Omar Mateen posted to Facebook during Orlando mass shooting

Victims of the mass shooting early Sunday, June 12, 2016, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL.
I spoke to KCRW Press Play host Madeleine Brand today about some of the macabre social media details coming out of the Orlando Pulse mass shooting in Florida, and the terrorist attack two days later on a police officer and his family in Paris.

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Orlando mass shooter visited gay clubs, used gay dating apps

REUTERS/Jim Young  - RTX2G0YB

One day after Omar Mateen opened fire in a gay-friendly Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring 53 more, reports are surfacing that suggest Mateen may have been attracted to and obsessed with gay men.

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US once investigated Orlando shooter over ties to bombing in Syria, but did not arrest him

Police forensic investigators work at the crime scene of a mass shooting at the Pulse gay night club in Orlando, FL. June 12, 2016. REUTERS
The shooter who killed 49 people at a gay-friendly bar in Orlando, Florida had been on the FBI's radar for three years.

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Suspect arrested after Target bathroom explosion

Image: Reuters

A "small" bomb exploded in a women's bathroom at the Target store in Evanston, Illinois Wednesday, and police said they thought the attack was related to the company's pro-transgender policies. They changed their mind, however, after taking a 44-year-old woman into custody, reports the Chicago Tribune.

"The detectives are not currently looking for any known additional suspects, and (at) this point there is no indication that the incident is related to any policies that the Target store has in place," the release reads.

Evanston police requested the help of the Cook County bomb squad late Wednesday afternoon after an explosion in a Target store restroom

WGNtv's Patrick Elwood reported that no-one was in the bathroom when the device exploded and that it caused minor damage. The bomb was housed in a plastic bottle and contained no shrapnel.

Target upset conservatives recently by announcing that transgender customers would be permitted to use the bathrooms that they are most comfortable using, and police at first suspected a connection. Read the rest

Oregon militia leaders complain about no Internet in jail cell

Clockwise from top left: Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Jon Tizheimer, Peter Santilli, Shawna Cox, Ryan Payne and Joseph O'Shaughnessy
Ammon Bundy, the jailed leader of the armed militia that took over a federal wildlife reserve in Oregon last January, says he needs Internet access. His brother Ryan, also in jail, is upset that he can't bear arms while he is in jail awaiting trial.

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Saudi officials were "supporting" 9/11 hijackers, commission member says

Image: Brookings Essay

The Guardian reports that a Republican member of the 9/11 commission is "breaking dramatically" with leaders of the commission by claiming that there is Saudi government employees supported the 9/11 hijackers. John F Lehman, who served as Navy secretary under Reagan, is calling for the declassification of a secret congressional report about the Saudis' role in the 2001 terrorist attack.

“There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government,” Lehman said in an interview, suggesting that the commission may have made a mistake by not stating that explicitly in its final report. “Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.”

He was critical of a statement released late last month by the former chairman and vice-chairman of the commission, who urged the Obama administration to be cautious about releasing the full congressional report on the Saudis and 9/11 – “the 28 pages”, as they are widely known in Washington – because they contained “raw, unvetted” material that might smear innocent people.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens. Read the rest

Florida man arrested in FBI sting over “weapon of mass destruction” synagogue bombing plans

imreadybro

A man in Florida was arrested last week for planning to use “a weapon of mass destruction” at a synagogue near Miami, federal authorities said today. The ill-fated words that James Gonzalo Medina reportedly uttered to the undercover FBI agent who sold him a fake explosive device, words which will likely seal the suspect's fate: “I’m ready, bro!”

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TSA's full-body scanners in airports lead to more overall deaths, lawsuit claims

An airline passenger stands in a full-body scanner at an LAX TSA checkpoint in 2014. (Reuters)

People who fear the TSA's airport body scanners might start driving more instead of flying, and that will raise the number of traffic deaths. That's the argument behind a new legal challenge filed against the Transportation Security Administration today over the much-loathed airport security scanning machines. We have blogged about them zillion times here at Boing Boing. We hate them too.

