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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1250 on: April 18, 2013, 06:30:32 AM »

http://shoebat.com/2013/04/18/exclusive-photo-of-alharbi-in-hospital-and-more-evidence-of-coverup/

Foto of suspects:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/feds_have_men_in_sights_j43UJwXZncr0wmysU42scJ

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

Also, beware of scams etc:

Continue to be on the lookout for SCAMs related to the Boston Marathon bombing..

UPDATE: Now Over 125 Domains Related To Boston Explosion Including “Relief” Domains (The Domains) There are now at least 125 domain names that have been recently registered relating to the explosions at the Boston Marathon today and most troubling many that look like charitable domains that can be be used to raise money for the victims. Over 20 of the domain .com/.net domains registered today sound like they could be used for fundraising efforts for the victims so we need to watch those to make sure they are only used by licensed and regulated charities…
Boston-Related Malware Campaigns Have Begun (Internet Storm Center) About mid-afternoon yesterday (Central time - US), Boston related spam campaigns have begun. The general "hook" is that it sends a URL with a subject about the video from the explosions. Similar to when Osama Bin Laden was killed and fake images were used as a hook, in this case, the video is relevant to the story and being used as a hook. Right now, very roughly 10-20% of all spam is related to this (some spamtraps reporting more, some less). Similar IPs have also been sending pump & dump scams so likely the same group has re-tasted itself. Here is a list of subjects I've seen hit spam traps…
Fake Boston Marathon Scams Update (Internet Storm Center) Yesterday, TheDomains reported there was 125 potentially fake domains registered just hours after the attack in Boston. By my current count, I see 234. Some of these are just parked domains, some are squatters who are keeping the domains from bad people. A couple are soliciting donations (one is soliciting bitcoins, oddly enough). So far, there has been no reports of any spam related to this but there have been a few fake twitter accounts which are fairly quickly getting squashed. Oh, and one lawsuit-lawyer related site in connection to the event but that's a different kind of scum then we typically deal with here. But so far, most of the domains are parked (typically at GoDaddy, but don't read that as a swipe at them) or they don't resolve anywhere…
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 11:43:08 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1251 on: April 18, 2013, 03:39:33 PM »


There are several clips at this URL as well as the following text:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/18/report-saudi-national-ruled-out-as-suspect-in-boston-marathon-bombings-to-be-deported-on-national-security-grounds-next-week/


Exclusive: Saudi National Once Considered ‘Person of Interest’ May Be Deported on ‘Security’ Grounds — And How It’s Supposed to Be Framed

Apr. 18, 2013 12:30am


UPDATE 4:10 — Immigrations and Customs Enforcement responded to TheBlaze’s report on Al Alharbi, calling it “categorically false. Read the update here.
 

 
Editor’s note: Please see the Editors’ UPDATES ​we will be placing in order of most-recent below. TheBlaze’s Jonathon M. Seidl contributed to this report.
 


 
Key points:
 •On Sean Hannity’s Fox News program Wednesday night, terror expert Steve Emerson cited sources saying Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national who was briefly named a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombings, is being deported on Tuesday.
 •Thursday morning, Glenn Beck revealed on radio that TheBlaze was informed by sources that the Saudi national’s visa had been revoked and he was, in fact, going to be deported on “security and related grounds.”
 •Among other things, sources told TheBlaze that the Saudi national had ties to a well-connected Saudi family and that his deportation was set to be framed as a “voluntary” departure to be with his family.
 •A file, called an “event,” was started on him three days ago.
 •While discussing the issue on radio, TheBlaze’s Chief Content Officer Joel Cheatwood revealed that the government is now considering not deporting Ali Alharbi.
 
 
 
​UPDATE VI  ​(12:50 pm ET):
 
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had a fiery exchange with Rep. Jeff Duncan during a House hearing Thursday morning over reports that Al Alharbi is being considered for deportation.
 
Napolitano refused to entertain a question regarding if it would be “negligence” to deport someone who just days ago was a person of interest.



 .
 
“I’m not going to answer that question,” she shot back after being pressed by Duncan and denying any knowledge of such a plan. “That question is so full with misstatements and misapprehensions that it is not worthy of an answer.”
 
Watch her response and read her other fiery comments in our full write-up here.
 
​UPDATE V (12:13 pm ET):
 
Sen. Rand Paul reacted to TheBlaze’s report during a radio interview with Glenn Beck by saying he will be “looking into” the report. He also added that in general the United States needs to “have more scrutiny on these students when they arrive.”
 
Read the full report here.
 
UPDATE IV:
 
You can watch Glenn Beck break the news on radio below:
 Your browser does not support iframes.
UPDATE III (10:50 am ET):
 
TheBlaze Chief Content Officer Joel Cheatwood reported on “The Glenn Beck Program” Thursday morning that TheBlaze has been informed that the government is now ​considering ​not deporting Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi.
 
“Just got a note from one of our investigative reporters that she has been told that there is now discussion that they may not allow this man to be deported,” Cheatwood said.
 
UPDATE II:
 
The blog Shoebat.com, run by anti-Islamist Walid Shoebat, has posted two pictures allegedly of Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi smiling in the hospital:
 

A photo allegedly of Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi in the hospital.
 

Another alleged photo of Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi. It’s unclear who the man on the right is.
 
At least one of the photos appears to either have originated from, or is at least included in, an Arabic language report here.
 
UPDATE I:
 
Sources tell TheBlaze that the Saudi national is set to be deported on “security and related grounds.” His visa also has been revoked. Below is some of the information that has been communicated to us:
 
1. One source at the FBI and another at the Saudi Embassy referred to the student as connected to an important Saudi family.
 2. An “event” was created on this guy three days ago. An event is a file. The file contains his deportation record and the reason he is being deported. According to ICE the reason is under section 212 3B — “Security and related grounds” — “Terrorist activities”
 3. His visa has been revoked.
 4. The FBI said a file was started “just in case he was found to be connected to the crime,” however, the file shows he was scheduled to be deported. This was not a precaution, it was in “orders.”
 5. One source said they believe a “voluntary” departure has been signed — that means the Saudi Student could be out of the country as early as today.
 6. The file was immediately classified. We believe the deportation order will be classified as well — requiring a FOIA to get it.
 7. The story was going to be “he wanted to go home,” however he was actually being deported.
 8. Our source said the FBI believes the Saudi student is tied to 2 to 3 more people.
 9. Our source said this “looks like they were trying to make this a ‘lone wolf’ crime so, the Saudi government would be spared embarrassment and the U.S. would avoid explaining how a terror cell was active when we had AQ on the run.”
 

 
Appearing on “Hannity” Wednesday night, the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Steve Emerson reported that Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national who was briefly named a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombings, is being deported on Tuesday. He based his information on a number of his confidential sources.
 
“I just learned from my own sources that he is now going to be deported on national security grounds next Tuesday,” Emerson said.
 
Host Sean Hannity referenced a report by Reuters that revealed President Barack Obama met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal at the White House Wednesday. They reportedly discussed the conflict in Syria.
 
“The meeting was not on Obama’s public schedule,” the report adds.
 
Watch below via Fox News:
 


Emerson’s claims have not been verified.
 
TheBlaze’s Jonathon M. Seidl contributed to this report.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1252 on: April 19, 2013, 06:22:10 AM »

http://www.rollcall.com/news/ricin_case_an_inside_look_at_capitol_polices_role_in_investigation-224151-1.html?ET=rollcall:e15512:105450a:&st=email&pos=eam

From the article:

The Capitol Police took the key first step: It asked Wicker’s office whether it had ever had any correspondences with a constituent who had the initials “KC.”

It turned out, the Washington office had heard multiple times from someone named Paul Kevin Curtis, who in each correspondence signed off with the line “This is KEVIN CURTIS and I approve this message.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1253 on: April 19, 2013, 11:00:57 AM »

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/chechen-president-blames-american-upbringing-for-suspected-b

----------------------------------------------

IPT News
April 19, 2013
http://www.investigativeproject.org/3981/bombing-suspects-lauded-jihad
 
While police in and around Boston hunt for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, information gathered from various social media outlets indicate that he and his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, harbored radical Islamic beliefs.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed overnight as police closed in on him and the hunt for Dzhokhar remains active. An MIT security officer was shot and killed in the firefight.
This is believed to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Youtube page. Several of the posts feature radical Islamic rhetoric. In addition, a graphic video about Syria appears on Tsarnaev's page on a Russian version of Facebook.
The brothers came to the United States from Chechnya, a predominantly Muslim state which declared independence from Russia in 1991, resulting in years of violence and terrorist strikes. Another video Tsarnaev posted was simply called "Terrorists." But that video has been taken down. Yet another that was posted last summer, lauds "The promised emergence of the black flags from the promised land of Khorasan." It celebrates jihadis posing "with a flag of the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," the Long War Journal reported. The video has an apocalyptic message anticipating a time when the forces of Islam, led by the Mahdi, the Guided One, will conquer the world prior to the Day of Judgment. Part of this battle will be the conquest of the Holy Land.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a boxer who told an interviewer in 2009 that he had no American friends. "I don't understand them," he said. An Amazon.com wish list believed to be Tamerlan's includes several books on forgery and the books The Lone Wolf And the Bear: Three Centuries of Chechen Defiance of Russian Rule and Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya, New Edition.
Eric Mercado, a former high school classmate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, told CNN that he and his friends remember a conversation in which Tsarnaev said, "When justified, terrorism isn't necessarily a bad thing." The comment was dismissed as outlandish. "No one wants to believe that their friend from high school is a quote-unquote 'terrorist,'" Mercado said.
The bombs, reportedly packed inside pressure cookers, bear striking resemblances to instructions offered by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's Inspire magazine. One article suggested that pressure cooker bombs should be "placed in crowded areas and left to blow up. More than one of these could be planted to explode at the same time. However, keep in mind that the range of the shrapnel in this operation is short range so the pressurized cooker or pipe should be placed close to the intended targets and should not be concealed from them by barriers such as walls."
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 11:34:08 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1254 on: April 19, 2013, 12:17:14 PM »

Very interesting!

http://imgur.com/a/sUrnA
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1255 on: April 19, 2013, 12:59:58 PM »

This from the Oath Keepers web site - the group had planned a rally today on Lexington Green of former military and law enforcement members:

It strikes us as perverse and absurd that the people in Watertown are being told to stay indoors and let the "professional protectors" handle it. That is exactly backwards from what a free people in a Republic are supposed to do.  In the Founders time, the hue and cry would have gone up, the people would have turned out en mass, muskets and hatchets in hand,  and hunted the bastard(s) down post-haste.

 How could a jihadist on the run escape if everyone in the community is actively hunting for him?  They all know who lives in their neghborhood and who doesn't. They could all search their own houses and help search their neighbors' homes in short order and hunt him down.

 But the message from the government is "there's a wolf on the loose!  So all you sheep must stay in your pens and barns and let us authorized professional sheperds and sheep dogs handle it.  Be afraid!  Don't try to stop the wolf.  We will search your pens one by one till we find him. Till then you can not come out of your pens, or we will punish you.". Disgusting.

 How far we have fallen into slavery and servile dependence.   And how far from being a strong, free people in a free Republic.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1256 on: April 19, 2013, 01:54:19 PM »

Here is the story from Breitbart.com - very suspicious indeed what goes on with Saudis in this country in the immediate aftermath of terrorist attacks:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/04/18/Acts-of-War-Dont-Get-Diplomatic-Immunity
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G M
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« Reply #1257 on: April 19, 2013, 07:47:32 PM »

I couldn't disagree more.

This from the Oath Keepers web site - the group had planned a rally today on Lexington Green of former military and law enforcement members:

It strikes us as perverse and absurd that the people in Watertown are being told to stay indoors and let the "professional protectors" handle it. That is exactly backwards from what a free people in a Republic are supposed to do.  In the Founders time, the hue and cry would have gone up, the people would have turned out en mass, muskets and hatchets in hand,  and hunted the bastard(s) down post-haste.

