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16 June 2011
News of aQ hit list discussion goes mainstream

I started reporting on this on 05 June, the day the discussion began. Reported on it through channels, and on Twitter. Ten days later, first DHS, and then the FBI, pushed out reports on the project.

Good thing jihadis are even slower than we are...

NBC New York gets kudos for a reasonable, non-inflammatory report on the situation:

Possible Al-Qaida Hit List Targets Specific Americans

A better review of the situation will now be found at foxnews.com:

Al Qaeda-Linked Site Posts 'Hit List' of U.S. Targets, Prompting Feds to Send Alert

Regardless of how "aspirational" the hit list is, targeting discussions such as this should *not* be allowed to occur without the sites and activists in question suffering some sort of consequences. We sat idly by back in 2003 and 2004 as al-Qaida supporters engaged in just such a project in support of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's forces in Iraq, and the result was as predictable as it was bloody. The reader should also bear in mind that online activists who engage in work such as this have this way of progressing to real-world terrorist activity (assuming they are not already in engaged in same).

I am not aware of any evidence to support a catharsis hypothesis. According to such a hypothesis, talking about killing someone get's the desire to kill "out of the system" of the speaker. A more reasonable explanation as to why many who talk about killing don't get around to doing any killing will be found in the many impediments, both internal and external, that get in the way of the would-be killer and his/her desired target. For a good introduction to this subject, see On Killing, by LTC. Dave Grossman. For a piss-poor substitute, see my own reflection on Grossman's work, Why Ahmed Can't Kill.

Posted on 16 June 2011 @ 23:36

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