Terrorism Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Terrorism Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Ever since 9/11, counterterrorism has been the FBI's No. 1 priority, consuming the lion's share of its budget—$3.3 billion, compared to $2.6 billion for organized crime—and much of the attention of field agents and a massive, nationwide network of informants. After years of emphasizing informant recruiting as a key task for its agents, the bureau now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies—many of them tasked ... with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States. In addition, for every informant officially listed in the bureau's records, there are as many as three unofficial ones, according to one former high-level FBI official, known in bureau parlance as "hip pockets." The bureau now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies, some paid as much as $100,000 per case, many of them tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States. The FBI regularly taps all of them as part of a domestic intelligence apparatus whose only historical peer might be COINTELPRO, the program the bureau ran from the '50s to the '70s to discredit and marginalize organizations ranging from the Ku Klux Klan to civil-rights and protest groups. Throughout the FBI’s history, informant numbers have been closely guarded secrets. Periodically, however, the bureau has released those figures. A Senate oversight committee in 1975 found the FBI had 1,500 informants. In 1980, officials disclosed there were 2,800. Six years later, following the FBI’s push into drugs and organized crime, the number of bureau informants ballooned to 6,000, the Los Angeles Times reported in 1986. And according to the FBI, the number grew significantly after 9/11.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the realities of intelligence agency operations, click here.
Details of shadowy CIA [rendition flights] have emerged in a ... New York courthouse in a billing dispute between contractors. The court documents offer a rare glimpse of the costs and operations of the controversial rendition program. For all the secrecy that once surrounded the CIA program, a significant part of its operation was entrusted to very small aviation companies whose previous experience involved flying sports teams across the country. In the process, the costs and itineraries of numerous CIA flights became part of the court record. The more than 1,500 pages from the trial and appeals court files appear to include sensitive material, such as logs of air-to-ground phone calls made from the plane. These logs show multiple calls to CIA headquarters; to the cell- and home phones of a senior CIA official involved in the rendition program; and to a government contractor, Falls Church-based DynCorp, that worked for the CIA. Attorneys for a London-based legal charity, Reprieve, which has been investigating the CIA program, discovered the Columbia County case and brought the court records to the attention of The Washington Post. “This new evidence tells a chilling story, from the CIA’s efforts to disguise its illegal activities to the price it paid to ferry prisoners to torture chambers across the world,” said Cori Crider, Reprieve’s legal director.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the hidden realities behind the "Global War on Terror", click here.
A decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, federal and state governments are spending about $75 billion a year on domestic security, setting up sophisticated radio networks, upgrading emergency medical response equipment, installing surveillance cameras and bombproof walls, and outfitting airport screeners to detect an ever-evolving list of mobile explosives. But how effective has that 10-year spending spree been? "The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It's basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year," said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor who has written extensively about the balance between threat and expenditures in fighting terrorism. "So if your chance of being killed by a terrorist in the United States is 1 in 3.5 million, the question is, how much do you want to spend to get that down to 1 in 4.5 million?" he said. The vast network of Homeland Security spyware, concrete barricades and high-tech identity screening is here to stay. The Department of Homeland Security, a collection of agencies ranging from border control to airport security sewn quickly together after Sept. 11, is the third-largest Cabinet department and — with almost no lawmaker willing to render the U.S. less prepared for a terrorist attack — one of those least to fall victim to budget cuts.
Note: For a powerful article that goes much deeper into huge sums of money wasted in the war on terror by journalist Glenn Greenwald, click here.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the New York Police Department has become one of the nation's most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies, targeting ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government. The operations have benefited from unprecedented help from the CIA, a partnership that has blurred the line between foreign and domestic spying. The department has dispatched undercover officers, known as "rakers," into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program, according to officials directly involved in the program. They've monitored daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Police have also used informants, known as "mosque crawlers," to monitor sermons, even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing. Many of these operations were built with help from the CIA, which is prohibited from spying on Americans but was instrumental in transforming the NYPD's intelligence unit. A veteran CIA officer, while still on the agency's payroll, was the architect of the NYPD's intelligence programs. The CIA trained a police detective at the Farm, the agency's spy school in Virginia, then returned him to New York, where he put his new espionage skills to work inside the United States. And just last month, the CIA sent a senior officer to work as a clandestine operative inside police headquarters.
