It’s a shame the UK doesn’t have a death penalty

February 26, 2014
Lee Rigby, victim of jihad

Lee Rigby, victim of jihad

For these two brave knights of Allah blood-crazed jihadis richly deserve it:

Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were found guilty on 19th December 2013 of killing 25-year-old soldier Lee Rigby, who had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Adebolajo, 28, was sentenced to a whole life tariff.

Adebowale, 22, was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

The pair were said to be shouting in the court room earlier, screaming “Allah hu Akbar” before they were removed by guards.

Judge Nigel Sweeney delayed sentencing in order to take account of a Court of Appeal ruling on the principle of jail terms for life.

Justice Sweeney said during the sentencing, “You have both gloried in what you have done.” He also stated that the two “butchered” Lee Rigby: “You, Adebolajo, concentrated on his neck. You, Adebowale, concentrated on his torso. What the two of you did resulted in a bloodbath”.

Adebolajo and Adebowale are Muslim converts who knew exactly what they were doing: waging jihad fi sabil Allah — “war for the sake of Allah” — in accordance with the Qur’an:

Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost. 

These murderers took Drummer Rigby from his wife and two-year old child, but will themselves live for decades at the British taxpayer’s expense. Doesn’t seem like justice to me.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Suicide-bombing instructor blows up his own class

February 10, 2014
Former ISIS faculty member

Former ISIS faculty member

As you can imagine, I’m shedding rivers of tears over this news.

Tears of laughter:

A group of Sunni militants attending a suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad were killed on Monday when their commander unwittingly conducted a demonstration with a belt that was packed with explosives, army and police officials said.

The militants belonged to a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which is fighting the Shiite-dominated army of the Iraqi government, mostly in Anbar Province. But they are also linked to bomb attacks elsewhere and other fighting that has thrown Iraq deeper into sectarian violence.

Twenty-two ISIS members were killed, and 15 were wounded, in the explosion at the camp, which is in a farming area in the northeastern province of Samara, according to the police and army officials. Stores of other explosive devices and heavy weapons were also kept there, the officials said.

I bet that taught them a lesson they’ll never forget.

I wonder if a jihadi qualifies for his 72 virgin goats if he dies in the dumbest way possible?

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: about that 60 minutes retraction

November 11, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a 60 Minutes report that appeared to blow large holes in the Obama administration’s story about what happened the night of September 11th, 2012, when our consulate in Benghazi was attacked and four Americans, including he ambassador, were killed. The report featured, but wasn’t solely based on, the testimony of “Morgan Jones,” the pseudonym of Dylan Davies, a security contractor employed by the Blue Mountain Group who had claimed to be at the compound while it was under attack and to have seen Ambassador Stevens body in the hospital in Benghazi.

About a week later, the story blew up in “60 Minutes” and journalist Lara Logan’s face when it became evident that there were serious questions about Davies’ credibility. CBS rapidly retracted their story and profusely apologized:

The correspondent for the disputed “60 Minutes’’ segment about the attack on the United States Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year apologized on the air Friday morning, saying it was a “mistake’’ to put on a security officer whose credibility has since been undermined by his diverging accounts of his actions that night.

The correspondent, Lara Logan, said on “CBS This Morning’’ that the news division was misled by the officer, adding, “We will apologize to our viewers, and we will correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night.”

The apology followed disclosure by The New York Times on Thursday evening that the security contractor, Dylan Davies, had provided the F.B.I. an account that contradicted a version of events he provided in a recently published book and in the interview with “60 Minutes,” which was broadcast on Oct. 27.

Mr. Davies told the F.B.I. that he was not on the scene until the morning after the attack.

This was humiliating for Logan, “60 Minutes,” and CBS, the latter of which was still smarting from the Dan Rather “fake but true” scandal of 2004. They had been working on the story for a year, yet somehow missed FBI reports that called his claims into serious question. With the apology and retraction, that should put an end to this aspect of the story.

But something keeps bugging me.

This cave-in by CBS happened awfully fast, like a sand castle crumbling before a wave. Davies wasn’t by any means the only source for the story, nor even the most important — just the most dramatic, and hence his leading story in the video report. (The video has been withdrawn by CBS, but you can review the transcript at RCP) But also interviewed were Greg Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya on the night of the attack, and Lt. Col. Andy Wood, a Green Beret based in Tripoli at the time of the attack. Were their stories invalidated in any way? Frankly, no. In fact, Woods’ testimony corroborates what Davies had said about the looming danger in Benghazi and that people knew something was going to happen:

The last time he went to Benghazi was in June, just three months before the attack. While he was there, al Qaeda tried to assassinate the British ambassador. Wood says, to him, it came as no surprise because al Qaeda — using a familiar tactic — had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi.

Lara Logan: And you watched as they–

Andy Wood: As they did each one of those.

Lara Logan: –attacked the Red Cross and the British mission. And the only ones left–

Andy Wood: Were us. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time till they captured the third one.

Lara Logan: And Washington was aware of that?

Andy Wood: They knew we monitored it. We included that in our reports to both State Department and DOD.

Andy Wood told us he raised his concerns directly with Amb. Stevens three months before the U.S. compound was overrun.

Regarding Davies own story, the fabricated part, if any, seems to be the description of his own heroics — entering the compound, fighting a terrorist, and sneaking into an al Qaeda-controlled hospital where he found Ambassador Stevens corpse. Perhaps he was trying to pump sales his now-recalled book and lay the groundwork for a movie deal.

But, the important parts, about the security problems in Benghazi and the question of American awareness of the danger, are seemingly unchallenged. Why then did CBS and Logan surrender so quickly? Why didn’t they say they’d “get to the bottom of this” and then figure out which parts were true and which not? As it stands, they’ve created a problem for anyone who questions the official account of what happened that night.

Journalist Lee Stranahan wondered similar things and points out that the FBI people who disputed Davies’s story have never been identified and that the effort to discredit Davies was being pushed by Media Matter’s For America, a hard-left media house that devoted itself to seeing Hillary Clinton elected President.

Clinton was Secretary of State on the night of the attack.

