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The Great SIM Heist: How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.
The company targeted by the intelligence agencies, Gemalto, is a multinational firm incorporated in the Netherlands that makes the chips used in mobile phones and next-generation credit cards. Among its clients are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and some 450 wireless network providers around the world. The company operates in 85 countries and has more than 40 manufacturing facilities. One of its three global headquarters is in Austin, Texas and it has a large factory in Pennsylvania.
In all, Gemalto produces some 2 billion SIM cards a year. Its motto is “Security to be Free.”
With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider’s network that the communications were intercepted. Bulk key theft additionally enables the intelligence agencies to unlock any previously encrypted communications they had already intercepted, but did not yet have the ability to decrypt. (The Intercept)
Can Russia control the weather? Climate researcher says CIA fears hostile nations are triggering floods and droughts CIA chiefs fear hostile nations are trying to manipulate the world’s weather --- Academic has told of mysterious phone call asking whether foreign countries could be triggering droughts or flooding --- CIA is believed to have helped fund a major report into geoengineering - If it seems like it never stops raining, blame the Russians. Or even the North Koreans.
CIA chiefs fear hostile nations are trying to manipulate the world's weather, a conference heard.
A leading academic has told how he got a mysterious phone call asking whether foreign countries could be triggering droughts or flooding.
Professor Alan Robock, from Rutgers University in New Jersey, said: 'Consultants working for the CIA rang and said we'd like to know if someone is controlling the world’s climate would we know about it?
'Of course they were also asking - if we control someone else's climate would they then know about it.'
The professor is one of many scientists from around the world are actively looking at manipulating the weather as a way of combating climate change.
Geoengineering techniques range from cloud seeding, in which chemicals are sprayed by planes trigger rainfall, to shooting mirrors into space to reflect sunlight and cool the Earth.
Professor Robock told the callers that any attempts to meddle with the weather on a large scale would be detectable. (UK Daily Mail)
Noam Chomsky | The Leading Terrorist State "It's official: The U.S. is the world's leading terrorist state, and proud of it."
That should have been the headline for the lead story in The New York Times on Oct. 15, which was more politely titled "CIA Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels."
The article reports on a CIA review of recent U.S. covert operations to determine their effectiveness. The White House concluded that unfortunately successes were so rare that some rethinking of the policy was in order.
The article quoted President Barack Obama as saying that he had asked the CIA to conduct the review to find cases of "financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well. And they couldn't come up with much." So Obama has some reluctance about continuing such efforts.
The first paragraph of the Times article cites three major examples of "covert aid": Angola, Nicaragua and Cuba. In fact, each case was a major terrorist operation conducted by the U.S.
Angola was invaded by South Africa, which, according to Washington, was defending itself from one of the world's "more notorious terrorist groups" - Nelson Mandela's African National Congress. That was 1988. (Truth-Out)
Polar Bear Hunting on Rise Despite Species' Decline As the biennial meeting of the international Polar Bear Agreement begins in Moscow, Russia, new data points to an unsustainable rise in hunting that threatens the species. Despite the grim outlook for polar bears due to the growing threat of climate change, Canadian polar bear kills have risen at alarming rate, in excess of 10 percent over previous years.
"Canada's claims at this conference that polar bear hunting is not harming polar bear populations are disingenuous," said Teresa Telecky, director of wildlife at Humane Society International, referring to a recent report by Canada's Polar Bear Technical Committee. "Canada's own scientists are raising alarm about over-harvest not only in the past year but in the past three to five years. Canada and the other parties to the Polar Bear Agreement urgently need to address this problem."
Scientific experts at the meeting detailed the impact of sea-ice loss on polar bear survival, including loss of food source, loss of body condition, and fewer cubs surviving. Scientists continue to predict that two-thirds of polar bears will be lost by 2050. (Humane Society International)
Conspiracy Theorists Aren't Really Skeptics: The fascinating psychology of people who know the real truth about JFK, UFOs, and 9/11 To believe that the U.S. government planned or deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks, you’d have to posit that President Bush intentionally sacrificed 3,000 Americans. To believe that explosives, not planes, brought down the buildings, you’d have to imagine an operation large enough to plant the devices without anyone getting caught. To insist that the truth remains hidden, you’d have to assume that everyone who has reviewed the attacks and the events leading up to them—the CIA, the Justice Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, scientific organizations, peer-reviewed journals, news organizations, the airlines, and local law enforcement agencies in three states—was incompetent, deceived, or part of the cover-up.
And yet, as Slate’s Jeremy Stahl points out, millions of Americans hold these beliefs. In a Zogby poll taken six years ago, only 64 percent of U.S. adults agreed that the attacks “caught US intelligence and military forces off guard.” More than 30 percent chose a different conclusion: that “certain elements in the US government knew the attacks were coming but consciously let them proceed for various political, military, and economic motives,” or that these government elements “actively planned or assisted some aspects of the attacks.”
How can this be? How can so many people, in the name of skepticism, promote so many absurdities?
The answer is that people who suspect conspiracies aren’t really skeptics. Like the rest of us, they’re selective doubters. They favor a worldview, which they uncritically defend. But their worldview isn’t about God, values, freedom, or equality. It’s about the omnipotence of elites.
