SciFi Headline Turns Real: US Drone Kills ISIS Hacker

from the headlines-from-the-future dept

Welcome to your dystopian future. Reports from yesterday say that a US drone strike in Syria has killed a British-born computer hacker who had joined ISIS and was involved in that group's online activities:
A US air strike is believed to have killed a British citizen who rose to prominence within the Islamic State, officials have told the Guardian.

The Birmingham-born Junaid Hussain, who adopted the nom de guerre Abu Hussain al-Britani, had been a key figure within Isis’s so-called “Cyber Caliphate” before being killed in the strike in Syria, where he had travelled in 2013.
Remember when President Obama said (of Ed Snowden): "I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker." Apparently, that changes when the hacker is working for ISIS (and the hacker is only 21 years old).

There's no doubt that ISIS is a dangerous organization, but sending drones to go after hackers, even those targeting American interests, still feels like a pretty big overreaction.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 9:47am

    ha ha

    Remember when President Obama said (of Ed Snowden): "I'm not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker."

    Let me get this straight, someone still believes what is coming out of this liar's mouth?

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  • identicon
    anonymous Dutch coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 9:53am

    ha ha ha

    more overreaction please. thank you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      xebikr (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:00am

      I know, right? It's just an execution, unilaterally decided with no trial, evidence, or legal justification. Why would this require more than mild disapproval?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 11:03am

        Re:

        From wiktionary

        Execution
        The act of putting to death or being put to death as a penalty, or actions so associated.

        assassination
        killing or murder for political reasons

        Drone strikes are much nearer assassination than execution, especially as they are ordered by politicians.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 3:26pm

        Re:

        mild disapproval?

        You should chant "USA! USA! USA!"... now... say it!
        Because that is what the USA stands for nowadays. If you live in a certain area let's call it State you can be killed out of nowhere. Wait... isn't that what terrosists do? I'm confused

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:25am

      Re: ha ha ha

      Many had the same reaction when the US started kidnapping and torturing people after 9/11. We now know that many people weren't kidnapped and tortured because they were terrorists, but merely to test vague and often wrong suspicions that they had some connection to terrorism.

      We also know from a joint study by Stanford and New York Universities of drone strikes in Pakistan that they've been killing 49 people for every known terrorist. Not just because of innocent bystanders being killed. It's because of the US's use of "double-taps" - something the US itself calls terrorism - where after the first strike they'll send in more missiles to target rescuers.

      But by all means, enjoy your laugh.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:40am

        Re: Re: ha ha ha

        We have seriously lived long enough to become the enemy our heroes have fallen to defend against!

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        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 5:56am

          Re: Re: Re: ha ha ha

          Hmmm... Excuse me and this may be controversial but it's not that anybody was good to begin with. It's just that somebody got to be the winner.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 7:20am

      Re: ha ha ha

      It establishes an interesting precedent -- the US leadership believes that hacking is either an act of war that justifies a military strike, or that a drone strike is not an act of war at all.

      If they're right, then the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center wasn't an act of war either, they just used manned 'drones'.

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      • icon
        Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re: ha ha ha

        It establishes an interesting precedent -- the US leadership believes that hacking is either an act of war that justifies a military strike, or that a drone strike is not an act of war at all.

        A wonderful point - apart from two things.

        1) Hussain wasn't attacked for hacking - he was attacked because he was part of a self declared state that has declared war on the US. If you were a radio operator on the Bismarck you weren't targeted for being a radio operator - you were targeted for being on the Bismarck.

        2) It wasn't a drone strike.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 9:55am

    He also said

    He also said that attacking the interests of our country through cyber means would be the same as attacking with conventional weapons and would be considered an act of war. He then went ahead and attacked several other countries networks around the world using cyber attacks... So he is charging full ahead in trying to create wars and conflicts around the world, but still avoiding using those pesky legal terms of war and military use that Congress demands he use whenever an actual war or conflict is declared.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:21am

    pffft

    This is just a "spray and pray" drone war. You pray the little bit of ELINT you get is correct and blow shit up. Hopefully you actually hit someone, hopefully they were a target, hopefully it wasn't civilians or goats AND hopefully the enemy actually admits you hit the person you were after. I really don't like the idea of us having boots on the ground but this is beginning to remind me of Vietnam. I can still remember the huge kill counts from that police action but we still seemed to lose that skirmish.

