Nov 252010

CAIRO, EGYPT (BNO NEWS) — At least one person died on Thursday and more than 150 people were arrested after protests in Egypt turned into violent clashes with local authorities, officials said.

Rioting and protesting began after Egyptian police interrupted the construction of a Christian church in Giza, near the Great Pyramids, as both sides argued about having the appropriate permits to carry out the construction.

The Orthodox Copts claimed they had complete paperwork and permits to continue with the construction, but Giza Governor Sayyed Abdel-Aziz said the Christians appeared to have misused a permit for a social center to build a church.

Around 3,000 Christians protested and attempted to continue its construction project, which, according to state-run MENA news agency, did not have appropriate permits.

According to witnesses, protesters began throwing stones at the police, who responded with tear gas in an effort to disperse the crowds. Some police officers and Muslims answered by throwing back the stones as well.

The detained will remain in custody for two weeks, time in which authorities will be questioning them until they are formally charged or released.

There are around 8 million Christians in Egypt, which represent about 10 percent of the population, but clashes with the government is not uncommon as they have previously complained that government officials have curtailed the construction of churches and houses of worship.


Nov 252010

Wikileaks is poised to release yet another trove of secret U.S. documents that is seven times larger than the Iraq War Logs—currently the largest leak of secret U.S. military documents in history—the whistle-blower organization announced on Twitter.

“The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined,” Wikileaks stated in a Nov. 21 Twitter post.

Although it is still uncertain what the leak will contain, “It is our expectation—we’ve known all along that WikiLeaks has in its possession State Department cables,” said Department of State (DOS) Assistant Secretary Philip J. Crowley in Wednesday’s press briefing.

He added that the Pentagon notified Congress this week, and has begun notifying governments of the possible release of the documents “in the near future.”

The DOS cables contain classified discussions between the Pentagon, government officials, and private citizens. “They contain analysis,” Crowley said. “They contain a record of the day-to-day diplomatic activity that our personnel undertake. And this back and forth between government, the government of the United States and governments around the world, it is diplomacy in action.”

The files could contain government perspectives on events. Crowley said since the wires are classified, governments communicating over them have the “confidence and that they can convey their perspective on events to us,” and the process helps spur “the policies that we undertake on behalf of the American people.”

There is concern that leaking such information would betray the confidence of the individuals who provided it to the government; that their words would remain confidential.

In reference to the pending leak, Crowley said, “They are going to create tension in our relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world. We wish that this would not happen. But we are, obviously, prepared for the possibility that it will.”

The contents of the pending release were also brought up during a Nov. 4 DOS press briefing, where an unnamed reporter speculated that the documents could be regarding the United Nations, rather than the United States.

It is suspected that the release is the massive, 1.4 GB file posted to Wikileaks in August. The file, titled “Insurance,” was locked with encryption, with a note to “Keep it safe.”

The contents of the Insurance file are still unknown. It is, however, 18 times the size of the 75 MB Afghan War Diary that currently contains 76,908 classified military documents. The Iraq War Logs contained 391,832 documents and is around 354 MB.

~PER FNC today the most revealing item is proving Turkey is not the ally D.C. likes to pretend…


Nov 252010

Missing poster for Jenni-Lyn Watson, 20

This image released by the Watson family and provided by The Post-Standard shows a missing poster for Jenni-Lyn Watson, 20. Nearly 100 law enforcement officers and volunteers are searching a Syracuse, N.Y., suburb for a 20-year-old college student who went missing a week ago after she returned home for Thanksgiving break. Watson disappeared last Friday, a day after arriving at her family’s home in Clay.… (AP Photo/Watson Family via The Post-Standard)

200 attend Erie vigil for missing student

Nov 252010

Nov 252010

By Cliff Kincaid

On December 12, the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) is featuring a speech by Thomas, who has been called the Arab American Dean of the White House Press Corps, as part of its 15th anniversary fundraising event.

Having received a “Courage in Journalism” award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, former White House correspondent Helen Thomas is now scheduled to be honored by an Arab group whose executive director had his home raided by the FBI because of his alleged ties to terrorist groups.

On December 12, the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) is featuring a speech by Thomas, who has been called the Arab American Dean of the White House Press Corps, as part of its 15th anniversary fundraising event.

The Arab American National Museum, based in Dearborn, Michigan, is currently raising funds for a Helen Thomas Sculpture Project, in order to create a sculpture honoring Thomas. The Arab American National Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

But plans to honor Thomas—and questions about how she should be treated in the history of journalism in the U.S.—have become increasingly controversial because of the questions surrounding the AAAN and its executive director, Hatem Abudayyeh. His home was raided on September 24 as part of an FBI investigation into illegal support provided by U.S.-based groups to foreign terrorist organizations in the Middle East and Latin America.

