Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Assassination of Gadhafi

An aide has told of Muammar's Gaddafi's last stand in Sirte, writes Kareem Fahim in Misrata.

AFTER 42 years of absolute power in Libya, Muammar Gaddafi spent his last days hovering between defiance, anger and delusion, surviving on rice and pasta his guards scrounged from the emptied houses he moved between every few days, says an aide captured with him.

Under siege by the former rebels for weeks, Colonel Gaddafi grew impatient with life on the run in the city of Sirte, the aide, Mansour Dhao Ibrahim, the leader of a network of loyalist volunteers and informants, said. ''He would say: 'Why is there no electricity? Why is there no water?'''
Mr Dhao, who stayed close to Colonel Gaddafi throughout the siege, said that he and other aides repeatedly counselled him to leave power or the country, but that Gaddafi and one of his sons, Muatassim, would not consider the option.

Although some of his supporters portrayed him as bellicose to the end, armed at the front lines, he actually did not take part in the fighting, Mr Dhao said, instead preferring to read or make calls on his satellite phone.

Mr Dhao, who knew Colonel Gaddafi for decades and became a member of his trusted inner circle, spoke in a conference room that served as his cell.

Colonel Gaddafi fled to Sirte in a small convoy on the day that Tripoli fell.

''He was very afraid of NATO,'' said Mr Dhao, who joined him about a week later.

The decision to stay in Sirte had been Muatassim's, who reasoned that the city, long known as an important pro-Gaddafi stronghold and under frequent bombardment by NATO air strikes, was the last place anyone would look.

Apart from the phone, which Colonel Gaddafi used to make frequent statements to a Syrian television station that became his official outlet, he was largely ''cut off from the world'', Mr Dhao said. He did not have a computer and, in any case, there was rarely any electricity.

Colonel Gaddafi, who was fond of framing the revolution as a religious war between devout Muslims and the rebel's Western backers, spent his time reading the Koran, Mr Dhao said. He refused to hear pleas to give up power. He would say, according to Mr Dhao: ''This is my country. I handed over power in 1977,'' referring to his oft-repeated assertion that power was actually in the hands of the Libyan people.

''We tried for a time, and then the door was shut,'' Mr Dhao said.

For weeks, the rebels fired heavy weapons indiscriminately at the city.

''Random shelling was everywhere,''he said, adding that a rocket or a mortar shell struck one of the houses where Colonel Gaddafi was staying, injuring some of his guards.

A chef who was travelling with the group was also hurt, so everyone started cooking, Mr Dhao said.
About two weeks ago, as the rebels stormed the city centre, Colonel Gaddafi and his sons were trapped in two houses in a residential area called District No.2. Colonel Gaddafi decided it was time to leave and planned to flee to one of his houses nearby, where he had been born.

On Thursday, a convoy of dozens of cars was supposed to leave at about 3am, but disorganisation by the loyalist volunteers delayed the departure until 8am.

In daylight, the NATO warplanes and rebel fighters found them half an hour after they left.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Death of Col. Mummar Gadhafi - Oct. 20 2011

Murder of Hells Angel in Vegas

San Jose Hells Angels leader killed during shootout in Nevada casino
By Sean Webby
Posted: 09/24/2011 06:36:35 PM PDT
Updated: 09/25/2011 10:31:52 AM PDT

Share condolences
• Read or sign a guest book in memory of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew
Related Stories
• Oct 18:
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• Oct 17:
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• Oct 16:
• Investigation of shooting death at funeral of another gang member being foiled, say police
• Oct 15:
• Hells Angels member gunned down at San Jose funeral
• Sep 30:
• UCSF police take man into custody in connection with Hells Angels homicide
• Sep 29:
• Documents: Biker from another San Jose gang shot Hells Angel chief in back
• Gilroy Hells Angel member gets hearing date in Sparks casino shooting, alleged Vagos shooter named
• Sep 28:
• San Jose: Family and friends mourn local Hells Angel president
• Sep 26:
• Police: Casino video shows Nevada shooting

The president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club -- and a San Jose city employee -- was killed Friday night during a shootout inside a Nevada casino with a rival outlaw motorcycle club, officials said.

Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, 51, worked for 20 years as a heavy equipment operator for the city's Department of Transportation. But San Jose police know him as the charismatic local leader of the notorious biker club that law enforcement has long identified as one of the most powerful and influential criminal motorcycle gangs.

Local police and other gang experts predicted that Friday's homicide, which sources said has been attributed to members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club, could presage further bloodshed.

"In the outlaw motorcycle gang culture, Jeff Pettigrew was a local icon in San Jose, a very well-respected member within the ranks of the Hells Angels," said San Jose police Sgt. Larry Day, who has investigated biker clubs.

"This incident could definitely result in retaliation against the Vagos, and a full-blown war that may result in deadly violence in San Jose and throughout California."

The shootout on the casino floor of John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks recalls the infamous motorcycle club gunfight at Harrah's Casino & Hotel in Laughlin, Nev., in 2002. In that showdown, members of the Hells Angels and the Mongols motorcycle clubs fought each other, leaving one Mongol and two Hells


Angels dead on the casino floor.
Friday night's bloodshed began at 11:26 p.m., during the annual five-day "Street Vibrations" biker festival in which thousands of bikers from across the country ride into Reno and nearby cities to celebrate.

Sparks police said they responded to a fight involving a large group armed with guns inside the casino. Police said that as their units were on their way to the fight, shots were fired.
Inside the casino, officers found three male gunshot

victims. Sparks police identified Pettigrew as the dead man. Vagos Motorcycle Club members Leonard Ramirez, 45, and Diego Garcia, 28, were in stable condition at a hospital after suffering gunshot wounds. Both were identified only as California residents.

In connection with the shooting, Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana, 36, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen firearm. Police said he was videotaped shooting into the crowd, but could not verify if any of his shots hit the victims. No other suspects have been arrested.

As a result of that shooting and a separate shooting Saturday morning, the Sparks' part of the Street Vibrations event was canceled Saturday afternoon. Police would not say if the shootings were related.

Law enforcement experts said members of the Hells Angels and Vagos clubs are blood enemies.
"There's going to be hostilities," predicted Jorge Gil-Blanco, a former San Jose police officer who is familiar with outlaw motorcycle clubs.

"When you have a situation where one member gets killed by another gang, then something is going to happen," he said. "It might be right away or it might be down the road."

The editor of Ride Rag, an influential biker publication, said that law enforcement and media were misinterpreting a rare act of violence.

"Unfortunate events are prevalent in every culture and subculture," said the editor, who goes by the name Yve.

"As a motorcycle club advocate," she added, "it is our position that motorcycle clubs are, in essence, families, and as such our respective 'communities' should be able to exercise the right to reserve comment and reflect on the situation without outside opinion or condemnation."

Hells Angels member killed at funeral for fellow biker

Los Angeles Times
Published: Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011 - 1:00 am

LOS ANGELES -- A Hells Angels member was fatally shot Saturday at the San Jose funeral for a fellow biker who was killed last month at a Nevada casino, police said.

The victim, who police have not identified, was shot shortly before 1 p.m. and taken to a hospital where he died about an hour later, said San Jose police spokesman Jose Garcia. No suspect has been arrested and the shooting remains under investigation.

The shooting occurred at the funeral for Jeffrey Pettigrew, 51, president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels, authorities said. The service was held at the Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park and drew an estimated 4,000 people.

Pettigrew was attending a motorcycle festival last month when he was shot four times in the back by a member of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang during a brawl at a casino in Sparks, Nev. Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez of San Jose was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Ten Vagos members were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of drug trafficking and a rash of violence during law enforcement raids throughout the Inland Empire.

Garcia said he couldn't speculate whether the San Jose shooting was related to rivalries between the motorcycle gangs.

Anticipating a large turnout, police were in the area around the cemetery as a precaution, patrolling and helping with traffic. Garcia declined to say whether police were at the funeral.
"We had no credible information suggesting there would be violence," he said.

UCSF police take man into custody in connection with Hells Angels homicide

By Lisa Fernandez and Sean Webby

Mercury News

Police have arrested a member of the Vagos gang in San Francisco on charges that he killed the president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels.

A University of California San Francisco police sergeant spotted Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, of San Jose at 8:20 p.m. Thursday and took him into custody. Sparks, Nev., police will come to retrieve him, according to UCSF Police Chief Pamela Roskowski.

Gonzalez is wanted in connection with the killing of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, 51, the iconic president of the motorcycle club in San Jose, who also worked for the city's Department of Transportation. Pettigrew was shot in the back four times last Friday at John Ascuaga's Nugget casino in Sparks.

said Gonzalez was spotted in a rented 2011 Chevrolet Malibu parked near Treat Street, a block away from Mission Center's campus police headquarters.

Sgt. John Gutierrez of the campus police department was on routine patrol when he saw Gonzalez acting "suspiciously," Roskowski said. Apparently, Gonzalez was leaning over the steering wheel and "shuffling around" in the driver's seat of a car with Washington state license plates.

The sergeant asked for identification, and when he ran Gonzalez's name, realized he was wanted in connection with the Hells Angels homicide.

"We're extremely proud of our actions," Roskowski said. "Sgt. Gutierrez is an outstanding police officer."

Roskowski said her department was working with

Sparks police to move Gonzalez there.

During last week's casino shootout in Sparks, two other Vagos were wounded and a third was shot in the stomach the next day by a gunman in a passing car a few blocks from the Nugget. Sparks Police Sgt. Greta Woyciehowsky said Friday authorities have no new leads or evidence to definitively connect the shootings. But she said the circumstances indicate they were linked.

