Robert Ludlum (May 25, 1927 – March 12, 2001) was an American author of 27 thriller novels, best known as the creator of Jason Bourne from the original The Bourne Trilogyseries. The number of copies of his books in print is estimated between 290 million and 500 million. They have been published in 33 languages and 40 countries. Ludlum also published books under the pseudonyms Jonathan Ryder and Michael Shepherd.
Prior to becoming an author, he had been a United States Marine, a theatrical actor and producer. In the 1950s, he produced shows at the Grant Lee theater in Fort Lee, NJ. From 1960 to 1970, he managed and produced shows at the Playhouse on the Mall at Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey. His theatrical experience may have contributed to his understanding of the energy, escapism and action that the public wanted in a novel. He once remarked: “I equate suspense and good theater in a very similar way. I think it’s all suspense and what-happens-next. From that point of view, yes, I guess, I am theatrical.”
Ludlum died on March 12, 2001, at his home in Naples, Florida, while recovering from severe burns caused by a mysterious fire which occurred on February 10.
Writing analysis and criticism
Ludlum’s novels typically feature one heroic man, or a small group of crusading individuals, in a struggle against powerful adversaries whose intentions and motivations are evil and who are capable of using political and economic mechanisms in frightening ways. The world in his writings is one where global corporations, shadowy military forces and government organizations all conspire to preserve (if it is good) or undermine (if it is evil) the status quo.
Ludlum’s novels were often inspired by conspiracy theories, both historical and contemporary. He wrote that The Matarese Circle was inspired by rumors about the Trilateral Commission, and it was published only a few years after the commission was founded. His depictions of terrorism in books such as The Holcroft Covenant and The Matarese Circle reflected the theory that terrorists, rather than being merely isolated bands of ideologically motivated extremists, are actually pawns of governments or private organizations who are using them to facilitate the establishment of authoritarian rule.
Some of Ludlum’s novels have been made into films and mini-series, although the story lines might depart significantly from the source material. In general, a miniseries is more faithful to the original novel on which it is based.
Van Lustbader was born and raised in Greenwich Village, where he developed interests in art and writing. He lived downstairs from Lauren Bacall and built orange-crate racers in Washington Square Park with Keith and David Carradine. He is a graduate of Columbia College, with a degree in sociology, but his real education came much earlier at The City and Country School where, as he is fond of saying, “I learned all the important lessons that would stay with me for life.”
Before turning to writing full-time, he enjoyed successful careers in the New York City public school system, where he holds licenses in both elementary and early childhood education, and in the music business, where he worked for Elektra Records and CBS Records. He was the first person in the US to write about Elton John and to predict his success. As a consequence, he, John and John’s lyricist Bernie Taupin became friends. Writing for Cash Box Magazine, he also predicted the successes of such bands asSantana, Roxy Music, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, David Bowie and The Who.
Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa (/ˈvɑrɡəsˈjoʊsə/;Spanish: [ˈmaɾjo ˈβaɾgas ˈʎosa]; born March 28, 1936) is a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, essayist, college professor, and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America’s most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading writers of his generation. Some critics consider him to have had a larger international impact and worldwide audience than any other writer of theLatin American Boom. Upon announcing the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy said it had been given to Vargas Llosa “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat”.
Many of Vargas Llosa’s works are influenced by the writer’s perception of Peruvian society and his own experiences as a native Peruvian. Increasingly, however, he has expanded his range, and tackled themes that arise from other parts of the world. In his essays, Vargas Llosa has made many criticisms of nationalism in different parts of the world. Another change over the course of his career has been a shift from a style and approach associated with literary modernism, to a sometimes playfulpostmodernism.
Like many Latin American writers, Vargas Llosa has been politically active throughout his career; over the course of his life, he has gradually moved from the political lefttowards liberalism or neoliberalism. While he initially supported the Cuban revolutionary government of Fidel Castro, Vargas Llosa later became disenchanted with his policies. He ran for the Peruvian presidency in 1990 with the center-right Frente Democrático coalition, advocating neoliberal reforms, but lost the election to Alberto Fujimori. He is the person who, in 1990, “coined the phrase that circled the globe”, declaring on Mexican television, “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship”, a statement which became an adage during the following decade.
Early life and family
Mario Vargas Llosa was born to a middle-class family on March 28, 1936, in the Peruvian provincial city of Arequipa. He was the only child of Ernesto Vargas Maldonado and Dora Llosa Ureta (the former a radio operator in an aviation company, the latter the daughter of an old criollo family), who separated a few months before his birth. Shortly after Mario’s birth, his father revealed that he was having an affair with a German woman; consequently, Mario has two younger half-brothers: Enrique and Ernesto Vargas.
Vargas Llosa lived with his maternal family in Arequipa until a year after his parents’ divorce, when his maternal grandfather was named honorary consul for Peru in Bolivia. With his mother and her family, Vargas Llosa then moved to Cochabamba, Bolivia, where he spent the early years of his childhood. His maternal family, the Llosas, were sustained by his grandfather, who managed a cotton farm. As a child, Vargas Llosa was led to believe that his father had died—his mother and her family did not want to explain that his parents had separated. During the government of Peruvian President José Bustamante y Rivero, Vargas Llosa’s maternal grandfather obtained a diplomatic post in the Peruvian coastal city of Piura and the entire family returned to Peru. While in Piura, Vargas Llosa attended elementary school at the religious academy Colegio Salesiano. In 1946, at the age of ten, he moved to Lima and met his father for the first time. His parents re-established their relationship and lived in Magdalena del Mar, a middle-class Lima suburb, during his teenage years. While in Lima, he studied at the Colegio La Salle, a Christian middle school, from 1947 to 1949.
When Vargas Llosa was fourteen, his father sent him to the Leoncio Prado Military Academy in Lima. At the age of 16, before his graduation, Vargas Llosa began working as an amateur journalist for local newspapers. He withdrew from the military academy and finished his studies in Piura, where he worked for the local newspaper, La Industria, and witnessed the theatrical performance of his first dramatic work, La huida del Inca.
In 1953, during the government of Manuel A. Odría, Vargas Llosa enrolled in Lima’s National University of San Marcos, to study law and literature. He married Julia Urquidi, his maternal uncle’s sister-in-law, in 1955 at the age of 19; she was 10 years older. Vargas Llosa began his literary career in earnest in 1957 with the publication of his first short stories, “The Leaders” (“Los jefes”) and “The Grandfather” (“El abuelo”), while working for two Peruvian newspapers. Upon his graduation from the National University of San Marcos in 1958, he received a scholarship to study at the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain. In 1960, after his scholarship in Madrid had expired, Vargas Llosa moved to France under the impression that he would receive a scholarship to study there; however, upon arriving in Paris, he learned that his scholarship request was denied. Despite Mario and Julia’s unexpected financial status, the couple decided to remain in Paris where he began to write prolifically. Their marriage lasted only a few more years, ending in divorce in 1964. A year later, Vargas Llosa married his first cousin, Patricia Llosa, with whom he had three children: Álvaro Vargas Llosa (born 1966), a writer and editor; Gonzalo (born 1967), a businessman; and Morgana (born 1974), a photographer.
Beginning and first major works
Vargas Llosa’s first novel, The Time of the Hero (La ciudad y los perros), was published in 1963. The book is set among a community of cadets in a Lima military school, and the plot is based on the author’s own experiences at Lima’s Leoncio Prado Military Academy. This early piece gained wide public attention and immediate success. Its vitality and adept use of sophisticated literary techniques immediately impressed critics, and it won the Premio de la Crítica Española award. Nevertheless, its sharp criticism of the Peruvian military establishment led to controversy in Peru. Several Peruvian generals attacked the novel, claiming that it was the work of a “degenerate mind” and stating that Vargas Llosa was “paid by Ecuador” to undermine the prestige of the Peruvian Army.
In 1965, Vargas Llosa published his second novel, The Green House (La casa verde), about a brothel called “The Green House” and how its quasi-mythical presence affects the lives of the characters. The main plot follows Bonifacia, a girl who is about to receive the vows of the church, and her transformation into la Selvatica, the best-known prostitute of “The Green House”. The novel was immediately acclaimed, confirming Vargas Llosa as an important voice of Latin American narrative.The Green House won the first edition of the Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize in 1967, contending with works by veteran Uruguayanwriter Juan Carlos Onetti and by Gabriel García Márquez. This novel alone accumulated enough awards to place the author among the leading figures of the Latin American Boom. Some critics still considerThe Green House to be Vargas Llosa’s finest and most important achievement. Indeed, Latin American literary critic Gerald Martin suggests that The Green House is “one of the greatest novels to have emerged from Latin America”.
Vargas Llosa’s third novel, Conversation in the Cathedral (Conversación en la catedral), was published in 1969, when he was 33. This ambitious narrative is the story of Santiago Zavala, the son of a government minister, and Ambrosio, his chauffeur. A random meeting at a dog pound leads the pair to a riveting conversation at a nearby bar known as “The Cathedral”. During the encounter, Zavala searches for the truth about his father’s role in the murder of a notorious Peruvian underworld figure, shedding light on the workings of a dictatorship along the way. Unfortunately for Zavala, his quest results in a dead end with no answers and no sign of a better future. The novel attacks the dictatorial government of Odría by showing how a dictatorship controls and destroys lives. The persistent theme of hopelessness makes Conversation in the Cathedral Vargas Llosa’s most bitter novel.
In 1971, Vargas Llosa published García Márquez: Story of a Deicide (García Márquez: historia de un deicidio), which was his doctoral thesis for the Complutense University of Madrid. Although Vargas Llosa wrote this book-length study about his then friend, the Colombian Nobel laureate writer Gabriel García Márquez, they did not speak to each other again. In 1976, Vargas Llosa punched García Márquez in the face inMexico City at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, ending the friendship. Neither writer had publicly stated the underlying reasons for the quarrel. A photograph of García Márquez sporting a black eye was published in 2007, reigniting public interest in the feud. Despite the decades of silence, in 2007, Vargas Llosa agreed to allow part of his book to be used as the introduction to a 40th-anniversary edition of García Márquez’sOne Hundred Years of Solitude, which was re-released in Spain and throughout Latin America that year.Historia de un Deicidio was also reissued in that year, as part of Vargas Llosa’s complete works.
Following the monumental work Conversation in the Cathedral, Vargas Llosa’s output shifted away from more serious themes such as politics and problems with society. Latin American literary scholar Raymond L. Williams describes this phase in his writing career as “the discovery of humor”. His first attempt at a satirical novel was Captain Pantoja and the Special Service (Pantaleón y las visitadoras), published in 1973.This short, comic novel offers vignettes of dialogues and documents about the Peruvian armed forces and a corps of prostitutes assigned to visit military outposts in remote jungle areas. These plot elements are similar to Vargas Llosa’s earlier novel The Green House, but in a different form. As such, Captain Pantoja and the Special Service is essentially a parody of both The Green House and the literary approach that novel represents. Vargas Llosa’s motivation to write the novel came from actually witnessing prostitutes being hired by the Peruvian Army and brought to serve soldiers in the jungle.
From 1974 to 1987, Vargas Llosa focused on his writing, but also took the time to pursue other endeavors. In 1975, he co-directed an unsuccessful motion-picture adaptation of his novel, Captain Pantoja and the Secret Service. In 1976 he was elected President of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers and oldest human rights organisation, a position he held until 1979. During this time, Vargas Llosa constantly traveled to speak at conferences organized by internationally renowned institutions, such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Cambridge, where he was Simón Bolívar Professor and an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College in 1977–78.
In 1977, Vargas Llosa was elected as a member of the Peruvian Academy of Language, a membership he still holds today. That year, he also published Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (La tía Julia y el escribidor), based in part on his marriage to his first wife, Julia Urquidi, to whom he dedicated the novel. She later wrote a memoir, Lo que Varguitas no dijo (What Little Vargas Didn’t Say), in which she gives her personal account of their relationship. She states that Vargas Llosa’s account exaggerates many negative points in their courtship and marriage while minimizing her role of assisting his literary career.Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter is considered one of the most striking examples of how the language and imagery of popular culture can be used in literature. The novel was adapted in 1990 into a Hollywood feature film, Tune in Tomorrow.
Vargas Llosa in 1982
Vargas Llosa’s fourth major novel, The War of the End of the World (La guerra del fin del mundo), was published in 1981 and was his first attempt at a historical novel. This work initiated a radical change in Vargas Llosa’s style towards themes such as messianism and irrational human behaviour. It recreates the War of Canudos, an incident in 19th-century Brazil in which an armed millenarian cult held off a siege by the national army for months. As in Vargas Llosa’s earliest work, this novel carries a sober and serious theme, and its tone is dark. Vargas Llosa’s bold exploration of humanity’s propensity to idealize violence, and his account of a man-made catastrophe brought on by fanaticism on all sides, earned the novel substantial recognition. Because of the book’s ambition and execution, critics have argued that this is one of Vargas Llosa’s greatest literary pieces. Even though the novel has been acclaimed in Brazil, it was initially poorly received because a foreigner was writing about a Brazilian theme. The book was also criticized as revolutionary and anti-socialist. Vargas Llosa says that this book is his favorite and was his most difficult accomplishment.
After completing The War of the End of the World, Vargas Llosa began to write novels that were significantly shorter than many of his earlier books. In 1983, he finished The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta (Historia de Mayta, 1984). The novel focuses on a leftist insurrection that took place on May 29, 1962 in the Andean city of Jauja. Later the same year, during the Sendero Luminoso uprising, Vargas Llosa was asked by the Peruvian President Fernando Belaúnde Terry to join the Investigatory Commission, a task force to inquire into the massacre of eight journalists at the hands of the villagers of Uchuraccay. The Commission’s main purpose was to investigate the murders in order to provide information regarding the incident to the public. Following his involvement with the Investigatory Commission, Vargas Llosa published a series of articles to defend his position in the affair. In 1986, he completed his next novel, Who Killed Palomino Molero (¿Quién mató a Palomino Molero?), which he began writing shortly after the end of the Uchuraccay investigation. Though the plot of this mystery novel is similar to the tragic events at Uchuraccay, literary critic Roy Boland points out that it was not an attempt to reconstruct the murders, but rather a “literary exorcism” of Vargas Llosa’s own experiences during the commission. The experience also inspired one of Vargas Llosa’s later novels, Death in the Andes (Lituma en los Andes), originally published in 1993 in Barcelona.
It would be almost 20 years before Vargas Llosa wrote another major work: The Feast of the Goat (La fiesta del chivo), a political thriller, was published in 2000 (and in English in 2001). According to Williams, it is Vargas Llosa’s most complete and most ambitious novel since The War of the End of the World. Critic Sabine Koellmann sees it in the line of his earlier novels such as “Conversación en la catedral” depicting the effects of authoritarianism, violence and the abuse of power on the individual. Based on the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, who governed the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961, the novel has three main strands: one concerns Urania Cabral, the daughter of a former politician and Trujillo loyalist, who returns for the first time since leaving the Dominican Republic after Trujillo’s assassination 30 years earlier; the second concentrates on the assassination itself, the conspirators who carry it out, and its consequences; and the third and final strand deals with Trujillo himself in scenes from the end of his regime. The book quickly received positive reviews in Spain and Latin America, and has had a significant impact in Latin America, being regarded as one of Vargas Llosa’s best works.
In 2006, Vargas Llosa wrote The Bad Girl (Travesuras de la niña mala), which journalist Kathryn Harrison argues is a rewrite (rather than simply a recycling) of Gustave Flaubert‘s Madame Bovary (1856). In Vargas Llosa’s version, the plot relates the decades-long obsession of its narrator, a Peruvian expatriate in Paris, with a woman with whom he first fell in love when both were teenagers.
Later life and political involvement
Like many other Latin American intellectuals, Vargas Llosa was initially a supporter of the Cuban revolutionary government of Fidel Castro. He studied Marxism in depth as a university student and was later persuaded by communist ideals after the success of the Cuban Revolution. Gradually, Vargas Llosa came to believe that Cuban socialism was incompatible with what he considered to be general liberties and freedoms. The official rupture between the writer and the policies of the Cuban government occurred with the so-called ‘Padilla Affair’, when the Castro regime imprisoned the poet Heberto Padilla for a month in 1971. Vargas Llosa, along with other intellectuals of the time, wrote to Castro protesting the Cuban political system and its imprisonment of the artist. Vargas Llosa has identified himself with liberalism rather than extreme left-wing political ideologies ever since. Since he relinquished his earlier leftism, he has opposed both left- and right-wing authoritarian regimes.
With his appointment to the Investigatory Commission on the Uchuraccay massacre in 1983, he experienced what literary critic Jean Franco calls “the most uncomfortable event in [his] political career”.Unfortunately for Vargas Llosa, his involvement with the Investigatory Commission led to immediate negative reactions and defamation from the Peruvian press; many suggested that the massacre was a conspiracy to keep the journalists from reporting the presence of government paramilitary forces in Uchuraccay. The commission concluded that it was the indigenous villagers who had been responsible for the killings; for Vargas Llosa the incident showed “how vulnerable democracy is in Latin America and how easily it dies under dictatorships of the right and left”. These conclusions, and Vargas Llosa personally, came under intense criticism: anthropologist Enrique Mayer, for instance, accused him of “paternalism”, while fellow anthropologist Carlos Iván Degregori criticized him for his ignorance of the Andean world. Vargas Llosa was accused of actively colluding in a government cover-up of army involvement in the massacre. US Latin American literature scholar Misha Kokotovic summarizes that the novelist was charged with seeing “indigenous cultures as a ‘primitive’ obstacle to the full realization of his Western model of modernity”. Shocked both by the atrocity itself and then by the reaction his report had provoked, Vargas Llosa responded that his critics were apparently more concerned with his report than with the hundreds of peasants who would later die at the hands of the Sendero Luminoso guerrilla organization.
Vargas Llosa at the founding act ofUPD, September 2007
Over the course of the decade, Vargas Llosa became known as a “neoliberal“, although he personally dislikes the term and considers it “pure nonsense” and only used for derision. In 1987, he helped form and soon became a leader of the Movimiento Libertad. The following year his party entered a coalition with the parties of Peru’s two principal conservative politicians at the time, ex-president Fernando Belaúnde Terry (of the Popular Action party) and Luis Bedoya Reyes (of the Partido Popular Cristiano), to form the tripartite center-right coalition known as Frente Democrático (FREDEMO). He ran for the presidency of Peru in 1990 as the candidate of the FREDEMO coalition. He proposed a drastic economic austerity program that frightened most of the country’s poor; this program emphasized the need for privatization, a market economy, free trade, and most importantly, the dissemination of private property. Although he won the first round with 34% of the vote, Vargas Llosa was defeated by a then-unknown agricultural engineer, Alberto Fujimori, in the subsequent run-off. Vargas Llosa included an account of his run for the presidency in the memoir A Fish in the Water (El pez en el agua, 1993). Since his political defeat, he has focused mainly on his writing, with only occasional political involvement.
A month after losing the election, at the invitation of Octavio Paz, Vargas Llosa attended a conference in Mexico entitled, “The 20th Century: The Experience of Freedom”. Focused on the collapse of communist rule in central and eastern Europe, it was broadcast on Mexican television from 27 August to 2 September. Addressing the conference on 30 August 1990, Vargas Llosa embarrassed his hosts by condemning the Mexican system of power based on the rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which had been in power for 61 years. Criticizing the PRI by name, he commented, “I don’t believe that there has been in Latin America any case of a system of dictatorship which has so efficiently recruited the intellectual milieu, bribing it with great subtlety.” He declared, “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship. The perfect dictatorship is not communism, not the USSR, not Fidel Castro; the perfect dictatorship is Mexico. Because it is a camouflaged dictatorship.” The statement, “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship” became a cliché in Mexico and internationally, until the PRI fell from power in 2000.
