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10201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 03:49:25 PM

In recent headlines, three American converts to Islam—Gregory Patterson, Levar Wasington, and Kevin James—were recently arrested and tried for intending to wage jihad against the U.S. They are by no means the first American converts to Islam to go terrorist.

There was Christopher Paul, who was tried for conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction; John Walker Lindh, who, as a “warrior of Islam,” was captured post 9/11 fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan; “Azzam the American” (formerly “Adam Gadahn”) who, after being graciously introduced by al-Qaeda leader Aymin Zawahiri on a video made some months ago proceeded to harangue and mock his fellow Americans—including JW’s own Robert Spencer—into abandoning Christianity and submitting to Allah; and Jose Padilla (aka “Abdullah al-Muhajir”).

Then, of course, there are the countless European converts. There’s the British “shoe-bomber,” Abdul Rahim (formerly “Richard Reid”) who attempted to achieve “martyrdom” by detonating explosives in his shoes while aboard a passenger aircraft; the late Abdullah Shaheed (formerly “Germaine Lindsay”) who did achieve “martyrdom” by killing himself and 56 of his fellow citizens, and injuring over 700, in the London bombings of 2005; and Abu Abdullah (original name unknown), the native Briton turned fiery Islamist preacher who, before finally being arrested, made no secret of his vitriolic hatred of the West (all, of course, while enjoying Western liberties, such as freedom of speech).

At any rate, what causes such men, born and raised in the West, often from Christian backgrounds, to abandon their heritage, embrace Islam, and conspire to kill the very people they grew up with?

As for Islam’s “intrinsic” appeal, it has long been argued that, unlike Christianity, which can be "heavy" on theology, Islam is relatively simple and straightforward. So while Christianity revolves around metaphysical concepts and topics, such as the Trinity, Christology, the nature of salvation, grace, free-will vs election, and the futility of the law, Islam, in black and white terms, commands its adherents to do this and not do that. In fact, the Arabic word “sharia,” that comprehensive body of laws Muslims must follow, means the “pathway”—as in, “the pathway to paradise.” (In pre-Islamic Arabic, of course, it specifically means pathway to water for camels.)
10202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 03:45:07 PM

Nicky Reilly, 22, who uses the Muslim name Mohamed Abdulaziz Rashid Saeed-Alim, pleaded guilty to launching the failed attack on a busy family restaurant at the Princesshay shopping centre in Exeter in May this year

Reilly researched how to make a bomb, acquired the components and made three devices using caustic soda, paraffin and aluminium foil, along with nails, which he had put in glass soft drink bottles.

But when he attempted to assemble one of the soft drink bottle bombs in the lavatory cubicle of the restaurant it exploded in his hands.
10203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 03:26:43 PM,1518,605911,00.html

18 Years for Al-Qaida Member
Paris Court Finds German Guilty of Tunisian Attack

A French court on Thursday found a German man guilty of plotting a deadly 2002 Tunisian terror attack where a gas-laden truck smashed into a synagogue, killing 21 people. Christian Ganczarski was sentenced to 18 years -- but his lawyer pledged to appeal the "unacceptable" verdict.

A French court on Thursday ruled that a German al-Qaida member had played a central role in the deadly 2002 suicide bombing of a Tunisian synagogue which killed 21 people. Christian Ganczarski, a 42-year-old Islamic convert who had visited Afghan and Pakistani militant camps and had met Osama bin Laden, was found guilty of being complicit in the murders and of membership of a terrorist group. He was given an 18-year sentence.

The attack, which was claimed by al-Qaida, targeted the historic Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, a magnet for tourists. Suicide bomber Nizar Naouar slammed into the building in a fuel tanker laden with explosives. In total, 14 German tourists, five Tunisians and two French nationals were killed and many more people were injured. The trial started in January.
10204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 03:23:51 PM

Christian Ganczarski, seen here in a December 2001 file photo, has denied any connection with the Djerba plot.
10205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 03:08:15 PM

Christian Ganczarski, a 36-year-old German citizen of Polish descent,1564,891855,00.html

German police questioned Ganczarski last year about the Djerba attack after it was established he had telephoned with one of the suicide bombers shortly before the attack. He was detained but then later released when no direct involvement in the incident could be found. Shortly thereafter he moved to Saudi Arabia.


Although during his time in training camps in Afghanistan he was known as “Ibrahim the German,” Ganczarski is of Polish descent. Born in southern Poland in 1966, he later moved to Germany with his parents and became a naturalized citizen. He and his wife are converts to Islam. Trained as a locksmith, he eventually became know as a “computer expert” in extremist circles.

Germany has been a focal point for investigations into al Qaeda terrorist activity ever since it was discovered that several of the key figures in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States had lived in Hamburg for years.


Ganczarski is suspected of having contact with the Moroccan Mounir El Motassadeq, a Hamburg resident who has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for supporting some of those involved in the attacks on New York and Washington.

Ganczarski also reportedly knows another Moroccan extremist named Karim Mehdi, who was detained at Charles de Gaulle on June 1. Mehdi, who has lived in Germany for years, was allegedly plotting attacks on the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean and against U.S. military bases in Germany. French authorities say he has alleged that Ganczarski also had a role in the planning of the attacks, though they never happened.
10206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 02:51:15 PM
Fast Facts:
• Born Daood Gilani in Washington, D.C., in 1960 to a Pakistani father and an American mother. Lives with his wife and children in Chicago.

• After his parents' divorce, returned to Pakistan with his father and was raised in a traditional Muslim household until moving to Philadelphia at age 17 to live with his mother.

• Attended the Community College of Philadelphia, but left school before receiving a degree.

• Worked in a bar and a series of video stores after leaving school.

• Convicted on heroin-smuggling charges in 1998; served 15 months in prison. Headley later worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, in part to avoid a lengthier jail sentence.

• Allegedly received training from Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) from February 2002 to December 2003. The group, which aims to drive Indian forces out of the disputed territory of Kashmir, is considered a foreign terrorist operation by the U.S. government.

• Changed his name to David Headley (Headley being his mother's maiden name) in 2005. Authorities say the change was made to ease travel and make him seem more American while working for LeT.

• Since his alleged training with LeT, has traveled frequently between Pakistan, India, the Middle East and the U.S.

Read more:,8599,1946462,00.html#ixzz16c23k4k3
10207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 02:46:28 PM

David Coleman Headley, aka Daood Syed Gilani, has a half-brother in Pakistan who is the Pakistan prime minister's press secretary.  Danyel Gilani said that he last saw his half-brother in Pakistan a few days after their father, Syed Saleem Gilani, died, in December 2008. That was just one month after the Mumbai attacks. Headley is apparently not related to the Pakistan Prime Minister himself, Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Indian and Israeli intelligence claim that while conducting surveillance in India for the jihadi group Lashkar-e-Toiba, David Headley posed as a Jew, even entering Mumbai's Jewish centre, passing himself off as a potential donor. The FBI says that after his arrest, a book entitled "How to Pray Like a Jew" was found at his home in Chicago.
10208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 02:38:52 PM

'Headley posed as Jew for Nariman House recce'

MUMBAI: Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley, posing as a Jew, had visited Nariman House in the first half of last year. The statements of some of the witnesses who had either seen or accompanied Headley to Nariman House, also known as Chabad House, have been recorded by the investigating agencies. A rabbi and his wife were among the six killed in the 26/11 terror attack at Nariman House last year.

The attack by LeT terrorists in the five-storeyed house, which can be approached only through narrow lanes and by-lanes of Colaba, had led the security agencies to deduce that a proper recce had been conducted before the srike.

One of the witnesses told the investigators that Headley went inside the house and interacted with the residents for a long time. Another witness recalled that Headley had taken a round with him around the area to ascertain the entry and exit points of the Nariman House, sources said.

Headley, who was arrested by the FBI at the airport in Chicago in October for allegedly plotting to carry out terror strikes in India and Denmark, had told his investigators that he had learnt praying like Jews at the instance of a former Major General Sajid Mir of Pakistan army, who was now emerging as one of the masterminds behind 26/11. Mir wanted Headley to learn praying like Jews so that he could conduct a recce of Nariman House, sources said, adding that he has been arrested in Pakistan. However, this could not be independently verified.
10209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 02:13:42 PM
You want to fight the last war, or do you want to anticipate future threats, Doug?

It's a matter of numbers. The more people you feed into a system, the greater the opportunity for the terrorist infiltrator to gain access. Jihad Jane was focused on killing a Mohammed cartoonist, but there is nothing to say that she might not have decided to become a martyr by IED on an aircraft, had the FBI not intervened.

AQ and other terror groups are constantly learning and adapting to law enforcement's investigative and protective measures. If Jihad Jane were not so obvious in her internet postings, she might have well avoided detection until it's too late.