    Hell, if ISIS had any brains they would say someone important died every time we droned them and our gov't would probably stupid enough to believe it.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:21am

    Mike, you are wrong. Why should an enemy combatant not be treated like an enemy combatant?
    Just because the weapon in his hand is not connected to a gun or missile, his keyboard can cause equal or more destruction.

    And all teh FUD about drones, why? Lets call these drones what they really are. An Unmanned Aircraft weapons platform.
    Would your argument and analysis be any different if the missile was launched from the ground, or a human-occupied flying weapons platform?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:44am

      Re:

      I don't think that is what Mike meant, he was specifically talking about Obama's comment not not wasting resources on a hacker.

      I really do not think you will find too much resistance to taking out the terrorists but the problem always comes down to America just killing people because we put the label terrorist on them.

      Due to the amount of lying the Government does these days, seeing any truth from them is a very precious rare gem. I have no reason to believe whom the government calls a terrorist these days.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:54am

      Re:

      Questions:

      Someone from ISIS sneaks into California from a ship off the coast. Carrying an anti-tank rocket in a guitar case. Wearing an arm band or anything else resembling a uniform. He makes his way to the front gate of a base where the drones are remotely piloted from.

      A car comes out of the base, and he blasts it at the next traffic light. Civilians in two cars are also killed.

      Has the ISIS member committed a war crime? (People in the base are killing the enemy from within. It's a war zone, and they don't leave it when they fetch lunch.)

      Think carefully here; at some point the US will be fighting another recognized government of a recognized country. "We're killing from here but the war zone is over there" ain't going to fly.

      Now add drones. We live in a world where over a decade ago a legally blind guy with almost no budget built a drone and flew it across the Atlantic ocean. You can imagine what small governments can do, especially with GPS-enabled smart phones that didn't exist back then.

      Someone is going to decide that drones are the modern-day "great equalizer" similar to guns in the past. They may not do much real damage, but they'll be highly disruptive terror weapons.

      Do you think it was particularly bright for the US to pre-establish that sending drones into other countries that you're not at war with, to kill enemies and many more bystanders, is perfectly acceptable behavior?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 5:05pm

      Re:

      Why should an enemy combatant not be treated like an enemy combatant?
      Just because the weapon in his hand is not connected to a gun or missile, his keyboard can cause equal or more destruction.

      OK: this guy's not doing anything that the US government isn't doing to multiple governments and organizations (including those inside the US itself). When the US does it, it is espionage and counterintelligence. When ISIS does it, it's a weaponized attack by an enemy combatant?

      Sure, it makes sense to round up people who are aiding in the torture and killing of innocents. But we should have all this on a level playing field. Either the US declares war on ISIL (with Congressional approval) or the US doesn't. And if this is considered an act of war, than the US should admit it is at war with everyone, even its own citizens.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:21am

    Mike, you are wrong. Why should an enemy combatant not be treated like an enemy combatant?
    Just because the weapon in his hand is not connected to a gun or missile, his keyboard can cause equal or more destruction.

    And all teh FUD about drones, why? Lets call these drones what they really are. An Unmanned Aircraft weapons platform.
    Would your argument and analysis be any different if the missile was launched from the ground, or a human-occupied flying weapons platform?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:44am

      Re:

      ...Would your argument and analysis be any different if the missile was launched from the ground, or a human-occupied flying weapons platform?...


      Or a Special Forces team raiding the premises? Doesn't matter which team (even an ad-hoc team with personnel from all the different units) goes in: they're all trained to shoot their target(s) dead, no questions asked.

