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The Base

"Al Qaeda" A lecture by Lawrence wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. An interesting look at the "root causes" of terrorism
posted by delmoi on Aug 17, 2007 - 17 comments

 

Padilla Found Guilty on All Counts

A verdict on Padillaand the US. [More inside.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 16, 2007 - 91 comments

Freak Out!

The Freakonomics boys have migrated their popular blog to the New York Times. One of their first postings on this new home? Cool Ideas For Terror Attacks. Much lively and angry discussion ensues!
posted by william_boot on Aug 8, 2007 - 82 comments

Turn On Your Ugh Light

Behold the newest weapon for the Department of Homeland Security: the Puke-Light!
posted by fandango_matt on Aug 7, 2007 - 89 comments

National Surveillance State

Bush Gets a Spying Blank Check. The passage of the new FISA bill was a hurried response to the revelation that the FISA court recently decided that at least part of the NSA wiretapping program is illegal. It looks to be another step in our gradual transition into a National Surveillance State.
posted by homunculus on Aug 5, 2007 - 78 comments

Torture Teachers

Rorschach and Awe. "America's coercive interrogation methods were reverse-engineered by two C.I.A. psychologists who had spent their careers training U.S. soldiers to endure Communist-style torture techniques. The spread of these tactics was fueled by a myth about a critical 'black site' operation."
posted by homunculus on Jul 31, 2007 - 57 comments

Free at last

As of yesterday, Dr. Mohammed Haneef was released from jail, amidst speculation that his incarceration had been unjust, and is on his way back home. It is believed that once he is ready, there will be a lucrative deal waiting for him if he wishes to tell his story (pdf of his transcript of detention), but for now, his wife, Firdaus Ashriya, is happy to have her husband back home.
posted by hadjiboy on Jul 28, 2007 - 45 comments

Lord of War

Busting the Merchant of War. "The Bush administration finally nails a notorious supplier to terrorists—after he spent 30 years hiding in plain sight." [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 25, 2007 - 15 comments

Sinner or Saint?

Reintroducing Yvonne Ridley
posted by hadjiboy on Jul 22, 2007 - 19 comments

Why Terrorism Does Not Work

Why Terrorism Does Not Work [pdf] is an article by Max Abrahms that tries to understand why terrorist groups have a success rate of 7% on their stated goals and those terrorists who target civilians have a stunning 0% success rate when it comes to achieving their political objectives. He argues that the answer lies in correspondent inference theory. [via Wired's Bruce Schneier]
posted by Kattullus on Jul 12, 2007 - 78 comments

Confessions of a former jihadist

I was a fanatic...I know their thinking. If a British former muslim jihadist is to be believed, "the engine of [their] violence" is not western foreign policy, but certain fundamental tenets of islamic theology. Hassan Butt's previous MeFi appearance was two years ago (before he left the jihadist network in February 2006). Also, a video and transcript of a 60 Minutes interview.
posted by lifeless on Jul 3, 2007 - 42 comments

God, terrorism, brains

Amid reports that those responsible for recent terrorist attacks in the UK were doctors and medical students, we are likely to hear the usual calls for "inter-faith dialogue" and "more education". However, according to the most widely-cited study (.pdf here), the actual relationship between religious terrorism and education is one of direct, not inverse proportion. This defies the conventional wisdom that terrorism is the result of economic desperation and lack of educational opportunities, not totalitarian ideologies themselves. It also appears to contradict many previous studies showing an inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence.
posted by inoculatedcities on Jul 2, 2007 - 49 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

"our top priority is to counter and prevent another terrorist attack"

"The number of violent crimes in the United States rose for a second straight year in 2006, marking the first sustained increase in homicides, robberies and other serious offenses since the early 1990s..." While violent crimes did increase by 1.3 percent total in 2006 [with robbery making a shocking 11.6 percent rise in the West and murder rising by 2.5 percent in the Northeast], property crimes actually decreased by 2.9 percent overall. The reason for this apparently strange state of affairs? Short answer: nobody knows for sure.
posted by Avenger on Jun 5, 2007 - 70 comments

