United States

A good play from the Seppos, sowing fear into Al Qaeda’s ranks

With recent drone strikes hitting top al Qaeda leaders, fear has started to grow inside the organisation that the US has a network of spies operating.

The Daily Beast reports:

U.S. airstrikes on the terror group are sowing paranoia within al Qaeda’s ranks about who among them may spying for the Americans, intelligence officials and terrorism analysts say.

Jihadist social media accounts on Wednesday claimed that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group’s Yemen division, had executed an alleged spy. Humam al-Hamid was blamed for the drone strike last week that killed AQAP’s top man. The claims that Hamid had tipped off the Americans to the leader’s location couldn’t be independently verified. But U.S. intelligence officials are aware of the allegations and say it shows how attacks on AQAP—which have increased in the last two months—are having a secondary effect: fomenting distrust inside the terror outfit.

“Reports of AQAP’s execution of purported spies suggests unease among the group amid high-profile losses,” a U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. From the American perspective, that’s a good thing, because it throws the group off balance and makes it harder to plan attacks.

“Such distrust is often difficult to overcome and can create friction at a critical time,” the U.S. official said.

U.S. intelligence officials have long said that AQAP poses the greatest threat to the United States because the group has built bombs that can be placed on airplanes without alerting security systems.

For several weeks now, terrorism analysts have been tracking jihadist suspicions, mainly expressed through social media, that AQAP had been penetrated by spies. These agents, the jihadists fretted, were tipping off the Americans and their allies to the locations of key figures, including the group’s spokesman, who was killed in a drone strike in April.   Read more »

The traitor Snowden proven to be a liar, bad bastards have now got his stolen data

Edward Snowden is a traitor and he may well have blood on his hands.

The BBC reports:

UK intelligence agents have been moved because Russia and China can read files stolen by a US whistleblower, a senior government source has told the BBC.

The Sunday Times is reporting that Russia and China have cracked the encryption of the computer files.

The government source told the BBC the countries “have information” that led to agents being moved but added there was “no evidence” any had been harmed.

Edward Snowden, now in Russia, leaked intelligence data two years ago.

The former CIA contractor left the US in 2013 after leaking details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by American intelligence to the media.

His information made international headlines in June 2013 when the Guardian newspaper reported that the US National Security Agency was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.

Mr Snowden is believed to have downloaded 1.7 million secret documents before he left the US.

Read more »

Twitter is a friend and enabler of terrorism

I facetiously have labelled the nasties on the left who use Twitter to boycott and bully people terrorists.

Little did I know how accurate I was, now that it has been revealed just how terrorism-friendly Twitter is.

The Daily Mail reports:

Twitter will ‘tip off’ terror suspects and criminals if the security services ask for information about them, a bombshell report reveals.

The social media giant will keep an investigation secret only if compelled to do so by a court, Britain’s terror watchdog found.

It is one of a string of US tech companies which have decided that – in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks – customer ‘privacy’ and protecting their ‘brand’ takes priority.

Twitter said its policy was to ‘notify users of requests for their account information, which includes a copy of the request, prior to disclosure unless we are prohibited from doing so’.

The astonishing revelations come in a report by David Anderson QC, warning that MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the police are losing their ability to electronically track terrorists and criminals.

In other developments:

  • MI5 warned that Britain was facing an ‘unprecedented’ threat from Islamist fanatics trained overseas.
  • A political row broke out over whether judges or the Home Secretary should sign surveillance warrants. It emerged that Theresa May had personally granted approval for 2,345 intrusive spying missions last year.
  • US traitor Snowden was condemned for undermining British national security.

Mr Anderson was asked to carry out the review in the wake of Snowden’s claims that GCHQ was engaging in mass surveillance.

He concluded that security officials were not routinely spying on everybody in the UK, and should retain their powers for the ‘bulk collection’ of communications data.

But he said that as a result of the furore caused by Snowden’s leaks to the Guardian newspaper, US firms were not as willing to provide vital information to the authorities. This had led to the intelligence agencies fearing a day when they ‘lose control’.

Read more »

Know thine enemy: 81% of Arabs support ISIS

People say that there are good muslims and bad muslims and ISIS are bad ones…but their actions should not be ascribed to the rest.

But what if ISIS has widespread support amongst Arabs in the region?

Al Jazeera has a recent poll which suggests that the barbarity of ISIS is well supported.

Breitbart reports:

In a recent survey conducted by AlJazeera.net, the website for the Al Jazeera Arabic television channel, respondents overwhelmingly support the Islamic State terrorist group, with 81% voting “YES” on whether they approved of ISIS’s conquests in the region.

The poll, which asked in Arabic, “Do you support the organizing victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?” has generated over 38,000 responses thus far, with only 19% of respondents voting “NO” to supporting ISIS.   Read more »

President Obama – misinformed or plain stupid?

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Insurance is a sensible device for managing risk.  We use it everyday for peace of mind and dealing with unforeseeable and catastrophic events.    The premiums we pay are based on very well researched information.  The competitive market requires car insurers for example to know a great deal about various models of car, which ones are susceptible to theft, cost of repairs and much more.

