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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #550 on: December 29, 2009, 08:09:16 PM »

Wait, wait, I know! Suspend habeas corpus and lock up everyone who doesn't pay lip service to the political sensitivities du jour while running roughshod over the rest of the constitution.

What did I win?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #551 on: December 29, 2009, 11:38:35 PM »

U.S. Had Information Before Christmas of a Terror Plot

Two officials said the United States government had
intelligence from Yemen before Christmas that leaders of a
branch of Al Qaeda there were talking about "a Nigerian"
being prepared for a terrorist attack.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com?emc=na
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G M
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« Reply #552 on: December 30, 2009, 01:18:00 AM »

Wait, wait, I know! Suspend habeas corpus and lock up everyone who doesn't pay lip service to the political sensitivities du jour while running roughshod over the rest of the constitution.

What did I win?

A big button that says "I got nothin'".
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G M
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« Reply #553 on: December 30, 2009, 01:40:38 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/29/report-cia-knew-about-abdulmuttalab-in-august/comment-page-1/#comments

Not exactly all knowing.
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G M
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« Reply #554 on: December 30, 2009, 09:57:56 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,581459,00.html

Better aviation security in Somalia?
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G M
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« Reply #555 on: December 30, 2009, 11:01:48 AM »

http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/%E2%80%9Cal-qaeda-practises-beating-body-scanners%E2%80%9D

A body scanner at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport would not necessarily have detected the explosives which the would-be syringe bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had sewn into his underwear. A Dutch military intelligence source told De Telegraaf newspaper that Al Qaeda has its own security scanners and has been practicing ways of concealing explosives.

The terrorist group has even carried out test runs at smuggling explosives through European airports, the paper reports.
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G M
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« Reply #556 on: December 30, 2009, 11:14:54 AM »

http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2009/dec/tsa-clears-illegal-aliens-work-ny-airport

TSA Clears Illegal Immigrants To Work At NY Airport
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G M
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« Reply #557 on: December 30, 2009, 02:29:36 PM »

Intelligence experts have heard chatter for months about the explosive allegedly used by the underwear bomber. So why has the U.S. cut back on machines that detect it?

U.S. security officials had become increasingly worried in the months leading up to the attempted airplane bombing on Christmas Day about terrorists using the explosive agent concealed by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, several counterterrorism experts tell The Daily Beast. Internet chatter about PETN spiked over the summer, as monitored by U.S. intelligence services, the sources add.

Yet over the past 18 months, a Transportation Security Administration employee tells me, the U.S. has stopped using more than half of the Explosive Trace Portals that have capability of detecting PETN. These are dubbed “puffer” machines because they release several puffs of air to shake loose trace explosive particles as passengers walk through. The TSA employee, who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity and does not agree with the reduced use of puffers, says that there are fewer than 40 machines deployed today, down from 94 in service (and more than 200 purchased).



http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-12-30/the-terrorists-secret-weapon/full/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #558 on: December 30, 2009, 10:10:52 PM »


http://www.thestar.com/news/world/ar...-little-bother


Quote:
While North America's airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification.

That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel's, which deal with far greater terror threat with far less inconvenience.

"It is mindboggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago," said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy. He's worked with the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals and airports around the world.

"Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don't take s--- from anybody. When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for — not for hours — but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, 'We're not going to do this. You're going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport."

That, in a nutshell is "Israelification" - a system that protects life and limb without annoying you to death.

Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel's largest hub, Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?

"The first thing you do is to look at who is coming into your airport," said Sela.

The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

"Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," Sela said.

Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of "distress" — behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.

"The word 'profiling' is a political invention by people who don't want to do security," he said. "To us, it doesn't matter if he's black, white, young or old. It's just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I'm doing this?"

Once you've parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.

Armed guards outside the terminal are trained to observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion's half-dozen entrances, another layer of security are watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.

"This is to see that you don't have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious," said Sela.

You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?

"The whole time, they are looking into your eyes — which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds," said Sela.

Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.

At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil's advocate — what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?

"I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with play-doh in it and two pens stuck in the play-doh. That is 'Bombs 101' to a screener. I asked Ducheneau, 'What would you do?' And he said, 'Evacuate the terminal.' And I said, 'Oh. My. God.'

"Take Pearson. Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let's say I'm (doing an evacuation) without panic — which will never happen. But let's say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, 'Two days.'"

A screener at Ben-Gurion has a pair of better options.

First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.

Second, all the screening areas contain 'bomb boxes'. If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.

"This is a very small simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports," Sela said.

Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben-Gurion Airport shares with Pearson — the body and hand-luggage check.

"But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America," Sela said.

"First, it's fast — there's almost no line. That's because they're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you," said Sela. "Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes ... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys."

That's the process — six layers, four hard, two soft. The goal at Ben-Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in a maximum of 25 minutes.

This doesn't begin to cover the off-site security net that failed so spectacularly in targeting would-be Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — intelligence. In Israel, Sela said, a coordinated intelligence gathering operation produces a constantly evolving series of threat analyses and vulnerability studies.

"There is absolutely no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada or the United States," Sela said. "Absolutely none."

But even without the intelligence, Sela maintains, Abdulmutallab would not have gotten past Ben Gurion Airport's behavioural profilers.

So. Eight years after 9/11, why are we still so reactive, so un-Israelified?

Working hard to dampen his outrage, Sela first blames our leaders, and then ourselves.

"We have a saying in Hebrew that it's much easier to look for a lost key under the light, than to look for the key where you actually lost it, because it's dark over there. That's exactly how (North American airport security officials) act," Sela said. "You can easily do what we do. You don't have to replace anything. You have to add just a little bit — technology, training. But you have to completely change the way you go about doing airport security. And that is something that the bureaucrats have a problem with. They are very well enclosed in their own concept."

And rather than fear, he suggests that outrage would be a far more powerful spur to provoking that change.

"Do you know why Israelis are so calm? We have brutal terror attacks on our civilians and still, life in Israel is pretty good. The reason is that people trust their defence forces, their police, their response teams and the security agencies. They know they're doing a good job. You can't say the same thing about Americans and Canadians. They don't trust anybody," Sela said. "But they say, 'So far, so good'. Then if something happens, all hell breaks loose and you've spent eight hours in an airport. Which is ridiculous. Not justifiable

"But, what can you do? Americans and Canadians are nice people and they will do anything because they were told to do so and because they don't know any different." 
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Rarick
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« Reply #559 on: December 31, 2009, 07:48:57 AM »

Excellent- The casinos in vegas work/ worked very much that way.  Spot the strange, make sure it is just strange, and not a threat.
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G M
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« Reply #560 on: January 02, 2010, 03:51:17 PM »


http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/02/newsweek-saudis-briefed-top-obama-official-about-underwear-bombers-in-october/

Gee, who coulda seen this coming?Huh   rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #561 on: January 04, 2010, 11:06:41 AM »

I am in a conversation wherein someone has asserted the following article.  Is the article sound or not?  Why?  Thanks for the help:
=========================
Congress Has Assaulted Our Freedoms in the Patriot Act

by Andrew P. Napolitano



The compromise version of the Patriot Act to which House and Senate conferees agreed last week and for which the House voted yesterday is an unforgivable assault on basic American values and core constitutional liberties. Unless amended in response to the courageous efforts of a few dozen senators from both parties, the new Patriot Act will continue to give federal agents the power to write their own search warrants – the statute’s newspeak terminology calls them "national security letters" – and serve them on a host of persons and entities that regularly gather and store sensitive, private information on virtually every American.

Congress once respected the Fourth Amendment until it began cutting holes in it. Before Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1977, Americans and even non-citizens physically present here enjoyed the right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. That Amendment, which was written out of a revulsion to warrants that let British soldiers look for any tangible thing anywhere they chose, specifically requires that the government demonstrate to a judge and the judge specifically find the existence of probable cause of criminal activity on the part of the person whose property the government wishes to search. The Fourth Amendment commands that only a judge can authorize a search warrant.

FISA unconstitutionally changed the probable cause of criminality requirement to probable cause of employment by a foreign government, hostile or friendly. Under FISA, if the government can demonstrate the foreign agency or employment status of the person whose things it wishes to search, the secret FISA court will issue the search warrant.

But even FISA respects constitutional liberty, since it prohibits prosecutions based on evidence obtained from these warrants. Thus, if a FISA warrant reveals that the embassy janitor is really a spy who beats his wife, he would not and could not be prosecuted for either crime because the evidence of his crimes was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of a judicial finding of probable cause of criminal activity. Instead of being prosecuted, he would be deported.

