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Author Topic: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom  (Read 282156 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1400 on: January 03, 2014, 09:31:47 AM »

http://complex.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/12/24/power-station-military-assault?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Flashpoints%20Complete%2010%2F7&utm_campaign=Flashpoints%2001-02-14#sthash.bOw5tZgS.dpbs
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bigdog
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« Reply #1401 on: January 06, 2014, 07:23:57 AM »

The good news that since homeland security is basically only law enforcement, if the volcano threatens to blow then it can be taken in for questioning.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/volcanoes-60-minutes/

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/12/the-yellowstone-supervolcano-2-12-times-larger-than-earlier-estimates-potential-to-erupt-2000-times-.html

http://www.livescience.com/20714-yellowstone-supervolcano-eruption.html
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G M
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« Reply #1402 on: January 06, 2014, 08:15:43 AM »

gee, I guess law enforcement doesn't respond to natural disasters, does it? If a local, state or federal LEO digs you out of tornado wreckage, be sure to point that out to them. Explain you are an academic and thus know more than the lesser beings that actually work in the field.
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G M
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« Reply #1403 on: January 06, 2014, 10:50:40 AM »

http://news.ebru.tv/media/2013/05/21/oklahoma-tornado-rescue-workers-help-free-victim-stuck-in-building.jpg@protect,0,0,1000,1000@crop,800,450,c.jpg



Why are those cops arresting that tornado victim? After all, law enforcement just enforces laws and has no other duties that fall under that job description.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/4702392-16x9-512x288.jpg



Why are fire fighters here? I don't see any fires....
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G M
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« Reply #1404 on: January 06, 2014, 10:55:20 AM »

Silly Las Vegas Metro police....

http://www.lvmpd.com/Sections/HomelandSecurity.aspx

Homeland Security

Assistant Sheriff Greg McCurdy
 
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, like other police departments, federal agencies, and the nation as a whole had to adjust to the circumstances of September 11, 2001. We entered into a new arena - dealing with terrorism at the local law enforcement level. The Department’s Homeland Security Division is comprised of the Airport Bureau, Organized Crime Bureau, and the Homeland Security Bureau. The Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Center (Fusion Center) serves as the State of Nevada’s designated Fusion Center and is housed with the Homeland Security Bureau.
 
In conjunction with our department's coordinated efforts with our state and federal counterparts, the Department has committed additional personnel to supporting the national effort against terrorism via the Southern Nevada Joint Terrorism Task Force. We have also harnessed the flexibility and ingenuity of officers in our newly created counter-terrorism section, our existing criminal intelligence section, technical and surveillance section, and our special investigations section in an all encompassing evaluation of community wide sources of information in the war against terrorism. The Homeland Security Bureau has also expanded and enhanced our capacity to more accurately define and mitigate emerging events with the creation of our all-hazard ARMOR response unit and our emergency management section.
 
We need and solicit our community's assistance as we all think globally and act locally in our collective war on terrorism. Links in this section provide further detailed information on terrorism topics. Please report any unusual terrorism-related matters to our terrorism hotline at 828-8386, or visit www.SNCTC.org to submit an electronic Suspicious Activity Report.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 11:13:38 AM by G M » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1405 on: January 06, 2014, 11:06:22 AM »

We interrupt GM's death-by-blizzard-of-citations rant to bring you this:

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/01/05/fbi_drops_law_enforcement_as_primary_mission#sthash.0UGnYquX.D4o2YMjL.dpbs

Guess we won't be seeing the FBI at any tornadoes, fires, quakes, etc any time soon , , ,

Good luck BD!
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G M
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« Reply #1406 on: January 06, 2014, 11:16:40 AM »




The DHS Anti-volcano team trains up for something that has nothing to do with law enforcement.



Ignore the police markings on this vehicle.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1407 on: January 06, 2014, 01:31:53 PM »

I thanked my local enforcement officer for coaching little league and he explained it was for homeland security. I learned that anything a LEO does, anything at all, is homeland security. Never mind the titular fact of "law enforcement" in the law enforcement officer.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1408 on: January 06, 2014, 01:35:12 PM »

In an underreported story, all of those non-uniformed people in the OK tornado picture were arrested immediately afterword for impersonating a law enforcement officer.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1409 on: January 06, 2014, 01:50:25 PM »

It's odd that FP would quote a mere academic on the subject:

"...Marquette University professor Athan Theoharis agreed that the changes reflect what's really happening at the agency, but said the timing isn't clear. "I can't explain why FBI officials decided to change the fact sheet... unless in the current political climate that change benefits the FBI politically and undercuts criticisms," he said. He mentioned the negative attention surrounding the FBI's failure in April to foil the bomb plot at the Boston Marathon by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev."

We interrupt GM's death-by-blizzard-of-citations rant to bring you this:

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/01/05/fbi_drops_law_enforcement_as_primary_mission#sthash.0UGnYquX.D4o2YMjL.dpbs

Guess we won't be seeing the FBI at any tornadoes, fires, quakes, etc any time soon , , ,

Good luck BD!
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G M
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« Reply #1410 on: January 06, 2014, 02:12:21 PM »

Because academics read an article or attend a seminar and thusly deem themselves experts and quotable when the media needs a soundbite.
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G M
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« Reply #1411 on: January 06, 2014, 02:17:30 PM »

I thanked my local enforcement officer for coaching little league and he explained it was for homeland security. I learned that anything a LEO does, anything at all, is homeland security. Never mind the titular fact of "law enforcement" in the law enforcement officer.