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      • icon
        sigalrm (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 11:00am

        Re: Re:

        Or a Special Forces team raiding the premises? Doesn't matter which team (even an ad-hoc team with personnel from all the different units) goes in: they're all trained to shoot their target(s) dead, no questions asked.


        Wow. You're really equating a special ops teams capabilities to a missile platform? Do you really have so little respect for US soldiers?

        A soldier with a rifle is capable of determining who their target is and shooting them. They're also - at least in theory - able to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, and will not generally kill indiscriminately (or, at least, the special forces guys I've known wouldn't). If they go into a building and determine its filled with nuns and orphans, they can make an intelligent decision and, for example, not execute the orphans. Doesn't mean they always make the "right" decision, but at least they have the capability to do so.

        A missile platform's targeting capability is only as granular as its blast radius.

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        • icon
          Trails (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If they go into a building and determine its filled with nuns and orphans, they can make an intelligent decision and, for example, not execute the orphans.


          You mean they'll just execute the nuns?

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          • icon
            sigalrm (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 2:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            They might. But they'll have made a conscious decision to do so, and will be capable of articulating "why" if necessary.

            A Missile? Not so much.

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        • identicon
          PRMan, 28 Aug 2015 @ 6:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, you're saying that the special ops soldiers that you have known are Nazi religious genociders?

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 6:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          the special forces guys I've known ... If they go into a building and determine its filled with nuns and orphans, they can make an intelligent decision and, for example, not execute the orphans

          Ah - so US special forces are the Pirates of Penzance!

          Frederic
          Well, then, it is my duty, as a pirate, to tell you that you are too tender-hearted. For instance, you make a point of never attacking a weaker party than yourselves, and when you attack a stronger party you invariably get thrashed.
          Pirate King
          There is some truth in that.
          Frederic
          Then, again, you make a point of never molesting an orphan!
          Samuel
          Of course: we are orphans ourselves, and know what it is.
          Frederic
          Yes, but it has got about, and what is the consequence? Every one we capture says he's an orphan. The last three ships we took proved to be manned entirely by orphans, and so we had to let them go. One would think that Great Britain's mercantile navy was recruited solely from her orphan asylums — which we know is not the case.

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  • identicon
    Black Bellamy, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:30am

    It's weird to refer to the individual as a "hacker". Like if we bombed Normandy Beach in 1944 and listed 12 "painters" killed. Yeah, those soldiers were painting, but they weren't painters.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      Unless they were hired to do nothing more than paint - in which case, they were painters.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      Both sides in WWII - especially once they started bombing cities - killed many civilian bystanders.

      Reports today would label them "insurgents" or "militants."

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 12:30pm

        Ah that sounds better.

        Our drone strike program averages fifty militants killed for every person of interest.

        That sounds as if we aimed for an officer and got his platoon.

        Jolly good show!

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 12:32pm

          That does raise a question...

          Was this alleged hacker the person of interest that warranted the drone strike? Or was he just one of the bystanding militants caught in the shrapnel?

          And how many other militants were lost in this particular strike?

          Probably classified because national security.

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 1:31pm

            Re: That does raise a question...

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 1:45pm

              Re: Re: That does raise a question...

              I believed you the first time. It explains the doubt of the fifty civilians statistic.

              We might as well call them zombies or infected.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 2:40pm

            Re: That does raise a question...

            > Or was he just one of the bystanding militants caught in the shrapnel?

            Well, italics work as well as scare quotes, I guess. But that aside, are you saying

            > any drone strike will be aimed at one-and-only-one 'person of interest' and anyone else killed is a 'militant'

            It sure seems like you are implying that anyone not specifically targeted is an innocent civilian. And that premise seems no more valid than assuming that all casualties are militants.

            It's schrodinger's drone strike, dude. You don't know unless you observe the casualties. And even then you might not know. For...

            When a felon's not engaged in his employment (his employment)
            or maturing his feloious little plans (little plans)
            his capacity for innocent enjoyment (-cent enjoyment)
            is just as great as any honest man's (honest mans)


            They get married, they go on vacation with their wives and children, they go bowling (maybe), they shoot shit up in the hills when boozed up...

