Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In The News

Dozens of Palestinian protesters and an Israeli policeman were wounded Wednesday morning on the Temple Mount as the site was opened to Jewish visitors.Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that Palestinians threw “stones and firecrackers” at police when they opened the walled compound’s gates.

Police responded with stun grenades, Rosenfeld said, and closed the complex to the Jewish visitors after a small number had toured the site.
An AFP correspondent at the scene said dozens of Palestinians were wounded by rubber-coated bullets and stun grenade canisters, and were staying inside the Al-Aqsa mosque out of fear they would be arrested when leaving.
On Sunday, riot police were called in to quell a violent protest at the Temple Mount’s Mughrabi Gate as the site opened to visitors in the morning.

 The prime minister of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday praised a shooting that killed an Israeli and wounded his wife and son as they drove through the West Bank the previous evening en route to a Seder, the traditional Passover meal that starts the weeklong Jewish holiday.
Speaking in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh said the attack outside the city of Hebron “brought back life to the path of resistance” against Israel and warned of more attacks in the territory. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest incident to threaten peace talks with the Palestinians.
Israeli media said the wounded woman was told in the hospital that her 40-year-old husband, a police officer named as Modi’in resident Baruch Mizrahi, was killed. It said their wounded son is 9 years old.
Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, visited the wounded at a Jerusalem hospital and called the incident “a tragedy.”
The attack almost certainly complicates US attempts to salvage the troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war from Jordan and Egypt.

Netanyahu condemned the attack and in a statement said he “holds the Palestinian Authority responsible” for “the despicable murder.”
“The Palestinian Authority continues to constantly broadcast – in its official media – programs that incite against the existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Last night this incitement was translated into the murder of a father who was traveling with his family to celebrate the first night of Passover,” he said.
He pointed out that the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank, had not yet condemned the attack.

A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn't know about it or couldn't get a drone there in time to strike.

U.S. officials won't comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed by the United States.
In a speech to the group, al-Wuhayshi makes it clear that he's going after the United States, saying "We must eliminate the cross. ... The bearer of the cross is America!"

As we reported back in October,the Obama regime is hellbent on jump starting a civil war in Egypt to put its pet Muslim Brothers back in power. This recent report reiterates our earlier assessment and elaborates on further details.
The struggle for Egypt is on the verge of a major escalation as the key sponsors of the jihadist cause in Syria are now committed to a similar campaign against Egypt.
The Emir (Commander) of the Free Egyptian Army is Sharif al-Radwani. He is currently running the training camps and weapon storage site of the Free Egyptian Army in Libya. In recent years, Sharif al-Radwani participated in the jihads in Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan-Pakistan. The key commander responsible for coordination with foreign sponsors and intelligence services is Ismail al-Salabi. He is a senior member of the Al Qaida high command. Significantly, Ismail al-Salabi is a friend and confidant of the head of Qatari intelligence, Ghanem al-Kubaisi, and both meet frequently.

The senior commanders are also coordinating with the supreme leaders of the clandestine arm of the Muslim Brothers the launch of terrorist operations inside Egypt. The jihadist sources specified that “Kami al-Saifi and Ismail al-Salabi, who are both in Al Qaida, were in contact with the Muslim Brothers’ (Ikhwan) Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater and have a special role to play in creating instability prior to the upcoming presidential elections”.
In mid-July 2013, soon after the Egyptian military overthrew the Morsi Administration and saved Egypt from collapse, the Muslim Brothers established a command post at the Gaza Beach Hotel in the Gaza Strip. The primary mission of the command post is to organize and run the Islamist resistance and, should the need arise, a civil war in Egypt. The Muslim Brothers cooperate closely with the Hamas and the various Al Qaida-affiliated neo-salafist and jihadist forces in Sinai.
The Gaza Beach Hotel command post is run by Mahmud Izzat Ibrahim, a senior deputy of the Supreme Guide, known as “the Iron Man”. Hamas sources claim that he is Muslim Brothers senior leader Khairat al-Shater’s right-hand man and deputy for special projects in the underground/clandestine apparatus. 

