From Clarion Project:
Christian Girls in Egypt Kidnapped, Raped, Converted
Growing questions about TSA’s behavioral detection program
27 March 2014TSA has spent roughly $1 billion training thousands of “behavior detection officers” as part of theScreening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program. The purpose of SPOT is to identify facial and body expressions that signals terrorist activity. The results have not been impressive: fewer than 1 percent of the more than 30,000 passengers a year who are identified as suspicious end up being arrested, and the offenses have not been linked to terrorism.
A November 2013 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that the TSA should reduce future funding for the agency’s behavioral detection program because there is little evidence of the program’s effectiveness. According to the GAO, “available evidence does not support whether behavioral indicators, which are used in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program, can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security.”
The recommendation was supported by a survey in which psychologists Charles Bond and Bella DePaulo analyzed more than 200 studies in which participants correctly identified 47 percent of lies as deceptive and 61 percent of truths as nondeceptive, resulting in an average of 54 percent — only 4 percent better than chance. Accuracy rates were lower in experiments when judgment had to be made relying solely on body language....
Bletchley Park code-breaker Jerry Roberts dies
One of the last surviving Bletchley Park codebreakers Raymond "Jerry" Roberts has died, aged 93, following a short illness
Photo: PABy Padraic Flanagan26 Mar 2014
Captain Raymond “Jerry” Roberts, one of the last surviving Second World War codebreakers at Bletchley Park, has died at the age of 93 following a short illness.He was part of an elite team at the British listening post which helped crack the German Tunny system used by Hitler, Mussolini and other high ranking generals during the war.Capt Roberts joined the team of codebreakers in Buckinghamshire as a cryptographer and linguist in 1941, said a Bletchley Park spokeswoman.
He was one of four founder members of the Testery, an elite unit named after the man leading it, Ralph Tester, which cracked the Tunny code making it possible to read Hitler's messages during the war.
The team managed to reverse engineer the Tunny, which had 12 encryption wheels to the Enigma machine's three, described by Bletchley Park as "an incredible feat of dedication".
Describing Capt Roberts as "lovely" and "absolutely charming", she said: "He was passionate about what he and his colleagues achieved.
"He did not want to blow his own trumpet but to have the work of his colleagues recognised."
Reminiscing years after the war, when he was finally free to talk about his work, Capt Roberts said he had taken delight in reading Hitler's messages, sometimes even before the German leader....
Original Tuskegee airman Walt Richardson dies at age 85
Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach (MCT)
March 29, 2014
When Walt Richardson and his wife, Helen, were blessed with eight children, he worked multiple jobs to support them.
When he was selected to be one of the first black men to integrate the Air Force, he rose above the racism that surrounded him.
“You don’t let these things make you bitter,” he taught his children. “You use them to make you better.”
Richardson was 85 when he died early Saturday morning at his home in Fort Walton Beach. Funeral arrangements are pending.
He was one of the original Tuskegee airmen, a gifted entertainer, a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and a deacon at St. Mary Catholic Church.
Despite the cancer that had spread through his body, he worked right up to the end of his life, with a March 21 fall at his house triggering a rapid decline.
“He said, ‘Let me go with my boots on,” said Pat Richardson, his second oldest son. “Don’t put me in a home. Let me take it to end.”...
Army medics have raced each other on the beach and through the waves to find out who is the fittest in the unit.
Friday's contest saw some 100 men and women of 16 Medical Regiment put through their paces on a four-mile run and assault course in full battle rig along the shifting sands of Mersea Island in Essex.
Physical fitness is vital to the Colchester-based unit, with the troops trained to deploy by parachute or helicopter to provide medical support to 16 Air Assault Brigade, the British Army’s rapid reaction force.
Lieutenant Colonel Philip McNee, Commanding Officer of 16 Med Regt, said: “The beach run was a tough event but every member of the Regiment put in an outstanding effort, showing the strength of their spirit as much as their fitness.
