terrorism

Know your terrorist: part 2

The answer to the question posted in part 1:

Of course you didn't get it right! And not only because you didn't understand the word separatist.

Shocked? Yes - those awful Islamist extremists you spend your days fearing committed an amount of terror attacks so goddamned low in 2006 compared to other various terrorist factions that you can't even really see their slice of the pie. Here's the figures by country:

Know your terrorist

What a silly title eh? As if we don't constantly have images, videos, sights and sounds of "our" terrorist foe drummed into us every time we do anything other than literally watch paint dry. I mean, this little game of spot the terrorist isn't exactly difficult is it? Try your luck!

No evidence to suggest extension of imprisonment without trial is useful...but we still want it

Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary in the UK, has recently been giving evidence to the Home Affairs Committee investigating the latest raft of arguably rash and dictator-esque counter-terrorism proposals. One in particular the Government likes to harp on about forever is allowing detention without trial for a good long period of time. 90 days is one favourite figure of theirs.

Yep, they claim that it is fine, in a civilised democracy, to allow people to be locked up for 3 months without any charges being brought against them, any appearance in court or the other checks and balances against abuse that the legal system should maintain. It's nothing new mind, a couple of years ago the 90 days suggestion led to Blair's first ever defeat in the House of Commons.

People do not assess risk very logically

The Poorhouse was recently reading a study that showed just how illogical people are, even when the logicalness at first sight seems simplistic to adhere to. Furthermore, it specifically concerning the topic of risk assessment of major terrorist attacks, there are present and clear dangers as to decision makers falling prey to such logicalities.

Not only do we not really want to get blown up by being silly enough to ignore the risk, it is also vital not to think too much of the risk given certain politicians' likings for discarding civil liberties and instilling military-rule-esque regimes amongst the poor, innocent, ignorant civilian population that we apparently consist of. As a bonus, it also shows how the potential bias inherent in survey responses needs to be taken with even more seriousness than the average layperson might think.

Is anything unnacceptable these days?

Results and analysis from the latest British Social Attitudes survey have just been published by the National Centre for Social Research. Each year, the BSA asks about 3300 random people for their thoughts on various topics, in order to see changes over time or pinpoint new matters of great interest.

This year, it seems the terrorists are winning.

Disaster tracking

Danger!Danger!Disasters disasters disasters everywhere? Well now courtesy of the Havaria Information Service's Alertmap, you can see where some of the world's worrying disasters are happening in real-time. As Chicken Yoghurt note it really looks a bit like scary sci-fi. Except it's real, and you can click on any icon for a full report of the problem concerned. Or if you're in the middle of an epidemic of bird-flu related earthquakes that they've somehow missed, submit your own.

If you're a real disasterophile then, and wait long enough for the page to load, you'll see big lists of earthquakes, volcanoes, massive fires and so on from the past 24 hours. Who would have thought the world was ravaged so?

Dick Cheney approves of torture

Oh dear, despite usually plotting evil behind closed doors, US vice-president Dick Cheney's accidentally said something in public again. Previously famous for shooting his friends and swearing at senators, he's now pretty much confirmed something we all kind of knew.

The Bush administration endorses torture.

In an interview with Scott Hennen, one of America's many conservative radio show hosts, the following exchanges took place:

War in Iraq causing terrorism - but Blair knows best

The Poorhouse wanted to highlight a few little snippets of information regarding the consequences of the Iraq invasion as determined by agencies that we - and the Government - should ideally be able to trust at least a little to have the relevant expertise.

...there is "no doubt" the invasion of Iraq has "given a boost to the al-Qaida network" in "propaganda, recruitment and fundraising"

- summary of a report by Chatham House, which used to be known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, as reported in the Guardian.

Biggest pile of chemical explosives ever found - quietly

Suppose the Poorhouse told you that the largest haul of bomb-making explosives ever found in someone's house in the UK was discovered recently. And not just your average backyard weaponry; we're talking rocket launchers, chemicals and even nuclear-biological suits. Scared yet?

Before you run away in panic - or wonder why it hasn't been plastered all over the international news-wires - please have a think about who you think was the owner of these things. Let us guess - a dark skinned bearded fellow with an Arabic name?

Toilet bomb

What is it about iPods and toilets? This site has previously documented a connection via peripherals, but now brace yourself now for a story that involves iPods, toilets and everyone's favourite bogeymen - potential terrorists.

Last month, on a flight from United aeroplane flight from Chicago to Ottawa, everyone's worst nightmare happened. The toilet got blocked. The stewardesses called out in panic "There's something in the toilet that's preventing it from flushing. Run some water!". That last desperate attempt didn't work, so she stuck her face and hands into the bucket of people-filth for a more manual attempt. It failed.

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