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How To Talk To Terrorists

Above all, what these experiences demonstrate is that there isn’t really an alternative to talking to the terrorists if you want the conflict to end. Hugh Orde, the former chief constable in Northern Ireland, rightly says, “There is no example that I know of, of terrorism being policed out” – or fully defeated by physical force – anywhere in the world. Petraeus said that it was clear in Iraq that “we would not be able to kill or capture our way out of the industrial-strength insurgency that was tearing apart the very fabric of Iraqi society”. If you can’t kill them all, then sooner or later you come back to the same point, and it is a question of when, not whether, you talk. If there is a political cause then there has to be a political solution. [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Oct 10, 2014 - 36 comments

Synthetic biology is not easy

The assumption that synthetic biology makes it easy for anybody to “engineer biology” is not true. The underlying vision holds that well-characterized biological parts can be easily obtained from open-source online registries and then assembled, by people with no specialist training outside professional scientific institutions, into genetic circuits, devices and systems that will reliably perform desired functions in live organisms. This vision, however, does not even reflect current realities in academic or commercial science laboratories
posted by sammyo on Sep 19, 2014 - 13 comments

"My life has been reduced to nothing by an intolerable insult."

The Simple Facts About Mass Shootings Aren't Simple At All
The first step in stopping future mass shootings is figuring out what we know and working from there. Unfortunately, the real first step is getting rid of a bunch of stuff we “know” that turns out to be wrong.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 5, 2014 - 126 comments

Hostis Humani Generis

The legal framework of terrorism has been ... complex. Under the Bush Administration, terrorists were deemd to be "unlawful enemy combatants," and not afforded the protections of the III Geneva Convention. The policy, thought not the name, has continued under the Obama Adminstration, and this indeterminate legal status has significantly complicated efforts to try or release them. However, there is an older legal model that may suffice: piracy. (previously [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 4, 2013 - 16 comments

Rock Star Terrorist

The cover of the Rolling Stone has been a cultural touchstone for a long time. Now, the dreamy, tape-it-to-the-bedroom-wall worthy image of terrorist eye-candy, Jahar Tsarnaev, rocks the magazine's legendary cover real estate. Teenage girls swoon, others fret.
posted by thinkpiece on Jul 17, 2013 - 227 comments

"Bin Laden cowered & hid. Mughniyeh spent his life giving us the finger"

It's been five years since the death of Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus. No one ever claimed responsibility for killing him. Hezbollah publicly blames Israel's Mossad, a charge they unsurprisingly deny. So, who killed The Driver? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 30, 2013 - 18 comments

The Forrest Gump of the Middle East

Who's the most interesting speaker at this year's Values Voter Summit? It's almost certainly "former terrorist" Kamal Saleem, who claims to have smuggled weapons in to the United States and carried out missions for the likes of Yasser Arafat, Moammar Gadhafi, and Saddam Hussein before finding Christ and founding his ministry. He's appeared on The 700 Club, spoken at the Air Force Academy, and written a memoir, but Kamal might not have the history he claims to [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Sep 14, 2012 - 64 comments

The Departed

"Hundreds of Kashmiri militants who left home as young men two decades ago have begun to return, middle-aged and disillusioned. What happens to them now?"
posted by vidur on Sep 9, 2012 - 16 comments

HalalFilter

"The online world of Islamic extremists, like all the other worlds of the Internet, operates on a subtly psychological level that does a brilliant job at keeping people like Abumubarak clicking and posting away -- and amassing all the rankings, scores, badges, and levels to prove it. Like virtually every other popular online social space, the social space of online jihadists has become "gamified," a term used to describe game-like attributes applied to non-game activities. It turns out that what drives online jihadists is pretty much exactly what drives Internet trolls, airline ticket consumers, and World of Warcraft players: competition." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Jan 14, 2012 - 22 comments

Lowkey

Hand On Your Gun is a music video dedicated to suit-wearing arms dealers and champagne-drinking depleted uranium droppers from British-Iraqi rapper Lowkey. A few of his other videos: Obama Nation, Terrorist?, Obama Nation part 2, Soundtrack To The Struggle
posted by finite on Jan 6, 2012 - 11 comments

