Category Archives: Mohamad Mohamud

Why didn’t the FBI Director mention The Khorasan Group in his terror assessment?

The FBI Director takes swipe at Portland for its failure to fully embrace the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

0621_james-comey

The head of the FBI Director James Comey says, as the top counterterrorism cop in America, two things concern him:

The first is the phenomenon of ‘the traveler’ from the United States and Western Europe especially to conflict zones where the progeny of Al Qaeda have flourished in lightly governe or ungoverned spaces in North Africa, throughout the Gulf, the Horn of Africa–especially today in Syria and Iraq. We’ve seen the blossoming of a couple of the Al Qaeda progeny, one you know well, ISIL, the other group called Al Nusra Front.

The other, he said, was home grown radicalization. An example of that kind of terrorist is the case of the Christmas Tree bomber, Mohamed Mohamud, who has just been sent to federal prison for 30 years for the plot that was, thank God, intercepted by the FBI.

There a couple of interesting things about Comey’s comments at a Portland news conference last Wednesday (HT The Zero for the video below). For one thing, he mentioned the need for local cops to participate in JTTFs because they’re likely the first to become aware of bad actors. This was either a swipe at or a plea to Portland’s leaders to fully embrace the JTTF, notwithstanding that yet ANOTHER Portland mayor, Charlie Hales, doesn’t qualify for a top secret clearance.

Portland’s on again, off again relationship with the JTTF is a running joke. The City Council is worried about civil rights violations, an understandable concern, but, in a town that has produced more home grown terrorists than any other so far (Can you think of another one? Minneapolis, maybe?)  you’d think they’d at least want to be a full partner on the task force to keep track of these bad guys so, oh, I don’t know, they’d STOP HIRING terrorists!  No wonder author John Trudel calls Portland a Soft Target in one of his recent spy thrillers.

In JTTF’s latest report, which the Council reluctantly received and then scrubbed from its website, Police Chief Mike Reese confirmed local cops did work with FBI officials,

On “at least one case of suspected domestic terrorism.”

Oh, is that all? Why is this not front page news? Oh, that’s right. It’s Portland. Just keeping it weird. 

Back to the FBI Chief. In his recitation of “Al Qaeda progeny”, Comey didn’t mention The Khorasan Group. This is quite interesting to me. The president made up the name so as not have to admit he hasn’t “decimated” “destroyed” “core” Al Qaeda. You read that right. That group? Made up. They’re all Zawahiri’s buddies who are there to help their friends in the Al Nusra Front. Remember Zawahiri? “Core” Al Qaeda.

As terrorist prosecutor and author Andy McCarthy writes in National Review,

The Obama administration portrayed the abruptly emergent “Khorasan Group” as if it were a standalone terrorist organization — a jihadist-combat entity targeting the United States. In reality, the threat the administration was talking about was from al-Qaeda. The administration does not like to admit that al-Qaeda is still a formidable enemy because President Obama has made a habit of falsely claiming to have defeated it. That is why we are hearing about the “Khorasan Group.”

Why did Comey not name them as an Al Qaeda group? Is he peddling the fiction this group isn’t Al Qaeda? We look to these people to keep us safe, not safe from the truth.

Perhaps the more important question is why Comey didn’t announce them as a threat. Remember, they were supposedly plotting an “imminent attack” against the west–us!–which was why we had to bomb them…or something. Comey mentioned two groups, ISIL and Al Nusra Front, but not The Khorasan Group. 

Andy McCarthy observes,

As Mr. [Eli] Lake points out, “U.S. officials have walked back claims in the last week that the strikes on the Khorasan Group were an attempt to disrupt an imminent threat.” Moreover, I have contended that the administration had a motive to exaggerate the threats as “imminent.” A president is not required to seek congressional authorization in order to respond militarily to threats of imminent attack. Obama did not want to ask Congress’s approval. Doing so would have launched a potentially embarrassing examination of (a) the president’s claims to have defeated al-Qaeda, and (b) the fact that the “moderate rebels” Obama proposes to aid in Syria work arm-in-arm with al-Qaeda.

So how did a group the Administration insisted over and over was an imminent threat not get mentioned by the FBI Chief? 

Politics–local and national–dictates how safe we are.  Here we go again. Gown up.

Mohamud Trial Day 8: There’s a "Portland Mosque That’s Legit!"

The Sword, How Islamism is Spread or
Metaphor  for Right and Wrong?

When the FBI was putting out feelers for the young man who had already reached out to Al Qaeda and written for a Jihad magazine, they wanted to find out how serious he was about being an operational terrorist. They spent months writing emails back and forth with Mohamed Mohamud in two separate and consecutive FBI probes. 

Mohamud was arrested on November 26, 2010 for attempting to detonate–twice–a weapon of mass destruction that, if it had been real, would have wiped out two blocks of downtown Portland, Oregon murdering thousands of onlookers who had gathered for the lighting of “The Tree” at Pioneer Courthouse Square. 


The man who helped oversee the first probe did so as a member of the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). FBI Special Agent Jason Dodd testified in Mohamud’s trial Wednesday that he worked alongside a paid informant and helped write a series of emails to Mohamud in 2009.

