Thursday, May 27, 2010

PC Magazine Grades Facebook's New Privacy Settings

Not such good grades, here:
1.) A Simplified Privacy Button On The Home Page: So-So

2.) "Just Friends" Default Setting: Fail

3.) Tighten Up Facebook Chat: Fail

4.) Offer Opt-In Incentives: Fail

5.) Streamline Account Deletion: Pass.

America's New National Security Strategy...

As released today by the White House, in this PDF file.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ian Johnson on Barack Obama's Misguided Support for Islamists

From Foreign Policy:
In power, the Obama administration has continued its predecessor's endorsement of Islamists. In January 2009, for example, the State Department sponsored a visit of German Muslim leaders to one of the bastions of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). The German visitors were key government officials in charge of integration or recruitment of minorities into the police. One of the briefers was Jamal Barzinji, one of the triumvirate who set up a number of key Brotherhood-inspired structures in the United States.

Like many Brotherhood-related groups, IIIT faded from public view after the 9/11 attacks but has experienced a renaissance recently. IIIT had been closely associated with a raft of Islamist organizations in northern Virginia that were raided by federal agents because of their suspected ties to extremist Islam. As elsewhere, this action followed a familiar pattern. The groups in question, including IIIT, were primarily problematic for ideological reasons -- for trying to push the Brotherhood's vision of an Islamicized society, which clearly cannot work in a pluralistic culture.

But instead of being challenged on the field of ideas, where they could easily be shown to hold beliefs antithetical to democratic ideals, they were accused of supporting criminal activities and were raided. This had a double effect: It created the strange spectacle of the legal arm of the government trying desperately to prosecute these groups while, at the same time, the diplomatic arm held them up as models of integration. The failure to convict the Muslims was seen as an exoneration, almost a seal of approval.

Daniel Pipes on CIA Support for Islamists

In his National Review Online review of Ian Johnson's new book: A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, Daniel Pipes declares that the CIA bears responsibility for today's pandemic Islamist terror...
Johnson opens with a review of the systematic Nazi efforts to recruit Soviet Muslims from among their prisoners of war. Many Muslims loathed Stalin, and between 150,000 and 300,000 of them fought for the Axis in World War II. In other words, over and above their unfulfilled propaganda effort directed at Arabs, the Nazis actually fielded a substantial force of mainly Turkic Muslims under the leadership of a scholarly Nazi enthusiast named Gerhard von Mende.

After the German defeat in 1945, Johnson follows von Mende as he continued his anti-Communist work with ex-Soviet Muslims, now in a Cold War context. But his network of former soldiers proved not very competent at the task of arousing Muslim hostility against the Soviet Union. Their leading intellectual, for example, had served as the imam of an SS division that helped suppress the Warsaw uprising of 1944. Islamists quickly proved themselves far more competent at this political and religious challenge. Johnson explains that they “wear suits, have university degrees, and can formulate their demands in ways that a politician can understand.”

The heart of his fascinating study lies in tracing the evolution, much of it in Munich, from old soldiers to new Islamists. It’s a classic tale of 1950s intrigue, complete with rehabilitated Nazis, CIA front organizations, and dueling Soviet and American ambitions.

Johnson shows how, without anyone quite planning it, the Americans usurped von Mende’s network and handed it over to Said Ramadan. This early U.S. boost to the Muslim Brotherhood, Johnson argues, gave it the means to establish an Islamist framework to welcome the surge of Muslim immigration to Europe in the 1970s.

Thus did the Islamist domination of European Muslims have two hidden facilitators, Nazi and American. Its origins in Barbarossa reveal the ugly pedigree of today’s Islamist strength. Hitler and his thugs could not have foreseen it, but they helped set the stage for Eurabia.

