War on Terror


Suspect device found in deadly Stockholm attack truck

8th April 2017

Swedish police found a suspect device in the truck that ploughed into a Stockholm crowd killing four in Europe’s latest such terror attack, officials said Saturday.

The alleged driver, who is in custody, is a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan who was already known to Swedish police, authorities said.

“We have found a device in the vehicle that doesn’t belong there … A technical examination is ongoing, we can’t go into what it is right now … whether it’s a bomb or a flammable device,” police chief Dan Eliasson told reporters.

Intelligence agency chief Anders Thornberg added that the Uzbek suspect “has appeared in our intelligence gathering in the past”.

“There is nothing to indicate that we’ve got the wrong man. On the contrary, the suspicions have strengthened,” Eliasson added.

Flags flew at half-mast across Stockholm on Saturday as the city slowly returned to normal a day after the attack.

A stolen beer truck ploughed into a crowd of people at the corner of the bustling Ahlens department store and the Drottninggatan pedestrian street on Friday afternoon, above ground from Stockholm’s central subway station.

Fifteen people were injured, nine of whom remained in hospital on Saturday.

– Latest attack in Europe –

It was the third terror attack in Europe in two weeks, coming on the heels of assaults in London and St. Petersburg, although there has been no immediate claim of responsibility.

Previous attacks using vehicles have occurred in London, Berlin and the southern French city of Nice, all of them claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who said Sweden will hold a minute’s silence on Monday in memory of the victims, has beefed up Sweden’s border controls.

“Terrorists want us to be afraid, want us to change our behaviour, want us to not live our lives normally, but that is what we’re going to do. So terrorists can never defeat Sweden, never,” Lofven said.

City streets were empty early Saturday, slowly filling as the day wore on as things began to return to normal — apart from a heavy police presence, a rare scene in this normally tranquil country.

A swelling crowd milled by the security barrier erected around the scene, many placing flowers on the ground or in the security fence.

Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria, 39, was one of those laying down a bouquet, wiping tears from her cheek.

“I feel an incredible sadness, an emptiness,” she told reporters. But she said: “Society has demonstrated enormous strength and we stand together against this.”

– Suspected driver in custody –

The suspected driver was detained on Friday in Marsta, a suburb north of Stockholm. According to several media outlets, he is an IS supporter.

Intelligence agency Sapo said meanwhile it was hunting for “possible accomplices or networks that may have been involved in the attack.”

Witnesses described scenes of terror and panic on Friday.

“A massive truck starts driving … and mangles everything and just drives over exactly everything,” eyewitness Rikard Gauffin told AFP.

“It was so terrible and there were bodies lying everywhere… it was really terrifying,” he added.

The truck was towed away in the early hours of Saturday.

– ‘It was expected’ –

An attack on Stockholm was just a matter of time, the head of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College, Magnus Ranstorp, told AFP.

“It was pretty expected, the police and intelligence agency have practised for this several times the past year… We just didn’t know when it was going to happen,” he said.

Friday’s attack was the latest in a string of assaults with vehicles in Europe.

The deadliest came last year in France on the July 14 Bastille Day national holiday, when a man rammed a truck into a crowd in the Mediterranean resort of Nice, killing 86 people.

In December, a man hijacked a truck and slammed into shoppers at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people.

In London last month, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old convert to Islam, killed five people when he drove a car at high speed into pedestrians before launching a frenzied knife attack on a policeman guarding parliament.

In 2014, IS called for attacks on citizens of Western countries and gave instructions on how they could be carried out without military equipment, using rocks or knives, or by running people over in vehicles.

Friday’s attack was the second terror attack in Stockholm.

In December 2010, a suicide bomber blew himself up, also on the Drottninggatan pedestrian street, lightly injuring several passersby.

 

source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/sweden-arrests-suspected-driver-stockholm-terrorist-crime-081823796.html

Al Gore: Global Warming a ‘Principal’ Cause of the Syrian Civil War, Brexit

dude what is

28th March 2017

Thursday in London at Advertising Week Europe 2017 during an interview with Empire Editor-in-Chief Terri White, former Vice-President Al Gore said climate change was a “principal” cause of the Syrian Civil War and Brexit.