Wow.Fieldwork! Be sure to add that to your cv!
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bigdog
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« Reply #1412 on: January 06, 2014, 03:14:37 PM »

That's was I was thinking, too. FP, upon not getting an answer on your cell, being up shi+ creek, had to reach out for their second choice, the editor/author of a mere 20 books.

Because academics read an article or attend a seminar and thusly deem themselves experts and quotable when the media needs a soundbite.
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G M
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« Reply #1413 on: January 06, 2014, 07:21:12 PM »

That's was I was thinking, too. FP, upon not getting an answer on your cell, being up shi+ creek, had to reach out for their second choice, the editor/author of a mere 20 books.

Because academics read an article or attend a seminar and thusly deem themselves experts and quotable when the media needs a soundbite.

Here is a crazy idea, they could actually ask the  FBI for an explanation or talk to a retired FBI agent who might have an insight. The FBI isn't known for being media shy.

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bigdog
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« Reply #1414 on: January 06, 2014, 10:45:54 PM »

There were at least three such quotes in the article.


That's was I was thinking, too. FP, upon not getting an answer on your cell, being up shi+ creek, had to reach out for their second choice, the editor/author of a mere 20 books.

Because academics read an article or attend a seminar and thusly deem themselves experts and quotable when the media needs a soundbite.

Here is a crazy idea, they could actually ask the  FBI for an explanation or talk to a retired FBI agent who might have an insight. The FBI isn't known for being media shy.


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G M
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« Reply #1415 on: January 06, 2014, 10:58:17 PM »

And yet you again focus on credentialed over educated, again and again...
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bigdog
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« Reply #1416 on: January 06, 2014, 11:08:17 PM »

And you failed to see the thing you called for... three times.  rolleyes

And yet you again focus on credentialed over educated, again and again...
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G M
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« Reply #1417 on: January 06, 2014, 11:27:50 PM »

And you failed to see the thing you called for... three times.  rolleyes

And yet you again focus on credentialed over educated, again and again...

I guess I didn't treat an exchange that started with a reference to a volcano being brought in for questioning with the seriousness it deserved.My bad.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1418 on: January 06, 2014, 11:46:20 PM »

Given the number of posts you dedicated to the discussion, including all those pictures you rustled up, you seem to have been quite engaged.

And you failed to see the thing you called for... three times.  rolleyes

And yet you again focus on credentialed over educated, again and again...

I guess I didn't treat an exchange that started with a reference to a volcano being brought in for questioning with the seriousness it deserved.My bad.
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G M
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« Reply #1419 on: January 07, 2014, 12:10:14 AM »

Strangely enough, finding pictures of DHS engaged in what appears to be law enforcement related activities is really easy to find on a Google image search.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1420 on: January 07, 2014, 07:40:16 AM »

Given all your front line experience I was sure they were from your personnel file.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1421 on: January 07, 2014, 10:00:57 AM »

Ummm , , , while the snark has been entertaining, I am getting confused as to what the point is at this point , , ,
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bigdog
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« Reply #1422 on: January 07, 2014, 01:58:11 PM »

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/08/homeland-security-4-0-overcoming-centralization-complacency-and-politics

Executive Summary

Getting the national homeland security enterprise right is among the most difficult challenges in Washington because the problems in protecting the homeland are rooted in overcentralization, pervasive complacency, and entrenched politics—problems that often cause Washington to not work properly. This report marks a path through this obstacle course.

The recommendations in this report are essential steps in establishing the right type of homeland security for the United States—one that is enduring and efficacious. The experience of the past decade is a better guide to the future than what was thought in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. These recommendations are drawn from research by Heritage Foundation analysts over the past decade and from extensive outreach to and engagement with many of the stakeholders in the homeland security enterprise.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1423 on: January 13, 2014, 08:07:26 AM »

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/23101374/2013/08/10/loophole-people-being-told-to-use-key-words-to-cross-border
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1424 on: January 13, 2014, 08:46:38 AM »

http://www.examiner.com/article/retired-general-muslim-brotherhood-inside-u-s-government
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bigdog
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« Reply #1425 on: January 13, 2014, 11:05:22 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/west-virginia-water-emergency-nears-fifth-day-with-no-end-in-sight/2014/01/12/9d0959bc-7b88-11e3-9556-4a4bf7bcbd84_story.html


From the article:

A chemical used in coal processing has leaked from an old tank along the Elk and invaded the water supply, a crisis that has affected nearly 300,000 people in nine counties and effectively closed the largest city in the state. You can’t drink the water, bathe in it or do laundry with it. It’s good only for flushing.

Monday will mark the fifth day of the water emergency, which began early Thursday when people all over town registered a powerful odor like black licorice.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1426 on: January 13, 2014, 11:48:19 AM »

Ummm , , , not sure why this is posted in this thread-- perhaps the Water thread on SCH would be better , , ,
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bigdog
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« Reply #1427 on: January 13, 2014, 08:00:02 PM »

Because I consider 300,000 people without water due to chemicals leaking into the water supply a homeland security issue.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1428 on: January 14, 2014, 08:39:59 AM »

Ummm , , , I suppose, but it makes more sense to me to think of HS involving the risk or actuality an attack of some sort , , ,
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bigdog
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« Reply #1429 on: January 14, 2014, 11:32:36 AM »

FEMA responded.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1430 on: January 14, 2014, 12:12:18 PM »

Uhhh  , , , so?