A year later in 1978, cutting yet another hole in the Fourth Amendment, Congress revealed its distaste for fidelity to the Constitution and its ignorance of the British government’s abuse of the colonists by enacting the Orwellian–named, Right to Financial Privacy Act. This statute, for the first time in American history, let federal agents write their own search warrants, but limited the subjects of those warrants to financial institutions. Just like FISA, it recognized the unconstitutional nature of evidence obtained by a self-written search warrant, and banned the use of such evidence in criminal prosecutions.

In 1986, Congress continued to cut. It disregarded yet again the Fourth Amendment’s protection of privacy when it enacted the Electronic Communications Privacy Act which allowed federal agents to serve self-written search warrants on collectors of digital financial data, but continued to recognize that evidence thus obtained was constitutionally incompetent for criminal prosecution purposes.

The deepest cut came on October 15, 2001 when Congress enacted the Patriot Act. With minimal floor debate in the Senate and no floor debate in the House (House members were given only 30 minutes to read the 315 page bill), Congress enacted this most unpatriotic rejection of privacy and constitutional guarantees. Together with its offspring the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal 2004 and the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, the Patriot Act not only permits the execution of self-written search warrants on a host of new subjects, it rejects the no-criminal-prosecution protections of its predecessors by requiring evidence obtained contrary to the Fourth Amendment to be turned over to prosecutors and mandating that such evidence is constitutionally competent in criminal prosecutions.

The new version of the Patriot Act which the Senate will debate this weekend purports to make all of this congressional rejection of our history, our values, and our Constitution the law of the land.

So, if your representative in the House has voted, or your Senators do vote, for the House/Senate conference approved version, they will be authorizing federal agents on their own, in violation of the Constitution, and without you knowing it, to obtain records about you from your accountant, bank, boat dealer, bodega, book store, car dealer, casino, computer server, credit union, dentist, HMO, hospital, hotel manager, insurance company, jewelry store, lawyer, library, pawn broker, pharmacist, physician, postman, real estate agent, supermarket, tax collectors, telephone company, travel agency, and trust company, and use the evidence thus obtained in any criminal prosecution against you.

Why would Congress, whose members swore to uphold the Constitution, authorize such a massive evasion of it by the federal agents we have come to rely upon to protect our freedoms? Why would Congress nullify the Fourth Amendment–guaranteed right to privacy for which we and our forbearers have fought and paid dearly? How could the men and women we elect to fortify our freedoms and write our laws so naïvely embrace the less-freedom-equals-more-security canard? Why have we fought for 230 years to keep foreign governments from eviscerating our freedoms if we will voluntarily let our own government do so?

The unfortunate answer to these questions is the inescapable historical truth that those in government – from both parties and with a few courageous exceptions – do not feel constrained by the Constitution. They think they can do whatever they want. They have hired vast teams of government lawyers to twist and torture the plain meaning of the Fourth Amendment to justify their aggrandizement of power to themselves. They vote for legislation they have not read and do not understand. Their only fear is being overruled by judges. In the case of the Patriot Act, they should be afraid. The federal judges who have published opinions on the challenges to it have all found it constitutionally flawed.

The Fourth Amendment worked for 200 years to facilitate law enforcement and protect constitutional freedoms before Congress began to cut holes in it. Judges sit in every state in the Union 24/7 to hear probable cause applications for search warrants. There is simply no real demonstrable evidence that our American-value-driven-constitutional-privacy-protection-system is in need of such a radical change.

A self-written search warrant, even one called a national security letter, is the ultimate constitutional farce. What federal agents would not authorize themselves to seize whatever they wished? Why even bother with such a meaningless requirement? We might as well let the feds rummage through any office, basement, computer, or bedroom they choose. Who would trust government agents with this unfettered unreviewable power? The Framers did not. Why would government agents bother going to a judge with probable cause seeking a search warrant if they can simply write their own? Big Brother must have caught on because federal agents have written and executed self-written search warrants on over 120,000 unsuspecting Americans since October 2001.

Is this the society we want? Have we ultimately elected a government to spy on all of us? The Fourth Amendment is the lynchpin of our personal privacy and individual dignity. Without the Fourth Amendment’s protections, we will become another East Germany. The Congress must recognize this before it is too late.

December 16, 2005

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel, and the author of Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws.
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G M
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« Reply #562 on: January 04, 2010, 12:07:55 PM »

http://volokh.com/posts/1116609947.shtml

Should the FBI Have Administrative Subpoena Authority?:

Yesterday's papers reported that Senator Roberts of the Senate Intelligence Committee has a bill in the works that would give the FBI the administrative subpoena authority it has been seeking in terrorism cases. So you're wondering: what's administrative subpoena authority? And should the FBI have it? I wanted to offer a few thoughts to shed light on the first question and frame the second. (Warning: long and inconclusive post ahead.)

  First some background, taken largely from my recent testimony on the Patriot Act. At the most basic level, any modern legal regime that allows the government to investigate crime or terrorism must address a number of basic methods for acquiring information. In particular, the law must cover three basic types of authorities:
1) Authority to conduct physical searches to retrieve physical evidence or collect information.
2) Authority to compel third parties to produce physical evidence or disclose information.
3) Authority to conduct real-time monitoring over communications networks.
  In the case of criminal investigations, the legal regime that covers these authorities is well established. The first authority is governed by the traditional Fourth Amendment warrant requirement. The police must have a search warrant based on probable cause to enter a home or business unless a person with apparent or actual authority over the place consents, exigent circumstances exist, or another exception to the warrant requirement applies.

  The second authority is governed by the Fourth Amendment rules governing subpoenas. A subpoena is an order to compel: it requires the recipient to either report to testify or to disclose physical evifence at a particular time and place. Although many different types of subpoenas exist, the basic idea is that the subpoena authority is vested in some body, whether in the grand jury (which is really run by prosecutors, but at least in theory is just a groups of citizens) or a government agency. A subpoena can be issued under a wide range of circumstances: the information need only be relevant to the government’s investigation, and compliance with the subpoena cannot be overly burdensome to the subpoena recipient. No judge is consulted before the subpoena is issued; instead, the recipient of the subpoena can challenge it in court before complying.

  So much for the regime applicable in criminal cases. What about the law for intelligence investigations? In these cases, the government is not trying to deter and punish crime, but rather to collect intelligence ifnromation about threats to the Nation so it can defend itself. The law governing monitoring for intelligence purposes is somewhat different than the law governing evidence collection for criminal cases. The Fourth Amendment’s requirements are much less clear – and generally less strong – than in the routine criminal context. As a general matter, the few courts that have confronted how the Fourth Amendment applies to intelligence collection have held that the rules are somewhat similar to the rules for criminal investigations but also more flexible. When the Fourth Amendment applies, information and evidence collection must be reasonable in light of the countervailing demands and interest of intelligence collection. See United States v. United States District Court, 407 U.S. 297, 323-24 (1972); In re Sealed Case, 310 F.3d 717, 745-46 (Foreign Int. Surv. Ct. Rev. 2002). This legal framework appears to place Congress in the primary role of generating the law governing intelligence collection, with the Fourth Amendment serving as a backstop that reviews Congress’s approach to ensure that it is constitutionally
reasonable.

  Congress has responded to the challenge by passing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also known as “FISA.” FISA attempts to create a statutory regime for intelligence monitoring that largely parallels analogous rules for gathering evidence in criminal cases. First, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1821-29 covers the authority to conduct physical searches, a parallel to the provision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that allows investigators to obtain a search warrant in criminal cases. Second, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1861-62 and 18 U.S.C. § 2709 covers authority to compel third-parties to disclose records and physical evidence, a parallel to the provision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that allows the issuance of subpoenas in criminal investigations.

  Okay, enough background. The debates over the FISA-related provisions of the Patriot Act — and the current debate on whether the FBI should have administrative subpoena authority — focus primarily on the second type of authority: powers to compel third parties to produce physical evidence or disclose information. For the most part, such powers to compel are used to obtain business records from third parties, like the phone company, banks, Internet service providers, and the like that have records relating to what the suspect has been up to recently. (It generally doesn't work to serve an order to compel on a suspect directly, as that tips off the suspect to the surveillance and raises Fifth Amendment privilege issues.) Specifically, critics object to the weak privacy regulations found in provisions such as Section 215 of the Patriot Act that address the government’s power to compel third parties to produce physical evidence or disclose information in intelligence cases. And they object to vesting the power to issue such orders in an agency like the FBI. The general concern is that these orders to compel give the government too much power, as they allow the government to issue an order without getting careful judicial review of the order beforehand.

