02 November 2009
21 October 2009
Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids..) She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected.
Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
[I forgot who won this year. - Sarge]
SEOUL -- North Korea has massively increased its special operations forces, schooled them in the use of Iraqi-style roadside bombs and equipped them to sneak past the heavily fortified border that divides the two Koreas.
20 October 2009
TEHRAN, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The weekend slaughter of several Revolutionary Guards generals in suicide bombings in the border province of Sistan-Baluchistan marked a sharp intensification of a slew of simmering insurgencies throughout Iran's restive frontier regions.
[I was home all day yesterday. I promise. - Sarge]
07 October 2009
The FBI is investigating the case of a car packed with explosives after police in Connecticut pulled over the driver on Tuesday night and arrested him.
FBI New Haven spokesman William Reiner told FOXNews.com that the bureau is now helping local police in the probe, but declined to elaborate.
Cops pulled over a motorist allegedly driving a car full of pipe bombs, rifles and a propane tank in New Haven around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to FOX 61.
Is the U.S. stepping up preparations for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities?
The Pentagon is always making plans, but based on a little-noticed funding request recently sent to Congress, the answer to that question appears to be yes.
First, some background: Back in October 2007, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had asked Congress for $88 million in the emergency Iraq/Afghanistan war funding request to develop a gargantuan bunker-busting bomb called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). It's a 30,000-pound bomb designed to hit targets buried 200 feet below ground. Back then, the Pentagon cited an "urgent operational need" for the new weapon.
Now the Pentagon is shifting spending from other programs to fast forward the development and procurement of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. The Pentagon comptroller sent a request to shift the funds to the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees over the summer.
The comptroller said the Pentagon planned to spend $19.1 million to procure four of the bombs, $28.3 million to accelerate the bomb's "development and testing", and $21 million to accelerate the integration of the bomb onto B-2 stealth bombers.
[Thanks to intrepid intel-geek J.M. for the heads up. - Sarge]
29 September 2009
A teenage girl says she killed a militant with his own gun after insurgents attacked their home in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Three militants stormed into Rukhsana Kauser's home in a remote village in Jammu region on Monday and started beating her parents in front of her.
Ms Kauser, 18, and her brother turned on the gunmen, killing one and injuring two more. Police praised their courage.
One of the militants wanted to marry Ms Kauser against her will, police said.
The militants escaped and are now being sought by police who are using their blood trails as clues.
["Daughters are like flowers, they fill the world with beauty, and sometimes attract pests."(Author Unknown) - Sarge]
23 September 2009
Despite the fact that it is widely practiced across the Middle East, marrying within the family might not be such a good idea, according to a new report published on Tuesday.
The report by the Dubai-based Center for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) said Arabs have one of the highest rates of genetic disorders mostly related to consanguinity, or marriages between close relatives.
The genetic research institute found that around 63 percent of the genetic conditions found in Arabs, who often practice marriage between relatives, were related to consanguinity and warned the numbers were likely to rise as more research is conducted and more disorders discovered.
In the United Arab Emirates, a country with the fifth highest rate of inter-family marriages, there are currently over 250 types of genetic diseases, the second-highest after neighboring Oman.
[Viagra anyone? - Sarge]
Al-Qaida's "Islamic State of Iraq" (ISI) has issued an updated leadership "cabinet roster." The roster reads as follows:
- Deputy Emir and Minister of War: "Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, Abdel Moneim al-Badawi"
- Minister of Shariah Councils: "Shaykh Abdul Wahab al-Mashhadani"
- Minister of Public Relations: "Shaykh Mohammed al-Dulaimi"
- Minister for Prisoners and Martyrs: "Shaykh Hassan Jubouri"
- Minister of Security: "Professor Shaykh Abdul Razzaq al-Shammari"
- Minister of Health: "Dr. Shaykh Abdullah Qaisi"
- Minister of Information: "Shaykh Professor Ahmad al-Tai"
- Minister of Petroleum: "Shaykh Osama Laheebi"
- Minister of Finance: "Shaykh Professor Yunis al-Hamdani"
[Great, I need a new deck of cards. - Sarge]
22 September 2009
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Iran is stronger than ever and warned that its military will "cut the hand" of anyone who attacks. But a military parade where he spoke was marred when an air force plane crashed, killing seven people, according to state radio.
[Karma is a bitch. - Sarge]
17 September 2009
An analysis of public opinion polls and terrorist activity in 143 pairs of countries has shown for the first time that when people in one country hold negative views toward the leadership and policies of another, terrorist acts are more likely to be carried out.
Princeton University economist Alan Krueger and co-author Jitka Malec(ková of Charles University in the Czech Republic have found that there is a strong relationship between attitudes expressed toward a foreign country -- indicated in surveys on foreign leaders' performance -- and the occurrence of terrorism against that country. The research is detailed in the Sept. 18 issue of the journal Science.
"Public opinion appears to be a useful predictor of terrorist activity," said Krueger, the Bendheim Professor in Economics and Public Policy. He has held a joint appointment since 1987 in Princeton's Department of Economics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. "This is the first study to relate public opinion across countries to concrete actions such as terrorism," he added.
15 September 2009
A U.S.-based group monitoring militant Web sites said Friday that jihadist forums have been experiencing technical problems on the eve of Sept. 11, finally going offline a day before the 8th anniversary of the al-Qaida attack on the U.S.
[What a shame. - Sarge]
14 September 2009
from ABC News
Authorities raided properties in New York City today in an effort that was intended to disrupt the plans of a terror suspect whose travels had been tracked by the FBI, according to an official briefed on the raids.
“He was being watched and concern grew as he met with a group of individuals in Queens over the weekend,” said Congressman Pete King (R-NY). “The FBI went to court late last night for an emergency warrant to conduct the raids this morning.” A resident in the neighborhood said there was police activity around 2 a.m. Monday.
12 September 2009
I tried to call you earlier this morning, but was unable to obtain your extension from the voice mail system as I was not sure of your first name or correct spelling of your last.
I was inadvertently in this procession as I was leaving work on 270 from Creve Coeur and proceeding on Hwy. 30 West. I have some issues and complaints. I called the Sheriff's office last night, but the officer in charge would not speak with me. His name was Corp. Curtis. I am in no way complaining about your officers. I, however, was not treated very fairly when I called last evening because I wanted a ticket/complaint/or at least a slap on wrist for the people involved. Let me explain:
1) This procession should never have been held during rush hour traffic! Hwy. 270 is dangerous and people drive way too fast and there is too much traffic. This soldier's certainly would not have want his family hurt on the interstate taking him to Cedar Hill. People were dead-stopping on the interstate even though the procession was in the far right lane, the other three lanes just stopped. There were many near accidents and possibly were after I drove through. I was in the 2nd to left lane, no way obstructing the funeral procession.
2) I exited off on Gravois (30 W), far right lane. Your police officers went in the left lane to stop any additional on-coming traffic so the procession could exit off 270 into the LEFT lane of 30. Again, I was in the right lane. The St. Louis County officer stopped and turned around at Weber Hill to return on 270 after the procession passed.
3) The road was not closed. (Only for president as far as I know.) Again, the road was not closed. Your officers only had the left lane blocked/closed for the funeral. All other traffic by MO law can proceed as long as they do not interfere (weave in and out )with funeral procession.
