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Associated Press

Alleged NSA post in Austria becomes state affair

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Sep 13, 8:53 AM EDT

By GEORGE JAHN   Associated Press

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AP Photo/Hans Punz

VIENNA (AP) — Vienna‘s a fabled city for spying – and now its cloak-and-dagger legend has a 21st-century twist.

A stately villa in a leafy district of the Austrian capital is at the center of ruckus over whether the NSA is snooping on the city’s residents, with allegations flying that the building serves as a sophisticated a U.S. intelligence listening post.

Both the U.S. and Austrian governments deny reports claiming to expose a major surveillance operation by the National Security Agency from within the towers of the sprawling manor. They say the building is nothing more than an “Open Source Center” evaluating information freely available in newspapers and the Internet – albeit one run by the CIA.

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Navy: Nuclear Sub Worker Set Fire So He Could Leave Early

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Hospital Worker Accused of Using Dead Patient’s Credit Cards

 

By CLARKE CANFIELD Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine July 24, 2012 (AP)

Navy investigators have determined that a civilian laborer set a fire that caused $400 million in damage to a nuclear-powered submarine because he had anxiety and wanted to get out of work early.

Casey James Fury of Portsmouth, N.H., faces up to life in prison if convicted of two counts of arson in the fire aboard the USS Miami attack submarine while it was in dry dock May 23 and a second blaze outside the sub on June 16.

The 24-year-old Casey was taking medications for anxiety and depression and told investigators he set the fires so he could get out of work, according a seven-page affidavit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Fury made his first court appearance Monday afternoon but did not enter a plea.

Magistrate Judge John Rich III scheduled a combined detention and probable cause hearing for next month. The U.S. attorney’s office has filed a motion asking that Fury be held without bail.

Fury’s federal public defender, David Beneman, did not speak in court and earlier in the day declined to comment to The Associated Press. Read the rest of this entry »

Jihad in Seattle

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By LWJ Staff June 1, 2012

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Michael D. McCright, a.k.a. Mikhial Jihad.

Last week, Michael D. McCright, a.k.a. Mikhial Jihad, a previously convicted felon from the north Seattle suburb of Lynnwood, pled guilty to lesser charges in a case involving his attempt to force a government vehicle carrying two Marines off the road and cause a collision on an interstate highway in Seattle. The incident occurred on July 12, 2011 and resulted in McCright’s arrest in Seattle on Sept. 8. McCright is linked to another American jihadist who plotted a suicide attack against Marines.

According to the Seattle PI, the Marine staff sergeant in the car targeted by McCright told police that the suspect’s “eyes widened and he appeared to become angry” when he saw the uniformed men, and that shortly thereafter McCright deliberately swerved his car into the path of their vehicle, forcing it off the road, then stopped right in front of it.

Court documents filed following McCright’s arrest indicate he has links with at least one of two men accused of plotting a suicide attack on a south Seattle Marine processing and intake center. The deputy prosecutor in McCright’s case said that McCright’s cell phone was used three times to call Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, a Des Moines, Wa., resident who is being held along with Walli Mujahidh, of Los Angeles; the calls from McCright’s phone were made prior to the July 22, 2011 arrests of Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh. The FBI decided to continue to investigate McCright’s possible links to domestic terrorism. And according to KING5 news, “[a] federal criminal justice source said the FBI had McCright on their radar even before the July 12 road rage incident.”

Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, a.k.a. Joseph Anthony Davis, and Walli Mujahidh, a.k.a. Frederick Domingue Jr., are accused of conspiring to murder federal agents and officers and conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, for their roles in plotting a suicide attack on the Federal Way MEPS center in south Seattle. Initial charges were filed in late June 2011 shortly after their arrest in an FBI sting operation; further charges were added in July, including weapons violations and solicitation of a crime of violence. In August, the trial was postponed due to the complexity of the case and the quantity of evidence gathered by the FBI and police, The Associated Press reported. Both Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh pled not guilty at the time

In December, Mujahidh’s attorney said her client suffered from mental illness and “a fundamental misunderstanding of Islam,” and said he would plead guilty in the case, according to AP.

It is unclear how Mujahidh and Abdul-Latif had initially become acquainted, although Mujahidh had lived in Seattle before moving to California. Both men have criminal records; Mujahidh for domestic violence and theft, Abdul-Latif for theft, assault, and robbery, for which he served 31 months in prison, AP reported. Nor has it been explained just how McCright came to know Abdul-Latif.

All three men appear to be converts to Islam. According to AP, Abdul-Latif admired Osama bin Laden and had apparently posted videos on YouTube calling for jihad and extolling al Qaeda‘s leadership in Yemen and endorsing radical Islam. “We need to establish jihad with the tongue, with the heart and with the hand,” he said in a video posted in May 2011.

The federal complaint in the case describes the detailed preparations Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh made for the suicide attack plot over a period of months leading up to their arrests. Abul-Latif, who had spent some time in the Navy in the mid-1990s, was designated as the “emir” or leader of the cell. The men originally intended to cause a devastating attack at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army base near Tacoma, but changed their focus to the MEPS center in south Seattle, which was located next to a daycare center. They conducted reconnaissance of the site, and sought to purchase fragmentation grenades, machine guns, bulletproof vests, and ammunition for the attack, in which they planned to kill as many soldiers as possible.

