Sunday, May 4, 2014

Oddities , strange news , items to ponder May 4 , 2014 ........ Gerald Celente stands by prediction the SHTF ( Economic Collapse ) by the end of Q 2 2014 - Celente identifies culprit as USD currency devaluation from may quarters slamming global economies ....... NSA Slits Own Wrist: Classifies MH370 Info – What Do They Know The Rest Of The World Doesn’t Know ? Obama Administration Launches Plan to Make an “Internet ID” a Reality ........ This American Refused to Become an FBI Informant. Then Government Made His Family’s Life Hell ....... Everyone under surveillance ( so says Edward Snowden ) ...... Just how did a spy plane fry air traffic controls at LAX ( was some type of test run ) ...... Foreign Bank exposure to Russia - check out which countries banks are on the hook ! .......Obama Complains That TPP Critics Are ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ Who ‘Lack Knowledge’ About ( secret ) Negotiations ......... Two more senior military officials forced out by White House ? There are rumors that the two most senior military intelligence officers in the United States, who have announced their intention to step down in the coming months, are being forced out by the White House. Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, who directs the Defense Intelligence Agency, and his Deputy Director, David R. Shedd, both said on Wednesday that they intend to quit their jobs before the end of the summer. The Department of Defense said later on Wednesday that the two officials had been scheduled to step down “for some time” and that the leadership of the DoD “appreciates the service of these two dedicated and professional leaders”. But the announcement does not change the fact that America’s two leading military intelligence administrators have suddenly decided to quit their jobs. Shedd entered his current post in 2010, while Flynn rose to the DIA’s top position in 2012.......“OPERATION CHOKE POINT” RAISES ALARMS ......... Connecting dots ( Flight 370 , alleged stolen nukes on the way to the US - as per Gordon Duff , False Flag watch ? )

Additional items....

( Might Russia have thrown LAX and perhaps UK Airports into confusion ? Russia bombers have been on patrol recently near both US and UK .... )

Russian Strategic Bombers On West Coast: Did They Take Down Los Angeles Air Traffic Control Systems?

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Mac Slavo
May 7, 2014
With the situation in the Ukraine escalating and the US continuing to call for sanctions against Russia’s financial and political elite, Vladimir Putin is now not only mobilizing tens of thousands of troops on his Western front, but sending intercontinental strategic bombers across the Pacific Ocean. According to the US military, it’s the first time since the cold war that Russia’s incursions have come this close to America.
Image: Russian Bomber (Wiki Commons).
What’s even more alarming is that Russia is making it clear that any attack on the Motherland would likely lead to widespread bombardment of western interests. Nuclear capable Russian bombers have been spotted all over the world as of late including in Guam, Japan, South Korea and Europe.
Gen. Herbert Carlisle, Commander of United States Air Forces in the Pacific, acknowledged a significant increase in the activities by Russian long-range strategic aircraft flying along the California coast.
There was no comment about whether the aircraft were nuclear capable, but it has not been since the Cold War ended in the early 1990s that Russian patrols have skirted the West Coast and California.
Other than fleets of Russian bombers making passes in close proximity to U.S. interests, the military hasn’t reported anything else out of the ordinary.
But last week something weird happened in Los Angeles and it likely involved a high altitude fly over.
Air traffic controllers at Los Angeles LAX airport reported that their computer systems were overwhelmed and crashed, leading to hundreds of flight delays and cancellations across the country. According to an NBC News investigation the outage was caused by the flyover of a U-2 spy plane. Apparently the 1950′s class spy plane entered LAX airspace at about 60,000 feet and its jamming systems crashed not only the primary air traffic control systems used to monitor and direct commercial airlines, but the back up systems as well.
A U-2 spy plane is being blamed for a software glitch at a Californian air traffic control center which led to delays earlier this week.
According to NBC News, the U-2 was flying at 60,000 feet, but air traffic control computers were attempting to keep it from colliding with planes that were actually miles beneath it.
The computers at the L.A. Center are programmed to keep commercial airliners and other aircraft from colliding with each other.
The spy plane’s altitude and route apparently overloaded a computer system called ERAM, which generates display data for air-traffic controllers. Back-up computer systems also failed
But within days of the original report, disseminated across broadcast networks all over America, the Air Force officially denied that it was a U-2 spy plane, claiming they found the glitch but provided no reason for what caused it:
It’s still not clear why the U-2 flew into the L.A. Center’s airspace, or why it didn’t give advance warning of the flight, as per usual. According to NBC News, the nearby Edwards Air Force Base and NASA’s Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center (located at Edwards) “have been known to host U-2s.”
But an Edwards rep said no such planes are assigned to Edwards, and a NASA rep said that none of their U-2 planes were flying on Wednesday.
The U.S. Air Force, on the other hand, confirmed that it had sent out a U-2 plane that day — but denied to that the spy plane caused the airport confusion. The Air Force Times has more:
Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren confirmed that there was a U-2 operating in the area. The Air Force “filed all the proper flight plan paperwork … in accordance with all FAA regulations” and was conducting a routine training operation, Warren said. The FAA has issued a statement saying technicians have “resolved the specific issue that triggered the problem,” but the agency did not say what the problem was. FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown declined to comment about whether the U-2 was connected to the computer problems at the control center.
With the revelation this week that Russia has deployed strategic bomber fleets for fly-by’s along our West Coast to gather intelligence and test their capabilities, is it possible that someone flipped a switch to see what would happen?
The Air Force likely knows what caused the outage but refuses to share details, which suggests that either the United States was engaged in a military exercise and they want to keep it under wraps, or, it was the Russians and going public could further inflame the already heated geo-political climate.
Both the United States and Russia have advanced stealth and jamming systems, either of which may have been responsible for the LAX outage. But one particular technology stands out, especially considering that Airforce technicians had to step in to resolve the issue.
The United States, Russia and China have been testing non-nuclear capable electro-magnetic pulse technology that can be deployed either via a missile or a attached to an airplane while it travels in proximity to a particular target. Unlike the nuclear-trigger Super EMP Weapons capable of taking down the electrical infrastructure of an entire country if detonated about 200 miles above the earth’s surface, non-nuclear EMP technology is a line-of-sight weapon that can be directed at a specific city, building or computer system.
In the United States a similar weapon is called CHAMP (High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project ) and is manufactured by Boeing.
We hit every target we wanted to. We prosecuted everyone. Today we made science fiction into science fact.
We took out everything.
Granted, no missile was detected over the United States within the time frame that LAX computers were taken out of service, it’s important to keep in mind that CHAMP, while advanced, is known to everyone and the technology is already at least half a decade old.
It’s certainly possible, and probably likely, that Russia has similar technologies and ones that do not necessarily require a missile to deliver its “payload.”
With bombers flying right along our coast, did Russia take the opportunity to utilize a new advanced technology to target specific components of the air traffic control system, sending it into a frenzy?

US Air Force Jets Intercept Russian Spy Plane Over The Baltic

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The Aviantionist
April 29, 2014
According to Latvia’s Military, U.S. Air Force F-15Cs, deployed to Šiauliai, Lithuania for air policing in the Baltics, intercepted an Il-20 spy plane.
Russian Air Force missions in the area often require NATO jet fighters to intercept Il-20 spy planesTu-22M Backfire bombers, and Su-27 fighter jets. Such close encounters have become a bit more frequent since Russian invasion of Crimea and subsequent international crisis over Ukraine.
On February 24, two F-15Cs taking part to a flyby in Estonia were diverted to intercept a Russian plane before flying over the city of Pärnu.
On April 25, two Tu-95H bombers were intercepted by RAF Typhoons and by Dutch and Danish F-16s during a long range patrol around UK.

Just a coincidence - UK and US suffer airport glitches on consecutive days ?? US glitch 4/30 .....
Keep this is mind as you read about the stolen nuclear material from Pakistan below...

