Australian government websites taken offline by Anonymous 24 Jul 2012 Members of hacktivist group Anonymous have claimed credit for taking down 10 Queensland government websites earlier this week in response to proposed changes to data retention laws currently under discussion by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS). The PJCIS inquiry is considering reform proposals for telecommunications interception, telecommunications sector security and Australian intelligence community legislation. One of the proposals includes "tailored data retention periods for up to two years for parts of a data set", with every internet users' entire Web history logged and stored for up to two years. According to a blog posting entitled Par:AnoIA Queensland, members of the group used an authentication bypass to loot some "booty" from Queensland government servers which, according to Anonymous, showed how the Australian government was monitoring citizens' activity online.
Movie massacre suspect 'sent' chilling notebook to psychiatrist before attack 25 Jul 2012 James Holmes, the accused gunman in last Friday's midnight movie massacre in Colorado, [allegedly] mailed a notebook "full of details about how he was going to kill people" to a University of Colorado psychiatrist before the attack, but the parcel sat unopened in a mailroom for as long as a week before its discovery Monday, a law enforcement source told FoxNews.com. Police and FBI agents were called to the University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus in Aurora on Monday morning after the psychiatrist, who is also a professor at the school, reported receiving a package believed to be from the suspect. Although that package turned out to be from someone else and harmless, a search of the Campus Services' mailroom turned up another package sent to the psychiatrist with Holmes' name in the return address, the source told FoxNews.com. A second law enforcement source said authorities got a warrant from a county judge and took the package away Monday night.
DHS-FBI 17 May 2012 Memo: 'Terrorists' Interest in Attacking Theaters and Similar Mass Gatherings' Posted by Lori Price, http://www.legitgov.org/ 23 Jul 2012 On 17 May 2012, the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a warning regarding possible attacks to US movie theaters. The release, 'Terrorists' Interest in Attacking Theaters and Similar Mass Gatherings,' has been saved by Citizens For Legitimate Government (CLG) as the memo appears to have been pulled by the DHS/FBI. The warning was issued in collaboration with the Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group. The memo includes the following warning. '(U//FOUO) An early April 2012 suicide bombing of a theater in Somalia and a violent extremist communication advocating attacks on US theaters highlight terrorists' continued interest in attacking such venues. Although we have no specific or credible information indicating that terrorists plan to attack theaters in the United States, terrorists may seek to emulate overseas attacks on theaters here in the United States because they have the potential to inflict mass casualties and cause local economic damage.'
Correction: Monday's CLG Newsletter lead included the following headline, 'Aurora Shooting Mirrored Training Exercise on Same Day Near Denver.' I linked to a summary of a 21 July article, 'Real life shooting imitates training exercise at Parker medical school,' written by Nancy Lofholm of The Denver Post. The first sentence of the article read, "The tragedy that played out in an Aurora movie theater Friday was ironically paralleled as a classroom learning experience in a medical school in Parker the same day." Ms. Lofholm kindly informed me of the following correction: "The movie-shooting exercise didn't happen until the day after the shooting. The school was using three scenarios and that was one of them." The exercises were "on-going" and took place Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. They were part of two weeks of general disaster training. I want to express my thanks to Ms. Lofholm for this info! I am passing this correction along to CLG readers with my apologies for implying that the Aurora shooting exercise took place on the same day that the theater incident was unfolding, when, in fact, that particular training exercise transpired after the shooting, on Saturday. --LRP 23 Jul 2012.
At least 3 men arrested in separate 'Dark Knight' incidents at movie theaters 24 Jul 2012 At least 3 men accused of making threats during or after watching the new Batman movie have been arrested in separate incidents, underscoring U.S. moviegoers' anxieties and heightened security in the wake of a deadly mass shooting at a Colorado theater showing the film. Timothy Courtois of Biddeford, Maine, had been stopped for speeding, and a police search of his car found an AK-47 assault weapon, four handguns, ammunition and news clippings about the mass shooting that left 12 people dead early Friday, authorities said...
Colo. shooting suspect appears dazed in court 23 Jul 2012 James Holmes, with dyed reddish-orange hair, appeared dazed and somber today as he made an appearance in court to be told that he was being held on suspicion of first-degree murder. An expressionless Holmes frequently stared at his hands during the brief court appearance. When asked if he had anything to say, he didn't respond and let a lawyer speak on his behalf.