Let me say, that I did not know what was happening. I knew the did not have Kennedy coming to STL, at least not yesterday. I was at work all day. No news. Nothing reported on the traffic on the radio driving home.
Anyway, two of these dirty, nasty, renegade, who knows what motorcycle men that were escorting the procession proceeded to stop in front of me in the right lane on Gravois. I had to stop in the middle of an intersection. They proceeded to scream and yell at me about respecting this soldier, etc. One of them climbed off his motorcycle and came over to me and stuck his head in my car continuing to scream at me. I asked him what this was for and he told me I needed to stop as the officers had the road blocked and show some dang respect. #1, the road was not blocked, the funeral was in the other lane. #2, I am proud of our country and sorry for the family, but they had no idea where I was going or anything else. I could have a child at day-care, I could have been sick and racing to the bathroom, I could have a sick parent waiting for me, etc., etc.
#3, They are not law enforcement and had no right to stop in the lane on Gravois and they had no right to scream at me and intimidate and threaten me. If I would have had my pepper spray, I would have used it on this nasty man! He is just a big hoo ha that is not even related to this soldier. The other man did not get off his scooter, but was along side of my passenger window screaming.
I left an abusive husband 1 1/2 years ago and I did not need this intimidation. I was livid and shaking!!
My son is a deputy sheriff in another MO county. I respect police officers. It was not their fault as they were busy with traffic, but I called to make them aware of what was going on during this thing. The St. Louis County officer saw it but of course he was out of jurisdiction.
However, I called last night and your office asked me if I knew about this soldier. Again, I am sorry about him, but I am a taxpayer. I got a speeding ticket a few months ago and paid the fine. I do not deserve to be treated like this. I wanted to let the officer know how these men were acting. Also, they were driving into the turnarounds on Hwy. 30 and then back onto the road. the funeral was much further ahead. One of them nearly got hit by me and other people almost hit him and another as well. I wanted to lodge a complaint about them why they were still there, but no one in your office would take any information or do anything.
This was not a military funeral, even though it was a soldier. There were not military vehicles. It was a funeral and the road was not closed, the lane was closed, I was in the other lane and again, these nasty men had no right to do this and I would have liked them to get a ticket!
I am sorry for the soldier and his family but you cannot let these motorcycle renegades do this. They could have caused several accidents and I really wanted them arrested. If they had any respect for the soldier they would have dressed better and not looked and acted so scuzzy.
Date: 08/31/2009 02:05 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Funeral Procession - Yesterday p.m.
Yes, you do deserve a response and I am willing to give you one.
I would like to say that I am sorry for the inconvenience we caused you during the funeral procession of Sergeant 1st Class William B. Woods, but I cannot do so. I would ask instead that you take a moment of your time to take into consideration the scope of the event. Your very right to complain was the reason Sgt. Woods fought for his country and ultimately gave his life; thus making the ultimate sacrifice for you and your family.
Let me introduce you to him. After high school, Sergeant Woods entered the Marine Corps. After his contract was up, he joined the Army, where he became a Green Beret. He comes from a long line of military members in his family. His Uncle is a Vietnam Veteran and two of his grandfathers were World War II Veterans. His job in the Army was one of the most dangerous jobs - he was a sniper looking for the bad guys to stop before they killed or injured one of our soldiers. He has numerous decorations to include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
He grew up in Catawissa and was best known by his middle name, Brian. He enjoyed the outdoors, playing sports, and skydiving. He had a wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, whom he loved dearly. He was a soft-spoken, level-headed young man who was proud to serve his country no matter what the risk. Now, I did not know him, but I wish I did. I am quoting from newspaper articles written about him.
At the young age of 31, he was shot during an engagement with Taliban forces in Ghanzi , Afghanistan . He died of his wounds in Germany on August 16, with his family by his side. He did not choose the time of his death, nor did he choose the time his remains would be brought back to his home in Catawissa. He just did his duty. He was quite a young man.
While you were being inconvenienced in your car on your way home, there were soldiers just like Sergeant Woods carrying 100+ pounds of equipment in 120 degree heat, up some mountain or in the middle of some desert. They will shower out of a helmet liner if they get the chance. They will eat a cold meal of MRE's; something most people would consider garbage. They cannot text their family or friends, or go to McDonalds, or watch TV. They can only continue the mission and look out after the guy to the left and right of them. They don't complain because they know they volunteered. The only thing they ask is that we do not forget the sacrifices they have made.
One of the dirty "big hoo ha" bikers, as you call them, was Brian's uncle, a Vietnam Veteran, like myself. We were not treated with a homecoming. We were spit on and called baby killers by a misguided public. Brian's uncle was giving him the respect that he, himself, never received when he came back and I, for one, am proud of him for doing so.
You say that your brother is a deputy in another Missouri county. I am sure he would be proud to escort the casket of a fallen solder, the same as he would that of a fallen officer. I am also sure he would not agree with your complaint about being inconvenienced.
My mother recently passed away. She was a World War II Veteran, serving the U.S. Army. She would say, maybe you should pick up Sergeant Woods' ruck sack and carry on where he left off. Then you could see first hand what it really is to be inconvenienced.
Per your request, I will forward your complaint to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office for his review. It is my personal opinion that your complaint is self-serving and without merit.
Sheriff Oliver "Glenn" Boyer
In its latest bid to avoid international banking sanctions, Iran has reached an agreement with the Central Bank of Ecuador to allow the Export Development Bank of Iran to operate in this Andean nation.
The move came even though Ecuador is fully aware that EDBI is under U.S. Treasury Department sanction for illicitly providing or attempting to provide financial services to Iran's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL).
10 September 2009
from Counter Jihad by Chris
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida is under heavy pressure in its strongholds in Pakistan's remote tribal areas and is finding it difficult to attract recruits or carry out spectacular operations in western countries, according to government and independent experts monitoring the organisation.
Speaking to the Guardian in advance of tomorrow's eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, western counter-terrorism officials and specialists in the Muslim world said the organisation faced a crisis that was severely affecting its ability to find, inspire and train willing fighters.
Its activity is increasingly dispersed to "affiliates" or "franchises" in Yemen and North Africa, but the links of local or regional jihadi groups to the centre are tenuous; they enjoy little popular support and successes have been limited.
Lethal strikes by CIA drones – including two this week alone – have combined with the monitoring and disruption of electronic communications, suspicion and low morale to take their toll on al-Qaida's Pakistani "core", in the jargon of western intelligence agencies.
Chavez pledges closer ties with Iran
Iran and Venezuela plan to stand up against "imperialist" foes by strengthening bilateral cooperation on a range of issues, including nuclear power, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday.
"Expansion of Tehran-Caracas relations is necessary given their common interests, friends and foes," Ahmadinejad said after a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart President Hugo Chavez, according to Iran's semiofficial FARS news agency.
Chavez was in Tehran on Saturday with a team of high-ranking officials for a two-day visit.
[Well, we WERE promised change, weren't we? - Sarge]
Small, Low-Signature, $5,000 Guided Missile Tested
from Ares by David A. Fulghum
China Lake’s Spike missile has an attraction for everyone, even the target.
It has no visual launch signature, no aural sonic boom, it’s too small to be seen, it’s light enough to carry several in a rucksack, it’s guidance system is off the shelf and it’s cheaper to throw away that to repair.
