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1) my nephew's ok, 2) there's a dead body at the main gate, 3) US denies responsibility for bombing in Afghanistan.

Wikileaks to release over half a million pager intercepts from 9/11. "Messages in the archive range from Pentagon and New York Police Department exchanges, to computers reporting faults to their operators as the World Trade Center collapsed." They're going to start posting them at 3am this morning.
posted by empath on Nov 24, 2009 - 184 comments

Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan

Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan - by Jeremy Scahill [via]
posted by Burhanistan on Nov 24, 2009 - 61 comments

A long article about the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 26th, 2008

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 - 14 comments

Are nuclear weapons safe in Pakistan?

Defending the Arsenal: In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?
posted by homunculus on Nov 10, 2009 - 21 comments

Be seeing you

iWatch PSA. The LAPD recently launched a new program named iWatch which encourages and establishes guidelines for citizen reporting of suspicious activity. There's also a 7 minute action movie playing out a fictional case study of the program. [more inside]
posted by sloe on Oct 25, 2009 - 32 comments

The Terrorist Within

The Terrorist Within is an in-depth look at the story of Ahmed Ressam. There's an interesting look at the lives of Ressam and other would-be jihadis and the way the authorities dealt with the information obtained about Ressam's activities.
posted by reenum on Sep 24, 2009 - 1 comment

Wonder what this will do for book sales?

Bin Laden's Reading List for Americans [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Sep 15, 2009 - 50 comments

The Other Architect of 9/11

While newly released images of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed have brought "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks" back into the public eye just before their anniversary, it was his skyscraper-hating lieutenant Mohamed Atta who had trained to be an architect before becoming an airborne suicide terrorist. Slate's Daniel Brook goes on a three-part expedition in search of Atta's architectural education, from despised tourist projects in Cairo's dilapidated Islamic Quarter to utopian urban planning for an idealized "Islamic-Oriental City" like Aleppo. [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed on Sep 11, 2009 - 56 comments

Advertising in the public interest

"What if America wasn't America?" That was the question posed by a series of ads broadcast in the wake of the September 11th attacks, ads which depicted a dystopian America bereft of liberty: Library - Diner - Church. Together with more positive ads like Remember Freedom and I Am an American, they encouraged frightened viewers to cherish their freedoms and defend against division and prejudice in the face of terrorism (seven years previously). The campaign was the work of the Ad Council, a non-profit agency that employs the creative muscle of volunteer advertisers to raise awareness for social issues of national importance. Founded during WWII as the War Advertising Council, the organization has been behind some of the most memorable public service campaigns in American history, including Rosie the Riveter, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog, and the Crash Test Dummies. And the Council is still at it today, producing striking, funny, and above all effective PSAs on everything from student invention to global warming to arts education to community service.

Additional resources: A-to-Z index of Ad Council campaigns - Campaigns organized by category - Award-winning campaigns - PSA Central: A free download directory of TV, radio, and print PSAs (registration req'd) - An exhaustive history of the Ad Council [46-page PDF] - YouTube channel - Vimeo channel - Twitter feed
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 11, 2009 - 69 comments

"Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed"

"Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed" [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 5, 2009 - 37 comments

Life imitating art

Life imitating art [more inside]
posted by numberstation on Jun 16, 2009 - 13 comments

Leon Panetta and the C.I.A.

The Secret History: Can Leon Panetta move the C.I.A. forward without confronting its past?
posted by homunculus on Jun 14, 2009 - 42 comments

You Break It, You Bought It, America

In his latest national security speech, President Obama unequivocally reaffirms his commitment to closing GITMO. President Obama's strong statements reaffirming his administration's commitment to cleaning up the legal and ethical mess the Bush administration left behind comes just after congressional Democrats recently saw fit to capitulate to the Republican minority by defunding President Obama's efforts to close GITMO, ostensibly to ensure that President Obama proceeds prudently and avoids setting the terrorists loose on America's strip malls. But others interpret these latest maneuvers from the "weak-kneed" congressional Dems as reflecting a sudden acute case of the political jitters, pointing out that, despite all the fearful talk of the imminent dangers of possible terrorists being held and tried on American soil, it's not as though we haven't done it before. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on May 21, 2009 - 176 comments

"I started the movement with the firm resolve that I will never be caught alive by the enemy. That has spread down the ranks."

