Bombs and rockets

The [redacted by the CIA] picture [of Khallad, alias of Walid bin Attash] had been in the CIA’s possession when Steve Bongardt and the Cole team had been shown the [redacted] three pictures on June 11, 2011. If it has been shown to the Cole team, Steve and the other agents would have identified the […]

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While I was in the United States, I received an urgent call from [assistant U.S. attorney David] Kelley. “Ali, you need to get to Yemen right away,” he said. “We’ve finally signed the agreement with the Yemenis allowing us to interrogate [Jamal al-] Badawi, but there’s no one who can interrogate him.” “What about Bob […]

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An interrogation is a mind game in which you have to use your wits and knowledge of the detainee to convince or steer him to cooperate, and essential to this is to show that you are in control. If a suspect thinks that you lack knowledge of what he’s talking about or sees that you […]

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As Labib al-Nahhas, a senior and moderate voice within the Syrian Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham, put it: ‘Ths Islamic State’s extremist ideology can be defeated only through a home-grown Sunni alternative — with the term “moderate” defined not by CIA handlers but by Syrians themselves. Moderate imams — whether in the community or visiting prisons […]

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Sadly, many Muslims would subscribe to this perspective [of Islam in conflict with the rest of the world] rather than acknowledge the crisis within Islam. They think the conflicts ravaging their lands stem from a Western conspiracy to steal their natural resources. So perfidious is that conspiracy that many Muslims even blame terror attacks in […]

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‘So let me get this right,’ I said. ‘I am one of less than a handful of people working inside al-Qaeda for Western governments. I have identified senior leaders, was on the inside of plots in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and provided the only intel you have on al-Qaeda’s WMD programme. And in my spare time […]

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We live under constant threat of sudden destruction via nuclear war. It wouldn’t take that many warheads falling on major cities to darken the atmosphere — making the consequences of even a regional exchange (or the payload of a single ‘boomer’ sub) global, and potentially a threat to the integrity of human civilization. The control […]

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LOX and RP-1 never burn absolutely clean, and there is always a bit of free carbon in the exhaust, which produces a luminous flame. So when you’re looking at TV and see a liftoff from Cape Kennedy—or from Baikonur for that matter—and the exhaust flame is very bright, you can be sure the propellants are […]

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Finally somebody in authority sat down and thought the problem through. The specifications of JP-4 [jet fuel] were as sloppy as they were to insure a large supply of the stuff under all circumstances. But Jupiter and Thor [ballistic missiles] were designed and intended to carry nuclear warheads, and it dawned upon the thinker that […]

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[Calculating rocket fuel performance mathematically] gets worse exponentially as the number of different elements and the number of possible species [of reaction products] increases. With a system containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, you may have to consider fifteen species or more. And if you toss in boron, say, or aluminum, and perhaps a little […]

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