The US in Syria: Boots on the Ground or Get the Heck Out?

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Remember the high hopes for the “Arab Spring” in 2011? It’s almost forgotten now, apart from one grim legacy – the Syrian Civil War. This has now been raging for

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Vehicular Terrorist Attack

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Vehicular Terrorist Attack Could you ever have imagined a time when we would be concerning ourselves with the threat of vehicular terrorists attacks. The fact is our nation and western nations around the world have been so inundated with people who hate the beauty of western society that terrorism happens at anytime, anyplace and by …

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3 Major Threats Facing the U.S. By the End Of 2017

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There was a time when writing about the threats we face as a nation was little more than conjecture. Many long-winded articles often injected fear into the reader based merely

The post 3 Major Threats Facing the U.S. By the End Of 2017 appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

8 Signs Of Terrorism To Watch Out For

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In my opinion, terrorism is a problem that is only going to get worse. Maybe if the United States stopped giving foreign aid to countries that fund terrorism, but that’s a subject for another article (on another site). The point is, even though it’s been over 15 years since 9/11, there is just as much […]

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Surviving a Terrorist Attack: 5 Things You Need To Know

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Terrorist attacks have become a common occurrence–not just in the Middle East, but all over the world. From the notorious disaster on 9/11 in 2001 to the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels to last weekend’s murder of 49 people in Orlando, it seems terrorists have the ability to strike anywhere at anytime. The only […]

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4-Year-Old Mispronounces This Vegetable’s Name, And School Officials Label Him Potential Terrorist

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4-Year-Old Mispronounces This Vegetable's Name, And School Officials Label Him Potential Terrorist

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

A 4-year-old boy was threatened with an anti-counterterrorism program and referred to police and social workers because he did not know how to say the world “cucumber.”

Preschool staff reported the boy as a potential terrorist to the United Kingdom’s Home Office after he pronounced “cucumber” as “cooker bomb” and drew a picture of a man cutting a vegetable with knife, BBC Asian Network reported. The Home Office is the British equivalent of the US Department of Homeland Security. The boy and his family are Asian.

Police and social workers were called in to evaluate the boy in order to see if he should be referred to a de-radicalization program, the media outlet reported. Under current law, teachers and other school officials are required to refer students suspected of terrorism or believing in terrorism to the program.

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School officials though he was referencing a “cooker bomb.”

“[The member of staff] kept saying it was this one picture of the man cutting the cucumber … which she said to me is a ‘cooker bomb’, and I was baffled,” the mom told BBC Asian Network.

She said she was fearful her son would be taken from her.

“It was a horrible day,” the mom added.

Alex Kenny of the National Union of Teachers told the media outlet that teachers are “scared of getting it wrong” – referencing not following the law.

“They think [the government] is going to criticize them if they haven’t reported these things, and you end up [with] the boy making the spelling mistake, or the boy saying something in Arabic — that then gets reported on.”

Hundreds of British children have been identified as potential terrorists under the law, which encourages teachers to watch kids for signs of terrorism.

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3-Year-Old Deemed ‘Potential Terrorist,’ Placed Under Gov’t Care

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Apple Tells FBI: No, We Won’t Make ‘Master Key’ To Unlock iPhones

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Apple Tells FBI: No, We Won't Make 'Master Key' To Unlock iPhones

Image source: Pixabay.com

For weeks, the FBI has wanted Apple to build a backdoor into the encryption on an iPhone for use in a criminal case, and on Wednesday Apple CEO Tim Cook released the company’s official answer: no.

The controversy involves a phone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters who was killed during that December mass shooting. The FBI wants to search the phone for information on his background and had asked Apple to help it, and on Tuesday a judge sided with the FBI.

Cook penned an open letter that was posted online Wednesday, explaining the company’s position.

“We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good,” Cook wrote. “Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

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“Specifically,” Cook continued, “the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”

The FBI “may argue that its use” would be limited to “this case,” but “there is no way to guarantee such control,” Cook wrote.

iphone-651349_640

Image source: Pixabay.com

Smartphones, Cook pointed out, contain everything about a person’s life: photos, music, notes, emails, financial information and even health data.

“In today’s digital world, the ‘key’ to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it,” Cook wrote. “Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

“The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.”

The government is claiming that an old law, the All Writs Act of 1789, gives it the authority to make such demands of Apple.

“The implications of the government’s demands are chilling,” Cook wrote. “If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data,” Cook wrote. “The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

“Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government,” Cook concluded.

