Posts Tagged ‘cameras’

Muslims heed calls to avoid holy site over Israeli security measures

July 17, 2017

AFP

© AFP / by Majeda El-Batsh | Palestinians chant slogans outside the Lions Gate, a main entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, due to newly implemented security measures by Israeli authorities, in Jerusalem’s Old City on July 17, 2017

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Muslims heeded calls Monday not to enter a Jerusalem holy site and protested outside after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at entrances to the ultra-sensitive compound following an attack that killed two policemen.The compound was largely empty on Monday apart from tourists and Jewish visitors, with Muslims again praying and protesting outside the site instead of entering through the metal detectors.

The Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, includes the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Several hundred people could be seen praying outside two different entrances to the site around midday on Monday.

There were protests after the prayer, with crowds shouting: “Aqsa mosque, we sacrifice our souls and our blood.” Police later sought to move them back.

“We will not break the solidarity of the people,” said Jamal Abdallah, a Palestinian who now lives in the US state of Arizona and was planning to visit Al-Aqsa, but changed his mind when he was told of the situation.

Israel installed the metal detectors after Friday’s attack near the holy site that saw three Arab Israelis open fire on Israeli police.

They then fled to the compound, where they were shot dead by security forces.

It was among the most serious incidents in Jerusalem in recent years and heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

Israel took the highly unusual decision of closing the compound for Friday prayers, triggering anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site’s custodian.

The site remained closed on Saturday, while parts of Jerusalem’s Old City were also under lockdown.

Israeli authorities said the closure was necessary to carry out security checks, adding that the assailants had come from within the holy site to commit the attack.

They began reopening it on Sunday, but with metal detectors in place, while security cameras were also being installed in the area.

Al-Aqsa officials have refused to enter and have called on worshippers to do the same.

Palestinians view the new measures as Israel asserting further control over the site.

Crowds chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) as they gathered near the Lions Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday.

On Sunday night, skirmishes broke out between Israeli police and worshippers outside the entrance, with the Red Crescent reporting 17 people wounded.

With tensions high, two mosques in the northern Israeli Arab town of Maghar were targeted overnight, one with a stun grenade and another by gunshots. No serious damage was reported.

One of the two policemen killed in the attack lived in Maghar. Both of the officers were from the Druze minority, Arabs who belong to an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

– Netanyahu order –

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the decision to install the metal detectors and cameras following a meeting with security officials on Saturday.

He also spoke by phone with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Saturday night before leaving on a trip to France and Hungary.

Abdullah condemned the attack, but also called on Netanyahu to reopen the Al-Aqsa compound and stressed the need to “avoid any escalation at the site”.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas conveyed a similar message to Netanyahu when the two spoke by phone on Friday in the wake of the attack.

Proposals to change security measures at the compound have sparked controversy in the past.

A plan developed in 2015 between Israel and Jordan to install cameras at the site itself fell apart amid disagreement over how they would be operated.

The Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

It is considered the third holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews.

Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

by Majeda El-Batsh
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Israel reopens Jerusalem mosques after attack — But Muslim worshippers were refusing to enter due to new security measures

July 16, 2017

AFP

© Thomas Coex, AFP | Israeli authorties are reopening the holy site, 16 July 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-07-16

Israel reopened an ultra-sensitive holy site Sunday closed after an attack that killed two policemen, but Muslim worshippers were refusing to enter due to new security measures including metal detectors and cameras.

Crowds chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) as a number of initial visitors entered Jerusalem’sHaram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

The flashpoint holy site includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

But midday Muslim prayers were held outside the site due to the new security measures.

“We reject the changes imposed by the Israeli government,” Sheikh Omar Kiswani, Al-Aqsa director, told reporters outside.

Image result for Sheikh Omar Kiswani, Al-Aqsa director, photos

“We will not enter through these metal detectors.”

Three Arab Israeli assailants opened fire on Israeli police Friday in Jerusalem’s Old City before fleeing to the compound.

Israeli authorities said they had come from the flashpoint holy site to commit the attack.

Image result for Sheikh Omar Kiswani, Al-Aqsa director, photos

Israel took the highly unusual decision to close the Al-Aqsa mosque compound for Friday prayers, triggering anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site’s custodian.

The site remained closed on Saturday, while parts of Jerusalem’s Old City were also under lockdown.

Israeli authorities said the closure was necessary to carry out security checks and announced it would reopen the compound Sunday.

Police said Sunday that so far two gates leading to the holy site had been opened, equipped with metal detectors.

