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Why the ‘Lone-wolf’ Terrorist is a Myth

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Paul Sperry writes: President Obama says don’t worry, the Orlando terrorist was just another “lone actor” operating in isolation, unconnected to any larger group of supporters. In fact, these so-called “lone wolves” are running in packs, and suggesting otherwise gives the public a false sense of security.

Yet Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson echoed Obama, saying Omar Mateen was “self-radicalized” without any religious, ideological or operational support from friends, family or others in the Muslim community.

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“What we do know at this point is it appears this was a case of self-radicalization,” Johnson said. “He does not appear to have been part of any group.”

A more accurate picture is that Mateen, an Afghan-American, was part of a disturbingly large Muslim family of sympathizers, supporters and even co-conspirators.

For starters, his wife could face criminal charges in the attack on the gay Orlando nightclub, the deadliest act of terrorism in the US since 9/11. Noor Zahi Salman, who wed Mateen in 2011, reportedly told the FBI she knew about her husband’s planned attack and even drove him to the site of the massacre as part of a scouting operation. She also is said to have helped him case the Disney Springs shopping complex. What’s more, Salman allegedly was with Mateen when he bought ammo and a holster used in the attack.

Orlando police cars outside of Pulse nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.Photo: Getty Images

Prosecutors have convened a grand jury to present evidence against Salman, a Palestinian immigrant, who ultimately could be indicted as an accessory to the murders of 49 people and the attempted murders of 53 others. Possible other charges include failing to report a terrorist attack and lying to federal agents.

It appears the seeds of Mateen’s hatred were planted at home.

His Afghan immigrant father, who founded a nonprofit group to support the Taliban, preached gays should be punished. In a video Seddique Mir Mateen posted on the Web, he expresses gratitude toward the Afghan Taliban, who stone homosexuals to death, calling them “our warrior brothers.”

Other statements make it clear the elder Mateen could have passed anti-gay views onto his son.

“God will punish those involved in homosexuality,” the elder Mateen said in the wake of his son’s rampage. He seemed to rationalize the targeting of gays by pointing out that his son was offended by two gay men kissing in front of his 3-year-old son during a recent family trip to Miami. Read the rest of this entry »

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THE INCREDIBLE MELTING CLOCK STORY 

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Nickarama writes:

Whoa, baby…

Via Daily Beast:

After the MSNBC segment, Eyman and I sit down in the hallway where she says the same thing happened to her as Ahmed.

“I got suspended from school for three days from this stupid same district, from this girl saying I wanted to blow up the school, something I had nothing to do with.”

Eyman talks with the slightest lisp, almost imperceptible, but it becomes stronger as she gets emotional.

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“I got suspended and I didn’t do anything about it and so when I heard about Ahmed, I was so mad because it happened to me and I didn’t get to stand up, so I’m making sure he’s standing up because it’s not right. So I’m not jealous, I’m kinda like—it’s like he’s standing for me.”

Eyman said her suspension was in her first year of middle school, “my first year of attempting middle school in America. I knew English, but the culture was different, the people were different.”

The rest of the Daily Beast article is a festival of Ahmed delighting in how famous he is. The reporter doesn’t seem to really understand what he just heard, and then blames it on ‘Islamophobia’….(read more)

Source: Weasel Zippers


‘Atomic Nemisis’: Now in Paperback!

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Despite Campaign Pledge, Obama Won’t Call 1915 Killings of Armenians ‘Genocide’

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John Hudson writes: Putting geopolitics above a longtime campaign promise, President Barack Obama will refrain from using the word “genocide” to describe the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I. The decision came after a senior delegation of Turkish diplomats traveled to Washington to meet with White House officials and three days before the 100th anniversary of the mass killings.

“President Obama’s surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace. It is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust.”

— Ken Hachikian, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America

U.S. officials speaking to Foreign Policy said the White House had contemplated recognizing the genocide and alerted State Department officials who deal with Turkey to prepare for the potential diplomatic blowback.

“The Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. As president I will recognize the Armenian genocide.”

— Senator Barack Obama

In the end, though, the White House decided against using the term. Administration officials relayed the decision to a group of Armenian-American leaders Tuesday afternoon, prompting an immediate backlash from those who have spent decades trying to get Washington to recognize what many historians describe as the first genocide of the 20th century.

“Is this the time to kick Turkey in the balls given everything that’s going on in the region?”

— Former congressional aide with years of experience working with Washington’s highly active Armenian lobby

“President Obama’s surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace,” Ken Hachikian, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America, said in a statement. “It is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust.”

Many officials at the State Department opposed the decision for fear of losing Turkey’s cooperation on a host of key issues, most notably the war against the Islamic State militant group, which has seized control of large swaths of Syria and Iraq. Turkey hosts a training camp for anti-ISIS fighters and owns an air base the United States wants more access to.

“Is this the time to kick Turkey in the balls given everything that’s going on in the region?” said a former congressional aide with years of experience working with Washington’s highly active Armenian lobby.

To date, no sitting U.S. president has ever verbalized the word “genocide” when referring to the atrocities committed against Armenians in the early years of World War I. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan issued a written proclamation about the “genocide of the Armenians,” but subsequent diplomatic headaches prompted his administration to reverse course and drop all explicit references to that term. Read the rest of this entry »


Latin America Silent on Venezuela as U.S. Airs Rights Concerns

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PANAMA CITY (AP) — Joshua Goodman and Peter Orsi report: From Mexico to Brazil, leaders in Latin America have largely kept silent amid charges of human rights abuses in Venezuela and are unlikely to speak out against their neighbor at this week’s Summit of the Americas.

“The Obama administration last month froze the U.S. assets and revoked visas for seven senior officials accused of human rights violations related to protests last year against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government.”

Many Latin American heads of state gathering in Panama City are bound to oil-rich Venezuela by business dealings if not ideology, and are put off by recent U.S. sanctions against some of the country’s officials. Others do not want to be seen as doing Washington’s bidding, particularly as they face protests and plunging approval ratings at home.

“The unrest is blamed for more than 40 deaths and triggered a crackdown on criticism that led to the jailing of several opposition leaders, including February’s surprise arrest of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma.”

“Venezuela has successfully played the history of U.S. imperialism and U.S. heavy-handedness cards, in a way that has made people want to back away from public criticism,” said Geoff Thale, an analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America.

Venezuela Regional Silence

“It was no surprise that leftist allies such as the governments of Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua would leap to defend Caracas. All have a history of vocal opposition to Washington. But even more moderate governments and traditional U.S. allies in the region have been reluctant to criticize Maduro.”

The Obama administration last month froze the U.S. assets and revoked visas for seven senior officials accused of human rights violations related to protests last year against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government. The unrest is blamed for more than 40 deaths and triggered a crackdown on criticism that led to the jailing of several opposition leaders, including February’s surprise arrest of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma.

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Human Rights Watch and other advocacy groups issued a statement on Tuesday asking the countries attending the summit to call Maduro’s administration to task for its alleged harassment of rights defenders.

But rather than highlight alleged abuses, the U.S. sanctions have drawn widespread condemnation in Latin America, denying Obama a hoped-for diplomatic victory lap at the summit for his decision to restore ties with Cold War nemesis Cuba. A reference to Venezuela as a threat to U.S. national security included in the sanctions declaration is standard bureaucratic language for the United States, but disturbing to a region with a long history of U.S. interference, from support for past military regimes to efforts to topple leftist governments.

Deputy National Security adviser Benjamin Rhodes argued Tuesday during a White House press briefing on Obama’s upcoming visit that the language in the executive order was the same typically used by the U.S. when it levies sanctions around the world. Read the rest of this entry »