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06 August 2015

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Kim Sky

"things have been set in motion that cannot be undone"

INDEED. "connecting the dots between various micro-events"

Then we have, "Shots Fired at Soldiers at Military Base in Mississippi... a red Ford Ranger with “broken arrow” written across the top" And another headline that is part of the demonization process, "Conspiracy Hicks Fire Shots at US Soldiers"

As far as major events go... there are just plain too many dots.

.Iran Nuclear Deal: White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, argues that the deal is good because the agreed upon additional IAEA inspections would make war on Iran easier. http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2015/08/05/obamas-false-dichotomy-of-the-iran-nuclear-deal/

.Turkey Bases: War on the Kurds (betrayal AGAIN), War on Asad's Syria (NOT ISIS), Civil War in Turkey

.ISIS in Afghanistan, encircle China

.South China Sea: ASEAN summit to escalate confrontation with Beijing

.Ukraine: War in Europe

On and On and ON... I'll stay glued to my screen as things seem to be pointing toward WAR, then run and hide under a rock?


Patrick Bahzad

KS,

The trick is to look for dots where connections can be made, and avoid establishing links between things that are subject to way too many contingencies.

I also need to emphasize that I was talking about micro-events the likes of which we've seen in Colorado. The details about the shots fired about Fort Shelby still sound a bit sketchy to me, too early to call I would say.

I'm way more impressed (but not surprised) at how the Chattanooga shootings have been disposed of in the media. That was good work by the spin doctors in charge.

As for the major events, sure, there is a "Grand game" being played on a global stage, but I don't see war as a general horizon for just any and every place.

Where i agree with you is that there is likely to be a war somewhere, any time in the foreseeable future. But doesn't take a rocket scientist to make that prediction !

smoke

Saw the local report. Seems strangely vague. How did the families identify the men as Middle Eastern? Any more specifics? (After all, Israel is in the ME, as well as IS and nations regarded as hostile.) What was the nature of the intimidation? Why send notice in August, when reported incidents were in May and June?

Not mentioned in the report, the bases near the incidents are both Air Force, attached to Space Command. One is a missile base, presently being upgraded, the other works on satellite communications and detection of space activity. That aspect would interest me, if I were an investigator sniffing out trouble.

Evidently, the public does not need to know more. From local report: "The FBI declined to comment on the alert when contacted by 7NEWS' partner, KRDO NewsChannel 13."

Patrick Bahzad

First of all, the story has emerged only now but the FBI notice was released in early July. That is about a reasonable time-line to check the ins and outs of the various incidents and determine whether there is a pattern there or if these are totally isolated occurrences. I see nothing wrong with the FBI's work.

Second, the fact these are Air Force Bases is beside the point. Let's not get over board with this or bark up the wrong tree: specific military personnel was "targeted" by these individuals for allegedly having been "interrogators" ... somewhere in sandbox countries I suppose.

The most simple explanation is often the most likely one ... nothing to do with space command or satellites or whatever, just plain tell tale signs of a growing threat at home.

As for the description of the suspects as "Middle Eastern", sure it's quite vague, but you would have to be real thick not to understand which direction to look at.

Or maybe it's all a big conspiracy, again ...

turcopolier

PB

A campaign if terrorism directed at the US military here at home is a distinct possibility but you can be sure that the FBI is chasing this rabbit down every hole. At the same time the US has been under-resourced for public mental health treatment since Reagan started cutting funds for that. This is ironic, considering his own end. Many of the gun toting crazies here are just that, crazies. pl

The Beaver

@ smoke

Remember when the news about the OPM hacking surfaced and how the military personnel's personal data, including families and other pertinent info must have been stolen.

So we can ask ourselves - are/were the hackers Chinese, Middle Eastern or since 2007 ?

And then we have this:
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/metro-detroit/2015/08/04/fbi-spy-plane-zeroes-dearborn-area/31145393/

Guess which sect is in the majority living in Dearborn and who the usual suspects, the talking heads on sunday morning will point the finger at !!! ( or we just have to wait for the Primary debates, LOL)

smoke

Yes, early July is reasonable. Must be that the press only now heard of it.

You may have more information. In my local report. "interrogator" was specified only with respect to the single incident in Greeley. When the wife denied that her husband was an interrogator, the men "laughed" and drove away.

