A two alarm fire broke out in the historic Brooklyn, New York church, the Church of St Luke and St Matthew, yesterday morning. The church, which is 124 years old, made of stone and terra cotta, is designated a city landmark. One hundred firefighters fought the blaze for over 90 minutes, according to the Wall St Journal. The fire started in the entrance way of the Episcopal church. The Rev. Christopher Ballard, the church’s curate, said the flames had caused “significant damage,” burning the wooden doors of two entrances and charring the foyer. The sanctuary, he said, remained largely unscathed. Two historic chairs that were in the lobby were destroyed. No one was injured.
The church had been operating as a hub storing supplies for Hurricane Sandy relief for ”Occupy Sandy”, a relief effort associated with Occupy Wall Street. Though the police said the cause remained under investigation, they were on scene investigating, and labelled it “suspicious”, according to local ABC News. Rev. Ballard said the fire had been fueled by a pair of gasoline containers donated to Occupy Sandy volunteers. He said he was told by police that it “appeared someone had taken the gas and poured it on the entrance and all along the facade and lit it on fire.” The gasoline was intended for generators for a Christmas party yesterday in the Rockaways, an area heavily hit by Hurricane Sandy. Ballard also noted, regarding the gas, ”You’d have to know it was there”.
Three Occupy Sandy volunteers were sleeping in the church at the time the fire started. According to an Occupy site coordinator, they were there as a security precaution after a spate of thefts that included donated materials and Rev. Ballard’s bicycle. The volunteers made it out safely. The fire did not appear to have affected the donated supplies, despite earlier reports that they were destroyed. The Occupy Sandy coordinator noted they would likely now be helping to clean out the church. Their twitter account associated with the location also called for people to bring and donate poinsettias to help decorate the church today.
Councilwoman Letitia James, who represents the area, expressed outrage at what she called a hateful arson. “We will find the sick individual who committed this crime,” she said, standing outside the church.
Rev Ballard said the church would be back open this evening for services.
The never ending saga of Barrett Brown continues. Brown, 31, who was a self-styled “spokesperson” for the group Anonymous faces new charges in relation to the hacking a year ago of the intelligence firm, Stratfor.
According to federal prosecutors, Brown was indicted this week in Texas on a dozen charges including aggravated identity theft and device fraud. He is accused of making public an Internet link providing access to credit card information stolen from Stratfor, which had emails taken during that same hack released by WikiLeaks. The full indictment against Brown can be seen here.
Brown had already been arrested and charged in October with threatening FBI agent, Robert Smith. Like much of Brown’s recent life, even the October arrest played out in the media, as he was arrested while on a live Tinychat session. One can hear him apparently trying to get away from the FBI and sounds that may have been taser bursts at 1:30.
The Stratfor breach led to the disclosure of thousands of credit card numbers and other information. Jeremy Hammond was also arrested, but charged with participating in the actual hacking of the company.
The planned ‘Black Friday” protests at Walmarts across the country appear to have flopped.
“OUR Walmart”, an organization backed by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, said it expected employees in 100 cities to walk off the job on “Black Friday,” the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season that accounts for up to one-half of retailers’ profits.
In response to the UFCW’s planned protests, Walmart US Chief Executive Bill Simon stated, “Only 26 protests occurred at stores last night and many of them did not include any Walmart associates.” In addition, the company did not experience the walk-offs that were promised by the UFCW. “We estimate that less than 50 associates(the term Walmart uses for employees) participated in the protest nationwide. In fact, this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year,” Simon said. Indeed, according to Reuters, only 1 person walked out of among the 500 employees at a Walmart in Chicago’s South Side. There are reportedly 1.3 million Walmart employees nationwide.
It appears to be in the main a “carpetbagger protest”. Many of the “protesters” appeared to be people bused in and not actual employees. Reuters referenced 4 busloads of people being bused in to the Southside location where there was only the one employee protesting . Here is a picture of Occupy Wall Street members being bused into a protest in New Jersey and outside in front of a Walmart:
Occupy has started wepay donation pages to donate for “Walmart strike organizers” and “Walmart strikers”, including asking for donations to pay for their food and feminine hygeine products.
In the face of the “protests”, Walmart reports that it had its best Black Friday ever. Those employees that worked Black Friday got an additional 10% of on an entire basket of goods and were rewarded with holiday pay.
