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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #500 on: December 26, 2009, 02:04:14 PM »

The US is a plethora of soft, yet important targets.  For example, not too many miles from my home there is the LA-Long Beach harbor, which is the largest port on the west coast of the western hemisphere and through which travels some 40% of America's imports IIRC-- not to mention the various refineries in the area.
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G M
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« Reply #501 on: December 26, 2009, 06:25:18 PM »

LA has been on AQ's to do list for more than a decade. If I recall correctly, there is some evidence that some pre-attack surveillance has been done at Orange county schools for a "Beslan".
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #502 on: December 26, 2009, 06:34:48 PM »

As best as I can tell, the simple fact is this:  We are an open society and as such are full of soft targets.  We'd best look to ourselves to protect ourselves.  As the saying goes "I carry a gun because a policeman is to heavy to carry."

(for the record, as a subject of the People's Republic of California in Los Angeles I am not allowed to carry a gun and so do not-- this is a factor that weighs heavily upon my considerations to leave California)
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G M
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« Reply #503 on: December 26, 2009, 06:47:36 PM »

An armed, trained and aware populus is a good thing, but not the complete answer to counter-terrorism policy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #504 on: December 26, 2009, 06:49:42 PM »

Agreed!

Nor is putting everthing in the hands of an omniscient police power.
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G M
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« Reply #505 on: December 26, 2009, 10:09:21 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/26/investigators-terrorist-wore-suicide-underwear-made-by-top-aq-bombmaker-in-yemen/

Read/watch the above and tell me what sort of aviation security you want in place the next time you put your wife and kids on a flight.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #506 on: December 26, 2009, 11:00:04 PM »

And what about this? shocked shocked shocked
=============
 Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri has a big anus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AQAP: Paradigm Shifts and Lessons Learned

September 2, 2009


Stratfor




By Scott Stewart
On the evening of Aug. 28, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi Deputy Interior Minister — and the man in charge of the kingdom’s counterterrorism efforts — was receiving members of the public in connection with the celebration of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. As part of the Ramadan celebration, it is customary for members of the Saudi royal family to hold public gatherings where citizens can seek to settle disputes or offer Ramadan greetings.

One of the highlights of the Friday gathering was supposed to be the prince’s meeting with Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri, a Saudi man who was a wanted militant from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al-Asiri had allegedly renounced terrorism and had requested to meet the prince in order to repent and then be accepted into the kingdom’s amnesty program. Such surrenders are not unprecedented — and they serve as great press events for the kingdom’s ideological battle against jihadists. Prince Mohammed, who is responsible for the Saudi rehabilitation program for militants, is a key figure in that ideological battle.

In February, a man who appeared with al-Asiri on Saudi Arabia’s list of most-wanted militants — former Guantanamo Bay inmate Mohammed al-Awfi — surrendered in Yemen and was transported to Saudi Arabia where he renounced terrorism and entered into the kingdom’s amnesty program. Al-Awfi, who had appeared in a January 2009 video issued by the newly created AQAP after the merger of the Saudi and Yemeni nodes of the global jihadist network, was a senior AQAP leader, and his renouncement was a major blow against AQAP.

But the al-Asiri case ended very differently from the al-Awfi case. Unlike al-Awfi, al-Asiri was not a genuine repentant — he was a human Trojan horse. After al-Asiri entered a small room to speak with Prince Mohammed, he activated a small improvised explosive device (IED) he had been carrying inside his anal cavity. The resulting explosion ripped al-Asiri to shreds but only lightly injured the shocked prince — the target of al-Asiri’s unsuccessful assassination attempt.

While the assassination proved unsuccessful, AQAP had been able to shift the operational paradigm in a manner that allowed them to achieve tactical surprise. The surprise was complete and the Saudis did not see the attack coming — the operation could have succeeded had it been better executed.

The kind of paradigm shift evident in this attack has far-reaching implications from a protective-intelligence standpoint, and security services will have to adapt in order to counter the new tactics employed. The attack also allows some important conclusions to be drawn about AQAP’s ability to operate inside Saudi Arabia.
Paradigm Shifts

Militants conducting terrorist attacks and the security services attempting to guard against such attacks have long engaged in a tactical game of cat and mouse. As militants adopt new tactics, security measures are then implemented to counter those tactics. The security changes then cause the militants to change in response and the cycle begins again. These changes can include using different weapons, employing weapons in a new way or changing the type of targets selected.

Sometimes, militants will implement a new tactic or series of tactics that is so revolutionary that it completely changes the framework of assumptions — or the paradigm — under which the security forces operate. Historically, al Qaeda and its jihadist progeny have proved to be very good at understanding the security paradigm and then developing tactics intended to exploit vulnerabilities in that paradigm in order to launch surprise attacks. For example:
•Prior to the 9/11 attacks, it was inconceivable that a large passenger aircraft would be used as a manually operated cruise missile. Hence, security screeners allowed box cutters to be carried onto aircraft, which were then used by the hijackers to take over the planes.
•The use of faux journalists to assassinate Ahmed Shah Masood with suicide IEDs hidden in their camera gear was also quite inventive.
•Had Richard Reid been able to light the fuse on his shoe bomb, we might still be wondering what happened to American Airlines Flight 63.
•The boat bomb employed against the USS Cole in October 2000 was another example of a paradigm shift that resulted in tactical surprise.
Once the element of tactical surprise is lost, however, the new tactics can be countered.
•When the crew and passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 learned what had happened to the other flights hijacked and flown to New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, they stormed the cockpit and stopped the hijackers from using their aircraft in an attack. Aircraft cockpit doors have also been hardened and other procedural measures have been put in place to make 9/11-style suicide hijackings harder to pull off.
•Following the Masood assassination, journalists have been given very close scrutiny before being allowed into the proximity of a VIP.
•The traveling public has felt the impact of the Reid shoe-bombing attempt by being forced to remove their shoes every time they pass through airport security. And the thwarted 2006 Heathrow plot has resulted in limits on the size of liquid containers travelers can take aboard aircraft.
•The U.S. Navy is now very careful to guard against small craft pulling up alongside its warships.
Let’s now take a look at the paradigm shift marked by the Prince Mohammed assassination attempt.
, , ,
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 11:06:39 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #507 on: December 26, 2009, 11:04:16 PM »

Yup.

So keeping that in mind, please describe for me the aviation security you want in place the next time your family flies that won't offend your libertarian sensibilities.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #508 on: December 26, 2009, 11:08:40 PM »

My comments were directed at a society full of soft targets, and our ongoing conversation on this point has had to do with how much the State should have access to/records of our comings and going.  None of this applies here.
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G M
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« Reply #509 on: December 26, 2009, 11:19:26 PM »

Aside from the screening at airports, there is a lot of protective intel gathering/analysis done by TSA/DHS. Should that end?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #510 on: December 26, 2009, 11:32:08 PM »

TSA is gathering intel?!?  That is news to me , , ,

Anyway, please do not paint me as an all or nothing cardboard stereotype.  I think I have a pretty good record around here. 
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G M
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« Reply #511 on: December 26, 2009, 11:36:35 PM »

It gathers incidents CONUS and OCONUS and performs analysis and dissemination on threats to aviation/transportation.
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Rarick
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« Reply #512 on: December 27, 2009, 08:54:19 AM »

As best as I can tell, the simple fact is this:  We are an open society and as such are full of soft targets.  We'd best look to ourselves to protect ourselves.  As the saying goes "I carry a gun because a policeman is to heavy to carry."

