Tag Archives | Terrorism

Biggest Unsolved Terrorist Attacks in U.S. History

5 Wall St_ Bombing(7)In a list of the “10 Biggest Unsolved U.S. Terrorism Cases,” Parapolitical counts five attacks of greater severity than this week’s marathon bombing that were never solved. Topping that list is the 1920 Wall Street bombing. Ninety-three years after the attack that killed 38 at J.P. Morgan, no one has taken credit.

In close second is the 1975 bombing of New York’s La Guardia airport, an attack that killed 11. The 1916 San Francisco Preparedness Day bombing and the 1933 bombing of United Airlines flight 247 both also had death tolls at, or approaching, double-digits. Neither case has been closed.

Aside from the Boston Marathon attack, the most recent unsolved terrorist bombing in the U.S. was the 1985 murder of Alex Odeh in Santa Ana, California, an attack that resulted in 3 casualties.

Alex Odeh, a Palestinian Christian immigrant to the United States working as regional director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, was killed in a bombing of the group’s offices as he was preparing to leave to speak at a Fountain Valley synagogue.

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How Should We React To A Terrorist Attack?

terrorist attackParadoxically, in a sense, by doing nothing, says security theorizer Bruce Schneier, speaking to the Washington Post:

What should policymakers do in the aftermath of this kind of event? Nothing. This is a singular event, and not something that should drive policy. Unfortunately, you can’t prevent this sort of thing 100 percent.

By definition, news is something that almost never happens. The brain fools you into thinking the news is what’s important. So what should we be afraid of? Car crashes. Global warming. It feels insensitive to say it so close to the tragedy, but it’s true. Things so common that they’re no longer news — that’s what kills people.

The damage from terrorism is primarily emotional. To the extent this terrorist attack succeeds has very little do with the attack itself. Imagine if the bombs were found and moved at the last second, and no one died, but everyone was just as scared.

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Hacker Demonstrates Android Smartphone App To Hijack A Plane Midair

hijack a planeOn your next flight, you may want to look over your shoulder at what the person next to you is doing. Help Net Security reports:

An extremely well attended talk by Hugo Teso, a security consultant at n.runs AG in Germany, galvanized the crowd attending the Hack In The Box Conference in Amsterdam. Teso showcased an Andorid app, PlaneSploit, that remotely controls airplanes on the move.

Teso has been working in IT for the last eleven years and has been a trained commercial pilot for a year longer than that. By creating an exploit framework (SIMON) and an Android app (PlaneSploit) that delivers attack messages to the airplanes’ Flight Management Systems (computer unit + control display unit), he demonstrated the terrifying ability to take complete control of aircraft.

His testing laboratory consists of a series of software and hardware products. But the connection and communication methods, as well as ways of exploitation, are absolutely the same as they would be in an actual real-world scenario.

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U.S. War On Terror Shifts Towards Africa With Plans For Drone Base

Uh oh. The New York Times reports:

The U.S. military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region.

The move is an indication of the priority Africa has become in American antiterrorism efforts. The United States military has a limited presence in Africa, with only one permanent base, in the country of Djibouti. If the base is approved, the most likely location for it would be in Niger.

A handful of unarmed Predator drones would carry out surveillance missions in the region and fill a desperate need for more detailed information on a range of regional threats, including militants in Mali and the unabated flow of fighters and weapons from Libya. The plan could face resistance from some [officials] who are wary of committing any additional American forces to a fight against a poorly understood web of extremist groups in North Africa.

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Senator To Question Obama’s CIA Pick On America’s Drone Killings Policy

We may finally get specifics on Obama’s special “matrix” which tells when to assassinate U.S. citizens by drone without due process. Via Wired:

The man in charge of America’s drone wars will face Senate questioning about perhaps their most controversial aspect: when the president can target American citizens for death.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter on Monday to John Brennan, the White House’s counterterrorism adviser and nominee to be head of the CIA, asking for an outline of the legal and practical rules that underpin the U.S. government’s targeted killing of American citizens suspected of working with al-Qaida. The Obama administration has repeatedly resisted disclosing any such information about its so-called “disposition matrix” targeting terrorists, especially where it concerns possible American targets. Brennan reportedly oversees that matrix from his White House perch, and would be responsible for its execution at CIA director.

“How much evidence does the President need to determine that a particular American can be lawfully killed?” Wyden, a member of the Senate intelligence committee, asks in the letter.

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Judge Rules That Any Mention Of Torture In 9/11 Trial Will Be Classified

For its own good, the world can’t know what the CIA has or hasn’t done. Via the Christian Science Monitor:

In a significant victory for government prosecutors, the military judge presiding over the trial of accused 911 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has granted a government request to treat as classified any testimony or discussion about the alleged torture of Mr. Mohammed and others during CIA interrogations.

Off limits at the military commission trial at the US Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay are any details surrounding the defendants’ capture, detention, and alleged torture by the CIA. It includes “the enhanced interrogation techniques that were applied to an accused … including descriptions of the techniques as applied, the duration, frequency, sequencing, and limitations of those techniques.”

Defense lawyers had challenged the government’s expansive assertion of authority to designate certain subjects as protected secrets in the case, saying it was improper for prosecutors to attempt to censor Mohammed and his four co-defendants from discussing their own personal observations of things they involuntarily endured during years of CIA detention and interrogations.

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Here’s How to Know if Your Hotel Guest is a Terrorist

Via Public Intelligence:

Courtesy of our noble protectors at the Department of Homeland Security comes this handy list of pointers that you can use to tell if a hotel guest is a terrorist. Here’s an excerpt:

  • Extending departure dates one day at a time for prolonged periods.
  • Refusal of housekeeping services for extended periods.
  • Extended stays with little baggage or unpacked luggage.
  • Access or attempted access to areas of the hotel normally restricted to staff.
  • Use of cash for large transactions or a credit card in someone else’s name.

Want to know more? Of course you do – you’re probably a terrorist and you didn’t even know it!

Click here.

 

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