In This Horror Film, Blood Is All Too Real [New York Times] ‘Terror at the Mall’ on HBO
documents an Attack in Kenya.
One year ago, gunmen from the Shabab militant group in Somalia laid siege to the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Armed with AK-47s and grenades, they stalked their victims from a gourmet burger restaurant at the entrance to the vegetable aisle of a grocery store at the back.
The British filmmaker Dan Reed assembled thousands of hours of footage gleaned from more than 100 security cameras inside the mall, video from television crews and modest cellphones, as well as still photographs. Then he and his team tracked down more than 200 people and interviewed 82 of them on camera, many survivors or their rescuers. [more inside]
When the car exploded, the same two words occurred to him, and to the ticket taker, and to every other person who saw or heard the blast, which could be heard on the other side of Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city: Boko Haram. That neither they, nor practically anyone else in Nigeria, knew what Boko Haram was exactly or why it would want to bomb a bus station was beside the point.
Officially, according to the Nigerian government, Boko Haram is a terrorist group. It began life as a separatist movement led by a northern Nigerian Muslim preacher, Mohammed Yusuf, who decried the country’s misrule. “Boko Haram” is a combination of the Hausa language and Arabic, understood to mean that Western, or un-Islamic, learning is forbidden. In 2009, after Yusuf was killed [BBC, The Guardian]—executed, it’s all but certain, by Nigerian police—his followers vowed revenge. [more inside]
The Sound of Terror: Phenomenology of a Drone Strike
Opponents of drone strikes say they violate international law and have caused unacknowledged civilian deaths. Proponents insist they actually save the lives of both U.S. soldiers, who would otherwise be deployed in dangerous ground operations, and of civilians, because of the drone’s capacity to survey and strike more precisely than combat. If the alternative is a prolonged and messy ground operation, the advantage of drone strikes in terms of casualties is indisputable, and it is not my intention to dispute it here.
But the terms of this debate give a one-sided view of both the larger financial and political costs of drones, as well as the less than lethal but nonetheless chronic and intense harm continuous strikes wage on communities. [more inside]
"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?
This past November, news broke
of a rather odd domestic terror plot
that had been broken up by the FBI
. Four senior citizens in northern Georgia who met regularly at a local Waffle House, were allegedly planning to spread ricin and botulinum toxin in Atlanta and Washington, DC, in order to kill millions of people and "save the Constitution." But was there ever really a conspiracy
UK's official use of torture policy.
For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
It might be instructive to ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course). Uncontroversially, he is not a “suspect” but the “decider” who gave the orders to invade Iraq -- that is, to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: in Iraq, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country and the national heritage, and the murderous sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. Equally uncontroversially, these crimes vastly exceed anything attributed to bin Laden.
There is Much More to Say
by Noam Chomsky.
Seven are arrested in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana
in FBI raids linked to Christian militia group Hutaree
, an extremist antigovernment group
whose members are "preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive", after threats to Islamic organisations.
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]
On Wednesday Sept. 5th
, German police stopped a
The planned bomb consisted of 730 kilogramms of hydrogen peroxide to be mixed with other chemicals.
The explosive power would have been equivalent to 550 kilogramms of TNT.
The IHT reports
the possible targets were the Ramstein US Air Force Air Base and Frankfurt International Airport.
The suspects had been under observation for 10 months, the chemicals had been clandestinely rendered harmless
by German authorities.
What caused the final arrest?
Two things: 1) they had just recieved a call from north Pakistan urgently ordering them to follow through within 14 days.
2) a local village policeman blew the surveillance cover
by literally telling them at a routine road stop that they were on a watch-list. German intelligence immediately knew the policeman had blown their cover. How? They had bugged the car
]. [more inside]
al Qaeda's "Legitimate Demands".
Azzam al Amreki (aka Adam Gadahn
) appears in a newly released al Qaeda video to recite his group's demands and promise more bombings and destruction if we don't comply. (previously
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
Suicide Bombing: Just Say No.
Hollywood-style anti-suicide bombing PSA now in heavy rotation on Iraqi TV. Previously discussed here
before the spot was finished.
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?
