Tag Archives: terrorism

U.S. District Judge orders thorough search of 9/11 records

A federal judge Monday ordered the FBI to look more thoroughly through its vast files to identify documents about its once-secret investigation of terrorist activity in Sarasota, Fla. prior to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

According to the BrowardBulldog.org, Fort Lauderdale U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch’s order also rejected a request by the Department of Justice to throw out the Freedom of Information case filed by BrowardBulldog.org in September 2012.

BrowardBulldog.org filed the suit in September 2012. The records are sought to determine whether the FBI uncovered evidence showing that the 9/11 hijackers were connected to the Saudis who hastily left the country in a suspicious manner just two weeks prior to the attacks, leaving behind their luxury home and personal belongings.

 Read background story here.

“This is a huge step in the right direction,” said Miami attorney Thomas Julin, who represents BrowardBulldog.org. “The decision tells the FBI that this federal judge wants to make sure that the truth comes out.”

Previously, the government argued the court should end the case due to national security considerations and asserted that a “reasonable search” had determined “there are no agency records being improperly withheld,” reported BrowardBulldog.org.

FBI spokesmen have said the FBI found no “credible evidence” connecting the Saudi family in Sarasota and the 9/11 hijackers, according to Bulldog editor Dan Christensen. “But it (FBI) so far has refused specific requests by various newspapers to provide details that would support that assertion,” he wrote in a letter to the FBI.

“The Broward Bulldog has provided this court with ample evidence establishing that the FBI could not have possibly conducted adequate searches in response to its federal Freedom of Information Act request,” said the joint brief filed by Tampa attorneys Carol LoCicero, Rachel Fugate and Mark Caramanica. The brief showed offered support from The Miami Herald and Sarasota Herald-Tribune.  “The stakes are simply too great to accept as a matter of law the government’s vague, often second hand conclusions as to the adequacy of its document searches.”

BrowardBulldog.org first reported about the FBI’s Sarasota investigation in September 2011.

The story reported how, a decade earlier, the FBI had found direct ties between 9/11 hijackers and a young Saudi couple, Abdulaziz and Anoud al-Hijji, who appeared to have hurriedly departed their upscale home in a gated community in the weeks before 9/11 – leaving behind cars, furniture, clothing, a refrigerator full of food and an open safe in the master bedroom.

Anoud al-Hijji is the daughter of the home’s owner, Esam Ghazzawi, a long-time adviser to a senior Saudi prince. Ghazzawi was also a focus of FBI interest after 9/11 when agents sought to lure him back to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia to close the transaction when the home was sold, according to a lawyer for the homeowner’s association.

Agents searched gatehouse logbooks and license plate snapshots and found evidence that vehicles used by the hijackers, including ringleader Mohamed Atta, had visited the home, according to a counterterrorism agent who spoke on condition of anonymity. A sophisticated analysis of incoming and outgoing phone calls to the home also established links to Atta and other terrorists, including Adman Shukrijumah, the agent said.

Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham (D-Florida) called the Sarasota episode “the most important thing about 9/11 to surface in the last seven or eight years.”

“There is an urgent need to inform the public about the FBI’s Sarasota investigation and its findings regarding possible Saudi complicity in providing support to the 9/11 hijackers,” he said last year. ‘If they provided this kind of support for an operation in 2001, do they have the same capability” now.

Senate Intelligence Committee: CIA Misled Public, Government About Interrogation Program

A 6,300-page report by the Senate Intelligence Committee suggests that the CIA misled the government as well as the public concerning its interrogation program and its effectiveness. The report is based on interviews with various U.S. officials and chronologies of many detainees suspected of terrorism.

“The CIA conflated what was gotten when, which led them to misrepresent the effectiveness of the program,” said one official.

Also included in the report are cases in which the CIA ordered harsh interrogation procedures for detained terrorist suspects despite being told by experts that the detainees had no new information to reveal.

There were techniques being used that had not been authorized by the Justice Department, such as repeated dunking of a suspect in ice water in Afghanistan. In one incident, CIA employees left their jobs at a secret prison in Thailand because they were troubled by the interrogation practices occurring there.