  So what standard should apply? The difficult part about this question is finding the right frame of reference. If your frame of reference is the grand jury subpoena power in the criminal context, then giving the FBI administrative subpoena power probably doesn't seem so objectionable — it raises some concerns, but isn't entirely objectionable. The reason is that the grand jury subpoena power is already tremendously broad. The Supreme Court has held that a grand jury subpoena can be issued if the order to compel seeks information that may be relevant to a criminal investigation. See United States v. R. Enterprises, Inc., 498 U.S. 292 (1991). This authority “paints with a broad brush” by design, permitting subpoenas to be issued ordering third parties to disclose physical evidence and information “merely on suspicion that the law is being violated, or even just because . . . assurance [is sought] that it is not.” Id. at 297 (quoting United States v. Morton Salt Co., 338 U.S. 632, 642-643 (1950)). The Court has justified this low standard on the ground that orders to compel evidence from third parties are preliminary investigative tools designed to determine if more invasive forms of surveillance are necessary. "[T]he Government cannot be required to justify the issuance of a grand jury subpoena by presenting evidence sufficient to establish probable cause because the very purpose of requesting the information is to ascertain whether probable cause exists." See R. Enterprises, Inc., 498 U.S. at 297.

  The question is, should the government have an analogous power in intelligence investigations, and if so, what is exactly is the intelligence analogy to traditional criminal grand jury subpoena authority? On one hand, it makes some sense to give the government that power: if the government has long had the power to issue subpoenas in minor crime cases, it seems a bit strange that they don't have this same power in terrorism cases. In that sense, giving the FBI administrative subpoena power simply recognizes the historically contingent limitations on the grand jury power. At the same time, it's not clear that FBI administrative subpoena power would really be analogous to the grand jury power. If an FBI agent wants a subpoena, he still needs to go to a prosecutor; the proseuctor issues the subpoena in the name of the grand jury. This introduces one important check on the system, as the investigative agency cannot issue the grand jury subpoena itself. If you want the FBI to be tempered in its efforts by the check of another agency, administrative subpoena authority can seem troublesome.

  But once again, this depends on your frame of reference. More civil libertarian readers will object to the subpoena power, and argue that we should judge orders to compel evidence (category #2) based on the legal standards that traditionally govern orders to conduct direct searches (category #1). There are reasons why the law regulates category #2 less strongly than category #1 — Judge Friendly had the classic explanation in a case called United States v. Horowitz, and lawprof Bill Stuntz has doen a lot of great work on this area — but many will find these arguments unpersuasive and want orders to compel to follow the traditional warrant requirement. The subpoena power will seem like an end-run around the usual protections. At the same time, other readers may take the opposite frame of reference, and note that many agencies have had administrative subpoena power already, as detailed in this very good report from the Congressional Research Service. If lots of agencies have this power already, they'll reason, why not give it to the FBI for the most important of investigations?

  As this inconclusive post suggests, I'm not sure of where I come out on the bottom line. On one hand, I do think that the regime of intelligence investigation needs some kind of subpoena equivalent. All successful regimes of evidence collection rely on a mix of low-threshold investigatory steps and higher-threshold investigatory steps; the idea is that investigators should be able to do the less-invasive low-threshold investigatory steps to get evidence to be able to rule out or reaffirm the need to conduct more-invasive higher-threshold investigatory steps. I don't see why intelligence investigations are different on that score. At the same time, I'm not sure that giving the FBI administrative subpoena authority is the way to go. While a number of agencies have such power, they tend to have more limited scope. My initial sense is that there must be ways of increasing oversight beyond that of administrative subpoenas without interfering with their effectiveness as investigative tools. I hope Congress takes a hard look at them before giving the FBI administrative subpoena authority.

  Hat tip: Phil Carter, who also has thoughts on this.
Related Posts (on one page):

1.The Case for and Against Administrative Subpoenas:
2.Should the FBI Have Administrative Subpoena Authority?:
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G M
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« Reply #563 on: January 04, 2010, 01:51:24 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9471721

Extremists Online Discussed Blowing Up Planes Weeks Before Northwest Flight 253 Attempt
Online Extremists Recommended Methods Exactly Like Those Used by Abdulmutallab
By SIMON MCGREGOR-WOOD
JERUSALEM, Jan. 4, 2010 —


Extremist Internet forums discussed blowing up planes three weeks before the Detroit attempt -- and have also discussed ways of using deadly biological agents onboard planes.

A private Israeli intelligence company told ABC News Monday there was a surge of online discussions in extremist Islamic forums about blowing up planes three weeks before Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt to bring down Northwest Flight 253. The discussions recommended using "improvised detonation chain" devices, exactly like the one used onboard the Detroit-bound flight.

The company has also tracked specific -- and in its view -- credible plans to attack planes using deadly biological agents.

The company, Terrogence, is run by former intelligence agents who for the last four years have monitored and occasionally participated anonymously in extremist Internet sites.

Three weeks ago company founder Gadi Aviran and colleagues noticed a surge in Internet traffic from well-known extremists talking about how to bring down planes using combinations of chemicals including PETN, the chemical used by Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day.

"These discussions were about the exact same technique used on the Detroit flight," he said. "There were very detailed instructions on how many grams of chemicals to use, so as to avoid detection. They also talked in great detail about what liquids should be used."

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captainccs
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« Reply #564 on: January 04, 2010, 07:57:51 PM »

No Comfort At All
Posted 07:26 PM ET

Security: The White House sent its point man on terrorism onto the airwaves to ease public fears after the botched al-Qaida Christmas Day airliner bombing. But his mealy-mouthed performance only worsened them.

Americans expect more from those charged with identifying this country's enemies and protecting the American people than the bobbing and weaving non-answers of politicians.

A year ago, Obama terrorism czar John O. Brennan was reportedly torpedoed as the president's choice for CIA director because he publicly supported enhanced interrogation as an anti-terror tool. That didn't seem to be the John Brennan we saw on the Sunday talk show circuit.

Brennan was asked by Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" why the U.S. shouldn't halt all transfers of terrorist detainees to Yemen after alleged Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab told authorities that other al-Qaida operatives in Yemen were ready to follow in his footsteps.

Brennan's response sounded like he spends as much time reading Democratic National Committee talking points as he does perusing intelligence reports. The Obama administration has only released 42 detainees from Guantanamo Bay, he noted, compared with the Bush administration's 532. Seven of the 42 returned to Yemen during November and December, he said.

"We've had close dialogue with the Yemeni government about the expectations that we have as far as what they're supposed to do when these detainees go back," Brennan said, adding that "several of those detainees were put into Yemeni custody right away. We're continuing to talk with them. What we're trying to do is to do this in a very measured fashion."

The appropriate response might be: protecting Americans "in a very measured fashion" is no virtue.

"Close dialogue" is of very limited value when dealing with a nearly 100% Muslim nation where non-Muslims are constitutionally prohibited from holding elected office. Has Brennan been drinking the Kool-Aid at the White House Mess? Does he now think talk can be the chief weapon against terrorism?

It is outrageous to send any detainee in U.S. custody back to such a hotbed of terrorist plotting and training — even before what happened on Christmas Day.

According to Brennan, the "Guantanamo facility must be closed" because "it has served as a propaganda tool for al-Qaida." But giving al-Qaida propaganda victories beats giving them their operatives back.

At least as discouraging was Brennan's defense of treating Abdulmutallab as a civilian criminal rather than as an enemy combatant. As Wallace pointed out, "once he gets his Miranda rights, he doesn't have to speak at all." Brennan's inadequate answer: "He doesn't have to, but ... if he wants to, in fact, engage with us in a productive manner, there are ways that he can do that."

Fact is, once some ACLU-style lawyer explains to the likes of Abdulmutallab his rights, the U.S. government won't be getting any more potentially life-saving information from him.

When you cut through the verbal fog of the White House's terrorism chief, that's the kind of bad news that remains.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=517002&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EditorialRss+%28Editorial+RSS%29&utm_content=Twitter
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« Reply #565 on: January 06, 2010, 10:11:59 AM »

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/01/nigerian-underwear-bomber.html

State Department leaps into action!
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« Reply #566 on: January 06, 2010, 10:20:16 AM »

http://wcbstv.com/local/newark.airport.continental.2.1407062.html

Jan 6, 2010 8:18 am US/Eastern

Comedy Of Errors: Cameras Didn't Work At Newark
Sources Tell CBS 2 That TSA Surveillance Cameras Were Inoperable At Time Of Terminal C Security Breach
TSA Apparently Didn't Know Number For Continental To Get Other Footage
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« Reply #567 on: January 06, 2010, 11:08:11 AM »

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/59330

Homeland Security’s National Operations Center ‘Unable’ to Do Its Job, Inspector General Finds
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
By Matt Cover, Staff Writer




CNSNews.com) – The Homeland Security Department’s National Operations Center (NOC) is “unable” to do its job of ensuring coordination among the 22 federal agencies that make up the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and focuses too much on disaster management rather than terrorism prevention, according to its own inspector general.
 
