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UPDATE: Video Restored (Was PragerU Gets Censored Again By YouTube)


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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.

Source: PragerU

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

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Obama Is Still Living In His Bubble

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President Obama patted himself on the back for a job well done at a press conference on Monday, after voters rebuked his policies in the November election.

2016 Election: Voters just rejected his policies, rejected his Pollyannaish view of the economy and handed his party defeats at every level of government. But as far as President Obama is concerned, everything he’s done is magic.

“Between 2009, when Barack Obama took office, and today, as he prepares to retire from it, more than 1,100 Democratic elected officials lost their jobs to Republicans. That number is unprecedented.”

— John Podhoretz and Noah Rothman, in Commentary

After the shellacking they took in the election last week, Democrats have been counseling each other to get outside their liberal “bubble” so they can reconnect with regular Americans. But not Obama.

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At his press conference on Monday, Obama failed to show a scintilla of humility. His economic polices are working, ObamaCare is doing better than expected, all is well. “We should be very proud,” he said, that “when we turn over the keys the car is in pretty good shape.”

Proud? Is he kidding? Let’s review the evidence.

First, Obama has just suffered one of the harshest repudiations on record.

Despite Obama’s continued insistence on his own masterful handling of the economy, working class Americans handed the keys to the candidate who pledged to undo just about all of Obama’s so-called achievements. Trump vows to repeal ObamaCare, do a 180 degree turn on Obama’s tax policy, undo Dodd-Frank, reverse course on his immigration policy, walk away from Obama’s global warming agreements and heavy-handed regulations. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The First Presidential Debate in 3 Minutes

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met for the first presidential debate last night at Hofstra University in New York. The major party candidates hoped to make their case to the record number of American voters expected to watch. Meanwhile, third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, despite pulling a combined double digits in national polls, were locked out.

[Subscribe to Reason’s YouTube channel]

The lack of an alternative viewpoint to the Republican-Democrat status quo led to some familiar discussions. On security, Trump emphasized his support for bringing back and expanding New York City’s defunct stop-and-frisk policy while Clinton focused on the need for more restrictions on gun ownership. Trump’s failure to acknowledge that stop-and-frisk was both unconstitutional and ineffective in reducing crime was only matched by Clinton’s failure to mention that gun violence is at historic lows despite soaring gun sales.

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For libertarians in particular, the most egregious parts of the debate may not have been the disagreements, but the times when the candidates were aligned. They nodded in agreement when it came to opposing free trade accords, increasing spending and debt, and denying gun rights to people placed on government lists without due process.

Also, NBC’s Lester Holt made a brief appearance as moderator. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Florida Debate Audience Breaks Into Laughter After Candidate Calls Hillary Clinton ‘Honest’ 

During a Florida congressional debate, the audience began to jeer and guffaw after one of candidates said he was voting for Hillary Clinton because of her honesty.

Republican Florida Congressman David Jolly is locked into a heated race with former Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democratic governor Charlie Christ in Florida’s 13th district. Monday night, the two candidates debated for the first time at St. Petersburg College.

“I am proud of Hillary Clinton. I think she’s been a very good Secretary of State, a very good senator from the state of New York,” Crist said when asked if he would vote for his party’s candidate. “The thing I like most about her is she is steady. I believe she is strong. I believe she is honest.” It was the last remark that caused a sudden swell of laughter. Read the rest of this entry »


Best of 9-11 Remembered: The Strange, Harrowing Journey of Air Force One, As Told by the People Who Were On Board

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Where was the president in the eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks? The strange, harrowing journey of Air Force One, as told by the people who were on board.

Nearly every American above a certain age remembers precisely where they were on September 11, 2001. But for a tiny handful of people, those memories touch American presidential history. Shortly after the attacks began, the most powerful man in the world, who had been informed of the World Trade Center explosions in a Florida classroom, was escorted to a runway and sent to the safest place his handlers could think of: the open sky.

President Bush visits MacDill AFB

For the next eight hours, with American airspace completely cleared of jets, a single blue-and-white Boeing 747, tail number 29000—filled with about 65 passengers, crew and press, and the 43rd president, George W. Bush, as well as 70 box lunches and 25 pounds of bananas—traversed the eastern United States. On board, President Bush and his aides argued about two competing interests—the need to return to Washington and reassure a nation and the competing need to protect the commander in chief.

[Read the full story here, at POLITICO Magazine]

All the while, he and his staff grappled with the aftermath of the worst attack on American soil in their lifetimes, making crucial decisions with only flickering information about the attacks unfolding below. Bush struggled even to contact his family and to reach Vice President Dick Cheney in the White House bunker.

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The story of those remarkable hours—and the thoughts and emotions of those aboard—isolated eight miles above America, escorted by three F-16 fighters, flying just below the speed of sound, has never been comprehensively told. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] College History Professor Pulls Down 9/11 ‘Never Forget’ Posters

A history professor a Californian community college was caught on video ripping down “Never Forget” 9/11 memorial posters.

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One of the World Trade Center's twin towers collapses after it was struck by a commerical airliner in a suspected terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

One of the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapses after it was struck by a commerical airliner in a suspected terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Read more…


Jihad Denial Kills…Again 

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So far, his story is shaping up as the now-customary list of jihadist clichés.

America just suffered our worst terrorist attack since 9/11. We need to start talking honestly about the enemy that keeps butchering Americans.

 writes: Tonight we burn illusions. A terrorist attack on a popular gay club in Orlando, Florida in the middle of the night ended before the dawn with the violent deaths of at least 50 innocents and the maiming of 53 more. This was the bloodiest terrorist attack on America since 9/11. The Pulse nightclub, something of an icon in Florida LGBT circles, was transformed into a charnel house.