It should be pointed out that the $5,000 Spike missile has a stunning set of operations advantages – all associated with survival – for those who fire it. There is no position-revealing backblast like that from a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) or a Stinger surface-to-air missile. It leaves the launcher at about 100 mph instead of Mach 1.9 so there is no big bang or blast. Muzzle velocity is not an issue because it has a guidance system. When a target appears unexpectedly, the operator turns the weapon on, points it at the target and in one second it is ready to fire. Or clusters of the 5.5-lb. weapons could be carried in pods on a UAV.
End of an Era
from In From the Cold by George Smiley
The "Eagle era" at Eglin AFB, Florida has come to an end.
Yesterday, the last three F-15s assigned to Eglin's 33rd Fighter Wing left the base, heading for retirement at the Air Force "boneyard," located in Arizona.
Fuel, Fuel Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink
from Ares by Graham Warwick
DARPA has been instrumental in cracking the code for the affordable conversion of plant oils into a drop-in replacement for JP8 jet fuel. Currently the agency is tackling the tougher task of turning cellulosic and algal feedstocks - which would not compete for water or land with food crops - into a viable alternative to petroleum-based JP8.
But all that wasn't DARPA-hard enough, it seems. Now the agency is seeking ideas on how to convert seawater to liquid fuel.
04 September 2009
from washingtonpost.com - Intelligence by Rob Stein
Swine flu may be causing more deaths among older children than the very young, federal health officials reported Thursday.
Taliban target Pakistan's religious minister
from The Long War Journal
The Taliban nearly assassinated Pakistan's outspoken religious minister in a shootout in the capital of Islamabad today.
Two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a car carrying Hamid Saeed Kazmi, the Federal Religious Minister. The gunmen, who were riding a motorcycle, sprayed Kazmi's car with automatic fire, killing the driver. Kazmi took a bullet in the leg and is being treated at a hospital in Islamabad.
Kazmi has been outspoken in his opposition to the Taliban and supports operations against the extremists in the tribal areas. He is a member of the Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam, which is in opposition to the Deobandi and Wahabbist strains of Islam that preach violent jihad.
Federal Government Needs Massive Hiring Binge, Study Finds
from washingtonpost.com - Intelligence by Steve Vogel
The federal government needs to hire more than 270,000 workers for "mission-critical" jobs over the next three years, a surge prompted in part by the large number of baby-boomer federal workers reaching retirement age, according to the results of a government-wide survey being released Thursday.
Afghanistan Drug Raid Snares Border Police Commander
from Danger Room by Nathan Hodge
A drug raid in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province in July netted a huge stash of hashish and opium — and led to the arrest of an Afghan Border Police Commander.
This recent high-stakes raid, confirmed by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, involved a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) team and Afghan counter-narcotics agents staging an ambitious helicopter-borne assault in potentially hostile territory. Equally important, the bust also revealed how intimately some Afghan officials are involved in the drug trade.
Taliban Seek Rifles with More ‘Punch’?
from Danger Room by David Hambling
One way of finding out what sort of weapons the Taliban favor is to go the usual military route: examine captured arsenals and look for shell casings after a firefight. Or you could just go and talk to the man who apparently sells them their weapons, as Guardian reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad recently did. The results were highly instructive.
Abdul-Ahab talked to a man named Hekmat, formerly a shopkeeper but now a wealthy smuggler. Hekmat made his fortune ferrying arms from Central Asia. He also deals in heroin, but prices are down this year, so apparently the real money is in guns. Surprisingly, the hot item is not the plain-vanilla Kalashnikov.
“It’s the Kalakov everyone wants,” the arms dealer tells Abdul-Ahad. “The Taliban like it because it pierces body armor.”
27 August 2009
According to the indictment, the four German Muslim terrorists, The Sauerland Group, planned to attack their targets with bombs made out of drums containing explosive hydroperoxide chemicals.
26 August 2009
Savor the silence of America's self-serving champions of privacy. For once, the American Civil Liberties Union has nothing bad to say about the latest case of secret domestic surveillance -- because it is the ACLU that committed the spying.
Last week, The Washington Post reported on a new Justice Department inquiry into photographs of undercover CIA officials and other intelligence personnel taken by ACLU-sponsored researchers assisting the defense team of Guantanamo Bay detainees. According to the report, the pictures of covert American CIA officers -- "in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes" -- were shown to jihadi suspects tied to the 9/11 attacks in order to identify the interrogators.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that a massive school closing wouldn't stop the spread of the swine flu virus, saying vaccinations must be the defense against a menace that one report said could infect up to half of the population.
"What we know is that we have the virus right now traveling around the United States," Sebelius said in a nationally broadcast interview. "And having children in a learning situation is beneficial ... What we learned last spring is that shutting a school down sort of pre-emptively doesn't stop the virus from spreading."
Sebelius appeared on NBC's "Today" show one day after a special presidential advisory panel presented a grim report to the Obama White House, saying among other things that a "plausible scenario" for the United States later this year is wide-scale infections, possibly 30,000 to 90,000 deaths, mostly among young children and young adults, and perhaps as many as 300,000 sick enough to require intensive care unit treatment at hospitals.
Asked in the interview what people should do while awaiting the arrival of a vaccine, with first supplies likely by October but most not until the Thanksgiving season, Sebelius said: "I think it's important that people begin to anticipate that we will have a vaccine. We think it's likely that we're going to need two shots for the vaccine."
She said people should plan ahead for this, particularly those with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant women and health care industry workers. Sebelius said federal health authorities also are recommending that people should immediately get their regular "seasonal" flu vaccine to bolster their health for the scenario yet to play out later this year regarding the swine flu virus.
"Seasonal flu vaccine is ready at the beginning of September," she said. "We want the population that is most at risk to begin their seasonal flu vaccine now."
Sebelius said on MSNBC that the government has asked drug makers to accelerate the manufacture of antiviral medication that could be administered intravenously to hospitalized swine flu victims.
A report by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, delivered Monday, said that while the impact of H1N1 was impossible to predict, a "plausible scenario" is that the epidemic could "produce infection of 30-50 percent of the U.S. population this fall and winter, with symptoms in approximately 20-40 percent of the population (60-120 million people), more than half of whom would seek medical attention."
Swine flu could lead to as many as lead to as many as 1.8 million U.S. hospital admissions during the epidemic, with up to 300,000 patients requiring care in intensive care units. In fact, those very ill patients could occupy 50-100 percent of all ICU beds in affected regions of the country at the peak of the epidemic and place "enormous stress" on ICU units.
Seasonal flue typically causes 30,000-40,000 annual deaths, mainly among people over 65.
People with certain pre-existing conditions, including pregnant women and patients with neurological disorders or respiratory impairment, diabetes, or severe obesity are at high risk, along with certain populations, such as Native Americans, the report said.
The fall resurgence in swine flu could occur as early as September, with the beginning of the school term, and the peak infection may occur in mid-October.
The report emphasized that this was a planning scenario, not a prediction. But, it added, "the scenario illustrates that an H1N1 resurgence could cause serious disruption of social and medical capacities in our country in the coming months."
This means that the connection between Iranian and North Korean technology is not that tight anymore, and the pupils are now the teachers. The Iranians have reached a level of proficiency which has disconnected them from North Korea and in some cases they are more advanced than the North Koreans. The Iranians are now going to deploy a missile which is nothing like what the North Koreans have, so a connection may now be the other way around. Start watching Iran not as a market for North Korean merchandise but as an exporter of Iranian missile technologies.