(AFP)

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Is This The Boston Bomb? Scientific Investigation of Boston Bombing

April 17, 2013

  • New photographs  submitted to the FBI  reveal the scene before and after the second bomb  detonated at the  finishing line of the Boston marathon
  • An orange and  grey bag can be seen on the opposite side of barriers to spectators before the  second blast
  • New video man  dressed in black with shredded pants can be seen running away from the scene in  the aftermath of one of the blasts
  • Pressure-cooker  bombs were packed with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings
  • Devices are  frequently used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according to Homeland  Security
  • An al-Qaeda  magazine last year listed U.S. sporting events as one of ‘the most important  enemy targets’
  • An eight-year-old  boy and a 29-year-old woman were among the three killed in the  attack
  • 183 people  injured, at least 23 of them in critical condition and ‘a lot’ of amputations  have been performed
  • Surgeons describe  numerous severe injuries from ‘pellets, shrapnel or nails from inside the  bombs’
  • Investigators do  not know of motive for the bombs or who is behind them but are questioning ‘many  people’
  • Obama  vows to bring bombers to justice: ‘The American people will not be  terrorized’

By  Daniel Bates In Dorchester, Massachusetts, Lydia  Warren and James Nye

Blast: Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race .
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Blast: Runners continue to run towards the finish line  of the Boston Marathon as the first of two explosions erupts near the finish  line of the race

New photographs submitted to the FBI reveal  the scene before and after the second deadly bomb detonated at the finishing  line of the Boston marathon – as it emerged that bomb detection units had swept  the area twice before the race began.

Visible in the first picture is an orange and  grey bag that can be clearly seen on the other side of barriers set up on the  sidewalk sitting next to a mailbox as spectators behind cheer on the tired  runners.

In the second picture, blurred because of the  graphic scenes, the bag has disappeared in the aftermath of the bomb detonating  to be replaced by a scene of utter carnage.

The viewer who took the pictures and  submitted them to 7News in Boston says there may have been an hour or  more between the first and second picture being taken.

And in video footage also handed over to the  FBI, an unidentified man is seen to flee the scene of one of the blasts as  everyone else cowers in the seconds after the explosions.

Dressed all in black, the man’s pants have  been shredded and he hurriedly looks from left to right before making off in the  opposite direction to the where members of the public are aiding the  injured.

WARNING:  GRAPHIC CONTENT AND VIDEO BELOW

Boston Marathon Bomb Before and After
Boston Marathon Bomb Before and After

Photos sent to 7News by a viewer show the scene just  before and right after the bombs went off on Boylston Street. In the first  picture you can see a bag next to a mailbox and up against a barricade along the  marathon route. In the second  which is blurred because it is graphic,  there is no sign of the bag

While everyone seems to instinctively cower - the man dressed in black and highlighted - appears to run away at speed from the scene in the opposite direction to everyone else who was caught up in the blast
While everyone seems to instinctively cower - the man dressed in black and highlighted - appears to run away at speed from the scene in the opposite direction to everyone else who was caught up in the blast

While everyone seems to instinctively cower – the man  dressed in black and highlighted – appears to run away at speed from the scene  in the opposite direction to everyone else who was caught up in the blast

As members of the public and those caught up in the blast appear to help the stricken victims of the bombing - the man in black can be seen to make his way at speed away from the scene .
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As members of the public and those caught up in the  blast appear to help the stricken victims of the bombing – the man in black can  be seen to make his way at speed away from the scene

In a press conference held today, Boston  Police Commissioner Ed Davis confirmed that the marathon route had been swept  twice by bomb detection units and declared clear.

‘[But] people can come and go and bring items  in and out” after the races started,’ said Davis.

The two bombs that killed three  people and  injured at least 183 at the Boston Marathon on Monday were  made from six-liter  pressure cookers crammed with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings and  stashed in black backpacks, police sources  revealed today.

The cruelly-designed bombs have ‘frequently’  been used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according  to a 2010 Homeland Security Department pamphlet – hinting at the origins of the bombers behind the worst terrorist atrocity in  the U.S. since 9/11.

More…

When the devices exploded near the crowded  Boston Marathon finish line around 2.50pm on  Monday, victims suffered as many  as 40 shrapnel wounds each and at least 10 people needed amputations.  Witnesses described seeing  body parts  flying through the air and shoes that ‘still had flesh in them’.

This afternoon, a second victim killed in the  blasts was identified as 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, from Arlington, Massachusetts. It comes after another was  named as eight-year-old Martin Richard. The third victim has not  yet been  named.

The  bombs used to kill and maim are believed  to have contained black powder  or gunpowder as the explosive, and information  on how to make such a  bomb is available on the internet, experts said. The  devices were then  left at the scene to look like discarded property, CBS  News reported.

Investigators have also found pieces of an  electronic circuit board which could indicate a timer was used in the  detonation.