 How could a jihadist on the run escape if everyone in the community is actively hunting for him?  They all know who lives in their neghborhood and who doesn't. They could all search their own houses and help search their neighbors' homes in short order and hunt him down.

 But the message from the government is "there's a wolf on the loose!  So all you sheep must stay in your pens and barns and let us authorized professional sheperds and sheep dogs handle it.  Be afraid!  Don't try to stop the wolf.  We will search your pens one by one till we find him. Till then you can not come out of your pens, or we will punish you.". Disgusting.

 How far we have fallen into slavery and servile dependence.   And how far from being a strong, free people in a free Republic.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1258 on: April 19, 2013, 07:57:57 PM »

GM - Are you being sarcastic?
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
G M
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« Reply #1259 on: April 19, 2013, 08:19:36 PM »

Quote from: objectivist1 link=topic=404.msg7170 :mrgreen:2#msg71702 date=1366419477
GM - Are you being sarcastic?

Nope, a high risk scenario like that has the potential to go very wrong, so clearing the field of non-combatants was exactly the right thing to do.
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G M
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« Reply #1260 on: April 20, 2013, 04:26:06 AM »

So, now that we know that not ALL Muslims bombed Boston this week, will the white house declare it "workplace violence" or a "spontaneous protest" resulting from a YouTube video?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1261 on: April 20, 2013, 07:53:15 AM »

GM:

Would you break down for us please the law and the logic of not mirandizing the captured killer?
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1262 on: April 20, 2013, 05:27:18 PM »

G M - I'm not suggesting that citizens ought to have taken to the streets to hunt this guy(s) down, but it's undeniable that during a week when the Senate voted to infringe upon the rights of gun owners, the residents in Boston were cowering in fear and locked in their homes hoping that one of the two bombers didn’t go into their homes and take them hostage while they’re hiding from the cops. I think that's the larger point I was actually attempting to make by quoting Oath Keepers' statement.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1263 on: April 22, 2013, 04:59:05 PM »

GM:

Would you break down for us please the law and the logic of not mirandizing the captured killer?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/us/25miranda-text.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print

"There may be exceptional cases in which, although all relevant public safety questions have been asked, agents nonetheless conclude that continued unwarned interrogation is necessary to collect valuable and timely intelligence not related to any immediate threat, and that the government's interest in obtaining this intelligence outweighs the disadvantages of proceeding with unwarned interrogation. [4] In these instances, agents should seek SAC approval to proceed with unwarned interrogation after the public safety questioning is concluded. Whenever feasible, the SAC will consult with FBI-HQ (including OGC) and Department of Justice attorneys before granting approval. Presentment of an arrestee may not be delayed simply to continue the interrogation, unless the defendant has timely waived prompt presentment."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1264 on: April 22, 2013, 05:12:19 PM »

Today's WSJ editorial suggested that the Miranda issue is not really what is important here-- there is already enough evidence to convict-- and that the real issue is whether to declare him an enemy combatant.  I gather that this will not be done and that this will be treated as a criminal case.

What are our thoughts on this?

Also, what are our thoughts on the way the city was shut down?   What criteria should guide such a decision?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1265 on: April 22, 2013, 07:36:35 PM »

http://youtu.be/4nrkcUV_7Qk

http://youtu.be/FQ1-ZUN3Li0
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G M
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« Reply #1266 on: April 22, 2013, 08:16:58 PM »

GM:

Would you break down for us please the law and the logic of not mirandizing the captured killer?

From my experience, (not playing at the federal level i'll note) Miranda hasn't even been a big deal as long as you are smooth in your delivery and only do it one time as part of the Q and A routine once you've established a degree of rapport with the suspect. As far as the legal complexities, I'll defer to Orin Kerr below.

http://www.volokh.com/2013/04/20/tsarnaev-and-miranda-rights/

Tsarnaev and Miranda Rights

Orin Kerr • April 20, 2013 2:18 am


Law enforcement has successfully captured Dzhokar Tsarnaev, and DOJ has announced that Tsarnaev is being interrogated without first being read his Miranda rights because the DOJ thinks that the public safety exception to Miranda applies. Back in 2010, I blogged a lot about Miranda in this setting. Here are a few reminders about the law here:

1) A lot of people assume that the police are required to read a suspect his Miranda rights upon arrest. That is, they assume that one of a person’s rights is the right to be read their rights. It often happens that way on Law & Order, but that’s not what the law actually requires. The police aren’t required to follow Miranda. Miranda is a set of rules the government can chose to follow if they want to admit a person’s statements in a criminal case in court, not a set of rules they have to follow in every case. Under Chavez v. Martinez, 538 U.S. 760 (2003), it is lawful for the police to not read a suspect his Miranda rights, interrogate him, and then obtain a statement. Chavez holds that a person’s Miranda rights are violated only if the statement is admitted in court, even if the statement is obtained in violation of Miranda. See id. at 772-73. Further, the prosecution is even allowed to admit any physical evidence discovered as a fruit of the statement obtained in violation of Miranda — only the actual statement can be excluded. See United States v. Patane, 542 U.S. 630 (2004). So, contrary to what a lot of people think, it is legal for the government to even intentionally violate Miranda so long as they don’t try to seek admission of the suspect’s statements in court.

2) Even if we assume that the police later seek to admit a statement from Tsarnaev from post-arrest custodial interrogation outside Miranda, a court would allow an initial pre-Miranda interrogation to be admissible under the public safety exception of New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. 649 (1984). It’s not clear how long the public safety exception will continue to apply: At some point in time, it becomes harder to say that the agents needed to dispense with Miranda in light of the threat to public safety. We don’t have good cases on when that line might be crossed, in part because (fortunately) there aren’t many similar cases. So the longer investigators interrogate Tsarnaev outside Miranda, the more they run the risk that some statements they obtain from him may be inadmissible. But recall that under (1), the government is still free to question Tsarnaev outside Miranda as long as the government accepts the uncertainty of whether those statements would be admissible in a criminal case against him. Assuming that the evidence against Tsarnaev’s many different crimes over the last week is likely to be overwhelming, agents may not need any statements from him for a criminal case. They may simply want whatever intelligence he can provide for use in broader antiterrorism efforts, and Miranda is no impediment in that case. The agents are free to question Tsarnaev outside Miranda to gather intellligence as long as they don’t cross the line into coercing statements from him. See, e.g., Townsend v. Sain, 372 U.S. 293 (1963).

3) It is true that, under existing law, interviewing Tsarnaev for an extended period without reading him his Miranda rights and obtaining a waiver creates a risk that any incriminating statements made after an extended period may not be admissible in court in a criminal prosecution against Tsarnaev. However, if Tsarnaev does end up making incriminating statements that fall outside the public safety exception, and the government wants to use those statements in court against him, the government has a possible remedy to get the substance of even those statements admitted. At the end of the interrogation, agents can give him his Miranda warnings, see if he will waive his rights waiver, and, if he does, try to get Tsarnaev to repeat his pre-waiver incriminating statements. Because the two-stage interview likely would not be deemed an intentional two-step interrogation technique designed to circumvent Miranda, a court would very likely allow the post-Miranda, post-waiver statement under Justice Kennedy’s controlling opinion in Missouri v. Seibert, 542 U.S. 600 (2004).

UPDATE: I have fiddled with the post a bit to make it clearer.

ANOTHER UPDATE: If Tsarnaev is going to be charged in federal court, the more pressing limit on his interrogation may be the limits imposed by Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. See generally Corley v. United States (2009).
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G M
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« Reply #1267 on: April 22, 2013, 08:18:55 PM »

G M - I'm not suggesting that citizens ought to have taken to the streets to hunt this guy(s) down, but it's undeniable that during a week when the Senate voted to infringe upon the rights of gun owners, the residents in Boston were cowering in fear and locked in their homes hoping that one of the two bombers didn’t go into their homes and take them hostage while they’re hiding from the cops. I think that's the larger point I was actually attempting to make by quoting Oath Keepers' statement.

I think most cops, even in the Northeast tend to think armed citizens are a good thing in general and using them to protect their homes is reasonable.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1268 on: April 22, 2013, 10:43:48 PM »

Thank you.  As usual, a good, pertinent citation.

As I continue to reflect upon the questions presented by all this, here is the current state of my thinking.

a) OK to not have mirandized.

b) On the Brett Baier Roundtable tonight (with a cameo by Britt Hume) it came out that the declaration of EC can be contested in front of a federal judge and that EC does not necessarily mean a military tribunal trial.  After the interrogation is over (with no lawyer present) the accused can be tossed back into the criminal system.  Knowing these things, it seems to me that the better course of action would have been to declare him an enemy combatant for now.

c) In that it has been decided to treat this as a criminal matter, it was correct to mirandize him today.
==========================

Noonan:

The past few days I’ve looked through news reports searching in vain for one item: how did the brothers get their money? Did they ever have jobs? Who or what supported them? They had cellphones, computers, stylish clothes, sunglasses, gym equipment and gym membership, enough money to go out to dinner and have parties. They had an arsenal of guns and money to make bombs. The elder brother, Tamerlan, 26, had no discernible record of employment and yet was able to visit Russia for six months in 2012. The FBI investigated him. How did they think he was paying for it? The younger brother, Dzhokhar, was a college student, but no word on how he came up with spending money. The father doesn’t seem to have had anything—he is said to have sometimes fixed cars on the street when he lived in Cambridge, for $10 an hour cash. The mother gave facials at home. Anyway, the money lines. Where did it come from?

* * *
My mind also has been going back to the first decades of the 20th century and the wave of anarchist bombings that swept New York and Washington. The bombings were politically and ideologically inspired, but the anarchists’ target was not the general population. They went after political officials, public figures, Wall Street. They tried to kill John D. Rockefeller. They bombed the Washington home of the U.S. attorney general, Mitchell Palmer, who in response put together an investigative unit headed by an eager young G-man, as they would be called, named J. Edgar Hoover. Two things followed the anarchist bombings, which were part of, and became conflated in the public mind with, the Red Scare of the 1920s. The first was increased power for the federal government. Hoover would go on to head the new Federal Bureau of Investigation, which grew mightier by the decade. The other was America’s first move, after the great wave of European immigration that had hit America’s shores from 1840 through 1920, to slow immigration through new, generally applicable federal laws.

So: unrest, clashing ideologies, bombings, followed by enhanced power for and funding of the federal government, and a public reaction, resulting in law, against heavy and open immigration. Is past prologue? Having seen all the city, state and federal muscle brought to bear in Boston—thermal imaging done from helicopters—it’s hard to imagine the law enforcement end can or will be dramatically beefed up further. But the FBI and Homeland Security will want more resources for tracking sketchy characters like the brothers Tsarnaev. As for immigration, it’s hard to believe that under the present circumstances there will be great public clamor to support the Gang of Eight bill to legalize and regularize. Something tells me it’s going to be back to the drawing board for immigration reform.

