Archive for November 28, 2008

Florida Mortgage Fraud

TAMPA — Thousands of miles from the trading floors of global stock markets, an abandoned house in one of Tampa’s poorest neighborhoods is an improbable place to learn about why the world’s financial system is collapsing.

But if you want to understand how we got into this mess, the stucco house at 4809 N 17th St. isn’t a bad place to start.

Beer bottles and shards of glass litter the yard. A blue tarp covers much of the rotting roof. Boards shutter the windows.

This husk sold for $300,000 in 2006 with the help of a no-money-down mortgage from a subsidiary of Washington Mutual Bank. The owner defaulted; WaMu owns it now. Listed for $52,000, the house could be yours for $35,000 cash.

“What we had here was an obvious case of mortgage fraud,” said Josh Parker, a Coldwell Banker Realtor.

Read the rest of this investigative report at TampaBay.com.

Unfortunately, the personnel at agencies created to handle those risky mortgages worked hardest on enriching their corporate officers, not on making sure that their finances were sound.

They need to be shut down.

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No Black Fridays For Me.

I suppose I just don’t want to save money badly enough to engage in eye gouging, foot stomping, and/or knee kicking over a discount item in the electronics department that may not be the exact item I’m looking for anyway but what the hell, it’s on sale!

I read an account online of a person shopping in my area that noted that the prices in some stores were raised just prior to cutting them the week of the sale so that it looked as though the savings were larger than what they actually were. I can’t confirm, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

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Pakistanis Were Told That Mumbai Attack Was Not a Suicide Mission

NEW DELHI: The gang of terrorists who wreaked mayhem in Mumbai for three days were made to believe by their Lashkar bosses that they were not being sent on a suicide mission and that they would be coming back alive.

In a sensational disclosure made by Ajmal, the jihadi nabbed alive by Mumbai cops, the group had planned to sail out on Thursday. Their recruiters had even charted out the return route for them and stored it on the GPS device which they had used to navigate their way to the Mumbai shoreline.

This suggests that the terrorists were willing to undertake a mission which they knew would be very risky, but not necessarily suicidal.

Sources said that the bait of safe return must have been used by the recruiters to convince the wavering among the group to join the audacious plot against Mumbai.

Ajmal made another important disclosure: that all terrorists were trained in marine warfare along with the special course Daura-e-Shifa conducted by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in what at once transforms the nature of the planning from a routine terror strike and into a specialized raid by commandos.

Battle-hardened ATS officials are surprised by the details of the training the terrorists were put through before being despatched for the macabre mission. This was very different from a terrorist attack, and amounted to an offensive from the seam, said a source.

Ajmal has revealed the name of his fellow jihadis all Pakistani citizens as Abu Ali, Fahad, Omar, Shoaib, Umer, Abu Akasha, Ismail, Abdul Rahman (Bara) and Abdul Rahman (Chhota).

The account of Ajmal also strengthens the doubt of the complicity of powerful elements in the Pakistani establishment. According to him, the group set off on November 21 from an isolated creek near Karachi without the deadly cargo of arms and ammunition they were to use against the innocents in Mumbai. The group received arms and ammunition on board a large Pakistani vessel which picked them up the following day. The vessel, whose ownership is now the subject of an international probe, had four Pakistanis apart from the crew.

A day later, they came across an Indian-owned trawler, Kuber, which was promptly commandeered on the seas. Four of the fishermen who were on the trawler were killed, but its skipper, or tandel in fishermen lingo, Amarjit Singh, was forced to proceed towards India. Amarjit was killed the next day, and Ismail the terrorist who was killed at Girgaum Chowpaty took the wheel.

A trained sailor, Ismail used the GPS to reach Mumbai coast on November 26. The group, however, slowed down its advance as they had reached during the day time while the landing was planned after dusk. The group shifted to inflatable boats, before disembarking at Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade.

From there, they mandated to kill indiscriminately, particularly white foreign tourists, and spare Muslims split up into five batches. Two of them Ismail and Ajmal took a taxi to Victoria Terminus. Three other batches of two each headed for Oberoi Hotel, Cafe Leopold and Nariman House. The remaining four went to Taj Hotel.

Read the rest in The Times of India.

Qaida in Partnership With Lashkar-e-Taiba.

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Two Men Shoot, Kill Each Other at Toys R Us

PALM DESERT, Calif. — Two people are dead in a Black Friday shooting at a crowded Toys “R” Us in Palm Desert, Calif.

City Councilman Jim Ferguson said police have told him that the victims were two men with handguns who shot each other. Read the rest at News4Jax.com.

The councilman then asked who would take a loaded gun into a toy store? I dunno, but it sounds like Wal-Mart employees might need one for self defense from shoppers.

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Terrorists Release 17 Russians After Checking Passports

MOSCOW: Terrorists holed up inside Mumbai’s Taj and Trident-Oberoi hotels allowed 17 Russian hostages, including nine defence contractors, to leave after checking their passports, following which they were safely evacuated.

Earlier on Thursday, spokesman of Russian arms exporting company ‘Rosoboron export’ had confirmed that nine of its specialists working on various defence projects in India were safely evacuated from the Taj hotel.

According to the ‘Kommersant’ daily, eight crew members of Russian Aeroflot airlines dining in the restaurant of Trident-Oberoi were also “politely asked” to follow the hotel staff, who guided them to safety outside the hotel.

“Two airhostesses, who wanted to go to bed early, had returned to their rooms in Trident hotel and could not be evacuated,” an Aeroflot official in Mumbai was quoted as saying by the daily.

However, the Vesti TV channel added that both the airhostesses trapped in the Trident-Oberoi were rescued this morning by the security personnel.

In its article ‘Terrorists Slam the Gateway of India’ Kommersant notes that terrorists especially targeted US and UK citizens and said that the attacks were a clear sign of al-Qaeda involvement.

“In the past the Indian leadership had also said about the alleged involvement of al-Qaeda but this time it is clear that it has shifted its war against America outside the territories of Iraq and Afghanistan,” ‘Kommersant writes. – PTI

Source.

Interesting. There’s a legal concept called “cui bono” (loosely translated as “who benefits?” that is of interest to me. Certainly Pakistan doesn’t benefit if there is an all out war. So, who does? If Pakistan has to suspend it’s half-hearted military pursuit of Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists in order to defend itself against India, then the terrorists benefit. The Soviets will also benefit from arms and oil sales.

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