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Old Aug 26, 11, 10:59 am   #1
 
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More Reason for Discomfort

While "terrorism professionals" scope and grope everyone, young and old, this news comes in. When Anders Breivik bought his explosive ingredients, it popped his name up on an international intelligence list, but no action was taken. Reason: "It was a legal transaction". I suppose you can say the same about Tim McVeigh. To my simple mind, "Is it legal" isn't my first choice for question to ask. Rather, "is this someone who'd want this for legitimate purposes?" In short, even the monitoring methods they use aren't analyzed with any obvious intelligence. Only makes the present method of feeling up people indiscriminately seem more daft. Because now I think "will they even know the right thing to do if they EVER strike gold?" I just doubt it.
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Old Aug 26, 11, 11:20 am   #2
 
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Originally Posted by LuvAirFrance View Post
While "terrorism professionals" scope and grope everyone, young and old, this news comes in. When Anders Breivik bought his explosive ingredients, it popped his name up on an international intelligence list, but no action was taken. Reason: "It was a legal transaction". I suppose you can say the same about Tim McVeigh. To my simple mind, "Is it legal" isn't my first choice for question to ask. Rather, "is this someone who'd want this for legitimate purposes?" In short, even the monitoring methods they use aren't analyzed with any obvious intelligence. Only makes the present method of feeling up people indiscriminately seem more daft. Because now I think "will they even know the right thing to do if they EVER strike gold?" I just doubt it.
It popped up as a legal transaction because he had gone to the trouble of setting up a fake business that would legitimately use these materials (I think it was an agricultural business). Clever, these terrorists, no?

This is why, no matter how much government involvement, legislation, reporting, etc. is implemented, truly intellegent terrorists will find a way to bypass such measures.

This begs the question: Why bother with such intrusive measures if they will not catch the intelegent terrorists? And, I suppose, the answer is: Catching stupid terrorists is better than not catching any terrorists!
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Old Aug 26, 11, 11:28 am   #3
 
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Didn't the father of the "underwear bomber" call the FBI and tell them in no uncertain terms that his son was up to no good prior to his failed attempt?
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Old Aug 26, 11, 11:48 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by BamaDude View Post
Didn't the father of the "underwear bomber" call the FBI and tell them in no uncertain terms that his son was up to no good prior to his failed attempt?
Yes that's true and they did nothing.If I remember correctly he was on a "watch list" too
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Old Aug 26, 11, 12:01 pm   #5
 
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Indeed, he was on a watch list, and even though his father alerted the US Embassy of his plans, they did nothing.

Why?

Well, his name was not placed on the NFL, for one thing, in spite of evidence that he was, indeed, someone who should've been on it, arguments to the validity/necessity of a NFL notwithstanding.


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On November 11, 2009, British intelligence officials sent the U.S. a cable indicating that a man named "Umar Farouk" had spoken to al-Awlaki, pledging to support jihad, but the cable did not reflect Abdulmutallab's last name.[61] Abdulmutallab's father made a report to two CIA officers at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, on November 19 regarding his son's "extreme religious views",[4][62] and told the embassy that Abdulmutallab might be in Yemen.[6][19][33][63] Acting on the report, the suspect's name was added in November 2009 to the U.S.'s 550,000-name Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, a database of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center. It was not added, however, to the FBI's 400,000-name Terrorist Screening Database, the terror watch list that feeds both the 14,000-name Secondary Screening Selectee list and the U.S.'s 4,000-name No Fly List,[64] nor was his U.S. visa revoked.
Source: Wikipedia

Last edited by essxjay; Aug 26, 13 at 12:30 pm.. Reason: going OMNI/PR
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Old Aug 26, 11, 2:54 pm   #6
 
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Trouble with that "watch list" is they so indiscriminately put names in there that it became unwieldy and useless. Precisely my critique of the screening process. The attempt to do anything in a "blanket fashion" increases the odds that the genuine piece of information will just blow by. NSA captures ALL international transmissions, so it has the same problem. But it also uses supercomputers to try to sort it out. TSA apparently can't infer the simple truth that THEIR system is reliant on lowbrows who might fail in sorting two pieces of information. Pistole is only really good at sound bytes, so even if he's smarter, the brain is going to waste. Early on, I read a foreign critique of US efforts that made exactly the point that US methods were fatally flawed.

And then we get back to summer 2001 where "there was a lot of chatter but nothing that pointed directly to a New York attack". These weren't high school dropouts, these were the top security officials at the time. If they couldn't interpret the incoming data, who in TSA has a ghost of a chance of doing it with their blanket methods?