Bomb: The FOX 5 I-Team show pieces of a stainless steel pressure cooker with an Underwriters Laboratory number. One picture shows the imprint: Gas and Electric
Bomb: The FOX 5 I-Team show pieces of a stainless steel pressure cooker with an Underwriters Laboratory number. One picture shows the imprint: Gas and Electric

Bomb: The FOX 5 I-Team show pieces of a stainless steel  pressure cooker with an Underwriters Laboratory number. One picture shows the  imprint: Gas and Electric

The devices are believed to be pressure cooker bombs
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The devices are believed to be pressure cooker bombs

The devices are believed to be pressure cooker bombs –  explosives typically are placed inside a pressure cooker — a commonplace cooking  utensil in many countries — and the device is then detonated using everyday  electronic equipment such as digital watches, garage door openers, cellphones or  pagers

This picture obtained by Fox 5 Atlanta is believed to be the black back-pack that is thought to have held one of the explosive devices which detonated at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon on MondayThis picture obtained by Fox 5 Atlanta is believed to be  the black back-pack that is thought to have held one of the explosive devices  which detonated at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon on Monday
Investigation: Officials survey the site of a bomb blast on Boylston Street looking for evidence that might help them find a suspect
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.Investigation: Officials survey the site of a bomb blast  on Boylston Street in Boston searching for evidence that might help them find a  suspect or suspects
Collecting evidence: Two men in hazardous materials suits put numbers on the shattered glass and debris as they investigate the scene at the first bombing on Boylston StreetCollecting evidence: Two men in hazardous materials  suits put numbers on the shattered glass and debris as they investigate the  scene at the first bombing on Boylston Street
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Bomb: Images from a Homeland Security Department pamphlet shows a diagram for rudimentary improvised explosive devices  using  pressure cookers. Police sources have revealed that the deviced used in the  Boston Marathon bombings on Monday used pressure cookers filled with shrapnel  and ball bearings
Killed: Eight-year-old Martin Richard from Dorchester, Massachusetts was among the three people killed when two bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
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Killed: Eight-year-old Martin Richard from Dorchester,  Massachusetts was among the three people killed when two bombs detonated at the  Boston Marathon on Monday
.Krystle Campbell
Krystle Campbell

Loss: Krystle Campbell, pictured, also lost her  life in  the terrorist attack. Doctors originally confused her identity  with a friend,  so her parents believed she was alive

Although no group has yet claimed  responsibility for the attacks, similar devices were used in the failed  2010  attempt to bomb Times Square by Faisal Shahzad, who admitted he had undergone bomb-making training at a militant  Islamist faction camp in Pakistan.

A pressure-cooker bomb is also a preferred  weapon of al-Qaeda and listed  as the ‘most effective’ weapon of jihad,  according to an  English-language terror magazine called Inspire, in an article  entitled ‘How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom’.

Another article in Inspire last year listed  ‘the most important enemy targets’  for jihadists in America – and included  sporting events, CNSNews noted.

The aim should be to target ‘human  crowds in  order to inflict maximum human losses,’ a terrorist known as  Abu Musab al-Suri  wrote. ‘This is very easy since there are numerous  such targets such as crowded  sports arenas, annual social events, large  international exhibitions…  etc.’

Martin Richard, 8, who was waiting at the finish line with his father, mother and siblings, was  among those killed when the two bombs  detonated at the crowded sports event.  His mother has undergone brain surgery and his six-year-old sister lost a leg.  His 12-year-old brother escaped injury.

Device: This image shows a pressure cooker bomb, similar to those that were used in the Boston Marathon attacks on Monday

Device: This image shows a pressure cooker bomb, similar  to those that were used in the Boston Marathon attacks on Monday

Exact Moment: People react as an explosion goes off near the finish at the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured

Exact Moment: People react as the second explosion goes  off near the finish at the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending  authorities out on the course

Bomb: Images from a Homeland Security Department pamphlet shows a diagram for rudimentary improvised explosive devices using pressure cookers

Neighbors told  MailOnline about the  moment Martin Richard’s father, Bill, returned home still  wearing hospital  scrubs on Monday night and looking like the ‘walking dead’ as  he  struggled to come to terms with his son’s death and injuries suffered by his  wife, Denise, and daughter, Jane.

In a statement  released on Tuesday, he said: ‘My dear son Martin has died  from injuries  sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter  are both recovering  from serious injuries.

‘We thank our  family and friends, those we know and those we have never  met, for their  thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we  remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for  privacy as we work to  simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you.’

Doctors confused another victim,  Krystle  Campbell, 29, with her friend, so for hours her parents believed she was alive  and undergoing surgery. Only when they went to visit her  in hospital, did they  realize the patient was not their daughter.

Loved: Peace is written on the sidewalk in front of the Richard house in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston
Neighbors

Loved: Peace is written on the sidewalk in front of the  Richard house in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, left, while neighbors  embrace in the street

Sympathy: Flowers and gifts are left by loved ones outside of the Richard family home in Dorchester, Massachusetts on Tuesday morning.
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Sympathy: Flowers and gifts are left by loved ones  outside of the Richard family home in Dorchester, Massachusetts on Tuesday  morning
Martin Richard
First picture: Eight-year-old Martin Richard was killed in an explosion at the Boston Marathon as he waited to give his father a hug at the finishing line

First pictures: Martin was killed in the first explosion  as he waited to give  his father a hug at the finishing line. His sister and  mother were also injured

Tragic: Martin Richard, right, is pictured with his family

Tragic: Martin Richard, right, is pictured with his  family. His mother,  Denise, has undergone brain surgery and his six-year-old  sister Jane  lost a leg in the blast, while his older brother, Henry, 12,  escaped  injury. They are also pictured with his father, Bill

A LOOK INSIDE THE HOSPITALS:  HOW ARE THE VICTIMS?

