Attackers stormed a factory near Lyon, France, on Friday, killing at least one person in what the authorities said appeared to be a terrorist incident.
French news reports said that a car carrying two people had driven onto the grounds of an industrial-gas plant in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, southeast of Lyon, and set off an explosion. One of the attackers reportedly waved an Islamic State flag during the attack.
News reports said that there was a decapitated body at the scene. The police provided no details other than to confirm that at least one person was dead and that several others had been wounded.
Bernard Cazeneuve, the interior minister, was heading to the scene, his office said. Prime Minister Manuel Valls ordered tightened security and “reinforced vigilance” on “sensitive” sites in the region, about 300 miles southeast of Paris. President François Hollande’s office said he would make a statement shortly.
The US says an air strike in Iraq has killed an Islamic State (IS) militant linked to an attack on a US diplomatic compound in Libya three years ago.
The Pentagon says Ali Awni al-Harzi died on 15 June in the city of Mosul, which is controlled by IS.
He was designated as a terrorist by the US Treasury and state department.
The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was among four Americans killed in the Benghazi attacks in September 2012.
Last year, avowed neo-Nazi F. Glenn Miller Jr. allegedly shot to death three people outside two Jewish centers in Overland Park.
In 2012, white supremacist Wade Michael Page stormed a Sikh temple south of Milwaukee, shooting and killing six people.
In 2009, white supremacist James W. von Brunn shot and fatally wounded a security guard at the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., in an attack that sent tourists running for cover.
While those shooters were known white nationalists, little is known yet about Roof’s ideologies.
Although he appeared to have an interest in white supremacy, many of his Facebook friends were black. He wasn’t known to groups that monitor white nationalist activity, and unlike some who have committed violence, he hadn’t been publicly promoting a racist agenda.
Yet there also was evidence of racist leanings.
It appears that a selfie posted by a “moron” ISIS militant may have helped the US Air Force find and flatten an ISIS headquarter building.
Defense Tech reports that at a Air Force Association breakfast meeting in Washington DC on Monday, General Hawk Carlisle, the head of Air Combat Command, shared a story of how a careless social media post directly led to an airstrike against ISIS.
He says that a photograph was spotted on social media by surveillance and reconnaissance airmen at Hurlburt Field in Florida, who relayed the info over to those on the front lines.
“The guys that were working down out of Hurlburt, they’re combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command. And in some social media, open forum, bragging about the command and control capabilities for Daesh, ISIL,” Carlisle said.
When Presidential candidates try to scare us about reducing the scope or removing the Patriot Act, is that not subtle propagandized terrorism? Using our our worst fears to continue what is really an ongoing threat to privacy and civil protections?
How about when it’s just agencies looking to continue all that power, employment and budget control? Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex. Today we need to also be warned of, be wary of the government/intelligence complex, especially as enabled by the civilian technology sector. Google, Oracle, Microsoft, and terabits of personal data transmitted in the clear rather than encrypted.
First, there’s no evidence that the call-records program is effective in any meaningful sense of the word. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which reviewed classified files, “could not identify a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation.” The President’s Review Group, which also reviewed classified files, determined that the call-records program had “not [been] essential to preventing attacks,” and that, to the extent the program had contributed to terrorism investigations, the records in question “could readily have been obtained in a timely manner” using targeted demands. Although government once made far grander claims to the FISA court, the strongest claim that leaders of the intelligence community now make in support of the call-records program is that it provides “peace of mind.” Whatever this claim means—peace of mind to whom?—it’s not a claim that the program is necessary.
Second, there’s no evidence that other forms of collection under Section 215 have been any more effective. If intelligence officials could cite instances in which collection under Section 215 had been crucial to terrorism investigations, you can be sure they would have cited them by now. They certainly would have cited them to the Justice Department’s Inspector General, but a report by the Inspector General released this past week states that FBI personnel were “unable to identify any major case developments that resulted from use of the records obtained through use of Section 215 orders.” FBI personnel didn’t say that collection under Section 215 had been entirely useless—they said it had been useful in corroborating information already in their possession, for example—but they certainly didn’t say, or even come close to saying, that the expiration of Section 215 would compromise national security.