The National Operations Center, in fact, functions largely in name only, and current operations apparently have diminished its ability to respond to terrorist threats.
 
These assessments are presented in a redacted report from the DHS Office of Inspector General released in November and entitled “Information Sharing at the National Operations Center.”
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« Reply #568 on: January 06, 2010, 11:24:53 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9493323

Obama Orders Air Marshal Surge by Feb. 1: 'Race Against Time'

**All is well, all is well. Nothing to worry about, no actionable intel, just putting every federal gun and badge toter we have on every flight possible for no real reason.**
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« Reply #569 on: January 07, 2010, 02:01:02 PM »

Holder’s Haste Makes Waste of Intel
Abdulmutallab indictment is a bill of lost intelligence opportunities.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Eric Holder’s Justice Department rushed to file an indictment Wednesday against Flight 253 terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The telling document is a monument to lost opportunity. Come hell or high water, the Obama administration will press ahead with its commitment to treat al-Qaeda’s war against the United States as a crime wave best managed by the federal courts.

“Al-Qaeda,” in fact, is a term you will not find in the bare-bones, seven-page charging instrument. Nor will you encounter such words as “Yemen,” “jihad,” “terrorism” — neither “Islamic” or “Islamist.” And if you’re looking for the names of any co-conspirators — such as the al-Qaeda satellite (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) that has publicly claimed credit for the attempted Christmas Day atrocity, or the enemy combatants who’ve been running that outfit since their improvident release from Gitmo — you’d best look elsewhere.

Mentioning “enemy combatants,” of course, would be tantamount to saying there is an ongoing military conflict. It would be as if Congress had authorized the use of force after an attack against the United States — as if we had, say, a couple of hundred thousand American troops in harm’s way. There’s no hint of that in this indictment. Instead, we helpfully learn that Delta Airlines is a “United States commercial airline of which Northwest Airlines [is] a subsidiary.” We learn that Northwest’s Flight 253, along with the 289 passengers and crew onboard, were “at all times material to this Indictment . . . in the ‘special maritime jurisdiction of the United States.’”

That turns out to mean that we can have a civilian criminal prosecution in which “venue is proper in the Eastern District of Michigan.” What could possibly be more important than that?

Lots of things: gathering intelligence, for one. We have now had confirmed — by President Obama himself, along with top White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan — that, while Janet Napolitano’s system was working so well, Abdulmutallab was an untapped well of operational intelligence.

He’d been training with al-Qaeda for weeks in Yemen, now one of the hottest hubs of terror plotting. He was undoubtedly in a position to identify who had recruited him, who had dispatched him on his mission, and who had trained him in fashioning and detonating chemical explosives. He was in a position to tell us what al-Qaeda knows, that Janet Napolitano apparently doesn’t, about our porous airline-security system. He was, moreover, almost certainly in a position to pinpoint paramilitary training facilities, to tell us about other al-Qaeda trainees being taught to do what he was trying to do, and to fill many gaps in our knowledge of the terror network’s hierarchy, routines, and governmental connections in Yemen.

That was not to be. The Obama administration decided that forging ahead pell-mell with a criminal prosecution was more important than acquiring every morsel of useful information Abdulmutallab has to give. That meant telling him, immediately upon arrest, that he didn’t need to speak to the government at all if he didn’t want to. It meant promising to get him a lawyer. It meant he could only be questioned for a few hours — by agents who happened to be on the scene but probably didn’t know much about al-Qaeda’s Yemeni operation. It meant the assignment of a defense lawyer and required court appearances that instantly shut down all questioning.

And, yesterday, it meant the Justice Department had to file a “stop the clock” indictment. Under the Speedy Trial Act, when an arrested person is denied bail, the government has only ten business days to file formal charges.So the government hastily slaps together a very lean indictment. Prosecutors never want to allege anything they’re not positive they can prove. Blunders in an indictment signal that someone may have given false testimony in the grand jury or that the Justice Department’s theory of the case is flawed. Such errors are exploited to great effect by defense counsel at trial.

So, at this premature investigative stage, the government alleges only what it knows for sure. Indications are that it doesn’t know much. There are only six counts. They all charge Abdulmutallab alone, as if he were the only relevant actor in this conspiracy. Indeed, by the Justice Department’s lights, you can’t even call the case a “conspiracy.” DOJ hasn’t charged one — not with al-Qaeda, not with anyone.

For now, the indictment portrays Abdulmutallab as if he were the lone-wolf terrorist that Obama administration officials, including the president himself, absurdly labeled him to be in the initial hours after his capture, snug in their default denial of the fact that there is a war on and that jihadists still hate us — despite all the Cairo speechifying, the bowing, the engagement, and the new tone. Abdulmutallab is accused, by his lonesome, of trying to destroy an airplane, of using explosive devices, and of the attempted murder of 289 people — a number that apparently includes the terrorist himself. (That’s not likely to go over well with the president’s fans in the “right to die” community, but when you’re in a mad rush to meet a litigation deadline, these sorts of hiccups happen.)

#pageRest assured this won’t be the final indictment. The investigation is now scorching the earth with subpoenas. Phone and travel records are being combed. Old wiretaps are being scrubbed. Ultimately, there will be a superseding indictment, and it will probably include conspiracy charges. For now, though, the government is playing catch-up with events. More important, it is playing catch-up without Abdulmutallab. Because Obama is going the civilian prosecution route, there is no interrogating him without his lawyer’s okay — and that won’t be given unless the Justice Department is willing to plea bargain and make valuable concessions.

And that’s the point. Even the current skeletal indictment shows we can easily convict Abdulmutallab and get him sentenced to life imprisonment without knowing a single additional detail. We could do that tomorrow or five years from now. We don’t owe this terrorist any concessions. The case and the evidence are not going anywhere.

Prosecutorial success, however, has precious little to do with national-security success. For the latter, we need intelligence. We could have gotten it — and gotten it right now, when it would be most useful to U.S. military and intelligence officials trying to protect Americans.

President Obama could have designated Abdulmutallab an enemy combatant, detained him as a war prisoner, denied him counsel, and had him interrogated until we’d exhausted his reservoir of information. Indeed, the president could still do that. He could direct the attorney general to table the indictment. Then, some time down the road, he could hand Abdulmutallab back to the Justice Department for prosecution. No, we wouldn’t be able to use the fruits of his military interrogation against him. But as the indictment filed Wednesday shows, we don’t need those statements to convict him. We could convict him now.

To protect the United States, though, we don’t need Abdulmutallab’s conviction. We need his information. Wednesday’s indictment demonstrates what two weeks of Obama’s amateur-hour performance have suggested all along: We don’t have it.

— National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books, 2008).
National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmQwZWZlY2RjMTc0NjdhMTNjNzkyZjZiYTVlYTA3Yzc=
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #570 on: January 07, 2010, 06:57:07 PM »

A point as profoundly sound as it is obvious.

Maybe if we are nice, no more will come , , ,

==========================

Man threatening Jews hauled off flight in Miami

MIAMI
Thu Jan 7, 2010 9:40am EST

MIAMI (Reuters) - A man who described himself as a Palestinian and said he wanted to "kill all the Jews" was hauled off a Detroit-bound Delta Air Lines flight in Miami and arrested, authorities said on Thursday.

The plane was taxiing away from the terminal at Miami International Airport on Wednesday night when 43-year-old Mansor Mohammad Asad of Toledo, Ohio, began making loud anti-Semitic comments and chanting, apparently in Arabic, Miami-Dade police said in a statement.
"I'm Palestinian and I want (to) kill all Jews," he said, according to witnesses.
The pilot returned the aircraft to the terminal and a Taser device was used to "neutralize" Asad after he charged an arresting officer, the police statement said.
The incident came amid heightened airline security concerns following the attempted bombing of a Northwest flight bound for Detroit on Christmas Day.
Police said Asad faced several criminal charges including threats against a public servant and disorderly conduct. The Delta plane departed for Detroit following a thorough security sweep.
(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Will Dunham)
U.S.
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« Reply #571 on: January 07, 2010, 07:02:19 PM »

And so I have to wonder if the nice palestinian was just 5150 as they say in SoCal, or a probe.
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« Reply #572 on: January 07, 2010, 07:17:51 PM »


NCTC director Michael Leiter remained on ski slopes after Christmas Day airline bombing attempt
BY James Gordon Meek
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

Thursday, January 7th 2010, 4:00 AM
 
Somodevilla/GettyMichael Leiter, head of the NCTC, set up after 9/11 to battle terror attacks, could be in hot water after remaining on ski slopes following Christmas Day jetliner bombing try. - The top official in charge of analyzing terror threats did not cut short his ski vacation after the underwear bomber nearly blew up an airliner on Christmas Day, the Daily News has learned.

Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center since 2007, decided not to return to his agency's "bat cave" nerve center in McLean, Va., until several days after Christmas, two U.S. officials said.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/01/07/2010-01-07_antiterror_chief_took_ski_pass_remained_on_slopes_after_christmas_bomb_attempt.html#ixzz0bym35EPI
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #573 on: January 08, 2010, 11:17:26 PM »

Not saying I agree, but its good to step outside the box sometimes:
====================
Written by a British EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) expert Lewis Page:


Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01...allab_comment/

Quote:
Trouser-bomb clown attacks - how much should we laugh?
Reg investigates case of the undertotally-pants bomber
By Lewis Page

Posted in Policing, 8th January 2010 14:37 GMT

Comment As the smoke clears following the case of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the failed Christmas Day "underpants bomber" of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 fame, there are just three simple points for us Westerners to take away.

First: It is completely impossible to prevent terrorists from attacking airliners.

Second: This does not matter. There is no need for greater efforts on security.
Third: A terrorist set fire to his own trousers, suffering eyewateringly painful burns to what Australian cricket commentators sometimes refer to as the "groinal area", and nobody seems to be laughing. What's wrong with us?

We'll look at the first part to begin with.

In order to destroy an airliner and kill everyone on board, one needs to do a certain amount of damage to it: a lot if it is on the ground without much fuel in it, not so much if it is fuelled up, less yet if it is flying at low altitude, and least of all if it is flying high up.

Formerly there was the option of gaining access to the flight deck - perhaps using the aircraft as a weapon, as on 9/11, perhaps to carry out a hostage strategy - but those days are gone. The 9/11 hijackers have seen to it that the best and most effective ways for terrorists to employ airliners are no longer open to them. Pilots will never open flight deck doors again, no matter the threat to hostages in the cabin; passengers will not permit themselves to be dominated; armed sky marshals are back. If all these fail, following the bloodbath at Ground Zero fighter pilots will not hesitate to shoot.

So the damage must nowadays be done by other means than crashing, most practically by detonating a charge of high explosives on the plane while in flight. This doesn't need to be too big, especially if the jet is at cruising height so that the explosive effects will be enhanced by depressurisation. This is why airliners are a favourite target: because a fairly small amount of explosive can potentially kill a large number of people in one go, which is not the case under most circumstances.

It is an unfortunate and pretty much unavoidable fact that the necessary amount of explosives can easily be carried through any current or likely-future airport security regime, short of universal strip + cavity searches and a total ban on carry-on luggage.

Let's consider, for instance, a future security check involving backscatter X-ray-through-clothes perv scans - much more effective than millimetre wave - and X-raying of carry-on bags as is already normal. There are several ways to beat this.

Firstly, detonators and firing devices can be disguised within permitted electronic equipment such that they will pass through X-raying without trouble. An AA battery casing full of hexamethylenetriperoxidediamine (HMTD) - or some similar sensitive primary - with a flashbulb filament in it is almost impossible for an X-ray operator to pick out from among others, and can be triggered by the flash circuits of any camera.

The difficult bit is the main charge, which needs to be a decent weight and volume of acceptably stable high explosive. But it's not that difficult. Here are just a few ideas:

Several terrorists - only one of whom would need to go aboard the target flight - could carry permissible amounts of liquid explosives through security, combining them later in the air-side lavatories.
Readily available plastic explosives can be rolled out into flat, uniform sheets - they can actually be bought in this form, for instance under the name "Sheetex" - and cut to shape with ease. Such sheets can easily be inserted into luggage, where they won't look noticeably different from normal cardboard or plastic structure, partitions etc under X-ray if they aren't too thick. There are many other ploys along these lines; a sensible and well-resourced terror group could probably buy an X-ray machine and develop a bag containing a charge, detonator and firing circuit which looked entirely legit under scan.
Reasonable amounts of main charge can be carried stuffed into body cavities, undetectable by any body-scan. They would need to be removed before use in order to escape the pronounced dampening effect of the human body, and probably combined with other such payloads to get a bang sure to do the job, but again teamwork and lavatories will see to this.
There's more scope still for the use of checked baggage. US and many other airports nowadays X-ray this (http://www.kodak.com/global/en/servi.../tib5201.shtml), but there are airports which don't. You can easily find out, as a terrorist organisation, routes on which a checked bag won't be X-rayed by packing some unexposed film and making some flights. Once you have identified an airport that doesn't X-ray checked bags, simply put a large time- or barometrically-triggered bomb into a suitcase and have your suicide operative check it before boarding.
The list goes on - and on. Any reasonably competent terrorist organisation, with access to funds, capable technical experts and a small number of operatives able to move about the world freely can blow up airliners in flight. You wouldn't even necessarily need suicide volunteers to carry the bombs, if you were cunning: dupes might be convinced that they were smuggling drugs, money or other contraband, or IRA-style "proxy bombers" could be forced to do your bidding by seizing and threatening their families.

OMG - why aren't we all already dead?
Even if a security miracle occurs and the option of sneaking a bomb onto planes is somehow removed, there still exists the option of shooting planes down. Shoulder-launched homing missiles can be had in some parts of the world. From those same parts of the world, huge tides of illegal immigrants and drugs routinely move into Western nations despite all our governments' efforts to stop them. It would not be hard to move small packages like "double-digit" (SA-14, -16, maybe even -18 if available) anti-aircraft missiles along the same routes.

So, assuming a well-funded, numerous, committed, competent terrorist enemy without scruples and with a broad base of support from which to draw numerous recruits, airliner attacks can't practically be prevented. Planes should be exploding every day, really: if not planes then trains, another situation where blast effects can be magnified. If neither should suit, a few men with automatic weapons can bring a city grinding to a halt fairly easily, as the residents of Mumbai will tell you.

But the truth of the matter is that there is no such enemy out there. Funds are occasionally available, true; the 9/11 plotters were quite well-backed, and even if a terrorist group has no access to oil or gas revenues there may be the option of dealing in heroin as the Taliban do. (Note that all of these sources of money ultimately come from us.)

But people who are willing to kill innocents en masse as a primary goal are fairly rare birds. In Afghanistan you can easily hire large numbers of men for quite small sums of money to do fantastically dangerous things like taking on the British and American armed forces in open combat; some will even cover their own expenses, and a fair few will happily mount a suicide strike against Western troops. In general, just like the Western troops themselves in many instances, these fighting men are quite willing to accept a lot of collateral damage to local people as a cost of doing their main business.

But an awful lot of them would no more intentionally blow up an airliner, nightclub or train full of peaceful folk, would no more open fire into a crowd of unarmed civilians, than a Western soldier would. The likelihood of such squeamishness goes up markedly when you're recruiting outside the unruly and often aggrieved warrior tribesmen of central Asia, as you'll probably have to do for operations against the West.

Assembling a team of committed, loyal mass-murderers is actually very difficult, then, as such people are rare and hard to find. In fact, as we've pointed out in these pages before, the average size of potential terror cells operating in the UK and known to MI5 is ten members. This strongly suggests that five people or so is the upper safe limit before there's a strong chance of a cell having an informer in its midst or among its acquaintance.

It's just about possible then that one might assemble a loyal team of five or a few more and manage to remain, if not off the security services' radar altogether - it normally turns out that successful terrorists were on file somewhere - then far enough down their list to give you some time before you get put under surveillance.

"The system worked" - or more accurately, it is working. Just fine
It's even remotely possible that this small, dedicated and thus unmonitored organisation may contain a few people with the technical skills or contacts to make or obtain bombs or other weapons which actually work. This is rare: more usually you'll get an embarrassing and often inadvertently-funny failure as in the cases of Richard Reid, the comically inept (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07...iocy_outbreak/) UK "car bombers" of 2007, Mr Mutallab this Christmas, etc etc.
 