American backing for Islamists prompts Johnson to warn against the futility of allying with the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk — as Tony Blair once again recently attempted. However tempting, it invariably harms the West. The lesson is simple: Be cognizant of history and do not assist the Islamists.
On his blog, Pipes admits that he knew about this before Johnson's book, because of his own father's involvement in Cold War research
Coincidentally, I spent the summer of 1953 at the age of three in Munich, just as that city was emerging as a center of Islamic activism, precisely because of the major presence of ex-Soviet Muslims living there. An excerpt from my father's autobiography, Richard Pipes Vixi: Memoirs of a Non-Belonger (Yale University Press, 2003), p. 74 explains why he took the family to Munich:

At the end of May 1951, with financial assistance from the Center of International Affairs at MIT, Irene and I left Daniel with our parents and went on a four-month trip to Europe and the Middle East. My purpose was to interview the surviving members of national governments of what had been the Russian Empire during the period 1917-21. I located quite a few of them in London, Paris, Munich and Istanbul, and they helped me appreciably to understand the complex situations of that era. In Paris I established contact with the Georgian émigré community. Two years later, I spent another summer in Europe, this time in Munich, interviewing refugees from Soviet Central Asia, nearly all of them ex-German prisoners of war. The information they furnished on life in their regions in the 1930s reinforced my conviction that nationalism was well and alive in the borderlands of the USSR and that no mass assimilation was taking place.

His research that summer provided the basis of his article, "Muslims of Soviet Central Asia: Trends and Prospects,” The Middle East Journal, Spring, 1955, pp. 147-162 and Summer, 1955, pp. 295-308.

Interestingly, as Pipes notes, the author's website features photos of former Nazi Uzbeks recruited as Islamist CIA agents during the Cold War--not included in the book. Among other Muslim Brotherhood agents on the CIA payroll, according to Johnson’s research: Tariq Ramadan's father...

You can buy a copy from You can also listen to Ian Johnson's interview on the Diane Rehme show... Nieman Foundation interview here. Carnegie Council interview here. Wall Street Journal review here. Bookforum review here.

England Shifts Right

Just came back from a 100-mile walk across Dartmoor and Exmoor on the Two Moors Way. Highly recommended for splendid isolation, desolation, and reflection...Big news was the Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition Government headed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg. A shift to the right from Labour (which didn't lose as badly as it might have done), yet nevertheless significant since now England, France, Italy and Germany are all headed by conservative leaders. Left for home on the eve of the Queen's Speech.

People we talked to in London were generally optimistic, seemed to like the idea of the "outs" coming in to take over, after the "ins" had been thrown out.  Young faces (Cameron and Clegg are 40-ish), fresh starts, budget cuts, lengthy public manifestos published on the web and so forth dominated the news on TV and radio. A different approach to government, with a fixed term guaranteed by written agreement, and Clegg serving as a sort of vice-presidential Deputy Prime Minister to Cameron's presidential Prime Minister.

Will it work?

Too soon to tell, IMHO.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

iPad Cat Toy App

(ht Huffington Post)

Did Chris Cox Cause Thursday's Wall Street Plunge?

It sure looks like it, after reading yesterday's Washington Post article by David Cho and Jia Lynn Yang:
In 2007, the SEC put in place new rules for how stocks are traded, led by then-Chairman Christopher Cox. The goal was to give investors more control over how their trades were executed and to guarantee the best price when they buy stocks.

When the NYSE received an order for a stock, for instance, the rules required the exchange to route the order to the platform offering the best price.

The new SEC rules toppled the dominance of NYSE. The trading of its own listed stocks dropped from 85 percent to 21 percent, said James Angel, a professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

As a result, a single entity can no longer put a stop to panicked selling. The markets Thursday were a preview of what happens when other trading venues take over, he said.

"We are dangerously unprotected from a real-time meltdown," Angel said.

Market officials and regulators are now unwinding millions of the trades that occurred on the electronic exchanges Thursday...
More on this at this video documentary website: Stock Shock:

Happy V-E Day!

Since US, British and French troops are marching in the Russian V-E Day parade this year, I thought this old Soviet poster (ht featuring US, French and British (and Nationalist Chinese!) flags might be apropos...