Widespread Airplane Grounding Was Due To U-2 Spy Plane Flyover "Overloading" Air Traffic Computers

Tyler Durden's picture

One of the more peculiar news from last week was the grounding of all flights for several hours at numerous airports in the Southwestern United States and the grounding of planes bound for the region from other parts of the country.
As so often happens when there is no specific reason at the time, the error was blamed on a computer "glitch" - the computer problem at a Federal Aviation Administration center slowed the journeys of tens of thousands of arriving and departing passengers at LAX.
Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California, and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas were among other facilities affected by the order to keep planes grounded.
And that would have been all we heard of it had it not been for some additional digging by NBC which on Saturday, citing unnamed sources, reported a U-2, a Cold War-era spy plane still in use by the U.S. military, "passed through air space monitored by the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center and appears to have overloaded a computer system at the center."
From Reuters:
Computers at the center began operations to prevent the U-2 from colliding with other aircraft, even though the U-2 was flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet and other airplanes passing through the region's air space were miles below, NBC reported.

Sources told NBC News the U-2 plane had a U.S. Defense Department flight plan. "It was a 'Dragon Lady,'" one source told NBC, using the nickname for the plane.

FAA spokeswoman Lynn Lunsford would not comment on whether the computer problem at the agency's center on Wednesday was caused by a U-2 flight.

"We aren't confirming anything beyond what we already said about it being a software issue that we corrected," Lunsford said in an email to Reuters.
Which probably will be the last we hear of it, even if this clarification raises additional questions: such as
  • Was the US department of defense spying not on foreign countries, and judging by recent events in Ukraine there certainly is a lot of spying to be done, but on the western US?
  • Are US air traffic controllers unequipped to think vertically?
  • What happens to airplane traffic when the Amazon drone army is unleashed?
All question we are sure will be answered in due course.

And the UK glitch 4/29/14 ...... Note no spy plane excuse given by the UK ....


On Tuesday, chaos broke out at Gatwick Airport - about 30 miles south of London - after a computer glitch caused delays at several airports in Great Britain, including Heathrow.

Furious travellers described the scenes as ‘a disgrace and a national embarrassment,' with many complaining about a lack of information.

One passenger at Gatwick reported that passengers were turning violent. Kay Perry tweeted: ‘Gatwick airport chaos. Fights break out among passengers as queues reach for miles.’ 

Chaos: A similar glitch caused much lengthier delays at airports across the UK, which reportedly led to fist fights at Gatwick Airport
Chaos: A similar glitch caused much lengthier delays at airports across the UK, which reportedly led to fist fights at Gatwick Airport
Another posting mocked the airport, saying: ‘Well done Heathrow airport. I’ve spent longer in this immigration queue than in the air.'

The delays at the U.S. airports did not include fist fights - and departing flights resumed about an hour after the glitch was first noticed.


Celente: Collapse By June 30, 2014!

Friday, May 2, 2014 7:05

By Susan Duclos


WLW Radio had Trends Journal publisher, Gerald Celente, on the show for April 30, 2014, and when asked about his forecast of economic collapse, he maintained his belief that it would happen by the end of the second quarter for 2014. The second quarter started on April 1, 2014 and ends on June 30, 2014.


Celente has been forecasting trends for decades and explains below the indicators seen to bring him to his prediction ranges, happening all across the world.


This fits with recent claims that the US economy would collapse on July 1, 2014 due to USD currency devaluation, coming from many quarters, which in turn will drag down economies across the globe.

Bill Still explains the obvious - NSA and NRO really should know the flight path of flight 370 , if not actually know ,  where Flight 370 is presently  located -  whether on land or ocean........

 Bill Still breaks it all down in the newly released video below. We are all in agreement, the NSA is hiding something.

Control , control , control........

Obama Administration Launches Plan to Make an “Internet ID” a Reality

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Mike Krieger
Liberty Blitzkrieg
May 4, 2014
It appears the status quo may be finally making its moves to getting control over the heretofore free and open internet. As I and many others have noted previously, the internet is one of the most powerful tools humanity has ever devised. It frees information in a way that was simply unimaginable decades ago and empowers each of us to be as informed or uninformed as we desire.

Image: Barack Obama (Wiki Commons).
Just last week in my post, Say Goodbye to “Net Neutrality” – New FCC Proposal Will Permit Discrimination of Web Content, I mused that in so-called “first world” countries like the U.S. the illusion of freedom must be maintained even as civil liberties are eroded. Thus censorship must be administered surreptitiously and slowly. The following plan to implement an “Internet ID” will initially only be rolled out as a pilot program in two states (Michigan and Pennsylvania), and will only deal with government services. That said, we can see where all of this is ultimately headed, and the program, called the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, should be monitored closely going forward.
Vice reported on this a few days ago:
A few years back, the White House had a brilliant idea: Why not create a single, secure online ID that Americans could use to verify their identity across multiple websites, starting with local government services. The New York Times described it at the time as a “driver’s license for the internet.”
Sound convenient? It is. Sound scary? It is.
The vision is to use a system that works similarly to how we conduct the most sensitive forms of online transactions, like applying for a mortgage. It will utilize two-step authentication, say, some combination of an encrypted chip in your phone, a biometric ID, and question about the name of your first cat.
But instead of going through a different combination of steps for each agency website, the same process and ID token would work across all government services: from food stamps and welfare to registering for a fishing license.
The original proposal was quick to point out that this isn’t a federally mandated national ID. But if successful, it could pave the way for an interoperable authentication protocol that works for any website, from your Facebook account to your health insurance company.
To start, there’s the privacy issue. Unsurprisingly, the Electronic Frontier Foundation immediately pointed out the red flags, arguing that the right to anonymous speech in the digital realm is protected under the First Amendment. It called the program “radical,” “concerning,” and pointed out that the plan “makes scant mention of the unprecedented threat such a scheme would pose to privacy and free speech online.”
And the keepers of the identity credentials wouldn’t be the government itself, but a third party organization. When the program was introduced in 2011, banks, technology companies or cellphone service providers were suggested for the role, so theoretically Google or Verizon could have access to a comprehensive profile of who you are that’s shared with every site you visit, as mandated by the government.
Then there’s the problem of putting all your security eggs in one vulnerable basket. If a hacker gets their hands on your cyber ID, they have the keys to everything.
For now, this is all just speculation. The program is just entering a test phase with select state government agencies only (there are currently plans to expand the trial out to 10 more organizations.)
But it’s not far-fetched to think we’re moving toward a standardized way to prove our identity in cyberspace the same way we do offline.
Keep a close eye on this.

Coercion games .......
Mother Jones....

This American Refused to Become an FBI Informant. Then the Government Made His Family's Life Hell.

Plus, secret recordings reveal FBI threats.

