Posted: June 30, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, War Room | Tags: 2016 Presidential Campaign, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Clinton Foundation, Democratic Party, First Lady, First Lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton, Oval Office, Pantsuit Report, The Pantsuit Report
Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye for decades, but the more we learn about her, the more we realize how little we actually know. As the former First Lady attempts another run for President, let’s uncover exactly who she is before it’s too late.
National Review Online
Posted: June 29, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Censorship, War Room, White House | Tags: 2012 Benghazi attack, Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes (speechwriter), Benghazi, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Deputy National Security Advisor, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Freedom of Information Act (United States), Hillary Clinton, Judicial Watch, United States congressional committee, United States Department of State, United States Navy SEALs
If it’s almost 100% redacted, does it count as ‘unclassified’?
Amy Miller writes: Another day, another tiny, minuscule, pin-width beam of light shining down on who knew what, when, and how during and in the wake of the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Most recently, we saw Sid Blumenthal, having been dragged before a Congressional committee, providing investigators with a batch of then-Secretary Clinton’s private e-mails that the State Department failed to hand over. The very existence of those e-mails had members of the committee convinced that their much-maligned digging is not only justified, but necessary in the effort to figure out what was in the Administration’s collective hive mind in the wake of the attacks.
We already knew that Clinton and Obama spoke on the night of the Benghazi attacks; what we didn’t know is what they talked about. But finally! A federal court has released a new document, the contents of which have the potential to blow this whole thing wide open.
The problem? The “unclassified” document is almost completely redacted:
READOUT OF PRESIDENT’S CALL TO SECRETARY CLINTON: *crickets*Does it count as “unclassified” if it’s covered in correction tape?
Of course, the Administration has a totally predictable excuse for all the white-out. They’re not arguing that the information contained in the call was classified, but that it “represents internal deliberations” about the 2012 attack.
[Read the full story here, at Legal Insurrection]
This e-mail was released as part of a FOIA demand made by activist group Judicial Watch, and it’s a vital link in the timeline.
Via Fox News:
The emails also show that Rhodes, on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and before the attack was over, endorsed a statement from Clinton that cited an anti-Islam Internet video.
That statement noted some tried to justify the assault “as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” Rhodes told Clinton’s aides that “we should let State Department statement be our comment for the night.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 29, 2015 Filed under: Global, War Room | Tags: Cairo, Capital punishment, Egypt, Heliopolis (Cairo suburb), Islamism, Khairat El-Shater, Life imprisonment, Mohamed Morsi, Mohammed Badie, Muslim Brotherhood, President of Egypt, Prosecutor
Mary Chastain reports: An explosion has killed Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat and injured at least seven more people on Monday morning in Cairo.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, a spokesman for the health ministry, said Barakat passed away after surgeries. Ghaffar had previously stated he did not believe the prosecutor had suffered life-threatening injuries.
A witness spoke to Daily News Egypt:
A Heliopolis resident told Daily News Egypt they heard the explosion early Monday, and stepped onto their balcony to see a damaged motorcycle.
The witness also said there was an exploded vehicle, which according to the testimony, was Barakat’s security vehicle. The witness added that surrounding vehicles were in flames.
The damages on the attack scene included seven other injuries from Barakat’s staff and passengers, in addition to damages to 35 cars and nine houses in the area of the explosion.
[Read more at Breitbart and Daily News Egypt]
No group has yet to take responsibility for the attack. A group called Giza Popular Resistance claimed it first, but someone removed it from their Facebook page and the Twitter account denounced the post. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 29, 2015 Filed under: Asia, China, Diplomacy, Global, War Room | Tags: Boston Business Journal, Defense Department, Dion Nissenbaum, Futurist, Gabourey Sidibe, Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Peter Singer
World War III scenarios could become a reality, says Peter Singer, Author of ‘Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War‘
WASHINGTON— Dion Nissenbaum writes: Peter Singer, one of Washington’s pre-eminent futurists, is walking the Pentagon halls with an ominous warning for America’s military leaders: World War III with China is coming.
