Tag Archives | Terrorism

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

Comey-FBI-Portrait.jpg

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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‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ and the Rise of DIY Terrorism

Anarchist cookbookThe Anarchist Cookbook is the book that just won’t die, despite its author’s wishes to the contrary. Now The Kernel assesses its importance for modern-day DIY terrorism:

On Sept. 14, 2010, a dry cleaner in Toronto, Canada, found something suspicious. In a bag of clothes dropped off by a client, a USB stick had likely been left in one of his pockets. Curious, he plugged the small device into a computer and read through the contents. Two days later, the dry cleaner called the police.

The following April, Canadian law enforcement officials arrested the USB drive’s owner, Mohamed Hassan Hersi, at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport as he was boarding a plane to Cairo. A joint force of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Toronto Police Department had been investigating Hersi for months. Posing as a consultant, an undercover cop had visited Hersi at his job, where he worked as a security guard.

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We can’t expect intelligence services to prevent every terrorist attack

Todd Kopriva (CC BY 2.0)

Todd Kopriva (CC BY 2.0)

By Damien Van Puyvelde, University of Texas at El Paso

The recent events in Paris have once again cast doubts on the ability of French intelligence to provide national security.

Following the attacks, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls did not hesitate to admit to a lapse in security. The two Kouachi brothers, responsible for killing 12 people, were well known to French intelligence agents and for a time closely tracked. Yet they managed to slip through.

This is particularly troubling since the French domestic intelligence services (DGSI) were reformed in 2008 and again in 2014 following the attacks carried by Mohamed Merah, a French citizen who gunned down several French soldiers and Jewish schoolchildren in three separate incidents.

The apparent recurrence of intelligence failures in France and elsewhere has long been debated by security experts, and ultimately begs the question: what can be expected from intelligence services?… Read the rest

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ISIS End Game: Apocalypse

According to CNN‘s National Security Analyst Peter Bergen, ISIS actions only make sense if you realize that its aim is the apocalypse and its supporters believe we are living in the end times:

A key window into understanding ISIS is its English language “in-flight magazine” Dabiq. Last week the seventh issue of Dabiq was released, and a close reading of it helps explains ISIS’ world view.

The mistake some make when viewing ISIS is to see it as a rational actor. Instead, as the magazine documents, its ideology is that of an apocalyptic cult that believes that we are living in the end times and that ISIS’ actions are hastening the moment when this will happen.

IS insurgents, Anbar Province, Iraq.jpg

The name of the Dabiq magazine itself helps us understand ISIS’ worldview. The Syrian town of Dabiq is where the Prophet Mohammed is supposed to have predicted that the armies of Islam and “Rome” would meet for the final battle that will precede the end of time and the triumph of true Islam.

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‘Lone Wolf,’ ‘Self-Radicalized': Islamophobic Buzzwords never applied to White Terrorists

Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were found dead on Tuesday

Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were found dead on Tuesday

Juan Cole writes at Informed Comment:

Did a self-radicalized lone wolf white terrorist kill three young Muslim students in cold blood in Chapel Hill? It is a kind of a stupid question, but its stupidity is just more apparent when asked of someone with an English last name. What does self-radicalized or lone wolf even mean? Craig Hicks constantly shared anti-Muslim and anti-Christian links on social media and proclaimed to believers, ““I have every right to insult a religion that goes out of its way to insult, to judge, and to condemn me as an inadequate human being — which your religion does with self-righteous gusto…” I think we may conclude that he didn’t like Muslims, and one of the victims told her father that before her death. While he may have been provoked to his rage by a parking incident and while he clearly is one egg short of an omelette, the “new atheist” discourse of believers as oppressive and coercive per se is part of his problem.

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