Posted: December 5, 2016 Filed under: Censorship, Education, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Alt-right, Associated Press, California, Donald Trump, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hate crime, Jews, Muslim, November 2015 Paris attacks, San Bernardino, September 11 attacks
How do devout Muslims born in the West feel about Jews? How do they feel about Western values in general? Kasim Hafeez, who was raised a devout Muslim in England, explains.
YouTube censors video of pro-Israel Muslim as ‘hate speech’
A petition to restore the video promptly gathered over 105,000 signatures in less than a day. Late Monday evening, Youtube re-uploaded the video in “Restricted Mode,” partially restoring it. This mode marks the video as explicit content, similar to pornography, and effectively makes the video impossible to view on public internet connections at libraries and schools.
Prager is a conservative, nonprofit educational organization that produces short, educational videos. This isn’t the first time Youtube has targeted the group. YouTube put 21 of Prager University’s videos on “restricted mode” in October and currently still lists 18 PragerU videos under that mode…(read more)
Source: Daily Caller Foundation – Bizpac Review
Posted: April 10, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Email Probe, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fox News Channel, Hillary Clinton, James B. Comey, Private Server, San Bernardino, The Pantsuit Report, United States Department of Justice
President Obama repeatedly vowed there would be no political influence over the Justice Department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state — in a wide-ranging interview with “Fox News Sunday” in which he also ardently defended his efforts to defeat the Islamic State and other terror groups amid criticism about his perceived indifference.
“Nobody is above the law. How many times do I have to say it?”
— President Barack Obama
“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case,” Obama told “Fox News Sunday.” “Nobody is above the law. How many times do I have to say it?”
His remarks came less than three months after White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest publicly downplayed a possible indictment for Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 28, 2016 Filed under: Law & Justice, Science & Technology, Terrorism, U.S. News | Tags: Apple Inc, Apple iPhone 5C, California, Federal Bureau of Investigation, IOS, iPhone, James B. Comey, San Bernardino, The Wall Street Journal, United States Department of Justice
The Justice Department is expected to withdraw from its legal action against Apple, as soon as today, as an outside method to bypass the locking function of a San Bernardino terrorist’s phone has proved successful, a federal law enforcement official said Monday.
[Read the full story here, at USAToday]
The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the method brought to the FBI earlier this month by an unidentified entity allows investigators to crack the security function without erasing contents of the iPhone used by Syed Farook, who with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, carried out the December mass shooting that left 14 dead.
Monday’s withdrawal would culminate six weeks of building tensions.
The foes were poised to exchange legal body blows in a court room in Riverside, Calif., last week before the Justice Department belatedly asked for — and was granted — a postponement.
“It’s not about one phone. It’s very much about the future. You have a guy in Manhattan saying I’ve got a hundred and seventy-five phones that I want to take through this process. You’ve got other cases springing up all over the place where they want phones taken through the process. So it’s not about one phone, and they know it’s not about one phone.”
— Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with Time last week.
Since a federal magistrate in California in mid-February ordered the company to assist the FBI in gaining access to San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook’s seized iPhone, the legal filings and rhetoric between the world’s most valuable technology company and one of the largest crime-fighting organizations in the world had sharpened into verbal vitriol.
This month, Apple said the “Founding Fathers would be appalled” because the government’s order to unlock the iPhone was based on non-existent authority asserted by the DOJ. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 10, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Russia | Tags: Barack Obama, Bloomberg L.P., Bowe Bergdahl, California, Edward Snowden, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mikhail Lesin, San Bernardino, The Daily Beast, The Hill, Vladimir Putin
‘It was just a little tap on the head, nothing serious’.
A former spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin who co-founded the Kremlin-backed news outlet RT died in a Washington hotel room of blunt force trauma to the head in November, according the office of D.C.’s medical examiner.
The Thursday revelation runs counter to previous reports that Mikhail Lesin‘s November death was due to a heart attack, reigniting accusations that foul play may have been involved.
[Also see – Palace Intrigue: Putin’s Aide Mikhail Lesin Found Dead]
A joint statement from the Washington Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Metropolitan Police Department claimed that Lesin, 59, also suffered “blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities and lower extremities,” which contributed to his death. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 25, 2016 Filed under: Mediasphere, Science & Technology, Terrorism | Tags: Apple iPhone 5C, California, Court order, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal government of the United States, IOS, iPhone, IPod Touch, San Bernardino, Sayyid, United States Department of Justice
Apple has officially filed its mandatory response to the court following an order to comply with the FBI and unlock an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter from December. Unsurprisingly, Apple has filed a motion to vacate the order which would force it to comply, telling the court that it shouldn’t have to unlock the iPhone using a modified and insecure software version.