Boston Children’s  Hospital

8 injuries; 0 critical condition

Ages from 2 to 15 years old

Massachusetts  General Hospital

29 injuries; 8 critical condition; 4  amputations

Ages from 28 to 71

Brigham and  Women’s Hospital

31 injuries; 5 critical condition

Beth Israel  Deaconess Medical Center

24 injuries; 4 critical condition; 13 in  serious condition

Tufts Medical  Center

9 injuries

Boston Medical  Center

23 in total; 19 still remain at the  hospital

7 critical condition; 6 serious; 6  fair

Please  check back for updates

‘My daughter was the most lovable  girl,’ her  father, William Campbell Jr. said. ‘She helped everybody, and I’m just so  shocked right now. We’re just devastated. She was a  wonderful, wonderful girl.  Always willing to lend a hand.’

Another, unnamed victim was also killed in  the blasts.

Seventeen of the injured remain in a  critical condition and CNN reported that at least 10 victims have  needed  amputations. At least nine of the wounded are thought to be  children, including  a two-year-old boy who suffered a head injury.

Another child hurt in the blast was  11-year-old Aaron Hern, of  Martinez, California, who was hit by flying shrapnel  in his thigh as he  waited for his mother to cross the finish line. He is being  treated at  Boston Children’s Hospital and is expected to undergo further  surgeries.

Doctors treating the wounded agreed that it  appeared the devices had contained sharp metal.

Investigators do not know of a motive for the  bombings, nor do they have a specific  suspect or anyone in custody. In a  desperate move, they have appealed to members of the public to submit  photographs and cell phone footage of the marathon and  explosions.

Earlier reports noted that officials had  arrested a Saudi  national, who is being treated for burns and shrapnel wounds,  in  connection to the bombings after a civilian saw him acting suspiciously  at  the scene.

But now officials have revealed the man,  Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, 22, is being  regarded as a witness, rather than a suspect, the Washington  Postreported.

It comes after 20 police and federal  officials raided his home on Monday night, but the search turned up  nothing.

After the twin  detonations ripped through  the cheering crowds, one witness told CNN  that it ‘felt like a huge cannon’ and  other described horrifying scenes  of screaming spectators, missing limbs and  unresponsive bodies.

Hunt: Police and federal officials exit an apartment complex at 364 Ocean Avenue with a possible connection to the earlier explosions that occurred during the Boston Marathon on Monday.
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Hunt: Police and federal officials exit an apartment  complex at 364 Ocean Avenue with a possible connection to the earlier explosions  that occurred during the Boston Marathon on Monday
Sorting through: Bags of people's belongings are sorted near to the Boston Marathon finish line on Tuesday as investigations continue into the bombings.
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Sorting through: Bags of people’s belongings are sorted  near to the Boston Marathon finish line on Tuesday as investigations continue  into the bombings

Probe: Officials take crime scene photos a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts as they try to figure out who was responsible.
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Probe: Officials take crime scene photos a day after two  explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts as they try to  figure out who was responsible
Paying respects: People embrace at Boylston Street near the finish line of the marathon on Tuesday morning, a day after the twin blasts.
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Paying their respects: People embrace at Boylston Street  near the finish line of the marathon on Tuesday morning, a day after the twin  blasts

WAS THE TIMING SIGNIFICANT?  PATRIOTS’ DAY IS REVERED BY RIGHT-WING GROUPS OPPOSED TO THE FEDERAL  GOVERNMENT

  • Yesterday’s attack took place on Patriots’  Day, which marks the first battle of the Revolutionary War and the ‘shot heard  ’round the world.’ It is a day  held in reverence by right-wing domestic groups  and others who oppose  the federal government.
  • The 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City  federal building, which killed 168,  occurred the day after Patriots’ Day.  Bomber Timothy McVeigh was said  believe the date was significant.
  • The federal siege of the Branch Dravidian  compound, which left 82 members of the cult dead, began on Patriots’ Day in  1993.
  • Today is also Tax Day, when federal income  tax returns are due. In recent  years, it has been seized on by members of the  Tea Party as cause to  protest federal government policies and tax  rates.
  • A Justice Department source tells MailOnline  that authorities are looking into the possibility that the Boston attack, which  killed three and  injured 183 more at the finish line of the Boston Marathon,  could have  been planned to coincide with Patriots’ Day.
  • President Barack Obama himself acknowledged  the significance of the holiday during his briefing this afternoon.
  • ‘Today is Patriots Day,’ he said. ‘A day  that reflects the freedom Boston has celebrated throughout its  history.’

