"Of all the silly nonsense, this is the stupidest tea party I’ve ever been to in all my life." ~ (Alice from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’)
The NSA, fully funded and operational, won’t have any problem continuing to map our social and associational patterns. The FBI will still map ethnic communities and spy on peace and justice activists. The CIA will go on plotting and executing its extrajudicial drone killings in places like Pakistan and Yemen. The DEA will still use NSA intercepts to sneakily forward drug prosecutions while hiding from judges and defendants the intelligence that sparks investigations. Customs, Border Protection will go on harassing Muslims and immigrants at the border, humiliating citizens and visitors alike for no good reason. ICE will continue to deport and detain immigrants, tearing families asunder. The surveillance state will go on, ‘protecting’ a shell of a civilization. We might not be able to eat, but at least someone will be watching us starve.
Kenya’s Interior Ministry said early Tuesday it was "in control" of a shopping center besieged by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists two days after the upscale mall was seized by members of a Somali terrorist group that invaded with guns blazing, killing at least 62 people.
The ministry made the announcement via its Twitter feed, adding that security forces were still combing the mall floor by floor looking for people but that it believed "all hostages have been released."
Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku also revised the death toll to 62. Kenyan officials earlier said 59 people have died since the siege on Westgate Mall began on Saturday, while the Red Cross had put the toll at 68, then in a tweet lowered it to 62, saying some bodies had been counted twice.
Following hours of sporadic clashes, a CBS News team positioned near the mall Monday reported a heavy exchange of gunfire, several loud explosions and then thick black smoke emerging from within the complex. Lenku, the interior minister, said at his news conference that the smoke was due to the militants burning mattresses inside the mall.
Kenya Chief of Defense forces Gen. Julius Karangi said fighters from an array of nations participated in the attack claimed by al-Shabab.
Karangi said Kenyan forces were in charge of all floors inside the mall, though terrorists could still be hiding inside. Earlier witness reports had indicated that a woman was among the estimated 10 to 15 attackers. Lenku said that instead some male attackers had dressed up like women.
The four explosions were followed by volleys of gunfire, then a thick, dark column of smoke that burned for roughly 90 minutes. Military and police helicopters and one plane circled over the Nairobi mall, giving the upscale neighborhood the feel of a war zone.
Kenyans and foreigners were among those confirmed dead, including British, French, Canadians, Indians, a Ghanaian, a South African and a Chinese woman. The U.K. Foreign Office said Monday it has confirmed the deaths of four British nationals. At least five Americans were confirmed to have been injured in the attack.
Al-Shabab extremists stormed the mall on Saturday from two sides, throwing grenades and firing on civilians.
Al-Shabab is an extremist Islamic terrorist force that grew out of the anarchy that crippled Somalia after warlords ousted a longtime dictator in 1991. Its name means “The Youth” in Arabic, and it was a splinter youth wing of a weak Islamic Courts Union government created in 2006 to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state in the East African nation.
While known to have links to al Qaeda, al-Shabab has for years been focused on carrying out attacks primarily inside Somalia. There have been suggestions of divisions among the organization’s leadership causing tension, and it has not typically been considered the greatest threat to U.S. interests — certainly not in comparison to the Yemen-based al Qaeda franchise al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
President Obama said the United States stands with Kenya against the “terrible outrage” of a shopping mall terrorist attack.
Mr. Obama says the United States is providing assistance and all the help it can to deal with the tragedy.
"We will provide them with whatever law enforcement support that is necessary, and we are confident that Kenya, which has been a pillar of stability in eastern Africa will rebuild," Mr. Obama said.
At least 13 people are dead and several others were wounded after a shooter opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, police said, spreading fear and chaos across the region as authorities sought to contain the panic.
The incident, in which the death toll rose almost hourly, represents the single worst loss of life in the District since an airliner plunged into the Potomac River in 1982, killing 78.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the mounting number of casualties in a series of news conferences. The suspected shooter, identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis, 34, from Forth Worth, Texas, is among the 13 dead. Alexis was a military contractor, one official said.
Gray said no motive is known yet. He said there is no reason to believe it was an act of terrorism, though he added that he could not rule it out.
Lanier described the other possible suspect, who has not been located, as a black man in his 40s with gray sideburns, wearing an olive-drab military-style uniform. He, and the man who was cleared, came under suspicion when they were seen on surveillance videos.
Alexis grew up in Brooklyn with his mother, Sarah, and father, Anthony Alexis, according to his aunt Helen Weeks.
“We haven’t seen him for years,” Weeks said of her nephew in a telephone interview. “I know he was in the military. He served abroad. I think he was doing some kind of computer work.”
Alexis spent nearly four years in the Navy as a full-time reservist from May 2007 until he was discharged in January 2011, according to a summary of his personnel records released by Navy officials at the Pentagon.
He achieved his final rank of Aviation Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class in December 2009. Officials said they did not immediately know the reasons for his discharge.
The carnage began around 8 p.m. when the U.S. Navy said that three shots were fired at Building 197, headquaters of the Naval Sea Systems Command. About 3,000 people work in the building.
Rick Mason, a program management analyst who is a civilian with the U.S. Navy, told the Associated Press that a gunman was shooting from a fourth floor overlook in the hallway outside his office. He said the gunman was aiming at people in the building’s first floor cafeteria.
“He didn’t say a word,” said her co-worker, Todd Brundage.
Another Drill Gone Live like Aurora, Sandy Hook, Boston Bombing: from USA Today, 9/16: “Dave Sarr, an environmental engineer, was walking down a nearby street when he saw people running from the Navy Yard. Sarr had seen an evacuation drill a few days earlier at the Navy Yard. “At first I thought it was another drill,” Sarr said. “Then I saw an officer with his weapon drawn.”