A Portuguese actor humming a prayer as he meditated to a sacred Tibetan text onboard a plane awaiting takeoff from Paris was mistaken for a terrorist by alarmed passengers and taken off the flight by police.
“Police told me that I had been denounced as a terrorism suspect aboard the plane because I was reciting the Koran aloud, that I was reading a text involving words ‘death’ and ‘bomb’,” the man, Heitor Lourenco, said…
Lourenco, 47, said his text, which he was reading on a tablet device, contained Tibetan characters and the device had the timer on to tell him how long he had meditated, which probably caused associations with a bomb.
If you’re fool enough to consider anything with a timer a potential bomb!
He was released after six hours of questioning during which police watched videos of him on the Internet showing that he is a theater and television actor, and checked his profile on Wikipedia, which states that he is a Buddhist.
Double indemnity. On one hand, we have the Western disease of paranoia afflicting the guilty memories of someone French looking at someone else who might be Algerian. Or a Confederate bigot watching a Black teenager.
On the other hand, the matching affliction of an unsophisticate who can’t differentiate between the sounds of Tibetan vs Arabic or the different alphabetic characters. It’s all foreign-looking. Must be suspicious.
Investigators from the first probe of doomed TWA Flight 800 called Wednesday for a new examination of the tragedy, resurrecting old claims that a missile downed the plane.
A half-dozen people involved in the original inquiry into the July 17, 1996, blast that killed 230 people on a Paris-bound flight out of JFK Airport claimed new evidence supports the oft-suggested missile theory…
The investigators – in a conference call promoting an upcoming documentary, “Flight 800″ – charged the original probe ignored testimony from nearly 700 eyewitnesses and included evidence tampering…
New evidence suggests there were more than 100 traces of explosives found in the plane’s wreckage, and internal CIA documents suggest a cover-up, they charge…
And they referenced FAA radar evidence that reportedly pointed to a missile hit – although they declined to speculate if it was a terrorist attack or friendly fire…
Tom Stalcup, joined Wednesday by former NTSB investigator Hank Hughes and former TWA investigator Bob Young, said they had no doubt that a missile was responsible for the plane’s demise…
Skeptics and conspiracy theorists have long argued that TWA 800 was shot down by the U.S. Navy or hit with a terrorist rocket.
It’s easy to understand why these folks didn’t want to be whistleblowers while still collecting paychecks from the NTSB. Folks who expose corruption and lies – corporate or government makes no difference – get next to no protection regardless of the laws on the books.
An aerial infrared image shows the outline of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a boat during the manhunt in Watertown, Massachusetts, April 19, 2013, courtesy of the Massachusetts State Police. A telephone call from a resident led police to the boat where the suspect, identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was hiding and a police helicopter detected a heat signal that confirmed his presence there…
The controversial report from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has remained secret for five years because, until now, no-one had permission to publish it.
The Sunday Herald and its sister paper, The Herald, are the only newspapers in the world to have seen the report. We choose to publish it because we have the permission of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the bombing, and because we believe it is in the public interest to disseminate the whole document.
The Sunday Herald has chosen to publish the full report online today to allow the public to see for themselves the analysis of the evidence which could have resulted in the acquittal of Megrahi. Under Section 32 of the Data Protection Act, journalists can publish in the public interest. We have made very few redactions to protect the names of confidential sources and private information.
The publication of the report aGdds weight to calls for a full public inquiry into the atrocity – something for which many of the relatives have been campaigning for more than two decades…
The SCCRC rejected many of the defence submissions but upheld six grounds which could have constituted a miscarriage of justice. The commission made clear that, had such information been shared with the defence, the result of the trial could have been different…
Megrahi was convicted of murder by Scottish judges sitting at Camp Zeist in 2001. He unsuccessfully appealed in January 2001. He dropped a second appeal shortly before the decision to release him on compassionate grounds in August 2009. He was expected to die from cancer within three months.
Critical portions of the evidence used to convict Megrahi of the Lockerbie bombing were not only flawed; but, contradictory and possibly contrived. No one doubts or denies the complicity of the Libyan government of Muamar Ghaddafi in the terrorist bombing. But, the uniform condemnation of Megrahi and the possible reasons for the Scottish government allowing his release has been another holy crusade by politicians and pundits unaccompanied by facts.