In meeting after meeting with anyone who will listen, this modern-day soothsayer wearing a skinny tie says America’s most advanced fighter jets might be blown from the sky by their Chinese-made microchips and Chinese hackers easily could worm their way into the military’s secretive intelligence service, and the Chinese Army may one day occupy Hawaii.
“It may not be politic, but it is, in my belief, no longer useful to avoid talking about the great power rivalries of the 21st century and the real dangers of them getting out of control.”
The ideas might seem outlandish, but Pentagon officials are listening to the 40-year-old senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank.
In hours of briefings, Mr. Singer has outlined his grim vision for intelligence officials, Air Force officers and Navy commanders. What makes his scenarios more remarkable is that they are based on a work of fiction: Mr. Singer’s soon-to-be-released, 400-page techno thriller, “Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War.”
[Read the full text here, at WSJ]
“World War III may seem like something that was either a fear in the distant past or a risk in the distant future,” Mr. Singer told a dozen Air Force officers during a Pentagon briefing last week. “But, as the Rolling Stones put it in ‘Gimme Shelter,’ ‘It’s just a shot away.’ ”
Pentagon officials typically don’t listen to the doom-and-gloom predictions of fiction writers. But Mr. Singer comes to the table with an unusual track record. He has written authoritative books on America’s reliance on private military contractors, cybersecurity and the Defense Department’s growing dependence on robots, drones and technology.
[Order Peter Singer’s book “Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War” from Amazon.com]
The Army, Navy and Air Force already have included two of his books on their official reading lists. And he often briefs military leaders on his research.
“Ghost Fleet,” co-written with former Wall Street Journal reporter August Cole is based on interviews, military research and years of experience working with the Defense Department.
“He’s the premier futurist in the national-security environment,” said Mark Jacobson, a special assistant to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who made sure his boss read the book. “Peter’s always where the ball is going to be. And people in the Pentagon listen to what he has to say.”
Release of the book by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Tuesday comes during a new period of soul-searching for the U.S. military. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 28, 2015 Filed under: Asia, Japan, War Room | Tags: Boeing P-8 Poseidon, China, Land reclamation, Philippines, South China Sea, Spratly Islands, Surveillance aircraft, United States Navy
Tensions have risen in recent weeks over China’s extensive land reclamation activity in the Spratlys. The U.S. hopes Japan will join its maritime air patrols over the disputed waters to check on what it sees as China’s expansionism.
Chiko Tsuneoka reports: Japan’s next-generation surveillance plane, officially unveiled earlier this week, will enable its military to conduct longer reconnaissance missions at a time when Tokyo is paying close attention to China’s growing presence in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
The P-1, manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., is crammed full of high-performance sensor equipment and the latest data-processing systems to detect submarines and small vessels.
“Mobility to fly out to distant destination waters swiftly and operate for a long time while remaining in operational areas is necessary.”
The new plane, billed as the world’s first production aircraft to use fly-by-light fiber-optic cable technology, has a cruising speed of 830 kilometers an hour (515 mph), 30% faster than the P-3C patrol plane it will replace, and a range of 8,000 kilometers, an increase of more than 20%.
“Mobility to fly out to distant destination waters swiftly and operate for a long time while remaining in operational areas is necessary” for detecting submarines and other targets, said Cmdr. Jun Masuda of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s 511 Fight Unit during a presentation of the new jet at the MSDF’s Atsugi Air Base in Kanagawa prefecture, southwest of Tokyo.
