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On November 5, 1605, Guy was foiled as he plotted to destroy the Houses of Parliament during state opening and kill all inside it including the King in what became known as the Gunpowder Plot.
But aside from that what do we know about the conspirator who was just 35 when he died.
He was born on April 13th 1570 in Stonegate in York, and was educated at St. Peter’s School in York, preferring to be called Guido Fawkes.
As a boy he lived near York with his father Edward and his mother Edith.
His father was a Protestant and worked as a solicitor for the religious court of the church however in 1579 he died and three years later his mother remarried a man called Denis Bainbridge, a Catholic and so the young Guy converted.
Converting to Catholicism which in those days was a big deal as the ruling religion was led by Church of England which would not tolerate Roman Catholicism.
It was incredibly hard to worship so devotees were driven underground and it was from that oppression the plot sprung.
There have been rumours that Guy met and married Maria Pulleyn in 1590 – but there are no parish records to show this which has led it being open to dispute.
So fervent were Guy’s religious beliefs that he first choose to leave Protestant England and enlist in the Spanish army in Holland in the Eighty Years War.
There he won a reputation for great courage and cool determination and this is where he gained experience with explosives, and also where he decided to call himself Guido, probably because it sounded Spanish.
In 1604 at Ostend, Guy met another Englishman called Thomas Winter, who had also been in Spain trying to drum up support for English Catholics.
As the two travelled back to London Thomas told Guy that he and his friends including Yorkshiremen John and Christopher Wright, from Welwick, and Robert Catesby, were going to take action but needed the help of a military man who would not be recognised by the authorities.
Guy was not the mastermind behind the plot despite his subsequent fame – that was Warwickshire born Robert Catesby, the son of a persecuted Roman Catholic.
Catesby, a wealthy man, knew most of his co-conspirators through a network of friendships with various Roman Catholic families.
The exception was Guy, who he likely to have met when he was briefly employed as a footman by Anthony Browne, 2nd Lord Montague, a family which Catesby’s sister had married into.
October 18, 1605 is a crucial date with regards to the conspiracy as it is when the conspirators discussed how Catholic peers might be spared from the planned explosion.
This led to the famed ‘Monteagle Letter’ written on October 26 to catholic MP William Parker, the 4th Baron Monteagle warning him not to come near Westminster.
In order to get close enough to their targets a cellar below the Houses of Parliament was rented by the members of the plot which was filled with 36 barrels of gunpowder.
There was enough to completely destroy the building and damage buildings within a one mile radius of it.
The plot was undone when the anonymous letter was sent to the Baron of Monteagle, warning him not to go to the House of Lords was made public.
This led to a search of Westminster Palace being ordered and in the early hours of November 5, Guy was discovered guarding the explosives.
Initially he pretended to be a servant and said the wood belonged to his master Thomas Percy but when this was reported to the King, and the fact that Percy was a Catholic, the King ordered a second search, the gunpowder was found and Guy arrested.
During his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, Fawkes called himself John Johnson and when he was arrested and asked to give his name, this is the name he gave.
Shortly after being found early in the morning of November 5, the Privy Council met in the King’s bedchamber, and Fawkes was brought in under guard and asked explain why he wanted to kill him and blow up Parliament.
He answered that he regarded the King as a disease since he had been excommunicated by the Pope.
Asked why he he needed such a huge quantity of gunpowder, he apparently said: “To blow you Scotch beggars back to your own native mountains!”
Guy was sent to the Tower of London King James indicated in a letter of 6 November that “The gentler tortours are to be first used unto him, and so by degrees proceeding to the worst, and so God speed your goode worke”
And over the next four days, he was questioned and tortured on the “rack” and eventually confessed and gave the names of his conspirators.
His signature on the written confession after torture, which is still held by the National Archives, was very faint and weak, and another taken a few days later was much bolder indicating how weakened he must have been by torture.
Fawkes and others involved were tried on January 31st 1606 and then hung, drawn and quartered in the Old Palace Yard in Westminster.