Which side do you support: Apple or the FBI? Share your thoughts in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

American Gun Owners Are Now ‘Jihadists’ and ‘Terrorists’ — So Says This Influential U.S. Paper

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American Gun Owners Are Now 'Jihadists' and 'Terrorists' -- So Says This Influential U.S. PaperThe New York Daily News used its front page to call the executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Wayne La Pierre, a terrorist.

The tabloid even accused the Second Amendment rights organization of running a “sick jihad.”

The Daily News has made attacks on the NRA twice in recent days.

The front page of the November 23 edition featured artwork with La Pierre’s head superimposed on the body of a terrorist. The terrorist was carrying a semiautomatic rifle and wearing an NRA patch on his uniform. It featured the despicable headline, “Nowhere to Hide, Jihadi Wayne.”

It was a reference to Jihadi John – the nickname Britain’s tabloid press put on notorious ISIS executioner Mohammed Emwazi. Emwazi was reportedly killed by a drone operated by British SAS commandos last month. Emwazi was infamous for executing people with swords on ISIS propaganda videos.

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The front page of the December 4 edition featured pictures of five mass murders: San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook, Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear, Charleston church murderer Dylann Roof, Newtown school killer Adam Lanza and Aurora movie massacre perpetrator James Holmes. The headline said “these guys” are terrorists, but then it showed a picture of LaPierre with the headline shouting “and this guy,” too.

Under the pictures these words appeared: “Syed Farook joins long list of murderous psychos enabled by NRA’s sick gun jihad against America in the name of profit.”

Rod Dreher of The American Conservative said even though he doesn’t agree with everything the NRA proposes, he believes the Daily News went too far.

“Let’s think about this: the front page of the fifth-largest newspaper in America has labeled the strongest defender of Second Amendment rights in the country a ‘terrorist’ — and says he’s no better than ISIS. …

“The idea that a man who advocates for a Constitutionally guaranteed liberty can be denounced not in an Internet comment box, but on the front page of a major American newspaper, as a ‘terrorist’ — that is fairly unnerving to me,” he wrote.

Dreher wondered, “What would the cultural Left say if some right-wing newspaper denounced the head of the ACLU as a ‘terrorist’ because his organization successfully defended unpopular First Amendment freedoms? What would they say if a right-wing newspaper denounced the heads of film studios and record companies as ‘terrorists’ because some of their products glorify extreme violence?”

He concluded, “I know what they would say, and so do you.”

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:

There’s A Trick To Navigating Federal And State Gun Regulations. Read More Here.

ISIS’s End Game: Why You Should Be Very Worried

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ISIS's End Game: Why You Should Be WorriedISIS has plans for terrorist attacks on the United States and other countries in order to launch a world war and trigger what it considers an apocalypse. So say experts on terrorism and Islamic theology who have studied the organization in detail.

“ISIS wants a war between Islam and the rest of the world, with Muslims on its side, as a way of creating and expanding its so-called ‘caliphate,’” Miami Herald world affairs columnist Frida Ghitis wrote in a recent CNN.com column.

On the surface, Ghitis wrote, ISIS’s strategy seems self-destructive. It provoked France and by extension NATO, and then it brought down a plane from Russia, which is not part of NATO.

“ISIS must have known that shooting down a Russian plane would make [Russian President Vladimir] Putin turn his guns against the perpetrators, which is exactly what has happened,” she wrote. “By attacking Russia, ISIS is doing the unimaginable, making Putin and the West start working together — against ISIS.

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“…ISIS seems to be risking it all, creating the conditions for an overwhelming international attack, by the United States, Russia, France, Turkey, perhaps all of NATO, against its ragtag army. If this happens, it could lose it all.”

The goal, she wrote, is simple: provoke the countries to retaliate and get all Muslims to side with ISIS. It hopes its brutality and attacks will turn worldwide public opinion against moderate Muslims and Muslim 1refugees, and in turn the two groups will have nowhere to turn but ISIS.

“Its ultimate vision is an apocalyptic one,” she wrote. “A strategy that looks self-destructive is, in fact, destructive, but perhaps less baffling than it seems as first glance. As many scholars have noted, ISIS’s long-range vision is of an end-of-days battle with the West — what it calls Rome. It is the ultimate suicide mission, one that sees the entire world involved in a grand final conflagration.”

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The attacks in Paris were planned by ISIS’s top commanders at its headquarters in Raqqa, Syria, and probably were ordered or approved by ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, experts say.

