The List: Are We Checking It Twice?

You know that I am highly critical of a lot of programs of the US government……and I know I am not alone….the difference is that I try to give an alternative to the paths that we pursue….and terrorism is no different.

The Paris attacks of last week have Americans as well as the rest of the world trying to re-think their security procedures.

The attacks last week has brought up a wealth of questions….like how did the terrorist stay in France or Belgium if he was a known terrorist on that list that gets passed around with the names of those that should be considered dangerous.  How did this person come and go without knowledge of the authorities?

If you would like a better perspective of how the French approach counter-terrorism…..then read on…..

Source: The French Approach to Counterterrorism | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

Personally, I think that the approach of the “home team” needs a new direction.  These days it is about massive surveillance out on the street and the infiltration of possible groups that want to do harm…..the problem is that the government is spending massive amounts of cash to be able to film you peeing behind a dumpster on Main Street or infiltrating some group of mentally starved youths so they can be conned into wanting to buy C4…..

Maybe the government could spend more time on those at the top of the list and not worry about where I pee….just a thought.

The List?  Yep, there is a list.

There is a Terror List…..and on that list there are 325,000 names of people of interests…..

The National Counterterrorism Center maintains a central repository of 325,000 names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them, a number that has more than quadrupled since the fall of 2003, according to counterterrorism officials.

The list kept by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) — created in 2004 to be the primary U.S. terrorism intelligence agency — contains a far greater number of international terrorism suspects and associated names in a single government database than has previously been disclosed. Because the same person may appear under different spellings or aliases, the true number of people is estimated to be more than 200,000, according to NCTC officials.

……..central database is the hub of an elaborate network of terrorism-related databases throughout the federal bureaucracy. Terrorism-related names and other data are sent to the NCTC under standards set by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6, signed by President Bush in September 2003, according to a senior NCTC official. The directive calls upon agencies to supply data only about people who are “known or appropriately suspected to be . . . engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism.”

You know because I person reads Arabic newspapers does not make them a “terrorist”…..but somehow that person is probably on this list…..

Washington has decided to act in the shadow of Paris……

I know that many are afraid of losing their 2nd amendment rights….usually it it the same people that would deny 1st amendment rights to some Americans……there is a bill coming up that many may not know about…..I can help…..

A significant gap in current federal law allows suspected or known terrorists in the United States to legally buy guns. Since 2001, lone-wolf terrorists have increasingly turned to high-powered guns as their weapon of choice. An investigation found that between Feb. 2004 and Dec. 2014, suspected terrorists attempted to purchase guns at least 2,233 times. In 2,043 of those cases, over 90 percent of the time, individuals on the consolidated terror watch list passed a background check and were legally able to purchase a firearm.

The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, or S. 551 / H.R. 1076, would close the terror gap and prevent suspected terrorists from easily buying guns.

Learn how the bill would keep guns out of the hands of terror suspects.

Okay….I await the attacks and the craziness……

What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works?

The Paris attacks and the subsequent raids that killed the so-called “mastermind” has brought up the whole scenario about surveillance once again…..the hot button issue in the digital age…..

Extreme measures will be put into effect as soon as possible…..there is even some talk about the possibility of closing borders in Europe…..there will be stricter countermeasures put into place….

But the question that should be asked and fully answered is….will these measures be effective?

Officials are again pointing to the need for mass surveillance to take down terrorists. Here’s what we know about how well it works.

Good question, right?

Source: What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much – ProPublica

Sadly We Have Our First Death

In the war against ISIS….first blood has been spilled……

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An American soldier was killed and 70 hostages held by ISIS were freed in an overnight raid on an Iraq prison by US and Kurdish commandos, a Defense Department spokesman tells CBS News. Iraqi officials—who noted that the raid near the northern town of Hawija included a combination of airstrikes, US and Kurdish special-ops forces, and US choppers—say that some militants were captured as well, the New York Times reports. “They cut off roads and raided the place successfully,” the governor of the surrounding Kirkuk province tells the paper. “They were able to take people with them.” Two senior US military officials would only offer confirmation of the mission in general to the Times.

The Times notes the overnight mission is likely the first major US raid against ISIS since the home of Syrian Abu Sayyaf (rumored to be the ISIS leader given American hostage Kayla Mueller as a bride) was ambushed in May, turning up “a treasure trove” of intelligence. Hawija has been in the US’ sights as troops try to make headway in recouping ground from militants in both Syria and Iraq, especially in Ramadi and Baiji, per the paper. This is said to be the first confirmed raid by US commandos in Iraq, although some have been conducted in Syria.

I pray this will not become a commonplace occurrence…..

ISIS: Here’s Your Sign

CRAP!  I lost my cable connection!  Don’t you just hate when there is “connectile dysfunction”?

By now all America has heard of the dust up that the US and its coalition partners are having with the extremist group ISIS, right?  If not, then please go back to sleep and let the adults have the room.

For over a year the US and its allies have been bombarding ISIS from the air while some ineffective group troops are trying to take back territory lost to ISIS and the news is luke warm at best……one day we are winning….the next it is not as simple as winning or losing…..the next it is all the local army’s fault…..then we are back to a major success and the cycle continue on and on and……

There have been some reports that I feel should be released to the public and for some reason is not that important.  I know we have refugees and some dude in a white outfit sucking all the oxygen out of real news….but there was one that I found exceptionally good news and waited for a “breaking news” segment on some news show….and I waited…..