A top-secret document revealing how MI6 and MI5 officers were allowed to extract information from prisoners being illegally tortured overseas has been seen by the Guardian. The interrogation policy ... instructed senior intelligence officers to weigh the importance of the information being sought against the amount of pain they expected a prisoner to suffer. It was operated by the British government for almost a decade. The fact that the interrogation policy document and other similar papers may not be made public during the inquiry into British complicity in torture and rendition has led to human rights groups and lawyers refusing to give evidence or attend any meetings with the inquiry team because it does not have "credibility or transparency". The decision by 10 groups – including Liberty, Reprieve and Amnesty International – follows the publication of the inquiry's protocols, which show the final decision on whether material uncovered by the inquiry, led by Sir Peter Gibson, can be made public will rest with the cabinet secretary. Some have criticised the appointment of Gibson, a retired judge, to head the inquiry because he previously served as the intelligence services commissioner, overseeing government ministers' use of a controversial power that permits them to "disapply" UK criminal and civil law in order to offer a degree of protection to British intelligence officers committing crimes overseas.
Note: Isn't it quite unusual for human rights organizations to refuse to participate in an inquiry into government abuses of human rights? Evidently the conflicts of interest of the inquiry head Gibson are so extreme that participation is simply impossible.
An American former military contractor who claims he was imprisoned and tortured by the US army in Iraq has been allowed by a judge to sue the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally for damages. The man, an army veteran whose identity has been withheld, worked as a translator for the US Marines in the volatile Anbar province when he was detained for nine months at Camp Cropper, a US military facility near Baghdad airport dedicated to holding "high-value" detainees. He was never charged with a crime. Court papers filed on his behalf say he was repeatedly abused, then released without explanation in August 2006. Two years later, he filed a suit in Washington arguing that Rumsfeld personally approved torturous interrogation techniques on a case-by-case basis and controlled his detention without access to the courts in violation of his constitutional rights. The Obama administration has represented Rumsfeld through the justice department and argued that he could not be sued personally for official conduct. It also argued that a judge could not review wartime decisions which are the constitutional responsibility of Congress and the president. District judge James Gwin rejected those arguments and said US citizens were protected by the constitution at home or abroad during wartime.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the illegal prosecution of the US "global war on terror", click here.
Norway's national news agency says police are investigating whether a second suspect was involved in a shooting spree on an island where 84 people were killed. Police have arrested one man on preliminary charges in the massacre and a bombing in Oslo hours earlier. NTB is reporting Saturday that witnesses told police two people were involved in the shooting on Utoya island. The agency says police are looking into it. The agency says that the second man apparently wasn't disguised in police uniform. The man under arrest was wearing a sweater with a police emblem on it. In total, 91 people were killed in the two attacks. Police say at least 84 people were killed in a shooting spree at the youth camp of Norway's Labor Party. Police say a suspect in the shooting has been arrested. Norway's national broadcaster NRK has named the suspect in the Oslo bombing and youth camp shooting spree as Anders Behring Breivik. National police chief Sveinung Sponheim [said] seven people were killed by the blast in downtown Oslo, four of whom have been identified, and that nine or 10 people were seriously injured.
Note: Early reports of a second shooter in the Norway attacks, based on claims by surviving witnesses, are already disappearing from the web. Why would this occur?
It started with Jesse Ventura's titanium hip and turned into a fight over the Bill of Rights. In federal court in St. Paul on Friday, a lawyer for the former governor argued that rules implemented by the Transportation Security Administration - which subject Ventura to pat-down body searches when he flies - violate his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable and unwarranted searches. The TSA's rules were "issued in secret, (were) never published (and) can be changed at any time, in secret," attorney David Bradley Olsen told U.S. District Judge Susan Rogers Nelson. Silent throughout the hearing, [Ventura] went up to Tamara Ulrich, the Justice Department lawyer from Washington who had argued for dismissal, and told her TSA's airport screenings were un-American. "In a free country, you should never feel comfortable being searched," he told her. "This is not the country I was born in. We're a fascist nation now." He turned 60 this month and now hosts "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura" on cable's truTV. His lawsuit, filed in January, stems from the fact the show requires him to fly two or three times a week. Since [the fall of 2010], whenever his hip sets off the walk-through detector, TSA screeners pull him aside for a more detailed check, and he contends it is unconstitutional. Ventura and Olsen maintain that challenging the TSA's actual procedures is difficult because they are considered "Sensitive Security Information" and aren't made public.
Note: Jesse Ventura is just one of many former highly-placed government officials to publicly raise strong questions about the official account of the 9/11 attacks, events which provided the pretext for the increasingly totalitarian controls on travel. For a vitally important analysis of the plans of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to carry out its agency motto, "Dominate. Intimidate. Control.", click here.
