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Anonymous Targets Terrorists Using Social Networking In Paris Attacks

November 21, 2015

One of his fellow Belgian jihadists wrote on a social network site after the attack on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris  in January: “The good news is that it is only the beginning.”

Codes, morse codes, computer codes, books with numbers to interpret codes, social networking sites, all go back to the same wartime concept: communication of tactics and strategy. All wartime strategists work to break codes, intercept communication, and take down communication modes, and now Anonymous has said it will focus on shutting down the social networking sites.

Anonymous began its campaign against ISIS in earnest after the killings at Charlie Hebdo in January. That work included launching attacks on extremist websites and finding extremist accounts on Twitter so the social network could take them down.

It has continued that work this time around. Its attacks on websites seem to use a distributed denial of service, a technique that overloads a site’s servers until they go offline. The Twitter accounts are taken down by the network itself, in response to requests the activists make once they are found.

Interrupt communication, now that is something that might just work.

Terrorism is a complicated subject, and combatting belief systems that glorify killing people who make you angry are just the start. It’s not unemployment that makes someone kill another person (read my post about that here: ).

What stops terrorism? Certainly complacency does nothing to stop it. That’s like saying a problem goes away if you just ignore it. Belgium is a hotspot of terrorist activities.

Why is Belgium at the heart of Europe’s most destructive wave of terrorism in a generation? There is no single explanation, but rather a number of ingredients, from post-war immigration from north Africa, hate preachers, ghettos, poverty, and marginalision. There is also a belated realisation by the Belgian authorities that complacency towards extremism has allowed the pernicious Islamic influences to fester. 

Cut off communication, and that might work better. Why hasn’t it been done before?

Although Belgian security services have infiltrated mosques more effectively in past decade – in part, after discovering a Belgian connection to the 2005 Madrid bombings –  Sharia4Belgium and others have found ways to evade surveillance by using internet chat rooms and social media.

Of course, one could look at the Belgium approach to jihad as part of the problem. Note that the head of security points out “marginalization” as if integrating social mixers and jobs could change belief systems. It’s not just about the jobs, people.

Mr Benyaich says that many young Muslims feel marginalised from mainstream Belgian life. “This real or perceived sense of exclusion is combined with extreme Islam,” he says. “All these problems come together in a complex process of indoctrination and alienation.”

The majority of stories I have heard about the families of those involved in jihad speak of desperate families trying to get their loved ones to leave jihadist movements, travel to try to visit their children, pleas to leave the movements, often at great risk to themselves. These parents are not necessarily the parents of children who are marginalized, and the parents themselves say they don’t know how to combat extremism.

Another of the parents of the Paris Terrorists explained how he met up with his son, gave him a letter from his mother, tried to give him money ostensibly to leave, but he couldn’t convince his son out of terrorism:

Born in Drancy, a north-eastern suburb of Paris, he was of French-Algerian descent. His father Mohamed, 67, told Le Monde newspaper how in June last year he travelled to Manbij in Isis-controlled Syria to try to persuade his son to return to France with him, but was unsuccessful. 

When he eventually met his son he was on crutches after being injured in fighting. “It was a very cold reunion,” he said. “He was with another guy, who never left us alone. He did not come home, did not say how he was injured or if he was fighting.”

One of the other brothers of another jihadist said that his family was “in shock.”

You must also understand that, despite tragedy, my parents are in shock and really don’t realise [what has happened].”

Families of terrorists don’t know how this happened, but maybe interrupting social networking sites is the only way to interrupt terrorist activities.


ISIS In Michigan? Feds Investigate Muslim Cleric in Dearborn With ISIS Ties

November 18, 2015

In light of the recent attacks on Paris, there is more interest in supporters of ISIS, and we have an alleged ISIS supporter here in Michigan (

Consider this chilling commentary the Muslim cleric made back in 2012

Just a few weeks after he was released from federal prison in March 2012 on fraud convictions, Dearborn cleric Ahmad Jibril told his followers in a fiery sermon posted online:

When your brothers in Syria speak, everyone today needs to shut their mouth and listen, because they’re proving themselves to be real men.”

Jibril’s talk was the beginning of a number of videos and online comments that have made him an internationally known inspirational figure for militants in Syria. Over the past two years, Jibril has become the most popular religious leader online for Westerners who’ve joined the battle against the Syrian government, according to a new report by a security center in England.