Conspiracy chatter was once dismissed as mental illness. But the prevalence of such belief, documented in surveys, has forced scholars to take it more seriously. Conspiracy theory psychology is becoming an empirical field with a broader mission: to understand why so many people embrace this way of interpreting history. As you’d expect, distrust turns out to be an important factor. But it’s not the kind of distrust that cultivates critical thinking. (Slate)
Horrifying New Drugs! Does New Zealand's New Synthetic Drug Law Offer a Safer Way Forward? Time magazine warns "The World's Most Horrifying Drug May Have Claimed Its First U.S. Victim." The horror of this "new" drug, "krokodil," is that it "eats the skin" of those who use it.
Why would anyone use drugs with all their risks, let alone an untested new drug or a drug that reportedly "eats their skin?" Because the reasons that people use drugs are important to them. People use drugs to get high for various reasons (i.e. to feel good, to forget their troubles, to seek the "truth" or the "divine," for excitement or adventure, or to relieve boredom).They use drugs to ward off "dope sickness" (i.e. prevent withdrawal symptoms). They use drugs to enhance their performance of some task (such as studying, flying an airplane or driving a truck for many hours, or hitting homeruns). And people use drugs to fit in socially (to feel relaxed with strangers or to accommodate peer pressure). However, federal, state and international law recognize "medical use" as the sole legitimate reason one can use a drug (other than tobacco, alcohol and caffeine). These non-medical reasons are compellingly important to the tens of millions of Americans who use drugs knowing that their drug use is against the law and harshly punished. Laws and treaties that limit the legal manufacture of drugs only for medical purposes results in all non-medical drug use being more dangerous because it is unprotected by government or market-based regulation and inspection. Now New Zealand is changing that approach.
The dangerous drug du jour, "krokodil," is a version of desomorphine being made informally in Russia. It is a fast acting narcotic derived from codeine which is extracted from opium poppy. Desomorphine is reported to be 8 to 10 times more potent than morphine. (Huffington Post)
Tom Clancy's Powerful Foresight Into a Post-9/11 World -- The late author helped America anticipate for this era of war, but he also gave hope. In an appreciation of science fiction and its authors, Philip K. Dick once noted of the genre, "It's not just 'What if?' It's 'My God; what if?'" When I learned of the death of novelist Tom Clancy at age 66, those words immediately came to mind. To understand Clancy and his legacy, it's useful to remember a time when we didn't casually toss around terms like "SEAL Team Six" and "radiological bomb," and the only people who worried about the threat of "NBCs" were network-television execs.
The power of Tom Clancy is that he gave us a glimpse into a post-9/11 world from the relative comfort of the 1990s. He described the astonishing might of the world's militaries, and of the power that generals wield only for want of an enemy. He didn't just tell you about a fighter jet; he let you fly it. He didn't just quantify the destructive power of an atomic bomb; he blew up the Super Bowl. Restraint was never his specialty, and if it seemed like he was sharing details on par with number of bolts in an aircraft carrier, it's because you could almost see him having so much fun while he was writing. He was a geek with a restless imagination, and vast swaths of his prose are like an applied version of Jane's Defense Weekly. (The Atlantic)
The IPCC and geoengineering The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) just released by the IPCC’s Working Group 1 (pdf) ends with a para on geoengineering (p21), and this fact is receiving some play in media coverage. Not everyone is writing about it, and very few are putting it high up the story, but it’s there, and as various people have pointed out, last time WG1 reported, in 2007, it wasn’t.
Here’s the para is in full. I’ve annotated it to highlight changes made to the authors’ final draft, prepared after all the review stages of the document and thus forming the text that the governments attending the Stockholm plenary started from: (Heliophage)
Poll: Americans have negative view of Obama on Syria, Iran As President Obama took to the world stage Tuesday addressing the United Nations General Assembly, a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that more Americans disapprove than approve of how he is handling Syria, Iran and foreign policy, in general.
More Americans disapprove than approve of how Mr. Obama is handling relations with Iran. The poll was completed in advance of Mr. Obama's speech at the U.N.
As is the case on many issues today, there are sharp partisan splits: most Democrats approve (68 percent), while few Republicans (16 percent) do.
Americans don't foresee relations with Iran improving any time soon. Only 22 percent expect relations to improve in the next few years, while more expect them to stay the same (41 percent) or worsen (32 percent).
Republicans in particular expect things to worsen; Democrats are more positive. (CBS)
A Plea for Caution From Russia -- What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.
Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.
The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.
No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.
The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance. (New York Times)
The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back The NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. We engineers built the internet -- and now we have to fix it - Government and industry have betrayed the internet, and us.
By subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be ethical internet stewards.
This is not the internet the world needs, or the internet its creators envisioned. We need to take it back.
And by we, I mean the engineering community.
Yes, this is primarily a political problem, a policy matter that requires political intervention.
But this is also an engineering problem, and there are several things engineers can – and should – do.
One, we should expose. If you do not have a security clearance, and if you have not received a National Security Letter, you are not bound by a federal confidentially requirements or a gag order. If you have been contacted by the NSA to subvert a product or protocol, you need to come forward with your story. Your employer obligations don't cover illegal or unethical activity. If you work with classified data and are truly brave, expose what you know. We need whistleblowers. (London Guardian)
EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack -- Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group. Dale Gavlak assisted in the research and writing process of this article, but was not on the ground in Syria. Reporter Yahya Ababneh, with whom the report was written in collaboration, was the correspondent on the ground in Ghouta who spoke directly with the rebels, their family members, victims of the chemical weapons attacks and local residents.
Gavlak is a MintPress News Middle East correspondent who has been freelancing for the AP as a Amman, Jordan correspondent for nearly a decade. This report is not an Associated Press article; rather it is exclusive to MintPress News.