25 August 2009
America's top diplomat for Afghanistan and Pakistan says the deadly Taliban insurgency in those countries relies heavily on funding from the oil-rich Persian Gulf.
[That's a shocker. - Sarge]
South Korea Launches Satellite
from NYT By CHOE SANG-HUN
South Korea launched a rocket into space from its own territory for the first time on Tuesday, but the mission failed to put a satellite into its intended orbit, a South Korean official said.
Possible Leak Detected at Chemical Weapons Depot
The Army says a low level of mustard agent has been detected in a building storing chemical weapons at the Pueblo Chemical Depot.
Scientists create world's tiniest laser
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they have created the tiniest laser since lasers were invented 50 years ago.
Researchers at Purdue, Norfolk State and Cornell universities said their achievement might lead to many innovations, including superfast computers that use light instead of electrons to process information, advanced sensors and imaging.
24 August 2009
The Obama administration will continue the Bush administration’s practice of sending terror suspects abroad for interrogation but will monitor to insure they are not tortured, officials said.
[Of course. Now, it's ok. - Sarge]
Gen. David H. Petraeus plans to open an in-house intelligence organization at US Central Command this week that will train military officers, covert agents and analysts who agree to focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan for up to a decade. The organization, to be called the Center for Afghanistan Pakistan Excellence, will be led by Derek Harvey, a retired colonel in the Defense Intelligence Agency who became one of the Gen. Petraeus' most trusted analysts during the 2007-08 counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq.
Mr. Harvey distinguished himself in Iraq by predicting that the Iraqi insurgency would spiral out of control, at a time when it was widely underestimated by the Bush administration, in 2003 and 2004. He later dissented from the emerging consensus in Congress and the CIA, when he said, as early as March 2007, that al Qaeda had been strategically defeated. This was during the early days of the surge, at a time when most of the intelligence community thought the Sunni insurgency was intact.
from Military Top Stories Center
Outside the VA Department, wounded veterans have faced financial hardship waiting for their first disability payment. Inside, money has been flowing in the form of $24 million in bonuses. In scathing reports this week, the VA's inspector general said thousands of employees at the VA received the bonuses over a two-year period.
Japan opposition leader makes pledge on US nukes
from Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
Tokyo (AFP) Aug 23, 2009 - Japan's opposition leader said Sunday he was determined to make President Barack Obama promise not to let US forces bring nuclear arms onto Japanese territory, one week ahead of general elections.
Mullen: Afghan Situation 'Deteriorating'
from Military Top Stories Center
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen described the situation in Afghanistan as "serious and deteriorating," but refused to say Sunday whether defeating a resilient enemy would require more than the 68,000 American troops already committed to the fight.
Iran's Cynicism on Terrorism
from Counterterrorism Blog by Douglas Farah
One of the clearest signs of the danger that the Iranian presence poses in Latin America is the decision by president Ahmadinejad to name one of the masterminds of the 1994 AMIA bombings as minister of defense.
Ahamd Vahidi, who at the time of the bombing was the head of the Quds Force, is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice, asking for his arrest for his part in the worst terrorist attack in Latin America.
He was deputy defense minister in Ahmadinejad's first government, and is now being promoted. Seven other senior Iranian officials are subject of Interpol Red Notices as well.
Obama to visit Beijing in November: US ambassador
from Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
Beijing (AFP) Aug 22, 2009 - Barack Obama will make his first presidential visit to China in November to bring fresh impetus to relations between the United States and the Asian giant, Washington's new ambassador said Saturday.
Woman's caning postponed until after Ramadan
A Malaysian model, who was set to become the first woman to be caned in the southeast Asian country for drinking beer in public, was inexplicably spared her sentence Monday, her father said.
H1N1 flu "serious health threat" to U.S.: White House
from Reuters: Top News
OAK BLUFFS, Massachusetts (Reuters) - The H1N1 flu poses a serious health threat to the United States, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology said in a report released on Monday.
Tobacco plants yield the first vaccine for the dreaded 'cruise ship virus'
from Avian Influenza News Feed
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2009 A- Scientists have used a new vaccine production technology to develop a vaccine for norovirus, a dreaded cause of diarrhea and vomiting that may be the second most common viral infection in the United States after the flu.
Marines Seek Crowd-Blasting ‘Venom’ Launcher
from Danger Room by David Hambling
The Marine Corps has issued an urgent request for a powerful non-lethal weapon that can fires volleys of 40mm grenades. And in parallel, the service is launching a push for a more futuristic version of the same weapon.
13 August 2009
from Wired: Threat Level by Kim Zetter
Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold, has patched a serious security weakness in its election tabulation software used in the majority of states, according to a lab that tested the new version and a federal commission that certified it.
The flaw in the tabulation software was discovered by Wired.com earlier this year, and involved the program’s auditing logs. The logs failed to record significant events occurring on a computer running the software, including the act of someone deleting votes during or after an election. The logs also failed to record who performed an action on the system, and listed some events with the wrong date and timestamps.
Military spouses gain Federal hiring advantage
Federal agencies will soon have the option of hiring certain military spouses without having them compete for jobs, under new guidelines issued by the Obama administration Wednesday.
The guidelines apply to the spouses of military service members relocating for new assignments, some physically disabled spouses, and those whose husband or wife was killed in the line of duty. They will be able to apply for a federal job and ask that recruiters allow them to bypass the traditional hiring process.
Georgia man convicted of aiding terror groups
A 23-year-old Georgia man was convicted Wednesday of aiding terrorist groups by sending videotapes of U.S. landmarks overseas and plotting to support "violent jihad" after a federal jury rejected his arguments that it was empty talk.
For China, far west is rife with terror plots
from Christian Science Monitor
A bomb threat that forced a civilian plane to turn back Sunday on a flight from Afghanistan to western China is the latest in a series of alleged terror plots in restless Xinjiang province.
FBI expert testifies at Mumbai terror attack trial
The gunmen who laid siege to the Indian city of Mumbai carried GPS devices and a satellite phone that shows they traveled from Pakistan to India, an FBI expert testified Wednesday at the trial of the lone surviving suspect.
Iranian Exile Group Demands U.S. Military Protection for Camp
An Iranian exile group accused the Obama administration Tuesday of betraying written U.S. promises to protect several thousand of its members confined in a camp north of Baghdad that was recently stormed by Iraqi forces. The group, the Paris-based Mujahideen-e Kalq, demanded that the U.S. military immediately reassert control over the facility, Camp Ashraf, until it can be replaced by an international force under the aegis of the United Nations or at least a U.N.-commanded observer team to monitor the Iraqis.
U.S. sees growing backing for N.Korea sanctions
U.S. efforts to enforce U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea after its nuclear test in May are gaining growing support from countries and banks, a senior American official said on Thursday.
04 August 2009
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U. S. Department of Education have established a School Dismissal Monitoring System to report on novel influenza (H1N1)-related school or school district dismissal in the United States. Your assistance in reporting known school dismissals is very important.
Active-duty Ranger Honored for Career
from Military Army News Center
Capt. Freddie Odomes said he is 99 percent sure he's the oldest active-duty Ranger in the Army. Odomes has served the Army in a career spanning 45 years - longer than most active-duty Soldiers have been alive.