The report also alleges that “enhanced interrogation techniques” had very little to do with finding and killing Osama bin Laden, and that a great deal of information had been collected from suspects by officials before using tactics such as waterboarding. “The CIA described [the program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives,” said one official. “Was that actually true? The answer is no.”

This report was finished in 2012 but remains classified. Senate Intelligence Committee lawmakers are to vote on sending a 500-page executive summary to President Obama for declassification.

Civilians Flee as Iraq Vows ‘Major Attack’ on Fallujah

This article was submitted by guest contributor Jason Ditz.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) retains its control over the Iraqi city of Fallujah after a solid weekend of military operations, and with threats of even bigger offensives to come, locals who are able to are fleeing the city.

IraqAQI took over Fallujah and part of Ramadi last week, and has been clashing with both national security forces and local tribesmen ever since. So far, there is no sign of them giving up either territory.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has vowed that the military will forcibly end “disunity” in Fallujah, but the troops have so far been unable to fight them off, and officials say a “major attack” is coming soon.

The situation began two weeks ago with the arrest of a Sunni MP. Protests ensued, and Maliki ordered a bloody crackdown on them, sparking mass resignations of MPs. As Maliki added more troops, riots broke out, and AQI used the chaos as a chance to infiltrate the cities, sacking police stations and setting up their own checkpoints.

Having assumed he could impose a military solution to political unrest, Maliki has ended up setting up a military problem far deeper than he’d expected, and one his military might not be up to.







This article is from Antiwar.com.  A friend in need is a friend indeed – and we need your help to fight this brazen state repression. We’re fighting to restore constitutional government in America – but we need your tax-deductible donation to do it. Please, make your contribution today!”



Legal Victory for 9/11 Families: Families sue Saudi Arabia, wants Top Secret 9/11 & FBI Reports declassified

Reps. Walter B. Jones, (R-N.C.), and Stephen Lynch, (D-Mass.), filed a bi-partisan resolution asking President Obama to declassify 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 report, which reportedly contains evidence that links Saudi officials to the 9/11 hijackers.

According to former Florida Sen. Bob Graham and former Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, the 28 pages in the 9/11 report are not the only documents being “covered up.”

Graham told IBTimes, “The Saudi government without question was supporting the hijackers who lived in San Diego…. You can’t have 19 people living in the United States for, in some cases, almost two years, taking flight lessons and other preparations, without someone paying for it. But I think it goes much broader than that. The agencies from CIA and FBI have suppressed that information, so American people don’t have the facts.”

Graham states there was a significant 9/11 investigation in Sarasota, F.L., which suggests a connection between the hijackers and the Saudi government.

The investigation, which occurred in 2002 and was not disclosed to Congress or the 9/11 Commission, revealed that a Sarasota family who has ties with the Saudi royal family helped the 9/11 hijackers.

In 2012, BrowardBullDog.org filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in federal court against the DOJ and FBI. The complaint seeks records about the al-Hijji family and their connections with the 9/11 hijackers.

The FBI denied any connection at the time, but newly released FBI documents contradicted those previous statements.

Because of public pressure and an ongoing FOIA lawsuit, the FBI release over 30 “censored” documents.  The documents confirmed that the Sarasota family had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.”

According to a report by BrowardBulldog.org in 2011, the al-Hijji family had moved out of their Sarasota house and left the country abruptly in the weeks before 9/11, leaving behind three luxury cars and personal belongings including clothing, furniture and fresh food. They also left the swimming-pool water circulating.

The reported states that a well-placed source who disclosed the existence of the FBI’s investigation went on to say that the gated community’s visitor logs and photos of license tags showed that vehicles driven by several of the future 9/11 hijackers had visited the al-Hijji home.

The 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism (JASTA) coordinator, David White, wants the 9/11 report and the FBI documents declassified.

Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook asked White, “how does the JASTA bill help 9/11 families?”

“First, we believe that all the truth about 9/11 should come out. Secondly, we believe that the more the truth gets out, the more likely there will be support for us to get into a court room, and be able prove this case based on the evidence. We are not talking about conspiracies here. We are talking about six thousand families here that have been affected by the 9/11 attacks. There are very high up people in Saudi Arabia and very established banks that were funneling millions of dollars to al Qaida.”

