Monday, April 29, 2013

Globe Goes Inside the Minds of the Boston Marathon Bombers

First we need to take a look at their faces:

"Facial-recognition software precision may be years away; Low resolutions, tilted heads still confound" by Hiawatha Bray  |  Globe Staff,  April 29, 2013

It looks simple in the movies. The hero feeds a digital image of a suspect into a computer, which matches it with millions of data files and comes up with a positive identification.

And that is what you were fed, folks. A scripted drill gone live.

But in real life, it took eyeballs, not microchips....

Despite pictures of the brothers being in government databases, such as for motor vehicle licenses, the facial-recognition software was not able to match them against the fuzzy, grainy images investigators had....

This is bull.

And it may be years before the technology works as well in real life as it does in the movies.

Right. Translation: They already have it.

“That’s an open question that people who are developing systems are trying to solve,” said P. Jonathon Phillips, an electrical engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology who evaluates facial-recognition systems for the federal government. “We still do not know how long it will take.”

This is the same NIST that can't explain the WTC collapses? 

But even today, facial recognition can work well.

Are you sick of the bullshit-qualifying buts, stills, whatevers, howevers, yet?

The technology is commonly used by millions of amateurs who edit photos­ in programs such as Google Inc.’s Picasa. The software allows users to attach a name to a face in a photograph stored on the computer’s hard drive. Immediately, Picasa automatically locates the same face in every other photo on the computer.

Meaning YOU CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT YOU SAW on that TV and FBI-furnished video!

Facial recognition has also proved successful in criminal investigations. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a high-tech civil liberties organization, estimates that about 35 states use facial-recognition technology to scan their databases of driver’s license photos for identity fraud.

Why? Just go down to Downtown Crossing and see a pushcart.

In New Jersey, for example, the Motor Vehicle Commission ran facial-recognition software against its database of 19 million drivers’ photos, looking for duplicate images. The state found 669 cases that appeared to be deliberate examples of identity theft.

In February, the New Jersey attorney general’s office announced 38 arrests related to the investigation. Facial-recognition systems have also led to 2,500 identity theft arrests in New York State since 2010.

They land on the shore, did they?

Using driver’s license photos is usually easy work for facial-recognition software because those images are of high quality. The subject is illuminated with bright, even light, looks directly into the camera, and avoids exaggerated facial expressions.

That makes it easy for the software to, for example, accurately measure the distance between the eyes, the width of the mouth, the texture of the skin, and the firmness of the underlying muscles.

”If I have a controlled driver’s license or mugshot photo and I want to match it to another photo, the performance can be as high as 99 percent,” said Anil Jain, a professor of computer science at Michigan State University and a specialist in facial recognition.

But the photos of the alleged Boston bombers, shot by low-resolution video surveillance cameras, were blurry and badly illuminated.

In some, the subjects are seen in profile, with one eye obscured. Jain said this angle makes it far harder for the software, which uses the distance between the eyes as a key factor in facial identification.

“As soon as you start changing the illumination, the pose, and expression, the accuracy starts dropping,” Jain said.


MorphoTrust USA in Billerica makes facial-recognition software that is licensed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, though the company cannot say whether its products were used in the Boston investigation.

The company’s senior vice president for government operations, Jim Albers, said that while MorphoTrust’s facial-recognition software is “about as good as it’s going to get,” it is hampered by poor picture quality and off-center facial images.

Still, Albers said, as older surveillance cameras are gradually replaced by high-definition units, he believes facial recognition will become more successful.

Law enforcement agencies are not the only users of the technology.

The fire safety and security products giant Tyco International Ltd. uses facial recognition to track shoppers at retail stores as they move around, to detect shoplifting.

And an Italian company called Almax SpA makes a mannequin with a camera embedded in one eye. The mannequin captures images of nearby shoppers, classifying them by race, sex, and estimated age.

Neither product tries to identify individual shoppers, and an industry trade group, the Global Association For Marketing At Retail, has warned its members to protect customer privacy.

Michigan State’s Jain noted that smart criminals will be able to beat facial-recognition systems by wearing disguises, such as fake beards.

That means facial surveillance may prove more effective in tracking law-abiding citizens than terrorists.

