Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Video of horrifying cargo plane crash at Bagram airfield that killed seven


Friday, April 26, 2013

Mother of Boston bomber is a "person of interest." in radicalization of her sons.

The mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects is a "person of interest" to federal authorities seeking to learn who radicalized one or both of her sons, according to lawmakers, and a separate report said she was on a federal terrorism database some 18 months before the attack.

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who had reportedly become more militant in her Muslim faith around the same time as her son, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was added to the classified intelligence database known by the acronym TIDE at the CIA's request. Two key lawmakers said authorities now want to know if she helped put her son, who died a week ago following a shootout with police in Massachusetts, on the road to radicalism.

"She is a person of interest that we're looking at to see if she helped radicalize her son, or had contacts with other people or other terrorist groups," Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, also pointed to Zubeidat as someone who may have led Tamerlan down the path toward Islamic extremism.

"The mother in my judgment has a role in his radicalization process in terms of her influence over him (and) fundamental views of Islam," McCaul said.

Tsarnaeva was put on the database after Russia told the CIA the mother and son were religious militants preparing to travel to Russia, the AP reported. It has already been widely reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old suspect who died after a shootout with police in Massachusetts a week ago, was on the list.

The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database contains between 500,000 and 1 million names of people on the radar of various national security agencies, but a person's presence on the list does not automatically mean he or she is suspected of terrorist activity and does not automatically subject them to surveillance, security screening or travel restrictions.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/26/father-boston-bombing-suspects-delays-trip-to-us-over-health-problems-ex-wife/#ixzz2RbbLLOSy

Breaking: Landing gear from 9-11 aircraft found wedged between two buildings

Click to view photos 
NEW YORK (WABC) -- A part of a landing gear, apparently from one of the commercial airliners destroyed on September 11, 2001, has been discovered near Ground Zero.

The part was wedged between the rear of 51 Park Place and the rear of the building behind it, 50 Murray Street, in lower Manhattan, police say.

The NYPD is securing the location as it would a crime scene, documenting it photographically and restricting access until the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner completes its health and safety evaluation protocol.

A decision will then be made concerning sifting the soil for possible human remains. The aircraft part will not be removed until the process is completed, at which point it will secured by the NYPD Property Clerk. The part includes a clearly visible Boeing identification number. 

The investigation began after surveyors hired by the property owner who were inspecting the rear of 51 Park Place on Wednesday called 911 at approximately 11 a.m. to report what they identified as apparent damaged machinery behind the building there.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Israel shoots down unidentified drone



Jerusalem (CNN) -- The Israeli air force shot down a drone approaching the nation's coast Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces said.

An Israeli F-16 shot the drone with air-to-air missiles, an Israeli military official told CNN. It went down five nautical miles off the coast of Haifa, and Israeli naval forces were searching the area while an investigation was initiated, the Israeli military said.

"I view with utmost gravity this attempt to violate our border," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a prepared statement. "We will continue to do everything necessary to safeguard the security of Israel's citizens."

Thursday's incident marked the second time an unmanned aircraft had been intercepted in Israeli airspace within the past seven months, the IDF said.

In October 2012, Israeli warplanes tracked and eventually shot down a drone over the country's northern Negev Desert.

That drone did not carry any weapons or explosives, Israeli officials said at the time. They declined to discuss the drone's route or whether it had approached any sensitive facilities.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for sending the drone, which Israeli officials at the time said appeared to have originated in Lebanon.

Hezbollah frequently flies drones over Israel, but the military rarely bothers to shoot them down, Michah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations said at the time.

Boston bombers planned attack on Times Square


CHICAGOTRIBUNE: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today the two men accused of carrying out last week's bombing of the Boston Marathon had additional bombs and planned a second attack on New York's Times Square.

The brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's original intent when they hijacked a car and its driver in Boston last Thursday night was to drive to New York with bombs and detonate them in Times Square, but their plan fell apart when they became embroiled in a shootout with police.

“Last night we were informed by the FBI that the surviving attacker revealed that New York City was next on their list of targets,” Bloomberg said at New York City Hall. “He and his older brother intended to drive to New York and detonate those explosives in Times Square.”

One law enforcement source said earlier this was based on what surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told investigators in a Boston hospital. He is recovering from gunshot wounds in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he was formally charged on Monday with crimes that could carry the death penaltyOfficials said the Tsarnaev brothers had six remaining improvised explosive devices and, after realizing they had been identified from surveillance images in Boston, spontaneously decided to drive to New York and set off those explosives. The six remaining devices included one pressure cooker bomb, as used in Boston, and five smaller pipe bombs.

How to steal a UAV - The Interceptors Club for only 99 cents!


For the next 48 hours only you can purchase The Interceptors Club and the Secret of the Black Manta on SMASHWORDS  for less than one dollar! on purchase use coupon code: GG37E  to get it at the sale price.