Gore said, “I was just in the Persian Gulf region and the scientists for the lat couple of years, one of the lines of investigation they have been pursuing has led them to the conclusion that significant areas of the Middle East and North Africa are in danger of becoming uninhabitable. And, just a taste of this, to link it to some of the events that the UK and the European Union are going through and I know that’s another source of stress because we are now on the eve next week of the Brexit process – but think for a moment about what happened in Syria. You know we look at the gates of hell opening, they long since have opened, but before the gates of hell opened in Syria, what happened was a climate-related extreme drought.”

“The scientists have published these peer review studies for several years now showing exactly why it’s related to the climate crisis. From 2006 to 2010, 60 percent of the farms in Syria were destroyed and had to be abandoned and 80 per cent of the livestock were killed. The drought in the eastern Mediterranean is the worst ever on record – the records only go back 900 years, but it’s historic. And 1.5 million climate refugees were driven into the cities in Syria, where they collided with refugees from the Iraq War. And Wikileaks revealed the internal conversations in the Syrian government where they were saying to one another ‘we can’t handle this, there’s going to be a social explosion’. There are other causes of the Syrian civil war, but this was the principal one. And those in the region recognize that. And it has unleashed, with other factors an incredible flow of refugees into Europe which is creating political instability in Europe and which contributed in some ways to the desire of some in the UK to say ‘Whoa we’re not sure we want to be a part of that anymore.’ And you can go through the list of countries around the worlds where stability and political success of governance is really challenged. Some countries have a hard time even in the best of seasons but the additional stress this climate crisis is causing really poses the threat of some political disruption and chaos of a kind the world would find extremely difficult to deal with.”

 

 

source:http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/03/23/al-gore-global-warming-principal-cause-syrian-civil-war-brexit/

WikiLeaks Drops the Mother Lode With ‘Vault 7’

wikileaks

8th March 2017

WikiLeaks on Tuesday dumped a trove of documents and files hacked from the Central Intelligence Agency — the largerst ever published from within the U.S. spy agency.
The 8,761 documents code named “VAult 7” contain amazing things, such as the “weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
“The CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified,” WikiLeaks said in its release.
The documents show that “a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads.”
The CIA also runs “a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware.”
The documents also show that “in addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia, the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( ‘Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe’ or CCIE) are given diplomatic (‘black’) passports and State Department cover. The instructions for incoming CIA hackers make Germany’s counter-intelligence efforts appear inconsequential: ‘Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport.’ “
“There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons’. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such ‘weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of ‘Year Zero’ goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective,” said WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

 

 

source:http://www.dailywire.com/news/14173/wikileaks-drops-mother-lode-vault-7-joseph-curl?

If the TSA can’t fire these screwups, we should fire the TSA

system-failure

24th Feb 2017

Passengers put up with endless hassles from the Transportation Security Administration in hopes it all keeps them safe. So after 11 people got past a JFK checkpoint Monday without being screened, you’d think heads would roll. Hah!

The 11 got through, apparently, because TSA staffers left a security lane open but unmanned. Three set off a metal-detector alarm and still walked on. And TSA didn’t tell Port Authority cops for two hours.

Airport police from around the country call the flap “unconscionable.” TSA has taken its “eye off the ball,” fumed American Alliance of Airport Police Officers co-founder Marshall McClain. Uh, ya think?

True, most of the 11 were tracked down and found not to be threats . . . after they landed.

The agency’s official statement on what comes next: “Once our review is complete, TSA will discipline and retrain employees.” Oh, and it has ID’d the responsible workers and “appropriate action is being taken.”

Retraining. Appropriate action. How about fired ? Sorry, no: TSA staff are a protected branch of the American Federation of Government Employees, one with the hilarious motto: “Stronger Union, Safer Skies.”

Private-sector workers who mess up so badly as to put lives in jeopardy would be gone in a heartbeat. Heck, they’d be fired for far less serious breaches.

Somewhere along the road to making America great again, Mr. President, how about privatizing the damn TSA to end all the maddening “security theater”

 

source:http:/http://nypost.com/2017/02/23/if-the-tsa-cant-fire-these-screwups-we-should-fire-the-tsa

Donald Trump wants to expand US nuclear arsenal, make it ‘top of the pack’

trumpy win

24th Feb 2017

President Donald Trump has said he wants to build up the US nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity.

In a Reuters interview, Trump also said China could solve the national security challenge posed by North Korea “very easily if they want to,” ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to exert more influence to rein in Pyongyang’s increasingly bellicose actions.