Which is why this police report, the result of several consecutive examinations and re-examinations of the evidence surrounding Megrahi’s trial, has been kept secret. In my opinion, because publication would show up once again that political decisions have been more important to verdicts of guilty or innocent – than justice. Resulting from pressures from the United States at least as much as anything else.
In addition, a criticism of prosecutors that never seems to end appears in this document. Prosecutors deciding which evidence will be allowed to the defense. Instead of free access to all the evidence collected – the prosecution decides some must not been seen for whatever reason.
Four elderly men from the US state of Georgia have appeared in court charged with plotting to murder officials using explosives and the lethal toxin ricin.
Court documents say the group scoped out federal buildings and asked a contact to produce ricin. The FBI used a confidential informant to record the group’s meetings. You have to wonder if this was the “usual” level of informant. Like, some drug dealer trying to get a reduced sentence.
The men were arrested on Tuesday days after a laboratory test found trace amounts of ricin in their possession, the authorities said.
The four were named as Frederick Thomas, Dan Roberts, Ray Adams, and Samuel Crump, all ranging in age from 65 to 73.
The bespectacled accused appeared to have trouble hearing the judge at the federal court in Gainesville, even though she was using a microphone…
Mr Thomas allegedly wanted to model the group’s actions on the online novel Absolved, which involves small groups of citizens attacking US officials.
The novel’s author, Mike Vanderboegh, wrote on his blog on Wednesday his book was fiction, and was sceptical the group could have ever carried out the attacks…He appears often enough on Fox News that he’ll probably make a bundle commenting on the case.
According to court documents, Mr Thomas told the group he had a “bucket list” of politicians, employees and others he felt needed to be “taken out”…
Mr Crump and Mr Adams were allegedly assigned to try to obtain or make ricin.
As a grayhead who has occasionally been accused of being a terrorist by the sort of dimwit who would be a willing volunteer in a Georgia militia, I will be following the case with the sort of skepticism an FBI sting involving “confidential informants” deserves.
Maybe the case is legit. Maybe not. It speaks volumes of how most folks disrespect official Washington that the only people enthusiastically covering the purported plot are TV talking heads.
Hungarian police have seized a stockpile of weapons that was shipped to the Hungarian capital for the production of a film about zombies starring Brad Pitt…
Weapons expert Bela Gajdos, who has worked on the filming of zombie movie “World War Z” to ensure the safe handling of the weapons used, told national news agency MTI that each firearm had been converted to restrict its use to blank ammunition. Gajdos added that the weapons were completely harmless and had already been used on a shoot in London…
“We had a police permit to bring these guns into the country,” Gajdos told MTI, adding that the production had contracted arms experts to establish whether the guns complied with Hungarian laws. But the guns were seized before experts could inspect them…
Janos Hajdu, the chief of the Hungarian Anti-Terrorism Center on Monday said the agency seized a large stockpile of weapons, which arrived from England on a chartered plane…Hajdu said the firearms had not been properly disabled and could not be allowed into the country less than two weeks before a national holiday commemorating the 1956 uprising, MTI reported.
Anti-terrorism laws and the coppers chartered to enforce them are damned close to being as demented as the terrorists they say they’re fighting.
One of the “terrorist” photos
A father has been questioned by police under anti-terror laws for taking pictures of his own daughter in a shopping centre.
Chris White was approached by staff after taking a photograph of four-year-old Hazel eating an ice cream in the Braehead shopping centre near Glasgow on Friday afternoon. Mr White was questioned by a security guard, who told him it was illegal to take pictures in the centre. He was then asked to delete any photos he had taken from his mobile phone.
Mr White explained that he had already uploaded two photos, in which his daughter was pictured riding a novelty motorbike in an ice cream parlour, to his Facebook page.
The police were called and Mr White was told there were “clear signs” saying no photographs were allowed. He said one officer claimed that he was within his rights to confiscate the mobile phone containing the pictures under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Lazyass coppers everywhere in the Western world have learned they can shout “Terrorist” and get away with crushing the civil rights of any ordinary citizen.
