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S.C. mom scoops al-Qaida with its videos
AP via Yahoo ^ | Sep 20, 2007 | SAGAR MEGHANI

Posted on 09/20/2007 8:56:59 PM PDT by stainlessbanner

WASHINGTON - Once her son is off to school, Laura Mansfield settles in at her dining room table with her laptop and begins trolling Arabic-language message boards and chat rooms popular with jihadists.

Fluent in Arabic, the self-employed terror analyst often hacks into the sites, translates the material, puts it together and sends her analysis via a subscription service to intelligence agencies, law enforcement and academics.

Occasionally she comes across a gem, such as when she found a recent Osama bin Laden video — before al-Qaida had announced it.

"I realized, oh my gosh, I'm sitting here, I'm a fat 50-year-old mom and I've managed to scoop al-Qaida," said Mansfield, who uses that name as a pseudonym because she receives death threats.

She sometimes spends 100 hours a week online, and she often finds items after word has begun spreading on the Arabic forums of an imminent release.

"It's really important to understand what the jihadists think and how they're planning on doing things," she said. "They're very vocal. They tell us what they're going to do and then they go out and do it."

Mansfield tips off her intelligence sources when she does find something new, part of an informal working relationship with the government.

"When I send them something, it's welcome," she said. "They thank me."

There have been times when an impending video release has kept her from a planned shopping trip with her daughter.

"It gets really challenging when you're trying to do that and cook spaghetti at the same time," she said.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; alqaida; binladen; lauramansfield; looselips; mansfield; mom; pajamahadeen; sc; scoop; video; videotape
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1 posted on 09/20/2007 8:57:02 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
LAURA: HOW ARE YOU OSAMA!!
LAURA: ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US.
LAURA: HA HA HA HA....
2 posted on 09/20/2007 8:58:52 PM PDT by RichInOC (OSAMA: WHAT YOU SAY!!)
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To: stainlessbanner

An “Army of Davids / A pack not a herd.” alert.


3 posted on 09/20/2007 8:59:32 PM PDT by Harpo Speaks (Honk! Honk! Honk! Either it's foggy out, or make that a dozen hard boiled eggs.)
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To: stainlessbanner
You have got to be kidding.

You would think with all of the freaking tax money we pay Uncle Sam they wouldn't have to rely on a fat 50-year-old mom sitting at home for intelligence.

4 posted on 09/20/2007 9:02:24 PM PDT by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
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To: stainlessbanner

Sweet kudos to her!


5 posted on 09/20/2007 9:03:26 PM PDT by tdewey10 (Can we please take out iran's nuclear capability before they start using it?)
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To: stainlessbanner
Wonder if she's a FReeper.
6 posted on 09/20/2007 9:03:47 PM PDT by Lancer_N3502A
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Rome2000

The CIA should hire her for $50K per year, and give her an office from which she could do the same analysis.


8 posted on 09/20/2007 9:06:40 PM PDT by Solitar ("My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them." -- Barry Goldwater)
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To: Rome2000

Open mouth, insert foot, chew leather. How does it taste?


9 posted on 09/20/2007 9:07:04 PM PDT by NautiNurse (McClatchy News report: Half the nation's families earn below the median family income)
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To: Rome2000

Laura is literally one in a million. You would also think that with all the money we send to the RNC we wouldn’t have to rely on a guy named Jim Robinson to keep the Conservative agenda alive.

Let’s face it: the private sector just does it better.


10 posted on 09/20/2007 9:08:31 PM PDT by SlowBoat407 (Free commerce is the only just way to redistribute wealth.)
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To: Solitar
The CIA should hire her for $50K per year, and give her an office from which she could do the same analysis.

Or at least give her a nice fast computer and a T1 line.

11 posted on 09/20/2007 9:10:17 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: stainlessbanner; jveritas
Ping Jveritas.
14 posted on 09/20/2007 9:11:40 PM PDT by avacado
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To: Rome2000

She’s must be brilliant. And catches things others have missed. I’m lovin’ it. God Bless Her.


15 posted on 09/20/2007 9:16:03 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand;but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: Solitar; NautiNurse
My point is that the feds should not be getting "scooped" by the Pajama Brigade re the WOT.

Hell, they not only should hire her and dozens of other more qualified freepers but fire most of the useless apparatchiks skulking about Langley.