“While all Islamists view gays and lesbians with a distaste that veers easily into violence, ISIS kills them so routinely – pushing them off buildings before the cameras, for instance – that it scarcely attracts attention any longer. Nobody should be shocked that a murderer swearing allegiance to ISIS makes gays his target – particularly during Ramadan, when the group has exhorted its followers to make war on infidels with enhanced intensity.”

The United States had been lucky, having avoided truly mass casualty terrorist incidents since that awful day 15 years ago, through a combination of luck, inept enemies, and excellent intelligence work. But the Orlando horror demonstrates that attacks on soft targets in public places can cause huge numbers of casualties, here as well as in Europe, like last November’s assaults on Paris that killed 130 people, 89 of them at the Bataclan theater, where a hostage situation resulted in a bloodbath. Something similar has just happened in Florida.

His statement that his son was triggered by seeing two men kissing in public seems unlikely to endear the family to the American public.

“Within hours of the massacre, progressives and jihad apologists were insisting that the Orlando attack was ‘really’ about guns – and certainly not about Islamism or jihadism. The Pulse massacre was about guns the way that the 9/11 attacks were ‘really’ about box cutters and the 2013 Boston bombing was ‘really’ about pressure cookers.” 

While the Paris attacks were the work of nine terrorists, plus several others providing logistical support, so far only one killer has been identified in the Orlando atrocity. While there are reports of other shooters, these remain unconfirmed, and the sole terrorist definitely involved was Omar Mateen, born in this country in 1986 to immigrant parents from Afghanistan. He was killed by police at the end of the nightmare he inflicted on Orlando.

So far, his story is shaping up as the now-customary list of jihadist clichés. The 29-year-old went from a relatively normal American life towards extremism, winding up on the radar of the FBI more than once for his aggressive beliefs. A brief marriage failed, in part because he frequently beat his wife, she claims, asserting that Mateen “was not a stable person.” A trauma like divorce leading to an embrace of jihadism is as common as can be in extremist circles.

Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) posing with the trademark Jihadists flag after they allegedly seized an Iraqi army checkpoint in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin on June 11, 2014. (AFP Photo / HO / Welayat Salahuddin)

The killer’s family has claimed that their son’s terrible act had “nothing to do with religion” – again, following the script we have come to expect whenever a young person, usually male, brutally murders strangers in the name of Islam. While Omar Mateen’s father claims to be utterly mystified by his son’s actions, that assertion should be examined closely, since Seddique Mateen has publicly praised the Taliban in his home country – the very people the American military has been fighting since late 2001. In a truly bizarre twist, Mateen Senior claims to be the real president of Afghanistan. His statement that his son was triggered by seeing two men kissing in public seems unlikely to endear the family to the American public.

[Read the full story here, at the Observer]

Wasting no time, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Pulse nightclub. This should not surprise, since Mr. Mateen is reported to have declared allegiance to ISIS just before starting his rampage, and that group boasts of its pathological hatred of homosexuals. While all Islamists view gays and lesbians with a distaste that veers easily into violence, ISIS kills them so routinely – pushing them off buildings before the cameras, for instance – that it scarcely attracts attention any longer. Nobody should be shocked that a murderer swearing allegiance to ISIS makes gays his target – particularly during Ramadan, when the group has exhorted its followers to make war on infidels with enhanced intensity.

“There’s also a disturbing question about how Mr. Mateen managed to keep working as a security guard despite having been twice investigated by the FBI.”

Whether Mr. Mateen had any bona fide contacts with the Islamic State is another question, one that investigators will want to answer properly. Since he was known to the FBI, it seems likely that U.S. intelligence had questions about that too. Regardless, since the Islamic State has commanded jihadist wannabes worldwide to take action by themselves, without any direct orders from the group, it’s quite possible that this killer was simply doing what he thought ISIS would want him to do in their name. Read the rest of this entry »


So What? Assign the Blame, Take the Dump

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Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill

Mark Mazzetti reports: Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot. Those conclusions, contained in 28 pages of the report, still have not been released publicly.”

The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

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“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens.”

— Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.

Several outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

[Read the full story here at The New York Times]

The administration, which argues that the legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas, has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently sided with the kingdom and has thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot.

Rows of same flags are placed on the Memorial section of the South Tower at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, September 11, 2013 UPI/Chris Pedota /POOL

“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and who is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the legislation.

President Obama will arrive in Riyadh on Wednesday for meetings with King Salman and other Saudi officials. It is unclear whether the dispute over the Sept. 11 legislation will be on the agenda for the talks.

A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy did not respond to a message seeking comment.Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” But critics have noted that the commission’s narrow wording left open the possibility that less senior officials or parts of the Saudi government could have played a role. Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot. Those conclusions, contained in 28 pages of the report, still have not been released publicly. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] After Watching the Movie ’13 Hours’, Benghazi Victim’s Mother: ‘Hillary Is a Liar!’

Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith who was murdered at the Benghazi Consulate on 9-11-3012, screamed out “Hillary is a liar!” after watching the movie ’13 Hours.’

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. The alleged ringleader in the attack has been captured by involving Special Operations forces. (AFP/Getty Images)

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. The alleged ringleader in the attack has been captured by involving Special Operations forces. (AFP/Getty Images)


U.S. Doesn’t Know How Many Foreign Visitors Overstay Visas 

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After two decades of failed attempts to track such visitors, some officials call the visa program a critical national security weakness.

WASHINGTON — Ron Nixon writes: The question from the congressman to the Obama administration official was straightforward enough: How many foreign visitors overstay their visas every year?

The reply was simple too, but not in a satisfying way. “We don’t know,” the official said.

The testy exchange during a recent congressional hearing between Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, and Alan Bersin, the assistant secretary for international affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, highlights what some law enforcement officials call a critical weakness in the United States foreign visa program.