In the US, we don't track people religious activities. There is no central database to verify someone's Jewish or Lutheran status and degree of activity within the religion.
10210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "clean-skin terrorists" on: November 28, 2010, 01:20:57 PM
DEFINITION clean-skin ter•ror•ist n. A potential attacker with a spotless record whose documents don't arouse suspicion

CONTEXT U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a British newspaper that the U.S. fears its next major terrorist attack could be carried out by "clean-skin terrorists" in Europe who feel they are treated as second-class citizens. He warned that the visa-waiver program, which allows citizens from some European countries to enter the U.S. without a visa, could be an open door for the terrorists.

USAGE The term clean-skin, once used to describe drug traffickers without a record, morphed in the late 1990s to characterize potential terrorists who weren't on any watch lists. But several have already proved their deadly capabilities: the British government classified the four July 2005 London train bombers as clean-skins. Richard Reid, the would-be shoe bomber, was a clean-skin as well.

Read more:,9171,1609777,00.html#ixzz16bf9R8eJ
10211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 01:12:47 PM
Public Law 107-71
107th Congress

``Aviation and Transportation Security Act''

`(A) Qualifications.-- <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Within
                30 days after the date of enactment of the Aviation and
                Transportation Security Act, the Under Secretary shall
                establish qualification standards for individuals to be
                hired by the United States as security screening
                personnel. Notwithstanding any

[[Page 115 STAT. 617]]

                provision of law, those standards shall require, at a
                imum, an individual--
                          ``(i) to have a satisfactory or better score
                      on a Federal security screening personnel
                      selection examination;
                          ``(ii) to be a citizen of the United States;
                          ``(iii) to meet, at a minimum, the
                      requirements set forth in subsection (f);
                          ``(iv) to meet such other qualifications as
                      the Under Secretary may establish; and
                          ``(v) to have the ability to demonstrate daily
                      a fitness for duty without any impairment due to
                      illegal drugs, sleep deprivation, medication, or
                    ``(B) Background checks.--The Under Secretary shall
                require that an individual to be hired as a security
                screener undergo an employment investigation (including
                a criminal history record check) under section
                    ``(C) Disqualification of individuals who present
                national security risks.--The Under Secretary, in
                consultation with the heads of other appropriate Federal
                agencies, shall establish procedures, in addition to any
                background check conducted under section 44936, to
                ensure that no individual who presents a threat to
                national security is employed as a security screener.
10212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 28, 2010, 12:54:46 PM

**Colleen LaRose is 47 years old.**

The former husband of "Jihad Jane," the Pennsylvania woman whom authorities accused of helping terrorists and plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist, said she used to be a Bible-carrying churchgoer and "a good person."

"I don't know what happened over the years," Rudy Cavazos said in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

Colleen LaRose was indicted Tuesday on charges she tried to help recruit Islamic fighters and plotted to kill a Swedish cartoonist who made fun of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. But the woman who faces these allegations bears no resemblance to the one to whom he was married for a decade, Cavazos said.

Indeed, he said, LaRose used to carry a Bible and attended church regularly.

"We used to go to church on Sundays and pray … just like everybody else," he said.

"She was a good person. … I don't know what happened over the years."

Federal authorities said they have an idea.

LaRose, 46, of Montgomery, Pa., conspired to provide material support to terrorists and to kill in a foreign country, court papers allege. LaRose reached out through the Internet to jihadist groups, saying she was "desperate to do something to help" suffering Muslim people, and that she desired to become a martyr, according to the papers.

Her indictment shocked people across the nation and in her community.

Neighbors describe LaRose as an average "housewife."
To federal authorities, though, the woman is better known as Fatima Rose or Jihad Jane, the latter a moniker she apparently coined herself.

By 2008, FBI agents said, LaRose was working with radicals on the Internet to recruit candidates for suicide missions. She and others plotted to kill Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist who depicted Mohammed as a dog in 2007, authorities allege.

Vilks' actions offended many Muslims, earning him death threats and setting off protests around the world.
10213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / California Nightmare on: November 27, 2010, 07:52:10 PM

10214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Saudis trumpet al-Qaeda arrests on: November 27, 2010, 11:21:03 AM

26 November 2010 Last updated at 10:06 ET

Saudis trumpet al-Qaeda arrests
Saudi security guards and pilgrims at Mena, 14/11 Saudi officials say militants were trying to collect money from Hajj pilgrims
Continue reading the main story
Related stories

    * Saudi Arabia's shadowy connection
    * Profile: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested 149 al-Qaeda suspects over the past eight months, officials have announced.

Most of the detainees were Saudis, but 25 were from other Arab, African and South Asian countries, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry said agents had foiled plots to attack Saudi officials, civilians and journalists..

The Saudis have pursued aggressive anti-terror policies since 2003, when militants launched a series of attacks.

The Interior Ministry said the 149 suspects came from 19 separate militant cells.

"These cells have links with al-Qaeda that is disturbing security in Yemen, and with Somalia and organisations in Afghanistan," said ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki.
Continue reading the main story
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

    * Formed in January 2009 by a merger between al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and Yemen
    * Based in eastern Yemen
    * Aims to topple Saudi monarchy and Yemeni government, and establish an Islamic caliphate
    * Says it was behind an attempt to blow up US passenger jet in December 2009

A ministry statement said 2.24m riyal ($600,000; £380,000) had been confiscated from al-Qaeda during the Muslim pilgrimages of Hajj and Umra, where militants had been fundraising.
10215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Muslim tries to light Christmas tree on: November 27, 2010, 10:41:41 AM

The FBI thwarted an attempted terrorist bombing in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square before the city's annual tree-lighting Friday night, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon.

A Corvallis man, thinking he was going to ignite a bomb, drove a van to the corner of the square at Southwest Yamhill Street and Sixth Avenue and attempted to detonate it.

However, the supposed explosive was a dummy that FBI operatives supplied to him, according to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint signed Friday night by U.S. Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a Somali-born U.S. citizen, was arrested at 5:42 p.m., 18 minutes before the tree lighting was to occur, on an accusation of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The arrest was the culmination of a long-term undercover operation, during which Mohamud had been monitored for months as his alleged bomb plot developed.

"The device was in fact inert, and the public was never in danger," according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The investigation involved the FBI, Oregon State Police, Portland Police Bureau, Corvallis Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.
10216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 26, 2010, 02:28:42 PM
Pulling a partial sentence out I found a point maybe intended facetious but that I think I agree with: "we are but minutes away from rectally implanted GPS beacons and laser-etched bar codes on our foreheads".  How much worse is that than the status quo?

**Uh, much worse. Despite the hysteria expressed by some, there are still very concrete constitutional protections and limitations on law enforcement in the US, and if you'll look at the powers granted to law enforcement of other nations, especially related to terrorism you'll see that the US is far from becoming like the UK or France, much less Russia or China.**

"Just how big of a domestic intelligence agency do you want? Do you wish to negate the civil liberty/privacy protections in place that regulate law enforcement intelligence databases in the US?"

Can't speak for others but a 'voluntary' check fora  frequent flier isn't any further out of bounds than authorizing a background check for employment (IMO) as you would have at the airline or the TSA.  How do YOU know that the guy watching the scanner isn't the jihadist if every grandma could be one?

**Well, the vetting for TSA employment involves extensive background checks.**

The mission of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is to protect the United States
transportation systems. To ensure the accomplishment of this mission, TSA requires each and every
employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet these standards, all TSOs must pass a very stringent
background review process.
First, to become a TSO, you must be a U.S. citizen or a U.S. National.1 If you are not a U.S.
citizen or a U.S. National, you are not eligible for employment with TSA. Next, as a part of the
application process, you will be required to pass an Enter-On-Duty (EOD) Suitability Determination,
which is based on criminal history records checks (including FBI fingerprint submissions) and local law
enforcement agency information. By law, TSA is prohibited from employing persons with certain
convictions, which are identified below. In addition, the EOD Suitability Determination will include an
evaluation of your credit report to determine if you have disqualifying financial delinquencies. Lastly, the
EOD Suitability Determination involves a review of information provided by you in a Declaration for
Federal Employment (OF306) form, which you will be required to complete later in the application
process if you are called for an interview.
A final suitability determination will be made after you enter-on-duty and have undergone a
background investigation conducted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. You will be required
to complete a Standard Form 86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF86) to initiate the
background investigation.
TSA is very serious about the reliability and trustworthiness of individuals hired into the
Agency. Below is a list

**Here is the SF-86 mentioned above.**

 "How do YOU know that the guy watching the scanner isn't the jihadist if every grandma could be one?"

**You'll note that the TSA has the TSA officer monitoring the images from the RapiScan 1000 in another room, with the facial images blurred by the software. Maybe they though this through and looked to make it harder for a compromised officer to wave a IED through screening.**
10217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 26, 2010, 02:00:14 PM

Security Threat Group Unit
This section contains some mature content

    * Frequently Used Terminology
    * STG Earmarks
    * Membership Validation Criteria
    * Security Threat Groups
    * Associated Sites
    * FAQs
    * Contact

The Security Threat Group Unit collects information and intelligence on prison gang members and validates inmates as being members of prison gangs.