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Bin Laden documents at a glance

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 (US Military Academy at West Point/ Associated Press ) – This handout document provided by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point shows page three , of four, of a handwritten document by Osama bin Laden. Letters from Osama bin Laden’s last hideaway, released by U.S. officials intent on discrediting his terror organization, portray a network weak, inept and under siege _ and its leader seemingly near wit’s end about the passing of his global jihad’s glory days.

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By Associated Press, Published: May 4

U.S. officials Thursday released a small sampling of the documents captured when U.S. special operations forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden last year in Pakistan. Some highlights:

ATTACK AMERICA: Bin Laden wanted al-Qaida to focus on the U.S. and not waste time and resources attacking other enemies such as Britain or trying to overthrow governments in the Muslim world.

Gallery

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Images after Osama bin Laden’s death: As the anniversary of the May 2, 2011, death of Osama bin Laden approaches, here are images showing the compound where he was killed as well as Americans’ reactions to the news.

“Even though we have the chance to attack the British, we should not waste our effort to do so but concentrate on defeating America, which will lead to defeating the others, God willing,” reads one letter, which scholars believe was written by bin Laden or a top deputy. “We want to cut this tree at the root. The problem is that our strength is limited, so our best way to cut the tree is to concentrate on sawing the trunk of the tree.”

FEAR OF DRONES: The CIA’s unmanned aircraft had al-Qaida looking toward the sky. In one letter, bin Laden suggested getting most of al-Qaida’s members out of Waziristan, the lawless frontier area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border that has been beset by U.S. drone airstrikes.

“The brothers who can keep a low profile and take the necessary precautions should stay, but move to new houses on a cloudy day” when visibility for U.S. drones is reduced, bin Laden wrote.

He also encouraged al-Qaida’s leaders to stay far from their troops to reduce the likelihood of being killed.

ON THE U.S. MEDIA: Like any public figures, bin Laden and his advisers were mindful of the media. Adam Gadahn, one of bin Laden’s spokesmen, provided a summary of his view of U.S. TV cable news.

“From the professional point of view, they are all on one level except (Fox News) channel which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality too,” he wrote.

CNN seemed to be closely collaborating with the U.S. government, but its Arabic version was better, Gadahn wrote. Read the rest of this entry »

Israeli Embassy Officials Attacked in India and Georgia

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JERUSALEM — Unidentified bombers attacked staff at Israeli embassies far apart in India and Georgia on Monday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said, and images from New Delhi showed what appeared to be a minivan consumed by flames.

Mustafa Quraishi/Associated Press

Indian officials examined a car belonging to the Israeli Embassy after an explosion tore through it in New Delhi on Monday.

“There was one attempted attack, and one successful, as it were,” Paul Hirschson, a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “In both cases, the people concerned worked with the Israeli embassies.”

He also confirmed that a bomb had been found in a car belonging to a staffer at the embassy in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, which was defused by local police.

Indian police said at least one person had been injured in New Delhi but there was no immediate word on fatalities.

Shota Utiashvili, a spokesman for the Georgian Interior Ministry, confirmed that a bomb was discovered affixed to the car of an employee of the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi.

“The car of a Georgian national working for the Israeli embassy was mined,” he said. “The embassy employee noticed a suspicious object and he called the police, and the police successfully defused it before it went off.”

He said the car was not parked close to the embassy at the time. He said this was the first attempted attack on an employee of the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi. Police have not yet identified any suspects, he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of the apparently coordinated attacks.

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Activists report ‘terrifying massacre’ in Syria

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It’s racial cleansing … They are killing people because of their sect,’ one resident of Homs claims

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Str  /  AP

Syrian army defectors celebrate after they joined anti-government protesters in Khalidiya, Homs province, on Thursday.

msnbc.com staff and news service reports — updated 15 minutes ago

BEIRUTUpdated at 3:15 a.m. ET: Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, describes the killings of at least 35 people in the city of Homs as a “terrifying massacre.”

Videos posted online from activists showed the bodies of children wrapped in plastic bags lined up next to each other. Another video shows women and children with bloodied faces and clothes and in a house, with the narrator saying an entire family with its children had been “slaughtered.”

The videos could not be independently verified.

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Turkish state TV airs Holocaust film

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By SUZAN FRASER | Associated Press

Cover of "Shoah"
Cover of Shoah

ANKARA, Turkey (AP)

An epic French documentary about the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime has appeared on Turkish television to mark international Holocaust Remembrance Day — the first time the film has been aired on public television in a majority-Muslim country.

State television TRT’s documentary channel showed the first episode of filmmaker Claude Lanzmann‘s “Shoah” late Thursday — the eve of the day of remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust.

The film has been subtitled into Arabic, Farsi and Turkish by the Paris-based Aladdin project as part of its campaign to promote understanding between Jews and Muslims and to fight Holocaust denial.

Last year, a Los Angeles-based Farsi satellite channel broadcast the 9-plus-hour documentary in Iran, where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned historical accounts of the Holocaust and called for Israel‘s destruction.

The film is not the first Holocaust film to be shown on television in Turkey, a secular country that is seeking membership in the European Union. Turkey also has its own Holocaust film: “The Turkish Passport,” which was released last year and tells the true story of Turkish diplomats who saved thousands of Jews by issuing them Turkish passports.

“Shoah” has also been shown to a limited audience at a Turkish film festival.

Nevertheless, it was the first showing of “Shoah” on a public television channel in a Muslim country. The director said he hoped more Muslim countries would follow suit. Read the rest of this entry »