Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jihad Panty Bomber Update:

An update on the jihadi panty bomber, everyone!

DETROIT - A Nigerian man accused of trying to ignite an explosive on a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner on Christmas appeared before a judge for the first time Friday, against a backdrop of protesters who stood outside the courthouse waving American flags and denouncing acts of terror.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's arraignment was brief — less than five minutes — and a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. He said little, telling the judge simply that he understood the charges against him.

(Notice the complete lack of the word "MUSLIM." We get that he's a Nigerian, instead. Riiiight.)

The guy with the roasted nuts entered a NOT GUILTY plea in court. I just cannot wait to see how he explains off possessing more PETN than Richard Reid and an incendiary device, and how he must have accidentally char-broiled his boys.

But wait, it gets better! Abdulmutallab's lawyer is suspected of forging documents on behalf of her 'clients' in previous terror cases.

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because you’ve read about Siefer on this site, before. During the Detroit terror cell case, she represented Karim Koubriti, an Islamic terrorist in a cell, which plotted to blow up the U.S. Air Force Base in Turkey, where U.S. AWACS and Israeli F-16s are based and from where they took off. They also plotted to blow up hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and planned to detonate in Disneyland.

During the course of her “representation” of terrorist Koubriti, Siefer and her fellow public defender, Richard Helfrick a/k/a Rick Helfrick (who will probably also assist her in representing Abdulmutallab), stole the stationery of the then-Chief Judge of the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Lawrence Zatkoff, forged Zatkoff’s name, and sent it to another attorney in the case, accusing him of faking invoices (which wasn’t true). That makes at least several federal crimes that I can think of–theft, forgery, impersonating a federal official, mail fraud, etc. but they got away with it.

In an interview, Judge Gerald Rosen, who presided over the Detroit terror cell case, admitted to me that Siefer and Helfrick forged the documents. Then, he berated me for daring to ask about it, saying his court “deals in serious issues.” I guess attorneys in a federal case committing several crimes and impersonating a federal judge, just aren’t serious.

Check out Debbie Schussel's entire post here.

And rather than PROFILE for terrorists, and as if the full body scan isn't enough of an invasion of your privacy, now we have this.


The aim of one company that blends high technology and behavioral psychology is hinted at in its name, WeCU -- as in "We See You."

The system that Israeli-based WeCU Technologies has devised and is testing in Israel projects images onto airport screens, such as symbols associated with a certain terrorist group or some other image only a would-be terrorist would recognize, company CEO Ehud Givon said.

The logic is that people can't help reacting, even if only subtly, to familiar images that suddenly appear in unfamiliar places. If you strolled through an airport and saw a picture of your mother, Givon explained, you couldn't help but respond.

The reaction could be a darting of the eyes, an increased heartbeat, a nervous twitch or faster breathing, he said.

The WeCU system would use humans to do some of the observing but would rely mostly on hidden cameras or sensors that can detect a slight rise in body temperature and heart rate. Far more sensitive devices under development that can take such measurements from a distance would be incorporated later.

If the sensors picked up a suspicious reaction, the traveler could be pulled out of line for further screening.

"One by one, you can screen out from the flow of people those with specific malicious intent," Givon said.

Some critics have expressed horror at the approach, calling it Orwellian and akin to "brain fingerprinting."

For civil libertarians, attempting to read a person's thoughts comes uncomfortably close to the future world depicted in the movie "Minority Report," where a policeman played by Tom Cruise targets people for "pre-crimes," or merely thinking about breaking the law.


One system being studied by Homeland Security is called the Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, and works like a souped-up polygraph.

It would subject people pulled aside for additional screening to a battery of tests, including scans of facial movements and pupil dilation, for signs of deception. Small platforms similar to the balancing boards used in the Nintendo Wii would help detect fidgeting.

At a public demonstration of the system in Boston last year, project manager Robert Burns explained that people who harbor ill will display involuntary physiological reactions that others -- such as those who are stressed out for ordinary reasons, such as being late for a plane -- don't.

The system could be made to work passively, scanning people as they walk through a security line, according to Burns.

Field testing of the system, which will cost around $20 million to develop, could begin in 2011, The Boston Globe said in a story about the demonstration. Addressing one concern of civil libertarians, Burns said the technology would delete data after each screening.

Read the rest here.

Finally, here's Zo's take on the subject:


Elmers Brother said...

didn't he do that before the military courts were established?

Dora said...

Well, let's see. The first 20 captives arrived at Camp X-Ray on January 11, 2002.

Richard Reid was arrested on December 22, 2001 (no doubt when Camp X-Ray was already under construction), and was charged 3 days later. He was indicted on January 16, 2002. Why wasn't he sent to Gitmo? Or, better, simply detained without charges in a military brig?

That's what happened to Ali Al-Marri. This person was arrested in December 2001 and charged with all sorts of stuff in 2002. But then, in 2003, President Bush classified him as an unlawful enemy combatant.

And don't forget US citizen Jose Padilla, arrested in May 2002 and designated an unlawful enemy comabtant in June 2002.