Click here to read more about it an purchase a copy 
REVIEWS:

Review by: longtermproject on April 25, 2011 : star star star star star
Amazing book, when this book hits its climax, you CANNOT put it down..... I hope it comes out in print format, so I can add it to my collection of all time favorite books!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Review by: Ian Metson on April 23, 2011 : star star star star star
A great read for all ages. Given that it's a thriller based upon what may or may not be 'out there', Steve's treatment is especially credible to those with an interest in the subject matter. All too often I lose interest with fiction based upon Area 51-type stories when the roots of credibility become incredible and this is definitely not one of those. I liked the characters, found their traits amusing as I recognise the same in those I know. Clearly, it's fiction loosely based around Steve's own personal experiences and he is hopefully proud of producing a good, difficult to put down, read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Review by: Jim Whitten on April 23, 2011 : starstarstarstarstar
The Black Manta was a fun easy read and the discriptive adjectives were well done. The first third of the book was in the realm of possible while the last third was in the realm of sci-fi. If such a "plane" existed, no country on this planet could stand up to its fire power. Many more books could be written with the theme of some of those countries trying to learn the secrets of the Black Mantra.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Phil Patton on Dec. 18, 2010 : starstarstarstarstar
This is a thriller with a human side. It is all about secrecy and the mystery of technology and the sinister and the innocent I would compare to another novel that might come as a surprise: To Kill A Mockingbird. Why? Because both books take on deep and important issues through the eyes of kids. In TKAM it is race, here it is the nature of knowledge and suspicion. As someone who has seen government and organizations at work, I sense truth and insight here. Highly recommended. Many stars!
(reviewed long after purchase)
Review by: makitup on Oct. 25, 2010 : star star star star star
Was a fun read. I enjoyed it and recommend it especially to scanner/radio hobbyists.
(reviewed long after purchase)
Review by: Greg Hillen on Oct. 07, 2010 : (no rating)
I just finished reading Steve’s book, The Interceptors Club And The Secret Of The Black Manta. It was honestly a fun read. I read a lot of Dale Brown and Stephen Coonts and this book is in the same genre, but less heavy and more light hearted. It may, in general, appeal more to younger readers, but as a service brat and early reader of Hardy Boys and Tom Swift novels, I was quite comfortable with it. And as a 34 year DoD employee, I recognized a lot of the terminology as fairly accurate. The pace is slightly slow at first while characters and plot line are developed, but picks up in good time and becomes a bit of a page turner. The plot is all too plausible with a twist at the end that I really liked. At the price you really can’t go wrong. I’ve paid a lot more for books I liked a lot less. I recommend it.

Greg Hillen
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Review by: Michael Wilhelm on Oct. 03, 2010 : star star star star star
One cool book, both for teens and adults. I'm over 30 and totally enjoyed it. The story is fresh and and unlike anything I've read. It reads more like a true account then fiction - in fact I can't but help wonder how much of this book is based on real life.

The Interceptors Club is a unique adventure story that takes the reader into the minds and eyes of a group of precocious teenagers (air force brats) who become caught up in a dark world of espionage, stealth aircraft and military intrigue. Although it is a big book - comparable to the size of Harry Potter books - I never found myself bored or tempted to jump ahead. The characters are three dimensional and fresh and talk like kids talk. It's funny an amazingly detailed look into the "black" world and even has a tad of spirituality thrown in to boot. In short - one cool read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CIA asked National Counterterrorism Center to put Boston bomber on watch list over a year ago.


By Greg Miller and Sari Horwitz,


Washington Post: The CIA asked the main U.S. counterterrorism agency to add the name of one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers to a watch list more than a year before the attack, according to U.S. officials.

The agency took the step after Russian authorities contacted officials there in the fall of 2011 and raised concerns that Tamerlan Tsarnaev — who was killed last week in a confrontation with police — was seen as an increasingly radical Islamist and could be planning to travel overseas. The CIA requested that his name be put on a database maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center.

That database, the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, is a data storehouse that feeds a series of government watch lists, including the FBI’s main Terrorist Screening Database and the Transportation Security Administration’s “no-fly” list.

Officials said Tsarnaev’s name was added to the database but it’s unclear which agency added it.

The CIA’s request came months after the FBI had closed a preliminary inquiry into Tsarnaev after getting a similar inquiry about him from Russian state security, according to officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

The new disclosure suggests that the U.S. government may have had more reason than previously known to scrutinize Tsarnaev in the months leading up to the bombings in Boston. It also raises questions as to why U.S. authorities didn’t flag his return to the country after a seven-month trip to Russia last year.

Law enforcement officials said that the request to the FBI in 2011 originated from fears by the Russian government that Tamerlan was a threat to Russia and would commit a terrorist act in Russia -- not the United States. The request came from Russian federal police to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

“There was a concern he might have some kind of ties to terrorism,” said FBI spokesman Paul Bresson. “We did everything legally that we could do with the little bit of information we had. After we did, we found no derogatory information.”

The FBI gets hundreds of similar requests a year from foreign governments, said a law enforcement official. The findings were reported back to Russia and Russian authorities were asked if they had any more information for the United States to investigate about Tamerlan and they did not.

“They were satisfied,” said the official. “We had checked on their information. And no further information was provided.”

Israel buying MV-22 Ospreys



DOD BUZZ: The surprise announcement that Israel was acquiring the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey for its special forces has led other countries to take a second look at buying the aircraft that has greater range and speed than conventional helicopters.

“I can tell you that several countries are very, very interested” in the Osprey, said William Schroeder, a spokesman for Bell Boeing of Fort Worth, Tex.