A Facebook group set up in support of Mr White has called for supporters to boycott the Braehead shopping centre in protest over his treatment. By Monday afternoon, more than 7,700 people had “liked” the ‘Boycott Braehead’ campaign page.
A spokesman for Braehead said…”We have a ‘no photography’ policy in the centre to protect the privacy of staff and shoppers and to have a legitimate opportunity to challenge suspicious behaviour if required. However, it is not our intention to – and we do not – stop innocent family members taking pictures.”
Then put up longer signs with all the ifs, outs and excuses. Meanwhile, the question remains about the legitimacy of inventing private regulations which are counter to constitutional rights. Even for Glaswegians, right?
Supt George Nedley, of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde division…said a full review had been launched.
He will NOT be missed
Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric linked to al Qaeda, was killed in a CIA drone strike in Yemen on Friday, U.S. officials said, removing a “global terrorist” high on a U.S. wanted list.
Awlaki’s killing deprives the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) of an eloquent propagandist in English and Arabic who was implicated in attacks on the United States.
“He planned and directed attacks against the United States,” one U.S. official said. “In addition, Awlaki publicly urged attacks against U.S. persons and interests worldwide and called for violence against Arab governments he judged to be working against al Qaeda.”
Earlier in his career, Awlaki preached at mosques in the United States attended by some of the hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks by al Qaeda, whose leader, Osama bin Laden, was killed in a U.S. raid on his hideout in Pakistan in May…
A Yemeni government statement said Samir Khan, an American of Pakistani origin, and two others were killed with Awlaki. Khan, from North Carolina, was an editor of AQAP’s English-language online magazine Inspire, which often published Awlaki’s writings…
U.S. drone aircraft targeted but missed Awlaki in May. The United States has stepped up drone strikes in Yemen to try and keep al Qaeda off balance and prevent it from capitalizing on the strife and chaos gripping the nation that borders oil giant Saudi Arabia and lies near vital shipping routes…
AQAP, which established itself in Yemen after Saudi Arabia defeated a violent al Qaeda campaign from 2003-6, has emerged as one of the network’s most ambitious wings, attempting daring, if unsuccessful, attacks on U.S. and Saudi targets.
“If he is dead, Awlaki will be difficult to replace,” said Jeremy Binnie, a terrorism and insurgency analyst at IHS Jane’s in London. “It’s a blow for AQAP’s international operations. Awlaki has helped the group build its international profile.”
You can buy it at Amazon, too
A student who was arrested and held for seven days after downloading the al-Qaida training manual as part of his university research into terrorist tactics has received £20,000 in compensation and an apology from the police for being stopped and searched.
Rizwaan Sabir, 26, was studying for a master’s at the University of Nottingham in 2008 when he was detained under the Terrorism Act and accused of downloading the material for illegal use. He was arrested on 14 May after the document was found on an administrator’s computer by a member of staff.
Sabir had asked the administrator, Hisham Yezza, to print out the 140-page manual as they were collaborating on research…As soon as he was made aware of the situation, one of Sabir’s supervisors confirmed that the manual – which he had downloaded from a US government website and which can be bought at WH Smith – was relevant to his research.
After seven days and six nights in custody, he was released without charge or apology. But his lawyers later discovered Nottinghamshire police were holding an intelligence file on him, which contained false information about him and wrongly claimed he had been convicted of a terrorist offence.
…The force settled last week, paying Sabir £20,000 compensation and covering his legal fees. It apologised to Sabir for a stop and search on 4 February 2010 and agreed to delete the inaccurate intelligence information.
Sabir, now a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde researching domestic UK counter-terrorism policy, told the Guardian he was delighted at the settlement…
His solicitor, Michael Oswald of Bhatt Murphy, said the case showed how the so-called “war on terror” had perverted the rule of law over recent years.
“Clearly, the police have a difficult and important job to do in their counter-terrorism role, however, they must nonetheless act within the law and must be held to account when they do not,” he said. “Through his remarkable effort and fierce determination over the last three years, Mr Sabir has been able to do that in this case. This result is nothing more than the clear vindication that he is entitled to.”
RTFA if you feel a need to  read a few more details provided by Mr. Sabir;  you enjoy reading boilerplate bullshit rationales from police departments and incompetent university administrators.