The Attorney General Sir Edward Coke told the court that each of the condemned would be drawn backwards to his death, by a horse, his head near the ground.
They were to be “put to death halfway between heaven and earth as unworthy of both”.
Their genitals would be cut off and burnt before their eyes, and their bowels and hearts removed.
They would then be decapitated, and the dismembered parts of their bodies displayed so that they might become “prey for the fowls of the air”.
But Guy had the last laugh as immediately before his execution on January 31, he jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, thus avoiding the agony of the mutilation.
He also did not have his body parts distributed to “the four corners of the kingdom”, to be displayed as a warning to other would-be traitors.
Despite being involved in what is basically a terrorist plot, Guy Fawkes was named the 30th Greatest Briton in a poll conducted by the BBC in 2002.
Today the word “guy” is used to refer to a man but originally it was a term for an “ugly, repulsive person” in reference to Fawkes.
Straw effigies made of Guy Fawkes and thrown onto bonfires to remember the Gunpowder Plot were also known as “guys” and over time the meaning has blurred.
Following the thwarting of the plot Londoners were encouraged to celebrate the King’s escape from assassination by lighting bonfires and this tradition continues today.
Veteran Pickpocket Explains How ATM Skimmers Are Ruining His Craft
GIZMODO by Adam Clark Estes July 20, 2014
There’s no better example of a petty criminal than the pickpocket, a fast-moving talent who lifts wallets as if he were picking up pennies off the sidewalk. But a profile of a veteran pickpocket in the New York Times this weekend shows that technology is destroying the art. Credit cards are just more lucrative.
It’s not a surprising revelation, but it’s oddly sad to hear Wilfred Rose, said veteran thief, bemoan the shift. “We’re disappearing,” he told the paper from prison. “In a few years, there won’t be any of us left.” Evidently Rose is just one of 50 pickpockets—”the Nifty Fifty”—that the NYPD still watches out for. ATM skimmers, the Times says, are taking over.
Who wouldn’t blame them? Besides the fact that hackers can make off with millions in a matter of hours by taking the high tech route to stealing cash, ATM skimmers can live in machines for months without detection. And even if they do get discovered, it’s almost impossible to link them back to a thief. Pickpockets were never so lucky. [NYT]
Hackers Have Figured Out How to Steal Millions from ATMs
GIZMODO by Adam Clark Estes April 3, 2014
Federal regulators just alerted banks across the country of a very dangerous new skill ATM hackers have picked up. They can trick ATMs into spitting out unlimited amounts of cash, regardless of the customer’s balance. Not only that, but also schedule the illicit withdrawals for holidays and weekends, when the ATMs are extra flush.
We’ve heard of crazy ATM hackers before, but this really takes the cake. It’s a triple threat, really. The ability to skirt around daily ATM withdrawal limits is bad enough, since the hackers isn’t limited to $500 or whatever the limit is on any single account. But the fact that the hackers can now extract more than what’s in a customers account combined with the scheduling method means that any given ATM theft could now be an all out heist. That’s why the Secret Service is calling this strategy Unlimited Operations.
Heists are exactly what’s happening, too. “A recent Unlimited Operations attack netted over $40 million in fraud using only 12 debit card accounts,” said the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council in its alert to banks. The regulators believe that the hackers have actually been targeting bank employees with phishing scams in order to get their malware installed on the banks’ computer systems. The Los Angeles Times explains how it’s done:
Criminals use the malware to obtain employee login credentials and to determine how the institution accesses ATM control panels, often based online, that allow changes to be made in the amount of money customers may withdraw, geographic usage limits and how fraud reports are generated.
After hacking the control panel, criminals withdraw funds by using fraudulent cards they create with account information and personal identification numbers stolen through separate attacks, the regulators said. The PINs may be stolen by malicious software or scanning programs at merchant sales terminals or ATMs, or by hacking into computers.
It also doesn’t help that the recent Target breach put millions upon millions of card numbers out in the open, giving hackers even more fraudulent cards to work with.