Ghouta, Syria — As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week’s chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit.
Interviews with people in Damascus and Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital, where the humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders said at least 355 people had died last week from what it believed to be a neurotoxic agent, appear to indicate as much.
The U.S., Britain, and France as well as the Arab League have accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out the chemical weapons attack, which mainly targeted civilians. U.S. warships are stationed in the Mediterranean Sea to launch military strikes against Syria in punishment for carrying out a massive chemical weapons attack. The U.S. and others are not interested in examining any contrary evidence, with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that Assad’s guilt was “a judgment … already clear to the world.” (Mint Press News)
Former CIA officer: 'Absurd' to link uncle of Boston suspects, Agency Retired CIA officer Graham Fuller confirmed to Al-Monitor Saturday that his daughter was previously married to an uncle of the suspects in the Boston Marathon attacks, but called rumors of any links between the uncle and the Agency "absurd."
Graham Fuller's daughter, Samantha A. Fuller, was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev (now Tsarni) in the mid-1990s, and divorced in 1999, according to North Carolina public records. The elder Fuller had retired from the agency almost a decade before the brief marriage.
"Samantha was married to Ruslan Tsarnaev (Tsarni) for 3-4 years, and they lived in Bishkek for one year where Samantha was working for Price Waterhouse on privatization projects," Fulller, a former CIA officer in Turkey and vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, told Al-Monitor by email Saturday. "They also lived in our house in [Maryland] for a year or so and they were divorced in 1999, I believe."
"I, of course, retired from CIA in 1987 and had moved on to working as a senior political scientist for RAND," Fuller continued. (Al-Monitor)
Tamerlane Tsarnaeva recruited via the Georgian Foundation ~ One of the organizers of the terrorist attack in Boston, studied at the workshop held in conjunction with the Georgian special services Americans At the disposal of "Izvestia" has documents Counterintelligence Department Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, confirming that the Georgian organization "Fund of Caucasus", which cooperates with the U.S. non-profit organization "Jamestown" (the board of directors of NGOs previously entered one of the ideologists of U.S. foreign policy, Zbigniew Brzezinski), was engaged in recruiting residents North Caucasus to work in the interests of the United States and Georgia.
According to the reports of Colonel Chief Directorate Counterintelligence Department Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia Gregory Chanturia to the Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Garibashvili, "Caucasian fund" in cooperation with the Foundation "Jamestown" in the summer of 2012 conducted workshops and seminars for young people of the Caucasus, including its Russian part. Some of them attended Tsarnaev Tamerlane, who was in Russia from January to July 2012.
"Caucasian fund" writes Tchanturia was established November 7, 2008, just after the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, "to control the processes taking place in the North Caucasus region." Accordingly, the Department of the Interior Ministry counterintelligence case was brought intelligence operations called "DTV". Main purpose is to recruit young people and intellectuals of the North Caucasus to enhance instability and extremism in the southern regions of Russia. (Izvestia)
Boston bombing suspect cites U.S. wars as motivation, officials say The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.
From his hospital bed, where he is now listed in fair condition, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has acknowledged his role in planting the explosives near the marathon finish line on April 15, the officials said. The first successful large-scale bombing in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, era, the Boston attack killed three people and wounded more than 250 others.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation, said Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed by police as the two attempted to avoid capture, do not appear to have been directed by a foreign terrorist organization.
Rather, the officials said, the evidence so far suggests they were “self-radicalized” through Internet sites and U.S. actions in the Muslim world. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has specifically cited the U.S. war in Iraq, which ended in December 2011 with the removal of the last American forces, and the war in Afghanistan, where President Obama plans to end combat operations by the end of 2014.
Obama has made repairing U.S. relations with the Islamic world a foreign policy priority, even as he has expanded drone operations in Pakistan and other countries, which has inflamed Muslim public opinion. (Washington Post)
Chambliss: Law enforcement agency may have had info about Boston bombing in advance Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Channel 2 Action News late Tuesday afternoon that a law enforcement agency may have had information in advance of the Boston bombings that wasn't properly shared.
"There now appears that may have been some evidence that was obtained by one of the law enforcement agencies that did not get shared in a way that it could have been. If that turns out to be the case, then we have to determine whether or not that would have made a difference," Chambliss said.
Though Chambliss would not get into specifics on the information or whether or not the bombing could have been prevented, he told Channel 2 Action News that they will find out if someone dropped the ball.
"Information sharing between agencies is critical. And we created the Department of Homeland Security to supervise that. We created the National Counter Terrorism Center to be the collection point for all of this information, and we're going to get to the bottom of whether or not somebody along the way dropped the ball on some information and did not share it in a way that it should have been shared." (Associated Press)
EXCLUSIVE: Chinese carjack victim of Boston bombers only escaped when they stopped for Red Bull... and they didn't kill him because he 'wasn't American'
Man carjacked by Boston bombing suspects says he was able to escape after Dzhokhar ~ Tsarnaev went into a store for Red Bull and chocolate bars
~ The victim, a Chinese man in his early 20s, ran to a gas station nearby, where he was told a cashier that his captors had a bomb and guns - A man taken hostage by the alleged Boston bombers after he was car jacked was able to escape after they stopped to buy cans of Red Bull at a gas station, MailOnline can reveal.
The carjacking victim, whose name has not been revealed, has told authorities that being Chinese almost certainly saved his life, saying that the brothers told him they would not kill him because he was 'not American.'