A major problem for those who want an immigration bill is lack of faith in government to do all the jobs it’s set itself well. People don’t trust it to be able to execute—to do, adequately, the thing it’s set itself to do in its big new laws. We always look at the motives and politics behind a big bill, and talk about that. But simple noncrisis execution—the ability to track and deal with a Tamerlan Tsarnaeu, or to patrol and control a huge border—is a big reason why which people lack faith. Because, you know, they read the papers.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 10:59:46 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1269 on: April 23, 2013, 09:12:37 AM »

Pasted from another forum which prefers to remain low-key with permission of the author:

**********WARNING: layman about to delve into the murky waters of the realm of law**********

First, the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill of Rights
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Probable cause being defined as:

Quote:
In General
A. Probable cause exists when the facts and circumstances within an officer’s knowledge, and of which she has reasonably trustworthy information, are sufficient in themselves to permit a person of reasonable caution to believe that:
1. Arrests
An offense has been committed, and the person to be arrested committed it.
2. Searches
The item to be searched for is present at a certain place at a certain time and is either:
A. The fruit of a crime;
B. The instrumentality of a crime;
C. Evidence of a crime; or
D. Contraband.
http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/le...e/section6.php 

or [emphasis added]

Quote:
Generally speaking, probable cause is described from the point of view of a reasonable person. In other words, probable cause is an objective test and therefore, it can’t simply stem from a police officer’s hunch or suspicion that a crime has been committed. Specific facts and circumstances are required to make an adequate showing of probable cause that a crime has been committed or that evidence of a crime exists at the location that is to be searched.

http://www.4thamendment.net/probablecause.html 

Blanket searches are prohibited:

Quote:
Blanket searches are unreasonable, however 'evenhanded' they may be, in the traditional criminal law enforcement context. See, e.g., Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U.S. 85, 91-2, 92 n.4 ('79) (invalidating a blanket patdown search of all patrons in a tavern, even though there was probable cause to search the bartender and the premises). The ill that the Fourth Amendment prevents is not merely the arbitrariness of police discretion to single out individuals for attention, but also the unwarranted domination and control of the citizenry through fear of baseless but 'evenhanded' general police searches.

http://www.lectlaw.com/def/f081.htm 

The only potentially applicable exception I can find is for Exigent Circumstances [emphasis added]:

Quote:
There are also "exigent circumstances" exceptions to the warrant requirement. Exigent circumstances arise when the law enforcement officers have reasonable grounds to believe that there is an immediate need to protect their lives, the lives of others, their property, or that of others, the search is not motivated by an intent to arrest and seize evidence, and there is some reasonable basis, to associate an emergency with the area or place to be searched.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth...s_Constitution 

or

Quote:
There is also an exception to the requirement of probable cause in certain emergency situations. If there is a threat to public safety or a risk that evidence will be lost or destroyed, police are not required to make a showing of probable cause in order to conduct a search and seizure.

http://www.4thamendment.net/probablecause.html 

So, some questions that come to mind are:

1. If the police cordon off a 30-block area (or whatever it was) does the exigent circumstance of a dangerous suspect they believe to be on the loose in that area give them carte blanche authority to barge into and search each and every home in that large area they so choose whether or not they have any articulable suspicion the suspect is in a particular home?

2. If they lack that specific reason and remove residents from an arbitrary house are they actually placing those residents, previously holed up in their home in relative safety, at increased danger from the suspect believed to be in the area?

3. If they don't have the authority to search homes door-to-door, might they instead search the yards and/or curtilage of the homes in the area for evidence of the suspect, particularly signs of forced entry, which would then give them the probable cause for a search of the home in question? Wouldn't this be a more efficient method of searching the area anyway and in fact likely have most quickly led to the location of the suspect in this case?

4. If they announce their intention to search an arbitrary occupied home in the cordoned area without any particular suspicion and are met by armed residents who do not match the suspect description, affirm that the suspect is not in the home and refuse/resist entry by the police, will the police take the time out from their search to engage the residents by force, up to and including deadly force, in order to conduct that search, or back off and move along to the next house? Recall, this is all ostensibly justified in order to protect the public from danger.

Inquiring minds want to know....
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« Reply #1270 on: April 23, 2013, 09:17:45 AM »

http://www.conservativerefocus.com/blog5.php
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« Reply #1271 on: April 23, 2013, 12:16:33 PM »

Third post of the morning:

The Boston Bombing and the Case for FBI Stings
IPT News
April 22, 2013
http://www.investigativeproject.org/3985/the-boston-bombing-and-the-case-for-fbi-stings
 
With a few lucky breaks, last week's Boston Marathon bombing could have had a dramatically different outcome. Had Tamerlan or Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sought help building their bombs on jihadist web forums, FBI agents likely would have detected it.  They would have sent in an undercover operative or an informant. And the Tsarnaevs would have been arrested as they tried to detonate their bombs, which had been rendered inert by the FBI.

And it would have elicited howls of protest from Islamists and their supporters.

Instead, four people are dead, including the MIT police officer killed in Friday's shootout, and more than 150 people are injured. Many have lost limbs. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction.

It is easy to imagine the reaction had investigators discovered him and his brother sooner.

"Entrapment!" defense attorneys would argue. "The FBI is fabricating terror threats, using hapless stooges incapable of harming anyone," Islamist advocacy groups would say.
We know this because this is how the scenario has played out dozens of times in recent years. But last week's bombing shows you don't need to be a master criminal to murder and maim innocent people. The ingredients to build the pressure-cooker bombs came straight out of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's Inspire magazine. The brainchild of American-born operative Samir Khan – killed in a 2011 drone strike along with fellow American Anwar al-Awlaki – Inspire offered suggestions for small-scale, homegrown jihadi attacks in each issue.

Instructions for the pressure-cooker bomb came from an article headlined "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom." A subsequent article referred to that recipe and advised that pressure cooker bombs should be "placed in crowded areas and left to blow up. More than one of these could be planted to explode at the same time. However, keep in mind that the range of the shrapnel in this operation is short range so the pressurized cooker or pipe should be placed close to the intended targets and should not be concealed from them by barriers such as walls."

The Boston Marathon bombs blew up within 12 seconds of each other, about a block apart.

The Tsarnaevs succeeded in carrying out an attack where others have come close, but failed. At least two other would-be terrorists came chillingly close to attacks that likely would have triggered more casualties than were suffered in Boston. Faisal Shahzad parked an explosive-laden car in Times Square. But he made mistakes in the chemical composition and it failed to detonate.

In Texas, Naser Jason Abdo had copies of Inspire magazine in his hotel room, and ingredients for pressure-cooker bombs, when police swooped in. Abdo was nabbed thanks to an alert gun store owner who took notice and called authorities after Abdo arrived by taxi cab to a fairly remote outlet and acted suspiciously.

His plan was to detonate the bombs at a restaurant popular with Fort Hood personnel and then shoot survivors as they scrambled out of the debris. He did it out of a sense of religious duty.

But, as we have repeatedly chronicled, FBI sting operations meant to interdict terrorists before they strike, are condemned routinely as misguided and unnecessary. Islamist advocacy groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) say the FBI is creating terrorists who otherwise would not turn violent.

The FBI, "by using informants acting as agent provocateurs, has recruited more so called extremist Muslims than al-Qaida themselves," CAIR-Michigan Director Dawud Walid said in 2010. The use of informants are among "self-deluding initiatives that seem to seek terror-case quotas," CAIR Chicago's Ahmed Rehab wrote in 2009.
"What the FBI came and did was enable them to become actual terrorists, and then came and saved the day," CAIR-San Francisco's Zahra Billoo said in 2010. The FBI "is creating these huge terror plots where they don't exist."

But Ali Soufan, a former FBI supervisory special agent and a veteran of some sting operations, defended the practice as vital for national security.

"As you can't prosecute someone just for professing a desire to kill Americans, and you can't read minds to determine if they really intend to carry out their threats, either you wait to see if the real al Qaeda gets in contact—and hope you can track them—or you intercede," he wrote in a Wall Street Journal book review. "Most Americans would no doubt prefer the latter option to taking a serious gamble with civilian lives."

How many Boston Marathon attacks does it take to emphasize that point? How many dead 8 year olds, exchange students or innocent young women are enough to make interdiction acceptable?

In these stings, agents are careful to give the target an out – offering other ways to serve the cause of jihad without killing innocent people. But the suspects reject those or there wouldn't be a prosecution.

In Portland, Mohamed Mohamud would not budge from his ambition to blow up a bomb at a crowded downtown Christmas tree lighting ceremony packed with women and children. He was arrested after trying to detonate the bomb, only to discover the FBI rendered it inoperable.

On Feb. 17, 2012, Amine El-Khalifi thought he was about to become the first suicide bomber in America. He planned to shoot guards at the entrance to the U.S. Capitol, force his way in, and detonate a suicide bomb packed into his jacket. He practiced the attack in a hotel room three days earlier. FBI agents arrested him as he walked alone, carrying the MAC-10 automatic and wore the bomb jacket.

Who would prefer leaving El-Khalifi alone to his own devices? Who doesn't wish the Tsarnaevs had met a similar fate?
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« Reply #1272 on: April 24, 2013, 08:36:33 AM »

 Why the Boston Bombers Succeeded
 

April 23, 2013 | 0900 GMT
By Scott Stewart
Vice President of Analysis
 
When seeking to place an attack like the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing into context, it is helpful to classify the actors responsible, if possible. Such a classification can help us understand how an attack fits into the analytical narrative of what is happening and what is likely to come. These classifications will consider factors such as ideology, state sponsorship and perhaps most important, the kind of operative involved.
 
In a case where we are dealing with an apparent jihadist operative, before we can classify him or her we must first have a clear taxonomy of the jihadist movement. At Stratfor, we generally consider the jihadist movement to be divided into three basic elements: the al Qaeda core organization, the regional jihadist franchises, such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and grassroots operatives who are radicalized, inspired and perhaps equipped by the other two tiers but who are not members of either.
 
Within the three-tier jihadist movement there exist two distinct types of operatives. One of these is the professional terrorist operative, a person who is a member of the al Qaeda core or of one of the regional franchises. These individuals swear loyalty to the leader and then follow orders from the organization's hierarchy. Second, there are amateur operatives who never join a group and whose actions are not guided by the specific orders of a hierarchical group. They follow a bottom-up or grassroots organizational model rather than a hierarchical or top-down approach.
 
There is a great deal of variety among professional terrorists, especially if we break them down according to the functions they perform within an organization, roles including that of planners, finance and logistics specialists, couriers, surveillance operatives, bombmakers, et cetera. There is also a great deal of variety within the ranks of grassroots operatives, although it is broken down more by their interaction with formal groups rather than their function. At one end of the grassroots spectrum are the lone wolf operatives, or phantom cells. These are individuals or small groups that become radicalized by jihadist ideology but that do not have any contact with the organization. In theory, the lone wolf/phantom cell model is very secure from an operational security standpoint, but as we've discussed, it takes a very disciplined and driven individual to be a true lone wolf or phantom cell leader, and consequently, we see very few of them.
 
At the other end of the grassroots spectrum are individuals who have had close interaction with a jihadist group but who never actually joined the organization. Many of them have even attended militant training camps, but they didn't become part of the hierarchical group to the point of swearing an oath of allegiance to the group's leaders and taking orders from the organization. They are not funded and directed by the group.
 
Indeed, al Qaeda trained tens of thousands of men in its training camps in Afghanistan, Sudan and Pakistan but very few of the men they trained actually ended up joining al Qaeda. Most of the men the group instructed received basic military training in things like using small arms, hand-to-hand combat and basic fire and maneuver. Only the very best from those basic combat training courses were selected to receive advanced training in terrorist tradecraft techniques, such as bombmaking, surveillance, clandestine communications and document forgery. But even of the students who received advanced training in terrorist tradecraft, only a few were ever invited to join the al Qaeda core, which remained a relatively small vanguard organization.
 
Many of the men who received basic training traveled to fight jihad in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya or returned home to join insurgent or militant groups. Others would eventually end up joining al Qaeda franchise groups in places like Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Algeria. Still others received some basic training but then returned home and never really put their new skills into practice.
 
Most grassroots jihadists fall along a continuum that stretches between the lone wolf and someone who received advanced terrorist training but never joined al Qaeda or another formal militant group.
 
Whether the two men suspected of carrying out the April 15 Boston Marathon attack knowingly followed al Qaeda's blueprint for simple attacks by grassroots actors, their actions were fairly consistent with what we have come to expect from such operatives. Certainly based upon what we have seen of this case so far, the Tsarnaev brothers did not appear to possess sophisticated terrorist tradecraft.
 
