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.
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.
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.
Shoutout to my fellow brown persons who originally planned on taking the subway to the airport today with luggage pic.twitter.com/Lz0tiiD7uv— kenyatta cheese (@kenyatta) September 19, 2016
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
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.
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.
Read the rest
HEWITT: I think you meant Obama created the vacuum that led to ISIS.TRUMP: "No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS." pic.twitter.com/EMMlDXogl6— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) August 11, 2016
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."
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.
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.
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
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
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!”
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.
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.