The June incidents in Wyoming are described as "similar", and these are described as "attempting to obtain personal information… through intimidation." I am not inclined to assume what the nature of the similarity was. Perhaps simply that families of service members were approached in front of their homes by men, who appeared to be from ME.

Actually, I find the related tasking of the two bases, both concerned with missile warfare, interesting, not simply that they are AF bases. Could be coincidence, as you say.

SAC Brat

Dammit, no mention of meetings at a Waffle House restaurant: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/08/05/how-federal-agents-foiled-a-murderous-jade-helm-15-retaliation-plot/

Shaun

Seems vaguely paranoid, like when my friend told me to beware of Hose cameras at the Border. This is a non-story, kind of like jerry Garcia still being alive and married to Jim Morrison, in Tempe, near the Exxon. Is the alert level blue, green or purple haze? Give me a break, this is very silly and George Bush like. Shall I duct tape myself into the closet yet? people here in Boston seem to think Boston Strong somehow justifies their ignorance about all aspects of foreign policy. And I am supposed to take this seriously? If they were Indian most Americans would have assaulted them and asked questions later. Give me a Kool-Aid my Vietnamese some needs some, he's from Ba Vi and he says the story is hogwash defense appropriation dreamland, worthy of CBS and NNN-bc and people south of say, Connecticut. This is an example of why our good ole USA is gone for good, paranoid, loaded with nothing but an NRA sticker and T-shirt to give to our next generation. $963 Billion see ya later and then what do we have? (: Poland comes to mind after WW 2). As Yellowman says, you cant come to heaven with your ammunition, so get ready to hand with saddaam.

Ali

I don't see any reason to assume the "Middle Eastern men" were Arabs/Muslims and not Israelis. Israelis have been known to dance as the twin towers burned and Israeli agents have approached Muslim American communities posing as FBI agents. Israelis are known to try to get information by intimidation, as the article suggested the suspects did.

mbrenner

PB

I'm not sure what the message of this post is. Are we supposed to add anxiety about the pedestrian habits of swarthy men in Cheyenne - of all places - to our worry list? Or are we expected to call for a heightened state of alert by the FBI and various Wyoming sheriff's departments? Or, is this a wake-up notice that IIL, al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, or just some local jihadists are on the brink of making a "quantum leap" to a concerted campaign targetting the U.S. military as it trains for our next foray into the Islamic world?

Seems me that we already have incurred enough costs from the post 9/11 paranoia, and have seen the FBI engaged mass resources looking under beds without deepening both dangerous tendencies. Anyone who feels the need for an antidote to their "complacency" might wish to join the volunteer corps of Texas citizens who are on red alert for arrival of the Special Forces exercise in the vicinity of Pflugerville. Less scenic than Wyoming but better Tex-Mex "cuisine."

no one

PB, My son came home for a visit after his first deployment to Afghanistan. He had just been promoted to 1 Lt. and it was his birthday. We went out to a local tavern, had a couple beers, hung out with some of his friends from high school and I introduced him to a local young man I know from the gym who had served in Marine rifle company in A-stan for two tours. He and the Marine got to talking and I could see the convo was overheard by a bearded man of approximately their age who was obviously of ME extraction (Egyptian would be my guess, but who knows). This guy was drinking soda and was with a couple of professor looking types (I live in a college town). Long story short he started mad dogging my son and the Marine. We moved on to another pub to avoid a conflict and he followed and his focused hostility increased. Worried about an incident that could jeopardize my son's career, I stepped in an told the guy to go back to the original tavern or otherwise get lost; or have some serious trouble, specifically getting badly hurt. I admit to being surprised at the stream of arrogant defiant Islamic crap that came out of this guy's mouth. The bouncers stepped in a tossed the guy and his prof enablers just in the nick of time.

Some time later this happened just down the road: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/09/rochester_man_indicted_isis_mufid_elfgeeh.html - a local plot of sorts to kill returning military.

Two stories, one anecdotal, that make me wonder what the threat level really is.

Joe100

PB

Could this pattern become "viral" within the potentially radicalized community - perhaps only within the crazy fringe? With so many soft and dispersed domestic targets - military families, recruiting, etc. would there be any need for an organized terrorist campaign or could this just grow organically in a "copy cat" mode? If so, how effective would good police work, etc. be?