Sometimes it will be 9/11, and there will be cash in good supply; sometimes it will be 7/7, and competent bomb-making will substitute for money. In neither of those cases, however, was the organisation capable enough to make an effective strike without the use of suicide tactics. Thus those two teams - two of the most serious ever seen in the West under the jihadi banner - wiped themselves out in just one operation. The Madrid bombers, another rare effective group, managed to avoid killing themselves during the operation but were subsequently caught and thus eliminated as a threat just as permanently.

So, even in the rare case where an operational jihadi terror unit is small and committed enough to avoid detection and yet has resources enough to make an effective strike, it is almost always out of play after just one operation. This wasn't true with the more effective terror groups of yesteryear, like the Provisional IRA; but their recruiting/commitment issues were easier, as they had a stated policy against mass murder of civilians (and they were riddled with informers anyway).
That's why planes and trains aren't blowing up every day; why people aren't opening fire into crowds every week (not even in Israel, quite a lot of the time). Because most people, even people who in all other respects you would describe as fanatical extremists, just aren't mass-murderer material - and those that are tend not to be the brightest or most competent buttons in the box*.

That's why the threat of terrorism in general, and airborne terrorism in particular, has been reduced to negligible levels by the measures already in place, and no more are necessary.

No, really. Don't worry about terrorism next time you take a flight. There is a very small risk, as an airline passenger, that you will die violently before you land, but it has nothing to do with terrorists. It is entirely down to the chance of an accident.

Consider this, if you don't believe it. The year 2001, which saw four entire airliners destroyed with total loss of life on 9/11, was not in fact a particularly dangerous year to go flying. More airline passengers died in the year 2000; nearly as many died in 2002. Twice as many were killed flying in 1972, despite the fact that many fewer people flew back then, because airliners were far less safe.

Terrorism simply isn't a visible factor in your chances of dying while flying, or indeed while doing anything else: it is insignificant, a problem that has been almost totally eliminated for Western citizens since its not-very-serious heyday in the 1970s and 80s, and you shouldn't worry about it. It would make absolutely no noticeable difference to your or my chances of violent death/injury if terrorism was eradicated overnight.

"The system worked," said US Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano shortly after the attack, and in the largest sense she was right. Terrorism, like polio, has been effectively stamped out in the developed world - had mostly been so before the Department of Homeland Security was even created, in fact, but that's by the by.

Napolitano was subsequently forced into an abrupt volte-face by sectarian US politics and cretinous media-pumped fear, but she was basically right first time. The free world's counterterrorism system as it stands is working as well as anyone could reasonably ask for.

In the end, the correct response to efforts like those of Mr Mutallab and his incendiary undergarments is not panic and more security, but laughter - much as one might also laugh at the idiotic bum-kamikaze (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/21/bum_bombing/) whose efforts, erm, backfired so messily in Saudi Arabia last summer.

Mr Mutallab should go down in history not as the underpants bomber, but simply as the completely pants bomber. ®

*Mutallab, quite apart from having a rubbish bomb which he should have known probably wouldn't work (he didn't study proper engineering as widely reported, but "Engineering with Business Finance") committed several other blunders. He should have tried to blow the plane up at height, not at low level; doubtless the idea was to bring the plane down into an urban area, but if Mutallab had been a real engineer he'd have known his pant-bomb needed all the help it could get from decompression. Then, he shouldn't have triggered his device such that everyone could see what he was doing and that he was responsible for it. He shouldn't have told his family he was off to become an extremist and cut off contact in the first place, which is what led to him being on various security-services lists - much good though that did.

All in all, a piss-poor performance even among today's generally rubbish terrorists.

Lewis Page went through a lot of quite stressful training and preparation to battle the terrorist threat before being assigned as a military bomb-disposal operator in support of the UK police from 2001-04. He has still never got over the disappointment of finding out just how incredibly rare it is, as a bomb-disposal man in mainland Britain, to encounter a terrorist/criminal bomb of any significance at all, let alone one which has not already either gone off or failed to do so.

You get a special tie if you ever do encounter such a device.

NB: Any terrorists reading this should be aware that an essential precaution has been left out of all the bombing plans above, without which any attack is 90 per cent or more likely to fail due to a classified security tactic in use by the UK (and presumably the US). 
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« Reply #574 on: January 08, 2010, 11:57:02 PM »

That Damn Guantanamo!

Obama gave a rather incredible press conference about his review of security lapses. When he evoked Guantanamo, the president  all at once (“make no mistake about it”) (a) promised to close it, (b) promised not to send any more detainees home to Yemen, and (c) claimed it was a recruiting tool for al-Qaeda (i.e., apparently Bush’s Gulag had prompted the likes of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab to try to blow up an airliner).

This is nearly unhinged... ...Let us get this straight: for a decade in the 1990s an ascendant al-Qaeda committed serial attacks against the U.S. and its interests. All that culminated in 9/11. In reaction to the mass murder, and as part of efforts to go after al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, Bush opened Guantanamo Bay — after which we have seen no successful major attacks on U.S. soil comparable to 9/11.

So consider the logic: before Guantanamo, al-Qaeda achieved its greatest success in damaging America; after it, it suffered some of its most grievous defeats, but somehow its existence is counter-productive and a recruiting tool? What, Pray God, was the recruiting tool on September 10, 2001?
http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/
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Rarick
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« Reply #575 on: January 09, 2010, 05:12:35 AM »

I am glad I am not the only one that thinks the difficulty bar for security is high enough, and that we should not give up any more privacy/ freedoms to raise it higher.

We accept about 50,000 dead a year as a cost for the freedom of movement we gain in the privacy of our own automobile, and other countries accept a toll way higher.   I suggest that people develop a sense of proportion about this airline stuff too, and dump some of the OMG tragedy programming that has been developed due to media sensationalism over the years.  You want the convenience of traveling by air, accept some risk.  If not there are trains, busses and other means.
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Crafty_Dog
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wsj
« Reply #576 on: January 09, 2010, 09:45:38 AM »

By SUZANNE SATALINE, ALEX P. KELLOGG and CHAD BRAY
NEW YORK -- Law-enforcement officials on Friday announced the arrest of two men linked to a suspect charged in September with planning what authorities have called the most serious home-grown terror plot since Sept. 11, 2001.

That alleged plot centered on Najibullah Zazi, an airport-shuttle driver from Aurora, Colo., who was indicted for planning to make bombs from hair products and household cleaners for attacks in the U.S.

Two men who traveled to Pakistan with Najibullah Zazi were arrested early Friday morning in New York. Video courtesy of Fox News.

Separately, the alleged Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, pleaded not guilty Friday in federal court in Detroit to charges that he attempted to detonate a bomb and murder 279 passengers and 11 crew members on board a Detroit-bound Northwest flight on Christmas. Outside the courtroom, scores of Muslim Americans held up anti-terrorism posters and waved American flags, while a handful of Nigerian-born Americans carried signs with slogans such as "Nigerians Are Against Terrorism."

The two men arrested Thursday, Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin, both of New York City, had ties to Mr. Zazi, the shuttle-bus driver. One of the men hasn't been issued terrorism charges; charges on the other man haven't been released, and a Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on what, if anything, he may be charged with.

Mr. Ahmedzay, a 24-year-old cab driver, was charged Friday by a federal grand jury with making false statements to federal authorities. The charging document said Mr. Ahmedzay failed to tell FBI agents every location he visited in Pakistan and Afghanistan during a trip that "occurred on or about and between August 28, 2008, and January 22, 2009."

The indictment also said he lied about his discussions with a person who had attended a military-style training camp in Pakistan during that time period.

Mr. Ahmedzay pleaded not guilty and was held without bail. As of Friday evening, Mr. Medunjanin was still in custody but had not been charged. His lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb, said he expected his client to be arraigned today.


Mr. Medunjanin, 25 years old, is a part-time building superintendent, said Mr. Gottlieb, who also said he did not know where his client was being held, nor why. "The events are despicable...to deny him access to his lawyer,'' Mr. Gottlieb said.

"If they did question him, it would be an illegal interrogation," he said, adding that his client had been unaware he was under surveillance.

According to an FBI spokesman, the arrests are part of "an ongoing investigation" by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York City, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department.

Authorities believe Mr. Medunjanin and Mr. Ahmedzay accompanied Mr. Zazi on a 2008 trip to Pakistan, where the latter allegedly attended an al Qaeda training camp according to a law-enforcement official. FBI affidavits filed in Mr. Zazi's case said that he told FBI agents in interviews that he attended courses and received instruction on weapons and explosives at an al Qaeda training facility in Pakistan. Mr. Zazi has denied his involvement.