Vargas Llosa has mainly lived in Madrid since the 1990s, but spends roughly three months of the year in Peru with his extended family. He also frequently visits London where he occasionally spends long periods. Vargas Llosa acquired Spanish citizenship in 1993, though he still holds Peruvian nationality. The writer often reiterates his love for both countries. In his Nobel speech he observed: “I carry Peru deep inside me because that is where I was born, grew up, was formed, and lived those experiences of childhood and youth that shaped my personality and forged my calling”. He then added: “I love Spain as much as Peru, and my debt to her is as great as my gratitude. If not for Spain, I never would have reached this podium or become a known writer”.
Vargas Llosa’s style encompasses historical material as well as his own personal experiences. For example, in his first novel, The Time of the Hero, his own experiences at the Leoncio Prado military school informed his depiction of the corrupt social institution which mocked the moral standards it was supposed to uphold. Furthermore, the corruption of the book’s school is a reflection of the corruption of Peruvian society at the time the novel was written. Vargas Llosa frequently uses his writing to challenge the inadequacies of society, such as demoralization and oppression by those in political power towards those who challenge this power. One of the main themes he has explored in his writing is the individual’s struggle for freedom within an oppressive reality. For example, his two-volume novel Conversation in the Cathedral is based on the tyrannical dictatorship of Peruvian President Manuel A. Odría. The protagonist, Santiago, rebels against the suffocating dictatorship by participating in the subversive activities of leftist political groups. In addition to themes such as corruption and oppression, Vargas Llosa’s second novel, The Green House, explores “a denunciation of Peru’s basic institutions”, dealing with issues of abuse and exploitation of the workers in the brothel by corrupt military officers.
Many of Vargas Llosa’s earlier novels were set in Peru, while in more recent work he has expanded to other regions of Latin America, such as Brazil and the Dominican Republic. His responsibilities as a writer and lecturer have allowed him to travel frequently and led to settings for his novels in regions outside of Peru.The War of the End of the World was his first major work set outside Peru. Though the plot deals with historical events of the Canudos revolt against the Brazilian government, the novel is not based directly on historical fact; rather, its main inspiration is the non-fiction account of those events published by Brazilian writer Euclides da Cunha in 1902.The Feast of the Goat, based on the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, takes place in the Dominican Republic; in preparation for this novel, Vargas Llosa undertook a comprehensive study of Dominican history. The novel was characteristically realist, and Vargas Llosa underscores that he “respected the basic facts, [. . .] I have not exaggerated”, but at the same time he points out “It’s a novel, not a history book, so I took many, many liberties.”
One of Vargas Llosa’s more recent novels, The Way to Paradise (El paraíso en la otra esquina), is set largely in France and Tahiti. Based on the biography of former social reformer Flora Tristan, it demonstrates how Flora and Paul Gauguin were unable to find paradise, but were still able to inspire followers to keep working towards a socialist utopia. Unfortunately, Vargas Llosa was not as successful in transforming these historical figures into fiction. Some critics, such as Barbara Mujica, argue that The Way to Paradise lacks the “audacity, energy, political vision, and narrative genius” that was present in his previous works.
Modernism and postmodernism
The works of Mario Vargas Llosa are viewed as both modernist and postmodernist novels. Though there is still much debate over the differences between modernist and postmodernist literature, literary scholar M. Keith Booker claims that the difficulty and technical complexity of Vargas Llosa’s early works, such as The Green House and Conversation in the Cathedral, are clearly elements of the modern novel.Furthermore, these earlier novels all carry a certain seriousness of attitude—another important defining aspect of modernist art. By contrast, his later novels such as Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta, and The Storyteller (El hablador) appear to follow a postmodernist mode of writing. These novels have a much lighter, farcical, and comic tone, characteristics of postmodernism. Comparing two of Vargas Llosa’s novels, The Green House and Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, Booker discusses the contrast between modernism and postmodernism found in the writer’s works: while both novels explore the theme of prostitution as well as the workings of the Peruvian military, Booker points out that the former is gravely serious whereas the latter is ridiculously comic.
Literary scholar M. Keith Booker argues that Vargas Llosa perfects the technique of interlacing dialogues in his novel The Green House. By combining two conversations that occur at different times, he creates the illusion of a flashback. Vargas Llosa also sometimes uses this technique as a means of shifting location by weaving together two concurrent conversations happening in different places. This technique is a staple of his repertoire, which he began using near the end of his first novel, The Time of the Hero. However, he does not use interlacing dialogues in the same way in all of his novels. For example, in The Green House the technique is used in a serious fashion to achieve a sober tone and to focus on the interrelatedness of important events separated in time or space. In contrast, Captain Pantoja and the Special Service employs this strategy for comic effects and uses simpler spatial shifts. This device is similar to both Virginia Woolf‘s mixing of different characters’ soliloquies and Gustave Flaubert’s counterpoint technique in which he blends together conversation with other events, such as speeches.
Vargas Llosa’s first literary influences were relatively obscure Peruvian writers such as Martín Adán, Carlos Oquendo de Amat, and César Moro. As a young writer, he looked to these revolutionary novelists in search of new narrative structures and techniques in order to delineate a more contemporary, multifaceted experience of urban Peru. He was looking for a style different from the traditional descriptions of land and rural life made famous by Peru’s foremost novelist at the time, José María Arguedas. Vargas Llosa wrote of Arguedas’s work that it was “an example of old-fashioned regionalism that had already exhausted its imaginary possibilities”. Although he did not share Arguedas’s passion for indigenous reality, Vargas Llosa admired and respected the novelist for his contributions to Peruvian literature. Indeed, he has published a book-length study on his work, La utopía arcaica (1996).
Rather than restrict himself to Peruvian literature, Vargas Llosa also looked abroad for literary inspiration. Two French figures, existentialistJean-Paul Sartre and novelist Gustave Flaubert, influenced both his technique and style. Sartre’s influence is most prevalent in Vargas Llosa’s extensive use of conversation. The epigraph of The Time of the Hero, his first novel, is also taken directly from Sartre’s work.Flaubert’s artistic independence—his novels’ disregard of reality and morals—has always been admired by Vargas Llosa, who wrote a book-length study of Flaubert’s aesthetics, The Perpetual Orgy. In his analysis of Flaubert, Vargas Llosa questions the revolutionary power of literature in a political setting; this is in contrast to his earlier view that “literature is an act of rebellion”, thus marking a transition in Vargas Llosa’s aesthetic beliefs. Other critics such as Sabine Köllmann argue that his belief in the transforming power of literature is one of the great continuities that characterize his fictional and non-fictional work, and link his early statement that ‘Literature is Fire’ with his Nobel Prize Speech ‘In Praise of Reading and Writing’.
One of Vargas Llosa’s favourite novelists, and arguably the most influential on his writing career, is the American William Faulkner. Vargas Llosa considers Faulkner “the writer who perfected the methods of the modern novel”. Both writers’ styles include intricate changes in time and narration. In The Time of the Hero, for example, aspects of Vargas Llosa’s plot, his main character’s development and his use of narrative time are influenced by his favourite Faulkner novel, Light in August.
In addition to the studies of Arguedas and Flaubert, Vargas Llosa has written literary criticisms of other authors that he has admired, such as Gabriel García Márquez, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemingway, and Jean-Paul Sartre. The main goals of his non-fiction works are to acknowledge the influence of these authors on his writing, and to recognize a connection between himself and the other writers; critic Sara Castro-Klarén argues that he offers little systematic analysis of these authors’ literary techniques. In The Perpetual Orgy, for example, he discusses the relationship between his own aesthetics and Flaubert’s, rather than focusing on Flaubert’s alone.
Mario Vargas Llosa is considered a major Latin American writer, alongside other authors such as Octavio Paz, Julio Cortázar, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. In his book The New Novel in Latin America (La Nueva Novela), Fuentes offers an in-depth literary criticism of the positive influence Vargas Llosa’s work has had on Latin American literature. Indeed, for the literary critic Gerald Martin, writing in 1987, Vargas Llosa was “perhaps the most successful [. . . and] certainly the most controversial Latin American novelist of the past twenty-five years”.
Most of Vargas Llosa’s narratives have been translated into multiple languages, marking his international critical success. Vargas Llosa is also noted for his substantial contribution to journalism, an accomplishment characteristic of few other Latin American writers. He is recognized among those who have most consciously promoted literature in general, and more specifically the novel itself, as avenues for meaningful commentary about life. During his career, he has written more than a dozen novels and many other books and stories, and, for decades, he has been a voice for Latin American literature. He has won numerous awards for his writing, from the 1959 Premio Leopoldo Alas and the 1962 Premio Biblioteca Breve to the 1993 Premio Planeta (for Death in the Andes) and the Jerusalem Prize in 1995. The literary critic Harold Bloom has included his novel The War of the End of the World in his list of essential literary works in the Western Canon. An important distinction he has received is the 1994 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, considered the most important accolade in Spanish-language literature and awarded to authors whose “work has contributed to enrich, in a notable way, the literary patrimony of the Spanish language”. In 2002, Vargas was the recipient of the PEN/Nabokov Award. Vargas Llosa also received the 2005 Irving Kristol Award from the American Enterprise Institute and was the 2008 recipient of the Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholar and Writers Award at Dickinson College.
2007 – El Pregón de Sevilla (as Introduction for LOS TOROS)
2009 – El viaje a la ficción: El mundo de Juan Carlos Onetti
2011 – Touchstones: Essays on Literature, Art, and Politics
2012 – La civilización del espectáculo
2012 – In Praise of Reading and Fiction: The Nobel Lecture
2014 – Mi trayectora intelectual (My Intellectual Journey)
2015 – Notes on the Death of Culture
1952 – La huida del inca
1981 – La señorita de Tacna
1983 – Kathie y el hipopótamo
1986 – La Chunga
1993 – El loco de los balcones
1996 – Ojos bonitos, cuadros feos
2007 – Odiseo y Penélope
2008 – Al pie del Támesis
2010 – Las mil y una noches
Vargas Llosa’s essays and journalism have been collected as Contra viento y marea, issued in three volumes (1983, 1986, and 1990). A selection has been edited by John King and translated and published asMaking Waves. 2003 – “The Language of Passion”
In the midst of the economic decline — following drought and the end of slavery — in the province of Bahia in Northeastern Brazil, the poor of the backlands are attracted by the charismatic figure and simple religious teachings of Antonio Conselheiro, the Counselor, who preaches that the end of the world is imminent and that the political chaos that surrounds the collapse of the Empire of Brazil and its replacement by a republic is the work of the devil.
Seizing a fazenda in an area blighted by economic decline at Canudos the Counselor’s followers build a large town and defeat repeated and ever larger military expeditions designed to remove them. As the state’s violence against them increases they too turn increasingly violent, even seizing the modern weapons deployed against them. In an epic final clash a whole army is sent to extirpate Canudos and instigates a terrible and brutal battle with the poor while politicians of the old order see their world destroyed in the conflagration.
It is generally believed that Vargas Llosa’s three milestone novels are La Ciudad y Los Perros (The Time of the Hero), La Casa Verde (The Green House) and Conversación en la Catedral (Conversation in the Cathedral), though many critics agree that The War of the End of the World should also be included among these three. The author is famously known for considering this his most accomplished novel — an opinion shared by the Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño, as well as the American critic Harold Bloom, who even includes the novel in what he calls the “Western canon.”
As he did later on with La Fiesta Del Chivo (The Feast of the Goat), Vargas Llosa tackles a huge number of characters and stories caught during a time of strife, interweaving these in way that gives us a picture of what it was to live in those times.
Deep within the remote backlands of nineteenth-century Brazil lies Canudos, home to all the damned of the earth: prostitutes, bandits, beggars, and every kind of outcast. It is a place where history and civilization have been wiped away. There is no money, no taxation, no marriage, no census. Canudos is a cauldron for the revolutionary spirit in its purest form, a state with all the potential for a true, libertarian paradise–and one the Brazilian government is determined to crush at any cost.
In perhaps his most ambitious and tragic novel, Mario Vargas Llosa tells his own version of the real story of Canudos, inhabiting characters on both sides of the massive, cataclysmic battle between the society and government troops. The resulting novel is a fable of Latin American revolutionary history, an unforgettable story of passion, violence, and the devastation that follows from fanaticism.
With few of the sly narrative flourishes that distinguish most of his fiction, Vargas Llosa now offers a vast historical novel tightly focused on an 1890s rebellion in the Bahia state of Brazil–by followers (called jagunÃ‡os) of an apocalyptic religious figure, dubbed “The Counselor,” in the little town of Canudos. And though much of this novel is surprisingly drab and flat, the extraordinarily punishing, unremitting scenes of battle and carnage bring the book’s lesson home all too vividly: the madness that can horribly grow out of any small fanaticism and power-base. The Counselor’s followers in Canudos are both poor peasantry and societal dregs–bandits, circus geeks, failures, whores–but his manifest saintliness harmonizes them. When the republican-government officials of Brazil, however, learn that money is no longer being used at Canudos, they foolishly suspect that this is a monarchist plot that is merely using the people at Canudos as pawns; furthermore, this myopia–which utterly ignores the religious basis of the very Christian experiment there–is compounded by the hysterical influence of an important newspaper publisher. Inevitably, then, Canudos will be crushed–yet not without resistance: one, then two massive and bloody government assaults fail. Then a third succeeds–and since it occurs after The Counselor’s natural death, it leads to a terrible decision by the holdout jagunos to slaughter their own innocents, women and children and the aged, rather than allow them to face the depredations of the “Freemason” soldiers who are attacking so successfully. What is ultimately sacrificed, murdered, therefore, is the spiritual quality of Canudos; extremity turns it into ideology–and more death. But this powerful conclusion, unfortunately, is a very long time in coming; in its first hundreds of pages, the novel is often stiff, dull in dialogue, precisely detailed but with little aura of atmosphere and scene. In sum, then: an odd combination of cardboard and passionate horror–with grim, rich rewards for those readers willing to plow through the book’s early, stodgy chapters.
Story 2: McCain Calls Trump Supporters Crazies — Trump Calls McCain A War Hero Four Times, Loser and Dummy — Accurate Statements All — Videos
Actual Voice of General Patton starting at 1:15 vs. Hollywood
CRAZY – PATSY CLINE – HQ Stereo
Donald Trump on Fox & Friends Defends His Sentator McCain Not A Hero Comments
Donald Trump: McCain’s a War Hero Because He Was Captured, ‘I Like People That Weren’t’
Todd Starnes McCain started all of this mess
McCain: ‘Term Of Endearment’ To Call Trump Supporters ‘Crazies’
Trump: John McCain Is A Dummy & Rick Perry Needs IQ Test
Did John McCain Lie About His P.O.W Record?
McCain POW Cellmate Speaks Out on McCain’s Heroism
Former POW says McCain is “not cut out to be President”
John McCain Losing His Cool
Mean spirited McCain is known for throwing temper tantrums, flying off the handle, blowing his top,seething with anger, accusing others of lying, and of mistreating POW/MIA family members. So how will he treat U.S.? POW/MIA families report…You decide
John Mccain Exposed By Vietnam Vets And POWs
Fact Check: The Washington Post on Donald Trump and John McCain
By SHARYL ATTKISSON
Donald Trump appears to have gotten under the skin of not only Democrats, but also fellow Republicans and the news media. Has that subjected Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, to unfair and/or inaccurate reporting?
An article in the Washington Post today is headlined, “Trump slams McCain for being ‘captured’ in Vietnam.”
The article’s lead sentence states, “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a decorated Vietnam War veteran, on Saturday by saying McCain was not a war herobecause he was captured by the North Vietnamese [emphasis added].”
Is this report accurate?
In fact, Trump’s actual quote is the opposite of what is presented in the Post’s first sentence.
1. The Post did not provide context at the outset disclosing that McCain and Trump have been feuding, with McCain characterizing some Trump supporters as “crazies” and Trump stating that McCain graduated last in his class in Annapolis. The charged rhetoric continued at the conservative Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa this weekend.
2. When a panelist characterized McCain as a “war hero,” the Post is accurate in reporting that Trump initially said McCain is “not a war hero.” But then, Trump immediately modified his statement saying– four times– that McCain is a war hero:
“He is a war hero.”
“He’s a war hero because he was captured.”
“He’s a war hero, because he was captured.”
“I believe, perhaps, he’s a war hero. But right now, he’s said some very bad things about a lot of people.”
3. Did Trump say McCain is not a war hero because he was captured? No, not in the exchanges represented in the Post.
4. Is the Post’s characterization an accident? It would appear not, because it is repeated in the Post’s caption of the video clip, which also states: “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a decorated Vietnam war veteran, was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese [emphasis added].”
Further, in the Post’s second sentence, Trump is quoted as stating of McCain, “He’s not a war hero…He’s a war hero because he was captured,” but the article selectively left out the phrase Trump had uttered in between: “He is a war hero.”
Trump actually said the opposite of what the Post lead sentence and video caption claim. The Post might have been able to get away stating that Trump “implied” McCain was not a war hero because McCain was captured, but even that would have been a subjective interpretation since Trump had actually stated the opposite.
It’s true that Trump stated one time that McCain is not a war hero. But Trump stated four times that McCain is a war hero–and that was not accurately characterized in the article.
For interpreting and characterizing Trump’s true quote in a way that is at best questionable, and for selectively using some quotes and leaving others out, the Post receives Two Little Devils. (Ratings scale at end of article.)
Obviously, all are free to draw conclusions about any candidate or politician. But the news media has a responsibility to do its best to report accurately and fairly–even when reporters find a candidate and/or his positions to be personally distasteful.
Trump: I don’t need to be lectured
Donald Trump6:46 p.m. EDT July 19, 2015
McCain has abandoned our veterans. I will fight for them.
John McCain has called his own constituents who want a secure border “crazies.” No one in the news media or the establishment, including the Republican National Committee, criticized the senator for those comments.
Now, as respected reporter Sharyl Attkisson has proved point by point, the news media are also distorting my words. But that is not my point. McCain the politician has failed the state of Arizona and the country.
Trump’s low-class outburst: Our view
During my entire business career, I have always made supporting veterans a top priority because our heroes deserve the very best for defending our freedom. Our Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals are outdated dumps. I will build the finest and most modern veterans hospitals in the world. The current medical assistance to our veterans is a disaster. A Trump administration will provide the finest universal access health care for our veterans. They will be able to get the best care anytime and anywhere.
Thanks to McCain and his Senate colleague Bernie Sanders, their legislation to cover up the VA scandal, in which 1,000+ veterans died waiting for medical care, made sure no one has been punished, charged, jailed, fined or held responsible. McCain has abandoned our veterans. I will fight for them.
The reality is that John McCain the politician has made America less safe, sent our brave soldiers into wrong-headed foreign adventures, covered up for President Obamawith the VA scandal and has spent most of his time in the Senate pushing amnesty. He would rather protect the Iraqi border than Arizona’s. He even voted for the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015, which allows Obama, who McCain lost to in a record defeat, to push his dangerous Iran nuclear agreement through the Senate without a supermajority of votes.
A number of my competitors for the Republican nomination have no business running for president. I do not need to be lectured by any of them. Many are failed politicians or people who would be unable to succeed in the private sector. Some, however, I have great respect for.
