Thursday, October 02, 2008

Al-Qaeda Targets Lethal Disease Research Facility on NY Island - International Analyst Network

Al-Qaeda Targets Lethal Disease Research Facility on NY Island - International Analyst Network: "In a recent op-ed piece for the Hartford Courant, Connecticut State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal outlined some of the dangers associated with the “monstrous risks” of the Plum Island facility — should it be compromised. Among them:

* The proximity of Plum Island to New York City, one of the nation’s most populous cities and a repeated target of terrorist attacks.

* The fact that 20 million people live within 50 miles of Long Island Sound.

* The proximity of Plum Island to a nuclear submarine base, a nuclear submarine construction facility, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and a major nuclear power plant.

* The special security risks of protecting and providing emergency response services to an island.

A final decision about whether or not to expand the current island facility or move it will be reached before the administration change on January 20, 2009. Until then, the debate as to where the facility should go continues."

A hunt in garbage helps solve eco-terrorism spree

May these freaks spend the rest of their days looking at nice, eco-friendly concrete and iron. Too bad they are not turning over more of the hippies to be prosecuted.

A hunt in garbage helps solve eco-terrorism spree - eSearchNet: "A business owner checking a trash container for scrap cardboard was alarmed by something else: gas masks, maps, an M-80 explosive, arson photos and anti-government writings.

'It was kinda scary,' Andy Wishaw recalled. 'Some of my employees said it's nothing. I thought, 'What's it going to hurt to call the police?''

The discovery turned out to be a big break for the FBI.

Agents on the trail of eco-terrorism used the contents to help solve more than a dozen acts of arson and tree spikings in Michigan and Indiana committed in the name of a radical group, the Earth Liberation Front, known as ELF, from 1999 through 2003.

Details on the trash and other evidence against two key figures are in search warrants in federal court in western Michigan. The warrants and affidavits are sealed, but they've landed on the Internet, offering a look at how the FBI closed in on Frank Ambrose and Marie Mason."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Australian Report Adds to Concerns Over Stored Value Instruments

Counterterrorism Blog: New Australian Report Adds to Concerns Over Stored Value Instruments: "Yesterday, the Australian Institute of Criminology, a research and knowledge center on crime and justice, released a report, "Money laundering risks of prepaid stored value cards," which identifies "the misuse of prepaid stored value cards to keep the proceeds of crime and move them across borders without alerting law enforcement and financial intelligence units." The report adds to the growing body of concern among governmental officials worldwide over the use by criminals and terrorists of stored value instruments (SVIs), of which "hard cards" are but a subset. Almost three years ago, the first "U.S. Money Laundering Threat Assessment" described SVIs as "an emerging cash alternative for both legitimate consumers and money launderers alike." Jonathan Winer wrote in January 2007 of the first BSA enforcement action against a financial institution for failing to notice a pattern of money laundering using phone cards. This year, the 2008 edition of the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, released by the State Department, included a new section on the threat of mobile payments. Numerous officials across the U.S. government, including the Pentagon's counterinsurgency and special operations units, are devoting increased time and attention to understanding the technologies involved and to developing recognition and risk mitigation strategies. Several high-level briefings have been held this year with experts from financial institutions and information technology firms, with the results and "lessons learned" communicated back through the commands and into the field, including the provision of new technology to infantry to read hard cards captured from terrorists.

The technologies available for storing value are expanding far ahead of international regulators' abilities. They include smart cards and specialized chips in cell phones, but the value need not be stored in a physical medium; instead, the card or chip could access a secure account on the internet (a "cloud account"). Current U.S. banking regulations govern only those stored value instruments provided by financial institutions and already subject to BSA/Patriot Act regulation, while SVIs issued during the course of business . But numerous non-financial institutions are also offering stored value cards as a means of paying for goods and services. Stephen Spoonamore, an expert on the technology side of the issue, tracks criminal enforcement cases in which SVIs have been captured during an arrest and provided several examples. In one case this year, suspects arrested in a raid in Brooklyn had purchased $250-300,000 in cards to personally carry money home to friends and relatives and avoid the cash reporting requirement at the border. In 2007, drug-related raids in the Las Vegas area resulted in the seizure of over 18,400 cards with a total value of approximately $6.5 million. Many of the cards were issued by retailers, which are not subject to BSA/Patriot Act regulation because they're not "financial institutions."