Under the email name “TruthBeSpoken@gmail.com” they posed as a recent convert to Islam living in Idaho. Using the name “Bill Smith,” the FBI wanted to find out how to help “the brothers,” and if Mohamud knew anybody he could talk to. 

Mohamud helpfully suggested to watch out for spies, told him to avoid Saudi Salafists (though he himself was a believer in that extreme form of Islam) and said Arab brothers were “sketchy.” He eventually encouraged the FBI informant to move to Seattle and hang with the Somali ‘brothers.’ 

When the informant asked Mohamud how “these guys get their things” –referring to weapons– Mo Mo told him they shouldn’t discuss such things via email and encouraged him to find ‘brothers who share your views.’

At this point in the trial yesterday the defense introduced another email in which Mohamud suggested that his mosque in Portland was such a place. “It’s cool. Saber or something. Yeah, Saber. It’s legit.”

The mosque to which Mo Mo was referring is the same one, Masjed As-Saber which produced the Portland 7 terrorists. The same one endorsed by one of the Portland 7 because the Imam taught violent jihad there. The same one in which Mo Mo was let out to pray in when he lived nearby in school as a youngster and where he wanted to meet FBI agents in their first face to face meeting as a prospective mujahid. (They met in a downtown hotel instead. )

Five of the members of the mosque, including the Somali born Imam, are on the DHS No Fly list. 

One mosque, 8 convicted or accused terrorists, in nine years. Now THERE’S  a track record. 





Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mohamud Trial Day 8: There’s a "Portland Mosque That’s Legit!"

The Sword, How Islamism is Spread or
Metaphor  for Right and Wrong?

When the FBI was putting out feelers for the young man who had already reached out to Al Qaeda and written for a Jihad magazine, they wanted to find out how serious he was about being an operational terrorist. They spent months writing emails back and forth with Mohamed Mohamud in two separate and consecutive FBI probes. 

Mohamud was arrested on November 26, 2010 for attempting to detonate–twice–a weapon of mass destruction that, if it had been real, would have wiped out two blocks of downtown Portland, Oregon murdering thousands of onlookers who had gathered for the lighting of “The Tree” at Pioneer Courthouse Square. 


The man who helped oversee the first probe did so as a member of the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). FBI Special Agent Jason Dodd testified in Mohamud’s trial Wednesday that he worked alongside a paid informant and helped write a series of emails to Mohamud in 2009.

Under the email name “TruthBeSpoken@gmail.com” they posed as a recent convert to Islam living in Idaho. Using the name “Bill Smith,” the FBI wanted to find out how to help “the brothers,” and if Mohamud knew anybody he could talk to. 

Mohamud helpfully suggested to watch out for spies, told him to avoid Saudi Salafists (though he himself was a believer in that extreme form of Islam) and said Arab brothers were “sketchy.” He eventually encouraged the FBI informant to move to Seattle and hang with the Somali ‘brothers.’ 

When the informant asked Mohamud how “these guys get their things” –referring to weapons– Mo Mo told him they shouldn’t discuss such things via email and encouraged him to find ‘brothers who share your views.’

At this point in the trial yesterday the defense introduced another email in which Mohamud suggested that his mosque in Portland was such a place. “It’s cool. Saber or something. Yeah, Saber. It’s legit.”

The mosque to which Mo Mo was referring is the same one, Masjed As-Saber which produced the Portland 7 terrorists. The same one endorsed by one of the Portland 7 because the Imam taught violent jihad there. The same one in which Mo Mo was let out to pray in when he lived nearby in school as a youngster and where he wanted to meet FBI agents in their first face to face meeting as a prospective mujahid. (They met in a downtown hotel instead. )

Five of the members of the mosque, including the Somali born Imam, are on the DHS No Fly list. 

One mosque, 8 convicted or accused terrorists, in nine years. Now THERE’S  a track record. 





Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mohamud Trial Day 7: "Dial it Again."

The accused terrorist standing trial for conspiring to blow up thousands of revelers gathered at “The Tree” lighting ceremony in Portland November of 2010, was revealed on tape in a Portland courtroom Friday dialing the number that would detonate the bomb. It was a bomb Mohamed Mohamud declared “beautiful” earlier in the day. 

The bomb was constructed of six blue large barrels and was situated in the back of a rented van parked on Yamhill Street across from Pioneer Courthouse Square. It smelled of diesel fuel. In reality, it was a fake. 




While I know I’ll be able to hear the tape over and over again before the trial is over, I’m disappointed I couldn’t be in court first hand Friday afternoon when the tape leading up to the detonation of the bomb and the arrest of Mohamed Mohamud was first played in a Portland courtroom. I have reported the tic toc of the day by the man called “Youssef,” an FBI agent (here), but this excerpt fills in the blanks on conversation leading up to the detonation. Moments before, “Hussein,” the undercover FBI agent, told the then 19 year old to activate the bomb with a toggle switch between their seats in the front seat of the van. It was a toggle switch Mo Mo himself had purchased.