In his first comments about the US nuclear arsenal since taking office on January 20, Mr Trump said the United States has “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity.”

“… We’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power.

“It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack,” Mr Trump said.

The new strategic arms limitation treaty, known as New START, between the US and Russia requires that by February 5, 2018, both countries must limit their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons to equal levels for 10 years.

The treaty permits both countries to have no more than 800 deployed and non-deployed land-based intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missile launchers and heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear weapons, and contains equal limits on other nuclear weapons.

Analysts have questioned whether Mr Trump wants to abrogate New START or would begin deploying other warheads.

In the interview, Mr Trump called New START “a one-sided deal”.

“Just another bad deal that the country made, whether it’s START, whether it’s the Iran deal … We’re going to start making good deals,” he said.

The United States is in the midst of a $US1 trillion ($1.3 trillion), 30-year modernisation of its aging ballistic missile submarines, bombers and land-based missiles, a price tag that most experts say the country cannot afford.

Mr Trump also complained that the Russian deployment of a ground-based cruise missile is in violation of a 1987 treaty that bans land-based American and Russian intermediate-range missiles.

“To me it’s a big deal,” he said.

Asked if he would raise the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Trump said he would do so “if and when we meet.” He said he had no meetings scheduled as of yet with Mr Putin.

Speaking from behind his desk in the Oval Office, Mr Trump declared that “we’re very angry” at North Korea’s ballistic missile tests and said accelerating a missile defense system for US allies Japan and South Korea was among many options available.

“There’s talks of a lot more than that,” Mr Trump said, when asked about the missile defense system. “We’ll see what happens. But it’s a very dangerous situation, and China can end it very quickly in my opinion.”

 

 

source:http://www.smh.com.au/world/donald-trump-wants-to-expand-us-nuclear-arsenal-make-it-top-of-the-pack-20170223-guk6ms.html?deviceType=text

Trump urged to put GPS trackers on refugees until travel ban decided

my legs hurt

6th Feb 2017

President Trump and his Justice Department are being urged to go slow on appealing a court’s rejection of their travel ban and follow Germany’s example and put GPS ankle bracelets on visitors from the seven targeted nations until a final decision is made.

A prominent legal expert said that the administration should wait to appeal until Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch gets to the court, giving Trump a 5-4 majority and in the meantime put the tracking devices on any refugee or visitor.

“Going to the Supreme Court now could result in a widely predicted 4-4 decision,” warned George Washington University Law Professor John Banzhaf.

Wait instead, he urged, and in the meantime look to Germany’s model of using trackers on those it suspects of having terror ties — not all refugees.

“Imposing such conditions on admission is fully consistent with 8 USC 1182(f) which expressly gives the president the authority to ‘impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.’ It is also more likely to be upheld since it is far less objectionable than a total ban,” he said.

Currently, ankle bracelets are widely used by law enforcement and immigration agencies and Banzhaf suggested that it can be expanded and would be accepted by the nation.

“There have now been several major terrorist incidents in which authorities pointed out that they were suspicious of the perpetrator, but did not have sufficient information to arrest him, nor the vast resources necessary to provide effective surveillance of everyone under suspicion. GPS systems incorporated in ankle bracelets permit one agent to track hundreds of suspects in real time, and provide computer generated alerts if he goes anywhere suspicious (e.g., near a nuclear power plant), meets with other persons likewise wearing ankle monitors,” he said.

 

 

source:

Kuwait Has Had a ‘Muslim Ban’ Since 2011

lols

6th Feb 2017

The majority-Muslim country of Kuwait currently has a visa ban on three of the seven countries named in President Trump’s recent executive order, calling into question the alleged Islamophobic nature of the “Muslim ban.” Islam is the official religion of Kuwait, and yet passport holders from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have reportedly not been able to obtain visas to enter the country since 2011.

Kuwaiti officials note the problematic “instability” of the countries – specifically, internal conflict and terrorism – as reasons for the travel restrictions. In 2015, a mosque in Kuwait was bombed, leading to 27 deaths.

Kuwait is not the only Arab state to take a tough stance on travel restrictions from unstable Muslim countries. Lieutenant General Khalfan, Dubai’s head of security even tweeted support for Trump’s executive order:

“We completely support Trump in his ban on entry to those who may cause a breach in America’s security.”

