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Sorrow in Sydney

The hostage situation at the chocolate shop and cafe in Sydney did not end well. The store manager and a woman lawyer with three children were killed, along with the lone gunman, who was not a member of any extremist group. He had no ties to any terror organization.

Police stormed the cafe this morning. The gunman was Man Haron Monis, who was well known to authorities for his extremism and mental instability.

[He is] an Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh known for sending hate mail to the families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan. He was charged last year with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, but had been free on bail.

He was facing more than 40 sexual assault charges.[More...]

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Pakistan Military Kills Al Qaeda Leader Indicted in U.S.

The Pakistani military announced it carried out a raid this weekend on an al Qaida hideout in South Waziristan, killing AQ leader Adnan G. el-Shukrijumah, a naturalized U.S. citizen indicted for terror crimes in the U.S.

Pakistan said it was their intelligence that led to the raid (not U.S. Intelligence.) Adnan G. el-Shukrijumah has been on the FBI's wanted list for a long time. In 2003, based on information obtained during the interrogation of 9/11 detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, they searched for him from Florida to Morocco. In 2010, he was indicted in the Eastern District of New York as part of the Najibullah Zazi case involving a plan to attack the NY subway. He was also charged with planning to blow up a shopping mall in Manchester, England. [More...]

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Homeland Security Issues Threat Notice

Homeland Security has issued a threat notice urging current and former law enforcement, and military members to scrub their social media accounts of information that would identify them as such.

While the notice says no specific threats have been received, it says one is possible -- better safe than sorry.

The notice is here. [More...]

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DOJ Sends Dozens of Prosecutors Abroad to Help Prosecute Terrorists

Attorney General Eric Holder today said that DOJ has been sending dozens of prosecutors to countries in the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa to assist those countries in prosecuting returning and/or captured terrorists from ISIS and other terror groups.

"These personnel will provide critical assistance to our allies in order to help prosecute those who return from the Syrian region bent on committing acts of terrorism."

The cooperation includes "information sharing, investigations and prosecutions, and countering violent extremism."

According to another DOJ official, so far 70 prosecutors have been dispatched. [More...]

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RCMP Update on Parliament Attack and Zehaf-Bibeau

The RCMP has issued an update on the investigation into the Parliament Shooting and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. According to the Toronto Star, saying Zehaf-Bibeau had recorded himself on video before the attack "that amounts to “persuasive evidence” that his attack had been “driven by ideological and political motives.” The RCMP statement is here.

The video is not being released, but the statement contains no such evidence. It says he obtained the knife he was carrying from his aunt's property where he had buried it years earlier. The gun is an old an uncommon gun and they are unsure of its origin. They believe he financed the attack from his own savings, when he worked for oil fields in Alberta. [More...]

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Zale Thompson's Hatchet Attack on Police in Queens

Zale Thompson of Queens, New York attacked four recent police academy graduates with a hatchet on the street in Queens yesterday as they were posing for a picture. The incident was caught on tape. One officer was struck in the head and is in critical condition. Another officer was struck in the arm and was treated and released from the hospital. The other two officers shot at Thompson, who died at the scene.

Authorities are pouring over his social media contacts to determine the motive for the attack and whether he has links to terrorists like ISIS. As far as I can tell, he's a militant whose cause is the oppression of African Americans in America, not religious oppression. He's interested in Africa and America, not the Middle East. I see nothing to indicate he cares about Sharia law. [More...

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Saddam's Pilots Teach ISIS to Fly

Former pilots for Saddam's air force are reportedly teaching ISIS to fly. Among the aircraft: MI-G fighter planes they got from Syria in battle. The fighter jets have been spotted over Aleppo in Syria.

Islamic State (Isis) is takings its first steps towards building an air force by training pilots to fly captured fighter planes, according to a group monitoring the conflict in Syria.

Isis is using lots of tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery and Jeeps taken from the Syrian and Iraqi armies but this is the first report that it has planes in the air.

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Brazilian Hotel Evacuated as Hostage Paraded on Balcony

An employee at a luxury hotel in Brasilia has been taken hostage, handcuffed, strapped in a suicide vest and paraded on the balcony of a room on the 13th floor, with a gun to his head. The hotel has been evacuated and police are trying to get the hostage taker to release him. Photo here.

