Thursday Headlines

FBI Director Says Terrorist Threat Present In US
FBI Director James Comey today said the agency has open cases investigating individuals who may be related to ISIS/ISIL in every state in the Union except Alaska.

“The challenge that we face in law enforcement is that they may be getting exposed to that poison and that training in their basement,” Comey said. “They’re sitting there consuming and may emerge from the basement to kill people of any sort, which is the call of ISIL, just kill somebody.”

The gravity of the threat posed to the homeland by ISIS was an issue also addressed today by the head of the FBI’s counterrorism operations, Michael Steinbach, who told CNN that ISIS is actively recruiting US teens.

“I’m worried about individuals that we don’t know about that have training,” Steinbach said. “We know what we know. But there is a number that’s greater than that that we don’t know.”

Absence Of Leadership Allows Threats To Grow
Wolfgang Ischinger, former State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office and Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, argues that speaking of today’s global climate in terms of being on the “right” or “wrong” side of history is nothing more than clever rhetorical devices that, at best, do no harm; “at worst, they obscure the complexities of today’s security landscape that need to be understood and addressed.”

He says what is needed is leadership, the lack of which has led to the current cycle of crises.

“As leaders stop acting the way they used to, or fail to do as much as a situation might warrant, other actors test the limits. As orders crumble and become harder to maintain or manage, traditional and potential leaders increasingly consider the challenge too great, or they rely heavily on quick fixes and stop-gap measures, further fueling unpredictability and instability. It was at this intersection of test and trepidation that today’s vicious circle of geopolitical turmoil was set in motion,” he contends.

UN Human Rights Chief On Combating Atrocities
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein delivered a speech at the Holocaust Memorial Museum on whether the world can prevent atrocities in a post-Holocaust era.

To prevent human rights violations, he says, it is important to understand why some people kill, which is itself a complex notion.

“Perhaps some ordinary people killed because at times the fear of pain or punishment overwhelmed reality. But mostly I suspect because, in the unique circumstances of that moment, they believed it was right – and this is the second, more disturbing variation of how we rationalize. They believed the killing, even of children, was entirely justified, even if they also knew it was in some sense awful. And once rationalized, the killing became mechanical and the victims, the people, become non-people, in the eyes of the killers and torturers,” he said.

The world needs “profound and inspiring” leaders who fully observe human rights and humanitarian law and all the treaties drafted to end discrimination, poverty, war, “with no excuses.” Only then, can we help ourselves out of the “supply of crises that threatens to engulf us,” the UN rights chief emphasized.

 

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