[Also see: Report: Google & Facebook to file court motions officially supporting Apple in FBI fight]
In the response, Apple has referred to the version of iOS that it would need to create to allow the FBI to unlock the iPhone in question using brute force as a Government Operating System, specifically GovtOS.
[Read the full story here, at 9to5Mac]
In the document, Apple maintains its position that the request to unlock this specific iPhone isn’t actually about just one iPhone and would set a dangerous precedent that could be used by governments around the world.
Apple’s position has also been to explain that creating this insecure version of iOS to be used in this case would be all customers at risk assuming the operating system fell into the wrong hands and was passed off as the real thing. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 17, 2016 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, Law & Justice, Think Tank | Tags: Apple Inc, Apple iPhone 5S, FBI, IOS, iPad, iPhone, IPod Touch, National security, Patriot Act, San Bernardino, Technician, Terrorism, The Daily Dot, The Guardian
Where would you draw the line between liberty and security?
Stephen Green writes: Here’s the setup.
San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook owned an iPhone 5c, which may have been used — probably was used — in planning and perhaps even executing the holiday party terror attack with his wife, Tashfeen Malik.
That iPhone 5c, just like any other up-to-do-date iOS or Android smartphone, has disc-level encryption baked into the OS for users who want that level of privacy, for good or for ill.
Yesterday,U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym ordered Apple to bypass the phone’s security functions, and furthermore “to provide related technical assistance and to build special software that would essentially act as a skeleton key capable of unlocking the phone.”
[Read the full story here, at PJ Media]
Here’s what happened next:
Hours later, in a statement by its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, Apple announced its refusal to comply. The move sets up a legal showdown between the company, which says it is eager to protect the privacy of its customers, and the law enforcement authorities, who assert that new encryption technologies hamper their ability to prevent and solve crime.In his statement, Mr. Cook called the court order an “unprecedented step” by the federal government. “We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” he wrote.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond publicly to Apple’s resistance.
The F.B.I. said its experts had been unable to access data on the iPhone 5c and that only Apple could bypass its security features. F.B.I. experts have said they risk losing the data permanently after 10 failed attempts to enter the password because of the phone’s security features.
The Justice Department had secured a search warrant for the phone, owned by Mr. Farook’s former employer, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, which consented to the search.
Because Apple declined to voluntarily provide, in essence, the “keys” to its encryption technology, federal prosecutors said they saw little choice but to get a judge to compel Apple’s assistance.
Mr. Cook said the order amounted to creating a “back door” to bypass Apple’s strong encryption standards — “something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”
Security hawks are on solid ground when they worry (as I do) that Farook’s encrypted iPhone might contain data valuable to government efforts to stop future terror attacks on U.S. soil, or to aid intel efforts to locate, track, and kill Farook’s ISIS contacts overseas.
But that’s not the only worry, as Doug Mataconis explains:
From Apple’s point of view, there seem to be a myriad of issues motivating the decision to take what has the potential to be an unpopular decision given the circumstances of this case. First of all, there is the fact that ever since the company made the decision to strengthen security on its phones in a manner that essentially allows customers to encrypt data in a manner that makes it nearly impossible to access without the appropriate pass code, the concerns about data security have only become more prominent and that providing a backdoor that does not exist right now would only serve to make the data itself less secure overall. Second, as the Post article notes the use of the All Writs Act in this manner appears to be unprecedented and, if upheld, would essentially allow the government to do almost anything in the name of law enforcement and intelligence gathering. Finally, and perhaps most strongly, it’s important to note that law enforcement isn’t asking Apple to provide information that it already has, which is what an ordinary search warrant does. It is essentially asking a Federal Court to compel Apple to do something, in this case create a backdoor that does not exist. This arguably falls well outside the scope of the Fourth Amendment and, if upheld, would give law enforcement authority to compel technology companies to do almost anything conceivable in the name of a purported investigation or surveillance of a target. That seems to go well beyond what the Constitution and existing law permits law enforcement to do.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 29, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Government agency, Hillary Clinton, Jeh Johnson, National Terrorism Advisory System, Pantsuit Report, San Bernardino, United States, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne report: The intelligence community has deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails “too damaging” to national security to release under any circumstances, according to a U.S. government official close to the ongoing review. A second source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, backed up the finding.
