Monday, May 29, 2017

The Ariana Grande Manchester Arena Concert Terror Attack: A New Low For Terrorism?

Even though radicalized religious extremist have targeted groups of children before – i.e. the Beslan School Siege back in 2004 – does the recent Ariana Grande Manchester concert attack represent a new low for such terror attacks? 

By: Ringo Bones 

The tragic May 22, 2017 suicide bombing of Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert by a 22-year-old British Muslim named Salman Abedi who detonated a shrapnel-laden improvised explosive device (IED) at the exit of the arena after the event. The brazen attack had resulted in the deaths of 23 adults and children, including Abedi and 116 were injured, some critically. At the latest stage of the ongoing investigation, Abedi was suspected of working within a terrorist network and 16 people so far were arrested in connection with the incident, two of which are released without charge. 

Even though Abedi has been under surveillance by the UK’s anti terror intelligence agencies since 2015 after he threatened a local imam for preaching against the so-called Islamic State, he managed to “flew under the radar” so to speak and managed not to raise red flags. Hours after the suicide bombing, initial investigations suggests that Abedi might be self-radicalized. A few days ago, critical evidence has been uncovered that Abedi could be part of a still unidentified terror network following the furor over vital forensic photos that were leaked to the New York Times that angered Home Secretary Amber Rudd that resulted in a temporary halt of intelligence sharing by the UK’s intelligence services and the US government. 

A tribute concert by Ariana Grande has already been scheduled later for the benefit of the victims and the families of the tragic Manchester Arena attack. And as a sign of resilience, concert events and a marathon scheduled after the Ariana Grande concert were allowed to proceed albeit under heightened security.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Farewell Chris Cornell….

As one of the musicians credited for making the “angst-ridden” Seattle Grunge into the musical mainstream during the early 1990s, will the music world be poorer with the untimely passing of Chris Cornell?

By: Ringo Bones 

Besides Kurt Cobain and the rest of Nirvana, it seems that Chris Cornell and his fellow musicians of Soundgarden were absolutely pivotal in thrusting the so-called “Seattle Grunge” into the musical mainstream during the early 1990s. Even though no self-respecting music lover associates the great city of Seattle, Washington with Jazz clarinetist Kenny G, the so-called Seattle Grunge movement of the early 1990s will forever be associated with Nirvana and Soundgarden, in which Chris Cornell has since become an indispensable frontman since they gained fame during the late 1980s with their Loud Love album. 

It was reported that Chris Cornell died of an apparent suicide according to his representative, Brian Bumbery announced to the press on May 17, 2017. Cornell was said to have been found dead in the bathroom of his room at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel after Cornell’s wife asked a family friend to check up on him. Detroit police spokesman Michael Woody told Associated Press that the death was being treated as a possible suicide. 

Cornell’s biggest mainstream hit was probably the soundtrack to the 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royal titled You Know My Name which he wrote with Independence Day composer David Arnold. This was also the first Bond movie of actor Daniel Craig. Chris Cornell also earned kudos with the plane-watching community when in a Soundgarden video Burden in my Hand they used a Swedish Saab 35 Draken to flyby 4-minutes 4-seconds into the music video. Non-plane-watching enthusiasts often mistake the Swedish Saab 35 Draken flyby as a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The music world could be a lot sadder without him and his still untapped potential.