Considering that Syria is home to one of the last round of suicide bombers and has been the epicenter of ISIS activity, why is it that the information from the article below, published last May 2015, hasn’t been re-examined?

A U.S. citizen raised in Dearborn by Palestinian immigrants, Jebril has communicated with ISIS fighters and family members of opposition fighters killed in Syria, according to a report last year by the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. The report said Jebril is the most popular cleric worldwide for Western fighters who have joined ISIS, giving them the religious motivation to join ISIS and similar groups.

Prosecutors have said that Jebril has a history of radical statements stretching back twenty years that promote anti-American, anti-Shia views.

On a website he once operated, “Ahmad Jebril encouraged his students to spread Islam by the sword, to wage a holy war, to hate and kill non-Muslims,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

As of May 5, 2014, the US knew that Syria was becoming a place of jihadist mentality, radicalized messages, and a danger to other societies, with Jebril always at its center:

A U.S. citizen raised in Dearborn by Palestinian immigrants, Jebril has communicated with ISIS fighters and family members of opposition fighters killed in Syria, according to a report last year by the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. The report said Jebril is the most popular cleric worldwide for Western fighters who have joined ISIS, giving them the religious motivation to join ISIS and similar groups.

Prosecutors have said that Jebril has a history of radical statements stretching back twenty years that promote anti-American, anti-Shia views.

On a website he once operated, “Ahmad Jebril encouraged his students to spread Islam by the sword, to wage a holy war, to hate and kill non-Muslims,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

Notice the trend? “Using social media sites…”

The man has his own website.

The Wall Street Journal published an article quoting a study about Jebril’s pervasive use of social media in his quest to support jihad, right from Michigan:

A London-based research center last year found Mr. Jebril the most popular religious leader among ISIS fighters from the West, based on an analysis of his social-media accounts.

Again using social media for terrorist activities. When does the social media come under scrutiny? Or when does a person no longer get access? When do the companies who sponsor social media have to take responsibility for inciting riots?

I don’t know if it’s a sick joke or a sad commentary about Facebook that Jebril has used it to encourage or “cheerlead” as some have said the jihadist movement:

“Thirteen days after his release from prison, he tweeted support for the rebels, comparing them to soldiers in one of Islam’s earliest and most important conflicts, the Battle of Badr,” the International Centre’s report said.

Today, Jibril has more than 23,000 followers on Twitter, a Facebook page with 211,000 likes and a YouTube account whose videos attract thousands of views.

Almost 21% of the Western fighters surveyed in the report liked Jibril on Facebook, the highest percentage of any Islamic leader, the report said. And 60% of the foreign fighters surveyed followed him on Twitter, also the highest of any cleric.

A majority of those fighters are with ISIS or Jabhat al-Nusrah, two groups fighting in Syria that are related to al-Qaida. About 78% of Jibril’s Facebook likes are with the two groups, as are 86% of the fighters surveyed who follow him on Twitter, according to the report.

“He has been directly in touch with a number of foreign fighters, even with the families of fallen foreign fighters,” said Neumann. “He clearly cares about this very much. A lot of the foreign fighters find him inspirational.”

In December 2013, Jibril sent a direct message on Twitter to a family member of a Muslim fighter from England who was killed in Syria.

Mark Zuckerburg, where are your brains? We can’t publish photos of women nursing because the content is offensive, but Facebook can be used to celebrate jihad and hate crimes?

As of April 8, 2015, Ahmad Jebril was no longer restricted on social media outlets by the federal government. His website encourages followers to join him on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

“But When People Get Angry They Do Crazy Things”: Muslim Youth On The ISIS Attacks in Paris

November 17, 2015

Muslim youth, when contacted in Paris about the recent spate of attacks that left 129 Parisians dead state that “when people get angry they do crazy things,” so the short and succinct phrase encompasses all that is wrong and dangerous with the allure of jihad, that being angry is reason enough to kill people.

Most advanced societies no longer employ systems of purely vigilante law enforcement, nor do they endorse the tribal method of allowing killings to satisfy family feuds, so part of what is truly alarming about the statement the Muslim youth made is that anger is justification for killing, killing innocent people, declaring war, bombings, murder. What is sociopathic about that? The fact that emotional responses, only in the person evaluating his or her judiciousness, are justification for any kind of violence and mass murder the person feels is appropriate. If a person is angry, murder is justified. There is no concept of evaluating any other person’s impact from violence. It’s a self-centered approach, a lack of empathy that makes it sociopathic.