What is a Security Threat Group?
Any organization, club, association or group of individuals, either formal or informal (including traditional prison gangs), that may have a common name or identifying symbol, and whose members engage in activities that include, but are not limited to planning, organizing, threatening, financing, soliciting, committing or attempting to commit unlawful acts that would violate the Department's written instructions, which detract from the safe and orderly operations of prisons.

Frequently Used Terminology

    "AIMS": Adult Information Management System
    "GRITS": Gang Related Inmate Tracking System
    "S": Suspect- Have at least 2 points of validation criteria evidence
    "V": Validated - Validated member with 10 or more points
    "D": Debriefed
    "STG Unit": Investigations staff
    "SSU": Special Services Unit. Uniformed staff on unit level that monitor STG activity
    "SSU Lt": Complex Lt. Coordinating SSU's collection of STG validation evidence on STG members

Return to top
STG Earmarks

    * Bylaws or a Constitution: Usually will include a "Blood In/Blood Out" rule
    * Tattoos, logos, symbolism: Members will display STG specific tattoo.
    * Drawings (art work, graffiti) of STG specific symbols will be found
    * Rank Structure; Council system, La Mesa (The Table), Military type rank system, One Man Leadership, etc
    * Membership Rosters
    * Leaders, members, probates, associates, wannabes, dropouts, debreifers (defectors), & enemies
    * May develop a "hit list"
    * Will usually establish "missions" for members and/or probationary members to follow inside/outside of prison

Return to top
Membership Validation Criteria

    * Self admission = 5 pts
    * Tattoos = 7 pts
    * Symbolism = 2 pts
    * Documents = 5 pts
    * Publications = 1 pt
    * Authorship = 7 pts
    * Court Records = 9 pts
    * Group Photos = 2 pts
    * Association = 2 pts
    * Contacts = 2 pts
    * C/I/ Information = 2 pts
    * Membership = 9 pts
    * Other Agencies = 8 pts
    * Media = 5 pts

Return to top
Security Threat Groups
STGs Certified   STGs Monitored

    * Arizona Aryan Brotherhood
    * Border Brothers
    * "New" Mexican Mafia
    * "Old" Mexican Mafia
    * Grandel
    * Mau Mau
    * Warrior Society
    * Surenos
    * Dine' Pride


    * African American Council
    * La Raza
    * Nazi Low Riders
    * Skinheads
    * Westside City

 STG Artwork and Tattoos
Return to top
Associated Sites
You may find these sites on the web helpful in furthering your understanding of gangs and security threat groups:

National Major Gang Task Force page. National Level Gang Investigators Association. Listing of State leadership. An excellent contact source

    * Arizona Gang Investigators Association

    * Rocky Mountain Information Network

    * California Gang Investigators Association page

    * Anti-Defamation League. Good Hate Group site

    * Midwest Gang Investigators Association page. Midwestern STG and Street Gang information

    * Florida Gang Investigators Association page. Good source for East Coast Gang information page

    * Texas Gang Investigators Association page. Good information on Southwest STG's and Street gangs in Texas area

Return to top
Contact ADC's STG Unit
You may contact the Arizona Department of Corrections STG Unit at:

Arizona Department of Corrections
Security Threat Group Unit
Mail Code 930
1831 W. Jefferson
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Tel. (602) 771-2100 ext. 324
10218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 26, 2010, 01:56:14 PM
"How was business travel on 9/12/2001?"  - 100% true, but my point is that we do not succeed if we inflict the same economic damage on ourselves that they were trying to do.

**That is why the TSA attempts to balance the need to travel with the need to arrive alive at your destination.**

"Do not assume that there aren't grandmotherly jihadists"   - That is the same level of intelligence as finding a terrorist from a photo.  Some grandmas will never be terrorists and I know several.  We are already incorporating some intelligence information.  It needs to do better and same goes for borders, sanctuaries, released terrorists, any case law regarding fairness or anti-discrimination that hampers intelligent security, and a census that finds every person then shares no useful information to law enforcement, ICE, IRS or the intelligence agencies. If we are going to radiate ourselves and photograph and touch our mothers and daughters genetilia, then this is war and wartime rules and strategies should apply IMHO.  In other words, if we are going to harass 100% of the innocent, we need to throw the full force of our four trillion dollar federal government plus state and local at the known guilty.  For one example, how many hijackers had expired visas?  How many expired visas are out there today?  24 recent al qaida related arrests in the twin cities alone - I assume they did not get all of them - and these people were traveling freely back to join wars in their homeland or plot things here, going through the same treatment as grandma and the Obama daughters if their dad did not have a taxpayer plane.

**As of 2005, there are about 799,659    local level law enforcement officers. 101,752 for State level and 154,298 Federal. This covering a nation of 310,779,000 isn't much at all. The vast majority of the state and local level officers are uniformed, doing basic patrol level services. What if the gave a dystopian police state and no police came? Look at our current budget crises at all levels of gov't. You are seeing less cops being hired, if any and you are seeing specialized units being gutted to put bodies into uniforms to catch calls for service. You'll also note that in most cases, local/state level cops are forbidden from enforcing immigration laws.

Because of due process/equal protection concerns, even putting your local level, semi-literate gang-banger into your local gang database is time consuming and creates potential liability for the officer and their agency if all the I's are not dotted and T's crossed.See below for an example. For US LEOs, recognizing a gang or STG for inclusion in an intel database generally requires a "reasonable suspicion" standard.**

Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause, the legal standard for arrests and warrants, but more than an "inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or 'hunch' ";[1] it must be based on "specific and articulable facts", "taken together with rational inferences from those facts".

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the Florida Legislature address the criminal street gang issue?

    * To maintain public order and safety.
    * To respond to the ever increasing crime caused by street gangs that threatens and terrorizes peaceful citizens.
    * To stop this mounting criminal activity.
    * To provide for increased penalties for those found guilty of criminal gang involvement and eliminate the patterns, profits, and property helping criminal street gang activity, including street gang recruitment.

What is a criminal gang?

A formal or informal ongoing organization, association, or group that has as one of its primary activities the commission of criminal or delinquent acts, and that consists of three or more persons who have a common name or common identifying signs, colors, or symbols, including, but not limited to, terrorist organizations and hate groups.

Who is a criminal gang associate?

"Criminal gang associate" means a person who:

   1. Admits to criminal gang association; or
   2. Meets any single defining criterion for criminal gang membership described in subsection (3).

    "Criminal gang member" is a person who meets two or more of the following criteria:

       1. Admits to criminal gang membership.
       2. Is identified as a criminal gang member by a parent or guardian.
       3. Is identified as a criminal gang member by a documented reliable informant.
       4. Adopts the style of dress of a criminal gang.
       5. Adopts the use of a hand sign identified as used by a criminal gang.
       6. Has a tattoo identified as used by a criminal gang.
       7. Associates with one or more known criminal gang members.
       8. Is identified as a criminal gang member by an informant of previously untested reliability and such identification is corroborated by independent information.
       9. Is identified as a criminal gang member by physical evidence.
      10. Has been observed in the company of one or more known criminal gang members four or more times. Observation in a custodial setting requires a willful association. It is the intent of the Legislature to allow this criterion to be used to identify gang members who recruit and organize in jails, prisons, and other detention settings.
      11. Has authored any communication indicating responsibility for the commission of any crime by the criminal gang.

When we talk about the gang and security threat group subculture, what are the main gang categories or influences?

The world of gangs and threat groups can become very complex. Knowing this, it helps to divide these groups into some basic categories that will form a firm foundation to learning and understanding. Most gangs or STGs you will encounter will fall into one of these basic categories:

    * Street Gangs
    * Prison Gangs
    * White Supremacy Groups
    * Motorcycle/Biker Gangs
    * Subversive Groups
    * Cult Groups

Why is there a Security Threat Group Management program in the Department of Corrections?

To ensure the safe, secure, and orderly operations for staff, visitors, and inmate/offenders throughout the department by identifying, validating, and certifying STGs and their members and monitoring STG activities.

What is a Security Threat Group (STG)?

Formal or informal ongoing groups, gangs, organization or associations consisting of three or more members who have a common name or common identifying signs, colors, or symbols. A group whose members/associates engage in a pattern of gang activity or department rule violation.

Why do we call them STGs?

To eliminate any recognition these criminals may draw from publicity about their gang or its activities. Also, STG accurately describes how these groups can impact the security of institutional operations.

How does the STG member certification process work?

The STG validation process involves, but is not limited to:

    * Identifying individual gang members, not gangs themselves;
    * Observing behavior;
    * Locating graffiti;
    * Observing scars, marks and tattoos;
    * Noticing certain clothing arrangements; and
    * Gathering information from reliable sources.

