Category Archives: Intolerance

ISIS emulates the GOP in destroying history


Hoe is ISIS like the Grand Old Party?

Consider the following ISIS video, depicting the destruction of 4,000 years of history in the museum of Mosul, Iraq, located in the region of the world that served as cradle of  Western Civilization:

The story, via Newsweek:

ISIS Smashes Thousands of Years of History at Museum

Ultra-radical Islamist militants in northern Iraq have destroyed a priceless collection of statues and sculptures from the ancient Assyrian era, inflicting what an archaeologist described as incalculable damage to a piece of shared human history.

A video published by Islamic State on Thursday showed men attacking the artifacts, some of them identified as antiquities from the 7th century BC, with sledgehammers and drills, saying they were symbols of idolatry.

“The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics, and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him,” an unidentified man said in the video.

Lamia al-Gailani, an Iraqi archaeologist and associate fellow at the London-based Institute of Archaeology, said the militants had wreaked untold damage. “It’s not only Iraq’s heritage: it’s the whole world’s,” she said.

“They are priceless, unique. It’s unbelievable. I don’t want to be Iraqi any more,” she said, comparing the episode to the dynamiting of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Afghan Taliban in 2001.

The action follows the destruction of thousands of manuscripts and books in libraries in ISIS-occupied areas of Iraq and Syria.

Even before we learned to write our own name in cursive, we insisted that our teacher help us write out the word “archaeology,” and between the years five and eighteen, we were resolved to become an archaeologist working on digs in Mesopotamia, the land between the rivers.

After witnessing firsthand the vicious pettiness that all too often marks the world of academic politics, we surrendered our trowels and camel hair brushes to dig in more contemporary dirt as a journalist.

But we never relinquished our first love, and have kept abreast from afar of some of the remarkable discoveries made since we wrote our first newspaper story a half-century ago.

In covering politics, we discovered that fundamentalist zealots are ever eager to annihilate a past that contradicts their version of events, along with the artifacts and institutions that would remind them of a time when things were different.

While ISIS seeks to annihilate five thousand years of history and purge culture of anything reminding them of that “idolatrous” past, the GOP seeks similarly to purge America of the institutions and creations evolved under a different vision of humanity in the form of the institutions of the relatively mild social welfare state implemented by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight David Eisenhower, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Just as ISIS smashes statues, the GOP would destroy Social Security, Medicare, the Post Office, public schools, public land, public health, and so much more. And along with government institutions, they would also smash our historical legacy in the form of the architectural creations of the past, eager to build those stark, cheaply built high rises and McMansions they so deeply love.

Similarly, GOP radicals would purge classrooms and school libraries of thousands of books contradicting their own versions of religious, pseudoscientific, and political beliefs.

The one notable difference between the GOP radicals and ISIS lies in the domain of honesty, where ISIS holds all the cards.

Very few in the GOP are so frank, knowing that even with their control of campaign money and much of the media, frank expression of their real agenda would turn off even many in their own party — people with children and parents who benefit from those very programs the Koch-heads would annihilate in order to increase their already dominate control of the world’s money and resources.

We’ll leave the last word to Bernie Sanders:

Pope Francis

InSecurityWatch: Leaks, spooks, hacks war, more


We begin with the ACLU Blog of Rights, shining the light:

This Secret Domestic Surveillance Program Is About to Get Pulled Out of the Shadows

The federal government will have to produce information on a vast and secret domestic surveillance program and defend the program’s legality in open court. That’s the result of a decision issued Friday by the federal judge presiding over our lawsuit challenging the Suspicious Activity Reporting program, part of an ever-expanding domestic surveillance network established after 9/11.

The program calls on local police, security guards, and the public — our neighbors — to report activity they deem suspicious or potentially related to terrorism. These suspicious activity reports (“SARs” for short) are funneled to regional fusion centers and on to the FBI, which conducts follow-up investigations and stockpiles the reports in a giant database that it shares with law enforcement agencies across the country.

The decision is significant.

Surveillance programs have largely been shielded from judicial review, as many courts have accepted the government’s position that people cannot prove they have been under surveillance, and thus lack standing to sue. In this case, we represent clients who were confronted by law enforcement or know that SARs were uploaded to a counterterrorism database based on their entirely lawful activity. The government will now have to turn over information about a program that has never been subject to public scrutiny.

The problems with the Suspicious Activity Reporting program are manifold, beginning with the fact that government doesn’t require reasonable suspicion of criminal activity — an already low threshold — for a SAR to be maintained and shared. That violates a binding federal regulation, which is part of the basis for the lawsuit.

From AJ+, our first [but not last] leak story:

Spy Cables: Inside South Africa’s Spy Agency

Program notes:

Ever wondered how Africa’s most powerful spy agency operates? The Spy Cables show us how South Africa’s State Security Agency’s plans to build a secret satellite with Russia which would enable them to spy over all of Africa — take that NSA! Also, learn how a security screw up led to the African Union Chief almost being killed in Addis Ababa.

From the Guardian, domestic snooping:

South Africa spied on own government to get facts on joint project with Russia

  • Intelligence agency used agent with links to Russian government to glean information about satellite surveillance programme, leaked cables reveal

South Africa’s intelligence service relied on a spy “with direct access to the Russian government” to find out details of its own government’s involvement in a $100m (£65m) joint satellite surveillance programme with Russia, the leaked spy cables obtained by al-Jazeera and shared with the Guardian reveal.

The satellite system, known as Project Condor, which was launched into orbit by Russia in December last year, provides surveillance coverage of the entire African continent. The project has been shrouded in secrecy, with Russia originally refusing to reveal who its client was.

Those in the dark appear to have included South Africa’s intelligence agency. But a South African agent with access to Russian military intelligence was able to help, according to a leaked espionage report marked “top secret” and dated 28 August 2012.

From the Guardian, a Russian Al Queda warning:

Al-Qaida planning kamikaze attacks on ships in Mediterranean, cables claim

  • Leaked document from Russian intelligence agency claims north African branch wants to extend its range to Europe with marine unit

Al-Qaida has developed a seaborne unit to attack targets around the Mediterranean, according to a confidential report from Russian intelligence, one of a cache of secret documents from spy agencies around the world tracking jihadi terrorist groups.