Between the two donation pages, Occupy has accumulated a tidy sum for “Walmart strikers” and “strike organizers”, allegedly over $18,000. One wonders who this money will actually be going to, since it seems that Occupiers are the “strikers” and “organizers”.
Remember this iconic picture?
This was Donna Vanzant, two days after Hurricane Sandy, being hugged by President Obama. This picture was beamed around the country and the internet, showing Obama’s care for hurricane victims. It may have factored in helping him get re-elected after trailing in polls to Mitt Romney.
Donna owned North Point Marina in Brigantine, New Jersey which suffered over $500,000 in damage from the storm. President Obama flew in for about an hour, hugged her, made promises, got pictures taken with Gov. Christie and left.
But before he left he had the following exchange- “we are going to make sure that she immediately gets help”:
Well, Donna received many kindnesses and heard from countless people as a result of the picture. But is it any shock that she still hasn’t heard from the government?
According to the Bergen Record, Donna says it was an honor to meet the President, but she is frustrated that she has yet to receive any help from either her insurance company or the government.
“The President told me I would get immediate help”, she said. ”Looking back on it, it wasted a lot of people’s time”, she said of the visit. The future of North Point Marina remains uncertain. “I am just moving minute by minute, because the insurance companies are telling me, no, no, no!” she said.
Not only was the photo op used, the picture of Donna is still up on the White House site, proclaiming “We are here for you”.
Donna has finally heard from President Obama. He responded to her email with a form letter, thanking her for supporting the troops. See more here.
Socialists, Occupiers in New Zealand assault US Consulate with shoes, remove US flag and replace with Palestinian flag
The Socialist Aotearoa group organized a march, including members of Occupy Auckland & Occupy New Zealand, and moved on the US Consulate in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday. Claiming to be part of a “Global Peace and Justice Solidarity with Gaza March”, they shouted such chants as “Free Palestine” and threw shoes at the Consulate, a sign of disrespect in the Arab world.
They also replaced the US flag that flew over the Consulate with a Palestinian flag.
See picture of US flag normally there (partially obscured by tree):
The American flag replaced:
Video of protester rejoicing at raising of Palestinian flag:
Video of protesters throwing shoes at the Consulate:
Speeches and signs indicated a desire to tear up the Camp David accords and move the Egyptian army into Gaza to fight Israel.
One might ask where police and US security at the Consulate were in all this? Apparently, we are still not adequately protecting our embassies and consulates, even after the Benghazi scandal and terrorist attack which resulted in the death of four Americans including the American ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens.
HT: Foolish Reporter
Police have arrested a 60 year old unemployed doctor, Roberto Rivera, after finding a large quantity of chemicals used in bomb making after they conducted a raid on his home in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The search of Rivera’s home on Friday night also revealed a number of assault rifles and other weapons
Rivera was charged with second degree recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage; fourth degree failure to mitigate against recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage; third degree unlawful possession of a destructive device; fourth degree unlawful possession of a stun gun; fourth degree unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition magazine; and second degree unlawful possession of an assault firearm. His bail has been set at $1 million dollars.
Ridgewood police had initially responded to the home after receiving a report that potentially hazardous materials might be at the residence. The Bergen County Prosecutor, John Molinelli, called at least one of the chemicals “highly volatile,” but authorities did not disclose the names of the chemicals found in the house.
Bergen County Hazmat and the FBI were involved in the search of the house. Saturday afternoon FBI Special Agent Barbara Woodruff said it was an ongoing investigation but ”the scene is definitely secured so there’s no reason for concern”. Agencies investigating include the Ridgewood Police Department; Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office; Bergen County Police Department Bomb Squad; FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force; and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Prosecutors say Rivera is unemployed but has a license to practice medicine in New York.
Rivera was an active member of Occupy Wall Street. He was quoted in Bloomberg News in October of last year, commenting on the movement:
Fox News Channel’s Grapevine reported here on the following post from the Syrian Army News.
There’s a new explanation for why superstorm Sandy happened coming from Syria.
Syrian Army News posted this. Quote — “Sources confirm that Hurricane Sandy, now buffeting the U.S., was carried out by highly advanced technology developed by the heroic Iranian regime, in coordination with our resistant regime. This is a consequence of attacking Assad’s Syria and threatening its security.”
Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the West for destroying his country’s rain clouds to force a drought.