Friday, May 07, 2010

Charles Crawford on the British Election

He calls the result "a well hung Parliament..."
In this context, the widest range of options and (vitally) sense of momentum is with the party which has much the biggest haul of seats and the highest number of votes, ie the Conservatives. Plus neither Labour nor the Lib Dems can afford a new election soon.

Which is why on balance after a flurry of uncertainty and desperate babbling brought about by sheer exhaustion, I expect David Cameron to lead the next UK government for a while under some sort of formal or informal arrangement as outlined above.

If this happens, an uneasy game of chicken will ensue: the Conservatives in effect will be saying to Parliament every day: "Vote us out if you dare - and face the consequences"...

Thursday, May 06, 2010

President Obama's Pakistan Connections

From reading this account, on, which points out that the President's mother worked in Pakistan for 5 years for the Asian Development Bank, overseeing a project in Gujranwallait from 1987-1992, it sounds like Barack Obama should be able to figure out Pakistan's role in NY's Times Square bomb plot for himself:
Barack Obama may have visited Pakistan for longer than any U.S. President or presidential candidate ever has. As so many college students do, he seemed eager to see the world. He was in Karachi in 1981 as a young student, returning from a visit to his mother in Indonesia. According to a New York Times report:

…Mr. Obama also spoke about having traveled to Pakistan in the early 1980s. Because of that trip, which he did not mention in either of his autobiographical books, “I knew what Sunni and Shia was before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” he said… According to his campaign staff, Mr. Obama visited Pakistan in 1981, on the way back from Indonesia, where his mother and half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, were living. He spent “about three weeks” there, Mr. Obama’s press secretary, Bill Burton, said, staying in Karachi with the family of a college friend, Mohammed Hasan Chandoo, but also traveling to Hyderabad, in India.

Finally, as mentioned in the excerpt above, Senator Obama had a number of Pakistani friends during his college days, and it was that friendship that brought him to Pakistan. Some details, again, from the same New York Times report:

…In Dreams from My Father, he talks of having a Pakistani roommate when he moved to New York, a man he calls Sadik who “had overstayed his tourist visa and now made a living in New York’s high-turnover, illegal immigrant work force, waiting on tables”… During his years at Occidental College, Mr. Obama also befriended Wahid Hamid, a fellow student who was an immigrant from Pakistan and traveled with Mr. Obama there, the Obama campaign said. Mr. Hamid is now a vice president at Pepsico in New York, and according to public records, has donated the maximum $2,300 to the Obama campaign and is listed as a fund-raiser for it. Mr. Chandoo is now a self-employed financial consultant, living in Armonk, N.Y. He has also donated the maximum, $2,300, to Mr. Obama’s primary campaign and an additional $309 for the general election, campaign finance records show.

An Associated Press story on Obama’s college friends has more interesting snippets. Especially his relationship with Sohale Siddiqi, from Karachi, is fascinating - all the more to the Pakistani reader:

The way Sohale Siddiqi remembers it, he and his old roommate were walking his pug Charlie on Broadway when a large, scary bum approached them, stomping on the ground near the dog’s head. This was in the 1980s, a time when New York was a fearful place beset by drugs and crime, when the street smart knew that the best way to handle the city’s derelicts was to avoid them entirely. But Siddiqi was angry and he confronted the man, who approached him menacingly. Until his skinny, elite univerity-educated friend - Barack Obama - intervened. He “stepped right in between. … He planted his face firmly in the face of the guy. ‘Hey, hey, hey.’ And the guy backpedaled and we kept walking,” Siddiqi recalls.

…Obama spent the six years between 1979 and 1985 at Occidental College in Los Angeles and then in New York at Columbia University and in the workplace. His memoir, Dreams from My Father, talks about this time, but not in great detail; Siddiqi, for example, is identified only as “Sadik” _ “a short, well-built Pakistani” who smoked marijuana, snorted cocaine and liked to party. Obama’s campaign wouldn’t identify “Sadik,” but The Associated Press located him in Seattle, where he raises money for a community theater. Together, the recollections of Siddiqi and other friends and acquaintances from Obama’s college years paint a portrait of the candidate as a young man. They remember a good student with a sharp mind and unshakable integrity, a young man who already had a passion for the underprivileged. Some described the young Obama’s personality as confident to the point of arrogance, a criticism that would emerge decades later, during the campaign.

