Tag Archives: Bomb

Secretary Napolitano Caught in Lie, Media Absent

Under oath!

Janet Napolitano
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss immigration policy and was quickly questioned about a Saudi national who was reported early in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings as a “person of interest.”

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) inquired about Abdul Rahman Ali al Harbi, about whom Napolitano refused to answer questions at a previous hearing. “Before the [Tsarnaev] brothers became the focus of the investigation, authorities questioned a Saudi student who reportedly was on a terror watchlist,” said Grassley, “…if so, how did he obtain a student visa?”

Napolitano’s response contradicts itself in just a few short sentences.

“He was not on a watchlist. What happened is — this student was, really when you back it out, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was never a subject. He was never even really a person of interest. Because he was being interviewed, he was at that point put on a watchlist, and then when it was quickly determined he had nothing to do with the bombing, the watch listing status was removed.”

So which is it? Was he on a watchlist or not? If he wasn’t a “person of interest,” why was he being interviewed? If he was never a “subject,” why was he issued an event file designated 212 3B by federal authorities?

The media has been decidedly silent on the subject of Al Harbi. The front pages of ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, NBCNews.com, and CNN.com do not contain information on the Saudi national, whose whereabouts has not been released by authorities as of the time of this posting.

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze news site has more information and documentation to support claims al Harbi is a dangerous person with a terrorist designation by federal authorities.

* Updates to this story will be posted, as needed, if more information is released.

CLEARED By Investigators

Two young men whose photos were captured by surveillance and onlookers at the Boston Marathon have been cleared as suspects in the bombings, according to reports. (New York Post, Business Insider)

Thanks to seeing his face in photos on social media websites like Facebook, 17 year old Salah Barhoun went to the police to clear his name on Wednesday afternoon.


See a photo of a man carrying a black bag with grey straps similar to the mangled bag in the official FBI photo released to the media here: Could THIS Be the Bomber?

Follow EJ Haust on Twitter!

Could THIS Be the Bomber?

4-18-13 UPDATE: “Leaked photos” are expected to be officially released today in a news conference, accordinging to the New York Post and several other media sources. At least one photo rumored to be useful to authorities was part of this post yesterday. The New York Post is reporting the 2 young men in the “leaked” photos have been cleared of any wrong doing, though no official statement from law enforcement has been made.

4-18-13 UPDATE 2: Cleared by investigators. Multiple sources say 2 young men cleared of any involvement.

Twitter has proven the source of breaking news time and again when traditional media outlets fail. The Representative Anthony Weiner scandal, Fast and Furious, and more recently the Gosnell death trial have all gained nationwide attention due to the mountains of information available via social media.

We just might thank Twitter once again when it comes to the Boston Marathon bombings if David Shor is correct in his prediction.

Shor, who uses the Twitter handle @IshYimini, spent more than 2 hours last night researching, posting and trying to get the attention of media regarding a photo of a man in the crowd near the finish line carrying a large nylon bag. The bag, with thick black and grey strap, bears a striking resemblance to the one used in one of the two bombs found in the rubble.


Shor said that he has contacted the FBI about his research, but as of the early morning hours of Wednesday hadn’t heard any updates.

Officials have not yet named a suspect in the terror attack, nor have many details been released about the person or persons who are to blame. Perhaps trolling Twitter could lead to some promising leads.

See the original crowd photo here: Flickr.com/photos

4-17-13 UPDATE: More INCREDIBLE comparison photos here: IMGUR.com

Follow EJ Haust on Twitter!

Mass General Medical Staff: Bombs had metallic fragments

In a press briefing on Tuesday morning, Massachusetts general medical staff discussed the condition of patients being treated after two bombs exploded near the finish line of Monday’s Boston Marathon.

So far, physicians have performed four amputations and two more limbs are at risk of having to be removed. Stating that the amputations that have been performed were almost complete traumatic amputations and that surgeons just finished “what the bomb had already done.”

Almost all of the injuries were to the lower extremities which resulted in massive blood loss.