Stranahan reviews a long list of data from Logan’s report that’s not in dispute. Here are a few:

  • Quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound and repelled a force of as many as 60 armed terrorists and managed to save five American lives and recover the body of Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith
  • The same force that had gone to the compound was now defending the CIA Annex. Hours later, they were joined by a small team of Americans from Tripoli.
  • Wood: attack required “Coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel. They practice those things. They knew what they were doing. That was a– that was a well-executed attack.”
  • Two Delta Force operators who fought at the Annex and they’ve since been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cros
  •  Hicks told no help coming “”Listen, you’ve gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming.”

So, why did CBS surrender so fast? Forgive my indulgence in a little bit of speculation, but could the fact that the brother of the head of CBS News works in the White House on the National Security Council and was a central figure in the revising of the controversial Benghazi talking points be significant?

Nah. Must be a coincidence.

RELATED: More Stranahan on Davies and that FBI interview. Did Congress know?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Good News: Ft. Hood shooter found guilty, eligible for death penalty

August 23, 2013

You wanted to wage jihad fi sabil Allah, Nidal Hasan? Fine. You can also hang for it:

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was convicted Friday in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, a shocking assault against American troops at home by one of their own who said he opened fire on fellow soldiers to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.

A jury of 13 high-ranking military officers reached a unanimous guilty verdict on all charges — 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder — in about seven hours. Hasan is now eligible for the death penalty.

Hasan had no visible reaction as the verdict was read. After the jury and Hasan left the courtroom, some victims who survived the shooting and family members began to cry.

There was also a 14th victim: the unborn child being carried by one of the women this brave knight of Allah gunned down.

There have already been travesties aplenty in this case, from the designation of the attack as “workplace violence” to the prohibition by the court against the prosecutors presenting Hasan’s religion as a motive, but they can get one thing right: they can sentence this traitor to death.

Yes, among the ranks of the medieval psychos who’ve chosen to wage war against civilization, he’ll be hailed as a martyr. Well, to Hell with it and them. This jihadi, who broke his oath as a US Army officer, murdered 13 American soldiers and would have killed a lot more, had he not been shot by a brave cop. Anything less than a sentence of death would be a sign of weakness in his comrades’ eyes and an insult to the victims and their survivors. It must be made crystal clear that we will protect our own and, if we fail to protect them, we will exact justice for them.

Hang him.

via Hot Air

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Forest Jihad: Islamic terror group claims responsibility for Arizona fires

July 9, 2013
"...can prevent forest jihad."

“…can prevent forest jihad.”

A while back, when it seemed like all Colorado was afire, I wrote about the possibility of “forest jihad,” a form of war against the West advocated by al Qaeda as part of a death by a thousand cuts strategy — destroying resources, morale, etc. And while acts of forest jihad were suspected in Europe, Israel, and Australia, there were no claims of responsibility for wildfires in the Great Satan, that is, us.

Until now:

A Palestinian jihadist group known as Masada al-Mujahideen took credit for the [Arizona] fires in a statement that was obtained and translated by Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Intelligence Group, according to the Clarion Project.

The terror group claims that the fires are a reprisal for Israel’s “occupation” of what they say are Palestinian lands.

Nineteen firefighters have been killed while fighting the blaze.

“We had previously announced an unconventional war against the occupation state of Israel, and then we escalated this war to reach its main supporter, America, so that it receives a major share of it, which will destroy their flora and fauna, with permission from Allah and then with our hands,” the group said, according to Clarion and SITE.

Masada al-Mujahideen is apparently a legitimate jihadist group, not a cut-out for another organization. The Long War Journal has this to say about them:

Masada al Mujahideen announced its formation in April 2008 and said its leader is Abu Omar al Ansari, according to SITE. The terror group has claimed numerous attacks against Israel, including rocket and mortar attacks. The group has also claimed credit for setting numerous fires inside Israel, and even an arson attack in Nevada.

Masada al Mujahideen also eulogized Osama bin Laden immediately after he was killed by US Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011. “Although Sheikh Osama has been killed, his creed will not be killed, and the whole Ummah, Allah willing, is Osama bin Laden. We do not say that as hyperbole, for you see with your own eyes and acknowledge with your own mouths that most of the jihadi groups in the world have come to follow his example, method and creed,” the group said in a statement that was translated by SITE.

Masada al Mujahideen also eulogized Atiyah Abd al Rahman, a top al Qaeda leader who was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan, in August 2011. “He was truly one of the well-known people of jihad and a bright star in the sky of knowledge,” the group said in a statement translated by SITE.

It’s possible, of course, that these holy warriors refugees from a medieval insane asylum are lying about Arizona and are just claiming credit to up their standing in the world of brave knights of Islam medieval psychos. America seems a long way to come for a small terrorist outfit, when Israel is right next door.

But when you read the United Nations report on the porous US-Mexican border, “A Global Pathway to the USA;” when you recall that Hizbullah, Hamas, and al Qaeda are all trying to set up operations in the Western hemisphere; and when you keep in mind geography

Well, the possibility that Masada al Mujahideen really did set the fires that killed 19 American firefighters and destroyed dozens of homes and businesses doesn’t seem so inconceivable after all, does it?

If we can establish to our satisfaction they did do this, then we should hunt them down and kill them all. This isn’t a criminal matter; by their own declaration, this is jihad fi sabil allah, “holy war.” And in that case, we should show them exactly how real war is fought.

Meanwhile, this news demonstrates again why border security is more than just an immigration issue — it’s a matter of national security.

UPDATE: Reader Crosspatch reports that the cause of the Arizona fire was described as lightning.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Forest fires as an act of jihad?

June 19, 2013
"...can prevent forest jihad."

“…can prevent forest jihad.”

Summertime is forest fire season in much of the western United States; here in California, it’s almost an annual ritual to watch some part or another (or several at once) of the state go up in smoke.  And the causes can be as mundane as they are frustrating: firebugs getting their thrills; careless campers or hikers; or idiots shooting off fireworks too near dry brush. And for someone else’s carelessness, hundreds and even thousands of people are put at risk of their homes and lives, not to mention the vast public expense needed to fight a blaze.

But what if they weren’t all the accidental products of carelessness, or even garden-variety arson? What if some were acts of holy war?