Bret Baier reports OWS rants about benefits of Hurricane Sandy, “Anonymous” twitter accounts then threaten him
Yesterday FNC’s Bret Baier on Grapevine reported on the comments by @OccupyWallStreet ‘s official twitter account in response to Hurricane Sandy. See his report here. This earned him some unfavorable attention from twitter accounts associated with Anonymous (one of the founding parts of Occupy). They “doxed” Baier (got his personal information including his home address and phone) and said “anything goes” against him.
On Tuesday, the day after the hurricane started, the OWS account started with a rant against capitalism:
Capitalism is the astounding belief that the wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things 4 the greatest good of all. #election2012—
Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012
Then followed up immediately thereafter with the specific “benefits” of Sandy:
Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012
What obscures “community”? Why, Capitalism, of course.
They then advised people to go outside on Tuesday (while many wires and trees were still down and dangerous, most without power, many still under water ).
Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012
Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012
Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012
In the above tweet, they link to an article on another Occupy site that refers to Sandy as the “People’s Hurricane” and a “Climate Strike” (arguing Sandy is due to Climate change that evil Wall St loosed on itself).
In response, the OWS account was widely castigated by the Twitterverse. Jaceyla Jones was perhaps one of the best, reminding them that people had died.
@OccupyWallSt, There's another, better worded truism for your rambling masquerading as 'wisdom': Misery loves company. People are DEAD, FGS!—
Jacelya Jones (@JacelyaJones) October 30, 2012
After being roundly criticized, suddenly the OWS account seemed taken over by notices of how one could volunteer to help out Sandy victims, and posting on Occupy “volunteer efforts”. Still, they revealed it was all about the politics, noting:
Insurance is the capitalist answer to what should be an effort of mutual aid from the community. #sandy—
Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012
They then started praising themselves for their “rapid response” to Sandy, and attacked the Tea Party and government response.
Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 31, 2012
Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallSt) October 30, 2012
When the FNC report by Baier then dared report some of the above tweets, this Anonymous account first called him a liar, saying that Occupy was helping victims.
Anonymous (@DBCOOPA) November 01, 2012
Thereafter the following tweets recorded the effort to “dox” Baier and discussed what should be done to him. Click to enlarge:
This was then followed up with a post with his “dox” including phone numbers, home address, age and birthday. Citizen Journalist will not be linking to that dox page.
Here is a copy of the page with relevant info excised.
Anonymous@DBCOOPA has since scrubbed the first tweet about “ruining Baier’s life”.
HT @RichardRSmithJr for screenshot
An amusing time is on tap for Saturday, October 27th in NYC. G-4 Productions is presenting a debate between Occupy members and members of the Tea Party. The debate is being held tonight at St Luke’s Theatre in NYC at 308 West 46th Street. Tickets can be obtained here.
For the Tea Party side the debaters are Pamela Geller, David Webb, Dr. Gina Loudon, Dr. Milton Wolf, Jennifer Stefano and Ruth White.
On the Occupier side are:
1. Edward “Ted” Twitchell Hall III (of infamous meltdown fame)
2. Kanene Holder – you can find Ms. Holder in this pedantic reaching and unfunny skit titled “Searching for American Justice”. She plays the roll of “Justice” as a blonde blind ditz.
3. Harrison Schultz – appeared on Sean Hannity and tried to blame the rapists at Occupy on police directing them to Zuccotti
4. Devin Balkind – works at the Sarapis Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the development and deployment of strategically significant free/libre/opensource solutions and spaces
6. Justin Wedes- Last, but by now means least, Justin Wedes, who most recently went to the Cayman Islands “to find the hidden money”. Justin used to be a NYC public school teacher, but ended up resigning over a grant scandal. He continues to be a spokesperson for OWS and was infamously featured on Colbert with “Ketchup”. Here’s a reminder of that memorable event in the first 40 seconds on this video:
“Anonymous” group claims to have planted a bomb in a government building to blow up on November 5th (Updated)
Here is the statement that they released. which reads as follows:
Dear citizens of the world,
We are anonymous. As of today 200 kilograms of composite Nitroglycerin and commercial explosives have effectively been concealed in a government building, situated in the united states of America. on the 5th of November 2012 the device will detonate remotely via the transmission control protocol, leaving behind severe consiquences[sic]. We would like to advise that the contraption is built inside a tamper proof apparatus sensitive to physical intrusions or attempted disarmament, thus resulting in the desired effect, if the military grade device is found before the 5th of November. there is no intention, risks or circumstances what so ever to cause harm to innocent people, but we can not, say the same for the people who are the real terrorists, oppressors and war creators.
we are anonymous
we are legion
we do not forget
we do not forgive
on the 5th of November, you will expect us.