Velupillai Prabhakaran, the elusive and ruthless leader (timeline, short bio) of the violent separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been reportedly killed in battle by the Sri Lankan Army (self-loading video) [more inside]
posted by shoebox on May 19, 2009 - 57 comments

Obama administration's blackmail diplomacy over torture evidence

The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald has new evidence. Previously.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 12, 2009 - 282 comments

Culture & Barbarism

Metaphysics in a Time of Terrorism. (via)
posted by Dumsnill on Apr 17, 2009 - 39 comments

Osama bin Elvis

What is the logical consequence of noting the fact that the terrorist groups that make a difference on planet Earth—such as Hamas and Hezbollah, the PLO, Colombia's FARC—are extensions of, respectively, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and Venezuela? It is the negation of the U.S. government's favorite axiom. It means that when George W. Bush spoke, and when Barack Obama speaks, of America being "at war" against "extremism" or "extremists" they are either being stupid or acting stupid to avoid dealing with the nasty fact that many governments wage indirect warfare.
International relations professor Angelo M. Codevilla argues that Osama bin Laden is not quite influential, not quite relevant, and probably dead. (multipage version)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 27, 2009 - 33 comments

"Infandous street corner Cromwell"

"Infandous street corner Cromwell" George Galloway MP banned from entering Canada. Justified on 'National Security' grounds, specifically Section 34(1) of the Immigration Act. George Galloway reacts to Canadian Immigraton Spokesman Alykhan Velshi on Channel 4. Velshi suggests this is 'not a freedom of speech issue' but in this day and age of technology is the notion of banning individuals crossing geographical borders due to opinions held absurd. It would seem the Canadian Government think not. Intellectual Protectionism rears its head and the marmite of international politics basks in the publicity. Domestic navel gazing ensues.
posted by numberstation on Mar 23, 2009 - 102 comments

"So Say We All"

Fantasy Meets Reality. The very best works of science fiction illuminate controversial current events and the intricacies of human nature. So, it's no surprise that the United Nations Public Information Department and the Sci Fi (SyFy?) Channel co-hosted a panel yesterday evening on "humanitarian concerns" at the UN, with the creators and actors of Battlestar Galactica -- a show which regularly explores those themes. A 2-hour video webcast is archived here. (RealPlayer video). Entertainment Weekly has an additional write-up. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2009 - 57 comments

Why hasn't America been attacked since 9/11?

Why No More 9/11s? An interactive inquiry about why America hasn't been attacked again.
posted by homunculus on Mar 5, 2009 - 60 comments

Rape as a War Crime Against Your Own

Iraq: "A woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame."
Algeria: "Evil al-Qaeda chiefs are raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, it emerged yesterday. "
posted by davidstandaford on Feb 4, 2009 - 140 comments

Tomato Juice Terrorism in the Skies

Airlines Use Terrorism Law to Punish Unruly Passengers. Since 2003, more than 200 airline passengers have been convicted of felonies for violating terrorism laws, many for incidents only involving yelling, cursing, or behaving drunkenly. One such passenger, Tamera Jo Freeman, was arrested and convicted for "an act of terrorism under the Patriot Act," after she spanked her children for toppling tomato juice, cursed at the flight attendant who confronted her, and tossed the juice can on the floor.
posted by terranova on Jan 25, 2009 - 91 comments

Pakistan's Jihadi Problem Worsens

Pakistan in Peril. "The relative calm in Iraq in recent months, combined with the drama of the US elections, has managed to distract attention from the catastrophe that is rapidly overwhelming Western interests in the part of the world that always should have been the focus of America's response to September 11: the al-Qaeda and Taliban heartlands on either side of the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 21, 2009 - 30 comments

Three Opinions On What to Do With the Bush Administration's Misdeeds

Bringing Justice to the War on Terrorism. 3 views on how the incoming administration should deal with the legal legacy of Bush Administration policies like torture, surveillance, and extraordinary rendition. Charles Fried makes the case against criminal prosecutions, Dahlia Lithwick makes the case for investigations followed by prosecutions, and Jack Balkin argues for truth commissions. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 11, 2009 - 80 comments

NEVAR FORGET an important date ever again, with our handy-dandy calendar! Operators are standing by and listening to your call. Er, I mean waiting for your call. Yeah, that's the ticket.

"The National Counterterrorism Center is pleased to present the 2009 edition of the Counterterrorism (CT) Calendar. This edition... contains useful information across a wide range of terrorism-related topics: terrorist groups, wanted terrorists, and technical pages on various threat-related issues" such as recognizing the effects of an anthrax infection. "The Calendar marks dates according to the Gregorian and Islamic calendars, and contains significant dates in terrorism history, as well as dates that terrorists may believe are important when planning 'commemoration-style' attacks." Conveniently available in both online multimedia format (deep link to the timeline itself), as well as a printable version (63 MB PDF). [more inside]
posted by grouse on Jan 8, 2009 - 11 comments

"A strong hunch, based on a pattern of damning circumstances."