Civil libertarians are already uneasy about the broad use of facial-recognition technology, fearing that it will be used to invade people’s privacy.

Well, thanks to Boston it's coming.

Courts have ruled that people have no right to privacy when walking down a public street. So police could someday use facial-recognition software and ever-present surveillance cameras to track any citizen’s movements — even, critics fear, those who are not suspected of wrongdoing.


“Once they prove it works, it’ll be all over the place,” predicted John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization in Rutherford, Va.

Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation said that the government should adopt restrictions on the use of the technology before it improves, such as to limit random surveillance.

Because once it goes up it never comes down.


UPDATE: Boston Surveillance Videos Examined by Israeli Tech Firm? 

Then they are not to be believed or trusted.

Now to get behind those eyes:

"Potential psychological explanations behind bombings" by Deborah Kotz  |  Globe Staff, April 29, 2013

A teenage immigrant with intellectual promise heads out on a sunny day into the streets of a large American city and decides to murder as many innocent strangers as he can. He’s in the company of an older man who has taken the place of his father, who has long been away in a distant country.

The teen is Lee Boyd Malvo, who at age 17 killed 10 people in the 2002 Washington, D.C.-area sniper attacks, but the description also fits the still-developing profile of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose father left their Cambridge home for Russia in 2010.

The psychological makeup of 19-year-old Tsarnaev, who is accused of setting off two pressure-cooker explosives with his 26-year-old brother, remains unknown. But forensic psychologists say there are a number of mental health conditions that could cause a young man — even one who is intelligent and seemingly well adjusted, as some acquaintances have described Tsarnaev — to fall under the malicious influence of a father figure.


Six Zionist Companies Own 96% of the World's Media
Declassified: Massive Israeli manipulation of US media exposed
Operation Mockingbird

Talk about malicious influences.
They might help explain what would drive a well-liked marine biology student to allegedly carry out a terrorist attack.


Ruslan Tsarni, Tsarnaev’s uncle, told reporters last week that he does not believe the 19-year-old could have masterminded the bombing plot. “He’s been absolutely wasted by his older brother. I mean, he used him. He used him for whatever he’s done.”

You know, the CIA guy.

But Tsarni was just speculating, since a family fight had, for some time, left him estranged from his nephews, including Tamerlan, the older of the two brothers who had become radicalized in recent years and died in a shoot-out with police last week.

Speculating just another word for bullshitting, and this guy had an ax to grind?

Severed family ties, his parents’ divorce, and their absence — his mother has been living in Russia since last year — may have driven Dzhokhar even closer to his brother and led him to become an unquestioning partner in his violent plans. 

May have?

“Immigrants often rely on a supportive network of family and friends to help them avoid the loneliness,” said Carmeta Albarus, a forensic social worker who co-wrote “The Making of Lee Boyd Malvo’’ based on her psychological analysis and meetings with Malvo during his criminal trial. “I think it’s significant that the older brother said he had not one American friend, an emptiness that can be so easy to fill by attaching yourself to some kind of cause.”

Except he did have friends at the gym.

Also see: Slow Saturday Special: Testing Tsarnaev's Brain 

He was a born terrorist!

Malvo, a Jamaican immigrant, developed an attachment disorder after he was abandoned at age 5 by his father and raised by an abusive mother; he considered 41-year-old John Allen Muhammad, the other D.C. sniper, to be his father and even initially tried to take full responsibility for all the shootings. It is unlikely that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had the same attachment disorder, because it usually forms in toddlers or preschoolers who feel abandoned by their parents, said Jonathan Mack, a New Jersey-based criminal psychologist who co-authored the book with Albarus. But he added that it is possible Dzhokhar was “brainwashed by his brother, the way Malvo was brainwashed by Muhammed.” 

I didn't know he published a newspaper or ran a school.

That can only be ascertained by conducting a mental health assessment, which would include questioning Tsarnaev along with his teachers, family, and close friends, as well as neuropsychological testing to evaluate his memory, motor function, personality, and other cognitive skills. Tsarnaev’s lawyers will probably ask for this, Mack said, because any mental deficits they uncover could be used to argue for reducing the charges or avoiding the death penalty.