The release says it is from the group “@FawkesSecurity” and references “#OpV” which refers to the actions planned for November 5th (which harkens back to V for Vendetta and Guy Fawkes Day). Other videos and statements from other Anonymous accounts have called for actions in the streets on that day to help bring down the government.
Since the video hit yesterday, many in Anonymous have denounced it, asserting that they would not employ such tactics. Speculation about @FawkesSecurity ranges from “false flag” and “fed”, to “attention whore”. The Youtube account is not one of the main Anonymous accounts, although it is connected to a bigger channel.
@FawkesSecurity appears to have been on the Anonymous scene since at least the end of last year. The twitter profile lists a Facebook to a private group, with the administrator supposedly a blonde woman from New York named “Jodie Rushforth”, which is likely false. There are several others listed in the grouping as well.
This group has claimed involvement in attacks on HSBC and on Twitter last week over the suspension of the account @Anon_Central. Other Anons are now disputing these claims.
The nature of Anonymous allows anyone to effectively claim to be a part of it. Yet this is not the first threat claiming to come from an Anonymous source. In February, for example, The Anon Message released a video, declaring war on the United States and calling for the destruction of the government, specifically noting this was not calling for a “protest” but a “call to arms”, again referencing #OpV and November 5th. That video has over 400,000 views.
On October 17th, people calling themselves “New York Anarchists” claim to have sabotaged railroad tracks leading into and out of New York City.
According to WSQT “Direct Action Radio”, the action was in “retaliation” for the jailing of three people in Seattle “for refusing to snitch on Occupy activists and/or anarchists” who were “opposing the very corporations these railroads serve”. The three people in question were called before a grand jury and given a grant of immunity from prosecution, but refused to testify and were charged with civil contempt of court. One has been released yesterday, the two others are still in jail.
Here is the radio statement.
WSQT phrased this action as “yet another of a long line of punitive strikes against corporate capitalism in retaliation for the grand jury” They stated that the “warriors who carried out this mission” posted the following communique on Anarchist News.
To our comrades enduring repression in the Northwest, you are not alone. In the early morning hours of October 17th, we sabotaged the operation of three sets of train tracks leading in and out of New York City. This action was undertaken in solidarity with Leah-Lynn Plante, Matthew Kyle Duran, Katherine Olejnik, and all of our other comrades in the Northwest. To those who are staying strong in these trying times, may this action be an expression of our deepest love. To those who seek to put them in cages, may this action be an expression of our deepest hatred.
DEATH TO CAPITAL
DEATH TO THE STATE
LONG LIVE ANARCHY
- New York Anarchists
It is not clear what this alleged “sabotage” is supposed to have involved and Citizen Journalist has not been able to confirm that anything actually took place. If anything was done, it apparently wasn’t sufficient to even make media. On September 17th, the anniversary of OWS, anarchists claim to have tied a copper wire from one track to another, disrupting a switch relay, and incapacitating a track north of new York City. That also has not been confirmed.
There has been a lot flying in the Twitterverse about whether the “undecideds” at the second presidential debate at Hofstra University may have been plants.
We’ll wait till we see more evidence.
But this video raises an interesting question.
We are led to believe that the candidates do not know the people asking the questions.
In the video, at around 1:06:35, Candy Crowley says that we have a question coming from Kerry Ladka. Then you see President Obama move directly toward Kerry Ladka and say “Hi Kerry”. Then realizing his mistake, he starts to cover up, looking around as though he is looking for the questioner. Then when Kerry Ladka stands and begins, Obama asks him his name, as though he didn’t know it, to again put distance from his earlier mistake.
Here is insane view of the actions of a mob.
About 500 angry, pro abortion feminists attending the “National Women’s Encounter” conference in Posadas, surrounded the nearby cathedral, intent upon defacing the church. Several of the local Catholics locked arms in front of the church to prevent them from defacing it. The feminists then attacked and abused Catholics, spray painting them, spitting on them, screaming at them, taunting and otherwise abusing them. They also spray painted the cathedral with anarchist and pro abortion phrases.
Some took pictures and posed laughing in front of the abused Catholics. The Catholics locked arms and continued to pray the Rosary as they were abused.