"We had an individual that was dressed out in Vagos attire, in the color green, riding on a motorcycle, and the people come up next to him in a car and shoot at him five times,' " Woyciehowsky said a news conference. "I think you can reasonably assume that was an act of retaliation."

Cesar Villagrana, 36, of Gilroy, a Hells Angels member who was with Pettigrew when he was shot, is charged with three felonies: assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon illegally and discharging a firearm within a structure.

He did not enter a plea at his arraignment Thursday in Sparks Justice Court.

Investigators say they were able to track Gonzalez in part by matching up casino surveillance footage with photographs the California Highway Patrol took of a number of Reno-bound motorcycle gang members in the hours leading up to the casino gun battle.

Gonzalez appears in pictures with other Vagos members at a gas station in Applegate, along Interstate 80 between Reno and Sacramento.

He was wearing the same clothing as when he was captured on the casino security video -- a green long-sleeve shirt, a black Vagos vest, black jeans and black sunglasses, Sparks Police Detective John Patton said in an affidavit.

Patton wrote in the affidavit made public Thursday that those photos were taken Sept. 24 -- the day after the casino shooting. But Woyciehowsky told reporters Friday that date was an error and in fact the photos were taken a day earlier, on Sept. 23.

Sparks detectives traveled to San Francisco late Thursday to assist in the investigation and begin to lay the way for Gonzalez's extradition to Nevada.

Gonzalez must appear in court in San Francisco to face a charge of being a fugitive from justice before the formal extradition process can begin, Woyciehowsky said. She said she didn't know when that would be or whether Gonzalez would fight it.

Woyciehowsky added authorities haven't ruled out making additional arrests in the case. Investigators continue to interview witnesses, though some are reluctant to talk, she said.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Political Assassinations in the Arab Revolutions


Dubai – Jan 9, 2010 – Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, senior Hamas military commander

Political Assassination in the Arab Revolutions –

Libya – NTC military leader, Gadhafi defector - Abdul Fatah Younis, commander-in-chief of the armed forces of NTC - Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade

Syria – Saria Hassoun son of Syria’s Grand Mufti Shiekh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun / Kurd Mashaal Tammo "Now Tammo has become a flame of the revolution."
In Arabic, Tammo's first name, Mashaal, means flame.

Pakistan - Osama bin Laden / Shahbaz Bhatti,Federal Minister for Minorities of Pakistan

Afghanistan –Ahmed Wali Karzai, half-brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai
/ President Burhanuddin Rabbani

Yemen – USA CIA Preditor kills al Qaeda leaders Anwar al-Awlaki


The Assassins (Persian: حشیشیون Hašišiyun (UniPers), Arabic: الحشاشين‎ Ḥashshāshīn, alsoHashishin, Hassassin, or Hashashiyyin, ) were an order of Nizari Ismailis, particularly those ofPersia (and Syria) that existed from around 1092 to 1265. Posing a strong military threat toSunni Saljuq authority within the Persian territories, the Nizari Ismailis captured and inhabited many mountain fortresses under the leadership of Hassan-i Sabbah.

The name 'Assassin', from the Arabic Hashishin or "users of hashish",[1] was originally derogatory and used by their adversaries during the Middle Ages. The modern word 'assassin' is derived from this name. However, Amin Malouf states that "The truth is different. According to texts that have come down to us from Alamut, Hassan-i Sabbah liked to call his disciples Asasiyun, meaning people who are faithful to the Asās, meaning 'foundation' of the faith. This is the word, misunderstood by foreign travelers, that seemed similar to 'hashish'".

The Masyaf branch of the Assassins was taken over by the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in 1273. The Mamluks however, continued to use the services of the remaining Assassins: Ibn Battutareported in the 14th century their fixed rate of pay per murder. In exchange, the higher authorities allowed them to exist. The mention of Assassins were also preserved within European sources, such as the writings of Marco Polo, they were depicted as trained killers, responsible for the systematic elimination of opposing figures.

The origins of the Assassins trace back to just before the First Crusade around 1080. It is difficult to find out much information about the origins of the Assassins because most early sources are either written by enemies of the cult or based on legends. Most sources dealing with the order’s inner working were destroyed with the capture of Alamut, the Assassin's headquarters. However, it is possible to trace the beginnings of the cult back to its first Grandmaster, Hasan-i Sabbah. A passionate believer of the Isma’ili beliefs, Hasan-i-Sabbah was well liked throughout Cairo, Syria, and most of the Middle East by other Isma’ili, which led to a number of people becoming his followers. Using his fame and popularity, Sabbah founded the Order of the Assassins. While his motives for founding this order are ultimately unknown, it has been speculated that it was for his own political and personal gain and to also exact vengeance on his enemies. His motivation for political power probably came through what he thought to be dealings with other Muslims in the Middle East, particularly Sunnis, but because of the unrest in the holy land caused by the calling of the Crusades, Hasan-i-Sabbah found himself not only fighting for power with other Muslims, but also with the invading Christian forces.

After creating the Order, Sabbah searched for a location that would be fit for a sturdy headquarters and decided on the fortress at Alamut in what is now northwestern Iran. It is still disputed whether Sabbah built the fortress himself or if it was already built at the time of his arrival. Whether he created it himself or not, Sabbah adapted the fortress to suit his needs of not only defense from hostile forces, but also indoctrination of his followers. After laying claim to the fortress at Alamut, Sabbah began expanding his influence outward to nearby towns and districts, using his agents to gain political favour and intimidate the local populations.
Spending most of his days at Alamut working on religious works and doctrines for his Order, Sabbah was never to leave his fortress again in his lifetime. He had established a secret society of deadly assassins, one which was built in a hierarchical format. Below Sabbah, the Grand Headmaster of the Order, were those known as “Greater Propagandists”, followed by the normal "Propagandists", the Rafiqs ("Companions"), and the Lasiqs ("Adherents"). It was the Lasiqs who were trained to become some of the most feared assassins, or as they were called, "Fida’i" (self-sacrificing agent), in the known world.[3]

It is, however, unknown how Hassan-i-Sabbah was able to get his "Fida’i" to perform with such fervent loyalty. One theory, possibly the most well known but also the most criticized, comes from the observations from Marco Polo during his travels to the Orient. He describes how the "Old Man of the Mountain" (Sabbah) would drug his young followers with hashish, lead them to a "paradise", and then claim that only he had the means to allow for their return. Perceiving that Sabbah was either a prophet or some kind of magic man, his disciples, believing that only he could return them to "paradise", were fully committed to his cause and willing to carry out his every request.[4] With his new weapons, Sabbah began to order assassinations, ranging from politicians to great generals. Assassins rarely would attack ordinary citizens though and tended not to be hostile towards them.

Although the "Fida’i" were the lowest rank in Sabbah’s order and only used as expendable pawns to do the Grandmaster’s bidding, much time and many resources were put in to training them. The Assassins were generally young in age giving them the physical strength and stamina which would be required to carry out these murders. However, physical prowess was not the only trait that was required to be a "Fida’i". To get to their targets, the Assassins had to be patient, cold, and calculating. They were generally intelligent and well read because they were required to possess not only knowledge about their enemy, but his or her culture and their native language. They were trained by their masters to disguise themselves, sneak in to enemy territory and perform the assassinations instead of simply attacking their target outright.[3]

As tensions in the Middle East grew during the Crusades, the Assassins were also known for taking contracts from outside sources on either side of the war, whether it was from the invading Crusaders or the Saracen forces, so long as the assassination fit in to the Grandmaster's plan.
Rashid ad-Din Sinan the Grand Master of the Assassins at Masyafsuccessfully alarmed Saladin not to assault the realms of their sect.

The Assassins were finally linked by the 19th century orientalist scholar Silvestre de Sacyto the Arabic hashish using their variant names assassin and assissini in the 19th century. Citing the example of one of the first written applications of the Arabic term hashish to the Ismailis by 13th century historian Abu Shama, de Sacy demonstrated its connection to the name given to the Ismailis throughout Western scholarship.[Daftary 1] The first known usage of the term hashishi has been traced back to 1122 CE when the Fatimid caliph al-Āmir employed it in derogatory reference to the Syrian Nizaris.[Daftary 2] Used figuratively, the term hashishi connoted meanings such as outcasts or rabble.[Daftary 3] Without actually accusing the group of using the hashish drug, the Caliph used the term in a pejorative manner. This label was quickly adopted by anti-Ismaili historians and applied to the Ismailis of Syria and Persia. The spread of the term was further facilitated through military encounters between the Nizaris and the Crusaders, whose chroniclers adopted the term and disseminated it across Europe.

During the medieval period, Western scholarship on the Ismailis contributed to the popular view of the community as a radical sect of assassins, believed to be trained for the precise murder of their adversaries. By the 14th century CE, European scholarship on the topic had not advanced much beyond the work and tales from the Crusaders.[Daftary 4] The origins of the word forgotten, across Europe the term Assassin had taken the meaning of "professional murderer".[Daftary 5] In 1603 the first Western publication on the topic of the Assassins was authored by a court official for King Henry IV and was mainly based on the narratives of Marco Polo from his visits to the Near East. While he assembled the accounts of many Western travelers, the author failed to explain the etymology of the term Assassin.[Daftary 6]

According to Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf: their contemporaries in the Muslim world would call them hash-ishiyun, "hashish-smokers"; some orientalists thought that this was the origin of the word "assassin", which in many European languages was more terrifying yet. ...The truth is different. According to texts that have come down to us from Alamut, Hassan-i Sabbah liked to call his disciples Asasiyun, meaning people who are faithful to the Asās, meaning "foundation" of the faith. This is the word, misunderstood by foreign travelers, that seemed similar to "hashish".[5]
Another modern author, Edward Burman, states that:

Many scholars have argued, and demonstrated convincingly, that the attribution of the epithet 'hashish eaters' or 'hashish takers' is a misnomer derived from enemies of the Isma'ilis and was never used by Muslim chroniclers or sources. It was therefore used in a pejorative sense of 'enemies' or 'disreputable people'. This sense of the term survived into modern times with the common Egyptian usage of the term Hashasheen in the 1930s to mean simply 'noisy or riotous'. It is unlikely that the austere Hassan-i Sabbah indulged personally in drug taking. ...there is no mention of that drug hashish in connection with the Persian Assassins – especially in the library of Alamut ("the secret archives").[6]

Map of the crusader states, showing the area controlled by the Assassins around Masyaf, slightly above the center, in white.

