“It’s amazing how many people are shooting. This is probably the heaviest shooting we’ve witnessed, and although it’s Memorial Day, you can’t just blame it on the United States. France, Denmark, Ireland, UK, Canada, so it’s not one place – almost global shooting.” [previously]
The UK's national risk register is made public. It is kept updated by the secret squirrels in the Cabinet Office, and was previously kept under wraps. Pandemic flu and flooding beat out terrorism as the major risks facing the UK at the moment. Both are seen as less likely than a terrorist attack, but more devastating. The full pdf has a chart on page 7 showing the main risks on a grid.
For the last five years, the whereabouts and sudden disappearance in 2003 of former MIT graduate, Pakistani national, and alleged terrorist Aafia Siddiqui (wiki) have remained mysterious. Accused by the U.S. of terrorist ties, earlier today she appeared (having been recently wounded) in a NY courtroom to face trial for attempted murder of American officers and FBI agents while being held in Afghanistan. But the facts behind the case are conflicted. For years she was rumored to have been held in the U.S. prison at Bagram base in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, her disappearance has proved to be a lightning-rod on the issue of the hundreds of others who have been rounded up as terrorist suspects--only to disappear without any trace, let alone any due process or criminal trial. A preliminary hearing for Siddiqui is set for Aug. 19.
2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
Breaking anthrax attacks update: A new suspect, a US goverment expert on anthrax, kills himself as he's about to be arrested. Bruce Ivins helped analyze the killer powder sent by mail in 2001 that killed five people and freaked out the US right after 9/11. The govt paid out $5.82 million just last month to former govt scientist Steven Hatfill for wrongly targeting him in the investigation.
Two cities in two days. Multiple injuries and several fatalities. The BJP has of course come out strong against the [ruling] Congress party for not trying to do enough to stop the menace of "terrorism" in the country, after having lost its fight to overthrow the government. Now, it is up to the Prime Minister to pick up the pieces and move on. [more inside]
Is Xinjiang Province The Islamic Jihad Battlefront in China? China detains 82 'terrorists' targeting Olympics and police have shot Uighurs dead. Meanwhile people from the Uighur minority call on the international community to boycott the Beijing Olympic games. What side of the Jihad is China on? Previously there was The Al Qaeda - China Tie. The oil and petrochemical sector account for 60% of Xinjiang's local economy.
The Department of Homeland Security has expressed interest [PDFs] in forcing all commercial airline passengers to wear a taser bracelet that can be used to incapacitate anyone on an airline. This video, from the company that will produce the bracelets, explains how the bracelet would be put on the passenger at the point that they clear security, and would not be removed until they leave secure areas. It would take the place of boarding passes, carry personal and biometric information about the passengers, track and monitor every passenger via GPS and shock the wearer on command, immobilizing him or her for several minutes. DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development is also excited about the possiblility of using it as an interrogation tool at airports. Ah freedom, who knew it smelled like burning flesh?
Naxalites are India's most dangerous revolutionary organization (of which there are many). They capitalize on dissent against the Indian Government where it is weakest, promising a better life to India's poor. This Maoist movement has waxed and waned since its inception in the 1960's. The Government's latest attempt to vanquish the Naxalites, called Salwa Judum, has been a failure. Though little known in the West, the Naxalite uprising has torn asunder large parts of India, devastated local economies, terrorized millions and turned brother against brother.
Displaying Hitler alongside celebrities, pop stars, world statesmen and sporting heroes at the new Madame Tussauds in Berlin was a bit controversial to begin with. And it didn't last long before one of the first visitors literally tore off the Fuehrer's head.
Hundreds of police, firefighters, paramedics and even utility workers have been trained and recently dispatched as "Terrorism Liaison Officers" in Colorado and a handful of other states to hunt for "suspicious activity" — and are reporting their findings into secret government databases.
Pakistan’s Phantom Border. "Pakistan is often called the most dangerous country on earth. Increasingly, its people would agree. Despite nearly $6 billion in U.S. military aid for the border region since 9/11, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and homegrown terrorist groups have eroded the border with Afghanistan, inflicting a steady toll of suicide bombings. Going where few Westerners dare—from Taliban strongholds to undercover-police headquarters—the author sees what’s tearing the country apart."
On June 22, 1985, Air India flight 182 left Montreal en route to Delhi with 329 passengers aboard, most of them Canadian. Four hours later, an explosion in the baggage compartment destroyed the plane, killing all on board. Premiering tonight on CBC television, this documentary (trailer) recounts the final hours, days and weeks before the plane disappeared off Irish radar screens. It reveals the story of how Canada’s first major counter-terrorism operation failed to thwart the conspiracy and details the errors that resulted in the world’s most lethal act of aviation terrorism before Sept. 11. (previously on MetaFilter) [more inside]
On April 3, The Memphis Flyer ran a story describing a town hall meeting in Shelby County in which citizens were instructed on the art of finding a potential terrorist. Among the 'qualifications' are having a camera and taking pictures of well known or important structures.
The Rebellion Within: An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism.