[Read the full text here, at WSJ]
The introduction of the P-1 comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is looking to pass security legislation to expand the scope of Japan’s military activities and bolster U.S.-Japan joint defense operations, partly in response to Beijing’s expanding military footprint in Asia. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 24, 2015 Filed under: Science & Technology, War Room | Tags: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Central Intelligence Agency, Director of National Intelligence, Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Kelly Ayotte, National Security Agency, Osama bin Laden, The Pentagon, United States, United States Department of Defense
The Pentagon and intelligence community are developing war plans and an operations center to fend off Chinese and Russian attacks on U.S.military and government satellites
The ops center, to be opened within six months, will receive data from satellites belonging to all government agencies, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday at the GEOINT symposium, an annual intelligence conference sponsored by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
“We want to be able to establish patterns of life from space. We want to know what the unusual looks like. If, all of a sudden, a lot of cars show up in a parking lot of an adversary’s missile plant, we want to know about it and we want to know about it quickly. If, suddenly, small boats are swarming in the Gulf or pirates are starting to congregate off Aden, we want to know.”
“[W]e are going to develop the tactics, techniques, procedures, rules of the road that would allow us … to fight the architecture and protect it while it’s under attack,” Work said. “The ugly reality that we must now all face is that if an adversary were able to take space away from us, our ability to project decisive power across transoceanic distances and overmatch adversaries in theaters once we get there … would be critically weakened.”
“If Russian soldiers are snapping pictures of themselves in war zones and posting them in social media sites, we want to know exactly where those pictures were taken.”
Work also said that Air Force Secretary Deborah James would soon be named the “principal space advisor” to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, where she will to provide “independent advice separate from the consensus process of the department.”
Senior officials at the Pentagon and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are still finalizing details of the new center, which will back up the military’s Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The center will help the military and government coordinate their preparations for and responses to any attack, said Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson, a spokeswoman for Work. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 23, 2015 Filed under: Diplomacy, War Room, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Belgium, Book of Revelation, CBS This Morning, Central Intelligence Agency, Charles Ponzi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal government of the United States, Obama administration, White House
I was an advisor to the families of U.S. hostages held by the Islamic State. And the Obama administration failed them, repeatedly
Barak Barfi writes: In the last 10 months, the Islamic State has brutally executed four American hostages. As Americans died, their government was powerless to stop the slaying. For while European governments tirelessly toiled to secure the release of European hostages, President Barack Obama’s administration’s passive approach doomed their American cellmates.
“But more egregious was this administration’s failure. The White House did not do enough to rescue the four Americans. During Steve’s imprisonment, it rarely worked with the hostages’ families, kept them in the dark, and was essentially passive, rather than discussing ways to secure their release.”
I had a connection to three of the four hostages and their families. The parents of aid worker Kayla Mueller, who died in an airstrike in February, frequently consulted with me. Peter Kassig, another aid worker who was beheaded last November, slept on my couch two weeks before his abduction. And journalist Steve Sotloff was my best friend. I spoke to him moments before his abduction after he entered Syria. In letters smuggled out of captivity, Steve wrote that he was counting on me to get him out. I failed him.
“The State Department was no better. When the mother of one of the hostages requested a senior point of contact at the White House, a State Department official rebuked her for going over her head.”
But more egregious was this administration’s failure. The White House did not do enough to rescue the four Americans. During Steve’s imprisonment, it rarely worked with the hostages’ families, kept them in the dark, and was essentially passive, rather than discussing ways to secure their release. And though the White House finally authorized an extraction attempt in late June 2014, it waited far too long to do so.
“Our lead agent misled me on several occasions, employing convoluted legalisms that would have impressed the greatest Talmudic scholars. His tactics so frustrated the Sotloffs that they finally asked him to address all queries to me.”
It was left to civilians like me to gather information and debrief the released European hostages. Because of my experience in the Middle East, I became the principal advisor to Steve’s family, directly handling their communication with the Islamic State.