Their support and involvement with a series of killings of famous scholars, Imams and other noble personalities has given them title of one of the very first terrorist organizations in the world. Some of the famous killings and events in those dark centuries by Assassins included the following;[7]

1. 1092: The famous Seljuq vizier Nizam al-Mulk was murdered by an Assassin in Baghdad. He becomes their first victim.
2. 1094: Al-Mustansir dies, and Hassan does not recognize the new caliph, al-Mustali. He and his followers transferred their allegiance to his brother Nizar. The followers of Hassan soon even came at odds with the caliph in Baghdad too.
3. 1113: Following the death of Aleppo's ruler, Ridwan, the Assassins are driven out of the city by the troops of Ibn al-Khashab.
4. 1110's: The Assassins in Syria change their strategy, and start undercover work and build cells in all cities around the region.
5. 1123: Ibn al-Khashab is killed by an Assassin.
6. 1124: Hassan dies in Alamut, but the organization lives on stronger than ever. — The leading qadi Abu Saad al-Harawi is killed by an Assassin.
After the death of Hassan some notable events included the following;
1. 1126 November 26: Emir Porsuki of Aleppo and Mosul is killed by an Assassin .
2. 12th century: The Assassins extend their activities into Syria, where they could get much support from the local Shi'i minority as the Seljuq sultanate had captured this territory.
3. The Assassins capture a group of castles in the Nusayriyya Mountains (modern Syria). The most important of these castles was the Masyaf, from which the "The Old Man of Mountain", Rashideddin Sinan ruled practically independent from the main leaders of the Assassins.
4. 1173: The Assassins of Syria enter negotiations with Amalric I, King of Jerusalem, with the aim of converting to Christianity. But as the Assassins by now were numerous and often worked as peasants, they paid high taxes to local Christian landlords, that Christian peasants were exempted from. Their conversion was opposed by the landlords, and this year the Assassin negotiators were murdered by Christian knights. After this, there was no more talk of conversion.
5. 1175: Rashideddin's men make two attempts on the life of Saladin, the leader of the Ayyubids. The second time, the Assassin came so close that wounds were inflicted upon Saladin.
6. 1192: Conrad of Montferrat, King of Jerusalem, is stabbed to death by Assassins before his coronation.
7. 1256: Alamut fortress falls to the Mongols under the leadership of Hülegü. Before this happened, several other fortresses had been captured, and finally Alamut was weak and with little support.
8. 1257: The Mongol warlord Hülegü attacks and destroys the fortress at Alamut. The Assassin library is fully razed, hence destroying a crucial source of information about the Assassins.
9. Around 1265: The Assassin strongholds in Syria fall to the Mamluk sultan Baybars I

Artistic rendering of Hassan-i Sabbah.

In pursuit of their religious and political goals, the Ismailis adopted various military strategies popular in the Middle Ages. One such method was that of assassination, the selective elimination of prominent rival figures. The murders of political adversaries were usually carried out in public spaces, creating resounding intimidation for other possible enemies.[Daftary 7] Throughout history, many groups have resorted to assassination as a means of achieving political ends. In the Ismaili context, these assignments were performed by fida’is (devotees) of the Ismaili mission. They were unique in that civilians were never targeted. The assassinations were against those whose elimination would most greatly reduce aggression against the Ismailis and, in particular, against those who had perpetrated massacres against the community. A single assassination was usually employed in favour of widespread bloodshed resulting from factional combat. The first instance of assassination in the effort to establish an Nizari Ismaili state in Persia is widely considered to be the murder ofSeljuq vizier, Nizam al-Mulk.[Willey 1] Carried out by a man dressed as a Sufi whose identity remains unclear, the vizier's murder in a Seljuq court is distinctive of exactly the type of visibility for which missions of the fida’is have been significantly exaggerated.[Willey 2] While the Seljuqs and Crusaders both employed assassination as a military means of disposing of factional enemies, during the Alamut period almost any murder of political significance in the Islamic lands was attributed to the Ismailis.[Daftary 8] So inflated had this association grown, that in the work of orientalist scholars such as Bernard Lewis, the Ismailis were equated to the politically active fida’is and thus regarded as a radical and heretical sect known as the Assassins.[9]

The military approach of the Nizari Ismaili state was largely a defensive one, with strategically chosen sites that appeared to avoid confrontation wherever possible without the loss of life.[Willey 3] But the defining characteristic of the Nizari Ismaili state was that it was scattered geographically throughout Persia and Syria. The Alamut castle therefore was only one of a nexus of strongholds throughout the regions where Ismailis could retreat to safety if necessary. West of Alamut in the Shahrud Valley, the major fortress of Lamasar served as just one example of such a retreat. In the context of their political uprising, the various spaces of Ismaili military presence took on the name dar al-hijra (Arabic: مركز دار الهجرة الاسلامي‎; land of migration, place of refuge). The notion of the dar al-hijraoriginates from the time of Muhammad, who migrated with his supporters from intense persecution to safe haven in Yathrib(Medina).[10] In this way, the Fatimids found their dar al-hijra in North Africa. Likewise during the revolt against the Seljuqs, several fortresses served as spaces of refuge for the Ismailis.

The last Grand Master of the Assassins atAlamut Imam Rukn al-Din Khurshah (1255–1256) was executed by the Hulagu Khan after a devastating siege.

The Assassins were eradicated by the Mongol Empire during the well documented invasion of Khwarizm. They probably dispatched their assassins to kill Mongke Khan. Thus a decree was handed over to the Mongol commanderKitbuqa who began to assault several Hashshashin fortresses in 1253 beforeHulagu's advance in 1256. The Mongols besieged Alamut on December 15, 1256. The Assassins recaptured and held Alamut for a few months in 1275, but they were crushed and their political power was lost forever.

The Syrian branch of the Assassins was taken over by the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in 1273. The Mamluks continued to use the services of the remaining Assassins: Ibn Battuta reported in the 14th century their fixed rate of pay per murder. In exchange, they were allowed to exist. Eventually, they resorted to the act of Taqq'iya (dissimulation), hiding their true identities until their Imams would awaken them.

According to the historian Yaqut al-Hamawi, the Böszörmény, (Izmaleita or Ismaili/Nizari) denomination of the Muslims who lived in the Kingdom of Hungary in the 10–13th centuries, were employed as mercenaries by the kings of Hungary. However following the establishment of the Christian Kingdom of Hungary their community was vanquished by the end of the 13th century due to the Inquisitions ordered by the Catholic Church during the reign of Coloman, King of Hungary.[11]
View of Alamut besieged.

The legends of the Assassins had much to do with the training and instruction of Nizarifida’is, famed for their public missions during which they often gave their lives to eliminate adversaries. Misinformation from the Crusader accounts and the works of anti-Ismaili historians have contributed to the tales of fida’is being fed with hashish as part of their training.[12] Whether fida’is were actually trained or dispatched by Nizari leaders is unconfirmed, but scholars including Vladimir Ivanov purport that the assassination of key figures including Saljuq vizier Nizam al-Mulk likely provided encouraging impetus to others in the community who sought to secure the Nizaris from political aggression.[12] In fact, the Saljuqs and Crusaders both employed assassination as a military means of disposing of factional enemies. Yet during the Alamut period almost any murder of political significance in the Islamic lands became attributed to the Ismailis.[Daftary 9] So inflated had this association grown, that in the work of orientalist scholars such as Bernard Lewis the Ismailis were virtually equated to the politically active fida’is. Thus the Nizari Ismaili community was regarded as a radical and heretical sect known as the Assassins.[9] Originally, a "local and popular term" first applied to the Ismailis of Syria, the label was orally transmitted to Western historians and thus found itself in their histories of the Nizaris.[10]

The tales of the fida’is’ training collected from anti-Ismaili historians and orientalists writers were confounded and compiled in Marco Polo's account, in which he described a "secret garden of paradise".[Daftary 10] After being drugged, the Ismaili devotees were said be taken to a paradise-like garden filled with attractive young maidens and beautiful plants in which these fida’is would awaken. Here, they were told by an "old" man that they were witnessing their place in Paradise and that should they wish to return to this garden permanently, they must serve the Nizari cause.[10] So went the tale of the "Old Man in the Mountain", assembled by Marco Polo and accepted by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, an 18th century Austrian orientalist writer responsible for much of the spread of this legend. Until the 1930s, von Hammer's retelling of the Assassin legends served as the standard account of the Nizaris across Europe.[Daftary 11]

Modern works on the Nizaris have elucidated the history of the Nizaris and in doing so, dispelled popular histories from the past as mere legends. In 1933, under the direction of the Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III, the Islamic Research Associationwas developed. Historian Vladimir Ivanov was central to both this institution and the 1946 Ismaili Society of Bombay. Cataloguing a number of Ismaili texts, Ivanov provided the ground for great strides in modern Ismaili scholarship.[Daftary 12]

In recent years, Peter Willey has provided interesting evidence against the Assassin folklore of earlier scholars. Drawing on its established esoteric doctrine, Willey asserts that the Ismaili understanding of Paradise is a deeply symbolic one. While the Qur'anicdescription of Heaven includes natural imagery, Willey argues that no Nizari fida’i would seriously believe that he was witnessing Paradise simply by awakening in a beauteous garden.[Willey 4] The Nizaris' symbolic interpretation of the Qur'anic description of Paradise serves as evidence against the possibility of such an exotic garden used as motivation for the devotees to carry out their armed missions. Furthermore, Willey points out that a courtier of Hulagu Khan, Juvayni, surveyed the Alamut castle just before the Mongol invasion. In his reports about of the fortress, there are elaborate descriptions of sophisticated storage facilities and the famous Alamut library. However, even this anti-Ismaili historian makes no mention of the gardens on the Alamut grounds.[Willey 5]Having destroyed a number of texts of the library's collection, deemed by Juvayni to be heretical, it would be expected that he would pay significant attention to the Nizari gardens, particularly if they were the site of drug use and temptation. Having not once mentioned such gardens, Willey concludes that there is no sound evidence in favour of these fictitious legends.