It is not clear where the police were. There have been similar actions before from prior National Women’s Encounter events elsewhere in the country, including in 2010, when they vandalized buildings and seriously injured one person.
After the latest Occupy vandalism march on October 8th, it looks like some may just be fed up.
This flyer was apparently being distributed in Oakland.
Speculation among Occupy Oakland participants is rampant as to who might be behind the flyer, everything from aggrieved community member to a COINTELPRO plot by police.
But the most common guess is unhappy Occupy member.
Schisms have exploded over the past week between various elements of Occupy Oakland, with elements threatening each other, saying things like “we will hunt you down” and “no love all bullets and body bags”. See more here. Within the schism is an undercurrent of race, with disturbance being expressed by people of color over the “white” nature of such groups as the Oakland Commune.
The flyer itself doesn’t read as though it were a mere aggrieved citizen.
- it cites the date of October 25th. That is the day when Occupy is planning a big action and a possible re-occupation, something the normal citizen probably wouldn’t know.
- it appears to be calling on Occupy to “beat the shit out of anarchists”.
- it also claims to be from “DOOM” (Defend our Oakland Movement). Could mean just defend Oakland, or alternatively, defend our Oakland Movement(indicating involvement).
- it has a clear grievance against the “caucasian” nature of Occupy anarchists, echoing some of the underlying issues expressed in the schism talk.
Whoever it is, one would hope that this doesn’t indicate a ratcheting up of the violence in Oakland.
Members of Occupy Portland and others were part of a group of around 50 people who damaged several businesses including 4 banks and a Walgreens in SE Portland on Thursday.
After arranging the action on Facebook, the group met at 8:30 pm at SE 35th & Taylor and shortly thereafter, began throwing rocks and smashing windows of businesses. Police began receiving calls, including that bottles were being thrown as people, according to NWCN, who also interviewed one man who was nearly hit in the head by an object.
Wells Fargo, Umpqua, Chase and US Bank all had their windows broken. The Walgreen’s store on Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Southeast Belmont Street also was vandalized. It was reported that the vandals also walked into traffic and blocked vehicles.
According to KATU, Virginia Suftin said she saw about 50 people headed her way. “I heard the noise and the glass shattering as I was walking to my apartment,” she said. “and they threw a rock right at the bank. They had a huge banner that said ‘no prisons, hug cats? And a bunch were wearing ski masks,” Suftin recalled. An anarchist report indicates the banner read: “BURN THE PRISONS, HUG CATS. YOLO (A) ACAB”. ACAB means “All Cops are Bastards”. According to the same report, they pulled news paper boxes and other items into the streets to block being followed and chanted ”GIVE NO F–KS TAKE NO ORDERS, SMASH THE PRISONS AND THE BORDER!” Here is another account by an Occupier who “observed” the march
By the time police arrived, most of the people had dispersed. No arrests have been made, police said.
Here is video made by BareItorBearIt of some of the damage. The video also notes how this action was advertised on the Occupy Portland Facebook and notes who said they would be attending. Citizen Journalist has confirmed that in fact it was indeed advertised, and is still in fact up on their Facebook, although the names of those attending appear now to have been erased.
Despite this, Occupy disavowed the action, telling KATU that the event was not sanctioned, organized or affiliated with them. “The action last night was not an Occupy Portland action or march” a spokesperson said.
This particular action was reportedly in response to the jailing of three people for refusing to testify in response to grand jury subpoenas, despite being granted immunity from prosecution. Since a grand jury, by its very nature, is secret to protect the integrity of pending investigations, it is not clear what information is being sought from these three. Supporters of those jailed contend the three are being held purely for their anarchist views. This was disputed by a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office, Emily Langlie, stating people were not being investigated for political views. She also noted that grand juries can consider many cases, not just one, and that she cannot comment on the ongoing investigations.
The mother of slain State Department official Sean Smith appeared on CNN begging for answers, asking what happened to her son in Benghazi.
She says all the officials she met with told her the attack was about the anti-Islam video and that she still is not sure what happened to her son or how he died.
COOPER: So you don’t even know the cause of death?
SMITH: I don’t even know if that’s true or not. No, I don’t. I don’t know where. I look at TV and I see bloody hand prints on walls, thinking, my God, is that my son’s? I don’t know if he was shot. I don’t know — I don’t know. They haven’t told me anything. They are still studying it. And the things that they are telling me are just outright lies.
That Susan Rice, what — she talked to me personally and she said, she said, this is the way it was. It was — it was because of this film that came out.