[Read the full text here, at Foreign Policy]
The U.S. government’s principal channels with the four families largely consisted of mid-level officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. The FBI was useless. Its tasks were alternately to extract information and to comfort the family. It never shared intelligence. One European hostage, who was incarcerated with the Americans and subsequently released, told me he was shocked that the FBI seemed more interested in gathering evidence to prosecute the hostage-takers than it was in locating the Americans. Our lead agent misled me on several occasions, employing convoluted legalisms that would have impressed the greatest Talmudic scholars. His tactics so frustrated the Sotloffs that they finally asked him to address all queries to me. Though Steve is dead, our nightmare with the FBI continues. The bureau still refuses to give the Sotloffs the original letters he smuggled out of prison, claiming it is studying them for clues. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 23, 2015 Filed under: China, Global, War Room, White House | Tags: Background check, Bill Gates, Chinese Hackers, CIA, Edward Snowden, exclusionary analysis, Federal Personnel Files, Global Panic, Hack, Handgun, Job Growth, Obama administration, Office of Personnel Management, OPM
When the Administration disclosed the OPM hack in early June, they said Chinese hackers had stolen the personal information of up to four million current and former federal employees. The suspicion was that this was another case of hackers (presumably sanctioned by China’s government) stealing data to use in identity theft and financial fraud. Which is bad enough.
Yet in recent days Obama officials have quietly acknowledged to Congress that the hack was far bigger, and far more devastating. It appears OPM was subject to two breaches of its system in mid-to-late 2014, and the hackers appear to have made off with millions of security-clearance background check files.
These include reports on Americans who work for, did work for, or attempted to work for the Administration, the military and intelligence agencies. They even include Congressional staffers who left government—since their files are also sent to OPM.
This means the Chinese now possess sensitive information on everyone from current cabinet officials to U.S. spies. Background checks are specifically done to report personal histories that might put federal employees at risk for blackmail. The Chinese now hold a blackmail instruction manual for millions of targets.
These background checks are also a treasure trove of names, containing sensitive information on an applicant’s spouse, children, extended family, friends, neighbors, employers, landlords. Each of those people is also now a target, and in ways they may not contemplate. In many instances the files contain reports on applicants compiled by federal investigators, and thus may contain information that the applicant isn’t aware of.
Of particular concern are federal contractors and subcontractors, who rarely get the same security training as federal employees, and in some scenarios don’t even know for what agency they are working. These employees are particularly ripe targets for highly sophisticated phishing emails that attempt to elicit sensitive corporate or government information. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 22, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, War Room | Tags: Abdullah Abdullah, Afghan National Army, Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Associated Press, Kabul, Kunduz Province, Member of Parliament, National Assembly (Afghanistan), Taliban
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban suicide bomber struck the entrance to the Afghan parliament on Monday and gunmen tried to storm the heavily guarded compound, setting off a gunbattle with police that left two people dead as lawmakers were meeting inside to vote on the appointment of a new defense minister.
“Targeting innocent people in the holy month of Ramadan is a clear act of hostility against the religion of Islam,” his office said in a statement, adding that the perpetrators “are criminals who are bound by no creed or religion.”
Afghan security forces managed to repel the attack, killing all seven gunmen and ensuring that no members of parliament were harmed. But the audacious assault came as the Taliban captured two districts in as many days in the country’s north, displaying their ability to operate on multiple fronts.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the attack began with a car bomb explosion near the entrance to parliament. Gunmen then attempted to storm the compound but were pushed back by security forces and eventually corralled into a nearby building that was under construction.
Sediqqi later said all seven attackers were killed by police and that no members of parliament were harmed. “It is over now,” he said.
Sediqqi said a woman and a 10-year-old girl were killed. Health Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ismail Kahousi said 31 civilians were wounded in the parliament attack, including two women and two children.
Sidiqa Mubarez, a member of parliament, said the building was rocked by the large explosion and that some people were wounded by flying glass. She said the explosion happened shortly after Masoom Stanekzai had arrived to be confirmed as defense minister, a post that has been vacant for nine months. The vote was delayed by the attack.