(for the record, as a subject of the People's Republic of California in Los Angeles I am not allowed to carry a gun and so do not-- this is a factor that weighs heavily upon my considerations to leave California)

Amen, I do not need a cop to hold my hand crossing the street.  That is the other aspect of what terrorism is about too.  Tightening up a free society so much that it may as well be a totalitarian regime.
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G M
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« Reply #513 on: December 27, 2009, 08:58:57 AM »

http://www.hlswatch.com/2006/06/14/inside-tsas-intelligence-shop/
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G M
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« Reply #514 on: December 27, 2009, 09:00:30 AM »

If you think the US is a totalitarian country, you obviously haven't been to one.
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Rarick
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« Reply #515 on: December 27, 2009, 09:06:22 AM »

LOL, I said pushing to get activities like one. This is getting non-productive, I will ghost in relation to yout stuff from now on.......
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G M
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« Reply #516 on: December 27, 2009, 09:21:11 AM »

Yeah, well your mindless slogans and chest thumping will be missed.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #517 on: December 27, 2009, 10:44:53 AM »

Not necessary that and I'd like to ask that we avoid that tone in the future. sad

Returning to the subject at hand, my "libertarian sensibilities" (which I received from our Founding Fathers btw) have nothing to do with the apparent , , , missteps in the case of the moment.

According to reports I saw last night on Greta Van Sustern on FOX (i.e. one hopes for confirmation) the father of the jihadi is the head of the largest bank in Nigeria, is a Muslim and a prominent citizen, reported his own son over a month ago as a jihadi risk. The jihadi apparently has been on some lesser risk lists for some two years now. The jihadi got on the plane in Amsterdam with no luggage and paid cash.  Frankly, it seems like the proper use of intel that was already possessed would have been sufficient to stop this one before it even got going. 

Instead of a demand for bureaucratic competence, apparently the response is that the airlines get to save money by not being allowed to issue pillows and blankets because the jihadi fiddled to set his bomb underwear off under a blanket-- so people with have to bring their jackets on board if they don't want to run the risk of being cold.  Shrewd  rolleyes 

And because he made his attempt in the last hour of a transatlantic flight, we all now will be denied use of the bathroom for the last hour of the flight.  Again, I am not sure of the logic.  If the idea is to screw up the operations of an airport by blowing a plane up over it, tt would seem to me that it would make more sense to blow up the plane as it was taking off i.e. with full gas tanks-- but I am just a lay person winging it on this point.  Regardless, does this no-bathroom-in-the-last-hour rule make sense to you?

Or maybe they should simply pay attention when a father warns them of his son, is on various lists, and pays with cash and gets on with no luggage?  Maybe they should follow the El Al approach?  I'd rather avoid proctology though, thank you very much-- which bring us to my intended point about the Saudi jihadi with the bomb up his anus:t maybe there are some risks which can not be prevented.

Anyway, God bless the American Unorganzed Militia, which saved us once again.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #518 on: December 27, 2009, 10:52:29 AM »

Second post:

From an article by Randy Barnett titled, "The Unorganized Militia is Once Again Needed" found on the legal blog, volokh.com.....


According to press reports, a passenger helped subdue the terrorist who was attempting to bring down Northwest #253. This again highlights the importance of the unorganized militia in asymetric warfare. In Saved by the Militia, I offered this analysis in the wake of the success of the general militia on United Airlines #93 in defending Washington from terrorist attack on 9/11:
The characterization of these heroes as members of the militia is not just the opinion of one law professor. It is clearly stated in Federal statutes. Perhaps you will not believe me unless I quote Section 311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, “Militia: composition and classes” in its entirety (with emphases added):
“(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are —
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.”
This is not to score political points at a moment of great tragedy, though had the murderers on these four airplanes been armed with guns rather than knives, reminders of this fact would never end. Rather, that it was militia members who saved whatever was the terrorists’ target — whether the White House or the Capitol — at the cost of their lives points in the direction of practical steps — in some cases the only practical steps — to reduce the damage cause by any future attacks.

You might want to click through to read the whole thing, which includes this:
Here is the cold hard fact of the matter that will be evaded and denied but which must never be forgotten in these discussions: Often — whether on an airplane, subway, cruise ship, or in a high school — only self defense by the “unorganized militia” will be available when domestic or foreign terrorists chose their next moment of murder. And here is the public-policy implication of this fact: It would be better if the militia were more prepared to act when it is needed. (emphasis in original)
And ends with this:
A well-regulated militia does not require a draft or any compulsory training. Nor, as Alexander Hamilton recognized, need training be universal. “To attempt such a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable extent, would be unwise,” he wrote in Federalist 29, “and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured.” But Congress has the constitutional power to create training programs in effective self-defense including training in small arms — marksmanship, tactics, and gun safety — for any American citizen who volunteers. Any guess how many millions would take weapons training at government expense or even for a modest fee if generally offered?
Rather than provide for training and encouraging persons to be able to defend themselves — and to exercise their training responsibly — powerful lobbying groups have and will continue to advocate passivity and disarmament. The vociferous anti-self-defense, anti-gun crusaders of the past decades will not give up now. Instead they will shift our focus to restrictions on American liberties that will be ineffective against future attacks. [snip]
Rather than make war on the American people and their liberties, however, Congress should be looking for ways to empower them to protect themselves when warranted. The Founders knew — and put in the form of a written guarantee — the proposition that the individual right to keep and bear arms was the principal means of preserving a militia that was “essential,” in a free state, to provide personal and collective self-defense against criminals of all stripes, both domestic and foreign.
A renewed commitment to a well-regulated militia would not be a panacea for crime and terrorism, but neither will any other course of action now being recommended or adopted. We have long been told that, in a modern world, the militia is obsolete. Put aside the fact that the importance of the militia to a “the security of a free state” is hardwired into the text of the Constitution. The events of this week have shown that the militia is far from obsolete in a world where war is waged by cells as well as states. It is long past time we heeded the words of the Founders and end the systematic effort to disarm Americans. Now is also the time to consider what it would take in practical terms to well-regulate the now-unorganized militia, so no criminal will feel completely secure when confronting one or more of its members.
In this column, I was not advocating arming passengers on airplanes (though I would not rule out such a policy if properly regulated). My reference to weapons training concerned other sorts of terrorist attacks where weapons are essential for individual and collective self-defense. One recent example is the terrorist attack on Fort Hood–a mandated “gun free zone”–where military and civilians were slaughtered until armed police officers arrived on the scene and were able to incapacitate the attacker using their handguns. Yet another example of how demonized handguns are a useful tool when in the right hands. Lives would have been saved if some of the army and militia members in the kill zone had been armed. Instead of empowering them to act as militia members, however, they became victims.
One reaction to my column was to ridicule the identification of passengers with militia members. (Here some will predictably dismiss the point by noting that this passenger was a Dutchman, not an American.) Of course, if the general militia consists of the able bodied population as a whole, then this is simply what the word “militia” means, though some want to identify the term with the organized militia. (Of course, the U.S. Code should be revised to include women, and even folks my age.) So it is not lost, the point of my column was three fold:
Contrary to what is claimed by many, the need for a militia continues to exist even in a world of hyper-lethal armies, and especially when engaged in asymetric warfare;
Given this need, it would be better that the militia was well-regulated, which is within the enumerated powers of Congress;
This regulation need not entail any conscription, but voluntary training programs so people feel empowered to defend themselves, as Jasper Schuringa on Northwest #253 apparently did (though he reportedly had to dive over more passive passengers to get to the terrorist), and conscious of their responsibilities as militia members to act when an emergency arises that prevents organized law enforcement or military authorities from taking action.
For those who still resist this idea, let me suggest that general militia membership is a socially constructed state of mind and is one to be encouraged and honed rather than discouraged and ridiculed.
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G M
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« Reply #519 on: December 27, 2009, 02:46:41 PM »