In the Washington Examiner, Mark Tapscott takes the recent Black Forest fire in Colorado as his jumping off point for a discussion of the dangers of “forest jihad:”

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld (1) of the New York-based American Center for Democracy’s Economic Warfare Institute warns that last July “al-Qaeda’s English-language online magazine, Inspire, published an article called ‘It Is of Your Freedom to Ignite a Firebomb,’ which featured instructions on how to build an incendiary bomb to light forests on fire.

“A few months later, Russia’s security (FSB) chief, Aleksandr Bortnikov warned, ‘al-Qaeda was complicit in recent forest fires in Europe’ as part of the terrorists’ ‘strategy of a thousand cuts.’ Bortnikov spoke of ‘extremist sites [that] contained detailed instructions of waging the forest jihad and stressed that such a method had proved itself effective as it inflicted both physical and moral damage, needed little training or investment and it was extremely hard for police to find and apprehend the arsonists.’

“Since then, more fatwas advocating that ‘Fire is cheap, easy and effective tool for economic warfare’ have been issued. They’ve included detailed instructions for constructing remote-controlled ‘ember bombs, and how to set fires without leaving a trace.’”

And it’s not just in the US, as Tapscott points out. Not only has Russia suspected Muslim terrorists of setting forest fires in their country, but Australia, too, has been declared a target, while deadly fires in Western Europe aroused suspicions.

There’s little proof that any of these fires were acts of jihad, but the fact that al Qaeda and other Islamic supremacist groups have shown great interest in setting them should make us wary. The West has done tremendous damage to al Qaeda and its affiliates since 9/11/01, largely blunting their efforts to conduct more catastrophic terror attacks against us. But, they are nothing if not adaptable, and it only makes sense that they would look for other means to strike at us, the “infidels.”

RELATED: The National Interagency Fire Center has good info on current large wildfires. At the ICT in Israel, Colonel Jonathan Fighel has an important article on al Qaeda’s interest in forest jihad, while The Gatestone Institute published Soeren Kern’s piece explaining AQ’s “thousand cuts” strategy.

Footnote:
(1) Rachel Ehrenfeld also wrote “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed And How To Stop It,” a must-read work on the money networks behind international terrorism.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Terrorists shaped by Wahhabi petrodollars

June 16, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

Money is crucial to global jihadism, and too few people (thanks to a pusillanimous government and media) realize the role played by wealthy Saudis and the dominant Wahhabi sect of Islam. This article is a good antidote.

Originally posted on Money Jihad:

The Woolrich butcher, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and the 9/11 hijackers were all products of a system of Wahhabi inculcation funded by Saudi Arabia over the last several decades.  This is the analysis of Jonathan Manthorpe writing for the Vancouver Sun—a judgment that is increasingly impossible to dispute.

Thanks to Gisele, David, Sal, and El Grillo for sending this in:

Jonathan Manthorpe: Saudi Arabia funding fuels jihadist terror

Big chunks of the country’s huge oil earnings have been spent on spreading a violent and intolerant variety of Islam

By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun columnist May 28, 2013

The ultimate responsibility for recent atrocities like the Boston Marathon bombing and the butchering last week of an off-duty British soldier is very clear.

It belongs to Saudi Arabia.

Over more than two decades, Saudi Arabia has lavished around $100 billion or more on the worldwide promotion of the violent, intolerant…

View original 649 more words


Does al Qaeda now have surface to air missiles?

June 11, 2013

Oh, this is not good. Not good at all:

The photocopies of the manual lay in heaps on the floor, in stacks that scaled one wall, like Xeroxed, stapled handouts for a class.

Except that the students in this case were al Qaeda fighters in Mali. And the manual was a detailed guide, with diagrams and photographs, on how to use a weapon that particularly concerns the United States: A surface-to-air missile capable of taking down a commercial airplane.

The 26-page document in Arabic, recovered by The Associated Press in a building that had been occupied by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Timbuktu, strongly suggests the group now possesses the SA-7 surface-to-air missile, known to the Pentagon as the Grail, according to terrorism specialists. And it confirms that the al Qaeda cell is actively training its fighters to use these weapons, also called man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS, which likely came from the arms depots of ex-Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

“The existence of what apparently constitutes a `Dummies Guide to MANPADS’ is strong circumstantial evidence of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb having the missiles,” said Atlantic Council analyst Peter Pham, a former adviser to the United States’ military command in Africa and an instructor to U.S. Special Forces. “Why else bother to write the guide if you don’t have the weapons? … If AQIM not only has the MANPADS, but also fighters who know how to use them effectively,” he added, “then the impact is significant, not only on the current conflict, but on security throughout North and West Africa, and possibly beyond.”

This is the fruit of the Obama-Clinton “smart power” regime, and the fatuous “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine of our future UN Ambassador, Samantha Power. Not only has their “humanitarian war” in Libya caused chaos in North Africa –what happened in Mali was a direct result of destroying the vile but tamed and no danger to us regime of Gadhafi– but these loose MANPADS are now a threat to air traffic throughout the region and beyond.

Yes, “beyond.” There’s a reason the “p” in MANPAD stands for “portable.” These things are easily smuggled. Imagine if one or more shows up in Europe, Asia, or just outside LaGuardia. Think of what just one successful shoot-down will do to air traffic worldwide, not to mention the immediate casualties. The potential is absolutely nightmarish.

Quite a legacy for Obama, and a heckuva record for Clinton to run on in 2016.

via Michael J. Totten

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Deval Patrick: “You guys can handle the terrorists, I’m catching some Zs.”

June 6, 2013

You’re the Governor of Massachusetts. Islamic terrorists have just blown up a major sporting sporting event in your state’s capital city, killing several and wounding hundreds.  Boston is on lock-down, the police have done everything except declare martial law, and the terrorists are on the loose. No one knows where they are or if they’ll strike again. What do you do, O Chief Executive of the Commonwealth?

What. Do You. Do?

Simple. You take a nap:

On the controversial Greater Boston lockdown: “In the afternoon … I went back to the offices in the State House … and I took a nap. (Then) the phone rang. It was the president. … And he said, “Deval, I’m briefed. … What are you going to do about the city? You can’t keep it locked down indefinitely.’