“As troops within 16 Air Assault Brigade, physical fitness is one of our top priorities. On operations we’re expected to parachute or fly in to where we need to be and then be totally self-reliant, carrying all the equipment we need to both serve our role as medics and survive.”
First across the finishing line in a time of 28 minutes 47 seconds was Lance Corporal Chris McMillan, a Royal Engineers electrical engineer.
The 26-year-old from Weston-super-Mare said: “Running on sand is harder than it looks and, without being complacent, I’m very proud to have won this event. I’m a keen runner and put a lot of effort into training, both what we do as a unit and in my own time. If you’re not fit enough you can’t do the job we do, it’s as simple as that.”
Private Kimberley Preston, a combat medical technician from Stonehaven in Scotland, was the first female soldier to finish in 35 minutes 16 seconds.
The 20-year-old said: “Fitness is really important for us as a unit. We would deploy on operations alongside the Parachute Regiment and we have to match their high standards to be able to keep up with them on the ground.”
March 27, 2014
Boston mourns death of 2 veteran firefighters
Lt. Edward J. Walsh had nearly 30 years on the job; Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy was a six-year veteran
By Paige SutherlandBOSTON — Boston residents mourned the deaths of two firefighters who were killed when a fire driven by strong winds whipped through a brownstone and trapped them in the basement in a neighborhood just blocks from where nine city firefighters died in a 1972 hotel collapse.
The Associated Press
Tributes poured in Wednesday for Lt. Edward J. Walsh, a 43-year-old father of three who had almost a decade of experience, and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, a 33-year-old Marine Corps combat veteran who had been a firefighter for more than six years.
Thirteen other firefighters were injured in the blaze in the city's Back Bay district, and several police officers also were taken to hospitals. Some residents were rescued from the upper floors of the four-story apartment building, but none was hurt, city officials said.
"Today's a sad day for the city of Boston," Mayor Martin J. Walsh said. "We lost two heroes here today."
"In 30 years I've never seen a fire travel that fast, escalate that quickly and create such havoc in such a short period of time," [Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Fin] said.
Finn said Walsh and Kennedy had gone down inside stairs into the basement, and he assumed that a front window broke out and blew the fire back at them. They called a mayday within two or three minutes of entering the building.
Kennedy was found about 30 minutes later and was pulled from the building but was pronounced dead at a hospital. Walsh's body was recovered later and was removed in what fire department spokesman Steve MacDonald described as "a very solemn ceremony," in which he was carried on a stretcher out the back of the building through a line of saluting firefighters....
[...]On Wednesday, Walsh, a 43-year-old married father of three young children, and Kennedy, a 33-year-old Marine Corps veteran, had made their way down stairs to the basement when a front window broke, intensifying the blaze, authorities said. Just minutes after entering the building, they were trapped in the cellar, prompting a frantic mayday call.
“We’re in the basement,” one of the men said. “Please come and get us.”
“We lost two heroes here today,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said at the press conference. “These two heroes ran into a burning building and got people out.”
In a statement, the mayor said words “cannot do justice to the grief that we feel tonight.”
“Our hearts are heavy with the knowledge that these brave men gave their lives to protect the safety of our city and its people,” he said. “A day like today makes us all too aware of what they are risking in the course of doing their jobs. They are heroes simply by virtue of accepting this duty.”...
As the Mayor said:
Information regarding the Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund
For Immediate Release
March 27, 2014 Released By: Mayor's Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office Press.Office@cityofboston.gov
BOSTON -- The Boston Firefighter's Credit Union has created a fund to help support the families of Lieutenant Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy.
"In difficult times like these, I am so proud to be mayor of a city that comes together to help our neighbors in need," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "Since yesterday's tragic events, we've experienced an outpouring of support from across the city, state, and country. So many people have expressed a willingness to help, in some way, as we grieve the loss of Lieutenant Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy."