My record of veteran support is well-documented. I served as co-chairman of the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission and was responsible, with a small group, for getting it built. Toward this end, I contributed over $1 million so our warriors can be honored in New York City with a proper memorial. I also helped finance and served as the grand marshal of the 1995 Nation’s Day Parade, which honored over 25,000 veterans. It was one of the biggest parades in the history of New York City, and I was very proud to have made it possible.
I will continue to fight to secure our border and take care of our veterans because these steps are vital to make America great again!
A Monmouth University poll of Iowans released Monday and conducted over the weekend showed Scott Walker continues to maintain a solid lead in the Iowa Republican caucus, though Trump has gained an edge over the rest of the field and now stands alone in second place.
Of likely caucus attendees, 22% told pollsters that they’d support the Wisconsin governor in next winter’s matchup, but 13% said they would back Trump, who has suddenly catapulted to the front of some national polls. Trump only earned 4% of Republicans’ support in a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg survey conducted in May, a month before Trump announced his campaign and made a string of controversial comments that came alongside his rise.
The Monmouth poll was fielded while Trump found himself embroiled in a new controversy over a remark that seemed to disparage the military record of 2008 nominee McCain while at an event in Iowa. The poll found no change in Trump’s support before and after he made his comment this weekend in Iowa.
“Walker has been a favorite of Iowa voters ever since his well-received appearance at the Iowa Freedom summit in January. More recently, Trump has outmaneuvered the rest of the field to earn the second spot despite his controversial statements over the weekend,” said Patrick Murray, who conducted the poll.
Trailing Walker and Trump is Ben Carson at 8%, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz at 7%, and 2008 Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee at 6%.
Monmouth polled 452 Iowans from Thursday to Sunday for a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.
Story 1: Planned Parenthood’s Evil of Killing, Butchering and Selling Baby Parts Regrets Their Tone Not Their Actions– Reminds Me of The Nazis (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) Discussing The Final Solution for The Jewish Question — The Killing of Babies Supported By Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Progressives and Ruling Political Elites — Stop Killing Babies And Lying To The American People — Videos
He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
~Henry David Thoreau
The resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.
The Holocaust was the most evil crime ever committed.
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”
Planned Parenthood: Cecile Richards’ Official Video Response
Brenda Lee – I’m Sorry
Senator Lankford Speaks about the Planned Parenthood Video on the Senate Floor
Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts
What So-Called Pro-Choicers Cannot Watch From Start To Finish
The Silent Scream (Full Length)
FULL FOOTAGE: Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts
Abby Johnson Exposes The Lie of Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards’ Attempt To Dismiss Viral Video Backfires!
Caught on Camera: Planned Parenthood Harvesting Babies Organs
Die Wannseekonferenz (1984)
A real time recreation of the 1942 Wannsee Conference, in which leading SS and Nazi Party officials led by SS-General Reinhard Heydrich gathered to discuss the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”.
MAAFA 21 THE BLACK HOLOCAUST
Abortion Inc: Promoting Black Genocide in US?
Planned Parenthood Banks on Fraud
Planned Parenthood’s New Image
Fit vs. UnFit, Eugenics, Planned Parenthood & Psychology, Mind Control Report
Sex Control Police State, Eugenics, Galton, Kantsaywhere, Mind Control Report
Mind Control Hate Propaganda, Hate Speech & Crime, Black PR
Mind Control, Psychology of Brainwashing, Sex & Hypnosis
Margaret Sanger: Eugenicist (1/3)
Margaret Sanger: Eugenicist (2/3)
Margaret Sanger: Eugenicist (3/3)
Eugenics Glenn Beck w/ Edwin Black author of “War Against the Weak” talk Al Gore & Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s Racist Founder
Justice Antonin Scalia talks about Roe v. Wade
Auschwitz The Nazis and the Final Solution complete
Auschwitz: The Nazi and the Final Solution (1/5)
AUSHWITZ:THE FINAL SOLUTION CLIP 2/5
Auschwitz: The Nazi and the Final Solution (3/5)
Auschwitz: The Nazi and the Final Solution (4/5)
Auschwitz: The Nazi and the Final Solution (5/5)
Science and the Swastika: The Deadly Experiment
Sterilizing Undesirables: Did The USA Inspire The Nazis?
Keeping Dems Honest: CNN’s Anderson Cooper Puts Truth First and Challenges DNC Abortion Lies
Glenn Beck : Agenda 21 is not a fiction, it’s implemented right now in US and all over the World !
Glenn Beck – Ted Cruz Discusses the Evils of Agenda 21
Bill Whittle What We Believe Full Version
Brenda Lee – I’m Sorry (Live from Canada 1980)
Planned Parenthood head apologizes for ‘tone’ of doctor in covert video
The president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America on Thursday apologized for remarks captured on video that show Deborah Nucatola, an executive of the organization, casually discussing abortion techniques aimed at preserving the internal organs of fetuses for use in research.
But Richards also emphatically defended the organization’s tissue donation program, which she said is purely voluntary for the women and does not yield a profit for Planned Parenthood. And she condemned the group that covertly recorded Nucatola’s remarks, which she said heavily edited the video to make “outrageous claims.”
“We know the real agenda of organizations behind videos like this, and they have never been concerned with protecting the health and safety of women,” she said. “Their mission is to ban abortion completely and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood and other health centers.”
Richards’s apology came a day after a little-known anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress unveiled the video as part of what its leader said was a 30-month investigation into Planned Parenthood’s tissue donation program. The group alleges Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal body parts to companies that use the tissue for research.
While the video did not prove this claim, it still painted Planned Parenthood in an unflattering light that reignited controversy over the women’s health organization, the nation’s largest abortion provider and a longtime target of anti-abortion activism. It showed Nucatola, the organization’s senior director of medical services, discussing graphically the ways in which abortions can be completed to preserve a fetus’s liver, lungs, heart and other materials for research.
“I’d say a lot of people want liver,” she says in the video, drinking wine and eating salad with anti-abortion activists posing as medical company representatives.
Later in the video, she continues: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
The Center for Medical Research distilled the video into a nine-minute clip, but also posted a longer cut lasting more than two-and-a-half hours showing a fuller context of the discussion. It also posted some supporting documents on its site, and the group’s leader has promised more evidence in the coming weeks.
Planned Parenthood’s president apologized Thursday for a top official’s tone in a controversial video, but she also denied the clip’s allegation that her organization profits from tissue donation.
“Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide. In the video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements,” said Cecile Richards, the group’s president, in a video out Thursday. “As always, if there is any aspect of our work that can be strengthened, we want to know about it, and we take swift action to address it.”
Since the video’s release on Breitbart earlier this week, conservative elected officials have slammed its contents and called for congressional hearings on the incident, including House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“I hope that everyone in the country watches it,” said Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Missouri, who called the video “the most horrifying and heartbreaking undercover video I have ever seen” during a Capitol Hill news conference on Wednesday.
But allegations that Planned Parenthood sells baby body organs and tissue are unfounded, she said.
“I want to be really clear: The allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true. Our donation programs — like any other high-quality health care providers — follow all laws and ethical guidelines.”
On Wednesday, Richards used Twitter to criticize lawmakers and presidential candidates
Richards said political attacks are nothing new for her organization, the country’s largest abortion provider.
“Spreading false information is an age-old strategy of people hell-bent on denying women care & shaming them for exercising their rights,” she tweeted.
Several Republican candidates have promised to defund federal dollars to Planned Parenthood if elected. Richards argued that would keep millions from breast exams, sexually transmitted infection exams and sex education.
“Reminder: 1 out of every 5 women has been to PP in her life. Threatening our patients’ care & rights will get politicians nowhere real fast,” she tweeted. “We’ve fought for our patients before, and we’ll fight for them again and again.”
Planned Parenthood exec, fetal body parts subject of controversial video
By Steve Almasy and Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
An anti-abortion group has released an online video that it says documents how Planned Parenthood is selling fetal organs for a profit, a felony, while violating medical ethics by altering normal abortion procedures so as to preserve the organs.
Planned Parenthood has countered that it donates the tissue for scientific research and receives only reimbursement for its expenses, which is legal. The group also says it helps people donate tissue “with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards,” according to a statement from spokesman Eric Ferrero.
Later, Ferrero issued another statement saying, “These outrageous claims are flat-out untrue, but that doesn’t matter to politicians with a longstanding political agenda to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood. Women and families who make the decision to donate fetal tissue for lifesaving scientific research should be honored, not attacked and demeaned.”
The group leveling the accusation, the Irvine, California-based Center for Medical Progress, says it shot the video a year ago at a California restaurant. On it, two people purporting to be with a human biologics company speak with a Planned Parenthood doctor over what appears to be a lunch meeting. The Center for Medical Progress says the pair, who are off-camera and never seen, are paid actors.
“Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization,” said statement from David Daleiden, who led the undercover project.
The video has drawn the ire of GOP lawmakers in Washington, with House Speaker John Boehner calling for hearings on Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices.
“When anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are all hurt, irreversibly so. When an organization monetizes an unborn child — and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video — we must all act,” he said.
On the video, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is seen talking matter-of-factly about the organization’s participation in tissue-donation programs.
Though Planned Parenthood has described the Center for Medical Progress footage as a hit piece by “a well-funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services,” Nucatola acknowledges in the video that Planned Parenthood’s national office sees the potential for controversy.
“So, we tried to do this, and at the national office we have a Litigation and Law Department that just really doesn’t want us to be the middle people for this issue right now,” she said. “And so we had a conversation, and we said, ‘What if we go out and find everyone who is doing this and present everybody with a menu?’ And at the end of the day they just decided that right now, it’s just too touchy an issue for us to be an official middleman.”
In another part of the video, the doctor tells the undercover actors that “behind closed doors,” Planned Parenthood’s affiliates are discussing how to handle the matter.
“Every provider has had patients who want to donate their tissue, and they absolutely want to accommodate them. They just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as ‘This clinic is selling tissue. This clinic is making money off of this,’ ” she said.
The edited version of the video appears to be missing important context that’s provided in the longer video. For instance, one of the actors asks Nucatola about prices for the organs.
“OK, so when you are, or the (Planned Parenthood) affiliate is determining what that monetary … so that it doesn’t raise any question of ‘This is what it’s about; this is the main,’ what price range would you …” the woman asks, her question trailing off.
Nucatola responds that the price would be between $30 and $100 per specimen, with consideration for what facility is used and “what’s involved.” It’s not clear if a specimen constitutes the entire organ or only samples of it.
Nucatola doesn’t specifically say that the price is for the purchase of the tissue, but the comment troubled bioethicist Art Caplan of New York University, who said after watching the edited version of the video it sounds like Planned Parenthood might be trying to make a profit.
But in the longer version of the video, Nucatola elaborates and appears to say the price is related to the cost of performing the procedure and shipping.
“It just has to do with space issues. Are you sending someone there who is going to be doing everything or is their staff going to be doing it? What exactly are they going to be doing? Is there shipping involved or is someone coming to pick it up?”
Selling fetal body parts — or any body parts — is against federal law, but Planned Parenthood said it makes no profit.
“In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field,” the group said.
Another part of the video also raised concerns for Caplan. Nucatola talks about doctors performing abortions in which ultrasound is used to ascertain the best location to grab the fetus with forceps.
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver because we know that, I’m not going to crush that part,” she says.
Altering procedures in order to get tissue in the best condition would be a “big no-no,” the bioethicist said, because the patient’s health is paramount and that should be the only concern for doctors. Caplan did not comment specifically on whether the ultrasound procedure would endanger the mother, but he made it clear that any deviation from normal procedures is unacceptable.
“In abortion the primary goal is to give the safest abortion possible,” Caplan said. “Your sole concern has to be the mother and her health.”
There’s a parallel in patient care, he said. When someone is dying, doctors shouldn’t change how they treat the patient in order to harvest good tissue for donation after death.
Doctors should treat the patient as they normally would, and then use whatever is available after death. If a provider is considering how to get the tissue that’s in the best shape, “that’s a huge conflict of interest. … If you modify how someone dies, that’s unethical.”
The Center for Medical Progress also alleges that Nucatola describes a method — using ultrasound to manipulate the fetus so it comes out feet first, or breech presentation, instead of head first, or vertex presentation — that “is the hallmark of the illegal partial-birth abortion procedure.”
Partial birth abortions are illegal, according to U.S. law, which defines them as procedures “in which the person performing the abortion deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus.”
On the video, Nucatola describes the best strategy to extract calavarium, or skulls, intact, but it is not clear if she is speaking in general terms or if she is describing Planned Parenthood’s methods. And then, she says nothing about whether the fetus is still alive when it’s delivered.
“And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex, because when it’s vertex presentation, you never have enough dilation at the beginning of the case, unless you have real, huge amount of dilation to deliver an intact calvarium. So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”
The Center for Medical Progress responded to Planned Parenthood’s written statement about the video and accused Planned Parenthood of lying about obtaining consent from patients and not making a profit on the tissue transactions. It did not offer any further evidence of either claim.
Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, said the anti-abortion group was the one that was lying.
“A well-funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research,” it said.
The statement continued, “Similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades. These groups have been widely discredited and their claims fall apart on closer examination, just as they do in this case.”
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), commonly shortened to Planned Parenthood, is the U.S. affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and one of its larger members. PPFA is a non-profit organization providing reproductive health and maternal and child health services. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Inc. (PPAF) is a related organization which lobbies for pro-choice legislation, comprehensive sex education, and access to affordable health care in the United States. In recent years, Planned Parenthood has begun to move away from the pro-choice label to words and phrases that more accurately reflect the entire range of women’s health and economic issues.
Planned Parenthood is the largest U.S. provider of reproductive health services, including cancer screening, HIV screening and counseling, contraception, and abortion. Contraception accounts for 34% of PPFA’s total services and abortions account for 3%; PPFA conducts roughly 300,000 abortions each year, among 3 million people served.
The organization has its roots in Brooklyn, New York, where Margaret Sanger opened the country’s first birth-control clinic. Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, which in 1942 became part of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Since then, Planned Parenthood has grown to have over 820 clinic locations in the U.S., with a total budget of US $1 billion. PPFA provides an array of services to over three million people in the United States, and supports services for over one million clients outside the United States.
Margaret Sanger (1922), the first president and founder of Planned Parenthood
The origins of Planned Parenthood date to October 16, 1916 when Margaret Sanger, her sister Ethel Byrne, and Fania Mindell opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. All three women were immediately arrested and jailed for violating provisions of the Comstock Act– for distributing “obscene materials” at the clinic. The “Brownsville trials” brought national attention and support to their cause, and although Sanger and her co-defendants were convicted, their convictions were eventually overturned. Their campaign led to major changes in the laws governing birth control and sex education in the United States.
In 1938, the clinic was organized into the American Birth Control League, which became part of the only national birth control organization in the US until the 1960s, but the title was found too offensive and “against families” so the League began discussions for a new name. By 1941, the organization was operating 222 centers and had served 49,000 clients. By 1942 the League had become part of what became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Following Margaret Sanger, Alan Frank Guttmacher became president of Planned Parenthood and served from 1962 till 1974. During his tenure, the Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of the original birth control pill, giving rise to new attitudes towards women’s reproductive freedom. Also during his presidency, Planned Parenthood lobbied the federal government to support reproductive health, culminating with President Richard Nixon‘s signing of Title X to provide governmental subsidies for low-income women to access family planning services. The Center for Family Planning Program Development was also founded as a semi-autonomous division during this time. The center became an independent organization and was renamed the Guttmacher Institute in 1977.
Faye Wattleton was the first woman named president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1978 and served till 1992. She was the first African-American to serve as president, and the youngest president in Planned Parenthood’s history. During her term, Planned Parenthood grew to become the seventh largest charity in the country, providing services to four million clients each year through its 170 affiliates whose activities were spread across 50 states.
A Planned Parenthood supporter participates in a demonstration in support of the organization.
From 1996 to 2006, Planned Parenthood was led by Gloria Feldt. Feldt activated the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the organization’s political action committee, launching what was the most far reaching electoral advocacy effort in its history. She also launched the Responsible Choices Action Agenda, a nationwide campaign to increase services to prevent unwanted pregnancies, improve quality of reproductive care and ensure access to safe and legal abortions. Another initiative was the commencement of a “Global Partnership Program” with the aim of building a vibrant activist constituency in support of family planning.
PPFA is a federation of 85 independent Planned Parenthood affiliates around the U.S. These affiliates together operate more than 820 health centers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The largest of these facilities, a $26 million, 78,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) structure was completed in Houston, Texas in May 2010. This serves as a headquarters for 12 clinics in Texas and Louisiana. Together, they are the largest family planning services provider in the U.S. with over four million activists, supporters and donors. Planned Parenthood is staffed by 27,000 staff members and volunteers.
They serve over five million clients a year, 26% of which are teenagers under the age of 19. According to Planned Parenthood, 75% of their clients have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
In 2009, Planned Parenthood provided 4,009,549 contraceptive services (35% of total), 3,955,926 sexually transmitted disease services (35% of total), 1,830,811 cancer related services (16% of total), 1,178,369 pregnancy/prenatal/midlife services (10% of total), 332,278 abortion services (3% of total), and 76,977 other services (1% of total), for a total of 11,383,900 services. The organization also said its doctors and nurses annually conduct 1 million screenings for cervical cancer and 830,000 breast exams.
Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act, amending the Public Health Service Act. Title X of that law provides funding for family planning services, including contraception and family planning information. The law enjoyed bipartisan support from liberals who saw contraception access as increasing families’ control over their lives, and conservatives who saw it as a way to keep people off welfare. Nixon described Title X funding as based on the premise that “no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.”
In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, total (consolidated) revenue was $201 million: clinic revenue totaling $2 million, grants and donations of $190 million, investment income of $2 million, and $7 million other income. Approximately two-thirds of the revenue is put towards the provision of health services, while non-medical services such as sex education and public policy work make up another 16%; management expenses, fundraising, and international family planning programs account for most of the rest.
Planned Parenthood receives about a third of its money in government grants and contracts (about $360 million in 2009). By law, federal funding cannot be allocated for abortions, but some opponents of abortion have argued that allocating money to Planned Parenthood for the provision of other medical services “frees up” funds to be re-allocated for abortion.
A coalition of national and local pro-life groups have lobbied federal and state government to stop funding Planned Parenthood, and as a result, Republican federal and state legislators have proposed legislation to reduce the funding levels. Some six states have gone ahead with such proposals. In some cases, the courts have overturned such actions, citing conflict with federal or other state laws, and in others, the federal executive branch has provided funding in lieu of the states. In other cases, complete or partial defunding of Planned Parenthood has gone through successfully.
Planned Parenthood is also funded by private donors, with a membership base of over 700,000 active donors whose contributions account for approximately one quarter of the organization’s revenue. Large donors also contribute a substantial portion of the organization’s budget; past donors have included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Buffett Foundation, Ford Foundation, Turner Foundation, the Cullmans and others. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s contributions to the organization have been specifically marked to avoid funding abortions. Some, such as the Buffett Foundation, have supported reproductive health that can include abortion services. Pro-life groups have advocated the boycott of donors to Planned Parenthood.
Stand on political and legal issues
Planned Parenthood and its predecessor organizations have provided and advocated for access to birth control. The modern organization of Planned Parenthood America is also an advocate for reproductive rights. This advocacy includes contributing to sponsorship of abortion rights and women’s rights events and assisting in the testing of new contraceptives. The Federation opposes restrictions on women’s reproductive health services, including parental consent laws. Planned Parenthood has cited the case of Becky Bell, who died following a septic abortion after failing to seek parental consent, to justify their opposition. Planned Parenthood also takes the position that laws requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor are unconstitutional on privacy grounds. The organization also opposes laws requiring ultrasounds before abortions, stating that their only purpose is to make abortions more difficult to obtain. Planned Parenthood has also opposed initiatives that require waiting periods before abortions, and bans on late-term abortions including intact dilation and extraction, which has been illegal in the U.S. since 2003.
