once among elite U.S. Army warriors, but today his troop is a ragtag assortment of two dozen male gun enthusiasts, predominantly white and beefy, on a sandy gun range in a rural South New Jersey abyss between Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

Larry Vickers on Russian TV being interviewed about the Kalashnikov, other Russian small arms and HK416.

Larry Vickers on Russian TV being interviewed about the Kalashnikov, other Russian small arms and HK416.


The men sport earmuffs and digital camouflage cargo shorts bought on clearance, and their beer bellies hang over gun belts stocked with pistols and extra clips. Lunch was at a diner where every overstuffed sandwich came with a side of soup—plus somebody’s wife made brownies. Yet they soldier through the cheeseburger-and-chicken-noodle fatigue.

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Is the Age of Reason Dead?

In the wake of challenges to enlightenment values like ISIS and Charlie Hebdo, is the age of reason dead?
Enlightenment’s Wake

Many assume Enlightenment values will triumph over violence and prejudice. But in the wake of ISIS and Charlie Hebdo, victory seems less inevitable and the age of reason less secure. Might history not be on our side after all? Do we need more passion to combat zealotry’s allure or will reason alone win in the end?

The Panel

Philospher and theologian Christopher Hamilton, author of Contesting the Saudi State and visiting professor at LSE Madawi al-Rasheed, and editor of Spiked Online Brendan O’Neill push reason to the extreme.

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The making of an Islamic caliphate

ISIS Way (طريق داعش)

The situation in the Islamic world is very grave. I can tell you that when the situation with ISIS is over, we will see the rise of a very militant regime in Iraq. There are different paramilitary factions within Iraq battling ISIS, each of them following the belief that the word of their religious leader is holy, all power is vested in him and he makes law. When this militant state is erected in Iraq after the defeat of ISIS, it is probable that Iraq shall join a union with other Islamic nations, a sort of Islamic Soviet Union.

Yesterday I witnessed the extraordinary sight of hordes of suicide bombers, dressed in black and brandishing Kalashnikovs, marching through the slums of Baghdad.  

Grouped into makeshift platoons – some wearing white shrouds to denote their readiness to die – they demonstrated their deadly skills in an astonishing display by ‘detonating’ the bombs they carried.

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The Theater of Ultra-Violence

violence-headerOn Wednesday, a man approached a couple talking on a patio, a man and a woman. It became apparent that the two were News reporters. How they spoke, the put-together clothes, and makeup , gave it all away. We see the scene in the first person, as if we’re watching Half-life or Call of Duty. This sense is increased when the point of view pulls a guns and fires repeatedly into the bodies of three reporters.

So runs Bryce Williams’ video footage that was discovered on social media minutes after the shooting. Traumatic real world violence, performed for the camera both on live TV and social media. We discovered his account moments before CNN did, so I didn’t know what I would find when I clicked it.

When I saw it, for a moment, I couldn’t believe it was real. This is a common reaction even in the midst of real violence — somehow the surreal cuts in.… Read the rest

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Hactivists aren’t terrorists – but US prosecutors make little distinction

For Lauri Love, being treated as a terrorist is no laughing matter. Lauri Love/Facebook

For Lauri Love, being treated as a terrorist is no laughing matter. Lauri Love/Facebook

Activists who use technology to conduct political dissent – hacktivists – are increasingly threatened with investigation, prosecution and often disproportionately severe criminal sentences.

For example, in January 2015 self-proclaimed Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison for hacking-related activities including linking to leaked material online. Edward Snowden is currently exiled in Russia after leaking the global surveillance operations of the NSA and GCHQ.

Prosecutions of hacktivists intensified in 2013, when Andrew “weev” Auernheimer was sentenced to 41 months after exposing a vulnerability that affected 114,000 iPad users on AT&T’s service. Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after hacking and releasing documents about military subcontractor Stratfor. Aaron Swartz, who was facing a prison sentence of 25 years after hacking into JSTOR – a database of academic articles – committed suicide in January of that year.… Read the rest

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The Internet is Making People Mad as Hell


Back in September of 2014, Newsweek ran this article: The West’s Greatest Threat is the ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorist, Say Security Experts. The article mentions that, “Jean-Pierre Filiu, professor of Middle East studies at Paris School of International Affairs…is sceptical about the term ‘lone wolf’ in its purest sense, because only very rare cases – like Norway’s Anders Breivik – involve no outside help at all, but he says the threat from IS figures is becoming big.”

The term “outside help” is left undefined.

Last week, I came across this article: GOP senator warns of threat of ‘imminent’ terror plots. “…Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, said he has no doubt a lone wolf attack will eventually be successful in the U.S. The terror threat environment has shifted from terrorist groups focusing on complex terror plots like the 9/11 attacks to smaller-scale attacks carried out by lone wolves who may have been inspired by groups like ISIS.” It basically says that since individual (and presumably Isis-inspired Muslim) terrorists don’t coordinate with anyone else, they are simply harder to anticipate, and capable of “slipping through the cracks” in security.… Read the rest

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Is domestic extremism a bigger threat than terrorism?

Some claim false flag event for whatever fever pitched purpose that fits snugly into whatever conspiracy “theory” flavor of the day/week/month/year. I won’t even go there, from my perspective that line of thinking for these events is a distraction and like a mental pacifier for people who do not want to admit that the universe is rudderless. I hate to burst bubbles, but random bad stuff does indeed happen sometimes. Others blame mental health, but in reality those with mental health issues are more likely to be a victim.

Often it’s the police doing the victimizing, but that is a whole other article. Many blame guns in some sort of odd anthropomorphizing mental gymnastics. There may be some truth that, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Perhaps we should be talking about anti-government groups/right-wing extremists and their online revisionist propaganda. The recent spree killer did claim he got his inspiration from online racist indoctrination.… Read the rest

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