Mohamed Amin Ahmed, an activist living among the Somali-American population in Minneapolis, creates online cartoon videos for young Muslims to warn them of Islamic State recruitment. Photo: Sarah Stacke for The Wall Street Journal
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.”
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.
Fear of Terrorism? Nope. A New Survey Phows 69 percent of Americans Listed “Big Government” as the Biggest Threat the Future of the United States.
According to a Gallup poll released Tuesday, 88 percent of Republicans listed the issue followed by 67 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats.
The number is slightly lower than the 2013 results, the last time the question was posed, which stood at 72 percent, but the polling company said the numbers were significantly lower before 1990.
“The large increase in the percentage naming big government as the biggest threat in 2013 may have resulted from the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and Edward Snowden’s revelations about government monitoring of communications.” the poll said in its findings. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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 »
Byron York: ‘What do you call terrorist organization that has extended its reach, can project power far from base? ‘Contained.’Posted: November 15, 2015
What do you call terrorist organization that has extended its reach, can project power far from base? ‘Contained.’ https://t.co/MrlpiFN3E9— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 16, 2015
The original video posted here is no longer available. (it appeared here as a broken link) As a substitute, the above video is of fighter jets taking off from France, en route to Raqqa.
Aftermath footage of 30 airstrikes conducted by France targeting the outskirts of IS controlled Raqqa
Sympathisants Jihadists: In Paris Neighborhood Heavily Hit by Terrorists, Bobo Hipster Residents View Attackers as VictimsPosted: November 15, 2015
‘They’re stupid, but they aren’t evil,’ says Parisian woman who works in 11th arrondissement, and in Place de la Republique, no one wanted to talk about Islamists or the Islamic State.
PARIS – Ansel Pfeffer reports: On the day after the terror campaign in Paris that left 129 people dead and more than 300 wounded, residents of the French capital are still trying to absorb what hit them.
“They are victims of a system that excluded them from society, that’s why they felt this doesn’t belong to them and they could attack. There are those who live here in alienation, and we are all to blame for this alienation.”
By evening, after they had avoided gathering outdoors all day on the orders of police, hundreds of people started to assemble at the Place de la Republique, only a few hundred meters from the Bataclan concert hall where four terrorists had held hostage hundreds of people for more than two hours, killing 89 of them. From Boulevard Voltaire, where the hall is located and which was closed by police, ambulances carrying the bodies of the victims would emerge every few minutes, sirens wailing. As of last night only a handful of the victims had been named.
“They don’t want us to think that maybe it’s connected to the policies of our government and of the United States in the Middle East. These are people the government gave up on, and you have to ask why.”
A group of friends was standing near the candles that had been lit at the foot of the monument at the square, trying to find out if the waiter that had served them at La Belle Equipe, one of the restaurants attacked in the 11th arrondissement, had been killed.
“One member of the group said they had come to the square to demonstrate ‘unity,’ but they didn’t seem to feel solidarity with the victims of the last wave of terror. There were signs calling for unity, but it wasn’t clear what they were meant to unite around.”
“It’s very personal, what’s happened,” said Stephan Byatt, an actor who lives on a nearby street. He has a hard time finding the words to describe what he’s feeling. His friend, Bruno Michlaud, a graphic artist, tries to help out. “It’s a symbol of Paris, a symbol of life. They hurt us in the center of our lives and each of us could have been one of those killed.”
But they aren’t angry, at least not at the perpetrators. “They’re stupid, but they aren’t evil,” their friend Sabrina, an administrative worker in one of the theaters in the 11th arrondissement, said. “They are victims of a system that excluded them from society, that’s why they felt this doesn’t belong to them and they could attack. There are those who live here in alienation, and we are all to blame for this alienation.”
“Perhaps it’s correct to bomb them in the name of democracy and freedom, but it brought the war in Syria to us in France. I don’t think it’s worth it.”
Ten months after the previous wave of terror in Paris that hit the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo and the Hypercacher kosher supermarket, one might assume that residents would feel a sense of continuity, but that didn’t seem to be the case. “Then they harmed journalists and Jews, those were defined targets,” said one of the young people who had come to the square. “Now it was an attack with no objective, anyone could have been hurt.” Read the rest of this entry »
Ian Gallagher, Martin Beckford and Martin Robinson report: This is the face of one of the Paris killers who allegedly sneaked into France by posing as a refugee after being rescued from a sinking migrant boat as it emerged a woman may have been part of the eight-strong ISIS kamikaze terror squad.
Serbian media claims Ahmed Almuhamed, 25, whose Syrian passport was found on the body of a suicide bomber, allegedly blew himself up at the Bataclan concert hall, where at least 89 people were slaughtered on Friday.
The newspaper, Blic, claims Almuhamed arrived with another of the bombers in Europe on the Greek island of Leros on October 3 on his way to Paris. Greek website Protothema have published ferry tickets showing the name of a second man, Mohammed Almuhamed, who could be a relation.