IT WAS AFTER 10 P.M. on July 8, 2009, when Sandra Mansour answered her cellphone to the panicked voice of her daughter-in-law, Nasreen. A week earlier, Nasreen and her husband, Naji Mansour, had been detained in the southern Sudanese city of Juba by agents of the country's internal security bureau. In the days since, Sandra had been desperately trying to find out where the couple was being held. Now Nasreen was calling to say that she'd been released—driven straight to the airport and booked on a flight to her native Kenya—but Naji remained in custody. He was being held in a dark, squalid basement cell, with a bucket for a bathroom and a dense swarm of mosquitoes that attacked his body as he slept. "You have to get him out of there," Nasreen said. But she was unfamiliar with Juba and could only offer the barest details about where they'd been held. "He's in a blue building. You've seen it. It's not far from your hotel."
Sandra remembered passing a blue warehouse ringed by tall, razor-wire-topped fences. She hung up and turned to her daughter, Tahani, who'd flown to Juba to assist in tracking down her brother: "We've gotta go look for Naji." They packed food, water, and bug spray in case they found him. Then Sandra and Tahani laced up their sneakers, retrieved a flashlight, and slipped out onto a pitch-dark, deserted road.
Sudan's long-running civil war had ended a few years earlier, and Juba, once a malarial backwater on the White Nile, was poised to become the capital of the world's newest nation, South Sudan. The city had grown into a boomtown, its expansion fueled by newly discovered oil and an influx of foreign aid. Shacks and half-built concrete structures lined its maze of narrow, trash-strewn streets, and entrepreneurs rented out converted storage sheds for as much as $100 per night. Sandra, a US government contractor, lived in one of them.
The upstart city had a Wild West atmosphere. Rifle- and grenade-wielding bandits occasionally stormed poorly guarded compounds, and violent muggings and carjackings were commonplace. It was not safe to drive after dark, let alone walk, but Sandra and Tahani were desperate. "It was a very crazy thing to do," Sandra later recalled. "But it was the first lead we had, and there was nothing that was gonna stop us."
"He said, 'We want you to work with us. You have what it takes. You're the perfect candidate.' This is the shit you see in movies."
Sandra had grown up in Providence, Rhode Island; after leaving there on a backpacking trip in 1973, at age 21, she never stopped traveling. She later married a Sudanese economist, Ali Mansour, and together they lived and worked around the world, raising Naji and his three siblings to view their blue US passports as a ticket to a global life.
But that was before Naji landed in the crosshairs of the FBI and the family's comfortable expat existence started coming undone. For several months, Naji had been repeatedly interviewed by American authorities, detained and interrogated by Kenyan counterterrorism police, and ultimately forced into exile in Juba. Now he had vanished into a basement dungeon.
When Sandra and Tahani reached the blue warehouse, it appeared deserted. They circled it, then attempted to scale a back gate. When that failed, they shouted Naji's name into the lightless building.
Naji couldn't hear them. He was locked up about five miles away in another blue building, a Sudanese intelligence facility near a rocky outcropping called Witch Mountain. There, he was questioned repeatedly about whether he had ties to terrorism or Al Qaeda. The Sudanese interrogators threatened to kill him if he didn't tell them what he knew, and he could hear the screams of other prisoners being beaten.
Two weeks into his detention, Naji's jailers escorted him from his cell into a clean, bright room, where at last he saw a familiar face, a fellow American. It was an FBI agent he'd met with in the past. The agent told Naji that he could end his nightmare. "Help me help you," he said.
NAJI FIRST CONTACTED ME in April 2012, after I wrote a story about Yonas Fikre, an Oregon man who alleges that he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates after he refused to become an FBI informant. "I went through a similar ordeal," his email said.
Fikre's story fit a familiar pattern in which US citizens suspected of (often tangential) ties to terrorism were detained and questioned abroad by foreign security services—with evidence suggesting that American authorities orchestrated the detentions. This wasn't rendition, the controversial practice in which the CIA has shipped foreign nationals to allied countries where they were abused and tortured. Instead, American citizens were locked up abroad and interrogated by US agents in a manner that seemed designed to bypass their constitutional rights. Human rights advocates and civil libertarians have dubbed this practice "proxy detention."
The FBI acknowledges that foreign governments sometimes arrest Americans based on information the bureau provides. Here's how one FBI source explained it to me: If a guy the Saudi government suspected of terrorism traveled to the United States, we'd want to know. So it's only fair that we tip off the Saudis—or the Yemenis, Sudanese, or Egyptians—when an American suspected of terrorist ties enters their country.
What the bureau doesn't say is that since counterterrorism forces in many countries are funded and trained by the United States, the FBI's suggestions can sound a lot like orders—even when the suspects involved have never been charged with any crime.
"Often it has been US officials who do the real questioning, and sometimes the prisoners have been tortured and abused" by their foreign captors, says Hina Shamsi, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who works on the issue. "Unlawful detention and cruel treatment is wrong when the US government does it, and it's just as wrong if the United States asks another government to do it."
But as Naji discovered, the US government can do more than land you in prison overseas. It can reach deep into a family's life, upending relationships, destroying livelihoods, and leaving citizens stranded far from home without recourse or explanation.
NAJI WAS BORN IN San Diego in 1976, the first of four children, and his upbringing was a whirlwind tour of far-flung locales. As his father worked his way around the globe as an economic consultant to governments and businesses, Naji attended grade school on an American compound in Saudi Arabia and part of high school in a Crusades-era castle (complete with a moat) in Malta. When he was 20, the family visited Nairobi on a vacation, and they moved there for good later that year. All four Mansour children attended American colleges (Naji went to the University of Rhode Island for a year), and two of them now live in the United States. One of Naji's brothers joined the Marines and served two tours in Afghanistan.
Though he's spent most of his life abroad, Naji is an American by birth, by law, and by culture. He's a fan of the comedian Dave Chappelle, a rap aficionado—we had a lengthy conversation about the merits of Biggie Smalls versus Tupac Shakur—and a computer whiz.
Naji was raised Muslim, but he wasn't particularly religious as a child and didn't pray regularly until he was 18. He was more interested in pan-Africanism—in Naji's words, the idea "that a united Africa could be independent from foreign intervention, and people's lives would improve"—a popular school of thought among his professors at the United States International University in Nairobi. But in 1998, Naji dropped out of school and married a young Ugandan named Shamila. They moved to England and had a daughter, but without legal residency he couldn't find work beyond odd jobs, and Shamila eventually returned to Uganda and gave birth to their son. Naji moved back to Nairobi in April 2000 in hopes that Sandra, then working as a housing and travel coordinator for USAID (she supervised luggage handling during then-first lady Laura Bush's May 2007 visit), could set him up with a job at the US Embassy. In 2002, Naji and Shamila divorced. Soon after, he married Nasreen and they started a family together in Nairobi.

Sandra Mansour shops for sneakers with her graddaughters in Nairobi. Until December, she'd been blocked from entering Kenya for two years.
Naji spent 2008 working for a tech company in Dubai. During his stay, he occasionally invited friends from work and the mosque he attended to bunk at his mom's house—which the family dubbed "Hotel Sandra"—if they ever visited Nairobi. A week after returning home from Dubai, he got a call from a guy named Muhammad whom he barely remembered. "I got a couple of friends. Could you put them up?" Muhammad asked. "They're coming this week." Naji agreed, expecting more details, but Muhammad abruptly hung up.
A few days later, Naji's phone rang again. The men had arrived. "I was like, 'Uh...okay.'" He hopped into the family's old Mercedes—a memento of his father, who died in 2006—and drove to pick them up.
The two visitors, Bilal el-Berjawi and Mohamed Gamal Sakr, both 24, said they were grad students who had traveled to Kenya to study the farmers who grow miraa (also known as khat), a mild amphetamine that's legal there. But they seemed to do little other than hang around. They watched the Mansours' seven tortoises trudge around the backyard. They prayed. After a week, Naji gently inquired when Berjawi and Sakr would be moving on. They told him they were waiting for their families to wire some money to continue their travels and research.
Around 2 p.m. on February 23, 2009, a bit more than two weeks into the pair's visit, dozens of armed men surrounded the house. Naji and Nasreen were out. The family's maid, Violet Mugasiali, was home with their young daughters. "All of a sudden the bell started ringing nonstop," Mugasiali remembered. The men said they were with Kenya's counterterrorism police, a special American-funded unit. She called Naji and Nasreen as the police burst into the compound, arresting Berjawi and Sakr and confiscating computers belonging to Naji.
Nasreen rushed home while Naji contacted Al-Amin Kimathi, a prominent lawyer and the head of Kenya's Muslim Human Rights Forum. Naji had volunteered for Kimathi's organization, where he helped to investigate the detention and rendition of Muslims who had been arrested in Kenya as they fled Ethiopia's US-backed invasion of neighboring Somalia. Some of the detainees were militants affiliated with the Islamic Courts Union, which spawned al-Shabaab, the terrorist group that pledged fealty to Al Qaeda in 2012. But many were simply refugees attempting to escape the violence.
Now Naji called on Kimathi for a favor. Since he didn't have a Kenyan passport, he was worried he might be deported; Kimathi helped him obtain an official document saying he could stay. Then Naji turned himself in for interrogation. (Nasreen was also arrested; she was held for 30 hours before being released without charges.)
The Kenyan police told Naji that Berjawi and Sakr had been plotting a terrorist attack—perhaps targeting the Westgate, Nairobi's fanciest mall. (The two men were deported to the United Kingdom, where they had grown up, but soon returned to Africa. In 2010, the UK revoked their citizenship for alleged ties to terrorism, and both were later killed by US drone strikes in Somalia—where, the British government said, they had joined al-Shabaab.)
Naji was questioned about his ties to the would-be terrorists, whom he told his interrogators he barely knew. They also confronted him with terrorism-related files that were discovered on his computers. Some were mundane, such as research papers and think tank studies about Islamic extremism, but others were more suspicious, like martyrdom videos and al-Shabaab propaganda. Naji said that he was no terrorist, but was fascinated by the causes of terrorism and curious about how the religious doctrine of jihad was used to justify it; in his spare time, he spent hours doing online research.
"I'm telling you, you might get hit by a car. That is not a threat. That is a solid piece of advice. But you don't want to take it."
Following two days of questioning, the Kenyan authorities let Naji go. Sandra suggested that he reach out to the US Embassy, where she had many contacts, to report what had happened and clear up any suspicions about his ties to Berjawi and Sakr. She connected him with a diplomatic security officer named Michael Fogarty. When they later met at the embassy, Fogarty asked Naji if he would "consider speaking to some law enforcement." Then he brought in a heavyset, blondish man he introduced as Jeffrey Roberts, the embassy's deputy regional security officer. Roberts, in turn, ducked out and came back with two FBI agents. The shorter, dark-haired one introduced himself as Mike Jones. (This is a pseudonym. The FBI told Mother Jones that, because of the agent's role in the "recruitment of sources" overseas for counterterrorism work, revealing his identity would put him at risk.)
Naji recounted the story of how Berjawi and Sakr had come to stay with him, but the agents asked few questions about them. Instead, Jones grilled Naji about Kimathi, his acquaintance from the Muslim Human Rights Forum, and inquired about one of Nasreen's distant cousins, a man named Omar Awadh Omar. (Omar is currently being prosecuted in Uganda for helping orchestrate the 2010 bombings in Kampala that targeted soccer fans watching the World Cup finals.) Jones asked Naji whether he had ever brought "guns, money, or people for violence" to Somalia or other countries. Naji said no. After about an hour, the conversation wrapped up; Naji agreed to sit down with Roberts again later that week.
Roberts showed up to their next meeting "in his shades, looking like Top Gun," Naji recalled. And he had a proposition. "He said, 'We want you to work with us. You have what it takes. You're the perfect candidate.' I asked him, 'What exactly are you talking about?' It was very surreal. This is the shit you see in movies. I was laughing."
But Roberts wasn't joking. "He said, 'We can give you rewards for information, or we can put you on full time. But that would require a continuous flow of information.'" Naji understood that his houseguests had placed him under a "cloud of suspicion," he later told me. But Roberts didn't seem interested in that anymore. "Mostly, it was 'We need your help,'" Naji said.
It's not hard to see why the US government would view Naji as an ideal informant. He is religious, conservative, and speaks English and Arabic. He's calm under pressure. He had crisscrossed the globe as a volunteer escort for refugees being resettled through the International Organization for Migration. When he traveled, he went to mosques and counted on the hospitality of strangers to find a bed for the night, and through this he had made connections with dozens of other religious Muslim men around the world.
This is precisely the kind of community that the FBI is trying to track and infiltrate. The bureau's network of paid informants hasexpanded rapidly since 9/11, and now includes more than 15,000, rivaling the scale of the J. Edgar Hoover era. A guy like Naji—an expatriate working in countries where terrorists operate—would be a real catch.
But to someone not facing criminal charges, the FBI doesn't have much to offer by way of enticement. "The problem for many American Muslims who have been approached by the FBI to become informants is that they aren't involved in criminal conspiracies and don't have relationships with criminals," says Mike German, an ex-FBI agent who now works for the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. "Instead, they are being asked to spy broadly against their religious community. That creates a conundrum because the person may be perfectly willing to help the FBI fight terrorism but simply has no information to provide."
Naji told Roberts he was planning to move to Juba, where his mother had taken a job with a company called Management Systems International that did work for USAID. He hoped to launch a business there selling rugged laptops. "We could use you there, too," Roberts said.
"No, man," Naji replied. Spying was "not something I want to play around with," especially in a country like Sudan. "This is Africa. There's no law for me here."