            And one thing they don't do, is carry around dog tags identifying them as bona fide militants just in case someone blows them up.

            Are they militants? Are they not? Much of the time, you simply can't tell unless they've got weapons in their hands right then.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 3:55pm

              Juxtaposition of who a person is vs. what he does.

              I'm pretty sure a felon who is engaging in more benign activities is just a person with the same rights as anyone else.

              It is the the activity that makes someone a militant. Take the gun out of the revolutionary and let him raise a farm and a family, and he's a farmer and family man.

              If you want to be fair and just and ethical, you don't blow people up for fear of what they might do.

              As for our victims of missile strikes, sure we at home aren't told who they are. The US calls them all militants. When I heard the statistic, civilians were specified.

              I do know this: US officials lie a lot and they have now a long running history of lying to cover their own asses (contrast: the asses of their workforce or of the US in the eyes of the international community). So I've learned to be not just skeptical, but cynical when an official statement is made about anything.

              That said, I have good cause to presume casualties are civilians and innocent until proven otherwise. As a child I was raised under the notion that this is a wise and good presumption to make regarding anyone. At least anyone whose affiliation is unknown.

              When we pick up the bodies, do they have ISIL membership cards? Or do we presume any Muslim or Arab or brown-skinned person in the area is an ISIL affiliate?

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              • icon
                Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 7:10am

                Re: Juxtaposition of who a person is vs. what he does.

                I'm pretty sure a felon who is engaging in more benign activities is just a person with the same rights as anyone else.

                Let me paraphrase:
                " When a felon's not engaged in his employment
                Or maturing his felonious little plan
                His capacity for innocent enjoyment
                Is just as great as any honest man
                Lyrics from eLyrics.net
                "

                WS Gilbert

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 7:23am

                  Re: Re: Juxtaposition of who a person is vs. what he does.

                  Let me paraphrase:

                  Did you notice that is exactly what Uriel was replying to?

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                  • icon
                    Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 7:54am

                    Re: Re: Re: Juxtaposition of who a person is vs. what he does.

                    Oh dear - in my defence I'll point out that that part of the comment was in illegibly small type on my computer.

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          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 8:04am

            Re: That does raise a question...

            "And how many other militants were lost in this particular strike?"

            To be honest, at this point I have no clue who the US considered "militants" and who it doesn't. Apparently, you're a "militant" simply by physically being in the wrong location or by irritating the US.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:37am

    Remember the story several weeks ago how we sent an airstrike against a social media user posing in a photo? An enemy hacker is just as tagetable. On the other hand, just some random douchebag that wants to fuck with shit is a different story. I believe Obama was referring to the douchebag.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:45am

    Maybe i'm jaded, but nothing about that headline or story seems sci-fi.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 4:00pm

      Not so sci-fi?

      Maybe read more William Gibson or anything in the cyberpunk genre.

      Computer hackers explore / rob big corporations, get distracted by big terrible secrets. Meanwhile the corporation has traced the hacker to his location and gets his house SWATted.

      Sometimes the hacker escapes, sometimes he doesn't.

      The rest of the story is how the secret gets leaked and to where. Less relevant, usually, is what the secret is.

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  • identicon
    Paul, 27 Aug 2015 @ 11:17am

    Idiotic logic...

    I’m not a huge “Hey lets nuke all terrorists and middle east” kinda guy… But it seems kinda ridiculous for you to suggest we not use the technology we have available to us against a terrorist organization so headlined that al-Qaida has disavowed them as too extreme.

    Seriously? You compare Edward Snowden to a “Key figure” in the ISIS leadership simply because they both know their way around a computer?

    That is pretty messed up… That makes about as much sense as saying bananas share 50% of the same DNA that makes up the terrorists DNA so we should exterminate all bananas.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 11:33am

      Re: Idiotic logic...

      Agreed. This site is for zealots.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 12:18pm

      Re: Idiotic logic...