Core Al Qaeda Under Pressure and Changing Tactics
from Counterterrorism Blog by Douglas Farah
Several seemingly-unrelated events seem to me to be important and pointing toward important new directions in the struggle against radical Islamist groups. The first is the optimistic report by CBS News that al Qaeda is publicly acknowledging the damage to its cadres caused by drone-fired Hellfire missiles.
In the communique posted online, al Qaeda leaders say "the harm is alarming, the matter is very grave," due to the drone attacks. "So many brave commanders have been snatched away by the hands of the enemies. So many homes have been leveled with their people inside them by planes that are unheard, unseen and unknown."
That pressure on core al Qaeda may be one of the reasons its affiliated groups have been ratcheting up their activities in other parts of the world, to show the organization is still alive and well and able to carry out attacks. Or perhaps the original core AQ strategy of spinning of large numbers of autonomous but sympathetic groups is gaining more traction.
What is clear is that the focus of attention for the new Islamist groups-either because they targeted the region or simply found room to operate there in regions that are sympathetic to Islamists and have little state control-is Sub-Saharan Africa.
Islamists backpedaling - Judge postpones "pants case"
from Counter Jihad by Chris
The trial of a Sudanese woman journalist who faces 40 lashes for wearing trousers was adjourned on Tuesday as police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators outside the Khartoum court.
North Carolina Arrests: Meet "Taqiyya Jihad"..
from Counterterrorism Blog by Walid Phares
With shock and malaise, Americans are discovering that their country is penetrated by jihadi terrorists, particularly those we call "homegrown." Over the past few months, several alarming cases have been revealed by law enforcement. Not only the frequency of these revelations but also the type of jihadi cells are teaching the public that something very troubling is happening within the homeland: the surge of a threat deserving a greater attention than the current attitude dispensed by the administration.
Preparing for Vaccination with Novel H1N1 Vaccine
In the Northern Hemisphere, novel H1N1 influenza virus is persisting, and is continuing to cause outbreaks and sporadic cases in numerous locales despite the onset of summer. Evidence to date suggests that population immunity to this virus is low, particularly among the young. Thus far, most cases of illness, hospitalization and death associated with novel H1N1 infection have occurred among persons less than 65 years of age. Groups at increased risk of influenza-related complications include pregnant women, those with asthma, COPD, diabetes, chronic cardiovascular disease, and immuno-compromised persons. These are the same groups as previously recognized to increase the risk of severe illness from seasonal influenza. In addition, morbid obesity may represent an additional risk factor for severe illness. Unlike seasonal influenza where persons 65 years and older are most likely to be hospitalized or die from influenza-related complications, this age group has been substantially less affected by novel H1N1 virus than younger age groups.
All Muslim terrorism is local
from Counter Jihad by Chris
Since the U. S.-led global war on terrorism (GWOT) was launched in the wake of 9/11, the West has consistently faced an image problem: Many Muslims have regarded the GWOT as a thinly veiled crusade against Islam itself. But such perceptions, and the reality behind them, are changing: The campaign against militant Islam is being waged increasingly at the local level, by Muslims themselves.
The latest example in this regard comes from Nigeria. It is still unclear exactly why the Nigerian government decided last week to deal so forcefully with the Boko Haram jihadist sect, but reports hint that Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua simply had enough of the group's periodic attacks on central government officials and facilities, and decided to make an example of them. If that is true, then Nigeria may have joined a growing list of governments whose leaders are starting to realize that taking on the jihadis is their fight, not just the West's.
China delivers warship to Pakistan
from Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
Karachi (AFP) July 30, 2009 - China on Thursday delivered the first of four state-of-the-art frigates commissioned by nuclear-armed Pakistan from top ally Beijing, a naval spokesman said.
Australia police foil suicide attack on army base
from Reuters by Mick Tsikas
Australian police arrested four men they said were linked to a Somali militant group on Tuesday, accusing them of planning a suicide attack on an army base and raising fears the al Qaeda-linked rebels were seeking targets outside Africa.
WHO maintains 2 billion estimate for likely H1N1 cases
from Reuters: Top News
GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization stuck on Tuesday to its statement that about two billion people could catch H1N1 influenza by the time the flu pandemic ends.
Mapping Drug Use by Testing Sewer Water
from Schneier on Security by schneier
Scientists from Oregon State University, the University of Washington and McGill University partnered with city workers in 96 communities, including Pendleton, Hermiston and Umatilla, to gather samples on one day, March 4, 2008. The scientists then tested the samples for evidence of methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy, or MDMA.
Addiction specialists were not surprised by the researchers' central discovery, that every one of the 96 cities -- representing 65 percent of Oregon's population -- had a quantifiable level of methamphetamine in its wastewater.
These techniques can detect drug usage at individual houses. It's just a matter of where you take your samples.
[Is sewer water protected under the 4th amendment? Hmmm. - Sarge]
Former President Bill Clinton met Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on the first day of a surprise mission to Pyongyang to negotiate the release of two Americans, holding "exhaustive" talks on a wide range of topics, state-run media said.
Clinton "courteously" conveyed a verbal message from President Barack Obama, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a report from Pyongyang. Kim expressed his thanks, and engaged Clinton in a "wide-ranging exchange of views on matters of common concern," the report said.
03 August 2009
from In From the Cold by George Smiley
Eighteen years after he disappeared in the early hours of the Persian Gulf War, Navy Captain Scott Speicher is coming home.
The Defense Department announced early today that remains recovered in the Iraqi desert have been positively identified as those of the F/A-18 pilot, who was shot down on the first night of Operation Desert Storm.
Pentagon officials said that bone fragments were recently recovered in Iraq's western Anbar Province. Investigators used dental records to confirm that the remains were those of Captain Speicher.
China Seals Off Town After Plague Death
from Local News for MyFox Atlanta
A second man has died of pneumonic plague in northwest China, in an outbreak that prompted authorities to lock down a town where about a dozen people were infected with the highly contagious deadly lung disease, a state news agency said.
The World Health Organization office in China said it was in close contact with Chinese health authorities and that measures taken so far to treat and quarantine sickened people were appropriate.
Police prevent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang
from Counter Jihad by Chris
Police forces and state security agencies had prevented five organized terrorist attacks on civilians in China's far west Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China's anti-terrorism sources said Monday.
Separatist "East Turkestan" terrorists both at home and abroad had been plotting attacks against civilians since the July 5 riot that left 197 dead and more than 1,600 injured in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang.
The recent attempted attacks would have "damaged social stability and ethnic unity", the sources said.
Woman in Cameroon Has New HIV Strain
A new strain of the virus that causes AIDS has been discovered in a woman from the African nation of Cameroon. It differs from the three known strains of human immunodeficiency virus and appears to be closely related to a form of simian virus recently discovered in wild gorillas, researchers report in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Medicine.
The finding "highlights the continuing need to watch closely for the emergence for new HIV variants, particularly in western central Africa," said the researchers, led by Jean-Christophe Plantier of the University of Rouen, France.
The three previously known HIV strains are related to the simian virus that occurs in chimpanzees.