Schroeder declined to name the interested countries, but the United Arab Emirates has been haggling with Bell Boeing for more than a year on unit prices, and Britain and Canada have also inquired about the Ospreys.

The sale of Ospreys to Israel — if coupled with buys from other states — could insure keeping the production line open past the current phase out date in 2018.

U.S. and Israel officials have yet to say how many of the $70 million Ospreys that Israel will buy, or the price that the Israelis will pay.
Defense Department officials last Friday made the surprise announcement that the Israelis would be getting the Osprey ahead of a trip to the region by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Hagel, who was in Israel Monday in part to seal the deal on the Ospreys as part of a major arms, will be in the Emirates later this week on his Mideast swing to wrap up details on a total $10 billion in arms sales to Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

At a joint news conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Hagel said the weapons for Israel included “anti-radiation missiles and advanced radars for its fleet of fighter jets, KC-135 refueling aircraft, and most significantly, the V-22 Osprey, which the U.S. has not released to any other nation.”

“The introduction of the V-22 into the Israeli Air Force will give the Israeli Air Force long-range, high-speed, maritime search-and-rescue capabilities to deal with a number of threats and contingencies,” Hagel said, but the Israelis have already made clear that they have much more in mind for the Ospreys than sea rescues when the aircraft becomes operational with its special forces.

Ya’alon said that the arms deal showed the commitment of President Obama to guaranteeing that Israel maintained a qualitative military edge in the region against any potential adversary.

“We see your commitment in the Joint Strike Fighter program and the presidential approval of other advanced capabilities, such as the V-22 for Israel,” Ya’alon said.

Ya’alon said the arms deal with the U.S. should also send a strong signal to Iran.

“Without a credible military option,there’s no chance the Iranian regime will realize it has to stop the military nuclear project,” Ya’alon said.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

AP Twitter feed hacked - causing stock market to plunge.


The Associated Press said Tuesday its Twitter account had been hacked, with a Twitter feed falsely stating there had been two explosions at the White House and sending stocks on a steep, but brief decline. 

The tweet from the AP account briefly caused U.S. stocks to drop, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 150 points before quickly recovering. White House spokesman Jay Carney will hold his daily press conference as usual.

"The AP twitter account has been hacked," the news cooperative said moments after the incident. "The tweet about an attack at the White House is false. We will advise more as soon as possible."


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/23/hackers-break-into-associated-press-twitter-account/#ixzz2RJKAv5IG

Monday, April 22, 2013

Canadian intelligence thwart terror plot



USA TODAY: Canadian police and intelligence services arrested two suspects Monday who allegedly planned to derail a passenger rail train in Greater Toronto in what the Royal Canadian Mounted Police called a "major terrorist attack."

The plot was not connected to the Boston Marathon bombings, officials said.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said at an afternoon news conference that Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, had received "direction and guidance" from "al-Qaeda elements" in Iran, but that there is no indication they were "state-sponsored."

Neither suspect is a Canadian citizen. The RCMP would not identify their nationalities or say how long they had been in the country, but Superintendent Douglas Best said they had been in Canada a "considerable period of time."

The National Postand The Globe and Mail reported that at least one of the men -- Esseghaier -- is Tunisian.

Esseghaier studied at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec and then did doctoral research at the Institute National de Recherche Scientifique in Varennes, Quebec, Radio-Canada reported. He worked in a lab developing biosensors.

The two men are scheduled to appear in court Tuesday in Toronto. They are charged with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack and "conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group."

RCMP Chief Superintendent Jennifer Strachans said that the suspects had watched trains and railways around Toronto. She and Malizia stressed that the public and rail employees were never in any danger.

"It was definitely in the planning stage but not imminent," she said.

Strachans said the plot involved "a specific route but not a specific train," but she and other officials would not say which route. Law enforcement sources told Reuters the target was the Toronto-to-New York route.

VIA Rail jointly operates Toronto-to-Niagara Falls trains with Amtrak, which continues service to New York City. Amtrak's Maple Leaf runs between New York City and Toronto.

"We are aware of the ongoing investigation and will continue to work with Canadian authorities to assist in their efforts," Amtrak said in a statement.

Sources told CBC News that the men had been under surveillance for more than a year in Quebec and southern Ontario.

"This is the first known al-Qaeda plan or attack that we've experienced," Best said.

The cross-border investigation was coordinated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson congratulated the RCMP for the arrests.

"This is an example of the United States and Canada working together to protect our citizens. It underscores the fact that we face serious and real threats, and that security is a shared responsibility," he said in a statement. "We all need to remain vigilant in confronting threats and keeping North America safe and secure."

Glenn Beck: detained Saudi national was set to be deported for proven terrorist activity- Obama nixed it.


Monday on radio, Glenn Beck revealed further details about the Saudi national who was the first suspect in the Boston marathon bombing. Despite denials from Janet Napolitano and officials from the U.S. Immigrations and Customs (ICE) that a Saudi national was taken into custody in connection to the Boston marathon bombing, several sources have confirmed that Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi was set to be deported for proven terrorist activity.
According to two FBI sources, Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi was taken “into custody” Monday April 15th at a Boston after he was injured in the blast.