And bottomline: Who in DHS really cares? Every adminstration since the 70's has maneuvered to guard against political damage. Frankly, I just watched a show on Churchill's attempt to wake up America, and the reason given for refusing unused destroyers was "America was against any European involvement". And I'd go so far as to say it goes back to Wilson who ran as the guy who "kept us out of war".

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for everything else, but even that's dubious.
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Old Aug 26, 11, 4:17 pm   #7
 
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OK, don't laugh. I own a cannon.

It is a black powder cannon, 2" bore. I used to take it to Independence Day picnics and set it off a couple of times. It makes a huge noise and lots of smoke. At night, the muzzle flash is awesome. I never shoot projectiles except for tight wads to allow proper breech pressure and big boom. And I mean big. Louder than any fireworks.

I have not shot it in a few years because of no opportunity, but it is perfectly shootable. It is safe as long as one remembers the absolute three rules of cannon shooting: Do not stand in front of it. Do not stand behind it. Swab the bore.

To shoot the cannon I need 6-7 Oz of 1F powder and some 3 or 4F for the vent hole if I am going to touch it off. I usually use cannon fuse of about 3 seconds/inch and avoid the 3 or 4F.

My first question: If I go and buy that stuff to shoot my cannon, will I get put on a list? I buy from a huge blank powder supply house in the area.

My second question: What is the best soap to get blank powder residue off my skin before the next time I fly?

A third question that is completely informational: Can I bring cannon fuse on the plane? What about checked? (It is probably considered an incendiary.)

Yes, these are serious questions.
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Old Sep 3, 11, 7:17 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by BamaDude View Post
Didn't the father of the "underwear bomber" call the FBI and tell them in no uncertain terms that his son was up to no good prior to his failed attempt?
Sorry, you don't get on the no fly list by somebody making personal contact. There has to be somebody in a bunker typing things into a computer to legitimize the whole thing.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 10:30 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
OK, don't laugh. I own a cannon.

It is a black powder cannon, 2" bore. I used to take it to Independence Day picnics and set it off a couple of times. It makes a huge noise and lots of smoke. At night, the muzzle flash is awesome. I never shoot projectiles except for tight wads to allow proper breech pressure and big boom. And I mean big. Louder than any fireworks.

I have not shot it in a few years because of no opportunity, but it is perfectly shootable. It is safe as long as one remembers the absolute three rules of cannon shooting: Do not stand in front of it. Do not stand behind it. Swab the bore.

To shoot the cannon I need 6-7 Oz of 1F powder and some 3 or 4F for the vent hole if I am going to touch it off. I usually use cannon fuse of about 3 seconds/inch and avoid the 3 or 4F.

My first question: If I go and buy that stuff to shoot my cannon, will I get put on a list? I buy from a huge blank powder supply house in the area.

My second question: What is the best soap to get blank powder residue off my skin before the next time I fly?

A third question that is completely informational: Can I bring cannon fuse on the plane? What about checked? (It is probably considered an incendiary.)

Yes, these are serious questions.
My answer to the first question is to just pay cash.

I come from California where you can no longer even buy sparklers, let alone fire crackers (well, legally at least...). But over the past few years I've driven across America west to east, and north to south and back again and been amazed at what you can buy in fireworks stores in Indiana, West Virginia, South Carolina and parts of Pennsylvania. In one store in SC the guy tried to sell me a mortar and rockets for an industrial level fireworks show. Forget checking my ID, he'd seen the envelop of cash in my bag (I know, my bad for letting him see it).
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Old Jun 26, 12, 10:28 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
OK, don't laugh. I own a cannon.

It is a black powder cannon, 2" bore. I used to take it to Independence Day picnics and set it off a couple of times. It makes a huge noise and lots of smoke. At night, the muzzle flash is awesome. I never shoot projectiles except for tight wads to allow proper breech pressure and big boom. And I mean big. Louder than any fireworks.

I have not shot it in a few years because of no opportunity, but it is perfectly shootable. It is safe as long as one remembers the absolute three rules of cannon shooting: Do not stand in front of it. Do not stand behind it. Swab the bore.

To shoot the cannon I need 6-7 Oz of 1F powder and some 3 or 4F for the vent hole if I am going to touch it off. I usually use cannon fuse of about 3 seconds/inch and avoid the 3 or 4F.