Information collected is then assigned a point value through a validation work sheet. When a suspect reaches a certain point value, he/she is certified as either a suspect member or confirmed member based on their accumulated point value.

Can I get information about a specific inmate's gang involvement?

No. Although we are committed to sharing information related to gangs that are active within our state, specific intelligence related to a particular inmate's involvement is confidential and for law enforcement use only. Criminal justice agencies, please contact us for more information.
10219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 26, 2010, 12:26:09 PM
This is why I want to see Bolton/West or West/Bolton in 2012.
10220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 26, 2010, 12:24:08 PM
a) As we have discussed in the privacy thread, IMHO the correct Constitutional analysis does not limit itself to the 4th; it includes the 9th, which IMO most certainly includes a right to privacy.  Your analytical model allows for everyone to be tracked and recorded everywhere they go whenever they step outside their door.

**Please show me the caselaw related to law enforcement search and seizure that cites the 9th. I have not seen it. My model assumes that local government decides if cameras are posted and how they are use, if they are. Community values and local control and all that good stuff.

b) In the VP of Rapiscan interview, the Veep said that they WILL be coming out with this program, not that they have already done so.

According to TSA, all the TSA officer in the remote room viewing the RapiScan backscatter images sees is the "ghost" outline with any potential threat images.

c) I certainly hope you are right, but in my travels I have had to deal with some serious TSA cases of cranial rectal interface.

**Unless a TSA supervisor shows up to do paperwork, you can probably assume that there is not a TSOC report being made.

"It is virtually impossible to use technical screening measures to absolutely prevent explosive material from being brought on board an aircraft. Prison authorities using magnetometers and strip searches have failed to completely prevent all contraband from slipping through. The need for a greater reliance on other methods — such as name checks, interviews and behavioral profiling — to keep airplanes safe seems apparent."

**We already do name checks. If someone seems enough of a threat, then they can be placed on a no fly list. Again, in the US system, you cannot compel someone to speak to you. TSA has Behavioral Detection Officers already in many airports. Just how big of a domestic intelligence agency do you want? Do you wish to negate the civil liberty/privacy protections in place that regulate law enforcement intelligence databases in the US?

10221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 26, 2010, 11:48:13 AM

Regarding the last point first, I know that you don't want a dystopian surveillance state.  My point is that the interface of the accelerating march of technology in this area and your conceptual framework is, in fact, headed that way.

**By following the 4th amendment case law as it's been decided until now?

Having the scanners upgrade from programs that show nude pictures to ones that simply report anomalies and their locations will meet the objections of many people.

**Well, according to the TSA, that's what they are doing.

Regarding safety, I sent you earlier a letter from scientists in a format that I can't post here the gist of which is that the apparently low radiation numbers are misleading because they are unlike the numbers to which they are being compared; the other numbers are for radiation which goes through the body, whereas here they all come to rest on the skin and that therefore the science on the safety/danger of this technology does not really exist yet.

For me, I think I will opt-out of the scanner and do the dance as the TSA agent grabs my pants.  It irks me mightily that in making such a decision I have to wonder if this will put me forever on some DHS data base of "domestic extremists" angry

**You'll note that several time here I have posted that the next time I'm forced to fly, I will choose to be pat searched rather than x-rayed, as until we don't have long term data on their safety, I'm just going to assume they are not unless proven otherwise. As long as you don't do something that generates paperwork, you won't be flagged by TSOC. Choosing to be pat searched does not meet that criteria.**
10222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 26, 2010, 11:29:07 AM
The alternative to flying to your business appointments is not canoeing up the coast or bicycling to Chicago. 

**How was business travel on 9/12/2001? There wasn't any by way of commercial aircraft, was there? I bet that hurt a lot of bottom lines of businesses, large and small.**

Like the goal of cap and traders, your alternative is to abandon much of your productive business activities. 

**No, my goal is to balance the need to travel in commercial aircraft with the need of surviving the flight. Again, having law enforcement pick your body parts out of aircraft wreckage is bad for your productive business activities, is it not?**

Shrink your business and shrink the business of everyone you touched along the way.  Live in a failed economy and a bankrupt state because the terrorists in fact were smarter than us.  But the flights that remain will still search grandmas visiting grandchildren with equal zest to the searches of young males with loose ties to terror camps.

**Depending on what's known about a young male's ties to a terror camp he might be on the no fly list in the first place. Keep in mind that the 2006 UK transatlantic plotters were planning on taking their families along for a ride to the right hand of allah. Do not assume that there aren't grandmotherly jihadists.**

Greyhounds do not travel at even the speed of driving.  They get up to speed and then exit again at the next town and take union based driver breaks along the way.  If we constructed high speed rail across the country, the terror threat would move right over.

**The point being is that there are travel alternatives, they may not be great alternatives, but they exist. As I'm sure you know, high speed rail probably isn't economically viable, and AQ is more than happy to target railways as you said.**
10223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 26, 2010, 11:13:24 AM
a) I repeat the line of inquiry about corruption: former DHS head Cherthoff (sp?) representing Rapiscan

**The Brits, the Dutch and Nigerians have or are adopting the RapiScan Secure 1000. I can't say that I know much about the procurement policies for those various nations, but I doubt Michael Chertoff's past with DHS would be that important to them.**

b) I repeat the point made by Rapiscan's VP that Rapiscan will shortly have scanners that simply report anomalies and their general location-- which certainly would vitiate the issue of nudie pictures and what happens to them

c) As evidenced on the Privacy thread on our SCH forum and on this thread here, I think you fail utterly to appreciate that a goodly part of what motivates those here who disagree with you is not stupidity or the inability to follow a logical line of thought, but rather where your logic will take us when followed to its logical conclusions-- to a state where we are followed and recorded for posterity by cameras and microphones wherever we go and even the privacy of our own bodies is outweighed by the logic of eliminating all risk.

**My logic has never been that which favors a dystopian surveillance state. My logic is to apply the current case law and constitutional protections to emerging technology, not irrational hysteria that insists that any use of technology by law enforcement means we are but minutes away from rectally implanted GPS beacons and laser-etched bar codes on our foreheads.**
10224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Where have you heard this before? on: November 25, 2010, 03:10:42 PM

The possibility of adopting Israeli security methods has become a hot topic in the U.S. media as millions prepare to travel by air for the Thanksgiving holiday this weekend.

But while Israelis may enjoy the resulting prestige and commercial payoffs, there are those who doubt their methods would translate to places like the United States.

Differences in scale, budgets and sensitivity to accusations of "racial profiling" may be insuperable, they say. "

"We're not the smartest in the world, and I'm not sure I would even describe ours as the absolute best security in the world," a senior Israeli transport official said. "What we do have, though, is suited for our needs -- and that's enough."

Those needs centre on Ben-Gurion Airport, Israel's core international gateway. There's no full-body scanner yet -- one is to be installed next year -- and while staff are empowered to frisk and even strip-search passengers, most generally endure only the standard walk-through metal detectors.

Yet this overall painlessness is the end-product of a powerful, probing and often unseen screening system that kicks in before travelers have even set foot in Ben-Gurion.

Israeli intelligence agencies, working in lock-step with airport security, flag travelers deemed potentially dangerous -- a designation applied most readily, and controversially, to Arabs who make up 20 percent of the Jewish state's population.

Commensurate scrutiny follows: from the rifle-carrying guards that question the drivers of incoming cars, to the unsmiling sentries who eye passengers as they wheel in their luggage, to the security interrogations in the check-in lines.

As a last resort, on Israeli airlines at least, undercover sky marshals can be seated next to passengers seen as risky.

Budgets at U.S. airports -- especially international hubs that dwarf the mid-sized Ben-Gurion -- may not allow for qualified security personnel in such numbers, said Shlomo Dror, an Israeli defence official with extensive aviation experience.
10225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 25, 2010, 02:43:34 PM
In your situation, I'd probably fly and go though the irritation of TSA screening, weighing it against the cost/benefit of other travel alternatives. But, you have choices that you can choose from according to your personal values.

I can say personally that I'll choose to be patted down rather than Rapiscanned when I have to fly. Yes, I'd rather not be pat searched, or screened. I'd also prefer not to be scattered human remains scattered amongst aircraft wreckage as well.
10226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 25, 2010, 01:22:30 PM

Departs: 10:15 AM
Wed Jan 26 2011
Los Angeles, CA - Union Station  (LAX)
Station News
Arrives: 8:45 PM
Thu Jan 27 2011
Seattle, WA  (SEA)
Station News
PT38H5M Duration: 34 hr, 30 min

Departs: 9:15 PM
Thu Jan 27 2011
Seattle, WA  (SEA)
Station News
Arrives: 12:20 AM
Fri Jan 28 2011
Vancouver, BC  (VAC) Vancouver, BC

Station News
Duration: 3 hr, 5 min
10227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 25, 2010, 01:09:40 PM
Drive, charter a plane, Greyhound, hitchhike, train, horseback, get a canoe and paddle up the coast.