      "bananas share 50% of the same DNA that makes up the terrorists DNA so we should exterminate all bananas"

      Bananas hate our freedoms.

      People have died, DIED I TELL YA, falling from banana trees.

      You want to let them go free?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 12:48pm

      Re: Idiotic logic...

      The second line in the original Guardian article reads....
      "Abu Hussain al-Britani, was much more than just a computer hacker and was a key figure inside the movement...He is believed to have been involved in plots in the US and in the UK and elsewhere in Europe and his removal was significant."

      Techdirt has a habit of leaving out facts, and in this case inserting drivel, to induce reader outrage, encourage comments, and increase page views.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/27/junaid-hussain-british-hacker-for-isis-believed-k illed-in-us-airstrike

      The original story is here, for those who like their facts with a little less hyperbole.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 12:54pm

        Re: Re: Idiotic logic...

        "Abu Hussain al-Britani, was much more than just a computer hacker and was a key figure inside the movement...He is believed to have been involved in plots in the US and in the UK and elsewhere in Europe and his removal was significant."

        That reads a little fluffy. Notice the lack of detail.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 1:18pm

        Hacker season.

        I'm curious about their headline choice.

        ISIL Hacker slain rather than High ranking ISIL officer slain or ISIL ECM saboteur slain.

        I guess hackers are a more exciting kill? That is, for some of us, a disturbing trend.

        Certainly when I think of hackers I think of people who crack security of websites, not military specialists.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 5:35pm

        Re: Re: Idiotic logic...

        Finally. Someone who see through Techdirt's editorial spin bullshit. Techdirt undermines its supposed mission with its Fox News antics... again.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 1:54pm

      Using drone strikes to kill ISIL terrorists

      Makes sense when they're clustered together in their training camp far removed from anywhere else, including their own families.

      Drone strikes into towns full of civilians to get one or two guys, less so.

      And the casualty statistics coming out of the drone strike program seem to imply that we're hitting towns full of civies. US pilots, officers and officials are willing to massacre a whole bunch of people to get one guy.

      Maybe we should choose a more appropriate technology by which to get tangos where there are civilians? Because it's looking more and more like we believe The only good brown-skinned foreigner in his own country is a dead one.

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      • icon
        Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 7:16am

        Re: Using drone strikes to kill ISIL terrorists

        In short - however immoral, stupid and counterproductive our drone strike program is (and it is all of these) this particular event is not the one to hold upas an example to make the point.

        Oh .. and .. BTW it wasn't a drone anyway...

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  • identicon
    TDR, 27 Aug 2015 @ 11:46am

    Two-Face

    I'm reminded of a line spoken by Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight:

    "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villian."

    Looks like the US has chosen the latter. It's become Two-Face.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 8:06am

      Re: Two-Face

      It's not so much that the US "chose" it. It's more that when you hate something long and intensively, you end up becoming just like what it is you hate. It's inescapable human nature.

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  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 12:41pm

    Come on, Techdirt, tell the truth!

    The difference between Ed Snowden and Junaid Hussein is that Hussein was actually threatening American interests, whereas Snowden was threatening the interests of the US government by protecting those of citizens internationally. That's why Hussein got killed in a drone strike and Snowden wasn't. ;(

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 4:30pm

      Re: Come on, Techdirt, tell the truth!

      My guess would be that Snowden is in a country that has atomic bombs and a kind of huge army. If the US screws with them too much it could hurt a bit.

      Besides it is good PR that Snowden is safe in Russia but will probably be killed in the US. So they will do quite a lot to keep him alive.

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      • icon
        Sheogorath (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 7:48pm

        Re: Re: Come on, Techdirt, tell the truth!

        I believe it was in War Games where it was pointed out that both Russia and the US have equal nuclear capabilities and if one of them fired a missile and the other country retaliated, between them they'd turn this planet into a radioactive wasteland. I remember the computer saying that it was like a game of Tic-tac-toe: "The only way to win is not to play."

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 11:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: Come on, Techdirt, tell the truth!