FEMA is for storms, tornados, floods, etc. yes?
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bigdog
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« Reply #1431 on: January 14, 2014, 12:47:08 PM »

And is in DHS.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1432 on: January 14, 2014, 06:21:59 PM »

Well, if you are telling me that DHS is an overbroad fustercluck we are in complete agreement  grin

This would be more my idea of homeland security related:

IPT Exclusive: Radical Syrian Cleric Secures US Visa Despite Endorsing Suicide Bombings
by John Rossomando
IPT News
January 14, 2014
http://www.investigativeproject.org/4265/ipt-exclusive-radical-syrian-cleric-secures-us
 
A Syrian sheik who labeled all Jews as legitimate targets for suicide bombers and who supports the death penalty for homosexuals is the latest extremist Muslim cleric raising money for Syrian-American groups supporting dictator Bashar al-Assad's ouster.

Sheik Mohammad Rateb al-Nabulsi is in the middle of an 11-city tour across America on co-sponsored by the Syrian American Council (SAC) and the Wylie, Texas-based Shaam Relief.  A promotional announcement hails al-Nabulsi as "an internationally-known Muslim scholar, renowned for his scholarship of Islam, who has lent his formidable clerical authority to support human rights, tolerance and respect for all."

But tolerance is not part of his preaching when it comes to perceived enemies.  Asked about Palestinian suicide bombings in April 2001, al-Nabulsi said he was "too insignificant to give a Sharia ruling or fatwa." Instead, he extensively cited from two previous fatwas from radical clerics which bless such attacks.

"All the Jewish people are combatants" acceptable as targets for attacks in Israel, al-Nabulsi wrote in his "ruling on martyrdom operations in Palestine.  They do not have a career that a military rank does not encounter: doctor, pilot, engineer, for example, is a tank commander. Every civilian, citizen," he wrote. "They do not have a regular army; they have a reserve army, and all the people can fight, so this is essentially an entirely aggressive entity from A to Z. This is the Sharia ruling."

Al-Nabulsi's comments on suicide bombings remain on his website.

Suicide bombings are acceptable because of the overwhelming disadvantage Palestinians have in fighting Israel, he said. And they are effective.

"Therefore beware, the enemy calls the operations suicide, they say: suicide operation to deceive

Muslims, that this is suicide, but we should call them martyrdom operations. A young man in the prime of his years sacrifices his life and shakes an entity," he wrote. "There is frightening talk. Soon tourism in Israel has become zero; soon immigration to Israel became thirty percent from the impact of these actions. It fell thirty percent. The real fact us that it began now. By God Almighty it was proven to them, It gives victory over them, and inspires us to help them in any way."

He called Jews the "worst enemies of God" and Islam and "a hotbed of vices and evils."

The scope of his fatwa is limited to Israel. But it is not his only call to violence. Al-Nabulsi believes that Muslims should violently fight those who "impose their culture … and pornography" on them, as well as those who humiliate Muslims, occupy their lands and take their money, an August 2006 sermon shows.

Yet, al-Nabulsi apparently obtained a visa from the State Department allowing him to conduct his fundraising tour. Under current policy, a foreign national applying for a U.S. visa who is known to have promoted jihad and suicide bombings would be ordinarily deemed "undesirable" and denied a visa, government officials who have been involved in deciding who gets a visa from hostile countries told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

The State Department declined to comment. "Visa records are confidential under U.S. law under the Immigration and Nationality Act," State Department spokeswoman Katherine Pfaff said in response to an IPT query.

Al-Nabulsi already has visited Spring Hill, Fla., near Tampa; Orlando; Charleston, W.Va.; Milwaukee; Paterson, N.J.; and Falls Church, Va., for the two groups. Shaam Relief raised $65,000 during the Tampa-area stop, according to the charity's Facebook page.  In Tampa, al-Nabulsi posed for a photograph with Hatem Fariz. In 2006, Fariz pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide goods or services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In doing so, he admitted communicating with Ramadan Shallah, who has been the PIJ secretary general since 1995, about a shipment of tapes of Shallah's statements about the PIJ.

In Paterson Thursday, al-Nabulsi spoke at the Islamic Center of Passaic County. That mosque is led by Mohamed Qatanani, who is fighting deportation efforts based on a 1993 arrest in Israel in which he admitted being a member of Hamas. In addition, Qatanani advocates for blasphemy laws, saying free speech does not give Americans the right to mock things holy to Islam.

Al-Nabulsi will be making two stops in the Detroit area this coming weekend before concluding his tour Jan. 25 in Dallas.

In November, a similar fundraising tour featured Sheik Osama al-Rifai, who endorsed a coalition of jihadist groups called the Islamic Front. He helped raise $3.6 million for the Syrian Sunrise Foundation, which shares several board members with the SAC.

The SAC is one of the major groups lobbying in Washington for support against Assad in Syria.