SIX WEEKS AFTER THE RAID, the Mansour family headed to the Nairobi airport to fly to Uganda for a visit with Naji's ex-wife and their children. When Naji handed his passport to a security officer, she glanced at her computer screen, stared at him, and asked, "What did you do?" Kenyan security officers detained the family for several hours, releasing them just before their flight took off.
When the family returned five days later, Kenyan airport police questioned Naji again. "The deputy immigration officer said, 'We have nothing wrong with you, but we have a directive not to let you in,'" Naji recalled. Soon, Fogarty and Jones showed up at the airport. The FBI agent reiterated the US government's desire that Naji become an informant. Naji once again declined.
He spent three nights at the airport, and when it became clear that he would not be allowed to enter Kenya, Nasreen brought him some clothes and his laptop samples and said goodbye. Then Naji boarded a plane to go stay with his mother in Juba. There, he buried himself in building his laptop business. "We kept thinking things were going to blow over," Sandra said.
In late June 2009, Sandra took a business trip to Kenya, and stopped by the US Embassy to get more pages added to her passport, for all the visas needed for her international travels. She was told there was a "hit" on her passport that needed to be cleared in Washington. A few days later, she was informed her passport would be released if she'd meet with the FBI first. So on Monday, June 29, Sandra sat down with FBI agent Mike Jones. "He asked, 'Where's Naji now?'" she recalled. "I said, 'He's with me in Juba.'"
The next morning, June 30, Naji and Nasreen—who had come to visit her husband in Juba while Sandra was in Nairobi looking after their children—were about to go out for breakfast when they noticed a man peering through the window. Naji opened the door to find two men in suits, sweating in the heat, with guns on their hips. "One of them looked like African James Bond," Naji told me. "And I say, 'Yes, hello?' And they're like, 'Naji Mansour?' and I'm like, 'Yes.' And they just came in." The agents of the South Sudan Security Bureau asked Naji to bring Nasreen out, and then they took the couple's phones and laptops and hustled them into separate unmarked cars.
When I asked the FBI about why Naji and Nasreen were arrested a day after Sandra told Jones of Naji's whereabouts, a spokeswoman told me in an email that the timing "is, in fact coincidence." But there are indications that it may not have been. "Sandra, I'm not supposed to be telling you this, but this is coming from your people," Sandra says a top Sudanese official told her. A former US diplomat who was stationed in Juba at the time told me that US officials there spoke openly of Naji's detainment and said he would be freed if he cooperated with the FBI.
THE AGENTS TOOK NAJI and Nasreen to the National Intelligence building, where Naji was placed in a basement cell; later, he heard Nasreen sobbing. One of the guards was trying to remove her headscarf—most South Sudanese are not Muslim—but she prevailed. Then the lights went out. Nasreen was still whimpering in a cell down the hall.
In the days that followed, the couple was questioned about their intentions in the country, whether they had ties to terrorism, and the contents of Naji's laptops. One of them contained materials similar to those that had raised eyebrows in Kenya. Nasreen was finally freed after eight days and put on a flight back to Nairobi. No charges were ever filed, nor was she given any reason for her detention.
The weekend after Nasreen's release, guards escorted Naji into an interrogation room. Soon, a blond State Department official entered.
"Do you remember Mike Jones—you met him in Nairobi?" she asked.
"Yeah," Naji replied.
"Would you be willing to see him?" the diplomat inquired. That was fine by him, Naji said, and to his surprise Jones and another FBI agent, Peter Smith (whose real name also has been withheld at the FBI's request), strolled in moments later. Smith said he believed that Naji had done nothing wrong and wasn't involved with terrorism, but told him that the FBI needed Naji to tell them something useful so they could advocate on his behalf with the Sudanese. "Quid pro quo, Naji. Quid pro quo," Jones chimed in.
"Every time I try to cooperate with the FBI, I get deeper into shit. I'm a citizen. They're supposed to have my back, and it's the exact opposite."
Naji racked his brain. Then he remembered that Muhammad, the guy who had arranged for Berjawi and Sakr to stay with him, had once called his office phone in Dubai—a number that very few people called. Perhaps the FBI could pull the phone records and locate Muhammad. But Jones was not interested in Muhammad. He wanted to know about Omar, Nasreen's distant cousin—the one who'd later be charged in the Uganda World Cup bombings. Naji said he didn't think Omar was the "type" to join Al Qaeda, but Jones didn't seem to buy it. "All right, Naji, good luck," the FBI agent said. "I hope everything works out for you, buddy."
Then, 37 days after he'd been arrested and three weeks after his conversation with the FBI, Naji was brought upstairs again. A Sudanese officer told him he was free to go, so long as he stayed in the country for the next 30 days and didn't talk to the media.
After his release, the director of South Sudan's Security Bureau penned a memo to the local minister of internal affairs briefing him on Naji's case. "The accused has been very much willing to know in-depth about Terrorism and Islamic Jihad," he wrote in the document, which was obtained by Mother Jones. "Thus, Mr. Naji is believed to have much interest in Terrorism activities, in fundamentalism and Islamic teachings. Whether that could lead to joining such activities or help in one way or another he will just remain a suspect that would require trailing."
A MONTH LATER, NAJI MOVED to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, where his late father's family had lived. Nasreen and their children later joined him there. He began to think his problems were over. Then, in October 2009, Jones got in touch. "I am heading back to Africa in the near future," he wrote in an email. "I'd be willing to stop by area, or Khartoum, and meet if you have the time." Naji replied that he wanted to talk on the phone before committing. He planned to tape their conversation.
When Jones called a month later, Naji turned on his phone's recording app and told the agent that he believed US officials had ordered his detention. (Clips of the conversation follow; you can listen to the entire recording and read a transcript here.)
"We had 100 percent nothing to do with that," Jones responded, according to a copy of the recording that Naji gave me. "It runs counter to everything that we do and that we stand for."
"I just want normalcy for my family," Naji said. "'Cause I think they deserve it. 'Cause it's been a screwed-up year, let me tell you." Jones pressed for a meeting, and they agreed to talk again the next morning.
Naji recorded their subsequent conversation, too. This time Peter Smith was on the line with Jones, and the collegial tone of their previous interactions was gone. The agents again asked for a meeting, but Naji declined. Ever since he had first told his story to US officials, he said, his life had been thrown into chaos. "There's scrutiny on your mom," Jones finally said. "...That's not going to go away unless we sit down and get down to business."
Smith jumped in, telling Naji that if he refused, "a series of events is going to be put into motion. And once you put it into motion, honestly I, I'm out of it. I honestly do not care. I'm going home, you know, I got a vacation to plan. My life goes on. Yours might change. And it's not going to, it might not be necessarily to your liking." He added: "I'm telling you, you mightget hit by a car—that is not a threat. That is a solid piece of advice. But you don't want to take it."
(The FBI refused to comment on the bureau's attempt to recruit Naji as an informant, nor would it comment on his taped conversations with Jones and Smith or whether any misconduct on their part had occurred.)
Four days later, on November 17, a State Department security officer visited the offices of Management Systems International in Juba. Sandra was fired the same day—less than a week after the company had renewed her contract for another year. She was told her position had been eliminated, but MSI posted the same job a month later. Stefanie Frease, one of Sandra's supervisors, told me the dismissal came at the behest of the US government.
"We all thought she was blackballed," said Inez Andrews, a former foreign-service officer working in the US compound in Juba at the time. "It's awful she hasn't been able to clear this up, that she's being held hostage to a system that was trying to extract information."
In a statement, USAID maintained that "decisions regarding the termination of employees...are ultimately made and executed by contractors themselves." And an FBI spokeswoman said the bureau "made no recommendations in regards to Sandra Mansour's employment status."
