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Tag: terrorism

Terrorism Nearly Impossible to Stop in U.S., Says House Homeland Security Chairman

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said Sunday that the U.S. cannot completely eradicate terrorism in this country, as evidenced by the attack in California last week that killed 14 people, the New York Post reports. 

“We didn’t see this one coming. There were no warning signs or flags,” McCaul (R-Texas) admitted to “Fox News Sunday.”

McCaul said the problem is that ISIS is a well-oiled propaganda machine, working to recruit people through social media and encrypted messages.

“We’ve stopped a lot of bad things from happening, but you just can’t stop it all when you have 200,000 ISIS tweets per day on the Internet coming into the United States to kill,” the Texas Republican said.

He added, “The volume is so high and the chatter is so high that it’s almost impossible to stop it all.”

In the meantime, the committee will try to determine whether federal investigators missed an opportunity to identify the threat posed by the San Bernardino shooters.

“There’s a serious investigation ongoing into what she was doing in Pakistan and in Saudi, including if she attended the red mosque in Islamabad, which is a very radicalized mosque,” McCaul said. “We think that she had a lot to do with the radicalization process and perhaps with Mr. Farook’s radicalization from within the United States.”

First Time Since 1920, New York Times Runs Editorial on Its Front Page

ATF photo

ATF file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The New York Times, which has long pushed for tougher restrictions on gun sales, used a major exclamation mark this time, putting a strongly worded editorial Saturday on its front page about tougher gun regulations.

The paper noted that the last time it ran an editorial on the front page was 1920 when it lamented the nomination of Warren G. Harding as the Republican presidential candidate.

Here’s part of the editorial Saturday:

All decent people feel sorrow and righteous fury about the latest slaughter of innocents, in California. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are searching for motivations, including the vital question of how the murderers might have been connected to international terrorism. That is right and proper.

But motives do not matter to the dead in California, nor did they in Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut and far too many other places. The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe but who place a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms.

It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.

Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific criminal. That is true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the constitutional challenges to effective gun regulation. Those challenges exist. They point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes, they did.

But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.

But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.

To read more click here.

 

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

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.

California Shootings: Wife May Have Been Behind Husband Becoming Radicalized

Syed Rizwan Farook

Syed Rizwan Farook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the California shootings on Wednesday, investigators are looking into the possibility that the wife may have convinced her husband to become radicalized, a source familiar with the probe tells ticklethewire.com.

Husband Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and wife Tashfeen Malik, 27, were killed by authorities after going on a rampage and killing 14 and wounding 21 at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.

CNN is reporting that Farook was in touch with people being investigated by the FBI for international terrorism. CNN cites law enforcement officials.

But a source says that investigators are also looking into communications the wife may have had with international terrorists.

Authorities found three pipe bombs that were made into an IED (improvised explosive device) at the site of  the shootings, and some investigators theorized that the bomb might have been left behind to hurt the law enforcement responders.

FBI Investigates Motive in Shooting in San Bernardino: Terrorism or Workplace Violence?

San Bernardino, Calif., via Wikipedia.

San Bernardino, Calif., via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Terrorism or workplace violence?

That’s one of the many questions the FBI is trying to answer after a man and woman opened fire at a holiday banquet for his co-workers in San Bernardino, Calif., killing 14 people and seriously injuring more than a dozen others, the Associated Press reports.

The violence at a social services center for the disabled was the deadliest mass shooting since the 26 children and adults were gunned down at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

The suspects were killed in a shootout with police.

“They came prepared to do what they did, as if they were on a mission,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said.

The motive remains unclear and could include workplace violence and terrorism, according to the FBI.

One of the suspects, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, was a restaurant inspector for the health department.

Homeland Security Committee Chief Calls for More Funding for FBI, DHS

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Following the Paris terror attacks, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is calling for “an increase in funding” to protect the U.S. from a similar attack, CNSNEws.com reports. 

Asked on ABC’s “This Week” what needs to be done to protect the homeland, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, responded:

“Well, it’s — it’s very difficult and — and we don’t want these foreign fighters coming into the United States from visa waiver countries,” McCaul responded. “We’ve had, in the homeland, 18 plots stopped that were ISIS-related. We’ve arrested 70 ISIS followers. And we have 1,000 investigations in all 50 states.

“So I think one thing Congress can do is we have an appropriations bill coming up in about two weeks. And I think the FBI and components of Homeland Security will need an increase in funding to help combat this threat that we see right in our homeland.”

Reop. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said airport security remains a problem.

“We certainly have resource challenges, but we are fortunate that we don’t have anywhere near the number of foreign fighters to track that Europe does.

“At the same time, I think two areas where we can really beef up our own security, one is a continuing vulnerability at our airports. All too often when we test the TSA, they don’t meet the test, and that has to (change).”