Many of the Syrian American Council's members are former members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Molham al-Droubi, a member of the Syrian Brotherhood's executive committee told the IPT in an exclusive interview. Al-Droubi, however, said there were not any institutional links between the SAC and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
SAC President Talal Sunbulli is among the current or former members of the Muslim Brotherhood who enjoy a role in the organization, according to an international phone book of Muslim Brotherhood members seized by federal investigators. Hussam Ayloush, who runs the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) Los Angeles office, serves as chairman of the organization's board of directors.

The SAC's leaders have a history of minimizing the radical Islamist threat in Syria.

Its government relations director Mohammed Ghanem criticized the United States for classifying Jabhat al-Nusra, one of al-Qaida's two Syrian affiliates, as a terrorist organization in a December 2012 column published in the Washington Post. Ghanem said the move was "disastrous" for how "mainstream" Syrians viewed the United States.

Jabhat al-Nusra's connection with al-Qaida was known about several months before Ghanem wrote his piece.

Meanwhile, al-Nabulsi's calls for violent jihad are not limited to Jews in Israel. He includes the Western push for same-sex marriage among the things Muslims need to fight in their jihad.

"So as they would not impose their pornography, and so as not to give us a lesson that marriage is a contract between two persons; not necessarily a man and a woman; it may be between two men or two women," he wrote in 2010. The message is followed by a verse from the Quran: "And fight them until there's no more fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah). And (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). " [Al-Baqarah : 193]

Al-Nabulsi took his jihad against homosexuals a step further during an April 2011 talk on Hamas's al-Aqsa TV.

"Homosexuality offers a filthy place and does not generate offsprings. Homosexuality leads to the destruction of the homosexual," Al-Nabulsi said. "That's why homosexuality carries the death penalty."

Inviting Nabulsi to speak on behalf of the SAC is ironic considering Ayloush's past statements.

"t is also extremely important to remember that even one person's support for targeting civilians is one too many. Regardless of one's religion or belief system, any support for violence should never go unnoticed or unaddressed," Ayloush wrote in a June 2007 commentary in the Los Angeles Daily News.

Yet Ayloush has been silent about al-Nabulsi's visit on his Facebook page and in his Twitter feed. Ayloush did not respond to an IPT question sent to his Twitter account asking if he had any objections to al-Nabulsi's invitation.

But Ayloush is quick to dismiss anyone who connects Islam with violence and hatred as a bigot or an "Islamophobe."

A Muslim who claims that Islam sanctions bombing innocent civilians was no different than a "KKK member who claims a biblical basis in committing bigoted crimes," Ayloush told a Southern California newspaper after last April's Boston Marathon bombing.

"Islam's teachings are very clear in protecting the sanctity of life," Ayloush said. "Anyone who claims to be a Muslim cannot act in opposition to those teachings."

Ayloush denounced anti-Semitism during the 2009 Gaza War in a column he wrote for the Jewish Journal, saying that Islam condemns "all forms of bigotry."

"Islam not only denounces, in the strongest manner possible, all forms of bigotry," he wrote, "but specifically teaches Muslims to revere and follow all Hebrew prophets who are praised in the Quran."

Ayloush's organization, CAIR, was created by members of a Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States called the Palestine Committee, the committee's own records show. These records were seized by federal investigators and admitted into evidence in 2007 and 2008 during prosecutions of another Palestine Committee branch called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.  Internal documents seized by the FBI show that CAIR and its founders, Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad, were a part of the Palestine Committee. Both men appear on a telephone list of Palestine Committee members (Ahmad is listed under a pseudonym "Omar Yehya), and CAIR is listed on a meeting agenda listing the committee's branches.

" ntil we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS," an FBI official wrote in 2009, "the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner." In a 2009 ruling, the presiding judge wrote that he saw "ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR ... with Hamas."
Asked to condemn Hamas as recently as November, Ayloush angrily said the very act of asking the question was "not acceptable," and "proves that you have nothing but bigotry in you." In a blog post a year ago, Ayloush offered his view of groups deserving the label "terrorist."

"It is used by Israel to describe Palestinians who oppose its illegal and brutal occupation of their land," he wrote. When it came time to name groups Ayloush accepts as terrorist, no Palestinian entities were included. Instead, he listed "Al Qaeda, Jewish Defense League, KKK, Neo-Nazis, and many others which have engaged in terrorism."
Fateen Atassi, who also heads the group's Chicago chapter, is another SAC board member who has had close relations with CAIR. Atassi appeared at a joint press conference with the CAIR Chicago's Executive Director Ahmed Rehab in August 2012 to protest against the bloodshed in Syria.

Shaam Relief, the other sponsor of al-Nabulsi's tour, has its own radical streak. Director Ghassan Hitto actively supported the defendants during the Holy Land Foundation's Hamas-support trial. Hitto pushed the talking point that HLF's only crime was helping suffering Palestinian children during a July 2007 event in Plano, Texas sponsored by a pro-Holy Land Foundation coalition called the Hungry for Justice Coalition.

"Hungry for Justice is a coalition that strongly believes feeding hungry children, orphans, widows or men is not a crime," he said. "Hungry for Justice is a coalition that strongly believes opposing the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine is not a crime. Hungry for Justice is a coalition that strongly believes in due process. Hungry for Justice is a coalition that strongly believes in the first amendment and the freedom of speech."