The determination was first reported by Fox News, hours before the State Department formally announced Friday that seven email chains, found in 22 documents, will be withheld “in full” because they, in fact, contain “Top Secret” information.
The State Department, when first contacted by Fox News about withholding such emails Friday morning, did not dispute the reporting – but did not comment in detail. After a version of this report was first published, the Obama administration confirmed to the Associated Press that the seven email chains would be withheld. The department has since confirmed those details publicly.
The decision to withhold the documents in full, and not provide even a partial release with redactions, further undercuts claims by the State Department and the Clinton campaign that none of the intelligence in the emails was classified when it hit Clinton’s personal server.
Fox News is told the emails include intelligence from “special access programs,” or SAP, which is considered beyond “Top Secret.” A Jan. 14 letter, first reported by Fox News, from intelligence community Inspector General Charles McCullough III notified senior intelligence and foreign relations committee leaders that “several dozen emails containing classified information” were determined to be “at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, AND TOP SECRET/SAP levels.”
[Read the full story here, at Fox News]
The State Department is trying to finish its review and public release of thousands of Clinton emails, as the Democratic presidential primary contests get underway in early February. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 5, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Guns and Gadgets, Politics, Self Defense, Think Tank | Tags: Barack Obama, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Civil Rights, Death, Emily Miller, Executive order, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gun Deaths, Gun laws, John R. Lott, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Times, New York, Public health, San Bernardino, United States
You Know Less Than You Think About Guns
Brian Doherty writes: “There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America,” President Barack Obama proclaimed after the October mass shooting that killed 10 at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. “So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer? We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work—or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns—is not borne out by the evidence.”
In this single brief statement, Obama tidily listed the major questions bedeviling social science research about guns—while also embodying the biggest problem with the way we process and apply that research. The president’s ironclad confidence in the conclusiveness of the science, and therefore the desirability of “common-sense gun safety laws,” is echoed widely with every new mass shooting, from academia to the popular press to that guy you knew from high school on Facebook.
[Order Emily Miller’s book “Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]
In April 2015, the Harvard gun-violence researcher David Hemenway took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to declare in a headline: “There’s scientific consensus on guns—and the NRA won’t like it.” Hemenway insisted that researchers have definitively established “that a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be…that guns are not used in self-defense far more often than they are used in crime…and that the change to more permissive gun carrying laws has not reduced crime rates.” He concludes: “There is consensus that strong gun laws reduce homicide.”
But the science is a lot less certain than that. What we really know about the costs and benefits of private gun ownership and the efficacy of gun laws is far more fragile than what Hemenway and the president would have us believe.
More guns do not necessarily mean more homicides. More gun laws do not necessarily mean less gun crime. Finding good science is hard enough; finding good social science on a topic so fraught with politics is nigh impossible. The facts then become even more muddled as the conclusions of those less-than-ironclad academic studies cycle through the press and social media in a massive game of telephone. Despite the confident assertions of the gun controllers and decades of research, we still know astonishingly little about how guns actually function in society and almost nothing at all about whether gun control policies actually work as promised.
Do More Guns Mean More Homicides?
“More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote on August 26, 2015, just after the grisly on-air murder of two television journalists in Virginia. It’s a startling fact, and true.
[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]
But do the number of guns in circulation correlate with the number of gun deaths? Start by looking at the category of gun death that propels all gun policy discussion: homicides. (Gun suicides, discussed further below, are a separate matter whose frequent conflation with gun crime introduces much confusion into the debate.)
In 1994 Americans owned around 192 million guns, according to the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice. Today, that figure is somewhere between 245 and 328 million, though as Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss in their thorough 2014 book The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press) wisely concluded, “the bottom line is that no one knows how many firearms are in private hands in the United States.” Still, we have reason to believe gun prevalence likely surpassed the one-gun-per-adult mark early in President Barack Obama’s first term, according to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report that relied on sales and import data.
Yet during that same period, per-capita gun murders have been cut almost in half.
One could argue that the relevant number is not the number of guns, but the number of people with access to guns. That figure is also ambiguous. A Gallup poll in 2014 found 42 percent of households claiming to own a gun, which Gallup reports is “similar to the average reported to Gallup over the past decade.” But those looking for a smaller number, to downplay the significance of guns in American life, can rely on the door-to-door General Social Survey, which reported in 2014 that only 31 percent of households have guns, down 11 percentage points from 1993’s 42 percent. There is no singular theory to explain that discrepancy or to be sure which one is closer to correct—though some doubt, especially as gun ownership continues to be so politically contentious, that people always reliably report the weapons they own to a stranger literally at their door.
