Tags: terrorism

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Men armed with machine guns and grenades storm Mumbai's tourist hotspots and hotels, killing over 80 and injuring over 250.

MUMBAI (Reuters) - At least 80 people were killed in attacks apparently aimed at tourists in India's financial capital Mumbai on Wednesday night, and television channels said Westerners were being held hostage at two five-star hotels.

At least 250 people were wounded in the series of attacks, police said. Local television channels said the army had begun moving into one of the hotels, the Oberoi, containing hostages.

Apart from the hotels, attackers also targeted the Cafe Leopold, perhaps the most famous restaurant and hang-out for tourists in the city, as well as hospitals and railway stations.

"I guess they were after foreigners, because they were asking for British or American passports," said Rakesh Patel, a British witness who lives in Hong Kong and was staying at the Taj Mahal hotel on business. "They had bombs. They came from the restaurant and took us up the stairs," he told the NDTV news channel, smoke stains all over his face. "Young boys, maybe 20 years old, 25 years old. They had two guns."
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How to de-program a Jehadist.

The Saudi government has a lot of captured jihadists to deal with. Rather than keeping them locked up indefinitely, they are sent to a deprogramming facility, where they attend classes and are treated with Western luxuries:

"On arrival, each prisoner is given a suitcase filled with gifts: clothes, a digital watch, school supplies and toiletries. Inmates are encouraged to ask for their favorite foods (Twix and Snickers candy bars are frequent requests). Volleyball nets, PlayStation games and Ping-Pong and foosball tables are all provided. The atmosphere at the center — which I visited several times earlier this year — is almost eerily cozy and congenial, with mattresses and rugs spread on stubbly patches of lawn for inmates to lounge upon. With few exceptions, the men wear their beards untrimmed and their thobes, the long garments that most Saudi men wear, cut above their ankles in the style favored by those who wish to demonstrate strict devotion to Islam. The men are pleasant but many seem a bit puffy and lethargic; one 19-year-old inmate, Faisal al-Subaii, explained that they are encouraged to spend most of their daytime hours in either rest or prayer.


Most prisoners complete the program within two months. Upon release, each former jihadist is required to sign a pledge that he has forsaken extremist sympathies; the head of his family must sign as well. Some also receive a car (often a Toyota) and aid from the Interior Ministry in renting a home. Social workers assist former jihadists and their families in making post-release plans for education, employment and, usually, marriage. “Getting married stabilizes a man’s personality,” Hadlaq says. “He thinks more about a long term future and less about himself and his anger.” "

Could PlayStation, candy, and a job actually keep these men from going back to the jihad lifestyle? In the short term, the answer seems to be yes. Remember that many of these young Saudis jumped on the jihad bandwagon only for a lack of better things to do, so they can successfully be reformed. It's unlikely a true believer like Osama bin Laden would stop being a terrorist if he were given a Toyota, but for the wannabe jihadists, that might be more than enough.

Via The Invisible Pink Unicorn blog.
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What showed up on my Twitter today.

  • 19:14 A loud bang woke me up about ten or twenty mins ago. Turns out M Block Market was bombed, along with CP and Karol Bagh markets. #
  • 19:14 tinyurl.com/3ojoo3 #
  • 19:15 Can't see anything from my roof. Hear some sirens and that's it. Phone lines are jammed. #
  • 19:23 Apparently there were about 7 bombs in M block alone, one a car bomb in front of Pizza Hut. Just hearsay from my neighbor. #
  • 19:28 It seems there were multiple separate explosions at each site. #
  • 19:29 The news stories aren't attributing the explosions to terrorist bombs, but it's obvious what this is by now. #
  • 19:31 There were four explosions in rapid succession in Karol Bagh, possibly seven in M Block. #
  • 19:33 tinyurl.com/4ypote #
  • 19:36 News says there were "twin" blasts in M block. It could be seven explosions altogether. #
  • 19:39 One of those rare moments where I wish I owned a TV so I could just get information rather than hitting refresh on 5-line news stories. #
  • 19:40 Emailed my mom before she has a panic attack when she turns on her TV. #
  • 19:41 Latest update is 10 dead, 40 injured. #
  • 20:10 A group of assholes named the Indian Mujahideen has claimed responsibility. Isn't fundamentalist religion wonderful? #
  • 20:15 There are reports of an unexploded bomb at India Gate, where I went cycling this morning. #
  • 20:24 what terrorists want is for all of us to be shitting our pants in fear.
    i've already decided that won't happen at least in my house. #
  • 20:25 next door there's some Hindu festival thing giong on and theyre still celebrating it regardless. Awesome. #
  • 20:30 LMAO a work friend called me up and sraight away went "hey, are you dead?" #
  • 20:33 How bizarre that only earlier today I put up an Epicurus wallpaper with his argument from evil quote: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicurus #
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Terrorist bomb blast in M Block market outside my house.