My first question: If I go and buy that stuff to shoot my cannon, will I get put on a list? I buy from a huge blank powder supply house in the area.

My second question: What is the best soap to get blank powder residue off my skin before the next time I fly?

A third question that is completely informational: Can I bring cannon fuse on the plane? What about checked? (It is probably considered an incendiary.)

Yes, these are serious questions.
Sounds like what one of my high schools used to set off, after football touchdowns. It gets your attention.

Bialog exchanges in movie history (best seen, not read)...
[Burt cuts off a piece of fuse for a bomb for Earl]
Earl Bassett: What kind of fuse is that?
Burt Gummer: Cannon fuse
Earl Bassett: What the hell do you use it for?
Burt Gummer: My cannon!


We're all on a list, somewhere. And I shall now remove my tinfoil hat.

There's some references onilne to using Gojo, yet I'm not sure even that would remove the trace amounts, which would be picked up by ETD?

Quick Google says that as long as the cannon fuse is categorized as safety fuse, it's mailable, yet only by surface. Personaly, I really doubt they'd permit it in checked luggage, no matter how well sealed/packed it was. In the event of a catastrophic event, I'm presuming the last thing they want is something that has that much stored energy in it.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 12:39 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbagdon View Post
...
[Burt cuts off a piece of fuse for a bomb for Earl]
Earl Bassett: What kind of fuse is that?
Burt Gummer: Cannon fuse
Earl Bassett: What the hell do you use it for?
Burt Gummer: My cannon!
Tremors, ftw!
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Old Jun 26, 12, 6:05 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
My first question: If I go and buy that stuff to shoot my cannon, will I get put on a list? I buy from a huge blank powder supply house in the area.

My second question: What is the best soap to get blank powder residue off my skin before the next time I fly?

A third question that is completely informational: Can I bring cannon fuse on the plane? What about checked? (It is probably considered an incendiary.)

Yes, these are serious questions.
1. Black Powder Transactions (pdf warning; quote from p 89)
Quote:
Public Law 93-639 (1975) allows nonlicensees/nonpermittees to purchase commercially manufactured black powder, in quantities of 50 pounds or less, solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes for use in antique firearms or antique devices. A nonlicensee or nonpermittee purchasing black powder under the exemption need not be a resident of the State in which the dealer is located. Also, the categories of persons to whom the distribution of explosive materials is prohibited do not apply to black powder transactions made under the exemption. Acquisitions of black powder not qualifying under this exemption are subject to the same regulatory requirements that govern any other low explosive.
All persons who distribute black powder, regardless of quantity, must be licensed as explosives dealers and, among other things, must provide adequate storage.
On page 38 of this document, there are several pages pertaining to what records must be kept, but I don't have the patience to read them. Pay for the powder with cash, and if they ask to see your ID and write info down, assume you will end up on some list.

2. The ingredients are potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur. I would guess the only thing they 'detect' is the nitrate, and nitrate is very soluble in water. Any handsoap should work, but Lava should definitely take care of it. Of course, glycerin is an ingredient in Lava.

I shot several dozen professional-grade fireworks on July 4 (amazing what you can buy at the side of the road in Texas) and wore the same pair of tennis shoes to the airport the next day with no effort to clean them. Had a patdown and shoes were swabbed, but no explosives detected <shrug>

3. I'm betting that will definitely get you put on a list.
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Old Aug 26, 13, 5:51 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
OK, don't laugh. I own a cannon.

It is a black powder cannon, 2" bore. I used to take it to Independence Day picnics and set it off a couple of times. It makes a huge noise and lots of smoke. At night, the muzzle flash is awesome. I never shoot projectiles except for tight wads to allow proper breech pressure and big boom. And I mean big. Louder than any fireworks.

I have not shot it in a few years because of no opportunity, but it is perfectly shootable. It is safe as long as one remembers the absolute three rules of cannon shooting: Do not stand in front of it. Do not stand behind it. Swab the bore.

To shoot the cannon I need 6-7 Oz of 1F powder and some 3 or 4F for the vent hole if I am going to touch it off. I usually use cannon fuse of about 3 seconds/inch and avoid the 3 or 4F.

My first question: If I go and buy that stuff to shoot my cannon, will I get put on a list? I buy from a huge blank powder supply house in the area.

My second question: What is the best soap to get blank powder residue off my skin before the next time I fly?

A third question that is completely informational: Can I bring cannon fuse on the plane? What about checked? (It is probably considered an incendiary.)