From the Oregonian:

From the Zero:“Allahu akbar,” Hussein says. (God is great.) Then to Mohamud: “You ready?”“Ready,” he says.Hussein continues to pray in Arabic: “I bear witness there is no God but God.”He hands Mohamud a cell phone and reads a number, which Mohamud dials on the keypad.The phone rings, but nothing happens.“Hang up,” Hussein orders. “How is the signal?”Mohamud says it’s fine. So Hussein says they should get out of the SUV and try it again.


 Huffpo picks up the narrative:

The recording crackles as the FBI agent reads out numbers and the teenager punches them into his black disposable Nokia cellphone. He then apparently encounters an error.

“Dial it again,” the man said, words that were in fact the cue for his fellow agents. Mohamud dialed again and waited for the explosion.Instead: “FBI, FBI, FBI! Get down!”

The Bike Gallery on SW 10th Ave is
 Pick Up Spot for Terrorist Prior to
Detonation

See what happens next from my previous post here. 


Both undercover agents have spent days on the stand at the Federal Court House. The courtroom is sealed to protect their identities. 

Mohamud’s defense team has tried to show in their cross examinations that at every turn the FBI managed the bombing plot. Friday morning, one of the defense attorneys Lisa Hay was upbraided by the Judge for trying to ask one of the FBI agents “Is it fair to say you don’t want to be here to testify?” Her entire line of questioning was shot down in an exchange out of earshot of the jurors. 

The defense stipulates Mohamud dialed the number to detonate the bomb–twice–but claim the FBI made him do it.

What would someone have to say to make you murder thousands of people? 

The trial continues Tuesday.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mohamud Trial Day 7: "Dial it Again."

The accused terrorist standing trial for conspiring to blow up thousands of revelers gathered at “The Tree” lighting ceremony in Portland November of 2010, was revealed on tape in a Portland courtroom Friday dialing the number that would detonate the bomb. It was a bomb Mohamed Mohamud declared “beautiful” earlier in the day. 

The bomb was constructed of six blue large barrels and was situated in the back of a rented van parked on Yamhill Street across from Pioneer Courthouse Square. It smelled of diesel fuel. In reality, it was a fake. 




While I know I’ll be able to hear the tape over and over again before the trial is over, I’m disappointed I couldn’t be in court first hand Friday afternoon when the tape leading up to the detonation of the bomb and the arrest of Mohamed Mohamud was first played in a Portland courtroom. I have reported the tic toc of the day by the man called “Youssef,” an FBI agent (here), but this excerpt fills in the blanks on conversation leading up to the detonation. Moments before, “Hussein,” the undercover FBI agent, told the then 19 year old to activate the bomb with a toggle switch between their seats in the front seat of the van. It was a toggle switch Mo Mo himself had purchased.

From the Oregonian:

From the Zero:“Allahu akbar,” Hussein says. (God is great.) Then to Mohamud: “You ready?”“Ready,” he says.Hussein continues to pray in Arabic: “I bear witness there is no God but God.”He hands Mohamud a cell phone and reads a number, which Mohamud dials on the keypad.The phone rings, but nothing happens.“Hang up,” Hussein orders. “How is the signal?”Mohamud says it’s fine. So Hussein says they should get out of the SUV and try it again.


 Huffpo picks up the narrative:

The recording crackles as the FBI agent reads out numbers and the teenager punches them into his black disposable Nokia cellphone. He then apparently encounters an error.

“Dial it again,” the man said, words that were in fact the cue for his fellow agents. Mohamud dialed again and waited for the explosion.Instead: “FBI, FBI, FBI! Get down!”

The Bike Gallery on SW 10th Ave is
 Pick Up Spot for Terrorist Prior to
Detonation

See what happens next from my previous post here. 


Both undercover agents have spent days on the stand at the Federal Court House. The courtroom is sealed to protect their identities. 

Mohamud’s defense team has tried to show in their cross examinations that at every turn the FBI managed the bombing plot. Friday morning, one of the defense attorneys Lisa Hay was upbraided by the Judge for trying to ask one of the FBI agents “Is it fair to say you don’t want to be here to testify?” Her entire line of questioning was shot down in an exchange out of earshot of the jurors. 

The defense stipulates Mohamud dialed the number to detonate the bomb–twice–but claim the FBI made him do it.

What would someone have to say to make you murder thousands of people? 

The trial continues Tuesday.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mo Mo Trial Day 6: "He Was Talking About Religion, Not Terrorism, Wasn’t He?"

Toggle Switch 

Mohamed Mohamud’s defense attorneys have begun their attempt to depict their client as an innocent, young and devout Muslim who wouldn’t have attempted to blow up thousands of people at Portland’s Pioneer Square were it not for FBI talking him into it. The attorneys are trying to convinced the jury that the Oregon State University student was entrapped by the FBI. They claim their client did only what the FBI told him to do, including buying parts for the bombs, mapping escape routes and finding parking spots.

In cross examination of FBI undercover agents Thursday, defense attorney Steven Wax’s job was to wrest details from previous testimony and undercover tapes to establish the then 19 year old Mo Mo’s naivete and lack of sophistication.