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The issue has taken on added urgency as part of a broader examination of immigration policy following the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead and 22 wounded. Tashfeen Malik, one of the attackers, was granted entry to the United States under a K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa. Her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, was an American-born citizen. Both died in a shootout with the police. While Ms. Malik did not overstay her visa, the attack added to fears that a terrorist could exploit gaps in the system.

Nearly 20 years ago, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to develop a system to track people who overstayed their visas. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an entry and exit tracking system was seen as a vital national security and counterterrorism tool, and the 9/11 Commission recommended that the Department of Homeland Security complete a system “as soon as possible.” Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Satam al-Suqami and Nawaf al-Hazmi, had overstayed their visas.

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Since then, the federal government has spent millions of dollars on the effort, yet officials can only roughly estimate the number of people in the United States illegally after overstaying visas.

Officials blame a lack of technology to conduct more advanced collection of data like iris scans, resistance from the airline and tourism industries because of cost, and questions about the usefulness of tracking people exiting the country as a counterterrorism measure.

[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]

Some experts also note that a sizable number of those who overstayed their visas are highly skilled workers who come under the H-1B program or are foreign students.

One widely cited statistic, from a 1997 report by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, puts the number of people who overstay their visas at 40 percent — which now would mean about 4.4 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented residents in the United States. Numerous lawmakers, including the Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have used that figure when trying to describe the scope of the problem. But even that number has never been conclusively substantiated.

Federal agencies have not provided a new report to Congress on overstays since 1994, despite the congressional mandate. Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: Jewish Teacher Stabbed in Marseilles by Purported ISIS Supporters

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MARSEILLES – A teacher at a Jewish school in the southern French city of Marseilles was stabbed on Wednesday by three people professing support for Islamic State, but his life was not in danger, prosecutors said.

The three men who assailed the teacher uttered anti-Semitic remarks during the incident, AFP reported…(read more)

Source: jpost.com


University of Minnesota Hall of Shame

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Christine Russell reports: Here’s another instance of political correctness on a college campus going a smidge too far, courtesy of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities: A proposed resolution to recognize the 9/11 terrorist attacks on campus each year was rejected by the Minnesota Student Association as it may potentially violate a “safe space” on campus.

From Campus Reform:

“This resolution was non-controversial and was supported by the MSA’s President and Vice-President,” said Amundson, “However, several members, in exchanges with CRs rep Theo Menon, were militant in their opposition to it due to a perceived bias toward Muslims.”

Other proponents of the resolution argued in forum that its passage could bring up controversial topics, and that a healthy dialogue and campus tension reduction would ensue from the moment of recognition.

At-large MSA representative and Director of Diversity and Inclusion David Algadi voiced severe criticism of the resolution. He also made sure to emphasize 9/11’s status as a national tragedy in his response.

“The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe,” said Algadi, “Islamophobia and racism fueled through that are alive and well.” Read the rest of this entry »


‘Clock Boy’ Ahmed’s Cuckoo Bananas Dad Shares 9/11 ‘Truther’ Posts on Facebook

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Inside Job? The post appeared as recently as Thursday morning but has since been taken down.

Merrill Hope reports: Last month, on September 12, Mohamed Elhassen Mohamed, father of Texas ‘Clock Boy’ Ahmed Mohamed, posted on Facebook a photo of the World Trade Center Twin Towers shrouded in raging smoke in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The photo appeared on his Sudanese National Reform party page on the day after the 9/11 anniversary.

The post appeared as recently as Thursday morning but has since been taken down. It sourced to the Sudanese Military Establishment and asserts a truther philosophy that 9/11 was an inside job, calling these “so-called” events a “rumor.”

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Through the social media site’s Arabic translation, the post also describes 9/11 as “just an American industry media” that “some tried leveled terrorism ‘Islamist.” Conversely, it also alleges America deserved the Al Qaeda perpetrated attack, calling it the “egg that lays golden eggs for America has terrorism” that “came to her on a plate to invade Muslim countries.”

Presently, Mohamed tours the Middle East with his clock-making son, but he is also a Sudanese Reform Party activist and the repeatedly failed Sudanese National Reform party candidate for president of that country, although he and his family reside in Irving, a Dallas suburb.

[Read the full text here, at Brietbart.com]

Two days after the 9/11 truther post, on Sept. 14, son Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing in the unassigned homemade clock-in-a-box that appeared to be a suitcase timepiece hoax bomb to school district officials and local law enforcement, although charges were dropped.

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Again, on Sept. 28, Mohamed’s National Reform Party Facebook page posted a 15 minute English language video chockful of 9/11 conspiracy theories insinuating the collapse of the Trade Center’s twin towers was because “explosives were placed in these buildings before the attacks.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Americans Swore They Would ‘Never Forget 9-11.’ But College Students Asked Why It Happened Have No Idea

“Probably, Bush did something bad.”

Never forget?

 When college students at George Mason University are asked by the Young America’s Foundation what caused 9-11, several give baffling or just plain wrong answers about the largest terrorist attack in U.S. history. This is an inexcusable failure of the U.S.’ education system and the major news media.

The 9-11 terrorist attacks fundamentally changed Americans’ way of life and its foreign policy for the last fourteen years. On that harrowing morning in 2001, two planes struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Two other planes were hijacked: one struck the Pentagon building, and the other was brought down by brave passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 over Pennsylvania.

The terrorist group al-Qaeda, a Sunni Muslim fundamentalist organization led from Afghanistan by the now-deceased Osama bin Laden, coordinated by later Guantanamo Bay detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammedcarried out the 9-11 attack in ‘retribution‘ for U.S. foreign involvement in the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »


NYC: Assistant Chief Gerard A. Barbara Looks Up at the Burning Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001

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Assistant Chief Gerard A. Barbara looks up at the burning towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Moments later he would go in, never to return. (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


[VIDEO] The Alternative Medicine Racket: How the Feds Fund Quacks

Behind the dubious medical claims of Dr. Mehmet Oz and Deepak Chopra is a decades-long strategy to promote alternative medicine to the American public. Twenty-three years ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began to investigate a wide variety of unconventional medical practices from around the world. Five-and-a-half billion dollars later, the NIH has found no cures for disease. But it has succeeded in bringing every kind of quackery—from faith healing to homeopathy—out of the shadows and into the heart of the American medical establishment.