Article in UK newspaper The Independent about two members of Nottingham University, U.K., Rizwaan Sabir and Hicham Yezza, who were arrested last week on terrorism charges and held for six days before being released without charge. The reason was that they had downloaded a terrorist manual from a US government website, which MA student Sabir needed for his research into terrorism, and which was approved by his supervisor. His friend Hicham Yezza, former student and current administrator at the university was arrested for helping to print out the 1500 page document. On release Yezza was then immediately rearrested on immigration charges and now faces imminent deportation, despite being a resident of the UK for 13 years and currently in the process of applying for citizenship. A campaign is currently underway to prevent this. [more inside]
The Last Roundup. "Is the government compiling a secret list of citizens to detain under martial law?" [Via]
Gen. Vang Pao’s Last War. "The U.S. government relied on Vang Pao and his Hmong soldiers to battle Communism in the jungles of Laos. Why is the Justice Department now calling him a terrorist?" [more inside]
"The United States Lacks a Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas" (PDF). A recent GAO report claims that the Bush administration has failed to prevent Al Qaeda's reemergence in Pakistan, and that we're basically right back where we started in 2001.
State Secrets: A government misstep in a wiretapping case. A New Yorker article on the Kafkaesque case of Al Haramain v. Bush. [Via Threat Level.] [more inside]
Tul Karem’s refugee camp, the time, if I remember correctly, Chanukah 2003, it was to execute there about 9 people. Sorry, I don’t remember the pretense we were given for the mission.From Shovrim Shtika or Breaking the Silence where Israeli soldiers confess the horror they have visited on Hebron
Biomaterial charges against N.Y. art professor dismissed. A judge has thrown out the charges against Steve Kurtz. Finally. Kurtz's case was previously discussed here and here. [Via]
The Government Is Trying to Wrap Its Mind Around Yours. Why the Next Civil Rights Battle Will Be Over the Mind.
Remember Tang? The news from England is that the 2006 terrorists were going to use it to create an in-flight bomb. [more inside]
ACLU Watch List Counter: U.S. Terror List Now Exceeds 900,000 Names. That's an awful lot of terrorists. More Privacy and Surveillance Filter: Bruce Schneier on The Myth of the 'Transparent Society', Glenn Greenwald on The Banality of the Surveillance State, and Stephen Colbert on AT & Treason. [more inside]
London's Metropolitan police have a press campaign to help us
inform on each other identify terrorists. How do you spot your terrorist? Well he could be the one with the camera pdf. Or he could be the one with two mobile phones pdf. Or the one with a chemistry set and a house pdf. Flickr folk have their alternative takes on the poster campaign. Photographer's rights in the blue previously. And the met have already gone to bat against the terrorists an innocent photographer
"The Billboard Liberation Front today announced a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants." [Via Threat Level.]
The FBI Deputizes Business. "Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to 'shoot to kill' in the event of martial law."
Odyssey of State Capitols and State Suspicion. "The story behind an exhibition: postcards, designs, photography, travels, history, stamps and law enforcement." [Via BB.]
The coddled "terrorists" of South Florida. Examining our governments double standard with regard to providing a safe haven for terrorists. Alpha 66 continues to carry out attacks.
Bruce Sterling's State of the World: an interactive discussion on the Well with the noted sci-fi author and futurist. "The political and economic landscape in 2008 is full of spinning, tottering Chinese plates poised on tall pool-cues." [An MP3 of his State of the World 2006 from SXSW was previously linked here.]
Stumbling into chaos: Afghanistan on the brink. A report from the Senlis Council think tank claims that the Taliban has a permanent presence in more than half of Afghan territory and the country is in serious danger of falling back into their hands. The Canadian and British governments disagree.
HR 1955 : The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens. While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.
Pennsylvania polling places regarding September 08 elections to have everything but voters.
Remember the new, inscrutable license plate put out by the state of Oklahoma commemorating 9/11? Well, apparently the CIA can design logos pretty well too. Presenting the Terrorist Buster.
Behind Enemy Lines With a Suburban Counterterrorist "In fact, it's distinctly possible that Rossmiller, alone at her computer, has a better track record than the Justice Department. "
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]
"We Few, We Happy Few, We Band of Brothers." Evolutionary psychologist Andy Thomson analyzes suicide terrorism from the perspective of evolutionary biology. The presentation was part of the Atheist Alliance International convention in D.C. last month.
The Global Incident Map is an interactive map displaying "terrorism events and other suspicious activities" happening at this very moment (updated every 5 minutes) all around the world. Click on the various icons for "event details" or scroll down for "announcements, alerts and breaking news." Via.
Today's Washington Post: "The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials." [more inside]
Surveillance Society Clock. "It's six minutes before midnight as a surveillance society draws near within the United States." [Via Danger Room.]
Homeland Insecurity. "What happened to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which Democratic leaders promised to make one of their top legislative priorities? What are the most deadly potential terrorist targets no one talks about—and who's lobbying against securing them? What's the one measure that could improve our chances of preventing an attack—without costing a penny? Why are the 2008 presidential candidates—Republicans and Democrats alike—nowhere on this issue? In this seven-part series Mother Jones' senior correspondent James Ridgeway examines how the government has let homeland security languish since September 11, 2001, with dire consequences."
On Wednesday Sept. 5th, German police stopped a major terrorist attack. 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 [Spiegel, rough translation]. [more inside]