Tag Archives | Terrorism

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

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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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The Rise of the Child Terrorist

DGriebeling (CC BY 2.0)

DGriebeling (CC BY 2.0)

Mia Bloom and John Horgan write at Foreign Affairs:

On January 15, a video surfaced on the Internet that depicted a 10-year-old Kazakh boy using a gun to execute two Russian members of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) who had been accused of being spies. ISIS claimed ownership of the video, although it has not yet been authenticated. Only a few days earlier, twin suicide bombings rocked northern Nigeria, involving three girls, who appeared to have been only 10 years old, all wearing explosives that may have been remotely detonated by members of Boko Haram. A year before, a nine-year-old girl named Spozhmai, who is the sibling of an Afghan Taliban commander, was detained at a border checkpoint in Kandahar. Rather than go through with her mission, she confessed to the authorities that she had been forced to wear a suicide belt.

The exploitation of children by terrorist groups is not new, but groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Pakistani Taliban are increasingly using children to carry out their activities.

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FBI Director Says ‘Hundreds, Maybe Thousands’ of Americans Under Influence of Islamic State

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James Comey, Director of the FBI.


Islamic State is definitely the FBI’s new bogeyman. USA Today reports on Director James Comey’s comments:

In a dramatic assessment of the domestic threat posed by the Islamic State, FBI Director James Comey said Thursday there are “hundreds, maybe thousands” of people across the country who are receiving recruitment overtures from the terrorist group or directives to attack the U.S.

Comey said the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, is leveraging social media in unprecedented ways through Twitter and other platforms, directing messages to the smartphones of “disturbed people” who could be pushed to launch assaults on U.S. targets.

“It’s like the devil sitting on their shoulders, saying ‘kill, kill, kill,”’ Comey said in a meeting with reporters.

The FBI director’s comments come in the midst of a federal investigation into a foiled attack in Garland, Texas, involving two ISIL sympathizers, one of whom, Elton Simpson, was long known to federal authorities.

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Boston Bomber’s Family Claims Charges ‘Fabricated by American Special Services’

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Does the statement from Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s family that the charges against him were “all fabricated by the American special services” fall into the “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?” category, or could there be something to their claim that he was set up? The family talks to TIME:

Throughout the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 21-year-old who was convicted last week of bombing the Boston Marathon in 2013, his family resisted the urge to speak out publicly in his defense. Tsarnaev’s defense team had advised them not to grant interviews, they say, as it could risk his chances at trial. But when the jury issued its guilty verdict on April 8, convicting him on 17 counts that could each carry the death penalty, some of his relatives decided to go public with their outrage.

On the evening of April 14, three members of the Tsarnaev family met at a café in the city of Grozny, close to their ancestral home in southern Russia, and told a TIME reporter how the trial had torn their family apart, how helpless they felt against what they see as an American conspiracy against them and, above all, how they still hope to convince Tsarnaev to fire his legal team and seek to overturn the verdict on appeal.

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‘Bad Bitches’ With Bombs

‘Bad Bitches’ With Bombs: it has a certain ring to it, but the two New York women who actually wanted to be those terrorist groupie “bitches” were just the latest wannabes who got a hold of The Anarchist Cookbook, which features heavily in the Government’s complaint filed in federal court.

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Screen shot from U.S. Government’s complaint against Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui.

 

The Daily Beast reports:

A pair of Queens, N.Y., women indicted on terrorism charges Thursday were jihadist groupies who idolized, studied, and even befriended some of the world’s most notorious terrorists—all in the hopes they might one day “make history” and pull off a major attack in the United States, law enforcement officials allege.

A lengthy criminal complaint unsealed in federal court Thursday describes how Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui repeatedly called Osama bin Laden a hero, modeled themselves after terrorists like the Boston Marathon bombers, and even drew inspiration and bomb-making ideas from right-wing extremists who blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

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TSA Checklist: Signs You Might Be a Terrorist

TSA-spotcheck

If you’re an anxious flyer, TSA agents may peg you as a terrorist. How’s that for easing up your anxiety?

The Intercept has come upon some Transportation Security Administration documents called the “SPOT [Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques] Referral Report.” The documents aren’t classified, but have not been previously released. Everything from excessive yawning to wringing of hands to gazing down can lead to suspicion.

Jana Winter and Cora Currier write at The Intercept:

A TSA spokesperson declined to comment on the criteria obtained by The Intercept. “Behavior detection, which is just one element of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) efforts to mitigate threats against the traveling public, is vital to TSA’s layered approach to deter, detect and disrupt individuals who pose a threat to aviation,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Since its introduction in 2007, the SPOT program has attracted controversy for the lack of science supporting it.

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