          While the term "The only way to win is not to play." is true the US has iirc about three times as many nukes as russia. And about 30% of those nukes are stored outside the US on sovereign countries. Heck the US even had to renew the nukes stored in Germany because they started to leak or something and might explode by accident.

          So closest Russian nuke to the US is in Russia
          Closest US nukes to Russia are in Germany (just a few 100's).

          If it comes to a conflict...guess which one is closer to the so called "enemy". Google if you are not sure although the difference in distance is about 10,000 miles at least.

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    • icon
      Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 4:58am

      Re: Come on, Techdirt, tell the truth!

      The difference between Ed Snowden and Junaid Hussein is that Hussein was actually threatening American interests,

      More to the point Hussain was part of an organisation that has declared war on the US.

      Snowden wanted to make the US government better - Hussain wanted to destroy it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 27 Aug 2015 @ 2:04pm

    So you're saying because he didn't personally cut off someone's head then he doesn't deserve to die? I don't mind at all saying to every single "person" in or supporter of ISIS or ISIL or whatever the nom du jour is now: there's a drone with your name on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 2:13pm

      Re:

      An extremist viewpoint is one where someone wishes to force their ideology on others, and/or kill those who hold to a different ideology. Therefore you are no better than those you wish to have killed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 6:29pm

        Re: Re:

        You descibe a fundamentalist. An extremist will kill you if you don't change your opinion. Just ask the inquisitionists.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 6:26am

        Re: Re:

        An extremist viewpoint is one where someone wishes to force their ideology on others, and/or kill those who hold to a different ideology.

        Hmm - actually the content of the ideology itself matters here.

        If killing others who disagree is part of the ideology then that is extremist.

        If killing is a revenge response or an action taken to prevent others being killed then that is different - not necessarily right but different.

        Thus the Nazi killing of the Jews was extremist - but the allied response in WW2 was not - even though the allies committed many atrocities in the process.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 4:23pm

      Persons in support of ISIS or ISIL...

      ...or any terrorist front are often people who don't know where else to turn, or don't have a choice.

      Now emotionally, Glenn, I'm right there with you. After the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, I was hot to decide that every single pro-life family was made up of crazies as bad as Roeder, who'd gun a man down in a church. I would have been glad to see them all burn.

      But realistically, I know different, and I know that's not fair. Even that creepazoid who was running Operation: Rescue, who was ready to go out with his buddies for hot wings and beer on the afternoon of the murder.

      So no. We (by which I mean the US and its rag-tag team of willing coalitionists) have to resolve to be better than that, and demonstrate our civility is genuine. This would mean striving to extend to ISIS / ISIL reasonable war provisions and rights that would be due any people (maybe as demonstration that we are, in fact, civilized). Historically, by treating our enemy better than they do, we would be able to sway the people away from affiliation with terror groups and towards NATO relief organizations.

      If we're not going to do this, we need to come to terms with the truth (according to our behavior so far) that we don't give a fuck about any of those shitskins on the ground, and we don't care that this makes us as bad as ISIL or the taliban or the Huns or the Nazis for that matter.

      And at that point we can do fire strikes on the towns and seed bioagents all over the theater and wipe out the entire population... unless we're wanting to round up the children and sell them into sex and labor slavery. (Probably at ~$8K per virgin female child).

      Right now the US pretends we have the moral high ground and then shits everywhere. We should either abide by morality, or get rid of the pretense and get busy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 4:25pm

        Re: Persons in support of ISIS or ISIL...

        Glenn I meant to bold your name, not italicize it. It's just a convention to indicate a proper handle, not a comment on it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Persons in support of ISIS or ISIL...

        only a matter of time before other countries start using drone strikes in the USA to kill people they claim are terrorists as well

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 5:22pm

          Re: Re: Persons in support of ISIS or ISIL...

          Woah, hold on a moment! You can't compare some mid east bum to a supreme being which a US citizen is.