A source within the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) told TheBlaze that on Monday night Al-Harbi’s Revere, Massachusetts apartment was searched and property was taken out.
At 4:00pm ET on Tuesday April 16th, The NCTC Field Watch Commander created an “event file” calling for Al-Harbi’s deportation using Section 212 3b, which is proven terrorist activity. According to TheBlaze’s sources, tagging someone as 3b requires solid evidence.
Fox News reporter Todd Starnes has also reported, “The Saudi national who was initially detained and then ruled out as a suspect in the Boston Marathon terrorist attack had been flagged on a terror watch list and was granted a student visa without being properly vetted, sources have told me.”
Starnes report no longer appears on the Fox News website, but can be found on Townhall.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) has told TheBlaze that he has detailed information on the Saudi national and confirmed that Al-Harbi was to be deported under Section 212 3b of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Alongside three other Congressmen, Rep. Duncan has requested a classified briefing on the Saudi national and the deportation order.
Even though sources within Congress have confirmed that the Saudi national was set to be deported under Section 212 3B, several figures in the United States government have denied or refused to answer questions on Al-Harbi. First, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to answer questions on the subject when confronted by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Capitol Hill. Then on Thursday, a senior law enforcement official with ICE told TheBlaze that reports claiming the department was deporting Al-Harbi under section 212 3B and had opened an “event” on the Saudi Arabian national following the Boston attacks is “categorically false.”
The senior law enforcement official also told TheBlaze that Al-Harbi was never in custody nor ever considered for deportation by ICE, but that the department does have a different Saudi national in custody being held on grounds unrelated to the Boston bombings.
Glenn told the radio audience that there were several meetings last week between members of the Obama administration and key Saudi officials.
On Tuesday Secretary of State John Kerry met with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud which was closed to the media. Then, on Wednesday, President Obama had a “chance” encounter with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud and Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.
Shortly after John Kerry’s meeting with Saud, the FBI started to backtrack Al-Harbi’s status in connection to the Boston Marathon Bombing. First, he was alleged to be a suspect, then a person of interest, then a witness, then a victim of the bombing. Now that two suspects, the Tsarnaev brothers, have been killed or taken into custody, Al-Harbi seems to be completely ignored.
On Wednesday April 17th at 5:35pm ET, the event file on Al-Harbi was altered and the order to deport was rescinded.
“This is unheard of. This is impossible in this timeline due to the severity of the charge,” Glenn explained. “You don’t one day put a 2123b charge against somebody with deportation and then the very next day take it off.”
Glenn said that there are only two people who could order the change. The Director of the NCTC after getting everybody in the agency to sign off, or somebody in the highest levels of the State Department. Glenn said TheBlaze has been unable to identify who made the alteration.
On radio, Glenn said that sources are now telling TheBlaze that this case will likely be moved from The Department of Homeland Security to The Department of Justice and labeled an ongoing investigation. This will be the reason that Janet Napolitano will be unable to respond to The Homeland Security Committee’s request for a briefing.
Glenn also said that there is a heavy disinformation campaign currently being waged against this story similar to Benghazi. He believes that claims of mistaken identity, additional Saudi nationals in custody, and more are being used to discredit further investigation into this story and confuse media outlets.
As of Monday morning, no details on the “second Saudi” in ICE custody have been provided.
“Why were there were no names, no pictures presented? The fact is, an event was created for one Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi indicating he was to be deported for terrorism activity related to the Boston bombing. If this file was created with another Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi in mind, don’t you think we should know about it?” Glenn said.


Washington Post: The Spy You Never Heard Of ...



By Jim Popkin

Ana Montes has been locked up for a decade with some of the most frightening women in America. Once a highly decorated U.S. intelligence analyst with a two-bedroom co-op in Cleveland Park, Montes today lives in a two-bunk cell in the highest-security women’s prison in the nation. Her neighbors have included a former homemaker who strangled a pregnant woman to get her baby, a longtime nurse who killed four patients with massive injections of adrenaline, and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, the Charles Manson groupie who tried to assassinate President Ford.

But hard time in the Lizzie Borden ward of a Texas prison hasn’t softened the former Defense Department wunderkind. Years after she was caught spying for Cuba, Montes remains defiant. “Prison is one of the last places I would have ever chosen to be in, but some things in life are worth going to prison for,” Montes writes in a 14-page handwritten letter to a relative. “Or worth doing and then killing yourself before you have to spend too much time in prison.”

Like Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen before her, Ana Montes blindsided the intelligence community with brazen acts of treason. By day, she was a buttoned-down GS-14 in a Defense Intelligence Agency cubicle. By night, she was on the clock for Fidel Castro, listening to coded messages over shortwave radio, passing encrypted files to handlers in crowded restaurants and slipping undetected into Cuba wearing a wig and clutching a phony passport.

Montes spied for 17 years, patiently, methodically. She passed along so many secrets about her colleagues — and the advanced eavesdropping platforms that American spooks had covertly installed in Cuba — that intelligence experts consider her among the most harmful spies in recent memory. But Montes, now 56, did not deceive just her nation and her colleagues. She also betrayed her brother Tito, an FBI special agent; her former boyfriend Roger Corneretto, an intelligence officer for the Pentagon specializing in Cuba; and her sister, Lucy, a 28-year veteran of the FBI who has won awards for helping to unmask Cuban spies.