The gun murder rate in 1993 was 7.0 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (Those reports rely on death certificate reporting, and they tend to show higher numbers than the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, though both trend the same.) In 2000 the gun murder rate per 100,000 was 3.8. By 2013, the rate was even lower, at 3.5, though there was a slight upswing in the mid-00s.
This simple point—that America is awash with more guns than ever before, yet we are killing each other with guns at a far lower rate than when we had far fewer guns—undermines the narrative that there is a straightforward, causal relationship between increased gun prevalence and gun homicide. Even if you fall back on the conclusion that it’s just a small number of owners stockpiling more and more guns, it’s hard to escape noticing that even these hoarders seem to be harming fewer and fewer people with their weapons, casting doubt on the proposition that gun ownership is a political crisis demanding action.
In the face of these trend lines—way more guns, way fewer gun murders—how can politicians such as Obama and Hillary Clinton so successfully capitalize on the panic that follows each high profile shooting? Partly because Americans haven’t caught on to the crime drop. A 2013 Pew Research Poll found 56 percent of respondents thought that gun crime had gone up over the past 20 years, and only 12 percent were aware it had declined.
Do Gun Laws Stop Gun Crimes?
The same week Kristof’s column came out, National Journal attracted major media attention with a showy piece of research and analysis headlined “The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths.” The subhead lamented: “But there’s still little appetite to talk about more restrictions.”
Critics quickly noted that the Journal‘s Libby Isenstein had included suicides among “gun-related deaths” and suicide-irrelevant policies such as stand-your-ground laws among its tally of “gun laws.” That meant that high-suicide, low-homicide states such as Wyoming, Alaska, and Idaho were taken to task for their liberal carry-permit policies. Worse, several of the states with what the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence considers terribly lax gun laws were dropped from Isenstein’s data set because their murder rates were too low!
Another of National Journal‘s mistakes is a common one in gun science: The paper didn’t look at gun statistics in the context of overall violent crime, a much more relevant measure to the policy debate. After all, if less gun crime doesn’t mean less crime overall—if criminals simply substitute other weapons or means when guns are less available—the benefit of the relevant gun laws is thrown into doubt. When Thomas Firey of the Cato Institute ran regressions of Isenstein’s study with slightly different specifications and considering all violent crime, each of her effects either disappeared or reversed.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 29, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Anti-Defamation League, Barack Obama, Ben Carson, California, California State University, Council on American–Islamic Relations, Hate crime, Islamic terrorism, Islamophobia, journalism, Media bias, Muslim, Paris, San Bernardino
The backlash is back.
Back on the front page, that is:
Bobby Ross Jr. writes: Before dissecting today’s Houston Chronicle story, a little background: After the San Bernardino massacre, the New York Post splashed the inflammatory headline “Muslim Killers” across its tabloid cover. At that time, we noted that — ever since 9/11 — the phrase “Muslim backlash” has entered America’s lexicon.
[Read the full text of Bobby Ross Jr‘s article here, at GetReligion]
In follow-up posts, we questioned media reporting a “surge” in anti-Muslim crime without providing hard data to back up that factual claim. Moreover, we pointed out bias by media using the term “Islamophobia” without bothering to define it.
That leads to Houston, where firefighters battled a Christmas Day blaze at a storefront mosque.Investigators called the fire “suspicious,” citing multiple points of origin.
The fire serves as the news peg for the Chronicle’s Page A1 report today on anxiety in the area’s Muslim community:
Even before investigators determined that a Christmas Day fire at a southwest Houston mosque was set deliberately, Muslims in the Houston area were on edge.
Recent terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., were followed by threats to area Muslims on social media and elsewhere. Now, in the aftermath of the arson at the mosque, local Muslim leaders and public officials are organizing a meeting to try to calm fears and ease tensions.
M.J. Khan, the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, said he understands the community’s growing anxiety.
“Families and children come, and we do take precautions to make sure people are protected and feel safe,” said Khan, whose organization operates the mosque. Still, he added, “These are places of worship, and we cannot make them fortresses.”