A New York Times investigative report on the case against alleged anthrax terrorist Bruce Ivins: "[U]nless new evidence were to surface, the enormous public investment in the case would appear to have yielded nothing more persuasive than a strong hunch, based on a pattern of damning circumstances, that Dr. Ivins was the perpetrator." [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Jan 4, 2009 - 84 comments

Closing Guantánamo

Closing Guantánamo: A forum on what to do with detainees.
posted by homunculus on Dec 30, 2008 - 18 comments

The True Price of Torture

Tortured Reasoning. "George W. Bush defended harsh interrogations by pointing to intelligence breakthroughs, but a surprising number of counterterrorist officials say that, apart from being wrong, torture just doesn’t work. Delving into two high-profile cases, the author exposes the tactical costs of prisoner abuse."
posted by homunculus on Dec 18, 2008 - 82 comments

Banking in Trust

Hawala or the Bank that Never Was.
Here's how it works.
However this honorable system has been hijacked by drug smugglers, terrorists, even Pirates; although there are problems.
Regulation has its drawbacks hurting some of the worlds poorer economies.
MI6 believes that terror organisations have used the global banking system to its advantage by investing Hawala money in stocks around the world.
posted by adamvasco on Dec 17, 2008 - 24 comments

Stellar Wind

The Fed Who Blew the Whistle: Is he a hero or a criminal? Three years after the New York Times first revealed the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program, whistleblower Thomas Tamm has acknowledged his role in making it public. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 16, 2008 - 51 comments

Are fortification and foreign aid making Kabul more dangerous?

The Archipelago of Fear. "International surveys show that the more people trust their neighbours, strangers, and their government, the more likely they are to help strangers, to vote, and to volunteer. If better streets, sidewalks, walls, and buildings all improve the ways people engage with one another, then the reverse should also be true: antagonistic architecture can corrode trust and fuel hostility. Kabul just might be a laboratory of toxic urbanity."
posted by homunculus on Dec 5, 2008 - 20 comments

Cocaine's a helluva drug.

The Mumbai terrorists took cocaine, acid, and other drugs to stay awake during the attacks. Not the first.
posted by gman on Dec 3, 2008 - 107 comments

Terrorism and Technology

They navigated by GPS. They used Blackberrys to check on the police response via the Internet. They carried cellphones with switchable SIM cards. The practiced using images from Google Earth. They called VOIP numbers to communicate with their leaders. They used a re-mailer to claim responsibility for the Mumbai attacks anonymously. Terrorism in the digital age.
posted by up in the old hotel on Dec 3, 2008 - 31 comments

Britain's torture of Obama's grandfather

The Mau Mau rebellion against British rule in Kenya lasted from 1952 to 1960. Although there were atrocities on both sides, there has been a movement in Kenya to claim compensation from the British government for their actions. Obama's grandfather took part in the uprising (some have labelled him an "insurgent") and was captured and brutally tortured by the British. [more inside]
posted by jonesor on Dec 3, 2008 - 21 comments

בית חב"ד

Set up by Hasidic Jews as Community Centres, there are 3000+ Chabad Houses around the globe. The recent terror attack at the Centre in Mumbai took the lives of 9 people, including a Rabbi and his wife. The rescue (YT) was not without contention. You may also remember this Bangkok Rabbi from his interview in 1 Giant Leap.
posted by gman on Nov 29, 2008 - 22 comments

Terrorist attack in Mumbai

Massive coordinated terrorist attack in Mumbai. The news is pouring in, but not from traditional sources. The latest breaking news seems to be coming from Twitter, many from people on the scene. One local has been snapping photos, and Flickr just gave him a free three-month account to upload the images. Metroblogging in Mumbai has been updating the news as it comes in as well.
posted by Astro Zombie on Nov 26, 2008 - 571 comments

UAVs over Sadr City

A sanitized look at the use of UAVs 1.9 miles above Sadr City, Iraq. [print version] [more inside]
posted by odinsdream on Nov 9, 2008 - 36 comments

Abu Nidal mystery solved

Remember Abu Nidal? The "Bin Laden" of the 70s and 80s, he mysteriously committed suicide in Baghdad on the eve of the 2003 invasion. New documents have come to light suggesting Nidal was working for the USA "trying to find evidence linking Saddam and al-Qa'ida." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Oct 27, 2008 - 17 comments