White told Cook that the case has gone through the court, but hit a snag along the way. The court previously ruled that Saudi Arabia was protected by sovereign immunity and some of the court’s members said they didn’t think the law gave them jurisdiction to go after these people if they were are outside of the United States.

“Essentially the JASTA bill clarifies who has jurisdiction,” said White. “For example, the Islamic Saudi Relief Organization was released from the case because the law was read incorrectly.”

The hard work of JASTA and the 9/11 families paid off, though. This week a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that they can legally sue Saudi Arabia. Stephen Cozen, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said, “This opinion is eminently correct and will give 9/11 victims their day in court. The parties will start over, and we are very, very satisfied that we will meet any defenses, both legal and factual, that are raised.”

After the court’s ruling this week, White told Cook that he was “ecstatic.”

There was a different reaction from Michael Kellogg, the attorney representing Saudi Arabia, though. “The government of Saudi Arabia has long asserted, and the United States 9/11 Commission has found, that those allegations are categorically false,” said Kellogg.

Former Senator Graham told TheDailyBeast.com, “the 9/11 Commission’s final report does not exonerate the Saudis, and insists that neither the media nor federal law enforcement ever got to the bottom of the plot.”

Graham believes that Washington should launch a new investigation that would attempt to answer these unanswered questions.  Groups like JASTA and the 9/11 families are not giving up their fight for justice.

Joan who is a member of JASTA told Benswann.com earlier this week, “9/11 families are not going away no matter what Congress thinks or what people think. My son’s death certificate says homicide on it, they all do. This was definitely funded. These hijackers were sponsored.”

Congressmen “absolutely shocked” of Foreign State involvement behind 9/11 attacks (VIDEO)


If al Qaeda had support from foreign governments during 9/11, should the public know about it? Many Americans are demanding it, especially those who lost loved ones. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.)  said they were “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks after reading the classified section of the 9/11 report.

Rep. Jones and Rep Lynch introduced H. Res. 428 this month that asks President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Piers Morgan from CNN asked Rep. Lynch about his resolution in the video below.

The New York Post published an article this week stating that some information from this report already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.

Paul Sperry states, “The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.”

Currently the resolution to declassify the 28 pages of the report was referred to the House Committee on Intelligence on Dec. 2nd, but will it gain support from other members in the House?

Benswann.com asked Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC): “Will you support H. Res. 428 that declassifies the 28 pages in the 9/11 report?”

“There are a lot of classified documents in our government regarding war and those things should remain classified” said Duncan.

Many Americans, however, want to know what the government knows regarding 9/11. One mother on Facebook writes, “I’ve been fighting for 12 years to get these pages and both Congressman have told us they were “just shocked” to see what was in those pages. I want to see those pages. My son was murdered and I want to know what happened and what the government knows.”

Joan, one of the members of the 9/11 families told Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook, “We need these 28 pages to help us pass Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (S. 1535), which was introduced in the Senate on Sep 19, 2013. We believe these 28 pages will say what we have been saying all along.”

“9/11 families are not going away no matter what Congress thinks or what people think. My son’s death certificate says homicide on it, they all do. This was definitely funded. These hijackers were sponsored,” said Joan.

“My son was a fireman who died in the towers. He was only 32 years old and my only son. He left behind a 2 year old daughter and a 21 day old son. And I miss him every day. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. Not an hour goes by that I don’t think about him.”

Rep. Jones states, “Twelve years after the United States suffered a horrendous attack on our own soil, the families of the victims deserve to know all the facts concerning that tragic day,” said Congressman Jones.  “Furthermore, the information contained in the redacted pages is critical to our foreign policy moving forward and should thus be available to the American public.  If the 9/11 hijackers had outside help – particularly from one or more foreign governments – the press and the public have a right to know what our government has or has not done to bring justice to all of the perpetrators.”


Al-Qaeda Surging Across Iraq

This article was submitted by guest contributor Jason Ditz.

It may seem odd considering their name, but al-Qaeda in Iraq’s (AQI) power base is increasing in Syria, not Iraq. As AQI shores up control over many of its Syrian possessions, they’re looking to change that.

