Thursday, November 15, 2012

Threat of Terror Attack on US Citizens Home and Abroad Intensifies

Top United States General, Carter Ham, urged a global fight against Al Qaeda in Africa, saying it could “export violence” to the West.

Ham is the head of the US Africa Command and has reaffirmed the belief that Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was linked to the horrific September 11 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi.

“If we, the international community, don’t find a way to help the Africans address this threat, it’s going to worsen,” Ham said. “That network will become stronger and they will gain capability to export violence throughout a broader region (other) than Africa and certainly the high potential to export violence into Europe and to the USA,” he added.

Ham admitted that while this particular group did not pose an “imminent threat” on US soil, it did so for US interests worldwide. “That network has already killed four Americans,” he said.

“That to me says that there is an imminent threat. So that is why I think there’s a degree of urgency to the international community finding a way to help the Africans address this problem.” Ham also outlined African and international efforts towards a potential military intervention in northern Mali, which is controlled by AQIM and other terrorist groups.

An Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group, al Shabaab, is also considered a threat to the United States.  Last year, I wrote about Federal prosecutor W. Anders Folk’s warning regarding al Shabaab.  Folk advised the US to take al Shabaab’s threats to target the US seriously and stressed the fact that the terrorist groups Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the greater Al Qaeda organization embrace a common ideology, an aversion for the U.S.

He went on to add that the terrorist group’s ideology “is almost word for word similar to what we heard from Al Qaeda pre-9/11 and what we have heard post-9/11. What we hear is an ideology that endorses murder of innocent civilians.  We see Al Shabaab training their recruits in tactics and techniques similar to what recruits learn in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Moreover, the House Homeland Security Committee has issued a report which affirms that Al Shabaab related federal indictments “account for the largest number and significant upward trend in homegrown terrorism cases” filed by the Department of Justice since 2009.

Despite claims that Al Shabaab is too small to present a problem to the US, Folk has pointed out that many people were similarly persuaded regarding al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  But, as of Christmas, 2009, when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted a suicide bombing on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, estimations of Al Shabaab’s potential have changed.

The Minneapolis St. Paul area, for all practical purposes, functions as command central for Al Shabaab operations in the US. According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Al Shabaab in the area routinely travel back to Somalia for training. Recruitment efforts include using Internet videos, with the purpose of glamorizing the movement. While jubilant in the deaths of martyrs and striving for jihad, they excoriate their enemies in Somalia and the West.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Somali immigrants. This was accomplished via an administrative order. Then, earlier this year, the DHS announced an eighteen month extension of TPS for Somalia. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano re-designated the special status and has extended it until March 17, 2017. More information, regarding TPS for Somalia, is available through the Federal Register.

Unfortunately, some of the Somalis who have been allowed to immigrate to the US were found to be Muslim terrorists. Some have been apprehended, charged and convicted but with suspicious activity continuing, unabated, in Minnesota and no apparent vetting system in use by the DHS, the country remains at risk for another terror attack.

Cross posted on RedState & Red Pill Report.

Amber Alert: British Columbia

An amber alert has been issued in British Columbia.

Three year old Alvin Barnett is missing from the Elk Valley area, near the Alberta border.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police believe he may have been taken by his father.

Police say the man drives a blue 2002 Subaru Outback with BC the license plate 347SBL.

He may be headed south on Highway 93.

Anyone who sees the vehicle should call 911.

4 Dead 17 Injured in Texas Train Crash

Four people have died and seventeen were hospitalized in after a train crash, in Midland, Texas, Thursday night.

All the injured were taken to Midland Memorial Hospital, where seven are in critical condition. 

Reports coming out of the town state that a Union Pacific train hit a trailer which was full of people.

The trailer was one of two floats in a parade celebrating wounded veterans.

Both floats were carrying vets and their families.

The parade was supposed to end at a "Hunt for Heroes" dinner.

Later, this weekend, the vets were to be taken on a deer hunting trip.

Preview: Star Trek Into Darkness

For Star Trek fans that are upset, that there isn't even a trailer for Into Darkness, yet, there's some good news.

Beginning on December 14, you can see the entire first nine minutes of the film.

All you have to do is go see a movie at one of five hundred IMAX 3D screens.

Otherwise you'll have to wait til they finally decide to release anything.

We can confirm that most, if not all, of the main characters will return with the same actors playing them.

Benedict Cumberbatch is playing the villain, and it's rumored to be someone named Khan.

Star Trek Into Darkness hits theaters in May 2013.

2nd Preview: Oz The Great and Powerful

A second trailer has been released for Oz The Great and Powerful, the prequel to The Wizard of Oz, and it tells us a little more about the story.

Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small time musician is tired of living in a land full of good men, he desires to be a great man.