Any psychological evaluation should also include a close examination of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s history and behavior to determine whether he had psychiatric problems that may have driven him to commit murder. “There’s something called shared paranoid disorder where one person in a close relationship has delusions and eventually pulls the other one into this delusional system,” said Dr. Harold Bursztajn, a psychiatrist and cofounder of the psychiatry and law program at Harvard Medical School. 

Somebody is deluded if they think this stuff is flying.

Usually, the more dominant person in the relationship develops the paranoia or delusions first and influences the weaker one to have the same twisted thoughts.

Something is twisted.

“Is this something that happened in this case? I don’t know, but I think it’s an avenue to explore,” Bursztajn said.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s purported religious extremism, loneliness, and hatred for the United States may have been accompanied by paranoid delusions that made it seem morally justifiable to kill innocent bystanders, Bursztajn said. “If his younger brother had hero worship, he may have taken on this paranoia as well,” he said.

Shared paranoid disorder might also explain why the two brothers did not initially plan for a quick getaway after the bombing. “They might have fantasized that God would take care of them,” Bursztajn said, and enable them to escape being identified as the bombers. Or they might simply have been careless in their planning. 

May, might, but, still.... whatever.

The psychiatric condition, however, is uncommon, and a far more plausible scenario is that the brothers were emboldened by each other.

Yeah, gotta find one of those before it is too late.

“They may believe that murder is wrong, but their sense of allegiance and loyalty to each other or the group may supersede that sense of right and wrong,” said James Alan Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University.

I'll tell you what I don't believe: my morning newspaper.

“Awful crimes may be committed just for the sake of a perverted kind of bonding,” Fox said. Criminals often compartmentalize, dividing the world into those they care about and everyone else.

Something is perverted around here.

And just as some men who commit group rape would never rape someone on their own, some people only kill in pairs. One brother may have been looking for his younger brother’s admiration, while the other was looking for his older brother’s approval.

That's weird because usually older brothers protect and look out for the younger. Of course, these guys were Russian, so....

“I think they brought out the worst in each other,” Fox said. “I’m not sure either would have committed murder on his own.”

Must be a Russian thang.


You know where psychology comes from, right? 

"Father of bombing suspects postpones trip to US" by Arsen Mollayev  |  Associated Press, April 29, 2013

MAKHACHKALA, Russia — The father of the two Boston bombing suspects said Sunday that he has postponed a trip from Russia to the United States because of poor health.

Anzor Tsarnaev, 46, said his blood pressure had spiked to dangerous levels. ‘‘I am really sick,’’ he said.

Tsarnaev had said at a news conference Thursday that he planned to leave that day or the next for the United States with the hope of seeing his younger son, who is under arrest in the bombing case, and of burying his elder son, who was killed. His family, however, indicated later Thursday that the trip could be delayed.

They are taking my advice. Wouldn't want to meet with some strange accident or illness while in AmeriKa.

Tsarnaev confirmed on Sunday that he is staying in Chechnya, a province in southern Russia, but did not specify whether he was hospitalized. He is an ethnic Chechen and has relatives in Chechnya, although he and his family spent little time in Chechnya or anywhere else in Russia before moving to the United States a decade ago.


He and the suspects’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, returned to Russia last year and settled in Makhachkala, the capital of neighboring Dagestan, where Anzor Tsarnaev’s relatives live.

During the past week, they were both questioned extensively by US investigators who had traveled to Makhachkala from Moscow.

Tsarnaev’s family said last week that he intended to get to the United States by flying from Grozny, the Chechen capital, to Moscow.

Tsarnaeva drew increased attention after federal officials said Russian authorities intercepted her phone calls, including one in which she vaguely discussed jihad with her elder son.

In another, she was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, US officials said.

Tsarnaeva said she is no terrorist, just someone who found a deeper spirituality. She insists her sons — Tamerlan, who was killed in a gunfight with police, and Dzhokhar, who was wounded and captured — are innocent.

That is going to be a problem for the government and its mouthpiece media.