The market for stored value instruments is huge; the Australian report estimates gift card volume alone at almost $88 billion globally this year. I've already written on the need to update the BSA and Title III of the Patriot Act in new legislation, and this is one area which was almost unknown to the Congress and regulators in 2001. Spoonamore suggests several "tech fixes" which could reduce the risk of improper use without further legislation. As the Australian report points out, the "Violent Crime Control Act of 2007," introduced in Congress in 2007, included a provision mandating new regulations over SVIs, but no Congress did nothing about the bill. The next Administration and Congress should examine this issue in detail and consider mandating a new cost-effective and risk-based regulatory structure over all SVIs."

Russia's last czar declared victim of repression

Politics killed the family, politics smeared their name, and now politics are rehabilitating them? I wonder why? At least they are back to being human again.

Russia's last czar declared victim of repression - Yahoo! News: "The last czar and his family were victims of political repression, Russia's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, formally restoring the Romanov name and furthering a Kremlin effort to encourage patriotism by celebrating the country's czarist past.

Nicholas II, his wife and five children were shot to death by a Bolshevik firing squad in 1918, a year after the revolution that led to the creation of the Soviet Union.

For years, their descendants have sought rehabilitation in the courts claiming the executions were political repression. The argument was repeatedly denied until Wednesday when the country's highest court issued the final word, siding with the family.

According to critics, earlier rulings reflected Vladimir Putin's reluctance to condemn the Soviet government's crimes, in part to justify his own retreat from democracy."

Counter-Terrorism: Another Al Qaeda Last Stand

Counter-Terrorism: Another Al Qaeda Last Stand: "Another Al Qaeda Last Stand

September 29, 2008: The Taliban and their al Qaeda allies have been fighting a large, and losing, battle against the army in the Pakistani region of Bajaur (right on the Afghan border). The fighting has been going on for a month now, and the terrorists have lost about a thousand dead, while the army has lost only 27 dead. The large disparity in losses is largely due to the Pakistani use of air power (bombers and helicopters) and artillery. The army controls the roads, forcing the Taliban to concentrate their forces, to avoid getting taken apart by road (and helicopter) mobile Pakistani infantry.

The fighting began when the Taliban, who had always been dominant in Bajaur, sought to take over completely and drive government officials out. The army responded with over 10,000 troops, and more following, and went after the towns, villages and walled compounds known to be bases for the enemy. The Taliban did not expect the army to respond so energetically. But the Taliban had prepared ambushes along the roads (by renting houses, and digging tunnels and bunkers next to them for shelter from artillery and bombs). In response, the army detected these preparations (with air reconnaissance, patrols and local informants), and avoided, or destroyed, these positions.

The situation has become so dire that the Bajaur Taliban has called for reinforcements from other Taliban groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Since most of the Pakistani Taliban are tribe based, not a lot of Taliban tribesmen have been showing up. But the al Qaeda forces (which are mostly Arabs, Chechens, Uzbeks and other foreigners) did arrive in large numbers. Al Qaeda gunmen were not immune to the army firepower, and four of the five known leaders killed, and identified, were foreign al Qaeda men.

The army believes that it will have destroyed the Taliban in Bajaur by the end of the year. The army has openly vowed to win in Bajaur, and keep their own casualties down while doing it. Pakistani soldiers have noted the ability of foreign and Afghan troops to do the same in Afghanistan, and wanted to operate the same way. This is in contrast to the way things usually work. For centuries, the Pushtun tribes have had the edge in their own mountains and valleys, and soldiers from the outside had a hard time of it. The Pakistani army is determined to show that times have changed, and that the tribes are no longer supreme in their own territory. In the past, the one tactic that worked against the Pushtun tribes was mass murder. That's how the Mongols pacified the region, but such wholesale destruction of villages and civilians is no longer acceptable. However, the U.S. tactics of scouting and long range fire power does work, even when the armed tribesmen take cover among civilians (who now do all they can to flee when they see the fighting headed their way.) "

US approves 25 F-35 "stealth" fighter aircraft sale to Israel

DEBKAfile - US approves 25 F-35 "stealth" fighter aircraft sale to Israel: "The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency has approved the $15.2 billion sale of 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for Israel with an option for another 50, saying it is vital to US national security interests to assist Israel develop “a strong and ready self-defense capability.”