The Justice Department has called into question a key pillar of the FBI's case against Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist accused of mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and terrorized Congress a decade ago. Shortly after Ivins committed suicide in 2008, federal investigators announced that they had identified him as the mass murderer who sent the letters to members of Congress and the media. The case was circumstantial, with federal officials arguing that the scientist had the means, motive and opportunity to make the deadly powder at a U.S. Army research facility at Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Md. On July 15, however, Justice Department lawyers acknowledged in court papers that the sealed area in Ivins' lab -- the so-called hot suite -- did not contain the equipment needed to turn liquid anthrax into the refined powder that floated through congressional buildings and post offices in the fall of 2001. The government's statements deepen the questions about the case against Ivins. Searches of his car and home in 2007 found no anthrax spores, and the FBI's eight-year, $100 million investigation never proved he mailed the letters or identified another location where he might have secretly dried the anthrax into an easily inhaled powder.
Note: For more doubts on the FBI's case against Ivins, click here. For a detailed analysis of the anthrax attacks by Prof. Graeme MacQueen of McMaster University, showing that it was an integral part, with the 9/11 attacks, of a larger operation to launch two wars, click here.
U.S. officials ... defended a tactic used by the CIA to attempt to verify the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden — the covert creation of a vaccine program in Abbottabad, the town in Pakistan where he was later killed in a U.S. raid. The vaccine drive was conducted shortly before the raid in early May ... and was overseen by a Pakistani doctor who traveled to Abbottabad. A senior U.S. official said the campaign involved actual hepatitis vaccine and should not be construed as a “fake public health effort. The vaccination campaign was part of the hunt for the world’s top terrorist, and nothing else.” The doctor who oversaw the effort has since been arrested by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency for cooperating with the CIA. U.S. officials have said they are seeking to have him released. The senior U.S. official declined to say whether DNA from bin Laden’s relatives was collected as part of the vaccine program. Officials have previously said, however, that they used DNA analysis to confirm bin Laden’s identify after he was killed. In doing so, they used samples taken from known relatives.
Note: For information about a disturbing Pentagon program using vaccinations to combat religious fundamentalism, click here.
In the months before Osama bin Laden was [allegedly] killed, the Central Intelligence Agency ran a phony vaccination program in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as a ruse to obtain DNA evidence from members of Bin Laden’s family thought to be holed up in an expansive compound there, according to an American official. The vaccination program ... adds a new twist to the months of spy games that preceded the nighttime raid in early May. It has also aggravated already strained tensions between the United States and Pakistan. The operation was run by a Pakistan doctor, Shakil Afridi, whom Pakistani spies have since arrested for his suspected collaboration with the Americans. Dr. Afridi remains in Pakistani custody, the American official said. Obama administration officials have said publicly they were not sure whether Bin Laden was in Abbottabad when dozens of Navy Seals commandos stormed the house in May. Pakistani military and intelligence operatives were furious about the American raid ... and relations between the United States and Pakistan have only plummeted since. Pakistani officials have suggested that they might use troops to repel another incursion into Pakistan.
Note: For WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's book, Osama bin Laden: Dead of Alive?, demonstrating the high likelihood that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001, click here. For a four-minute leaked Pentagon video revealing plans to use vaccines to secretly modify behavior, click here.
The CIA is reported to have used unmanned drones to target ... Somalia for the first time, attacks coinciding with the unveiling of a new US counterterrorism strategy shifting the war on terror away from costly battlefields and toward expanded covert operations. The strikes in Somalia ... bring to six the number of countries where the missile-armed drones have been deployed: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Iraq, and now [Somalia]. US officials quoted by The Washington Post yesterday claimed the two individuals targeted had "direct ties" to Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born cleric now based in Yemen. In May, al-Alwaki himself was targeted by a drone attack, but managed to escape. If confirmed, the strikes in Somalia would fit the new approach set out in the 19-page "National Strategy for Counterterrorism" released this week by the White House, and presented by John Brennan, President Barack Obama's top anti-terrorism adviser. There is no mention of the Bush era "global war on terror". In this campaign, America's main tools would be intelligence and Special Operations forces, backed up by the rapid deployment of what he called "unique assets", a reference to the drones that are becoming smaller and deadlier.
Note: Could it be that high-level members of the Obama administration believe that if they do not use the "global war on terror" slogan, the public will not perceive the continuation of the Bush administration's policies and methods by Pres. Obama? For critical reports from major media sources on the illegal and unjustified "global war on terror", click here.