COOPER: So she told you personally that she thought it was a result of that video of the protest?
SMITH: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. In fact all of them did. All of them did. Leon Panetta actually took my face in his hands like this and he said, trust me. I will tell you what happened. And so far, he’s told me nothing. Nothing at all. And I want to know.
Prior to the September 11, 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, in which four Americans were killed, there were two other bombings at the consulate, one on April 6 (when two former security guards hurled improvised explosives at the building) and another on June 6. See more on the threats and subsequent investigation here.
This video purports to show some of the attack on June 6. The video was discovered by the SITE Intelligence Group, an organization which monitors online terrorist activity.
The video was released by the “Brigades of the Imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman” which takes responsibility for the attack. According to SITE, the Brigades group reported in a communiqué posted on jihadist forums on June 11 that its fighters planted an explosive in the wall of the consulate, the blasting of which injured a number of guards (official accounts do not include any injuries). The jihadist group added that the attack came in response to the drone strike on al-Qaeda official Abu Yahya al-Libi in North Waziristan, and also in response to American drones flying in Libyan skies. The Wall St. Journal reported last month that this explosion blew a hole through the perimeter barrier of the consulate, one source noting the resultant crater was so big that “40 men could walk through it”. An Obama administration official characterized this attack as “mild”, compared to that of 9/11/12. The official said that on 9/11, “We faced a coordinated, military-style assault. We’ve never seen that kind of attack before,” this official added.
The attack on June 6th followed the June 5th announcement by the US of al-Libi’s death, claiming his death as a “major blow” to Al Qaeda.
The video begins with a canned clip of Osama Bin Laden speaking, then follows with a speaker from “as-Sahab”, the PR arm of Al Qaeda. There is then a short clip of the alleged explosion being set off, followed by the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al Zawahiri, haranguing the United States, referencing September 11, 2001 and the attack on the World Trade Center.
The June 6th attack specifically references the drone strike on al-Libi in Pakistan. Al-Libi was from Libya and it has been speculated the September 11 attack in Benghazi may have been further revenge for his death, as well as marking the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Al Qaeda acknowledged al-Libi’s death when they released a eulogy for him on September 10th.
What is also of note is the reference to the “Brigades of the Imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman”. The Sheikh is Egyptian, and part of the reason for the “protest” in Egypt on September 11, 2012 was to agitate for his release from the US to Egypt. He is being held in a prison in North Carolina, after conviction for plotting the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and has become a focus of such groups as Al Qaeda. There had also been speculation that President Obama was in negotiations to send him back to Egypt. One of the people agitating for his release was the brother of Ayman al Zawahiri, Mohammed al Zawahiri, one of the organizers of the “protest” on September 11, in Egypt, according to the Weekly Standard.
The ongoing investigation into the Benghazi attack- “capabilities in place” to retaliate, “hold up is in Washington”
Asharq Al-Awsat, an international Arabic daily based in London, has provided a little more of a window into the investigation than MSM has been providing in the United States. The daily describes some of the suspects and their connection to Al Qaeda.
Asharq Al-Awsat noted:
-sources close to the FBI investigation into the attack also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that primary evidence in the case has been lost or compromised after the Libyan authorities failed to secure the scene of the crime over a period of two weeks.
-Libyan authorities arrested 8 suspects in connection with the attack
-The FBI team is reportedly made up of between 20 and 25 agents, in addition to around 10 “Delta Force” soldiers providing security.
-Sources close to the FBI investigation into the Benghazi attack informed Asharq Al-Awsat that this is focusing on three suspects with alleged ties to the Al Qaeda terrorist network.
The first of the three suspects is known as “Juma”, a resident of the Libyan port city of Derna. He is reportedly a leading member of the Libyan Islamist “Ansar al-Sharia” militia that advocates the implementation of Islamic Sharia law across the country. This suspect is also reportedly a former detainee of Guantanamo Bay and is believed to have tried to contact Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. He disappeared from Derna just days after the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
The second suspect is known as “Bu Kitf”, a former inmate of Gaddafi’s prisons and a leading member of the “17 February” battalion, which was responsible for providing security to the US consulate.
The third suspect is known as “Abu Ahmed”, also a former prison inmate released following the Egyptian revolution and the ouster of the Mubarak regime. The Americans believe that the Egyptian national sent a message to Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri last July asking permission to form an Al Qaeda branch in Egypt.
