Discussions, news, analysis and thoughts on terrorism.
The authorities in the United States arrested several people in connection with an alleged terror plot to destroy New York's city JFK airport by blowing up a jet fuel supply line.Among the four accused there are people who are unlikely to be terrorists.
It has been long know that the world of police informants is filled with shady characters, and questionable motives. It is common practice to hold some trivial mishap against the informant to force them to act as one. In other cases, the informants are people with limited skills and/or motivation, or ex-criminals who find this line of work a way to earn income.
Recent media coverage of three terror attacks all point to the same repeating pattern: authorities getting notice that they will happen, but not doing something to stop them.First, you have George Tenet, the ex-CIA director, authoring a book where he says that the U.S.A. ignored clear warnings before the September 11 attacks.
The Supreme court of Canada in a 9-0 decision, has overturned the current system of security certificates.Under the security certificates, non-citizens can be held without charge indefinitely based on secret evidence that they cannot see, nor can their lawyers defend them against these secret charges.This is more in line with Canadian values for sure.See also The Record:
NATO's commander in Afghanistan, General David Richards, says that the country is at a tipping point and that as many as 70% of Afghans could switch allegiance to the Taliban.
Note that the UK's defence secretary has stated before that the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan has energized the Taliban.
Read the details in this BBC article.
This is a list of cases of mistaken identity. Whether it is airline staff removing a passenger, or other passengers forming a mob to evict a "suspicious" looking person, and other absurdities.
This is "collateral damage" in the War on Terror.
Seth Stein is a New York born Jewish architect from London. He designs interiors for vacation homes of wealthy clients, and hence travels a lot.On his way back from a vacation at Turk and Caicos, he was on an American Airlines flight to New York. After using the bathroom at the start of the flight, he settled with an iPod. A man claiming to be an NYPD police officer pounced on him, holding him in a headlock. He was told that he was acting suspiciously and to stay calm. The man went through his pockets and took his passport and the iPod.He was told that his holiday tan made him "look Arab".
Pablo Gutierrez Vega is a 35 year old law professor at the University of Seville.He was on an Air Berlin flight when three German passengers approached him and asked to search his luggage. When he realized that they are not undercover police he refused.Why did this happen? Because Vega had a dark complex and (horror or horrors) a beard!Vega says that "they treated me like an Islamic terrorist because of my appearance". Moreover, he says that the pilot told him "the passengers believed I was a Muslim". How shocking!Read the detailed from the AP and CBS.
James Travers writes in the Toronto Star on how Bush, Blair and Harper push dubious claims that our freedoms are what fuels anger that can end in terrorism.
Sheema Khan wrote an article in the Globe and Mail about how foreign policy and domestic resentment (culminating in "homegrown" terrorism) are intimately tied. This applies equally to Canada, UK or the USA.