"According to reports I saw last night on Greta Van Sustern on FOX (i.e. one hopes for confirmation) the father of the jihadi is the head of the largest bank in Nigeria, is a Muslim and a prominent citizen, reported his own son over a month ago as a jihadi risk. The jihadi apparently has been on some lesser risk lists for some two years now. The jihadi got on the plane in Amsterdam with no luggage and paid cash.  Frankly, it seems like the proper use of intel that was already possessed would have been sufficient to stop this one before it even got going. "

**Yes, not exactly an example of omniscient police power.**

Keep in mind that if the device had functioned properly, then no passenger would have had an opportunity to intervene.
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rachelg
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« Reply #520 on: December 27, 2009, 06:18:47 PM »

GM,

It could be very rational to choose to have less security even with imminent terrorist threats. You could choose to have more risk in order  to have more freedom. 

Even in  Israel you  are 8 time more likely to die in car accident than by terrorism.   We would have to have ( God forbid) a lot  more terrorist attacks  to make flying anywhere near as dangerous  as driving to the airport.  Is it worse to die in a terrorist attack than a car accident.?

I personally chose  to spend all weekend driving around in sucky weather so I  could see my friends and family.  I passed several nasty accidents...

The problem with TSA is to  me it seems like  more security theater than security. We are always reacting  to the last attack instead of  preparing for future ones. If it actually made us safer I would  be more tolerant of the inconvenience.Some  of our current security procedures seem pointless to me.

In Israel which takes security very seriously I can wear my shoes the whole time. I don't  need to separate out electronics or liquids and if  you are not flying to the US you can carry a bottle of water.  Why is that since I don't think we have a worse terrorism problem than Israel?


To be fair In a slightly amusing story.  I was volunteering in Israel for the year  during September 11 and a few months after that I flew round trip to Germany to visit a friend.  Flying round trip to Germany from Israel with  an American passport or something  must have set off some alarm bells.  I got called in for extra screening.  I spent 45  minutes  with one of the most attentive "dates" ever. He wanted to know my whole life story, my religious beliefs,   all about my family and friends ,  and what exactly I had been doing in Germany.  Three  other guys searched  my luggage  both with a x-ray machine and by hand. They even opened my shampoo bottles  and kinder eggs.    There was a women who searched me  including my ponytail.   I didn't have take off my shoes though.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #521 on: December 27, 2009, 07:02:47 PM »

Quote
The problem with TSA is to  me it seems like  more security theater than security.

Heh. Rock on Rachel. All the intrusions of an omniscient police state with none of the results. The Israeli regimen appears to be based on empiric results, the American one in ineffectually offending everyone to an equal degree.
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G M
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« Reply #522 on: December 28, 2009, 04:55:32 AM »


http://www.nypost.com/f/print/news/business/item_EnOOkzQvAgUbTJyeYv45dK

STILL FEELING EFFECTS OF 9/11 ATTACKS ON ECONOMY
By JOHN CRUDELE

Last Updated: 1:35 PM, September 12, 2008

Posted: 3:54 AM, September 11, 2008

SEVEN years ago today terrorists crashed four jetliners into the US economy.

It's downright callous, if not inhumane, of course, for me to talk about the financial fallout of Sept. 11, 2001, since 2,975 people were killed, thousands were injured and everyone was affected by those attacks.

And we will always remember, first and foremost, the human suffering caused by the small group of heartless cowards who hijacked those planes.

But it is a fact that a lot of the financial problems we are now experiencing - including federal deficits, a declining housing market, banking problems, the sickly dollar and a large drop in overall confidence - have, to one degree or another, grown from the aftermath of what happened seven years ago.

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G M
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« Reply #523 on: December 28, 2009, 05:00:41 AM »


Sa'id quotes Osama bin Laden on how the financial crisis plus the extended wars have weakened America's resolve: "This is America today, staggering under the strikes and consequences of the mujahideen. There is a human loss, a political beat, and a financial breakdown. Even it begs small, as well as big countries. Its enemies are no longer afraid of it, and its friends are no longer respects it."

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/04/al_qaedas_shadow_arm.php#ixzz0aypAWWRh
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G M
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« Reply #524 on: December 28, 2009, 05:32:46 AM »

Beyond the direct costs in lives, how many more 9/11s can we take economically?  I'm a fan of the El Al model of aviation security, what the US has is a reflection of our post-modern culture of victimhood rather than one structured to address the threat.
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G M
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« Reply #525 on: December 28, 2009, 06:39:27 AM »

25 Brits in jet bomb plots By ANTHONY FRANCE
Crime Reporter
and ALEX WEST

Published: Today
COPS fear that 25 British-born Muslims are plotting to bomb Western airliners.

The fanatics, in five groups, are now training at secret terror camps in Yemen.


It was there London-educated Umar Abdulmutallab, 23, prepared for his Christmas Day bid to blow up a US jet.



Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2785733.ece#ixzz0azDIkvLb
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G M
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« Reply #526 on: December 28, 2009, 09:21:56 AM »

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/abdulmutallab-yemen/story?id=9430536

Abdulmutallab: More Like Me In Yemen
Accused Northwest Bomber Says More Bombers On the Way; Al Qaeda Promises to Hit Americans
By BRIAN ROSS and RICHARD ESPOSITO
Dec. 28, 2009 

American officials have cause to worry there may be more al Qaeda-trained young men in Yemen planning to bring down American jets.



Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab told FBI agents there are more just like him in Yemen.Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, charged with the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253, told FBI agents there were more just like him in Yemen who would strike soon.

And in a tape released four days before the attempted destruction of the Detroit-bound Northwest plane, the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen boasted of what was planned for Americans, saying, "We are carrying a bomb to hit the enemies of God."
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michael
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« Reply #527 on: December 28, 2009, 09:28:27 AM »

The problem is that in the U.S., we have traded security for the illusion of security by implementing measures that look good on the outside, but are weak on the inside. While TSA works within the constraints and restrictions that are imposed upon them by the federal government, the fact is what they are doing does precious little to keep us safe. We should learn from the Israeli's about how to detect and foil terrorism before it happens and put political correctness aside. Searching Grandma holding onto a walker is idiotic, as much so as not searching the guy behind her that is wearing a turban, reading a Quran, has no luggage, and is paying with cash. This PC is going to be the death of America if we do not wise up.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #528 on: December 28, 2009, 09:31:02 AM »

The world-wide war of Islamo Fascism on civilization continues and, stimulated by American and Western weakness, appears to enter a new phase.