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Go here to read the full article and for downloadable versions of the video. Subscribe to ReasonTV’s YouTube Channel to receive notifications when new material goes live. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama Administration Warns Beijing About Covert Agents Operating in U.S.

NYT China-Espionage

“A fugitive is like a flying kite. Even though he is abroad, the string is held in China.”

WASHINGTON —  and Dan Levin write:  The Obama administration has delivered a warning to Beijing about the presence of Chinese government agents operating secretly in the United States to pressure prominent expatriates — some wanted in China on charges of corruption — to return home immediately, according to American officials.

“American officials did not disclose the identities or numbers of those being sought by the Chinese in the United States. They are believed to be prominent expatriates, some sought for economic corruption and some for what the Chinese consider political crimes.”

The American officials said that Chinese law enforcement agents covertly in this country are part of Beijing’s global campaign to hunt down and repatriate Chinese fugitives and, in some cases, recover allegedly ill-gotten gains.

The Chinese government has officially named the effort Operation Fox Hunt.

The American warning, which was delivered to Chinese officials in recent weeks and demanded a halt to the activities, reflects escalating anger in Washington about intimidation tactics used by the agents. And it comes at a time of growing tension between Washington and Beijing on a number of issues: from the computer theft of millions of government personnel files that American officials suspect was directed by China, to China’s crackdown on civil liberties, to the devaluation of its currency.

“That reluctance reflects divisions with the Obama administration over how aggressive to publicly confront China on a number of security issues.”

Those tensions are expected to complicate the state visit to Washington next month by Xi Jinping, the Chinese president.

The work of the agents is a departure from the routine practice of secret government intelligence gathering that the United States and China have carried out on each other’s soil for decades. The Central Intelligence Agency has a cadre of spies in China, just as China has long deployed its own intelligence operatives into the United States to steal political, economic, military and industrial secrets.

In this case, said American officials, who discussed details of the operation only on the condition of anonymity because of the tense diplomacy surrounding the issue, the Chinese agents are undercover operatives with the Ministry of Public Security, China’s law enforcement branch charged with carrying out Operation Fox Hunt.

“For instance, the White House has gone out of its way to avoid making any public accusations that the Chinese government ordered the computer attack on the Office of Personnel Management, which led to the theft of millions of classified personnel files of government workers and contractors.”

The campaign, a central element of Mr. Xi’s wider battle against corruption, has proved popular with the Chinese public. Since 2014, according to the Ministry of Public Security, more than 930 suspects have been repatriated, including more than 70 who have returned this year voluntarily, the ministry’s website reported in June. According to Chinese media accounts, teams of agents have been dispatched around the globe.

[Read the full text here, at The New York Times]

American officials said they had solid evidence that the Chinese agents — who are not in the United States on acknowledged government business, and most likely are entering on tourist or trade visas — use various strong-arm tactics to get fugitives to return. The harassment, which has included threats against family members in China, has intensified recently, officials said. Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon: The ‘Least Ambitious’ Bureaucrat Could Process Clinton’s Personal Emails Faster

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“Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”

David Francis writes: So far, the State Department, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, has released just a small sampling of 55,000 pages of email from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s home internet server. The PANTSUIT-REPORTtiming of the releases have been less than ideal: The first batch was released on the afternoon of May 22, the Friday before the long Memorial Day weekend. The second came late in the evening, on June 30, less than an ideal time for reporters to dig in to find a story.

According to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, the pace of the releases, just like their timing, is also less than ideal.

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“Now, any person should be able to review that in one day — one day,” the judge said at a Wednesday hearing, while reviewing an Associated Press request for the release of just over 60 emails. “Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”

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New York Daily News

[Read the full text here, at ForeignPolicy.com, and more at the New York Daily News]

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[Noah Rothman on the Media’s Favorite Framing Device: ‘Republican Reaction’ Stories]

Read the rest of this entry »


Percentage of ‘Extremely Proud’ to Be American Declines; Dems Pick Up Edge in Party Affiliation in Unrelated Gallup Polls

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Independence Day approaches, most in the U.S. say they are proud to be an American, including a slight majority, 54%, who are “extremely proud.” The percentage saying they are “extremely proud” is slightly lower than in recent years and down from peaks at and around 70% between 2002 and 2004, after 9/11….

Meanwhile, by coincidence, there’s this:

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PRINCETON, N.J. — In the second quarter of 2015, Democrats regained an advantage over Republicans in terms of Americans’ party affiliation. A total of 46% of Americans identified as Democrats (30%) or said they are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party (16%), while 41% identified as Republicans (25%) or leaned Republican (16%). The two parties were generally even during the previous three quarters, including the fourth quarter of 2014, when the midterm elections took place.(read more)

Completely unrelated, we’re sure.

…In addition to the 54% who are extremely proud to be an American, 27% say they are “very proud,” 14% say they are “moderately proud,” 4% are “only a little proud” and 1% state that they are “not at all proud.”

These data are from a June 2-7 poll. Gallup has asked this question regularly since 2001. The highest percentage saying they were “extremely proud” to be an American came in 2003, in the months after the Iraq war began and not long after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when Americans’ patriotism surged. It is likely that the aftermath of 9/11 may have produced an anomaly in the levels of “extreme pride” in patriotism.

While most Americans are proud to be an American, certain groups are especially likely to say they are extremely proud. “Extreme pride” rises for each succeeding age group, from a low of 43% among those under 30 to a high of 64% among senior citizens.