The two men arrested Thursday had been under surveillance since Mr. Zazi's arrest as part of the ongoing investigation.

Rick Nelson, director of the Homeland Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said homegrown terror cells are a major concern. "A U.S. resident or someone with a passport to get into the U.S. is the crown jewel for these terrorist organizations," he said. "This is a very real problem, something Europe has been dealing with a longer period of time than we have."

Initially, authorities went to Mr. Medunjanin's Queens apartment with a search warrant for his passport, the official said. Mr. Medunjanin surrendered the passport without incident.

Mr. Medunjanin left his apartment and began driving erratically on the Whitestone Expressway in Queens, N.Y., crashing into another car and fleeing the scene on foot, the official said. New York City police took him into custody for leaving the scene of an accident. He was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. Mr. Ahmedzay was picked up Thursday by law enforcement while he was driving a cab in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan.

Mr. Medunjanin's apartment was one of several that agents had searched in September around the time of Mr. Zazi's arrest, the lawyer said. At that time, they took some computers and unspecified literature, all of which were later returned, Mr. Gottlieb said. "There was nothing involving bombs or terror plots on the computer," the lawyer said. Mr. Medunjanin agreed at that time to be interviewed by the agents for several hours over two days, the attorney said. Mr. Gottlieb would not reveal what his client was asked.

Mr. Medunjanin, whose parents are from Bosnia, is a Muslim who attends a mosque, Mr. Gottlieb said. His client knows Mr. Zazi from the neighborhood, he added. He believed that both had attended the same local high school, although Mr. Gottlieb would not comment as to whether his client knows Mr. Zazi in any other capacity. Mr. Medunjanin received a bachelor of arts in economics in 2009 from Queens College, part of The City University of New York.

—Gary Fields contributed to this article.
Write to Suzanne Sataline at suzanne.sataline@wsj.com, Alex P. Kellogg at alex.kellogg@wsj.com and Chad Bray at chad.bray@dowjones.com
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« Reply #577 on: January 09, 2010, 11:55:52 AM »

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/08/cbsnews_investigates/main6073415.shtml?tag=stack

Jan. 8, 2010
Suspect: 20 Others Trained to Blow Up Jets
CBS Exclusive: Terror Suspect Abdulmutallab Boasted 20 Other Muslim Men Being Prepared in Yemen to Mimic Christmas Bomb Plot

**So, if explosives being brought onto aircraft is such a useless tactic, why does AQ return to it over and over again?**
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« Reply #578 on: January 09, 2010, 12:07:07 PM »

Actually its a good question.

With the ending of that pre 911 Tom Clancy novel which ended with a jihadi flying an airliner into the Congress during the State of the Union speech, (thus getting the Prez, the Supremes, AND Congress) in mind, I am certainly not going to enter into specifics here, but I could come up with quite a few easier and far more effective things to do-- and I am sure that most of us here could do the same.

So why is the enemy so tunnel visioned on ineffective methodology?
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captainccs
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« Reply #579 on: January 09, 2010, 12:20:14 PM »

Actually its a good question.

So why is the enemy so tunnel visioned on ineffective methodology?


The cost of suicide bombers is very low and any payoff is gigantic. Great risk/reward ratio.

Even the failed crotch bomber is costing the west millions if not billions of dollars in body scanners, anti-terror staff, air traffic delays and general inconvenience. Think of the propaganda value of the crotch bomber trial. We send you a low cost Nigerian and it costs you billions. Not a bad deal for the terrorists.

Denny Schlesinger
 
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« Reply #580 on: January 09, 2010, 12:28:25 PM »

I can think of much better ways, but in case the enemy lurks here I will not articulate them smiley

By the way, may I suggest that we name the enemy?  My preferred term for the enemy is "Islamo Fascists", others like "Jihadis", etc.  But what I suggest is an error is to have a war on a technique (GWOT, GWon-made-disasters, etc.) instead of naming the enemy.

This error is due to PC excrement and leads to PC errors like the responses to the Fort Hood jihadi or the Crispy Weiner Christmas bomber.
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« Reply #581 on: January 09, 2010, 04:00:51 PM »

I would argue that AQ understands that attacks on the global aviation infrastructure provide a huge return on investment. It's not just the lives lost on a successful attack, it's the economic and psychological impact that provides the big payoff.

I prefer to call them Jihadis, since they are waging jihad against the unbelievers as required in the koran. Islamo-fascist is accurate, if a bit redundant.
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« Reply #582 on: January 09, 2010, 04:33:00 PM »

I see the "Eunuchbomber's" attempt as a "proof of concept" test rather than a serious attack. I would cite it as the Philippine Airlines Flight 434 of this version of the Bojinka attack. The real attack will surge multiple attacks on multiple transatlantic/pacific flights with a higher loss of life than what was seen on 9/11.
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« Reply #583 on: January 09, 2010, 07:03:05 PM »

"Islamo-fascist is accurate, if a bit redundant."

I understand the point, but what then are we to make of the actions of the father of Crispy Weiner Christmas bomber?
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« Reply #584 on: January 09, 2010, 08:06:59 PM »

A disagreement over methods instead of goals? Damage control?

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/01/flight-253-jihadists-father-leader-of-sharia-movement-in-nigeria.html
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« Reply #585 on: January 09, 2010, 08:23:53 PM »

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTE3NTI1MWViMzRjYWI5ODY1OTI0YWNiNWNkOTMxZTg=

As usual, Mark Steyn is brilliant.
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« Reply #586 on: January 09, 2010, 09:13:09 PM »

GM:

That Jihad Watch piece is interesting, but it would carry more a lot more weight if it were more identifiable.
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« Reply #587 on: January 09, 2010, 09:42:17 PM »

Problem with discrediting the father, rightly or wrongly, is that it doesn't take away from the accurate information he gave to the Americans about his son attending terror training seminars in Yemen.  And his was not the only warning signal we had on him before issuing valid papers to gain entry into the U.S. Heads should roll (I mean people should be fired).  We already know Nigeria is a screwed up place from top to bottom. (JMHO)
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« Reply #588 on: January 09, 2010, 09:54:22 PM »

GM:

That Jihad Watch piece is interesting, but it would carry more a lot more weight if it were more identifiable.

Agreed
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« Reply #589 on: January 09, 2010, 09:59:17 PM »

Keep in mind the CIA bomber was feeding us good intel we were using to kill Talibs/AQ until he gutted our Af-Pak operation.

When you play chess, are you willing to trade pawns for a checkmate?
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« Reply #590 on: January 10, 2010, 07:25:41 AM »

Quote
Flight 253 jihadist's father "leader of Sharia movement in Nigeria"

In that case why would he report his son to the American authorities? I think you need to think convoluted:

First of all, Islamic leaders don't suicide themselves, they send lower level soldiers to die for their god. They might talk loud about being willing martyrs but they only become martyrs when someone else blows them away. Suicide bombers are disposable assets. The way they breed, it makes sense. Saddam Hussein used to give ten or fifty thousand dollars to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers but he never suicided himself for Allah. As a matter of fact, he was against the Muslim clerics! In the Iran-Iraq war the Iranian Ayatollahs used children as mine sweepers, they were made to roll on the minefields to clear them. Children were of much less value than military equipment and much more fun to replace. The scenes, as you can imagine, were gruesome. Picking up pieces of blown up children is not a pleasant task. To improve things, they wrapped the children in blankets so the bodies would not fly apart as badly. What a bright idea!

So let me get to my point. The crotch bomber's dad probably figured that his son was not expendable as a suicide bomber  but he could not publicly stop him, that would give the game away. One way to save his son was to have him put on the no-fly list. He gets brownie points with the CIA and he saves his son without actually stopping his son from stupidly suiciding himself. That the crotch bomber messed up the job just shows that he was not all that bright. Had he been bright, he would have sent some other poor bastard to blow himself up.

General George Patton is reputed to have said: "A good soldier does not die for his country. He makes sure the other poor bastard dies for his." Islamic leaders know this perfectly, they send disposable assets to the front line making them believe in 72 sex slaves for eternity. For Islam, women are disposable assets as well.

Denny Schlesinger
 
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« Reply #591 on: January 11, 2010, 11:11:10 AM »

Quote
Flight 253 jihadist's father "leader of Sharia movement in Nigeria"

In that case why would he report his son to the American authorities? I think you need to think convoluted:

First of all, Islamic leaders don't suicide themselves, they send lower level soldiers to die for their god. They might talk loud about being willing martyrs but they only become martyrs when someone else blows them away.