Wax questioned the undercover FBI agent known as Hussein about the flattery he and his partner used on Mo Mo, such as fawning over suspect’s poetry and speaking in Arabic religious phrases. Wax claimed Hussein and the other agent Youssef planned their roles in advance, deciding Hussein would be the more religious bad guy,

Attorney: You were going to be the more religious one.
Hussein: I’m a Muslim
Attorney: Your partner is not.
Hussein: He is.

The attorney said, “He was talking about religion, not terrorism, wasn’t he?”

Mo Mo’s defense attorneys know better than that, of course. Mohamud himself is heard on tape talking about becoming a mujahid, how his parents didn’t like his radicalism, how he rejected the ‘peaceful’ faith of one of his mentors and instead wanted to join forces with Al Qaeda (Al Shabaab) in Somalia. For Mo Mo, his religion was being a jihadist. I don’t know if jurors will be made to understand that.

The defense wants to establish that most of the operational details of the bombing really came from the FBI,

Attorney: When he [Mo Mo] raised Pioneer Square he did so at the direction of your partner.
Hussein: No sir.

 Wax claimed that the options the agents frequently claimed to give Mohamud were phony,

“There really were no options in these meetings, sir, were there?”
“There were options.”

In the cross examination of the other FBI undercover officer known as Youssef, defense attorney Lisa Hay continued the effort,

Attorney: He [Mo Mo] had planned to drive it [the van] into the crowd. That was your plan, the parking plan. The FBI decided what kind of truck would be used. The FBI decided the size bomb. When you told him it would take out two blocks,what was his reaction?
Youssef: Surprised.
Attorney: Why was there an LCD TV in the back of the van when you decided you didn’t need it?
Youssef: (after stammering around trying to think of why) I don’t know.
Attorney: The FBI put the screen in the van.
Attorney: Who decided the bomb would have nails?
Youssef: I don’t know.
(Attorney plays snippet of taped conversation of Hussein saying the word “nails.”)
Attorney: It takes a pretty sick person who puts nails in a bomb.

Hay attempted at one point to call out the mistakes Youssef said on tape, but I think she misfired. She tried to depict a reference to Youssef saying, “as excited as a kid at Christmas.” The observation drew a laugh in the overflow court room when she said that was an odd thing to say to a Muslim. Except twice before his partner testified Youssef was in fact himself a Muslim. She didn’t bother to ask him about his religion as a follow up.

Most chilling for me was to hear the recitation of the tic toc the day of the planned bombing. I think I got most of the details, though I may have missed one.

Picked up Mohamud in Beaverton at the home of a friend.
Went to home depot to buy a reflective vest and helmet.
Went to our hotel, the Residence Inn.
Parked the van by the Comcast Building
Went back to our hotel.
Ordered food.
Prayed.
I took them [Mo Mo and Hussein] to the van.
They parked the van.
I came to them.
I dropped myself off at Union Station.
Hussein went to over pass in van.


Prosecutor: What did Mohamud do the night before?
Youssef: Went to Woodburn Outlet Mall to shop at Black Friday sale with friends.
Prosecutor: How did he seem on November 26th?
Youssef: At peace. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mo Mo Trial Day 6: "He Was Talking About Religion, Not Terrorism, Wasn’t He?"

Toggle Switch 

Mohamed Mohamud’s defense attorneys have begun their attempt to depict their client as an innocent, young and devout Muslim who wouldn’t have attempted to blow up thousands of people at Portland’s Pioneer Square were it not for FBI talking him into it. The attorneys are trying to convinced the jury that the Oregon State University student was entrapped by the FBI. They claim their client did only what the FBI told him to do, including buying parts for the bombs, mapping escape routes and finding parking spots.

In cross examination of FBI undercover agents Thursday, defense attorney Steven Wax’s job was to wrest details from previous testimony and undercover tapes to establish the then 19 year old Mo Mo’s naivete and lack of sophistication.


Wax questioned the undercover FBI agent known as Hussein about the flattery he and his partner used on Mo Mo, such as fawning over suspect’s poetry and speaking in Arabic religious phrases. Wax claimed Hussein and the other agent Youssef planned their roles in advance, deciding Hussein would be the more religious bad guy,

Attorney: You were going to be the more religious one.
Hussein: I’m a Muslim
Attorney: Your partner is not.
Hussein: He is.

The attorney said, “He was talking about religion, not terrorism, wasn’t he?”

Mo Mo’s defense attorneys know better than that, of course. Mohamud himself is heard on tape talking about becoming a mujahid, how his parents didn’t like his radicalism, how he rejected the ‘peaceful’ faith of one of his mentors and instead wanted to join forces with Al Qaeda (Al Shabaab) in Somalia. For Mo Mo, his religion was being a jihadist. I don’t know if jurors will be made to understand that.

The defense wants to establish that most of the operational details of the bombing really came from the FBI,

Attorney: When he [Mo Mo] raised Pioneer Square he did so at the direction of your partner.
Hussein: No sir.