The fire broke out at around 2:45 p.m. on Christmas Day at the small mosque inside the Savoy Plaza strip center, near Wilcrest Drive and Bellfort Avenue. About 80 firefighters helped extinguish the blaze, which significantly damaged the worship hall.
Given the fire, the Muslim community’s concerns are certainly newsworthy. I have no problem with the story angle or the report’s above-the-fold placement.
But here’s the problem with this 1,300-word piece (roughly twice as long as a typical daily newspaper story): It attacks the issue with a giant ax when what’s really needed is a surgical knife.
[Read the full story here, at GetReligion]
What I mean: On a story such as this, journalists need to take extra care to be precise, to report what they know — and no more. Readers deserve hard facts, not squishy generalizations.
Instead, the Chronicle makes the sweeping statement up high that “threats to area Muslims on social media and elsewhere” followed the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. OK, what threats? (Insert crickets.)
The newspaper never provides any evidence of actual threats, such as police reports. The story does provide this brief note:
Waqar Mehmood was browsing his Sugar Land neighborhood’s social media page when he saw posts from a neighbor calling for the community to cleanse itself of Muslims using pig’s blood. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 16, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Terrorism | Tags: al Qaeda, Barack Obama, California, Facebook, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Islamic state, Islamic terrorism, James B. Comey, Jihadism, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District, San Bernardino, United States
FBI Director James Comey appeared to refute a report that said that Tashfeen Malik had pledged her support for Islamic jihad on Facebook messages and saying she hoped to join the fight one day.
At a press conference in New York on Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey said that no evidence had been found to indicate that the couple who massacred 14 people in San Bernardino, California, on December 2 were members of a terrorist cell or had any contact with overseas militant groups. Most notably, he said that Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his 29-year-old wife, Tashfeen Malik, had expressed support for “jihad and martyrdom” in private communications but never did so on social media.
“We have found no evidence of a posting on social media by either of them at that period of time or thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or to martyrdom. I’ve seen some reporting on that. That’s a garble. Alright?”
The statement appeared to contradict a report that appeared in the Los Angeles Times citing two unnamed federal law enforcement officials who said that Malik “sent at least two private messages on Facebook to a small group of Pakistani friends in 2012 and 2014, pledging her support for Islamic jihad and saying she hoped to join the fight one day.” The messages were reportedly written in Urudu, a common language in Pakistan. One of the officials was quoted as saying the messages were “her private communications.”
“The investigation continues, but we have not found that kind of thing. These communications are private, direct messages, not social media messages.”
— FBI Director James Comey
“We have found no evidence of a posting on social media by either of them at that period of time or thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or to martyrdom,” Comey said. “I’ve seen some reporting on that. That’s a garble. Alright? The investigation continues, but we have not found that kind of thing. These communications are private, direct messages, not social media messages.”
[Read the full story here, at VICE News]
It remains unclear whether Malik had declared loyalty to the Islamic State on Facebook on the morning that she and Farook killed 14 people who were attending an employee holiday party at a state-run facility for individuals with developmental disabilities.
A report first appeared on CNN and later circulated elsewhere citing unnamed US officials who said that Malik had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State using a Facebook account that was registered under a different name. The sources did not say how they knew for certain that Malik made the post. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 15, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, Mediasphere, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Barack Obama, California, Council on American–Islamic Relations, Democratic Party (United States), Federal Bureau of Investigation, Islamic terrorism, Islamism, James B. Comey, Muslim, San Bernardino, Saudi Arabia, United States, United States Department of Homeland Security
Jordan Schachtel writes: An FBI chart has surfaced depicting connections between the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the chart shows CAIR falling under the umbrella of the jihadi outfit.
This FBI chart details the Hamas-related groups, which included CAIR, that were created to ultimately support the Palestinian terrorist organization. It also established Nabil Sadoun’s (former CAIR national board of directors member and vice chairman) connections to Hamas.
The IPT also obtained groundbreaking new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents that trail CAIR back to its roots as a subversive Hamas-related group.
In 2007, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, a Hamas financing case that would result in the FBI ceasingits working relationship with CAIR. The HLF trial was the largest terror-financing case in American history. In 2008, during a retrial of the HLF case, an FBI Special Agent labeled CAIR as “a front group for Hamas” during her trial testimony. In 2010, a federal judge reiterated that his court had “ample evidence” that CAIR wasinvolved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.” CAIR, which relies upon millions of dollars in Saudi cash, was recently listed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a terrorist organization.