Not everyone who knew Obama in those years is eager to talk. Some explained that they feared inadvertently hurting Obama’s campaign. Among his friends were Siddiqi and two other Pakistanis, all of them from Karachi; several of those interviewed said the Pakistanis were reluctant to talk for fear of stoking rumors that Obama is a Muslim. “Obama in the eyes of some right wingers is basically Muslim until proved innocent,” says Margot Mifflin, a friend from Occidental who is now a journalism professor at New York’s Lehman College. “It’s partly the Muslim factor by association and partly the fear of something being twisted.”

…Of course, he was only 18 when he arrived at the small liberal arts college nicknamed “Oxy.” His freshman roommates were Imad Husain, a Pakistani, who’s now a Boston banker, and Paul Carpenter, now a Los Angeles lawyer… Obama had an international circle of friends _ “a real eclectic sort of group,” says Vinai Thummalapally, who himself came from Hyderabad, India. As a freshman, he quickly became friends with Mohammed Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, two wealthy Pakistanis.

In 1981, Obama transferred from Occidental to Columbia. In between, he traveled to Pakistan - a trip that enhanced his foreign policy qualifications, he maintained in a private speech at a San Francisco fundraiser last month. Obama spent “about three weeks” in Pakistan, traveling with Hamid and staying in Karachi with Chandoo’s family, said Bill Burton, Obama’s press secretary. “He was clearly shocked by the economic disparity he saw in Pakistan. He couldn’t get over the sight of rural peasants bowing to the wealthy landowners they worked for as they passed,” says Margot Mifflin, who makes a brief appearance in Obama’s memoir.

When Obama arrived in New York, he already knew Siddiqi - a friend of Chandoo’s and Hamid’s from Karachi who had visited Los Angeles. Looking back, Siddiqi acknowledges that he and Obama were an odd couple. Siddiqi would mock Obama’s idealism - he just wanted to make a lot of money and buy things, while Obama wanted to help the poor. “At that age, I thought he was a saint and a square, and he took himself too seriously,” Siddiqi said. “I would ask him why he was so serious. He was genuinely concerned with the plight of the poor. He’d give me lectures, which I found very boring. He must have found me very irritating.”

Siddiqi offered the most expansive account of Obama as a young man. “We were both very lost. We were both alienated, although he might not put it that way. He arrived disheveled and without a place to stay,” said Siddiqi, who at the time worked as a waiter and as a salesman at a boutique… In about 1982, Siddiqi and Obama got an apartment at a sixth-floor walkup on East 94th Street. Siddiqi managed to get the apartment thanks to subterfuge. “We didn’t have a chance in hell of getting this apartment unless we fabricated the lease application,” Siddiqi said. Siddiqi fudged his credentials, saying he had a high-paying job at a catering company, but Obama “wanted no part of it. He put down the truth.”

The apartment was “a slum of a place” in a drug-ridden neighborhood filled with gunshots, he said. “It wasn’t a comfortable existence. We were slumming it.” What little furniture they had was found on the street, and guests would have to hold their dinner plates in their laps. While Obama has acknowledged using marijuana and cocaine during high school in Hawaii, he writes in the memoir that he stopped using soon after his arrival in New York. His roommate had no such scruples. But Siddiqi says that during their time together here, Obama always refused his offers of drugs.

…Siddiqi said his female friends thought Obama was “a hunk.” “We were always competing,” he said. “You know how it is. You go to a bar and you try hitting on the girls. He had a lot more success. I wouldn’t out-compete him in picking up girls, that’s for sure.” Obama was a tolerant roommate. Siddiqi’s mother, who had never been around a black man, came to visit and she was rude; Obama was nothing but polite. Siddiqi himself could be intemperate - he called Obama an Uncle Tom, but “he was really patient. I’m surprised he suffered me.” Finally, their relationship started to fray. “I was partying all the time. I was disrupting his studies,” Siddiqi said. Obama moved out.

