discarded lies: monday, march 19, 2018 8:48 pm zst
Blessed are the Bewildered
daily archive: 08/06/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Bring on the birds!
ATHENS, Greece (Reuters) - Greek activists say a 200-foot surveillance zeppelin patrolling Olympic Athens tramples on civil rights and have launched legal action to ground it.

The blimp, dubbed Big Brother by local media, carries a battery of hi-tech sensors from spy cameras to chemical agent detectors and is part of Greece's $1.2 billion security plan.

"The zeppelin's flights are unconstitutional per se," said Maria Bossi, lecturer in International Security and International Terrorism in Athens' Panteion University, and one of two dozen signatories of a petition to ground the blimp.

"Based on laws safeguarding personal data, citizens must be informed that they are in a zone patrolled by the zeppelin and could be under surveillance."

The giant airship has been a big issue in leftist chat rooms, with users first ridiculing its inability to lift off for a week due to medium winds, and then proposing strategies to ground it.

One wrote: "Why not let loose a couple thousand pigeons, doves and flamingos to see if they can take it down." Other suggestions included using mirrors and large spotlights to blind the zeppelin's pilots and releasing helium balloons in its path.

Olympic Spy Zeppelin Flies Into Greek Flak

Umm... no comment.


Judge Maria Klonari said she would rule late next week on a restraining order against the blimp demanded by a group called Democratic Rally for Privacy Rights.

Blimp decision on hold

Umm... still no comment.

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Poor and oppressed, eh?
Arrested Qaeda Operative: Life of Degrees and Aliases

Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, the Pakistani computer engineer now being described as an Al Qaeda facilitator or operative, was a well-educated product of Pakistan's middle class. Much like the Sept. 11 hijackers, many of whom were also children more of opportunity than deprivation, he seems to have abandoned a career for a mission.

He was living in Lahore, where, he told investigators, Al Qaeda helped pay his rent. Even the woman he married last May was provided by his Qaeda handler.

Mr. Khan seems to be a mastermind who was possibly helping to plan attacks abroad. His computer yielded information including graphics of the designs of important buildings and computer calculations of the impact of explosions.

However important his role, his allegiance to Al Qaeda does not appear to be in dispute. He is the latest example of the young, educated professionals who have been lured to the network. His profile reflects familiar elements that concern counterterrorist specialists: his technological expertise; his ability to blend unnoticed for years into Pakistani society, even as he passed on messages and traveled to meet Qaeda operatives; his contacts with similarly ideological family members in Britain.

Mr. Khan's father is a senior purser for the state-owned Pakistan International Airlines. His mother is an assistant professor of botany at St. Joseph College in Karachi. They are Pashtuns. He told interrogators that the family came from India after the Partition in 1947.

Read the whole NYT article (Registration required )

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