Friday, September 26, 2014

ISIS Threatening U.S. EU, Concerns Grow About Russian Cold War Style Bomber Flights

Major Terror Attack In EU Almost Inevitable, Officials Say

A major terror attack on European soil is practically inevitable as Western powers ramp up their assault on Jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria, the Guardian reported Friday, citing an unnamed senior EU official.

The official said Europe was scrambling to deal with the threat of hundreds and possibly thousands of Islamist fighters returning to the European Union from combat in Iraq and Syria with plans to carry out large-scale attacks in the union.

“It is pre-programmed,” the official told the newspaper. “We have clear signals that this is what the foreign fighters are doing. This is the main threat we are facing.”

He added that EU leaders were “very aware and very frightened of this” and currently did not have an effective strategy in place to deal with the threat. “They all fear this could be totally out of control. It may already be too late.”

In addition to the threat posed by Islamic State itself, De Kerchove  said the group’s burgeoning popularity among Muslim radicals could encourage other terror groups such as al-Qaeda to carry out attacks in order to prove their worth.
“The rise of (Islamic State) may prompt al-Qaeda to do something to show that it is still relevant,” he said.
Signs of rising terror threats against the US and its allies have been gathering in recent days.
Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday that his country’s intelligence operation had uncovered a plot by American and French Islamists fighting for IS to attack the subway systems in the United States and Paris. He said several people had been arrested in connection with the plan, but that the case was still developing. US and French officials have yet to confirm any such plot.

Six weeks after he was declared dead, a Canadian in the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham resurfaced on video Thursday, vowing the terrorist group was preparing to bomb New York and fly its flag over the White House.
Interviewed from Iraq by the U.S. website, Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a former Calgary movie theatre employee, appeared erratic and became increasingly enraged as he dished out threats and claimed God was on his side.
“God willing, we will make some attacks in New York soon, a lot of brothers are mobilizing there right now in the West, thanks to Allah,” he said. Smiling, he added they were “mobilizing for a brilliant attack, my friend.”
ISIS was conducting beheadings because “you attack one of us, we will attack one of you,” he said, adding, “We will stop when we behead the kuffar
He is one of several Somali-Canadians thought to have joined ISIS, prompting the Canadian Somali Congress’s Western branch to appeal for government help. A Hamilton, Ont. man presumed dead in ISIS was also a Somali-Canadian.

Iraq has received "credible" intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States, Iraq's prime minister said on Thursday, but senior U.S. officials said they had no evidence to back up the claim.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he had received the information Thursday morning from militants captured in Iraq and concluded it was credible after asking for further details. The attacks, he said, were plotted from inside Iraq by "networks" of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
"They plan to have attacks in the metros of Paris and the US," Abadi told a small group of US reporters while in New York for the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly. "I asked for more credible information. I asked for names. I asked for details, for cities, you know, dates. And from the details I have received, yes, it looks credible."

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the White House had not confirmed any plan to attack the US and French subway systems. "We have not confirmed such a plot, and would have to review any information from our Iraqi partners before making further determinations," she said.

The New York City Police Department said it was aware of the prime minister's warning and in close contact with the FBI and other agencies to assess the threat.

The U.S. military is concerned by flights by long-range Russian bombers near U.S. airspace, a top U.S. commander said on Thursday, saying the Cold War-style activity was raising questions for Pentagon planners.

The remarks by Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the U.S. military's Pacific Command, came after Russian Bear long-range bombers approached U.S. and Canadian airspace last week -- prompting both countries to scramble fighter jets to intercept them.

The United States and Russia are increasingly at odds over Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting for control of parts of the former Soviet state. The conflict has dragged relations with the West to their lowest levels since the Cold war.
Locklear said the Russian incursions into the United States' air defense identification zone (ADIZ), an area beyond sovereign U.S. airspace, was "basically kind of Cold War activity with long-range bombers."
"These are things that we have to be concerned about as military people. We have to think about them and what that would mean to the security of the region and the security of our own homeland."

The US is considering softening present demands that Iran gut its uranium enrichment program in favor of a new proposal that would allow Tehran to keep nearly half of the project intact while placing other constraints on its possible use as a path to nuclear weapons, diplomats told The Associated Press.

The initiative, revealed late Thursday, comes after months of nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers that have failed to substantially narrow differences over the future size and capacity of Tehran’s uranium enrichment program. Iran insists it does not want atomic arms but the West is only willing to lift nuclear-related sanctions if Tehran agrees to substantially shrink enrichment and other activities that Iran could turn toward making such weapons.

The tentative new US offer attempts to meet the Iranians close to half way on numbers, said two diplomats who demanded anonymity because their information is confidential. They said it envisages letting Iran keep up to 4,500 centrifuges but would reduce the stock of uranium gas fed into the machines to the point where it would take more than a year of enriching to create enough material for a nuclear warhead.

The fates of a reactor under construction near the city of Arak and of an underground enrichment facility at Fordo are also contentious issues. The US and its Western allies want the reactor converted to reduce to a minimum its production of plutonium, an alternate pathway to nuclear arms. And they insist that the Fordo plant be shuttered or used for something else than enrichment because it is fortified and thought to be impervious to air attacks.

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Mrs.C said...

Just a reminder...The Kotel...its 7:00pm there locally right now...the sun has set and the beginning of the celebrations closing Rosh Hashanah have begun.
Singing, clapping,Praying, large gatherings have begun. As in previous years, I suspect the crowds will grow even larger over the next hours.
There will be many Shofar's blowing, the Final Trumpet of the Festival, are the loonnng blown tones. Still hoping to witness the same celebration as years ago. Thousands, upon thousands, holding candles in the dark, Praying and singing in unison. I will never, ever forget witnessing that powerful experience...

George Baker said...

How do you say "Happy New Year" to your Jewish friends during Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year? The answer is simple: "L'Shana Tova," which literally means "For a Good Year."
My we all have a good year even in these times of trouble