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Ear to the Ground

Can You Hear Me Now?: Terrorist Edition

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Posted on Jan 9, 2009
Global Graphica / Ivan Corsa

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly believes that the Mumbai attack is the new model for terrorist operations, and that cell phones play a large part in their plotting.

In a reactionary move against technology and the beasts who wield it, the NYPD has announced it wants to jam cell phone frequencies in case of a terrorist attack, citing Mumbai as an example of how mobile phones allowed attackers in that Indian city to micromanage their assault in real time.


The New York Police Department wants to be able to shut down cell phones, in case of a terrorist attack.

During last month’s massacre in Mumbai, terrorist handlers ... micromanaged via mobile phone the assaults on the hotels, train stations, and Jewish center that killed more than 170 people.

In testimony [Friday] before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he wanted to take out that “formidable capacity to adjust tactics while attacks are underway.”

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By Maani, January 11, 2009 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

As a NYer, I can tell you that since 9/11 our city has become the test site and poster child for the growing (but not yet quite here, purplewolf) proto-totalitarian police state.  This is only the latest example.  And, of course, even if this idea had some merit, the potential for its abuse is staggering.


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By palloliver, January 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The turd Kelly just recognizes a good opportunity to tighten the screws on the populace and to heighten future false flag terror attacks.  If the turds control all communication then the populace is effectively atomized and much easier to control and lead like sheep.

Mumbai was an obvious false flag attack.  You think India’s top anti-terrorism officials investigating Hindu extremists just happening to be killed first thing was a big coincidence?

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By Purple Girl, January 10, 2009 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

That is exactly what caused th einablity to communicate between depts during 9/11. Good ol’ Rudy bought the cheapest, Non compatable communication devices he could find! People Died because of his ineptitude! Not to mention the lunacy of putting the Emergency HQ in the very buildings which had already been attacked 8 yrs earlier. One could summize, Rudy was aiding the Attackers with such obvious fuck ups.
do they test NY officials for Retardation? Is it a prerequiste to getting a high powered position in the State Gov’t? At the Very least we should be testing some of their officials for Lead Poisoning!

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By blog dog, January 10, 2009 at 12:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

... it is not from foreign threats, but rather more like the home-grown ones from this administration.


“Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state.” - James Jesus Angelton - Director of CIA Counter Intelligence (1954-74)

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By Texacrat, January 9, 2009 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

I’m sure that the Mumbai thugs would have been stopped long before they had a chance to kill as many as they did if they tried a similar tactic here since many of us are legally armed.  I’m not a right-wing wacko trying to spam this site, I agree with many of you, and this article shows how if we don’t defend our rights, we are going to be reduced to a population of helpless sheep that can do nothing but watch or run if something were to happen here.

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By purplewolf, January 9, 2009 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

We are now officially a police state. If they jam all the cell phones and land lines, what are people who need to call for say, an ambulance or fire emergency supposed to do? Use smoke signals, carrier pigeons, semaphore signals, Morse code? And how far will they jam these signals, a city, state, country, or all of North America? It would literally shut down the whole country if nation wide and would cause more harm by doing so, besides if a situation occured, the “bad guys” will no doubt have another backup system or plan in which to communicate.

No matter what these so called experts come up with, the criminal mind always overcomes or out smarts the experts.

Hasn’t this terrorist thing gone on long enough? It is like the boy crying wolf, after the trillionth time of these idiots in charge screaming terrorism, people tend to tune them out. It has become meaningless as it has been over used for everything to justify what this administration has taken away from the people of America. Like the rights we had when Bush entered the White House. Do you really feel safer after the last 2 terms of Bush? A country run by paranoid politicians who see boogeymen everywhere? I know I don’t, but it is not from foreign threats, but rather more like the home-grown ones from this administration.

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By PatrickHenry, January 9, 2009 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Sounds like a spark to fuse of a new American revolution.

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By Anarcissie, January 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

The first instinct of Security Mind is to make others more helpless so that Security Mind will be more important and can pretend to take control of everything.  If the cell phones are jammed, then terrorists will simply resort to other forms of communication, like walkie-talkies (direct radio) or something else, whereas the honest, peaceable persons will be made suitably dependent on their masters.  An alert, active citizenry could use working cell phones to report hostile activity, to fight back as it were.  Security Mind would prefer you to be helpless.  Sound familiar?

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By Shift, January 9, 2009 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Are the police serving the interests of the people of New York by eliminating their ability to communicate?  To me it doesn’t seem so but that is up to New Yorkers.

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By Major Domo, January 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It should be obvious to the most casual of observers that by jamming all cell phone freq’s to inhibit terrorists from coordinating their attacks with other cells they also inhibit citizens from reporting suspicious activities to local authorities. Such activities that would give law enforcement heads ups where seemingly random attacks are moving towards a specific location(s) that may eventually create far greater injuries, deaths and hostage situations.

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By whitebeard, January 9, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

That’s a kind way of saying Kelly is stupid (or, perhaps, hiding a sinister reason) for saying he wants to be able to jam cell phones at his whim. Not only would it not stop the terrorists from communicating, it would stop civilians from communicating and, perhaps, saving lives, as well as possibly interfering with community service communications.

This is an exemplar for “better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

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