In the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI’s Miami field office was on high alert. Most of the hijackers had spent time in South Florida, and FBI personnel there were desperate to learn whether any more had stayed behind. So when a supervisor asked Lucy Montes to come to his office, she didn’t blink. Lucy was a veteran FBI language analyst who translated wiretaps and other sensitive communications.

But this impromptu meeting had nothing to do with Sept. 11. An FBI squad leader sat Lucy down. Your sister, Ana, has been arrested for espionage, he informed her, and she could face the death penalty. Your sister, Ana, is a Cuban spy.


Lucy didn’t scream, didn’t storm out in disbelief. Instead, she found the news strangely reassuring. “I believed it right away,” she recalled in a recent interview. “It explained a lot of things.”

Major news organizations reported on the arrest, of course, but it was overshadowed by nonstop coverage of the terrorist attacks. Today, Ana Montes remains the most important spy you’ve never heard of.

Born on a U.S. Army base in 1957, Ana Montes is the eldest child of Emilia and Alberto Montes. Puerto Rico-born Alberto was a respected Army doctor, and the family moved frequently, from Germany to Kansas to Iowa. They settled in Towson, outside Baltimore, where Alberto developed a successful private psychiatric practice and Emilia became a leader in the local Puerto Rican community.

Ana thrived in Maryland. Slender, bookish and witty, she graduated with a 3.9 GPA from Loch Raven High School, where she noted in her senior yearbook that her favorite things included “summer, beaches … chocolate chip cookies, having a good time with fun people.” But the bubblegum sentimentality masked a growing emotional distance, grandiose feelings of superiority and a troubling family secret.

To outsiders, Alberto was a caring and well-educated father of four. But behind closed doors, he was short-tempered and bullied his children. Alberto “happened to believe that he had the right to beat his kids,” Ana would later tell CIA psychologists. “He was the king of the castle and demanded complete and total obedience.” The beatings started at 5, Lucy said. “My father had a violent temper,” she said. “We got it with the belt. When he got angry. Sure.”

Ana’s mother feared taking on her mercurial husband, but as the verbal and physical abuse persisted, she divorced him and gained custody of their children.

Ana was 15 when her parents separated, but the damage had been done. “Montes’s childhood made her intolerant of power differentials, led her to identify with the less powerful, and solidified her desire to retaliate against authoritarian figures,” the CIA wrote in a psychological profile of Montes labeled “Secret.” Her “arrested psychological development” and the abuse she suffered at the hands of a temperamental man she associated with the U.S. military “increased her vulnerability to recruitment by a foreign intelligence service,” adds the 10-page report. Lucy recalls that even as a teenager Ana was distant and judgmental. “We were only a year apart, but I have to tell you that I never really felt close to her,” Lucy said. “She wasn’t one that wanted to share things or talk about things.”

***

Ana Montes was a junior at the University of Virginia when she met a handsome student during a study-abroad program in Spain. He was from Argentina and a leftist, friends recall, and helped open Montes’s eyes to the U.S. government’s support of authoritarian regimes. Spain had become a hotbed of political radicalism, and the frequent anti-American protests offered a welcome diversion from schoolwork. “After every protest, Ana used to explain to me the ‘atrocities’ that the U.S.A. government used to do to other countries,” recalls Ana Colón, a fellow college student who befriended Montes in Spain in 1977 and now lives near Gaithersburg. “She was already so torn. She did not want to be American but was.”

After college, Montes moved briefly to Puerto Rico but could not find suitable work. When a friend told her about an opening as a clerk typist at the Department of Justice in Washington, she put her political considerations aside. A job was a job.

Montes excelled at the DOJ’s Office of Privacy and Information Appeals. Less than a year later, after an FBI background check, the Department of Justice granted Montes top-secret security clearance. She could now review some of the DOJ’s most sensitive files.

While holding down her day job, Montes began pursuing a master’s degree at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Her political views hardened. Montes developed a hatred for the Reagan administration’s policies in Latin America and especially for U.S. support of the contras, the rebels fighting the communist Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Montes was now a budding Washington bureaucrat and a full-time student at one of the country’s premier universities. But she was about to take on another demanding assignment: spy in training. In 1984, the Cuban-intelligence service recruited her as a full-blown agent.

Sources close to the case think that a friend at SAIS served as a facilitator for the Cubans, helping to identify potential spies. Cuba considers recruiting at American universities a “top priority,” according to former Cuban intelligence agent Jose Cohen, who wrote in an academic paper that the Cuban intelligence service identifies politically driven students at leading U.S. colleges who will “occupy positions of importance in the private sector and in the government.”

Montes must have seemed a godsend. She was a leftist with a soft spot for bullied nations. She was bilingual and had dazzled her DOJ supervisors with her ambition and smarts. But most important, she had top-secret security clearance and was on the inside. “I hadn’t thought about actually doing anything until I was propositioned,” Montes would later admit to investigators. The Cubans, she revealed, “tried to appeal to my conviction that what I was doing was right.”

CIA analysts interpret the recruitment a bit more darkly. Montes was manipulated into believing that Cuba desperately needed her help, “empowering her and stroking her narcissism,” the CIA wrote. The Cubans started slowly, asking for translations and bits of harmless intel that might assist the Sandinistas, her pet cause. “Her handlers, with her unwitting assistance, assessed her vulnerabilities and exploited her psychological needs, ideology, and personality pathology to recruit her and keep her motivated to work for Havana,” the CIA concluded.

