Discussions, news, analysis and thoughts on terrorism.
David Farber writes an article detailing some of the possible chemicals involved in the recent trans-Atlantic bomb plot. He then comes to the same conclusions I made on where this might lead.My version would be:2001: Nail clippers banned.2002: Passengers made to take of shoes.2006: Nail polish, liquids, laptops, cell phones and carry on luggage forbidden on flights.
Although intelligence is a better anti-terror weapon than wars, there are some side effects of arrests such as the recent ones for the trans-Atlantic flight bomb plot.One of these side effects is what is termed Security theater, coined by Bruce Shneier.This is for government actions that are designed to look like they are improving security, but really do not. This is like the old joke that goes like this:
The recent terrorism arrests for the trans-Atlantic flights alleged bomb plot shows that the tried and tested method of using security agencies gathering intelligence is the best way to combat terror, before the plots are put in execution.There is no need for a "war on terror" that invades other countries, killing tens of thousands of civilians, destabilizing countries, created new terrorism leaders and alliances (such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi), and having thousands of new recruits for terror organizations like Al-Qaeda.
A new scarecrow term that has emerged recently, specially in right wing media and the Bush administration's rhetoric. The term is the caliphate.
In this article, I mention some facts on the caliphate, and what the above rhetoric is.
In an open letter published in several newspapers, four British Muslim MPs, and 38 organizations accused Prime Minister Tony Blair of fuelling extremism and terrorism.They specifically name the UK government's foreign policy towards Iraq and Israel.This CBC article has more details and quotes.
The Yesha Rabbinical Council, commenting on the Qana massacre, has said that during the time of war, there are "no innocents".
Yesha Rabbinical Council: During time of war, enemy has no innocentsThe Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that "according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy." All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)(07.30.06, 17:37)
Britian's defence secretary has said that the presence of UK troops in Afghanistan has energized the Taleban. The same goes for US and Canadian troops of course.
In a strongly tribal country, the mere presence of foreign troops can cause the previously bad guys to become heroes and defenders.
On Sunday, a man reportedly shot and killed one person at a Seattle Jewish center, and wounded six more, while reportedly shouting: "I am an American Muslim and I am angry at Israel".His name is Naveed Haq, and is of Pakistani ancestry.What is emerging though is that Naveed had converted to Christianity and underwent baptism in December 2005. Moreover he was rarely at the mosque, despite his father being a founder.
This is old news, but I never knew about it when it came out.
A US Soldier who was on duty in Guantanamo Bay was ordered to play the role of an inmate, complete with an orange jumpsuit over his military fatigues. This was for the purpose of training.
The other soliders, who thought he was a real inmate, were supposed to extract him from under a bed.
In the process they brutally assaulted him, causing brain damage that caused him to have seizures.
He could not even utter the safe word because his breathing was constrained.
One can only imagine what real prisoners had to go through.
If one compares how the USA reacted to terrorism, and how the UK did, there are very significant differences.The population did not panic. The media did not demonize an entire religion. And despite some mistakes, the government did not make sweeping arrests.The British people took this in stride.There were also effort to diagnose the root causes, and address them, rather than the end symptom being treated as solely a security problem.Some of these initiatives are outlined in this BBC article, including: