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Thread: Terrorism in the USA:threat & response

  1. #221
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Beyond Guantnamo, a Web of Prisons for Terrorism Inmates

    Hat tip to LWOT for this 'must read' in the NYT, which opens with:
    It is the other Guantnamo, an archipelago of federal prisons that stretches across the country, hidden away on back roads. Today, it houses far more men convicted in terrorism cases than the shrunken population of the prison in Cuba that has generated so much debate.
    Nice to know the numbers:
    Today, 171 prisoners remain at Guantnamo. As of Oct. 1, the federal Bureau of Prisons reported that it was holding 362 people convicted in terrorism-related cases, 269 with what the bureau calls a connection to international terrorism up from just 50 in 2000. An additional 93 inmates have a connection to domestic terrorism.
    That hardy perennial how many fight again?
    Rare recidivism. By contrast with the record at Guantnamo, where the Defense Department says that about 25 percent of those released are known or suspected of subsequently joining militant groups, it appears extraordinarily rare for the federal prison inmates with past terrorist ties to plot violence after their release.
    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/us...2&pagewanted=1
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  2. #222
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default It's all in the perception of your enemies

    In a wide ranging commentary on current US CT strategy a South African academic, Hussein Solomon, includes a reminder that I only vaguely remembered:
    ..the terrorist challenge the United States was confronted with in the form of Puerto Rican nationalists and militant leftists. Between January 1969 and October 1970, 370 bombings occurred in New York City alone.
    For the current situation he writes:
    The American resolve remained undaunted and the challenge posed by these violent nationalists and the Weather Underground joined history’s legions of other failures.

    Unfortunately this aspect of America is not getting through to those who believe that Americans are essentially weak and will easily give in to blackmail. To the extent that this perception of American weakness persists, it will continue to encourage terrorists to strike American targets in the hope of affecting some change in policy.

    This constitutes a missing dimension in US counter-terrorism efforts.
    Link:http://icsr.info/blog/The-Missing-Di...nter-Terrorism

    He wrote this before the most recent legislation was passed:
    the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. The legislation is supposed to provide the money for the Pentagon to keep America safe.....

    The new NDAA effectively allows the military to act on American soil and detain indefinitely anyone, including a US citizen, suspected of terrorism.
    Link:http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/...efinitely.html
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  3. #223
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Muslim home-grown terrorism: an assessment

    A lengthy article reviewing home-grown terrorism in the USA:
    My conclusion should be generally reassuring to Americans: Muslim homegrown terrorism does not at present appear to constitute a serious threat to their welfare. Nor is there a significant analytical or evidentiary basis for anticipating that it will become one in the near future. It does not appear that Muslim Americans are increasingly motivated or capable of engaging in terrorist attacks against their fellow citizens and residents
    That also cites former National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair’s characterization in February 2011 of violence
    ..from “homegrown jihadists” as “sporadic,” in which a “handful of individuals and small, discrete cells will seek to mount attacks each year, with only a small portion of that activity materializing into violence against the homeland.
    Link:http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/...ed_states.html
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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Pinellas Park, Florida -- A Pinellas Park man is accused of planning to attack crowded Tampa locations -- including night clubs -- with a car bomb, assault rifle and other explosives.

    Sami Osmakac, 25, was arrested Saturday night. He is charged with one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. A federal judge ordered him held without bond during his first court appearance Monday afternoon. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
    http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/...d-of-bomb-plot


    Tampa, Florida -- His arrest affidavit suggests Sami Osmakac's first choice was to go after military targets in the Bay area, but thought they were too secure.

    "I would love to go after the Army people," he said, according to the affidavit. "But the bases are so locked up."
    http://www.wtsp.com/news/article/231...lot-disturbing
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  5. #225
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default New York City: a success story

    The importance of New York City, with NYPD as a key partner, in reducing crime and improving quality of life is well known on both sides of the Atlantic. That does not mean the methods used by NYC & NYPD are understood.

    Today I found a Labour Peer's blogsite pointing at the work of a University of Berkeley criminology professor, Franklin Zimring; which might impact the Metropolitan Police's Commissioner's policies:http://www.lordtobyharris.org.uk/wil...g-in-new-york/

    Here are the links to:

    a) Vera Institute podcast (9mins):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXZgSnKfN5U
    b) Scientific American interview (30 mins): http://www.scientificamerican.com/po...t-new-11-08-09
    c) Website article:http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/i...w-york-miracle
    d) Professor's book:http://www.amazon.com/City-that-Beca.../dp/0199844429

    In this discovery LAPD is mentioned in this article, which is more about police reform:http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/a...-from-the-cold

    Undoubtedly the professor has his critics, as does NYPD, but this maybe of interest to SWC readers.
    davidbfpo

  6. #226
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    RALEIGH, N.C. — One of the men involved in a Johnston County terrorist cell that authorities said plotted attacks on a Marine base in Virginia and foreign targets tried to have witnesses in his trial last fall killed, according to federal records unsealed Monday.