Three blasts in Mumbai

Mumbai rocked by three blasts in terrorist attack: 21 dead, over 140 injured.
posted by dunkadunc on Jul 13, 2011 - 57 comments

Call him John

"After Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring raid unfold. Hidden from view, standing just outside the frame of that now-famous photograph was a career CIA analyst" - The man who hunted Osama bin Laden
posted by vidur on Jul 5, 2011 - 58 comments

The Lockerbie Deal

How Britain's largest corporations helped engineer the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
posted by reenum on Apr 28, 2011 - 10 comments

Giving "The Devil" His Due

Emmanuel "Toto" Constant led a paramilitary organization called FRAPH that terrorized Haiti after the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. When FRAPH's fortunes declined, Toto mysteriously appeared in New York City, where he was scorned by the Haitian community. Justice eventually caught up to Toto, who is now imprisoned in New York state. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Apr 27, 2011 - 6 comments

Entrevista Con La Bailarina

The Dancer and the Terrorist. When Peru’s most wanted man, Abimael Guzmán Reynoso, was captured in 1992, a young ballerina, Maritza Garrido Lecca, went to jail too, for harbouring him at her studio. The story was turned into a novel and film, “The Dancer Upstairs” (trailer). This year, the author of the novel, Nicholas Shakespeare, flew to Lima to meet the dancer at last — and to ask her whether she was guilty.
posted by zarq on Jan 20, 2011 - 13 comments

Officials Worry About Some Latino Converts To Islam

"Latino converts to radical Islam have been connected to terrorism cases in this country with increasing frequency — and officials are trying to understand why."
posted by reenum on Dec 11, 2010 - 29 comments

"Terrorist cells have the same group dynamics as stag parties and five-a-side football teams."

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 - 47 comments

No Terrorists Here

Hundreds of Icelanders make postcards to assure British PM Gordon Brown that they're not terrorists.
posted by hermitosis on Nov 10, 2008 - 77 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

And then there were ten

Planning and working toward ultimate goals that appear unattainable or even unrealistic does not militate against a finding that this was a terrorist group [more inside]
posted by raider on Sep 25, 2008 - 27 comments

Bad Company

The CIA's Odd Man Out: CIA station chief Bob Lady coordinated the secret kidnapping of Islamic militant Abu Omar in Milan and Omar's "extreme rendition" to Egypt where he was tortured. Italy indicted various CIA agents; Lady is on the run in Central America, abandoned by the agency. The twist: Lady opposed the mission all along. And Abu Omar will probably end up with Lady's home in the foothills of the Alps. [more inside]
posted by msalt on Apr 22, 2008 - 38 comments

of T-Shirts and terrorists

Fighters and Lovers is a Copenhagen based group that "is greatly in debt to the stylish classic coolness of Palestinian fighter Leyla Khaled and the funky outrageous style of Colombian guerrilla commander Jacobo Arenas. Our work is inspired by the style and principles of these legendary fighters." Their t- have landed them in some hot water with the law. They donated proceeds from their shirts to FARC and the PLFP. After the Santa Claus incident, one wonders if Urban Outfitters would have sold these or if they're more into positive message t-shirt expression nowadays? [more inside]
posted by cal71 on Nov 30, 2007 - 26 comments

Terrorism or fearmongering?

Tame Iti, Maori activist, is no stranger to controversy - with his full facial moko he has a face you won't soon forget. But is he a terrorist? Recently, the New Zealand Police force carried out a series of "raids" against a "training camp" in the north island, in the first use of the Terrorism Suppression Act, legislated in 2002. The act itself is not without it's critics but the country seems divided about the raids. Deluded extremists? Harmless Activist? or Real Threat? Some have claimed the raids are politically motivated, enacted by a police force with a declining public image. The whole case is racially loaded [more inside]
posted by Dillonlikescookies on Oct 16, 2007 - 17 comments

a dark wind blows

The car is on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel
posted by Flashman on Jun 30, 2007 - 178 comments

One man's terrorist is another man's...

The Naxalites of India
posted by hadjiboy on Jun 12, 2007 - 8 comments

"The station's gaffes have included broadcasting in December 2006 a 68-minute call to arms against Israelis by a senior figure of the terrorist group Hezbollah..."

Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program. That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, ... from their About US page: Alhurra is operated by non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the American people through the U.S Congress. US Govt. Accountability Office abstract about other MBN problems here.
posted by amberglow on May 22, 2007 - 44 comments

Don't-Buy List

No-fly list? Sure, we remember that. It's caused some inconvenience. Some people you wouldn't think of as terrorists are on it. Then again, some known terrorists are on that list. But that's old hat; now the government has a new terrorist list. it's almost all foreigners, but if your name or part of your name is on it, you might have problems.
posted by Kirth Gerson on Apr 10, 2007 - 43 comments

you can never quite tell...can you?

Mastermind? admitted planning attacks.... can you believe a verdict from partial transcripts edited by the US defence department that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed planned these attacks?
posted by Prunedish on Mar 15, 2007 - 111 comments

How the Shoe Bomber do.

Window Into a Terrorist’s Isolation. British citizen and convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid plays Trivial Pursuit.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Dec 4, 2006 - 22 comments

Baby, You Can Drive My Car Bomb

The Poor Man's Air Force: A History of the Car Bomb Part 1 & Part 2. Written by Mike Davis, the two-part essay argues that the first car bomb was actually a horse-drawn carriage filled with dynamite that Italian anarchists used to blow up Wall Street in 1920. (more inside)
posted by jonp72 on Jul 31, 2006 - 15 comments

"Mr. Shady Nasser, a grad student at Harvard they found for me, was my Arabic consultant."

An interview with John Updike on Terrorist, his most recent novel. Some reviews: Kakutani, Donohue (USAToday), and fellow novelist Amitav Gosh (Wapo).
posted by bardic on Jun 9, 2006 - 31 comments

Terror and the language.

I would have thought that these charges could fairly be represented as terrorism, yet in 108 links in Google News, there is no mention of "terror" or any of its derivations. Has the word been hijacked?
posted by Neiltupper on Jun 9, 2006 - 104 comments

Movie plot threats

Security expert (and personal hero) Bruce Schneier on the subject of movie plot threats : Sometimes it seems like the people in charge of homeland security spend too much time watching action movies. They defend against specific movie plots instead of against the broad threats of terrorism.

This month, Schneier announces a contest for readers of his blog and newsletter - submit the most unlikely, yet still plausible, terrorist attack scenarios you can come up with.

From the announcement : "The prize will be an autographed copy of Beyond Fear. And if I can swing it, a phone call with a real live movie producer."
posted by Afroblanco on Apr 8, 2006 - 31 comments

Quiz time boys and girls

Quiz #1 is about survival. #2 is about movies. #1 is a little weird (with its answers) and #2 has no answers! Drove me nuts.
posted by snsranch on Mar 1, 2006 - 42 comments

Terror Network Visualization

Terror Network Visualization. An interactive flash visualiztion of known terrorist links
posted by srboisvert on Jan 25, 2006 - 15 comments

FAA space regulations

Terrorists not allowed in space (the FAA would like to regulate commercial space flights)
posted by gunthersghost on Jan 8, 2006 - 22 comments

USF Professor acquitted

USF Professor acquitted of terrorism charges -- After being in prison for 3 years--much of that time in solitary confinement--Sami Al-Arian was acquitted today of 8 "key charges" (there was a hung jury on 9 other charges). In all, there was not one guilty verdict out of the 51 charges against Al-Arian and the three other men. The prosecution brought forth 80 witnesses and recorded over 20,000 hours of tapped phone calls--the defense didn't call a single witness. Now the government is trying to decide whether to retry him on the nine counts or to deport him to Israel--a move his attorney is calling "totally vindictive."
posted by whatgorilla on Dec 7, 2005 - 54 comments

One man's terrorist...