IraqJoining into the Syrian Civil War has given AQI a huge recruitment boost, and for the first time it has de facto control over whole towns, where it is aiming to set up its own government. Their vision is to eventually conquer both Syria and Iraq outright.

And while that seems a ridiculously ambitious goal, the group has played a big part in the ever-escalating violence in Iraq, and now has active operations in multiple Iraqi provinces, aiming to carve out a sphere of control there as well.

AQI attacks in Iraq are nothing new, of course, and the group has been active since early in the US occupation. Analysts say that recent fights have shown more sustained gunbattles, however, suggesting that instead of its old hit-and-run tactics, AQI is testing its ability to hold off the Iraqi military in direct fighting, with an eye on permanent occupations of Iraqi towns.



This article is from Antiwar.com.  A friend in need is a friend indeed – and we need your help to fight this brazen state repression. We’re fighting to restore constitutional government in America – but we need your tax-deductible donation to do it. Please, make your contribution today!”


AP is reporting that six people involved in the theft of radioactive materials are hospitalized in Pachucha, Mexico, with police blocking the hospital so they cannot escape arrest.


The International Atomic Energy Agency stated the cobalt-60 “could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged.” http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2013/mexicoradsource.html

Direct exposure to the radioactive isotope could result in death within minutes stated IAEA

Mexico Radioactive

On Monday night thieves stole a cargo truck loaded with a shipment of radioactive cobalt-60. Monday’s theft triggered alerts in Mexico, as well as at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. Authorities did warn that whoever stole the materials was probably contaminated and would die.

The original intended truck driver said he left Tijuana on Nov. 28 and was headed to the storage facility in another part of Mexico. On Monday night he was sleeping in the truck while parked at a gas station in Tepajaco. Two armed men approached the truck around 1:30am, Tuesday morning. The thieves forced the driver out, tied his hands and feet, and left the driver in a vacant lot near the gas station.

Concerns went up this week that the stolen materials could have been used to make a dirty bomb. Dirty bombs are conventional explosives that disseminate radioactive materials.

Later in the week the truck was abandoned in an empty rural field, with the radioactive shipment container open. The radioactive cobalt-60 pellets are a risk to the surrounding population. Sources report the materials were from antiquated chemotherapy therapy equipment, and were to be transported to a nuclear waste facility.

Police now believe the truck was stolen for the crane and a movable platform, and the thieves likely initially were not aware of the radioactive cargo.

For a few days this week the truck and thieves whereabouts were unknown, and concern in the international atomic community was very high.

United Nations says their nuclear watchdog division receives more than 100 reports of unauthorized activity of nuclear or radioactive materials annually. their nuclear watchdog division receives more than 100 reports of unauthorized activity of nuclear or radioactive materials annually.

Guardian Newspaper May Face Terrorism Charges For Publishing Snowden Leaks


By Michael Lotfi,

According to Reuters, British law enforcement agencies are investigating whether Guardian newspaper staff should be investigated for terrorism offenses over their handling of data leaked by Edward Snowden, Britain’s senior counter-terrorism officer said on Tuesday.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, was summoned to give evidence at a parliamentary inquiry. He was accused by lawmakers of assisting terrorists by making top secret information public and sharing it with other news organizations.

Several other news sources also published the leaks provided by Edward Snowden, National Security Agency (NSA) contractor.

The leaks also include Britain’s spy agency, GCHQ.

According to law enforcement, data obtained by Snowden contains information on spies, which could put their lives at risk.

Lawmakers told Rusbridger that he had committed an offence under Section 58A of the Terrorism Act. This section makes it a crime to publish or communicate any information about members of the armed forces or intelligence services.

Glen Greenwald is the former Guardian journalist credited with first publishing the Snowden NSA leaks.

Follow Michael Lotfi On Facebook & Twitter 

The NSA Is Watching People Watch Porn

By Michael Lotfi,

Good news: There’s no need to take nude selfies for your significant other anymore. Bad news: The NSA has got you covered! If you thought you were safe watching your computer screen in private– think again.

Yes, it’s really getting that creepy. Edward Snowden recently released another report on the NSA’s insatiable appetite for spying. According to documents exclusively obtained by the Huffington Post, the National Security Agency is gathering data on perspective radicalizers‘ pornography habits. The controversial agency is using the data to try and destroy such individuals’ credibility.

