June 12, 2009
From Little Green Footballs:
As we noted last Sunday, when murder suspect Scott Roeder was arrested [for the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller], the phone number of Operation Rescue was discovered on a Post-It note in his car.
Now it turns out that this wasn’t just the phone number of the Operation Rescue office, but of a specific person: Cheryl Sullenger, the senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue — who was herself convicted in 1988 of conspiring to bomb a California abortion clinic, and served two years in prison.
Sullenger’s name even appears on the Operation Rescue press release about the murder of Dr. George Tiller.
So now we learn that one of the senior officials for Operation Rescue (who are spinning like crazy to portray themselves as a non-extremist group with no connections to violence or to Scott Roeder) is a convicted felon in an abortion clinic bombing plot. Isn’t that lovely?
It’s going to be a little harder to convince people that the perp is a lone gunman when one of your organisation’s three authorised spokespeople has been acting as a spotter for the sniper.
April 12, 2009
Police are continuing to search 10 properties across the north-west of England in connection with an alleged planned terror bomb attack. They have found pictures of popular Manchester shopping centres and a nightclub, the BBC has learned.
Twelve men – 11 of them Pakistani, and most of them students – are still being questioned over the alleged plot. Gordon Brown and Pakistan’s president are “committed to working together” to combat terror, says Downing Street.
Although the police previously insisted there was no intelligence pointing to any specific targets, sources have told the BBC photographs of four popular Manchester locations were recovered during searches. These were the Arndale and Trafford Centre shopping complexes, Birdcage nightclub and St Ann’s Square.
- BBC News
I can remember the days when Britain was a net exporter of crime…
April 9, 2009
Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer has resigned after making a security blunder which caused an anti-terror operation to be brought forward.
Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick was photographed revealing a secret document when he arrived for a Downing Street briefing on Wednesday.
Mr Quick said he “deeply regretted” the disruption caused to colleagues and was grateful they had reacted so quickly. Twelve men are being questioned after resulting raids in north-west England.
Security expert Peter Taylor told the BBC the operation had been launched over concerns that a terror cell had been formed which was ready to attack, possibly using an improvised explosive device.
Fearing suspects could have been tipped off about the plans after the memo blunder, hundreds of officers from the north-west counter-terrorism unit carried out the raids in Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire earlier than planned.
- BBC News
March 5, 2009
Chris Broad has said he is extremely angrily about the lack of security in Pakistan after witnessing Tuesday’s terror attack in Lahore.
The former England batsman was match referee for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka third Test and was in a vehicle with other officials when they came under fire.
In a press conference Mr Broad described being shocked, saddened and angry shortly after arriving in Manchester.
The ICC official said he had been promised high-level security but officials were left like ‘sitting ducks’.
BBC News has the full press conference online.
March 3, 2009
Gunmen have attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team on its way to play in the Pakistani city of Lahore.
At least five Pakistani policemen escorting the team bus were killed, while seven cricketers, and their assistant coach, were injured.
Pakistani officials said about 12 gunmen were involved and grenades and rocket launchers have been recovered.
Officials said the incident bore similarities to deadly attacks in Mumbai in India last November.
The Mumbai attacks were blamed on Pakistan-based Islamic militants.
- BBC News
Skepticlawyer’s post is here.
February 20, 2009
A Channel4 news report [9min 40sec into the clip] has highlighted worries that the Obama administration may not be moving as far away from Bush-era anti-terror excesses as hoped for (or even suggested). Sworn in yesterday as new head of the CIA, Leon Panetta seems to have been offered the job on the strength of his anti-torture statements made while Bush was still in office.
“We cannot and we must not use torture under any circumstances,” he said.
He repeated this during his grilling before the Senate Intelligence Committee but with qualifications detailed by BBC News.
US President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, Leon Panetta, has condemned the interrogation technique “waterboarding” as “torture”.
But he made it clear that agents who had carried out waterboarding in the past should not be prosecuted if they believed they were following the law.
He also made it clear that should more ‘effective’ techniques be required in future, he’d seek further presidential authority. So torture is wrong … unless absolutely necessary. (And what, the Bush administration was doing it for FUN?)
Mr Panetta also spoke about the Bush White House’s “rendition” of prisoners to other countries.
He made it clear that the Obama administration would not make use of “that kind of extraordinary rendition – when we send someone for the purpose of torture or actions by another country that violate our human values”.
But he drew a distinction between the “rendition” of prisoners to another government to be prosecuted by its judicial system, and the “rendition” of suspects to be interrogated by foreign governments known to practise torture.
“I think renditions where we return individuals to another country where they prosecute them under their laws, I think that is an appropriate use of rendition,” he said.
Not so much “We’ll do good things” as “We’ll also do bad things, but for BETTER reasons”… (how very New Labour).
January 29, 2009
Proposals to deal with the legacy of Northern Ireland’s Troubles could cost up to £300m, a report has said.
The plans include a £12,000 payment for families of all those killed.
Unionists and some victims’ groups have rejected the proposed payment because it would include republican and loyalist paramilitaries.
Protesters temporarily disrupted the launch, including former unionist politician Cedric Wilson and Willie Frazer from victim’s group Fair.
Lord Eames, one of the report’s authors, said it was time for a “final step out of the conflict by dealing with the legacy of the past”.
The 190-page report, which contains more than 30 recommendations, will go to the government for consideration.
- BBC News
The Channel 4 News report includes footage of Michelle Williamson, a Unionist whose parents were both killed in the 1993 Shankhill Road Bombing upbraiding Danny Bradley (brother of an IRA member killed by the British Army) at the launch of the Eames & Bradley report yesterday at the Europa Hotel in Belfast – reportedly the most bombed hotel in Europe.
January 27, 2009
The government is to be asked to pay £12,000 to the families of all those killed during the Troubles – including members of paramilitary groups.
The families of paramilitary victims, members of the security forces and civilians who were killed will all be entitled to the same amount.
The payment is expected to be recommended by the group set up to advise on how to deal with the past. The Consultative Group on the Past is to publish its report next week.
If the recommendation is accepted by the government, the cost would be an estimated £40m.
The group, co-chaired by Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, is expected to say there should be no hierarchy of victims and that everyone should be treated in the same way.
That would mean the family of the IRA Shankill bomber Thomas Begley would receive the same for his death as those of the families of the nine civilians he killed. Likewise, the families of two UVF members killed while they planted a bomb that also killed three members of the Miami Showband in 1975 will be entitled to the same payment as those of the victims.
- BBC News