Threatening the leader of trancecrackers everywhere

It's been said before that trance, and DJ Tiësto in particular, are evil. Some may've taken that idea a little too seriously.
posted by flaterik on May 30, 2007 - 29 comments

Al Qaeda speaks

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)
posted by scalefree on May 30, 2007 - 104 comments

Database of Terror Attacks

The Global Terrorism Database is now available online. It includes information on more than 27,000 bombings, 13,000 assassinations, and 2,800 kidnappings. With 2D and 3D georeferences for some incidents. The interactive map isn't working for me though.
posted by tellurian on May 24, 2007 - 18 comments

.

Bombs exploded outside the Mecca Masjid today as people were offering their Friday Prayers. Out of the more than 8,000 worshippers present, a total of 12 have been reported dead, and 50 injured. Also, this comes in the wake of the violence that has been taking place in the State of Punjab.
posted by hadjiboy on May 18, 2007 - 34 comments

Green Scare

The Green Scare: Rod Coronado gave a talk in San Diego and the feds called his words ‘terrorism.’ How new laws are equating environmentalists with Al Qaeda. [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus on May 14, 2007 - 39 comments

*Achoo!* Excuse me, I'm allergic to irony.

"Venezuela and Cuba have both asked that Posada be extradited, but an immigration judge in September 2005 ruled he could not be sent to either country out of concern he might face torture there." Luis Posada is a free man today. A graduate of the notorious School of the Americas, he is wanted for various acts of terrorism in a number of Latin American countries.
posted by mullingitover on May 8, 2007 - 38 comments

Patriot Search

Patriot Search Whether you are a normal searcher, someone trying to download illegal material, a terrorist looking to build a bomb, or just hunting porn, we at Patriot Search welcome you! Our mission is to provide the best possible search engine to you while at the same time, making sure the government is informed should you search for something obscure, illegal, or unpatriotic
posted by Postroad on Apr 15, 2007 - 13 comments

Darth Cheney Strikes Back

Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted. A newly declassified report (PDF) by the Pentagon's inspector general claims that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion and that the intelligence was manipulated by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. On the same day as the report came out, Dick Cheney claimed that they did have a relationship via Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi may be dead, but he's still useful. [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 6, 2007 - 65 comments

Big Brother is Watching You. On CCTV.

George Orwell, Big Brother is watching your house. With CCTV. Perhaps the Surveillance Camera Players could put on a performance there. It looks like Britain really is becoming a surveillance society. [Via Digg.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 2, 2007 - 44 comments

AT&T Unity Plan FREE calling to 100 million customers.

AT&T and Verizon obey FBI emergency requests, even if they're of dubious legality, and they get paid for it. But AT&T can't be sued, they say, because that would endanger national security.
posted by homunculus on Mar 20, 2007 - 42 comments

Doing our homework on the Middle East

22 basic suggested readings on the Middle East from history professor and informed commenter on Middle Eastern affairs Juan Cole.
posted by LobsterMitten on Mar 7, 2007 - 37 comments

"We cannot let this man out on the street..."

The greatest enigma of the US "war on terror": He was an intelligence officer of the Egyptian army, a CIA agent, a drill seargent and instructor at Fort Bragg, an FBI informant, and Al Qaeda's number one man inside the US. He was directly or indirectly involved in the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the 1993 WTC bombing, the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and 9/11. He trained al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and Sudan and wrote manuals on intelligence, terrorism and asymmetric warfare while living in Silicon Valley with his American wife. He plea bargained, never went to trial, and may be free or in witness protection today. Incidentally, he is barely mentioned in the 9/11 Commission report. Is there some sort of conspiracy or are officials simply afraid of having their gross negligence exposed?
posted by inoculatedcities on Mar 5, 2007 - 26 comments

The politics of chemical security

The Next Attack. "Terrorists in Iraq are becoming proficient at blowing up oil refineries. Similar plants in a handful of American cities represent our greatest vulnerability. We could easily be making them less dangerous. But we’re not." And one of the key players in keeping things that way happens to be Dick Cheney’s son-in-law.
posted by homunculus on Mar 1, 2007 - 38 comments