The United Arab Emirates also gave approval to the ban. Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said on Wednesday that Trump’s ban was not anti-Islam, and that it was a “sovereign decision” of the United States that must be respected.

It is painfully obvious that there is nothing inherently Islamophobic in Trump’s executive order. The order never uses the word Muslim, and fails to target many of the most populous Muslim countries. The order is a perfectly reasonable reaction to the threat of terrorism coming from these countries.

A threat that Kuwait identified long before Trump.

 

 

source:http://www.mrctv.org/blog/kuwait-has-had-muslim-ban-2011

Feds Blame “Lapse in Vetting” for Admitting Syrian Refugees with Terrorist Ties into U.S.

immigration

30th Jan 2017

Dozens of Syrian refugees already living in the Unites States may have ties to terrorism and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is downplaying it, claiming federal agents missed “possible derogatory information” about the immigrants due to “a lapse in vetting.” Among those who slipped through the cracks is a man who failed a polygraph test after applying to work at a U.S. military installation and another who communicated with an Islamic State leader.

Information about this scandalous security lapse comes from federal agents with firsthand knowledge of the situation. They spoke to a mainstream newspaper on condition of anonymity, as many Judicial Watch sources who expose delicate information do, out of fear. This is the type of case the government works hard to keep quiet and consequences could be serious for those who blow the whistle. The news article reveals that federal agents are now “reinvestigating the backgrounds” of the dozens of Syrian refugees because somehow DHS discovered that the lapse in vetting allowed refugees with “potentially negative information in their files to enter the country.” The newspaper attributes the information to “U.S law enforcement officials” who were not authorized to discuss the matter.

Coincidentally, on the day this story broke a national newswire service reported that President Donald Trump drafted an executive order to stop accepting Syrian refugees. The president also plans to suspend issuing visas for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Under President Barrack Obama’s lax immigration policies, large numbers of terrorists from some of these nations entered the U.S., including members of ISIS and other radical Islamic groups. They include individuals who have engaged in or attempted to engage in acts of terrorism, conspired or attempted to conspire to provide material support to a terrorist organization or engaged in criminal conduct inspired by terrorist ideology. Some have been convicted and sentenced in American courts.

Additionally, the Obama administration was very generous in granting citizens of Muslim nations special amnesty protections and residency benefits in the U.S. During a five-year period, Obama’s DHS issued around 680,000 green cards to foreigners from Muslim countries, according to the agency’s figures.

Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Libya were among the nations. In 2015 Judicial Watch reported on a special “humanitarian” amnesty program offered to illegal aliens from Yemen, an Islamic Middle Eastern country well known as an Al Qaeda breeding ground. Yemen is the headquarters of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the State Department has revealed that AQAP militants carried out hundreds of attacks including suicide bombers, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), ambushes, kidnappings and targeted assassinations.

Circling back to Syrian refugees, as Obama let thousands settle in the U.S. his own intelligence and immigration officials admitted that individuals with ties to terrorist groups used the program to try to infiltrate the country and that there is no way to properly screen them. In 2015 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) confirmed that individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria tried to gain entry to the U.S. through the refugee program and that the program is “vulnerable to exploitation from extremist groups seeking to send operatives to the West.”

Before that the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Matthew Emrich, admitted during a congressional hearing that there’s no way to adequately screen Syrian refugees because the Syrian government doesn’t have an intelligence database to run checks against. Additionally, FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach conceded that the U.S. government has no system to properly screen Syrian refugees.

 

 

source:http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2017/01/feds-blame-lapse-vetting-admitting-syrian-refugees-terrorist-ties-u-s/?

America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016. What a bloody end to Obama’s reign

terrorobama

10th Jan 2017

Most Americans would probably be astounded to realize that the president who has been painted by Washington pundits as a reluctant warrior has actually been a hawk. The Iran nuclear deal, a herculean achievement, and the opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba unfortunately stand alone as President Obama’s successful uses of diplomacy over hostility.

While candidate Obama came to office pledging to end George W Bush’s wars, he leaves office having been at war longer than any president in US history. He is also the only president to serve two complete terms with the nation at war.

President Obama did reduce the number of US soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he dramatically expanded the air wars and the use of special operations forces around the globe. In 2016, US special operators could be found in 70% of the world’s nations, 138 countries – a staggering jump of 130% since the days of the Bush administration.