When he arrives in Oz, via tornado of course, he is befriended by three good witches, Glinda (Michelle Williams), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Theodora (Mila Kunis), Finley the flying monkey (Zach Braff), and a China doll (Joey King).

They tell him that there is a prophecy about a great man who will rescue Oz by defeating the Wicked Witch, and they're really sure it's him.

Through the movie he finds his faith in himself, allowing him to become the great man he needs to be, to save Oz.

Oz The Great and Powerful hits theaters on March 8, 2013.

Preview: Silver Linings Playbook

A former teacher, Pat (Bradley Cooper), has just been released from a mental hospital, despite maybe not being fully ready for release.

He moves back in with mom (Jacki Weaver) and dad (Robert De Niro), and tries to fix things with his ex wife.

Pat might still have some issues going on, but he's really trying to get life back on track.

Then he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who has her own set of problems.

Could they be the answers for each others problems?

Julia Stiles and Chris Tucker also have roles in this movie, which already has Oscar talk around it.

In all honesty I'm very excited for this one, and hope to see it soon.

Silver Linings Playbook hits select theaters on November 16, followed by a full release November 23.

Preview: Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy's novel, Anna Karenina, comes to the US this weekend.

Tolstoy's story follows a young aristocrat, through the strict Russian nobility of the 1800s, as she enters into a life changing affair with Count Vronsky.

Having opened in Ireland on September 7, it had done rather well there, the UK, and in Europe.

Expectations remain high for this one, due to the caliber of the actors as well as that of the director.

This adaptation stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor Johnson, and Matthew McFayden.

Director Joe Wright, has done some critically acclaimed films, including an adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice.

Anna Karenina has a limited US release starting November 16, with a full release depending on how well it does.

Preview: Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2

The long awaited Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is nearly upon us.

Threatened by the birth of Edward and Bella's daughter, Renesmee, the Volturi have decided to mass and eliminate the entire Cullen family.

Thanks to Alice's gift of seeing the future, they are warned, and have time to mass other vampire families, from around the world.

The wolves, not just of Jacob's tribe, will also fight on their side.

One last final battle, to decide the fate of vampire kind.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, hit's theaters at midnight tonight.

Expect our review to be up, sometime Friday.

China's Congress Selects New Leaders

Hopes of China aiming towards reform, ended on Thursday, as the Politburo named it's Standing Committee.

Rumors that the committee would be cut from nine members, down to seven, proved true.

But none of the seven chosen are considered reformers.

Xi Jinping, the new head of the party and head of the military, is the most reform minded, and he is at best a cautious reformer.

Many issues, across the country, face demanded from the people, for reform.

He will be made President in March, giving him all three of the top posts, in the country. 

Only Xi and premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang are going to stay in office for the normal ten years.

The other five members, of the Standing Committee, are at least sixty-four, and so will have to retire in five years, at the next Congress.

All Fifty States Accounted For Amongst Secession Petitions

All fifty states now have secession petitions, according to the White House.

Maryland, Connecticut, and Vermont showing up Wednesday night.

Several states have already reached the twenty-five thousand signatures required, for the government to actually consider the petition.

Those states are Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Colorado, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Arizona all have over twenty thousand.

Texas has well surpassed that by having over one hundred thousand signatures.

The counter petitions also continue, with Atlanta asking to leave Georgia and El Paso seeking the right to leave Texas.

While none of the petitions actually have any chance of being accepted by the government, they have definitely brought a greater awareness of the process, to the American people.

Only time will tell if that is a good thing.

Jordanian Protests Turn Deadly

Protests in Jordan turned deadly, on Thursday.

An armed man attacked a police station, wounding at least twelve officers, before he was killed.

At another police station, an officer was shot in the eye.

Thousand of people have been protesting a recent rise in gas prices, that was announced Tuesday night.

Dozens have been arrested in the protests.

The government announced an end to gas subsidies, due to a five billion dollar deficit.

Some have even begun to criticize King Abdullah, an act which is punishable with jail time.

Protestors are demanding that Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour resign.

3 Israelis Killed as Over 250 Rockets Come Out of Gaza

Three Israelis have now been killed, with dozens given medical treatment, as more than two hundred and fifty rockets have been fired from Gaza, within twenty-four hours.

The Iron Dome defense system has been successful at intercepting eighty of the rockets.

But despite it's success, houses, business, schools, and parked cars have been amongst the places hit and damaged by the deadly projectiles.

Israel strikes back at terrorist targets, as swiftly and as accurately as possible, killing at least thirteen people.

International reaction has been mixed, with some countries supporting the terrorist actions of the Hamas led Gazans.

A ban on gatherings of more than one hundred people is still in affect, throughout the area of Southern Israel, which is under threat.

Schools and non essential jobs have been ordered closed, by the government.

Israeli Defense Forces have begun massing at the border, in case ground action is ordered.

The Cabinet, Wednesday night, authorized the call up of all reserve troops.