GM, glad to see that you too are a fan of the Israeli approach.

I will reject the conclusion of the Crudelle piece though:  "But it is a fact that a lot of the financial problems we are now experiencing - including federal deficits, a declining housing market, banking problems, the sickly dollar and a large drop in overall confidence - have, to one degree or another, grown from the aftermath of what happened seven years ago."

War is really expensive, but the problems we face are because of a government created credit bubble which burst.  (The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government pushing guaranteeing mortgages of the most insane sort, the Fed running interest rates that were effectively zero, the Community Reinvestment Act, the purchase of Congress by these interests, and so much more of this sort)  We could afford this war but for the deranged policies being pursued by our President and his vast left wing conspiracy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #529 on: December 28, 2009, 09:45:46 AM »

Second post:

More Questions on Why Terror Suspect Was Not Stopped

By ERIC LIPTON and SCOTT SHANE
Published: December 27, 2009
WASHINGTON — When a prominent Nigerian banker and former government official phoned the American Embassy in Abuja in October with a warning that his son had developed radical views, had disappeared and might have traveled to Yemen, embassy officials did not revoke the young man’s visa to enter the United States, which was good until June 2010.

The police searched the basement of a building in London, where it is believed that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had been a student.
Instead, officials said Sunday, they marked the file of the son, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, for a full investigation should he ever reapply for a visa. And when they passed the information on to Washington, Mr. Abdulmutallab’s name was added to 550,000 others with some alleged terrorist connections — but not to the no-fly list. That meant no flags were raised when he used cash to buy a ticket to the United States and boarded a plane, checking no bags.

Now that Mr. Abdulmutallab is charged with trying to blow up a transcontinental airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day, some members of Congress are urgently questioning why, eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks, security measures still cannot keep makeshift bombs off airliners.

On Sunday, as criticism mounted that security lapses had led to a brush with disaster, President Obama ordered a review of the two major planks of the aviation security system — the creation of watch lists and the use of detection equipment at airport checkpoints.

At the same time, a jittery air travel system coped with a new scare. On the same flight that Mr. Abdulmutallab took on Friday — Northwest 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit — an ailing Nigerian man who spent a long time in the restroom inadvertently set off a security alert. It turned out to be a false alarm.

Officials in several countries, meanwhile, worked to retrace Mr. Abdulmutallab’s path and to look for security holes. In Nigeria, officials said he arrived in Lagos on Christmas Eve, just hours before departing for Amsterdam. American officials were tracking his travels to Yemen, and Scotland Yard investigators were checking on his connections in London, where he studied from 2005 to 2008 at University College London and was president of the Islamic Society.

Obama administration officials scrambled to portray the episode, in which passengers and flight attendants subdued Mr. Abdulmutallab and doused the fire he had started, as a test that the air safety system passed.

“The system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days,” Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security secretary said, in an interview on “This Week” on ABC. Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, used nearly the same language on “Face the Nation” on CBS, saying that “in many ways, this system has worked.”

But counterterrorism experts and members of Congress were hardly willing to praise what they said was a security system that had proved to be not nimble enough to respond to the ever-creative techniques devised by would-be terrorists.

Congressional leaders said the tip from Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, should have resulted in closer scrutiny of the suspect before he boarded the plane in Amsterdam. Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, the ranking minority member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said that his visa should have been revoked, or that he at least should have been given a physical pat-down or a full-body scan.

“This individual should not have been missed,” Ms. Collins said in an interview on Sunday. “Clearly, there should have been a red flag next to his name.”

The episode has renewed a debate that has quietly continued since the 2001 attacks over the proper balance between security and privacy. The government has spent the last several years cutting the size of the watch list, after repeated criticism that too many people were being questioned at border crossings or checkpoints. Now it may be asked to expand it again.

“You are second-guessed one day and criticized on another,” said one Transportation Security Administration official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Privacy advocates, for example, have tried to stop or at least slow the introduction of advanced checkpoint screening devices that use so-called millimeter waves to create an image of a passenger’s body, so officers can see under clothing to determine if a weapon or explosive has been hidden. Security officers, in a private area, review the images, which are not stored. Legislation is pending in the House that would prohibit the use of this equipment for routine passenger screening.

To date, only 40 of these machines have been installed at 19 airports across the United States — meaning only a tiny fraction of passengers pass through them. Amsterdam’s airport has 15 of these machines — more than just about any airport in the world — but an official there said Sunday that they were prohibited from using them on passengers bound for the United States, for a reason she did not explain.

===================
(Page 2 of 2)



Michael Chertoff, former secretary of homeland security, and Kip Hawley, who ran the Transportation Security Administration until January, said the new body-scanning machines were a critical tool that should quickly be installed in more airports nationwide.

Machines using millimeter-wave technology scan under passengers' clothes, but only 40 have been installed at U.S. airports.
For now, American aviation officials have mandated that airports across the world do physical pat-downs of passengers on flights headed to the United States, a practice that in the past has also raised privacy objections.
“I understand people have issue with privacy,” Mr. Hawley said Sunday. “But that is a tradeoff, and what happened on the plane just highlights what the stakes are.”

So far, an additional 150 full-body imaging machines have been ordered, but nationwide there are approximately 2,200 checkpoint screening lanes.

One subject of the administration’s security review will be the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or Tide, the extensive collection of data on more than 500,000 people into which the warning from Mr. Abdulmutallab’s father’s was entered.

A law enforcement official said it was not unusual that a one-time comment from a relative would not place a person on the far smaller no-fly list, which has only 4,000 names, or the so-called selectee list of 14,000 names of people who are subjected to more thorough searches at checkpoints.

The point of the Tide database, the official said, is to make sure even the most minor suspicious details are recorded so that they can be connected to new data in the future.

“The information goes in there, and it’s available to all the agencies,” the official said. “The point is to marry up data from different sources over time that may indicate an individual might be a terrorist.”

The debate over watch lists and screening will be shaped in part by the still-emerging details about Mr. Abdulmutallab, his radicalization, his alleged training in Yemen and the bombing attempt. On Sunday, officials were still examining his claim that he received help from a bomb expert in Yemen associated with Al Qaeda.

Mr. Abdulmutallab was moved on Sunday from a University of Michigan hospital and transferred to a federal prison in Milan, Mich.

Mr. Mutallab, the suspect’s father, was scheduled to make a public statement on Monday after talking to Nigerian security officials in Abuja. A cousin of Mr. Abdulmutallab, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to offend the family, said in an interview on Sunday that there was no sign of radicalism in Mr. Abdulmutallab while he was growing up in Nigeria, though he was devout.

“We understand that he met some people who influenced him while in London,” where Mr. Abdulmutallab studied engineering, the cousin said. “He left London and went to Yemen where, we suspect, he mixed up with the people that put him up to this whole business.”