Last March the Syrian National Council, the main political arm of the anti-Assad uprising, named Hitto as its interim prime minister. Hitto served in this post until July when he resigned because he could not form an interim government. He was a member of the SAC's board of directors prior to his appointment as prime minister.

The SAC is not alone among Syrian-American groups in working with pro-jihadist clerics. Last month Mouaz Moustafa, who heads the Syrian Emergency Taskforce (SETF), argued that the United States should reach out to the Islamic Front. He called the jihadist coalition the "best hope" for the West to fight al-Qaida in Syria, although some of the Front's leaders have friendly relations with Jabhat al-Nusra.

"They should also be seen as the best hope against al-Qaida and the extremists in Syria and also against Hizballah and Assad," Moustafa said in a podcast. "I think the international community and the West in general must engage with the Islamic Front and need to be more pragmatic and realistic about what is going on ground in Syria in order to bring them on board with whatever political solution will happen in the future."

Inviting al-Nabulsi and al-Rifai, together with Moustafa's favorable statements about the Islamic Front suggest that the leaders of these Syrian-American groups may not be as moderate as they publicly claim.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1433 on: January 16, 2014, 12:33:12 PM »

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/us/politics/us-to-expand-rules-limiting-use-of-profiling-by-federal-agents.html?from=homepage
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G M
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« Reply #1434 on: January 16, 2014, 05:35:50 PM »


Laying the groundwork for the next 9/11.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1435 on: January 18, 2014, 06:14:09 AM »

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/01/new-jersey-muslim-freed-from-pipe-at-water-treatment-plant-faces-criminal-charges.html
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bigdog
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« Reply #1436 on: January 19, 2014, 04:38:42 PM »

http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_national/government_attacks/index.html?SITE=MOSTP
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1437 on: January 22, 2014, 10:01:45 PM »

A US embassy is American soil, hence my posting this http://news.yahoo.com/israel-says-foiled-al-qaida-plot-us-embassy-212356519.html in this thread
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G M
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« Reply #1438 on: January 22, 2014, 10:09:35 PM »

A US embassy is American soil, hence my posting this http://news.yahoo.com/israel-says-foiled-al-qaida-plot-us-embassy-212356519.html in this thread

Israel has an unfair advantage over our Intel agencies. Primarily they get to operate without CAIR overseeing their training and personnel.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1439 on: January 23, 2014, 09:50:54 AM »

Subtle Signs That May Mark You an Airport Security Risk
The Pros and Cons of TSA's Behavior-Detection Program
By Scott McCartney


Jan. 22, 2014 7:29 p.m. ET

Ever feel like you're being watched at an airport? You are, and it's not just the surveillance cameras. Scott McCartney explains the program that has thousands of TSA agents roaming airports with an eye for suspicious behavior. Photo: AP.

Ever feel like you're being watched at an airport? You are, and it isn't just the ubiquitous surveillance cameras.

The Transportation Security Administration has about 3,000 officers trained to detect behavioral clues of "mal-intent." They eye travelers at checkpoints and throughout the airport for signs of above-normal stress, fear and deception, and sometimes engage in casual conversation to measure reactions. After the fatal shooting of a TSA officer in Los Angeles in November, the Behavior Detection Officers, or BDOs, have increased roaming in public areas of airports.

The Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, concluded in a recent report there is no credible evidence that TSA's behavior-detection program, which costs about $200 million a year, is effective. Scientific studies in general show human ability to identify deceptive behavior without conversation is at best only slightly better than 50-50 chance, the November report said. GAO urged Congress to cut back funding.

TSA says the program is a vital part of a multilayered regimen, crucial to the agency's effort to get smarter about risk-based, targeted security.

TSA Administrator John Pistole, a former FBI official, likens the BDOs in 176 U.S. airports to cops on a beat. He notes that law enforcement and military have been using behavior-detection techniques for generations. The 94 different indicators that BDOs hunt for, such as fidgeting, excessive sweating and wearing heavy clothes in a warm climate, were developed largely from FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration criteria. And instead of reacting to the latest threat—whether it be box cutters or liquid explosives or bombs in underwear—the BDOs are proactive in looking for bad people regardless of weapon.

Wesley Bedrosian

"A lot of it is common sense," Mr. Pistole said in an interview last month in Houston. Effectiveness can be seen in arrests, he said. "We've found hundreds of people who had false IDs, who had drugs or cash or warrants or were in this country illegally. They demonstrated suspicious behavior and any one of them could have been a terrorist."

BDOs, usually in uniform, work in pairs to scan travelers from different angles and use a point system to score suspicious behavior. It takes a cluster of indications to trigger a referral, which means the passenger is singled out for enhanced screening at checkpoints, including a pat-down and search of personal property. During the screening, which takes 13 minutes on average, BDOs check travel documents and engage the passenger in voluntary conversation. If something suspicious is found or the traveler exhibits more suspicious behavior, law enforcement is called.

Last year, TSA referred more than 2,100 passengers singled out by BDOs to local law enforcement, resulting in 181 arrests, plus an additional 79 investigations and 30 other boarding denials.