Military researchers are at work on another revolution in the air: shrinking unmanned drones ... to the size of insects and birds. The drones in development ... are designed to replicate the flight mechanics of moths, hawks and other inhabitants of the natural world. “We’re looking at how you hide in plain sight,” said Greg Parker, an aerospace engineer, as he held up a prototype of a mechanical hawk that in the future might carry out espionage or kill. An explosion in aerial drones is transforming the way America fights and thinks about its wars. Predator drones ... are by now a brand name, known and feared around the world. But far less known is the sheer size, variety and audaciousness of a rapidly expanding drone universe, along with the dilemmas that come with it. The Pentagon now has some 7,000 aerial drones, compared with fewer than 50 a decade ago. Within the next decade the Air Force anticipates a decrease in manned aircraft but expects its number of “multirole” aerial drones like the Reaper — the ones that spy as well as strike — to nearly quadruple, to 536. Already the Air Force is training more remote pilots, 350 this year alone, than fighter and bomber pilots combined. “It’s a growth market,” said Ashton B. Carter, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer. The Pentagon has asked Congress for nearly $5 billion for drones next year, and by 2030 envisions ever more stuff of science fiction: “spy flies” equipped with sensors and microcameras to detect enemies
Note: Ashton B. Carter, CIA director John Deutch, and executive director of the 9/11 Commission Philip Zelikow co-authored a 1998 article in the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, titled "Catastrophic Terrorism". It predicted, years in advance, a massive attack on the World Trade Center that would result in loss of civil liberties, detention without charge, torture, and endless wars abroad. The Pentagon's weapons-buying spree, now including billions of dollars for drones to be used over US soil, and for which Carter is the "chief weapons buyer," would have been impossible without the 9/11 attacks.
On 28 March 2011, President Obama was given a "transparency award" from five "open government" organisations: OMB Watch, the National Security Archive, the Project on Government Oversight, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and OpenTheGovernment.org. Ironically – and quite likely in response to growing public criticism regarding the Obama administration's lack of transparency – heads of the five organisations gave their award to Obama in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House. If the ceremony had been open to the press, it is likely that reporters would have questioned the organisations' proffered justification for the award, in contrast to the current reality: • Ignoring his campaign promise to protect government whistleblowers, Obama's presidency has amassed the worst record in US history for persecuting, prosecuting and jailing government whistleblowers and truth-tellers. • President Obama has initiated a secret assassination programme, has publicly announced that he has given himself the power to include Americans on the list of people to be assassinated, and has attempted to assassinate at least one, Anwar al-Awlaki. • President Obama has maintained the power to secretly kidnap, imprison, rendition, or torture, and he has formalised the power to lawlessly imprison in an executive order.
Note: For key reports on the lawless war on terrorism carried out by the US government, click here.
FBI agents took box after box of address books, family calendars, artwork and personal letters in their 10-hour raid in September of the ... house shared by Stephanie Weiner and her husband. The agents seemed keenly interested in Weiner’s home-based business, the Revolutionary Lemonade Stand, which sells silkscreened baby outfits and other clothes with socialist slogans, phrases like “Help Wanted: Revolutionaries.” The search was part of a mysterious, ongoing nationwide terrorism investigation with an unusual target: prominent peace activists and politically active labor organizers. Investigators, according to search warrants, documents and interviews, are examining possible “material support” for Colombian and Palestinian groups designated by the U.S. government as terrorists. The apparent targets, all vocal and visible critics of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South America, deny any ties to terrorism. They say the government, using its post-9/11 focus on terrorism as a pretext, is targeting them for their political views. The activists have formed the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, organized phone banks to flood Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s office and the White House with protest calls, solicited letters from labor unions and faith-based groups and sent delegations to Capitol Hill to gin up support from lawmakers.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on government attacks on civil liberties, click here.
When two senators warned that the Patriot Act is being interpreted in a secret way that would alarm Americans if they knew the details, civil liberties activists could only speculate about what they meant. The activists' fear: that the government is using the anti-terrorism law to collect vast troves of personal information, including cellphone records, on Americans who have no link to terrorism. Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, both Democrats, proclaimed that the Patriot Act's surveillance powers are being used far more expansively than most Americans realize. "Today the American people do not know how their government interprets the language of the Patriot Act," Wyden said. "Someday they are going to find out, and a lot of them are going to be stunned. Some of them will undoubtedly ask their senators: 'Did you know what this law actually did? Why didn't you know? Wasn't it your job to know, before you voted on it?'" The warnings by two lawmakers with access to secret information underscore the extent to which government surveillance is shielded from view, in an age when nearly every American leaves a digital trail through the Internet and mobile devices. A clue about Wyden's concerns may be found in a separate bill he is proposing, to forbid the government from tracking, without a court order, the location of Americans through the GPS signals given out by their cellphones.