“I said, ‘Mr. President, I know that. … I’m trying to sort that out now.’ … Basically the state police had said we should end this … when we finish the door-to-door in Watertown. So if we haven’t found him, we should say to people, ‘Look, live your lives, but please be careful because he’s still at large.’”

Yes, you read that right. It took a call from Barack Obama, not the most hands-on president ever, to rouse “Governor” Patrick from his slumber and ask him just what he planned to do about the psychos terrorizing his city. While the people of Boston were in fear for their lives, Deval Patrick was bravely… snoring.

And he admitted it.

That sound you hear is what was left of any national ambitions he had being taken out back and shot.

via Hot Air

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


History lesson: The crucial differences between Bush and Obama’s NSA phone surveillance programs

June 6, 2013

Excellent column by Michelle Malkin on the differences between the Bush-era warrantless wiretap program and the Obama administration’s tracking of *all* domestic calls on the Verizon network. This should be read by everyone, especially knee-jerk civil liberties absolutists on the Left and reactionary Libertarians on the Right. I only differ with her in being a little more open to the idea that the Obama effort *may* be legal/justified/needed, etc., but we need much more information in order to judge. Also, she makes an excellent point about the administration’s loss of credibility with the public on national security and constitutional issues, compared to the wide public support for the Bush-era program.


#Benghazi: Hearings show Hillary Clinton really is “Lady Macbeth.”

May 9, 2013
US Consulate, Benghazi

“Banquo’s blood”

I’ve joked since the Clintons first came on the national scene that Hillary was a modern-day “Lady Macbeth,” willing to do anything and put up with anything to get power and keep it. Think about it: why else would someone suffer repeated public humiliations from a serial-philanderer husband, one widely reputed to be a rapist? Because she wants power, and needed Bill to have a shot at her ultimate goal — becoming president, herself.

That was the reason for her Senate “career.” Not to serve and represent the people of New York (where, in fact, she was a carpetbagger), but to give her a national stage from which she could launch a presidential bid in 2004 or 2008, widely expected to be an anointing… until a certain young, male, charismatic senator came along and snatched the crown –her crown!– from her. And there she was again, left making a deal with a powerful man to keep open the road to her dreams. I have no proof, of course, just a gut feeling based on watching Hillary over the course of 20 years, but I think the deal went something like this: In return for ending her primary battle against Obama and delivering her supporters’ votes, she received a plum cabinet post with global exposure and the unofficial title of “heir apparent.” (Really, no one other than Joe takes Joe’s own ambitions seriously.) The deal struck, all was set. Just a few more years and her heart’s desire would be hers.

Then came Benghazi, the truth of which had to be covered up, lest it expose her incompetence and ruin her last chance to be president.

But the ghosts of the men who died that night would not stay quiet, and questions of “why” ate at the consciences of three good Americans who would no longer suffer the truth be kept silent, and so came forward yesterday to tell the nation what they knew and saw and did.

And their testimony condemns Hillary Clinton.

Most damning was the testimony of Gregory Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya at the time of the attack, who became our top diplomat there when Ambassador Stephens was killed. Among other things, he attested under oath to the following:

  • That there was no demonstration in Benghazi. In two conversations with the Ambassador, demonstrations were never mentioned. In fact, Stephens’ last words to Hicks were “We’re under attack!” The embassy knew that night from Ansar al-Sharia’s Twitter feed that they were taking responsibility for the attack.
  • That the YouTube video Clinton and the Obama administration desperately tried to blame for the disaster meant nothing in Libya.
  • That he himself briefed Clinton herself over the phone at 2 AM Libyan time (8 PM EST), giving her a full update on the situation. Again, no mention of a video, no mention of a demonstration.

And yet, two hours later, Clinton was blaming the video. Days later, standing over the coffins of the four killed in Benghazi, she told the father of one that they would “get the guy” who made that video.  CIA analysis was scrubbed at State Department behest to remove references to terrorism. Our UN ambassador went on five different talk shows the following Sunday, five days later, and blamed the video. The President of the United States, himself, stood before the United Nations General Assembly and proclaimed the video to be the culprit.

Yet Hillary knew the truth the night it all happened. And she lied. She lied not only to the nation, not only to Congress, but to the father of Ty Woods, one of the retired Navy SEALs who died that night while trying to save American lives.

While she was trying to save her political career.

I’m not excusing anyone in the upper reaches of the administration. Not Susan Rice, not Leon Panetta, not Jay Carney, and certainly not Barack Obama. They all had to have known; they all had their own arses to cover, or those of their patrons. (See for example Bryan Preston’s theory.)

But it was Hillary Clinton who knew from the start, and hers were the policies that lead to inadequate security in Benghazi. Those were her personnel in Libya, and hers was the responsibility.

But “The Deal” had been made in 2008, and it had to be preserved. Thus a desperate lie about a video was born and a pathetic little videographer was made the scapegoat, and the First Amendment was crushed.

All to keep clear Hillary Clinton’s path to the throne she knew should be hers:

The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood,
Stop up th’access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th’ effect and it. Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry ‘Hold, hold!’
–Lady Macbeth, “Macbeth,” Act I, scene v

What a pathetic, disgusting creature she is.

Afterthought: This isn’t over. Unanswered are questions about what other actors that night did then and in the days after, especially the President. Also, while Mr. Hicks testified that a stand-down order did come to the second relief team, he does not know who was on the phone with the Lieutenant Colonel in charge. The “chain” of that order needs to be made clear. Clinton herself should be hauled before the committee again, as should Susan Rice, Leon Panetta, and Cheryl Mills, Hillary’s chief of staff and “fixer” at the time. And anyone else in that circle who was in a position to know. Somewhere in that rats’ nest is a new John Dean, waiting to talk.

RELATED:

Roger L. Simon compares Hillary to the Medicis.

“Seven Things We Learned From The Benghazi Whistle-Blower Hearings.” Must reading.

A good ABC News article on the Benghazi hearing.

Eli Lake on “They knew it was terrorism.”

One of the Benghazi whistle-blowers was demoted for asking too many questions.

Why was State’s FEST team not deployed?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#BostonBombing: Did the Saudis warn us ahead of time in writing? UPDATE: Saudi denial?

