Saturday, July 9, 2016

"He pulls his weapon — likely a Soviet-style rifle judging by its profile..."

"He pulls his weapon — likely a Soviet-style rifle judging by its profile — to his cheek and fires multiple rounds before calmly and deliberately moving to another column, his rifle at the ready. Given his Army duties, it is unlikely Johnson’s apparent proficiency with his weapon came solely from his time in the service. At his home, police later found a diary with entries on combat tactics.
And then, in some of most gruesome footage from the evening, Johnson advances through a hail of gunfire, cuts a wide arc around a police officer crouching behind one of the entrance’s pillars, and fires point blank into the officer’s back, shooting repeatedly as the officer collapses.
Johnson eventually enters the college, moving through a series of connected buildings before barricading himself on the second floor, where he continues shooting through an open window." 
"The violence did not end in Dallas. Officers were also shot Friday in Georgia, Tennessee and Missouri. In Georgia, police said a man called 9-1-1 and then shot at the responding officer, wounding him, the Associated Press reported. And a police officer was in critical condition in St. Louis after being shot during a traffic stop Friday morning, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported." 
M.N.: The hypothetical and unresolved issues of multiple shooters persist: San Bernardino, Orlando, Dallas and possibly in other incidents (Columbine High SchoolSandy Hook).
"After the gunfire, three people were taken into custody, police said. Two people were seen climbing into a black Mercedes with a camouflage bag before speeding off, police said, and they were apprehended in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. Another person, a woman, was taken into custody near a garage where the attacker who exchanged gunfire with police wound up.
On Friday morning, Brown said he would not go into any detail on other suspects until authorities get further into their investigation.
“We’re not expanding on who and how many,” he said. “We’re going to keep these suspects guessing.”
By Friday afternoon, police had not said whether any of these people remained in custody. A spokeswoman for the Dallas police did not respond to a request for comment.
At one point, Brown said he believed that as many as four suspects were “working together with rifles triangulated at elevated positions at different points in the downtown area” where the march was taking place."
"Cutting short a planned tour of Spain, the first black US president will return to a nation whose stark divide on race was brought to the fore once again by the assassination of five policemen in Dallas by a black military veteran said to have been targeting white people.
They were the first deaths of law enforcement around demonstrations over the use of force by police since the intense unrest sparked by the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, in the summer of 2014.
Conservatives were quick to accuse Obama of having blood on his hands for delivering remarks hours before the Dallas shootings in which he urged white Americans to take seriously the Black Lives Matter protest movement’s grievances over racism in the criminal justice system... 
Obama had in fact struck a careful balance, stressing that despite legitimate concerns, American should have an “extraordinary appreciation and respect for the vast majority of police officers”, describing their job as dangerous and difficult. He spoke again on Friday after the Dallas shootings to call the attack “vicious, calculated and despicable”... 
Law enforcement officials said late on Friday that Johnson appeared to have acted alone. Three other suspects had been held in custody, but authorities in Dallas had provided mixed signals about their importance to the investigation, and their status remained unclear." 
“It is my understanding that investigators have now publicly ruled out the possibility that the individual who carried out this terrible act of violence had any sort of connections to terrorist organizations, either in the United States or around the world,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said while briefing reporters in Warsaw, Poland.
Later at a news conference in New York, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the shooter had "no known links or inspiration from any international terrorist organization." 
The suspect in Thursday’s attack, identified by investigators as Micah Xavier Johnson, was killed by police. Two other men and a woman were in police custody, though they had not been identified.
So far, Dallas police and the U.S. Justice Department have refused to classify the attack. Police said only that it was a “well-planned” ambush."
"Two U.S. officials told me that the U.S. diplomat was in fact working undercover for the U.S. intelligence community and was seeking refuge inside the U.S. Embassy to avoid being detained by the Russian security services, who had been following him. Russian security services personnel were waiting for him at the embassy guard station, the video shows, according to the officials. He rushed through the guard station and made it onto embassy property, but one FSB guard pursued him into the compound and tackled him to the ground. The diplomat eventually broke free and continued into the embassy building before any other U.S. personnel could come to his aid. 
This account, which the State Department declined to confirm, is quite different from the account put forth by the Russian foreign ministry in two separate statements over the past week. On June 30, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the diplomat jumped out of a taxi with a cap pulled down over his face and refused to show the Russian guards any credentials before elbowing one guard in the face. She also said the Russian government believed the diplomat to be an undercover CIA agent." 

M.N.: This video clearly shows that the guard attacked first and most likely the guard was warned by the FSB surveillance team or was instructed in advance about the incoming visitor directing him to prevent the visitor's entering the embassy. The nature of the visitor's work or activities is irrelevant: the guard had to let him in when he saw the ID. It is not clear from this video if the ID was indeed shown, but it can be assumed that it was, since it is a common procedure.