According to the report, “The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.”

Yes, that means exactly what it sounds like. The federal government will leak, or publicly release information on your pornography habits if you cross them.

According to Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “Wherever you are, the NSA’s databases store information about your political views, your medical history, your intimate relationships and your activities online,” he added. “The NSA says this personal information won’t be abused, but these documents show that the NSA probably defines ‘abuse’ very narrowly.”

Perhaps most of us are okay with the NSA monitoring every move of a potential terrorist. However, the issue strikes a nerve much closer to home when we recall that the NSA has been spying on American ally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, average American citizens, and has even broken an anti-spying pact with Great Britain to spy on British citizens.

Truth be told, the NSA knows no bounds and does not operate under the rule of law. We already know that the NSA is collecting essentially every email we send to one another. Even worse, the federal government has labeled right-wing political activists and war veterans as possible terrorists.

Brazenly, when confronted about the “right-wing terrorism” report, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made no apologies and stood by the report.

I guess the only thing left to say is– Enjoy the show mates.

There is a growing movement called #NullifyNSA that seeks to end NSA spying. Click HERE to learn more.

Follow Michael Lotfi On Facebook & On Twitter: @MichaelLotfi

Did FBI Execute Friend of Boston Bombing Suspect During Interrogation?


Names you know… Dhovar Tsarnev  and Tamerlen Tsarnaev… Two young Chechen born brothers, raised in the United States, radicalized through the internet, and responsible for the deadly Boston Bombing attack.

That is the story media has told you but what about the story they have all but ignored? About another Chechen with a lesser known name. Who is Ibragim Todashev and why was he killed by the FBI during an interrogation over the Tsarnev brothers?

Today, you will hear from the widow of that man, and the questions she is still waiting to have answered.

The first step toward truth is to be informed.

As I said, it is a name most americans don’t know at all Ibragim Todashev.  A 34 year-old Chechen, living in Orlando, Florida and friend of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlen Tsarnev.

Here is the story.

On May 22nd of this year, FBI agents and Massachusetts state police officers showed up in Orlando florida to interview Todashev.

Before moving to Orlando, Todashev lived in Massachusetts.  He was a mixed martial arts fighter and through that sport, became friends with boston bombing suspect Tamerlen Tsarnev.
That was why, only weeks after the bombings, the FBI went to meet with Todashev. but it was during that interrogation when something went terribly wrong

According to a statement released by the FBI,

“The agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers, and other law enforcement personnel were interviewing an individual in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual. During the confrontation, the individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life threatening injuries.”

So what violent confrontation took place?  Media reports were all over the place on what happened.  The New York Times claimed that Todashev pulled a knife on the agent.  Other media claimed it was a samurai sword and then metal pole, some said a broom stick.  That is, until
the Washington Post was told by an unnamed law enforcement source that Todashev had neither a knife or gun, that he was completely unarmed but did lunge at the agent.

Who saw this happen?

Another important question.  Because according to the FBI, who is doing an internal investigation,  immediately prior to the killing, after hours of interrogation, all of the other interrogators withdrew and left the room, leaving the FBI agent who fired the shots alone with Todashev.

That agent, claims that Todashev was about to sign a confession to his involvement along with Tamerlen Tsarnev in an unsolved triple murder in Massachusetts and it was just before he was going to sign that confession that he attacked.

The ex-wife of Todashev spoke to me via Skype.

Ben:  “What do you make of the claim that all the agents left him and only the agent who killed Ibragim  remained in the room with him?”

Reni:  “We still don’t know what exactly happened, how many were in there when he was shot.  It is still not clear, they are not telling us anything.  So far we know it was three of them when they started the interrogation of them but who was in there when he was shot, we still don’t know.”

Aside from the very strange details surrounding an FBI agent left alone with a suspect, who then must defend himself and kill that suspect, are these details.

The agent who shot and killed Todashev, reportedly shot him 7 times including in the head and chest.  I say reportedly, because on July 8th, the autopsy report on Ibragim Toashev was finalized and ready for release.  According to the Orlando medical examiners office forensic records coordinator,

“The FBI has informed this office that the case is still under investigation and not to release this document.”