Planned Parenthood argues for the wide availability of emergency contraception (EC) measures. It opposes conscience clauses, which allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense drugs against their beliefs. In support of their position, they have cited cases where pharmacists have refused to fill life saving drugs under the laws. Planned Parenthood has also been critical of hospitals that do not provide access to EC for rape victims. Planned Parenthood supports and provides FDA-approved abortifacients such as mifepristone.
Citing the need for medically accurate information in sex education, Planned Parenthood opposes abstinence-only education in public schools. Instead, Planned Parenthood is a provider of, and endorses, comprehensive sex education, which includes discussion of both abstinence and birth control.
Planned Parenthood also has a political action committee called Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The committee was founded in 1996 by then new president Gloria Feldt for the purpose of maintaining reproductive health rights and supporting political candidates of the same mindset. In 2012 election cycle the committee gained prominence based on its effectiveness of spending on candidates.
Planned Parenthood regional chapters have been active in the American courts. A number of cases in which Planned Parenthood has been a party have reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Notable among these cases is the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the case that sets forth the current constitutional abortion standard. In this case, “Planned Parenthood” was the Southeast Pennsylvania Chapter, and “Casey” was Robert Casey, the governor of Pennsylvania. The ultimate ruling was split, and Roe v. Wade was narrowed but upheld in an opinion written by Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter. Harry Blackmun and John Paul Stevens concurred with the main decision in separately written opinions. The Supreme Court struck down spousal consent requirements for married women to obtain abortions, but found no “undue burden”—an alternative to strict scrutiny which tests the allowable limitations on rights protected under the Constitution—from the other statutory requirements. Dissenting were William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Byron White. Blackmun, Rehnquist, and White were the only justices who voted on the original Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 who were still on the Supreme Court to rule on this case, and their votes on this case were consistent with their votes on the original decision that legalized abortion. Only Blackmun voted to maintain Roe v. Wade in its entirety.
Other related cases include:
Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth (1976). Planned Parenthood challenged the constitutionality of a Missouri law encompassing parental consent, spousal consent, clinic bookkeeping and allowed abortion methods. Portions of the challenged law were held to be constitutional, others not.
Planned Parenthood Association of Kansas City v. Ashcroft (1983). Planned Parenthood challenged the constitutionality of a Missouri law encompassing parental consent, clinic record keeping, and hospitalization requirements. Most of the challenged law was held to be constitutional.
Planned Parenthood v. ACLA (2001). The American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA) released a flier and “Wanted” posters with complete personal information about doctors who performed abortions. A civil jury and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals both found that the material was indeed “true threats” and not protected speech.
Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood (2003). Planned Parenthood sued Attorney General Gonzales for an injunction against the enforcement of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Planned Parenthood argued the act was unconstitutional because it violated the Fifth Amendment, namely in that it was overly vague, violated women’s constitutional right to have access to abortion, and did not include language for exceptions for the health of the mother. Both the district court and the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed, but that decision was overturned in a 5–4 ruling by the Supreme Court.
Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (2006). Planned Parenthood et al. challenged the constitutionality of a New Hampshire parental notification law related to access to abortion. In Sandra Day O’Connor’s final decision before retirement, the Supreme Court sent the case back to lower courts with instructions to seek a remedy short of wholesale invalidation of the statute. New Hampshire ended up repealing the statute via the legislative process.
Controversy and criticism
Planned Parenthood has occupied a central position in the abortion debate in the U.S., and has been among the most prominent targets of U.S. pro-life activists for decades. Congressional Republicans have attempted since the 1980s to defund the organization, nearly leading to a government shutdown over the issue in 2011. The federal money received by Planned Parenthood is not used to fund abortion services, but pro-life activists have argued that the funding frees up other resources which are, in turn, used to provide abortions.
Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortions in the U.S. In 2009, Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions (for comparison, 1.21 million abortions were performed in the US in 2008), from which it derives about $164,154,000, or 15% of its annual revenue as of their 2008–2009 calculations. According to PPFA’s own estimates, its contraceptive services prevent approximately 612,000 unintended pregnancies and 291,000 abortions annually. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has argued that the organization’s family planning services reduce the need for abortions. Megan Crepeau of the Chicago Tribune said that, because of its birth control and family planning services, PPFA could be “characterized as America’s largest abortion preventer.” Anti-abortion activists dispute the evidence that greater access to contraceptives reduces abortions.
In the 1920s various theories of eugenics were popular among intellectuals in the United States. For example, 75% of colleges offered courses on eugenics. Sanger, in her campaign to promote birth control, teamed with eugenics organizations such as the American Eugenics Society, although she argued against many of their positions. Scholars describe Sanger as believing that birth control, sterilization and abortion should be voluntary and not based on race. She advocated for “voluntary motherhood”—the right to choose when to be pregnant—for all women, as an important element of women’s rights. Opponents of Planned Parenthood often refer to Sanger’s connection with supporters of eugenics to discredit the organization by associating it, and birth control, with the more negative modern view of eugenics. Planned Parenthood has responded to this effort directly in a leaflet acknowledging that Sanger agreed with some of her contemporaries who advocated the voluntary hospitalization or sterilization of people with untreatable, disabling, hereditary conditions, and limits on the immigration of the diseased. The leaflet also states that Planned Parenthood “finds these views objectionable and outmoded” but says that it was compelled to discuss the topic because “anti-family planning activists continue to attack Sanger . . . because she is an easier target” than Planned Parenthood.
Periodically pro-life activists have tried to demonstrate that Planned Parenthood does not follow applicable state or federal laws. The groups called or visited a Planned Parenthood health center posing as victims of statutory rape, minors who would need parental notification for abortion, racists seeking to earmark donations for abortions for black women to abort black babies, or pimps who want abortions for child prostitutes. Edited video and audio productions of these dialogues seem to capture employees being sympathetic to potentially criminal acts, leading to allegations that the health centers in question are violating the law. An official federal inspection in 2005 by the Bush administration‘s Department of Health and Human Services “yielded no evidence of clinics around the nation failing to comply with laws on reporting child abuse, child molestation, sexual abuse, rape or incest.”
In 2011, the organization Live Action released a series of videos that they said showed Planned Parenthood employees at multiple affiliates actively assisting or being complicit in aiding the underage prostitution ring of actors posing as a pimp and a prostitute. Planned Parenthood conducted a frame-by-frame analysis of the recordings, and said they found instances of “editing that dramatically alter[ed] the meaning of the recorded conversations.”
None of these stings have led to criminal conviction. However, a small number of Planned Parenthood employees and volunteers were fired for not following procedure, and the organization committed to retraining its staff.
State and local court cases against Planned Parenthood
In some states, anti-abortion Attorneys General have subpoenaed medical records of patients treated by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has gone to court to keep from turning over these records, citing medical privacy and concerns about the motivation for seeking the records.
In 2006, Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, a strongly anti-abortion Republican, released some sealed patient records obtained from Planned Parenthood to the public. His actions were described as “troubling” by the state Supreme Court, but ultimately Planned Parenthood was compelled to turn over the medical records, albeit with more stringent court-mandated privacy safeguards for the patients involved. In 2007, Kline’s successor, Paul J. Morrison, notified the clinic that no criminal charges would be filed after a three-year investigation, as “an objective, unbiased and thorough examination” showed no wrongdoing. Morrison stated that he believed Kline had politicized the attorney general’s office. In 2012, a Kansas district attorney dropped all of the remaining criminal charges against the Kansas City-area Planned Parenthood clinic accused of performing illegal abortions, citing a lack of evidence of wrongdoing. In all, the Planned Parenthood clinic had faced 107 criminal charges from Kline and other Kansas prosecutors, all of which were ultimately dropped for lack of evidence.
In Indiana, Planned Parenthood was not required to turn over its medical records in an investigation of possible child abuse. In October 2005, Planned Parenthood Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota was fined $50,000 for violating a Minnesota state parental consent law.
On December 31, 2012, Judge Gary Harger ruled Texas may exclude otherwise qualified doctors and clinics from receiving state funding if they advocate for abortion rights.
In 1994, John Salvi entered a Brookline, Massachusetts Planned Parenthood clinic and opened fire, murdering receptionist Shannon Elizabeth Lowney and wounding three others. He fled to another Planned Parenthood clinic where he murdered Leane Nichols and wounded two others.
William Sanger (1902–1921)[note 1]
James Noah H. Slee (1922–1943).
Margaret Higgins Sanger (September 14, 1879 – September 6, 1966) was an American birth control activist, sex educator, and nurse. Sanger popularized the term birth control, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Sanger was also a writer. She used this method to help promote her way of thinking. She was prosecuted for her book Family Limitation under the Comstock Act in 1914. She was afraid of what would happen, so she fled to Britain until she knew it was safe to return to the US. Sanger’s efforts contributed to several judicial cases that helped legalize contraception in the United States. Sanger is a frequent target of criticism by opponents of abortion and has also been criticized for supporting eugenics, but remains an iconic figure in the American reproductive rights movement.
In 1916, Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, which led to her arrest for distributing information on contraception. Her subsequent trial and appeal generated controversy. Sanger felt that in order for women to have a more equal footing in society and to lead healthier lives, they needed to be able to determine when to bear children. She also wanted to prevent unsafe abortions, so-called back-alley abortions, which were common at the time because abortions were usually illegal. She believed that while abortion was sometimes justified it should generally be avoided, and she considered contraception the only practical way to avoid the use of abortions.
In 1921, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In New York City, she organized the first birth control clinic staffed by all-female doctors, as well as a clinic in Harlem with an entirely African-American staff. In 1929, she formed the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control, which served as the focal point of her lobbying efforts to legalize contraception in the United States. From 1952 to 1959, Sanger served as president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. She died in 1966, and is widely regarded as a founder of the modern birth control movement.
Sanger was born Margaret Louise Higgins in 1879 in Corning, New York, to Michael Hennessey Higgins, an Irish-born stonemason and free-thinker, and Anne Purcell Higgins, a Catholic Irish-American. Michael Hennessey Higgins had emigrated to the USA at age 14 and joined the U.S. Army as a drummer at age 15, during the Civil War. After leaving the army, Michael studied medicine and phrenology, but ultimately became a stonecutter, making stone angels, saints, and tombstones. Michael H. Higgins was a Catholic who became an atheist and an activist for women’s suffrage and free public education. Anne Higgins went through 18 pregnancies (with 11 live births) in 22 years before dying at the age of 49. Sanger was the sixth of eleven surviving children, and spent much of her youth assisting with household chores and caring for her younger siblings. Anne’s parents took their children and emigrated to Canada when she was a child, due to the Potato Famine.
Supported by her two older sisters, Margaret Higgins attended Claverack College and Hudson River Institute, before enrolling in 1900 at White Plains Hospital as a nurse probationer. In 1902, she married the dashing architect William Sanger and gave up her education. Though she was plagued by a recurring active tubercular condition, Margaret Sanger bore three children, and the couple settled down to a quiet life in Westchester, New York.
Sanger’s political interests, emerging feminism and nursing experience led her to write two series of columns on sex education entitled “What Every Mother Should Know” (1911–12) and “What Every Girl Should Know” (1912-13) for the socialist magazine New York Call. By the standards of the day, Sanger’s articles were extremely frank in their discussion of sexuality, and many New York Call readers were outraged by them. Other readers, however, praised the series for its candor, one stated that the series contained “a purer morality than whole libraries full of hypocritical cant about modesty. Both were later published in book form in 1916.
During her work among working class immigrant women, Sanger was exposed to graphic examples of women going through frequent childbirth, miscarriage and self-induced abortion for lack of information on how to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Access to contraceptive information was prohibited on grounds of obscenity by the 1873 federal Comstock law and a host of state laws. Searching for something that would help these women, Sanger visited public libraries, but was unable to find information on contraception. These problems were epitomized in a (possibly fictional) story that Sanger would later recount in her speeches: while Sanger was working as a nurse, she was called to the apartment of a woman, “Sadie Sachs,” who had become extremely ill due to a self-induced abortion. Afterward, “Sadie” (whose marital status Sanger never mentioned) begged the attending doctor to tell her how she could prevent this from happening again, to which the doctor simply advised her to remain abstinent. A few months later, Sanger was called back to “Sadie’s” apartment — only this time, “Sadie” died shortly after Sanger arrived. She had attempted yet another self-induced abortion. Sanger would sometimes end the story by saying, “I threw my nursing bag in the corner and announced … that I would never take another case until I had made it possible for working women in America to have the knowledge to control birth.” Although “Sadie Sachs” was possibly a fictional composite of several women Sanger had known, this story marks the time when Sanger began to devote her life to help desperate women before they were driven to pursue dangerous and illegal abortions.
Accepting the connection proposed between contraception and working-class empowerment by radicals such as Emma Goldman, Sanger came to believe that only by liberating women from the risk of unwanted pregnancy would fundamental social change take place. She proceeded to launch a campaign to challenge governmental censorship of contraceptive information. She would set up a series of confrontational actions designed to challenge the law and force birth control to become a topic of public debate. Sanger’s trip to France in 1913 exposed her to what Goldman had been saying. Sanger’s experience during her trip to France directly influence The Women Rebel newsletter. The trip to France was also the beginning of the end of her marriage with William Sanger.
In 1914, Sanger launched The Woman Rebel, an eight-page monthly newsletter which promoted contraception using the slogan “No Gods, No Masters“.[note 2] Sanger, collaborating with anarchist friends, popularized the term “birth control” as a more candid alternative to euphemisms such as “family limitation” and proclaimed that each woman should be “the absolute mistress of her own body.” In these early years of Sanger’s activism, she viewed birth control as a free-speech issue, and when she started publishing The Woman Rebel, one of her goals was to provoke a legal challenge to the federal anti-obscenity laws which banned dissemination of information about contraception. Though postal authorities suppressed five of its seven issues, Sanger continuing publication, all the while preparing, Family Limitation, an even more blatant challenge to anti-birth control laws. This 16-page pamphlet contained detailed and precise information and graphic descriptions of various contraceptive methods. In August 1914 Margaret Sanger was indicted for violating postal obscenity laws by sending the The Woman Rebel through the postal system. Instead of standing trial, she jumped bail and fled to Canada. Then, under the alias “Bertha Watson”, sailed for England. En route she ordered her labor associates to release copies of the Family Limitation.
Margaret Sanger spent much of her 1914 exile in England, where contact with British neo-Malthusianists helped refine her socioeconomic justifications for birth control. She was also profoundly influenced by the liberation theories of British sexual theorist Havelock Ellis. Under his tutelage she formulated a new rationale that would liberate women not just by making sexual intercourse safe, but also pleasurable. It would, in effect, free women from the inequality of sexual experience. Early in 1915, Margaret Sanger’s estranged husband, William Sanger, was entrapped into giving a copy of Family Limitation to a representative of anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock. William Sanger was tried and convicted, he spent thirty days in jail, while also escalating interest in birth control as a civil liberties issue.
This page from Sanger’s Family Limitation, 1917 edition, describes a cervical cap.
Some countries in northwestern Europe had more liberal policies towards contraception than the United States at the time, and when Sanger visited a Dutch birth control clinic in 1915, she learned about diaphragms and became convinced that they were a more effective means of contraception than the suppositories and douches that she had been distributing back in the United States. Diaphragms were generally unavailable in the United States, so Sanger and others began importing them from Europe, in defiance of United States law.
On October 16, 1916, Sanger opened a family planning and birth control clinic at 46 Amboy St. in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, the first of its kind in the United States. Nine days after the clinic opened, Sanger was arrested. Sanger’s bail was set at $500 and she went back home. Sanger continued seeing some women in the clinic until the police came a second time. This time Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, were arrested for breaking a New York state law that prohibited distribution of contraceptives, Sanger was also charged with running a public nuisance. Sanger and Ethel went to trial in January 1917. Byrne was convicted and sentenced to 30 days in a workhouse but went on hunger strike. She was the first woman in the US to be force fed. Only when Sanger pledged that Byrne would never break the law, she was pardoned after ten days. Sanger was convicted; the trial judge held that women did not have “the right to copulate with a feeling of security that there will be no resulting conception.” Sanger was offered a more lenient sentence if she promised to not break the law again, but she replied: “I cannot respect the law as it exists today.” For this, she was sentenced to 30 days in a workhouse. An initial appeal was rejected, but in a subsequent court proceeding in 1918, the birth control movement won a victory when Judge Frederick E. Crane of the New York Court of Appeals issued a ruling which allowed doctors to prescribe contraception. The publicity surrounding Sanger’s arrest, trial, and appeal sparked birth control activism across the United States, and earned the support of numerous donors, who would provide her with funding and support for future endeavors.
Sanger became estranged from her husband in 1913, and the couple’s divorce was finalized in 1921. Sanger’s second husband was Noah Slee. He followed Sanger around the world and provided much of Sanger’s financial assistance. The couple got married in September 1922, but the public did not know about it until February 1924. They supported each other with their pre-commitments.
American Birth Control League
Sanger published the Birth Control Review from 1917 to 1929.[note 4]
After World War I, Sanger shifted away from radical politics, and she founded the American Birth Control League (ABCL) in 1921 to enlarge her base of supporters to include the middle class. The founding principles of the ABCL were as follows:
We hold that children should be (1) Conceived in love; (2) Born of the mother’s conscious desire; (3) And only begotten under conditions which render possible the heritage of health. Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied.
Sanger’s appeal of her conviction for the Brownsville clinic secured a 1918 court ruling that exempted physicians from the law that prohibited the distribution of contraceptive information to women—provided it was prescribed for medical reasons—she established the Clinical Research Bureau (CRB) in 1923 to exploit this loophole. The CRB was the first legal birth control clinic in the United States, and it was staffed entirely by female doctors and social workers. The clinic received a large amount of funding from John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his family, which continued to make donations to Sanger’s causes in future decades, but generally made them anonymously to avoid public exposure of the family name, and to protect family member Nelson Rockefeller‘s political career since openly advocating birth control could have led to the Catholic Church opposing him politically. John D. Rockefeller Jr. donated five thousand dollars to her American Birth Control League in 1924 and a second time in 1925. In 1922, she traveled to China, Korea, and Japan. In China she observed that the primary method of family planning was female infanticide, and she later worked with Pearl Buck to establish a family planning clinic in Shanghai. Sanger visited Japan six times, working with Japanese feminist Kato Shidzue to promote birth control. This was ironic since ten years earlier Sanger had accused Katō of murder and praised an attempt to kill her.
In 1926, Sanger gave a lecture on birth control to the women’s auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey. She described it as “one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing,” and added that she had to use only “the most elementary terms, as though I were trying to make children understand.” Sanger’s talk was well received by the group, and as a result, “a dozen invitations to similar groups were proffered.”
In 1928, conflict within the birth control movement leadership led Sanger to resign as the president of the ABCL and take full control of the CRB, renaming it the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau (BCCRB), marking the beginning of a schism in the movement that would last until 1938.
Sanger invested a great deal of effort communicating with the general public. From 1916 onward, she frequently lectured—in churches, women’s clubs, homes, and theaters—to workers, churchmen, liberals, socialists, scientists, and upper-class women. She wrote several books in the 1920s which had a nationwide impact in promoting the cause of birth control. Between 1920 and 1926, 567,000 copies of Woman and the New Race and The Pivot of Civilization were sold. She also wrote two autobiographies designed to promote the cause. The first, My Fight for Birth Control, was published in 1931 and the second, more promotional version, Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, was published in 1938.