But Sandra's ordeal wasn't over. When she tried to return to her home in Nairobi in 2011, she was blocked from entering the country, just as Naji had been. An immigration official told her, she recalled, "If the Americans don't want you here, you ain't coming in." She was finally allowed entry to Kenya last December, when American nationals were evacuated there after South Sudan descended into violence.
Other members of Naji's family have been targeted, too. In 2011, Naji's sister, Tahani, was detained at the Nairobi airport for three days. "I've heard, 'It's your people'"—that the US is behind her family's troubles with customs officials—"more times than I can count," she told me. "I go to airports now and there's this constant sense of trepidation. Am I gonna make it? Am I gonna get locked up again?"
"As a family we have always been mobile and traveling our whole lives, and as a result completely took it for granted," she told me. "The removal of the liberty to travel was crippling."
One of Naji's brothers says he is frequently questioned about Naji when he crosses an international border. The other, a Marine veteran based in Virginia, was visited by members of the Navy's criminal investigative service, who grilled him about Naji. The FBI even interviewed Naji's uncle and aging grandmother in Rhode Island in 2009.
"They didn't get to me, so they had to target my family," says Naji.
ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2013, MEMBERS of al-Shabaab, armed with assault rifles and grenades, stormed the Westgate, the upscale mall that Bilal el-Berjawi and Mohamed Gamal Sakr had allegedly plotted to bomb four years earlier. Over the next three days, at least 72 people (including the attackers) were killed and the mall was almost entirely destroyed.
I had just left Nairobi—where I had visited Tahani at the Mansour family's home, just a few miles from the mall—the day before. As the news broke, I was sipping white tea with Naji in the lobby of the Acropole Hotel, a Khartoum landmark with a Raiders of the Lost Ark vibe and a cartoonishly large safe in its office. The hotel's prime clientele are foreign archaeologists (Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt); it's also a popular haunt for journalists, as the bumper stickers—CNN, BBC, CBC—on the lobby window attest.
Naji was skinny and 5-foot-7. He had close-cropped black hair with a sprinkling of gray, stylish glasses, and a mustacheless beard that he absentmindedly stroked when he grew sad or worried. He spoke quietly and slowly, telling me about his passion for organic food and his interest in "open-source ecology," in which people build their own tractors and plows from plans available on the internet.
Sudan, Naji told me, had become his prison. He felt trapped and helpless. He was no longer welcome in Kenya, and he feared what might happen if he set foot outside Sudan, believing he might be detained—and possibly tortured—at the behest of the US government. The experience "made me scared of traveling," Naji said. "What happens if I go to a US-friendly country or pass through a US-friendly country?"
The older two of his and Nasreen's four children now live with his mother-in-law in Nairobi (it has better schools than Khartoum), where he cannot visit them. He hasn't seen his son and daughter from his first marriage in three years. And Naji's lifelong ambition—to travel the world with his kids, "doing all the stuff with my children that my father did with me"—is blocked by fear.
Over and over during my time in Khartoum, Naji assured me that he had no ties to terrorism. I asked him about the terrorism-related files that had been found on his computer and what had kept him from following his interest in jihad down a path toward violence, as has been the case with some other conservative Muslims who have immersed themselves in extremist dogma online. "Knowledge" of Islam, he replied, explaining that he has had a long-standing "intellectual" interest in jihad and political Islam. I pressed Naji on whether he thought killing civilians was justified in certain situations. "What happened at Westgate is forbidden," he told me. "Am I a sleeper cell? I like to sleep a lot!"
In fact, it was a notorious act of terrorism that first prompted Naji's curiosity about jihad—Al Qaeda's 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi. Among the 213 people killed in the blast was his sister's best friend, Jay Bartley, who liked to shoot hoops with Naji and his brothers. Bartley's father, Julian, the consul general, was also killed in the attack.
"The following days were a haze," Tahani told me. "I don't think I ate anything other than coffee for three days. I burned a huge chunk of my hair off with the hair dryer just in a daze." Naji, then 22, saw his sister's despair. Yet when he went to the mosque, some of the men there spoke of the attack as a legitimate act of jihad, Naji remembered. "I honestly had no idea what to think," he said. "I became very curious about how something like that could be justified under Islam."
When Naji moved to London in 1999, he fell in with a group of conservative Pakistani men. Once drawn to secular pan-Africanism, he became more devout and enthusiastic about Islam as a political solution to the world's problems. "I started learning that Islamic systems were behind some of the greatest empires," he said. He educated himself about the structure of an Islamic state—how banking and finance would be conducted, how the poor would be cared for. "'Oh wow,' I thought, 'something other than democratic socialism and capitalism'—it was very appealing to me, liberating."
Tahani didn't view her brother's increasing interest in political Islam and jihad as unusual, even in light of what had happened to the Bartleys. "He was totally open about it," she told me. Jihad "was just the next topic" for Naji. "He really takes it upon himself to properly look into things through multiple sources." She told me her brother had once been fascinated by Sufism, Islam's more mystical branch. "Naji's approach to the whole jihad thing was similar to that. There was an enigma about it and he wanted to be informed. That's what he does—he teaches himself."
As we watched Kenyan police and military units respond to the mall attack, Naji called his mother-in-law, who works in a hair salon near the Westgate. She told him that her building had been evacuated and she had fallen running away, but she and the kids were fine. Then he rolled his prayer mat out on the hotel balcony and prayed. Later we took an ancient minibus to Omdurman, Khartoum's sister city across the Nile, and sat on the sagging couches in Naji's apartment and talked until the muezzin sang the sunrise call to prayer from the minaret across the street.
"Even if I was guilty, there's a process," he told me.
Though he spent much of his life abroad, Naji had never doubted his rights as an American citizen. But the experience with the FBI had made him deeply distrustful of his government. "Every time I try to cooperate with the FBI, I get deeper into shit. I'm a citizen. They're supposed to have my back, and it's the exact opposite. You shouldn't expect this from the beacon of democracy."
ON MY LAST DAY IN KHARTOUM, Naji and Sandra picked me up at the Acropole. We drove for 30 minutes to the outskirts of the city, where the US Embassy complex sits on a desolate road near a turn in the Blue Nile. Naji needed to renew his passport. He was nervous—he had told Nasreen that if he didn't return within two hours, she should notify the press and local authorities. A security officer took our phones, and then we followed a covered walkway that cut across the bright green lawn.
We stepped into a scene that would not have been out of place in a municipal building in Dayton, Ohio. It was just before 8:15 a.m. and a television mounted on the wall was tuned to the Armed Forces Network, which was showing The Doctors. Five numbered windows lined the wall. A table was covered with old magazines, and official portraits of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and John Kerry peered down from the wall. Soon, a disembodied voice asked Naji to report to window one. He handed in his form and his passport. As we waited, 10 or 12 other people renewing passports came and went. Finally, after about an hour, a voice announced over a loudspeaker, "Excuse me, Mr. Mansour? Can you go to window number six?" There was no window, only a soundproof door, marked "INTERVIEW ROOM."
Inside, a window looked through to another room, but its shades were drawn. After a few minutes, the shades rose and two State Department officials were on the other side: Chris McVay, an assistant regional security officer at the embassy, and a woman who introduced herself as Amelia Sanders, the second secretary for regional, political, and economic affairs. They didn't mention any of Naji's previous troubles, although they brought up his time in Juba and travels throughout Africa. The diplomats said they were interested in hearing Naji's thoughts about the countries he had visited. Before they let him go to collect his passport, Sanders asked if perhaps they could meet again sometime soon.
This story was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Everyone is Under Surveillance Now, Says Whistleblower Edward Snowden