The Taliban claimed the attack. The militant group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told The Associated Press by telephone that it targeted Stanekzai and the parliament itself. He said the assault showed the “capability of the mujahedeen, who can even attack the parliament in the capital.”
An AP reporter who witnessed part of the assault heard heavy gunfire outside parliament and saw black smoke billowing from the entrance as ambulances raced to the scene. The reporter later heard sporadic shooting from the building where the militants were said to be holed up. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 19, 2015 Filed under: Law & Justice, Religion, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: CAIR, Council on American–Islamic Relations, Extremism, Family Research Council, Islam in the United States, Jihadism, Judicial Watch, Left Wing, Memorial Day, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Sharia Law, Terorrism, U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Constitution, United States Department of Homeland Security
The Obama-tied leftist group that helped a gunman commit an act of terrorism against a conservative organization has assembled a starter kit for Islamists to attack American women who refuse to comply with Sharia law, the authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism.
It’s the summer special from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an extremist nonprofit that lists conservative organizations that disagree with it on social issues on a catalogue of “hate groups.” A few years ago a gunman received a 25-year prison sentence for carrying out the politically-motivated shooting of the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters after admitting that he learned about the FRC from the SPLC “hate map.” Prosecutors called it an act of terrorism and recommended a 45-year sentence.
Now the SPLC, which has conducted diversity training for the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ), is targeting female bloggers, activists and television personalities who refuse to comply with Sharia law which is rooted in the Quran. The European Court on Human rights has repeatedly ruled that Sharia is “incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy” yet politically-connected radical Muslim groups—such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)—keep pushing to implement it in the United States and the movement has gained steam.
Among those resisting this effort publicly are the high-profile women being targeted by the SPLC. Some of them are colleagues or friends of Judicial Watch and now they must fear for their safety simply for practicing their rights under the U.S. Constitution. The new hate list is titled Women Against Islam/The Dirty Dozen and includes illustrations and detailed information on all the women, who are branded “the core of the anti-Muslim radical right.” The new SPLC hate brochure further targets them by claiming that they’re “a dozen of the most hardline anti-Muslim women activists in America.”
Political activist and commentator Pamela Geller is branded the “country’s most flamboyant and visible Muslim-basher” for, among other things “smearing and demonizing Muslims.” Blogger Ann Barnhardt is identified as one of the “most extreme Muslim-bashers in the United States” and radio talk-show host Laura Ingram made the list for saying that hundreds of millions of Muslims were delighted that 12 people were massacred by Islamic terrorists in the Paris headquarters of a satirical magazine. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 19, 2015 Filed under: Global, Russia, War Room | Tags: Baltic states, EUROPE, European Union, Jens Stoltenberg, Moscow, NATO, RUSSIA, Russian Armed Forces, Soviet Union, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin
Zagan (Poland) (AFP) – NATO member Poland said Thursday that the post-Cold War period of peace is “now over”, as the European Union grapples with various crises including the Ukraine conflict and terrorism.
“Because there are more and more crises erupting around Europe… It’s not only the Ukrainian and Russian crisis but also ISIS and a number of different crises in northern Africa.”
Poland’s defence minister spoke alongside NATO head Jens Stoltenberg in western Poland while attending the first full exercise of the Western defence alliance’s new rapid reaction force — part of NATO’s biggest defence reinforcement since the Cold War.
“I think it’s a task for all of us to persuade the public that they should be ready to do more before it’s too late.”
— Defense Minister Tomasz Siemonia
“After tens of years of peace, that peaceful period after the Cold War is now over,” Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told reporters in Zagan.
“Because there are more and more crises erupting around Europe… It’s not only the Ukrainian and Russian crisis but also ISIS and a number of different crises in northern Africa,” he said, using an acronym to refer to the jihadist Islamic State group.