Some are easier and cheaper than others. Chose what works best for you.
10228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 25, 2010, 11:05:21 AM
10229  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: November 25, 2010, 09:44:12 AM
Grateful for those far from home, in harm's way to protect this nation.
10230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 25, 2010, 09:30:19 AM
There is a frustration that we aren't smarter than terrorists, we are a step behind them, to them this is laughable, we have fallen into their traps to the point of hating, scanning and fondling each other, there is no easy answer, but worst I think is that we are not doing EVERYTHING ELSE we can do to make our nation safe BEFORE we need to touch and scan each other (such as secure the borders, crack down on existing laws etc.).

**The lack of border security is a legitimate issue. There is no excuse for it not having been secured years ago. Not only are the SIAs and OTMs serious potential threats, the more conventional illegals are also presenting serious threats to Americans. Border security as it is or as it should be, we still have to secure our aviation system.**

Imagine the uproar right now if George Bush was President during this! Imagine the leftist equivalent of a comment Rush L. made yesterday...

RUSH LIMBAUGH: "Remember when Obama went swimming in the Gulf with his daughters to show it was safe during the oil spill? How about taking his daughters through a screening? How about Obama take his daughters to the airport and have a TSA groper go through the exact routine everyone else is going through right now to show it is safe...
Only over the top if you think nothing is wrong with current procedure.

It may be a standard LE pat down, except that is done as I understand it with suspects, not all victims, witnesses, bystanders, etc.  Our county government center now has a security check metal detector, but not the full pat down.  Flying is 'optional' but not really for some jobs or for some people to be with family over the holidays.  Appearing in a county courthouse can be mandatory and unavoidable in some situations.

**The leaked photos from courthouse security were from a federal courthouse. I doubt very much that many, if any non-federal courthouses use similar technology. People are free to choose to fly or not. If the current situation is untenable, then one is free to find other transportation. I personally hate flying and do so only when there is no other viable option.**
10231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: November 25, 2010, 12:44:40 AM
The NorKs wouldn't do shiite without the nod from with China's power structure, at least no big moves. Were I the president, I'd advise China informally that Japan is not reacting well to the NorKs having nukes and is strongly considering withdrawing from the US-Japanese defense treaty and developing their own nukes. The China-NorK gambit depends on us and the other interested countries trying to be reasonable and allowing ourselves to be shaken down. The answer is to say no mas, and force China to work with us and S. Korea to work on a "soft landing" for the end of the NorK monstrosity. China does not want a nuclear and militarized Japan (no one else in asia does either) and China doesn't want a shooting war between the Koreas either, or a violent collapse of the NorKs with  waves of millions of starving N. Koreans flooding into Northern China.

Time to put an end to the shakedowns and push China to act in it's own long term interest.
10232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / TSA "outrage": There's no "there" there. on: November 24, 2010, 08:49:30 PM

TSA "outrage": There's no "there" there.
1:11 PM Wed, Nov 24, 2010 | Permalink
Eric Torbenson/Reporter    Bio |  E-mail  |  News tips

A couple of hours at D/FW Airport this morning proved to me, at least, that the "fury" on the part of the passenger rights crowd about screening scanners and enhanced pat-downs seems essentially manufactured. And that the reliable media fell for it again.

Here's Howie Kurtz on the same subject.

Here's the Poynter Institute, our leading light in media self-examination, on the run-up and how mainstream media may have "missed" this issue initially. I'm quoted in this piece too saying how we would have liked to have jumped on it sooner, which is true in a sense that it was a topic worth exploring.

What I also expressed to that writer was the concern on my part that there's no real way of us knowing how "real" this "uprising" was because we had blog posts and loud voices on TV like Kate Hanni and some Twitter traffic and some outraged anecdotes, all of which seemed to point to some sort of groupthink uprising that would boil over on Wednesday, National Opt Out Day, at airports across the country.

Here's what's happened so far today at U.S. Airports: Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary for a Thanksgiving travel day.

Unless, of course, you believe everything the TSA is saying is lies. But other media haven't exactly found a different narrative.

Here's even more, this time from the NYT.

I guess we have to remove the fish hooks from our mouths as media.

My counter to the good folks at Poynter who suggest that the Fifth Estate is more nimble at seeing trends than the mainstream media is that what is really more likely the case is that bloggers and the Social Media sphere, at least to me, seem infinitely more likely to be hoodwinked and bamboozled seeing they generally lack any truth-finding powers and seem especially susceptible to Trending Twitter topics, a stray anecdote told through Facebook, a random link to a YouTube video that purports to show one thing, but actually isn't anything like what it appears to be at all.

Statistical significance still matters. Outliers are interesting and exciting, but they are nothing more than outliers and those who don't know the difference between significance and outliers are driving the narrative. It makes for headlines; does it make for better information?

It's exciting to be on that edge because of the speed and newness of finding out new information. The key to understanding what is really happening vs. some flash of insight is what we're still calling reporting and experience and context. That's still on our menu here at the DMN and in other places.

I stand ready to be wrong if there's some sort of surge of problems along the East Coast related to this. The day is still young. But so far it's a reminder that the loudest voices can be heard, but may not represent much more than a few people being loud.
10233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 24, 2010, 08:16:09 PM
Douglas Hagmann is far from credible. I do not doubt that individuals who cause a disturbance in a screening area will result in those individuals facing potential civil and criminal liability for those acts, and their information will be available through TSA's internal channels. I doubt very much the term "domestic extremists" would be used.
10234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 24, 2010, 08:13:11 AM
There is a distinct difference between tea partiers and tinfoil hatted ronulans.
10235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Showing how much they CAIR on: November 23, 2010, 09:48:31 PM

As an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel. You have the right to complain about treatment that you believe is discriminatory. If you believe you have been treated in a discriminatory manner, immediately:


      Ask for the names and ID numbers of all persons involved in the incident. Be sure to write this information down.

      Ask to speak to a supervisor.

      Ask if you have been singled out because of your name, looks, dress, race, ethnicity, faith, or national origin.

      Ask witnesses to give you their names and contact information.

      Write down a statement of facts immediately after the incident. Be sure to include the flight number, the flight date, and the name of the airline.

      Contact CAIR to file a report. If you are leaving the country, leave a detailed message, with the information above at 202-488-8787.
10236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 09:18:19 PM
More Israel marketing puff pieces. Kind of leaves out the Shin Bet intel gathering and the documented ethnic/religious profiling.

Again, there is no magical Israeli security profiling that allows them to gaze at the teeming throngs in line and find the sweating terrorist, without all the un-PC ethic/religious profiling and domestic intelligence.

There is nothing about body language, interview and interrogation and behavioral analysis that is known by guys named "Rafi" and "Avi" that isn't known by US law enforcement.

Here is the biggest problem not addressed by the Israelis, in the US, law enforcement cannot force anyone to answer questions. Not even in a criminal trial or a grand jury, much less a consensual contact, an investigative stop or an arrest.

TSA Behavior Detection Officer sees an anxious, fidgeting person in line, amongst bored, irritated passengers.

TSA: "Hi, how are you doing today? Where are you flying to?"

Twitchy guy in line: "Ron Paul and the voices in my head say the TSA are nazis. Are you a nazi?"

TSA: Um, no. Where did you say you were flying?"

Twitchy guy: "Don't touch my penis. I don't talk to nazis"

The TSA BDO summons the LEO assigned to the checkpoint

Officer Friendly: "Hi, I'm officer Friendly! The reason I'm talking to you is the TSA officer told me you seemed to be upset about something. Can I help you?"

Twitchy guy: "I complied with the screening process and let them look at my abnormally small penis with their evil machine. I don't want to talk to you. Am I under arrest? Am I free to go?"

Mr. Twitchy has no wants or warrants. He was screened and no threat items were found. No matter how much he's sweating, twitching and pissed off, in the US these are not grounds for arrest Even if he's obviously mentally ill, unless you can articulate that he's an imminent threat to self or others or gravely disabled, you cannot lawfully detain him on a 72 hr psych hold.
10237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ‘Wartime’ urgency lacking on air security on: November 23, 2010, 08:15:30 PM

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2002 — When four hijacked airliners cost thousands of Americans their lives last September, the Bush administration vowed to make sweeping security changes. Yet six months after the attacks, those efforts are being hampered by a cost-conscious airline industry coupled with a federal aviation bureaucracy unwilling or unable to change, according to members of Congress, aviation officials and outside security experts.

The White House assured the public this week that new, stricter airport security measures make 24-hour fighter patrols above New York City unnecessary. That surprised many officials involved in revising aviation security regulations who say that changes since the Sept. 11 attacks have been largely cosmetic.

These officials, including several involved in monitoring the government’s implementation of new regulations, concede that locking cockpit doors, putting air marshals on some flights and increasing random checks of carry-on luggage - all instituted immediately after flights resumed in September - helped to improve security generally.