 Wax claimed that the options the agents frequently claimed to give Mohamud were phony,

“There really were no options in these meetings, sir, were there?”
“There were options.”

In the cross examination of the other FBI undercover officer known as Youssef, defense attorney Lisa Hay continued the effort,

Attorney: He [Mo Mo] had planned to drive it [the van] into the crowd. That was your plan, the parking plan. The FBI decided what kind of truck would be used. The FBI decided the size bomb. When you told him it would take out two blocks,what was his reaction?
Youssef: Surprised.
Attorney: Why was there an LCD TV in the back of the van when you decided you didn’t need it?
Youssef: (after stammering around trying to think of why) I don’t know.
Attorney: The FBI put the screen in the van.
Attorney: Who decided the bomb would have nails?
Youssef: I don’t know.
(Attorney plays snippet of taped conversation of Hussein saying the word “nails.”)
Attorney: It takes a pretty sick person who puts nails in a bomb.

Hay attempted at one point to call out the mistakes Youssef said on tape, but I think she misfired. She tried to depict a reference to Youssef saying, “as excited as a kid at Christmas.” The observation drew a laugh in the overflow court room when she said that was an odd thing to say to a Muslim. Except twice before his partner testified Youssef was in fact himself a Muslim. She didn’t bother to ask him about his religion as a follow up.

Most chilling for me was to hear the recitation of the tic toc the day of the planned bombing. I think I got most of the details, though I may have missed one.

Picked up Mohamud in Beaverton at the home of a friend.
Went to home depot to buy a reflective vest and helmet.
Went to our hotel, the Residence Inn.
Parked the van by the Comcast Building
Went back to our hotel.
Ordered food.
Prayed.
I took them [Mo Mo and Hussein] to the van.
They parked the van.
I came to them.
I dropped myself off at Union Station.
Hussein went to over pass in van.


Prosecutor: What did Mohamud do the night before?
Youssef: Went to Woodburn Outlet Mall to shop at Black Friday sale with friends.
Prosecutor: How did he seem on November 26th?
Youssef: At peace. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Post Mo Mo: What’s the Carbon Footprint of Annihilating Thousands of People?

Maybe if City of Portland leaders saw the potential climate impact of vaporizing tens of thousands of citizens public safety might be made a higher priority around here. Imagine the climate impact of thousands of human beings simultaneously releasing their carbon at the same time! That could be bad for our vaunted carbon output.
Recently local officials ballyhooed the latest climate action plan (here) and how Portland has reduced carbon output by 15% since 2000 (here).
Can you imagine how-shot-to-heck those numbers would have been if an explosion had released all that carbon, CO2 and methane (the latter being greenhouse gases) at the same time? Well, we’ve run the numbers…


Assuming an average body size of 175 lbs and the fact that 18% of humans are made up of carbon, that explosion would have emitted  850,000 lbs of carbon immediately into the atmosphere. They should think about the ramifications on our planet if all those people expired at one time.
Even though living people do emit many tons of carbon over a lifetime (which explains why the environmental groups keep agitating for fewer people: forced sterilization, abortion, euthanasia, and, believe it or not, less immigration into the US), if we could persuade them that hippy dippy Portlanders would make every attempt to live cleaner or buy indulgences from Al Gore to make up for their carbon output they could see the wisdom in keeping people alive.
And let’s face it: city leaders have joined every cockamamie climate research group, foundation, “keeper” confab, bicycling-light-rail-food-desert-organic-local-bike-box organization. So maybe if we can make the case that blowing up people would be bad for the planet they’d sign on to a group whose purpose is to keep PEOPLE safe, you know, like the JTTF or something!

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Post Mo Mo: What’s the Carbon Footprint of Annihilating Thousands of People?

Maybe if City of Portland leaders saw the potential climate impact of vaporizing tens of thousands of citizens public safety might be made a higher priority around here. Imagine the climate impact of thousands of human beings simultaneously releasing their carbon at the same time! That could be bad for our vaunted carbon output.
Recently local officials ballyhooed the latest climate action plan (here) and how Portland has reduced carbon output by 15% since 2000 (here).
Can you imagine how-shot-to-heck those numbers would have been if an explosion had released all that carbon, CO2 and methane (the latter being greenhouse gases) at the same time? Well, we’ve run the numbers…


Assuming an average body size of 175 lbs and the fact that 18% of humans are made up of carbon, that explosion would have emitted  850,000 lbs of carbon immediately into the atmosphere. They should think about the ramifications on our planet if all those people expired at one time.
Even though living people do emit many tons of carbon over a lifetime (which explains why the environmental groups keep agitating for fewer people: forced sterilization, abortion, euthanasia, and, believe it or not, less immigration into the US), if we could persuade them that hippy dippy Portlanders would make every attempt to live cleaner or buy indulgences from Al Gore to make up for their carbon output they could see the wisdom in keeping people alive.
And let’s face it: city leaders have joined every cockamamie climate research group, foundation, “keeper” confab, bicycling-light-rail-food-desert-organic-local-bike-box organization. So maybe if we can make the case that blowing up people would be bad for the planet they’d sign on to a group whose purpose is to keep PEOPLE safe, you know, like the JTTF or something!