The group, which fashions itself as a civil rights voice for American Muslims, was founded by members of the Palestine Committee (PALCOM), an organization “established to support Hamas,” according to the chart. Nihad Awad, currently CAIR’s executive director, was previously an official at PALCOM.
The FBI declaration submitted in connection with removal proceedings for Nabil Sadoun (a former top CAIR official) said PALCOM members used coded language to discuss the “true nature” of their clandestine operations in support of Hamas. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 15, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Diplomacy, Law & Justice, Terrorism, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: al Qaeda, Barack Obama, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Bernardino, Terrorism, The Pantsuit Report, Transportation Security Administration, United States, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of State
EXCLUSIVE: Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne report: An intelligence community review has re-affirmed that two classified emails were indeed “top secret” when they hit Hillary Clinton’s unsecured personal server despite a challenge to that designation by the State Department, according to two sources familiar with the review.
“The sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, told Fox News that while the emails were indeed “top secret” when they hit Clinton’s server, one of them remains “top secret” to this day — and must be handled at the highest security level.”
The sources described the dispute over whether the two emails were classified at the highest level as a “settled matter.”
“The findings have been transmitted to the State Department, which continues to challenge the intelligence community’s conclusions about the classification of all the emails. But the department has no authority to change the classification since it did not originate the information.”
The agencies that owned and originated that intelligence – the CIA and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency or NGA – reviewed the emails to determine how they should be properly stored, as the State Department took issue with their highly classified nature. The subject matter of the messages is widely reported to be the movement of North Korean missiles and a drone strike. A top secret designation requires the highest level of security, and can include the use of an approved safe.
The sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, told Fox News that while the emails were indeed “top secret” when they hit Clinton’s server, one of them remains “top secret” to this day — and must be handled at the highest security level. The second email is still considered classified but at the lower “secret” level because more information is publicly available about the event.
[Read the full report here, at Fox News]
The findings have been transmitted to the State Department, which continues to challenge the intelligence community’s conclusions about the classification of all the emails. But the department has no authority to change the classification since it did not originate the information. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 11, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, Terrorism, Think Tank, War Room, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Caliphate, Democratic Party (United States), Foreign Policy, GOP, ISIL, ISIS, Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic state, Islamism, Jihadism, Josh Earnest, Muslims, Paris Attacks, San Bernardino, United States
Noah Rothman writes: In just over a year, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has graduated from taking and holding territory inside its nascent “caliphate” to exporting terrorism around the globe. From Sydney to Ottawa, from Copenhagen to San Bernardino, this terrorist organization is directing or inspiring jihadists to conduct heinous acts of mass-casualty terrorism.
“The strategy here is clear, and it is one that this president has used to great effect in the past: Project to like minds in media that concerns over terrorism are a preoccupation of the intellectually sequestered right.”
Since October of last year, three such attacks have taken place in the United States; one of those being the worst act of radical Islamic terror in America since September 11, 2001. Subsequently, Americans now rate terrorism as their number one concern. They feel unsafe and insecure. They are justifiably afraid of the threat that might be just around the next corner. Americans are lunging for the shotgun and barricading the door. And what do they get from their leaders? Reassurance? Understanding? Resolve to defeat terrorism abroad before it comes home? No, they get a lecture on their latent hostility toward the Islamic faith and practicing Muslims. Stranger still, now that it has become inescapably clear that the fear of terrorism is broad-based, the left’s mission to convince itself that these concerns are isolated to the fever swamps has become even more urgent.
“To lend any credence to that notion would be to align yourself with that brutish, unthinking element in flyover country, and you wouldn’t want to be thought of by your peers in that way, would you?”
For Democrats, particularly those who must defend President Barack Obama’s record on foreign affairs and terrorism, there is no good news. According to the latest New York Times/CBS News survey, seven in 10 Americans now describe ISIS as a major threat to national security. Another 44 percent of respondents believe another attack inside the United States at some point in the next few months is “very” likely, greater than at any point since October 2001. 57 percent of those polled disapprove of Obama’s handling of the issue of terrorism. According to Gallup, 67 percent believe future “acts of terrorism” inside the United States are either somewhat or very likely. Gallup further revealed that confidence in the government’s ability to keep its citizens safe is lower than it has ever been since the 9/11 attacks. Simultaneously, a majority of Americans fear they will be the next victims of that forthcoming attack for the first time since 2001.