One of the attackers has been named locally as homegrown terrorist Omar Ismaël Mostefai , 29, from Courcouronnes, Paris. The petty criminal was known to police as a radical and identified by the fingerprint on a severed digit found after he detonated his suicide belt.
Investigators are now investigating claims that he went to Syria last year, and may have spent time training with ISIS terrorists.
Survivors have claimed that a woman was among the group shooting randomly into the crowd at the Eagles of Death Metal gig before three blew themselves up and a fourth person was shot dead by police before they could detonate their bomb.
Read the rest of this entry »
Source: Aktuelle Nachrichten – Bild.de
Obama’s Statement on the Shooting in South Carolina
REWIND: June 18, 2015: Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, I spoke with, and Vice President Biden spoke with, Mayor Joe Riley and other leaders of Charleston to express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders that took place last night.
“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.“
Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church. We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night. And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.
Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy….
I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. Read the rest of this entry »
PARIS — The terrorist assault on Paris on Friday night was carried out by three teams of coordinated attackers, including one who traveled to Europe on a Syrian passport along with the flow of migrants, officials said Saturday.
“It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh, against France. It is an act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish.”
— French President Francois Hollande
At a news conference on Saturday night, the Paris prosecutor, François Molins, said the attackers were all armed with heavy weaponry and suicide vests. Their assault began, he said, when two of them blew themselves up outside the gates of the soccer stadium on the northern outskirts of Paris.
A French security official said separately that one of the attackers had been linked to a Syrian passport. A Greek official had said earlier that the person carrying the passport had passed through Greece last month along the migrant trail into Europe.
The possibility that one of the attackers was a migrant or had posed as one is sure to further complicate the already vexing problem for Europe of how to handle the unceasing flow of people from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Details of the assault came after President François Hollande blamed the Islamic State for the terrorist attacks. Officials said Saturday night that the death toll had reached 129 victims, with 352 others injured, 99 of them seriously. Mr. Hollande declared three days of national mourning, and said that military troops would patrol the capital. France remained under a nationwide state of emergency. Read the rest of this entry »
The Greek government has announced one of the terrorist gunmen who had a part in killing over 120 in Paris on Friday evening entered Europe while masquerading as a refugee just six weeks ago.
“The news will come as a major shock to the European establishment who have mocked and derided those who have warned that the migrant route into Europe would be exploited by those wishing to do harm to Europe.”
Reports early on Saturday that one of the gunmen was found to have been carrying a Syrian passport have been followed by an announcement by Greek minister for citizen protection Nikos Tosca that the individual was masquerading as a refugee, reports Greek Antenna news.
“Latest United Nations estimates show over 800,000 migrants have passed through the Mediterranean on their way to Europe this year, with 660,700 landing in Greece and 142,400 in Italy.”
The unnamed killer was registered on the Greek island of Leros in the southern Aegean sea on the third of October. The Island is just ten miles from the Turkish coast and has been a major point of ingress for so-called ‘refugees’ into Europe, alongside neighbour island Kos.
— The Greek Analyst (@GreekAnalyst) November 14, 2015
Having come ashore in Europe in October, the killer spent just six weeks as a refugee before killing in Paris.
Read the rest of this entry »
Source: New York Post
Screening outposts to be set up in Iraq, Lebanon as U.S. urges Arab nations to do more.
The Obama administration is moving to increase and accelerate the number of Syrian refugees who might be admitted into the United States by opening new screening outposts in Iraq and Lebanon, administration officials told Reuters on Friday.
The move comes after President Barack Obama pledged in September to admit an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016, torn by four years of civil war and disorder.
The U.S. State Department confirmed the plans to open a refugee settlement processing centre in Erbil, Iraq, before the end of 2015, and to resume refugee processing in Lebanon in early 2016, said spokeswoman Danna Van Brandt.
The White House would not say how many additional refugees it may take in beyond the 10,000, but two senior administration officials said they are seeking ways to increase the number.
“We want to be in a place where we can push out really ambitious goals,” said one of the officials, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
The State Department runs nine screening centres worldwide that serve as meeting points for refugees and U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees who have to decide who is suitable for resettlement in the United States.
The additional centres will double the number available to refugees in the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »
[CNN: Latest developments, posted at 11:59 p.m. ET]
“We lied down on the floor not to get hurt. It was a huge panic. The terrorists shot at us for 10 to 15 minutes. It was a bloodbath.”
On a night when thousands of Paris residents and tourists were reveling and fans were enjoying a soccer match between France and world champion Germany, horror struck in an unprecedented manner. Terrorists — some with AK-47s, some reportedly with bombs strapped to them — attacked sites throughout the French capital and at the stadium where the soccer match was underway.
Scores were killed in the coordinated attacks late Friday, leaving a nation in mourning and the world in shock. CNN will update this story as information comes in:
• Paris Prosecutor spokeswoman Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre said eight extremists are dead after attacks. Seven of them were killed in suicide bombings.
U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with French President Francois Hollande to offer condolences and assistance in the investigation, the White House said. Earlier, Obama said, “This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people on France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share.” He called the attacks an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.”