In the Assassin's Creed series of historical action-adventure video games, the first game followed a fictional version of the Syrian wing of the sect, while subsequent games and Assassin's Creed media would depict its successor organizations opposed to a Templar conspiracy. The series imagines the Assassins as being active in various eras and locations: from 12th-century Syriaduring the Third Crusade (this incarnation depicted in the first game and the one recorded by the Polos in-universe), to 15th-century Renaissance Italy and Turkey, up to the 21st century.

The Hashahsins also appeared in Prince Of Persia the Sands of Time movie, saying that they were active much in the ancient world.

[Friedrich Nietzsche

The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche gives prominent focus to what he terms "the order of Assassins", in section 24 of On the Genealogy of Morality. Nietzsche's signature work is to point to the worthlessness of religion, and to attempt at the transvaluation of values, that is, to transcend the inherited Jewish and Christian politics, psychology and ethics of ressentiment or guilt. He aims at going beyond the categories of good and evil since they suppress the full potential of the strong and talented. Nietzsche heralds the arrival of the so-called 'free spirits' who no longer believe in truth.[13] Thus, they alone are capable of redeeming the world of the modern ills of comfort, mediocrity, and nihilism.

Importantly, Nietzsche attacks the false spirits who are the host of self-describing 'unbelievers' of modern times who claim to reject religious deception as scholars and philosophers and yet retain the traditional beliefs in good and evil, and truth. Nietzsche compares the genuine free spirits with the Assassins: "When the Christian crusaders in the Orient came across that invincible order of Assassins – that order of free spirits par excellence whose lowest order received, through some channel or other, a hint about that symbol and spell reserved for the uppermost echelons alone, as their secret: "nothing is true, everything is permitted". Now that was freedom of the spirit, with that, belief in truth itself was renounced."[14]

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

General Abdul Fattah Younis

In-Depth Look at the Assassination of General Abdul Fattah Younis

By Clay Claiborne
August 9, 2011 at 19:31:19

This article first appeared at the Daily Kos asthis Clay Claiborne diary and is probably the most thorough examination of the death of General Younis to date.

Abdul Fattah Younis came over to the side of the Libyan revolution while it was still in its infancy. The General defected from the Colonel on February 23, 2011, less than a week after the February 17th "Day of Rage" kick-off. Before the revolutionary army could even walk, he brought with him 8,000 Libyan soldiers, among them 3,000 Special Forces. It was a great victory for the uprising at a critical juncture in it's development.

Abdul Fatah Younis helped Muammar Qaddafi take power in the 1969 coup that ousted King Idris. For forty years he was his friend and close adviser. He was Qaddafi's security chief and later the Libyan Interior Minister and a Major General of Libyan Special Forces. He was a big fish. He topped a week of cascading defections from the Qaddafi regime and he brought an army with him. In one stroke, Qaddafi's hopes of quickly crushing the rebellion in the East evaporated.

Abdul Fattah Younis was from Benghazi. The story is that after the barracks were seized by protesters, he was sent back to his hometown by Qaddafi "with instructions to arrange a Tiananmen Square-style massacre of the demonstrators."

Libyan State TV was reporting that Abdul Fattah Younis had been kidnapped by "gangs" in Benghazi. Then he came on free Libyan TV and made a statement. He said that Qaddafi was planning to attack civilians on a wide scale and that he resigned after hearing that 300 unarmed civilians had been killed in Benghazi

He said then that he had just survived an attempt on his life that Qaddafi intended to use to stoke tribal infighting:

"Gaddafi's men came to shoot me but the bullets missed me. Those who shot at me were Gaddafi's men, the bullet missed me but hit one of my relatives. Gaddafi, that dirty man, wanted to say that I was killed by protesters so that my tribe, the Obeidat will stand by him."

"I am not a traitor. I was a close friend. I was surprised by what Gaddafi did. I stood by him for many years. We undertook (the 1969) revolution for the people of Libya, not to turn around & start shooting at them."

"I wish Gaddafi had said a prayer for the fallen martyrs rather than his long speech."
"I gave orders to my men in Benghazi not to shoot at protesters, not one of my men shot at protesters."

"Many tribes pledged to me that they have joined the protesters including the Tuareg (mentioned many other names)."

"From my knowledge of Gaddafi, he won't leave, he will stay to the end, but he will stay alone. Gaddafi's speech was very clear to any one who has a brain. He is nervous, he is stubborn. He may commit suicide."
"To Gaddafi I tell him: Please end your life by praying for the martyrs, ask for God's forgiveness & the people's."

"To Libyan people, you are a brave people, stand courageously, Libya will become a strong country."

"Gaddafi is a stubborn man but its finished. Everything is collapsing now. I am sad for all what has happened."

"The people are now in charge. We have crossed the point of no return now."

Thank you to Sultan Al Qassemi for his translation on Twitter @SultanAlQassemi

John Simpson, World Affairs Editor of the BBC was one of the first journalist to interview him after he came over to the revolution. He remembered:

When I went to interview Gen Younes in Benghazi the next day, he was extremely nervous. He had managed to hang on to his personal bodyguards and they were nervous too.

Gen Younes was an engaging man, well turned out and self-indulgent. He frankly admitted his friendship with Col Gaddafi; they had been friends, he said, ever since they were at officer training college together, before the revolution of 1969.

But he maintained that Col Gaddafi was now seriously mentally unstable and that Libya had become deeply corrupt. For these reasons, as well as for sheer self-preservation, he felt justified in switching sides.

Simpson also had something new to say about how the general came to join the revolution. While this has not been verified by other sources, according to Simpson, Younis volunteered because he got caught. He was on his way to Benghazi to take command,

But the demonstrators struck first and captured him. Gen Younes immediately announced that his plan all along had been to come to Benghazi in order to join the rebels.

The rebel leaders guessed that this was a fiction, but they could see the advantages in going along with it.

Whatever the combination of factors that led Abdul Fattah Younis to come over to the side of the revolution, it was a great victory for the Libyan people when he did. No doubt anyone that could have been regarded as Qaddafi's second-in-command for so long had a dark side. Abdul Fattah Younis has done many bad things in the past but supporting the people's struggle against the dictatorship was not one of them. At the time it was a big blow to Qaddafi and a great boast to the uprising.
His death last week was a great loss which will be overcome. His assassination has many lessons which will strengthen the revolution.

Abdul Fattah Younis with front line troops @ Brega on the day before he was murdered.

HOW HE DIED - a Timeline

There has been a lot of confusion in the media about the circumstances surrounding the general's murder. As best I can make out, the time line is this:

1.) The Transitional National Council issued a warrant for the general's arrested.
2.) The general was arrested at Ajdabiya, near the Brega front line, and brought back to a detention center at Benghazi safely on Wednesday.
3.) The general was assassinated on Thursday by rogue elements among the rebel security forces as he was leaving the detention facility at Benghazi after being released.

It was not as the NY Times said:

Shortly before his death the rebels issued a subpoena for the general to return from the front lines for questioning by a panel of judges, reportedly about charges of treason.

But instead of relying on a legal process, a group of rebel soldiers sent to retrieve him killed him along with two guards, then dumped their bodies outside the city, Mr. Tarhouni told reporters Friday night.

Once again the New York Times has got its facts all screwed up. It's a bit more complicated than that.

From the Associated Press we have this report on the initial arrest:
a rebel special forces officer under Younis' command told The Associated Press that Younis was taken before dawn on Wednesday from his operations room at Zoueitina, just east of the main front with Gahdafi's forces.

Fighters from a rebel faction known as the February 17 Martyr's Brigade came to the operations room and demanded Younis come with them for interrogation, said the officer, Mohammed Agoury, who said he was present at the time.

The general's family told a similar story to the Globe and Mail :

In their first interview with a Western journalist since his death, the general's family offered new details about the events of July 28 ... They described a well co-ordinated operation to arrest the general from his headquarters in Ajdabiya and escort him 150 kilometres up the highway to Benghazi, blocking side roads and opening checkpoint gates for a huge posse of armed men. They say he arrived safely in Benghazi and his vehicle was not damaged...

The convoy's final destination was the Garyounis Military Camp at the edge of town, where a rebel judiciary committee apparently wanted to ask the general about recent operations on the front lines.

His family also told more about the arrest warrant, although not specifically about the content:
When the posse of rebels arrived in Ajdabiya to detain the general, they presented an arrest warrant with signatures of the deputy head of the rebel council, Ali Essawi, and a judge named Jomaa al-Jazwi.