Is this emblematic of war-torn countries? That people who are so scarred by war become desensitized to death? But the journalists in the Independent UK naively mention a repeated lack of jobs and racism, as if that pathetic attempt to understand a sociopathic mindset can explain that which they can’t translate.

Were those who had returned from Syria and killed 129 people in Paris martyrs? There was an uncomfortable silence, shuffling of feet, the enormity of what happened on Friday appeared to have made them less vocal than after the Charlie Hebdo murders. “No, of course not, that was very wrong,” said Yasin, 18, and unemployed like Rachid.

Unemployment is not cause for murder. “Disenfranchised” doesn’t explain the concept that anger allows people to kill one another. The justification is that “good people, good Muslims” kill people.

“They are good people who go, good Muslims; they go to fight for God, they are prepared to be martyrs for their beliefs,” said Rachid. 20.

It’s dangerous to assume that simply giving jobs is enough to prevent jihad. Even the parents of terrorists don’t know what made their child a terrorist, a mass murderer. One man’s father says his son did have money, jobs, a “fantastic life” and still can’t understand why his son became a terrorist:

Omar Abaaoud added that he was horrified his son had contemplated attacks in Belgium, a country which had been good to his family. Mr Abaaoud said he came to Belgium to work in a mine 40 years ago. He prospered. “We have climbed the ladder. I received this clothing store and I had also bought one for Abdelhamid. We had a nice life, yes, even a fantastic life here. Abdelhamid was not a difficult child and had become a good trader.”

His father said things changed dramatically in 2013 when his son suddenly left for Syria. “I asked myself every day why he was radicalised to the point,” adding that he did not know the answer.

The man’s son who had a “fantastic life” is the mastermind behind the attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead. Whining about how the youth don’t have jobs isn’t going to fix extremist beliefs. Would it be nice if everyone had enough work and money? Yes, but note that the men interviewed for the Independent article were unemployed, but they weren’t implicated in the terrorist attacks, the man with the “fantastic life,” whose family is devastated, orchestrated the deaths of 129 Parisians.


Senator McCaskill Tells Men To “Shut Up”

November 17, 2015

I don’t know what is sadder, the fact that only 20 women serve in the Senate or the fact that men who hear that they should shut up totally don’t get it.

“Ignorance speaks first and loudest…”

Our Federal Prisons Resemble Nursing Homes With Razor Wire

November 11, 2015

“Our federal prisons are starting to resemble nursing homes surrounded with razor wire,” said Julie Stewart, president and founder of Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

The 1980’s and 1990’s “war on drugs” regime is having costly consequences with the elderly population in America, with startling consequences in a system designed to house the young and viable, not the old and infirm. How does one report for role call when one can’t hear the command? Or maybe the person can’t walk and so struggles with wheelchairs and plight that all elderly face at a certain point, limited mobility. The federal war on drugs becomes a farce when faced with multiple issues for the healthcare struggles of the elderly:

“There are countless ways that the aging inmates, some with dementia, bump up against the prison culture,” she said. “It is difficult to climb to the upper bunk, walk up stairs, wait outside for pills, take showers in facilities without bars and even hear the commands to stand up for count or sit down when you’re told.”

For years, state prisons followed the federal government’s lead in enacting harsh sentencing laws. In 2010, there were some 246,000 prisoners age 50 and older in state and federal prisons combined, with nearly 90 percent of them held in state custody, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a report titled “At America’s Expense: The Mass Incarceration of the Elderly.”

If a person doesn’t even remember the crime he or she committed due to dementia, is it really fair to keep them incarcerated for something they literally “knew not what they did?” Are people trained in corrections and criminal justice capacities really trained to care for the elderly and infirm?

In his “cell” on a recent day, Michael E. Hodge lay in a hospital-like bed where he spent his days mostly staring at the television. A prison official had just helped him get out of his wheelchair. A prison employee delivered his meals. He could hardly keep his eyes open.

In 2000, Hodge was convicted on charges of distribution and possession of marijuana and possessing a gun, and was sentenced to 20 years. When a Washington Post reporter visited Hodge in mid-April, he was dying of liver cancer. He died April 18, prison officials said.