Unconfirmed reports are that the hostage taker checked into the hotel this morning, is a minor public official who is demanding the President of Brazil step down. (There was a televised debate last night in the upcoming presidential election.) Negotiators are on scene.[More....]

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French Hostage in Algeria Beheaded After Demands Rejected

Islamic Militants in Algeria have beheaded French hostage Herve Gourde, a tourist and mountain guide, after France said it would not meet its demands. France's response:

As grave as the situation is, we will give in to no blackmail, no pressure, no ultimatum," he said. "No terrorist group can in any way influence France's position, will, and freedom."

The group in Algeria is called Jund al-Khilafa. It recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.

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New Video Message From Hostage John Cantlie

Here's the latest video message from ISIS hostage John Cantlie. Watch now, because You Tube keeps taking it down. He quotes a lot of U.S. officials and argues Obama was caught off guard and the air strikes won't succeed.

He says Iran is running Iraq, and the appointment of "a new puppet" in Iraq is an important piece of the puzzle of America's Gulf War III.

He points out the pre-911 Afghans are already back in control of large parts of Afhanistan. He says not since Vietnam, have we witnessed such a potential mess in the making. [More...]

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Can Western Governments Stop Their Citizens From Joining Terror Groups?


Source: Rayat al Tawheed Tumbler

Western nations are trying to stop citizens from leaving to fight with groups like ISIS.

What do counter-terror officials propose?

Counterterrorism officials recommend that countries share data to detect the recruitment of foreign fighters, monitor online communications more aggressively, share airline passenger information in advance, and criminalize travel abroad to fight.

How will they limit the surveillance to those who may want to join ISIS as opposed to regular citizens? My answer: They can't. So the rest of us should get used to to to the idea of ramped up intrusions on our civil liberties.

Most of the recruits are young -- in their 20's. Arresting them on their return, as some countries are proposing, or as they are about to leave, and giving them long jail sentences is a bad idea. Prison will further radicalize them. They will become more marginalized and feel more oppressed.
I doubt this will prevent any young adults from wanting to join them. [More...]

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Al Qaida Announces Formation of New Branch in Indian Subcontinent

As if the West doesn't have enough headaches with ISIS, here comes al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to announce the formation of a new branch in the Indian subcontinent, including Burma, Kashmir, Gujarat, Bangladesh, Ahmedabad and Assam. al-Zawahiri says the Indian subcontinent was part of the Muslim world before it was invaded, and they want to restore Islam to it. He also reaffirms the group's loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

No mention is made of ISIS, and al-Zawahiri has yet to issue a statement about the group. But ISIS won't be pleased to learn that one of the six goals of the new group is to establish a Caliphate state through Jihad.

al-Zawahiri says this has been in the works for two years. It is a unification effort to unite all the Muslims in the region into one group. This is consistent with Osama bin Laden's strategy. [More...]

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AQAP's New Magazine Urges Attacks in U.S. and Britain

Is AQAP (al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula) getting jealous of ISIS? Its new magazine, an offshoot of Inspire by Al-Malahem English Production, is called Palestine: Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience. It urges lone wolf attacks in the U.S. and Britain and some other places. There are photos of the Tsarnaev brothers and the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad (background here).

It also provides a pictorial with instructions and a shopping list for ingredients for pressure cooker bombs and car bombs (which I'm not re-publishing, but you can read the magazine for yourself here, courtesy of Jihadology. See pages 14 to 18.)

Here is its pitch, and the list of suggested targets: [More...]

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Homeland Security Pitches "If You See Something" Campaign at MLB Game

The Department of Homeland Security sent out a tweet today:

“If You See Something, Say Something™” materials will be visible during tonight's @MLB All Star Game

My response:

T-shirt available here.

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Court Releases OLC Memo on Targeted Killings

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has released a redacted version of a July, 2010 memo by acting chief David Barron of the Office of Legal Counsel on targeted killings. You can read it here. The memo was the subject of an FOIA lawsuit by the ACLU and New York Times, and was authority for the 2011 killings of cleric Anwar al-Awlaki his son, and Samir Kahn, all of whom were U.S. citizens.

The Court also re-issued its opinion from April removing some redactions the Government still wanted to keep secret. The Court said there is no longer any reason for secrecy as to what country Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in and that the CIA was involved. Both had been disclosed by Administration officials in the White Paper and in media interviews. The ACLU has highlighted the unredacted portions in the decision here.

The ACLU will be posting analysis of the memo here.

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