Doctor relayed that they had removed numerous “metallic fragments” from the victims. The fragments were said to be sharp metal and ball bearings, but the medical staff were unable to say how many came from the bomb or were items in the environment. The lead surgeon said that his opinion was that “most of them came from the bomb.”

The majority of patients in the intensive care unit are still breathing with the help of intubation and respiratory apparatus which precludes interview of the most seriously injured.

While expressing a sense of pride over the reaction by medical staff and their ability to limit the loss of life and limb, one of the physicians in the presser stated that “It’s an extremely sad day for all of us.”

Netanyahu and the Battle of Style Over Substance

As usual, the mainstream media is not paying attention to the actual substance of a story, opting for focusing on the style in which it was delivered. When Benjamin Netanyahu said that the world needs to draw a red line between two levels of nuclear material development in Iran, it was deadly serious business. In all honesty, the line should have been drawn months ago, and Iran shouldn’t have been permitted to enter into the second stage of nuclear weapon development. But, that is a hypothetical debate that serves absolutely no purpose at this point.

IsraelinUSA (CC)

What does matter is that while the press, including FoxNews, is running around babbling about the cartoon-style bomb Netanyahu used to illustrate his point on the floor of the UN, the real issue is being ignored. It is highly unlikely that diplomacy will hold the solution to the Iranian nuclear problem. That is being kind, in that I’m suggesting that diplomacy has any chance whatsoever at this point. The reality is that by this time next year, unless there is some major change in the status quo, Iran will have a working nuclear weapon for use against Israel, the U.S., or anyone else that happens to anger their leaders at any given time. I am not engaging in exaggerations here. Netanyahu was absolutely correct when he pointed out that the “mutually assured destruction” that prevented nuclear war with the Soviets will not work with the Iranians. They prize death, and look forward to paradise in a hereafter if they are martyred for their cause – they want to die. And no matter how much Obama and his supporters would like to deny it, our president is fully aware of that because he was exposed to that mentality at an early age.

Yes, I am pointing out what should be repeated time and again when it comes to foreign policy decisions made by this administration. Obama was raised to be a Muslim, for at least part of his childhood. I am not saying anything about radical Islam here, but I am saying that we have to stop allowing this president to have a pass for being incompetent on these issues. As Netanyahu was pointing out the dangers of radical Islam, Obama was claiming that this world has no place for individuals that insult Mohammed.

Now, we can debate out the finer points of Obama’s love affair with Islam all we like, but at this point, it can be likened to Nero celebrating while Rome burned. The fact is that Netanyahu’s suggestion for dealing with Iran probably will not work at this point. It is unlikely that anyone will find anything short of military action that will induce that nation to stop the production of nuclear material. But, Netanyahu was absolutely right about one thing – a nuclear-armed Iran is no different from a nuclear-armed al-Qaeda. So, the question for everyone now is, do we keep babbling about cartoon bombs, or do we start talking seriously about preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon? We’re sitting in an interesting time, when social media makes it possible for the people to speak directly to leaders, media, etc. The media has essentially stopped playing watchdog over our government, and there has been talk of boycotts against advertisers, and other things like that. Maybe instead of boycotting businesses, we need to start telling the media what we really think – by contacting them directly via social media, and by getting the message across through the television ratings. Advertisers will leave when there isn’t an audience, after all. So, maybe start with this one issue. Take a moment, and tell your favorite (or least favorite) mainstream media personality that you want real news on Iran, and not fluff about cartoon drawings. And pass it on.

Cargo Planes, Trucks Eyed in Terrorism Plot

This post will be updated as new information comes in.

Friday brought a torrent of activity to UPS and international security officials.  A UPS plane in Newark, NJ and two at the airport in  Philadelphia, PA were being held due to suspicious packages and possible involvement in a Yemen terror plot.  Several packages suspected of containing radiological materials have been removed from those planes.  The crew members tested negative for radioactive material exposure, but the event  led to a worldwide ‘abundance of caution’ creating bomb scares throughout the United States.