In addition to patrolling airport terminals, uniformed BDOs "walk the line," in TSA-speak. One BDO watches passenger reactions while a partner walks down the checkpoint line, engaging passengers in chitchat or commenting on a bag or clothing. "Engagement may escalate someone with mal-intent," said a TSA official in Washington, D.C.

TSA officials say BDOs don't just look for nervousness or anxiety. They say it is a misconception that just being anxious can land you in extra screening. "Most people are agitated or a little bit in a rush," said the TSA official. "We're not looking for [the typical harried person] who's often late for the plane and can't find his or her ID."

The program, which started at airports in 2007, has been criticized for snaring people who pose no threat to aviation. Most arrests are for fake IDs and drug possession.

TSA has also faced complaints of racial profiling, or simply being too subjective with its referrals. Anecdotal evidence in the GAO report seemed to back this up. The GAO said 21 of the 25 BDOs it interviewed said some behavioral indicators are subjective. Five of the 25 said they believed some profiling was occurring.

The American Civil Liberties Union accused TSA BDOs of racial profiling at Boston's Logan Airport after eight TSA officers went to ACLU with concerns that colleagues were trying to boost BDO arrest numbers by seeking out minorities who might be more likely to have immigration issues or arrest warrants. That sparked an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general. A synopsis of the inspector general's report made public in September found no indication BDOs were targeting minorities to meet quotas. The ACLU in a Boston Globe report said the investigation was inadequate, noting that TSA doesn't record information about the race of people referred for enhanced screening.

Nationwide, the GAO said BDOs averaged 1.6 referrals over 160 hours worked. But that rate varied significantly between airports, GAO found, ranging from 0 to 26 referrals per 160 hours. "Subjectivity and variation raise questions about continued use of behavioral indicators," GAO said.

TSA says it prohibits racial profiling and has enhanced its training and oversight of BDOs.

An outside firm is currently evaluating the 94 different indicators of suspicious behavior that BDOs use, trying to standardize a more-manageable list with less subjectivity. TSA says it started collecting new data about BDO referrals, and is studying whether it can begin tracking race and national origin of passengers referred for enhanced screening.

BDOs get five days of classroom training and two days of on-the-job training. They must pass a written test every year and be observed by a manager annually to stay certified. There is also recurrent training, TSA says.
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« Reply #1440 on: January 31, 2014, 04:46:20 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/31/i-saw-you-naked-and-yes-we-were-laughing-ex-tsa-employees-shocking-confessions/
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« Reply #1441 on: February 05, 2014, 05:28:42 PM »



Assault on California Power Station Raises Alarm on Potential for Terrorism
April Sniper Attack Knocked Out Substation, Raises Concern for Country's Power Grid
By Rebecca Smith
Feb. 4, 2014 10:30 p.m. ET

SAN JOSE, Calif.—The attack began just before 1 a.m. on April 16 last year, when someone slipped into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut telephone cables.

Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on a nearby electrical substation. Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley. A minute before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night.

A sniper attack in April that knocked out an electrical substation near San Jose, Calif., has raised fears that the country's power grid is vulnerable to terrorism. WSJ's Rebecca Smith has the details. Photo: Talia Herman for The Wall Street Journal

With over 160,000 miles of transmission lines, the U.S. power grid is designed to handle natural and man-made disasters, as well as fluctuations in demand. How does the system work? WSJ's Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer.

To avoid a blackout, electric-grid officials rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity. But it took utility workers 27 days to make repairs and bring the substation back to life.

Nobody has been arrested or charged in the attack at PG&E Corp.'s PCG -0.41% Metcalf transmission substation. It is an incident of which few Americans are aware. But one former federal regulator is calling it a terrorist act that, if it were widely replicated across the country, could take down the U.S. electric grid and black out much of the country.

The attack was "the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred" in the U.S., said Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time.

The Wall Street Journal assembled a chronology of the Metcalf attack from filings PG&E made to state and federal regulators; from other documents including a video released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department; and from interviews, including with Mr. Wellinghoff.
Related

Q&A: What You Need to Know About Attacks on the U.S. Power Grid

The 64-year-old Nevadan, who was appointed to FERC in 2006 by President George W. Bush and stepped down in November, said he gave closed-door, high-level briefings to federal agencies, Congress and the White House last year. As months have passed without arrests, he said, he has grown increasingly concerned that an even larger attack could be in the works. He said he was going public about the incident out of concern that national security is at risk and critical electric-grid sites aren't adequately protected.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn't think a terrorist organization caused the Metcalf attack, said a spokesman for the FBI in San Francisco. Investigators are "continuing to sift through the evidence," he said.

Some people in the utility industry share Mr. Wellinghoff's concerns, including a former official at PG&E, Metcalf's owner, who told an industry gathering in November he feared the incident could have been a dress rehearsal for a larger event.

"This wasn't an incident where Billy-Bob and Joe decided, after a few brewskis, to come in and shoot up a substation," Mark Johnson, retired vice president of transmission for PG&E, told the utility security conference, according to a video of his presentation. "This was an event that was well thought out, well planned and they targeted certain components." When reached, Mr. Johnson declined to comment further.