Yes, these are serious questions.
I know I am tagging along behind Janet Doe here, but to reiterate:

1. As long as you don't violate the regulations of the location you are living (and I don't believe ordering the amounts you would use for the cannon you describe would go past most local regulations that I know of), there should be no negative repercussions for the purchase... Of course, YMMV depending on location. There are tons of people in this region that hunt with black powder rifles, and there are tons of VFW/Legion (insert any other myriad of Veterans groups here) that participate in parades and celebrations on holidays/special events that operate things that make big booms using powder, and we see them come through all the time with no ill effect.

2. Any "strong" soap (read Gojo, Lava, industrial hand cleaners) will remove the vast majority of the chemicals found in black powder from your skin.

3. Please do not bring a fuse with you to the airport. If it is found, it could be a big brouhaha as it traditionally (at least in the case of Visco fuses) has black powder cores (or another format of highly flammable core, they do typically update the contents as time goes by), this could result in quality time with local LEOs, explosives specialists and way too many of the TSOs. While I would love to see the cannon fired, I would not like to see you go through the gauntlet over a 3 inch visco fuse in an airport.

There are some online sources for fuses, that will ship to most locations, perhaps you could simply order them and have them delivered to you whenever you intend to celebrate big boom style?
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Old Aug 26, 13, 10:19 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by LuvAirFrance View Post
While "terrorism professionals" scope and grope everyone, young and old, this news comes in. When Anders Breivik bought his explosive ingredients, it popped his name up on an international intelligence list, but no action was taken. Reason: "It was a legal transaction". I suppose you can say the same about Tim McVeigh. To my simple mind, "Is it legal" isn't my first choice for question to ask. Rather, "is this someone who'd want this for legitimate purposes?" In short, even the monitoring methods they use aren't analyzed with any obvious intelligence. Only makes the present method of feeling up people indiscriminately seem more daft. Because now I think "will they even know the right thing to do if they EVER strike gold?" I just doubt it.
As long as something is a legal transaction, in my opinion, that's as far as the line of questioning and investigation should go.

The more we get into, "Well, he bought something that MIGHT be used as a weapon!" mindset, the more and more innocuous items will be added to that mindset. "OMG! That man just bought 30 gallons of bleach and 50 bottles of amonia-based window cleaner!" Well, yeah, cause he owns a janitorial company that cleans bathrooms and windows. The fact that amonia and bleach MIGHT be used to create a potentially lethal chemical weapon is beside the point; there is no reason to call the police or submit peoples' names to a federal spy-on-em-they're-potential-terr'ists database anytime someone makes a legal purchase.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that, so long as a purchase or activity is legal, who has the right to determine whether the purchase is legitimate? And beyond that - who has the right to define what is or is not legitimate?

As far as I'm concerned, as long as a purchase is legal, it should be automatically assumed to be legitimate and non-suspicious, and should never raise red flags on its own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbagdon View Post
Bialog exchanges in movie history (best seen, not read)...
[Burt cuts off a piece of fuse for a bomb for Earl]
Earl Bassett: What kind of fuse is that?
Burt Gummer: Cannon fuse
Earl Bassett: What the hell do you use it for?
Burt Gummer: My cannon!
Funny, but when I read Ink's post that scene immediately came into my mind, too. My friends and I quote that movie all the time:

"A few household chemicals in the proper proportions..."

"STAMPEDE!"

"Broke into the wrong (*@#$(* rec room, didn't you, ya #$)(&)(&!!"
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Old Aug 26, 13, 11:30 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by DeafBlonde View Post
This is why, no matter how much government involvement, legislation, reporting, etc. is implemented, truly intelligent terrorists will find a way to bypass such measures.
This is a key point that seems to be completely ignored.

The DHS didn't think through many of the restrictions. They certainly didn't apply is the "is this the least intrusive way of accomplishing the goal".

Banning liquids is a perfect example. The ban was put into place as a knee-jerk reaction to an amateur plot that couldn't have worked. (Or was it chatter' -- which seems to be code for "foreign teens on a chat board seeing if they can get a reaction"). It should have taken less than a day to figure out the threat wasn't viable. The ban should never have been put into place.

The problem is that you can't actually ban liquids. We depend on them to live. If you think it through for even a few minutes, you come up with a list of exceptions. Big enough exceptions that a rational person realizes that a pseudo-ban can't work. It's a major hassle for innocent people, and a trivial barrier to someone that wants to smuggle something.
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