Third, the sunset of Section 215 wouldn’t affect the government’s ability to conduct targeted investigations of terrorist threats. This is because the government has many other tools that allow it to collect the same kinds of things that it can collect under Section 215. It can use administrative subpoenas or grand jury subpoenas. It can use pen registers. It can use national security letters. It can use orders served under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. If Section 215 sunsets, it can use the provision that Section 215 amended, which will allow it to collect business records of hotels, motels, car and truck rental agencies, and storage rental facilities.
The sunset of Section 215 would undoubtedly be a significant political loss for the intelligence community, and it would be a sensible first step towards broader reform of the surveillance laws, but there’s no support for the argument that the sunset of Section 215 would compromise national security. Against this background, it’s not surprising the FBI Director reacted the way he did to a question about the possible sunset of Section 215. “I don’t like losing any tool in our toolbox,” Comey said, “but if we do, we press on.”
This is a follow-up on yesterday’s front page article about Robert Doggart, the failed congressional candidate whose plot to attack innocent Muslims In Delaware County, NY was foiled by federal agents.
In that thread I mentioned that there’s more than one Islamberg—the one in Texas that I wrote about last year and the one in New York that Doggart was planning to attack—this is about a third one in South Carolina called Holy Islamville. As with the others, local police have had no problems with them.
An article just came in through my Google Alerts this evening mentioning Islamville. In light of reports on Doggart’s plan to massacre Muslims, the York County Sheriff, Bruce Bryant, has made it clear that he’s having none of that:
There is “no truth at all,” he said, to rumors or media reports that there has ever been a Muslim training ground at Holy Islamville.“This guy who wanted to cause chaos in New York, who planned to go after innocent people and also was targeting law enforcement who tried to stop him - we will not tolerate that in York County,” he said. “The people who live at Islamville, and the people who gather at Islamville, they are citizens of America, this state and York County, and we will do everything we can to protect them as we would for any other resident of York County.” […]
—Sheriff Bruce Bryant
Islamville residents have kept an “open relationship” with law enforcement for three decades, Bryant said, and his officers routinely visit the community. There is “no truth at all,” he said, to rumors or media reports that there has ever been a Muslim training ground at Holy Islamville.
“That is plainly untrue,” Bryant said. “There has never been any kind of training camp, obstacle course or anything there. As far as York County law enforcement is concerned, there is no threat there and never has been a threat.
“York County residents need to know that these people are a part of the community, and that the community is safe.”
Islamville residents deserve and will receive equal treatment from police in York County, he said.
“I do not believe what they believe concerning religion,” Bryant said, “but these are people who live in York County who will be treated with respect and who will receive the best that the York County Sheriff’s Office can offer. Freedom of religion is guaranteed in this country. This is America.” […]
Compare the above with reports by Clarion—there are several, but here’s one from 2013 (do not link) which describes Islamville as a site “run by a radical group named Muslims of the Americas (MOA),” which they assert has connections to a terrorist group in Pakistan called Jamaat ul-Fuqra (JF for short).
If you Google JF’s name you’ll mostly get links to to right-wing sites screeching about impending doom and dhimmitude, however buried in there is also an article from October 2008 written by the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point. I wrote about the CTC back in 2013, if you want to know more about them. They didn’t seem to reach any concrete conclusion about the attitudes of JF/MOA at the time of the writing.
A quick search of the CTC site turned up four additional articles, the most recent (from 2010) with regard to someone named Clement Rodney Hampton-El:
A member of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing conspiracy, Hampton-El was convicted in 1996 with the “blind shaykh,” `Umar `Abd al-Rahman, and others in connection with the “Day of Terror” plot against New York City landmarks. […]
I could find no mention of Hampton-El after that. Presumably he’s either dead or sitting in a federal prison somewhere.