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Giusto: The Real Terror in Portland

Former Multnomah County Sheriff, Gresham Police Chief and Oregon State Police officer, Bernie Giusto, joins the blog today to opine on law enforcement, politics and the way things work around here.
Being Multnomah County Sheriff in 2005 when the City of Portland stranded the FBI and the rest of us in Oregon Law Enforcement on the local chapter of Joint Terrorism Task Force was a surreal experience in any number of ways.  Initially it was hard to believe that the largest police force representing the economic, cultural and population powerhouse in Oregon would really leave the rest of us behind. 

I took it personally as well.  

At the time Mayor Potter was asking for level of security clearance not available to any of the other police executives directly involved, including myself. Of course that would make the Mayor more special than the Sheriff.  I thought, tell me it isn’t so.  But when he couldn’t get a Top Double Secret security clearance he took his cops and went home.  


The Sheriff’s Office stayed for the greater capacity we added to the JTTF mission and out of a sense of pride it brought to the Sheriff’s Office. We also had every confidence that our deputies would be the first to let us now if anyone’s constitutional rights were being stepped on or the FBI was promoting Civil Right violations in their operations.

But when the Portland City Council literally voted themselves off the domestic terrorism intelligence gathering island, I was shocked back into the all-too-often Portland reality: Political posturing, regardless of how self centered, means the rest of us will be on our own even when it comes to our basic safety. Portland had in fact turned their back on the rest of us in law enforcement– and worse– on the long term safety interests of their citizens.

As the drama unfolded back then, I thought surely the political temper tantrum aimed at the FBI was a momentary political strategy to get better parking spots for the Portland Cops assigned to the JTTF.  It certainly had no logical or even legitimate public safety value. I forgot that protecting us then from the growing and now proven terror threat was still way, way down on the to-do list.
In fact, based on my high level contacts, “Operation Dumbo,” as it was known by some of us at the time, was extraordinarily embarrassing for the Portland Police Bureau command structure. The cops were willing and able to invest in the protective mission of the JTTF and help lead the way to a safer City of Portland, Oregon and nation from their watchtower. I believe that in 2010 the Portland cops area still willing and uniquely qualified to help protect our state with their potential return to JTTF. I am not sure I can have the same confidence in those who lead the our cops.

That brings us to Portland Police Chief Mike Reese who in the 2010 version of the JTTF– and Groundhog Day –seems to be missing in action. It is unimaginable that his boss would not only value his advice first and foremost but insist that from the outset he be the public voice and champion for the safety of his citizens in the days following this international event. 


Instead Chief Reese either has no position on the city’s return to the JTTF or has not been allowed to take one publicly. Either of those options is unacceptable. We deserve to know his professional opinion. We deserve to know that even if his boss isn’t up to the job we are in the good hands of those trained and sworn to protect us.
 
In 2005 Commissioner Saltzman was the only no vote on the city council at the time for putting Portland residents, the region and nation at unnecessary risk. His position at the time took courage but, more significantly, political common sense. I will remind you that his decision to consider the safety of his citizens first has not hurt his political fortunes in the least. He has been re-elected twice since then. In fact I would argue it makes him the public safety go-to guy on the Portland Council in 2010 when it really matters. And it really matters now.
Mayor Adams and Commissioner Leonard are holding tight to the notion that what they set in motion in 2005 has no impact in 2010. But their utopian dream-world decision in 2005 turned into Portland’s nightmare in 2010. The FBI saved our butts, no thanks to the city leaders. The FBI hung out a “MIssion Accomplished” sign, but it’s too bad those responsible to protect our community had no idea that there was even a mission. Now they would like us to just get over it.

I find it curious that Commissioner Leonard, formerly known as Lieutenant

Leonard of the Portland Fire Bureau, essentially argues that since nothing really happened last Friday why tempt fate by returning to the JTTF. I wonder if he would apply the same logic to spending millions of dollars to update Fire and Rescue infrastructure, including new fire boats, replacement of fire trucks with those able to fight high structure fires and highly technical and costly training for confined space rescue, since the old models and levels of training have worked just fine for us in the past.  

Surely he would agree, then, that if the Tualatin Valley Fire District on the west and the Gresham Fire Department on the east could be relied on to protect Portland citizens and property, we don’t need a Portland Fire Bureau. It doesn’t matter, right? Mission Accomplished and all that. That theory is as ridiculous as the one he is currently promoting regarding the FBI responsibility and role in terrorism intelligence gathering, arresting terror suspects in Portland and Portland’s return to the JTTF.

Delivering bad news or giving tough advice comes with the position of leadership in elected or appointed office, especially those whose job it is to protect us. (You should note that in this context the word leadership defines the responsibility of the position not necessarily the quality of leadership on display when the going gets tough). If in the view our our elected leaders returning to the JTTF is bad news then so be it.  Just say so so we can accept that perspective.  But let’s get back to the job at hand of securing our safety for the different, and likely more dangerous, world it may be in 2015.