During the 1920s, Sanger received hundreds of thousands of letters, many of them written in desperation by women begging for information on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Five hundred of these letters were compiled into the 1928 book, Motherhood in Bondage.
In 1929, Sanger formed the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control in order to lobby for legislation to overturn restrictions on contraception. That effort failed to achieve success, so Sanger ordered a diaphragm from Japan in 1932, in order to provoke a decisive battle in the courts. The diaphragm was confiscated by the United States government, and Sanger’s subsequent legal challenge led to a 1936 court decision which overturned an important provision of the Comstock laws which prohibited physicians from obtaining contraceptives. This court victory motivated the American Medical Association in 1937 to adopt contraception as a normal medical service and a key component of medical school curriculums.
This 1936 contraception court victory was the culmination of Sanger’s birth control efforts, and she took the opportunity, now in her late 50s, to move to Tucson, Arizona, intending to play a less critical role in the birth control movement. In spite of her original intentions, she remained active in the movement through the 1950s.
In 1937, Sanger became chairman of the newly formed Birth Control Council of America, and attempted to resolve the schism between the ABCL and the BCCRB. Her efforts were successful, and the two organizations merged in 1939 as the Birth Control Federation of America.[note 5] Although Sanger continued in the role of president, she no longer wielded the same power as she had in the early years of the movement, and in 1942, more conservative forces within the organization changed the name to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a name Sanger objected to because she considered it too euphemistic.
In 1946, Sanger helped found the International Committee on Planned Parenthood, which evolved into the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952, and soon became the world’s largest non-governmental international family planning organization. Sanger was the organization’s first president and served in that role until she was 80 years old. In the early 1950s, Sanger encouraged philanthropist Katharine McCormick to provide funding for biologist Gregory Pincus to develop the birth control pill which was eventually sold under the name Enovid.
While researching information on contraception Sanger read various treatises on sexuality in order to find information about birth control. She read The Psychology of Sex by the English psychologist Havelock Ellis and was heavily influenced by it. While traveling in Europe in 1914, Sanger met Ellis. Influenced by Ellis, Sanger adopted his view of sexuality as a powerful, liberating force. This view provided another argument in favor of birth control, as it would enable women to fully enjoy sexual relations without the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. Sanger also believed that sexuality, along with birth control, should be discussed with more candor.
However, Sanger was opposed to excessive sexual indulgence. She stated “every normal man and woman has the power to control and direct his sexual impulse. Men and women who have it in control and constantly use their brain cells thinking deeply, are never sensual.” Sanger said that birth control would elevate women away from a position of being an object of lust and elevate sex away from purely being for satisfying lust, saying that birth control “denies that sex should be reduced to the position of sensual lust, or that woman should permit herself to be the instrument of its satisfaction.” Sanger wrote that masturbation was dangerous. She stated: “In my personal experience as a trained nurse while attending persons afflicted with various and often revolting diseases, no matter what their ailments, I never found any one so repulsive as the chronic masturbator. It would not be difficult to fill page upon page of heart-rending confessions made by young girls, whose lives were blighted by this pernicious habit, always begun so innocently.” She believed that women had the ability to control their sexual impulses, and should utilize that control to avoid sex outside of relationships marked by “confidence and respect.” She believed that exercising such control would lead to the “strongest and most sacred passion.” However, Sanger was not opposed to homosexuality and praised Ellis for clarifying “the question of homosexuals… making the thing a—not exactly a perverted thing, but a thing that a person is born with different kinds of eyes, different kinds of structures and so forth… that he didn’t make all homosexuals perverts—and I thought he helped clarify that to the medical profession and to the scientists of the world as perhaps one of the first ones to do that.” Sanger believed sex should be discussed with more candor, and praised Ellis for his efforts in this direction. She also blamed the suppression of discussion about it on Christianity.
Sanger’s 1920 book endorsed eugenics.
As part of her efforts to promote birth control, Sanger found common cause with proponents of eugenics, believing that they both sought to “assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.” Sanger was a proponent of negative eugenics, which aims to improve human hereditary traits through social intervention by reducing the reproduction of those who were considered unfit. In “The Morality of Birth Control,” a 1921 speech, she divided society into three groups: the educated and informed class that regulated the size of their families, the intelligent and responsible who desired to control their families however did not have the means or the knowledge and the irresponsible and reckless people whose religious scruples “prevent their exercising control over their numbers.” Sanger concludes “there is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.” Sanger’s eugenic policies included an exclusionary immigration policy, free access to birth control methods and full family planning autonomy for the able-minded, and compulsory segregation or sterilization for the “profoundly retarded”. In her book The Pivot of Civilization, she advocated coercion to prevent the “undeniably feeble-minded” from procreating. Although Sanger supported negative eugenics, she asserted that eugenics alone was not sufficient, and that birth control was essential to achieve her goals.
In contrast with eugenicist William Robinson, who advocated euthanasia for the unfit,[note 8] Sanger wrote, “we [do not] believe that the community could or should send to the lethal chamber the defective progeny resulting from irresponsible and unintelligent breeding.” Similarly, Sanger denounced the aggressive and lethal Nazi eugenics program. In addition, Sanger believed the responsibility for birth control should remain in the hands of able-minded individual parents rather than the state, and that self-determining motherhood was the only unshakable foundation for racial betterment.
Sanger also supported restrictive immigration policies. In “A Plan for Peace”, a 1932 essay, she proposed a congressional department to address population problems. She also recommended that immigration exclude those “whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race,” and that sterilization and segregation be applied to those with incurable, hereditary disabilities.
Sanger’s writings echoed her ideas about inferiority and loose morals of particular races. In one “What Every Girl Should Know” commentary, she references popular opinion that Aboriginal Australians were “just a step higher than the chimpanzee” with “little sexual control,” as compared to the “normal man and Woman.” Elsewhere she bemoaned that traditional sexual ethics “… have in the past revealed their woeful inability to prevent the sexual and racial chaos into which the world has today drifted.”
Such attitudes did not keep her from collaborating with African-American leaders and professionals who saw a need for birth control in their communities. In 1929, James H. Hubert, a black social worker and leader of New York’s Urban League, asked Sanger to open a clinic in Harlem. Sanger secured funding from the Julius Rosenwald Fund and opened the clinic, staffed with black doctors, in 1930. The clinic was directed by a 15-member advisory board consisting of black doctors, nurses, clergy, journalists, and social workers. The clinic was publicized in the African-American press and in black churches, and it received the approval of W. E. B. Du Bois, founder of the NAACP. In 1939 Sanger wrote, “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” She did not tolerate bigotry among her staff, nor would she tolerate any refusal to work within interracial projects. Sanger’s work with minorities earned praise from Martin Luther King, Jr., in his 1966 acceptance speech for the Margaret Sanger award.
From 1939 to 1942 Sanger was an honorary delegate of the Birth Control Federation of America, which included a supervisory role—alongside Mary Lasker and Clarence Gamble—in the Negro Project, an effort to deliver birth control to poor black people. Sanger wanted the Negro Project to include black ministers in leadership roles, but other supervisors did not. To emphasize the benefits of involving black community leaders, she wrote to Gamble “we do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” This quote has been cited by Angela Davis to support her claims that Sanger wanted to exterminate black people. However, New York University’s Margaret Sanger Papers Project, argues that in writing that letter, “Sanger recognized that elements within the black community might mistakenly associate the Negro Project with racist sterilization campaigns in the Jim Crow South, unless clergy and other community leaders spread the word that the Project had a humanitarian aim.”
Freedom of speech
Sanger opposed censorship throughout her career, with a zeal comparable to her support for birth control. Sanger grew up in a home where iconoclastic orator Robert Ingersoll was admired. During the early years of her activism, Sanger viewed birth control primarily as a free-speech issue, rather than as a feminist issue, and when she started publishing The Woman Rebel in 1914, she did so with the express goal of provoking a legal challenge to the Comstock laws banning dissemination of information about contraception. In New York, Emma Goldman introduced Sanger to members of the Free Speech League, such as Edward Bliss Foote and Theodore Schroeder, and subsequently the League provided funding and advice to help Sanger with legal battles.
Over the course of her career, Sanger was arrested at least eight times for expressing her views during an era in which speaking publicly about contraception was illegal. Numerous times in her career, local government officials prevented Sanger from speaking by shuttering a facility or threatening her hosts. In Boston in 1929, city officials under the leadership of James Curley threatened to arrest her if she spoke—so she turned the threat to her advantage and stood on stage, silent, with a gag over her mouth, while her speech was read by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr.
Sanger’s family planning advocacy always focused on contraception, rather than abortion.[note 9] It was not until the mid-1960s, after Sanger’s death, that the reproductive rights movement expanded its scope to include abortion rights as well as contraception.[note 10] Sanger was opposed to abortions, both because she believed that life should not be terminated after conception, and because they were dangerous for the mother in the early 20th century. In her book Woman and the New Race, she wrote: “while there are cases where even the law recognizes an abortion as justifiable if recommended by a physician, I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization.”
Historian Rodger Streitmatter concluded that Sanger’s opposition to abortion stemmed from concerns for the dangers to the mother, rather than moral concerns. However, in her 1938 autobiography, Sanger noted that her opposition to abortion was based on the taking of life: “[In 1916] we explained what contraception was; that abortion was the wrong way no matter how early it was performed it was taking life; that contraception was the better way, the safer way—it took a little time, a little trouble, but was well worth while in the long run, because life had not yet begun.” And in her book Family Limitation, Sanger wrote that “no one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception. This is the only cure for abortions.”
Books and pamphlets
What Every Mother Should Know – Originally published in 1911 or 1912, based on a series of articles Sanger published in 1911 in the New York Call, which were, in turn, based on a set of lectures Sanger gave to groups of Socialist party women in 1910–1911. Multiple editions published through the 1920s, by Max N. Maisel and Sincere Publishing, with the title What Every Mother Should Know, or how six little children were taught the truth …Online(1921 edition, Michigan State University)
Family Limitation – Originally published 1914 as a 16-page pamphlet; also published in several later editions. Online (1917, 6th edition, Michigan State University)
What Every Girl Should Know – Originally published 1916 by Max N. Maisel; 91 pages; also published in several later editions. Online (1920 edition); Online (1922 ed., Michigan State University)
The Case for Birth Control: A Supplementary Brief and Statement of Facts – May 1917, published to provide information to the court in a legal proceeding. Online (Internet Archive)
Fight for Birth Control, 1916, New York]  (The Library of Congress)
Birth Control A Parent’s Problem or Women’s?” The Birth Control Review, Mar. 1919, 6-7.
The Woman Rebel – Seven issues published monthly from March 1914 to August 1914. Sanger was publisher and editor.
Birth Control Review – Published monthly from February 1917 to 1940. Sanger was Editor until 1929, when she resigned from the ABCL. Not to be confused with Birth Control News, published by the London-based Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress.
Collections and anthologies
Sanger, Margaret, The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 1: The Woman Rebel, 1900–1928, Esther Katz, Cathy Moran Hajo, Peter Engelman (eds), University of Illinois Press, 2003
Sanger, Margaret, The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 2: Birth Control Comes of Age, 1928–1939, Esther Katz, Cathy Moran Hajo, Peter Engelman (eds), University of Illinois Press, 2007
Sanger, Margaret, The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 3: The Politics of Planned Parenthood, 1939–1966, Esther Katz, Cathy Moran Hajo, Peter Engelman (eds), University of Illinois Press, 2010
Story 1: Breaking News: 5 Dead including 4 Marines and gunman killed in shootings and 3 wounded at Navy Reserve Center, Chattanooga, Tennessee –Gun Free Zone Except For Killer — Gunman Identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez — Lone Wolf Terrorist? — Videos
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Paul Clendenen guards the top of the C.B. Robinson Bridge at Amnicola Highway after a morning shooting near the Naval Reserve Center, in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Thursday, July 16, 2015. Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said there’s “an officer down” at a military reserve center. (Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP) THE DAILY CITIZEN OUT; NOOGA.COM OUT; CLEVELAND DAILY BANNER OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
4 Marines Killed In Chattanooga Shooting; Suspect Also Dead
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Mimi’s Interview with Jeffrey Simon “Lone Wolf Terrorism”
Mimi’s Interview with Jeffrey Simon “Lone Wolf Terrorism”
LIVE UPDATES: Attacker identified in shooting attack on military installations that killed four
Two military centers attacked by UTC engineering graduate
ONFIRMED: TVA says Chattanooga Shooting suspect Mohammad Youssduf Adbulazeez was a student intern while he attended UTC.
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez’s family photo in Chattanooga. Via Facebook.
The federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority confirms to BuzzFeed News Chattanooga suspect was an intern there pic.twitter.com/DynSWsz42s
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke on CNN: “Today our hearts are breaking in this city.”
Ryan Smith, who wrestled with Andulazeez at Red Bank High School, said he was a “swell guy.”
“He was an unbelievable nice person,” Smith said. “He was honestly one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met.”
Smith said that Abdulazeez was very religious, and that he would argue “back and forth” with the boys’ high school wrestling coach during fasting rituals.
“His whole family was really religious,” Smith said. “His family, they all wore the drapes and stuff, all the women in his family wore the little hoods.”
Andulazeez became an mixed martial artist after high school, Smith said. Smith did not know what motivated his former friend to attack the military installations in Chattanooga.
“You’ve got to make good decisions, and he didn’t make a good decision,” Smith said.
The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center is reporting no apparent nexus to terrorism has been uncovered in the investigation of the fatal shootings in Tennessee, but intelligence officials are monitoring the investigation closely.
It also says there has been no credible claim of responsibility so far for anyone who might have influenced the gunman, who also was killed.
Those details were in a report the counterterrorism center circulated Thursday evening to U.S. law enforcement agencies. The Associated Press reviewed the report.
Even though the report says there was no connection uncovered so far to terrorism, it described efforts by the Islamic State group to revitalize homegrown extremists to conduct physical attacks inside the United States.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is expressing condolences for four Marines killed in shootings in Tennessee. He called the victims “four heroes.”
Maybus says “the tragedy in Chattanooga is both devastating and senseless.”
The Marines were killed at the Navy Operational Support Center, often referred to as a “reserve center.” It’s used by both Navy and Marine personnel to provide training and readiness support for reserve components to support the services. The Navy maintains 123 such facilities across the United States and its territories.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch says she’s directing the FBI to take the lead on a “national security” investigation into the Chattanooga attacks.
In a statement, she said the two shootings at military sites in Chattanooga represented a “heinous attack.”
Federal authorities have not identified a motive but have said they are investigating the possibility it was an act of terrorism.
Crissy Essex, left, 44, Sabrina Cupell, and Cheyenne Essex bring signs and an American flag to a building memorial at the 6215 Lee Highway location where a gunman fired multiple rounds into the Armed Forces Career Center.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St., will remain open until 8 p.m. tonight. All are welcome to enter through the front doors for prayer in the Nave.
BREAKING: Two women were led away in handcuffs from the suspect’s home. It’s not clear at this time who these females are.
Vice President Joe Biden says the United States will get to the bottom of the shootings that killed at least four Marines in Chattanooga.
Biden says the young Marines killed were part of what he’s calling “probably the most incredible generation that this country has seen.” He’s pointing out that more than 4 million Americans have signed up for military service since 9/11, even though they knew they’d almost certainly be put in harm’s way.
Biden says the families of those troops have already given a lot to the country.
Biden is asking Americans to keep the families of the victims in their prayers.
The vice president was speaking at a summit of liberal activists in Washington.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has described the shootings as an episode of “senseless violence” that she linked to other recent mass shootings.
“It’s terrible when we lose Marines anywhere in the world. But to lose four in Chattanooga, Tennessee is just heartbreaking,” she told reporters after holding her first town hall event in New Hampshire.
“I hope that we can find a way to stop this kind of violence that is stalking our children and people in study and people who wear the uniform of our country,” Clinton said.
BREAKING: Shooting suspect did wrestling and mixed marial arts. Video here.
Chattanooga Police Department instructor Ricky Ballard guards the front door at the Chattanooga Fire Training center prior to a news conference about a domestic terror incident that killed four Marines at the nearby Naval Reserve facility on Amnicola Highway.
BREAKING: Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is coming to Chattanooga this evening for a briefing from TEMA Director Purkey at the Emergency Operations Center.
‘We expect that to take place around 7:30 p.m. ET,’ Dave Smith says
Statement by President Obama:
I just received a briefing from FBI Director Comey, as well as my White House team, about the tragic shooting that took place in Chattanooga today. We don’t know yet all the details. We know that what appears to be a lone gunman carried out these attacks. We’ve identified a name. And at this point, a full investigation is taking place. The FBI will be in the lead, working closely with local law enforcement.
We’ve also been in contact with the Department of Defense to make sure that all our Defense facilities are properly attentive and vigilant as we sort through exactly what happened. And as details of the investigation proceed, we’ll make sure that the FBI, as well as local law enforcement are providing the public with all the information that’s involved.
My main message right now is, obviously, the deepest sympathies of the American people to the four Marines that have been killed. It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion.
And although the families are still in the process of being contacted, I want them to know that I speak for the American people in expressing our deepest condolences, and knowing that they have our full support as they try to overcome the grief that’s involved here.
I also want to say that there are reports of injuries to Chattanooga local law enforcement officials. Thankfully, as far as we know at this point, they have survived the assault. And we want to make sure that they know that we’re thinking of them. They’re in our thoughts and prayers.
We take all shootings very seriously. Obviously, when you have an attack on a U.S. military facility, then we have to make sure that we have all the information necessary to make an assessment in terms of how this attack took place, and what further precautions we can take in the future. And as we have more information, we’ll let the public know.
But in the meantime, I’d ask all Americans to pray for the families who are grief-stricken at this point. And I want everybody to understand that we will be thorough and prompt in figuring out exactly what happened.
A Hamilton County Sheriff’s officer carries a rifle out of Erlanger Hospital’s emergency room when the lockdown is ended after a shooting at both the Amnicola Highway Armed Forces Career Center and the Naval Operational Support Center on Amnicola Highway.
Carol, we’re still working to gather the details on that. Stay here for the latest details.
Comment From Carol L
Where did the shooter work?
TN House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick: I am deeply saddened to hear of today’s horrific events in our hometown of Chattanooga. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I have been in contact with state and local officials to monitor any developments. I have the utmost confidence in our law enforcement agencies to handle this situation in a swift and professional manner.
Congressman Marsha Blackburn:
I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence that has been carried out on our military facilities in Chattanooga today, resulting in the deaths of four Marines. This is a heartbreaking loss for our nation’s military and the entire Chattanooga community. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those involved and the people of Chattanooga. I know that the community will come together to help each other heal.
Rep. Tom Graves: My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Marines who were killed in the horrific attack in Chattanooga today. These Marines perished while serving our country and I know that our community in Northwest Georgia is forever grateful for their sacrifice.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann: “This has been a tragic day for Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee. My heart and prayers go out to everyone involved in this horrendous situation. I have spoken with local, state and federal officials and will continue to monitor this situation closely.”
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks to members of the media in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on the shooting in Chattanooga.
POTUS said he was briefed by FBI director and White House team on Chatonooga shooting. We don’t yet know all details, POTUS said. The attacker appears to be a lone gunman, he said.
POTUS said he’s in contact with DOD. FBI is taking lead in investigation along with local law enforcement, POTUS said.