FBI's WMD Training Workshop Tests Massive Response --'Play How You Practice' 24 Jul 2012 On May 18, a carrier ship bound for the Port of New Orleans left a Caribbean nation weighted with 12,000 tons of ammonium nitrate. Intelligence later revealed that two of the ship's crew members were on terrorist watch lists. Meanwhile, a few miles outside New Orleans, police received a report of someone suspiciously circling a chemical plant in a car while taking pictures. What may have appeared at first to be isolated incidents were actually parts of an elaborate drill to test how well local, state, federal, and even international emergency responders would coordinate and communicate in the fog of an unfolding terror plot. The mock scenario, which played out in a day-long tabletop exercise in New Orleans last May, was a cascade of escalating disasters that involved the revelation of the plot, multiple shootings, a chemical leak, hostage-taking, and the release of nuclear radiation. [Be sure to save a copy of the FBI's alert, so when they 'go live' and pull it, copies will exist.]
Huge security force gears up for Olympic Games --17,000 troops deployed in 'Operation Olympics' 23 Jul 2012 Britain's biggest peacetime security operation geared up Monday for the start of the London 2012 Games just four days away, with soldiers in camouflage manning the airport-style gates at Olympic Park. The Olympic Park's boundary is lined with concrete barricades topped with a high metal fence and several lines of electrified wire, with security cameras at regular intervals. Soldiers from the Royal Artillery were scanning people in at the entrance by Stratford International station. At the main Stratford entrance, marines, soldiers and air force personnel were on duty.
A Spiteful New Policy at Guantánamo Bay (The New York Times) 23 Jul 2012 The Obama administration's latest overuse of executive authority at Guantánamo Bay is a decision not to let lawyers visit clients in detention under terms that have been in place since 2004. Because these meetings pose little risk and would send a message about America's adherence to the rule of law, the administration looks as if it is imperiously punishing detainees for their temerity in bringing legal challenges to their detention and losing. In one case, the administration is saying that the Yemeni national Yasin Qasem Muhammad Ismail no longer has the right to meet with his counsel, David Remes, because his plea to be released was "terminated." The Justice Department will only let them meet, it said in an e-mail to Mr. Remes, if he signs a new memorandum giving the government what Mr. Remes calls "absolute authority over access to counsel."
US drone strike kills 13 in North Waziristan 23 Jul 2012 Miranshah: At least 13 people have been killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan Agency of Pakistan, northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, sources said on Friday. The sources said that the drone fired eight missiles on a house in Shawal area of the agency, killing 13 people in the attack. "Fear prevailed in the area as more drones are still flying in the air," they added.
Afghan cops, commander defect to Taliban 24 Jul 2012 An Afghan police commander and 12 junior officers have defected to the Taliban after poisoning seven comrades, government officials in the western province of Farah said on Tuesday. The commander, named only as Mirwais, was in charge of a checkpoint in the Bala Boluk district when he and his unit defected to the Taliban and handed over their equipment and weapons, including military vehicles. The seven police were poisoned because they refused to join the rebellion, said Abdul Rahman Zwandai, a spokesman for the Farah governor. All were taken to the Farah hospital and an investigation would be launched.
Witnesses: General Opposed Hospital Abuse Probe 24 Jul 2012 The American general who led NATO's training mission in Afghanistan opposed an inspector general's investigation into "Auschwitz-like conditions" and corruption at the main Afghan army military hospital, two retired U.S. military officers are telling Congress. The retired officers, in testimony prepared for a House hearing Tuesday, said Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV admonished subordinates for contacting the Defense Department's inspector general about Dawood National Military Hospital. Retired Army Col. Gerald Carozza Jr., who was chief of legal development assisting the Afghan Army and defense ministry, said Caldwell at one point expressed concern that the request was too close to the 2010 congressional elections.
No Charges For Military in Secret Service Scandal 18 Jul 2012 Seven Army soldiers and two Marines are receiving administrative punishments, but are not facing criminal charges, for their part in the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia this year, The Associated Press has learned. U.S. officials said that one Air Force member has been reprimanded, and final decisions were pending on two Navy sailors. U.S. Southern Command, headed by Gen. Douglas Fraser, conducted the investigation into the military members' involvement in the April incident, which brought shame to the elite presidential protection force and unearthed revelations of other episodes of misconduct within the Secret Service.
Judge backs State Dept. in WikiLeaks FOIA 23 Jul 2012 A judge is backing the State Department's refusal to provide 23 classified embassy cables even though they had already been released by the website WikiLeaks and published by various news organizations. The American Civil Liberties Union had sought the cables under a Freedom of Information Act request, and sued after the State Department refused to provide them. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled Monday that the WikiLeaks disclosure "is no substitute for an official acknowledgement" by the government.