Oregonian Photo
Last Friday night Pioneer Square and its thousands of inhabitants were no more than a cell phone call away from being referred to in the past tense. Wrap your mind around that. The events defy the ability of our senses to absorb the fallout of such a crime. Who wants to contemplate such bad news as that? Not our leaders it seems. It is the honest assessment of that horrific potential which the elected Portland leadership is now failing to deliver. 
There was a tremendous pride among those who were front and center when the ill advised City Council decision to leave the JTTF was made in 2005. But now in 2010 our leaders do not have the luxury of time to sleepily shake themselves from the shock. They must deal with the reality of terror in Portland.
These are the moments that reveal the true character of our leaders. Maybe we should be terrified most by those who self identify as leaders but will not face the reality that delivering bad news is in the job description.

Bernie Giusto is former Multnomah County Sheriff, former Gresham Police Chief and a former Officer with the Oregon State Patrol.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Giusto: The Real Terror in Portland

Former Multnomah County Sheriff, Gresham Police Chief and Oregon State Police officer, Bernie Giusto, joins the blog today to opine on law enforcement, politics and the way things work around here.
Being Multnomah County Sheriff in 2005 when the City of Portland stranded the FBI and the rest of us in Oregon Law Enforcement on the local chapter of Joint Terrorism Task Force was a surreal experience in any number of ways.  Initially it was hard to believe that the largest police force representing the economic, cultural and population powerhouse in Oregon would really leave the rest of us behind. 

I took it personally as well.  

At the time Mayor Potter was asking for level of security clearance not available to any of the other police executives directly involved, including myself. Of course that would make the Mayor more special than the Sheriff.  I thought, tell me it isn’t so.  But when he couldn’t get a Top Double Secret security clearance he took his cops and went home.  


The Sheriff’s Office stayed for the greater capacity we added to the JTTF mission and out of a sense of pride it brought to the Sheriff’s Office. We also had every confidence that our deputies would be the first to let us now if anyone’s constitutional rights were being stepped on or the FBI was promoting Civil Right violations in their operations.

But when the Portland City Council literally voted themselves off the domestic terrorism intelligence gathering island, I was shocked back into the all-too-often Portland reality: Political posturing, regardless of how self centered, means the rest of us will be on our own even when it comes to our basic safety. Portland had in fact turned their back on the rest of us in law enforcement– and worse– on the long term safety interests of their citizens.

As the drama unfolded back then, I thought surely the political temper tantrum aimed at the FBI was a momentary political strategy to get better parking spots for the Portland Cops assigned to the JTTF.  It certainly had no logical or even legitimate public safety value. I forgot that protecting us then from the growing and now proven terror threat was still way, way down on the to-do list.
In fact, based on my high level contacts, “Operation Dumbo,” as it was known by some of us at the time, was extraordinarily embarrassing for the Portland Police Bureau command structure. The cops were willing and able to invest in the protective mission of the JTTF and help lead the way to a safer City of Portland, Oregon and nation from their watchtower. I believe that in 2010 the Portland cops area still willing and uniquely qualified to help protect our state with their potential return to JTTF. I am not sure I can have the same confidence in those who lead the our cops.

That brings us to Portland Police Chief Mike Reese who in the 2010 version of the JTTF– and Groundhog Day –seems to be missing in action. It is unimaginable that his boss would not only value his advice first and foremost but insist that from the outset he be the public voice and champion for the safety of his citizens in the days following this international event. 


Instead Chief Reese either has no position on the city’s return to the JTTF or has not been allowed to take one publicly. Either of those options is unacceptable. We deserve to know his professional opinion. We deserve to know that even if his boss isn’t up to the job we are in the good hands of those trained and sworn to protect us.
 
In 2005 Commissioner Saltzman was the only no vote on the city council at the time for putting Portland residents, the region and nation at unnecessary risk. His position at the time took courage but, more significantly, political common sense. I will remind you that his decision to consider the safety of his citizens first has not hurt his political fortunes in the least. He has been re-elected twice since then. In fact I would argue it makes him the public safety go-to guy on the Portland Council in 2010 when it really matters. And it really matters now.
Mayor Adams and Commissioner Leonard are holding tight to the notion that what they set in motion in 2005 has no impact in 2010. But their utopian dream-world decision in 2005 turned into Portland’s nightmare in 2010. The FBI saved our butts, no thanks to the city leaders. The FBI hung out a “MIssion Accomplished” sign, but it’s too bad those responsible to protect our community had no idea that there was even a mission. Now they would like us to just get over it.

I find it curious that Commissioner Leonard, formerly known as Lieutenant

Leonard of the Portland Fire Bureau, essentially argues that since nothing really happened last Friday why tempt fate by returning to the JTTF. I wonder if he would apply the same logic to spending millions of dollars to update Fire and Rescue infrastructure, including new fire boats, replacement of fire trucks with those able to fight high structure fires and highly technical and costly training for confined space rescue, since the old models and levels of training have worked just fine for us in the past.  