POTUS said his main message is “deepest sympathies to the American people” and the death of four Marines is “heartbreaking.” POTUS asked all Americans to pray for families of victims, who are still in process of being contacted.
Multiple people who said they went to Red Bank High School with Abdulazeez sent the Times Free Press photos of what appears to be his senior picture and senior quote in the school’s yearbook.
“My name causes national security alerts,” the quote reads. “What does yours do?”
Obama: “I’d ask all Americans to pray for tHe families that are grief stricken.” #ChattanoogaShooting
Violence Policy Center Statement on Chattanooga Shooting
Washington, DC — Following today’s shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee which left four U.S. Marines dead, Violence Policy Center (VPC) Executive Director Josh Sugarmann issued the following statement:
“Another day in America, another mass shooting. While we are still learning the facts behind this latest mass murder, easy access to increasingly lethal firearms is the one factor that is almost constant in these attacks. Lives are lost, families are devastated, and communities are scarred, yet all too often we look for answers while ignoring the very tools that are commonly used to perpetrate these heinous acts. Until this changes, such horrific events are inevitable.”
BREAKING: President Obama is expected to make a statement on the Chattanooga shooting from the Oval Office shortly.
The shooting suspect’s father was appointed as a special policeman (unarmed) by the Chattanooga City Council.
It’s confirmed that shooter’s father works for the City of Chattanooga Public Works Department.
Abdulazeez means “servant of the almighty” in Arabic.
Comment From tn wife
We need not forget to pray for the young man doing the shooting. How sad to get to this point
BREAKING: Mohammad Youssduf Adbulazeer was arrested on a DUI charge on April 20, 2015.
4 Marines, gunman killed in Chattanooga shootings Military Reserve Centers, Tennessee
Four U.S. marines are dead after a gunman opened fired at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Thursday.
Authorities say the shooter was also killed. One police officer was being treated after he was shot in the ankle while “actively and enthusiastically engaging” the gunman.
“This is a nightmare for the city,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said at a news conference. “It is incomprehensible to see what happened.”
Gunfire was reported at a military recruitment centre in a strip mall as well as the Navy Operational Support Center. The two scenes are roughly 10 kilometres apart.
Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Tennessee, told the he was treating the shootings as an “act of domestic terrorism.”
FBI special agent Ed Reinhold later clarified that investigators weren’t clear on motive and were treating the shooting as a “terrorism investigation until it can be determined that it was not.”
“We are looking at every possible avenue — whether is as terrorism, whether it was domestic or international, or whether it was a simple criminal act,” Reinhold said.
U.S President Barack Obama was briefed on the shootings Thursday.
Photos of the recruiting centre at the strip mall showed its doors were riddled with more than 20 bullet holes.
Chattanooga’s Lee University was in lockdown around noon Thursday, advising all on campus to “stay inside until further notice.” A woman who answered the phone at Chattanooga State Community College said the campus was also in lockdown.
“Somebody brutally and brazenly attacked members of our armed services,”Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said at the Thursday news conference.
Loretta Blevins, head server at the Track’s End Restaurant less than a kilometre down the road from the recruiting centre, said there was about 16 people huddled inside the restaurant as emergency vehicles streamed up and down the road.
“It’s breathtaking when you see all the emergency vehicles and you have no idea what’s going on or how close it is to you,” she said.
Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command out of Fort Knox, Kentucky, said the recruiting centre on Old Lee Highway in Chattanooga has recruiting services for all four branches of the military. The Army recruiters told Lepley they were not hit and not injured. They have evacuated and are safe. He has no information about recruiters for the other branches.
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, 36, was working at the recruitment centre and heard “one single shot, which kind of sparked our attention.”
“Shortly after that, just a few seconds, the shooter began shooting more rounds,” he said. “We realized it was an actual shooting, so we then initiated our active shooter drill: getting down low to the ground, moving to a safe location. And we waited until everything seemed to be clear.”
Four Marines and gunman killed in Tennessee shooting that officials call ‘domestic terrorism’
By Mark Berman
Four Marines were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Naval facility and an armed forces recruiting center in Tennessee on Thursday morning, a violent spree that authorities say they are investigating as a possible terrorist attack.
The gunman, who has not been identified, was also killed.
“While we expect our sailors and Marines to go into harm’s way, and they do so without hesitation, an attack at home, in our community, is insidious and unfathomable,” Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, said in a statement.
In addition to the four Marines, the gunman injured another military service member, a Chattanooga police officer and one other person, according to military officials.
“Somebody brutally and brazenly attacked members of our armed services,” Fred Fletcher, the Chattanooga police chief, said at at a news conference.
The Marine Corps said four Marines were killed in the shootings. Ed Reinhold, the special agent in charge for the FBI, declined to discuss details of the investigation, which he described as in its initial stages.
“We will treat this as a terrorism investigation until we determine it was not,” he said. He added: “We have not determined if it was an act of terrorism or a criminal act.”
Reinhold said that the shooting appeared to be the work of a lone gunman, who he said was from the area or at least lived in the area. This gunman, who did not work at either facility, had “numerous weapons” on him, Reinhold said, and was not wearing body armor.
One of the shootings occurred at a Navy Operational Support Center, which the U.S. Navy said was a facility that provides support for reserve component personnel. The other shooting took place at an armed forces recruiting center. The Pentagon said Thursday afternoon the Marines would be identified after next of kin were notified.
The shooting is being viewed as “an act of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said. However, Killian said the investigation would bear out precisely what kind of crime this was, cautioning people not to get caught up in the label.
4 Marines killed in attacks on Chattanooga military facilities
Last Updated Jul 16, 2015 4:11 PM EDT
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire at two military facilities Thursday in Tennessee, killing at least four Marines and wounding a soldier and a police officer, officials told CBS News.
The shooter also was killed. Two law enforcement sources told CBS News that the shooting suspect was identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
“Today was a nightmare for the city of Chattanooga,” Mayor Andy Berke said. “As a city, we will respond to this with every available resource that we have.”
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said officials were treating the attacks as an “act of domestic terrorism,” though FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold said authorities were still investigating a motive. The first shooting happened around 10:45 a.m.; the attacks were over within a half-hour.
Berke said five people died in all, including the gunman. A police officer was shot in the ankle, and others were wounded, he said.
U.S. officials told CBS News correspondent David Martin that four U.S. Marines were among the dead.
A Marine recruiter was treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg, the Marine Corps said on its Facebook page.
“Lives have been lost from some faithful people who have been serving our country, and I think I join all Tennesseans in being both sickened and saddened by this,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.
The shootings began at a recruiting center on Old Lee Highway in Chattanooga where five branches of the military all have adjoining offices. A gunshot rang out around 10:30 or 10:45 a.m., said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, 36, the center leader for U.S. Army recruiting at the center.
“Shortly after that, just a few seconds, the shooter began shooting more rounds. We realized it was an actual shooting,” he said.
He and his colleagues then got on the ground and barricaded themselves in a safe place. Dodge estimated there were 30 to 50 shots fired.
He did not see the shooter or a vehicle. The Army recruiting office was not damaged, but doors and glass were damaged at the neighboring Air Force, Navy and Marine offices, he said.
Law enforcement officials told recruiters that the shooter was in a car, stopped in front of the facility, shot at the building and drove off, said Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
One witness told CBS affiliate WDEF that a man who was in a silver Mustang convertible was “just unloading a large gun on the Naval recruiting office.”
The recruiting center sits in a short strip between a Cricket Wireless and an Italian restaurant with no apparent additional security. Nearby, Nicholas Donohue heard a blast of gunshots while working at Desktop Solutions. But he had music playing and wasn’t quite sure what the noise had been. He turned off the music and seconds later, a second blast thundered. He took shelter in a back room.
“Even though it knew it was most likely gunfire I heard, you also don’t want to believe it’s happening in the moment,” he said. “Since I didn’t see anything, I couldn’t be sure.”
By the time he emerged, police were cordoning off the area.
Within minutes of that attack, the shooter then opened fire at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center Chattanooga, about 7 miles away. Reinhold said all of the dead were killed there.
The center sits between the highway and a pathway that runs through Tennessee RiverPark, a popular park at a bend in the Tennessee River northeast of downtown Chattanooga. It’s in a light industrial area that includes a Coca-Cola bottling plant.
The two entrances to the fenced facility have unmanned gates and concrete barriers that require approaching cars to slow down to drive around them.
Five dead, including gunman, in Tennessee military facilities shootings
The other four killed were Marines at a Naval Reserve Center, a military official said in Washington, DC.
Shooting at Charlie Hebdo’s news office. (photo credit:REUTERS)
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Five people were killed on Thursday including a suspected gunman who opened fire at two military-related facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee in an attack local officials described as brazen, brutal and an act of domestic terrorism.
CBS News quoted two law enforcement officials as saying the suspect was Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez. No motive has yet been given. The suspected shooter, who has not been officially identified, is believed to have lived in the area and acted alone, local police said.
The other four killed were Marines at a Naval Reserve Center, a military official said in Washington, DC.
“We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism,” said Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, adding that no official determination of the nature of the crime had yet been made.
The suspect, seen driving in an open-top Mustang, is believed to have first gone to a joint military recruiting center in a strip mall, and peppered the facility with gunfire. No one was injured in the attack.
“Everybody was at a standstill and as soon as he pulled away everyone scrabbled trying to make sure everyone was OK,” said Erica Wright, who works two doors down from the center.
The gunman then drove off to a Naval Reserve Center about 6 miles (10 km) away, fatally shooting the four Marines before being fatally shot himself in a firefight with police.
Three others were wounded in the attacks, including a police officer and a Marine. The shootings began at about 10:45 a.m. local time and ended about 30 minutes later.
“There were numerous Chattanooga and Hamilton County officers who responded. They arrived on the scene extremely quickly. They actively and enthusiastically engaged this brazen criminal, and one of those officers was injured by gunfire from this criminal,” Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher told a news conference.
A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama had been told about the shooting.
“The President has been briefed by his national security staff on the Chattanooga shooting, and will continue to get updates as warranted,” said spokesman Eric Schultz.
Lockdowns had been put in place at businesses, a college and other facilities near the shooting sites.
The city along the Tennessee River is in the southeastern section of the state just north of the Georgia border. Just over 173,000 people live there, according to a 2013 estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A common definition of terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence in order to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change. This article serves as a list and compilation of acts of terrorism, attempts of terrorism, and other such items pertaining to terrorist activities within the domestic borders of the United States by persons acting in the interests of states or non-state actors. It does not include actions by agents of the U.S. government itself, such as the 1985 MOVE bombing in Philadelphia or the 1993Waco Massacre in Texas, which are regarded by some as acts of state terrorism.
October 16, 1859: Anti-slavery Pottawatomie massacre – In response to the sacking of Lawrence, John Brown led a group of abolitionists in the murders of five pro-slavery Kansas settlers.
April 14, 1865: Pro-slavery Abraham Lincoln assassination – Part of a conspiracy by Confederate supporters John Wilkes Booth, Lewis Powell and George Atzerodt to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward in Washington, D.C. to create chaos for the purpose of overthrowing the Federal Government. Booth succeeded in assassinating Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, Seward survived numerous stabbings by Powell who stabbed others as he was chased out of Seward’s home, and Atzerodt failed to carry out the planned murder of Johnson. Booth was killed by soldiers when he failed to surrender. Eight conspirators were tried and convicted for their role in the conspiracy by a military tribunal, including Powell and Atzerodt. Four defendants were executed for their roles including Powell, Azterodt and Mary Surratt, the first woman ever to be hanged by the U.S. government.
October 28, 1893: Carter Harrison assassination-Patrick Eugene Joseph Prendergast was upset that the Mayor of Chicago, Carter Harrison, Sr., advocated for the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, seeing it as an action against the citizenry and acting under the influence of England, the Rothschild bankers of Europe, and Wall St. Prendergast imagined this as part of a larger conspiracy that betrayed the will of Jesus Christ. As a delusional newspaper man, he found himself unable to influence policy in Washington or Chicago and ultimately took it upon himself to change the course of history by assassinating the powerful mayor. He felt that his inevitable acquittal would establish a precedent wherein Christian law would be established throughout the city. Prendergast was found sane by a jury and hanged on July 14, 1894.
July 2, 1915: Frank Holt (also known as Eric Muenter), a German professor who wanted to stop American support of the Allies in World War I, exploded a bomb in the reception room of the U.S. Senate. The next morning he tried to assassinate J. P. Morgan, Jr. the son of the financier whose company served as Great Britain’s principal U.S. purchasing agent for munitions and other war supplies. Muenter was overpowered by Morgan in Morgan’s Long Island home before killing himself in prison on July 7.
July 22, 1916: The Preparedness Day Bombing killed ten people and injured 40 in San Francisco. Two radical labor leaders, Warren K. Billings and Thomas Mooney, were convicted of the crime and sentenced to hang, but with little evidence of their guilt both sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. They were eventually pardoned, and the actual bombers’ identities remain unknown.
1916, July 30: The Black Tom explosion in Jersey City, New Jersey was an act of sabotage on American ammunition supplies by German agents to prevent the material from being used by the Allies in World War I.
November 24, 1917: A bomb exploded in a Milwaukee police station, killing nine officers and a civilian. Anarchists were suspected.
1919 United States anarchist bombings: A series of package bombs were mailed to prominent business and government leaders around the country. Most were intercepted and did not go off, with only one person killed. Italian Galleanist anarchists were suspected, but not convicted.
1920 Wall Street bombing: A horse-drawn wagon filled with explosives was detonated in front of the J. P. Morgan bank on Wall Street, killing 38 and wounding 143. Galleanist anarchists were again suspected, but the perpetrators were never caught.
May 31, 1921: During the Tulsa race riot, there were reports that whites dropped dynamite from airplanes onto a black ghetto in Tulsa. The riot killed 39–300 people and destroyed more than 1,100 homes.
May 18, 1927: The Bath School disaster (bombings) killed 45 people and injured 58. Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–12 years of age) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history. The perpetrator was school board member Andrew Kehoe.
October 10, 1933: A Boeing 247 was destroyed in mid-flight over Indiana by a nitroglycerin bomb. All seven people aboard were killed. This incident was the first proven case of air sabotage in the history of aviation. The identity of the perpetrator and the motive for the attack are unknown.
July 4, 1940: Two New York City policemen were killed and two critically wounded while examining a bomb they had found at the British Pavilion at the World’s Fair
1940–1956: George Metesky, the Mad Bomber, placed over 30 bombs in New York City in public places such as Grand Central Station and The Paramount Theatre injuring ten during this period in protest of the high rates of a local electric utility. He also sent many threatening letters to various high profile individuals.
1951: A wave of hate related terrorist attacks occurred in Florida. African-Americans were dragged and beaten to death, with 11 race-related bombings, the dynamiting of synagogues, and a Jewish School in Miami and explosives found outside of Catholic Churches in Miami.
The most active perpetrators of terrorism in New York City were Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional (FALN), a Puerto Rican separatist group, responsible for 40 NYC attacks in this decade. The Jewish Defense League (JDL), which engaged in attacks against targets it perceived to be anti-Semitic, launched 27 attacks during this period. Both the Independent Armed Revolutionary Commandos (CRIA), another Puerto Rican separatist group, and Omega 7, an anti-Castro Cuban organization, were also each responsible for 16 attacks during this period.
April 1970: At Stanford University over a period of several nights bands of student radicals systematically set fires, break windows and throw rocks.
November 21, 1970: Bombing of the City Hall of Portland, Oregon in an attempt to destroy the state’s bronze Liberty Bell replica. The late night explosion destroyed the display foyer, blew out the building doors, damaged the council hall, and blew out windows more than a block away. The night janitor was injured in the blast. The crime remains unsolved, though a number of local anti-war and radical leftist groups of the era remain the primary suspects.
June 13, 1974: The 29th floor of the Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was bombed with dynamite at 9:41 pm resulting in no injuries. The radical leftist group Weatherman took credit, but no suspects have ever been identified.
Summer 1974: “Alphabet Bomber” Muharem Kurbegovich bombed the Pan Am Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, killing three and injuring eight. He also firebombed the houses of a judge and two police commissioners as well as one of the commissioner’s cars. He burned down two Marina Del Rey apartment buildings and threatened Los Angeles with a gas attack. His bomb defused at the Greyhound Bus station was the most powerful the LAPD bomb squad had handled up until that time. His personal vendetta against a judge and the commissioners grew into demands for an end to immigration and naturalization laws, as well as any laws about sex.
January 24, 1975: A bomb was exploded in the Fraunces Tavern of New York City, killing four people and injuring more than 50 others. The Puerto Rico nationalist group FALN, the Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation, which had other bomb incidents in New York in the 1970s, claimed responsibility. No one was ever prosecuted for the bombing.
September 11, 1976: Croatian terrorists hijacked a TWA airliner and diverted it to Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, and then Paris, demanding a manifesto be printed. One police officer was killed and three injured during an attempt to defuse a bomb that contained their communiques in a New York City train station locker.Zvonko Bušić who served 32 years in prison for the attack, was released and returned to Croatia in July 2008. In September 2013 Bušić shot himselfand was given a hero’s funeral by the Croatian government.
1976 September 21: Orlando Letelier, a former member of the Chilean government, was killed by a car bomb in Washington, D.C. along with his assistant Ronni Moffitt. The killing was carried out by members of the Chilean Intelligence Agency, DINA.
1980 June 3: Bombing of the Statue of Liberty. At 7:30 pm, a time delayed explosive device detonated in the Statue of Liberty’s Story Room. Detonated after business hours, the bomb did not injure anyone, but caused $18,000 in damage, destroying many of the exhibits. The room was sealed off and left unrepaired until the Statue of Liberty restoration project that began years later. FBI investigators believed the perpetrators were Croatian seeking for media coverage of living conditions of Croats in Yugoslavia, though no arrests were made.
1981 December 7: James W. von Brunn served 6 years in prison for attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. He testified his motive was to raise awareness of alleged “treacherous and unconstitutional” acts by the Federal Reserve.
1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack: In what is believed to be the first incident of bioterrorism in the United States the Rajneesh movement spreads salmonella in salad bars at 10 restaurants in The Dalles, Oregon, to influence a local election which backfired as suspicious residents came out in droves to prevent the election of Rajneeshee candidates. Health officials say that 751 people were sickened and more than 40 hospitalized. All but one of the establishments attacked went out of business. Investigators believed that similar attacks had previously been carried out in Salem, Portland and other cities in Oregon.
1984 July 18: Alan Berg, Jewish lawyer-talk show host was shot and killed in the driveway of his home on Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, by members of a White Nationalist group called The Order. Berg had stridently argued with a member of the group on the show earlier who was convicted in his murder.
1993 September 5: Charles F. Hockenbarger of the Westboro Baptist Church assaults the Rev. W. Gerald Weeks while the Reverend was counter-protesting a WBC anti-homosexuality protest outside Topeka‘s First Lutheran Church by carrying a sign that read “God’s Love Speaks Loudest”. Hockenbarger receives a sentence of 5 days in jail, appeals the sentence, and loses the appeal.
1994 December 10: Advertising executive, Thomas J. Mosser, was killed after opening a mail package from the Unabomber, being the second fatality of the mailbomb campaign.
1994 December 30: Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, two receptionists in abortion and family planning clinics, were killed by John Salvi.
1997 February 24: 69-year-old Palestinian Ali Hassan Abu Kamal opened fire on tourists at an observation deck atop the Empire State Building killing a Danish national and wounding visitors from the United States, Argentina, Switzerland and France before turning the gun on himself. A handwritten note carried by the gunman claims this was a punishment attack against the “enemies of Palestine“. His widow claimed he became suicidal after losing $300,000 in a business venture. In a 2007 interview with the New York Daily News his daughter said her mother’s story was a cover crafted by the Palestinian Authority and that her father wanted to punish the United States for its support of Israel.