According to the Russians, North African al-Qaida (Aqim – al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb) has established a 60-strong team of suicide bombers to plant mines under the hull of ships and to use small, fast craft for kamikaze attacks.

The claim, in a leaked document from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), is one of a string of reports on the rise of Islamic State (Isis) and al-Qaida.

They include a two-month briefing by Omani intelligence estimating that Isis now has up to 35,000 fighters and an income of $1.5m (£1m) a day, reports from United Arab Emirates agents about the Isis leadership structure and a dossier from Jordanian intelligence on confessions extracted from terrorist suspects.

The Guardian has another leak story:

Spies, lies and fantasies: leaked cables lift lid on work of intelligence agencies

  • In the world of espionage, reports peppered with half-truths, rumours and the seemingly outlandish are par for the course, documents show

Intelligence agencies thrive on impressing politicians and the public with their mystique, exploits real or imagined, and possession of information that supposedly gives them a unique understanding of the world.

The reality is often bureaucratic and banal, the information unreliable, uncheckable or available in open sources and their judgments frequently politicised and self-serving. All of those elements can be found throughout the spy cables leaked to al-Jazeera and the Guardian.

Take the story about an Israeli plot to use water-gobbling plants to sabotage Egypt. The alleged scheme is mentioned in a 56-page report compiled by South African intelligence on the Israeli spy agency Mossad.

SecurityWeek covers snoopery north of the border:

Canada Monitoring Citizens’ Emails to Government: Media

Ottawa – Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency has amassed a huge trove of emails sent to the government, as part of its cybersecurity mandate, according to a leaked secret document Wednesday.

And their retention by the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE) for days, months or years in some cases, is worrying privacy advocates.

Public broadcaster CBC, citing a 2010 document obtained from former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, said the CSE closely monitors visits to government websites and scans about 400,000 emails per day for suspicious content, links or attachments.

The electronic communications include Canadians’ electronic tax returns, emails to members of Parliament and passport applications, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said.

From RT, dis-Dane-ful:

Denmark’s plan to give spooks greater-than-NSA spy powers sparks outcry

Copenhagen is considering empowering its intelligence services to conduct covert electronic surveillance on citizens abroad without the need for a court order. Outraged privacy advocates have pledged to fight the initiative.

Despite the global outpouring of criticism of the National Security Agency and its affiliated partners in the so-called Five Eyes spying ring, which was exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, it seems the Danish government is only too willing to take spying to an unprecedented new level.

As part of a package of new anti-terror initiatives, Copenhagen is now prepared to empower the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste, or FE) with greater snooping authority than the NSA.

However, plans to give Danish intelligence what appears to be unlimited access to the electronic communications of Danish citizens abroad is being criticized by privacy watchdog groups, including the think-tank Justitia and Associate Professor Anders Henriksen, from the University of Copenhagen.

From TheLoca.de, jailed for a speech “crime”:

Ex-lawyer jailed again for Holocaust denial

A Munich court on Wednesday sentenced a previously convicted Holocaust denier and ex-lawyer to a second jail term, after she publicly declared that there had been no organized genocide of the Jews under Adolf Hitler.

Sylvia Stolz, 51, was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment for telling an anti-censorship congress in Switzerland in 2012 that the “so-called Holocaust” under Adolf Hitler’s National-Socialist (Nazi) Party had never been legally defined or proven, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

In an almost 100-minute address, video footage of which was used as evidence in her trial, Stolz stated before a crowd of 2,000 people there was no hard evidence of either Nazi plans or orders “to partially or wholly destroy Jewry”.
Therefore it was in itself a breach of the law that people like her who defended others put on trial for Holocaust denial should be prosecuted, she argued.

Another U.S. ISIS-related bust, via the Guardian:

Three New York men charged over alleged attempt to join Isis in Syria

  • One arrested at airport trying to board flight to Istanbul, another purchased ticket for Turkey on 29 March and third allegedly operated ‘domestic support network’

Three men from Brooklyn, New York are facing terrorism charges for allegedly attempting to join Islamic State (Isis) militants in Syria, federal authorities said on Wednesday.

Two of the men, Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, and Abror Habibov, 30, are Uzbekistani citizens; the other is a 19-year-old Kazakhstani citizen, Akhror Saidakhmetov. All three were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to Isis.

Their indictment was announced by the the FBI, the New York police department and US attorney Loretta Lynch, who is in the process of being confirmed by the Senate as US attorney general.

From the Guardian, a call for justice in the Windy City:

Chicago ‘black site’: former US justice officials call for Homan Square inquiry

  • Two ex-senior Justice Department officials say allegations about police operation are ‘very disturbing’ and raise serious questions about constitutional violations

Two former senior Justice Department officials are calling on their colleagues to investigate a secretive warehouse used for interrogations by Chicago police and likened to a CIA “black site” facility.

Sam Bagenstos, who during Barack Obama’s first term was the Justice Department’s No 2 civil rights official, said that the Guardian’s exposé of the Homan Square police warehouse raised concerns about “a possible pattern or practice of violations of the fourth and fifth amendments” that warranted an inquiry.

William Yeomans, who worked in the civil rights division from 1981 to 2005, and served as its acting attorney, said the allegations about off-the-books interrogations and barred access to legal counsel reported by the Guardian merited a preliminary investigation to confirm them, a first step toward a full civil rights investigation.

From the Guardian, intimidating cops under the gun in Old Blighty:

British police investigated over attempts to recruit activists as spies

  • Two Cambridgeshire officers face misconduct allegations after approaches by covert unit that campaigners said left them stressed and paranoid, with some ending their political activities

It is examining allegations that coercive and at times repeated approaches by police caused the activists to give up their political campaigning, or left them stressed and paranoid.

One campaigner wore a secret camera to capture police attempting to persuade him to spy on Cambridge University students, environmentalists, campaigners against government cuts and anti-racist activists. The footage was broadcast by the Guardian in 2013.

Another, a 23-year-old single mother, has alleged that police threatened to prosecute her if she disclosed to anyone, including her mother, the attempt to recruit her as an informer.

Cambridgeshire police are carrying out the internal investigation into what they have described as serious allegations surrounding its attempted recruitment of informers.

From the New York Times, more arrests for presidential wiretapping in Turkey:

Turkish Police Arrested and Accused of Wiretapping President Erdogan

Police officers in Turkey arrested dozens of fellow officers on Wednesday accused of wiretapping President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top government officials.

The chief prosecutor’s office in Ankara, the capital, issued 54 arrest warrants, the Anadolu News Agency reported, and at least 40 people were arrested in a wave of early morning raids that were carried out simultaneously in 19 cities.

The arrests are the latest salvo in a feud between Mr. Erdogan and his former ally, Fethullah Gulen, an influential Muslim cleric who lives in exile in Pennsylvania and has been accused of participating in a plot to overthrow the government.

After the jump, Al Jazeera reporters busted for droning Paris, a drone ban in Morocco, Charlie Hebdo back on schedule, a big reward for a hacking bank robber, Instagram leaks celebrity locations, an Aussie Anonymous hacker charged with attacking spooky sites, major civil rights failures by the major powers, on to the ISIS front and historical nihilism as libraries are burned and artifacts sold, and ISIS sounds up Syrian Christians, Lakes Chad fish traders bombed by Niger to defund Boko Haram, as Boko Haram targets Nigerian elections, a 100-bomb North Korean nuclear arsenal envisioned, China demotes a spy chief, corrupt officials planned to assassinate China’s leaders, China extends its bombers’ reach, and Okinawan opposition to an American base increases. . . Continue reading

GOP Racism: They just can’t help themselves


No sooner did former Reagan policy adviser Dinesh D’Souza label Barack Obama a ghetto “boy” who just couldn’t help himself than the New York Republican Party treated members to a graphic laden with all manner of intolerant bile, with the target being New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, a white liberal Democrat married to an African American woman.

Parodying those ubiquitous ads for an S&M flick now scoring big at the box office, the mayor is transformed into a cross-dresser dominated by a black man, the Rev. Al Sharpton.

At once the mayor is denigrated for treating an African American as his superior [a thought chilling to the hearts of racists], but he’s also implicitly labeled as either homosexual or transgender, both wholly unnatural in the eyes of most folks in the Grand Old Party:

BLOG Racism

Gothamist reports the GOP defensive line:

The state GOP defended its decision to mockingly compare the slap-and-tickle romance in “50 Shades” to the close working relationship between de Blasio and Sharpton.

“The parallels between the heroine of America’s hottest movie and New York’s mayor are striking: both have completely ceded control over their situation to outside forces, and the results are difficult to watch,” said spokesman David Laska.

Another New York Republican crosses the same line

Then there’s another prominent GOPer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who, Politico reports, told fellow Republicans:

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the 21 Club, a former Prohibition-era speakeasy in midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

In other words, as D’Souza spouted, “You can take the boy out of the ghetto. . .”

Giuliani went way over the top in his denunciation, going from the hyperbolic to the outright absurd:

“What country has left so many young men and women dead abroad to save other countries without taking land? This is not the colonial empire that somehow he has in his hand. I’ve never felt that from him. I felt that from [George] W. [Bush]. I felt that from [Bill] Clinton. I felt that from every American president, including ones I disagreed with, including [Jimmy] Carter. I don’t feel that from President Obama.”

That argument would ring rather false in the Philippines, a country the U.S. effectively annexed for most of the first half of the 20th Century, and it would probably ring false in Iraq, too, as well as other nations where the U.S. has helped overthrow elected democratic governments [think Chile] and installed puppet regimes to ensure the continued flow of natural resources to the U.S.

And while the U.S. sometimes didn’t leave boots on the ground [though often they did, renamed “military advisers,” Washington did fund and armed their military forces and secret police, trained their officers, and provided endless intelligence of their potential opponents.

May Rudy and his fellow GOP mossbacks oughta put a LifeLock on their lips and keyboards.

Racism ain’t pretty, not matter how hard your try to obscure it.

InSecurityWatch: Data, hacks, cabals, terror, war


We begin with Network World and a big thumbs down:

Proposal for altered data retention law is still unlawful, Dutch DPA says

The Dutch government’s proposed revision of the country’s data retention law is not enough to bring it into compliance with a recent European Union court ruling, the Dutch privacy watchdog said Monday.

An effort by the Dutch government to adjust a law requiring telecommunications and Internet companies to retain their customers’ location and traffic metadata for investigatory purposes should be dropped, as the infringement of the private life of virtually all Dutch citizens is too great, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) said on Monday.

The Dutch government is looking to change data retention obligations for telephone and Internet communications operators following a decision last year by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The court invalidated the European data retention directive, on which the Dutch law is based, because it violates fundamental privacy rights.

From SecurityWeek, a record year:

Records Compromised in Data Breaches Skyrocketed in 2014: Research

Security firm Gemalto released a report on 2014 data breaches recently and the news was not good.

In its latest Breach Level Index report, the company revealed that one billion records were compromised last year in more than 1,500 data breaches worldwide. Compared to 2013, those numbers are an increase of nearly 80 percent in terms of data records and more than 40 percent in terms of breaches overall.

Gemalto’s Breach Level Index calculates the severity of data breaches across multiple dimensions based on breach disclosure information. Among the notable attacks included in the report are the Home Depot breach, the attack on JP Morgan Chase and the attack on eBay.

While Threatpost covers a massive cabal:

Massive, Decades-Long Cyberespionage Framework Uncovered

Researchers at Kaspersky Lab have uncovered a cyberespionage group that has been operating for at least 15 years and has worked with and supported the attackers behind Stuxnet, Flame and other highly sophisticated operations. The attackers, known as the Equation Group, used two of the zero days contained in Stuxnet before that worm employed them and have used a number of other infection methods, including interdicting physical media such as CDs and inserting their custom malware implants onto the discs.