A spokesman for PG&E said the company takes all incidents seriously but declined to discuss the Metcalf event in detail for fear of giving information to potential copycats. "We won't speculate about the motives" of the attackers, added the spokesman, Brian Swanson. He said PG&E has increased security measures.
View Graphics

Utility executives and federal energy officials have long worried that the electric grid is vulnerable to sabotage. That is in part because the grid, which is really three systems serving different areas of the U.S., has failed when small problems such as trees hitting transmission lines created cascading blackouts. One in 2003 knocked out power to 50 million people in the Eastern U.S. and Canada for days.

Many of the system's most important components sit out in the open, often in remote locations, protected by little more than cameras and chain-link fences.

Transmission substations are critical links in the grid. They make it possible for electricity to move long distances, and serve as hubs for intersecting power lines.

Within a substation, transformers raise the voltage of electricity so it can travel hundreds of miles on high-voltage lines, or reduce voltages when electricity approaches its destination. The Metcalf substation functions as an off-ramp from power lines for electricity heading to homes and businesses in Silicon Valley.

The country's roughly 2,000 very large transformers are expensive to build, often costing millions of dollars each, and hard to replace. Each is custom made and weighs up to 500,000 pounds, and "I can only build 10 units a month," said Dennis Blake, general manager of Pennsylvania Transformer in Pittsburgh, one of seven U.S. manufacturers. The utility industry keeps some spares on hand.

A 2009 Energy Department report said that "physical damage of certain system components (e.g. extra-high-voltage transformers) on a large scale…could result in prolonged outages, as procurement cycles for these components range from months to years."

Mr. Wellinghoff said a FERC analysis found that if a surprisingly small number of U.S. substations were knocked out at once, that could destabilize the system enough to cause a blackout that could encompass most of the U.S.

Not everyone is so pessimistic. Gerry Cauley, chief executive of the North America Electric Reliability Corp., a standards-setting group that reports to FERC, said he thinks the grid is more resilient than Mr. Wellinghoff fears.

"I don't want to downplay the scenario he describes," Mr. Cauley said. "I'll agree it's possible from a technical assessment." But he said that even if several substations went down, the vast majority of people would have their power back in a few hours.

The utility industry has been focused on Internet attacks, worrying that hackers could take down the grid by disabling communications and important pieces of equipment. Companies have reported 13 cyber incidents in the past three years, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of emergency reports utilities file with the federal government. There have been no reports of major outages linked to these events, although companies have generally declined to provide details.

"A lot of people in the electric industry have been distracted by cybersecurity threats," said Stephen Berberich, chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, which runs much of the high-voltage transmission system for the utilities. He said that physical attacks pose a "big, if not bigger" menace.

There were 274 significant instances of vandalism or deliberate damage in the three years, and more than 700 weather-related problems, according to the Journal's analysis.

Until the Metcalf incident, attacks on U.S. utility equipment were mostly linked to metal thieves, disgruntled employees or bored hunters, who sometimes took potshots at small transformers on utility poles to see what happens. (Answer: a small explosion followed by an outage.)

Last year, an Arkansas man was charged with multiple attacks on the power grid, including setting fire to a switching station. He has pleaded not guilty and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, according to federal court records.

Overseas, terrorist organizations were linked to 2,500 attacks on transmission lines or towers and at least 500 on substations from 1996 to 2006, according to a January report from the Electric Power Research Institute, an industry-funded research group, which cited State Department data.

An attack on a PG&E substation near San Jose, Calif., in April knocked out 17 transformers like this one. Talia Herman for The Wall Street Journal

To some, the Metcalf incident has lifted the discussion of serious U.S. grid attacks beyond the theoretical. "The breadth and depth of the attack was unprecedented" in the U.S., said Rich Lordan, senior technical executive for the Electric Power Research Institute. The motivation, he said, "appears to be preparation for an act of war."

The attack lasted slightly less than an hour, according to the chronology assembled by the Journal.

At 12:58 a.m., AT&T fiber-optic telecommunications cables were cut—in a way that made them hard to repair—in an underground vault near the substation, not far from U.S. Highway 101 just outside south San Jose. It would have taken more than one person to lift the metal vault cover, said people who visited the site.

Nine minutes later, some customers of Level 3 Communications, LVLT +10.00% an Internet service provider, lost service. Cables in its vault near the Metcalf substation were also cut.

At 1:31 a.m., a surveillance camera pointed along a chain-link fence around the substation recorded a streak of light that investigators from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's office think was a signal from a waved flashlight. It was followed by the muzzle flash of rifles and sparks from bullets hitting the fence.

The substation's cameras weren't aimed outside its perimeter, where the attackers were. They shooters appear to have aimed at the transformers' oil-filled cooling systems. These began to bleed oil, but didn't explode, as the transformers probably would have done if hit in other areas.

About six minutes after the shooting started, PG&E confirms, it got an alarm from motion sensors at the substation, possibly from bullets grazing the fence, which is shown on video.

Four minutes later, at 1:41 a.m., the sheriff's department received a 911 call about gunfire, sent by an engineer at a nearby power plant that still had phone service.

Riddled with bullet holes, the transformers leaked 52,000 gallons of oil, then overheated. The first bank of them crashed at 1:45 a.m., at which time PG&E's control center about 90 miles north received an equipment-failure alarm.

Five minutes later, another apparent flashlight signal, caught on film, marked the end of the attack. More than 100 shell casings of the sort ejected by AK-47s were later found at the site.

At 1:51 a.m., law-enforcement officers arrived, but found everything quiet. Unable to get past the locked fence and seeing nothing suspicious, they left.