16 posted on 09/20/2007 9:16:25 PM PDT by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
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To: Rome2000
You have got to be kidding.

You would think with all of the freaking tax money we pay Uncle Sam they wouldn't have to rely on a fat 50-year-old mom sitting at home for intelligence.

Given how hard it is to raise kids decently these days, and how sneaky kids can be, can you think of someone more qualified to uncover these sorts of secrets?

Mark

17 posted on 09/20/2007 9:16:50 PM PDT by MarkL (Listen, Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government)
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To: Oorang

Loose lips sink ships


18 posted on 09/20/2007 9:18:02 PM PDT by perfect stranger
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: SlowBoat407
You would also think that with all the money we send to the RNC we wouldn’t have to rely on a guy named Jim Robinson to keep the Conservative agenda alive.

You give money to the RNC? And you think it has something to do with the conservative agenda?

20 posted on 09/20/2007 9:19:13 PM PDT by Prokopton
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To: Cementjungle

Maybe give her some protection too — somebody she can train to keep an eye on things while she tends to her kids, and somebody to cover her back.


21 posted on 09/20/2007 9:19:22 PM PDT by Solitar ("My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them." -- Barry Goldwater)
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To: stainlessbanner

bump


22 posted on 09/20/2007 9:20:24 PM PDT by Enterprise (Those who "betray us" also "Betray U.S." They're called DEMOCRATS!)
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To: stainlessbanner; 2A Patriot; 2nd amendment mama; 4everontheRight; 77Jimmy; ...
South Carolina Ping

Add me to the list. / Remove me from the list.
23 posted on 09/20/2007 9:24:57 PM PDT by upchuck (Psychiatrists have labeled George Bush’s South-of-the-Border obsession as mexicosis. ~ firehat)
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To: Rome2000

Hey! Don’t underestimate us fat, 50-ish moms. We’re fairly formidible.


24 posted on 09/20/2007 9:26:56 PM PDT by Jemian (PAM of JT ~~ Liberalism only works in the abstract.)
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To: Solitar

Maybe she shouldn’t be blabbing to AP about what she is doing. Not real smart to putting her name and approximate location - and the fact that she has kids in an online searchable news story.

Unless it is a PsyOp to mess with the small minds of the jihadies. Osama got 0wned by a housewife! LOL


25 posted on 09/20/2007 9:31:06 PM PDT by anymouse
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To: Jemian
My wife, a 50ish Mom, may not be much to look at for you - but she raised a (0311) Marine.

And I know she is demonstrably more than capable of whacking someone at 300+M with my .308.

You just do not want to mess with a MOM!

26 posted on 09/20/2007 9:33:34 PM PDT by ASOC (Yeah, well, maybe - but can you *prove* it?)
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To: ASOC
Yuppers. My kids have compared me with Medea (or however you spell that name) of Diary of a Mad Black Woman. I'm trying to learn to be as demure and soft-speaking as Ann Coulter. But it's hard.
27 posted on 09/20/2007 9:36:27 PM PDT by Jemian (PAM of JT ~~ Liberalism only works in the abstract.)
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To: ASOC

Oh, and thank you, sir, for your son’s service and your family’s sacrifice for my safety.

PS Marine’s make me go weak in the knees.


28 posted on 09/20/2007 9:37:35 PM PDT by Jemian (PAM of JT ~~ Liberalism only works in the abstract.)
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To: stainlessbanner

So she found the video. Kudos to her


29 posted on 09/20/2007 9:37:40 PM PDT by wastedyears (George Orwell was a clairvoyant.)
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Freeper 'svni' is a survivor of the Moscow theater hostage crisis and spoke at the conference on victims of terror in Vienna last week.

Sadly, she hasn't been on the site in quite awhile. Her observations that Putin was not America's friend were quite unpopular here three years ago.

Lots of interesting people here.
30 posted on 09/20/2007 9:38:13 PM PDT by struwwelpeter
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To: Rome2000

You seem to be under the illusion that the government is here to serve and protect us. BTW, she’s not the only stay-at-home mom scooping our government agencies; there’s another one in Montana who got some of them convicted and suffered as a result.


31 posted on 09/20/2007 9:42:38 PM PDT by Iconoclast2 (Two wings of the same bird of prey . . .)
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To: Rome2000

Hey! I resemble that remark.