Some of the techniques the group has used are closely associated with tactics employed by the NSA, specifically the interdiction operations and the use of the LNK vulnerability exploit by Stuxnet.

The Equation Group has a massive, flexible and intimidating arsenal at its disposal. Along with using several zero days in its operations, the attack crew also employs two discrete modules that enable them to reprogram the hard drive firmware on infected machines. This gives the attackers the ability to stay persistent on compromised computers indefinitely and create a hidden storage partition on the hard drive that is used to store stolen data. At the Security Analyst Summit here Monday, researchers at Kaspersky presented on the Equation Group’s operations while publishing a new report that lays out the inner workings of the crew’s tools, tactics and target list. The victims include government agencies, energy companies, research institutions, embassies, telecoms, universities, media organizations and others. Countries targeted by this group include Russia, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, China, Yemen, Afghanistan, India but also US and UK, between and several others.

And CBC News covers an even bigger data thief:

NSA hid spying software in hard drive firmware, report says

  • Government, military in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan targeted

The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.

Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said.

From Al Jazeera America, the latest European incident:

Police arrest two on suspicion of aiding Copenhagen shooter

  • The gunman opened fire on a cafe hosting a free speech debate and attacked a synagogue, killing two

Danish police said Monday they have arrested two people on suspicion of aiding a gunman in deadly attacks during the weekend on a synagogue and an event promoting free speech, violence that has shocked a nation proud of its reputation for safety and openness.

The two men arrested over the weekend are “suspected of helping the perpetrator by giving him advice and assistance in connection with the shootings at Krudttøndenre and Krystalgade,” police said in a statement issued Monday, referring to the locations of the attacks.

A Copenhagen judge later remanded the two suspects to 10 days’ detention.

And CNN covers the shooter:

Denmark terror suspect swore fidelity to ISIS leader on Facebook page

The man suspected of killing two people in Copenhagen swore fidelity to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a posting made on what’s apparently his Facebook page just before the weekend shooting spree.

The post pledges “allegiance to Abu Bakr in full obedience in the good and bad things. And I won’t dispute with him unless it is an outrageous disbelief.”

The suspect in Saturday’s attack has been named as Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, a senior member of the Danish government said. Police have not formally identified the gunman, who opened fire at a free speech forum in Copenhagen on Saturday before shooting several people outside a synagogue and then firing at police. Police killed him in the shootout.

The Washington Post covers another generator of European angst:

UK man charged with attempting to obtain chemical weapon

British police say a man from northwest England has been charged with trying to obtain a chemical weapon.

Greater Manchester Police says Mohammed Ammer Ali, from Liverpool, was arrested after officers raid properties in the city last week as part of a counter-terrorism operation.

He is charged with attempting to have a chemical weapon in his possession between Jan. 10 and Feb. 12.

Ali, who is 31, is due to appear in a London court Tuesday.

And from Deutsche Welle, echoes of the past:

French teens detained for vandalizing Jewish graves

  • Investigators have detained five teenagers in connection with the vandalizing of Jewish graves in a cemetery in eastern France. The incident, amid rising anti-Semiticism in France, followed the attacks in Copenhagen

The five suspects detained by French police on Monday are aged between 15 and 17, Philippe Varnier, the prosecutor of the eastern Bas-Rhin region, told a news conference.

All five are from the region of Sarre-Union in Alsace, where some 250 Jewish tombs were defaced and damaged on Thursday.

Vannier said the youngest of the teenagers had gone to police after being shocked at the worldwide reaction to the incident, in which tombs were uprooted or turned around, vaults opened and a monument to the Holocaust vandalized.

“Apparently, he was very very affected by the scale of the reaction to this affair, including the statements from the hightest state authorities,” Vannier told reporters, adding that the boy had denied any anti-Semitic motive.

After the jump, a truce disintegrates in Ukraine, the apocalyptic eschatology ideology of ISIS, the U.S. takes the lead in the Boko Haram fight, Nigerian troops retake two Boko Haram-held towns, while Boko Haram attacks a Cameroonian army base, Yemeni Shiite rebels eye the oil fields, European Jewish leaders reject Netanyahu’s summons, a Netanyahu coalition partner denies Palestinian statehood or a land return, an Indian newspaper closed for reprinting a Charlie Hebdo cartoon, Japan’s Shinzo Abe uses Hormuz Straits minesweeping to push remilitarization, and Abe reaffirms his implacable push for remilitarization while Japan ups the fees for foreigners spying on Japanese corporations. . . Continue reading

InSecurityWatch: Torture, murder, escalation


We begin with a video report on that first item, via RT America:

CIA torture program was “Dick Cheney’s baby” – John Kiriakou

Program notes:

“Hypocritical” is how CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou describes his arrest and imprisonment for exposing the spy agency’s use of torture while those who actually committed the heinous acts go unpunished. In an in-depth interview with RT’s Ben Swann, Kiriakou discussed only his time in prison, but also the controversial “enhanced interrogation” program, claiming that President George W. Bush personally approved the harsh practices.

From the Associated Press, questions about an act of domestic violence:

Shooting suspect slams religion while defending liberty

If his Facebook page is any indication, Craig Hicks doesn’t hate Muslims. An avowed atheist, his online posts instead depict a man who despises religion itself, but nevertheless seems to support an individual’s right to his own beliefs.

“I hate Islam just as much as christianity, but they have the right to worship in this country just as much as any others do,” the man now accused of killing three Muslim college students stated in one 2012 post over the proposed construction of a mosque near the World Trade Center site in New York.

Days after the shooting deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, a nuanced and sometimes contradictory portrait is emerging of the man charged in their slayings.

BBC News covers a threat in Germany:

Germany: Braunschweig parade halted over terror alert

A carnival parade has been called off at short notice in Braunschweig, northern Germany, due to the threat of an Islamist attack, police said.

A “specific threat of an Islamist attack” was identified by state security sources, they said in a statement. Police urged people planning to attend to stay at home.

The parade – a well-known regional attraction – was cancelled only 90 minutes before it was due to start.