‘Bodies and body  parts. Blood all over,’  District Fire  Chief Ron Harrington of  the Boston Fire Department’s District 3 said.

‘A  little boy lying in the street. A young woman  in her twenties. Both dead. It  was mayhem. I saw two people with arms  hanging loose, and one without a leg. A  shoe with flesh still in it.’

At a press conference outside Mass  Gen  hospital on Tuesday morning, Dr George Velmahos, chief of trauma  surgery at the  hospital, revealed that eight patients between the ages  of 28 and 71 remained  in critical condition at the hospital.

Among them four people had undergone  amputations, and he said they were still trying to save two legs. Other injuries  included wounds from ‘pellets,  shrapnel, nails’, which he believed came from  the bombs. Some victims  were hit by ’10, 30, 40′ pieces and most injuries were  to the lower  extremities.

‘The  experience is obviously overwhelming,’  he said. ‘We are all extremely  sad. We are suffering emotionally for what  happened to the people of  Boston and many others. But at the same time, we  can’t feel but proud  because the medical community here in Mass Gen responded  in an amazing  way.’

He described one doctor who ran the  marathon  but then, despite being dehydrated, went straight to work,  while others jumped  on planes to help out.

Doctors at Brigham and Women’s  Hospital  added that they had treated 31 patients from the bomb blasts  and that five  remain in critical condition.

Initially counter-terrorism sources in the  city believed that seven devices were  planted across the city – but only two  detonated.

A law-enforcement official  said late on  Monday evening that investigators believe other packages were simply  left behind as runners and pedestrians  rushed away from  the scene in the aftermath of the blasts.

A federal law enforcement official told CNN  that both bombs which detonated at the Boston finish line were small,  and  initial tests showed no C-4 or other high-grade explosive was used – indicating  they were crude devices.

In a press conference on Tuesday morning,  Obama reiterated authorities  are still unaware of who was behind the attack –  whether it was the work of an organization or a ‘malevolent  individual’.

For the first time he acknowledged it was an  act of terrorism.

‘We will bring them to justice,’ he vowed,  recounting stories of  kindness and heroism following the blasts.

‘The American people refuse  to be  terrorized… If you want to know who we are, who America is, how  we respond to  evil, that’s it: Selflessly, compassionately, not afraid.’

In another press conference on Tuesday,  Boston officials said the investigation continues with a ‘multitude of resources  on the street’.

Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers  said there are no known additional threats, while Suffolk County District  Attorney Daniel Conley branded the attack ‘an act of cowardice’.

An aerial graphic that show how the tragic events of today unfolded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon

An aerial graphic that show how the tragic events of  today unfolded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon

Map of the bomb sites in relation to the city and the marathon which was run todayMap of the bomb sites in relation to the city and the  marathon which was run today

Injured people and debris lie on the sidewalk near the Boston Marathon finish line following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013.
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Injured people and debris lie on the sidewalk near the  Boston Marathon finish line following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15,  2013

Horrific Injuries: Medical workers aid an injured man at the 2013 Boston Marathon who screams out in pain
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Horrific Injuries: Medical workers aid an injured man at  the 2013 Boston Marathon who screams out in pain’We will go to the ends of the Earth  to  identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this  despicable crime  — and we will do everything we can to bring them to  justice,’ DesLauriers  said.Commending the efforts of volunteers  and  emergency responders, Mayor Menino added: ‘I’ve been mayor for 20  years now and  I’ve never seen… people pull together like this. It’s a  tragedy, but Boston  is a resilient city.’After the  twin detonations ripped through the cheering crowds, witnesses  described the horror.

The fiery twin blasts took place about 12  seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner  off their feet,  shattering windows and sending dense plumes of smoke rising  over the  street and through the fluttering national flags lining the route.

Blood stained the pavement, and huge shards  were missing from window panes as high as three  stories.

An injured person is helped on the sidewalk near the Boston Marathon finish line following Monday's two bomb blasts .
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An injured person is helped on the sidewalk near the  Boston Marathon finish line following Monday’s two bomb blasts
Looking to heaven: A woman kneels and prays at the scene of the first explosion in Boylston Street as the city comes to terms with the atrocity.
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Looking to heaven: A woman kneels and prays at the scene  of the first explosion in Boylston Street as the city comes to terms with the  atrocity

The explosions ripped into an idyllic  afternoon finish for the marathon. The first men had passed the finish line 2  hours and 10 minutes after  the staggered start, and the first women crossed  just 16 minutes later.

The first blast sent a quick plume of smoke  two stories high. Runners  nearby stopped in their tracks, confused and unsure.  After a few seconds later, a second explosion happened a half-block away, with a  deep boom  caught on television cameras.

Emergency personnel rushed to the area, and  the street was quickly sealed off.