Montes secretly visited Cuba in 1985 and then, as instructed, began applying for government positions that would grant her greater access to classified information. She accepted a job at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s major producer of foreign military intelligence.

In an early mistake, Montes had confided to her old friend from Spain, Ana Colón, that she had visited Cuba and had had a fling with the cute guy who toured her around the island. Montes also revealed that she was about to take a DIA job. “I was dumbfounded,” Colón recalled. “I couldn’t understand why somebody with her leftist beliefs would be willing to work for the U.S.A. government and for the military.” Montes said she wanted to be part of the political action and was “an American girl, after all.” But days after the confession, Montes cut her girlfriend off. Colón called and wrote letter after letter for 2 1/2 years, to no avail. Montes wouldn’t engage. Colón never heard from Montes again.

Back in Miami, Lucy Montes also was puzzled by her sister’s decision to work for the Defense Department. But she loved her sister and was so eager to make a connection that she didn’t press the point. Ana had become more introverted and rigid in her views since joining DIA. “She would talk to me less and less about things that were going on with her,” Lucy said. Ironically, Ana now had much in common with her siblings. Although Juan Carlos, the baby of the family, had become a deli owner in Miami, Lucy and her other brother, Alberto “Tito” Montes, had chosen careers helping to protect the United States. Tito had become an FBI special agent in Atlanta, where he still works, and his wife was an FBI agent. Lucy had become an FBI Spanish-language analyst in Miami, a job she still holds, frequently working on cases involving Cubans. Her husband at the time worked for the FBI, too.

Of her family members, only Lucy would be interviewed. She agreed to talk for the first time — more than a decade after her sister’s arrest — to make her views on Ana clear. “I don’t feel the way that a lot of her friends seem to feel, like there’s a good excuse for what she did, or I can understand why she did it, or, you know, what this country did is wrong. There’s nothing to be admired,” Lucy said.

For the next 16 years, Ana Montes excelled — in both Washington and Havana. Hired by the DIA as an entry-level research specialist, she was promoted again and again. Montes quickly became DIA’s principal analyst for El Salvador and Nicaragua, and later was named the DIA’s top political and military analyst for Cuba. In the intelligence community and at DIA headquarters, Montes became known as “the Queen of Cuba.” Not only was she one of the U.S. government’s shrewdest interpreters of Cuban military affairs — hardly surprising, given her inside knowledge — but she also proved adept at shaping (and often softening) U.S. policy toward the island nation.




Over her meteoric career, Montes received cash bonuses and 10 special recognitions for her work, including a certificate of distinction that then-CIA Director George Tenet presented to her in 1997. The Cubans also awarded their star student with a medal, a private token of appreciation that Montes could never take home.

She became a model of efficiency, a warrior monk embedded deep within the bureaucracy. From cubicle C6-146A at DIA headquarters at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, she gained access to hundreds of thousands of classified documents, typically taking lunch at her desk absorbed in quiet memorization of page after page of the latest briefings. Colleagues recall that she could be playful and charming, especially with bosses or when trying to talk her way into a classified briefing. But she also could be arrogant and declined most social invitations.

Montes would clock out at DIA, then start her second job at her Macomb Street apartment in Cleveland Park. She never risked taking a document home. Instead, she fastidiously memorized by day and typed in the evenings, spewing whole documents into a Toshiba laptop. Night after night, she poured years’ worth of highly classified secrets onto cheap floppy disks bought at Radio Shack.

Her tradecraft was classic. In Havana, agents with the Cuban intelligence service taught Montes how to slip packages to agents innocuously, how to communicate safely in code and how to disappear if needed. They even taught Montes how to fake her way through a polygraph test. She later told investigators it involves the strategic tensing of the sphincter muscles. It’s unknown if the ploy worked, but Montes did pass a DIA-administered polygraph in 1994, after a decade of spying.

Montes got most of her orders the same way spies have since the Cold War: through numeric messages transmitted anonymously over shortwave radio. She would tune a Sony radio to AM frequency 7887 kHz, then wait for the “numbers station” broadcast to begin. A female voice would cut through the otherworldly static, declaring, “Atención! Atención!” then spew out 150 numbers into the night. “Tres-cero-uno-cero-siete, dos-cuatro-seis-dos-cuatro,” the voice would drone. Montes would key the digits into her computer, and a Cuban-installed decryption program would convert the numbers into Spanish-language text.

Montes also took the unusual risk of meeting the Cubans face-to-face. Every few weeks, she would dine with her handlers in D.C. area Chinese restaurants, where Montes would slide a fresh batch of encrypted diskettes past tiny dishes of Chinese delicacies. The clandestine handoffs also took place during Montes’s vacations, on sunny Caribbean islands.

Montes even traveled to Cuba four times for sessions with Cuba’s top intelligence officers. Twice, she used a phony Cuban passport and disguised herself in a wig, hop-scotching first to Europe to cover her tracks. Two other times she got Pentagon approval to visit Cuba on U.S. fact-finding missions. She would meet at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana during the day but slip away to brief her Cuban superiors.