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May 3, 2014
snowy1The US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has warned that entire populations, rather than just individuals, now live under constant surveillance.
“It’s no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing,” he said. “It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.”
Snowden made his comments in a short video that was played before a debate on the proposition that surveillance today is a euphemism for mass surveillance, in Toronto, Canada. The former US National Security Agency contractor is living in Russia, having been granted temporary asylum there in June 2013.


May 4, 2014
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A relic from the Cold War appears to have triggered a software glitch at a major air traffic control center in California Wednesday that led to delays and cancellations of hundreds of flights across the country, sources familiar with the incident told NBC News.
On Wednesday at about 2 p.m., according to sources, a U-2 spy plane, the same type of aircraft that flew high-altitude spy missions over Russia 50 years ago, passed through the airspace monitored by the L.A. Air Route Traffic Control Center in Palmdale, Calif. The L.A. Center handles landings and departures at the region’s major airports, including Los Angeles International (LAX), San Diego and Las Vegas.
The computers at the L.A. Center are programmed to keep commercial airliners and other aircraft from colliding with each other. The U-2 was flying at 60,000 feet, but the computers were attempting to keep it from colliding with planes that were actually miles beneath it.


May 4, 2014
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America and the European Union extended sanctions on Russia this week. Russia has suffered capital flight, worsening business conditions and an 8% drop in the rouble against the dollar since the beginning of the year, when the troubles in Ukraine started. Although domestic banks dominate the market in Russia, foreign banks’ claims on Russia were $219 billion at the end of 2013, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). French banks have the most claims, at nearly $50 billion, but Austrian ones are most exposed relative to their total foreign lending. The BIS estimates that foreign banks have a further $151 billion in exposure to Russia from derivatives, guarantees and credit commitments.


Odd lament - critics can;t have knowledge about negotiations when they are conducted in secret ! Duh ? Someone went off his teleprompter again !

Obama Complains That TPP Critics Are ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ Who ‘Lack Knowledge’ About Negotiations

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Mike Masnick
Tech Dirt
May 4, 2014
Leaders of TPP member states and prospective member states at a TPP summit.
Leaders of TPP member states and prospective member states at a TPP summit.
It’s become fairly clear that the TPP agreement is in trouble these days (for a variety of reasons). And it appears that President Obama is losing his cool concerning the agreement and its critics. In a press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, President Obama lashed out at TPP critics, calling them “conspiracy theorists” whose criticism “reflects lack of knowledge of what is going on in the negotiations.” Oh really?
If you take an issue like drugs, for example, the United States does extraordinary work in research and development, and providing medical breakthroughs that save a lot of lives around the world. Those companies that make those investments in that research oftentimes want a return, and so there are all kinds of issues around intellectual property and patents, and so forth.

At the same time, I think we would all agree that if there’s a medicine that can save a lot of lives, then we’ve got to find a way to make sure that it’s available to folks who simply can’t afford it as part of our common humanity. And both those values are reflected in the conversations and negotiations that are taking place around TPP. So the assumption somehow that right off the bat that’s not something we’re paying attention to, that reflects lack of knowledge of what is going on in the negotiations.

But my point is you shouldn’t be surprised if there are going to be objections, protests, rumors, conspiracy theories, political aggravation around a trade deal. You’ve been around long enough, Chuck — that’s true in Malaysia; it’s true in Tokyo; it’s true in Seoul; it’s true in the United States of America — and it’s true in the Democratic Party.
Um. You know why those complaining may “lack knowledge of what is going on in the negotiations”? Perhaps it’s because the USTR — a part of the Obama White House — has insisted that the entire negotiations take place in complete secrecy with no transparency at all. If President Obama doesn’t want conspiracy theories about the agreement, and wishes that its critics were more informed about the negotiations, he can change that today by instructing the USTR to release its negotiating positions and promise to make all future negotiating positions public.
But he won’t do that. Why? Because the USTR has admitted that if the public knew what was going on with the TPP, it wouldn’t support the agreement. And so the negotiations continue in secret. And President Obama gets frustrated about a lack of knowledge and conspiracy theories? Really ?


May 4, 2014
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The US Department of Defense
There are rumors that the two most senior military intelligence officers in the United States, who have announced their intention to step down in the coming months, are being forced out by the White House. Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, who directs the Defense Intelligence Agency, and his Deputy Director, David R. Shedd, both said on Wednesday that they intend to quit their jobs before the end of the summer. The Department of Defense said later on Wednesday that the two officials had been scheduled to step down “for some time” and that the leadership of the DoD “appreciates the service of these two dedicated and professional leaders”. But the announcement does not change the fact that America’s two leading military intelligence administrators have suddenly decided to quit their jobs. Shedd entered his current post in 2010, while Flynn rose to the DIA’s top position in 2012. If he does indeed step down in the coming months, he will be doing so at least a year before he was officially scheduled to depart from the DIA. The Washington Post claimed on Wednesday that Flynn “faced pressure” to step down, from senior US government officials, including James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence. According to the paper, Clapper, whose main job is to coordinate the activities of America’s intelligence agencies, approached Flynn several weeks ago and told him that the administration of US President Barack Obama had decided that “a leadership change was necessary” at the DIA. As the so-called “global war on terrorism” has been winding down, the DIA has been faced with calls for significant changes in both operations and scope. The latter have included plans to expand the agency’s human intelligence operations abroad, as was seen in the Pentagon’s recent effort to launch a new intelligence agency, called Defense Clandestine Service. But in late 2012 the US Senate blocked the plan, citing gross mismanagement of the Pentagon’s existing intelligence operations. The failed plan had been strongly supported by both Flynn and Shedd, who had vowed to increase the DIA’s intelligence-collection operations abroad, and had campaigned in favor of turning the agency’s attention to locations other than Iraq and Afghanistan. But The Post said that Flynn’s style of management had been dismissed by many of its critics inside the Pentagon as “chaotic”, and his plans for changing the DIA as “disruptive”. It is not clear who will replace Flynn when he steps down this summer. There is some speculation that he will be succeeded by Lieutenant General Mary Legere, a senior intelligence officer with the US Army. If this materializes, Legere will be the first-ever female director of America’s primary military intelligence agency.