Serial blasts rock Delhi; over 20 injured.
NEW DELHI: Three blasts rocked the National Capital on Saturday, leaving several people injured. The blasts were reported from Karol Bagh, Greater Kailash and Connaught Place markets. Initial reports suggest that more than 20 people were injured.

And that's literally all the information available anywhere right now.

ETA: For those of you that don't know, I live right in Greater Kailash One, literally a two minute walk from M Block Market, which was blown up. I live so close to M Block market that I just tell people I live there, coz it's that close to my place. I heard the main explosion but went back to sleep (there has been some construction in my neighborhood). Needless to say a lot of my friends were / are worried about me and have been calling, but since everyone's been worried, the circuits are getting jammed.

I went up to the roof but haven't been able to see anything, just hear sirens on and off for the rest of the evening. I was curious about walking down there to check it out but I guess that's a dumb idea all round.

Finally, there were two more bombs that were defused at India Gate, which is where I went for a cycling trip this morning but came home too tired to update about it.

Creepy, tragic and disturbing, but I'm not going to let myself live in fear all the time, which is what these assholes want, and they're not going to get it, at least not from me.
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Internet scrapings and offbeat news

LOL, Cockburg.

Happy birthday, Mike The Headless Chicken!

Socotra Island: The most bizarre, alien looking place on planet earth.
Geographically isolated from mainland Africa for the last 6 or 7 million years, like the Galapagos Islands, this island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are endemic, i.e. found nowhere else on Earth.

Tardigrades or water bears, uber tough tiny bugs that can survive temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit and below minus 240 degrees Fahrenheit, survive open space.
Microbiologists from the Institute of Aerospace Medicine sent tardigrades into orbit last September and exposed them to the cosmic radiation and deep vacuum of space. They returned alive. Once in orbit, the tardigrade box popped open. Some were exposed to low-level cosmic radiation, and others to both cosmic and unfiltered solar radiation. All were exposed to the frigid vacuum of space. Just how the invertebrate astronauts protected themselves "remains a mystery," wrote the researchers.

BME: Discussing the idea that employers should reconsider their dress codes now that so many people are tattooed and pierced today that it's reached a "critical mass" type of effect.
As Ozzy Osbourne himself said, "if you really want to be different, DON'T get a tatto, because everyone and their mum's already got one."

Neatorama: Ten things about the Large Hadron Collider you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
Including the fact that the inside is colder than outer space.

Also, a 16 year old girl in India committed suicide by swallowing weedkiller because she thought the LHC would destroy the earth. The obvious question is why she would choose to kill herself in such a painful manner rather than be painlessly obliterated in an instant, but whatever.

Eleven colorful optical illusions that will make you literally not believe your eyes.
With explanations of how they work. Amazing.

About the small but growing movement of tiny homes, defined as homes smaller than 1,000 square feet, often smaller than even 100 square feet.

Cracked: Seven real college scholarships that require absolutely no talent.
I agree with an art school friend of mine that argued that there should also be a scholarship for normal, healthy, straight, right-handed white males, since they've got a scholarship for every other possible demographic you can think of.

Also from Cracked: Nine of the most terrifying, messed up restaurants in the world.
Including a highly exclusive one where you f*ck an animal and then eat it, apparently. Ten more unusual restaurants.

Beehive truck gets into accident in China, triggering a massive swarm of pissed off bees.
Six people were killed.

Obnoxious CVS clerk calls HIV+ patient a "fucking AIDS freak" while his boss looks on.

Tonya Harding Shot JFK dot com. Enough said.