[Read the full story here, at commentary]
Perhaps most ominously from a Democratic perspective, satisfaction in the direction the country is headed has not been this depressed since November of 2014 when Republicans rode a wave of voter dissatisfaction to pick up control of the U.S. Senate.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 11, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Terrorism, War Room, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Democratic Party (United States), FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hillary Clinton, Islamism, Jack Murphy, Jihadism, San Bernardino, SOFREP, Syed Rizwan Farook, Syria, United States, United States Department of Justice
Jonah Bennett reports: The FBI has taken heat for failing to immediately classify the San Bernardino shootings as terrorism, but a new report shows that FBI reluctance could have been due to external pressure from the White House.
“Part of the reason for trying to avoid the designation of the shootings as terrorism is because it threatens to upset the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria. A case of Islamic terrorism in the U.S. would put additional pressure on the administration to play a much more active role in the conflict.”
A source told Jack Murphy of SOFREP that the FBI instantly believed the shooting, which left 14 dead, to be a clear act of terrorism. The White House, however, didn’t feel the same way and quickly moved in to squash the terror classification.
“But in this case, because the preponderance evidence so pointed to terrorism, the FBI’s hand was forced, and the agency declared the existence of a terrorism investigation, going against top-down priorities from the White House.”
This source added that as soon as the shooting took place, Obama convened a meeting with the National Security Council and the heads of other federal enforcement agencies to discuss a public relations strategy.
[Read the full story here, at The Daily Caller]
Part of the reason for trying to avoid the designation of the shootings as terrorism is because it threatens to upset the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria. A case of Islamic terrorism in the U.S. would put additional pressure on the administration to play a much more active role in the conflict. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 8, 2015 Filed under: Global, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Arable land, Beirut, California, Egypt, Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch, Islamism, Jihadism, Protest, San Bernardino, Sinai Peninsula, Smuggling tunnel
Since October 10, ISIS and its sympathizers around the world have killed at least 525 people in six attacks in six countries outside its so-called caliphate.
Here is the chronology and body count of the attacks, with U.S. intelligence analysis of who was behind each:
—Oct. 10: The bombing of peace demonstrations outside the main train station in Ankara, Turkey left 102 dead. Directed by ISIS.
—Oct. 31: The bombing of a Metrojet plane bound for Russia over Egypt killed 224 passengers and crew. An “announcement” attack by the ISIS in the Sinai peninsula.
—Nov. 10: Two suicide bombers detonating themselves in a marketplace in southern Beirut, Lebanon, killing 43 people. Directed by ISIS.
—Nov. 13: Attacks on multiple sites in Paris, including the Bataclan theater, left 130 dead — excluding attackers. Directed by ISIS.
—Nov. 24: The bombing of a bus carrying members of the presidential guard in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis left at least 12 dead. An “announcement” attack by the ISIS affiliate in Tunisia. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 4, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Mediasphere, Terrorism, U.S. News, War Room | Tags: ABC, media, Mug shot, news, San Bernardino, San Bernardino Massacre, Tashfeen Malik, Terror Suspect
Text Cap: @_JustinEllis Via Twitter
Posted: December 3, 2015 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, Religion, Terrorism, The Butcher's Notebook | Tags: Gaslight, Islamism, Jihadism, Magazines, Parody, San Bernardino, satire, Violent Extremism, Workplace Violence
Posted: December 2, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Terrorism | Tags: al Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front, California, Institute for the Study of War, Los Angeles, Redlands, San Bernardino, Search warrant, Semi-trailer truck, Syed Farook, Syria, The Daily Beast
Syed Farook is one of three suspected gunmen who attacked a center for the disabled, killing 14 and injuring more.
“He was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.”
— Syed Farook’s father
CORONA, CALIFORNIA — Law enforcement officials have identified Syed Farook as one of the suspected shooters who attacked a center for the disabled in San Bernardino, California, according to NBC News….
From the New York Daily News:
After police announced that two suspects — a male and a female — were dead following a car chase and shoot out with police, a search began at a nearby Redlands apartment linked to the suspects.
A man who identified himself as Farook’s father told the Daily News his son worked as a health technician inspecting restaurants and hotels.
“I haven’t heard anything. He worked in a county office,” Farook’s dad told The News. “He’s married and has a kid. We’re estranged because my wife got the divorce, and they are together. She doesn’t want to see me.”
Farook said he hasn’t seen his son in some time.
“He was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.”
The Daily Beast has learned that the police have just executed a search warrant at a Redlands, California address—an address that belongs to Farook’s family.