Adam Crain assumed that tapping into the computer networks used by power companies to keep electricity zipping through transmission lines would be nearly impossible in these days of heightened vigilance over cybersecurity.
When he discovered how wrong he was, his work sent Homeland Security Department officials into a scramble.
Crain, the owner of a small tech firm in Raleigh, N.C., along with a research partner, found penetrating transmission systems used by dozens of utilities to be startlingly easy. After they shared their discovery with beleaguered utility security officials, the Homeland Security Department began sending alerts to power grid operators, advising them to upgrade their software.
The alerts haven't stopped because Crain keeps finding new security holes he can exploit.
"There are a lot of people going through various stages of denial" about how easily terrorists could disrupt the power grid, he said. "If I could write a tool that does this, you can be sure a nation state or someone with more resources could."

Yesterday the crisis in Ukraine significantly intensified. Hours after Ukraine’s acting president Oleksandr Turchynov announced an “anti-terrorist operation” against the numerous pro-Russian uprisings that have taken place in at least nine cities, government forces engaged about 30 armed militants at Kramatorsk airport, just south of the city of Slovyansk, approximately 100 miles from the Russian border.

The exchange prompted a warning from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “I will be brief: Ukraine is on the brink of civil war, it’s frightening,” he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
The move is part of an overall counteroffensive aimed at reclaiming control of the eastern part of the country, following the takeover of official government buildings by pro-Russian separatists in at least nine cities. According to eyewitnesses, Slovyansk itself was beingsurrounded by Ukrainian troops, backed by armored personnel carriers and two helicopters. Pro-Russian forces have had effective control of the city since last Saturday.

Another troop buildup is going on near the city of Izyum, which is close to the border of the Kharkiv and Donetsk provinces in the east, 32 miles northwest of Slovyansk. An Izyum official who requested anonymity said the city has been used by Ukrainian troops as a feeding and fueling area since their arrival beginning last weekend. An Associated Press reporter claimed to have seen at least 14 armored personnel carriers with Ukrainian flags, along with helicopters and military vehicles, stationed 24 miles north of Slovyansk. Additional military equipment was also nearby, as were at least seven busloads of government troops wearing black military fatigues. “We are awaiting the order to move on Slovyansk,” said a soldier identified only by his first name of Taras.
In the city of Donetsk, Mayor Alexander Lukyanchenko begged pro-Russian forces not to follow through on their threat to seize city offices. “If the city authorities are paralyzed, it would be to the detriment of all inhabitants of the city,” he told reporters.
The move by the Ukrainian military follows an ultimatum issued Monday by Turchynov that was promptly ignored by pro-Russian militants. That ultimatum then became an offer to hold a national referendum to determine Ukraine’s future, followed by yet another offer for a peace-keeping intervention undertaken by U.N. forces.

China has the ability to deploy 2,000 troops to the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan) in just five hours using its four Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft purchased from Russia, according to an Apr. 2 report in the Wall Street Journal.
Although Lieutenant General John Wissler, the commanding general of the US Marine Corps in Okinawa, says that the United States is capable of wiping out invading Chinese forces without mobilizing ground forces, Western military expert have begun to question whether Washington and Tokyo are capable of defending Okinawa from a potential PLA invasion.
A single Zubr-class landing craft can transport 500 soldiers and 150 tonnes of equipment.
The Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, deployed by the US in Okinawa, is four times faster than the Zubr-class landing craft; however, it would still be unable to stop a full-scale Chinese invasion of the islands because a single tiltrotor aircraft is only able to carry 24 combat personnel and six tonnes of equipment, according to the paper.
According to the Tokyo-based Diplomat magazine, if the islands were to be taken by the PLA, the next likely step would be for China to launch another invasion against Okinawa.

 Hundreds of low-level and medium-sized earthquakes have struck central Idaho since last month, puzzling geologists who wonder whether the ruptures portend a much larger temblor to come or are merely the rumblings of a seismic fault previously thought to be dormant.
The recent earthquake swarm, beginning on March 24 and climaxed by a 4.9 magnitude tremor on Saturday, has produced no reports of injuries or severe damage but has rattled nerves in a region where Idaho's most powerful known quake, measured at 6.9, killed two children in 1983.
Saturday's earthquake was the strongest recorded in the state since 2005 and was followed on Monday by a magnitude 4.4 event that struck 10 miles north of the small ranching community of Challis, Idaho, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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