May 1, 2013

UPDATE: I’m sticking this at the top because the story’s important enough to warrant it.  Now we have a “Saudi official” saying there was a letter, and their embassy in Washington saying no, there wasn’t. So, who’s lying, and why? (via Toby Harnden)

The Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C. today denied its government warned the U.S. about accused Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

According to a highly placed source who spoke to MailOnline, the Saudis sent a written warning about Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012. That was long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds.

The official told MailOnline about a written warning from the Saudi government to the Department of Homeland Security, and said he had direct knowledge of that document.

But the Middle Eastern nation’s embassy in Washington denied that account on Wednesday.

It issued a statement which read: ‘The Saudi government had no prior information about the Boston bombers. Therefore, it is not true that any information, written or otherwise, was passed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or any other US agency in this regard,’ an embassy statement statement claimed.

‘The Saudi government also does not have any record of any application by Tamerlan Tsarnaev for any visa to Saudi Arabia.’

Original article follows.

If this is true, our intelligence services and the White House have a boatload of explaining to do:

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 Saudis’ warning to the U.S. government was also shared with the British government. ‘It was very specific’ and warned that ‘something was going to happen in a major U.S. city,’ the Saudi official said during an extensive interview.

It ‘did name Tamerlan specifically,’ he added. The ‘government-to-government’ letter, which he said was sent to the Department of Homeland Security at the highest level, did not name Boston or suggest a date for his planned attack.

If true, the account will produce added pressure on the Homeland Security department and the White House to explain their collective inaction after similar warnings were offered about Tsarnaev by the Russian government.

DHS pretty much denies the whole thing, but the article reports two meetings between high-ranking Saudi and US officials: the first between Obama and the Saudi Interior Minister in January, while the second was an unscheduled meeting between Obama and the Saudi Foreign Minister two days after the marathon bombing. One almost gets the impression of Saudi officials pleading “Look do we have to draw you guys a picture? We’ve been telling you to look out for this crazy Chechen!”

But… let’s not jump the gun, here. This story comes from a single Saudi source, and there are reasons both to believe and not believe it.

In favor: While not best friends, the Saudis have been a close ally against jihad terrorism, having experienced it themselves and given that al Qaeda has declared open season on the government. They’ve also provided reliable information in the past: the article mentions the “printer cartridge plot” and Richard Reid, the “shoe-bomber” as examples. And while the Yemen connection seems out of left field, it has come up in connection with the Tsarnaevs before (h/t Hot Air), and the Saudis are deeply involved in Yemen. Warning us, besides being the decent thing to do, would also be in the Kingdom’s best interests to curry favor with D.C.

On the other hand: The Saudi government may not be a state sponsor of terrorism against the West, but it provides support to Salafi and jihad groups around the world, prominent wealthy Saudis donate directly to jihad groups, and high-ranking religious figures in the Kingdom urge their young men (of whom they have way too many to gainfully employ) to go wage jihad against the infidel. (1) It’s a open dirty secret of this modern age. And so it could be very tempting for the Saudis to claim “We tried to tell you,” hoping to earn some credit from the many Americans upset with the Obama administration and divert attention (again) from their own involvement with jihad.

For now, I lean toward this being true, at least to some degree: the Saudis may have warned us, but perhaps the information wasn’t nearly as cut and dried as they make it out to be. And I find it hard to imagine they’d claim “We told the British, too,” knowing the UK could falsify their claim at the drop of a hat. On top of that, it looks like we may have been making some of the same kind of mistakes we made before 9/11 with overly compartmentalized information that isn’t shared in a timely manner with all concerned parties. Shades of the “Gorelick Wall.”

And if this is true, even to a limited degree, it looks like another example of fatally stupid incompetence on the part of an administration that just wishes terrorism would go away.

Newsflash: It won’t.

Footnote:
(1)You might recall there were regular reports of young Saudi men being urged to go fight us in Iraq. Basically, they’re happy to send these nuts anywhere to get killed, as long as they’re out of Saudi Arabia.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Boston Marathon bombing: third bomber suspected?

April 27, 2013

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge breaks the story:

Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports that the bombs used in the Boston Marathon attack did not rely on cell phone detonators, using a “line of sight” speed controller from a remote control toy car as the trigger. It is not known what the range is on the specific controller that was used, but it is typically 250 yards or less.

The national security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it is believed one or both of the brothers used the controllers to detonate the bombs, but the involvement of a third person to trigger the devices still has not been ruled out.

An important fact mentioned is that the type of controller used is not described in al Qaeda’s “Inspire” magazine, which has articles educating terrorists on how to make bombs.

What’s even more interesting to me is the passing mention in the video that the Tsarnaev brothers had apparently made their bombs without experiencing failure or a “workplace accident.” I’d wondered before where they (or, at least, the older brother) had tested their devices without anyone noticing. This would suggest strongly that Tamerlan, the older brother, got his “education” outside the country, probably during his six-month trip to Dagestan.

It’s possible, perhaps probable that one of the Tsarnaevs worked the controller, then ditched it in the days before they were killed or caught. But the information in Herridge’s report about the possibility of a third party shows that we don’t yet know nearly enough about what happened.

RELATED: Speaking of “who else may have been involved or known,” Jester has a hunch. It also bears directly on the “where did they test the bombs” question. Worth reading. Also, at Hot Air, the bombs showed “training or expertise.”

via Pat Dollard by way of Melissa Clouthier

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Boston Marathon bombing: terrorism on the cheap, financed by us?

April 24, 2013

I wrote yesterday about questions regarding the Tsarnaev brothers’ financial resources and how they could afford what at first glance appeared to be a comfortable lifestyle and prepare their atrocities without some outside support.

Well, it appears they had some help: the taxpayers of Massachusetts.

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. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits. Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney has claimed Katherine — who had converted to Islam — was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home.

In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused brother bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state.

The news raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money.

Gee, ya think?

Meanwhile, his younger brother financed his “lifestyle” not only through scholarships, but also, per The Globe, dealing drugs:

Tsarnaev’s younger brother never seemed strapped for cash, according to people who knew him at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he was a sophomore. But Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a scholarship student who earned spending money by selling marijuana, say three people who bought drugs from the 19-year-old.

