Crooked stock market investor pretended to be Islamic “terror” bomber

❝ A 28-year-old German-Russian citizen took out a five-figure loan to bet that Borussia Dortmund shares would drop, then bombed the soccer team’s bus in an attack he tried to disguise as Islamic terrorism in a scheme to net millions…

The suspect, identified only as Sergej W. in line with German privacy laws, was arrested by a police tactical team early Friday near the southwestern city of Tuebingen…

❝ …Prosecutors’ spokeswoman Frauke Koehler told a news conference Friday…the man came to the attention of investigators because he had made “suspicious options purchases” for shares in Borussia Dortmund, the only top-league German club listed on the stock exchange, on the same day as the April 11 attack.

❝ W. had taken out a loan of “several tens of thousands of euros” days before the attack and bought a large number of so-called put options, betting on a drop in Dortmund’s share price, she said.

“A significant share price drop could have been expected if a player had been seriously injured or even killed as a result of the attack,” according to prosecutors…

❝ Investigators found notes at the scene claiming responsibility on behalf of Islamic extremists, which Germany’s top security official, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, said was a “particularly perfidious way to toy with people’s fears…”

“The fact that someone wanted to enrich himself by killing people to influence the stock market is particularly reprehensible,” he said.

Adds new meaning to “making a killing in the stock market”.

Pic of the Day

Click to enlargeREUTERS/Brian Snyder

The shoes of 2013 Boston Marathon bombing survivor J.P. Norden read “Boston Strong” as he stands at the finish line on the one-year anniversary of the bombings in Boston, Massachusetts.

Wind farm contractors hope to lure back lobsters

New wind farms off Germany’s North Sea coast will provide an ideal habitat that could help restore the lobster population near Heligoland after British bombing during and after World War II drove them away.

Biologists at the Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research are breeding 3,000 lobsters to be released next year into the Borkum Riffgat offshore wind farm near the island 70 km off the German-Dutch coast.

The 1.5 square km island had a thriving fishing industry before it became a Nazi fortress in the war, pounded by Allied bombs, and then later used for target practice. It is now a tourist resort…

Lobsters, whose local population is 90 percent smaller than it was 70 years ago, need a firm seabed to thrive…”The new wind parks mean lobsters may settle in a new habitat, because the stony foundations offer a favorable environment,” project leader Heinz-Dieter Franke said.

The 700,000 euro scheme is funded by compensation paid to the state of Lower Saxony by utility EWE for any potential ecological damage caused by the construction of its wind park. The money will fund breeding, reintroduction and monitoring of the lobsters for roughly two years.

“With Germany’s shift to renewables, we could have 5,000 wind farms by 2030, so if it works, this kind of project could have a huge effect on the lobster population,” Franke said…

Lobster expert Dominic Boothroyd, general manager of Britain’s National Lobster Hatchery, said the idea of using the hard foundations of a wind park made sense and that projects to reintroduce young lobsters had taken place in Britain and Norway, though not on wind farms.

“From these projects, we know the animals survive and that they contribute to fishery and reproduce…” Boothroyd said.

If there are no other impediments to the revival, this all makes great sense. Ask anyone who ever lived and worked on the Gulf of Mexico through the period of the introduction of drilling platforms.

The operative word is “structure”. Fishing of all sorts in all locations improved with the growth and spread of every kind of platform throughout the Gulf – and every other body of water of moderate depth where the structure effect could be felt.

The Glasgow Sunday Herald publishes the secret report that could have cleared Megrahi

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.

Click here to read the report in full

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.

This is Norway’s Oklahoma City not Norway’s World Trade Center

Anders Behring Breivik is a conservative Christian who enjoys classical music and the video game World of Warcraft.

Breivik has been named by several Norwegian media outlets as the suspected shooter at a youth camp in Oslo, where 10 80 people were killed Friday and he may be linked to a bombing near the prime minister’s residence that killed seven others.

On his Facebook page, which appears to only have been started July 17, Breivik mostly posted music videos and said his interests include hunting and bodybuilding…

His profile also says he’s a director at a company called Breivik Geofarm.

He lists himself as single and has five profile photos – four of which are headshots…

A Twitter account is also being linked to Breivik, although there is just one tweet on July 17.

“One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests,” he wrote.

The television station TV 2 in Norway reported Breivik had right-wing extremist tendancies and had two guns registered under his name.

The headline is from some unnamed official who was asked about “international” terrorism.

In Afghanistan, attacking from the air with a bit more care

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission


After taking repeated fire from Taliban fighters holed up in a building last week, a group of American Marines in southern Afghanistan called in airstrikes to wipe out the threat.