He added that Europe had to do more to defend itself, saying “I think it’s a task for all of us to persuade the public that they should be ready to do more before it’s too late.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 18, 2015 Filed under: Law & Justice, Self Defense, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: Barack Obama, Chris Kyle, Fallujah, Improvised explosive device, Iraq War, Medal of Honor, Rick Perry, Texas, United States, United States Navy SEALs
Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Concurrent Resolution 85 (Wray, R-Waxahachie; Birdwell, R-Granbury) to posthumously award the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, a native Texan and Navy SEAL who served four tours in Iraq and is recognized as the most lethal sniper in United States military history. During the legislative session, Governor Abbott also dedicated a portion of Highway 287 in Midlothian, TX as “Chris Kyle Memorial Highway” and proclaimed February 2nd to be “Chris Kyle Day” in the State of Texas.
“Since its inception, the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor has been awarded to those in the State of Texas who have demonstrated extraordinary heroism as a member of state or federal military forces, and there is no one more deserving of this year’s award than Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle,” said Governor Abbott. “Kyle is one of the legions of valiant warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and served our great nation with unrivaled honor, bravery and heroism. For his remarkable valiancy, it is my honor to posthumously award the 2015 Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle.”
To view the resolution, click here.
Office of the Governor – Greg Abbott
Posted: June 18, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: China, Chinese language, Data breach, Federal government of the United States, Information sensitivity, Job Growth, Personally identifiable information, Security clearance, United States, United States Office of Personnel Management
The SF-86, a 127-page document, asks government employees to disclose information about family members, friends and past employment as well as details on alcohol and drug use, mental illness, credit ratings, bankruptcies, arrest records and court actions
David Larter and Andrew Tilghman report: Anxiety is spreading among defense officials and the military community that the recent theft of federal government data linked to China may affect hundreds of thousands of service members.
“They had access on everyone who has applied for a security clearance: families, residences and job assignments, bank records. If that’s not an absolute calamity, I don’t know what is.”
Compounding those concerns is the limited information made public by the Office of Personnel Management.
“They got everyone’s SF-86.”
Some military officials believe the recent hack targeting the civilian-run OPM seized information from tens of thousands of Standard Form 86s, which are required for all service members and civilians seeking a security clearance. That includes service members of all ranks, officers and enlisted, in a wide range of job specialties and assignments.
“This is a surreal new world and they are not being truthful. The way this works now is that they tell you a little bit of the truth, and then they obfuscate.”
“They got everyone’s SF-86,” one Pentagon official familiar with the investigation told Military Times.
The SF-86, a 127-page document, asks government employees to disclose information about family members, friends and past employment as well as details on alcohol and drug use, mental illness, credit ratings, bankruptcies, arrest records and court actions.
Given the scale of the breach as publicly disclosed by the Obama administration and OPM, it’s likely that the hackers obtained the SF-86 data of every military member who filled out the form on a computer, something that has been standard practice in Defense Department for well over a decade, said a retired senior intelligence community official who writes a blog under the pen name Victor Socotra.
The services began to make the digital SF-86 form mandatory in 2007, but service members used the digital form for years before that. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 17, 2015 Filed under: Science & Technology, War Room | Tags: Aircraft Carrier, Aircraft catapult, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, Fighter aircraft, Gerald Ford, James River, Newport News, Structural load, United States Navy, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), Virginia
NEWPORT News, Va. (June 16, 2015) Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) conducts dead-load testing of the The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) . (U.S. Navy video/Released)
Posted: June 16, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Religion, War Room | Tags: Arizona, Associated Press, Dallas, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Garland, Indictment, Making false statements, Muhammad, Muslim, Phoenix, Texas
A man has been charged with helping plan an attack on a provocative Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas that ended with two Phoenix men being killed in a shootout with police.
An indictment filed in federal court in Phoenix last week says that 43-year-old Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem hosted the gunmen in his home beginning in January and provided the guns they used in the May 3 shooting in Garland, Texas. The indictment also says others were involved, but no other arrests or indictments have been made.