None of this was enough to finance the “lifestyles of the rich and terroristic,” but the globe goes on to point out just how little it would take to carry out the Marathon attacks:

If the brothers had outside financial or technical support for their deadly attack on the Marathon, it certainly isn’t reflected in their lifestyle or their weapons. The picture that is emerging is more like terrorism on a budget, consistent with reports that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators from his hospital bed that he and his brother acted alone.

“There is no barrier here to two men doing this on their own,” said Brian Michael Jenkins, a Rand Corp. adviser who focuses on terrorism. “You could easily do this for under $100 per bomb. . . . This is an investment even someone with modest means can make.”

So, it looks more and more like these walking, talking pustules did this on their own… with help from the older brother’s exploited wife, sponging off family, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the potheads of Cambridge.

I hope the younger brother remembers to thank them at his execution.

To paraphrase what Lenin said about capitalists, “We’re going to give them the money to build the bombs to kill us.” And it reminds me of Britain, though they’re much further down the path of subsidizing their own destroyers.

Way back in 1838, Abraham Lincoln made a speech at the Young Men’s Lyceum in which he made an observation I think fitting for this situation:

“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?– Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!–All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

Only we seem to be paying for assisted suicide.

PS: Back to the question of outside assistance, the Tsarnaevs seemed to greatly admire a radical Lebanese-Australian imam, Sheik Feiz Mohammed, and the elder brother is reported to have met with another jihadist imam while visiting Dagestan. This makes me suspect their situation is similar to that of the traitorous Major Hassan and his al Qaeda imam, Anwar al-Awlaki: they received theological support and encouragement from these preachers, but were left to come up with their own attacks. Still, I’d like to know where they tested their bombs, if they did.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Canadian train plot: RCMP asserts an al-Qaeda connection

April 23, 2013

I mentioned this in yesterday’s post, but there’s a bit more information on the terrorists and their connection with al-Qaeda:

Canadian police officials have linked the plotting of two Muslim men to destroy a Toronto passenger train to al Qaeda’s network inside Iran. The two suspects, neither of whom are Canadian citizens, were taken into custody yesterday and are facing terrorism charges. One of the suspects had placed an image of al Qaeda’s banner in a social media site. The image has since been removed.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said yesterday that the two suspects, identified as Chiheb Esseghaier, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, of Toronto, received “support from al Qaeda elements located in Iran,” in the form of “direction and guidance.” The two men’s plot called for the destruction of a train bound from the US to Canada in an effort to sow terror and harm the economies of both countries.

Esseghaier, a doctoral student at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, has a bachelors degree in Industrial Biology and a masters degree in Industrial Biotechnology, according to his Linkedin page. He lists Nanotechnology as one of his “Skills & Expertise.” He attended college in Tunis and is thought to be a Tunisian.

Before the image was taken down sometime last night, Esseghaier’s Linkedin page displayed in image of al Qaeda’s black flag. This flag was first used by al Qaeda in Iraq but has been adopted by other al Qaeda affiliates.

The remainder of the article is a good backgrounder on the Iran-al Qaeda relationship, including at least a couple of “secret agreements” that allow al-Qaeda transit through Iran.

While the above quote doesn’t claim a direct Iranian role in the plot, unlike the statement quoted in the Washington Examiner piece yesterday, I think it’s reasonable to assume the Iranians at some level knew and approved of what the two were planning and the encouragement al-Qaeda gave them.  Al-Qaeda is in the country on their sufferance, and there is no way Tehran is not going to keep tabs on what they’re doing, lest they unexpectedly find themselves the targets of retaliation after, say, another 9/11-style attack. So, while there’s no direct evidence of Iranian foreknowledge, it’s a safe bet they did.

Which should make the next meeting Canada and Iran’s diplomats quite… interesting.

Also, while there’s a coincidence in time, there’s no evidence I’ve seen of a connection between the train plot and the Boston Marathon attacks. What I do think it hints at, however, is just how many jihad plots there are “out there,” waiting to be put into action. Again, if Esseghaier and Jaser were a pair of “lone wolves” encouraged by al-Qaeda, similar to what may be the truth about the Tsarnaevs, how many others are out there?

Comforting thought, no?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Boston Bombers’ finances and their bombs

April 23, 2013

Via Money Jihad, here’s what’s publicly known of their resources:

  • U.S. News reports that “The larger Tsarnaev family ended up living on public assistance in Cambridge, Mass,” which in context of the article was probably around 2010.
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a $2,500 scholarship from the city of Cambridge in May 2011 to pursue higher education.
  • Tamerlan Tsarnaev was unemployed, but his wife, Katherine Russell, was working long hours as a home health care aide.  During their last conversation, Tamerlan told his uncle that he fixes cars, but he did not say whether he was earning wages.
  • Patimat Suleimanova, the Tsarnaev brothers’ aunt, said that “the brothers had stumbled upon money problems” in 2012, and that their father Anzor Tsarnaev “would send money from here when he could.”
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev withdrew $800 from Bank of America an ATM card stolen from the Tsarnaev’s carjacking victim on the night of April 18.

Read the rest at Money Jihad.

This isn’t unbelievable to me: none of their bomb components were all that expensive (that I know of). It’s possible they were living off occasional work, the wife’s income, public assistance, and handouts from relatives, even for Tamerlan’s flight to Russia.

But one thing nagging at me are the bombs themselves. Here’s an explanation of how they work. They’re by no means expensive, so I’m willing to accept that the Tsarnaevs obtained the parts with their own resources, but… First-time bomb-builders making electronic triggers and doing everything right, including safely transporting them? Seems a stretch. It’s almost a given that they practiced making these and tested the devices somewhere.

But where? Was it on private land, concealed from prying eyes? If so, who gave them access? If not, how did no one notice?

It seems to me that, although the surviving brother has asserted they worked alone, they almost had to have help building and testing the devices, themselves.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Breaking: Canadians foil Iranian/al Qaeda New York-Toronto train attack

April 22, 2013

They love hitting mass transportation. Breaking in The Washington Examiner:

Canadian security officials announced today that they thwarted a terrorist attack on a passenger train reportedly traveling from New York City to Toronto, planned by two men allegedly tied to al Qaeda.