Back in the States, when Montes needed to convey an urgent message, she reached for a pager. Montes would seek out pay phones at the National Zoo, the Friendship Heights Metro or by the old Hecht’s in Chevy Chase to call pager numbers controlled by the Cubans. One beeper code would mean “I’m in extreme danger”; another, “We have to meet.” Schooled in spycraft by the KGB, the Cubans relied on the storied tools of the trade. Montes’s pager codes and shortwave-radio notes, for example, were written on specially treated paper. “The frequencies and the cheat sheet for the numbers, that was all on water-soluble paper,” explained the FBI’s Pete Lapp, one of two top agents on the case. “You throw it in the toilet, and it evaporates.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Marathon Bomber #2 captured alive.






The suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombing is in custody, police say.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old believed to be involved in bombing the marathon on Monday, was taken from a boat in Watertown, Mass., around 8:45 p.m.

...

Gunfire erupted shortly this evening in Watertown, Mass., whereDzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, was believed to have been spotted by a man checking on his boat.

Dozens of law enforcement officers rushed to secure a perimeter around Franlin Street in Watertown, where residents were immediately warned to stay indoors and "shelter in place."

The developments came just minutes after a press conference by law enforcement officials and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said a massive dragnet had failed to find the suspect.

George Pizzuto, who lives in the neighborhood where the police activity is centered, said that his friend and neighbor, David Henneberry, discovered a body in his boat and reported it to police around 7 p.m. tonight, just minutes after Patrick said residents could go outside again.

Pizzuto told ABC News that Henneberry went out into his backyard after the lockdown was lifted to get some fresh air.

"He looked and noticed something was off about his boat, so he got his ladder, and he put his ladder up on the side of the boat and climbed up, and then he saw blood on it, and he thought he saw what was a body laying in the boat," Pizzuto said. "So he got out of the boat fast and called police."

He said that Henneberry was being interviewed by police about what he saw, and that power had just been cut to the Henneberry's house.

"That boat's his baby. He takes care of it like you wouldn't believe. And they told him it's all shot up," Pizzuto said. "He's going to be heartbroken."

Erik Thompson, who lives across the street from the Henneberry's home, said he heard gunshots and saw law enforcement rush to the scene.

"There was some gunfire earlier which was almost immediately stopped. People were yelling to cease fire, and it seems to be focused on some homes across the street from where I am, which I think is the western side of the street," Thompson said.

"There's still a significant presence of law enforcement there," he said. "It's like D-Day."

The governor lifted an order that kept people in Watertown, Boston and surrounding suburbs inside all day.

The officials had said at the press conference that they thoroughly searched Watertown and had not found any sign of Tsarnaev.

Earlier in the day, police in took three individuals into custody in connection with the search for Tsarnaev.


Exclusive: Last night's Boston Marathon Bomber manhunt & firefight scanner audio posted

Listen to a recording of last night's manhunt and firefight in Watertown, MA as the police closed in on the Boston Marathon Bombing suspects.

CLICK HERE


Disclaimer: As can be the case with breaking news - all information on this blog or monitored on the scanner feed, should be considered preliminary and unsubstantiated until the public safety agency involved releases an official report.

CNN: Manhunt Timeline Map



Courtesy CNN: 


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Breaking: Boston in lockdown as Marathon Attack suspects flee - throw bombs at police



(CNN) -- Police sealed off densely populated portions the Boston metro area early Friday after a violent night of chasing the Boston Marathon terror suspects left one of the men and a police officer dead.

Police ordered businesses in the suburb of Watertown and nearby communities to stay closed and told residents to stay inside and answer the door for no one but authorities. Boston authorities advised the same. The city's subway, bus and Amtrak train systems have been shut down. Taxi service across the city was suspended. Every Boston area school is closed.

"It's jarring," said CNN Belief blog writer Danielle Tumminio, who lives in Watertown.

Boston's public transit authority sent city buses to Watertown to evacuate residents while bomb experts combed the surroundings for possible explosives.
Police: 1 suspect dead, 1 on the run
Armed police sweep Boston homes

Police shot one of the men dead after a wild car chase through Watertown in which authorities say they hurled explosives at pursuing officers.

Police believe the men are the same ones pictured in images released Thursday by the FBI as suspects in the marathon bombing that killed three people Monday.

The men are shown in the images walking together near the marathon finish line.

Several sources told CNN that the dead suspect has been identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. The one still being sought is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, age 19.

The first suspect, the one believed killed by police, appears in the images wearing a dark hat, sunglasses and a backpack. The second suspect, wearing a white cap, is the one who remains at large, police said.

Police warned Watertown residents to lock their homes and stay away from their windows and doors.

Federal, state and local law officers are swarming through Watertown, going door-to-door to track him down, said Massachusetts State Police spokesman Col. Timothy Alben.

Police officers in full body armor, carrying automatic weapons, flooded the area as authorities praised residents for their cooperation.

"We need more time," Alben said. "We're making significant progress up there. But it may take hours to do this."

"This situation is grave." Alben said earlier. "This is a very serious situation that we are dealing with."

The violence began late Thursday with the robbery of a 7/11 convenience store, he said. Soon after, in Cambridge, across the Charles River from Boston, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was fatally shot while he sat in his car, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said in statement. Police believe the bombing suspects were responsible for the shooting.

