There is a killer
lurking in your local auto wrecking yard. Sodium Azide
, the chemical used in automobile air bags, is available to anyone who asks for it. Conceivably anyone could obtain several pounds of this poison, yet it takes only a few grams to kill
. A late model SUV will have enough in it's air bags to kill a couple of hundred people
It explodes. It kills
on contact with the skin. It kills via air, food, or water. It is odorless and colorless
. There is no antidote. Even minor exposure will result in permanent damage to brain cells.
University of Arizona atmospheric scientist Eric Betterton
was one of the first to expose the hazards of this unregulated material in 2000. The author J. A. Jance used it as the poison of choice in her book 'Partners in Crime
The perfect terrorist weapon
? It would seem so, but the Federal government doesn't regulate it's post-manufacture distribution. Got a grudge? Go pick up a few hundred pounds
posted by altman
on Dec 1, 2006 -
Newsfilter: U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons
"The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods that their captors used to get them to talk...the government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public."
Previously: (1) (2)
posted by StopMakingSense
on Nov 4, 2006 -
Not In The Newsfilter: Yesterday, two men attended their pre-trial hearing
at Preston Crown Court, accused of possession of explosive material. As previously reported
only in local newspapers
, Robert Cottage was in possession of 'what is believed to be a record haul of chemicals used in making home-made bombs', while a search of former BNP
candidate David Bolus Jackson's house 'uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals... and a nuclear biological suit'. Some webloggers
, and the left-wing press
, are wondering whether the story might have received more coverage if the suspected bomb-makers had been, say, Muslims. The BBC blame reporting restrictions
posted by jack_mo
on Oct 24, 2006 -
Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?
Should the FBI's counter-terrorism chief know the difference? How about the head of the FBI national security branch? How about a vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence?
posted by caddis
on Oct 17, 2006 -
Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman.
The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone
and The Village Voice
. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
posted by spaltavian
on Oct 1, 2006 -
The age of horrorism. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Martin Amis analyses - and abhors - the rise of extreme Islamism. In a penetrating and wide-ranging essay he offers a trenchant critique of the grotesque creed and questions the West's faltering response to this eruption of evil.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese
on Sep 19, 2006 -
The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for a purge
of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities. Now that this former rogue nation has fallen
, we can turn out attention to the real terrorist threat: Britain
posted by thirteenkiller
on Sep 5, 2006 -
In the Hollywood version of the Kwame James story
, he becomes an NBA All-Star, helps achieve world peace and, of course, lives blissfully ever after. While the real-life plot hasn't followed quite that arc, perhaps it's headed toward a happy ending. (via SpoFi)
posted by mr_crash_davis
on Aug 17, 2006 -
...Lawrence Wright tells, for the first time, the story of the F.B.I. agent who had the best chance of foiling the 9/11 plot. Here, with Amy Davidson, Wright talks about how turf wars with the C.I.A. got in the way. Wright’s book “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” will be published by Knopf in August.
posted by Postroad
on Aug 2, 2006 -
Who are the jihadists? Marc Sageman on the global Salafi jihad
: its goals, its history, who the jihadists are, how they're drawn to the jihad, how the movement is organized. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong
on Jun 30, 2006 -
Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars
[...]Just as disturbing as Al Qaeda's plans and capabilities are the descriptions of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror and its willful determination to go to war against Iraq. That war, according to the author's sources who attended National Security Council briefings in 2002, was primarily waged "to make an example" of Saddam Hussein, to "create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States."[...]
posted by Postroad
on Jun 20, 2006 -
It's all one's and zero's eh?
The complex patterns of the natural world often turn out to be governed by relatively simple mathematical relationships. A seashell grows at a rate proportional to its size, resulting in a delicate spiral. The gossamer network of galaxies results from the simple interplay between cosmic expansion and the force of gravity over a wide range of scales. As our catalogue of natural phenomena has grown more complete, more and more scientists have begun to look for interesting patterns in human society.
posted by Unregistered User
on Jun 10, 2006 -
Wen Ho Lee
has just won his lawsuit against the federal government and news agencies for violating his privacy rights while under investigation for being a spy. Mr. Lee lost his job, his reputation and racked up huge legal bills as a result of the accusations -- which were later found to be greatly exaggerated.
In a case of deja vu, a Chinese scientist at a state lab in Albany, NY recently lost his job (and his wife was placed on leave from her job) after being accused of illegally purchasing weapons
-- a charge which was later dismissed. Note that his firing was justified on the pretext of misusing his work computer to visit the ESPN website too often -- a criteria by which a large chunk of the state workforce would be fired.
And then there is the ongoing terrorism case against the Albany imam and the pizza shop owner which has had its own evidentiary shortcomings.
And to top it all off, the Albany FBI head has just been promoted.
Are we feeling any safer yet?
posted by bim
on Jun 2, 2006 -