… Neither Hamid nor Chandoo would be interviewed for this story; Hamid is now a top executive at Pepsico in New York, and Chandoo is a self-employed financial consultant in the New York area. Both have each contributed the maximum $2,300 to Obama’s campaign, and records indicate each has joined an Asian-American council that supports his run for president. Both also are listed on Obama’s campaign Web site as being among his top fundraisers, each bringing in between $100,000 and $200,000 in contributions from their networks of friends. Both also attended Obama’s wedding in 1992, according to published reports and other friends.

Thummalapally has stayed in contact with Obama, too, visiting him in New York, attending his wedding in 1992 and joining him in Springfield, Illinois., for the Feb. 10, 2007, announcement of Obama’s run for the White House. President of a CD and DVD manufacturing company in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Thummalapally also is listed as a top fundraiser on the campaign Web site.

Siddiqi has not kept in touch. His has been a difficult road; years after his time with Obama, Siddiqi says, he became addicted to cocaine and lost his business. But when he needed help during his recovery, Obama - the roommate he drove away with his partying, the man he always suspected of looking down at him - gave him a job reference. So yes, he’s an Obama man, too. Witness the message on his answering machine: “My name is Hal Siddiqi, and I approve of this message. Vote for peace, vote for hope, vote for change, and vote for Obama.”

But the most interesting account, even more interesting than the yarn about Hal Siddiqi comes from Barack Obama himself, in his book Dreams from My Father...


Just saw Marjane Satrapi's feature-length cartoon coming of age story about growing up as a Persian emigre on Netflix...very relevant to today. I'm sorry I didn't see it when it came out in 2007. I don't know why it didn't win the Academy award for best foreign film. Catherine Deneuve plays the mother's voice. Five stars!

Plus, it explains what's going on with Iran right now: What's Past is indeed Prologue...

Ann Coulter on the Times Square Bomb Plot

Even after the NYPD de-wired the smoking car bomb, produced enough information to identify the bomb-maker, and handed it all to federal law enforcement authorities tied up in a bow, the federal government's crack "no-fly" list failed to stop Shahzad from boarding a plane to Dubai.

To be fair, at Emirates Airlines, being on a "no-fly" list makes you eligible for pre-boarding.

Perhaps the Department of Homeland Security should consider creating a "Really, REALLY No-Fly" list.

Contrary to the wild excuses being made for the federal government on all the TV networks Monday night, it's now clear that this was not a wily plan of federal investigators to allow Shahzad to board the plane in order to nab his co-conspirators. It was a flub that nearly allowed Shahzad to escape.

Meanwhile, on that same Monday at JFK airport, approximately 100,000 passengers took off their shoes, coats, belts and sunglasses for airport security.

But the "highly trained federal force" The New York Times promised us on Oct. 28, 2001, when the paper demanded that airport security be federalized, failed to stop the only guy they needed to stop at JFK last Monday -- the one who planted a bomb in the middle of Times Square days earlier.

So why were 100,000 other passengers harassed and annoyed by the TSA?

The federal government didn't stop the diaper bomber from nearly detonating a bomb over Detroit. It didn't stop a guy on the "No Fly" list from boarding a plane and coming minutes away from getting out of the country.

If our only defense to terrorism is counting on alert civilians, how about not bothering them before they board airplanes, instead of harassing them with useless airport "security" procedures?

Both of the attempted bombers who sailed through airport security, I note, were young males of the Islamic faith. I wonder if we could develop a security plan based on that information?

And speaking of a "highly trained federal force," who's working at the INS these days? Who on earth made the decision to allow Shahzad the unparalleled privilege of becoming a U.S. citizen last year?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

WSJ: Pakistan's Historical Jihad

Sadanand Dhume explains:
In attempting to explain why so many attacks—abortive and successful—can be traced back to a single country, analysts tend to dwell on the 1980s, when Pakistan acted as a staging ground for the successful American and Saudi-funded jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. But while the anti-Soviet campaign undoubtedly accelerated Pakistan's emergence as a jihadist haven, to truly understand the country it's important to go back further, to its creation.