He added: “I think his father is embarrassed by the whole thing, because that was not the way he brought the boy up. All of us are shocked by it.”
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G M
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« Reply #530 on: December 28, 2009, 10:01:19 AM »

The point is that 9/11 was more than the lives lost, it had symbolic and IMHO an economic impact that was intended as a form of "Unrestricted Warfare". AQ and others understand that if you kill America's economy, you kill it's military.

The TSA operates under this: http://www.justice.gov/crt/split/documents/guidance_on_race.php

I'm guessing El Al doesn't.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #531 on: December 28, 2009, 10:02:55 AM »

I have no problem with profiling.
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G M
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« Reply #532 on: December 28, 2009, 10:06:04 AM »

Officials: Only A Failed Detonator Saved Northwest Flight
Screening Machines May Need to Be Replaced; Al Qaeda Aware of 'Achilles heel'
By RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS
Dec. 26, 2009 

Officials now say tragedy was only averted on Northwest flight 253 because a makeshift detonator failed to work properly.


Man accused of attempt to blow up plane was sent on mission by terror leaders. Bomb experts say there was more than enough explosive to bring down the Northwest jet, which had nearly 300 people aboard, had the detonator not failed, and the nation's outdated airport screening machines may need to be upgraded.

"We've known for a long time that this is possible," said Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar and ABC News consultant, "and that we really have to replace our scanning devices with more modern systems."

Clarke said full body scans were needed, "but they're expensive and they're intrusive. They invade people's privacy."
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G M
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« Reply #533 on: December 28, 2009, 10:25:02 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/28/state-department-ignored-warning-on-abdulmutallab/

I blame BoooOOOOOsh!
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G M
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« Reply #534 on: December 28, 2009, 11:34:05 AM »

http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2009/12/she-said-it.html

Pay no attention to the jihadist behind the curtain....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #535 on: December 28, 2009, 11:54:44 AM »



 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34592031/ns/us_news-security

 

 

U.S. security for air travel under new scrutiny
Authorities try to reassure public, although system didn't detect bomber
Adding to the airborne jitters, a second Nigerian man was detained Sunday from the same Northwest flight to Detroit after he locked himself in the plane's bathroom. Officials reported that he was belligerent but genuinely sick, and that, in an abundance of caution, the plane was taken to a remote location for screening before passengers were let off.

Investigators concluded he posed no threat.

In November, Abdulmutallab had been placed in a database of more than 500,000 names of people suspected of terrorist ties. But officials say there was not enough information about his terror activity that would have placed him on a watch list that could have kept him from flying.

'Sacrificing himself'
Officials said he came to the attention of U.S. intelligence last month when his father, a prominent Nigerian banker, reported to the American Embassy in Nigeria about his son's increasingly extremist views.

CNBC's Erin Burnett reported in Abuja, Nigeria, that family members had told her that Abdulmutallab's father had told embassy officials in a letter that his son had spoken of "sacrificing himself."

Still, in appearances on Sunday talk shows, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the traveling public "is very, very safe."

"This was one individual literally of thousands that fly and thousands of flights every year," Napolitano said. "And he was stopped before any damage could be done. I think the important thing to recognize here is that once this incident occurred, everything happened that should have."

Even so, airport security and intelligence played no role in thwarting the plot. Abdulmutallab was carrying PETN, also known as pentaerythritol, the same material convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid used when he tried to destroy a trans-Atlantic flight in 2001 with explosives hidden in his shoes. Abdulmutallab is alleged to have carried the explosive in condom-like pouches attached to his body.

Despite being in the database of people with suspected terrorist ties, Abdulmutallab, who comes from a prominent and wealthy Nigerian family, had a multiple-entry U.S. visa. It was issued last year.

Napolitano said Abdulmutallab was properly screened before getting on the flight to Detroit from Amsterdam.

Reviewing detection systems
The administration is also investigating aviation detection systems to see how the alleged attacker managed to get on board the Northwest flight in Amsterdam with explosive materials, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

No other flights were known to have been targeted. However, Gibbs says federal authorities took precautionary steps "to assume and plan for the very worst." Napolitano said there is no indication yet Abdulmutallab is part of a larger terrorist plot, although his possible ties to al-Qaida are still under investigation.

The United States is reviewing what security measures were used in Amsterdam where he boarded the flight.

"Now the forensics are being analyzed with what could have been done," Napolitano said.

Additional security measures are in place at airports around the world that are likely to slow travelers. Napolitano advised getting to airports earlier.

Congress is preparing to hold hearings on what happened and whether rules need to be changed.

"It's amazing to me that an individual like this who was sending out so many signals could end up getting on a plane going to the U.S.," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader in the Senate.

On Saturday, two Middle Eastern men thought to have been acting suspicious aboard a flight bound for Phoenix were detained and questioned by federal anti-terrorism authorities before being released. That incident — and Sunday's incident in Detroit — led the Council on American-Islamic Relations to urge airline security personnel to avoid ethnic and religious profiling.

Gibbs appeared on ABC television's "This Week," NBC's "Meet the Press" and CBS' "Face the Nation." Napolitano spoke on CNN's "State of the Union" as well as on NBC and ABC. McConnell appeared on ABC.

==========
I am out the door for several hours.
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G M
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« Reply #536 on: December 28, 2009, 12:32:14 PM »

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2009/12/27/could-obama-have-handled-the-christmas-day-attack-any-worse/

My pet goat, Hawaii edition.
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G M
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« Reply #537 on: December 28, 2009, 02:05:46 PM »

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/12/28/al-qaeda-group-claims-responsibility-for-christmas-day-attack/

Merry Christmas, from your friends in Yemen.
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G M
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« Reply #538 on: December 28, 2009, 07:56:57 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/28/audio-jetblue-announces-dopey-new-tsa-regulations/

Wow. Now THIS is security theater. We are soooooooo fcuked.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #539 on: December 28, 2009, 11:32:16 PM »

I agree with profiling and the Israeli model, mostly just a commitment to think clearly and try to stay a step ahead of the enemy, across the globe, 24/7.   If TSA was any kind of an intelligence agency instead of a bureaucratic logistics operation of managing lines, gates, shifts and breaks, then by now they would know and recognize most of their law abiding regular customers.  Every man-minute that they spend frisking my frequent business traveler sister is a minute they don't spend updating their system with Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab's Yemeni terror training certification.  For some reason TSA can't stand it that I wrap my skis inside my ski bag inside of ski pants and a jacket to protect and cushion them a little flying to a ski destination; they always get opened and picked apart.  But when a known terrorist buys a cash ticket to a major US airport, flies internationally trans-Atlantic, without luggage, on the only religious US federal holiday, after applying for student visas to bogus colleges...  For the money we spend and the privacy we give up for this operation, we deserve a little more competence and some mission focus.

Or as the man made disaster Czar says, the system worked.
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Rarick
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« Reply #540 on: December 29, 2009, 04:50:29 AM »

I have no problem with profiling.

Me neither as long as it is about how they are ACTING, I will play 20 questions all day long rather than be comfortable with the random strip search stuff I keep hearing about.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #541 on: December 29, 2009, 08:03:10 AM »

January 2009: WASHINGTON — AirTran Airways apologized Friday to nine Muslims kicked off a New Year's Day flight to Florida after other passengers reported hearing a suspicious remark about airplane security. One of the passengers said the confusion started at Reagan National Airport just outside Washington, D.C., when he talked about the safest place to sit on an airplane.