‘I saw it go off and smoke billowed up.  Everyone just stopped and  hunched down,’ said Pam Ledtke, 51, from  Indianapolis, who was about 75  yards from the finish line when the explosions  went off. ‘They didn’t know what to do. All of a sudden, people were  screaming.’

One doctor,  Allan Panter, stood near to the finish line said he  was 25-feet away from the  first blast when it detonated.

CELEBRATION TURNED TO TRAGEDY: HOW  THE HORROR AT THE BOSTON MARATHON UNFOLDED

9  A.M. – The 2013 Boston Marathon begins. 11:58 A.M. – Rita Jeptoo of Kenya becomes the  women’s winner, crossing the finish line with a time of 2:26:25. 12:10 P.M. –  Men’s winner Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, finishes with a time of  2:10:22. 2:50  P.M.  – Two blasts go off only seconds apart at the finish line,  less than 100 yards from each other on the north side of Boylston  Street. 3  P.M. – A fire breaks out in the mechanical room at the JFK Presidential  Library, but is reportedly not related to the explosions at the  marathon. 3:34  P.M. – The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announces multiple  sections of the Green Line will be suspended due to police activity.  4:02  P.M. – The first official reports from the Boston Police Department list  two dead and 23 injured. 4:30  P.M. – A third blast goes off near the JFK Library though no one is  injured. Authorities say the explosion is being treated as an ‘ongoing  event.’ 4:30  P.M. – Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis holds a press conference  urging people to remain indoors and not congregate in large  groups. 5:23  P.M. – The fire in the JFK Library is put out. 6:10 P.M. – President Barack Obama addresses  the nation, vowing: ‘We’ll find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did  this.’ 6:30  P.M. – One of the dead is reported to be an 8-year-old  boy.

Walking Wounded: A man staggers away from the scene of the explosions at the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston
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Walking Wounded: A man staggers away from the scene of  the explosions at the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston

S.W.A.T. team members stand guard on the campus of Massachusetts General Hospital following the marathon bomb blasts .
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S.W.A.T. team members stand guard on the campus of  Massachusetts General Hospital following the marathon bomb blasts
Boston remains on high alert into the night after multiple explosions hit the Boston Marathon finish line area on Patriots Day. At least 140 people were injured and 3 confirmed dead in the explosions..
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Boston remains on high alert into the night after  multiple explosions hit the Boston Marathon finish line area on Patriots Day. At  least 140 people were injured and 3 confirmed dead in the explosions.’I saw at least  six to seven people down next to me,’ he said. ‘They  protected me from the  blast. One lady expired. One gentleman lost both  his (lower) limbs. Most of the  injuries were lower extremities.’Nickilynn Estologa, a nursing student who was  volunteering in a  block-long medical tent designed to treat fatigued runners,  said five to six victims immediately staggered inside. Several were children;  one  was in his 60s.’Some were bleeding from the head, they had  glass shards in their skin,’ she said.’One person had the flesh gone from his leg;  it was just hanging there.’ Another woman, she added, was lying on a gurney as  emergency personnel  raced through the tent, giving her CPR.

‘Boston will overcome’: Mayor Menino on marathon  attacks

Terror: An injured individual near the finish line of the Boston Marathon is rushed away from the scene on a stretcher today.
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Terror: An injured individual near the finish line of  the Boston Marathon is rushed away from the scene on a stretcher  today
Horrific Scene: The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday evening in the city.
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Horrific Scene: The aftermath of the Boston Marathon  bombing on Monday evening in the city
A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner.
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A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down  Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner

‘I just can’t believe anyone would do  something like this,’ Estologa said.

Veteran marathon runner Bill Iffrig, 78, was  almost at the finish when ‘the shock waves just hit my whole body and my legs  just started jittering around.’

Iffrig, can be seen wearing an orange tank  top and falling to the ground in video of the explosion, and  was helped to his  feet by an event volunteer and had just a scratch from his fall, he told  CNN.

Right after the blasts, police officers could  be seen carrying  bloody spectators to medical tents intended for exhausted  runners in desperate attempts to save lives.

‘They just started bringing people in with no  limbs,’ said runner Tim Davey of Richmond, Va. He said he and his  wife, Lisa,  tried to shield their children’s eyes from the gruesome  scene inside a medical  tent that had been set up to care for fatigued  runners, but ‘they saw a  lot.’

