Like most Acts of Domestic Terrorism the Boston Bombings have a Connection to Militant Islam

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 21st, 2013

Week in Review

We’ve had some people with mental health problems obtain firearms and go on shooting sprees on soft targets.  Grade schools.  Colleges.  Theaters.  High schools.  The government’s answer to these?  Take guns away from law-abiding people.  As they don’t appear to want to track people with mental health problems.  Which would be easier.  Because there are a lot of warning signs.  Schools complain about strange and disturbing behavior.  Strange and disturbing enough to expel some people from school.  But it ends there.  And these people wander free amongst us.  Family members have even tried to get these people committed for public safety concerns.  But doing that today is so difficult that few can get people who are a danger to themselves or to the public committed.  Changing this would make grade schools, colleges, theaters and high schools safer than new gun control legislation.  For using guns is not the only way to kill soft targets (see Boston bombers: FBI hunting 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by Christopher Bucktin and Andy Lines posted 4/21/2013 on the Mirror).

The FBI was last night hunting a 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to the Boston marathon bomb brothers.

Police believe Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were specially trained to carry out the devastating attack.

More than 1,000 FBI operatives were last night working to track down the cell and arrested a man and two women 60 miles from Boston in the hours before Dzhokhar’s dramatic capture after a bloody shootout on Friday.

A source close to the investigation said: “We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.

“They were too advanced. Someone gave the brothers the skills and it is now our job to find out just who they were. Agents think the sleeper cell has up to a dozen members and has been waiting several years for their day to come…”

Investigators have begun piecing together how the “well-mannered” brothers of Chechen origin were radicalised. Neighbours of the family said older brother Tamerlan had recently become obsessed with Islam. He mysteriously left the US in January last year to spend six months in Russia. Yesterday senior FBI counter-terrorism official Kevin Brock said: “It’s a key thread for investigators.”

It also emerged the Bureau interviewed Tamerlan two years ago, at the request of the Russian government, but could not establish that he had ties to terrorist radicals.

This was despite his worrying Russian-language YouTube page featuring links to extremist Islamic sites and others since taken down by YouTube.

One link showed an hour-long speech by an Islamic teacher called Shaykh Feiz Mohammed, while other videos are labled “Terrorists” and “Islam”.

The radical cleric, with links to extremist British Muslims, encouraged his followers to become martyrs for Islam. He said: “Teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid…”

US Government officials have said the brothers were not under surveillance as possible militants. And an FBI statement said the matter was closed because interviews with Tamerlan and family members “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign”. But now they believe the pair, who emigrated to the United States from Dagestan about a decade ago, were part of a terror cell.

If there is a sleeper cell they may be able find a trail to them by exploring the past lives of the two bombers.  There were a lot of warning signs before the bombings we missed.  Perhaps we’ll be able to see them when we’re actually looking for them.

It almost appears that we have a problem looking at people.  Whether they’re people with mental health problems.  Or domestic terrorists.  It’s as bad as our airport security.  Where we’re patting down every grandmother and child.  We need to start profiling people.  Not so much by skin color.  But by behavior.  And with good questioning.  “Where are you traveling?  Who are you visiting?  Where does he work?  What’s his boss’ name?  Where does his wife work?  How good are you at making bombs?”  Depending on the answers to these questions security either moves on to someone else.  Or they pull this person aside for further questioning.

We need well-trained and highly skilled people.  So we don’t turn the country into a police state.  Observe everyone.  Question those whose behavior looks off in some way.  And read their body language.  Is he searching for answers?  Or do they appear too well rehearsed?  Does he seem nervous?  Is he avoiding eye contact?  Is he sweating?  Does he laugh at the bomb question?  Or does he flinch involuntarily?  Does he seem different from other travelers?  Is he carrying a large backpack and doesn’t appear interested in what everyone else is interested in?  Like a marathon?  If so perhaps security should approach this person.  Talk to him.  Ask what’s inside that backpack.  And search that backpack.  You can’t search everyone standing along a marathon course.  But you can have security mingling through the crowds looking for things that are not like other things.