General Younis called both men before surrendering himself, the family says, and got assurances that the paperwork was legitimate.

"Jomaa al-Jazwi said, "You should present yourself for justice, and I will be responsible for your safety,'" Moatasem Younis said, citing conversations with men who witnessed the scene. "So the general dismissed his guards."

Sometime that morning he is reported to have done a telephone interview with the website Libya Revolution in which he claimed that the reports of his arrest were false and that he still held the position of chief -of-staff. He was still near Brega at the time of this call. [English]

The 150 kilometres trip was uneventful and Abdel Fattah Younis is reported to have been delivered safely to Benghazi:

The last time the general's son spoke with him was about 2 a.m.; at that point, he had not yet departed Ajdabiya and seemed relaxed, telling his son he was sitting with his own people and everything would be okay.

The general was not handcuffed, and climbed into the back of a bulletproof sport-utility vehicle along with his trusted aides, Colonel Muhammad Khamis and Major Nasir al-Madhkur. Riding shotgun in the front seat was a rebel named Mustafa Rubaa, a member of the Union of Revolutionary Forces who had been entrusted with the sensitive task of arresting the powerful general.

Fawzi Bukatif, a senior commander who acts as a co-ordinator for the Union of Revolutionary Forces, confirmed that Mr. Rubaa accepted the assignment as an "individual" and not as a representative of the Union. He said that Mr. Rubaa safely delivered the general to Benghazi, as instructed.

Because of his long history with Qaddafi and questions surrounding the circumstances of his conversion to the revolution, some elements in the opposition never really trusted Abdel Fattah Younis, according to John Simpson, and while his rank and reputation earned him the title of chief-of-staff, he was never given a field command. This is fortunate now because his death hasn't much delayed developments on the battlefield.

His death and the warrant for his arrest have also been accompanied by unconfirmed rumors of treason and continuing ties to Qaddafi. For example, the Hadeel al-Shalchi and Rami al-Shaheibi of
AP reported:

An officer with the rebels' internal security forces -- the official security force of the National Council -- told AP that the council ordered Younis' arrest after a letter arose earlier this week connecting the commander to Gadhafi. But he suggested the killing had not been authorized by the council and was instead an act of vengeance by rebels.

He said Younis was brought back to the Benghazi area Wednesday and held at a military compound until Thursday, when he was summoned to the Defense Ministry for questioning.

He then goes on to describe the assassination, which was carried out by two men when they were leaving the detention facility in the morning:

As they left the compound, two men from the security team escorting the detainees opened fire from their car on Younis with automatic weapons, said the officer, who was at the compound and saw the shooting. He said the two men were members of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade.

"The men's leader was shouting 'Don't do it!' but they shot Younis and his two aides, and took their bodies in their car and drove away," the officer said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the events.

On Saturday, July 30, 2011, Al Jazeera correspondent Tony Birtley reported on a press conference held by Mustafa Abdel Jalil:

Finally after a gap of about three days we've been getting further details about the killing of Abdul Fatah Younes, and it appears that there was a warrant signed by Mustafa Abdel Jalil's deputy, who ordered the arrest of General Fatah Younes and men were sent down there to get him and they brought him back. Apparently he was questioned and when he was released, according to Jalil, then he was killed by two men. They fled with the bodies in a car. We were told that they were dumped in a valley and their bodies burned, but he stressed that the throats had not been cut, which he was suggesting that this was not the work of Islamists.

We're told that these two fighters who killed him have now disappeared. They're holding their commander, but also, previously the finance minister ... said definitely it was two rebel fighters who were sent down to arrest General Fatah Younes who killed the general. He said that quite clearly.

Now at the press conference today Jalil inferred that this was the work of pro-Gaddafi agents seeking to create divisions within the opposition.

And that is what is known about the assassination based on eyewitness reports. It was done by two men who were part of the security detail.

There has been much speculation in the media about the connection between the assassination and radical Islam or the part played by tribal animosities, but few shreds point in those directions. It should go without saying that any man who has spent 40 years as Qaddafi's sidekick, and his security chief to boot, has a very long list of suspects when he turns up murdered. And number one on that list is Mummar Qaddafi himself. He certainly had the most to gain from it and had long promised revenge against the person he considered a traitor.

There is an old cop saying "never believe in coincidences," and only a few days before his assassination Libyan State TV promised "good news" can be expected to be heard about General Younis within 48 hours.

The Qaddafi people and Libyan State TV have also long been promoting the legend that Younis had gone back to Qaffadi. Enes Senussi speaks of :

the repeated false claims made by Gaddafi TV about Younes siding with Gaddafi. Old footage of Younes present with Gaddafi was shown on more than one occasion to allude to viewers that Younes had gone back to Gaddafi's side. Vicious rumours were spread by Gaddafi's 5th column and regime informers about Younes allegedly being overheard speaking to Gaddafi on the phone by saying "yes sir" which he is reported to have only ever said to Gaddafi. Other rumours claimed that he had smuggled arms to Gaddafi's troops as well as giving deliberate reckless orders resulting in many casualties coming under heavy fire; and the list goes on to this effect.

These stories even continue post-mortem. A few days ago Saif Qaffadi was claiming that he had met with General Younis several times recently in Italy but a check on Italian air space records indicated that no Qaddafi flights had taken place.

It is just possible that Qaddafi's people were behind this assassination from top to bottom. For while I doubt they were in a position to tell the TNC to issue an arrest warrant, they were certainly in the position to fabricate the evidence that would cause them to do so, a letter from Qaddafi for example, and in the undisciplined atmosphere of the current rebel army, they could have seen to it that their agents "volunteered" for the arrest detail.

About 1:13PM on July 28, The TNC held a press conference and announced that Abdul Fatah Younis, Naser Almadkoor & Mahammed Kameais had been assassinated.
The Transnational National Council appointed Suleiman Mahmoud al-Obeidi to replace Younis as new leader of the liberation army and promised an investigation. There were a number of immediate arrests. The Globe and Mail wrote:

Those under investigation include Mustafa Rubaa, a rebel fighter who was entrusted with the responsibility of detaining Gen. Younis and bringing him in front of a panel of judges last week; the second man is Ahmed Bukhattalah, a long-bearded rebel from the coastal city of Darnah.

Neither man has been charged with any crime, and rebel officials emphasized that they are only beginning to unravel a series of plots in Benghazi. Over the last four days, the rebel stronghold has witnessed the high-profile assassination of Mr. Younis, two major jailbreaks, and a seven-hour gun battle between rebel factions on the outskirts of the city.

However many people in the opposition, especially the general's family have been suspicious of the role of the TNC in the general's death and impatient with the progress they have made in cracking the case. The family told Rania El Gamal of Reuters:

"The investigation committee has not yet been formed, there has been no decision about the members of this committee," said Mohammed Hamed Younes, a nephew of the dead general.
His family called on the TNC to reveal the truth behind the killing, which they called a conspiracy that has served Gaddafi.

The pro-Qaddafi forces and their friends in the media have been working every angle to use this story to discredit the rebellion and sow divisions in it's ranks. They have spread many stories and rumors in the hopes of using this tragedy to their advantage.

One of these stories is that at his father's funeral, Ashraf Younis spoke in favor of Gaddafi's rule and even called for a return of Gaddafi's green flag. As Enes Senussi writes:
Here are three examples of the intimate accounts as reported by left, right and alternative news sources:

The Guardian:

At Younis's funeral, his son Ashraf called for Gaddafi's return to bring stability back to Libya. "We want the green flag back," he shouted to the crowd, referring to Gaddafi's national banner. It was a risky display of emotion in a region so supportive of the rebels.

The Telegraph:

Sobbing uncontrollably as his father's body was lowered into the ground, Ashraf Younes began to shout repeatedly: "We want Muammar to come back! We want the green flag (of the Gaddafi regime) back!"

Digital Journal:

At the funeral Younes had a 300 gun salute and his son broke down crying to the crowd,"We want Muammar Gaddafi to come back! We want the green flag back!"

As it happens the BBC reported the funeral procession in video and no such events were either caught on camera or noted in the accompanying text.

Aside from this alleged event not appearing on the BBC's footage, or on any other footage recorded to that matter, endless accounts by eye witnesses present at the funeral have unreservedly denied the occurrence of any such display not just by Younes' son but by any funeral goers.

The Globe and Mail talked to the family and came away with this version:

Despite their anger, the family has not turned against the rebel movement.

Mohamed Hamid stood in front of thousands of mourners who thronged to the main square in Benghazi on Friday, and his speech emphasized that the family still supports the leadership of Mr. Jalil.
Family members say they felt troubled by incorrect media reports that quoted one of the general's sons, Ashraf, saying at the funeral that he "wants the green flag back," a reference to Col.
Gadhafi's flag that was interpreted as nostalgia for the old regime. They now agree that Ashraf did not speak those words, remains loyal to the rebels, and had perhaps been misunderstood amid the shouts and clatter of gunfire at the graveyard.

The Militias and the Fire Fight in Benghazi...
One of the things that gave credence the the thesis that the wheels were coming off the revolution's cart in the aftermath of the assassination of Abdul Fattah Younis was a five hour fire fight that took place on Sunday morning, July 31 in Benghazi. At first it was reported that differences within the rebel ranks had broken out into open warfare and that is the way much of the media played it. We now know that a pro-Qaddafi fifth column, operating as as tribal based militia had been discovered and destroyed. The Globe and Mail reported:

Another militia, the so-called Nida Libya Brigade, apparently spent months recruiting, training and fortifying an old licence-plate factory in an industrial zone as its headquarters. When other rebels stormed the headquarters in the early hours on Sunday, they claimed to find an enclave of pro-regime sentiment: green flags, portraits of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, target lists of rebel leaders to be killed, and large amounts of explosives.