Gary McKinnon extradition decision delayed until October --Computer hacker must wait because of home secretary's 'all-consuming involvement in Olympic security' 24 Jul 2012 The home secretary, Theresa May, has delayed until October any announcement on whether to extradite the computer hacker Gary McKinnon to the US. Home Office lawyers told the high court in London on Tuesday that the delay was needed because of May's "all-consuming involvement in the Olympic security" and her preference to announce the final decision when parliament was sitting. Two high court judges said a hearing for a full judicial review of that decision would be "pencilled in" for late November.
UK to rule in October on Pentagon hacker U.S. extradition 24 Jul 2012 A British computer hacker accused by the United States of breaking into top secret military and space agency networks will learn the result of his six-year fight against extradition within three months, a court heard on Tuesday. Gary McKinnon faces up to 60 years in jail if convicted in American [kangaroo] courts for what one U.S. prosecutor has described as the "biggest military computer hack of all time". McKinnon, 46, admits hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers from his bedroom in London, but says he was only looking for evidence of aliens and UFOs.
Disabled IDF veteran sets himself on fire in Yehud --Man was evacuated to the hospital in serious condition, after sustaining burns over 80 percent of his body 22 Jul 2012 An Israeli man set himself on fire in the central Israeli city of Yehud on Sunday, and was evacuated to Tel Hashomer hospital in serious condition. The incident comes two days after the death of Moshe Silman, an Israeli man who set himself on fire during a mass social protest last week. The man was Akiva Mafa'i, a 45-year-old disabled Israel Defense Forces veteran. He reportedly brought a canister of gasoline to a bus stop in Yehud and set himself alight, when passers-by saw what was happening and put out the fire.
Moshe Silman dies after self-immolation at Israeli protest --The Israeli social protester was suffering from second and third-degree burns on 94 percent of his body after he set himself on fire at a protest in Tel Aviv last week. 20 Jul 2012 Moshe Silman, the Israeli activist who set himself on fire during a social justice protest in Tel Aviv one week ago, succumbed to his wounds on Friday at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer. Silman was suffering from second and third-degree burns on 94 percent of his body... "Moshe was simply not willing for the State of Israel to run him over anymore," a friend said.
Oyster Creek nuclear reactor offline after power failure at plant 23 Jul 2012 (NJ) The Oyster Creek nuclear plant in Lacey Township was shut down early today after a power failure, according to plant owner Exelon. Electrical service from the outside grid was disrupted at around 3:41 a.m., and the plant's emergency diesel generators kicked in and powered the plant's safety systems, said a statement from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The problem appeared to be a grounded 230-kilovolt line, according to the NRC.
Ohio GOP rep. returns donations caught up in FBI probe 23 Jul 2012 An Ohio congressman has returned $100,000 in campaign contributions amid an FBI inquiry into the source of the donations. The FBI has previously questioned employees of Canton-based Suarez Corporation Industries about combined donations to freshman U.S. Rep. James Renacci and state treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel - both Republicans. Renacci said in a statement Monday that he is returning 20 checks for $5,000 each.
Ahead of Voter ID Trial, Pennsylvania Admits There's No In-Person Voter Fraud 24 Jul 2012 As the Justice Department investigates Pennsylvania's voter ID law on the federal level, a coalition of civil rights groups is gearing up for a state trial starting Wednesday examining whether the law is allowable under Pennsylvania's constitution. In that case, Pennsylvania might have handed those groups and their clients (including 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite) a bit of an advantage: They've formally acknowledged that there's been no reported in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania and there isn't likely to be in November. The state signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs which acknowledges there "have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states."
Two Ex-Editors for Murdoch Charged in Phone Hacking Scandal 25 Jul 2012 After a year of furious controversy over the widespread phone hacking by one of Rupert Murdoch's tabloid newspapers, British prosecutors brought criminal charges on Tuesday against eight of the most prominent figures in the scandal, including Andy Coulson, who was Prime Minister David Cameron's communications chief at 10 Downing Street until the scandal forced his resignation last year. Also charged was Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of Mr. Murdoch's newspaper empire in Britain until she, too, resigned last summer. Others who were indicted include five journalists who played prominent roles at The News of the World, the tabloid where Ms. Brooks and later Mr. Coulson were the top editors at the time that the hacking is alleged to have occurred, from 2000 to 2006.