Orlando, Fla.-based AirTran said in a statement that it refunded the passengers' air fare and planned to reimburse them for replacement tickets they bought on US Airways. AirTran also offered to take the passengers back to Washington free of charge.

On November 17, 2009
A group of thirteen men dressed in traditional Muslim attire were among 73 passengers who boarded AirTran Flight 297 on Tuesday, 17 November 2009, a routine flight scheduled to depart Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, gate C-16 at 4:43 PM ET to Houston Hobby Airport. Reports developed by this investigator found two witnesses who observed direct interaction among all of these Muslim men at the terminal.

As the passengers boarded the aircraft, two of the Muslim men took seats in first class, while the remaining eleven were seated throughout the remaining rows of the aircraft. Most had carrying-on bags that they stowed in the overhead compartments above their seats.

As the aircraft began to taxi to the runway, a female flight attendant was beginning to issue the normal passenger advisories over the PA system. Almost on cue at the time passengers were told to turn off all electronic devices, one of the Muslim men seated in the front of the plane began to use his cell phone in a manner that was described by a flight attendant and passenger “as deliberate and obvious.” He was talking loudly in Arabic, nearly at the level of the flight attendant. Some reports suggest that this man actually called another Muslim passenger, although this has not been immediately confirmed. It is possible, however, as another passenger reported that a Muslim man seated toward the rear of the plane answered his cellular phone at the same time the man in the front began using his.

At this point, the flight attendant in the front of the plane approached the Muslim man using his telephone and instructed him to immediately turn it off. A second female flight attendant did the same at the rear of the aircraft. Concurrent with this cellular activity, two other Muslim men seated adjacent near the middle of the aircraft began operating what one passenger described as a palm type camcorder, ostensibly to view previously taken footage. It is possible, according to one flight attendant interviewed by this investigator, however, that the camcorder was being used for recording purposes. Whatever its use, a third flight attendant, aware of the incidents taking place in the front and rear of the aircraft, approached the two men for the purpose of securing the camcorder. At least two passengers reported that the men became abusive to the flight attendant and initially refused to comply with her request.

It was at this time that most of the passengers began to notice the multiple incidents involving over a dozen men dressed in Islamic attire. Next, as if previously rehearsed, at least ten of the 13 Muslim men aboard the aircraft began to leave their seats at the same time. At least one passenger stated she observed one of the Muslim passengers using his cell phone to take photos of other passengers on the aircraft, while one other Muslim passenger sang loudly in Arabic. According to information provided to this investigator from one of the flight crew who was alerted to an onboard emergency, the aircraft was now being taxied back to the terminal. The TSA, FAA and FBI were notified.

At the terminal
Once back at the terminal, the thirteen men were escorted from the aircraft by TSA and security officials. According to a report from an airline security official, their baggage was also removed and searched, the search finding nothing of apparent danger. According to a law enforcement official interviewed by telephone by this investigator on Monday, investigation revealed that all of the Muslim passengers are acquainted with each other and are associated with (or have ties to) a large Islamic center that has been the subject of investigative interest.

According to one aircraft passenger I interviewed, what happened next was “unbelievable” and caused a great deal of upset among the aircraft passengers and flight crew (some who opted off the flight in anger, fear, or admittedly, a mixture of both emotions).

After a lengthy delay while officials dealt with these Muslim passengers, ten (one uncorroborated report suggests 11) of the Muslim passengers were permitted to re-board the same aircraft to complete their flight. Some passengers and flight crew, traumatized by the blatant actions of the Muslim passengers, refused to travel with the Muslims who caused this orchestrated disturbance.

The flight continues
According to flight logs and information from one of the flight crew who continued with the flight, AirTran 297 ultimately departed Atlanta and arrived in Houston later that evening. The flight, however, was not without its curious incidents by the very same Muslim men who caused the initial delay and disturbance.

During the flight, one passenger interviewed by this investigator described the behavior of two of the Muslim passengers as less overt but still suspicious in nature. Without apparent legitimate purpose, one Muslim passenger moved a stowed bag from one part of the aircraft to another, well away from his seated position. Another spoke loudly in Arabic, with all appearing to interact in one form or another.

Ultimately, the flight landed safely and despite the early incidents in Atlanta, the Muslim passengers appeared able to leave freely from the terminal.

Comments from flight crew and airline personnel
As initially stated, proper and accurate investigation takes time to corroborate eyewitness accounts, which are often unreliable, contradictive and in cases like this, colored by emotion. Having interviewed a total of seven-(7) individuals directly involved in this incident over the last several days, including two law enforcement officers who handled the after action reports, the situation pertaining to the initial 13 and remaining 10 or 11 Muslim men allowed to continue their travels was far greater than an incident involving the unauthorized use of a cell phone that resulted in a minor flight delay, as reported by the mainstream media.

According to one airline security official, “This was a deliberate, well planned attempt to disrupt a domestic flight that was organized in advance of the boarding of these [Muslim] passengers. The purpose of their actions appeared to be multi-faceted, not the least of which was an attempt to change their status from passengers to victims of religious profiling. The situation was handled in a manner that we believe might have avoided an incident like USAir had in 2006, where everyone from the passengers who reported suspicious behavior to the airline was subjected to legal action by the Muslim passengers.”

While litigation might have been avoided, passengers and flight crew remain traumatized, and our air travel system was unnecessarily disrupted during one of the busiest air travel weeks in the U.S. The agenda of the Islamists behind this incident is clear, yet no one in the media seems to have the desire to expose these ideological cretins for what they are.

"We apologize to all of the passengers _ to the nine who had to undergo extensive interviews from the authorities and to the 95 who ultimately made the flight," the statement said. "Nobody on Flight 175 reached their destination on time on New Year's Day, and we regret it."

AirTran said the incident was a misunderstanding, but the steps taken were necessary.

Two U.S. Muslim advocacy groups, however, were critical of the airline's actions. The Muslim Public Affairs Council called on federal officials Friday to open an investigation. And the Council for American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation, saying "It is incumbent on any airline to ensure that members of the traveling public are not singled out or mistreated based on their perceived race, religion or national origin."

Bill Adams, a DOT spokesperson, said the department thoroughly investigates discrimination complaints but would not comment further.

One of the Muslim passengers, Atif Irfan, said the family probably would not fly home with AirTran because members had already booked tickets on another airline, but appreciated the apology.