The fight to take over the Nida headquarters killed eight and injured 20, and among those who surrendered were a handful of prisoners who had escaped during a pair of jailbreaks in Benghazi on Thursday evening. Rebels now suspect that the Nida militia took advantage of the disarray after Gen. Younis's assassination to break out dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of captives from their jails

63 Qaddafi supporters were arrested in the raid. A Revolutionary Youth Movement member who lives in Benghazi gave more details:

On the day before the raid, NTC security forces went to the warehouse. They gave the men a warning [On July 31, NTC President Moustapha Abdeljalil ordered all militias present in Benghazi to give up their arms and join the rebels]. They asked these men to join Benghazi's army or fight on the front lines in western Libya. It was their last chance to join the rebellion, but they refused. Sunday morning, shortly after midnight, the rebels launched an attack on the warehouse. People who live nearby told me that the attack was very violent, and that they were told not to leave their homes. I heard that some neighbours helped the security forces arrest the loyalists, who, in attempts to hide, climbed over garden walls.

RYM video shows rebels insulting prisoners taken during the raid.

The Globe and Mail goes on to describe the loose organization of the fighting organizations developed by the uprising:

At the beginning of the war, rebel groups were either loosely organized youth volunteers, or uniformed ex-military units that had turned against the regime. During months of battle, the youth groups coalesced into bigger units, sometimes called battalions or brigades. They gave themselves colourful names: the Abu Salim Brigade was named after the notorious jail in Tripoli, the Omar Mukhtar Brigade took the name of a national hero who fought colonialism.

On paper, the various militias fell under the umbrella of the Union of Revolutionary Forces, which answered to the rebels' minister for defence. But the loose supervision of the militias came under harsh scrutiny in the days after Gen. Younis's assassination; one of the suspects, Mr. Bukhattalah, is described by rebel officials as belonging to the Obeida Ibn al-Jarrah Brigade, alleged to have ties with radical Islamism.

But this militia and tribal based organization of the liberation army has exposed a serious weakness in the aftermath of the death of Abdul Fattah Younis:

When asked why dangerous militias such as the Nida group could have been allowed to muster their forces in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Mustafa El-Sagezly, the rebels' deputy minister of the interior, blamed the tribal structure of Libyan society. He said the Nida militia claimed to represent a powerful tribe, although he declined to name the specific tribe involved.

"Since the issue of the tribes is sensitive, we did not want to stop them," he said.

So the Qaddafi forces were able to use these tribal divisions and tribal sensibilities to operate a secret cell carrying out sabotage and murder in the liberated area.

Even when other rebels surrounded the Nida headquarters in the middle of the night, they hesitated before attacking. They called on elders of Werfalla, the biggest tribe in Libya, who spent three hours negotiating with their fellow tribesmen inside the building. Only when those talks broke down, witnesses say, did the killing start.

In an effort to quell any hard feelings after the raid, a delegation of Werfalla tribal elders held a news conference wearing traditional robes.

"We know some Werfalla were involved," said Sheikh Nasr Gemali, leader of the tribe for eastern Libya. "But we want stability. Our hands will not be stained with the blood of the martyrs."

Just as maintaining unity with the family is important to the revolution, maintaining the unity of the tribes is paramount. The opposition knows that and so they deal very delicately with tribal issues and the Qaddafi forces know that to, so at every turn they try to exacerbated tribal issues, stir up differences between the tribes and maintain a Libya based on tribal differences because that is a Libya he can rule.

On Saturday, August 6 TNC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil claimed that Qaddafi was behind the assassination of AF. "Soon the investigation will reveal the offender and the details of the incident." He also said:

I would like to send a message to all Libyans in the liberated areas: we need to focus all our resources on the battle for freedom.

We need to unite now for a bigger cause.

The chaos has given a strong push to those within the rebel movement who have been trying to consolidate their militias into a more formal structure.

"All those groups will disappear, and they will become one unit," said Brigadier-General Ahmed Qutrani, a senior rebel commander in Benghazi. "None of the commanders can disagree. Anybody who dares will be crushed."

I hope that the unification of the revolutionary army can be achieved in the spirit of resolving differences among friends and without crushing anyone.

But it is essential to the success of the revolution and the future of Libya that the various fighting organizations that have been organically developed and have served the uprising so far, be forged into a unified liberation army with a single command structure under the authority of the Transitional National Council.

It must be an army for all of Libya. It's organization along ethnic or tribal lines should not be encouraged and it must be a disciplined army in which everybody cooperates in carrying out the task of overthrowing the Qaddafi regime because that is the immediate task at hand.

Many a brave solider dies in a war. That is its tragic reality. Many freedom fighters have given their lives in the struggle to overthrow Qaddafi, and the death of this general can not stop it.
But the death of this general has also taught some very valuable lessons. If they are learned by the resistance this past week will be seen as one in which the revolution lost a leader but gained new unity and strength and moved forward.

UPDATE Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 7:19 PM PT: The Washington Post just published this,
Libya rebels fire cabinet after general's killing

BENGHAZI, Libya -- The rebel government here has dismissed its entire cabinet in the wake of the unsolved killing of a powerful military leader, who was slain almost two weeks ago after he was ordered to appear before a board of inquiry about his handling of the war effort.

As the investigation into the mysterious assassination of Abdel Fattah Younis proceeds, the leaders of the revolution in the Transitional National Council, the rebels' governing body, sacked its 15-member cabinet Monday.

The cabinet includes the ministers of oil, finance, defense and foreign relations -- all posts vital to the running of the state.

Rebel officials say that the Transitional National Council has asked the outgoing head of the cabinet, Mahmoud Jibril, to form a new board of ministers as he departs.

Bio of Clay Claibonre:

Clay Claiborne has been a computer hacker and political activist for more than 40 years. He founded Linux Users Los Angeles [LULA] in 1996 and served as it's president for 8 years. He is also a filmmaker who produced and directed Vietnam: American Holocaust and other documentaries. He writes regularly about the uprising in North Africa and the Middle East, the Internet and pretty much anything. His principle website is Linux Beach, his most recent writings can be seen there or at the DailyKos and WL Central. On Twitter he is clayclai.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Attempted Assassination of Presidents

List of United States presidential assassination attempts and plots
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There have been many assassination attempts and plots on Presidents of the United States; there have been over 20 known attempts to kill sitting and former Presidents as well as Presidents-elect. Four attempts have resulted in sitting Presidents being killed: Abraham Lincoln (the 16th President), James A. Garfield (the 20th President), William McKinley (the 25th President) and John F. Kennedy (the 35th President). Two other Presidents were injured in attempted assassinations: former President Theodore Roosevelt, and then sitting President Ronald Reagan.

Although attempts have been made to prove that most American assassinations were politically motivated actions, carried out by rational men,[1] not all such assassinations and attempts have been undertaken for truly political reasons.[2] Some have been perpetrated by people of questionable mental stability, and a few were judged legally insane.[3][4] Since the successor to the presidency, the Vice President of the United States, has usually been, and now always is of the same political party as the President, the assassination of the President is unlikely to result in major policy changes. This may explain why political groups headed by rational leaders typically do not make such attacks.[5]

1 Successful assassinations
1.1 Abraham Lincoln
1.2 James A. Garfield
1.3 William McKinley
1.4 John F. Kennedy
2 Failed assassination attempts
2.1 Andrew Jackson
2.2 Abraham Lincoln
2.3 Theodore Roosevelt
2.4 Franklin D. Roosevelt
2.5 Harry S. Truman
2.6 John F. Kennedy
2.7 Richard Nixon
2.8 Gerald Ford
2.9 Jimmy Carter
2.10 Ronald Reagan
2.11 George H. W. Bush
2.12 Bill Clinton
2.13 George W. Bush
3 Presidential deaths rumored to be assassinations
3.1 Zachary Taylor
3.2 Warren G. Harding
4 Longest presidential periods without shots fired
5 See also
6 Notes

This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2010)
Abraham Lincoln

Main article: Abraham Lincoln assassination

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln took place on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, at approximately 10:15 p.m. Lincoln was shot by an actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth while attending a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, and two guests. Soon after being shot, Lincoln's wound was declared to be mortal. Lincoln died the following day at 7:22 a.m.

Booth was tracked down by Union soldiers and was shot and killed by Sergeant Boston Corbett on April 26, 1865. This is an example of a politically-motivated assassination, since Booth believed that killing Lincoln would radically change U.S. policy toward the South.

James A. Garfield

Assassination of James A. Garfield

The assassination of James A. Garfield took place in Washington, D.C., at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 2, 1881, less than four months after Garfield took office. Charles J. Guiteau shot him with a .442 Webley British Bulldog revolver. Garfield died 11 weeks later, on Monday, September 19, 1881, at 10:35 p.m., due to complications caused by infections.

Guiteau was immediately arrested. He was tried and found guilty. He appealed, but his appeal was rejected, and he was hanged on June 30, 1882 in the District of Columbia, just two days before the first anniversary of the attempt. Guiteau was certainly mentally unbalanced and the shooting was committed because of Guiteau's belief that he deserved to be made ambassador to France because he believed Garfield's presidential victory was due to his action.

William McKinley

William McKinley assassination

The assassination of William McKinley took place at 4:07 p.m. on Friday, September 6, 1901, at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York. McKinley, attending the Pan-American Exposition, was shot twice by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist. McKinley died eight days later, on September 14, 1901, at 2:15 a.m.