The SPLC wrote an article on them as well back in 2002. It too mentions Hampton-El, his time in Afghanistan, and his involvement with the 1993 WTC bombing. Included is discussion of Jilani (sometimes spelled Gilani in other articles). There was also a bunch of stuff about white supremacists & the NOI, but my eyes were starting to glaze over by the time I got to that part so I quit reading. A quick search only returned the report linked to above along with three other articles in which JF was only mentioned in comments, not the articles themselves.
Last but not least, the ADL wrote a profile on them 22 years ago, back in 1993 (PDF). A search of the ADL’s website returns five additional articles, all from their archives with the most recent being from 2002. I only skimmed the articles, but they seemed primarily concerned with antisemitism—not surprising since that’s a big part of the ADL’s mission. I don’t know if the absence of more recent articles means they have ceased expressing such things, but I would assume so since the ADL isn’t shy about pointing out antisemitism. In any event, antisemitism—as noxious as it is—isn’t tantamount to terrorism.
So who should we believe? The scaremongers from The Clarion Project and Fox News? Should we make an assessment based on old reports by the CTC, SPLC and ADL, or do we listen to current local law enforcement in SC, NY and TX who say there’s nothing to be concerned about? I obviously can’t answer that for you, all I can do is share what I’ve found and point out that it seems the group and its communes have been largely quiet & law abiding for quite some time now.
I’m sure there’s more that could be dug up, not the least of which is info on the websites & organizations dedicated to demonizing Muslims and pushing fear (and the connections between them), but I have a life and a full time job, so the info above is all I have time for right now.
That’s all. For now…
P.S. Let me kow if you find any typos and I’ll correct them in the AM. I’m to tired to proofread right now. TIA.
U.S. officials said separately that investigators did not know whether the group was opportunistically claiming credit when it had little or no direct or indirect involvement.
One U.S. official said investigators believed it was possible, if not likely, that IS played an “inspirational” rather than “operational” role in the attack.
That would mean the shooters may have immersed themselves in items posted online by IS and other groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula intended to incite violence but that the group played no role in directing an attack on the Texas event.
U.S. investigators were going through the shooters’ computers and communications devices, officials said.
On Tuesday, Azam Soofi of Overland Park struggled to make sense of it all.
“We are grieving,” he said, standing at the threshold of his home on 158th Place.
His son, Nadir Soofi, was dead. Police had identified him, along with Elton Simpson, both of Phoenix, as the two gunmen who on Sunday, firing assault rifles, tried to enter an event in Texas where cartoonists were taking part in a contest that featured drawings of the Prophet Muhammad. Both Soofi and Simpson were stopped, killed by police.
The Islamic State extremist group has claimed responsibility for last weekend’s attack in Garland, Tex., during which two assailants shot a security guard before being killed by police officers outside an event devoted to cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, news agencies reported on Tuesday.
The group, which is fighting an insurgency in Syria and Iraq, said on its official radio station Al Bayan that “two soldiers of the caliphate” had carried out the attack, The Associated Press said.
The statement provided few details, however, and it remained unclear whether the extremist group was in fact involved even indirectly in the attack or whether it was making the claim for purely for propaganda value, following a pattern of trying to attract recruits by extolling terrorist attacks against Western targets.
Police have continued to patrol the western German city of Oberursel following the cancelation of the Eschborn-Frankfurt City loop race bike race. The competition was called off over a suspected terrorist attack.
Authorities cancelled the event on Thursday after German police discovered that the race could have been the target of an Islamist terror attack. Two suspects, a 35-year-old German with a Turkish background and his 34-year-old wife, were arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of planning the attack.
A spokesman for Hesse’s State Office of Criminal Investigations said on Friday, however, that police were still securing the planned route.