Have you ever seen even one govt employee who really works like a private person??


32 posted on 09/20/2007 9:45:13 PM PDT by Kay
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To: stainlessbanner

SWEET news!!


33 posted on 09/20/2007 9:46:47 PM PDT by Kay
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To: Iconoclast2
You seem to be under the illusion that the government is here to serve and protect us.

It makes it easier to accept paying 30% of my income to them.

34 posted on 09/20/2007 9:47:21 PM PDT by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
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To: Solitar

50 Grand??? Try a minimum of a couple a hundred grand!


35 posted on 09/20/2007 9:54:48 PM PDT by US_MilitaryRules (All my bullets are dipped in PIG fat. How about yours?)
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To: Solitar

Better yet, the $50 K, and a high speed security protecteed,internet connection, so that she can
remain at home with her family without fear of being backtraced.


36 posted on 09/20/2007 10:06:54 PM PDT by DGHoodini
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To: Solitar

I’m all for reducing the federal pay rate of all intel folks to whatever this old lady makes. If she can do it, on whatever budget she has, so can they.


37 posted on 09/20/2007 10:15:53 PM PDT by Triggerhippie (Always use a silencer in a crowd. Loud noises offend people.)
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To: anymouse

Well, she is using a pseudonym, and Washington isn’t necessarily anywhere near where she lives.

Good for her, I say!


38 posted on 09/20/2007 10:22:24 PM PDT by Constantine XI Palaeologus ("Vicisti, Galilaee")
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To: Rome2000

I trust her more than the Conservative hating CIA and State Department.


39 posted on 09/20/2007 10:29:11 PM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (Harvard, Yale, Princeton zoological parks for RINO's)
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To: Triggerhippie

OLD LADY? At 50? You’ll regret that someday. But anyway, Laura was the main contibutor to North East Intelligence Agency, which was a sore spot for Islamists a few years ago. She’s been to mosques in the US and reported that they were radical. Is she fat? Only because she says so, but anyone in America can say that, right?


40 posted on 09/20/2007 10:29:36 PM PDT by tinamina
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To: US_MilitaryRules

I have been told that the going rate in Govt. for Arabic language speakers is 150K.


41 posted on 09/20/2007 10:34:51 PM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (“Until We the People wake up and reform Congress we are nothing more than corporate slaves. We have)
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To: Solitar
"The CIA should hire her for $50K per year, and give her an office from which she could do the same analysis.

No way. The NSA 'No Such Agency' in a place down the street. Looking just like she thinks she looks now. Getting a paycheck from some irrelevent company that gets paid to pay her.

42 posted on 09/20/2007 10:49:56 PM PDT by BobS
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To: Solitar
Yeah, that would be great. She could be silenced and buried in bureaucratic red tape. That’s exactly what should be done! /sarc
43 posted on 09/20/2007 10:52:15 PM PDT by Uriah_lost ("I don't apologize for the United States of America," -Fred D Thompson)
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To: Rome2000
Laura is one of the most competent intelligence gathering people in the country. Her fluency in Arabic and knowledge of the culture is a consequence of having naively married a muslim and living in Egypt after the marriage. It was a hard lesson. She finally escaped and returned to the U.S.
44 posted on 09/20/2007 10:58:42 PM PDT by Myrddin
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: Rome2000
Finding Arabic speakers as competent as Laura AND as aware of the cultural nuances is very difficult. Money isn't the problem. We have plenty of money to hire people for those jobs. There are few applicants qualified to fill them.
46 posted on 09/20/2007 11:02:35 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Rome2000
I see what you are saying,but I am proud of her.

I would be outraged that they do not pay her to join the FBI or CIA! Cheap bastards...

47 posted on 09/20/2007 11:03:02 PM PDT by Captainpaintball
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To: Myrddin

bump


48 posted on 09/20/2007 11:07:09 PM PDT by dcwusmc (We need to make government so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub.)
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To: BobS
It's a great "work at home" business. As you correctly point out, a paycheck might well be issued from an obscure company for "stuffing envelopes" or similar nonsense.
49 posted on 09/20/2007 11:10:36 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Myrddin

I wonder often what is the best fast-track to learning Arabic.


50 posted on 09/20/2007 11:11:38 PM PDT by txhurl (Yes there were WMDs)
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