The victim was able to jump out of the car and flee while Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, looked to buy cans of the energy drink and chocolate bars.
From interviews with the staff at both gas stations and court records, MailOnline has been able to piece together the frantic events of the early hours of last Friday.
The terrifying sequence of events began when Tamerlan carjacked a Mercedes SUV car at gun point barely 40 minutes after MIT campus police officer Sean Collier was killed as he sat in his patrol car.
Tamerlan jumped into the passenger seat of the Mercedes and told the driver: 'Did you hear about the Boston explosion... I did that.' (UK Daily Mail)
Police State on Display The Boston Marathon bombing has already demonstrated the best and the worst of America for all the world to see.
First, let’s talk about the best. When the bombs detonated, despite the shock and the horror of the blown-off legs and arms, and the blood on street and sidewalk, and without knowing what else might be coming, ordinary citizens jumped into action to try and help the gravely wounded and the dying. Average people with no experience in this kind of mayhem stepped up without hesitation to care for strangers, applying tourniquets, carrying people who couldn’t walk to hospital tents, or just holding a hand and calling for help.
People pored over their cellphone photo records and camera files, looking for photos that could help identify the killers. Without their volunteer actions, the police and federal agencies would have had no clue who they were looking for. With them, it was quick work pinpointing and identifying the two men who appear to have placed the two bombs.
Later, while police failed to catch one of the brothers suspected of having been a bomber, despite placing all of metropolitan Boston under a kind of martial law, it was a citizen who, after the so-called “lock-down” of the city had been lifted, spotted the suspect and alerted police.
Now for the worst.
Let’s start with the martial law. Okay, it wasn’t a declaration, but with police and the Mayor ordering everyone in Boston and its suburbs to stay inside and lock their doors, “answering only to police,” it was virtually the same thing. (Nation of Change)
Suspects Roused by Jihadist Thought ~ Brother Says They Were Motivated by Muslim Anger at U.S.; Fireworks May Be Source of Explosives The investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing yielded two revelations Tuesday: The surviving suspect said he and his brother were inspired by jihadists online, and the brothers bought two large pyrotechnic devices that could shed light on how they built their explosives.
Authorities have been trying to piece together how and why the brothers accused of the April 15 bombing carried out their plans. In limited communication with federal investigators, including handwritten answers, surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said he and his older brother acted alone and without the help of any terrorist group, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
The two were acting as jihadists, motivated by Muslim religious anger at the U.S., the surviving brother told interrogators, these officials said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators that the brothers were self-trained and self-indoctrinated, and were striking back at the U.S. for killing Muslims. His statements and other evidence have led U.S. authorities so far to believe that the bombers weren't part of a larger terror group, though no firm conclusions have been made. (Wall Street Journal)
Bombing Suspect's Aunt Talks To Infowars: She Claims Set Up Maret Tsarnaeva was contacted for an interview by Dan Dicks Infowars Correspondent and editor of PressForTruth.ca. He had scheduled an interview with her but when he arrived she was hesitant about conducting an interview.
He sent us the number and David Knight contacted her for a pre-interview and to schedule an interview with Alex Jones. That pre-interview was recorded on video. Alex then talked to Maret twice on the phone as she was now unwilling to conduct an interview. She felt people were listening to her phone and she made a point to say she was not being threatened. Alex wrote notes from the meeting and prepared this report. (Prison Planet)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Mom Spoke To Tamerlan Before Deadly MIT Shootout The mother of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, spoke to her deceased elder son as the deadly standoff at MIT escalated Thursday night — and explains what her older child said before he died in a hail of bullets in a tense confrontation with police.
Zubeidat Tsarnaev believes her sons are innocent and have been set up as culprits in the Boston Marathon bombings — last week, the distraught and grieving Zubeidat claimed that her elder son had a working relationship with the FBI.
She said during an initial interview:
“Being a mother, what I can say is that I am very sure, I am like 100 percent sure, that is is a setup. My two sons are really innocent, and I know that neither of them never, never has talked about whatever they are saying about [them] now … My son would never do this. It is a setup. He was controlled by FBI like for three, five years. They knew what my son was doing. [...] they were controlling every step of him.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in the MIT shootout, and brother Dzhokhar, who was gravely injured, are accused of a horrific crime and a potential anti-US campaign of attack — but when listening to Zubeidat speak, it’s difficult not to identify to some small degree with the pain of a mother whose sons are at the center of the mayhem. (The Inquisitr)
EXCLUSIVE: Did 'controlling' mother of Boston 'bombers' lead them on the path to radicalization? Uncle claims she allowed hardline cleric to preach to boys at their kitchen table Accused bombers introduced to hardline Islamic views by their mother, an uncle tells MailOnline ~ Firebrand cleric was able to preach at the family's kitchen table ~ Their mother, Zubeidat, described as the 'boss' of the family ~ 'One of the biggest causes is her,' the uncle says of the brothers' beliefs in radical Islam - The two men who allegedly carried out the Boston Marathon bombing were ‘failed’ by their parents, especially their ‘controlling’ mother who encouraged their move towards Islamic radicalization, relatives told MailOnline today.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaeva looked up to mother Zubeidat as an ‘angel’ but, according to one of their uncles, she was the one who allowed them to be introduced to hardline Islamic views.
Ruslan Tsarni claimed that Zubeidat allowed a firebrand cleric into their house to give one-on-one sermons to Tamerlan over the kitchen table during which he claimed he could talk to demons and perform exorcisms.