Each name is next to a number, in black type on a thick legal document. They are the mothers and fathers, spouses, sisters and brothers of thousands of Colombians who were killed or vanished during a bloody civil conflict between leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups whose victims have largely been civilians. The list has at least 4,000 names, each one targeting Chiquita Brands International in U.S. lawsuits, claiming the produce giant's payments and other assistance to the paramilitary groups amounted to supporting terrorists. Cincinnati-based Chiquita in 2007 pleaded guilty to similar criminal charges brought by the Justice Department and paid a $25 million fine. But if the lawsuits succeed, plaintiffs' lawyers estimate the damages against Chiquita could reach into the billions. The cases filed around the country are being consolidated before a South Florida federal judge who must decide whether to dismiss them or let them proceed. Chiquita has long maintained it was essentially blackmailed into paying the paramilitary groups - perpetrators of the majority of civilian deaths in Colombia's dirty war.
Note: For lots more on corporate corruption from reliable sources, click here.
For Maria Gillespie, the memories of what she endured in a prison in Uruguay, when she was only 15 years old, are almost too much to bear. She remembers being hooded, interrogated and tortured. Eventually every tooth was wrenched out of her mouth. But she also remembers - as Amnesty International marks its 50th anniversary - how much she owes to the organisation that helped end the horror and set her free. "I don't think that if I say 'thank you' it will be enough," Mrs Gillespie says of the Amnesty activists around the world who campaigned on her behalf. "I think that I do owe them my life." Amnesty was founded 12 years before she was jailed. It called for collective action on behalf of those unjustly imprisoned around the world. Maria Gillespie fell into that category after the military seized power in Uruguay in 1973, ushering in a period of severe repression. She was ... married to a trade union activist who was wanted by the authorities, and had fled the country. In his absence ... Maria was arrested. She was accused of aiding the regime's enemies, and sentenced to 75 years in prison. And so she began her solitary confinement in a windowless cell lit only by an electric bulb. She was repeatedly taken - with her head in a hood - for questioning about her husband's associates. But she knew nothing of his activities. She had no answers for her interrogators.
Note: The brutal repression of political activity in Uruguay described in this article was supervised by the CIA in its Operation Condor, a campaign of torture and killing across Latin America.
After President Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown in a C.I.A.-backed coup in 1954, the Guatemalan government reversed his policies and branded him a Communist, all but erasing his brief presidency from history. Nearly six decades later, a democratic Guatemala has promised to restore his legacy and treat him as a statesman. In an agreement signed with Mr. Arbenz’s descendants last week, the government promised to revise the school curriculum and grant Mr. Arbenz the treatment afforded to historical heroes. It will name a main highway and a museum wing after the ousted president, prepare a biography of him, publish his widow’s memoir and mount an exhibition about him and his legacy in the National History Museum. The post office will even issue a series of stamps in his honor. After winning the presidency in a landslide election in 1950, Mr. Arbenz began an effort to modernize the economy, including a land-redistribution program that angered American corporations and the United States government. President Eisenhower, convinced that Mr. Arbenz was giving the Communists a foothold in the Americas, authorized a coup that ousted the Guatemalan president in nine days.
Note: Many are still not aware of the role of the US in overthrowing democratically-elected leaders like Guatemala's Arbenz. For a powerful documentary featuring five CIA whistleblowers, one of whom was directly involved in overthrowing Arbenz, only later to regret his actions, click here.
Buried in FBI laboratory reports about the anthrax mail attacks that killed five people in 2001 are data suggesting that a chemical may have been added to try to heighten the powder's potency, a move that some experts say exceeded the expertise of the presumed killer. The lab data, contained in more than 9,000 pages of files that emerged a year after the Justice Department closed its inquiry and condemned the late Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins as the perpetrator, shows unusual levels of silicon and tin in anthrax powder from two of the five letters. Those elements are found in compounds that could be used to weaponize the anthrax, enabling the lethal spores to float easily so they could be readily inhaled by the intended victims, scientists say. The existence of the silicon-tin chemical signature offered investigators the possibility of tracing purchases of the more than 100 such chemical products available before the attacks, which might have produced hard evidence against Ivins or led the agency to the real culprit. But the FBI lab reports released in late February give no hint that bureau agents tried to find the buyers of additives such as tin-catalyzed silicone polymers. The apparent failure of the FBI to pursue this avenue of investigation raises the ominous possibility that the killer is still on the loose.
Note: For key articles from reliable sources on government corruption, click here.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.