For example, regarding the bombs employed in the attack and during the police chase, everything we have seen still points to very simple devices, such as pipe bombs and pressure cooker devices. From a bombmaking tradecraft standpoint, we have yet to see anything that could not be fabricated by reading Inspire magazine, spending a little bit of time on YouTube and conducting some experimentation. As a comparison, consider the far larger and more complex improvised explosive device Anders Behring Breivik, the Oslo bomber, constructed. We know from Breivik's detailed journal that he was a self-taught bombmaker using directions he obtained on the Internet. He was also a lone wolf. And yet he was able to construct a very large improvised explosive device.
 Also, although the Tsarnaev brothers did not hold up a convenience store as initially reported, they did conduct an express kidnapping that caused them to have extended contact with their victim while they visited automatic teller machines. They told the victim that they were the bombers and then allowed the victim to live. Such behavior is hardly typical of professional terrorist operatives.
 
Grassroots Theory
 
As it has become more difficult for professional terrorists to travel to the United States and the West in general, it has become more difficult for jihadist organizations to conduct attacks in these places. Indeed, this difficulty prompted groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attempt to attack the United States by dispatching an operative with an underwear bomb and to use printer cartridge bombs to attack cargo aircraft. In response to this difficulty, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula began to adopt the grassroots into their operational doctrine. They first began promoting this approach in 2009 in their Arabic-language magazine Sada al-Malahim. The al Qaeda core organization embraced this approach in May 2010 in an English-language video featuring Adam Gadahn.
 
In July 2010, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula launched an English-language magazine called Inspire dedicated to radicalizing and equipping grassroots jihadists. Despite the losses that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has experienced on the battlefield, it has continued to devote a great deal of its limited resources toward propagating this concept. It has continued to publish Inspire even after the magazine's founder and editor, Samir Khan, was killed in an American missile strike in Yemen.
 
The grassroots strategy was perhaps most clearly articulated in the third edition of Inspire magazine, which was published in November 2010 following the failed October 29, 2010, printer bomb operation. In a letter from the editor in which Khan explained what he referred to as "Operation Hemorrhage," he wrote:
 

"However, to bring down America we do not need to strike big. In such an environment of security phobia that is sweeping America, it is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve fewer players and less time to launch and thus we may circumvent the security barriers America has worked so hard to erect. This strategy of attacking the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations is what some may refer to the strategy of a thousand cuts. The aim is to bleed the enemy to death."
 
In Adam Gadahn's May 2010 message entitled "A Call to Arms," Gadahn counsels lone wolf jihadists to follow a three-pronged target selection process. They should choose a target with which they are well acquainted, a target that is feasible to hit and a target that, when struck, will have a major impact. The Tsarnaev brothers did all three in Boston.
 
Implications
 
Yet despite this clearly articulated theory, it has proved very difficult for jihadist ideologues to convince grassroots operatives to conduct simple attacks using readily available items like in the "build a bomb in the kitchen of your mom" approach, which they have advocated for so long.
 
This is because most grassroots jihadists have sought to conduct huge, spectacular attacks -- attacks that are outside of their capabilities. This has meant that they have had to search for help to conduct their plans. And that search for help has resulted in their arrest, just as Adam Gadahn warned they would be in his May 2010 message.
 
There were many plots disrupted in 2012 in which grassroots operatives tried to act beyond their capabilities. These include:
 ■On Nov. 29, 2012, two brothers from Florida, Raees Alam Qazi and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, were arrested and charged with plotting attacks in New York.
 ■On Oct. 17, 2012, Bangladeshi national Quazi Nafis was arrested as part of an FBI sting operation after he attempted to detonate a vehicle bomb outside New York's Federal Reserve Bank.
 ■On Sept. 15, 2012, Adel Daoud was arrested after he parked a Jeep Cherokee outside a Chicago bar and attempted to detonate the bomb he thought it contained. This was also an FBI sting operation.
 
But the carnage and terrorist theater caused by the Boston attack have shown how following the simple attack model can be highly effective. This will certainly be pointed out in future editions of Inspire magazine, and grassroots operatives will be urged to follow the model established by the Tsarnaev brothers. Unlike operatives like Faisal Shahzad who attempted to go big themselves and failed, the brothers followed the blueprint for a simple attack and the model worked.
 
It is quite possible that the success of the Boston bombing will help jihadist ideologues finally convince grassroots operatives to get past their grandiose plans and begin to follow the simple attack model in earnest. If this happens, it will obviously have a big impact on law enforcement and intelligence officials who have developed very effective programs of identifying grassroots operatives and drawing them into sting operations. They will now have to adjust their operations.
 
While these grassroots actors do not have the capability of professional terrorist operatives and do not pose as severe a threat, they pose a much broader, amorphous threat. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies generally do not deal well with ambiguity.
 
There are simply too many soft targets to protect and some of these simple attacks will inevitably succeed. This means that this low-level broad threat will persist and perhaps even intensify in the immediate future.
 
As we've previously discussed, the best defense against the grassroots threat are grassroots defenders. These include the police and alert citizens who report suspicious activity -- like people testing bomb designs -- a frequent occurrence before actual bomb attacks. The slogan "If you see something, say something," has been mocked as overly simplistic, but it is nonetheless a necessity in an environment where the broad, ambiguous threat of grassroots terrorism far outstrips the ability of the authorities to see everything. Taking a proactive approach to personal and collective security also beats the alternative of living in terror and apprehensively waiting for the next simple attack.
 
It is also very important for people to maintain the proper perspective on terrorism. Like car crashes and cancer and natural disasters, terrorism is part of the human condition. People should take prudent, measured actions to prepare for such contingencies and avoid becoming victims (vicarious or otherwise). It is the resilience of the population and its perseverance that will ultimately determine how much a terrorist attack is allowed to terrorize. By separating terror from terrorism, citizens can deny the practitioners of terror the ability to magnify their reach and power.
.

Read more: Why the Boston Bombers Succeeded | Stratfor
 

=============================================
Taxpayers Supported Terrorist with Welfare Benefits
Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned. State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter.
  

 

Married into Terrorism
The FBI is probing whether suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow knew about his deadly marathon plot, a law- enforcement source told The Post yesterday. Federal agents made three visits to the Rhode Island home of the parents of Katherine Russell, 24, an all-American-girl- turned-terrorist's-bride.
  
 
 

 

 
 
America's Insane Asylum for Jihadists
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon killing spree by foreign-born jihadists, see-no-evil bureaucrats in Washington are stubbornly defending America's lax asylum policies. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate Tuesday that the screening process is rigorous, effective and extensive.
  

« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 08:48:05 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #1273 on: April 24, 2013, 10:49:00 AM »

People are wondering how the events in Boston will affect the immigration debate.

Maybe we should also question how our WELFARE policies affect terror and violence.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/tamerlan-tsarnaev-and-family-received-welfare_719056.html

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/tamerlan_tsarnaev_got_mass_welfare_benefits

In the threads 'America's Inner City' and 'Government Programs' I have attempted to present the problem in welfare-state America that able bodied Americans on welfare end up with idle time on their hands that potentially turns into a force for negativity and evil.  Others such as George Gilder in 'Wealth and Poverty' and 'Men and Marriage' argue that the responsibilities associated with productive work and supporting a family tend to turn men away from drug traffic, crime and violence.  When you are invested, you have something to lose.

Maybe if these Chechen-American-Massachusites were required to go out and work for a living they might have assimilated, made friends and set some goals and behaviors other than the blow up America message they were receiving over at the Jihad.  Interesting that the inner city gangs and the Jihad largely go after the same 18-34 year old male demographic.
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« Reply #1274 on: April 24, 2013, 12:09:41 PM »

The FBI's Boston File
It turns out this was not a model of post-9/11 antiterror coordination..
Article Comments (143) more in Opinion | Find New $LINKTEXTFIND$ ».
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As it played out last week, the Boston bombing case was declared—by media and political consensus—a model of post-9/11 coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement. "They all worked as they should, as a team," President Obama said on Thursday evening, after the surviving Tsarnaev brother was captured alive. If only this Boston story were that neat and reassuring.

Revelations have since raised serious questions about America's antiterror defenses. Over the weekend, the FBI confirmed what first emerged from press interviews with the mother of the Tsarnaev brothers: In March 2011, the bureau received a tip from the Russians that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was "a follower of radical Islam" and questioned him and his family members. The FBI says its investigation turned up nothing and the Russians didn't reply to a request for additional information.

The FBI also says it didn't know Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent months in 2012 in Dagestan, a restive Muslim region in southern Russia next to Chechnya. A senior FBI official told some Members of Congress his name and date of birth were incorrectly entered—by the CIA, in one account—into a database that checks flight manifests against a list of potential terrorists. Another report said the airline made the spelling mistake.

This Keystone Cops routine gets worse. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday said that her department's "system pinged when he was leaving" the U.S. So DHS knew that Tamerlan Tsarnaev—who had been put on the Treasury Enforcement Communications System, or TECS—was headed back to Russia, but the FBI and CIA didn't. DHS didn't tell anyone else, apparently.

Tamerlan's return to the U.S. last summer failed to "ping" at DHS. His listing on TECS had lapsed, since the FBI had closed his file. Tamerlan's return to Russia should at least have extended his stay on the watch list. The Patriot Act and other policy changes after 9/11 were meant to prevent this kind of cock-up. One arm of America's intelligence and law enforcement apparatus is supposed to know what the other arm is doing.

There are other questions about the FBI's handling of the Tsarnaev case that Congress needs to investigate. It'd be good to know what prompted the tip from the Russians. Was it Tamerlan's electronic contacts with known Islamists in Chechnya or Dagestan? How often do the Russians alert the U.S. about potential extremists and how many leads does the FBI track down?

The FBI's explanation so far is that its agents asked Tamerlan if he was a terrorist, and he said no. The bureau looked and found no other evidence, so it closed the books and in any case had no legal authority to do more. But it would have had such authority if it had sought a surveillance warrant from the FISA court that was established precisely to be able to monitor potential terror risks. Why didn't it seek such a warrant?

We appreciate that pre-empting terror attacks is difficult work, especially involving homegrown jihadists who may not be part of known terror networks. But Tamerlan Tsarnaev did not appear at the Boston marathon out of nowhere. The FBI had interviewed him and he had posted jihadist videos on the Internet. Someone dropped the ball, and dozens of Americans will be scarred forever. The public deserves a full accounting from FBI Director Robert Mueller, not merely an apologia.
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« Reply #1275 on: April 24, 2013, 12:13:02 PM »

I'm sure this has nothing to do with the CAIR approved terrorism training and purge of anyone who might find a link between the "I" word and terrorism since Buraq became president....

The FBI's Boston File
It turns out this was not a model of post-9/11 antiterror coordination..
Article Comments (143) more in Opinion | Find New $LINKTEXTFIND$ ».
smaller Larger facebooktwittergoogle pluslinked ininShare.0EmailPrintSave ↓ More .
.
smaller Larger 
As it played out last week, the Boston bombing case was declared—by media and political consensus—a model of post-9/11 coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement. "They all worked as they should, as a team," President Obama said on Thursday evening, after the surviving Tsarnaev brother was captured alive. If only this Boston story were that neat and reassuring.

Revelations have since raised serious questions about America's antiterror defenses. Over the weekend, the FBI confirmed what first emerged from press interviews with the mother of the Tsarnaev brothers: In March 2011, the bureau received a tip from the Russians that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was "a follower of radical Islam" and questioned him and his family members. The FBI says its investigation turned up nothing and the Russians didn't reply to a request for additional information.

The FBI also says it didn't know Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent months in 2012 in Dagestan, a restive Muslim region in southern Russia next to Chechnya. A senior FBI official told some Members of Congress his name and date of birth were incorrectly entered—by the CIA, in one account—into a database that checks flight manifests against a list of potential terrorists. Another report said the airline made the spelling mistake.

This Keystone Cops routine gets worse. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday said that her department's "system pinged when he was leaving" the U.S. So DHS knew that Tamerlan Tsarnaev—who had been put on the Treasury Enforcement Communications System, or TECS—was headed back to Russia, but the FBI and CIA didn't. DHS didn't tell anyone else, apparently.