Family friends also told MailOnline that the boys’ father Anzor never stood up to his wife and revealed that she was the ‘boss’ of their house.
Until now Tamerlan has been blamed for leading his ‘sweet, innocent’ younger brother down the path to radicalism that allegedly ended with them killing three people and injuring 170 at the Boston Marathon last Monday. (UK Daily Mail)
Older Boston Suspect Made Two Trips to Dagestan, Visited Radical Mosque, Officials Say Two years ago, while visiting his family in the Russian region of Dagestan, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the prime suspect in last week’s Boston Marathon bombings, was flagged as a potential extremist by Russian security services. The only evidence they had were his regular visits to a mosque that gets more than its share of attention from police. Since its construction in 2000, the mosque’s broad, emerald-colored dome has been the center of the region’s Salafi community, which adheres to a more orthodox brand of Islam and, over the years, has been a hangout for men killed in shootouts with Russia’s counterterrorism forces.
According to a source close to the Russian security services who specializes in religious radicalism, Tsarnaev attended services at the mosque on Kotrova Street during both of the extended visits he made to Dagestan over the past two years. That is why Russia’s Federal Security Service, the agency better known as the FSB, sent a warning to the FBI in 2011 to be aware of Tsarnaev’s possible links to extremism.
In a statement on April 19, the FBI said it had received information from an unidentified “foreign government” that Tsarnaev was “a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared … to join unspecified underground groups.” In response, the FBI said it interviewed Tsarnaev and checked its records for relevant information, but “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign.” (Time)
Police Say The Naked Man Arrested In Boston Was Not Tamerlan Tsarnaev On Thursday night while police were hunting in Watertown, Mass. for bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, at one point they arrested a naked man who looks a lot like Tamerlan.
Police say the naked man is not Tamerlan, despite various conspiracy theories going around the Internet.
According to the official account, Tamerlan died after a shootout with cops, riddled with bullets and shrapnel before being run over by his brother who was fleeing the scene in an SUV. (Business Insider)
Tamerlan Tsarnaev: FBI denies mother Zubeidat Tsarnaev's claims they tracked elder bombing suspect The FBI has flatly rejected an assertion by the mother of the two suspected Boston bombers that the bureau had been tracking her oldest son and had spoken with him last week after the deadly marathon bombing.
The chief spokesman for the FBI, Mike Kortan, said he continues to stand by an FBI statement issued Friday that said that the only communication the FBI ever had with Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an interview agents conducted with him in 2011 at the urging of a foreign government, since identified as Russia.
Zubeidat Tsarnaev, the mother of the suspected bombers, told reporters the FBI had tracked her oldest son for as long as five years.
The FBI on Sunday referred again to the previous statement that agents did not know the identities of alleged bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev until Friday. (CNN)
Turn to Religion Split Suspects' Home After last week's Boston Marathon bombings, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva phoned her son Tamerlan in Massachusetts to make sure he was safe.
"Mama, why are you worrying?" Tamerlan replied from Boston, laughing.
Days later, it was the son who phoned his mother. The two, in recent years, had shared a powerful transformation to a more intense brand of Islam.
A turn toward radical Islam by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect killed by police, forced a split in the family and shattered his relationship with his parents. Jennifer Smith and Alan Cullison explain. Photo: AP Images.
"The police, they have started shooting at us, they are chasing us," Mrs. Tsarnaeva says Tamerlan told her. "Mama, I love you." Then the phone went silent. (Wall Street Journal)
Witness WATCHES Boston Bombing Suspect get run over by brother A witness to the shootout called into Opie and Anthony and described in details what he saw:
”The sergeant was yelling — “Get down, get down!” “He’s got a bag of grenades! He’s got f**kin’ grenades!” “There’s a live ordnance on the streets!”
Apparently the police engaged in two different gun battles. “One on my neighbor’s side yard, and one right in front of my house….between obviously each brother and different cops.”
“Cops were shooting hundreds of rounds.”
“The older brother got shot out front…he went down, the cops ran up to him, hit him in the face with a MagLight because he won’t stop movin.”
“The told him, ‘don’t move, don’t move…or we’re gonna shoot you in the f**king head.” “They were both over him (two of the police officers) and the SUV came speeding down the street, going like 60-80 miles and hour…and the cops jumped right at the nick of time and he f**king ran his brother over.”
“It was a black SUV, it was like 2 in the morning, it was right in front of my house!”
“Saw him get run over, dragged him like 30 feet. He was a mangled mess. His pool of blood is right in front of my pickup.”
Warning: contains profanity and graphic descriptions. (Opie Radio)
'My sons have been framed' ~ mother of Boston bombers refuses to believe they were responsible for carnage The mother of the Boston Marathon bombers spoke out yesterday to say her sons were innocent despite the dramatic two-day shoot-out and mahunt that had the world holding its breath.
Zubeidat Tsarnaev claimed last night that her sons were framed after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured by a SWAT team following an hour-long gunfight from his hiding place inside a boat.
She said: "I am like 100 per cent sure that this is a set-up.
"My two sons are really innocent and I know that neither of them have never talked about whatever they're saying about now."
The brothers killed a police officer on Thursday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then hijacked a car, leading police through the city in a car chase and and shoot-out in which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was fatally wounded.
But Zubeidat staunchly denied all of this: "He would never be on the side of Jihad. He would never do this.