Extreme pride also varies regionally, from a high of 61% in the South to a low of 46% in the West.

Sixty-eight percent of Republicans say they are extremely proud to be an American, much higher than the 47% of Democrats who say the same. As usual, independents are in the middle, at 53%.

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Americans’ likelihood of saying that they are “extremely proud” to be an American has returned to where it was in early 2001, before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Read the rest of this entry »


VICE: Releasing Bin Laden’s Porn Stash: The Public’s Heroic Battle with the CIA Continues

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Jason Leopold writes: In addition to his library of English-language books on topics such as international law, voting irregularities, and the Illuminati, Osama bin Laden also had a pretty substantial porn collection.

But the CIA won’t release bin Laden’s stash of porn, which Navy Seals apparently seized during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan four years ago. That’s because, unbelievably, it’s located in an “operational file,” which is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

In 2001, Mr Mir became the first journalist to interview Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks

An operational file is defined as:

(1) files of the National Clandestine Service which document the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence operations or intelligence or security liaison arrangements or information exchanges with foreign governments or their intelligence or security services;

(2) files of the Directorate for Science and Technology which document the means by which foreign intelligence or counterintelligence is collected through scientific and technical systems; and

(3) files of the Office of Personnel Security which document investigations conducted to determine the suitability of potential foreign intelligence or counterintelligence sources;

“It seems like a stretch to call these [pornographic] materials operational files,” said Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy. “Although they may have been obtained in the course of an operation, they do not have anything to do with the planning or conduct of the operation. So they don’t really fit the definition of an operational file in the CIA Information Act.”

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Moreover, even if bin Laden’s porn collection wasn’t located in an operational file, the CIA said it still couldn’t release it because US law bars the agency from mailing “obscene or crime-inciting matter.”

[Read the full text here, at VICE News]

The CIA made these questionable arguments last week, in response to a May 26 FOIA request filed last month by David Covucci, an editor at BroBible, a site that describes itself as “the ultimate destination for Bros.” Read the rest of this entry »


THE SLIMY HAND: Zombie Patriot Act Will Keep U.S. Spying—Even if the Original Dies

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Forget the White House’s doomsday talk about American intelligence going blind. Thanks to backdoor provisions and alternate collection schemes, U.S. spies will keep on snooping.

Shane Harris writes: President Obama and his top national-security officials spent the past few days warning that once intelligence-gathering authorities in the Patriot Act expired just after midnight Sunday, the United States would face a greater risk of a terrorist attack.

“I don’t want us to be in a situation in which for a certain period of time those authorities go away and suddenly we’re dark, and heaven forbid we’ve got a problem where we could’ve prevented a terrorist attack or apprehended someone who was engaged in dangerous activity.”

— President Obama, to reporters on Friday

That argument is highly debatable—at least, in the short term. Not only does the U.S. government have all sorts of other ways to collect the same kind of intelligence outlined in the Patriot Act, but there’s also a little-noticed back door in the act that allows U.S. spy agencies to gather information in pretty much the same ways they did before.

Zombie-Killing

“It does seem to me at least reckless to not allow at least a temporary continuation of the bill while we have this debate. But that’s not the way it’s working, and unfortunately I think it’s part of the presidential campaign, and I think people have to judge it for themselves.”

— Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

In other words, there’s a zombie Patriot Act—one that lives on, though the existing version is dead.

On Sunday night, senators voted overwhelmingly to end debate on a measure passed in the House, the USA Freedom Act, which will leave most surveillance authorities in the Patriot Act intact. But some of those powers zombiehandwon’t expire at least until Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. Administration officials had warned that even a momentary interruption posed a grave risk.

“I don’t want us to be in a situation in which for a certain period of time those authorities go away and suddenly we’re dark, and heaven forbid we’ve got a problem where we could’ve prevented a terrorist attack or apprehended someone who was engaged in dangerous activity,” Obama told reporters at the White House on Friday. On Sunday, CIA Director John Brennan said on CBS’s Face the Nation that there’d “been a little too much political grandstanding and crusading for ideological causes that have skewed the debate on this issue,” an apparent reference to Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, and his promise to force the law to expire, “but these tools are important to American lives.”

[Read the full text here, at The Daily Beast]

They may be. But they are far from the only tools in the counterterrorism arsenal, and though they are no longer law as of Monday, the United States still has plenty of authority to collect intelligence on jihadis and foreign spies.

For starters, there will be what’s left of the Patriot Act itself. Read the rest of this entry »


POLL: 81% Of Al Jazeera Arabic Poll Respondents Support Islamic State

ISIS-yelling

GLOBAL PANIC POLL RESULTS: We told You So

Jordan Schachtel reports: In a recent survey conducted by AlJazeera.net, the website for the Al Jazeera Arabic television channel, respondents overwhelmingly support the Islamic State terrorist group, with 81% voting “YES” on whether they approved of ISIS’s conquests in the region.

The poll, which asked in Arabic, “Do you support the organizing victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?” has generated over 38,000 responses thus far, with only 19% of respondents voting “NO” to supporting ISIS.

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Al Jazeera Arabic’s television audience is largely made up of Sunni Muslims living in the Arab world. Its biggest viewership numbers come from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, along with a large amount of satellite
television viewers in the United States, according to research estimates.

[Read the full text here, at Breitbart]

AlJazeera.net is most popular in Saudi Arabia, the United States, Egypt, Morocco, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the Alexa webpage analytics site. Al Jazeera claims that it has over 40 million viewers in the Arab world.