The Road to Guantanamo
, the latest film by prolific UK director Michael Winterbottom, details the experiences of the Tipton Three
(previously discussed here
), a trio of British Muslims who stumbled into US custody in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 and ended up spending two years in Gitmo. The film tells a powerful if somewhat one-sided
story of naivety, incompetence and rank injustice.
Last night the film was shown on Britain's Channel 4 to an estimated 1.6 million viewers
, and it was the talk of the Berlin Film Festival a couple of weeks ago. In a bizarre twist, on their return from attending the premiere of the film in Berlin, the Tipton Three and the actors who played them were arrested and interrogated
about terrorism links. Luckily for them, this time their captivity was measured in hours, not years.
Terror Network Visualization.
An interactive flash visualiztion of known terrorist links
9/11 in comics,
including the black-covered The Amazing Spider-Man #36
in its entirety.
National Security Letters and John Doe
--once only issued against suspected terrorists and spies, NSLs now can be used, thanks to the Patriot Act, against all and any of us. John Doe, the currently gagged owner of a small ISP was targeted for the political speech of his customers and is fighting, along with the ACLU and others. More here
(and more inside)
One of Ashcroft's "credible sources"
from last week's terror warning came from Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades
, a group that has also claimed responsibility for the blackout in the Northeast last year, the power outage in London, the Madrid bombing and has been called "notoriously unreliable"
by U.S. officials. “The only thing they haven't claimed credit for recently is the cicada invasion of Washington". Ashcroft blames the FBI who have admitted that claims that terrorists were 90 percent ready to attack came not from al-Qaida, but from the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades’ statements.
confirms denies confirms link between Iraq and terrorism! " The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction."
In other news, we're at war with Eastasia. We've always been at war with Eastasia... Food rations have jumped by 10%! Doubleplusgood!
«Clearly, one of the most critical questions
of the twenty-first century concerns why the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were not prevented. As I outline below, there are numerous aspects regarding the official stories about September 11th which do not fit with known facts, which contradict each other, which defy common sense, and which indicate a pattern of misinformation and coverup. The reports coming out of Washington do very little to alleviate these concerns.»
22 questions to chose from and decide which ones are nightmares of a conspiracy theorist and which ones must be answered.
Trading on the Future of Terror [LA Times] The war on terrorism has come to this: The Pentagon is setting up a commodity-style market to use real investors — putting down real money — to help its generals predict terrorist attacks, coups d'etat and other turmoil in the Middle East.
You can sign
up here to bet on suicide bombings.
Terror's myriad faces Al-Qaeda, conceived of as a tight-knit terrorist group with cadres and a capability everywhere, does not exist in that form. It barely existed before the war in Afghanistan in 2001 destroyed Osama bin Laden's carefully constructed infrastructure there. It certainly does not exist now. Instead, we are facing a different kind of threat. Al-Qaeda can only be understood as an ideology, an agenda and a way of seeing the world that is shared by an increasing number of predominantly young, predominantly male Muslims. Eliminating bin Laden and a few hundred senior activists will do nothing to counter this al-Qaeda. Hundreds more will come forward to fill their ranks. Al-Qaeda, however understood, will continue to operate. The threat will remain and it will grow.
See also Sowing The Dragon's Teeth
Or, alternately, Hercules and the Hydra
Toppling one regime to build another, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
and a Republican coalition are pushing legislation to make the PATRIOT Act
permanent. It's daylight forever.
Leniency for Terrorists
CIA memorandums strongly suggest, according to Bardach's book, that Bosch was one of the conspirators, and quotes the then secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, as writing that the "US government had been planning to suggest Bosch's deportation before Cubana airlines crash took place for his suspected involvement in other terrorist acts and violation of his parole".
Bosch's release, often referred to in the US media as a pardon, was the result of pressure brought by hardline Cubans in Miami, with Jeb Bush serving as their point man. Bosch now lives in Miami and remains unrepentant about his militant activities, according to Bardach.
Is there a double standard at work regarding terrorists?
Violence and Repression in Western Afghanistan.