From Al Jazeera America, a suspect dies in a Danish shootout:

Copenhagen attacker, shot dead by police, was on intel agency’s ‘radar’

  • Details emerge about 22-year-old suspect, who was born in Denmark and had record of violence and weapons charges

Danish police staged raids Sunday across the capital to determine why man opened fire at a Copenhagen café and the city’s main synagogue on Saturday, leaving two people dead.

The man was shot dead early Sunday after opening fire on police, officials said, adding that no officers were wounded. The exchange of fire took place in the multicultural inner-city neighborhood of Norrebro where police had been keeping an address under observation since the first shooting at the café, where a free-speech seminar was being held.

“We believe the same man was behind both shootings and we also believe that the perpetrator who was shot by the police action force at Norrebro station is the person behind the two attacks,” police official Torben Moelgaard Jensen said.

Background, via the Independent:

Copenhagen shootings: Suspected gunman Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein was a Danish national with a history of gang violence

The gunman suspected of killing two people after opening fire on a free speech debate and a synagogue in Copenhagen on Saturday was identified tonight as 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, a Danish national with a history of gang violence.

Copenhagen Police said the alleged terrorist, who was killed in a shootout with officers in the early hours of Sunday morning, had previously committed “several crimes” including assault and the possession of weapons.

At least two other people were arrested on Sunday, being led out in handcuffs from an internet café in Copenhagen, as part of the police investigation into how the gunman came to arm himself and pick his targets.

From the Associated Press, opportunism:

Israeli leader calls for mass Jewish influx after attack

Israel’s prime minister on Sunday called for the “massive immigration” of European Jews to Israel following a deadly shooting near Copenhagen’s main synagogue, renewing a blunt message that has upset some of Israel’s friends in Europe.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, Israel is the only place where Jews can truly feel safe. His comments triggered an angry response from Copenhagen’s chief rabbi, Jair Melchior, who said he was “disappointed” by the remarks.

“People from Denmark move to Israel because they love Israel, because of Zionism. But not because of terrorism,” Melchior told The Associated Press. “If the way we deal with terror is to run somewhere else, we should all run to a deserted island.”

And a rebuff, via Reuters:

Denmark’s Jews, defiant after attack, vow to stay

Denmark’s small but vibrant Jewish community rebuffed Israel’s call to emigrate on Sunday after an attack on Copenhagen’s main synagogue that shook the sense of security Scandinavian tolerance had long provided.

Jewish communities around Europe have been reporting rising hostility against them and an attack last month on a Paris kosher supermarket killed four Jews, prompting the United Nations to say that anti-Semitism was thriving in Europe.

That assault came two days after Islamist militants gunned down 12 people at the weekly Charlie Hebdo, which had published cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad.

From Deutsche Welle, sad echoes of a tragic past:

Jewish cemetery vandalized in France

  • A Jewish cemetery in eastern France has been desecrated in an act of anti-Semitic vandalism. The French interior minister has promised to do “everything” to catch the culprits.

Hundreds of graves at a Jewish cemetery in France’s Alsace region were vandalized on Sunday, in what Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has called “a despicable act” against religious freedom and tolerance.

“The country will not tolerate this new injury which goes against the values that all French people share,” said Cazeneuve, without offering further details about the incident in the town of Sarre-Union, near the German border.

“Every effort will be made to identify, question, and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for this ignominious act,” Cazeneuve added. He also urged calm, as many French Jews feel increasingly worried about anti-Semitism one month after an Islamist gunman killed four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris.

The Associated Press covers more errors at the bomb’s birthplace:

Report: Nuke lab failed to keep some information classified

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General says a lack of managerial oversight at Los Alamos National Laboratory led to improper disclosures of sensitive information.

In a summary of a report released last week, the inspector general says the lab’s classification officer at times misclassified national security information.

The summary, which is dated Wednesday, says there were at least six incidents where lab documents were misclassified.

After the jump, ISIS stages mass beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya, Egypt vows vengeance, then launches the bombers, an Amazonian drone lament, Obama panopticon ambitions rile Silicon Valley, Japanese Internet censorship calls, terror in Nigeria, and China’s new carrier-killer submarine. . . Continue reading

InSecurityWatch: Cash, war, crime, terror, hacks


From the Guardian, of course they did:

HSBC files: Swiss bank hid money for suspected criminals

  • Documents detail customers who faced allegations including drug-running, corruption, doping and money laundering

HSBC’s Swiss bank concealed large sums of money for people facing allegations of serious wrongdoing, including drug-running, corruption and money laundering, leaked files reveal.

Despite being legally obliged since 1998 to make special checks on high-risk customers, the bank provided accounts for clients implicated in six notorious scandals in Africa, including Kenya’s biggest corruption case, blood diamond trading and several corrupt military sales.

HSBC also held assets for bankers accused of looting funds from former Soviet states, while alleged crimes by other account holders include bribery at Malta’s state oil company, cocaine smuggling from the Dominican Republic and the doping of professional cyclists in Spain.

The Swiss bank also held accounts for “politically exposed people” – defined as senior political figures or their relatives at heightened risk of involvement in corruption, money laundering, or avoiding international sanctions – with little evidence of any extra scrutiny of their activities.

From the Independent, plutocratic hypocrisy:

HSBC leaks: Owners of Le Monde attack paper’s ‘Swissleaks’ coverage in tax row

The newspaper behind the “Swissleaks” revelations about tax evasion has been attacked as irresponsible and “populist” by its proprietor.

To the fury of the staff and editors of Le Monde, Pierre Bergé, 84, a millionaire businessman and long-time lover of the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, accused the paper of “acting like informers” and “throwing people to the wolves”.

The incident is the latest in a series of acrimonious disputes between Mr Bergé and Le Monde since he became part-owner of France’s most respected newspaper in 2010. The chairman of Le Monde’s board, Alain Beuve-Méry, accused him of violating his written commitment to the paper’s editorial freedom.

From United Press International, getting ready for another war:

Air Force: A-10s headed to Europe

The U.S. Air Force has announced it is sending 12 A-10 Thunderbolts, also known as Warthogs, to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

The A-10s will be sent to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and forward deployed to partner nations in Eastern Europe.