All of which is not only unusual, but the entire investigation so far has been surrounded by secrecy.  Another issue that the FBI has not even addressed is that while the claim was that Todashev attempted to attack the agent, friends and his ex-wife claim that Todashev was recovering from knee surgery.

Ben:  “You say that Ibragim was recovering from knee surgery, so what was the injury and how bad was that knee?”

Reni:  “He had done his surgery in the middle of march.  For a month and a half he was still on crutches.  He was still limping, he was still in pain and with a light touch to his knee, he would feel the pain. He was still in pain on the knee, he was still walking and limping on the knee.”

Ben:  “Is it true that he was on crutches at the time that he was killed?”

Reni:  “Not necessarily.  He was on them sometimes and when he would feel the pain he would go and get the crutches.”

Ben:  “Obviously it is speculation on your part but why do you believe that Ibragim was killed?”

Reni:  “He got 7 shots and one of them was the back of the head.  Clearly this was an execution.”

Ben:  “How do you know that one was to the back of the head?”

Reni:  “Because I saw the body.”

Ben:  “How do you know that it was an entry wound and not an exit wound for the bullet?”

Reni:  “I can’t tell, I’m not a professional but from what I see and the medical examiner in Orlando says that he had 7 shots, 1 in the back of the head.”

Ben:  “The medical examiner told you?”

Reni:  “Yes, they have told me from day one when I came to sign for the body and to take it.”

Ben:  “And he told you that he was shot in the back of the head?  Incredible.”

Reni:  “He said that he had 7 shots, 1 in the head, 3 in the heart, 1 in the liver and I believe that 1 was somewhere in the shoulder or in the arm.”

What you need to know, is that while the ACLU has requested an independent investigation in Florida and Massachusetts, both those requests have been rejected by law enforcement, saying that it would be inappropriate.

Meanwhile, CAIR in Florida is reporting that a friend of Todashev, was arrested in September and was denied a lawyer for 6 days.  That even though he repeatedly requested to speak with an attorney, the FBI agents allegedly responded, “That is not happening.”

CAIR-Florida Civil Rights Director Thania Diaz Clevenger said in a statement.

“It fits the pattern of abuse and troubling behavior by FBI agents beginning in the days prior to the killing of the unarmed Ibragim Todashev. One can only wonder if Mr. Todashev was denied his rights to legal council  during the questioning that ultimately resulted in his death.”

In addition, other Chechen friends of Todashev say they are being pressured by the FBI to spy on friends and neighbors.  The story here that media just won’t cover is the incredible secrecy surrounding this young man’s death, the fact that he was killed so brutally during an interrogation and to so many people its not even that big of a deal because he might be connected to a terrorist.

START Statistics Show Terrorism Has Increased Since Middle East Invasions

Statistics from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) Global Terrorism Database have shown an increase in terrorist activity since America’s involvement in the War on Terror began.  In various countries across the region and the globe, America’s entry into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan marked the beginning of a severe rise in terrorist activities, a rise which has continued ever since.

Middle East

middle east

START is a University of Maryland program which provides the most detailed data on terrorist activities available to the public.  It documents the date, country, city, perpetrator, fatalities, injuries and target types of terrorist activity across the world.  Its data comes from a variety of open media sources, which are checked for accuracy before being added to the statistical analysis.

Terrorism in Iraq increased dramatically starting in 2002.  In Afghanistan it had been increasing since 1998, but more rapidly since 2001.  The Middle East as a whole has ups and downs, but rose consistently from 2004 to 2007, and then from 2008 to the present.  Terrorism in Asia reached an all time high in 2007 and continued to climb.  Both African and global terrorism have been increasing since 2004.

In response to this data, some, like Alex Jones’ Prison Planet, have said it is clear that America’s wars in the Middle East have created more terrorists.  Drone strikes might increase terrorism, or maybe foreign military occupation is to blame.

The first thing which must be noted is that the database itself is based solely on news reports.  According to the report, there are other potential reasons for the increase in terrorism than a simple cause and effect explanation.  Terrorism may not have occurred in Iraq before the war because it was ruled by a brutal dictator.  Afghanistan was run by the Taliban – which had terrorist origins – before the invasion.  The fall of political systems inevitably invites chaos, which brings a chance of terrorism.  The presence of military and other foreign personnel creates even more opportunities for it.