    Hysen Sherifi was found guilty after a month-long trial of conspiring to provide material support to terrorism and conspiring to carry out attacks overseas, two counts of firearms possession and conspiring to kill federal officers or employees. He was sentenced two weeks ago to 45 years in prison.

    Federal authorities said Sherifi tried to hire someone to kill and behead at least three witnesses in the case, and he wanted pictures of the corpses to prove that they were dead. He also wanted a fellow inmate killed, believing the man tricked him out of some money, according to court documents.
    http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/10637165/
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  7. #227
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    Interesting perspective -

    PALO ALTO, California - Like left-over food repeatedly reheated for public consumption, United States allegations of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington received a new lease of life on Monday via the congressional testimony of the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, as a dress rehearsal for a fuller bout of Iran-bashing at this week's "threat assessment" hearings in congress.
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NB02Ak01.html

    Also, cross-reference
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  8. #228
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Lone Wolves

    Hat tip to FP Blog for this excellent article on the Lone Wolves / Lone Wolf aspect to modern terrorism; admittedly I thought there was a thread on the loners, so I've placed it here as every example bar one is American:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...olves?page=0,0

    The lone wolf we need to worry about is truly solitary and self-motivated: someone who doesn't talk to people about his plans and doesn't require meaningful assistance from informed accomplices. Anyone who fails to meet those conditions is a different kind of threat...
    I do like these two passages, which I have juxtaposed:
    They are essentially al Qaeda volunteers -- people who step forward and offer their services to a terrorist organization that can provide them with resources and support.
    They were receiving advice, concrete assistance, and passive reinforcement from people they believed -- rightly or wrongly -- to be part of larger terrorist organizations.
    And who:
    were actually undercover law enforcement agents or informants..
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  9. #229
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    Default Cross-reference

    The activity of NYPD has appeared here before and there is a SWJ article that should be read:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=15307

    Assessing the New York Police Department’s Intelligence Efforts Targeting America’s Muslims
    davidbfpo

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    Default Judge directs verdicts of aquittal

    From AP-Time, Mich. 'Hutaree' Militia Members Acquitted (by ED WHITE; Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2012):

    (DETROIT) — A federal judge on Tuesday gutted the government's case against seven members of a Michigan militia, dismissing the most serious charges in an extraordinary defeat for federal authorities who insisted they had captured homegrown rural extremists poised for war.

    U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said the members' expressed hatred of law enforcement didn't amount to a conspiracy to rebel against the government. The FBI had secretly planted an informant and an FBI agent inside the Hutaree militia starting in 2008 to collect hours of anti-government audio and video that became the cornerstone of the case. "The court is aware that protected speech and mere words can be sufficient to show a conspiracy. In this case, however, they do not rise to that level," the judge said on the second anniversary of raids and arrests that broke up the group.

    Roberts granted requests for acquittal on the most serious charges: conspiring to commit sedition, or rebellion, against the U.S. and conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction. Other weapons crimes tied to the alleged conspiracies also were dismissed. "The judge had a lot of guts," defense attorney William Swor said. "It would have been very easy to say, 'The heck with it,' and hand it off to the jury. But the fact is she looked at the evidence, and she looked at it very carefully."

    The trial, which began Feb. 13, will resume Thursday with only a few gun charges remaining against militia leader David Stone and son Joshua Stone, both from Lenawee County, Mich. They have been in custody without bond for two years. ... (more)
    Extended coverage:

    A New Name in American Paranoia: The Hutaree Militia

    The Hutaree Among Us: A Michigan Town in the Glare

    Regards

    Mike

  11. #231
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Black Liberation Army and Homegrown Terrorism in 1970s America

    An ICSR article looking back at the BLA in the early 1970's; which ends with:
    The case of the BLA does not offer any tidy counterterrorism lessons. But it does help us remember that homegrown U.S. terrorism did not begin on 9/11. Moreover, the BLA reminds us that domestic violent extremism is not confined to individuals or groups who identify themselves as Muslims. Finally, the campaign against the BLA shows that even extremely violent terrorist groups can be dismantled by relatively mundane counterterrorism tools like police investigations, aggressive prosecutions, and long prison sentences—in other words, by treating terrorists like dangerous criminals.
    Link:http://icsr.info/blog/The-Black-Libe...-1970s-America
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    Default Hi David:

    As Bob Hope (our expat Brit) used to sing - Thanks for the Memory ....