The news that an overwhelming majority of respondents to the Al Jazeera Arabic poll strongly support ISIS may not surprise long-time trackers of the controversial network. The news outfit, which is run by Qatar’s ruling family and headquartered in Doha, has a track record rife with allegations that the organization supports the narratives of Sunni terrorist groups. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES HE DID: Austrian Bakery Owner Makes Cake Depicting 9/11 Terror Attacks

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — An Austrian bakery owner is coming under fire for making a cake depicting the 9/11 terror attacks.STAMP-panic-red-250

“Sometimes, you have to present an exaggerated view of the situation if you really want to make a point.”

— Thomas Kienbauer, owner of Alexander patisserie in Vienna

Thomas Kienbauer, owner of Alexander patisserie in Vienna, baked a cake showing planes crashing into the World Trade Center towers, Russia Today reports.

One of the World Trade Center's twin towers collapses after it was struck by a commerical airliner in a suspected terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

One of the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapses after it was struck by a commerical airliner in a suspected terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The cake, though, depicts the colors of the Social Democrats and the People’s Party, the two governing coalition eye-rollparties in Austria, on the towers. And the planes represent the Greens and the Freedom Party, their opposition.

“Kienbauer has received online criticism for his cake, but he says he’s not meaning to offend anyone.”

Russia Today reports the plane showing the one that crashed into the Pentagon depicts the Austrian liberals.

“Sometimes, you have to present an exaggerated view of the situation if you really want to make a point,” Kienbauer said, according to Russia Today. Read the rest of this entry »


FORWARD! U.S. Aerospace Command Moving Comms Gear Back to Cold War Bunker

NORAD

The Cheyenne mountain bunker is a half-acre cavern carved into a mountain in the 1960s that was designed to withstand a Soviet nuclear attack.

Washington (AFP) – The US military command that scans North America’s skies for enemy missiles and aircraft plans to move its communications gear to a Cold War-era mountain bunker, officers said.

The shift to the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to safeguard the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said.

pentagon

The Pentagon last week announced a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the work for North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command.

“My primary concern was…are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there, and I’m not at liberty to discuss who’s moving in there.”

Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command, said that “because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain’s built, it’s EMP-hardened.”

US President Barack Obama attends a military briefing with US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham (L) at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan, May 25, 2014. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

“And so, there’s a lot of movement to put capability into Cheyenne Mountain and to be able to communicate in there,” Gortney told reporters.

“A lot of the back office communications is being moved there.”

“My primary concern was… are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there, and I’m not at liberty to discuss who’s moving in there,” he said.

The Cheyenne mountain bunker is a half-acre cavern carved into a mountain in the 1960s that was designed to withstand a Soviet nuclear attack. From inside the massive complex, airmen were poised to send warnings that could trigger the launch of nuclear missiles.

But in 2006, officials decided to move the headquarters of NORAD and US Northern Command from Cheyenne to Petersen Air Force base in Colorado Springs. The Cheyenne bunker was designated as an alternative command center if needed. Read the rest of this entry »


The Ideological Islamist Threat

islm

President Obama opened this week’s White House Conference on Violent Extremism with a speech about community-based counter-radicalization efforts, and his Administration is being roundly mocked for its refusal to use terms like “Muslim terrorism” or “Islamism.” The mockery is deserved. Foreign policy is not a Harry Potter tale of good versus He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. And war cannot be won against an enemy we refuse to describe except in meaningless generalities.

“Their version of jihad is gaining adherents precisely because it is motivated by an idea that challenges the values and beliefs of moderate Islam, the West and modernity. The free and non-fanatic world won’t win this deeper struggle if the Obama Administration refuses even to acknowledge its nature.”

But there is a deeper problem with the Administration’s semantic dodges. Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Boko Haram and other jihadist groups are waging more than a military conflict. They are also waging an increasingly successful ideological war for the soul of Islam and its 1.6 billion followers.

“Qutb argued that humans can choose only between Islam and jahilyya….No middle ground exists…All Muslims—as he defined them—therefore must take up arms in this fight. Any Muslim who rejects his ideas is just one more nonbeliever worthy of destruction.”

Their version of jihad is gaining adherents precisely because it is motivated by an idea that challenges the values and beliefs of moderate Islam, the West and modernity. The free and non-fanatic world won’t win this deeper struggle if the Obama Administration refuses even to acknowledge its nature.

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[Also see – What Isis Really Wants — The Atlantic]

“Communist ideology lost its appeal when it was seen to fail against the prosperity and freedom of the West. Islamic State will lose its allure when it is defeated and humiliated in the arena it cares about most, which is the battlefield.”

The 9/11 Commission Report put this front and center. Its second chapter, “The Foundation of the New Terrorism,” traces what it calls “ Bin Ladin ’s Appeal in the Islamic World.” It discusses the late al Qaeda leader’s faith in “a return to observance of the literal teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadith.” It underscores bin Laden’s reliance on Muslim theologians, from Ibn Taimiyyah in the 14th century to Sayyid Qutb in the 20th. And it explains how bin Laden turned Islam into a licence for murder. Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: 1 WTC Window Washers Rescued


Who Celebrated the Sept. 11 Attacks?

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The politically correct version of the September 11 attacks holds that the Muslim world rejected such violence as un-Islamic and condemned the attacks.  This is not true.  The Muslim world celebrated the attacks.

Palestinians dance in the street at the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon, Sept. 11, 2001. Palestinians in Lebanon's refugee camps celebrated the attacks in the United States by firing into the air. (AP Photo/Mohamed Zatari) Copyright 2001 The Herald-Dispatch

Palestinians dance in the street at the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon, Sept. 11, 2001. Palestinians in Lebanon’s refugee camps celebrated the attacks in the United States by firing into the air. (AP Photo/Mohamed Zatari)  Copyright 2001 The Herald-Dispatch

I took a trip to Egypt a few years ago to do the usual tourist lap around the pyramids and up the Nile.  Our guide was a Copticpali2 Christian.  During a quiet moment in Cairo, I asked him what the Egyptian reaction was to Sep 11.  He said they celebrated.  They marvelled at the cleverness of the attackers and considered it quite a victory.  After a month, the government decided that such public celebrations of American deaths were not in its best interests and prohibited them.  That stopped them cold, though they continued behind closed doors.