2001 September 11: the September 11, 2001 attacks were carried out by Muslim extremists. The attacks killed 2,507civilians, 72 law enforcement officers, 343 firefighters, and 55 military personnel, and were carried out using hijacked commercial airplanes to damage the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. The 110-story skyscrapers in New York City were ultimately destroyed, and the Pentagon received extensive damage in the western side of the building. Building 7 of the World Trade Center was also destroyed in the attack, though there were no casualties. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania before it could reach its target.
2001 September 18 – November: 2001 anthrax attacks. Letters tainted with anthrax killed five across the U.S., with politicians and media officials as the apparent targets. On July 31, 2008 Bruce E. Ivins a top biodefense researcher committed suicide. On August 6, 2008, the FBI concluded that Ivins was solely responsible for the attacks, and suggested that Ivins wanted to bolster support for a vaccine he helped create and that he targeted two lawmakers because they were Catholics who held pro-choice views. However, subsequent evaluations have found that the FBI’s investigation failed to provide any direct evidence linking Ivins to the mailings.
October 2002 Beltway sniper attacks: During three weeks in October 2002, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people and critically injured 3 others in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Virginia. The pair were also suspected of earlier shootings in Maryland, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, and Washington state. No motivation was given at the trial, but evidence presented showed an affinity to the cause of the Islamic jihad.
2006 July 28: Seattle Jewish Federation shooting, Naveed Afzal Haq, an American citizen of Pakistani descent, killed one woman and shoots five others at the Jewish Federation building in Seattle. During the shooting, Haq told a 911 dispatcher that he was angry with American foreign policy in the Middle East.
2007 October 26: A pair of improvised explosive devices were thrown at the Mexican Consulate in New York City. The fake grenades were filled with black powder, and detonated by fuses, causing very minor damage. Police were investigating the connection between this and a similar attack against the British Consulate in New York in 2005.
2008 February: In the first reported incident of animal-rights extremists physically assaulted the family members of animal researchers, six masked activists attempted to force their way into the home of a University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher and injured the researcher’s husband.
2008 March 6: A homemade bomb damaged a Recruiting Office in Times Square. In June 2013 The FBI and New York City police offered a $65,000 reward for information in the case and revealed that ammunition used for the bomb is the same as is used in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones. On April 15, 2015 the F.B.I increased the award to $115,000 and said they have persons of interest
2008 May 4: Multiple pipe bombs exploded at 1:40 am at the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse in San Diego causing “considerable damage” to the entrance and lobby and sending shrapnel two blocks away, but causing no injuries. The F.B.I. is investigating links between this attack and an April 25 explosion at the FedEx building also in San Diego.
2009 April 8: According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, intruders left malware in power grids, water, and sewage systems that could be activated at a later date. While the attacks which have occurred over a period of time seem to have originated in China and Russia, it is unknown if they are state-sponsored or errors in the computer code.
2009 May 25: 17-year-old Kyle Shaw sets off a crude explosive device at a Starbucks at East 92nd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, shattering windows and destroyed a bench at the coffee shop. There were no injuries. The attack was a “bizarre tribute” of the movie Fight Club, in an attempt to emulate “Project Mayhem”, a series of assaults on corporate America portrayed in the film. Shaw took a plea agreement and was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in November 2010.
2009 November 5: 2009 Fort Hood shooting: Nidal Malik Hasan, a US Army Major serving as a Psychiatrist, opens fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 and wounding 29. On August 23, 2013 Hasan was convicted by a Military tribunal. Hasan acted as his own attorney and took responsibility for the attack saying his motive was jihad to fight “illegal and immoral aggression against Muslims”. On August 28 Hasan was sentenced to death.
2010 February 18: Austin suicide attack: Andrew Joseph Stack III flying his single engine plane flew into the Austin Texas IRS building killing himself and one IRS employee and injuring 13 others. Stack left a suicide note online, comparing the IRS to Big Brother from the novel 1984.
2013 April 15: Boston Marathon bombings: Two bombs detonated within seconds of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring more than 180 people. Late in the evening of April 18 in Cambridge, Massachusetts an MIT campus police officer was shot and killed while sitting in his squad car. Two suspects then carjacked an SUV and fled to nearby Watertown, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. A massive police chase ensued, resulting in a shootout during which several IED‘s were thrown by the suspects. A Boston transit police officer was critically wounded and suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Russian immigrant of Chechen ethnicity, was killed. The second suspect, Tsarnaev’s younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, escaped. A “Shelter in place” order was given for Boston, Watertown, and the surrounding areas while house-to-house searches were conducted, but the suspect remained at large. Shortly after the search was called off Tsarnaev was discovered by a local resident hiding inside a boat parked in the resident’s driveway less than three blocks from the scene of the shootout. He was taken into custody after another exchange of gunfire and taken to nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was treated for injuries received during his pursuit and capture. Tsarnaev was arraigned on federal terrorism charges from his hospital bed on April 22, 2013. Preliminary questioning indicated the Tsarnaev brothers had no ties to terrorist organizations. A note written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the boat where he was captured said the bombings were retaliation for US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan against Muslims. On April 8, 2015 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts related to the bombing and shootout with police. On May 15, 2015 Tsarnaev was sentenced to death.
2014 June 8: 2014 Las Vegas shootings: Two police officers and one civilian died in a shooting spree in the Las Vegas Valley committed by a couple, identified as Jerad and Amanda Miller, who espoused anti-government views and were reportedly inspired by the outcome of the Bundy standoff. The Millers both died during a gunfight with responding police; Jerad Miller was fatally shot by officers, while Amanda Miller committed suicide after being wounded.
2014 October 23: 2014 New York City hatchet attack: Zale Thompson injured two New York City police officers, once critically at a Queens, New York shopping district by striking them with a hatchet. 4 officers were posing for a photograph when Thompson charged them. The police opened fire killing Thompson and injuring a bystander. Thompson who converted to Islam 2 years before the attack posted “anti-government, anti-Western, anti-white” messages online.
2014 November 28: Austin, Texas: Right-wing and anti-government extremist Larry Steven McQuilliams set a fire at the Mexican Consulate and shot towards several government buildings. Police arrived on scene and shot him dead. McQuilliams had a prior criminal history including drug possession and robbery.
2014 December: “The Guardians of Peace” linked by the United States to North Korea launched a cyber attack against SONY pictures. Embarrassing private emails were published and the organization threatened attacks against theaters that showed The Interview a satire which depicted the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Following the refusal of theater chains to show the movie, SONY Pictures withdrew release of the movie, a decision that was criticized by President Obama and others. Obama said the USA will respond. North Korea denied responsibility for the attack and proposed a joint investigation with the U.S.
2014 December 20: Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a reported gang member, allegedly assassinated New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in theBedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Brinsley was reported to have walked up and fired directly into the officers squad car. Other officers chased the suspect into a nearby subway station, where Brinsley fatally shot himself in the head. Prior to the shooting, Brinsley had written Instagram messages calling for revenge attacks in response to the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. He also allegedly shot his girlfriend in Maryland earlier that day.
1927: The Ku Klux Klan launched a wave of political terror in Alabama, attempting to undermine African American rights.
1951 December 25: Harry T. Moore state co-coordinator of the Florida NAACP and his wife were killed by dynamite bomb in his Mims, Florida home. Despite extensive FBI investigation no one was arrested but Orlando KKK suspected.
March 25, 1965: The Ku Klux Klan murdered Viola Liuzzo, a Southern-raised white mother of five who was visiting Alabama from her home in Detroit to attend acivil rights march. At the time of her murder, Liuzzo was transporting Civil Rights Marchers.
March 20, 1981: Michael Donald was randomly selected to be lynched by two Ku Klux Klan members near his Alabama home. He was beaten, had his throat slit, and was hanged.
1951 Wave of hate related terrorist attacks in Florida. Blacks dragged and beaten to death, 11 race related bombings, dynamiting of synagogues and a Jewish School in Miami and explosives found outside of Catholic Churches in Miami.
1984 July 18: Alan Berg, Jewish lawyer-talk show host was shot and killed in the driveway of his home on Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, by members of a White Nationalist group called The Order. Berg had stridently argued with a member of the group on the show earlier who was convicted in his murder.
2015 June 17: Charleston church shooting a mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States. The church is one of the United States’ oldest black churches and has long been a site for community organization around civil rights. Nine people were killed, including the senior pastor, Clementa C. Pinckney, a state senator. A tenth victim was also shot, but survived. The FBI has not classified the act as terrorism, which was met with controversy.
Anti-government, Anti-liberal, and fascist extremism
2002 May: Lucas John Helder rigged pipe bombs in private mailboxes to explode when the boxes were opened. He injured 6 people in Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and Iowa. His motivation was to garner media attention so that he could spread a message denouncing government control over daily lives and the illegality of marijuana, as well as promote astral projection.
2014 June 8: Two Las Vegas police officers while eating pizza in a restaurant and one civilian were shot to death allegedly by Jerad and Amanda Miller a married couple in a suicide attack. A Gadsden flag, swastika and a note promising “revolution,” was placed on the deceased officers bodies. The couple were thrown out a patriot group defending rancher Cliven Bundy
2014 September 16- Eric Matthew Frein described as a survivalist is alleged to have killed a Pennsylvania State trooper and critically wounded another at theBlooming Grove barracks. Life was disrupted in the region during the ensuing manhunt. On October 30 Frein was captured near an abandoned airport hangar and was shackled with the handcuff belonging to the trooper he is accused of killing. Prosecutors said they would pursue the death penalty.
1996–98: anti-abortion extremist Eric Rudolph cited biblical passages as his motivation for a series of bombings, including Atlanta’s Olympic Centennial Park, aLesbian bar, and several abortion clinics. Rudolph acknowledges his attacks were religiously motivated, but denies that his brief association with the racistChristian Identity movement was a motivation for his attacks.
1998: James Kopp killed at least one and went on a series of anti-abortion shooting sprees, both in the U.S. and Canada.
Between 1993 and 2001, the major attacks or attempts against US interests stemmed from militant Islamic jihad extremism except for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. In 2001 nearly 3,000 people were killed in the September 11 attacks organised by al-Qaeda and largely perpetrated by Saudi nationals, sparking the War on Terror. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden considers homegrown terrorism to be the most dangerous threat and concern faced by American citizens today. As of July 2011, there have been 52 homegrown jihadist extremist plots or attacks in the United States since the September 11 attacks.
2013 April 15: Boston Marathon bombings: Two bombs detonated within seconds of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring more than 180 people. Late in the evening of April 18 in Cambridge, Massachusetts an MIT campus police officer was shot and killed while sitting in his squad car. Two suspects then carjacked an SUV and fled to nearby Watertown, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. A massive police chase ensued, resulting in a shootout during which several IED’s were thrown by the suspects. A Boston transit police officer was critically wounded and suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Russian immigrant of Chechen ethnicity, was killed. The second suspect, Tsarnaev’s younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, escaped. A “Shelter in place” order was given for Boston, Watertown, and the surrounding areas while house-to-house searches were conducted, but the suspect remained at large. Shortly after the search was called off Tsarnaev was discovered by a local resident hiding inside a boat parked in the resident’s driveway less than three blocks from the scene of the shootout. He was taken into custody after another exchange of gunfire and taken to nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was treated for injuries received during his pursuit and capture. Tsarnaev was arraigned on federal terrorism charges from his hospital bed on April 22, 2013. Preliminary questioning indicated the Tsarnaev brothers had no ties to terrorist organizations. A note written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the boat where he was captured said the bombings were retaliation for US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan against Muslims. On April 8, 2015 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts related to the bombing and shootout with police. The death penalty phase of the trail is scheduled to follow.
2015 May 3: Garland, Texas. Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi roommates from North Phoenix, Arizona killed by a security guard when they started shooting at a building holding a Mohammad cartoon contest sponsored by Stop Islamization of America. A school security helping with security at the event was shot in the leg.
1974 June 13: The 29th floor of the Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was bombed with dynamite at 9:41 pm resulting in no injuries. The radical leftist group Weatherman took credit, but no suspects have ever been identified.
1970 October 22: An antipersonnel time bomb explodes outside a San Francisco church, showering steel shrapnel on mourners of a patrolman slain in a bank holdup; no one is injured. The Black Liberation Army is suspected.
1971: During this year the Black Liberation Army is suspected of killing three policemen one at his desk in San Francisco, shooting four others and opening fire on three patrol cars and rolling a grenade which heavily damages a police car and injures two officers. An attempt is made to bomb a police station. These incidents happen in various cities around the country. In August the group runs a one-month-long guerrilla warfare school in Fayetteville, Georgia. Seven are arrested in January 2007 in connection with the San Francisco desk shooting incident.
1972 January 22: Two St. Louis policemen, Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie, are shot in the back by at least three persons; four suspects in the case are members of the Black Liberation Army; one suspect is later killed in a street battle with police; the recovered pistol matches Laurie’s.
1972 December 28: A Brooklyn, New York bartender is held for $12000 ransom by the Black Liberation Army.
1973 January 7: After shooting a police officer a week earlier Mark Essex a former Black Panther party member shoots nineteen people, ten of them police officers, in retaliation for police killings in and around a Howard Johnson’s hotel in New Orleans. He also set fires in the hotel before being killed by police.
1973: A New York City transit detective is killed and ten law enforcement personnel are shot four by machine gun during the year mostly in and around New York City by the Black Liberation Army. Also two members of that organization are arrested with a car full of explosives. In the next few years there are a number of violent incidents involving this organization but they are more criminal in nature.
1975 January 24: FALN bombs Fraunces Tavern in New York City, killing four and injuring more than 50.
1975 December 29: A bomb set off by FALN in East Harlem, New York, permanently disables a police officer while causing him to lose an eye.
1977 August 3: FALN bombs exploded on the twenty-first floor of 342 Madison Avenue in New York City, which housed United States Department of Defensesecurity personnel, as well as the Mobil Building at 150 East Forty-Second Street, killing one. In addition the group warned that bombs were located in thirteen other buildings, including the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center resulting in the evacuation of one hundred thousand people. Five days later a bomb attributed to the group was found in the AMEX building.
May 3, 1979: FALN exploded a bomb outside of the Shubert Theatre in Chicago, injuring five people.
1980 March 15 Armed members of FALN raided the campaign headquarters of President Jimmy Carter in Chicago and the campaign headquarters of George H. W. Bush in New York City. Seven people in Chicago and ten people in New York were tied up as the offices were vandalized before the FALN members fled. A few days later, Carter delegates in Chicago received threatening letters from FALN.
1981 May 16: One was killed in an explosion in the toilets at the Pan Am terminal at New York’s JFK airport. The bombing is claimed by the Puerto Rican Resistance Army.
1864 November 25: Confederate Army of Manhattan Fires were set at 19 New York City hotels, P.T. Barnum‘s Museum, and 2 hay barges resulting in minor damage. Plot to burn down New York City organized by Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Robert Martin failed because the Greek fire incendiary devices were defective and the Lincoln Administration had been tipped off by a double agent and intercepted telegraph messages. After the conspirators found out the plot had been discovered they escaped to Canada. Confederate Captain Robert C. Kennedy became the only conspirator apprehended when he was arrested following his return to the U.S. Kennedy was tried by a military tribunal and hanged.
1920 September 16: The Wall Street bombing: A suspected attempt to kill financier J.P. Morgan by exploding the first car bomb. Bomb was created by putting scrap metal and 100 pounds of dynamite on a horse-drawn cart and blowing it up on Wall Street. Morgan was out of town but 38 people were killed. Responsibility for the attack has never been firmly established.
1970 March 6 Three members of the Weather Underground are killed when their “bomb factory” located in New York’s Greenwich Village accidentally explodes. WUO members Theodore Gold, Diana Oughton, and Terry Robbins die in this accident. The bomb was intended to be planted at a non-commissioned officer’s dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The bomb was packed with nails to inflict maximum casualties upon detonation. See Greenwich Village townhouse explosion.
1971 April Pipe bombs found at the embassies of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in Washington, D.C.
1972 Two Jewish Defense League members were arrested and charged with bomb possession and burglary in a conspiracy to blow up the Long Islandresidence of the Soviet mission to the United Nations
1972 March 7 4.5 pounds of C-4 explosives found on a plane by New York City Police Bomb Squad.
1975 September 22: Sarah Jane Moore tries to assassinate President Gerald Ford outside of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. The attempt fails when a bystander grabs her arm and deflects the shot. Moore has stated the motive was to create chaos to bring “the winds of change” because the government had declared war on the left wing.
March 1995: Charles Ray Polk is arrested while attempting to buy a quantity of plastic explosives and machine guns in order to assassinate four police officers and a female judge, and to use in a planned bombing of the IRS offices in Tyler, Texas.
April 1996: Anti-government activist & survivalist Ray Hamblin is arrested after authorities find 460 pounds of the high explosive Tovex, 746 pounds of ANFOblasting agent, and 15 homemade hand grenades on his property in Hood River, Oregon during an investigation into a series of explosions in his storage sheds.
July 1996: Washington State Militia leader John Pitner and seven others are arrested on weapons and explosives charges in connection with a plot to build pipe bombs for a confrontation with the federal government. Pitner and four others will be convicted on weapons charges, while conspiracy charges against all eight will end in a mistrial. Pitner will later be retried on that charge, convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.
1997 March 17: anti-abortion extremist Peter Howard puts 13 gas cans and three propane tanks in his truck, and drives it through the door of a California women’s clinic in a failed attempt to fire bomb the clinic.
September 1999: anti-abortion extremist Clayton Lee Waagner was pulled over by the Pennsylvania State Police, but fled into the woods and evaded capture, leaving behind a stolen car that contained firearms, explosives, fake ID, and a list of abortion clinics. Later in September 1999, while on a self-described “Mission from God”, he took his wife and their nine children on a cross-country road trip headed west in a stolen Winnebago, planning to murder various abortion doctors, beginning with one in Seattle, Washington. However, after crossing into Illinois his vehicle broke down, and Waagner was arrested when Illinois State Policestopped to investigate. Waagner was convicted on charges of interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle and for being a convicted felon in possession offirearms. Waagner later escaped and used a cross country crime spree to continue to fund his anti-abortion mission.
2001 December 22: British citizen and self-proclaimed Al Qaeda member Richard Reid attempted to detonate the C-4 explosive PETN concealed in his shoeswhile on a flight from Paris to Miami. He was subdued by crew and passengers with the plane landing safely in Boston.
June 2006: The Animal Liberation Front targets UCLA professor Lynn Fairbanks with a firebomb due to her research on animals. The bomb was placed on the doorstep of a house occupied by her neighbor and a tenant. According to the FBI, the device was lit but failed to ignite and was powerful enough to have killed the occupants.
2006 September 11: A man rammed his car into a women’s clinic that he thought was an abortion clinic and set it ablaze in Davenport, Iowa causing $20,000 worth of damage to the building.
2009 December 25: British and Nigerian citizen and self-described Al-Qaeda member Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in flight over Detroit by igniting his underpants which were filled with the C-4 explosive PETN. He has been indicted in a U.S. federal court; charges include the attempted murder of 289 people. Several days later, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen and Saudi Arabia claimed responsibility for the attempted attack. Addressing America, the group threatened to “come for you to slaughter.” On January 24, 2010 an audio tape that US intelligence believes is authentic was broadcast in which Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing. The intelligence officials expressed doubt about the veracity of bin Laden’s claim. On October 12, 2011 Abdulmutallab plead guilty to all counts against him and read a statement to the court saying “I attempted to use an explosive device which in the U.S. law is a weapon of mass destruction, which I call a blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent Muslims, for U.S. use of weapons of mass destruction on Muslim populations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and beyond”.