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that President George W, Bush, in mid-financial crisis, fully discharged his promise of a defense package for Israeli before he left office. There was no announcement of the date of supply.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon approved up to $330 million in three separate arms deals for Israel and posted its advanced FBX-band radar system to an Israeli Air Force base in the Negev."

This Librarian Specializes in Terrorism and Extremism - Press Release Distribution - PR Agency: "A librarian who writes and teaches about terrorism and extremism may seem like an anomaly, especially at Texas A&M University. Dr. Stephen Atkins, curator for French collections at the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, has been researching and writing about terrorism for almost 20 years.

He views his work as a service to his fellow Americans and a “wake up call” for students who enroll in his class on terrorism and extremism. His most recent work is the two-volume, Encyclopedia of 9/11 published by Praeger International Security.

“As a librarian, my job is to disseminate accurate information. Consequently, I find no incompatibility between my role as a librarian and as a scholar on extremism and terrorism,” Atkins says."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Jawa Report: Help Needed: Click This, Help Soldiers

The Jawa Report: Help Needed: Click This, Help Soldiers: "Help Needed: Click This, Help Soldiers

It's this simple. Click here. Scroll down and pick Soldier's Angels. Enter.

You just gave Soldier's Angels $2. That's it. And it didn't cost you a dime! decided they have $80,000 to give to charity, so they're letting people vote on which charity to give to. One vote = $2 until all the money is given away or until Oct. 15th when voting ends.

No gimmicks. They didn't even ask for an e-mail so they could spam you later. If they don't get 40,000 people to vote they'll just divide the money up proportionally.

Please pass this along to other bloggers, friends, and family members.

UPDATE: Come on people, click. If not for the good feeling you get for helping our brave soldiers, then for the evil yet surprisingly satisfying feeling that you'll get knowing that your helping put the #2 charity in the race farther and farther behind.

I'm told The Acumen Fund is a George Soros charity run by his daughter. Not that everything Soros does is evil, but people, GEORGE SOROS. Are we going to let them even come close? I don't think so.

Click, you know you want to. GEORGE. FRICKIN. SOROS."

Mysterious Cargo Aboard Iranian Ship Seized by Pirates Raises WMD Concerns - Mysterious Cargo Aboard Iranian Ship Seized by Pirates Raises WMD Concerns - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News: "As Somali pirates brazenly maintain their standoff with American warships off the coast of Africa, the cargo aboard one Iranian ship they commandeered is raising concerns that it may contain materials that can be used for chemical or biological weapons.

Some local officials suspect that instead of finding riches, the pirates encountered deadly chemical agents aboard the Iranian vessel.

On Aug. 21, the pirates, armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, stole onto the decks of the merchant vessel Iran Deyanat.

They ransacked the ship and searched the containers. But in the days following the hijacking, a number of them fell ill and died, suffering skin burns and hair loss, according to reports.

The pirates were sickened because of their contact with the seized cargo, according to Hassan Osman, the Somali minister of Minerals and Oil, who met with the pirates to facilitate negotiations.

'That ship is unusual,' Osman told the Long War Journal, an online news source that covers the War on Terror. 'It is not carrying a normal shipment.'"


Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.
Groucho Marx

All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats.
Groucho Marx

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
Groucho Marx

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
Groucho Marx

Politics doesn't make strange bedfellows - marriage does.
Groucho Marx

The first thing which I can record concerning myself is, that I was born. These are wonderful words. This life, to which neither time nor eternity can bring diminution - this everlasting living soul, began. My mind loses itself in these depths.
Groucho Marx

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
Groucho Marx

There is one way to find out if a man is honest; ask him! If he says yes you know he's crooked.
Groucho Marx

U.S. Navy: Pirates Not Our Problem

WTF? The US Navy can't fight pirates? As it says in this article, that is the reason they were formed! We have come a long way from our roots, but it seems we have come too far.

U.S. Navy: Pirates Not Our Problem (Updated) | Danger Room from "'The coalition does not have the resources to provide 24-hour protection for the vast number of merchant vessels in the region,' Combined Maritime Forces commander, U.S. vice admiral Bill Gortney tells Reuters. 'The shipping companies must take measures to defend their vessels and their crews.'

