Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Will the targeting of Via Rail be a wake up call?

Today, I bring you a very disturbing article, verbatim by Susan Crabtree, 'FBI missed Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Russia trip because of misspelling, Sen. Lindsey Graham says'. Sean Lengell and Seth McLaughlin also contributed to this report. My response is below with room for your comment below that, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

The FBI did not know that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older Boston Marathon bombing suspect took a six-month trip to Russia because his name was misspelled, according to a key Republican senator on national-security issues. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said Monday that he had spoken to an assistant director at the FBI about the agency’s failure to monitor Tsarnaev after interviewing him in 2011 following a tip from the Russian government that he could be dangerous. Late Friday, the FBI said it found nothing “derogatory” after that initial questioning.

“He went over to Russia, but apparently when he got on the airplane, they misspelled his name, so it never went into the system that he actually went to Russia,” Mr. Graham said. Tsarnaev, 26, died early Friday morning after a gunfight with police in Watertown, Mass. Younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was taken into custody Friday night and is in as hospital being treated for gunshot wounds. The revelation that the FBI looked into Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s possible link to terrorist groups but gave him a clean bill of health, has drawn several days of criticism from lawmakers and now the promise of congressional probes.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Monday that she would hold a closed-door briefing with FBI officials, as soon as Tuesday. And Republican Rep. Michael T. McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said his committee would be looking into the matter as well. Mr. Graham said Monday that the Boston Marathon bombing provides Congress with a “good case study” into whether law enforcement officials need to be equipped with more tools to monitor people suspected of having ties to radical Islam.

“One of two things happened,” Mr. Graham said. “The FBI either dropped the ball or our system doesn’t allow the FBI to follow this guy in an appropriate fashion.” White House spokesman Jay Carney on Monday defended the FBI, saying the agency did “extraordinary work” in responding to the Boston attack, identifying the suspects and working with state and local authorities to bring them to justice. When it comes to following up on the warnings about Tamerlan Tsarnaev from Russia, Mr. Carney also said the FBI “thoroughly investigated it.” “The FBI followed up on the information that it received about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder brother; they investigated it thoroughly and did not find terrorist activity domestic or foreign,” he said.

Also Monday, a former U.S. official who helped hunt Osama bin Laden defended the FBI over lawmakers’ charges that the bureau “dropped the ball,” pointing to the limits of what is legal and possible in a large, free society. Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Phillip Mudd, a career counter-terrorism official who held senior posts with both the FBI and the CIA, retorted: “Be careful what you wish for.” “If you want to surveil those guys, first of all you’ve got pay for it,” he said. “No one in this country seems to like paying taxes.”

Mr. Mudd noted that lowering the bar for opening investigations would mean creating thousands of new cases, most of which would be useless, “How do you boil down the 10,000 other cases to that one [guilty] guy?” he asked, before adding. “And what do you do about the false positives?” referring to innocent people wrongly suspected, arrested or interrogated. Mr. Graham said Sunday and Monday that a foreign agency’s suspicion should be enough to mark an U.S. resident for federal investigation, but Mr. Mudd noted that Russian intelligence and security agencies have waged war for two decades with Islamic extremists in the North Caucasus and “have an interest in getting us to chase Chechens in this country.”

However, even Internet postings are not sufficient evidence to open an investigation, Mr. Mudd said.
“If it’s looking at websites, I can tell you that’s protected [free] speech,” he said. “There’s only so much you can do in an open society.” But Mr. Graham also issued a stark warning, saying lawmakers must make sure they have the strongest laws on the books because there will be future attacks on American soil.

“You knew this day was coming and there are more days like this coming,” Mr. Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill. “I can tell you, I hate to say it, but there are more of these people coming after us, and the new way of hitting American is do to it inside, and there’s efforts afoot by international terrorists to recruit American citizens for their cause and we can’t be right every time. So, this is the future and we need to get ready for it.”

my response.....

If anyone gets the feeling that something more is going on behind the scenes, you are not alone! Why, just a couple of days ago, SDA Matt2a, another blogger tells us about a Chicago area jihadi and bar bomber...and a US citizen has been arrested after he attempted to board a plane to travel to the Middle East to join the al-Qaeda. Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, 18, from Illinois was arrested at O’Hare International Airport, Chicago where he was about to board an airplane to Istanbul to enroll with the rebel fighters in Syria. Check out....
to view the embedded video. The young man’s capture took place as US Secretary of State John Kerry unveiled a $123 million aid package for Syrian rebels, while visiting Istanbul alongside British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Undercover FBI agents arrested Mr Tounisi over an alleged link to a foiled attempt last year to bomb a downtown Chicago bar. He was held without bail Saturday after being arrested the night before at O’Hare International Airport, where he was about to board an airplane to Istanbul.

The fact that Tounisi was a US citizen though appears to have been the principle reason for his arrest as US ally and NATO-member Turkey has hosted thousands of other known terrorists passing through Turkish territory to invade Syria. In fact, CIA agents along with the SAS counterparts have been widely reported to have been training many of these fighters on the Turkish side of the border since almost as soon as the conflict began in 2011.

According to a number of reports, there are estimated to be at least 100 British jihadists alone fighting for Jabhat al-Nusrah, Iraq’s own Al Qaeda branch which fights alongside the Syrian rebels every day and who will unquestionably be benefiting from the ‘non lethal’ hardware and material that the Americans are sending as part of their aid package agreed on Saturday.

According to the FBI charges, Tounisi was a close friend of an individual called Daoud, who on Sept. 14, 2012, travelled into Chicago with an undercover agent who brought him to a Jeep that had an inert explosive device in it, officials have said. Daoud allegedly drove the Jeep to the targeted bar and walked away to a nearby alley where he attempted to detonate the bomb with a triggering device. The bomb never exploded and Daoud was apprehended and is being held without bail.

Tousni’s precise role was not enough to prosecute him though as he suspected that the bombing of the bar was an elaborate FBI sting. While Daoud allegedly continued his role in the plot, Tounisi backed out in mid-August because he suspected that the person Daoud was working with was an undercover agent, according to the FBI case.

FBI officials said that in preparation for last year’s foiled attack though, Tounisi had ‘recommended certain attack techniques, offered ideas about targeting, and researched those locations online to analyze their feasibility.’ Perhaps more significant, was that as part of the investigation, officers discovered that Tounisi wanted to go overseas and join a terrorist group.

It is apparent that a new offensive is underway against Canadians and Americans as 'sleeper cells' are being activated and it is not helpful when our leaders bury their collective heads in the sand. With Via Rail the latest target, Muhammad Robert Heft, a Muslim community leader in Scarborough, tells us that the Muslim community 'has to be on the front lines to nip terrorism in the bud in the very beginning or co-operate with authorities so the terrorists can be brought to justice. Will the targeting of Via Rail be a wake up call to Justin Trudeau, the newly minted leader of the opposition? It's comforting to know that some Muslim leaders in Toronto don't subscribe to the usual 'hug a thug' platitudes being thrown around by those who should know better.

Instead of looking for 'root causes by those who feel excluded', wouldn't it behoove Justin to reverse course now and vote for the re-introduction of prior Liberal policy, like the Combating Terrorism Act to renew police powers introduced after the terror attacks of 9/11 that had lapsed under a sunset clause?


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twitter chatter....
Will targeting of Via Rail be a wake up call? 
Let's hope so!  

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