"My sons are innocent, it is impossible for them to do such things. I am really telling you this is a set-up." (Belfast Telegraph)
Back at college, suspect called Boston bombs "crazy": classmate Working out at the gym at their sleepy New England college, two students chatted about how "crazy" it was that bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon. Three days later, one of them was named a prime suspect.
Returning to campus on Sunday after being evacuated on Friday during a massive manhunt for the bombers, students at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth swapped recollections of seeing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, back in the dorm, at class and in the gym in the aftermath of the bombings.
Tsarnaev was working out in the gym from 8 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, listening to music on his iPod, when he struck up a conversation with fellow sophomore Zach Bettencourt.
"It's crazy this is happening now," Bettencourt recalled Tsarnaev telling him when the bombings came up. "This (these bombings) is so easy to do. These tragedies happen all the time in Afghanistan and Iraq." (Reuters)
Boston bombers: FBI hunting 12-strong terrorist "sleeper cell" linked to brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ~ Police believe the pair were specially trained to carry out the devastating attack The FBI was last night hunting a 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to the Boston marathon bomb brothers.
Police believe Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were specially trained to carry out the devastating attack.
More than 1,000 FBI operatives were last night working to track down the cell and arrested a man and two women 60 miles from Boston in the hours before Dzhokhar’s dramatic capture after a bloody shootout on Friday.
A source close to the investigation said: “We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.
“They were too advanced. Someone gave the brothers the skills and it is now our job to find out just who they were. Agents think the sleeper cell has up to a dozen members and has been waiting several years for their day to come.”
A specialist team of CIA and FBI interrogators was yesterday flown to a Boston hospital to grill wounded Dzhokhar, 19, about the secret group. The University of Massachusetts student was caught on Friday after hiding out in a boat parked in a garden in locked down Watertown the day after a gun battle with police left his 26-year-old brother and a rookie cop dead. (Mirror.co.uk)
Details Emerge of Alleged Carjacking by Bomber Suspects New details emerged Sunday of the accused marathon bombers' alleged theft of a sport-utility vehicle before a chaotic gunfight in the city's suburbs.
About 40 minutes after they allegedly shot and killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer in Cambridge, Mass., Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the brothers accused of the bombing, crossed the Charles River into Boston and stole a Mercedes SUV at gunpoint, briefly holding the driver hostage, according to an excerpt from the Cambridge Police Department report filed by the driver and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The alleged carjacking occurred at about 11 p.m. in Boston's Brighton neighborhood on Brighton Avenue, said the excerpt, which didn't name the victim. - The victim told police he was driven to a Shell Gas Station on Memorial Drive in Watertown. Inside the car, the brothers "declared to [the victim] that they were the Boston Marathon bombers and would not kill him because he wasn't American," the report said. (Wall Street Journal)
Did the FBI phone Boston suspect before fatal shootout? The father of the Boston bombing suspects claims to Channel 4 News that the FBI telephoned his elder son after the attack, and prior to a fatal shootout that claimed the life of a police officer. - The father of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Anzor, told Channel 4 News that the elder brother had telephoned their mother a few days after the bombings.
Mr Tsarnaev was speaking by telephone to Channel 4 News filmmaker Nick Sturdee (pictured below), who is in Makhachkala, Dagestan. The father said Tamerlan contacted his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, two or three days after the bombing.
Tamerlan told her the FBI had just rung him and accused him of being behind the attacks, and that he had responded by saying "that's your problem", Mr Tsarnaev claims.
The telephone call claim raises a number of questions.
On the one hand the claim could be false. It follows suggestions by both parents that the FBI had been monitoring Tamerlan for years and could be part of efforts to defend the brothers. Another possiblity is that the telephone call was Tamerlan preparing his mother for bad news. (Channel 4)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Is Awake and Answering Questions Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is still in the hospital. His condition is not improving, and he still can't speak to investigators because of a potentially self-inflicted neck wound. The 19-year-old suspect is still under surveillance at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he's been since his arrest late Friday night. He was in serious but stable condition Sunday morning, according to the F.B.I., but the Boston Police Department just released an update saying it's been downgraded to critical but stable condition. That's bad. That means his condition is getting worse.
The truth is, there's a very real possibility investigators won't get a chance to speak with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. "We don’t know if we’ll ever be able to question the individual," Mayor Tom Menino cautioned Sunday morning on ABC's This Week. - Update, Monday: There are now federal charges, delivered to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an American citizen, in his hospital bed (reportedly along with his Miranda warning), and they involve pressure cookers as WMDs, even as questions surround the investigation and his family. Read the full transcript of the hearing below: (The Atlantic)
FBI denies report elder Tsarnaev was contacted last week The FBI is strongly refuting a report by Britain’s Channel 4 News that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was contacted by federal agents last week, days after the Marathon bombings and days before he allegedly murdered an MIT police officer and before he was killed in a gunfight with cops and his fugitive brother held Greater Boston hostage for an entire day.
“Story is false,” a spokeswoman for the agency said in an email response to a Herald inquiry. (Boston Herald)
FBI's handling of Boston suspect comes under scrutiny U.S. lawmakers asked on Sunday why the FBI had failed to spot the danger from one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, and they complained it was one of a series of cases in which someone the agency had investigated had later taken part in attacks.
House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul wrote to the FBI and other officials asking why Tamerlan Tsarnaev did not raise suspicions after Russia asked the bureau to investigate him two years ago.