Taking a historical view, it pains me to read this. One of the primary reasons he United States of America dumped the Articles of Confederation and wrote the Constitution of the United States was to gain the power of taxation. And the primary reason the founding fathers needed taxation was so the country could build a Navy for the specific purpose of fighting pirates.

I also find it very frustrating that last Thursday, the Admirals stood in front of the American people in Durham and discussed in detail the role of naval power to protect the global system to insure the free flow of trade. Yet here we have a clear example of trade disruption on the seas, and the U.S. Navy basically tells ship owners they can't solve the problem."

Taliban Leader Baitullah Mehsud Dead

When a world recognized religious leader dies, it is always a sad thing. Even when it is a wacko like this freak. I hope that Allah takes the little piggy and roasts him for dinner.

Too bad that it was not a smart bomb.

The Jawa Report: Imperial Good News: Taliban Leader Baitullah Mehsud Dead: "The leader of Pakistan's Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, is dead from kidney failure, sources told CNN.

The Pakistan government blamed Mehsud for the December 27, 2007, assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

An unnamed Islamabad-based source with connections within the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan said Mehsud died about 1 a.m. Wednesday. Military officials in the field confirmed to CNN that Mehsud had died."

Sing for Change Obama (Updated)

A bunch of school kids singing about the One? I have seen this before! In North Korea, China, Soviet Union, ... I think you get the point.

The line between Liberals and Communists is getting thinner and thinner as the Liberals blatantly steal from the ideas of the great Communist leaders. When will the political indoctrination camps begin?

YouTube - Sing for Change Obama

Pointed out by BG on Gateway Pundit

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Gun That Never Was

The Gun That Never Was - Kit Up: "Well, it looks as if the Army has again officially opened the can of worms that is the debate revolving around a replacement for the M16/M4. With this go around however, the Army says all limitations are off. They say they’re willing to consider any caliber, any operation system, and any configuration."

Religion of Peace fire bombs those who tell the truth

Interested-Participant: "In August 2008, Random House announced it would not publish The Jewel of Medina by American author Sherry Jones (pic) due to expected repercussions from Islamists.

In mid-September, Gibson Square, a British publishing house headed by Martin Rynja, announced that it would release The Jewel of Medina.

Over this past weekend, Marin Rynja's home was firebombed.

Yesterday the right-hand man of preacher of hate Omar Bakri said the fire-bombing was the 'thin end of the wedge'.

Anjem Choudary, a former member of radical Islamist group al-Mujaharoun, said: 'This book is an attack on the honour of Mohammed. It is clearly stipulated in Muslim law that any kind of attack on his honour carries the death penalty.

'People should be aware of the consequences they might face when producing material like this. They should know the depth of feeling it might provoke.

'If the publication goes ahead then I think, inevitably, there will be more attacks like this. The repercussions will be very severe for everyone associated with it. It is not me that is doing petrol bombing, but I understand their feelings.'

In accordance with the terrorism act, Scotland Yard arrested three men aged 22, 30 and 40 for the firebombing. Martin Rynja is under guard at a secret location.

The Jewel of Medina tells the story of nine-year-old Aisha, Mohammad's favorite wife, and how she asserts herself through life among 12 other wives plus concubines. "

Indiana Father Kills Sex Offender Who Broke Into Home - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - Indiana Father Kills Sex Offender Who Broke Into Home - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News: "A convicted sex offender died Sunday during a struggle with a father who found the naked man in or near his 17-year-old daughter's bedroom, police said.

Police responding to a call from the city's northwest side about 3:20 a.m. found 64-year-old Robert McNally on the hallway floor with his arm around the neck of 52-year-old David T. Meyers, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Mount said Meyers had a heart condition and may have had a heart attack. An autopsy was planned.

Police said Meyers was naked except for a mask and latex gloves and had entered the home through a window near the girl's bedroom with rope, condoms and a knife. He was familiar with the home's layout because it belonged to a relative, police said.

The girl awoke and screamed when she saw the man in her room, police said. The father responded and struggled with the intruder while the girl's mother phoned 911.

Police did not anticipate any charges against McNally.

'If a person breaks into your home, you are justified in using deadly force in defending your family,' said Mount. 'In this situation, I don't think he was trying to kill him, he was trying to hold him down.'"

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