But the Navy F/A-18 fighter pilots who responded worried that bombing the militants could hurt civilians, and suggested a different solution to the ground troops. The airmen then roared in low and fast, without firing a shot, in a deafening pass that frightened the militants into silence.

“It used to be, where do you want the bomb?” said Capt. Thomas P. Lalor, the commander of the air wing on this aircraft carrier, which provides about one-third of the combat support flights for American ground forces in Afghanistan. “Now, it’s much more collaborative.”

The adjustment reflects orders last month by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the new United States commander in Afghanistan, that sharply limit the use of airstrikes to try to reduce the civilian deaths that he and other top officers said were eroding support for the American-led mission.

General McChrystal said the use of airstrikes during firefights would in most cases be limited to when American and other allied troops were in danger of being overrun…

“It makes our judgments more important,” said Cmdr. Art delaCruz, 41, the commander of another squadron, VFA-22, of the new caution. “There’s a saying that the most important bomb is the one you bring back.”

For the air wing aboard, the 125 combat missions flown over Afghanistan in its first week here have a familiar feel. The same carrier and its aircraft were on duty here for nearly four months starting in August and conducted 1,150 combat missions supporting troops in Afghanistan. The commanders said there had been no reports of civilian casualties from any of the missions.

RTFA. That last sentence in the last paragraph says a lot about the skill and talent of the pilots flying those missions.

It’s only a guess – and the Feds would croak if it was a good guess – but, I think I know at least one of the cowboys riding herd on this exercise and I have all the confidence in the world in his ability and judgment. We disagree all the time about politics and agree surprisingly often on how to run a war.

Hope he makes it home to his wife and kids, real soon.

British coppers and MI5 failed at classifying 7 July ringleader

Khan at a terror training camp in West Yorkshire in 2001
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Police and MI5 had the ringleader of the July 7 London attacks, Mohammad Sidique Khan, on their records six times before the attacks but he was never identified as a threat.

The intelligence and security committee (ISC) detailed a string of occasions when the bomber’s name was recorded – all but one of them because of links to other individuals being investigated over extremism. The ISC said that in the course of its second review of the intelligence it had uncovered new information that even MI5 had not connected together before.

But the committee concluded that having looked at all the evidence in “considerable” detail, “we cannot criticise the judgments made by MI5 and the police on the information that they had and their priorities at the time”…

Are we to believe that they would criticise the police and MI5 over something this serious? They share the same bed and budget, don’t they?

It suggested there should be better record keeping in MI5 and better co-operation between MI5 and the police.

The report detailed six contacts recorded by MI5 and police with Khan between 1993, when he was arrested for assault, and January 2005, when police linked a hire car to a terror investigation…

MPs said Khan was one of 40 men photographed by West Yorkshire police in 2001 during a training camp, but he was not identified until several years later.

As hard as the British government tries to keep an eye on the whole population they still haven’t figured out how to differentiate the bad guys from the rest of the people they harass on a daily basis.

Escaped Bali terror suspect locked up in Malaysia

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

A man suspected of being a terrorist leader who took off his pants, wriggled through a bathroom window and escaped from a high-security prison in Singapore last year has been caught in Malaysia.

The fugitive, Mas Selamat bin Kastari, 47, was arrested early last month after Singapore had failed to capture him in a huge manhunt that in effect turned the country’s entire population into a posse of four million empty-handed informants.

The escape and the fruitless all-points pursuit were an embarrassing demonstration of fallibility in a nation that prides itself on efficiency, competence and rigorous law enforcement.

The government had described Mr. Mas Selamat as one of the most dangerous terrorists in the region, the local leader of the Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah, which carried out the deadly bombings in Bali in 2002. It said he had planned to crash an airplane into Singapore’s airport and had coordinated a failed plot to bomb the United States Embassy and several other targets in Singapore…

Singaporean and Malaysian officials said he had been captured April 1 in southern Malaysia, across the Johor Strait from Singapore, in an area that is home to sympathizers of Jemaah Islamiyah…

In Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kang Seng said at a news conference that Mr. Mas Selamat had swum across the Johor Strait — which varies in width from a half mile at its narrowest point to two miles — using an “improvised flotation device,” evading the frantic search that had begun as soon as his escape was discovered…

Now that Mr. Mas Selamat has reportedly been found in what is essentially the hometown of the regional terrorist movement, Ms. Jones said, “All the conspiracy theories, of which there were many, are put to rest.”

Still sounds like they need guards with more sophistication and cynicism – who have learned that every prisoner lies all the time.