Something Else To Fret About: ISIS Mounting Dirty Bombs On Drones


You should be wondering the same thing that National Security and Homeland Security experts are taking seriously.

 

JRH 9/9/17

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Something Else To Fret About: ISIS Mounting Dirty Bombs On Drones

 

Drone Over City

 

By Tim Johnson from Special to McClatchy Washington Bureau

September 8, 2017

In Homeland Security

 

Here’s a fear that keeps counter-terrorism officials up at night: Extremists might use drones to drop dirty bombs or poison on Western cities.

 

It could just be a matter of time before Islamic State fighters take drone usage from the battlefield in Syria and Iraq to urban areas of the West, security officials say.

 

“I understand that an openly available drone, such as a quadcopter, which is able to hold a camera, can drop some dirty explosive device,” Friedrich Grommes, Germany’s top international terrorism official, told McClatchy on the sidelines of a national security forum.

 

“Even if only a few people are affected, it serves completely the idea of terrorism,” Grommes added. The payload would be “something which is poisonous. It could be a chemical or whatever is commercially available.”

 

Concerns about such tactics grew after Australian federal police said on Aug. 3 that they had disrupted an Islamic State plot to build an “improvised chemical dispersion device” that terrorists sought to deploy in urban areas. Plotters aimed to spread hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous gas.

 

Such a flying dirty bomb could be attached to a drone and used in Europe or North America, counter-terrorism officials said.

 

“That technology hasn’t quite crossed the Atlantic. It actually hasn’t left the battlefield,” said Chris Rousseau, director of Canada’s Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre, based in Ottawa.

 

Rousseau and other counter-terror experts spoke at the two-day Intelligence & National Security Summit 2017 in Washington.

 

After the panel, Rousseau spoke further about a drone carrying a terrorist weapon: “The question is at what point somebody’s going to get the idea to use that here.”

 

Extremists may not have the knowhow to manufacture deadly nerve or chemical agents, choosing simpler chemical components and combining them with an explosive, Grommes said.

 

“They will refrain from developing the complex chemical or biological attacks because they want to have the sudden spectacular blast,” said Grommes, who heads a directorate focused on international terrorism at Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, known as the BND.

 

Counter-terrorism officials, speaking about other facets of the war on terrorism, said nations must not get complacent about a possible strengthening of al-Qaida, the extremist faction that launched the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, eventually retreating from Afghanistan to the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa amid sustained U.S.-led military pressure. The group has been overshadowed by the Islamic State.

 

In a reversal of al-Qaida’s earlier tactics, Sheikh Hamza bin Laden, son of the deceased al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, called in May for the group’s followers to embrace the kinds of “lone wolf attacks” used by Islamic State, its bitter rival, in which jihadists execute terror operations acting largely on their own and without direction.

 

Experts said the latest crop of terror attacks in Europe were largely carried out by men afflicted by anger more than driven by religious fanaticism.

 

Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old Briton who plowed a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge on March 22, killing five people and injuring 50, left behind writings with “almost no real ideological content,” said Paddy McGuinness, Britain’s deputy national security adviser for intelligence, security and resilience.

 

Attackers find an outlet for rage in radical interpretations of Islam, McGuinness said.

 

“They are looking for something and they stick a sticker on it and they find their justification,” McGuinness said. “Their grip on their religion is so superficial as to be less than what you’d get by watching a television documentary.”

 

Rousseau, the Canadian official, echoed that belief.

 

“Religious ideology is very much the excuse,” Rousseau said, noting that little differentiates the anger of white supremacists and Islamic radicals.

 

McGuinness called on Britain’s allies to do more to remove radical Islamic content from the internet, where he said it becomes an echo chamber for radicals.

 

“People can radicalize very, very quickly,” McGuinness said. Just as some countries bar pedophiles from putting content on line, he said Western countries need to fight the presence of extremists online, “not allow them to be there.”

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(c) 2017 McClatchy Washington Bureau

Visit the McClatchy Washington Bureau at www.mcclatchydc.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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Stand For Liberty


Rand Paul filibuster

Justin Smith utilizes Senator Rand Paul’s recent filibuster as the foundational starting point to write about the Obama Administration’s – with Attorney General Eric Holder as a reference – abuse of the U.S. Constitution.

 

JRH 3/15/13

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Stand For Liberty

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent: 3/14/2013 3:23 PM

 

In a fascinating and charismatic stand for Our U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and Liberty for all Americans, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) demanded on March 6, 2013 that Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder specifically give clarification regarding the Obama administration’s policy on using unmanned armed aircraft (drones) overseas and on American soil. When Holder gave several ambiguous statements and circled any honest answer pertaining to provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, enacted by Executive Order on 12-31-12, allowing the president to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely and to kill Americans who are deemed terrorists or “enemy combatants,” Senator Paul vowed to block the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA until he received some satisfactory answers (Presidents have long used the word “privelege” in Article I Sec 9 as a tool to ignore habeas corpus). And thus ensued an amazing lesson in government and the U.S. Constitution, as Senator Paul delivered a thirteen hour filibuster!

