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]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Oct 27, 2013 -
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]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Oct 19, 2013 -
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.
posted by klue
on May 24, 2011 -
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 -
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]
posted by umop-apisdn
on Sep 8, 2007 -
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 -
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.
posted by LondonYank
on Mar 10, 2006 -
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)
posted by amberglow
on May 30, 2004 -
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.
posted by gfrobe
on May 29, 2004 -
«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.
posted by acrobat
on Sep 4, 2003 -
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.
posted by srboisvert
on Jul 29, 2003 -
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
posted by y2karl
on May 20, 2003 -
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?
posted by nofundy
on Dec 2, 2002 -
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.
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Nov 6, 2002 -
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.
posted by Postroad
on May 10, 2002 -
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?
posted by busbyism
on Mar 20, 2002 -
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.
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Dec 27, 2001 -
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.
posted by christian
on Dec 22, 2001 -
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)
posted by Hildago
on Nov 18, 2001 -
Did the earth move for you?
Encouraging to see good things coming from bad. Suddenly bickering with a partner doesn't seem so clever. Hugging and - yes - sex
might just be the right response. Relationships stronger after 9.11? How's yours?
posted by grahamwell
on Sep 29, 2001 -