But they also say that a lack of urgency at the Department of Transportation and a sustained lobbying effort by the financially strapped airline industry have led to a go-slow approach to reforming a system that is itself a threat to the flying public.

“Now that they’ve got their bailout, the airlines have turned their money and attention to minimizing the number of permanent changes to the way they do business,” says one congressional staff member who deals with aviation issues.


Same old story?
Stories like this still make Bogdan Dzakovik’s blood boil. For over a decade, Dzakovik has worked on the FAA’s “Red Team,” a small unit of undercover investigators who test and retest airport security systems around the country. Risking his job, Dzakovik recently went public with allegations that, since the team began work in 1995, FAA superiors ignored an almost constant stream of reports about flaws and holes in security systems nationwide. He says the carnage of Sept. 11, and a dreadful feeling that it might have been prevented, finally convinced him he had to speak out.

The FAA has refused to comment on the allegations, though the inspector general at its parent agency, the Department of Transportation, has been ordered to investigate the charges under federal whistleblower statutes.

“We got all sorts of things through - pistols, grenades, even a rifle once,” Dzakovik says. “In each case, we would report the failure to our FAA bosses. And never once that I can remember in all those years was there any real follow-up.”

In fact, Dzakovik says, when Red Team reports began to show that security employees were failing to pick up weapons in baggage at a rate of 85 percent or more, “we were ordered to tip off the local security chief that we were there.” Invariably, that resulted in nearly perfect detection rates - a situation that seemed to please his bosses.

Again and again, Dzakovik argues, the results were rigged, or innovations proposed by the team to make the tests more realistic were rejected. Once, he said, the team wanted to try to smuggle liquid explosives past a checkpoint after al-Qaida terrorist Ramzi Yousef admitted to a plot involving such a compound in 1995. But the request was denied.

“We weren’t allowed to test for knives at all,” Dzakovik said. “We never tried realistic explosives. I mean, look at what these terrorists have done. We may not like them, but we can’t pretend they aren’t clever.”

Why would the FAA want to rig results? Dzakovik believes the answer is in the cozy relationship the agency developed with the airline industry over the years. “Security costs money, and that’s money that doesn’t go under the profit line,” he says. [Airlines] gave Congress something like $80,000 in the last election. They don’t do that just to be nice.”

[A week after this story appeared, the DOT confirmed that field tests conducted by its investigators after the attacks show major lapses at U.S. airports. Undercover inspectors tried to sneak guns, knives and other weapons through check pints. The results were jarring: guns got through screeners in over 30 percent of the tests; knives went undetected in 70 percent, and simulated explosives in over 60 percent of tests.]

Cozy relationship
Charges that the FAA has been soft on the industry it regulates are hardly new. Until 1996, in fact, the agency’s charge was to promote the growth of the industry as well as to regulate it, a legacy of the days when the airlines were aviation pioneers inaugurating historic trans-continental, trans-Atlantic and finally trans-Pacific services.

Those days are gone, but many believe the relationship hasn’t changed with the times.

Transcripts of congressional hearings on aviation - which in recent years have been dominated by “on-time departures and arrivals” and “air traffic capacity” and almost never by security issues - are evidence of that. Any suggestion that security procedures should be taken out of the airlines’ hands was branded a threat to their competitiveness.

There were exceptions. In the wake of every major airline terrorist incident of the past 15 years, there have been spikes in activity. But in almost every case, a triangle of mutual interest in not rocking the boat prevailed - a triangle with the airline lobby on one point, the campaign money hungry Congress on another and the regulators of the FAA on the other:
10238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 07:37:25 PM

In mid-1996, President Clinton created the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security and assigned it three specific mandates: to look at the changing security threat, and how the US could address it; to examine changes in the aviation industry, and how government should adapt its regulation of it; to look at the technological changes coming to air traffic control, and what should be done to take best advantage of them.

In the wake of concerns over the crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 800, President Clinton asked the commission to focus its attention first on the issue of security. He asked for an initial report on aviation security in 45 days, including an action plan to deploy new high technology machines to detect the most sophisticated explosives.

From its inception, the commission took a hands-on approach to its work. President Clinton announced the formation of the commission on July 25, 1996 and a few days later, Vice President Al Gore, commission chairman, led a site visit to Dulles International Airport where he and other commissioners saw airport and airline operations firsthand, and discussed issues with front line workers. This was the first of dozens of such visits. Over the next six months, the commission visited facilities throughout the United States and in various locations abroad.

The Gore Commission held six public meetings, hearing from over fifty witnesses representing a cross section of the aviation industry and the public, including families of victims of air disasters. Recognizing the increasingly global nature of aviation, the commission cosponsored an International Conference on Aviation Safety and Security with the George Washington University, attended by over 700 representatives from sixty-one countries

There were a number of recommendations made the by Gore Commission, whose commissioners included family members of the victims of Flight 800. The recommendations included several measures to improve screening company performance, including a national job grade structure for screeners and meaningful measures to reward employees. It also called for airlines to hire screening companies on the basis of performance, not the lowest bidder.

The Gore Commission called for criminal background and FBI fingerprint checks for all airport and airline workers who screen passengers for weapons or have access to secure areas. The airlines industry had long opposed mandatory criminal checks.

Two weeks later, as reported in the Boston Globe, Gore retreated from his own commission's proposals in a letter to Carol B. Hallett, president of the industry's trade group, the Air Transport Association. ''I want to make it very clear that it is not the intent of this administration or of the commission to create a hardship for the air transportation industry or to cause inconvenience to the traveling public,'' Gore wrote. To reassure Hallett, Gore added that the FAA would develop ''a draft test concept ... in full partnership with representatives of the airline industry."

The day after Gore's letter to the Air Transport Association, Trans World Airlines donated $40,000 to the Democratic National Committee. By the time of the presidential election, other airlines had poured large donations into Democrat Party committees: $265,000 from American Airlines, $120,000 from Delta Air Lines, $115,000 from United Air Lines, $87,000 from Northwest Airlines, according to an analysis done for the Boston Globe by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks donations.A total of $627,000 was donated to the Democrats by major airlines.

Two of the commission members -- Victoria Cummock and Kathleen Flynn, who lost loved ones in the terrorist attack on Flight 800 -- believe that campaign contributions by the airline industry were a direct result of Al Gore backing away from the commission's security recommendations.
Don't bet on the mainstream news media reminding Al Gore of this flagrant example of homeland security taking a back-seat to campaign cash the next time they quote one of his frequent fever-pitched rants.
10239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security-1997 on: November 23, 2010, 07:23:53 PM

Chapter Three:

Improving Security for Travelers

"We know we can't make the world risk-free, but we can reduce the risks we face and we have to take the fight to the terrorists. If we have the will, we can find the means."

President Clinton

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence sources have been warning that the threat of terrorism is changing in two important ways. First, it is no longer just an overseas threat from foreign terrorists. People and places in the United States have joined the list of targets, and Americans have joined the ranks of terrorists. The bombings of the World Trade Center in New York and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City are clear examples of the shift, as is the conviction of Ramzi Yousef for attempting to bomb twelve American airliners out of the sky over the Pacific Ocean. The second change is that in addition to well-known, established terrorist groups, it is becoming more common to find terrorists working alone or in ad-hoc groups, some of whom are not afraid to die in carrying out their designs.

Although the threat of terrorism is increasing, the danger of an individual becoming a victim of a terrorist attack -- let alone an aircraft bombing -- will doubtless remain very small. But terrorism isn't merely a matter of statistics. We fear a plane crash far more than we fear something like a car accident. One might survive a car accident, but there's no chance in a plane at 30,000 feet. This fear is one of the reasons that terrorists see airplanes as attractive targets. And, they know that airlines are often seen as national symbols.

When terrorists attack an American airliner, they are attacking the United States. They have so little respect for our values -- so little regard for human life or the principles of justice that are the foundation of American society -- that they would destroy innocent children and devoted mothers and fathers completely at random. This cannot be tolerated, or allowed to intimidate free societies. There must be a concerted national will to fight terrorism. There must be a willingness to apply sustained economic, political and commercial pressure on countries sponsoring terrorists. There must be an unwavering commitment to pursuing terrorists and bringing them to justice. There must be the resolve to punish those who would violate sanctions imposed against terrorist states.

Today's aviation security is based in part on the defenses erected in the 1970s against hijackers and on recommendations made by the Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism, which was formed in the wake of the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Improvements in aviation security have been complicated because government and industry often found themselves at odds, unable to resolve disputes over financing, effectiveness, technology, and potential impacts on operations and passengers.

Americans should not have to choose between enhanced security and efficient and affordable air travel. Both goals are achievable if the federal government, airlines, airports, aviation employees, local law enforcement agencies, and passengers work together to achieve them. Accordingly, the Commission recommends a new partnership that will marshal resources more effectively, and focus all parties on achieving the ultimate goal: enhancing the security of air travel for Americans.