Terror At Home

Chemical irritant empties Islamic Society of Greater Dayton's mosque. This after Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West appeared as a paid advertising insert in the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, Hamilton JournalNews and Middletown Journal, all owned by Cox Ohio Publishing, on Monday, Sept. 22. [more inside]
posted by effwerd on Sep 29, 2008 - 71 comments

Gives a whole new meaning to "Terror Watch List"

The Casio F91W is a cheap, common digital watch which, as described by Casio themselves, has a "tried and true style great for casual wear". It has a fairly unremarkable set of features: water resistance, a light, an alarm and a calendar. There is, however, one undocumented feature that makes this particular watch special – it can be used as evidence that you're a terrorist. More info at Wikipedia.
posted by HaloMan on Sep 28, 2008 - 43 comments

A moving image of capitalism screaming and exploding

In the early days of the occupation of Iraq, a "gathering of antagonists to capital and empire" known as the Retort Collective published Afflicted Powers, a contentious analysis of September 11th and its aftermath grounded in the Situationist concepts developed by Guy Debord in The Society of the Spectacle. Two lengthy excerpts can be read online: an introduction to the war as a "struggle for mastery in the realm of the image", and a critique of the "Blood for Oil" argument. [more inside]
posted by stammer on Sep 24, 2008 - 26 comments

Talibanistan

Right at the Edge. "The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost."
posted by homunculus on Sep 5, 2008 - 62 comments

Psych Securities LLC

Psych Securities LLC. "With future forecasts declaring ultimate doom from all components of the man-altered world, it seems there is a clog in the conduit of information transmitted between those in control and the public at large. Black Ops, psychological torture, acoustic weapons, Project Starfire, and a multitude of other state sponsored programs exist, well-hidden in plain sight, shrouded in a stigma of conspiracy and diluting any significant public inquiry. Psych Securities LLC is an ongoing exploration of this aforementioned covert reality, most clearly seen while in an alternative psychological state. By compiling declassified documents, historical narratives, and psychedelic conjecture, a visual world is pieced together; undermining strategies of deception and concealed truths." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 18, 2008 - 40 comments

The American Military Crisis

Illusions of Victory: How the United States Did Not Reinvent War… But Thought It Did. Is Perpetual War Our Future? Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Bush Era. Two excerpts from The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, the new book by Andrew Bacevich (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4).
posted by homunculus on Aug 14, 2008 - 21 comments

The Assassination of John Glenn

"Operation Northwoods [pdf], which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war." [YouTube] [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle on Aug 12, 2008 - 54 comments

Target Practice

“It’s amazing how many people are shooting. This is probably the heaviest shooting we’ve witnessed, and although it’s Memorial Day, you can’t just blame it on the United States. France, Denmark, Ireland, UK, Canada, so it’s not one place – almost global shooting.” [previously]
posted by oldleada on Aug 8, 2008 - 2 comments

Anyone for the Global War on Flu?

The UK's national risk register is made public. It is kept updated by the secret squirrels in the Cabinet Office, and was previously kept under wraps. Pandemic flu and flooding beat out terrorism as the major risks facing the UK at the moment. Both are seen as less likely than a terrorist attack, but more devastating. The full pdf has a chart on page 7 showing the main risks on a grid.
posted by athenian on Aug 8, 2008 - 18 comments

The Strange Case of Aafia Siddiqui

For the last five years, the whereabouts and sudden disappearance in 2003 of former MIT graduate, Pakistani national, and alleged terrorist Aafia Siddiqui (wiki) have remained mysterious. Accused by the U.S. of terrorist ties, earlier today she appeared (having been recently wounded) in a NY courtroom to face trial for attempted murder of American officers and FBI agents while being held in Afghanistan. But the facts behind the case are conflicted. For years she was rumored to have been held in the U.S. prison at Bagram base in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, her disappearance has proved to be a lightning-rod on the issue of the hundreds of others who have been rounded up as terrorist suspects--only to disappear without any trace, let alone any due process or criminal trial. A preliminary hearing for Siddiqui is set for Aug. 19.
posted by ornate insect on Aug 6, 2008 - 25 comments

"Are we in the midst of a coup?"

2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 3, 2008 - 74 comments

Anthrax suspect kills himself ahead of arrest

Breaking anthrax attacks update: A new suspect, a US goverment expert on anthrax, kills himself as he's about to be arrested. Bruce Ivins helped analyze the killer powder sent by mail in 2001 that killed five people and freaked out the US right after 9/11. The govt paid out $5.82 million just last month to former govt scientist Steven Hatfill for wrongly targeting him in the investigation.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jul 31, 2008 - 166 comments

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