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Archive for December 4th, 2015

Weekend Series on Crime History: Terrorism at the 1972 Munich Olympics

Females Shooter Pledged Allegiance to ISIS on Facebook

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 11.16.10 AM

By Allan Lengel

ticklethewire.com

The female shooter in the San Bernardino shooting rampage, Tashfeen Malik, posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook, three U.S. officials familiar with the investigation told CNN.

Malik’s post was made on an account with a different name, one U.S. official told CNN.

A law enforcement official said it appeared that Wednesday’s attack  may have been inspired by ISIS, but at this point there’s no proof the attack was ordered by ISIS.

To read more click here.

Source on California Attacks: ‘This Is the First of Many’

Syed Rizwan Farook

Syed Rizwan Farook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the wife in the husband-wife team that went on the rampage in San Bernardino, Calif.,  was a ring leader of a terrorist cell, and that she and her husband may have made and distributed bombs to other potential terrorists in America, a source familiar with the probe tells ticklethewire.com.

The couple,  Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, were shot and killed after the shootings. Authorities believe that Farook met Malik online, then met her in person when he went to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage in 2013, CNN reports.  She later came to the U.S. on a fiance visa and became a legal permanent resident.

Media reports have said that the couple tried to destroy emails before they went on the shooting spree that killed 14 and wounded 21, and that Farook made contact with known Islamic extremists on social media.

Investigators are looking at their social media and emails to see if others were involved in the plot, and whether the couple communicated with other terrorists and distributed bombs to them that were manufactured at the couple’s home in Redlands, Calif., the source tells ticklethewire.com.

“Us hiding behind the fact that this doesn’t happen here, well, guess what, it just did,” said the source. “This is the first of many.”

Authorities are looking into the potential ties to ISIS.

In the past, terrorist groups have recruited males.

But the source said investigators are looking into the possibility that ISIS recruited the wife and arranged for a marriage with Farook.  Authorities believe she may have radicalized her husband.

Law enforcement authorities raided the couple’s home after the attack and found 12 bombs and materials to make a lot more. Authorities fear that some of the bombs made there have already been distributed to other terrorists in the U.S.,  who may be planning more attacks, the source said.

Some theorize that the husband-wife team left three pipe bombs that were made into one bomb with a detonator at the scene of the rampage in San Bernardino, hoping to detonate the bomb when responders arrived.

 

New York Times: Republicans Talk Tough about Terrorism, But Are Cowardly About Legislation

US CapitolBy New York Times
Editorial Board

Investigators now believe that what initially seemed a workplace shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., was a well-planned attack by a married couple with at least some contact with Islamic extremists.

The evolving situation has forced Republican leaders and presidential candidates to contort themselves: talking tough on terrorism, yet ignoring the fact that the two were armed to the teeth with two .223-caliber assault rifles and two 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistols, and hundreds of rounds, all purchased legally.

While the nation suffered through the shock of another bloody massacre, on Thursday every Senate Republican except Mark Kirk of Illinois voted against legislation to prevent people on the F.B.I.’s consolidated terrorist watchlist from purchasing guns or explosives.

The measure has been introduced repeatedly since 2007. The Government Accountability Office has documented that over years of congressional blockage, hundreds of suspected terrorists on the watchlist bought guns.

Another bill that would have expanded background checks to gun show and online firearms sales to screen out convicted felons and the mentally ill also failed on Thursday. The four Republican senators running for president — Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham — all turned up to vote against these common-sense measures.

“If you need proof that Congress is a hostage to the gun lobby, look no further than today’s vote,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, who sponsored the terror watchlist measure.

To read more click here. 

San Bernardino Attack Prompts Calls for Tougher Immigration Enforcement

San Bernardino, Calif., via Wikipedia.

San Bernardino, Calif., via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The woman who opened fire at a holiday party in San Bernardino was born in Pakistan and arrived in the United States last year on a special visa, The Los Angeles Times reports. 

Tashfeen Malik became a permanent resident last year after marrying Syed Rizwan Farook, who helped kill 14 people.

The attack has prompted calls for stricter immigration enforcement and a stop on the Syrian refugee program.

“New information coming to light regarding Tashfeen Malik’s citizenship reaffirms the fact that proper screening and vetting those coming into our country, whether with a visa or as a refugee, is not always possible,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for stricter immigration laws.

Before voting on a bill that would fund the Syrian refugee program and other immigration initiatives, some Republicans are calling on the Obama administration to disclose the immigration histories of Malik, her husband and their families.

Video: Homeland Security Chief Attempts to Alleviate Fears of Screening Process for Refugees

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson released a video that explains the screening process for refugees in an attempt to quell fears stoked by Republicans.

“I understand the anxiety that many Americans are feeling right now,” wrote Sec. Johnson in an email introducing the video. “And as Secretary of Homeland Security, I share with President Obama the top priority of keeping the American people safe. So let me be clear about what this process of vetting and resettling refugees looks like.

“It’s important to remember, we’re focused on admitting the most vulnerable Syrians — this means mostly women, children and families. Second, anyone who applies for and is approved for refugee status in the United States, including Syrians, must first go through a rigorous security screening process.”

Chicago Tribune: Time Has Come for Justice Department to Investigate Chicago PD

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Tribune
Editorial Board

The appointment of a blue-ribbon task force to probe the Chicago Police Department is a laudable move by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It became an unavoidable step amid mounting pressure a week after the city was forced to release the video depicting the alleged execution of Laquan McDonald, a troubled black 17-year-old shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer in October 2014.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a former head of the Justice Department‘s Civil Rights Division, will serve as an adviser to the newly formed police accountability panel. But why turn to a former head of the Civil Rights Division? What is needed is a full-scale Justice Department “pattern-and-practice” investigation of civil rights abuses within the Chicago Police Department — the type of sweeping, outside investigation that Chicago, seemingly alone among large American cities, has mysteriously evaded over the last several decades.

From Newark to New York, Cleveland, Miami, New Orleans, Albuquerque and Los Angeles, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which exercises sole authority to launch and conduct such inquiries, has scoured dozens of large police departments, leaving Chicago’s omission head-scratching.

The Justice Department may act if it finds a pattern or practice by a local law enforcement agency that systemically violates people’s rights. These investigations have resulted in settlements and court orders requiring increased transparency and data collection, steps to prevent discriminatory policing, independent oversight, improved investigation and review of uses of force, and more effective training and supervision of officers — all measures that the Chicago Police Department urgently needs.

Why now? In the last 10 years, Chicago has paid an astounding sum, more than $500 million, to settle police misconduct cases, including $5 million to the mother of Laquan McDonald before a lawsuit was even filed. These settlements include, but are not by any means exclusive to, the reign of terror under a white police detective and commander, Jon Burge, and his midnight crew who tortured dozens, possibly hundreds, of African-American suspects in the 1970s and 1980s.

House Report Concludes Secret Service Is ‘in Crisis,’ Beset by Leadership Problems

Joseph Clancy

Joseph Clancy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A yearlong investigation into the Secret Service has found an agency “in crisis,” beset by low morale, scandals and the failure to provide adequate protection, the Associated Press reports.

The report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found that facilities that are secured by the agency were breached or had attempted breaches 143 times.

The report faults poor leadership and congressional budget cuts that have left the agency with a “staffing crisis.”

Following the report’s release, President Obama expressed “absolute” confidence in Joe Clancy, who is the agency’s director.

“This report reveals that the Secret Service is in crisis,” said the committee chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

“Morale is down, attrition is up, misconduct continues and security breaches persist. Strong leadership from the top is required to fix the systemic mismanagement within the agency and to restore it to its former prestige.”

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