The Commission considered the question of whether or not the FAA is the appropriate government agency to have the primary responsibility for regulating aviation security. The Commission believes that, because of its extensive interactions with airlines and airports, the FAA is the appropriate agency, with the following qualifications: first, that the FAA must improve the way it carries out its mission; and second, that the roles of intelligence and law enforcement agencies in supporting the FAA must be more clearly defined and coordinated. The Commission's recommendations address those conditions.

The terrorist threat is changing and growing. Therefore, it is important to improve security not just against familiar threats, such as explosives in checked baggage, but also to explore means of assessing and countering emerging threats, such as the use of biological or chemical agents, or the use of missiles. While these do not present significant threats at present, it would be short-sighted not to plan for their possible use and take prudent steps to counter them.

The Commission believes that aviation security should be a system of systems, layered, integrated, and working together to produce the highest possible levels of protection. Each of the Commission's recommendations should be looked upon as a part of a whole, and not in isolation. It should be noted that a number of the Commission's recommendations outlined in the previous chapter, particularly those relating to certification and regulation, apply to the FAA's security programs, as well.


3.1. The federal government should consider aviation security as a national security issue, and provide substantial funding for capital improvements.

The Commission believes that terrorist attacks on civil aviation are directed at the United States, and that there should be an ongoing federal commitment to reducing the threats that they pose. In its initial report, the Commission called for approximately $160 million in federal funds for capital costs associated with improving security, and Congress agreed. As part of its ongoing commitment, the federal government should devote significant resources, of approximately $100 million annually, to meet capital requirements identified by airport consortia and the FAA. The Commission recognizes that more is needed. The Commission expects the National Civil Aviation Review Commission to consider a variety of options for additional user fees that could be used to pay for security measures including, among others, an aviation user security surcharge, the imposition of local security fees, tax incentives and other means.

3.2. The FAA should establish federally mandated standards for security enhancements.

These enhancements should include standards for use of Explosive Detection System (EDS) machines, training programs for security personnel, use of automated bag match technology, development of profiling programs (manual and automated), and deployment of explosive detection canine teams.

3.3. The Postal Service should advise customers that all packages weighing over 16 ounces will be subject to examination for explosives and other threat objects in order to move by air.

The Postal Service now requires that packages weighing over 16 ounces must be brought to a post office, rather than be placed in a mailbox. To improve security further, the Postal Service should mandate that all mail weighing over 16 ounces contain a written release that allows it to be examined by explosive detection systems in order to be shipped by air. The Postal Service should develop and implement procedures to randomly screen such packages for explosives and other threat objects. If necessary, the Postal Service should seek appropriate legislation to accomplish this.

3.4. Current law should be amended to clarify the U.S. Customs Service's authority to search outbound international mail.

Currently, the Customs Service searches for explosives and other threat objects on inbound mail and cargo. This recommended legislative enhancement parallels the Customs Service's existing border search authority.

3.5. The FAA should implement a comprehensive plan to address the threat of explosives and other threat objects in cargo and work with industry to develop new initiatives in this area.

The FAA should place greater emphasis on the work of teams, such as the Aviation Security Advisory Committee and the Baseline Cargo Working Group, to address cargo issues. The Commission believes that the FAA should implement the Baseline Group's recommendation with regard to profiling by "known" and "unknown" shippers. In addition, unaccompanied express shipments on commercial passenger aircraft should be subject to examination by explosives detection systems; the FAA should work with industry to develop a computer assisted cargo profiling system that can be integrated into airlines' and forwarders' reservation and operating systems; requirements should be implemented requiring that trucks delivering cargo for loading on planes be sealed and locked; the FAA should develop and distribute air cargo security training materials; and enhanced forwarder and shipper employee screening procedures should be developed.

3.6. The FAA should establish a security system that will provide a high level of protection for all aviation information systems.

In addition to improving the physical security of the traveling public, information systems critical to aircraft, air traffic control and airports should also be protected. Although government is responsible for a great number of aviation related information systems, a partnership must be formed in order to create integrated protection among these and related private sector systems. Some protective measures will become the responsibility of airlines, some that of the airports and others of the aircraft and air traffic control systems manufacturers and maintenance providers. The National Security Agency must play a role in coordinating information security measures, setting standards and providing oversight of system security to ensure protection against outside interference, disruption and corruption. Specific legislation should be reviewed that makes willful interference with information systems a federal crime with substantial penalties to provide a clear deterrent.

3.7. The FAA should work with airlines and airport consortia to ensure that all passengers are positively identified and subjected to security procedures before they board aircraft.

Curb-side check-in, electronic ticketing, advance boarding passes, and other initiatives are affecting the way passengers enter the air transportation system. As improved security procedures are put into place, it is essential that all passengers be accounted for in that system, properly identified and subject to the same level of scrutiny. The Commission urges the FAA to work with airlines and airport consortia to ensure that necessary changes are made to accomplish that goal.

3.8. Submit a proposed resolution, through the U.S. Representative, that the International Civil Aviation Organization begin a program to verify and improve compliance with international security standards.

Although 185 nations have ratified the International Civil Aviation Organization convention, and the security standards contained in it, compliance is not uniform. This creates the potential for security vulnerabilities on connecting flights throughout the world. To help raise levels of security throughout the world, the International Civil Aviation Organization needs greater authority to determine whether nations are in compliance. Strong U.S. sponsorship for adding verification and compliance capabilities to the International Civil Aviation Organization could lead to enhanced worldwide aviation security.

3.9. Assess the possible use of chemical and biological weapons as tools of terrorism.

FAA should work with the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy on programs to anticipate and plan for changing threats, such as chemical and biological agents.

3.10. The FAA should work with industry to develop a national program to increase the professionalism of the aviation security workforce, including screening personnel.

The Commission believes it's critical to ensure that those charged with providing security for over 500 million passengers a year in the United States are the best qualified and trained in the industry. One proposal that could accomplish this goal is the creation of a nationwide non-profit security corporation, funded by the airlines, to handle airport security. This concept, under consideration by the major airlines, merits further review.

The Commission recommends that the FAA work with the private sector and other federal agencies to promote the professionalism of security personnel through a program that could include: licensing and performance standards that reflect best practices; adequate, common and recurrent training that considers human factors; emphasis on reducing turnover rates; rewards for performance; opportunities for advancement; a national rank and grade structure to permit employees to find opportunities in other areas; regional and national competitions to identify highly skilled teams; and, an agreement among users to hire based on performance, not just cost.

3.11 Access to airport controlled areas must be secured and the physical security of aircraft must be ensured.

Air carriers and airport authorities, working with FAA, must develop comprehensive and effective means by which to secure aircraft and other controlled areas from unauthorized access and intrusion. Use of radio frequency transponders to track the location of people and objects in airport controlled areas, including aircraft, offers significant advantages over the current security measures commonly used today. Where adequate airport controlled area and aircraft security are not assured by other means, this technology should be considered for use at both international and domestic airports.
10240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 06:43:39 PM

From 1995 to 2001, Bogdan Dzakovic served as a team leader on the Federal Aviation Administration's Red Team. Set up by Congress to help the FAA think like terrorists, the elite squad tested airport security systems.

In the years leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Dzakovic says, the team was able to breach security about 90% of the time, sneaking bombs and submachine guns past airport screeners. Expensive new bomb detection machines consistently failed, he says.

The team repeatedly warned the FAA of the potential for security breaches and hijackings but was told to cover up its findings, Dzakovic says.

Eventually, the FAA began notifying airports in advance when the Red Team would be doing its undercover testing, Dzakovic says. He and other Red Team members approached the Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General, the General Accounting Office and members of Congress about the FAA's alleged misconduct regarding the Red Team's aviation security tests. No one did anything, he says.

Then came 9/11.

"Immediately (after 9/11), numerous government officials from FAA as well as other government agencies made defensive statements such as, 'How could we have known this was going to happen?' " Dzakovic testified later before the 9/11 Commission. "The truth is, they did know."
10241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 05:31:10 PM
There has been much discussion of profiling, but the difficulty of creating a reliable and accurate physical profile of a jihadist, and the adaptability and ingenuity of the jihadist planners, means that any attempt at profiling based only on race, ethnicity or religion is doomed to fail. In fact, profiling can prove counterproductive to good security by blinding people to real threats. They will dismiss potential malefactors who do not fit the specific profile they have been provided.


MARC: Taking the liberty of inserting here:

 As we have discussed for many years, jihadists have long had a fixation with attacking aircraft. When security measures were put in place to protect against Bojinka-style attacks in the 1990s — attacks that involved modular explosive devices smuggled onto planes and left aboard — the jihadists adapted and conducted 9/11-style attacks. When security measures were put in place to counter 9/11-style attacks, the jihadists quickly responded by going to onboard suicide attacks with explosive devices concealed in shoes. When that tactic was discovered and shoes began to be screened, they switched to devices containing camouflaged liquid explosives. When that plot failed and security measures were altered to restrict the quantity of liquids that people could take aboard aircraft, we saw the jihadists alter the paradigm once more and attempt the underwear-bomb attack last Christmas.  In a special edition of Inspire magazine released last weekend, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) noted that, due to the increased passenger screening implemented after the Christmas Day 2009 attempt, the group’s operational planners decided to employ explosive devices sent via air cargo (we have written specifically about the vulnerability of air cargo to terrorist attacks).