“The Air Force is increasing rotational presence in Europe to reassure our allies and partner nations that our commitment to European security is a priority,” Lt. Gen. Tom Jones, vice commander, United States Air Forces in Europe, said in a statement.

From the Miami Herald, enduring torture:

9/11 defendant still suffering from ‘black site’ injuries, lawyer says at Guantánamo

A defense lawyer for an alleged 9/11 plotter said Thursday that his Saudi captive client was rectally abused in CIA custody — and continues to bleed now, at least eight years later.

Attorney Walter Ruiz made the disclosure in open court in a bid to get a military judge to intervene in the medical care of Mustafa Hawsawi, 46, accused of helping the Sept. 11 hijackers with travel and money.

He was captured in March 2003 with the alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, 49, and at the CIA’s secret prison was subjected to unauthorized “enhanced interrogation techniques,” according to the recently released so-called Senate Torture Report. He got to Guantánamo in September 2006.

The Toronto Globe and Mail covers cops behaving badly:

RCMP rebuked for firearms seizures during 2013 Alberta floods

The RCMP is being rebuked for a series of “failings” as part of the unauthorized seizure of 609 firearms during its response to the massive High River floods in Alberta in 2013.

In a report released Thursday, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP said that officers who conducted the “warrantless” seizures were undersupervised. The subsequent anger in the population was badly handled by the RCMP communications teams, the report also found, as citizens complained that “their homes were forcibly entered, and in some cases windows were broken, doors were kicked in and firearms were taken.”

“The community’s reaction was somewhat predictable, given that the sanctity of one’s home from state interference is a deeply rooted principle,” the report said.

From the American Civil Liberties Union, they’ve got your number — and your picture:

License Plate Scanners Also Taking Photos of Drivers and Passengers

The Drug Enforcement Administration is using its license plate reader program not only to track drivers’ locations, but also to photograph these drivers and their passengers, according to newly disclosed records obtained by the ACLU via a Freedom of Information Act request.

One internal 2009 DEA communication stated clearly that the license plate program can provide “the requester” with images that “may include vehicle license plate numbers (front and/or rear), photos of visible vehicle occupants [redacted] and a front and rear overall view of the vehicle.” Clearly showing that occupant photos are not an occasional, accidental byproduct of the technology, but one that is intentionally being cultivated, a 2011 email states that the DEA’s system has the ability to store “up to 10 photos per vehicle transaction including 4 occupant photos.”

The DEA documents are just the latest indication that license plate scanners are not always focused just on license plates.

Wired threat level covers suspicious circumstances:

Did the NSA and the UK’s Spy Agency Launch a Joint Cyberattack on Iran?

An NSA document newly published today suggests two interesting facts that haven’t previously been reported.

The Intercept, which published the document, highlighted that in it the NSA expresses fear that it may be teaching Iran how to hack, but there are two other points in the document that merit attention.

One concerns the spy tool known as Flame; the other refers to concerns the NSA had about partnering with the British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters and Israeli intelligence in surveillance operations.

In the document, prepared in April 2013 for a meeting between the NSA director and GCHQ, the author cites the Flame attack against Iran as an example of a US/GCHQ partnership. Flame was a massive spy platform exposed by Kaspersky Lab and Symantec in 2012. Flame targeted more than 10,000 machines in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, the Israeli Occupied Territories and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa and was active for at least six years before it was discovered. It used some of the same code that Stuxnet used, leading researchers to conclude that it had been created by the same US/Israel teams that had created Stuxnet. The Washington Post reported in 2012 that the US and Israel were both behind Flame, quoting anonymous US officials. But the new Snowden document hints that GCHQ might have been involved in Flame with the US.

And on the subject of irrational Middle Eastern extremists, consider this from the Washington Post:

Israel Prize judges resign, say Netanyahu meddling

Israel’s prime minister faced accusations on Thursday of politicizing the country’s most prestigious award after moving to disqualify some of the judges because he disagreed with their political views.

A number of judges for the Israel Prize have resigned in protest, while nominees say they won’t accept the award. One of the nominees, author David Grossman, told Channel 10 TV on Thursday that he pulled out in response to the “prime minister’s campaign of incitement,” calling it an attack on “freedom of thought.”

Netanyahu recently rejected the nominations of two judges in the literature category. In a Facebook post, he said the panel is controlled by judges with “extremist views” on the far left of the political spectrum, such as encouraging soldiers not to serve in the army. He said the committee needs to reflect the wider public.

“This man who is supposed to be taking care of the Iranian issue at his speech before the U.S Congress, or the country’s welfare or health issues, is dealing with this? For heaven’s sake what is going on here?” asked filmmaker Hayim Sharir, who was originally supposed to be on the committee.

On to the war with Defense One, and a blank check:

Obama’s ISIS War Powers Request Has Few Limits on Who, Where, How

  • President Obama’s requested authorization for the use of force against ISIS has few limits on how, where, and whom the fight is against

President Barack Obama, who won the White House on promises to end never-ending wars and the Bush-era laws that permitted them, on Wednesday sent Congress a new request for legal authorities to fight the Islamic State, or ISIS, that places few limits on the U.S. war against the terrorist group.

“The resolution we’ve submitted today does not call for the deployment of U.S. ground combat forces to Iraq or Syria. It is not the authorization of another ground war, like Afghanistan or Iraq,” Obama said in his announcement at the White House. “I’m convinced that the United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East … At the same time, this resolution strikes the necessary balance by giving us the flexibility we need for unforeseen circumstances.”

Already, lawmakers are criticizing the request for being too “ambiguous” about the president’s powers to wage or limit ground combat.

CBC News covers a celebrity interview:

Hayat Boumeddiene, widow of Paris kosher market attacker, gives interview with ISIS

  • Woman believed to have left Paris while Charlie Hebdo and kosher market attacks were unfolding

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group published what it described as an interview with the widow of the French gunman who attacked a kosher supermarket and a police officer in Paris last month, claiming for the first time that she was among extremist fighters.