"Because if he was on the radar and they let him go, he's on the Russians' radar, why wasn't a flag put on him, some sort of customs flag?," McCaul, a Texas Republican, said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "And I'd like to know what intelligence Russia has on him as well."
The FBI interviewed Tsarnaev, the elder of two ethnic Chechen brothers suspected in the Boston bombing, in 2011 shortly after Russia's Federal Security Service asked the agency to look into him as a possible Islamist radical who might soon travel to Russia.
Asked on Sunday about lawmakers' concerns, the FBI said it had no further comment beyond a statement it issued on Friday night when it said it "did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign" after speaking to Tsarnaev and checking his travel records and Internet activity. (Reuters)
Man Resembling Tamerlan Tsarnaev: Arrested and Stripped Naked [Video] A man resembling Tamerlan Tsarnaev was arrested and told by police to strip naked in Watertown, Massachusetts early Friday. In the video that was shown on CNN and other news outlets, the naked man looked like the older Tsarnaev brother, but other reports were that the man was not connected to the Boston Bombing and was released.
The Boston CBS Affiliate reported that a man was ordered to remove his clothes presumably over worries that he had an explosive device. Who was that guy? Newsday reported that "CNN and local TV station News7 WDHD reported that two suspects were in police custody early Friday after the gunfire in Watertown, just outside Boston and about four miles from the Cambridge-based MIT." This story is getting more and more difficult to navigate. Some glaring inconsistencies: (Gather)
Mass. Gov: Video Shows Bomb Suspect Dodging Blast Surveillance video from the Boston Marathon attack shows one suspect dropping his backpack and calmly walking away from it before the bomb inside exploded, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Sunday.
The video clearly puts 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the scene of the attack, Patrick said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"It does seem to be pretty clear that this suspect took the backpack off, put it down, did not react when the first explosion went off and then moved away from the backpack in time for the second explosion," Patrick said. "It's pretty clear about his involvement and pretty chilling, frankly."
Patrick said he hadn't viewed the videotape but had been briefed by law enforcement officials about it. (Associated Press)
North Caucasus Rebels Deny Links To Boston Attack A website used by Russia's North Caucasus rebels denied Sunday any link to the deadly Boston Marathon bombings that have been blamed on two ethnic-Chechen suspects.
"The command of the Vilayat Dagestan mujahedeen... declares that the Caucasus fighters are not waging any military activities against the United States of America," the Kavkacenter.com website said.
"We are only fighting Russia, which is not only responsible for the occupation of the Caucasus, but also for monstrous crimes against Muslims," the rebel site said.
US media reports said the FBI was studying possible links between the two suspects -- brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev -- to the Caucasus Emirate movement led by feared warlord Doku Umarov.
The reports said the US authorities were particularly interested in the Vilayat Dagestan offshoot of Umarov's group. (Business Insider)
Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, 'Person Of Interest' In Boston Bombing, Still Set To Be Deported On Tuesday An expert on terrorism says the Saudi national who was the original “person of interest” in connection with Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing is going to be deported from the U.S. on Tuesday.
The foreign student from Revere, Mass., is identified as 20-year-old Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi.
“I just learned from my own sources that he is now going to be deported on national security grounds next Tuesday, which is very unusual,” Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism told Sean Hannity of Fox News Wednesday night.
Emerson echoed more details Friday on The Glenn Beck Radio Show, who says there are many more details to this situation and would be revealed on Monday.
The Reuters news agency reported President Barack Obama met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Wednesday, noting “the meeting was not on Obama’s public schedule.” (Global Dispatch)
Peter King: Stop being 'politically correct' Rep. Peter King is calling for greater law enforcement focus on Muslim communities, arguing that authorities should put aside what is “politically correct” and recognize that America faces major threats from Islamic terrorism.
“Obviously the main international base, the terrorist threats are coming from the Muslim community,” King (R-N.Y.) told POLITICO on Saturday. "There have been 16 terror plots against New York [since Sept. 11, 2001], all Islamist-based. We’re at war with Islamic terrorism. It’s coming from people within the Muslim community by the terrorists coming from that community, just like the mafia comes from Italian communities.” (Politico)
Police perform house-to-house raids in Watertown MA ripping innocent families from their homes WATERTOWN, MA -- On Friday, April 19, 2013, during a manhunt for a bombing suspect, police and federal agents spent the day storming people's homes and performing illegal searches. While it was unclear initially if the home searches were voluntary, it is now crystal clear that they were absolutely NOT voluntary. Police were filmed ripping people from their homes at gunpoint, marching the residents out with their hands raised in submission, and then storming the homes to perform their illegal searches.
Police, citizens and technology factor into Boston bombing probe Within hours of the Boston Marathon bombing, investigators were already overwhelmed. Bloody clothing, bags, shoes and other evidence from victims and witnesses were piling up. Videos and still images, thousands of them, were beginning to accumulate.
Quickly, the authorities secured a warehouse in Boston’s Seaport district and filled the sprawling space: On half of the vast floor, hundreds of pieces of bloody clothes were laid out to dry so they could be examined for forensic clues or flown to FBI labs at Quantico in Prince William County for testing. In the other half of the room, more than a dozen investigators sifted through hundreds of hours of video, looking for people “doing things that are different from what everybody else is doing,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said in an interview Saturday.
The work was painstaking and mind-numbing: One agent watched the same segment of video 400 times. The goal was to construct a timeline of images, following possible suspects as they moved along the sidewalks, building a narrative out of a random jumble of pictures from thousands of different phones and cameras.