May 4, 2014
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For the last several days, rumors have been circulating about the use of federal financial services regulators to harass and intimidate banks and financial service providers who maintain relationships with legal but so-called “high risk” merchants or businesses. These businesses are said to include, among others, payday lenders, escort services, producers of pornography, gaming interests, and purveyors of drug paraphernalia.  By leaning on the banks, so the theory goes, the regulators will cause them to sever relationships with these businesses, thereby choking off their cash flow and forcing them out of the market.  While the early phase of the operation has reportedly focused on payday lenders and pornography interests, eventual targets are said to include sellers of firearms and ammunition.
We have been aware of this story for some time.  NRA News, for example, originallyreported on it last January.  Breitbart news also noted in January that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chairman of the Economic Growth Subcommittee, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding further information on the program.  In a follow up story on NRA News in April, Andrew Langer from the Institute for Liberty reiterated the allegations and reported that the program is expanding.  The House Committee on Financial Services additionally held a hearing on April 8 entitled, “Who’s in Your Wallet: Examining How Washington Red Tape Impairs Economic Freedom,” at which concerns over Operation Choke Point were expressed by both sides of the aisle.
In addition to these concerns, NRA is aware of episodes in which banks have severed their relationships with customers in the firearm industry, as well as the policies of various online services – such as Google ShoppingeBayCraigslist, and PayPal–to refuse to host listings for, or process sales of, firearms or ammunition.
We know as well that various anti-gun groups have taken their cause to the private sector with varying degrees of success.  Indeed, as we have reported, this is a niche that is actively being pursued by Michael Bloomberg’s recently-acquired (and ponderously named) anti-gun franchise, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. In March, NRA successfully defeated a Bloomberg-backed effort to remove firearm-related content from Facebook.  Meanwhile, anti-gun mayors have floated plans to use city contracts to impose their gun control wishes, usually with instant pushback from their own police forces. Some public pension plans have also begun divesting themselves of publicly-traded companies related to firearm or ammunition.
Gun control proponents, having achieved only limited success in the legislative arena, have without question sought additional avenues for restrictions through the business community.  While all of these developments deserve close attention, we have not substantiated that they are part of an overarching federal conspiracy to suppress lawful commerce in firearms and ammunition, or that the federal government has an official policy of using financial regulators to drive firearm or ammunition companies out of business. This in no way diminishes, however, the real and continuing threats gun owners face from  politically unaccountable federal bureaucrats – whose actions we have recently reported on herehere, and here – or the need for consumers to be aware that their own behavior and spending habits can influence decisions businesses make about firearms.
Rest assured, NRA will continue to monitor developments concerning Operation Choke Point and report on any significant activity of concern to gun owners.  The Obama administration’s record–which includes the Fast & Furious scandala federal firearm registration scheme, and a reversal of U.S. policy leading to the signing an international gun control treaty – certainly provides no reason for confidence.  Yet whatever the administration might have in store for the future, the firearm industry for now is experiencing robust sales and growth, a reflection of America’s rejection of the gun ban agenda.

Closing the loop with the opening Celente piece ( Economic Collapse  by July 1 , 2014 )  , might some " other event " occur as a rational to distract and provide cover for imposition of martial law ? As strange as this sounds , recall we live in very dangerous and strange times ........

Veterans  Today - Gordon Duff puts his credibility on the line with a dire warning .....But I wonder if this piece is a dot to connect with flight 370 ? 


Breaking: Nuclear Alert

Stolen Nuclear Material Heading into US


By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

This is another story I don’t want to write or be interviewed about.  I only post these things because the sources are NOT internet gossip but are too credible to ignore.  I get no joy out of this.  The obvious reason to write this is to stop another 9/11.
This is what I have:
Nuclear material, I am assuming highly enriched uranium, 1.05 tons, was stolen from Pakistan on April 18, 2014.  It was transported by air to the UK where it was stored in a moving warehouse in Teignmouth, Devon.  The facility involved has been used previously to store illegal weapons by security agencies of the US and UK including South African WMD’s.
From there, the shipment was, we are informed, broken into three parcels and is being transported as of this writing, 11:07 EST, May 2, 2014, to the US.  Shipments are to have left from both Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
We are also told that computer viruses are taking down US capability of disseminating sensor information
Now for my editorializing.  Obama and Kerry have not be running blindly when the “Illuminati” has shouted “squirrel!” There is no evidence of Israeli involvement but evidence of a very real “right wing conspiracy” here.
My guess, and it is only a guess, is that China and Pakistan are to be blamed but that Iran is to be attacked after “fall guy” facilitators are created and “pristine passports” are found as with 9/11.
My recommendation to readers is to send this everywhere.  Minimally, if we do what we intend and stop what is going on, this warning will disappear as another “Alex Jones” type conspiracy piece.
I have only written this because the sources are such they cannot be ignored.  At one time, claiming that Americans would kill other Americans by the thousands would be considered “extreme.”  Those times are long gone.  Look to the “usual suspects.”

Dot connecting time ...... consider these items ! 

Al Qaeda linked " terrorists " arrested and questioned over involvement with  Flight 370 disappearance , mysteries regarding cargo on flight 370 ,  new flight path leading to Pakistan if  GeoResonance onto something with their theory regarding Flight 370 and the perfunctory warnings about 9-11 attacks by foreign Syrian  jihadists on US soil   .........

Published: Sunday May 4, 2014 MYT 9:12:00 AM
Updated: Sunday May 4, 2014 MYT 1:28:56 PM

MH370: 11 alleged militants quizzed over plane’s disappearance, Daily Mirror reports

LONDON: The 11 alleged arrested militants had links to the al-Qaeda, and were being questioned over the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the Daily Mirror reported on Saturday.
According to the report, the suspects were members of a new terror group said to be planning bomb attacks in Muslim countries.
The report claimed that investigators, including the FBI and MI6, had asked for the alleged militants, who are aged from 22 to 55, to be interrogated. 
They include students, odd-job workers, a widow and business professionals.
It was reported that in the interviews conducted so far, some suspects had admitted planning ‘sustained terror campaigns’ in Malaysia, but denied being involved in the disappearance of the airliner.
Last week, Bukit Aman arrested 11 alleged militants in Selangor and Kedah. They were believed to have networks in Syria and southern Philippines.
Flight MH370 went missing on Mar 8, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board, while en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
A massive search and rescue operation was conducted, first in the South China Sea, and later in the southern Indian Ocean.

And just look at the narrative from the " SuperGrass " witness  ....

Malaysian police deny al-Qaeda links to MH370

Malaysian police on Sunday rejected a British report linking the missing Malaysian flight with al-Qaeda, described it as “rubbish.”
Earlier, it was reported that a group of eleven suspected terrorists with links to al-Qaeda were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the disappearance of Malaysian flight MH370 and were being interrogated yesterday.
The suspects had reportedly formed a new terror group that is believed to be carrying out bomb attacks in Muslim countries. They were arrested last week in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and in the state of Kedah.
“That’s rubbish! This has nothing to do with the plane,” Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told The Star on Sunday.
Flight MH370 disappeared from radar screens in the early hours of March 8, about an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, after climbing to a cruising altitude of 35,000 ft.
No distress signal was sent from the lost plane, and about two-thirds of the 227 passengers and 12 crew aboard the plane were Chinese. The airline said other nationalities included 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans. It is thought to have crashed into the Indian Ocean
Despite an extensive multi-million-dollar air and sea search, no trace of the plane has been found.
The Daily Mail  had reported: “The interrogations come after international investigators, including the FBI and MI6, asked for the militants, whose ages range from 22 to 55 and include students, odd-job workers, a young widow and business professionals, to be questioned intensively about Flight MH370.”.

Malaysian Islamist ‘plot’

Last month, an alleged plot by Malaysian Islamists to hijack a passenger jet, in a similar style to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, was linked to the disappearance of Flight MH370, Britain’sTelegraph reported.
The connection to the Malaysia Airlines flight, which went missing on March 8, was being investigated following claims from an al-Qaeda “supergrass” who recently spoke of a Malaysian plot in a New York court.
Saajid Badat, a British-born Muslim from Gloucester, had said that four to five Malaysian men had been planning to take control of a plane, using a bomb hidden in a shoe to blow open the cockpit door, according to the newspaper.
But in one of the most shocking revelations, Badat said that he had met the Malaysian jihadists in Afghanistan, given them a shoe bomb to use to take control of an aircraft, and that one of them was a pilot.
Badat had been giving evidence at the trial in New York of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law. He told the court via video- ink that he believed the Malaysians, including the pilot, were “ready to perform an act.”
The pilot of the flight, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, had also increasingly become spotlighted by the media, after it was reported by Britain’s Mail on Sunday that he was an ‘obsessive’ supporter of Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim.


