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September 23 2013

Private donations give edge to Islamists in Syria, officials say

Private donations give edge to Islamists in Syria, officials say
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/private-donations-give-edge-to-islamists-in-syria-officials-say/2013/09/21/a6c783d2-2207-11e3-a358-1144dee636dd_story.html

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — The stream of U.S. weapons heading to moderate rebel groups in Syria is being offset by a fresh torrent of cash for Islamist extremists, much of it from small networks of Arab donors who see the Syrian conflict as a step toward a broader Islamist uprising across the region, U.S. and Middle Eastern officials say.

The private donors, who use Twitter and other social media to collect millions of dollars from sympathetic Muslims, are providing crucial backing for Islamist militias that appear to be gaining ground in northern and eastern Syria, even as fighting stalls elsewhere, the officials said.

Dollars raised over the Internet are wired between private banking accounts and hand-delivered by courier, often in border towns like this city of 1.4 million, about 20 miles from the Syrian frontier, according to Middle Eastern intelligence officials who monitor the activity. Some fundraising pitches ask for specific pledges to cover the cost of a weapon, for example, or to finance an operation. For $2,400, a donor can pay for the travel, training and arming of a single non-Syrian fighter.

July 18 2013

Department of Homeland Security Uses Twitter for Monitoring Citizens - Washington Whispers…

Department of Homeland Security Uses Twitter for Monitoring Citizens - Washington Whispers (usnews.com)
http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/07/18/department-of-homeland-security-uses-twitter-for-monitoring-citizens

http://www.usnews.com/pubdbimages/image/52235/widemodern_DHStwitter_071813620x413.jpg

On the heels of revelations about National Security Agency spying, it turns out the Department of Homeland Security has its own way of keeping tabs on the American public via social media.

New documents show DHS’s National Operation Center has been using Twitter to monitor the public and 337 accounts of interest.

No tweets have been posted from the account, @DHSNOCMMC1, and it does not appear to accept follow requests. The Twitter accounts DHS follows remained private until Freedom of Information Act documents revealing the accounts were posted by government transparency group MuckRock Wednesday.

Among the accounts it follows are a mix of news organizations, police and fire departments, emergency management agencies and utility companies. The only individuals followed are District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

In 2012, the Daily Mail revealed a list of keywords being tracked by the DHS on social media, including ‘Mexico,’ “nuclear,” ‘flu,’ and ‘pork.’ Twitter applications TweetDeck and TweetGrid were used to monitor tweets according to the MuckRock documents. Over a six-month period the National Operations Center generated more than 9,300 ‘item-of-interest’ reports from its social media monitoring program, according to California Watch.

‘The Department of Homeland Security’s National Operations Center employs social media monitoring for situational awareness purposes only, within the clearly defined parameters articulated in our Privacy Impact Assessment, to ensure that critical information reaches appropriate decision-makers,’ said DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard in a statement emailed to Whispers.

July 17 2013

One hell of a deal : Pope Francis offers reduced time in Purgatory for Catholics that follow him on…

One hell of a deal: Pope Francis offers reduced time in Purgatory for Catholics that follow him on #Twitter - Europe - World - The Independent
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/one-hell-of-a-deal-pope-francis-offers-reduced-time-in-purgatory-for-

The Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican court that rules on the forgiveness of sins, has said that indulgences may be given to those who follow the “rites and pious exercises” of the event on television, radio and through social media.

The Penitentiary said that Pope Francis’ Twitter account, which has already gathered seven million followers, would be one such medium.

#pape #religion #wtf

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