Members of the crowd immediately subdued Czolgosz after he shot McKinley. Afterwards, the 4th Brigade, National Guard Signal Corps, and police intervened and beat him so severely it was initially thought he might not live to stand trial. Czolgosz did survive and was convicted and sentenced to death on September 23. Czolgosz was electrocuted by three jolts, each of 1800 volts, in Auburn Prison on October 29, 1901. Czolgosz's actions were politically motivated, although it is unclear what outcome he believed the shooting would yield.

John F. Kennedy

Assassination of John F. Kennedy

The assassination of John F. Kennedy took place on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 p.m. CST (18:30 UTC). Kennedy was fatally wounded by a sniper's bullet while riding with his wife Jacqueline in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza. Although Kennedy was not formally declared dead until half an hour after the shooting, he effectively died instantaneously. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested shortly after at the Texas Theater. At 11:21 a.m. Sunday, November 24, 1963, while he was handcuffed to Detective Jim Leavelle and as he was about to be taken to the Dallas County Jail, Oswald was shot and fatally wounded before live television cameras in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub operator who said that he had been distraught over the Kennedy assassination.

The ten-month investigation of the Warren Commission of 1963–1964 concluded that Kennedy was assassinated by Oswald, an employee of the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza. It remains unclear whether Oswald acted alone, and, even if he did, why he planned the assassination in the first place.

Failed assassination attempts

Andrew Jackson

Illustration of Jackson's attempted assassination
January 30, 1835: Just outside the Capitol Building, a house painter named Richard Lawrence aimed two percussion pistols at the President, but both misfired, one of them while Lawrence stood within 13 feet (4 m) of Jackson, and the other at point-blank range. Lawrence was apprehended after Jackson beat him down with a cane. Lawrence was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to a mental institution until his death in 1861. Authorities determined that the percussion caps in Lawrence's pistols exploded creating, in each case, the sound of a blast but with each bullet failing to discharge from its gun barrel. When later tested by police, both pistols fired perfectly.[6]

Abraham Lincoln

Main article: Baltimore Plot
February 23, 1861: The Baltimore Plot was an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln en route to his inauguration. Allan Pinkerton, eponymous founder of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, played a key role by managing Lincoln's security throughout the journey. Though scholars debate whether or not the threat was real, clearly Lincoln and his advisors believed that there was a threat and took actions to ensure his safe passage through Baltimore.

August 1864: As Lincoln was riding to the Soldiers' Home, a shot fired from the bushes caused his horse to bolt, and he lost his hat; when soldiers retrieved the hat, they found a bullet hole in it. The incident was hushed up, but Secretary of War Edwin Stanton augmented the heavy guard that accompanied the president.[7]

Theodore Roosevelt

October 13, 1912: Three and a half years after he left office, Roosevelt was running for President as a member of the Progressive party established in 1912 by Roosevelt and other political free thinkers, after he split from the Republican Party which he had served as a member of during his Presidency. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, John F. Schrank, a saloon-keeper from New York, shot Roosevelt once with a .38 caliber revolver. A 50-page speech folded over twice in Roosevelt's breast pocket and a metal glasses case slowed the bullet. Amidst the commotion, Roosevelt yelled out, "Quiet! I've been shot." Roosevelt insisted on giving his speech with the bullet still lodged inside him. During his speech Roosevelt stated, "It takes more than one bullet to bring down a Bull Moose" thus further perpetuating Roosevelt's image as a larger than life President and the nickname of the Progressive Party, the Bull Moose Party established in June 1912 after Roosevelt responded to reporters questioning his health stating, "I am as strong as a Bull Moose". He later went to the hospital, but the bullet was never removed. Roosevelt, remembering that William McKinley died after operations to remove his bullet, chose to have his remain. The bullet remained in his body until his death in 1919. Schrank said that McKinley's ghost had told him to avenge his assassination. Schrank was found legally insane and was institutionalized until his death in 1943.[8]

Franklin D. Roosevelt

On February 15, 1933 in Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara fired five shots at Roosevelt. The assassination attempt occurred less than three weeks before Roosevelt was sworn in for his first term in office. Although the President-elect was not hurt, four other people were wounded and Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was killed. Zangara was found guilty of murder and was executed March 20, 1933. It has been suggested but not proven that Cermak, not Roosevelt, was the intended target that day, as the mayor was a staunch foe of Al Capone's Chicago mob organization.[9][10]
[edit]Harry S. Truman

Truman assassination attempt

On November 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican pro-independence activists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, attempted to kill Truman by trying to force their way into Blair House where Truman was staying while the nearby White House was undergoing renovation. A violent gun battle ensued between the assassins and the Secret Service, resulting in the death of White House Policeman Leslie Coffelt. Coffelt was able to kill Torresola before blacking out and soon dying. Collazo survived with serious injuries. Truman's life was in direct danger although he was not harmed. Collazo's death sentence was commuted to life in prison by Truman, and was further commuted to time served by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.[11]

John F. Kennedy
December 11, 1960: While vacationing in Palm Beach, Florida, President-elect John F. Kennedy's life was threatened by Richard Paul Pavlick, a 73-year-old former postal worker. Pavlick's plan was to serve as a suicide bomber by crashing his dynamite-laden 1950 Buick into Kennedy's vehicle, but the plan was disrupted when Pavlick saw Kennedy's wife and daughter bidding him goodbye.[12] That attack of conscience foiled the opportunity, with Pavlick's arrest by the Secret Service coming three days later after he was stopped for a driving violation, with the dynamite still in his car. Pavlick spent the next six years in both federal prison and mental institutions before being released in December 1966.

Richard Nixon

February 22, 1974: Samuel Byck apparently planned to kill Nixon by crashing a commercial airliner into the White House.[13] Once he had hijacked the plane on the ground, he was informed that it could not take off with the wheel blocks still in place. He shot the pilot and copilot, then was shot by an officer through the plane's door window before killing himself. The events surrounding this assassination attempt were depicted in the film The Assassination of Richard Nixon.

Gerald Ford
September 5, 1975: On the northern grounds of the California State Capitol, Lynette Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, drew a Colt M1911 .45 caliber pistol on Ford when he reached to shake her hand in a crowd. There were four cartridges in the pistol's magazine but the firing chamber was empty. She was soon restrained by Secret Service agent Larry Buendorf. Fromme was sentenced to life in prison, but was released from custody on August 14, 2009, nearly 3 years after Ford's death.[14]

September 22, 1975: In San Francisco, California, Sara Jane Moore fired a revolver at Ford from 40 feet (12 m) away.[15] A bystander, Oliver Sipple, grabbed Moore's arm and the shot missed Ford.[16] Moore was sentenced to life in prison.[17] She was later paroled from a federal prison on Monday, December 31, 2007 (370 days after Ford's death) after serving more than 30 years.

Jimmy Carter

Main article: Raymond Lee Harvey

Ronald Reagan

Reagan assassination attempt
On March 30, 1981, as he returned to his limousine following a speaking engagement at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C., Reagan and three others were shot and wounded by John Hinckley, Jr., who hoped to impress teen actress Jodie Foster. The others that were shot were White House Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy, and D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty, all of whom survived, though Brady, the most seriously wounded, was permanently disabled. Reagan survived and recovered after emergency surgery at nearby George Washington University Hospital.

George H. W. Bush

April 13, 1993: Sixteen men in the employ of Saddam Hussein, smuggled a car bomb into Kuwait with the intent of killing Bush as he spoke at Kuwait University.[18] The plot was foiled when Kuwaiti officials found the bomb and arrested the suspected assassins.[19] Bush had left office in January 1993. The Iraqi Intelligence Service, particularly Directorate 14, was proven to be behind the plot,[20].

Bill Clinton

September 12, 1994: Frank Eugene Corder flew a single-engine Cessna into the White House lawn, allegedly trying to hit the White House. The President and First Family were not home at the time, thus the actual motive behind the crash landing is inconclusive. Corder was the only casualty.[21]
October 29, 1994: Francisco Martin Duran fired at least 29 shots with a semi-automatic rifle at the White House from a fence overlooking the north lawn, thinking that Clinton was among the men in dark suits standing there (Clinton was inside the White House Residence watching a football game and was never in any danger during the incident). Three tourists, Harry Rakosky, Ken Davis and Robert Haines, tackled Duran before he could injure anyone. Duran was found to have a suicide note in his pocket and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.[22]

1996 During his visit to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Manila in 1996, he was saved shortly before his car was due to drive over a bridge where a bomb had been planted. Clinton was scheduled to visit a local politician in central Manila, when secret service officers intercepted a message suggesting that an attack was imminent. A transmission used the words "bridge" and "wedding", a terrorist's code words for assassination. Louis Merletti, the former director of the Secret Service ordered that the motorcade be re-routed. An intelligence team later discovered that a bomb had been planted under the bridge. Subsequent US investigation into the plot "revealed that it was masterminded by a Saudi terrorist living in Afghanistan named Osama bin Laden".[23]

George W. Bush
Further information: 2001 White House shooting

February 7, 2001: While President George W. Bush was in the White House Residence, in Washington, DC, Robert Pickett, standing outside the perimeter fence, discharged a number of shots from a weapon towards the White House. The U.S. Park Police stated, according to CNN correspondent Eileen O'Connor, that the type of handgun that was confiscated was of a sophisticated type and had the shooter not been shooting from an obstructed angle view, the bullets would have reached the White House. Following a stand-off of about ten minutes, the incident ended when a Secret Service officer shot Pickett, resulting in an injury which required immediate hospital surgery. Pickett was found to have emotional problems and employment grievances. Pickett had previously written letters to the President about these grievances. A court in July 2001 sentenced Pickett to three years imprisonment in connection with the incident.