15 total packages from Yemen were being sought on Friday for examination by United States counter-terrorism officials.  An additional 26 were being sought as of Saturday morning.  Fragmented reports hinted that these packages could have been part of an Al Qaeda “dry run” to test the vulnerability of cargo planes.  Homeland Security adviser John Brennan said the packages on cargo planes “could have done harm”, but had been “made inert” which indicates more than a dry run.  White House officials have continued to to press that this was a real attack because the packages were designed to do harm and contained explosives.  White House officials stated that two of the packages held PETN, the same material used by the Christmas Day and ShoeBomber plots.  AP had an anonymous source earlier in the day that stated that the package confiscated in Dubai contained explosives, but the location of the second explosive package has not yet been confirmed.

While Dubai appears to have been the trigger for the counter-terrorist reactions, the device found in England was one of the first indications of a real threat. A BBC report states that at 3:28am Friday morning a suspicious package was found in a central England UPS distribution center located at the East Midlands airport. The report stated  that the device found in England was not a bomb, but ‘potentially sinister’.  The language with which the device was characterized started the ‘dry run’ theories.  That device has sense gone to a laboratory for examination. CNN provided an image of the device.  Another CNN report suggested that the explosives in these devices may be up to twice as potent as that used by the underwear bomber:

Two suspicious packages found abroad that were bound for Jewish organizations in the United States contained a massive amount of explosive material that — had the suspected terror plot not been thwarted — would have triggered a powerful blast, a source close to the investigation said Friday..

..By comparison, the source said the two devices found Friday contained multiple times more PETN.

And of course, the report contained our favorite phrase of the day:

The TSA said authorities acted “out of an abundance of caution.”

No official statement has been made as to those behind the plot, but a report from Guardian.co.uk now states that U.S. officials believe that the mastermind of the Cargo plane bomb plot is none other than the New Mexico born Islamic cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki.  As if to confirm the Guardian report, at a Friday afternoon press conference the President confirmed that the packages originated from Yemen and that at least one package found in the last 24 hours contained explosives.  Obama also hinted that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is connected, but he stopped short of directly blaming the organization.  The President asserted that the government will spare no effort in tracking down the exact source of the packages.

Many preventative actions have been taken as a result of Friday:

  • The Department of Homeland Security increased aviation security level to Orange (high), while leaving the Nation threat level at Yellow (elevated).
  • Fedex is now halting all shipments from Yemen.
  • East Midlands Airport’s freight area remains shut down

The Yemen bomb plot created a very wary environment where many false alarms were triggered:

  • Emerites Air flight #201 en route from Dubai to New York’s JFK airport landed safely (and on-time) while having been escorted by two F-15 fighter jets.  The reason for the escort was suspicion of a package from Yemen on the airplane.  The FBI’s investigation of the airplane’s cargo yielded no package from Yemen.
  • Six suspicious packages were removed from planes in Philadelphia and have been deemed ‘not a threat’, but planes remained on the ground for several hours
  • Plane in Newark, NJ was cleared on to its destination after the suspicious packages had been off-loaded to trucks.  This led to UPS trucks in Brooklyn and Queens, NY being stopped and searched.  No suspicious materials found.
  • Suspicious package had been  found near the courthouse in Portland, Maine  and was found to be no threat.
  • Suspected package on Market St. in front of Bank of America building in downtown San Fransisco now given “All Clear”
  • New York City police investigated UPS trucks in Brooklyn and Queens, NY.  NYPD has cleared the trucks and released them without incident.

Yemen authorities arrested Hanan al Samawi on Saturday under suspicion that the 22 year-old female computer science student had sent the packages containing the bombs.  According the NBC News, her lawyer says that Samawi is being setup and had nothing to do wit the terror plot.

Abdul Rahman Barman confirmed that al Samawi’s phone number was on the packages, but he said he believes it was used by some other entity, NBC News said. He also said al-Qaida does not leave obvious traces in its operations

On Sunday it was discovered that some of the devices were set to explode over Western cities, conflicting with reports that the devices were aimed at Chicago area religious institutions.