-The source also revealed that the Egyptian authorities had failed to provide any information or cooperation with the Americans regarding this suspect. The Egyptian authorities failed to respond to an Asharq Al-Awsat request for comment on this issue.
-Barak Barfi, research fellow at the New America Foundation, stressed that “there was a significant failure in American security.” He added “I think that the Americans believe that Abu Ahmed is responsible for the explosion at the Benghazi consulate…with the participation of Libyans from the Ansar al-Sharia group.”
The three suspects mentioned in detail by Asharq Al-Awsat do not appear to have been part of the eight arrested in Libya. The US State Department has identified Yemen based Ansar al-Sharia as an alternative name for Al Qaeda operating in the Arabian Peninsula.
Two suspects were also arrested trying to enter Turkey last week. The suspects, identified as Tunisians, were detained late Wednesday as they attempted to enter the country with fake passports, Kanal D said.
Meanwhile, testimony continued this week before Congress on the circumstances leading up to the attack.
According to CBS News, a State Department officer told House Committee panel members there were 13 separate specific threats made against the consulate during the six months before the attack. Those threats included a threat against both the Consulate and Ambassador Stevens made on Facebook. One post included mention of the route which Stevens took to jog each morning.
Lt. Col. Andrew Wood told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that U.S. security was so weak that in April, only one U.S. diplomatic security agent was stationed in Benghazi. Security Officer Eric Nordstrom also told committee members that repeated requests had been made for increased security, requests that were denied. He said his requests for more security were blocked by a department policy to “normalize operations and reduce security resources.” He stated that Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary for international programs, wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi “artificially low”.
It has been over a month since the attack, yet there has been no response as yet from the United States.
Three U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that the U.S. military has the special-operations forces and other assets in place to begin going after individuals in Libya.
“At this point, the capabilities are in place,” one U.S. intelligence officer said. “The holdup is in Washington.”
Here’s a funny Occupy story, although perhaps it’s not funny in the way Occupy would like to think.
They had a recent fundraiser in NYC on October 2.
What was that fundraiser for? Was it for money for the poor? Helping someone save their home from foreclosure?
It was to send two Occupy members to the Cayman Islands.
Yes, that’s right. Send them to the Cayman Islands.
Well, what are they being sent to the Cayman Islands for? Negin Farsad and Lee Camp, two Occupy comedians are being sent there to “report on the infamous tax havens that Mitt Romney and other millionaires use”. They are also accompanied by Justin Wedes, a spokesperson for Occupy Wall St, who is the main voice @OccupyWallStNYC. It is unclear who is paying for him to be there.
Let’s look at some of the wonderful things they have discovered in the Cayman Islands so far:
Negin Farsad (@neginfarsad) October 09, 2012
Justin Wedes (@justinwedes) October 09, 2012
A follower comments on their hard hitting investigation:
Lucy Dyer (@Biscuit_Angel) October 09, 2012
Here is a recording of their first day debriefing
It is gratifying that they have discovered that the Cayman Islands doesn’t have taxes and that people legally invest there.
Perhaps tomorrow they can report on the water temperature -oh wait, they already did that:
I'm in the Cayman Islands and the water is really warm. Thank you and good night.—
Negin Farsad (@neginfarsad) October 09, 2012
Sweet deal if you can get it.
Last night, Bay Area Occupiers from San Francisco, Oakland and surrounding environs held a “Hoodies & Hijabs” anti imperialist anti war march on the 11th anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan. The march was billed as being organized by ”Afghans for Peace”. As we noted in our prior article, after a few minutes of brief speeches at Frank Ogawa Plaza, they then spent under an hour smashing and vandalizing businesses, homes and cars in the downtown area. There were no arrests. More on the story here.
An old SDS (Students For a Democratic Society) poster that read, “Bring the war home” was used as a propaganda tool online.
Organizers urged marchers to wear hoodies or hijabs. During the march, chants included “Allahu Akbar”, ”Free Afghanistan” “Free Palestine”.
Here is a post from Anarchist News from an anarchist who participated in this action:
Tonight was an intimate experience with the direct confrontation between what is wild and what is the negation of life. It was a little release from the choke of politics, of representation, and order. It’s a peek into a proper response to what we face as contained life.