"It's definitely nice to hear," he said.
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michael
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« Reply #542 on: December 29, 2009, 08:56:12 AM »

I have no doubt that this was an orchestrated and multi-pronged approach to disrupt not only American air travel, but to create sensitivities in our system to Muslims in order to lower our level of security screening they are put through. We have overt measures by some terrorists to bring down planes and kill Americans in other ways, and we have covert measures by other terrorists to cause law enforcement to be afraid to properly question and screen them. The ACLU and CAIR are as much players in this to use our own civil liberties against us as the overt acts of terror are. Multiple heads from the same snake, IMO.
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« Reply #543 on: December 29, 2009, 08:57:47 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-schoenfeld29-2009dec29,0,3794295.story

**How the American Criminal Liberties Union works to get you killed.**

The Bush administration was subjected to withering criticism for the way it managed the no-fly list. The American Civil Liberties Union put the system on its own list of the “Top Ten Abuses of Power Since 9/11,” asserting that “the uncontroversial contention that Osama bin Laden and a handful of other known terrorists should not be allowed on an aircraft” has been exploited “to create a monster.” In one of several lawsuits the group has filed involving terrorist lists, the ACLU alleged that they “violate airline passengers’ constitutional right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and to due process of law.”
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been one among a chorus of voices that accused the former administration of being far too sweeping, placing “infants, nuns and even members of Congress” on terrorist watch lists. The writer Naomi Wolf has called travel restrictions such as the no-fly list, “a classic part of the fascist playbook” akin to the depredations of Nazi Germany, where “families fleeing internment were traumatized by the uncertainties that they knew they faced at the borders.” This was hysteria directed against Bush counter-terrorism mechanisms that the Obama administration has left almost entirely unchanged.
The Department of Homeland Security has indeed received a high volume of complaints about airport screening by individuals attempting to travel. Yet only a minuscule 0.7% of the complaints stemmed from issues relating to the watch lists. And of that 0.7%, about 51% of the complaints led to the conclusion that the individual in question was appropriately on the watch list. Whatever problems exist, the system is not outrageously over-inclusive. Indeed, if anything, the opposite is the case.
We will never know whether fierce criticism from the left had any direct effect on the processing of Abdulmutallab’s file, but the political environment is important to consider going forward. The officials managing the watch lists are not eager to be hauled before a congressional committee if they blunder and bar innocent people from getting on flights. But they are also acutely aware of the potential price tag of being under-inclusive.
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G M
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« Reply #544 on: December 29, 2009, 09:12:25 AM »

I have no doubt that this was an orchestrated and multi-pronged approach to disrupt not only American air travel, but to create sensitivities in our system to Muslims in order to lower our level of security screening they are put through. We have overt measures by some terrorists to bring down planes and kill Americans in other ways, and we have covert measures by other terrorists to cause law enforcement to be afraid to properly question and screen them. The ACLU and CAIR are as much players in this to use our own civil liberties against us as the overt acts of terror are. Multiple heads from the same snake, IMO.

Exactly!!!

CAIR April Fools
 By: Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 31, 2006



Once every year, CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations gathers its followers in various ‘hot spots’ around the nation to raise money and flaunt its homemade status as a “civil liberties group,” in an attempt to convince the world that they are something which they are not.  This year’s annual banquet in Florida will fall fittingly on April 1st or April Fools.  The title of the event is ‘Partners for Peace & Justice.’

The keynote speaker for this weekend’s event will be David Cole.  Cole is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, a board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Legal Affairs Correspondent for the publication, The Nation.  As an attorney, he has been involved in a number of high profile cases.  This includes United States v. Eichman, which established that the First Amendment allows for the burning of the American flag.


Cole also played the role of lead counsel for terror operative, Mazen Al-Najjar.  Following a 1997 deportation order for overstaying his student visa, Al-Najjar was jailed as a potential threat to the United States public.  In July, 2001, after a hard fought court battle, Cole and his legal team lost a federal appeal, thereby denying Al-Najjar asylum.  In August of 2002, he was deported to Lebanon.  [Al-Najjar would later be named as a co-defendant in the trial against his brother-in-law, Sami Al-Arian.]
 

Weighing in on the Al-Najjar case was the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which stated, in a May 2002 press release: “Mazen Al Najjar has never been charged with a crime, yet he has spent more than four years behind bars, first on secret evidence that he had no chance to rebut, and for the last six months on no evidence of dangerousness whatsoever.”  But at the time, according to the Department of Justice, Al-Najjar “had established ties to terrorist organizations and held leadership positions in the Tampa-based Islamic Concern Project (ICP) and the World and Islam Studies Enterprise,” groups founded by Al-Arian.
 

This was not the first instance of the ACLU being wrong about those that fall under the inglorious title of ‘radical Islamist,’ and it seems that the group is continuing the trend, now with the appointment of a leader of CAIR to its ranks.

 

In a CAIR press release, dated March 8, 2006, the group announced to the world that its National Board Chairman, Parvez Ahmed, had been elected to the board of the ACLU of Florida.  In the past, the ACLU had participated in events with the group and had even ‘locked arms’ in legal actions with CAIR, but never had it gone so far as to take one of its leaders into its ranks.  About his new position, Ahmed, who is also a speaker at the April 1st fundraising dinner, stated: “American Muslims view the protection of civil liberties as one of the most important issues facing our nation today.  By working with the ACLU in Florida, I hope to strengthen constitutional rights and help balance those rights with legitimate national security concerns.”

 

Ahmed’s reason for making that statement – and for getting involved with the ACLU – is apparent.  Since CAIR has been in existence, it has lost a Civil Rights Coordinator, a fundraiser, a Director of Community Relations, and a founding Director of its Texas Chapter, all through conviction or deportation.  CAIR is currently the defendant in a lawsuit put forward by the family of an FBI agent for his murder, during the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.  Bringing Ahmed into its organization, the ACLU gives CAIR the legitimacy it both craves and needs to survive.

 

For Parvez Ahmed, it’s just one more step on his quick rise to power.  Ahmed, who is an assistant professor at the University of North Florida, became CAIR’s Chairman of the Board in May of 2005.  He previously served as Board Chairman for the Florida Chapter of CAIR and as a CAIR National Board member.  In addition to this, Ahmed incorporated – in Jacksonville, Florida, where he resides – CAIR’s now defunct Independent Writers Syndicate (IWS).  According to CAIR, the syndicate was created, because “after 9/11… newspapers became hungry for input from Muslims.”  The service would “distribute original commentaries to newspapers and web sites throughout North America.”  Unfortunately, there were problems with many of the writers.  They included:
 

•Arselan Tariq Iftikhar.  Iftikhar, who is currently CAIR’s National Legal Director, wrote a June 2002 IWS piece, entitled ‘Bush’s Speech – An Interim Insult,’ in which he described Ariel Sharon as a “terrorist.”  He stated, “Ariel Sharon is as much of a terrorist as Yasser Arafat, if not five times more.”  In 2002, Iftikhar was a speaker at a Muslim Students Association (MSA) Conference, which featured numerous Islamist radicals, including Siraj Wahhaj, a man named as a potential co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the South Asia Director for KindHearts, an Islamic charity that was recently closed down by the United States government for financing Hamas.
•Riad Z. Abdelkarim.  Abdelkarim was the Coordinator for IWS.  He was also the co-founder of KinderUSA, which suspended operations in December of 2002, amidst an FBI investigation into its Hamas-related activities.  In addition, he had been involved with the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), which the United States government shut down after 9/11, and he was on the Los Angeles board of CAIR.  In May of 2002, Abdelkarim was detained by the Israeli government, along with fellow KinderUSA co-founder, Dallel Mohmed.  The Israelis claimed that the two “charity” workers were “transferring money to sponsor suicide bombings.”
•Fedwa Wazwaz.  In August of 2005, Wazwaz was a ‘Live Dialogue’ guest on Islam Online, a website that features live interviews with leaders of Hamas.  She authored a libelous tirade against Middle East expert Daniel Pipes, in August of 2003, falsely accusing him of “bigotry.”  The title of the piece was ‘Bush Appointee is a Bigot Disguised as a Scholar.’  Wazwaz also, in a November 2002 IWS piece, echoed a conspiracy theory about the Iraq war being started to assist Israel.  She stated, “So the plan to attack Iraq was plotted six years ago by pro-Israelis who now hold key positions in the Pentagon.”
Parvez Ahmed has written some disturbing things in his own right.  In December of 2005, he called for the release of terrorist Sami Al-Arian, in his op-ed entitled, ‘Al-Arian Verdict a Victory for Common Sense.’  Al-Arian had been the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an organization that carries out suicide operations against innocent Israelis.  Al-Arian had also been involved with CAIR’s parent organization, a Hamas-front called the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP).  Ahmed stated, “The Justice Department should respect this sentiment and the verdict reached by Al-Arian’s peers by releasing him so that he may resume a normal life, or as close to normal as possible after such an ordeal.”  Furthermore, Ahmed laments, in the piece, that “the government may retry him on the charges for which the jury could not reach a decision.”
 