Of course before you can do that you have to admit that there are people out there that want to hurt us.  That there is a War on Terror.  And not explain terrorist attacks away as workplace violence (the Fort Hood shooting).  Or say that al Qaeda is on the ropes and deny additional security requests in a hot bed of Islamist activity (Benghazi).  Just because it wouldn’t look good during an election campaign where a common refrain was Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.

To fight the War on Terror will require some in government to stop putting politics first.  The gun control debate is more about passing long-desired legislation than it is about making our kids safe.  To prevent the senseless slaughter of innocent people by people with mental health problems it would be far more effective to institutionalize these people that are a risk to themselves and to the public.  And to protect us from further acts of domestic terrorism we have to be able to say words like Muslim extremist.  Militant Islamist.  Islamist terrorist.  For even Bill Maher has said that Islam is the one faith that has a history of killing Americans.  Not all Muslims are terrorists.  But Muslims carry out the majority of terrorist attacks.  And until you accept that fact how are you going to defend the United States against militant Islam?  For you can’t fight this war with one arm tied behind your back because of political correctness.  Which means when we’re profiling people we have to look at those who are most likely to kill us in a terrorist attack.  People who travel to hotbeds of Islamist activity.  Those who are kicked out of mosques for being too radical.  People who have YouTube pages featuring links to extremist Islamic sites.  And what do these all have in common?  That word the Obama administration does not like to use attached to any acts of domestic terrorism.  Muslim.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The TSA’s Obsession with our Genitals Borders on the Ridiculous and Threatens our Security

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 20th, 2010

You don’t Touch a Stripper’s Genitals because it’s Wrong and Could Spread Infectious Disease

When I was a younger man I visited a strip bar or two.  And one thing about young men when they consume vast amounts of alcohol, they get handsy.  They’ll do things that can get the men with the thick necks over to you and bounce you out before you know what’s happening.

Back then (and probably now), you looked but didn’t touch.  Mostly.  Sometimes you could touch.  But there were limits.  Butt cheeks.  Some boob.  But no naughty bits.  Well, maybe some naughty bits.  Some strippers would let you bury your face in their breasts while you did the motorboat.  But you kept your mouth shut.  Because some other guy might have just been where you are now.  And you don’t want to swap spit with strange men. 

Some rules were a little more lax than others.  Depending how slow the night was and how drunk your stripper was.  But one thing you didn’t do was make genital contact.  If the guys with the thick necks caught you doing that, they’d ask you to leave.  And I don’t mean in a polite way.

Why?  Strippers could spread some nasty diseases that way.  One stripper with Chlamydia could infect a lot of men who could in turn infect a lot of women (wives, girlfriends, one-night stands, etc.).  That’s why bouncers will throw you out.  Because genital contact in a strip bar is like a flashing neon sign that says, “Shut us Down.”

Don’t Put that Gloved Hand Down my Pants.  I don’t Know Where it’s Been.

So genital contact with strangers is not a clean thing to do.  Infectious disease-wise.  Even strip bars that have nude or semi-nude women dancing in dark rooms with loud music systems and smoke affects will police any genital contact with extreme prejudice.  Because strip bars are responsible.  Unlike the TSA (see Woman says her Lambert security screening was sexual assault posted 11/18/2010 on KMOV St. Louis).

Moroney explains “Her gloved hands touched my breasts…went between them. Then she went into the top of my slacks, inserted her hands between my underwear and my skin… then put her hands up on outside of slacks, and patted my genitals.”

The TSA wears gloves.  Because they don’t want to catch anything when they run their fingers through our naughty bits.  But the question that begs to be asked is this: are they changing those gloves between searches?  I mean, how do we know where that gloved hand has been?  Looks like catching a cold on an airplane may be the least of our health worries when flying now.

Water Boarding an Enemy Combatant is Wrong but Hitting a Lady in the Vagina is Okay?

You don’t dare touch a stripper’s genitals.   Or do this (see Enhanced pat down leaves Grand Rapids airline passenger in tears posted 11/18/2010 on WZZM 13 Grand Rapids).