          Just take a look at the Haditha killings*. The US paid 38,000 for 15 Iraqi people killed. That means an Iraqi is worth about $2,500. Now in comparison add up how much was spend over the years in the name of the 3,000 people killed in 2001 and you see the difference.

          * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haditha_killings

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 3:30am

        Re: Persons in support of ISIS or ISIL...

        Right now the US pretends we have the moral high ground and then shits everywhere. We should either abide by morality, or get rid of the pretense and get busy.

        There is always a moral problem in dealing with an immoral enemy. In WW2 the allies did some terrible things, Hamburg, Dresden and the atomic bombs to mention just a few.

        However there are some rights and wrongs here that are clear.

        1. It is wrong to invent a spurious classification of "enemy combatants" and then deny them the benefits of either the Geneva Convention or Civilian Justice.

        2. The article here is wrong to conflate this guy with Edward Snowden. This guy is living in a pseudo state that has de-facto declared war on the US (and in fact on most of the rest of the world). The US is already bombing that territory with conventional aircraft. ISIS is so bad that some of the captured Yazidi women have called out "if you know where we are please bomb us!". It is that bad. If you believe in war at all then this guy (as part of the command structure of that pseudo state) is as legitimate a target as Goering was in WW2. Snowden is completely different. His motivations were to improve the US government - not to replace it with a caliphate. Also he is in a country that has a stable, legitimate government and a US embassy.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 2:16pm

    I find this funny..

    How to locate a Hacker, threw the internet..Through all the ISP's...
    So, they called up, ??? ISP. and asked for an address??

    And this hacker wasnt competent enough to setup his own relay/Proxy/VPN..and do things from another location, RATHER then a targeted location??

    Not a very good hacker..
    Or a SWING and a miss on our part..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 3:28pm

    One Question

    How many civilians died in that attack?
    You know "civilians" read females or males who in theory aren't able to carry a weapon which means 1-2 year olds in US terms.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 4:44pm

    Trial?

    I can't find a case against him on the internet. Does anyone know the case number or name?

    For someone to be put to death would certainly need a court to rule him guilty and there must be some evidence that proved without a doubt that this person was guilty. The US is a state of law, is it not?

    Otherwise this was a terrorist attack meaning killing a foreign national(s) without them to be proven guilty of a crime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 4:52pm

      Re: Trial?

      guilty if we say they are is the new law.

      The innocent until proven guilty has no truck in a tyranny

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Aug 2015 @ 5:19pm

        "The innocent until proven guilty has no truck in a tyranny"

        Isn't that what makes it tyranny?

        At least it's what makes it authoritarian when one class of people can act on another class with impunity.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 11:43pm

          Re: "The innocent until proven guilty has no truck in a tyranny"

          I might not agree with you on the tyranny part but I do think it is remarkable that certain people can do or act as they want with impunity. Those "certain" people I mean are called cops. Beat up, kill anyone. The subject was handcuffed behind his back? Of course he used his own hidden weapon to shoot himself in the head... and the judge buys the story because cops don't lie!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 7:18am

        Re: Re: Trial?

        guilty if we say they are is the new law.

        That's pretty much it. The executive branch has decided that it is not necessary to involve the judicial branch in the determination of whether someone is a terrorist. And it's difficult for those people to appeal that decision to the judicial branch, and nobody else has standing to do it. Convenient, isn't it?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 4:51pm

    I still think they sent a drone after that reporter. You know the one who feared for his life as he drove to an embassy and whose car randomly blew up along the way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 7:20am

      Re:

      You know the one who feared for his life as he drove to an embassy and whose car randomly blew up along the way.

      Doesn't ring a bell, do you have any more info or a link?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 27 Aug 2015 @ 5:07pm

    Anyone who initiates violence against others, anyone who joins a group which initiates violence against others, anyone who supports a group which initiates violence against others deserves to die... screaming.