What's the difference between all of these cases? Admittedly, Padilla was arrested 6 months later, but al-Marri was not. And although al-Marri was designated an enemy combatant in 2003, Padilla was designated an enemy combatant in June 2002, a mere 6 months after Reid's arrest. And unlike Al-Marri, who had a student visa, and Padilla, who is a US citizen, Reid had no right to be here, he didn't even have his tourist visa yet (he, being a British citizen, did not need a visa prior to departing Paris for Miami).

And let's not forget John Walker Lindh, the US citizen captured in Afghanistan fighting for the enemy, in December 2001. In February 2002, Lindh was indicted by a grand jury and on Junly 15, 2002, he entered his guilty plea.

And also don't forget Yaser Hamdi, a U.S. citizen captured in Afghanistan in December 2001 who was sent straight to Gitmo and detained until the US Supreme Court decided Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.

The bottom line is, if Bush was able to designate US citizens enemy combatants (in the case of Padilla, detained in the US, and in the case of Hamdi, detained in Afghanistan), why wasn't he able to designate a foreign citizen caught red-handed trying to blow up a plane an enemy combatant? Is it because he was a terrorist-loving coward?

Elmers Brother said...

so you're saying Bush was right?

Elmers Brother said...

Or, better, simply detained without charges in a military brig?

Bush should have waited.

FJ said...

So, was Bush an america-hating terrorist-loving coward when he gave Richard Reid the same rights being given to the Christmas would-be bomber?

Nope Bush was an Anglophile Neo-Ally suck-up who on December 22, 2001, should have been willing to kiss the Queen of England's bum under the Tower of London before facing the alternative of trying British citizen Reid in a civilian court in deference to Tony Blair and "English" sensibilities and prior to the establishment of a fully functional Ch 47A compliant Military Tribunal system at Gitmo (which only just began after Oct 7, 2001 Afghan war and with the first transfers of prisoners from Afghanistan in early 2002)

FJ said...

You can't possibly be implying that Obama is pursuing his course because he's sucking up to current Nigerian sensibilities in the WoT?

Dora said...

so you're saying Bush was right?

What i am saying is that Bush had a haphazard approach to this, treating different people differently with no apparent rhyme or reason, and faced no criticism from the right when he ended up giving civilian trials to Reid, Lindh and others (how about that Dr Al-Siddiqi who was captured in Afghanistan after firing a gun at the FBI and is now on trial in New York?).

All of Bush's choices about those (1) captured in the US or (2) US citizens captured anywhere in the world, that resulted in any solution other than giving the person access to US civilian courts have been rebuked by the courts, or came very close (in the case of Padilla and al-Marri, both cases were to be decided by the Supreme Court, and because it didn't look good, Bush and Obama at that point charged Padilla and al-Marri in civilian court to make the cases moot).

So now it is deeply hypocritical of the right to criticize Obama for giving the Nigerian bomber the exact same treatment Bush gave to Reid.

FJ said...

Not true.

Reid was a Brit, a country that had not yet suffered the terror of the London Underground bombings (and so hadn't yet come to grips with their own response to terrorism ala Patriot Act) and a country which was an extremely important ally in American's Afghansitan adventure, post 9/11.

...and two scant months after 9/11, the military tribunal "pipeline" was still under development, and the idea of fullfilling Britain's citizen's expectations for a "speedy trial" were a very real consideration.

Hauling Reid off to Gitmo at THAT time for a well-deserved waterboarding and interrogation would have set the British population to rioting.

FJ said...

Nice attempt at decontextualizing events though, you could make Derrida blush...

FJ said...

Trying "American" or "British" nationals as terrorists in military tribunals is NEVER going to be an easy thing. Us "anglo's" don't like to contemplate the fragility of our "Constitutional Rights". The Constitution is only, after all, a fragile and rather flimsy piece of "secular" paper.

FJ said...

We may be fighting "stateless terrorists", but that doesn't mean we can simply ignore "national" affiliations and attachments with impugnity.

And please inform the Nigerians that yes, their passport is almost as worthless here in the USA as toilet paper.

FJ said...

Playing the multicultural moral equivalency game for the sake of the political sensibilities of a bunch of third world/third rate allies is NOT going to cut it with the American people.

If Obama wants to try and make the case for Nigerian "moral equivalecy," he's going to have to sell it a LOT better than to simply point to Bush and say, "He did it for foreigners, too!".

FJ said...

The only reason for Obama to invest political capital in Nigerian citizenship status is if you value the current "evolving" world order with it's existent UN international political structures, and I don't, and neither does Al Qaeda.

FJ said...

Obama would substitute America's sure ability to defend itself "unilaterally" for the chimera of a "multilateral" defense. And THAT simply isn't likely to survive the fundamentalist Islamic challenge we face.

FJ said...

So, sorry Dora. Us Helmet head have always been Themis' (justice's) nemesis. For as Lord Acton (attributed) so rightfully predicted, "Every insitution perishes from an excess of its' own first principles."

FJ said...

Besides, the pledge I took was probably a little bit different than the one you took.

Elmers Brother said...

that's HEADLY

FJ said...

"Bush did it, too!" is NOT a reason. It in NOT a policy.

What is the Obama policy being followed?

"Let's pretend the U.N. works and that 9/11 never happened!"

Maybe the Islamic pan-Arabic multi-national terrorist conspiracy will go away and leave us alone...

"Hope" and "No Change" is NOT a credible anti-terror policy.