“Tell my wife I love her,” said Hodge, who said he was in great pain.

“Why are we keeping someone behind bars who is bedridden and needs assistance to get out of bed and feed and clothe himself?” asked Fellner, of Human Rights Watch. “What do we gain from keeping people behind bars at an enormous cost when they no longer pose any danger to the public if they were released?”

Is there a human rights violation in keeping nonviolent offenders in prison when they can’t remember what they did? They were part of drug bust and serving 20 years in prison for it? At what point does the federal government have a responsibility to account for its inappropriate sentencing guidelines?

And, while there is a huge human rights cost, there is also a tremendous financial burden on taxpayers to take responsibility for the federal government’s inappropriate sentencing mandates.

The average cost of housing federal inmates nearly doubles for aging prisoners. While the cost of a prisoner in the general population is $27,549 a year, the price tag associated with an older inmate who needs more medical care, including expensive prescription drugs and treatments, is $58,956, Justice Department officials say.

At Federal Medical Center Devens, a prison near Boston, 115 aging inmates with kidney failure receive treatment inside a dialysis unit.

“Renal failure is driving our costs up,” said Ted Eichel, the health-services administrator for Devens. “It costs $4 million to run this unit, not counting medications, which is half our budget.” Devens also employs 60 nurses, along with social workers, dietitians, psychologists, dentists and physical therapists. They look like medical workers, except for the cluster of prison keys they’re carrying.

Down the hallway, inmates in wheelchairs line up to receive their daily pills and insulin shots.

Although the prison houses about 1,000 low- to high-security inmates, they are not handcuffed or shackled, except when being transferred outside the facility. A golf cart has been redesigned into a mini-ambulance.


At what point are mandatory sentencing guidelines taking away fundamental rights? In the case of another prisoner, for whom a “drug bust” by DEA agents was completely manipulated, the judge, jury and public spoke out about the sentencing mandates, but the man is still in prison, and on dialysis and was never convicted of a violent crime:

“There’s no doubt that that’s a harsh penalty,” said U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew during the sentencing hearing. “But that’s what the statute says, and I don’t think I have any alternative but to do that.”

“I don’t have a whole lot of discretion here,” she said at another point.

After Harrison and the others were sentenced, several of the jurors expressed shock to learn how long those convicted were to spend behind bars.

If I would have been given the right to not only judge the facts in this case, but also the law and the actions taken by the government, the prosecutor, local and federal law enforcement officers connected in this case would be in jail and not the defendants,” juror Patrick L. McNeil wrote.

Six jurors signed a letter requesting a new trial be ordered, saying that if they had been told by the court that they could have found that the government had entrapped the defendants, they would have found them not guilty.

NFL Ignored Domestic Violence–Again–This Time With Greg Hardy

November 9, 2015

Apparently according to the NFL, domestic violence is only a crime if there pictures of it that are publicized. Check out the Ray Rice coverage for a brief history in the NFL’s policies of ignore until publicized, ignore until photo evidence, and then ignore until it costs them money because the photo evidence is publicized:

And, it begins anew with Greg Hard: first, it never happened; second, he is supposedly “found innocent” in flawed proceedings; third, photo evidence published online incriminates NFL; fourth, NFL responds to public outrage claiming innocence.

The Dallas Cowboys saw the police report from the night of Hardy’s abuse and the court transcripts from his bench trial, which convicted him of assaulting Holder. But the team signed Hardy last offseason anyway, and then defiantly stood by their star pass rusher even after heshowed zero remorse for his violence. (Hardy tweeted an apology of sorts on Saturday to“express regret for what happened in the past.”)..

Fellow NFL players had remained mum on Hardy, content to watch their union fight to reduce Hardy’s initial 10-game suspension for beating Holder to 4 games. Last month, ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith tweeted his support for the Cowboys’ continued employment of Hardy. The story has changed now. After seeing the photos, Smith flip-flopped, calling for the Cowboys to cut Hardy on Sunday. Smith, a professional and influential journalist, shouldn’t have needed photo evidence to inform his feelings about the Hardy situation. The evidence was already there.

The Cowboys were asked on Friday if they had seen the photos of Holder before signing Hardy.They hadn’t, despite the fact that the NFL had successfully sued North Carolina to access them. But they shouldn’t have needed to. Photos and videos of abuse can educate the public, but they should not be used by organizations as a defense of their support for someone like Hardy.