‘‘It’s all lies and hypocrisy,’’ she said in an interview in Dagestan. ‘‘I'm sick and tired of all this nonsense that they make up about me and my children. People know me as a regular person, and I've never been mixed up in any criminal intentions, especially any linked to terrorism.’’

She isn't the only one.

After she arrived in the United States from Russia in 2002, Tsarnaeva went to beauty school and worked at a suburban day spa. But in recent years, clients and others who knew her said she began wearing a hijab and cited conspiracy theories about 9/11 being a plot against Muslims.

Here we go! Next thing you know they will be calling her a Nazi!

The Tsarnaevs settled in a working-class section of Cambridge. Zubeidat took classes at the Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics before becoming a state-licensed aesthetician. Anzor, who had studied law, fixed cars.

Tsarnaeva said she and Tamerlan began to turn more deeply into their Muslim faith about five years ago after being influenced by a family friend named Misha.


And if radicalization occurred five years ago, why didn't the FBI come up with anything on their "investigation?"

The man, whose full name she did not reveal, impressed her with a religious devotion that was far greater than her own, even though he was an ethnic Armenian who converted to Islam.

‘‘I wasn’t praying until he prayed in our house, so I just got really ashamed that I am not praying, being a Muslim, being born Muslim. I am not praying. Misha, who converted, was praying,’’ she said.

By then, she had left her job at the day spa and was giving facials in her apartment. One client, Alyssa Kilzer, noticed the change when Tsarnaeva put on a head scarf before leaving the apartment.

‘‘She had never worn a hijab while working at the spa previously, or inside the house, and I was really surprised,’’ Kilzer wrote in a post on her blog. ‘‘She started to refuse to see boys that had gone through puberty, as she had consulted a religious figure and he had told her it was sacrilegious. She was often fasting.’’

Kilzer said she stopped visiting the family’s home for spa treatments in late 2011 or early 2012 when, during one session, Tsarnaeva ‘‘started quoting a conspiracy theory, telling me that she thought 9/11 was purposefully created by the American government to make America hate Muslims.’’

Yeah, SHE KNOWS!!! That's why she is shown giving the Hitler salute. 




"Bombers may have had training, say key lawmakers" by Christopher Rowland  |  Globe Staff, April 28, 2013

WASHINGTON — Key lawmakers said Sunday that the suspected Boston Marathon bombers may not have acted entirely alone and that law-enforcement officials continue to investigate the possibility they received outside encouragement or training....

Many questions remain about suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s 2012 six-month visit to the Russian state of Dagestan and whether he received some sort of training from Islamist radicals while there, said Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, speaking on ABC’s “This Week.’’

“The Russians need to step up to the plate here and provide us with information,’’ Rogers said. “I think they have information that would be helpful and they haven’t provided.’’

They already have.

Another Republican, House Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul of Texas, said some officials in the Obama administration have suggested prematurely that the brothers acted alone....

“There could be a wider conspiracy,” McCaul said on “Fox News Sunday.” “What I found astounding is that right out of the box, US officials anonymously are saying there’s no foreign connection to this case, when in fact, the FBI just began their investigation in this case.”

McCaul also said he thinks the suspects’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, played ‘‘a very strong role’’ in her sons’ radicalization process and if she were to return to the United States from Russia, she’d be held for questioning....

This is such bull. This is a way to keep the mother out and from talking, as well as increasing pressure on the kid to "come clean."

In the past two weeks, a number of lawmakers and counterterror specialists have questioned how US authorities failed to “connect the dots’’ on a number of warning signs and place greater scrutiny on Tamerlan Tsarnaev after Russia warned the FBI and the CIA in 2011 he was becoming radicalized.

Yeah, they had a breakdown.

Tsarnaev was an ethnic Chechen and citizen of Kyrgyzstan who was living legally in Cambridge after his parents was granted asylum in 2002. The FBI interviewed him in 2011 after Russia’s warning and determined that he did not pose a threat.

Rogers said it is too early to point fingers at the FBI, although he said questions remain about whether Tsarnaev should have been interviewed a second time once he returned to the United States from Russia in 2012....

Why would he be? They know where they sent him.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,’’ Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah asserted that the United States needs to heighten its scrutiny of immigrants as they travel.