Our symbiotic relationship between each other, our kenesis, chaos, and our ebb and flow outran the law. Our bodies are equipped with joy and it may be our most valuable weapon when under attack. In this most impersonal world where one can fly a drone and drop a bomb killing untold amounts of life, our intimate bonds of life—our animal nature unleashes. Of course The Oakland Scientific Facility got some of our rage.
Yesterday the state took 25 friends away from us. The destruction tonight was in part our response—the struggle continues. Whether staffing the legal call-in center, covering imprisoned friends work shifts, smashing police recruitment stations, raising bail, or etch bathing the Community Policing Centre in East Vancouver we take care of one another. Every day agents of the state take people away and imprison them, and while 25 of our friends were nabbed, about 35,948 other people were arrested and carted off to jail yesterday.
It didn’t start with Chase Bank and it doesn’t end with City Hall or the Police recruitment station. It all must go, every last vestige of this wretched earth, and it is always a violent phenomenon.
An incomplete list of some of the attacks:
The last big window of the old Obama office on telegraph (The office has since moved because Oakland is to real for ‘em)
The disgusting new Chase bank on 14th and Broadway
The whole side of California Bank.
Bank of the West
Some ATM’s here and there
Some condos here and there
Kaiser Permanente Office
Rudys can’t fail
“Die yuppie scum” & “Gentry” were scrawled on some yuppie condos around 19th and Telegraph
OPD recruitment station
Oakland City Hall
Several BMW’s and some other posh cars
The Oakland Scientific Facility, which houses computers and data storage for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
With love and dedication,
for the silent ones
for the revolutionary comrades behind bars
for the survivors and victims of US imperialism, colonialism, and war in Afghanistan, Palestine, and throughout the Muslim world.
Fight Genocide, Destroy what is civilized.
Here is video of the event. The video is edited by a participant live steamer, PFailblog, with faces deliberately blurred to make recognition difficult.
For the second day in a row, Occupiers in the Bay Area conducted a disruptive march, last night causing damage to several businesses in Oakland.
On Saturday, 22 were arrested during a “Fuck Columbus” anti-colonialism anti capitalist march in San Francisco. Around 3 pm in broad daylight, they threw paint bombs with rocks in them at cops and vandalized cars and businesses yesterday. After several of the paint attacks, police made the arrests. Charges ranged from conspiracy to assault on a police officer.
Last night was billed as an “Afghan led” anti imperialist anti war protest, “Hoodies and Hijabs” march, commemorating the start of the war in Afghanistan 11 years ago. They started out around 7 pm with a few speeches in front of city hall, but then went on an hour run of vandalizing businesses in Oakland. About 200 people marched through the downtown area smashing windows and throwing paint along the way. According to KGO 810 News, they broke large plate glass windows of three banks along Franklin Street. Six windows were attacked at the Chase Bank on Franklin. Doors and windows of the City Hall were damaged, as was the AC Transit office and the police recruiting office. The group also broke windows at the Oakland Tribune. KTVU noted several businesses were damaged including Kaiser Permanente and that cars were vandalized as well.
There were no arrests last night.
In a rambling statement posted on the Occupy Oakland website, the “Afghans for Peace” accuse US soldiers of atrocities and multiple instances of desecration of the ‘Holy Quran”. They also claim the military has “Kill teams”. They call for US soldiers to “go AWOL, refuse to fight and start a revolt amongst your ranks”. They closed their statement with “say no to all wars, except class war”.
Around 30 members of Code Pink and Veterans for Peace traveled to Pakistan to allegedly protest drone use by the US in the area. They were trying to join locals in a protest in South Waziristan.
Anyone see Jane Fonda analogies when you look at this? If you can’t make it through the whole going to a foreign country and speaking against our government thing, skip ahead to Medea Benjamin at around 2:50 where she says, “We want to be loved as Americans”. Because all that is needed for everyone to love us is for us just to love everyone.
Unfortunately (or fortunately for them) the government wouldn’t let them into South Waziristan.
The Taliban were there hoping to show them lots of love, threatening to bomb the protest:
On Saturday, a statement from a Taliban faction said to be based in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province warned that militants would welcome the protesters with suicide bombings.
“We ask the brave people of Waziristan not to side with the gang of Jews and Christians – otherwise their fate will be terrible,” the Punjabi Taliban said in the statement.
My guess is that Medea Benjamin’s expressions of love really wouldn’t have stopped the Taliban from blowing her up.
We’ve been deficient in our cute animal posts, in favor of more serious news of late. But here is an owl who has a lot to say.