“They had a lot of photos. They asked not only me, but other people if they have seen him. The FBI is going to do their jobs and they are going to follow their leads and whatever they find we are going to cooperate with them.”
Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson were roommates in Phoenix and drove to Texas to attack the event featuring cartoons deemed offensive to Muslims. They were killed by police after they drove up and opened fire outside the contest at a conference center, injuring a security guard. No one attending the event in suburban Dallas was hurt.
Abdul Kareem practiced shooting with Simpson, Soofi and others in the remote desert outside Phoenix between January and May, the indictment said. He hosted the gunmen and others in his home to discuss the contest and the shooters’ plans to travel to Texas to attack the event, according to the indictment.
Court records in Phoenix show Abdul Kareem had a criminal record, struggled with substance abuse and had difficulty finding steady employment.
He has two aggravated drunken driving convictions in Arizona, including a 1998 case where he was found passed out with a beer bottle between his legs behind the wheel of a vehicle that was still running. He was also charged in 1997 with aggravated assault after a woman told police that Abdul Kareem had pointed a gun in her direction. Abdul Kareem maintained that he didn’t point the weapon at anyone and instead had taken the gun away from his brother during an argument.
After a second DUI arrest, probation officials say Abdul Kareem was generally cooperative but had continued to drive while drunk and struggle with substance abuse. He was sentenced to four months in jail.
He was born and raised in Philadelphia as Decarus Lowell Thomas and changed his name to Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem in 2013. His attorney, Daniel Maynard, didn’t immediately respond to phone or email messages early Tuesday.
Kareem is charged with conspiracy, making false statements and interstate transportation of firearms with intent to commit a felony. He is also known as Decarus Thomas. He has lived in multiple locations in Phoenix and suburban Glendale during the last several years, records show.
Kareem attended the same Phoenix mosque where Soofi and Simpson occasionally prayed. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 16, 2015 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, War Room | Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza Strip, Gaza War, Hamas, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Palestinian people, Sami Abu Zuhri, United Nations, United Nations Human Rights Council
Hamas violently took control of Gaza in 2007. What have they been doing since? Oppressing the Gazan population and investing billions in terrorism against Israel’s civilian population. Some people choose to close their eyes to the reality on the ground. What about you?
Posted: June 15, 2015 Filed under: Robotics, War Room
Megan Eckstein reports: The Navy wants to integrate robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) into more of its workload, from warfighting missions to non-combat support roles, and is seeking fleet input on what types of AI research are worth investing in.
“Traditionally in the Department of the Navy the focus is on the warfighting mission, and rightfully so, but maybe not so much on the support side. So how does artificial intelligence and robotics fit into some of the operational support functions or even management?”
— Bob Kozloski, deputy director of Task Force Innovation and deputy chief of the Office of Strategy and Innovation
The service already has, in varying stages of completion, its Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) in the air, a Large Diameter Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV) under the sea and the Swarmboat unmanned vehicle on the surface. The warfighting value for these platforms is clear, the service said.
“The private sector is investing heavily in AI and robotics automation for decision-making and physical implementation tasks. ”
“Traditionally in the Department of the Navy the focus is on the warfighting mission, and rightfully so, but maybe not so much on the support side,” Bob Kozloski, deputy director of Task Force Innovation and deputy chief of the Office of Strategy and Innovation, told USNI News on Wednesday. “So how does artificial intelligence and robotics fit into some of the operational support functions or even management?”
“The DON could benefit from considering how to adapt recent private sector advances in fields such as machine learning, natural language processing, ontological engineering, and automated planning for naval applications.”
— From the memo
Kozloski’s office released a memo on June 5 outlining the path forward in identifying opportunities to integrate robotics and AI into Navy operations and for leveraging commercial development.