Iran is ready to build an N-bomb - it is just waiting for the Ayatollah's order
James Hider, Richard Beeston in Tel Aviv and Michael Evans, Defence Editor
Iran has perfected the technology to create and detonate a nuclear warhead and is merely awaiting the word from its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to produce its first bomb, Western intelligence sources have told The Times.
The sources said that Iran completed a research programme to create weaponised uranium in the summer of 2003 and that it could feasibly make a bomb within a year of an order from its Supreme Leader.
Iran TV Confirms Arrest of 3 Americans
from Local News for MyFox Atlanta
The Swiss Foreign Ministry says its diplomats are trying to find out what happened to three Americans reportedly captured in Iran.
Spokeswoman Nadine Olivieri says the Swiss Embassy in Tehran is trying determine what happened through its contacts with the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Iran state TV says Iranian guards detained the three American tourists Friday after they allegedly crossed the border from northern Iraq.
Switzerland has represented U.S. interests in Iran for 30 years, and the State Department asked it to intervene in this case.
[The Swiss are great, but I'd like to give the Marines a chance to represent U.S. interests in Iran instead. - Sarge]
Miitary Aims for Instant Repair of Wartime Wounds
from Danger Room by Katie Drummond
Darpa’s been working on superhuman soldiers for years. They’ve toyed with cellular mitochondria and pondered putting soldiers on the Atkins diet. In 2006, Darpa launched an ambitious Restorative Injury Repair program, that aims to “fully repair” body parts damaged by traumatic injury.
Earlier this year, researchers funded by that program generated new human muscle that could replace damaged tissue. Now Darpa’s asking for a device that can use adult stem cells for a regenerative free-for-all, pumping out whatever needed to repair injured body parts, including nerves, bone and skin. Already, research has proven that adult stem cells can act the same way embryonic ones do - differentiating into the highly-specified cells that form complex body parts.
29 July 2009
...what the officers found when they searched “Sheikh Ali,” as the imam is known, at the end of June turned a routine operation into an investigation that has captured the attention of the authorities.
The documents that Ali R., a Palestinian who grew up in the Gaza Strip, had stored on a USB storage device included information on the use of bombs and booby traps, bomb-building instructions and a propaganda video. When agents analyzed his mobile phone, they discovered ambiguous text messages in Arabic in which mention was made of a “bride” and a “groom” — terms Islamists have used in the past as code words when planning attacks.
Hamas Dress Code Aims to Make Gaza More Islamic
from Counter Jihad by Chris
Police order a lingerie shop to hide its scantily clad mannequins. A judge warns female lawyers to wear head scarves in court. Beach patrols break up groups of singles and make men wear shirts.
It's all part of a new Hamas campaign to get Gazans to adhere to a strict Muslim lifestyle — and the first clear attempt by the Islamic militants to go beyond benign persuasion in doing so.
It suggests that having consolidated its hold on Gaza in the two years since it seized control by force, Hamas feels emboldened enough to extend its ideology into people's private lives.
from Officer.com: Operations & Tactics by email@example.com
Terrorists will continue to use what works. Their past behavior dictates that in homicide bombings, IEDs and VBIEDs are their death devices of choice, but they will modify target preferences based on susceptibleness.
US terror arrests spur warning to police
AP -- DEVLIN BARRETT
Antiterrorism officials are increasingly concerned about American-bred extremists who travel abroad for terror training and then return home, sometimes quietly recruiting followers over the years.
Federal authorities have issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies around the country on the heels of the arrest Monday in North Carolina of a man whose devotion to the cause of violent jihad allegedly began 20 years ago.
The internal bulletin - reviewed by The Associated Press - says the FBI and the Homeland Security Department are very worried about the danger posed by little-noticed Americans traveling abroad to learn terrorism techniques, then coming back to the United States, where they may be dormant for long periods of time while they look for followers to recruit for future attacks.
How Can We Win a Cyberwar?
from threatpost by Ryan.Naraine
Cyberwar is no longer an urban legend. From Estonia to Georgia to Israel, cyberwar has become a regular part of geopolitical struggles around the globe, and it promises to become a growing factor in future international conflicts.
Even skeptics have to admit that the economics behind cyber warfare are compelling. It's inexpensive to mount a cyberwar. In comparison to traditional warfare, cyberwars are a bargain. You don't need to fund and deploy specialized troops with expensive technology and weapons. You don't need to worry about recruiting soldiers and keeping your supply lines open. All you need to disrupt your enemy's communications and possibly its economy using a few people with specialized skills and Internet connections. In fact, you don't even need to own all the assets deployed in a cyberwar.
Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Chinese Aircraft Carrier?
Peter W. Singer, Director, 21st Century Defense Initiative
The Washington Examiner
But a little reality check may be in order. First, their “new” carrier is not all that new. Actually, the Varyag was first laid down back in 1985. Originally planned for the Soviet fleet, it was never completed. Instead, at the Cold War’s end, it was scrapped of all its electronics and engines and sold off to be a floating casino. Even if the Chinese can refurbish it, at best they will be getting an old, untested ship that carries only a third as many planes as a U.S. carrier.
Similarly, the idea that the Chinese can build four new carriers over the next decade is less than realistic. It takes approximately six years to build one of our aircraft carriers, and we have been doing this for more than eight decades. By comparison, the biggest warship the Chinese have yet to build on their own is 17,000 tons, a quarter the size. More importantly, building a ship is not the same as operating it successfully.
27 July 2009
BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN — Important news on the political front from Afghanistan: Elders in the remote northwestern province of Badghis reached a ceasefire accord with Taliban insurgents, the first political deal struck with insurgents ahead of the presidential elections next month. According to the BBC, insurgent leaders agreed not to attack polling stations and hand control of key areas to the government.
Swine flu has swept the globe since its detection in March, now linked to hundreds of deaths, affecting nearly every country and raising concerns over what dangers await as the new virus develops.
24 July 2009
from SpyTalk by Jeff Stein
It took only a couple months and about 100 CIA operatives and Special Forces troops, supported by U.S. air power, to chase the Taliban out of Kabul in 2001.
In contrast, the only thing the four-year-old Directorate of National Intelligence seems to be accomplishing is hiring more Washington bureaucrats.
Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee has found that at least some of the spy agencies under DNI's purview have not been reporting their true numbers of employees.
Swine flu cases double to 100,000 in Britain
There were 100,000 new cases of swine flu in England last week, nearly double the number from the previous seven days, authorities announced Friday.
CIA Sat on Alleged Drone Hit on Bin Laden’s Kid
from Danger Room by Adam Rawnsley
U.S. drones may have killed one of Osama Bin Laden’s sons in Pakistan, according to a variety of reports. But the CIA has sat on the news for months for the ambiguous purpose of “messing with al-Qaeda.”
Saad Bin Laden, an al-Qaeda member and the eldest son of Osama Bin Laden and his first wife, Najwa Ghanem, is reported to have been killed by a drone strike in Pakistan sometime the past few months. In the absence of DNA evidence from the strike’s aftermath, one source told NPR that U.S. officials remain “80-85 percent certain” of Saad’s death. News of his apparent death was gleaned from intercepted communications and reports from the field, American officials say.
Records: American Trained With Al Qaeda in Pakistan
Bryant Neal Vinas took courses in plastic explosives and bomb theory, according to a statement he gave to investigators as part of a terrorism case in Belgium
Report: Cleric issues fatwa against VP pick
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent pick for the country's top vice president continued to draw fire Thursday, with a senior cleric issuing a fatwa against the appointment, a leading reformist newspaper reported Sunday.
