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The primary document is the May, 2013 Presidential Policy Guidance, available here. [More...]
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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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I have no patience with the moronic comments of Donald Trump.
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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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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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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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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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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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.
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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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CNN reports that Usaamah Abdullah Rahim's first target was activist Pamela Geller, who staged the Garland, TX rally. (No link due to CNN's autoplay video on the article.) He later changed his mind and decided to target local police, apparently intending to behead one or more of them.
Rahim and his friend Wright's conversations were recorded. Here's the FBI Affidavit for the arrest of Wright. The third person with them is not named. According to the affidavit, Rahim planned to behead someone out of state and then decided police were an easier target.
After Garland, Pamela Geller asked for police protection. I don't think taxpayers should have to fund her protection. She brought this on herself. Let her organization pay.
Please keep your comments free of name-calling and personal attacks on Geller.
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Mehdi Masroor Biswas, aka @ShamiWitness, has been charged with numerous terror crimes for his favorable tweeting about ISIS. He was arrested in December. Most of the charges carry a maximum of seven years in prison.
Joint Commissioner of Police, M. Chandrashekhar said Mehdi was charged with eight sections of the Indian penal Code (IPC) including unlawful activities, conspiracy, supporting a terrorist organisation, waging war against the State, sedition and promoting enmity. The charge-sheet, containing 36,986 pages, was submitted to the Court on Monday.
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The U.S. today released documents seized during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Osama bin Laden was fixated on attacking U.S. targets and pressured al Qaeda groups to heal local rivalries and focus on that cause, according to documents the United States says were seized in bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan and released on Wednesday.
The documents are available here.
The release contains two sections. The first is a list of non-classified, English-language material found in and around the compound. The second is a selection of now-declassified documents.
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Seymour Hersh's version of the targeted killing of Osama bin Laden couldn't be more different from that of the White House.
[Hersh] claims that Bin Laden’s burial at sea never happened, that Bin Laden was an invalid when the SEALs raided the compound and killed him, and that there was no firefight at all during the SEAL raid. Additionally, Hersh’s account says that the ISI captured and set bin Laden up in Abbottabad in the first place, to use him as “leverage” in the country’s dealings with al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Hersh's version appears here in the London Review of Books.[More...]
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Many are saying Yemen is on the brink of an all-out civil war, which would have repercussions for the entire region, and as in Libya, give ISIS a toehold to grab onto and spread. The Guardian says:
The fear is that the Houthi advance will drive a fresh wave of militarisation and radicalisation in the Sunni-majority Yemeni heartland, acting as a recruiter for jihadis. Western intelligence already considers the local al-Qaida faction – al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – the world’s most potent franchise, a growing threat seeking to exploit regional turmoil to widen its scope.
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Graeme Wood has a very long but compelling article in The Atlantic What ISIS Really Wants. It is about ISIS' ideology and methodology. It's too long to hit all the key points, so I will just mention a few.
Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal. [More....]
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