September 11, 2001: On the morning of 9/11, President George W. Bush was at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort on Longboat Key, Florida.[24] He woke up around 6:00 AM and prepared for his morning jog.[25][26] A van occupied by men of Middle Eastern descent arrived at the Colony Beach Resort and claimed they had a "poolside" interview with the President. They did not have an appointment and were turned away.[27] It is possible this was an assassination attempt modeled on the one used on anti-Taliban fighter and Northern Alliance military leader Ahmed Massoud two days earlier. The previous April, Massoud addressed the European Parliament and warned of the possibility of al-Qaeda attacking in the West.[28][29] Longboat Key Fire Marshal Carroll Mooneyhan was reported to have overheard the conversation between the men and the Secret Service, but he later denied the report. The newspaper that reported this, the Longboat Observer, stands by its story.[30] Both Mooneyhan and the Observer reporter were questioned by the Secret Service, but the agency has not commented further.[30] Witnesses have recalled seeing 9/11 hijacker ringleader Mohamed Atta in the Longboat Key Holiday Inn a short distance from where Bush was staying as recently as September 7, the day Bush’s Sarasota appearance was publicly announced.[30][31]

May 10, 2005: While President George W. Bush was giving a speech in the Freedom Square in Tbilisi, Georgia, Vladimir Arutyunian threw a live Soviet-made RGD-5 hand grenade towards the podium where Bush was standing and where Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, the First Lady of the United States Laura Bush, the First Lady of Georgia Sandra Roelofs, and officials were seated. The grenade was live and had its pin pulled, but did not explode because a red tartan handkerchief wrapped tightly around the grenade kept the firing pin from deploying quickly enough.[32] Arutyunian was arrested in July 2005, and killed an Interior Ministry agent while resisting arrest. He was convicted in January 2006, and was given a life sentence.[33][34]

November 19, 2008: Asa Seeley was initially reported by multiple sources to have stated he was going to shoot President George W. Bush,[35] but this was later reported that he said that "he was going to Washington to shoot the people that shot him."[36] Seeley was arrested at West Baltimore train station carrying a rifle after having been refused transportation to Washington, D.C., by a taxi driver who saw that he was carrying a rifle. Seeley was charged with weapons offenses.[36]
[edit]Presidential deaths rumored to be assassinations

Zachary Taylor
On July 4, 1850, President Zachary Taylor was diagnosed by his physicians with cholera morbus, a term that included diarrhea and dysentery but not true cholera. Cholera, typhoid fever, and food poisoning have all been indicated as the source of the president's ultimately fatal gastroenteritis. More specifically, a hasty snack of iced milk, cold cherries and pickled cucumbers (pickles) consumed at an Independence Day celebration might have been the culprit.[37] On July 9, Taylor was dead.

In the late 1980s, author Clara Rising theorized that Taylor was murdered by poison and was able to convince Taylor's closest living relative, as well as the Jefferson County, Kentucky Coroner, Dr. Richard Greathouse, to order an exhumation. On June 17, 1991 Taylor's remains were exhumed from the vault at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, in Louisville, Kentucky. The remains were then transported to the Office of the Kentucky Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. George Nichols.

Nichols, joined by Dr. William Maples, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, removed the top of the lead coffin liner to reveal remarkably well preserved human remains that were immediately recognizable as those of President Taylor. Radiological studies were conducted of the remains before small samples of hair, fingernail and other tissues were removed. Thomas Secoy of the Department of Veterans Affairs (and a direct descendant of Taylor's Democratic presidential opponent Lewis Cass), ensured that only those samples required for testing were removed and that the coffin was resealed. The remains were then returned to the cemetery and received appropriate honors at reinterment. The samples were sent to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where neutron activation analysis revealed traces of arsenic at levels less than one one-hundredth of the level expected in a death by poisoning.[38]

Warren G. Harding

In June 1923, President Warren G. Harding set out on a cross-country "Voyage of Understanding," planning to meet ordinary people and explain his policies. During this trip, he became the first president to visit Alaska.[39] Rumors of corruption in his administration were beginning to circulate in Washington by this time, and Harding was profoundly shocked by a long message he received while in Alaska, apparently detailing illegal activities previously unknown to him. At the end of July, while traveling south from Alaska through British Columbia, he developed what was thought to be a severe case of food poisoning. He gave the final speech of his life to a large crowd at the University of Washington Stadium (now Husky Stadium) at the University of Washington campus in Seattle, Washington. A scheduled speech in Portland, Oregon was canceled. The President's train proceeded south to San Francisco. Upon arriving at the Palace Hotel, he developed pneumonia. Harding died of either a heart attack or a stroke at 7:35 p.m. on August 2, 1923. The formal announcement, printed in the New York Times of that day, stated that "A stroke of apoplexy was the cause of death." He had been ill exactly one week.[40]

Naval physicians surmised that he had suffered a heart attack. The Hardings' personal medical advisor, homeopath and Surgeon General Charles E. Sawyer, disagreed with the diagnosis. Mrs. Harding refused permission for an autopsy which soon led to speculation that the President had been the victim of a plot, possibly carried out by his wife, as Harding apparently had been unfaithful to the First Lady. Gaston B. Means, an amateur historian and gadfly, noted in his book The Strange Death of President Harding (1930) that the circumstances surrounding his death lent themselves to some suspecting he had been poisoned. Several individuals attached to him, personally and politically, would have welcomed Harding's death, as they would have been disgraced in association by Means' assertion of Harding's "imminent impeachment." Although Means was later discredited for publicly accusing Mrs. Harding of the purported murder, enough doubts surround the President's death to keep reputable scholars open to the possibility of foul play.

Longest presidential periods without shots fired

In the history of the U.S. Presidency, the longest period during which no shots were fired endangering, or taking, the life of a sitting President, a former President or a President-elect of the United States was the 45-year, 9-month span between the first inauguration of President George Washington on April 30, 1789 and the attempted shooting of President Andrew Jackson on January 30, 1835. The second longest non-shooting period is the current 30-year, 6-month span since the shooting of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. The third was the 30-year, 2.5-month period between the unsuccessful attack on Jackson in 1835 and the fatal shooting of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. The fourth was the 20-year, 4-month span between the shooting of former President Theodore Roosevelt on October 14, 1912 and the attempted shooting of President-elect Franklin Roosevelt on February 15, 1933. The fifth was the 20-year, 2-month period between the fatal shooting of President James Garfield on July 2, 1881 and the fatal shooting of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901.


^ Clarke, J.W. (1982). American Assassins: The Darker Side of Politics. Princeton University Press.
^ E.g., Assassinations, presidential. Accessed 2010.02.23.
^ E.g., Ben Dennison, The 6 Most Utterly Insane Attempts to Kill a US President. Oct 21, 2008. Accessed 2010.02.23.
^ TFN Insider, Praying for God to Kill the President. Texas Freedom Network. Accessed 2010.02.23.
^ Lawrence Zelic Freedman (Mar., 1983), The Politics of Insanity: Law, Crime, and Human Responsibility, 4, Political Psychology, pp. 171–178, JSTOR 3791182
^ "Trying to Assassinate President Jackson". American Heritage. 2007-01-30. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
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^ "1975 : President Ford survives second assassination attempt". History Channel. Retrieved 2007-05-08.
^ "The Imperial Presidency 1972-1980". Retrieved 2007-05-08.
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^ Von Drehle, David; Smith, R. Jeffrey (June 27, 1993), "U.S. Strikes Iraq for Plot to Kill Bush", The Washington Post, retrieved February 14, 2011.
^ "The Bush assassination attempt". Department of Justice/FBI Laboratory report. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
^ Duelfer, Charles (2004-09-30). "IIS Undeclared Research on Poisons and Toxins for Assassination". Iraq Study Group Final Report. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
^ Dowd, Maureen (1994-09-14). "CRASH AT THE WHITE HOUSE: THE OVERVIEW". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
^ "Summary Statement of Facts (The September 12, 1994 Plane Crash and The October 29, 1994 Shooting) Background Information on the White House Security Review". Retrieved 2007-05-06.
^ Malanowski, Jamie (December 21, 2009). "Did Osama Try to Kill Bill Clinton?".
^ Bayles, Tom (10 September 2002). "The Day Before Everything Changed, President Bush Touched Locals' Lives". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
^ Kevin Sack, "Saudi May Have Been Suspected in Error, Officials Say," New York Times, 16 September 2001
^ William Langley, "Revealed: What really went on during Bush's 'missing hours'," Daily Telegraph, 16 December 2001
^ Shay Sullivan, "Possible Longboat Terrorist Incident: Is it a clue or is it a coincidence?" Longboat Observer, 26 September 2001
^ Shadama Islam, "European MPs Back Masood," Dawn (Karachi), 7 April 2001
^ Michael Elliot, "They Had A Plan," Time, 4 August 2002
^ a b c Susan Taylor Martin, "Of fact, fiction: Bush on 9/11," St. Petersburg Times, 4 July 2004
^ Shay Sullivan, "Two hijackers on Longboat?" Longboat Observer, 21 November 2001
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^ "Bush grenade attacker gets life". CNN. 2006-01-11. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
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^ "Harding a Farm Boy Who Rose by Work". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "Nominated for the Presidency as a compromise candidate and elected by a tremendous majority because of a reaction against the policies of his predecessor, Warren Gamaliel Harding, twenty-ninth President of the United States, owed his political elevation largely to his engaging personal traits, his ability to work in harmony with the leaders of his party and the fact that he typified in himself the average prosperous American citizen."