Looking back at President Obama’s legacy, the Council on Foreign Relation’s Micah Zenko added up the defense department’s data on airstrikes and made a startling revelation: in 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. This means that every day last year, the US military blasted combatants or civilians overseas with 72 bombs; that’s three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.

While most of these air attacks were in Syria and Iraq, US bombs also rained down on people in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. That’s seven majority-Muslim countries.

One bombing technique that President Obama championed is drone strikes. As drone-warrior-in-chief, he spread the use of drones outside the declared battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, mainly to Pakistan and Yemen. Obama authorized over 10 times more drone strikes than George W Bush, and automatically painted all males of military age in these regions as combatants, making them fair game for remote controlled killing.

President Obama has claimed that his overseas military adventures are legal under the 2001 and 2003 authorizations for the use of military force passed by Congress to go after al-Qaida. But today’s wars have little or nothing to do with those who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001.

The twisted legal architecture the Obama administration has constructed to justify its interventions, especially extrajudicial drone killings with no geographic restrictions, will now be transferred into the erratic hands of Donald Trump.

What does the administration have to show for eight years of fighting on so many fronts? Terrorism has spread, no wars have been “won” and the Middle East is consumed by more chaos and divisions than when candidate Barack Obama declared his opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

While the switch from US troops on the ground to airstrikes and special forces has saved US lives, untold numbers of foreign lives have been snuffed out. We have no idea how many civilians have been killed in the massive bombings in Iraq and Syria, where the US military is often pursuing Isis in the middle of urban neighborhoods. We only sporadically hear about civilian killings in Afghanistan, such as the tragic bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz that left 42 dead and 37 wounded.

Pushed to release information about civilian deaths in drone strikes, in July 2016 the US government made the absurd claim it had killed, at most, 116 civilians in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya between 2009 and 2015. Journalists and human rights advocates said the numbers were ridiculously low and unverifiable, given that no names, dates, locations or others details were released. The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which has tracked drone strikes for years, said the true figure was six times higher.

Given that drones account for only a small portion of the munitions dropped in the past eight years, the numbers of civilians killed by Obama’s bombs could be in the thousands. But we can’t know for sure as the administration, and the mainstream media, has been virtually silent about the civilian toll of the administration’s failed interventions.

In May 2013, I interrupted President Obama during his foreign policy address at the National Defense University. I had just returned from visiting the families of innocent people killed by US drone attacks in Yemen and Pakistan, including the Rehman children who saw their grandmother blown to bits while in the field picking okra.

Speaking out on behalf of grieving families whose losses have never been acknowledged by the US government, I asked President Obama to apologize to them. As I was being dragged out, President Obama said: “The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to.”

Too bad he never did.

 

 

source:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/america-dropped-26171-bombs-2016-obama-legacy?CMP=fb_gu

Not even US president can legalize torture, Abu Ghraib inmates allowed to sue – court ruling

abu-ghraib

22nd Oct 2016

A federal court has ruled in favor of four former Abu Ghraib detainees intending to sue a US military contractor for its alleged role in torturing them. The decision also said laws against torture apply to all branches of government, even the executive.

On Friday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a former ruling that claimed torture to be a “political question” out of the court’s hands. It also reinstated a lawsuit against CACI Premier Technology that alleges their employees abused and tortured four men during interrogations at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in the early years of the Iraq occupation.

The ruling is a major breakthrough for the eight-year long lawsuit for the Abu Ghraib inmates who were told last June that legal action would involve second-guessing military officials in a war zone. Therefore, the judge believed that the claims could not be litigated in the judicial system.

However, Friday’s unanimous ruling determined that contractors employed by the CACI Premier Technology were subject to the same anti-torture laws that govern the country and were not allowed to circumvent or interpret the laws differently due to their positions.

While executive officers can declare the military reasonableness of conduct amounting to torture, it is beyond the power of even the president to declare such conduct lawful,” wrote appellate Judge Barbara Keenan.

This is the fourth time this case has reached the appeals court, the Intercept reported. From here, it will return to the district court for reconsideration.

CACI denied any wrongdoing, saying in a statement released on Friday: “We’ll proceed with our expectation unchanged: exoneration for CACI. Nothing in today’s decision changes our view of the ultimate outcome.”

 

 

source:https://www.rt.com/usa/363718-abu-ghraib-lawsuit-appeals/