The Redirection

The Redirection. "Is the Administration’s new policy aiding our enemies in the war on terrorism?" New article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker.
posted by homunculus on Feb 25, 2007 - 40 comments

Terrorism

The Iraq Effect: The War in Iraq and its Impact on the War on Terrorism. "The war has inspired a wave of terrorism around the world. Excluding Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of jihadist attacks has jumped 35 percent in the past four years. A Mother Jones exclusive study by Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank."
posted by homunculus on Feb 22, 2007 - 31 comments

You had to live -- did live, from the habit that became instinct and the assumption that every sound you made was overheard.

For Your Eyes Only? Allegations that the government is reading your e-mails, with the help of AT&T. The latest episode of NOW did a good piece on the NSA's domestic surveillance program (previously discussed here.) It can be viewed on their website. Meanwhile, Canadian human rights attorney Maureen Webb has written a new book on the scope of government surveillance, and found that the use of sophisticated methods to search for terrorists is not identifying the right suspects.
posted by homunculus on Feb 21, 2007 - 72 comments

The Train of Reconciliation

The Samjhauta Express was fire-bombed yesterday night, killing 68 people as of now, of which 17 have been identified. Two of the suspectsfaces have been released to the media, and the governments of the two countries (India and Pakistan) have vowed to work together, for the time being at least. Further fears of attacks have increased security at Railway stations, and the Bus service from Delhi to Lahore.
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 20, 2007 - 23 comments

Number 1 for torture

Sixty-seven scenes of torture in five seasons. Is 24 responsible for an increase in real-life torture? They at least feel guilty enough to meet up with some actual interrogators encouraging them to make their torture scenes more authentic. But it's not just 24 - torture is becoming more prevalent on all American television.
posted by meech on Feb 12, 2007 - 107 comments

Psychology of Security

The Psychology of Security. An essay by Bruce Schneier on the difference between the feeling of security and the reality of security. [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 8, 2007 - 25 comments

Invaders from the moon

A hefty chunk of Boston was paralyzed today in reaction to the discovery of numerous devices consisting of circuit boards attached to girders. The ones that have been found have been disabled. The subway is crippled; numerous lines have been shut down and been replaced by emergency bus service as authorities root out the remaining instances of what could be bombs! Here is a photo one of these nefarious devices in action.
posted by mkb on Jan 31, 2007 - 338 comments

It's hard to be more cynical than this.

Investigation reveals British Police knowingly employed serial killers as informers. Or should that be "knowingly employed informers as serial killers"? Film at 11.
posted by dash_slot- on Jan 22, 2007 - 36 comments

Your world, delivered to the NSA

AT&T Ducks Accountability. Lawsuits, Questions Follow NSA Surveillance Approval.
posted by homunculus on Jan 21, 2007 - 14 comments

"Bush is fighting two wars, one against the enemy abroad and the other against the enemy at home."

"Why do they hate us?" was a fairly common question asked by Americans in the wake of 9/11. In his new book The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, Dinesh D'souza gives us the answer: "the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world." Some reviews: WaPo, The American Conservative, Esquire. D'souza previously on mefi: [1] [2] [3]
posted by bardic on Jan 18, 2007 - 139 comments

Habeas Corpus Thisus!

The Pentagon has set down the rules regarding trials of terrorist suspects facing trial in the new military commissions court system. At least one US military attorney, Major Michael Mori, who is defending Australian terror suspect David Hicks, has blasted the new rules saying that the Pentagon still do not include fundamental rights such as habeas corpus.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments on Jan 18, 2007 - 30 comments