It would be unthinkable to have annual premiums where the cost exceeded the amount agreed to be paid out.  Or would it?  President Obama thinks its OK.

In a recent speech to the military he outlined his plans for reducing CO2.  His aim is an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.  The costs of achieving this are horrendous, even if you use the most optimistic calculations.  One government-based assessment has it at US$13,000 trillion – whatever that amount is.   Reality says it is impossible to even hazard a guess that is going to come in close.  We know from Germany’s very short flirtation with renewable energy, that electricity consumers there are now paying three times more than they were.  The USA situation is potentially much worse, because of their greater dependence on fossil fuels.  And that’s just one aspect of the cost.  An even greater cost is the loss of food production to ethanol production.  Who really cares though about starvation in Haiti or Sudan?  Certainly not the well-fed, cosseted, do-gooder alarmists.  The US Navy has already calculated that biofuels will cost more than four times their present fuel budget.

The proponents of “doing something” are not concerned about the cost.  They argue any cost can be justified.     Read more »

Cannabis going mainstream, front cover of National Geographic

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If you ever needed confirmation that what I have been saying about cannabis reform is true then one of the most conservative magazines out there, National Geographic has featured cannabis on their front cover and the feature article explores in depth the changing nature of the legality of cannabis.

There’s nothing new about cannabis, of course. It’s been around humankind pretty much forever.

In Siberia charred seeds have been found inside burial mounds dating back to 3000 B.C. The Chinese were using cannabis as a medicine thousands of years ago. Marijuana is deeply American too—as American as George Washington, who grew hemp at Mount Vernon. For most of the country’s history, cannabis was legal, commonly found in tinctures and extracts.

Then came Reefer Madness. Marijuana, the Assassin of Youth. The Killer Weed. The Gateway Drug. For nearly 70 years the plant went into hiding, and medical research largely stopped. In 1970 the federal government made it even harder to study marijuana, classifying it as a Schedule I drug—a dangerous substance with no valid medical purpose and a high potential for abuse, in the same category as heroin. In America most people expanding knowledge about cannabis were by definition criminals.   Read more »

Another bad day for a bad wog

The Americans are starting to make in-roads into the leadership of ISIS, killing another top scumbag with a Special Forces operation.

America claimed a “significant blow” against Isil on Saturday when Special Forces soldiers launched a rare strike inside eastern Syria, killing a senior commander.

Elite troops based in Iraq carried out the cross-border raid, which killed a terrorist leader going by the nom de guerre Abu Sayyaf.

His wife was also captured and a female slave from the Yazidi minority rescued. About a dozen Isil fighters were killed, but no American soldiers were hurt, said a US official.

“The operation represents another significant blow to Isil [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant],” said Ash Carter, the US defence secretary. “It is another reminder that the United States will never waver in denying safe haven to terrorists who threaten our citizens and those of our friends and allies.”

Raiding with Special Forces will have hurt ISIS mentally. They think they are impregnable within the areas controlled by them.

US Special Forces have struck inside Syria before, but only on hostage rescue missions. Last year, they tried to save James Foley, an American journalist, by raiding a location in Raqqa, the unofficial capital of Isil. But all of the hostages had been moved and Foley was murdered a month later.

The latest operation appeared to be the first in Syria where the aim was to kill or capture an Isil commander.

[…]    Read more »

The march of conservatism

Liam Hehir has a piece in the Manawatu Standard that explores how the left are being left behind by the march of conservatism.

It is a very good and well thought out article.

He outlines the catalogue of victories in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and the US.

But why is this happening and why is the left so hopeless.

When you survey the current state of Anglosphere politics, certain themes emerge. These don’t apply in every instance – we are talking about geographically and economically diverse countries, after all. Nevertheless, there are certain commonalities that go some of the way to explaining the current Centre-Right ascendancy.

First of all, conservative politicians have made the best of the limited means available to them. Harper’s nine years in power have included the two longest lasting minority governments in Canada’s history. Cameron’s government has had to struggle through five years of being shackled to an unpopular coalition partner – and even now its majority is puny compared to those the party enjoyed in the Thatcher years.

Our own electoral system has meant that, despite very high approval ratings, John Key has never had much margin for error.

This leads on to the second important factor in conservative electoral success: self-control.

Because none of these governments have the power to impose wide-ranging reforms, conservative politicians have had to restrain their actions and rhetoric. This comes easily for some – Key and Cameron are not temperamentally conservative anyway. For others, like Harper and Abbott, there has been more of a recognition that certain battles can’t be won and therefore aren’t worth fighting.

This moderation is sometimes frustrating for conservative voters, but it also does a good job taking the wind out of the histrionics of Left wing commentators.

Read more »

Teacher Unions (and the Left’s) Motivation Laid Bare

Recent teacher union protests in the USA make their basic life philosophies clear:

They do not like successful people.

They do not like generosity.

They love tax and spend.

Children come a distant second to protecting their patch.

New York City is the centre of change for Charter Schooling in the USA. Recent Stanford University data is pointing out how well urban children are doing under Charter schools as opposed to traditional public schools – and the unions are hating it.     Read more »

ANZAC Day – For our American friends