Tamerlan's return to the U.S. last summer failed to "ping" at DHS. His listing on TECS had lapsed, since the FBI had closed his file. Tamerlan's return to Russia should at least have extended his stay on the watch list. The Patriot Act and other policy changes after 9/11 were meant to prevent this kind of cock-up. One arm of America's intelligence and law enforcement apparatus is supposed to know what the other arm is doing.

There are other questions about the FBI's handling of the Tsarnaev case that Congress needs to investigate. It'd be good to know what prompted the tip from the Russians. Was it Tamerlan's electronic contacts with known Islamists in Chechnya or Dagestan? How often do the Russians alert the U.S. about potential extremists and how many leads does the FBI track down?

The FBI's explanation so far is that its agents asked Tamerlan if he was a terrorist, and he said no. The bureau looked and found no other evidence, so it closed the books and in any case had no legal authority to do more. But it would have had such authority if it had sought a surveillance warrant from the FISA court that was established precisely to be able to monitor potential terror risks. Why didn't it seek such a warrant?

We appreciate that pre-empting terror attacks is difficult work, especially involving homegrown jihadists who may not be part of known terror networks. But Tamerlan Tsarnaev did not appear at the Boston marathon out of nowhere. The FBI had interviewed him and he had posted jihadist videos on the Internet. Someone dropped the ball, and dozens of Americans will be scarred forever. The public deserves a full accounting from FBI Director Robert Mueller, not merely an apologia.

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« Reply #1276 on: April 25, 2013, 09:10:59 AM »

Although police feared he was heavily armed, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing had no firearms when he came under a barrage of police gunfire that struck the boat where he was hiding, according to multiple federal law enforcement officials.

Authorities said they were desperate to capture Dzhokhar Tsarnaev so he could be questioned. The FBI, however, declined to discuss what prompted the gunfire.

Speaking at the memorial service of slain MIT police officer Sean Collier, who was killed while pursuing the Boston bombing suspects, Vice President Biden praised Collier as "a wonderful kid" and promised, “we will not yield to fear.”

Other law enforcement officials said the shooting may have been prompted by the chaos of the moment and some action that led the officers to believe Tsarnaev had fired a weapon or was about to detonate explosives.

These new details emerged as investigators continued their examination of the movements and motives of Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother, Tamerlan, in last week’s coordinated bombing, which killed three people and wounded more than 250.   Law enforcement officials said they do not believe the brothers were connected with a terrorist organization, but they cautioned that the inquiry is at an early stage.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a confrontation with police in the early morning hours Friday, four days after the marathon bombing. A transit police officer was seriously wounded in the exchange, in which more than 200 rounds were fired and the suspects lobbed homemade explosives at police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaped and was the subject of a massive manhunt. He was cornered hiding in a boat in the driveway of a house in Watertown, Mass., on Friday evening.

Law enforcement officials described the 30 minutes before the arrest of Tsarnaev as chaotic. One characterized it as “the fog of war” and said that in a highly charged atmosphere, one accidental shot could have caused what police call “contagious fire.”

Officers from several agencies gathered around the Watertown house as darkness fell. The FBI was in charge of the scene, but there also were officers from the Massachusetts State Police, local police and transit police.

“They probably didn’t know whether he had a gun,” said one law enforcement official, who like others interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. “Hours earlier, he and his brother had killed a police officer, shot another officer and thrown explosives out of their cars as the police were chasing them. They couldn’t assume that he did not have a gun and more explosives.”

The FBI declined to discuss the exact sequence of events that led officers to open fire on Tsarnaev’s hiding place and whether the dozens of bullets that struck the boat caused any of his gunshot wounds.

A spokesman for the FBI said law enforcement agents were tracking an extremely dangerous suspect who had used guns and explosives on a public street to avoid arrest.

“Law enforcement was placed in an extraordinarily dangerous situation,” said FBI spokesman Paul Bresson. “They were dealing with an individual who is alleged to have been involved in the bombings at the Boston Marathon. As if that’s not enough, there were indications of a carjacking, gunfire, an ambushed police officer and bombs thrown earlier. In spite of these extraordinary factors, they were able to capture this individual alive with no further harm to law enforcement. It was a tremendously effective outcome under dire circumstances.”
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« Reply #1277 on: April 25, 2013, 10:08:38 AM »



Judith Miller: How to Stop Terrorists Before They Kill
The NYPD's surveillance program was designed to detect local terrorists before they strike—and it's working..
By JUDITH MILLER
WSJ

The Boston Police Department responded with extraordinary skill to last week's marathon bombing, but some terrorism experts say that the attack, which killed three people and injured more than 200, may well have been prevented entirely had the perpetrators lived in New York City.

Part of the difference is a matter of numbers and resources. The New York Police Department has a vastly larger force—roughly 35,000 uniformed officers versus Boston's 2,000—and a far larger budget. The NYPD spent $330 million of its $4.6 billion annual budget in 2011 combating terrorism. Yet that is perhaps not New York's most telling advantage.

In the dozen years since 9/11, the city has developed a counterterror program that is a model of how to identify and stop killers like the Tsarnaev brothers before they strike. The 1,000 cops and analysts who work in the NYPD's intelligence and counterterrorism divisions, for instance, would likely have flagged Tamerlan Tsarnaev for surveillance, given Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's insistence on aggressively monitoring groups and individuals suspected of radicalization.

New York cops almost surely would have monitored Tamerlan—the elder of the two brothers—if they had known that Russia had warned the FBI in 2011 that he was an Islamic radical, that he was potentially dangerous, and that he had spent several months in Dagestan, a Russian republic with an Islamic insurgency, in 2012. "We would have been very reluctant to shut down an investigation if we knew all that it seems the bureau knew or could have known, especially once he had traveled to a region of concern," says Mitchell Silber, the former director of intelligence analysis for the NYPD, who now works at K2, a New York-based private security firm.

In August 2007, Mr. Silber and Arvin Bhatt, then also an NYPD analyst, wrote what was then considered a controversial police-department report arguing that with the attrition of al Qaeda's leadership, the primary threat to New York would come from "homegrown" Muslims under the age of 35 who had become Islamists in the West.

Based on an analysis of 11 plots against Western targets between 9/11 and 2006, their report, "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat," concluded that most of the plotters were "unremarkable" citizens who had undergone often rapid radicalization, 90% of them in the West. The analysts identified a pattern of radicalization and listed common characteristics before a person committed a terrorist act. The report also warned: "The Internet is a driver and enabler for . . . radicalization."

Since 2007, the NYPD has looked for such warning signs among New York's Muslim population of 600,000 to 750,000—about 40% of whom are foreign-born—as homegrown terrorist plots have increased. In 2005, there was one homegrown terrorist plot in the U.S.; by 2010, there had been 12.

Tim Connors served as an Army officer in Afghanistan and now works for CAAS LLC, a New York-based consulting company that, among other things, trains police officers. He says that Tamerlan Tsarnaev fit the NYPD's radicalization profile perfectly. "His behavioral changes alone—never mind his overseas trip and Russia's warning to the FBI that he was a radical—would have been more than enough to trigger NYPD scrutiny," Mr. Connors says.

For instance, Tamerlan experienced a "family crisis" when his father left his mother in 2010 and then returned home to Dagestan. The 2007 NYPD report warned that such incidents often trigger radicalization. He also began exhibiting what the report calls "self-identification," when a person begins exploring radical ideas and dramatically changing his behavior—for instance, "giving up cigarettes, drinking, gambling and urban hip-hop gangster clothes" in favor of "traditional Islamic clothing" and "growing a beard."

Another red flag would have been Tamerlan's ejection from his local mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. The paper disclosed last week that the elder brother was thrown out of the mosque after a shouting match with the imam during a Friday prayer service. The paper quoted several worshipers as saying that Tamerlan had yelled at the imam for having cited Martin Luther King Jr. as a role model for Muslims. Tamerlan protested, the paper said, because King was "not a Muslim."

(Marc:  Let us note and give credit to this mosque for the respect it gave to MLK and that it threw Tamerlan out)

The NYPD report cites "withdrawal from the mosque" as an indication of the onset of the "indoctrination" phase of radicalization. That is when a believer rejects traditional Islamic mentors in favor of "Salafist," or more radical, fundamentalist preachers and friends.

In New York, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's mosque quarrel and his sudden behavioral changes might well have been reported by concerned worshipers, the imam himself, or other fellow Muslims. The NYPD maintains close ties to Muslim preachers and community leaders, as well as a network of tipsters and undercover operatives.

Once the department had Tamerlan under surveillance, the NYPD's cyberunit might have detected his suspicious online viewing choices and social-media postings. Other detectives might have picked up his purchase of a weapon, gunpowder and even a pressure cooker—an item featured in an article, "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," in the online al Qaeda magazine Inspire.

Even if the NYPD hadn't been watching Tamerlan, it might have been tipped off to such suspicious purchases thanks to its Nexus program. Since the program's launch in 2002, the department has visited more than 40,000 businesses in the metropolitan area, encouraging business owners and managers to report suspicious purchases or other activities potentially related to terrorism.

The NYPD also maintains a "Ring of Steel," a network of 4,000 sophisticated security cameras that feed information into a central monitoring system to detect questionable or unlawful activity. It is at least possible that these cameras might have alerted officials to the presence of the abandoned backpacks containing the bombs. The department has focused its camera network on the Financial District in Lower Manhattan and on such iconic sites as the Empire State Building and Grand Central Terminal. Yet at least 220 cameras have been installed with views of Central Park, where the New York Marathon reaches its finish line.

Finally, there is the NYPD's continuing effort to understand Muslim communities and follow tips and leads by sending plainclothes officers to mosques, restaurants and other public venues where Muslims congregate. This effort—which follows court-ordered guidelines—might have secured information preventing last week's bombings.

Reporters for the Associated Press won a Pulitzer Prize last year for a series of articles critical of the NYPD's surveillance program. But the NYPD credits the program with helping to thwart as many as 16 terrorist attacks on the city since 9/11. That sort of police work isn't singled out for prizes, but maybe it will inspire police in other American cities—wondering about stopping their own version of the Tsarnaevs—to take a fresh look at how New York does it.

Ms. Miller is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a Fox News contributor and a City Journal contributing editor.
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« Reply #1278 on: April 25, 2013, 10:27:41 AM »


Patrick administration refuses to release Tsarnaev brothers' records
Thursday, April 25, 2013
By:Chris Cassidy, Laurel J. Sweet, Dave Wedge, Erin Smith and Richard Weir

The Patrick administration clamped down the lid yesterday on Herald requests for details of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s government benefits, citing the dead terror mastermind’s right to privacy.

Across the board, state agencies flatly refused to provide information about the taxpayer-funded lifestyle for the 26-year-old man and his brother and accused accomplice Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

On EBT card status or spending, state welfare spokesman Alec Loftus would only say Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and 3-year-old daughter received benefits that ended in 2012. He declined further comment.



.

On unemployment compensation, labor department spokesman Kevin Franck refused to say whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev ever collected, saying it was “confidential and not a matter of public record.”

On Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college aid, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth spokesman Robert Connolly said, “It is our position — and I believe the accepted position in higher education — that student records including academic records and financial records (including financial aid) cannot under federal law be released without a student’s consent.”

On cellphones, the Federal Communications Commission would not say whether either brother had a government-paid cellphone, also citing privacy laws.

On housing, Cambridge officials and the family’s landlord ducked questions on whether the brothers were ever on Section 8 assistance.

The Herald reported yesterday that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and 3-year-old daughter collected welfare until 2012 and that both Tamerlan and Dzhokhar received benefits through their parents “for a limited portion” of the time after they came to the U.S., which was around 2002.

However, the Department of Transitional Assistance wouldn’t release information about how long or how much they received.

It remains unclear how the accused bomber brothers financed their heartless attacks on the marathon.