President Barack Obama spoke around 6pm Monday evening, saying that the American people stand by those in Boston affected by today's bombing.
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President Barack Obama spoke around 6pm Monday evening,  saying that the American people stand by those in Boston affected by today’s  bombing
President Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office today with FBI Director Robert Mueller and was seated with Lisa Monaco, head of Homeland Security, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and was briefed on the attack
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President Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office  today with FBI Director Robert Mueller and was seated with Lisa Monaco,  head of Homeland Security, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and was briefed on  the attack

The American flag on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol is lowered to half-staff on Capitol Hill, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Washington, to honor the victims of the explosions at the Boston Marathon.
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The American flag on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol  is lowered to half-staff on Capitol Hill, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Washington,  to honor the victims of the explosions at the Boston Marathon’  They just kept filling up with  more and  more casualties,’ Lisa Davey said. ‘Most everybody was  conscious. They were  very dazed.’Authorities in New York and Washington  tightened security precautions in the wake of the blasts.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and  Explosives sent all of its  bomb technicians, explosives officers, explosives  specialists and canine officers from their Boston and New York field divisions  to the scene,  as well as some investigators from Washington.The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation,  Justice Department, Homeland Security  Department and other agencies were all  lending assistance to the  investigation, authorities said.

Obama directed his administration to  provide  whatever assistance was necessary, the White House said.

Spectators typically line the 26.2 mile race  course, with the heaviest crowds near the finish line.

78-year-old runner describes moment bomb exploded  next to him

Lucky Escape: Boston Marathon runner Bill Iffrig appears on Piers Morgan on CNN after the marathon explosions on April 15, 2013Lucky Escape: Boston Marathon runner Bill Iffrig appears  on Piers Morgan on CNN after the marathon explosions on April 15, 2013

Seventy-eight-year-old Bill Iffrig, of Lake Stevens - who fell to the ground in the seconds after the blasts has become one of the unfortunate icons of the Boston marathon bombingsSeventy-eight-year-old Bill Iffrig, of Lake Stevens –  who fell to the ground in the seconds after the blasts has become one of the  unfortunate icons of the Boston marathon bombings

Seventy-eight-year-old Bill Iffrig, of Lake Stevens - is helped from the floor as stewards run to help those affected by the blast - as the second explosion can be seen detonating in the distance

Seventy-eight-year-old Bill Iffrig, of Lake Stevens – is  helped from the floor as stewards run to help those affected by the blast – as  the second explosion can be seen detonating in the distance

The Boston Marathon has been held on  Patriot’s Day, the third Monday of  April, since 1897. The event, which starts  in Hopkinton, Massachusetts  and ends in Boston’s Copley Square, attracts an  estimated half-million  spectators and some 20,000 participants every  year.

Of the 23,326 runners who started the race on  Monday, 17,584 finished before the blast, marathon officials  said. The runners  were diverted before officials brought the marathon to a halt.

The Boston Marathon released a new statement  on Tuesday afternoon, extending its sympathy to families affected by the bomb  blasts and thanking all those who helped save lives.

‘What was intended to be a day of joy and  celebration quickly became a day in which running a marathon was of little  importance,’ it said.

‘Boston is strong. Boston is resilient.  Boston is our home. And Boston has made us enormously proud in the past 24  hours… We are committed to continuing  that tradition with the running of the 118th Boston Marathon in  2014.’

Action plan: Runners who had not finished the race were stopped before the Massachusetts Avenue overpass.
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Action plan: Runners who had not finished the race were  stopped before the Massachusetts Avenue overpass
Boston police examine the damage following the massive twin detonations today at the Boston marathon.
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Boston police examine the damage following the massive  twin detonations today at the Boston marathon
A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 .
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A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured  by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square  on April 15, 2013
A person who was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon is taken away from the scene in a wheelchair.
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A person who was injured in an explosion near the finish  line of the 117th Boston Marathon is taken away from the scene in a  wheelchair
An unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course crying near Copley Square
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An unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course  crying near Copley Square

Have a  friend running the marathon? Check out this site to find their most recent checkpoint. Additionally,  families looking for loved ones should call 617-635-4500. Anyone with info about  explosions should call 1800-494-TIPS

Additional  reporting by Sara Nathan.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2310200/Is-Boston-
bomb-just-seconds-exploded-Dramatic-new-photos-reveal-bag-contained
-deadly-device–mystery-man-shredded-pants-fleeing-scene-blast.
html#ixzz2Qg5Jo6f4

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Doublespeak from The U.S. Federal Government?

February 17, 2013

So it looks like the Federal government is promising that drones won’t be armed when they fly over the United States:

An official with the Federal Aviation Administration reassured the public Wednesday that no armed drones will be permitted in U.S. airspace, but he acknowledged the agency can do little about privacy fears associated with the unmanned craft.

In an address to the drone-industry’s leading trade group, which is meeting this week in Northern Virginia, Jim Williams said existing rules already bar aircraft from using weapons and “we don’t have any plans of changing [those rules] for unmanned aircraft.”

“We currently have rules in the books that deal with releasing anything from an aircraft, period. Those rules are in place and that would prohibit weapons from being installed on a civil aircraft,” said Mr. Williams, who heads the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, formed last year to shepherd drones into already-crowded American skies and integrate drone use with the manned-aircraft system.

The FAA has cited “privacy concerns” as one reason it has fallen behind the congressionally mandated integration schedule, but Mr. Williams said the agency actually can’t do much of anything about those fears.