Patrick Bahzad

Don't think we are at a point where anything is about to go viral in the US.
But the nature of the threat has evolved a lot in the US, bringing the country closer and closer to the threat level that some countries in Europe are facing, despite denial by the do gooders who are under the impression that the US is immune from certain afflictions typical for European societies.
This is a seriously misguided conception though, even if the reasons why the threat is increasing in the US are partially different from Europe. I do not think there is anything organized in the making, nor will there be in the foreseeable future. And that is actually what makes law enforcement all the more difficult.
If you got no cells to infiltrate, no structure to identify, no individuals to put under surveillance and if you're not allowed to specifically monitor specific areas of interest (thinking about the recent debate about policing tactics in NY) you're heading into the wrong direction.
Good police work (actually policing has been very good in the US since 9/11 considering the threat the country has been under) might entail thinking about less mass surveillance and more targeted intelligence.

Patrick Bahzad

PL,

That is the thing here. The time of the organised cells operating under central command in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever has long gone. Now all you need is some serious "crowd sourcing" among all the lunatics, the "angry young men" looking for a cause and the fanatics with a death wish and just be patient while prepping them online.

The U.S. is quite customary to people just loosing it and going out on a killing spree. Now give the lunies a cause to kill and die for and you gonna exponentially increase the probability of an individual, or small groups of individuals, trying to do something. They may be concerned about exercise "jade helm" or wanting to go after veterans from operations on the big sandbox.
There's not gonna be another 9/11 sure but the number of individuals and potential targets that need to be monitored are such that the resources necessary to keep an eye on it all is not much different.
Besides there is also the question of responsibility. A madman with a gun is just a madman. But what is a madman with a gun killing in the name of a cause ? Is he just a lone gunman still ?

Patrick Bahzad

im not sure what you're saying but thx anyway. Guess it's a case of "quod erat demonstrandum" : The denialists at work making a case of "this can't be because it can't be".

I heard the same stories in my country when the exact same things started happening a few years ago and the politics and do gooders said the same "this is a non-starter". Now we have thousands of military patrolling our streets. Keep dreaming buddy and it's gonna come your way too !

Patrick Bahzad

Sure they might be hard core Iranian Pasdarans as well trying to derail the nuclear deal ... whole new perspective opening up ! Or they might have been Iranian opposition MEK paid for by the Mossad. Anything else ?

The Twisted Genius

SAC Brat,

This story sounds like the descendants of the Christian Militia who operated in the Uwharrie National Forest area in North Carolina in the early 80s. This group of chuckleheads ran around in military uniforms, jeeps and pickups trying to steal weapons from troops supporting Robin Sage UW exercises. I was there as a student in the SF Officers Course in 82. I was doing a recon of a bridge with two Malaysian trackers, fellow students. The bridge was occupied by USMC aggressors. All of a sudden, all hell broke loose. The air was filled with roaring engines, squealing tires, gun shots, screaming and yelling. The vegetation was thick so we didn't have a view of the action. One of my tracker buddies said he felt rain. It wasn't rain. It was buckshot falling through the leaves, bird shot to be exact. Seemed the militia chuckleheads only wanted to scare the Marines off and grab a weapon or two. They got none, but they scared the crap out of the jarheads and scattered them pretty well.

This new generation of militia appears to have more deadly intentions. Good thing most of them are still chuckleheads.