Pakistan was carved out of the Muslim-majority areas of British India in 1947, the world's first modern nation based solely on Islam. The country's name means "Land of the Pure." The capital city is Islamabad. The national flag carries the Islamic crescent and star. The cricket team wears green.

From the start, the new country was touched by the messianic zeal of pan-Islamism. The Quranic scholar Muhammad Asad—an Austrian Jew born Leopold Weiss—became an early Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations. The Egyptian Said Ramadan, son-in-law of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, made Pakistan a second home of sorts and collaborated with Pakistan's leading Islamist ideologue, the Jamaat-e-Islami's Abul Ala Maududi. In 1949, Pakistan established the world's first transnational Islamic organization, the World Muslim Congress. Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the virulently anti-Semitic grand mufti of Jerusalem, was appointed president.

Through alternating periods of civilian and military rule, one thing about Pakistan has remained constant—the central place of Islam in national life. In the 1960s, Pakistan launched a war against India in an attempt to seize control of Kashmir, the country's only Muslim-majority province, one that most Pakistanis believe ought to be theirs by right.

In the 1970s the Pakistani army carried out what Bangladeshis call a genocide in Bangladesh; non-Muslims suffered disproportionately. Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto boasted about creating an "Islamic bomb." (The father of Pakistan's nuclear program, A.Q. Khan, would later export nuclear technology to the revolutionary regime in Iran.) In the 1980s Pakistan welcomed Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the Palestinian theorist of global jihad Abdullah Azzam.

In the 1990s, armed with expertise and confidence gained fighting the Soviets, the army's notorious Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spawned the Taliban to take over Afghanistan, and a plethora of terrorist groups to challenge India in Kashmir. Even after 9/11, and despite about $18 billion of American aid, Pakistan has found it hard to reform its instincts.

Pakistan's history of pan-Islamism does not mean that all Pakistanis, much less everyone of Pakistani origin, hold extremist views. But it does explain why a larger percentage of Pakistanis than, say, Indonesians or Tunisians, are likely to see the world through the narrow prism of their faith. The ISI's reluctance to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism—training camps, a web of ultra-orthodox madrassas that preach violence, and terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba—ensure that Pakistan remains a magnet for any Muslim with a grudge against the world and the urge to do something violent about it.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

William McGurn: First Amendment a Right, Not a Privilege

In today's Wall Street Journal, William McGurn reflects on the implications for bloggers of the Apple v Gizmodo iPhone Case:
Steve Simpson, a lawyer for the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm, puts it this way: "Once the government gets in the business of deciding who can speak based on identity, it will then necessarily be involved in deciding what viewpoints get heard."

The classic view of the First Amendment holds all Americans are entitled to its rights by virtue of citizenship. These days, alas, too many journalists and politicians assume that a free press should mean special privileges for a designated class. The further we travel in this direction, the more the government will end up deciding which Americans qualify and which do not.

It's not just Mr. Chen. Two weeks ago in New Jersey, a state appeals court ruled that a hockey mom who blogs is not a journalist for the purposes of protecting her sources. The woman was being sued for derogatory comments she posted on a message board about a company that supplies software for the porn industry. At the federal level, meanwhile, a "shield law" protecting journalists from revealing their sources remains bogged down in Congress as legislators are forced to define who is legitimately a journalist and who is not.
IMHO, "shield laws" are a bad idea--undemocratic, unconstitutional, and unfair...unlike the First Amendment.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Huffington Post: Lesson of Times Square Bomb Attempt--Try Terror Suspects in Manhattan!

IMHO, this analysis by Dan Collins, NY editor of the Huffington Post, is correct:
If I could offer a lesson, I'd be counter-intuitive. We should have let the federal government try the 9/11 terror sheik in Manhattan. It would have been inconvenient, although not necessarily as inconvenient as the police department led us to believe. But it would have been taking a stand. New Yorkers against the crazy people, most of whom fail. And the one who succeeds is never the one you suspect.