Incredibly, the raid followed a friendly visit to the White House by Abudayyeh earlier this year.

A long-time White House correspondent, Thomas served as a columnist for Hearst newspapers before her anti-Israel views, termed anti-Semitic by many critics, became too controversial and she was forced to step down from her journalistic perch. In a controversial video appearance, recorded by Rabbi David Nesenoff for his “Rabbi Live” program, Thomas said the Jews ought to “get the hell out of Palestine” and presumably turn the land over to the Arabs and Muslims. She also said they should return to countries like Germany and Poland, where the Holocaust took place, which ultimately led to the creation of the Jewish homeland in Israel.

During the Bush Administration years, Thomas became known for Bush-bashing and her sleazy technique of making accusations disguised as questions at news conferences and briefings. She became the poster girl of liberal media bias, serving to discredit the notion of a professional and objective press corps.

Accuracy in Media had suggested that she quit journalism, which she subsequently has done, and become a full-time advocate for the Arab/Muslim cause.

This appears to be what lies behind her scheduled appearance at the AAAN fundraiser.

But the nature of the AAAN raises even more questions about Thomas’s judgment.

It also raises some concerns for the Obama White House.

~As it should, the AAAN is tied into the socialism that is prevalent in the WH.

The AAAN was founded by Barack Obama friend Rashid Khalidi, who once served as a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization. Then-State Senator Obama was photographed at an AAAN dinner held on May 24, 1998 in Burbank, Illinois. The Woods Fund, where Obama served as a director from 1994 through 2001, approved a $40,000 grant to the AAAN for “community organizing.”

When a controversy emerged during the 2008 presidential campaign over Obama’s ties to the AAAN, the liberal-oriented “PolitiFact” website called it a non-controversial group that focused on “local initiatives” and “has no foreign policy.”

But one target of the FBI investigation is alleged support provided to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist group designated a “foreign terrorist organization” by the U.S. Secretary of State. U.S. law prohibits U.S.-based groups or individuals from providing support to foreign terrorist groups.

Other foreign terrorist groups on the official list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) include the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and various Marxist and Islamic groups in the Middle East.

The State Department says that “FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.”

The AAAN counters, “The FBI has overstepped its boundaries and targeted individuals based on their commitment to peacefully challenge U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Colombia.”

The AAAN reports that Hatem Abudayyeh has been with the group since 1999, and was appointed Executive Director in 2003. It says that he “has led the social services, cultural outreach, adult education, and youth development programming of the AAAN; and has advocated for the civil and human rights of Arabs and other immigrants in the U.S., as well as Palestinians and oppressed peoples across the world.”

Two other Chicago-based activists, Joseph Iosbaker and Stephanie Weiner, have been associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, a Marxist group, and had their homes raided as well. They are said to be personal friends of AAAN executive director Hatem Abudayyeh and possibly linked to his activities.

In total, 14 far-left activists were targeted by the FBI on September 24, with Abudayyeh being the only Arab.

The Marxist-Leninist website features a video of Hatem Abudayyeh, described as a “Palestinian Liberation Movement activist and organizer,” in Chicago on March 14, 2009, chanting “Free, Free Palestine” and “Free, Free Iraq.”

Abudayyeh was reported by the Gateway Pundit blog to have taken part in a meeting for Arab-American leaders sponsored by the Obama White House and held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 22.

The story was picked up by Politico but not by any established national liberal media organizations.

WLS-TV, a local TV station in Chicago, covered the story, highlighting the White House visitor logs showing Abudayyeh’s participation as an invited guest in what was described as a “large Arab briefing.”

Reporter Chuck Goudie said that while Obama did not attend the briefing, the AAAN was founded by an “Obama friend and fundraiser named Rashid Khalidi, who became a lightning rod during the presidential campaign for his views on Israel.”

The AAAN now wants Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder to stop the FBI investigations and prevent a Grand Jury from bringing criminal charges against the “anti-war” and “peace” activists.


Nov 252010

Nov 252010

Nov 252010

Nov 252010

~by Jim Kouri, CPP

Obama said counterterrorism experts have told him that the current procedures are the only ones that they think can effectively guard against threats such as last year’s attempted Christmas-day bombing.

On Saturday while in Lisbon, Portugal, President Barack Obama told reporters that he asked security officials whether there’s a less intrusive way to screen U.S. airline passengers than the pat-downs and body scans causing a holiday-season uproar.

Obama claims his security team told him there wasn’t.

Passengers at some U.S. airports must pass through full-body scanners that produce a virtually naked image. If travelers refuse, they can be forced to submit to a thorough patdown of their bodies, including of clothed genital areas and breasts, by security officers of the same sex as the passenger.