“The private sector is investing heavily in AI and robotics automation for decision-making and physical implementation tasks,” according to the memo. “The DON could benefit from considering how to adapt recent private sector advances in fields such as machine learning, natural language processing, ontological engineering, and automated planning for naval applications.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 14, 2015 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, Russia, War Room | Tags: Associated Press, China, Cold War, Crimea, EUROPE, Moscow, Obama administration, RUSSIA, Ukraine, United States
The tiny Polish town of Swietoszow did not officially exist during the Cold War; as home to a massive but secret Soviet tank force ready to strike at the West, it was removed from all public maps and records.
Last week Nato used the base for the first big deployment of a new special force to defend eastern Europe from an increasingly expansionist Russia.
American Black Hawk helicopters thundered in the skies as German tanks rolled from across the nearby border, along with troops and hardware from seven other nations that make up Nato’s Spearhead Force, which was set up last year in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 14, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, War Room | Tags: ABC News, Airstrike, al Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Algeria, Libya, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, North Africa, Politics of Libya, The Pentagon
A senior Islamist militant who ordered the deadly attack on an Algerian gas plant two years ago has been killed in a US air strike, Libyan officials say
Mokhtar Belmokhtar and other fighters were killed in the operation, a statement from Libya‘s government said.
However, there have been several false reports of his death in the past.
The Pentagon said it had targeted a “mid-level” al-Qaeda operative, giving few details.
It said Saturday’s operation had been successful but did not name the target, saying officials were still assessing whether it had been successful.
Born in Algeria, Belmokhtar was a former senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), but left to form his own militia. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 14, 2015 Filed under: Asia, Breaking News, Japan, War Room | Tags: Aftermath of World War II, Agence France-Presse, Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, Asia Pacific, Democratic Party of Japan, Japan, Kiyomi Tsujimoto, Liberal Democratic Party (Japan), Pacific Ocean, Philippines, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe, Tokyo
Thousands of Japanese rallied Sunday in protest at plans by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bolster the role and scope of the pacifist nation’s military
The protest which surrounded the Diet building was held as the nationalist premier tries to force through parliament a set of controversial bills making the changes.
The bills are a pet project of Abe, who says Japan can no longer shy away from its responsibility to help safeguard regional stability, and must step out from under the security umbrella provided by the United States.
The draft legislation would broaden the remit of Japan’s well-equipped and well-trained armed forces.
It would allow them to go into battle to protect allies-so-called “collective defense“-something which is banned by a strict reading of Japan’s pacifist constitution. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 14, 2015 Filed under: Diplomacy, Reading Room, Russia, War Room | Tags: BBC, Central Intelligence Agency, China, David Cameron, Edward Snowden, List of intelligence agencies, National Security Agency, RUSSIA, The Sunday Times, United States
London (AFP) – Britain has been forced to move some of its spies after Russia and China accessed the top-secret raft of documents taken by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, British media reported.
“We know Russia and China have access to Snowden’s material and will be going through it for years to come, searching for clues to identify potential targets.”
— Intelligence source, to the Sunday Times
The BBC and the Sunday Times cited senior government and intelligence officials as saying agents had been pulled, with the newspaper saying the move came after Russia was able to decrypt more than one million files.
“It is the case that Russians and Chinese have information. It has meant agents have had to be moved and that knowledge of how we operate has stopped us getting vital information,” a Downing Street source said, according to the newspaper.
“It is the case that Russians and Chinese have information. It has meant agents have had to be moved and that knowledge of how we operate has stopped us getting vital information.”
— Downing Street source
Downing Street told AFP on Sunday that they “don’t comment on intelligence matters” while the Foreign Office said: “We can neither confirm or deny these reports”.
The BBC said on its website, meanwhile, that a government source said the two countries “have information” that spurred intelligence agents being moved, but said there was “no evidence” any spies were harmed.
Snowden fled to Russia after leaking the documents to the press in 2013 to expose the extent of US online surveillance programmes and to protect “privacy and basic liberties”.
The Sunday Times said other government sources claimed China had also accessed the documents, which reveal US and British intelligence techniques, leading to fears that their spies could be identified. Read the rest of this entry »