So we should work as hard as we can to protect against the unforeseeable. But in the meantime, we should be brave, and united, and supremely ticked off.

Connecticut Post: State Home for Terrorists

According to the Stratford, Connecticut Post, terrorists have been in the state for years. A couple of recent past links to terror in the land of steady habits:
Spring 2001 -- Four of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers meet with a Jordanian national living in Bridgeport who later was arrested for providing false identification cards to illegal aliens. The four are identified as Hani S.H. Hanjour, Nawaf Alzhami, Ahmed Alghamdi and Majed M. GH. Moqed was living at the Fairfield Motor Inn. Hanjour piloted the American Air Lines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon. The Bridgeport contact, identified as Eyad M. Alrababah , is arrested by authorities in New Jersey for providing false identification cards and driver's licenses.

April 3, 2009 -- Hassan Abujihaad, a former U.S. Navy signalman aboard the U.S.S. Benson, is sentenced to 10 years in prison by a federal judge in New Haven for disclosing ship movements via e-mails to Azzam Publications in London. Azzam operated an Internet site through OLM, LLC., a Trumbull-based web hosting firm. Two members of Azzam, Syehed Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad, who sought people to fight and fund the Jihad over the website, are challenging their extradition from London to Connecticut to stand trial on federal terrorism charges.
The Connecticut paper also published information on the alleged source of the car used in Times Square:
The Connecticut license plate on the explosives-packed Nissan Pathfinder was found to have been taken from a Ford pickup truck recently sent for repair to Kramer's Used Auto Parts on Old South Avenue in Stratford. Several sources said a vehicle identification number found on a replacement part on the Pathfinder was also from a vehicle last tracked to Kramer's.

Federal, New York state and New York City investigators went to the Norwalk home of Norman LeBlanc shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday, a police source said, adding that LeBlanc, whose family has owned Kramer's and other area auto parts businesses, then took the investigators to the Stratford junkyard.

It could not immediately be learned what, if any, material was taken from the business.

A few hours later Sunday morning, about a dozen police vehicles -- local police and FBI and NYPD -- were still outside Kramer's, which is off Access Road. The business is surrounded by an old chain-link fence with signs saying, "used cars bought and sold" and "auto and truck parts." There are dozens of used and junked cars on the lot.

Wayne LeBlanc is listed as president and CEO of the Stratford business. A reporter was turned away from his Flax Hill Road home in Norwalk without comment Sunday night.

Richarrd Fredette, chairman of Stratford's Board of Zoning Appeals and former owner of Elite Auto Body, said LeBlanc bought Kramer's from Nick Kramer, now deceased, about 15 years ago.

Hail to the Street Vendors Who Saved New York, Lance Horton & Duane Jackson!

The NY Daily News has the story:
They saw something and they said something.

Two Times Square street vendors - and Vietnam veterans - alerted cops that there was something fishy about the dark-colored SUV, officials said.

T-shirt hawker Lance Orton flagged down hero officer Wayne Rhatigan, 46, who was patrolling Times Square on horseback Saturday night.

"I'm not a celebrity, I'm just an average Joe," Orton said Sunday night, a towel wrapped around his waist in his Bronx apartment. "It's nice, but I'm not a glory hound."

Handbag vendor Duane Jackson also noticed the Nissan Pathfinder, and was immediately suspicious.

"Why is this knucklehead parked in the bus lane?" Jackson, 58, of Buchanan, Westchester County, said he asked himself after spotting the Nissan Pathfinder in a No Standing zone just as cops alerted by Orton were responding.

A cop shined a flashlight through the tinted windows.

What Jackson saw next really scared him.

"Smoke started coming out of it, then the pops began - five or six of them," Jackson said. "They sounded like firecrackers," he said. "That's when everyone started running."

Read more:
Here's a link to a facebook page asking Mayor Bloomberg to take the street vendors out to dinner.