The statistics, themselves, don’t tell a story.  They don’t show that the US has caused terrorism, and they certainly don’t show that the US has stopped it.  One thing is clear, though, and that’s that the US does not have a clear enough understanding of terrorism to effectively combat or otherwise reduce it.

US Soldiers Allegedly Told That Christians & Tea Party Members Are “Radical” Threats

According to a Fort Hood soldier, Islamic terrorism was barely mentioned during an October 17 pre-deployment briefing on “radical” groups “tearing the country apart.”

Rather, the meeting allegedly focused on Christians and Tea Party supporters who were labeled as radical terrorists and American enemies. The soldiers were apparently told that individuals who support these groups may be punished under military regulations, and that pro-lifers are extremists who promote “radicalization.”

“They said that evangelical Christians protesting abortions are the mobilization stage and that leads to the bombing of abortion clinics,” said the soldier who spoke out.

He said, “I was very shocked and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I felt like my religious liberties, that I risk my life and sacrifice time away from family to fight for, were being taken away.”

“Our community is still healing from the act of terrorism brought on by Nidal Hasan – who really is a terrorist,” he continued. “This is a slap in the face. The military is supposed to defend freedom and to classify the vast majority of the military that claim to be Christian as terrorists is sick.”

The soldier would not release his name, out of fear of retaliation.

He said, “My first concern was if I was going to be in trouble going to church. Can I tithe? Can I donate to Christian charities? What if I donate to a politician who is a part of the Tea Party movement?”

Mike Berry is an attorney with the Liberty Institute who is representing the soldier. Berry said on Fox News, “The American public should be outraged that the U.S. Army is teaching our troops that evangelical Christians and tea party members are enemies of America and that they can be punished for supporting or participating in those groups. These statements about evangelicals being domestic enemies are a serious charge.”

Although a second soldier seconded the allegations regarding the Ford Hood briefing, officials deny the charges.

Tom Rheinlander, the public affairs director at Fort Hood, wrote in a statement, “The allegations you are asking about were brought to the attention of the Fort Hood leadership immediately and a (sic) inquiry is occurring. At this time, initial information gathered about the training and what you claim occurred is not substantiated by unit leadership and soldiers present at this training venue.”

If Ford Hood officials did indeed attack religious liberties with such statements, they must be held accountable for their actions.

How can we prevent future incidents like this from happening? If there had been a camera in the room, there would be no dispute about what occurred during the briefing. Still, there is a fine line between transparency and a camera-monitored society where Big Brother is always watching.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Are You Ready For a Complete Power Grid Blackout?

It’s the most fragile part of our infrastructure. The power grid. Could the nation’s power grid withstand physical and cyber attacks?

In a report published on the technology website Ars Technica says that one power company received an incredible 10,000 attempted cyber attacks per month.

U.S. Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) sent 15 questions to more than 150 utilities and received replies from 112 of them. Only 53 utilities responded to all of the questions, and their answers will shock you.PWER GRID

More than a dozen utilities reported “daily,” “constant,” or “frequent” attempted cyber attacks ranging from phishing to malware infection to unfriendly probes. A Midwestern power provider said that it was “subject to ongoing malicious cyber and physical activity. For example, we see probes on our network to look for vulnerabilities in our systems and applications on a daily basis. Much of this activity is automated and dynamic in nature—able to adapt to what is discovered during its probing process.”

How can we make sure those attempts aren’t successful?

According to the New York Times, that hair-raising, nerve-wracking question will be put to the test in November when a full-scale drill takes place, testing our preparedness.

Thousands of utility workers, business executives, National Guard officers, FBI anti-terrorism experts and other government officials here and in Canada and Mexico will participate in the drill that will simulate both physical and cyber attacks that could potentially cripple large sections of the power grid.

“It’s a simulation, sort of,” said a compliance officer at a large power company. “The program administrator will inject these simulations and test their response team to see what the reaction is and how fast you can get your grip back up.”

This is what our inside source was told when he asked a compliance officer about this drill in November.