“The female officer ran her hand up the inside of my leg to my groin and she did it so hard and so rough she lifted me off my heels,” she says. “I think I yelped. I was in pain for about an hour afterwards. It just felt excessive and unnecessary.”

You do this in a strip bar and not only will they bounce you, but the guys with thick necks may take you out back.  For a good ‘talking to’.  It’s one thing for a drunken guy to cop a feel, but it’s another to hit a lady in the vagina.  That just ain’t right.    At least the 3 terrorists we water boarded were caught trying to kill Americans.

Profiling isn’t Racism if it’s Anecdotal

A lot of people are asking if we’re any safer from all of this genital groping.  Well, no, we’re not.  But we’re being politically correct.  And our government apparently feels that is more important than our security.  But the people are ready for some politically incorrect profiling (i.e., stereotyping).  Hey, if we can laugh about it in the movies, we ought to be able to handle it in real life when our lives are at stake (see Don’t touch my junk by Charles Krauthammer posted 11/19/2010 on The Washington Post).

In “Up in the Air,” that ironic take on the cramped freneticism of airport life, George Clooney explains why he always follows Asians in the security line:

“They pack light, travel efficiently, and they got a thing for slip-on shoes, God love ’em.”

“That’s racist!”

“I’m like my mother. I stereotype. It’s faster.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, Clooney’s character clocks more air miles than most people do in a lifetime.  The point being that observational experience may NOT be stereotyping.  It may just be anecdotal.

That riff is a crowd-pleaser because everyone knows that the entire apparatus of the security line is a national homage to political correctness. Nowhere do more people meekly acquiesce to more useless inconvenience and needless indignity for less purpose. Wizened seniors strain to untie their shoes; beltless salesmen struggle comically to hold up their pants; 3-year-olds scream while being searched insanely for explosives – when everyone, everyone, knows that none of these people is a threat to anyone.

The ultimate idiocy is the full-body screening of the pilot. The pilot doesn’t need a bomb or box cutter to bring down a plane. All he has to do is drive it into the water, like the EgyptAir pilot who crashed his plane off Nantucket while intoning “I rely on God,” killing all on board.

If you want to stop terrorists, we should try to stop people as well as bombs.  But not all people.  That would be grossly inefficient and divert resources.  We need to observe the behavior of those who are similar to those who have actually carried out terrorist attacks. 

We should treat them like people returning from Canada into the United States.  Talk to them.  Observe their body language when they answer.  Listen to the sound of their voice.  Are they breathing rapidly?  Sweating?  Avoiding direct eye contact?

We need to ask them questions.  Start general and get specific.  Is the person you’re visiting married?  What’s his wife’s name?  What color is her hair?  Their children names and ages?  Where do they shop for groceries? 

We need to ask questions based on their previous answers.  If they say they’re visiting friends from college and are going to the ‘big game’, ask some questions about the team that’s playing.  Or the college.  Or the city.  If this person is up to no good, a good questioning will out him.

During WWII, we caught a lot of Germans wearing American uniforms.  They spoke clean English.  No hint of an accent.  But they didn’t know American slang.   Or who won the World Series.

The TSA and their Advanced Body-Imaging Systems are no Match for a Determined Suicide Terrorist

With the tightening of Security, the bad guys are resorting to more and more suicide attacks.  This requires less sophisticated bombs and timers/detonators.  And a suicide bomber can hide a bomb where no one or nothing can find it.  Up the rectum (see Convergence: The Challenge of Aviation Security by Scott Stewart posted 9/16/2009 on Stratfor).

One of the most recent suicide attacks was the Aug. 28 attempt by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to assassinate Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. In that attack, a suicide operative smuggled an assembled IED containing approximately one pound of high explosives from Yemen to Saudi Arabia concealed in his rectum. While in a meeting with Mohammed, the bomber placed a telephone call and the device hidden inside him detonated.

