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Another No-Fly List screw up: Top Indonesia general blocked from flying to Pentagon’s terrorism conference

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The federal government’s secretly administered no-fly list took another ding Sunday, when Indonesia’s top general was blocked from boarding his flight to the United States on the invitation of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. for an anti-terrorism conference.

“Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford invited Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo to attend a Chiefs of Defense Conference on Countering Violent Extremism being held Oct. 23 through Oct. 24 in Washington,” said a statement released by the U.S. embassy in Jakarta.

“General Gatot was unable to travel as planned,” the statement said. “The Embassy was in touch with the General’s staff about this matter throughout the weekend, working to facilitate his travel. U.S. Ambassador Joseph Donovan has apologized to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi for any inconvenience to General Gatot.”

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Reuters reported:

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“We’ve asked for clarification to the US, to the Department of State as well as the embassy in Jakarta and until now we’re still waiting for that clarification,” Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi told Reuters.

The ministry’s spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir earlier said Indonesia’s embassy in Washington was to send a diplomatic note to the US secretary of state demanding an explanation for the incident.

The ministry will also summon the US deputy ambassador in Jakarta on Monday to seek explanation, Nasir said, adding that the ambassador is presently not in Indonesia.

The American embassy in Jakarta also pledged to help the general rebook his flight.

“The U.S. Embassy was, and remains, prepared to facilitate the General’s travel to the United States. We remain committed to our Strategic Partnership with Indonesia as a way to deliver security and prosperity to both our nations and peoples,” the statement said.

In February 2016, Indonesia’s top general held extensive talks with Dunford at the Pentagon–talks that were punctuated by an elaborate military parade and review hosted by Duford for his Indonesia counterpart.

Gatot is a major figure in Indonesia, which maintains the veneer of a democracy, but also gives its military tremendous influence in the political, social and economic spheres.

In addition to the diplomatic embarrassment, Gatot’s appearance on the no-fly list is a reminder of the mysterious database that Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.) wanted to make a part of his program to restrict gun rights.

There is no public access to the no-fly list and no process to learn is you are on the list nor a process to appeal your inclusion on the list.

The no-fly list is maintained by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center and is supplemented by the Secondary Security Screening Selection program, which tagged passengers for further scrutiny when “SSSS” is printed on their boarding pass.

Big League National Security

Two Men Arrested for Planning Terrorist Attack on Trump Tower in Support of ISIS

They’re from South Carolina and Texas.

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The FBI has arrested two men and charged them with planning terrorist attacks on locations such as New York’s Trump Tower in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Kristopher Sean Matthews of South Carolina and Jaylyn Christopher Molina of Texas have been charged with conspiring to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Matthews adopted the pseudonym Ali Jibreel, and Molina the name Abdur Rahim.

The pair allegedly plotted to attack government facilities and New York’s Trump Tower, discussing their plans in jihadist chatrooms. They were busted by federal informants within these honeypots.

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We need to stick together, we need to defeat them, we need to take a lot of casualties,” said Molina of the pair’s plotting. Molina spoke of his allegiance to ISIS in the server. “You are my enemy (America) and never will I wear your flag … but I will raise the black flag of Allah.

They also spoke of the proposition of traveling to Syria in order to fight for ISIS, an idea that would’ve almost certainly resulted in their quick capture or death. American citizens caught fighting for ISIS on foreign battlefields have proven to be a legal nightmare for American military and civil law to manage.

Both were arrested on Monday. They face a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison, with a lifetime of supervised release.

These clowns didn’t get very far in actually planning acts of violence in support of ISIS, and they seem to have somewhat missed the boat- ISIS has largely been defeated by American-backed Kurdish militias and the Iraqi and Syrian governments. But they deserve punishment nonetheless.

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