Published: Saturday May 3, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday May 3, 2014 MYT 10:11:36 AM

What were the 2.3 tonnes? Lithium ion batteries weigh less than 200kg, says firm

BALIK PULAU: The lithium ion batteries are back in the centre of the MH370 controversy.
According to NNR Global Logistics (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd in Batu Maung, the batteries formed only a small part of a “consolidated” shipment weighing 2.453 tonnes.
The batteries weighed less than 200kg, a company spokesman said. He would not say what the remaining 2.253 tonnes of cargo was.
“I cannot reveal more because of the ongoing investigations. We have been told by our legal advisers not to talk about it,” he said.
He said he could not name the company which manufactured the batteries, stating that the matter was confidential.
Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya had also announced on March 24 that 200kg of lithium batteries were on board the plane. He said they were packed safely.
In a statement issued last night, MAS said the rest of the consignment was radio accessories and chargers. But this has not been disclosed before and is not stated in the cargo manifest.
The MAS statement said: “About two tonnes, equivalent to 2,453kg, of cargo was declared as consolidated under one master airway bill. This master AWB actually comprised five house AWB. Of these five AWB, two contained lithium ion batteries amounting to a total tonnage volume of 221kg. The balance three house AWB, amounting to 2,232kg, were declared as radio accessories and chargers.”
The manifest released in the preliminary report on the missing MH370 on Thursday, however, shows that NNR Global shipped 133 pieces of one item weighing 1.99 tonnes and 67 pieces of another item weighing 463kg for a total weight of 2.453 tonnes. Neither the number of batteries nor its weight were specified.
The manifest came with an instruction that it should be handled with care and that flammability hazards exist. Its flammability had been the source of many earlier theories over how the plane was lost. However, most of the theories have been debunked.
The air waybill for the consignment was RM32,082.48.
NNR Global is located at the Dis3plex Free Commercial Zone at the Airfreight Forwarders Warehousing Cargo Complex, less than 100m from the Penang International Airport. The complex is guarded by the police and only those with passes are allowed entry.
A consolidated shipment combines several individual consignments to make up a full container load.
At the port of destination, the consolidated shipment is separated (deconsolidated or degrouped) back into the original individual consignments for delivery to their respective consignees.
It was reported yesterday that the missing plane was carrying lithium ion batteries and 4.566 tonnes of mangosteens.
The plane’s full cargo manifest was released by the authorities on Thursday as part of the preliminary report on the jetliner that went missing on its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the early hours of March 8.
The manifest revealed that the batteries were from NNR Global.
The package was meant for NNR Global Logistics (Beijing) Co Ltd but a company named JHJ International Transportation Co Ltd, Beijing Branch, was to collect the cargo on its behalf.

FBI Warning of another 9-11 ??? 

FBI warns of future 9/11 repeat attack

By AFP | May. 04, 2014 at 09:01pm

The increasing flow of US and European citizens travelling to Syria to fight in the country’s bloody civil war could lead to a repeat of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the head of the FBI has warned.
There has been a rise in the number of Westerners heading to Syria in recent months to fight against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, FBI Director James Comey told reporters Friday, with dozens of Americans joining the conflict.
Many of those who travel to Syria have taken up arms with extremist Islamist groups such as the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and US intelligence officials have expressed concern that they could return radicalised and with the intention of carrying out terrorist attacks on US soil.
Comey compared the situation with the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s, which drew in thousands of foreign fighters from around the world, many of whom then became involved with terrorist groups such as al Qaeda after the conflict ended.
“All of us with a memory of the ’80s and ’90s saw the line drawn from Afghanistan in the ’80s and ’90s to Sept. 11,” Comey said. “We see Syria as that, but an order of magnitude worse in a couple of respects.”
There were “far more people” going to Syria than went to Afghanistan, said Comey, while the country is “far easier to travel to and back from”.
“So, there’s going to be a diaspora out of Syria at some point and we are determined not to let lines be drawn from Syria today to a future 9/11,” the Washington Post quoted him as saying.
11,000 foreign fighters
According to the UK-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, there were up to 11,000 foreign fighters from 74 nations in Syria as of December 2013 – a greater number than in “every other instance of foreign fighter mobilisation since the Afghanistan war.”
While most of these fighters are thought to be from the Middle East, up to 2,800 are from Western countries.
A US intelligence official, speaking to the LA Times, estimated in February this year that there are at least 50 US citizens fighting in the country.


FBI Director: Americans Being Radicalized to Carry Out 9/11-Style Attack


James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) claims that his agency is worried that “Americans who have joined extremist groups allied with al-Qaeda in Syria will return to the United States to carry out terrorist attacks.”
Comey said this poses a “problem [for] Americans travelling to Syria” because the “civil war there has worsened in recent months” which is cause for concern for US federal intelligence agencies.
During a press statement with the press, Comey said: “All of us with a memory of the ’80s and ’90s saw the line drawn from Afghanistan in the ’80s and ’90s to Sept. 11. We see Syria as that, but an order of magnitude worse in a couple of respects. Far more people going there. Far easier to travel to and back from. So, there’s going to be a diaspora out of Syria at some point and we are determined not to let lines be drawn from Syria today to a future 9/11.”
The director of the FBI warned that the number of Americans becoming radicalized is “getting worse” with “dozens” at a time joining terrorist forces.
Comey said Americans are “actively” being recruited by terrorists in Syria who are “associated with foreign fighters” in the region that have “caused concern” for European and US intelligence communities.
The terrorist opposition is called the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and are comprised of Salafi militants from Saudi Arabia.
The Salafi terrorist cells are given different names depending on their location geographically (such as al-Qaeda, FSA, etc. . . ) so that the idea that they are separate is purveyed to the general public.
The Salafis and the Partisans of Sharia (PoS), or Ansar al-Sharia, are directly connected to the Muslim Brotherhood who believe that those who do not adhere to Sharia law should be crucified.
The Salafis being used in Syria are exceptionally violent and adhere to sectarianism with complete abhorrence for the US.
Ed Husain, senior fellow of Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) publicly supports the use of Salafi terrorists in Syria.
Husain states: “The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime’s superior weaponry and professional army.”
The CFR believes that “al-Qaeda fighters . . . may help improve morale.” Husain asserts that Salafi jihadists bring “discipline, religious fervor, battle experience . . . and most importantly, deadly results.”
The RAND Corporation, a globalist think-tank, supports Husain’s summation in a report citing the presence of “al-Qaeda fighters” in Syria as assets to the Salafi terrorists, NATO veterans, and other militants being used against the Syrian government.
In 2012, Obama signed a secret order authorizing US support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other agencies were empowered by Obama earlier this year to provide intelligence and training.
The US Treasury has granted release of funds to the FSA through the Syrian Support Group (SSG), a Washington representative of the FSA to conduct financial transactions.
The SSG’s “vision” is to “promote the establishment of a free, independent and democratic Syria.”
Whenever the ideals of democracy are brought to a foreign nation, through the assistance of the US government, American interests in the resources of that nation are evident.
While the SSG claim to be a grassroots effort, they admit they are a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC “committed to a pluralistic, civil and democratic Syria in which everyone, the military and the government included, are subject to the Rule of Law.”
Also in 2012, the Saudi Arabian government, with support from Elite families in Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, gave generously to the FSA.
In a US State Department statement, it was explained that: “The battalion rep or commander travels to Turkey, where he meets Gulf individuals or Syrians who live in the Gulf. The battalion presents ‘projects’ that need sponsorship, for example: targeting a checkpoint costs $20-30K, while targeting an airport cost $200-300K. . . . A video taping . . . is required to provide evidence of the operation.”
and the potential flight path - leads to Pakistan ......

MH370 Wreckage Found in Bay of Bengal ?  Australia's GeoResonance Findings Under Investigation.

Possible lead in hunt for MH370