Most of the time, though, Ahmed is smart and tries to put a positive spin on matters that would concern most Americans.  In his August 2005 article entitled, ‘A moderate Muslim way to counter terrorism,’ he agrees with the rationale that says suicide bombings have “little to do with the teachings of any religion but [are] rather a response… designed to compel the retreat of an occupation force.”  He says that “Islam… allows for defensive war against combatants but unequivocally forbids the killing of civilians.”
 

However, to Hamas – the organization that CAIR was born out of – targeting civilians is justified, because all Israelis serve in the military.  And the Hamas charter states explicitly that Israel must be destroyed by religious means.  According to the charter:  “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam witll obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it… It is necessary to instill the spirit of Jihad in the heart of the nation so that they would confront the enemies and join the ranks of the fighters… It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Moslem generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis.”
 

CAIR would not be around, if it weren’t for the fact that so many are willing to buy into the group’s ‘dog and pony show.’  With CAIR, the horrors of terrorism and destruction disappear like magic.  Except that they’re not really gone.  We’re just made to think they are.  This April Fools, once again, CAIR will attempt their magic act on the world.  And they’ll even throw in a comedian for good measure.  If we fall for this act, the real fool is us.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #545 on: December 29, 2009, 10:17:46 AM »

No idea as to the reliability of this site:

http://netrightnation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1252234:napolitano-wants-to-unionize-tsa&catid=1:nrn-blog&Itemid=7
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #546 on: December 29, 2009, 03:50:48 PM »

No More Visas for the State Department
Move that law-enforcement function to DHS.

By Elliott Abrams

The mishandling of the would-be airplane bomber Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab’s visa is only the latest piece of evidence that the granting of visas should be taken away from the State Department. Doing so would improve our national security — and actually help the State Department itself.

The granting of visas has little to do with State’s main function, which is to manage relations with foreign governments. The department’s “mission statement” reads as follows:
Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.

Needless to say, there’s not a word there about “keeping terrorists out of our country,” and that is no surprise. Granting visas is a function that most people at State relegate to the margins of their activities. State’s mandarins — foreign service officers or “FSOs” — look down at the consular officials who handle visas. This is considered a third-rate assignment, something young FSOs have to suffer through for a few years at the very start of their careers. It is less a training assignment than a form of hazing. They then escape into “real” State Department work — diplomatic activity, conducted in the regional bureaus of the Department and in our embassies abroad. Relieving State of the need to manage the visa process would remove from it a task for which it has no enthusiasm — and for which its top officials have no expertise.

For the granting of visas — especially today, when terrorism is such a complex threat — is far closer to being a law-enforcement function. The obvious place for this task is the Department of Homeland Security, which houses Customs and Immigration enforcement already and which sees protecting the country from terrorism as its central focus. A consular corps could be created at DHS, and would likely attract people who want to see the world — and help protect America from terror. It’s logical that former military and police officials would apply, perhaps retired after 20 years of service but with plenty of energy and experience. And whoever applied would know his or her job was not to smooth relations with foreign governments, not to avoid unpleasant refusals of visa requests, not to attend cocktail parties; instead it would be to help manage a huge system that affects America’s commercial and economic interests, and nowadays our national security as well. Moreover, within DHS, such officials wouldn’t be second-rate citizens; their functions would be understood as part of the core mission of the department. Compare the DHS mission statement to that from State above:

This Department of Homeland Security’s overriding and urgent mission is to lead the unified national effort to secure the country and preserve our freedoms. . . . [T]he Department was created to secure our country against those who seek to disrupt the American way of life. . . .

Such a move would also downsize the State Department usefully: Literally thousands of consular officials at hundreds of posts around the world could be removed from the department, and 21 domestic offices that issue passports to Americans could also be moved over to DHS. As it happens, visa processing is often not even done physically at U.S. embassies abroad, but at other locations able to handle the huge lines that appear in many capitals. Keeping visa functions, and those long lines, away from our embassies can actually help the physical security of our embassies as well.

There are very few good arguments as to why this change from State to DHS should not be made right now. It’s sometimes argued that those early years on the visa line help young FSOs to get their feet on the ground and see reality, before the years on the diplomatic circuit remove them to the stratosphere. It’s a poor reason to keep a law-enforcement function at State, and there are plenty of other ways to expose young diplomats to life on the ground. Of course, all those positions processing U.S. visa requests won't be eliminated entirely, but by consolidation with the border, customs, and immigration functions already at DHS, one can at least hope for some greater efficiency and economies over time. And one can hope for greater security faster than that.

Moving visa functions to DHS is no panacea, obviously, but the case of the would-be airline bomber Abdul Mutallab is perhaps suggestive. His multiple-entry visa to the U.S. was not cancelled by State, not even after his own father alerted U.S. Embassy officials in Nigeria of the danger he might present. His visa to enter the United Kingdom was cancelled, however, months ago. But not by the Foreign Office, Britain’s equivalent of the State Department. In the U.K., the Foreign Office does not handle visas; they are the responsibility of the U.K. Border Agency, established in 2008 and “responsible for securing the United Kingdom’s borders and controlling migration,” just like our DHS. Let’s learn the lesson. Members of Congress seeking to react to the Detroit near-calamity in a useful way should hold hearings right after New Year’s and get a move on. No more visas for State.

— Elliott Abrams is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as the deputy national-security adviser handling Middle Eastern affairs in the George W. Bush administration.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YWMzODAxNWIwNDM1YmEzNzZlZWY0NDAxZjQzNzgwZjg=
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G M
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« Reply #547 on: December 29, 2009, 05:37:30 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/29/video-former-el-al-security-official-explains-common-sense/

Crafty, BBG, you approve of El Al's methods?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #548 on: December 29, 2009, 07:12:45 PM »

From what I know of it's behavioral aspects I've no issue with it. Don't have much issue with intelligence collection beyond our borders, but do get nervous when folks as incompetent as the TSA or as unscrupulous as the Obama administration start vacuuming up data on American citizens.
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G M
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« Reply #549 on: December 29, 2009, 07:55:19 PM »

So, how wquld you interdict blue eyed haji converts born and raised CONUS?
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