Obama claims that he’s told the U.S. Transportation Security Administration: “You… have to think through, are there ways of doing it that are less intrusive.” At this point, Obama said counterterrorism experts have told him that the current procedures are the only ones that they think can effectively guard against threats such as last year’s attempted Christmas-day bombing.

“Either [President] Obama is being deceived or he’s doing the deceiving. Any cop worth his salt will tell you there are definitely alternatives to this intrusive and time consuming nonsense,” said former police detective and expert in interview and interrogation Mike Snopes.

“The fact of the matter is that the Obama administration is bowing to the demands of groups such as CAIR and others who don’t want Muslims to be inconvenienced,” said Snopes.

Truth be told, there are alternatives to the current heavy-handed security measures being used at U.S. airports: Psychological profiling and transactional analysis.


The Council on American Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, began 2010 by complaining about a new security training program Transportation Security Administration security officers assigned to the nation’s airports.

The CAIR leadership had released a statement that claimed the TSA’s airport security directives amount to the profiling of Muslims.

According to TSA officials, security officers at major airports across the country would be trained to use “casual conversation” to flush out possible terrorists. Instructors would first teach officers what suspicious behaviors to look for in travelers. These can include nervousness, wearing a big coat in the summer or reluctance to make eye contact with law enforcement. Then, the officers carry on a supposedly casual conversation with passengers in hopes of spotting possible terrorists or to determine whether further scrutiny of a passenger is required.

This would have been a welcomed program by those in law enforcement who’ve said for years that psychological profiling should be used by airport security staff. While representing the staff and membership of the National Association of Chiefs of Police at lectures or during media interviews, this writer often discusses the need for upgrading the training of airport security staff with part of that upgrade to include psychological profiling.

Most police officers and investigators are familiar with the concept since it’s used during the interrogation and interview process to detect deception on the part of the subject. Without going into too much detail, interrogators or interviewers, while questioning a subject about the matter at hand, are observing body language, eye contact, breathing, physical characteristics such as dry mouth or profuse perspiration, and other criteria.

However, the Washington-based CAIR officials claimed that the new guidelines, under which anyone traveling from or through 13 Muslim-majority nations will be required to go through enhanced screening techniques before boarding flights, will disproportionately target American Muslims who have family or spiritual ties to the Islamic world and therefore amount to religious and ethnic profiling.

“Under these new guidelines, almost every American Muslim who travels to see family or friends or goes on pilgrimage to Mecca will automatically be singled out for special security checks — that’s profiling,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

“While singling out travelers based on religion and national origin may make some people feel safer, it only serves to alienate and stigmatize Muslims and does nothing to improve airline security,” he said.

“We all support effective security measures that will protect the traveling public from an attack such as that attempted on Christmas Day,” added Awad. “But knee-jerk policies will not address this serious challenge to public safety.”

However, security experts believe that the measures are reasonable and necessary in order to enhance airport and airline protection and safety.

Look, I don’t buy it. The fact is, what I say is do smart screening. Ethnicity is one of the factors that should be included in the profile. After all, what is profiling? You’re extrapolating the common characteristics of the terrorist attacks. 100% of all the terrorist attacks against the United States last year were carried out by Muslim jihadists. So, if that’s the one common denominator, let’s include that in the mix. That at airports would trigger a secondary inspection in which case the bomber on Christmas Day this year, maybe have they found the bomb,” said the respected terrorism expert Steven Emerson, founder and director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

“Are you going to inspect 98 year old ladies from Sweden in wheelchairs because we’re trying to distribute the risk among 300 million Americans when the risk category is really spread 99 to 1 million people? No I don’t buy it. Let’s be smart about this,” added Emerson, who is a consultant for several media and law enforcement organizations.

Israeli security agents and police have used this method for screening people at airports and security checkpoints for years with much success.

In a commentary distributed by CAIR challenging calls for profiling, Awad suggested alternatives to faith-based security checks: “First look at behavior, not at faith or skin color. Then spend what it takes to obtain more bomb-sniffing dogs, to install more sophisticated bomb-detection equipment and to train security personnel in identifying the behavior of real terror suspects.”

But law enforcement officials and security professionals believe that to treat everyone equally is like grade school discipline.

“It’s ridiculous. Because a few extremists who are Muslims perpetrate terrorist attacks on planes, everyone must be inconvenienced and harassed? That’s like elementary school when a student misbehaves and the teacher punishes the entire class by keeping them all after school,” said former intelligence officer and NYPD detective Sid Franes.

“The Israeli security people are trained to use profiling — they also look at body language, listen to voice patterns, check eye contact and other facial indicators of deception,” said Franes.

Counterterrorism experts believe that part of the professionalization process is the training of airport security staff in what’s been called psychological profiling or behavioral analysis or a number of other terms that all amount to the same thing — effectively screening out potential terrorists.

FamilySecurityMatters Contributing Editor Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a columnist for The Examiner