The administration was slammed by a Democratic congressman who insisted the public has a right to know how taxpayers were underwriting the accused jihadist Tsarnaevs.

“It’s certainly relevant information that should be made public,” U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch told the Herald. “There’s a national security interest No. 1. Secondly, there’s also a public interest in finding out whether these individuals were able to exploit the system and get benefits they weren’t entitled to.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lies hospitalized and facing capital charges that include using a weapon of mass destruction that killed three people and injured 260 near the Boston Marathon finish line.

Taxpayers — already on the hook for Tsarnaev’s court-appointed attorneys in the terror plot — continue to pay his mounting medical bills at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The public also paid for Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s attorney when the Russian national successfully fought criminal charges in 2009 that he battered a former girlfriend.
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« Reply #1279 on: April 25, 2013, 06:07:41 PM »

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/04/25/boston-bombing-social-media-student-brown-university-reddit/2112309/?csp=fbfanpage
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« Reply #1280 on: May 01, 2013, 04:01:41 PM »

Obama Administration Received Warning LAST YEAR about Boston Bomber
By GOPUSA Staff May 1, 2013 12:39 pm
http://www.gopusa.com/freshink/2013/05/01/obama-administration-received-warning-last-year-about-boston-bomber/
         

It's clear that Barack Obama and his administration have no idea how to keep Americans safe. Whether it's the fiasco in Benghazi, Libya or the bombings in Boston, this administration doesn't have a clue. Actually, that's not quite accurate. They have PLENTY of clues, but they just refuse to act. Now, information has come out that Saudi Arabia warned the United States in 2012 about one of the Boston bombers.
 
As reported by The Daily Mail, the fact that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother carried out the terrorist attack during the Boston Marathon should come as NO surprise to anyone.
 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds, according to a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document.
 
The Saudi warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.
 
Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev's plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.
 
The report adds that the written letter to the Department of Homeland Security mentioned Tamerlan SPECIFICALLY, and the letter was also shared with the British government. A DHS official is quoted in the report as denying that any such letter was received.
 

'DHS has no knowledge of any communication from the Saudi government regarding information on the suspects in the Boston Marathon Bombing prior to the attack,' MailOnline learned from one Homeland Security official who declined to be named in this report.
 
The White House took a similar view. 'We and other relevant U.S. government agencies have no record of such a letter being received,' said Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the president’s National Security Council.
 
So what is going on here? We are now learning that THREE additional suspects have been picked up in conjunction with the Boston bombing. It sure is looking less and less like two disgruntled brothers and more and more like an organized terrorist attack.
 
---
 
GOPUSA Editor's Note: This afternoon the Saudi embassy in Washington issued a statement denying the Daily Mail report.
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« Reply #1281 on: May 02, 2013, 10:43:18 AM »

Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty
May 2, 2013

What Was In the Water of That School?

These Kazakh college friends aren't quite as bad as the Boston bombers. But they're bad:

Kadyrbayev, 19, texted Tsarnaev that evening around 8:40 to ask [why he resembled the bombers in the released FBI videos].
"Tsarnaev's return texts contained 'lol' and other things KADYRBAYEV interpreted as jokes," according to a federal criminal complaint released today, "such as 'you better not text me' and 'come to my room and take whatever you want.'" That turned out to be a fateful series of texts.

According to the complaint, earlier that day, Kadyrbayev and their mutual friend Azamat Tazhayakov entered Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth the following day, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. They watched an unspecified movie with Tsarnaev's roommate while Tazhayakov noticed that Dzhokhar's backpack contained "fireworks." Allegedly, Kadyrbayev put two and two together when he saw the empty fireworks containers — it's unclear if that happened before he texted Tsarnaev — and figured their friend was the bomber. News reports on the room TV showing the fateful footage of Tsarnaev, followed by his texts, confirmed it.

Then they decided to help their bro.

According to the complaint, Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov gathered up the backpack, Tsarnaev's laptop — apparently to avoid making the roommate think they were stealing Tsarnaev's stuff — and placed it into a trash bag. During that crucial evening, Tsarnaev allegedly texted his friends, "I'm about to leave if you need something in my room take it." The next morning, Kadyrbayev allegedly placed the bag into a dumpster near Tsarnaev's Carriage Place apartment.

How twisted do you have to be to suddenly realize that someone you know, a friend, is actually a terrorist who killed three people and injured and maimed hundreds more, and your first thought is how to help him get away with it?

What, does UMass-Dartmouth have some sort of special jihadist student-exchange program? Do they cluster them together in one dorm?

And yes, there is an immigration angle to this story:

A federal law enforcement official says one of the students from Kazakhstan arrested Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings was allowed to return to the United States this year despite not having a valid student visa. Authorities say that after the explosions he helped remove a laptop and backpack from the bombing suspect's dormitory room before the FBI searched it.

Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested three college friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a bombing suspect, including Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend and classmate of Tsarnaev's at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Tazhayakov left the U.S. in December and returned Jan. 20. But in early January, his student-visa status was terminated because he was academically dismissed from the university, the official told the AP.

Hey, if he's academically dismissed, just what is he doing in this country, if he's no longer going to school? How's he paying his expenses?

Very few people believe the promises of the Gang of Eight, because the government does such a lousy job of enforcing the laws on the books already.
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« Reply #1282 on: May 09, 2013, 11:05:22 AM »

Ordinary Citizens: The Last Line of Defense Against Terrorism
May 9, 2013 | 0902 GMT
Stratfor

By Scott Stewart
Vice President of Analysis

The April 15 Boston Marathon bombing has rekindled interest in the topic of grassroots terrorism, specifically the kind conducted by grassroots jihadists. We define grassroots jihadists as individuals who have been inspired by the al Qaeda core or franchise groups but who are not members of these groups.

Some grassroots operatives, such as Najibullah Zazi, who pleaded guilty to charges related to a New York City Subway bomb plot in 2009, travel to places, such as Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen, where they receive training from jihadist franchise groups. Other grassroots jihadists, such as accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, communicate but have no physical interaction with members of a franchise group. Some grassroots militants have no direct contact with other jihadist elements. Lastly, some would-be grassroots militants seek out other jihadist elements but accidentally make contact with government informants. In recent years, such cases have been occurring more frequently, resulting in sting operations and arrests.

Stratfor first began discussing the threat posed by grassroots jihadists in 2005, when we described how the al Qaeda threat was devolving from one based on the core al Qaeda group to a wider movement. But in the big picture, grassroots actors are not just a jihadist phenomenon. We've also extensively discussed the move to leaderless resistance operational models by both left- and right-wing extremists.

Grassroots operatives are a very big problem for government counterterrorism efforts. Indeed, that is why militant ideologues promote the leaderless resistance model. That doesn't mean that such operatives cannot be stopped, but in order to stop them, citizens must think differently about counterterrorism. In the face of a growing grassroots threat there is a growing need for what Stratfor calls "grassroots defenders."
Grassroots Threats

In recent decades, governments have become fairly efficient at identifying and gathering intelligence on known groups that could conduct violent attacks. This is especially true in the realm of technical intelligence, where dramatic improvements have been made in the ability to capture and process huge amounts of data from landline, cellphone and Internet communications. Governments have also become quite adept at penetrating known groups and recruiting informants. Even before 9/11, government successes against militant groups had led white supremacist and militant animal rights and environmentalist groups to adopt a leaderless resistance model for their violent and illegal activities.

In the post-9/11 world, intelligence and security services dramatically increased the resources dedicated to counterterrorism, and the efforts of these services have proved very effective when focused on known organizations and individuals. In fact, because of these successes we have seen jihadist groups, such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the al Qaeda core, since 2009 encourage aspiring militants to undertake lone wolf and small-cell activities rather than travel to places like Pakistan and Yemen to link up with the groups and receive training in terrorist tradecraft.

We see no sign that this trend toward leaderless resistance will reverse in the near future, and our forecast is that the grassroots threat will continue to grow, not only from the jihadist realm but also from far-right and far-left actors.
Stretched Thin

As noted above, most counterterrorism intelligence efforts have been designed to identify and track people with links to known militant groups, and in that regard such efforts are fairly effective. By contrast, counterterrorism efforts have been largely ineffective in identifying those grassroots militants who do not contact known terrorist entities. The focus on identifying and monitoring the activities of someone connected to an established militant group is understandable given that operatives belonging to groups such as Hezbollah or al Qaeda have access to much better training and far greater resources than their grassroots counterparts. Simply put, counterterrorism agencies focus more of their attention on the more potent threat.

However, grassroots operatives can and do kill people. Although they tend to focus on softer targets than operatives connected to larger groups, some grassroots attacks have been quite deadly. For example, the July 2005 London bombings killed 52 people, and Anders Behring Breivik was able to kill 77 in his July 2011 twin attacks in Norway. While the Boston Marathon bombing killed only three, it wounded hundreds.

One problem for most counterterrorism agencies is that counterterrorism is not their sole mission -- or in some cases even their primary mission. Often, as is the case with MI5 in the United Kingdom, the primary counterterrorism agency also has substantial foreign counterintelligence responsibilities. In the case of the FBI, it has not only counterterrorism and foreign counterintelligence missions but also a host of other responsibilities, such as investigating bank robberies, kidnappings, white-collar crime, online crime and public corruption. Also, while counterterrorism was the primary focus of almost every law enforcement and intelligence agency immediately after 9/11, as time has passed, the emphasis on counterterrorism has lessened.

The resources of the primary counterterrorism agencies are also quite finite. For example, the FBI has fewer than 14,000 special agents to fulfill its many responsibilities, and while counterterrorism has become its top mission in the post-9/11 era, only a portion of its agents (estimated to be between 2,500 and 3,000) are assigned to counterterrorism investigations at any time. Some FBI contacts also tell us that counterterrorism assignments are not viewed as career enhancing, and thus many billets remain vacant.

Counterterrorism investigations can also be very labor intensive. Even in a case in which a subject is under electronic surveillance, it takes a great deal of manpower to file all the paperwork required for the court orders, monitor the surveillance equipment and, if necessary, translate conversations and run down or task out additional investigative leads developed during the monitoring. Seemingly little things like conducting a "trash cover" on the subject (sifting through a subject's trash for evidence and intelligence) can add hours of investigative effort every week. If full, 24/7 physical and electronic surveillance is put in place on a subject, it can tie up as many as 100 special agents, surveillance operatives, technicians, photographers, analysts, interpreters, lawyers and supervisors.

It is also important to recognize that the bar is set pretty high for the FBI to investigate people. The FBI cannot just open an investigation on someone on a whim. It needs an identifiable objective and purpose in order to open a preliminary inquiry into a potential suspect, what is referred to as an "assessment." The FBI can't open a case based on activity protected by the First Amendment or on a subject's race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. Even once an assessment is launched, it can't become a full field investigation unless it finds some indication that there is a potential criminal violation. Assessments also have a limited time frame and must be closed unless an indication of a criminal violation is found.

Again, given the potential threat posed by known or suspected al Qaeda, Hezbollah or domestic terrorist suspects, it is understandable that most of the counterterrorism resources would be devoted to investigating and neutralizing that threat. However, the problem with the focus on known actors is that it leaves very little resources for proactive counterterrorism tasks such as looking for signs of potential operational activities, including pre-operational surveillance and weapons acquisition, conducted by previously unknown individuals. Such efforts are a huge undertaking for agencies with limited resources.

Furthermore, in the case of a lone wolf or small cell, there simply may not be any clear-cut chain of command, a specific building to target or a communication network to compromise -- the specialties of Western intelligence agencies. The leaderless resistance organization is, by design, nebulous and hard to map and quantify. This lack of structure and communication poses a problem for Western counterterrorism agencies. Also, since the grassroots threat can emanate from a variety of actors, it is impossible to profile potential militants based on race, religion or ethnicity. Instead, their actions must be scrutinized for indicators of radicalization and attack planning.