"A man who was severely beaten by Ismail Khan's forces described to Human Rights Watch the effect of the repression: 'At any time I feel that I am in danger. When I leave my house, I do not know if I will return. I do not know whether something will happen to me, if there will be some car crash, or that I will be hit in the back of the head.' Another witness talked about how his community's hopes after the hated Taliban regime was ended have been deflated: 'What has changed in Afghanistan? All our hopes are crushed. We are completely disappointed. Look-all the same warlords are in power as before. Fundamentalism has come into power, and every day they strengthen their power.'
The light of liberation and liberty descends upon Afghanistan.
A case on Iraq - Rumsfeld's testimony to Senate Armed Services Committee
The National Security Strategy of the United States of America
GAO e-Government Proposal
Senator Byrd on the Department of Homeland Security
Today's bumper crop of limited audience
government info links.
"Maybe only 50,000 people want to know what's going on in Libya, but those 50,000 people are really important. You don't want to have more planes blow up. But maybe six million people want to watch Jerry Springer. Well, who owns the airwaves? Basically we do." Do you think that unprocessed, source texts are getting filtered effectively to the public?
Finally somebody's saying it out loud.
A "top Pentagon advisory board" says the real enemy in the War on terrorism is...drum roll, please....Saudi Arabia
FindLaw Forum: Could terrorism result in a constitutional dictator?
Rather odd that so early into the "game" this sort of speculation by professionals is being considered. Heading for a change in the way we govern or are governed, or just a bump in the road that need not jar us?
the Arafat file
a complete listing of the Arafat connection to terror, terror groups, and economic corruption. Materials taken by IDF. Of course if one wants to disbelieve this, one merely says to look at the source. But then here are the documents and the Arafat actions are in total keeping with these materials. Unless you can show/prove otherwise.
A bit of a sea change at CNN.com
: the "War on Terror" news heading, which has been part of the right column of CNN's home page since late September 2001, is gone, and not coincidentally, the massive non-news of the arrest of actor Robert Blake
is the lead story. Not the growing world outrage over the Israel action in Jenin
, nor the death of four Canadian soldiers by an errant US bomb
White House media advisor spins the war in London.
President Bush has sent "military advisors" to Yemen, Georgia and the Philippines to help with the war on terrorism. Did anyone know he sent his #2 media man, Tucker Eskew
, to London as a "media advisor" to Tony Blair's #1 media man, Alastair Campbell
, to help spin the war to the Brits?
Do you think a U.S. administration would ever agree to a foreign government rep "advising" them on how to talk to their citizens? Or do they already?
Time Magazine: OCTOBER BULLETIN SAID TERRORISTS THOUGHT TO HAVE 10 KILOTON NUCLEAR WEAPON TO BE SMUGGLED INTO NEW YORK CITY
Six months after Sept. 11, America has taken the fight to al-Qaeda. But behind the scenes, The CIA and FBI have been in a desperate scramble to fix a broken system before another strike comes
Al Qaeda drew up plans to attack the Space Needle, Grand Coulee dam, nuclear plants and more,
according to documents the feds found in Afghanistan. Perhaps Dubya was referring to this last night when he said "time is not on our side." Sweet dreams.
It's That Pesky Skin Color Thing Again.
An Arab-American member of President Bush's security detail was denied passage on an American Airlines flight from Baltimore to Dallas Tuesday evening... "They didn't see an American, they didn't see a law enforcement professional. All they saw was a racial and ethnic profile that they didn't want on their flight." -- NY Times site.
It's not on any of the websites yet, but apparently a man with a fake passport, and fuse-activated bombs for shoes, was on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami.
They stopped the man before the bomb went off, as they smelled the match and saw the fuse being lit.
The plane is now down just nearby me, in Logan airport in Boston.
Is this a random incident, or an example of things to come? I need to baord a plane sometime after Christmas, and I'm beginning to get concerned.
A story that seems to be good news
no matter what side of the 'war' you're on. The dragnet around Bin Laden is reported to be closing quickly, and currently stands, says the Sunday Times, at about 30 squares mile. So, what happens next? (via Plastic.com)
This report from Decision Support Systems, inc. supports the "Al-Qaida has successfully laid a trap for the United States" model. More inside. (found at Linkwatcher)