Australia thwarts ISIL beheading plot

Islamic State jihadists planned to kidnap two random people off the street in Australia and then behead them, showing the video online as a way to demonstrate their worldwide reach.  But Australian authorities discovered the plot, arresting 15 people in the country’s largest counterterrorism operation.

Do you doubt that ISIL (I’m just going to start calling them that) would like to do something similar in the United States?  I predict that instead of the large-scale mass killings favored by al-Qaeda, the new ISIL-flavored terrorism will aim at smaller-scale attacks that are easier to carry out but that still have a maximum horrific impact.  Think, beheadings. [Read more...]

Our progress in the War on Terrorism

We felt good that we killed Osama bin Laden and seemed to have defeated al-Qaeda.  But they were nothing compared to the resurgent jihadist army of the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS, most recently calling themselves ISIL, for “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”).  They are armed to the teeth with American weapons and other equipment that had been abandoned in Iraq.  And they have vast wealth from looting banks and taking over oil fields.  And their ambitions are to strike the United States and other Western countries.  That’s not much of a progress report in our War on Terrorism. [Read more...]

Terrorism by beheading and crucifixion

ISIS has reportedly slaughtered 1700 captives in Iraq, using beheadings and even crucifixions.  Experts say the goal is to ramp up the “shock value” of jihadist terrorism. [Read more...]

The legacy of 9/11?

On this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we’ve got to ask ourselves:  Did the terrorists win?  Or did America win?  And what did those attacks do to us?  Considerations after the jump. [Read more...]

News & updates

Somebody hacked into the Twitter account of the Associated Press, no less, and put out word that there were explosions in the White House that injured the president.  That sent the stock market into a tailspin, but it recovered when the story turned out to be a hoax.

Charges have been dropped for the Elvis impersonator who was accused of sending ricin-laced letters to the president, a senator, and a judge.  Investigators have another suspect, a rival of the first one.

The surviving Boston Marathon bomber was charged for the federal crime of using weapons of mass destruction.  He will not be treated as an enemy combatant.  He was read his rights.  The charge indicated that he may face the death penalty.  (Massachusetts does not have the death penalty–though state legislators unsuccessfully tried to re-instate it for the bomber–but the federal government can still execute people.)

CSI, Boston

Here is a fascinating account of the police work that led to the identification and apprehension of the Boston Marathon bombers:  Police, citizens and technology factor into Boston bombing probe – The Washington Post.

The legal issue now is whether “Jahar,” the surviving terrorist, should be considered an “enemy combatant” or whether he should be given all of the legal rights to which he is entitled  as an American citizen, including the right to remain silent.  What do you think?


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