2010 May 1 2010 Times Square car bomb attempt and plot: An attempted evening car bombing in crowded Times Square in New York City failed when a street vendor saw smoke emanating from an SUV and called police. The White House has blamed Tehrik-e-Taliban the Pakistani Taliban for the failed attack and saidFaisal Shahzad aged 30, an American of Pakistani origin who has been arrested in relation to the incident was working for the group. In July 2010, the Pakistani Taliban released a video featuring Shahzad in which he urged other Muslims in the West to follow his example and to wage similar attacks. On May 3, Shahzad was arrested at Kennedy Airport as he was preparing to fly to Dubai. The device was described as crude and amateurish but potent enough to cause casualties. On May 13 the F.B.I. raided several locations in the Northeast and arrested 3 on alleged immigration violations. Several suspects were arrested in Pakistan including the co-owner of a prominent catering firm used by the US embassy. On June 21 Shahzad plead guilty to 10 counts saying he created the bomb to force the US military to withdraw troops and stop drone attacks in a number of Muslim countries. Shahzad said he chose the location to cause mass civilian casualties because the civilians elected the government that carried out the allegedly anti Muslim policies. On October 4, 2010 Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison. During his sentencing, he threatened that “the defeat of the U.S. is imminent” and that “we will keep on terrorizing you until you leave our lands.” Shahzad planned on detonating a second bomb in Times Square two weeks later.
2013 April 8: Letters believed to contain the poison Ricin were sent to President Barack Obama and Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker and a Mississippi Justice official. Tests on the granular substance found in the letters tested positive for “low grade” ricin.
2015 January 15: Washington, DC. U.S. Capitol Terror Attack Stopped By FBI. Investigators say a 20-year-old Ohio man now in FBI custody wanted to set off pipe bombs at the U.S. Capitol as a way of supporting ISIS. Federal authorities identified the man as Christopher Lee Cornell, also known as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah. Cornell, who lives in the Cincinnati area, allegedly told an FBI informant they should “wage jihad,” and showed his plans for bombing the Capitol and shooting people, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court. The FBI said Cornell expressed his desire to support the Islamic State. Authorities say Cornell was arrested Wednesday after buying two semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition, but an FBI agent says the public was never in danger.
2015 May 3: Garland, Texas. Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi roommates from North Phoenix, Arizona killed by a security guard when they started shooting at a building holding a Mohammad cartoon contest sponsored by Stop Islamization of America. A school security helping with security at the event was shot in the leg.
1864 November: Plan by Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Robert Martin and the Copperheads organization Sons of Liberty to attack New York City and disrupt elections collapsed when the Sons of Liberty backed out upon seeing large numbers of Union troops.
1865 February 28 Dahlgren Affair: Alleged plot by Union General Judson Kilpatrick to burn down Richmond, Virginia and kill Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet. Allegations based on papers recovered by a 13-year-old member of the Confederate home guard. The authenticity of the papers have been a matter of dispute.
1940 January: The FBI shuts down the Christian Front after discovering its members were arming themselves for a plot to “murder Jews, communists, and ‘a dozen Congressmen'” and establishing a government modeled after Nazi Germany.
1943 March 31: Clarence Cull arrested and charged with attempting to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt by suicide bombing. Cull blamed Roosevelt for lost convoys of Merchant Ships.
1996 January 1: Members of the Viper Team militia are arrested after they caught surveying government buildings in Arizona.
1996 July 13: John J. Ford, 47, of Bellport, Long Island, a former court officer and president of the Long Island U.F.O. Network, and Joseph Mazzachelli plotted to poison local politicians with radium and shoot them if that did not work. They believed the government was covering up knowledge of UFO landings.
1997 July 4: Members of the splinter militia group the Third Continental Congress are arrested while planning attacks on military bases which they believed were being used to train United Nations troops to attack U.S. citizens.
1997 July 30 Two men who were planning to bomb the New York City subway the next day arrested. A resident of their apartment informed police after he overheard the men discussing the plot.
1998 March 18: Members of the North American Militia are arrested in plot to bomb Federal Buildings in Michigan, a television station and an interstate highway intersection.
1999 December 5: Members of the San Joaquin Militia are arrested on charges of plotting to bomb critical infrastructure locations in hopes of sparking an insurrection. The leaders of the group plead guilty to charges of plotting to kill a Federal judge.
1999 December 8: The leader of the Southeastern States Alliance militia group is arrested in plot to bomb energy faculties with the goal of causing power outages in Florida and Georgia.
2000 March 9: The former leader of the Texas Militia is arrested in a plot to attack the Federal Building in Houston.
2002 February 8: Two members of Project 7 are arrested plotting to kill judges and law enforcement officials in order to kick off a revolution.
2003 April 24: William Krar is charged for his part in the Tyler poison gas plot, a white supremacist related plan. A sodium cyanide bomb was seized with at least 100 other bombs, bomb components, machine guns, and 500,000 rounds of ammunition. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
2003 May 1: Iyman Faris pleads guilty to providing material support to al-Qaeda and plotting to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge by cutting through cables with blowtorches. He had been working as a double for the FBI since March, but in October was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
2005 August 31 2005 Los Angeles bomb plot: Kevin James, Hammad Samana, Gregory Patterson, and Levar Washington were indicted on charges to wage war against the U.S. government through terrorism in California. The men planned attacks against Jewish institutions and American military locations in Los Angeles during the Yom Kippur holiday.
2006 February 21: The Toledo terror plot where three men were accused of conspiring to wage a “holy war” against the United States, supply help to the terrorist in Iraq, and threatening to kill the US president.
2006 June 23: The Miami bomb plot to attack the Sears Tower where seven men were arrested after an FBI agent infiltrated a group while posing as an al-Qaeda member. No weapons or other materials were found. On May 12, 2009 after two mistrials due to hung juries five men were convicted and one acquitted on charges related to the plot. Narseal Batiste, the groups ringleader, was convicted on four charges, the only defendant to be convicted on all four charges brought against the defendants.
2007 March 5 A Rikers Island inmate offered to pay an undercover police officer posing as a hit man to behead New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly and bomb police headquarters in retaliation for the controversial police shooting of Sean Bell. The suspect wanted the bombing to be considered a terrorist act.
2007 May 1: Five members of a self-styled Birmingham, Alabama area anti-immigration militia were arrested for planning a machine gun attack on Mexicans.
2007 May 7: Fort Dix attack plot. Six men inspired by Jihadist videos arrested in a failed homegrown terrorism plot to kill soldiers. Plot unravels when Circuit Cityclerk becomes suspicious of the DVDs the men had created and report it to authorities who place an informant in the group. In October 2008 one man pleaded guilty to charges related to the plot. On December 22, 2008 five other men were convicted with conspiracy to kill American soldiers but were acquitted of attempted murder. Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka were sentenced to life in prison.
2007 June 3: John F. Kennedy International Airport terror plot. Four men indicted in plot to blow up jet-fuel supply tanks at JFK Airport and a 40-mile (64 km) connecting pipeline. One suspect is a U.S. citizen and one, Abdul Kadir, a former member of parliament in Guyana. The airport was targeted because one of the suspects saw arms shipments and missiles being shipped to Israel from that locale. In a recorded conversation one of the suspects allegedly told an informant that “Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow…. They love JFK – he’s like the man”. Plot unraveled when a person from law enforcement was recruited. On June 29, 2010 Abdel Nur plead guilty to material support charges. Due to health reasons Kareem Ibrahim was removed from the case and will be tried separately. On August 2 Russell M. Defreitas and Abdul Kadir were convicted for their role in the plot.
2008 March 26: Michael S. Gorbey who was detained in January 2008 for carrying a loaded shotgun two blocks from the Capitol Building has been charged planning to set off a bomb after a device containing can of gunpowder duct-taped to a box of shotgun shells and a bottle containing buckshot or BB pellets was found in the pickup truck he was driving. The pickup truck was moved to a government parking lot where for a three-week period the device inside it went unnoticed. Michael Gorbey gets 22 years prison, but he insisted that police planted weapons.
2009 September New York City Subway and United Kingdom plot: Najibullah Zazi of Denver was indicted on charges of trying to build and detonate a weapon of mass destruction by purchasing hydrogen peroxide, acetone and other chemicals. He and two others allegedly planned to detonate the homemade explosives on the New York City subway system. On February 22, 2010 Zazi plead guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support for a terrorist organization. Zazi said he was recruited by al-Qaeda as part of a “martyrdom plan”.Zazi agreed to cooperate with authorities and has told them that the groups planned to walk into the Times Square and Grand Central stations with backpack bombs at rush hour and then choose which subway lines to attack. Several days later Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay high school classmates of Zazi were indicted and plead not guilty to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support for a terrorist organization. On April 12 a fourth man was arrested in Pakistan. On April 23 Prosecutors said that two Senior Al Queda officials who were reportedly later killed in drone attacks ordered the attacks and Zarein Ahmedzay pled guilty to plot related charges. On July 7 five others were indicted including al-Qaeda leader Adnan Shukrijumah, and it was alleged the United Kingdom was also a target of the plot. While in Pakistan, Zazi, Ahmedzay and Medunjanin were allegedly recruited and directed by Shukrijumah, a former Florida student who is designated as one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, to conduct a terrorist attack in the U.S. On August 6 new charges were brought against Medunjanin and 4 others including Shukrijumah. Medunjanin pled not guilty.
2009 August – September: On September 24 William Boyd and Hysen Sherifi charged with “conducting reconnaissance of the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia and obtaining armor-piercing ammunition with the intent to attack Americans”. Boyd, two of his sons and several other suspects had been charged on international terrorism charges in August, but at the time there was no indication that they wanted to plot a United States attack. An audio tape of Boyd decrying the U.S. military, discussing the honor of martyrdom, and bemoaning the struggle of Muslims was played at an August hearing. It is the first case of a ring ofhomegrown terrorists having specific targets.
2010 May Paul Rockwood Jr. a meteorologist who took official weather observations and his pregnant wife Nancy from King Salmon, Alaska compiled a list of 20 targets, including members of the military and media and had moved to the operational phase of their plan plead guilty to lying to FBI about the list and making false statements to the FBI. Under a plea agreement Mr. Rockwood will serve eight years in prison and three years probation while Ms. Rockwood will serve probation. Motive was revenge for alleged descecration of Islam.
2010 September 20: Sami Samir Hassoun, 22, a Lebanese citizen living in Chicago, was charged with one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device after placing a backpack with what he thought was a bomb near Wrigley Field. Alleged plot was foiled by FBI informant. Hassoun discussed other ideas for mass destruction attacks with informant.
2010 December 8: Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain arrested after a sting operation in an alleged plot to bomb a military recruiting center inCatonsville, Maryland. The 21-year-old suspect is an American who converted to Islam. The suspect was reported to be upset that the military continues to kill Muslims.
2010 December 21: Internet radio broadcaster Hal Turner sentenced to 33 months in prison after he published the work addresses and photographs of three judges who had upheld gun control laws and advocated for their assassination.
2011 February 24: Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian student arrested for building bombs to use in alleged terrorist attacks. Targets allegedly were home of George W. Bush, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, nightclubs and the homes of soldiers who were formerly stationed at the Abu Ghraib prison. In Aldawsari’s journal he wrote he was inspired by the speeches of Osama bin Laden. Alleged plot uncovered when supplier noticed suspicious purchases.
2011 May 11: In the 2011 Manhattan terrorism plot, Ahmed Ferhani resident of Queens, New York and native of Algeria and Mohamed Mamdouh aged 20 also from Queens and Moroccan native arrested in a lone wolf plot against a New York Synagogue that had yet to be chosen. It also alleged that they hoped to attack the Empire State Building. The pair were arrested after buying two Browning semi-automatic pistols, one Smith & Wesson revolver, ammunition and one grenade. The pair disguised themselves as Jewish temple goers and pretended to pray. The suspects were said to be “committed to violent jihad“.
2011 June 23: Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh of Long Beach, California are arrested on charges of buying machine guns and grenades and conspiring to attack a federal building housing a Military Entrance Processing Station in Seattle, Washington.Plot was uncovered by informent. Motive was to send message in protest of US action abroad. On April 8, 2013 Walli Mujahidh apologized and was sentenced to 17 years for his role in the plot.
2011 July 27: AWOL U.S. Army Private, and conscientious objector, Naser Jason Abdo from Garland, Texas was arrested in an alleged plot against Fort Hood, Texas. Materials for up to two bombs were found with jihadist materials in Abdo’s motel room. Investigation began when owner of a local gun store called police after becoming suspicious when Abdo asked questions indicating he did not know about the items he was purchasing.
2011 September 28: Rezwan Ferdaus, a US citizen,was indicted for allegedly plotting to use remote-controlled aircraft carrying explosives to bomb the Pentagon and the US Capitol. He also allegedly planned to hire people to shoot at people fleeing the Pentagon. Ferdaus was said to be motivated by Al Queada videos and the alleged plot was uncovered by an F.B.I. sting operation. In July 2012 he pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Under a plea bargain, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison and then 10 years of supervised release.
2011 October 11: Operation Red Coalition. Alleged plot that was “conceived, sponsored and was directed from Iran” to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir with a bomb and bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. It is not known if Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had knowledge of the plot. The alleged plot was disrupted by an FBI and DEA investigation. The investigation began in May 2011 when an Iranian-American approached a DEA informant seeking the help of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. Iran has denied the allegations.
2011 October–November: Georgia terrorist plot Four elderly men from a Georgia militia arrested for plotting to buy ricin in preparation for an attack they claimed would “save the Constitution”. They allegedly discussed blowing up IRS and ATF buildings, dispensing ricin from a plane over Atlanta and other cities, and assassinating “un American” politicians. Informant used to break up alleged plot.
2011 November 20: Jose Pimentel aged 27 an American citizen and a convert to Islam from New York City arrested and accused of being the process of building pipe bombs (and one hour away from his building his first bomb) to target post offices police cars and U.S. military personnel returning from abroad in New York City and Bayonne, New Jersey. Was said to be a follower of the late al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. The FBI did not consider Pimentel who was said to be radicalized via the internet by enough of a threat to investigate but NYC police considered him a 2 on a threat scale of 1 to 5.
2012 January 7: Sami Osmakac a naturalized American from Kosovo arrested in plot to create mayhem in Tampa, Florida by car bombing, hostage taking and exploding a suicide belt. Allege bomb targets included by night clubs in the Ybor City, a bar, and the operations center of the sheriff’s office and South Tampabusinesses. Osmakac allegedly told an FBI undercover agent “We all have to die, so why not die the Islamic way?”. Osmakac plead not guilty on February 8.
2012 February 17: Amine El Khalifi a Moroccan man from Alexandria, Virginia arrested in alleged suicide bombing plot of U.S. Capital. Was arrested was a result of F.B.I. sting operation. As a result of a plea agreement El Khalifi was sentenced to 30 years in prison on September 14.
2012 May 1: 5 self described anarchists were arrested in an alleged plot to blow up a bridge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, Ohio. The group was being monitored as part of an F.B.I. undercover operation and had considered other plots previously. One of the suspects expressed a desire to cause financial damage to companies while avoiding casualties.
2012 August 27: Four non-commissioned officers from Fort Stewart in Georgia, along with five other men, were charged in an alleged plot to poison an apple orchard and blow up a dam in Washington State, seize control of Fort Stewart, set off explosives in a park in Savannah, Georgia, and assassinate President Barack Obama. The alleged plot was on behalf of the “FEAR” militia for the long term purpose of overthrowing the government.
2012 October 17: Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis age 21 arrested in plot to bomb the Manhattan office of the Federal Reserve Bank on behalf of “our beloved Sheikh Osama bin Laden”. Motive was to destroy the economy and possibly force cancellation of the Presidential election. Suspect who has a student visa is a Bangladeshi national who come to the U.S. to launch a terrorist attack. Arrest was result a joint FBI-New York City police sting operation. Suspect was pulling detonator on disabled 1000 pound van bomb when arrested. On August 9, 2013 Nafis was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Prior to his sentencing Nafis wrote a letter apologizing to the people of America and New York for his actions which he said were caused by personal and family problems and said he is now pro American.
2012 November 29 Raees Alam Qazi and his brother Sheheryar Alam Qazi of Florida naturalized citizens of Pakistani descent arrested for being in the aspirational stages of a plot to attack New York City. Raees Alam Qazi is alleged be inspired by Al Queda and of trying to contact terrorists abroad. On June 11, 2015 Reees and Sheheryar were sentenced to 35 and 20 years respectively for the plot and attacking federal officials while in custody.
2013 June 19 Two middle aged upstate New York men Scott Crawford and Eric J. Feight arrested by FBI in alleged plot to target a political figure reported to be President Obama and a Muslim group deemed enemies of Israel by constructing and using an X-Ray Gun that was described by the FBI as “useful and “functional”. Obama was believed by the pair to be allowing Muslims into the country without background checks. Investigation was launched when a synagogue and the Ku Klux Klan whom Crawford was a member of told authorities that Crawford tried to recruit them to take part in the alleged plot.
2015 March 26 Hasan R. Edmonds an Illinois National Guardsman and his cousin Jonas M. Edmonds arrested in an alleged terrorist plot against a Northern Illinois military base. The alleged plot involved Hasan leaving the country and Jones using Hasan’s uniform to gain access. Motive was to bring “the flames of war to the heart” of America. Alleged plot broken up by sting operation.
2015 April 2 Two women from Queens, New York 28-year-old Noelle Velentzas and 31-year-old Asia Siddiqui arrested on charges of trying to detonate explosives in the US. They had purchased propane tanks. It is believed to be first case of a women only conceived terror plot in the US. Suspected busted by sting operation. Siddiqui alleged to have Al Quaeda contact. On May 7 the two plead not guilty.
2015 April 10 the FBI arrested Robert Rankin Doggart, a 63-year-old Tennessee man who ran as a congressional candidate in 2014. He was wiretapped explaining plans to raise a militia to burn down a mosque, school and cafeteria and gun down Muslims in an enclave called Islamberg in New York. He planned to amass M4 carbines, pistols, Molotov cocktails and machetes, saying “We will offer [our] lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God,” and “We shall be Warriors who inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies,” and “If it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds.” He has a Ph.D. from a diploma mill and an ordination from an ordination mill.
2015 May 15 Robert Doggart of Signal Mountain, Tennessee and a former candidate for the 4th Congressional District plead guilty to interstate communication of threats after confessing to plotting to firebomb a school, a mosque and a cafeteria in a Muslim community in upstate, New York.
2015 June 15, 17 Fareed Mumuni of Staten Island and Munther Omar Saleh of Queens arrested for allegedly trying to conspire to assist ISIS in committing an attack in the New York area. Both suspects allegedly charged at law enforcement trying to arrest them with a knife.
2015 July 3-5 F.B.I. Director James Comey said his agency disrupted multiple July 4th weekend terror plots.
2015 July 13 Alexander Ciccolo, 23, of Adams, Massachusetts a son of a Boston police captain arrested in plot to attack a state college and broadcast executions of students on the internet. Suspect who was turned in by his father is said to be inspired by ISIS and reportedly characterized America as “Satan” and “disgusting”. Ciccolo has guns and possible bomb making equipment.