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Terrorism

  1. Counterterror Advisor Tries to Identify Future Terrorism in Children, Successfully Identifies What a Child Is

    This just in: having been a child is the #1 cause of terrorism in adults.

    Don't bother trying to enjoy your day and live in a world where things can be good—a future terrorist is in your midst! Look to your left. Now look to your right. Did you see anyone with their own opinions? They're probably terrorists! At least, that's pretty much what Counterterrorism Adviser Lisa Monaco said in a recent speech.

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  2. Governments Behaving Badly: U.K. to Track Online Messaging, U.S. Allowed to Straight Bomb Citizens

    Want some creepy, Big Brother flavored news? The British government is mulling a plan that would riddle its telecommunication infrastructure with "probes" that could surreptitiously read and glean information from citizens' emails and Facebook messages. Any other day, that would be the most offensive and invasive thing done by any major world power to their citizens. The United Kingdom got a stroke of luck, though, releasing the report in the wake of a leak from the U.S. Department of Justice that outlined the circumstances in which the United States government can use a robot to rain fire from the sky on a U.S. citizen without due process. Which is...probably worse? Yeah, probably worse. No one is having a great day here, though.

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  3. Pakistan Cuts Mobile Phone Service in Major Cities Following String of Bombings

    The government of Pakistan and mobile phone carriers in the country have cut cellular service in major cities like Quetta and Karachi in the wake of a string of terrorist bombings that have shaken the country. It' the second time this month the government has attempted to disrupt communications between terrorists by taking the rather drastic step of eliminating cell phone coverage to wide swathes of the nation's urban centers.

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  4. United Nations Wants More Internet Surveillance Because of Terrorism, Naturally

    You might want to sit down. Are you sitting down? Okay, good. This might come as a shock, so brace yourselves: People use the Internet, and sometimes they might use it to conduct shady activities like, you know, terrorism. That's why the United Nations thinks we should identify Internet users before allowing them access. Also, social media is a haven for terrorists. In essence, the entire Internet might be harboring bad people, and needs to be watched more closely.

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  5. U.S. Soldier-Terrorists Inspired by Rainbow Six: Patriots

    A group of U.S. soldiers who formed a para-military group planning to perform terrorist acts as a means of inciting hypervigilance and rallying support for the military were apparently inspired by Rainbow Six: Patriots, according to a prosecutor trying members of the group for murder.

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  6. Pakistan Threatens to Ban YouTube, Google

    Not content with simply banning online encryption, Pakistan is now issuing an ultimatum of sorts that could end with Google and YouTube being banned in the country. The threat came from Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who called on the website to work more closely with terrorism investigations lest they be blocked inside the country. Malik is quoted as saying that terrorist groups are using online resources to share information, though he did not elaborate on what kind of information and how it was used. Nor did he explain how YouTube and Google were being used by terrorist groups, or what role they would play in any investigations. Interestingly, Malik also indicated that legal action may be taken against the administrator of Google Pakistan. While Google has been enormously successful, it has struggled with operating in other countries. While this may turn out to simply be the threats of one man and not the intent of the Pakistani government, Google might could have a growing fiasco on their hands. (Times of India via Hacker News)

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  7. TSA Considers Complaining About TSA a Sign of Potential Terrorism

    First: The TSA has a very, very difficult job, balancing public security with the need for convenience and relative speed in nationwide travel. (The degree to which they are doing that job well is of course a matter of furious public debate right now.) And no authority figure likes to see their authority mocked or questioned. Be that as it may: According to a CNN special report, one of the TSA's behavioral indicators for "high-risk" passengers is complaining about or questioning airport security procedures. Being marked as "high-risk" generally leads to additional screening and delays. First Amendment advocacy groups have a problem with all of this.

    "Expressing your contempt about airport procedures -- that's a First Amendment-protected right," said Michael German, a former FBI agent who now works as legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We all have the right to express our views, and particularly in a situation where the government is demanding the ability to search you." "It's circular reasoning where, you know, I'm going to ask someone to surrender their rights; if they refuse, that's evidence that I need to take their rights away from them. And it's simply inappropriate," he said.
    Moreover, there's evidence that actual terrorists would steer clear of complaining about the TSA: According to a captured al Qaeda training manual, recruits are instructed to "blend in" and go out of their ways not to make a scene. (CNN via Boing Boing)

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  8. Automated Text Message Prevents Suicide Bombing

    Thank your lucky stars for those dumb text messages sent out by wireless companies, because one of them accidentally detonated a suicide bomber in Russia. With the country still reeling after the deadly attacks on the Domodedovo airport, a female suicide bomber was preparing to enter Red Square with explosives strapped to her body, but before she even made it out the door, her phone received a text message from her service provider wishing her a happy new year. Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for Moscovites, the phone had been wired up as the detonator for her bomb. Using cellphones as detonators is a fairly widespread practice. Many IEDs in Afghanistan are detonated in this manner, but it affords the handlers of suicide bombers added insurance against "cold feet." The Leader-Post also suggests that in addition to preventing the bomber from backing out, detonating remotely gives terrorists the added advantage of having a handler at a distance judge when the most amount of damage could be inflicted by a blast. As viciously ironic, sad, and scary as this story is, one wonders if Russia may have stumbled upon a new deterrent against these insidious remote bombs. (via Geek.com; image via blond avenger)

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  9. Today in Insane Rumors: Taliban Training Monkeys for Terrorism

    Well now: Here is an insane rumor which -- spoiler alert -- is not at all true. People's Daily Online, the website of the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, claims that the Taliban is training "monkey terrorists" to "use the Kalashnikov, Bren light machine gun and trench mortars ... [to] identify and attack soldiers wearing U.S. military uniforms."

    Here's the fiendish part of the Taliban's scheme which is not real: Not only would armed and dangerous monkeys be fighting on the wrong side of the War Against Terror, but animal lovers would pressure the U.S. government to withdraw troops from the country, because the prospect of injuring Kalashnikov-toting monkeys is far more upsetting to them than any other concern one could possibly raise about the war in Afghanistan. According to People's Daily, which is not the Chinese edition of Weekly World News, "A senior U.S. military source confirmed the existence of the Taliban monkey soldiers, military experts call armed monkeys 'monkey terrorists.'"

    But there's only one hitch to this untrue rumor which cites as its primary evidence unnamed sources and "media outlets" and the above badly Photoshopped picture of a terrorist monkey: It isn't true.

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  10. Obey or Ban: India Wants to Monitor Blackberry, Google, and Skype Data

    Looks like the iPhone may be the way to go in India. The country's Department of Telecommunications has demanded that Research in Motion (RIM) and Skype format their communication data so they can be read by intelligence and security agencies. A similar notice has been served to Google India, asking that their Gmail content also be made readable. The companies have under two weeks to comply, or else face the possibility of a ban in India.

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