Surely he would agree, then, that if the Tualatin Valley Fire District on the west and the Gresham Fire Department on the east could be relied on to protect Portland citizens and property, we don’t need a Portland Fire Bureau. It doesn’t matter, right? Mission Accomplished and all that. That theory is as ridiculous as the one he is currently promoting regarding the FBI responsibility and role in terrorism intelligence gathering, arresting terror suspects in Portland and Portland’s return to the JTTF.

Delivering bad news or giving tough advice comes with the position of leadership in elected or appointed office, especially those whose job it is to protect us. (You should note that in this context the word leadership defines the responsibility of the position not necessarily the quality of leadership on display when the going gets tough). If in the view our our elected leaders returning to the JTTF is bad news then so be it.  Just say so so we can accept that perspective.  But let’s get back to the job at hand of securing our safety for the different, and likely more dangerous, world it may be in 2015.

Oregonian Photo
Last Friday night Pioneer Square and its thousands of inhabitants were no more than a cell phone call away from being referred to in the past tense. Wrap your mind around that. The events defy the ability of our senses to absorb the fallout of such a crime. Who wants to contemplate such bad news as that? Not our leaders it seems. It is the honest assessment of that horrific potential which the elected Portland leadership is now failing to deliver. 
There was a tremendous pride among those who were front and center when the ill advised City Council decision to leave the JTTF was made in 2005. But now in 2010 our leaders do not have the luxury of time to sleepily shake themselves from the shock. They must deal with the reality of terror in Portland.
These are the moments that reveal the true character of our leaders. Maybe we should be terrified most by those who self identify as leaders but will not face the reality that delivering bad news is in the job description.

Bernie Giusto is former Multnomah County Sheriff, former Gresham Police Chief and a former Officer with the Oregon State Patrol.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mo Mo College Days: When It Comes to the Prophet There is No Freedom of Speech


Credit:KPTV

KPTV received an I-phone video of Mohamad Mohamud, Mo Mo, and revealed it on the air last night (link after jump). The video was taken one month before he started plotting the bombing of 25,000 Portlanders. It’s unclear who Mo Mo was talking about in the video but it’s clear what he wanted to do with that individual, “beat the ^*^( out of him.”

Credit: KPTV
It sounds like he’s referring to a public figure. One 5th Listener thinks it might be a national talk show host who’s upset him.
“If I met him, I would get 5, 6 Muslims, beat the (expletive) out of him. That’s something I have zero tolerance for. When it comes to our prophet, nobody can say anything. They’re calling it freedom of speech. It’s not freedom of speech. They’re doing it.”
What’s clear, however, is that the man who conspired, bought parts for, and twice tried to detonate a bomb he knew would vaporize thousands didn’t like the country which had given refuge to his family.

“You know what the whole West thing is? They want to insult our religion. They want to take our lands. They want to rape our women while we’re bowing down to them. This is what they want. This country and Europe and all those countries, that’s all they want. They want Muslims to –”

KPTV asked a forensic psychologist, Frank Colistro,  to make sense of this. 

“It appears a theme is that of him and his community being victimized by Western culture,” he says.

 Colistro told Jim Redden in an excellent article in the Tribune and Beaverton Valley Times here that

…sometimes people bent on murder latch onto a political cause to justify it,
The literature refers to them as ‘sudden mass assault style individuals,’” said Colistro, who agrees with Perlstein that they frequently give off warning signs that should be taken seriously.

See the video of Mo Mo here.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mo Mo College Days: When It Comes to the Prophet There is No Freedom of Speech


Credit:KPTV

KPTV received an I-phone video of Mohamad Mohamud, Mo Mo, and revealed it on the air last night (link after jump). The video was taken one month before he started plotting the bombing of 25,000 Portlanders. It’s unclear who Mo Mo was talking about in the video but it’s clear what he wanted to do with that individual, “beat the ^*^( out of him.”

Credit: KPTV
It sounds like he’s referring to a public figure. One 5th Listener thinks it might be a national talk show host who’s upset him.
“If I met him, I would get 5, 6 Muslims, beat the (expletive) out of him. That’s something I have zero tolerance for. When it comes to our prophet, nobody can say anything. They’re calling it freedom of speech. It’s not freedom of speech. They’re doing it.”
What’s clear, however, is that the man who conspired, bought parts for, and twice tried to detonate a bomb he knew would vaporize thousands didn’t like the country which had given refuge to his family.

“You know what the whole West thing is? They want to insult our religion. They want to take our lands. They want to rape our women while we’re bowing down to them. This is what they want. This country and Europe and all those countries, that’s all they want. They want Muslims to –”

KPTV asked a forensic psychologist, Frank Colistro,  to make sense of this. 

“It appears a theme is that of him and his community being victimized by Western culture,” he says.

 Colistro told Jim Redden in an excellent article in the Tribune and Beaverton Valley Times here that

…sometimes people bent on murder latch onto a political cause to justify it,
The literature refers to them as ‘sudden mass assault style individuals,’” said Colistro, who agrees with Perlstein that they frequently give off warning signs that should be taken seriously.

See the video of Mo Mo here.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com