• A total of six locations were attacked in and just outside the capital, Paris prosecutor François Molins told reporters Saturday.
• Five suspected attackers have been “neutralized,” said Molins. It was unclear whether that term meant the terrorists were dead.
• A witness tells Radio France that attackers inside the Bataclan concert hall entered firing rifles and shouting “Allah akbar.”
• At least 153 people were killed in the Paris and Saint-Denis shootings and bombings, French officials said. Saint-Denis is home to the national stadium where the soccer match was being played.
• The worst carnage occurred at Bataclan, with at least 112 left dead. A journalist who was at a rock concert there escaped and told CNN: “We lied down on the floor not to get hurt. It was a huge panic. The terrorists shot at us for 10 to 15 minutes. It was a bloodbath.” Julien Pearce didn’t hear the attackers speak, but he said one friend who escaped heard them talk about Iraq and Syria. Later, he said the men were speaking French. Two men dressed in black started shooting and after wounded people fell to the floor, the gunmen shot them again, execution-style, he said.
• CNN affiliate BFMTV, citing French officials, said some gunmen were still at large. Read the rest of this entry »
Source: Eugène Delacroix
Source: Le Monde.fr – Actualité à la Une
After 9/11 this French newspaper said, “We are all American.” Today “We are all French.
One World Trade lit in blue, white and red in solidarity with the people of France.
PARIS — Adam Nosier and Rick Gladstone report: The Paris area reeled Friday night from a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage-taking that President François Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack on France. He closed the borders and mobilized the military in a national emergency.
“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region. There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded, it’s horrific.”
— President Francois Hollande, in a nationally televised address.
French television and news services quoted the police as saying at least 100 people had been killed at a concert hall alone, and dozens more in apparently coordinated attacks outside the country’s main sports stadium and at least five other popular locations in the city.
Witnesses on French television said the scene at the rock concert was a massacre.
An explosion near the sports stadium, which French news services said may have been a suicide bombing, came as Germany and France were playing a soccer match, forcing a hasty evacuation of Mr. Hollande. As the scope of the assaults quickly became clear, he convened an emergency cabinet meeting and announced that France was closing its borders.
“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region,” he said in a nationally televised address. “There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded, it’s horrific.”
Mr. Hollande said that on his orders the government had “mobilized all the forces we can muster to neutralize the threats and secure all of the areas.” Read the rest of this entry »
DEVELOPING – Police were storming a Paris concert hall Friday night where up to 100 hostages were reportedly being executed one-by-one, after at least 40 people were killed elsewhere in coordinated terror attacks that rocked the French capital and prompted President Francois Hollande to order the entire nation’s borders closed.
“There are lots of dead people. It’s pretty horrific to be honest. I was at the back of the bar. I couldn’t see anything. I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.”
– Witness to attack on restaurant
The grim drama unfolded inside the music venue known as Bataclan, as word trickled out that an unknown number of gunmen were firing at horrified concert goers as French television broadcast the sound of shots being fired. Hundreds of police massed outside around midnight local time, then mounted an all-out assault on the building. Minutes later, a dozen or so shaken spectators were reportedly led out of the building, though it was not clear if the terrorists inside had been killed or subdued.
The hostages were taken at the concert hall where the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal was scheduled to play. As the terrorist siege played out, a handful of spectators trickled out and told of the the horror taking place inside. Julien Pierce, a Europe 1 journalist who was inside the Bataclan, described what he saw to the BBC.
“It lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. It was extremely violent and there was panic. The attackers had enough time to reload at least three times. They were very young.”
“Several armed men came into the concert,” he said. “Two or three men, not wearing masks, came in with what looked like Kalashnikovs and fired blindly on the crowd.
“It lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. It was extremely violent and there was panic. The attackers had enough time to reload at least three times. They were very young.”
As many as six other attacks were believed to have involved shootings and at least two suicide bombers, including one who detonated near the city’s Stade de France, soccer stadium where the French and German national teams were playing in a match attended by Hollande. Simultaneous attacks are a trademark of terrorist operations.
“There are lots of dead people,” said a witness believed to have been at the bar of a restaurant that was the scene of one attack. “It’s pretty horrific to be honest. I was at the back of the bar. I couldn’t see anything. I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.” Read the rest of this entry »
(CNN) Barbara Starr reports: The latest U.S. intelligence suggests that the crash of a Russian passenger jet in the Sinai over the weekend was most likely caused by a bomb on the plane planted by ISIS or an ISIS affiliate, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.
“There is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane.”
But the official stressed a formal conclusion has not been reached by the U.S. intelligence community.
“There is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane,” the official, who is familiar with the latest U.S. intelligence analysis of the crash, told CNN.
Other U.S. officials also told CNN that the analysis is pointing toward the cause being a bomb.
Based on the same intelligence, the U.S. belief is that ISIS or an ISIS-affiliated group is responsible for the attack, the official said….(read more)