Here are some anecdotes of those celebrations, anecdotes that never seemed to have been picked up by the liberal media.

“In Germany, Muslims grow apart”; Peter Schneider; New York Times; December 4, 2005 …(read more)

In Germany, Muslims celebrated with rockets… 

But tolerance of Muslim immigrants began to change in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Parallel to the declarations of “unconditional solidarity” with Americans by the German majority, rallies of another sort were taking place in Neukölln and Kreuzberg. Bottle rockets were set off from building courtyards, a poor man’s fireworks: two rockets here, three rockets there. Altogether, hundreds of rockets were shooting skyward in celebration, just as most Berliners were searching for words to express their horror. For many German residents in Neukölln and Kreuzberg, Vogelsang recalls, that was the first time they stopped to wonder who their neighbors really were…(more)

Whooping It Up: In Beirut, even Christians celebrated the atrocity

Wall Street Journal; Saturday, September 22, 2001 12:01 a.m. EDTBEIRUT–Where were you on Sept. 11, when terrorists changed the world? I was at the National Museum here, enjoying the wonders of the ancient Phoenicians with my husband. This tour of past splendor only magnified the shock I received later when I heard the news and saw the reactions all around me. Read the rest of this entry »


New York City Commemorates 9/11 Anniversary With Annual Tribute in Light

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Via The Blaze‘s :

New York City commemorated the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks Wednesday night, powering on nearly 100 7,000-watt xenon bulbs to illuminate into the sky two beams indicating where the Twin Towers once stood.

The powerful scene was captured by multiple photographers, including Recode editor Anthony Quintano. Read the rest of this entry »


Are These the Airliners Captured in Tripoli by Jihadists?

Photos have surfaced on Twitter of smiling men celebrating in front of airplanes, alleged to be images of the capture of Tripoli’s airport by jihadist forces. The seizure of the Libyan capital’s airport–and eleven of its commercial jetliners–has caused concern that the Islamists will use the planes for an attack on September 11…

Frances Martel has the story at Breitbart.com

Read the rest of this entry »


Headline of the Day: ‘Huffington Post Under Fire for Hiring Vaccine Denying, 9/11 Truther who Killed a Guy’

liberals-in-shock-590

Another gem by Hot Air‘s Noah Rothman. Read it all here.

It’s hard to think of a worse candidate for a reporter covering national security issues than a once-committed 9/11 truther, but The Huffington Post apparently could.

The Huffington Post’s Washington bureau has hired professional football player and 9/11 truther Donte Stallworth as a fellow, covering national security,” Politico’s Dylan Byers wrote in a lede that would not seem out of place in The Onion.

The Huffington Post was apparently not deterred by either Stallworth’s controversial views on the September 11 attacks, or his concern that the swine flu vaccine was part of an elaborate plot, or his criminal record.

In 2009, Stallworth plead guilty to manslaughter after killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida. His plea netted him a light sentence – just 30 days for the DUI charge alone.

Byers noted that some of Stallworth’s comments are well outside the mainstream…(read more)

Hot Air


NYC’s Tribute in Light, for the Victims of 9/11, to Return this Year Starting at Sunset


BREAKING: U.S. Captures Benghazi Suspect in Secret Raid

For The Washington PostKaren DeyoungAdam Goldman, AND Julie Tate report: U.S. Special Operations forces captured one of the suspected ringleaders of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in a secret raid in Libya over the weekend, the first time one of the accused perpetrators of the 2012 assaults has been apprehended, according to U.S. officials.

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. The alleged ringleader in the attack has been captured by involving Special Operations forces. (AFP/Getty Images)

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. The alleged ringleader in the attack has been captured by involving Special Operations forces. (AFP/Getty Images)

The officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured Sunday near Benghazi by American troops, working alongside the FBI, following months of planning, and was now in U.S. custody “in a secure location outside Libya.” The officials said there were no casualties in the operation, and that all U.S. personnel involved have safely left Libya.Abu Khattala’s apprehension is a major victory for the Obama administration, which has been criticized for having failed so far to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attacks to justice.One jubilant official called Abu Khattala’s capture “a reminder that when the United States says it’s going to hold someone accountable and he will face justice, this is what we mean.”

Sept. 11, 2012 – A vehicle and the surrounding buildings burn after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2011. AFP/Getty Images

The Washington Post learned about the capture Monday but agreed to a request from the White House to delay publication of a story because of security concerns.

Last year, the U.S. Attorney in the District filed charges against Abu Khattala and at least a dozen others in connection with the Benghazi attacks. None besides Abu Khattala — who is expected to be arraigned in Washington — has been apprehended.

Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity about the still-secret operation, would not say where Abu Khattala was being held. They said he was “en route” to the United States but would not say when he was expected to arrive.

Several terrorist suspects abducted overseas have been held aboard U.S. naval ships at sea while being interrogated, after which they were turned over to FBI “clean teams” to question them for trial without endangering the admissibility of evidence.

The State Department designated Abu Khattala a terrorist in January, calling him a “senior leader” of the Benghazi branch of the militant organization Ansar al-Sharia, a group that arose after the 2011 fall of the Libyan regime of Moammar Gaddafi.

Ansar al-Sharia was also designated a terrorist organization and held specifically responsible for the Sept. 11, 2012, assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi that left U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and State Department security official Sean Smith dead. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Osama Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Convicted of Conspiring to Kill Americans 

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Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden‘s son-in-law, was convicted on Wednesday of conspiring to kill Americans.

Rot in cell!

