Tag Archives | Terrorism
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Wednesday 22nd 2013, 1421 – Woolwich, South London.
That’s when the call was placed to police – that’s when the authorities became aware that two men were hacking another to death with machetes. But there were witnesses to this act – it happened in broad daylight. Bloodstained hands were caught on camera-phones, tweets going viral while the perpetrators explained why they had done it, to passers by.
They didn’t run, they waited for police. Fourteen minutes later, armed police showed up, and were charged by at least one of the perpetrators. They promptly shot him. Both perpetrators are now in hospital, under guard.
The dead man was a serving soldier. The perpetrators were young black men, who were Muslims. Media makes much of them shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic, and their statements that the reason for this is Western troops in Muslim countries.
They’re all around us — the number of people being tracked as suspected terrorists will soon cross the one million mark, Reuters reports:
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The number of names on a highly classified U.S. central database used to track suspected terrorists has jumped to 875,000 from 540,000 only five years ago, a U.S. official said. Among those was Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose name was added in 2011.
Maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, the highly classified database is not a “watchlist,” but a repository of information on people whom U.S. authorities see as known, suspected or potential terrorists from around the world.
The “Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment” is a master database which agencies use to build other catalogs of possible terrorists, like the “no-fly” list which prevents people on it from boarding airplanes.
Karen Greenberg, an expert in counter-terrorism policy at Fordham University, questioned whether the growth in the database’s size made it easier for officials to spot threats before they materialize.
Dave Lindorff is a veteran investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com. Here he writes for his This Can’t Be Happening! blog:
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Let’s do a little exercise. Forget nationalities and identities for a moment.
Imagine you are a police detective investigating a horrific bombing in your city — one in which several people were killed and hundreds were injured. You have a captured suspect whom you are sure was one of the bombers, and another was killed in a shootout, but both are young and not very sophisticated.
They might have acted alone, of course, but knowing how these things work, you are also looking for leads to try to determine who else might have been involved, and especially who might have been behind the incident.
As it happens, your two suspects are immigrants. They were brought to your country at a young age by parents who were refugees seeking asylum from a region of the world riven by civil war, brutal repression by a larger power, and that was a breeding ground for terrorists who had been known to have launched terrible attacks against civilians, including schools and full movie theaters in that larger power.
On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin takes with a look at the conflicting reports about chemical weapons being used in Syria, news of Israeli airstrikes in Damascus, and the importance of taking information from the corporate media on this issue with a grain of salt.
Fred Reed writes at LewRockwell.com:
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In recent years, I have seen terrorism denounced as a despicable crime. I wonder whether it shouldn’t be accepted frankly as a form of war. I am not sure why blowing up ten people in a restaurant in, say, London is more despicable than blowing up ten children in Afghanistan by a drone. (They are both despicable.) Some terrorists, such as the Unabomber, are merely freelance criminal psychopaths. Others, such as bin Laden, engage in terrorism for the same reason why militaries attack countries: to make the other side do what the attacker wants.
From the point of view of cost and benefit, terrorism is a brilliantly effective form of warfare, especially against heavily armed countries of the First World. The reasons are several. First, terrorism offers no target to the basically World War Two militaries of advanced countries. If five Saudis, two Pakis, a Russian and a disaffected American blow up a building in Chicago, against whom does the US seek revenge?
Terrorism spreads quickly, and is viciously efficient: it takes very little to do a lot of harm. The knowledge of how it developed recently elsewhere, and how it was eventually defeated, can only be of help.
It’s orientation day for foreign students at the University of Southern California, late August 1980. I am assigned a room in a dorm to share with a fellow international student, a Palestinian 300-pounder whose father is “not as powerful as President Carter, but almost.” The first night in the dorm he keeps me up playing “beautiful Arabic tunes” on a recorder because “I like Italians, they’re very nice people; we train them in our camps, you know, the Red Brigades, and others.”
Back to the present.
The Boston Marathon bombings and the events following them have made the prospect of homegrown terrorism become a reality. Although the 21st century has begun with multiple acts of terrorism on an unprecedented scale, it has been perceived all along as a threat that comes from the outside.… Read the rest
As a perpetual emotion machine — producing and guzzling its own political fuel — the “war on terror” continues to normalize itself as a thoroughly American way of life and death. Ongoing warfare has become a matter of default routine, pushed along by mainline media and the leadership of both parties in Washington. Without a clear and effective upsurge of opposition from the grassroots, Americans can expect to remain citizens of a war-driven country for the rest of their lives.
Across the United States, many thousands of peeling bumper stickers on the road say: “End this Endless War.” They got mass distribution from MoveOn.org back in 2007, when a Republican was in the White House. Now, a thorough search of the MoveOn website might leave the impression that endless war ended with the end of the George W. Bush presidency.
MoveOn is very big as online groups go, but it is symptomatic of a widespread problem among an array of left-leaning organizations that have made their peace with the warfare state.… Read the rest
I started writing on Patriots day in Massachusetts, the State holiday commemorating America’s revolutionary war in one of the cities in which it began. It was also the anniversary of the Waco FBI massacre aimed at right-wing fanatics and the demolition of the Murrah federal office building in Oklahoma City by right-wing fanatics.
But I was writing about the events in Boston with the bomb attacks on the Marathon, and the manhunt that locked the city down in a military maneuver.
I worked in Boston media for 12 years, many of them at WBCN when it was located in the Prudential Center, for many years the destination of the race. I also lived on Norfolk Street in Cambridge where the two men alleged to have of triggered the bloody mayhem were said to be living. I took my daughter to the Cambridge Hospital where the other “suspect, “ Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may or may not recover.… Read the rest