Police pursued a car leaving from the Redlands address, Chief Jarrod Baraugan said at a Wednesday evening press conference. A male and female suspect were inside the car, and both of them have been killed. Both of the suspects were armed with assault rifles and handguns, Baraugan said.
Police have apprehended a third man, but have not identified his relation to the attacks yet.An eyewitness at the Inland Regional Center, where gunmen killed 14 and wounded at least 18 more, told police he saw a man leaving a meeting of county employees this morning. At 11 a.m., at least two men entered the center and opened fire…(read more)
Posted: December 2, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, Religion, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Christianity, Demagogue, Democrats, GOP, Gun Control Debate, Hillary Clinton, ISIS, Jeb Bush, Jihad, Martin O'Malley, Mass murder, Mike Huckabee, murder, Political Agenda, Prayer, propaganda, San Bernardino
Posted: December 2, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Religion, Terrorism, U.S. News | Tags: Bayda, Islam, Islamic state, Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, Libya, Mitiga International Airport, Political faction, San Bernardino, San Bernardino Massacre, Tripoli, Tripolitania, United States Air Force
The Islamic State created a horrifying hashtag ‘#America_Burning’, praising the mass shooting.
Vocativ deep web analysts discovered the ISIS posts on web forums where the extremists frequently share information….(read more)
Posted: December 2, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Religion, U.S. News | Tags: Church, Mass Shooting, media, news, Police, Prayer, San Bernardino, Suspect
Top photo: GinaFerazzi via Twitter. Bottom photo: screen cap, Fox News
Posted: December 2, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Car chase, homicide, Mass Shooting, media, news, Police car, Police officer, San Bernardino, Sport utility vehicle, Twitter
Posted: December 2, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Entertainment, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Actor, Atheism, Bigotry, Christianity, Hollywood, Mass Shooting, Prayer, Religious Bigotry, San Bernardino, Shooting Victims, Ted Cruz, Tim Heidecker, Twitter
Posted: December 2, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: Battery (crime), Developmental disability, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Johnson County, Mental retardation, San Bernardino, Shooting, The Kansas City Star
DEVELOPING: As many as a dozen people were reportedly killed Wednesday at a San Bernardino, Calif., facility for treating developmentally disabled, and police were hunting three suspects who may have escaped in an SUV.
As many as 30 hostages were seen coming out of the building where the event occurred. Witnesses said three men in masks and body armor stormed the crowded building and opened fire, with one shooting people in a conference room, according to reports. Local Fox affiliate KTTV reported that at least 12 fatalities occurred inside the building, which was surrounded by authorities, just before noon local time. The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were responding to the scene, some 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
An area resident said a woman trapped inside called her father and asked him to “pray for us.”
The attack occurred inside the Inland Regional Center, one of 21 facilities serving people with developmental disabilities run by the state, said Nancy Lungren, spokeswoman for the California Department of Developmental Services. The social services agency administers, authorizes and pays for assistance to people with disabilities such as autism and mental retardation. On an average day, doctors at the regional centers would be evaluating toddlers whose parents have concerns and case workers meeting with developmentally disabled adults. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 15, 2013 Filed under: Economics, Mediasphere | Tags: California, Detroit, Michigan, San Bernardino, San Bernardino California, Stockton California, United States, Washington Examiner
I’ve been told that some readers of my Washington Examiner columnon city bankruptcies have interpreted it as a vindication of Detroit’s public employee unions and the contracts they got the city government to agree to. I didn’t intend to make that point and I don’t think I did. What I did point out is that the average pension of retired Detroit workers is relatively low, $19,000, far lower than the lavish pensions agreed to by the city governments of Stockton and San Bernardino, California. But the burden on Detroit’s city government imposed by those union contracts proved to be more than the city can bear. The unions hurt Detroit but crime killed it.
Detroit’s huge population loss (see the column for the numbers) was a response to the city’s high rates of violent crime and the inability or unwillingness of city government to reduce them drastically over the years. White flight was followed by black flight; those remaining tend to have very low incomes and property values have fallen to zero in many parts of the city. With such a dwindling tax base, it’s very difficult or impossible to afford even modest pensions for former city employees who were needed when the city was much larger. You can raise tax rates, but Detroit already has the highest income and property tax rates in Michigan, and the Detroit News, in a feat of good local coverage, found that taxes were not paid in 2011 on 47% of the properties in the city. And of course superhigh tax rates tend to drive even more people away and deter others from coming in.