A mechanic noticed a strange device under the hood of a customer's car and offered to remove it for him. The customer, an Egyptian-American student named Yasir Afifi, shows his roommate, who posts pictures of it on Reddit to find out what the heck it is. Turns out it's an FBI GPS tracking device
, and the agency turned up quickly demanding he give it back. The ACLU is reportedly getting involved. [more inside]
posted by richyoung
on Oct 8, 2010 -
is an open letter written by Noman Benotman, a former commander in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and a former associate of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. In al Qaeda strategy meetings in Kandahar in 2000, Benotman warned the al-Qaeda leadership of ‘total failure' to realise their aims and called on bin Laden and al-Zawahiri to abandon violence. Soon after the 9/11 attacks, he distanced himself from al-Qaeda and later resigned from his own jihadist organisation. He has more recently been instrumental in negotiations with Libya's government to free former LIFG leaders, and in persuading these leaders to formally renounce terrorism. He also recently joined the London-based Quilliam Foundation as a Senior Analyst.
posted by bardophile
on Sep 13, 2010 -
"Is this thought experiment monstrous?
Would it be monstrous to refer to the 40,000-plus domestic highway deaths we accept each year because the mobility and autonomy of the car are evidently worth that high price?" In 2007 David Foster Wallace invited readers to a series of thought experiments in a short piece. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic
on Sep 12, 2010 -
“No, no. Academia is now part of the real world. Everything goes.” Just before dawn, on August 24, 1970
, Dwight and Karl Armstrong, Leo Burt, and David Fine parked a van
outside Sterling Hall at the University of Wisconsin. The van was filled with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, and when it blew
, it killed Robert Fassnacht
, a young physicist working through the night. The Army Mathematics Research Center, the bombing's target, was untouched. The bombers, known as the "New Year's Gang," went underground, and enthusiasm for the radical movement in Madison was permanently dampened. The University of Wisconsin collection of transcribed interviews about the Sterling Hall Bombing
. [more inside]
posted by escabeche
on Aug 21, 2010 -
You're a 39 year old American citizen
born in New Mexico. Though it has convicted you of no crime, the US government is trying to kill you
. Your father retained the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights to seek a federal court order restraining the killing. Two weeks later, the Treasury Department labeled you a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist". This makes it a criminal offense
for the ACLU or CCR to provide you with legal representation. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Aug 3, 2010 -
The Toronto 18.
"The [Toronto] Star was the first to break the news, just over four years ago, that an al-Qaeda inspired homegrown terror cell had been busted in Toronto. ... Numerous publication bans have kept the full story from the public. Now, with the case over, we can present the complete narrative of the Toronto 18: Who they are, how they met, what they did." This is a great example of how to present long-form journalism online.
posted by chunking express
on Jul 9, 2010 -
'They blow each other up by mistake. They bungle even simple schemes. They get intimate with cows and donkeys. Our terrorist enemies trade on the perception that they’re well trained and religiously devout, but in fact, many are fools and perverts who are far less organized and sophisticated than we imagine. Can being more realistic about who our foes actually are help us stop the truly dangerous ones?' The Case for Calling Them Nitwits
posted by shakespeherian
on Jun 24, 2010 -
The FBI has released their extensive files on US Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the public,
covering their relationship with him between 1961 and 1985. The seven files, totaling more than 2,200 pages of documents reveal
(among other things,) the perhaps unsurprising news that the late Senator received "scores"
of death threats
from radical groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, “Minutemen” organizations, and the National Socialist White People’s Party. The release was initiated by a Freedom of Information Act Request from Judicial Watch
on May 3, 2010, (Complaint pdf
) but the FBI gave the Senator's family the "rare opportunity" to raise objections before releasing the file
posted by zarq
on Jun 14, 2010 -
If you look at that video of Mohammad Sidique Khan
[one of the 7/7 bombers] recording a video for his nine-month-old daughter, when he thought he was going to fight and die in Afghanistan, he was saying, ‘You and your mum are the best thing in my life, and I’d love to watch you growing up and learning to speak.’ And you realise that he’s making a pretty soppy speech from a middle-of-the-road Hollywood movie. He’s the ‘good dad’. And in his head he is. And that doesn’t preclude him going out and doing something violent. You do bad things not because you think they’re bad, but because you think they’re good — unless you’re a nihilist. British satirist Chris Morris discusses his first feature film Four Lions
, which is a comedy about Islamist suicide bombers. Trailer
. Clip, concerning peroxide
. Audio interview with Morris about the film, Part 1
and Part 2
posted by Sticherbeast
on Apr 6, 2010 -
Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation.
University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers... more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation...
Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous?
-Via The Washington Note
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Apr 1, 2010 -
A Muslim American soldier battles on friendly ground.
'In his 23 months in the Army, Klawonn has consistently earned among the highest physical training scores in his unit. He's at the top in weapons qualifications and is the only one in his battalion to be invited to try out for the Special Forces. But the thing that stands out most, says Capt. Christopher Arata, his commander, is Klawonn's impossibly clean record. Not one reprimand. Never even late to a morning formation.'
'You watch your words and actions, censoring anything that could be interpreted as anger. You do so even as you try to ignore the names piled on you. Sand monkey. Carpet jockey. Raghead. Zachari bin Laden. Nidal Klawonn. But the hardest to shake off -- the name that cuts deepest, especially for a man who defied his family and community to become a U.S. soldier -- is this one: Terrorist. "To be looked upon by the people you serve with, by people you've trusted your life with, as the enemy," Klawonn says, sitting in his barracks a month after receiving the note. His voice trails off as he struggles to describe the anger he feels. "It's not right." [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Mar 24, 2010 -
Following the vote on Sunday, Mike Troxel of the Lynchburg Tea Party posted the address of what he thought was Dem Rep Tom Perriello, with the comment that activists should add a "personal touch" to their anger at Periello -- who voted yes on the health care bill -- by going to his house. It turns out the address was actually Perriello's brother's house, and the FBI are currently investigating the cut gas line that was discovered the next day
. [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon
on Mar 24, 2010 -
An American student learning Arabic was detained
for hours by the TSA
and questioned because he carried basic Arabic flash cards. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nick George a physics student at Pomona College
who was detained and aggressively interrogated by Transportation Security Administration authorities, by the FBI and by Pennsylvania police when he tried to board a plane carrying Arabic language flash cards.
posted by sierray
on Feb 11, 2010 -
Top Imams affiliated with the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada have issued a fatwa calling those terrorists who attack the United States and Canada “evil.” ... Extremists have been told that any attack on the U.S. or on Canada will be construed as an attack on 10 million Muslims who live in these two countries. (via) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Jan 9, 2010 -
It has been nearly a year since the Mumbai terror attacks. Journalist Jason Motlagh has written a four part article about them for The Virginia Quarterly Review. The first part
is about the initial attacks and the history of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist organization responsible. Part two
continues describing the events of the first night as well as police and media responses. The third
is about the events of the second day and includes intercepted phonecalls between the gunmen and their handlers as well as recounting the initial interrogation of the sole terrorist captured alive. The last part
is about the last day of the attacks and the aftermath. The article has a large number of photographs and is a harrowing read.
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 19, 2009 -