For those that’ve been hit by one of these attacks, federal insurance will kick in, but it’s a huge pain in the ass for everyone. So in a twisted sort of way, these ATM hackers are inevitably taking your tax dollars. That mobile payments revolution everyone keeps talking about can’t come soon enough, can it? [LAT]
EXCLUSIVE: TSA Allowing Illegals to Fly Without Verifiable ID, Says Border Patrol Union
BreitBart.com by Brandon Darby July 11, 2014
MCALLEN, Texas—Illegal aliens are being allowed to fly on commercial airliners without valid identification, according to the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). “The aliens who are getting released on their own recognizance are being allowed to board and travel commercial airliners by simply showing their Notice to Appear forms,” NBPC’s Local 2455 Spokesman, Hector Garza, told Breitbart Texas.
“This is not the CBP [Customs and Border Protection] or another federal agency renting or leasing an aircraft, these are the same planes that the American public uses for domestic travel,” said Garza. “This just adds insult to injury. Not only are we releasing unknown illegal aliens onto American streets, but we are allowing them to travel commercially using paperwork that could easily be reproduced or manipulated on any home computer. The Notice to Appear form has no photo, anyone can make one and manipulate one. They do not have any security features, no watermark, nothing. They are simply printed on standard copy paper based on the information the illegal alien says is the truth.”
Spokesman Garza continued, “We do not know who these people are, we often have to solely rely on who they say they are, where they say they came from, and the history they say they have. We know nothing about most of them, ICE releases them into the American public, and now they are boarding aircraft at will with a simple paper document that anyone can easily alter or reproduce themselves.”
The shocking assertions by Garza were further validated by the national body of the NBPC. Breitbart Texas obtained an exclusive statement from the NBPC.
“The National Border Patrol Council adamantly opposes the decision of DHS to release the illegal aliens who have been transported from the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector to other locations for processing. The lack of consequences has furthered this crisis and will only continue to do so. The fact that TSA is accepting the I-862 (Notice to Appear) as a form of identification and allowing illegal aliens to travel commercially shows just how little regard the federal government has for its own immigration laws.”
Breitbart Texas also spoke with Shawn Moran, the vice president of the NBPC and he stated, “Why waste money and effort transporting people from the RGV if we are only going to release them with no real way to track them? Why are we allowing them to travel commercially using paperwork that could easily be reproduced or manipulated on any home computer.”
Spokesman Garza highlighted the significance of the NBPC’s assertions regarding security threats posed to the American public and stated, “The threat this poses from terrorists upon the American people is absolutely unacceptable. Central Americans are not the only people crossing our border and being released. Does anyone actually think that cartels and others criminal or possible terrorist organizations are not taking advantage of the fact that we are having to leave our border wide open while we reassigning the majority of our agents to process family units and minors? Of course this situation is being exploited by such threats.”
The concerns raised by the NBPC about possible security risks, especially in regards to the safety of commercial airliners, are reinforced by a 2012 United Nations (UN) report previously covered by this reporter. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s “Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean” revealed that individuals from the terror-prone Somalia were traveling to Central America in efforts to illegally enter the United States. The report states:
“Central Americans are not the only ones being smuggled through Mexico to the United States. Irregular migrants from the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia), as well as South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, India), China, and other African and Asian states are being smuggled through Central America.”
In light of the UN report, possible public safety risks posed by illegal aliens who claim to be from Central America flying unidentified and without effective documentation are further illuminated by a previous in-depth analysis of Somalia by the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations. They wrote on Somalia:
“Its porous borders mean that individuals can enter without visas, and once inside the country, enjoy an almost complete lack of law enforcement. Somalia has long served as a passageway from Africa to the Middle East based on its coastal location on the Horn of Africa, just a boat ride away from Yemen. These aspects make Somalia a desirable haven for transnational terrorists, something Al-Qaeda has tried to capitalize on before, and is trying again now.”
Breitbart Texas reached out to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) for comment without receiving a response at the time of this article’s publication.