“The FAA has no authority to make rules or enforce any rules relative to privacy,” he said. “We can ask [the industry] to take into consideration the privacy issue. … There aren’t any rules to date on that.”

More than a half-dozen bills have been introduced in Congress to address those Fourth Amendment and personal privacy issues. At least 11 states, including Virginia, are pursuing similar measures.

The drone industry desperately wants to turn public attention away from their use for warfighting and snooping, instead emphasizing how law enforcement, farmers, media organizations, firefighters and numerous others will benefit when drones become available for commercial use, which is set for September 2015.

Now, I don’t mind drones becoming available to the public in the free market. As long as the demand is there, then we should be allowed to purchase our own drones, even weaponized ones (here some drone control).

But does anyone with any common sense actually believe FAA official Jim Williams when he says that the drones the government uses won’t have weapons on it?

Lying is the primary language of the State. Their promises are empty and worthless and their word is about as creditworthy as a homeless man.

posted by swiftfoxmark2

In The United States: Privacy May Be a Thing of the Past

February 17, 2013

Federal authorities step up efforts to license surveillance aircraft for law enforcement and other uses, amid growing privacy concerns.

Unmanned drone

NASA’s Ikhana unmanned aircraft heads out to aid in fighting a wildfire at Lake Arrowhead. Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are making increasing use of such craft. (Jim Ross, NASA / April 23, 2009)

By Brian Bennett and Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — While a national debate has erupted over the Obama administration’s lethal drone strikes overseas, federal authorities have stepped up efforts to license surveillance drones for law enforcement and other uses in U.S. airspace, spurring growing concern about violations of privacy.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it had issued 1,428 permits to domestic drone operators since 2007, far more than were previously known. Some 327 permits are still listed as active.

Operators include police, universities, state transportation departments and at least seven federal agencies. The remotely controlled aircraft vary widely, from devices as small as model airplanes to large unarmed Predators.

The FAA, which has a September 2015 deadline from Congress to open the nation’s airspace to drone traffic, has estimated 10,000 drones could be aloft five years later. The FAA this week solicited proposals to create six sites across the country to test drones, a crucial step before widespread government and commercial use is approved.

Local and state law enforcement agencies are expected to be among the largest customers.

Earlier this month, TV footage showed a midsized drone circling over the bunker in southeast Alabama where a 65-year-old gunman held a 5-year-old boy hostage. After a tense standoff, an FBI team stormed the bunker, rescued the boy and shot his captor. Authorities refused to say who was operating the AeroVironment drone, which has a 9-foot wingspan.

In Colorado, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office has used a fixed-wing drone to search for lost hikers in the mountains, and a helicopter drone to help crews battling fires. Flying manned planes or helicopters would cost at least $600 an hour, explained Ben Miller, who heads the program.

“We fly [drones] for less than $25 an hour,” Miller said. “It’s just a new way to put a camera up that’s affordable.”

Big-city police departments, including Los Angeles, have tested drones but are holding back on buying them until the FAA issues clear guidelines about operating in congested airspace, among other issues.

“You’ve got to take baby steps with this,” said Michael Downing, the LAPD deputy chief for counter-terrorism and special operations.

Los Angeles Police Department officials went to Simi Valley in December, he said, to watch a demonstration of a helicopter-like device that measured about 18 inches on each side and was powered by four propellers. It could fly about 90 minutes on its battery.

Downing said the LAPD was “pursuing the idea of purchasing” drones, but wouldn’t do so unless the FAA granted permission to fly them, and until the department could draw up policies on how to keep within privacy laws.

If the LAPD bought drones, Downing said, it initially would use them at major public events such as the Oscars or large protests. In time, drones could be flown to track fleeing suspects and assist in investigations. Tiny drones could even be used to fly inside buildings to shoot video if a suspect has barricaded himself within.

In theory, drones can offer unblinking eye-in-the-sky coverage. They can carry high-resolution video cameras, infrared sensors, license plate readers, listening devices and other high-tech gear. Companies have marketed drones disguised as sea gulls and other birds to mask their use.

That’s the problem, according to civil liberties groups. The technology is evolving faster than the law. Congress and courts haven’t determined whether drone surveillance would violate privacy laws more than manned planes or helicopters, or whether drone operators may be held liable for criminal trespassing, stalking or harassment.

“Americans have the right to know if and how the government is using drones to spy on them,” said Catherine Crump, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, which has called for updating laws to protect privacy.

A backlash has already started.

In Congress, Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) introduced privacy legislation Thursday that would require police to get a warrant or a court order before operating a drone to collect information on individuals.

“We need to protect against obtrusive search and surveillance by government and civilian use,” Poe said in a telephone interview. A similar bill failed last year.

Legislatures in 15 states are considering proposals to limit drone use. The City Council in Charlottesville, Va., passed a resolution on Feb. 4 barring local police from using drones — which they don’t yet have — to collect evidence in criminal cases.