Tag: terrorist attacks


what jihadists want

July 11th, 2012 — 9:14am

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Nidal Malik Hassan may not be alone. At least, not for long. In late June, NPR reported that the FBI has over 100 open investigations into members of the U.S. military who may have ties to Islamic extremists, roughly a dozen of them are considered serious:

The FBI and Department of Defense call these cases “insider threats.” They include not just active and reserve military personnel but also individuals who have access to military facilities such as contractors and close family members with dependent ID cards.

Officials would not provide details about the cases and the FBI would not confirm the numbers, but they did say that cases seen as serious could include, among others things, suspects who seem to be planning an attack or were in touch with “dangerous individuals” who were goading them to attack.

Whether any of these cases will amount to anything remains to be seen, but recruiting people with access to military materiel seems like a logical and potent approach, especially given the predilection of Afghan nationals working with our military overseas to stage attacks against American troops:

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2 comments » | 9/11, After the Arab Spring, al-Qaeda, Arab Spring, counterterrorism, current affairs, domestic terror, Egypt, faith, islam, islamist, John Bradley, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, Middle East, militant islam, Muslim, news, politics, revolution, terrorism

blowback in the windy city

June 12th, 2012 — 7:06pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

A little while back al-Qaeda’s American-born spokesman “Adam the American” released a video exhorting Muslims in America to wage the “death by a-thousand cuts” version of jihad.  Instead of looking to stage large dramatic attacks which would require months of preparation and planning, he implored would-be jihadis to simply buy guns and start shooting people:

Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders, and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam waging war on their religion, sacred places, and brethren.  This is a golden opportunity.

“The way to show one’s appreciation and thanks for this blessing, is to rush to discharge one’s duty to his [community] and fight on its behalf with everything at his disposal.  And in the West you’ve got a lot at your disposal. Let’s take America as an example, American is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms…

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Comment » | Chicago, domestic terror, innercity violence, news, politics, racial inequality, terrorism, Uncategorized, war on drugs

love is all you need

June 10th, 2012 — 1:38pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

After the Black September Organization pulled off what’s classically considered the first act of modern terrorism – holding Israel’s Olympic team in Munich hostage while the entire world watched in their living rooms via satellite television repeaters and portable video cameras - the group’s parent organization, the PLO, was faced with a rather troublesome conundrum.

It’s the same problem that our government is now trying to address, as “the Pentagon recently gave a $4.5 million grant to a group of psychologists based at the University of Maryland to conduct a five-year study on not only how to deradicalize militants, but perhaps also find ways to intervene with potential recruits before they sign up.”

Options such as vocational training and financial incentives are being considered, but as usual the Pentagon is flushing money directly down the shitter: neither of those are going to be anywhere near as effective as the solution that was used to dissolve Black September.

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1 comment » | counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, current affairs, domestic terror, islam, news, Pentagon, politics, terrorism

it’s the circle of jihad

June 9th, 2012 — 5:18pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Many of the groups that eventually coalesce into full-fledged terrorist organizations start off as cut-and-dry insurgences: FARC, the Shining Path, the PLO, and more recently al-Qaeda, which got its start fighting against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan before metastasizing into an international terrorist organization and ideology.

But with all the press that it’s getting, it’s important to keep in mind that the ongoing uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria has nothing at all to do with al-Qaeda.  As the dead bodies of women and children begin to pile up underneath hand-wringing UN officials, Syria’s Lebanese neighbors are at least mobilizing to do something about it: dusting off their kalashnikovs and crossing the border to once again fight for their fellow Muslims.

Many of their parents fought against Israeli’s invasion of Lebanon, so it’s no surprise that this generation is ready and willing to put their lives on the line in the what’s just about the most classic justification for jihad you can possibly imagine.

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Comment » | current affairs, domestic terror, islam, news, politics, terrorism

business is booming in the boondocks

June 9th, 2012 — 12:50pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Regardless of what the administration’s official take on the nomenclature might be, the War on Terror is not only alive and well – it is growing.  As a brief foreword to the rest of this, it probably wouldn’t hurt to keep in mind that one of al-Qaeda’s principal complaints has always been that American foreign policy has been responsible for killing innocent Muslims for decades, and that our administration recently decided that any military-aged male killed by a drone strike would be considered a militant and not a civilian unless proven otherwise.

So back in early March, an American drone opened a new front in the supposedly defunct War, taking fifteen lives on the Philippine island of Jolo:

Early last month, Tausug villagers on the Southern Philippine island of Jolo heard a buzzing sound not heard before… Within minutes, 15 people lay dead and a community plunged into despair, fear and mourning.