A PG&E worker, awakened by the utility's control center at 2:03 a.m., arrived at 3:15 a.m. to survey the damage.

Grid officials routed some power around the substation to keep the system stable and asked customers in Silicon Valley to conserve electricity.

In a news release, PG&E said the substation had been hit by vandals. It has since confirmed 17 transformers were knocked out.

Mr. Wellinghoff, then chairman of FERC, said that after he heard about the scope of the attack, he flew to California, bringing with him experts from the U.S. Navy's Dahlgren Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, which trains Navy SEALs. After walking the site with PG&E officials and FBI agents, Mr. Wellinghoff said, the military experts told him it looked like a professional job.

In addition to fingerprint-free shell casings, they pointed out small piles of rocks, which they said could have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.

"They said it was a targeting package just like they would put together for an attack," Mr. Wellinghoff said.

Mr. Wellinghoff, now a law partner at Stoel Rives LLP in San Francisco, said he arranged a series of meetings in the following weeks to let other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, know what happened and to enlist their help. He held a closed-door meeting with utility executives in San Francisco in June and has distributed lists of things utilities should do to strengthen their defenses.

A spokesman for Homeland Security said it is up to utilities to protect the grid. The department's role in an emergency is to connect federal agencies and local police and facilitate information sharing, the spokesman said.

As word of the attack spread through the utility industry, some companies moved swiftly to review their security efforts. "We're looking at things differently now," said Michelle Campanella, an FBI veteran who is director of security for Consolidated Edison Inc. ED -0.37% in New York. For example, she said, Con Ed changed the angles of some of its 1,200 security cameras "so we don't have any blind spots."

Some of the legislators Mr. Wellinghoff briefed are calling for action. Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) mentioned the incident at a FERC oversight hearing in December, saying he was concerned that no one in government can order utilities to improve grid protections or to take charge in an emergency.

As for Mr. Wellinghoff, he said he has made something of a hobby of visiting big substations to look over defenses and see whether he is questioned by security details or local police. He said he typically finds easy access to fence lines that are often close to important equipment.

"What keeps me awake at night is a physical attack that could take down the grid," he said. "This is a huge problem."
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« Reply #1442 on: February 17, 2014, 06:23:26 AM »

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304675504579386740992812348?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsForth
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« Reply #1443 on: February 23, 2014, 11:56:59 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/us/borders-new-sentinels-are-robots-penetrating-deepest-drug-routes.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140223&_r=0
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« Reply #1444 on: February 26, 2014, 08:56:41 AM »

WND is not always reliable, but , , ,

http://www.wnd.com/2006/02/34858/
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« Reply #1445 on: February 27, 2014, 01:01:58 PM »

Ray Kelly Was Right
A federal judge affirms that it's constitutional to look for terrorists.
Feb. 26, 2014 7:30 p.m. ET

Put an asterisk next to the prizes for the Associated Press for its 2011 series on the New York City Police Department's search for terrorists. The stories suggested that police monitoring of Muslim communities threatened civil liberties and might not stand up in court. Federal Judge William Martini has now ruled otherwise.

Former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly believes that when AP reporters embarked on their series, they were largely ignorant of the "Handschu" rules on police surveillance. These were the result of a 1980s consent decree, and Mr. Kelly insisted all along that his cops were following the rules and acting within the law. When we asked him last year what the department had changed in the wake of the AP reporting, he said: "Nothing."


A group of plaintiffs, including Muslim businesses and associations, nonetheless sued the department. They claimed they had suffered, and would suffer in the future, from their identification as targets of police surveillance.

But last week Judge Martini tossed their case out of court. He ruled that police didn't harm the plaintiffs, but he also suggested that if any harm was done to the plaintiffs, it was done by the AP. "None of the Plaintiffs' injuries arose until after the Associated Press released unredacted, confidential NYPD documents and articles expressing its own interpretation of those documents," he wrote.

Judge Martini also drop-kicked the notion that the plaintiffs had been unfairly targeted simply because of their religion. He wrote, "The more likely explanation for the surveillance was a desire to locate budding terrorist conspiracies. The most obvious reason for so concluding is that surveillance of the Muslim community began just after the attacks of September 11, 2001."

The judge further reasoned that the police "could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself." Judge Martini concluded that "the motive for the Program was not solely to discriminate against Muslims, but rather to find Muslim terrorists hiding among ordinary, law-abiding Muslims." Which is exactly what New Yorkers want their police department to do.
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« Reply #1446 on: February 27, 2014, 04:56:20 PM »

Ilhamdullah! Some clear thinking from the bench!
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« Reply #1447 on: March 01, 2014, 05:34:22 PM »

http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines/22-jihad-terror-training-centers-discovered-in-america-fbi-hands-tied-because-obama-refuses-to-declare-group-a-foreign-terrorist-organization
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« Reply #1448 on: March 03, 2014, 02:53:51 PM »

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/02/23/ex-navy-seal-christopher-mark-heben-power-grid-%E2%80%98amazingly-easy-dismantle%E2%80%99

I am intrigued here by the apparent reference to non-nuclear EMP , , ,
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« Reply #1449 on: March 03, 2014, 03:37:26 PM »


Why? It's hardly classified technology.
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