The text interviews in French and English, published Wednesday and Thursday, did not directly name Hayat Boumeddiene or show images of her, instead identifying her only as the wife of Amedy Coulibaly, or Umm Basur al-Muhajirah. She is considered key to the investigation into the attacks in Paris, which left 20 people dead including the gunmen, although she left France just beforehand.

The publication appeared to be the first confirmation from ISIS that she had joined the group in Syria, as was widely believed after a posthumous video emerged of Coulibaly, pledging allegiance to its leader.

Another development from Reuters:

Islamic State says it’s holding ‘Israeli spy’ in Syria

Islamic State said on Thursday it was holding an Israeli Arab who had posed as a foreign fighter in order to spy for Mossad, an account denied by Israel and by the man’s family, who said he had been kidnapped.

In an interview published by Islamic State’s online English-language magazine Dabiq, Muhammad Musallam, 19, said he had joined the insurgent group in Syria so as to report to the Israelis on its weapons caches, bases and Palestinian recruits.

After his conduct aroused the suspicion of Islamic State commanders, Musallam was quoted as saying, he broke cover by phoning his father in East Jerusalem, leading to his capture.

From Deutsche Welle, trying to cut off the pipeline:

Security Council seeks to block ‘Islamic State’ petrofunding

  • The UN Security Council has passed a resolution to stop “Islamic State” from raising funds through oil, antiquities and hostages. The EU is debating antiterrorism steps that could prove palatable to the 28-nation bloc.

More than 35 countries co-sponsored Thursday’s show of resolve to confront the “ Islamic State” (IS). The council banned all trade in antiquities from besieged areas, threatened sanctions on anyone buying oil from IS and al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front militants and urged states to stop ransom payments on kidnapped citizens. Fifteen nations unanimously adopted the resolution, drafted by Russia, which gives the council authority to enforce decisions with economic sanctions but does not authorize using military force.

“We took yet another very important step in suppressing the funding of terrorists,” Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, said on Thursday.

Following attacks that started January 7 at a magazine in Paris and ended January 9 in a supermarket, France and other EU countries have sought more effective ways to deal with armed militancy, especially the problem of Europeans who leave to fight in Syria or Iraq and then return home. As heads of state and government gathered in Brussels on Thursday, EU President Donald Tusk, the host of an official summit, said he would seek the leaders’ agreement on a “work plan to step up the fight against terrorism.”

From TheLocal.no, eclectic fundamentalists:

New Norwegians take top roles in Isis jihadi group

Several Norwegian citizens have risen to leadership positions in Isis, the militant group battling to establish a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, according to the latest information gathered by Norwegian military intelligence.

“We believe that some of the Norwegians in Isil [Isis] have risen to middle-management functions,” Lieutenant General Kjell Grandhagen, head of the Norwegian Intelligence Service, told Dagbladet newspaper  in an interview published on Thursday.

The most prominent Norwegian Isis commander, Bastian Vasquez, a Norwegian Chilean from Bærum, outside Oslo, was reportedly killed in the autumn. But Grandhagen said several others had also been given senior ranks in the organisation.

After the jump, Israel alarmed by an anti-ISIS coalition, a lethal Al Qaeda data breach, Anthem’s healthcare data grows more serious, phishing kits go on sale — cheap, Washington protests new Chinese cybersecurity rules, Jeb Bush spills vital data of his former constituents, West Africa under cyber siege, the Cameroonian president promises Boko Haram defeat, Boko Haram escapees speak out, Al Qaeda seizes a Yemeni army base as the nation borders on collapse, thousand flee from Boko Haram Niger assaults, Afghanistan slides into narco-statehood, Pakistan seeks school massacre planners, a former Pakistani spy says the ISI knew of Osama’s whereabouts, Chinese World War II slave laborers demand retribution from Mitsubishi, Shinzo Abe pushes hard for Japanese constitutional revision, his party promises but his foreign minister ppromises continued passivity,  Japan hits a road block on North Korean abductions, and a reminder of dark forces that just won’t die. . . Continue reading

InSecurityWatch: Laws, war, politics, hacks, robots


And so much more.

We vary the usual order, just because.

We begin with a cause of insecurity in the state where we started out back in the late Neolithic, via the Los Angeles Times:

Kansas governor removes protections for LGBT employees

In a move that shocked progressive advocates in Kansas, the state’s Republican governor on Tuesday issued an executive order to remove discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and transgender state employees.

State employees in Kansas can now legally be fired, harassed or denied a job for being gay or transgender, critics said.

Gov. Sam Brownback said an 2007 executive order by Kathleen Sebelius, then the state’s Democratic governor, went too far by not getting legislative approval to bar job discrimination for sexual orientation and gender identity.

From the Associated Press, what could we possibly add?:

Paris votes to sue Fox News for damage to its reputation

Paris City Council authorized Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Wednesday to sue U.S. broadcaster Fox News for reporting there are “no-go zones” in the French capital where non-Muslims and police fear to venture.

City officials voted to file a lawsuit at a French court for defamation regarding comments on Fox News and a map it broadcast with eight such so-called off-limits areas circled in red. The report came when Paris was on high alert after attacks by Islamic radicals last month.

Fox was widely mocked for that report and for comments describing the English city of Birmingham as “totally Muslim.” The broadcaster later apologized for “some regrettable errors.”

Hidalgo vowed to “save Paris’ honor,” and stressed the importance of image for a top world tourist destination.

From the New York Times, boots rapidly approaching ground:

Obama Sends Letter to Congress Seeking Authorization of ISIS Fight

President Obama on Wednesday formally asked Congress to authorize a three-year military campaign against the terrorist group the Islamic State that would avoid a large-scale invasion and occupation but in addition to air power could include limited ground operations by American forces to hunt down enemy leaders or rescue American personnel.

A proposal sent by the White House to Capitol Hill on Wednesday would formally give the president the power to continue the airstrikes he has been conducting since last fall against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, as well as “associated persons or forces.” The measure would set limits that were never imposed during the wars of the last decade in Afghanistan and Iraq by expiring in three years and withholding permission for “enduring offensive ground combat operations.”