Patrick Bahzad

MB,

this is probably where our perspectives and opinions might differ. What I'm saying is the American public and part of the political establishment is blind to things unfolding as we speak in the US, while they are being paranoid about the Iran deal, the ME in general and totally lost and confused about who poses what risk to the US.
The other problem is that the US has engaged in such large scale mass surveillance through "electronic" means that they can't comprehend the notion that tomorrow's threat will require different means than the ones used in the aftermath of 9/11 and which were already going way over the top.
Anxiety is not the issue here, a realistic assessment of what could possibly hurt the US at home is the issue. It seems though that it's the "eyes closed" policy that is prevailing in the public, mainly because people don't want to hear about the ME anymore. Well, the ME and some of the groups and individuals who have a beef with the US are not finished "talking" though.
Why I'm saying this and posting about a non story such as this is because I see a pattern and a parallel here to what happened exactly in the same terms in my country a few years ago. The words "paranoid" and "exaggerated" were often said in reply to our warnings back then. Now the same people who said "paranoid" are begging for a quick fix which does not exist.
What to take away from this ? First learn to live and accept the idea that shit is gonna happen in the US as well unless law enforcement is allowed to adapt to a threat that is totally different from the AQ cells that perpetrated 9/11. And I'm concerned about the fact the public would rather ignore the issues rather than engage in an open discussion about what the situation is actually and what can and should be done or changed about it.
Of course if you accept the idea that killings such as in Chattanooga are the deeds of a single gunman with mental issues only, there is nothing to discuss. All is good and well ! In that case though you will have to seriously reassess your views once something much more serious happens and it can, even with very little means and little preparation. Use your imagination and knowledge of past attacks and you'll inderstand what I mean.

Patrick Bahzad

That's a good example of what the emerging threat is gonna be like in the years to come. Anybody denying this is naive or has issues with the truth.

Joe100

PB

At some level this looks like "the last war" mentality. Post RVN I tought weapons at Marine Officer's Basic course in Quantico from mid 70 to mid 72. The entire course work was still RVN oriented, patrolling, light weapons, etc. (plus, in my view two relatively worthless weeks at the rifle range). We had one hour out of six months training on anti-armor weapons and no joint infantry/armor training.

My view at the time was that then next big engagement would be in the Middle East and would involve Marines fighting folks with armor. I think I managed to up the anti-armor training to two hours, which no one else at TBS took seriously.

Your point about shifting policing to the real emerging threat seems completely on point, but not sure how we break through the "more of the same" mentality?

What did it take in France to shift the focus of policing and intelligence work (if such has actually happened) to the current threat??


nick  b

PB,

I think I see your point clearly. Seeing the risk is the first step in managing it. Big things come from humble beginnings and it's important to keep a watchful eye on what those humble beginnings could be. Otherwise, as you point out, we will only connect the dots once it is too late.

But you kind of lost me on the Chattanooga shooting. I don't see the parallel. While I believe I understand the point you are making in pointing out the importance of the story from Colorado, I also think the Chattanooga shooting was the deed of a single gunman with mental issues. What am I missing?

Patrick Bahzad

Not sure this is gonna cheer you up, but what it took us in France was a first reality check in 2012: a homegrown terrorist of Algerian origin killed 3 paratroopers in broad daylight and later 3 kids and a teacher from a jewish school before being cornered and shot by french SWAT. That was like a wake up call for the politics who realized things were getting out of hand.
Public opinion only reacted though in January of this year during the attacks on the Paris newspaper and kosher supermarket (17 dead in total). The gunmen again french citizens of African or North African origin. This time though public outcry and political pressure was such that a new antiterrorism law was passed, intelligence services are going to recruit another 1000 people and the armed forces will get 10 000 more men.
The problem however is that we have let this thing develop for too long without acting, and now we have to play catch-up.

Patrick Bahzad

The problem with the Chattanooga shooting is the following: a madman with a gun is just a madman. But a madman with a gun who is killing for a cause, is he just a madman still ? If so you might end up with dozens of lone gunmen with mental issues killing in the name of a vaguely defined cause. But that won't help you connecting the dots between those madmen, if you chose to willfully ignore what the links are between those disturbed individuals.
There are dozens of people in Raqqa and elsewhere working 24/7 on prepping disoriented, disturbed and off balance individuals to act out in the name of their "cause". But if we consider these people to be only individuals with no link to each other, it would be like fighting the mafia in pre-RICO times.

Babak Makkinejad

I think you are conflating "Madness" with "Non-Rational".

Per Spinoza's dictum - "The most useful thing to a human being, is another human being" - I would suggest that the extent to which one departs from Spinoza's dictum in practice or in theory indicates how far one is departing from Reason.

The Jihadists are not mad - they are in an emotional state of Un-reason.

McVeigh and his accomplices were not mad either; they had a cause to which they were emotionally attached to the point of Un-Reason.

Just like many Borgistas and neo-conservatives and very many others.

That is different, I think, from the drug-crazed fellow who shoots because his brain has been damaged.

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