It’s a race against time: Germany’s Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes is looking for more than 50 former concentration camp guards. Even 70 years later, it could still secure convictions.
IAC chairman Barry Diller says that “it was a mistake” to buy Newsweek, and even expressed doubts about the viability of the 80-year-old news weekly that went to a digital only format last year.
Wired reporter, Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman), conducts an interview with wanted American jihadi Omar Hammami exclusively through direct messages on Twitter in ‘There’s No Turning Back’: My Interview With a Hunted American Jihadist.
The story also demonstrates another example of how national security experts are leveraging social networks like Twitter to engage security threats.
Hammami engages with American security professionals who ask him about his current views on jihad, and he jumps into their discussions of counterterrorism. There’s a notable absence of rancor, and even some constructive criticism, however inadvertent. When Hammami criticized State Department initiatives at confronting extremists like him online, he said those efforts came across as tin-eared. [J.M.] Berger and Hammami have an extended, public colloquy about the justification and the efficacy of using violence to pursue jihad. All this comes leavened with Star Wars references. Berger wonders if this sort of collegial jihadi-counterterrorist dialogue is “the wave of future, when everyone’s on Twitter.”
An exclusive look inside the mysterious death and life of the world’s most dangerous terrorist not named Osama bin Laden.
The man was Imad Mughniyeh, the world’s most wanted terrorist not named Osama bin Laden. His true identity as the violent mastermind of Hezbollah would have come as a shock to his Damascus neighbors, who thought he was a chauffeur in the employ of the Iranian embassy. A number of them had even called on him, on several occasions, to help tote their bags to waiting taxis. He had happily complied.
On this night, he was in a hurry. He exited his apartment building and walked quickly to his SUV, crossing behind the tailgate to the driver’s side door. He never made it. Instead, a remotely detonated explosive, containing hundreds of deadly, cube-shaped metal shards, ripped his body to shreds, lifting it into the air and depositing his burning torso 15 feet away on the apartment building’s lawn.
Just like that, the most dangerous man you never heard of was dead, his whole career proof that one person really can reshape politics in the Middle East — and far beyond it. “Both bin Laden and Mughniyeh were pathological killers,” 30-year veteran CIA officer Milton Bearden told me. “But there was always a nagging amateurishness about bin Laden — his wildly hyped background, his bogus claims.… Bin Laden cowered and hid. Mughniyeh spent his life giving us the finger.”
By Mark Wilson
The New York Times reports the CIA has paid millions of dollars to Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, for over a decade. The money was delivered in suitcases, backpacks, and even plastic grocery bags.
Time and time again, Mr. Karzai was forced to channel his best Diamond Joe Quimby impersonation, “In the future, I would prefer a non-descript briefcase to the sack with a dollar sign on it.”
Mr. Karzai’s former deputy chief of staff, Khalil Roman, referred to the payments as, “ghost money.” The CIA wouldn’t comment on the story. Surely, their silence is denial. After all, who would believe the CIA would pay a foreign leader cash in exchange for a sphere of influence? That doesn’t sound like the CIA I’ve come to know and trust.
As Adam Clark Estes of The Atlantic Wire reports, “This is nuts. It’s absolutely bonkers,” He likens it to something out of a Hollywood thriller starring Clive Owen. The only problem I have with this theory is that it would surely star Jason Statham and not Clive Owen. I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley!
America wasn’t the only one greasing Mr. Karzai’s pockets. Iran was making it rain. Wouldn’t it be cute if Mr. Karzai and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were BFFs? This love affair would never come to be.
Shockingly, the Iranians were none too pleased when the president decided to sign a strategic partnership with America. The Times reports, “But the CIA has continued to pay, believing it needs Mr. Karzai’s ear to run its clandestine war against Al Qaeda and its allies, according to American and Afghan officials.”
Referring to this as a clandestine war is rather puzzling? Were Al Qaeda and the Taliban not aware that America had waged war on Afghanistan? It doesn’t matter. As long as the money keeps flowing, we’ll keep this little secret between friends. M’kay?
Visitors to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum pass under this gate, a cast taken from the original entrance to the Auschwitz death camp, inscribed with the ironic phrase Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Makes One Free).(Photo: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)
As the museum turns 20, officials understand that the demise of those who survived the prison camps as children means looking backward in a different way.
(Source: USA Today)
Each meal could have been her last, but Adolf Hitler’s food taster Margot Wölk lived to tell her story. Forced to test the Nazi leader’s meals for more than two years, the 95-year-old tells SPIEGEL ONLINE that she lived in constant fear.
Nearly a decade ago, Simon Wiesenthal said there were no more Nazis to be prosecuted. Today, his indefatigable successor is still on the hunt — but with Holocaust criminals dying out, how long can Efraim Zuroff continue?
When you’re the world’s last active Nazi hunter, retirement isn’t a concept to be taken lightly. Retirement means closing the door on justice, like God at the end of Yom Kippur. It’s knowing that all the justice that has been served for Holocaust crimes is all the justice that will ever be served.
History is, as French historian Marc Bloch once claimed, “an endeavor toward better understanding.”
Bloch’s The Historian’s Craft is a pivotal source for anyone interested in historiography. I highly recommend it. I’ll leave you with another quote from Bloch.
The past is, by definition, a datum which nothing in the future will change. But the knowledge of the past is something progressive which is constantly transforming and perfecting itself.
Quite simply, all history is modern history.