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Comment » | counterinsurgency, current affairs, islam, news, politics, terrorism

when Iran wants to assasinate someone

October 12th, 2011 — 5:36pm

(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

They simply find a way to make sure the guy gets shot.  In a sense the Iranians are the hipsters of assassinations on American soil, because although they’ve done it here at least once before -  you’ve probably never heard of it.

But in light of the recent “plot” that was foiled, it’s important to bring up that historical precedent.  As Salon‘s Glen Greenwald among many others have noted, this particular scheme seems about as far-fetched and shadily-orchestrated as international terrorist plots of sinister assassination come:

The Terrorist Mastermind at the center of the plot is a failed used car salesman in Texas with a history of pedestrian money problems. Dive under your bed. “For the entire operation, the government’s confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents,” explained U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and “no explosives were actually ever placed anywhere and no one was actually ever in any danger.’”

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3 comments » | Arab Spring, counterinsurgency, islam, news, politics, Saudi Arabia, terrorism

the jinn in the machine

October 5th, 2011 — 9:29am

(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

A kettle which has been just on the edge of simmering for a good long time now finally began to boil over earlier this week, as violent protests erupted in Qatif, a city in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia that like almost every city in that region of the nation is majority Shia.  And like almost every other city in the Shia-dominated eastern edges of Saudi Arabia – it sits directly on top of the world’s largest remaining easily-accessible oil reserves.

Instability has been built into the region since the founding of the Saudi Kingdom, a geopolitical reality that bodes disaster for American geopolitical goals in the region.  Namely, securing access to the lifeblood of Western civilization:

The Shia of Saudi Arabia, mostly concentrated in the Eastern Province, have long complained of discrimination against them by the fundamentalist Sunni Saudi monarchy. The Wahhabi variant of Islam, the dominant faith in Saudi Arabia, holds Shia to be heretics who are not real Muslims.

The US, as the main ally of Saudi Arabia, is likely to be alarmed by the spread of pro-democracy protests to the Kingdom and particularly to that part of it which contains the largest oil reserves in the world. The Saudi Shia have been angered at the crushing of the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain since March, with many protesters jailed, tortured or killed, according Western human rights organisations.

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Comment » | Arab Spring, counterinsurgency, economics, islam, news, politics, Saudi Arabia, terrorism

click click, bang bang

September 15th, 2011 — 3:35pm


(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

UPDATE: Another shooting occurred outside Phoenix, AZ at about 10:30pm Friday night, this time the victim died either of his wounds or after the gunshot caused him to crash into the highway median.   It seems notable that this attack also occurred along I-10, the same highway as the earlier incident outside LA.

Last night on the George Washington Parkway, a bullet shattered the back window of an SUV just after midnight.  All the way over on the Left Coast on Interstate 10, at approximately 3am, an unidentified victim was shot through the door of their vehicle and rushed into surgery.

Two isolated incidents on opposite ends of the country does not a big deal make, but given what al-Qaida’s top American spokesman urged prospective terrorists in the U.S. to do back at the start of the summer, they’re still worth noting.

Large, symbolic attacks are no longer necessary – al-Qaida’s mission statement has long-since congealed in the blood of its victims.  There’s little to no reason to carry to carry out large-scale attacks that require time, planning, and risk – especially when the DC Sniper already sketched out such an effective blueprint in the DC metro area almost a decade ago for small-scale attacks then in a way are even more effective than massive one-shot attacks.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that in early June, al-Qaeda’s American-born spokesman “Adam the American” released a video in fluent English imploring Muslims living in the United States to “buy guns and start shooting people.”  He explains his reasoning further in the video:

Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders, and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam waging war on their religion, sacred places, and brethren.  This is a golden opportunity…

“The way to show one’s appreciation and thanks for this blessing, is to rush to discharge one’s duty to his [community] and fight on its behalf with everything at his disposal.  And in the West you’ve got a lot at your disposal. Let’s take America as an example, America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms…

So what are you waiting for?

Comment » | books, current affairs, domestic terror, terrorism

Cali Police using armored military vehicles in downtown Ventura

September 14th, 2011 — 12:06pm

(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

Apparently police in California are expecting things to get even hairier than they already are, since they’ve carted out military-grade armored tactical vehicles – basically the Barry Bonds version of  the Humvee.  As the level of drug-related violence in Mexico has shot through the roof, perhaps it make sense to assume that it will begin to bleed across the border and into southern California – but all the same it’s gotta be just a wee bit unsettling for the average California to see these things rumbling down their streets.

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1 comment » | terrorism, war on drugs

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