    That's where I stand "emotionally". Murderers and the "cohorts" of murderers all deserve to die. They have no respect for life or the basic human rights of others.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jack, 27 Aug 2015 @ 10:00pm

      Re:

      So put a gun in your mouth and start screaming, because we torture and kill and have no respect for the basic human rights of others in the middle east. Sure, we carry a big stick and kill scumbags, but we kill far more innocent people in the process who are just trying to live their lives in countries torn apart by was that we started.

      You need to realize that the USA isn't some shining beacon of democracy and we have far bloodier hands than the vast majority of first world countries. Just because we are better than ISIS just means we aren't the biggest dickheads in the world.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Aug 2015 @ 10:14am

      Re:

      Pot... Kettle

      You are advocating initiating violence against others, please remove yourself from the gene pool...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 10:18am

        Re: Re:

        You are advocating initiating violence against others, please remove yourself from the gene pool...

        He said they deserve to die, not that someone should kill them. A subtle but significant difference.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2015 @ 9:32pm

    Russia has way better air defense systems than Syria does. That's why Pres. Obama hasn't scrambled any air strikes against Ed Snowden there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DronesRus, 28 Aug 2015 @ 12:22am

    The next level of SWATing will be getting a drone strike on that guy who beat you on Counter Strike.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 3:35am

    DRONE?

    Where is thelinked articles is the statement that a DRONE killed this guy.

    Everything I can find points only to a regular airstrike.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 3:37am

      Re: DRONE?

      In fact the article says explicitly
      "The strike is believed to be a US military operation, rather than a CIA drone attack."
      So your headline is wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Aug 2015 @ 5:04am

    This instance of cyber warfare reminds me of CSI Cyber ("It could happen to you!!!").

    They could easily automate this process, locate evil bad hacker, send drone, kill.
    Don't bother building terminators for your version of SKYNET.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 10:00am

    DIFFERENCES??

    DRONE
    Cruise missile..

    Whats the difference here...

    I thought there was a restriction on cruise missiles going over countries..without declaring war..

    ALSO, my earlier post about Locating hackers..
    HOW??

    Did they call up the ISP in the area and ask for an address?? BAD HACKER..
    He didnt setup a remote, VPN, and SIT miles away from the location..
    TELL me how you find a Good hacker, and I will suggest you have the WRONG ADDRESS..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 1:23pm

      Re: DIFFERENCES??

      DRONE
      Cruise missile..

      Whats the difference here...


      Well - drones are a newer technology - which is why techdirt is interested.

      However it seems that this was neither - it was a regular bombing attack from a manned a/c.

      I thought there was a restriction on cruise missiles going over countries..without declaring war..


      ISIS has declared war on the US.

      Otherwise it seems that these attacks have the tacit approval of the Syrian government - which is also bombing ISIS. The US is desperate not to be seen to be helping Assad but Assad is quite happy for the US to help him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 28 Aug 2015 @ 1:26pm

      Re: DIFFERENCES??

      ALSO, my earlier post about Locating hackers..
      HOW??


      hey didn't locate him as a result of his hacking activities. He had been quite open about joining ISIS and they located him (along with other senior ISIS people) by old fashioned intelligence gathering.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Aug 2015 @ 5:24pm

    Obama is the biggest puppet ever to lead United States.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 28 Aug 2015 @ 11:49pm

    Heil the King

    "Obama is the biggest puppet ever to lead United States."

    Actually methinks he may well be an employee stock-holder in the Corporate Shadow Government, rather than just a typical figurehead puppet.

    He's really rich and that makes him a member in good standing of the Ownership Society, so like Gee Dubbya Bush before him, he won't have to fall on his sword when he's replaced by the next fake Democratic Ringer. He's a willing participant in America's demise and will receive a cut of the bounty.

    As far as "lead" goes, I'd prefer to use the term "drag", since most Americans really won't want to go where he's dragging them, once (and if) they figure out where that is.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2015 @ 1:34am

    Uk/us governments just another gang trying to claim the moral high ground

    No better, no less then the COMPETITION they fight

    War breeds war
    Violence breeds violence

    Their as bad as each other, except the "governments" are getting away with their crimes, crimes that breed crimes

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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