Law enforcement has thwarted many grassroots plots, but in those plots the suspects have either planned an attack that was beyond their means, leading them to seek assistance from someone who turned out to be a government informant, or they have contacted a known militant actor and, in doing so, come to the attention of the authorities. Grassroots actors who do not seek assistance and who do not get caught communicating with known terrorist entities can often launch their attacks undetected. In those cases, the attack will either fail, like the 2010 Times Square bombing, or succeed, like the Boston Marathon bombing.
Grassroots Defenders

All grassroots militants engage in activities that make their plots vulnerable to detection. Due to the limited number of dedicated counterterrorism practitioners, these indicators (and sometimes blatant mistakes) are far more likely to be witnessed by someone other than an FBI or MI5 agent. This fact highlights the importance of what we call grassroots defenders -- that is, a decentralized network of people practicing situational awareness who notice and report possible indications of terrorist behavior such as acquiring weapons, building bombs and conducting preoperational surveillance.

It is important to note that grassroots defenders are not vigilantes, and this is not a call to institute the type of paranoid informant network that existed in East Germany. It is also not a call to Islamophobia -- the Muslim community is an important component of grassroots defense, and many plots have been thwarted based upon tips from the Muslim community. Grassroots defenders are citizens who take responsibility for their own security and for the security of society and who report possible terrorist behavior to the authorities.

The most important pool of grassroots defenders is police officers on patrol. While there are fewer than 14,000 FBI agents in the entire United States, there are some 34,000 officers in the New York City Police Department alone and an estimated 800,000 local and state police officers across the United States. While the vast majority of these officers are not assigned primarily to investigate terrorism, they often encounter grassroots militants who make operational security errors or who are in the process of committing crimes in advance of an attack, such as document fraud, illegally obtaining weapons or illegally raising funds for an attack.

For example, in July 2005, police in Torrance, Calif., thwarted a grassroots plot that was uncovered during the investigation of a string of armed robberies. After arresting one suspect, Levar Haney Washington, police searching his apartment uncovered material indicating that Washington was part of a small jihadist cell that was planning to attack a number of targets. Hezbollah's multimillion-dollar cigarette smuggling network was uncovered when a sharp North Carolina sheriff's deputy found the group's activities suspicious and tipped off the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, launching the massive Operation Smokescreen investigation.

Traffic stops by regular cops also have identified several potential grassroots jihadists. In August 2007, two Middle Eastern men stopped by a sheriff's deputy for speeding near Goose Creek, S.C., were charged with possession of a destructive device. Likewise, a traffic stop in September 2001 in Alexandria, Va., led to an investigation that uncovered the so-called Virginia Jihad Network. In fact, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, the operation's leader, Mohamed Atta, was the subject of an outstanding bench warrant for failing to appear in court after being stopped for driving without a license.

But police are not the only grassroots defenders. Other people, such as neighbors, store clerks, landlords and motel managers, can also notice operational planning activities. Such activities can include purchasing bombmaking components and firearms, creating improvised explosive mixtures and conducting pre-operational surveillance.

On July 27, 2011, an alert gun store clerk in Killeen, Texas, called the local police after a man who came into the store to buy smokeless powder exhibited an unusual demeanor. They located the individual and, after questioning him, learned he was planning to detonate an improvised explosive device and conduct an armed assault at a local Killeen restaurant popular with soldiers from nearby Fort Hood. The clerk's situational awareness and decision to call the police likely saved many lives. There are reports that just last week authorities in Montevideo, Minn., arrested a man who was reportedly preparing to conduct an attack. Concerned neighbors alerted authorities of his suspicious behavior. The man, a convicted felon, was reportedly affiliated with a militia group. Authorities allegedly found an AK-style rifle, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs during a search of his home.

Ordinary citizens exercising situational awareness can and have saved lives. This reality has been the driving force behind programs like the New York Police Department's "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign, a program subsequently adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a means of encouraging citizens to report potential terrorist behavior.

It is unrealistic to expect the government to uncover and thwart every plot. There are too many potential actors and too many vulnerable targets. Individuals need to assume some responsibility for their own security and the security of their communities. This does not mean living in fear and paranoia, but rather living with a relaxed level of situational awareness, being cognizant of potential dangers and alert to indicators of them. People who accept this responsibility and who practice this awareness are the true grassroots defenders.

Read more: Ordinary Citizens: The Last Line of Defense Against Terrorism | Stratfor
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« Reply #1283 on: May 11, 2013, 09:02:22 AM »

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/mounting-evidence-boston-bombers-involved-2011-triple-murder/story?id=19151271#.UY5PMsrNkUT
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« Reply #1284 on: May 13, 2013, 07:48:50 PM »

By MATTHEW DOLAN

DETROIT—A man with a Saudi Arabian passport will be held in custody until a hearing Tuesday after customs agents charged him with lying about a pressure cooker found in his luggage.

Hussain Al Khawahir, 33 years old, appeared briefly in U.S. District Court Monday afternoon, but his detention hearing was postponed until Tuesday. He didn't enter a plea, according to officials.

"Although we never want to jump to conclusions, we also have a duty to conduct an appropriate investigation to protect the public," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan said in a statement provided by her office.

The case involving a pressure cooker comes almost one month after two men allegedly used pressure cookers in bombings that killed three people and injured dozens of others during the Boston Marathon in April. It was unclear Monday whether federal authorities in Detroit believe the case of the Saudi national is terrorism-related.

Mr. Al Khawahir landed Saturday at Metropolitan Wayne County Airport on a flight that came via Amsterdam, according to charging documents dated Sunday. He told officials he flew to the U.S. to visit his nephew, a student at the University of Toledo.

Customs agents noticed that the man's passport was missing a page. Mr. Al Khawahir said he didn't know how that happened since the passport had been locked in a box in his home where only he, his wife and two children had access, according to the charging documents.

In his luggage, authorities said, was a pressure cooker. He initially told agents the cooker was for his nephew because pressure cookers weren't sold in the U.S., according to court documents. "The Defendant then changed his story and admitted his nephew had purchased a pressure cooker in America before but it 'was cheap' and broke after the first use," the customs officer wrote in her affidavit filed in federal court.

At that point, Mr. Al Khawahir was read his Miranda rights and invoked his right to remain silent, according to authorities.

The Associated Press reported that in an interview, the suspect's nephew, identified as Nasser Almarzooq, said he had asked his uncle to bring him a pressure cooker because the ones he bought in the U.S. didn't work.

On Monday afternoon, Mr. Al Khawahir appeared before Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen, who ordered the case continued until Tuesday. The assistant U.S. Attorney handling the case, Jonathan Turkel, is the same prosecutor who tried the case against the so-called Christmas Day underwear bomber convicted of trying to blow up a commercial airliner over the Detroit area in 2009.
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« Reply #1285 on: May 14, 2013, 04:23:29 PM »

http://www.montenews.com/article/20130513/BLOGS/305139989/-1/blogs01?refresh=true
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« Reply #1286 on: May 15, 2013, 03:03:00 PM »

http://www.longislandpress.com/2013/05/14/u-s-military-power-grab-goes-into-effect/
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« Reply #1287 on: May 16, 2013, 11:00:38 PM »

Nothing to see here: Arrest in MA shrugged off
What happens when authorities find a group of foreign nationals from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, who all recently graduated with chemical engineering degrees from different U.S. colleges, trespassing at a major reservoir outside of Boston at 12:30AM? Nothing, of course. Glenn Beck has more on radio today.
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« Reply #1288 on: May 23, 2013, 06:37:38 AM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/ibragim-todashev-confession-tsarnaev-triple-murder_n_3322105.html
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« Reply #1289 on: May 26, 2013, 04:08:05 PM »

I just noticed this post by BD.  Quite odd indeed , , ,
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« Reply #1290 on: May 26, 2013, 07:49:21 PM »

http://droneconference.org/   cool cool
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« Reply #1291 on: May 29, 2013, 06:33:48 PM »

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/29/2075191/leader-of-armed-march-on-washington-calls-for-revolutionary-army-to-topple-government/?mobile=nc
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« Reply #1292 on: June 02, 2013, 09:02:51 AM »

Inspire Magazine No. 11: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Touts Its Influence
Analysis
MAY 31, 2013 | 0700 Print  - Text Size +
A screenshot of the cover of Inspire Magazine's 11th edition.

Summary

The 11th edition of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's Inspire magazine, subtitled "Who and Why," began to circulate the Internet on May 30. This issue of the English-language magazine focuses heavily on the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing and claims credit for influencing the two brothers responsible for the attack, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Overall, the edition underscores the persistent if low-level threats posed by grassroots jihadists, and the challenge governments face in eliminating lone-wolf attacks.

Analysis
The purpose of the 11th edition appears to be twofold: First, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is seeking to trumpet Inspire's apparent role in motivating and guiding the Tsarnaev brothers. In an article entitled "Inspired by Inspire," Editor Yahya Ibrahim touted the widespread attention Inspire received after the Boston bombings, and the issue also included several media quotes connecting the Tsarnaev brothers to the magazine. Second, the Yemen-based jihadist group is seeking to encourage other Muslims living in the West to emulate the brothers. Thus, the "Who" in the edition's title refers to Muslims in the West. The "Why" refers to U.S. policy, which the issue discusses at length in the cover story.

In an article entitled "Message to the American People," Qasim al-Raymi, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's operations chief, writes:

Lastly, to the oppressed and subdued in America among the brothers of religion and creed. We encourage you to carry on with this way, be steadfast on this deen (faith). Carry out your obligations, defend your religion and follow in the footsteps of those who supported their religion and ummah whilst they are in their enemy's den.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's mufti, or religious leader, a Saudi named Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish, encourages readers to "have Tawakkul (reliance on Allah), surveil an enemy and pull the trigger, or detonate the 'kitchen stuff'. Indeed the sharpest of people are those who bury their acts in their trustworthy hearts." The involvement of al-Rubaish is significant because two previous theological commenters in Inspire -- American-born Anwar al-Awlaki and Yemeni cleric Adel bin Abdullah al-Abab, the head of the group's Sharia Council -- were killed by missile strikes.

In some ways, this edition of Inspire is reminiscent of the third and seventh editions of the magazine, which commemorated earlier attacks. In the third edition, published in November 2010, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula trumpeted the Oct. 29, 2010 attempt to attack targets in the United States -- though the attack failed -- using explosive devices hidden inside printer cartridges and shipped via air cargo. The seventh issue, published in September 2011, commemorated the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Like the third and seventh editions, which also bore "special issue" banners on their covers, this issue does not contain certain features that have appeared regularly in previous editions, such as the Open Source Jihad section, which aims to equip grassroots jihadists with the skills to conduct attacks in the West, or a question and answer section. However, the group recently published what it called The Lone Mujahid Pocketbook -- a compilation of all the Open Source Jihad sections from previous editions.

The issue also contains a brief article by Mohammed al Sanani titled "An Eye for an Eye" that mentions the May 22 murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in London, complete with an iconic image of one of the alleged killers, Michael Adebolajo, with bloodied hands, a knife and a cleaver. Another brief article mentions the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on May 20. Ibrahim's ability to work these recent events into this edition demonstrates a nimbleness we have not seen in Inspire Magazine since the death of former editor Samir Khan in 2011. This indicates Ibrahim and his team are growing more comfortable with the publishing process.

The edition echoes a theme Stratfor has long discussed -- the impossibility for Western governments of protecting every possible target from attack. In the cover story, an author called Abu Abdullah al-Moravid (likely a Moroccan based on his kunya, or honorific title) wrote:

It also seems that Obama will have to announce a new
type of Lone Jihad which is impossible to counter and stop, except when basic cooking ingredients and building material become illegal!

Yes, this is the only solution. A Lone Jihad operation like that of Boston Marathon requires nothing more than a few utensils, some matchsticks, a box of nails and a clock for timing. Another ingredient which I should mention is a group of American citizens gathered in a ceremony, sport event or just surprising time and place.