Our source told Benswann.com, “SCADA systems are the ones that control all the power plant systems.  It stands for “Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition”.  SCADA systems vary from product to product and company to company.  A virus could potentially be made to gain control of that system.  These can and are remotely controlled via the web in many cases.  For instance, I can log in and control a wind turbine across the country with my laptop.”

He wonders what the compliance officer meant by the drill being sort of a simulation and took the officer’s response as it maybe a hybrid simulation that is actually tied to utility company’s hardware or assets.

One goal of the drill, called GridEx II, is to explore how governments would react as the loss of the grid crippled the supply chain for everyday necessities.

Government agencies have participated in drills before but never practiced what would happen if the power grid when down and didn’t come back in a timely fashion.

The drill is part of a give-and-take in the past few years between the government and utilities that has exposed the difficulties of securing the electric system.

The grid is essential for almost everything, but it is mostly controlled by investor-owned companies or municipal or regional agencies. According to the White House, 99 percent of military facilities rely on commercial power.

According to The Guardian, an attack effecting things like the power grid isn’t just reserved for big Hollywood action movies. The Guardian reported that in 1961 the U.S. Air Force came dramatically close to almost detonating an atom bomb in Goldsboro, N.C.  that would have been 260 times more powerful than what the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.

The Guardian reports that the document obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the U.S. was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on January 23, 1961. The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.

In addition to accidents and weather-related disasters like Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. has to be prepared for the likelihood of foreign attack using atomic weapons.

Recently South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham warned the U.S. of a potential nuclear attack in Charleston Harbor if the US doesn’t respond effectively and swiftly to Syria, Iran who, according to Graham will likely continue to develop nuclear weapons.

According to a report published on the website of the CBS affiliate in Charlotte: He says if there is no U.S. response, Iran will not believe America’s resolve to block Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Graham also says those nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists could result in a bomb coming to Charleston Harbor.”

The threat to the America’s power grid is real whether from a cyber attack, a nuclear strike or pulse bomb. Industry experts describe our grid system as our ‘Glass Jaw’ and expect that a major attack on the grid system is inevitable.

Police Shot Boston Bomber Suspect In Face

It is now revealed that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston bomber, suffered multiple serious gunshot wounds when he was taken into custody.

One of those wounds was from a policeman’s gunshot to the face. According to court documents that were released on Monday, that very shot gave Tsarnaev a fractured skull.

As reported by the Daily Mail, “A trauma surgeon detailed the suspect’s condition during a hearing when the Chechen immigrant was first charged over the bombing attacks that killed three people and wounded about 264.”

Dr. Stephen Ray Odom from Beth Israel Medical Center testified, “He has multiple gunshot wounds, the most severe of which appears to have entered through the left side inside of his mouth and exited the left face, lower face.”

The doctor continued, “This was a high-powered injury that has resulted in skull-base fracture, with injuries to the middle ear, the skull base, the lateral portion of his C1 vertebrae, with a significant soft-tissue injury, as well as injury to the pharynx, the mouth, and a small vascular injury that’s been treated.”

Despite Tsarnaev’s severe injuries, he was allegedly alert and responsive while he was being taken into custody.

Odom said, “He definitely knows where he is. He knows that he has had multiple procedures, but I’m not sure how aware he is of the specifics. He knows that he has an injury to the neck and to the hand.”

Aside from the head trauma, Tsarnaev also had severe wounds on his legs and arm.

Tsarnaev was wearing a cast on his arm and had a swollen face when he appeared in court last month. He plead not guilty to the charges against him.

If he is convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Tsarnaev’s arrest came four days after he allegedly carried out the attack at the Boston Marathon with his older brother Tamerlan. Pressure cookers were used to carry out the attack. Three innocent citizens were killed that day: 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, 23-year-old Lingzi Lu, and eight-year-old Martin Richard.

Three days after the attack, the Tsarnaev brothers reportedly killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology cop, Officer Collier. Tamerlan died that day after a gun battle with police, but Dzhokhar was able to escape officials for the time being.

All of Boston was then on lockdown for a day while police carried out a massive manhunt, searing for Tsarnaev. He was finally brought into custody on April 19, after he was found in a boat in someone’s backyard.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is currently in Fort Devens, Massachusetts, at a prison medical center.