Researcher raids browser history for webmail login tokens
from The Register
In a disclosure that has implications for the security of e-commerce and Web 2.0 sites everywhere, a researcher has perfected a technique for stealing unique identifiers used to prevent unauthorized access to email accounts and other private resources.
Police: 3rd bomb in Jakarta attack malfunctioned (AP)
The suicide attackers who struck the Indonesian capital last week planted a third bomb intended to send panicked crowds to hotel lobbies where the other bombs would explode, but the device's timer malfunctioned, police said Friday.
Troops Say Unfit Linguists Being Recruited for Afghanistan
from Associated Press by Jason Straziuso
Josh Habib lay in a dirt field, gasping for air. Two days of hiking with Marines through southern Afghanistan’s 115-degree Fahrenheit heat had exhausted him. This was not what he signed up for.
Habib is not a Marine. He is a 53-year-old engineer from California hired by a contracting company as a military translator. When he applied for the lucrative linguist job, Habib said his recruiter gave no hint he would join a ground assault in Taliban land. He carried 40 pounds of food, water and gear on his back, and kept pace - barely - with Marines half his age.
US troops say companies that recruit military translators are sending linguists to southern Afghanistan who are unprepared to serve in combat, even as hundreds more are needed to support the growing number of troops. Some translators are in their 60s and 70s and in poor physical condition - and some don’t even speak the right language.
Israeli Warships' Passage Through Suez Canal Causes a Stir
from Los Angeles Times by Jeffrey Fleishman and Batsheva Sobelman
There's no sneaking a warship through the Suez Canal, so it's best to sail through and remain coy. Israel has done just that.
At least two of its missile-class Saar 5 warships and a Dolphin submarine have sailed through the canal in recent weeks, prompting conjecture about Israel's intentions. Possible scenarios include the sending of a message to Iran about Israeli military might and giving the impression that Israel and Egypt, which controls the Suez, are closely cooperating against regional security threats.
The Israeli government has said little about why the vessels were on missions that took them through the Suez, but they come as Israel has grown insistent on stopping Iran's nuclear program. That fits in with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attempts to link the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with agreements from Arab states to help Israel counter Iran.
23 July 2009
from Washington Post by Joby Warrick
One of the sons of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was apparently killed in a U.S. missile strike inside Pakistan this year, U.S. counterterrorism officials said Thursday.
Saad bin Laden, 27, an al-Qaeda member who has been linked to terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia, is believed to have been among the victims of a series of strikes by unmanned CIA Predator aircraft in the past few months, the officials said. If confirmed, he would be the closest relative to bin Laden killed by U.S. forces since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
China's military to launch official Web site
BEIJING - China's Defense Ministry will launch its first official Web site next month in what state media said Thursday was an effort by the secretive military to be more transparent.
Longer Legs for the Japanese Military
from Ares by David A. Fulghum
In Japan there has always been the discussion of whether to focus on an expeditionary military or one that’s focused on the defense of Japan and can the budget afford both?
That discussion is being shaped by a decision to carry out anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean. It also is helping justify the acquisition of aerial tankers, maritime patrol aircraft and long-range transports.
How Japan chooses to invest its military funding will be of international interest. For example, long-range military airlift for Japan is in still in its infancy. But with operating forces based many thousands of miles away, it brings up the issues of communications, supply and sustainment. It is accelerating reexamination of its airlifter needs. It highlights the need for an expeditionary capability that can be used for humanitarian aid and disaster relief and support of its outlying chain of islands.
DailyBriefings: 23 July, 2009
from ThreatsWatch by Michael Tanji
A Long Island man captured in Pakistan in late 2008 has confessed to attacking US forces in Afghanistan and supplying al-Qaeda with intelligence on the New York subway systems and the Long Island Railroad. Guilty plea and cooperation likely spared 27 yr-old treason charge, execution.
US Senate urges review of NKorea terrorism blacklist status (AFP)
from Yahoo! News: Terrorism
This file handout photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on July 6, 2009 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il at the tideland reclamation site on Taegye Islet in North Phyongan Province. The US Senate said that North Korea poses a AFP - The US Senate on Wednesday called North Korea a "threat" to its neighbors and pushed for a formal review to see whether Washington should return the secretive regime to a US terrorism blacklist.
Arabs advise young, old and sick to avoid hajj
CAIRO - Arab health ministers decided in a late night meeting Thursday to ban children, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions from attending the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this year in effort to slow the spread of swine flu
PHUKET, Thailand — Stiffening the American line against Iran, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Wednesday that the United States would consider extending a “defense umbrella” over the Middle East if the country continued to defy international demands that it halt work that could lead to nuclear weapons.
While such a defensive shield has long been assumed, administration officials in Washington acknowledged Wednesday that no senior official had ever publicly discussed it. Some of the officials said the timing of Mrs. Clinton’s remarks reflected a growing sense that President Obama needed to signal to Tehran that its nuclear ambitions could be countered militarily, as well as diplomatically.
22 July 2009
At a July 12, 2009 conference on promoting the mentality of self-sacrifice among women, convened under the auspices of the Martyrs Foundation in Tehran, Iranian Vice President Parviz Davoudi stated that Iran was making progress in nuclear technology as well as in the field of ballistic missiles, and that it currently was operating over 12,000 centrifuges...
"Owing to the guidance of the leader [Ali Khamenei], to the efforts of the Ahmadinejad government, and to the steadfastness of the people, today Iran is operating over 12,000 centrifuges. We are conquering technological areas one after another, and advancing towards [new] heights. Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is unprecedentedly strong, and it has demonstrated its power to the world by means of its great technological achievements – especially in the areas of satellites and the military, including the Sejil missile. Following the testing of the Sejil-2 missile, the terrorist and murderous Zionist regime acknowledged that it is powerless to withstand the Islamic Republic of Iran…"
from Security Management News & Analysis by Matthew Harwood
Illegal immigrants with stolen Social Security numbers (SSN) are still beating the federal government's employment eligibility verification system, warned senators yesterday at a subcommittee hearing. Meanwhile, new government numbers show the fewest number of illegal immigrants caught sneaking across the border since the 1970s.
Special Forces Getting High-Tech Soldier Suits for Iraq Mission
from Danger Room by Shelley Dubois
Just a few years ago, the Army was so down on the Land Warrior high-tech soldier get-up that it officially canceled the project. Now, Land Warrior is back from the dead — and considered so valuable that even the Army’s commando elite want the wearable electronics suites.
According to InsideDefense.com, an Army Special Forces battalion will start training with an upgraded version of Land Warrior in 2010, before it deploys to Iraq later in the year.
How Security Missed the Jakarta Suicide Bombings
from Security Management News & Analysis by Matthew Harwood
Two details during the run-up to the twin and nearly simultaneous suicide bombings that struck the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels on Friday in Jakarta give indications of how the attack proved successful, according to Time magazine.
On Saturday, a police spokesman said that one of the terrorists carrying a bag set off the metal detectors at the Marriott. He told security it was his laptop computer. They let him through.