“I commend our Canadian counterterrorism partners, particularly the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, for their efforts in stopping a major terrorist plot which was intended to cause significant loss of human life including New Yorkers,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said in a statement today.

The attack had Iranian backing. “They are elements of al Qaeda in Iran,” a Canadian police official told reporters during the press conference while identifying the al Qaeda affiliate that was involved in the attack. “What the investigation has demonstrated is that the support being received was in the form of direction and guidance.”

Emphasis added. Say it after me, folks:

This is war, and they’re still trying to kill us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


What’s going on with that Saudi “person of interest/no interest?”

April 22, 2013

I’m not the greatest fan of Glenn Beck (1), but I do think he’s asking some good questions about the Saudi national who, on the day of the Boston Marathon bombing, was held as a “person of interest,” but then declared a nobody but, hey, we’re going to deport him anyway:

Background points:

  • A Saudi national originally identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing was set to be deported under section 212 3B — “Security and related grounds” — “Terrorist activities” after the bombing
  • As the story gained traction, TheBlaze’s Chief Content Officer Joel Cheatwood received word that the government may not deport the Saudi national, originally identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi
  • Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to answer questions on the subject when confronted by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Capitol Hill.
  • An ICE official said a different Saudi national is in custody, but is “in no way” connected to the bombings.
  • A congressional source, however, says that the file on Alharbi was created, that he was “linked” in some way to the Boston bombings (though it is unclear how), and that documents showing all this have been sent to Congress.
  • Key congressmen of the Committee on Homeland Security request a classified briefing with Napolitano
  • Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports that Alharbi was allegedly flagged on a terrorist watch list and granted a student visa without being properly vetted.  Sources close to the investigation also told him the Saudi is still set for deportation.
  • New information provided to TheBlaze reveals Alharbi’s file was altered early Wednesday evening to disassociate him from the initial charges
  • Sources say the Saudi’s student visa specifically allows him to go to school in Findlay, Ohio, though he appears to have an apartment in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Sources tell us this will most likely now be kicked from the DHS to the DOJ and labeled an ongoing investigation that can no longer be discussed.

Beck also notes that the FBI started changing their story about Alharbi after a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and the Saudi Foreign Minister on Tuesday, the day after the bombing. Coincidence? Perhaps, but it still rates a raised eyebrow and a “hmmm…”

Read the rest of the article, but here’s something that especially intrigues me:

Beck proceeded to highlight the background of the Saudi national first identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston bombings, Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, noting that the the NTC issued an event file calling for his deportation using section 212, 3B which is proven terrorist activity.

“We are not sure who actually tagged him as a ’212 3B,’ but we know it is very difficult to charge someone with this — it has to be almost certain,” Beck explained.  “It is the equivalent in civil society of charging someone with premeditated murder and seeking the death penalty — it is not thrown around lightly.”

(…)

Then, on Wednesday, President Obama had a “chance” encounter with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud and Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.

“Wednesday at 5:35 p.m. the file is altered,” Beck said.  “This is unheard of, this is impossible in the timeline due to the severity of the charge….You don’t one day put a 212 3B charge against somebody with deportation, and then the next day take it off.  It would require too much to do it.”

“There are only two people that could revoke the deportation order — the director of the NTC could do it after speaking with each department, the FBI, the ATC, etc. — which is impossible to do in such a short period of time, — or, somebody at the very highest levels of the State Department could do it.  We don’t have any evidence to tell you which one did it,” Beck said.

So we have reports of two high-level meetings, after which the FBI says they have no interest in the guy and they’re going to deport him, presumably back to Saudi, where the press will never find him.

I’d say yes, this does raise serious questions, and Republicans on the relevant committees are demanding answers. If the 3B charge is as serious as Beck indicates, then who put it on and on what grounds, and then who removed it and, again, on what grounds? And why is the guy being deported? Minor visa violation? Please.

There’s another reason why I take this Alharbi story more seriously than I might, normally. Saudi Arabia is well known as a source of funding for jihad-terror groups worldwide, including the Caucasus regions that Tamerlan Tsarnaev visited for over six months. Wealthy Saudis will fund jihad as a religious duty –as I recall, supporting it with money is second only to actually doing it– to further the spread of Islam. It’s one of the big problems in the relations between the Kingdom and the United States.

So here’s a speculation based on a hunch with no evidence to back it up, but which seems to fit with past behavior: What if Alharbi, whose background is unknown as of this writing, is a family member of some wealthy, connected Saudi? And what if Alharbi was funneling money to the Tsarnaev brothers? After all, they had no means of support that I know of, yet they were apparently well-trained for this operation and had all the hardware they needed. And just how did Tamerlan pay for that trip and six-month sojourn in Dagestan? Could it be then that an influential relative used his influence with the Saudi government to influence the US government to let their boy go, in the name of “good relations?”

Like I said, the Alharbi affair raises lots of good questions. There may be perfectly reasonable answers, but too much smells in this chain of events to just let it go. House Republicans should continue to press until they get the answers.

via Jihad Watch

Footnote:
(1) Beck’s done some good work in the past, but he too often runs off the emotional rails for my taste, making almost everything seem some sort of existential threat to the republic.  Still, in this case, he may be on to something.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Boston bombers: Lone wolves or part of a terrorist sleeper cell? UPDATE: “Sleeper cell” malarkey?

April 21, 2013

One of the questions outstanding in the wake of the terror-bombing of the Boston Marathon is whether the Tsarnaev brothers acted on their own, as “lone wolves,” or were they part of a terror cell that might well be planning other attacks. At the Daily Beast, authors Christopher Dickey, Eli Lake, and Daniel Klaidman lay out the problems posed by terrorists acting on their own:

These sorts of lone wolves—whether inspired by al Qaeda or a domestic agenda—are in many ways the toughest cases for law enforcement. “Mobile homegrown types are difficult to stop and to find,” says Rep. Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “There is not a conspiracy ring to penetrate. It’s very difficult to stop them and find them.”

“The toughest risk to address is the motivated individual with no known connection to groups, who takes it upon himself to do something,” says Roger Cressey, who worked on counterterrorism in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. “The best example of that is Eric Rudolph.”