The same two suspects, according to authorities, then hijacked a car at gunpoint in Cambridge. They released the driver a half-hour later at a gas station.

As police picked up the chase, the car's occupants threw explosives out the windows and shot at officers, according to the district attorney's office.

Officers fired back, wounding one of the men, possibly the person identified by the FBI as suspect No. 1, who is seen in the images released Thursday in a dark cap, sunglasses and wearing a black backpack.

The man died at Beth Israel Hospital. He had bullet wounds and injuries from an explosion, according to officials. The second man apparently escaped on foot.

Richard H. Donohue Jr., 33, a three-year veteran of the transit system police force, was shot and wounded in the incident and taken to a hospital, a transit police spokesman said Friday. The officer's condition was not immediately known.

CNN photographer Gabe Ramirez arrived in Watertown as the chase ended.

"Police were in a standoff with the vehicle just down the hill," Ramirez said. They ordered one suspect out and commanded him to strip down completely naked before putting him in a patrol car, which did not leave the scene.

The man was later released and is not a suspect in the case.

But while the man was being held, FBI agents approached the squad car, and police ordered the man back out of the car. FBI agents questioned him -- still fully undressed -- on the sidewalk.

In an early phase of the lockdown, a man could be seen lying face down on the street with his hands outstretched in front of him and his legs crossed. It is unclear whether this was the man who was arrested and ordered to undress.

Details about suspects

According to a source briefed on the investigation, the suspects involved in the Boston bombing are originally from the Russian Caucasus and had moved to Kazakhstan at a young age before coming to the United States several years ago.

Another source, from federal law enforcement, also told CNN that the man being sought has been in the United States for at least a couple of years.

The man identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother, had studied at Bunker Hill Community College and wanted to become a engineer, the source said. He then took a year off to train as a boxer.

The source told CNN's Deborah Feyerick that a posting on a social media site in his name included the comments: "I don't have a single American friend. I don't understand them."

aThe source added that it should not be assumed that either brother was radicalized because of their Chechen origins.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Photo Appears To Show Boston 'Suspect 2' Behind The 8-Year-Old Victim Michael Kelley




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A photo posted on reddit appears to show Boston Marathon Bombing "Suspect 2" walking behind what appears to be 8-year-old victim Martin Richard, with what appears to be Suspect 2's backpack is on the ground between them.

Another version of the photo focusing on what looks like Suspect 2 and his bag, but blurring out the crowd, was previously aired by Fox 25 and other news outlets.

These photos are unconfirmed. However, a long thread of analysis on Reddit suggests that Martin and his family are shown here.

Reddit previously picked up on a hi-res image of Suspect 2 that was later effectively confirmed by the FBi and the New York Times.

Earlier the FBI released images of two suspects and asked for the public's help identifying them.

A user on reddit notes that the picture shows the spot of the second bombing because the background shows the sign for the Atlantic Fish restaurant, which is located where police place the second blast.

As amateur investigators around the world study images from the case, other tragic stories from the April 15 attack can be seen more clearly too.

The above photo, if it does indeed show Martin Richards and his family, is heartbreaking

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/reddit-photo-suspect-2--victim-2013-4#ixzz2Qske4X80

Internet sleuths uncover another possible (high quality) image of one of the Boston Marathon Bombers

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click to enlarge 


Although Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston field office said "The photos released by the FBI  today are "the only ones that the public should view to assist us, other photos should not be deemed credible [and] create undue work for vital law enforcement resources." that didn't stop the amateur sleuths at REEDIT who scoured the thousands of photos posted on the internet and found what may very well be a much clearer image of one of the persons wanted for questioning in conjunction with the bombing.

The official photos published on the FBI's Web site show two men, one wearing a black baseball cap and carrying a backpack, and the other wearing a white baseball cap, around the scene of the blasts. 

The stills - blurry and pixelated because they were pulled from low-resolution video cameras - show two men, one wearing a black baseball cap and carrying a backpack, and the other wearing a white baseball cap, around the scene of the blasts. You can view the FBI's images HERE.

The new high resolution image - showing what might be one of the bombers fleeing the blast was found posted on a website featuring advertising for pornography. It's only a matter of time as more photos are posted to the Internet, undoubtedly more images purported to be  of the suspected bombers will begin appearing. The source of this new image is unknown.

An announcement on Reddit posted after the FBI's press conference began says: "At this point in time the only photographs that are allowed to be posted in this subreddit are images that may contain the FBI's two suspects -- all others will be deleted."

UPDATE: The original photographer of the photo above has been identified. His original post (on Facebook) along with the photo read:

" Friends & Family,I have been feeling down since the Boston Marathon bombing because I couldn't do anything to help the injured victims...until now. Thanks to my friend Jason who pointed out to me that the photo I took right after the second bomb and posted on FB has suspect #2 in the left hand corner of the photo. White baseball cap turned backwards, black sweatshirt, NO BACKPACK right after the bomb went off. Compare to the ones posted by CNN, it is unmistakable. I spoke to the FBI and it is may be the best photo they have at current time!!! One step closer to taking these @!#?#'s down...share as much as you can so that if someone knows this person they can turn them in."

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