But in a letter to Congress accompanying the proposal, Mr. Obama, who has said there would be no boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria, envisioned limited ground combat operations “such as rescue operations” or the use of “Special Operations forces to take military action against ISIL leadership.” He also said the legislation would allow the use of ground forces for intelligence gathering, target spotting and planning assistance to ground troops of allies like Iraq’s military.

From The Hill, sadly predictable:

Rubio: ISIS war measure should be unconditional

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says any authorization for military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria should be free of any restrictions.

The prospective presidential candidate harshly criticized President Obama for making a request that would limit authority to three years, and ban “enduring offensive ground operations.”

“There is a pretty simple authorization he could ask for and it would read one sentence: ‘We authorize the president to defeat and destroy ISIL.’ Period. And that’s what I think we should do,” Rubio said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

More on ISIS after the jump. . .

From Reuters, why aren’t we surprised?:

Obama administration weighs Afghan request to slow withdrawal of U.S. troops

President Barack Obama is considering a request from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to slow the pace of the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

“President Ghani has requested some flexibility in the troop drawdown timeline and base closure sequencing over the next two years, and we are actively considering that request,” the official said, speaking on background.

Ghani will travel to Washington next month to meet with Obama. Last month, the Afghan president spoke publicly about the U.S. plan to halve the number of troops in Afghanistan in 2015 and cut them further in 2016. He made clear he would prefer a longer timeline and said: “deadlines should not be dogmas.”

From the Associated Press, job security for the man who knew too much?:

Ousted Secret Service No. 2 to mystery Homeland Security job

What new job in the Homeland Security Department is the ousted No. 2 official at the Secret Service doing? Nobody’s saying.

Alvin “A.T.” Smith, who ran day-to-day operations at the Secret Service during its most embarrassing scandals, resigned under pressure as deputy director earlier this week. In what appears to be a highly unorthodox employment shuffle, Smith — who earned as much as $183,000 a year — was permitted to take an unspecified job inside the highly regarded Homeland Security Investigations unit in U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Both agencies are part of the Homeland Security Department.

But no one will disclose Smith’s new job title, his responsibilities or how much public salary he’s earning. It’s a mystery whether Smith is investigating cases, shuffling paperwork behind a desk or supervising agents.

From the Guardian, and does “national security” mean simply that the truth could lead to loss of security through violent reactions?:

UK redactions to CIA torture report were made for national security, MPs rule

  • Inquiry concludes redactions to report were not made to cover up UK role in mistreatment of detainees

Allegations that UK intelligence agencies ordered redactions to a US report on CIA torture in order to cover up its role in the mistreatment of detainees are unfounded, MPs have ruled.

An investigation by the British parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC) has concluded that redactions to documents in December’s report into CIA torture were all made on the grounds of national security and not to avoid embarrassment to the UK authorities.

A statement from the committee said its staff had visited the UK and US intelligence agencies, inspected the relevant files and questioned their heads directly. “From the evidence we have seen and heard, we conclude that these allegations are unfounded,” it states.

Thought crime, Italian style [and we think Holocaust deniers suffer from self-made idiocy, many maliciously so], via TheLocal.it:

Italy Senate moves to outlaw Holocaust denial

Italian senators on Wednesday voted in favour of a bill criminalizing Holocaust denial, following changes to the proposed law to protect freedom of speech.

A total of 234 senators voted for the bill, while eight abstained and three voted against the new law, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

Under the law people will face a three-year sentence for promoting, inciting or committing acts of racial discrimination based in part or entirely on the denial of the Holocaust. Crimes against humanity and war crimes are also covered in the bill, which now needs to pass through Italy’s lower house before it can become law.

British National Health Service whistleblowers promised protection, via the Guardian:

Jeremy Hunt promises legislation before election to protect NHS whistleblowers

  • Health secretary accepts recommendations of report Freedom to Speak Up report that details shocking treatment of whistleblowers

People seeking NHS employment will be protected from being discriminated against because they are known to be whistleblowers, under legislation to be introduced within weeks, the government has pledged.

Jeremy Hunt vowed to change the law by the end of this parliament after an independent review commissioned by the health secretary detailed shocking treatment of whistleblowers, with some victimised to the extent that their careers were left in tatters and their families torn apart, and causing some people to have suicidal thoughts or even attempt to end their lives.

The Freedom to Speak Up report, published on Wednesday, also said that patients’ lives were put at risk by whistleblowers’ concerns being ignored.

From Nikkei Asian Review, something that oughta be done for plutocrats, too:

Global task force looking for strict policies against terrorist funding

Amid a string of high-profile terrorist acts, an international task force is evaluating measures to combat terrorism financing in some 190 countries and regions and will name those that do not meet its standards.

“We … urge all countries to speed up their compliance with the relevant international standards” regarding terrorist assets, read a communique released Tuesday after the Group of 20 meeting of financial ministers and central bankers in Istanbul. In response, the Financial Action Task Force will strengthen its recommendations for policies to counter terrorism financing and announce them at the G-20 meeting to be held in Peru in October.

The task force has started on its fourth round of mutual evaluations. It sends personnel to each jurisdiction to talk with regulators and financial institutions and assess whether anti-terrorism-financing measures are strictly enforced. It also looks at their effectiveness, including the number of cases pursued related to illicit funds.

After the jump, ISIS volunteers keep coming, some Belgian volunteers face prison time, Syria lays some blame on Jordan, no search warrants needed for your old emails, Windows wide open, hacks block government sites in Holland, Native American traditional names banned by Facebook, a major Malaysian Twitter truncation, Tokyo and Washington to tighten military ties, Japan mulls future overseas military hostage rescues, tensions rise as a Japanese publisher comes out with the Charlie Hendo cartoons — sort of, a Southeast Asian anti-terror alliance mulled, and allegations of coral reef damage from an American base move on Okinawa, Yoga pants InSecurity, HairNet — precursor to SkyNet, and another robotic danger as well. . . Continue reading