Number of terrorist attacks around the world is down, despite Trump's fear-mongering

What's left of the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday the number of terrorist attacks worldwide and deaths from such attacks dropped in 2016 for the second straight year. The global downward trend is attributed to decreases in Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen.

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Flint, Michigan airport assailant shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he stabbed officer, FBI says 'an act of terrorism'

A police officer was stabbed in the neck today by a man at Bishop Int'l. Airport in Flint, Michigan. The FBI says the attack is now being investigated as an act of terrorism, and that while it's early in the investigation, they view the suspect "as a lone wolf attacker."

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Fox News apologizes after inviting on British celebrity racists to call for mass imprisonment of Muslims

Even Fox News has its faintly-drawn limits, and one of them appears to lie a few inches short of "let's have Nigel Farage and Katie Hopkins on to say we should round up the Muslims."

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Someone hung a noose inside National Museum of African American History and Culture

A noose was found inside an exhibit on segregation at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the nation's capital today.

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UK juice company Crushed tweeted product pitch pegged on Manchester attack

Bad taste. And I'm not just talking about the drink. Crushed has just deleted the Tweet.

(via Reddit and @CrushedUK) Read the rest

Britons unbowed by terrorists—or by the hysterical Islamophobes demanding they panic

Here's a video of people in Manchester singing "Don't Look Back In Anger" after a moment's silence for the 22 people killed in this week's terror attack.

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Intelligence leaks are why the U.S. media knew more about the Manchester attack than their British counterparts

Britain's Home Secretary is "irritated" that U.S. intelligence officials leaked "confidential" information about the Manchester terror attack to American media, allowing them to reveal key details before U.K. media were cleared to do so. The attacker's name, the high death toll, and the fact that it was a suicide bombing were among the facts finding their way to CBS and NBC before being disclosed to local outlets.

Amber Rudd said US conduct had been "irritating" and said she had made clear to her American counterparts that such leaks "shouldn't happen again".

The episode comes just a week after US president Donald Trump defended his right to leak classified intelligence to other countries' leaders. Mr Trump has also criticised leaking from the US intelligence establishment.

Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme about the US leaks, Ms Rudd said: "The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise.

"So it is irritating when it gets released from other sources and I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again."

There are so many interesting prongs here: echelons of the U.S. security apparatus that don't care about intelligence partners, sources in the White House and elsewhere leaking whatever they get their hands on, the futility of trying to manage what the media knows in the presence of all this, the presumed inability of America's intelligence partners (such as the UK) to extricate themselves... Read the rest

Black man stabbed to death in NY. Police: White supremacist killer wanted to kill Black men. That's terror.

A white supremacist U.S. military veteran who had a known history of obsessively hating black men told police in New York that he stabbed a homeless black man to death to make a statement.

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Libraries become new domestic terrorism target in Trump wave of hate crimes

Authorities say in recent weeks there has been an unprecedented wave of hate crimes targeting library buildings, books, and the people who read them. The officials told the New York Times they'd rarely seen such before. These crimes are intended to terrorize, and they follow a recent report by the F.B.I. which says hate crimes against Muslim people in America shot up over the past year.

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Authorities launch Muslim hunt with emergency text message: "see media for pic"

Hey, you know Ahmad Khan Rahami, right? Yeah mate, google that mug. He's our man, tell us if you spot him.

The real text message, sent to New Yorkers using an emergency response system, was a little less casual: "WANTED: Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28-yr-old male. See media for pic. Call 9–1–1 if seen." But it's annoyed critics of sloppy policing and convinced some area Muslims that it's not a good day to be out on the streets.

The wireless emergency alert system is for Amber Alerts, alerts from the President, and imminent threats to public safety. It's a bad idea to use such a rudimentary, text-only, in-your-face alert system to directly deputize 13m people in the search of a man with a common Arab name.

It provides no useful contextual information, warns of no imminent danger. It essentially deputizes the five boroughs and encourages people to treat anyone who looks like he might be named “Ahmad Khan Rahami” with suspicion. In a country where people are routinely harassed and assaulted for just appearing to be Muslim, this is remarkably ill-advised.

It's a good example of how something's intended strengths—emergency management systems, terror legislation, and so forth—are exposed as weaknesses when the authorities abuse them in the hope of a quick collaring or easier prosecutions. They should know that whatever their intentions, the result of this foolish message would be a "Muslim hunt" more suited to a subreddit than the streets of New York City. Read the rest

Fatal explosions at hotel in southern Thailand: multiple deaths, dozens wounded

Late Tuesday in Thailand, two explosions are reported to have killed two people and wounded dozens at a hotel popular with tourists. The car bombs went off minutes apart in Pattani, in Thailand's deep South.

“It was unclear whether the bombs were set off by timers or electrical signal,” the Bangkok Post reported.

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Trump says Barack "Hussein" Obama and Hillary Clinton founded ISIS

At a rally last night in Ft. Lauderdale, and repeated this morning, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that President Barack Obama was the "founder" of terrorist group ISIS and that rival Hillary Clinton was its "co-founder."

... Trump also said that ISIS "honors" Obama -- who the GOP nominee referred to as "Barack Hussein Obama."

"Normally you want to clean up; he made a bigger mess out of it. He made such a mess. And then you had Hillary with Libya, so sad," Trump said.

"In fact, in many respects, you know they honor president Obama. ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He's the founder of ISIS, OK? He's the founder. He founded ISIS."

Challenged on whether it's a joke, he made clear that it is not. It's just the unhinged not-quite-metaphorical blathering of the day from Donald.

"He was the founder of ISIS, absolutely," Trump said. "The way he removed our troops -- you shouldn't have gone in. I was against the war in Iraq. Totally against it."

Update: it's not the first time Trump's floated this idea.

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Congress makes public long-secret 28 pages of 9/11 report that detail possible Saudi link to Al Qaeda hijackers

Congress today publicly released 28 previously secret pages of its 9/11 inquiry that detail possible connections between officials in the Saudi government, and the hijackers who carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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After Nice attack in France, Newt Gingrich wants First Amendment repealed in America

Newt Gingrich, the best loser in the quixotic race to be Donald Trump's pick for Vice President, has a plan to make sure America is safe: make it a federal crime to read websites sympathetic to terrorism, test suspected Muslims on their religious beliefs, and deport all those who believe in "Sharia."

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Bastille Day terror: 'Many dead' after truck crashes into crowd in Nice, France

A truck crashed into a crowd of people in Nice, France, leaving an unknown number of people dead and many others injured. Authorities are calling it an act of terrorism, and treating it as an active attack. [UPDATE, Fri 8am PT] “At least” 84 people are confirmed dead, with scores more injured. Among the dead are children. It is the third major attack in France in less than 18 months.

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Omar Mateen posted to Facebook during Orlando mass shooting

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

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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