"Although no donation can heal the wounds suffered by the Walsh and Kennedy families, we are grateful to the Boston Firefighter's Credit Union for helping us create a focal point for peoples’ generosity, and to the people of Boston, of Massachusetts, and of the United States, who have once again shown the power of a community to help healing process begin."
Donations to the Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund can be made by visiting the website of the Boston Firefighter's Credit Union at https://www.bosfirecu.com/. Donations can also be made by mailing checks to the Fund, care of the Boston Firefighter's Credit Union, 60 Hallet Street, Dorchester, MA 02124.
“A day like today makes us all too aware of what they are risking in the course of doing their jobs. They are heroes simply by virtue of accepting this duty.”...
Abu Ghaith guilty: May be a life-long guest of the West he despises
By Jacquie Kubin
WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014
Sulaiman abu Ghaith may soon be a life-long guest of the country he despises. On their second day of deliberations, a jury at the United States District Court in Manhattan found Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law guilty on three counts: conspiring to kill Americans; conspiring to provide material support to terrorists; and providing material support to terrorists. The three counts have a possible sentence of life imprisonment.
Ghaith’s defense was that he was only a spokesperson for al Qaeda and his infamous father-in-law and that he did not know about the 9/11 attacks until after they were over. However, testimony during the trial showed that Ghaith was one of the first persons bin Laden called to his Afghanistan cave immediately following the 9/11 attacks.
Abu Ghaith is the highest-ranking al Qaeda figure to be brought to trial in U.S. courts since 9/11. He was arrested in Turkey, where he had traveled to after living under house-arrest in Iran for the last decade. Abu Ghaith was seeking help from al Qaeda to move to another country; however, America’s CIA, working with Turkey’s MIT, was able to track his movements and arrest him in February, 2013.
Abu Ghaith, married to bin Laden’s oldest daughter Fatima, was proven to be aware of further air attacks being planned against the U.S.
Abu Ghaith, a fiery orator, was videotaped delivering bin Laden and Al Qaeda’s message of hate. He himself thus provided the prosecution’s best testimony against him, even as his defense lawyer argued that no evidence proved that the former Kuwaiti teacher knew of the conspiracies....
1 World Trade Center lacks security system because of hefty price tag, report says
March 24, 2014
[...]A "well-placed source" told the Post the $4,000 security system is still sitting in a back office because the Port Authority expressed frustration with paying extra for installation. A report from the Post found that there isn't a single working security camera inside the building.
"He (a Port Authority official) looked at me and my colleague and said, 'Why did I spend $4,000 on this equipment when you could have gone to Home Depot and gotten something cheaper?'" the source told The Post. The source is a veteran electrician who worked on the project for the vendor, Angel Electronics, the report said.
"I was kind of stunned, because that's a pretty bold statement to make considering we got the specs from them, and the Port Authority had it made to order," the source told the Post....
9/11 terror network in U.S. was never fully dismantled, still a threat
26 March 2014A joint inquiry co-chaired by a former senator has warned that the American network that supported and trained the 9/11 hijackers was never fully dismantled, and that it remains a threat, pending the release of a secret report from the era. Former Senator. Bob Graham (D-Florida) points out that a 28-page section from the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” was classified under President George W. Bush and remains so under President Barack Obama.
Graham points out that “Saudi support cells were set up in a number of U.S. cities, coast to coast — including Paterson, N.J., Delray Beach, Fla., Sarasota, Fla., Falls Church, Va., Alexandria, Va., Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix — but were never properly investigated.”...
Exclusive: Islamist Terror Enclave Discovered in Texas
By Ryan Mauro February 18, 2014
A Clarion Project investigation has discovered a jihadist enclave in Texas where a deadly shooting took place in 2002.
The enclave belongs to the network of Muslims of the Americas, a radical group linked to a Pakistani militant group called Jamaat ul-Fuqra. Its members are devoted followers of Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, an extremist cleric in Pakistan.
