Thursday, October 16, 2014

"News Channel 8" in Washington DC hosts forum "The New Terror Threat: Your Voice, Your Future" about ISIS and related terror threats; I am "in the movie"


Tonight, WJLA (the Washington DC ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8 sponsored a one hour Town Hall, “The New Terror Threat: Your Voice, Your Future”, in the Artisphere Auditorium in the Rosslyn area of Arlington VA.  WJLA has its own account of the event here

The session was hosted by Leon Harris and Allison Starling. Scott Thuman took the questions from Twitter.

There were seven panel members, including Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a CIA trained operations officer, Zainab Chaudry, Michael Steele, Col. Douglas Macgregor,  Eleanor Holmes Norton, Faheem Younnus, and Omri Cerren.
  
The session was precede by a 4-minute video introduction of the ISIS/ISIL threat. 
  
Shaffer opened by suggesting that the greatest threat within the US could be lone wolf suicide bombers.  Later, to a Twitter question, Shaffer said that ISIS had hacked one particular military family in the US to prove that it could threaten it, in answer to a question about ISIS threats against families of military members or even reporters at home (as well as threats in Britain and Australia leading to arrests).


There were six questions from the audience.  One person asked about a Senate bill to declassify a report that suggested that 9/11 had been actually supported by the Saudi royal family.

There was a suggestion that Iraq should be divided into three countries, according to religion, and that a single nation was not possible.

There was also a hint that Turkey’s Sunni government actually wanted to see ISIS succeed.  Muslim governments in the region have a hard time opposing the creation of a caliphate if it is believed to be specified in the Koran.

I asked the last question, about unusual WMD’s such as EMP flux devices and radiological devices.  Panel members did not believe ISIS was capable of deploying such devices in western countries, but they were concerned that other radical groups, especially in border areas of Pakistan, still could have such intentions. 
  
In this event, the QA was the “film” so I am “in the film” as a character and actor playing myself.  
   
Afterward, I got to talk to both Shaffer (to whom I mentioned the comment from an HRC forum about gays in Russia that ISIS recruits from Britain were often redheads because they tended to be bullied), and Leon Harris, who had also heard about the draconian quarantine against Ebola by a local health department in Ohio (my Issue blog today), where he was from, and he indicated that many local health departments might panic.  
 
Note: the name of the Town Hall has sometimes been spelled in reverse: "The New Terror Threat: Your Future, Your Voice" ("Future" and "Voice" have interchangeable order.)

The remaining videos (1-9) may be viewed on my Wordpress blog here  (or on Google+).  

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