The ISIS Apocalypse

One of ISIS’s key beliefs is that there will be an apocalyptic battle between the forces of true Islam led by a Caliph, and the armies of Rome at the Syrian city of Dabiq, said Graeme Wood, a contributing editor at The Atlantic and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

ISIS has captured Dabiq, and al-Baghdadi has proclaimed himself Caliph, Wood noted. That means al-Baghdadi expects to lead the final battle between Islam and the rest of the world.

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“Dabiq is basically all farmland,” an ISIS supporter tweeted earlier this year. “You could imagine large battles taking place there.”

Wrote Wood, “The Islamic State’s propagandists drool with anticipation of this event, and constantly imply that it will come soon.”

Many of the beheadings have taken place at Dabiq. According to ISIS’s theology, the Caliph will win the battle at Dabiq, conquer the entire world, and impose Sharia law, says Bernard Haykel, who is regarded as one of the world’s foremost secular authorities on ISIS’s ideology.

“Even the foot soldiers spout this stuff constantly,” Haykel told The Atlantic. “They mug for their cameras and repeat their basic doctrines in formulaic fashion, and they do it all the time.”

Politicians and some Muslim leaders may try and excuse the Koran by saying ISIS is twisting texts, but Haykel said the Koran is clear in teaching violence.

“People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. … These guys [ISIS] have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”

What do you think? Do you fear an ISIS-sparked world war? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Sales Spike: Get Your Guns Before They’re Gone

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Get Your Guns Before They’re Gone; Sales Spike In U.S. After Paris Attacks

Stock photo. Image source: NYDailyNews

The terrorist atrocity in Paris has had an interesting side-effect here in America: Gun sales are on the rise.

Media reports across the country indicate that gun dealers and authorities who issue weapons permits have seen a significant increase in interest in firearms purchases.

“The line will go clear out the door, wrap around to the courtyard, and I would estimate the amount of phone calls quadruple,” Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Sheriff’s Office said of concealed carry permit applicants.

Kraus’s office normally processes around 50 applications for permits a day, but handled 104 requests on Monday, November 16, the first day of business after the attacks, TribLive.com reported. On Tuesday, November 17, the office processed even more: 121 permits.

Other locations in the state are seeing a similar pattern.

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“It’s 104 for Monday and Tuesday,” Butler County, Pennsylvania, Sheriff Michael T. Slupe said of concealed carry applications. Slupe’s office normally handles around 30 applications each day.

“It’s a reaction from the public and their need to feel safe,” Slupe said of the increase. “When Sandy Hook happened, I was out front (of his office), and we did 100 a day easily.”

Elsewhere, the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama also reported that concealed carry permits spiked, TV station WSFA reported.

Gun Sales Boom

Business at the nation’s gun dealers is also up. Jerry McCall, the owner of Texas Guns in San Antonio, told Fox News that sales have increased by 30 percent in the past week. He also said that sales of semi-automatic weapons have increased.

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“A normal firearm is about seven to 10 rounds and what has been selling this last week is 30, 40, 50,” McCall said of the firepower that is in demand. He’s also seeing more first-time customers.

McCall noted that the number of people in his concealed carry class also has doubled.

Record Gun Sales

The spike in firearms purchases is likely to send already record sales to new highs. The number of requests to the National Instant Criminal Background System (NCIS) hit a record high of 1,795,102 in September, Fortune reported. The number rose again to 1,976,759 in October. In fact, requests for NCIS checks have been at record highs for six straight months.

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The increase in gun sales is driven by fears of terrorist attacks in the United States and concern that the Paris atrocity could lead to tougher gun laws in the United States. Such action has also taken place in Europe, where the European Union could soon impose a total ban on the sale of semiautomatic rifles to the public, UK Sporting News reported. Some of the Paris attackers were equipped with illegal semiautomatic rifles.

At least one US politician, US Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), already has cited Paris as a justification for more gun control in America, Free Beacon reported.

“And I think it ought to cause us to have another consideration of sensible gun safety laws,” Schakowsky told Tim Farley on SiriusXM’s The Morning Briefing Show on Monday.

Other gun buyers are motivated by just plain fear.

“I don’t want to be with my kids and my family hiding under a table. I want to be protecting us and get out of there and if I had to, try to stop somebody,” said Mary Hernandez, a customer at Texas Guns.

Do you believe more people should buy guns in the face of potential terrorism? Share your thoughts in the section below:

There’s A Trick To Navigating Federal And State Gun Regulations. Read More Here.