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Russian Train Blast Caused by Home-made bomb

The blast at the St Petersburg train station was reportedly a homemade bomb of TNT with shrapnel. At least ten people died.

So far,leaders of several countries have sent their condolences to Russia. Where's Trump? He isn't mentioned. In fact, when given the opportunity to say something, he declined:

When a reporter asked Trump if he contacted the Russian President Vladimir Putin in connection with the terrorist attack in the metro St. Petersburg, [Trump] did not say anything.

[Added: He later spoke to Putin by phone and offered U.S. support in the investigation. [More...]

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Turkey Arrests Suspected Shooter in Reina Nightclub Attack

Update: The Governor of Istanbul now says the suspect Masharipov has confessed and was definitely acting for ISIS. No mention of an outside intelligence agency being involved.

Turkish police and intelligence agents arrested the suspected shooter in the New Year's Eve massacre at the Reina nightclub. He is Abdulgadir Masharipov, a native of Uzbekistan. Police have had him under surveillance for the past 5 days.

Here's the weird part. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş today said the Reina nightclub shooting was not just an ISIS attack, but a coordinated intelligence attack using a paid ISIS terrorist (Masharipov). He said the shooter was motivated by money, not ideology. Police recovered $150,000 at the scene of the arrest, which they believe is the amount he was to be paid. [More...]

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Terror Attack by "Santa" Clad Terrorist(s) in Istanbul

Update: New footage here. He wasn't wearing a Santa suit. The death toll is now at 39, most of whom were foreigners. The U.S. did not have intelligence about a specific threat, according to the U.S. Embassy in Turkey.

"Contrary to rumors circulating on social media, the U.S. Government had no information about threats to specific entertainment venues, including the Reina Club, and ‎the U.S. Government did not warn Americans to stay away from specific venues or neighborhoods," the embassy said in a statement.

***

The New Year began in Turkey with a terrorist attack at an exclusive night club called Reina. [More...]

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Suspect Ahmed Khan Rahami

Ahmed Khan Rahami, the suspect in the Chelsea pipe bomb explosions, has been charged with "five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon in connection with the shootout in Linden, N.J., that led to his arrest."

Police do not suspect he is part of a larger terror cell.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said after Rahami’s arrest that authorities were not looking for any other suspects. "There is no other individual that we are looking for at this time ... but vigilance is called for.

[More...]

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ISIS Takes Credit for MN Attack

Amaq News Agency (associated with ISIS) claims an ISIS supporter is responsible for the knife attacks at a Minnesota mall:

Local news in Minnesota is identifying the attacker, who was killed, as Dahir Adan:

(no link due to auto-play video.) He is reportedly a Somali-American. His family has issued an apology. He was a college student with (as far as they know) no history of violence. He told his family he was going to the mall to buy an iPhone, and they don't know what happened after that. 8 or 9 people were injured at the mall, none with life-threatening injuries, and Adan was killed outside Macy's by an off-duty police officer. [More...]

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DOJ Releases Report on San Bernardino Attack

The Justice Department has released an in depth report, Bringing Calm to Chaos, (available here) on the December, 2015 San Bernardino shootings. Shooters Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik died in a shootout with police.

The report addresses first responder and law enforcement response to the attack. It is not a critique, and calls the response to the shootings "exemplary." Its purpose is to "critically assess the decisions made and the actions taken in response to the terrorist attacks- not in judgment but in careful study." It hopes to be a lesson for future attacks. [More...]

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ACLU Obtains Documents on Targeted Killings

Through one of its FOIA lawsuits, the ACLU has obtained new documents concerning the Obama Administration's guidelines for targeted killings of suspected terrorists.

The primary document is the May, 2013 Presidential Policy Guidance, available here. [More...]

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Munich: Lone Shooter, Native German, Killed Himself

Update: Not ISIS, not any terror group. 18 year old David Ali Sonboly was just another loony teenage wolf acting on his own. He was obsessed with shooting rampages. He had undergone psychiatric treatment. He was depressed. He had been bullied at school. He lived with his family. His parents are Shiite Muslims (the enemy of ISIS which is Sunni) who migrated to Germany. He was a child of migrants, not a migrant hater. His target was kids. He didn't use a long rifle but a handgun, which had been stolen, not acquired lawfully.

So this had no connection to ISIS or Islam and was not motivated by right wing racism or Germany's migrant policy. The media sure got this one wrong.

Bump and Update: Munich police held a press conference on the shootings. There was one shooter and he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Police say he acted alone. He has been identified him as an 18 year old native born German of Iranian descent. He had been in Munich for at least 2 years and was not known to law enforcement. Police say they doubt he was not affiliated with any terrorist group. [More...]

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Orlando: Another Lone or Looney American Wolf

I have no patience with the moronic comments of Donald Trump.

The Orlando attacker, Omar Mateen, was born in New York -- he's an American. Nonetheless, Donald Trump used today's tragedy as an occasion to renew his idiotic call for a ban on Muslims.

Orlando police say 50 people died. An official list of victims is here. The police chief sent out an email referring to the "lone terrorist."

The weapons used by Mateen were lawfully acquired. He had a security guard's license and worked for the same company since 2007. [More...]

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More Raids in Brussels

At least 13 police raids took place in Brussels today. 9 were arrested, 5 have already been released.

I've seen four official ISIS videos (I'm not linking to them) of the Belgian attacks released in the last two days. One common theme is there is more to come.

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State Dept Issues World Wide Travel Alert

The State Department has issued a world-wide travel alert for U.S. travelers. You can read it here. It expires in February.

There's no mention of an imminent specific threat. And it's not just travel:

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.

Not is it directed solely to ISIS: [More...]

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Brussels on Lockdown, Imminent and Specific Terror Threat

Brussels looks like a militarized war zone. It's on lockdown, the Metro has been closed. Authorities say there is a specific and immediate threat of a "Paris Style" attack.

The still-at-large alleged Paris bomber, Saleh Abdeslam, 26. He's believed to be in Brussels, trying to make his way back to Syria. There are reports he has physically disguised his appearance and using a new name, Yassine Baghli. Some friends of his brother say he contacted people on Skype trying to get back to Syria. [More...]

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French Raid to catch Attack Suspects in Saint Denis

Update: Belgian and other intelligence officials say Abaaoud is dead. The French prosecutor says he's not among those arrested.

French police raided an apartmment in the St. Denis area where attack suspect Abdelhamid Abaaoud (aka Abdul Hamid Aba Oud,) and some others were believed to be holed up. Reports are that seven people were arrested (some nearby the apartment), and two or three people were killed. While Charlie Hebdo reported Abaaoud was arrested , the Daily Mail (best photos) and other media report that has not been confirmed.

'Hasna', a female cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, blew herself up when the cops arrived at the building. Some police were injured and a police dog was blown up. [More...]

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At Least Four Prior ISIS Videos Threatening France

In November, 2014, just days after the mass beheadings of Syrian pilots by Jihadi John and 16 or 18 other fighters, in which Peter Kassig's severed head appears, French ISIS members released a video, What Are You Waiting For?" It reportedly served as one of the inspirations for Almedy Coulibaly's Charlie Hebdo attacks. You can watch a copy with English translations here. I wrote about it at length here. SITE described it here and the Daily Mail here.

[More...]

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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Paris Attacks

ISIS has released an official statement (English audio here) claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks and explaining why.

On the attackers: One of the attackers came through Greece with refugees. Three are from the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels. [More...]

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