In an environment where militant operational planning has shifted toward concealed IED components, this concept of smuggling components such as explosive mixtures inside of an operative poses a daunting challenge to security personnel — especially if the components are non-metallic. It is one thing to find a quantity of C-4 explosives hidden inside a laptop that is sent through an X-ray machine; it is quite another to find that same piece of C-4 hidden inside someone’s body. Even advanced body-imaging systems like the newer backscatter and millimeter wave systems being used to screen travelers for weapons are not capable of picking up explosives hidden inside a person’s body. Depending on the explosive compounds used and the care taken in handling them, this method of concealment can also present serious challenges to explosive residue detectors and canine explosive detection teams. Of course, this vulnerability has always existed, but it is now highlighted by the new tactical reality. Agencies charged with airline security are going to be forced to address it just as they were previously forced to address shoe bombs and liquid explosives.

Advanced body-imaging systems such as backscatter and millimeter wave systems?  Why, these are the imaging systems that produce the nude images that have infuriated the flying public.  The very machines that they say are imperative to our safety.  But what good are they if they won’t detect a bomb in a rectum?  For that matter, what good is an aggressive pat down that won’t detect a bomb in a rectum?  You know what would probably give this guy away, though?  His behavior (see the same Stratfor link).

A successful attack requires operatives not only to be dedicated enough to initiate a suicide device without getting cold feet; they must also possess the nerve to calmly proceed through airport security checkpoints without alerting officers that they are up to something sinister. This set of tradecraft skills is referred to as demeanor, and while remaining calm under pressure and behaving normal may sound simple in theory, practicing good demeanor under the extreme pressure of a suicide operation is very difficult. Demeanor has proven to be the Achilles’ heel of several terror plots, and it is not something that militant groups have spent a great deal of time teaching their operatives. Because of this, it is frequently easier to spot demeanor mistakes than it is to find well-hidden explosives.

In the end, it is impossible to keep all contraband off aircraft. Even in prison systems, where there is a far lower volume of people to screen and searches are far more invasive, corrections officials have not been able to prevent contraband from being smuggled into the system. Narcotics, cell phones and weapons do make their way through prison screening points. Like the prison example, efforts to smuggle contraband aboard aircraft can be aided by placing people inside the airline or airport staff or via bribery. These techniques are frequently used to smuggle narcotics on board aircraft.

Obviously, efforts to improve technical methods to locate IED components must not be abandoned, but the existing vulnerabilities in airport screening systems demonstrate that emphasis also needs to be placed on finding the bomber and not merely on finding the bomb. Finding the bomber will require placing a greater reliance on other methods such as checking names, conducting interviews and assigning trained security officers to watch for abnormal behavior and suspicious demeanor. It also means that the often overlooked human elements of airport security, including situational awareness, observation and intuition, need to be emphasized now more than ever.

Profiling will work.  And has worked.  The Israelis use it.  And they should know a thing or two about keeping bombers off of airplanes.  From the ticket purchase, to the security line to the boarding gate, someone should be asking questions and observing.  And only those they flag should we pull aside for enhanced security screening.  And then and only then, should we violate their naughty bits

It’s Better to Offend a Few than Sexually Batter Everyone

Sexually battering our women and children may seem like tough safety precautions.  But it’s humiliating.  Unclean.  And most important of all, ineffective.  It reminds me of a MAD Magazine cartoon I read long ago as a child. 

A banker was explaining their impenetrable vault to a prospective depositor.  It had every possible advanced security feature you could imagine.  Then the prospective depositor asked what the unplugged electrical cord lying on the floor outside the vault was for.  The banker cleared his voice and said meekly that it was the plug for the super-secure vault.  And that someone must have tripped over the cord and pulled it from the outlet.  But to assuage any doubts the customer had, he assured him that they normally secured that plug to the outlet with a piece of scotch tape.

And this is what the TSA has given us.  A super expensive, complex and invasive security program that some guy with a bomb up his pooper can easily defeat.  Instead of studying behavior, the TSA plays with our genitals.  And tries not to offend people who ‘look’ similar to past terrorists.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,