Related: Immigration Bill Stumbling Before Finish Line

“People that are coming here and claiming asylum, and then taking trips back to the region, that should probably raise some red flags,” he said.

Representative Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois and member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the FBI had information that both Tamerlan and his mother were becoming radicalized. The Associated Press reported Saturday that the Russians had intercepted communications that included discussion of jihad.

She's a lawyer, for God's sake -- or another US agent.

“The FBI thought it had more to do with internal Russian politics, and not a threat to the United States of America,’’ Schakowsky said on ABC’s “This Week.’’

Yeah, right, the Russians did it.


Also see

Lost wages: Service workers deserve help

That's the fal$e-flagging price of tyranny, sorry. 

UPDATES: Some Questions about the Boston Bombings

"Handling of data on suspect to get review; Hunt to see if signs were missed before bombings" by Bryan Bender, Todd Wallack and Lisa Wangsness  |  Globe Staff, April 29, 2013

It appeared that the mysterious “Misha” — a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev described by the suspect’s relatives as a zealous convert to Islam who helped radicalize Tamerlan — has been found in West Warwick, R.I.

But Mikhail “Misha” Allakhverdov told the New York Review of Books on Sunday that he had nothing to do with the bombings, that he did not steer Tamerlan toward violence, and that he had not seen him since moving away from Boston about three years ago.

The Review of Books published a brief account of the interview with Allakhverdov on its blog Sunday night, saying the item was part of a longer piece on the Tsarnaev family and Boston’s Russian and Chechen community to be published in a forthcoming edition of the journal.

This seems consistent with an Associated Press report Saturday that the FBI, according to two US officials, had found no evidence that the man they believed to be “Misha” was connected to the bombing.


But the brief account left many questions unanswered.... 

And you won't be finding them in the intelligence agency we call a newspaper over here.


RelatedMysterious ‘Misha’ denies influencing bomb suspect

"Ron Paul criticizes Marathon bombing response" Globe Staff, April 29, 2013

WASHINGTON — Former US representative Ron Paul has a warning for Americans after the Boston Marathon bombings, and it may come as a surprise.

The prominent libertarian says citizens should perhaps be more frightened by the police response to the attack — which killed three and injured scores more — than by the explosions themselves.

In an article called “Liberty Was Also Attacked in Boston,” the former Republican representative and two-time presidential candidate compares the intense April 19 search for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to “scenes from a military coup in a far off banana republic.”

“The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city,” Paul writes. “This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.” 

It was a TEST to see how much the public would accept.

Paul argues that the Boston case sets a dangerous precedent, recounting scenes of “paramilitary police riding in tanks and pointing automatic weapons at innocent citizens.”

“Once the government decides that its role is to keep us safe, whether economically or physically, they can only do so by taking away our liberties,” Paul writes. “That is what happened in Boston.”

During the search, authorities encouraged residents in the Boston area to stay inside their homes.

It created surreal scenes on the Friday after the attack, with eerily quiet streets.

Governor Deval Patrick last week defended the decision to shut down the Boston area.

“I think we did what we should have done and were supposed to do with the always-imperfect information that you have at the time,” Patrick said at a news conference Friday.


Also seeBombings spark rush for Internet domains

Nothing like a photo of a drill being passed of as real in my paper.

Names of victims, first responders worth recalling

Enough about unnecessary wars and unrealistic nation building.

A newspaper propagandist worried about the trees? 

"The trouble, Obama said, is identifying lone actors who are not part of broader terror networks. “One of the dangers we now face are self-radicalized individuals, who are are already here in the United States and in some cases may not be in any kind of network, but because of whatever warped and twisted ideas they may have decide to carry out an attack,’’ Obama said. Obama also lauded the response by Boston residents in the face of the shocking bombings at a cherished annual event. “I think everybody can take a cue from Boston,’’ he said. “You don’t get a sense that anyone is intimidated when they go to Fenway Park a couple of days after the bombing. And there are joggers right now, I guarantee you, all throughout Boston and Cambridge and Watertown.... We’re not going to stop living our lives because of warped, twisted individuals trying to intimidate us.’’ 

That's right, even if it is the U.S. government.

Marathon victim: ‘We’re going to come out of this better’