**Some may cynically voice approval of becoming a shaheed while seeking power and status in this life, but don't ignore that martyrdom is a mainstream element of both sunni and shia islamic theology. I might roll my eyes as I eat a bacon double cheeseburger at an observant jew keeping kosher, but the observant jew is worried about god and not my modern, jaded western perspective. The same applies to the jihadist, who often has lived in the west. We might roll our eyes at 72 virgins and rivers of milk, wine and honey in the afterlife, but that is to orthodox muslims as real as, if not more real than the material world.**


 

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« Reply #592 on: January 11, 2010, 11:17:58 AM »

Suicide bombers are disposable assets. The way they breed, it makes sense. Saddam Hussein used to give ten or fifty thousand dollars to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers but he never suicided himself for Allah.

**Saddam was a baathist and to my knowledge never religiously observant. He did try playing the allah akbar card at the end, but doubtful he believed in anything but himself.**

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« Reply #593 on: January 11, 2010, 11:35:26 AM »

As a matter of fact, he was against the Muslim clerics! In the Iran-Iraq war the Iranian Ayatollahs used children as mine sweepers, they were made to roll on the minefields to clear them. Children were of much less value than military equipment and much more fun to replace. The scenes, as you can imagine, were gruesome. Picking up pieces of blown up children is not a pleasant task. To improve things, they wrapped the children in blankets so the bodies would not fly apart as badly. What a bright idea!

So let me get to my point. The crotch bomber's dad probably figured that his son was not expendable as a suicide bomber  but he could not publicly stop him, that would give the game away. One way to save his son was to have him put on the no-fly list. He gets brownie points with the CIA and he saves his son without actually stopping his son from stupidly suiciding himself. That the crotch bomber messed up the job just shows that he was not all that bright. Had he been bright, he would have sent some other poor bastard to blow himself up.

**Above is a viable scenario that could explain the eunuchbomber's father's actions. It's fun to mock the eunuchbomber, but he didn't lack in intelligence, just training. He was probably seen as not useful as an upper level operative due to some emotional/psych issues, so he was used like Richard Reid as a proof of concept rather than part of the signature AQ synchronized attack.**


General George Patton is reputed to have said: "A good soldier does not die for his country. He makes sure the other poor bastard dies for his." Islamic leaders know this perfectly, they send disposable assets to the front line making them believe in 72 sex slaves for eternity. For Islam, women are disposable assets as well.

Denny Schlesinger
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« Reply #594 on: January 11, 2010, 03:06:08 PM »

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gWPwM0vfFzmcs_AdWye-k1j3Bf2Q

Boston airport official says US failed to learn lessons of shoe bomb
By Glen Johnson (CP) – 4 days ago

BOSTON — The top security consultant at Logan International Airport in Boston says the United States has failed to learn the security lessons raised when a man tried to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner in 2001 with explosives in his shoes.

Rafi Ron, who once headed security at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day shows the U.S. still relies too much on technology to prevent attacks.

Ron says there needs to be more personal screening of passengers, specifically at the point where a Transportation Security Administration officer compares their boarding pass and identification. Anyone deemed suspicious should receive an extended interview and more weapons screening, he said.

"We felt so comfortable with the use of technology, which is so politically safe for everybody, that we failed to see that we are not really fulfilling the role and providing a good level of security," said Ron.
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« Reply #595 on: January 11, 2010, 03:11:33 PM »

Politically Correct Screening of Terrorists is an Oxymoron!

Denny Schlesinger
 
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« Reply #596 on: January 11, 2010, 04:04:33 PM »

http://www.pjtv.com/v/2930?utm_source=pjm%2Btop%20nav%20bar&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=pjtv

The enemy within.
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« Reply #597 on: January 12, 2010, 05:16:57 AM »

http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/columns/james_carafano/Predicting-the-next-bomb-plot-81103217.html

Predicting the next bomb plot
By: James Carafano
Examiner Columnist

January 11, 2010 Muhammad bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia’s chief counterterrorism official. A member of the royal family, he’s in charge of fighting terrorists. That is why they tried to kill him.

Last August, a known terrorist ­— Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri — declared he wanted to surrender personally to the prince. Saudi officials regarded the announcement as a small victory in the war on terror.

Their policy is to actively encourage extremists to return home, turn themselves in and enter a rehabilitation program. Abdullah, they thought, was coming back to the fold. He waltzed through security and presented himself to the prince.

Unfortunately for the prince, Abdullah had a bomb on (or perhaps in) his body. The weapon was supplied by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which operates out of Yemen and Saudi Arabia (the same group responsible for the Christmas day attack on the Detroit-bound flight). A cell phone triggered the device, hurling body parts in all directions. Luckily, the prince was only slightly injured.

The near-miss illustrates how al-Qaida often operates:

1. Rely on familiar tactics
2. Introduce a new wrinkle or two to improve the tactics and keep them “fresh”
3. Be patient, wait and attack again

The attack on the prince followed an old tradition in East Asian assassinations: Turn a royal audience into a suicide attack. Recently, the Taliban used the same trick to kill seven CIA agents in Afghanistan. Three days before 9/11 they used the tactic to assassinate an anti-Taliban warlord, Ahmad Shah Masood.

These attacks offer lessons for homeland security in the U.S. Combined with the 2006 London-based plot, they reveal a lot about what one kind of threat to expect in the future.

First, news flash: The terrorists will continue to target passenger aviation. Gravity works. Any successful attack on an airplane will likely have catastrophic results.

Moreover, when you attack a plane, you attack a network. Bring down one plane, and the whole worldwide system of passenger aviation goes into shock.
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« Reply #598 on: January 13, 2010, 06:24:28 AM »

http://www.pjtv.com/v/2934

and here's this strange developing detail in the Salahi affair, which no doubt will be ignored by the MSM:

DOES ANY HERE LOOK ILLEGAL?
 
DOES ANYONE HERE LOOK FAMILIAR??



I knew there was a “Paul Harvey” version to this story!!! (you know the line.....and NOW the rest of the story)

See the white guy in the white suit?  Now see the blond with the white dress!  See the guy in the middle huuuummmm.

This picture was taken 6/9/05. It seems Obama has known these two phoneys for awhile, at least when he was a Senator.

They’re getting all this press now as “party crashers” and the secret service is taking heat.  Funny how this has not come out in the press isn’t it!





No wonder the couple who crashed Obama’s State dinner keep insisting they were invited guests.  They know Barry from way back when he was still an Illinois Senator.  Is Obama trying to throw the Secret Service under the bus?

Tareq and Michaele Salahi  snapped the pic above with Obama at a “Rock The Vote” event on June 9, 2005

Michaele Salahi is getting quite a ribbing in the press for lying about being a Redskins cheerleader, but Tareq is the more interesting of the two to me.

He has ties to Palestinian terrorists.

Tareq is a board member of the ATFP- American Task Force on  Palestine, which has quickly scrubbed it’s site of the fact.  Thank the Lord for Google cache.

 And just who are the ATFP?

The ATFP has ties to Chicago, ties to Muslim radicals, ties to Hamas, and ties to Saudi Wahhabists. It is arguably the American wing of Hamas. The group’s co-founder is Rashid Khalidi, the guy purported to have helped finance Obama’s Harvard education and who was also instrumental in getting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia University.

During the Beruit war, Khalidi was a PLO spokesperson.  After the war, he came back to teach at the University of Chicago. He is a virulent critic of Israel, and a strong supporter of Fatah terrorist Yassar Arafat.  Obama has referred to Khalidi as someone who challenges his “own biases.”

Why do the same dubious tentacles seem to continually surround Obama?  The fact that the ATFP is scrubbing information on Salahi from their website suggests possible damage control coordination between the ATFP and the White House.  If the ATFP was acting independently, there would be no reason to scrub Salahi’s name from their site.  It looks like Salahi was an invited guest to the dinner, that he was “outed” and the administration had to come up with a rational excuse for his presence.

The Secret Service has already apologized for the incident, but they may clear their names if the Salahis start singing. If someone with ties to the American wing of Hamas can get face to face with the President without the Secret Service realizing it that is a major security lapse.  However, if Obama’s people knowingly allowed Salahi in and are now throwing the Secret Service under the bus to cover themselves, that would be a major  scandal.

Some in Congress are calling for an investigation Something is VERY fishy in the White House.
======
snopes reveals:  http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/photos/crashers.asp
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 07:28:20 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #599 on: January 13, 2010, 09:04:42 AM »

Oh! This is very interesting! Comment Rachel?
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