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Turns out the U.S. military really is dropping “cyber bombs” on ISIS

Daily Beast

There's been an awful lot of talk about “cyber pathogens” and “cyber bombs” lately from the mouths of American officials discussing terrorism, and how we will vanquish it. President Obama mentioned “cyber ops” against Islamic State terrorists in one recent address. Today, we know a little more about what was behind last week's cyber-hawkish hacking headlines.

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Microsoft sues US government for the right to tell you when the feds are reading your email

REUTERS

“We appreciate that there are times when secrecy around a government warrant is needed,” Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in a blog post Thursday. “But based on the many secrecy orders we have received, we question whether these orders are grounded in specific facts that truly demand secrecy. To the contrary, it appears that the issuance of secrecy orders has become too routine.”

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U.S. military claims to be dropping 'cyber bombs' on ISIS

Robert Work, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense,  April 7, 2016.  REUTERS

America's military forces are dropping "cyber bombs" on Islamic State terrorist groups for the first time, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told reporters accompanying him on a military flight on Tuesday.

The ISIS internet attacks, whatever the particulars really may be, are part of a stepped-up coordinated effort to put increasing pressure on the militant organization.

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Justice Department to drop 'FBI vs. Apple' case, because they've unlocked the iPhone

Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook died on Dec. 2, 2015, in a gun battle with authorities several hours after their assault on a gathering of Farook's colleagues in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead.

The #FBIvsApple legal case may be over, but the fight over security, privacy, and the right to live free of surveillance has just begun. The Justice Department is expected to drop its legal action against Apple, possibly as soon as today, because an 'outside method' to bypass security on the San Bernardino gunman's iPhone has proven successful, a federal law enforcement official said Monday.

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ISIS terrorist suicide bomber kills at least 30 people in Iraq soccer stadium

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Just days after bloody attacks blamed on ISIS claimed scores of lives in Brussels, today dozens more people were killed by an ISIS-claimed terrorist at a soccer stadium near Baghdad.

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Dozens killed in terror attack in Brussels

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The BBC reports that several blasts hit the airport and a metro station in Brussels, killing at least 26 34 people (Updated below).

Two blasts hit Zaventem airport at about 07:00 GMT, and another struck Maelbeek metro station an hour later.

The government has not confirmed casualty numbers. Brussels transport officials say 15 died at Maelbeek and media say up to 13 died at the airport.

Belgium has now raised its terror threat to its highest level.

The attack comes days after the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, described as the main fugitive outstanding from the Paris attacks that claimed 130 lives in November. Live updates.

Update: An ISIS-affiliated group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, reports ABC News. At least 34 are reported dead: 14 at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and 20 in and around a platform at Maelbeek subway station. Some 180 people are reportedly injured.

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NYT: If you see weird text on a computer screen, might be terrorist encryption software

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From a March 19, 2016 New York Times article:

One of the terrorists pulled out a laptop, propping it open against the wall, said the 40-year-old woman. When the laptop powered on, she saw a line of gibberish across the screen: “It was bizarre — he was looking at a bunch of lines, like lines of code. There was no image, no Internet,” she said. Her description matches the look of certain encryption software, which ISIS claims to have used during the Paris attacks.

To summarize, if you see something on someone's computer screen that fits the description below, the person with the computer could be an ISIS terrorist! It looks like "a line of gibberish across the screen." It's "a bunch of lines, like lines of code." There's "no image." There's "no Internet."

It's good to know the spirit of Judith Miller lives on at the Times!

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Iran: We snarfed up “13,000 pages of data” from detained Navy sailors' devices

Photo released by Iranian Revolutionary Guards on  Jan. 13, 2016, shows detained US Navy sailors in Iran prior to their release.  Sepahnews via navytimes.com

The government of Iran claims to have obtained “thousands of pages of information” from devices used by the U.S. Navy sailors briefly detained in January.

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How would you explain the difference between war and terrorism to a space alien?

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Author and former CIA officer Barry Eisler spoke at the Association of Former Intelligence Officers opposite ex-CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden on Monday. In front of about a hundred former CIA, FBI, and NSA operatives, Eisler talked about bulk surveillance, whistleblowing, and why intelligence professionals need to take especially great care not to let propaganda pervert their intelligence.

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