MARC:  Yes wink


While understanding that the threat is very real, it is also critical to recognize that there is no such thing as absolute, foolproof security. This applies to ground-based facilities as well as aircraft. If security procedures and checks have not been able to keep contraband out of high-security prisons, it is unreasonable to expect them to be able to keep unauthorized items off aircraft, where (thankfully) security checks of crew and passengers are far less invasive than they are for prisoners. As long as people, luggage and cargo are allowed aboard aircraft, and as long as people on the ground crew and the flight crew have access to aircraft, aircraft will remain vulnerable to a number of internal and external threats.

MARC:  Yes.

GM: Never have argued that absolute security is possible. Of course there isn't absolute security. However, does not mean that you don't take reasonable steps to address a threat. If a car thief really wants to steal your car, he probably will be able to. Knowing this, do you leave your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition? No.

What do you do? You harden the target. You make it harder for those that wish you ill to be able to act on their intent. There are no silver bullets that magically resolve threats. Don't like TSA screening ?, well then just "profile" meaning, "screening for thee, not for me". I have already posted in great detail why this is not an answer. Just as there are no technological stand-alone fixes for this problem, neither is "profiling" the solution. Do I disagree with behavioral analysis? No, but I recognize it's inherent weaknesses within the American context. TSA has it as a tool as part of a strategy of layered security. It's a tool, and in most cases a minor one in the larger context.

Layered security is always the approach to take, even if you don't like some of the layers used by TSA. No matter if you are securing your home, you are doing EP for a principal or securing a correctional facility, you always strive to use multiple mechanisms between the threat and that which you wish to protect. You'd never say that you don't need to lock your home up at night, because you have a gun. 

Chaos and entropy weigh on everyone, including al qaeda. When you raise the bar for AQ, they then have to address many more difficulties in planning and then successfully carrying out their attacks. Of course, aviation is far from their only target, but given the lethality and socio-economic impact from successful aviation attacks, we must invest resources to prevent future attacks, when possible.
10242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 05:17:27 PM

 A manual written by the airline industry years before the Sept. 11 attacks instructed airport screeners to confiscate from passengers boxcutters like those used by the hijackers, documents show.

Though the federal government did not specifically bar the objects before Sept. 11, the airlines were in charge of security and the manual they compiled was the guidebook for determining what items could be brought aboard flights.

The instructions were part of the Checkpoint Operations Guide, a manual issued by the Air Transport Association, which represents the major airlines, and the Regional Airline Association, the trade group for smaller carriers. The groups issued the guide to carry out Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

A copy of the 1994 manual was obtained by The Associated Press.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said keeping boxcutters off planes was an industry requirement, not a government order. She said the FAA allowed airline passengers to carry blades less than four inches long before Sept. 11. Government rules now prohibit such items.

Other items allowed into airplane cabins, according to the manual, included baseball bats, darts, knitting needles, pocket utility knifes less than four inches long and scissors.

ATA spokesman Michael Wascom would say only: "Boxcutters were not prohibited by the FAA on 9-11-01." Officials of the regional airlines group declined comment.

Former FAA chief counsel Kenneth Quinn, now a lawyer representing several security companies, said the agency, not the industry, was responsible for keeping boxcutters off planes. "There's only one way to prohibit items from being carried on board airplanes, and that is through mandatory security directives from the FAA," Quinn said.

Before the terrorist attacks, the industry was responsible for security, under FAA oversight. The $15 billion airline aid bill enacted shortly after Sept. 11 limited the airlines' liability to the amount of their insurance coverage. The House Republican version of legislation creating a Homeland Security Department would give the same liability limits to screening companies.
10243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 05:02:42 PM

b) I don't see that it is necessary to use the palm of the hand; wouldn't the back of the hand suffice?

**The old TSA procedure was using the back of the hand for the "sensitive areas. The problem being that the back of the hand would probably detect a edged weapon or firearm, it has a lesser chance of detecting packet of powder or putty like explosive charges.**

c) I gather that dogs can be extremely useful, yet I have yet to see one in use

**Because unlike the checkpoints, the external security procedures at the airport are decided by the local airport authority/law enforcement agencies. For example, the number of dogs trained in explosive detection at LAX would be the responsibility of the LA airport police and/or LAPD, not the TSA.**

d) Although I wasn't impressed with the synopsis of Ron Paul's proposal posted here the other day, I did hear an interview with him wherein he sounded rather persuasive about what can be accomplished by allowing the private sector (e.g. the airlines) to take over; which the Homeland Security law which created the TSA allows.

**The airlines were running aviation security before 9/11 and contracted it out to security companies that hired convicted felons, illegal aliens and anyone else willing to work for minimum wage with no benefits. Airlines used their lobbying power in congress to fight every attempt to improve security prior to 9/11. The FAA was the airline's lapdog, not the watchdog. Of course, after 9/11, the airlines got bailed out by congress (meaning by us, the taxpayers) and spared the liability from their negligence that resulted in 9/11. Why would it be different this time?**
10244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 03:31:30 PM
There is no Israeli magic. We can have El Al like aviation security with no nekkid backscatter x-ray machines if we have Shin Bet like domestic intelligence gathering. Who's up for that?
10245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 03:09:00 PM

Shin Bet: Citizens subverting Israel key values to be probed
In letter to Arab rights group, Shin Bet head says role of security service is to uphold 'Jewish, democratic' state.
By Jack Khoury and Yuval Yoaz

The Shin Bet security service believes it is within its charter to carry out surveillance operations, such as phone taps, on individuals deemed as "conducting subversive activity against the Jewish identity of the state," even if their actions are not in violation of the law.
10246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 02:41:29 PM

Israel's secret police blocked a Muslim Arab citizen from being appointed to a publicly funded job, in its latest attempt to assert authority over public political debate in Israel, a case in Tel Aviv's labour court has revealed.

The case emerged when the state rejected Sheikh Ahmed Abu Awaja's application to serve as the imam at a mosque in Jaffa, a neighbourhood south of Tel Aviv. He appealed to Tel Aviv's labour court after he was told that he did not get the job even though he was the only candidate to meet the requirements. The court is due to deliver its decision today.

During the case the district prosecutor said that Abu Awaja had been rejected because the General Security Service, commonly known as the Shin Bet, believed he would "jeopardise peace and security in Jaffa, especially in view of the sensitivity of the delicate relationship between the city's Jewish and Muslim populations".

It has previously been revealed that the Shin Bet deems Israel's indigenous Arab minority population and public criticism of the state's Jewish character as security threats. It accuses Abu Awaja, who is a member of the Islamic Movement, of inciting hostility against Israel and its Jewish citizens.

The Islamic Movement is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is opposed to Israel's existence, but Abu Awaja, who has been preaching for 15 years, says he has never advocated violence. "I have called on people to act within the law. The Shin Bet's interference in my nomination is political persecution and it's been going on for years," he told the daily Haaretz.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (Acri), which released its annual state of human rights report yesterday, accused the Shin Bet of harassing Israel's indigenous minority Arab citizens and restricting freedom of expression. During the past year the security service has questioned Israeli-Arab MPs and Israeli-Arabs who work for human rights groups.

The Shin Bet makes "veiled, but occasionally overt" threats and "makes it clear" to those being questioned "that they are under constant surveillance, hints that there could be repercussions in their private life and [makes] warnings that if they continue with what they are doing they are liable to have criminal charges brought against them", Acri's report says.
10247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 02:29:32 PM
I can say observing China's aviation security, their pre-flight screening is comparable to US screening pre-9/11. Why? Because China's Ministry for State Security has a dossier on every chinese citizen and every foreigner is under full spectrum surveillance. If you are seen as a threat, you won't be allowed anywhere near an airport, and are probably under some sort of detention anyway. Post 9/11, China simply banned muslims from flying for a while, and they know exactly who is or isn't muslim.

Again, the US doesn't have those databases of who is or isn't muslim and I doubt many people would advocate banning all muslims from flying. I expect that Israel has extensively researched potential jihadists within it's borders, but who here wants to see flyers and their luggage with distinctive labels denoting ethnicity and religion as El Al does?
10248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 01:43:40 PM

You've said you do want there to be some form of security screening at airports. What exactly would that look like were you running the TSA?
10249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: November 23, 2010, 01:39:39 PM
Any expect Barry to vote present and/or grovel?
10250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 23, 2010, 01:38:27 PM
I hope we get candidates that have the skillset to do the job. Enough of the empty suits, such as the one we have now.
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