    We should remember context, of course ...

    From the START database (its history and methodology), we have four of the USAian groups mentioned in the article:

    Perpetrators: (Black Liberation Army) - SEARCH RESULTS: 37 INCIDENTS

    Perpetrators: (Black Panthers) - SEARCH RESULTS: 25 INCIDENTS

    Perpetrators: (Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA)) - SEARCH RESULTS: 7 INCIDENTS

    Perpetrators: (Weather Underground, Weathermen) - SEARCH RESULTS: 45 INCIDENTS
    and, for comparison, the IRA (not including splinter IRA groups):

    Perpetrators: (Irish Republican Army (IRA)) - SEARCH RESULTS: 2673 INCIDENTS
    the last being quite a different kettle of fish.

    Adding to the foregoing:

    Country: (Northern Ireland)(not including attacks related to Northern Ireland, but occuring elsewhere) - SEARCH RESULTS: 3885 INCIDENTS

    Country: (United States) - SEARCH RESULTS: 2347 INCIDENTS
    Note that (in #s per year) the early 70s in the US far exceeded what has occured since.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 04-15-2012 at 07:49 PM.

  13. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    We should remember context, of course ...
    Context is the last refuge of the guy who says "Hey, simmer down now! Are they really shooting at us?"

    From the START database...
    Data entry, unlike terrorism, will never die.
    PH Cannady
    Correlate Systems

  14. #234
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    Default Presley:

    What are you trying to say here ?

    Regards

    Mike

  15. #235
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Patriot Games

    A lengthy FP Blog article 'Patriot Games' and better explained by the sub-title:
    How the FBI spent a decade hunting white supremacists and missed Timothy McVeigh.
    Yesterday being the seventeenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City mass murder.

    Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...ames?page=full

    The article ends with:
    There are obviously fundamental differences between targeting the radical fringe Patriot movement and targeting the mainstream Muslim community. Targeting all Muslims for infiltration is akin to targeting all white Americans to gain intelligence on supremacists. And the social consequences of fomenting paranoia and mistrust of government in overwhelmingly law-abiding communities are different than within a movement that fundamentally presumes government malfeasance....

    The issue of how the government uses infiltration will continue to be hotly debated. By looking at the lessons of the past, we can start to craft the right questions for the future.
    davidbfpo

  16. #236
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Five men, at least three of them anarchists, plotted to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, but there was no danger to the public because the explosives were inoperable and were controlled by an undercover FBI employee, the agency said Tuesday in announcing the men's arrests.

    The target of the plot was a bridge that carries a four-lane highway over part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the Brecksville area, about 15 miles south of downtown Cleveland, the FBI said.

    Authorities said three of the men were arrested Monday and are self-described anarchists, not tied to international terrorism.
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...HOME&TEMPLATE=
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  17. #237
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    "Most Likely" a lone nutter / Ted Kaczynski fan, but worth noting -

    PHOENIX — Flick the switch on these flashlights and they don't light up. They blow up.

    Three of these bombs have exploded within the last month in the Phoenix area, causing minor injuries to five people and raising fears of more serious ones.

    Police still have no idea who is behind them and have taken the unusual step of putting up 22 billboards across the sprawling metro area to warn residents about discarded flashlights.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47747069.../#.T9QxHcWd6So
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  18. #238
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    WASHINGTON — The militant organization that was once the scourge of the U.S. militarycampaign in Iraq and probably is responsible for more than 100 deaths in the country over the last few days has set its sights on launching attacks in the United States, intelligence officials said.

    Al Qaeda in Iraq released a message this week that threatened to strike at the "heart" of the United States, and several associates of the group have been arrested in the U.S. and Canada in the last two years, said American officials, a sign that the organization has tried to establish a network in North America.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,6632983.story
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  19. #239
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    Default NYPD, Microsoft launch crime-tracking system

    Announced in New York city:
    a system which aggregates and analyzes information from cameras, license-plate readers, sensors and law enforcement databases...

    The Domain Awareness System, unveiled by the city on Wednesday, will be able to map suspects' movements and provide NYPD investigators and analysts with real-time crime alerts. While the new system does not add to the city's surveillance infrastructure, it aims to make the existing data easier to use.
    Link:http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...LOGY/120809887

    I hope expectations are not too high, the experience of the UK has not been impressive - except in CT and focussed priority investigations. Plus the opposition rapidly adjust their M.O.
    davidbfpo

  20. #240
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default

    How do we define 'success'?

    Building an Orwellian urban prison isn't exactly a textbook definition of "winning".
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