The Cult of Zaoui. Algerian Ahmed Zaoui arrived in New Zealand in December 2002, having been convicted in Belgium and France (in absentia) for terrorism-related offences, on a false passport requesting refugee status. He was imprisoned for two years (spending ten months in solitary confinement) as a result of the Security Intelligence Service issuing a security risk certificate, before the NZ Supreme Court granted him bail. He now lives in a Dominican Priory in Auckland under curfew, but manages (accompanied by his crusading young lawyer) to give public lectures, offer eulogies, publish a book of poetry, appear in a music video (wmv), sing onstage at the NZ Music Awards, inspire a fund-raising cookbook "Conversations over Couscous", and has become (depending on your viewpoint) a reluctant or carefully cultivated celebrity.
posted by szechuan on Nov 21, 2005 - 13 comments

Forever War

Taking Stock of the Forever War. "A terrorist leader four years ago, Osama bin Laden is now an ideology as well — and a viral movement. Terrorist attacks worldwide are on the rise. Iraq could well end up a 'failed' state. Maybe it's time to stop fighting on their terms." Also, Osama bin Laden: Lost at Tora Bora. (bugmenot)
posted by homunculus on Sep 10, 2005 - 31 comments

Hooray for freedom fighters

After decades of denial, official honors for terror bombers of Lavon Affair infamy. See also Liberty, USS.
posted by greatgefilte on Apr 5, 2005 - 36 comments

Al Qaeda Gets Online

Al Qaeda Posts Online Magazine
Al Qaeda has, reportedly, published the first issue of an online magazine aimed at recruitment of Muslims to get rid of the infidels and apostates (Americans and Iraqi aides) in Iraq.
Washington-based counterterrorism specialist Evan Kohlmann said the magazine aims at 'conveying the sense that the organization is professional, capable, and really understands what they're doing."
It was designed as 'an attempt to refute the idea that Zarqawi and these people are desperate. . . . It shows that these people have time on their hands and don't have to worry about mobility," he said.
posted by fenriq on Mar 4, 2005 - 47 comments

Terrorist Spoof

Terrorist Video Bloopers Chicago comedy troupe Teatro Bastardo spoofs the hostage video: Three warnings: 1. Windows Media Player required 2. Funny AND offensive 3. Might be low-bandwidth
posted by lilboo on Jan 20, 2005 - 28 comments

Sickening.

Tragedy! Now at half price!

I think Lewis Black was right when he suggested that the last stage of grief isn't acceptance, but exploitation.

(And here's how to contact the outfit responsible.)
posted by Vidiot on Sep 15, 2004 - 49 comments

Flash Game - Bush Shoot-Out

Flash Game - Bush Shoot-Out Starring President Bush and Condelezza Rice. Take on the terrorists and save the White House.
posted by joeadk on Feb 28, 2004 - 13 comments

Maher Hawash Sentenced

Update: Maher "Mike" Hawash, former Intel software engineer, who was previously discused here & here, was sentenced in Federal court yesterday.

Of the five men sentanced, Maher recieved the lightest term of eight years.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Feb 10, 2004 - 26 comments

9/11 report preview

9/11 report preview "As you read the report, you're going to have a pretty clear idea what wasn't done and what should have been done," he said. "This was not something that had to happen." We must wait till January for the full report.
posted by jbou on Dec 17, 2003 - 17 comments

Presidential Re-Election through fear mongering

The Last Stage of Delirium Research Group (LSD-PLaNET) have posted code on the Internet that can allow hackers to exploit a previously disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows operating system. This kind of thing happens all the time. What never happened before is a widespread government and media panic perpetuating the buffer overrun threat as terroristic in nature, originating from the Department of Homeland Security and upsetting the gerneral public at large.
posted by jdaura on Jul 31, 2003 - 6 comments

Misinterpreting Osama's Message: Erring on the Side of Danger

Misinterpreting Osama's Message: Erring on the Side of Danger (via AlterNet) Bin Laden's messages are mistaken for unconditional threats and vows to attack. They are really conditional warnings that whatever we do, they will respond in kind. Some new insights from reading between the lines of OBL's communiques without lapsing into left wing apologia (More inside)
posted by BentPenguin on Nov 22, 2002 - 17 comments

Is it legal to moon the White House?

Is it legal to moon the White House? These guys seem to think it is. I wonder if this makes their asses terrorists?
posted by clango on Oct 25, 2002 - 21 comments

Falwell calls THE Mohammed a terrorist.

Falwell calls THE Mohammed a terrorist. But it's not the first time he's offered this sick, and truly twisted opinion. On his site we find this gem. How long will it take for his people to give up, and step back to let the snipers have a better shot?
posted by Dome-O-Rama on Oct 4, 2002 - 48 comments

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