For the NY Daily News reports: Jurors found Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law guilty Wednesday of providing support to terrorists and conspiring to kill Americans as an Al Qaeda spokesman around the time of the 9/11 attacks.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, 48, spewed hateful speeches alongside Bin Laden in several Al Qaeda propaganda videos filmed shortly after the attacks, including one made outside a mountain cave in Afghanistan on Sept. 12, 2001, the day after the Twin Towers fell.

It took the 12 jurors about a day to reach their verdict in Manhattan Federal Court and the defendant now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Read the rest of this entry »


Show-Off Asteroid’s Celestial Smack-Down: Record-Breaking Meteorite Crash on Moon Sparks Brightest Lunar Explosion Ever

lunar-impact

Space.com‘s  Megan Gannon reports:  The high-speed impact of a wayward space rock on the surface of the moon last year triggered the brightest lunar explosion ever seen, scientists say.

“At that moment I realized that I had seen a very rare and extraordinary event”

Video footage of the record-breaking meteorite strike on the moon, which occurred on Sept. 11, 2013 and was unveiled today (Feb. 24), shows a long flash that was almost as bright as the North Star Polaris. That means the boulder-sized meteorite’s lunar crash could have been visible to anyone on Earth who happened to be staring up at the moon at 8:07 p.m. GMT, weather permitting.

[Check out the book “Threats from Space: A Review of U.S. Government Efforts to Track and Mitigate Asteroids and Meteors”  (Part I & Part II) from Amazon]

“At that moment I realized that I had seen a very rare and extraordinary event,” Jose Madiedo, a professor at the University of Huelva, said in a statement. Madiedo witnessed the collision using two moon-watching telescopes in the south of Spain that are part of the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System, or MIDAS observatory.

Read the rest of this entry »


Breaking: Navy Releases Map Showing Location of Fleet Positions During Benghazi Attacks

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[See Full-Size Map]

The Daily Caller reports:  The Navy has released a map showing the locations of its fleet positions near Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012 — when terrorists killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

[View the map and the letter from the Navy]

The unclassified map — which was obtained by a retired Air Force veteran investigating the attacks through a public records request and published online by the group Judicial Watch — shows that there were dozens of vessels in the region during the attacks.

NavymapBenghazi

On the day of the attacks, the Navy had two aircraft carriers, four amphibious ships, 13 destroyers, three cruisers, a dozen small Navy boats and a command ship, Judicial Watch noted in its analysis of the map.

Read the rest of this entry »


Legitimacy Problems: What it Looks Like

In U.S., 65% Dissatisfied With How Government System Works

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Justin McCarthy  reports:  Sixty-five percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation’s system of government and how well it works, the highest percentage in Gallup’s trend since 2001. Dissatisfaction is up five points since last year, and has edged above the previous high from 2012 (64%).

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: In this handout from the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama talks on the phone while in the Oval Office with British Prime Minister David Cameron on February 13, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

(Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

Read the rest of this entry »


N.Y. Judge Rules NSA Phone Surveillance Legal

The judge says the government learned from its mistakes on 9/11. | AP Photo

The judge says the government learned from its mistakes on 9/11. | AP Photo

NEW YORK — A federal judge on Friday found that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is legal and a valuable part of the nation’s arsenal to counter the threat of terrorism and “only works because it collects everything.”

U.S. District Judge William Pauley said in a written opinion that the program “represents the government’s counter-punch” to eliminate al-Qaida’s terror network by connecting fragmented and fleeting communications.

“This blunt tool only works because it collects everything,” Pauley said. “The collection is broad, but the scope of counterterrorism investigations is unprecedented.”

He said the mass collection of phone data “significantly increases the NSA’s capability to detect the faintest patterns left behind by individuals affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations. Armed with all the metadata, NSA can draw connections it might otherwise never be able to find.”

He added that such a program, if unchecked, “imperils the civil liberties of every citizen” and he noted the lively debate about the subject across the nation, in Congress and at the White House.

“The question for this court is whether the government’s bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This court finds it is. But the question of whether that program should be conducted is for the other two coordinate branches of government to decide,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »


Student destroys 9/11 memorial ‘to start a dialogue about American imperialism’

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A lot of angry people are wondering exactly who was among the group that pulled nearly 3,000 American flags from the ground on the campus of Middlebury College in Vermont Wednesday. A joint service project of the College Republicans and Democrats, the 2,977 flags had been placed in front of the school’s Mead Chapel in memory of those killed on Sept. 11, 2001. This photo, posted to Facebook by Young Americans for Freedom, reportedly shows a student and accomplices stuffing the uprooted flags into plastic trash bags. Read the rest of this entry »


Firefighter tells story behind iconic moment with George W. Bush

President George W. Bush embraces firefighter Bob Beckwith while standing in front of the collapsed World Trade Center

President George W. Bush embraces firefighter Bob Beckwith while standing in front of the collapsed World Trade Center

Bob Beckwith, a retired New York City firefighter, is one of the best-known faces of the rescue efforts in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.

The photo of him wearing his old fire helmet, standing alongside then President George W. Bush atop the ash-covered remains of a fire truck, became legendary. It graced the cover of the next day’s New York Post and, later, Time magazine.

It also catapulted the retiree into the nation’s spotlight. Read the rest of this entry »


BUSTED: Nutcase Florida pastor arrested before he could light BBQ grill full of kerosene-soaked Qurans on anniversary of 9/11 attacks

BRIAN BLANCO/EPA - Polk County Sheriff's deputies escort Terry Jones (C) to a waiting patrol car in Lakeland, Florida, Sept.11, 2013

BRIAN BLANCO/EPA – Polk County Sheriff’s deputies escort Terry Jones (C) to a waiting patrol car

MULBERRY, Fla. — Law enforcement arrested a Florida pastor Wednesday as he drove to a park to light nearly 3,000 Qurans on fire to protest the 2001 terrorist attacks. Read the rest of this entry »