So let me be the one that breaks it for you……

ISIS recruits are fleeing the Jihadist group for various reasons—including their use as suicide bombers, the lack of luxury cars, and the sheer boredom of duties that don’t involve frontline fighting, according to a new report. Published today by a London-based think tank, the report calls defectors “a new and growing phenomenon” and says 58 have left ISIS since January 2014, but calls that number a mere fraction of defections since then, the Telegraph reports. Some defectors have complained about the “quality of life” and were usually among those “who had joined the group for material and ‘selfish’ reasons, and quickly realized that none of the luxury goods and cars that they had been promised would materialize,” per the report. Among their other reasons:

  • A shortage of basic goods and annoying power outages.
  • Cruelty against civilians, racism within ISIS (an East Indian was given toilet-cleaning duty), and advantages bestowed upon foreign fighters over Syrian members, the Independent reports.
  • “One of the most persistent criticisms was the extent to which the group is fighting against other Sunni rebels,” per the report. Defectors said that toppling Assad and helping Sunnis targeted by him “didn’t seem to be a priority.”

The report calls on governments to encourage more defections and take away legal “disincentives” that keep defectors from telling their stories, the Guardian reports. The defectors may have joined a “violent and totalitarian organisation,” the report says, “yet they have also become its victims, and their stories can be used as potentially powerful tools in the fight against it.”

Am I mistaken or is this the perfect propaganda tool to fight the recruitment by ISIS?

Where are the “news” organizations on this?

Should not this made a bigger deal that it is so far…..or is this just another piece of crap that the media has set up with the government?

My Latest Intel Report

Most of my readers know that I am a bit of a international relations geek……I research and write a lot about the world’s situation and the dangers that we face now and in the future.  Because of my interests I get a lot of stuff that most Americans would have to pay to read….one of my sources is a group called IntelCenter…..these people track terrorists and such and analyze future problems as they are forming…..

Usually their reports are pretty much along the same lines as the local media outlet….but from time to time they report something that should be news but for some reason we seldom hear or read……

I got a report from 09 September 2015 that listed the top ten group in the world that need to be watched….and they are……
Most Dangerous Groups Over Past 30 Days
Group Threat Index (GTI)

1 – Islamic State (IS)
2 – al-Shabaab [Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (HSM)]
3 – Boko Haram
4 – Taliban
5 – Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)
6 – Jabhat al-Nusrah
7 – Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
8 – Ansar al-Sharia
9 – Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR)
10 – al-Huthi Rebels

Please take a moment to look over the list……(pause here for a little reflection from the reader)…… there anything unusual about the list?

Al-Qaeda main is NOT on the list…wassup wit dat?

But yet the government has started pushing the idea that AQ is more dangerous than ISIS….

A much-hyped new report for SOCOM is aiming to shift US focus away from ISIS and back toward al-Qaeda on the grounds that the later is a bigger “long-term” threat, and that ISIS is too aggressive to actually be successful in the long run.

The report comes out of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and attempts to compare al-Qaeda to Mao, with ISIS as Che Guevara, and drawing the conclusion that because Mao had a much bigger reign, that means al-Qaeda ultimately will too.

Underpinning all the claims of ISIS relying on a strategy that “already failed” is the conceit of a US victory in the occupation of Iraq, and the notion that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which became ISIS, was “defeated” by the US in that war. It then goes on to assume ISIS will inevitably be defeated the same way again.

AQ is more dangerous that ISIS?  Really?

Here are a few things to consider about al-Qaeda, nearly 30 years in, has little real territory, and that is mostly in the possession of its auxiliaries. ISIS, by contrast, has half of Syria and a good chunk of Iraq, and is recruiting at a much faster clip than al-Qaeda is. Whether they ultimately falter, it’s hard to deny that right now, ISIS is making more progress than al-Qaeda toward their respective goals.

What is our government up to with these newest revelations?

Do you watch the news, I mean real news not the pond scum from WND or Inforwars, if you do then when was the last time you heard AQ mentioned?  Take a minute and think it over……

I know the refugees are far more interesting and easy for those that have a very limited mental capacity…..but there is something going on here and few people are paying attention…..

That is why you have me, right?

“Papers? Show Me Your Papers.”

Remember those lines from every World War 2 movie you have ever seen?  Always some jack booted a/hole demanding to see the heroes papers before he gets on a train and escapes.

I even joked about it coming to that after 9/11 and the rush for everyone to have a proper ID (papers)…..this would guarantee our safety and help control the bad element……it was humorous post on my part…..but recent events have come to light that make it not so humorous anymore……

This from a short piece in Time’s leisure section…….

Starting in 2016, travelers from five U.S. states will not be able to use their driver’s licenses as ID to board domestic flights—a pretty major development considering an estimated 38 percent of Americans don’t have passports.

The standard licenses from New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and American Samoa are considered “noncompliant” with the security standards outlined in the Real ID Act, which was enacted back in 2005 but is being implemented in stages. Why are these specific licenses deemed sub-par? In these five states, getting a license doesn’t require proof of citizenship or residency.

The new rules will go into effect sometime in 2016 (the exact date has not been announced), and there will be a three-month forgiveness period, during which people with these licenses will be warned that their IDs are no longer valid for flights.

Here’s the breakdown: if you’re from one of these states, “acceptable” IDs include passports and passport cards, as well as permanent resident cards, U.S. military ID, and DHS trusted traveler cards such a Global Entry and NEXUS.  (what about those damn silly voter IDs?)

The TSA will also accept Enhanced Driver’s Licenses, the kind that are currently used to replace passports for travel to and from  Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Of the noncompliant states, only New York and Minnesota issue enhanced licenses.

For families from these states, at least children under 18 years old do not need ID when traveling with a companion.

Only thing missing since TSA and others are wearing black uniforms will be the line….”Papers?  Show me your papers”…….

As long as we are talking about flying and the chance of a TSA grope… about this piece about flying?

Source: Flying the Unfriendly Skies of America by Tom Engelhardt —

Can you remember when traveling was an enjoyable pursuit?  I can.  Those days are gone, my friend.