FBI catch terrorist planning attack, federal judge releases him

Ordained Christian Minister of the Christian National (Congregational) Church Robert Rankin Doggart was arrested in April after planning to carry out a massacre in upstate New York. Those guys [have] to be killed. Their buildings need to be burnt down. If we can get in there and do that not losing a man, even the better. The guys in question: Muslims. Doggart, who ran for office in Tennessee last year, planned to burn down a Mosque and a Muslim school, and shoot anyone who tried to stop him:

Colorado part 1: Denver and art

I think I was about 10 years old when I decided I wanted to visit Colorado. I had read about a city called Boulder, where you could spend a warm and sunny morning in town and then drive an hour or so and be on a snow-covered mountain. I had never experienced an actual mountain, and that sounded like a good way to do it. In the mean time, I’ve had 15 years of South Park to mould my perceptions of Colorado.

US vs UK

A US court has ruled that authorities cannot force people to incriminate themselves by divulging their encryption passwords. This is in marked contrast to the UK, where the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) makes it a crime to decline to hand over all your incriminating files if the police demand it. If the case doesn’t involve national security, you can be put in jail for two years. If it does, five years.

War and chickpeas

From CQ Politics: Like Hansel and Gretel hoping to follow their bread crumbs out of the forest, the FBI sifted through customer data collected by San Francisco-area grocery stores in 2005 and 2006, hoping that sales records of Middle Eastern food would lead to Iranian terrorists. The idea was that a spike in, say, falafel sales, combined with other data, would lead to Iranian secret agents in the south San Francisco-San Jose area.

Quote of the week

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The Boston PD was doing the job the people of Boston hired them to do: Protecting the innocent. They knew that if those Mooninite Terrorists linked up, Boston would be a pile of ashes. You cannot escape the Quad Laser. Jumping is useless.” —Dirkus Maximus It’s also worth noting that someone actually made and planted fake pipe bombs in Boston in the last few days, but he wasn’t arrested.

No crazy moon language allowed

Apparently speaking a foreign language in an airport is now deemed suspicious, and grounds for questioning you and making you miss your plane.

News to spread

Today’s news: An authoritative US intelligence report pooling the views of 16 government agencies concludes America’s campaign in Iraq has increased the threat of terrorism. […] The report, Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States, points out the “centrality” of the US invasion of Iraq in fomenting terrorist cells and attacks. One section of the 30-page report, Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement, describes how the American presence in Iraq has helped spread radical Islam by providing a focal point for anti-Americanism.

Drinks on a Plane

When I wrote “alleged foiling of a terrorist plot”, I did wonder if I was being too cynical. Apparently not: A senior British official knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

The end of air travel?

As a result of the latest alleged foiling of a terrorist plot, new restrictions have been placed on airline travelers flying between the UK and US. Specifically: No laptops. No PDAs. No iPods or other electronic audio or video players. No books. No cameras. No beverages or other liquids. As someone used to flying, I don’t set foot on a plane without at least a book, an audio player to drown out the screaming children, and a large bottle of water.

Underneath the spreading chestnut tree

Two people are walking through a metal detector on the London Underground. One comments to the other that it’s “a piece of shit that wouldn’t stop anyone”. Result: they are stopped by police, searched, and charged with an offense under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which prohibits “Using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress”. In other words: pointing out stupid ineffective security might distress the sheep, so pass a law and fine anyone who does it.