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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We all grieve for Belgium. Plus: Who runs AMAQ? (Update)

I'm sure that all readers of this blog were as saddened as I was to learn of the apparent terror attacks in two locations within Brussels, Belgium -- the airport and a train station near the EU headquarters. ISIS has claimed responsibility:
The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind the attacks in a statement issued on the IS-linked Amaq agency.
AMAQ deserves some study. I was surprised to learn, just now, that they have an Android app.
The Amaq Agency app was advertised through Telegram groups and Twitter, many sources are no more available but it is still possible to find the app and download it.
Is this app a honeytrap? Do not dismiss the possibility. If AMAQ is genuine, then why hasn't Obama targeted them?

Here's the AMAQ Twitter feed. Don't worry about getting on the NSA's bad side if you click on that link: On this day, you can be quite sure that a million non-terrorists are reading what AMAQ has to say. I see no statement there about the Belgian attacks. The last tweet from AMAQ occurred on February, 26.

However, AMAQ did issue a statement on their Wordpress blog.
Brussels – Amaq Agency: Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station in the center of the Belgian capital Brussels, a country participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State.

Islamic State fighters opened fire inside Zaventem Airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maalbeek metro station. The attacks resulted in more than 230 dead and wounded.
Weirdly, this is not the top story for AMAQ! Visitors must scroll down for the relevant headline. At this time, the spokespersons for ISIS consider a half-dozen other stories to be more important.

My question: How is it possible for anyone to maintain a Wordpress blog while remaining utterly invisible to the NSA?

Preliminary reports indicate that there were two bombs at the airport, with the second one going off later in order to target first responders. This conspiracy-oriented post offers a surprisingly reasonably compendium of the available information.

The conspiracists are making much of the fact that the attacks occurred on 3/22. As some of you know, the mysterious numbers "322" appear beneath the logo of Skull and Bones.

Pure coincidence, I'm sure. I'm also quite sure that we are going to be hearing about this particular coincidence endlessly. Fifty years from now, a new generation of paranoids will be talking about the 322 attacks.

(So why does the logo use that number? The best theory is that S&B maintains a special reverence for Demosthenes, who died in the year 322 BC.)

And then there's The Donald: Just when you thought the guy would try to clean up his act and appear presidential, he hits us with this...
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is seizing upon the attacks in Brussels to again call for the Mexican border to be closed, Muslims to be banned from entering the country, and terrorism suspects to be waterboarded.

Asked during a Tuesday morning Fox and Friends appearance about how he’d respond to the attacks as president, Trump said he’d “close up our borders… until we figure out what’s going on.”
Close our borders? Completely? Not possible.
“Frankly, the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or had the laws, waterboarding would be fine,” Trump said. “If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people.”
Dig it: He wants waterboarding, and worse, within America's borders.

Update: Buzzfeed has some interesting additional information...
Within minutes of a bomb blast at Brussels’ main airport, mobile phone and internet networks crashed.
How? Why?
At the Central Police Station, located a few hundred meters from the Gran Place, in the very center of Brussels, dozens of off-duty police both in uniform and plainclothes could be seen reporting for emergency duty, many carrying automatic weapons. A squad of Belgian army members known as para-commandos also deployed and began patrolling various areas in the city center in full combat gear.
Awfully quick.
The networks probably crashed due to being overloaded, as they normally do in these situations.

Also, it's obviously 22/3.
The date in europe is 22.3.2016, not sure how thst fits with the 322 crowd.

ISIS IP addresses linked to UK government.
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