Muslims of the Americas
The organization says it has a network of 22 “villages” around the U.S., with Islamberg as its main headquarters in New York. The Clarion Project obtained secret MOA footage showing female members receiving paramilitary training at Islamberg. It was featured on the Kelly File on FOX News Channel in October. A second MOA tape released by Clarion shows its spokesman declaring the U.S. to be a Muslim-majority country.
A 2007 FBI record states that MOA members have been involved in at least 10 murders, one disappearance, three firebombings, one attempted firebombing, two explosive bombings and one attempted bombing. It states:...
RAF officers in 100-mile trek to mark Great Escape
26 March 2014
A group of 50 British air force officers are marching from the site of the Nazi Stalag Luft III prisoner camp near Zagan, Poland to a British war cemetery in western Poland to mark 70 years since the Great EscapeA group of 50 Royal Air Force officers have set off to march from the site of a Nazi prisoner camp to a war cemetery in western Poland to mark 70 years since the Great Escape of Allied airmen.
The march is also honouring 50 of them who were caught and executed.
Marek Lazarz, director of the Stalag Luft III Museum near Zagan, said the British group started in pouring rain yesterday from a monument marking the place where 76 prisoners of war emerged, one by one, from a tunnel on March 24 and 25, 1944.
The 77th man was spotted by guards, who gave chase. The 1963 Hollywood movie The Great Escape tells the story...
The United States Congress has designated March 25th of each year as NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY, a day dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients.
(Public Law 101-564) Conceived in the State of Washington, this holiday should be one of our most revered. Unfortunately all too many Americans are not even aware of its existence.
WHY MARCH 25th?
The date of March 25th was chosen to highlight this special day because it was on March 25 (1863) that the first Medals of Honor were presented...to six members of Andrews' Raiders.
Snow said the quote “fits a pattern” of negative remarks from Kerry about U.S. soldiers and suggested that whether Democratic candidates — particularly those running on their military service backgrounds — agree with their 2004 standard-bearer should be a campaign litmus test…
Snow said a lot of Americans have joined the military since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“As for the notion that you can say this sort of thing about the troops and say you support them, it’s interesting,” the press secretary said...
On March 24th, 1991, Crystal Dunahee fixed Michael’s jacket in the parking lot of Blanshard Park, an out of the way park in a tough Victorian neighborhood. Crystal and a friend went to play a softball game in a field north of the parking lot, while Micheal asked to play on a swing set just south of the lot. Bruce reminded his son not to wander away from the playground or leave with any other children. He then took the couples 16 month old daughter, Caitlin, to the side of the ball field, not 100 meters away from the playground. Bruce recalls that after about 5 minutes, he stood on a rocky outcropping to check on his son. The playground was empty and the police were immediately called. Two other witnesses, in addition to Michael’s parents, told the police that they did see Michael playing in the park that day. Family, friends and relatives of the Dunahee family were all very quickly ruled out as possibly being involved in his disappearance.
“His disappearance rocked the community and there are still no answers,” said Sgt. Grant Hamilton, a Victoria police spokesperson.
Since the 15th anniversary of Michael’s disappearance, Victoria police have received 500 tips. In any given month, multiple possible sightings are reported.
None were as promising as a recent sighting of Michael, who would now be 24, in Chase, B.C. Residents of the town were certain it was him.
When police investigated, they took a DNA sample, but it confirmed the man was not Michael Dunahee.
Crystal Dunahee’s eyes were red and filled with tears Wednesday as she spoke to reporters at the Victoria Police Department on the 20th anniversary of her son’s disappearance.
“(His memories) are still embedded in our lives and in our hearts,” she said. “We know someone is out there who knows what happened. We need to find closure so we can move forward.”
A $100,000 reward is in place for any tip that leads to information about Michael’s whereabouts. Tips can be called in to VicPD’s designated tip line, at 250-995-7444 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Crystal, Bruce and Caitlin Dunahee deserve to know what happened to their precious 4 year old Michael.