Despite their professed innocence, the NFL stated that they were “giving him a second chance.” Second chances are generally only given when a first one has been taken.

The Cowboys have been both publicly and privately supportive of the troubled defensive lineman.

“We decided we were giving him a second chance, but in doing so, the expectations and the standards we set would be very clear to him and how he and, really, everybody else is supposed to conduct themselves on the football field and off the football field,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said, per

When will the NFL stop playing games with women’s lives?

Women are only as important as their bruises? Or photos of their bruises?

4-Game suspension? How about just clearing the field of abusive players altogether. It’s tough to stomach football when it becomes a celebration of violence against women. I

t’s important to note that Greg Hardy was found guilty of criminal domestic violence, but when he paid off his victim, and perhaps the prosecutors, the crimes just “went away.” Funny how the NFL erases crimes against women.

Pesticides On Bananas Cause Prostate Cancer: Choose Organic to Protect the Farmers and Their Families

October 27, 2015

Martinique sounds idyllic, relaxing, and like a little bit of paradise. It has lush tropical foliage, beaches, the sounds of birds and tropical forests, but it also some of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world. We assume that in such an oasis that cancer-like maladies don’t exist, and we would be wrong.

Scientists and physicians first looked to see if the high rates of prostate cancer were caused by genetics, but that link was disproved. They looked to see if it was related to a geographical region, but that wasn’t the cause either. The cause: pesticides sprayed on bananas that penetrated every aspect of the islanders’ bodies:

The high cancer rate in Martinique is being linked to pesticides, primarily used in banana plantations to combat weevils. According to the 2009 paper, researchers found that the islanders’ connective tissue was being contaminated by “extremely high levels” of a nasty cocktail of “DDT, DDE, alpha, beta and gamma HCH, aldrin and dieldrin.” The paper concludes that environmental factors such as the “intensive and prolonged exposure to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reproductive toxin pesticides” may be the culprit.

One of the lead authors of that paper, Dr. Dominique Belpomme, professor in clinical oncology at the Paris University René Descartes, was asked in 2007 by politicians in Martinique to give advice on the health effects of chlordecone pollution — also called kepone, a colorless pesticide related to DDT. It is so toxic that in 2011, it was banned globally by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. “But today, unfortunately, chlordecone was replaced by the use of other toxic pesticides,” he tells OZY, “so there is no end to pollution.” Now, concerned citizens of Martinique believe the chemicals have poisoned their entire food chain, plus their rivers and coasts.

How do we protect people from cancer scourges related to pesticides? Choose organic.

Do we have issues like this in the US? Yes. You can read one woman’s account of raising a family in the pesticide-laden apple farms, and how the family legacy includes losing the grandfather, father, and male generations to cancers from pesticide exposure.

“Farm life was nothing like I’d expected it to be,” she wrote in a recent essay, “and I spent the next 20 years swimming in pesticides.”

At age 42, her husband died of cancer.

“Just like his father and grandfather,” Weir writes, “all three of them subjected to years of chemicals used in the orchard.”

At a certain point, when does the focus on organics become the focus of protecting the very people who grow our food? Monsanto may say that it can grow more food to feed our nation, pollution be damned, even though Round-Up has been declared a “probable carcinogen” (read: Round-Up is a carcinogen), but at what cost to the people who grow the food?

At what point is the health of our farmers a human rights issue?

The United States imports 27% of the world’s banana production. That purchase power represents a powerful way for Americans to choose organic and protect the farmers and their families, as well as their idyllic environments. No American wants to say that their consumption of bananas, by now a ubiquitous food, relies condemning farmers to cancer.

By the way, pesticides have also been linked to childhood cancers, too. Choosing organic protects children, their parents, and their environments.

Lest you really wonder about Monsanto’s claims that its herbicides and pesticides are as safe, watch this video in previous post about the Monsanto exec who claims that Round-Up is “safe enough to drink” but says he won’t drink it because  he’s not “crazy.” Safe, indeed. The wealthy and powerful won’t consume it, but let’s ship it out to the poor and uneducated?

For more on this, you can read my other post here:monsanto-executive-says-round-up-is-safe-to-drink-but-refuses-to-drink-it-himself-calling-interviewer-a-jerk/

“Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion from society”.–Karl Marx


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