It took a couple of days, but analysts began to focus on two men in baseball caps who had brought heavy black bags into the crowd near the marathon’s finish line but left without those bags. The decisive moment came on Wednesday afternoon, when Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick (D) got a call from state police: The investigation had narrowed in on the man who would soon be known as Suspect No. 2, the man whom police captured Friday night bleeding and disoriented on a 22-foot boat in a Watertown driveway.
Patrick said the images of Suspect No. 2 reacting to the first explosion provided “highly incriminating” evidence, “a lot more than the public knows.”
How federal and local investigators sifted through that ocean of evidence and focused their search on two immigrant brothers is a story of advanced technology and old-fashioned citizen cooperation. It is an object lesson in how hard it is to separate the meaningful from the noise in a world awash with information. (Washington Post)
Thank you, Big Brother: Do cities need more surveillance? Footage from CCTV cameras were the key to catching the Boston marathon bombing suspects. Should we have more of them? - Investigators scoured hours and hours of surveillance footage from the Boston marathon for the tiniest clue that could lead them to the suspects who committed this horrible act.
Thousands of man-hours and just three days later — Bingo. They found what they were looking for.
On Thursday, FBI special agent Richard DesLauriers announced that police were searching for two men: Suspect No. 1, wearing a dark baseball cap, and Suspect No. 2, wearing a similar hat in white.
That afternoon, police distributed video footage and still images of the suspects to the public.
A positive ID wasn't far behind. (Global Post)
The Mystery Of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Trip To Dagestan One strange aspect of the older Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev's back story is a trip he made to his homeland — Russia, specifically Dagestan and Chechnya — last year.
Sources have told The New York Times that the trip will be examined thoroughly by federal investigators.
So what do we know about the trip so far?
Tamerlan went to Russia early last year and returned around six months later on July 27.
According to one interview with his father, he went to renew his passport.
His father says that he stayed with him in the capital of Dagestan, Makhachkala, and that they went to visit relatives in Chechnya.
The FBI questioned Tamerlan before the trip, at the request of a country (widely presumed to have been Russia) “based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”
Could Tamerlan have met up with radical groups while he was in Dagestan and Chechnya? It's certainly possible, though his father seemed to downplay that in an interview with the New York Times, saying that he slept til noon every day and "communicated with me and his cousins. There was nobody (else)."
Even if he did not actively meet with any extremist groups in Russia, there are some signs that he may have idolized them. (Business Insider)
The Tsarnaev brothers were double agents who decoyed US into terror trap The big questions buzzing over Boston Bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have a single answer: It emerged in the 102 tense hours between the twin Boston Marathon bombings Monday, April 15 – which left three dead, 180 injured and a police officer killed at MIT - and Dzohkhar’s capture Friday, April 19 in Watertown.
The conclusion reached by DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism and intelligence sources is that the brothers were double agents, hired by US and Saudi intelligence to penetrate the Wahhabi jihadist networks which, helped by Saudi financial institutions, had spread across the restive Russian Caucasian.
Instead, the two former Chechens betrayed their mission and went secretly over to the radical Islamist networks.
By this tortuous path, the brothers earned the dubious distinction of being the first terrorist operatives to import al Qaeda terror to the United States through a winding route outside the Middle East – the Caucasus. (Debka File)
Was Boston bomber inspired by Russia's Bin Laden? Mother claims FBI tracked older brother 'for FIVE YEARS' after being told by Moscow of links to Chechen terrorists
Russian intelligence services warned agency about Tamerlan Tsarnaev
~ Convinced he was in 'direct contact' with Islamist militants
~ May have been inspired by Chechen rebel leader man known as Russia's Bin Landen - Doku Umarov
~ Believed to be behind some of Russia's worst terrorist atrocities
~ But FBI later discounted Tamerlan as a threat, despite telling his mother he was an 'extremist leader' - One of the brothers suspected of the Boston Marathon bombings had direct contact with Chechen terrorists – and was ‘monitored’ by investigators for five years.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that the FBI put Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, under surveillance after receiving an explicit warning from the Russian intelligence services.
But despite apparently telling his mother that Tamerlan was an ‘extremist’ leader, the FBI eventually discounted the possibility that he was a threat.
Rebel: One theory is that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was inspired by Doku Umarov, a Chechen terrorist known as Russia's Bin Laden
Tamerlan was shot dead by police early on Friday while his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar was captured alive but seriously injured with neck and leg injuries on Friday night. He had been hiding in a boat in a suburban backyard.
Last night new details about Dzhokhar’s dramatic capture were released.
Police said he fired at them from his hiding place but, weak through loss of blood from the bullet wounds he had sustained in the shoot-out with police earlier, he eventually gave himself up. ‘He was so weak that we were able to just go in and scoop him up,’ said a police spokesman. (UK Daily Mail)
2011 Request for Information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev from Foreign Government The two individuals believed to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday have been positively identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, now deceased, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now in custody. These individuals are brothers and residents of Massachusetts. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a legal permanent resident and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Charges have not yet been filed against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and he is presumed innocent.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, age 26, was previously designated as Suspect 1, wearing a black hat. Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, age 19, was designated as Suspect 2, wearing a white hat. Both were born in Kyrgyzstan.
Once the FBI learned the identities of the two brothers today, the FBI reviewed its records and determined that in early 2011, a foreign government asked the FBI for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.
In response to this 2011 request, the FBI checked U.S. government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans, and education history. The FBI also interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and family members. The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
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