Twelve other Republicans and one Democrat, Ron Wyden (Oregon) supported Paul during his 13 hour soliloquy, but the bulk of the Republican Party was notably and unfortunately missing in action during this intense, momentous and historic moment, which prompted Senator Paul’s observation, “If there were an ounce of courage in this body I would be joined by other senators… saying they will not tolerate this.” So, in stark contrast Senator Rand Paul struck a blow for all Americans and Liberty, as Republican-in-name-only Senator Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) office would not divulge his whereabouts during the filibuster; and, RHINO Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who had dinner with Obama and eleven others during the filibuster, gushed like a teenage girl over the attention they received, as they were groomed to once more betray their constituency and the American people regarding upcoming financial matters.

Senators Graham (R-SC) and McCain (R-AZ) suggested that Senator Paul was doing “a disservice to Americans by making them think that somehow they’re in danger from their government.” As McCain added, “They’re not. But we are in danger from a dedicated longstanding, easily replaceable-leadership enemy that is hell bent on our destruction,” I thought that statement was fairly applicable to Obama and the Progressive Democrats as much as it was to Al Qaeda.

Remember that Holder has been undermining the U.S. legal system for a long time. The Holder Justice Department has prosecuted U.S. agents unfairly due to previously approved methods of interrogating terrorists, who have no standing under the U.S. Constitution (parallels “piracy”) or the Geneva Convention. Holder himself has represented Al Qaeda terrorists pro bono during his time with the law firm of Covington and Burling. He has unconstitutionally overseen the military trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Mohammed; now, he once again has conferred Constitutional rights on a terrorist/enemy combatant where none should exist and, in fact, do not exist in the case of Sulaiman Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and chief propagandist for Al Qaeda. And this is the man we are supposed to trust when he states that “no intention” exists to use drone strikes in America… the very same Eric Holder who ignored due process in the international child custody case of Elian Gonzalez.

Due process of the law has been integral to the American way since George Mason and others penned the Bill of Rights, and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) pointedly stated, “The question of whether the United States government can kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil when that individual does not pose an imminent threat or grievous bodily harm is a fundamental issue of Liberty. It is an issue of enforcing the explicit language of Our Constitution.” It is within this context that all Americans must take pause and object to Holder’s reluctance and hesitancy to offer an unequivocal and certain, “No…the president does not have the authority to kill a U.S. citizen on American soil who is not engaged in combat,” as he eventually did on March 7, after a month and a half of pressure from Congress!

This controversy largely arose over the Obama refusal to allow Congress to see the legal opinions that authorize drone strikes, although regular reports have been made to the House and Senate Intelligence and Armed Forces Committees. The critical question centers on Congressional oversight of a covert war against suspected terrorists, as Obama has grabbed too much power and violated the U.S. Constitution in his so-called “efforts to keep the nation safe.”

Virginia E. Sloan, the president of the Constitution Project (civil liberties group/DC), stated in February, “We have this drone war, and the American public has no idea what the rules are, and Congress doesn’t know much more… speeches are absolutely no substitute for the actual memos in hand.”

Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said: “What Rand Paul had to say about drones absolutely fired up conspiracy theorists on the left as well as the right.” Setting aside conspiracies, a known fact represents reality; and, America’s reality is an Obama administration and Homeland Security who warned of the ranks of potential terrorists being filled by “right wing extremists” and “Christian conservatives.”

Attorney General Holder has not told us the criteria used to mark a person as an enemy combatant. He also did not back off his contention that the president has the authority to pursue military action inside the U.S. in extraordinary circumstances, which is currently and technically correct; however, this also requires numerous signatures from the other branches of government, and it still gives the impression of flying in the face of Posse Comitatus [NCCR Editor: Read HERE, HERE and HERE]. And it was this assertion that sparked Senator Paul’s filibuster, as he declared, “I have allowed the president to pick his appointees… But I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution.”

One should also note that the U.S. has developed miniature drone listening devices that go unnoticed as they hover over areas, like something out of Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ or Orwell’s ‘1984’. That’s well and good if they’re hovering over a terrorist camp, but do we really want to use this in America? … Embrace Big Brother… And even if we do, shouldn’t we still demand the application of the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments?

Over the course of the filibuster several senators, such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, attempted to lessen the strain of the effort on Senator Paul by asking questions and speaking themselves. Cruz read passages from ‘Henry V’ and lines from the movie ‘Patton’. At one point, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), who struggles with a cane due to a stroke, delivered hot tea and an apple to Paul’s desk, but a doorkeeper removed them; not to be outdone, House Republican Louie Gohmert from Texas stood off to the side of the Senate floor in a show of support.

One person can make a difference when they stand up for a righteous cause, and no one should take any U.S. President’s word, especially this one’s, that his administration’s policy in any area remains consistent with our laws and systems of checks and balances, regardless of claims of “transparency”. By offering his resolution stating that the use of unmanned, armed aircraft on U.S. soil against American citizens violates the Constitution and delivering 13 hours of explanation and education, Senator Paul opened the eyes of many Americans, who want a better balance between protecting our security and protecting our Liberty; even CodePink called and thanked him “for standing up against abuses of power.” So, the next time you hear Senator Rand Paul, or anyone, ask “are you so afraid that you are willing to trade your freedom for security,” reply “No!”…and stand up for Liberty!

 

By Justin O. Smith

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Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Justin O. Smith