Quebec man changes name to dodge relentless airport screening. The disturbing thing is that it worked for him, therefore it could theoretically work for any terrorist too, right?

Also: House burns down because Homeland Security shut off the sprinklers to fight terrorism. Apparently a lot of other houses may have no water in their sprinkler systems because of Homeland Security.

Also also: Man gets investigated by Homeland Security over bean plant.

On the 7th anniversary of 9/11, Cameron O'Reilly asks: "Assuming there really is a guy called Osama Bin Laden, has he won? Here’s some questions to ask yourself:
1. Is America’s reputation abroad stronger or weaker today than it was pre-9/11?
2. Is America’s economy stronger or weaker today than it was pre-9/11?
3. Is America’s internal political climate more or less divisive today than it was pre-9/11?
4. Does America have more or less enemies today than it did pre-9/11?
5. What would most Americans say the reason for the 9/11 attacks was?
I’m guessing a poll would show most think “they hate our freedom” is the answer. FAIL. I suspect most Americans have learned nothing from the last six years.
...I submit to you that if bin Laden’s objective was to hurt America, he has already won."

Fourth grader suspended for two days for using a broken pencil sharpener. The boy -- a fourth-grader described as a well-behaved and good student -- cried during the meeting with his mom, the deputy and the school's assistant principal. He had no criminal intent in having the blade at school, the sheriff's report stated, but was suspended for at least two days and could face further disciplinary action.

Newspaper sales have fallen a record $3 billion in just six months.

Hummer dealership in Las Vegas to stop selling Hummers and sell smartcars and mopeds instead.

How to escape a hurricane by car.

Italian comedienne arrested for blasphemy, may get upto five years.

Hot rumors are circulating that HP is secretly working on switching completely to their own customized Linux OS to combat consumer dislike and bitching about Vista's bullshit, and then compete with Apple. Makes perfect sense. What good is the best hardware when your OS is a pile of dogshit?

Neighbors keep pissing on the all-glass roof of a trendy bar and nightclub in New York's SoHo.

Israeli jailed after forbidding a pregnant woman in labor past a checkpoint, leading to her giving birth right there, and her baby was stillborn.

MASA plans to put a nuclear reactor on the moon.

Also, Interplanetary internet tested in space.

And now, a cellphone charger for your bicycle, powered by your pedalling.

YouTube bans terrorist training videos.

An Australian politician lost his job after getting drunk and dancing in his underpants at a staff party.

Police closed down a Berlin sweet shop after discovering the owner was selling chocolates and lollipops laced with hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana.

Women are more prone to nightmares and have more intensely emotional dreams than men, according to a recent study.

Australian authorities are on the hunt for a teenager who kicked and punched a confused kangaroo to the ground while his friend videotaped and laughed. Bizarre, because I thought kangaroos could be surprisingly quite aggressive.

The RSPCA has asked clergymen to pray for pets.

Orthodox rabbis blacklist popular music. Yawn. Look up Hells Bells.

Japan leads the world in broadband.

Mom who microwaved her baby to death gets life in prison.

New Zealand's national airline needs bald people to tattoo advertisments onto in a new campaign.

Madonna dedicates her song "Like a Virgin" to Pope Benedict XVI. I'm surprised it wasn't Like A Prayer instead.

A group in a tiny overwhelmingly Christian town in Alabama is ready to pay $50,000 for Jews to move there. DOTHAN, Ala. — Larry Blumberg is looking for a few good Jews to move to his corner of the Bible Belt. Blumberg is chairman of an organization offering Jewish families as much as $50,000 to relocate to Dothan, an overwhelmingly Christian town of 58,000 that calls itself the Peanut Capital of the World. Get involved at Temple Emanu-El and stay at least five years, the group’s leaders say, and the money doesn’t have to be repaid. Via Friendly Atheist.

Saudi Arabia's top judiciary official has issued a religious decree saying it is permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV networks that broadcast immoral content.

Top fifteen most disgusting, repulsive food dishes in the world in clear, large pics, so be warned. Includes duck fetus, bee larvae, maggots, scorpions, dogs and ox penis. I personally know several people who have eaten dog and cat meat, and one American woman who had the duck fetus thing mentioned during a missionary trip to the Philippines.
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Internet scrapings etc.