Tag Archives | Terrorism
The Mercury News on the frustrating lack of insidious plots by the city’s residents:
In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques, the New York Police Department’s secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday.
[The NYPD had] help from the CIA, which assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and catalogued every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames. Police hoped the Demographics Unit would serve as an early warning system for terrorism.
But in a June 28 deposition as part of a longstanding federal civil rights case, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati said none of the conversations the officers overheard ever led to a case. “Related to Demographics,” Galati testified that information that has come in “has not commenced an investigation.”
Good to know that the guys and gals at Gitmo are given a plentiful supply of fresh fruit. Alleged terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is putting his portion to creative use, per Reuters:
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Accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been tinting his beard red by rubbing it with fruit juice and crushed berries from his breakfast, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday.
Mohammed first showed up for his April arraignment hearing with his long, scraggly beard tinted a rusty red, and it remained dyed the same hue when he returned last week to the courtroom at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.
That sparked a flurry of questions, since the rule book for the detention operation known as Joint Task Force Guantanamo, or JTF-GTMO, specifically prohibits prisoners from receiving hair dye because it can contain chemicals such as ammonia that could be used as a weapon.
Anwar Al-alwaki, a well known radical cleric with ties to the accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hassan, “Underwear Bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and three of the 9/11 hijackers was killed last year by a CIA drone strike in Yemen. Al-alwaki also holds the dubious distinction of being one of the first US citizens placed on the list of people the CIA was allowed to kill. In a story worthy of the silver screen, a Danish man claims to have led the CIA directly to Al-alwaki.
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A 36-year-old Dane called Morten Storm says he was the man who led the CIA to Anwar al Awlaki, the al Qaeda cleric killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen last year. And he says he did it with a computer thumb-drive that secretly contained a tracking device.
Among the evidence he’s produced: recorded telephone conversations, passport stamps showing multiple trips to Yemen, correspondence with Awlaki, and a recording of a conversation with an unidentified American – who acknowledges his role in the pursuit of Awlaki..
James writes at My Bloggity Blog:
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In a shocking new poll it was revealed that American’s are more like 24’s Jack Bauer than ever before in their mindset about torture and ways to eliminate terrorists. This poll which was conducted for Foreign Policy revealed that American’s are much more in favor of torture and specific torture methods than they were during the Bush administration which put nearly all of these measures into place and when these torture methods were legal. The kicker is that American’s are also increasingly more in favor of using nuclear weapons to eradicate terrorists regardless of the harmful effects to the environment. It should also be noted that most terrorists don’t even congregate in large enough numbers to justify even a 2,000lb bomb never mind a nuclear bomb.
A quarter of all Americans are willing to use nuclear weapons to kill terrorists.
Yet another vague and overreaching project to censor the internet is underway; European Commission-funded CleanIT, which aims to “countering illegal use of the Internet” and fight what they see as terrorism. It’s another attempt to use a private police network to determine what ‘illegal’ and ‘terrorist’ uses of the internet mean. Groups like European Digital Rights and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are stepping in to protect our legal safeguards:
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EFF has always expressed concerns about relying upon intermediaries to police the Internet. As an organization, we believe in strong legal protections for intermediaries and as such, have often upheld the United States’ Communications Decency Act, Section 230 (CDA 230) as a positive example of intermediary protection. While even CDA 230’s protections do not extend to truly criminal activities, the definition of “terrorist” is, in this context, vague enough to raise alarm.
The recommendations call for the easy removal of content from the Internet without following “more labour intensive and formal” procedures.
Answer: When the US government says so.
When the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan were assassinating members of their government and the Russian troops dispatched to support it, they were, in Washington’s view, freedom fighters, even as their enemies branded them terrorists.
When they turned against an Afghan government imposed by the United States or revolted against a US invasion, they were once again branded terrorists.
When armed groups battling Khadafy’s government were supported by NATO, they were called freedom fighters. When some recently and allegedly turned violently against the United States, which is now dominating Libyan politics, they are once again castigated as terrorists.
And now, the United States Government through a decision by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has decided that the Iranian group Mujahedeen Khalq, or People’s Mujahedeen, that had been on the US State Department’s terrorist list for years, has now been taken off the list.… Read the rest