Guantanamo Bay: 5th Anniversay Today Triggers International Protests

Jan. 11, 2002, the first 20 detainees, shackled and blindfolded, arrived from Afghanistan .... and since then, nearly 800 prisoners have passed through the detention center in southeastern Cuba. To mark the anniversary, demonstrations are planned Thursday in New York, London, Sydney, Australia, and other cities as well as dozens of small towns in the United States and Britain. Gitmo Detainees Join Hunger Strike .... & .... WikiPeidia History Article
posted by Bodyguard on Jan 11, 2007 - 7 comments

Real ID

Are you a citizen? Prove it. Stateline.org, a research group funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, takes a look at how some states are moving to comply with the Real ID Act of 2005 (previously discussed here and here) and how Americans will be affected.
posted by homunculus on Jan 10, 2007 - 31 comments

Iraq: The Lost Generation

Iraq: The Lost Generation. This 47 minute long documentary was filmed by an anonymous Iraqi journalist. Broadcast on the UK's Channel 4 in November, it tells the stories of several young Iraqis whose lives have been changed by the invasion and occupation of their country.
posted by washburn on Jan 7, 2007 - 11 comments

Bomb attack in Bangkok

Seven bombs rock Bangkok as the New Year's countdown begins. At least two are dead. Is it related to the recent coup? Some photos here.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Dec 31, 2006 - 20 comments

Let loose the Dogs Of War!

Operation Red Dog. "The group of [N]eo-Nazis planned to travel from New Orleans to Dominica on a chartered boat, land at night in rubber boats, meet up with John and his guerrilla force of disgruntled army veterans and Rastafarian rebels, and then lay waste to Dominica's police force and political leaders." Of those Neo-Nazis, Don Black would go on to marry David Duke's ex-wife and found the notorious racist site Stormfront. Another of the gaggle, Wolfgang Droege, would get fatally shot by a man who was convinced that he'd installed surveillance and tunnels into his house as revenge for the time he'd laughed at Mr. Droege.
posted by Sticherbeast on Dec 26, 2006 - 23 comments

Whatever happened to gold, frankincense, and myrrh?!?

Best wishes for a Christmas of peace and joy and a New Year of triumph over terrorism! from the U.S. Citizens Committee to Keep and Bear Arms, a.k.a. "the Common Sense Gun Lobby".

"If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in His name, He'd never stop throwing up." -- Woody Allen (Hannah And Her Sisters, 1986)
posted by Quiplash on Dec 25, 2006 - 45 comments

Rising Bollard Revue

Rising bollards in the middle of the road are becoming more used in the UK to physically enforce traffic restrictions, such as roads open only to buses and taxis. But some drivers in Manchester think the law doesn't apply to them. See what happens when they try to tailgate behind authorized vehicles. Also, see a video of what happens when a loaded lorry is rammed into an anti-terrorist rising bollard at full speed.
posted by grouse on Dec 15, 2006 - 127 comments

the year of the truthiness

Merriam-Webster's 2006 Word of the Year is NOT in their online dictionary. Officially coined on October 17, 2005, it had already won the American Dialect Society's 2005 Award (pdf) where they claim that "other meanings of the word date as far back as 1824", and is probably a shoe-in for for the Banished Words of 2007 list.

A distant number 2 is our friend "the goog", and after that, it's all NewsFilter/PoliticsFilter/IraqFilter (with that all-time classic "war" at #4).
(From the MeFite who posted the Favorite Words of 2004 and the Banished Words List in 2003 and 2004)
posted by wendell on Dec 9, 2006 - 48 comments

Oh, I wish we had the image tag again...

Bare naked travel? (Previously on MeFi: here, except now they're actually doing it, and here). The TSA wants to see you naked. Just don't paint "Kip Hawley Is An Idiot" on your torso in Pepto-Bismol before you go to the airport.
posted by bitter-girl.com on Dec 3, 2006 - 51 comments

Sodium Azide.

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 - 76 comments

Kafka-esque doesn't do it justice. This is 'Alice in Wonderland.'

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 - 53 comments

The Internet Sucks

Teh Intarweb suXXors! Macleans, the venerable Canadian magazine of declining circulation, declares the Internet a failure. But they're not bitter.
posted by GuyZero on Oct 27, 2006 - 95 comments

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