Pakistan Objects to U.S. Plan for Afghan War
from NY Times by ERIC SCHMITT and JANE PERLEZ
Pakistani officials have told the Obama administration that the Marines fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan will force militants across the border into Pakistan, with the potential to further inflame the troubled province of Baluchistan, according to Pakistani intelligence officials.
Pakistan does not have enough troops to deploy to Baluchistan to take on the Taliban without denuding its border with its archenemy, India, the officials said. Dialogue with the Taliban, not more fighting, is in Pakistan’s national interest, they said.
Blogger: America ‘Less Safe’ Without More F-22s
from Danger Room by David Axe
Among perceived rivals, China just began producing J-10 fighters that are in the same class as the USAF’s 20-year-old F-16Cs. Russia is still building, and exporting, a few variants of the 1980s’ Su-27. Despite lots of promises, neither China nor Russia has ever demonstrated it can build anything more advanced than its current models. Russia’s aviation industry has eroded so badly that it cannot even produce drones for the Russian military: Moscow must buy them from Israel, instead.
"Livin' The Dream, Sir"
from Op For by Lt Col P
Michael Yon hits the X-ring again with a dispatch from Central Asia:
...One Marine commander told me that during the early part of this war, his men didn’t even shower for three months. We talked for a couple of hours and he was proud that his Marines didn’t need a shower for three months, and that his Marines killed a lot of Taliban and managed to lose only one good man. That’s the Marines. They’ll show up in force with no warning, and their reputation with U.S. Army and Brits who have fought alongside them is stellar. A NPR photographer who just spent more than three weeks with the Marines could not praise them enough, saying he’d been with them in Iraq, too, and that when Marines take casualties, their reaction is to continue to attack. They try to stay in contact until they finish the enemy, no matter how long it takes. Truly they are animals when it comes to the fight. Other than that, great guys. Tonight at dinner, a young Marine Lance Corporal sat in front of me at the crowded dining facility. “Good evening, Sir,” he said. I asked, “Are you living like animals out there?” “Livin’ the dream, Sir!” They are fantastic.
The "Irreversible Collapse"
from In From the Cold by Spook86
What a difference a year makes.
Last July, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, boasted that his nation would add six carrier battle groups to its fleet, with construction of the new vessels beginning in 2012.
Most analysts were dubious about that claim, but Moscow had one factor working in its favor. With oil then trading at $150 a barrel, Russia was suddenly flush with cash, and military leaders could once again dream on a grandiose scale.
Twelve months later, Admiral Vysotsky is no longer talking about six new carrier battle groups. In fact, he sounds a lot like his predecessors of the late 80s and early 90s, who simply tried to maintain some semblance of a Russian fleet against overwhelming financial pressures. During that decade, the once-proud Soviet Navy became a shadow of its former self; ships spent almost no time at sea and out-of-area operations were virtually unheard of.
Mind the Gap: Reinstituting Counternarcotics Trafficking with Venezuela
from TheTerrorWonk by firstname.lastname@example.org (Aaron Mannes)
The GAO’s recent report U.S. Counternarcotics Cooperation with Venezuela Has Declined provides a nuts and bolts breakdown of how U.S. counternarcotics programs operate abroad – and how the Venezuelan government is refusing to cooperate on many of these crucial programs. Because of its strategic location next to Colombia, which has long been at the heart of the international drug trade, and because of the extensive connections between drugs and terrorism, improving counternarcotics cooperation with Venezuela is a small but important issue.
Who or what can hurt America?
Surprisingly few things. Communism is not dead but its proponents are isolated or weak. Just look at Belarussia or Cuba. Those that are stronger, such as China and Russia, are still undemocratic, but they are far from what Karl Marx would call classically socialist.
If there is an ideology that does threaten our freedoms, it is Salafi Jihad, a global creed that by definition sees the non-Muslim as someone to be subjugated or crushed. Any organization or nation that subscribes to this religious ideology and which chooses action and not just words, must feature high in the ranking of threats to the United States.
And please note, such organizations exist within our own borders,not just in some far away cave in Central Asia. Lastly there are those nations that do not necessarily adhere to the Salafi ideology but who facilitate its existence elsewhere, who fund its international entities and those who simply have an inimical relationship to the US and actively target our people and our interests.
20 July 2009
This year the U.S. Air Force will train more drone “jocks” than fighter jocks. Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles are transforming air warfare. The much-vaunted F-22 Raptor has flown in neither Iraq nor Afghanistan. But the pilotless Reaper, at a fraction of the Raptor’s price, is flying round the clock in both conflicts. Is a mood-altering, UCAV-mounted ray gun in our future?
from Counterterrorism Blog by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Pakistan has engaged in a two-month offensive against Islamic militants in the country's Swat region, a campaign that began when the Taliban captured a district just 60 miles from Islamabad, the nation's capital. As the campaign winds down, and local residents begin to return, significant questions remain about future counterinsurgency operations. For example, while Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has asked Washington for his own armed Predator drones for use against the Taliban, regional newspaper Dawn reports that U. S. intelligence officers oppose this move -- in part because several years ago "American officials gave Pakistan advance word of planned Predator attacks, but stopped the practice after the information was leaked to militants."
More GIs may Head to Afghanistan
from Military Army News Center
The Pentagon's chief said Thursday he could send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan this year than he'd initially expected and is considering increasing the number of Soldiers in the Army. Both issues reflect demands on increasingly stressed American forces tasked with fighting two wars.
Middle East navies eye new submarines
from Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
Tehran (UPI) Jul 17, 2009 - Submarine warfare seems to be in vogue in the Middle East these days, with Israel leading the way. Iran, Algeria and Egypt are also planning to acquire new submarines that could operate in the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
Pentagon IDs Taliban-held Soldier
from Associated Press
HAILEY, Idaho -- A Soldier who disappeared from his base in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban has been identified by the Pentagon as Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl of Idaho, who was serving with an Alaska-based infantry regiment.
While the Soldier's identity was known in his hometown of Hailey, residents there kept it to themselves until the Defense Department released his name after he was seen in a Taliban video posted online. Bergdahl, 23, was serving at an Afghan base near the border with Pakistan in an area known to be a Taliban stronghold.
US, Japan agree to set up official talks on nuclear deterrence
from Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
Tokyo (AFP) July 18, 2009 - The United States on Saturday agreed with Japan to set up an official talks on ways to boost the nuclear deterrence it provides to protect Tokyo as tensions continue with North Korea, a senior official said.
The Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) Finally Reacts to Urumqi Riots, Threatens Revenge on China
from Counterterrorism Blog by Evan Kohlmann
The NEFA Foundation has obtained a new audio recording from the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) titled, "In Occasion of the Communists’ Massacre of Our Muslim Nation in China and in Urumqi (East Turkistan)." In the statement, TIP's military commander Saifullah warned, "you ought to know that this Muslim people has men who will avenge them, and soon the knights of Allah will ambush you, Allah-willing, so await as we are with you awaiting.” The threat comes on the heels of ethnic riots in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, which have left nearly 200 dead and 1,700 injured. For those who are still unaware, the TIP is a Uighur militant group based in northwest Pakistan which is loosely aligned with the Taliban and Al-Qaida.
Russia stunned by missile failure setback
from Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
Moscow (AFP) July 17, 2009 - The Russian military's drive to revamp its Soviet-era missile arsenal has suffered a major setback after a nuclear-capable missile touted as the new pride of its rocket forces failed again in testing.