Compounding the problem is the ease with which the technical knowledge needed to carry out attacks is available online. As the article points out, al Qaeda even has an online magazine, “Inspire,” an article in which showed how to make a bomb similar to the pressure cooker bombs used in Boston. While published by jihadists , the information is there for anyone with a murderous grudge against the world to use.

The threat of the lone wolf jihadist, a Muslim inspired by religion (1) to wage holy war on his own, is one that has worried counterterrorism personnel for years, particularly since American and other nations’ efforts since 9/11 have severely hampered al Qaeda’s ability to carry off catastrophic attacks, such as the attack on New York. Instead, setting their sights lower, the fear is that al Qaeda and other jihad groups would simply educate and train prospective jihadis, and then send them out into the world to find their opportunities. Such is perhaps the case with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the marathon-bombing brothers, who traveled to Russia for six months a few years ago. Did he meet with jihad groups in the volatile Caucasus, his ancestral home?

But even that much “help” might not be necessary to the lone wolf: Major Nidal Hassan, the Army psychiatrist who turned on his comrades in an act of jihad and murdered over a dozen at Ft. Hood, was merely in email contact with an al Qaeda imam, Anwar al-Awlaki (2). The imam provided the ideology, Major Hassan provided the gun.

As the quote above points out, lone terrorists are hard to stop before they strike; warning signs that seem obvious in retrospect are hard to spot beforehand, and it become all to easy to make the wrong judgment call and say that someone isn’t likely a threat.

Until the bomb goes off.

But were the Tsarnaev brothers lone wolves? The UK Mirror reports that the FBI is looking for a “sleeper cell” of up to a dozen individuals:

The FBI was last night hunting a 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to the Boston marathon bomb brothers.

Police believe Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were specially trained to carry out the devastating attack.

More than 1,000 FBI operatives were last night working to track down the cell and arrested a man and two women 60 miles from Boston in the hours before Dzhokhar’s dramatic capture after a bloody shootout on Friday.

A source close to the investigation said: “We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.

“They were too advanced. Someone gave the brothers the skills and it is now our job to find out just who they were. Agents think the sleeper cell has up to a dozen members and has been waiting several years for their day to come.”

So, which is it? A couple of lone wolves, a clandestine commando unit from an overseas jihad group, or even a mix of both, a “pack” of lone wolves, trained and set loose?

To the police and intelligence agencies charged with protecting us, the answers matter, larger groups being easier to spot and stop than the loner hiding murder in his heart.

But for us, the potential victims, it doesn’t matter all that much. In an age when “soft targets” –marathons, pizza parlors, and book fairs, for example– are the targets of choice, whether the attack comes from the plot of a group or the sociopathic mind of a single person, it’s the act itself that matters.

They’re still trying to kill us.

RELATED: Some articles of interest.

At PJM, Rick Moran wonders what the Russians knew and when they knew it. His colleague Richard Fernandez notes Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a familiar face to the FBI, but our stubborn, foolish concentration on things rather than people makes it easy for him and others to be overlooked. I’ve said the same thing, myself.

Winning today’s “No, really?” award for telling us what we already knew, the LA Times alerts us that the elder Tsarnaev followed radical Islam. Meanwhile, Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism looks at the evidence that the brothers held Islamist beliefs. One has to ask, “how did the FBI miss all this?”

Via Will Antonin comes an article by an academic after my own heart, one who says we are ignoring the roots of the problem.

Footnotes:
(1) For example, Sura 9, verse 123 of the Qu’ran: “O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).”
(2) Now a satisfying grease spot somewhere in the Yemeni desert.

UPDATE: Veteran reporters on both sides of the Atlantic are calling BS on the Mirror’s story. R.S. McCain questions the sourcing, while Telegraph journalist Toby Harnden agrees.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama Treasury Dept. to open bank records to US intelligence agencies?

March 13, 2013
"Watching you"

“Watching you”

Under things that make me a bit uncomfortable, we find:

The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

The proposed plan represents a major step by U.S. intelligence agencies to spot and track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. The plan, which legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.

Financial institutions that operate in the United States are required by law to file reports of “suspicious customer activity,” such as large money transfers or unusually structured bank accounts, to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

The FBI already has access to FinCEN, and intelligence agencies can make requests to get access on a case-by-case basis. There’s no doubt this kind of information is useful in our war with Islamic terrorists: they need money to carry out their operations, and suspicious transactions can be an early warning that something’s afoot, as well as revealing how they’re getting their funds. In fact, the US and its allies have had great success disrupting terrorist finance since 9/11 by data mining international bank records, at least until the operation was exposed by the press in 2006. (Don’t worry. The revelation came under a Republican president, so the press was only doing its duty.)

And the fact is we are still at war against an enemy who’d dearly love to give us another 9/11; in such times, the boundaries between liberty and security shift a bit toward security. Trust me, I’m a national security conservative, not a doctrinaire “Big L” libertarian on this issue. I remember how the failure to share information was one of the big weaknesses that let al-Qaeda’s plan work.

BUT…

More than 25,000 financial firms – including banks, securities dealers, casinos, and money and wire transfer agencies – routinely file “suspicious activity reports” to FinCEN. The requirements for filing are so strict that banks often over-report, so they cannot be accused of failing to disclose activity that later proves questionable. This over-reporting raises the possibility that the financial details of ordinary citizens could wind up in the hands of spy agencies.

Emphases added. In other words, the financial institutions, to avoid trouble with Washington, shovel all they can at the Feds and tell them to sort it out.

I’m sure we can all imagine the problems arising from that, such as database errors leading to people being misidentified as possible terrorists or their bag-men. We’ve heard enough stories about “no fly” list mistakes to know it’s bound to happen. Imagine waking up one day to find all your accounts frozen while investigators paw through your life. And this is without even considering the broader Fourth Amendment implications inherent in intelligence agencies searching through all the information the financial institutions dump on them, in order to find the worthwhile material.

“Privacy? What’s that?”

So, like I said: “uncomfortable.” This is a case where Congress could very usefully fulfill its investigatory functions by hauling the relevant officials before a couple of committees and letting some skeptics of central government power (Hello, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul!) ask some pointed questions to make sure proper safeguards are in place.

via Bryan Preston

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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