It’s a light news day—as Fridays can sometimes be.
The Associated Press reports on developments in the case of alleged Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan. Evan Kohlmann, a terrorism consultant, testified during a pretrial hearing, but the defense does not want him testifying during the trial because of doubts about his scholarly legitimacy.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International convention is being in Las Vegas this week. National Public Radio reports on all the cool things these drone geeks have come up with.
CNN tells us that a man dressed in an Afghan army uniform killed three U.S. troops today.
The AP has the latest from Mali: Islamist militants chopped off a man’s hand and then put his arm in boiling oil because he allegedly stole sheep. Delightful.
The AP also reports that an Australian gentleman named Belal Sadallah Khazaal has been convicted for producing an e-book on terrorism, which “advocated widespread assassinations, identified targets and outlined numerous methods of killing. It recommended shooting down planes and described how to make bombs.” Also delightful.
CNN informs us that the United States will extend sanctions against Hezbollah for giving “training, advice and extensive logistical support” to the Syrian government.
Steve Coll has a piece in the New Yorker about America’s “real terrorist threat.” He argues:
The entire decade-long domestic death toll from terrorism (that is, where a political or ideological motive was apparent) was thirty. By comparison, the rate of annual deaths from mass shootings by non-ideological deranged killers—such as the gunman who attacked moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado, last month—runs more than thirty times higher (on average, about a hundred deaths each year). In all, there are about fifteen thousand murders in America each year.
Of the three hundred domestic-terrorism cases studied, about a quarter arose from anti-government extremists, white supremacists, or terrorists animated by bias against another religion. And all of the most frightening cases—involving chemical, biological, and radiological materials—arose from right-wing extremists or anarchists. None arose from Islamist militancy.
The virus, named Gauss after the key internal module, is capable of stealing passwords and login data, as well as communicating system configurations. It can even steal credentials to gain access to banking systems in the Middle East.
And, the ability to “print” a gun has made waves all over the Internet, so I decided it’s worth a mention—it’s today’s Moment of Futuristic Zen.
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