New Jersey Muslims appeal federal ruling on NYPD surveillance• Judge William Martini said NYPD activities were lawful
• Attorney: ruling sanctions 'targeted, religious discrimination'
Friday 21 March 2014
A group of Muslims from New Jersey is appealing a federal judge's ruling that determined that the New York City Police Department's surveillance of Muslims did not violate their civil rights.
Attorneys from the groups Muslim Advocates and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a notice of appeal on Friday in federal court in Newark, challenging the dismissal of a 2012 lawsuit brought by Muslim individuals and organisations who said the NYPD programs constituted unconstitutional surveillance based on religion, national origin and race. The suit had accused the department of spying on ordinary people at mosques, restaurants and schools in New Jersey since 2002.
US district judge William Martini, in dismissing the suit last month, said the NYPD's activities were part of a lawful effort to prevent terrorism...
MOD identifies 10 First World War soldiers
22 March 2014
Ten soldiers killed during the First World War who were found in France during 2009 have now been identified.Defence Minister Lord Astor has announced that the remains of the 10 soldiers, found during construction work near the French village of Beaucamps-Ligny, have been formally identified after their surviving relatives provided DNA samples.
All those identified served with 2nd Battalion The York and Lancaster Regiment and were killed in battle on 18 October 1914. The discovery will now allow the surviving relatives of the soldiers, who were informed this week, to see their forefathers laid to rest 100 years on from the outbreak of the war.
Lord Astor said:
The soldiers will now be reburied with full military honours at a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in October. The ceremony will be organised by 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment which can trace its history back to the York and Lancaster Regiment. Work to identify a further 5 sets of remains found at the same time is continuing....Our thoughts remain with all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country. Although these soldiers fell almost a century ago, the Ministry of Defence still takes its responsibility extremely seriously to identify any remains found, trace and inform surviving relatives, and to provide a fitting and dignified funeral so they rest in peace.
U.S.-Russia nuclear agenda unaffected by rising tensions over Ukraine crisis
March 21, 2014
As President Obama announced sanctions against Russia on Monday, a group of Russian officials arrived in San Francisco for a surprise inspection of the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal.
The inspections, part of a process agreed to under the 2010 New START weapons reduction treaty, signaled business as usual in at least one area of bilateral cooperation.
So far, all of those efforts have been off-limits in the dispute over Ukraine that has sent U.S.-Russia relations into a steep, downward spiral, and have proceeded without interruption.
Administration officials have been quick to emphasize that they would like to keep it that way and have repeatedly said they believe Russia feels the same way.
Russia is key to the nonproliferation agenda, which has been Obama’s signature foreign policy initiative. Asked Friday whether Moscow intends to remain cooperative, national security adviser Susan E. Rice said, “We haven’t seen any evidence to the contrary.”...
(Turkish F-16s shot down a Syrian military aircraft // Source: commons.wikimedia.org)
Turkey shoots down Syrian military jet
24 March 2014
Turkish fighter jets on Sunday shot down a Syrian warplane after it violated Turkey’s airspace. The Syrian military confirmed the incident, saying the plane was downed in Syrian airspace while strafing rebel positions. Syrian state TV described the incident as a “blatant aggression,” and said the pilot safely ejected from the aircraft. In 2012 Turkey changed its rules of engagement after Syria shot down a Turkish military plane, saying that any Syrian military plane approaching the Turkish border would be treated as a legitimate target.
The Syrian military confirmed the incident, saying the plane was downed in Syrian airspace while strafing rebel positions. Syrian state TV described the incident as a “blatant aggression,” and said the pilot safely ejected from the aircraft. “A Syrian plane violated our airspace,” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told an election rally of his supporters in northwest Turkey. “Our F-16s took off and hit this plane. Why? Because if you violate my airspace, our slap after this will be hard.”...
Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs
Solicitors told how to draw up Sharia-style wills penalising widows and non-believersBy John Bingham22 Mar 2014
Religious Affairs Editor
Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.
Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.
The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock – and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate heirs.
Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes....
Egyptian court sentences 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death, lawyer says
An Egyptian court sentenced 529 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges including murder on Monday, a defense lawyer said, in a sharp escalation of a crackdown on the movement.
The ruling was the biggest mass death sentence handed out in Egypt's modern history, lawyers said.
Turmoil has deepened since the army overthrew Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, in July. Security forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood members in the streets, and arrested thousands.
Most of the defendants at Monday's hearing were detained during clashes which erupted in the southern province of Minya after the forced dispersal of two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo on August 14....
Uruguay agrees to U.S. request to take some Guantanamo inmatesMONTEVIDEO Mar 20, 2014
(Reuters) - Uruguay has agreed with the United States to accept some prisoners held in the much-criticized detention center at the U.S. military base of Guantanamo Bay, President Jose Mujica said on Thursday.
The Obama administration, which wants to close the center used to imprison people captured after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, has been talking to several countries about relocating inmates.
The South American country had accepted the request by Washington to take some prisoners and would consider them refugees, Mujica told journalists while attending an unrelated farming event.
"It's a request for human rights reasons," Mujica said.
21 March 2014A man US prosecutors say was al-Qaeda's spokesman after 9/11 has testified Osama Bin Laden wanted him "to deliver a message to the world".Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, 48, took the stand in his own defence at his terrorism trial in New York City on Wednesday.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges he conspired to kill Americans, and his defence lawyers say he had no advance knowledge of the attacks.
The case is one of the highest-profile terror trials in a US civilian court.
On Wednesday, Mr Abu Ghaith told the court he arrived in Afghanistan in June 2001 because he had a "serious desire to get to know the new Islamic government" there.
Mr Abu Ghaith's remarks came a day after a judge ruled jurors would not hear testimony from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the 9/11 attacks....
Prosecutors claim Abu Ghaith knew of planned attacks against the U.S. and provided support and resources to terrorists.
Abu Ghaith, who has denied the charges, faces life in prison if convicted. The rare gambit by the defense on Wednesday was a last-ditch effort to counter a mountain of evidence against Abu Gaith, including an alleged confession and videos showing him sitting beside bin Laden on September 12, 2001, and another in which he warned Americans that 'the storm of airplanes will not abate'.
The defense has never disputed that Abu Ghaith associated with bin Laden after 9/11, but they contend that he was recruited as a religious teacher and orator, and had no role in plotting more attacks....
Go read here.
March 19, 2014 Robert Spencer
That sound you hear is of 9/11 truthers’ heads exploding all over the land. Of course, other Islamic jihadists have admitted this before, and that hasn’t stopped the truthers, so this probably won’t, either. It has been made abundantly clear over the last twelve-plus years of jihad since 9/11 that some people are impervious to facts and evidence, no matter what....
Afghan prisoners walk outside the Parwan Detention Facility after their release in Bagram Airbase, northern Kabul, March 20, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Omar SobhaniAfghanistan frees 77 prisoners despite UK, coalition warningBy Jessica Donati and Mirwais HarooniKABUL Thu Mar 20, 2014
(Reuters) - Afghanistan on Thursday freed 77 prisoners captured by foreign troops, despite opposition from Britain and NATO-led forces which said they could pose a security threat.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government has long complained that foreign forces have locked up many Afghans on dubious grounds and with no proper judicial process. A similar release last month caused tension with the United States.
The latest batch walked free from Bagram prison, which was transferred to Afghan control last year as a milestone in the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
"Insurgents in this group of detainees have caused casualties amongst coalition and Afghan forces," the NATO-led force in Afghanistan said in a statement.
Tim James, a spokesman for the British embassy, said: "We don't agree with the releases." Thirty-nine of those freed on Thursday were captured by British forces....