This focus underscores the importance of what we call grassroots defenders -- citizens who detect and report suspicious behavior to the authorities. It also highlights the need to keep terrorism in perspective, bearing in mind its rarity as well as its inevitability to help deny the practitioners of terror such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and their grassroots followers the ability to magnify their reach and power.

Send us your thoughts on this


Read more: Inspire Magazine No. 11: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Touts Its Influence | Stratfor
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G M
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« Reply #1293 on: June 13, 2013, 05:21:44 PM »

Obama's Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers




 Posted 06/12/2013 06:34 PM ET
 
Homeland Insecurity: The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won't snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.
 
That's right, the government's sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.
 
Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.
 
Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.
 
We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel's formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.
 
Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.
 
If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.
 
The bureau didn't even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.
 
One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn't monitored, red flags didn't go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.
 
This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.
 
What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?


Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/061213-659753-all-intrusive-obama-terror-dragnet-excludes-mosques.htm
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« Reply #1294 on: June 14, 2013, 10:01:24 AM »


If we are going after all data of all people, 'Why Didn't NSA Catch The Tsarnaev Brothers?'

My theory on supporting the Patriot Act was that if my number turned up in a terrorist's call history, for any reason - even by misdial, then I should expect that in these times of fighting to prevent more terrorist attacks I will be looked at until cleared.

These guys traveled to training camps and made multiple web visits to bomb making websites.

Instead we used our scarce resources to scrutinize west suburban tea party members for anti-socialism rhetoric.

So Why Didn't NSA Catch The Tsarnaev Brothers?

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/061313-659930-patriot-act-did-not-authorize-nsa-prism.htm#ixzz2WCbQDi4W

One person whose privacy was not invaded by U.S. intelligence was Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as he repeatedly visited the al-Qaida online magazine Inspire for its recipe "Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."

The NSA's blanket surveillance did not detect Tsarnaev's interest in building the pressure cooker bombs he would use to devastating effect at the Boston Marathon. The massive databases that we are building a massive facility in Utah to store also failed to uncover the online communications that Tsarnaev had with a known Muslim extremist in Dagestan.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1295 on: June 14, 2013, 12:54:57 PM »

"Why Didn't NSA Catch The Tsarnaev Brothers?"

I am working on an answer to IBD's question.  11% of adults admit to sexting, while our government is giving 29 year old single males who live in their mother's basements access to all our 'data'.  These un-screened, unsupervised, surveillance 'professionals' (making a quarter million a year) are finding material more interesting than Islamist extremists visiting training camps, meeting in Mosques with known terrorists and studying the art of kitchen bomb building.
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G M
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« Reply #1296 on: June 14, 2013, 07:02:12 PM »

If your net is too wide, you won't catch anything, or they were too busy looking at the people Buraq considers enemies.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1297 on: June 15, 2013, 05:05:04 AM »

Have not had a chance to look at this

http://list.dickmorris.com/t/490614/613051/4294/4/

but this seems interesting

THE PATRIOT POST
Voice of Essential Liberty
Friday Digest -- June 14, 2013
====================
On the Web: http://patriotpost.us/editions/18668
Printer Friendly: http://patriotpost.us/editions/18668/print
PDF Version: http://pdf.patriotpost.us/2013-06-14-digest-1f1e581a.pdf
====================

Is Snowden a Patriot or a Traitor?

"Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be
connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection
on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of
government. What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on
human nature?" --James Madison

Intense debate continues to rage over the legality, constitutionality and
morality of the National Security Agency's data collection, as well as the
status of Edward Snowden, the contract employee who leaked the documents to a
British newspaper last week. Is he a Patriot or a traitor, or somewhere in the
middle?

(Regarding the program itself, read Mark Alexander's essay, It's the
Profiling, Stupid! One noteworthy addition to the essay is that the
administration's surveillance seems to have excluded mosques, which are often
jihadi programming centers. Target conservatives with the IRS, but don't mess
with Muslims.)

Snowden is a 29-year-old former contract employee of Booz Allen Hamilton,
which in turn provided technical service to the NSA. He also spent time
previously working for the CIA. Though he worked as a computer technician in
several positions with some level of security clearance, he never completed
high school, dropped out of community college and overstated his pay grade at
Booz Allen Hamilton by about 40 percent, calling into question his veracity.
He was also a Ron Paul donor who was reportedly disappointed to discover that
Barack Obama didn't fix everything upon taking office.

He opined to the UK's Guardian newspaper, "I can't in good conscience allow
the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties
for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're
secretly building." No question he put his money where his mouth is, giving up
a comfortable life with a (we suppose) secure job to stand for his
convictions. Then again, he argues, "I have done nothing wrong." That must be
why he fled to Hong Kong -- a rather ironic choice for a lover of "privacy,
Internet freedom and basic liberties" given that the city is a Special
Administrative Region of Communist China.

If conscience was such a problem, Snowden could have taken any number of other
jobs. He also had much better options than the Leftmedia to make his concerns
known. If not the chain of command in place within the NSA, he likely would
have received a fair hearing by approaching a senator opposing the NSA's
programs.

Perhaps something can be learned from Snowden's choice of Glenn Greenwald as
the journalist to whom he would leak: Greenwald is a well-known hard-left
attack dog and supporter of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, currently facing
court martial for having aided our enemies by leaking to WikiLeaks the largest
trove of classified documents in U.S. history.

Snowden claims that he was motivated by a self-defined mission of
"transparency," and that "I don't want the story to be about me." Yet he
effectively made himself the issue anyway, rather than the potentially
unconstitutional actions of the Obama administration. His leak also served as
a diversion from the other scandals at the IRS, the Justice Department and the
State Department. In fact, Obama benefits from so many things happening at
once because focus is scattered -- almost, one might say, as if through a
PRISM (the name of the NSA's email-tracking program).

There are 4.8 million federal employees and contractors that hold security
clearance. Some 1.2 million hold top-secret clearances -- and a third of those
are private contractors. This amounts to unprecedented access to highly
classified information, likely as a result of the pressure to have enough
analysts to direct intel to the right folks. There is currently a push in
Congress to move classified contractors to government positions where they
might be better monitored -- you know, like IRS agents in Cincinnati.

No one seems to know (or at least no one is saying) how an employee in
Snowden's position could gain access to the classified court orders he
released to the media. Did he have help higher up? Either way, never mind
algorithms to comb through the phone records of every American -- the NSA
clearly has difficulty determining which of its own employees can or can't be
trusted, even with a team dedicated to that task. And that's a big problem
with the apparatus itself.

This Week's 'Braying Jackass' Award

"I don't have to listen to your phone calls to know what you're doing. If I
know every single phone call you've made, I'm able to determine every single
person you talk to; I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very
intrusive. The real question here is what do they do with this information
that they collect that does not have anything to do with al-Qa'ida? ... But
this idea that ... we're going to trust the president and vice president of
the United States that we're doing the right thing -- don't count me in on
that." --then-Senator Joe Biden in 2006

Don't count us in on trusting this president or vice president, either.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 05:24:10 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1298 on: June 15, 2013, 02:59:56 PM »

http://enews.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20130615/13e5be58-371f-4eb8-ba92-2e84d9dba18f
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1299 on: June 18, 2013, 02:52:27 PM »

Why This Gigantic "Intelligence" Apparatus?
Mises Daily: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 by Robert Higgs


[From the Beacon blog of the Independent Institute (2010).]

On July 19, 2010, the Washington Post publishedthe first of three large reports by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin on the dimensions of the gigantic US apparatus of "intelligence" activities being undertaken to combat terrorist acts against the United States, such as the 9/11 attacks. To say that this activity amounts to mobilizing every police officer in the country to stop street fights in Camden only begins to suggest its almost-unbelievable disproportion to the alleged threat.

Among Priest and Arkin's findings from a two-year study are the following:

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

[We] discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001.
Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings — about 17 million square feet of space.

Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.

Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year — a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.

According to retired admiral Dennis C. Blair, formerly the director of national intelligence, after 9/11 "the attitude was, if it's worth doing, it's probably worth overdoing." I submit that this explanation does not cut to the heart of the matter. As it stands, it suggests a sort of mindless desire to pile mountains of money, technology, and personnel on top of an already-enormous mountain of money, technology, and personnel for no reason other than the vague notion that more must be better. In my view, national politics does not work in that way.

As Priest and Arkin report, "The U.S. intelligence budget is vast, publicly announced last year as $75 billion, 2 ½ times the size it was on September 10, 2001. But the figure doesn't include many military activities or domestic counterterrorism programs." Virtually everyone the reporters consulted told them in effect that "the Bush administration and Congress gave agencies more money than they were capable of responsibly spending." To be sure, they received more than they could spend responsibly, but not more than they were eager to spend irresponsibly. After all, it's not as if they were spending their own money.

"The most plausible reason why so few attacks have occurred is that very few persons have been trying to carry them out."

Why would these hundreds of organizations and contracting companies be willing to take gigantic amounts of the taxpayers' money when everyone agrees that the money cannot be spent sensibly and that the system already in place cannot function effectively or efficiently to attain its ostensible purpose? The question answers itself. It's loot for the taking, and there has been no shortage of takers. Indeed, these stationary bandits continue to demand more money each year.

And for what? The announced goal is to identify terrorists and eliminate them or prevent them from carrying out their nefarious acts. This is simultaneously a small task and an impossible one.

It is small because the number of persons seeking to carry out a terrorist act of substantial consequence against the United States and in a position to do so cannot be more than a handful. If the number were greater, we would have seen many more attacks or attempted attacks during the past decade — after all, the number of possible targets is virtually unlimited, and the attackers might cause some form of damage in countless ways. The most plausible reason why so few attacks or attempted attacks have occurred is that very few persons have been trying to carry them out. (I refer to genuine attempts, not to the phony-baloney schemes planted in the minds of simpletons by government undercover agents and then trumpeted to the heavens when the FBI "captures" the unfortunate victims of the government's entrapment.)
So the true dimension of the terrorism problem that forms the excuse for these hundreds of programs of official predation against the taxpayers is small — not even in the same class with, say, reducing automobile-accident or household-accident deaths by 20 percent.

Yet, at the same time, the antiterrorism task is impossible because terrorism is a simple act available in some form to practically any determined adult with access to Americans and their property at home or abroad. It is simply not possible to stop all acts of terrorism if potential terrorists have been given a sufficient grievance to motivate their wreaking some form of havoc against Americans. However, it is silly to make the prevention of all terrorist acts the goal. What can't be done won't be done, regardless of how many people and how much money one devotes to doing it. We can, though, endure some losses from terrorism in the same way that we routinely endure some losses from accidents, diseases, and ordinary crime.

The sheer idiocy of paying legions of twenty-something grads of Harvard and Yale — youngsters who cannot speak Arabic, Farsi, Pashtun, or any of the other languages of the areas they purport to be analyzing and who know practically nothing of the history, customs, folkways, and traditions of these places — indicates that no one seriously expects the promised payoff in intelligence to emerge from the effort. The whole business is akin to sending a blind person to find a needle inside a maze buried somewhere in a hillside.
 

That the massive effort is utterly uncoordinated and scarcely able to communicate one part's "findings" to another only strengthens the conclusion that the goal is not stopping terrorism, but getting the taxpayers' money and putting it into privileged pockets. Even if the expected damage from acts of terrorism against the United States were $10 billion per year, which seems much too high a guess, it makes no sense to spend more than $75 billion every year to prevent it — and it certainly makes no sense to spend any money only pretending to prevent it.

What we see here is not really an "intelligence" or counterterrorism operation at all. It's a rip-off, plain and simple, fed by irrational fear and continually stoked by the government plunderers who are exercising the power and raking in the booty to "fight terrorism."


Robert Higgs is senior fellow in political economy for the Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. He is the 2007 recipient of the Gary G. Schlarbaum Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Cause of Liberty. Send him mail. See Robert Higgs's article archives.
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